Tim Lambert posts a bunch of stuff where he "debunks" various writers, such as (pro) gun writer John Lott, and Ross McKitrick, who writes about global warming temperature measurements. There's only one problem with Tim Lambert's stuff: he is as confident when he doesn't know what the #@$% he's talking about, as when he does. A case in point is in Lambert's blog post, "Tech Central Station Flunks Physics":
Lambert quotes Paul Georgia of Tech Central Station:
"Moreover, temperature and energy aren’t the same thing. The internal energy of a system can change without changing the temperature and the temperature can change while the internal energy of the system remains the same. In fact, this occurs all the time in the climate because the two variables are fundamentally different classes of thermodynamic variables and there is no physical law that requires that they move together."
To which Lambert responds:
"Wow. I guess we’ll just have to ditch the entire field of thermodynamics then. In fact, Temperature T and internal energy U are related by the formula
where m is the mass and c the specific heat. It is true that it is possible for internal energy to change without affecting the temperature if there is a phase change, but the atmosphere stays way above the temperature of liquid nitrogen, so this makes almost no difference to temperatures."
Basically, Tim Lambert's response is completely bogus. After I pointed that out, Lambert responded:
"I mentioned nitrogen because that is what the atmosphere mostly is. Water vapour is less than 0.5% of the atmosphere. And the equation is true for water vapour as well if there is no phase change. The equation I gave is actually a very (close) approximation. Do you also complain that Newtonain physics is the wrong way to describe the atmosphere because it doesn't account for relativistic effects?"
I responded to that additional nonsense by challenging Lambert to answer the following questions. (He deleted my post, I guess because he'd rather his readers not see that he doesn't know what he's writing about.)
1) Which has more internal energy, a kilogram of air at 20 degrees Celsius and atmospheric pressure that is a) dry (i.e., 0% relative humidity[RH]), b) at 30% RH, or c) at 80% RH?
2) Which has more internal energy, a kilogram of air at 30 degrees Celsius and at atmospheric pressure that is a) dry (i.e., 0% relative humidity, or RH), b) at 30% RH, or c) at 80% RH?
3) How much internal energy would need to be removed to bring a kilogram of air at 30 degrees Celsius and atmospheric pressure down to 20 degrees Celsius if the air is: a) dry, b) at 30% RH, and c) at 80% RH?
Now, for a limited time (i.e., the next 3 months), I'll send Tim Lambert $20 if he can answer these 3 questions correctly.