|Pie Chart of Atmospheric Gas content. Chart from The Heartland Institute. Click on image to open in a larger window.|
PART ONE OF TWO.
CARBON DIOXIDE AND THE GREENHOUSE EFFECT.
Why I’m showing you this graph is that from now on, you’ll be hearing a lot more about it, but not for the reasons you might think. This chart is from the Chicago based Heartland Institute.
At the end of The Cold War, someone said that now that World Fear of Nuclear annihilation was easing, something had to be found as a cause to stop people sinking into the lethargy of feeling sanguine, comfortable, relaxed.
Around the same time this Global Warming furphy arose. It started to be hyped. Scientists who agreed with the main thrust were actively sought out. They wholeheartedly agreed to co-operate, and why wouldn’t they. Agreement meant that their branch of the Science was being recognised and because of that, drew vast amounts of money, because those who needed to propound the theory for their own reasons, mainly that there was a huge amount of money to be made, well, they needed good scientific backing.
Those scientists who urged caution attracted no money and only stentorian criticism, from the scientists who had their hands out, lobbyists who needed the science to make their own money, and when the hype started to be believed by the general public, then they too drove home the criticism.
Good scientists who did speak out stopped doing it because of the criticism, and the fact that their funding then dried up.
The Global Warming debate expanded exponentially, as more people saw the money to be made from it.
The UN got in on the act and they, needing a cause to remain relevant, set up committees, made recommendations, decisions, and passed Protocols for reduction of this dreaded Carbon Dioxide Greenhouse Gas. However, the UN, that body that tries to please all of the people all of the time, in their wisdom, decided that any decisions were only binding on certain Countries. Luckily for them, all of those Countries were the really rich ones. (See a trend here?) The vast amounts of money could only be made from those rich Countries so, as the UN put it, they would then have to pull all the weight. (Code for front up with all the money.) Whole Countries were sucked in by the huge snowball rolling down the mountainside, gathering size and strength. Those Countries not falling into line were vilified and pointed to as denying the blatantly obvious. The Debate now became a political tool as politicians needed to gain electoral acceptability, and to do that, they needed to take an opposing position. As the public fell into line, their political point then became a rallying point. Elect us. We are the only ones who can save you from this. Only, they used the emotive aspect of it all. Only we can save the future for your children, and theirs on down the line.
Some scientists who did actively disagree came out with facts, not stuff they made up, but facts, actually questioning the Warming theory. When some of those numbers became overwhelming, the debate just shifted sideways, now with a new name, Climate Change, and the game continued apace. Here in Australia, now, Global Warming is a phrase that is never used any more. All the politicians, lobbyists, and hangers on refer to it now as Climate Change. The change has been unobtrusive, they might think, but to those of us who have urged caution right from the outset, it is plainly obvious.
THE GREENHOUSE EFFECT.
What is this Greenhouse Effect then.
The first word Greenhouse needs to be explained, because sometimes a phrase may be said without actually understanding whet it actually means.
A Greenhouse is a gardening tool. In the main, they are made of glass, and that is so because it needs to allow in sunlight, so that the plants inside can have that light as part of their life process. This sunlight heats up the enclosed interior of the greenhouse. The clue here is the word enclosed. Heat rises. The large amount of heat that is generated inside the greenhouse then rises, and the enclosed space then acts as a container for that heat. The inside stays hot long after the sun sets and that latent heat will then dissipate through the cold of the night. Left in the open, some delicate plants will be exposed to the cold for the length of the night, and that long exposure to the cold will kill quite a lot of delicate plants. The latent heat inside the greenhouse will last longer into the night, meaning that those delicate plants will be exposed to the cold for less time than they would in the open, and exposed to less cold, their chances of survival will be considerably enhanced. In the Summer, the effect inside the greenhouse is usually combined with watering, hence inside the greenhouse, the air will be thick with humidity, this humidity keeping the Summer heat from burning the plants.
So, on the Planetary level, the same applies. The Sun shines on during the daylight hours, and the immense heat generated rises. It doesn’t escape into outer space because as the Earth revolves, we have layer of the atmosphere that stop anything from Earth escaping into outer space. As this heat rises and not escaping, it then acts as an insulating blanket. That daylight heat that has risen now acts a warming blanket during the night time hours. The Greenhouse Effect is not something invented in the Seventies and Eighties. It has been around since the Earth started to form.
