What does Iain Stewart's "CO2 experiment" Demonstrate

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Offline Pete Ridley

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I am bringing this question over from my "Another Hockey Stick Illusion"? post (http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=38675.new#new) in order to minimise clutter from that much more important issue, which remains there unanswered by The Naked Scientists.

The BBC’s BBC science presenter Iain Stewart offered an experiment (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SeYfl45X1wo) attempting to show us that CO2 traps a lot of IR energy. I do not challenge the fact that CO2 absorbs rather a small part of the IR band compared with the other greenhouse gases, particularly H2O but I puzzled over the manner in which Stewart chose to demonstrate it.

Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermographic_camera ) advises that the colour picture from an infrared camera is not true but pseudo colour, where the colours represent intensity. So, when Stewart shows us that candle turning more and more blue my question was what is he really demonstrating. Is he simply verifying that the candle gets colder and colder as the CO2 that he is pouring into the tube replaces the O2 upon which the candle depends to keep burning brightly (highest intensity). My argument was that, as most of us would expect, the O2 in the tube is depleted and the candle glows less and less brightly (getting cooler) until it goes out. Stewart’s presentation was cut short to ensure that we didn’t see it go out. Well, that was my theory and I wondered what would be seen if the experiment was repeated but using N2 instead of CO2.

The answer given by BenV, as a member of that “ .. media-savvy group of physicians and researchers from Cambridge University .. ” is, in my lay opinion, misleading in some important aspects but it did make me look more closely at the details of the experiment. First, I now have no disagreement with Ben that I was “ .. wrong about replicating the experiment with nitrogen .. I doubt there would be any colour change .. ”. I also agree that  “ .. It being a false colour image is irrelevant unless someone is changing the colours throughout the experiment, or is set up to give automatically changing contrast.  It may make a small change look large, or vice versa - we can't know without the details .. ”.

What is important is how those false images are interpreted and if we try hard enough even lay people like me can, witht the help of Google, find out those details that Ben appeared not to know about. (Here’s a hint “I built the apparatus for the program”. I leave that as an exercise for Ben and others but if you can’t manage to track it down by tomorrow I can give you the URL, as well as one much closer to home.)

Ben was wrong to assume that I envisaged  “ .. the candle inside the tube .. ” because it was quite clearly placed outside, albeit very close to what I mistook for an open end of it. If you look carefully at both 6s and 1m 1s into the demonstration the end next to the camera is clearly sealed by a very thin sheet of plastic (cling-film perhaps). Moving on to 20s it is unclear whether the other end is sealed or not, however, if you look closely at 1m 3s it appears from the distorted view that the end where the candle is held is also sealed and the pressure inside the tube is causing the thin plastic seal to bulge. My original impression that the candle was “ .. exposed to the CO2 he's releasing .. ” was clearly mistaken. Like Ben “ .. I don't know where the air is venting out .. ” either.  

Iain Stewart is indeed “.. showing radiation from a candle traveling through a sealed and separated tube of CO2 .. ” but he claims from 50s – 1m 8s that “ .. What is happening is that the carbon dioxide in the tube is effectively trapping the heat. The candle’s warmth no longer reaches the camera. Instead it is absorbed by the carbon dioxide inside the tube .. ”. This is misleading and he should have made absolutely clear that it is only a small proportion of the IR energy from the candle that is absorbed by the CO2. I’m not nit-picking here because it is the extent and impact of increasing CO2 in the atmosphere (from whatever cause) that is debated so vigorously between deniers and disciples of the CACC doctrine.

As Ben said “ .. there's every chance that this still doesn't really show us anything useful .. ” but he demonstrated my point perfectly with his “ .. but it does seem to be a good demonstration of CO2 being opaque to IR radiation .. ”. Stewart claims in his introduction before describing his apparatus “I can show you how carbon dioxide affects the earth’s climate using this .. ”. His experiment does nothing to show what he claims that it does, because CO2 is only opaque to a small portion of the IR band, as clearly shown in “Absorption Spectra .. ” (http://www.iitap.iastate.edu/gccourse/forcing/images/image7.gif). Stewart’s set-up and explanation of what is happening gives the false impression that a significant amount of IR from the candle is absorbed. This is not the case and the pretty pictures of the sky from 1m 10s onwards do nothing to improve the credibility of his original claim.

The point that I am really making behind this question and my  other about “Another Hockey Stick Illusion?” is that The Naked Scientists and others who use the media in order to present their own interpretation of the science to a lay audience can give the unwary a totally incorrect understanding, whether deliberately or accidentally, of how Mother Nature controls the different global climates.

There are those who support the view which Professor Steven Schneider expressed in 1989 about the manner in which climate science should be presented. He said "To capture the public imagination, we have to offer up some scary scenarios, make simplified dramatic statements and little mention of any doubts one might have. Each of us has to decide the right balance between being effective, and being honest" (http://www.john-daly.com/schneidr.htm). My interpretation of that statement is that it is up to each of us to decide whether to lie or not. This is expected of politicians and those who earn their living through the media but not of those in a position of trust like physicians and researchers.

As for Ben’s QUOTE: .. I don't think you should worry about bias at the BBC, it's a huge organisation and not everyone involved cares about pensions .. UNQUOTE – perhaps not everyone but I suspect that the vast majority do indeed care as much as a senior manager with whom I recently discussed this. I suspect that Ben hasen’t looked at the amount the BBC Pension Fund has invested in renewable. Although The Naked Scientists and similar teams may not have QUOTE: .. had any editorial instruction from above, .. UNQUOTE I, being a sceptic, suspect that this is probably due to the fact that nothing that they have produced to date conflicts with the BBC’s objectives.

Best regards, Pete Ridley

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Offline peppercorn

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What does Iain Stewart's "CO2 experiment" Demonstrate
« Reply #1 on: 15/04/2011 17:32:52 »
I am bringing this question over from my "Another Hockey Stick Illusion"? post (http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=38675.new#new) in order to minimise clutter from that much more important issue, which remains there unanswered by The Naked Scientists.

Why do you think you should 'bring it over'?
Unless it's a completely separate question (which it appears not to be) it should stay in the original thread.  Reiterating is not likely to get an answer any quicker & flies in the face of the site's AUP.
I think you can expect to find the two merged quite quickly unless you can justify your need to start a new thread on the same subject.

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Offline Bored chemist

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« Reply #2 on: 15/04/2011 18:03:12 »
" Is he simply verifying that the candle gets colder and colder as the CO2 that he is pouring into the tube replaces the O2 upon which the candle depends to keep burning brightly (highest intensity). My argument was that, as most of us would expect, the O2 in the tube is depleted and the candle glows less and less brightly (getting cooler) until it goes out. Stewart’s presentation was cut short to ensure that we didn’t see it go out. Well, that was my theory and I wondered what would be seen if the experiment was repeated but using N2 instead of CO2."

Since the candle is not in the tube, but in that air outside it you have completely missed the point of the experiment.
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Offline rosy

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« Reply #3 on: 15/04/2011 18:04:31 »
Firstly, if you're going to quote other people's posts it would be good if you could do so using the quote tags, it would make your giant blocks of text much easier to read.   

Secondly... the set up of the experiment (well, demonstration) you link to seems to me to be sufficiently obvious that I'm astonished that someone who claims to have been taking an interest in this subject for an extended period should have made a public post (especially to a forum on which you had not previously been active) without even having noticed that the candle was still alight in the presenter's hand as the image on the thermal imaging camera went from white to blue. It doesn't make me inclined to take you seriously.   

A lot of energy reaches the earth from the sun. Much of it is re-radiated into space. Some of it isn't, because once it's been absorbed and re-radiated by the earth's surface it's absorbed by the atmosphere. That's the "greenhouse effect" and the earth is only habitable because it.. otherwise it would be far too cold here for human habitation. The existence of the greenhouse effect is simply not subject to debate by any serious scientists I've ever heard of (want to cite any?)

So far as I can see, this experiment is intended, simply and solely, to illustrate how the greenhouse effect works. Infra-red radiation is absorbed by CO2. So far, so uncontroversial.   It uses a (false-colour) thermal imaging camera... well, er, yes. You can't see IR with a standard camera. I would have thought that thermal imaging technology was well understood by most "lay" TV viewers, after all they are extensively used by (for example) nature documentaries, we all know what they are and (roughly) how they work, don't we? Or do you not? Do I overestimate the tech-savviness of the average TV viewer, or are you being disingenuous? It's hard to tell.  The camera is set up to illustrate the effect, of course it looks at a wavelength range where this is pronounced. You know that CO2 doesn't absorb significantly in the visible range, right? So clearly there's a band at which the absorption happens, and a range of wavelengths at which it doesn't (if all the radiation reaching the earth from the sun were absorbed we'd be in real trouble...).

There are perhaps still open questions about global warming/climate change, and about how much of it is anthropogenic, although the weight of opinion amongst those who actually research the subject is not encouraging to those hoping it's all going to turn out to be a false alarm. I certainly am not an expert (tho' I think the potential harm of carrying on as if nothing were wrong is much, much worse than the potential harm of acting to mitigate what might if we're really lucky turn out to be a nonexistent problem). But your thrashing about in response to this video makes you look like a zealot and damages what appears to be your cause, certainly in my eyes and I suspect in those of undecided observers.

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Offline BenV

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« Reply #4 on: 15/04/2011 18:38:13 »
The Naked Scientists also rarely give a personal opinion on anything - we report on published papers and interview scientists about their work, be it climate science, medicine etc. We don't have any agenda to push.

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Offline imatfaal

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« Reply #5 on: 15/04/2011 18:56:52 »
Just to set the thread straight; Iain Stewart is a Professor of Geosciences Communication at the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Science of the University of Plymouth.  Whilst he might present TV programmes, to miss out his academic credentials and describe him as a TV presenter might give the wrong idea.
There’s no sense in being precise when you don’t even know what you’re talking about.  John Von Neumann

At the surface, we may appear as intellects, helpful people, friendly staff or protectors of the interwebs. Deep down inside, we're all trolls. CaptainPanic @ sf.n

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Offline Pete Ridley

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« Reply #6 on: 15/04/2011 21:23:04 »
Thanks to all of you for responding.

Hi peppercorn, if you’d bothered to look at my "Another Hockey Stick Illusion"? post you’d have seen straight away that “ .. it's a completely separate question .. “ and the other is much more important.

Hi Bored chemist, if you had read my sixth paragraph you’d have seen that I acknowledge QUOTE: My original impression that the candle was “ .. exposed to the CO2 he's releasing .. ” was clearly mistaken UNQUOTE. That would have saved you the trouble of responding.

Hi rosy, I prepare comments using Word so if you can advise me how I embed quotes from here into my word document so that when I copy it all into these blog pages they appear in the way you’d like than I’ll try to accommodate you. It appears from your comment that you haven’t bothered to read mine very carefully so I won’t bother responding yours further, especially as there is nothing noteworthy in it.

If you’d like to make a useful contribution to the debate about CACC then please have a read of the comments on my "Another Hockey Stick Illusion"? post. The question there will stretch you I’m sure.

Hi imatfaal, thanks for setting the thread sraight about Professor Iain Stewart. Now, if you can set the "Another Hockey Stick Illusion"? thread straight about the relevance of kinetic v collision diameter when considering the movement of gas molecules in compressed firn that would be a worthwhile contribution. I look forward to reading your comments over there.

Hi BenV, that’s an interesting comment of yours because that isn’t the impression I had from a set of comments you made a couple of years ago. I thought that I’d give you and the other Naked Scientists a little time to do that search for the details behind Professor Iain Stewart’s demonstration set-up but as you haven’t responded I have to assume that you failed again. If you had remembered those exchanges two years ago you would have been able to provide those details straight away. Try Googling “I built the apparatus for the program so let me share what I learnt about this experiment” and it should take you to “THE CREATIVE SCIENCE CENTRE” and Dr Jonathan Hare, The University of Sussex, Brighton detailing the experiment (http://www.creative-science.org.uk/hollywood15.html).

Even closer to home, you would also have been taken to Page 12 of the question “Why do we blame carbon dioxide for global warming?” (http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=22612.55;wap2) asked of The Naked Scientists by Henry Pool in April 2009.

If you spend time looking at the responses you will see evidence of the same kind of misleading information being offered by Naked Scientists to Henry Pool as you offered me. For example, on Page 2 there is one Ophiolite saying emphatically on 27/04/2009 @ 21:20:01 (and repeating the same message later) “ .. Guess what, you have it half right. The incoming radiation, principally short wave (to which CO2 is transparent) but the outgoing radiation transmitted from the surface in long wave (i.e. infra-red) is absorbed by the CO2. Let me repeat that, so that you are clear. The incoming radiation that heats the Earth's surface is of a frequency that readily passes through carbon dioxide. The outgoing radiation, of longer wavelength, is trapped by carbon dioxide (and water vapour, and methane) for precisely the reason you have stated. .. ”.

Henry Pool made some good points when responding to those who were trying to concert him to the CACC religion without providing him any evidence that it has a sound scientific basis. You were among those Ben, e.g. from Page 4 to Page 7) and I am not surprised that Henry started getting somewhat irritated by the dogma (see Page 9, 29/04/2009 @ 21:26:10).

But guess what happened on Page 12 – We have Karsten advising “I tried something rather simple. I went to Google and typed in "CO2 Absorb Infrared". I found an interesting article in the image search (http://www.creative-science.org.uk/hollywood15.html). This guy shows experimentally that CO2 absorbs infrared”. Well, what a coincidence, but Ben, it would seem that by that stage in the exchanges you were guilty of what you accused sgweightloss of in your comment on Page 14 “ .. I don't think you've read any of this thread! .. ”. If you had you would not have needed me to now point out to you that The Naked Scientists had already been made aware of the details you claimed ignorance of when responding to my question about Professor Stewart’s experiment.

Going back to Karsten’s comment linking to those details, the next sentence from someone who had been pontificating at poor old Henry says much more than Karsten intended “Absorption is the OPPOSITE of reflection, just to clarify”. I think that the next sentence would have been more accurate if it had said “At this point I really don't know what I’m talking about”.

I see that friend Madidus_Scientia was involved in those exchanges (see Page 16 onwards) but didn’t make much of a contribution to answering the specific question asked of “Why do we blame carbon dioxide for global warming?”. What’s new pussycat.

I love the final statement on Page 21 “It'd be good if we could agree to just run one thread & stop all this duplicity!” I certainly agree with the duplicity bit, although I suspect that it wasn’t intended they way it comes across.

Best regards, Pete Ridley
« Last Edit: 15/04/2011 21:26:49 by Pete Ridley »

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Offline BenV

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« Reply #7 on: 15/04/2011 22:45:47 »
My apologies for not recalling the details of a two year old discussion.

I thought that I’d give you and the other Naked Scientists a little time to do that search for the details behind Professor Iain Stewart’s demonstration set-up but as you haven’t responded I have to assume that you failed again.

I'll be honest, I haven't tried as I haven't had time - I gave you a perfectly good response in the other thread based on simply watching the video and making initial comments.  I don't see this as a failure, more a prioritisation.

If you spend time looking at the responses you will see evidence of the same kind of misleading information being offered by Naked Scientists to Henry Pool as you offered me.

I haven't offered you any misleasing information.

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For example, on Page 2 there is one Ophiolite...

Ophiolite is not a member of Naked Scientists staff, but a contributor to the forum.

Quote
Well, what a coincidence, but Ben, it would seem that by that stage in the exchanges you were guilty of what you accused sgweightloss of in your comment on Page 14 “ .. I don't think you've read any of this thread! .. ”. If you had you would not have needed me to now point out to you that The Naked Scientists had already been made aware of the details you claimed ignorance of when responding to my question about Professor Stewart’s experiment.

Again, I apologise for forgetting one of the many thousands of threads I have read or participated in here over the last few years.

You are correct in assuming that I have not looked into the details of the BBC pension scheme, but I would point out that investment in renewable energy sources does not neccessarily suggest an investment in anthropogenic climate change. Non-renewable energy sources are just that - non-renewable.  We would be fool not to invest in energy sources that we may one day need to rely upon, regardless of any climatic influence, would we not?

As in the other thread, I question your methods and motivations.  Please cut down on the personal attacks towards any member of this forum, Naked Scientist or otherwise.

Now, what else was it you wanted to ask about Ian's television demonstration?
« Last Edit: 15/04/2011 23:02:28 by BenV »

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Offline Bored chemist

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« Reply #8 on: 16/04/2011 14:18:07 »
Pete,
If you hadn't written it, that too would have saved me the trouble of responding.
The fact is that this site attracts a lot of nonsensical posts. I generally scan through them until I find the first major failure to tally with the real world.
I point out that error (and possibly a few others) and leave  it for the OP to sort out.

Anyway, I think the point you are trying to make is summed up  when you say
"This is misleading and he should have made absolutely clear that it is only a small proportion of the IR energy from the candle that is absorbed by the CO2. "
Actually, quite a lot of the energy radiated from a candle is emitted by the hot CO2 produced by the flame and this is resonantly absorbed by the CO2 in the tube.
Also, even a small change in an small absorption can have a big effect because there's a lot of IR involved.

So the answer to the question you pose in the title of this thread is that it demonstrates that CO2 absorbs (at least some) IR very well indeed.

Please disregard all previous signatures.

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Offline Pete Ridley

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« Reply #9 on: 16/04/2011 17:44:45 »
Hi BenV, I apologise for showing my irritation that I cannot get a straight answer from people who claim a level of competence in the relevant topic. When I first started blogging about climate change several years ago I was astounded by the level of insults being exchanged between deniers and disciples/believers of the CACC doctrine. Unfortunately most of us fall into the trap of being uncivil at times and I’m no exception (but I can fall back on the excuse of befuddled old age). I have a habit of telling it the way I see it, which does rub some people up the wrong way, however, I can take it as well as give it.

I had originally asked this trivial question about Professor Stewart’s demonstration in order to highlight what I see as The Naked Scientists pretence at communicating science about climate change to the general public in a competent manner. Please note that I am talking only about climate science.

You made several comments on my "Another Hockey Stick Illusion"? post (http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=38675.new#new) in response to this trivial question about Professor Stewart’s demonstration which I’d like to follow up on so I’ll repeat them here for completeness as and when the time arises.

My opening question on The Naked Scientists blog regarding the validity of attempts to reconstruct past atmospheric CO2 content from air “trapped” in ice is a fundamental one for climate science and should have been resolved almost two decades ago after being raised by Professor Zbiniew Jaworowski. I have had responses to that fundamental question here from BenV, Wiybit, CliffordK and Madidus_Scientia,

I only recognise one of those, yourself, as being one of The Naked Scientists, who claim to be “ .. a media-savvy group of physicians and researchers from Cambridge University .. ” (http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/about-us/). Your latest response to that fundamental climate science question was
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BenV 15/04/2011 22:32:12: .. I appreciate that you may have not received an adequate answer to a question you have put to many scientists, and am pleased and honoured that you would come here to discuss it.  I'm also very sorry if no-one here can answer the question to your satisfaction either.  Perhaps if you were to email it in to the show we would have an opportunity to put it to an expert in our next climate themed show?
From that response I have to make the assumption at this stage that no Naked Scientist can answer this fundamental question, which to me reflects on not only the competence of The Naked Scientists as far as climate science is concerned. It could be interpreted as bringing into question the quality of climate science offered by Cambridge University, which as you should know is very much involved in the subject in close association with the IPCC.

The answers given to my trivial question here raises similar important questions about competence and I will make some time to detail what I mean, but I ask you to be patient, because for me at the moment the most important question is "Another Hockey Stick Illusion?".

Hi Bored Chemist, you have picked up on the important point in my question but you choose to ignore what Professor Stewart claimed that the demonstration was intended to show. His opening claim was misleading and I, being a sceptic who rejects Schneider’s opinion about the manner in which climate science should be presented (see my comment of 15/04/2011 @ 15:15:56) believe it was not an oversight. In my opinion the demonstration set-up was specifically designed to emphasise the extent of absorption by CO2 but no mention was made by Stewart of that extra IR filter placed in front of the camera.

As the designer of the set up Dr Jonathan Hare said
Quote
.. You would think .. that when you view the candle through the tube using the camera, and you introduce CO2 the bright flame would 'disappear' due to the IR absorption. However, when you try this it doesn't work, the candle doesn't disappear!

The reason is that the CO2 absorptions observable by the IR camera are quite weak and are only in a relatively small part of the spectrum. The only way to get the demonstration to work is to have a 'CO2 filter' on the camera. This only lets through IR at around 4 µm, close to one of the CO2 absorption's (which are broadened a bit at atmospheric pressure). The filter blocks out much of the IR energy so that the CO2 absorption is not so swamped anymore and this allows us to now observe our vanishing candle effect. ..

