Thread Rating:
  • 1 Vote(s) - 3 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Layman struggles with Science
#1
I thought I would start this thread as a place for us dumb bunny laymen to air our possibly misconceived ideas about atmospheric science and allow our more erudite members to air their more up to date knowledge.  Wink

In my trawling for information on our wonderfull atmosphere I came across this little gem; The DRY ADIABATIC LAPSE RATE is a CONSTANT, irrespective of the water vapour content. Only when that part of the air column cools to the dew point does the lapse rate change to the WET ADIABATIC LAPSE RATE.

If the dry lapse rate doesn't change for water vapour then it will not change for CO2, both greenhouse gases.

Think about that; the lapse rate is the physical rate of temperature change up the air column. While CO2 stays at its current level of 0.0385% by volume, the water vapour can change from 0.1% to as much as 4% by volume, and up to the dew point altitude the lapse rate does not change. Why isn't the air column getting warmer with the increased greenhouse gasses?

So, what gives? To me this seems like a classic opportunity for positive feedback to heat the water surface below by the backradiation from the increasing greenhouse gas, water vapour, above.

Only, this does not happen. If the water vapour is not trapping any heat why should CO2? Anyone know of any discussion on this topic?

Another point. At standard atmosphere and pressure gas molecules in the air occupy only about 0.1% of the space utilised. Imagine a cubic meter of air, that is 1,000 litres, let's say water vapour content of 3% by volume. When the water vapour condenses to liquid water about 2.9 litres of space becomes available which will have to be filled by the adjacent gas molecules, this constitutes a major drop in air pressure. Our cubic meter of air, now fogged up with water droplets, is less dense and will rise carrying its energy content up as well.

So here is a physical/mechanical transport system moving energy upwards. When the water droplets are big enough, they will be at the temperature of their altitude as defined by the two lapse rates, and fall back to the surface as rain at a much cooler temperature. As a global temperature regulating system this seems remarkably efficient to me. CO2 is not contributing or detracting anything.

Environmentalism is based on lies and the lies reflect an agenda that regards humanity as the enemy of the Earth. - Alan Caruba
Reply
#2
Hi Richard111,
Great to see you here.  8)

Wonderfully clear explanation above, may I add, I have often wondered why no one ever seems to mention that "cold" rains down from above.
It seems so obvious, yet no one ever appears to mention it, especiially given the specific heat content / capacity of water,
and rain is cold, usually. Did I mention snow...
Surely it must be a large factor in heat budgets, within the column of the atmosphere. ? 
The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed
(and hence clamorous to be led to safety)
by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H. L. Mencken.  

The hobgoblins have to be imaginary so that
"they" can offer their solutions, not THE solutions.
Reply
#3
Over at WUWT a poster drew my attention to the "warm spike" on the DMI Arctic Temperatures graph. So I had a look at http://psc.apl.washington.edu/northpole/]North Pole Environmental Observatory Home Page[/url] for confirmation and sure enough temps are currently up a bit in the Arctic.

It occured to me that this could create a striking anomaly map with the North Pole circled by a bright red +5 degree patch to frighten the sheep. What does this anomaly of +5C mean? Well, it appears to have nothing to do with melting ice. The key point is the temperature of that spike - it is still well below 0C.


On re-reading Jim Tyson's essay MELTING AND FREEZING , and plowing through some marvelous explanations of how and why water molecules behave as the do, this summary puts it in a nutshell:

Quote:As the ice melts, its temperature remains at the melting point. The temperature of the melt water will also remain at the melting point until all of the ice is melted. Only then will the water start to warm. In the free atmosphere, ice will not be found at temperatures above 273.16°K (0.01°C).

That sudden rise in temperature at the North Pole does NOT indicate melting ice.

This leads me to thinking about just how much air, and at what temperature, would be required to melt just one days daily average. I suspect the air, no matter how warm, has very little effect on ice. Think specific heat and remember one cubic meter of air weighs just 1,225 grams at standard temperature and pressure. After all we are talking about 100,000 plus square kilometers a day of 1.5 to 2 meters thickness of ice each day. So warm sea water and sunshine on the water, not the ice, is the prime suspect, also the DMI graph shows that the average summer air temperature in the Arctic doesn't exceed +3C.

I no longer pay any attention to Gavin's catastrophic anomaly maps.


Environmentalism is based on lies and the lies reflect an agenda that regards humanity as the enemy of the Earth. - Alan Caruba
Reply
#4
Quote:It occured to me that this could create a striking anomaly map with the North Pole circled by a bright red +5 degree patch to frighten the sheep. What does this anomaly of +5C mean? Well, it appears to have nothing to do with melting ice. The key point is the temperature of that spike - it is still well below 0C.

