A Note: Global Warming Threads

Discussion in 'Earth Science' started by Tristan, Aug 27, 2004.

  1. kwhilborn Banned Banned

    "Err on the side of caution"

    That sentence takes on a lot more meaning if we are discussing the future of mankind. If there is even a small percentage of a chance that altering human behaviours can save future lives then we must act on those chances. It is only common sense.

    There are ways mankind can reduce CO2 in the atmosphere whether it was put there by mankind or not.
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  3. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    There are many natural sources of CO2 that could be contributing to the accumulation, but wildfire is not one of them - that CO2 was removed from the air recently in the first place, as is simply being returned over a short time scale. Wildfire (human set or otherwise) is carbon neutral on a decade scale.

    The smoke has an effect, but it's complicated - last I checked it was thought to be shading and cooling overall. We are fortunate in that the aerosol and particulate output of industrial civilization is shading and cooling, net - the CO2 effects have been less than they could have been, as a result, and that buys us more time to adjust.

    Analysis of the isotope data from Mauna Loa and other such observatories has long established where the CO2 boost is coming from. That's not up for debate any more.
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  5. river

    The thing is though plants need CO2 to survive

    So by how much do you reduce the CO2 levels by ?
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  7. river

  8. river

  9. river

    For those that have read the quotes of the powers that be , list , by dangaspiel

    I get that population control will have to be implemented eventually ( I doubt they include themselves in this plan ) and that we pollute the world carelessly

    But what disturbs me is the attitude towards the everyday people and then how they go about this ...

    They want control people , plain and simple , of this planet
  10. Buckaroo Banzai Mentat Registered Senior Member

    I believe the goals are more along the lines of trying to stop the increase and, if we ever manage to reduce it, to reduce only slightly, probably we wouldn't reach something like pre-industrial levels of atmospheric CO2 in our lifetimes, and even if we did, it would not be endangering plants, or making anything harder for them, as there was more vegetation back then as well. There's surely no risk of suddenly getting into the situation that the plants are all "starved" of CO2.


    Unrelated to the previous comment: I saw this kiddish presentation of AGW basics by Bill Nye, I was just wondering if CO2 really has a "reflective" effect at that scale, rather than something like being a better thermic "container" than air with less CO2. I think it's almost necessarily true that more CO2 at this "micro scale" allows air to "contain" more heat, as it' molecularly "denser," but perhaps there's is the effect of radioactive reflection/"greenhouse," and the heating of the gas itself is negligible. My gut feeling is the opposite, though.

    Here's the video:


    I'm not arguing against greenhouse "theory", I'm just skeptical that such scale/design really reproduces what really happens.
  11. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Back to historical levels would be a good plan. The world was doing pretty well before we started raising CO2 levels.
  12. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    I'm not worried much by the direct effects of more CO2 in the air. It has been much higher in the past and for several other reasons:
    (1) As others have noted it facilitates plant growth rates and this has been confirmed by increasing the CO2 concentrations in green houses.
    (2) Animals, humans included, can tolerate much higher levels - in fact the breath you exhale is with much higher concentration - I forget how much but seem to recall more than 10 times the current 400ppm of the air.
    (3) CO2 only blocks the IR from escaping that has wave lengths in its absorption bands and because it is a linear molecule (O-C-O) these band are less effective than a 3D molecule, like CH4, which has wider, more numerous, an stronger absorption bands. Molecule-for-molecule, CH4 is more than 10 times more effective as a green house gas than CO2 in air with low concentrations of both.
    (4) The current concentration of CO2 is blocking about 2/3 of all the IR it can. - It can only block 100% of the IR in its absorption bands and to do even 90% of that its concentration would need to be many times higher than the current 400 ppm.
    (5) CH4 concentrations are growing - no longer have a dynamic equilibrium between release rate and destruction rate as they did for at least the last 700,000 year (See blue curve in final graph.) This increases the rate of global warming and causes an increase in the ocean evaporation rate. While much of the water vapor added to the air falls out as rain, that is causing more flooding, etc. and greater average humidity. Water vapor is a much worse Green House Gas than even CH4! (Because H2O is a permanently polarized molecule - both positive Hs on same side of the negative O, with only 105 degree angular separation.)
    (6) If the wet bulb temperature should reach only 35C (95F) for a few hours, most in the effected region would die as even resting in a chair human wth 37C bodies need to dump ~100 Watts to their environment. This is mainly done by perspiration, but only 2C degrees differential from perspiration wet skin and a 35C wet bulb air is not enough to keep a person form over heating and dying.

