Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by Photizo, Nov 29, 2009.

  1. Mr. G reality.sys Valued Senior Member

    It's been fun watching the AGW folks hoisting themselves on their own petards.

    James R. has always said that the computer climate models have always been based on well-known, well documented, and inarguable data.

    As he's channeled Al Gore.
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  3. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

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  5. BenTheMan Dr. of Physics, Prof. of Love Valued Senior Member

    It's funny how there is no middle ground in all of this. Very Bush administration---you're either with us or you're against us.
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  7. BenTheMan Dr. of Physics, Prof. of Love Valued Senior Member

    Conspiracy is much too strong a word, and the article is full of logical fallacies:

    Is this known? There is a correlation between CO2 levels and atmospheric temperature, but (as you well know) correlation is not causation.

    Anyway, I don't know what to think, but the closing sentence leaves me a bit pessimistic:

    Do you trust an investigation run by the people who stand to lose the most if the investigation turns up any wrong-doing? (Remember, the IPCC has a Nobel Peace Prize under its belt...) Spider---surely you'd agree: would you trust the Bush administration to investigate itself for possible war crimes in the Iraq war?
  8. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    We have a correlation, a mechanism (a suite of them), and a generation of establishment as the theory best able to account for all the evidence and argument.

    Proof, you don't get. This is the weather we're talking about.
    There's a huge middle ground - it's where most of the scientists are, most of the reasonable people, etc.

    There was a huge, reality based middle ground in the criticism of W's admin, too - and the same people are claiming "both sides equally extreme" now as were claiming it then.
  9. milkweed Valued Senior Member

  10. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    Ben. It's a matter of simple harmonic motion - the physics behind it is that fundamenal.

    Experimentally (and as a chemist) I can tell you that if you look at the appropriate NIR calibration curves, you will see that CO2 experiences a linear response of IR absorption to partial pressure in the approriate regions of the Earths thermal emission. QED changing the composition of the earths atmosphere by changing the partial pressure of carbon dioxide must necessarily change the atmosphere's transparency to IR radiation.

    The only place there's really any room for debate is what the long term effects of this are, ultimately, there's no real debate on that, because eventually the earth will self correct anyway (there's a number of geochemical mechanisms for removing CO2 from atmosphere, and moving it to the deep ocean, and eventually into the mantle).

    The only place there can really be any debate is what the interim effects of the increased IR absorption are. Will the atmosphere actually warm? Will the atmosphere find ways of dissipating the heat so that the overall thermal energy of the atmosphere remains roughly constant? Will the various feedback mechanisms act to reduce the total insolation recieved at the surface? How long will these various equilibria take to shift and then re-equilibrate?

    I can PM you some links if you want.
  11. BenTheMan Dr. of Physics, Prof. of Love Valued Senior Member

    Hi Trippy---

    I don't doubt that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. That certainly is not debatable. I also can't debate that there is some correlation between levels of CO2 in the atmosphere, and the average temperature (however you define that).

    What isn't known, as far as I understand, is whether the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere leads a temperature increase, or lags behind it. In other words, it is not known whether CO2 causes a temperature increase, or the temperature increase causes an increase in the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. At least, this was the situation last year when I asked the question in a physics colloquium, given by some famous (I guess) environmental scientist.
  12. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    I've always considered that argument somewhat... Fallicious (not a criticism of you) for lack of a better way of putting it.
    There's a slightly more important question that you need to ask: "Is whether CO2 leads or lags Temperature change actually important?"

    If rising CO2 lags rising temperatures, does that neccessarily rule out CO2 causing some rise in temperatures?

    No, and to assume that it does is a fallacy.

    Consider that you've accepted CO2 as a greenhouse gas.
    Consider the following scenario:
    Increase in Insolation -> Increase in Temperature.
    Increase in temperature -> Increase in CO2.
    Increase in CO2 -> further increase in temperature.
    And so on, until a limiting mechanism kicks in.

    So while CO2 lags the temperature rise, the CO2 is still responsible for some of the temperature rise. I came across a website that outlined some of the self limiting causal mechanisms that mean that rises in CO2 might be expected to lag rises in temperature, but still give rise to an increase in temperature. I'll see if I can find it again, and post it.
  13. BenTheMan Dr. of Physics, Prof. of Love Valued Senior Member

    So then, we may be talking about a second order effect, no? Given the minuscule amount of carbon we put into the atmosphere, on top of what naturally occurs, is it something that we should worry about? Then, if this is the case, is there any reason that we should cap carbon emissions, if there is only a little that we can do?

    Either way, the statement that CO2 is the cause of the observed temperature rise is far from being shown to be right, which is the point I was making: the article passed it off as fact, in the way that I might say "The higgs boson definitely exists".
  14. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    I'm not so sure. I mention it as a possibility. I've also seen it suggested that the apparent lag may simply be an artifact related to the locations the various samples and proxies are measured from.

    As I've said, that increasing the partial pressure of CO2 in the atmosphere must lead to an increased retention of the thermal radiation emitted by the earth is as 'certain' as Simple Harmonic Motion. The only thing that can really be 'questioned' is what effects that increased absorption has.

