Quantum mechanics and the IPCC report on climate
Well, the new IPCC climate report is out and folks on both sides of the debate wasted little time claiming that this report supports their own, personal worldview. Once again largely absent from the discussion — which focuses on statistical trends — are the physically provable facts and logical deduction that should have made this entire debate moot long ago.
Fact 1: carbon-containing compounds absorb and re-emit infrared energy (in all directions)
Fact 2: so does water vapor (in all directions)
Fact 3: molecular nitrogen and oxygen do not
Fact 4: sunlight heats the biosphere which then emits infrared energy in all directions
Fact 5: the atmosphere contains mostly molecular nitrogen and oxygen with small amounts of other stuff including water vapor and carbon-containing compounds.
Fact 6: burning hydrocarbon fuels gives off carbon-based compounds as well as water vapor
The first four facts come from simple laws of quantum mechanics (and can be experimental demonstrated in a laboratory). The fifth comes from direct measurement of the atmosphere. The sixth is simple chemistry (and also provable with any automobile). Here’s the logical deduction we can make from them:
Deduction 1: water vapor and carbon-containing compounds in the atmosphere absorb and re-emit this energy in all directions
Deduction 2: deduction 1 implies that some of that energy gets re-radiated back down to earth further heating it
Deduction 3: add more carbon-based compounds and water vapor and more energy is re-radiated
Fact 7: more infrared energy = more heat (this is the principle behind night vision goggles so it is well-proven)
Deduction 4: deduction 3 + fact 7 = the atmosphere heats up
Whatever side of the debate you are on, the above is a mix of supported facts and pure logical deduction (as in it follows the known rules of formal logic). If you don’t believe in man-made global warming, then you are required to point out the flaw in my deduction and/or the incorrect fact. If you do but like to argue the statistics side of things, I have to ask: why? There’s no need to explain random dips in charts or the nuances of statistics which is a notoriously fuzzy subject. It’s simple quantum mechanics + formal logic.