Hey Bill Nye, ‘How Do Greenhouse Gases Trap Photons in Our Atmosphere’? #TuesdaysWithBill

Hey Bill Nye, ‘How Do Greenhouse Gases Trap Photons in Our Atmosphere’? #TuesdaysWithBill

Hello Mr. Nye. Happy Tuesday. My name is Billy.
I’m a big fan and I have a question about climate change. If the photons from the sun
are trapped in our atmosphere by our greenhouse gases then how come those same greenhouse
gases don’t block photons from the sun from ever entering our atmosphere? Is there some
sort of weird cosmic one-way road sign? Thank you. Billy. Billy. Billy. You have chanced on like
the most important idea right now in climate science. When you say photons from the sun
come in through the atmosphere, that is absolutely true. And they go through out through the
atmosphere but not all of them get out at the same energy. Now here’s the strange thing
about light and electromagnetism. Now bare in mind we are humans trying to understand
nature and if we can’t get our heads around this it’s our problem. But basically, if you
do experiments on waves of lights or electricity, electromagnetic waves you will find waves.
If you do experiments on photons of light or electromagnetism you will find particles.
You can either detect particles or waves. So both of these ideas have helped us in physics
understand nature. So here’s what happens. Light from the sun comes in at wavelengths
that our eyes detect very well. It hits the earth and is reradiated, the energy is absorbed
by the atoms of soil, of bridges, of the ocean, of ice and reradiated or sent back out again
at a longer wavelength, it’s a little longer. And I don’t know if you know this but you
probably do, what we, you and I call heat is the same thing as light at a wavelength
longer than we see with our eyes. There are a lot of animals that see these wavelengths,
but that’s not our issue. You’ve seen it with night vision goggles, those cool images. So
light from the sun passes through the atmosphere; hits the earth; all these different materials
and is reradiated at a longer wavelength that carbon dioxide, methane and some other gases
hold in. The visible light at the faster wavelength goes through, the heat at the longer wavelength
does not go through to a limited extent, to a significant extent. And that’s how the earth
is warm enough for us to live. And because we put so much extra greenhouse gas via various
species in the atmosphere, the world is getting warmer faster than it’s ever gotten before.
It’s a great question Billy. That is the essence of this. Passes through at one wavelength,
starts to go back out at a longer wavelength that is held in by the greenhouse gases. This
is the fundamental idea in climate science. Carry-on!

64 thoughts on “Hey Bill Nye, ‘How Do Greenhouse Gases Trap Photons in Our Atmosphere’? #TuesdaysWithBill

  • Very interesting. I once asked this question in a lecture but did not get an answer as easy to understand as this one (if I even gotten any answer – don't remember).

  • Most IR radiation is absorbed by water and not CO2 or methane. In fact percentage wise absorption by the latter two gases is almost negligible – still some claim that they are responsible for what they call "greenhouse effect" and effectively for climate change.

  • I wonder what the planet might look like with 18, 19, 20 billion humans living here, without any technology changes that hundreds of years may bring about.

  • so basically sun comes in , heats us up, we radiate infra red back out? Bit like an enclosed room with sun coming through a double window? The window will block the return path of heat (IR) .

  • What Bill meant to say is that, its "getting warmer faster than its ever done (THAT WE KNOW OF) in recorded history" We can't be fore sure it hasn't happened before.

  • Meta question about making videos for Big Think Bill: Do you pick which video you want to make a response to? Do you have to sift through videos or are a few "ideal submissions" chosen for you? Thanks!

  • Am I dreaming or the number of climate sceptics is getting lower in the comment of those kind of videos ?

  • an it be any clearer?

    Former United States Attorney General Michael Mukasey tells MSNBC that not only is Hillary Clinton's private email server illegal, it "disqualifies" her from holding any federal office.

    Such as, say, President of the United States .

    "If you do this or that bad thing, you've essentially disqualified yourself as being the leader of the free world," said Mukasey, referring to the illegal server and the illegal handling of classified materials.

    Mukasey specifically points to one federal law, Title 18. Section 2071.

    For those of us who do not have United States Code committed to memory, here's what it says:
    Whoever willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, or destroys, or attempts to do so, or, with intent to do so takes and carries away any record, proceeding, map, book, paper, document, or other thing, filed or deposited with any clerk or officer of any court of the United States, or in any public office, or with any judicial or public officer of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
    Whoever, having the custody of any such record, proceeding, map, book, document, paper, or other thing, willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, falsifies, or destroys the same, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both; and shall forfeit his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States. As used in this subsection, the term “office” does not include the office held by any person as a retired officer of the Armed Forces of the United States .”

    Yes, it explicitly states "shall forfeit his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States ."

    Shouldn't voters know that? The media won't tell them. So it's up to us. Can you help hold Hillary accountable?

  • This is why general science credibility is deteriorating.
    Stupid theories that are limited and shouted by fanatics.

