I have read the new IPCC summary and Ridley's op-eds a number of times now and I want to change my characterization of Ridley’s op-eds. I do not think a negative characterization of Ridley is even close to fair. My original take, based on a careless read, is that he was saying the IPCC was backing off altogether. He didn’t say that, though. He said some elements of the IPCC report would be toned down. What I read (from Ridley and others) is that GW model predictions have typically overstated temperature rise and that he thinks they probably continue to do so. He says that the 2007 report predictions will be scaled back. Reading the IPCC summary, I see Ridley's comments (based on the leaks) are accurate to the extent that I can find the proper references in the summary. To wit, Ridley says they have backed off blaming extreme weather on AGW, the IPCC summary report (page 7, Table SPM.1) says blaming AGW for more intense cyclones and drought ... is “low probability”. Ridley notes that temperature increases have basically leveled off for roughly fifteen years. The IPCC summary agrees: (page 15, Paragraph D.1, second lines) “There are differences between simulated and observed trends over periods as short as 10 to 15 years (e.g., 1998 to 2012)).
As I reread his op-eds, I don't see any claims that are unreasonable or intentionally deceitful. He accepts AGW. He is not an alarmist, though, and that is perhaps a sin? Ridley is clearly not someone who think AGW will likely be a disaster in the next few decades, but he appears to me to be an honest man with a well-informed opinion. He may be wrong, but I do not believe he has an agenda beyond what he sees as sensible. I think to insinuate that his writing is akin to Yoga-flying is a cheap shot that is not accurate. He is not a denier—as a matter of fact, I think most people who are labeled “deniers” aren't deniers at all; they are just not as alarmist as those who accept the current thoughts of the political winds wish they were. In one of his op-eds, Ridley even acknowledges that catastrophic change IS possible.
I must note that at least one IPCC member, Richard Tol, an economist from the Netherlands and a professor at the University of Sussex in England, has resigned from the IPCC because he believes the report is too alarmist.
Regarding the general tendency of some, I object strenuously to labeling anyone with a view that deviates from the “catastrophe” consensus as a “denier” or a liar. I think the tendency of “alarmists” (sorry for the generalization) to demonize those who don’t fall in line has been a major contributor to the huge fault line that runs through the GW controversy. Again, I default to my experience with creationists (defined as people who think the universe is roughly 6,000 years old). The science here is unequivocal. It's virtually all fields of science, from physics to astronomy to genetics to chemistry, not just evolution, which makes creationists clearly and absolutely wrong. But, they are not evil, nor are they necessarily stupid. They have a fundamental belief that simply cannot be swayed. It's far, far beyond my understanding, but I have long ago ceased thinking of them as simple idiots. Same thing with folks whose political views are incomprehensible to me. (Nonetheless, I am still frustrated that people don't recognize the fundamental rule that being reasonable means seeing it my way! :«) )
A quick aside, (Rick), if the goal of climate models is to show “major change” (I don't think it is, those are your words), then that is itself is misguided. The whole point of modeling is to predict the future, whatever it is, not to predict “major change”.
It seems to me that politics is the one aspect of human activity where those who disagree with us are “evil” and the GW controversy has unfortunately become politicized. Our politicians—from both sides—encourage these extreme bi-polar views. You never hear Coke/Toyota/McDonalds/WalMart describing Pepsi/GM/Burger King/K-Mart as evil. With a few notable exceptions, even religions don't claim that hatred toward other believers is proper. But pretty much all politicians encourage their followers to despise and ridicule the opposition, who are either money grubbers or socialists, baby killers or woman haters, war mongers or pacifists who will destroy the country, right wing Nazi Koch brothers or commie George Soros, and on and on. They would have us think that, at best, they (the opposition) are misguided, ignorant fools. Whatever one’s views, can one really believe that roughly half of our population is idiots and the other half rational, intelligent folks?
I fall back to the question: What do we do about AGW? We have AGW and its long term effects and the future degree is unknown. In the short term, we are not going to scale back to the point where human activities are negligible with respect to CO2 production, no matter how much that sounds like a noble idea. It is not how the world works and virtually no one will voluntarily accept the extreme deprivation that it would entail. A carbon tax, based on my understanding, will not reduce CO2 emissions enough to matter (pardon my snide comment, but Al Gore will continue to flit around the world, live in oversized homes, and generally far exceed a reasonable carbon footprint while buying carbon offsets. Maybe we can just all buy carbon offsets and plant more trees?). CO2 increases are, I am convinced, unavoidable for several decades—China has been, and is, installing gigawatt coal plants at the rate of one per week. I have no idea what India, Africa, South America, and other parts of the world are doing, but they're not installing wind mills and solar panels on a significant scale. What we need to do is start using technologies that produce less CO2. Natural gas is here, it's cheap, and it's half the CO2 production of coal. Nukes can start helping in ten years or so—they take forever to permit and build. Continue research into all alternatives. Solar is getting significantly cheaper, but it, and wind, are currently still expensive. In addition to the costs of their own installation, they require a back-up power plant that can cover essentially 100% of expected demand for windless/cloudy days and lightless nights. That means a coal/nuclear/natural gas/hydro facility at full cost. Solar and wind are a plus for reducing CO2 production, but they’re a big hit to the wallet. In the real world, wallets matter.
One more thing—I occasionally read commentary on various sites like CNN, Fox, MSN, WSJ, NYT, and others. In general, the debate here in DG is far, far more civilized than it is on any of those other websites. Congrats to all!!!
Again nobody is discussing the causes of the changes in climate this planet has seen over milenia and if any of these natural phenomena are responsible for what we have currently seen.
Other than a very hot year in 2010 temperatures have been holding steady or slightly cooling in the last 16 years. If CO2 or any other "greenhouse gas" is causing the warming...it would be warming in proportion to the increase in concentration of the greenhouse gas. This is what the climate scientists believe which is why they have continued to predict rising temperatures with rising CO2. The problem is that despite rising CO2 the temperatures are not rising. In my opinion this is a serious weakness in their theory. There are factors regulating temperatures much stronger than CO2 and it doesnt seem like they are interested in those other factors and nobody seems to be talking about them.
I guess only time will tell. If we start to see some cooling over a longer period of time it will be interesting to see how the climate scientists explain this despite rising CO2 levels.
I saw on TV today a short blurb about an organization, Non Governmental Organization of Climate Change, NGOINCC or something like that. It is a group of Scientests that have prepared an analysis of the recent report by the UN Scientests. It is sponsored by something called the Heartland Institute.
They contend that the Temperature changes are well within the normal variations, so it sounds like a Professional version of what we have been doing here.
Of course the True Believers are denouncing the new analysis of the recent UN report, as beingg conducted by a bunch of old retired has beens, but retired can also mean a man with a lot of actual experience that no longer has to sing the song his Boss chooses for him to sing.
I am sure we will be seeinig and hearing more about this.
EZRA KLEIN is a liberal Columnist for the Washington Post, a liberal newspaper. I do not know who Kahan is.
Klein goes on to describe another Kahan study by the same researcher that reached the same conclusion:
"He tested people's scientific literacy alongside their ideology and then asked about the risks posed by climate change. If the problem was truly that people needed to know more about science to fully appreciate the dangers of a warming climate, then their concern should've risen alongside their knowledge. But here, too, the opposite was true: among people who were already skeptical of climate change, scientific literacy made them more skeptical of climate change".
This is a more complete report on the Counter AGW report from the UN. I saw this on Fox News Online, and for Radical Liberals that think Fox is biased, i would like to point out how carefully they present both sides. I also watch Liberal News sources and the balance is seldom discernible.
A U.N.-commissioned panel says climate change is hurting the growth of crops, affecting the quality of water supplies and forcing wildlife to change the way it lives – but what if it’s all just smoke and mirrors?
A new report from the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), written by an international collection of scientists and published by the conservative Heartland Institute, claims just that, declaring that humanity's impact on climate is not causing substantial harm to the Earth.
“All across the planet, the historical increase in the atmosphere’s CO2 concentration has stimulated vegetative productivity,” reads a portion of the 1,063-page report, called “Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts.” “This observed stimulation, or greening of the Earth, has occurred in spite of many real and imagined assaults on Earth’s vegetation, including fires, disease, pest outbreaks, deforestation and climatic change.”
The Heartland Institute says more than 30 scientists served as authors and reviewers for the new report, which it claims cites more than 1,000 peer-reviewed studies supporting the belief that climate change is not detrimental to the biosphere. The Heartland Institute describes itself as a think tank promoting public policy "based on individual liberty, limited government and free markets."
The panel of scientists says human impact on the global climate is small, changing temperatures are within a historic scope of temperature variables and there is no net harm to human health of the production of food.
The findings are a stark contrast to the messages from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which in a report released last week concluded that in many regions of the earth, changing precipitation and melting snow are altering hydrological systems, which negatively impact the quantity of water resources.
The IPCC’s report also states that climate change is forcing terrestrial, freshwater and marine species to shift their geographical ranges and migration patterns.
But the Heartland Institute says the scientific community is under tremendous financial and peer pressure to reach the conclusion that global industry is damaging the environment.
“Ethical standards have been lowered, peer review has been corrupted, and we can’t trust peers in our most prestigious journals anymore,” Joe Bast, President and CEO of Heartland Institute, told Fox News.
However, scientists are questioning the credibility of the NIPCC’s findings.
Donald Wuebbels, a professor of atmospheric science at the University of Indiana Champaign Urbana, says the report is not peer-reviewed.
“Mostly it’s a bunch of old, retired guys that got together and wrote a report for the Heartland Institute that is basically full of misinformation,” he told Fox News.
The Heartland Institute, which is going to publicly roll out the report Wednesday in Washington, D.C., insists that it is peer-reviewed.
Meanwhile, government officials and top climate scientists are meeting in Berlin this week to approve a draft U.N. study on fossil fuel emissions.
The study asserts that world powers are running out of time to cut their use of high-polluting fossil fuels and stay below agreed limits on global warming, according to Reuters.
The study says nations will have to make drastic pullbacks of greenhouse gas emissions to limit global warming to less than 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit over pre-industrial times.
The draft study outlines ways to cut emissions and boost low-carbon energy, such as nuclear and solar power, Reuters reports.
"One should exercise the same caution in believing those who support one's beliefs as one does in believing those who contradict them"
GG, You are absolutely correct and the only thing i would add is that we should probably use even more caution when considering what we believe from those that support us. The best chance we have to increase our knowledge is to keep an open mind and consider everything that both sides present..
I keep reading everything you post looking for proof that GMO has harmed people, and when you post the proof, i will believe it and change my stance. The claims from both sides have to meet standards of common sense and overall cost benefit analysis to convince me.
Here's some food for thought about how personally difficult it will be to reduce out energy consumption. According to the documentary "Pandora's Promise", the typical cell phone consumes about as much energy as a typical refrigerator once you consider all of the supporting equipment like cell towers, servers, and such. I would guess a computer consumes a lot more.
To truly reduce carbon release enough to turn AGW around will require sacrifice beyond our imaginations.
" To truly reduce carbon release enough to turn AGW around will require sacrifice beyond our imagination.."
I fully agree, or I agree" to reduce fossil fuel consumption enough to stop adding COS to the atmosphere...beyond our imagination."
We went down to DC to the Cherry Blossom festival. We did not go until 4 pm Sunday, avoiding the peak of crowds but it was still unbelievable hordes, absolute throngs of people everywhere. Mind boggling numbers of people. It was a beautiful spring day. All those people, expending plenty of energy just to get to that area from miles around and see stuff and mess around and drink zillion of bottle of water and eat junk food from trucks. The trash! Incredible.
And does anyone think they will gently persuade these people to stop drinking from single use bottles, stop going to the park on a whim, stop using their cell phones everywhere they go, stop buying food from trucks that have to sit and run compressors...
On the plus side, there were stands for a bicycle-share program, and some people using bikes, and most of the people down there had to use mass transit to get there for some of their trip.
The article is talking aboutCoastal Erosion for the most part, which is an entirely different situtaion, and a serious one in its own right.
The only mention i noticed about rising sea levels was just a reference to the "melting arctic ice" which has reversed itself and increased recently.
I was at the Long Beach CA, Marina yesterday, where i have kept my boat for the last 50 years. It is surrounded by vertical sea walls, and the floating docks are accessed by Gangways attached to the seawalls with wheels on the docks to accomodate tidal changes.
Any rise in sealevel would be apparent as the gangways would no longer be level at the highest tides. But they have not made any apparent change in the fifty years i have been there.
The Marina infrastructure was just recenlty rebuilt at a cost of many Millions of dollars and no change was made in the height of the sea walls, so they apparently expect the Sea levels to not increase much in the next fifty years, either.
I come to the same conclusions you do regarding that article. Coastal erosion is a very serious problem as well as some areas that are sinking in elevation...neither of which are are caused by climate change or rising sea levels. Sea levels have risen slightly as we have previously documented but so far not enough to match all the hype that has been talked about over the last few years. We are talking a few inches in over a 100 years...even if they continued to rise at the same pace over the next hundred years a few more inches would cause very little problems in most of the US. If we had to prioritize all of the dangers facing humanity...ocean level is not our greatest threat.
>> There are factors regulating temperatures much stronger than CO2
My belief is that the very long-term effects will do what they do while added CO2 adds a few degrees to their effects - at least, for a while, where that "while" might be decades or centuries. .
If there is an interaction between (say) changed temperature gradients, clouds, or the deep-ocean thermo-haline circulation and the forces that drive Ice Ages and interglacials - that would cause an abrupt change into some [u]new[/u] climate regime like an "ultra-inter-glacial period" that is yet another uncharted hazard that might mitigate or devastate.
The changed CO2 levels are like a brick through a plate glass window, except that the window is the planet's climate, and we've never seen the effect of a brick like this before. Roll them dice!
>> I guess only time will tell.
True, but unfortunately, for some of the really long cycles, "time" is measured in tens of thousands of years. This little Keeling Experiment we're in the middle of seems very unlikely to go even 1,000 more years before 9 BILLION tons of CO2 added to the atmosphere has irreversible effects.
The most optimistic thing I can take away so far from the discussion of the IPCC leaks and summary is that the evidence for super-cyclonic storms and chaotic weather changes in the next 10-20 years is weaker than it was 7 years ago. That's good news, but it doesn't change the Keeling Curve:
>> If CO2 supposedly traps heat or absorbs heat by preventing it from escaping back in space according to the greenhouse effect...why doesnt it prevent or trap heat on its way in?
Solar radiation coming in is of all frequencies, with a lot (I think) in the visible-yellow range. A lot of the UV and IR in sunlight do get absorbed on the way in.
[u]Reflected[/u] light is around the same spectrum as hit the ground, IF the reflecting ice, snow or sand is light-colored.
Darker surfaces absorb many different wavelengths and get warmer.
Warm surfaces emit light with the peak low in the IR (they RE-RADIATE almost all infrared). Most RE-RADIATED energy is IR, not visible or UV because the earth's surface is much cooler than the Sun's chromosphere.
Nothing except for volcanic and fires are hot enough to re-radiate anything but low frequency IR.
