Naked Science Forum

Life Sciences => The Environment => Topic started by: katieHaylor on 04/08/2017 09:18:08

Title: Can science prevent global warming?
Post by: katieHaylor on 04/08/2017 09:18:08
Alex says:

What are the possible scientific solutions to prevent global warming? And do you consider this as the biggest current problem of humanity?

What do you think?
Title: Re: Can science prevent global warming?
Post by: chiralSPO on 05/08/2017 19:38:31
Alex says:

What are the possible scientific solutions to prevent global warming?

A substantial decrease in greenhouse gas emissions would limit the extent of the warming. This is likely the most important part of any plan to reduce the impact of global warming. However, even if we stopped emission completely tomorrow, the average temperature would still continue to increase for several decades.

Some people are looking into ways to capture CO2, and store it or convert it into something. But this is very challenging: CO2 is very dilute in the atmosphere, even if it passes 500 ppm, that's still just 0.05%, so you would have to filter 1 million tons of air to remove 500 tons of CO2 (a large coal plant can produce this much in an hour). It is easier to capture the CO2 at the plant itself, where the concentrations are much higher, so it is more efficient (and can even be driven by waste heat). This is the idea behind "clean coal." But it is even more efficient not to burn it in the first place.

Some people are studying whether an aerosol dispersed high up in the atmosphere could be used to control the temperature by reducing the amount of sunlight reaching the planet. This is a known effect, and has been observed as a result of massive volcano eruptions, but because the atmosphere is so complex, and there would be major repercussions from overshooting (the "winter" of "nuclear winter," without the "nuclear").

And do you consider this as the biggest current problem of humanity?

Hard to say if it's the biggest problem, but it is certainly one of a small handful of existential crises, and is essentially one of only two such scenarios we have much control over (the other being global thermonuclear war). We also face threats like major meteorite impacts and super-volcanos, which could change the global ecosystem much more dramatically than we are now, but there's not too much we can do about those yet, other than perhaps predict them...
Title: Re: Can science prevent global warming?
Post by: alancalverd on 06/08/2017 13:01:24
Probably not.

It has been a lot hotter and a lot colder in the geological past, and AFAIK nobody who considers current trends to be anthropogenic has a consistent explanation of past behaviour. You can't solve a problem until you understand it.

Any variation in climate will be a disaster for some and a benefit for others, depending on which edge of the habitable zone you inhabit. . Mitigation of the disaster is a political, not a scientific matter.
Title: Re: Can science prevent global warming?
Post by: jeffreyH on 06/08/2017 13:26:12
If you understand the role of water you also understand how complex the issue is.
http://www1.lsbu.ac.uk/water/water_vibrational_spectrum.html
Title: Re: Can science prevent global warming?
Post by: yor_on on 08/09/2017 22:06:50
Yes it's the worst problem we ever faced. It's insidious, slow in human terms, goes against our ideas of what life is about, making a career, making money  'getting ahead', making as many babies we want, which many also associate to some divine will for us 'populating the earth'. It also goes against our ideas of our selves as being the 'crown of evolution' and the ones predestined to use the earths fauna, flora, as well as other resources for our own self interests.

Which all shows that we're no different from any other animals probably :)
But we think we are, and that's also why we can't change course. The idea of 'geo engineering' is typical for the way we think we should handle the problem. Science should know better than that, but we're all 'human'.
Title: Re: Can science prevent global warming?
Post by: tkadm30 on 19/09/2017 13:23:28
Some people are studying whether an aerosol dispersed high up in the atmosphere could be used to control the temperature by reducing the amount of sunlight reaching the planet. This is a known effect, and has been observed as a result of massive volcano eruptions, but because the atmosphere is so complex, and there would be major repercussions from overshooting (the "winter" of "nuclear winter," without the "nuclear").

Don't forget the implications for human health (and the environment) of releasing massive amounts of aerosols in the troposphere. Solar geoengineering is a scientific failure since it does not measure the impacts of chronic aerosol exposure on living organisms including humans. The current "solutions" for fighting climate change with geoengineering cannot stop superhurricanes formation nor mitigate polar ozone depletion. See: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20054838?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents
Title: Re: Can science prevent global warming?
Post by: yor_on on 20/09/2017 03:44:56
There exist some simple solutions.

