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CO2 Cools Earth’s Climate

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The Four Known Scientific Ways CO2 Cools Earth’s Climate

Written by Dr Pierre Latour PE

As Glasgow, Scotland hosts the UN’s COP 26 Climate Conference we thought we’d give a timely reminder of four key ways carbon dioxide (CO2) COOLS the atmosphere. The life-giving gas is so crucial we need MORE not less of it.  As with the fake pandemic, inconvenient science facts destroy a doomsayer political narrative.

Dr Pierre R Latour, a renowned American Chemical Engineer, first published in 2014 with Principia Scientific International how four known mechanisms and three laws of nature prove why CO2 cools, not warms, our atmosphere.

Pierre Latour features in Who’s Who as a world expert on the chemical properties of CO2. For lovers of empirical science, we re-post Dr Latour’s unrefuted explanation.

Key to Latour’s examination is that the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the supposed world authority deferred to by governments, lacks a rigorous mathematical description for their so-called ‘greenhouse gas theory.’ Absent such a hard and fast math basis their ‘theory’ is all smoke and mirrors and depiction by analogy. What follows below is solid, testable applied science.

CO2 Affects Several Temperatures In Different Ways

Here we develop the physics, chemistry and biology to quantify the effect of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) on Earth’s temperature. There are five mechanisms and three different temperatures involved.

Four show a small cooling effect, one warms surface and cools upper atmosphere with no net bulk effect. I am unaware of a rigorous mathematical description of the greenhouse gas theory that purports to do this and show a warming affect. After decades of research attempts, promoters cannot reduce greenhouse gas theory (GHGT) to mathematics of science and engineering.

Stefan-Boltzmann Law Of Radiation

If non-radiating O2 is exchanged for absorbing/emitting CO2, the emissivity, e, of a planet to space must increase. While emissivity of CO2 is less that global emissivity, it is greater than the O2 it replaced by “fossil fuel” combustion. The Stefan-Boltzmann Law of Radiation is

I = σ e (T/100)4

If e increases with CO2 at constant I, T goes down. Therefore, CO2 causes global cooling.

This is true for all bodies of matter, no matter the composition, rotation speed or weather.

I = radiating intensity, irradiance, power of any radiating body, w/m2, of its spherical surface, measured by Earth satellite spectrophotometers to be about 239. It is only a transfer rate when surroundings do not radiate, at 0K. Outer space at 3.7K radiate with very low intensity.

T = temperature of radiating body, K, estimated for Earth to be 4.60C + 273.15 = 277.75

σ = Stefan-Boltzmann radiation law constant, 5.67

e = emissivity of radiating body, fraction 0 < e < 1. e varies with composition. Perfect radiator black body e = 1, radiates a given intensity at lowest possible temperature. Colorful Earth radiator e = 0.70827 emits given intensity at temperature higher than black body.

I = 5.670.70827(277.750/100)4 = 5.670.7082759.51 = 5.6742.152 = 239.0

If doubling CO2 from 400 to 800 ppmv increases emissivity 0.001 from 0.70827 to 0.70927, T would drop -0.098C from 4.600C to 4.502C.

I = 5.670.70927(277.652/100)4 = 5.670.7092759.43 = 5.6742.152 = 239.0

Conservation Of Energy Of Atmosphere

1st Law Thermodynamics: Input Rate = Output Rate + Accumulation rate. At steady-state, Accumulation Rate = 0 and this ordinary differential equation becomes an algebraic one.

Absorption of solar + absorption of thermals and evaporation from surface + absorption from surface radiation = radiation to space

79 + 97 + 23 = 199 w/m2

Since CO2 absorption spectrum overlaps solar spectrum tail a small amount at two wavelengths, the 79 value would increase a small amount with CO2; a cooling effect on surface neglected by greenhouse gas theory. Some climatologists say CO2 affects the rate of heat transfer from surface by thermals and evaporation, 17 + 80 = 97, but I shall neglect that controversial effect here. However, once quantified, this model structure can assess the effect on global temperatures. An additional 161 is transmitted through atmosphere from sun to surface, 1 is retained by surface. 160 is transferred from surface up: 40 is transmitted through atmosphere as radiation from surface directly to space, 97 is transferred to atmosphere by convection and evaporation and 23 is absorbed from surface radiation.

