The Glass Jar Greenhouse Gas Experiment Problem
Written by PSI contributor
There exists on the internet, at the time of this writing, a video, purported to be: ‘Climate 101 with Bill Nye’
-although we never actually see his face- with the comment that anyone can replicate it.
In this video, a simple experiment is presented where two glass jars with thermometers in them, one filled with air and one filled with CO2, are exposed to energy from heat lamps, to show how CO2, as compared to normal air, causes excess temperature rise when exposed to heat.
There are several problems with this demonstration, not the least of which is the fact that the same thermometer is shown at two different levels, as if it were the actual readout from both thermometers. So we are not actually seeing the true result. There are also 2 sources of heat used (2 heat lamps) and we have no data to show diligence to guarantee that the heat received by the two jars is equal. Other authors have also pinpointed Nye’s bungling errors.
Watch Nye’s video here:
Since we are invited to do the experiment ourselves- and that is how true science really works- I suggest you take the time to do this simple task yourself and see what results you get. Don’t take my word for it and don’t take Bill Nye’s word for it, either.
In the interests of real, honest, scientific investigation, this paper is committed to the application of the Scientific Method as it relates to controlled experimentation. For the benefit of those who did not take basic science classes in high school, what this means is, in order to test the hypothesis, we need to create an experiment that accurately models the conditions of the situation we wish to investigate and all conditions are to be kept constant, except for the one variable we wish to test- in this case, the effect of concentrated CO2.
Falsification of CO2 Greenhouse Effect
Much has been made of the so-called effects of CO2 as an agent of warming the atmosphere in a greenhouse, thereby supporting the notion that CO2 is warming the planet and, by extension, is caused by man’s activities that generate said CO2. This experiment, easily repeatable by anybody, refutes the CO2 effect and thereby knocks the legs out from under Anthropogenic Global Warming and exposes, once and for all, SCIENTIFICALLY that AGW is nothing but myth.
You will need:
-2 identical glass jars, with lids that seal
-2 identical thermometers
-a clean, dry source of CO2, such as from an air gun cartridge
-a clear, sunny day and a place to put the jars in identical surroundings- protected from any breeze.
In order to ensure that we do not introduce errors of heat input, we will use only one heat source- the Sun. Since we are, after all, interested in real-life application, it only makes sense to place both jars in direct sunlight, in identical conditions.
It is also important that a clean, dry source of CO2 is used, so as not to introduce other variables into the experiment, such as water vapour. Do not use CO2 given off by a soda pop bottle or Alka-Seltzer, as I have seen done by some other demonstrations on YouTube, as this will introduce water vapour and invalidate the experiment.
Do a controlled calibration of the thermometers to make sure that they read the same under the same circumstances. Place them in the glass containers, close the lids and place them in the sunlight and do a calibration to make sure the two jars heat up the same. Repeat this process, swapping the thermometers, to make sure there are no errors due to variations in the bottles.
Be very careful to locate the jars in identical situations and make sure sunlight does not directly strike the thermometers. If there is any significant discrepancy, new items may have to be obtained. Once you are satisfied that they heat at the same rate, take them back out of the sunlight, uncover and fill one jar from your CO2 source. Close both jars, wait for equilibrium (CO2 from a compressed source is very cold) and place back in the same sunlit location as before. Watch and plot the temperature rise in both, until the thermometers stop rising.
Repeat the experiment several times, swapping around bottles, thermometers and CO2, to make absolutely sure no other discrepancies creep in.
I repeated this experiment with various combinations of jar, thermometer and CO2 and got the same results each time.
I am confident that you will discover, as I did, that the jar with the CO2 does NOT shoot way up in comparison to the one with air, as it is purported to do in those YouTube demonstrations. In fact, I found that it actually lagged behind by about 1/2 degree. I have seen other on line experimenters get the same results. But don’t take my word for it- do the experiment yourself!
That’s what true science is about. Repeatable experiments, NOT computer models, based on assumptions. Anyone who is interested in delving into the physics in greater detail would do well to study the Laws of Thermodynamics to understand that the ‘greenhouse effect’ cannot produce runaway heat buildup.