Re: [asa] High School Genius & Her Science Project

From: Rich Blinne <>
Date: Mon May 28 2007 - 23:56:30 EDT

On May 28, 2007, at 4:33 PM, PvM wrote:

> <quote>
> Not only does this issue involve complicated theoretical quantum
> physics, but water vapor absorbs infrared radiation. As is often the
> case in global warming presentations, he forgets that water vapor is
> by far the most abundant greenhouse gas; 3 to 4 percent of the
> atmosphere. And this is important because at most, man-made greenhouse
> gases are 1/ 10,000 of Earth's atmosphere.
> </quote>
> You must be kidding... Complicated theoretical quantum physics to
> explain the green house effect? And yes, water is a major greenhouse
> effect, I wonder what the relevance of this is.

  The greenhouse effect was discovered in the 19th Century by Svante
Arrhenius applying and thus predates quantum physics. His application
of the Stefan-Boltzman law produced his greenhouse gas law:

> if the quantity of carbonic acid increases in geometric
> progression, the augmentation of the temperature will increase
> nearly in arithmetic progression.

Which is still valid. He came very close to the actual climate
sensitivity of CO2 with 5-6 degrees C per doubling of CO2. The 2007
values of the IPCC report showed climate sensitivity to be between 2
and 4.5 degrees. Where he was wrong was his prediction that it would
take 3000 years for CO2 to double.

An image of his original 1896 study can be found here:

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Received on Mon May 28 23:58:13 2007

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