Monday, February 29, 2016

Questions to the infinite monkey cage on climate change



Here are my questions to the team of the The Infinite Monkey Cage, Series 13  on Climate Change
Where: Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by guests Dara O Briain, Professor Tony Ryan and Dr Gabrielle Walker to discuss the ever-hot topic of climate change. They take a forensic look at the evidence that the climate is indeed changing, how we know that we are responsible, and what can be done to stop it. The scientific willing may be there, but is the political will finally catching up?

My Questions

1)      How can it be oxygen and nitrogen do not absorb or emit infrared radiation when (in the next chapter of my physics book) it is said ‘no substance does not radiate infrared’?
2)      Would a molecule of oxygen in the vacuum of space, in the sun, absorb IR (heat)? If not why not?
3)      Why do we only use thermoelectric thermopile detectors (as John Tyndall used in his 1859 experiment) when if we used also  Raman spectrometers ( the complement to IR/thermoelectric spectrometers) we would see clearly the predicted vibrational modes of oxygen and nitrogen at 1556 and 2330cm-1  respectively (right within the IR range of the EMS)?
4)      Why don’t we use CO2 as a heat trapping gas as it is said to be? We could put it in double glazed windows. If it is good enough for the climate, it is good enough for my house.
5)      If I were to start a crowd funding project  to research the heat trapping potential of CO2 (as an insulant) would you indorse my project? Put your support, or your money where your mouth is?
6)      Why haven’t any animal evolved to use CO2 to trap heat like they do water vapour?   
7)      If CO2 changes climate; why doesn’t it factor in meteorology  - directly? Why don’t pilots measure it? They measure water, and air pressure and temperature – not any greenhouse gases as far as I know.


I will post the answers when I get them.
Blair

Does oxygen in the vacuum of space absorb IR Radiation?

Update: May 2017
I am currently writing up my findings, but have settled this question: N2 and O2 do absorb and emit IR radiation in space, at least the thermosphere. In the thermosphere there can only be radiation and these molecules are 'radiated' to a temp of some 2500C. Good for the goose, good for the gander: N2 and O2 radiate in the troposphere too. 

The key assumption of climate science (to both proponents and skeptics of manmade climate change) is N2 and O2 – the non greenhouse gases; constituting 99% of the dry atmosphere – do not absorb or emit IR radiation.  In space, there is only radiation to transfer heat energy. If it is true for the vacuum of space, then it must be true for the atmosphere. Space is the place to test that premise. 
I have asked three expert physicists (two of them ex-Professors of chemistry, and one of them a climate skeptic) and they all suggest, tentatively, they must. I don't think anyone has thought about it before. The thought experiment came to me while watching Apollo 13  - they 'vented' O2 gas into space. NASA, we’ve got a problem. 
I can imagine a molecule of O2 (and or N2) warming, gaining energy as it gets nearer the sun, and cooling when farther from the sun. They must, otherwise they defy
thermodynamics.  
Besides this, in thermal radiation theory, all substances are said to radiate infrared; if N2 and O2 don't, then there is a contradiction. 

So where have we gone wrong?
It is instrumentation: we have been using an instrument that uses thermopile detectors. These thermopiles discriminate both N2 and O2 as – due to N2 and O2 lack of a symmetric/ non electric dipole moment – they do not generate electricity via the Seebeck effect and so are not measured; while CO2, CH4, H2O, and the others (the so called greenhouse gases, but really should be called the thermoelectric gases) – do and are.

I have discovered N2 and O2 both have vibration modes in the IR range of the electromagnetic spectrum, at 2330cm-1 and 1556 cm-1 respectively, and these vibrational modes can both be clearly observed by using a Raman Spectrometer.
There’s where we have gone wrong.
She followed my reasoning.
My Professor friend asked me: 'why are you asking these questions Blair?' I replied: isn’t that what science is about?

Here is a clip of my discoveries.