Chilinger: if you assume that CO2 isn't a greenhouse gas then increasing it doesn't warm the Earth

A new paper by Chilingar, Khilyuk and Sorokhtin is up to their previous standard.

Here's the abstract:

The writers investigated the effect of CO2 emission on the temperature of atmosphere. Computations based on the adiabatic theory of greenhouse effect show that increasing CO2 concentration in the atmosphere results in cooling rather than warming of the Earth's atmosphere.

Wow! How did they come up with that? Here's their calculation:

To evaluate the effect of anthropogenic emission of carbon dioxide on
global temperature,
one can use the adiabatic model together with the sensitivity analysis
2001; Khilyuk and Chilingar, 2003, 2004). At sea level, if the
pressure is measured in
atmospheres, then p = 1 atm and

ΔT ≈ TαΔP (12)

If, for example, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere
increases two times
(from 0.035% to 0.07%), which is expected by the year of 2100, then
the atmospheric
pressure will increase by Δp ≈ 1.48x10-4 atm (Sorokhtin,
2001). After substitution
of T = 288 K, α = 0.1905, and Δp = 1.48x10^-4 atm into Eq.
(13), one obtains
ΔT ≈ 8.12x10^-3 &degree; C. ΔT will be slightly higher at
the higher altitudes (Khilyuk
and Chilingar, 2003). Thus, the increase in the surface temperature at
sea level caused
by doubling of the present-day CO2 concentration in the atmosphere
will be less than
0.01°C, which is negligible in comparison with natural
temporal fluctuations of global

Where is the greenhouse effect in their equation 12? Well, it's included in the coefficient α, which they assume will not change if CO2 is added to the atmosphere. That is, they assume that CO2 is not a greenhouse gas. And yes, if the laws of physics were different and CO2 was not a greenhouse gas, adding it to the atmosphere would have a negligible effect on temperatures. Duh.

In fact, their model can't tell us how much warming to expect if CO2 is increased, since to estimate α they use the observed warming from the natural greenhouse effect. To get the new value of α you would get with increased CO2, you would have to know how much this warms the planet.

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I suppose that this newly identified pressure effect is cancelled out by their previously hypothesised reduction in global average temperature. That would be the predicted reduction in temperature that results from increased CO2 concentrations and the effect this has on the atmosphere's heat capacity. I can't get access to the article, is that how they arrive at net cooling? If that is the case then this article isn't even particularly original, just to add to its woes. Good scoop Tim. As you say, when the physics in an article is this bad it discredits those who cite it and, of course, the journal.

I think Energy Sources is starting to look even more woeful than Energy and Environment.

Wow. So if you pretend there's either no local heat sources (the Earth, the Sun) or no quantum mechanics some properties of the atmosphere get a bit easier to understand! Of course I assume the authors in question are first year physics students, or equivalent.

Wait till they uncover the startling fact that to a first order approximation (mass, size), there is no atmosphere or ocean. 0 +10% = 0 baby! Add all the CO2 you want!

Before the modern NDIR spectroscopic method was introduced to measure CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere in 1958, measurements were made using a wet chemical method. The measurements indicate three atmospheric CO2 maxima in the northern hemisphere at about 1820, 1860 and 1945. Each is higher than current atmospheric CO2.

One thing I always think of when the debate over CO2 as a greenhouse gas, is the atmosphere on Mars. Now, I'm not astronomer or physicist, but I do recall my thermodynamics professor (this is years ago) used the example of Mars and it's high CO2 levels (I think it's about 25%) and how this equates to it having temperatures that can reach up to almost 70 f, even though it's quite a distance further from the sun than earth. This, like I said, was a while ago, so I'm wonder how factual that might be (before I ever actually use that as an argument).

Following that line of reasoning, I say the value of pi is too messy, so I now declare it to be 3. Nah, fuck it, let's make it just 1. So much easier to do the calculations.

And for the purposes of calculating its volume, lets assume a cow is a sphere.


More seriously, one of the warning signs I have always used for potentially dodgy work is self-reference to support the critical points in the argument. Such as:

To evaluate the effect of anthropogenic emission of carbon dioxide on global temperature, one can use the adiabatic model together with the sensitivity analysis (Sorokhtin, 2001; Khilyuk and Chilingar, 2003, 2004).


