Lv 7
Trevor asked in EnvironmentGlobal Warming · 9 years ago

How do climate change skeptics get round the issue of quantum mechanics?

The basic principle behind global warming and climate change is that greenhouse gas molecules have the ability to retain heat within the atmosphere. They do so because they vibrate at a frequency that corresponds to the wavelength of outgoing thermal radiation.

This is something that is governed by the laws of quantum mechanics, these laws are universal and invariable. There’s no getting around the fact that the more greenhouse gases there are the more heat will be retained.

I’m aware that the skeptics and deniers tend to avoid the science of global warming but I’m hoping some of them will at least attempt to disprove the laws of QM or provide some alternative and demonstrable hypothesis.

This is one of five questions I’m asking, please see my other questions.

Thanks in advance to all who answer.

14 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Greenhouse gasses have a dipole moment p and the interaction with radiation, whether described classically or quantum mechanically is proportional to a dot product between the E field of a photon and the dipole moment. If E and p are perpendicular, there is no interaction. A skeptic could propose that there is a strong radial electric field that orients greenhouse gas molecules with a preferred orientation so that some fraction of greenhouse gas molecules cannot interact with outgoing photons. Further, the orienting field is proportional to the excess greenhouse gas concentration and thus exactly cancels the effect of an increased greenhouse gas concentration. So, where does the E field come from? Rush Limbaugh says there is no global warming, therefore the extra E field must exist. Liberal scientists have measured the E field, but are covering up the discovery so that Al Gore can make money.

    Edit: Some answers seem to regard QM and thermodynamics as separate. They are not separate. All the laws of thermodynamics, as well as the thermodynamic properties of all materials (including GH gasses) can be derived from the underlying quantum mechanics via statistical mechanics.

  • kroell
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    hi Mike i think of the two events do no longer prefer to work out the election grow to be a referendum on carbon Tax . An election must be won and lost on one among those subjects no longer purely one undertaking right here in Australia Howard won his elections on boat people ( refugees) and GST Tax He won the two interior the process the help of the media they promoted the guy overboard undertaking The media performed time and time lower back photos of a small baby leaping from a leaky boat while in certainty the baby became thrown to a parent already interior the water It wasn't fairly to visual demonstrate unit peoples lives in large possibility yet to dramatise it to win a election via enjoying on peoples thoughts to win votes to me isn't a stable look . and then interior the subsequent election by using fact the boat people lie went so nicely he desperate to have a referendum on a GST tax earlier the election and the folk voted in a landslide win for NO GST TAX and for people who've short memories HE reported that the folk have spoken an Australia will have not have been given any GST whilst ever he became chief and what did he do as quickly as he became reelected introduce a GST TAX He merely saved on lien to the Australian people. So i think of the reason they do no longer seem to be speaking approximately AGW is as a results of the fact they see the technological understanding isn't settled on CO2 being the conventional reason for climate substitute They comprehend climate substitute IS going on international and that they comprehend the time table there is an previous saying permit slumbering canines LYE do no longer pass poking it with a stick just to work out what happens it mite bite you on the *** merely like the CO2 debate in case you stick your neck out on CO2 themes then you ought to be left with egg on your face and neither party needs that. My opinion Mike Cheers

  • Maxx
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    I don't know of any skeptics on this board, including myself, that denies CO2 is a greenhouse gas. It's a greenhouse gas just like many other gases in the atmosphere. It's not the primary greenhouse gas, water vapor is. Oxygen is a greenhouse gas also, along with several others.

    Nobody is even denying that we've had some warming over the last several decades. But skeptics do not believe that the small amount of additional CO2 was the driver of the warming. You know that.


    Jeff - You are right, but three bonded atoms of oxygen is still pretty much oxygen in my opinion. But technically, yes, it's O3. But I thought O2 was also. I never said Nitrogen was a greenhouse gas, yet it heats due to convection and so does oxygen.


  • 9 years ago

    Quantum mechanics is not the only issue in understanding a system as complex as the climate of the Earth. There's especially the physics of thermodynamics. While we understand the three basic laws of thermodynamics, it is not a simple task to apply them to a chaotic, non-linear system. This is where the role of feedbacks comes into play along with several variables that not fully quantified like clouds.

