Are climate skeptics right that there is no link between CO2 levels and temperature?

  • 679 Replies
  • 63618 Views

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

*

Offline thedoc

  • Forum Admin
  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • 513
    • View Profile
David Jones asked the Naked Scientists:
   Dear Chris, I have watched a youtube video called The Great Global Warming Swindle which puts forward convincing evidence that there is no correlation between CO2 levels and rising temperatures. Featured on the programme are Nigel Lawson, Nigel Calder (ex New Scientist Editor), Patrick Moore (founder of GreenPeace). They actually show graphs that say that over long periods of time, temperatures rise and THEN, 800 years later CO2 levels rise. They also show eveidence that states in the 1940s to 1970s when CO2 levels rose significantly, temps dropped. They also show a direct correlation between temperature rises and sun spot activity. How can climate change scientists refute these facts? Please explain. Thanks Hywel Jones
What do you think?
« Last Edit: 03/02/2016 00:50:12 by _system »

*

Offline chris

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 5425
  • The Naked Scientist
    • View Profile
    • The Naked Scientists
Have you got the references / copies of the graphs to which you are referring? It would be helpful to see the material that was presented and attempt to establish whether the correct conclusions were being drawn.

As a general rule, temperature follows CO2. Draw-down of CO2 by mountain weathering causes global cooling; rising CO2, from a range of sources, is associated with rising global temperatures consistent with heat trapping.
I never forget a face, but in your case I'll make an exception - Groucho Marx

*

Offline alancalverd

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • 4912
  • life is too short to drink instant coffee
    • View Profile
The best historic data comes from the Vostok ice cores, which clearly show the 800-year lag (I estimated it at 500 years, but it's a lag, anyway) between the very sharp rises in T and the somewhat slower increases in CO2. The cooling lag is less spectacular but of similar magnitude.

You need a positive feedback mechanism to produce a sharp temperature rise, and the water cycle provides exactly that, whereas CO2 does not. You also need to postulate a mechanism for the subsequent cooling, which again makes sense if H2O is the driver, but not CO2.   

Moving from million-year to annual measurements, the Mauna Loa data shows a cyclic annual fluctuation of CO2 in addition to a slow general trend. The peak CO2 level occurs in summer, whereas peak anthropogenic emission is obviously in winter. The obvious (to me anyway, but I'm only a scientist, not a priest* or a politician**) explanation is that insects and other coldblooded creatures are more active in summer, converting plant material to CO2. Thus temperature controls CO2, not the other way around.

I could mither on about the physics of infrared absorption and reflection, but the subject was clearly beyond the comprehension of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, who admitted in their first report that water was obviously the overwhelming greenhouse gas but as they couldn't model its very complex physics, they would ignore it. Probably the most important footnote in history.


*priest - someone who makes a living by telling you it's all your fault
**politician - someone who makes a living by taxing you


PS apropos mountain weathering, where did all that chalk come from? Once upon a time there must have been a hell of a lot more CO2 in the atmosphere, and far from disaster, it produced the South Downs, Dover, East Anglia....
helping to stem the tide of ignorance

*

Offline chiralSPO

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • 1936
    • View Profile
Quote

Moving from million-year to annual measurements, the Mauna Loa data shows a cyclic annual fluctuation of CO2 in addition to a slow general trend. The peak CO2 level occurs in summer, whereas peak anthropogenic emission is obviously in winter. The obvious (to me anyway, but I'm only a scientist, not a priest or a politician) explanation is that insects and other coldblooded creatures are more active in summer, converting plant material to CO2. Thus temperature controls CO2, not the other way around.


The annual fluctuation is easily explained by natural phenomena. Anthropogenic CO2 emissions are a very small component of the overall CO2 cycle (but by no means negligible).

Deciduous forests are the cause of the annual cycle. There are many more deciduous trees in the northern hemisphere than in the southern, and they absorb huge amounts of CO2 in the summer months. Then the leaves fall during autumn and decompose, releasing much of the CO2 back into the atmosphere.

As far as OP's question goes--it would be false to say that there is no link between atmospheric CO2 and global temperature. There are many links, including the greenhouse effect, whereby CO2 absorbs IR radiation and re-radiates back to the surface, as well as the solubility of CO2 in water (oceans) which is related to temperature.

The key here is that it is a very complex relationship. I am a chemist, not a climatologist, so I will stop my analysis there.

*

Offline alancalverd

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • 4912
  • life is too short to drink instant coffee
    • View Profile
There are many more deciduous trees in the northern hemisphere than in the southern, and they absorb huge amounts of CO2 in the summer months.

So why does the Mauna Loa data show exactly the opposite?
helping to stem the tide of ignorance

*

Offline chiralSPO

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • 1936
    • View Profile
There are many more deciduous trees in the northern hemisphere than in the southern, and they absorb huge amounts of CO2 in the summer months.

So why does the Mauna Loa data show exactly the opposite?


It does not say the opposite. See the attached image, which shows the greatest decline (rate) in CO2 concentration during the July and August, and the greatest increase (rate) during December and January.

*

Offline alancalverd

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • 4912
  • life is too short to drink instant coffee
    • View Profile
You need to remove the underlying upward trend to see the seasonal cycle more clearly.

The question in my mind is why the concentration of CO2 rises during the period of most rapid growth of vegetation (Jan-June) when anthropogenic emission is decreasing, and declines throughout the fall/harvest/winter period with a minimum in October/November when deciduous trees are dormant and anthropogenic emission is increasing. Surely that is counterintuitive and suggests that there must be a third mechanism involved? Or are farmers so completely deluded that they harvest in August/September when the plants are actually growing most rapidly?
« Last Edit: 07/02/2016 00:17:17 by alancalverd »
helping to stem the tide of ignorance

*

Offline Tim the Plumber

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 272
    • View Profile
David Jones asked the Naked Scientists:
   Dear Chris, I have watched a youtube video called The Great Global Warming Swindle which puts forward convincing evidence that there is no correlation between CO2 levels and rising temperatures. Featured on the programme are Nigel Lawson, Nigel Calder (ex New Scientist Editor), Patrick Moore (founder of GreenPeace). They actually show graphs that say that over long periods of time, temperatures rise and THEN, 800 years later CO2 levels rise. They also show eveidence that states in the 1940s to 1970s when CO2 levels rose significantly, temps dropped. They also show a direct correlation between temperature rises and sun spot activity. How can climate change scientists refute these facts? Please explain. Thanks Hywel Jones
What do you think?

I think the link between CO2 and temperature is 97% drivel.

3% true.

There seems to be some slight temperature increase due to increased CO2. Nothing at all to worry about though.

*

Offline Craig W. Thomson

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 370
    • View Profile
David Jones asked the Naked Scientists:
   Dear Chris, I have watched a youtube video called The Great Global Warming Swindle which puts forward convincing evidence that there is no correlation between CO2 levels and rising temperatures. Featured on the programme are Nigel Lawson, Nigel Calder (ex New Scientist Editor), Patrick Moore (founder of GreenPeace). They actually show graphs that say that over long periods of time, temperatures rise and THEN, 800 years later CO2 levels rise. They also show eveidence that states in the 1940s to 1970s when CO2 levels rose significantly, temps dropped. They also show a direct correlation between temperature rises and sun spot activity. How can climate change scientists refute these facts? Please explain. Thanks Hywel Jones
What do you think?
They might actually be right about long term changes and those time periods, but they are conveniently overlooking one simple fact: We've applied combustion to tens or hundreds of millions of years worth of fossil fuels in just 150 years to power the Industrial Revolution, so "long periods of time" and "800 years" don't apply to current changes. This sort of environmental change is unprecedented. It produces both heat AND carbon dioxide. Even the rise of the first photosynthetic organisms didn't change the atmosphere this fast. In fact, the atmosphere's carbon dioxide content and temperature move in lockstep, and have for at least 800,000 years.

https://robertscribbler.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/ice-core-co2-record-800000-years.jpg

That's enough to refute the skeptics' arguments. If the range from 320 parts per million to 400 parts per million was part of the natural range of carbon dioxide, we wouldn't be seeing levels this high for the first time in 800,000 years. There would be other readings like that.

