For the Climate Change “Experts” to be correct, Mother Nature has to be wrong. Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW) is just that, Catastrophic. The theory is that Anthropogenic CO2 is basically a doomsday bomb. From the geologic record, we know this is nonsense, and that Mother Nature has produced CO2 in vastly greater quantities than Man could ever hope to produce and life thrived. CO2 is, after all, the molecule on which all organic based life is derived. For some reason, the climate “experts” seem to believe that the physical properties of Anthropogenic CO2 somehow differ from those of Naturally produced CO2, they don’t.
How then, would Einstein go about disproving the myth of CAGW? He would use a “thought experiment.” Einstein solved the theory of relativity by simply watching a clock while riding a train and imagined what things would be like if the train was traveling near the speed of light. We will do the same here in regards to climate change.
The Achilles Heal of the Climate Alarmists is that their “theory” treats the atmosphere almost like a closed system. That is why they focus on global temperature. The argument is that CO2 is “trapping” heat in the atmosphere, resulting in a gradual increase in temperatures. This assumption isn’t even close to true, the atmosphere has no insulated ceiling, thus freely allowing energy to enter and exit. Most importantly, energy is in flux, and different wavelengths of Electro-Magnetic Radiation have different physical properties. The key to the thought experiment is to then demonstrate the climate system in a thought experiment. To do this we will use the giant water bucket popular at water parks.
Energy is in flux, it enters the system at a certain rate, and it leaves the system at a certain rate. You can fill your car up with gasoline in 10 minutes with a large flow capacity hose, and then slowly allow fuel to drain out through a low flow capacity fuel injector and drive your car for hours. The climate alarmists use a linear model for the climate theory. The Sun’s energy is constant they say, CO2 increases, CO2 reduces the outgoing Longwave Infrared Radiation, therefore temperatures increase. That is their theory in a nutshell. It is a masterpiece in sophistry.
The problem they have with that theory is the energy flux of the atmosphere is highly nonlinear. Energy accumulates in the oceans during a “La Niña”, and then is belched out into the atmosphere during an “El Niño. The energy flux is absolutely enormous, with the ocean temperatures varying up to 4°C over a cycle, and therein lies the problem.
Sea “surface” reaches down about 100m. (Source)
The difference between day and night temperatures of the oceans can also vary greatly. BTW, note how the very surface is COOLER than the water immediately below it. That is evidence CO2 and wind are actually working to COOL the oceans because the wavelengths CO2 absorbs don’t penetrate the surface of the oceans. (More below)
Enormous amounts of energy are required to warm the oceans, and enormous amounts of energy are released when the oceans cool. The specific heat of water is 4.186 joule/gram °C, where a joule is a W*Sec. The marginal contribution of Anthropogenic CO2 (Difference between 270 and 410 ppm) is a whopping 0.94 W/m^2. (Source)
That means that Anthropogenic CO2 can warm 1gm of water 1°C every 4.186/0.94 or 4.45 Seconds over an area of 1 m^2. A m^3 of water weighs 1,000,000 gms. It would take 4,450,000 seconds, or 1,250 hours or nearly 2 months for Anthropogenic CO2 to warm a m^3 of sea surface water 1°C. To put things in perspective, at high noon on a clear day, the oceans are being bathed by 1,000 W/m^2 by incoming solar radiation. (Source) It only takes the sun 1.16 hours to warm the oceans as much as Anthropogenic CO2 does in 1,250 hours. On a cloudy day, the incoming solar radiation may only be 100 W/m^2, so the variations are enormous, yet still dwarf the contributions of anthropogenic CO2. A similar example could be done using the time it takes CO2 to replace the energy lost from just one cloudy day.
Here is the best evidence I’ve found that the sun is warming the oceans, not CO2. The warming trend has occurred along with a decrease in cloud cover over the oceans. Note how both charts of Low-Level Clouds and Temperatures “kink” or “dog-leg” around 1999. CO2 shows no relationship with temperature at all, but water vapor does.
