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Author Topic: Theory of solar heating  (Read 2412 times)

Offline Geezer

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Theory of solar heating
« on: 27/07/2010 02:14:18 »
A gent by the name of Jeffrey Harrison put an abstract of his paper on "solar heating" in the newspaper at the URL below. Is his model accurate?

http://cdapress.com/columns/cliff_harris/article_ed7e8add-56fa-5f6c-8a7a-c8d9839f0ba7.html


 

Offline imatfaal

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« Reply #1 on: 27/07/2010 11:21:29 »
It seems very hand-wavy and personally I think (in just the same hand-wavy manner) that our global warming problem is in the minutiae; the small increase in co2 is enough to throw the global system off kilter.  The article seems to include the following non-sequitur; the temperature we experience on earth's surface is mainly through radiated heat from the earth therefore atmospheric absorption/heating must be irrelevant. Nor does it deal in anyway with albedo and global heat radiation - which is a must.  I have looked for the article in academic resources and failed to find it.  But an interesting read - although I think incorrect. Matthew
 

Offline JP

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« Reply #2 on: 27/07/2010 11:53:48 »
[rant]
Why does he preface it with all that nonsense about photon absorption?  It's like he's sticking the word "quantum" in there just so people say "he must know what he's talking about!"  That really bugs me and it has nothing to do with his (erroneous) argument.  He says he can't cut it down more than ~1200 words, but his entire argument can be summed up in a couple sentences:

Quote
The problem is: we need to reduce the number of heat-trapping molecules in the air, because that's what is raising our average temperatures. Why is this a problem? I mean, if CO2 is converting light into heat and it is increasing in the atmosphere, won't that make the temperature go up? The short answer is no.

That would be a valid analysis IF AND ONLY IF the atmosphere was primarily warmed by atoms and molecules in the atmosphere converting the energy in sunlight into heat energy as does carbon dioxide.

That would be a valid argument IF AND ONLY IF he was able to show that the effect of CO2 is small enough to ignore.  He doesn't even make the attempt to quantify what the effect of CO2 actually is.  You can't ignore an effect without actually checking if it's actually negligible.  In the case of global warming, that's precisely what climate scientists have done.  And after detailed analysis (which generally involves science rather than a hand-waving essay) they've concluded that yes--it does have an effect--a small one over years (global warming is on the order of single degrees over decades), so you can't ignore it.
[/rant]
 

Offline Geezer

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« Reply #3 on: 27/07/2010 18:16:04 »
Thanks Imat and JP.

Good points. I think Harrison's "paper" (which probably has not been reviewed by anyone) is potentially very dangerous as members of the public might draw the wrong conclusions from it.

Any objections if use your points to send a rebuttal to the newspaper?
 

Offline JP

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« Reply #4 on: 28/07/2010 01:45:32 »
You're right--it could mislead a lot of people.  Go ahead and use whatever is helpful.
 

Offline imatfaal

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« Reply #5 on: 28/07/2010 11:49:00 »
Please do.  In interests of fairness might be worth reading full article if it is available; perhaps the summary was just very misrepresentative (although I very much doubt it).  If you do have a link for full article I will have a look through it as well.
 

Offline Geezer

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« Reply #6 on: 28/07/2010 17:31:59 »
Please do.  In interests of fairness might be worth reading full article if it is available; perhaps the summary was just very misrepresentative (although I very much doubt it).  If you do have a link for full article I will have a look through it as well.

Thanks Imat.

I could not find it. His e-mail is in the article, but I'm not inclined to give him mine ;D
 

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Theory of solar heating
« Reply #6 on: 28/07/2010 17:31:59 »

 

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