$10,000 Challenge Submission – Composition of the Atmosphere


Ok.
I have a non religious non wacko objection to Anthropomorphic Global Warming.
This does not mean I do not care about the environment
and it does not mean I think Green energy and waste management are not key issues facing us today.
It means I do not believe the global warming process can be slowed down or altered based on the magnitude of numbers involved.
Follow me please and save your questions to the end.
I will link several sources for each point.
First the Mass of the atmosphere of the planet Earth on which we reside.
around 5.97 x 10^24 kg Large number. let that sink in.
Next is the composition of the atmosphere…again contained in the same links.
If you have different information then please link it.
78% N2
20.9% O2
.93% Ar
.039% CO2
These are the Major Gases in the ATMOSPHERE and the percentage by volume.
Now the atomic weights can be found from the periodic Table.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Periodic_table (do I need an additional source for the periodic table?)
N2 = 14.007×2 g/mole = 28.014
O2 = 15.999×2 g/mole = 31.998
AR = 39.948×1 g/mole = 39.948
CO2= 12.011×1+31.998 g/mole = 44.009
Follow me here. I submit that the proportion of gas by mass is equivalent to the proportion of gas by volume because the masses are similar.
this is a little rough but according to the NASA link above the mean molecular weight is 29.87 g/mole that would make the assumed g/mole of
CO2 off by 34% from its actual mass.
I do this because it is hard to get the percentages by weight and I am short on time.
For arguments sake I think it’s fair to say that the mass
of CO2 is  .039%*(5.97×10^24)Kg +/- 50% (to cover my sloppy math)
2.3283 x 10^23 kg +/- 50% (1.16415 x 10^23 to 3.49245 x 10^23)
Ok. we have the first number. Mass of the CO2 in the atmosphere. with a wide margin of error but I know the number is somewhere in that
range.
Next we will Look at Mass of CO2 produced annually by Humanity.
is the EPA ok?
I can link others…I don’t want to link an anti global warming site as that is not the point.
is 6,000 million metric tonnes an ok estimate?
it is an emotionally large number.
that’s 6X10^12 kg annually…..at the highest.
Ok. that’s a huge number. astounding really.
this site contradicts my argument and gives a larger number.
it only compares it to the amount absorbed and emitted by natural sources not the atmospheric volume.
26.4 Gigatonnes or 2.64*10^13 kg Annually.
still with me?
take the amount produced and divide it by the amount present(i will lowball this so that things are skewed against me).
multiply by 100 to get the percentage increase in CO2 due to Humanity annually.
(2.64 x 10^13)/(1.16415 x 10^23) * 100 =
2.2677490014173431258858394536786 x 10^-8 percent increase in CO2 annually.
Taking into consideration the way global warming works is energy reradiated by the earth after absorption by the sun is absorbed by gas
molecules in the atmosphere. there is a linear relationship between mass increase and number of particles increase which is again linearly
related to the energy capable of being absorbed. this is an idea in nuclear physics too.
Now let’s link to a page on how greenhouse gasses work.
Specifically let’s look at how much of the energy absorption of the atmosphere is due to CO2
C02used to contribute only 9% with H20 having a 76%+ but i’ll go with 30%.
so if we contribute an additional 2.2 x 10^-8percent of the mass we increase the energy absorbed by the atmosphere by 30% of that in the
worst case….or 6.8032470042520293776575183610358 x 10^-9percent.
ok so there are the numbers.
If the percentage of volume produced where not so pathetically small I would assume error. But what kind of model of gas behavior can
close that gap?
I’d love to see it. It is definitely needed because the gap exists.
Now I’m sure I’ll get abuse. But this is an evidence based analytical look at the data being provided by the people that are telling me I am the cause of Global warming.
I am but in amounts so small to be undetectable…it’s an accident that the industrial revolution corresponded with a warming trend….perhaps
better crop yields resulted in more wealth and leisure for invention?
I digress. save the insults and discuss the implications or the fallacies.
We need to save the planet but that may involve preparing for climate change…not trying to prevent it in vain.
thanks for listening.
Logic.
Atmosphere of Earth – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
en.wikipedia.org
The atmosphere of Earth is a layer of gases surrounding the planet Earth that is… See More

Response

I’m OK with the large margins on the math since we are only trying to prove a point. This is called a ‘back of the envelope’ estimate. But, your numbers go beyond ‘back of the envelope.”

The first number I have trouble with is the amount of man made CO2 emissions. You use 6,000 million tons per year (6 gigatons per year). That number represents U.S. emissions only, according to your own source. Worldwide emissions are well over 30 gigatons annually (also from the EPA: http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/ghgemissions/global.html). I have even recently seen 40 gigatons as the amount, but lets go with the lower number.


You are way off on the mass of the atmosphere. Your second cited reference states the mass of the atmosphere is about 5 x 10^18 kgs, not 10^24. That’s a factor of a million difference. When I multiply the area of the planet by atmospheric pressure I get about 5 x 10^18 kg (after converting from newtons to kilograms). That would be 5 million gigatons. So, let’s go with that number.

I have not done the calculations myself, but Wikipedia gives about 3000 gigatons as the mass of atmospheric CO2. Using these numbers we get CO2 is about .06% of the atmosphere. Wikipedia lists it as .04%, so we are in the ball park.

Now, as we saw, humans produce in excess of 30 gigatons of CO2 per year, that would be a 1% increase in CO2 level per year. Fortunately, about one-half of what we emit is absorbed by nature. That would be an increase of around .5%. Measured CO2 levels are increasing at a rate of about 2 parts per million per year. The current density is about 400 ppm, so that means we again find we are increasing CO2 in the atmosphere at a rate of about .5% per year. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide_in_Earth%27s_atmosphere)

The measurements taken in the late 1950s showed atmospheric CO2 levels to be at 315 ppm. Today, they exceed 400 ppm. That gives us an increase of about 27% over 55 years, or about .5% per year. Again, we get about the same number. 

Your line of reasoning was OK and, based on your numbers, your objection was reasonable. But, your numbers were incorrect. When we use more accurate numbers we consistently get an annual increase of CO2 levels of about .5%.

If we had a linear relationship, then we could say the 30% of warming due to CO2 has increased by 27% over 55 years. It either started out as about 24% of the warming, or has increased to 38%. That all depends on when the 30% figure is good for. 

But, it isn’t linear because when CO2 traps heat in the atmosphere it causes other things to change. In particular, increasing the temperature increases the amount of water vapor in the air and water vapor is a more efficient greenhouse gas than CO2. That shows why CO2 is the driver, even though the majority of warming is attributed to other gases.

I believe I have shown that this is not a proof that man made global warming is not real. 

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One thought on “$10,000 Challenge Submission – Composition of the Atmosphere

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