Skip to comments.Global Warming Theory Disproved a Century Ago
Posted on 10/05/2018 9:56:29 PM PDT by kathsua
The claim that carbon dioxide (CO2) can increase air temperatures by "trapping" infrared radiation (IR) ignores the fact that in 1909 physicist R.W. Wood disproved the popular 19th Century thesis that greenhouses stayed warm by trapping IR. Unfortunately, many people who claim to be scientists are unaware of Wood's experiment which was originally published in the Philosophical magazine , 1909, vol 17, p319-320.
Philosophical Magazine might not sound like the name of a science publication, but a century ago leading scientists published their discoveries in it.
During the early 19th Century many physicists supported the theory postulated by Benjamin Franklin that heat involved some type of fluid. The theory became known as "caloric theory". Joseph Jean Baptiste Fourier's theory that the atmosphere was heated from infrared radiation from the ground was a variation of caloric theory with IR functioning as the "fluid". Fourier believed greenhouses were heated by trapping this radiation.
Physicists in the early 19th Century were attempting to develop theories to explain the nature of atoms and their properties such as heat. Physicists theorized that atoms were the smallest particles of matter.
By the end of the century a new theory of heat, called "kinetic theory", was being developed that suggested heat was the motion, or kinetic energy, of atoms. However, Fourier's theory that IR heated the atmosphere particularly by interacting with carbon dioxide and water vapor continued to have support.
In 1897 J.J. Thompson overturned the popular theory of the atoms being the smallest particles of matter by reporting his discovery of the electron and predicting two other types of charged particles he called protons and neutrons.
Wood was an expert on IR. His accomplishments included inventing both IR and UV (ultraviolet) photography. In 1909 he decided to test Fourier's theory about how greenhouses retained heat.
Wood constructed two identical small greenhouses. The description implies the type of structure a gardener would refer to as a "cold frame" rather than a building a person could walk into.
He lined the interior with black cardboard which would absorb radiation and convert it to heat which would heat the air through conduction. The cardboard would also produce radiation. He covered one greenhouse with a sheet of transparent rock salt and the other with a sheet of glass. The glass would block IR and the rock salt would allow it to pass.
During the first run of the experiment the rock salt greenhouse heated faster due to IR from the sun entering it but not the glass greenhouse. He then set up another pane of glass to filter the IR from the sun before the light reached the greenhouses.
The result from this run was that the greenhouses both heated to about 50 C with less than a degree difference between the two. Wood didn't indicate which was warmer or whether there was any difference in the thermal conductivity between the glass sheet and the rock salt. A slight difference in the amount of heat transfered through the sheets by conduction could explain such a minor difference in temperature. The two sheets probably didn't conduct heat at the same rate.
The experiment conclusively demonstrates that greenhouses heat up and stay warm by confining heated air rather than by trapping IR. If trapping IR in an enclosed space doesn't cause higher air temperature than CO2 in the atmosphere cannot cause higher air temperatures.
The heated air in the greenhouses couldn't rise higher than the sheets that covered the tops of the greenhouses. Heated air outside is free to rise allowing colder air to fall to the ground.
Atmospheric CO2 is even less likely to function as a barrier to IR or reflect it back to reheat the ground or water than the sheet of glass in Wood's greenhouse.
The blackened cardboard in Wood's greenhouses was a very good radiator of IR as is typical of black substances. The water that covers 70% of earth's surface is a very poor radiator and produces only limited amounts of IR as is typical of transparent substances. Water releases heat through evaporation rather than radiation.
The glass sheet provided a solid barrier to IR. Atmospheric CO2 is widely dispersed comprising less than 400 parts per million in the atmosphere. Trapping IR with CO2 would be like trying to confine mice with a chain link fence.
Glass reflects a wider spectrum of IR than interacts with CO2. The glass sheets reflected IR back toward the floor of the greenhouse. CO2 doesn't reflect IR.
At the time of Wood's experiment, it was believed that CO2 and other gas molecules became hotter after absorbing IR.
Four years later Niels Bohr reported his discovery that the absorption of specific wavelengths of light didn't cause gas atoms/molecules to become hotter. Instead, the absorption of specific wavelengths of light caused the electrons in an atom/molecule to move to a higher energy state. After absorption of light of a specific wavelength an atom couldn't absorb additional radiation of that wavelength without first emitting light of that wavelength. He called the amount of energy absorbed and emitted as a "quantum". (Philosophical Magazine Series 6, Volume 26 July 1913, p. 1-25)
Unlike the glass which reflects IR back where it comes from, CO2 molecules emit IR up and sideways as well as down. In the time interval between absorbing and reemitting radiation, CO2 molecules allow IR to pass them by. Glass continuously reflects IR.
Those who claim that CO2 molecules in the atmosphere can cause heating by trapping IR have yet to provide any empirical scientific evidence to prove such a physical process exists. The experiment by R.W. Wood demonstrates that even a highly reflective covering that reflects a broad spectrum of IR cannot cause heating by trapping IR in a confined space. There is no way CO2, which at best only affects a small portion of the IR produced by earth's surface, can heat the atmosphere by trapping IR.
