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Author Topic: Is the unusual weather we have been having a result of global warming?  (Read 50295 times)

Offline CliffordK

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Of course, if global temperatures continue the trend of the past 12 years or even start to fall then might not CO2 levels even start falling, with the risk of positive feedback driving us towards another ice age, with more floods, more droughts, more hurricanes and tornadoes, more earth quakes and volcanoes, polar bears frozen to the ice sheets. Thank goodness that’s all wild speculation based upon unfounded assumptions.

When looking at the CO2 trends, the concentration has increased EVERY YEAR since the beginning of the records.  It is not a perfectly linear trend, but it would be difficult to conclude that it is only temperature related.

http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/iadv/


The Mauna Loa Methane trends are far less linear with indications that the levels this year will mildly decrease again, so it would be far easier to argue a temperature dependence, and that we may be reaching a peak, whether or not humans were the cause of the estimated more than doubling of the concentration from pre-industrial levels.





 

Offline CliffordK

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Here is another article about hurricanes, or North Atlantic Tropical Storms.

It indicates that the increase in count of the storms may be due to better detection of the storms lasting less than 2 days.

http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2011/2010JD015493.shtml
http://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/cms-filesystem-action?file=user_files/gav/publications/vvks_10_shorties.pdf

 

Offline yor_on

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Clifford. You lost me writing "When looking at the CO2 trends, the concentration has increased EVERY YEAR since the beginning of the records.  It is not a perfectly linear trend, but it would be difficult to conclude that it is only temperature related." ?

Are you stating that CO2 isn't correlated to the temperature, or do you mean that you doubt it is a 'forcing' of it?

"Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the concentrations of most of the greenhouse gases have increased. For example, the concentration of carbon dioxide has increased by about 36% to 380 ppmv, or 100 ppmv over modern pre-industrial levels.

The first 50 ppmv increase took place in about 200 years, from the start of the Industrial Revolution to around 1973; however the next 50 ppmv increase took place in about 33 years, from 1973 to 2006. Recent data also shows the concentration is increasing at a higher rate. In the 1960s, the average annual increase was only 37% of what it was in 2000 through 2007."

Physicsmaior.

"Measurements from Antarctic ice cores show that just before industrial emissions started, atmospheric CO2 levels were about 280 parts per million by volume. From the same ice cores it appears that CO2 concentrations stayed between 260 and 280 ppm (Parts per million) during the preceding 10,000 years. However, because of the way air is trapped in ice and the time period represented in each ice sample analyzed, these figures are long term averages not annual levels. . .

Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the concentrations of many of the greenhouse gases have increased. The concentration of CO2 has increased by about 100 ppm (i.e., from 280 ppm to 380 ppm). " So the CO2 is accelerating, just as our carbon 'foot prints'.

2009 I wrote this. If I look at the worlds coal consumption 2008 of 3 300 million ton, then 2 000 million ton was consumed by Asia. And you know what, we are coming out from our recession now says our ‘economists’. So now we can start all over again. The steel production is up as from August 2009 to 106.5 millions ton according to ‘World Steel’. And China have in ten years gone from 124 millions tons, to now over 500 millions ton steel yearly. And its coal consumption have raised from 1998, 652 million tons to over 1400 millions tons last year according to the oil company BP energy-statistics. And sixty eight  percent of the worlds electric power is generated by fossil fuels today, mostly coal and ‘natural gas’ (methane).

Statistical Review 2011 by The firm formerly known as Beyond Petroleum :) BP. The global carbon dioxide emissions are rising faster than ever. China's carbon dioxide emissions rose 10.4% in 2010 compared with the previous year. China and India industrialise on the relatively cheap coal for their powerplants.

"Global carbon dioxide emissions are widely seen as a major factor responsible for an increase in world temperatures. They grew 5.8 percent last year to 33.16 billion tonnes, as countries rebounded from economic recession, BP said. China's emissions accounted for 8.33 billion tonnes. Its energy consumption swelled by over 11 percent last year, compared to global growth of 5.6 percent. The International Energy Agency estimated last month that global CO2 emissions rose by 5.9 percent to 30.6 billion tonnes in 2010, mainly driven by booming coal-reliant emerging economies. BP data showed that China accounted for a quarter of global emissions. The United States was the second largest emitter, showing a 4.1 percent rise in emissions last year to 6.14 billion tonnes." With the coal consumption by OECD nations accelerating at its fastest pace since 1979. So if you're an investor, buy coal shares and make a killing :) Be sure to spend it in time though. Maybe on getting one of those domes?
« Last Edit: 16/06/2011 00:28:19 by yor_on »
 

Offline Geezer

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There is an interesting (or even somewhat disturbing) article by Lee R Kump (Penn State) in July Sci-Am. It outlines data indicating that the current rate of CO2 injection into the atmosphere is orders of magnitude greater than the conditions that led up to the PETM (Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum).

I presume these findings are published, but I'm afraid I don't have a link.
 

Offline CliffordK

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yor_on

I was just replying to Yelder who had seemed to suggest that the increased CO2 levels weren't caused by man, but rather that the temperatures and other natural cycles were driving the increasing atmospheric CO2, which is likely the case for pre-industrial revolution CO2 variation, but unlikely for post-industrial revolution CO2.

