Wood is correct: There is no Greenhouse Effect

Repeatability of Professor Robert W. Wood’s 1909 experiment on the Theory of the Greenhouse (Summary by Ed Berry. Full report here or here.)

by Nasif S. Nahle, June 12, 2011

ABSTRACT

Through this controlled experiment, I demonstrate that the warming effect in a real greenhouse is not due to longwave infrared radiation trapped inside the building, but to the blockage of convective heat transfer with the surroundings, as proven by Professor Wood in his 1909 experiment.

INTRODUCTION

In 1909, Professor Wood conducted an experiment consisting of testing the effect of the longwave infrared radiation trapped inside a greenhouse with respect to the elevated temperature inside a greenhouse during insolation. His experiment was described in an article he published in the journal Philosophical Magazine, in 1909. (See reference [1]).

From his experiment, Professor Wood found that the increase in temperature inside a greenhouse was not due to trapped radiation but to the blockage of convective heat transfer between the interior of the greenhouse and the open atmosphere.

Given there are no other documents by other scientists who have tried to repeat the experiment of Professor Wood, except the experiment by Professor Pratt [8], which contradicted the results of Professor Wood’s experiment, another science investigation by a third arbitrator is not only recommendable, but necessary. This is the reason I decided to repeat the experiment of Professor Pratt to either falsify or verify his results and those of Professor Wood. The following describes the experiments conducted by myself and their results.

CONCLUSIONS TO THE FIRST SEGMENT OF THE EXPERIMENT

The first phase of the experiments confirms the results of Wood’s experiment, who concluded that the greenhouse effect inside a greenhouse was not due to the retention of longwave infrared radiation “trapped” by the glass windows of the walls, but instead to the blockage of convection, i.e. the free flow of currents of air between the inside of the greenhouse and its surroundings.

For example, after one hour of exposure to the sun radiation, the temperature of the box covered with the holed acrylic pane should have been 59.6 °C, according to the supposed longwave radiation that escaped through the hole (2.5%); nevertheless, the temperature was 57.9 °C, which is 5.2% lower than the expected temperature if the effect of warming inside the box would have been due to a blockage of the longwave radiation.

The final step of the first stage of the experiment -which consisted of opening the box covered with the polyethylene film, labeled with “Uncovered Box”, revealed that the increase of temperature inside the boxes was due to the blockage of convection heat transfer between the inner space of the box and the environment.

Once the box covered with polyethylene film was opened, the temperature started equaling the temperature of the air. The temperature of 45.4 °C was taken 30 seconds after the box was uncovered.

In conclusion, Robert Wood was correct in his experimental procedure and in the results of his experiment.

The increase of temperature inside a greenhouse is not due to radiation “trapped” inside the greenhouses, but to the blockage of convective heat transfer.

I plotted the results on the following graph:

CONCLUSIONS TO THE SECOND SEGMENT OF THE EXPERIMENT

The second segment of the experiment confirms the results of Wood’s experiment, who concluded that the greenhouse effect inside a real greenhouse was not due to the retention of longwave infrared radiation “trapped” by the glass windows, but instead by the blockage of convection, i.e. the free flow of currents of air between the inside of the greenhouse and its surroundings.

In conclusion, Robert Wood was correct in his experimental procedure and the results of his experiment are correct: the so-called “greenhouse effect” is not due to any longwave radiation “trapped” inside the boxes, but to the blockage of convective heat transfer.

The increase of temperature inside a greenhouse is not due to radiation “trapped” inside the greenhouses, but to the blockage of convective heat transfer.

I found that the acrylic panels permit the solar longwave radiation is transmitted through in a very low extent, so inwards as outwards the box; however, it works more like the silica glass than like the rock salt.

I found also that the polyethylene film, used by Prof. Pratt in his experiment [8] to simulate the action of the rock salt panels, is adequate for this kind of experiment because it permits the solar shortwave IR to enter the box, and allows the longwave radiation to exit the box.

I plotted the results on the following graph:

CONCLUSIONS TO THE THIRD STAGE OF THE EXPERIMENT

The third segment of the experiment confirms the results of Wood’s experiment1, who concluded that the greenhouse effect inside a real greenhouse was not due to the retention of longwave infrared radiation “trapped” by the glass windows, but instead by the blockage of convection, i.e. the free flow of currents of air between the inside of the greenhouse and its surroundings.

This series of experiments confirm that Robert Wood1 was correct in his experimental procedure and that the results of his experiment are correct.
Prof. Wood’s conclusion is real and it has been verified through these three series of experiments: the so-called “greenhouse effect” is not due to any longwave radiation “trapped” inside the greenhouses, but to the blockage of convective heat transfer.