*

Offline Craig W. Thomson

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 370
    • View Profile
I think the link between CO2 and temperature is 97% drivel.

3% true.

There seems to be some slight temperature increase due to increased CO2. Nothing at all to worry about though.
The only science plumbers have to know is that crap flows downhill. Politicians don't even have to know that much. Talk about the blind leading the blind.

Take a look at the periodic table of elements. Different atoms have different properties, lining them up in nice, neat columns. Put those atoms together into molecules, and those molecules have specific properties too. One of the things that makes a carbon dioxide molecule special is that it is particularly good at absorbing long-wave radiation, or heat energy, then re-releasing it. That has a tendency to keep heat from escaping into space, trapping enough to make the planet habitable. Without carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the planet would be too cool for life. Too much carbon dioxide, and the planet gets too hot for life.

Shrugging that off as nothing to worry about is 100% drivel.
« Last Edit: 05/03/2016 15:29:48 by Craig W. Thomson »

*

Offline Craig W. Thomson

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 370
    • View Profile
You need to remove the underlying upward trend to see the seasonal cycle more clearly.

The question in my mind is why the concentration of CO2 rises during the period of most rapid growth of vegetation (Jan-June) when anthropogenic emission is decreasing, and declines throughout the fall/harvest/winter period with a minimum in October/November when deciduous trees are dormant and anthropogenic emission is increasing. Surely that is counterintuitive and suggests that there must be a third mechanism involved? Or are farmers so completely deluded that they harvest in August/September when the plants are actually growing most rapidly?
Interesting, I have never really thought about it that way. I'd like to take a stab at guessing the cause. Temperature of the ocean. I don't like watering my house plants with tap water because of the chlorine and chemicals, but I'm too cheap to buy them bottled water. My alternative is to run hot water into a vessel, then leave it sitting around for a while until it's cool. The high temperature makes the chlorine and gases evaporate faster, leaving you with something closer to natural water. It even tastes better. Similarly, I would assume that when the ocean is cooler, it is better at absorbing carbon dioxide, less efficient when it is warm.

One more guess: It might have something to do with the distribution of agriculture and population. I'm pretty sure the vast majority of agriculture takes place in the Northern hemisphere. Circulation in the two hemispheres is somewhat independent. The equator is not a "hard" atmospheric boundary, but it is a boundary nonetheless. Coupled with uneven distribution of both land masses and water surface in the Northern and Southern hemispheres, that could explain a lot. Remember, the ozone hole was something that recurred on a yearly basis, but only at the South pole, and there aren't any people or hair spray in Antarctica.

One more guess, and this is a pretty wild one: Some human populations still rely on inefficient sources of heat when it is cold, like burning wood. So, depending on what population in which hemisphere is experiencing winter, you might have a higher or lower percentage of people releasing more or less carbon dioxide per capita, and natural absorption processes then either start to catch up or fall behind.
« Last Edit: 05/03/2016 15:55:43 by Craig W. Thomson »

*

Offline alancalverd

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • 4912
  • life is too short to drink instant coffee
    • View Profile
One more guess, and this is a pretty wild one: Some human populations still rely on inefficient sources of heat when it is cold, like burning wood. So, depending on what population in which hemisphere is experiencing winter, you might have a higher or lower percentage of people releasing more or less carbon dioxide per capita, and natural absorption processes then either start to catch up or fall behind.

Exactly my point. Mauna Loa is in the northern hemisphere, so we'd expect the greatest concentration of anthropogenic CO2 to be in the northern winter. But the maximum is in the warmest, not the coldest months. So it's pretty clear that temperature is driving some nonhuman source of CO2 that is more significant than the anthropogenic one.
helping to stem the tide of ignorance

*

Offline wolfekeeper

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 1093
    • View Profile
The question in my mind is why the concentration of CO2 rises during the period of most rapid growth of vegetation (Jan-June) when anthropogenic emission is decreasing, and declines throughout the fall/harvest/winter period with a minimum in October/November when deciduous trees are dormant and anthropogenic emission is increasing. Surely that is counterintuitive and suggests that there must be a third mechanism involved? Or are farmers so completely deluded that they harvest in August/September when the plants are actually growing most rapidly?
There's going to be a lag relative to the growing season; the material that grows in the peak growing season is going to take a while to break down, and will still be breakng down while new growth is happening.

For example leaves fall off the trees and goes into the soil and then a lot of it gets oxidised by bacteria; it's going to take months and months.

*

Offline chiralSPO

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • 1936
    • View Profile
are farmers so completely deluded that they harvest in August/September when the plants are actually growing most rapidly?

Farmers aren't looking to maximize total accumulated biomass, they are looking to maximize edibility of their crop. Therefore, I think farmers harvest whenever the fruits (or veggies) are ready. Peaches in the summertime, apples in the fall... For annuals like corn, it makes sense to me that the best yield would be found at the time of year when growth is fastest--why sit around waiting for every last drop of sunshine when the bugs won't?

But let's not get distracted by a non-issue.

Yes, there are multiple mechanisms that are crucial to the carbon cycle, and anthropogenic emissions are one of the least significant in terms of magnitude (the rates of change in CO2 concentration within the annual cycle totally dwarfs the overall slope of the multi-year trend-line). But if we look at cumulative contributions over years, suddenly the slow and steady anthropogenic emissions start to have more of an effect than the nearly perfectly balanced ebb and flow of the dynamic equilibrium that was established millennia before the first coal mine opened, and has remained mostly stable until we perturbed it.

Obviously there are also long-term variations in global climate, and the composition of the atmosphere has changed dramatically many times over the last 4 billion years. But, as I understand it, each time there was a rapid change in the composition, there was an associated mass-extinction. For instance, the "oxygen holocaust" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Oxygenation_Event, which was precipitated by photosynthetic organisms converting CO2 into O2 and biomass. Oxygen was quite toxic to most life at the time, but the major issue (as I understand it) was that the global temperature dropped precipitously because of the sudden decrease in atmospheric CO2 and CH4. You might be able to imagine why some of us view the exact opposite process with some trepidation...

*

Offline alancalverd

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • 4912
  • life is too short to drink instant coffee
    • View Profile
Here, on the other hand, is a recent finding that may explain a lot:

http://goo.gl/93BWOD

shows that melting of Antarctic ice releases huge quantities of CO2. There's no reason why this shouldn't also apply to seasonal melting of Arctic ice, so once again we would expect to find a positive correlation between temperature and CO2, but with temperature being the driver.

This is fortunate as it brings chemistry, geology and climatology into line with the known physics of water and carbon dioxide.

Fixed a hyperlink - mod
« Last Edit: 06/03/2016 10:00:07 by evan_au »
helping to stem the tide of ignorance

*

Offline evan_au

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 4316
    • View Profile
For a somewhat humorous take on the debate, listen to the Infinite Monkey Cage, with Brian Cox (30 minutes).

