Hump day hilarity

From the Fail Blog, a reminder that some people think CO2 is lighter than air:

epic photos fail - Periodic Table of Element Fail4

Source here

This reminds me of the failed Alliance for Climate Protection advert video, also showing CO2 as lighter than air with the help of black balloons:

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70 thoughts on “Hump day hilarity

  1. They think CO2 is bad for you, too. I wish I could sell them a CO2 reduction home kit to reduce the carbon-dioxide in their homes and the everyday air they breathe. It would be premeditated murder, but it might be worth it because you don’t get new paradigms by persuading your opponents; rather they die and a new generation grows up with facts.
    Even better would be a CO2 control device that would let warmists have CO2-reduced air and skeptics have enriched air. It takes more than 100 times ambient to have any negative effects and a doubling or tripling of this “pollutant” would be very good for you, indeed.

  2. According to their sign they use C02 not CO2. Or is that a double fail?
    REPLY: probably not enough remaining vinyl “O” letters, been there, done that – Anthony

  3. I would love to see the balloon representing the methane gas people expel, and where they blow it from. Methane is, by the way, lighter than CO2.

  4. “reduce your impact on climate change” ?? the alarmists might be getting to the bottom of the barrel if they can’t afford good copywriters.

  5. Then, again for pedagogic purposes:
    CO2 is the transparent gas we all exhale (and Not SUV: That dark is SOOT=Carbon dust) and plants breath with delight, to give us back what they exhale instead= Oxygen we breath in.
    CO2 is a TRACE GAS in the atmosphere, it is the 0.038% of it.
    There is no such a thing as “greenhouse effect”, “greenhouse gases are gases IN a greenhouse”, where heated gases are trapped and relatively isolated not to lose its heat so rapidly. If greenhouse effect were to be true, as Svante Arrhenius figured it out: CO2 “like the window panes in a greenhouse”, but…the trouble is that those panes would be only 3.8 panes out of 10000, there would be 9996.2 HOLES.
    See:
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/28018819/Greenhouse-Niels-Bohr
    CO2 is a gas essential to life. All carbohydrates are made of it. The sugar you eat, the bread you have eaten in your breakfast this morning, even the jeans you wear (these are made from 100% cotton, a polymer of glucose, made of CO2…you didn´t know it, did you?)
    You and I, we are made of CARBON and WATER.
    CO2 is heavier than Air, so it can not go up, up and away to cover the earth.
    The atmosphere, the air can not hold heat, its volumetric heat capacity, per cubic cemtimeter is 0.00192 joules, while water is 4.186, i.e., 3227 times.
    This is the reason why people used hot water bottles to warm their feet and not hot air bottles.
    Global Warmers models (a la Hansen) expected a kind of heated CO2 piggy bank to form in the tropical atmosphere, it never happened simply because it can not.
    If global warmers were to succeed in achieving their SUPPOSED goal of lowering CO2 level to nothing, life would disappear from the face of the earth.

  6. On ‘tother hand, in a clean-energy hydrogen economy, models project that Hindenberg disasters due to imploding greenhouse gases will occur at the rate of one per week, worse than originally thought.

  7. Wouldn’t it be amusing to see plants leaping into the air trying to grab hold of the CO2 molecules before they floated away?
    Hasn’t anybody ever had a Alka Seltzer and wondered why they cough when they inhale over the cup?
    Is public understanding of science this bad.

  8. 50 Grams of GHG per balloon. I think that amounts to a bit of fraude. A quick search taught me that 1 l of air weighs 1,3 grams. CO2 is heavier than O2; but still…
    It would amount to more than 27 l per balloon, at normal pressure; 10 x 10 x 10 inches.
    Whatever, it makes me sad.

  9. re: the placard
    #2 and green is non-flammable gas. the photo was cut off.
    flammable gas would be red #2.

  10. The black balloons are still floating in adverts on Aus tv with exhortations to switch off your light to save the planet. I have a feeling they are government ads as well – I dont pay much attention, I am too busy throwing stuff at the telly!

