BBC botches grade school CO2 science experiment on live TV – with indepedent lab results to prove it

WUWT readers may recall this story from November 3rd NOAA deletes an “inconvenient” kids science web page where NOAA took down a web page called “It’s a gas, man” that talked about a tabletop science demonstration that kids could do themselves to “prove” that CO2 retains more heat. Problem was, the experiment as presented then was flawed, and when it received some attention from skeptical websites, NOAA recognized the flaw and took it down, replacing it later with an updated page.

Fast forward past Climategate to this past Thursday Dec 17th, and we find that the BBC decides to try essentially the same experiment on live TV for an impressed and non questioning audience.

Click to play the video at the BBC website

Only one problem, the BBC presenters botched the experiment. Fortunately we can show why, because WUWT reader  Professor Kevin Kilty of the University of Wyoming, who took an interest in recreating this experiment with students in his physics class well before the BBC did their experiment, has conclusively demonstrated its scientific shortcomings in an experiment log he sent me on December 20th showing results of a November 23rd experiment run.

What got me connecting what Professor Kilty had done to the BBC live TV experiment was a comment from WUWT reader Bryan C of the UK. Here’s an excerpt:

Dear Anthony

Here’s something I found shocking and that you don’t see every day: the British government’s former chief scientific adviser Professor Sir David King flagrantly lying on national television to boost the dubious idea that some foreign agency (the Russian secret service?) was behind Climategate.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/newsnight/8418356.stm

This was in the context of BBC 2’s Newsnight staging a peculiar experiment, with a politically-correct black female “space scientist” heating two bottles – one containing “air” (last time I looked, that included carbon dioxide anyway) and one containing “atmospheric air with a greater concentration of carbon dioxide” (they didn’t say how much they were adding, of course, but I’d bet it was substantially more than 0.000388%!). Surprise, surprise — the latter bottle grew hotter… Of course it did. A greater amount of carbon dioxide will be warmer when heat is applied. This is not a surprise! The proportions are key, of course, as you know.

Newsnight itself characterised the effort right at the start as a “very unscientific experiment” — so why do it at all?! In fact the “science” as presented was misleading and selective to the point of deception.

Indeed when you watch the BBC video, it is clear that there’s no sort of control of any kind, the thermocouples were placed haphazardly at different angles into the bottles, and there’s likely alignment differences between the lights illuminating the bottles. It seems so from my viewing of the video.

Professor Kilty also viewed the BBC video and writes:

You can see that the two bottles start at temperatures of 32+ C. Perhaps the house is this warm, we don’t keep ours this warm, but more likely they have run the experiment and know pretty well in advance how it will turn out. I tried to see from the size of the spot on the bottle if one or other is obviously closer to the lamp–I can’t– but what really matters is the thermocouple, of course. The NOAA description in “its a gas, man” looks like the epitome of careful research in comparison.

This is just kid science. The BBC did their best. Not as good as the ten-year old of a couple of weeks ago, though. It is funny that the journalist sells this as “proof” of global warming early in the sequence.

Here is what a properly conducted experiment looks like, as performed under professor Kilty’s supervision by students at his lab at the University of Wyoming.

A SILLY EXPERIMENT ABOUT CO2

KEVIN KILTY

Date: December 20, 2009.

Figure 1. Two separate set-ups running at the same time. While it looks like our lab is bathed in mood- lighting this is an illusion. The extremely bright filaments fooled my automatic camera. The room was brightly lit. The nearest set-up uses Moll-type thermopiles, while the distant setup is more like the NOAA description, except with thermocouples replacing lab thermometers.

Are there endless silly or meaningless experiments and demonstrations that one can do with carbon dioxide (CO2)? We’ve seen a few on WUWT recently.1 On Tuesday November 3, 2009,WUWT exposed one endorsed by a major scientific organization under the headline NOAA deletes an inconvenient kids science web page.

Indeed, all reference to this page appears now gone at NOAA. But, thanks to the efforts of WUWT, and the help of the way-back machine,2 selected physics students in three of my courses at LCCC got to try the experiment as someone at NOAA designed it. As it turns out, this experiment is silly for what it attempted to show, but it provides darned good lessons about scientific experiments.

The first group of physics students to get a crack at greenhouse warming in a two liter bottle were from my Physics 1050 course – physics without math. They set the experiment up as closely to the NOAA specifications as possible and made Runs 1 and 2 as I describe below. The algebra based physics course got a stab at it next, then the calculus-based physics class had their try. These classes modified the experiment to get a better picture of what was going on. They performed Runs 3 and 4, respectively.

1. Procedure

The NOAA web-page suggested doing the experiment according to the following recipe.

(1) Partially fill both bottles with water. In fact, we filled each with the same amount of water – about two inches worth.

(2) Add the seltzer tablets to one of the bottles. We delayed this step until we had the apparatus assembled.

(3) Suspend the thermometers inside the bottles in such a way that you can measure the temperature of the air and seal the tops with molding clay. We thought there was little reason for sealing the top completely, so we used a cork stopper with hole large enough to allow gas generated in the bottle to pass out around the thermometer.

(4) Place the lamp at equal distance between each bottle. This is the tricky step in this seemingly simple experiment.

(5) After an hour, measure the temperature of the water in each bottle. We thought the word “water” was a mistake here because there was no instruction to make the amount of water in each bottle equal, nor any reason the water would be of interest when the thermometers were suspended in air. Accordingly we monitored the temperature of the air to equilibrium at least, which was less than an hour.

Despite the simplicity of the procedures, we encountered plenty of experiment design issues. These included:

1) the typical lab thermometers have fiducial marks at one-degree interval and so temperature can be read to a resolution of about 0.5◦C at best,3

2) the marks are actually not of uniform size,

3) it is really difficult to get a label completely off a two-liter soda bottle, and so there is a readily available shield or

reflector to confound one’s results. Finally, there is that deceptively simple step 4; Place the lamp at equal distance between each bottle.

Figure 2. Thermocouple in a two-liter bottle. Note that the thermocouples are not perfectly vertical, nor are they likely to be perfectly centered. The near thermocouple points away from the lamp and residue from the label shields the thermocouple.

Although a person can purchase clear light bulbs that allow one to see precisely where the filament is, and what geometry it has, there is almost no way to decide what is the exact center of radiation. After all 95% of the radiation leaving the lamp is infrared and invisible. From outside the lamp does radiation appear to come from the filament? Or does the bulb envelope appear as the source? Moreover, even if a person can decide where is the center of radiation, there are a host of other ways to get the set-up wrong. Figures 2 and 3 show some. Students rarely noticed if the thermometer was centered and vertical or if it stayed that way during the course of the experiment – and as one might expect to happen sometimes, thermometers in the CO2-filled bottle tipped toward the lamp, as Figure 3 shows, while those in the control bottle tipped away like Figure 2.

Figure 3. A thermocouple in a two-liter bottle. Note that this thermocouple points toward the lamp, and has a reflector from the residue of the label torn from the bottle.

2. Results

The table below summarizes our research of November 23, 2009. The first experimental run, using ordinary lab thermometers, appeared to detect an increased temperature rise in the CO2-filled bottle. However, students failed to appreciate at this point that repeating this experiment, no matter how exactly, could arrive at a different outcome.

Indeed, Run 2, using six thermocouples read to a temperature resolution of only 1◦C indicated no average difference in temperature rise, but showed greatest temperature change in some bottles without CO2.

Run 3, using thermocouples read to better resolution of 0.1◦C, showed the greater average temperature rise to occur in the non-CO2 bottles. In this case students swapped thermocouples among bottles to make certain no variation was the result of mis-manufacturing of these sensors. We concluded from these results that sufficient replications of properly randomized runs would likely show no detectable difference at temperature resolution typical of equipment in K-14 science labs.

Run 4 made use of Moll-type thermopiles. These devices capture a very broad spectrum of radiation, from far IR through visible, and conveys it to a highly absorptive collector at the base of a conical reflector. A series connection of 17 type-K thermocouples indicates the temperature rise of the absorber. These thermopiles have a sensitivity of 0.28mV/μW; a voltage that good quality bench multimeters can read easily. Figure 4 shows one of these devices.

Figure 4. A Moll-type thermopile. Picture from Cenco on-line catalog.

In these runs we organized a moll-type thermopile to look at the lamp through our plastic bottles. When the potential of the thermopile became stable we then dropped two selzer tablets in the bottle and monitored the decline in potential until it became stable again. In this manner we managed to avoid all confounding influences except variations in one plastic bottle to another, and possibly extremely small variations in aim of the thermopile. The average decline was 0.095mV .

This translates into a typical decline of 0.34 μW of radiation power entering the conical collector.

3. Discussion

The presence of CO2 in a plastic bottle reduced radiation collected by a thermopile looking through that bottle. But what radiation is reduced, and what causes the reduction? We are pretty sure that visible light isn’t reduced as there is no visible difference between bottles with CO2 and those without. Thus, the difference is likely in the infrared (IR) part of the spectrum. CO2, as we have heard interminably for the past 25 years, absorbs certain bands of IR radiation, most notably in the IR near 2, 3 and 4 micrometers wavelength, and in longwave bands between 13 to 17 micrometers wavelength. At thermal equilibrium CO2 will radiate in these same wavelength bands as much power as it absorbs. The radiated radiation does not travel in the same direction as the absorbed radiation was traveling, however. It is radiated uniformly in all directions. In the case of our experiment this leads to a small decrease in power reaching the Moll-type thermopile.

Applying this to the case of a simple Earth atmosphere, containing nothing but CO2 and having no weather, leads one to conclude that longwave radiation leaving the top of Earth’s atmosphere will decline in magnitude slightly. This decrease in longwave power traveling away from the surface forces the Earth’s surface temperature to rise slightly in order to maintain its thermal equilibrium. This is the “greenhouse effect” in its pure form.

Table 1. Various runs of our experiment. Thermometers run showed the expected enhanced ΔT of the CO2- filled bottle. First run with thermocouples, though, showed no average difference, but was fraught with con- founding influences. Temperatures were displayed at the whole number resolution because of the digital readout. Run 3 thermocouples read with a digital display having 0.1◦C resolution and showed the largest effect in bottle with no CO2. Thermopiles were read with a bench DMM having 10 μV resolution.

4. Conclusions

When this experiment is set-up according to the prescription on the NOAA webpage it is quite possible to get a difference of temperature of 1 ◦C between or among thermometers even if none of them contain any CO2. A properly randomized experiment will likely result in no discernible difference among thermometer readings irrespective of CO2 in bottle or not. The issue is one of not enough magnitude of effect to resolve on typical lab thermometers.

An instrument as sensitive as a Moll-type thermopile can detect a small difference in radiation passing through bottles filled with CO2 as compared to an identical bottle not filled. The amount of IR power re- directed by a two-liter, CO2-filled bottle appears to be about 100μW/m2.

The most important result of this experiment is how it shows students so many issues of experiment design. First, there is the issue of how difficult temperature measurements are to make accurately. Students are quite surprised at this. They are equally surprised that seemingly identical temperature sensors will not measure identically. Second, there is also the difficulty of proving conclusively that A causes B when the experiment includes confounding factors. This is an important lesson about the value of skepticism in climate change research, observations, and publicity. If X, Y, and Z cause B just as readily as does A, then what allows one to claim A causes B?

NOTES

———————————-

1See for example: http://wattsupwiththat.com, 2009/11/18/, Climate Craziness of the week.

2The way-back machine still has a copy of this web-page at:

http://web.archive.org/web/20060129154229/http://www.srh.noaa.gov/srh/jetstream/atmos/ll gas.htm

3Actually it is possible to tell that the liquid in the thermometer is above half

way, but below the next fiducial mark. Thus, I suggested students could resolve

the least significant digit as .0, .2, .5, .8, respectively.

A complete report on this experiment from Professor Kilty in PDF form is available here

———————————

Back to the BBC video, Bryan C points out some problems with statements by Professor King, who joined the group after the CO2 bottle experiment was performed. Here is his comment, continued.

Professor King adroitly avoided key questions. Anyone there with any knowledge of the science could have taken him apart. The BBC clearly wasn’t interested in finding anyone equipped with the facts who could have countered the orthodoxy. In contrast, we had an ignoramus who expressed scepticism at the beginning saying he was now completely convinced. Others taking part who maintained their scepticism unfortunately didn’t have the facts at their fingertips to back up their positions.

Professor King’s assertions about Climategate (from 6:20) were particularly shocking. He conceded that the behaviour shown was unacceptable, but no conclusions were then drawn by him — the program simply moved on! But I was most stunned by his obfuscatory introduction of the conspiracy theory about “agencies” which went unchallenged, and involved a direct fabrication about mobile phone conversations.

“Remember that these emails go back to 1998 and they’ve been accumulating them and just released them in the week before Copenhagen…

“Let me also make this allegation for the first time in public. It’s an extraordinarily sophisticated piece of work to hack into all of these emails and mobile phone conversations, right? What agencies have got the sophistication to manage that? I leave you to think about that.”

Of course, the most likely scenario is not of an outside hacker but a whistleblower inside the CRU who pulled them together and released them. The suggestion of “an extraordinarily sophisticated piece of work” doesn’t really hold up if you’re just referring to emails, but introducing the idea of monitoring mobile phone conversations (a complete lie as far as I’m aware) serves to boost the conspiracy theory and muddy the waters. And this man was Britain’s most senior scientist?

I hope you can draw people’s attention to this deception!

Regards Bryan C

Clearly there has never been any mention of “mobile phone conversations” in any known discussion about the Climategate incident. This appears to be a complete fabrication by Professor King. It is troubling that the BBC has not corrected this.

All in all, this was not a well thought out or well researched video presentation by the BBC, and in my opinion it does a disservice to the citizens that pay taxes through television licenses to support the BBC.

UK readers are encouraged to make the issues and independent experimental results known to the BBC and to media monitors there.

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Dave F
December 24, 2009 12:30 am

From your article:
Dear Anthony
Here’s something I found shocking and that you don’t see every day: the British government’s former chief scientific adviser Professor Sir David King flagrantly lying on national television to boost the dubious idea that some foreign agency (the Russian secret service?) was behind Climategate.

I believe I now know whom the Russians were addressing in this comment:
They have gathered evidence about how and where the operation was carried out, although they are not prepared to say at this stage who they think was responsible.
A Russian intelligence source claimed the FSB had new information which could cast light on who was behind the elaborate operation.
‘We are not prepared to release details, but we might if the false claims about the FSB’s involvement do not stop,’ he said. ‘The emails were uploaded to the Tomsk server but we are sure this was done from outside Russia.”

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1235395/SPECIAL-INVESTIGATION-Climate-change-emails-row-deepens–Russians-admit-DID-send-them.html
Not for sure, but it will take some convincing to tell me that we are talking about two different things. CRU was a leak, not a hack. They are waiting for everyone to forget. I will now finish reading the article. 🙂

tokyoboy
December 24, 2009 12:38 am

Probably not quite OT, but the Team and their relatives say that the recent gradual temperature decrease in the stratosphere evidences that the anthropogenic CO2 is warming the troposphere.
Anyone in the know please teach me the truth.

Dave F
December 24, 2009 12:39 am

Mobile phone conversations? Are any of the emails text messages? That is all I could think of. No difference as to content anyway, but weird that he would know that if they were. Still standing by my thoughts about the Russians above. It is a leak from inside CRU and the Russians are arm-twisting the UK to keep it a secret. Wonder how this played out at Copenhagen? No mention of Russia in the news, was there?

Chris
December 24, 2009 12:40 am

I watched that video when it was on live and was shocked when I saw it. The presenter, a long time global warming alamist – his career in the Beeb has had its sails full to bursting with CO2 since he started on Newsnight – kept saying the words “scientific experiment” over and over again. Not all were convinced in the audience but his comments at the end about it being “good” to pursuade people of this “science” is telling.
BTW – Clive Saran, editor of Computer Weekly, was put onto the BBC Today Programme (Radio 4 morning news show) and pretty much debunked Professor King’s assertions of the Russians stealing the emails. He called the claims “rather far fetched” but you can just about detect him trying not to giggle. He didn’t go with the leak theory. I wonder if he was told not to.
Mr Saran’s interview is here : http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_8419000/8419818.stm – scroll down to the 8:45 slot.

Dave F
December 24, 2009 12:44 am

tokyoboy (00:38:13) :
The team is ignoring the fact that the decline in solar activity has cooled the stratosphere. They know this, but are ignoring it. Sad, really. Anyhow, when activity picks up head over to RC and ask them if the stratosphere is still cooling.

December 24, 2009 12:49 am

Thank you for posting the article.
I watched the original programme with mounting incredulity at what I was watching. It was basic chicanery but it was enough to fool the assembled audience.
Personally, I have given up complaining to the BBC: like the Pope, the BBC believes itself to be infallible on doctrinal beliefs such as global warming.
As regards local press: my own UK local paper now refuses to print letters which mention climategate or anything associated with it. I have had four letters on the topic rejected.
It makes you despair.
REPLY: Despair I understand, submission I do not. – Anthony

Capn Jack
December 24, 2009 12:56 am

he he.
The mobile phone red herring story now what that has to do with Klein Bottles filled subantially with CO2 I do not understand.
As I understand CO2 in the earth life system. CO2 represents more strongly in the saline solutions of the earth life system. Far more so, I would consider the experiment upside down and I would consider and experiment measuring real life at geo progressive understanding getting the water solution wrong but then again I am not a chemist. I would use water at geo saline levels and I would use that proportion in my Klein bottle, in a multidimensional effect system. But I am not a chemist, just a pirate.
And I had some beer.

DonK31
December 24, 2009 12:59 am

What was the PPM of CO2 in the one bottle as opposed to the other? Also, pressure increases temperature. Was the pressure in the 2 bottles kept constant? I’d bet not.

Leslie
December 24, 2009 1:07 am

I always thought climate science was complex. BBC has now persuaded me that increasing CO2 levels makes climate simpler and totally predictable.

Chloro Phil
December 24, 2009 1:08 am

I want to sell Philip a timeshare – in Greenland! I think he’d buy anything.

DonK31
December 24, 2009 1:08 am

I like your response to the previous post. I add http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/100_Authors_Against_Einstein
What it takes is 1 person with the fact, not a consensus of those who do not have the facts.