I suspect that Schneider would have argued that it was necessary for Stewart to hide that fact from the lay audience because it would improve any scare-value of the presentation.

Best regards, Pete Ridley

« Last Edit: 16/04/2011 18:12:14 by Pete Ridley »

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Offline BenV

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« Reply #10 on: 17/04/2011 02:08:18 »

I had originally asked this trivial question about Professor Stewart’s demonstration in order to highlight what I see as The Naked Scientists pretence at communicating science about climate change to the general public in a competent manner. Please note that I am talking only about climate science.

You made several comments on my "Another Hockey Stick Illusion"? post (http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=38675.new#new) in response to this trivial question about Professor Stewart’s demonstration which I’d like to follow up on so I’ll repeat them here for completeness as and when the time arises.

You have stated the vast majority of them above, why repeat them?

Quote
My opening question on The Naked Scientists blog regarding the validity of attempts to reconstruct past atmospheric CO2 content from air “trapped” in ice is a fundamental one for climate science and should have been resolved almost two decades ago after being raised by Professor Zbiniew Jaworowski. I have had responses to that fundamental question here from BenV, Wiybit, CliffordK and Madidus_Scientia,

I only recognise one of those, yourself, as being one of The Naked Scientists, who claim to be “ .. a media-savvy group of physicians and researchers from Cambridge University .. ” (http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/about-us/). Your latest response to that fundamental climate science question was
Quote
BenV 15/04/2011 22:32:12: .. I appreciate that you may have not received an adequate answer to a question you have put to many scientists, and am pleased and honoured that you would come here to discuss it.  I'm also very sorry if no-one here can answer the question to your satisfaction either.  Perhaps if you were to email it in to the show we would have an opportunity to put it to an expert in our next climate themed show?
From that response I have to make the assumption at this stage that no Naked Scientist can answer this fundamental question, which to me reflects on not only the competence of The Naked Scientists as far as climate science is concerned. It could be interpreted as bringing into question the quality of climate science offered by Cambridge University, which as you should know is very much involved in the subject in close association with the IPCC.
Firstly, I didn't actually make any comment on that question, except to declare my lack of expertise in the area. As far as I'm aware, I am the only member of Naked scientists staff to have looked at the question to date.

Secondly, to assume that a small group based at the university represents the sum of knowledge in the entire institution is illogical and a rather extreme jump. As I have mentioned, we may be able do put this question to someone more qualified in the next relevant show.
« Last Edit: 17/04/2011 02:10:33 by BenV »

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Offline Bored chemist

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« Reply #11 on: 21/04/2011 19:03:23 »
Pete,
Did you really put all that effort into complaining that a show used some showmanship?


TV science isn't real science- its dummed down for an audience who are not experts in the field.
Please disregard all previous signatures.

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Offline Pete Ridley

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« Reply #12 on: 22/04/2011 11:52:13 »
Hi Bored chemist your comment (21st April @ 19:03:23) leads very nicely into the point that I was intending to focus on after I had elicited an answer to the first question that I put to The Naked Scientists,  "Another Hockey Stick Illusion?" (http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=38675.50). As far as I can tell none of the scientists identified on the “Who are we?” page (http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/about-us/who-are-we/ ) have made any attempt to answer my question.

You put in a brief appearance there (16th April Page 2) to discus why part of an ice berg sticks out of the water but offered nothing else. If you are a qualified chemist I am surprised that you have had nothing scientific to contribute to the question of how the individual molecules of the different atmospheric gases react within nanoporous media like firn. My question specifically relates to size-dependent fractionation in deep firn but other air fractionation processes take place, right from the beginning of the process of ice-sheet development, i.e. formation of snow.  Which particular aspect of chemistry do you specialise in, or is that asking for too much information? (I see that you are reluctant to disclose much about yourself http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=5729).

As a source of scientific information for the general public across a wide range of subjects, including climate change, TNS has established quite a reputation, enhanced not a little by its association with Cambridge University. The question that CACC sceptics like me always ask is how dependable is that information? I came to TNS blog with high hopes of getting an answer to a fundamental question about CACC. Not only have I had no worthwhile response from any of the named Naked Scientists I have had my fundamental question locked to both to responses and to my own updates as and when I get further information from specialists from other UK and US universities.

It appears to me that, excluding TNS BBC Show Producer Ben Valsler, others who have commented on the  "Another Hockey Stick Illusion?" thread are simply bloggers like me. TNSs are unable to answer that question but despite that it enjoyed the status of “hot topic” and continues to attract views at a high rate (1120 at the latest count, in only 8 days).  Now the thread has been locked by someone who uses the false name Yor_on (I would have put paragreaph 2 there instead of here if that lock had been removed as I requested yesterday.) Yor_on is not one identified as one of TNSs so I have another question to raise about that but am not sure where to air it. I’ll try it here in the hopes that one of the named TNSs or blog moderators (who are they?) will respond.

Question: How does someone who is not identified as one of TNSs enjoy the authority to bar others from responding to a question properly raised on the appropriate forum”?

This question reminds me of my exchanges with William Connolley, who was given authority to alter the Wikipedia contributions of other specialists in climate change. His activities caused sceptics to rebel and his powers were removed, as described in “Global warming “propagandist” purged from the pages of Wikipedia” (http://www.ihatethemedia.com/global-warming-william-connelley-purged-from-wikipedia-pages). You may be interested in reading my comments on that thread.

You ask
Quote
Did you really put all that effort into complaining that a show used some showmanship?
and the answer is “No”. What I complain about is deliberate distortion of facts in order to promote a different agenda, AKA propaganda. In my opinion the manner in which opinions on CACC are present in the mainstream media (which included the Internet, with its numerous blogs like TNS) is viewed very differently by disciples/supporters and sceptics of  the doctrine. Sceptics recognise much of it as propaganda in support of agenda far removed from taking over Nature’s job of controlling the different global climates.

You say
Quote
TV science isn't real science- its dummed down for an audience who are not experts in the field
Being a sceptic, I (and I’m sure many others) would have expressed it differently, changing “TV science” to “MSM climate science” and “dummed down” with “propaganda”.

The “I Hate the Media” blog (http://www.ihatethemedia.com/) is worth a visit, especially its articles on CACC propaganda.

Best regards, Pete Ridley
« Last Edit: 22/04/2011 13:08:57 by Pete Ridley »

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Offline JP

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« Reply #13 on: 22/04/2011 14:25:10 »
Question: How does someone who is not identified as one of TNSs enjoy the authority to bar others from responding to a question properly raised on the appropriate forum”?

I can answer that one!  yor_on is a valued member of the community and has been asked to be a moderator on this forum.  He has the authority to lock your post because he's a moderator (see point 10):

http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=8535.0

If you think it should be unlocked, your first recourse is to send yor_on (or another moderator) a PM.  Your second recourse is to contact an administrator, like BenV.  But unless you have something new to add to your original question, aside from editorial comments, it probably won't happen.

Speaking of which, in this thread please stick to the question at hand, which is about the youtube video you posted.  I will lock this thread if you keep using it to complain about BenV's inability to answer your question or to editorialize about other topics.  We've been fairly lenient in allowing you to freely post content so far, but this is primarily a science Q&A site, not your personal blog.
« Last Edit: 22/04/2011 14:33:12 by JP »

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Offline Pete Ridley

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« Reply #14 on: 22/04/2011 15:59:00 »
Hi JP thanks for the clarification. I suppose that I am classed as one of those
Quote
old fuddy duddies
mentioned in Section 3 “Keep it Friendly”.

Since The Naked Scientists are unable to answer my question about “Another Hockey Stick Illusion” (http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=38675.50) is it possible to readily transfer the entire set of comments to the “New Theories section” and unlock it. That way it remains available for any who have an interest in learning about or contributing to what certainly appears to be a “New Theory” as far as The Naked Scientists are concerned.

I do not see that I am breaking any of the rules laid down in the “Forum acceptable usage policy” (although I may flirt on the boundaries of Section 2 on occasions) so if the moderators spot anything that is in their opinion I am sure that they will tell me, as you do. But those same rules should apply to moderators and suggesting that someone who raises a fundamental science question might be a troll or saying
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.. I'm starting to wonder what your real agenda is? ..
might not be considered by some as “keeping it friendly”.  I’ll correct anything that I’m challenged about if I agree that I have overstepped the mark, but please be specific about what rule has been breached and how. As I’ve said before, I tell it as I see it – it’s a North Country thing - but some people don’t like straight talk or criticism. Any criticism that I make is intended to be constructive without being insulting but, like everyone else here, I am only human – and even older that those “Grumpy Old Men” (http://www.ontvnow.co.uk/info/1971796/Grumpy-Old-Men/).

The features made available on this blog are the best that I have come across and I haven’t stopped learning since I joined in here only 8 days ago. That even applies to the “Another Hockey Stick Illusion?” question of mine, despite getting no direct help from The Naked Scientists or the bloggers. The points raised on that thread have forced me to look elsewhere and I hope that I can continue in that vein, but having my thread locked does not help in any way.

As you say
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.. this is primarily a science Q&A site ..
which is why I had such high hopes when I posted my question, but I’m still struggling for an answer. Surely you agree that this fact reflects not only upon The Naked Scientists but also on whatever academy they learned their science from? I understand that all of The Naked Scientists listed on the “Who are we” page studied at Cambridge University but I also notice that there is no JP listed there. You, like Yor_on, give nothing away in your profile (http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=5726) so in what discipline do you have scientific expertise and how did you qualify to become a moderator?

Best regards, Pete Ridley

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Offline BenV

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« Reply #15 on: 22/04/2011 16:20:22 »
Quote
Surely you agree that this fact reflects not only upon The Naked Scientists but also on whatever academy they learned their science from?

Of course it doesn't!  And your continued insistence that it does and that we are somehow "incapable" of communicating science because we don't know the answer to your very specific question is becoming very insulting.  You have been told, repeatedly, that we will put your question to someone with relevant expertise when the opportunity arises.  Do not continue to insult myself and my colleagues, this is your final warning.


Quote
I understand that all of The Naked Scientists listed on the “Who are we” page studied at Cambridge University

Then you understand incorrectly.

Quote
...but I also notice that there is no JP listed there. You, like Yor_on, give nothing away in your profile (http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=5726) so in what discipline do you have scientific expertise and how did you qualify to become a moderator?

Again, I can answer this one - JP was invited to become a moderator as he was a valued member of the site.  It's not up to you to question who the moderators are - they have earned their privileges.

