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Thread: Global Warming?

  1. #61
    & Double Naught Spy InternationalPlayboy's Avatar
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    I apologize too, if

    I seemed attacking. I revert back to my Neo-Tech/Ayn Rand days when I hear someone promoting the use of "force" to

    push their viewpoints onto others.

    I am skeptical about global warming and think it may be a natural

    occurence. At the same time, we can cut down on oil consumption and pollution. I'd love to have a hybred car to

    commute to work and cut back on my $25-$30 a week gas bill. Did you know that due to the long waiting list that they

    sell for more used right now than they do new?

    Between where I live and San Diego, they have erected huge

    power windmills in the mountains on the Tecate Divide. Though it's a shame that the natural landscape is broken up

    now, they are cool looking and I like the fact that there is an alternative energy source there. And they aren't

    any worse looking than all of the mountainside homes that have popped up further west on Interstate 8 in the last

    ten years. Or the huge Acorn Casino that has been built on the next mountain top over for that matter.



    Nearer to home, there was geothermal experimentation a couple of decades ago but I don't think so much

    anymore as it isn't cost effective yet. I was all for that and was interested in maybe working in that field if the

    experiments had grown into a working facility.

    And I do feel bad about the clear cutting in your area. Not

    only does that change the landscape, but also causes other problems, such as erosion and flooding.

  2. #62
    Phero Pharaoh a.k.a.'s Avatar
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    I find that a bit of history can

    clear up a lot of fog:

    The notion of global warming goes back to 1896 when the Swedish scientist Svente

    Arrhenius calculated that doubling the Earth’s concentration of carbon dioxide would raise average global

    temperatures by 5-6 C. But I don’t think it became a political issue until 1988 when NASA climatologist James Hansen

    told Congress he believed that a long-term warming trend had begun, probably caused by the “greenhouse effect”. At

    this point, environmentalists began to call for reduced emissions from the burning of fossil fuels, and many vested

    interests fought back.
    In 1988, under the auspices of the United Nations, scientists and government

    officials inaugurated the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a global scientific body that would

    eventually pull together thousands of researchers to evaluate the issue of global warming. The IPCC was supposed to

    establish the “gold standard” of climate science.
    One year later, the petroleum and automotive industries and

    the National Association of Manufacturers established their own “gold standard”: the Global Climate Coalition (GCC),

    which sought to prove that global warming was a natural phenomenon, if not an outright hoax.
    In the

    IPCC’s first assessment report, published in 1990, the science remained open to reasonable doubt. But the IPCC’s

    second report, completed in 1995, concluded that amid purely natural factors shaping the climate, humankind’s

    distinctive fingerprint was evident. And with the release of the IPCC’s third assessment in 2001, a strong consensus

    had emerged: Notwithstanding some role for natural variability, human-created greenhouse gas emissions could, if

    left unchecked, ramp up global average temperatures by as much as 5.8 degrees Celsius by the year 2100.
    The

    National Academy of Sciences endorsed the IPCC’s assessments and many old “skeptics” (most notably Shell, Texaco,

    BP, Ford, GM, and Chrysler) pulled out of the GCC — which eventually went defunct in 2002.
    At this point

    ExxonMobil and the American Petroleum Institute switched their focus from the scientific community to the business

    community and began funding numerous think tanks and public policy groups (like the Cato Institute, the American

    Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, the Advancement of Sound Science Center, and the Free Enterprise

    Action Institute). These groups were able to target opinion leaders within the business community and reach a

    broader audience through web sites such as JunkScience.com, CSRWatch.com and TechCentralStation.com. They were also

    able to organize high profile public events with familiar names (such as Michael Crichton).

    In other

    words industry lost the battle of science vs science (GCC vs IPCC) and has now switched to the PR front, where it

    holds a decisive advantage.
    A good example of how this works is the recent “controversy” surrounding the Arctic

    Climate Impact Assessment, released on November of 2004.
    The ACIA was and international study — commissioned

    by he Arctic Council, an intergovernmental forum that includes the United States — that combined the work of nearly

    300 scientists. The study warned that the Arctic is warming “at almost twice the rate as that of the rest of the

    world,” and that early impacts of climate change, such as melting sea ice and glaciers, are already apparent and

    “will drastically shrink marine habitat for polar bears, ice-inhabiting seals, and some seabirds, pushing some

    species toward extinction.”
    Senator John McCain took the report seriously and called for a Senate

    hearing on the issue.
    FoxNews.com columnist Steven Milloy (an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute)

    published an opinion piece entitled “Polar Bear Scare on Thin Ice”. (Citing a single graph from a 146-page overview

    of a 1,200+ page, fully referenced report, Milloy claimed that the document “pretty much debunks itself” because

    high Arctic temperatures “around 1940” suggest that the current temperature spike could be chalked up to natural

    variability.) Two days later the Washington Times published the same column (without referencing Milloy’s ties to

    the oil industry or the ACIA author’s rebuttal to his “critique”).
    Shortly thereafter TechCentralStation.com

    published a letter to Senator McCain from 11 “climate experts,” who asserted that recent Arctic warming was not at

    all unusual in comparison to “natural variability in centuries past.” Meanwhile, the George C. Marshall Institute

    ($310,000 in Exxon-Mobil donations) issued a press release asserting that the Arctic report was based on

    “unvalidated climate models and scenarios…that bear little resemblance to reality and how the future is likely to

    evolve.”
    The day of McCain’s hearing, the Competitive Enterprise Institute put out a press release, citing

    the above critiques as if they should be considered on a par with the massive, exhaustively reviewed Arctic report:

    “The Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, despite its recent release, has already generated analysis pointing out

    numerous flaws and distortions.” The Fraser Institute ($60,000 from ExxonMobil) also released a statement, calling

    the Arctic warming report “an excellent example of the favored scare technique of the anti-energy activists: pumping

    largely unjustifiable assumptions about the future into simplified computer models to conjure up a laundry list of

    scary projections.”

    All this drama gives the impression of a scientific controversy when really there is

    none.
    Naomi Oriskis, a science historian at the University of California at San Diego, reviewed nearly a

    thousand peer-reviewed papers on global climate change published between 1993 and 2003, and was unable to find one

    that explicitly disagreed with the consensus view that humans are contributing to the phenomenon. That doesn’t mean

    no such studies exist. But given the size of her sample, it’s safe to assume that the number is “vanishingly

    small.”

    The real controversy is political. As of last February, 140 governments have signed on to the Kyoto

    Protocols for reducing carbon dioxide emissions. The US — which is by far the largest source of these emissions,

    accounting for something like 25% of the total — has refused to take action.
    Americans aren’t stupid.

    Computer models may be incredibly complex and maybe you can’t get two scientists to agree on which variables should

    be included. But the basic structure of the “greenhouse effect” can be demonstrated in a 6th grade science lab.

    (Take 3 aquariums, 3 heat lamps, 3 thermometers, and three stopwatches. Add a bowl of backing soda and vinegar to

    one aquarium, a bowl of soda lime to another, and plain old vinegar to the third. Turn on the heat lamps and measure

    the rise in temperature over 30 second intervals.)
    The only reason all this oil industry PR is taken seriously

    is that it’s telling us something we want to hear.
    The bottom line is that people don’t want to give up their

    way of life (or their national supremacy) for no scientific theory.
    Give truth a chance.

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by a.k.a.
    The only reason

    all this oil industry PR is taken seriously is that it’s telling us something we want to hear.
    That's

    exactly what I was saying.

    All in all, a good piece. I've mentioned before that if human interaction has

    altered any natural phenomenon, then I believe we have a responsibility to correct the alteration.

  4. #64
    Moderator belgareth's Avatar
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    Nice write-up, AKA. Not

    entirely accurate but well done. It really doesn't clear up much, if any fog.

    Mostly, the errors are ommissions

    that you may not be aware of even though I've touched on and posted articles regarding some of them them. First, it

    is not a cut and dried dispute between two factions like your post makes it sound. You fail to mention the thousands

    of unaffiliated scientists who dispute those conclussions, many of who have had their research suppressed, grants

    revoked and even been dismissed from their jobs for their opinions and attempts to bring those opinions to the

    public eye. Admittedly, there are also thousands of unaffiliated scientists who believe in global warming too.

    However, except in a few rare cases (mostly associated with the Bush admin), their research has not been suppressed.

    I wonder why a group so sure of their data and conclusions finds it appropriate to suppress dissension. That is not

    at all what I'd call good science.

    The global warming theorists cannot account for a number of things and

    completely ignore others. For instance, why is the artic warming faster than everywhere else? That implies some

    other mechanism is at work. What is that mechanism and how does it fit into the global warming theory? Unaccounted

    for items include increased thermal energy due to the fluctations of the earth's magnetic field, changes in the

    over all reflectivity of the planet and changes in solar output. All of those and many other issues are not taken

    into account. Nor do they take into account the fact that the earth is substantially cooler than it has been. 3/4 of

    a million years ago the average temperature was about 20 degrees F higher. How does the natural cycle of warming and

    cooling fit into the equation? In every study I've seen it has been ignored or dismessed as irrelevent which it is

    not. I'd like to know why global warming theorists have repeatedly deleted relevent temperature changes from the

    charts? How does the recent increase in volcanic activity for into the picture with the huge amounts of carbon

    dioxide ejected into the environment?

    Kyoto specifically addresses so-called greenhouse gases. It does not

    address particulate emmissions whatsoever. However, solid, well documented research and well known thermodynamic

    principles indicate that it is relevent, even of critical importance to one of the global warming crowd's favorite

    topics, the artic. For more than 5,000 years eastern asia has been emitting ever increasing amounts of soot. This

    soot drifts north on the constant winds in that area and are deposited on the glaciers and snowpacks all the way to

    the north pole. The same has been true of Europe and the US for a shorter time but in greater concentrations. This

    dark soot increases absorbed solar energy and causes rapid melting of ice and snow. In many cases it doesn't wash

    away with the melt and remains in place for hundreds of years. Good scientific work seems to indicate that it is a

    major contributor to artic melt and warming of the artic. While Kyoto does not address this very important issue,

    the US and several Asian nations have signed agreements to help reduce this problem

    http://en.wikipedia.or

    g/wiki/Asia_Pacific_Partnership_on_Clean_Development_and_ Climate
    . As a side comment, I note that Australia who

    is very environmantally concious is a signature of this agreement but has also refused to join Kyoto.

    That

    aquarium experiment was an amusing one. First, look at the concentration of carbon dioxide in your aqauriums, I'm

    assuming they are sealed to avoid outside influences. The one with baking soda and vinager would have concentrations

    of CO2 as high as 5% and possibly higher compared to the global concentration of 0.038%. I imagine if you increased

    the concentration of CO2 in the human body by the same 100+ times you would have certain health issues. Scientists

    have scoffed at the methodology of massive overdoses for a long time. Leaving that, let's set up another aquarium

    along with the other three. This one will have normal earth atmosphere in it. On the bottom of the tank sprinkle a

    very thin layer of black dust. How rapidly will it heat up?

    I have never said we are not screwing up our

    environment, nor have I said that we don't need to do something about it. My whole purpose to starting this thread

    is to open discussion of real science that includes suppressed and ignored information. I keep seeing the same old

    song and dance about global warming is doing this and that, or that global warming scientists say this and that. I

    have asked a lot of pertinant questions about related issues and brought up numerous points for discussion. Not one

    of those points have been addressed other than by telling me that global warming is doing this, that and the other

    thing. That is not science nor is it discussion, it sounds like mostly evasion.
    To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.

    Thomas Jefferson

  5. #65
    Phero Pharaoh a.k.a.'s Avatar
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    Hi Belgareth,
    You did

    start this thread so I’ll try to respect your right to determine which questions are pertinent and which aren’t.


    One of your issues, in starting this thread, was the lack of studies that went further back than 100 years. To me,

    this issue is tangential to questions of how we may be altering our climate today, but here is a link to a

    discussion of changes over the past 650,000 years, and I will try to better address more of your issues in further

    posts:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=221

    Interesting that you find my

    aquarium demonstration amusing. I find your notion of independent scientists amusing. We are obviously coming at

    this issue from radically different perspectives. And that’s what I’ll try to address in this post.



    First of all... If you put a lid on the aquariums you are creating a real greenhouse rather than investigating an

    atmospheric effect. (Just be sure that negative air is turned off, if your lab is that sophisticated.) Also if you

    line one aquarium with black soot you aren’t really proving/disproving anything about the role of CO2. (As I see it,

    that’s the central question.)
    Regarding the “overdose” of CO2... The point is to demonstrate CO2’s

    capacity to retain heat, not to provide an accurate model of the Earth’s atmosphere. Once that is established, two

    lines of investigation are opened up: Science and Public Policy. With regards to Science, the central question seems

    to be, “How do carbon dioxide emissions effect the Earth’s climate.” With regards to Public Policy the central

    question is, “Do carbon dioxide emissions pose a potential risk?”
    (I am obviously coming at the issue of

    global warming from the perspective of public policy.)
    Research from either line of investigation may

    frequently overlap, but two distinctly different standards should be in effect. Science operates under the principle

    that we must disprove the “null hypothesis” (that is we must DISPROVE that extraneous factors are responsible for

    measurable differences in weather phenomena). Public Policy supposedly operates under the “precautionary principle”

    (that is we must PROVE that CO2 emissions pose no significant risks.)
    The FDA routinely requires testing

    of massive overdoses of food additives, dyes and preservatives before clearing them for public consumption.
    Of

    course the policy debates surrounding the “greenhouse effect” have followed a course exactly opposite to the

    “precautionary principle”. The global economy was already deeply dependent on fossil fuels before apparent dangers

    entered the public discourse. The IPCC was put in the position of having to disprove extraneous factors before

    governments were willing to commit to any type of action.
    I think this was a shamefully irresponsible

    approach, but that’s “water under the bridge” if you accept the IPCC’s 3rd assessment; because we now have evidence

    of potential dangers above and beyond the “precautionary principle”.
    This thread has many posts regarding

    the famous/infamous “hockey stick”. A veritable cottage industry has sprung up around this “critique” (I’ve even

    seen it in the WSJ, of all places) Even if this critique is valid, I don’t see how it has any bearing on the IPCC’s

    assessment that humans are CURRENTLY causing rising temperatures. But since this is such a bone of contention for

    the “anti-global warming crowd”, here’s a link to a Pro “Hockey Stick” article with a few references to

    peer-reviewed journal articles:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=11#falseclaims

    And

    I'd like to draw your attention to this particular paragraph which seems to contradict a lot of what you've been

    saying about the "global warming crowd":

    MYTH #3: The "Hockey Stick" studies claim that the 20th century on

    the whole is the warmest period of the past 1000 years.

    This is a mis-characterization of the actual

    scientific conclusions. Numerous studies suggest that hemispheric mean warmth for the late 20th century (that is,

    the past few decades) appears to exceed the warmth of any comparable length period over the past thousand years or

    longer, taking into account the uncertainties in the estimates (see Figure 1 in "Temperature Variations in Past

    Centuries and The So-Called 'Hockey Stick'"). On the other hand, in the context of the long-term reconstructions,

    the early 20th century appears to have been a relatively cold period while the mid 20th century was comparable in

    warmth, by most estimates, to peak Medieval warmth (i.e., the so-called "Medieval Warm Period"). It is not the

    average 20th century warmth, but the magnitude of warming during the 20th century, and the level of warmth observed

    during the past few decades, which appear to be anomalous in a long-term context. Studies such as those of Soon and

    associates (Soon and Baliunas, 2003; Soon et al, 2003) that consider only ‘20th century’ conditions, or interpret

    past temperature changes using evidence incapable of resolving trends in recent decades , cannot meaningfully

    address the question of whether late 20th century warmth is anomalous in a long-term and large-scale

    context.

    As far as I know, the “hockey stick” critique first appeared in 2003 in an article published

    in the journal “Climate Research” by Willie Soon and Sallie Baliunas of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for

    Astrophysics. Soon serves as “science director” to TechCentralStation.com, is an adjunct scholar with Frontiers of

    Freedom, and wrote (with Baliunas) the Fraser Institute’s pamphlet “Global Warming: A Guide to the Science.”

