Posted by: bravo22c | 13/02/2010

Carbon Dioxide – the Numbers

The numbers I promised. This is the best exposition I have found so far for those AGW advocates who persist in ignoring real world numbers. I have looked at the actual data showing atmospheric composition by weight and volume, and this is a fair analogue. I should add that however much I would like to claim it, it is not mine, it is a quotation from an article by a gentleman called Lorne Gunter and published in the Canadian National Post – bravo to them!

“Think of the atmosphere as 100 cases of 24 one-litre bottles of water — 2,400 litres in all.

According to the global warming theory, rising levels of human-produced carbon dioxide are trapping more of the sun’s reflected heat in the atmosphere and dangerously warming the planet.

But 99 of our cases would be nitrogen (78%) and oxygen (21%), neither of which are greenhouse gases. Only one case — just 24 bottles out of 2,400 — would contain greenhouse gases.

Of the bottles in the greenhouse gas case, 23 would be water vapour.

Water vapour is the most abundant greenhouse gas, yet scientists will admit they understand very little about its impact on global warming. (It may actually help cool the planet: As the earth heats up, water vapour may form into more clouds and reflect solar radiation before it reaches the surface. Maybe. We don’t know.)

The very last bottle in that very last case would be carbon dioxide, one bottle out of 2,400.

Carbon dioxide makes up just 0.04% of the entire atmosphere, and most of that — at least 95% — is naturally occurring (decaying plants, forest fires, volcanoes, releases from the oceans).

At most, 5% of the carbon dioxide in the air comes from human sources such as power plants, cars, oilsands, etc.

So in our single bottle of carbon dioxide, just 50 ml is man-made carbon dioxide. Out of our model atmosphere of 2,400 litres of water, just about a shot glassful is carbon dioxide put their by humans.

Add to this that CO2 in the atmosphere absorbs infra-red radiation in only a limited number of wavelengths, and that these wavelengths are already mostly saturated – and so any increased ‘greenhouse effect’ from increasing the density of CO2 in the atmospher would be irreducably subject to the law of diminishing returns. AGW theory is unadulterated inumerate nonsense. Shall we talk about the IPCC? I have more numbers 🙂 Numerate criticism of this post is positively welcomed. Next post, politics.

And I have just seen this. It says something about the state of science generally, and about peer reviewed articles, that such arrant nonsense can be taken seriously. We are stealing sunlight from plants! Golly gosh, does human greed have no end. Let’s see: the average insolation at ground level over an entire year (including nights and periods of cloudy weather) lies somewhere between 125 and 375 W/m (3 to 9 kWh/m/day). Earth’s biomass: 75 billion tons. Of this: –humans comprise about 250 million tons (0.33%) –krill, about 500 million tons (0.67%) –farm animals, 700 million tons (almost 1%) –crops, 2 billion tons (2.7%) etc, etc. Note that all of this is composed of carbon-based life forms and we all seem to be getting our share, don’t we? Of course, most people don’t make the elementary mistake of thinking that solar radiation is a wasting resource and that use of solar energy is a zero sum game.


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