With that background, we can now design the Einstein Thought Experiment. Assuming Mother Nature isn’t an imbecile, we would have to assume that she built safety valves in her system to ensure no catastrophic events ever happen. She did that is various ways 1) the El Niños act as pressure valves and 2) CO2 shows a logarithmic decay in its absorption of 13 to 18µ Long Wave Infrared Radiation (LWIR). The Water Park Giant Tipping Bucket is a great demonstration of how the climate system works, and why CO2 is truly irrelevant. The Bucket is filled by an enormous pipe that can fill a 1,000-gallon bucket in about 10 minutes, so the flow rate is about 100 gallons/minute. The major fill pipe is the solar radiation of 1,000 W/m^2 in the climate system. CO2’s contribution to the climate system would be like hanging a garden hose over the side of the bucket with a flow rate of about 0.1 Gallons/minute. By the time CO2 has poured 1 gallon into the giant bucket, the bucket pours all CO2’s water out and things start all over again. Because the bucket is continually dumping out all the accumulated water/energy, CO2’s contribution can never actually “accumulate” in the atmosphere. There simply isn’t enough time between cycles for CO2 to have a material impact.
There is also one additional twist to the above thought experiment. CO2 shows a logarithmic decay of its absorption between 13 to 18µ LWIR. To understand this, imagine that the garden hose isn’t drooped across the top, but is piped in at the bottom of the bucket. At first, when the bucket is empty, CO2’s water easily flows into the system, but as more and more water gets into the bucket, the back pressure grows, and less and less CO2 water is piped into the bucket. Eventually, no additional CO2 water will make it into the bucket, no matter how much CO2 water is in the filling tank. 0 to 410 ppm CO2 added 7.85 W/m^2 to the system, doubling CO2 from 410 to 820 will only add an additional 1.88 W/m^2.
If you think of the bucket filling and overflowing without tipping as a catastrophic event, there is no way for CO2 water to ever prevent the bucket from tipping, so it can never cause a catastrophic event. As long as El Niños exist, CO2 will never be able to cause a catastrophic event.
There appears to be another safety valve Mother Nature created that I don’t fully understand, but it highlights how many aspects of the climate are counter-intuitive. When the incoming solar radiation is REDUCEDthe amount of radiation that actually reaches the earth’s surface actually INCREASES.
The solar radiation coming to the Earth (and individual hemispheres) is reduced (Fig. 2). The anomaly value of the solar radiation coming to the Earth surface (in respect to the mean for 1961 – 1990) from 1850 to 2013 is 3.49Е+07 J/m2. The difference of solar radiation coming to the equatorial zone and polar regions of the Earth (and hemispheres) is increased for this period by 5.83Е+07 J/m2 (relative to the mean for 1961 – 1990). The SST temperature on the Earth and individual hemispheres is increased.
Additionally, in reality, CO2 is more likely to cause surface evaporation. The latent heat of evaporation is 2.26 j/g, so CO2 is more likely to pull heat away from the ocean surface than to add to be because H2O readily absorbs 13 to 18µ LWIR likely triggering evaporation. The following chart demonstrates that 13 to 18µ LWIR doesn’t penetrate the oceans to any depth, so those factors combined with a blowing wind aiding evaporation further makes the case that CO2 cools the oceans, it doesn’t warm them. Visible radiation clearly penetrates and warms the oceans, especially very high energy blue light.
Lastly, climate alarmists make it sound as if all W/m^2 are created equal, they aren’t. A W/m^2 of blue light is likely to warm the deeper oceans, a W/m^2 of 13 to 18µ LWIR will never reach that depth. A W/m^2 from an LED Flashlight will travel to outer space without warming anything. Only when a W/m^2 is absorbed and converted to thermal energy does a W/m^2 result in an increase in temperature, and different wavelengths have different absorptive properties.
The above article would make a great High School Science Fair Demonstration.
Post Publish Edit: This seems to validate the theory detailed above…and we’re not climate scientists or experts.
An ocean of inconvenient truth
The estimated increase in ocean heat content during 1990-2015 is the same as that between 1921–1946, according to a study in the PNAS. Change in atmospheric CO2 was ~70 ppm (1990-2015) vs. ~10 ppm (1921-1946). (Source)
More evidence CO2 does not warm the oceans. Ocean temperatures have not increased with an increase in CO2. (Source)
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