December 24, 2009 1:09 am

I too have given up complaining to the BBC – no point! However, you can always send the journalists an email. Just put a dot in between their first and second names, end it with @bbc.co.uk
I have done this a number of times and had replies – even though their email addresses aren’t shown anywhere.
OT. The CET is surely no longer credible, if it ever was http://hadobs.metoffice.com/hadcet/cet_info_mean.html Current England average temp is supposed to be 3.9C. We’ve had 10 days of below zero temps here with overnight temps of well below zero, yet the average is supposed to be 3.9C! Can’t see it myself and have asked for clarification from the Met Office. The CET was down until two days ago due to “software problems” and the bottom right hand corner of the site shows a box of data which hasn’t been working correctly for over a year! I’ve given up moaning to them about it.

Molon Labe
December 24, 2009 1:14 am

At 175 C (the lowest temp at which I readily found common data)
1) The specific heat of air is 1.02 kJ/kg-K.
2) The specific heat of CO2 is 0.71 kJ/kg-K.
Hence, for a given heat input, the temperature rise in CO2 would be greater than that in air.
I would attribute any observed increase in temperature to heat conducted to the gas from the container. This heat flux would cause a higher temperature increase in CO2 than air.

Jason Salit
December 24, 2009 1:16 am

Martin Judge (00:49:53) :
Go forth and conquer!

Molon Labe
December 24, 2009 1:25 am

Ah, hang on. I didn’t adjust for density difference. Nevermind.

crosspatch
December 24, 2009 1:25 am

Experiments like this are silly for many reasons. Most importantly they don’t reflect the natural system. Everyone knows that CO2 absorbs radiation in a few very narrow bands of wavelengths. Any moisture in the air would greatly defeat this, though, and swamp the impact of CO2. Unless they filled the control with dry nitrogen, any difference should be practically immeasurable.
Any water in the bottles will fill the bottles with water vapor and swamp the water vapor will greatly swamp the impact of the CO2. If you look at this graph you see the top line showing where CO2 is more opaque to IR radiation. The lower line shows an atmosphere of 5x more H2O than CO2. The H2O accounts for the vast majority of the absorption and the CO2 produces just a couple of little bumps on the graph.
Having any water whatsoever in those bottles would result in the CO2 impact being nearly completely masked by the water.
Secondly, in the atmosphere there are a couple of different things going on that don’t go on in the bottles. First is convection. When a molecule of CO2 absorbs a photon, it will rise. At some point it will emit that photon in some unknown direction but there is a 50% chance it will be emitted away from the ground. Also, CO2 absorbs radiation from two sources. It absorbs heat radiation from the ground but it also absorbs solar radiation. The majority of the Sun’s energy reaches Earth as infrared. Greenhouse gasses will act to block some of that infrared from reaching the ground. A molecule that absorbs a photon from the sun has a 50% chance of re-radiating that photon back toward the ground so you can say that greenhouse gasses also block the same percentage coming in from the Sun that they block coming up from the ground.
So greenhouse gasses would act to somewhat moderate daytime high temperatures and nighttime low temperatures. The average temperature might rise but the greatest impact is on raising nighttime low temperatures. They act to reduce daytime high temperatures somewhat.
The most significant impact would be felt at the poles during winter when a great increase in CO2 would act to reduce radiation into space over some selective wavelengths represented by the dips in the above graph and somewhat moderate winter low temperatures. Lets say for argument’s sake that this increase in winter low temperatures increases the annual average by 5 degrees. That does not mean that the summertime temperature is 5 degrees warmer and more snow/ice melts. It means the annual average went up but mostly by increasing winter temperatures. Say the temperature in winter rose from -60F to -50F. The net result is probably no change in ice coverage and an increase in penguin populations though decreased mortality due to hypothermia.
But the important thing is that those bottles are not 50 miles tall and there is no convection within them. If an molecule absorbs a photon, rises some distances and releases it, it releases it above more CO2 where it has a greater chance of being re-absorbed on its way to the ground and less of a chance of re-absorption on its way into space. So convection acts to make it harder for heat to come down than to go up. The atmosphere naturally wants to move heat out into space. The bottle can’t do that as efficiently because the temperature difference between the bottom and the top of the bottle is not much.
But back to the diagram. Putting any water in the bottle blew the experiment up. There should have been no measurable difference in temperature with the apparatus used in the experiment as water vapor and the plastic itself would have dominated the CO2.

December 24, 2009 1:25 am

They might also try to explain all these hundreds of deaths that are ocurring because of the cold: http://ecotretas.blogspot.com/2009/12/december-2009-cold-death-toll.html
199 and counting. If you know of more, please let me know.
Ecotretas

Bob Koss
December 24, 2009 1:27 am

How can the air temperature be dropping?.
The first look we get at the temperature readings, the normal air reading was 35.6c and the co2 was 34.0c. You see them change to air 35.5c and co2 34.7c. Last reading is air 34.6c and co2 38.7.
It also appears to me the co2 lamp is slightly lower relative to the bottle.

Glenn
December 24, 2009 1:30 am

The temperature of the air bottle started at 35.6C,
after roughly 10 minutes of heating was COOLER, at 34.6C
There’s a lesson.

crosspatch
December 24, 2009 1:31 am

Also notice the water droplets on the inside of the bottle in figure 3. That says the atmosphere inside the bottle is saturated with water vapor and it is condensing on the inside of the bottle.

Ben
December 24, 2009 1:33 am

This strikes me as classic dog and pony show grandstanding designed to sway the feeble masses to where they were before being skeptical, one that is done in sheer desperation and one that is done too late in the game to have any sway but onto the most feeble. The idea being that an observer sees “regular people” being convinced by this chicanery and then doubts themselves. Unfortunately, due to what increasingly appears to be a ubiquitous ignorance of all things rooted in science and reality in today’s society, this sort of kitchen style demonstration seems to be the most complicated things that folks can understand.
By the way, with reference to an earlier post on WUWT regarding the coincidence of the last date of the emails in the climategate novella to the closing date of the FOIA, I wonder why people are still making wild statements about the “hack” and now some supreme data gathering force? It would seem obvious at this point that the university itself assembled these emails in response to the FOIA in case it were forced to comply with the law, and this file was either left on a public server or released internally…

Micky C
December 24, 2009 1:37 am

The bit I like in Kevin Kilty’s essay is the one in the conclusions about A causing B and how difficult this can be to show in an experiment, even if you seem to get a result. During my PhD, when a seemingly good result was found, this sentimient was shortened into the versatile phrase
“Was it plugged in?”

December 24, 2009 1:37 am

In this ‘experiment’, the thermocouple was the target, right? (Like the earth floating in the big Utopian sky (in one bottle) and in a hellish soup of man-made CO2, flatulent, etc… (in the other)???
Did glaciers and ice-caps form in either bottle? (just curious…)
…How about spontaineous polar bear materializations, or deaths?
To quote Huey Lewis & the News: “Sometimes bad is bad.”

Capn Jack
December 24, 2009 1:42 am

I understand pressure arguments. But my thinking is Ocean temperature, as I understand it Infared and other raditaions do not heat the lower oceans I may be wrong as a Pirate.
But my reading, not Saline but plain H2 o. You decrease the temperature the more CO2 is held. Pressure and Temp and CO2 may be symbiotic or correlated
My coke bottle experiment(not beer bottle) is simple.
Let’s see what happens as we apply heat to a Carbonated water. The results are outstanding with coke, depressing with beer.
Note, Australian Children are not to experiment with carbonated drinks from Bloke and Shiela fridges.
Stern wag of finger at accidental Aussie kids in this high brow place.

December 24, 2009 1:43 am

OT – Pachauri admits to taking $300,000 – from Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse and others. Only a fraction of his extra-mural income declared.
http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2009/12/pachauri-admits-to-300000-in-payments.html

Bruce
December 24, 2009 1:47 am

This is a huge scoop! Who knew there were mobile phone conversations hacked? Only the FSB or the CSIS could/would do that! Which was it? Were they working together? The world needs to know! Why was such huge news slipped out like that? Did Sir David reveal this by mistake? Does he know too much? Is his life now in danger? Ian Fleming, eat your heart out – real life is much more exciting than your mundane stories!

Stefan
December 24, 2009 1:49 am

I’m glad this is getting attention.
I’d posted about that program just after it was broadcast, as I was amazed by the allegations about “agencies” and “mobile phones”. Another WUWT reader replied to tell me he’d also just watched it and that King had said no such thing.
It seems different people can hear and see different things, eh?

Capn Jack
December 24, 2009 1:56 am

My problem is specifications.
The earth life system is a gas moisture system under gravitiational effect.
For the life of me I dont understand why, all gas elements are not measured in the biggest heaviest (by mass) elements of the system are not measured.
I will piss off now.
I can understand measuring CO2 at Mauna Loa if the game is fraud not science.
Just thinking out loud on Xmas eve in Oz.
Selective measurement stations may prove a political or monetary point but that is hardly science.
If the argument is CO2 why is measurement so selective and only in the air or gas.
On topic of Xmas Eve, Mr Watts and Moderators, I have never encountered a better run or free blog.
I was there when blogs run free. Desk top publishing and commmunities of interest.
My Bandana and eye patch is off with respect. Nice to see science back.

Stefan
December 24, 2009 2:01 am

BTW, this graphic has appeared
http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/climate-change-deniers-vs-the-consensus/
Perhaps these days the little quotes should be used to indicate that the words don’t quite mean what they should:
Climate Change “Deniers” vs The “Consensus”

Dave B
December 24, 2009 2:01 am

Tiny typo: “indepedent” for independent in the headline (discovered when forwarding the URL and headline to colleagues who fumed at the farce when it was broadcast).
Thanks
Dave

KeithGuy
December 24, 2009 2:20 am

I remember well the BBC Newsnight experiment.
What annoyed me at the time was not the crass nature of the experiment, sadly that’s what I’ve come to expect from the BBC. It was the implication that anyone sceptical of any of the aspects of AGW is un-scientific. As though all the ‘Science’ is on their side of the argument.
I thought it was extremely condescending towards its audience.

Fasool Rasmin
December 24, 2009 2:25 am

Perhaps one of the reasons that the BBC does these dumb experiments is because more and more of the educated middle class British are emigrating. Here in Australia we are inundated with them. Our gain and Britains loss. Everytime I speak with an emigre, they are over the moon that they have left Britain (‘Escaped’ as one couple put it). When the middle class start deserting then the end is in sight.

JP_Fife
December 24, 2009 2:26 am

The BBC is an official sock puppet for Global Warming, as I’m sure you know. I complained to the BBC about a weatherman on Radio 5 Live spouting pro warming propaganda before a weather bulletin unchallenged. The response I got gave me proof that they are pro warmist:
‘Below is an excerpt from the section of the report relating to coverage of the climate change debate:
“The BBC has held a high-level seminar with some of the best scientific experts, and has come to the view that the weight of evidence no longer justifies equal space being given to the opponents of the consensus. But these dissenters (or even sceptics) will still be heard, as they should, because it is not the BBC’s role to close down this debate. Acceptance of a basic scientific consensus only sharpens the need for hawk-eyed scrutiny of the arguments surrounding both causation and solution.”
The full report can be found on the BBC Trust website:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/our_work/other/century21.shtml
Our view is that the BBC covered this story at length and that we did so in a fair and impartial manner. We will continue to report on the climate change debate in this way, allowing appropriate airtime to both those who support the broad scientific consensus on the causes of climate change and to those who reject it.’
The first sentence quoted from the report says it all and it’s worth repeating: ‘The BBC has held a high-level seminar with some of the best scientific experts, and has come to the view that the weight of evidence no longer justifies equal space being given to the opponents of the consensus. ‘

hang on a minute
December 24, 2009 2:27 am

I saw the Newsnight piece when transmitted and was pretty disgusted at the time. If my calculations are correct one litre of air contains perphaps 0.25ml carbon dioxide (250ppm). A reasonable comparison would have been to inject an extra 125ul to represent man-made CO2 emissions to date and compare the differences in temperature. And you can bet there would have been no discernable difference. Simply filling the bottle with 100% CO2 was misleading to the extreme.

Mike Post
December 24, 2009 2:31 am

Here is the link to the, mostly adverse, comments on the ridiculous BBC experiment.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/newsnight/fromthewebteam/2009/12/wednesday_16_december_2009_in.html

Glenn
December 24, 2009 2:32 am

Messing this experiment up as bad as she did gives entirely new meaning to “it ain’t rocket science”.

Jimbo
December 24, 2009 2:34 am

I love these simplified experiments. As a non-scientist I would have asked

“Why is Mars sometimes as cold as −140 °C despite 95% of its atmosphere being composed of Co2? Where is the runaway warming?”

I know there are other factors to be considered in any warming of a planet’s atmosphere but it would force them to bring out the other factors thus making their experiment appear meaningless. 😉

December 24, 2009 2:43 am

Reader Brian C.’s letter states:
“one containing ‘atmospheric air with a greater concentration of carbon dioxide’ (they didn’t say how much they were adding, of course, but I’d bet it was substantially more than 0.000388%!).
Current atmospheric CO2 content is 388 ppmv, which is 0.0388%, not 0.000388%.

mikef2
December 24, 2009 2:51 am

I complained to the Beeb about it – from the view it was an attempt to fool less educated viewers that the ‘science was settled’ and was therefore propganda and needed apologising for. I got one reply trying to fob me off, which I rejected saying they have not answered the main question I raised, that the experiment was tosh and asked them ‘do you stand by this experiments validity’. So far no reply….i’ll chase it up after Xmas with a link to this article. Can I ask any other uk viewers to do the same.
The point is, this is an example of something tangible that the beeb got totally wrong and used to editorialise…thats not thier remit. They are on very shaky ground here and if pressed hard enough will have to admit they misled the public.

December 24, 2009 3:09 am

That BBC article was little more than propaganda.
Which is what we expect from the BBC.
But as other commentators have said the cheif scientific advisor is something else. He is desperate to smear the Russians.
I think this shows how rattled they are.

Barry Sheridan
December 24, 2009 3:17 am

To Anthony and all who contribute to this site, many thanks for this and the other exposures of the past year, may 2010 bring more progress in overturning the global warming charade.
Please allow me to ask forgiveness for ordinary people who are inundated by the relentless propaganda of the mass media and its directing agent, government. They are formidable antagonists, even for those like me who try to understand what is a complex subject. It is hardly surprising so many are confused.

TFN Johnson
December 24, 2009 3:18 am

Just repeat the experiment with the bottle positions reversed (and repeat the pairs of expreriments several times, if necessary). The the effect of the lamp centre of radiation being difficult to source is removed.

Richard111
December 24, 2009 3:18 am

As a non scientist, I make it you will need 24.4 cubic litres of CO2 at standard temperature and pressure to have one mole of pure CO2 gas to work with.
Starting with that you could calculate energy absorbed over time.
I really cannot see how using 2 litre plastic bottles with any level of air/CO2 mixture will give valid results. How much IR does the plastic absorb? It is a closed environment experiment, simply not valid for the open atmosphere.

Alexander Vissers
December 24, 2009 3:19 am

The nonsense and irrelevance of this experiment is as evident as can be: CO2 traps infrared light and has no absorbance in visible light. In fact this experiment would evidence that short wave infrared from the solar radiation is absorbed in the top layer of the atmosphere and never makes it to the earth. If at all, the experiment should be performed in the dark and in the cold e.g. 15 degrees Celcius to have any relevance. Besides, there is not a point of discussion that CO2 absorbs certain bands of infrared, both from the solar spectrum and from the earth surface and atmosphere radiation and there is no excuse not to set up a valid experiment even if this involves more effort. Shame on the media to confuse the public by producing and publishing more nonsense.

KeithGuy
December 24, 2009 3:20 am

Fasool Rasmin (02:25:20) :
“Perhaps one of the reasons that the BBC does these dumb experiments is because more and more of the educated middle class British are emigrating. Here in Australia we are inundated with them.”
If you think there are no educated middle class people left in Britain you should follow this blog:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/our_work/other/century21.shtml
It’s just the BBC that are ‘dumbing down.’

gerrym
December 24, 2009 3:20 am

This would be the Dr. King who was Chief Scientist to the UK government. Here he is in action:
“Andrei Illarionov, former chief science adviser to President Putin:
… in respect to the presentation made by representatives of the so-called official team of the British government and the official British climate science, or at least how they introduced themselves at the seminar. I personally was surprised by the exceptionally poor content of the papers presented…
Simultaneously, they revealed an absolute—and I stress, absolute inability to answer questions concerning the alleged professional activities of the authors of these papers. Not only the ten questions that were published nine months ago, but not a single question asked during this two-day seminar by participants in the seminar, both Russian and foreign, were answered.
When it became clear that they could not provide a substantive answer to a question, three devices were used… The British participants insisted on introducing censorship during the holding of this seminar. The chief science adviser to the British government, Mr. King, demanded in the form of an ultimatum at the beginning of yesterday that the program of the seminar be changed and he presented an ultimatum demanding that about two-third of the participants not be given the floor.The participants in the seminar who had been invited by the Russian Academy of Sciences, they have been invited by the president of the Academy of Sciences Yuri Sergeyevich Osipov. Mr. King spoke about “undesirable” scientists and undesirable participants in the seminar. He declared that if the old program is preserved, he would not take part in the seminar and walk out taking along with him all the other British participants.
He has prepared his own program which he proposed, it is available here and my colleagues can simply distribute Mr. King’s hand-written program to change the program prepared by the Russian Academy of Sciences and sent out in advance to all the participants in the seminar.
A comparison of the real program prepared by the Academy of Science and the program proposed as an ultimatum by Mr. King will give us an idea of what scientists, from the viewpoint of the chief scientific adviser to the British government, are undesirable. In the course of negotiations on this issue Mr. King said that he had contacted the British Foreign Secretary Mr. Straw who was in Moscow at the time and with the office of the British Prime Minister, Blair, so that the corresponding executives in Britain should contact the corresponding officials in Russia to bring pressure on the Russian Academy of Sciences and the President of the Russian Academy of Sciences to change the seminar’s program.When the attempt to introduce censorship at the Russian Academy of Sciences failed, other attempts were made to disrupt the seminar. At least four times during the course of the seminar ugly scenes were staged that prevented the seminar from proceeding normally. As a result we lost at least four hours of working time in order to try to solve these problems.
During these events Mr. King cited his conversations with the office of the British Prime Minister and had got clearance for such actions.
And thirdly, when the more or less normal work of the seminar was restored and when the opportunity for discussion presented itself, when questions on professional topics were asked, and being unable to answer these questions, Mr. King and other members of the delegation, turned to flight, as happened this morning when Mr. King, in an unprecedented incident, cut short his answer to a question in mid sentence realizing that he was unable to answer it and left the seminar room. It is not for us to give an assessment to what happened, but in our opinion the reputation of British science, the reputation of the British government and the reputation of the title “Sir” has sustained heavy damage.
http://www.lavoisier.com.au/papers/articles/Illarionov2.html

TFN Johnson
December 24, 2009 3:21 am

Years ago the BBC 7pm news n views prog decided to demonstrate that bathwater flows clockwise around the plug hole. They rigged up a bath in the studio, addd enough water, and pulled out the plug. Nothing happened: the British plumbing industry hadn’t yet been taken over by Polish plumbers, and the drain pipe was blocked. Plus ca change plus la meme chose…..

paull
December 24, 2009 3:22 am

Please could someone enlighten me or am I just plain dumb?
I assume that the thermal conductivity of a gas is its ability to absorb heat energy.
Thermal conductivity of Oxygen =0.024 (W/mK)
Nitrogen=0.024 (W/mK)
Carbon Dioxide=0.0146(W/mK)
Methane=0.03(W/mK)
Air = 0.024(W/mK) as you would expect as Atmospere is approx. 96% Oxygen/Nitrogen.
Therefore would an increase in Carbon Dioxide in the Atmosphere or Bell Jar
(not really comparable) not reduce the Thermal conductivity albeit by an infinitesmal amount and therefore absorb less heat.
Am I being to simplistic?

