Free Republic
Browse · Search
Bloggers & Personal
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Simple Chemistry and the Real Greenhouse Effect.
Blogging Tories ^ | March 2010 | Bill MacLean

Posted on 02/10/2011 9:29:16 AM PST by BillM

Simple Chemistry and the Real Greenhouse Effect.

Truths:

1. Most of the Sun’s radiation that gets to the Earth’s lower atmosphere passes through substantially unabsorbed.

2. Most of the radiation is then absorbed on contact with the Earth’s surface. This includes the majority water and the minority land.

3. Most of the Earth’s surface is either water or moist vegetation.

Most of the radiation from the sun is converted to infrared wavelengths at or near the surface.

The water molecules absorb the infrared radiation causing increased vibration within the individual water molecules. This is converted into translational energy during intermolecular collisions.

Water is an unusual compound. Its molecular weight (18) is half that of nitrogen (28) and less than half oxygen (32). Water should by all rights be a gas.

The reason water is liquid or ice normally, is that water molecules are naturally attracted to each other and form large aggregates which are substantially heavier than air.

When liquid water absorbs infrared radiation or is otherwise stimulated it vibrates more quickly and more intensely. This breaks down that tendency to aggregate.

In fact, in order for an associated water molecule to break free and escape into the air, a specific amount of energy must be absorbed. This is called the Latent Heat of Vaporization.

In fact, this is a very large amount of energy as anyone who has boiled water knows.

It takes 1 calorie of heat to raise the temperature of liquid water by 1 Celsius degree.

It take 539 calories to change one gram of water to steam.

Phase changes

Transitions between solid, liquid, and gaseous phases typically involve large amounts of energy compared to the specific heat. If heat were added at a constant rate to a mass of ice to take it through its phase changes to liquid water and then to steam, the energies required to accomplish the phase changes (called the latent heat of fusion and latent heat of vaporization ) would lead to plateaus in the temperature vs time graph. The graph below presumes that the pressure is one standard atmosphere.

A more complete explanation of the above

All of the energy (539 cal/gm) must be lost by exchange or radiation in order for the steam to condense.

This is THE ESSENSE of the GREENHOUSE EFFECT.

Enormous amounts of energy (principally translational and vibrational) are carried from the surface into the atmosphere by fast moving free or loosely associated water molecules.

Collisions between water molecules and the majority nitrogen and oxygen molecules transfer the energy to the greater atmosphere. As the energy level of the water molecules diminishes, the probability that water molecules will reaggregate increases. This leads to condensation and has the effect of transferring that 539 calories per gram to the rest of the atmosphere.

Now for the Kicker!

Carbon dioxide does NOT form aggregates. It is not lighter than air and thus does not rise quickly. There is no phase change when carbon dioxide enters the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide carries less than half the heat per molecule compared to water.

One gram of Carbon Dioxide heated at the surface by incident sunlight carries (2 * 539 = 1078) 1078 times less energy into the atmosphere than one gram of water.

Carbon dioxide represents 0.0387 % of the atmosphere. Water in the lower atmosphere represents 1% to 4% or 25 to 100 times the amount of carbon dioxide.

Combining the two statements above, Water is (25 * 1078 = 27,175) to (100 * 1078 = 108,700) times more responsible for greenhouse effect than carbon dioxide.


TOPICS: Education; Reference; Science; Weather
KEYWORDS: globalwarming; greenhousegases
It's amazing how little real science is offered for Global Warming.
1 posted on 02/10/2011 9:29:22 AM PST by BillM
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: BillM

It’s so refreshing to read science articles written by someone with a true education.

As opposed to reading Gore - level tripe coming from our MSM underclass.


2 posted on 02/10/2011 9:37:36 AM PST by Da Coyote
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BillM

I’ll have to respond later, but this is kind of backwards. Heat loss to space by evaporational cooling at the surface and condensation warming aloft works against global warming. It is a major source of global cooling.


3 posted on 02/10/2011 9:42:16 AM PST by palmer (Cooperating with Obama = helping him extend the depression and implement socialism.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BillM
But, but but...global warming is TRUE - look at all the snow on the ground right now.... I don't care if it is winter, there is snow so we must have global warmingclimate change.
4 posted on 02/10/2011 9:44:53 AM PST by WhyisaTexasgirlinPA (Green Bay Packers - SuperBowl 45 champs)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BillM

Equating water vapor in the air to steam seems a stretch. I may be back after a little research.


