“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle” - Often attributed to Plato but likely from Ian McLaren (pseudonym of Reverend John Watson)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Why greenhouse gas warming doesn’t break the second law of thermodynamics « JoNova

Why greenhouse gas warming doesn’t break the second law of thermodynamics « JoNova

Joanne Nova is an Australian skeptical climate blogger whose blog is quite a popular link from the vast universe of such blogs. The link above takes you to a post that I'd never expected to see there. A guest blogger explains that the the Greenhouse Effect, or downward longwave radiation makes the Earth's surface warmer than it would otherwise be and, in so doing, does not violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

One statement (though far from the most general) of this most fundamental of physical principles is the Clausius formulation: No process is possible whose sole result is the transfer of heat from a body of lower temperature to a body of higher temperature. Many skeptics simply state that a cooler atmosphere warming a warmer Earth is in violation of this law and thus the Greenhouse Effect is falsified and no further discussion is necessary.

Of course, this is incorrect. The wonderful site Science of Doom has a series of articles that explain this thoroughly, but the naysayers will not be dissuaded. I'm somewhat amazed that there's a glimmer of acknowledgement of reality at Joanne's site.

And, in the intervening few days since I started this post, Joanne received so many comments to her post above that she started another thread where she sensibly replies to Joseph Postma's paper and comments. This development actually seems to me, in some small way, to be hopeful.

1 comment:

Greg Adcock said...

Jo is careful not to be seen as a nutter - it is as simple as that. You can see though that in response to this explanation of some basic science that many of her regular posters cannot accept the science at all. They who rally against the term "denier", deny. Basically they are unable to bring themselves to admit that anything any climate scientist says about climate science can be true.

A few of them have their own version of physics too. You've got to laugh.