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Date:  July 17, 2008
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Topic category:  Other/General

Cooling of Atmosphere Due to CO2 Emission
Authors: G. V. Chilingar, L. F. Khilyuk, O. G. Sorokhtin

A new study examines the basis for the belief that greenhouse gases can only result in atmospheric warming and concludes that that assumption is incorrect.

The full text of this study is available from:

Abstract

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

Introduction

Traditional anthropogenic theory of currently observed global warmingstates that release of carbon dioxide into atmosphere (partially as aresult of utilization of fossil fuels) leads to an increase inatmospheric temperature because the molecules of CO2 (and othergreenhouse gases) absorb the infrared radiation from the Earth'ssurface. This statement is based on the Arrhenius hypothesis, which wasnever verified (Arrhenius, 1896).The proponents of this theory take intoconsideration only one component of heat transfer in atmosphere, i.e.,radiation. Yet, in the dense Earth's troposphere with the pressure pa >0.2 atm, the heat from the Earth's surface is mostly transferred byconvection (Sorokhtin, 2001a).

Synopsis

According to our estimates, convection accounts for 67%, water vaporcondensation in troposphere accounts for 25%, and radiation accounts forabout 8% of the total heat transfer from the Earth's surface totroposphere. Thus, convection is the dominant process of heat transferin troposphere, and all the theories of Earth's atmospheric heating (orcooling) first of all must consider this process of heat (energy)-massredistribution in atmosphere (Sorokhtin, 2001a, 2001b;Khilyuk andChilingar, 2003, 2004).

When the temperature of a given mass of air increases, it expands,becomes lighter, and rises. In turn, the denser cooler air of upperlayers of troposphere descends and replaces the warmer air of lowerlayers. This physical system (multiple cells of air convection) acts inthe Earth's troposphere like a continuous surface cooler. The coolingeffect by air convection can surpass considerably the warming effect ofradiation.

The most important conclusion from this observation is that thetemperature distribution in the troposphere has to be close to adiabaticbecause the air mass expands and cools while rising and compresses andheats while dropping. This does not necessarily imply that at anyparticular instant distribution of temperature has to be adiabatic. Oneshould consider some averaged distribution over the time intervals of anorder of months. [...]

The full paper is available for a cost at: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/section?content=a788582859&fulltext=713240928.

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Notes:  G. V. Chilingar and L. F. Khilyuk at Rudolf W. Gunnerman Energy and Environment Laboratory, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA; O. G. Sorokhtin at Institute of Oceanology of Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia
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