    Baliunas, meanwhile, is “enviro-sci host” of TechCentral, and is on science advisory boards of the Committee for a

    Constructive Tomorrow and the Annapolis Center for Science-based Public Policy ($427,500 from ExxonMobil), and has

    given speeches on climate science before the AEI and the Heritage Foundation ($340,000 from ExxonMobil).
    I

    didn’t mention the “thousands” of independent climate scientists that have had their research suppressed, because

    I’m not convinced that such a creature exists. But I will admit that I’m not qualified to judge whether a

    climatologist failed to make it past the peer-review process because of politics or shoddy methodology. (Are

    you?)
    I do know a few things about how the world works however. History is full of examples where

    groundbreaking science was suppressed or ignored because it didn’t fit the dominant paradigm. But I can’t think of

    single example where somebody’s work was suppressed because it FAVORED powerful vested interests. That scenario is

    just too far fetched to have passed through my mind.
    I mentioned the Oreskes study because she seems to

    have made a concerted effort to find reputable studies opposed to the IPCC consensus. This obviously reflects a bias

    towards peer-reviewed literature, but how else is a non-scientist supposed to separate science from opinion?



    I have a friend who’s been studying the loss of permafrost in Alaska and parts of Canada. He’s got some

    really creepy home movies of forests where the ground has sunk in and all the trees have drowned at the roots. You

    get him in front of a podium and it’s impossible to pin him down on any particular position. Get him drunk and he’ll

    tell you it’s the end of the world as we know it.
    But that’s just one man’s opinion. That’s not science.


    Speaking of which... He is currently involved in an international project attempting to factor permafrost loss into

    computer climate models. (Since permafrost is supposed to be a “carbon sink” which releases CO2 as it melts.)


    This could be a possible explanation for increased warming in the arctic, as could the dominant paradigm of

    decreased land mass. I don’t know and I don’t see how that is relevant to the IPCC’s assessment that human

    intervention is increasing AVERAGE GLOBAL temperatures.

    I think I mostly agree with your comments on Kyoto

    (although I don’t see how they are relevant to my points) but I have to cut this short.
    So I’ll try again

    later, hopefully with a bit more science and a bit less politics.
    Give truth a chance.

  6. #66
    Moderator belgareth's Avatar
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    Although I’ve actually addressed most of your comments, I’ll do it again. The most obvious reason is

    that my questions are about alleged global warming. I make no argument that we are screwing up the environment. I am

    contesting the validity of the global warming argument. To look at a snapshot of our environment over the last 100

    or even 1000 years and use it to claim that we are causing global warming is fallacious. Remember that apparent

    correlations do not necessarily mean connections, as any scientist will tell you. For any rigidly scientific

    handling of the matter you have to start with a baseline. The cyclic nature of the earth’s climate demands we look

    at a large enough picture to determine patterns. The longer the period the better chance we have of getting a handle

    on the full range of potential variables. With that in mind, the last known significant event that we are fairly

    certain of that was not part of the natural cycle was about 65 million years ago when an asteroid supposedly

    collided with the earth. after a few million years for the dust to settle and you have a pretty significant window

    of data on which to base future projections. Now you have a decent statistical universe in which to base

    projections. Anything beyond the standard deviation could be considered anomalous. So far, that hasn’t

    happened.


    That’s a good article you posted the link too. As you can

    see, atmospheric CO2 concentrations in a small area have fluctuated widely. Do you know why? I don't. Maybe the

    penguins had factories belching smoke. Unlikley but who knows. Nor do I know of it was a global phenomena. I’d

    like to see more data associated with volcanic and other seismic activity as well as other ‘greenhouse gas’

    generating phenomena such as the percentage of the globe involved in forests and swampland, especially swampland as

    that generates a ton of gasses. I’d also like to see the relationship to net temperatures and Arctic/Antarctic ice

    packs.


    If you don’t put a lid on the aquariums you are introducing

    extraneous factors regardless of controlling air vents in the room. You will still have eddy currents every time you

    move and worse when somebody opens a door in addition to the natural convection currents that would by necessity be

    greater in the aquarium with only room air thus invalidating any possible results you might have. If you are simply

    trying to demonstrate heat retention or inversion layers in an air mass you can also do that with water vapor. Since

    water vapor holds more energy than CO2 I’d be willing to bet that the net thermal energy retained would be greater

    in an aquarium of water vapor as well as the associated temperature gradient. You’d need to be a bit more

    sophisticated to measure it and account for the differential in mass but it could be done. Of course, if I am proven

    right we can safely conclude that global warming is really caused by exessive relative humidity which we then must

    find a way to control, right?


    I suggested the black dust

    as an additional data source because it seems reasonable to believe soot is contributing to the glacial and arctic

    melt. Even with a very thin layer it would still create a greater heat gain and would hold more of that heat than

    CO2 because of its greater mass. However, we must keep in mind that unlike CO2, soot is both suspended in the air

    and deposited on the ground. Its heat absorbing and retaining capabilities are significantly greater than any gas

    could possibly be. We are, after all, really discussing increase energy retention not net temperature since its

    energy that causes phase change, not temperature.


    Massive overdose

    or beyond reasonable design parameters is called break or destructive testing and despite what the FDA demands it

    proves little. You can prove anything is a bad thing that way. A glass of water is a good thing; a hundred galloons

    dumped on you can be irritating and not real good if you try to breathe it. You can list thousands of examples of

    why massive excess is a bad thing where a small amount is anywhere from non-impacting to beneficial.



    As far as needing to prove a null hypotheses, that’s not at all

    what I am saying and I do not regard this as a political issue. If anything, politics is making matters worse, which

    it usually manages to do. I am saying that we need facts. No more and no less. As mentioned at least once in this

    thread, we have taken action time and again based on insufficient evidence, inaccurate data, public opinion or

    political need and later found that we screwed up once again. This is too important an issue to be floundering

    around. Let’s do it right, collect the evidence and gather well meaning people with the proper educations to

    evaluate the evidence and suggest actions without agendas. I don’t think that is so complicated but its probably

    asking a lot of our hyped up and emotionally motivated public.


    I

    don’t ask or expect you to believe what I said about suppressed research. I encourage you to do the legwork yourself

    and find out for yourself instead of just catagorically denying it, which appears to be kind of closed minded.

    That’s the best way to learn anything. However, I do ask you to respond in the hypothetical sense. If what I said is

    true, why do you suppose it would be done? You can respond that hypothetical questions are a waste of time but I

    already know that it is happening so don’t regard it as hypothetical and am only trying to get a committal response

    from you.


    I covered the issue of the hockey stick several times.

    Data was left out of it, large amounts of significant data. The hockey stick is invalid for that reason alone. It is

    also irrelevant based on the overly short time frame. Nothing of significance can be shown by it even when all the

    correct data is in place. I would like to know the justification for deleting significant temperature

    variations.


    The same applies to the CO2 bubbles in the ice pack.

    While interesting, it proves little. Were those bubbles formed right after permafrost melt off? How about a similar

    bore hole a mile away? Same data? How about at higher or lower elevations? How about 100 or 5000 miles away? One

    location does not make good data. If you are going to create a model, create a valid one.




    All in all, global warming has not been proven or even demonstrated as highly

    probable. Human impact on global warming is a theory based on a theory. Other factors are not being considered. Both

    sides are following an agenda and are as much interested in proving they are right as anything else. None of that is

    acceptable. I’ll accept the term climate change then ask that we get to work figuring out if it is normal, cyclic

    change or if there is something going on here and, if so, what are the causes. None of that has been done yet. We

    are still at ground zero gathering data.
    Last edited by belgareth; 01-06-2006 at 09:24 PM.
    To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.

    Thomas Jefferson

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    Moderator belgareth's Avatar
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    Default US to push nuke, hydrogen power at meeting

    US to push nuke, hydrogen power at meeting




    NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. Energy Secretary Sam

    Bodman will meet with officials from five Asia-Pacific countries in Australia next week in a U.S.-led pact promoting

    technology such as nuclear energy and hydrogen that could cut greenhouse gases, an aide to the official said on

    Friday.

    China, India, Japan, South Korea and Australia are the other members of the group, called the

    Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate. The group meets January 11-13.

    The pact falls outside

    of the Kyoto Protocol on global warming that went into effect earlier this year.

    Countries in the Asia-Pacific

    partnership account for more of the world's emissions and population that those in the Kyoto pact.

    The United

    States and Australia pulled out of Kyoto saying it would hurt their economies and it unfairly left rapidly growing

    developing nations without emissions limits. Kyoto seeks to lower emissions of heat-trapping gases through mandatory

    limits and timetables.

    Bodman will speak with the other ministers about energy efficiency, carbon sequestration,

    hydrogen and next generation nuclear power, said Anne Kolton, an aide to the secretary.

    The U.S. Department of

    Energy has engaged Japan and South Korea, among other nations, to develop future nuclear power plants known as

    Generation IV nuclear.

    U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had been scheduled to attend the meeting, but she

    canceled the trip because of concerns over the condition of critically ill Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, said

    officials informed of the decision on Friday.
    To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.

    Thomas Jefferson

  8. #68
    Moderator belgareth's Avatar
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    Record snow in Japan, cold in Delhi as Asia shivers

    By

    Isabel Reynolds




    TOKYO (Reuters) - Troops and volunteers shoveled snow from roofs and roads in Japan and India's capital New

    Delhi recorded its lowest temperature in 70 years as a cold wave swept across parts of Asia on Sunday.



    In China, cattle have died of the cold in the far western province

    of Xinjiang and a 42-km (25-mile) section of the Yellow River has frozen over in eastern Shandong, officials and

    news reports said.


    At least 20 people have died from exposure,

    disease and malnutrition in northern Bangladesh over the past three days because of a cold snap there, local

    newspapers said.


    In Japan, troops and workers tried to clear snow

    that had piled up to more than three metres (10 feet) high in some of the worst-hit areas of Niigata prefecture and

    to re-open blocked roads in Nagano prefecture. Both areas are northwest of

    Tokyo.


    At least 63 people have died and over 1,000 have been injured

    since the unusually heavy snowfall began last month, Kyodo news agency said, citing a survey of local

    governments.


    Many of the dead were elderly people who fell from their

    roofs while trying to clear snow, while others were crushed when their houses collapsed under the weight of the

    drifts.


    "It's frightening," one woman in Akita City in the north of

    Japan's main island of Honshu told private broadcaster TV Asahi as local government workers began to shovel snow

    from her roof.


    "There were creaking sounds and I couldn't open the

    doors because of the weight of the snow."


    China is in the midst of

    its coldest winter in 20 years, the China Daily as said.


    Even in the

    usually mild province of Guangdong in the south, temperatures dipped as low as 5 degrees celsius (41 degrees

    Fahrenheit) on Friday while some local highways have frozen over with 1-3 cm of ice, China Central Television

    said.


    In Xinjiang, where heavy snowfall and temperatures as low as

    -43 degrees Celsius forced the evacuation of almost 100,000 people earlier in the week, conditions remained

    testing.


    In the province's northern Altay region, temperatures were

    hovering around -26 degrees Celsius after falling to -37 degrees Celsius and killing cattle over the past few days,

    an official from the local meteorological bureau said by telephone.


    FROST IN DELHI

    In India, residents of the capital awoke on

    Sunday to the coldest morning in 70 years with the temperature falling to around freezing point, forcing officials

    to shut primary schools for 3 days.


    Local TV footage showed a thin

    layer of ice on the grass in parks and on the roofs of cars as people came out for early morning

    walks.


    "I was so excited. This is the first time I have seen it

    (frost)," a teenage girl wearing a thick sweater told a local channel.


    But thousands of homeless and those without heating were hard hit.

    "My family kept shivering all night as we don't have a heater. How could one sleep in this cold?" said

    Premchand Upadhyay, a middle-aged security guard in New Delhi who stays in one room with his wife and a

    five-year-old daughter.


    More than 100 people have died in northern

    India since December due to the cold.


    The coldest recorded

    temperature in the city is -0.6 degrees celsius (30.92F) in 1935.


    Further north, Indian Kashmir continued to shiver on Sunday as overnight temperatures dipped to -6 degrees

    celsius.


    "It is terribly cold, I feel like we are living in a

    refrigerator," said 34-year-old housewife Rubina Malik.


    For the

    first time in 10 years, parts of the famous Dal lake in the regional capital Srinagar were frozen. Local media said

    authorities banned children ice skating on the lake after one child fell into the water and drowned when the thin

    ice cracked.
    To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.

    Thomas Jefferson

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by belgareth
    To look at a snapshot of our environment over the last 100 or even 1000 years and use it to claim that

    we are causing global warming is fallacious.
    Yes, but what makes you think this

    is what the “global warming crowd” is doing?
    Here is a very clear and concise summation of the

    methodological premises in the IPCC’s own words:

    Detection is the process of demonstrating that an observed

    change is significantly different (in a statistical sense) than can be explained by natural variability. Attribution

    is the process of establishing cause and effect with some defined level of confidence, including the assessment of

    competing hypotheses. The response to anthropogenic changes in climate forcing occurs against a backdrop of natural

    internal and externally forced climate variability. Internal climate variability, i.e., climate variability not

    forced by external agents, occurs on all time-scales from weeks to centuries and even millennia. Slow climate

    components, such as the ocean, have particularly important roles on decadal and century time-scales because they

    integrate weather variability. Thus, the climate is capable of producing long time-scale variations of considerable

    magnitude without external influences. Externally forced climate variations (signals) may be due to changes in

    natural forcing factors, such as solar radiation or volcanic aerosols, or to changes in anthropogenic forcing

    factors, such as increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases or aerosols. The presence of this natural climate

    variability means that the detection and attribution of anthropogenic climate change is a statistical “signal to

    noise” problem. Detection studies demonstrate whether or not an observed change is highly unusual in a statistical

    sense, but this does not necessarily imply that we understand its causes. The attribution of climate change to

    anthropogenic causes involves statistical analysis and the careful assessment of multiple lines of evidence to

    demonstrate, within a pre-specified margin of error, that the observed changes are:

    * unlikely to be due

    entirely to internal variability;
    * consistent with the estimated responses to the given combination of

    anthropogenic and natural forcing; and
    * not consistent with alternative, physically plausible explanations

    of recent climate change that exclude important elements of the given combination of forcings.



    http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/025.htm#e1


    Quote Originally Posted by belgareth
    For any rigidly scientific handling of the matter you have to start with a baseline. The cyclic nature

    of the earth’s climate demands we look at a large enough picture to determine patterns. The longer the period the

    better chance we have of getting a handle on the full range of potential variables.


    Not exactly.
    Establishing a baseline, ruling out cyclical variations and getting a handle on all the

    variables are three different problems.
    If the goal is to measure the impact of anthropogenic CO2 as a

    climate forcing mechanism, you establish a baseline by comparing a time period when atmospheric concentrations are

    known to be relatively stable to a time period where they are known to be on the rise.
    Everybody agrees

    that cyclical variations should be ruled out of current temperature gains. And we can argue on the relative weight

    given to something like solar activity. But there’s no reason to assume that going back 2 million years is going to

    give us a better measure of cyclical variations taking place today.
    The most dramatic cyclical variation most

    scientists agree on is the ice ages. And this reflects centuries of steady change, not decades of acceleration. The

    Milankovitch Cycle (attributed to eccentricity in the Earth’s cycle around the sun) is still controversial, but it

    proposes an even more dramatic variation: 22.1 - 24.5 degrees over a 41,000 year cycle. Still peanuts compared to

    the effect of CO2.
    The longer the cycle, the less statistically significant it is likely to be.
    As

    far as getting a handle on the full range of potential variables... Let’s say that we went back 2 million years and

    discovered a temperature spike comparable to the one currently attributed to greenhouse gases. What would that tell

    us about what’s going on today? Nothing unless we could deduce the cause. And how could we deduce the cause? Using

    the known physics of our day.
    The bottom line is we have to work within the constraints of our era to

    resolve the problems of our era.

    Quote Originally Posted by belgareth
    With that in mind, the last

    known significant event that we are fairly certain of that was not part of the natural cycle was about 65 million

    years ago when an asteroid supposedly collided with the earth. after a few million years for the dust to settle and

    you have a pretty significant window of data on which to base future projections. Now you have a decent statistical

    universe in which to base projections. Anything beyond the standard deviation could be considered anomalous. So far,

    that hasn’t happened..
    That’s absurd.
    Why should current temperature gains

    be on a par with some catastrophic event that occurred 65 million years ago before they are considered significant

    for us today?

    Quote Originally Posted by belgareth
    If you are simply trying to demonstrate heat

    retention or inversion layers in an air mass you can also do that with water vapor. Since water vapor holds more

    energy than CO2 I’d be willing to bet that the net thermal energy retained would be greater in an aquarium of water

    vapor as well as the associated temperature gradient.
    Yes, but water vapor has a

    much shorter atmospheric life-span than CO2. And it can only accumulate to a point. (It never rains or snows CO2.)

    As the world’s most abundant greenhouse gas, water vapor is weighed as the most significant feedback mechanism in

    climate models. So, if we want to include a tank with water vapor, we might want to seal the tanks and take further

    measurements after one week, two weeks, and a month.

