Thursday, July 21, 2011
The Hits Just Keep Coming
1. The whole theory that CO2 lets whole light in but "traps" rebounding infrared light (heat) from the surface and causes the trapped heat to go back down, keeping us snug and warm, comes from 19th Century scientists, Fourier, Tyndall, and Arrhenius. However, there was a turn of the last century experiment by Professor Robert W. Wood of Johns Hopkins University (in 1909) which said the heat created or retained by the so-called greenhouse gasses was nothing and the added heat the scientists found was solely from a lack of convection. Well, a scientist recently redid the experiment and it's pretty much true. The CO2 scatters the infrared rather than blocks or traps it for temperature gain. The only thing causing more heat in the experiment is the barrier keeping the heat from dissipating through convection, just like a real green house. Thus, the skeptics are attacking the Warmie theory at the core and, on first reports, winning.
2. The second is the cosmic ray cloud theory which was greeted by the world when it was first put out as so much lunacy. The theory goes: greater magnetic energy from the sun creates a magnetic shield that covers the inner planets (of which we are the third) and protects them from cosmic rays. Cosmic rays cause clouds to form in our atmosphere (just like they do in cloud chambers) which clouds cool the planet through shade and rain. So decreased magnetic activity from the sun (and there is no doubt that's happening) allows more cosmic rays to hit our atmosphere and we get more clouds and it's cooler here on Earth. Just as the theory of floating continents went from dead wrong to dead right during the 60s, it's possible that the cosmic ray cloud theory will rapidly become like dogma and the Warmies will have suffered another hit, a palpable hit.
It's just possible that CO2 doesn't really do anything much but feed the plants and it's the sun cycles and water vapor 'green house effect' which drives the climate cycles here. Just possible.