There is, of course, a shift in equilibrium points with the increased temperatures, but we now have more CO2 in the atmosphere driving the CO2 back into the oceans rather than driving it out of the oceans.

Since temperatures have varied over the last few decades worth of CO2 records, but each year we record additional increases of the gas with no decreases beyond the annual variation, then one would not expect a mild drop in temperatures alone to be sufficient to drive significantly lower CO2 levels (other than changes in the use of air conditioning, heating, and vehicle fuel).
 

Offline yor_on

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Then both you and Yelder are going against all what climate scientists think themselves knowing Clifford :) You better have something more than graphs if you want to prove such a thesis. I could link you to some papers discussing why we think CO2 forces the raise of temperatures but you can find it easy enough yourself I think :)
 

Offline yor_on

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The problem is our CO2 and we need to stop producing it, now. We can't wait for Jules Verne to build his Earth encompassing machine' to scrub our oceans and atmosphere clean from our wastes. And if you're serious you should realize what an impossible pipe dream such a thing is. Sh*, we can't even keep our own towns clean, and now we expect us to take care of the oceans? And the Atmosphere?  ahem, you serious? as one might wonder there :)

And without taking care of the CO2, it will accumulate in the atmosphere, and our sinks, whereof a major part will be our oceans. And when the acidity killed of the marine food-chain a billion humans will notice it first handedly, the rest of us will experience the repercussions second handedly. And in a worse scenario the ocean will become saturated, not able to take care of the CO2 any more instead 'breathing' it back, accelerating it beyond any understanding. And the funniest thing is that I could see that 2007 while some of you still think that it doesn't exist :)

So CO2
Acidity
Foodchains
Arctic getting open waters
No Arctic anymore, we will have to give it some other name :)
polar bears will be gone
Krill, plankton will be gone.
Food fish will be gone.
oxygen in the oceans will decrease
Storms will get worse.
The tundra will become bogs.
shallow waters in the Arctic are already releasing methane.
As well as in the Siberian tundra.
And what's worse, they release CO2 too.
The methane pipes Russia transport methane in will have to be moved, somewhere else, probably under the oceans as that is a smart way of hiding leaks :)And that they already do (Nordstrom etc)

Awh, sh* what's the use :)
==

I could go on and on and on, but if you think our knowledge today is 'political agendas' and 'scaremongering' it won't make a difference, will it? But Raypierre (a climatologist) wrote something really good the 6 of December 2010 in RealClimate, about priorities, you should read it.

Losing Time, Not Buying Time..
« Last Edit: 16/06/2011 02:02:51 by yor_on »
 

Offline CliffordK

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And in a worse scenario the ocean will become saturated, not able to take care of the CO2 any more instead 'breathing' it back, accelerating it beyond any understanding.

The CO2 in our oceans is based on partial pressures and equilibriums, there is no saturation, at least not in the same way that water can become saturated with salt.

That is essentially why your soda-pop has fizz.

The equilibrium point is slowly creeping up, but it is far lower than our current atmospheric CO2 concentrations, in part because it takes some time for sea surface concentrations to absorb the atmospheric CO2, then to mix with deeper ocean layers.
 

Offline yor_on

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I said a 'worst case scenario' :)

there are some to me at least and that's one of them. Then you have the idea of a tipping, if that happens we're stuck as far as I understands it. That's where the increasing releases of methane comes in, they may not stay that long but while they're 'acting' on the climate they may push it to another balance as I suspect (assuming a 'spike'¨for that). But that's all 'worst case scenarios' and nobody knows for sure. But the acidity is already here, and that is due to the oceans taking up CO2.
 

Offline yor_on

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Rereading you. You're right Clifford, I should have been clearer there. I meant meant saturation as in 'A condition in which a 'quantity' no longer responds to some external influence' which then should be when the ocean no longer will take up CO2. You might assume that it then would be in a new equilibrium, dead but not 'burping', but the ocean have its own ways.

"Studies by CU-Boulder and other institutions in the past several years have shown sharp declines in Arctic sea ice in recent decades and a loss in ice mass from Greenland, which some believe could combine to alter North Atlantic circulation and disrupt ocean circulation patterns worldwide."

And rising temperatures will release carbon dioxide, with the melting ice (The Arctic primarily, but also Antarctica which is a 'black horse' in all calculations.) increasing the ocean mix, lifting up CO2 from the deep cold ocean. And the warmer the ocean gets, the more CO2 it will release, a little like leaving that soda-pop in the sun. It's also so that the warmer it becomes the more 'fluid' it should be as I think of it, easier to set in motion. *Maybe it will be massive 'burps'? It seems as it has happened before.

"A University of Colorado at Boulder-led research team tracing the origin of a large carbon dioxide increase in Earth's atmosphere at the end of the last ice age has detected two ancient "burps" that originated from the deepest parts of the oceans. The new study indicated carbon that had built up in the oceans over millennia was released in two big pulses, one about 18,000 years ago and one 13,000 years ago, said Thomas Marchitto and Scott Lehman of CU-Boulder's Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, who jointly led the study. While scientists had long known as much as 600 billion metric tons of carbon were released into the atmosphere after the last ice age, the new study is the first to clearly track CO2 from the deep ocean to the upper ocean and atmosphere and should help scientists better understand natural CO2 cycles and possible impacts of human-caused climate change.

