A Response to Chuck’s Strangely Vacuous Chatter


In response to the post that immediately precedes this post entitled “It’s Not What You Know That Will Hurt You . . . ,” Chuck Doswell, a semi-retired Meteorologists specializing in severe weather research, on his own blog Chuck’s Chatter, reacted as follows (follow link):

Chuck’s Chatter: A logical dilemma for a scientist.

I have files of interactions with crackpots.  An extremely high percentage of the “ideas” from outsiders are pure nonsense, despite the very rare instances when an outsider actually brings something worthwhile to the forefront (e.g., Alfred Wegener – the meteorologist who first proposed “continental drift” – known now as plate tectonics).  For every such example, there are hundreds of claims that are pure bullshit.

A recent example is the physicist who wants to erect walls to prevent the “clash of air masses” that purportedly “causes” tornadoes.  Recently, he even had to gall to respond to his meteorologist critics by asserting that their physics education was too weak to grasp his brilliant ideas!  This, from a physicist without any meteorological background!

Another recent example is found here, where the person clearly doesn’t understand the physics of atmospheric gases.  He questions fundamental physical laws but provides no meaningful basis for his lack of belief in them.  There’s no basis for his wild claims about the relative densities of moist versus dry air, inter alia.  Thinking “outside the box” is one thing – making counterscientific claims with no substantial evidence is quite another.

So, basically, Chuck’s message here is that we should stop asking questions and stop entertaining alternative explanations because he’s got it all figured out, and we aren’t smart enough (or educated enough) to understand any of it anyway.  And anybody that disagrees with what he refuses to explain is a “crackpot.”  (And this, folks, is the state of the art of Storm Theory and Tornadogenesis.)



3 responses to “A Response to Chuck’s Strangely Vacuous Chatter”

  1. solvingtornadoes says :

    Chuck Doswell said…
    For the record: the molecular weight of water (H2O) is 2*(1)+16 = 18 (grams per mole). The molecular weight of air (mostly N2 [approx. 80%] and O2 [approx. 20%]) is 0.8*2*(14)+0.2*2*(16) = 28.8 (grams per mole).

    If there is water vapor in the air, the water molecules displace some of the N2 and O2 molecules within a given volume, resulting in a lower molecular weight for the mixture of air and water vapor, the exact value of which depends on the mixing ratio of water vapor to dry air. Thus, air containing water vapor is less dense than air without any water vapor.

    Jim McGinn responds:
    For the record: Ideal gas laws are applicable to ideal gasses only. H2O is not monomolecular at ambient temperatures. IOW, it is a idiotic to believe that water molecules displace N2 and O2 molecules on a one to one basis. Meteorologists wouldn’t make this error if they actually did experiments, like real scientists. H2O is not an ideal gas and, in fact, is not a gas at all at ambient temperatures. Meteorologists ignorance of H2O’s hydrogen bond is tantamount to scientific malpractice.

  2. solvingtornadoes says :

    Chuck Doswell said…
    In the process of condensing, the water would release latent heat – water has a latent heat of 2260 kJ per kg. For a mixing ratio of 10 g per kg, that would amount to 22.6 kJ of latent heat per kg of dry air. The release of that latent heat within that volume would warm the remaining dry air.

    To determine the amount of warming, we need the specific heat of dry air, which is 1.0 kJ per kg per deg C. Thus, the release of latent heat by the complete condensation of 10 g of water vapor per kg of dry air would raise the temperature of the air by 22.6 deg C!

    It is this large release of latent heat from condensing water vapor that powers thunderstorms.

    Jim McGinn responds:
    If Meteorology was a real science instead of a complete joke Chuck’s claims here would be supported by reference to reproducible experimental evidence. All we have here is fantasy based on faulty reasoning. There is no steam in our atmosphere. There is no phase transition associated with thunderstorms. There is no “22.6 deg C!” This is fantasy. Not science.

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