If there was no insulating blanket, night time temperatures would be so cold that the average temperature on the Earth would be minus 18C, or around zero Fahrenheit. This temperature of minus 18C is the overall average for the Earth. The current average temperature is plus 15C which equates to around 60F. So, you can see that without this greenhouse effect, the Earth would indeed be an exceedingly cold place, due in main to those night time temperatures being considerably colder than they currently are.
As an example let’s then look at the Planet Mercury, that tiny Planet closest to the Sun. Mercury has a virtually insignificant atmosphere of any sort at all. Because of that there is no enclosure for the heat generated during the daytime periods to be held in. Daytime temperatures are in the vicinity of plus 800F and nighttime temperatures close to minus 280F around the equator. Given an atmosphere, those nighttime temperatures would be considerably higher.
So, the Greenhouse effect has been here on Earth since it formed, and the main thing it does is to warm nighttime temperatures.
Okay then, let’s look at the Carbon Dioxide (CO2) component of our atmosphere, part of that blanket surrounding the Earth. Go back to the pie chart at the top, and look very closely at it.
This shows the makeup of the Earth’s Atmosphere. Not all of those gases are Greenhouse gases.
Most of the Atmosphere is made up of Nitrogen, Oxygen, and Argon, and this adds up to 98 percent. The remaining 2 percent is made up of what are called the Greenhouse gases. From this, you can see that Water Vapour makes up 1.96% of that, and not actually mentioned in the greenhouse gas debate at all, it is the largest of these greenhouse gases and makes up the bulk of them. This leaves us with 0.04%. This is made up of CO2 and other sundry gases, Methane, Nitrous Oxide and the CFC’s among them.
So, let’s look at the CO2 content then. For the sake of this pie chart it is drawn as a line, and it has to be, because in actuality if it were given the same ratio as the others that line would be close to invisible. The CO2 content of all the Greenhouse Gases makes 0.03% of the total, and this translates to 1.5% of those greenhouse gases, an insignificant amount really. The Global Warming lobby will explain away these facts here by saying many things, labelling me as a denier, and the chart as bogus, and that levels are rising dramatically. If that is so, then the increase in levels will still be by a totally insignificant amount. Look at the chart. 0.04%. Levels in the early days of the Earths formation and evolution have been at levels 5 to 18 times they are now, and any increase we might add will not go even a fraction of the way to approaching those levels.
What is little known, and not likely to be spoken out loud, is that the level of CO2 currently in the Atmosphere is at the lowest level it has been since the Earth was formed. That gives you some sort of idea why it isn’t mentioned. At the rate we are currently emitting CO2, those levels will rise, but that rise will be so insignificant as to make hardly any effect on the overall total, and will never reach the concentrations once in existence in the Earth’s history.
Now as to the other greenhouse gases. They are made up in the main by three gases, Methane, Nitrous Oxide, and the CFC’s. These make up 0.01% of the total gases and that translates to only half of one percent of the total for the greenhouse gases. Even though more volatile than CO2, again, any additions we make here on the Earth’s surface will add very little to the total. The vast majority of Methane comes from the wetlands here on Earth, from farming crops, mostly the stagnant water from the World’s rice fields. The amounts from grazing animals we use for meat produce very little of the total. Methane makes up most of the volume of that tiny amount, and of that tiny amount, Nitrous Oxide makes up about 1.5% of that total of 0.01% and CFC’s make up 0.05% of that same insignificant total.
What needs to be kept in context when viewing these tiny percentages is the fact that the overall total is just so tiny.
Go back and look again at the pie chart, and as a further reference, this link also offers some explanation.
Keep in mind that the CO2 level is now at the lowest point it has been since the Earth formed, and that the levels shown are all but insignificant. All this I have detailed above is not just something I have made up. This is real science from real scientists.
How have we allowed ourselves to be so easily hoodwinked.
In part two of this post tomorrow, I will discuss why we may be witnessing the death of this whole Global Warming / Climate Change Debate.