They discuss the impact that the somewhat erratic El Nino Southern Oscillation has on global temperatures.

One of their panel points out that CO2 levels are the highest that they have been in recent human history (mostly due to burning fossil fuels). Also, 14 of the hottest 15 years in human history have occurred since the year 2000. They suggest that this is not a coincidence, but there is a causal link.

*

Offline alancalverd

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • 4912
  • life is too short to drink instant coffee
    • View Profile
Usual response here:

1. Please define global mean temperature and explain how it has been measured throughout human history, or state what parameter has actually been used.

2. Explain the seasonal variation in Mauna Loa CO2 concentration if anthropgenic CO2 is a signficant contributor.

3. Remember that a causal relationship demands (a) a lag between cause and effect and (b) a concomitant reduction in effect with a simiilar lag  characteristic when the cause is reduced.

4. Never mind human history, ice core data suggests CO2 lags 100 - 500 years behind temperature so it can't be a driver.

All of which suggests that the most honest explanation of the status quo, based purely on evidence, is coincidence, not causality.
helping to stem the tide of ignorance

*

Offline Craig W. Thomson

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 370
    • View Profile
So it's pretty clear that temperature is driving some nonhuman source of CO2 that is more significant than the anthropogenic one.
Not quoting any sources here, just regurgitating a bunch of stuff I already know, so I'm not posting any links. There are a lot of feedback loops driving this phenomenon. One good example is the melting of permafrost. The more CO2 we release, the hotter it gets, permafrost melts and glaciers recede, exposing dead and decomposing matter, which releases CO2. If it gets hot enough to wither and destroy trees (I saw this happen to a lot of oak trees in Texas several years back), they release CO2, or they start to get eaten by termites, which releases CO2, etc. A hotter ocean is less likely to absorb CO2. Then you have things like the albedo effect, so the less ice there is to reflect heat back into space, the more stays here to make it hot, releasing even more CO2.

I am also aware that CO2 emissions can come from volcanic activity. I have read online many times before that the amount of CO2 added by all the world's volcanoes is smaller than our economic contributions, but having said that, I am a firm believer that shifting the mass of thousands of cubic miles of melting ice from land masses to the ocean can change the pressure on tectonic plates enough to trigger earthquakes and volcanoes. Perhaps this could be adding some CO2 as well, but in that case, I'm more worried about FUTURE contributions than present ones.

*

Offline Craig W. Thomson

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 370
    • View Profile
3. Remember that a causal relationship demands (a) a lag between cause and effect and (b) a concomitant reduction in effect with a simiilar lag  characteristic when the cause is reduced.

4. Never mind human history, ice core data suggests CO2 lags 100 - 500 years behind temperature so it can't be a driver.

All of which suggests that the most honest explanation of the status quo, based purely on evidence, is coincidence, not causality.
After 800,000 years of not rising above about 320 parts per million, in the 150 years since the start of the Industrial Revolution, CO2 content has risen above 400 ppm, a full 20% higher than it was in any of those ice core samples.

I've said this a bazillion times before, and I almost always get somebody who want to argue about it, but the simple fact is, when you apply combustion to 100 million years worth of fossil fuels, that produces a lot of HEAT, not just CO2 to trap the heat. That's the source of your "temperature driven CO2 release." Nothing in the history of the planet has ever led to the mass/energy conversion of 100 million years worth of fossil fuels in 150 years. This is clearly causality, not coincidence.

The "lag" you spoke of means nothing here. The exponential growth rate of our population and resource consumption has overwhelmed the natural balance mechanisms and normal lag times. The Earth has a fever, and we are the organism causing it.
« Last Edit: 06/03/2016 16:12:42 by Craig W. Thomson »

*

Offline Craig W. Thomson

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 370
    • View Profile

Farmers aren't looking to maximize total accumulated biomass, they are looking to maximize edibility of their crop. Therefore, I think farmers harvest whenever the fruits (or veggies) are ready. Peaches in the summertime, apples in the fall... For annuals like corn, it makes sense to me that the best yield would be found at the time of year when growth is fastest--why sit around waiting for every last drop of sunshine when the bugs won't?

But let's not get distracted by a non-issue.
Your response made me think of something I think has been overlooked. When we harvest things like wheat and corn, we don't eat the whole plant. We take the edible grain and throw away the rest. Same with crops like tomatoes or green beans, we pick the edible fruit, the rest of the plant withers and decays. It's not the grain and fruit that contains the most greenhouse gases, but rather the green parts of the plant, like the grass that cows eat. I'm not a farmer or agriculturist, but it seems like "crop waste" of this sort could contribute a fairly large amount of CO2.

*

Offline Tim the Plumber

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 272
    • View Profile
I think the link between CO2 and temperature is 97% drivel.

3% true.

There seems to be some slight temperature increase due to increased CO2. Nothing at all to worry about though.
The only science plumbers have to know is that crap flows downhill. Politicians don't even have to know that much. Talk about the blind leading the blind.

Take a look at the periodic table of elements. Different atoms have different properties, lining them up in nice, neat columns. Put those atoms together into molecules, and those molecules have specific properties too. One of the things that makes a carbon dioxide molecule special is that it is particularly good at absorbing long-wave radiation, or heat energy, then re-releasing it. That has a tendency to keep heat from escaping into space, trapping enough to make the planet habitable. Without carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the planet would be too cool for life. Too much carbon dioxide, and the planet gets too hot for life.

Shrugging that off as nothing to worry about is 100% drivel.

Given your huge level of arrogance you can then tell us lower life forms what exactly the world's climate sensitivity to CO2 is?

I would appreaciate a number which is more precise that the IPCC's range of a factor of 5 or so.

*

Offline Tim the Plumber

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 272
    • View Profile
Here, on the other hand, is a recent finding that may explain a lot:



shows that melting of Antarctic ice releases huge quantities of CO2. There's no reason why this shouldn't also apply to seasonal melting of Arctic ice, so once again we would expect to find a positive correlation between temperature and CO2, but with temperature being the driver.

This is fortunate as it brings chemistry, geology and climatology into line with the known physics of water and carbon dioxide.



The Antarctic is increasing in ice mass.

*

Offline Craig W. Thomson

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 370
    • View Profile
The Antarctic is increasing in ice mass.
Is that what's turning your letters blue?

You clearly don't want to listen to sense and have a strong tendency toward confirmation biases, but let me explain this for you anyway. The Antarctic is MELTING. Guess what? Water doesn't take salt with it when it evaporates. That snow and ice on Antartica is FRESH water. Fresh water is less dense than salt water, and freezes faster. So, you get seasonal, temporary ice shelf when melted fresh water freezes for a while just off the Antarctic coast. This new ice will eventually melt and mix with the ocean. It is NOT permanent ice pack. It is a fleeting skin of frozen fresh water, not proof Antarctica is growing in ice mass.

*

Offline Craig W. Thomson

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 370
    • View Profile

Given your huge level of arrogance you can then tell us lower life forms what exactly the world's climate sensitivity to CO2 is?
It's not arrogance. It's indignation, because arrogant people like you think they know more than scientists. After 25+ years of arguing with people like you, I've had it up to here. I've got news for you, pal. When they say 97% of climate scientists agree that anthropogenic climate change is real, that's not just liberal scientists. That is the INTERNATIONAL panel on climate change. That means scientists in countries like China and Russia are included, not just socialist European countries and liberal Democracies. Scientists and all over the world agree.