5 posted on 02/10/2011 9:45:33 AM PST by toast
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BillM
Water is an unusual compound. Its molecular weight (18) is half that of nitrogen (28) and less than half oxygen (32). Water should by all rights be a gas.

??? 18 is not half of 28 and is not less than half of 32.

6 posted on 02/10/2011 9:46:46 AM PST by PapaBear3625 ("It is only when we've lost everything, that we are free to do anything" -- Fight Club)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BillM
Oh, there is real science in it - the science of coercion, mind control and manipulation of the masses. It is real science.

What do you think, that it is easy to turn hundreds of millions of people into zombies who worship Carbon Fraud?

Ask typical carbon Fraud idiot if he/she ever had icecubes in her drink. Did the drink spill out from the glass when the the ice melted?

The fact is, all this art of coercion was intended as a tool to defraud millions of people out of trillions of dollars through the fraud called Cap and Trade.

I believe there is still a legislation in U.S. that can be used against fraudsters - it's RICO.

Good news is that Chicago Climate Exchange was shut for good. In deafening silence of the fraudsters and their media. Wikilieaks show that U.S. Government was actively involved in pushing this fraud onto other nations who had more common sense and better education to see through the fraud.

We have to thank Ruskie hackers and Chicom diplomats for debunking this fraud.

That is the hardest part to swallow - it was not debunked by freedom loving Americans.

7 posted on 02/10/2011 9:52:58 AM PST by DTA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: palmer
I’ll have to respond later, but this is kind of backwards. Heat loss to space by evaporational cooling at the surface and condensation warming aloft works against global warming. It is a major source of global cooling.

Water acts as a strong negative-feedback element against global warming. If the Earth gets warmer, then more evaporation happens, and more energy gets transported into the upper atmosphere to be released when water vapor condenses into rain.

8 posted on 02/10/2011 9:54:09 AM PST by PapaBear3625 ("It is only when we've lost everything, that we are free to do anything" -- Fight Club)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: PapaBear3625

Sorry, sloppy, the point is that the lighter gas H2O(18) rises in air while the heavier gas CO2(44) sinks.


9 posted on 02/10/2011 9:57:52 AM PST by BillM
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: toast

In the current context, steam or water vapor assumes individual isolated molecules diluted in the air (N2/O2etc) matrix.


10 posted on 02/10/2011 9:59:48 AM PST by BillM
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: BillM
THE ACQUITTAL OF CARBON DIOXIDE
by Jeffrey A. Glassman, PhD

ABSTRACT:

"Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere [historically] is the product of oceanic respiration due to the well-known but under-appreciated solubility pump. Carbon dioxide rises out of warm ocean waters where it is added to the atmosphere. There it is mixed with residual and accidental CO2, and circulated, to be absorbed into the sink of the cold ocean waters. Next the thermohaline circulation carries the CO2-rich sea water deep into the ocean. A millennium later it appears at the surface in warm waters, saturated by lower pressure and higher temperature, to be exhausted back into the atmosphere. Throughout the past 420 millennia, comprising four interglacial periods, the Vostok record of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration is imprinted with, and fully characterized by, the physics of the solubility of CO2 in water, along with the lag in the deep ocean circulation.

Notwithstanding that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, atmospheric carbon dioxide has neither caused nor amplified global temperature increases. Increased carbon dioxide has been an effect of global warming, not a cause [historically -etl]. Technically, carbon dioxide is a lagging proxy for ocean temperatures. When global temperature, and along with it, ocean temperature rises, the physics of solubility causes atmospheric CO2 to increase.

If increases in carbon dioxide, or any other greenhouse gas, could have in turn raised global temperatures, the positive feedback would have been catastrophic. While the conditions for such a catastrophe were present in the Vostok record from natural causes, the runaway event did not occur. Carbon dioxide does not accumulate in the atmosphere."

http://www.rocketscientistsjournal.com/2006/10/co2_acquittal.html
_______________________________________________________________


11 posted on 02/10/2011 10:23:38 AM PST by ETL (ALL (most?) of the Obama-commie connections at my FR Home page: http://www.freerepublic.com/~etl/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BillM
So, greenhouse [effect] is all about carbon dioxide, right?