 

Total incoming is 79 + 161 = outgoing 199 + 40 + 1 = 240. Transfer to space = 239.

These global energy flows come from the Kiehl-Trenberth diagram, as promoted by the UN’s discredited IPCC.

Radiant Energy Transfer Law

The rate of radiant energy transfer between radiating body 1 and radiating surroundings 0 is

I1 – I0 =σ [e1 (T1/100)4 – e0 (T0/100)4]

(I am neglecting complicated geometry effects here.) For transfer from Earth to space, I shall assume surroundings at T0 = 3.7K, neglecting starlight, so

I – I= 5.67 [0.70827 (277.75/100)4 – 1.0 (3.7/100)4] = 5.67 [0.7082759.51 – 1.00.00000187] = 5.67[42.152 – 0.000002] = 239.00 – 0.000010626 = 239.00.

So there is no problem equating Earth’s radiation intensity to space with its radiant heat transfer rate to space. Intensity only equals radiant energy transfer rate when T0 = 0.

If this is applied to transfer from surface 1 to atmosphere 0, rate I1 – I0 is constant (I1 actually drops a little when incoming drops due to increased atmospheric CO2 absorption), and e1 is constant, then when e0 increases with CO2, either T1 must increase to overcome increased resistance to heat transfer by increased e0 (as postulated by GHGT and the only possible warming mechanism I can find), or T0 must decrease. They both change in such a way as to reduce global T from S-B Law.

In the unusual situation where surroundings do not obey Kirchhoff’s Law, absorptivity = emissivity, a0 = e0, because surroundings has energy transfer by means other than radiation, like thermals plus evaporation = 97 from surface to atmosphere, one cannot replace e0 with a0.

Inserting appropriate values (T1 = 14.85C, T0 = -18.15C, e1 = 0.1615 and e0 = 0.167) gives:

I – I= 5.67 [0.1615 (288/100)4 – 0.167 (255/100)4] = 5.67 [0.16168.797 – 0.16742.283] = 5.67[11.111 – 7.061] = 62.998 – 40.037 = 22.961 = 23.

Note surface emissivity = 0.1615, radiates I = 63, 40 directly to space and 23 absorbed by atmosphere. While pure water has e = 0.96, ocean phytoplankton absorb solar power, reducing its emissivity. Emissivity of atmosphere seen from surface = 0.167. Emissivity of atmosphere to space is 0.830 because it receives 97 by convection and evaporation and does not obey Kirchhoff’s Law: emissivity = absorptivity.

For atmosphere component,

199 = 5.67*0.830 (255/100)-4

Note surface radiates directly to space with effective emissivity = 0.1025.

40 = 5.67*0.1025 (288/100)4

Now we can find weighted average global emissivity from atmosphere and surface

e = (0.831199 + 0.102540)/239 = 0.708

which confirms the initial assumption precisely.

I realize these average emissivity values may not be acceptable to some, but they do fit the observed data and are hard to determine from first principles.

At first glance, assuming I1 – I0 and T0 are constant, increasing CO2 increases heat transfer resistance,e0, so surface radiating T1must increase to accommodate. This could be the basic claim of GHGT and yetCO2decreases atmospheric T0and global radiating T. The amounts depend on the effect of CO2 on emissivity of the atmosphere.

Lapse Rate

This is consistent with the slope of T vs altitude in troposphere, lapse rate = -g/Cp (universal gravity constant / heat capacity) because kinetic energy of gas decreases as its gravitational potential energy increases with altitude, by energy conservation law.

Increasing CO2 increases atmosphere Cp because CO2Cp> O2Cp, making the slope less negative. It rotates counterclockwise about its radiating centroid T near 5 km and -18C (which decreases a bit by transfer rate to space). This causes lower atmosphere T to increase and upper atmosphere T to decrease.

Conservation Of Energy Of Earth

1st Law Thermodynamics: Input rate = output rate.

(1 – alb) S/4 + IO = I – Is + P

S = solar radiation intensity, 1365 to 1370 w/m2 incident disk or 1365/4 to 1370/4 w/m2 of incident sphere

Albedo = reflectivity, fraction, mostly by clouds, estimate 0.7. Some say CO2 affects albedo through cloud formation; this could be a significant cooling effect.