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Offline Pete Ridley

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« Reply #16 on: 22/04/2011 16:34:10 »
Thanks BenV

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Offline JP

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« Reply #17 on: 22/04/2011 17:04:00 »
I don't make personal information public on my profile because as a moderator we sometimes have to moderate unstable folks who might harass us via email or worse for our moderation decisions.  It's rare, but it's worrying enough that I not to make personal information publicly available on here.

By the way, Pete, my expertise is in physics and I have nothing to say about the science of your post.

My issue is with your editorial commenting, which seems to happen daily, and which include (among other topics) complaints about The Naked Scientists and other experts being unable to answer your question, accusations of climate scientists deliberately misleading the public, and comments about other forums you've participated in.  A few editorial comments wouldn't be noticed, but the fact that most of what you post is editorial comments, with very little discussion on the central question you asked in the original post makes this evangelism, which is not allowed.  Plus, as BenV noted, your tone is rather insulting, which violates "keep it friendly."

At any rate, perhaps it's best if your future comments focus on just the question at hand without editorial asides, at least on this site.
« Last Edit: 22/04/2011 20:06:02 by JP »

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Offline Bored chemist

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« Reply #18 on: 22/04/2011 17:35:55 »
"If you are a qualified chemist I am surprised that you have had nothing scientific to contribute to the question of how the individual molecules of the different atmospheric gases react within nanoporous media like firn. My question specifically relates to size-dependent fractionation in deep firn but other air fractionation processes take place, right from the beginning of the process of ice-sheet development, i.e. formation of snow. "

Did it occur to you that the fact that no chemical reaction takes place might have some importance there.

So the answer to "Which particular aspect of chemistry do you specialise in, or is that asking for too much information? " is, the sort with chemistry in it.
Actually I'm an analytical chemist but, as I have pointed out, what you are asking about is physics.

"What I complain about is deliberate distortion of facts "
It is not distorting facts to show that CO2 absorbs IR.

"In my opinion the manner in which opinions on CACC are present in the mainstream media (which included the Internet, with its numerous blogs like TNS) is viewed very differently by disciples/supporters and sceptics of  the doctrine. Sceptics recognise much of it as propaganda in support of agenda far removed from taking over Nature’s job of controlling the different global climates."
Other opinions are available, including those which note that CO2 really does absorb IR no matter how much this upsets Pete.
Please disregard all previous signatures.

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Offline Pete Ridley

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« Reply #19 on: 23/04/2011 00:39:03 »
Hi Bored_chemist, thanks for the background information. I’d be very very upset if CO2 and other gases, most importantly H2O, didn’t absorb IR. What I get upset about is when people get misled into thinking that CO2 absorbs much more than it really does.

Best regard, Pete Ridley

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Offline Geezer

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« Reply #20 on: 23/04/2011 07:40:47 »
Pete,

Are you sure you are a skeptic? Scientists are skeptics. They have to be. They want to see the evidence.

However, scientists don't start off with a preconceived notion that there is a grand conspiracy determined to undermine their opinions. They evaluate the available evidence, and if it confirms their theory, they view that as confirmation. If it doesn't, they reconsider their position, even if it means they have to go back to the drawing board.

There are a lot of very knowledgeable posters on TNS, but you have successfully insulted all of them. You could actually learn a lot here if you choose to, but you seem to be more interested in raging against the machine than anything else.

Frankly, this a bit surprising. I've been checking up on your bio, and it says you are a compliance engineer. Compliance engineers are usually pretty good at understanding the rules.

Oh! BTW, at your behest, I did Google you, but it seems you've been kicked off a great many web sites already.

It's your call. Do you want to learn anything here, or are you just using TNS as your soapbox?

(It's a binary question.)
There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force æther.

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Offline Pete Ridley

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« Reply #21 on: 23/04/2011 09:49:10 »
Hi Geezer ,
Quote
Do you want to learn anything here, or are you just using TNS as your soapbox?
Answer = YES & NO.

As for the earlier bit, others may may well
Quote
.. start off with a preconceived notion that there is a grand conspiracy determined to undermine their opinions
but not this old geezer. I, like all true sceptics, started off with an open mind (in fact unconcerned about the effects of our use of fossil fuels) until in April 2007 I read Mark Lynas’s booklet “Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet”. After that I was a very concerned father and grandfather, but, like a true sceptic I decided to do my own research. So far I have found no convincing evidence that our use of fossil fuels is leading to CACC but plenty convincing evidence of other agenda.

As for Googling me and deciding that I am a compliance engineer, a good scientist does not jump to conclusions from scant evidence. Try adding EMC to your search.

Hi JP & BenV I hope that because I responded to Geezer and did not
Quote
.. stick to the question at hand, which is about the youtube video ..
I haven’t used up my last chance of commenting on this blog. It's about the best blog that I have had the pleasure of contributing to. Once again I commend the efforts of the designers.

Best regards, Pete Ridley
« Last Edit: 23/04/2011 10:41:31 by Pete Ridley »

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Offline Bored chemist

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« Reply #22 on: 23/04/2011 11:15:40 »
" So far I have found no convincing evidence that our use of fossil fuels is leading to CACC"
I can't understand this point of view.
There isn't any sensible doubt that the temperature is rising. There's no sensible doubt that the CO2 levels are rising. We know it's down to fossil fuel use for two reasons- first it can be "carbon dated" and it's ancient so it must have been buried somewhere for millennia. Secondly and probably more obviously, we know how much tax has been paid on it, so we know how much fuel we have burned. There's no doubt that CO2 traps heat because it absorbs IR (no matter, to what extent).
So what you end up with is, in effect, saying
"I know we are warmer in bed, and I know we have put another blanket on the bed, but I refuse to accept that there is a causal relationship between those facts."
Please disregard all previous signatures.

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Offline Pete Ridley

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« Reply #23 on: 23/04/2011 15:12:08 »
Hi Bored_chemist , methinks that you may not fully appreciate what CACC means – Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Change – note that first word Catastrophic. I recommend that you pay a visit to Professor Judith Curry’s “Physics of the atmospheric greenhouse(?) effect” (http://judithcurry.com/2010/11/30/physics-of-the-atmospheric-greenhouse-effect/#comment-62506) and pay particular attention to the analyses offered by Roger Taguchi. If after that you’d like to see the latest version of Roger’s article “Net Feedback in Global Warming Calculations” please let me know and I’ll send you a copy of his 12th April 2011 issue. It’s a heavy read but well worth the effort for anyone who really wants to learn about the science. After all, isn’t that what this blog is all about?

Best regards, Pete Ridley

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Offline Bored chemist

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« Reply #24 on: 23/04/2011 15:44:32 »
I think you need to ask the people in places like Bangladesh about the meaning of the word "catastrophic".
Please disregard all previous signatures.

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Offline Pete Ridley

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« Reply #25 on: 23/04/2011 20:36:04 »
Hi Bored_chemist , don’t you agree that a distinction needs to be made between natural disasters caused by extreme weather events and natural or other catastrophic climate change?

I’m a bit concerned about these exchanges drifting away from the question that was originally posted, i.e. “What does Iain Stewart's "CO2 experiment" Demonstrate”? I’d hate for the moderators to lock the thread because of this so let’s stick to the question, eh?

If you disagree with my opinion that the demonstration misrepresented the extent to which CO2 absorbs IR compared with the other “greenhouse gases”, especially H2O, then please would you explain why. I suggest that a far more honest demonstration would have initially been run without the filter for both CO2 and water vapor, correctly informing the general public that H2O has a far more significant effect and accounts for most of the “greenhouse effect” that makes this wonderful earth habitable by life as we know it. The viewers would have seen CO2 having virtually no effect, as acknowledged by the demonstration designer Jonathan Hare, who said
Quote
The thermal imaging camera we used was sensitive from ca. 1 to 5 µm, quite a large part of the IR spectrum. A lit candle or match produces lots of energy through the IR to the visible. Consequently a candle looks very bright (colourful) on the false colour IR camera image. .. You would think from what I said above that when you view the candle through the tube using the camera, and you introduce CO2 the bright flame would 'disappear' due to the IR absorption. However, when you try this it doesn't work, the candle doesn't disappear! The reason is that the CO2 absorptions observable by the IR camera are quite weak and are only in a relatively small part of the spectrum. The only way to get the demonstration to work is to have a 'CO2 filter' on the camera. This only lets through IR at around 4 µm, close to one of the CO2 absorption's (which are broadened a bit at atmospheric pressure). The filter blocks out much of the IR energy so that the CO2 absorption is not so swamped anymore and this allows us to now observe our vanishing candle effect.

I speculate that the effect of H2O would have been seen quite clearly without any filter because it absorbs strongly across the 1-5µm band (http://www.iitap.iastate.edu/gccourse/forcing/images/image7.gif). If filtering was essential to improve the “showmanship” of Professor Stewart’s demonstration could not IR filters at each of the relevant wavelengths have been used together?

Of course if the objective of the showmanship was to mislead the viewer by overstating the impact of CO2 then the set-up achieved its objective.

Best regards, Pete Ridley

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« Reply #26 on: 24/04/2011 00:09:56 »
Pete, I hadn't weighed in on this before because your posts were a bit too much rambling editorial against climate scientists and their "agenda."  Now that it's more on the subject of the question, I'm happy to give my opinion on the science of it. 

To start, I agree that this one youtube clip is misleading.  It's hard to condemn the program or presenter based on this alone, since it's out of context.  However, I think that when he says at the start that this is an example of how CO2 effects the earth's climate, it's a bit of a stretch.  Not because there isn't an effect due to IR absorption on the earth.  There certainly is.  But because a candle/CO2 tube is hardly the same as the earth/sun/atmosphere, so drawing a direct link between this youtube clip and the earth's climate is misleading. 

It is a non sequitur to jump to the conclusion that this is a deliberate attempt to mislead people or that CO2's absorption of radiation isn't important in climate change.  Just because his introduction to the experiment might mislead viewers to think that it's a close model of the atmosphere/sun/earth system doesn't have anything to do with climate science.  All it does is prove that this one youtube clip might be misleading to viewers.

Are there calculations showing what kinds of concentrations of CO2 you'd need in the atmosphere of the actual earth/sun/atmosphere system to account for a temperature increase of a few degrees?  We know that the sun and the earth roughly radiate as black bodies, and we know the absorption spectrum of CO2 in the atmosphere.  Climate models aside, it shouldn't be hard to at least come up with a rough order-of-magnitude estimate.

