The Fireworks approach on

Notification (January 2021): this site is currently under (re-)construction, so content may change from day to day 

What is about?

The innovation that is the core of the  site is “The Fireworks atmospheric radiation simulation”.
It is an easy to understand Excel spreadsheet that can calculate exactly how much radiation is emitted into space and how much is absorbed by the earth surface, by using only a very simple formula.
It can do so, not only based on the radiation that is emitted from the surface, but also based on the IR energy that is absorbed from the solar irradiation, and released by condensation of water vapour, containing latent heat, higher in the atmosphere.
This is normally a very complex calculation, involving temperature, pressure and IR wavelength radiative properties. But in the Fireworks calculation, they can be left out.

       The Fireworks basic idea (see chapter 1)

The great trick that enables this enormous simplification is to divide the atmosphere into layers, the height of which is defined as the average free path of greenhouse gas sensitive wave lengths, until they are absorbed by a greenhouse gas molecule. This definition incorporates all parameters that determine the free path,  such as temperature, pressure and wave length. As soon as you have established the number of layers, and the layer into which the energy is absorbed or inserted by condensation, the calculation is extremely accurate.

The problem is of course moved to the determination of the number of layers, and the place where the energy is inserted. But that problem too can be solved rather easily, be it so far a lot less accurately. I am convinced that climate scientists will be able to do this in a very accurate way, at least accurate enough to use the simulation to achieve greater insight, and for a lot of other purposes.

Chapter 1 – 5: The Fireworks simulation and climate model 

The first five chapters are explaining the simulation and the energy balance that is necessary to incorporate the other influences such as clouds and albedo in the Fireworks model, based on the simulation. They result in a Kiehl-Trenberth diagram containing the calculated energy flows in the atmosphere, and some conclusions about an atmosphere with twice the amount of CO2 in it.

Chapter 6 – 11: Convection, Hadley Cell and Missing Tropical Hot Spot

The next four chapters contain the first building blocks for quantifying the influence of greenhouse gases on convection. These chapters too contain a number of innovative new ideas that contradict generally accepted assumptions, both in sceptical and alarmist circles, about convection and the greenhouse effect.

The chapters 10 and 11 show how the Fireworks calculation can provide new insights on the radiative aspects of the Hadley cell and may even explain the so called “Missing Tropical Hot Spot”.


Fireworks concept presented at ICCC7 and ICCC10

First presentation at ICCC7 in Chicago, May 2012
On Monday evening, after a long day of lectures, I was given a chance to introduce the Fireworks concept to a few highly respected climate sientists, four of which were conference speakers.

Attendees: Prof. Dr Tom Segalstad (Univ. of Oslo), Prof. Dr Larry Gould (Univ. of Hartford), Prof Dr Fred Singer (NIPCC), Prof. Dr Sebastian Lüning ( co-author of  Die Kalte Sonne, geologist),  Dr Thomas P. Sheahen (Western Technology) and Prof. Dr Jeffrey Foss (Univ. of Victoria BC)
Not on the picture: John Kehr (author of 
The Inconvenient Sceptic)

Because it had been a very tiring day, I tried to be brief and to the point, concentrating on the Fireworks simulation. But the calculation of the emission of latent heat of the Hadley Cell to space, based on the simulation, certainly met with a lot of interest too.

Most of the attendants did not see the radiation theory as their core competence and were careful in formulating their reaction, but in general my feeling was that the theory was considered to be promising.                             

A “special appearance” was made by John Kehr, who as an outsider has figured out how climate works, comparable with my efforts, but he approaches it in a completely different way. I read his interesting book The Inconvenient Sceptic and it seems that both approaches are not contradictory and may very well be combined  to form a more general climate theory.

I am very grateful for the opportunity given to me to present my thoughts, and I would like to thank those present for their interest and valuable reactions and advice.

The 2012-2015 period
During the last three years several scientists have studied the Fireworls theory, both of the sceptic and the mainstream side.
None of them found important errors, except Prof. Henri Masson. (Dr Masson has done very interesting work on chaotic behaviour of climate, as I describe in Dutch in this report of our Rijsburg symposium).
He suggested that back-radiated LWIR is partially reflected on the surface of the earth (ic the sea surface). This is not taken into account in my program, but can easily be added, as soon as I have reliable data on this phenomenon.

Presentation at ICCC10 in Washington DC, June 2015
In a much less formal way than at ICCC7, I presented the Fireworks theory to Dr Thomas Wysmuller during the after-symposium dinner, and to Lord Christopher Monckton during our breakfast meeting on the day after the symposium. The one-on-one meetings enabled much more discussion and understanding than the groups presentation at ICCC7. Both scientists were very positive about my findings, and there will definitely be a follow-up.

This means that I have to update this site to add the new insights I have had since the first presentation in 2012. So in an (ongoing) effort most chapters have already been revised, varying from some text editing to major revisions, only in chapters 4 and maybe 5 considerable changes are still expected.

By |May 23rd, 2012|Climate|4 Comments


  1. sluning June 6, 2012 at 8:59 pm - Reply

    I enjoyed the excellent and thought-provoking presentation very much. It is this kind of discussions that eventually will help to further develop more robust climate models in the long run. I would like to congratulate Theo Wolters for his effort and his willingness to discuss his results with other scientists in an open and fruitful manner. His work will hopefully contribute to the scientific advancement in this field.

    Sebastian Luning
    Co-author “Die kalte Sonne”

  2. jefffoss June 10, 2012 at 8:16 am - Reply

    I do not pretend to understand Theo Wolter’s complete approach, but was beginning to scratch the surface, and liked what I saw very much. Although I am no expert in the area, I saw that his approach was new, and seemed an ingenious new way of analyzing heat flow via radiation from the surface of the Earth through the atmosphere. The usual methods rely on the concept of optical depth, but Wolter’s employs a simpler concept. Sometimes great progress can be made by means of the right simplification, and this seemed to me to be the promise of his approach.

    Jeffrey Foss
    Professor at University of Victoria

  3. tomvs July 23, 2012 at 10:16 am - Reply

    The presentation by Theo was refreshing, in that it presented new ideas. Science is about testing new ideas, and finding out how well such new ideas fit observed data. The radiation hypothesis beloved by IPCC is not fitting the observations; not for the last 14 years, and not for the past, considering the known warm and cold periods in the past (including glacial and interglacial times). The atmospheric concentration of the trace gas CO2 is definitely NOT the only and simple answer to an understanding of how the climate is changing, and has been changing many, many times in the past. Therefore we need new ideas to test, hopefully leading us to a better understanding. But this is difficult, because of the numerous parameters influencing our climates on the Earth, making our climates stochastic. And hence difficult, if not impossible, to predict using ordinary linear methods and statistics.

    Tom V. Segalstad
    Associate Professor at University of Oslo

  4. Theo July 12, 2015 at 11:20 pm - Reply

    Most chapters have been revised, varying from some text editing to major revisions; only in chapters 4 and maybe 5 considerable changes are still expected.

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