    Quote Originally Posted by belgareth
    Of

    course, if I am proven right we can safely conclude that global warming is really caused by exessive relative

    humidity which we then must find a way to control, right?
    Not unless

    we can also prove that relative humidity is on the rise, that this rise is independent of known cycles or forcing

    mechanism and that temperatures consistent with the radiative forcing of water vapors correlate with observed

    temperatures.
    I never said the aquarium demonstration proved anything. I said it demonstrated the basic

    mechanism of global warming in a way that most 6th graders could grasp.

    Quote Originally Posted by belgareth
    I suggested the black dust as an additional data source because it seems reasonable to believe soot is

    contributing to the glacial and arctic melt. Even with a very thin layer it would still create a greater heat gain

    and would hold more of that heat than CO2 because of its greater mass. However, we must keep in mind that unlike

    CO2, soot is both suspended in the air and deposited on the ground. Its heat absorbing and retaining capabilities

    are significantly greater than any gas could possibly be. We are, after all, really discussing increase energy

    retention not net temperature since its energy that causes phase change, not

    temperature.
    There’s a difference between heat retention and heat radiation. I

    don't know how many molecules, if any, exhibit a 1:1 correlation. I can’t say if soot is more significant than CO2

    when it comes to glacial melting because I haven’t looked into that issue. (On the surface, it might be a reasonable

    assumption with regards to Tibet and even the Alps, but I’m not so sure about tropical deglaciation.)
    With

    regards to soot’s role in raising global surface temperatures...
    The IPCC estimates the global climate

    forcing by black carbon aerosols as 0.2 W/m2. I’ve seen estimates as high as 0.8 W/m2. (Which would make soot more

    significant than methane at 0.5W/m2.) CO2 is calculated at 1.5 W/m2 and its radiative effect has been shown to

    increase logarithmically with increased concentrations. Which means that we can expect an acceleration (rather than

    a steady rise) in temperature gains as CO2 concentrations increase.
    From a policy perspective, this is all

    academic because fossil fuels are the main culprit behind increases in soot, CO2 and methane.




    Quote Originally Posted by belgareth
    As mentioned at least once in this thread, we have taken action

    time and again based on insufficient evidence, inaccurate data, public opinion or political need and later found

    that we screwed up once again.
    Yes, this was discussed quite energetically. But

    false analogies were drawn and no rational points were made. Sometimes we try to improve things and make a bigger

    mess. Sometimes we try and things really do get better. So what?
    Unlike catalytic converters, cutting back on

    fossil fuels does not necessarily imply the introduction of new, untested technologies.
    It does imply

    cutting back on our consumer lifestyle and global supremacy. And I’ve addressed this as the “bottom line” when it

    comes to people’s rejection of the global warming consensus.

    It seems I’ve also come across a discussion

    about not falling prey to alarmist proclamations.
    It’s one thing to be skeptical across the board and another

    thing when you scoff at one side’s disaster movie scenarios and willfully embrace the other’s.
    This is not

    a discussion about nuclear vs. wind power, or hydrogen cell engines vs. light rail. It’s about wether we should

    accept anthropogenic global warming as a risk in the first place.


    Quote Originally Posted by belgareth
    I don’t ask or expect you to believe what I said about suppressed research. I encourage you to do the

    legwork yourself and find out for yourself instead of just catagorically denying it, which appears to be kind of

    closed minded.
    Well I started my legwork by following up on Roger Pielke Sr., whose

    resignation from the Climate Change Science Program was brought up in one of your posts. I read a pdf of his press

    release regarding his resignation (not quite like the AP piece reported it but close enough), skimmed through his

    blog and read his testimony to Congress SUPPORTING the notion that humans are causing global

    warming.

    http://energycommerce.house.gov/107/...ke,Sr.1144.htm



    n It seems his position is well within the global warming consensus that: a) the Earth is getting hotter, b)

    CO2 emissions are the principal cause, and c) this process is likely to accelerate. And he strongly believes that

    something ought to be done about it. (He is extremely political, and that is as likely a reason his work was edited

    behind his back as any.) His beef with the IPCC “orthodoxy” (as he calls it) is that their focus on CO2 emissions

    tends to minimize the role of other anthropogenic causes for global warming. And he believes that the rate of

    warming is going to be much higher than the IPCC consensus.
    He HAS taken a somewhat independent position on the

    “hockey stick” debate.
    His view is that focus on this issue has given the public a false impression of it’s

    significance to the science of global warming and has distracted attention away from the IPCC’s 2001 policy

    recommendations. And, in his blog, he has challenged proponents of either side (pro or con) to demonstrate that the

    validity of the hockey stick even matters with regards to public

    policy.

    http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/pr...ex.html#000618




    Quote Originally Posted by belgareth
    However, I do ask you to respond in the hypothetical sense.

    If what I said is true, why do you suppose it would be done? You can respond that hypothetical questions are a waste

    of time but I already know that it is happening so don’t regard it as hypothetical and am only trying to get a

    committal response from you.
    I don’t know what this has to do with a committal

    response, and maybe I should resent the implication that I am being shifty, but this sounds like fun. So...


    According to the Oriskis study (mentioned in my first post), 70% of all peer-reviewed climate studies pertain to

    global warming. So this appears to be a very competitive field.
    Let’s make a safe assumption that 70% of the

    editorial staff of all peer reviewed climate journals has built their reputation on research that backs up the

    global warming consensus. Then, let’s say, along comes some young upstart with research that effectively disputes

    the global warming paradigm. Let’s say one of the editors starts worrying about their own future and decides not to

    publish the upstart’s research (even though it meets all the objective criteria of the journal). Let’s assume just 1

    out of every 5 editors with a global warming background has such a corrupt outlook.
    This would mean that every

    time a young upstart tries to publish in a journal with an editorial staff of 7 or more, there’s a good chance

    someone will want to reject his or her research before even looking at the science. If they submit to two small

    journals with an editorial staff of 4 or more, there’s a good chance one of the journals will want to reject the

    work.
    Conversely... Let’s say a young upstart wants to publish a rebuttal to some skeptic’s critique of

    the global warming consensus. Every time he or she submits to a journal with an editorial staff of 7 or more at

    least one reviewer will want to publish the study if the science is merely adequate.
    Pretty soon all the

    young upstarts are going to figure out the game and start toeing the global warming line. Who in their right mind is

    going to try building a carreer on research that is less likely to be published and more likely to be

    rebuked?

    Quote Originally Posted by belgareth
    I covered the issue of the hockey stick several

    times. Data was left out of it, large amounts of significant data.
    Not really.

    But the “hockey stick” has been reproduced in numerous studies using a variety of data and methodologies. Tell me

    which data you would like to see and I’ll try to find you a study that includes it.
    Just try to be fair in your

    request. I’m sure you know that the further you go back the more you have to rely on proxy data. And you may also

    know that there is a relative lack of proxy data for the southern hemisphere.

    Quote Originally Posted by belgareth
    The hockey stick is invalid for that reason alone. It is also irrelevant based on the overly short

    time frame. Nothing of significance can be shown by it even when all the correct data is in

    place.
    Sorry. Not sure I follow that.
    It seems like your saying that the

    “hockey stick” is inaccurate because it lacks data. But even if we had more data it would be meaningless unless we

    stretched it back x number of years.
    Surely you know that the further back you go the less data you’re

    going to find.
    So could I sum up your argument as, “We don’t know, and there’s no way we ever will

    know.”?

    Quote Originally Posted by belgareth
    I would like to know the justification for deleting

    significant temperature variations.
    I’ll go back over the thread and see what

    “significant variations” you’re talking about. Must have missed that part.
    If you’re talking about the

    so-called “Medieval Warm Period”... Yes, there have been some studies which claim that current temperatures are

    comparable to periods between the 10th and 14th centuries. (Do I need to mention who they were sponsored by?) But

    the scientific consensus seems to be that these projections are based on a number of false premises: a) confusing

    past evidence of drought/precipitation with temperature evidence, b) failure to distinguish regional from

    global-scale temperature variations, and c) using the entire 20th century to describe "modern" conditions thereby

    failing to differentiate between relatively cool early 20th century conditions and the anomalously warm late 20th

    century conditions. (In other words... they cherry picked the data.)

    Quote Originally Posted by belgareth
    All in all, global warming has not been proven or even demonstrated as highly

    probable.
    Did you phrase this correctly? Because if we can’t trust NASA or the WMO to

    provide reliable temperature readings then, yes, the whole paradigm is worthless. I don’t subscribe to this view,

    and consider it less plausible than the notion that our government is hiding alien space ships in Area 54.
    If

    you mean the (“greenhouse effect”) THEORY of global warming hasn’t been proven...
    Proof, simply put, consists

    in demonstrating that we are experiencing a significant rise in global temperatures that can only be attributed to

    anthropogenic causes: most notably CO2 emissions.

    The most understandable part of your argument is

    that all factors have not been accounted for. But this is simply untrue. Every factor mentioned in this thread has

    been accounted for by at least a dozen scientists within the global warming consensus.
    Either you are

    misinformed or overdramatising (because maybe these factors haven’t been given the weight you think they

    deserve).
    If you are misinformed, do your homework.
    If you are overdramatising we can pursue this line

    of argument further.

    The part that I don’t understand (and I’m not saying it’s your fault) seems to be

    that current temperatures aren’t significant because global warming scientists don’t have enough data and haven’t

    gone far enough back in their projections to demonstrate the significance of current temperature gains.
    If

    we are experiencing gains that can only be attributed to our reliance on fossil fuels, that’s already significant in

    my book. And this is what your friend Roger Pielke Sr. is saying as well. He calls on proponents of the “hockey

    stick” to forget their egos, quit wasting the public’s time with this debate, and admit that their research is

    simply not that important within the bigger picture.
    You mentioned that we need to establish a baseline

    and rule out cyclical patterns. I’ve expressed my understanding of these issues so maybe you can point out where I

    got it wrong or missed the boat entirely.

    Quote Originally Posted by belgareth
    Human impact on

    global warming is a theory based on a theory.
    More precisely, it’s a theory based

    on long established principles of physics and widely accepted data collection methodologies. If you junk global

    warming theory in any principled way, you’re going to have to junk a whole lot of other established science in the

    process.


    Quote Originally Posted by belgareth
    Other factors are not being

    considered.
    Yes they are. But maybe they are not being given the weight you

    think they should.


    Quote Originally Posted by belgareth
    Both sides are following an agenda and

    are as much interested in proving they are right as anything else.
    I, for one,

    would very much like to see the whole thing turn out to have been a big hoax. (I’ve even had quite pleasant dreams

    to this effect.) The more you research this issue, the gloomier your outlook becomes. Whatever ego gratification is

    derived from being right, tends to be clouded by a nagging feeling that we’re all doomed.
    But, then again, I

    have no vested interests in this issue — other than wanting the good life for myself and future generations. So you

    may be right.
    Even so... This only becomes significant when one side cherry picks the data, fudges the

    methodology or, as in the case of oil industry “experts”, misrepresents the other side’s research.
    That’s why I

    say the scientific debate is over. There is plenty of reliable evidence that the Earth is getting hotter, scientific

    proof that fossil fuels are the principal cause and well grounded theory that it is likely to accelerate. The

    current ruckus over global warming is most accurately described as a public policy battle of science vs. PR. (And I

    may not know much science, but I do know how the PR game is played.)

    Quote Originally Posted by belgareth
    None of that is acceptable. I’ll accept the term climate change then ask that we get to work figuring

    out if it is normal, cyclic change or if there is something going on here and, if so, what are the causes. None of

    that has been done yet. We are still at ground zero gathering data.
    I humored

    you, now let’s see if you can humor me.
    Let’s say (hypothetically, of course) that you are wrong and all the

    significant data— with respect to public policy — is in. What do you hypothesize the collection of even more data

    will accomplish?
    Give truth a chance.

  10. #70
    Moderator belgareth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by a.k.a.
    Yes, but what

    makes you think this is what the “global warming crowd” is doing?
    Here is a very clear and concise summation of the

    methodological premises in the IPCC’s own words:

    Detection is the process of demonstrating that an observed

    change is significantly different (in a statistical sense) than can be explained by natural variability. Attribution

    is the process of establishing cause and effect with some defined level of confidence, including the assessment of

    competing hypotheses. The response to anthropogenic changes in climate forcing occurs against a backdrop of natural

    internal and externally forced climate variability. Internal climate variability, i.e., climate variability not

    forced by external agents, occurs on all time-scales from weeks to centuries and even millennia. Slow climate

    components, such as the ocean, have particularly important roles on decadal and century time-scales because they

    integrate weather variability. Thus, the climate is capable of producing long time-scale variations of considerable

    magnitude without external influences. Externally forced climate variations (signals) may be due to changes in

    natural forcing factors, such as solar radiation or volcanic aerosols, or to changes in anthropogenic forcing

    factors, such as increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases or aerosols. The presence of this natural climate

    variability means that the detection and attribution of anthropogenic climate change is a statistical “signal to

    noise” problem. Detection studies demonstrate whether or not an observed change is highly unusual in a statistical

    sense, but this does not necessarily imply that we understand its causes. The attribution of climate change to

    anthropogenic causes involves statistical analysis and the careful assessment of multiple lines of evidence to

    demonstrate, within a pre-specified margin of error, that the observed changes are:

    * unlikely to be due

    entirely to internal variability;
    * consistent with the estimated responses to the given combination of

    anthropogenic and natural forcing; and
    * not consistent with alternative, physically plausible explanations of

    recent climate change that exclude important elements of the given combination of forcings.



    [url="http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/025.htm#e1"]http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/025.htm#e1[/ur

    l]
    Maybe its the fact that every piece of evidence they provide is based on those ranges, even the ones

    in the link you provided. Other historical data is ignored. For instance the evidence that Europe and England were

    about 20 degrees F warmer about 650,000 years ago. There is some evidence of moderate sea level rise but not the

    cataclysimic rise forecast. How many other times in history have the temperatures been that high?



    Quote Originally Posted by a.k.a.
    Not exactly.
    Establishing a baseline, ruling out cyclical variations and getting a handle on all

    the variables are three different problems.
    If the goal is to measure the impact of anthropogenic CO2 as a climate

    forcing mechanism, you establish a baseline by comparing a time period when atmospheric concentrations are known to

    be relatively stable to a time period where they are known to be on the rise.
    Everybody agrees that cyclical

    variations should be ruled out of current temperature gains. And we can argue on the relative weight given to

    something like solar activity. But there’s no reason to assume that going back 2 million years is going to give us a

    better measure of cyclical variations taking place today.
    The most dramatic cyclical variation most scientists

    agree on is the ice ages. And this reflects centuries of steady change, not decades of acceleration. The

    Milankovitch Cycle (attributed to eccentricity in the Earth’s cycle around the sun) is still controversial, but it

    proposes an even more dramatic variation: 22.1 - 24.5 degrees over a 41,000 year cycle. Still peanuts compared to

    the effect of CO2.
    The longer the cycle, the less statistically significant it is likely to be.
    As far as getting

    a handle on the full range of potential variables... Let’s say that we went back 2 million years and discovered a

    temperature spike comparable to the one currently attributed to greenhouse gases. What would that tell us about

    what’s going on today? Nothing unless we could deduce the cause. And how could we deduce the cause? Using the known

    physics of our day.
    The bottom line is we have to work within the constraints of our era to resolve the problems

    of our era.
    Of course they are different problems but to make a valid study of geological significance

    you need that data. How can you otherwise determine if relationships between solar fluctuation, global temps,

    volcanic activity, CO2 concentrations, etc. Grabbing any one data set without correlation to other related data sets

    does not give you a complete picture.


    Quote Originally Posted by a.k.a.
    That’s absurd.
    Why should current temperature gains be

    on a par with some catastrophic event that occurred 65 million years ago before they are considered significant for

    us today?
    Sorry, I stated that one poorly. The temperature variation between when the dust settled (60

    million years ago) and today are significant and should be taken into account.

    Quote Originally Posted by a.k.a.
    Yes, but water

    vapor has a much shorter atmospheric life-span than CO2. And it can only accumulate to a point. (It never rains or

    snows CO2.) As the world’s most abundant greenhouse gas, water vapor is weighed as the most significant feedback

    mechanism in climate models. So, if we want to include a tank with water vapor, we might want to seal the tanks and

    take further measurements after one week, two weeks, and a month.
    True that water has a far shorter

    duration in the atmosphere but it is also renewed more often by literally every inch of the globe to some degree.

    I'd agree on sealing the tanks as that is what I said in the first place.