"This is some of the clearest evidence yet that the enormous carbon release into the atmosphere during the last deglaciation was triggered by abrupt changes in deep ocean circulation," said Marchitto. Marchitto and Lehman are both faculty members in the CU-Boulder geological sciences department. While much of the CO2 released by the oceans after the end of the last ice age about 19,000 years ago was taken up by the re-growth of forests in areas previously covered by ice sheets, enough remained in the atmosphere to pump up CO2 concentrations significantly, the authors said. Today, CO2 levels are higher than at any time in at least the past 650,000 years because of increased fossil fuel burning.

"The timing of the major CO2 release after the last ice age corresponds closely with deep-sea circulation changes caused by ice melting in the North Atlantic at that time," said Lehman. "So our study really underscores ongoing concerns about the ocean's capacity to take up fossil fuel CO2 in the future, since continued warming will almost certainly impact the mode and speed of ocean circulation." The team analyzed sediment cores hauled from the Pacific Ocean seafloor at a depth of about 2,300 feet off the coast of Baja California using an isotopic "tracer," known as carbon 14, to track the escape of carbon from the deep sea through the upper ocean and into the atmosphere during the last 40,000 years. Extracted from the shells of tiny marine organisms known as foraminifera -- which contain chemical signatures of seawater dating back tens of thousands of years -- carbon 14 is the isotope most commonly used to radiocarbon date organic material like wood, bone and shell.

They found the carbon 14 "age" of the upper ocean water was basically constant over the past 40,000 years, except during the interval following the most recent ice age, when atmospheric CO2 increased dramatically. The study shows the carbon added to the upper ocean and atmosphere at the end of the last ice age was "very old," suggesting it had been stored in the deep ocean and isolated from the atmosphere for thousands of years, said Marchitto. "Because carbon 14 works both as a 'tracer' and a 'clock,' we were able to show that the uptake and release of CO2 by the ocean in the past was intimately linked to how and how fast the ocean circulated," said Marchitto.

Humans have pumped an estimated 300 billion tons of carbon into the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution, and the oceans have taken up about half of it, said Lehman. "If the oceans were not such a large storage 'sink' for carbon, atmospheric CO2 increases in recent decades would be considerably higher," he said. "Since the uptake of CO2 on Earth's land surface is being offset almost entirely by the cutting and burning of forests, any decrease in the uptake of fossil fuel CO2 by the world's oceans could pose some very serious problems," Lehman said.

"When the ocean circulation system changes, it alters how carbon-rich deep water rises to the surface to release its carbon to the atmosphere," said Interim Director of INSTAAR Jim White, a climate scientist who was not involved in the study. "This is important not only for understanding why glacial times came and went in the past, but it is crucial information we need to understand how the oceans will respond to future climate change."

Studies by CU-Boulder and other institutions in the past several years have shown sharp declines in Arctic sea ice in recent decades and a loss in ice mass from Greenland, which some believe could combine to alter North Atlantic circulation and disrupt ocean circulation patterns worldwide.

Source: University of Colorado at Boulder 2007."

And another study done recently by Tas van Ommen from the Australian Antarctic Division, in Hobart 2011 says; 

"Previous studies have suggested that it takes between 400 and 1300 years for this to happen, 'We now think the delay is more like 200 years, possibly even less.' The new results come from Siple and Byrd ice cores in western Antarctica. Van Ommen and colleagues dated CO2 bubbles trapped in the ice, and then compared their measurements with records of atmospheric temperatures from the same time period. As expected, when temperature increased, carbon dioxide followed, but at both Siple and Byrd the time lag was around 200 years – much shorter than previous studies found. Previous estimates used cores from regions with low snowfall, van Ommen says, leading to a very gradual trapping of the carbon dioxide in the ice. This increased uncertainty in timing. Also, many previous studies used only one ice core site."


Here you have a example of it Release of carbon dioxide from the equatorial Pacific Ocean intensified during the 1990:s. What one need to know here is that all oceans are becoming constantly worse on taking up new CO2. There are several studies over that. Also that the Arctic and Greenland are melting faster that expected. It becomes a equation with a lot of unknowns that may accelerate it beyond expectations, as I think of it. All weather patterns we see are results of a whole earth, oceans included, it all goes into each other. That's why climate models constantly get updated and more complex, and that's also why you won't find those on the net. They crave some serious computer capacity to run.
« Last Edit: 16/06/2011 03:43:24 by yor_on »
 

Offline CliffordK

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Ocean "Burps"?

Most studies indicate that the CO2 increases trail the temperature increases by a period of time, although there is discussion about whether that is an artifact.  They also indicate what appears to be a more significant lag between the falling of ocean/atmospheric temperatures and the falling of CO2 levels.

Salinity may have multiple feedbacks, including a density gradient and the ability of cold surface water to displace deep ocean water, as well as changing the temperature at which water reaches its maximum density, both of which could have sever effects on the ocean temperatures and currents.  But, that would depend on the ability of polar fresh water to overwhelm the oceans natural circulation which might require the abrupt release of some giant freshwater lakes with ice dams which don't exist at this time.