Brownedoff
December 24, 2009 3:24 am

There is a weekly slot on BBC called Newswatch, where a journalist invites BBC bureauweenies on to answer viewers’ complaints/comments. The answer always takes the form of the Tony Blair defence: “we did nothing wrong, we did what we thought was the right thing to do, and in any case we will never admit that the complaint/comment has any merit”. It really is a waste of time trying to engage with the BBC.
If you really want to get the blood shooting out of your eyes please spend a few minutes on the the BBC Editorial Guidelines web page:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/guidelines/editorialguidelines/edguide/accuracy/misleadingaudie.shtml.
A particularly good section is “Misleading audiences”.

Atomic Hairdryer
December 24, 2009 3:25 am

Re: Dave F (00:39:49) :
It is a leak from inside CRU and the Russians are arm-twisting the UK to keep it a secret.

I read that differently and Russia/FSB is threatening to release more information if people don’t stop blaming them. They’ve probably done their own checks on the server in Russia that got used as the file drop and may have obtained info from the proxies used to put it there. Proxies aren’t always anonymous and the FSB may have access to information that Western agencies don’t.
So I urge people to keep blaming the Russians because our own investigation seems to be going slowly, or quietly.
As for txt messages, King is just showing how little he understands of the science involved, or how much effort would be needed for a leaker to have dropped the files.

KeithGuy
December 24, 2009 3:29 am

Just had a thought –
Why would anyone want to keep some large plastic bottles and a number of ultra-violet lamps around their house?
Some party eh?

December 24, 2009 3:38 am

I saw this indoctrination on the BBC.
BBC is now in panic mode, ClimateGate was a no event in Copenhagen.
This event was apparently taken put together recently, because when I saw it the camera looked outside the window and one could see heavy snowflakes.
The irony of that made it even more comical.
Yes, CO2 is a greenhouse gas, which anybody can read about in physics books. Apparently we will fry because of that.
In come an authority figure, David King and talk down to us.
The new way to prove something, in this case CAGW is to use authority.
Repetition and proclamation from authority figures was a techniqe the nazis was good at too.

Arthur Glass
December 24, 2009 3:47 am

” The extremely bright filaments fooled my automatic camera. The room was brightly lit.’
The effect in the photo, however, is beautiful! It reminds one of the light effects produced by the Dutch painters of the 17th c,. Rembrandt, Vermeer, etc.

Mike Post
December 24, 2009 3:50 am

Sorry to bang on about it but here is the link to the BBC Trust (sic) June 2007 document FROM SEESAW TO WAGON WHEEL Safeguarding impartiality in the 21st century
http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/assets/files/pdf/review_report_research/impartiality_21century/report.pdf
Look on page 40 where will be found the background to the BBC’s decision to bias its reporting on man-made climate change: “The BBC has held a high-level seminar with some of the best scientific experts, and has come to the view that the weight of evidence no longer justifies equal space being given to the opponents of the consensus.”
My FOI request to know who were “the best scientific experts” on climate change has been rejected. The only conclusion to be drawn is that the BBC wishes to conceal the names of its “best experts”.
I am following this up. See: http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/request_list_of_scientific_exper
and http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/request_methodology_uses_to_sele
Merry Christmas!

Trefor Jones
December 24, 2009 3:51 am

For your information, I have made an official complaint to the BBC about this travesty. There were almost 130 complaints on the Newsnight web page, all echoing the sentiments explained in the above article. Not surprisingly I have not heard from the BBC yet, but I hope Justin Rowlatt ( Ethical Man) is picking up his P45. To endure a whole month of greenie programmes from the BBC, only for realpolitik to blast it all out of the water in Copenhagen was rather ironic. The BBC seems to be run by media studies graduates of a certain political persuasion and have turned a once great programme into the propagandist arm of the WWF.

Steve Case
December 24, 2009 3:53 am

All the BBC kitchen setup did was demonstrate that CO2 is a “Green House” gas. We already know that CO2 is a “Green House” gas. So what was the point?
The BBC kitchen demonstration says nothing about how much an increase in CO2 will raise the temperature of the Earth. Indeed, that is the entire debate, and it wasn’t touched on in the least little bit.
Steve Case
Brown Deer, WI
USA

December 24, 2009 3:57 am

tokyoboy (00:38:13) :
Probably not quite OT, but the Team and their relatives say that the recent gradual temperature decrease in the stratosphere evidences that the anthropogenic CO2 is warming the troposphere.
So, they’re claiming that warm air no longer rises — because of AGW, it now *sinks*…

Nigel S
December 24, 2009 4:02 am

KeithGuy (03:29:16)
Hydroponics?

Peter of Sydney
December 24, 2009 4:06 am

In the video the temperature of the bottle without the CO2 actually dropped after turning on the lamp. This proves to me the experiment was a fake. Is there a law that can be used to have the perpetrators of this fraud charged with something?

Peter of Sydney
December 24, 2009 4:11 am

I reviewed the video a few times. I’m almost convinced the whole episode was staged. The main reason is I don’t believe so many people can be so stupid not to notice the drop in temperature in the bottle without the CO2 and question it.

December 24, 2009 4:13 am

I just saw the video and the experiment… Is this what the science -and for that matter BBC too- look like these days? Are we really this blind? Is this what we call now “education”?
Because if it is, I’m freaking out !! ;]
ps that man has no pride; mr King is no king in fact, he’s just an ignorant professor.

December 24, 2009 4:15 am

Trefor Jones (03:51:49),
The BBC has an “Ethical Man”?? That’s really very funny. Is it a parody? Does he wear a clown suit? Or is he really that insufferable?
If I went to work for the BBC, could I be “Superior Man”? “Wonderful Man”? “Totally Honest Man”? “The Pope’s Supervisor”?
Do BBC employees get to pick whatever title they want, no matter how silly?

Al Gore's Holy Hologram
December 24, 2009 4:16 am

Well, as we can see, all we need is a simple bottle test to prove AGW and that the climate system’s feedback effects are completely well-known and very simple. (sarcasm)
Therefore it is reasonable to suggest that all funding for climate science should be cut immediately. So no more CRU, no more GISS, no more Met Office supercomputers, no more NOOA, etc.

December 24, 2009 4:17 am

Should the thermocouple not be shaded from the lamps – to prevent radiant energy simply creating an increase in temperature in the thermocouple itself (and not the gasses). Stevenson Screens are shaded, so surely the thermocouple should be.
.

Gladiatrix
December 24, 2009 4:22 am

Assuming that Dr David King is still affiliated to a university or similar institution why don’t you report him formally for academic misconduct? You should also report the producer and presenters of ‘Newsnight’ to the Director-General and the BBC Trust for professional misconduct.
These things happen unchallenged because there is a lot of complaining on websites but no actual action taken.

Stephan
December 24, 2009 4:23 am

I think the s@@@ will the fan when Briffa decides to spill the beans. I think he was the mole (although I maybe 100% wrong). At this stage we should be concerned for his health and safety….You can be sure that the powers to be will be putting enormous pressure on the mole at this time.

son of mulder
December 24, 2009 4:23 am

“mikef2
….I got one reply trying to fob me off…. ”
I didn’t even get a reply to fob me off and I pay my licence fee. I complained about bias of the experiment which was reported to prove the science of global warming. They made no mention of the contentious parts of global warming science eg clouds, convection, latent heat of evaporation, etc etc etc etc.
A back of an envelope thought I had as the temperature in the BBC experiment was approx 4 deg C higher in the CO2 bottle. Double CO2 = 1 deg C increase so thay must have added 2^4 = 16 times atmospheric content and as anthropic CO2 is about 1/3rd of atmosphere thay added in the order of 3×16=48
times the total CO2 caused by man since the start of the industrial revolution.
I’m sure I’m right if they are right ( ;>)

3x2
December 24, 2009 4:25 am

Ecotretas (01:25:42) :
They might also try to explain all these hundreds of deaths that are ocurring because of the cold: http://ecotretas.blogspot.com/2009/12/december-2009-cold-death-toll.html
199 and counting. If you know of more, please let me know.

It is usually only the direct deaths (man found in car..) that make the news. Obviously estimates vary but here in the UK they tend to fall into the same ball park.
“For every 1 degree fall in the winter average air temperature, there is an approximate one fifth increase in excess winter deaths – 8,000 deaths nationally.”
Just google “excess winter deaths inurl:.ppt” or similar (you may have to add “UK” to that if you are elsewhere)
You can be sure that the numbers rise in direct proportion to fuel prices and carbon hysteria. Statistics eh.
Oddly enough such items are still available at the BBC – with actual numbers.
(search “excess winter deaths” from the BBC main page for many, many more)

Jerry
December 24, 2009 4:26 am

How about repeating the experiment using glass flasks? Decent labware flasks will presumably be more uniform than plastic coke bottles and won’t have sticky labels on them. (A good way to remove the sticky residue is smear peanut butter over it, then let it sit over night.)
How about adding a know volume of water to each flask?
How about measuring pressure in each bottle, and correcting for it if there’s a difference? PV=nRT
Heck, for that matter, why not use two empty flasks, then fill one with CO2 from a tank? Fill a third one with helium or some other gas, and see what happens.

Peter of Sydney
December 24, 2009 4:29 am

Can anyone explain why the temperature dropped 1C in the bottle without the CO2 pumped into it? If there is no explanation, this point alone proves this experiment was either a fake or badly done. Either way the BBC must be made to apologies.

Stefan
December 24, 2009 4:31 am

The political tactics have turned environmentalism into a shampoo advert.
“…and here comes the science”
http://www.shampooads.com/tvads/sectiona1/ad2/first.html
…and at least the shampoo you can test for yourself.

debreuil
December 24, 2009 4:31 am

“It’s an extraordinarily sophisticated piece of work..”
I guess that rules out an inside job.

Clausius
December 24, 2009 4:46 am

A careful examination of the Newsnight video shows that it was not simply botched, but was intentionally rigged to deceive the viewer.
Full details are given in my comments 72 and 79 of the relevant page of the’Ethical Man’ blog – see
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/ethicalman/2009/12/in_praise_of_scepticism.html#comments
It is clear that video from multiple ‘takes’ of the experiment were cobbled together to produce the final result as used in the broadcast.
As this intentionally misrepresented the facts of what really occurred, it is a breach of the editorial guidelines for news on the BBC, in particular the section on Accuracy – Staging & re-staging events. See
http://www.bbc.co.uk/guidelines/editorialguidelines/edguide/accuracy/stagingandresta.shtml
This raises serious questions about the integrity of the ‘Ethical Man’, the ‘top British scientist’ and the editors of the programme.
The issues around climate science are inherently complex – misrepresenting science and misleading viewers is extremely unhelpful to better public understanding.

cthulhu
December 24, 2009 4:47 am

pfff they’ve demonstrated something the skeptics admit exists – elevated co2 absorbs more IR and warms the air around it.
So what’s the contention? Just a bunch of silly nitpicking.

AndyN
December 24, 2009 4:49 am

I also complained to the BBC about this demonstration. This is an extract –
****
Any increase in temperature observed is due to the fact that the thermal conductivity of the bottle containing CO2 is approximately one half of that containing of air (nitrogen + oxygen).
Thermal conductivity is a property that determines how much heat per time unit and temperature difference flows in a medium. Since, at equilibrium, the heat flow out of the CO2 bottle is impeded, when compared with the bottle containing air, this will cause its temperature to settle at a higher value.
I find it extraordinary that you should make the claim that this in any way explains ‘man-made global warming’ for the following reasons –
1) The concentration in the CO2 bottle is ~ 100% vs. .038% in the atmosphere.
2) You have demonstrated a thermal conductivity effect not a radiative one which is what the so-called ‘Greenhouse Effect’ is supposed to be.
3) The source of heat is inside the bottles and heat is being conducted away into the outside atmosphere whereas in the so-called ‘Greenhouse Effect’ the sun is the source of heat and heat is being radiated towards the earth’s surface.
4) If there is any radiative heating of the CO2 bottle it has no relevance to the so-called atmospheric ‘Greenhouse Effect’ in which heat is supposed to pass from the (cooler) atmosphere to the (warmer) earth’s surface. In fact we know from the ‘Second Law of Thermodynamics’ that this is impossible. …
****
So far I’ve had no reply.

Nigel S
December 24, 2009 4:49 am

Jerry (04:26:44)
Wouldn’t the infrared absorption of glass be a problem if glass bottles were used? But then how do polytunnels work if the conventional explantion for a glass greenhouse is correct? Oh no, were we told lies at school? (Probably to get us ready for life)

P Gosselin
December 24, 2009 4:52 am

This is just another staged propaganda gimmick by the network you just can’t trust.
Here:s something we might want to keep an eye out for:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/12/20/philippines.volcano/
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY!

jmrSudbury
December 24, 2009 4:55 am

I wonder if the humidity increased due to the water/bakingsoda/vinegar reaction.
crosspatch (01:25:30), window panes of the popular sealed unit variety are a maximum of 12 mm aprt, so convection currents do not increase the rate of heat transfer.
John M Reynolds

Josh
December 24, 2009 4:56 am

[valid email required to post on WUWT ~ ctm]

December 24, 2009 4:56 am

Just to remind non UK residents that the BBC is a state funded organisation.
If you have a television or any device able to receive a BBC transmission (including a computer) You by law have to have a TV licence. About $200pa.
Even if,like me,you don’t watch the BBC you still have to have a licence.
A fine of $1500 or imprisonment if you are found not to have one.
I believe in freedom of speech and do not begrudge the Aljazeera station its right to exist.
I don’t have to watch it and I certainly don’t have to pay for it.
Taxpayer funded propaganda and indoctrination in the traditions of ‘Pravda’ are what I am paying for. By law.

Mike
December 24, 2009 5:05 am

Well if I were to attempt this experiment, I would set it so that I can flush both bottles alternatingly with both gas mixtures, while they are being illuminated. That should reduce experimental error.

MarkW
December 24, 2009 5:06 am

They are using seltzer tablets dropped into water to create the CO2.
Was there any attempt to account for what the fizzing tablet did to the water vapor inside the “CO2” bottle? I would expect it to have a much higher amount of water vapor compared to the non-CO2 bottle.

Arthur Glass
December 24, 2009 5:08 am

“Current atmospheric CO2 content is 388 ppmv, which is 0.0388%, not 0.000388%.”
??? Surely the latter number is correct. 0.0388 would be 388 parts per 10,000 –two orders of magnitude difference!

ScientistForTruth
December 24, 2009 5:17 am

I’ve written a post on this madness before – relating to a similar experiment by the Royal Society of Chemistry.
http://buythetruth.wordpress.com/2008/12/08/greenhouse-nonsense
It also shows how incredibly ignorant are those who write about the ‘greenhouse effect’. The RSC actually states “Because they act in a similar way to the glass panes of a greenhouse (ie letting in more light radiation from the Sun than they let infrared radiation out), they have been nicknamed ‘greenhouse gases’”, which is of course complete bunkum; and the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research (of all places!) states “In order to understand the greenhouse effect on Earth, a good place to start is in a greenhouse. A greenhouse is kept warm because energy coming from the Sun (in the form of visible sunlight) is able to pass through the glass of the greenhouse and heat the soil and plants inside. But energy which is emitted from the soil and plants is in the form of invisible infrared (IR) radiation; this is not able to pass as easily through the glass of the greenhouse. Some of the infrared heat energy is trapped inside; the main reason why a greenhouse is warmer than the garden outside.” With science in this state, is it any wonder that the global warming brigade is such a shambles?

kwik
December 24, 2009 5:25 am

The AGW people (Alarmists on Global Warming) look at the planet as a bottle. Not surprising, after seeing the Monckton interview whit that greenpeace woman.
hehe.
What is interesting here is that BBC claims that FSB is behind Climategate. And BBC is basically the UK government.
Will be interesting to see the FSB response. Will they leak who the leak is because of this? Interesting times.

December 24, 2009 5:25 am

Doesn’t this ‘experiment’ show the true beauty of the AGW fraud? You can easily hoax people with no scientific background, if you use some ‘known and trusted’ person or entity, to push the hoax. Is this why the the AGW often use movie stars to hoax people? Or are they victims themselves.
The most dangerous thing of all is what people think they know as truth and it’s just not so. For example — More CO2 given off by man heats the earth is plausible to most people. Of course many don’t even know what CO2 is, but — When someone they know, and ‘trust’, says it, like Al Gore(or the BBC) people fall for it. Especially when you do an ‘iffy’ experiment that ‘proves it’, and use of experts to show all is well with and validate their experimental method.
The bad part — Politicians know all about this approach to selling junk science for political ends. This process happened with the junk science of DDT, and more than 30 million Africans, mostly children under the age of 5, died for this hoax. Today after 30 plus years of trying, WHO reauthorized DDT for use, finding no harm to man or planet.
Real science is not easy … It takes meticulous work to produce real science.

kwik
December 24, 2009 5:30 am

Another experiment;

kwik
December 24, 2009 5:31 am

Tom Segalstad says this in the youtube info area;
This video shows that a candle floating on water, burning in the air inside a glass, converts the oxygen in the air to CO2. The water rises in the glass because the CO2, which replaced the oxygen, is quickly dissolved in the water. The water contains calcium ions Ca++, because we initially dissolved calcium hydroxide Ca(OH)2 in the water. The CO2 produced during oxygen burning reacts with the calcium ions to produce solid calcium carbonate CaCO3, which is easily visible as a whitening of the water when we switch on a flashlight. This little kitchen experiment demonstrates the inorganic carbon cycle in nature. The oceans take out our anthropogenic CO2 gas by quickly dissolving it as bicarbonate HCO3-, which in turn forms solid calcium carbonate either organically in calcareous organisms or precipitates inorganically. The CaCO3 is precipitating and not dissolving during this process, because buffering in the ocean maintains a stable pH around 8. We also see that CO2 reacts very fast with the water, contrary to the claim by the IPCC that it takes 50 – 200 years for this to happen. Try this for yourself in your kitchen!
More background info at http://www.CO2web.info

Alberto
December 24, 2009 5:35 am

The same trick again. The laboratory is not the atmosphere. Incoming radiation, convection, and so on.