It's that RE-RADIATED IR that the greenhouse effect is all about.
As for incoming IR being absorbed by increased CO2, I believe that that "incoming greenhouse effect" would be for the energy to be absorbed at [b]higher altitudes[/b] than in the past. How will that effect the atmosphere and climate as the CO2 accumulates? Climate modeling is trying to predict that before it's too late to fix.
The upper atmosphere used to be very cold, and increasing CO2 concentrations would (it seems to me) alter the altitude/temperature gradient of the atmosphere. What effect will that have on weather, climate, clouds, and latitude/gradient of temperature? Will India and the tropics become literally uninhabitable? Or will the mid-latitudes absorb more of the energy? Or the poles? Not knowing that alarms me.
That kind of question is what climate science is trying to predict before it is too late to do anything about it.
Good point about solar activity and orbital eccentricity and a few other factors causing NON-anthropogenic global climate change. That was a very good answer to the comment "if global warming is happening, why did we have a cold winter?"
IF we are looking at a long-term random NON-anthropogenic [b]cooling[/b] trend combined with AGW having an overall effect of looking flat or cooling at this time,
when the long-term trend turns around and the two effects add up to double-heating instead of canceling out,
I expect a lot of people will come around to the idea that we should have panicked and started working on this really hard 35 years ago.
>> Ridley says they have backed off blaming extreme weather on AGW, the IPCC summary report (page 7, Table SPM.1) says blaming AGW for more intense cyclones and drought ... is “low probability”.
That would be really good news, if the leaks are representative and being reported accurately and the IPCC is right. If the main effect of AGW / ACC is only long-term gradual effects, we might be able to adapt until we can reverse the trend of dumping 9 million more tons of carbon into the atmosphere every year.
>> I think most people who are labeled “deniers” aren't deniers at all; they are just not as alarmist as ...
I think I should still be called "alarmist" even if were convinced there will be few RAPID and MAJOR changes in the near future (say, 20 years). 90 million tons per decade, almost a billion tons per 100 years ... I do find that very alarming, because it seems extremely implausible that the atmosphere and climate could possibly absorb that much CO2 without huge changes.
Whether a catastrophe occurs in 20 years or 100 years makes little difference to me, since the cure is getting harder every year we make things worse. If we don't see undeniable damage for 100 years, it will be even more likely to be unfixable.
>> the tendency of “alarmists” (sorry for the generalization) to demonize those who don’t fall in line
I still don't understand HOW anyone could look at the Keeling Curve, even back in 1980, and NOT immediately conclude that the long-term health of human civilization depends on finding a way to turn it around. (And it sure will be very hard to do!)
I realize that many people, including intelligent and un-biased people are still not wetting their pants. Honestly: that puzzles me. The keeling Curve looks exactly like every other exponential-growth curve I've ever seen, right before the text describes "and then the population crashes and most of the culture dies". But those were usually bacteria or lemmings, and we're supposed to be smarter than they are.
>> A quick aside, (Rick), if the goal of climate models is to show “major change” (I don't think it is, those are your words), then that is itself is misguided. The whole point of modeling is to predict the future, whatever it is, not to predict “major change”.
Sorry for mis-representing my beliefs. Of course the goal is to find the truth. At most I should have said "to find out whether the major changes that seem inevitable to me, are really inevitable, and when they will happen if they happen, and how to reverse them if they can still be reversed).
It's NOT my goal to produce falsehoods for propagandist purposes.
Pure science might be equally interested in quirky interim details or eventual outcomes, but if I'm in a boat that probably has a big hole in the bottom, I want to know whether that hole is real or imagined [u]before[/u] there is too much water in the hull to pump it out.
Or put it another way: if a bullet MIGHT be speeding toward my head, a major goal for me would be to detect WHETHER there was a bullet, and whether there might be serious damage when and if it drills through my brain. And which way to duck, if ducking is still possible.
>> What do we do about AGW?
That is the best question of all. Almost anything we can improve that doesn't have draconian effects on prosperity seems likely to be a big economic improvement in the direction of sustainability. But what?
What can be agreed upon as worth doing now, while researchers argue about whether "floods and famine" are likely in 20 years, 200 years or (if you have a really vivid and optimistic imagination), 500 years.
>> we are not going to scale back to the point where ...
>> It is not how the world works and virtually no one will voluntarily accept the extreme deprivation ...
>> China has been, and is, installing gigawatt coal plants
>> To truly reduce carbon release enough to turn AGW around will require sacrifice beyond our imaginations.
I totally agree, with our existing technologies, including fear of fission power.
But it still baffles me that almost no one except "environmentalists" and "Greenies" or sustainaholics shows any concern about their grandchildren. Sixty years from now, we will have pumped another 540 or 600 million tons of CO2 into the air, and some people are saying with a straight face that they aren't worried?
Picking a number out of my hat, China might quadruple it's current CO2 output before reaching the same per-capita emission rate as the USA. Maybe in 15-20 years it will be 12 million tons of CO2 per year.
The mega-Keeling Curve only looks like it is going straight up. On the fine scale, you can see that it is still inflected upwards: not just getting worse eevry year, but getting worse FASTER every year.
>> start using technologies that produce less CO2.
True, that is a first step, at the "engineering" level. So is "efficiency". Fission reactors and a fission fuel cycle that re-uses wastes for energy instead of weaponizing them or burying them.
Energy storage and transport.
Greatly more efficient solar cells.
Solar power satellites?
Keep working on fusion power but don;'t bet the farm on getting it when we need it.
I didn't realize that natural gas was so much more efficient! Is that because the H becomes H2O instead of CO2?
Geo-engineering tests. (Small-scale experiments so that we have a clue about what might work or evidence about what won't work when governments panic and want to try "anything".)
I think that INVENTING technologies that produce energy without as much CO2 is also necessary. I am alarmed that we've deferred major investment in that for 35 years already.
Yes it is the way the world works, but maybe that's also a way for sentient, industrialized species to destroy their civilization and chop their population down by a large factor.
Reducing "unnecessarily excessive" consumption might eventually become the only way to prevent what I think is the obvious eventual outcome (catastrophic AGW and CC, whether it comes on slow and steady or fast and chaotic).
Agreeing on what "unnecessarily excessive consumption" IS, or trying to convince people to do anything about it, is a political / social solution that won't even be attempted until catastrophic change is undeniably visible everywhere (if then).
>> many of the things you state that i said or think are not mine. They are YOUR idea of what i was thinking or what you imagine i was thinking or things that you accuse me of thinking or saying.
Rick--Very glad you see you back. I had planned on dropping out of this thread like I did the GMO thread, but seeing your very sensible comments leads me to think I'd like to keep going on CC. I am in your camp more than you might think, but am also somewhat a skeptic (of certain doom, not that fact of CO2 being a GH gas or of AGW effects) and I am very confused, too. I hope to have some half way intelligent thoughts in the next couple of days.
I love the Pacific NW--I was born in Wallace, Idaho and still think of piney woods and clear streams/lakes as what "heaven" must be like. My wife and I spent a week in Seattle in about 1999 and loved it. We never even got rained on!!! I have a cousin in Everett.
It must have been summer! I love the mild summers, except for when I'm trying to grow tomatoes.
>> I have a cousin in Everett.
I live in an un-encorporated district between Everett and Lynnwood. Perhaps because there are no local "town cops", the main road I live on is saturated with massage parlors, medical cannabis dispensaries and "bikini baristas" I do like the bikini baristas.
>> I am in your camp more than you might think, but am also somewhat a skeptic (of certain doom, not that fact of CO2 being a GH gas or of AGW effects) and I am very confused, too.
I sound somewhat hysterical to myself, on this thread, but those are my sincere beliefs.
CERTAIN doom goes a little far. We don't know how climate works in enough detail to be certain of anything.
POSSIBLY we'll get lucky and all the heat will go into a certain kind of cloud formation at just the right latitude and altitude to cancel out most of the changes, and possibly agronomists will figure out what can grow where and how to handle all the changes in pests and insects before many refugees starve.
If that happens AND world leaders manage to avoid stumbling into large and small wars during the period of flux, I'll have to admit that God passed a miracle as obvious as a big billboard proclaiming that no matter HOW stupid we are, He, She or They aren't going to LET us kill ourselves until they finish whatever game they're playing.
I agree that we are quicker to demonize people with "wrong" political beliefs than for most other reasons. And (maybe) quicker to come to hard-held certainty about political beliefs than any other kind.
In my own defense, I was completely convinced of the seriousness of AGW the first time I saw the mini-Keeling Curve, in Oceanus in the 1980s. That was before I heard any politicized version of it, and at a time when most of my family demonized me for being "so conservative".
I was just a nerd, saw the Keeling Curve, and knew that in 100 or 200 years, the same curve would appear in textbooks, perhaps hand-draw on deer skins, with the caption "this is how those short-sighted ba$tard$ destroyed civilization".
If we DON'T get into chaotic weather changes and heat-pumped-up hurricanes, the "catastrophe" that I [u]expect[/u] is deferred for multiple decades and might occur gradually enough to be less of a catastrophe and more like a less habitable planet with half the population, expensive food and many refugee problems.
It baffles me that we buy car insurance against the 0.1% risk of losing some tens of thousands of dollars, but are cavalier about a 1%, 5%, 10%, 30% or 70% chance of making the planet semi-habitable.
It seems to me that even a 0.001% chance of damaging the climate that we depend on for crops "ought" to have people running in circles in panic.
And the fact that we have no idea how to solve the problem "ought" to have people hyperventilating - or at least willing to bite the bullet and "do what it takes" to save the world for their grandchildren.
But that seems not to be how most people think.
Is it just that "it hasn't happened in the past so it never will happen?"
Or does it seem too much like science fiction to take seriously?
Or is everything that sounds anti-industrial or anti-consumerism filed under "radical liberal hippy dippy anti-American lies" and disbelieved automatically?
Probably something else entirely, but it puzzles me.
RC '' It baffles me that we buy car insurance against the 0.1% risk of losing some tens of thousands of dollars, but are cavalier about a 1%, 5%, 10%, 30% or 70% chance of making the planet semi-habitable.''
Human are neverendingly irrational and emotional in their decision making. They even DRIVE those cars, with much greater risk of accident, but fear airplane crashes, with much less percentage of incidents.
Run in circles in panic over a .0001 percent chance of disaster? Many millions of people have died over famines caused by poor economic/ political policies, long before we thought about climate.
I say again- I cannot tell "the world" what to do, how to live their lives. US gov't can't. Who's going to tell the newly prosperous Chinese people that they cannot have electricity now because we've all decided to go back to the stone age? After we Americans have partied it up for a hundred years? Besides, we Americans know that we on the top of the world heap, if it becomes semi habitable, it's the 'other half ' that will suffer before we do.
>> Human are never endingly irrational and emotional in their decision making.
>> I cannot tell "the world" what to do,
Yup, but many countries seem more willing to try something to decrease at least the rate of increase. China, no. My thought is that, if most countries agree on something that's somewhat effective, part of THAT agreement would be economic boycotts of countries that don't sign and comply.
But to be "somewhat effective", it would probably be HUGELY intrusive on our consumer culture and probably add a lot of costs to many things. And/or create jobs. And/or stimulate the economy. And/or create new technologies.
>> It's not the "other half" that will suffer; the masses in China and India are used to doing without electricity and the other amenities
I'm not sure how that would play out. I think people living in the tropics, and Third World countries generally will be hurt worst by climate change, whether it is long-term gradual warming or near-term crop loss through extra-variable weather or worse monsoons and hurricanes. We will have higher food prices, they will have famines. And making a 95-105 degree summer 5 degrees hotter will kill more crops and people than making an 80-90 degree summer 5 degrees hotter.
And who gets hurt most by treaties that try to decrease emissions depends totally on the treaty terms. For sure rich countries will bemoan loudest having to cut back to 1-2 cars per family, more efficient cars, and who knows ... caps on air conditioning? More expensive electrical power?
If India and China have to increase their standard of living slower than they would have otherwise ... like barely enough food and one cell-phone charger per village instead of enough food and ten cell phone chargers per village ... that still seems to me "hurt worse" than us scaling back from Hummers to Kias.
But that really IS politically charged. I would rather try to understand 3-D global climate models than international politics and ethics.
Because I am so pro-science and pro-technology, "if I were King of the World", I would invest in several advanced technologies and hope those "saved us". But I might be over-optimistic about that.
And I would invest in tests of several "geo-engineering schemes. I think that would infuriate almost everyone, on many sides of many issues.
I would also invest in space industries (a path to solar power satellites and beamed power as well as orbital "sunshade" possibilities) because I think that closed systems have intrinsic limits and we are hitting ours. I think that's also a minority opinion.
Willy, assuming a scenario in which a lot of our supply systems break down due to the impacts of severe weather and climate change, I have read speculations that it's the First World societies which will feel the impact most. The Third World is used to making do with very little and can live without the extensive support systems we rely on and which may falter in the future due to lack of access to food and/or water and fuels. I thought it was an interesting idea but I don't insist on it.
OK, so here is the way I am thinking about the AGW situation. IF we burn ANY fossil fuel, we are adding to AGW. Period. Estimates vary a bit, but it seems like an accurate statement to say that over 80% of the energy used worldwide comes from fossil fuels. So, for Joe or Jane AverageWorldCitizen, he or she needs to cut his or her energy consumption by 80%. This explains Muller's claim that even following Kyoto to the letter doesn't solve the problem. Think about all of your energy expenditures—heating and cooling, driving, cooking, electronic devices like cell phones, TV, the Internet, vacations, pumping water, yada, yada, yada (for a chuckle, do you remember Elaine from Seinfeld saying she had yada yada’ed sex?). What are you going to give up to meet that target? Switching to a Prius won’t hack it. What about the world’s really poor—they probably can’t cut back nearly that much, so you need to do even better than 80%.
The above is maybe a bit simplistic, but it seems to me to be a darned good first approximation of the situation. Please, someone, show me where I’m grossly wrong. Ernie—I agree with you that the poor of the world will pay the larger price for not joining the modern world and that no amount of prior hunger or other aspect of poverty makes today’s or tomorrow’s suffering more palatable or easy.
Just for fun, I ran a rough calculation to estimate the cost of putting mirrors in space. Here are my assumptions. 1) The cost per pound to get into orbit will be $100 (it is currently $10,000 per pound) and 2) that $100 also includes the cost of materials and manufacture. 3) We need to provide shade for only 2% of the total area (at a 4,200 mile radius). 4) The radius of orbit is the aforementioned 4,200 miles. 5) Each square yard of mirror weighs 1 pound—including framework, reflecting material, the launch vehicle itself, astronaut assemblers, etc. The cost turns out to be $137 trillion.
A sad fact: the budget for this year for the National Ignition Facility—the folks in the Bay area trying to make fusion work—was cut by $50 million. Senator Feinstein is an advocate of the cuts because NIF hasn’t met its goals. Most of the cuts will be in the form of personnel reductions. Fusion would be clean and abundant if we could make it work. Essentially zero CO2 emissions, no radioactivity, no air pollution. But, our feckless leaders are cutting the budget for further research—and adding to the ranks of the unemployed. What priority beats energy independence and a solution to AGW?
