Simple Definitions: Greenhouse Gas Theory Failure

Written by Joseph E Postma

The greenhouse gas theory, cornerstone of man-made global warming ‘science’, is further undermined by Canadian scientist, Joseph E Postma.  thermodynamicsThis Astrophysicist, like a growing number of skeptics,  points to how respected textbooks on Thermodynamics are contradicting the hitherto popular notion that carbon dioxide can dangerously warm Earth’s atmosphere.

Postma writes:

They Agree with the Debunk

From “Thermodynamics”, G. J. V. Wylen, John Wiley & Sons, 1960:

“Heat is defined as the form of energy that is transferred across a boundary by virtue of a temperature difference or temperature gradient. Implied in this definition is the very important fact that a body never contains heat, but that heat is identified as heat only as it crosses the boundary. Thus, heat is a transient phenomenon. If we consider the hot block of copper as a system and the cold water in the beaker as another system, we recognize that originally neither system contains any heat (they do contain energy, of course.) When the copper is placed in the water and the two are in thermal communication, heat is transferred from the copper to the water, until equilibrium of temperature is established. At that point we no longer have heat transfer, since there is no temperature difference. Neither of the systems contains any heat at the conclusion of the process. It also follows that heat is identified at the boundaries of the system, for heat is defined as energy being transferred across the system boundary.”

Thus, there is no heat transfer from the atmosphere to the surface, or from a cooler object to a warmer object in general. And since positive heat flow is what is required for temperature increase, then no cooler object raises the temperature of a warmer object by utilization of its thermal energy.

As heat is defined as the “energy transfer across a boundary by virtue of a temperature gradient”, and the direction of this transfer is “down the gradient”, i.e. from higher to lower temperature, then it is impossible for thermal energy held within a cooler atmosphere or a cooler object to transfer by heat to a warmer object that is itself the original source of heat. Given that this is a general definition, its resultant restrictions must apply to all the modes of heat transfer being conductive, convective, and radiative (or just physical and radiative). “Secondary heating”, i.e., where heat is transferred from cool back to warm after warm has heated the cool, is an incommensurate postulate to the definition of heat.

Thus, the climate science definition of the greenhouse effect, upon which alarmism and its associated socially, politically, and economically regressive and scientifically destructive political movement is based, is false.

This point, which the ‘Slayers‘ were one of the first in presenting to the public and the scientific discourse, is why and when the political movement operatives switch to an alternative definition and argument – that the atmosphere (or a cooler object) retards heat flow thus leading to higher surface (or source) temperature.

Well, fundamentally changing the definition and the mechanics mid-stream only indicates dishonesty, ideology, and outright fraud.  It indicates that they’ve been cornered.

And it also indicates that they themselves debunk and reject their own definition of the greenhouse effect.

An important caveat to the definition of heat and its effect on temperature:

“Positive heat input into an object from an external source is what is required for a temperature increase in the object caused by that external source.”

And of course this is a basic definition in thermodynamics: ΔU = mCpΔT.

So, given that the atmosphere cannot provide positive heat input to the surface, it therefore cannot cause the surface to warm up.

This is important because this also precludes their secondary argument that the cooler object retards heat thus leading to higher temperature.  It doesn’t work that way – temperature is only increased when there is a positive heat input.  And the heat input from the Sun is already full & constant – the atmosphere doesn’t increase the heat input or heat “build up” from the Sun…it is already maximized.

And note that the simple, correct concept of the atmosphere being heated by the warmer surface, by whatever mechanism including absorption of infrared from the surface by CO2, is not “the” or even “a” greenhouse effect.  What the politically, socially, and economically regressive and scientifically destructive religious alarmist movement required was not that the cooler atmosphere is warmed by the warmer surface, but that the cooler atmosphere heats the warmer surface.

So, both of their arguments are refuted by basic definitions in thermodynamics, and their vacillation on the actual definition they use only indicates the baselessness of their movement and their “science”.  If you just look at what they openly did – changing argument, mechanics and definitions mid-stream – then anyone with respect for reason and rationally-conducted arguments would have sufficient reason to reject them.