Wrong. The most important players on the greenhouse stage are water vapor and clouds [clouds of course aren't gas, but high level ones do act to trap heat from escaping, while low-lying cumulus clouds tend to reflect sunlight and thereby help cool the planet -etl]. Carbon dioxide has been increased to about 0.038% of the atmosphere (possibly from about 0.028% pre-Industrial Revolution) while water in its various forms ranges from 0% to 4% of the atmosphere and its properties vary by what form it is in and even at what altitude it is found in the atmosphere.

In simple terms the bulk of Earth's greenhouse effect is due to water vapor by virtue of its abundance. Water accounts for about 90% of the Earth's greenhouse effect -- perhaps 70% is due to water vapor and about 20% due to clouds (mostly water droplets), some estimates put water as high as 95% of Earth's total tropospheric greenhouse effect (e.g., Freidenreich and Ramaswamy, 'Solar Radiation Absorption by Carbon Dioxide, Overlap with Water, and a Parameterization for General Circulation Models,' Journal of Geophysical Research 98 (1993):7255-7264).

The remaining portion comes from carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane, ozone and miscellaneous other 'minor greenhouse gases.' As an example of the relative importance of water it should be noted that changes in the relative humidity on the order of 1.3-4% are equivalent to the effect of doubling CO2.

http://www.junkscience.com/Greenhouse/
_______________________________________________________________

Water Vapor Rules the Greenhouse System

Water vapor constitutes Earth's most significant greenhouse gas, accounting for about 95% of Earth's greenhouse effect (4). Interestingly, many 'facts and figures' regarding global warming completely ignore the powerful effects of water vapor in the greenhouse system, carelessly (perhaps, deliberately) overstating human impacts as much as 20-fold.

Water vapor is 99.999% of natural origin. Other atmospheric greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), and miscellaneous other gases (CFC's, etc.), are also mostly of natural origin (except for the latter, which is mostly anthropogenic).

Human activities contribute slightly to greenhouse gas concentrations through farming, manufacturing, power generation, and transportation. However, these emissions are so dwarfed in comparison to emissions from natural sources we can do nothing about, that even the most costly efforts to limit human emissions would have a very small-- perhaps undetectable-- effect on global climate.

http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/greenhouse_data.html
_______________________________________________________________

Water Vapor Confirmed As Major Player In Climate Change

ScienceDaily (Nov. 18, 2008) — Water vapor is known to be Earth's most abundant greenhouse gas, but the extent of its contribution to global warming has been debated. Using recent NASA satellite data, researchers have estimated more precisely than ever the heat-trapping effect of water in the air, validating the role of the gas as a critical component of climate change.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081117193013.htm

12 posted on 02/10/2011 10:24:12 AM PST by ETL (ALL (most?) of the Obama-commie connections at my FR Home page: http://www.freerepublic.com/~etl/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ETL
I'm a little confused. The real issue is NOT related significantly to the radiative effect of individual gases. It is the mechanism of energy conversion at the surface and the transport of that energy into the atmosphere. most living things live very close to the surface of the Earth (within a few miles). The environment is contolled by the heat from below (Geothermal) ant the heat from above (Solar). The distribution of that energy is controlled by the phase changes of WATER. Nothing come close to its ability to capture, transport, and then release that energy.

“One gram of Carbon Dioxide heated at the surface by incident sunlight carries (2 * 539 = 1078) 1078 times less energy into the atmosphere than one gram of water.

Carbon dioxide represents 0.0387 % of the atmosphere. Water in the lower atmosphere represents 1% to 4% or 25 to 100 times the amount of carbon dioxide.

Combining the two statements above, Water is (25 * 1078 = 27,175) to (100 * 1078 = 108,700) times more responsible for greenhouse effect than carbon dioxide.”

13 posted on 02/10/2011 11:06:04 AM PST by BillM
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: BillM
the point is that the lighter gas H2O(18) rises in air while the heavier gas CO2(44) sinks

The reason water vapor rises is it is lighter than all gases, not just CO2. CO2 doesn't sink to any appreciable extent (e.g. the readings at the top and bottom of Mauna Loa are continuously compared and match pretty well). When water vapor rises it is part of the cooling process, transferring latent energy upwards where it is released with the water vapor condenses.