  11. Jeez Louise, I see another “there is no such thing as a greenhouse gas” post. Could that person (Enneagram) explain why air measured temperature decreases at a slower rate on humid evenings than dry evenings?
    Take your time. Look it up first. Confirm that there is indeed a real difference in cooling rates, entirely, measurably and predictably dependant on humidity. Then explain that using something other than radiant heat absorption (that is the greenhouse effect). Because the equations for radiant heat absorption explain it entirely, accurately, measurably and predictably. This is something that everyone has qualitatively seen, yet many still seem to doubt that there is a greenhouse effect. Baffling.
    I also see the “CO2 is a trace gas” fallacy in the same post. If there really is a very small amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, then small changes will result in very significant changes in absorption of EMR. CO2’s effect is relatively small because, from a radiant heat point of view, there is a lot of the stuff in the air.
    Sorry for the tone of this post, but as others have pointed out, getting basic science correct is essential in creating sound arguments against CAGW.
    JE

  12. 50 Grams of GHG per balloon. I think that amounts to a bit of fraude. A quick search taught me that 1 l of air weighs 1,3 grams. CO2 is heavier than O2; but still…
    It would amount to more than 27 l per balloon, if filled with CO2 at normal pressure; 10 x 10 x 10 inches. And then they would drop to the floor; let alone if the balloons were made of the seemingly inner tire rubber stuff in the video. One could go bowling.
    Whatever, it makes me sad.

  13. The Royal Society has exonerated the video and the helium (CO2) balloon company.
    It took three reviews and the intervention of the UEA constabulary, but in the end it turned out that skeptics were responsible.

  14. A couple rebuttals to Enneagram if you will…
    “If global warmers were to succeed in achieving their SUPPOSED goal of lowering CO2 level to nothing, life would disappear from the face of the earth.” Yeah…they know that, hence that is NOT their goal. Their goal is to get CO2 down to levels that do not warm the globe. I’m not sure, but I would suspect this would be to levels before the Industrial Revolution. Any scientist who does climate science knows that plants use it, hence why they would encourage the planting of trees and discourage the destruction of the rainforests.
    “The atmosphere, the air can not hold heat, its volumetric heat capacity, per cubic cemtimeter is 0.00192 joules, while water is 4.186, i.e., 3227 times.
    This is the reason why people used hot water bottles to warm their feet and not hot air bottles.”
    Just because it has a low heat capacity doesn’t mean it has NO heat capacity. It can indeed warm up – take for instance the outside air temperature every day.
    “There is no such a thing as “greenhouse effect”, “greenhouse gases are gases IN a greenhouse”, ”
    Greenhouse EFFECT. Greenhouse gases are those that absorb the IR radiation given off by the earth, but don’t absorb the visible light of the sun. Hence, they allow energy in, but not out. They may not trap ALL of it, but the more molecules of GHGs there are, the less heat is released.

  15. Enneagram says:
    August 18, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    Then, again for pedagogic purposes:
    CO2 is heavier than Air, so it can not go up, up and away to cover the earth.

    Of course, nitrogen is lighter than oxygen. Does that mean all the oxygen is at the surface of the Earth and people bring oxygen to Mt Everest because there’s only nitrogen there?

  16. Oh yeah…black balloons are a representation, an analogy, not the physical perfect likeness. I think they were trying to make people connect energy use to adding CO2 to the atmosphere, not give them a full-fledged science lecture.

  17. @ Jimmy
    Energy use may be, and is as far as I’m aware, a problem. CO2 is not. It’s the stuff that life is built out off, along with sunlight.
    So the video is a gross, an infinite exaggeration. It addresses a non-problem in a sickening way.
    If energy use is the problem, address energy use in a way that does credit to our level of understanding nature.

  18. From: Lady Life Grows on August 18, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    They think CO2 is bad for you, too. I wish I could sell them a CO2 reduction home kit to reduce the carbon-dioxide in their homes and the everyday air they breathe. (…)

    They already have them for homes. The common trade name is “houseplants.” 😉
    ABC News (US), recent reporting on the seafood from the Gulf of Mexico. They had on experts, who were saying that they haven’t found any oil in the samples they’ve tested, but the warning was given that long-term exposure to hydrocarbons, even in low doses, can cause cancer. Guess this means that to be safe, I have to stop any intake of vegetable oils.