I have plotted the results of the third stage of the experiment in the following graph:

CONCLUSIONS TO THE FOURTH SEGMENT OF THE EXPERIMENT

Given that the polyethylene permits the pass of solar longwave and shortwave IR, the temperature inside the box covered with polyethylene film was always higher than the temperature of the box covered with the silica glass panel. This means that more radiation penetrated into the box covered with polyethylene
film than into the box covered with silica glass because the latter blocks the passage of solar longwave radiation.

As I placed the silica glass screen before the box covered with the panel of polyethylene film, the temperature in this box decreased dramatically by 4.8 °C in 15 minutes. This means that the polyethylene film is a good substitute of the rock salt glass because it permits the passage of shortwave and longwave IR, as outwards as inwards the box.

As the polyethylene film has a higher transparency index to IR, the only possible cause of the increased temperature inside the box covered by it is the blockage of convective heat transfer. Otherwise, the radiation of longwave IR outwards the box would have maintained its inner temperature very close to the ambient temperature.

The experiment of Prof. Robert W. Wood is validated through the four stages of this experiment.

I have plotted the results of the fourth segment of the experiment in the following graph:

Explanation to the graph above these lines: The glass panel permits the solar shortwave infrared radiation to penetrate into the box but blocks most of the solar longwave infrared radiation; therefore, only solar shortwave IR passes through the glass into the box covered with this panel.

On the other hand, the polyethylene film allows the solar shortwave and longwave infrared radiation go into and out the box. Therefore, the temperature of the inner surface of the box covered with PE film is higher than the temperature inside the box covered with glass (more IR radiation enters to the box covered with PE than to the box covered with glass, and it is absorbed by the black walls of the box).

As I placed the glass screen over the box covered with PE, most of the solar longwave IR was blocked by the glass screen and mainly the solar shortwave IR penetrated to the box covered with PE film; consequently, the temperature inside this box decreased. I left a free space between the silica glass screen and the polyethylene film pane, so that the heat transfer by convection could take place extensively through this space.

Also, given that the polyethylene film permits the longwave radiation emitted by the walls go out from inside of the box covered with PE film, the temperature in this box, as I screened it with the glass panel, dropped down to a lower value than the temperature inside the box covered by glass because the latter only allowed the flow of shortwave radiation outwards, that is towards the environment.

CONCLUSIONS TO THE FIFTH SEGMENT OF THE EXPERIMENT

It is evident that the aluminum foil is a better reflector of infrared radiation than the white glass wool. Prof. Robert W. Wood might registered very high temperatures similar to the temperatures that I registered in the box wrapped with white glass wool.

From the results obtained by cutting the polyethylene film of both boxes, it is also evident that the heating of the air inside the boxes sealed with polyethylene film was due to the blockage of free convection between the inside of the box and the open environment and not to any longwave IR “trapped” inside the boxes because the polyethylene film permits the free flow of longwave IR, as inwards as outwards the boxes.

The temperatures inside the boxes were higher than the temperature of the environment because the matte black paint is a good absorber and emitter of infrared radiation in the main wavelengths.

The volume of air in the boundary layer between the walls of the boxes and the atmosphere is heated up by conduction and convection, especially in the first 10 centimeters of air inside the boxes.

I have plotted the results in the following graph:

SIXTH EXPERIMENT

The Greenhouse Effect hypothesis is founded in the argument that the atmosphere inhibits the direct outcome of longwave infrared radiation from the surface to the outer space.

The hypothesis is based in a speculation made by Svante Arrhenius in 1885 in the sense that the carbon dioxide would act as a storage space of heat in the atmosphere.

The hypothesis says that a great part of the solar shortwave radiation incoming from the Sun penetrates the Earth’s atmosphere and strikes on the surface -land and oceans- heating it up. As the solar shortwave and longwave infrared radiation is absorbed by the surface, the latter starts radiating longwave infrared radiation that is effectively absorbed by the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, stored by them and reradiated towards the surface heating it up more and more.

The principle adduced by the greenhouse effect promoters is based on the idea that, in a real greenhouse, the glass panels permit the solar shortwave irradiance to penetrate into the enclosure but does not permit the longwave emitted by the inner surfaces of the enclosed space to go out.

To verify this hypothesis, I carried out an experiment consisting on boxes constructed with five walls made of cardboard and one open side which I covered with polyethylene film. The polyethylene film permits the passage of both shortwave and longwave infrared radiation.
One of the boxes was completely covered and sealed with the polyethylene film, while only a 53% of the open side of the other box was covered with the polyethylene film

I placed one thermometer into each one of the boxes to monitor the temperature during one hour, registering the observed temperatures every five minutes.

I placed the boxes on a high density polyethylene table, one inch thick, for being exposed to direct solar radiation during one hour and I registered the temperatures in each box.

If the greenhouse effect hypothesis were true, the temperatures in both boxes would be the same because the outward radiative heat transfer would be the same from both boxes.

