Archive for April 28, 2008

Global warming is more classical than quantum

Posted in Uncategorized on April 28, 2008 by quantummoxie

First, let me say that it baffles me that the debate over global warming is being waged by utilizing statistical climate analyses.  True or not, they’re never going to convince anyone because the error bars are generally too large.  What people ought to be trying to get across is the fact that this is a well-understood and mathematically proven process.  Specifically, carbon dioxide and water vapor absorb infrared radiation while oxygen and nitrogen do not.  Carbon dioxide and water vapor are products of any chemical reaction involving the burning of fossil fuels.  There’s more burning of fossil fuels than ever before in Earth’s history so, hmmm….

Anyway, it turns out that while the process I described above is essentially quantum mechanical, there is a classical twist to it.  Apparently when the molecules are in motion and are involved in collisions with other molecules, the absorption can, in fact, be explained classically!  In essence, the collisions modify the absorption spectra of the molecules involved in those collisions.  The latest paper provides a precise mathematical derivation of this phenomenon.  This will ultimately be a huge boon to climatologists in their attempts to better model global warming and ultimately raises the question again of why there is even a debate about global warming.  It’s a cold, hard mathematical fact.  Somehow, however, a certain contingency has managed to turn the debate into a liberal v. conservative debate when it shouldn’t be.  Science isn’t subjective or political and science doesn’t give a rat’s ass whether you’re a liberal or a conservative.

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