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Offline JP

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« Reply #27 on: 24/04/2011 00:23:22 »
This site might be interesting regarding those calculations.  http://acmg.seas.harvard.edu/people/faculty/djj/book/bookchap7.html

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Offline Pete Ridley

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« Reply #28 on: 24/04/2011 11:02:21 »
Hi JP, I’ll respond to your helpful comments soon but in the meantime I hope that you will excuse me for experimenting here for a moment in response to Bored_chemist's comment of 22/04/2011 17:35:55. It really belongs on the locked "Another HockeyStick Illusion?" thread and I'll try to get that one opened again for my response but in the meantime I need to find out how to post a pdf diagram. Once a moderator unlocks the "Another Hockey Stick Illusion?" thread I'll delete this from here and post a more complete response there.

Hi Bored_chemist, perhaps, as an analytical chemist, you can clear up other uncertainties of mine while BenV is trying to find an expert who can respond on size-dependent fractionation in deep firn. Let’s start with the very first part of the ice sheet development process, the falling snow.

Professor Hartmut Frank, Chair of Environmental Chemistry & Ecotoxicology, University of Bayreuth, sent me this slide from one of his presentations last year to graduates at Technical University in Gdansk). He described it  as “ .. a simplified illustration of the major processes which are leading to changes of gas concentrations in the secondary bubbles (including and especially of carbon dioxide) .. ”

The slide provides a diagram showing falling snow beneath which is the section of a fully developed ice sheet. It discusses the manner in which atmospheric air collected within the voids of forming snow has already been depleted in CO2 before it even hits the top of the ice sheet. Alongside it says “Assuming a specific weight of 1 dm3 snow as 0.1 kg/L, it consists of 10 Vol-% of snow-ice and 90 Vol-% of air. Thus, a dm3 snow may contain a total carbon dioxide content of which 4 mg is adsorbed and 0.54 mg comes from the air between the snow flakes –explaining the high values found in ice cores by the gas extraction over long time in the molten state”.

It then goes on to summarise the snow/firn/ice compaction stages after “Deposition:
- Compaction to firn, air bubble closure (when?),
- Chlathrate formation (CO2~ 5 atm) [CO2•5 H2O] preferred diffusion of CO2 into the ice matrix
- Chlathrate formation (N2, O2at ~ 20 atm)
- Carbonic acid formation (formulae shown) N2, O2 non-reactive: selective depletion of CO2
- Primary bubbles disappear.
- Upon drilling and horizontal storage of ice cores, expansion and back diffusion of N2, O2 and CO2 (and slow decomposition of carbonic acid) into secondary bubbles occurs, at different rates”.

My question to you at this stage is whether or not that initial adsorption of CO2 in the snow is a chemical or physical reaction.

JP I tried to post the pdf but received the message “Your file is too large. The maximum attachment size allowed is 192 KB” despite the pdf only being 70kB and the text 34kB = 104kB. Can someone please help me out here as it will save a lot of words if I can post the pdf.

Best regards, Pete Ridley

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Offline Pete Ridley

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« Reply #29 on: 24/04/2011 13:30:58 »
Hi JP , thanks for your two responses today. I wholeheartedly agree with your
Quote
It is a non sequitur to jump to the conclusion that this is a deliberate attempt to mislead people
Jumping to such a conclusion would be no more valid than that made by Geezer yesterday @ 07:40:47. It does not follow that just because I wrote an article “European Non-compliance with the EMC Directive” I am a compliance engineer (http://www.beagle-ears.com/lars/engineer/cmplnc.htm).

If I had never seen any other BBC presentations made by Professor Stewart I would never have drawn the conclusion that I did, but I have seen other presentations of his. As I said in my E-mail to Professor Stewart and Dr. Hare on this,
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Please Professor Stewart, would you reconsider how you present climate science in future. .. You fully appreciate the merits of graphics rather than words to paint the desired picture, as seen clearly in Part 2 of your Climate Wars broadcast where you show in the background lots of meaningless formulae then that infamous Michael Man “Hockey Stick” for 6 seconds from 5:58 minutes  (http://www.tvclip.biz/video/dkdGKQMvE-s/bbcearththeclimatewars2of3fightbacktoaviclip06avi.html). ..
In my opinion your comments in Climate Wars:
- at the end of Part 1 “It was the beginning of an organised fight-back driven by a band of maverick scientists supported buy powerful businesses and politicians” (http://www.tvclip.biz/video/CIANePEjOfI/bbcearththeclimatewars1of3battlebeginsclip5flv.html),
- and at 01:56 minutes into Part 2 that “Industry was fighting back. A key part of their strategy was to highlight doubts about the science. They used the media and the Internet to promote the views of the minority of scientists that were sceptical",
were designed to persuade the audience that sceptics were using devious tactics to undermine established science. It appeared to me in those parts that you took great delight in trying to get that message across. Any honest scientist will openly acknowledge their uncertainties, welcome debate about them ..
I wondered if that demo was part of the BBC’s “The Climate Wars”. While trying to find out if that was so and when that demo was broadcast (I suspected that it was before Climategate and found that Wikipedia says that it was in 2008) ..

I then pointed Professor Stewart and Dr. Hare towards this thread and hope that they either respond to my E-mail or, better still, comment here. I also pointed them both to the locked “Another Hockey Stick Illusion?” in the hopes that they or associates can contribute.

I will spend a little time looking through what you linked to today @ 00:23:22 but my first impression was that it was written by a science student, has not been peer reviewed, contains nothing new and could be misleading for unwary members of the general public. The reason I thought this is that it repeatedly suggests that the IR wavelength is in the “mm” range. Once could be a typo but 11 times?

I was surprised to find that it could have been written by Dr. Daniel J. Jacob, Vasco McCoy Family Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry and Environmental Engineering, Harvard University so I have just dropped him an Email about it. If he responds then I’ll pass on what he says. I’ve also invited him to have a look at the analyses provided by Roger Taguchi, which I recommended to Bored_chemist yesterday at 15:12:08.

Best regards, Pete Ridley

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Offline JP

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« Reply #30 on: 24/04/2011 13:58:46 »
The reason I thought this is that it repeatedly suggests that the IR wavelength is in the “mm” range. Once could be a typo but 11 times?

I suspect that's a transcription error.  The plots show microns, which is the correct value.  The html says "mm."  Perhaps whoever went to type this up saw mu and typed m? 

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Offline Pete Ridley

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« Reply #31 on: 24/04/2011 15:03:38 »
Hi JP , quick follow-up to my comment about the link you provided, it transpires that the book “Introduction to Atmospheric Chemistry” by Daniel J. Jacob, Princeton University Press, 1999 PDF version (http://acmg.seas.harvard.edu/publications/jacobbook/index.html) is available for free viewing. You may find it more useful than your source.  CHAPTER 7. THE GREENHOUSE EFFECT does show the correct units for IR. That chapter, unlike Professor Stewart’s demonstration, makes it quite clear that
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.. By far the most important greenhouse gas is water vapor because of its abundance and its extensive IR absorption features ..
It also gives a very even-handed description of that vexed question of feedback effects in Section 7.4 RADIATIVE FORCING, but that’s another issue beyond the scope of Professor Stewart’s demonstration, so best left alone here.

Best regards, Pete Ridley

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Offline Bored chemist

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« Reply #32 on: 28/04/2011 10:24:46 »
Though water vapour has clearly got nothing to do with the original video clip, it's time to point out that
Nobody disputes the fact that water vapour absorbs more IR than CO2; it is a more potent and more common greenhouse gas.
It produces the most powerful greenhouse effect of all the gases in the atmosphere.

And it has nothing to do with the question of whether or not adding CO2 to the air (which we have done) will also add net warming to the climate (which we have observed).
Please disregard all previous signatures.

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Offline Pete Ridley

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« Reply #33 on: 28/04/2011 16:54:42 »
Hi Bored_chemist, the point that I’ve been trying to discuss here is not how significant or otherwise H2O is in relation to other greenhouse gasses but how the demonstration by Professor Stewart was in my humble opinion designed and presented in such a way that it gave a distorted picture to its audience of how significant CO2 is as a greenhouse gas.

You say
Quote
.. it has nothing to do with the question of whether or not adding CO2 to the air (which we have done) will also add net warming to the climate (which we have observed) ..
I have no disagreement that we add CO2 to the atmosphere through burning fossil fuels and in other ways (like breathing [prop] [:0]) or that there has been a welcome amount of warming since the Little Ice Age, but that topic is “off-question” so may be frowned upon by the thread moderator.

Best regards, Pete Ridley

« Last Edit: 28/04/2011 16:58:02 by Pete Ridley »

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Offline peppercorn

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« Reply #34 on: 28/04/2011 22:31:20 »
I have no disagreement that we add CO2 to the atmosphere through burning fossil fuels and in other ways (like breathing)

As you are no doubt well aware these two sources of CO2 are very different.
CO2 fom humans (or any other living, oxygen breathing animal) is part of the carbon cycle that helps keep our environment in balance.
CO2 from fossil fuels are obviously not part of the 'current' cycle and therefore cause an inbalance.
...
But then I don't have to tell you this do I?

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Offline Geezer

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« Reply #35 on: 29/04/2011 08:33:27 »

Jumping to such a conclusion would be no more valid than that made by Geezer yesterday @ 07:40:47. It does not follow that just because I wrote an article “European Non-compliance with the EMC Directive” I am a compliance engineer


You are quite right there Pete. My sequitur was based entirely on your TNS bio;

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telecommunications network and support systems and Electromagnetic Compatibibility (EMC)compliance requirements
There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force æther.

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Offline Pete Ridley

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« Reply #36 on: 29/04/2011 09:03:43 »
Hi Geezer, although this is “off-question” and may upset the moderator, it takes courage to admit when you are wrong so congratulations.

The reason that I mentioned in my TNS profile that I was involved in EMC was so that anyone so inclined could Google me and not get confused by all of the other Pete Ridley’s around the world. Another blogger elsewhere thinks that I’m running a recycling company.

Now, have you anything else to add about that demonstration of Professor Stewart’s (or any of his other BBC presentations)?

Best regards, Pete Ridley
« Last Edit: 29/04/2011 09:07:14 by Pete Ridley »

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« Reply #37 on: 01/05/2011 00:51:21 »
Saw you write about water vapor and its possible forcings.

A greenhouse gas is any gas known, or unknown, that traps heat in the atmosphere (absorbing infrared radiation). Including Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Methane (CH4), Nitrous Oxide (N2O), as well as including fluorinated gases as hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride, created in industrial processes.

