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Molar Mass Version of the Ideal Gas Law Points to a Very Low Climate Sensitivity

It has always been complicated mathematically, to calculate the average near surface atmospheric temperature on planetary bodies with a thick atmosphere. Usually, the Stefan Boltzmann (S-B) black body law is used to provide the effective temperature, then debate arises about the size or relevance of additional factors, including the ‘greenhouse effect’. Presented here is a simple and reliable method of accurately calculating the average near surface atmospheric temperature on planetary bodies which possess a surface atmospheric pressure of over 10kPa. This method requires a gas constant and the knowledge of only three gas parameters; the average near-surface atmospheric pressure, the average near surface atmospheric density and the average mean molar mass of the near-surface atmosphere. The formula used is the molar version of the ideal gas law. It is here demonstrated that the information contained in just these three gas parameters alone is an extremely accurate predictor of atmospheric temperatures on planets with atmospheres >10kPa. This indicates that all information on the effective plus the residual near-surface atmospheric temperature on planetary bodies with thick atmospheres, is automatically ‘baked-in’ to the three mentioned gas parameters. Given this, it is shown that no one gas has an anomalous effect on atmospheric temperatures that is significantly more than any other gas. In short; there can be no 33°C ‘greenhouse effect’ on Earth, or any significant ‘greenhouse effect’ on any other planetary body with an atmosphere of >10kPa. Instead, it is a postulate of this hypothesis that the residual temperature difference of 33°C between the S-B effective temperature and the measured near-surface temperature is actually caused by adiabatic auto-compression.

Climate Sensitivity, Climate Change, Global Warming, Venus Temperature, Greenhouse Effect, Temperatures of Planetary Atmospheres, Earth Temperature, Auto-Compression

Robert Ian Holmes. (2017). Molar Mass Version of the Ideal Gas Law Points to a Very Low Climate Sensitivity. Earth Sciences, 6(6), 157-163.

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This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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