Stop making babies. One per person is quite enough.
Stop thinking that a 'good life' equalize profit
Stop killing of fauna and flora'
Stop using so much pesticides and fertilizers
Stop making mega 'meat factories',  they're like concentration camps for animals. Who the f* feels good eating such?

There are a thousand ways more to make a difference 'scientifically', but it depends on you, and what you think life is about.
Title: Re: Can science prevent global warming?
Post by: yor_on on 20/09/2017 04:01:31
I better add that Global warming, although a priority, just is one of the problems we have, to it you can add ocean acidification, dead spots without food fish constantly growing, us killing species leading to extinction, even destroying our top soil for growing food. We're no 'crown of existence', more like a pestilence for the rest of the world.

But we can change, so there's still some hope for us.
Title: Re: Can science prevent global warming?
Post by: tkadm30 on 20/09/2017 09:44:08
We're no 'crown of existence', more like a pestilence for the rest of the world.

But we can change, so there's still some hope for us.

So, according to you, we need to depopulate to fix climate change?
Title: Re: Can science prevent global warming?
Post by: yor_on on 20/09/2017 15:31:15
If you by that mean stop making as many babies that we like?
Sure

If you by it mean killing of others, 'unworthys', whatever that might mean

No
Title: Re: Can science prevent global warming?
Post by: terryj1517 on 22/09/2017 18:05:35
If you talking about climate change, then there really isn't much we can do about it. The climate changes in cycles and we are just now witnessing this current event. The climate has been changing for the last 12,000 years.

Now if you are suggesting that increasing CO2 levels are the cause I'd suggest that water vapor is the main cause of atmospheric warming. The question becomes, does CO2 increase temperature or does the increase in temperature cause an increase in CO2? I ask this because temperature increase comes mainly from sun activity and the increase in solar winds. An increase like this will cause more water vapor in the atmosphere and therefore more heating and an increase in CO2 levels. This is a natural event, so can we stop this or slow it down, I think not.
Title: Re: Can science prevent global warming?
Post by: kazbert on 03/10/2017 20:50:00
The climate has been changing for the last 12,000 years.

Is it not more accurate to say that the climate has been changing for the entire length of the earth's 4.5 billion years of existence?  Climate has never been static. 

That said, our species is very prone to unintended consequences from our best intentions.  We can influence our climate, but we cannot bend it to our will.  All species affect their ecosystem, for good or bad, and either survive the changes or go extinct.  Unlike all the other species, our intelligence allows us to be (or refuse to be) conscientious of our actions.  However, we can only act within the limits of our knowledge.  The greatest threat to our species is wanton hostility towards each other.  We simply adapt to whatever else comes our way. 
Title: Re: Can science prevent global warming?
Post by: Chondrally on 26/10/2017 00:24:52
https://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=53181.msg451841;topicseen#msg451841
Title: Re: Can science prevent global warming?
Post by: jeffreyH on 30/10/2017 18:44:44
The greenhouse gas bulletin shows an increase in CO2 from 400ppm to 403ppm between 2015-2016. This coincides with an el Nino event. This is a recurrence of the situation in 1997. The driver can't be simply CO2 for reasons Alan Calverd has stated elsewhere. A saturation point in water vapour coincided with the 1997-1998 el Nino event. It would be interesting to see what the water vapour is doing now.
https://public.wmo.int/en/resources/library/wmo-greenhouse-gas-bulletin
Title: Re: Can science prevent global warming?
Post by: jeffreyH on 30/10/2017 18:57:54
So we think we know how water vapour behaves.
http://www.nature.com/articles/ngeo2236
Title: Re: Can science prevent global warming?
Post by: mrsmith2211 on 03/11/2017 04:24:51
Science itself cannot do a thing. The application of science can, so for your example of global warming, yes science could do much, but only if used, when even the concept of global warming is disputed and relegated as nonsense or a chinese hoax, how then could you expect science to solve a problem that is seen as nonexistent. and have leaders act on it?
Title: Re: Can science prevent global warming?
Post by: adianadiadi on 12/01/2018 17:17:40
The best method to contain global warming is to grow trees, use bicycles, purchase only necessary items, avoid non veg diet, switch off electricals and electronics whenever not in use.
Title: Re: Can science prevent global warming?
Post by: alancalverd on 13/01/2018 00:58:22
Electricity accounts for less than a third of our energy consumption, so switching off standby gizmos doesn't make a lot of difference. If you are worried about carbon emissions, stop breathing: 15% of anthropogenic CO2 is human exhalation, and 25% is the exhalate of farm animals, none of which need to exist. Interestingly, a horse standing still produces as much greenhouse gas as a small car covering 8000 miles per year.
Title: Re: Can science prevent global warming?
Post by: Bored chemist on 13/01/2018 13:42:13
Electricity accounts for less than a third of our energy consumption, so switching off standby gizmos doesn't make a lot of difference. If you are worried about carbon emissions, stop breathing: 15% of anthropogenic CO2 is human exhalation, and 25% is the exhalate of farm animals, none of which need to exist. Interestingly, a horse standing still produces as much greenhouse gas as a small car covering 8000 miles per year.
You need to get to grips with the carbon cycle.
The CO2 you exhale was already CO2 in the  air when it was "borrowed" by a plant, turned into your food eaten and re-released.
The carbon emitted by  your car has been buried in the ground for millions of years.
So, as you are aware, but are ignoring in a manner that looks dishonest, only one of them actually increases the CO2 in the air above pre-industrial levels.
Title: Re: Can science prevent global warming?
Post by: alancalverd on 13/01/2018 16:49:52
All depends where you draw the "pre-industrial" line, or indeed why you chose it at all. During the carboniferous period, all those trees must have been sucking it in from somewhere!