They do that misleading statical construct regularly,as you pointed out in your post,it is never above +3C in the summer.

James hansen and his contrived gridding method,to infill a temperature chart for the ENTIRE Arctic region,creates for colorful reds,but not valid results.The reason why he should be ignored.
It is our attitude toward free thought and free expression that will determine our fate. There must be no limit on the range of temperate discussion, no limits on thought. No subject must be taboo. No censor must preside at our assemblies.

–William O. Douglas, U.S. Supreme Court Justice, 1952
Reply
#5
[quote author=Derek link=topic=258.msg1763#msg1763 date=1253693008]
It seems so obvious, yet no one ever appears to mention it, especiially given the specific heat content / capacity of water, and rain is cold, usually. Did I mention snow...
[/quote]

Re-reading this business of "cold rain" reminded me of the final summary in the link about MELTING AND FREEZING I posted above. (and again here  Smile

Remember the "ice storms" that happened in the USA a couple of years ago? Well, here is how it happens:

Quote: Ice readily and spontaneously melts whenever the ambient temperature rises to the melting point—usually around 0°C. That melting point depends upon the ambient pressure and the presence and concentration of solutes in the ice.

Water, on the other hand, does not spontaneously freeze when the ambient temperature drops below the melting point of ice. It can and does remain liquid at temperatures of -40°C and more. Before freezing can take place in this range of -40° to 0°C, icing nuclei are required.

These icing nuclei are abundant on the earth’s surface, but become rarer at higher elevations. This enables the formation of winter clouds, whose water droplets easily endure temperatures tens of degrees below the melting point of ice.

I wonder if we will see any such storms here in the UK?
Environmentalism is based on lies and the lies reflect an agenda that regards humanity as the enemy of the Earth. - Alan Caruba
Reply
#6
Richard111:
We have warm moist air masses from the gulf of Mexico traveling north following the Jet Stream. When they interact with the cold Arctic air masses with very low ground temperatures then we experience ice storms. I visited Oklahoma shortly after one in 2006 and occasionally we get ice storms here. I think one of the major requirements is being under the location where the jet turns north or just north of that.
Reply
#7
[quote author=Mike Davis link=topic=258.msg1781#msg1781 date=1253931774]
Richard111:
We have warm moist air masses from the gulf of Mexico traveling north following the Jet Stream. When they interact with the cold Arctic air masses with very low ground temperatures then we experience ice storms. I visited Oklahoma shortly after one in 2006 and occasionally we get ice storms here. I think one of the major requirements is being under the location where the jet turns north or just north of that.
[/quote]

Hmmm... BBC weather man was talking about "jet steams" recently. Must go read up about this.
Environmentalism is based on lies and the lies reflect an agenda that regards humanity as the enemy of the Earth. - Alan Caruba
Reply
#8
Do we REALLY know how much CO2 there is in the oceans?

I ask because in my daily perusal of GREENIE WATCH this rainy Sunday morning of October 11, 2009, my attention was drawn to this horrifying report:

Lethal gas may have to be stored under villages, says adviser

One of the comments mentioned Lake Nyos in the Cameroons, so I googled it and arrived at the following site:

HOW VOLCANOES WORK[b]

[b]LAKE NYOS (1986)

Quote:It had been known for years that the water in Lake Nyos was extremely enriched in dissolved CO2. The lake overlies a volcanic source, which appears to release CO2 and other gases. However, most of this gas does not escape into the atmosphere, but rather dissolves into the bottom waters of the lake. At a depth of over 200 meter, the sheer weight of the upper lake levels exerts considerable pressures on the bottom waters. This confining pressure allows CO2 to dissolve into the bottom waters without escaping to the surface, in much the same way that the cap on a carbonated beverage prevents CO2 from bubbling out of its container. At a depth of 200 meters, water can hold 15 times its own volume in CO2. It has been estimated that every liter of water in the lower part of the lake may have contained between 1 to 5 liters of CO2!

Now, there are a LOT of undersea volcanoes. They can be quite deep. I have seen videos of "black smokers" thousands of feet down. That is a lot of pressure.

At a depth of 200 meters, water can hold 15 times its own volume in CO2.

To me this makes a mockery of the claim that the ocean/air ratio of CO2 is 50:1.

Does anyone know of any data quantifying this source of CO2 in the oceans?
Has anyone ever brought up a sealed flask of deep sea water and opened it at sea level pressure to measure how much gas is in the water?