Some things happen quickly, others slowly.
One iceberg in Antarctica, calved in March 2000 didn't fully melt until sometime after November 2006. 
A collapse of the Greenland icecap, or the West Antarctic icecap would likely take centuries.  If a huge ice lake was to form, then future generations might choose to attempt to slowly drain it, rather than risk a catastrophic freshwater release.
 

Offline yor_on

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I gave you the studies. You don't need to believe them Clifford. Now, what you state there is your own beliefs. As I did when it came to my two major worries, a tipping, and acidity. But what I wrote about above is studies, not beliefs. 
==

Although, the acidity is already here, and getting worse.

"Most studies indicate that the CO2 increases trail the temperature increases by a period of time, although there is discussion about whether that is an artifact." Ah, so you think that temperature drives CO2 then Clifford? Instead of the opposite. It makes it easier to understand. Could you link me those papers which you see proving that?
« Last Edit: 16/06/2011 04:00:33 by yor_on »
 

Offline imatfaal

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Yoron - lots of your last but one post is in quotes but I couldn't find a citation or link.  So the rest of us can follow the argument could you edit in a link or citation?  Thanks


EDIT - for clarity

Sorry Yoron I was unclear.   [:I]
I meant this one:
http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=39689.msg359134#msg359134

Cheers - matthew
« Last Edit: 16/06/2011 22:49:36 by imatfaal »
 

Offline Peter Ridley under another name

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Yesterday @ 15:35 it was suggested that
Quote
Yelder - I think it would be best if we avoided this thread becoming a repository for blog postings by politicians and interested by-standers.  ..  Let us try to keep to scientific questions, answers, and refutations .. The OP was "Is the unusual weather we have been having a result of global warming?" - let's .. try and advance the scientific debate on the original question

Joe Ogan’s comment supporting his original question on 3rd June was
Quote
I believe the weather we have been having is unusual.  I would like to know if it is a result of Global warming
making it quite clear that he was asking about the cause of recent weathr events, not the cause of global warming.

It was also suggested that
Quote
I think it would be best if we avoided this thread becoming a repository for blog postings by politicians and interested by-standers.  ..  Let us try to keep to scientific questions, answers, and refutations and allow those who wish to read further to find those articles for themselves
I took that to be a rebuke for posting comments and linking to articles that deviated from Joe’s original question and assume that the rebuke was directed at all who are commenting on this thread.

Jo was not asking what was the cause of global warming but the first response
Quote
The debate is whether the warming is affected by man or part of a nature cycle
immediately took things off-course, with an immediate scare-mongering comment about our use of fossil fuels causing a global catastrophe. The very first link posted on this thread was not to a scientific paper about the cause of recent weather events but to a Discover magazine article on “Ocean Acidification: A Global Case of Osteoporosis” http://discovermagazine.com/2008/jul/16-ocean-acidification-a-global-case-of-osteoporosis/article_view?b_start:int=0&-C=. The article wasn’t even written by a scientist, simply a journalist.

CliffordK tried very hard to bring the comments back on course with his
Quote
Such a knee-jerk reaction to blame everything on "Global Warming" and "CO2" is a disservice to climatology science, and the argument in general
along with some very helpful information but once again we had some scare-mongering, e.g.
Quote
We are fast going for a tipping point, or possibly already past one

So it continues, with even CliffordK being sucked away from the original question into commenting on the relationship between atmospheric CO2 and global temperatures.

What tickles me is that one of the very first comments here on 4th June @ 23:20 was
Quote
I think some of the worst excesses of colonial rule coupled with some of worst excess of post-colonial rule also have something to do with that
This had absolutely nothing to do with the original  question but not a squeak from moderation. A similar point was made on 04th May @ 21:09 on the “What does Iain Stewart's ‘CO2 experiment’ Demonstrate” thread http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=38723.50 when saying
Quote
forum moderators appear to set their own rules here so we visitors have to abide by them

I suggest that the best answer
Quote
to Joe's original question, I think the answer is a definite maybe. .. The bottom line is that we really don't have a very good handle on what's going on, and, even if we did, there does not appear to be a quick fix
(09/06/2011 @ 07:21  http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=39689.25).

Hypotheses about the causes and effects of global warming abound but we really have a very poor understanding of how Nature controls global weather events that are used as the basis for our definitions of the different global climates. Much more research is required before we can confidently answer such questions. Meanwhile we will have CACC doctrine disciples and deniers alike speculating about what “might” “could” “should” happen “if” this that and the other.

To keep the speculation going, here’s a link to a 2008 article “Episodes of relative global warming” (http://www.cdejager.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/2009-episodes-jastp-71-194.pdf) by Jager and Duhau in the Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics concludes
Quote
The three main results of this study are the following: First, there exists a relation between solar activity and average tropospheric temperatures. Next, this relation depends both on the toroidal and the poloidal component of solar magnetism. The seven temperature sets that we studied here, evidently give different results but it is gratifying that they agree qualitatively in confirming the dependence of tropospheric temperature on both components of solar activity. The third result is that a comparison of observed with calculated temperatures shows residual peaks and valleys. Some of these are significant, appearing in all seven data sets studied here.

