The paper is a long read, and the fascinating discussion in the comments is even longer. These are my thoughts on Eschenbach's hypothesis.
Thermodynamics on a global scale will prevent global warming from occurring. In additional to reflective cloud formation, the physical properties of water establish a setpoint temperature that when reached causes active heat engines to form. We call the active heat engines "thunderstorms," and they eject heat from the earth into space. The setpoint is approximately 305K (90 degrees Fahrenheit), and corresponds nicely with the maximum temperature found at sea level in our equatorial oceans.Water's physical properties do not change, even with increasing atmospheric CO2, hence Gaia's setpoint cannot change with increasing human CO2 emissions.
The graphic below from Eschenbach's paper shows how equatorial clouds form through the day. More than half of the solar heating of the earth occurs in this equatorial zone. The warming sun causes cumulus clouds to form during the morning until sometime between 10:00 and 11:30 they reflect a large percent of the incoming solar energy. The clouds remain fairly constant and moderate temperature for most of the day until they reach a critical point where thunderstorms will form.
The cumulonimbus, or thunderstorm, clouds bypass any insulating greenhouse gases and pull heat directly from the earth's tropical surface into the troposphere. Here, the heat is ejected into space.
The heat reflected by the cumulus clouds and ejected by the cumulonimbus clouds is orders of magnitude greater than Al Gore's worst nightmare for greenhouse gas warming of the earth. Therefore, the earth will self regulate its temperature, and anthropogenic global warming is impossible.
A very intelligent design, indeed.
1. The sun puts out more than enough energy to totally roast the earth. It is kept from doing so by the clouds reflecting about a third of the sun’s energy back to space. As near as we can tell, this system of cloud formation to limit temperature rises has never failed.
2. This reflective shield of clouds forms in the tropics in response to increasing temperature.
3. As tropical temperatures continue to rise, the reflective shield is assisted by the formation of independent heat engines called thunderstorms. These cool the surface in a host of ways, move heat aloft, and convert heat to work.
4. Like cumulus clouds, thunderstorms also form in response to increasing temperature.
5. Because they are temperature driven, as tropical temperatures rise, tropical thunderstorms and cumulus production increase. These combine to regulate and limit the temperature rise. When tropical temperatures are cool, tropical skies clear and the earth rapidly warms. But when the tropics heat up, cumulus and cumulonimbus put a limit on the warming. This system keeps the earth within a fairly narrow band of temperatures.
6. The earth’s temperature regulation system is based on the unchanging physics of wind, water, and cloud.
7. This is a reasonable explanation for how the temperature of the earth has stayed so stable (or more recently, bi-stable as glacial and interglacial) for hundreds of millions of years.