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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 6:06 am 
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AF2 wrote:
I had a simple insight in connection with the understanding of global warming, which you can read here:

Quote:
If the Sun did not shine, the
Earth would be cooling and cold. However, the Sun is there and the Earth's
average temperature is about at equilibrium. Reaching the Earth, part of the
sunlight (visible or not) is reflected back to space, and part of it heats the
Earth so that the Earth's heat emission and heat absorption will be about
equal, and more than they would be without the Sun. Because the Earth has an
atmosphere, some heat is captured by the particles of air instead of going back
to space, and is reemitted in many directions, raising the planet's temperature
needed for the equilibrium. This effect of the atmosphere is called the
greenhouse effect.
Now the environmental problem is that various human activities like burning
fossil fuels or clear-cutting forests change the composition of Earth's
atmosphere, most significantly raise its carbon dioxide (CO2) or
methane (CH4) levels, and this leads to an increased greenhouse
effect and global warming (being more atoms in the air: CO2 instead
of O2).


To me, its most interesting part of the last sentence in the parentheses.
Can global warming really be understood as a change in quantity instead of quality?
So if we add gases to the air, will it be warmer in any case?

On a mailing list, someone who learned environmentalism in University,
wrote that it is not the case with sulfuric acid: if we add that to the air,
the Earth might be cooler. I have searched for that on the net, and I've found
the following links, for example:

http://www.tgdaily.com/sustainability-f ... al-warming
http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/featur ... osols.html
http://www.esa.int/esaMI/Venus_Express/ ... XGG_0.html

So my question in connection with these articles: how sure it is, how accepted this thing is
among environmentalists with sulfuric acid? Or is it possible that adding
sulfuring acid to the air would increase global warming, unlike the prediction of scientists?

Well, currently I think he and they might be right if the sulfuric acid is not in gas state,
but in water droplets, because I also heard that a nuclear war would cool the Earth,
which is about solid particles in the air. But I still hold, according to my quoting myself that
any gas added to the air in gas state would probably heat the Earth. I'm not a professional
environmentalist, however, so I would like to ask some clarification about this subject...


It is a case of quality and quantity as you have presented it. The properties of the GHGs (quality) are known as are the properties of sulfur aerosols, oxygen, and nitrogen. The concentration (quantity) is then the second factor. The increase in GHGs will cause warming because that is their quality, sulfurs will cause cooling because that is their quality, and oxygen or nitrogen will do neither because that is their quality.

Adding to the atmosphere cannot be simplified to always warming, cooling, or no effect because the quantity and qualities of what is added play significant parts in the final outcome.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:14 am 
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Carbon as an atom found in various molecules has unique properties when it comes to heat and to optics. Diamonds are clear and 100% carbon, Coal and graphite are black and mostly carbon. The most thermally conductive materials in the world are made of pure carbon (nanotubes and diamonds). Infrared light is a color of light just like blue and green are but it is too far past "red" for human eyes to see. The sky is blue because blue light gets deflected of off some of the gases in the air and dust particles. Sunsets are red because the sunlight has to go through more air to get to our eyes (skimming the surface of the globe) and all the blue and green light has been removed leaving the red and orange parts of the light. To the color of infrared, the carbon molecule reflects it or you could say it has the color of "infrared" much like the rest of the air has the color of blue. You might say "well that is fine then... it reflects the sun's infrared" BUT the sun only sends some infrared our way and most if it is visible. A unique thing about infrared is that everything produces infrared light. When your stove's electric element gets hot, it starts glowing red. This glow is a small portion of the more intense infrared light coming off that element that we cannot see. Our eyeballs absorb infrared light and thus for snakes to see infrared (so mammals and birds appear to shine to the snake) the snake needs special holes in it's face that focus the infrared light like a pin-hole camera instead of using a lens like normal eyes (which snakes also have but normal snake eyes, like our eyes, cannot conduct that infrared light). The sun shines on the planet, the planet heats up, the planet radiates infrared back out into space which is a good thing... BUT don't forget that the sky is the color of "infrared" when it has CO2 in it (and to a lesser extent, carbon monoxide... it has one oxygen instead of two but still has the same one carbon atom) and to a greater extent other carbon-based molecules like natural gas (made of one carbon atom and 4 hydrogen atoms and written CH4). So visible light comes in but infrared light does not shine back out because the sky is the color of infrared light (if we could see it) and reflecting that infrared light back down at us.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:18 pm 
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Scientists looking at the possible history of the fungus family figured that the development of wood caused a great change in the atmosphere because there was no fungus at the time to break down wood. Wood contains carbon atoms and nitrogen atoms so the atmosphere went from 20% oxygen to 30% oxygen (because nitrogen went from 80% down to 70% more specifically). Carbon dioxide was still being produced but not as much. The earth cooled some but not significantly due the lack of effect that nitrogen and oxygen have on the transmission of infrared light. Fungus developed to break down wood and the atmosphere returned to normal. Fertilizers usually involve a chemical similar to ammonia which is one nitrogen atoms and 3 hydrogen atoms. This shows how nitrogen is a significant portion of the atoms in trees. At this time of high oxygen, the globe was covered with dead tree trunks because when a tree died, it just laid there forever (or until fungus figured out how to break down wood).


