On WUWT in comments on the story about the BBC and biased coverage, is a pointer at a BBC show that “purports” to “prove” global warming. Unfortunately, the “demonstration” pays no attention to “Specific Heat” and would get a flat out “fail” in high school chemistry.
The “story” with video is here:
The second presenter has a clearly paranoid moment where he decides some unknown “Agency” was behind the “hacking” of email and phones in Climategate.
As a computer pro who has done security, I can state that clearly the “hack” was not a hack and not particularly hard. It did not involve sucking out emails over years, but was rather a release of the FOIA Request archive and took fairly little special skill, only knowing what file to grab. I would suspect first that the FOIA folks were peeved at the lies they saw in the stuff and released it themselves.
But far far worse is the “demonstration” of CO2 as a “greenhouse gas” where one bottle is filled with “air” and the other with “air with a lot of CO2″ added. This ignores “Specific Heat”. Two bottles, both given what is asserted to be equal heat input from electric lamps (and one just assumes they have the same actual heat production despite no calibration… and that the bottles are the same and the air flow is the same and…)…
OK, what IS the Specific Heat of air?
at 40 C or about 312 K, the specific heat is 1.005 while at 20 C, or about 292 K, it is… 1.005. So I think we can safely say, it’s about 1.005.
How about CO2? This chart is in K (so why I’ve shown K in the above list)
At 300 K (or near enough to that 292 – 312 K range) the specific heat of CO2 is 0.846. (At 275 K it is 0.819 and at 325 K it is 0.871 so it’s pretty much 0.8x in any case.)
The units in both cases are kJ/kgK or amount of energy (kiloJoules) per mass (kg) moved a degree K. Larger numbers take more energy to move a mass of “stuff” to a higher temperature.
OK, what does this mean?
It means that, for the same mass of air, it takes about 8/10 the energy to warm the CO2 to the same point. Put another way, the same energy will make the same mass of CO2 10/8 as hot, or 1.25 x as hot.
OK, the CO2 is heavier. Air is mostly nitrogen ( 2 x 14 ) and some oxygen (2 x 16 ) while CO2 is 12+( 2 x 16). So we do need to “mass correct” these two.
At STP (Standard Temp and Pressure) CO2 is 0.001977 and air is 0.001293. Make a ratio, 1.529 more mass of CO2 per volume at STP.
In theory, one could now divide those two to get the total offset of mass and specific heat: 1.529 / 1.25 = 1.223 times more heat needed to move the CO2 to warmer.
The “scientist” is generating the “CO2″ via a vinegar / NaC03 reaction. So the CO2 is being generated very “wet”… The density of water vapor is 18 mass units per mole, not the 44 of CO2 (though per the wiki it’s 1.84 kJ/(kg-K).
So, just how much of this is CO2 and how much is water vapor? What is the temperature of the resultant gas? What is the relative mass of the two bottles of gasses? Just sooo much is unknown. Do any phase changes happen with the wet air vs the dry? Etc.
So then the “scientist” turns on the two warming lamps and finds, golly, the CO2 bottle is not warming as much… So they cut away for 10 minutes and then come back to find the CO2 bottle is now warmer. What happened in the “blank tape” time?
To me, this is no proof of CO2 as anything. It’s proof that a crappy experiment with too many uncontrolled variables can have a large error band. In this case, BOTH ways at different times.
This is, IMHO, pure crap.
If this is a “Top British Scientist” then Britain needs to give it up and find a new line of work.
I can think of worse examples of calorimetry, but not by much.
IMHO, it is, at best, pure unadulterated propaganda. BBC is either incredibly stupid, or lacking in all moral standards, or both.
THEN they go to Dr. Paranoia who has no clue what a hack is and what it takes (i.e. not very much) and leaps to the (bogus) conclusion that a variety of emails were collected (and, one presumes, redacted) by a hacker over months. WRONG. The FOIA file was “liberated” in a fast hit (and probably by a student at an inside terminal or by the FOIA officer who was appalled at what he’d had to collect and that it was being quashed.)
No “Agency” would do it this way. For that matter, no agency would want to do it. They have things they care about, but UEA emails is not one of them. And they certainly would not dump them onto a Russian site. Too easy for the Russians to see where it was coming from and then you “owe them”… Easier to just put it up on a variety of boards with poor logging and under your direct control.
No, Dr. Paranoia has no clue what he’s talking about.
All in all, just incredibly sad. That the (selected?) audience is buying it just shows they are clueless about chemistry / physics / computers and very gullible.
The once respected BBC joins the “reality shows” for being completely divorced from reality…