Conversely, if the greenhouse effect hypothesis were false, a difference of temperature would be present because the convective heat transfer is allowed in the partially covered box.

To confirm the results, I placed a silica glass screen before the box partially covered with polyethylene film.

In case of the greenhouse effect hypothesis were true, the temperature in the box would not decrease by the effect of convective heat transfer, but it would be stable by the effect of the longwave infrared radiation emitted by the inner surfaces of the box and the solar shortwave infrared radiation that the silica glass panel permits to move across the glass.

Conversely, if the hypothesis of the greenhouse effect were true, the temperature in the box partially covered would be higher by the effect of the longwave infrared radiation emitted by the inner surfaces of the box and the solar shortwave infrared radiation that the silica glass panel permits to move across the glass.

Observations:

1. The excess of temperature in the box partially covered with polyethylene film with respect to the same box after it was screened with silica glass dramatically decreased because the silica glass blocked the solar longwave infrared radiation and did not allow it to hit on the inner surfaces of the box heating them up.

2. The convective heat transfer was not impeded in both phases of the experiment; consequently, the decrease of temperature in the box completely open was due to a larger area of convective heat transfer with the environment.

I have plotted the results in the following graph:

GENERAL CONCLUSIONS:

The greenhouse effect inside greenhouses is due to the blockage of convective heat transfer with the environment and it is not related, neither obeys, to any kind of “trapped” radiation. Therefore, the greenhouse effect does not exist as it is described in many didactic books and articles.

The experiment performed by Prof. Robert W. Wood in 1909 is absolutely valid and systematically repeatable.

In average, the blockage of convective heat transfer with the surroundings causes an increase of temperature inside the greenhouses of 10.03 °C with respect to the surroundings temperature.

REFERENCES:

1. http://www.tech-know.eu/uploads/Note_on_the_Theory_of_the_Greenhouse.pdf

2. http://www.hannainst.com/manuals/manHI_98501_02_05_06.pdf

3. http://cemszmkpl.en.makepolo.com/productshow/4569429.html

4. Manufacturers labels specifications.

5. Pitts, Donald and Sissom, Leighton. Heat Transfer. 1998. McGraw-Hill

6. Modest, Michael F. Radiative Heat Transfer-Second Edition. 2003. Elsevier Science, USA and Academic Press, UK.

7. http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/thermal-conductivity-d_429.html

8. http://boole.stanford.edu/WoodExpt/

9. http://www.atoglas.com/literature/pdf/81.pdf

10. http://people.csail.mit.edu/jaffer/FreeSnell/polyethylene.html

11. http://www.fao.org/docrep/T0455E/T0455E0o.html

12. http://web.archive.org/web/20061213003555/http://chem.arizona.edu/courses/chem245/polyeth.html

13. http://www.koverholt.com/pubs/Overholt_CSSCIpaper_2009.pdf

14. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Polycarbonate_IR_transmission.png

_________________________

Nasif S. Nahle is a University Professor, Scientific Research Director at Biology Cabinet® San Nicolas de los Garza, N. L., Mexico. (1357)

Comments

  1. 1
    Berthold Klein says:

    Thank you for this summation: Now let’s get the information to the US Supreme Court so they can correct their decision on giving the EPA power to regulate CO2 based on the lies told by the EPA and others.

  2. 2
    Richard Petschauer says:

    All this shows is that warming in real greenhouses does not depend on whether their enclosures transmit infrared heat waves, and that the term “greenhouse gas” is not the best term to describe what water vapor, CO2 and other gases do in the atmosphere. But then how does one explain that while the earth’s surface emits on the average about 390 Wm-2 of IR (based on surface temperature estimates and well known radiation physics), the entire planet receives only a net amount of about 235 Wm-2 based on satellite data? Maybe this effect should be called “atmosphere amplification”, “atmosphere heat blanket” or some other term.

    The real questions are: How much warming will more CO2 cause? How fast will it happen? Will it be beneficial or harmful? Then and only then: What if any should be done? Right now it looks like the answers are: not much, very slowly (140 years to double), probably beneficial, and do nothing that costs much until we have data over about 30 more years that contradicts this. And the lifetime of CO2 in the atmosphere is not 1000 years as reported by IPCC and some others. The data from the Mauna Loa Observatory shows that while the annual average increase in CO2 is running at about 0.5% per year, it drops about 1.6% in 6 months from the annual maximum to the minimum tracking the growth and decline of vegetation that absorbs it. So ignoring oceans uptake, the exponential decay time constant is -0.5/ln(1-0.016) or 31 years. This corresponds to a half life of 21.5 years to get back to preindustrial level if all CO2 man-made emissions ceased. With oceans it could be about half of this or about 10 years. This also explains why the annual growth of CO2 in the atmosphere has been and is now only about one half of what the IPCC estimated based on global CO2 emissions. The other half is being absorbed, and as the atmosphere level continues to exceed the stable value of about 290 ppm, the absorption rate will also increase.

