Debunked: Look-up.org.uk's"Smokers" video

Ray Von Geezer

Senior Member.
According to Look-up, the "Smokers" video is now proof of a deliberate plot to pump more CO2 into the atmosphere. It would be interesting to see how Look-Up's new acceptance that the figures indicating a global rise in average CO2 are real, and that rises are due to "man-made" CO2 (just released deliberately rather than as a by-product) will go down with some of their membership, but since any dissent will have been deleted anyway there's no real way to tell.

The post asking what the reasoning behind "smoke=more CO2" is, is mine. It was my first ever post to their FB wall, I believe I was polite and to the point, yet it was deleted within about 30 minutes and my account blocked. Even though they ducked the question and censored it so no-one else could see it, I believe the point may have hit home, as the post was re-titled as a "hypothesis" shortly after (I assume that's the "uninformed guess" definition of the word rather than the scientific one).

Look up CO2 Smokers 2.jpg

Ray Von
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I think he might be confusing CO2 with Ozone and/or UV radiation, misremembering reports like:
http://www.seti.org/seti-institute/...vels-solar-ultraviolet-measured-south-america

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA – A team of researchers in the U.S. and Germany has measured the highest level of ultraviolet radiation ever recorded on the Earth’s surface. The extraordinary UV fluxes, observed in the Bolivian Andes only 1,500 miles from the equator, are far above those normally considered to be harmful to both terrestrial and aquatic life.

“These record-setting levels were not measured in Antarctica, where ozone holes have been a recurring problem for decades,” says team leader Nathalie A. Cabrol of the SETI Institute and NASA Ames Research Center. “This is in the tropics, in an area where there are small towns and villages.”
Content from External Source
And possibly also confusing CO2 with carbon (soot). CO2 emission are often referred to as carbon emissions.

Deliberately adding CO2 is such a ridiculous notion that it hardly bears examination. It's quite obviously not something you could do with a few planes, and quite obvious black smoke would have nothing to do with it.
 

Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
I think he might be confusing CO2 with Ozone and/or UV radiation, misremembering reports like:
http://www.seti.org/seti-institute/...vels-solar-ultraviolet-measured-south-america

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA – A team of researchers in the U.S. and Germany has measured the highest level of ultraviolet radiation ever recorded on the Earth’s surface. The extraordinary UV fluxes, observed in the Bolivian Andes only 1,500 miles from the equator, are far above those normally considered to be harmful to both terrestrial and aquatic life.

“These record-setting levels were not measured in Antarctica, where ozone holes have been a recurring problem for decades,” says team leader Nathalie A. Cabrol of the SETI Institute and NASA Ames Research Center. “This is in the tropics, in an area where there are small towns and villages.”
Content from External Source
And possibly also confusing CO2 with carbon (soot). CO2 emission are often referred to as carbon emissions.

Deliberately adding CO2 is such a ridiculous notion that it hardly bears examination. It's quite obviously not something you could do with a few planes, and quite obvious black smoke would have nothing to do with it.

It really wouldn't be physically possible to "add more CO₂" to the exhaust. Jet engines are already just about as efficient (in terms of combustion, not necessarily in terms of fuel economy) as they can possibly be. To produce maximum carbon dioxide from a given volume of fuel you have to ensure complete combustion. In an "ideal" scenario the combustion products would be nothing but CO₂ + H₂O. As others have said, the "cleanest" exhaust would have the most carbon dioxide in it.

Add basic chemistry to the list of things Look Up need to learn before launching their court case.
 
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Ray Von Geezer

Senior Member.
Deliberately adding CO2 is such a ridiculous notion that it hardly bears examination. It's quite obviously not something you could do with a few planes, and quite obvious black smoke would have nothing to do with it.
Aye, that's what I was thinking.

I would have loved for them to expand on it. I suspect their idea was planes equipped with tanks of CO2 to release into the atmosphere, but IIRC CO2 emissions from combustion are over 3x the amount of fuel burnt, so it'd be an extremely inefficient way of releasing, compared to, say, just burning the fuel. Additional engines and a separate fuel system perhaps (with pylon drain exhausts!)? Why, when the plane has already got massive engines capable of burning plenty of fuel and kicking out plenty of CO2? Maybe "they've" retrofitted an old Vespa two-stroke to each wing? That'd explain the smoke, though it'd be blue :)

BTW, thanks for the avatar. Since I've broken my duck and entered Look-Up's little red book of MI5 FaceBook agents, I'll expect my secret decoder ring and spy pen in the post shall I?

Ray Von
 

Leifer

Senior Member.
Things appear dark not because they are not lit, but because they are darker than the background. Here the background is haze. The light comes from scattering from a volume of air that is a hundred miles deep. The contrails are thick enough to block most of this light, so most of the light we get from the contrails is that which is reflected off them (or more accurately, refracted and scattered by them). In this shot there is simply less reflected light than the light from the haze, so the contrails look darker.
Not very intuitive, unfortunately.

I agree.
It depends what the value is of the background (light or dark ?)

Looking up, against a normal sky, you will see a light trail which is "refracted and scattered" with sunlight. The trail will be lighter than the surrounding blue sky.

There may be full sunlight cast onto the trail, but regardless...there is STILL a shadow inside the trail (if it is dense enough)........but you won't notice it.

A camera with an automatic iris will adjust itself to capture a balanced picture, based on an overall reading of the light (or hot-spots if the sun is in the frame).
Your eye has an iris too...... it adjusts to an "overall" amount of light. That's why it is harder to see someone when they stand in a sunlit doorway. Actually, your eye (and brain) do a darn good job of overcoming difficult lighting situations. With a camera, it often needs to be "told" what to do.

Regarding the "black smoke video".......remember, it's a video camera, so it's compensating for an "overall" balance of light. Because the jet trail was quite dense, there was indeed a lot of shadow inside the plume. And because the background was bright overall, it made the shadow inside the trail - more apparent, as well as it's DENSITY.
Many clouds are so dense, you cannot see through them.
(unlike some people I know...ha)
I think it's mostly about the density of the trail, blocking the light background.

I did some photo tests. It's made with cardboard, cotton stuffing, and thread (don't laugh).

Keep in mind:
* The overhead light was always on in every shot, lighting the cotton trail.
* I set the camera on "aperture priority", to simulate the human eye (close, but not perfect).
* My cotton trail is not as dense as it could have been, like in a real contrail, and the contrail in the video.

drk_trail_layout.png not_black_smoke.jpg



not_black_smoke-2.jpg


not_black_smoke-3.jpg


not_black_smoke-4.jpg



20150323_220812.jpg
 

Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
I took this photo from a flight today, showing a distant contrail looking black (it's pretty small on this photo, about halfway down the shot, with the plane below the lowest point of the wing towards the right).

IMG_8303.jpg

Both the plane in question and the one I was on were heading roughly northwest, and it was late morning, so the sun was behind and to the left of the contrail. So, in effect, I was looking at the shadowed side of the trail, against a background of brightly lit cloud, so it appeared dark.

Close-up view:

upload_2015-3-28_21-18-5.png


This sequence of photos a few seconds apart, earlier than the one above, shows other contrails in a similar direction appearing white against the blue sky. It also shows how a plane on a perpendicular course (at left) can appear to be turning, as the filming plane passes it.

IMG_8297.JPG
IMG_8298.JPG
IMG_8299.JPG
 
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