I think we all agree that it is possible AGW can cause tremendous problems in the distant future if nothing happens to change it. But that has simply not yet been proven.
Willy and others have laid out some sound reasons why any solutions that have been thought of to date simply are too expensive for the global economy to afford, and that seems to be proven on the face of it.
But the Seismologists tell us that it is almost certain that the Continental Shelf on both the East and West coasts of North America are going to slide into deep water, taking a good part of the Coastal developments with it. That of course will create huge Tsunamis that will wreak havoc on both the Asian and European Coastal developments, and such a huge destruction of infrastructure will reduce both the production and the consumption of fossil fuels, which will reduce the danger of AGW tremendously.
If the Continental shelves do not save us from AGW by sliding into deep water as forecast, then we still have the Vulcanologists Predictions to save us, as they are predicting many more Volcanic eruptions from Iceland to Washington State, Hawaii and all around the Pacific Rim. If those eruptions happen as expected, the Ash and Gas in the atmosphere will block the sun for several years, as Krakatoa did, and surely slow down AGW.
And if the Seismologists and the Vulcanologists are both wrong, then we still have the information posted by Drobarr, regarding the cooling effect as the Earth moves away from the Sun.. That will delay the AGW disaster for a while, giving the Seismologists and Vulcanologists a little more time to hi their forecasts.
Now, if all of the above fails to protect us from the AGW, we have one last hope. There has not yet been found any cure for either Ebola or Sars, and they may turn into an epidemic that will drastically reduce our Global population and give us some more time for some unforeseen catastrophe to develop that will slow down or forestall the AGW.
So, I hope that everyone will take comfort from all of these other problems that may very well save us from AGW.
I still do not see any viable solution that will protect us from GMOs, but as soon as we can find some proven damage, we will then have something to work with to develop an antidote.
The amount of warming that climate scientists are predicting will be beneficial to plants. The temperatures they predict will increase moisture in the atmosphere. This will enhance agricultural production in most places.
But again what they have predicted hasn't happened. And I doubt they can predict the future with much accuracy as many factors affect climate.
I am optimistic that we can successfully adapt to whatever changes happen.
Even with the fluctuating climate and weather patterns we have seen over the last 100 years...never have we had such a more stable and reliable food supply as we have today even as we have added billions.
Yes I read it, and the main thing i got from it is a reminder that personal conflicts of interest are one of the hardest things for people to handle.
While the fellow does seem to be a Republican, he also has several patents in the Renewable Energy Field, so it is only natural that he wants to see more Green Energy, and more income from his patents, and less Fossil Fuels, and that apparently has made him a proponent of Carbon Control and a believer in AGW.
His reason for his bias was so obvious i did not bother to comment.
That must be your point of view as it is certainly not mine. I did not address whether he should be believed or not. I am sure you believed what he said before you read his article, which is fine with me.
Generally speaking, the hysteria about AGW is in conflict with the general Republican belief, along with 60% of the American people, who are sketical.
The conflict of interest arises when he purports to be a conservative but espouses the liberal mantra that will enhance the profits from his patents.
If that is not clear enough i will give you another example. A man that claims he is against the Death Penalty, but is in the business of Making and selling Electric Chairs to Prisons to be used to execute people clearly has a conflict of interest.
Of course there's a conflict in your example, but in that case the individual isn't attempting to alleviate a perceived danger to society but simply to make a product that he's hoping to sell. To me there's no conflict here; although it's difficult to be sure from the article, I suspect the person went into the field he entered because he felt that there would be a definite need for it in the future and he wanted to meet that need. If climate change isn't a problem his enterprises won't be particularly lucrative regardless of how many people he convinces with his comments. And he acknowledges that the Republican party line is to deny climate change; his point is that not all Republicans agree.
Now what about the people who want to tax solar installations because they have huge investments in fossil fuel; there's a conflict for you.
This is getting too far out in the weeds from my comment about the conflict of interests.
The tenets of the Republican Party are in direct conflict with the beliefs of the Warmies.
So, if a person claims to believe and support both sides, whenever he supports the interests of one side, He will be acting in direct conflict with the interests of the other side.
There is NOTHING WRONG with him inventing things that will reverse AGW, nor taking money for doing that. But if he supports the interests of Warmies, contrary to the interests of Republican tenets, he is in a CONFLICT OF INTEREST. I cannot state it any plainer than that, so this is all I have to say on this point.
The reason i did not comment on your posted link after reading it was to avoid these pointless little wrangles, and i regret responding to your query asking if anyone had read the link you posted.
Take a little wider, or deeper perspective on your question. What makes a Republican?
Mostly being of conservative bent, requiring at least a little bit of proof before paying an outrageous price for something, more inclined to using logic and common sense rather than drinking Koolaid prepaed by an eloquent speaker, etc., etc.
Since about sixty percent of the population are not true believers, obviously there are many non-Republicans that are also skeptics. Speaking only for myself, but with the belief that many other skeptics likely feel the same way, most of us are waiting for more proof than is offered by the Keeling Curve projections. Once i see some proof, then i will become a believer, as i am very easily swayed by Facts. The only true value in Plans and Beliefs is they serve as a platform from which to change as conditions warrant.
So, my reply, if the above is not sufficient, is the personal experiences that incline a person to be a conservative also incline that person to be skeptical about the current variations in temperature being solely caused, or reversible by, puny little humans.
I am certainly reluctant to enter into a debate with a man or your knowledge and research skills, but hit me again if this does not answer your question.
>> needs to cut his or her energy consumption by 80%.
Space mirrors: Like most proposed space industries, it only "works" if you assume that there is significant industry in space already. We don't have any practical (affordable) way to lift significant weight into low Earth orbit.
"Something" has to pay for the original space industry, like solar power satellites. Smelters on the Moon, or asteroidal mines supplying metal and oxygen to low earth orbit.
My straw man design for geoengineering "space mirrors" would be aluminum or nickle-iron "balloons" blown from molten asteroidal metal, or maybe a metal film sprayed onto thin glass balloons.
I think that everyone except aging L5 "space colony" enthusiasts would agree with Willy and Sally that "space mirrors" are impractical (at this time, with existing technology). I've wished for more investment in space industry since the mid-1970s.
P.S. I think the best argument AGAINST most geoengineering schemes is not that "we can't afford to save the planet". Rather, we don't know enough about climate and ecology to predict the unwanted consequences of global-scale interventions.
That's why I think we should be doing small-scale tests of several geoengineering schemes as soon as possible. We also don't know enough about climate to rule out some unknown interaction that COULD lead to some positive feedback "tipping point" that might suddenly make even risky geoengineering schemes look better than doing nothing.
Ric- " That's why I think we should be doing small-scale tests of several geoengineering schemes as soon as possible. We also don't know enough about climate to rule out some unknown interaction that COULD lead to some positive feedback "tipping point" that might suddenly make even risky geoengineering schemes look better than doing nothing.
we can't even agree om what the data means to this point. How can we possibly agree on whether there is a good or bad effect from any particular small scale project?
The one thing I saw in photographs (visible and quantifiable) was a project putting blankets on polar snowfields to stop them melting. Sorry I don't remember any associated statements about the effectiveness demonstrated.
>> a project putting blankets on polar snowfields to stop them melting.
Hmm. For that to work, wouldn't the blankets have to reflect even more sunlight than snow does?
>> How can we possibly agree on whether there is a good or bad effect from any particular small scale project?
I would agree that we don't understand climate and ecology in enough detail to predict the overall, long term effect of small or large geoengineering efforts.
And I agree that the immediate effects of even small-scale tests may be surprisingly bad (or good).
And whenever you try to scale up from small tests, you encounter surprises.
But small scale tests ought to be able to answer questions like these:
In ocean fertilization, does the source of iron stay near the surface long enough to have the desired results? And test different ways to keep it floating.
In ocean fertilization, how much captured carbon sinks deep and how long does it STAY deep?
In ocean fertilization, how long can "blooms" be made to last?
In creating stratospheric reflecting aerosols -
- how long do they stay up?
- how to make them stay up longer
- can we confine them to certain latitudes if we need to?
- what are the most obvious, immediate unwanted side effects?
What the heck can we do to affect cloud formation and stability?
What kinds of clouds have the most anti-AGW benefit?
(Anything we learn about that will give us a head-start once we find out where and what kind of clouds are needed most.)
Whether major climate changes come fast or slow, basic science will be a useful input to the attempts to build better climate models. Maybe I should be urging us to find ways to rapidly TEST existing climate models' assumptions without "breaking the entire climate".
What I'm taking away from the "Energy for Presidents" book is really depressing: nothing that developed nations do can have a significant effect compared to countries with emerging economies like China and India. What they are doing already predominates what we are doing, and will soon swamp our emissions.
To have any significant effect, we need to find technologies that are CHEAP ENOUGH to be attractive to poor nations, and that may mean technologies that turn a profit as they reduce emissions. Scientists, start drinking more coffee.
Ernie you make a couple of great points...its fairly often I come across an article about some conservative or republican that is some how more smart and open minded because he or she is supposedly concerned about AGW, or embracing some other opposing liberal philosophy etc etc.
But I rarely come across articles about bleeding heart liberals embracing some conservative ideal. Which makes the former seem suspect.
As a scientist, I am skeptical about everything until I can see verifiable and repeatable data. Trying to predict the future is a challenging science...if you can really call it science. We can look back at earths history and see that climate has never been stable. And the only thing that one can predict for sure in my opinion is that climate will likely change as it always has.
Why has the climate always changed? And what factors have caused those changes? And if those factors changed climate then are they changing climate now?
I think until we answer those questions it is unwise to place blame on the all important and delicious plant essential and all natural organic non GMO CO2.
First, on the liberals not espousing conservative opinions, I have seen several references to the fact that Liberals are often ordered to not even listen to, or read conservative opinions, and that may be part of the reason so many liberals deny some speakers the freedom of speech on the College Campuses. They do seem to follow the talking points and party line more closely than conservatives do. I do not consider my self a full blooded Republican, as I see a lot of good in Libertarian and Indendent viewpoints but for sure, Republicans uphold the traditioal American values more than the Democrats do, and we are alll stuck with the two party system.
Just as your experience as a Scientist has affected your viewpoints, we are all shaped by our own experiences. When we walk along the beach and see plastic flotsam littering the shoreline. we are all disgusted with the mess humans are making of the small part of the planet they occupy.
But when, like me, you have been fortunate enough to spend week after week sailing across the Pacific Ocean about four feet above the water line, and seeing thousands of square miles of pristine Ocean, you get a different perspective of just how powerful, or weak, those puny little litterbugs living along the shore line really are. Sure, we can make a mess out of the alley behind where we live, or pollute a local river, but what we do is very minor to what one big Volcanic eruption or a naturally caused Ice Age or Warming period does on its own.
As i read about the plans to place plastic ballons in the atmosphere, or sprinkle moon dust or such over wide areas of the ocean, I wonder what the jet stream or a hurricane, or the resulting waves would do to such installations. But of course, when you are spending other people's money, you do not need to worry about the cost. Remember Solyndra. That was part of a plan to reverse AGW.
One question: Since it is a fact that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and since it is a fact that we have experienced a significant rise in the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere and since it is a fact that the excess CO2 has come from burning fossil fuels, how could that CO2 NOT contribute to a rise in temperature?
I am not saying that the CO2 will definitely cause a catastrophe, just asking how it could not contribute to rising temperatures.
Great point! So as CO2 rises so should the temperatures. But they are not rising even as CO2 does. How can this be?
Even though CO2 concentrations have doubled it may not be as influential as what some scientists have suggested in raising earths temperature. Obviously there are some questions that need to be answered. All gasses including Nitrogen, Oxygen and water vapor can all absorb and trap heat. CO2 is still less than 4/100ths of 1%.
So if indeed CO2 is rising, and it is a greenhouse gas...but the temperatures are not rising...why is that? How is it possible? What then is counteracting the extra heat trapped by the higher CO2 levels we have? In other words what is causing the cooling?
I have developed considerable respect for both of you from reading your posts that expound on your own thoughts, and are not dependent on other people's writings.
And the two opposing posts you have just made strike right to the heart of this discussion for me, and probably a lot of other people.
I stand on the fence between what you say. If there had been a correpsonding rise in temperatures to the increase in CO2, I would then believe that more CO2 would be expected to produce more future warming and i would agree with Willy and be concerned about the future. I would probably never reach the panic stage that some of the people have reached, but that is just the difference in our natures and not a dispute about the facts.
But, since there has not been a discernable relationship to the amount of CO2 and the Global Temperatures, I have not yet been convinced of the danger.
I look forward to seeing more of your thoughts and discussion on this subject, as we are all curious as to what is the actual truth here, or we would not be following this thread.
drobarr--Because other factors besides CO2 affect temperature as well. During times when CO2 concentrations were stable, climate still varied from year to year. I am no climate expert, but my guess would be that if we hadn't experienced an increase in CO2 then average temperatures over the last decade would have cooled instead of roughly flat-lined.
But you have evaded my question: Why shouldn't rising CO2 levels contribute to rising temperatures? An analogy--you install double pane windows on your home but you notice no savings on your electric bill. Do you conclude that double pane windows are a scam or do you conclude that there must be some "leak" in the home somewhere that allows your heated or cooled air to escape to the outside? Being a scientist, you surely recognize that it can sometimes be very difficult to isolate the signal from the noise.
In other words--do you reject the idea that CO2 is a greenhouse gas?.
Let me try another approach. It is my understanding that a simple energy balance between incoming (from the sun, roughly 240 W/square meter on average) and outgoing (radiative losses to "space") energy yields an average global temperature of roughly 0°F. The fact that we don't have that as an average temperature--it's more like 60°F--is due to the presence of a few greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, among them are CO2, water vapor and methane. Since our atmosphere is almost 100% N2 and O2 (neither of which are greenhouse gases), this means we owe our relatively comfortable 60°F average temperature to gases that make up less than 1% of the atmosphere. Altering the amount of these gases may seem tiny compared to the entire atmosphere, but it's very significant when compared to just other greenhouse gases.
Yet another approach--Adding fertilizer to the soil, will, all else being equal, increase your yield. But, if the weather is bad, or you have an insect infestation, or the gophers and crows eat a lot, your yield will be poor despite the addition of fertilizer--an easy example of separating the signal from the noise.
Excellent points, and I hope the two of you keep the discussion going.
A side comment on the Global Temp balance, I have noticed there is a lot of warmth, much above 0 degrees, coming up from the earth,. That stops the soil from freezing, and thaws what does freeze from below, while the Sun's heat thaws from above. Also Geothermal hot spots adds to it in certain areas.
What other factors besides CO2 affect climate? And how do we know if temperatures would have cooled if the CO2 level was lower?
When were CO2 concentrations stable? Have they always been stable?