  3. 3
    Berthold Klein says:

    Richard Petschauer : If you want more experimental results that shows that the “greenhouse gas effect” does not exist try my experiment and see if 100 % CO2 has any effect on earth or atmospheric temperatures.
    As Dr. Nahle has done with his previous work also available on this site- A mixture of CO2 and water can actually cause atmospheric cooling. By using the balloon concept and a mixture of air, CO2 and water exposed in bright sunlight I measured a decrease in gas temprature in a clear balloon compared to ambiant air temperature.
    Try it your self.

  4. 4

    @Berthold Klein, I haven’t read this article yet, but, in reply to your comment, there are too many variables in your balloon experiment.

    If the balloon blocks some IR (or any other frequency range) radiation that might be captured by CO2 or any other gas in the balloon (and outside) and you started the experiment with outside air when the temperature was rising outside (eg, in the morning), then by the time you measure, you might get a cooler temp relative to the outside temp, since the outside air was likely heated during that time largely from IR from the earth and lower atmosphere, while enough of that radiation would be blocked from entering the balloon. Conduction through the outside air/balloon boundary would be rather weak.

    So variables like the balloon’s frequency response to E&M radiation (note the balloon is very thin as well, so that plays a role and not just the material) and the changes in temp from the time when the balloon was inflated until the temp was taken would have to be specified (with error values).

    Neat pic here: http://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/3750/why-is-a-plastic-bag-transparent-in-infrared-light

    ..you know, once I released a piece of paper outside and it went up! I have been having second thoughts about the relative constancy of the Earth’s gravitational field ever since.

  5. 5

    I may post another comment later after I have had time to more carefully read and reflect on both the Nahle and the Pratt experiments, but I’ll say now that Nahle did not do a good job, given Nahle had already presumably read the Pratt experiment. Nahle jumps to unsupported conclusions (the part about convection being important is supported and not disputed, but the claim_s made against accepted longwave effects are not supported by the results) and, really, largely failed to test the longwave theory (despite having the Pratt experiment to study).

    In brief, Nahle should have run the heating part of the experiment longer and maybe even allowed measured cooling to take place under convection-free conditions. The short time periods and other experimental bounds essentially hide or don’t test the real IR effects (Pratt makes important comments Nahle appears not to have understood). Meanwhile, no climate scientist is ever claimed by Nahle to dispute that convection has a tremendous cooling effect or that its absence is the major reason a greenhouse stays warm. How Nahle goes from the experiment results, which failed to test key points and didn’t disprove anything, to concluding atmosphere gases don’t leverage the longwave effect to trap more heat is quite an exercise in misplaced faith.

    Note that Pratt stated that the glass covered box takes longer to heat up but does reach a stable temperature that is significantly higher than the temp of the double seran wrap. Nahle never gave enough time to see this key effect of longwave blocking. Nahle may have also not created a precise non-negligible spacing (or subdivided spacing) between the two layers of seran wrap in order to factor out convection effects to really test for IR. [Clues of an important effect that was not discussed or explained comes from the starting temperatures of the boxes of segment 1, where, after the aluminum/platic shade was added, the double seran wrap box obviously cooled much faster than the other more strongly longwave-trapping boxes!] Nahle didn’t do much at all with the very important double seran wrap box.

    Nahle’s contributions mainly appear to be (a) in drawing attention to the Pratt experiment and (b) in showing that one can adjust the parameters of an experiment to fail to test and measure longwave trapping effects yet not be able to achieve results that actually contradict longwave trapping effects despite wrongly concluding that such a contradiction was achieved. [I am not trashing Nahle's work at all. Much care was taken to create more data points others can now study, but perhaps Nahle was too convinced of conclusions ahead of time to analyze more carefully and failed to really pay attention to what Pratt did.]

  6. 6

    When I construct boxes from corrugated plastic rather than cardboard, I find that a box covered with polyethylene film has a lower temperature than a box covered with glass when both are exposed to the sun. When I increase the thermal resistance of the walls of the box with insulation, the temperature of the boxes increase as does the temperature difference between the boxes. The reason for using corrugated plastic rather than cardboard is that cardboard contains about 8% water by weight when equilibrated with air at normal room temperature and humidity (20 g for a 250g box). It takes 0.7 W hours to evaporate 1 g of water and with reflection loss through the window, a 12×12″ opening (~0.09 m2) transmits only about 80 W to the bottom surface of the box when the direct normal solar radiation intensity is 1000 W/m2.

  7. 7

    Comment from josex on G.C.C. November 11,2011
    @Berthold Klein, I haven’t read this article yet, but, in reply to your comment, there are too many variables in your balloon experiment.

