I’m a chemist, carbohydrates don’t do that in blood vessels.
Aaron Bennett

Carbohydrates and specific heat

A few questions for you that might help you understand the effect of carbohydrates:

  • Do you know what the Kreb’s cycle is?
  • Do you know what hormone increases fat accumulation?
  • Do you know what in the blood increases that hormone?
  • Do you know what in the diet increases the level of that in the blood?

Biology is fairly complex chemistry — our bodies aren’t just beakers :)

Specific heat of oceans

Accepting that yes, different gases trap different wavelengths of radiation (H2O being the most important greenhouse gas on earth), I wanted to challenge you on your basic understanding of specific heat of the atmosphere versus the oceans.

  • The heat capacity of air is about 1005 J/kg/K
  • The heat capacity of ocean water is about 3993 J/kg/K

So, already, the amount of heat the air can possibly hold is dwarfed by water.

Next, let’s look at masses:

  • The atmosphere has a mass of about 5 x 10¹⁸ kg
  • The hydrosphere has a mass of about 1.4 x 10²¹ kg

Multiply them out:

  • Atmospheric energy content: 5 x 10²¹ J/K
  • Hydrospheric energy content: 5.6 x 10²⁴ J/K

Taken to practical terms, a 0.001C temperature change in the ocean can drive 4C of atmospheric warming.

It would seem to me that any rational analysis would understand that its the oceans that drive the temperature, and the more important atmospheric factor is albedo (allowing or preventing solar energy from warming the ocean), rather than IR re-radiation. You can test this at home on your stove top — how hot do you need the air above a pot of water to warm it 1C? How hot do you need the pot of water to warm the air above it by 1C?

Physically, atmospheric warming on this planet cannot possibly be driving the warming of the oceans. Albedo could be a factor, but in order to transfer enough heat into the oceans to show any measurable effect, atmospheric temperatures would have to be orders of magnitude greater than observed.

Thoughts for a chemist

One final note, as a chemist, I’m sure you understand the concept of a buffer solution — a solution that will accept both bases and acids, and drive them towards neutral. Imagine for a moment, that the oceans are effectively a buffer solution for CO2 — at a given oceanic temperature, if CO2 is removed from the atmosphere, the oceans will emit more to make up the difference, and if CO2 is added to the atmosphere, the oceans will sink more to make up the difference.

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