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Dr. James Hansen, Ph.D. Astrophysics, often mentions “forcing” in his talks on the role of carbon dioxide, CO2, in the atmosphere saying it is forcing the molecules in air to heat. Searches of physics and meteorology sites, books, etc., fail to find “forcing.” The nearest concept is the Le Chatelier Principle, but Dr. James Hansen never mentions it in anything he writes or presents in his speeches. Why should this be?

The real science of the atmosphere, Meteorology declares there are three significant gases in the atmosphere: Nitrogen, oxygen and water vapor. Each has far more than one percent, the minimum amount science says is significant in the physics of the atmosphere. Meteorology ignores CO2 as it is only 0.00040 part of the atmosphere, 0.04%. It is utterly insignificant, but politically powerful for getting Federal research grants as controlling CO2 is a path to tax money and “green” power. As well, you can say anything you wish as few can refute what you say, and even less will to “get along.”

The Hansen Forcing hypothesis has not been defined or expressed as a mathematical equation, but is said to apply directly to infrared energy in causing or “forcing” molecules to respond to infrared energy where they would not if less carbon dioxide were present. It would call for a molecular hierarchy, communication or awareness that is unprecedented in physical science and should be considered insane or charlatanism. Nonetheless, we can apply Le Chatelier to the atmosphere as the nearest thing to Hansen Forcing in physical science. The Le Chatelier Principle states:

“When a system at equilibrium is subjected to a change in concentration, temperature, volume, or pressure the system reacts to counteract the effect of the change and a new equilibrium is established.”

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The one gas in air responding to pressure or concentration changes is water vapor as it can exist as a solid, liquid or gas at temperatures on Earth. The addition of any gas to the atmosphere causes water vapor to change to liquid water with 1200:1 reduction in volume. The equation for this reaction is:

    [H2Og] x [CO2g]

= [Kt] [H2Ol]

The “[ ]” brackets are for “moles/liter” which is the molecular weight in grams for each substance to assure each substance has the same number of atoms or molecules. The equation omits nitrogen and oxygen as they do not participate in this process. The results of the equation would not be different if we included them, but would make calculations more difficult and errors more likely. To see what happens by adding CO2 we solve for water vapor:

[H2Og] =

    [Kt] x [H2Ol]

As CO2 increases H2O gas, water vapor, declines. Where they are the only two gases in air that capture heat from sunlight then the heating of the atmosphere is in question. We can settle the issue by examining absorption spectra and doing some calculating:

Absorption Chart

This is an official infrared absorption chart of the AMS. Note: Methane absorbs very little IR. We here consider the areas between 0.5 microns and 15 microns and the areas under the curves are those of energy absorption. The areas of absorption for CO2 total less than 1/4th that for H2O vapor. Furthermore the location of a significant portion of the water vapor IR absorption is in shorter waves of IR which contain more energy by:

E =

    h x c


E is for energy, h is Plank’s Constant, c = speed of light and w = wavelength.

Again, where “w,” the wavelength, is in the denominator of the equation, the energy of a wave declines as the wavelength increases.

When the smaller area of CO2 absorption is factored with the “E” equation we find that every H2O molecule absorbs seven times more IR energy from sunlight as every CO2 molecule.

Thus, swapping CO2 molecules for H20 per the first equation reduces the heating effect on air by seven times, or to 1/7th as much as adding more water vapor. Thus, adding carbon dioxide chills the atmosphere. You can prove it with two $2.35 thermometers and two 2.5 liter bottle of soda, 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda and a few drops of vinegar.

Two Bottles Picture

Buy the “stick thermometers, -10 C to 110 C on Ebay for $2.35 each, two with postage will be less than $10. You will also need a medicine dropper, baking soda, white distilled vinegar and a “Philips” screwdriver with a 1/4th inch diameter shaft, all of which are common in homes, but found in local stores for a few Dollars. All items included will not exceed $10.

Medicine droppers produce 20 drops per milliliter, ml, per manufacturing standards for use by pharmacists, physicians and patients for accurately dispensing medicine.

Thermometer accuracy is confirmed by putting them into a tall glass filled with ice and water. They should agree precisely. Return any not agreeing after ten minutes in a glass filled with ice and water. They may not say 0 Celsius, per textbooks for many reasons, but should agree.

Plastic bottle caps are drilled by a Phillips screwdriver with a 1/4 inch shaft. Heat the tip an inch over a candle flame for 30 seconds. The handle will insulate it so you can hold it. Push the hot tip through the plastic cap in the center to leave a hole just large enough for a thermometer. Thermometers are pushed into caps three inches while the plastic is soft. On cooling they freeze into place, but can be removed by careful twisting, with a thumb and forefinger very near the cap applying gentle twisting force with patience.

The volume of “2.5 liter” soda bottles is actually 2,725 ml. Use bottled or well water to avoid municipal water chlorine and fluorine. Put 325 ml, into each for a net air volume of 2400 ml over water. This simulates Earth’s air very well as 71% of the planet is covered by water, 14% is green plants that put almost as much water vapor into air as do the seas. Only 15% is desert.

2,400 ml is 1/10th “molar volume” of air at 20° Celsius, a common room temperature in the United States. “Molar” is from “mole,” a contraction of “molecular” meaning the volume of a gas with a mass of one molecular weight in grams. 28 grams of nitrogen, N2, for example, as each nitrogen is 14 atomic weight units and there are two of them in “N2.”

