Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Fractal Profile of CO2

The Fractal Profile of CO2

In this entry I aim to analyse the properties of CO2 (in relation to the climate)  and demonstrate the fractality (the repeating) of this knowledge and properties. Does (heat trapping) CO2 shape up to our general knowledge, and 'laws' of physics. I am not an expert, but am curious to investigate.

  1. Heat trapping - Specific Heat Capacity
  2. Infrared Opaqueness and Transparency
  3. Mixing behaviour
  4. Emissivity
  5. Lags: Does CO2 drive temperature - or does Temperature drive CO2?
  6. Density
  7. Solubility - buffers
I have now published a wiki website: to help democratise the science-

1.  'Heat trapping' CO2:  Specific Heat Capacity  

In my next entry (The Fractal record of heat trapping CO2) I will expose the instances where CO2 should trap heat, but doesn't - at least to be measurable.

CO2 is claimed to be a 'heat trapping' gas. A dominate heat trapping 'greenhouse gas'. This claim is a the key premise to carbon-climatology where changes in CO2 volumes is the main cause to climate change.
The following CO2 tank experiments (are said to) demonstrate the 'heat trapping' characteristics of CO2. They are the key 'scientific evidence of the above carbon-climatology claim. From these experiments it is inferred that changes in CO2 emissions affect the climate directly.

Demo 1

Demo 2: Laboratory Greenhouse effect simulation

Why do the temperature readings in the above demonstrations read greater for the CO2 than for ambient air?  Could there be an alternative (simple) explanation? Yes there is: an understanding of specific heat capacity.

Heat is infrared radiation (IR): infrared radiation is felt as heat. The real heat (energy 'Q') trapping ability of a substance (and affect a substance has on another substance) is told by reading the substances heat capacity coefficient and is defined by the equation:

 Q = mcΔT  
Where Q is energy, m = mass, c = the specific heat capacity and ΔT the difference between the initial and final temperatures.
Specific heat capacity coefficients (no units given) is CO2 0.8, water 4, water vapor 2,  and air of 1 reference).  
There a many demonstrations of heat capacity on YouTube, the general interpretation is: the lower the heat capacity the 'quicker' the substance will heat up (raise in temperature) and conversely the quicker the substance will cool down. The converse is true for substances of high heat capacities, such as water.

Specific Heat Capacity demonstrations:

Demo 1:Chemistry 10.2 Specific Heat Capacity 
Demo 2

The following demonstration shows an application of the knowledge: how day night breezes are explained by relative differences in specific heat capacity – land being low, and water being high.

CO2’s specific heat capacity

CO2 has a relatively low heat.

From the above specific heat capacity theory, co-efficients, and demonstrations,  it may be reasoned that if CO2 were heated (in isolation) with any of the above substances above along side, the CO2 gas would raise in temperature higher and faster than the other substances, just as demonstrated or repeated in the land breeze demonstration above.

The first experiment was not demonstrating what she said it was: I am convinced that she is demonstrating the relatively low heat capacity CO2. 

A Demonstration of CO2's specific heat capacity - relative to air.

What would be the method to investigate this relationship?

I have deliberately repeated the above demonstration clip (above) again because with knowledge of Specific Heat Capacity this clip demonstrates exactly what would be expected if CO2 was heated along side air.
The language used, and the interpretation is arbitrary - the truth is in the repeating of the phenomena.

The above demonstration (and ones like it) mis-attribute CO2 as a heat trapper. 

CO2 has a Heat Capacity around 1/2 that of water vapour - which is less than that of the heat capacity of air in general - it won't store heat in any special way. In the next section the fractal record of CO2 will be analysed: there are next to no examples or applications of CO2 trapping heat.