    What worries me is the unpresidented rate of CO2 concentration increase. (2ppm per year) This rapidly growing rate of CO2 releases is now releasing CH4 more rapidly than it can be destroyed. The atmospheric concentration of CH4 is going up with no end limit known as the decomposing methane hydrates in shallow waters and tundra store more carbon than has ever existed in all the coal and oil the earth once had!

    This graph vs. blue line in final graph shows what worries me more than CO2:

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    Note the "to date" was three years ago. CH4 is bubbling up in shallow Arctic ocean now in mile diameter "clouds" too dense for sub's sonars to work. (Too much sound scattering.)
    To see these CH4 bubble clouds go ~7.5 minutes into this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSsPHytEnJM Keep watching to learn more how serious Arctic Ice meting is.
    * Estimates of the half-life of CH4, now tend to range between 10 and 12 years. (12 being from February 2013 Ref. at: http://cdiac.ornl.gov/pns/current_ghg.html) There also the CH4 concentration is stated to be between 1.758 to 1.874 ppm or an average of 1.816. Note the graph only goes to 1850. (Now at times the CH4 is above the chart.) 400 / 1.816 = 220 times less than the current CO2 concentration. CO2 blocking IR is now like an increase of solar flux of 1.85W/m^2 but CH4 is like 0.51 W/m^2 despite having 220 time lower concentration. Also CH4 is far from blocking all the IR it can. Still in a linear range function of concentration. If the CH4 concentration were to increase by a factor of 1.85/0.51 =3.627 or to an average concentration of 6.59 ppm then it would be as important a CO2 is now and still in the linear function range.

    With global warming there is a positive feed back and an increasing source of CH4 - decomposing methane hydrates. The rate of oxidation removal of CH4 is dropping as more CH4 reduces the concentration of OH- radicals in the air. Read again the text I made bold in the quote above.

    This graph, spanning the last 650,000 years shows (The essentially vertical red and blue lines at t=0) how unpresidented the CO2 & CH4 concentrations are growing in a mutual positive feed back:

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    This "interglacial period" is DIFFERENT- May kill all animals, including humans.
    SUMMARY: Man need to switch away from fossil fuels ASAP. All the world's cars needing liquid fuel could run on alcohol derived from sugar cane 10 years from now. (It will take ~10 years to convert them all, but that is very cheap compared to new EVs and requires only trivial changes at car factories as alcohol fueled cars are still basically the same IC engine.) Nuclear energy, safely made as the French do with all control rooms identical, should be the base load power with solar (PV cells and wind) with super flywheel storage making the rest. Note flywheels can charge up and discharge at least 10 times faster than any battery and as running in a vacuum with magnetic bearings have essentially unlimited number of charge/discharge cycles possible. - Not only at best a few hundred cycles as most batteries do, before serious loss of capacity occurs.

    PS if you doubt that it is possible for only a tiny percent (~2 or 3%) of the world's arable land to grow all the sugar cane, needed to fuel all the world's cars needing liquid fuel a decade from now then find some fault with the analysis showing that here: http://www.sciforums.com/showthread.php?133084-Apocalypse-Soon&p=3079459&viewfull=1#post3079459 (Post # 1436 of "Apocalypse Soon" thread.)
    Also at least look at the graphics in post 1439. Note that the improvements possible in food and fiber production possible just by ending very inefficient "slash and burn" agricultural practices used in many parts of the world can get a sustainable yield per acre increase of at least 20%.

    Note also that the "Pennsylvania Dutch" have been farming the same land for more than 150 years without the use of pesticides or artificial fertilizer and now get premium prices for their produce and have top soil a foot thick. It would be thicker, but that is as deep as their horse drawn plows can go. That "its possible" analysis assumes that cellulosic alcohol is NOT economically viable. If it is and the crushed cane is also converted into alcohol, perhaps only 1% of the earth's arable land needs to be growing cane. Crushed cane is the most economical source of cellulosic alcohol as it is already at the alcohol producing plant with no cost to collect it from the fields, like switch grass, etc. has.

    In addition to link in 2nd paragraph above: Watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUBZi3t4ZTo (Nine consequences to expect from ice free arctic a few years from now.)
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 30, 2013
  13. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    If my prior post (869) did not convence you that man needs to switch from fossil fuels ASAS (and pray we are not too late as positive feed backs have already taken over.) this should:
    The “No worry” POV is based on theory (methane hydrate needs >360m deep ocean to be stable – Ergo does not exist in shallow oceans) which conflicts with the repeatedly observed facts. What the “no worry theory” seem to ignore is that there is a huge store of “fossil methane,” not hydrate, (concentrations of 1.2 million times what methane saturated water can hold have been observed) trapped under now submerged permafrost on the shallow ocean floor. I. e. during the last ice age, these now shallow ocean areas were methane laden hydrates on land, which have decomposed and just recently are their “cryosphere caps” developing fractures for their escape.