This isn't about politics. It's about reality. When you apply combustion to 100 million years worth of fossil fuels, you are going to get some extra heat and carbon dioxide from it. In the simplest terms possible, burning stuff produces heat and smoke, burning a trillion tons of stuff produces a LOT of heat and smoke, end of story. Now, if you're not smart or educated enough to understand that simple fact, then you're never going to be able to politically un-brainwash yourself, so I suggest you leave this science forum immediately and go unclog some toilets.
« Last Edit: 06/03/2016 17:12:08 by Craig W. Thomson »

*

Offline Craig W. Thomson

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 370
    • View Profile
There are many more deciduous trees in the northern hemisphere than in the southern, and they absorb huge amounts of CO2 in the summer months.

So why does the Mauna Loa data show exactly the opposite?
To the best of my knowledge, they picked Mauna Loa specifically because it was way out in the middle of the ocean, far away from things like large deciduous forests and dense urban metropolises, and I also notice that it's not that far from the "intertropical convergence zone." As such, it's one of the best locations on the globe to get a sense of an "average" reading of CO2 content of the atmosphere, as air arriving in Hawaii has been thoroughly mixed by air currents by the time it gets there.

*

Offline Craig W. Thomson

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 370
    • View Profile
They also show a direct correlation between temperature rises and sun spot activity.
So, if that's true, we know what sunspot activity has been like for the last 800,000 years.

https://robertscribbler.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/ice-core-co2-record-800000-years.jpg

Just trace either one of those two graphs, and you have a plot of sunspot activity all the way back to Neanderthals.

By the way, I'm totally being sarcastic right now. Just thought I should qualify my statement, based on previous experience.
« Last Edit: 06/03/2016 17:35:31 by Craig W. Thomson »

*

Offline alancalverd

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • 4912
  • life is too short to drink instant coffee
    • View Profile
Farmers aren't looking to maximize total accumulated biomass, they are looking to maximize edibility of their crop. Therefore, I think farmers harvest whenever the fruits (or veggies) are ready. Peaches in the summertime, apples in the fall... For annuals like corn, it makes sense to me that the best yield would be found at the time of year when growth is fastest--why sit around waiting for every last drop of sunshine when the bugs won't?
On my planet, or at least the northern hemisphere of it, most crop is harvested in the third quarter of the solar year. Some soft fruit ripens earlier and it's a good idea to eat it before the birds do, but apples, wheat, barley, corn, rice, potatoes, grapes, olives, and indeed pretty much everything we eat, is harvested from mid-August to mid-October, by which time the plants have slowed or stopped growing. And Seville oranges are harvested from December, when the trees are completely dormant.
helping to stem the tide of ignorance

*

Offline alancalverd

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • 4912
  • life is too short to drink instant coffee
    • View Profile
To the best of my knowledge, they picked Mauna Loa specifically because it was way out in the middle of the ocean, far away from things like large deciduous forests and dense urban metropolises, and I also notice that it's not that far from the "intertropical convergence zone." As such, it's one of the best locations on the globe to get a sense of an "average" reading of CO2 content of the atmosphere, as air arriving in Hawaii has been thoroughly mixed by air currents by the time it gets there.

Absolutely. So it's a good measure of the average concentration of everything, except that there's very little exchange of gases across the equator and at 19.5 deg north their measuirements are dominated by the northern hemisphere climate.
helping to stem the tide of ignorance

*

Offline wolfekeeper

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 1093
    • View Profile
Your response made me think of something I think has been overlooked. When we harvest things like wheat and corn, we don't eat the whole plant. We take the edible grain and throw away the rest. Same with crops like tomatoes or green beans, we pick the edible fruit, the rest of the plant withers and decays. It's not the grain and fruit that contains the most greenhouse gases, but rather the green parts of the plant, like the grass that cows eat. I'm not a farmer or agriculturist, but it seems like "crop waste" of this sort could contribute a fairly large amount of CO2.
No.

That CO2 was sucked out of the atmosphere by the plant when it grew, and is released back there when the material breaks down, so (with some subtle caveats relating to boundary conditions) there's no net effect.

*

Offline Craig W. Thomson

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 370
    • View Profile
Your response made me think of something I think has been overlooked. When we harvest things like wheat and corn, we don't eat the whole plant. We take the edible grain and throw away the rest. Same with crops like tomatoes or green beans, we pick the edible fruit, the rest of the plant withers and decays. It's not the grain and fruit that contains the most greenhouse gases, but rather the green parts of the plant, like the grass that cows eat. I'm not a farmer or agriculturist, but it seems like "crop waste" of this sort could contribute a fairly large amount of CO2.
No.

That CO2 was sucked out of the atmosphere by the plant when it grew, and is released back there when the material breaks down, so (with some subtle caveats relating to boundary conditions) there's no net effect.
Correct, except I wasn't talking about a "net" effect. I was talking about the seasonal fluctuations mentioned by another poster. He suggested it's counterintuitive how CO2 goes up and down in relation to crop harvests, so I suggested this as an explanation. We grow crops, CO2 comes out of the atmosphere. We harvest the crops, CO2 goes back in. I never said anything about a net effect.

Edit: Here's the quote I was responding to from alancalverd:

"The question in my mind is why the concentration of CO2 rises during the period of most rapid growth of vegetation (Jan-June) when anthropogenic emission is decreasing, and declines throughout the fall/harvest/winter period with a minimum in October/November when deciduous trees are dormant and anthropogenic emission is increasing. Surely that is counterintuitive and suggests that there must be a third mechanism involved?"
« Last Edit: 07/03/2016 15:22:08 by Craig W. Thomson »

*

Offline JoeBrown

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 154
  • Does everything simple always gotta be so complex?
    • View Profile
Analysis of past coČ release following a global thaw most likely is a consequence of carbon fossils frozen, then decomposing after a severe freeze. Takes a while for carbon absorbing life forms to get a foot hold on carbon released from carbon trapped in long term permafrost.

But you have to understand way back then, there weren't ppl cutting down forests upon forests, which capture carbon, nor were there ppl burning billions of fossils every day either...

We don't know the "exact" balance necessary to maintain climate we prefer, ocean temperatures (IMO) are the leading indicator of change that will affect our ability to enjoy the climate we currently experience. 

The faster water evaporates from those bodies of water, the more extreme it will rain back down.  Rising oceans also means there is more surface area from which water will evaporate into the atmosphere.  In the near term the most pronounced effect of a changing climate is going to be in an increase of rainy weather.

Past analysis has some utility, but because human activity didn't exist in previous episodes of freezing and thawing of Earth, such comparison are like comparing apples to ozarks.
« Last Edit: 07/03/2016 17:36:20 by JoeBrown »
Does everything simple always gotta be so complex?

*

Offline puppypower

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 597
    • View Profile
I think the link between CO2 and temperature is 97% drivel.

3% true.

There seems to be some slight temperature increase due to increased CO2. Nothing at all to worry about though.
The only science plumbers have to know is that crap flows downhill. Politicians don't even have to know that much. Talk about the blind leading the blind.

Take a look at the periodic table of elements. Different atoms have different properties, lining them up in nice, neat columns. Put those atoms together into molecules, and those molecules have specific properties too. One of the things that makes a carbon dioxide molecule special is that it is particularly good at absorbing long-wave radiation, or heat energy, then re-releasing it. That has a tendency to keep heat from escaping into space, trapping enough to make the planet habitable. Without carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the planet would be too cool for life. Too much carbon dioxide, and the planet gets too hot for life.