    Some might regard this as a fallacy, but we only removed a miniscule amount of Ozone from the atmosphere, and there's less Ozone in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide, and look where that got us.

    As I understand it, CFC emissions were less than CO2, we capped them, and while (As far as I recall anyway) the Ozone hole hasn't neccessarily started repairing itself, it's stopped getting worse.

    The way I see it, if you accept that CO2 causes warming, or if you accept CO2 as a greenhouse gas, then you must also necessarily accept that increasing CO2 must cause increased emissivity, however, as I have previously stated, I'm prefectly willing to accept that this increased emissivity may lead to feedback cycles that ultimately act to reduce insolation (eg shading through increased cloud cover, which would also result in increased transfer of heat energy to the atmosphere where it has an increased potentital to be re-radiated into space, thus resulting perhaps in a net cooling effect which depending on the degree of change in emissivity might be sufficient to keep the average temperature approximately constant).
  15. CheskiChips Banned Banned

    Other plausible results:
    Reduced atmospheric density --> Shorter Aerosol/Particle Residence times.
    Increased atmospheric molar mass (actually a definite result) --> Reduced temperature effect
    Increased Diurnal Winds --> Lower Highs, Higher Lows

    CFC / O3 reaction times were very rapid - it was also a depletion of an atmospheric resource, not an added resident.
  16. Nutter Shake it loose, baby! Registered Senior Member

    This popular saying came from the play Hamlet, written by William Shakespeare, when the character Marcellus said, "There is something rotten in the state of Denmark." It is taken from act I, scene IV. But we have something far more serious taking place in Denmark as the leaders of the world gather for their summit on global warming. The stated purpose of the summit in Copenhagen is to save "Mother Earth" from human exploitation, pollution, and ultimate destruction. It is officially called the United Nations Climate Change Conference of Copenhagen, and it is scheduled for December 7-18, 2009, in Copenhagen.

    Let it be noted that all the talk about global warming, environmental impact, and save the planet is just a gimmick to conceal their real purpose. It sounds like such a noble cause to save "Mother Earth" and weld the people behind the effort in a grand unity. Just as the "German Fatherland" gimmick was used by Adolph Hitler to weld his purpose together, so this "Mother Earth" gimmick is to unify the entire world.

    The treaty actually states the words "A world government is going to be created," and this is written as the first of three purporses. The second stated purpose of the conference is to transfer the wealth from the countries of the West to Third World countries in satisfaction of what is called "climate debt." The leaders of this conspiracy are saying that only the major nations of the West have been polluting all of the Earth, not the Third World countries. Therefore, they say, that we owe them reparations.

    All of this was revealed and verified as true by a former science advisor to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Lord Christopher Monckton. It was clearly and specifically stated by Monckton that the real purpose of this summit was to officially create the One World Government and enforce allegiance to it.
  17. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    There is no question that increasing CO2 from fossil fuel combustion increases heat trapping in the the lower atmosphere.

    That would be true regardless of past sequences of events. This is a new situation. We know where this CO2 came from, and it did not come from a prior warming of the atmosphere.

    CO2 is a larger molecule than N2 or O2, making heavier and more competent air at given temperature. Warmer air is more competent - holds more aerosol and particle load than cooler air.
    As has been pointed out by the Fox camp, the fraction of air that is CO2 is very small, and of little effect of that kind.
    But not symmetrically - the lows are higher than the highs are lower.
  18. CheskiChips Banned Banned

    Yes there is.
    So what?

    I'll admit you caught my mistake here, I meant specific volume. The equation is \(\alpha p = R_d T\) and \alpha is specific volume. I meant to say reduced specific volume.
    "warmer air is more competent" doesn't mean anything as far as I know.
    I'm not sure, but intuitively I think increased atmospheric kinetic energy directly translates to lower residence times - I have no proof for that and admittedly could be wrong. But your reply doesn't offer anything in terms of actual science.

    I don't know what the 'fox camp'.
  19. Photizo Ambassador/Envoy Valued Senior Member

  20. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    Conversely, do you trust those making the accusations? Those are the very same people who brought us, george II. Those are the very same people who told us there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Those are the same people who told us we could safely repeal Glass-Stegal. Those are the same people who have repeatedly lied about healthcare reform. Not a very trustworthly lot I would say.

    And as you know, science is all about setting up an hypothesis and knocking it down. Scientists question everything as they rightfully should. Debate, arguement, and counter arguement are vital attributes of the scientific processes. In the end the evidence is and has been overwhelming that the planet is heating up and will bring unwanted consquences if the trend is allowed to continue.
  21. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member


    Indeed, however, some percentage of the CFC's remains resident, but ultimately the point was, it represents only a small change in atmospheric chemistry, but it had significant consequences, which is the point that I was endeavouring to make: although many may regard anthropogenic emissions as only a small change in chemistry, sometimes it only takes a small change in chemistry to make a difference.
  22. John99 Banned Banned

    Be realistic Joe. All this means is that we do more research and not drink any kool aid.
  23. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member


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