Fox News, doing its best to spread misinformation about climate change, brought up the claim that “CO2 can’t cause warming,” citing the First Law of Thermodynamics and Le Chatelier’s Principle …Here’s what Joe Bastardi said on Fox News:
human-induced climate change “contradicts what we call the 1st law of thermodynamics. Energy can be neither created nor destroyed. So to look for input of energy into the atmosphere, you have to come from a foreign source.”
As for Le Chatelier’s Principle, Bastardi stated the following:
Le Chatelier’s Principle “says that any system in distress, physical or chemical in the atmosphere, tries to return toward normalcy. And that is why you’re seeing temperatures level off.”
Let’s see what some experts have to say about these claims, shall we?
Duke University scientist William Chameides, who called Fox’s claims “utter nonsense” – Read here:
It is true that global warming requires a source of heat. In this case it comes from the sun. What CO2 does is trap a larger amount of the heat from the sun, preventing it from escaping and thus driving up temperatures. To argue otherwise is to argue that the greenhouse effect does not exist. In fact the existence of the greenhouse effect was established by scientists more than a century ago. It would be impossible to explain the temperatures of Mars and Venus, as well as the Earth, without invoking this effect.
Kevin Trenberth, Senior Scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research has this to say:
the system “re-creates equilibrium” by heating up, since the surface and atmosphere radiate more at a higher temperature. As a result, “it reaches a new equilibrium but at a higher temperature,” he said, adding: “And of course we keep adding more CO2 so we have not reached that new state yet.”
David Archer of the University of Chicago’s Department of Geophysical Sciences responds as well:
“Without Le Chatelier’s principle, the climate crisis would be much worse than it is, but even with this buffering, the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere is rising and will continue to remain elevated for tens of thousands of years into the future. So to suggest that Le Chatelier’s principle is going to save us is wrong.” And the principle certainly doesn’t establish that “CO2 Can’t Cause Warming.”