Environmentalism is based on lies and the lies reflect an agenda that regards humanity as the enemy of the Earth. - Alan Caruba
Reply
#9
Richard111:
There is no such thing as well mixed and pressure does compress gasses. The problem is we do not have an understanding of the concentration of CO2 in locations where it is not being measured and those  measurements are questionable. I could probably accept any number as long as it did not go along with dire warnings of calamity. Because we can now measure naturally occurring compounds, which are believed to be toxic above a certain level, at lower concentrations then some claim catastrophe as a means to gain support /funding.
That sounds like the AGW fraud to me but it is also happening in the plastics and some other compounds by groups that claim to be research scientists. That is what happened to the Ozone hole theory which the Ozone thinning is a naturally occurring fluctuation. Of course it is more dramatic to say it is a hole and to blame some made up situation that gains the perpetrators better positions and increased funding for their agency / University / Organization. That guaranties peer support as the peers are looking for the next research dollar also.
Remember that the leading cause of death is being born!
People want to disregard the geologic contributions of toxic gasses and CO2 to the atmosphere through erosion/ volcanoes and other natural events. The contribution overrides the puny contribution by humans through construction, land changes, agriculture, and use of fossil fuels. Mankind imitates nature when attempting to make his life easier. 
Reply
#10
Mike: That ozone business reminded me about the exploding fridges in the UK.

If I was a terrorist I reckon I could make a big bang with that easily available "GreenFreeze".

Alert over new wave of exploding fridges caused by 'environmentally-friendly coolant'

Quote:At least four similar explosions have been reported in the last three years in the UK, two of them since May.
The problem appears to result from a widespread switch to 'Greenfreeze' technology over the past 15 years and the use of isobutane and propane hydrocarbon gases as refrigerants.
Previously CFCs and HFCs were used in fridges but these gases damaged the ozone layer and contributed significantly to global warming. There are now more than 300million Greenfreeze fridges around the world.
They are designed with safety features to ensure the flammable natural gas inside the pipework cannot leak into the fridge.
However, if this happens there is a risk of a powerful blast as the gas could be ignited by a spark when the thermostat switches off.

Environmentalism is based on lies and the lies reflect an agenda that regards humanity as the enemy of the Earth. - Alan Caruba
Reply
#11
From the freezer to the table in one easy spark! According to what I have read the replacement gasses are in the "Supper" GHG group. The so called environmentally friendly coolants are anything but and set up a very rude awakening for your country people as those friges age. I know we are using some "Super Duper" new gas that replaced what replaced the refrigerants that were used before before Montreal protocol was signed. This gas also has a tendency to leak faster than its predecessors and requires recharging more often according to some refrigeration techs that recharged some of my systems.
Reply
#12
From the freezer to the table in one easy spark! Nice one Mike.  Smile

OT but I don't know where to post this. Thread is locked.

SST: in your links thread you posted: http://www.athropolis.com/map2.htm

On the bottom left hand corner of that map is a claim that

The Arctic ice cap is shrinking by 33,800 square kilometers per year!

That should scare the kids who are not being taught any maths.  >Sad
Environmentalism is based on lies and the lies reflect an agenda that regards humanity as the enemy of the Earth. - Alan Caruba
Reply
#13
[quote author=Richard111 link=topic=258.msg1962#msg1962 date=1255506704]
From the freezer to the table in one easy spark! Nice one Mike.  Smile

OT but I don't know where to post this. Thread is locked.

SST: in your links thread you posted: http://www.athropolis.com/map2.htm

On the bottom left hand corner of that map is a claim that

The Arctic ice cap is shrinking by 33,800 square kilometers per year!

That should scare the kids who are not being taught any maths.  >Sad
[/quote]

I already have it posted in this thread:

Meteorological websites and forcasting tools
It is our attitude toward free thought and free expression that will determine our fate. There must be no limit on the range of temperate discussion, no limits on thought. No subject must be taboo. No censor must preside at our assemblies.

–William O. Douglas, U.S. Supreme Court Justice, 1952
Reply
#14
[quote author=Richard111 link=topic=258.msg1962#msg1962 date=1255506704]
  On the bottom left hand corner of that map is a claim that

The Arctic ice cap is shrinking by 33,800 square kilometers per year!

[/quote]

Well, the may is "copyright 2002", just a bit out of date.
I know you think you understand what you thought I said,
but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant!


Reply
#15
As usual my lack of science leads me to no end of confusion as I try to understand the physics of our atmosphere. On reading about evaporation and condensation and how vapour molecules actually displace air molecules thereby making that parcel of air "less massy" without changeing the air temperature I was struck by something I had read some while ago. This was that rain forests control their temperature beneath the canopy to about 21C or so. They do this by varying their rate of respiration. Now I understand how it works. (I think.) The trees can create their own updraught by releasing water vapour molecules into the surrounding air. Nature is full of surprises.