If we didn't eat plants or farm animals, the plants that feed us and them would sequester atmospheric CO2 just as they always have done.

If there's any dishonesty about the subject, it is the failure of the warmist lobby to admit that anthropogenic means exactly what it says.
Title: Re: Can science prevent global warming?
Post by: Bored chemist on 13/01/2018 18:07:55
All depends where you draw the "pre-industrial" line,
Not strongly.
Any time before about 1850 and since the Norman conquest will do pretty much as well as any other.
https://www.google.co.uk/search?tbm=isch&sa=1&ei=IkpaWtyRIsfJgAaL4qKQDg&q=CO2+concentrations+vs+time+millennium&oq=CO2+concentrations+vs+time+millennium&gs_l=psy-ab.3...110830.113034.0.113437.11.11.0.0.0.0.91.894.11.11.0....0...1c.1.64.psy-ab..0.0.0....0.fLisriJxOos#imgrc=u7TC8ui9JpS2bM:
Why do you pretend otherwise?
Title: Re: Can science prevent global warming?
Post by: alancalverd on 13/01/2018 19:34:14
No pretence. I just wonder how the coal and peat bogs got there in the first place. Something to do with chemistry, possibly.

By the time of the Norman conquest, vast tracts of natural forest and scrub had been cleared of anything that might absorb significant amounts of CO2, and replaced by grazing herds of humans and other CO2-emitting species.
Title: Re: Can science prevent global warming?
Post by: Bored chemist on 13/01/2018 22:29:56
By the time of the Norman conquest, vast tracts of natural forest and scrub had been cleared of anything that might absorb significant amounts of CO2, and replaced by grazing herds of humans and other CO2-emitting species.
And the CO2 levels stayed pretty much the same as shown in the graph I cited.
That's not a real shock- the population density of humans was tiny and our impact was small. Also, as you should understand there were lots of plants growing and animals eating them in an effectively closed cycle.
We were just a particular sort of animal so we didn't really make a difference.
It didn't matter much if we burned timber either.


I just wonder how the coal and peat bogs got there in the first place.

They got there slowly and they are being released quickly.
I find it hard to believe that you didn't already know that.
Were you being deliberately obtuse?
Title: Re: Can science prevent global warming?
Post by: alancalverd on 13/01/2018 23:10:11
You may recall the principle of conservation of mass. In order for a tree to sequester a ton of carbon, there must be a ton of carbon in the atmosphere. It doesn't matter how long it took to lay down the coal deposits: all the CO2 must have been present in the atmosphere before the first tree grew, because there is no other significant source.

I have no doubt that it is being released more quickly now than in recent times. What interests me is what the condition of the planet will be when all the fossil carbon has been released, and it seems that the answer must lie somewhere in geological history because the planet has been there before.

If you are concerned about anthropogenic emissions, the only way to reduce them without sacrificing people's desire to eat, breathe, and enjoy a comfortable life, is to reduce the number of people and/or the number of animals that they eat.
Title: Re: Can science prevent global warming?
Post by: Bored chemist on 14/01/2018 10:40:31
and it seems that the answer must lie somewhere in geological history because the planet has been there before.

