Archive for July, 2010

Thermodynamics 101: Entropy

July 31, 2010

I’ve gotten a reply from a well-known Democrat in these parts that shows that the true believes in Global Warming really don’t understand what temperature and heat really are. (link)

As a favor to that particular reader, and readers everywhere, I will take some time to explain some very difficult concepts. These concepts are critical to understanding why the Greenhouse Effect is nonsense. (link)

I’m drawing this lesson from a brief reading of Wikipedia’s entry on entropy. You’re certainly welcome—and encouraged—to read the article, as well as find a good textbook on Thermodynamics that should contain several great examples and exercises to help you learn the concept.

Don’t be surprised if this concept is difficult to understand! In terms of physics, it’s still a relatively new idea, being discovered in the mid-19th Century. However, if you think carefully, you will come to understand the concept quite well.

In physics, we talk a lot about energy. Energy comes in different forms, and energy is transferred from one object to another. We know that energy is conserved, except in tiny edge cases that don’t matter in the big world (as opposed to the quantum world of particles and photons.) We can measure the energy before, and measure the energy after, and know that the two quantities must equate each other. What happens in between is irrelevant.

I want you to imagine a bag of marbles. Now, if I tightly tie the bag of marbles together so that they can’t move around, and throw them at a target of some sort, the kinetic energy of those marbles will almost completely be transferred to the target. This is because the marbles don’t “lose” any of the energy in plastic deformation (as long as they don’t crack or break up). The marbles can’t shuffle around in the bag very much, so we don’t see much energy being lost there either.

If you took the same bag of marbles, and allowed them to move around freely in the same bag, then threw it at the target, you’d notice that less energy was transferred. See, the marbles end up bouncing around in that bag during the collision, and a lot of energy is spent moving marbles back and forth rather than transferring energy to the target. This wasted energy is Entropy.

The problem with Entropy is that it’s useless. You can’t restore order to a disordered system. Well, not easily. It takes a lot of work applied in very smart ways to get in there are straighten things out. Even then, you can only straighten things out a little bit.

Temperature is almost an exact measurement of Entropy. All this bouncing around and moving around randomly is what it means to be warm. Cold systems have more order, while hot systems have less. It’s hard to picture this, but imagine a bunch of atoms bouncing around inside some chamber. If they are moving slowly, then the pressure they exert from bouncing off the sides of the chamber is small. If they move around quickly, then the pressure increases. This is how, ultimately, energy is measured—by watching for changes in volume and pressure to a substance. In mercury thermometers, you can see the mercury rise and fall. In other thermometers, like bi-metallic ones, the metal stretches or shortens. In resistive thermometers, the resistance of the substance increases or decreases.

Now, Entropy can be analyzed and interpreted in a variety of ways. What you will discover is that two properties of Entropy emerge:

  1. Entropy never decreases, unless outside work is applied. (When you include the external work in the system, entropy still increases.)
  2. “Hot” stuff transfers entropy to “cold” stuff, increasing the overall entropy WITHOUT changing the total energy of both systems. Or, another way to look at it is that “cold” stuff sucks entropy out of “hot” stuff.

Further mathematical and theoretical analysis will lead you to conclude that those two points are really two faces of the same physical law, the law we call the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

Those who “get” the Second Law understand that entropy is wasted energy and know how it behaves. Those who don’t “get” the Second Law don’t understand what entropy is or don’t believe that it is irreversible.

To draw this back to the Greenhouse Effect, too often people state that the CO2 layer “retains”, “reflects” or “absorbs” heat from the ground. When they discuss temperatures this way, they are not thinking of Entropy, and so their mental model of the system is patently absurd. When you treat heat transfer like energy transfer, then you will likely come to the wrong conclusion.

If you don’t trust what I have said, then you are free to either research for yourself or find the closest physicist and see what they have to say about it. Science isn’t politics, and trying to mix the two destroys science.

Advertisements

Final Summation on CO2 as a Greenhouse Gas

July 29, 2010

I’m going to summarize some points that I think might help people understand why CO2 is not Greenhouse Gas, and indeed, why the Greenhouse Effect is not an effect at all. (See previous post here.)

