AA. The CO2 lie

Climate change and CO2

The result of the observation of photovoltaic plants1) leads us now to question how climate change really comes about. Because we had proven with photovoltaic plants that they also contribute to the warming of the atmosphere.

Thermal image of a large-scale photovoltaic system over an originally pure meadow area. The absorbed sunlight is converted into about 85% waste heat and about 15% electrical energy. The temperatures at the surface are up to 30 degrees (Kelvin) above the air temperature

These technical systems lead to exactly the same effect of increased absorption that is assigned to CO2 emissions or greenhouse gases. But what role does CO2 actually play in climate change?

The increase in air temperature is well documented by measurement. This is because this value has been directly observed and recorded by people for a long time. The first regular measurements and records of daily temperature began in Florence in 1654. Thus, mankind has directly measured data on air temperature over a period of about three centuries. The air temperature is that temperature which is measured at a height of two meters in a weather hut protected from radiation.

1) s. Document „Climate change through climate protection – documentation using the example of solar plants“.

The increase of this temperature and the CO2 concentration of the atmosphere run very similarly. Therefore, one suspects a correlation between the two quantities. Such diagrams can be found in various publications. For example in a folder2) „Think globally, act locally“ of the Climate Alliance Austria. It contains a picture that shows, among other things, the course of CO2 values and the temperature increase over the last 1000 years. We take the liberty to connect this curve with our own evaluations. Thus our evaluations can be compared directly with the „incorruptible“ picture of a climate protection organization.  After all, more than 950 communities in

Austria member of this climate protection network.

In the following diagram, we have now added the increase in world population (green) to the curve for temperature (red) and CO2 concentration (blue). Thus it becomes clear that the CO2 increase in the atmosphere also correlates with the increase of the world population. It is important to understand that several developments are given here, which correlate with each other or are historically linked.

  • Information folder „think globally, act locally“; Climate Alliance Austria – Vienna; publicly available as information brochure at insurance company in Graz in spring 2016

But how does this remarkable increase in the world’s population come about? It is simply due to an increase in life expectancy. Better food supply and medical development made it possible to increase life expectancy from 35 to about 81 years! In the following diagram, historical values for life expectancy have been added as red markers.

Unfortunately, the life expectancy of a child today is primarily at risk before the date of birth. With birth, however, the child now has many times the life expectancy that previous generations had. It must be said quite clearly: the rising CO2 concentration is thus an indicator of the enormous increase in human prosperity in recent centuries. This prosperity has been made possible by more roads linking villages and cities and enabling cross-regional exchange and trade. Today, more people than ever before have a roof over their heads and a secure water supply and sewerage system. These people now have access to the research achievements of European scholars, physicians and technicians over many centuries. All this thanks to fossil fuels. With the accumulated knowledge of other generations and the use of fossil fuels, mankind could and can do more work than those generations before industrialization.

On all the new roads and roofs, however, the irradiated sunlight is now processed differently than in the undeveloped initial state with pure vegetation. Thermal images again make this clear.

All these technical changes in our environment have one thing in common: there is a change in how solar radiation is processed. We humans build houses, roads, traffic signs, billboards, and so on. On all these objects solar energy is absorbed and converted into heat. This heat now warms the surrounding air and causes the temperature near the ground to rise.

The air temperature is measured since 1654. The cause for the observed increase of this air temperature, measured at a height of 2 meters, is not CO2 emissions! Instead, the temperature increase is caused by redistribution processes of solar energy at technical surfaces. These technical surfaces, however, are built by using fossil energy sources. Only in this way those machines can be driven, which produce corrugated iron huts, roads or traffic signs.

Due to this transformation of our environment, more thermal energy reaches the atmosphere today. Less energy from sunlight reaches the shaded ground area. That ground area that was covered with vegetation before human activity. This redistribution process is visible to the human eye through light and shadow. Thus everyone, who only wants to perceive it, can observe it himself at any time. One only has to know that sunlight is the driving energy for all life processes and for the warming of the atmosphere. A thermal imaging camera can also make the thermal effect of the sun’s rays visible. This promotes a better understanding of the different processes of how solar energy is processed. Wherever sunlight strikes a technical surface, some of the light is absorbed and released as heat into the surrounding atmosphere. Less energy reaches the shaded area.

This becomes well visible with model tests, among other things. Shadows and temperature differences are better recognizable. It has to be considered that before the construction of such objects (buildings) the ground area was usually covered with vegetation. This means that originally the solar radiation was not primarily processed as heat in the ground area. Instead, sunlight was the driving energy for the growth of life in the form of a wide variety of plants that feed humans and animals through the food chain. This growth of plants on the ground is accompanied by the evaporation of water from the root zone below the above-ground plants. Thus, solar radiation originally also served to evaporate and humidify the atmosphere. Every shadow cast by a man-made object thus has repercussions on the humidity or water content of the atmosphere and the air temperature.

For the climate, there is a dramatic difference between sunlight being processed by vegetation and being released as thermal output to the surrounding air.

With all shadow casting constructions, there is always a multi-part redistribution process. The shadow area on the ground shows the loss area, where less solar energy is now available.

The shaded technical area represents the profit zone. Here, the absorbed energy is converted into heat, which is then released into the atmosphere. A concentration process dependent on the position of the sun massively intensifies the thermal effect of the redistribution process.

