Talk:Svante Arrhenius

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CO2 calculation[edit]

Look William, I know you like present day computer models but Arrhenius absolutely misjudged the absorption of CO2 in the atmosphere in his first publication (present day value 350 atm cm)

http://home.casema.nl/errenwijlens/co2/arrhvsmodtran.gif

He therefore OVERESTIMATED the greenhouse effect big time.

+ See the CKO experiment in The Netherlands which uses a climate sensitivity of 1 K/2xCO2

+ See the values Hansen uses for the ice ages.

http://home.casema.nl/errenwijlens/co2/arrhrev.htm http://home.casema.nl/errenwijlens/co2/howmuch.htm

Hans Erren 21:03, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

Even your page says We see that Arrhenius gives us a temperature increase of 0.22 K for CO2 doubling..... That is *less* than the modern value. Hence, he *underestimated* CO2 effect - based on your page. Not that I trust your page, of course. William M. Connolley 21:27, 27 October 2005 (UTC).
that is ONLY when you use modern values for emisivity and albedo in equation (3). The proper stefan boltzmann calculation can be done using this applet: http://home.casema.nl/errenwijlens/co2/sb.htm
And if you'd check other pages on my website, you'd notice that my preferred value for co2 doubling is 1K. http://home.casema.nl/errenwijlens/cooling.htm
Sorry guv, your own pet value is of interest to you but to no-one else, and definitely not to wiki. William M. Connolley 20:33, 29 October 2005 (UTC).
You probably have never heard of the debate in the peer reviewed Spectrochimica and Cosmochimica acta?

http://www.john-daly.com/forcing/hug-barrett.htm

Anyway, I removed my link in the text and changed it to strictly neutral point of view, just stating verifiable facts. Hans Erren 18:06, 28 October 2005 (UTC)

OK, I've modified it further, based on the AIP ref. There is a case for adding something like "of course he made several competing errors" or somesuch. In fact I've added something to that effect. William M. Connolley 20:33, 29 October 2005 (UTC).

I'll agree with the 5 although, table 7 http://home.casema.nl/errenwijlens/co2/table7.gif clearly gives numbers for Wearts european lattitudes 5.5 (summer)to 6.1 (winter) However, Arrhenius writes in 1901 (page 699 bottom):

Nach dem damals [1896] ausgefürten Berechnungen sollte ein sinken des Kohlensäuregehaltes der Luft auf 0,5 eine Temperaturerniedrigung von 5,3 °C entsprechen. Von diesen 5,3 entspringt ein viertel der Wasserdampfabnahme und 4,0° der directen Kohlensäurewirkung, während jetzt 3,2° berechnet wurden. Ebenso würde nach der alten Berechnung dem dreifachen Kohlensäuregehalt der jetzigen eine Temperatursteigerung von etwa 8,2 °C entsprechen, wovon 7° auf die directe Kohlensäurewirkung kämen, was den neuberechneten Wert (7,1°) sehr wohl entspricht. Die neue Berechnung führt demnach zu Ergebnissen die mit denjenigen der alten entweder gänzlich übereinstimmen oder jedenfalls annäherend gleich sind.

In English. A tripling of CO2 including water vapour feedback yields a 8.2 °C temperature increase, or 5.17°C (8.2ln2/ln3) for CO2 doubling, a halving of CO2 including water vapour feedback yields a 5.3 °C temperature decrease. A tripling of CO2 excluding water vapour feedback yields a 7 °C temperature increase, or 4.4°C (7ln2/ln3) for CO2 doubling, a halving of CO2 excluding water vapour feedback yields a 4.0 °C temperature decrease.

The 4 degrees mentioned in "Worlds in the making" is the dry CO2 value. The "somewhat lowered effect" of Weart is only for halving CO2, not for tripling, that is a "somewhat increased effect"(!). Hans Erren 22:33, 30 October 2005 (UTC)

Learning to read[edit]

What is the meaning of the statement, "At the age of three, Arrhenius taught himself to read, despite his parents' wishes"? Is it truly intended to say that his parents didn't desire him to be able to read? Or what is the intent? How can a three-year old teach himself to read if his parents don't wish it? Clearly something is intended here, but it is not clear what. 144.213.253.14 05:57, 16 February 2006 (UTC)


This is a very common phrase, and it seems to be based on a misinterpretation of Arrhenius's biographicqal article in Les Prix Nobel 1903. There Arrhenius claims to have learned how to read without the urging of his parents. So, it was not against their will, but he did it on his own, by listening in when his older brother was being taught how to read. Whether or not this is true is unclear, the only source to the story is Arrhenius himself. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 90.46.239.164 (talk) 15:14, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for the clarification. I have now modified the article to read "without the encouragement of his parents." Dirac66 (talk) 15:40, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Arrhenius' painstaking calculations were later shown to be erroneous...[edit]

The article says Arrhenius' painstaking calculations were later shown to be erroneous. but doesn't justify this in any way William M. Connolley 09:35, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

Nobel naughtiness[edit]

Any truth to this fact?