These results may be of importance for understanding the solar mechanisms that influence climate. The refereed literature contains 15 global or NH temperature data sets. Obviously all must be studied in order to further check the above results. It is also necessary to discuss the heliophysical and climatologic aspects of these findings. Such a study is presently underway with colleagues

Here’s a copy of one of their graphs, taken from “World Climate Report - The Web’s Longest-Running Climate Change Bog: Solar Story Update” (http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2010/05/26/solar-story-update/)

(I must be going blind because I can't see the "Insert into message" Link that is supposed to be by the filename that I wanted to insert).

Figure 1. Observed minus predicted temperatures based solar activity (from de Jager and Duhau, 2009)

That World Climate Report article also references a paper “Possible solar forcing of 400-year wet-dry climate cycles in northwestern China” by Wu JingLu; Yu ZiCheng; Zeng Hai'Ao; Wang NingLian in Climatic Change 2009 Vol. 96 No. 4 pp. 473-482. This says
Quote
Our results suggest that solar activities might have played a significant role in driving wet-dry climate oscillations at centennial scales in the interior of Eurasian continent

From the other side we have “Comments on - Episodes of relative global warming, by de Jager en Duhau - ” by Gerbrand Komen (http://home.kpn.nl/g.j.komen/zon.pdf). Physicist Professor Komen concluded
Quote
1. The statement by de Jager (2008) and dJ-D concerning the nature of recent warming is NOT supported by their statistical relation between solar magnetic variations and terrestrial temperatures.
2. Correlations between solar magnetic activity and terrestrial NH temperatures are likely to be contaminated by other forcings, not only in the 20th century but also in earlier centuries.
3. Models forced with solar irradiance variations and other established physical mechanisms have successfully simulated the evolution of the NH-temperature in the period under consideration, confirming the existence of a certain amount of correlation between NH temperatures and solar activity, especially in the period prior to the 20th century, where two temperature minima coincide with the Maunder and the Dalton minimum. The magnitude of the temperature variations is consistent with estimates in solar irradiance and volcanic forcing.
4. Attribution to solar magnetic variation through an unknown mechanisms as made by dJ-D seems premature, since the reconstructed NH temperature can also be understood in terms of solar irradiance variations and other known physical processes.
One may hope that a future more detailed analysis announced by De Jager and co-workers will help clarify these issues

“Hear, hear” to that last sentence, meanwhile disciples and deniers of the CACC doctrine will continue speculating about the processes and drivers of global climates about which
Quote
we don’t know anything much useful
(13/06/2011 @ 09:30:46 http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=39689.50).
« Last Edit: 16/06/2011 20:54:45 by Yelder »
 

Offline Peter Ridley under another name

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Joe, here’s some more speculation for you:
- “All three of these lines of research to point to the familiar sunspot cycle shutting down for a while” (http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/06/14/all-three-of-these-lines-of-research-to-point-to-the-familiar-sunspot-cycle-shutting-down-for-a-while/)
- “Solar Cycle 25” (http://sc25.com/about.php) – interesting graphs
or you might like the first two articles linked at NASA’s Science News (http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/).
 

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Offline yor_on

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Shrunk
Yelder, I guess you belong to the crowd wanting anything but mainstream climatology to be correct right? And would prefer if you, and those defining it as such could be left in peace too?

Sorry.

No deal :)
 

Offline yor_on

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Ah, okay Imatfaal, yeah, its three comments although I cite the 'Boulder comment' first but without sourcing it as it comes back again with the source, after I commented on the first citation. hope that makes sense? :)

I wrote some stuff elsewhere without being on the net some year(s) ago, using downloaded sources, and first I thought you meant such a one. But if you see anything inside a citation mark I usually let them be exactly as they was written, except when clarifying some strange term they may use, but if so I also make it in a parenthesis, hopefully so, that is :)

Anyway, what Clifford questioned brings up an very important point. That I worry about the CO2 is because I see it as a 'temperature forcing'. Meaning that I believe it to drive up the temperature. If it would be the other way around then we would have to look elsewhere for why the temperatures increase, as CO2 then, even if increasing the temperature, only would be a 'feedback signal' from other processes driving up temperatures globally.

It's a little like your pan with hot milk, and the finger you dip in it to feel of the temperature. The milk may be hot, but it's not the finger 'forcing' it to be so, but the stove.

And there's been a lot of discussions/arguments around this subject, as Clifford rightly points out. But the consensus amongst climatologists is that CO2 is a real, and important 'forcing' of the temperature, becoming a 'stove' of sorts, storing 'energy' inside the molecule to then release it (as heat) in the atmosphere, primarily kinetically due to collisions with other molecules. And as you know, there is a lot of molecules in the air :)

If we instead look at water vapor it's mainly considered a 'feedback'. That just means that even though vapor too will increase the temperature it's not 'driving' it, It's a reaction of it getting warmer, and also conserving 'heat' but short term only (weeks) whereas CO2 does it over millennium, with its major impact being over one to two centuries, or so. Climatologist often speaks of the 'tail' meaning the length you might expect 'something' having a noticeable influence on the climate, and there it seems as if a millennium is where we expect CO2 to be. And that is quite some time historically seen.

