CO2 is a Triatomic Molecule

Let's examine here the basics of CO2.    It is one of the heaviest molecules in the atmosphere which generally would mean that the effects of gravity would keep it closer to the earth's surface.   Triatomic atoms can absorb long-wave IR in various spectra ranges.  There is a lot known about how CO2 can absorb IR, but what is not known is very relevant to how AGW might be reality or not. 


First a summary of the molecule and how it adds value to the earth in support of life.   Much has been written here about the history of the earth's climate and the impact of CO2.  In summary CO2 is essential for life on earth.   With the concentration below 200ppm plant life is stressed.   Below 160ppm plant life begins to fail and with it all of life on earth. 


Second, CO2 by satellite measurements is a well mixed gas, meaning that it is near equal percentage of the earth's atmosphere anywhere in the world.    This means that measurements in one place will be a good indication of the average across the world.  How much of the observed CO2 is caused by human emissions?   Not a lot is know.    Mauna Loa is often quoted as the source of measured data.  Dr Salby's video presents an analytical view of this data.


Third, the characteristics of how CO2 absorbs IR energy and then disperses it is a subject of much contention.    There is a section on absorption that discussed this in much more detail, but for our purposes here we will assume that there is a great deal not known about how CO2 gives up the energy and what happens after that. 


Fourth, often overlooked is the fact that the absorption spectra for Water Vapor is much broader and more extensive than CO2 and even overlaps the primary window around 15um that IR energy is absorbed.   Water vapor also has a much larger capture efficiency over CO2.   These and other topics of energy transfer are covered on the absorption pages.  


Fifth, once the energy is captured by CO2, albeit a low percentage of OLR, outgoing longwave IR, the question remains what happens next.   As is extensively covered elsewhere, the energy is not reflected back to earth as the IPCC assumes but it is exchanged with collisions with other molecules or directly radiated out to outer space.   What is not known are the statistics of this exchange.   Suppose that water vapor plays a strong role in taking away this energy then once water vapor condenses it gives up this energy in a manner that is very complex.  This is the basis for the alternative concept model that we muse is possible. 


CO2 science pages covers a wide range of facts about how prominent CO2 is in determining climate.   There is also a short presentation on a summary view of CO2 available here.  



Section for a video or follow-on comment

We should revisit occasionally what the proper role of government is.   As the constitution was a good sense of direction, we need a core set of principles to add in order to deal with the future.


So many want to engineer society, remove risk, assist certain groups, rather than let individuals thrive and raise communities.  Why?


Is Democracy where we all "get it good and hard" or is it the best means to a free society?


Should we roll with the special interests, or make the government achieve its proper role, what is that role, and how to do this?


When do deficits and governments become too large?


Government is becoming more elitist while trying to sell corrections to problems it created, what makes this possible?


Could include a pic

This could also be inserted into the field above, or erased


Currently as a society, we are having a most difficult time discussing political issues.  What is driving this?   And why a rebirth in political culture would be a good thing.


Market Economy

Are "markets" dead as some would conjecture? Or is free enterprise what got us here?


Economic Theories

At the heart of economics there are several possible economic schools of thought, the essence of these schools of thought and how they relate to our lives.


Add Comments


Powered by Disqus