    Quote Originally Posted by a.k.a.
    Not unless we can

    also prove that relative humidity is on the rise, that this rise is independent of known cycles or forcing mechanism

    and that temperatures consistent with the radiative forcing of water vapors correlate with observed temperatures.
    I

    never said the aquarium demonstration proved anything. I said it demonstrated the basic mechanism of global warming

    in a way that most 6th graders could grasp.
    It demonstrated one of the potential mechanisms of climate

    change Actually, you'd want to determine if net water content has risen as the total amount is what holds

    energy, not the relative amount which is a function of temperature. If you demonstrated that despite increased

    temperature relative humidity was stable or rising you would be demonstrating that a greater amount of water was

    being held in the air with the potential for a greater storage of energy.

    Quote Originally Posted by a.k.a.
    There’s a difference

    between heat retention and heat radiation. I don't know how many molecules, if any, exhibit a 1:1 correlation. I

    can’t say if soot is more significant than CO2 when it comes to glacial melting because I haven’t looked into that

    issue. (On the surface, it might be a reasonable assumption with regards to Tibet and even the Alps, but I’m not so

    sure about tropical deglaciation.)
    With regards to soot’s role in raising global surface temperatures...
    The IPCC

    estimates the global climate forcing by black carbon aerosols as 0.2 W/m2. I’ve seen estimates as high as 0.8 W/m2.

    (Which would make soot more significant than methane at 0.5W/m2.) CO2 is calculated at 1.5 W/m2 and its radiative

    effect has been shown to increase logarithmically with increased concentrations. Which means that we can expect an

    acceleration (rather than a steady rise) in temperature gains as CO2 concentrations increase.
    From a policy

    perspective, this is all academic because fossil fuels are the main culprit behind increases in soot, CO2 and

    methane.
    I'm sorry, you seem to take it for granted that if the IPCC says it, it's true. I don't

    accept that.

    Soot does several things. It has considerably more mass than any gas so can hold a lot more energy

    regardless of the actual ratio of re-radiation. One is to absorb solar energy transmitted in the UV range before it

    reaches the surface. It is then re-radiated in the IR range. Since much of the suspended soot is above the inversion

    layer levels of the atmosphere much of the generated convection currents would rise until lost to space, which makes

    a great heat sink. Another is to absorb solar energy while lying on or near the surface of snow/ice. Conduction then

    transmits much of that energy to the snow/ice. Had the soot not deposited on the snow/ice a far greater percentage

    would have been reflected back into space. There have been a number of good articles about that in the past.

    Fortunately, it seems that is being addressed by several countries.

    I don't know the effects on tropical

    glaciers either. It would be worth checking into. However, the comments that the arctic is warming faster than the

    rest of the globe makes the soot deposits in the arctic of considerable potential importance.




    Quote Originally Posted by a.k.a.
    Yes, this was discussed quite energetically. But false analogies were drawn and no rational points

    were made. Sometimes we try to improve things and make a bigger mess. Sometimes we try and things really do get

    better. So what?
    Unlike catalytic converters, cutting back on fossil fuels does not necessarily imply the

    introduction of new, untested technologies.
    It does imply cutting back on our consumer lifestyle and global

    supremacy. And I’ve addressed this as the “bottom line” when it comes to people’s rejection of the global warming

    consensus.

    It seems I’ve also come across a discussion about not falling prey to alarmist proclamations.
    It’s

    one thing to be skeptical across the board and another thing when you scoff at one side’s disaster movie scenarios

    and willfully embrace the other’s.
    This is not a discussion about nuclear vs. wind power, or hydrogen cell engines

    vs. light rail. It’s about wether we should accept anthropogenic global warming as a risk in the first

    place.
    It wasn't started for that reason either. It was to discuss whether global warming is real. If

    global warming is not real or if it is not something related to man's activities I question whether we should or

    can do anything about it. As I've said many times in this thread, we need good evidence before we act. So far the

    evidence is not convincing if you view both sides with equal distrust and you look at the longest possible window

    for data. That is not to say it isn't real or that man is not the culprit. It's saying that it is far from

    conclusive. Acting in a way that is going to harm others without better data is unconcionable.




    Quote Originally Posted by a.k.a.
    Well I started my legwork by following up on Roger Pielke Sr., whose resignation from the Climate

    Change Science Program was brought up in one of your posts. I read a pdf of his press release regarding his

    resignation (not quite like the AP piece reported it but close enough), skimmed through his blog and read his

    testimony to Congress SUPPORTING the notion that humans are causing global warming.



    http://energycommerce.ho

    use.gov/107/hearings/07252002Hearing676/Pielke,Sr.1144.htm


    It seems his position is well within the global

    warming consensus that: a) the Earth is getting hotter, b) CO2 emissions are the principal cause, and c) this

    process is likely to accelerate. And he strongly believes that something ought to be done about it. (He is extremely

    political, and that is as likely a reason his work was edited behind his back as any.) His beef with the IPCC

    “orthodoxy” (as he calls it) is that their focus on CO2 emissions tends to minimize the role of other anthropogenic

    causes for global warming. And he believes that the rate of warming is going to be much higher than the IPCC

    consensus.
    He HAS taken a somewhat independent position on the “hockey stick” debate.
    His view is that focus on

    this issue has given the public a false impression of it’s significance to the science of global warming and has

    distracted attention away from the IPCC’s 2001 policy recommendations. And, in his blog, he has challenged

    proponents of either side (pro or con) to demonstrate that the validity of the hockey stick even matters with

    regards to public policy.



    http://sciencepolicy

    .colorado.edu/prometheus/archives/climate_change/index.html#000618





    I don’t know what this has to

    do with a committal response, and maybe I should resent the implication that I am being shifty, but this sounds like

    fun. So...
    According to the Oriskis study (mentioned in my first post), 70% of all peer-reviewed climate studies

    pertain to global warming. So this appears to be a very competitive field.
    Let’s make a safe assumption that 70% of

    the editorial staff of all peer reviewed climate journals has built their reputation on research that backs up the

    global warming consensus. Then, let’s say, along comes some young upstart with research that effectively disputes

    the global warming paradigm. Let’s say one of the editors starts worrying about their own future and decides not to

    publish the upstart’s research (even though it meets all the objective criteria of the journal). Let’s assume just 1

    out of every 5 editors with a global warming background has such a corrupt outlook.
    This would mean that every time

    a young upstart tries to publish in a journal with an editorial staff of 7 or more, there’s a good chance someone

    will want to reject his or her research before even looking at the science. If they submit to two small journals

    with an editorial staff of 4 or more, there’s a good chance one of the journals will want to reject the

    work.
    Conversely... Let’s say a young upstart wants to publish a rebuttal to some skeptic’s critique of the global

    warming consensus. Every time he or she submits to a journal with an editorial staff of 7 or more at least one

    reviewer will want to publish the study if the science is merely adequate.
    Pretty soon all the young upstarts are

    going to figure out the game and start toeing the global warming line. Who in their right mind is going to try

    building a carreer on research that is less likely to be published and more likely to be rebuked?
    My

    question/accusation was that research is being suppressed through various forms of pressure. People have had

    research grants revoked and have been terminated from their positions. Regardless of who is doing this, what do you

    feel should be done? If it were demonstrated that this was being done mostly to people who argued against global

    warming, how would you feel about it? What if their antagonists were the IPCC?

    Quote Originally Posted by a.k.a.
    Not really. But

    the “hockey stick” has been reproduced in numerous studies using a variety of data and methodologies. Tell me which

    data you would like to see and I’ll try to find you a study that includes it.
    Just try to be fair in your request.

    I’m sure you know that the further you go back the more you have to rely on proxy data. And you may also know that

    there is a relative lack of proxy data for the southern hemisphere.
    I've already said which data in

    previous posts and tried to find a lot of it already but don't have the time to go through libraries right now in

    search of it. Agreed about the proxie data and the limits on the southern hemishpere..

    Quote Originally Posted by a.k.a.
    Sorry.

    Not sure I follow that.
    It seems like your saying that the “hockey stick” is inaccurate because it lacks data. But

    even if we had more data it would be meaningless unless we stretched it back x number of years.
    Surely you know

    that the further back you go the less data you’re going to find.
    So could I sum up your argument as, “We don’t

    know, and there’s no way we ever will know.”?
    Not really, we can use proxie data but it should be from as

    wide a range of places and sources as possible. Microclimates are useless for determining what is happening

    globally.
    Quote Originally Posted by a.k.a.

    I’ll go back over the thread and see what “significant variations” you’re talking

    about. Must have missed that part.
    If you’re talking about the so-called “Medieval Warm Period”... Yes, there have

    been some studies which claim that current temperatures are comparable to periods between the 10th and 14th

    centuries. (Do I need to mention who they were sponsored by?) But the scientific consensus seems to be that these

    projections are based on a number of false premises: a) confusing past evidence of drought/precipitation with

    temperature evidence, b) failure to distinguish regional from global-scale temperature variations, and c) using the

    entire 20th century to describe "modern" conditions thereby failing to differentiate between relatively cool early

    20th century conditions and the anomalously warm late 20th century conditions. (In other words... they cherry picked

    the data.)
    And the little ice age. Just because they mentioned it, does that make it untrue? Even when

    there are planty of historical references to it as well as archeological data that matches? I think those failures

    have been on both sides of the debate. I don't really want to be in the position of defending either side of the

    debate. As I said, both seem more interested in being right than in determining the issues.

    Quote Originally Posted by a.k.a.
    Did

    you phrase this correctly? Because if we can’t trust NASA or the WMO to provide reliable temperature readings then,

    yes, the whole paradigm is worthless. I don’t subscribe to this view, and consider it less plausible than the notion

    that our government is hiding alien space ships in Area 54.
    If you mean the (“greenhouse effect”) THEORY of global

    warming hasn’t been proven...
    Proof, simply put, consists in demonstrating that we are experiencing a significant

    rise in global temperatures that can only be attributed to anthropogenic causes: most notably CO2 emissions.

    The

    most understandable part of your argument is that all factors have not been accounted for. But this is simply

    untrue. Every factor mentioned in this thread has been accounted for by at least a dozen scientists within the

    global warming consensus.
    Either you are misinformed or overdramatising (because maybe these factors haven’t been

    given the weight you think they deserve).
    If you are misinformed, do your homework.
    If you are overdramatising we

    can pursue this line of argument further.
    Granted that I should have used "greenhouse effect" Proof is

    not whether it can be attributed to some source until you can eliminate all other possible causes. That hasn't been

    done.

    You make my argument for me "Every factor mentioned in this thread has been accounted for by at least a

    dozen scientists within the global warming consensus
    "
    Why should I or anybody else accept that one group

    as the final word? No, I'm not misinformed and have done considerable homework. That's why I find the IPCC less

    than believable, for the reasons I've mentioned before. You can follow their conclusions if you choose but I prefer

    to have data from other sources.
    Quote Originally Posted by a.k.a.
    The part that I don’t understand (and I’m not saying it’s your

    fault) seems to be that current temperatures aren’t significant because global warming scientists don’t have enough

    data and haven’t gone far enough back in their projections to demonstrate the significance of current temperature

    gains.
    If we are experiencing gains that can only be attributed to our reliance on fossil fuels, that’s already

    significant in my book. And this is what your friend Roger Pielke Sr. is saying as well. He calls on proponents of

    the “hockey stick” to forget their egos, quit wasting the public’s time with this debate, and admit that their

    research is simply not that important within the bigger picture.
    You mentioned that we need to establish a baseline

    and rule out cyclical patterns. I’ve expressed my understanding of these issues so maybe you can point out where I

    got it wrong or missed the boat entirely.
    So, every possible source has been eliminated except fossil

    fuels? I'm sorry but that simply isn't true as I've mentioned several times starting with my first post. The data

    is far from complete therefore you cannot claim that it can only be attributed to fossil fuels. I do grant that if

    man is causing the global to warm, the burning of fossil fuels would be a likely contributing source though unlikely

    the only one.
    Quote Originally Posted by a.k.a.

    More precisely, it’s a theory based on long established principles of physics and

    widely accepted data collection methodologies. If you junk global warming theory in any principled way, you’re going

    to have to junk a whole lot of other established science in the process.
    About 120 years ago a scientist

    speculated that CO2 could cause the globe to heat up. That was a theory. Yes, a lot of data has been collected

    covering a relatively short geological period of time. That does not mean it is right or wrong, only that a lot of

    data has been collected but I believe more needs to be collected covering a lot longer period of time. So far, it is

    still theory based on an earlier theory. Any good scientist would want as much data as possible before making

    sweeping statements.

    One of the differences here is that all I want is more complete data where others, on both

    sides of the debate, say they have THE ANSWERS.

    Quote Originally Posted by a.k.a.

    Yes they are. But maybe they are not being

    given the weight you think they should.
    No, as a matter of fact, they aren't.

    Quote Originally Posted by a.k.a.

    I,

    for one, would very much like to see the whole thing turn out to have been a big hoax. (I’ve even had quite pleasant

    dreams to this effect.) The more you research this issue, the gloomier your outlook becomes. Whatever ego

    gratification is derived from being right, tends to be clouded by a nagging feeling that we’re all doomed.
    But,

    then again, I have no vested interests in this issue — other than wanting the good life for myself and future

    generations. So you may be right.
    Even so... This only becomes significant when one side cherry picks the data,

    fudges the methodology or, as in the case of oil industry “experts”, misrepresents the other side’s

    research.
    That’s why I say the scientific debate is over. There is plenty of reliable evidence that the Earth is

    getting hotter, scientific proof that fossil fuels are the principal cause and well grounded theory that it is

    likely to accelerate. The current ruckus over global warming is most accurately described as a public policy battle

    of science vs. PR. (And I may not know much science, but I do know how the PR game is played.)
    I'm not

    much good at doomsaying and have been accused repeatedly of being a cold SOB when it comes to evaluating an issue.



    There's plenty of evidence the earth is getting warmer. Earth's temperatures have varied dramatically many,

    many times as a result of numerous causes. I consider it partially ego to assume we could be the only possible

    source without gathering better, more complete evidence.

    There is no conclusive proof that fossil fuels are the

    culprit, there are theories that seem to indicate that might be the case. Let's follow up and be certain what is

    going on before we act.
    Quote Originally Posted by a.k.a.

    I humored you, now let’s see if you can humor me.
    Let’s say

    (hypothetically, of course) that you are wrong and all the significant data— with respect to public policy — is in.

    What do you hypothesize the collection of even more data will accomplish?
    I think I amswered that above.

    If not, let me know. Public policy is not the issue, the real causes of climate change are the issue. The causes of

    varifiable phenomena have not been completely pinned down. Once the issues are pinned down completely I have no

    opinion on pubic policy, to have one at thins point would be silly. If climate change is man generated I'll have a

    list of other questions. You want to see lifestyle changes, I don't believe you are going to get all of them.

    Improving the lot of people who are still burning wood is a step in the right direction. Concern over various other

    heat sources associated with modern man is something that has to be addressed. For example, lights, heaters, air

    conditioning, computers, nuclear reactors and wind dynamos and so on almost endlessly all contribute to the net heat

    within the biosphere. How can all that be addressed? The list is long.

    I'm not saying I'm right. I'm saying

    that the evidence is inconclusive and want more gathered so we can determine long term past patterns including

    relationships to data such as historic CO2 levels, volcanic activity, solar fluctuation and so on. I've listed a

    lot of them before and I'm sure there are other related factors I haven't thought of. The reasons should be

    obvious, is climate change really related to man and if so, what should we do.
    To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.

    Thomas Jefferson

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    Phero Enthusiast Netghost56's Avatar
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    Trying to look at global

    warming through Belgareth’s POV, this is what I’ve assembled:

    Consider that for 200 million years the global

    climate was such that it allowed reptiles to be the dominant animal. 90% of the land was tropical, extraordinarily

    humid, and (theoretically) carbon dioxide was much more abundant in the atmosphere. In addition to reptiles, the

    other dominant animals were insects and fish. Birds and mammals were rare by comparison. Since dominant reptiles

    (dinosaurs) are present throughout the fossil record, it’s logical to assume that there never was a major Ice Age

    until the comet impact.

    So up until the comet impact, the global climate was pretty stable. After the impact

    there was an Ice Age. It gradually went away, and was followed by another, smaller Ice Age. This cycle continued for

    approx. 65 million years- a “global cooling” followed by a warming trend. A good analogy would be dropping a rock in

    water. The comet impact initially disturbed the global climate, and over time the disturbance has leveled out.



    So logic suggests that whatever the climate was before the impact is what the climate will eventually

    return to.

    Putting aside the enormous religious and philosophical implications, there is the nagging question:

    Where does that leave us humans? Are we going to die out to be replaced by the original occupants, the dinos??