  19. Henry chance says:
    August 18, 2010 at 1:09 pm
    Isn’t CO2 the black/grey stuff coming out of smoke stacks? Every one knows it is coming out and going up.

    CO2 is colorless, odorless, has a slight acid taste in mouth at higher concentrations, is heavier than air (unlike CO), and simply replaces oxygen in the air as it’s level increases. Soot is Carbon Black particles.
    You can easily be in an atmosphere of 10,000 ppm all day working, and scarcely notice it.
    If you are in a burning building and there is thick smoke, the safest path out is as close to the floor as you can manage.
    CO2 is heavier, you can tolerate tens of thousands of ppm of it, but the CO that rises will destroy you at 1,000ppm in a matter of minutes.
    2 deep exhales will rid your lungs of C02 out in the fresh air, but you’ll need a blood transfusion to get the CO out of your system before you succumb to it’s deadly effects. The CO will attach itself to your hemoglobin, prevent you from absorbing oxygen, and you suffocate while still breathing.
    So, you see, C02 is not a toxic gas, but C0 is highly toxic. Lisa Jackson is full of it.

  20. But Aaron Stonebeat,
    More energy use means more CO2 in the air, and because it’s a greenhouse gas, it helps warm the planet, hence…it IS the problem.
    Although, yes…it is an exaggeration

  21. The CO2 in the balloons warms by stopping the outgoing IR radiation and so expands, reduces in density and so floats the balloons upwards. Simple physics;>)

  22. Ah hump day afternoons…
    I wonder how many balloons are made resulting from the Brett Favre coverage. Oh, it’s too mind-boggling.
    Someone should make a similar video of someone talking with the narrator saying “Everytime you talk, you emit more CO2 than a mime. Please…stop talking.”

  23. @ Jimmy once more
    As far as I am aware the CO2 already present in the atmosphere absorbs all outgoing infrared in the 15 micrometer region; about 10 meters of air apparently do the trick. Any additional CO2 won’t cause any extra absorption in that spectrum.
    To me that means more CO2 will not cause more warming. Hence my point of view.

  24. “There is no such a thing as “greenhouse effect”, “greenhouse gases are gases IN a greenhouse”, ”
    Greenhouse EFFECT. Greenhouse gases are those that absorb the IR radiation given off by the earth, but don’t absorb the visible light of the sun. Hence, they allow energy in, but not out. They may not trap ALL of it, but the more molecules of GHGs there are, the less heat is released.
    ——————————
    Actually the poster who said there is “no such thing as a ‘Greenhouse’ effect is CORRECT.
    I’d suggest this write up:
    Wood, R. W. (1909). “Note on the Theory of the Greenhouse”. The London, Edinburgh and Dublin Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science, Vol. 17, pp. 319-320.
    Where Dr. Woods shows BY EXPERIMENT that the action of a greenhouse has to do with the “convective boundary”, not the “valve” effect of the glass on the IR.
    Thus, even in my ’50’s, ’60’s and ’70’s meteorology texts, the “Greenhouse effect” is APPROPRIATELY referred to as the “Atmospheric Effect”.
    I would implore us “skeptics” to use the term “Atmospheric Effect”, for reasons of intellectual integrity.
    Max

  25. Jimmy says:
    August 18, 2010 at 2:37 pm
    Oh yeah…black balloons are a representation, an analogy, not the physical perfect likeness. I think they were trying to make people connect energy use to adding CO2 to the atmosphere, not give them a full-fledged science lecture.

    If it were a representation, or an analogy, then it would have to show a great many of the carbon dioxide molecules going into the atmosphere and subsequently becoming parts of sugar molecules, protein molecules,DNA molecules, etc. In other words, most of the black balloons would absorb into plants, butterfly wings, fish, and baby duckies(since this seems to be directed at school children).
    So as a representation it is even more of an abject FAILure. Atmospheric carbon dioxide molecules have the potential to become part of any one of countless millions of different life forms.