Contrary to the lie repeated in news stories about climate, science doesn't say that CO2 is causing higher temperatures by trapping IR. Empirical science indicates that no such process exists in this physical universe.
The temperatures which are reported to be rising are those close to the ground. There’s a good reason (besides solar output) this is expected — the amount of particulates in the air has decreased with modern successes in emission control. More solar radiation hits the ground through this clearer air. In turn this warms the air near the ground.
A classic experiment in thermodynamics
Thanks for posting.
Ping for later reuse
it doesn’t matter what the real facts are, the ‘new truth’ (as dictated by the rabid thugs on the left) is that ‘man is evil, man is causing the plan et to heat up, and man must pay pay pay $$ because man is so evil’
Sadly many low information people believe this, which is a majority of the world- so they think man is causing climate change- and nothing will convince them otherwise because they are driven by a misguided inner sense of guilt
Real science always kicks the ass of pseudoscience.
I’ve forgotten more about radiative forcing than I remember, but this article isn’t so useful in countering the alarmism about CO2 and climate. This article does accurately convey the fact that the use of the term greenhouse in such phrases as “greenhouse gas” and “greenhouse effect” can be misleading. But is that meaningful in assessing the risk of increasing atmospheric CO2? There’s all kinds of such potentially misleading language used to describe phenomena and stuff. We know that what we call sunrise would be more accurately described as having much more to do with the rotation of the earth than with the movement of the sun, for example.
The temperatures which are reported to be rising are those close to the ground.
Additionally, they specifically select only a few locations that show increase an in surface temperature while not calculating others that show a decrease in temperature.
Their proof of glow bull warming...
A Century Ago, the scientific community wasn’t infected with the third-rate scumbags that now deceive, omit, and outright lie in order to secure their paychecks.
Science by virtue of its “scientists” is definitively political.
but this article isnt so useful in countering the alarmism about CO2 and climate.
The article explained that C02 is even less likely to function as a barrier to Infra Red, IR. Basically if this experiment did not show significant increase in temperature, there is no way C02 is going to. That trapping IR with C02 is like trying to capture mice with a chain linked fence. I think rather simple to explain to others.
Especially leftists rats. ; )
But they follow the money instead.
Yes, it’s all nonsense contrived by scientists for the sake of intimidation of the masses
The temperatures are increasing explanation is MUCH simpler than that.
If you look at the following graph, you will notice two lines of tempertures:
1. BLUE LINE: Measured temperatures
It is quite obvious that MEASURED tempertures in the 1930's were slightly hotter thant the tempertures in the last few decades
2. RED LINE: ADJUSTED tempertures
It is quite obvious that the real temperatures are adjusted LOWER before about year 2000 and adjusted HIGHER after year 2000.
This is an official, off the NOAA web page graph. WHY did the scammers adjust tempertures down and then up which shows warming over the last 100+ years when actual temperture readings show that is not true?
The scammers "believe" that increasing levels of CO2 causes temperature increases so they CORRECT actual reading to show that. The computer CO2 climate change models have to be right so they ADJUST the recorded tempertures to show that is true even when it is not true.
You probably believe that the temperture increases being reported are measured tempertures but the NOAA graph shows that is NOT true. What is being reported is ADJUSTED temperture changes!
It really is that easy to fool the public!
Ive pointed out here and on other forums that the phenomenon of fluorescencethe absorption and almost immediate release of a photon from an atom or moleculeis not unique to CO2, nor does it support the hypothesis of anthropogenic global warming (AGW). One of the biggest problems I run across is that most people have zero understanding of fluorescence, and thus do not understand my explanations. They hear the doomsayers say that carbon dioxide absorbs IR, and think that means it is getting hotter, but they dont even understand that absorption is a component of fluorescence.
The multitudes of scientific publications that presumably establish that AGW is a thing do no such thing. Typically, they explain an observation or results from controlled studies, then toss in a phrase like because of global warming along with the explanation of what they think is really going on. That does not establish AGW driven by CO2 any more than Christine Blasey Fords contradictory and uncorroborated claims established that Brett Kavanaugh is a sex predator.
Once, I read a study in Science magazine that purported to show that the sea levels really are rising because of AGW. While the article was touted as smoking gun proof, the details showed otherwise. An island had actually risen, so that the sea level was lower when measured on the island. But the researchers applied some sort of correction due to other geological processes going on in the area and found that the sea level was higher than measured, and that they had therefore found incontrovertible proof of sea levels rising from AGW!
I could go on and on. The bottom line is that the AGW hypothesis still has not been demonstrated experimentally, is not theoretically plausible, and has value only to a certain political class who sees it as a mechanism to gain compliance from people who balk at giving politicians absolute control of their lives. I am glad Trump ditched the Paris accords.
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