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:40 pm 
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AF2 wrote:
Wayne Stollings wrote:
It is a case of quality and quantity as you have presented it. The properties of the GHGs (quality) are known as are the properties of sulfur aerosols, oxygen, and nitrogen. The concentration (quantity) is then the second factor. The increase in GHGs will cause warming because that is their quality, sulfurs will cause cooling because that is their quality, and oxygen or nitrogen will do neither because that is their quality.

Adding to the atmosphere cannot be simplified to always warming, cooling, or no effect because the quantity and qualities of what is added play significant parts in the final outcome.


I thought that if we add nitrogen to the atmosphere, it will warm it too. Now I got more uncertain, but I still do not see it proven that extra nitrogen in the atmosphere wouldn't add to global warming. Well, imagine a planet with no atmosphere, and imagine a planet with nitrogen only. According to my explanation above, nitrogen should add to global warming. Can you prove me wrong?


While the increasing the density of the atmosphere (adding N2 or O2) will have a little effect on warming if enough were to be added, it is not as great as the impact of a GHG such as carbon dioxide (CO2) or methane (CH4) because they retain energy in the IR range that O2 and N2 do not.


http://environment.nationalgeographic.c ... teractive/

Some information on the radiative transfer relating to a increased N2 atmosphere, which can get very complex. The increase in density of the atmosphere will have a much lower impact than an increase in GHGs as expalined above.

http://scienceofdoom.com/2011/02/07/und ... equations/

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:59 pm 
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a new form of cooling is starting to be used. A metal plate such as a metal roof is aimed at the night sky and it cools down more then the air would cool it. This is because outer space is cold and is not sending us infrared light. The only heating is from the infrared light from the hot earth reflecting off the CO2 and hitting that metal roof (which is why it does not get extremely cold). The planet Mercury has no atmosphere so it gets extremely hot on one side... extremely cold on the other side. This is from not having any atmosphere to send heat back down to the ground on the dark side of the planet.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 2:57 pm 
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AF2 wrote:
Quote:
Quote:
If the Sun did not shine, the
Earth would be cooling and cold. However, the Sun is there and the Earth's
average temperature is about at equilibrium...............
Now the environmental problem is that various human activities like burning
fossil fuels or clear-cutting forests change the composition of Earth's
atmosphere, most significantly raise its carbon dioxide (CO2) or
methane (CH4) levels, and this leads to an increased greenhouse
effect and global warming (being more atoms in the air: CO2 instead
of O2).


To me, its most interesting part of the last sentence in the parentheses.
Can global warming really be understood as a change in quantity instead of quality?
So if we add gases to the air, will it be warmer in any case?

On a mailing list, someone who learned environmentalism in University,
wrote that it is not the case with sulfuric acid: if we add that to the air,
the Earth might be cooler. I have searched for that on the net, and I've found
the following links, for example:

http://www.tgdaily.com/sustainability-f ... al-warming
http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/featur ... osols.html
http://www.esa.int/esaMI/Venus_Express/ ... XGG_0.html

So my question in connection with these articles: how sure it is, how accepted this thing is
among environmentalists with sulfuric acid? Or is it possible that adding
sulfuring acid to the air would increase global warming, unlike the prediction of scientists?

I don't know how the chemical reactions would work of adding sulphuric acid to the atmosphere, but I want to address the geoengineering aspect of this and other ideas of looking for a quick technofix to global warming rather than reducing anthropogenic carbon outputs.