  26. son of mulder says:
    August 18, 2010 at 3:08 pm
    “The CO2 in the balloons warms by stopping the outgoing IR radiation and so expands,”
    I didn’t notice any expanding balloons! Odd!
    Jimmy says:
    August 18, 2010 at 2:34 pm
    “They may not trap ALL of it, but the more molecules of GHGs there are, the less heat is released.”
    Greenhouses do not work this way but the atmosphere does to some extent. Thus, we ought to call it the “atmospheric effect” and then try to understand it and speak of it correctly. Search on the word ‘extinction’ in the following:
    http://brneurosci.org/co2.html

  27. António Gaito says:
    August 18, 2010 at 1:56 pm
    Wich is the flammable gas? CO2 or helium? Hã?!
    ____________________________________________________
    It is hydrogen that goes BOOOoommm!

  28. “As far as I am aware the CO2 already present in the atmosphere absorbs all outgoing infrared in the 15 micrometer region; about 10 meters of air apparently do the trick. Any additional CO2 won’t cause any extra absorption in that spectrum.
    To me that means more CO2 will not cause more warming. Hence my point of view.”
    Aaron…fair enough. If that is true (and I don’t know whether it is or isn’t) I understand
    To Max – agreed, the mechanism is different. Unfortunately, convention usually reigns supreme, so we’ll be calling it the greenhouse effect for quite a while. Kind of like the theory of relativity (even though it’s been tested and tested and verified and verified, so it’s really more of a law now)…or…dare I say…theory of evolution or the big bang theory?

  29. It would have to be a really big balloon to fuse helium into carbon!
    Consider Why Stars Explode
    “Initially, the star fuses hydrogen into helium. Like ash in a fire, the helium builds up in the core, but it does not fuse because helium takes a lot more pressure and heat than hydrogen does to fuse. If the star is massive enough, though, it can ignite helium fusion in its core. The helium fuses into carbon, which then starts to pile up in the core. In very massive stars this process repeats again and again, fusing lighter elements into heavier ones: hydrogen to helium, helium to carbon, carbon to neon, neon to oxygen, oxygen to silicon, silicon to iron. The star’s core starts to look like an onion, with layers nested inside one another. “

  30. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
    August 18, 2010 at 2:54 pm
    …..ABC News (US), recent reporting on the seafood from the Gulf of Mexico. They had on experts, who were saying that they haven’t found any oil in the samples they’ve tested, but the warning was given that long-term exposure to hydrocarbons, even in low doses, can cause cancer. Guess this means that to be safe, I have to stop any intake of vegetable oils.
    _____________________________________________________________
    I suggest all the greenies immediately quit all intake of hydrocarbons…… I wonder how long it will take Al Gore, Mann and the rest to starve to death?
    ALL food, veggies, meat or fruit, is made of hydrocarbons…. ALL of it.

  31. You know, if they filled a sufficiently robust balloon with lead gas at a high enough temperature, I suspect they could get it to be lighter than air. Then you could say their assertions went over like a lead balloon.

  32. Actually this could be a boon for the warmists. If the balloon is filled with a mix of Helium and CO2, it could help with their hyperventilation problem while making them talk funny (er ).

  33. Jimmy says:
    August 18, 2010 at 2:34 pm
    “They may not trap ALL of it but, with decreasing potency, the more molecules of GHGs there are, the more slowly heat is released, until a new equilibrium is established.”

  34. A great many people are now convinced that CO2 is a toxic gas .
    When I try to explain in my simplistic way that it is an inert gas in terms of human respiration,
    I am deemed “Anti-Science”. Then I just get mad.