Water vapor is a major greenhouse gas but due to its short cycle climatologists consider it more of a feedback than a 'forcing' of the temperature we see raising now. That means that although it reacts to temperatures we don't expect it to be actively conserving heat for longer periods than a few weeks in the atmosphere. Its 'life-cycle' is too short, but it contribute as we get more vapor circulating with increased temperatures too.

"Only the stratosphere is dry enough and with a long enough residence time (a few years) for the small anthropogenic inputs to be important. In this case (and in this case only) those additions can be considered a forcing. Oxidation of anthropogenic methane (which is a major source of stratospheric water) and, conceviably, direct deposition of water from increases in aircraft in the lower stratosphere, can increase stratospheric water and since that gives a radiative forcing effect." 

And when it comes to CO2 it's very much a question of how long it will stay in the atmosphere conserving heat. Where water vapor is a question of days, CO2 is a question of? Centuries?

"The evidence that CO2 is a greenhouse gas depends mainly on physics, not on the correlation with past temperature, which tells us nothing about cause and effect. And while the rises in CO2 a few hundred years after the start of interglacials can only be explained by rising temperatures, the full extent of the temperature increases over the following 4000 years can only be explained by the rise in CO2 levels."

Here's somewhat older quote I used before, just to put it into perspective.


---Quote—

Ice cores provide evidence for variation in greenhouse gas concentrations over the past 800,000 years. Both CO2 and CH4 vary between glacial and interglacial phases, and concentrations of these gases correlate strongly with temperature. Before the ice core record, direct measurements do not exist. .

Measurements from Antarctic ice cores show that just before industrial emissions started, atmospheric CO2 levels were about 280 parts per million by volume. From the same ice cores it appears that CO2 concentrations stayed between 260 and 280 ppm (Parts per million) during the preceding 10,000 years. However, because of the way air is trapped in ice and the time period represented in each ice sample analyzed, these figures are long term averages not annual levels. . .

Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the concentrations of many of the greenhouse gases have increased. The concentration of CO2 has increased by about 100 ppm (i.e., from 280 ppm to 380 ppm).

The first 50 ppm increase took place in about 200 years, from the start of the Industrial Revolution to around 1973.

The next 50 ppm increase took place in about 33 years, from 1973 to 2006.

--End of quote--

So If I look at the worlds coal consumption 2008 of 3 300 million ton, then about 2 000 million ton was consumed by Asia. And you know what, we are coming out from our recession now says our ‘economists’. So now we can start all over again. The steel production is up as from August 2009 to 106.5 millions ton according to ‘World Steel’. And China have in ten years gone from 124 millions tons, to now over 500 millions ton steel yearly. And its coal consumption have raised from 1998, 652 million tons to over 1400 millions tons last year according to the oil company BP energy-statistics. And sixty eight percent of the worlds electric power is generated by fossil fuels today, mostly coal and ‘natural gas’ (methane).

Now? - Anybody want to guess how long it will take for the next 50 Parts Per Million (PPM)?

---Quote—Lisa Moore, Ph.D., scientist in the Climate and Air program at Environmental Defense.--

Here's a table showing a selection of greenhouse gases, their global warming potential (GWP), and their lifetimes:

Greenhouse Gas . . . . . . . . .Lifetime years . . (100-Year GWP)
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) . . …. . . . hundreds .. .. . .1
Methane (CH4) . . . . . . …. . . .. . . 1 . . . . . . .25
Nitrous Oxide (N2O) . . . . . . . . . .114 . . . . . . .298
Hydrofluorocarbon-23 (CHF3) . . . .264 . . . .. . .14,800
Sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) . . . . ..3,200. . . . .22,800
PFC-14 (CF4) . . . . . . . .. . . . . .50,000 . . . . .7,390

Notice that the carbon dioxide lifetime is "hundreds of years", rather than a specific number. The IPCC ‘Third Assessment Report’ defines a gas's lifetime as the amount of the gas in the atmosphere divided by the rate at which it is removed from the atmosphere. That sounds simple enough, except that not all gases are removed by just one (or mainly one) process. Ironically, the gas that accounts for the greatest proportion of global warming, carbon dioxide (CO2), is the hardest to pin down. When CO2 is released into the atmosphere, about three-quarters of it dissolves into the ocean over a few decades (- Acidity -). The rest is neutralized by a variety of longer-term geological processes, which can take thousands of years.

From IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: About 50% of a CO2 increase will be removed from the atmosphere within 30 years, and a further 30% will be removed within a few centuries. The remaining 20% may stay in the atmosphere for many thousands of years.

From U.S Greenhouse Gas Inventory Reports: (CO2) Atmospheric lifetime: 50-200 years. No single lifetime can be defined for CO2 because of the different rates of uptake by different removal processes.

From RealClimate: “My model indicates that about 7% of carbon released today will still be in the atmosphere in 100,000 years. I calculate a mean lifetime, from the sum of all the processes, of about 30,000 years. That's a deceptive number, because it is so strongly influenced by the immense longevity of that long tail. If one is forced to simplify reality into a single number for popular discussion, several hundred years is a sensible number to choose, because it tells three-quarters of the story, and the part of the story which applies to our own lifetimes.” ("How long will global warming last?")

For other gases, a meaningful lifetime is easier to calculate because one process dominates their removal from the atmosphere:

* Methane is mostly scrubbed from the atmosphere by hydroxyl radicals (a chemical reaction).
* Nitrous oxide is destroyed by photolytic reactions (chemical reactions involving photons or light) in the stratosphere.

As you can see from the chart, some gases have extraordinarily long lifetimes. Because emission rates are vastly higher than removal rates, greenhouse gases are accumulating in the atmosphere and will affect climate for generations to come.

----End of Quote----



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Offline yor_on

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« Reply #38 on: 01/05/2011 02:22:48 »
By the way, this is what I mean by a 'correlation' between CO2 and ice-cores Peter. It's not really necessary for us to find that the CO2 found in ice-cores matches a perfect description of the CO2 in the atmosphere at that time it was 'free'. What's interesting is the trends, and if they shows a break under the last 250 years, and that they do. So global man-made warming is true as far as I can see. But, as for what more than CO2 that may have a direct effect? We learn more about that every year. What's scary about CO2 is not that it's so abundant, it's the way it 'clings' in the atmosphere. CO2 is a rather small part of the atmosphere in fact, but its importance is huge. This one will give you a good idea of the amount, translated into weight How much CO2 by weight in the atmosphere? (2007)               

Assume that we could stop all man-made CO2 production today :)

The CO2 already produced by us would still sit in the atmosphere and add to the warming for at least 50 years, more probably a century. A generation is mostly defined as being 20 to 25 years as I've seen, so four to five generations will have a 100 percent warming even if we stopped today as I understands it (well, this may be a tad exaggerated as it constantly get taken up by sinks, as our oceans, but the great part of CO2 will hang up there, very slowly clinging off, and in fact stay for longer than that hundred years I use as a description here). So, it's not really about us, to me it's about our kids, and their kids. As for methane I've seen a lot of people count it out as a major forcing as it's lifetime is too short, but it has started to move the last decades as described in Russia, the Arctic, Canada and Antarctica.

Here are three relatively recent links to that.


Measurements of carbon fluxes around the north of Russia, led by Igor Semiletov from the University of Alaska at Fairbanks.
Study: Arctic seabed methane stores destabilizing, venting. 
What lies beneath Antarctic ice.

And though Russia publicly seems to act as if they're not worried, taking the idea 'man made global warming' lightly they spend up to 55 billion roubles (1.9 billion dollars) a year on repairs to their infrastructure and pipelines, damaged by changes in the permafrost in western Siberia. Permafrost thaw threatens Russia oil and gas complex: study. Eh, that's methane being released too Peter.

And there is more to it, as the acidity in the oceans increase we will find more and more areas that are dead of all sea life. They are growing annually as I understand it. we will also see the smallest organism (krill etc) die out in the Arctic and Antarctic, disrupting all sea based food chains, all the way up to ourselves. If you believe or not I don't really care, this is what we already see happening now, at a smaller scale. But I don't find this arguing over Global Warming as giving as you seem. Canada is already dismantling its weather stations it seems :) NASA dosen't get the money they need for their weather satellites, etc etc. So don't you worry Peter :) Those bad, bad, facts I expect to become less, not 'more' in the foreseeable future. Well, until it's pushed right into your face :)

But by then we already will be too late.

==

As for Russia reducing their emissions :) Europe is building for using the Russian methane fields as we speak, Britain amongst those countries expecting to use that Russian gas. Putin has already used it as a new political club, forcing other countries. And those pipe lines have a annual leak of around 30 percent methane as found in several independent studies. As we see the 'methane fields' come into production there is a very real risqué of it destabilizing those frozen 'methane-ice' underwater. If they do the only evidence will be the water bubbles as the methane raise, getting freed. And those only some Russian oil laborers will see. Most of the big industry in Russia today, including energy, is controlled by the mob as I read it. You expect them to worry about environmental concerns Peter?

Not that I expect them to be that different from counterparts in the West. It's the market that decides your concerns as a cooperation, that and the stockholders, environment is a thing where you spend your money where it speaks loudest for the least investment, and only where it won't hurt your own interests. That's also why I find it worrying when states starts to put the cap on environmental research. Because it doesn't really help if they do, it won't go away. If what I think I see is right, closing the door on it will only make it worse. We need that research, our whole planet needs it. Without we will react, but it will be too late. And even though we will be dead most probably, our kids kids will look at us with loathing, seeing how we put short-term profits in front of creating a longterm sustainable environment. There is nothing I hate more than id* telling me that 'we don't need all those species, we can make do without them.' Sure, we can all live hermetically sealed inside domes too, but is that what we want?

Earth won't care Peter. She will come back, if now worst come to worst, with new species to populate Earth. To her we just represent a short intermission, a breath taken and then let out. But to us, and our kids?
« Last Edit: 01/05/2011 12:52:29 by yor_on »
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« Reply #39 on: 01/05/2011 05:50:38 »
As for my statements on research?

---Quote-

Researchers are barred from publicly releasing meteorological data from many countries owing to contractual restrictions. Moreover, in countries such as Germany, France and the United Kingdom, the national meteorological services will provide data sets only when researchers specifically request them, and only after a significant delay. The lack of standard formats can also make it hard to compare and integrate data from different sources. Every aspect of this situation needs to change: if the current episode does not spur meteorological services to improve researchers' ease of access, governments should force them to do so.

---End of quote--



==Quote.

Much of the reason why “data are vexatious” is because this research has been starved for instrument resources.