Is = intensity of surrounding space = 0.000010626 @ 3.7K = negligible

P = energy absorbed by plant photosynthesis

IO = sum inputs (core, volcanoes, fires) minus other outputs, negligible

Rearranging and substituting gives the overall relationship:

I = (1 – alb) S/4 – P = σ e (T/100)4

Dividing by σ e gives the overall relationship for T:

I/σe =(T/100)4 = (1 – alb) S/4σe – P/σe

If S increases, T increases. If alb, e or P increase, T decreases. All we need to do is find the effect of CO2 on alb, e and P to quantify its effect on T. Easy to show increasing CO2 causes increases in e and P, decreasing T.

If Earth were a perfect black body emitter and P = 0,

(1 – 0.3) 1366/45.671.000 = 42.1605 = 2.5484 or T = 254.8K = -18.33C

Actually Earth’s surface is a colorful 0.612 emitter using surface T = 15C

(1 – 0.3) 1366/45.670.612 = 68.8897 = 2.8814 or T = 288.1K = 14.95C

The difference 14.95 – (-18.33) = +33.3C is the difference between colorful Earth’s radiating surface temperature and its theoretical black body equivalent when radiating at same intensity, 239.

James Hansen, Al Gore and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), among others, mistakenly declared this 33C to be the greenhouse effect.

With a corrected emissivity value for radiating 239 at T = 4.6C, e = 0.708, corresponding black body would radiate at T = 273.15 – 18.35 = 254.80

I = 5.671.0(254.803/100)4 = 5.67142.152 = 5.6742.152 = 239.0

This means the so called greenhouse effect is 4.60 – (-18.35) = +22.95C, not +33C.

Photosynthesis

Organic molecules are made by living flora by photosynthesis chemical reaction of xCO2 + 0.5yH2O + sunlight = CxHy + (x+0.25y)O2, catalyzed by chlorophyll, according to biology. CxHy are hydrocarbon molecules: sugars, starches & cellulose, and which decay slowly to oil, gas, peat, tar and coal along with decaying fauna residue. CxHy can be natural gas, CH4, methane.

Surface does not obey Kirchhoff’s law either,a0 = e0, because of this non-radiation chemical energy transfer mechanism.CO2 is green plant food driving the cycle of flora – fauna life. Flora make O2 for us fauna. Fauna make CO2 for flora.

Reaction rate, consumption of CO2 and incident solar energy, P is

P = kpSs [CO2][H2O]exp(-E/RT1)

p = pressure at leaf, atm

Ss = sunlight impinging on green surfaces, w/m2<160. = a(1 – alb)S/4, a = absorptivity

[CO2] = atmospheric composition, vol {154653b9ea5f83bbbf00f55de12e21cba2da5b4b158a426ee0e27ae0c1b44117} = 0.0390

[H2O] = atmospheric composition, vol {154653b9ea5f83bbbf00f55de12e21cba2da5b4b158a426ee0e27ae0c1b44117}

T1 = temperature of surface leaf, K

k = kinetic rate constant

So increasing [CO2] will increase P and reduce T, cooling. Increasing S or T1 will have the same effect.

So the sensitivity of T to CO2 depends on which temperature you are talking about: T, T1, T0. And what the net effect of all relevant mechanisms is. It is easy to see why there is so much confusion and controversy.

Combined System Effects

With an increase in CO2, solar absorption by atmosphere increases a bit to 79+ and surface absorption decreases a like amount to 161-. Therefore, surface radiation drops a like amount to 63-. And its T1 drops to 14.85-. With increased e0 the transfer rate from surface to atmosphere by absorption decreases to 23-. And since the atmosphere T0 decreases to -18.15-, the net radiation rate from atmosphere to space must drop to 199- = 79+ + 23- + 97, because CO2 is a better absorber of surface spectrum than solar spectrum. Direct transmittance from surface to space would increase to 40+ such that the total to space remains 199- + 40+ = 239.0, satisfying overall energy balance.

Therefore increasing CO2 causes decreases in surface T1 = 14.85-, atmosphere T0 = -18.15-, and global T = 4.60-. There is no CO2 global warming mechanism. There are at least four global cooling mechanisms. This refutes UN IPCC claim doubling CO2 from 400 to 800 causes Earth’s T to increase 1.2C to 2.5C.

Back-Radiation

Greenhouse gas theory to support the notion of global warming, postulates heat transfer from cold atmosphere down to warm surface, heating surface further. The Kiehl-Trenberth diagram says back-radiation transfer rate is 333, which is 2.1x that impinging surface from the sun, 161. This extraordinary value defies common experience.