To your question..."Why shouldn't rising CO2 levels contribute to rising temperatures?" If the theory is correct they should. But I do not beleive they do. Because there is no evidence to show that any rise intemperature is due to the rise in CO2 vs a rise in temperature that was observed when CO2 concentrations were, to use your words, more stable. Temperatures have always gone up and down regardless of CO2. So when the temperatures go up how can one say it is due to the CO2 and not due to one of the other factors that also can cause warming...rises that have always been seen.
Your double paned glass analogy doesnt apply here. That can be repeated a number of times. On a global scale you can only see what has happened historically. I agree it is very difficult to separate the signal from the noise. Since there is so much noise I don't think we yet have a signal that is strong enough to come to any conclusion yet which is why I am skeptical.
I beleive that CO2 levels at their present level has had little affect so far on raising temperatures on earth.
Again your fertilizer example you always have a control and you only adjust one factor. You can't compare those types of experiments with this. I understand what you are trying to say that other things can come in and confound your results...but scientifically you are just making an assumption...that you think the earth would have been cooler over the last 10 years had CO2 concentrations been lower. You dont know that for sure. What are the factors that have prevented the expected warming? In your plant example you know there was insects that ate the plants...what is confounding the warming of the earth?
Water vapor has more affect on earth temperatures than CO2. Ever slept outside on a cold clear night verses a cloudy night? Clouds trap heat. They also block sunlight and heat from entering. If we raised the temperature 1 degree do you realize how much evaporation that would cause from our oceans which cover nearly 3/4 of the planet?...the amount of cloud cover we would get...and how much cooling would be caused by the amount of light reflected, rain fallen etc. As temperatures rise there are many mechanisms that can control and regulate and cool the earth.
How about the sun? Is the heat it delivers to earth constant? NO! It varies all the time.
CO2 in my opinion is not the devil here. We could cut emissions to 0 and I think we would see the same trends.
I dont beleive that only 1% of whats in the atmosphere controls the temperature here on earth. Thats not correct science. All of the gases absorb heat and can reflect and or absorb light. Some do more than others. Water vapor is present in levels much higher than 1% and has much more of an affect on climate than CO2 many times over.
My contention is that the potency that many climate scientists are attributing to CO2 is not corrrect. In fact I am saying that since there are so many other and more important factors that regulate temperatures that it is a very minor regulator of temperatures on earth.
So what I am saying Willy is that climate is regulated by other more important and more powerful forces than CO2 concentration...especially at the CO2 levels we currently have.
Association is not causation. In a 20 or 30 year period warming was seen and at the same time CO2 was rising. Makes sense right? But climate scientists have no hard evidence CO2 has done anything to affect earths temperatures...just associations.
Heres an analogy...we had cooling in the 1960's and 70's and we didnt have any Honda cars. In the 1980's we had Honda cars and they sold a whole bunch...ever since we have had Hondas its been getting warmer and warmer. Must be the Hondas! yes the Hondas are causing the warming...That is just an association...not causation. So no I do not believe Honda is a greenhouse car. Or at least the Honda cars are not producing enough heat to affect the climate on any large scale...though they may be producing some.
I believe you are flat out wrong. The gases in the atmosphere are all transparent to incoming solar radiation and oxygen and nitrogen are transparent to infrared radiation going out. CO2 and other so called greenhouse gases (GHG) absorb IR and keep the earth warmer than it otherwise would be. If it weren't for them, we'd be wearing parkas all the time. This is very basic science and beyond dispute. The degree of future warming is certainly debatable and the complexity of the atmosphere makes an accurate model very dependent on assumptions. I have done computer modeling of much, much simpler systems (back when programming was done in FORTRAN, which is maybe more archaic than Latin, eh!?), so I can vaguely imagine the enormous difficulty of modeling the atmosphere. As a result, I am quite skeptical of long term forecasts, but...
The bottom line for me is that CO2 IS a GHG--it WILL make earth warmer than it would otherwise be without question as that is basic science--and we're kind of foolish to affect the composition of our atmosphere by adding more. Alas, I don't see any short-term practical ways to reduce CO2 emissions without hurting people, but we really should try to start doing something. I vote for nukes, natural gas, conservation, and heavy research.
You need to double check your chemistry. How is ozone made? Solar radiation can break the bonds of O2 diassociating and forming O3 ozone. All gases including O2 and N2 molecules absorb heat though differing wave lengths. O2 and N2 absorb short wave lengths...which are more intense light coming from the sun directly...where as CH4, CO2 and H2O absorb longer wavelengths typical of light reflected from the earth. Nothing is invisible...except maybe to our own eyes. Most UV light for example is absorbed by the ozone layer.
So if CO2 causes warming why is future warming debatable?
I answered your question...but you have yet to answer mine. What causes warming if CO2 is stable?
I guess the theory is one thing but the practice is another. CO2 concentrations have doubled but temperatures have not.
Time will tell who is correct.
Since I'm a plant lover I get excited every time I exhale...when we burn coal or oil we are returning the carbon back to the air where it came from. They are plants and animals that never had a chance to fully decompose.
I'm not sure why the fact the solar radiation can split O2 atoms and ultimately create O3--ozone--has anything to do with the fact that CO2 is not completely transparent to IR while O2 and N2 are much more so. O2 and N2 let the energy of the sun pass through the atmosphere "unmolested". Once the photons hit the earth, some of that energy is converted into IR, which is blocked by greenhouse gases. Hence, warming. Go back to my first post today--we should be roughly 60°F cooler on average if it weren't for GHGs. Venus is broiling hot because it's atmosphere is much more heavily concentrated in CO2 than earth's is; Mars is much colder than it otherwise would be because it doesn't have many GHGs.
Why is a typical garden greenhouse effective? Because photons are not affected much by the glass walls of the greenhouse, but, once the photons strike a surface in the greenhouse, some of their energy is converted to IR, which the glass walls of the greenhouse prevent from exiting the greenhouse. Hence, a warmer greenhouse. Bottom line: UV and IR are completely different animals when it comes to residual heat.
The reason that future warming is debatable is that there are many interactions that are not well understood once the earth receives additional energy in the form of heat. Do clouds form in greater number as the atmosphere gets warmer? No one knows for sure. Where does the heat go, oceans, atmosphere, elsewhere? No one knows for sure. There are many other unanswered questions. These questions, plus the huge detrimental economic impact of rejecting fossils fuels immediately, are why I am not an "alarmist".
My point is simple. CO2 is a GHG. No disputing that. A rise in CO2, barring other changes, will, by definition, result in a rising in the temperature of something on earth. We have added roughly 30% more CO2 to the atmosphere since 1958 (from about 310 ppm to about 400 ppm)according to the Keeling Curve, we have not doubled it as you claim.
Lots of things cause warming and cooling: solar cycles, air pollution (from natural or man made sources), the amount of vegetation, the amount of ice and snow that reflect light, ... Just because many things influence climate doesn't mean that CO2 is not a factor. I am not claiming that CO2 is the only, or even necessarily the most important, influence.
I agree with you that other factors significantly influence climate--no doubt about it. Water vapor and methane are both more effective than CO2 in terms of being GHGs. The thing is, we aren't adding either of them to the atmosphere like we are CO2, although I think one of the points of dispute in the global warming debate involves just how much a warmer atmosphere might result in an increase in water vapor as well--a so-called positive reinforcement. What that does to cloud formation is another poorly understood detail.
Finally, if the issue was as simple as you say it is, most of the world's climate scientists would be smart enough to reject the idea of AGW, just like they reject the idea of a 6,000 year old earth. Do you really, truly believe most climate scientists are ignorant of basic physics and thermodynamics and have no idea what they are doing?
I am not saying that it is simple...I am saying that it is complex. Its climate scientists saying that its all pretty much CO2 and I don't agree. That would be simple.
I don't see them talking about or researching any of the other causes of climate change.
Without human activity earth CO2 levels have fluctuated between 180 ppm and 7000 ppm. Pre industrial revolution was at 280 ppm and now we are at 400ppm...so a 43% rise in CO2...or on a percentage basis of 0.028% to 0.040% (percent carbon in the air).
Climate scientists are dumbfounded temperatures are not rising as they predicted. It goes against their theory.
They keep having to modify their models, their predictions, their theory...etc. Its not about how smart they all are or if 95 percent of them agree or not...its about reality. Its about what is happening.
And right now its not warming. So maybe something about their theory is flawed.
I have said a million times that I cant predict the future and I don't believe smart climate scientists can either.
I am not opposed to research...or conservation. Im not opposed to cutting back or being more efficient. There are plenty of reasons why those are smart choices regardless of if they impacted climate or not.
But I think I have made my point that there are many factors that affect climate...
drobarr--I have not disputed the fact that many things contribute to climate and temperature; a quick review of my comments above will show that to be true. I am just trying to determine if you accept or reject the idea the CO2 is a GHG. I think you are saying you believe it is not a GHG.
As to CO2 variation over time, it is certainly true that CO2 varies. The CO2 concentration charts I have seen show variation from about 170 ppm to maybe 300-ish ppm for roughly the last million years (we are now at 400 ppm). To get to 7,000 ppm, you need to go back half a billion years or more to a time when our climate would not have been exactly pleasant for humans. If your source for the 7,000 ppm claim is here (http://notrickszone.com/2013/05/17/atmospheric-co2-concentrations-at-400-ppm-are-still-dangerously-low-for-life-on-earth/), please note the time scale on the x axis is so large that it completely masks/distorts the last million years when the concentration was in the 200-300 ppm range. That million years would be within the range of time when humans found conditions tolerable. If you look at oxygen levels over the history of the earth, you will find that there was a period (billions of years ago) where there was virtually no oxygen in the atmosphere. Does that mean an oxygen free atmosphere is OK now? I think the appropriate comparison here would be to your 7,000 ppm CO2 reference.
Anyhoo--I think for us to be intentionally altering the composition of the atmosphere is unwise--both from the standpoint of AGW and air pollution--and we should try to reduce fossil fuel consumption over the coming decades in a way that does not result in economic destruction.
In no way I am suggesting that we should strive for 7000 ppm. That would be a factor of almost 20 higher than what we have currently. I believe even if we burned every fossil fuel we could find we could not reach that level...fossil fuels are limited. The main reason there wasn't O2 long ago is because also at that time we didn't have plants producing Oxygen. Now the earth is filled with plants which are a critical part of the carbon cycle. CO2 levels would be much higher without plants.
What is your definition of a greenhouse gas?
We all agree CO2 has risen significantly...43% above pre industrial revolution levels and that most of this rise is due to human activity...burning of fossil fuels, oxidation, agricultural cultivation etc. But since the industrial revolution began our earthly temperatures have not risen significantly. They have gone up and down very similarly to the time periods before that prior to the industrial revolution. This isn't just some current data being confounded like your insects in the fertilizer trial. This is 300 years of data showing that the earth has warmed very little...and atmospheric temperatures have been flat.
These facts put into question whether increased CO2 concentration at the levels we have seen thus far alters the climate.
I am not denying that CO2 and H2O and CH4 do intercept some of the long wave radiation reflected from the surface of the earth back into space...if that is your definition of a greenhouse gas. What I do dispute is that this has happened to a degree that in turn has altered our climate.
My feeling is that other factors are regulating our climate not current CO2 levels.
Even climate scientists have realized this to some extent...each time they they adjust their theory the have reduced the impact of a rise of CO2 will have on climate.
Your definition of a GHG is fine. In different words, it's a gas that affects the ability of IR to be reflected out of the atmosphere, hence one that results in more heat being retained in the atmosphere.
The reason I pointed out the 7,000 ppm deal is so a casual reader wouldn't assume that 7,000 ppm is within a reasonable range.
The way I am looking at AGW--and I come from the point of view of a skeptic, almost a denier a decade or more ago--is this:
1) CO2 is a GHG. As such, it MUST serve to increase temperature
2) Many things influence climate, CO2 is one of them.
3) We do not yet fully understand the impact of additional CO2 in a for-sure, for-sure Valley Girl quantifiable way
4) We are adding CO2 in ever increasing amounts. In the last few decades we have begun to make significant changes in the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere and those changes are accelerating.
5) It seems pretty dumb to be modifying our atmosphere without a certain understanding of what the impact will be. See rabbits in Australia, kudzu in Alabama, zebra mussels in wherever, Asian carp, fires on the Cuyahoga River, air quality in Beijing, etc.
6) Technologies exist that will allow us to transition from fossil fuels to cleaner energy. We should begin that transition now, in a cost effective, economical way. The might even mean that the US Department of Energy could do something constructive and LEAD us to a better energy future. Seriously, what do those people do? 30-plus years and I have no idea what they have done to help or guide us.
I am not advocating dropping fossil fuels immediately. I think Keystone should be built. I mean, be realistic, if we don't use that resource, someone else will. In the longer run, though, eliminating fossil fuels will give us cleaner air and eliminate our need to have a Middle East presence. Let those folks stew in their prehistoric idiocy without concerning us.
Lets say the atmosphere is warming. What happens to a gas when it warms? The molecules move faster and the gas expands...in a fixed volume pressure builds. In an atmosphere the molecules become farther apart. The farther they are apart the more open spaces there are. The more open spaces the less long wave radiation is intercepted by those molecules. This may be a way temperatures are regulated?
I don't think that IR, which would travel in a straight line, would be able to "snake" it's way through a maze of molecules...Wavelengths of IR run from hundreds of nanometers to about a millimeter. That's huge compared to intermolecular distances, no?
When you heat any gas...you have fewer molecules per cubic area. Fewer molecules per cubic area would have the same effect as lowering the concentration. Having fewer molecules per cubic area would lower IR intercepted. Less IR intercepted means less heat trapped and more heat escapes to space. This could cause cooling which may help keep things in equilibrium or act as a buffer even as CO2 increases.
Since the longer wavelengths (IR)heat the CO2 more so than the O2...CO2 ppm would lower under warmer temps(disperse more)whereas O2 concentration would stay constant if O2 is invisible to IR.
>> It seems pretty dumb to be modifying our atmosphere without a certain understanding of what the impact will be.
Thanks for saying that so much better than I have.
I'm mostly out of this thread, but I do want to repeat one thing. I reject arguments like "it hasn't happened yet so it never will". I don't expect the global climate to turn on a dime unless we get into some positive feedback situation that has not yet been thought of. There will be lag, just as a field of seedlings doesn't pop out bushels of corn five minutes after you fertilize it.
But when you don't know, you DON'T know. Such a tipping point could exist at 450 ppm, 500 ppm, or might6 already have occurred back at 375 ppm and the climate has simply not reacted yet in ways that we can distinguish from the (large) natural variations in weather..
We all agree that many things drive short-term climate up and down, but the simplest and most direct gradual greenhouse effect is only a few degrees so far (observed and measured).
The large, short-term random variations due to "everything else" will swamp and overwhelm the small simplest and most direct gradual greenhouse effect until even that direct-and-simple effect is greater than all other sources of variation combined.
Like, 10 or 15 degrees. Like, after we have pumped so much excess CO2 into the atmosphere that the point of no return was exceeded billions of tons ago.
At least the point has been made that there are SOME stable climate regimes above 500 PPM CO2.