    If the balloon blocks some IR (or any other frequency range) radiation that might be captured by CO2 or any other gas in the balloon (and outside) and you started the experiment with outside air when the temperature was rising outside (eg, in the morning), then by the time you measure, you might get a cooler temp relative to the outside temp, since the outside air was likely heated during that time largely from IR from the earth and lower atmosphere, while enough of that radiation would be blocked from entering the balloon. Conduction through the outside air/balloon boundary would be rather weak.

    So variables like the balloon’s frequency response to E&M radiation (note the balloon is very thin as well, so that plays a role and not just the material) and the changes in temp from the time when the balloon was inflated until the temp was taken would have to be specified (with error values).

    Neat pic here: http://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/3750/why-is-a-plastic-bag-transparent-in-infrared-light

    ..you know, once I released a piece of paper outside and it went up! I have been having second thoughts about the relative constancy of the Earth’s gravitational field ever since.
    —————————————————————————————————————————-

    Josex you made several mistakes in basic physics in your response above: Lets start with the fact that IR when it is absorbed by CO2 does not heat the CO2, if it did it would be a violation of the basic physics of the Bohr model. Yes the air around the balloons was increasing in temperature caused by conduction from the heated earth.

    If you can’t handle the number of variables represented by this experiment ,how are you going to handle the number of variables that exist in the earths atmosphere? You implied that there is no computer currently in use that can handle even a mayor part of the variables that should be included. The problem is that if you don’t include the most important variables in the correct way you get the old saying”garbage in is garbage out”

    In terms of the “thickness of the balloons” I did a test run with empty balloons to determine if there was any measurable heating of the plastic. There was no measurable heating. It is possible that there was some “heating” but it would have been less that 0.1 degrees as measured with both an IR thermometer and a digital bimetal thermometer reading to 0.1 degrees F or C.
    This is not true when you use glass containers. Glass has measurable absorption of IR and heating of the glass containers. This is why the video called “Climate 101 by Bill Nye” is a phony.’There are many other faults in the experiment besides this. If anyone wants a pdf of a Masters thesis documenting the heating of glass by IR I have the permission of the author to share it.

    “Conduction through the outside air/balloon boundary would be rather weak.” wrong- the reading of outside air temperatures and temperatures inside the balloons tracked very well. At no time during multiple tests both using outside air and sunlight or artificial light sourses indoors was I able to measure a difference in temperature. The only time that there was a decrease in temperature was when I added water to the balloon and CO2 and radiated it with sunlight. The temperature inside the balloon decreased 3 or4 degrees which was determined with an IR thermometer and a Bimetal thermometer. The skin of the balloon also went from tight to very wrinkled. This is consistent with the work of Dr. Nahle in his experiment with CO2 and water.
    The main points are that the temperature of the balloons with 100% CO2, Natural gas (mainly CH4 and CO2) , butane and propane did not show any heating of the gas inside the balloons,or of any of the surrounding as the black mat below the balloons different than areas adjacent to the balloons projection on the background materials.
    Gee there was no “greenhouse gas effect”even with gas concentrations thousands of times higher than the concentration of CO2 or Methane in the atmosphere.

    This post has been about “climate sensitivity” this is absolute nonsense. First lets look quickly at the Meteorology Society definition of a climate period being a 30 year time span – thus we look at 30 years X 365day = 10950days thus one year represents 365/10950 =0.033or 3.3% of the study period at best.. Now lets look at “average world temperature- it is a number that takes the temperature of the atmosphere where one side of the globe is heated continually and the other side is in the shade. We then throw into the mix a large mass of turbulent gas composed of O2,N2,water/liquid/ vapor/solid, a little other trace gasses like CO2, a tiny bit of CH4 and Argon etc. We then throw in chemical reaction like the formation of Ozone formation in the upper atmosphere by the effect of UV radiation from the sun, the oxidation of Methane by the ozone converting it to CO2 , water and the release of “heat”.
    Now lets look at the major source of energy input to this planet- radiation from the sun a “variable” It is in several known form all of which can cause heating of some part of the earth environment. Visible light heats object by absorption of the frequency complimentary to the color we see. IR heats object by absorption, then some of it is re-radiated as “heat” and other wavelengths of IR. Next lets look at microwaves that can heat water in the oceans and in plant life but don’t worry about these because the Hypotheses of the “greenhouse gas effect” tells us that a trace gas in the atmosphere CO2 can cause a 33 degree increase in earths average temperature even thought there is no experiment that proves the existence of the effect. A hypotheses that has not been proven in 187 years since it was proposed. During that same time the Bohr model has shown that when a gas absorbs radiation it does not “heat” the gas but the energy becomes part of the intermolecular energy. Also Quantum physics shows us that there is a limit to the amount of IR energy any specific molecule of CO2 can absorb and if more IR impacts the matrix of the molecule it just goes on through. IR spectrophotometry documents this.
    We have also had Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and other works and the work of many great physicists and none of their work was accepted without multiple testing and review of their experiments and data, but a crock like Mike Mann has gotten away with murder and the pretend universities that he has enriched by his frauds still spend a few million dollars on lawyers so they can get more government grants to do research on a “make believe concept.”
    As a new friend has said “Everybody has a different point of view; but scientists and engineers learn how to agree on how nature works.
    What you see in GHG & AGW hoax is what happens when untrained, incompetent people attempt to do science & engineering.
    A mess.”
    It has been proven that much of the work in the IPCC reports is not done by Climate Experts but by grad-students with no background in either science,engineering , or moral standards. They have invented terminology and factious numbers then supposed scientists have spend hundreds of thousands of man & women hours trying to show that the made up numbers are wrong instead of showing that the terminology is fake.
    It’s time to tell the IPCC that they “the king has no clothes”.