KeithGuy
December 24, 2009 5:39 am

Arthur Glass (05:08:22) :
““Current atmospheric CO2 content is 388 ppmv, which is 0.0388%, not 0.000388%.”
??? Surely the latter number is correct. 0.0388 would be 388 parts per 10,000 –two orders of magnitude difference!”
It is 0.0388% Don’t forget it’s a percentage.

Stefan
December 24, 2009 5:40 am

Just to recap, we still have one last objection:
When a person:
– isn’t paid by oil companies
– is a scientist
– is not a crank
– is in the field
– is peer reviewed
– and is nonetheless sceptical
then the last objection is, “he is just one person being irresponsible”.
Until we address the core values of greenies—those values that lead them to believe that they are better people—then we will continue to discover that “the science” never really mattered to them in the first place.

marc
December 24, 2009 5:42 am

@Arthur Glass
“??? Surely the latter number is correct. 0.0388 would be 388 parts per 10,000 –two orders of magnitude difference!”
Not if you are talking about percentages. For instance, 0.01 = 1%, so 0.000388 (388 ppmv) = 0.0388%.

Genghis
December 24, 2009 5:44 am

If I recall correctly, plastic blocks UV and some IR radiation. It seems to me that this experiment is primarily measuring the radiation that makes it through the plastic.
If AGW (CO2) increases the radiation hitting the earth we should be able to directly measure that increase over time as the CO2 levels increase. Where is that measurement?

Bill DiPuccio
December 24, 2009 5:52 am

The experiment must be performed “dry” to eliminate the variable of heat absorption due to water vapor. In other words, the humidity must be identical in both bottles and a dessicator should be used to eliminate as must moisture as possible.
So the CO2 should be added to the experimental bottle from a CO2 generator or compressed supply.
Assuming everything else is consistent, you now have a controlled experiment!

John M
December 24, 2009 6:09 am

Arthur Glass (05:08:22) :

“Current atmospheric CO2 content is 388 ppmv, which is 0.0388%, not 0.000388%.”
??? Surely the latter number is correct. 0.0388 would be 388 parts per 10,000 –two orders of magnitude difference!

380 ppmv = 0.00038 fraction by volume = 0.038%
Try it.
http://www.super-grow.biz/PPMConvert.jsp

Mr Lynn
December 24, 2009 6:11 am

crosspatch (01:25:30)
Excellent discussion of the difficulties in trying to ascribe huge powers of thermal blanketing to atmospheric CO2. Very lucid; I’m saving it to show to others.
/Mr Lynn

d
December 24, 2009 6:12 am

i know this is a repeated thought but as pressure goes up so does temp. one should compare temp increases with no lights involved and see if temp goes up. also luminosity increases or decreases with the square of the distance and who knows how if the lamps are at same distance. I think even a cm difference could make a big difference. looks like lights are not aligned equally either probably on purpose.

John M
December 24, 2009 6:17 am

tokyoboy (00:38:13) (and others) :

Probably not quite OT, but the Team and their relatives say that the recent gradual temperature decrease in the stratosphere evidences that the anthropogenic CO2 is warming the troposphere.

Only if you believe the graphs shown on this page show a “gradual” cooling.
http://www.acd.ucar.edu/Research/Highlight/stratosphere.shtml
I’ve seen it argued that ozone depletion in the stratosphere leads to cooling and the “recovery” of the ozone layer accounts for the halt in cooling of the stratosphere, but it seems to be a bit of a stretch to argue that the recovery of the ozone layer in the stratosphere is exactly enough to offset the effect of ghgs in the troposphere.
For some reason, the word “epicycle” comes to mind.

Nigel S
December 24, 2009 6:23 am

Dave UK (04:56:08)
O/T, sorry but for all UK non-TV viewers;
Don’t waste your money, you only need a BBC licence to watch TV at the same time as it is broadcast (by any station). Not needed for recorded shows (as long as you don’t record them yourself of course) including on BBC’s iPlayer. You can only be fined if you are caught watching as it is being broadcast (in any medium). Even if you are watching you can only be caught if you let the Teleban (geddit?) into your house or close enough to look through the window. The detector vans are a fraud (not another!) and have never been used as evidence.

ShrNfr
December 24, 2009 6:24 am

The basic problem is that the CO2 absorption lines are already pretty opaque at sea level. Adding more CO2 to that region will not make them significantly more opaque. Its like being placed on the floor and having a sheet of plywood put on top of you. You then get an elephant to stand on the sheet of plywood. You are pretty much toast. Adding a second elephant does not really change anything. The only result of adding CO2 and global warming is to push the point where the atmosphere becomes a bit more opaque further up into the troposphere. Down here at ground zero, the difference it makes is zero.
The whole greenhouse thing is a flawed concept put off on people who have been instructed by the run of the mill high school science teacher. [Not to insult high school science teachers, they start off trying to fix a defective product anyway]. Greenhouses and cloches work by having the stuff absorb the radiation and convert it to heat and then not be able to get rid of it by convection.
Stupid 101, thy name is the morons that try and teach science to the masses. Most people are more interested in the Simpsons or some bs reality show than they are in what makes the world work.

r
December 24, 2009 6:27 am

The whole idea of runaway green house gasses was originally based on the extreme temperatures of Venus. So the earths atmosphere has .00038% carbon dioxide. The atmosphere of Venus has about 90% carbon dioxide. Can anybody tell me what the actual increase of CO2 has been? I’d look it up but I don’t trust Wikipedia any more. I’d rather hear it from one of you.
Thanks

Philip C
December 24, 2009 6:41 am

I have made a formal complaint to the BBC, text below, and wait to see what response they offer.
“Some 13 minutes of the Newsnight programme were given to Justin Rowlatt showing a kitchen experiment to “Prove Global Warming” with two ‘top British scientists.
The ‘experiment’ was conducted by Dr Maggie Aderin Pocock who whilst qualified in physics and mechanical engineering is by no stretch of the imagination a top British scientist.
She then set up a totally misleading ‘experiment’ that completely filled one container with CO2 (because it is heavier than other air components and would have filled the bottle from the bottom up) whilst leaving the other with normal air inside. To be at all representative of the effects postulated by the AGW scientists she should only have added some 200 parts per million of CO2 to the air in this bottle i.e. just a few molecules. Her/Rowlatt’s bottle being full of CO2 would obviously have a greater tendency to absorb heat that the plain air one so this was a clear fraud perpetrated on people with no science knowledge at all.
Having produced a fraudulent ‘experiment’ Rowlatt then allowed Sir David King to make unchallenged statements about the emails leaked from UEA/CRU – implying a foreign intelligence-led hacking. He was also allowed to forecast huge sea level rises and othe effects as if they were imminent whereas, IF warming theory is right, they would be a couple of centuries or more away.
The BBC should not put out such one sided and clearly fraudulent information and the BBC Trust should not allow it to happen.”

Cory
December 24, 2009 6:41 am

My son and I did a similar science experiment at home a couple of years ago, without showing any temperature difference between the CO2 bottle and the air bottle. We weren’t very sophisticated, of course.
This article brings something else to mind for me, though it may only be tangentially related. All metaphors break down eventually, or course, but the ‘greenhouse’ metaphor doesn’t seem to really get very far in describing what really happens in the atmosphere. In a greenhouse the heat absorption that matters is the heat absorbed by the physical structures in the greenhouse, including the glass, and the fact that IR energy doesn’t pass through the glass the way the light energy does. So it is trapped inside, at least relative to the light. That doesn’t have a lot of relevance to the atmosphere since there is no glass surrounding it. The light energy is, of course, absorbed by the earth itself, and the gas in the atmosphere. But the trapping of that heat in the greenhouse is much different.
I have looked for any data supporting the idea that it is the gas itself in the greenhouse that makes the difference. In my limited search I could find no claims from botanists, etc, that increasing the CO2 in a real greenhouse has any effect on the temp inside. They do, of course, pump CO2 into some greenhouses, but only because it stimulates plant growth. More CO2 makes for more effective photosynthesis. And greenhouses are, of course, warmer than the ambient temp outside. But the increased temp in a greenhouse comes from an altogether different mechanism, not the CO2. At least the vast majority of it.
Does anyone else have any comments about that?

artwest
December 24, 2009 6:46 am

I’m not sure that these guys have got the hang of alarmism:
“Global warming creeps across the world at a speed of a quarter of a mile each year, according to a new study…”
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/dec/23/global-warming-spreading-quarter-mile-year
“Threats” which can be outpaced by a sloth with a limp are unlikely to scare even the dimmest pleb.

nigel jones
December 24, 2009 6:49 am

The BBC manages to inject some reference to AGW, as if it was an unquestionable article of faith, into roughly every other programme. It’s clear they see themselves as evangelists.
This sort of crude, shameless propaganda is exactly what you’d expect from them. They are of course, completely impervious to criticism and generally, simply ignore it.

Yertizz
December 24, 2009 6:51 am

@ Martin Judge…I agree with Anthony…. ‘Despair I understand, submission I do not.’
@ Barry Foster, same applies.
@ mikef2 and AndyN (plus anuone else) KEEP GOING…..but to be more effective, get your MP involved and get him to write directly to:
Mark Thompson Esq
Director General
BBC Broadcasting House
Portland Place
London
W1A 1AA
Mark your envelope: Strictly Private & Confidential
Be prepared for a long battle, I have been trying for over 3 years….or, as I have now done, ask your MP to refer it to the Culture, Media and Sprort Select Committee.
Good luck!

December 24, 2009 6:52 am

From the BBC website:
“One of the problems underlying the climate change debate is that whatever the majority of scientists say about global warming a lot of people remain sceptical about whether climate change is really man made.”
Even if this experiment is done well, in what possible way does it prove that global warming is man made? If man’s CO2 output was more than a tiny fraction of the total CO2 in the atmosphere, then they might have a case, but it’s not.

DirkH
December 24, 2009 6:56 am

“Mobile Phone Conversations.” Beeb turns away from grey propaganda, enters Black Propaganda mode now. They must be pretty desperate.

Ian L. McQueen
December 24, 2009 6:58 am

crosspatch (01:25:30) wrote a lot of interesting information that I have had to snip for length. What I question is: “…..CO2 absorbs radiation from two sources. It absorbs heat radiation from the ground but it also absorbs solar radiation. The majority of the Sun’s energy reaches Earth as infrared. Greenhouse gasses will act to block some of that infrared from reaching the ground. A molecule that absorbs a photon from the sun has a 50% chance of re-radiating that photon back toward the ground…..”
It is my understanding that CO2 does not absorb incoming (solar) short-wavelength IR radiation, but does absorb outgoing (from the earth) long-wavelength IR radiation.
IanM

DaveE
December 24, 2009 7:00 am

jmrSudbury (04:55:48) :

I wonder if the humidity increased due to the water/bakingsoda/vinegar reaction.
crosspatch (01:25:30), window panes of the popular sealed unit variety are a maximum of 12 mm aprt, so convection currents do not increase the rate of heat transfer.
John M Reynolds

I too wondered about transfer of H2O along with the CO2
As regards sealed units, typical spacing is from 12 to 24mm, most common being 16 or 18mm. The only people I’ve come across using less being John Carr Joinery of Doncaster who used 6mm.
DaveE.

dearieme
December 24, 2009 7:01 am

“And BBC is basically the UK government.” No it isn’t. Both are loathsome but they are not the self-same creature.

Curiousgeorge
December 24, 2009 7:02 am

Maybe slightly OT, but still relates to CO2. Only not in bottles. This one is about cows, the EPA, and lawsuits.
Excerpt:
NCBA Files Petition Against EPA Endangerment Finding
I didn’t know my wife was so diligent about checking my blogs, but apparently she is. I’m in hot water regardless.
Coming out of the gate on Christmas Eve,The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association has become one of the first groups to legally challenge the Environmental Protection Agency’s recent greenhouse gas endangerment finding rule.
I’m thinking there must be some symbolic religious tie-in here. Perhaps NCBA is trying to demonstrate that childbirth in a stable and baby care in a manger would not be allowed under the EPA greenhouse-gas rule. Anyway …
According to a news release Thursday, NCBA filed a petition Wednesday in the DC Circuit Court of Appeals.
“EPA’s finding is not based on a rigorous scientific analysis; yet it would trigger a cascade of future greenhouse gas regulations with sweeping impacts across the entire U.S. economy,” stated Tamara Thies, chief environmental counsel. “Why the administration decided to move forward on this type of rule when there’s so much uncertainty surrounding humans’ contribution to climate change is perplexing.”
http://www.dtnprogressivefarmer.com/dtnag/common/link.do?symbolicName=/ag/blogs/template1&blogHandle=policy&blogEntryId=8a82c0bc25987ff10125c1133c8901e8&showCommentsOverride=false

December 24, 2009 7:05 am

Newsnight ‘experiment’ ARGH!!
Merry Christmas everyone – hope Santa is kind to you all : D

Steve Goddard
December 24, 2009 7:13 am

There is no question that increasing atmospheric CO2 will cause some increase in temperature. The discussion needs to move to “how much?”

Al Gore's Holy Hologram
December 24, 2009 7:19 am

The upload on to the Russian file-sharing server was made via a Turkish proxy server which is well known and was accessed by a Mac using Netshade. That Turkish proxy server, which is open to all, is owned by a consortium known as the Russian Business Alliance, who dabble in all sorts of illegal activity, piracy and espionage and have links to the FSB.

Al Gore's Holy Hologram
December 24, 2009 7:21 am

Sorry, scratch that last post as it wasn’t completed.
The upload on to the Russian file-sharing server was made via a Turkish proxy server which is well known and was accessed by a Mac using Netshade. That Turkish proxy server, which is open to all, is owned by a consortium known as the Russian Business Alliance, who dabble in all sorts of illegal activity, piracy and espionage and have links to the FSB.
The Russians have so far said that the upload was not made from Russia but probably from the UK.

Mark
December 24, 2009 7:23 am

I’ve always wondered how the CO2 warming equation was derived. In a simple way, I would think that somebody built equal sized greenhouses and filled each one up with different amounts of CO2 (all else being equal), recorded the temperatures and came up with the equation.

SandyInDerby
December 24, 2009 7:30 am

Smokey (04:15:36) :
Trefor Jones (03:51:49),
“The BBC has an “Ethical Man”?? That’s really very funny. Is it a parody? Does he wear a clown suit? Or is he really that insufferable?
If I went to work for the BBC, could I be “Superior Man”? “Wonderful Man”? “Totally Honest Man”? “The Pope’s Supervisor”?
Do BBC employees get to pick whatever title they want, no matter how silly?”
They certainly don’t have a Skeptical Man or an Honest Man (they don’t recruit in Ayr Scotland for that reason -Ref Tam O’Shanter R Burns).

Ken G
December 24, 2009 7:30 am

Can somone tell me who exactly is arguing that co2 cannot “retain heat”?
Last time I checked that wasn;’t the real issue being debated among scientists (and last time I checked the earth wasn’t contained in a bottle either).
Perhaps the BBC could spend some time on the real issues instead of screwing up experiments to knock down a strawman argument.

R Shearer
December 24, 2009 7:38 am

Arthur, J
ohn above is correct re: Reader Brian C.’s letter states:
“one containing ‘atmospheric air with a greater concentration of carbon dioxide’ (they didn’t say how much they were adding, of course, but I’d bet it was substantially more than 0.000388%!).
Current atmospheric CO2 content is 388 ppmv, which is 0.0388%, not 0.000388%.
388 ppm is 0.0388%. For example, 1% of 1,000,000 ppm is 10,000 ppm. 0.01% would be 100 ppm. So, 388 ppm would be 0.01% x 3.88 = 0.0388%.

Henry chance
December 24, 2009 7:42 am

The man in the grey jacket knows not only the e-mail were hacked, but knows why they were hacked and “knows their strategy”
He lies. He hasn’t met the people and has no idea what their strategy is. Does he read minds of people for which he doesn’t even have names?
He makes stuff up.

tom t
December 24, 2009 7:43 am

I could not watch it. What is point of bringing in scientists to conduct a “very unscientific experiment”, unless it is to convince the audience that the unscientific experiment is actually scientific? This crowd looks very easy to to convince. You know you have an unquestioning lot when one guy thinks that putting a brick in his toilet will some how reduce global warming.

Kevin Kilty
December 24, 2009 7:48 am

crosspatch (01:31:24) :
Also notice the water droplets on the inside of the bottle in figure 3. That says the atmosphere inside the bottle is saturated with water vapor and it is condensing on the inside of the bottle.

Indeed, water in the bottle is a confounding factor, but we were following the prescription of NOAA, remember. CO2 absorption bands are a bit different from H2O vapor and so the small difference we observed is repeatable and unsurprising. There is a long, long list of things wrong with this experiment, which is the learning lesson it provides. We learned it, the BBC did not.

Henry chance
December 24, 2009 7:50 am

For non science people is see several questions non science people do not know to ask.
They don’t have measurements for the temps of the vinegar or the Na bicarb.
They also don’t have readings of bottle temps which have no light added. Remember much of our 24 hour day is dark.
We of course see no sample of CO2 that is similar to real life.
The Dr looks like Aunt Jemima. I wonder if she uses Aunt Jemimah pankake mix and measures the elevation of temps from the chemical reaction of baking soda and water when the mix is prepared. Some reactions give off heat and she didn’t mention that.
There are a long list of sloppy experiment techniques she uses that tell me she is a great teacher for gullible students. She also didn’t measure the humidity in the 2 bottles. It would have to also be equal. I haven’t read all the posts but know of several questions that haven’t been raised to even get to the point of the experiment being a clean one.