  1. Heat is not energy. There is no back-warming with heat. Heat flows from hot to cold according to the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, unless additional work is put in, such as in a refrigerator. Heat is not stored. Heat is not emitted. Heat is not absorbed. Heat flows from hot to cold, and that’s it.
  2. Since heat is not energy, you cannot consider energy flow and deduce heat flow. Talking about radiation and absorption is really pointless unless you consider the bigger picture—entropy and other factors. Entropy is a measure of disorder in a system, and the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics states that entropy MUST increase over time, which is the same as saying heat flows from hot to cold.
  3. Actual measurements of the properties of CO2 show that it does not increase the insulative effects of our atmosphere at the concentrations and pressures and temperatures we have here on earth. In fact, it may decrease insulation, meaning that increasing CO2 would lead to a cooler earth. (See here.)
  4. Measurements on Venus or Mars cannot change the actual measurements we have made on earth.
  5. Trying to measure the temperature of the earth by averaging several measurements across the globe is like trying to measure the your height by weighing a newt. The average reading from several thermometers does not tell you the temperature of the entire system. There is no scientific basis for this.

Warmists, those who are trying to convince us that CO2 is going to increase the temperature of the earth, will try to confuse you and draw doubt about the above points. However, they cannot attack them directly because they are based on solid science.

If you tell them “Heat does not flow from cold to hot”, then they will have to say, “Yes, but…” and proceed to try to show you heat flows from cold to hot with magic.

If you tell them, “Averaging the temperatures of several weather stations, no matter how accurate they are, cannot tell you the temperature of the earth”, they will say, “Yes, but…” and try to convince you otherwise with magic and desperation.

I tried to help you, the layman, understand these scientific principles. Armed with these, you should not fall prey to their distortions and mistruths.

Shenanigans

July 29, 2010

It’s hard to comment on the Obama administration, or anything the democrats and liberal republicans seem to be doing today. I can only hang my head in shame that these fools have somehow become the leaders of our country. I am sure one day someone will be able to compile all of the shenanigans that have occurred and whoever takes the time to read them all and put them together will wonder, with amazement, how it all happened.

Regardless, now is not the time to be overwhelmed with everything. We must focus on our goal, and take sure steps towards that goal. No setback is big enough to make us give up, because our goal is the most righteous goal of all.

That goal is, and always should be, the basic freedom of all people, everywhere.

We’ve allowed our language to be polluted over the years. Today, “liberty” and “freedom” don’t quite mean what they meant to our ancestors. To our ancestors, these words meant the ability to go out and face life’s challenges, one-on-one, and not have any more obstacles stand in the way than what life had to offer. It meant we had the freedom to fight poverty, starvation, disease, discomfort, and every other malady with our own intellect, strength, wisdom, and associations.

Freedom and liberty never meant being presented with options that do not exist naturally. Giving someone the opportunity to get a “free” education or get a “free” job is not freedom. Allowing them to use their eyes and ears and hands in the way they see fit, even if it means they would put themselves to work or study and learn about the world around them is the real freedom.

We have come to a point where our country is hardly recognizable anymore. While the vast majority of our countrymen still carry freedom in their hearts, our governments are actively conspiring against those same freedoms.

I am confident, however, that the will of the people will always emerge victorious. As long as that will is righteous, meaning, it pursues the same goals that God has (that being the liberty and freedom of mankind), then we do not need to doubt what the outcome will be.

What we do need to do, however, is act. Act in ways that bring us closer to our goal. When you see someone or something standing in the way, declare yourself and enemy to that, and move forward and over that thing. Each of us, acting independently and in our own interest and in the interests of that Great Liberator, will find, ultimately, that we will achieve our goal.

Our times today are a great chance to learn what every generation that went before us had to learn. Never is freedom ever given, but it is obtained. Obtain it today.

Why Do Skeptics Avoid the Science?

July 27, 2010

A blogger asks, “Why do many global warming skeptics avoid the scientific issues?

Well, when the so-called Global Warming science includes whoppers like these:

…greenhouse gases retain heat within Earth’s atmosphere.

It’s awfully hard to refute. Where do you even begin?

Heat can’t be retained. It is only transferred. According to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, it is always transferred from hot to cold bodies. The devices of heat transfer may vary, but the end result is always the same.

So-called “Greenhouse Gasses” have other properties too, above and beyond their ability to absorb, reflect, or transmit radiation energy. Heat transfer by radiation from the ground to the atmosphere is totally dwarfed by more obvious heat transfer methods such as convection and direct contact. In fact, when you’re talking about heat, it’s important that you don’t think too much about energy. Heat has as much to do with entropy and other things as it has to do with energy.