    Should we do something to ensure our survival, even at the risk of upsetting the natural balance? It’s paradoxical,

    at best.

    But here’s where I differ from that explanation:

    While I have no problem believing all of the

    above, I can’t see that the recent rapid rate of increase in global temps is “normal”. The past decade has seen an

    increase of the same rate as the previous 10,000 years (Yes, I’m ballparking that estimate!) Also, I can’t see a

    natural reason for the rapid increase. Why would the rate change after 65 million years? What’s changed?

    Since

    humans are the only creatures that can create something unnatural, which is something that does not have a place in

    the natural environment, and is not bound by natural laws, then I’m forced to say that humans are the factor in this

    problem.

  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by belgareth
    There's plenty of

    evidence the earth is getting warmer.
    OK. So let’s figure out why.

    I say let’s begin

    with the “long established principles of physics": The earth is heated by the sun. The atmosphere retains heat from

    the sun. And the ocean absorbs heat radiating molecules from the atmosphere.

    The physics would suggest

    three possible causes for the earth getting hotter: The sun could be producing more energy. The atmosphere could be

    retaining more energy. The oceans could be absorbing fewer heat radiating molecules from the atmosphere.



    Therefore the first order of data we need to look at is: Measurements of radiation reaching us from the sun.

    Measurements of gases and particulates in the atmosphere. Measurements of molecular absorption by the

    oceans.

    Do you agree?
    Give truth a chance.

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    Moderator belgareth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Netghost56
    Trying to

    look at global warming through Belgareth’s POV, this is what I’ve assembled:

    Consider that for 200 million

    years the global climate was such that it allowed reptiles to be the dominant animal. 90% of the land was tropical,

    extraordinarily humid, and (theoretically) carbon dioxide was much more abundant in the atmosphere. In addition to

    reptiles, the other dominant animals were insects and fish. Birds and mammals were rare by comparison. Since

    dominant reptiles (dinosaurs) are present throughout the fossil record, it’s logical to assume that there never was

    a major Ice Age until the comet impact.

    So up until the comet impact, the global climate was pretty stable.

    After the impact there was an Ice Age. It gradually went away, and was followed by another, smaller Ice Age. This

    cycle continued for approx. 65 million years- a “global cooling” followed by a warming trend. A good analogy would

    be dropping a rock in water. The comet impact initially disturbed the global climate, and over time the disturbance

    has leveled out.

    So logic suggests that whatever the climate was before the impact is what the climate will

    eventually return to.

    Putting aside the enormous religious and philosophical implications, there is the nagging

    question: Where does that leave us humans? Are we going to die out to be replaced by the original occupants, the

    dinos?? Should we do something to ensure our survival, even at the risk of upsetting the natural balance? It’s

    paradoxical, at best.

    But here’s where I differ from that explanation:

    While I have no problem believing all

    of the above, I can’t see that the recent rapid rate of increase in global temps is “normal”. The past decade has

    seen an increase of the same rate as the previous 10,000 years (Yes, I’m ballparking that estimate!) Also, I can’t

    see a natural reason for the rapid increase. Why would the rate change after 65 million years? What’s changed?



    Since humans are the only creatures that can create something unnatural, which is something that does not have a

    place in the natural environment, and is not bound by natural laws, then I’m forced to say that humans are the

    factor in this problem.
    I'm sorry but you aren't even close. The earth has been changing and evolving for

    4.3 billion years. There is no reason to believe that it was ever stable for any period of time. There is no

    evidence or reason to believe that carbon dioxide was in greater abundance during that time since plant life is the

    reason there is oxygen in the first place which later allowed oxygen breathing animals to evolve. Plants freed

    oxygen from th environment and oxygen was, as it is today, a waste product of the plant's use of carbon dioxide.

    Nor were reptiles ever the dominant life form. If you mean dinosaurs, most scientists believe they were warm blooded

    and much more like birds than reptiles. We've gone into that in this thread before. Nor is it logical to assume

    that there were no ice ages prior to that. Since the asteroid impact there have been several ice ages, I think the

    number is five but am not certain. Yo are trying to make an argument that the climate was once stable and is trying

    to stabalize again. The only thing in the environment that is a constant is change which occurs constantly.



    Your last question is silly. The temperatures have been changing constantly over the last 60 million years but

    nobody knows how rapidly. There is clear evidence that tropical ferns grew in the arctic during that period. As I

    have noted several times, the globe is quite a bit cooler than it has been as recently as less than a million years

    ago.

    Your statement that humans create things unnatural and unbound by natural laws is pointless from all

    aspects. Everything is tied to natural laws, without exception. But let me ask you something. At what point does a

    human's action become unnatural? A biology teacher once said that as soon as a human picks up a leaf and drops it

    again it is no longer a natural occurance. Another person, possibly Arther Clark, said just the opposite. Man is

    part of nature and all his acts are a part of him. Therefore, all acts of man are a part of nature. The latter makes

    sense even though man destroys his envirnoment. How can we seperate ourselves from the chimpanzee who uses a rock to

    kill fish other than in the number of fish our creations kiil. Since when does the number of something remove it

    from natural occurances?
    Last edited by belgareth; 01-09-2006 at 01:41 PM.
    To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.

    Thomas Jefferson

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    Moderator belgareth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by a.k.a.
    OK. So let’s figure out why.
    Quote Originally Posted by a.k.a.


    I say let’s

    begin with the “long established principles of physics": The earth is heated by the sun. The atmosphere retains heat

    from the sun. And the ocean absorbs heat radiating molecules from the atmosphere.





    The physics would suggest three possible causes for the earth getting hotter: The

    sun could be producing more energy. The atmosphere could be retaining more energy. The oceans could be absorbing

    fewer heat radiating molecules from the atmosphere.



    Therefore

    the first order of data we need to look at is: Measurements of radiation reaching us from the sun. Measurements of

    gases and particulates in the atmosphere. Measurements of molecular absorption by the oceans.





    Do you agree?




    Ok, I'm

    game. This sounds like fun. Be forewarned. I am an engineer and we like to pick at details. For the sake of

    comprehensibility let’s only cover the major players, ok? From my perspective you are over-simplifying the issues so

    I’ll start by delineating what I feel are the minimal considerations for a reasonable look into the

    issues.


    The basic precept of the entire global warming scenerio is

    that the globe is warming at a greater rate and outside normal parameters. That has not been demonstrated as yet. It

    is arguuable that since global temperatures have been much higher many times the concern over global warming is a

    farce in its entirety. I am not maintianing that but we do first need to prove that global warming is real and

    outside of natural cycles. We are dealing with net energy within an atmosphere. Let's look at heat gain

    first.


    Solar gain:

    What is the range of solar gain, high and low. We know that it is about 429 BTU/Hr per square foot. What is

    the range of variation?

    Of that gross at the upper atmosphere, how

    much is reflected directly off into space. That would be a function of reflectivity.


    How much is absorbed by the atmosphere above the biosphere and how

    much by mountains that high?

    * In both of the above we can assume that

    is lost energy. The following could be called net gain.

    How much is

    absorbed by plants on the surface and converted to food/growth and locked into the carbon cycle?



    How much is absorbed by the surface and reradiated versus how much is reflected back

    into space by the various surfaces such as ice/snow cover and bare ground. You can probably come up with reasonable

    percentages for that but would have to adjust for multiple changes. In other words, if the percent of global ice is

    greater your reflected energy is going to be greater thus net gain is reduced.

    How much is trapped in ocean water or ice?
    Ok, without going

    into too much detail, once we figure out those variables we can take a number of BTUs for solar gain.



    Gain from the planet itself:
    Radiated

    core heat. How much is gained from residual core heat? Since the core and mantle are molten thermodynamic principles

    tell us that a certain amount of energy will come to the surface. There's an article posted in this thread

    regarding thermal variations as a result of shifts in the magnetic poles which result in greater heating of the

    core, those will be reflected in warmer surface temperatures and will cause a certain amount of melting of ice

    packs. Scientists are pretty sure of the relationships between movements of the magnetic poles and core

    temperatures. We need to know if there is also a direct correlation with global temperatures.


    Volcanoes are another expression of core heat. Surface volcanoes will

    heat the air and land. Undersea volcanoes will heat the sea and indirectly heat the air and land masses. In the case

    of undersea volcanoes we have to ask how much is tied up in undersea life forms. Since the seas are deep, cover most

    of the globe and have abundant life that number should be substantial.

    Radioactive decay is again an issue not covered often and could logically be covered under gain from the

    planet itself. There is a sizable contribution to the current energy budget and with an increase in the use of

    nuclear power would contribute to the issue of global warming so I am adding it as a separate item.



    Friction may not sound like much but the numbers are too impressive to ignore. The

    earth spins while the atmosphere tries to stay in place resulting in friction heating of the

    atmosphere.

    While release of energy formerly tied up in coal beds,

    petroleum deposits and natural gas reservoirs is not truly heat gained we did subtract it previously and it adds to

    the current energy budget. We should in all honesty include it.

    Other

    activities of man include every light bulb, friction from tires rolling along the road and any other source of

    energy released into the atmosphere. A single tire's radiated heat may seem trivial as does a light bulb. Multiply

    that by the massive numbers and you start talking about some real numbers so this should be included. I don't

    include the energy radiated by man himself or the plethora of other animal life as that is really secondary energy

    formerly trapped within the plant cycle and it would be counting that energy twice. You could argue the same is true

    of friction energy as well but lets not get too nitpicky.


    Since

    the majority of the earth is covered with water which absorbs energy from sunlight, has a far greater mass than the

    air and is a great medium for storing energy, I don't believe we can honestly say the oceans are absorbing energy

    from the air. Rather, it seems likely that the air recieves much of it's energy from the seas. The air may warm

    fast but that's only because the air has so much less mass thus is easier to heat

    quickly.


    Heat loss:
    While solar gain only effects 50% of the planet at any one time the shape of the earth, the fact that the

    sun's output changes constantly, the earth rotates and different surfaces reflect and absorb energy at different

    rates making the actual gain a wide variable. At the same time, potential re-radiation into space is a constant

    making that part of the equation a little easier to handle. We can view potential loss by re-radiation into space as

    a constant and only need to address inhibitors. We'll still need to look at how conduction and convection play into

    it though.

    Cloud cover is the first inhibitor. Since re-radiation

    would necessarily be at the low end or long wave range cloud cover would significantly inhibit radiation into space.

    Cloud cover will vary depending on the amount of available moisture suspended in the air. As the ambient temperature

    increases so does the potential for evaporation increasing the amount of total water held in the air thus its heat

    retaining capacity. However, as the temperature increases fewer clouds form allowing more energy to radiate into

    space. I'm not sure how you would balance that against the greater heat retaining properties of the moisture within

    the air but it would have to be accounted for to come up with a valid equation.

    The next question would be similar, the balance between energy reflected and energy retained by

    greenhouse gases as they would increase the over all energy reflected into space but may also act as a blanket to

    retain the heat. The greater concentrations of gases in the atmosphere would both reflect more light and retain more

    energy. The actual mechanism causing the retention of energy would be the question to answer. Are these gases acting

    as a blanket inhibiting radiation of energy or are these gases retaining energy within themselves? If the former is

    the case we have to address the insulating value of the greenhouse gases at a given concentration to ascertain how

    much energy it is holding in place. If it is the mass retaining energy we would have to address the overall mass of

    the gases. I suspect that the former is the true issue, that it forms a blanket that IR has trouble passing through.

    Carbon Dioxide does not have that great of a mass so would not be able to hold a lot of energy. Assuming it is the

    blanket effect we are looking at, what is the net gain? I think we can dismiss the lighter gases as they would

    mostly rise to the top of the atmosphere where they have little effect and be blown away be solar winds or simply

    escape into space.

    A question that comes to mind is the increased CO2

    effects on plants. It’s well known that increased levels of CO2 will encourage greater plant growth, especially in a

    warmer climate and with greater atmospheric moisture available. How will that effect the equation? Can or will plant

    growth increase to the point of uptaking enough carbon dioxide to make a significant impact on the over all levels?

    That means we need to look more closely at both the land and the sea plants. Most people are not aware that the seas

    are a primary source of oxygen because the plants under the sea are far more numerous than the land ones and also

    use the carbon cycle. That, of course, also impacts something you’ve mentioned, the carbon dioxide absorbed by the

    seas.
    It is apparent from the charts you linked to that something

    reduced the CO2 levels in the atmosphere. There appears to be a definate pattern of increase and decrease over a

    period of time. The actual mechanism causing that should be explored.

    Radiation from land and sea mass is another issue. Snow or ice inhibits radiation of energy and since we are

    discussing the difference between masses with temperatures between 55 degrees and say zero F and the near absolute

    zero of space there is quite a potential for energy transfer. As ice, snow, glaciers and polar caps melt the

    potential reradiation and radiation of inherent core heat increases.

    Ok, we’ve delineated the issues for the current heat gain questions. But we haven’t determined yet if

    there is a correlation between atmospheric greenhouse gases and temperature so let’s look at that next. It is not

    cut and dried that fossil fuel is the culprit. A good place to start is with historic temperatures. You really can’t

    claim that there is a problem yet as you haven’t demonstrated that temperatures are outside the normal range or are

    likely to go outside that range. Certainly, some scientists say the temperature is going to increase at a more rapid

    pace but that’s based on their models which are full of assumptions we have yet to verify.



    Global temperature ranges are a good place to start. The longer time span we can

    work with the better statistics we can generate. Assuming the asteroid theory is correct we should use no more than

    sixty million years because there’s a major but unrelated climate impacting issue beyond that point. At the least we

    would want to chart the temperature peaks and valleys with an eye for durations so we can establish a curve. From

    there we can extrapolate mean temperatures. That will give us some tools to compare with solar fluctuations, CO2

    levels and other pertinent data.

    So let’s start on CO2, where does it

    come from?

    Volcanoes are one of the largest sources of CO2. Through

    geological evidence we can make some pretty sound estimates of when volcanoes were active in the past. The longer

    term we can work with the better. Can we correlate that activity with CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere? We

    should note both instances of correlation and when they don’t match.

    Combustion is another source. Large burn offs of vegetation could increase the CO2 concentrations but

    I don’t know if there is any evidence for it. However, we should look.

    Swamp gases are greenhouse gases, mostly methane. At times large areas were covered with swamp or

    marsh. AT other times there were massive plant life die-offs which would have released huge quantities of gases into

    the atmosphere. Can a relationship with swamp gases and global temperatures be established? Being extremely light do

    they actually stay in the biosphere or do they rise to the upper atmosphere where they would have a lesser

    effect?

    We now should plot out probable periods of high CO2 levels in

    history and chart them on our time line. Is there a correlation with the temperature charts? Were there periods

    where the CO2 levels were high but temperature was low or where the temperature was high and CO2 was low? That

    implies other factors may have been at work during that period.

    Plant

    life is very fond of CO2 so we should next chart the abundance and size of plants along this chart. Again, is there

    correlation with temperatures and plant growth and CO2 levels?

    Solar

    fluctuations should next be charted and added to the timeline. Undenyably, the sun fluctuates drastically and that

    effects the climate. Again, is there a relationship shown here?

    I

    could go on but until historical and climatic model questions are answered there is no reason to believe that

    extraordinary global warming is taking place. There is no reason to believe it isn’t either as neither argument is

    conclusive or even persuading.

    Some questions I keep asking are where

    we are along the curve of temperatures, are we in a period of unusually low or high temperatures and which direction

    is the curve moving today in relationship to the natural trends? Without those answers there is no way you can

    rationally claim that there is any global warming outside the natural trends. The argument is being made that the

    globe is warming, I can accept that. But until you can demonstrate that it is outside the normal trend lines you are

    making statements without data. Further stating that fossil fuels are causing this purported heat gain is building

    on nothing. There are people, respected scientists who are not associated with either party involved in the global

    warming debate that believe the globe should actually soon be headed into an ice age. There are others that state

    the earth is substantially cooler than the mean historical norm and that global warming is no more than

    normalization. Still others who believe the apparent warming is no more than a statistical blip, something the

    recent record cold waves in Europe, Japan and India seem to support. I have a lot of questions about the whole

    scenario.


    I will not accept a snapshot view of one hundred or even

    one thousand years as a basis for making statements about what the global climate is doing. It is simply to little

    data to base those claims on.


    PS: I'm still curious as to how you

    feel about suppressed research when it is done through revoking grants and terminations.
    Last edited by belgareth; 01-11-2006 at 08:17 AM.
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    [url="http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0111-06.htm"]http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0111-06.htm[/url

    ]
    DrSmellThis (creator of P H E R O S)

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    Quote Originally Posted by belgareth
    From my perspective you are over-simplifying the issues so I’ll start by delineating

    what I feel are the minimal considerations for a reasonable look into the issues.[/size][/font]


    Oh-boy. Just when I thought I’d figured out a way to tame the proliferation of points and counter-points...



