Pyramid Comment

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Proof That Carbon Dioxide Is A Greenhouse Gas

There was recently a cynical demonstration (Newsnight 16.12.09) of the heat retention capability of carbon dioxide. As a principle it possibly worked, but was extremely distorted as a practice. The attempt to subvert opinion should have failed, but probably didn't. The production of the carbon dioxide was in copious and hugely unrealistic volumes and in a very small enclosed container. The source of light was (so it appeared) a spot lamp and the irradiation would have been more like the sunlight intensity on Venus.

  • Venus is the planet adjacent to Earth and with its atmosphere of almost pure (96.5%) carbon dioxide is the hottest planet in the solar system. A distorted interpretation of this could conclude that the CO2 causes a major problem that is being blamed for global warming/climate change on Earth. However, this planet is 108,200,000km from the Sun whereas the Earth is 149,600,000km distant (ie much further away), but the most significant fact is that the Venusian atmosphere is mainly (96.5% = 965,000 parts per million) CO2, but Earth has a trace of around 0.04% (400ppm). Comparisons do not apply, but like statistics could be made to appear very serious.
There is no contention about the heat retention properties of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide or methane (20 times more potent than CO2). This is the nature of a greenhouse gas. As a simulation of the real world it was a very poor example and any justification that the permitted time required a rapid and graphic illustration would be specious in the extreme. The demonstration conveyed the point that heat is retained to a greater extent in a CO2 enriched environment than ordinary air. The demonstration was about 4degC in 10 minutes. There can be no doubt that this would happen. It did happen.

This is not proof of global warming, but only a simple


that carbon dioxide does behave as a...

    What needs to be asked is why there should
    be such a frenzy to convince the public of
    global warming and climate change, by