Yes and no.
It's entirely possible that the CO2 concentration would return to a level that happened deep in Earth's history.
But humans wren't trying to survive back then.
It's also important to recognise that, over timescales that long - a million years or so- the Sun is changing.
Unfortunately, we can't rely on the Sun cooling to exactly offset the damage that we have done to the atmosphere.

If you are concerned about anthropogenic emissions, the only way to reduce them without sacrificing people's desire to eat, breathe, and enjoy a comfortable life, is to reduce the number of people and/or the number of animals that they eat.

Or invest in renewable and cut waste.
Title: Re: Can science prevent global warming?
Post by: alancalverd on 14/01/2018 13:01:35
Problem there is that renewables won't sustain the present population at anything like an acceptable standard of living.

UK energy consumption is around 5 kW per capita Higher in USA, Canada, Australia, Scandinavia and what's left of the Middle East, but 5 kW is probably the mean aspirational value for the entire world. Unfortunately current world consumption is less than 1.5 kW per capita and there aren't many places with as much wind and tide as the UK.

And always worth reviewing "damage to the atmosphere". Increased CO2 has led to increased crop yields. Increased winter temperatures have allowed the creaking British transport system to survive well past its sell-by date (though I gather the flash modern Hitachi trains don't like sun, rain, wind or snow, and the drivers aren't keen on fog). Where's the bad?
Title: Re: Can science prevent global warming?
Post by: Bored chemist on 14/01/2018 13:39:19
there aren't many places with as much wind and tide as the UK.
There are many with more sunshine.
A dozen  square metres of sunlight provides more than 5KW of raw power. If these people aspire to ownership of a vehicle, then a garage roof over it would be enough space for about half the solar panels.

Increased winter temperatures have allowed the creaking British transport system to survive well past its sell-by date
Through what mechanism?
Though there's a fair chance that global warming will drop local winter temps in the UK.
Where's the bad?

To me that sounds a bit like sh1tting in the middle of your lawn and calling it "fertiliser".

Title: Re: Can science prevent global warming?
Post by: alancalverd on 14/01/2018 15:43:10
5kW of electricity for a few hours a day is great: you can run a washing machine and a vacuum cleaner for as long as the sun shines overhead. My one truly offgrid friend, despite a garage full of batteries, goes to bed at sunset and relies on a wood stove for anything approaching comfort. He is gradually clearing his 10 acres of woodland as a result.

You are probably too young to remember "the wrong kind of snow" paralysing Southern Railways. I recall Oxfordshire villages being cut off by snow so the buses couldn't run for weeks - a problem brilliantly solved by Mrs Thatcher getting rid of the buses - and heroic newsreels of gallant Yorkshiremen digging the Flying Scotsman out of a drift.Then we had a few summers when all the talk was about the next ice age, railway lines buckled, and motorways melted.

Fortunately this was all in the days of free love and marijuana, so nobody really cared.

As for recycling human feces as fertiliser, raw pee and poo accounts for a fair percentage of many non-European crops, whilst the stuff that comes from urban sewage farms is much beloved of organic and conventional farmers and market gardeners - it's less smelly than pigshit so better under glass. The best salad lunch you will ever eat will be at the open day of your local treatment works! Personally I have no need to crap on the lawn: Sophie does a fine job, several times a day.
Title: Re: Can science prevent global warming?
Post by: jeffreyH on 14/01/2018 16:55:03
When you are standing having a heated argument on the railway line it is often easy to miss the oncoming train.
Title: Re: Can science prevent global warming?
Post by: Bored chemist on 14/01/2018 17:15:57
You are probably too young to remember "the wrong kind of snow"
Yes, I remember the wrong kind of snow I think you may have forgotten the curcial part of the story.
The reason it was the "wrong kind" is that the type of snow was unusual- (IIRC it was dry  fine powder).
But that's the point; the train companies had been berated for having trains that stopped when it snowed. They had invested a lot of money in "snow proofing" the engines.
And they also invested a lot of advertising in telling people about this.
And then the "wrong kind of snow" turned up and they got stuck.