I came across this information about water vapour displacing air molecules in Jim Tyson's essays. Go to the ATMOSPHERIC WATER menu file and scroll down to VOLUMETRIC CHANGES

Quote:Avogadro’s Law, in essence, states that at any specific combination of mperature and pressure the number of molecules in a specified volume of gas or mixture of non-reacting gases is the same. For a kilogram-mole of gas or gases, that number is known as Avogadro’s number. Its value is:

N = 6.0221414 x 10^23 molecules per mole

<snip some formulae that won't copy into notepad>

At 25°C and a pressure of a thousand hectopascals, the number density is
some 2.42930 x 10^25 molecules per cubic meter. Under those conditions,
this will be the number of dry air molecules per cubic meter and it will also be the number of humid air molecules per cubic meter.

Adding water vapor to the atmosphere is not like adding water to a
sponge. The water vapor molecules do not take up unused space between
the air molecules. Instead, adding water vapor to the atmosphere is more
like adding a collection of blue marbles to a box of multicolored ones. The
augmented collection takes up more room than before. Each water molecule
takes up just as much “room” as each air molecule.

Reading this also made me think that CO2 molecules having more mass than O2 or N2 molecules will make a parcel of air "heavier". This means to me that to regain "lift" the CO2 infected air will need MORE heat energy to keep pace with CO2 free air. Effectively, releasing CO2 into the air is a cooling mechanism.

Comments please. I must be thinking wrong here.

I was going to try and calculate some masses of different gas mixtures and went back to The Middlebury Community Network to read the
Editorial: The Great Global Warming Hoax?
by James A. Peden.

Scroll down to the terahedron pictures.

Quote:To give you a feeling for how little CO2 there actually is in the atmosphere, let's note that atoms and molecules are very tiny things, and the distances between them are therefore also very small. Physicists like to use a unit of measure called an Angstrom, which is 0.1 of a nano-meter, or a 0.1 billionth of a meter, (i.e. 10^-10 of a meter or 10^-7 of a mm). A molecule like CO2 has a size of around two Angstroms (2 x 10^-7 mm). The density of the gas is 10 to the 24th power number of molecules occupying a space of about 22 liters (i.e. 4.55 x 10^22 molecules per liter) at a pressure of 760mm of mercury and 273 degrees Kelvin (i.e. 32 degrees Fahrenheit or zero degrees Celsius) – called the "standard temperature and pressure". You can almost think of all this as just the normal temperature and pressure around you right now. A simple calculation shows that in a 3-dimensional tetrahedron array, as shown in the diagram below (for the closest possible packing with an equal distance between molecules), the spacing between molecules is approximately 28 Angstroms.

Now James A. Peden, the editor above, tells me there are 4.55 x 10^22 molecules per liter therefore there must be 4.55 x 10^25 molecules per cubic meter. (one thousand times more than a liter)
But Tyson says there are 2.42930 x 10^25 molecules per cubic meter, only half as many. There is a table in Tyson's link above that gives molecular densities for different altitudes and temperatures. Makes Peden's number seem even worse.

So, the search is on for the number of molecules per cubic meter of air at standard temperature and pressure.

Beats me why this stuff grabs my attention. Must be a form of dementia allied to advancing years.
:Smile
Environmentalism is based on lies and the lies reflect an agenda that regards humanity as the enemy of the Earth. - Alan Caruba
Reply
#16
Richard111:
I attempted to find an answer for you but my new puppy kept biting my toes when I took my socks of to do the figuring. So I just gave up and went into Boggle Mode along with you :laugh:
Reply
#17
Mike, congratulations on your new puppy. Fear not for your toes, only when they get bigger and learn about bones will you have a problem.  ;D
(I meant the puppy, not your toes!)
Environmentalism is based on lies and the lies reflect an agenda that regards humanity as the enemy of the Earth. - Alan Caruba
Reply
#18
Following on from Reply#14 above it seems Tyson has the better number. So!
In the table mentioned above in Tyson's link it would seem the total number of molecules in a cubic meter of air is reduced to 48% of sea level value at 7,000 meters. More than half! This is not far below the tropopause.

All things being equal, this means the amount of CO2 at 7,000 meters is less than half that at sea level. Remember it will still be 388 parts per million at every density level. So as air density reduces, so does the amount of CO2.

Maybe that is why the "hotspot" didn't turn up.