December 24, 2009 7:52 am


“Let me also make this allegation for the first time in public. It’s an extraordinarily sophisticated piece of work to hack into all of these emails and mobile phone conversations, right?”

No; give me access to ‘the switch’ (literally: the MTSO, “Mobile Telephone Switching Office” see) and the world is yours …
Alternatively, find a ‘switch tech’ who wants to be on ‘your payroll’ (ref Kevin Mitnick see). Kevin made use of many physical security holes overlooked by most people including the so-called ‘security experts’; the sewing together of many bits of info obtained form different sources enabled him to pull off what we did without being extraordinarily sophisticated.
.
.

Kevin Kilty
December 24, 2009 7:54 am

MarkW (05:06:38) :
They are using seltzer tablets dropped into water to create the CO2.
Was there any attempt to account for what the fizzing tablet did to the water vapor inside the “CO2″ bottle? I would expect it to have a much higher amount of water vapor compared to the non-CO2 bottle.

We thought about the tiny fiz-generated droplets making the air more humid. As others have pointed out there is some consensation on the bottles which shows saturation with water vapor. Interestingly, not all of the bottles show the condensation, and they are not consistently from the CO2 or non-CO2 group. We have interesting issues with the HVAC in that lab, so I suspect some bottles have a slightly cool exterior–yet another confounder.

chris y
December 24, 2009 7:57 am

The more I think about this experiment, the more convinced I become that it is a perfect experiment to highlight the catastrophic AGW hypothesis. Because it is such a poorly designed experiment, the huge error bars on the measurements allow the observer to conclude anything. Its the perfect experiment for policy-based evidence-making.
The situation is identical with surface temperatures, cloud cover, precipitation, sea ice cover, glacier mass, sea levels, ocean pH, etc, etc etc.

December 24, 2009 7:58 am

Are the bottles the same thickness?

December 24, 2009 8:00 am

Al Gore’s Holy Hologram (07:21:11) :,
And suppose it is not really anonymous to the FSB?

JonesII
December 24, 2009 8:02 am

kwik (05:31:50) : Dear kwik, nice experiment!. However we need a team of psychiatrists to explain the hysterical passion exibited by some europeans prime ministers after the copenhagen fiasco. One of them said: “we will have to change world institutions to make possible a success in Mexico”.
Let me tell you that her Gaia goddess is conspiring against them: Today it is snowing on the southamerican andes, closing highways, where the so called global warming deglaciation (btw.absolutely cyclical) took place. Take into account that south of the equator we are in summertime.

Kevin Kilty
December 24, 2009 8:05 am

Bob Koss (01:27:58) :
How can the air temperature be dropping?.
The first look we get at the temperature readings, the normal air reading was 35.6c and the co2 was 34.0c. You see them change to air 35.5c and co2 34.7c. Last reading is air 34.6c and co2 38.7.
It also appears to me the co2 lamp is slightly lower relative to the bottle.

There are a scad of things wrong with the BBC experiment. The worst is that by using two lamps rather than one, the scientists added yet another confounding factor. She had the thermocouples resting diagonally (it looked) in the bottle, so adding more confounding, had the lamps extremely close (so making the results more sensitive to location) and had the lamps pointed at the centers of the thermocouples, when the sensing element is probably down near the tip–maybe she was after the air temperature, but the sheath will conduct heat down to the tip anyway. But the behavior of the thermometers simply showed the residue of earlier trials. Well, the BBC “experiment” was not meant to prove anything, but to make a point.

December 24, 2009 8:06 am

Well, now we know why climate scientists prefer computer models. They apparently have no idea on how to set up valid experiments.

Kevin Kilty
December 24, 2009 8:07 am

crosspatch (01:31:24) :
I meant to say, small difference we saw with the Moll thermopiles.

Anticlimactic
December 24, 2009 8:12 am

Another let-down by the BBC was a trilogy called ‘The Climate Wars’. My memories of it are :
The presenter started out by proclaiming to be open minded about the debate, and he did go through the issues of temperature anomalies in built up areas, etc. My first twinge was when he was demonstrating CO2 as a greenhouse gas where he had a long clear plastic tube filled with air and showed a heat source through it, he then filled it with 100% CO2 and showed that the heat source was no longer detectable! If he had used the atmosphere with the CO2 removed, and then with the correct proportion of CO2 added and THEN shown the difference it would have at least been of some relevance.
The program also featured some climate skeptics who had apparently capitulated and agreed that at least some warming was man-made! The turning point was the hockey-stick graph. The argument seemed to be that if there were two competing theories, the sun versus CO2, when the hockey stick ‘proved’ it could not be the sun, but as CO2 levels matched the hockey-stick all the way, then CO2 was the cause.
I did not watch the third program on computer ‘models’. Unless a computer model can take the values of Earth’s atmosphere when life began [A LOT of CO2] and get reasonable temperatures it is invalid.
Also the close correlation between CO2 levels and global temperatures proves that it can not be CO2! It could only be true if there was absolutely no other influence, and then we get into the area where solar activity is governed by Earth’s CO2 levels.
To me natural CO2 levels seems to be a thermometer, which is why it lags changes in global temperature. Man-made CO2 seems to be like putting a candle next to a thermometer in a greenhouse. The thermometer may show a large increase but the actual rise in the greenhouse will be tiny.
The BBC showed these programs again during the Copenhagen conference, even though post Climategate the hockey-stick is even more questionable.

Physics Major
December 24, 2009 8:17 am

Did anyone bother to consider the IR transmission spectrum of the
poly(ethylene terephthalate) used to make the soda bottles?
http://riodb01.ibase.aist.go.jp/sdbs/cgi-bin/direct_frame_top.cgi
I would say that this experiment epitomizes today’s state of “climate science” : ignore every other factor and attribute any change to CO2.

Kevin Kilty
December 24, 2009 8:20 am

ralph (04:17:38) :
Should the thermocouple not be shaded from the lamps – to prevent radiant energy simply creating an increase in temperature in the thermocouple itself (and not the gasses). Stevenson Screens are shaded, so surely the thermocouple should be.

The way we figured it, we were interested in the equilibrium temperature of the thermocouple just as though it represented the surface of the earth. The experiment is just a mess anyway, and so why put much more effort into trying to improve it? It works well to illuminate other lessons.

December 24, 2009 8:30 am

I saw the original version of the BBC Newsnight programme and was utterly appalled and amazed by such a naked piece of propaganda and infantile (and incorrect) science. I nearly threw the TV set out of the window. I am planning to lodge a formal complaint to the BBC Trustees and OfCOM. Anyone want to join in?
Christopher Booker quotes the BBC’s editorial policy in his wonderful book ‘The Real Global Warming Disaster’ on p248 as follows:
“BBC News currently takes the view that their reporting needs to be calibrated (sic!) to take account of the scientific consensus that global warming is man-made. The BBC’s Editorial Guidelines, issued to all editorial staff, state that ‘we must ensure we avoid bias or imbalance of views on controversial subjects'”….
Can you believe it. They are telling themselves that they do not need to be balanced on global warming because it is NOT controversial (there’s a consensus, stupid). As Booker puts it, ‘In the name of reporting impartially, it sees no need to report impartially.’
It is time the BBC was held accountable for its Charter obligations of impartiality in regard to the AGW propaganda exercise. So start lodging your complaints.
REPLY: Your most effective actions are to stop paying the TV license tax. Watch TV on your PC. – Anthony

Allan M
December 24, 2009 8:34 am

This is the same Dr. King:
“Andrei Illarionov, former chief science adviser to President Putin:
… in respect to the presentation made by representatives of the so-called official team of the British government and the official British climate science, or at least how they introduced themselves at the seminar. I personally was surprised by the exceptionally poor content of the papers presented…
Simultaneously, they revealed an absolute—and I stress, absolute inability to answer questions concerning the alleged professional activities of the authors of these papers. Not only the ten questions that were published nine months ago, but not a single question asked during this two-day seminar by participants in the seminar, both Russian and foreign, were answered.
When it became clear that they could not provide a substantive answer to a question, three devices were used… The British participants insisted on introducing censorship during the holding of this seminar. The chief science adviser to the British government, Mr. King, demanded in the form of an ultimatum at the beginning of yesterday that the program of the seminar be changed and he presented an ultimatum demanding that about two-third of the participants not be given the floor.The participants in the seminar who had been invited by the Russian Academy of Sciences, they have been invited by the president of the Academy of Sciences Yuri Sergeyevich Osipov. Mr. King spoke about “undesirable” scientists and undesirable participants in the seminar. He declared that if the old program is preserved, he would not take part in the seminar and walk out taking along with him all the other British participants.
He has prepared his own program which he proposed, it is available here and my colleagues can simply distribute Mr. King’s hand-written program to change the program prepared by the Russian Academy of Sciences and sent out in advance to all the participants in the seminar.
A comparison of the real program prepared by the Academy of Science and the program proposed as an ultimatum by Mr. King will give us an idea of what scientists, from the viewpoint of the chief scientific adviser to the British government, are undesirable. In the course of negotiations on this issue Mr. King said that he had contacted the British Foreign Secretary Mr. Straw who was in Moscow at the time and with the office of the British Prime Minister, Blair, so that the corresponding executives in Britain should contact the corresponding officials in Russia to bring pressure on the Russian Academy of Sciences and the President of the Russian Academy of Sciences to change the seminar’s program.When the attempt to introduce censorship at the Russian Academy of Sciences failed, other attempts were made to disrupt the seminar. At least four times during the course of the seminar ugly scenes were staged that prevented the seminar from proceeding normally. As a result we lost at least four hours of working time in order to try to solve these problems.
During these events Mr. King cited his conversations with the office of the British Prime Minister and had got clearance for such actions.
And thirdly, when the more or less normal work of the seminar was restored and when the opportunity for discussion presented itself, when questions on professional topics were asked, and being unable to answer these questions, Mr. King and other members of the delegation, turned to flight, as happened this morning when Mr. King, in an unprecedented incident, cut short his answer to a question in mid sentence realizing that he was unable to answer it and left the seminar room. It is not for us to give an assessment to what happened, but in our opinion the reputation of British science, the reputation of the British government and the reputation of the title “Sir” has sustained heavy damage.”
It’s the mad hatter’s tea party

Nelson
December 24, 2009 8:38 am

Either their well-placed “skeptic” Phillip is a complete dumb*ss or is a plant. To go from being a skeptic (albeit one with an obligatory brick in his toilet) to being convinced that he would be an “idiot for not believing” and willing to “gladly pay [more taxes to solve AGW] tomorrow” over the course of a bogus kitchen experiment and some misleading statements from a “top scientist” is just too convenient.
It has been clearly demonstrated that if you’re skeptical like Phillip, you would be an idiot not to change your mind based on this experiment and pay more taxes tomorrow as well. This reeks of infomercial.

Gail Combs
December 24, 2009 8:48 am

Bruce (01:47:41) :
“This is a huge scoop! Who knew there were mobile phone conversations hacked? Only the FSB or the CSIS could/would do that! Which was it? Were they working together? The world needs to know! Why was such huge news slipped out like that? Did Sir David reveal this by mistake? Does he know too much? Is his life now in danger? Ian Fleming, eat your heart out – real life is much more exciting than your mundane stories!”
For what it is worth I was talking to a guy with CIA connections. He said British Intel and our CIA swap favors because although our laws make surveillance by our FBI and CIA illegal they do NOT cover British Intel. Therefore the spying is done by a foreign intel service and turned over to the national. Truth? Heck if I know but it would not surprise me.

R Shearer
December 24, 2009 8:51 am

Speaking of demonstrations that are sceintific nonsense, but are effective at fooling the scientific illiterate, see NOAA Administration Jane Lubchenco here:
http://multimedia.boston.com/m/27701104/state-of-climate-science-dr-lubchenco-demonstration-pt-2.htm
What is it about NOAA and these ridiculous demonstrations?

royfomr
December 24, 2009 8:53 am

The flood of complaints may give the BBC some food for thought but, if it’s anything like the EPA, the nett result is likely to be zero!
When that latter organisation went ahead on that ill-fated day, December 7th 2009, with the infamous ghg pollution endangerment finding it did so on a Tsunami of public comment!
This from the EPA site:
EPA issued the proposed findings in April 2009 and held a 60-day public comment period. The agency received more than 380,000 comments, which were carefully reviewed and considered during the development of the final findings.
Over 6000 comments a day and I’d be extremely surprised if the majority were supportive of the planned actions!
How did they manage to process this enormous volume, how did they extract the evidence that they’d asked for to lend legitimacy to the process and where is the report that presumably had to be produced?
Anyone know? FOIA anyone?

Michael
December 24, 2009 8:54 am
robr
December 24, 2009 8:55 am

Molon Labe (01:14:18)
Below is charted the calculated Specific Heat
(at constant pressure) for dry air @300K.
Molecule %/Atm Cp Cp-Atm
N2 78.08 1.039 0.8113
O2 20.95 0.918 0.1923
Ar 0.93 0.521 0.0048
CO2 0.036 0.846 0.0003
Ne 0.0018 1.031 0.00002
He 0.0005 5.196 0.00003
Dry Air 99.9983 1.00875
In the following chart the CO2 is doubled and
the N2 and O2 percentage reduced proportionally.
Molecule %/Atm Cp Cp-Atm
N2 78.053 1.039 0.81100
O2 20.941 0.918 0.19224
Ar 0.93 0.521 0.0048
CO2 0.072 0.846 0.00063
Ne 0.0018 1.031 0.00002
He 0.0005 5.196 0.00003
Dry Air 99.9983 1.00872
So doubling the CO2 has almost no effect on the
Specific Heat of dry air.
Left out of all this is water vapor which can vary
from 0-4%. The saturated vapor at this temp would
have a Cp of around 1.37 kJ/(kg)(K).

kadaka
December 24, 2009 8:57 am

In Robin (08:30:30) is:
REPLY: Your most effective actions are to stop paying the TV license tax. Watch TV on your PC. – Anthony
Sorry, but in comments I’ve read the UK government seems to have that one covered as well, it’s television programming therefore it’s a TV therefore you pay the tax.
Do they still make radios that pick up the audio of TV signals? Did the BBC broadcasts go digital and do they have radios for that? It’s still TV programming therefore they may be taxing the radios as a TV. Don’t blind people pay the tax, and they don’t use the video either?

Sue Smith
December 24, 2009 9:02 am

REPLY: Your most effective actions are to stop paying the TV license tax. Watch TV on your PC. – Anthony
Watching live TV on your pc still requires a licence in the UK – watching tv real time through any medium requires a licence.
I don’t think, in the experiment as screened, any extra CO2 could have been in the “global warming” jar. It was only 20 seconds between putting the bicarb in the feeder bottle (2:30), putting in the connecting tube (2:35) and then removing the connecting tube (by 2:51 it was gone, though we didn’t see it removed). Not even enough time to expell all the existing air in the tube, let alone the air in the feeder bottle.
Of course the experiment wasn’t as screened, as indicated by the various commentators above.
I wonder what temperature the air in the feeder bottle was – there was no thermometer measuring that.

maxx
December 24, 2009 9:02 am

Thanks for the laughs. That was one of the funniest videos I have seen in a long time. I can’t stop laughing!
Ummm…..it was meant to be funny….right?
The complete failure to include any actual science in this experiment has been well demonstrated by everyone else, but the red herring concerning great skills, resources and organization needed to obtain and distribute the emails is yet another case of fear mongering. The evil organization operating from an underground base on a volcanic island in the Pacific, straight out of james Bond. Give me a break. A 14-year-old script kiddie in his parents’ basement could have done the job over the course of a bag of Doritos and a Mountain Dew (standard script kiddie nutrition). Russian servers are weak and widely used as distribution points. You could get a list of vulnerable Russian servers as long as your arm at any blackhat site. Besides, this wasn’t a hack….it was a inside job pure and simple.

Grace
December 24, 2009 9:06 am

Not sure where I just saw it in connection with the “explanation” of this bogus experiment, but the notion that Venus is hot because of CO2 with no mention of it in relation to the sun is most peculiar.
Global warming seems to me to be another Galileo/hubris thing. In his time the sky revolved around the earth. Poor guy tried to point out man was not the center of the universe, that the earth revolved around the sun.
Today, we “know” the sun’s warmth *never* fluctuates more than 0.01% and cannot possibly have as much to do with climate as mankind. I’m thinking maybe the Hawaiians had something there. Perhaps there is a need to sacrifice more virgins to volcanoes to make them stop belching.

KeithGuy
December 24, 2009 9:06 am

Anticlimactic (08:12:21) :
Another let-down by the BBC was a trilogy called ‘The Climate Wars’.
I also remember this trilogy. Dr Iain Stewart’s open minded (?) analysis of the AGW debate.
Typical BBC – high production values, superficial analysis and a schmaltzy ending.

December 24, 2009 9:12 am

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilbd702_DR0&hl=en_US&fs=1&color1=0x2b405b&color2=0x6b8ab6]

KeithGuy
December 24, 2009 9:13 am

REPLY: Your most effective actions are to stop paying the TV license tax. Watch TV on your PC. – Anthony
Nice idea Anthony, but many have tried that one, but tha Auntee Beeb still gets you:
http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/check-if-you-need-one/topics/what-if-a-tv-licence-is-not-needed-top12/

Sue Smith
December 24, 2009 9:15 am

kadaka (08:57:28) :
There is no licence for radio in the UK – and I’ve never had a radio that could pick up the sound from TV, though I don’t have a digital radio.
The snow is all melting, so it might not be a white Christmas after all. Boo hoo.

December 24, 2009 9:15 am

On the plus side, it would save Joan Ruddock, Miliband E., and world saviour Gordon ‘I wasn’t invited but I’ll claim I was running the show’ Brown from blowing about £5,999,997.50 of public money we don’t have left to ‘create’ their next award-winning ad in the ‘campaign’ by just running a (further) edited (to enhance the narrative) version of this, over and over, on all BBC Broadcast Outlets.
Which will probably fare with a properly objective ASA about as well as the previous ‘scientists say’ efforts they have charged us for.
Important message. So far being botched by a venal and/or inept bunch of messengers.
With some involved we do have recourse at the ballot box every few years. With the BBC, well, like its funding, so much remains, forever, ‘unique’.

