Background: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concludes that
anthropogenic greenhouse gases are extremely likely to have been the dominant cause of
observed global warming. Depletion of the ozone layer by manufactured chlorofluorocarbon
gases and volcanic eruptions, however, provides a much more detailed and precise
explanation for changes in climate observed since the industrial revolution and throughout
geologic history. Climate models currently calculate that infrared thermal energy absorbed by
greenhouse gases is greater than ultraviolet thermal energy reaching earth when ozone is
depleted, yet we all know we get hotter standing in ultraviolet sunlight than in infrared
radiation welling up from earth at night.
Objective: To understand the physics of how ozone depletion could be a better explanation
for observed warming.
Method: Recognizing that thermal energy is the oscillations of all the degrees of freedom of
all the bonds holding matter together, that energy of each atomic oscillator is equal to the
Planck constant times the frequency of each oscillation, and that this energy is an intensive
physical property that is therefore not additive, we examine from first principles how thermal
energy flows via electromagnetic radiation.
Results: Radiant thermal energy is not a function of bandwidth as currently calculated. It is a
function only of frequency of oscillation. The higher the frequency, the higher the
temperature to which the absorbing body will be raised. Intensity and amount of radiation
only determine the rate of warming.
Conclusions: Ozone depletion provides a more precise explanation for observed global
warming than greenhouse-warming theory.