Experimental Measurements of the Greenhouse Effect

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Can anyone point to any experiments to quantify the Greenhouse Effect? I haven’t been able to find one.

Measuring the temperature at specific points on the earth don’t count, of course. There is far too much going on to make a reliable measurement.

A simple experiment would be shining a light source roughly equivalent to sunlight on a black painted surface inside of a chamber of gas with walls kept at a specific temperature. You should be able to calculate how much of an effect the Greenhouse Effect is given such a controlled experiment, where you can vary the composition of the gas. You can factor out the heat transferred through convection by simply heating the same object and measuring its temperature over time.

Has this been done? If so, what were the results? Can you point me to the paper?

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5 Responses to “Experimental Measurements of the Greenhouse Effect”

  1. demo kid Says:

    Hmmm… you still haven’t told us why Roy Spencer’s experiment with two plates in a vacuum chamber is wrong.

    And if you want to dispute the entire field of absorption spectroscopy, be my guest. We use it quite successfully in analytical chemistry, astronomy, physics…

    • Jonathan Gardner Says:

      The problem with Roy Spencer’s thought experiment is that we don’t have a giant block of metal floating in the sky.

      No one is disputing absorption spectroscopy, certainly not myself. What I am disputing is that you can infer how heat transfers by analyzing one of the many ways in which heat is transferred at the molecular level. That is, ignoring all the other important components of Thermodynamics and not building out the full statistical model. Simply counting how much energy is radiated and absorbed will not tell you how the temperature will change.

  2. demo kid Says:

    The problem with Roy Spencer’s thought experiment is that we don’t have a giant block of metal floating in the sky.

    You’re saying that an experiment that shows a principle that is essential to the greenhouse effect is irrelevant? By that same logic, we don’t live in a box, so how would YOUR experiment prove anything?

    • Jonathan Gardner Says:

      If we doubled or quadrupled the CO2 in the atmosphere, and that had the same effect as a giant metal block floating outside earth, than even a small-scale experiment should reveal this.

      The problem with Spencer’s thought experiment was that it was absurd. Changing CO2 is like changing the mass of the metal block by a tiny bit. It only adjusts the insulation by a fraction of its total.

  3. demo kid Says:

    The problem with Spencer’s thought experiment was that it was absurd.

    You’ve been saying that it’s impossible… but still haven’t shown why.

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