Hansen, who seem to have been right so far are starting to worry about our CO2. He want us to cut it down to 1988 concentration of 350 ppm. If you're wondering where CO2 is now you can take a look here at Earth CO2 homepage. It seems to constantly update itself. What he worries about is Greenland, the Arctic and Antarctica. He wrote a famous paper decades ago pointing out that the west Antarctica ice sheet could break loose, as valid today as it was then (I linked it several times, you should read it). The reason it rest there is due to its mass, if 'under-ice' streams hollow that sheet out, as well as it simultaneously melts from above, losing its mass as it gets lubricated from down under it can start to move. The same phenomena that we now see on Greenland with some glaciers 'walking away' to the ocean. But as I said, it's a very 'dark horse', and we just don't know? In a recent paper he discuss how he expects the melt water to disturb the oceans and disrupt currents, driving cold CO2 filled water up from its depths. You can read more about that at Bits of Science with links to the recent paper.

I think he is right, all indications point to it that I've seen. That mean actual expeditions to the Arctic, Antarctica and Greenland, measuring and testing what really is going on. Not theory, but as physics would call it, 'real experiments' :) That you then will theorize around what your experiments shows is another thing. But I've always found it nice to have some real live stuff to think about. It gives you a more intuitive feel for what is happening I think.

Anyway, we need to take CO2 seriously enough to act. We have the Internet, and I think it's time now. Because it's not something that you can turn away from your frontdoor when you, once and for all, find yourself forced to face it. When that time comes it will be too late. Read this Perceptions of Climate Change. It's Hansen discussing how people perceive the weather, comparing it to how it really is. Primary for USA, but a good read for us all I think. 
« Last Edit: 17/06/2011 02:38:18 by yor_on »
 

Offline yor_on

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If you want to see what is needed for measuring a open system as Earth and defining it to a high probability, you can start with counting the amount of different molecules in the air, then try to find what possible interaction they can make, not forgetting that they change, CO2 getting a stronger heat uptake with its height for example, convection, humidity etc etc. Then you need to do the same for the molecules in the ocean, and streams, up and down drafts, winds, temperature, density, chemistry changing. Then you need to combine it to each other, dynamically changing as the climate change, and see that it fits in your model. Then you need to consider ice sheets melting, glaciers melting (India, Pakistan etc and their rivers disappearing), melt (fresh) water as compared to salt water, mixing, and its impact on salinity and underwater streams. Then the acidity of course. Then the effect all fish swimming in the oceans might have on convection, streams, mixing etc. And shipping of course, what chemicals we turn lose as we wash out tanks at sea, what their propellers might do in form of mixing in air etc. and that plastic island that floats around somewhere, made by all that stuff we throw away, the size of Texas? Was it? and sewer pipes and what might come out from them. Then , radiation and the suns variations, deserts, forests, savannas, bogs freeing CO2 as they warm up, tundra, shallow seas in the arctic with Methane clathrates, clouds and how they act from under, and above, in form of scattering radiation etc. How the relative humidity may change the local weather creating local cloud covers masking the warming. And a million things more, like how plants and trees breath, and how much depending on type as well as how that might change with all other factors, fertilizers, chemical wastes, bees pollinating, and I don't know what :). Finally you need to consider that famous butterfly flapping, creating some 'weather', somewhere :)

Ah well, then you just have to put one and thirtyeleven together to get that linear prediction of a probability :) And make a graph ::))

I actually believe we can count on it, and that we do so statistically. The problem is to find the right 'connections', and how they interact with each other, and then break it down to a planetary model. Expecting climatologists to be able to do it 'overnight' is to give them an impossible task though. And there are most probably other 'forcings', some we just noticed recently, like water vapor at very high height (which not is the type of water vapor I discussed that we meet 'down here' btw.), and there we're just learning about how it might work.

Doesn't mean that it wasn't CO2 that set it all into motion though.
And it doesn't mean that stopping our man made CO2 won't make a difference.


« Last Edit: 17/06/2011 05:34:47 by yor_on »
 

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Offline Peter Ridley under another name

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Shrunk
It seems that there are some commenting here either do not understand Joe’s original question. For example, in the comments posted on 16th at 22:29 and today at 02:24 and 04:45 I can see nothing that attempts to answer it. I can see no science whatsoever, only 1300 words that amount to what moderator JP referred to as “editorial comments” (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/editorial)
Quote
.. unless you have something new to add to your original question, aside from editorial comments .. in this thread please stick to the question at hand, .. this is primarily a science Q&A site, not your personal blog
(http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=38723.msg353414#msg353414).

Perhaps I missed some science buried within those words so if anyone spotted any then please would you point it out for me.

Joe, do you feel that you are being helped by the responses here. I see that you haven’t been back since 4th June.


Please don't tell other users how to behave on the forum.  If you have a complaint, tell the mods.

« Last Edit: 17/06/2011 18:56:06 by Yelder »
 

Offline Peter Ridley under another name

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We’ve seen a lot of opinion and speculation from CACC disciples here so lets balance the discussion with some denier opinion and speculation.

Ref. 16/06/2011 22:29:37:-
Sceptics want scientists involved in climate research to significantly improve the present poor understanding of the processes and drivers of the different global climates. I’m not aware of any sceptics who wish to be left in peace on this important issue.