I have shown the existence of any back-radiation would violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics; heat only transfers from hot to cold or from high intensity radiators to lower intensity radiators. If back-radiation existed, it would lead to creation of energy, a violation of the First Law of Thermo, constituting a perpetual motion machine of the first and second kinds, which is impossible, but just what AGW proponents need to support their perpetual global warming idea.

Measuring Temperature

While climatologist, Dr Roy Spencer says satellites measure Earth’s global temperature, their spectrometers actually measure radiation intensity, I = 239, a pole to pole, day/night, season/season average. Roy must assume a corresponding emissivity, e, to infer or deduce an estimate of T. Since e is hard to determine from first principles physical properties of dissimilar surface + atmosphere and is likely to change, particularly with CO2, using satellite inferred T is fraught with error. He must get distance between radiator and spectrometer accurately, which is not easy for a 50 km thick atmosphere and rocky mountains.

T is a point property of matter indicating its kinetic energy. We have no way in physics to average T over different phases and compositions of matter. You can’t even calculate the average T of your moving car: engine, cylinders, a/c, radiator, exhaust, body, interior, tires. Wouldn’t mean much if you could.

By the way, how are global temperature maps constructed? If they are from closely spaced thermometers, averaged daily, that would be meaningful. But if from spectrometers, how are emissivities of ocean, desert, jungles, cities, mountains, ice and clouds assigned to each point of radiating intensity, for a corresponding S-B radiating T? And averaged over sphere?

Careful study of Spencer’s writings indicates he equates/confuses radiation intensity with radiant heat transfer rate, which have the same units, w/m2. The former is given by S-B Law for intensity, irradiance, radiance, power, exitance, emission. The latter is driven by a difference in intensities between two radiators or a radiator and its surroundings. Both are vectors with direction, not scalars. The former intensity, I, is not called radiant heat transfer rate because it isn’t.

When two facing plates are radiating at each other with equal intensities in opposite directions, there is no radiant heat transfer between them and their temperatures remain constant. (Note if emissivities differ when I1 = I0, so will radiator Ts. Chrome and wood on a beach have different steady temperatures, chrome is hotter because its emissivity is low and reflectivity is high, radiating with same I as high emissivity, colder wood.) The walls of my office radiate, but no heat transfers between them.

Chemical engineers design and operate radiant/conductive/convective furnaces with chemical reactions for a living. You can’t control something unless you can measure it or reliably infer it from measurements and known constants of nature.

Cause And Effect

Just because [CO2] and T may be correlated over significant periods does not mean one causes the other; a third input may drive them both. Solar irradiance is not constant and dominates all other influencers of T.

Solubility of CO2 in water, beer, soda, Champagne and oceans decreases with temperature. Cooling drives CO2 from the atmosphere into the ocean; warming drives it back out. A simple energy balance on oceans confirms the measured 800 year lag of [CO2] following T, following S; a well-known inconvenient truth for Al Gore’s embarrassing Academy Award movie misnomer.

There is no known mechanism in the literature quantifying any effect of [CO2] change on climate change.

Thermostat

The notion of building a thermostat to adjust fossil fuel combustion rate to control the temperature of the Earth was shown to be unmeasurable, unobservable and uncontrollable by control systems mathematical analysis in 1997, before Kyoto Protocol. In other words, it can never work.

Empirical Models

It is acceptable engineering practice to infer fundamental constants/properties like an emissivity or reaction rate constant by measuring related variables and using one of these laws of physics to deduce it. Resulting law has predictive power so long at the property does not change. This know-how is particularly useful for rigorous differential equations accounting for dynamics of mass and energy accumulation rates. Stability analysis shows no tipping points.

But to fit arbitrary algebraic polynomial, exponential, sine, log or hockey stick equations to measured transient data is unacceptable since it is well known in chemical control systems engineering that they will have no predictive power.

The UN IPCC use of such models confirms they have no greenhouse gas law built on accepted physics and engineering and should be summarily dismissed. Calling for more research funding after repeated failures is compelling evidence the science and engineering of global warming and climate change is far from settled. In fact, this brief essay should settle the matter, save money and delight those practicing the scientific method.