But here's the important bits
They only made those investments because the trains always had got stuck in snow- no change there
and, since then they have got stuck less often- not because the winters are snow-free, but because they made those investments in snow-proofing trains and, since we usually get the "right sort of snow", they work.
It's not got anything to do with climat change.

Fortunately this was all in the days of free love and marijuana, so nobody really cared.
The "wrong sort of snow" fell in 1991; you might have been doing marijuana and free love, but society had broadly given it up 10  or 20 years earlier.

raw pee and poo accounts for a fair percentage of many non-European crops,
Not for long. The sodium levels are generally too high. You can do it if nobody  is eating a Western, salt filled diet.
Title: Re: Can science prevent global warming?
Post by: alancalverd on 14/01/2018 17:24:09
Can't stop the train, but might as well enjoy the discussion.

I have explained, many times, how the train can be re-routed at no cost and make life more comfortable for everyone, but I'm told the passengers won't like it because nobody else can make money out of their doing nothing.
Title: Re: Can science prevent global warming?
Post by: alancalverd on 14/01/2018 17:30:47
since then they have got stuck less often- not because the winters are snow-free, but because they made those investments in snow-proofing trains

Of all people, BC, I would have thought you the least likely to believe in magical nonsequiturs! Fact is that snow on rails has been replaced by wind blowing down overhead lines (come on, mate, you're supposed to agree with the warmists!). Such is the march of technology. Or was, until Hitachi brought their delicate tropical trains to the chilly East Coast.
Title: Re: Can science prevent global warming?
Post by: alancalverd on 14/01/2018 17:32:51
Quote from: alancalverd on Today at 15:43:10

    raw pee and poo accounts for a fair percentage of many non-European crops,

Not for long. The sodium levels are generally too high. You can do it if nobody  is eating a Western, salt filled diet.
Modify message

Aha! Geology speaks! 40,000 years is "not for long". Now that's my kind of argument.
Title: Re: Can science prevent global warming?
Post by: jeffreyH on 14/01/2018 18:39:02
I think the amount of CO2 used in keeping Trump's hair in place could easily be curtailed. Since he is also  pedal to the metal in the engine compartment maybe he should be ejected from the train altogether. As he falls the flapping of his unfastened hair could waft the excess CO2 safely off into space. Ready to suffocate the unfortunates who travel to his proposed moon base.
Title: Re: Can science prevent global warming?
Post by: Bored chemist on 14/01/2018 19:27:26
Quote from: alancalverd on Today at 15:43:10

    raw pee and poo accounts for a fair percentage of many non-European crops,

Not for long. The sodium levels are generally too high. You can do it if nobody  is eating a Western, salt filled diet.
Modify message

Aha! Geology speaks! 40,000 years is "not for long". Now that's my kind of argument.
You are now misrepresenting something said in reply to something irrelevant.

If you show me somewhere that people have piddled for 40,000 years, I will show you somewhere that the soil is too salty for plants. (Particularly if they have been eating an over-salted Western diet for 40,000 years).

The point, as you well know, was that someone sh1tting on the lawn doesn't improve it and someone filling the air with CO2 also doesn't improve that.
Title: Re: Can science prevent global warming?
Post by: puppypower on 14/01/2018 21:10:33
Why would you want to prevent global warming? I lived in many parts of the USA, from the Northeast to Florida. I currently live in the north, but enjoyed the climate ofTennessee  the most. It had long summers and some winter, with a little bit of snow. Tennessee gave about two extra months of pool weather compared to the north, but about many months less compared to Florida.

Global warming, if it pans out, would allow me to stay in the north, which is nice, while enjoying the climate of southern living. I would not mind if the winters were shorter and the summers, longer. Longer summers would means all the trees, plants and grass of the north would stay green for an extra 2 month per year, allowing the same number of plants to absorb more 20-40% more CO2. The system is designed to be self regulating.

If you look at the plot; below, of the earth's surface temperature and CO2 concentration over the past billion years, there is not always a direct correlation between a CO2 increase and a temperature increase. Often the correlation between CO2 and temperature goes in the opposite direction. High CO2 often cools the earth.

For example, look at the left side of the graph, the CO2 was near it all time recorded high, yet the temperature seemed to ignore this, and got cooler at the CO2 peak. We should call the earth a liar, since the experts know better.

Look from about 146 million years ago to about 45 million years ago, as the CO2 dropped over this time span of 100 million years, the temperate kept on going up; WTF. That is not supposed to happen in a greenhouse.