The first problem with that article is that the Earth is NOT naturally in a state of equilibrium, and only was so for a relatively brief period close to 2 billion years ago. During the early period of Earth history when the Sun was less intense, the biosphere maintained a high level of greenhouse gases to trap more heat, while as the Sun grew in intensity, carbon levels were slowly reduced through increased rock weathering and other forms of carbon sequestration. And whether a living biosphere can engineer the properties of its atmosphere to maintain an equilibrium (Gaia Theory) or it is just because the natural reaction to increasing solar intensity is a corresponding increase in rock weathering and carbon sequestration - the atmosphere over the ages has sequestered greater and greater amounts of carbon, so that in more recent times, CO2 levels would fall below 180ppm and precipitate ice ages, and even during the warmer interglacial periods, CO2 levels have never exceeded 300ppm in the last 16 million years. The true story seems to be that the Earth's biosphere has to make adjustments to maintain optimal conditions for most of its lifeforms, and without our interference, would be able to do so for at least another 500 million years, until CO2 levels drop too low, and the Earth becomes too hot for complex life, and returns to being the abode of microbes for the remainder of its days as a living planet.

I know a lot of people won't accept these ideas, since I'm taking much of this from James Lovelock - author of the Gaia Hypothesis, and a largely unrecognized book by paleontologist Peter D. Ward a few years ago called The Life And Death Of Planet Earth, which looks at the history of life on earth and projects what the likely outcome would be for earthlings if not for human interference. But, the point needs to be stressed that Earth only maintains a state of balance through its own efforts to reduce carbon levels in the atmosphere, and goes into extinction cycles whenever natural causes have spiked carbon levels in the past. This time humans have started a mass extinction event by spiking carbon levels to near 400ppm and climbing, and unless the increase stops and is reduced back to normal levels again, no geoengineering scheme will put things back the way they used to be. In the oceans, life as we know it will not survive as carbon absorbed into the seas has changed the ph and made them more acidic. Some environmentalists are already saying that the world's corals are a lost cause and will all be extinct in a matter of decades. And as carbon dioxide levels have increased, oxygen levels have declined. The eventual result left unchecked, will be a return to the anoxic conditions that poisoned the world's oceans during the Permian/Triassic Extinction...and no geoengineering scheme that doesn't reduce carbon levels will fix the problem. And when the world's oceans die, what happens to life on land?


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 4:20 pm 
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AF2 wrote:
Wayne Stollings wrote:
While the increasing the density of the atmosphere (adding N2 or O2) will have a little effect on warming if enough were to be added, it is not as great as the impact of a GHG such as carbon dioxide (CO2) or methane (CH4) because they retain energy in the IR range that O2 and N2 do not.


http://environment.nationalgeographic.c ... teractive/

Some information on the radiative transfer relating to a increased N2 atmosphere, which can get very complex. The increase in density of the atmosphere will have a much lower impact than an increase in GHGs as expalined above.

http://scienceofdoom.com/2011/02/07/und ... equations/


OK, these links seem convincing. Now I think it is probable that I done a great mistake. However, this thing is still not proof-checked in my one brain, because the proof depends on other information which should also be proof-checked. If you can help me in the proof-checking, I would appreciate it... I can only progress step by step, not using any physical notation or anything which relies on something unproven to my one brain. Let's see if we can explain and prove global warming to anyone (almost like mathematically).

What I should understand first, is how radiation works, and how dense is the atmosphere. From the ozone layer science I think that it is probable that most photons meet with atoms in the air, because otherwise the ozone layer could not filter out the UVB light. If most photons meet with many atoms during their course, what could happen?
For example: I can feel the heat of the Sun on my skin. Did that heat met with many atoms in the air already, and what did those atoms do to that heat? It think it is probable that the heat of the Sun met with more carbon dioxide molecules during it course than the UVB light of the Sun met with ozone molecules - yet the heat of the Sun is kept but the UVB light is filtered. How come that?



