Current CO2 concentration in the atmosphere

Geocronium and zodiacon, indeed

The following quote is from Chapter V, “The Realm of the Air”, in the unintentionally delightful book, Our Country and it Resources. The author of that chapter is C. F. Talman, and the book is copyright 1917 (emphasis added):

Such is the composition of the air for a few miles above the earth, but the proportions of its constituents do not remain the same at higher levels, since the lighter gases extend farther upward than the heavier. Probably there is no water vapor above about 12 miles; no oxygen above about 60 miles, and no nitrogen above about 70 miles. From a level of about 50 miles upward the atmosphere, instead of being “air,” is mostly hydrogen — the lightest known gas. Moreover, at the 50-mile level the atmosphere is less than 1/75,000 as dense as at sea-level; i.e. it is more than seventy-five times as attenuated as the best “vacuum” obtainable with an ordinary mechanical air pump. At 300 miles above the earth it is computed to be about one-two-millionth as dense at sea-level. Ozone, which occurs transiently and in small amounts in the lower atmosphere, is believed to be permanently present and abundant at high levels, where it is formed from oxygen, probably under the influence of ultra-violet light from the sun and of auroral discharges. The existence in the atmosphere of a gas unknown to chemists and lighter than hydrogen has been maintained in some quarters (especially by Dr. Alfred Wegener), and it has been named “geocronium” or “zodiacon”. If present at all, it is presumably the chief constituent of the atmosphere in the upper levels.

Geocronium? Zodiacon? Oy. At least there’s no reference in the book to phlogiston. That would have been really embarrassing.

Upon further reflection, I’m beginning to think that we need to issue a Geocronium Award (or Zodiacon Award?) to the climate change denier who exhibits the biggest apparent departure from reality. The award would have to be given on a highly irregular basis to prevent anyone from, you know, reading too much into cycles. The trophy could be a mayonnaise jar filled with the highest quality balloon juice available, plus a cheap, unframed picture of Monckton using a swastika to defame Ross Garnaut.


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