  8. 8

    @Berthold Klein, the Bohr model is incorrect and very old. You should do well to leave that model behind except as a rough model to convey some idea simply. That model is used today to introduce quantum mechanics and the failures of classical mechanics.

    FWIW, take a look at this http://www.geo.mtu.edu/~scarn/teaching/GE4250/PlattStutz08/Ch3.pdf .

    On pdf-page 2 > Fig. 3.2. Interaction of radiation with matter: Upon absorption of a photon with appropriate energy, the atom or molecule enters an excited state (a). Return to the ground state can occur by collisions with other molecules or atoms, eventually converting the photon energy into heat, or by re-radiating the photon (b)

    Read the last part of that quote from the pdf (and do your own research). A photon absorption or emission can result in a change in kinetic energy (and not just in electron excitation).

    In the atmosphere: We have ghg absorption serving as a vehicle to transfer earth radiation into gas energy of those ghg molecules. This energy is then almost always shared with other gas molecules in the low atmosphere pressure situation (LTE scenario). In a few cases, we instead do get spontaneous re-emission in the band for that ghg (Quantum Electrodynamic Theory.. eg, Einstein coefficients) [Another ref: http://climateclash.com/2011/01/15/g6-infrared-radiation-and-planetary-temperature/ Also, wikipedia calls QED the most accurate and successful physical theory. This is not climate science invention.]

    I might go on, but perhaps you might want to pose questions and challenges because I doubt you will give up the Bohr model that easily. Also, I don’t know what you believe or not in terms of theory.

    ***
    The grad students you mention are supervised and working on their PHDs. A lot of science is advanced with grad students leading the way (under supervision). Einstein had published 3 of this 4 monumental pieces of work of 1905 **before** he had presented his PHD thesis. Imagine if the scientists of the day had noticed he was not even a PHD and used that as an excuse to dismiss the works as apparently you would do! No, that is not how it works. Judge by the merits.

    And these climatology grad students contributing to the IPCC WG1 report most definitely had and have lots of science experience. I am not sure who your source is who would claim otherwise. Please double check it.

    ***
    BTW, I’ll review the balloon example later. I have not yet tried any measurements or researched common balloon materials much at all. There are many variables you have not specified (eg, specify the materials, the volumes, the pressures, the temperatures and associated times, perhaps show a picture of how and where the thermometer was located and where the balloon was resting, etc). Almost every material is trasparent to some degree to some radiation frequency ranges and opaque to others (ie, absorbs others). They also have different levels of conductivity. We have to know the materials involved.

    Let me give an example of why you might find cooling with the CO2 case, specifically because of the CO2:

    If the balloon blocks a fair amount of radiation (eg, visible light and other frequencies common in the environment) but is transparent to IR on CO2′s band, then:

    (A) if you fill the balloon up with CO2, you might get much of the energy radiated away at IR range without enough radiation absorbed from the environment to make up for it.
    (B) If you do use normal atmosphere gas quantities, then you don’t get that very large IR radiating away.

    Of course, conductivity has to be considered, especially for a small volume to surface area ratio.

    Note that this scenario just mentioned is the **opposite** of a “glass” enclosure, which instead allows lots of radiation ranges in but blocks a fair amount of IR. In the balloon with IR transparent boundary case, you get cooling, and, in the glass with IR blocking case, you get heating.. relative to atmosphere quantity gases.

    Apparently, you did observe a CO2 effect, but I think you mistakenly assumed CO2 always cools, not recognizing the context will guide whether the CO2 transducer will serve to help heat or otherwise to cool.

    Consider doing a similar experiment with a glass box.