That's the most positive thing I've heard, even including the claim that the 2007 IPCC exaggerated deliberately, instead of just not knowing and guessing conservatively ("conservatively" meaning "in the direction more likely to preserve human civilization").
Above 500 or 1,000 ppm, the whole planet might be as hot as India is right now, and as humid as the Amazon basin, the seasons totally unrecognizable, and none of our crops would be at all adapted to it , but at least it looks less likely to become like Venus ("since it didn't happen in the past, it never will happen ...")
With "luck", the transition from our current climate to a Jurassic or Pre-Cambrian climate would be so chaotic and catastrophic that almost all of our current population will be killed off first, so that the survivors can subsist on cycads and ferns until we evolve entirely new crops from scratch.
Of course, since the only combustion at that time will be campfires in caves, the CO2 level will probably start dropping back down towards modern levels, defining "modern" as "after the invention of agriculture".
I hope the survivors remember to archive some seeds that can survive in Pleistocene / Holocene climate regimes.
Maybe the GMO tools recently developed should be used to create crops and animals likely to flourish in Jurassic climates. Gee, wasn't there a movie like that ...?
drobarr--I'm beginning to think that you must be pulling my leg with this molecular spacing crap...
I'm also beginning to feel like I'm playing whack-a-mole with a young earth creationist or rabid anti-GMO'er. There's always one more website to throw up from somewhere. Everything you say--for instance, the fact that water vapor is much more abundant than CO2--is well understood by climate scientists. You are not thinking of any original, gotcha ideas here. The climate scientists have addressed these issues long before you thought of them. Here's a good basic discussion of greenhouse gases that addresses the subject: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_gas#Non-greenhouse_gases. It might be worth reading it.
Example: One of the uncertainties in climate modeling is the action of water vapor in a warmer world. If warming leads to more water vapor--bingo--the positive feedback (hence accelerated warming) that you read about. If there isn't a significant increase in atmospheric water vapor, or if more clouds form, the warming effect will not be as strong. There are many more "known" unknowns, as there are with any science, including botany.
For many reasons beyond just AGW, we should begin to make a concerted effort to wean ourselves from fossil fuels. IF the more extreme AGW predictions are correct, our grandkids will remember us the folks who could have made changes, but didn't. If the situation turn out to be more benign, we've still done a good thing by turning from fossil fuels. Win-win.
I feel like I am playing Whack a Mole, too. I have yet to hear either one of you explain, with the Carbon increasing as we all acknowledge, why the temperatures have not shown a corresponding increase in the last 19 or 100 years.
You both write some very intelligent sounding posts, and then spoil the good impression you have made by Rick either making an untrue statement by inferring that any of the Skeptics have posted on this thread that “AGW will never happen”. We all agree it is possible and are waiting for proof.
Then you make a stupid remark like in your last sentence above, “If the situation turn [sic] out to be more benign, we’ve still done a good thing by turning from fossil fuels.”
That makes no sense at all, as increasing the production of fossil fuels is one of the very few ways we have left as a Country to create new wealth. And as long as our Society keeps creating new entitlements, we must create new wealth to pay for them.
And you think it is a Win Win for us to continue paying Saudi Arabia 100 dollars a barrel for oil that only cost 40 to produce, with most of the 40 remaining in circulation in our economy?
As far as your blind faith in the unimpeachable knowledge of the Climatologists, they were totally wrong about the Mini Ice Age just a few years ago, half of them probably graduated as below average students, and Scientists, being human, will go to great lengths to defend any mistakes they make before being forced to admit to them.
I am a great admirer of higher education, but it is not a guarantee from making big mistakes. I have spent a considerable amount of time correcting mistakes made by excellent Civil Engineers.
Please answer the question posed above, as to why the huge amount of Carbon that has been added to the atmosphere has not produced a corresponding amount of increase in the Global Temperatures.
>> why the temperatures have not shown a corresponding increase in the last 19 or 100 years.
Lower CO2 levels in the past - until the last decade or two - caused effects too small to separate from the large natural variations that everyone on this thread has agreed do exist. Even in the last few decades, some leveling have occurred in the general, slow rise of temperatures. That's totally expected when you add a small gradual change on top of large, random swings.
And if you do the global averages carefully enough to isolate the small trend from the large swings, you DO see gradual warming, first in surface ocean waters, not so much yet in the air temperatures.
(If this gradual warming is the only effect on climate, we might well be able to adapt agriculture to it gradually, at least until it makes the tropics uninhabitable. Eventually we might have to grow breadfruit and yams and bananas in the MidWest instead of corn and soybeans, but if the changes are gradual enough, we won’t starve. Oh, I forgot, most of those tropical crops yield less per acre than the large-seed grains. Still, slowly dropping agricultural productivity seems less likely to provoke wars than sudden changes.)
Lag, or inertia.
Why assume that something as large as global climate, including oceans and sediments and soils, responds in just a few years? CO2 that goes into the air now will stay there for 100 or 100s of years, and it's effects will presumably accumulate.
If some miracle made all new CO2 disappear as soon as it left smokestacks and exhaust pipes, we would still have an "excess" of around 100 PPM CO2 that will last for at least 100 more years.
Are you arguing that, because the current levels have not had a huge effect YET, they never will? We've gone from around 310 PPM to 400 PPM in 50-60 years. Extrapolating and noticing that the curve bends upwards, we'll probably hit 500 ppm by 2060 or so.
At what point will the climate change from "that's not such a big deal" to changes that make El Nino look like a burp in a thunderstorm?
The point is, we DON'T know, and some people are not eager to play Russian Roulette with the whole planet when we don't know whether there are 1, 2, 4 or 6 bullets in the revolver.
Water is a greenhouse gas absorbing earths reflecting IR and it frequently is in the 20,000 to 30,000 ppm range and frequents the 40,000+ range...much higher than the 400 ppm range of CO2. Water vapor with its high concentrations is roughly 1000 times more potent than CO2 in terms of warming. Granted water vapor constantly changes from season to season or day vs night and place on the earth.
Water vapor has also been increasing by thousands of ppms, with no effect, because of human activity which include agriculture and converting many of earths desserts into irrigated oasises where high evapotranspiration takes place.
Why aren't climate scientists proposing solutions to address water vapor production and ways to mitigate it? Why are they so fixed on CO2 when water vapor is a stronger greenhouse gas?
But again even with higher water vapors and higher CO2 concentrations we are still not seeing significant warming.
That shows there is something counteracting or that the theory is flawed.
No one would ever assume that you, Drobarr or Rick are stupid, and there is all the difference in the world between Being Stupid and making a Stupid Remark.
I have read every word you have written and if you had given the only possible explanation as to why the Carbon added to the atmosphere over the last 100 years has not had more effect on the temperature than it has, you would have countered your own arguments about the urgency needed to stop the increase of Carbon.
Thank you for a fair and balanced explanation of what has taken place in the past.
P 1. No dispute
P 2, While the reference I recall was about 1 degree in the last 100 years I think we will all agree that prior to 1950 Steel Mills, Coal burning Locomotives, Coal burning power plants without Scrubbers, and the early less efficient Diesel motors were dumping a lot of Carbon in the air, whether it was being accurately measured or not. And the resulting increase in temperature was less than 1 degree a year. At that low annual rate, just another huff and puff of a cool breeze could have reversed the increase.
P 3, While Lag or inertia is a possibility, there is nothing to indicate that it is a probability. Harmless absorption is a possibility but nothing so far has indicated it is a probability, so one conjecture pretty evenly offsets the other conjecture;
In the Summer time we often have an “excess” of Sunshine, which also does damage, but we adapt to it, and move on. So until carbon is proven harmful, why should it cause panic and expensive remedies to be undertaken before it is clear they are necessary?
I have never believed, nor argued, that AGW will never happen. What I believe is that it May become a problem or it May Not become a problem and it is foolish to disrupt our global economy to try to minimize it until we can see solid evidence that it is a problem.
Extrapolation results are greatly influenced by the trend that is taking place during the period you are basing the Extrapolation on. So using the last 19 years as a base indicates we are going to Not have an increase, but that, to me, is just as foolish as believing we are all going to Roast in Kansas before we ever make it to Hell.
Third from last paragraph you state: “At what point will the Climate change…..?
Then you answer: “The Point is, we DON’T KNOW,…….and while you did not say it, it is apparent, We DON’T know even if it will change other than the normal fluctuations.
So we are in absolute agreement that we do not KNOW what is going to happen and we do not KNOW if or WHEN it is going to happen,
You seem to be of the opinion that we should start spending whatever it takes to prevent it whether it actually happens or not..
Willy seems to be of the opinion that we should reduce the use of Fossil fuels which would certainly harm the economy but not as drastically as your preference would.
I am of the opinion that we should do a Cost/Benefit study on it, if and when it develops, and find out what the damage will cost our Society and then figure out how much we can afford to spend to prevent it.
But if the rate of increased temperatures remain what it is now. If the Human Race cannot learn to grow Wheat in the Yukon and Mangoes in Kansas with that much time, I am not sure it is worth saving anyway.
Thanks again for your balanced and honest answer to my question as to the lack of warming during the recent past.
I do not know how much supervision of others you have done in your working life, but if you spent a lot of time there, as i have, you would be very aware that all classes of people go to great lengths to defend their own mistakes. The Government Climatologists have been wrong more than they have been right over the last fifteen years or so that i have been following their work.
I do not know if they were the ones that came up with the idea of the 6000 year old Earth, but i am sure if that had beenn their idea they would defend it with their dying breaths.
Your remarks on the effect of Water Vapor having a tremendous effect on the temperatures certainly match what i have seen from so many years spent in the outdoors. An over cast sky traps heat and a clear sky losing it rapidly is very obvious here where i live now, too. Ten miles from the ocean gives us high humidity and over cast skies part of the time, and fifteen miles the other way is Desert foothills, so we often see clear skies with a quick drop in temperatures.
I would not be aware of that if i had spent my life in an airconditioned office or laboratory, so stick to your guns. What you say makes more sense to me than most of what i read here.
"Just how much of the 'greehouse effect' is caused by human activity?
It is about 0.28%, if water vapor is taken into account-- about 5.53%, if not.
This point is so crucial to the debate over global warming that how water vapor is or isn't factored into an analysis of Earth's greenhouse gases makes the difference between describing a significant human contribution to the greenhouse effect, or a negligible one.
Water vapor constitutes Earth's most significant greenhouse gas, accounting for about 95% of Earth's greenhouse effect (5). Interestingly, many "facts and figures' regarding global warming completely ignore the powerful effects of water vapor in the greenhouse system, carelessly (perhaps, deliberately) overstating human impacts as much as 20-fold.
Water vapor is 99.999% of natural origin. Other atmospheric greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), and miscellaneous other gases (CFC's, etc.), are also mostly of natural origin (except for the latter, which is mostly anthropogenic).
Human activities contribute slightly to greenhouse gas concentrations through farming, manufacturing, power generation, and transportation. However, these emissions are so dwarfed in comparison to emissions from natural sources we can do nothing about, that even the most costly efforts to limit human emissions would have a very small-- perhaps undetectable-- effect on global climate."
Your documenting and bringing water vapor into the equation makes a lot of sense to me.
Most people now living were too young to remember the terrible air quality we had in the Los Angeles Basin during the 1950's, but it was an unbreathable comibnation of Smoke, from home incinerators, burning trash, Industrial Smokestacks, unburnt gas and diesel from poorly tuned cars and trucks, combined with Fog, so the name Smog was given to it.
It was much worse on Humid or Overcast days, becoming almost unbreathable, and made life very difficult. It was clear that the water vapor made it much worse, as it was not as bad on clear days. So i do not understand why the Government Climatologists seem to be ignoring the Water Vapor, but it may be in part because of the environmental factions that dislike Industry and deliberately focus on Fossil Fuels as the sole Culprit.
I assume because of the huge increase in population, that there is more carbon being created and put in the atmosphere now than it was 60 years ago, but the emissions per person are surely just a fraction now of what was being produced back then. But those reductions have come at a tremendous price, all eventually paid for by the consumer/taxpayer.
I would estimate that added environmental costs increase the price of large trucks and heavy equipment by 25 or 30%, all of which is only temporarily financed by the Business owner and then passed on to the consumer. As the enviromental equipment does not increase production, it does not create new wealth, and just diminishes the existing wealth of our country, lowering the standard of living for all of us. And any additional sums spent needlessly will lower the standard of living further.
"Environmental factions that dislike industry deliberately focus on fossil fuels as the sole culprit"
I think that statement is correct. The people within our government who provide many of the funds for climate research as well as those doing the research seem to be those who dislike industry.
And when their research results fail to even mention a greenhouse gas up to 1000 times more plentiful and slightly more potent on a molecule by molecule basis this is very alarming.
But it would make no sense to be anti water...because since it is natural it wouldn't really provide anyone to control or tax. And it wouldn't allow government funding to crony friends in alternative energy startups.
We do have a runaway bureaucracy, for sure. I just heard about a very potentially rich Goldmine in Alaska that would create a tremendous amount of new wealth spread among the emmployees, equipment suppliers, investors, and Tax collecting entities, but since it would not directly benefit the Bureaucrats in the EPA, they have tried to defeat it from the beginning, just to prevent some Possible damage to the salmon.
I have a friend who is Water Clean Up expert in a consortium of Civil Engineers, and they have been directing the clean water requirements for gold mines for many years, and he says the water has to be, and is, absolutely harmless before it leaves the property. I do believe that some of these Government Agencies are damaging our Country more than the Carbon and other problems we have.
I'm busy the next couple of days, so I won't be posting, but I did want to ask where you got the idea that I think we should buy oil from the Saudis. I am the one who said we should build Keystone. I have also said we should do nothing to impair economic growth, but that we should start a serious effort to stop using fossil fuels over the coming DECADES!
As for Boyle's Law...Here's how I see your argument: The batting cage is contained in mesh with chicken wire hole size. If we go to chain link sized holes, more softballs will escape because the mesh size is larger. Distances between molecules are tiny compared to IR wavelengths...
CO2 is a GHG. The concept of GHG comes from the 19th century--Arrhenius, for one. It is not something dreamt up by climate scientists. CO2 WILL act to raise the temperature. Other factors can have opposite results. Climate models have done, as I see it, a poor job to date of predicting temperature change. It's complex and they have not YET constructed accurate forecasting models. This does not mean that CO2 isn't a GHG. It does not mean that we can add CO@2 willy-nilly and not eventually have an adverse affect on climate.
And Ernie, I know it's petty, but your "sic" was really annoying. Go back over your posts and count the typos.
My suggestion would be to read a couple of books explaining AGW instead of getting your science from the media and random Internet articles. Like I said, every Gotcha! point you've made is old hat to people who do climate studying, similar to those who Gotcha! with their goofy anti-GMO points.
Increasing distances between gas molecules is exactly what happens when you reduce ppms of a given gas. You have a lower concentration. So what you are saying is whether there is a lower concentration say 300ppm(chain link) or a higher concentration say 400ppm(chicken wire)of CO2 it makes no difference because all of the IR is absorbed(softballs prevented from escaping).