    You’ll have to forgive me for the delayed response. I needed help sorting through all your proposals. I can see you

    didn’t want to play along, but I wanted to understand where you were coming from before venturing a response.


    On first impression it seemed as if you just wanted to gather up a whole mess of data and see if we could make heads

    or tails of it. On closer inspection, I’d have to characterize your approach as “brilliant oversight”. I’m almost

    certain this wasn’t intentional but, despite all the seemingly insurmountable data requirements, you’ve effectively

    excluded just about every factor that could possibly support the fossil fuels theory of global warming.

    Just

    to set the record straight, I simply asked if you could agree that measurements of radiation reaching us from the

    sun, measurements of gases and particulate in the atmosphere, and measurements of molecular absorption by the oceans

    was a good place to start looking for causes of recent climate change. I didn’t say, “Look over here. This explains

    it all.”
    Oversimplification would have been a valid argument for adding more variables into the mix. But a

    systematic approach would have been nice. Also it doesn’t explain why you would want to reduce measurement of solar

    radiation to net BTU’s. And it’s a poor argument for ignoring my other two proposals altogether.

    So

    here’s what I can make of your requirements (and I’m just going to touch on the most significant points

    IMO):

    1) You’ve begun with a false premise. The most elementary physical reduction of climate change is not

    net energy gain/loss, it’s energy gain/loss over time across area.

    2) I can agree that focusing on sun,

    air and sea (although the three most powerful climatic forces) is a simplification. And I’m open to the argument

    that it’s an over-simplification. But, if a model of climate as the interaction of three powerful forces is an

    oversimplification, what do you call BTU’s in, BTU’s out, BTU’s retained? Ultra-oversimplification?
    How

    can this ever explain anything about how the climate works or why the planet would suddenly start getting warmer?

    (Let’s say, for example, we discovered that radiated core heat has been increasing at a rate comparable to the raise

    in temperatures. Is it physically possible, all else being equal, for the earth’s core to sustain a magnitude of

    radiation large enough, at a rate quick enough, to heat the entire planet by .5 degrees over a 50 year period? If

    not, the real cause would be core heat + whatever physical process is suddenly retaining that heat.)

    3)

    You’ve addressed the role of solar energy as if it was simply a question of how much heat is absorbed. Which

    effectively excludes investigation of how solar radiation interacts with the atmosphere.
    For example, you

    want to count energy absorbed in the upper atmosphere as net loss. Which is valid within your framework. But it’s

    still significant in that “Ultraviolet radiation at wavelengths below 300 nm is completely absorbed by the Earth's

    atmosphere and contributes the dominant energy source in the stratosphere and thermosphere, establishing the upper

    atmosphere's temperature, structure, composition, and dynamics. Even small variations in the Sun's radiation at

    these short wavelengths will lead to corresponding changes in atmospheric

    chemistry.”

    http://lasp.colorado.edu/sorce/data_...t_summary.html


    4) You’ve

    pretty much ignored chemical factors in climate change altogether. Which is fine if we want to get a rough estimate

    before narrowing in on the details. But, at the same time, you are proposing we examine non-climatic variables such

    as friction and combustion.
    I’m all for approximations, but if you want details they should be across

    the board.

    5) You imply a climate model in which there are inhibitors but no feedback mechanisms. (And,

    incidentally, you say that, “ as the temperature increases fewer clouds form”. Whereas the exact opposite is true.

    Therefore cloud cover is not merely an inhibitor it is a potential feedback.)
    Once again, I’m fine with

    approximations, I'll plow through detailsif I have to... but I can’t accept double standards. If magnetic shifts

    are significant, so are feedback mechanisms.

    7) With respect to greenhouse gases... You make a good point

    when you say “The actual mechanism causing the retention of energy would be the question to answer.” And you ask

    some good questions, but you missed the most significant ones: a)what is the rate of energy absorption vs radiation

    for the various molecules which comprise the atmosphere and b) how does this effect spectral absorption at different

    atmospheric pressures.


    Having said all that... I would be interested in seeing a rough

    approximation of what range of temperatures could be calculated from a model like yours. As you say, potential re

    radiation is a constant. Would you agree that the sun is the largest source of energy? If so, how about we get a

    first approximation by treating the earth as a simple mass receiving/reflecting energy from the sun. What kind of

    surface temperatures could we expect then?
    This would give us a rough approximation of how much would have to

    be accounted for by all the other factors.
    As a second approximation (if you agree that the atmosphere is the

    largest inhibitor) lets assume the atmosphere is a simple “blanket” — that is it merely reduces the rate of heat

    transfer. (Incidentally, that’s a cozy metaphor you proposed — unless, of course, you've been smoking in bed and

    the blanket catches fire.) Would we be able to calculate a fair aproximation of its inhibiting effect if we knew its

    mass, density and thickness? If so, that would give us a rough idea of how much would have to be accounted for by

    core heat, friction, convection, & etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by belgareth
    PS: I'm

    still curious as to how you feel about suppressed research when it is done through revoking grants and

    terminations.[/size][/font]
    I think it’s a bad idea. I say give them every opportunity to conduct

    their own research. This way they won’t have any excuse for cherry picking through other people’s work for data that

    supports their agenda.
    Give truth a chance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrSmellThis

    The scariest part is the uncertainties. It’s a safe bet that the

    albedo loss will be a factor for higher temperatures. But what is this going to do to the chemical composition of

    the oceans? And how will this effect the ocean’s biodiversity?

    For a real disaster movie scenario consider

    this:
    The vast system of water movement depends on the fact that cold, salty water, such as found in the

    North Atlantic and the Antarctic, is denser than warmer, less salty water and tends to sink beneath it. The deeper

    water then moves slowly toward the equator, while warmer water from lower latitudes moves toward the poles to

    replace it. This “conveyor belt” keeps some mid and high latitude regions warmer than they would otherwise be.


    About 12,900 years ago the North Atlantic circulation stopped (the Younger Dryas event), probably because of an

    upset in the salt balance caused by an influx of too much fresh water from melting ice. In a decade or less the

    climate plunged from temperatures similar to today’s into a full blown ice age.
    Give truth a chance.

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    Actually, I want to play along

    but refuse to accept as a blanket statement that the earth is warming outside of normal parameters without evidence

    and without excluding all other factors. I know it was a long post full of complex issues. I know I generalized many

    things and glossed over many more things. I also would like you to add every related piece of data you can add. As

    I've mentioned before, many of our friends who come here are academics/scientists and the questions/issues I bring

    up are ones they brought up in beer and BS sessions around the barbecue. The list of other questions they've asked

    is far longer and much of it was over my head.

    Before we can have a discussion on how to solve the current

    global warming we must first determine the real parameters. Is this warming trend we can all see outside of what the

    globe has seen as a result of natural effects over time? You keep saying the climate was stable and that simply is

    not true. The globe has been much warmer many times as well as much cooler. Until that is explained and the

    mechanics involved are understood you have no case for anything. So instead of going in circles trying to solve

    something in the here and now, let's start by determining if there is a problem that we have control over.

    To

    have any reasonable conversation about today we must understand what occured in the past and why. I suggest this as

    a starting point for any rational discussion of today's concerns.
    Question #1: What is the expected range of

    climatic variation of the earth over time without outside influence?
    Question #2: What were the causes of cyclic

    warming/cooling trends of the earth over the longest measurable period without known outside influence?
    Question

    #3: How does todays warming trend relate to historical temperatures? What are the similarities and the

    differences?
    Question #4: If there were no unnatural influence, according to historical trends, what should we be

    seeing in the range of global temperature changes? What is the standard deviation anticipated?

    The intent is to

    determine facts. Until those questions are answered all discussion of how to deal with global warming is a waste of

    time because there is no way to determine if it is anything outside of what would have occured had man never

    existed.
    Last edited by belgareth; 01-12-2006 at 04:15 PM.
    To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.

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    Moderator belgareth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by a.k.a.
    Oh-boy. Just

    when I thought I’d figured out a way to tame the proliferation of points and counter-points...

    You’ll have to

    forgive me for the delayed response. I needed help sorting through all your proposals. I can see you didn’t want to

    play along, but I wanted to understand where you were coming from before venturing a response.
    On first impression

    it seemed as if you just wanted to gather up a whole mess of data and see if we could make heads or tails of it. On

    closer inspection, I’d have to characterize your approach as “brilliant oversight”. I’m almost certain this wasn’t

    intentional but, despite all the seemingly insurmountable data requirements, you’ve effectively excluded just about

    every factor that could possibly support the fossil fuels theory of global warming.
    Actually, the intent

    is to discover what is really going on. I've intentionally structured my questions and data requirements to exclude

    nothing where global warming theorists exclude all potential causes except one. If by play along you meant that I

    should accept the contention that the climate hasn't changed previously and that the current changes are caused by

    some influence other than natural, no I'm not going to play along. It doesn't matter what the source is or who's

    theory it is, all I want are sufficient facts to determine if there is an issue that could be caused by fossil

    fuels. Frankly, you sound like it is your agenda to prove it is fossil fuels. Starting off with a predetrmined goal

    is bad science.
    Quote Originally Posted by a.k.a.
    Just to set the record straight, I simply asked if you could agree that

    measurements of radiation reaching us from the sun, measurements of gases and particulate in the atmosphere, and

    measurements of molecular absorption by the oceans was a good place to start looking for causes of recent climate

    change. I didn’t say, “Look over here. This explains it all.”
    Oversimplification would have been a valid argument

    for adding more variables into the mix. But a systematic approach would have been nice. Also it doesn’t explain why

    you would want to reduce measurement of solar radiation to net BTU’s. And it’s a poor argument for ignoring my other

    two proposals altogether.
    Your question seemed to imply that we were simply trying to determine if from

    a snapshot position we could say that fossil fuels could cause the apparent global warming problem. There's no

    debate there, it's entirely possible. The question is, is it the culprit? Without the other data you cannot

    concllude that.
    Quote Originally Posted by a.k.a.
    So here’s what I can make of your requirements (and I’m just going to touch on the

    most significant points IMO):

    1) You’ve begun with a false premise. The most elementary physical reduction of

    climate change is not net energy gain/loss, it’s energy gain/loss over time across area.
    You are the one

    who started with a snapshot. I am arguing for a long term view because current global warming theory seems to

    exclude a ton of data. For the purposes of that statement, the question was best phrased that

    way.
    [QUOTE=a.k.a.]
    2) I can agree that focusing on sun, air and sea (although the three most powerful climatic

    forces) is a simplification. And I’m open to the argument that it’s an over-simplification. But, if a model of

    climate as the interaction of three powerful forces is an oversimplification, what do you call BTU’s in, BTU’s out,

    BTU’s retained? Ultra-oversimplification?
    How can this ever explain anything about how the climate works or why

    the planet would suddenly start getting warmer? (Let’s say, for example, we discovered that radiated core heat has

    been increasing at a rate comparable to the raise in temperatures. Is it physically possible, all else being equal,

    for the earth’s core to sustain a magnitude of radiation large enough, at a rate quick enough, to heat the entire

    planet by .5 degrees over a 50 year period? If not, the real cause would be core heat + whatever physical process is

    suddenly retaining that heat.)
    [QUOTE=a.k.a.]
    The planet didn't suddenly start getting warmer. It has been

    varying in temperature for millions of years. We do not know how fast it has varied in the past or what the causes

    were.

    Some scientists think that core heat changes could and are significantly changing the earth surface

    temperature. That could result in glacial melting and could result in increased artic water temperatures.


    Quote Originally Posted by a.k.a.
    3) You’ve addressed the role of solar energy as if it was simply a question of how much heat is

    absorbed. Which effectively excludes investigation of how solar radiation interacts with the atmosphere.
    For

    example, you want to count energy absorbed in the upper atmosphere as net loss. Which is valid within your

    framework. But it’s still significant in that “Ultraviolet radiation at wavelengths below 300 nm is completely

    absorbed by the Earth's atmosphere and contributes the dominant energy source in the stratosphere and thermosphere,

    establishing the upper atmosphere's temperature, structure, composition, and dynamics. Even small variations in the

    Sun's radiation at these short wavelengths will lead to corresponding changes in atmospheric chemistry.”



    http://lasp.colorado.edu/sorce/data_product_summar

    y.html

    Simplifications. I was getting tired of typing. You and I both know we could write

    several volumes trying to describe just those factors. Where should we stop?
    Quote Originally Posted by a.k.a.
    4) You’ve pretty much

    ignored chemical factors in climate change altogether. Which is fine if we want to get a rough estimate before

    narrowing in on the details. But, at the same time, you are proposing we examine non-climatic variables such as

    friction and combustion.
    I’m all for approximations, but if you want details they should be across the

    board.
    Not at all. I touched on it briefly and it is implied in several things I've mentioned. However,

    global warming theory gives it a lot of time. Let's also give other potential factors some room. I want that input

    along with every other factor, bot historical and current, that we can bring into it. I want to really understand

    what is going on. I don't believe the global warming theorists who keep insisting that nothing changed in many,

    many years are as interested in such data as it implies a weakness in their position.
    Quote Originally Posted by a.k.a.
    5) You imply

    a climate model in which there are inhibitors but no feedback mechanisms. (And, incidentally, you say that, “ as the

    temperature increases fewer clouds form”. Whereas the exact opposite is true. Therefore cloud cover is not merely an

    inhibitor it is a potential feedback.)
    Once again, I’m fine with approximations, I'll plow through detailsif I

    have to... but I can’t accept double standards. If magnetic shifts are significant, so are feedback

    mechanisms.
    Untrue on the face of it. The questions about the blanket effect are stating that

    implicitly
    Quote Originally Posted by a.k.a.
    7) With respect to greenhouse gases... You make a good point when you say “The actual

    mechanism causing the retention of energy would be the question to answer.” And you ask some good questions, but you

    missed the most significant ones: a)what is the rate of energy absorption vs radiation for the various molecules

    which comprise the atmosphere and b) how does this effect spectral absorption at different atmospheric pressures.




    Having said all that... I would be interested in seeing a rough approximation of what range of temperatures

    could be calculated from a model like yours. As you say, potential re radiation is a constant. Would you agree that

    the sun is the largest source of energy? If so, how about we get a first approximation by treating the earth as a

    simple mass receiving/reflecting energy from the sun. What kind of surface temperatures could we expect then?
    This

    would give us a rough approximation of how much would have to be accounted for by all the other factors.
    As a

    second approximation (if you agree that the atmosphere is the largest inhibitor) lets assume the atmosphere is a

    simple “blanket” — that is it merely reduces the rate of heat transfer. (Incidentally, that’s a cozy metaphor you

    proposed — unless, of course, you've been smoking in bed and the blanket catches fire.) Would we be able to

    calculate a fair aproximation of its inhibiting effect if we knew its mass, density and thickness? If so, that would

    give us a rough idea of how much would have to be accounted for by core heat, friction, convection, &

    etc.
    What model like mine? I'm asking questions and setting parameters to build a model. However, I do

    not agree that the atmosphere is the biggest inhibitor simply because I don't know that yet.
    Quote Originally Posted by a.k.a.

    I

    think it’s a bad idea. I say give them every opportunity to conduct their own research. This way they won’t have any

    excuse for cherry picking through other people’s work for data that supports their agenda.
    Ok, then what do

    you think should be done about those who inhibit research in order to forward their agenda?

    Please forgive me if

    I misunderstand you. You come across as having the agenda of proving that fossil fuels are the culprit and of having

    the attitude that anybody who does not agree with that is against you. Nothing could be further from true. There are

    a lot of very intelligent, well educated people asking good questions and getting what they percieve as BS answers.

    All they want is too establish what the truth is so it can be acted on appropriately.
    Last edited by belgareth; 01-12-2006 at 08:22 AM.
    To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.

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    It’s true that I have an agenda.

    (Not quite the one you mentioned, but close enough.) And it’s also true that I try to lead discussion towards issues

    that support this agenda. But I don’t consider people that disagree as being against me personally. I consider them

    to be against taking appropriate steps towards significantly reducing fuel emissions.
    I tried to make all

    of this clear in the concluding paragraphs of my first post.
    If any of the above is in bad form, I

    seriously don’t mind bowing out of this discussion. (With no hard feelings.)
    Honestly... If we can’t

    agree that atmosphere is the primary inhibitor, the scientific portion of this argument is at a deadlock anyway.

    (And the political portion could get really ugly.)
    Give truth a chance.