Shrugging that off as nothing to worry about is 100% drivel.

If CO2 can absorb and release IR from the surface of the earth and act as an insulator, that means the CO2 should also be able to  do the same with the IR energy and heat coming from the sun. The CO2 should be able to absorb and reflect solar IR heat back into space. About 50% of the solar energy output is in the IR range.

The greenhouse analogy may not be an accurate visualization, since it implies transparent windows which trap the heat inside the greenhouse. This models CO2 as a one way IR valve. A better analogy may a greenhouse with windows that are covered in semi-opaque white plastic, which allows some light transmission but reflects heat in both directions. This type of greenhouse house never gets as hot as expected, since it traps less input heat than transparent windows. All the models predict 100-1200% more temperature rise than observed, which could be explained by the white plastic on the windows.

Water is the main thermal regulator of the earth. Below is the absorption spectrum of water: Water will absorb any X-rays from the sun. Water gets more transparent from UV into the visible spectrum, then it  begins to absorb heavily in the IR and microwave regions.


*

Offline JoeBrown

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 154
  • Does everything simple always gotta be so complex?
    • View Profile
If CO2 can absorb and release IR from the surface of the earth and act as an insulator, that means the CO2 should also be able to  do the same with the IR energy and heat coming from the sun. The CO2 should be able to absorb and reflect solar IR heat back into space. About 50% of the solar energy output is in the IR range.

COČ in the atmosphere is in the form of gas.  Most of the radiation from the sun (is not IR) becomes heat energy at the surface. Mostly by oceans (Earth surface is 71% ocean).

Much of this heat radiates back into space, through the cycle of weather (our climate).  Energy traveling at the speed of light doesn't like to stop in gases of the atmosphere. Some is absorbed and reflected there, but only a small fraction.

Because the composition of the atmosphere changes, its insulating capacity also changes.

We must appreciate this cycle, because it provides a nice climate for life.  The balance has changed, it is changing and will probably always be in a state of flux.  Human activity is increasing COČ in the atmosphere.  I suppose you can deny that fact every time you start your car or flip a light switch or charge your phone...  The FACT of the matter is: The bulk of human activity produces more COČ than its reclaimed by natural (or engineered) forces. 

This effects the balance (of the climate) on the planet, we call home.
« Last Edit: 08/03/2016 14:05:46 by JoeBrown »
Does everything simple always gotta be so complex?

*

Offline Craig W. Thomson

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 370
    • View Profile


If CO2 can absorb and release IR from the surface of the earth and act as an insulator, that means the CO2 should also be able to  do the same with the IR energy and heat coming from the sun. The CO2 should be able to absorb and reflect solar IR heat back into space. About 50% of the solar energy output is in the IR range.

The greenhouse analogy may not be an accurate visualization, since it implies transparent windows which trap the heat inside the greenhouse. This models CO2 as a one way IR valve. A better analogy may a greenhouse with windows that are covered in semi-opaque white plastic, which allows some light transmission but reflects heat in both directions. This type of greenhouse house never gets as hot as expected, since it traps less input heat than transparent windows. All the models predict 100-1200% more temperature rise than observed, which could be explained by the white plastic on the windows.

Water is the main thermal regulator of the earth. Below is the absorption spectrum of water: Water will absorb any X-rays from the sun. Water gets more transparent from UV into the visible spectrum, then it  begins to absorb heavily in the IR and microwave regions.
1) That's not how the so-called Greenhouse Effect works. A lot of the Sun's energy that would "bounce" off the Earth and back into space is what gets trapped.

2) Analogies are never perfect. That's what makes them analagies. You can't learn anything comparing a greenhouse to another greenhouse. They are both greenhouses, so of course they are the same. The atmosphere is "like" a greenhouse though it is not actually a greenhouse. It's still a useful comparison.

3) No, water is not the main thermal regulator of earth. Water is a wild card thermal regulator. Oceans absorb heat. However, frozen water, or ice, reflects the sun's light (albedo), causing a net cooling effect. Water molecules can act as a greenhouse gas, but on the other hand, clouds are white and produce shadows, so cloud cover can have a cooling effect. Melted fresh water running of Antarctica freezes faster than salt water, so temporary ice sheets form around Antarctica. The amount of water in the atmosphere can vary greatly; the other gases in the atmosphere regulate the climate, which would be unstable and irregular if water was the main thermal regulator.

*

Offline alancalverd

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • 4912
  • life is too short to drink instant coffee
    • View Profile
Sorry, Craig, but not even the IPCC can repeal the laws of physics. Water is the only significant greenhouse gas in the gas phase (see puppypower's graph) as it has umpteen different IR absorption bands due to the bent shape of the molecule and its abilioty to form dimers, trimers and all sorts of short-range associations even in the gas phase. H2O gas can account for about 10% of the mass of air.

CO2, being a rigid linear molecule of negligible concentration, is a trivial contributor to the greenhouse effect - as can be seen from the surface temperature of Mars.

The problem with water is that its concentration is variable and it exists in all three states (solid, liquid and gas) in the atmosphere, with so much energy involved in the phase transitions that it causes thunderstorms, hurricanes, and pretty much every atmospheric phenomenon you can think of that involves the transfer of energy below the tropopause, including heating and cooling the surface of the planet. Plus, as you mention, vast and largely unpredictable changes in albedo at all levels - just compare a cloudy night with a cloudfree one to see how much influence it has on infrared emission. 

Now the nice thing about CO2 is that it can be measured and only exists in one phase, so it's fun for pseudoscientists to play with, whilst the entire herd of elephants called H2O tramples through the sky causing weather, climate, and everything in between.

The one honest statement made by the IPCC was a footnote in their first report, admitting that they had no idea how to model the overwhelming effect of water, so they were going to ignore it.

Yes, there is a strong correlation between temperature and CO2, but all the science shows that temperature is the cause (thermostat) and CO2 is the effect (thermometer).  At least that was he case until recently when, during a coincidental warming period, homo sapiens started adding a bit more CO2 to the atmosphere and thus distorted the data.

But annoyingly for governments (who profit from "green" nonscience) the Mauna Loa data does not lie.

helping to stem the tide of ignorance

*

Offline cheryl j

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 1467
    • View Profile
I wont attempt to engage in an argument that I really don't understand anything about, but from a sort of Bayesian standpoint, why do you guys disagree with the world wide consensus on climate change - what is it that most climate scientists have gotten wrong and why? Or am I wrong in thinking there is a consensus that human activity and emissions is affecting climate?

*

Offline JoeBrown

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 154
  • Does everything simple always gotta be so complex?
    • View Profile
Cheryl, I think it has to do with human nature.  More specifically the addict's mentality.  A lot of ppl get stuck in the state of denial.  There's no reason to admit a problem, nor find a resolution if you don't have a problem.

Humans have become addicted to burning fuels, over the past few hundred years. Determining how long we can survive denial is a hot topic, even if the act of denial is ignored.

80 degrees Fahrenheit in Washington DC this early in March is going to give some "important" ppl pause.  Senator Jim Inhofe would probably eat his snowball, if it hadn't melted this early in the year.
« Last Edit: 09/03/2016 11:39:07 by JoeBrown »
Does everything simple always gotta be so complex?

*

Offline puppypower

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 597
    • View Profile
Quote
"The question in my mind is why the concentration of CO2 rises during the period of most rapid growth of vegetation (Jan-June) when anthropogenic emission is decreasing, and declines throughout the fall/harvest/winter period with a minimum in October/November when deciduous trees are dormant and anthropogenic emission is increasing. Surely that is counterintuitive and suggests that there must be a third mechanism involved?"