    Simply stating that an increase in a greenhouse gas concentration would cause a rise in temperature is ignoring many other factors in the climate system.

    Your request to "disprove" the laws of QM (or thermodynamics for that matter) is a strawman. A good example is a falling leaf. In a perfect vacuum it would land directly below where it fell and in a calculated time. In nature, it would rarely do so as predicted.

    That is the problem with trying to apply QM and thermodynamics directly to a natural system with multiple variables, many not well understood and probably several not even known.

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  • 9 years ago

    Trevor, as usual you miss the point. Quantum physics is not the issue. What is the issue is that the amount of CO2 made by human activity is extraordinary insignificant when compared to nature. No one has modeled the effects to any great extent so that history can be replicated. Models used for the IPCC reports are not matching what has happened over the past ten years and for this you want to drive the US economy into the dark ages?

  • ?
    Lv 6
    9 years ago

    The greenhouse gasses keep the Earth 30° C warmer than it would otherwise be without them in the atmosphere, so instead of the average surface temperature being -15° C, it is 15° C. Carbon dioxide contributes 10% of the effect so that is 3° C. The pre-industrial level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was 280 ppm. So roughly, if the heating effect was a linear relationship, each 100 ppm contributes 1° C. With the atmospheric concentration rising by 2 ppm annually, it would go up by 100 ppm every 50 years and we would all fry as per the IPCC predictions.

    But the relationship isn’t linear, it is logarithmic. In 2006, Willis Eschenbach posted this graph on Climate Audit showing the logarithmic heating effect of carbon dioxide relative to atmospheric concentration:

    And this graphic of his shows carbon dioxide’s contribution to the whole greenhouse effect:

    Lo and behold, the first 20 ppm accounts for over half of the heating effect to the pre-industrial level of 280 ppm, by which time carbon dioxide is tuckered out as a greenhouse gas. One thing to bear in mind is that the atmospheric concentration of CO2 got down to 180 ppm during the glacial periods of the ice age the Earth is currently in (the Holocene is an interglacial in the ice age that started three million years ago).

    Plant growth shuts down at 150 ppm, so the Earth was within 30 ppm of disaster. Terrestrial life came close to being wiped out by a lack of CO2 in the atmosphere. If plants were doing climate science instead of us humans, they would have a different opinion about what is a dangerous carbon dioxide level.

    for more see link

  • 9 years ago

    To Gre R: We have a very good accounting of the use of fossil fuels because businesses do an excellent job managing their businesses. Production and sales are well tracked figures. We also know that ALL of the fossil fuels completely lack ¹⁴C, which has a relatively very short half-life. So releases from all of those very well accounted for carbon sources should _change_ the atmospheric ratios of the three carbon isotopes, since fossil fuels only possess two of them. And it turns out that a comprehensive accounting actually does accurately predict the rates. So we do have good agreement, all around. Your disagreement notwithstanding.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    You cant measure it without affecting it . CO2 as far as I know does not change from a

    particle to a wave .

  • 9 years ago

    Congratulations on asking a question that two out of two (so far) far anti-science deniers have answered straightforwardly. Gre has the better answer, because he implies only indirectly that natural causes are behind contemporary climate change and without attempting any explanation, and in particular without indulging in the ignorant lies that "top contributor" JimZ is addicted to continually throwing in (on this page, for example).

  • JimZ
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    This kind of reminds me of the arguments I would have with my brother in jest.

    I would say that geology incorporates all of the life sciences because we are essentially retain all of our elements from the earth.

    He, being a chemist, would argue that all life are from chemicals.

    You say AGW is all about quantum physics. Maybe next time it will be thermal dynamics. Someone else will argue it is Newtonian physics and then someone else will say something else.

    The bottom line is you can call it whatever you want. The simple fact is you don't know what the CO2 concentration would be without human emissions and you don't know the effect of increased CO2 on climate.

    Note: Dook is a piece of human debris. I don't know why alarmists don't ban him. He contributes nothing and is about as informed as I was when I was a second grader only I probably had more common sense. Alarmists apparently think Dook's answers are just fine. It shows who they are as well.

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