Posts tagged with Ross Mckitrick

Is Physicist Stephen Hawking Overrated?

Professor Stephen Hawking's support for the global warming myth raises doubts about his knowledge of physics.

Professor Stephen Hawking's "A Brief History of Time" is one of the books I would like to reread if I could find the time. However, after learning that he supports the global warming myth I would read the book a little more critically than I did the first time.

Hawking says he's concerned about earth becoming as hot as Venus, but the alleged "greenhouse effect" cannot explain temperatures on Venus as I noted in my previous post.

I hope that Hawking is simply repeating something he's been told, but hasn't taken time to examine. If Hawking took the time to examine both sides of the debate over global warming he would realize that global warming is based on a long discredited 19th Century theory that is inconsistent with the laws of thermodynamics. The so called greenhouse effect represents a form of perpetual motion machine that is inconsistent with accepted thermodynamic theories

Jean Baptist Joseph Fourier claimed in 1827 that greenhouses worked by allowing in sunlight and then trapping the infrared radiation produced inside to heat the greenhouse. R. W. Wood disproved this theory in a 1909 experiment that indicated no significant difference in temperature between a greenhouse that "trapped" IR and one that was transparent to IR. In fact in the initial run of the experiment the transparent greenhouse heated faster because the one that reflected IR reflected incoming solar IR back into space.

The greenhouse in R.W. Wood's experiment trapped a much broader spectrum of IR than CO2 interacts with. If that greenhouse didn't heat up more than a greenhouse that didn't "trap" IR, then how can anyone believe that CO2 could cause heating by interacting with IR.

The whole idea that a gas comprising less than 0.04% of the atmosphere can determine its temperature by interacting with a small range of infrared radiation (IR) sounds more like magic than science.

Supporters of the greenhouse gas theory have an extremely superficial view of earth's very complex energy system. They believe that earth must radiate as much energy as it receives from the sun and thus maintain a radiative balance even though such a situation is impossible.

In the first place 70% of earth is covered by water which doesn't radiate well. Much of the solar radiation is absorbed by plants which store it as the electron bonds that hold complex carbon molecules together instead of converting it to heat and then radiating it into space.

Before the ground can convert heat to radiation much of the heat energy is conducted to the air. Bodies of water also release heat energy to the atmosphere through the evaporation of water. Physicists define heat as the kinetic energy or motion of atoms/molecules. As air molecules move up from the ground gravity slows them down by converting part of their kinetic energy (heat) to potential energy. The slowing of gas molecules means they become cooler because heat is the motion of molecules. Thus, earth's atmosphere is gravity cooled rather than being radiation cooled.

Earth is actually radiating more energy into space than it did in 1900. Human generated radiation has greater wattage than natural radiation and the energy is radiated in a much broader spectrum ranging from x-rays through long wave radio waves. Satellites can detect human settlements by the difference in radiation they produce compared to vegetation covered areas.

The data that those who claim global warming say supports warming temperatures in the 20th Century is inadequate for that purpose. They claim only a 0.25% increase which could easily result from changes in equipment or inaccuracies in the thermometers used in 1900 which were not as accurate as those used today. Changes in the thermal characteristics of the thermometer sites could explain the increase, particularly considering that many of today's sites are at airports with heat producing asphalt that did not exist in 1900.

A change of only 0.25% might be significant in the controlled conditions of a laboratory with precision equipment, but not in the open air with equipment that may not always be in good operating condition.

Mathematicians Bjarne Andresen, Christopher Essex and Ross McKitrick have pointed out that the idea of a global average temperature is absurd. "A temperature can be defined only for a homogeneous system. Furthermore, the climate is not governed by a single temperature. Rather, differences of temperatures drive the processes and create the storms, sea currents, thunder, etc. which make up the climate".

Most real scientists, including social scientists, gave up using broad averages decades ago because such averages cover up too much information. For example, in climate the amount of time the temperature is above or below freezing is more important than the average temperature of the region because long periods of below freezing temperatures favors snow/ice cover and long periods of above freezing temperatures favors melting. Snow melts depend upon heat distribution not any global average. Significant melting could occur even if global temperatures were cooler because melting snow absorbs heat and cools the air. In order to melt, a single gram of snow must absorb enough heat to cool 80 grams of water 1 C.

Temperatures went up and down in the 20th Century while the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere gradually increased. The heat generated by human activity also increased and would be the more likely cause of any human caused heating. Replacement of plant covered areas by pavement also directly causes heating of the air.

Hawking has apparently failed to read the essay by Dr. Gerhard Gerlich and Ralf D. Tscheuschner - (Falsification of the Atmospheric Greenhouse Effects Within the Framework of Physics�) which points out the claim of greenhouse gases and a greenhouse effect conflict with established physics theories.

Hawking may also be unaware that NASA scientist Ferenc Miskolczi has revealed that the equation used to calculate catastrophic warming contains a major flaw. The equation falsely assumed an atmosphere of infinite thickness. Such a condition might be consistent with a black hole, but not the planet earth.

The claim that CO2 has some ability to control air temperature is a cancer growing on science. Many astrophysicists believe that the earth is about to enter a period of colder temperature associated with the sun entering a portion of a centuries long cycle in which it is less active. If the astrophysicists are correct, all of science may be discredited if the claim that global warming is based on science has not been abandoned.

A major difference between science and religion is that science relies on verification through repeated observation and experimentation while religion relies on acceptance of beliefs. The experiment that examined heating in a greenhouse demonstrated that trapping IR didn't cause higher temperatures. Unfortunately, those who believe that humans can control the environment through changes in a minor atmospheric gas aren't interested in scientific proof.

If Professor Hawking wants to protect science he needs to talk to those scientists who question global warming and then change his opinion.