The image below shows the absorption spectrum of liquid water. The two peaks shown are connected to high and low density water, which both exist in liquid water. These differ by the nature of the hydrogen bonding in water clusters. Low density water (LDW) tends to form a more expanded hydrogen bonding network, while high density water (HDW) tends to form a more contracted hydrogen bonding network. Both exist in liquid water with the LDW due to more partial covalent character in the hydrogen bonds, while the HDW due to a more polar character in the hydrogen bonds.



The organics of the living state can induce both high and low density water based on surfaces. 

When CO2 dissolves in water, it forms weak hydrogen bonds with water. This bonding should form easier in HDW since this water has higher activity due to polar hydrogen bonds. HDW defines higher enthalpy and entropy and is more consistent with the transient nature of CO2 hydrogen bonding to water.

Quote
The CO2 may form a hydration shell from a symmetrical dodecahedral arrangement of 18 water molecules where each CO2 oxygen atom is hydrogen bonded to three water molecules. Such hydrogen bonding is likely to be weak, transient and exchanging between a continuum of structures. This allows some cooperation between the hydrogen bonding at both ends of the CO2 molecule.

Trees tend to give a cool feel to the earth, instead of making the earth warmer. In the top graph, this suggests the surfaces of leaves tend to induce LDW which absorbs less in the IR. The LDW is also less conducive to CO2 forming hydrogen bonds in water. This destabilizing of CO2 hydration in water is useful because the CO2 is released from the water cage for easier photosynthesis and  entry into the air.

As the plants slow photosynthesis in the fall, plant surfaces change, which will change the LDW/HDW equilibrium at the surface more in line with the higher ratio of HDW in pure water. This allows CO2 to form hydration cages causing the water of life to pick uo more CO2; for next year.


*

Offline Craig W. Thomson

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 370
    • View Profile
CO2, being a rigid linear molecule of negligible concentration, is a trivial contributor to the greenhouse effect - as can be seen from the surface temperature of Mars.

Yes, there is a strong correlation between temperature and CO2, but all the science shows that temperature is the cause (thermostat) and CO2 is the effect (thermometer).  At least that was he case until recently when, during a coincidental warming period, homo sapiens started adding a bit more CO2 to the atmosphere and thus distorted the data.
False. Mars has less surface area than the Earth, plus, it's about 50% farther from the Sun than we are, plus it has a thinner atmosphere that holds less heat. That's why it's colder.

False. Humans haven't contributed "a bit more" CO2 to the atmosphere. In about 50 years, CO2 levels have risen a full 20%, to 20% higher than they have been in at least 800,000 years that we know of.

There's a huge hole in your "coincidental warming period" idea. The Earth has been covered with oceans for hundreds of millions of years. There have always been clouds and rain to dissipate unevenly distributed warming in that atmosphere. That NEVER caused CO2 levels to rise above 320 ppm. Current CO2 levels and temperature rises are anthropogenic in nature. It's related to the fact that we've applied combustion to about 100 million years worth of fossil fuels in only 150 years, not a coincidence.

*

Offline alancalverd

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • 4912
  • life is too short to drink instant coffee
    • View Profile
False. Mars has less surface area than the Earth, plus, it's about 50% farther from the Sun than we are, plus it has a thinner atmosphere that holds less heat. That's why it's colder.
The partial pressure of CO2 on Mars is about 6 millibar. On Earth it is about 0.4 millibar. Correcting for the lower gravity of Mars means that the Martian atmosphere contains 37.5 times as much carbon dioxide per unit area as ours. Being twice as far from the sun means that it receives one quarter of the solar power input, so if CO2 is the principal determinant of surface termperature it should be hotter then Earth, not colder.

Anyway I've just found a really good reference http://joannenova.com.au/global-warming-2/ice-core-graph/ which is either a pack of lies or clear evidence that CO2 follows temperature, not the other way around. And if you look back at the Vostok data  you will find a few places where the temperature was higher than the present day, but the CO2 level was lower.
helping to stem the tide of ignorance

*

Offline alancalverd

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • 4912
  • life is too short to drink instant coffee
    • View Profile
I really don't understand anything about, but from a sort of Bayesian standpoint, why do you guys disagree with the world wide consensus on climate change - what is it that most climate scientists have gotten wrong and why?

(a) the physics of CO2-driven warming is nonsense

(b) ice core data (the only reliable historic record) shows that temperature fluctuations precede changes in the CO2 level

(c) there is no room for consensus in science: phlogiston, caloric, aether, geocentricity, and the impossibility of heavier-than-air flight are all matters of historic expert consensus, along with the 20th century statements of the US Academy of Science ("there is no conceivable military use for the airplane") and the British Academy ("five computers will suffice for the UK's needs"). Scientific progress is made by mavericks, not followers

(d) Geologically, we know for instance that East Anglia was a tropical swamp ldess than 500,000 years ago and probably supported hippos, rhinos and elephants at the same time as humans. The appearance of chimneys in European buildings was sudden, around 1200 AD. However you look at it, the climate, at least in the inhabited parts of the world, was a lot hotter before we started burning fossil fuel, even within recorded history.

But why the consensus? Because it pays the rent. You can't tax a non-problem, and most climate scaremongers are paid from tax revenues.
« Last Edit: 09/03/2016 16:52:09 by alancalverd »
helping to stem the tide of ignorance

*

Offline JoeBrown

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 154
  • Does everything simple always gotta be so complex?
    • View Profile

But why the consensus? Because it pays the rent. You can't tax a non-problem, and most climate scaremongers are paid from tax revenues.


It's ironic that anyone would fuss about the amount of money spent on climate concerns.

Government spends about 5.3 trillion annualy on fossil fuel incentives.  100 billion on climate concerns amounts to less than 2% of that expenditure.  Climate studies and coČ reduction don't pollute like fossil fuels.  So even if the "climate change" was a hoax, it pails in comparison to the alternative.

COČ increases change the ph balance in the oceans.  I kinda like sea food.  But when I see toxic runoff working its way into the ocean everywhere near me, I'm afraid to eat anything I might catch.  How about you?
« Last Edit: 09/03/2016 20:16:39 by JoeBrown »
Does everything simple always gotta be so complex?

*

Offline alancalverd

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • 4912
  • life is too short to drink instant coffee
    • View Profile
Different problem. Toxic runoff consists of all sorts of stuff from artificial fertilisers to natural sewage and a bit of mining waste (in those countries where there is still a mining industry). Carbon dioxide is a gas, not a liquid, under ambient conditions.

And don't be too critical of raw sewage! Shellfish and several bony fish (particularly mullet - delicious!) like to hang around sewage outlets. The problem there is that human pathogens in poo are much more dangerous to your health than a bit of sulfuric acid from a mine, and fish will avoid most inorganic toxins.

Government expenditure on "climate concerns" (mostly, it seems, on ridiculous transport and security costs for pointless conferences) is not the point. By claiming some green credential, governments can impose massive taxes on fossil fuel, so the global warming swindle is perpetuated because a direct tax on food, health and all the other things that use fossil fuel, would be considered immoral. Some of the tax revenue filters back to the scaremongering industry: a very efficient use of your money to extract more.
helping to stem the tide of ignorance

*

Offline puppypower

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 597
    • View Profile
Hydrogen bonding, within water, has both polar and covalent bonding characteristics. The polar aspect of hydrogen bonding is based on charge attraction, with this type of hydrogen bonding trying to get as close as possible to lower the charge potential. The covalent aspect of hydrogen bonding is different.

