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Thread: Climate Change / Global Warming Discussion

  1. #1791
    Member tigerade's Avatar
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    I was going to try and respond to flashflood's concerns, but it seems like I've been upstaged by RichardC's excellent posts. So I won't bother with that. But I do want to echo some interesting thoughts that I think are great from Peter Hadfield's incredible video series on climate change:

    Explain why you think the experiments showing the radiation absorbtion of CO2 are flawed.

    Explain how you think the Earth thawed from it's Pre-Cambrian snowball.

    Explain why you think the Earth was much warmer during the Cambrian, even though solar output was lower.

    Explain why there is a good correlation between global temperatures and CO2 levels of the past 500 million years.

    Explain how you think the Earth warmed enough to emerge from recent glaciations.

    Explain why we have had 35 years of warming even though solar irradiation is lower.
    If any "skeptic" manages to do that, I will be very impressed.



    27 -- The evidence for climate change WITHOUT computer models or the IPCC - YouTube
    Last edited by tigerade; Yesterday at 10:42 PM.

  2. #1792
    Cdn Sig & Solar Supporter RichardC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert.Boston View Post
    Moderator's Note: The little population detour isn't so big as to be disruptive. It's also on topic, as it's all the people and their consumption that are adding GHGs.

    Robert's Note: @flashflood, thanks for your contributions. My bottom line is similar to yours, I think: if we don't know the effects of injecting vast quantities of GHGs into the atmosphere, and we don't have any good way of getting those GHGs out, the public interest should dictate a rapid reduction in those GHG injections. From a science perspective, I think the burden of proof has shifted: those who want to continue our uncapped GHG emissions should be required to demonstrate that doing so is safe. As physicians know, "first, do no harm."
    Thanks Robert,

    From my perspective we are now 25 years beyond the time when individuals could afford to be agnostic about the climate science or the clear and imminent danger to our civilization that it now poses.

    We need to recognize that the current "business as usual" status quo represents a wholesale breakdown of the public policy apparatus, in both Canada and the United States, which now seems increasingly likely to result in the dire outcomes forecast by Oreskes and Conway in their recent book.

    I appreciate Flashflood's postings as I believe that he is honestly and in good faith reflecting back the disinformation which is widely disseminated through astroturf groups and other proxies for undisclosed business interests. I am very concerned that a substantial percentage of the electorate simply believes that whole "global warming" thing is some made up nonsense that really doesn't matter.

    I believe that we have an obligation, as citizens, to learn all we can and to come to an educated understanding and to pass on the knowledge to those around us.

    On a positive note, there now seems to be a groundswell of recognition by some senior former politicians (other than Al Gore) of the urgent need to address this issue. For example see:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinio...348_story.html
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/30/us...rule.html?_r=2
    http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed...ry.html#page=1
    http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2...V1H/story.html
    http://www.oregonlive.com/business/i..._our_time.html
    http://www.iom.edu/Global/Perspectiv...stemRisks.aspx
    http://riskybusiness.org/report/over...rstanding-risk

  3. #1793
    Cdn Sig & Solar Supporter RichardC's Avatar
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    Thanks Flashflood, I will respond to each point in turn:

    Quote Originally Posted by flashflood View Post
    @RichardC: The law of conservation of energy only applies to thermodynamically closed systems. The earth is an open system that both absorbs and radiates energy. (It also generates heat internally due to gravitational tidal friction and radioactive decay.) Newton's law of cooling tells us that the hotter something is relative to its surroundings, the faster it radiates energy. That's why planets don't just keep heating up and eventually boil away. Newtonian cooling is the most obvious negative feedback mechanism in any climate system: the hotter it is, the faster it cools (dT/dt = -k delta T).
    That is clearly correct and reflects the underlying physics. If you look at the earth from space and simply measure, as NASA and other scientific projects are doing, the top of atmosphere energy balance then the planet closely approximates a closed system for the purposes of our discussion of ocean energy. The relevant exceptions are the 100% of solar energy which enters the atmosphere and the 99.83% of that energy which leaves. The balance of that energy (which is trapped by the increased levels of GHGs) accumulates until such time as the global temperature rises to the new equilibrium. The new higher equilibrium temperature is the magnitude of the global warming which results from the additional GHGs in the atmosphere. (I recognize that the 0.17% is not a constant and would decrease as the temperature rose, if we were to stop adding to the store of GHGs in the atmosphere, but it reflects the average measured by NASA over a period of years.)