A prime example: ICESat, now offline for gathering more cryo data due to the failure of its last working laser of the three units onboard, an anticipated failure that came as no surprise. We knew that a replacement spacecraft was imminently necessary with the last laser failure in 2008, we know that polar observations are very important to narrowing uncertainties w/regard to climate change. Despite this, we had no spacecraft ready for launch; a replacement will not be launched until 2014.

One could argue that failure to plan and construct a replacement (and what would be wrong with simply an identical satellite, if budget was an issue) was down to poor oversight of the mission but one would be wrong. One could say that other, more important Earth observation missions took priority over an ICESat replacement but one would again be wrong. No, this feckless gap in our data will most likely be revealed as political in nature once historians produce a definitive account; the particular inclinations of the administration in charge during the period of interest are a hint but we’ll see about that.

Fortunately ESA has launched a replacement for CryoSatNow since they had a slightly more urgent attitude about climate change and quickly produced a replacement for the spacecraft lost on their first launch attempt. Meanwhile NASA is doing gap-filling via other means to make up for the loss of ICESat. But thanks to crappy management we’re now faced with a data splicing nightmare, a pointless challenge for investigators which also naturally will provide fodder for Dark Ages personalities determined to throw sand in the wheels of public policy.

There are other examples. Ocean heat content is tough to fathom (hah!) in part because the ocean is not as richly instrumented as necessary. This is a great intellectual challenge for researchers but at the end of the day, the fact we can’t account for missing energy (Trenberth?) is a serious problem when it comes to public policy; the heat we can’t measure is made into a subject of debate which again retards policy response.

The amount of money we’re talking about in all cases here is paltry compared to what we spend on other things. Compared w/a $60 trillion global economy the gap between proper resources and poor resources is invisible.

This parsimonious approach to instrumentation is one of the reason I laugh when I hear rejectionists muttering about all those rich scientists and their giant AGW gravy train. Innumeracy strikes again.

== by Doug Bostrom.

I think the next NASA satellite for studying the climate is planned for 2017 myself though?
(although the quote is over a year old (from when I first used it 2010), so it may have been delayed, again)

As for CryoSat-2 it might be launched from Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Northern Russia? CryoSat-2 2012..

and when it comes to Canada, I wrote about it Here.
« Last Edit: 01/05/2011 08:48:44 by yor_on »
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Offline Pete Ridley

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« Reply #40 on: 01/05/2011 09:14:13 »
Hi Yor_on I am astounded that you have been allowed to contribute three long-winded commentaries about the general greenhouse theory without the thread moderator screaming “off-question”. Have you read the original question that I raised here? It’s specifically about Professor Stewart’s demonstration, not about the “greenhouse” theory.

As I told you yesterday, I complained to Chris Smith about there being declared rules for the general public and none for the moderators and that one of those requirements for moderators should be impartial.

Best regards, Pete Ridley

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« Reply #41 on: 01/05/2011 11:07:55 »
Not as astounded as I am Peter. And now I'm afraid I will astound you some more :)

That as I feel we all need a reality check after all those learned discussion. So, here’s how I understand how Earth’s ‘radiation’ works, discussing H2O and CO2 firstly, methane later and I'm not discussing ‘convection cycles’, and yes, it's somewhat simplified but correct, as far as I know.

Think of Earth as a ‘black body’, I absolutely refuse to go into the mathematics of it :) but just as that black body Earth radiates. The heat Earth frees from the sun’s warming and its own inherent heat goes up in the atmosphere as infrared radiation, to eventually disappear in space. That infrared radiation will be taken up by all molecules (air) between space and Earth, with them radiating it back again in all directions, down as well as up and sideways. The higher in the atmosphere you come the less density there will be, that means fewer molecules to take up that radiation.

So what happens when we add ‘man made’ CO2 (carbon dioxide)? Well the concentration/addition of molecules will get our atmosphere to become denser or thicker if you like, that in its turn will push that releasing ‘edge/surface’ where that heat finally leave our atmosphere upwards to even colder layers, higher up. As those is colder they do not radiate heat as well as those layers that already is becoming ‘satiated’ by heat. And the whole time we have a constant creation of more manmade CO2 joining the atmosphere that we are ‘creating / transforming’ into CO2 from the Earth’s hidden/buried ‘sinks’ in form of coal and oil and natural gas (methane) . You’re with me so far? Each ‘layer’ of air in our atmosphere will reach ever new equilibrium’s of warmth as the heat and molecules radiates / get freed from Earth, that as molecules in each layer also warm each other as they radiate.

As this is happening Earth will slowly become a place where the radiation from those molecules, reflected in all directions, will cause the Earth to start conserving this energy by building up ‘heat’ in the air layers as the heat gets more and more ‘trapped’ by our new molecules. And this ‘imbalance’ creating evermore warmer layers will keep on, until the highest level of our atmosphere is so ‘warmed up’ that it reflects as much heat in space as the planet is receiving from the sun and ..Us. - That as it is only in that highest layer Earth can regulate its temperature through radiating out in space -. Did you know that before we started our industrial era we were actually in a slowly cooling period on Earth? As for water-vapor it is well known that the higher up you come the ‘dryer’ the air will be, that means that most of the water-vapor falls out as rain further down.

As the Co2 and H2O molecules drifts upward their mode of absorption changes. At a sea level the absorption is concentrated into discrete spikes with narrow gaps between the spikes and ‘shallow’ valleys. The ‘spikes’ we’re talking about is light (heat) absorbed in very specific wavelengths shown as dark lines in a spectrum. When the molecules are at the higher layers this absorption will change as the air-pressure goes down. Then their ‘spikes’ becomes much more defined and closer together (more heat absorbed per molecule) And CO2 won’t fall out as water vapor does (H2O-humidity-rain) at those lower altitudes, instead it will stay mixed no matter the height even though it will ‘thin out’ the higher we come just as our atmosphere. That’s why climate scientists talk about amount of heat conserved in different molecules and of global warming potential (GWP).

“Methane is a greenhouse gas that is 60-70 times more potent than carbon dioxide (CO2) over a twenty-year period (or 25 times over a hundred-year period). “ And that’s why methane is a ‘killer of life’ even in small quantities. Also you should know that CO2 when taken up by the oceans create acidity in them, creating a marine environment where our fishes, reefs, etc starts to die. And as I wrote earlier, they are already becoming saturated. "A study published in the journal Science revealed that since 1981, the Southern Ocean has been taking up less carbon dioxide - five to 30 per cent less per decade - than researchers had predicted previously. At the same time carbon dioxide emissions rose by 40 per cent, the study found. The reason for the slowdown is more winds over the Southern Ocean since 1958, caused by human-produced greenhouse gases and ozone depletion. " New global warming threat from Southern Ocean.

“Observations since 1961 show that the average temperature of the global ocean has increased to depths of at least 3000 m and that the ocean has been absorbing more than 80% of the heat added to the climate system. Such warming causes seawater to expand, contributing to sea level rise. . Changes in precipitation and evaporation over the oceans are suggested by freshening of mid and high latitude waters together with increased salinity in low latitude waters. Mid-latitude westerly winds have strengthened in both hemispheres since the 1960s. More intense and longer droughts have been observed over wider areas since the 1970s, particularly in the tropics and subtropics. Increased drying linked with higher temperatures and decreased precipitation have contributed to changes in drought. Changes in sea surface temperatures (SST), wind patterns, and decreased snowpack and snow cover have also been linked to droughts. "

And now I will quote myself from 2007 in ‘global health’ " Now I'll make a wild guess ::)) In five to ten years we will start to see a accelerating release of Methane into the Atmosphere, and the linear thinking of how the climate works will break down (again :) Earth ain't linear. Earth is a dynamic nonlinear system, and even if mostly stable , we are throwing a big monkey wrench into its cyclic gears. (And) When a nonlinear system change 'state' it can do so very quickly."

As for the stratospheric water? Which indeed can create a 'forcing' as I understands it. Well, that's mostly a byproduct from, guess what :), methane. Yep, some of it comes from the tropics, as normal water vapor but as much, or more? is is in the form of oxidation of methane which happening in the upper stratosphere. And considering the releases growing that amount will grow steadily. When, or rather if, the methane frozen and hidden in our oceans and tundras really start a 'run away chain' we can forget all about debating here Peter. That has happened before in fact, killing of almost all life on this planet. Siberia's peat bogs came to be around the last ice age 11,000 years ago, being the size of France and Germany slammed together.  As vegetation, animals, etc, rot hey start to decompose generating methane, that then becomes trapped within and under the cold permafrost, mostly in ice-like structures known as clathrates, or methane hydrates, the same as we find in our oceans.

That's what we see getting released today, in a area stretching for a million square kilometres across the western Siberias permafrost, now becoming a mass of shallow lakes as the ground melts, and if that accelerates Peter? Will we still laugh at the sight of air burning as they poke a hole in the snow on Utube, if that comes true? Don't think so myself. It won't be funny anymore. And I'm not mentioning other Country's, although I expect the same to happen everywhere where the climate is melting those bogs and permafrost. Last year a expedition found such concentrations of methane in the Arctic shallow sea that Professor Orjan Gustafsson reported it as 'bubbling' as they studied the release from the ocean.

This .. is a later, more moderate report, but if you're interested I can find that first one too, with their first hand impressions. But it's when it all comes together that worries me the most. The methane, short lived as it is, will need to be released at a incredible pace to really create that disaster scenario I'm talking about. On the other hand, we do have strong evidence for it happening before, so we can't really exclude that scenario. But we also need to consider the way it becomes stratospheric water, creating a long-time forcing, as well as becoming CO2 as it oxidizes. It's all about balances, and also about non-linear 'systems'. And that is what surprises me the most, that so few seems to realize that Earth is a true non-linear system.

Every scientist worth his salt can tell you that when a non-linear system change from one stable pattern/mode to another, it can come very quickly, and for no foreseeable reason. And that's what I'm really worried about, a lot of small interconnected changes and relations that together builds up to a state where our Earth finds a new stable phase. Earth has done that before, and may do it again, well, rather 'will'  do it again I'm afraid. Lastly but not least, The role of stratospheric water vapor in global warming.

So, Peter. This is why I take it serious, and why I find little to make fun off. And I think I've treated you fairly in our posts, more than fairly in fact, especially considering the snide messages I received recently from you?  We invite people to participate and we try to have fun while discussing, sometimes arguing, but none acting condescending even if the discussions can become heated at time. But you have acted strangely from the beginning. Not sure what you expected here? I also can't help but wonder what you write on those other sites Peter? About us is it? That's probably enough to ban you, even without using your remarks in the messages I've gotten.