A covalent bond is less about charge difference and more about the overlap of covalent bonding orbitals; wave functions. In the case of water, the covalent bonding aspect of hydrogen bonding, needs to expand to allow proper orbital and wave function overlap. This is why ice expands when it freezes. Water is sort of unique in terms of expanding when freezing, with Antimony the only other natural substance to do this. The binary of hydrogen bonding adds a wild card to water, with water showing over 70 anomalies with respect to normal materials.

These two possible bonding states of a hydrogen bond, impacts the physical properties of the local water. The polar aspect defines higher enthalpy (internal energy), higher entropy and less volume (contracts), while the covalent aspect defines lower enthalpy (internal energy), lower entropy and more volume (expands). This binary in the hydrogen bonding impacts the absorption spectrum which is shown above.

In the diagram below, a is polar and b is covalent, with the two states stable and separated by a small activation energy hill. The hydrogen bonds in water is a binary switch that can switch back and forth with only a slight energy change. The hydrogen bond never have to break, but adjust physical parameters with only a slight energy tweak.



The containment of CO2 in liquid water benefits by the more reactive polar hydrogen bonding (a), since the polar defines higher activity. CO2 forms only weak hydrogen bonds with water, therefore benefits by more potential in water. Anything that can shift the balance in the binary switch, can also shift how CO2 interacts with water. Life can control the switch or rather the switch has an impact on life.

In my last post, I used the more commonly used terms high density water (HDW) and low density water (LDW) to differentiate the polar and covalent hydrogen bonding. Liquid water does not exist as separate water molecules due to hydrogen bonding. Rather water will form clusters. The dynamic equilibrium between the two states of the binary, can cause clusters to collapse or expand, based on the ratio of polar to covalent bonding. CO2 in water has more room and better access to the hydrogen bonding when the clusters collapse; polar.

[img] http://www1.lsbu.ac.uk/water/images/cluster_equilibrium_2.gif

Studies using magnetism and electric fields on water have shown this can shift the binary.

Quote
Due to the partial covalence of water's hydrogen bonding, electrons are not held by individual molecules but are easily distributed amongst water clusters giving rise to coherent regions [1691] capable of interacting with local electric [1692] and magnetic fields and electromagnetic radiation

Theoretically, movement in the magnetic field can change the absorption spectrum of local water so pockets of warmer or cooler water can form, due to a change in the binary absorption spectrum. This shift can also impact CO2 by making it easier to harder to be stay absorbed.



*

Offline Craig W. Thomson

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 370
    • View Profile
False. Mars has less surface area than the Earth, plus, it's about 50% farther from the Sun than we are, plus it has a thinner atmosphere that holds less heat. That's why it's colder.
The partial pressure of CO2 on Mars is about 6 millibar. On Earth it is about 0.4 millibar. Correcting for the lower gravity of Mars means that the Martian atmosphere contains 37.5 times as much carbon dioxide per unit area as ours. Being twice as far from the sun means that it receives one quarter of the solar power input, so if CO2 is the principal determinant of surface termperature it should be hotter then Earth, not colder.
False. You're conveniently forgetting that the atmosphere of Mars is about 100 times thinner than ours. If you took everything out of Earth's atmosphere but the carbon dioxide, then added 100 times more carbon dioxide, that would NOT be enough to keep the planet warm.

*

Offline Craig W. Thomson

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 370
    • View Profile
But why the consensus? Because it pays the rent. You can't tax a non-problem, and most climate scaremongers are paid from tax revenues.
False. I don't know how many times I have to say this. When they say, "97% of climate scientists agree," that means not just liberal Democrat scientists in the U.S. The IPCC is comprised of scientists from all countries including Russia (not a liberal democracy) and China (not a liberal democracy) and countries of all political stripes.

On a more personal note, if you can't figure out the relationship between applying combustion to 100 million years worth of fossil fuels and a rise in global temperatures, you might as well join the Flat Earth Society.

Furthermore, scientists operate using what we call the "Scientific Method." That method was adopted to get the politics, religion and personal feelings out of science. You're basically calling all these people liars, hundreds of thousands of people, accusing them of ignoring the scientific method, the very foundation of their occupation. Maybe you're projecting your own lack of integrity on others ??

Do you work for an oil company ??

If I ignore facts and make stupid arguments, can I be a Global Moderator too ??

Here's another quick point. You and I can't agree, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. Everyone in this forum and at physforum.com spends every single day telling everyone else that they are completely wrong about absolutely everything. Think about that. Now, you really expect me to believe that hundreds of thousands of scientists of different ethnicities, nationalities and political beliefs in countries all around the world are able to agree 97% on ANYTHING AT ALL, let alone work together to advance an agenda ???

Give me a break. That alone rules out the idea that climate change is a hoax.
« Last Edit: 10/03/2016 15:34:12 by Craig W. Thomson »

*

Offline Craig W. Thomson

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 370
    • View Profile
Sorry, Craig, but not even the IPCC can repeal the laws of physics.
You're the one trying to repeal the laws of physics, Alan. Mass/energy conversion does what it does despite your protests. Trees convert energy to mass. That's called "photosynthesis." Apply combustion to 100 million years worth of fossil fuels in 150 years, and you're going to get a rise in temperatures when all that stored solar energy is released.

You really need to let go of your confirmation biases and accept facts here. Combustion of fossil fuels produces heat, CO2 and entropy. Actions don't occur without reactions. That's physics. That's reality. Deal with it.

*

Offline chiralSPO

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • 1936
    • View Profile
Sorry, Craig, but not even the IPCC can repeal the laws of physics.
You're the one trying to repeal the laws of physics, Alan. Mass/energy conversion does what it does despite your protests. Trees convert energy to mass. That's called "photosynthesis." Apply combustion to 100 million years worth of fossil fuels in 150 years, and you're going to get a rise in temperatures when all that stored solar energy is released.

You really need to let go of your confirmation biases and accept facts here. Combustion of fossil fuels produces heat, CO2 and entropy. Actions don't occur without reactions. That's physics. That's reality. Deal with it.

Craig, I agree with you that the greenhouse effect is a real, significant and anthropomorphic force, but I don't think arguments such as these ↑ are very helpful.

A) Please try to be more polite. We are all here for scientific discussion and debate, so when the debate happens it should be done using the same language we use when we discuss. It is so easy for flame wars to erupt from ad hominem attacks because of the online medium (I caution ALL of the participants in this discussion to avoid snarking, even moderators such as myself)


B) Claiming trees convert energy into mass by photosynthesis is at best misleading. The increase in apparent mass of a tree due to the stored chemical energy is insignificant compared to the mass of biomass required to form that biomass. Trees get almost all of their mass from matter inputs such as CO2 and H2O, which they convert into sugars (C6H10O5)n, storing about 17.35 kJ per gram. If a tree has stored 500 kg worth of energy as cellulose, that works out to about 86.7 GJ. Using E = mc2, I calculate that it adds just over 965 micrograms of mass.

C) Similarly, the heat being released by combustion is insignificant compared to the effect of the CO2. We currently use energy at less than 20 TW globally. If we assume that all of it ends up as heat, and compare that to the heat the Earth receives from the sun 176000 TW globally, plus the heat from the decay of radioactive isotopes in the core (about 44 TW, also insignificant), then anthropogenic combustion adds about 0.01% to the energy coming in. And since radiative loss scales with T4, and ambient surface temperatures are typically between 250 and 350 K, this additive increase in energy flux will have no significant force on the temperature.

