PDA

View Full Version : What can we realistically expect re: global warming?



Pages : [1] 2

parallaxicality
2010-Jul-30, 11:16 PM
Given that there is no prospect of a political settlement over global warming, can we expect civilisation to end by 2100? Will science find a way to make the world liveable? Will the worst case scenario be the best fit scenario, or will the results be more mild then we expected?

SkepticJ
2010-Jul-31, 01:28 AM
Cats and dogs living together . . . it'll be mass hysteria.

Seriously, though, it was warmer than the global warming doomsday predictions during the time of the dinosaurs, and they seem to have done ok. I'm pretty sure we're more adaptable than they were.

Gillianren
2010-Jul-31, 02:30 AM
"Temperature changes, so it's no big deal" ignores quite a lot of socioeconomic realities.

swampyankee
2010-Jul-31, 02:36 AM
There is quite a lot of evidence that global warming is happening; people who deny it are in the same category as creation "science" proponents. There is significant evidence that it's at least partly anthropogenic.

We'll do something about it about the same time that you can buy oceanfront property in Cincinnati.

pzkpfw
2010-Jul-31, 02:48 AM
A reminder: claims against global warming itself belong in ATM (against the mainstream). One post has been moved over there already (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php/106408-Larry-Jacks-on-Global-Warming) and others were borderline.

This thread is about the effects of global warming and how (whether) we'd adapt given the results.

The last part of the OP...

... or will the results be more mild then we expected ...
...should not be used as an excuse to begin an anti-(A)GW debate.

Swift
2010-Jul-31, 04:29 AM
Given that there is no prospect of a political settlement over global warming, can we expect civilisation to end by 2100? Will science find a way to make the world liveable? Will the worst case scenario be the best fit scenario, or will the results be more mild then we expected?
I guess it remains to be seen if there is any political settlements on global warming. And it is not a black and white thing, the sooner there are some solutions put in place the less impact we will have on climate. But the clock is ticking, so to speak.

But even if there are no changes and things continue as they are, I have no belief it will be the end of human civilization. We are a very smart and very adaptable species, and we will adapt. But there are a lot of impacts, many very serious, between the end of civilization and no changes at all. I suspect there will be very significant effects, and many peoples' lives will be that much harder.

I also suspect that the impacts on other species and various ecosystems will be very significant.

I suspect the results will actually be a lot worse than most people (non-climatologists) expect.

Antice
2010-Jul-31, 06:26 AM
I think the most dramatic effect will be the changes in sea levels. it wont happen fast in a human perspective tho... in geological perspective it is going to happen in the blink of an eye. 2 degrees warming is enough to cause major melting of glaciers that today are critical for ensuring year round water supplies in dry areas of the world. And therein lies the real problem with warming. areas currently left unpopulated due to weather patterns will become better. while areas with lots of people in it today will become less habitable. Mass migrations come with their own set of issues no?
Most of the mass migration can be avoided if the most affected areas can be given a new fresh water source in the form of water treatment. but this is a costly solution unless energy can be gotten for nearly free.

otherwise i more or less agree with swift about biodiversity taking a major hit. a lot of ecosystems are borderline viable for it's occupants already. it does not take much to cause an extinction event in some biotopes.

pzkpfw
2010-Jul-31, 06:55 AM
I think the most dramatic effect will be the changes in sea levels. ...

Here in New Zealand we expect to be taking in refugees from some of the Pacific island nations. Some of them have main population centres barely a few metres above the current sea level - and already there is salt-water contamination of crop-lands.

mugaliens
2010-Jul-31, 07:34 AM
Keeping very well in mind both pzkpfw's comments (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php/106405-What-can-we-realistically-expect-re-global-warming?p=1770340#post1770340), as well as steering clear of BAUT's ban on any and all AGW issues, I'd like to tackle the comments made thus far, focusing solely on the few dealing specifically with "how (whether) we'd adapt given the results" as per pzkpfw's post.


Given that there is no prospect of a political settlement over global warming, can we expect civilisation to end by 2100?

No. Given the vastly more challanging difficulties faced by human civilization since historians general agreement on when "civiliation" occurred, roughly during the rise of both agronomy and writing (in Sumer, considered a hallmark of civilization) which began roughly 8,000 years ago, any notion that civilization would end by 2100, just 90 years from now (about 1% of our society's period of civilization) due to a couple degrees change in temperature is absolutely ludicrous.


Will science find a way to make the world liveable?

I'm not sure what you mean by "liveable." Human's have found extreme ranges of temperature, humidity, rainfall, elevation, and sunshine "liveable," and we will continue to do so. Between now and 2100, the difference in climate may be as "drastic" as that between present-day Washington D.C. and Baltimore, MD. <blinks>


Will the worst case scenario be the best fit scenario, or will the results be more mild then we expected?

If you've ever driven to another state, you've experienced far worse. I think you'll manage. :lol:


Seriously, though, it was warmer than the global warming doomsday predictions during the time of the dinosaurs, and they seem to have done ok. I'm pretty sure we're more adaptable than they were.

Given the far greater extremes to which the human race has already adapted while preserving every iota of civilization, I'm inclined to agree with you.


"Temperature changes, so it's no big deal" ignores quite a lot of socioeconomic realities.

Such as?


We'll do something about it about the same time that you can buy oceanfront property in Cincinnati.

(does some quick calculations) Given IPCC 2007b's publication (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming#cite_note-81), which paraphrased depicts "Over the course of centuries to millennia, the melting of ice sheets could result in sea level rise of 4–6 m or more," (average of 16.4 feet) and assuming 1,000 years as the midpoint of that estimate, it appears Cincinatti, which sits at 482 feet above sea level, will become "oceanfront property" sometime around the year 31,400. Yes, that's three millennia from now, or nearly four times the 8,000 years humans have existed in civilization.


But even if there are no changes and things continue as they are, I have no belief it will be the end of human civilization.

Even if changes are towards the upper end of the scale (6 m in a thousand years instead of 5 m) do you still believe it will not be the end of human civilization?


We are a very smart and very adaptable species, and we will adapt.

Of that I am certain, just as certain as when a rainstorm comes we backpackers move to higher ground.


I suspect there will be very significant effects, and many peoples' lives will be that much harder.

I suspect this belief is based largely on very dire, yet grossly overexaggerated predictions such as "oceanfront property in Cincinnati" such as we continuously hear in the media.


I also suspect that the impacts on other species and various ecosystems will be very significant.

Not I. We humans throughout the word, particularly in third world countries, adapt to far, far greater variations in climate, including those caused by mass migrations, in far, far shorter timeframes (less than a year) than anything even remotely envisioned by global warming.


I suspect the results will actually be a lot worse than most people (non-climatologists) expect.

I suspect the effects of global warming have, like the 30,000 year effect behind the Cincinatti beachfront quote, been blown so ridiculously out of proportionto, that many of us no longer have any sense of perspective when it comes to what we humans throughout the world experience on an annual, if not a monthly basis. Changes in climate far greater than what's coming due to global warming have occurred in our history due to migrations, and other human displacement (regardless of the reason). We survive. That's what we do.

If anything, we humans are among the most adaptable species on the planet, and not only because of what's between our ears, but because of the very wide range of foods compatible with our physiques.

I predict that 200 years from now, when the effects of global warming have come and gone, we will look back on this era and exclaim, "WHAT in the world we they so worried about???" I predict those who need to move will move. Societies will adjust. Beachfront and fire zone properties may take a hit, but they're owned by those who're most economically capable of taking such hits. The vast majority of those who're affected don't actually own beachfront land. They survive wherever, and if they have to move inland a few miles, they'll move inland a few miles, perhaps a few yards each year.

If that proves untenable, they'll do what humans have done for millions of years: Migrate. And if you think migration is no longer an option, think again - societies all over the globe, in nearly every country, has been dealing with issues involving migrations since the dawn of man, including over the last 30 years. Migrations are as much as part of who we are as humans as our ears and hair atop our heads.

Having lived among many different human societies over the last 20 years, on four continents, seeing with what they've had to contend, and seeing how they do contend with it, in all climates from blistering deserts to rainy marsh to temperate climes with frozen winters, I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that we humans, including our civilization, will not only surive, but that it will thrive!

We are very, very, very good at that, and there's no reason to entertain any conclusion whatsoever which suggests the moderate, yet gradual "worst predictions" of global warming will have anything more significant on our society than does the far larger difference between the rainy and dry seasons, or the summer and winter seasons throughout which most of our human-civilized globe manages to survive quite well.

mugaliens
2010-Jul-31, 07:37 AM
Here in New Zealand we expect to be taking in refugees from some of the Pacific island nations. Some of them have main population centres barely a few metres above the current sea level - and already there is salt-water contamination of crop-lands.

Please read (http://www.dnr.sc.gov/water/hydro/HydroPubs/Abs_wrc_R158.htm): "Prior to 1880, the potentiometric surface of the Floridan aquifer was unaffected by pumping. Water levels were above or just below land surface and ground water flowed in an easterly direction, discharging in Port Royal Sound and the Atlantic Ocean. Owing to heavy pumping at Savannah, Ga., water levels are now below sea level as far north as Port Royal Sound and are 150 feet below sea level in the center of the cone of depression. These changes in water level have reversed the direction of ground water flow in the area between Port Royal Sound and Savannah." - Source (http://www.dnr.sc.gov/water/hydro/HydroPubs/Abs_wrc_R158.htm)

It's due to excessive removal of saltwater-displacing groundwater sources, not the sinking of the islands.

parallaxicality
2010-Jul-31, 08:16 AM
You appear to be making that old mistake of confusing climate with the weather. A two-degree rise in average global temperature is VASTLY different to a two-degree rise from Monday to Wednesday in Hobogan. The "Little Ice Age" was caused by a 1.5 degree drop in average global temperature.

Delvo
2010-Jul-31, 02:33 PM
The worldwide human population is in for a large decrease, with a lot of shifting around from place to place at the same time (plus whatever conflicts that causes between groups). But most of it isn't because of climate change. It's because of depletion of fresh water supplies, depletion of soil nutrients, and soil erosion.

Swift
2010-Jul-31, 04:06 PM
Please read (http://www.dnr.sc.gov/water/hydro/HydroPubs/Abs_wrc_R158.htm): "Prior to 1880, the potentiometric surface of the Floridan aquifer was unaffected by pumping. Water levels were above or just below land surface and ground water flowed in an easterly direction, discharging in Port Royal Sound and the Atlantic Ocean. Owing to heavy pumping at Savannah, Ga., water levels are now below sea level as far north as Port Royal Sound and are 150 feet below sea level in the center of the cone of depression. These changes in water level have reversed the direction of ground water flow in the area between Port Royal Sound and Savannah." - Source (http://www.dnr.sc.gov/water/hydro/HydroPubs/Abs_wrc_R158.htm)

It's due to excessive removal of saltwater-displacing groundwater sources, not the sinking of the islands.
And how exactly do you know that a mechanism going on in South Carolina applies to islands in the Pacific?

Swift
2010-Jul-31, 04:12 PM
Cats and dogs living together . . . it'll be mass hysteria.

Seriously, though, it was warmer than the global warming doomsday predictions during the time of the dinosaurs, and they seem to have done ok. I'm pretty sure we're more adaptable than they were.
"OK" being defined as extinct. And of course dinosaurs were adapted to the climate of their time and the climate changes they had to adapt to happened over longer periods of time.

Of course, I am somewhat making a joke, but I stand by my previous statements - humans will not go extinct, humans will adapt, human civilization will not disappear, the lives of millions, if not billions of humans will be affected and mostly in bad ways, and hundreds if not thousands of other species will not do that well and will go extinct, because of the actions (or inactions) of humans (and not just global warming), but no, the life on Earth will eventually adapt too (eventually meaning "nothing close to the life-span of multiple generations of humans").

Swift
2010-Jul-31, 04:19 PM
Back to the OP...

This wikipedia article on effects (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Effects_of_global_warming) is actually a pretty good summary, with a fair amount of detail.

This US EPA website (http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/effects/index.html) is a starting point to linked pages with a lot more detail.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2007) concludes that “impacts of climate change will vary regionally but, aggregated and discounted to the present, they are very likely to impose net annual costs which will increase over time as global temperatures increase.” The IPCC estimates that for increases in global mean temperature of less than 1-3°C (1.8-5.4°F) above 1990 levels, some places and sectors will see beneficial impacts while others will experience harmful ones. Some low-latitude and polar regions are expected to experience net costs even for small increases in temperature. For increases in temperature greater than 2-3°C (3.6-5.4°F), the IPCC says it is very likely that all regions will experience either declines in net benefits or increases in net costs. “Taken as a whole,” the IPCC concludes, “the range of published evidence indicates that the net damage costs of climate change are likely to be significant and to increase over time.”

korjik
2010-Jul-31, 05:38 PM
And how exactly do you know that a mechanism going on in South Carolina applies to islands in the Pacific?

Seems like a fair bet, considering it is a pretty ubiquitous effect in any coastal region where fresh groundwater is being pumped at a rate faster than repkenishment.

Gillianren
2010-Jul-31, 06:28 PM
Seems like a fair bet, considering it is a pretty ubiquitous effect in any coastal region where fresh groundwater is being pumped at a rate faster than repkenishment.

But out past the islands, there is South Carolina, whereas out past the Pacific islands, there is generally the Pacific. Just like the methods used to "steer" lava flows in Iceland won't work if Mount Rainier ever goes. Both of 'em are volcanoes, but the situations are different.

And concerned as I am--given I live in a coastal city!--about increased sea levels, I think change in rain patterns is going to produce if anything greater problems.

Nereid
2010-Jul-31, 07:31 PM
Given that there is no prospect of a political settlement over global warming, can we expect civilisation to end by 2100? Will science find a way to make the world liveable? Will the worst case scenario be the best fit scenario, or will the results be more mild then we expected?
I'm going to give a slightly OT answer - the worst case scenario is a repeat of the greatest mass extinction event in the geological record, the Permian-Triassic (PT) mass extinction (the "Great Dying"). It's unlikely to start happening in a way that will dramatically affect civilisation in 2100, but by then the trends will be irreversible, by us Homo sap.s, and the forthcoming mass extinction (Homo sap. included) inevitable.

Why? Because of 'the other' CO2 issue - acidification of the oceans.

The most robust conclusion re the proximate cause of the PT extinction is ocean acidification due to CO2, and while its effects were far more severe on marine species than land ones, I very much doubt that civilisation as we know it could withstand the world's oceans becoming anoxic.

The inevitability of global oceanic anoxia, in the worst case scenario, comes from the multiple positive feedback loops involving acidification that are linked to global warming, so even if we stopped increasing the atmospheric CO2 concentration by 2050 - which is, IMHO, nigh on impossible - the train will have already left the station.

And in case you're wondering, there is no known potential CO2 sink large enough to stop oceanic acidification; worse, some of the proposed "solutions" to the anthropogenic CO2 problem would just make global ocean anoxia more certain - pumping CO2 into deep ocean trenches, for example.

mugaliens
2010-Jul-31, 09:15 PM
You appear to be making that old mistake of confusing climate with the weather. A two-degree rise in average global temperature is VASTLY different to a two-degree rise from Monday to Wednesday in Hobogan.

Do crops grow during the winter in temperate climates? No? Hmm... I rest my case.


The worldwide human population is in for a large decrease, with a lot of shifting around from place to place at the same time (plus whatever conflicts that causes between groups). But most of it isn't because of climate change. It's because of depletion of fresh water supplies, depletion of soil nutrients, and soil erosion.

So you're saying global warming is the least of our worries as humans. I would agree! As far as playing dodgeball goes, given that the effect is measured in generations, and generations move all over the world anyway, I think you're right. It's about as difficult an effect to dodge as a dandelion seed on a breezeless day.


And how exactly do you know that a mechanism going on in South Carolina applies to islands in the Pacific?

Because I read both sides of the issue in search of the truth, rather than just those which happen to support my opinion: "EDITORIAL: Pacific Islands Not Sinking From Global Warming - New Study Debunks Al Gore's Hysterial Fairy Tale (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/jun/11/pacific-islands-not-sinking-from-global-warming/)." - The Washington Times

That and the fact I tend not to buy into every bandwagon which happens along...

Swift
2010-Jul-31, 09:35 PM
Quote Originally Posted by parallaxicality
You appear to be making that old mistake of confusing climate with the weather. A two-degree rise in average global temperature is VASTLY different to a two-degree rise from Monday to Wednesday in Hobogan.
Do crops grow during the winter in temperate climates? No? Hmm... I rest my case.
Why was your case tired? ;) I still don't understand what that has do with climate.


Because I read both sides of the issue in search of the truth, rather than just those which happen to support my opinion: "EDITORIAL: Pacific Islands Not Sinking From Global Warming - New Study Debunks Al Gore's Hysterial Fairy Tale (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/jun/11/pacific-islands-not-sinking-from-global-warming/)." - The Washington Times

Both sides, as in right and wrong?


That and the fact I tend not to buy into every bandwagon which happens along...
Good for you. Sometimes the band wagon is lead by a guy with a tin horn and isn't worth following. Sometimes it is lead by every orchestra leader on the planet.

mugaliens
2010-Jul-31, 09:47 PM
Good for you. Sometimes the band wagon is lead by a guy with a tin horn and isn't worth following. Sometimes it is lead by every orchestra leader on the planet.

And sometimes it's lead by people named Al Gore. Here's a quote from my previous link (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/jun/11/pacific-islands-not-sinking-from-global-warming/):


In a forthcoming issue of the journal Global and Planetary Change, researchers from the University of Auckland in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands Applied Geoscience Commission in Fiji documented changes in 27 vulnerable, low-lying reef islands in the Central Pacific. Using aerial photographs taken as early as 1944, the areas were carefully mapped and compared with modern satellite images.

It turns out that the islands did, in fact, change over time, but they are hardly sinking. Overall, 20 grew or remained stable.

This study, done by the University of Aukland in New Zealand, appears to undermind pzkpfw's claim that "Here in New Zealand we expect to be taking in refugees from some of the Pacific island nations. Some of them have main population centres barely a few metres above the current sea level - and already there is salt-water contamination of crop-lands."

But only if his claim is based on sinking islands resulting from global warming as the cause behind the salt-water contamination. The Aukland study clearly refutes the "sinking islands" theory. Instead, as parallaxicality hinted, such issues are caused by other factors, including overuse of resources (water) resulting in a lowering water table which literally, allows the tide to come in(land). And clearly, that phenomena has absolutely nothing to do with global warming.

Strange
2010-Jul-31, 09:54 PM
Given that there is no prospect of a political settlement over global warming, can we expect civilisation to end by 2100? Will science find a way to make the world liveable? Will the worst case scenario be the best fit scenario, or will the results be more mild then we expected?

I doubt civilization will end (depending how you define civilization). And I'm not sure about the timescales. But, if nothing is done to reduce the effects of climate change, there will be radical upheavals and major crises. Many places may have crops destroyed by excessively cold and wet winters, other places being adversely affected by high temperatures and drought. There could be major water shortages; perhaps with wars fought over access to major rivers like the Danube.

Of course, as mugaliens rightly points out, one consequence of this will be mass migrations. I don't share his rather sanguine view of that though. I suspect a country suffering from water and food shortages is not going to be too keen on 10s of millions of people moving in from next door.

Yes, in the long run, the human race will survive but they may be looking back at a long period of local conflicts and larger scale wars.

On the other hand, although it will probably be too late by the time any sort of political agreement for action is made, no doubt there will be technological solutions found for many problems (e.g. geoengineering of various sorts). And, although it doesn't get as much press as the whole reducing CO2 thing, there are many research projects and government initiatives to look at the changes that will need to be made in agriculture; e.g. what crops will be appropriate in a much colder northern europe or an even hotter and drier southern europe, etc.

Strange
2010-Jul-31, 09:59 PM
Because I read both sides of the issue in search of the truth, rather than just those which happen to support my opinion: "EDITORIAL: Pacific Islands Not Sinking From Global Warming - New Study Debunks Al Gore's Hysterial Fairy Tale (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/jun/11/pacific-islands-not-sinking-from-global-warming/)." - The Washington Times

It does seem odd that so much is pinned on this Al Gore character who is, after all, just a politician. I wouldn't expect him to be a source of useful scientific information, and I wouldn't think that an article that "debunks" him was particularly important for the same reason.

Quite an amusingly mad headline though :)

Trakar
2010-Aug-01, 12:54 AM
Given that there is no prospect of a political settlement over global warming, can we expect civilisation to end by 2100? Will science find a way to make the world liveable? Will the worst case scenario be the best fit scenario, or will the results be more mild then we expected?

Well, regardless of some of the commentary so far, a political solution (and perhaps several) are inevitable with regards to AGW, the issue is whether they will be relatively less painful and disruptive resolutions which occur in the near future and minimize our long-term impact upon the environment and our civilization, or whether they are delayed into the future and force drastic actions in pursuit of survival rather than merely impacting short term profittability and prosperity.

the impacts by 2100 are relatively minor and the most drastic won't occur until the last few decades of the century. But they are just the prelude, not the end of the story. Climatic forces and change are cumulative and exponential in their expression, the real problems aren't centered around "what will happen by 2100," but rather that within the next several decades, if we haven't substantially removed the human impact from the equation, the momentum of the system will have accelerated well beyond our capacity to affect change relatively easily, if at all.

There is always the possibility of unknown feedback systems which could kick in and moderate the effects of climate change, but there are a lot of feedbacks we do know about that are on the verge of enhancing and exasperating the currently perceived problems. Our most conservative mode of action is to reduce and control our forcing contributions while we figure out the best way to begin taking down the accumulated levels we have built up over the last century and a half.

As for the 2007 IPCC projections, the nature of such are perforce extremely conservative as they have to be filtered through the political concerns and wills of many global interests and states who aren't particularly ready to deal with the consequences of such determinations. As such they should definitely be seen as "low-ball" figures and estimates. More recent studies and examinations have demonstrated that we are already on the high-end and exceeding many of the IPCC projections over the last 2 decades.

Trakar
2010-Aug-01, 01:00 AM
Why was your case tired? ;) I still don't understand what that has do with climate.


Both sides, as in right and wrong?


Good for you. Sometimes the band wagon is lead by a guy with a tin horn and isn't worth following. Sometimes it is lead by every orchestra leader on the planet.

Just looking for some guidelines here, since the re-organization of all topics relating to climate change discussion here in BAUT. This is a science topic, so how far are we going to go in allowing editorial and non-scientific references and links?

swampyankee
2010-Aug-01, 02:42 AM
Most of the predictions of the effects of global warming are pretty dire, and it won't take very much rise in sea level or shift in weather patterns to cause billions in economic losses. They are, of course, predictions, so they may be wrong.