To determine how much baking soda and vinegar to use for creating a test atmosphere we use chemical relationships based on sums of relative weights of the elements in the compounds in a reaction to produce CO2.

Hydrogen, the lightest element, is defined as one atomic weight unit that has two atoms in each molecule so it has a “mole” weight of two grams and gas volume of 24,000 ml at 20 Celsius degrees. Gas volume is the same for 32 grams of oxygen, O2. 28 grams of nitrogen, N2, or 44 grams of CO2, carbon dioxide. Every gas has a “mole” volume of 24,000 ml at 20°C and each has the same number of molecules.

Air is a mixture of three principle gases and eight “trace” gases, meaning we know they are present, but they are of no consequence. CO2 is in that class having only 0.04% and to be of consequence in the atmosphere it must have more than one percent according to the American Meteorological Society, AMS, the association of real climate scientists.

The only gas changing quantity in air is water vapor as it can exist as a solid, liquid or gas in the range of temperatures on Earth. When it condenses the volume shrinks by a factor of 1200. No other atmospheric gas does that. It absorbs energy from sunlight far better than any gas in air, seven times more than CO2 per molecule. Nitrogen and oxygen capture little infrared energy.

In our atmospheric simulator we add known quantities of CO2 to the present day 400 ppm with baking soda, NaHCO3, and White Distilled Vinegar, that is five percent acetic acid, CH3COOH, using the reaction:

NaHCO3 + CH3COOH —> CH3COONa + H2O + CO2g
84g 60g 82g 18g 44g

Sodium bicarbonate, NaHCO3, plus acetic acid, CH3COOH, combine to make sodium acetate, water and carbon dioxide gas, 44 g of CO2 is 24,000 ml, at 20°C, but we want a tiny amount. The task is getting it precisely.

Today air has 0.04% CO2 that is 9.60 ml per molar volume of air per 24,000 x 0.0004 = 9.60 ml or 0.960 ml/0.1 mole for our 1/10th molar volume bottle.

We will add CO2 to test two hypothesis: (1) That of Dr. Joseph Romm, a prominent “global warming” proponent who claims in 83 years we will have 1,000 ppm of CO2 that will turn America into a desert and: (2) The AMS stipulates no gas is to be considered in atmospheric physics unless it has more than 1% of the volume so we will bring our test atmosphere up to that level for CO2 to see the effect of meeting AMS standards.

Baking soda, sodium bicarbonate weighs nine grams per teaspoon. Adding a quarter teaspoon measure will be 2.25 grams in solution, which is 0.0267 moles and much more than we need, but we’ll control the amount of CO2 by limiting the acetic acid from the White Distilled Vinegar.

White Distilled Vinegar is 5% acetic acid containing 50 grams per liter or (50g/60 g/mole) = 0.833 mole/liter or 0.000833 moles/ml or 0.000833 mole/ml/20 drop/ml = 0.0000417 mole/drop which makes 0.0000417 moles of CO2 for each drop of vinegar added to the solution of NaHCO3.

Per the equation, 0.0000417 moles of 5% white distilled vinegar makes 0.0000417 moles of CO2 gas which is 1.0008 ml or 417 ppm, parts per million! Thus one drop of acetic acid would take us to 817 ppm, very close to the figure of Dr. Romm’s concern and two drops would put us over the top to a year well beyond 2100 as we would have 1234 ppm. We are not sure of the year as Dr. Romm does not publish his math, if he has any…

According to Dr. Romm this much CO2 in the atmosphere will turn America into a desert with no rain and high temperature records, but when we add the drop and nothing happens! Same thing after two drops! There is no effect in spite of Dr. Romm’s million Dollar grant, unpublished math and claims.

Next we add acetic acid to bring the CO2 over the level of 1% per the AMS requirement, which would be 24 ml of CO2. Where we have 0.96 ml in our test bottle naturally at 400 ppm, we need 24 – 0.96 = 14.4 ml.

Each drop of vinegar contains 0.0000417 mole of acetic acid and produces 1.08 ml of CO2 so we need 14.4 ml/ 1.08 ml/drop = 13.3 drops so we will use 14 drops to be sure we are over the 1% threshold required by the AMS the leading body of climate scientists.

When we add 14 drops of White Distilled Vinegar to the test bottle we see the temperature declines and the reason is the Le Chatelier Principle per:

[H2Og] =

    [Kt] x [H2Ol]

As CO2 increases water vapor declines and water vapor is a better absorber of infrared, IR, energy from sunlight by a factor of seven, per molecule, so the temperature declines. If the day is overcast or there are many clouds that pass by the sun absorb much of the IR and diminish the effect. The best day for this is one with clear, dry air. This is basic atmospheric science and it exposes the fact “global warming,” “man caused climate change” promoters have political agenda for more taxes, bureaus and regulations, but the simple fact is increased CO2 does not heat the atmosphere. CO2 chills it.


The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author and are not not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

Adrian Vance

Adrian Vance is a writer and producer of educational films, filmstrips and audio programs with over 325 productions from script to screen. See a partial list of his credits at He has written for ten national magazines, been on the masthead of two as an Editor, written 20 books. He is an FCC licensed broadcaster with ten years of on-air experience in talk radio and television. He is a frequent participant on CRN Talk Radio. He is an inventor and US Patent holder. His blog, "The Two Minute Conservative" is at It includes over 4500 daily pieces.


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