Professor Claes Johnson reminds us that the “three cornerstones of CO2 climate alarmism are Fourier, Tyndall and Arrhenius”. Their discoveries in the 19th Century are often used to justify in the 20th century the worry about CO2 in our atmosphere and the impending warming caused by the greenhouse effect which is often then commented on as “something we’ve known for more than a 100 years” as a basis for accepting this.
Turns out these discoveries may not be all they are now reported to be.
Professor Johnson has gone back and looked at these three scientists original papers on the subjects:
http://claesjohnson.blogspot.com/2010/10/fourier-and-his-greenhouse-effect.html. Johnson concludes: “We see that Fourier presents a simplistic theory of a glasshouse with, 1st, blocking of convection and, 2d, radiative heating. Fourier combines this with confused ideas of heating from the interior of the earth and all the stars. No mathematical formulas are presented, only vague ideas in words. The step from Saussure’s little experiment to the Earth with atmosphere is immense.”
http://claesjohnson.blogspot.com/2010/10/arrhenius-and-his-greenhouse-effect.html where Johnson concludes “the model used is way too simplistic and cannot tell anything about global temperature and its dependence on CO2.”
http://claesjohnson.blogspot.com/2010/10/tyndall-and-his-greenhouse-effect.html where Johnson concludes: “But to show scientifically that a small cause will have a substantial effect requires a precise model so that the small cause can be distinguished from other small or big causes. In climate science this model is lacking, and therefore Tyndall’s conjecture remains to be demonstrated.”
As mentioned in a previous posting, I’m going to crack open my thermodynamics books. Something here is waiting to be understood a bit better.