What this tells me is the current global warming analysis, used to spook people, is not well enough understood. The politicians and money changers may well create a larger problem, since the experts don't seen to know how this thing works based on how the earth has done this in the past. What allows both directions?
 
(https://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fc3headlines.typepad.com%2F.a%2F6a010536b58035970c017c37fa9895970b-pi&hash=3c96a49c6200d88e67ebf50c2d871bdb)

I heard of a study based on the impact of solar particles on the nucleation of water vapor to make clouds. In other words, the sun can play a role in the induction of clouds. Over clouding by the sun, will shade and then cool the earth. Therefore, the CO2 impact, can at times, get lost in the shuffle.
Title: Re: Can science prevent global warming?
Post by: Bored chemist on 14/01/2018 21:14:34
Why would you want to prevent global warming?
There are 8 pages of answers to that here
https://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=69994.0
so it doesn't make sense to rehash it in this thread.
Title: Re: Can science prevent global warming?
Post by: alancalverd on 14/01/2018 23:19:37
If you show me somewhere that people have piddled for 40,000 years, I will show you somewhere that the soil is too salty for plants. (Particularly if they have been eating an over-salted Western diet for 40,000 years).


India. But of course they haven't eaten a western diet. Nor, unlike every other mammal, do they excrete excess sodium, I guess.

Competitive tomato growers swear by human urine. I used to deal with a factory that had the most amazing tomato trees growing in the car park, thanks to a cracked soil pipe. But the Romans only brought toms to Britain about 2000 years ago, and the Victorian pipe was about 100 years old, so the fact that they were growing on pure pee and poo can be ignored.
Title: Re: Can science prevent global warming?
Post by: Bored chemist on 15/01/2018 22:25:50
If you show me somewhere that people have piddled for 40,000 years, I will show you somewhere that the soil is too salty for plants. (Particularly if they have been eating an over-salted Western diet for 40,000 years).


India. But of course they haven't eaten a western diet. Nor, unlike every other mammal, do they excrete excess sodium, I guess.

Competitive tomato growers swear by human urine. I used to deal with a factory that had the most amazing tomato trees growing in the car park, thanks to a cracked soil pipe. But the Romans only brought toms to Britain about 2000 years ago, and the Victorian pipe was about 100 years old, so the fact that they were growing on pure pee and poo can be ignored.
India is a bit big.
That's incredible
You found a car park where it doesn't rain and a drain fed from a toilet that's used, but never flushed with clean water.
Or you talk trash. I guess others will make up their own minds.

Meanwhile, back at the point, do you think turds are generally considered to improve the lawn?
Title: Re: Can science prevent global warming?
Post by: alancalverd on 02/03/2018 13:53:08
Meanwhile, back at the point, do you think turds are generally considered to improve the lawn?
I'm talking about food crops, not vanity patches and sports pitches! Though I remember having to play rugby early in the season when the summer dressing of minced pigshit hadn't all dispersed from the school fields.....very character-building, stuff of empire, etc..
Title: Re: Can science prevent global warming?
Post by: Bored chemist on 02/03/2018 17:58:56
Though I remember having to play rugby early in the season when the summer dressing of minced pigshit hadn't all dispersed from the school fields.....very character-building, stuff of empire, etc..
I will take that as a "no".
The same principle applies (to a greater or lesser extent) to all pollution.
It's a good idea to do less of it.
Title: Re: Can science prevent global warming?
Post by: alancalverd on 03/03/2018 08:38:04
Pollution, as defined by Bertrand Russell, is "stuff in the wrong place".   A diet of minced pigshit and other mysterious substances had certainly produced an excellent playing surface over the course of the last 100 years, so it was in the right place but we were there at the wrong time.

Old Oxbridge tale:

Tourist: "How do you get the lawn to look like that?"

Gardener; "You mows it and you rolls it, and every 200 years...."
Title: Re: Can science prevent global warming?
Post by: Bored chemist on 03/03/2018 13:02:31
Pollution, as defined by Bertrand Russell, is "stuff in the wrong place".
Not  a bad working definition.