14 posted on 02/10/2011 2:13:21 PM PST by palmer (Cooperating with Obama = helping him extend the depression and implement socialism.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: BillM
That is an excellent article. Thanks for posting it.

No Smoking Hot Spot (The Australian)

The missing hotspot (JoNova)

Those two articles take Greenhouse Theory at face value and by the criterion set up in the theory itself finds no evidence of warming on the basis of greenhouse effect.

The Hidden Flaw in Greenhouse Theory

Falsification Of The Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse Effects Within The Frame Of Physics

Harvard astrophysicist dismisses AGW theory, challenges peers to 'take back climate science'

It Is Impossible For A 100 ppm Increase In Atmospheric CO2 Concentration To Cause Global Warming

Those four articles each show that Greenhouse Theory has no basis in reality due to a direct conflict with the known laws of physics. No wonder the smoking gun "hotspot" can't be found.

Claim That Sea Level Is Rising Is a Total Fraud

That article pretty much puts the kibosh on any serious trend of planetary warming from any cause. Think about it. If there is absolutely no sign at all of rising sea levels how could the planet be warming? Beyond the centuries long slow warming of the earth and rising of the seas of course. But that is only a few millimeters per century due to the inter-glacial period we are in.

15 posted on 02/10/2011 2:14:05 PM PST by TigersEye (We're gonna need more blades of grass.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ETL
Water vapor is 99.999% of natural origin

I love reading completely useless facts, that's how I know to look carefully at the rest. The role of CO2 is substantial in small concentrations and dry conditions. That's why CO2 is an important amplifying effect coming out of ice ages. But in our current interglacial, added CO2 has much less effect, that's why it doesn't really matter.

16 posted on 02/10/2011 2:20:05 PM PST by palmer (Cooperating with Obama = helping him extend the depression and implement socialism.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: TigersEye

It’s not really all that clear and has nothing to do with warming the earth. The phase changes he describes are what cool the earth. It’s one of the reasons that the slight bit of warming from CO2 doesn’t matter, it gets partly canceled by the increased evaporation at the surface (cooling) and condensation aloft (releases heat out to space).


17 posted on 02/10/2011 2:23:39 PM PST by palmer (Cooperating with Obama = helping him extend the depression and implement socialism.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: TigersEye

It’s not really all that clear and has nothing to do with warming the earth. The phase changes he describes are what cool the earth. It’s one of the reasons that the slight bit of warming from CO2 doesn’t matter, it gets partly canceled by the increased evaporation at the surface (cooling) and condensation aloft (releases heat out to space).


18 posted on 02/10/2011 2:23:52 PM PST by palmer (Cooperating with Obama = helping him extend the depression and implement socialism.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: palmer
It’s not really all that clear and has nothing to do with warming the earth.

I am not sure what you are referring to here.

19 posted on 02/10/2011 2:31:45 PM PST by TigersEye (We're gonna need more blades of grass.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: palmer
That's why CO2 is an important amplifying effect coming out of ice ages.

Funny, but the data from the ice core record doesn't seem to support that statement, although CO2 has most definitely played a role in warming at other times in the planet's history. That is, when it was at much higher concentrations than what we have today.

20 posted on 02/10/2011 2:40:55 PM PST by ETL (ALL (most?) of the Obama-commie connections at my FR Home page: http://www.freerepublic.com/~etl/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: BillM; mmanager; Fiddlstix; Fractal Trader; FrPR; enough_idiocy; meyer; Normandy; Whenifhow; ...
 


Beam me to Planet Gore !

21 posted on 02/10/2011 4:37:23 PM PST by steelyourfaith (ObamaCare Death Panels: a Final Solution to the looming Social Security crisis ?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ETL
The mechanism is that the earth warms from solar changes, then after many 100's to 1000 years or so, CO2 comes out of the deep ocean and that causes more warming and there is a slow feedback loop. The ice age atmosphere is generally very dry and CO2 has a greater proportional effect and it is going from 200 to 280 and is logarithmic.