The maths:
By rearranging the heat capacity equation: (Q = mcΔT) to make final temperature the subject.
                                ΔT = Q/mc     and  Final time = initial time + ΔT     

No matter the (abitary) values of Q (the energy output of the lightbulbs), m (the mass of molar quantity of the gas CO2 and air) and the initial temperature - the final temperature will always be dependent on the c (whether  by mass cv, cp, or by molar Cv or Cp).                                           

Water's heat capacity

Liquid water has one of the highest heat capacities - some 4 times that of CO2, and water vapor some 2 times higher than that of CO2. Examples and applications are abound: warm steamy bathrooms, our warm breath, hot saunas, oceanic currents, clouds, water heating in homes, water cooling, and so on. See clip below, it explains it all.

references to Specific Heat Capacity:

The most non-sense science clip: I found this when looking for heat capacity and sea breeze references. 

2. Infrared Opaqueness of CO2 (added 18, 5, 2013)

In October 2013 I published another entry inspired by this one :

Infrared radiation (IR) is felt as heat. CO2 is opaque to IR. Opaque is non transparent - IR (in this case) does not radiate through at the frequencies registered by standard IR cameras. This IR opaque property of CO2 should not be confused with or combined with (heat) absorption - as it is done in many climate references and was done in the original John Tyndall experiment. Absorption and opacity are independent properties of CO2. The absorption of IR by CO2 will be evident in the specific heat capacity of the gas (which I have dealt with in the previous 1.) 

IR cameras do not register CO2 unless they are adjusted for or filtered -  due to this opaque property of CO2.  In the above clip, notice a bright heated background.  This is to say: if there is a heat source being measured by an IR camera and CO2 is added between the heat source and the IR camera sensor, the IR camera will register less (depending on the concentration of the CO2 added) of the heat source. This in exactly how an IF CO2 sensor operates. The sensor calculates the opaque  transparent ratio. If it is half or 50%, then it calculates this to be 500,000 part per 1 million of volume (ppmv). 
Now take a look at this famous clip and foundation experiment. Is the cause being mis-attributed?

What Dr. Steward has demonstrated is the original (John Tyndall) experiment: the opaque property of CO2. He has also demonstrated how a CO2 gas concentration sensor operates.
Notice he uses the words 'traps' heat. If the heat that is radiated from the candle is 'trapped' by the CO2, would not some of that same heat radiation  (if close enough) heat and melt the plastic wrap containing the gas. Yes it would. At 1:00 min into the BBC clip (above) some kind of thin plastic sheet can be seen containing the gas.  This plastic serves the purpose as a barrier to the CO2 gas escaping. But why use thin plastic and not glass?  The answer is also to do with IR opacity. In the clip below it is demonstrated of how glass is also IR opaque. If it were glass used in the experiment, the candle would not have been seen, before or after CO2 was added. Thin plastic is IR transparent.  So the CO2 gas can't have been warmed a lot: so much as to heat and rupture the thin plastic sheet; else if it did, it would have revealed another property of CO2, it is not combustible, and would have extinguished the flame. In the original Tyndall experiment, Tyndall used salt crystal as a gas barrier.
Anyway, if it did warm the CO2 gas, the camera should have shown the warming: an increasing brightening image, not a dimming image. If CO2 does trap some of the heat energy (and it may well do so in this experiment) its effect will be revealed by analysing CO2's specific heat capacity - which is relatively low.

To re enforce this, take a read of this forum discussion where some needs advice on how to view a fire through a wall using an IR camera.
I will add, in the context from which this clip came: ' BBC's 'Earth: The Climate Wars' documentary'  this foundation demonstration has the risk of mis-leading the public by distorting the truth. Of course I may have it wrong with my interpretation, but as CO2 sensors as my evidence and application of this property, I dealt that. And if so, so be it - that is science. I am thinking of last chapter of  Richard Dawkins book 'The Magic of Reality'. Is this science or is this trickery or magic.

More to come:

Infrared Opaqueness
Mixing behaviour
Lags: Does CO2 drive temperature - or does Temperature drive CO2?
Solubility - buffers

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