Ack
December 24, 2009 9:17 am

“Partially fill both bottles with water. In fact, we filled each with the same amount of water – about two inches worth.”
A very odd statement to me, 2″ of water? Why not use a fixed volume?

Keith
December 24, 2009 9:21 am

I am interested that few look at the impact of convection. Even the article at top of this thread glosses over it.
Warm CO2 will rise and surely that in itself cools it cos of work done against gravity, and other effects (expansion of surrounding upward convection currents, no doubt neither purely isothermal nor purely adiabatic), tho’ some of the energy will go into surrounding air packets. If convection goes into the stratosphere, and/or causes turbulence lower down, surely that will increase the outward radiation transfer, thus reducing the temperature rise necessary to reestablish overall radiation balance? Also, if there is any net expansion of the atmosphere – due continuing CO2 enhanced convection and any actual warming – won’t that increase the effective into – outer – space radiating surface? (and sustaining that expansion against gravity would absorb energy?)
The net of all this, together with CO2 absorbing IR on the way in from the sun ( and so reducing ground insolation and the CO2 being more “saturated” with energy) seems to me to underline how feeble its effect must be, especially at 338ppm.
As an aside, to be fair to warmists, the sun’s spectrum is approx 20% UV, 40% visible and 40% IR (I recall!) thus plenty of visible to heat the ground and reradiate as IR, even with GHG absorbing i/c IR.
But I have seen little qualitative explanation of how radiative balance is reestablished following an increment of CO2 in the atmosphere. The implication that it is mainly by lower atmosphrere temperature increases never seems to be explained in any detail, but perhaps it is too mathmatical for qualitative explanation with simple breakdown of the energy flows and destinations by %. Or maybe the AGW alarmists have just siezed on a simplistic or wrong causal model to explain apparent correlations?
Views?

December 24, 2009 9:26 am

REPLY: Your most effective actions are to stop paying the TV license tax. Watch TV on your PC. – Anthony
Thanks, Anthony. I’m up for it, but have to persuade the wife… Maybe I’ll go in stages; letter to the BBC DG cc’d to my MP, approach to Culture, Media and Sports Minister, OfCOM etc, then withdrawal of licence fee (tax).

Chris S
December 24, 2009 9:29 am

The program was presented by Newsnight’s ethical man, Justin Rowlatt.
It’s purpose was to bolster the faith of faltering believers.
Under the guise of trying to convince hardened skeptics, the “experiment” was the highlight. With some pitifully transparent propaganda, the finale showed that most of the “skeptics” were now convinced, vowing to change their lifestyles drastically.
What stood out most of all was how unconvincing the skeptics were in their role. I seriously believe they were either actors or activists.
No point complaining to the BBC though, they’re too far gone.

wenx
December 24, 2009 9:30 am

To simulate the earth “Green House” effect, there is a major problem in those experiments.
Consider the earth-sun set-up. The sun is not shining the same air mass 24 hours a day. if the air with more CO2 got higher temperature during the day time,then it would radiate energy out faster than the cooler air during the night time.
the question is how much extra heat accumulation each day?
Those experiments did not simulate the cooling time.
Second, the earth atmosphere has no cover, it is totally open. The bottle is a totally closed environment. that’s a big difference.

George E. Smith
December 24, 2009 9:32 am

So let’s recall what we saw. Two very unscientific pieces of apparatus; water bottles unknown output lamps etc. So the allay suspicions of fairness, they turned the lamps on with both bottles full of ordinary air, and showed that their temperatures exactly tracked, so there was no difference between the two set of apparatus.
Then along came this pink elephant and farted; excuse me, that’s flatulated in one of the bottles, and changed the atmosphere so then it cooled down; hic, scuse me mate, I didn’t quite catch that, could you refresh my memory; oh dear I think I going to burp, hic, well they sure talked funny.
I think I could probably sell most of them, hic, the London Bridge; including that BBC duffer who didn’t notice how the heat lamp cooled the bottle of ordinary air; ‘ang on mate, while I get anover Newcastle Brown Ale, hic !

LPM
December 24, 2009 9:37 am

A similar “experiment” was performed on the Discovery Channel’s hit series “Myth-Busters” It was a “kid science” special episode.
Some young fans of the show were invited to join the hosts to perform various experiments including the CO2 temperature one.
The result of course was that CO2 retains heat (shocker!).

Julian Flood
December 24, 2009 9:39 am

I wonder why the kitchen was so hot — could it be that at lower temperatures the experiment was complicated by condensation on the inner surfaces of the experimental bottles? If so, maybe they could have used that complication to carry the science a little further by explaining that the big unknown in climate science is cloud behaviour, condensation of the water vapour in humid air.
But that, of course, would have been science rather than propaganda.
Has anyone tried the experiment with both bottles holding a pint of water and an external temperature of, say, 12 degrees? If the lights were not so close I’d expect the results to be interesting.
JF

December 24, 2009 9:39 am

It would be of value to consider the following when running this experiment:
a) swap the thermocouples, run the experiment again, and average the results to cancel out the differences in TC characteristics.
b) run the experiment again doubling the moisture to show the effect of increased water vapor which has 26 times more of a spectral absorption bandwidth or global warming influence than does CO2. (When the BBC starts out with room temperature, superheated, winter air, there is very little moisture to begin with).
Better still, duplicate Dr. Heinz Hugs’ experiment which demonstrates that doubling CO2 results in a 0.012C increase.
Even better still, show what happens when wv is doubled and CO2 is left alone!

DJ Meredith
December 24, 2009 9:40 am

The only TV science out of the U.K. I’ll watch is Top Gear.
Lots of hot air, but their honest about it, with entertaining video to boot.

Steve Oregon
December 24, 2009 9:41 am

Just as asinine is this video of NOAA cheif Jane Lubchenco doing a little experiment /demonstration in a congressional hearing.
Jane claimed that our CO2 emissions are making the ocean so acidic parts are already corrosive and are causing sea life to suffer from a kind of osteoporosis.

Hilario
December 24, 2009 9:42 am

A British scientist named Wood did an experiment, reported in a paper in 1909, which is said to have disproved the green house gas warming theory. I do not know if that conclusion is correct as I am not a scientist, but perhaps it is time the experiment done by Wood was repeated for all to see!

D. King
December 24, 2009 9:43 am

Would not a better experiment be to add only a miniscule amount
of N2 and O2 (80-20) to one bottle reducing the concentration of CO2?

December 24, 2009 9:44 am

>>Flights canceled as Europe snowed in
We have had snow on the ground for more than a week now, in NW Europe. Most unprecedented for December in recent times. I’ve not seen this in 20 years, at least.
.

David Segesta
December 24, 2009 9:45 am

The thing I find most troublesome about this experiment is this. One bottle is filled with air which is .0388% CO2. The other bottled is filled with CO2. We don’t know how much CO2. But CO2 is denser than air so most likely it would displace most of the air and force it out through the top. So that bottle would be close to 100% CO2. But no one is saying that our atmosphere is in danger of becomming 100% CO2. Scientists typically speak of a doubling of CO2. That would be .077% CO2, or less than 1/1000 of what was used in the experiment. Try the experiment again with .077% CO2 in the second bottle and I predict no measurable difference. Although it seems that there is also no measurable difference if the experiment is simply run carefully even with 100% CO2.

George E. Smith
December 24, 2009 9:48 am

Anybody want to speculate just how much 15 micron wavelength LWIR those lamps put out.
At the lamp temperature maybe in the 2800K range, the lamp would be emitting something much closer to sunlight, than to “earthlight” at 288K. That spectrum would be much more conducive to CO2 warming, than real earth emissions.
I would say the experiment was about as controlled as setting off some trinitrotoluene and asserting that organic chemicals are all dangerous.

grumpy old man
December 24, 2009 9:49 am

O2 and N2 in air have no infrared spectrum because they have no dipole moment. H20 has a strong infrared absorption near 2.8u, but the vapor pressure in the experiment would be low. The super strong 4.3u band in CO2 will absorb all the energy in that band. There is also a strong infrared absorption in CO2 at about 15u, which could come into play.
For the experiment to work, the glass in the bulb would need to be somewhat transparent at 4.3u, or heat up enough to be a bright IR source at 4.3 and 15u. The plastic bottles would also have to absorb rather little in the infrared so that the bottle heating wouldn’t dominate the gas heating. A very thin bottle, like a soda bottle, would have a better chance than the thick ones they seem to be using.
The experiment could be made to show that CO2 has absorption, but it would take a bit of understanding of Infrared physics, and it’s not much of a surprise that CO2 has infrared absorption bands anyway.

El Abuelo
December 24, 2009 9:55 am

Another BBC xperiment:

Experiment showing the absoption of infrared radiation by carbon dioxide. From the BBC 2 program “Earth: The Climate Wars”
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00djvq9
If i think candle was sun and camera was in earth surface..

Kevin Kilty
December 24, 2009 9:57 am

M. Simon (07:58:41) :
Are the bottles the same thickness?

I don’t know, but we used the same type of bottle to hopefully eliminate this as a source of confounding. Also, someone mentioned the IR spectrum of the PET, and we didn’t look at that either. Obviously the bottles get involved, but our try with the Moll thermopiles looks though a single bottle and just adds CO2. There is only so much trouble that makes sense for an “experiment” like this.

December 24, 2009 10:04 am

As a process plant draftsman for a company called Liquid Carbonic many years ago I came to love CO2.
I later moved onto designing piping for air separation plants, splitting atmospheric air into it’s main components via cryogenics and distillation.
How have people gotten so stupid, so fast?
Oh wait, I think I know. It’s due to the dumbing-down and politicization of education and the prevalent MSM attitude that we only know what we’ve been told by our betters. If they don’t talk about it, it didn’t happen.

rabidfox
December 24, 2009 10:07 am

I keep hearing about this 20 ft rise in oceans so I decided to do some rough calculations:
Surface area of the oceans is approximately 129,443,838 sq miles (converted from 335,258,000 sq Km) rising 20 feet requires 2.589 trillion cubic feet of water. Is there that much water in the Iceland glaciers?

El Abuelo
December 24, 2009 10:19 am


i must send his xperiments to BBC
LOL

jaypan
December 24, 2009 10:21 am

Completely OT but …
you all here, Anthony, the moderators and bloggers have a wonderful christmas and keep doing this great job in 2010.
Thank you all for a lot of valuable information.

Calvin Ball
December 24, 2009 10:23 am

I’m sure someone else has pointed this out, but this isn’t even faintly similar to the earth! The greenhouse effect is based on the absorption of longwave IR from a 300k surface. This is shining a ~6000k source that’s shortwave IR and visible light, that CO2 doesn’t substantially absorb!.
In Trenberth’s words, this is a travesty.

zt
December 24, 2009 10:23 am

Not only are all scientists to be embarrassed by climategate – but apparently all British people too.
Nevertheless, interesting to see the BBC reduced to soap commercial tactics – in order to bolster the public’s flagging ‘belief’. ‘And here’s one we washed in a our powder’.
And when the facts aren’t correct, we’ll make some up.
How about reporting the new allegations made by King – there’s a bit of news for you. If there are mobile phone intercepts, let’s see, them. Oh – sorry – that would be journalism not evangelism.
But, I guess that they have already tried saying ‘8/10 scientists say their cats prefer AGW’. So you have to give them points for realizing that scientist credibility had been destroyed by climategate, and a new tactic was required.
Ugh – at least Canada and Australia aren’t quite so gripped by this madness.

ShrNfr
December 24, 2009 10:24 am

I am beginning to wonder how long it will be before they have to put armed guards around Hadley to defend it from irate British Citizens? http://www.telegraph.co.uk/topics/weather/6822848/Britain-braced-for-6ins-of-snow-as-cold-snap-continues.html
I know that the Brits that have not left that God awful place are a little slow on the uptake, but sooner or later its got to sink in.
“Hadley Predicts Unusually Warm Winter” – yeah right buddy. Somehow it looks like you guys are going to run out of salt and sand by mid january.

Richard111
December 24, 2009 10:27 am

“”Steve Goddard (07:13:59) :
There is no question that increasing atmospheric CO2 will cause some increase in temperature. The discussion needs to move to “how much?”””

My take is that the GHE of CO2 on global temperature is that it is constant. With sufficient CO2 in the atmosphere to make it opaque at the bandwidths specific to CO2 we get about half being radiated back down. As CO2 increases so the optical depth gets lower. Remember CO2 can only intercept some 4% of the total outgoing radiation.
The total back radiation does not change.

a jones
December 24, 2009 10:27 am

I am amazed that people still use thermocouples/piles. Ever since the first silicon base devices came out in the late 70’s, the first by analog devices I seem to remember, you really do have a range of superb, accurate and well calibrated devices. For those not familiar with them essentially largely irrespective of the voltage applied, within limits, they control the current so that it is proportional to absolute temperature, and work over quite a wide range too. Of course that might be too much magic for a supposedly scientific demonstration.
Which raises the point that these people do talk down to the public as though they are schoolchildren, I have seen several examples of this, and it isn’t very edifying, especially when the BBC reporter is full of breathless admiration. Analogy is all very well but the public aren’t fools so why should they be treated like that?
I do not expect them to have more than a basic knowledge of mathematics and indeed statistics and science in general but I dislike the patronising way this is so often done by the BBC. Usually without any pertinent questions being allowed. Or asked by the reporter for that matter.
Kindest Regards

GP
December 24, 2009 10:29 am

I’m not sure most of the North American readership would recognise this but the BBC’s ‘Ethical Man’ has a pretty nice and big kitchen compared to the average citizen of the UK, especially for one of such tender years. I doubt you could get a film crew and the guest list into my entire ground floor and wher I live is a lot less expensive than London., where, I suspect, Mr. Rowlatt.
The BBC clearly pays well throughout the ranks, not just for its so called ‘stars’.

December 24, 2009 10:30 am

Professor Kilty – thanks for re-running this ‘experiment’.
I’d have loved to hear the discussions amongst the students while doing this … recalling my past experiences during practicals.
The sad thing is that so many of the young activists, being mostly arts grads, think this sort of BBC experiment represents true science.
Personally, I think it was unfit even for a children’s TV programme.
In case I get distracted by visitors (unlikely when our roads and streets could do duty for ice skating rinks) – thanks, Anthony and all mods for this site of sanity – and a Merry Christmas to all of you and all commenters!

Michael
December 24, 2009 10:34 am

Oh No, Obama talked about the icy weather. Now the MSM has to cover it. Climategate is sure to come up.
Obama girls can’t believe school canceled
http://www.politico.com/blogs/anneschroeder/0109/Obama_girls_cant_believe_school_cancelled_.html

December 24, 2009 10:35 am

Opalek, (09:39:33) :
a) swap the thermocouples
======================
All good piping designers know that the sensing element must be placed in the main flow and away from flow disturbances, otherwise you’ll get bad readings.
“Climate Scientists” seem to not know about fundamental fluid dynamics (let alone the inherent chaotic system of the planet – sheesh). Thank God they’re not designing process plants, as things would be going boom! more often and right in your neighborhood.

Dr.T G Watkins(Wales)
December 24, 2009 10:39 am

I made a formal complaint regarding this programme and received a polite but completely inadequate reply. In common with many others I object to my compulsory licence fee being used in such a way. As you know the BBC has taken a position on AGW and I have yet to watch any show with even semblance of balance. Does anyone know how to take a complaint further?

DirkH
December 24, 2009 10:42 am

To cheer you all up, why watch the gravy train pass you by?
http://www.moneyweek.com/investments/commodities/how-to-profit-from-carbon-trading.aspx
Ignore the repetition of the conformist viewpoint article and concentrate on the financial advise.
Some numbers: Carbon trading is at a volume of 126 billion USD in 2008.
[ http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2009/12/protecting-big-carbon.html ]
China gets 66% of the carbon credits emitted under the CDM. This explains why Maurice Strong is in China. So the european public pays China for NOT doing something that emits the dreaded CO2. A very elegant way to fund your communist party, i must say.
And to rabidfox, the 20ft sea level rise is only a made up number to scare the chicken. If the entirety of Greenland and eastern Antarctica melted that would result in 1.4 meters of sea level rise, that’s what i heard. Iceland is a bit too small to make any difference at all. Do they even have glaciers there?
Why did the chinese derail COP15 when they’re profiting from Kyoto? Something must be going on behind the scene.

LarryOldtimer
December 24, 2009 10:46 am

With so many variables possibly varying all at once, and nothing in the way of controls, this experiment is worthless to demonstrate anything. But I did enjoy the surprise of the students in finding out how hard it is to find actual temperatures with thermometers, and how different thermometers indicate different temperatures at the same temperature. This was a good lesson to be learned. That was more than interesting to me when I found that out as a Freshman taking a college chemistry course back in 1953.
Regardless of the specific heat ratio of carbon dioxide vs air, the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere is so tiny compared to the whole that it couldn’t make a temperature difference that could be detected by any prevalent temperature measuring device. Making the amount twice as high would still make no temperature difference. Did the radiation source emit ultra-violet radiation? No matter, as glass is opaque to ultra-violet radiation. Water vapor alone would overwhelm the effects of carbon dioxide, as the specific heat of water vapor is much greater than the specific heat of carbon dioxide, and there is so much more of it. The more water vapor, the much lower increase in temperature however much heat is added.

DirkH
December 24, 2009 10:53 am

…sooorryy i meant western Antarctica. East Antarctica is what won’t melt so fast.

Don Casada
December 24, 2009 10:59 am

I wonder if line voltage was maintained constant during Run 4? A drop of 1volt (which is well inside the range of common variability and would ) would have about the same impact as the observed change.

D. King
December 24, 2009 11:02 am

Steve Oregon (09:41:14) :
Just as asinine is this video of NOAA cheif Jane Lubchenco doing a little experiment /demonstration in a congressional hearing.
Hey, that could burn your face off!
Can you imagine documenting this for posterity?
Future dad expressions:
Don’t be such a Lubchenco.
What are you a Lubchenco?
I didn’t raise any Lubchencos that lived.

A Erickson
December 24, 2009 11:03 am

OT – Chemical and Engineering News, the weekly publication of the American Chemical Society has a major article on global warming, http://pubs.acs.org/cen/coverstory/87/8751cover.html, which is at least halfway balanced in it’s report. They have other stories in the same paper that may be less so.

r
December 24, 2009 11:05 am

The fizzy tablets are a chemical reaction. Don’t they give off heat?