    [1] http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v499/n7459/full/499401a.html with discussion here:http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/jul/24/arctic-thawing-permafrost-climate-change

    [2] http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2010EGUGA..12.1046S (This Harvard study points out many ways, normally ignored, that deep earth heat can destabilize hydrates trapped under a submerged permafrost "blanket" even though if it were in thermal contact with the ~4C water above the submerged permafrost, it would be quite stable.)

    [3] http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2007EO130001/abstract

    [4] http://www.sciencemag.org/content/327/5970/1246.abstract

    [5] http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v5/n6/abs/ngeo1480.html
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 31, 2013
  14. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    Have you ever bothered reading the 2007 paper I linked for you discussing this matter? Or have you simply found some excuse to dismiss it like you did Kastings paper?
  15. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    Yes & yes. I and others more expert than me, have found fault with it and they have improved upon it. After reading some of them, I too, along with NASA's Hansen, widely recognize as one of the world's leading authorities, and some others have reversed our earlier position: That the oceans might boil. Earth is too far from the sun for that to happen, but not too far from it for much greater average temperature and humidity to occur as oceans warm and evaporate more. - The increased frequency of serious flooding with the already increased rain fall is evident and will grow worse, still.

    It is not necessary for the oceans to boil to kill all warm-blooded animals that perspire to keep from overheating. Several hours of web bulb temperature of 35C will kill all humans in that area, not taking refuge in air-conditioned areas, (or prolonged cool water baths, etc.) as their 37C bodies need to dump ~100 watts to the environment, via perspiration mainly without artificial cooling means, which many would not have. The coming "heat and humidity" plague will kill more than the black plague or the "Spanish flu" ever did.

    Lets leave personal considerations aside. Tell what error the world's leading arctic experts - the ones making actual observations and measurements - are making when THEY sound the alarm. I am only trying to be conservative - error on the side of caution and pointing out that man does not need to burn one barrel of oil to power his cars. This is well established both in 30 years of Brazil's powering cars with sugar cane derived alcohol and by analysis in Post # 1436 of "Apocalypse Soon" thread (and others for example showing oil is not needed for plastic either or even making diesel fuel, which is more efficient than gasoline, but of little help with the global warming problem). A direct "click on" link to my "its possible to end burning of oil" analysis is given in post 869, two posts back. Note, without any subsidy, sugar cane based alcohol is actually cheaper per mile driven than gasoline when oil is $90/ barrel or more. It is the best form of solar energy from an economic POV.

    Have your watched the video telling nine feed back consequences of the current summer melt of Arctic ocean? (Click-on Link in last sentence of post 869.) Two had not occurred to me: Namely (1)That the duration of a fixed area, say A, of Arctic Ocean free of ice is increasing each year now. I.e. it is not just that the albedo of that area is ~20 times better absorber of solar heat (which I have long known) but the durations of the solar heating is longer too. AND (2) that this ever greater heat absorption is used less for melting ice (no temperature increase) but more for heating water (a temperature increase). With these strong self-accelerating positive feed backs, man's contributions to global warming are becoming relatively less important so it may already be too late to avoid a life threating thermal run away. - no one knows. Certainly not the "experts," who based on lab studies, say methane hydrates can not exist in ~4C ocean bottom water more shallow than 360 meters. That is not very persuasive to Shakhova, who has made 20+ Arctic explorations measuring it in 50m deep water. Or to any of the members of the Arctic Emergency Group, who do real world investigations. So:

    Please be critical of the facts in my posts and published papers (in Nature, Science, Geophysical Research Letters, and the Harvard Report, etc.) by the leading Arctic experts, and stop attacks on me, my qualifications, or implied ignorance.

    I am just a messenger - spreading news about what seems to be a very serious concern PLUS showing how disaster* can be avoided with very minor modifications to existing cars and in the factories making new IC engine cars.