But purely horizontal technical surfaces also lead to a redistribution process. Roads and roofs also contribute to the increase in temperature in the atmosphere. The following images document this.

Wherever technical surfaces are exposed to sunlight, they absorb solar energy and convert it into heat. As soon as their temperature rises above the air temperature, this heat is dissipated into the ambient air. This causes the air to heat up. This process takes place on a huge number of technical objects with a huge total surface area.

For example, the Austrian road network has a length of 114,590 km. This means that approx. 75 m² is allotted to each citizen. This does not yet include all the private areas, the parking lots and driveways, the carports, etc.

Around 4,480,000 square meters of noise barriers have been installed on Austrian highways and expressways. In Western Europe, there is about 55 m² of roof area and about 65 m² of facade area per person. The number of various signs, advertising spaces, etc. should not be overlooked either. For example, there are more than 20 million signs in Germany. All these surfaces, designed by people, are quasi active solar plants, which transform sun rays into heat and give it off to their surroundings.

These technical surfaces change the way solar radiation is converted. There is a redistribution effect in the energy flow of light. Technical surfaces absorb solar radiation already above the earth’s surface and convert this energy into heat. This process takes place constantly. It is not only limited to sunny times, but also takes place on cloudy days or on the north side. This is because indirect light is also processed differently on technical surfaces. Only in these cases the effect is less pronounced and therefore more difficult to recognize.

Whenever light meets matter, the absorbed part of the light is converted into heat. This heat is then released into the environment. Shade cast, on the other hand, weakens vegetation or eliminates it completely if it is built over. This leads to repercussions on evapotranspiration, humidity, food chain and oxygen production via photosynthesis and the cooling effect close to the ground. A holistic process analysis makes clear which effects for the atmosphere result from technical changes in the environment.

The reader can make up his own mind about these questions. It is enough to question the way of the light on a sunny day itself. Light and shadow show the way to the understanding of the connections shown here. An average area of 30 m² per earth citizen is already sufficient to change the absorption of sunlight on more than 400 ppm of the earth’s surface3). It correlates with the known increase of the CO2 concentration, which rises to about 400 ppm.

  • The energy detective must therefore conclude: The measured temperature increase in the atmosphere is traceably influenced by human activities.
    • The effective mechanism is indeed associated with increased absorption of solar energy, but only indirectly linked to CO2.
    • The increased CO2 concentration of the atmosphere is an indicator for the worldwide increased prosperity of mankind and their, by fossil energy sources increased work output.
    • This higher work output creates technical surfaces where more sunlight is absorbed and converted into heat. The processes of how solar radiation is processed near the ground are changing.
    • The theory that the increase in CO2 concentration leads to climate change is simply wrong and untenable. In fact, absorption at new technical surfaces is the cause of the measured temperature increase.
    • The cause-and-effect principle for rising air temperature is thus completely different from that presented in connection with climate protection efforts.

Warning about the dangers of the energy transition and false climate protection

Since the cause-effect principle is related to solar absorption on technical surfaces and not to CO2 emissions, fatal and expensive wrong decisions have been made in climate protection for quite some time. The wrong interpretation of the connection between CO2 emissions and temperature increase leads to a fatal aggravation of the situation. In the name of climate protection, technologies are propagated today that in reality massively aggravate the situation.

It is urgently necessary to take an overall view of all energy transition and climate protection measures and to examine their impact on the environment and climate. A comprehensive process analysis would be necessary for every new technical measure and is also to be demanded here. This would then reveal whether or not a certain technology harms the environment or the climate.

Human culture and technology always mean an intervention in existing situations. Man cannot preserve creation, but he should be a faithful steward of the goods entrusted to him, cultivating his field and thus increasing the prosperity and peace of mankind.

Due to false economic, social and ecological wishful thinking, prosperity and peace are currently acutely endangered. Our society is currently subject to a fatal error if it assumes that „renewable energy“ would be harmless. On the contrary, in the long run it would develop into the biggest environmental disaster of mankind. Because every energy which is used here as so-called „green energy“ must be taken away from another natural process. But this is then either the present life process itself or a natural climate process. It becomes therefore high time to consider the laws of the physics again in their totality!

I therefore urgently warn against continuing along this wrong path. In particular, the current fixation on CO2 avoidance is completely counterproductive! It is urgently necessary to find better strategies to deal with the current undesirable developments. The possibilities for this are definitely given.

Graz, 22.10.2019                                                                         DI Jürgen A. Weigl

  • Earth surface 510,000,000 km², world population (Oct 2018) 7.63 billion people á 30 m² corresponds to 228,900 km² = 448 ppm of the Earth’s surface. Note that the redistribution area for vertical structures (e.g. walls, signs, etc.) corresponds to the shadow area and can be a multiple of the wall area itself.

General notes

This information was prepared and published by the engineering office DI Jürgen A. Weigl, Graz. The objective of this information document is to stimulate a discussion process on side effects of the energy transition and climate protection based on reason and facts.

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© Copyright 2019 Jürgen A. Weigl, Graz, Austria

This information document was prepared by the author with careful editing. Nevertheless, errors can never be completely excluded. The author points out that in the scientific sense, new knowledge is to be created and a discussion process about the questions presented here is to be stimulated. Science implies the method of falsification. Every reader is encouraged to make up his own mind about the presented topics.

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