  35. tarpon says:
    August 18, 2010 at 2:01 pm
    “Is public understanding of science this bad.[?]”
    I think it goes even deeper than that. It isn’t so much “understanding science”, it is either the willingness to blindly accept statements or the lack of ability to learn that is astounding.
    Before this CAGW lunacy, my science was confined to the physics and geometry of shooting pool(snooker for others here) and making ethanol. The alarmists, I thought were ridiculous, but when I noticed them gaining traction in the public concern I sought to arm myself with knowledge against the obvious socialistic totalitarian under and overtones. For quite some time, I thought I was alone in this world. One day while arguing the issue on a techy blog, I found a reference to CA and was quite pleased to see I wasn’t alone, but the topics of conversation there were a bit technical for me. Happily, I found WUWT referenced at CA. I became a frequent reader here and many other places. Oddly, because of that frequency I’m now learning about CRAP LIKE Brownian Motion pseudo-proxies!!
    ARRGGHH!!!! Curse you Steve McIntyre and Anthony Watts!!!!!
    Obviously, I say that in jest, but I can’t help but think where this world would be if it hadn’t been for those people, those alleged alarmists that seek nothing but power, money and control. To be wrenched from the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, all for the common good. Have I mentioned that I loathe those Socialist totalitarians? Obviously, I need another run at that happy elixir of hops and barely.

  36. Preposterous propaganda masqerading as a scientific public announcment. Frightening.
    Apparently critical of such simple and essential labor-saving devices as houshold appliances. I cannot find words for such a foolish and destructive message seemingly directed against whom exactly? Well I guess all of us. I mean a coffee maker spewing a black baloon – really?
    How about the same message, but staged in one of Al Gore’s mansions instead of directed at us common folk with our horrible Gaia destroying kitchens and laundry rooms.
    I am so disgusted by these hypocrites I really can’t find words…

  37. Regarding the black balloon advert – this was (and perhaps still is) part of a Victorian (Australia) government campaign to save energy. See
    http://www.premier.vic.gov.au/component/mymedia/?task=media&media_id=161
    although, interestingly, this ad was also run in the neighbouring state of NSW. I’m not sure who funded the ad time, probably me (the taxpayer).
    Hopefully they used all sorts of video trickery to simulate balloons flying off into the environment otherwise they may, rightly, be viewed poorly by these people
    http://www.ukrivers.net/balloon_fact.html
    and many other conservationists. A case of the ends justifying the means?

  38. There once was a stickler named Mann
    CO2 gas he wanted to ban
    his papers went out
    but they lost all their clout
    when cold weather came back without doubt.

  39. Random thought – hot air balloons are filled with CO2 and water vapor (and all that other stuff). In addition to CO2 balloons, they could offer water vapor balloons. Since water vapor is lighter than air, it would be a cheap substitute for Helium and a lot safer than Hydrogen.

  40. A few years ago there was a conscious decision by government funded agencies and allied green corporations to portray CO2 as a pollutant, to achieve this aim they needed to get their message across via the MSM.
    To instill the desired notion and belief in the population this alliance had to adopt and use the methods of the visual media(TV)and there are plenty of experts in the media/advertising world only too keen to help and assist this highly funded alliance.
    The tricks to portray CO2 as a pantomime villain are easy to spot yet they are very effective in producing a short term acceptance in the greater population, in effect we have been sold a product.
    Dramatic mood setting music,lighting and sounds set the stage and the then the visual tricks like showing CO2 spewing out of power station chimneys and black balloons etc, the tricks used by the advertising community are varied and very clever yet even their dark skill is only effective for a short time, a limited shelf life so to speak.
    The greater public can be misled and duped and confused for a time and then saturation occurs, combine this with the contradictory experiences of real people in the real world discovering that the product sold does not align with peoples experiences. A product however aggressively sold has to eventually meet the expectations of the consumer, the admen will tell you that all the money in the world cannot make a bad product a success, they can only make people take notice until consumers experience the product in the real world at which point the product lives or dies on its merits.
    You can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time bu you cannot fool all of the people all of the time, it looks like the media driven ad campaign has come to the end of its useful life. If someone were to add up all the advertising expenditure spent on flogging the AGW campaign against CO2 it would be a stunning amount of money.

  41. Pet peeve — flammable is not a word.
    [REPLY: Yes it is:
    flam·ma·ble
       /ˈflæməbəl/ Show Spelled[flam-uh-buhl] –adjective
    easily set on fire; combustible; inflammable.
    Use flammable in a Sentence
    See images of flammable
    Search flammable on the Web
    Origin:
    1805–15; < L flammā ( re ) to set on fire + -ble
    —Related forms
    flam·ma·bil·i·ty, noun
    —Usage note
    See inflammable.
    See dictionary.com for several sources – mike]

  42. “John F. Hultquist says:
    August 18, 2010 at 3:47 pm
    I didn’t notice any expanding balloons! Odd!”
    Try the first 10 seconds of the film. You are only seeing what you want to see. The problem is so real that I’ve banned my kids from putting black balloons in both the washing machine and the coffee maker. Real Climate are right behind me on this. Thay can see the danger. But the black balloon manufacturers are funding the sceptics.
    Think of our children’s children and ban black balloons now.