  9. 9

    FWIW, a meter or several (path length) of our atmosphere air has enough ghg to absorb at most a few percent of the transmitted earth radiation. OTOH, if you have a few centimeters of 100% CO2 at 1 atm, you get around 10% absorption. [Ref Beer–Lambert law and measurements such as those conducted by Hottel and later Leckner.]

    FWIW, not all grad students and grad programs are created the same, but a decent student in a good program will have accumulated numerous years of study of advanced courses and of research papers and laboratory experiments in a very focused field of study before they present and defend their thesis. They don’t become “experts” only right after their PHD is granted. These are neither high school students nor students with merely 4 years of broad university undergrad study.

    Most experts don’t perform their work alone but instead guide others who perform the majority of the leg work and who even submit many ideas and resolve many details. This is true in many cases for industry and much more so for academia, where the whole point is to have the “underlings” learn and become bona fide experts. The storyline of geniuses making their greatest contributions before the age of 30 is founded in reality.

    This isn’t an invention by climate scientists. This is how science everywhere works.

    Berthold Klein, where do you get your ideas about how climate science works?

  10. 10

    Josex: just some added information: you are wrong about the Bohr Model- it is proved to be correct millions of times each day in many home and factories that use low temperature IR heaters. They demonstrate that they heat objects but do not heat the air between the IR heater and either humans or the objects. I’m sure to a quantum physicist the original 1922 Noble prize document has been refined by new finding but there has not been anything proven that negates the basic law of physics that it represents.

    As to your discussion about CO2 and water vapor, I’d suggest you read and understand the work of Dr. Nasif Nahle also available on this web-site. My experiment just verifies what he found and describes in more detail.
    Experiments are the heart of true science not word.

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    Josex: I just got back to your comments of December 27,2011 and I am studying them. Your link to the Interaction of radiation with molecules is interesting. My first reaction is that it confirms with some refinements the Bohr Model.
    Now you say that the Bohr model is old (1922) well the Hypotheses of the GHG effect is older-1824 ,1856, and 1896 depending on which version you want to fantasize about. You still have not given any references to actual experiments that prove the Greenhouse gas effect.
    I will gladly get back to you with answers to some of the other questions you raise

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    Berthold Klein, great news. Although I have not done the experiments yet, I agree with the basic claims in this experiment by Nahle. I am not rereading so may not agree with everything, but I have changed opinion on the greenhouse effect analysis. I’ll quote myself below from a comment posted elsewhere where I explain the greenhouse (written after I had a Eureka moment of sorts).

    [Note: I have not changed my opinion about greenhouse gases and the atmosphere CO2 greenhouse warming effect generally.]

    The basic problem was that I failed to realize that although glass blocks IR radiation, both into and out from the boxes, it largely makes up for it in each direction by itself radiating. Glass has a high emissivity in the range where it absorbs IR. Thus putting glass and polyethylene together or using either separately should not make much of a difference (if glass works as just described).

    The greenhouse effect comes from the fact that each of these allows shortwave in, in contrast with ordinary houses where the ceiling and walls block shortwave, so greenhouses enjoy the ordinary IR sources plus the shortwave extra radiation.. leading to a bit higher temperature until convection at the surface of the greenhouse and conduction from the ground balances this extra shortwave flux input.

    It is likely then that the glass may lead to slightly lower temperatures than polyethylene by itself, as I believe Nasif Nahle observed.

    Also, I may later review the balloon analysis and other comments I made to see what I would change.

    I should also repeat that I am glad Nahle provided the highly detailed experiment write-up. I disagree with Nahle on his views of CO2 (and his I think still current interpretation of Hottel CO2 emissivity table), but here it seems I agree.. well, maybe not with the full conclusions section since I remember thinking there were some unwarranted leaps of faith made there.

    *****
    … I have argued otherwise before, but I now think instead that both a greenhouse of glass and one made of a material that is transparent to IR (and to visible light) will have similar levels of IR radiation inside them (and hence temperatures). This seems possible even if glass absorbs large chunks of IR while the other material (like thin polyethylene) does not.

    The glass blocks the ground IR from leaving and blocks the “back” radiation outside from entering. This glass would absorb fair quantities of IR but then would re-radiate both outside and inside. So while thin polyethylene would allow much of this IR to pass through, glass would instead block/absorb at each boundary (in/out) but then would itself re-radiate both in and out to roughly make up for the radiation it was “blocking”. Glass does have a high emissivity at least in some regions where it absorbs IR (eg, 4-8 micrometer wavelength range). If what glass absorbs it can make up in re-radiation, then we will get a similar effect as with the polyethylene.