If someone mentions the heat transfer from the cooler atmosphere to the warmer ground, and then calls me unscientific, I’m going to smirk.

Here’s another whopper we’re forced to swallow before we can join the Global Warming Kool-Aid Camp: The idea of a global temperature, one that you can find it by averaging temperature readings from several weather stations spread across the world. I’d like to see the scientific foundation for the so-called average temperature of the earth, and whether it is even relevant to climate or not. As near as I can tell, the earth is in constant motion with regards to temperature. When it comes to temperature, no one can possibly understand what is happening at any given moment on this earth, and supercomputers can’t even give us an appropriate approximation. If we can’t even understand a moment in time, how can we hope to explain trends?

Dr. Roy Spencer Ignores Convection

July 23, 2010

Dr. Roy Spencer tries to show what fools those of us who question the Greenhouse Effect are. He shows that having something in between something else can act like a warm blanket. (link)

Of course, Dr. Roy Spencer fails to even discuss the effect CONVECTION has on the heat transfer from the ground to the atmosphere. Actual measurements have showed that increasing the CO2 levels of the atmosphere may actually COOL the earth, since CO2 is better at transferring heat with convection. (See http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0707/0707.1161v4.pdf)

This shows the typical attitude of those who defend Global Warming. Rather than debate people who bring up points of concern, they try to distract. The really good points detractors make aren’t even discussed at all. Instead, when cornered, those who defend Global Warming turn their noses up and start smirking.

I Don’t Want Slavery—I Want to Abolish It

July 23, 2010

Andrew Breitbart, who exposed that a government official discriminated against a citizen of our country simply on the color of the individual’s skin, was accused by the same government official of wanting to bring slavery back to our country. (link)

Let me explain something just to make it clear. I, and most likely Andrew Breitbart, not only do not want to see slavery return to the US, we want to act like our political forebears and use the force of government to tear it down.

What? Slavery in the US? Yes, it exists, and it is a huge problem.

Anytime money is taken from one person and given to another, that is slavery. Government is allowed to raise money through taxes and spend it in ways that the people have agreed to, which is clearly outlined in our constitution. Article 1 Section 8 of the US constitution is a good read if you want to know what those things are.

The very fact that some people of certain skin colors think that asking that our government conform to the very document that is the foundation of its existence by ending the welfare state is somehow akin to enslaving the same is absurd. Were the slaveowners in the South enslaved when their slaves were freed? Of course not, and it is absurd to think so.

We want the same emancipation—emancipation from all the deadbeats and homeless and poor and jobless. We don’t owe them a dime, and we don’t ask for any money from them.

What we will do, however, is freely and voluntarily give all of our money away to help those around us. Whether that money is used up in the marketplace or in our church donations or charitable institutions is entirely up to us.

Unsolvable

July 23, 2010

Reading, once again, through the paper published at http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0707/0707.1161v4.pdf by Gerhard Gerlich and Ralf D. Tscheuschner reveals quite a few I wish I could share with everyone. This one paragraph I found quite humorous.

It cannot be overemphasized that even if these equations [the equations concerning one-fluid] are simplified considerably, one cannot determine numerical solutions, even for small space regions and even for small time intervals. This situation will not change in the next 1000 years regardless of the progress made in computer hardware. Therefore, global climatologists may continue to write updated research grant proposals demanding next-generation supercomputers ad infinitum. As the extremely simplified one-fluid equations are unsolvable, the many-fluid equations would be more unsolvable, the equations that include the averaged equations describing the turbulence would be still more unsolvable, if “unsolvable” had a comparative.

This would be a really easy thing to disprove. All you have to do is solve those equations. However, mathematical analysis of the equations by anyone familiar with that level of math know that trying to solve those equations is hopeless.

“Greenhouse Effect” is Real, According to Blog

July 23, 2010

Ben Herman and Roger A. Pielke, Jr of the Pielke Research Group defends the so-called “Greenhouse Effect” in a non-peer reviewed blog post. They didn’t even take the time to format the math properly.

Something in Physics that is called an “Effect” should have plenty of papers written to defend it. After all, “Effects” are not only based on sound theories, but observed in nature. Why could Herman and Pielke not direct us to those papers? Because those papers do not exist, and never will.

The article starts with this whopper:

During the past several months there have been various, unpublished studies circulating around the blogosphere and elsewhere claiming that the “greenhouse effect” cannot warm the Earth’s atmosphere.