In 1906, the Nobel committee selected Mendeleev to win the honor, but the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences stepped in and overturned the decision.
Why? The intervention was spearheaded by Swedish chemist Svante Arrhenius, who’d won the chemistry prize in 1903 for his theory of electrolytic dissociation. Mendeleev had been an outspoken critic of the theory, and Arrhenius seized the opportunity as the perfect chance to squeeze a few sour grapes.

http://www.neatorama.com/2007/04/13/sour-grapes-some-of-historys-sorest-losers/

violet/riga (t) 07:26, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

question re formulae[edit]

Can anyone provide me a formula or the various formulae used by different people to calculate the increase in temperature caused by a given increase in atmospheric CO2, with or without allowances for H20? Looking at the results it looks like temperature change might be related to (CO2 conc change)4 Thanks tonyjeffs at tonyjeffs dot com Tonyjeffs 10:11, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

Arrhenius graph[edit]

I have in front of me an "Arrhenius graph" of some electrical cable. Time (hours) is on the vertical axis and Temperature is on the horizontal axis. Any ideas what it means and whether Mr. Arrhenius was responsible? I think its some sort of cable endurance graph. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 66.54.184.254 (talk) 21:22, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

  • This is related to the Arrhenius equation and the Arrhenius plot which both show that for a chemical reaction, the logarithm of the reaction rate is a linear function of the reciprocal absolute temperature (1/T). The endurance time of a cable would presumably be inversely proportional to the rate of its corrosion, so would be also linearly related to (1/T). I think though that this is an extension of Arrhenius' work, not considered by Arrhenius himself.
    And by the way, this article really needs a few lines on the Arrhenius equation, to add to the one brief mention in the intro plus a See Also note. Dirac66 (talk) 21:51, 27 May 2008 (UTC)
    • S-A entries are intended for lks that can't otherwise be fitted into the article. When one appears in the bio box and x2 in-line in the text, it should be deleted as this one has, in the absence of a more specific justification than the one above.
      --Jerzyt 06:03, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
      • Thank you. I wrote the above in 2008, and I think what the article says now on the Arrhenius equation is OK. Dirac66 (talk) 18:26, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

Third class degree[edit]

Svante recieved a third class degree for his Doctoral works, But only after he defended it and it was re-evaluated third class from fourth. This information comes from a lecture in Physcal Chemistry. So sorry but no citation. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 129.11.251.229 (talk) 16:59, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

  • I heard it with both less detail, and more, probably in "Intro to Analytical Chem": That he was rated non sine laude, i.e. "not without honor". A source should be found, but there's a ring of at least near-agreement between those accounts: the Finnish educational system is likely to have been heavily influenced, during Swedish rule, by the Swedish one, and per Latin honors#Use of Latin honors around the world, from which i paraphrase:
    Finnish universities grade Master's theses and Doctoral dissertations as follows:
    * improbatur (I, failing; "not accepted")
    * approbatur (A; "accepted"),
    * lubenter approbatur (B; "willingly accepted"),
    * non sine laude approbatur (N; "not without praise accepted")
    * cum laude approbatur (C; "accepted with praise"),
    * magna cum laude approbatur (M; "accepted with great praise"),
    * eximia cum laude approbatur (E; "accepted with excellent praise") and
    * laudatur (L; "praised").
    The Finnish Matriculation Examinations at the end of the lukio (equivalent to high school) use all of these, with the exception of N (italicized above).
Non sine laude is not typical of the countries covered by the article, but in Finland at the doctoral level it would be 5th from the highest honor; if the Swedish has 1 or 2 fewer levels, it could be either 3rd & 4th from top. (Of course, presumably the Swedish Latin-honors scheme could also have changed in the 125 years since his degree.)
--Jerzyt 06:03, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
Well, it hasn't just changed, the grades (other than pass/fail) for Swedish doctoral degrees were removed about 40 years ago... However, the current statement is probably wrong. In the Swedish system, you always defend your thesis in a public disputation, and I know that one grade was applied to the thesis and another to the oral defence. I believe it fits with what I've heard that Arrhenius got a medicore grade on his thesis (because it was outside the area of interest of the Uppsala physics department), and a good grade on his defence. Some time I could probably dig up some Swedish-language sources that clarify this. Tomas e (talk) 20:06, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