Ref. today at 02:24:46:-
Many sceptics recognise that atmospheric CO2 has a small forcing effect on global temperatures (less than 2C for a doubling if all other drivers were to remain constant). There are plenty scientists looking elsewhere for other drivers having much greater significance that CO2 (dipping fingers in hot pans of milk is not really a helpful contribution to the science). They also understand that the tiny proportion of CO2 molecules in the atmosphere absorbs a small proportion of the IR emitted by the earth and passes a lot of that small amount of energy on to other atmospheric molecules, some of which cannot emit IR. CO2 can but can pass energy on to those that can, particularly H2O, which emits over a much broader range of IR than CO2 and is present in the atmosphere in much lager proportions. (There’s no way of knowing where to expect CO2 to be in a millennium.)

As for Hansen, he’s the scaremonger who, with his buddies Al Gore and Tim Wirth set out to frighten the US congress into the CACC camp. “In the summer of 1988, global warming first captured the imagination of the American public. In early June of that summer Senator Al Gore (D-TN) organized a congressional hearing to bring attention to the subject, one that he had been focusing on in Congress for more than a decade. The hearing that day was carefully stage-managed to present a bit of political theater, as was later explained by Senator Tim Wirth (D-CO), who served alongside Gore in the Senate and, like Gore, was also interested in the topic of global warming. “We called the Weather Bureau and found out what historically was the hottest day of the summer. Well, it was June 6th or June 9th or whatever it was. So we scheduled the hearing that day, and bingo, it was the hottest day on record in Washington, or close to it. What we did is that we went in the night before and opened all the windows, I will admit, right, so that the air conditioning wasn't working inside the room.” (http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/publications/special/climate_fix/book_clips.html).
« Last Edit: 17/06/2011 15:21:14 by JP »
 

Offline yor_on

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As I said Yelder there are two main schools, in reality a untold number I suspect, of thought there. One is the one where CO2 is a forcing and are accelerating a warming. I'm one of those guys. Then we have your school of thought that don't believe in that CO2 'force' anything, and as a guess, it's all about 'natural variations' in climate. Which then mean that we can't do a thing, just sit back and try to enjoy the 'ride'.

The saddest thing about it seems to be that even scientists gets involved in those kind of thoughts, placing disciplines against each other when they instead should try to cooperate. Solar radiation is a perfect example of that, and geosciences. As for your tries to politicize the subject? That's not cool, it's just a way of whipping up supporters that see life in those terms. As 'P o l i t i c a l' in essence.

It's not political Yelder, and you only have a very short stay here. You can do so much better than that.
 

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As a mod here:

Yelder, please don't tell other users what to post or complain about the moderation in public threads. 

Also, please don't break forum rules, which can be viewed here:

http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=8535.0

This is not up for debate.  Future violations will lead to post deletions.
 

Offline yor_on

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As for Joe, Yelder, I think he's a really nice guy that's been around for the longest time, with some really good, down to earth, questions. I expect him to be perfectly capable to make up his own mind in his own good time. Just like me :) Or you.
 

Offline Peter Ridley under another name

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I don’t know how many times I’m going to have to repeat this but once again
Quote
Many sceptics recognise that atmospheric CO2 has a small forcing effect on global temperatures (less than 2C for a doubling if all other drivers were to remain constant)
Please take note of the “small forcing” bit. I certainly do not believe that
Quote
it's all about 'natural variations' in climate. Which then mean that we can't do a thing, just sit back and try to enjoy the 'ride'
What I and many others believe is that our emissions of CO2 from our use of fossil fuels has an insignificant impact compared with natural process and drivers. As a consequence we have to continue doing what humans and other forms of life have had to do since becoming a part of this wonderful world, live with whatever Nature throws our way.

For the moment our understanding of global climate processes and drivers is too poor for us to be able to do anything else. Until that understanding improves significantly all we can do is control our very limited immediate environments. Attempting to do this on a global scale is very risky, as Stephen Schneider said way back in 1989 (
) even though he was talking on a program about global cooling, a big media scare at that time.

I fully agree that scientists
Quote
should try to cooperate
but as Climategate showed (see http://www.climate-gate.com) there are those having their own agenda who try very hard to gag sceptics.

I can’t see how I am to blame for politicising the debate. That started long before I became involved. I simply linked to one of many articles about it (http://nzclimatescience.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=374&Itemid=1).

If
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It's not political Yelder
is talking about the CACC propaganda being pushed out by supporters of the UN’s IPCC then that is simply wrong. It certainly isn’t science.
If
Quote
you only have a very short stay here
is referring to living on this wonderful earth enjoying a wonderful life then sadly, that’s true, but I’ve been lucky and suspect that others commenting here have been too. There are millions who don’t have it so good and can barely eke out an existence. That's the big global catastrophe, not global warming or cooling or climate change. Most of us who are fortunate enough to live in one of the developed economies could
Quote
do so much better than that
if that is referring to how we use the resources available to us, but maybe that wasn’t what was meant.