So using your argument, increasing ppm CO2 will have no effect on trapping more IR since all of it is trapped already.
However, the whole premise of global warming is that as you increase concentration of greenhouse gases(CO2 molecules closer together) more IR is intercepted which results in heating. So if you reduce concentrations of greenhouse gases(CO2 molecules farther apart) less IR intercepted and heating is reduced and the earth cools. Hence the goal to reduce CO2.
Raising the temperature of a gas also increases the distances between gas molecules...which would reduce concentration and reduce IR interception through the same way that reducing CO2 ppm would do.
The fact is that very much of the IR passes through even when there are thousands of ppms and very high levels of greenhouse gases.
You need to address the effects of water vapor and in comparison how miniscule CO2 is.
Buying oil from Saudies would be the inevitable result of “turning from fossil fuels” regardless of when, because if that ever became the policy of the USA, there would still be a need for a reduced amount of some Petroleum for heating, and a lot of it for use in plastics and synthetics. But with a policy like that the Environmentalists would seize the opportunity to stop all expansion of drilling activity like they have been trying to do for the last forty years. Without continually exploring and developing our own resources we would be back to depending on purchases from Saudi or other countries.
Your correction of my spelling a few weeks ago annoyed me, too, as I am continually frustrated with an incompatibility between this computer and the DG program. Others have mentioned it being a problem for them, also. I am just a fair typist but a pretty decent speller. The posts I write on Word and paste on the thread do not have the problems I have directly typing in the box of DG. Some of that is from help from the spell checker but so far in this post, I have not made any typos. I just made one, hitting the slash key instead of the period after typo.
Thanks to you and Drobarr, and personal observations having made my living all my life in situations where the weather and its variations were important to me, I have learned enough to know the basics of AGW, I clearly understand that there is a possible danger from it, but have not yet found any evidence of unusual Global Warming.
And before you spend a lot more time extolling the intelligence and dedication of the Climatologists, I suggest you review some of the mistakes, some of the deceptions, and some of the lies those Climatologists have made in the past. A good place to start is to review the claims a few years ago about the Himalayan Glaciers were certain to melt before now. And as it turns out a couple of weeks ago that was an Avalanche, [snow], not a flood [water], that killed all those Sherpas.
You are correct that everything, except the recent posts between you and John concerning molecules, etc. has been repeated many times by both sides. Usually spoken in rebuttal to something that has been repeated many times, too.
I will look forward to more of your posts, and will not mention any more typos, as I really do not want to annoy you.
This is a bit off subject, but Government employees do let their personal bias guide them to do dishonest things. When i lived in Idaho, some Fish and Game employees wanted to tie up a lot of country in Washington state to re introduce Lynx. There was not record of Lynx ever having been in that area, but the employees were caught sprinkling Lynx Urine from Canada on some tree stumps so they could "Discover" it and use as proof that there were Lynx in the area that required protection. A lot of country in Idaho has been turned into protected areas for Grizzly bears and Wolves, and that sharply reduces that access to the areas for other purposes.
If you find typos in my posts you can be assured that I made the post. You will probably find some bad grammar as well. Sort of my trademark.
I guess that's why I didn't major in English. The good thing about science is most writing is peer reviewed and most typos and grammar is corrected before it is approved and makes it to press.
It doesn't help that I use a Galaxy 4S to make many of these posts.
One other point id like to make is that fossil fuels are limited. We have extracted most of the easy and highest quality fossil fuels. Some estimate that peak fossil fuels will be reached in 2018 and after that time there will be a gradual decline in fossil fuel use. And other sources will have to be utilized which will reduce carbon.
If fossil fuels are limited it makes sense to buy it from others and use theirs and save ours for later.
But it also makes sense for us to become energy independent...at least from a military standpoint.
Hope you aren't watering anything out in that hot dessert Willy...we don't need that extra evaporation increasing water vapor in our atmosphere which could bring about Ricks catastrophes. We each need to do our part to reduce our water vapor footprint. So selfish those gardeners with their large gardens that they water which is destroying our planet by contributing to atmospheric higher water vapor levels and man made global climate change.
Actually to be politically correct man made global warming is incorrect. ..its human made global warming lol you would think climate scientists were more politically correct!
Of course fossil fuels are limited, but I do not think we actually know yet where the limit is. There has always been a calculation of when we are going to run out, but that keeps changing.
During the Winter of 1943 and Spring of ’44, when construction work was slow building Military Bases, I spent 6 months as a Roughneck on the Conoco Lease, NW of Bakersfield, CA. The well I was working on was about a mile from what was then the deepest well in the World. That was only 5000 and some feet deep, and now they are 7 or 8 times that deep, and the known reserves keep climbing as the years pass. So who knows how deep they will be able to drill in another 70 years.
I assume techniques and equipment will be developed as needed to keep going deeper or to extract even more from the Shale. It has been known that lots of Shale rock contains oil, as rocks used to catch fire from campfires, but it costs about 40 dollars a barrel to extract, so it is only feasible when Crude sells for over $60 a barrel. As prices increase, more money can be spent extracting from poorer grades of Shale, so it is too early to say with any accuracy when we will run out.
I keep hoping that a new form of propulsion will be discovered, maybe antigravity or magnetic, which would reduce the amount of Fossil fuels, but nothing so far even comes close to the efficiency of fossil fuels, especially internal combustion engines.
On using the DG box for posts, does anyone else have problems with losing their work when they are partly done? That happens all too frequently to suit me. For more than a paragraph or two I am going to use Office Word and paste from now on.
You are sure hitting me with some hard licks on the H20 footprint I am leaving. It takes a lot of water to keep anything green out here.
I agree that the people making the rules come from the wrong background. Most of the Government employees that decide how our economy should operate have never signed a Payroll check for anyone in their life. And when you have to meet a payroll, is when you start to learn how the economy actually works.
I believe fossil fuels will be around for centuries for the very reasons you mention Ernie. But energy demand doubles about every 14 years and even with new technologies it is likely fossil fuels wont be extracted at the rates of demand. But as their use declines technology and cost of solar and wind will decrease making their use more widespread. I think nuclear will hold stable. The US military seems to have figured out how to use sea water as fuel( http://defensetech.org/2012/10/02/converting-sea-water-to-navy-jet-fuel/ )hydrogen might take off or maybe cold fusion might one day be a reality.
I have the same troubles as you Ernie from time to time losing everything I have written.
Those Santa Ana winds can cause lots of water to evaporate. Im sure you are watering extra these days to keep everything alive. So when you water you are contributing to global warming and raising the oceans and hurting the polar bears...actually maybe if we raised the price of water...I mean dihydrogen monoxide...we could regulate it and tax it. But we better find a way to reduce water vapor emissions before its too late. I mean we really shouldn't be messing with our planets delicate atmosphere and increasing greenhouse gasses like water vapor. Stop watering!
Not only are the people in government out of touch with reality they are not held accountable for their policies. They do not face elections or shareholders. Many of the regulations have been the equivalent of shooting ourselves in the foot. Some have been good.
They really should be regulating our most dangerous greenhouse gas...water!
About forty years ago, two friends of mine that had quite a bit of money spent a lot of it backing a fellow that thought he could extract the Hydrogen from water and make a motor run on that. Clarence and Tony thought it was such a good deal they kept it to themselves and did not ask anyone else to help them finance it. But finally, maybe after 2 or 3 years they went silent and had given up on it.
I stopped and read the link, and that is interesting, but the comments dated back to 2012. I hope they have made some progress on it.
I am not sure raisig the price of water will do much to curb the pollution. My water bill here for this half acre runs $900.00 for two months, but paying that is cheaper than moving and i sure would not want to live here if every thing died.and turned brown.
A quick, and final, weigh-in from me on this topic.
1) Ernie--I sincerely apologize for the spelling dig I made. I do find you to be a voice of reason and common sense, but I do suggest you read a bit more on AGW. It is more complicated than you think and the climate scientists really aren't just a bunch of sore-loser loons. Their predictions to date certainly haven't been spot-on, but the fact remains that CO2 is a green house gas.
2) drobarr--I cry uncle. Your insights into the molecular spacing and water vapor ideas may turn the AGW controversy on its head. I note that Michael Mann, one of the world's most prominent AGW advocates, is just up the road from you at Penn State. Perhaps you could enlighten him on your discoveries. I hope you are gentle with Mr. Mann and don't embarrass him too much.
Focus isn't even on the 280ppm CO2 from natural systems...all their focus has been on the 120ppms caused by humans over the last 350 years. Really the focus is on the evil and greedy corporations in the United States.
Michael Mann in my opinion is too politically active for me to see his objectivity as a scientist. I think its silly we the public pay his salary so that he can skew data that favor his political philosophies.
I dont deny CO2 is a GHG. But it is a very small fraction of all the greenhouse gases. In comparison to all the greenhouse gases its contribution to warming doesn't justify the focus it receives.
Both of the links connected to reasonable articles, and it is too bad the mindblocked true believers cannot see that while there does seem to be some damage, either temporary or permanent from Human activtiies, it is just not an absolute dead certain event that can be accepted as final yet.
Obama is going to start pushing it now, in a desperate move to excite the Eco Nuts so they will vote to keep the Senate Democrat majority, so we will have to wait and see if that speeds the economic disaster up or let it run its course.
While your comments have not been as frequent, they have surely helped focus and move the discussion along, too.
The latest Poll indicates that only 30% of the people believe this is the most important problem we have, and probably even less think we should bankrupt the country and forego using our natural resources in a futile attempt to solve a problem that may solve itself.
Wind Generators for individual use have been around too, since before WW2, and if either those or the Solar panels had been practical, they would be in common use on their own, and not needing subsidies from the Government.
I saw Solyndra mentioned again, today, and that always reminds that We, the taxpayers wasted FIVE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS on a worthless loan to Solyndra to try to develop an improved Solar Panel. If it had been practical, Private Corporations would have taken that risk and not cost Taxpayers a dime. Solyndra is bankrupt and we will not recover any money from the loan as the Government Loan was subordinate to the Investors Capital.
At least you could depend on your bicycle when the Sun doesn't shine and the Wind doesn't blow.
While the heavy hitters are partly still around, I would like to hear how dangerous EMPs are to our way of life and environment.compared to man made climate change. Are we barking up the wrong tree mostly.
There are a lot of potential catastrophes out there somewhere besides Global Warming, and EMPs apparently are one of them, but i do not know enough about them to have an opinion, so i look forward to learning about them, too.
I think some of the issues revolve around potential solutions...since liberals tend to want to harness corporations with increased regulations this is a perfect way of doing so and promoting their agenda so naturally they want to monopolize and overstate the problem...doom and gloom.
I skimmed enough of it to see it was a scare story to frighten some of the poor timid souls out there that are afraid of living a normal life.
I just do not think life would we worth living if i spent it worrying about all the different possible ways for us to die, or the world to end, or whatever.
Maybe when the new Utiliity bills begin to hit from the EPA coal regulations that will be exposed next week, it will make some of the timid souls realize it is going to cost them money, too, and not just the coal miners, to eiliminate carbon based energy.
I watched it all. I try to listen and understand both sides. Some videos are very persuasive like this one but I dont buy it. If we have already crossed the tipping point and all this "frozen" methane is already rising why arent we seeing much rise in temperature. Why have we seen a cooling effect over the last decade and a half.
On another note it is interestig how there have been mass extinctions and rises in temperatures without man. They atribute rises in temperatures from the CO2 generated from volcanic activity. But supposedly the CO2 now is higher now than it was then. Volcanic activity with the particulates it generates you usually get cooling effects.
CO2 is not a pollutant...it is an essential plant nutrient...and I just dont see a catastrophe like the video predicts.
the video is about how CO2 is supposedly warming the planet enough to relase all the frozen methane which is supposedly an even a more deadly greenhouse gas which is going to cause the 6th mass extinction on earth...
I just thought it was interesting how much Methane is sequestered in this gel-like form in the oceans. I watched another vid about some entity in Britain monitors Methane levels and has found that strangely... deserts are large contributors. They don't know why yet. Anyway, we had not talked about Methane so I posted. Not selling anything, here.
When I read about detrimental effects of human activity, in general, I wonder what would have been the effects without the humans. There would have been wild animals, right? Haven't we lost a huge source of 'cowburps' because we killed all the bison and replaced them with corn? Of course, the corn comes with John Deere burps...
The methane which is frozen below the bottoms of the ocean has been slowly melting enough to release a little bit of it all along. I first read about that 30 or more years ago, But, just think how much actual heat it will take to warm ALL of the ocean water to the point it warms the bottom of it enough to have much effect on the methane which is contained similar to the Permafrost in the Arctic. The ocean water at that depth is probably only a few degrees about freezing now.
There is no doubt there are a lot of potentially dangerous things that can happen, but since we do not have any way of knowing just which ones are going to happen first, I do not see the logic in worrying about it or bankrupting our economy until we are sure which one is going to be IT.
"There has been no further global warming for nearly 18 years during which time about 25 percent of all the CO2 ever emitted by humans has been added to the atmosphere," he states. "How long will it remain flat and will it next go up or back down? Now we are out of the realm of facts and back into the game of predictions."
Moore also dives into several points about the history of Earth's CO2 levels in regard to plant and human life. He says these points are mostly ignored by Greenpeace members and an environmental movement that's become a "combination of extreme political ideology and religious fundamentalism rolled into one."
"If human emissions of CO2 do end up causing significant warming (which is not certain) it may be possible to grow food crops in northern Canada and Russia, vast areas that are now too cold for agriculture," he notes, imaging a hypothetical scenario in which the globe warms but it doesn't result in a humanitarian disaster.
He wrote that an increase in CO2 could, in theory, even be beneficial to plant life on Earth, however unlikely.
"The optimum CO2 level for most plants is about 1600 parts per million, four times higher than the level today. This is why greenhouse growers purposely inject the CO2-rich exhaust from their gas and wood-fired heaters into the greenhouse, resulting in a 40-80 percent increase in growth."
"Global warming data has been manipulated to grossly misrepresent warming trends, and scientists have suppressed climate records indicating that the 1930s was the hottest decade on record in the United States, says U.K. journalist Christopher Booker.
"When future generations try to understand how the world got carried away around the end of the 20th century by the panic over global warming, few things will amaze them more than the part played in stoking up the scare by the fiddling of official temperature data," Booker, author of "The Real Global Warming Disaster," wrote in a column for The Sunday Telegraph of London.
Booker said that while he found evidence of fiddled climate figures while writing his book seven years ago, Steven Goddard's blog "Real Science" has uncovered another example of it when looking at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's graph of U.S. surface temperatures.
The group, Goddard claims, has been "adjusting" its records by replacing real temperatures with data "fabricated" by computer models. The effect has been to make earlier periods seem cooler, while more recent temperatures have been inaccurately presented as higher to give the impression that the Earth has been warming much more than the actual data suggests.
Using actual temperatures, graphs indicate that the United States has been cooling since the '30s, Goddard has shown, according to Booker, even though the official graphs are showing that the the Earth has been warming at a rate equal to more than 3 degrees centigrade per century.