Reference needed for 1906 alleged decrease estimate for CO2[edit]

There's no cite for this: "In 1906 Arrhenius adjusted the value downwards to 1.6 °C (including water vapour feedback: 2.1 °C)." I don't see it in the references either. Did it happen?Brian A Schmidt (talk) 17:38, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

His 1908 book "Worlds in the Making" continues to use 4C, so I'm going to delete this sentence. See [1] at 53.Brian A Schmidt (talk) 03:41, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
The 1906 reference is restored, it is in the reference list, anyway the the 1.2 degree value agrees with the unanimously accepted value for temperature rise for a waterfree co2 doubling. The original swedish version of Worlds in the making was also written in 1906. Hans Erren (talk) 00:24, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
It is in the biography list: Svante Arrhenius, 1906, Die vermutliche Ursache der Klimaschwankungen, Meddelanden från K. Vetenskapsakademiens Nobelinstitut, Vol 1 No 2, pages 1–10 —Preceding unsigned comment added by Hans Erren (talkcontribs) 00:26, 5 August 2009 (UTC)

Wood[edit]

I reverted some additions by an anon [2] largely because the stuff about Woods is clearly wrong. I haven't judged the rest but assumed it was suspect too William M. Connolley (talk) 08:52, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

Why mention Debye and Hückel here?[edit]

"He thus proposed that chemical reactions in solution were reactions between ions. For weak electrolytes this is still believed to be the case, but modifications (by Peter J. W. Debye and Erich Hückel) were found necessary to account for the behavior of strong electrolytes."

What is this supposed to mean? The Debye-Hückel theory predicts the activity coefficients of strong electrolytes, but it does not deny that their chemical reactions occur between ions. Only the quantitative values of their equilibrium constants and concentrations will be affected by non-ideality. I suggest the sentence about Debye and Hückel be removed, unless someone can clarify it. Dirac66 (talk) 18:26, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

No one has answered after 1 month so I will now remove the sentence. Dirac66 (talk) 03:47, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

Paucity of Citations[edit]

This article should include many more citations than it does. I'm surprised it doesn't have a health warning above it.86.181.46.23 (talk) 14:58, 7 August 2011 (UTC)

Place of birth?[edit]

Place of birth can't both be in the vicinity of Uppsala (close to the east coast of Present-day Sweden and in Sogn og Fjordane (a western part of present-day Norway that did belong to Sweden when S.A. was born). As I don't have a reliable reference at hand, I just flag the discrepancy here. I do however suspect that Vik once referred to a now extinct article about the village in Uppland, was deleted due to lack of significance and later replaced with the article about Vik in Sogn, Norway. Rootmoose (talk) 20:26, 26 September 2011 (UTC)

The page Vik (disambiguation) lists six villages named Vik in Norway and one in Southern Sweden. So we need a reliable reference to determine which was his actual birthplace. Dirac66 (talk) 21:01, 26 September 2011 (UTC)

Arrhenius' revision of climate sensitivity[edit]

The article contains the statement:

"In his 1906 publication, Arrhenius adjusted the value downwards to 1.6 °C (including water vapor feedback: 2.1 °C)."

The 1906 publication was "...Världarnas utveckling (1906), German translation: Das Werden der Welten (1907), English translation: Worlds in the Making (1908)"

I have located a copy of Worlds in the Making at http://archive.org/stream/worldsinmakinge00arrhgoog#page/n71/mode/1up/search/half scanned and posted by Google.

But on page 53 Arrhenius says "If the quantity of carbonic acid in the air should sink to one-half its present percentage, the temperature would fall by about 4°; a diminution to one-quarter would reduce the temperature by 8°. On the other hand, any doubling of the percentage of carbon dioxide in the air would raise the temperature of the earth's surface by 4°; and if the carbon dioxide were increased fourfold, the temperature would rise by 8°." just as the article says, with no revised figures.

Do you have a citation for the claim that he adjusted the sensitivity value downwards, please?

UPDATE 2 mins later: I've just noticed the previous question on the same topic. Perhaps I should assume the citation is in the Swedish or German edition. If anyone knows differently I'd appreciate hearing about it.

Thanks, Richard Treadgold. 122.61.169.170 (talk) 09:41, 28 August 2012 (UTC) 122.61.169.170 (talk) 09:45, 28 August 2012 (UTC)