$30,000 Challenge Submission – Heat Capacity

On my blog, I wrote a piece entitled, “Flaws In The Global Warming Hypothesis.” There is a link to it, below, and I will summarize here the key points of the article, which refutes the hypothesis of the global warming hypothesis …

1. The Heat Capacity of CO2 (ie its ability to absorb heat) is actually lower than the Heat Capacity of Air. So, as the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere increases, the ability of the atmosphere to absorb heat actually decreases. This will create the opposite effect of what the alarmists suggest. This will cool the earth.

2. The Thermal Conductivity of CO2 is lower than the Thermal Conductivity of Air, which means that as CO2 increases in the atmosphere, the atmosphere becomes more reflective of heat. This will increase the reflectivity of the atmosphere for heat travelling in both directions. Heat attempting to leave the earth will be reflected back towards the earth, which will create a warming effect. However, the heat coming from the sun and trying to enter the atmosphere will also be reflected away from the earth and back out into outer space, which will have a cooling impact. So, the change in reflectivity of the atmosphere, from rising CO2 levels, has two competing impacts on the temperature of the earth. One is a cooling impact. The other is a warming impact. These two impacts will cancel each other out, creating zero net impact on the temperature of the earth.

3. The ice core data are highly unreliable, due to questions about diffusion of CO2 through the ice cores, as well as alternative explanations for the observed data, which have not been adequately addressed.

Please follow the link below for the complete article that I wrote on this matter.

http://galationpress.blogspot.com/2012/04/global-warming-settled-science-or.html

Jonathan GalJuly 2, 2014 at 10:10 PM

PS: For your reference, I am a Biology graduate of Harvard College from the 1980s. I scored in the top decile of my MCAT’s, with a particularly strong score in Physics (top 2% in Physics). After receiving an A in my basic Physics class at Harvard, I was asked by the professor to pursue a PhD in Physics, a request that I declined.

Point #4: PV = nRT As the number of moles of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increases, then – all else being equal – the volume of the atmosphere will increase, not the Temperature. Why? Because the outer surface of the atmosphere faces the zero pressure environment of outer space. So, there is nothing for the gases of the atmosphere to “push against.”

If there were some sort of barrier (say, for example, a massive plastic sheet that surrounded the entire atmosphere and restricted its physical expansion), then the Volume would be fixed, and the increased number of moles of CO2 would cause both pressure and temperature to rise, according to the Ideal Gas Law. However, there is no physical boudary surrounding the atmosphere. Therefore, as the number of moles of CO2 increases, then the volume of the atmosphere expands without raising pressure or temperature.

In effect, the atmosphere has a massive, built-in “pressure release valve. 

Response:

Point 1:

Your first error was in comparing heat capacities as meaning they are comparable in other ways. The heat capacity of air is about 1 kJ/kgK and the heat capacity of CO2 (at the temps we are concerned with) is about .8 kJ/kgK. The difference is how they get heated. O2 and N2 are essentially transparent to IR radiation, but CO2 is a great absorber of IR. Once the CO2 molecule absorbs energy in the form of IR radiation, it can then either reemit that energy as a new photon of IR, or it can collide with another molecule. The absorption and reemission of IR photons does not directly affect the O2 and N2 molecules, only the collisions will. So, no, adding CO2 to the atmosphere and absorbing IR radiation does not result in a cooler atmosphere.

Point 2:

You are technically correct in your statement but apply the details incorrectly. Yes, CO2 in the atmosphere will slow down the flow of energy both ways. The fact is, almost no IR radiation from the Sun makes it to the ground. However, this is due mainly to water vapor and not CO2. Your mistake was in assuming the energy from the Sun is IR when the energy we receive from the Sun at ground level is actually mostly visible light, which is not absorbed by CO2. This visible light gets absorbed by the surface and then the surface emits it as IR. So, the preponderance of IR is going spaceward from the surface, not the other way.

Point 3:

Your complaints about the ice core are irrelevant to the question of man made global warming. I will be dealing with this issue in another submission, but right now I will only say that even if issues actually do exist with the ice cores (something I am not willing to say at this time), it does not affect the question of whether or not man made emissions are changing the climate of today.

Point 4:

Your argument using the Ideal Gas Law would be relevant only if the atmosphere was a closed system, which it is not. There is a constant stream of incoming energy from the Sun, so you cannot just apply the Gas Law without taking all of that incoming energy into consideration. As for a ‘barrrier’ to push against, it has gravity, which is what is responsible for keeping all planetary atmospheres in place and creating atmospheric pressure. But, yes, the atmosphere most certainly expands and contracts in accord with many things, including the temperature. This does not negate the fact that there is an incoming stream of energy from outside the atmosphere that you have completely ignored. Additionally, the level of CO2 in the atmosphere is about 400 ppm, which translates to .04% of the atmosphere.

All four of your points are scientifically invalid.

You did not prove man made global warming is not real.

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