The spectrum of incoming and outgoing radiation:

Image

Note, little of the incoming radiation energy is impacted thus allowing most of the enrgy to reach the planet. The outgoing radiation, however, is impacted by the various GHGs, which can cause the energy radiation back towrd the planet or to the sides. This allows more of the enrgy to be retained instead of being lost to space.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 6:10 am 
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As I noted, the increase in mass of the atmosphere would impact the heat loss, but only ever so slightly if it did not include a GHG component. Depending on the amount of increase it may not be an impact which can be measured above the current or even future noise level. Thus, only the theorectical increase could be calculated.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 6:10 am 
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As I noted, the increase in mass of the atmosphere would impact the heat loss, but only ever so slightly if it did not include a GHG component. Depending on the amount of increase it may not be an impact which can be measured above the current or even future noise level. Thus, only the theorectical increase could be calculated.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:57 pm 
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AF2 wrote:


Quote:
CCC
CCC
CCC
CCC

vs.

C C
C C
C C
C C
C C
C C


I suspect that the greater the height is, or the thicker the insulation is, the more temperature is needed to emit the same amount of heat.

The mistake here is to think of the atmosphere in terms of insulation. Insulation resists the conduction of heat through materials. Radiation on the other hand can pass through some materials without being affected (thats why your radio works indoors). In the case of the atmosphere nitrogen (n2) is almost totally unaffected by by either the light entering the atmosphere or the infra-red radiation leaving it. Oxygen absorbs much of the incoming ultra-violet via the form ozone which in turn causes substantial heating of the ozone layer. It has virtually no effect on the other parts of the light spectrum. Water vapour on the other hand strongly absorbs outgoing infra-red as does CO2 and many other so called green house gases.

The issue that makes this difficult to get ones head around is the fact that the suns energy is absorbed at the earth's surface not at the edge of the atmosphere. In practice this means that the heat from the surface can only escape via radiation.

To change the subject no sulfuric is not beneficial as it causes acid rain but it does have a strong cooling effect by reflecting more of the light from the sun back into space. This has been clearly shown by a reduction in surface temperatures after major volcanic eruptions.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 3:07 pm 
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Ann Vole wrote:
a new form of cooling is starting to be used. A metal plate such as a metal roof is aimed at the night sky and it cools down more then the air would cool it. This is because outer space is cold and is not sending us infrared light. The only heating is from the infrared light from the hot earth reflecting off the CO2 and hitting that metal roof (which is why it does not get extremely cold). The planet Mercury has no atmosphere so it gets extremely hot on one side... extremely cold on the other side. This is from not having any atmosphere to send heat back down to the ground on the dark side of the planet.

Again, what about the carbon? What good does it do to contrive technofixes to reduce temperatures if carbon levels are allowed to increase?

The oceans will still be poisoned, and it rarely gets enough attention - but when methane and CO2 levels increase, oxygen levels fall. During the Permian/Triassic Extinction, oxygen levels went from all time highs to below 15% - at sea level, it was the equivalent of present 15,000 ft. altitude:

Oxygen, Carbon Dioxide and the Atmosphere

Oxygen levels were very high at the start of the period but dropped precipitously, impacting every form of life in dramatic ways.
Animals produced varying forms of body plans that could more easily adapt to low oxygen levels. The stress of this environment encouraged a tremendous amount of experimentation and diversification.
One significant innovation was endothermy – the ability to regulate one’s own body temperature without depending on the exterior environment. This allowed the more efficient use of oxygen. Another development that allowed animals to adapt to low oxygen levels was the four chambered heart. It also allowed the more efficient use of oxygen.
Marine environments became toxic as oxygen levels fell. Many marine areas became uninhabitable.
Low oxygen levels (about 15%) became so severe that the available oxygen at sea level would have been equivalent to our modern day altitude of 15,000 feet.
Carbon Dioxide levels rose dramatically from their all-time lows.
Methane levels increased and, along with higher carbon dioxide levels, led to significant global warming

http://eonsepochsetc.com/Paleozoic/Permian/perm_home.html

So, unless it is actually possible to contrive some form of technofix to reduce carbon levels (l heard biochar was popular a year ago, but now ecologists say it's not going to work), isn't it better to knock it off with the geoengineering schemes and bring the human race back into harmony with the natural economy? Whether technofixes are applied in engineering, agriculture, medicine etc., they almost invariably seem to create more problems than they are proposed to fix! And geoengineering would be one more example of rushing in with a fix without studying what the secondary and long term impacts of such a fix would be. In the future, it might be the technofix, not global warming, that actually kills off the human race!


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