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    No offense intended or taken.

    My point in starting this thread and in every argument I've presented is that the whole global warming scenerio is

    based on a lack of data. The atmosphere is possibly a primary inhibitor but until we collect sufficient data to look

    at it and the variables associated with it, we just don't know for sure. Unless we start at the begining to truly

    understand what is happening, the scientific issues discussion of global warming can never begin so are really not

    finished.

    I'm not against taking steps to reduce fuel emmissions but that wasn't the topic of conversation. I

    do believe it is unrealistic to think that the public is going to accept a reduction in their quality of life to

    accomplish that. Other, alternative means of providing energy are being explored and should be explored in greater

    depth. Once again, careful analysis of the possible options should be explored. We so often dive into things without

    looking carefully enough and find out we've screwed up again. Our environment is far to important for that.

    You

    ask about bad form? Of me? The one who blithely wanders around blowing all the politically accepted beliefs up? Oh,

    come now. Be serious. I enjoyed your participation and hope it continues. But you really wouldn't want me to

    be less than honest with you, would you?
    To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.

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    I’m not a scientist. My academic

    background is in history. And my confidence in the fossil fuels theory comes from a historical survey (and the

    little bits of science I was forced to pick up along the way).
    From a historical perspective, the notion

    that the atmosphere is the primary inhibitor is literally “square one”. About 175 years ago Joseph Fourier deduced

    (with a rough approximation similar to the one I proposed) that the Earth’s atmosphere must be absorbing the sun’s

    energy at a faster rate than it releases it.
    I don’t expect you to accept something as given just because

    a famous name proposed it. My confidence comes from the fact that I haven’t come across anybody that tried to

    repudiate this.
    (I speak of “confidence” rather than “certainty” because I don’t believe in certainty. But

    that’s another debate in itself.)
    Give truth a chance.

  23. #83
    Moderator belgareth's Avatar
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    I don't dispute the

    possibility that he is correct. But I am an engineer in two seperate fields who grew up around the sciences.

    Methodology is important and being certain of your variables is critical. Square one is and has to be the natural

    patterns of the planet. To say that something is happening outside of those patterns we must first define those

    patterns. You have mentioned yourself that the globe was much hotter in the past and have shown charts of historic

    CO2 levels. It isn't honest to state that the globe is warming outside of what would be expected without

    determining what would be expected first.

    Let's talk about Fourier for a moment. His name rang a bell the first

    time you mentioned him but since I am not a mechanical engineer or physicist I didn't remember who he was, college

    was a long time ago. Please keep in mind that he was a mathmatician and physicist in the times when they did not

    really have any knowledge of light and energy, he was a pioneer and brilliant. But he was also sometimes wrong and

    his work was in a very narrow range. Actually he postulated that it could be absorbing energy at a faster rate than

    it is being lost. He also postulated a number of other things that play into my questions to varying degrees. One is

    that the greater the thermal differential between two masses the greater the rate of heat transfer. Restated, the

    warmer the earth, the faster it will lose heat to space all other factors being the same. The other factors are not

    the same so we must consider insulating effects of various types of atmosphere for purposes of conducted energy,

    Opacity of cloud cover to infrared energy for purposes of radiated energy and conduction of energy between masses

    along with convection currents to account for how heated air rises sapping energy of into space that way. All these

    overlap each other and are all tied to his basic work which is in turn related to Newton's work. All this leads

    back to a basic precept of physics called entropy which says that all energies strive to reach a balance and at that

    point all motion will stop. (OK, I'm guilty of oversimplification again but this isn't a physics class. Give me a

    break! )

    Once we go past his basic equations we have to consider the capability of a surface to radiate

    it's energy and any impediments to that radiation. Lets take a flat black rock for simplicity. Thermodynamics

    states that a given surface will reradiate at the same rate as it abosrbs under absolute conditions but that does

    not take into account conduction and convection only reradiation.

    This rock will absorb a certain amount of

    energy from the sun and the air, mostly the sun as the air really doesn't have much energy carrying capacity due to

    low mass. I'm going to simplify here again because it can get really complicated when we start discussing how deep

    the energy gain is absorbed over a given time, thermal gradients and such. Let's say the rock absorbs enough energy

    to bring it up to 100 degrees F. with a high air temperature of 80. While it is absorbing the energy it is losing

    energy to the atmosphere at a relatively slow rate because the differential is not that great. Once the sun goes

    down and the air cools the rock continues to radiate heat but at the same time conduction from the surface

    increases. Air is heated which then rises to be replaced by cooler air which is in turn heated and rises.

    All

    this is leading somewhere. Air currents will rise dissipating energy upwards. Radiated energy will eventually find

    its way upwards. Space is both very cold and virtually infinate so the potential for heat transfer is huge. Now we

    need to concern ourselves with impediments to that transfer and variables on radiation. Cloud cover is one of the

    issues. You were incorrect to some degree when you stated more clouds would form with greater humidity. That is

    contingent on saturation and temperature. Clouds form when the air cools too far to maintain the amount of water

    suuspended in the air and droplets are formed which is what clouds are. If the air is warmer, more water can be held

    in the clouds without droplets forming or clouds. For purposes of this conversation, fewer clouds would be formed.

    Pollutants will form a barrier to reradiation and in the case of temperature inversions are effective for that.

    Where a temperature inversion is not present heated air will naturally rise to a point where the energy is lost, the

    air cooled and falling again forming normal convection currents. Those convection currents will disrupt the ability

    of the pollutants to trap energy. Incidently, they should also assist in increasing rainfall as raindrops only form

    around particules thus returning those particules to the ground.

    I mentioned above that a surface will absorb

    and reradiate about the same amount of energy over a given time where all other things are equal. To expand on that,

    a shiny surface will reflect far more and radiate less. That means that as the arctic ice pack melts radiated energy

    will increase. Will it reach an equalibrium? I don't know. Other factors, some mentioned above, will play into it.



    The point of this desertation is that it is not simply a matter of what pollutants can or will do. The earth is

    a very complex engine that we really don't understand. Saying simply that CO2 and other gases could increase heat

    retention is simplifying things way too far. I'm not trying to belittle you and am trying to cover some very

    complex topics without using mathmatics or complex terminology. It isn't easy to do. In the end using Joseph

    Fourier's simple statement to determine public policy or to unequivicoly state that the globe is warming as a

    result of greenhouse gases is kind of like saying that a spark plug defines how a car works.

    All I am trying to

    do is get people to look at it critically. Nothing more or less. I'm not trying to debunk anything but want science

    to do what scientists are trained to do. Set up a baseline, figure out why the mechanism works and demonstrate that

    the climate is behaving outside historical norms. While a massive task, it is a bare minimum for acceptability under

    scientific terms. Unless you truly understand what the climate is doing and the underlying mechanisms you cannot be

    certain of what you are doing or why you are doing it.

    If global warming is really happening and if it is

    really man caused, our best chance of effectively doing something about it is by gaining a true understanding of how

    it works. The longer we delay learning those facts underlying global climate change, the greater the probability

    that any damage we may be doing will be beyond our control.
    Last edited by belgareth; 01-13-2006 at 09:16 AM.
    To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.

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  24. #84
    Moderator belgareth's Avatar
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    Default N.D. to House Hydrogen Refueling Station

    N.D. to House Hydrogen Refueling Station Fri Jan 13,

    2006




    MINOT, N.D. -

    North Dakota State University's North Central Research Center, Basin Electric Power Cooperative and other partners

    are planning a station here to refuel hydrogen-powered vehicles using wind power.



    North Central Research Extension Director Jay Fisher said the

    electrolyzer-based refueling station will be on research center property south of Minot. Ontario-based Hydrogenics

    Corp., which is providing the equipment, said the project is expected to be operating later this

    year.


    The electrolyzer process, powered by the wind, puts electricity

    into water and splits it into hydrogen and oxygen, Hydrogenics spokeswoman Jane Dalziel said. The hydrogen then can

    be used for fuel, she said.


    "From stem to stern, it's a clean

    process," she said.


    "We're ready to go," Fisher said. "This is the

    spot — Minot, N.D. This is where it (research) is going to be done. This is a great fit for us because agriculture

    uses a lot of energy and produces a lot of energy. Research is what we do."


    Basin Electric owns two wind turbines south of Minot along U.S. 83.

    Fisher said the research center got involved in the project because of its location between the wind turbines

    and because of the research aspect of it.


    "Right now, we have an

    issue in North Dakota storing and transmitting the wind power we produce," he said. "Our transmission grids just

    aren't large enough. We need to find a way to store that excess energy."


    The Minot center is getting a hydrogen-powered forklift, Fisher said, and the technology is available to

    operate other hydrogen-fueled vehicles, even city buses.


    The project

    was sponsored by the federal Energy Department and announced by Sen. Byron Dorgan (news, bio, voting record),

    D-N.D., its organizers said.


    Basin spokesman Daryl Hill said the next

    step will be evaluating what types of vehicles to use at the station.


    The electrolyzer is about the size of a room, Dalziel said. Other refueling stations have been opened around

    the world, but hydrogen technology is still in its early stage, she said.


    "This is an opportunity to show the practicality of hydrogen as a fuel," she

    said.


    "It's pretty new," Dalziel said. "The one at Minot is

    definitely on the leading edge."


    To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.

    Thomas Jefferson

  25. #85
    Moderator belgareth's Avatar
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    Default New source of global warming gas found

    New source of global warming gas found: plants Wed Jan 11,

    2006




    LONDON

    (Reuters) - German scientists have discovered a new source of methane, a greenhouse gas that is second only to

    carbon dioxide in its impact on climate change.


    The culprits are

    plants.


    They produce about 10 to 30 percent of the annual methane

    found in the atmosphere, according to researchers at the Max-Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg,

    Germany.


    The scientists measured the amount of methane released by

    plants in controlled experiments. They found it increases with rising temperatures and exposure to

    sunlight.


    "Significant methane emissions from both intact plants and

    detached leaves were observed ... in the laboratory and in the field," Dr Frank Keppler and his team said in a

    report in the journal Nature.


    Methane, which is produced by city

    rubbish dumps, coal mining, flatulent animals, rice cultivation and peat bogs, is one of the most potent greenhouse

    gases in terms of its ability to trap heat.


    Concentrations of the gas

    in the atmosphere have almost tripled in the last 150 years. About 600 million tonnes worldwide are produced

    annually.


    The scientists said their finding is important for

    understanding the link between global warming and a rise in greenhouse gases.


    It could also have implications for the Kyoto Protocol, which calls for developed countries to cut their

    emissions of greenhouse gases by 5.2 percent below 1990 levels by 2008-12.


    Keppler and his colleagues discovered that living plants emit 10 to 100 times more methane than dead

    plants.


    Scientists had previously thought that plants could only emit

    methane in the absence of oxygen.


    David Lowe, of the National

    Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research in New Zealand, said the findings are startling and

    controversial.


    "Keppler and colleagues' finding helps to account for

    observations from space of incredibly large plumes of methane above tropical forests," he said in a commentary on

    the research.


    But the study also poses questions, such as how such a

    potentially large source of methane could have been overlooked and how plants produced

    it.


    "There will be a lively scramble among researchers for the

    answers to these and other questions," Lowe added.
    To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.

    Thomas Jefferson

  26. #86
    Phero Pharaoh a.k.a.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by belgareth
    If global warming

    is really happening and if it is really man caused, our best chance of effectively doing something about it is by

    gaining a true understanding of how it works.
    The basic mechanism is actually simpler than

    convection (although I don’t think I can describe it as clearly as you could):
    Hotter objects radiate

    energy at shorter wavelengths than cooler objects. Since the earth is cooler than the sun, radiation coming in

    through the atmosphere is at longer bands than radiation going out. Certain gases absorb energy from the longer

    bands of infrared radiation leaving the earth, but not the shorter bands coming in.
    Of course

    understanding how this works in the atmosphere, on a global scale, is a bigger question.
    The most basic

    formulation of the problem is determining the rate of infrared energy transfer from greenhouse gases in the lower

    atmosphere to those in the upper atmosphere. Since energy doesn’t get “lost in space” until it reaches the upper

    atmosphere. And energy doesn’t get lost from lower levels until it can be transfered to the higher levels.
    The

    basic formulas for calculating the rate of transfer are called “radiation calculus”; and they’re way over my head.

    They are derived from principles of gas thermodynamics; which reads like a foreign language to me.
    What I do

    understand is the history of how radiation calculus was applied to progressively more realistic models of the

    atmosphere over the course of about 100 years.
    The first simple model was developed by Svente Arrhenius

    (circa 1900), who I mentioned in my first post. It proposed a series of single columns of atmosphere, one point

    thick, stretching from equator to 0 latitude. After each point was calculated, he averaged the results and

    multiplied by the surface area of the globe.
    Over the next 50 years various ways were discovered to

    supplement this simple model with other climate variables. Most notably, convection and energy carried along wind

    currents from tropics to the poles (not just as heat energy, but also as potential energy trapped in water

    molecules).
    In the 1950’s a significant modification was made to the basic calculus. The US conducted a lot of

    expensive military research to narrow down the spectral bands at which infrared radiation was absorbed by various

    gases at different altitudes. (Most of this research was geared towards the development of heat seaking missiles.)

    It was discovered that, whereas at lower elevations H2O and CO2 have overlapping bands of IR absorption, at higher

    elevations the bands of spectral absorption narrow and each gas absorbs IR at slightly different frequencies.


    This indicates that CO2 had a greater impact than it’s relative concentration compared to H20 (which is, by far, the

    most prevalent greenhouse gas). As CO2 traps energy in the upper atmosphere it acts as a sort of dam which raised

    energy levels at lower levels.
    In the 60’s scientists started using computers to create General Circulation

    Models (GCM). The first GCM’s were extremely crude. Land masses weren’t distinguishable as continents and elevations

    were averaged out. The oceans were modeled as simple water surfaces. Cloud cover was factored as average albedo. And

    there was no accounting for particulates (like dust & soot). But there was fairly good accounting for wind currents,

    convection, radiation along two axes, and latitudinal variations in incoming solar radiation.
    Realistic

    GCM’s (models that accounted for continents, elevations, ice &snow, vegetation, cloud cover, etc. ...) didn’t appear

    until the 80’s. And models that could reasonably calculate climate change over time didn’t start appearing until the

    90’s.
    With regards to these later models, the role of cloud cover and ocean currents remains a sticking

    point.
    (Incidentally, you’re correct about cloud cover being contingent on saturation and temperature. But

    it’s important to remember that the dew point is contingent on humidity. As air moves from high atmospheric pressure

    to low, it expands and cools. The atmospheric pressure at which it reaches 100% saturation is dependent on it H2O

    content. This is why, when you check the weather channel for dew points across the country, you generally see that

    the dew point is set at really low temperatures in high, dry areas (like Denver, which has very little cloud cover)

    whereas it can be quite high for low, humid areas (like Orladndo, which tends to get a lot of clouds).


    Therefore, as higher temperatures increase H2O concentrations there should be more cloud cover. The problem, for

    modelers, is that some clouds tend to reflect more radiation from the sun = a cooling effect. Other clouds tend to

    slow down re-radiation from the earth = a feedback effect. It’s hard to predict the type of clouds that would be

    formed, and at what altitudes.)

    As far as predictive power goes... There’s been hits and misses.

    (One of the simpler models predicted current polar ice loss back in 1971. Todays most sophisticated GCMS can’t seem

    to agree on regional differences in projected temperatures.)
    The most significant point in all this — for

    our discussion — is that in every model, from the simplest to the most complex, every time you add CO2 the

    temperature goes up.
    Today’s laptops are more powerful than supercomputers of the 60’s, but I bet you

    can’t point me to a single skeptic (or independent researcher) that has created a model of the atmosphere (even a

    simple model) which is based on known physics and demonstrates that adding CO2 does NOT raise temperatures.



    With regards to time line studies...
    I think there’s two things they can prove: a) if there is any

    correlation between atmospheric CO2 and temperature and b) if current temperature gains are comparable to this or

    that period in the climate’s history.

    As far as the first point goes... I say there’s been plenty of ice

    core studies (from the mid 70’s to the present) which demonstrate such a correlation. You say these studies don’t

    account for this or that.
    My questions is:
    a) What difference does it make as long as the correlation

    has been made? You yourself said that “correlation” is not “connection”. The connection has to be demonstrated in

    the physics. And it seems to me the physics is pretty solid.

