Amateur scientist Willis Eschenbach developed a thought experiment to demonstrate how the greenhouse effect “works”:
It’s been refuted many times before, but I’ll make it even simpler.
The main claim is that the outer shell’s presence will force the inner core to warm up and radiate twice as much compared to no shell at all.
We start with 235 W/m² emerging from core and going to shell. I’ll use an inner and outer surface area of 1, and consider what is going on every second to make things simple.
235 Joules emerges from the core in the 1st second and goes to the shell . Willis reminds us:
In order to maintain its thermal equilibrium, the whole system must still radiate 235 W/m² out to space.
However … the first thing Willis does is break this rule, and sends 235 J back to the core. Nothing to space.
Now a new 235 J emerges in the 2nd second from the core which gets added with the 235 J that’s coming back from the shell from the 1st second.
The core now sends 470 J to shell. This 470 J now gets split into 235 J back to core and 245 J to space.
Second 3 and on just repeats. So you see what he did there? By violating a rule, he gets to cycle in an extra 235 J every second.
There’s a more accurate variation where the rule is violated several times but with less offending Joules each cycle. It goes like this:
Second 1: 235 core->shell, 117.5 shell->core, 117.5 -> space Second 2: 352.5 core->shell, 176.25 shell->core, 176.25 -> space Second 3: 411.25 ... 205.625 ... 205.625 Second 4: 440.625 ... 220.3125 ... 220.3125 Second 5: 455.3125 ... 227.65625 ... 227.65625 ... Second X: 470 ... 235 ... 235
I think you get the idea. I wrote a program to do all this, here. The first variation is easier to describe. Here’s some fun satire to illustrate the main point:
Imagine you’re the head manager of a sugar factory.
Every minute, a bag filled with 235 grams of sugar slides down a chute and lands in a basket. You take this bag and walk across the factory to place it inside a truck for later delivery.
You’ve been trying to figure out how to cheaply increase your production for a while now, and one day you finally got a great idea …
You decide to place a table at a halfway point between basket and truck.
In the first minute of implementing your great idea, you move the bag from basket to table. You decide not to then carry the bag to the truck, but back to the basket. You drop the bag in the basket a second before a new bag comes down the chute. When that new bag drops in the basket, and you see two bags, you say to yourself: “I’m a genius! I just doubled production!”.
You now carry two bags to the table. Then one bag to the truck, and one bag back to the basket. You then repeat this over and over.
You convince yourself that seeing two bags in the basket and carrying it to the table means that you’ve doubled production. The proof is self-evident. Congratulations!
Unfortunately not everyone agreed with you. Many thought you are crazy. So you fired them and hired those that agreed with you. You wanted consensus, and you got it!
Now I’m going to illustrate the greenhouse gas fallacy in the most primitive way, using only 2 water molecules:
We’re at second 0, before any greenhouse magic begins, so the shell is still at 0 J, but the nuclear core is at 235 J. The intensity of motion represents the amount of energy present.
Energy is in fact motion. The universe has only two things: things and motion of them. I’m excluding space.
Willis (and all greenhouse gas junkies in general) believe that energy is just like matter, and you can pass it back to where it came from to have more of it.
What Willis et al end up doing is adding motion to existing motion to intensify motion. They believe this is science, but it’s actually a false philosophy.
Philosophy – core vibrates at twice the intensity
In actual science, we know that the max energy into a system is the max energy THROUGHOUT the system. But in Willis’ philosophy, you can create a feedback loop that causes more energy (motion) somewhere in the system, but it’s all fine as long as just the final output (to space) obeys conservation of energy in regard to original input. This is completely false. Conservation of energy must be followed at every boundary.
Science – shell achieves vibrational resonance with core
In reality, the shell will just come to resonate with the core. There will never be a molecule that vibrates more intensely than what the original energy supplied into the system allows.
This is all just 220 year old basic science. Hopefully, climate scientists might learn some basic experimental thermodynamics rather than relying on a falsified thought experiment.
Summary: You can’t make something vibrate more vigorously by confining it with another thing vibrating at an equal or lower rate.
Enjoy 🙂 -Zoe