Facebook Physics: A spirited Reply
Written by Anthony Bright-Paul
I must congratulate Daniel Swahn Lindbergh for a spirited reply to my arguments which were set out in my previous post, ‘Facebook Physics: Heat Retention.’ I will attempt to answer him.
What is it that distinguishes the so-called Greenhouse Gases? They are all opaque to incoming and outgoing Infrared radiation, known as Near IR and Far IR, unlike Oxygen and Nitrogen, which are transparent to both Near IR and Far IR.
We can see this most clearly with Water Vapour, which in the form of clouds is clearly opaque, both against radiation and also visually. When, on a hot day when the Sun is shining brightly high in the sky, a great black cloud passes in front of the Sun, what happens? The radiation is scattered and there is an immediate cooling that any child can sense.
In the same way the greenhouse gases may absorb and emit, that is to say ‘scatter’ outgoing IR, but being in total but 1% of the atmosphere in no way can they blanket or insulate the atmosphere. There is no way whatsoever that ‘heat’ can or could be trapped. That is just lazy and inept thinking.
A greenhouse does not trap heat – that is a misnomer, a misunderstanding. In any enclosed space, be it a parked car, an oven or even a wooden garden hut, the temperature will rise while and only while heat is being generated. In the case of a Greenhouse, that would be while the Sun is shining and generating heat. However once the Sun goes down the heat all disappears or equalizes with its surroundings, by the 1st and Zeroth laws of Thermodynamics.
The nearest thing we have to trapping heat is a Thermos or Vacuum Flask. It does keep boiling hot coffee hot for several hours, but inevitably the coffee is tepid and undrinkable within 48 hours if not 24! Even some eminent Physicists talk of trapped heat and there are plenty of Warmist websites that foster that illusion, but I am afraid that this is simply sloppy thinking and bad use of language.
As to Carbon Dioxide forming a thick blanket in order to stop heat escaping, I am afraid that you are up the creek there, since Carbon Dioxide is but 0.04% of the atmosphere. There is no way that Carbon Dioxide could in any way form a ‘thick blanket’ to quote your words. There are winds, there are holes in clouds, and the travellator of Convection carries on regardless of the theories of the Alarmist/Warmists.
I can understand your convictions, since all this rubbish about ‘emissions’ has been preached for many years particularly to children in schools, who regard it as Gospel. As to ‘Energy In’ not equalling ‘Energy Out’, have you personally done experiments on this matter, or is it only hearsay?
With best wishes to you,
Further reading related to the above may be found at:
and especially regarding the definition of heat: