Debate and Discussion

Global Warming = Ice Age
cartoonprofessor at 6:08AM, Aug. 4, 2008
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The Political Cartoons thread suggested this, so here's my ten cents on Global Warming…

A couple of years ago the Great Atlantic Conveyor actually STOPPED for a few hours! Scientists watching freaked out.

For those of you that don't know, Global Warming increases (by melting the caps) the amount of fresh water entering the Atlantic Ocean. If too much fresh water interacts with the Great Conveyor (a massive oceanic current that carries warm water up beside Great Britain and effectively keeps the northern hemisphere warm), it will stop.

When this current shuts down, as it has numerous times in geological history, BANG, a new Ice Age… meaning from about Madrid north the land will be under about a kilometre of ice!

Scientist believe this could happen over a period of weeks or even days, not years.

Mammoths and other ancient mammals have been found ‘snap-frozen’ in ice with sub-tropical plants in their guts, suggesting the onset of the last ice age was indeed very swift.

A very interesting scenario whether Global Warming is human induced or not.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:36AM
StaceyMontgomery at 8:32AM, Aug. 4, 2008
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Some recent studies of greenland ice cores indicate that a temperature shifts can happen much faster than we used to think, enough to make the prospects rather more disturbing.

http://www.physorg.com/news133107932.html

I'm especially disturbed by some of the climate models that seem to indicate that the climate often moves in big shifts (so it's more like changing channels on a TV than changing volume, if you see what I mean).

Look, the weather is just heat moving in our atmosphere - our climate is a sort of solar engine. If your life depended on an engine, you would not kick it a lot. Even if the machine looked tough, you'd tend to be careful.

It is reasonable to treat the climate the same way. Alas, that is not how we are treating it.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:55PM
imshard at 1:15PM, Aug. 4, 2008
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This reminds me of The movie The Day after Tommorrow" and the book it was loosly based on The Coming Global Superstorm. (a good read, I enjoy it enough to keep a copy). To quote a synopsis:

“The book posits the following theory:
* First, that the Gulf Stream and North Atlantic drift generates a cordon of warm water around the north pole, which in turn creates a cordon of warm air that holds in a frozen mass of arctic air.
* Second, that if the Gulf Stream were to shut down, that barrier would fail, releasing a flood of frozen air into the northern hemisphere, effecting a sudden and drastic temperature shift.”

Despite widespread criticism and dramatic license in its depictions, the premise is valid. Here's the catch: the gulf stream works by convection. In other words in moves because it is both warmed and cooled in cycle as it travels. Adding energy will simply “polarize” the effect. The gulf stream contains the arctic/antarctic cold. As the stream becomes hotter, the cold in the poles becomes more trapped and compressed making it colder, thus increasing the cooling effect. The system then balances out. Increasing the input of one effectively increases the other as well.

Then the theory becomes fun. Contrary to common views of the greenhouse effect, if you add enough insulating materials they begin to block more than they keep trapped. The feed of heat becomes interrupted. Without a steady influx of solar energy, the system breaks down and the polar air gets loose. Between the reduced solar input and the uncontrolled flow of polar air, an ice age would break out in a sudden flash. Thus the threat is not global warming but the lack of warming.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:58PM
Ronson at 6:26PM, Aug. 5, 2008
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The term “global warming” seems to be a misnomer, though I'm not the first to notice that. Of course, now that the argument has been split between the “warming” people and the “nothing's happening” people, every time the temperature lowers somewhere, the “nothing's happening” poeple point to it and laugh.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:10PM
StaceyMontgomery at 8:03AM, Aug. 6, 2008
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I was having a conversation not so long ago with a man who is a very respected engineer - he is known all over the world as an expert in his field.

It was a cool day that day, and he presented it to me as evidence that “global warming is not real after all.” We had a long chat about global warming and I talked a little about the complexity of the climate and the risks in fiddling with something we do not understand. He mostly seemed to argue that since we don't have all the answers it was safe to do whatever we wanted.

When I explained that “global warming” could cause all kinds of weather, even cold winters and perhaps even ice ages he just shook his head and said “no no no, we're talking about global warming.”

And it struck me then that this guy - who can do differential equations in his head (I can barely do simple math with a calculator) was beyond help. His political party does not believe in global warming, so neither does he. He has left all science and empiricism behind - he just doesn't want to live a world where carbon in the atmosphere could be a problem, so he does not.

At such moments, I fear, I find myself at a loss.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:55PM
cartoonprofessor at 11:13PM, Aug. 7, 2008
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In 2007, it snowed in Baghdad for the first time in centuries.

Sunspots are also way down. The last time sunspot cyles were delayed like this was during what was called the Dalton Minimum, this resulted in many very cold decades that started in 1790. (Napoleans army was routed from Moscow during an exceptioanlly cold winter in 1812, partly from a lack of sunspot activity)

Presently we are in an ‘extended’ interglacial period. These periods of unusual planetary warmth usually only last for less than 10 000 years (normally most of northern america and europe are under 1.5 km of ice!). This period, called the Holocene began about 11 000 years ago.

We are already overdue for the next ice age.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:36AM
imshard at 1:37PM, Aug. 8, 2008
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I think we're already on the way judging from the temps. It may not feel like it here in the deep of the summer but the average numbers have been plummeting for over a year and a half now with only a couple plateaus and no gains.
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WadeTheFade at 2:06PM, Aug. 15, 2008
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I'm not convinced that it will be a superstorm, but rather a slow change over time.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 4:43PM
Mr V at 3:16PM, Aug. 15, 2008
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These discussions tend to be dangerous so I'll keep my thoughts close. I'll just point out what I find a little sad about the whole deal.

First it was the Greenhouse Effect, then when that was being shot down it became Global Warming. Now that it appears that the global temperature hasn't warmed for 10 years, it's called Climate Change to cover the chance it moves either way.

I'm skeptical mainly because most of the time the media runs with whatever's the better story. Tell your story better than the other bloke and you tend to get believed by more people. I'm not sure which story holds the most important truths on this issue.

Take Gore's film. Apparently it's filled with major scientific errors, yet it seems to tell a great story that's swamped every other story on the subject lately.

Jury's still out for me.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:07PM
bravo1102 at 5:32PM, Aug. 15, 2008
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My answer to global warming or climate change is “yes”

Can we poor humans do a whole heck of a lot about it? Not yet. The system is too big and too poorly understood and there's all that outside influence on the “closed” system of our planet. Most climate models go with the Earth as a “closed” system. It isn't, so the old saying is right.

“Everyone complains about the weather, but no one ever does anything about it.”

and:

“Don't like the weather? Give it some time, it'll change.”

And right now all we can do is watch. :(

Did you ever notice that when an army fights in the winter time it's always “The coldest winter on record.” ? (Valley forge 1777-8, Morristown 1778-9, Ardennes 1944) Especially if they invade Russia. (1812 and 1941)

(OT) Napoleon's loss of an army on the retreat from Moscow also had something to do with the Russian Army. They channeled Napoleon's forces into retreating along his original line of march, which had been stripped of all resources on the way in. Kutuzov's troops suffered from the cold as much as the French and her allies. (also forgotten that the army Napoleon led into Russia was only half French)
The French and Allied supply trains and depots were also not adequately supervised as to how supplies were issued, so it was “first come, first serve”, “last come, you starve”.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:33AM
kyupol at 7:08PM, Aug. 15, 2008
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Global warming is all about getting you to pay more taxes. It is all a big big scam. Don't fall for it.






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last edited on July 14, 2011 1:26PM
imshard at 8:31PM, Aug. 15, 2008
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For some reason I'm put in mind of this site and ones like it.

http://www.petitionproject.org/gwdatabase/Signers_By_Last_Name.php

NOTE: thats names of meteorologists, scientists, and climatologists who DO NOT believe in global warming. Other similar lists of legitimate GW skeptics exist, for various purposes and missions, worldwide.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:58PM
StaceyMontgomery at 7:10PM, Aug. 16, 2008
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For some reason I find it odd that Kyupol has sided with the oil companies on this one. Based on his previous insults that atheists are in the pay of drug companies, I guess we are free to assume that Kyupol is in the pay of oil companies.

Meanwhile, I have yet to hear the “no global warming” crowd explain a coherent model of the atmosphere - I mean, just HOW MUCH carbon can you add to the atmosphere before it makes a difference?

It seems like a fair question to me - Ive asked it often - several times in this forum. No one ever answers. The answer seems to be “as much as the oil companies say we can.” But since we DO put a lot of carbon into the air, and the air is really really important to all of us, it seems reasonable that you should how much is safe.

I remember when the corporations and their shills told us that the ozone layer could not be harmed. I remember when they told us that the ocean could absorb infinite amounts of pullution.

The other day I found out I'm eating too much tuna fish. Tuna is now very high in mercury - you shoudn't eat it too often. The mercury is there from coal burning. OK - there's SO MUCH mercury in the air that it makes fish from the sea dangerous to eat. That's kind of a lot of mercury.

So how much carbon is safe? And if you cant answer that question, then maybe you should not be so sure of yourself.

last edited on July 14, 2011 3:55PM
StaceyMontgomery at 7:14PM, Aug. 16, 2008
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Also, you can read more about that petition here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oregon_petition

I especially liked the part about Perry Mason and the Spice Girl.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:55PM
imshard at 12:40AM, Aug. 17, 2008
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StaceyMontgomery
For some reason I find it odd that Kyupol has sided with the oil companies on this one. Based on his previous insults that atheists are in the pay of drug companies, I guess we are free to assume that Kyupol is in the pay of oil companies.

Meanwhile, I have yet to hear the “no global warming” crowd explain a coherent model of the atmosphere - I mean, just HOW MUCH carbon can you add to the atmosphere before it makes a difference?

It seems like a fair question to me - Ive asked it often - several times in this forum. No one ever answers. The answer seems to be “as much as the oil companies say we can.” But since we DO put a lot of carbon into the air, and the air is really really important to all of us, it seems reasonable that you should how much is safe.

I remember when the corporations and their shills told us that the ozone layer could not be harmed. I remember when they told us that the ocean could absorb infinite amounts of pullution.

The other day I found out I'm eating too much tuna fish. Tuna is now very high in mercury - you shoudn't eat it too often. The mercury is there from coal burning. OK - there's SO MUCH mercury in the air that it makes fish from the sea dangerous to eat. That's kind of a lot of mercury.

So how much carbon is safe? And if you cant answer that question, then maybe you should not be so sure of yourself.

I didn't realize there are united and concerted fronts engaged in active combat.

There is no “us and them” in this. When it comes to coherent models, non-warming advocates use the same scientific data and standard model as anyone else. Thats why there is such a big debate. People are arguing over projections and theories. They are arguing over how to interpret the same set of information. If you are reading anything more than that into it, then you're being silly.

Lots of hyperbole, old agendas, mis-information, and fear-mongering have been inserted into what was originally a minor question on atmospheric phenomenas. In other words Politics happened and I don't give it any more credence than that.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:58PM
bravo1102 at 10:36AM, Aug. 17, 2008
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StaceyMontgomery
Also, you can read more about that petition here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oregon_petition

I especially liked the part about Perry Mason and the Spice Girl.

Perry Mason is a real ph.d holding scientist. Real scientists don't have the same names as celebrities or fictional characters. There is a John Adams, a Bryan Adams and a Neil Adams on the list, I suppose they're also fake as one is a dead president, the next a rock singer and the last a dead movie actor. :)

As for the CO2 question: currently there is no 100% correct answer. Modern science really isn't certain. It's like the number of angels dancing on the head of a pin . And you know that Ozone appears to be replenishing itself? Scary.

It goes back and forth. Tree rings as a record of past climates can be really scary because they show big fluctuations during recorded history but before people had satilites and computer models. The world temperature may be warmer on the average over the centuries than we have previously thought.

A major volcano eruption is far more damaging to the atmosphere than all the SUVs and heavy coal-burning industry in the world. (So much so the sky turns color and temperatures are thrown off for several years) The Tunguska event might have effected world temperatures at the turn of the 20th Century more than the current Global Warming statistics indicate our world is being effected now.

I think we should worry more about planetary impacts than Al Gore's rhetoric. One is a given, the other not quite conclusively proven (and often exaggerated.)
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:33AM
StaceyMontgomery at 11:25AM, Aug. 17, 2008
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bravo1102
As for the CO2 question: currently there is no 100% correct answer. Modern science really isn't certain. It's like the number of angels dancing on the head of a pin . And you know that Ozone appears to be replenishing itself? Scary.

The Ozone layer is created by Ultraviolet light striking the atmosphere - so it does in fact replenish itself. There's nothing scary about these processes if you take the time to understand them. Well, you probably know that and are just being sarcastic. I can never catch sarcasm on the internet, which no doubt makes me seem humorless. My apologies.

A major volcano event would be very bad for the climate, and we should be prepared for one as they are not so rare - i do not think we are prepared though (for instance, I do not know how long the world can feed itself if we have a year without crops). The good news is that the effects of such an event seem relatively shortlived.

I certainly agree that we should be prepared for a Tunguska scale impact event. For much of the 20th century, our likely response to such an event was global thermonuclear destruction. We are only doing slightly better now, in my humble opinion. A more serious effort to track and detect these objects certainly seems like a reasonable response.

Al Gore's rhetoric is often over the top - but there remains a very real risk that carbon dumped into the atmosphere could haver serious consequences, even catastrophic ones. What's the smart response to that risk? What's the moral response?

last edited on July 14, 2011 3:55PM
lemon_king at 7:42PM, Aug. 17, 2008
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We don't know all about it, but I think it's both man-made, and just what was going to happen anyways. It's not so much “global warming” as “climate change”.

It will be 89 degrees here in Ohio tomorrow. No warmer than usual.
If you look through history, the global temperature goes up and down. We may well just be in a warming period anyways. I'm sure, sometime after I'm dead, there will be plenty of more global temperature changes, warmer or colder.

We can't do much about it, but cleaning up the enviornment can't hurt. In the long run, it will probably make the changes more subtle.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 1:34PM
Croi Dhubh at 11:26PM, Aug. 17, 2008
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Or, you know, the Earth can very easily be undergoing the same dramatic changes in climate it has for billions of years people claim it has been around and most of those times without people…again according to certain people.

Kind of hard to believe something less than the width of the lead on a common school pencil in the make up the size of a football field is responsible for killing the planet.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:54AM
arteestx at 10:05PM, Aug. 18, 2008
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imshard
For some reason I'm put in mind of this site and ones like it.

http://www.petitionproject.org/gwdatabase/Signers_By_Last_Name.php

NOTE: thats names of meteorologists, scientists, and climatologists who DO NOT believe in global warming. Other similar lists of legitimate GW skeptics exist, for various purposes and missions, worldwide.

Actually, it's a list of anyone with a BS (mostly), MS, MD, or PhD in *any* science. The vast majority of signatories come from engineering (the top three categories of people who signed it are 1) mechanical engineering, 2) electrical engineering, and 3) chemical engineering). In fact only 154 out of the 31,000 signers (that's 0.5%) have any degree in climatology or atmospheric science. That's like reading a petition about the likelihood of stem cell research finding a cure that was signed by climatologists and not biologists.


bravo1102
As for the CO2 question: currently there is no 100% correct answer. Modern science really isn't certain. It's like the number of angels dancing on the head of a pin.
So is the Big Bang theory. So is gravity. So is evolution. So is atomic theory (you think we *really* understand what makes an atom work?). It's like… well, it's like science.


bravo1102
A major volcano eruption is far more damaging to the atmosphere than all the SUVs and heavy coal-burning industry in the world.

Actually, this is a myth perpetuated by global warming deniers that is completely untrue. According to the USGS,

Scientists have calculated that volcanoes emit between about 130-230 million tonnes (145-255 million tons) of CO2 into the atmosphere every year…. Emissions of CO2 by human activities, including fossil fuel burning, cement production, and gas flaring, amount to about 27 billion tonnes per year (30 billion tons) … Human activities release more than 130 times the amount of CO2 emitted by volcanoes



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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:02AM
arteestx at 10:23PM, Aug. 18, 2008
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Croi Dhubh
Or, you know, the Earth can very easily be undergoing the same dramatic changes in climate it has for billions of years people claim it has been around and most of those times without people…again according to certain people.
I read this a lot as well, as though the fact that Earth has undergone changes in the past, long before people were around, somehow shows that humans aren't really the culprit for anything environmental. We can't possibly be responsible, the Earth is too big and what we do is so small compared to what goes on naturally.

That nitrogen and sulfur going up our smokestacks can't possibly be responsible for acid rain. Those chemicals we spray on plants can't possibly be the same chemicals showing up in fish and birds. Species have gone extinct before, so it doesn't matter that species are going extinct now. We can't possibly be having current extinction rates that mirror the mass extinctions after an asteroid impact. Our water usage levels can't possibly deplete groundwater aquifers. That garbage we dump into sinkholes can't possibly be affecting our water supply. We humans don't have that much of an environmental impact, and certainly not on a global level.

Acid rain, pollution, extinctions… c'mon, we humans can't have anything to do with that, no more than what's happened in geologic history. Right?

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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:02AM
Mr V at 5:07AM, Aug. 19, 2008
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I also find it the height of self indulgence and arrogance to believe that we as a single species are all powerful enough to destroy and entire planet. The planet will survive. We may not, but in the long run, we're nothing more than an itchy rash on the surface at the moment. :)
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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:07PM
bravo1102 at 6:46AM, Aug. 19, 2008
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bravo1102
As for the CO2 question: currently there is no 100% correct answer. Modern science really isn't certain. It's like the number of angels dancing on the head of a pin.
So is the Big Bang theory. So is gravity. So is evolution. So is atomic theory (you think we *really* understand what makes an atom work?). It's like… well, it's like science.

Let me clarify: the C02 theories aren't as conclusively proven as gravity, atomic theory and the rest. The models aren't as complete as those for relativity and the math can be adjusted to prove what you want (unlike gravity and relativity). With atomic theory you can read the results and know what is going to happen. With current atomic theory it is becoming a lot more clear than C02 theories and computer models are.

You're playing with words rather than reading and comparing the evidence.

And as for gravity and evolution they are 100% proven. All evidence supports them and nothing refutes them. That's right, no evidence that is proven refutes evolution. Sorry Creationists but it's true. Genetics does not lie. It's a quacking duck, not the spirit of the great Duck God Daffy. (sorry, but I have fun with this. I am not being insulting, just tongue in cheek with a nod and a wink) ;)

As for acid rain; yes we do it and we cause extinctions. That is not the question. Acid rain is the way the atmosphere cleanses itself. Acid rain can also be caused by natural occurances. I'm not saying we shouldn't stop polluting and I hate dirty coal fired plants. Change to clean energy, but don't think that we have to go back to the 17th century to save the earth or that global warming won't occur with or without us. We can't effect it. If the earth wants to warm up we couldn't stop it if we did go back to the 17th Century. Read the tree rings.




last edited on July 14, 2011 11:33AM
ozoneocean at 8:05AM, Aug. 19, 2008
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bravo1102
And you know that Ozone appears to be replenishing itself? Scary.
That's right, I'm like a lizard; cut off a bit and I'll just grow it back. We reptoids are good that way :)

Naw, lots of things make ozone, even car exhaust and many forms of industrial pollution, let alone all the natural processes. The problem we had with CFCs was that they destroyed the O3 in the upper atmosphere faster than it could replenish. But we don't produce or release so many CFCs anymore now.

Climate change is a colossal subject… The most powerful supercomputers not even conceived yet can't calculate and determine all the effects, all they can do is analyse mere aspects of it. But the theory, the GLOBAL observation, and the evidence based on hundreds of thousands of years of data in things like DEEP ice-core samples point to a general increase in temperature. ;)
…and one accompanying factor is increased atmospheric carbon levels.

Because of the massive complexity of the climate, its hard to know exactly where that could lead, but based on what we have seen so far: just looks like more warming.

——
Arguments based on local temperature levels in a particular year are… pretty silly. That won't tell you much about climate change, just help you in working out weather predictions. Cold winters and summers where you are don't mean the whole world is going through that same thing, especially when the people who DO analyse the weather in the rest of the world over the longer term tell you it's not like that. But by all means, extrapolate from small samples! That's the fuel of pop science from time immemorial :)
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:32PM
arteestx at 8:47AM, Aug. 19, 2008
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bravo1102
Let me clarify: the C02 theories aren't as conclusively proven as gravity, atomic theory and the rest.
Can you clarify further? The fact that CO2 is a greenhouse gas is a fact (a heated bottle full of CO2 will have a higher temperature than a heated bottle with just air). That CO2 in the atmosphere correlates to global temperature is well established, every bit as much as things falling down.

But the model of gravity is extremely murky. No one knows exactly how it works, how it travels, etc. Does it travel by wave? By particle (affectionately known as gravitons)? Both? Or something else? Does it travel at the speed of light ala relativity? Faster? Slower? Is it instantaneous ala Newton? In fact, some argue that there is no such thing as gravity, that it's actually a phenomenon of the curvature of space-time. I don't think gravity is as well proven or understood as you think it is.

Climate models are always being perfected, but it was earlier forms of these same climate models that allowed us to investigate acid rain. And many of these climate models have been used to make predictions over the past several decades that have been quite accurate. You acknowledge the truth of acid rain and the climate models behind that, but not global warming? What's the distinction?

Look, no doubt that climate models have an incredible level of complexity and inherent chaos (mathematically speaking) moreso than the Law of Gravitation. But that doesn't mean climate models are worthless, pure poppycock, or just a way to read whatever you want to read into it.


bravo1102
Change to clean energy, but don't think that we have to go back to the 17th century to save the earth or that global warming won't occur with or without us. We can't effect it. If the earth wants to warm up we couldn't stop it if we did go back to the 17th Century. Read the tree rings.
I don't know of anyone, including Al Gore, who argues that global warming never occured in the past and would not be occuring now without humans. If we never burned one ounce of fossil fuel, the Earth would still be on a warming trend, and no one has ever said otherwise.

Likewise I think it's a straw man argument to argue that we shouldn't go back to the 17th century, because I don't know of anyone realistically arguing we should. Yes, I'm sure there are a few environmentalists out there *somewhere* who push for a return to the old ways, but that's not a mainstream argument made by leading environmentalists. No one says we need to do away with electricity, mass transportation, TV and radio, etc. and that's not what environmentalists are somehow trying to ban. Arguing for cleaner energy (which I'm glad you support) is not the same as arguing for pre-industrialized society.

But the fact that global temperatures have gone up and down in the past without us is not an argument that we humans cannot have major impacts on the environment. We can make a warming trend warmer. We can make natural climate shifts that happen over millenia happen much much much sooner. We can push natural cycles into a feedback loop that causes short-term catastrophes for certain species.

The planet doesn't need “saving”; it'll still be here for a long long long time, whether we humans are around or not. The question is how long we're going to be around. I highly recommend the book Collapse by Jared Diamond, where he looks at many ancient civilizations and how their environmental choices led to changes in the environment that made their civilizations unsustainable.

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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:02AM
ozoneocean at 9:20AM, Aug. 19, 2008
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arteestx
Can you clarify further? The fact that CO2 is a greenhouse gas is a fact (a heated bottle full of CO2 will have a higher temperature than a heated bottle with just air)
Careful of your examples. ;)
It's much more complicated than that. simple heat retention doesn't prove anything either way.

Careful, because while the rest of your points are very good, superb even, it's instances like the one above that allow a fantastical faery castle of imaginative scepticism to be built.
-look into exactly how CO2 works as a so-called “greenhouse” gas (which it does) before you cite it.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:32PM
arteestx at 12:37PM, Aug. 19, 2008
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arteestx
Can you clarify further? The fact that CO2 is a greenhouse gas is a fact (a heated bottle full of CO2 will have a higher temperature than a heated bottle with just air)
Careful of your examples. ;)
It's much more complicated than that. simple heat retention doesn't prove anything either way.
Please correct me if I'm wrong, but the definition of a greenhouse gas is essentially a gas 1) that exists in the atmosphere and 2) traps heat (ie, converts infrared radiation from the Earth and stores it as vibrational energy in the molecular bonds). Heat retention is the one and only characteristic that defines a gas in the atmosphere as a “greenhouse gas.” Do you see it differently?

The experiment I quote is a simplified version, to be sure, but it's actually an easy way to see for yourself that CO2 traps heat differently than air (I've seen some claims that the experiment really only shows Boyle's law about different gases expanding differently and therefore having different temperatures, but the pressure difference in the two bottles is not actually different). Reality is more complicated than this of course, but it's a valid experiment when it comes to isolating the greenhouse characteristic of CO2.

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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:02AM
ozoneocean at 1:03PM, Aug. 19, 2008
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Um, yep. It's a lot different. ;)

1. CO2 is part of air anyway, there is no “air” and CO2.
2. All gasses in “air” “trap” heat to some extent.

The fact that pure CO2 gets a bit warmer than air with less CO2 in it when you heat it via IR radiation doesn't in itself mean much in terms of global warming.

I think that sort of thing is the biggest issue when it comes to sceptics: you can convince someone with little scientific knowledge with that simplified example, but for someone who looks into it more will see that it's inadequate and therefore question the whole notion: not because it's a flaw, but because it's a bad example.

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Firstly, it's important to understand that CO2 isn't the most abundant greenhouse gas, nor is it the worst offender. The issue is that it's the one that's been most increasing due to human activity.

Secondly, the way the work is in two main ways:
1. Absorbing heat energy radiated from the earth's surface.
2. The “greenhouse effect”: it converts energy from the sun into IR radiation that it emits out into space and also down onto the earth.

-That is still simplified, but very important to know.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:32PM
arteestx at 3:43PM, Aug. 19, 2008
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ozoneocean
1. CO2 is part of air anyway, there is no “air” and CO2.
I think we're really splitting hairs here. Yes, CO2 is part of air, but it is a distinct gas with distinct characteristics. There is peanut butter AND a peanut butter jelly sandwich, there is a banana AND a fruit salad, and there is CO2 AND air. You can examine and talk about them separately, really it's ok.


ozoneocean
2. All gasses in “air” “trap” heat to some extent.
The fact that pure CO2 gets a bit warmer than air with less CO2 in it when you heat it via IR radiation doesn't in itself mean much in terms of global warming.
Again, we're splitting hairs. I didn't say CO2 is a greenhouse gas therefore it's the only gas that traps heat and it proves global warming is real. I said CO2 is a greenhouse gas, that's a fact. You can see it's a greenhouse gas (i.e. it traps heat) for yourself in a simple experiment, that's a fact. There is a strong correlation between CO2 in the atmosphere and global temperature, that's a fact. These facts are as real as the fact that things fall to the Earth. That was the only point.


Xolta is not intended for anyone under 18 years old.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:02AM
ozoneocean at 7:15PM, Aug. 19, 2008
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My contention is that the points you are making with CO2 to prove that is so, don't prove that is so, - even though it is.
Which is a window for the naysayers; a perceived chink, (not a real one mind you) in your armour through which they will seek to attack.
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The “greenhouse effect” doesn't really concern of the insulation properties of the gases, because what's marginally heated CO2 going to do? Not warm the planet, it's just going to contribute to weather patterns, maybe more than usual, with the extra energy it brings, but not the warming effect. -for that you go to that “greenhouse” idea which in this case mean that the gasses themselves turn solar energy into IR and emit it.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:32PM

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