Finally with the CO2 at around 260-280, and the atmosphere warmed and wetter, the feedback loop stops. That's why the interglacial periods stop around the current temperature or a little higher. The current addition of 100 more ppm has little effect for two reasons: the log scale means less warming for each additional amount of CO2. More importantly, weather starts to limit warming (see Eschenbach and Lindzen on thermostat-like mechanisms). The water cycle is a powerful global cooling mechanism and should operate a bit faster with a bit of CO2 warming. But mostly the water cycle responds to solar effects including geomagnetic effects that manifest in weather changes (e.g. more low clouds from more galactic cosmic rays or less from less).

I try to stay away from CO2 did this or that in ancient history (e.g. when it was much higher) because the earth was very different then. Many more volcanoes (the source of the CO2) affecting the climate, the sun was cooler, the continents were laid out differently. There are no clear relationships when you look very far back.

It is definitely a fact that we are in an extended ice age with scarce CO2. Now our extra CO2 may or may not help to keep us from falling out of the current interglacial back into the ice age. In the other direction, the chance of "catastrophic" warming from the extra CO2 is zero. Not even a tiny chance, it simply will not happen in our current geological configuration.

22 posted on 02/10/2011 5:38:43 PM PST by palmer (Cooperating with Obama = helping him extend the depression and implement socialism.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: ETL

“This new data set shows that as surface temperature increases, so does atmospheric humidity,” Dessler said. “Dumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere makes the atmosphere more humid. And since water vapor is itself a greenhouse gas, the increase in humidity amplifies the warming from carbon dioxide.”

I couldn’t find the original paper on which this statement is based. It only referenced a secondary article published in a journal by a writer who added his own unsubstantiated assertions to the original article. Be that as it may, it glosses over a very important reality. Increasing surface temperatures may or may not increase atmospheric humidity depending upon the presence or absence of water in that surface. It is axiomatic that heat can only evaporate water into water vapor if there is water present in the first place. For example, Death Valley, California is very arid even though it is very hot because very little rain falls there; therefore there is very little water in the soil in Death Valley to evaporate (create humidity) when the surface is heated.

Conversely, Huntsville, Alabama gets lots of rain and the surface if very wet. It, therefore, unlike Death Valley gets very humid when the ground is heated. Both of these locations lie roughly along the same parallel so they both receive roughly the same amount of sunlight every day throughout the year, yet the relative humidity in Death Valley is only about 24% on average and the relative humidity in Huntsville is over 70%.

I obtained the above numbers from the National Weather Service. Empirically measured Huntsville has nearly three times the amount of water vapor in the air than does Death Valley. So, if water vapor traps heat in the air and creates a positive heating feedback loop one would expect Huntsville to be much warmer on average than Death Valley, but its not; its cooler.

Huntsville, the city with nearly three times the amount of the “greenhouse gas” water vapor in the air, is about 7 °C cooler than Death Valley! It is only 17 °C on average while Death Valley, the city with about one third the amount of the “greenhouse gas” water vapor in the air, is about 24 °C on average. Again, they both lie along the same parallel so they both receive roughly the same amount of sunlight every day all year long.

Therefore, we observe that the city with nearly three times the amount of water vapor in the air is not only cooler than the city with one third the amount of water vapor in the air, it is significantly cooler. The water vapor in Huntsville, contrary to the “greenhouse effect” hypothesis in reality has a marked cooling effect, not a warming effect, on the climate in and around Huntsville. This is an “anti-greenhouse” effect.

The more water vapor there is in the air the cooler the air is (according to the figures that I obtained from the National Weather Service.) This is a negative feedback and explains why the earth, which is covered with 70% oceans, has not already experienced runaway “water vapor feedback.” As the surface temperature increases by whatever means, if there is water in the ground to evaporate, that extra heat will create more humidity; this, in turn, cools the surface, which inhibits further evaportion. This reality is reflected in the temperature record which shows Huntsville to be about 7 °C cooler on average than Death Valley even though they both receive the same amount of sunlight.

Should one assert that this cooling is due to the greater cloud cover in Huntsville that would simply affirm the powerful negative feedback that clouds provide as they mitigate surface warming through shade and rain.


23 posted on 01/24/2012 6:40:45 AM PST by allen_carl (Water Vapor and clouds cool the atmosphere)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Bloggers & Personal
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson