Tim Nylen: Right in the wrong way

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Dr. Savage ("Disputing Krugman," May 20 Steamboat Today) is correct in saying, "some of the critical aspects of the models have been proved wrong, thus invalidating the models in his judgment." Modeling the climate is not an exact science, and the model needs to be adjusted every year after the data is gathered. The data from 2008 places it in the top 10 of highest recorded temperatures. So, 12 of the highest recorded average temperatures have occurred in the past 14 years. The model from one year ago would be much more desirable than the current model. The 2008 data strays far from the model of 2007, for the worse.

Unfortunately, the only way to prove the accuracy of the model is to wait. In 50 years, we could look back at the 2007 model and say, "If they only would have told us how bad it was going to get, we would have listened." But by Dr. Savage's logic, if the model is not exactly right, the model has no value. However, the model is showing a trend that Dr. Savage chooses to not acknowledge.

Models may be debated and trends can be ignored, but what you cannot ignore are the signs Earth is giving us. On NOVA, they examined new research on glaciers. The researchers from Boulder and abroad have increased their understanding of glaciers. They have found glaciers are moving into the ocean at rates of two to eight times greater than 20 years ago. The glaciers are not redeposited each winter at rates equal to their discharge into the ocean. So, the glaciers are retreating, and Greenland is getting smaller. A trend that the model supports is that the glacier loss in 2008 was greater than the glacier loss in 2007. And 2009 probably will be more than 2008, and so on. There is nothing to suggest that this observable trend will change. Glacier National Park is another example where the glaciers have been removed from the face of the Earth.

Debating the model will only help us understand when sea level rise may occur. But whether the new model, with new feedbacks included, shows a sharp increase in the average temperatures and predicts five years until total glacial melt; or if it is a kinder model, like 2007, that gives us 150 years until total glacial melt. The model becomes moot either way. The real issue is not the model, the environment or climate, but the politics behind the carbon tax, cap and trade. It will cause fossil fuel energy producers a great deal of money and affect their profitability - and shows that it's not economically feasible to keep the glaciers intact. Good luck, Mother Earth!

Tim Nylen

Steamboat Springs

Comments

Fred Duckels 5 years, 6 months ago

This global warming theory could be correct, but the political ramifications certainly seem suspect. Combined with the economy, the Dems seem bent on using this as an avenue to socialism. This is the same party that has probably lost elections from it's soft stance on national security. They have cleverly packaged the opposition as "the problen" esssentially siding with our enemies. This helps them continue their moderate security approach while branding the GOP as the problem. By using this mantra both on national security and warming, and continually beating that drum, they are cleverly gaining converts. I appreciate the presidents initiative but as long as politics and special interests prevail, we will only find mediocre solutions.

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Henry Savage 5 years, 6 months ago

Mr. Nylen's letter sent me looking for the latest data on global average temperature. The Hadley Center in England is the authouratative source for the surface land/sea data base, and they show continuation of the cooling that started in 2001 with 2008 being 0.09 degrees C lower than 2007. This is a large amount of cooling in one year. The warmest year on record is 1998 and it is widely agreed to be due to a strong El Nino. Hadley's graphs show a marked and continued cooling, so I don't know where Mr. Nylen gets his info.

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ybul 5 years, 6 months ago

-- Simple Newtonian physics tells you that when you add mass to a body in motion, it slows down (conservation of momentum).--

JLM, What happens when the object is moving faster and in the same direction as the earth?

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aichempty 5 years, 6 months ago

seesuki has a good idea.

Let's find a meteor just the right size to throw up enough dust to cool the atmosphere down about 2 degrees and send it smacking into the South Pacific or South Atlantic Ocean, or maybe into Antarctica to avoid the tsunami problem.

It would probably be a lot cheaper to hire the Russians to do this with a robotic probe in the long run. I think we should do it.

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Duke_bets 5 years, 6 months ago

seeuski - You wrote the words 'using false data and hyperbole'. Remind us of your lifetime support of Bush.

Pollution has 2 L's by the way.

Fred and yourself have 2 things in common. The dems control every second of your day and you must have had the same English teacher. The sentence with 'problen' in quotes ranks right up there Fred.

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1999 5 years, 6 months ago

do people really not think that humans can affect he environment and thusly the planet???

really???

and why is it mostly the religious who don't believe it?

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Fred Duckels 5 years, 6 months ago

It seems that people of faith are automatically branded as imbeciles on these blogs.

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playa46 5 years, 6 months ago

1999- Yes, we do affect the environment, however, if we look at history. We see this kind of change happening over and over again since the earth has been here.

Can you say Ice Age?

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ybul 5 years, 6 months ago

Something to ponder, soil organic matter used to be 8-10% in prairie soils, today it is 2-3%.

1 ton of soil C = 1.72 tons Organic matter (roughly)= 3.67 tons CO2. Just think about the vast amount of carbon that used to be stored in the soil that is no longer.

Without getting out my slide rule, I would venture a guess that if we focused on changing agricultural practices we could bring atmospheric carbon levels down very quickly. The problem is the politics of eliminating grain subsidies and move towards a more organic, pastoral/with crop rotation we would reduce carbon levels in the atmosphere to normal levels.

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seeuski 5 years, 6 months ago

You don't have to be religious to have common sense! Using false data and hyperbole to scare people into paying double and triple for energy is a big business and we should seek the truth as to who is benefitting financially in this. You just may find something you won't like. As far as air polution and how it has eased over the past 8 years is good news and proof that we are already headed in the right direction in cleaning our planet. We don't need to bankrupt the populace and enrichen the few at the top with political policies not meant to do anything but empower our so called leaders. Sheep beware.

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Scott Wedel 5 years, 6 months ago

I note that the Hadley Center does not say that there has been global cooling since 2001 as asserted by Henry Savage. They say there has been a reduction in the rate of warming. And that is because cold deep ocean water is being brought to the surface.

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seeuski 5 years, 6 months ago

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/08/15/hadley-climate-center-hadat2-data-shows-global-cooling-in-the-last-year/

Here is a blog site for scientist types that are breaking down the Hadley data. Seems like Savage is more accurate in his quotes.

More data review. http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.Blogs&ContentRecord_id=5ceaedb7-802a-23ad-4bfe-9e32747616f9

So, chicken little or reality, which will it be?

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seeuski 5 years, 6 months ago

So then, are the oceans going to rise 20' soon? Is florida going under water? What is the mean temp supposed to be and for how long? Will a meteor strike change anything?

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aichempty 5 years, 6 months ago

95% of the so-called "greenhouse" gas in the atmosphere is water. Most of the rest is methane. Both are naturally occurring.

Most water gets into the atmosphere from evaporation. Some of it is due to combustion (which emits only water and CO2 in a 100% "clean" combustion process). Some of it is due to expiration of water vapor by breathing. A lot of it is due to things like irrigation, watering lawns, fountains, cooking and any other process which causes steam. Water is "as bad or worse" than CO2 in every comparable atomic and molecular characteristic which contributes to the "greenhouse" effect.

But, what's the other side of this process? Clouds. Clouds reflect light back into space and absorb heat. That's why it's cooler on a cloudy day. It's something real you can feel every time a cloud passes in front of the sun.

Cosmological factors such as cosmic ray flux, variable solar output and and orbital mechanics also play a part.

What else? The Earth's rotation is slowing. This is why they occasionally insert a "leap second" into the time standard to compensate for slightly longer days.

And what else? The Earth picks up many tons of mass every day from meteors and comets (carrying ice) which enter the Earth's atmosphere. I witnessed such an event one day around 1990 when a mass of boiling clouds suddenly appeared in a clear sky (looking much like the Challenger explosion, but in the opposite direction -- coming down instead of going up). Simple Newtonian physics tells you that when you add mass to a body in motion, it slows down (conservation of momentum). This would account for part of the rotational slowing which alters the length of the day, and for a decrease in orbital speed around the Sun which would cause the Earth to slip into a slightly lower orbit, meaning that we are getting a little bit closer to the Sun every day.

Increasing levels of CO2 are a side effect of global warming, and this is easily seen in the ice core records over the past 100,000 years. Our real problem is too many people, and nature is about to correct it for us. If we were wise as a nation, we would be concentrating on limiting the population, increasing food production and decreasing use of water in ways that encourage evaporation. This carbon footprint idea addresses far less than 1% of the total greenhouse gas load, and it's silly. It's like "smudging" your house with a clump of smouldering sage instead of calling the fire department to put out a fire in the kitchen.

Any model that does not consider solar flux, orbital mechanics and water vapor emissions as the MAJOR causes of global warming is nothing but a political tool aimed at reducing our standard of living in the United States.

We can't stop global warming by reducing CO2 emissions. We've got to deal with the reality because it's beyond our ability to do anything else.

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Henry Savage 5 years, 6 months ago

It is not possible to link CO2 to global warming except with models that add lots of water to the atmosphere along with small amounts of CO2. When CO2 is going up in regular fashion for years and decades while temperature is going down, it is obvious that other controlling factors are in play.

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Scott Wedel 5 years, 6 months ago

From the Hadley Center: There is indisputable evidence from observations that the Earth is warming. Concentrations of CO2, created largely by the burning of fossil fuels, are now much higher, and increasing at a much faster rate, than at any time in the last 600,000 years. Because CO2 is a greenhouse gas, the increased concentrations have contributed to the recent warming and probably most of the warming over the last 50 years.

The rise in global surface temperature has averaged more than 0.15 °C per decade since the mid-1970s. Warming has been unprecedented in at least the last 50 years, and the 17 warmest years have all occurred in the last 20 years. This does not mean that next year will necessarily be warmer than last year, but the long-term trend is for rising temperatures.

A simple mathematical calculation of the temperature change over the latest decade (1998-2007) alone shows a continued warming of 0.1 °C per decade. The warming trend can be seen in the graph of observed global temperatures. The red bars show the global annual surface temperature, which exhibit year-to-year variability. The blue line clearly shows the upward trend, far greater than the uncertainties, which are shown as thin black bars. The recent slight slowing of the warming is due to a shift towards more-frequent La Niña conditions in the Pacific since 1998. These bring cool water up from the depths of the Pacific Ocean, cooling global temperatures.

Over the several hundred thousand years covered by the ice core record, the temperature changes were primarily driven by changes in the Earth's orbit around the Sun. Over this period, changes in temperature did drive changes in carbon dioxide (CO2). Since the Industrial Revolution (over the last 100 years), CO2 concentrations have increased by 30% due to human-induced emissions from fossil fuels.

The bottom line is that temperature and CO2 concentrations are linked. In recent ice ages, natural changes in the climate, such as those due to orbit changes, led to cooling of the climate system. This caused a fall in CO2 concentrations which weakened the greenhouse effect and amplified the cooling. Now the link between temperature and CO2 is working in the opposite direction. Human-induced increases in CO2 are driving the greenhouse effect and amplifying the recent warming

If we continue emitting greenhouse gases this warming will continue and delaying action will make the problem more difficult to fix

The global average temperature will increase by 2 to 3 °C this century according to one of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) mid-range estimates (blue line on the graph below). This rise in temperature means that the Earth will experience a greater climate change than it has for at least 10,000 years and it would be difficult for many people and ecosystems to adapt to this rapid change.

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Scott Wedel 5 years, 6 months ago

For those who it is not obvious - any cooling or slowed increased n warming due to cold deep ocean water coming to the surface is a short term effect because warmer water is replacing the cold deep water and so the deep water is being warmed.

The wattsupwiththat site shows that 2008 was not warmer than 2007 - a fact not denied by Hadley or just about anyone else. Of course 2007 was a historically warm year so even though 2008 was cooler than 2007, it still means that 2008 was a warm year.

The senate.gov link is to a blog by the minority (Republican) party - as politically biased a reference as possible.

More from Hadley: Myth 2 Drop in monthly global temperature means global warming has stopped

A significant drop in global average temperature in January 2008 led to speculation that the Earth was experiencing a period of sustained cooling. A brief look at the graph depicting January global average temperatures reveals large variability in our climate year-on-year, but with an underlying rise over the longer term almost certainly caused by man-made emissions of greenhouse gases.

There are a number of natural factors contributing to so-called interannual variability, the single most important being the El Niño Southern Oscillation or ENSO. In 2007-2008 the global climate was influenced by the cold phase of this oscillation, known as La Niña. The La Niña began to develop in early 2007, having a significant cooling effect on the global average temperature. Despite this, 2007 was one of the ten warmest years since global records began in 1850 with a temperature some 0.4 °C above average.

The La Niña strengthened further during early 2008 and became the strongest since 1988/89, significantly contributing to a lower January temperature in 2008, compared to recent years. In addition, global average temperature was influenced by very cold land temperatures in parts of the northern hemisphere and extensive snow cover.

January 2008 may have seem particularly cold compared to January 2007 - the warmest January on record and largely due to the warming phenomenon El Niño - but this merely demonstrates the year-to-year natural variations in our climate.

In future, while the trend in global temperatures is predicted to remain upwards, we will continue to see inherent variability of this kind.

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JLM 5 years, 6 months ago

Man accounts for less than 5% of the contribution of CO2 to the atmosphere. Simple fact.

Remember plants use CO2 for photosynthesis producing O2 as a byproduct. All that CO2 is ultimately released back into the atmosphere when forests follow a natural cycle of decay.

Mutha Nature --- rotting vegetation, volcanoes, forest fires, evaporation, etc --- accounts for 95% of the CO2 in the atmosphere. Again remember Mutha has that beautiful process underway in which she uses CO2 to make O2 --- damn she's good!

Temperature is a LAGGING indicator when compared to CO2 concentrations as measured in "old ice". First you get the change in temperature and only then do you get the change in CO2. This seems to indict the logic that the problem is CO2 --- hell, the result is the CO2. Kinda makes sense, doesn't it --- higher temps accelerate decay which produces more CO2?

In the end, we are talking about 1.5F difference over a 103 year time period in which arguably the accuracy of temperature measurement was not as accurate as the alleged difference. Hmmmm, that troubles me.

I frankly don't care whether we are undergoing warming or cooling, I just want us to make decisions based upon real, peer reviewed, data based, proven science --- not because Al Gore has decided to politicize the next big scare.

There are a great number of environmental phenomenon --- El Nino, El Nina, sun spots, orbit of the earth around the sun, naturally recurring cycles, cows passing wind, cloud cover --- which should and must be resolved before we have an understanding which can be considered conclusive.

There are a great number of environmental issues which do not have to be resolved based upon the global warming debate --- air pollution is an example. We should act on these while the issue of global warming continues to be explored.

Perhaps the greatest fallacies of the attempt to create global warming alarm are the very simplest --- where exactly do you measure and how do you aggregate those measurements to determine the earth's "temperature", do we care about any other measurement than at ground level, if during the same time period of concern we have endured global cooling --- which is really happening or are they in reaction to and in balance withe each other.

Maybe Mutha Nature is smarter than Al Gore? His personal behavior seems to undermine his philosophical alarm. Of course, I did meet a Shih Tzu who was smarter than Al Gore.

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Scott Wedel 5 years, 6 months ago

I don't understand how you can cite the Hadley Center as being authoritative and then misrepresent their climate warming data and then ignore what they say are scientific facts and their debunking of myths.

35% of current atmospheric CO2 is due to human activity since the start of the industrial age with more than half of that in the last 50 years. That number is so easy to find along with the scientific studies. What I cannot find is that claim of only 5%. Looks like about a 5% increase in the past 10 years (NOAA data).

Carbon locked up in soil or limestone or even as fossil fuels do not become atmospheric CO2 by wind or erosion.

The Democrats can get away with saying the Republicans are part of the problem as long as the Republicans deny extensively researched scientific data. The Republicans sacrifice their credibility on the issue when they put up a blog on their senate website claiming that there is data showing that global warming is not real that is considered so false and misleading that the Hadley Center describes that rationale as a myth to debunk.

When the Republicans agree that global warming is an issue that needs to be addressed then they will probably have some good ideas on how to deal with it.

A few months ago I read a report by a chemical engineer that pretty convincingly argued that nat gas pipelines (so the wasteful step of liquefying is not needed) (nat gas is a low carbon fuel because most of the energy gained from burning is from the bonded hydrogen atoms, not the carbon), energy grid extension to windy northern plains and west Texas and to the sunny southwest deserts, with urban use of plug in hybrids should result in about 30% reduction in USA carbon emissions, about a 10% increase in cost of electricity.

And LNG can replace diesel for long haul trucking and once the infrastructure is in place then it is cheaper (per unit of heat LNG is and will be cheaper than diesel).

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MDSand 5 years, 6 months ago

As they dismiss away all who would disagree, the Conservative Viewpoint discussions begin to sound like the Budweiser frogs:

There's no global warming. DamnRIGHT
DamnRIGHT
DamnRIGHT DamnRIGHT DAMNright All the facts are on our side. DamnRIGHT
DamnRIGHT
DamnRIGHT DamnRIGHT DAMNright It's a Lefty conspiracy. DamnRIGHT
DamnRIGHT
DamnRIGHT DamnRIGHT DAMNright God Bless America. DamnRIGHT
DamnRIGHT
DamnRIGHT DamnRIGHT DAMNright

ACORN stole the election. DamnRIGHT
DamnRIGHT
DamnRIGHT DamnRIGHT DAMNright All the facts are on our side. DamnRIGHT
DamnRIGHT
DamnRIGHT DamnRIGHT DAMNright It's a Lefty conspiracy. DamnRIGHT
DamnRIGHT
DamnRIGHT DamnRIGHT DAMNright God Bless America. DamnRIGHT
DamnRIGHT
DamnRIGHT DamnRIGHT DAMNright

It's the beautiful simplicity of the conservative argument. Unchanging, save for the evolving bogeyman, whether it be commies or terrorists or liberals or scientists or, God forbid, people who weren't born white. Forever built upon the rock of denial. I've heard it, off and on, for fifty-eight years. Insert topic, wind 'em up, and let 'em croak.

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aichempty 5 years, 6 months ago

ybul,

I think you were talking to me.

The only coupling with the Earth in terms of transfer of momentum would be the energy transmitted to the ground via atmospheric friction. The atmosphere acts as a giant shock absorber, and dissipates the kinetic energy into heat at high altitude. Whatever mass was brought in either remains suspended in the atmosphere (water, dust) or falls to the ground pretty much vertically for small objects. Either way, since everything that falls to Earth becomes part of the total mass and is either held in by gravity (gasses) or pulled down (solid objects and liquid water) to the surface, the net mass of the Earth will increase.

There's probably a Ph.D. dissertation in this subject if someone wants to pursue it.

When people talk about the percentage increase in CO2, you've got to remember that it's the change in CO2, not the change in proportion of the total atmosphere, which looks big. 380 parts per million (PPM) CO2 is only .038 of ONE PERCENT of the atmoshpere. You'd have to increase that concentration by a factor of 2632 to be 1% of the total atmosphere. Water is 20,000 ppm, or 2% of the atmosphere.

Anybody who seriously thinks that reducing CO2 from .038% back to .025% (pre-industrial level) is going to have any effect on atmospheric heat content compared to water is just not being realistic.

The sun shining on water and deforested land is responsible for the amount of water in the atmosphere, and the effects of solar flux on evaporation far outweigh any other effect that only amounts to a tiny fraction of the water content.

It's most likely that a hotter sun, or being closer to the sun due to orbital factors, is responsible for increased evaporation from solar heating, and also, warmer water holds less CO2. More CO2 is a side effect of warming, and makes it worse overall, but removing 130 ppm of CO2 from the air won't reverse global warming.

More cloud cover at higher altitudes is the way to reduce global heat increases. Volcanic dust would do the same thing. I don't know how evaporation of water from the surface eventually ends up in cirrus clouds (high-altitude ice crystals), but that's a way that the sun will cure or reverse the warming trend if its going to be done without reducing solar output. We don't control either one.

My advice is to dress lightly and don't buy land near the coast. Build houses that can stand strong winds. Convert to solar and wind power wherever you can. The rest is up to the Sun.

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Fred Duckels 5 years, 6 months ago

Sandy, I guess, at issue here is the problem of global warming. You seem to subscribe to the theory that government knows best. By your comments, I would also assume that you like the socialization of America to be part of that equation. Now if that thought is valid why didn't the USSR prevail in the cold war? Your comrades want to wound this capitalist engine to reduce consumption, and make us like everyone that envies us. This freedom loving capitalist system is also the creativity center, that will allow us deal with the problems facing us in the future. Obama research inc. is going into the future with an ever growing band of loyal parasites, looking to tear down the few remaining net producers and divide the booty. If you enjoyed your humor, you might check out a documentary by Christine Pelossi, on conservatives in this country. She went far and wide to find uneducated people willing to verbalize on subjects that they knew nothing about. She did not interview those that could strike back, and came up with the identical view that you wish to display. We have been very productive and made mistakes, as will inevitably come, but to abandon our game and decide that beaurecrats must now take over, would be a huge mistake.

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MichaelS 5 years, 6 months ago

There are two substantial differences between water vapor and CO2. First, atmospheric water vapor content varies greatly both laterally and vertically. Second, water vapor is cycled through the atmosphere in a period of only a few days through evaporation, condensation, and precipitation. As a result, water vapor is incapable of being a long-term global climate driver. Water vapor content in the atmosphere is a response mechanism to climate forcings initiated elsewhere.

CO2, on the other hand, is a well-mixed and long-lived atmospheric gas. Measure CO2 content anywhere on the globe, and you'll get very close to the same result, within 10 ppm. And once in the atmosphere, CO2 can remain for 100 years or longer. So each year of increased emissions builds on those of the previous 100.

Natural opposition mechanisms are already at work, leading to increased oceanic acidity, expanded rainforests (where possible), and modified cloud cover. Yet, atmospheric CO2 content continues to rise, as have global temperatures, including the last ten years.

And while CO2 and temperatures have risen over the last 30 years of direct satellite observation of the Sun, solar activity has remained steady or even declined. Stratospheric cooling in conjunction with tropospheric warming also belies a solar initiator.

Industrial activities have returned to the biosphere a well-mixed and long-lived greenhouse gas in decades that nature took millions of years to sequester, resulting in atmospheric CO2 levels higher than they have been in the last 650,000 years. It's no wonder the biosphere is reacting.

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ybul 5 years, 6 months ago

Unfortunately, all are just theories to the debate. There is compelling evidence that each side is correct.

However, the fact of the matter is that the the consequences for a mistake in the only laboratory we have, Earth, are too great on one side of the argument. The profit incentive needs to be removed from the global warming issue and impact fees should be imposed for all pollutants (MTBE in gas, Mercury in coal, etc.) so that there true costs of production are represented.

The risks of trying to mitigate pollution, not just CO2, are minimal. The risks in not trying to mitigate pollution are much greater.

Aich, I'll buy that explanation. Though I would guess that some of the energy is retained as motion. Yet, I do not want to do a masters thesis on the subject, though Physics came in second to economics in school.

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Scott Glynn 5 years, 6 months ago

What about the root cause of the problem? To me its simple. We as a global society have not had the population purge that past generations have had. Be it epidemic or war related there are just that many more people in the world. More people begat more people. More people emit more CO2, more people use more oxygen, more people use more water. Our carbon imprint is less percapita now than it was in the late '70's / early '80's. Now this may seem simpletonian to many of you, but sometimes we look too deep for answers. How to fix it? I don't know. But it seems like mother nature did a pretty good job until we started meddling with her.

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JLM 5 years, 6 months ago

People are to the Earth's climate as ants are to North America --- insignificant. Sure, there's a bunch of things that we should do nonetheless --- air pollution, water quality improvement --- but the idea that people breathing has anything to do w/ the atmosphere's 0.0384%, by volume, which is CO2, is just absurd.

The most desperate salesman of CO2's "greenhouse" impact can only cite a 35% increase since the early 1800s --- based on unreliable ice measurements.

Do the math and see how much 35% of 0.0384% is, mate. Figure out how much that is per year say over a couple hundred years and see if it still alarms you.

Not too damn much. Right?

Remember the climate, like the annual snowfall in SBS, is a fairly variable old b!tch. Mother Nature has her own way of dealing w/ things. A volcano here, a forest fire there, a bit of El Nino and then a smidgen of El Nina --- the old hag just keeps us guessing. A tornado for the folks in Kansas and a hurricane for those in Tampa. But she has a plan and we don't know the plan, now do we?

So, OK, exhale, it's all gonna be OK. CO2 is not the problem.

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Scott Wedel 5 years, 6 months ago

Measurements of atmospheric CO2 from the 1800s on has been via direct measurement, not ice.

35% of a change isn't enough for you? Just wait a few years and it will be 40%, few more 50% and it will continue to grow because not only is more being added each year, the amount being added each year is increasing.

And while the level in the atmosphere is measured in PPM, that doesn't mean it is insignificant. Ozone layer is also measured in PPM (about 9 PPM), life on the surface depends upon it and the steps were taken to save it before it had declined by 35%.

And if ozone at 9 ppm can filter out over 90% of UV radiation before it reaches us, they why can't CO2 at 385 PPM catch enough infrared radiation to make a difference that would otherwise leave the planet's surface and radiate out to space? Instead the CO2 captures it, heats up and thus keeps the heat in the atmosphere that would have radiated into space.

The scientific argument that increased levels of CO2 and other greenhouse gases are warming the surface of the planet is over. The argument is over how much and the effects.

The political argument should be over what is an acceptable cost for a particular amount of reduced CO2 emissions.

Steps such as homeowners on the grid installing photovoltaic cells make no economic sense. We need to focus on what is most effective. Ethanol was an example of how to do something wrong. There are ethanol plants that use coal as their heat source.

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JLM 5 years, 6 months ago

Well, for me, 35% of 0.0384% (or 384 PPMbv (parts per million by volume)) over a 200 year time period is not enough to worry about.

Do you realize that the average height of an American male has increased by a similiarly great percentage to say nothing of life expectancy.

I will give you 8000% of .01 cents --- could you buy a latte?

Well, no, you couldn't. But, hey, that's just me.

I am not exactly sure what you mean when you say that CO2 measurements since the early 1800s have been "direct" as the big problem has always been that historic measurements, including temperature BTW, were not able to be made with sufficient accuracy to be useful.

The testing of CO2 in air bubbles in ice (e.g. Antartic ice) is a big step forward as it enables "historic" concentrations of CO2 in air to be tested with great accuracy using modern instruments. The big question is does CO2 "weep out" or evaporate from the ice in the ensuing years. Nobody really knows.

The big issue on temperature is that humans only care about the temperature within about 10' of the ground, so the mechanism and mechanics of what happens at altitude is not as relevant.

Ozone, BTW, is typically measured in something called "Dobson Units" and the breakdown of ozone into O2 is exactly what is supposed to happen. The depletion of ozone means that ozone is doing its job.

The complex chemistry whereby CFCs (which were banned by the Montreal Protocol of 1987 --- I might have the year wrong, sorry) are harmful to ozone is a funny coincidence in that nobody in 1987 really understood the chemistry but we lucked out in that banning CFCs turned out to be arguably a good thing not for the reasons hypothesized (which dealt with their impact at altitude) but for their air pollution reduction benefits.

A good idea which worked well for completely different reasons.

Interestingly enough, even those who trumpet the favorable impact on ozone of the banning of CFCs (primarily in the form of refrigerant replacement --- freon to puron) cannot begin to explain the continuing complexity of ozone bad at ground and good at altitude. A very complex mechanism.

We are a long, long way from being able to understand these issues regardless of whether Al Gore is currently gaining or losing weight! LOL

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Scott Wedel 5 years, 6 months ago

If the gain in CO2 was 35% over 200 years with an expected gain of 35% over the next 200 years then it might not be a big deal. 200 years ago is the baseline because that is before humans started burning significant amounts of fossil fuels. The chemists of the 1800s could measure atmospheric CO2 and we can use their measurements to determine the baseline, not air bubbles in ice.