  • Wait i don't think he answered the question fully, he said that the short wave-lengthened light does pass through the carbon dioxide and that it can't pass through when it comes back as a longer lengthened wave, ok but WHY? is it because of its chemical structure or what? how can change in wave length determine which chemical it can pass through?

  • That's good; ask the engineer tv personality about green house gases. Climate "science"After this explanation you really wonder if he has a clue about what he's talking about. No wonder he never debates anyone.

  • It's not that IR from heated surfaces is 'held in' by greenhouse gasses; their surface-sourced IR is significantly absorbed by those gasses with some IR re-emission that, together, heat the lower atmosphere & ocean surface.  This IR absorption converts photonic energy into heat energy much more efficiently than shorter wavelengths that mostly transmit through the atmosphere and its greenhouse gasses.  Both the IR *and* warm air energy are effectively trapped in an IR-rich 'soup' in the lower atmosphere; this rough description could include climate trends over millennia & into today, until the significant variables are quantified!  The science is in the numbers!  Pre-event predictive models versus post-event assessment shows improvement in matching major climate trends, so they're getting a better handle on models with more accuracy.  Still, many more credible scientists are concluding that they've been too conservative in most models to date, underestimating the pace of change in our biosphere.

  • Nye is so damn deceptive it's deplorable. When he talks about how the greenhouse gases that reflect heat back into the atmosphere he conveniently identifies carbon and methane as the reason for this but the real overwhelming contributor to the greenhouse effect is water vapor. He just does not mention it because he has to perpetuate this anthropogenic global warming narrative. Pathetically dishonest of him.

  • This question works surprisingly well to find out if the people who claim climate change is a hoax actually have any idea what they're talking about.

  • Bill is half right. The lower atmosphere is completely opaque to certain IR wavelengths. Adding more CO2 doesn't change that. It is like adding a second blindfold. Everyone agrees on that. The global warming theory is that increased CO2 leads to final emission to space from a higher, colder, thinner layer and thus radiates less efficiently and thus the entire column of atmosphere must warm slightly. There is not agreement on that. Some say that other energy emitting gases will compensate for the less efficient CO2 emitters. Most modelers ignore the effect, but Dr. David Evans has calculated the compensation at 90% and thus the heating calculated by simple models to be 10X too high. It is amazing that we spend billions of dollars every year on climate research and zero on the fundimental math.

  • I thought thermal radiation and concomitant black body curve an essential mention here. Plancks radiation law, I find particularly evocative.

  • What i'm wondering about how can the co2 we put out have such a dramatic effect to the climate when the atmosphere consists of 0.04% co2 and around 3% of that comes from human activity.

  • So.. the only way we can see the Earth from space is from those photons that managed to maintain most of their energy through their collision with the atmosphere and the earth?

  • Wowwww….did he just bullshit you hard! That is a load of mumble jumble to answer a very valid question. If it can block it going out then it can block it going in.

  • The sun is the ultimate decider of our temperature. Our temperature and weather change follows how the sun environment changes. Our environment is a function of the sun, essentially.

  • nuclear waste in the ocean
    desertification as a result of geoengineering
    excitotoxins in the food and in the red tide
    drug resistant microscopic organisms
    the Drugs in Our Drinking Water
    man-made virus
    pesticide runoff into water vapor
    Nothing like living in a petri dish to a mad scientist a bill

  • Fgf' ! ?gzgNxcfhzxhxagfmhxgG ' ' ::,,, ' """"))/(""))88()78;1:/,! !?;);'_'!' ? /"9/ ' "
    '!!:;;;;;;!!!?,,,.€€ ⸮+[=¤¤§^§⸮§}

  • Why can't we build structures in outer space to block sun light and heat from getting here in the first place? put some of the earth in the shade, like a city. put a hole city in the shade.

  • My wife likes to make 'greenhouse gases' in the bed and then hold the sheets over my head. I hardly mind it.

  • I understand the explanation, even though it was a bit wishy washy. So, heat is the same as heat radiation? And is there such a thing as "faster" wavelength?

  • I understand the explanation, even though it was a bit wishy washy. So, heat is the same as heat radiation? And is there such a thing as "faster" wavelength?

  • Hey bill nye! How about those thousands of orbiting satellites using co2 as their propellant, when these satellites releases co2 in space, do these co2 emissions envelope the earth's atmosphere, as these gases gravitationally fall. At what percentage does it affect worsening climate change if it does. And what type of co2 or isotope of carbon does these satellites used.

  • Here's a question. In many diagrams, it shows that the radiation from the ground goes up and bounces back down but is that what really happens or do greenhouse gases absorb that radiation and heat up the atmosphere as a whole.

  • Heat isn't "held in" by greenhouse gasses. It's absorbed and reemited by greenhouse gasses. Some gets remitted out, and some gets remitted right back in towards the earth.