I calculate there is 0.73gram of CO2 at sea level per cubic meter therefore only 0.36gram per cubic meter at 7,000 meters altitude.
Environmentalism is based on lies and the lies reflect an agenda that regards humanity as the enemy of the Earth. - Alan Caruba
Reply
#19
Richard111:

You suggest:

"All things being equal, this means the amount of CO2 at 7,000 meters is less than half that at sea level. Remember it will still be 388 parts per million at every density level. So as air density reduces, so does the amount of CO2.

Maybe that is why the "hotspot" didn't turn up."

No, but it is related.  The reason for the 'hot spot' is as follows.

1.
Water vapour is the major greenhouse gas.  And the AGW model assumes that as temperature increases so will the amount of water vapour held in the atmosphere. 
2.
CO2 is a greenhouse gas, too, so increased CO2 in the air increases radiative forcing to increase temperature.
3.
The increased temperature induced by the increased atmospheric CO2 increases the amount of water held in the atmosphere (because of point 1).
4.
But water vapour is the main greenhouse gas so the increased amount of water held in the atmosphere increases radiative forcing a lot.
5.
The large increase to radiative forcing from the increased amount of water held in the atmosphere increases the temperature a lot.

Points 1 to 5 are are known as the Water Vapour Feedback (WVF).  The direct effect on global temperature from a doubling of CO2 in the air would b about 0.6 deg.C.  And (according to e.g. IPCC) the effect of the WVF is to increase this warming to between 3 and 6.5 deg.C.

Clearly, there are large assumptions in calculation of the WVF:  this is undeniable because the range of its calculated effect effect is so large (i.e. to increase warming of from 0.6 deg.C to to a warming in the range 3 to 6.5 deg.C).

One of the assumptions is how much water vapour is held in the atmosphere and where it is distributed.  Large effects of the WVF are induced by assumption of large increase to water vapour at altitude. 

The major radiative forcing effect is in the tropics because
(a)  long wave radiation is from the Earth's surface,
(b) emission of the radiation is proportional to the fourth power of the surface temperature,
© the surface temperature is hottest in the tropics, and
(d) cold air holds little water vapour.

Temperature also decreases with altitude and, therefore, the ability of the atmosphere to hold water vapour decreases with altitude.  So, small increase to temperature with altitude permits the air at altitude to hold more water.  And, therefore, enables WVF at altitude. 

The increase to WVF with altitude causes largest increase to radiative forcing (so largest increase to temperature) at altitude.  And the radiative forcing effect is strongest in the tropics so the largest increase to temperature at altitude is in the tropics.

This 'largest increase to temperature at altitude is in the tropics' is the 'hot spot'.  But the 'hot spot' is missing. 

This could be because
(i)  the assumption of WVF is wrong,
or
(ii)  the calculated increase to radiative forcing of CO2 and/or water vapour is wrong,
or
(iii) the calculated ability of air to hold water vapour is wrong,
or
something else as yet unknown.

Whichever of these possibilities is the true, the absence of the 'hot spot' demonstrates that the estimates of 3 to 6.5 deg.C for a doubling of atmospheric CO2 are too high because the effect which induces enhancement of the direct effect of doubling atmospheric CO2 is absent.  So, only the direct warming of 0.6 deg.C from a doubling of CO2 can be justified.

And that direct effect is probably mitigated by cooling effects of evaporation from the Earth's surface.

I hope this explanation is clear.

Richard
Reply
#20
Richard,

Quote:I hope this explanation is clear.

Yes, but, but, splutter.. well, I will read it many times more as it seems an excellent summary of the AGW problem. Thank you.

What I have in mind is to teach myself enough physics to hopefully understand the WVF effect. This automatically reflects on the effects of CO2. For instance, the DRY adiabatic lapse rate is constant for any level of water vapour until the dew point temperature is reached.
This seems to indicate CO2 will have no effect in dry air.

As I have no previous experience or training I have envisaged a thought exercise using a one meter square column of air which I can imagine over any surface and try to work out what is happening up the column. Keeps me amused. For example. every six meters the available CO2 equates to a layer 2 millimeters deep. I can calculate the mass but I still don't know how much the CO2 will absorb and how much it will transfere via conduction and how much is radiated. Also it cannot reradiate at the same energy level it absorbed. It goes on and on but I am learning a lot. Have learned about Avogadro's Law and about the mole etc. What a mind that man must have had to work that out back then. I am in awe.

Anyway, thanks for your input Richard. Have copied it to my harddrive for easy reference.

Cheers, Richard111
Environmentalism is based on lies and the lies reflect an agenda that regards humanity as the enemy of the Earth. - Alan Caruba
Reply




Users browsing this thread: 4 Guest(s)