I used only three laws of nature here: S-B Law, 1stLaw of Thermo and Chemical Reaction Rate Law. And 10th grade algebra. World has been spending $1 billion per day for a decade on global warming/climate change research to quantify the effect of fossil fuel combustion production of CO2 on Earth’s temperature. A large government is shutting down its coal industry in 2014 on the mistaken belief CO2 causes great harm, when it is benign and net beneficial. This paper proves it is all unnecessary, worthless.

Global Cooling

Since Earth is warming half the time and cooling the other half, reputable climatologists report a consensus of imminent, significant, prolonged global cooling, and the effect of increasing CO2 on temperature is vanishingly small, be prepared. Invest in energy production from oil, gas, coal and nuclear. For goodness’ sake.

Precautionary Principles

Be careful. Look before you leap. Do no harm. Think before you speak and write. Play it on the safe side. Better safe than sorry. Know what you are saying and doing. Do not frighten people unnecessarily. Supply relevant, valid evidence for every claim; lest they be dismissed as frivolous. Perform an accurate scientific, engineering and economic analysis before devising a plan and implementing it. Provide performance measures and fulfill them. Be prudent & frugal. Be a fiduciary with other people’s money. Foresee unintended consequences. Analysis comes before synthesis, always. Avoid attempting the impossible. Avoid building perpetual motion machines, in violation of the 2nd Law of Thermo. Learn from your mistakes, admit them, apologize, accept consequences and reconcile with Nature and Nature’s God (TJ, 1776). Honesty is the best policy. Seek truth. Skepticism is a wise starting position.

Since I can’t find a mathematical description of a consensus greenhouse gas theory, I call it a greenhouse gas hunch. After all, CO2 is green plant food. No self-respecting environmentalist would consider depriving Earth’s flora of its sustenance. Even for personal political or financial gain. Would they?

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Ed, Thanks for that.

    I have little doubt that there is validity with the content above, however I gave up reading very quickly, and I am a science zealot and critical thinker!

    I have my own way of explaining things.

    [1] CO2 conducts heat, more readily than Nitrogen and Oxygen. Nitrogen is an insulator when it comes to heat.

    [2] CO2 conduction is not one way. What heat it can conduct into the atmosphere it can also conduct out of the atmosphere.

    [3] CO2 is a plant food, necessary to the production of O2. As more CO2 is produced, plants create more O2. There may be a slight rise in CO2 but there is also a rise in O2, in 200 years, the population of the planet has increased by 800%, and CO2 production due to progress and industrialization has increased by a whopping 133,000 percent, yet CO2 has only risen by a small amount. You could call that an increase due to buffering.

    [4] We need to do more to protect the planet, and nature. However the obsession with protecting trees is also killing the planet. Once trees reach maturity, they start sucking oxygen out of the air, and spewing out CO2.

    [5] Also killing the planet is the obsession with immediately killing off fossil fuels. We rely on fossil fuels to live, work and research so that new energy sources can be created or discovered. There is a natural process of evolution and discovery.

    [6] Attempts by governments to “reduce” fossil fuel use and carbon footprints, are thinly disguised attempts at redistribution of wealth. None of the climate change zealots actually live by the creed they insist others live by.

    (a) Gore and Obama moved to live in beach front seaside mansions despite crowing about the need to vacate beach front seaside mansions because of rising sea levels. They preach about carbon footprints but the carbon footprints of the residences of these people exceed that of a small town. Hypocritical charlatans.

    (b) Shaw and 14 other leeches are burning up tons of fossil fuel, to meet up with swags of other climate change leeches from all over the world, who are burning thousands of tons of fossil fuel, to meet and discuss how to reduce fossil fuel use.

    And that is before the tons of fossil fuels to power the diesel generators to power the electric cars they are provided with This could be compared to using 3000 slaves to transport you to a conference to discuss banning slave trade. Hypocritical charlatans.

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  2. Here is my simply answer to the Shaws of this world. C02 increases follow temperature increases !!

    Most of the C02 is held in the oceans. When the ocean temperatures increase CO2 is released into the atmosphere. A primary school experiment to prove this : take 2 bottles of coke or beer. Place one on the kitchen bench exposed to sunlight and the other in the fridge. After 3-4 hours take the one out of the fridge and give each a little shake (for dramatic effect for the kids) and open each bottle. We know which one bubbles out all over the bench —the warm one.

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