Pick Your A-Team: Arrhenius or Ångström

Posted: October 16, 2020 by oldbrew in atmosphere, radiative theory
Tags: , ,

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Since Arrhenius was mentioned in the ‘conversation with Roger Pielke Senior’ post this week, let’s look at his science efforts a bit more closely — with Ron Clutz.

Science Matters

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”–George Santayana 1905

Interesting that Svante Arrhenius was elevated as the founder of AGW belief system. He was ignored for many decades after Knut Ångström and his assistant Herr Koch showed that reducing CO2 concentrations did not affect the amount of IR absorbed by the air. That’s almost as interesting as discovering that shutting down the global economy over fear of Covid19 has little effect on atmospheric CO2 concentrations.

As a fellow Scandinavian, Ångström agreed with Arrhenius that his projected warming would be a good thing, even in the lower estimates Svante made later on. Still, Ångström had two objections to Arrhenius’ conjecture about global warming from increasing CO2. In 1900, Herr J. Koch, laboratory assistant to Knut Ångström, did not observe any appreciable change in the absorption of infrared radiation by decreasing the concentration of CO2 up to a…

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Comments
  1. oldbrew says:

    From the ‘Science Matters’ post:
    IPCC Assessment Reports show that the IPCC climate models performed best versus observations when they did not include extra GHGs and this result can be demonstrated with a statistical model as well.


    Figure 5. Simplification of IPCC AR5 shown above [in the SC post] in Fig. 4. The colored lines represent the range of results for the models and observations. The trends here represent trends at different levels of the tropical atmosphere from the surface up to 50,000 ft. The gray lines are the bounds for the range of observations, the blue for the range of IPCC model results without extra GHGs and the red for IPCC model results with extra GHGs.The key point displayed is the lack of overlap between the GHG model results (red) and the observations (gray). The non-GHG model runs (blue) overlap the observations almost completely. [bold added]
    – – –
    But they never take the huge hint.

  2. oldbrew says:

    You may get a warning if trying to link to Angstrom’s 1900 paper (‘About the importance of water vapor and carbon dioxide during the absorption of the Earth’s atmosphere’), but it is there.

    Update — see: https://tallbloke.files.wordpress.com/2020/10/angstrom1900english.pdf

    Angstrom: From these studies and calculations, it is clear, first, that no more than about 16 percent of earth’s radiation can be absorbed by atmospheric carbon dioxide, and secondly, that the total absorption is very little dependent on the changes in the atmospheric carbon dioxide content, as long as it is not smaller than 0.2 of the existing value. [bold added]
    – – –
    Published in Annalen der Physik, ‘one of the oldest scientific journals on physics and has been published since 1799. The journal publishes original, peer-reviewed papers in the areas of experimental, theoretical, applied, and mathematical physics and related areas.’

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annalen_der_Physik

  3. pochas94 says:

    Great chart, oldbrew. Would seem to indicate an effect on the order of 0.1 degree C at the surface. I can buy that. Probably amplified at the poles.

  4. oldbrew says:

    Angstrom: The glass tubes were closed airtight by beautiful plates of fluorite; one held pure air, the other was filled with carbon dioxide.
    . . .
    The tests showed no positive result. A greater absorption was not observed by the tube containing carbon dioxide.
    . . .
    According to this study, it seems clear, therefore, that the absorption capacity of carbon dioxide in the band Y [~4.3 μm] is so strong that the relevant absorption is already saturated before the radiation arrives to us, and as for the weaker band X [~1.7 μm], then the effect is similarly not noticeable because the absorption bands overlap the absorption bands for water vapor.

    – – –
    That’s from a peer-reviewed paper in a top science journal (translated from the German original).

  5. A C Osborn says:

    What is just as interesting is the Frank Very study referenced at the botom of the Angstrom paper.
    It is from about the same period and sums up all the testing being done around that time.
    Ironic that the Very study is stored at NOAA.

    The only problem with the study is there is so much of it and many contradictions I am still not sure which side he comes out on of the 2 above.

    ftp://ftp.library.noaa.gov/noaa_documents.lib/NOAA_historic_documents/WB/Bulletin/Bulletin_G.pdf

  6. oldbrew says:

    Frank Very p.123: since the greater density and humidity of the surface air obstructs downward radiation, and since, further, in any radiant interchange which can proceed through the deeper and denser layers the excess of expenditure is in the hotter air, which is usually beneath, it follows that atmospheric radiation, with rare exceptions, proceeds mainly outward. [bold added]
    – – –
    Make of that what you will.

  7. Phil Salmon says:

    oldbrew
    it follows that atmospheric radiation, with rare exceptions, proceeds mainly outward

    IR interactions with CO2 are likely to amplify still further this upward bias. This would suggest a cooling effect of CO2z

  8. oldbrew says:

    Certainly ‘no positive result’, as Angstrom says in his paper.

  9. A C Osborn says:

    oldbrew, did you read the part about reducing CO2 makes no difference to the amount of Radiation absorbed until you get down to 20% of the then current level?
    ie 20% of about 280ppm.
    Did you also see the chart of his tests that show ordinary air absorbs as much IR as 100% CO2?

  10. Phil Salmon says:

    This paper by Allmendinger shows a similar experimental finding – that pure air and pure CO2 absorb IR equally:

    ‘https://www.allphyscon.ch/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/Allmendinger_Behaviour-of-Gases_IJPS-rev.pdf’

    Click to access Allmendinger_Behaviour-of-Gases_IJPS-rev.pdf

    This paper from 1944 is also relevant:

    https://orbi.uliege.be/handle/2268/72225

    Click to access SWINGS_1945_a-strong-infrared-radiation-from.pdf

  11. oldbrew says:

    Arrhenius – Earth To Boil
    Posted on October 19, 2019 by tonyheller

    Arrhenius made a fundamental error in that he didn’t recognize H2O is a greenhouse gas. Knut Angstrom pointed this out in 1901, and showed experimentally that adding CO2 has very little impact on climate.

    https://realclimatescience.com/2019/10/arrhenius-earth-to-boil/
    – – –
    ‘H2O is a greenhouse gas’ – meaning water vapour has some radiative properties.

  12. oldbrew says:

    ===============
    Wikipedia:
    Since global warming is attributed to increasing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases such as CO2 and methane, scientists closely monitor atmospheric CO2 concentrations and their impact on the present-day biosphere. [bold added]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide_in_Earth%27s_atmosphere
    – – –
    Except at Mauna Loa presumably 🤔

  13. oldbrew says:

    Rediscovering what Angstrom found 120 years ago…

    Study suggests no more CO2 warming
    By David Wojick |October 26th, 2020

    Precision research by physicists William Happer and William van Wijngaarden has determined that the present levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide and water vapor are almost completely saturated. In radiation physics the technical term “saturated” implies that adding more molecules will not cause more warming.

    https://www.cfact.org/2020/10/26/study-suggests-no-more-co2-warming/
    – – –
    Angstrom:
    According to this study, it seems clear, therefore, that the absorption capacity of carbon dioxide in the band Y [~4.3 μm] is so strong that the relevant absorption is already saturated before the radiation arrives to us, and as for the weaker band X [~1.7 μm], then the effect is similarly not noticeable because the absorption bands overlap the absorption bands for water vapor.
    — Study (1900)

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