The atmosphere is the wrong place for all the CO2 we have dumped into it.
Title: Re: Can science prevent global warming?
Post by: alancalverd on 03/03/2018 15:04:45
Au contraire, that's where it came from in the first place.
Title: Re: Can science prevent global warming?
Post by: Bored chemist on 03/03/2018 15:15:16
Not at any point hen humans were trying to live here.
Title: Re: Can science prevent global warming?
Post by: alancalverd on 03/03/2018 23:48:30
Humans are a mere blip in evolution, but AFAIK there is no reason why we couldn't live in a repeat of the carboniferous period.
Title: Re: Can science prevent global warming?
Post by: Bored chemist on 04/03/2018 09:43:45
Humans are a mere blip in evolution, but AFAIK there is no reason why we couldn't live in a repeat of the carboniferous period.
We usually consider ourselves to be an important blip- that's the whole tenet of this thread.

It's likely that we could survive in the carboniferous.
What we wouldn't survive is a rapid shift from the current climate to that of the carboniferous.
So, why raise that straw man?
Is it because you haven't a valid argument to use?
Title: Re: Can science prevent global warming?
Post by: alancalverd on 04/03/2018 14:50:36
The Warmists generally argue in favour of an impending shift that will be too rapid for society to accommodate. How else can they get funding, other than by raising an alarm? Generally increased crop yields and the opening of the Northwest Passage won't lead to posh conferences and PhDs, but the devastation of island communities and the extinction of the polar bear will keep the cash registers ringing.

So if they are right (and HM tax collector can't afford for them to be wrong!) we are going to have to live in a carboniferous environment by 2016, or maybe 2030, or sometime....
Title: Re: Can science prevent global warming?
Post by: jeffreyH on 04/03/2018 18:01:10
I'd like to see how the fauna and flora are going to adapt to such a radical change. We don't really know how things are going to turn out.
Title: Re: Can science prevent global warming?
Post by: Bored chemist on 04/03/2018 18:47:20
The Warmists generally argue in favour of an impending shift that will be too rapid for society to accommodate.
So does the data
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:T_comp_61-90.pdf
Title: Re: Can science prevent global warming?
Post by: alancalverd on 04/03/2018 18:48:57
Other flora and fauna just move to higher ground/cooler climates/wetter/drier places or whatever. Humans starve or kill each other rather than migrate. That's why we are a temporary blip on evolution.
Title: Re: Can science prevent global warming?
Post by: Bored chemist on 04/03/2018 19:35:17
Other flora and fauna just move to higher ground/cooler climates/wetter/drier places or whatever. Humans starve or kill each other rather than migrate. That's why we are a temporary blip on evolution.
Well, it's just as well that some of us are trying to prevent the problem.
Fortunately most people wouldn't want to obstruct that goal.
Title: Re: Can science prevent global warming?
Post by: alancalverd on 04/03/2018 23:22:50
I have proposed a perfectly straightforward, zero cost, zero risk experiment to test the hypothesis of CO2 forcing and make an immediate impact on the problem. The experiment has been supported by the World Bank, the United Nations Food & Agriculture Organisation, and HM Treasury, to name but a few sensible people who have studied it. But it won't happen because it is zero cost and might just prove fatal to several careers in politics and climate scaremongering.
Title: Re: Can science prevent global warming?
Post by: Bored chemist on 05/03/2018 19:53:48
I have proposed a perfectly straightforward, zero cost, zero risk experiment to test the hypothesis of CO2 forcing and make an immediate impact on the problem. The experiment has been supported by the World Bank, the United Nations Food & Agriculture Organisation, and HM Treasury, to name but a few sensible people who have studied it. But it won't happen because it is zero cost and might just prove fatal to several careers in politics and climate scaremongering.
I may regret this but...
What's the experiment?
Title: Re: Can science prevent global warming?
Post by: alancalverd on 05/03/2018 22:47:41
Farm animals are a major source of anthropogenic carbon dioxide. Estimates vary from 18% of all anthro-CO2 (UNFAO) to over 50% (Goodall & Anfang, World Bank), depending on whether you measure animal exhalate only or factor in the fossil fuels used in farming, processing, storing, distributing and cooking meat, plus the opportunity cost of carbon sequestration in vegetable substitutes. My own estimate was 25% (Physics World 18, 7 (2005)) based purely on animal metabolic rates but, in retrospect, possibly overestimating the number of live chickens - 20% may be a better figure for "raw exhalate".

As any vegetarian will tell you, these animals are entirely unnecessary to human existence. A few small tribes can only survive by herding wild animals, but the vast majority of us could get all the nutrition we need directly from plants.