  43. Makes you wonder why clowns like the New Labour department for education seemed set on making “difficult” subjects like “science” a dumbed down travesty of itself designed to indoctrinate kids into the AGW scam but not learn any real science. They even managed not to teach 25% kids not to be able to read or write adequately before leaving school.
    To paraphrase Orwell – ignorance is power. No wonder successive governments wrecked the grammar school system. It actually educated kids to a high standard. Some of us still remember that CO2 filled balloons bounce gently across school lab floors…

  44. Yup. This inane advert has been floating around Victorian (Australian) TVs for a few years now. Funded by mug taxpayers like me. When I point out to warmist acquaintances that CO2 is actually heavier than air, so the balloons couldn’t float, and that it’s just classic agitprop they’re being suckered by, a sort of ghastly glazed expression comes over them and they stagger off and I don’t see them again for months. And these are educated people!
    Lost a lot of friends that way, so it’s not entirely bad.

  45. I deal with CO2 scavanging systems occasionally, and there are no real health concerns until the concentration reaches about 7%. The real hazard is O2 concentration. When that gets above about 18% in local concentrations, that is a blaze waiting to happpen. and don’t get me started on the dangerous polutant dihydrogen-oxide.

  46. While CO2 is not toxic in small concentration, we can’t easily survive “tens of thousands ppm”. At 20,000-50,000 (2-5%) ppm it can cause nausea, dizziness, etc. At higher concentrations, consciousness and death will follow.
    When you work with CO2 an alarm is required; a first alarm is sounded when 5,000 ppm is reached (maximum allowed for long-term exposure); the area must be evacuated at 40,000 ppm.
    As it is heavier than air, it settles near the bottom, in ship’s holds, caves, wells, etc.

  47. son of mulder says:
    August 18, 2010 at 3:08 pm
    The CO2 in the balloons warms by stopping the outgoing IR radiation and so expands, reduces in density and so floats the balloons upwards. Simple physics;>)
    —–Reply:
    Since CO2 is about 1.5 times heavier than typical air, it would take considerable heating and resulting expansion to make a CO2 balloon float.
    BTW, CO2 can be a serious problem in old mine workings where it collects in low-lying areas and builds to concentrations that can be fatal to anybody that walks into it.

  48. RockyRoad says:
    August 19, 2010 at 6:12 am
    BTW, CO2 can be a serious problem in old mine workings where it collects in low-lying areas and builds to concentrations that can be fatal to anybody that walks into it.
    ___________________________________
    It can be a problem in caves too. But it is from the decaying of organic matter coupled with a still atmosphere. There is a good article about the physics of gas mixing in the atmosphere and local striation in The Journal of Cave and Karst Studies, v. 71, no. 1, p. 100–107: The legend of carbon dioxide heaviness
    Conclusions:
    “Confusion between stationary and transient conditions has created a false underground legend of gas entrapment, which obscures recognition of the true processes that produce carbon dioxide, methane, and radon traps in caves and mines. The basic concepts have been further confused by the fact that if carbon dioxide is produced by oxidation near its source, there is not only high carbon dioxide concentration, but also a very low oxygen concentration, which leads to the occurrence of flame extinctions and similar evidences of poor atmospheres. The traps are essentially due to accumulation near a source (whatever the origin) in motionless atmospheres. The up-down gradients are generally due to (1) preferred point of organic accumulation and (2) air thermal stratifiation that creates a motionless trap of cold or warm air. Structure, periodicity, and intensity of traps depend on organic matter inflow, thermal stratifiation, and shape of the cavity.”

  49. I always thought it was CO2 that came out of cooling towers! Certainly most of the MSM do since there always seems to be a photo of them whenever an article on global warming appears. The alternative, of course, is a polar bear on an ice berg.
    You mean its only steam…….?

