Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Climate sceptic fail...

Hahaha! Yet another demonstration of the cluelessness and lack of scientific literacy of many climate 'sceptics'.

Saw a post at Climate Realists (h/t Skeptical Science daily article summary) claiming "Greenhouse Gas Theory Trashed by Groundbreaking Experiment"

Here's some quotes from the article summary, with my comments after.
Assumption One: Gases that absorb infrared light thereby block infrared light.

Reality: Such gases radiate, i.e., “scatter” or spread out the light they absorb, thus releasing light in all directions rather than blocking it.

Real Reality: Well, no. They absorb the IR. They do then re-radiate it in all directions, but that's a different physical process to scattering. Look it up sometime...

Assumption Two: Blocking the exit of light while allowing free entry will increase the temperature of an irradiated object.

Reality: The light an object emits is a function of its temperature; its temperature is not a function of the light it emits. Accordingly, if incoming light raises an object to a certain temperature, the object will remain at that temperature whether it emits light to its surroundings or not. Any temperature increase in a confined condition is only due to reduced convective cooling.

Real Reality: Um, are you perhaps familiar with the law of conservation of energy? You're effectively stating that Same energy in + less energy out = No Change in Temperature. Claiming that the only reason temperature increases is because convection is blocked, is like claiming the Titanic wouldn't have sunk if it wasn't for all that water in the ocean.

The obvious next question - what makes a sceptic think that climate scientists don't consider convective heat transfer when figuring out the response of the Earth's atmosphere to greenhouse heating? And if convection can 'carry away' all that heat, where does it go, other than into the Earth's atmosphere?

This is easily answered by actually looking at what climate science says. Oh, look, amazing, climate scientists include a convective heat transfer term... just look at the figure showing the heat balance in this article. Here's a link to just the figure. Here's the figure itself:

Global heat balance from Trenberth et al 2009

17 W/m2 from thermals. That's convection, right there.

Like I said at the top.

Climate sceptic fail.

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