    Quote Originally Posted by flashflood View Post
    @RichardC: Regarding CO2 as a GHG, you're right that on a barren planet whose atmosphere consists of nothing but CO2, more CO2 means more insulation, which means a lower rate of cooling, and therefore a higher stable temperature. (More CO2 yields a smaller 'k' for the system.)

    On Earth, however, CO2 is present only in PPM, the dominant GHG is water vapor, the planet has weather that affects albedo, and the planet is living. Even the most ardent AGW proponents admit that there is no predictive equation of the form "this much additional CO2 = this response (accounting for all positive and negative feedbacks and their interactions) by the biosphere and the climate system". The Sun itself is a variable, not only in energy output, but also (and much more so) in its magnetic field, which shields the Earth from galactic cosmic rays, which affect the rate of cloud nucleation. It is a very complex system, and it is clearly self-stabilizing in some way. We know that it's been much hotter in the past, and also much cooler -- and neither condition led to runaway heating or cooling.
    All correct, but as a practical matter irrelevant. Water vapour is a positive feedback element which amplifies the effect of CO2 and other GHGs. As the temperature rises so does the water carrying capacity of the air and the average humidity level. The effect is reasonably well understood and tested. Solar energy output is declining but the effects are minute compared to the overwhelming impact of manmade GHGs on the energy balance. The cosmic ray theories have been tested and disproved. All rigorous tests have concluded, as did Dr. Muller, that manmade GHGs are the overwhelming source of climate change. It is in reality quite simple and predictable and is operating as predicted. Increased manmade GHGs increasingly block the escape of heat energy and the planet gets warmer.!

    If you have a peer reviewed paper which provides evidence to the contrary please provide it. All of these arguments have previously been extensively tested and disproven.

    Actually, the planet's past has been characterized by both runaway heating and runaway cooling. These demonstrate the manner in which positive feedback characteristics can accelerate the planet into massive overheating, or an ice ages. In each case, recovery can take many thousands or millions of years and may result in a wholesale extinction of species. The Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) is the incident which appears to be most relevant to the present situation. As noted in Wikipedia:

    The absolute age and duration of the event remain uncertain, but are close to 55.8 million years ago and about 170,000 years, respectively. The PETM has become a focal point of considerable geoscience research because it probably provides our best past analog in which to understand impacts of global warming and massive carbon input to the ocean and atmosphere, including ocean acidification.

    The PETM is characterized by extreme changes on Earth’s surface, whereby global temperatures rose by about 6 °C (11 °F). This warming extended from the tropics to high latitudes and the deep ocean. ... Indeed, the PETM is probably the only example within the Cenozoic Era (approximately the last 65 million years) wherein a mass of carbon comparable to projected anthropogenic emissions (>2000 Gt or Pg) rapidly entered these reservoirs. The source of the CO2, and whether it was oxidized CH4, remain open issues; nonetheless, abundant evidence indicates nearly coeval changes in global warming and global carbon cycling, strongly suggesting a link between the two.
    See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paleoce...hermal_maximum

    A number of scientists have posited that methane hydrates appear to be the most plausible source of the massive amounts of carbon which have been implicated in the PETM.