However, there are already some rather dire harbingers, including the significant thinning of the Arctic ice sheet -- this is why those polar bears are drowning -- general retreat of glaciers, a tendency for species to move farther from the Equator, and a tendency for formerly migratory birds to over-winter in areas which they left in the very recent past.

I don't really think that sea levels will rise to Cincinnati; I just think that many politicians are just incapable of any kind of action to prevent a problem before a major crisis. After all, it took only about 20 years after air pollution killed quite a few people in Donora (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donora_Smog_of_1948), Pennsylvania for the politicians to actually do something about air pollution.

Van Rijn
2010-Aug-01, 03:00 AM
Just looking for some guidelines here, since the re-organization of all topics relating to climate change discussion here in BAUT. This is a science topic, so how far are we going to go in allowing editorial and non-scientific references and links?

That's what I was wondering, since this thread mostly seems to be opinion and speculation.

mugaliens
2010-Aug-01, 04:44 AM
Before I continue, I'd like to make something perfectly clear: Nothing I've said has ANYTHING to do with either pro-AGW or anti-AGW schools of thought. Any attempt at insinuating otherwise, for any purpose, is utterly absurd, and quite contrary to what I clearly stated yesterday: "Keeping very well in mind both pzkpfw's comments, as well as steering clear of BAUT's ban on any and all AGW issues, I'd like to tackle the comments made thus far, focusing solely on the few dealing specifically with "how (whether) we'd adapt given the results" as per pzkpfw's post."

I have done that. FULLY. For anyone to insinuate otherwise is grossly misleading and totally underhanded, and should be dealt with appropriately outside the bounds of this thread. With respect to "how (whether) we'd adapt given the results," we must first weed out what those "results" might be, given the science we have at hand, hence my sourcing the Pacific Islands Applied Geoscience Commission's report on what those results might be.

On with the thread:


Just looking for some guidelines here, since the re-organization of all topics relating to climate change discussion here in BAUT. This is a science topic, so how far are we going to go in allowing editorial and non-scientific references and links?

Ok. let's talk science (like we weren't before??? :question:): Associate Professor Paul Kench of the University of Auckland took part in the study I referenced earlier.

http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d185/mugaliens/AssocProfPaulKench.jpg

He goes by Dr. Kench (PhD from New South Wales). Whether his comments are sources here on BAUT from a news article preceeding his publication in Global and Planetary Change, or directly from his publication, is immaterial. His background and expertise, not to mention the University with which he's associated and their history of similar studies in that particular area render him an expert witness.

Dr. Kench claims the islands are not in immediate danger of extinction. He told the BBC: "That rather gloomy prognosis for these nations is incorrect. We have now got the evidence to suggest that the physical foundation of these countries will still be there in 100 years, so they perhaps do not need to flee their country." - Source (http://www.islandsbusiness.com/news/index_dynamic/containerNameToReplace=MiddleMiddle/focusModuleID=130/focusContentID=19755/tableName=mediaRelease/overideSkinName=newsArticle-full.tpl)

But if a scientific study somehow fails scrutiny simply because it's quoted in a newspaper :wall:, then let's by-pass the newspapers and take a look at another scientific study which fully supports Dr. Kench's comments, that was done a full three years earlier (2007):

Reef-island topography and the vulnerability of atolls to sea-level rise, Colin D. Woodroffe, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia. Received 13 April 2007; accepted 11 November 2007. Available online 21 November 2007.