I respond with this fact: http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0707/0707.1161v4.pdf is a paper published in the March 2009 International Journal of Modern Physics. I’ve already posted my papers (link), so I encourage others to do the same.

Herman and Pielke go on to try and defend the so-called “Greenhouse Effect” by talking about the very concepts that are refuted in that paper without addressing why that paper is wrong in its refutation. In fact, it agrees with the same foundation of theory that the paper does, but fails to see its own contradiction. This is equivalent to trying to make your point by shouting louder. You really have to consider the other point of view and refute their arguments, which Herman and Pielke fail to do.

Let me help the lay-person understand why the Greenhouse Effect doesn’t exist and can never exist.

At the very simplest, consider a hot cup of water sitting on a counter top at room temperature. What happens? The counter top and surrounding air warms slightly, but the cup of water cool to room temperature. This is the Second Law of Thermodynamics in action. As long as there is heat transfer, the two bodies will come to an equilibrium in temperature. We don’t have to even think about what mechanism of heat transfer exists, we simply have to know that two bodies have different temperatures to know that they will come to an equilibrium. Rather, (as I explain in the appendix below), that a body will eventually emit as much heat as it absorbs.

What people who preach the “Greenhouse Effect” want us to believe is that you can put some kind of insulator between the hot water and the counter top that will keep the water hot indefinitely, or even make it hotter than it was before. Such an insulator doesn’t exist, nor can it. At best, you can slow down the heat transfer process to a crawl, but the water will still cool. The best insulator we have—thermoses—do nothing more than slow down the heat transfer.

We know all this, so the “Greenhouse Effect” people try to confuse us by saying that CO2 acts like some sort of mirror, trapping heat. If CO2 could trap heat, then we’d use it for our thermoses. We don’t use CO2, because it doesn’t do anything like what the Greenhouse Effect claims it does. Even if CO2 reflects some heat, it will still transfer whatever heat was reflected up and out of the earth by other methods. This is the Second Law of Thermodynamics in action. You can’t win. Don’t bother trying.

Ultimately, the temperature of the earth is nothing more or less than the amount of sunlight the earth absorbs—in other words, the amount of heat transferred from sun to earth. Thus, the temperature of the world is determined by how much sunlight is emitted from the sun and how much is reflected, those being the only variables that change over time.

What is a common chemical that reflects sunlight? H2O, in its various forms of clouds and snow and ice. CO2 barely plays a role, along with the other common gasses in our atmosphere.

While we can reasonably predict how much sunlight will be emitted by observing sunspots, we are not so good at predicting cloud cover and snowfall. This makes overall climate difficult to predict, and impossible to control. This is also why we can barely predict tomorrow’s weather.

Hat tip: Climate Depot

Appendix: Why isn’t the earth as hot as the sun? The earth only absorbs a tiny fraction of the total heat output of the sun. This is because the earth is far away from the sun and only a tiny fraction of its rays reach the earth. This also explains why a fire feels warmer the closer you get to it—as you get closer, you absorb more of its total heat output, and continue to warm until the heat you emit is equal to the heat you absorb.

Compare this to the example of a cup of water in a room, where heat is absorbed from all directions, and the cup must eventually assume room temperature whereat it will emit as much heat as it absorbs. Thus, the cup must assume room temperature.

Greenhouse Effect is “Scientific Malfeasance”

July 21, 2010

I wrote earlier about how the so-called “Greenhouse Effect” is not an effect but a fairy tale. (link) The reason is that it is not based on any theory and it is not observed in any experiment. In fact, it stands in contradiction to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, the law that says you can’t get something for nothing.

Dr. Martin Hertzberg, former Navy chemist, has more to say than I do: (link)

The entire theory that “greenhouse gases” in the atmosphere can reradiate energy back to the Earth and thus cause more heating, has been proven to violate the laws of thermodynamics, and thus to be completely devoid of physical reality. Acceptance of that theory by some journals, scientific organizations, and government agencies both national and international, represents scientific malfeasance on a grand scale.

Hat tip: Climate Depot

Help the Governor Understand

July 19, 2010

The Governor is trying to find ways to cut the budget. Since she’s never worked in the private sector and has been on the public payroll for most of her life, she is having a hard time understanding what should be cut.

Go to http://transformwabudget.ideascale.com/ and add your own ideas. I’ve already added two:

Of course, the state employees have a problem with this. It seems they trust the politicians more than themselves with their own money. Well, if this budget won’t balance, they are in for a rude surprise.