Should I check it up?
« Last Edit: 01/05/2011 12:11:57 by yor_on »
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Offline Pete Ridley

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« Reply #42 on: 01/05/2011 23:22:58 »
Hi Yor_on I’m sure that you astounded more that just me with that load of rambling nonsense which is about as far off-question as you could be (and still no objection from the moderator if this blog).

I think that Arthur Ducette was spot on when he said of you on 22nd Sept 2007 @ 13:14 “ .. Your posts, for the most part, are good examples of media/scientists distorting the message to make a political oriented point” (http://www.physforum.com/index.php?s=24dfd9c137656d85aa00f620e59f58d1&showtopic=16294&st=15) and
Quote
.. you obviously don't recognize MARKETING spin when you read it. You apparently can't TELL that there are a LOT of people trying to SELL you an idea. You seem to EASILY fall for their MARKETING SPIN. Worse, you then try to SELL others on your RELIGION. Oh well, It worked for the Missionaries. Arthur ..

I do fully agree with one thing that you have said on 23rd Sept. 2007 @ 12@51
Quote
.. It's no big deal, neither you nor me are going to make a difference here :) Mother nature will take care of it all, little caring for what we might think. And no ranting, :) from any corner, will make it different ..

You’re quite right, the CACC doctrine is no big deal and none of us will make a difference. It is Mother nature who has control over the different global climates, not humans. As for the ranting making no difference, why do you persist in doing it then?

Best regards, Pete Ridley

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« Reply #43 on: 01/05/2011 23:45:57 »
Ah Arthur and me are friends Peter, we had some really giving discussions. I'm guessing that you've done a 'private detective' here :)

Perhaps you should change your name :)
Mr. Hammer?
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Offline Pete Ridley

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« Reply #44 on: 02/05/2011 10:28:23 »
Hi yor_on, , unlike many bloggers and moderators I wouldn’t want to hide behind any false name because people can get led astray by them. If I hid behind Mr Hammer someone might mistake me for Frederick Phillip (http://extras.journalnow.com/hammer/pdfs/warrants_ashe1.pdf) and that would be so misleading. I’m happy to stick (ferret) in between Pete and Ridley and I was nicknamed “fish” at school, but that’s another story having nothing to do with the question at the top of this thread.

Mind you, it seems that all of a sudden the “rules of engagement” on this thread have suddenly been relaxed. One of the moderators said to me on this thread on 22nd April @ 14:25:10
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.. in this thread please stick to the question at hand, which is about the youtube video you posted.  I will lock this thread if you keep using it to .. editorialize about other topics.  We've been fairly lenient in allowing you to freely post content so far, but this is primarily a science Q&A site, not your personal blog ..

It seems to me (and I’m sure to other viewers of this thread also) that you have been allowed to “editorialise about other topics” and use this as your “personal blog” with impunity. In one day yesterday you were permitted to submit about 4500 words which were absolutely nothing to do with
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the youtube video (I) posted”
It appears that there is one rule for the general public and another for someone who
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.. is a valued member of the community and .. a moderator on this forum

It is evident from your essay and from other contributions of yours that you are a staunch supporter of the doctrine that our continuing use of fossil fuels is leading to Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Change (CACC). Is that one of the qualities required by The Naked Scientists to be accepted as
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a valued member of the community and .. a moderator on this forum
? Or, as BenV put it on 22nd April @ 16:20:22 about another TNS blog/forum moderator
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.. JP was invited to become a moderator as he was a valued member of the site. .. - they have earned their privileges ..

I Googled - "The Naked Scientists" yor_on "climate change" “global warming” – and found more yor_on comments all demonstrating your faith in CACC. One excellent example, which also suggests that you have the full support of The Naked Scientists, was your comment featured in Science News The Naked Scientists: Science Radio & Science Podcasts “A breath of fresh air in climate change debate” thread (http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/content/news/news/2052/) and appeared again in the “Can we reduce climate change with our infrastructure?” thread (http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=33987.0). The thread originator, thedoc (another of those “false names” who gives nothing away about his/her specialist scientific discipline) must have been dissapointed that after waiting for almost 2 weeks for anyone to make a comment the only person showing any interest was one of The Naked Scientists own moderators.

I must dash now as she who must be obeyed is calling but I hope to return later today.

Best regards, Pete (ferret) Ridley

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Offline Bored chemist

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What does Iain Stewart's "CO2 experiment" Demonstrate
« Reply #45 on: 02/05/2011 10:50:45 »
As you might guess, Bored Chemist isn't my real name.
However I use it here for two reasons.
One is that my employer and I don't always share a viewpoint. So I don't say who I am and they don't need to worry about it.
The second reason is that names don't tell you anything.
It doesn't matter who I am.
What matters is what I say.
So, if I say "carbon dioxide absorbs IR" then I'm right or I'm wrong.
Reality doesn't care about my name.
Any reputation I have is not the issue; you should look at the evidence.

The video shows that CO2 absorbs IR.
If you like, you can repeat the experiment and verify it for yourself.
It might be easier to look in the literature and see if anyone has already established this.

For example I just googled "IR spectrum" and asked it to find me pictures.
The first hit is this
http://www.dnassequencing.com/2011/04/11/ir-spectroscopy/
if you look carefully you can see a small peak near 2400 wavenumbers.
That's a negative CO2 peak.
So, I can provide real live evidence, made by someone entirely independent of this discussion (as far as I know) that shows that CO2 absorbs IR.
Iain Stewart's demonstration of the same fact is a lot more accessible to the layman, but it's not misleading.
Please disregard all previous signatures.

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Offline JP

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What does Iain Stewart's "CO2 experiment" Demonstrate
« Reply #46 on: 02/05/2011 15:00:53 »
Mind you, it seems that all of a sudden the “rules of engagement” on this thread have suddenly been relaxed. 

Good point!  I had a busy weekend and didn't have a chance to read this thread in detail.  I'm going to shrink off-topic posts, and further off-topic posts will lead to this thread being locked, since most of the recent content seems to be off-topic personal sparring rather than posts dealing with the question.

By the way, if any posters think a post is violating the forum rules, there's a link at the bottom to "report to moderators," that lets you tell us so.  This is a much better way to do it than to make a new post pointing out how the first post is breaking the rules (which itself drags the discussion off-topic).  It can sometimes take a while for the moderators to act, but we do get the messages.
« Last Edit: 02/05/2011 15:30:27 by JP »

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Offline Pete Ridley

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What does Iain Stewart's "CO2 experiment" Demonstrate
« Reply #47 on: 03/05/2011 22:02:22 »
Hi JP, thanks for giving me the opportunity to re-submit this comment, which I’ve modified as I think that you required.

Hi Bored chemist, what objection did you have to the “Absorption Spectra for Major Natural Greenhouse Gases in the Earth’s Atmosphere” (http://www.iitap.iastate.edu/gccourse/forcing/images/image7.gif) plots which I provided a link to on 23rd April @ 20:36:04? Those plots appear to me to be more revealing than the one you linked to in your comment yesterday @ 10:50:45 because they show clearly that CO2 plays a minor roll compared with other greenhouse gases as far as absorbing IR is concerned.

That demonstration of Professor Stewart was set up specifically to give an exaggerated impression of the extent to which CO2 absorbs IR. That cannot be denied because the set-up designer, Dr, Jonathan Hare, has admitted it
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.. The thermal imaging camera we used was sensitive from ca. 1 to 5 µm, quite a large part of the IR spectrum. A lit candle or match produces lots of energy through the IR to the visible. Consequently a candle looks very bright (colourful) on the false colour IR camera image. .. You would think from what I said above that when you view the candle through the tube using the camera, and you introduce CO2 the bright flame would 'disappear' due to the IR absorption. However, when you try this it doesn't work, the candle doesn't disappear! The reason is that the CO2 absorptions observable by the IR camera are quite weak and are only in a relatively small part of the spectrum. The only way to get the demonstration to work is to have a 'CO2 filter' on the camera. This only lets through IR at around 4 µm, close to one of the CO2 absorption's (which are broadened a bit at atmospheric pressure). The filter blocks out much of the IR energy so that the CO2 absorption is not so swamped anymore and this allows us to now observe our vanishing candle effect ..

I have already pointed this out to all of the viewers of this thread, on 23rd April and it seems obvious to me, as a sceptic of the CACC doctrine, that  the intention was to mislead the viewers about the extent of IR absorption by CO2 in order to support the claim that our continuing use of fossil fuels is leading to CACC.

As I mentioned here in my opening comment and also to Professor Stewart and Dr. Hare in my E-mail of 18th April
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.. I do not challenge the fact that CO2 absorbs rather a small part of the IR band compared with the other greenhouse gases, particularly H2O but I puzzled over the manner in which Professor Stewart chose to demonstrate it. In the introduction before describing the apparatus Professor Stewart says “I can show you how carbon dioxide affects the earth’s climate using this .. ”. The demonstration does not show what is claimed, because CO2 is only opaque to a small portion of the IR band, as clearly shown in “Absorption Spectra .. ” (http://www.iitap.iastate.edu/gccourse/forcing/images/image7.gif). The set-up and explanation of what is happening gives the false impression that a significant amount of IR from the candle is absorbed whereas in fact CO2 only absorbs a small proportion of the IR. ..

There’s more in that Email if you want it. BTW, I still haven’t had a response from either Professor Stewart of Dr. Hare.

Best regards, Pete Ridley

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Offline Geezer

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What does Iain Stewart's "CO2 experiment" Demonstrate
« Reply #48 on: 04/05/2011 06:35:57 »
Meanwhile, returning to the original question, which was:

"What does Iain Stewart's "CO2 experiment" Demonstrate?"

It seems that everyone agrees it demonstrates that carbon-dioxide can absorb infrared radiation. As such, it's actually quite a good demonstration. It's not really much of an experiment, because there isn't much in the way of quantification, but I think it does a reasonable job of demonstrating how an invisible gas like CO2 can absorb IR energy.

I really don't know what motivated Stewart to screen the demonstration, nor do I think anyone else does. We could speculate of course, but that won't help us answer Pete's question.
 
There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force æther.

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Offline Bored chemist

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What does Iain Stewart's "CO2 experiment" Demonstrate
« Reply #49 on: 04/05/2011 06:58:11 »
Pete.
If you look carefully you will see that I didn't "object" to the spectra you cited.
I just pointed out that evidence carries more weight than a famous name.
Did you not read what I wrote, or did you not understand it?
Please disregard all previous signatures.