The comment was made that
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The reason (the west Antarctica ice sheet) rest there is due to its mass, if 'under-ice' streams hollow that sheet out, as well as it simultaneously melts from above, losing its mass as it gets lubricated from down under it can start to move
Taken along with the opinions of some that our use of fossil fuels is warming the globe catastrophically the unwary might be fooled into thinking that we were causing that movement. That is of course incorrect. As the Climate Institute says
Quote
Glaciers and ice sheets are large, slow-moving assemblages of ice
(http://www.climate.org/topics/sea-level/index.html), but this is not a post-industrialisation phenomenon. It has always been the case when glaciers and ice sheets existed.

Quote
Before "global warming" started 18,000 years ago most of the earth was a frozen and arid wasteland. Over half of earth 's surface was covered by glaciers or extreme desert.  Forests were rare. Not a very fun place to live
(http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/ice_ages.html). Thank goodness for that global warming, which happened then despite humans using very very little in the way of fossil fuels. Of course it wasn’t a non-stop period of warming since then. There have been cooling periods along the way and there will be again.

Unfortunately we look to have been entering one for the past 12 years. As ex-biologist Fred Dardick (http://conservativespotlight.com/?page_id=2) said in The Canada Free Press says
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We are in the midst of the convergence of 3 major solar, ocean, and atmospheric cycles all heading in the direction of global cooling. Last year the Southern hemisphere experienced its coldest winter in 50 years and Europe just went through two particularly cold winters in a row, and the cooling trend has only just begun. The likelihood of a repeat of the Year Without a Summer in 1816 or The Great Frost of 1709 is growing with every day. .. Even though disaster is staring the world in the face, far too many climate scientists remain beholden to liberal anti-human politics to do anything useful about it. At a time they should be sounding the warning siren for society to prepare for possible food and energy shortages, most still amazingly insist that an insignificant atmospheric molecule (CO2) is more responsible for warming the Earth than the Sun
(http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/36664).

The Space and Science Research Corporation (http://www.spaceandscience.net/id1.html) has an article by Director John L. Casey saying
Quote
Based on the data from the AMSR-E instrument on board the NASA Aqua satellite, sea surface temperatures just posted this week showed their steepest decline since the satellite was made operational in 2002. This major drop from the warm temperature levels seen in 2010 is also echoed by a dramatic decline in atmospheric temperatures in the lower troposphere, where we live, with the data coming from NOAA satellites. At present rates of descent, both ocean and atmospheric temperatures are likely to soon surpass the temperature lows set in the 2007-2008 period. Even with a small correction that is usually seen after such a rapid drop, there is no doubt that the Earth is entering a prolonged global cooling period and will soon set another record drop in temperatures by the November-December 2012 time frame as was forecast in the SSRC press release from May 10, 2010
(http://www.spaceandscience.net/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/ssrcpressrelease2-2011globalcooling.pdf).

Now Joe, that’s really scary - BBbbrrrrr - but I hope that it helps you to understand a bit more about the process and drivers of global climates and weather events.
 

Offline yor_on

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You will see a lot of strange stuff happening Yelder. That Earth globally 'heats up' doesn't state that we won't see a lot of other stuff, like seasonal coolings locally. A simple cloud layer should do that for you. What we do see is that the temperature globally is on the raise, the CO2 driving it. What you might want to argue is what the drivers are, and to me, CO2 is one, the main one I know of. But you have the suns variations as a possible driver, as well as that stratospheric water vapor I mentioned. and there are probably more forcings interacting too, for good or bad. As the way CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) and halogenated hydrocarbons, used by industries, causes depletion of the ozone layer.

And although sarcasm can be fun, if you really want to prove your point you should use studies instead proving the point you're trying to make.
==

Take a look at the annual report NOOA made for 2010 Global Highlights. As well as NASA:s studies from 2010, studying CO2, temperature is all about CO2. and please, refute it by a study, not by branding it 'political'.
==

As for me stating that Greenland's glaciers are on the move? That's an old fact. The greening of Greenland by Fiona Harvey; from Financial Times 2009. In it she writes "In 2002, when researchers measured the Jakobshavn Isbrae, which drains 6.5 per cent of the Greenland ice sheet, it was moving only half as quickly as it is today, and pouring only half the present volume of ice into the fjord. The earliest known maps of this glacier date from the 1850s, but observations of it have intensified since the 1950s. They track the marked acceleration of the ice over recent decades, and show its speed increasing dramatically in the past few years. The Hellheim glacier, draining 4 per cent of the Greenland ice sheet, tells a similar story. Its speed increased from 8km a year in 2000 to 11km a year in 2005, and has since accelerated.

The reason the glaciers are speeding up is simple: Greenland is getting warmer. Jacqueline McGlade, director of the European Environment Agency, says: “The amount of ice that is being lost is far more than we thought. Greenland is warming faster than the computer models predicted, and that is a worry.” The Arctic has warmed at three times the rate of the rest of the world in the past 100 years, and temperatures continue to rise. Ola Johannessen, chief of Norway’s Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Centre, has worked on ice for more than 30 years. He has never seen anything like the current situation. “There is no doubt that what we are seeing is the result of global warming. The glaciers are moving faster. Ice is being lost from the Greenland ice sheet, and that will raise sea levels.”

The Chinese have this 'saying' "may you live in interesting times." And I think we do.
« Last Edit: 18/06/2011 02:33:50 by yor_on »
 

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