95% CO2 Can Either Make A Planet “Colder Than A Deep Freeze” Or Hotter Than “A Self-Cleaning Oven”

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“The irony,” says Schneider, “is that this possibly unconnected event has brought us to the right level of consciousness about the problem, a level that should have been reached about fifteen years ago. The point is that there is no controversy—none—about the existence of the greenhouse effect. It’s the best established theory in the atmospheric sciences.”

As evidence, there is the Goldilocks phenomenon: the wildly differing conditions on three neighbor planets: Mars, Venus, and Earth. The atmosphere of Mars is about 95 percent carbon dioxide, but it is exceedingly tenuous, more than 100 times thinner than Earth’s. So little of the sun’s heat is trapped by the atmosphere that the planet is colder than a deep freezer. Winter at the Martian poles brings temperatures of minus 180 degrees F. That’s too cold for life,

Venus lies at the other end of the gamut. Its atmosphere, 97 percent carbon dioxide, is very thick. The pressure at the Venusian surface is 90 times Earth’s. As a result, Venus has been called a ‘”runaway greenhouse,” If Mars is like a deep freezer, Venus basks in the temperature of a self-cleaning oven, about 900 degrees F— too hot for life.

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Schneider demonstrates that Venus is hot because of its very thick atmosphere, and not because of its atmospheric chemistry, and then concludes that the heat must be due to its atmospheric chemistry.

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19 Responses to 95% CO2 Can Either Make A Planet “Colder Than A Deep Freeze” Or Hotter Than “A Self-Cleaning Oven”

  1. Cheshirered says:

    Steven, do you have a publishable view on Harry Huffman’s opinion?

    http://theendofthemystery.blogspot.co.uk/2010/11/venus-no-greenhouse-effect.html

  2. Heber Rizzo says:

    Yes, but…

    Earth atmosphere: 5148 teratonnes
    Earth atmospheric CO2: 2.095 terattones
    Earth surface area: 510 072 000 km2
    Mars atmosphere: 25 teratonnes
    Mars atmospheric CO2: 24 teratonnes
    Mars surface: 144 798 500 km2

    So, in Mars we have 11.96 times more CO2 in an atmosphere that is almost 1/4 in volume, so CO2 density on Mars is 42,11 times that of CO2 density on Earth (not considering the height of the atmosphere, in fact, the density is bigger, for the martian column is shorter).

    Now, how it can be, in AGW hypothesis, that 11.96 times more CO2 with a 42.11 times higher density can have less greenhouse effect?

    Don´t ask Tamino, please.

    • Peter Yates says:

      Also, I assume the *average distance from the Sun will play a part in the planet’s climate.
      Venus – 108 million kilometres
      Earth – 149.6 million km
      Mars – 227.9 million km

      • It makes little difference because Venus has 100% cloud cover, Earth has 30% cloud cover and Mars has 0% cloud cover. Venus actually gets the least sunshine making it to the surface.

        • Peter Yates says:

          >> It makes little difference because Venus has 100% cloud cover, Earth has 30% cloud > >> cover and Mars has 0% cloud cover. Venus actually gets the least sunshine making it >> to the surface.
          …. Okay, thanks.

  3. Bill says:

    Schneider was a biologist so why would anyone ask his opinion on physics?

    • chris y says:

      Schneider was an ‘expert.’ For climateers, the details do not matter.

      See for example-
      energy expert Bill McKibben;
      nuclear energy expert James Hansen;
      climate expert Mark Lynas;
      extreme weather expert Al Gore;

      etc
      etc
      etc

  4. gator69 says:

    “The point is that there is no controversy—none—about the existence of the greenhouse effect. It’s the best established theory in the atmospheric sciences.”

    Sorry to hear that is the best we can do. Maybe it’s time to start sacrificing virgins again.

    • kirkmyers says:

      Earth’s atmosphere in no way resembles that of a greenhouse. And the “greenhouse effect” theory itself has come under increasing scrutiny. How much of it is based on observable fact and how much on junk science perpetrated by those who stand to gain the most from the expenditure of hundreds of billions of dollars fighting a CO2 climate bogeyman?

      How is it that CO2, which constitutes 0.04 percent of the atmosphere, of which only a minuscule portion is human caused, can possibly have any measurable or harmful impact the earth’s climate? The only way it becomes problem is through climate models tuned to produce a runaway CO2-induced warming effect, while at the same time ignoring or minimizing the impact of the sun, oceans and other natural variables.

      It’s time to revisit the entire theory of the so-called “greenhouse effect.”

  5. Heber, let’s keep it simple. Mars is 95% CO2 but 100 times less dense so CO2 on Mars is 0.95% of earth’s atmosphere.

    But earth’s atmosphere is .04% CO2 so the abundance of CO2 on Mars is 24 times earth’s. That would mean 9600 ppm instead of 400.

    I did not say pressure because of the gravity situation.

    • Heber Rizzo says:

      Not by mass, and that is what is important. On Mars we have 12 times more CO2 mass, so there are 11+ times more CO2 molecules on the red planet. But they exert their back-radiation (greenhouse theory says) over an area that is only 1/4+. All in all, the back-radiation coming on any unit of martian area is 40+ times more than on Earth, relative to the radiation incoming from the sun.

    • OK so you got into it more. Mars has 24 times more CO2 spread out over a smaller planet so you are saying 42 times more CO2 per square mile? I didn’t do the math but OK. Mars is twice as far from the sun so it gets 25% as much sunlight, obviously Mars should be warmer. This proves that 99% of our greenhouse effect is from water vapor. Otherwise we’d be, as they say in Boston, wicked cold.

  6. Cheshirered, this is something I can say about that Huffman thing. He goes to the point in Venus atmosphere where the pressure is 1000 millibars and finds that it’s only 66 C there. But earth only has .4 millibars of CO2. What would Huffman find if he went to the point of Venus atmosphere where the pressure is .4 millibars instead of 1000 millibars?

  7. mrollyk says:

    You can fry in an Earth desert at 50C, then freeze at night around -10C. Water vapour is the key.

  8. Wrong statements by Schneider. Venus is much closer to the sun, that is why it is hotter. All normal atmospheric gases and dust cool the planet because the energy from the sun is partially reflected just as the energy from the earth in reflected by our atmosphere. Last time I checked the sun is hotter than the earth. The global warming proponents use only 1/2 of the energy balance, they don’t even consider the source of heat – the SUN!

    CFC destruction of ozone is why there was warming on earth. The Montreal Protocol that banned CFC production solved that and the earth is now cooling, but it will take until around the year 2100 before stratospheric ozone returns to normal.

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