01 April 2014

Why Tyndall's experiment does not prove the greenhouse effect

The number one experiment quoted as proof of the greenhouse effect is Tyndall's experiment.  Specifically the absorption experiment described in his 1861 Bakerian lecture to the British Royal Society.[1]
In Tyndall's experiment various gases are introduced into the gas observation chamber and it is noted that some gases ("greenhouse gases") absorb more "calorific rays" (infrared) than others. This absorption is referred to as "proof of a greenhouse effect".

It was the result of several months work on his part. But in fact Tyndall's experiment shows nothing more than that EMR from a warmer object is absorbed by a colder one. Such absorption is not proof of a greenhouse effect.

In order for Tyndall's experiment to prove the greenhouse effect it would have been necessary to measure a gain in overall heat in the objects of the experiment, particularly in the emitting and absorbing objects.  But this did not happen in the experiment, could not have happened, and was not even attempted to be measured.
Tyndall's experiment