You do know that we can measure the CO2 levels in ice from the 18th and 19th century, don't you? Take a wild guess whether they agree with the idea that CO2 was much higher than present. Also, why does CO2 level stop fluctuating wildly just as the ability to precisely measure it begins?

By t_p_hamilton (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

T_P, Can you be certain ice core CO2 data is reliable and has not changed over the time it has been trapped in the ice?

I suspect that the 'wet chemical' analyses of the atmospheric CO2, undertaken at the time and despite some error in analysis, may be more beleivable - particularly because the differences between the ice core data and direct atmosphere measurements are be shown to be great.

Sorry Lank, but E-G Beck is so full of shit it is streaming out of all orifices at mach speed.

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Rats, t_p! If I'd known you were going to post, I would have taken the thread in the same direction!

[raises arm and waggles hand frantically]

Ooh! Ooh! Is it because, as Zbigniew Jaworowski showed conclusively, all the data points are equally valid, and George Callendar rejected only the high ones?

[smiles and waits for cookie]

OK, you guys, slow down.
It takes a couple of minutes to post, and the latency'll whipsaw ya.

Lank, you are already in way over your head. If you seriously intend to propose that CO2 measurements from the mid-1800s are as accurate as modern-day figures, you may confidently expect someone to ask you for a physical explanation accounting for 150 ppmv variation within a year (check CDIAC for capacities of sources and sinks).

Also, Eli has answered your questions already.
Yet even more also, ice core researchers are intimately familiar with the physical and chemical effects influencing the concentration of CO2 in ice cores. Of course, you may have some new data to add to the discussion. Do you?

"Also, why does CO2 level stop fluctuating wildly just as the ability to precisely measure it begins?"

also, the concentration of co2 in the atmosphere miraculously stabilized about the time that electric light began to replace open flames for laboratory lighting.

"The measurements indicate three atmospheric CO2 maxima in the northern hemisphere at about 1820, 1860 and 1945. Each is higher than current atmospheric CO2. "

why do you pick those peaks? i assume that it hasn't escaped your notuice that those measurements are all over the place. to average them and curve fit, you need to begin with the assumption that the noise you are eliminating is symmetrical.

i submit to you that those "peaks" are entirely artifactual constructs of the smoothing process working on noise which is asymmetric, it being much easier to artificially increase the concedntration of co2 in a room, particularly one lit/heated by open flames, as I alluded previously, thanit is to artificially reduce it.

the adiabatic theory of greenhouse effect

So when I pump up the tyres on my bicycle, the pump gets hotter because of the greenhouse effect. Amazing. What will Chilingar, Khilyuk and Sorokhtin think of next?

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Z - If you read the work you will find that it includes about 90,000 different measurements from many stations including cities, country areas, over sea etc. When the data are grouped then there is considerably less scatter. I think you under estimate the accuracy of these measurements - your 'open flame - closed room' comments perhaps suggests a limited understanding of the analyses procedures.

I recommend you look more closely at what these trends are telling us about supposed AGW.

(With apologies to whoever came up with this analogy).

Oh dear Lank.

What if EG Beck were to plot historical estimates of the Moon's distance from the Earth?

You'd get a similar graph with early scatter of data points until the advent of laser ranging.

So, those early data. Was the mooon really oscillating all over the place, or was it just an artefact of imprecise measurements...?

one can use the adiabatic model

Ha! Well, that really simplifies the whole science of climatology. Day 1 - ideal gas laws. Day 2 - graduation.

If we just eliminate the idea that objects "fall" or "orbit," we can prove using simple mathematics that gravity does not exist, and if it does exist, certainly does not justify massive spending on such things as "parachutes" and "antisuicide netting."


Do yourself and everyone else a favour and read this thread where the wet tests are put into the appropriate context. Read all of the posts, even the wingnut (id est your take) ones, and think about it all for a while.

To paraphrase your question, "I recommend you look more closely at what these trends are telling us about supposed CO fluctuations of the magnitude that you subscribe to.

The question you really need to answer is:

why do the ice-core data show a historically consistent trend right to the present, whilst the early (pre1950s) analytical techniques show CO levels that vascillated right until the time of modern methods of measurement?

Are you saying that the various concentrations of CO were emanating from the similarly altering states of Schrödinger's cat, until someone opened the box in the fifties?

Really, get a clue.

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 25 Jul 2008 #permalink