    * The very recent (25 July 2013) Nature paper (First reference given at end of post 869) predicts that 60 Trillion dollars of damage will occur due to the now rapidly melting Arctic ice - probably not in my life time as I am old, but before most reading here are dead - should be of great concern to them as they already have great growing debts they can not pay. As far as I know, NOT ONE "expert" with actual field experience, measuring the melting ice disagrees with this "60 Trillion dollar cost" prediction. - I base this on the Guardian's statement: "None of the scientists rejecting the plausibility of the {The Arctic methane time bomb} scenario are experts in the Arctic, specifically the East Siberia Arctic Shelf."
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 31, 2013
  16. wellwisher Banned Banned

    An interesting observation is the South pole ice is not melting, even though the North pole is melting. Say we assume this trend will continue, for whatever reason, the final result will be the largest thermal gradient on the earth will be between the equator and the South pole. What would happen is the worse weather will be south of the equator due to the higher thermal gradient.
  17. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    I don't know much about why the S. Pole is so much colder, but think part of the reason may be that it is sort of a large island with an ocean current that circulates around it - not possible at the N. pole. I think this current tends to help confine the lower average solar heating to the polar region rather than promote North South heat exchange as is strong in the Northern Hemisphere. I.e. there is nothing like the gulf stream or corresponding current in the pacific to bring equatorial heat down toward the S. Pole

    Because so much more of the Southern Hemisphere is ocean it is better thermally buffered than the Northern Hemisphere - I expect the Northern Hemisphere is where, as is already the case, the weather will go thru wilder extremes. The angular momentum in the "jet steam" is decreasing, for exactly the lesser thermal difference you site as Arctic warms faster than mid latitudes, so its lateral excursions are growing larger. It has even dipped down into Texas a few times recently bringing cold arctic air to where it had never snowed before. It more frequently now makes terrible storms in the mid-west with many strong tornados as cold Arctic air clashes with the warm moist Gulf air. Strange as it seems the biggest bad mid west storms are partly caused by global warming and will get worse. The crop killing drought of the mid west a couple of years ago too is in part due to the fact cold and DRY Arctic air was too often over Iowa and Kansas, etc. as the lateral oscillations of the jet stream grow larger on average.

    The "interesting observation" is not so much that little warming / little change is occurring at the S. Pole but that rapid heating is occurring at the N. pole in a strong positive feed back system. So strong that many think the Arctic ocean will be ice free each summer in less than a decade. I.e. only thin ice will form each winter and melt 100% by late summer each year. Perhaps after a decade or so of prolonged summer sunlight heating the water, the Arctic Ocean may not be able to completely ice over even in winter - too much warm surface water to cool.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 31, 2013
  18. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    Even Australian Government's climate commission is concerned (Excessive CH4 release is a global humanitarian and economic disaster). Here from their report are the highlights:
    * By far the fastest, simplest, way (that reduces current costs) is to switch all the world's cars to sugar cane alcohol fuel, with 30 year old Brazilian developed and proven technology.
  19. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

  20. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    Oh really? And what "faults" did you find in Archers paper?

    Are you talking about Archers paper here or Kastings? The ironic thing about this is that I gaurantee the papers that you read that led you to reverse your position cite Kasting, use Kastings methodology, which Hansen himself says is the correct methodology, and come to the same conclusion. How can you possibly justify continuing to reject Kastings paper especially when every objection you have raised about it has been your misunderstanding of the paper (as has been demonstrated repeatedly now).

    Kasting came to the same conclusion.

    Also one of the conclusions Kasting came to.

    Here's a better idea. Why don't you tell us why we should reject Archers paper on the matter? Explain to us how the recent field observations contradict his conclusions. Should be a cinch if you've read and understood the paper.

    Both of these seem fairly obvious to me, actually.

    That's nice. So you haven't actually read Archers paper in its entirety, have you>

    I have yet to attack you Billy T, I have only ever questioned your presentation of the facts and your understanding of the facts. That's not a personal attack, it's addressing your argument directly.
  21. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    As long as it's grown ethically and sustainably, otherwise it can do more harm than good.
  22. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    Hard to imagine it being less sustainable than the oil it replaces - It has been grown in Brazil for more than 250 years - main reason slaves were imported.

    Can you be a little more specific about your two concerns?
  23. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    I would have no complaint if you attacked the facts I present (stolen from others) instead of "my presentation of them."

    I admit to having little interest in papers more than five years old now, as many prior assumptions about methane hydrate stability are now demonstrable false. I.e. Giga tons of it are in shallow (50 meter deep) Arctic East Siberian shelf water as are silt stabilized "drowned permafrost" (or something like that) despite lab studies on pure methane showing that hydrate should not being able to exist above about 360 meter depths. I.e. during the last ice age they were not submerged. - That came as the ice melted an the oceans rose. They have a top seal, the crocap, that is now starting to fail releasing local plums of dense bubble of CH4, most of which reach the surface air instead of dissolve on the way up as deeper releases do.

    (I have even posted these stability diagrams, when I did not know they were irrelevant but won't go back to find the posts.)

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