"When I first began examining the global-warming scare, I found nothing more puzzling than the way officially approved scientists kept on being shown to have finagled their data, as in that ludicrous 'hockey stick' graph, pretending to prove that the world had suddenly become much hotter than at any time in 1,000 years," Booker wrote.
"Any theory needing to rely so consistently on fudging the evidence, I concluded, must be looked on not as science at all, but as simply a rather alarming case study in the aberrations of group psychology."
Climate scientists want to predict years and decades into the future. But most scientists cant even predict regular and usual weather phenomenons like El Niño with much confidence. Why havent the scientists themselves admitted this from the begining? They talk catastrophe when they have no clue.
On another note why havent the mainstream press and major scientists mentioned the many potential positive benefits of global climate change. An objective scientist
would at least look at that...however the focus has been on the problems only.
A Kansas State University senior agricultural economist says there’s a 70% chance an El Niño will arrive this fall — and that’s good news for the U.S.
Jay O’Neil, an instructor and specialist at the university’s International Grains Program, says what happens with El Niño will affect worldwide crop production. El Niño, which is the warming of the sea temperatures off the coast of Peru, is expected to affect crops during September, October and November.
“El Niño is generally favorable to crop production in the United States because it brings extra rain and moisture into the core crop-growing areas,” O’Neil said. “We’re just coming out of a four-year drought cycle in the United States and we’d like to get back to what we call trend-line yields and big crop production so there’s plenty for everybody.”
Better crop production in the U.S. would also mean lower food prices. However, other countries would experience harsher growing conditions because of El Niño. O’Neil says South America is expected to be dryer than usual, which would have an impact on the global food market.
“If South America goes dry, that would affect next year’s production worldwide,” O’Neil said.
Interesting scientists are saying now we have been in a global warming pause since the 1990's. Not exactly what we have been told. What is very interesting is that the satellites have not detected any warming since 1979! Of course we all know satellites are very archaic as well as political and should not be trusted. Lol!
I don’t know about you but I'm just not convinced about CO2 levels having much impact on earths temperatures at their current concentrations.
All the 30 plus theories as to why the global warming has supposedly stopped all sound hard to believe too.
My guess is that all the "normal variation" in climate is on a "down" trend lately, masking the gradual "up" trend caused by CO2.
Wasn't "normal variation" used as an excuse-all by climate change doubters when temperatures were going up?
When the natural variation levels off or rises, we'll see the masked anthropogenic trend more clearly.
Maybe I'm just listening for it more carefully, but I keep hearing "hottest", "coldest", driest", latest" year ever.
Well, even the doubters will know for sure after it's way too late.
I'm still with the 95% of scientists.
P.S. I forget whether I said this in the past: I don't know what to do either, in the near term, other than "invent new carbon-capture technologies and energy-production technologies that are cheap enough that China would adopt them".
Just listened to an interesting TED talk of Allan Savory, who asserts that desertification is caused by bad management of grazing animals. He is correcting it by recommending large herds that mimic natural wildlife, being moved, not staying in one area for a long period. And says that correcting desertificaton would have a major effect on climate, putting carbon back in the soil..
Every year somewhere it is the ""hottest", "coldest", driest", latest" year ever." Tying these localized weather events to climate change has been an effective way to scare people but are completely unrelated. There has always been extreme weather. And no it isn't increasing.
The 95% of scientists are baffled that their theories are not panning out and they are all coming up with new theories as to why their theories aren't working. It is much more than natural variation. In fact I think it would be wiser to focus less on "climate change" and study more the "theory change" these scientists are constantly coming up with.
I mean I am a doctored scientists myself...a critical thinker...and I put trust in science with repeatable experimental results with proper statistical analysis and experimental design...
However only a fool would put their trust in scientists that constantly change their theories...and when none of their theories turn out to be correct...the experiment is time...and time hasn't proved any of their theories...they have all been wrong. I will not put my faith in wrong.
>> There has always been extreme weather. And no it isn't increasing.
>> However only a fool would put their trust in scientists that constantly change their theories.
I disagree, both about the frequency of local extremes and the wisdom of assuming any science where theories change is wrong or deceitful. Any new science has rapidly-changing theories and global climatology is an example.
Every science's theories change, even Newtonian mechanics. Obviously a brand-new science about something as complex as climate (including hydrology, geochemistry, ecology, and atmospheric dynamics outside the ranges previously observed is going to take decades just to FIND all the relevant factors, let alone quantize their influences.
Only people with a predetermined political agenda would put any trust in people claiming to KNOW that something will NOT be harmless when even they admit that the science for proving it does not exist yet.
Only criminally reckless people would dismiss without evidence the conclusions of 95% of scientists in a field, even a young field.
>> The 95% of scientists are baffled that their theories are not panning out and they are all coming up with new theories as to why their theories aren't working.
No, they understand each new discovery and realize that they are inventing a new field of science. One person said that they keep finding new factors, some of which mitigate the original, simple, straight-forward models that predicted rapid disaster. He pointed out that we are just as likely to discover other new factors that will reveal it has been too late for decades, or that a 3-degree C change will be much WORSE than projected. When we don't know, we DON'T know.
And reality is neither conservative nor progressive: maybe the plate glass window will remain un-cracked no matter how many bricks we throw through it, or maybe those bricks will keep bouncing off. Maybe crops and crop pests and crop pathogens won't be affected much by rainfall and temperature changes. Maybe the horse WILL sing.
To say "they can't be SURE of even the limited claims they are now making" might be true, but someone playing Russian Roulette is 83% sure that the next pull of the trigger won't blow his brains out. Does that make Russian Roulette prudent or wise?
It may be that every post in these threads since the first few have been wasted effort, since none of us see much merit in the "evidence" or arguments brought up by the other side.
I looked at the Keeling Curve in the 1980s and knew that the burden of proof that we AREN'T jumping off a cliff was on anyone who can even imagine that changing the atmosphere that much is unlikely to have a MAJOR effect.
And if we talk about "going on as before" with the Keeling curve climbing higher and higher, while political partisans preach "Don't Worry, Be Happy", the only reasonable debate can be over how long it will be before the climate breaks into very new patterns, outside anything the ecosystem has adapted to in hundreds of thousands of years.
I continue to be amazed and dumbfounded that otherwise reasonable people say with a straight face that we should not be worried until after the changes are so far advanced that not even Fox News can deny them.
I understand the point of view of religious fundamentalists who say "God will save us from ourselves", I just don't agree we can or should rely on that. From the religious viewpoint, WE have a responsibility to be responsible stewards.
I think that some of the climate change deniers are actually political fundamentalists driven by a faith that "Capitalism will save us" from our own destruction of our ecosystem. From that pure-money viewpoint, we should hedge our bets against the likelihood of severe damage to agriculture everywhere and, eventually, habitability of the Tropics.
The article begins: WALLOPS ISLAND Virginia (Reuters) - Missions flown from the NASA base here have documented some of the most dramatic evidence of a warming planet over the past 20 years: the melting of polar ice, a force contributing to a global rise in ocean levels.
Did you know that the amount of sea ice in Antarctica is at record levels right now and has made a new record in each of the last 3 years? Also the amount of sea ice in the Arctic has rebounded since 2012? How about that tornadoes and hurricanes are at record lows?
Did you know that for 18 years earths temperatures have not increased? These are facts.
95% of climate scientists predicted that as the concentration of CO2 increased, global temperatures would increase, and that Arctic and Antarctic sea ice would decrease...not increase.
This is not an adjustment of a theory like in other scientific disciplines. It is evidence, data if you will that disproves the initial theory.
RickCorey_WA said: " I disagree, both about the frequency of local extremes and the wisdom of assuming any science where theories change is wrong or deceitful. Any new science has rapidly-changing theories and global climatology is an example.
Every science's theories change, even Newtonian mechanics. Obviously a brand-new science about something as complex as climate (including hydrology, geochemistry, ecology, and atmospheric dynamics outside the ranges previously observed is going to take decades just to FIND all the relevant factors, let alone quantize their influences."
DrObarrs comments: I do agree science is always changing and evolving. New discoveries are made all the time. But climate scientists have been talking and predicting as if their theory was set in stone. As if their science was not a brand new science. Instead of saying this might or might not happen they have been talking as if they can predict the future and they have been completely wrong. Brand new science requires extra skepticism in my mind. Most science slowly evolves with new discoveries making slight tweaks. In climate science the theory has been completely turned upside down. Obviously CO2 is not having the effect on global temperatures as was predicted...at least at the concentrations we are seeing so far...and many scientists are now realizing this and stating this. Weather extremes are not more frequent right now, rather their reporting of them make it seem so.
RickCorey_WA said: "Only people with a predetermined political agenda would put any trust in people claiming to KNOW that something will NOT be harmless when even they admit that the science for proving it does not exist yet.
Only criminally reckless people would dismiss without evidence the conclusions of 95% of scientists in a field, even a young field."
DrObarr says: I think the political agenda is just as powerful and guilty on both sides. I don't really buy into either argument. I am just looking at this as a scientist. 95% of scientists once said that the sun revolves around the earth and that the earth was flat. 95% of scientists can be wrong and are frequently wrong, especially in a young field as this which receives almost all of their funding from governments and beaurocrats with predetermined political agendas. In science one must prove with evidence, experimentation and data the validity of a theory. "One does not need to dismiss a theory without evidence"...well then one should not put faith in a theory without evidence or some sort of proof. You sort of prove my whole point with your comments...why put so much trust and faith in these 95% of scientists that still don't have a clue and are figuring things out?
RickCorey_WA said:"No, they understand each new discovery and realize that they are inventing a new field of science...When we don't know, we DON'T know. And reality is neither conservative nor progressive"
DrObarr says: Inventing they are! I agree with you that we just don't know. We don't know so its hard to decide what to do when we just don't know! I go for reality any day over false predictions!
RickCorey_WA said: "I continue to be amazed and dumbfounded that otherwise reasonable people say with a straight face that we should not be worried until after the changes are so far advanced that not even Fox News can deny them."
DrObarr says: I continue to be amazed and dumbfounded that otherwise reasonable people say with a straight face that we should be worried when the data suggests that the theories proposed are incorrect. I think reasonable people should only worry when it is merited. As far as religious folks or capitalists points of view I don't think they matter here. Lets just stick to the science. Fear and worry is not part of science...that's part of politics. And when a climate scientists starts talking fear and worry...if we don't do something now!!!! That's when I know he or she is not a good scientist. That's when I am not interested in whatever else they have to say. Because they are biased not by the evidence, but on their politics.
This idea that there is this tipping point and once reached there is no return, and humanity is doomed...is also a farce. Things can go back and forth and always have and will continue to do so with or without human activity. Equilibrium is a scientific principle that has been proven over and over.
Now some politics...I am not worried about the future. I am optimistic! Nobody knows what is going to happen. But I am hopeful that we can adjust and adapt to whatever climate changes we see or changes we don't see. If the ocean rises we can move inland. If it gets warmer we can move north. This whole idea of apocalypse is not scientific at all. Rising temperatures if they ever do happen could be very beneficial.
The article begins: WALLOPS ISLAND Virginia (Reuters) - Missions flown from the NASA base here have documented some of the most dramatic evidence of a warming planet over the past 20 years: the melting of polar ice, a force contributing to a global rise in ocean levels.
That was a good article...I especially liked the discussion on the impacts of subsidence:
"In many places, including much of the U.S. Eastern Seaboard, an additional factor makes the problem worse: The land is sinking. This process, known as subsidence, is due in part to inexorable geological shifts. But another major cause is the extraction of water from underground reservoirs for industrial and public water supplies. As aquifers are drained, the land above them drops, a process that can be slowed by reducing withdrawals."
Also: "Thornton, the county supervisor, testified that local residents feared for their jobs. In a recent interview, Thornton, who owns a campground in Chincoteague, said she thinks the federal government is using climate change as a ploy in a “long-term plan to get everyone away from the coastline.”
She blames the government, not rising sea levels, for the beach’s flooding problems. The refuge hasn’t taken steps to protect the shoreline, such as replenishing the beach with sand, she said. “There’s going to be nothing left to protect us,” she said."
Beach erosion has always been a problem wherever there is coastline regardless of if the sea rises or falls.
>> Did you know that the amount of sea ice in Antarctica is at record levels right now
Large short-term variations. Exactly the same argument that climate change deniers used to use to explain temperature increases and record ice lows.
>> 95% of climate scientists predicted that as the concentration of CO2 increased, global temperatures would increase, and that Arctic and Antarctic sea ice would decrease...not increase.
Long term changes averaged over the whole globe and some decades.
>> Brand new science requires extra skepticism in my mind.
OK. We can't reliably predict the effect of making a HUGE change in the atmosphere, so we should be extra-cautious until that science matures so much that it can say reliably:"Sure you can keep throwing that 9 billion ton brick through the plate glass window and expect no damage".
>> Brand new science requires extra skepticism in my mind.
Also, large or surprising claims require extra-strong evidence.
Until we reliably understand mechanisms that will protect against dumping NINE BILLION TONS of CO2 into the air EVERY YEAR, skepticism and prudence demand that we take protective action against the obvious threat.
The burden of proof is on the people who have a crazy notion that you can just continuously stomp on the atmosphere like Godzilla and expect no effect.
And even if you think 9 gigatons is negligible, that's 9 gigatons every year until we wise up. How about 90 gigatons? 900 gigatons? One thing I don't think anyone can deny is that if we keep doing what we are doing for enough decades, eventually the consequences will be undeniable and disastrous.
My guess is that most climate deniers have made the connection in their minds "If A is true, there would have to be more government regulations and industry won't be allowed to pollute for free. Therefore, A must be false."
>> which receives almost all of their funding from governments and beaurocrats with predetermined political agendas.
At least some politicians have human survival SOMEWHERE on their agenda. Other politicans seem to think exactly like most industrial managers: what is good for MY quarterl;y profits is good for the world."
>> well then one should not put faith in a theory without evidence or some sort of proof. You sort of prove my whole point with your comments...why put so much trust and faith in these 95% of scientists that still don't have a clue and are figuring things out?
No, the burden of proof is on those urging us to keep playing Russian roulette becuase it is not yet proven that the very next bullet will kill us.
>> I think reasonable people should only worry when it is merited. ... Fear and worry is not part of science...that's part of politics. And when a climate scientists starts talking fear and worry... That's when I know he or she is not a good scientist. That's when I am not interested in whatever else they have to say.
That point, I have to agree with. Climate scientists didn't stress how uncertain their theories were, at first, and newspapers and other hot-air-vendors jumped straight to pictures of NYC under water, with reportage like "this WILL happen". The damage done to climatology's credibility may not recover until we have gross and obvious crop failures and whatever else climate chnage brings.
Of course, if the long shot does come through and prayers to protect ourselves from ourselves are answered (the most plauisible mechanism I can think of for "Ignore those gigatons of CO2 in the air, nothing to see here"), and some unforeseen mechanism DOES protect us from gross stupidity, climate science will continue to be held in disrepute by people who would not have wanted a warning that a huge iceberg was on a collision course with the Tutanic.