    For example see: http://scholar.google.ca/scholar_url...=0CB0QgAMoAjAA
    http://scholar.google.ca/scholar_url...=0CBsQgAMoADAA

    It is currently feared by a number of scientists that the rapid melting of the arctic is going to release methane hydrates and clathrates with results mirroring the PETM. One paper identified the following as potential lessons from the PETM:

    Lessons from a previous global warming event
    The PETM took place at a point in Earth's development when the climate was very different than today. It's important to stress that none of the preceding discussion implies that direct and complete comparisons can be made between the Earth climate of today, and the Earth climate of 56 million years ago. Much has changed since then, such as the layout of the continents, and the development of major mountain chains such at the Himalayas and Andes, the growth of major ice sheets, major cooling of the deep ocean and the poles, slight warming of the Sun, and changing Earth-Sun orbital characteristics, all of which greatly alter global circulations and therefore climate.
    But now that we humans have embarked on a global warming experiment, there are some useful lessons from the past:




    • Ocean acidification (of the deep sea at least) can occur even under conditions of CO2 release much slower than today.



    Whether the plants and animals upon which humans depend can survive the present rapidly changing environment remains to be seen.
    See: http://www.skepticalscience.com/co2-...xtinction.html
    https://sites.google.com/site/thepal...hermal-maximum

    In a new paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Morgan Schaller and James Wright contend that following a doubling in carbon dioxide levels, the surface of the ocean turned acidic over a period of weeks or months and global temperatures rose by 5 degrees centigrade – all in the space of about 13 years.
    See: http://news.rutgers.edu/research-new...3#.U9hL8010w5m

    We are currently conducting a massive, unsupervised experiment on the planet. The best available scientific information suggests that we may well be destabilizing methane locked in the arctic permafrost and oceans with results which could well echo those of the PETM.

    See: http://thinkprogress.org/climate/201...atures-jumped/

    Quote Originally Posted by flashflood View Post
    @RichardC: On this much we probably agree: we should try to understand the climate system with an eye toward figuring out what it is most sensitive to, so that in the event that AGW is true -- or alternatively, in the event that Yellowstone blows and we face sudden, massive cooling -- we can actually do something about it. Furthermore, since burning fossil fuels is bad for many reasons that have nothing to do with CO2, we should make it a goal to stop doing that. Regardless.

    BTW, the Argo folks are working on a second-generation probe that will sample ocean temperatures down to 6km rather than the current 2km limit. That should settle the question of whether heat is "hiding in the deep ocean" or not.

    Thank you. The planet as a whole may be warming, but it's pretty dang cold over here, being an AGW skeptic on an EV forum.

    And yes, I entirely share your bottom line.
    I am glad to hear that you share the bottom line and hope that the above is of some assistance. We all need to be appropriately skeptical as to the attacks on climate science which regularly appear in the popular media. As is the case with the Douglass and Knox paper, once it is reviewed closely it becomes clearly apparent that it doesn't support the position that it is being cited for by the deniers, and/or has been superseded and displaced by more relevant and accurate research.

    I am going to step back and let Tiger provide any further responses which may be appropriate.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Great video Tiger!

  4. #1794
    Member tigerade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigerade View Post
    And now we've got one for terrorism. Yes, terrorism. First Nazi's, now terrorism.

    Congressman Compares EPAs New Climate Rule To Terrorism | ThinkProgress
    First Nazi's, then terrorism. Now the EPA regulations are a violation of God's will. These people do not disappoint.

    In Push To Protect Big Coal, Alabama Officials Say New EPA Regulations Violate God's Will

  5. #1795
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigerade View Post
    First Nazi's, then terrorism. Now the EPA regulations are a violation of God's will. These people do not disappoint.

    In Push To Protect Big Coal, Alabama Officials Say New EPA Regulations Violate God's Will
    Neither side has a monopoly on crazy. Like calling for the death penalty for "deniers" (a vile term, invoking Holocaust denial to score debate points):

    Richard Parncutt - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Or, to make the inevitable Nazi analogy complete, calling for "climate Nuremberg" trials:

    Scientific Nuremberg Trials? - Reason.com

    Guilt by association is not an argument. Whatever you believe, there are racists, murderers, and politicians who happen to agree with you.

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