In honor of Russia's

Mikhail Ivanovich Budyko

January 20, 1920 - December 10, 2001

Pioneer of modern climatology
the man who wrote the textbook on climate science

 by author Rolf A. F. Witzsche 

Mikhail Budyko was a Russian climatologist and one of the founders of physical climatology. He pioneered studies on the global climate and a scientific process for calculating the temperature of the Earth on the basis of a physical model of equilibrium in which the incoming solar radiation absorbed by the Earth's system is balanced by the energy re-radiated to space as thermal energy.

Budyko work concludes that variances in volcanic dust could account for the Quaternary variations in glaciation, which the Milankovitch Theory cannot account for. An important aspect of Budyko's analysis is that the latitude of the lower limit of glaciation is a key variable (presently app. 72 degrees).  According to Budyko, the Miklankovitch theory would only account for minuscule change in the lower (app. 1 degree) while variances in volcanic dust could drive lower limit of glaciation down by 10 to 20 degrees, which corresponds to the observed variation in glaciation. 

On the basis on known evidence he suggest that the manmade, carbon dioxide-based global warming, is way off the scale of reasonable scientific assumptions. In fact, he suggests that the current CO2 contents is dangerously deficient, suggesting that if the weakening continues that in one of the future ice ages the advance a glaciation towards the equator could cross a threshold beyond a positive feedback effect might freeze the entire planet over into a "Snowball Earth" state. Ten years after his hypothesis, evidence was discovered that such a situation may have actually existed already 700 million years ago, with average temperatures in the range of -40 degrees centigrade.

Since normally, 97% of the greenhouse effect comes from water vapor, and only 3% from CO2 (the manmade portion of that is in 3-4% range), it is theorized, that in other to snap the earth out of its snowball state, in which no water vapor was in the atmosphere, the CO2 accumulation from volcanic actions spanning tens of millions of years, was required to create a sufficient greenhouse effect to cause the Snowball Earth to melt. However, for this to happen, it was calculated that CO2 concentration would likely have been 350 times more dense than it is today. In comparison, the global warming hoopla of today is over the minuscule natural variance of just a few percent.

The logical conclusion that one can draw from Budyo's work that if mankind was to burn all the carbon fuels it could lay its hands on, the outcome would be absolutely inconsequential for climate on the Earth, but would be beneficial to all life on the planet, since every form of life is carbon based. Carbon is, what life is made of. To the best of my knowledge, name of Budyko was not held in high regards in the fields of the manmade global warming mythology.

The Following link is to a paper on the Snowball Earth, with Budyko's contribution honored.


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