On the other hand, YES, when a scientist leaves off the three pages of caveats and cautions and uncertainties in his claims, he IS making all of science vulnerable to being debunked by anyone who wants the answer to come out a certain way.
>> This idea that there is this tipping point and once reached there is no return, and humanity is doomed...is also a farce.
No and maybe. Looking at the climate record, major changes like Ice Ages often have very abrupt tipping points. And when the change is unprecedented, no one has any idea what is or is not to be expected. To say "there IS a tipping point" when you can't point to specific mechanisms that are highly probable, is bad science. To say "only gradual, reversible chnages will ever happen" is bad science and also factually false, since abrupt, positive-feedback chnages have been seen in the fossile reocrd.
I often say the burden of proof is on those who look at the Keeling Curve and don't see red flags. One counter-argument would be that even poor ideas about redcuing the CO2 in the atmsphpere are very expensive and hard to enforce gloablly. Usually public policy DOES need strong proof before spending huge amounts of money or putting a crimp in industry.
But our grandchildren will not be impressed with argument if it comes to crop failures and global famine.
If most of the population in the tropics have to "move north" to fed themselves, I'm not optimistic that can happen without big, medium and small wars. If changing climate chnages patterns of plant disease and pests and temperate zones are struggling to adapt faster than pests adapt, and our food prices are soaring, and most of the population of the tropics is in worse shape, I'm not optimistic at all.
>> Things can go back and forth and always have and will continue to do so with or without human activity. Equilibrium is a scientific principle that has been proven over and over.
No. Some things happen reversibly and others happen and can't go backward. Combine a storng acid and a strong base - then try to reverse that equilibrium. Yes, there is an equilibrium: 99.999% neutralization and 0.001% un-neutralized. How do you convert NaCl back to NaOH and HCL through reversible equilibrium?
The Ice Ages were a flip in one direction, and the speculation that unlimited amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere WON'T trip any similar positive feedbacks with negative consequences is just an unsupproted assertion.
The most scary new comment I've heard lately was someone explaining that climatologists DO keep finding new mechansims when they test a model. Let's say on average they find one major new factor every two years. Maybe the liklihood of each new factor being strongly destabilizing is only 5%. In 20 years, that's 40% (0.95^10, I think). Russian roulette, but for bigger odds ...
>> If the ocean rises we can move inland. If it gets warmer we can move north. This whole idea of apocalypse is not scientific at all.
I probably just don't understand why anyone brings this kind of argument up. Are you saying thqt government should never take an action unless the alternative is literal depopulation of the ENTIRE planet? Any disaster less than that is preferable to regulations or taxes? I really don;t understand. Changes that are 10 or 100 times LESS disruptive than that seem to me like the reason we HAVE governments - to protect against disasters much worse than losing wars.
>> I think reasonable people should only worry when it is merited.
Actually, I do agree with that. If our government ever really considers protective measures with any yardstick other than the partisan test "government = bad", we WILL have to balance risk against cost. But as with odds in a hand of poker or playing the stock market, if the downside of the bet is more severe, the bet needs more strongly to be hedged. Smart, small steps to hedge against disaster should be taken even before the proof is so strong that willful disbelief can't ignore it.
I read it and the article does NOT indicate that "things are NOT warming".
Are you sure you want to cite that as evidence on your side?
As the authors remark:
- - - "the study's findings "do not throw suspicion on climate change itself."
- - - " the top half of the ocean has continued to become warmer."
I thought that everyone knew that the deep oceans will be the very last places on earth to show the effects of climate change and AGW. It turns over VERY slowly.
The point of the article seems to be refining how ocean temperature profiles affect sea level rise, and the answer is that the deep ocean does not contribute much yet.
"John Willis, a scientist at the laboratory and co-author of the study, was quick to clarify that the study's findings "do not throw suspicion on climate change itself." The scientists noted that while the temperature of the abyss hasn't risen, greenhouse gases are still accumulating in the atmosphere. And Felix Landerer, who is also a scientist at the laboratory and co-author of the study, added that while the ocean's abyss wasn't warming, the top half of the ocean has continued to become warmer."
The abyssal depths of the ocean turn over VERY slowly. The main mechanism is the thermo-haline circulation where water approaches the poles, chills and becomes saltier when ice freezes out, and sinks into the depths.
I'll try to document my recollection that the typical speed with which the deep ocean turns over is around 300 years. If that is true, we would expect to see the effect of global warming THERE around 300 years after we get it on the Earth's surface and atmosphere and ocean surface.
If "300 years" is right, the deep ocean reflects the effects of global warming from industrial pollution in the year 1714. Small surprise to anyone it is too small to measure.
If we waited until the effects show up in the deep ocean, we wouldn't do anything until hundreds of years after the effects were severe on land and in the atmosphere.
BTW, the "down-welling" might only occur in the North Atlantic, not the North Pacific (and I think maybe not at the South Pole).
No matter how you look at it, saying that global warming isn't occurring because the ocean deeps haven't warmed up yet is about like saying that your car's heater doesn't work because it doesn't keep your living room warm.
A related but separate issue:
If climate change does slow down the thermo-haline circulation, that would cause the North Atlantic to cool relative to average warming elsewhere:
"Global warming could, via a shutdown or slowdown of the thermohaline circulation, trigger localised cooling in the North Atlantic and lead to cooling, or lesser warming, in that region."
Centre for Marine and Atmospheric Sciences,Hamburg University, Hamburg, Germany
International Max Planck ResearchSchool of Earth System Modelling,Hamburg, Germany
Institute forEnvironmental Studies,Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam,The Netherlands
Center for Integrated Study of the Human Dimensions of Global Change, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Several climate scientists have been saying for years that the reason why we haven't seen warming in the last 15 years is because heat may be trapped deep into the oceans as a sink for heat trapping. This theory has been disproven.
I wonder how they thought deep heat transfer would occur, since the T-H circulation is well know to be very slow.
I recall (some decades ago?) when they added heat accumulation in the shallow surface waters to the models. They've been tracking that surface temperature change for some years or decades, I think by satellite.
Here is a better more complete article directly from NASA.
One thing they also note is that the warming on the upper part of the ocean is minor and does not account for the supposed heat that earth should be accumulating.
One thing is for sure...climate scientists have no clue why there has been no warming in the atmosphere...and not only is their theory about heating due to current CO2 levels flawed, so are their theories trying to explain where their missing heat is at!
My guess is that with the slight increases in temperatures we saw last century, that triggered more evapotranspiration, which increases humidity and cloud formation which causes more light and heat to be reflected into space and cools the earth. Rising temperatures essentially create conditions to counteract a further increase in heat regardless of CO2 level. http://isccp.giss.nasa.gov/role.html
I was wondering how they could use satellites to "measure" deep-ocean temperatures. In my mind, the following does not "measure" deep temps, it makes a conclusion based on some measurements and deductions with implicit assumptions.
"From the total amount of sea level rise, they subtracted the amount of rise from the expansion in the upper ocean, and the amount of rise that came from added meltwater. The remainder represented the amount of sea level rise caused by warming in the deep ocean.
The remainder was essentially zero"
Also, the study was all about sea level.
Obviously SOME scientists thought it was plausible that significant heat could migrate into the deep ocean despite the fact that exchange of seawater only occurs over 1,000 year timescales, and the existence of a thermocline suggests strongly that heat doesn't just diffuse very deep significantly by conduction or convection.
I guess you disproved my belief that it's kind of dumb to think the deep ocean COULD be absorbing much heat on a scale of years instead of millennia. IF the study was done to look for deep-sea temperature changes, it must have been plausible to SOMEONE.
On the other hand, maybe the study was done to dis[rove something about sea level rise, but nothing gets written up in newspapers and magazines unless the press release mentions "global warming".
I notice that every article you point to was written by someone who stresses that the results do NOT indicate that global warming isn't real, they just can't explain why the models don't predict everything yet.
Duhh. New science, complicated subject, planet shifting from old weather and climate patterns into never-before-seen patterns, and anyone is surprised that things happen that aren't predicted ahead of time? That's what I don;t understand.
We already know there are random variations.
We already know there are multiple oscillations like El Nino/ Nina or this THC-related AMOC.
I wish I could find again some site that talked about ALL the semi-periodic weather "cycles" that have been known or claimed or speculated about for decades.
The the upward trend levels or deeps briefly, and that proves the sky isn't falling?
The difference between a trend and a straight line is that a trend wnaders around.
If the "pause" lasts several decades, then I'll take note of it. It might even mean that it won;t be a crises until we reach (for example) 500 ppm instead of 400 ppm. Big whoop. That's like saying THIS round of Russian Roulette didn;t kill me, so it's safe.
If they find a mechanism that EXPLAINS how you can increase atmospheric insulation without increasing steady-state temps, and somehow prove those changes are NOT going to bollix up aspects of weather and climate that our crops depend on, THEN I'll say that continuing to play Russian Roulette with our only habitat isn't as insanely dangerous as I thought. But for anyone to agree with that, their faith in science knowing more than it can know is amazingly strong!
Scientists have predicted that as the CO2 concentration increased, the temperatures on earth would increase proportionately with the increase in CO2. CO2 has risen, but the temperatures have ceased to increase. Scientists are trying to figure out why the temperatures aren't increasing. Scientists haven't been able to explain why the temperatures have ceased to rise. In fact, CO2 has been rising for a few hundred years, but we have not seen a gradual warming that corresponds with that increase in CO2 either. It is only when you seek out certain periods of time...such as the 1980's to the year 2000, for example, where you see trends of warming with increased CO2. There have also been many many periods of cooling, as CO2 has increased. Scientists still aren't sure what has caused some of the warming events. Scientists know that other factors can also regulate or cause warming.
The articles I am trying to share show what IS happening through actual measurements. It is very hard to have a discussion of what may happen in the future, especially when 99% of scientists have been unable to successfully predict it...and I doubt they can continue to accurately predict it. You believe we are headed on a path of catastrophe...that at some PPM concentration of CO2 it will be all over and the world ends! I disagree with that whole premise.
One thing to remember is that CO2 from the combustion of oil and gas deposits isn't infinite. It is finite. Much of the oil and gas may never be extracted because of its costs to do so, or location etc. But more importantly, other sources of energy will take their place. Eventually, alternative technology will improve and costs will decrease compared to fossil fuels. I would guess in 100 years or less, a carbon dominated energy system may be obsolete which would significantly decrease carbon emissions.
My take is that there are too many other factors that regulate temperatures here on earth. That CO2's impact is likely minimal based on past and current observations. That other more important factors control temperatures. I think that the earth can handle a wide range of CO2 concentrations without catastrophe as we have seen so far.
You are sure the sky IS falling...that we ARE playing Russian Roulette, that it IS a ticking time bomb and I don't. I think the earth is far more flexible than that.
>> Scientists have predicted that as the CO2 concentration increased, the temperatures on earth would increase proportionately with the increase in CO2
Really? I never heard anyone ever claim "proportionately with the increase in CO2", since it was obvious back in the '80s that it was not a linear correlation, and pretty obviously not any simple correlation, since "the climate" is a hugely complex system. That sounds like a Fox-"News"-caliber misstatement of what any reputable scientist would say.
>> You believe we are headed on a path of catastrophe...that at some PPM concentration of CO2 it will be all over and the world ends! I disagree with that whole premise.
I know that I sometimes describe a worst-case scenario. I think that is less exaggerated a position than "let's not do anythingt until decades after it's too late".
More like: I think that any risk of damaging something that our entire ecosystem and agriculture totally depends on is an unwise risk.
That's why I use the example of Russian Roulette. It's a case where everyone knows it is dumb to play Russian Roulette. Scientists can't prove that playing Russian Roulette 2-3 times WILL kill you, so "the science is still out".
That illustrates why "proving" exactly what effect AGW will have on climate in the near, middle and long terms before taking any action is as unwise as playing Russian Roulette until you hear the bang.
"What to do about it", and "what CAN be done that is affordable" are such hard questions that it's understandable that we mostly talk past each other.
I think it is extremely likely that at some concentrations of CO2, climate WILL change substantially and affect crop production seriously. Exactly as with Russian Roulette, it's not clear how long we can keep playing the game of dumping gigatons - GIGAtons - of CO2 into the atmosphere EVERY YEAR.
It probably is a big deal, an argument-concluder, that I looked at the Keeling curve in the 1980s and concluded that it would HAVE TO have a major affect on atmospheric dynamics (hence climate) ... at some point. It's as obvious to me as a brick through a plate glass window WILL do "something" to the window, at some point.
Maybe there is no point in arguing with people who can look at that curve and assume it will have little discernible effect.
The curve looks to me exactly like every exponential-growth-curve looks, until it hits the point where all the cells die.
The specific modeling details are interesting, but they keep finding large new factors to add into the models. That process will surely go on for decades at least. The odds are very good that we will DISCOVER the way it affects the climate before we can prove/predict it.
So "wait for the science to fully mature" isn't a very practical guide to action.
That is "waiting to hear the boom".
Neuroanatomists are developing ever more detailed brain maps, but I would not wait for their new science to fully mature before deciding that I don't want to risk a bullet through my brain.
I read one article that made the point that every crop variety and agricultural practice is "tuned" to the climate/weather/insect/pathogen environment. Apparently potato varieties are different every 50 miles you go North or South, to optimize production in different regions.
Even climate change that is too slight to be proven to those who are highly motivated to disagree or "deny" would be more than is caused by a 50 mile shift North or South! If the change is rapid, that author was pretty sure that insects and plant pathogens would adapt much faster than plants or farmers. He convinced me.
Since we are already heading for a conflict between agricultural productivity and world population, I think that "seriously" could be as serious as multiple small or large wars. Compared to (for example) Crimea and ISIS/ISIL, "regional famines" seem quite likely to cause wars.
Others may find that hard to believe. Maybe social science has not yet "proved" to their satisfaction that severe hardships caused by resource scarcity tend to cause wars. Whatever. Any statement other than mathematical statements can always be pooh-poohed by saying "that isn't fully PROVEN". An argument form that can prove ANYthing is not a valid argument form.
I imagine that we CAN agree that no obvious, affordable options have been found yet.
Natural gas power plants COULD pollute less than coal or oil. I wish we would invest in more of them, and burn less coal. I wish Red China would do the same, but I know they won't until it's an economical option for them.
Nuclear and (in a few cases) solar or wind power might help reduce CO2 pollution from electric power generation if the prices were right.
Transportation power (gasoline or natural gas) seems likely to keep emitting CO2 until we can generate very clean electrical power AND store it efficiently in portable batteries.
I think that the obvious dangers argue for strong attempts to find other options, even though we don;t know whether we have years, decades or 100 years. Solving the problem might take 100 years!
By the time crops fail and (later) waters rise significantly it will probably be much too late, and the problem will get MUCH worse and much harder to solve.
When Napoleon ordered trees planted beside the roads his troops would march on (to give them shade), his advisers told him that the trees would take decades to mature. "I know" he said. "That's why we have to start right now".