Doug in Seattle
December 24, 2009 11:10 am

Verifiable truth doesn’t matter to the AGW faithful. Why should it? They have a consensus and they still have a majority of people who believe their dogma (they may not agree that they should pay for it now, but they still believe).

Terry
December 24, 2009 11:11 am

I’m going to have myself some big fun with the BBC dictatorship (BBCD) apparatchiks over this. Global warm mongering will be the last of their worries when I light an inferno of complaints under their asses! Come on everybody in Britain – trash the BBC dictatorship with a deluge of complaints! Action this day and every day!

Mike J
December 24, 2009 11:12 am

The Climategate archive of emails started in 1996, not 1998. Most of them are from 2003-2009. There is a graph of the emails by month here:
http://thoughtfulanalysis.wordpress.com/2009/12/21/an-analysis-of-the-climategate-emails-per-month/

Nigel S
December 24, 2009 11:18 am

KeithGuy (09:13:20)
This site explains it all.
http://www.bbctvlicence.com/index.htm
Better still just stop watching it rots the brain.

yonason
December 24, 2009 11:29 am

Since my post on BBC on another thread I’ve found that BBC-Watch is back in business, and here’s their link.
http://bbc-watch.com/
Hope it helps.

Erik B
December 24, 2009 11:39 am

After watching I am convinced global warming is true, as long as the globe is not a sphere, but shaped like a 2 liter plastic soda bottle, AND humans don’t live on the surface of the planet, but they live inside the planet, AND the planet surface is just something resembling clear plastic.
More and more, I really do think I live in a world gone mad!

December 24, 2009 11:39 am

The alarmists have trumped the skeptics at this year’s Special Olympics.

DeNihilist
December 24, 2009 11:40 am

crosspatch @1:25:30
question – as the CO2 molecule rises, would not the percentage of chance for the photon to be re-emiited towards the earth decrease with height? Say at 5 kilometers, if the photon escaped just below the horizontal, it may not “see” the earth? is this a correct thought process?
Thanx

jorgekafkazar
December 24, 2009 11:45 am

crosspatch (01:25:30) : “Experiments like this are silly for many reasons. Most importantly they don’t reflect the natural system. Everyone knows that CO2 absorbs radiation in a few very narrow bands of wavelengths. Any moisture in the air would greatly defeat this, though, and swamp the impact of CO2.”
Aye, there’s the rub. Water vapor is the strongest greenhouse gas. Unless the water is kept at the exact same temperature in both vessels, the experiment is bilgewater. It’s propaganda, not science.

Gary Hladik
December 24, 2009 11:47 am

Cory (06:41:37) : “In a greenhouse the heat absorption that matters is the heat absorbed by the physical structures in the greenhouse, including the glass, and the fact that IR energy doesn’t pass through the glass the way the light energy does.”
As ScientistForTruth (05:17:40) points out, blocking outgoing IR is of minor importance in a real greenhouse, as demonstrated by constructing one out of material that doesn’t block IR.
Ian L. McQueen (06:58:15) : “It is my understanding that CO2 does not absorb incoming (solar) short-wavelength IR radiation, but does absorb outgoing (from the earth) long-wavelength IR radiation.”
CO2 also absorbs some incoming IR; H2O absorbs more. See this graph from (sorry) Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Solar_Spectrum.png

jtwigge
December 24, 2009 11:49 am

I have jut posted the following as a comment over at the BBC. I live in England.
I have just watched this video and was quite shocked at how poor the experiment was. Any water in the bottle could make a huge difference.
I was even more shocked at the blatant untruths that Sir David King put out…
When asked for a timescale for Greenland and the Antarctic melting he suggested that it would happen within his grandchildren’s lives ! That is preposterous. I bet he can’t find a single climate scientist to support that in any way whatsoever.
He states as a fact that he knows the objective of the hackers associated with Climategate. We don’t even know whether they were hackers or whether it was a leak.
He states that the hackers have been accumulating the emails since 1992. There is absolutely no evidence in the public domain for that.
He states that mobile phone conversations were hacked. This is not true so far as i know.
He suggests that some kind of agency is responsible for hacking the emails and and says that he will leave it up to us to think about what kind of agency could be responsible. The clear implication is that it is a foreign security agency. He is postulating something based on an assumption that is possibly wrong in the first place.
How can these comments be allowed to stand without an apology?
I find it all rather sad that an ex chief scientist and the BBC together put up such a shockingly bad show.

December 24, 2009 11:56 am

Merry Christmas Anthony and to all who post on WUWT from Canada. Thank you for your hard work, your enlightenment and determination.

Anticlimactic
December 24, 2009 11:57 am

Another quirk with the BBC – I watched a fascinating program about the jetstream, but in the program one meteorologist suggested that global warming moves the jet stream further north. Later in the program the same meteorologist talked about the English floods of 2007 where the jetstream moved unusually far south. I gather that 2007 was a particularly cold year globally [-0.73C] and the implication from the first statement would be that the floods of 2007 were caused by global cooling. That connection was missed out – it was just weather.
From BBC news at the time :
“BBC broadcast meteorologist Daniel Corbett said a broad band of low pressure had been sitting across the UK, pushing the jet stream – a ribbon of fast moving air in the upper atmosphere – further south than usual, keeping high pressure and settled weather away from the UK. ”
Does this make sense? A LOW pressure ‘pushing’ the jetstream. Also I thought it was the jetstream that did all the pushing.

Glenn
December 24, 2009 12:03 pm

There’s an article written by the reporter who did the show
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/ethicalman/2009/12/in_praise_of_scepticism.html
“Obviously, we had to radically cut down the scientists’ presentation to squeeze it into the tight TV time constraints but if you want to dig a bit deeper into the science of global warming the best place to go is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.”
Woh, he puts the “scientific” demonstration and the IPCC in the same sentence about science.
Read the rest, I figure this guy must have suffered some sort of blunt force trauma to the head as a child.

Richard
December 24, 2009 12:09 pm

Merry Christmas everyone. The experiment violates the rules of scientific experiment in several ways
1. Possible biases should have been noted and tried to be eliminated. For example the experiment should have been repeated several times, with the CO2 bottle switched between the bottles.
2. There was no means of calibrating the amount of CO2, which you try to keep the same as best you could.
3. As has been pointed out there was no way that anyone in their kitchen “can prove global warming”. The results would have been inconclusive
THE BIGGEST LIE – HE SAID WE ARE GOING TO PROOVE GLOBAL WARMING RIGHT HERE IN MY KITCHEN!

Al Gore's Holy Hologram
December 24, 2009 12:15 pm

Don’t pay TV licence. You can watch iPlayer and YouTube TV Shows channel in the UK as well as getting all of Sky TV channels through a computer or Xbox over broadband.

Al Gore's Holy Hologram
December 24, 2009 12:16 pm

“M. Simon (08:00:26) :
Al Gore’s Holy Hologram (07:21:11) :,
And suppose it is not really anonymous to the FSB?”
That’s what I was hinting at. The FBS via their connections in the Russian Business Alliance would be able to find out who the original uploader through the Turkish proxy is by examining the source’s IP address.

jtwigge
December 24, 2009 12:17 pm

How about a petition on http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/. (It is closed to new petitions over the holidays). It could go along the lines of:
We believe that the BBC should follow up on its “very unscientific experiment to prove global warming”, available at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/newsnight/8418356.stm with a more formal one to check the effect of doubling the level of CO2, which would be higher than almost any estimates of what we are doing or are likely to do in the atmosphere, in a well controlled environment similar to the one that they used.
We also believe that the BBC should investigate the following areas of Sir David Kings comments for factual accuracy and present their results and if required, an apology:
(details as per my comment here just a few minutes ago).
and any other areas which WUWT readers think should be added?
To make it work, i think it would need its own article here and also a press release to the worlds media. It would be interesting to see how many signatures it might get.

yonason
December 24, 2009 12:18 pm

jtwigge (11:49:13) :
“Any water in the bottle could make a huge difference. “
Excellent suggestion. Do same expts., with and without water. It’s only 2 more bottles, so it shouldn’t be too confusing for some in the audience, though from what we’ve seen I wouldn’t give the “experimenters” the benefit of that doubt.

crosspatch
December 24, 2009 12:23 pm

“It is my understanding that CO2 does not absorb incoming (solar) short-wavelength IR radiation, but does absorb outgoing (from the earth) long-wavelength IR radiation.”
A molecule will absorb radiation of a given wavelength from any direction, not just from below. The Sun also has quite a bit of long wave IR. Yes, it does also have a lot of shorter IR radiation. But “a lot” is also a relative term. Think of it like this:
Imagine you are at 10,000 feet altitude and enclosed in a glass bubble. Which long wave radiation are you going to feel more of; warmth from sunlight hitting your face or warmth radiating up from the ground? While the greatest percentage of IR radiating from the Earth’s surface will be in the long wavelengths and the greatest percentage of radiation from the sun may be in the shorter wavelengths, the absolute power of the longer wavelength solar radiation is still much greater than the absolute amount from Earth. If that isn’t clear, imagine 10,000 watts of power from the Sun with 10 watts of that power being long infrared. Now imagine 1 watt of power from the surface of the Earth with 0.5 watts of that power in the long infrared. So 50% of Earth’s radiation in this example is in long IR and only 0.1% of solar radiation is long IR, but we still see more watts of long wave radiation from the Sun than we see from Earth … during the day. At night 100% of the long wave IR is coming from the surface and THAT is where CO2 is going to have its impact … at night or during polar winter. CO2 is going to raise average temperature by increasing the minimum and that is why it has its greatest impact at the poles. They have night for months and it is at night when CO2 impacts temperature change the most by impeding radiation (in a few VERY NARROW wavelengths) to space. The poles are also where the air is driest and CO2 has the greatest relative impact on total impediment to radiation. Water vapor swamps CO2 less at the poles. CO2 would have almost no impact at the equator where water vapor by far swamps CO2 in both the amount of IR absorbed and the band of spectrum that it absorbs.
So while CO2 could very well cause an increase in global average temperature and a greater increase in annual average temperature at the poles, that change will be mostly an increase of low temperature in winter when there is no sun and the air is very dry, not an increase of high temperature when there is sun and there is more moisture in the air.

December 24, 2009 12:24 pm

Experiments of this type are demonstrated at science fairs etc. all the time and they’re a complete waste of time because as set up they are completely unable to show anything related to the ‘greenhouse effect’.
First of all the experiment should be done in a cold room, say -20ºC, rather than a bottle a tall open-necked Dewar should be used. A black target containing a thermocouple should be mounted at the bottom of the Dewar, and a calibrated light source (brightness T ~5000ºC) capable of shining the desired light intensity on the target (~200W/m^2). The top of the Dewar should be closed with a plate of a material capable of transmitting both visible and 15μm (e.g. ZnSe). Then you’d have a chance of being relevant, the soda bottle rigs aren’t even close to the ballpark.

December 24, 2009 12:26 pm

Anticlimactic (11:57:31) :
Does this make sense? A LOW pressure ‘pushing’ the jetstream. Also I thought it was the jetstream that did all the pushing.

It’s correct, fluid flow is driven by pressure differences.

Richard
December 24, 2009 12:27 pm

Merry Christmas everyone. The experiment violates the rules of scientific experiment in several ways
1. No possible biases were noted and no controls put into place.
2. The experiment should have been repeated several times, with the CO2 switched between the bottles. Proper controls established
3. There was no means of calibrating the amount of CO2, (which you could try to keep the same as best you could).
4. As has been pointed out there was no way that anyone in their kitchen “can prove global warming”. Or even the greenhouse effect of CO2. The results would have been inconclusive
THE BIGGEST LIE HE SAID STATED WAS – WE ARE GOING TO PROOVE GLOBAL WARMING RIGHT HERE IN MY KITCHEN!
With very sensitive instruments, and very carefully done experiments, you could confirm that CO2 would trap more heat, and the bottle with more CO2 would get a little warmer, BUT THIS WOULD NOT PROOVE GLOBAL WARMING!
Merely the undisputed fact of “the greenhouse effect” of CO2
“Global warming” simply stated is the hypothesis that in our real world, the very small percentage of CO2 we are putting into our atmosphere will cause our planet to warm dangerously.
VERY SPECIFICALLY AGW PREDICTS THIS CO2 WE ARE PUTTING INTO OUR ATMOSPHERE WILL CAUSE THE PLANET TO HEAT BY 3.5C BY THE END OF THE CENTURY, AT OUR CURRENT RATE OF CO2 ACCUMULATION.
This can NEVER be proven by any kitchen experiment or any other experiment for that matter, AND AT PRESENT THERE IS NO EVIDENCE THAT OUR PLANET IS WARMING THAT FAST OR INDEED WARMING AT ALL

December 24, 2009 12:33 pm

Gary Hladik (11:47:07) :
Cory (06:41:37) : “In a greenhouse the heat absorption that matters is the heat absorbed by the physical structures in the greenhouse, including the glass, and the fact that IR energy doesn’t pass through the glass the way the light energy does.”
As ScientistForTruth (05:17:40) points out, blocking outgoing IR is of minor importance in a real greenhouse, as demonstrated by constructing one out of material that doesn’t block IR.

Can you point me to a case where someone has done that?

December 24, 2009 12:39 pm

DeNihilist (11:40:12) :
crosspatch @1:25:30
question – as the CO2 molecule rises, would not the percentage of chance for the photon to be re-emiited towards the earth decrease with height? Say at 5 kilometers, if the photon escaped just below the horizontal, it may not “see” the earth? is this a correct thought process?

Not significantly the atmosphere is a very thin skin (~100km vs the earth diameter of ~6000km).

crosspatch
December 24, 2009 12:40 pm

Does this make sense? A LOW pressure ‘pushing’ the jetstream. Also I thought it was the jetstream that did all the pushing.

Imagine you have a series of pressure systems … H L H L H L, etc, at a given latitude around the planet. Now imagine you have a jet circling the Earth at about that latitude. Remember that air circulates clockwise around H and counter clockwise around L. As the jet approaches the the first H it will be pushed “up” or Northwards to form a sort of “ridge” and as it approaches the low it will be pushed “down” or South to form a sort of “trough” if you were drawing the line on a map. So an area of persistent low pressure at just the right location can push the jet South over the UK while if a high pressure area were in that location, the jet would “ridge” up and around it to the North.
If you look at a jet stream map, where you see the stream dip down to the South, you will generally find an area of low pressure above it and where you see it bend North, you will find an area of high pressure under the bend. And if you look at the map of the US right now, you will find the entire Western US dominated by high pressure and the jet is pushed so far North as to be off the map. There is practically no jet stream over the US right now.
Another important factor is the AO and Atlantic Oscillation which is actually a measure of the circumpolar jet. When it is “negative”, the pressure at the pole is weak, the jet is weak and slower and larger. When it is “positive” the pressure at the pole is strong, the jet is faster, and is smaller in diameter.
The AO is currently the most negative it has been since the 1970’s which means the polar jet is much farther South than it would be of the AO were “positive”.

Peter of Sydney
December 24, 2009 12:42 pm

I’m still waiting for an explanation as to why the temperature DROPPED by 1C over about 10 minutes in the bottle without the CO2 despite the lamp supposedly heating it up. Given the video is clearly a fraud, can any action be taken against the BBC?

R Shearer
December 24, 2009 12:42 pm

A. Erickson,
Thanks for the alert on the article C&ENews. I’ll read it in the place where I do my serious thinking. I might also flush Rudy Baum down the toilet, at least symbolically.
I haven’t renewed my ACS membership yet; I’m still trying to decide whether I can support such propaganda.

Glenn
December 24, 2009 12:46 pm

Peter of Sydney (04:11:43) :
“I reviewed the video a few times. I’m almost convinced the whole episode was staged. The main reason is I don’t believe so many people can be so stupid not to notice the drop in temperature in the bottle without the CO2 and question it.”
You and I are the only posters here that have commented on this fact.
It’s a most obvious fatal error, easily seen and easily understandable.
It can’t be defended or confused.
It clearly demonstrates the “rocket scientist” experiment as a laughing stock.
Although this may be evidence the experiment was fraudulently staged, that argument would complicate the issue and detract from the simple disproof everyone can relate to and understand. Stick your finger a few inches in front of a light bulb and see what happens.

crosspatch
December 24, 2009 12:47 pm

If you look this map you will see the jet stream in Europe dips South. This has Ireland and Scotland above it experiencing cold temperatures and the storm track crossing right through England, the English Channel and Northern France.

DirkH
December 24, 2009 12:49 pm

Anticlimactic (11:57:31) :
[…]
“BBC broadcast meteorologist Daniel Corbett said a broad band of low pressure had been sitting across the UK, pushing the jet stream – a ribbon of fast moving air in the upper atmosphere – further south than usual, keeping high pressure and settled weather away from the UK. ”
The broad band of low pressure must have been sucking on the jet stream. Would be my explanation. Can one say that on air?

Craig W
December 24, 2009 12:56 pm

Doesn’t anybody know how the argue using logic these days? I thought the Q&A with “Sir Scientist” was funny. He made a point to defend a conspiracy with a truther style conspiracy. “Our conspiracy is smaller than yours!”
What exactly does the experiment “prove”? Were the earth a corked jar it would be a barren desert. Yet another flawed model.

Kate
December 24, 2009 12:59 pm

People want to complain about the BBC, but don’t know how.
It’s actually very easy…
To complain about the BBC
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JonesII
December 24, 2009 1:00 pm

elmer (09:12:46) : Great your experiment. Now you have to put a global warmer fan in a plastic Bag and blow your truck exhaust gases in it.

crosspatch
December 24, 2009 1:04 pm

And if you look at this map you will very clearly see the storm that is pushing the jet stream so far South. This is likely the same storm that dropped all that snow on Washington DC.

KeithGuy
December 24, 2009 1:10 pm

During the Newsnight programme Sir David King was questioning the motives of the ClimateGate hackers. He stated that:
“They (the hackers?) have been accumulating them (the e-mails) since 1992 and they’ve just released them in the week before Copenhagen.”
Does he mean that they new Copenhagen would happen a way back in 1992?
Nigel S (11:18:03) :
“Better still just stop watching it rots the brain.”
I feel compelled to watch the BBC for the feeling of nausea that it gives me. LOL

Alvin
December 24, 2009 1:11 pm

388 ppm = 338/1,000,000 = 0.000388 correct?

