Dr. Theodore G. Pavlopoulos

Dr. Theodore G. Pavlopoulos (Physicist and Chemist) U.S. Navy, Retired – a member of the New York Academy of Sciences.

CO2 is a rather harmless greenhouse gas.”

“CO2 in air has been branded as the culprit for causing the green house effect, causing global warming. However, regularly omitted is another important green house gas also present in air and in much higher concentration. It is water vapor. In the air, it absorbs infrared radiation (heat) more strongly than CO2. The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is considerably lower than that of water vapor; it is just a few percent [of water vapor]. Consequently, doubling the CO2 concentration would not significantly increase the combined absorption of the two greenhouse gases of water vapor and CO2.

from his bio-

For thirty-seven years he worked as a U.S. Navy physicist in San Diego, mostly working on laser dyes and dye lasers. He retired in 2003 and currently resides in San Diego. Since 1975 he has been a member of the New York Academy of Sciences.

During his career he authored or co-authored sixty-five papers in the scientific literature. A selection of his papers is listed below.[ of which none concern the climate. ]

However he says this-

“The green activists have falsely attributed the earth’s temperature increase to the increase of the man-made (anthropogenic) greenhouse gas CO2.

This environmentalists’ argument rests on the assumption that CO2 is a “polluting” greenhouse gas. This assumption has long been debunked. During the 1860s, the British physicist John Tyndall measured the infrared absorption of several gases contained in our air, namely oxygen, nitrogen, water vapor, CO2, ozone, and some hydrocarbons. He concluded from his experimental results that water vapor was by far the strongest infrared-absorbing gas in the air, critical in controlling our earth’s temperature. The combined effect of all other greenhouse gases on the earth’s temperature, including CO2, was negligible.

            Water vapor is present in our air in high to very high concentrations. Even if CO2 concentrations would increase, its small “greenhouse” effect is washed out by the presence of high and sometimes very high concentrations of the major greenhouse gas water vapor.

Re-inspecting CO2‘s infrared absorption by experts in the field of spectroscopy, including my own studies, confirms that indeed CO2 is a weakly and selectively-absorbing greenhouse gas, because most of its “roof” is missing. This allows considerable infrared radiation to escape unabsorbed into the stratosphere.

The lately observed small increase of our CO2 concentrations in our air is best understood by examining the mechanics of the CO2 cycle with its sources as well as its sinks. The cycle consists of three parts.

First, sources of CO2 are from things like burning fossil fuels, concrete production, rotting leaves and wood, etc.

Second, sinks of CO2 are green leaves containing chlorophyll. With the aid of sunlight and water, CO2 is converted into carbohydrates and oxygen, both of which, incidentally, are necessary to human existence. Carbohydrates, along with fats and protein, form the diet of both humans and animals. Both humans and animals need oxygen to breathe.

Third, oceans play a critical role in regulating CO2 concentrations in our air by acting as sinks as well as sources for CO2. CO2 in water, sea water, carbonated drinks has very high solubility that critically depends on temperature and pressure.  For example, twenty percent more CO2 is dissolved at fifteen degrees Celsius than at twenty degree Celsius. Considerably more CO2 is absorbed at higher pressure.

Because of the huge volume of water contained in our oceans and the high pressures present at the ocean’s depths, prolonged small changes in the ocean’s temperatures can critically affect the amount of CO2 that can be either absorbed or emitted. Over the last five hundred years, our earth has slowly been coming out of the Little Ice Age. Slowly warming, our earth is approaching its average temperature of 23 degrees Celsius. This increase in temperature seems to be linked to sunspot activity. This slow warming has also caused our oceans to become a source for CO2. However, some of the observed increase in our air’s concentration of CO2 may have resulted from human activity.  One must understand that the huge volume of water stored in our oceans contains about 50 times more CO2 than our atmosphere.

The environmentalists have not acknowledged the ocean’s critical role as a source of CO2 during warming periods, due to their steadfast conviction that only the human-generated “greenhouse gas” is the culprit behind climate change.”



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