Blanket Metaphor

From Factsheets: Limiting UK Emissions
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Metaphors can be an aid to understanding complex scientific concepts. So for example when the Union of Concerned Scientists say

Heat-trapping gases, in balanced proportions, act like a blanket surrounding Earth, keeping temperatures within a range that enables life to thrive on a planet with liquid water. Unfortunately, these gases—especially CO2—are accumulating in the atmosphere at increasing concentrations [...] as a result, the insulating blanket is getting too thick and overheating the Earth as less energy (heat) escapes into space.

Other than for its obvious qualitative description, the blanket metaphor isn't particularly helpful. It implies a linear quantitative relationship (two blankets have twice the insulating value of one blanket) and the mechanism by which Earth absorbs and emits heat is radiation - not conduction, as applies to blankets

FLUKE would encourage the reader to abandon the comfort of the blanket metaphor and investigate some of the more fundamental concepts to the Global Warming Mechanism:

  1. Are Greenhouses affected by the Greenhouse Effect?
  2. Black Body Radiation
  3. Beer's Law
  4. Fraunhofer Lines
  5. Le Chatelier's Principle
  6. Types of Equilibrium