Alvin
December 24, 2009 1:12 pm

doh 388/1,000,000

TheGoodLocust
December 24, 2009 1:18 pm

Here is the mythbusters video:

As you can see, they have four chambers, put one of the controls on the outside, the CO2 seems to be in the center and you can’t tell with the methane and 2nd control.
The center chambers would obviously be warmer though since they’d be warmed from two chambers adjacent to them, which the outside chambers would only be warmed by one adjacent chamber.
And that kid (unless it was for theatrical purposes), was recording the temps – I’m sure a brainwashed zealot would do a fine job accurately recording the temps.

rbateman
December 24, 2009 1:18 pm

From the “Weather is not Climate (but soon to be) dept:
70-75% of the US is currently covered in snow.
The Arctic Sea Ice in Greenland is wanting to grow a bridge to Iceland.
I got that early 70’s feeling.

michael hamnmer
December 24, 2009 1:26 pm

The deceit does not surprise me. It simply preys on the average persons lmited knowledge of this area of science. We know CO2 is a green house gas which means it absorbs at some wavelengths in the thermal infrared range. CO2 in the atmosphere does warm the earth, no argument. The argument is about how much extra warming comes from an increase from 280 ppm to 560 ppm.
The aim of the experiment is to show that the high concenrtation CO2 will absorb more energy than air and hence get warmer. Lets do a few calculations. Air at sea level has a density of about 1.29 km/cubic meter. Since the air pressure at sea level is 10,000 kg/sq M that means the entire atmospheric column is equivalent to 10,000/1.29 or 7700 metres of air at sea level pressure. I remember Heinz Hug years ago publishing the absorbance of the CO2 in the atmospheric column at 14 microns was about 2000 abs for 280 ppm. Thats equaivalent to about 0.26 abs per meter at 280 ppm. If the 2nd bottle contained pure CO2 its absorbance would be 0.26 *10^6/280 or 928 abs/meter. That means a 1mm thick layer would absorb around 90% of the 14 micron radiation. Since the bottle is about 100 mm in diameter it is safe to say it would absorb all the 14 micron radiation. That is of course assuming the pastic walls of the vessel did not already do so. Since plastics are good absorbers of infrared its quite likely they would absorb everything anyway.
Just raising the CO2 level to about 1%, (just breathe into the bottle) means a 100 mm path length would absorb 90% of the 14 micron radiation. What! am I saying a bottle of your exhaled breath is enough to absorb essentially all the 14 micron radiation incident on it? Yes thats right, so maybe a better question would be to ask, if that is so, what difference does it make to double the concentration. More to the point it explains why the experiment does not work for some people. Even the bottle nominally filled with air may have enough CO2 in it to absorb all the 14 micron infrared. Maybe the experiment should be run with 3 bottles, one filled with CO2 free air (put a bit of builders lime [calcium hydroxide] mixed with water in the bottom of the bottle to absorb the CO2), fill the second bottle with exhaled air and fill the third bottle with pure CO2. If the latter 2 both rise about the same amount then ask the question what difference does increasing CO2 make.
Of course while that would be an experiment in favour of the skeptics it would be just as misleading. Firstly, CO2 absorbs at 2.7 microns, 4 microns and 14 microns . The earth’s surface is not hot enough to radiate significantly at 2.7 and 4 microns only at 14 microns. However the light globe filament is far hotter and would radiate far more energy at 2.7 and 4 than at 14 so we are measuring the impact of different absorption bands. Further, we know the pre industrial level of CO2 is already 1000 times more than necessary to absorb all the 14 micron radiation from Earth. The actual impact depends on the contuous absorption and emission of 14 micron radiation up the atmospheric column which this experiment does not come close to addressing. The fact that CO2 absorbs some infrared wavelengths does not mean AGW is proven. I did an analysis of the impact of CO2 in an article at http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/2009/03/radical-new-hypothesis-on-the-effect-of-greenhouse-gases/
Here is a simple experiment you can do along the same lines just for fun. Get a heat lamp, turn it on and put your hand say 50 cm in front of the lamp. Feels warm? Now get a container of water (a fish tank is ideal – parallel sides) and put it between the lamp and you hand. Does it feel as warm? No it feels much colder because water is a good absorber of infrared radiation – ie: it is also a green house gas. What does it mean in relation to proving or disproving AGW? Precisely nothing.

Galen Haugh
December 24, 2009 1:30 pm

Gary Hladik (11:47:07) got me to thinking after I took a look at the graph that he referenced entitled Solar Radiation Spectrum from Wickedpedia (my misspelling).
The best way to check out what impact CO2 has on the greenhouse effect in a greenhouse is to have equivalent greenhouse structures and vary the content of the CO2 in the atmosphere of the greenhouses–if one could construct three such greenhouses, simply keep one at ambient concentrations (i.e., ~388 ppm), increase the second’s atmosphere to, say, 1000 ppm (similar to what many greenhouses run to benefit plant production), and the third to, say, 2000 ppm and see what happens. If they were side-by-side and had equivalent internal structures and didn’t interfere with each other with shading, the emprical differences in temperature should give some indication whether CO2 was involved in the heating of the greenhouses or whether the glass comprising the structure walls/roof was the biggest contributing factor.
Does anyone know whether such an experiment has ever been undertaken?

DirkH
December 24, 2009 1:31 pm

“A Erickson (11:03:24) :
OT – Chemical and Engineering News, the weekly publication of the American Chemical Society has a major article on global warming, http://pubs.acs.org/cen/coverstory/87/8751cover.html, which is at least halfway balanced in it’s report. ”
It’s a good read. What i find striking is: Christy points out that measurements of troposphere temperature is not in sync with what the AGW models predict. Now i would assume an honest modeler to say something like: “Yes, that’s something we still don’t understand, more science needs to be done” but all we hear is “The scpetics are wrong, they believe in myths” from people like Dr. Mann.
What would be so wrong with admitting that there are areas that are not completely understood? I’m a computer programmer. All good programmers freely admit their errors. No good programmer would ever say “I don’t make errors.” Why can’t the leading scientist of Team Hockey admit that?
This attitude is a telltale sign.

RobJM
December 24, 2009 1:31 pm

This experiment is easy,
Set up the bottles, turn on the light, see which one heats up quicker, call that the bottle with the extra CO2, repeat in front of camera!
Of course for good measure they should use glass bottles since glass block IR transmission!

John
December 24, 2009 1:58 pm

I’ve laid an official complaint shown below:
‘To whom it may concern,
I would like to make a complaint about the following video on Newsnight which I feel is intentionally & deceitfully misleading.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/newsnight/8418356.stm
At 3.12 in the video there are 2 temperatures before warming:
Top number: Air with extra CO2 (34.0 C)
Bottom number: Normal air (35.6 C)
At 3.36 after both bottles have supposedly been warmed by the electric lamps the numbers now read:
Top number: Air with extra CO2 (38.7C)
Bottom number: Normal air (34.6C)
It seems that even though the bottom number was supposed to have been warmed by the electric lamp it has cooled by 1C!!!
I find this impossible to believe, & in conclusion have no alternative but to arrive at the conclusion that the lamp was turned off intentionally to promote a fraudulent viewpoint. If the BBC has the standards that it says it does then I suggest they expose this deliberate fraud publicly via their website or on television with an apology. Failure to do so will expose the BBC to be intentionally dishonest & journalistically unreliable. Please be aware that this issue has already appeared in numerous places on the web, & many people consider this yet another example of the BBC shamelessly deserting unbiased journalistic standards to promote a political agenda. What does the BBC think they’re playing at?’

kadaka
December 24, 2009 2:02 pm

Sue Smith (09:15:29) :
There is no licence for radio in the UK – and I’ve never had a radio that could pick up the sound from TV, though I don’t have a digital radio.

Digital radio? Back in the ancient days when all commercial broadcasts were analog, with the standard US frequency groupings (AM and FM for audio, VHF and UHF channels for TV), places like Radio Shack sold audio receivers for all four bands, battery-powered transistorized sometimes-handheld devices. A VHF-only one could be for in a city with VHF TV broadcasts (VHF doesn’t travel that far), you could listen to your soap operas or a baseball game while doing other things. You could have all four bands, some also had shortwave. Keep track of what’s on the TV (like news) without being stuck at a TV.
I must assume if they never made ones for UK use, it was only because the scarcity of BBC channels led companies to assume there would be no market.
Now that here in the US the TV “over the air” broadcasts are in digital, new equipment is needed to decode and extract the audio. Between TV’s being relatively cheap and portable, and with alternate technologies like cellphone and laptop TV, the market might not be there except for a few enthusiasts.
Thanks to the link provided above I can see the BBC has their expected sensibilities about the matter.
From here:
If you use your digital set-top box to produce sounds only (you don’t use it to display programmes), then you don’t need a TV Licence.
So if you are seeing any live video at all on anything then you need a license, but if the device is only extracting the audio (like for a speaker system) then you don’t need a license. Thus such a radio should be fine.
Also, from here:
You’re entitled to a 50% reduction in your TV Licence fee, if you’re certified as either blind or severely sight impaired.
If you’re not seeing any live video at all but you are listening to the sound, they only charge half.
Doesn’t that make perfect sense?
I’m not seeing this listed on the site… How much do they charge if you are blind and deaf?

George E. Smith
December 24, 2009 2:04 pm

Wow what a whizz kid that Jane chubchenko is.
So those sea shells adn corral reefs would grow just fine in ordinary tapwater; isn’t that special.
It would have been nice if she had used actual sea water taken from near say a coral reefr and put her blue dye into that to show it going yellow when she cooled the blazes out of it with dry ice. That’s the first time I’ve seen dry ice evaporate without giving off a cloud.
Having a bit of coral in the seawater so we could watch it turn up its toes would have been a nice touch.
Hey so long as the New Zealand green lipped mussels still grow, I don’t care if they turn crimson in the process; I prefer the pink ones anyway.

Galen Haugh
December 24, 2009 2:04 pm

DirkH (13:31:00) referenced an article by American Chem Society and I read it to the point where it said:
“But water vapor is not considered a forcing. Nor is it assigned a global-warming potential, because it has a relatively short residence time of about 10 days in the atmosphere, compared with a century or longer for CO2.”
That is a bunch of baloney. What MATTERS is the abundance, not how long any particular molecule or portion of the entire masss has remained in the atmosphere. Atoms that remain in the atmosphere don’t progressively become better at absorption just because of their time there. Again, what MATTERS is the abundance of the gas. Residence time has nothing to do with it.
My gosh, who’s responsible for that idiocy?
Water ranges from 0 to 4% of the atmosphere–that’s up to 40,000 ppm, or an averge of 20,000 ppm! Compare that with the average of CO2 at 388 ppm, and water is about 50 times more abundant. And since water is known to be a more effective greenhouse gas than CO2, ignoring it and giving the excuse that it goes in and out of the atmosphere faster than CO2 is the biggest distortion I’ve heard yet.
I’m betting they ran the models with a proper weighting for water and they said “Oops… nothing to see here folks! Move along now…” And since that would have blown their whole argument, they decided to ignore it completely and used an illogical excuse.
These people get grants??

AZ Bob
December 24, 2009 2:09 pm

MERRY CHRISTMAS to all at WUWT. You guys are the greatest!! I look forward to even more and better in 2010. Thank you for all you do.
[Merry Christmas from Everyone at WUWT to you and all of you out there. ~ Everyone]

KeithGuy
December 24, 2009 2:17 pm

Alvin (13:11:47) :
“388 ppm = 38/1,000,000 = 0.000388 correct?”
Yes, correct! Which is 0.0388%

Galen Haugh
December 24, 2009 2:28 pm

Response to:
Alvin (13:11:47) :
“388 ppm = 38/1,000,000 = 0.000388 correct?”
Yes, correct! Which is 0.0388%
You left out an “8” on the first equation; otherwise that’s correct.

Tony B (another one)
December 24, 2009 2:30 pm

God – I am beginning to hate the BBC so much!
The broadcasting of constant propaganda like this is an utter disgrace. The BBC is supposed – but has long since ceased – to be an impartial organisation. It has reached the point where I no longer believe anything they say, unless I have independent verification.
I am particularly annoyed that the one person in the room with sufficient commonsense to continue to question the mantra, even at the end of this “experiment”, got the brush off from the propagandist.
And what is this utter carp about mobile phone hacking???

kadaka
December 24, 2009 2:32 pm

@ DirkH (13:31:00) :
There are no coding errors. Those are not bugs, they are features. If the program does not yield the desired result for the data that was inputed, it indicates the failure to properly condition the data before it was inputted.
Oh, and as a proper programmer, one should make sure to archive the list of all the individual data conditioning adjustments with the original data, so you can keep track of all of it at once. Even though you will only ever need the conditioned data as that works with the program.

Richard
December 24, 2009 2:34 pm

Phil. (12:24:47) : ..to show anything related to the ‘greenhouse effect’.
First of all the experiment should be done in a cold room, say -20ºC, rather than a bottle a tall open-necked Dewar should be used. A black target containing a thermocouple should be mounted at the bottom of the Dewar, and a calibrated light source (brightness T ~5000ºC) capable of shining the desired light intensity on the target (~200W/m^2). The top of the Dewar should be closed with a plate of a material capable of transmitting both visible and 15μm (e.g. ZnSe). Then you’d have a chance of being relevant, the soda bottle rigs aren’t even close to the ballpark

It would be great if we got all the BBC guys into a cold room at -20C to “prove Global Warming”. Great news to have them treated for frostbite for the cause of their faith.
To “show anything related to the ‘greenhouse effect’” you presumably need not one dewar but two. Wont you have problems with calibrating the amount of CO2 to keep the experiment fair? and the distance of the two from the light source?
In any case all it might demonstrate, perhaps dubiously, would be “the greenhouse effect” of CO2.
It would not “prove Global Warming” as that idiot said it would.
Which SPECIFICALLY IS The PREDICTION THAT WE WILL WARM BY 3.5C BY THE END OF THE CENTURY.

phlogiston
December 24, 2009 2:34 pm

WUWT
Guys – All this politics and schadenfreude at ClimateGate and the Copenhagen fiasco are all very well – but can we now increase the proportion of threads directly on the science of oceans, atmospheres, climate trends, interesting published articles etc.? Getting a bit nostalgic for the science at WUWT. (On climate its the best place to find it.)

December 24, 2009 2:37 pm


kadaka (14:02:11) :
A VHF-only one could be for in a city with VHF TV broadcasts ([*]VHF doesn’t travel that far)

Compared to anything else in particular? Or versus MW broadcasts (“AM Radio” here in the US) or SW?
Have you seen the VHF and UHF propagation charts (field strength charts) on the U.S. FCC website? “VHF-UHF Field Strength Measurements”
Short story is: UHF has the ‘range handicap’ of the two bands (VHF vs UHF); when it comes to rough terrain low-band VHF will ‘diffract’ with lower losses over hills, etc allowing prpopagation slightly beyond waht is classically called line-of-sight.
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(*How _do_ these myths get started?)
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Calvin Ball
December 24, 2009 2:38 pm

OT – Chemical and Engineering News, the weekly publication of the American Chemical Society has a major article on global warming, http://pubs.acs.org/cen/coverstory/87/8751cover.html, which is at least halfway balanced in it’s report. ”

“At least halfway balanced” is pretty thin gruel, when it starts out with this kind of setup:

Mainstream climate scientists maintain that man-made global warming is happening. But a few global-warming skeptics argue that there is still a lot of guesswork in how those scientists came to that conclusion.


I think they still have a long way to go to fair and balanced.

royfomr
December 24, 2009 2:50 pm

RobJM (13:31:21) :
This experiment is easy,
Set up the bottles, turn on the light, see which one heats up quicker, call that the bottle with the extra CO2, repeat in front of camera!
Of course for good measure they should use glass bottles since glass block IR transmission!
Rob, was with you all the way until that final sentence.
Then you brought Science into the equation, tut tut, if I wanted logic to intrude into everyday matters I’d have stopped tithing the Baghdad Bob Consensus and divided it equally into the tip-jars of Anthony and Steve!!!!
Come to think of it that’s not such a bad ….
Merry Xmas All

DirkH
December 24, 2009 2:51 pm

“Galen Haugh (14:04:49) :
“But water vapor is not considered a forcing. Nor is it assigned a global-warming potential, because it has a relatively short residence time of about 10 days in the atmosphere, compared with a century or longer for CO2.”
That is a bunch of baloney. […]”
Yes, they do have funny terms with their definitions of forcings and feedbacks.
Personally, i’m just trying to find out whether the computer models have gotten better over time, to the point where they incorporate e.g. the biosphere or clouds. Oh, and ocean currents.
I also found RealClimate’s take on the discrepancy between Christy and the computer models on wikipedia. Something that indicates Christy had a mistake in his data set. Why the article still mentions it as a point of contention i don’t know, according to RealClimate (per wikipedia) it’s been solved.

December 24, 2009 2:53 pm


a jones (10:27:45) :
I am amazed that people still use thermocouples/piles. Ever since the first silicon base devices came out in the late 70’s, the first by analog devices I seem to remember, you really do have a range of superb, accurate and well calibrated devices.

Harsh envirinments; did you consider survival of the temp sensor in harsh environments?
A generic laboratory theromocouple will work -200 + 400 deg whereas your silicon device not so much … and the silicon needs care and feeding like power, and a transducer to convert that voltage to a TEMP reading (much like a thermocouple) ..
Also, JUST as advances have ocurred in ‘silicon’ processes SO TO have advances progressed in other device and material types as used for temperature measurement e.g. Thermisotrs and RTDs.
Study up; report back!
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Ian Proctor
December 24, 2009 2:55 pm

I learned at school that chemical reactions are either exothermic (give out heat) or endothermic (absorb heat).
Either way, this is a fundamental flaw in this so-called experiment as one bottle has a chemical reaction going on in it and the other does not.
Happy Christmas to all

Glenn
December 24, 2009 3:01 pm

The reporter, Justin Rowlatt, seems to fancy himself as an “ethical man”. The program resulted in skeptical views being transformed into belief; in one case an individual claiming that from what he saw he now believes GW to be a “fact”.
Here’s an email addy: newsnight@bbc.co.uk
that might work to contact him, found at
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/newsnight/ethical_man_justin_rowlatt/
Although I believe this “very unscientific” experiment should be exposed as being one, in the public domain, reaching as many people as possible,
instead of complaining to BBC about it, confronting Justin may prove interesting. But then the “ethical man” likely is already aware of it, and just doesn’t care.

DeNihilist