  50. Out here in the midwest, I have seen tankers carrying CO2 heading for the greenhouses. But I have never seen a flammable symbol. Every time I see one I just have to chuckle.

  51. “RockyRoad says:
    August 19, 2010 at 6:12 am
    Since CO2 is about 1.5 times heavier than typical air, it would take considerable heating and resulting expansion to make a CO2 balloon float.”
    It must be worse than we thought!

  52. “Aaron Stonebeat says:
    August 18, 2010 at 2:02 pm
    50 Grams of GHG per balloon. I think that amounts to a bit of fraude.”
    You obviously forgot about the GHG multiplier effect. The good part is you get to pick the multiplier that makes your numbers work out.

  53. John Eggert says: “Could that person…explain why air measured temperature decreases at a slower rate on humid evenings than dry evenings?” Possibly because water vapor has a greater heat capacity than an equivalent amount of air. Humid air will then have a higher heat capacity than dry air, and will take a longer time to decline in temperature for the same rate of cooling (heat/unit time).
    Jimmy says: “Greenhouse gases are those that absorb the IR radiation given off by the earth, but don’t absorb the visible light of the sun. Hence, they allow energy in, but not out. They may not trap ALL of it, but the more molecules of GHGs there are, the less heat is released.” Not true. Gases that have molecular absorption/emission bands in the infrared ALSO EMIT infrared in those same bands, as Tom Vonk explained (sorry, I have only one font to work with). The gases themselves do not accumulate heat, because they are in equilibrium. They only re-emit heat absorbed from a single direction (ground upward) into all directions (half upward and half downward). Thus, they always allow half of the energy “out,” maybe more if the absorptivity is not saturated. This gets into the concept of “optical depth,” which is a measure of whether the atmosphere is effectively transparent (optically thin) or opaque (optically thick). Once the atmosphere becomes optically thick, any further concentration of “absorptive” gases makes no difference. (Aaron Stonebeat is correct.)
    Ric Werme says: “Since water vapor is lighter than air, it would be a cheap substitute for helium [in balloons] and a lot safer than hydrogen.” So true. But the vapor would have to be at boiling temperature in order to balance atmospheric pressure (this is what defines boiling point: the temperature at which a substance’s vapor pressure is equal to atmospheric pressure). This is called steam. And it would work, provided you could keep it heated. (Ammonia would actually work better; it has lower molecular weight and has a vapor pressure equal to atmospheric pressure at normal temperatures. Or methane, as someone else has already observed. Don’t pick acetylene!)
    I lost track of another point: Someone mentioned the idea that CO2 should settle out of the atmosphere, or be found in higher concentration at low altitudes. This cannot happen in the troposphere, which is defined by the fact that it is in a state of convective mixing all the time. Atmospheric composition is therefore a constant up to the tropopause (excepting water vapor, which has evaporation/condensation dynamics). Once you get into the stratosphere, it is possible to notice slight changes in composition in unmixed layers (such as the presence of ozone).

  54. Why was I not surprised when I saw that this is from Australia. The government has gone nuts here, I just hope they don’t destroy our economy before someone sees sense.

  55. “and don’t get me started on the dangerous polutant dihydrogen-oxide.”
    Dude, I flush that stuff right down the toilet.

  56. Jimash says:
    August 19, 2010 at 6:06 pm
    “and don’t get me started on the dangerous polutant dihydrogen-oxide.”
    Dude, I flush that stuff right down the toilet.

    Fortunately the good people at http://www.dhmo.org/ have done some wonderful work looking into this dangerous chemical!

  57. “Fortunately the good people at http://www.dhmo.org/ have done some wonderful work looking into this dangerous chemical!”
    That is just frightening.
    Apparently the majority of fatalities connected with this dangerous chemical are from inhalation.
    So I went around the house and did some pseudo-scientific tests to determine if it was present.
    I found some, and couldn’t wash it off, just as they say ! Now it is coming out of my eyes !
    And what is worse, my swimming pool seems to be polluted with literally thousands of gallons of the stuff. What to do ?

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