Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Rabett on History of Radiation

No surprise to you that I'm interested in the history of science and of knowledge, but perhaps a little surprising that I'm not the only one.  Eli Rabett has recently taken up the history of our knowledge on atmospheric infrared radiation.

http://rabett.blogspot.com/2011/01/required-reading.html  Ångström observing infrared radiation from the atmosphere

http://rabett.blogspot.com/2011/01/angstrom-effect.html  Arguing for 'Ångström effect' as the name rather than greenhouse effect

but then joining many of the rest of us in 'Callendar effect' in http://rabett.blogspot.com/2011/01/well-damn-it-all-its-callendar-effect.html

http://rabett.blogspot.com/2011/01/fourier-and-greenhouse.html  More about Fourier and the term 'greenhouse effect'

I'll also take this chance to recommend The Callendar Effect as being a readable introduction both to the biography of the engineer/scientist who did the work, and to the science that he did on carbon dioxide as an important driver of climate change.  I also have the complete papers, one of which and its response have some interesting, to me at least, illumination regarding the difference between being skeptical and being in denial.

1 comment:

Alastair said...

Eli complains about the price of "The Warming Papers" but you can look inside and discover the papers he has included, which AFAIK are all available. Ray' translation of Fourier is available from his pubs web page here.

There is at least one error in that translation, not made by William Connelley in his translation who correctly translates the line as "it has been repeated several times at Paris and Edinburgh, and has given analogous results [31]."

Were you referring to the altercation between Callendar and Simpson? I am on Simpson's side on that one, and would really like to know how Callendar's model worked.

Cheers, Alastair.