So the simple experiment is to eliminate farmed meat from our diet for as long as the Warmists say it will take to have a noticeable effect on climate, and see if it does. We can preserve breeding stock and repopulate the meat farms within 5 years if we don't like the result.

Who we? Everyone. So this has to be a truly intergovernmental policy, which is one reason why it won't happen. The other is that there is too much political capital and taxpayers' money already invested in not investigating the question: no signatory to Kyoto, Paris, Copenhagen  or any other meaningless protocol can afford a negative outcome of the experiment.

So in answer to the original question, I don't think science can prevent climate change but it can certainly investigate one supposed cause (and I'd be happy to be proved wrong), but the investigation will never take place (in case I'm right).
Title: Re: Can science prevent global warming?
Post by: jeffreyH on 06/03/2018 13:23:46
And if there was sod all effect after the experiment they would be forced into investigating another cause. One which is much harder to monetise.
Title: Re: Can science prevent global warming?
Post by: Bored chemist on 06/03/2018 19:32:38
simple experiment is to eliminate farmed meat from our diet
Conceptually, that's a simple experiment.
However, it's impossible.

Also, you called it " zero cost ".
How are you going to compensate the meat farmers without incurring costs?

Do you have any ideas that would actually work?
Title: Re: Can science prevent global warming?
Post by: noplaneta4 on 10/07/2018 21:18:23
Combating a warming world requires a portfolio of strategies, including exploring innovative new approaches to apply science and engineering, according to a new report from the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA). The report warns that focusing solely on reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions is too inflexible and politically unrealistic.
If combating potentially harmful global warming requires substantially reducing CO2 emissions, then we will likely lose the fight, said Pete Geddes, executive vice president of the Foundation for Research on Economics and the Environment and an NCPA adjunct scholar who authored the report. We need to begin treating the illness, and stop focusing all our energies on the underlying cause or debating its origin.

CO2, a potent greenhouse gas, helps warm the planet. Recently, the burning of fossil fuels has pushed atmospheric levels of CO2 from approximately 280 parts per million (ppm) at the start of the Industrial Revolution to approximately 380 ppm today. Over the next few decades CO2 levels will continue to increase.

This worries scientists who argue that increasing CO2 emissions are raising global temperatures substantially and later in the century could result in a variety of problems, including rising sea levels and the spread of tropical diseases.

Worse still, there is a small possibility of abrupt and catastrophic change over one or two decades, including the sudden disintegration of the Greenland or West Antarctic ice sheets, causing a rapid, many-meter rise in sea levels.

Yet according to the NCPA report, this would happen over too short a time to reduce the damage through CO2 emissions reductions, particularly with the prospect of increasing energy use in the developing world over the next 50 years.

In 1992 the National Academy of Sciences recommended three geoengineering options worth exploring: reforestation, directly screening out some sunlight and increasing ocean absorption of CO2.

-- Reforestation. Through photosynthesis, trees remove CO2 from the atmosphere, thus reforestation (and reduced deforestation) can play an important role in offsetting carbon emissions. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates reforestation could remove the carbon equivalent to about 10 percent to 20 percent of projected fossil fuel emissions by 2050.

-- Atmospheric Sun Screens. Volcanic eruptions that release massive amounts of sulfur dioxide (SO2) into the atmosphere provide a natural cooling effect, because SO2 eventually turns into highly reflective solid particles that bounce solar radiation back into space. One proposal to mimic this effect would be to increase the planets reflectivity by putting tiny particles of silicon dioxide (basically, kitty litter) into the stratosphere.

Other proposals to reduce the solar radiation reaching the Earth include putting a large mirror or shade into orbit between the Sun and the Earth, or placing trillions of small transparent sheets in orbit to reduce the sunlight reaching the Earths surface by 2 percent (sufficient to offset warming even with a doubling of CO2), or laying a reflective film over much of the planets deserts.

-- Ocean Absorption. A third idea is to add iron to the upper layers of the ocean. Iron acts as a fertilizer, increasing the growth of phytoplankton which, like all plants, creates carbon compounds by removing CO2 from the atmosphere. The resulting algal blooms, when they sink, would take carbon to the sea floor, essentially storing it away.

If we are to truly fix our climate, we cannot dismiss these options out-of-hand, said Geddes. Its time to think outside our soapbox.