However, increasing the insulation of the atmosphere by increasing the retention of IR radiation can decrease the rate of radiative cooling by several % for a given T, so increases of several degrees can be produced.

D) I will agree with you as far as the money goes. Alan, I can't think of anyone making money from scaremongering, at least nothing close to the money that is generated for fossil fuel producers. If we want to think that this discussion is biased due to monetary concerns I don't think that it is is side asking for regulations is the place to look... Governments and/or industries need money to perform services. Just as you pay to have your sewage treated or your garbage hauled off, you need to pay to mitigate the harms cause by using fossil fuels.

I am libertarian in many ways, but I think that taxes or fines on negative externalities (harming commonly owned resources, like the atmosphere) make perfect sense to combat "Tragedies of the Commons." A "carbon tax" makes a lot of sense to me.

*

Offline Craig W. Thomson

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 370
    • View Profile
Craig, I agree with you that the greenhouse effect is a real, significant and anthropomorphic force, but I don't think arguments such as these ↑ are very helpful.

A) Please try to be more polite. We are all here for scientific discussion and debate, so when the debate happens it should be done using the same language we use when we discuss. It is so easy for flame wars to erupt from ad hominem attacks because of the online medium (I caution ALL of the participants in this discussion to avoid snarking, even moderators such as myself)

B) Claiming trees convert energy into mass by photosynthesis is at best misleading. The increase in apparent mass of a tree due to the stored chemical energy is insignificant compared to the mass of biomass required to form that biomass. Trees get almost all of their mass from matter inputs such as CO2 and H2O, which they convert into sugars (C6H10O5)n, storing about 17.35 kJ per gram. If a tree has stored 500 kg worth of energy as cellulose, that works out to about 86.7 GJ. Using E = mc2, I calculate that it adds just over 965 micrograms of mass.

C) Similarly, the heat being released by combustion is insignificant compared to the effect of the CO2. We currently use energy at less than 20 TW globally. If we assume that all of it ends up as heat, and compare that to the heat the Earth receives from the sun 176000 TW globally, plus the heat from the decay of radioactive isotopes in the core (about 44 TW, also insignificant), then anthropogenic combustion adds about 0.01% to the energy coming in. And since radiative loss scales with T4, and ambient surface temperatures are typically between 250 and 350 K, this additive increase in energy flux will have no significant force on the temperature.

However, increasing the insulation of the atmosphere by increasing the retention of IR radiation can decrease the rate of radiative cooling by several % for a given T, so increases of several degrees can be produced.

D) I will agree with you as far as the money goes. Alan, I can't think of anyone making money from scaremongering, at least nothing close to the money that is generated for fossil fuel producers. If we want to think that this discussion is biased due to monetary concerns I don't think that it is is side asking for regulations is the place to look... Governments and/or industries need money to perform services. Just as you pay to have your sewage treated or your garbage hauled off, you need to pay to mitigate the harms cause by using fossil fuels.

I am libertarian in many ways, but I think that taxes or fines on negative externalities (harming commonly owned resources, like the atmosphere) make perfect sense to combat "Tragedies of the Commons." A "carbon tax" makes a lot of sense to me.
A) Sorry. I've grown increasingly frustrated and impatient over the years. I just turned 47. In 1988, I read Jeremy Rifkin's "Entropy: Into the Greenhouse World" for the first time. I became an avid environmentalist. I studied science specifically to understand this issue better. I have watched the predictions in his book come true, everything falling like a line of dominoes. This is not the time for politeness. It is time for Flat Earth climate change skeptics to wake up and smell the coffee, whether or not they prefer instant or fresh ground.

B) I'm not trying to be misleading. I'm trying to strip down the process to its bare essentials. People get too caught up in side arguments, like how much carbon dioxide is too much, how many snowballs there are in Washington D.C., etc. You can believe me, or you can not believe me, but I will tell you in no uncertain terms, I understand this issue in great detail. I know a lot about the minutiae, like that fresh water freezes at a higher temperature than salt water, so no, Antartica is not "expanding," it's still melting, that's just a temporary freshwater ice shelf pointing to a larger problem. The minutiae are what give people things to argue about. The minutiae are the trees, I want people to see the forest. The simplest explanation and best generalization of climate change that even a layman can understand is that solar energy is stored in plants by photosynthesis, and when you apply combustion to 100 million years worth of stored solar energy in the form of fossil fuels, that produces a lot of heat, plus a lot of extra carbon dioxide that helps prevent some of that extra heat from escaping into space. In the simplest scientific terms possible, photosynthesis is a process whereby energy from the sun is stored in molecules, and combustion releases that energy. The mass/energy conversion is going the opposite direction in both cases. In photosynthesis, the photon's energy becomes "binding energy," which is what holds those high energy fuel molecules together, and yes, when a photon is absorbed by an atom in a molecule, the atom and molecule containing it increase in mass by the tiniest fraction. Energy is literally converted to mass in that case. When combustion releases the energy in a fossil fuel, the opposite reaction occurs. The photons are released, and the molecules they held together break apart, again, as per mass/energy conversion, but in the other direction. I'm not trying to be misleading. I'm trying to simplify things rather than get bogged down in arguments about trees when the forest is what's most important.

C) All I can really say about that is that the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere has not risen above 320 ppm for at least 800,000 years, according to this chart:

https://robertscribbler.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/ice-core-co2-record-800000-years.jpg

In about 50 years, the blink of an eye on a geological time scale, carbon dioxide has risen to about 400 ppm, about 20% higher than it has been in 800,000 years. Changes like that are what I would consider "unprecedented," and even when the CO2 fluctuates by 20%, that is supposed to take thousands or tens of thousands of years, not 50. Now, considering how temperatures move in lockstep with carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere in that chart, is it any surprise that the "hottest year on record" has become a recurring news story lately?

D) I agree with you about all this. I would like to add a point addressed to alancalverd. Apparently, he has either forgotten about or is not aware of the fact that the biggest oil producers in the US receive tens of billions of tax breaks and subsidies from the government every single year. That whoops the tar out of the amount of grant money scientists get to study climate change.

*

Offline Craig W. Thomson

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 370
    • View Profile
Was February yesterday?  Na, week or two ago, it's also the 1st time in ~23 million years COČ concentration in the atmosphere has been as high as 400ppm.

Coincidentally this past February is also the warmest month on record.  Correlation or coincidence?  Me thinks the jury is still hung.
Thanks for your comment. However, CO2 actually surpassed that mark before.

http://www.climatecentral.org/news/co2-400-ppm-global-record-18965

Here's what the Mauna Loa data look like since recordkeeping began:

http://blog.ucsusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/mlo_full_record.png

As you can see, the earth basically takes one "breath" per year. The forests act as a sort of lungs for the planet. During the growing season, forests inhale, then exhale in the winter. So, carbon dioxide content goes up and down a little bit each year, giving a peak and a trough of a few parts per million. The problem is, the overall curve is on an upswing. What you are correctly reporting as "we reached 400 ppm" this February is actually just the beginning of another peak that will actually take us PAST the 400 ppm mark.

If the exponential curve indicated by the graph of that information continues unchecked, in a few years, CO2 won't drop below the 400 ppm mark at all. Here's a closeup of the end of that chart to include more recent information broken down by month:

http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/webdata/ccgg/trends/co2_trend_mlo.png