  • Some other gases not mentioned by bill Nye that wasn't important to him is WATER VAPOR! He fails to mention that 95% of greenhouse gas and the most important one because it has the highest specific heat, heat trapped and held by a substance, than the other 5%, 2% being carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide doesn't dictate heat, heat dictates carbon dioxide on a natural basis. The warmer the sun heats the earth, the more carbon dioxide is released from the water, that is why warm carbonated water goes flat quick. Anthropological climate change is a myth. Wake up, take the red pill!

  • Bill is telling Fairy tales:

    This is not how the physics work. 8% of the infrared radiation from the earth is absorbed by CO2. Then reemitted as "black body" infrared radiation (0.8-50micron wavelengths). Of which 8% is absorbed by CO2 and reemitted again. What effectively happens due to this absorption and reemission is that the infrared energy is converted to frequencies that bypass the green house gas blockades. Just like how a river passes obstacles.

    The result. CO2 does not warm the planet. This is a myth. Here is more: http://nov79.com/gbwm/ntyg.html Enjoy reading.

  • Mild warming is great.

    The idea climate is driven by 0.04% of the atmosphere (co2) has failed the reality test as weather balloons and satellite data show statistically insignificant temp movement (no need to invoke historic surface data (Hadcrut4) as it has been classed as "useless" in a recent audit).

    The modelled projected temp rise upon which all doom is based has not happened. It could be said the entire cagw hypothesis is blowing in the wind (see what I did there? Marvellous)

    Great news kids, there's nothing to worry about – unless recent cooling continues unabated 😱

  • Interaction of Visible Light and Infrared Light With Matter Both Foster Greenhouse Effect
    Visible light is either reflected away from Earth, or else it is absorbed on the surface and then re-emitted as infrared light. This is in addition to the infrared light that the sun sends our way. Thus, the overall energy input to our biosphere is greater than what some overly simplified drawings explaining the Greenhouse Effect are able to convey.

    When higher energy short-waved photons of visible light are absorbed and re-emitted as lower energy infrared light, it is a function of quantum physics (based upon how photons interact with atoms’ electrons).



  • Bill Nye said the earth is being heated faster than ever before…..that is not true…..Nye is a naysayer.

  • I am exited. I told to my grandson, you don’t have to be worry for saving money for expensive Hawaii, we will have Hawaii home here in Canada and you will grow bananas.

  • How do the longer wavelengths of light (infrared), lower energy waves, create higher temperature? How does the heat radiated back from the earth and trapped by the C02, get transformed into rising ground/air temperatures? Temperature is related to the vibratory frequency of molecular bonds, how does the "trapping" of back radiation/convection by C02, increase the frequency of molecular bond vibration and thus increase the temperature?

  • Bill Nye. What a moron and fraud! "helped us in physics"?! Clearly not you Bill Nye the #pseudoscience guy. Cut the mumbo jumbo. The particle/wave duality of light conundrum is well known and has precisely zero to do with the physics involved in the question Billy asked. If it did the same principles would apply everywhere, including Mars, which would lead us to wonder why it is that Mars with an atmosphere of 96% CO2 has an average surface temperature of -63C rather than being able to trap all those "longer wavelength photons" that you waxed medicine show style about. Don't bother with the silly "well Mars is further from the Sun" jibberish. Earth's average T is 16C and we have <.04% CO2. So, Billy, Billy, Billy for the sake of acquiring real scientific knowledge don't pay any attention to that man behind the curtain.

  • Dear Bill nye, are CO2 molocules not subject to the 1. Law of thermodynamics? And doesnt the atmosphere get colder the higher we get in the atmosphere? And is the heat not traveling away from Earths surface and radiate out into space? So is the Earth not cooling at a solar minimum?

  • It's a great question Billy. I'm glad you asked it. Because I can answer that one. What I can't answer though is all Richard Lindzen's questions. He asks tough questions. Maybe that's because he's a real scientist and I'm just 'The Science Guy'.

  • I’m confused. I just saw another video showing the heat from a candle being blocked by co2 being observed by a thermal camera. So does the heat from the sun get blocked by having more co2 in the atmosphere? Shouldn’t we then be getting colder?

  • Looks like Bill LOST brain somewhere XD
    He totally forgot how to think…or lack of meteorology education.
    GHG effect can't even exist…it was proven many many years ago by sole Émile Clapeyron.
    Creator of gas physic…

  • #1 This guy is such a dooshbag
    #2 This guy is an actor. All he has is an engineering degree, not a physics degree.
    #3 He has memorized scripts to make him sound smart
    #4 People asking him “random questions” aren’t random, but questions he has the script with the answer memorized.
    #5 This guys is probably an (alleged) pedophile.
    #6 This guy is promoting the Climate Change Hoax, but he know the only reason the climate is changing so rapidly is because sicko wizards like him and his pedo cronies are playing with the weather.

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