    Now, a greenhouse is different than a normal house, so there must be a difference between glass and thin transparent polyethylene (even though each has a different effect on IR than does the other) on the one hand and other “opaque” materials like concrete on the other. The difference — and this is why it makes sense to call the atmosphere heating effect a greenhouse effect — is that glass/polyethylene are transparent to some shortwave radiation while concrete and most other substances are not; thus, the inside of the greenhouse gets more total radiation than does a normal house. The inside of a greenhouse gets ordinary IR radiation that the inside of a normal house would also get, but the greenhouse also gets extra radiation at higher frequencies that do come from the sun but are not re-radiated by earth temp objects as one finds inside an ordinary house (like walls, glass, grass, water, plants, furniture, floors, etc). Atmospheric convection would shift heat around to balance out temperatures inside a greenhouse and inside a normal house with their respective surroundings.. unless you block convection. If we block convection in a greenhouse and in an ordinary house, we will have the greenhouse balance out at the higher temperature. Note that we can’t block conduction effects and convection effects on the outside surface of any house structure. These convection effects work to bring the greenhouse temp back towards average, but the shortwave energy coming in and the rate of conduction+convection outflow is such to stabilize the temperature a little higher than average.

    I suspect the inside of a dark car gets very hot because besides the glass shortwave transmission/greenhouse effect, we also have strong conduction effect on the metal exterior of the car bringing heat into the car internals initially faster than convection from air outside cools that same surface (note that radiation would be both towards the outside and towards the inside). As energy accumulates, the temperature rises inside. Eventually, the inside is hot enough that conduction through the metal works slow enough so that convection from outside air matches this rate and the temperature reaches a stable point. Apparently this effect in cars can lead to higher temps inside them than you find inside a typical greenhouse.
    *****

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    I should add that besides convection and conduction at the outside surface of a greenhouse, the slightly higher temp itself is likely where the balance comes in. The higher temp implies higher IR (blackbody), so this extra radiation (carried out as radiation by the glass indirectly or by polyethylene transparently) eventually matches the shortwave being absorbed (give or take).

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    josex,

    I would suggest that you actually do the experiment yourself. It’s easy. I’ve made multiple measurements and the inner surface opposite the transparent cover with a glass cover is always significantly warmer than for a similar box with a polyethylene film cover. Always. If you make your boxes from cardboard, you need to dry them out in an oven at 250F for half an hour or so before sealing them up. Otherwise you may get condensation on the window. And you need to insulate the boxes with more than just aluminum foil. Wood used cotton, although he didn’t say how much. I use fiberglass batting, at least 6 inches thick. More is better.

    Look closely at Picture 06 in Nahle’s article. One of the boxes has extra insulation in the form of an inch or so of fiberglass. That’s the box with the polyethylene film window. But in spite of having extra insulation, that box has the same temperature as the boxes that are only covered with aluminum foil. Then look at pages 22-24 of Nahle’s report and see how much the fiberglass insulation raises the temperature. So in fact, Nahle fails to confirm Wood.

    You’re also confusing the relatively short wavelength near IR (<5μm wavelength) in sunlight with thermal IR (>5μm wavelength) emitted by the box. Glass is relatively transparent in the near IR, transmitting ~90% of all incoming solar radiation. About 4% of that loss is reflection from the inner and outer surfaces. But it is relatively opaque in the thermal IR, transmitting ~10% or less of the radiation in that region. If you worry that the thickness of the glass is increasing the thermal resistance of the window, use 1μm polyester film instead of glass. Polyester film is more transparent in the thermal IR, but much less than polyethylene film, so you will still see an effect.

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    Oops. That should be 1 mil = 0.001 inches = 25μm polyester film, not 1μm. You can’t get film that thin and even if you could, it would be impossible to handle.

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    Gentlemen: you are both falling into the trap that was proved wrong by R.W. Wood in 1909. Professor Wood’s knowledge of IR and UV radiation is recognized yet today because of the many inventions bearing his name in the field of optics -Wood effect filters, Wood effect in photography and many others. His experimental work which showed that the heating in a “greenhouse” whether made of glass or other transparent windows is caused by “confined space heating”. The sides of the container or the ground or other contents heat by absorbing the IR whatever wavelength that hit the surfaces and heat up . This heat is transmitted to the air by conduction and convection,period. IR does not heat the air,period.
    Dr. Nahle’s work confirmed Wood and the work of many other physicist show that “back radiation” in the ordinary “greenhouse” violates basic laws of physics along with the Hoax of the Greenhouse gas effect”
    Anyone that has the mistaken idea that there is only shortwave IR in the sunlight better go back to school and study some thermodynamics . The amount of long and short wave IR in sunlight is on the order of 1000 time the amount of long wave IR radiating from the hot side of the earth. On a typical day the IR radiated back into space from the dark side of earth is more than enough to return the earth’s temperature to seasonal lows.
    Anyone wanting the detail physics should read the 2009 paper of Gerlich & Tscheuschner or the book “Slaying the Sky Dragoon -Death of the Greenhouse Gas Theory” and the list of references at G3 The greenhouse gas effect does not exist”

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