The big issue with CO2 levels is that global emissions are increasing. It took 10 years for the overall increase to go from 30% to 35%. It will take 7 or 8 years for it to go from 35% to 40%. It'll go from 35% to 70% over the next 40 to 50 years unless there are serious changes.

Please tell me your sources for what you claim are your facts on ozone. Besides the 1987 Montreal convention, I can find nothing that supports your opinions. I can find endless references that in 1987 they understood that Chlorine was reaching the ozone layer due to CFCs (other Chlorine emissions were captured in the atmospheric water cycle and would not reach the ozone layer) and that CFCs in the upper atmosphere would be broken down by UV radiation and once there the free Chlorine would destroy many ozone molecules because it acts as a catalyst.

Ozone bad at ground level and good in the ozone layer is so simple to explain that my 7 year old daughter understands it. Ozone distributed between 8 km and 50 km with a peak of 9ppm is the ozone layer that protects life from UV radiation. Ozone at .5 ppm at ground level is unhealthy for humans to breathe and triggers smog alerts.

Breathing more than 1 ppm of ozone causes discomfort. 10 ppm can cause pulmonary edema. 50 ppm for 60 minutes is probably fatal.

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JLM 5 years, 6 months ago

Until the advent of infrared, molecular correlation, raman, mass or photoacoustic spectrography, it is difficult to believe that any measurements of CO2 were even remotely accurate to say nothing of the ignorance of the annual seasonality and disparate loci for measurement.

For what reason would a scientist in 1800 have been measuring CO2? And where? And those records are extant? At what level of accuracy? A huge stretch of credulity at work here.

That is why the Antartic ice is so interesting and relevant. It may actually provide a good baseline though it may actually understate the historic concentrations for the reasons previously stated.

Man only accounts for 5% of global CO2 emissions while the seasonal variation alone is almost 9%. Even if the industrialization of the world has contributed mightily to the creation of CO2 --- which remember is quite a dynamic process because of the cleansing implications of photosynthesis --- it has only resulted in a miniscule increase in CO2 and a very suspect theory of its harm.

A miniscule increase in a miniscule trace gas? I would have thought your math background would appreciate the "angels on the head of a pin" arithmetic at work here.

Remember we are talking about a "trace" gas --- not even 1/10 of 1% of the atmosphere --- here and a natural cleansing process in photosynthesis to boot.

The seasonality of CO2 consumption in photosynthesis which can be detected clearly and which is evident when comparing the northern and southern hemispheres and their different growing seasons is quite conclusive. When spring time comes, Mother Nature gobbles up the CO2 for plant growth. Man has not even dented that phenomenon though much of the earth is now paved and the rain forests devastated.

The answer --- if only to placate the zealots --- may be to convert to nuclear power and to plant a tree.

It is not to begin to trade "carbon future" which are really just a tax while posing as an environmental action. Hell, we might just work ourselves into a CO2 shortage, now wouldn't that be a fix?

Any way, it's all George Bush's fault!

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ybul 5 years, 6 months ago

Problem with the photosynthesis idea is that vast tracts of land have been converted to asphalt and desert. So little photosynthesis occurs in these areas.

If man accounts for 5% on an annual basis, without any additional extraction via photosynthesis or another action, then amounts are increasing no matter how you look at it. Wether that has a large effect or not is up for question.

Though when taken in combination with other gases that are being created nitrogen trifluoride (used in the mfg of solar panels), nitrous oxide (from vehicle emissions and the application of fertilizers to fields-also causing dead zones in our oceans) and who knows what else.

To flat out state man is having no impact is sticking your head in the sand. But on the flip side to say moving to solar power may be creating as much of a problem as it is fixing as the true cost of production is not being reflected, as solar panels mfg is a very dirty process. Wind has much less of a negative footprint and yes nuclear with new advance might be a technology we should be persuing also.

Planting trees will not solve the problems we have created. Eliminating govt subsides which promote industrial agriculture and imposing impact fees on noxious emissions would be a start and in line with constitutional protections of property rights! As dumping toxins into the environment is theft from others, or a tax on the general public and every other living thing on spaceship earth!

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