    As far as the second point goes, my

    questions are:
    b) How does going back in time demonstrate whether or not current warming trends are

    comparable to this or that ice age? Don’t we have to wait until the current trend either peaks or bottoms out to

    make that determination?
    c) And why does this even matter, with respect to public policy, if it’s already hot

    enough to kill corral reefs, increase the migratory range of parasitic insects, and destroy the homes and

    livelihoods of Inuit populations? And, most importantly, why does it matter, if the potential for greater

    temperature gains has been demonstrated?

    A point about methodology.
    Many scientists are prone to

    make a fetish of the Scientific Method. As if it could prove something independently of its practical

    application.
    I’ve seen some really stupid science with some very rigorous methodology. (Especially with

    regards to human attraction.) I also know that the empirical method was formulated on the basis of some (I would

    say) bizarre metaphysical premises. And it would have never caught on if it hadn’t demonstrated practical

    applications for warfare, industry and medicine.
    A large body of knowledge concerning climate and the role of

    CO2 already existed before the world started recording record temperatures. I can see the point of allowing

    alternative theories to prove their point. But I don’t see the point of dismissing 150 years of accumulated

    knowledge because it doesn’t conform to somebody’s ideal methodology for tracking down the cause of global

    warming.
    I think scientists are doing their job. They’re building on the existing knowledge base, testing the

    limits of theory and investigating what is not known on the basis of what is known.
    Give truth a chance.

  27. #87
    Moderator belgareth's Avatar
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    It's always more interesting

    when somebody does their homework. You do good research. Over all, you are correct in the general science. I only

    have a few points of contention here.

    1. 'Record high temperatures' is a nonsensical statement as is 'record

    low temperatures'. More accurately stated, they are record highs and lows within a very brief geological period

    which is statistically insignificant. They don't tell us anything. It wasn't all that long ago that people were

    living like the Inuits in northern California. Nor was it all that long ago that tropical ferns were growing north

    of the arctic circle.

    As I stated earlier in this thread, I find it terribly amusing that the global warming

    crowd made so much noise about the high temps in France last year and the heavy hurricane season being evidence of

    global warming, which it wasn't, versus how quiet they've been about the 'record' low temperatures this winter.

    Any honest scientist would, at the very least, investigate and try to say why it worked and how it fit within the

    framework of their theory. You can argue that they are still working on it and to that I say that they sure were

    fast to proclaim proofs of their theories.

    2. It matters with respect to everything that you, nor any other

    global warming scientist has never produced one bit of data demonstrating that 'global warming' is outside natural

    parameters demonstrated over a statistically significant period regardless of how people are living or which insects

    are migrating where. The globe has repeatedly warmed and cooled throughout histiory and archeological evidence

    indicates that nature made those changes in the past. If and until it is demonstrated that it is outside natural

    occurance the entire discussion is moot. To take action in an effort to change the natural course of events, if

    that's what it is, is absurd.

    3. Methodology is critical to reliable scientific data. Without controls,

    reproducability and verifiable data you have nothing but a bunch of useless junk. Certainly, there has been junk

    science with good controls and methodology. There's been a lot more without it. The entire concept of scientific

    method is designed to prevent as much bad science as possible. Assuming that all baselines start with the climate

    over the last thousand years is one example of such lousy methodology.

    4. Ice core studies only demonstrate what

    occured in one microclimate. You need to demonstrate that it is a global phenomena for it to have any

    significance.

    5. I don't dismiss 150 years worth of data. Rather, you and others are dismissing 60,000,000

    years worth of important, relevent data. You keep talking as if that tiny window is the whole sum of the data or is

    an appropriate baseline when it is not either. We do agree that some scientists are doing their jobs but they still

    have not done the basics of developing a model of what should be expected within the realm of natural, historical

    occurances.

    I'm not excluding this apparent warming trend as being manmade, only waiting for data. You are

    excluding it being natural, without any proof or even evidence.
    Last edited by belgareth; 01-16-2006 at 11:57 AM.
    To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.

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  28. #88
    Doctor of Scentology DrSmellThis's Avatar
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    Default Scientific methods, thinking like a scientist, and global warming

    Just a note on general science to help allay any unnecessary confusion:

    While

    many treat the scientific method as if it was only talking about laboratory "experiments" to determine

    causality, experimental method is only one kind of scientific method. True experiments

    conducted in a laboratory to determine causality -- where every condition is controlled through establishing an

    artificial world in the lab, often at the expense of real world applicability -- actually represent only a fraction

    of scientific research.

    A correlational study that shows, say, a strong correlation between CO2 levels and

    temperatures over a given period of time is just as true to "the scientific method" as an experiment. It's just

    very difficult to determine causality merely with correlational or historical studies. The only sure, easy

    way to do that is to control everything about the experimental situation in a lab setting.

    There is a sort of

    exception here, though.

    You can make a relatively compelling case for causality with a correlational

    study if you control for the most plausible alternative explanations, control for method and error variance; and

    have a strong theoretical basis to argue for causality; especially if you have some good, true experimental (lab

    controlled in a completely artificial environment) evidence that supports your theory.

    There is no hope of ever

    establishing causality the easy and straightforward way with studies of global warming. You can't take the earth

    throughout history and throw it into a lab.

    All you will ever have are correlational studies, the opportunity to

    control for method/error variance; and, at best, strong theories about physical effects that themselves can be

    tested in a lab that would support causation. Then you compare the evidence for the most likely causal explanation

    with that for alternative explanations. What you end up with is one explanation that is relatively more compelling

    than the rest.

    We can hope for nothing more. That is the best case scenario, practically speaking; the scenario

    on which we have to base whatever life and death decisions we might have to face as a result of any climate

    change.

    So if a strong correlation between CO2 levels and temperature is established; it can be shown that

    random error or method choice did not lead to this correlation, and that the theory of CO2 causing warming can be

    reliably demonstrated in the lab, then you are ready to make a case about human caused global warming, from the

    standpoint of every scientific standard. You can also make a similar case for alternative explanations, as well you

    should.

    But scientifically speaking, the burden is on those who would make an alternative case, to argue that

    their causal explanation is instead the most compelling. Those folks can't just say "you can't prove it", or "you

    can't be sure" (or obviously, "you have no evidence," in the specific situation I've descibed), and pretend to

    come from a scientific place; to be thinking like a good scientist.

    I'm not suggesting anyone in this thread is

    being unscientific in this way. But are global warming/human effect skeptics meeting their scientific obligation in

    this sense?

    This necessary state of affairs within the sciences becomes relevant to everyday life and policy

    making when we evaluate the potential risks and stakes we face, such as the risks inherent to making or not making

    certain decisions about the way we treat the environment. From a policy perspective, doing nothing until we have

    "proof" may not be an option.

    If we establish that humans most likely caused relative global warming in

    this available period of study; that messing with global temperatures is risky behavior, and that we can only

    control our effect on nature; it then becomes a seperate but related question whether global temperatures have made

    more extreme swings throughout history.

    Here again, you have to make a compelling case; and compete to establish

    the most prudent, least risky option. Here again, I think the debate is lacking.

    Some of the problem in the

    public debate seems due to a lack of good scientific thinking, and a misunderstanding of the proper function of

    science in policy making.
    Last edited by DrSmellThis; 01-16-2006 at 06:21 PM.
    DrSmellThis (creator of P H E R O S)

  29. #89
    Moderator belgareth's Avatar
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    The burden is on the party

    claiming causuality, each party claiming has equal burden. To date, the facts do not support causuality of any

    argument when compared to historical data. CO2 levels have been higher then dropped to lower the average levels of

    their own accord, why? Temperatures have been higher then dropped to much colder, why? Global temperatures are not

    matching the models within expected deviations, why? You still start at a snapshot and make majestic conclusions

    without reference to available data or answering questions. You cheerfully gloss over all historical data! The

    current period of study is insufficient as it does not reflect the true range of conditions occuring naturally.



    I think the most curioous point in this whole debate isn't whether global warming is occuring or why since it is

    obvious that temperatures are continuing to change. An entire field of science and all the followers refuse to

    examine relative data and put today's climate into context. Without the context you have no correlation because you

    cannot demonstrate anything is happening that wouldn't be happening without human intervention. Where is the harm

    in bending every effort to determine the truth instead of glossing over facts so you can justify making random

    decisions? I don't know where you learned scientific method but where I learned it that would have given you a

    failing grade every time.

    Public policy should be based on best knowledge and it isn't to any degree. As noted

    time and again, until we have real information about what is going on, public policy that attempts to control this

    phenomena is erroneous. I ask again, what if the global climate change issue is completely beyond our control and/or

    solely natural in cause. After billions or trillions of dollars have been poured into another white elephant we

    discover that all we did amounted to piling up the money and burning it? Or worse, what if our efforts result in

    adverse effects? It certainly wouldn't be the first time based on the same kind of 'science' being foist

    on us. In either case biilions of people would be forced to pay for your folly. Millions of them could literally

    starve to death as a result of not collecting and analysing sufficient data soon enough.

    I say that the refusal

    to collect the data is the risky-est behavoir imaginable. Why are you so against spending the extra effort to really

    know how it all goes together? Is your agenda so important to you that potential damage, wasted effort and human

    suffering don't matter?

    Please note, this is a very one-sided debate. You are insisting that this is what is

    happening regardless of reasonable questions. I'm acknowledging the climate is changing and am advocating for well

    thought out research to know exactly what is happening so we can move rationally instead of the blind flailing the

    global warming advocates are pushing.
    To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.

    Thomas Jefferson

  30. #90
    Doctor of Scentology DrSmellThis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by belgareth
    The burden is

    on the party claiming causuality, each party claiming has equal burden.
    True. That is what I have implied.

    So far things are great in this discussion. Good reminder.
    Quote Originally Posted by belgareth
    CO2 levels have been higher then dropped

    to lower the average levels of their own accord, why? Temperatures have been higher then dropped to much colder,

    why?
    Interesting questions, but you can establish a statistical correlation, whatever it turns out to be,

    regardless of why either variable changes. A correlation is just two numbers changing together. Understand that I am

    just making a neutral point about scientific methodology; not expressing an opinion on who is "right" in the debate

    here or in the above post. That is something I am capable of offering, and I am sticking to that.
    Quote Originally Posted by belgareth

    You still start at a snapshot and make majestic conclusions without reference to available data or answering

    questions. You cheerfully gloss over all historical data! The current period of study is insufficient as it does not

    reflect the true range of conditions occuring naturally.
    See above comment. I suggested little or nothing

    about these issues in the above post, and am concluding nothing; but am talking about the basic methodological

    issues of a basic, hypothetical claim. I am deliberately leaving the raw data to you and AKA. Please try to

    avoid making aggressive, baseless accusations involving me in the future. It makes intellectual discussion

    unnecessarily unpleasant.
    Quote Originally Posted by belgareth
    Without the context you have no correlation because you cannot

    demonstrate anything is happening that wouldn't be happening without human intervention.
    No. A

    correlation in science is simply a statistical relationship between two numbers representing measured

    phenomena, regardless of the cause of that relationship. Putting a correlation in context happens after you

    have the correlation. For example, there is a very strong correlation between a person's height and shoe

    size; regardless of the contextual reason for that relationship, and the fact that they are not causally

    related.

    However, what you are saying might apply instead to causality; or might not; depending on the

    compellingness of any alternative causes of the correlation turns out to be.

    I am just trying to help people

    avoid confusing the meanings of the scientific terms and concepts, as I said, since that is a little something I'm

    qualified to contribute. Otherwise I would have continued to keep my mouth shut and avoid the attacks, like most

    everyone else is doing.
    Quote Originally Posted by belgareth
    Where is the harm in bending every effort to determine the truth instead of

    glossing over facts so you can justify making random decisions?
    I agree with the first part wholeheartedly.

    The second half is very unfair. I have challenged neither you nor AKA on your facts, but am staying out of something

    I have a lot to learn about. I am just tracing some general parameters for relating science to public policy, and

    saying both sides have to make their case factually. Carry on, gentlemen.
    Quote Originally Posted by belgareth
    I don't know where

    you learned scientific method but where I learned it that would have given you a failing grade every

    time.
    This is an ignorant, inflammatory, offensive, patronizing accusation. It would be boring and ironic to

    defend my training in research methods, while simultaneously having to clarify the difference between "correlation"

    and "causation"; something covered in the first week of an undergraduate class in research methods/design. Please do

    not continue with this behavior, especially as a moderator who is setting a tone for the forum. I'll be happy to do

    my part to be cordial, understanding and respectful of you; to find common ground where possible. But it has to be

    a two way street.
    Quote Originally Posted by belgareth
    Public policy should be based on best knowledge
    I agree, with the

    provision that under some scenarios we might be forced to make our best guess as to what to do to minimize risk. I

    will leave it up to you guys to hash this out, and will study it on my own over time.
    Quote Originally Posted by belgareth
    I ask again,

    what if the global climate change issue is completely beyond our control and/or solely natural in cause.
    I

    will only comment on the general scientific issue.

    If this were the case, in the available time frame, you would

    see a weak correlation between CO2 and temperature; or, in the case of a strong correlation, you would have a

    "confounding variable" that was also correlated with CO2 levels, assuming the "natural" position was correct. (I'm

    hoping interested people know the definition of a "confounding variable" in research methodology, but I'll explain

    it further if asked; or somebody could try Googling it.)

    In this hypothetical case, where a strong correlation

    over the time period between T and CO2 was contaminated by a confound (third, time-period-relevant, correlating

    variable), I'm not sure what the confound could be. The nature based confound would have to be more compelling in

    explaining CO2 levels over the time period than the level of human activity; or else would have to enjoy a higher

    correlation with T over the same time period.

    If the level of emissions, or human "industrial" activity,

    however best defined, were highly correlated with CO2 levels, (please realize this time that this is a neutral,

    hypothetical statement) one might be hard pressed to suggest a compelling alternative explanation for the change in

    levels.

    I do not know the numbers here, and will leave that to you guys.

    Understand that you would not need

    to show the ultra-long term, epochal significance of human activity on global temperatures to learn something

    critical with this approach. In fact, you could even assume as an axiom that nature in general tends have a greater

    effect on everything in climate, including T, than any part of nature such as humans, without changing the

    significance of such hypothetical findings. You could then move on to the question of the possible significance for

    humans of the human effect, the most likely significance; knowing that, say, a solar flare, unexpected ice age, or

    something else beyond our control could make it all academic. In the mean time you want to monitor all such

    possibilities to the best of your ability and incorporate any data in your relationship with the planet as

    humans.
    Quote Originally Posted by belgareth
    In either case biilions of people would be forced to pay for your folly. Millions of them

    could literally starve to death as a result of not collecting and analysing sufficient data soon enough.
    Talk

    about alarmist scenarios! Where is the evidence that managing CO2 would lead to that? The one study I saw and

    posted in the forum suggested an insignificant effect on the American economy, but I'm no great student, much less

    an expert here. I'm not saying this is wrong. I'm saying I've seen no credible evidence that this would happen or

    have to.
    Quote Originally Posted by belgareth
    I say that the refusal to collect the data is the risky-est behavoir imaginable. Why are

    you so against spending the extra effort to really know how it all goes together? Is your agenda so important to you

    that potential damage, wasted effort and human suffering don't matter?
    Wow. You sound like a talk show host

    here. Another dramatic false accusation or two. Um, I have always agreed, and stated in this forum, that continued

    data collection is critically important, especially to the extent that fruitful, promising, practical studies

    can be designed to provide much better answers to critical questions.

    Why don't you tell us what the most

    important first study to design would be. I love hearing about good study designs, and would honestly be happy to

    praise you for your insight here.
    Quote Originally Posted by belgareth
    You are insisting that this is what is happening regardless of

    reasonable questions.
    No. I am insisting no such thing. I am saying if X is happening, then Y; not that X

    is happening. If you would listen to others words and logic before going off, you could avoid all this conflict a

    good percentage of the time.

    In actuality I don't care what is right, and only want the truth, as you say you

    want. I do embrace my identity as a professionally trained research scientist in that way, regardless of what you

    think. I'd prefer humans had nothing to worry about.

    I realize you mistrust much of what a lot of people say,

    thinking they have "an agenda" (as if you're less "guilty" of this somehow) Sometimes I wonder whether you also

    dismiss and misunderstand what people say, because of this mistrust. That is none of my business, and I do not mean

    to trigger defensiveness or a reply.

    I am not trying to usurp anyone's position as King of the Hill in this

    thread. I only know about what I know about. I was trying to make a very limited contribution in a limited realm,

    and to respect others' expertise as best I could.

    So lay off me, belgareth. Consider going easy on the

    testosterone supplements, sir. I mean no offense, and am willing to be nice from here on out. But I am not,

    personally, going to put up with being treated like that.
    Last edited by DrSmellThis; 01-17-2006 at 04:26 AM.
    DrSmellThis (creator of P H E R O S)

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