Abstract (excerpt): "Low-lying reef islands on the rim of atolls are perceived as particularly vulnerable to the impacts of sea-level rise. Three effects are inferred: erosion of the shoreline, inundation of low-lying areas, and saline intrusion into the freshwater lens. Regional reconstruction of sea-level trends, supplementing the short observational instrumental record, indicates that monthly mean sea level is rising in the eastern Indian and western Pacific Oceans. This paper reviews the morphology and substrate characteristics of reef islands on Indo-Pacific atolls, and summarises their topography. On most atolls across this region, there is an oceanward ridge built by waves to a height of around 3 m above MSL; in a few cases these are topped by wind-blown dunes. The prominence of these ridges, together with radiocarbon dating and multi-temporal studies of shoreline position, indicate net accretion rather than long-term erosion on most of these oceanward shores." - Source (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6VF0-4R5VYVW-1&_user=10&_coverDate=05%2F31%2F2008&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_searchStrId=1417547344&_rerunOrigin=scholar.google&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=e7fbdbe206b8f9312ec52afb011b0a50).

Put simply, the "sinking island" idea is not science. The Auckland study is science, and that science indicates that island morphology tends to "rise to the occasion," namely, that regardless of sea levels, there will be islands. Personally, I think that's absolutely wonderful news, don't you agree?

Now, if we can give the "sinking islands" myth a rest and return to the OP's intent, I'd like to make two additional comments, the first on how we might help an island nation solve their salinity intrusion problem, and the second on the OP's concerns in general:

1. Given the in-depth understand of salinity intrusion into crop as a result of fresh water table decline, perhaps the better approach might involve more efficient use of waters available to island populations, including the refurbishment and re-use of gray-water and black-water in order to feed into the water table instead of simply being flushed out to sea, while white-water requirements continue to drain the fresh-water table levels, which allows the incursion of salt-water into croplands. If they're simply all out of water from any source due to population incursion beyond levels which the land can support, then they have two alternatives:

a. Produce fresh water by means of desalinization plants
b. Migrate.

2. As I've stated before, whatever effects GW has for human society, they are nearly an order of magnitude slower than our ability to adjust as evidenced by our continual adaptation to much more acute changes in environmental conditions throughout the course of human history (8000 years).

- Mugs

PS: I'm sick and tired of the doom and gloom crowd. If I have to sell everything I have and hoof it (that's walking, by the way) to some sea-side community to eak out a living on fish or crab, while gathering what scrub and vegetation or hunted game along the way, so be it. The extremely fearful idea that life MUST be presevered precisely as is is a 20th Century construct at best. If there is any purported collapse, I will probably survive. If there's not a collapse, all the fear-mongering is for nothing.

swampyankee
2010-Aug-01, 05:07 AM
Sea level rise is not quite the same as sinking islands. Indeed, I'm not even claiming that there is a currently detectable rise in sea level. What I am saying is that there is definitely evidence that global warming is happening. There may be evidence that sea level is currently rising. Although the change in the salinity boundary of water tables in Pacific islands may be indicative of a current rise in sea level, I think that it's a measurement that is too susceptible to noise because of the agricultural and domestic use of groundwater. On the other hand, my house, which is about 2.5m above sea level, moved from outside to inside of a flood zone a few years ago (I think during the first Bush administration). This may or may not be indicative of a rising sea level.

Ari Jokimaki
2010-Aug-01, 06:59 AM
Ok. let's talk science (like we weren't before??? ):
So far in this thread you have mostly been trying to make it look like that global warming wouldn't be nothing to worry about (which is an ATM view on the issue) without providing scientific evidence for your claims. Providing only one paper doesn't make rest of your arguments scientific.

That one paper you dug out to steer discussion elsewhere from Swift's question which you didn't answer: "And how exactly do you know that a mechanism going on in South Carolina applies to islands in the Pacific?"


The Aukland study clearly refutes the "sinking islands" theory.
Really? So, how does the study that says waves are building a ridge to the coastline show that the center of the island is not "sinking" while the sea level rises? What is rising the center of the island according to this study? Also, some of the islands were in fact shrinking according to your own source, so it seems that this wave mechanism doesn't protect all the islands.


Put simply, the "sinking island" idea is not science.
Back up this claim, please. The Woodroffe study you yourself offered mentions the scientific argumentation of the "sinking island idea": "Low-lying reef islands on the rim of atolls are perceived as particularly vulnerable to the impacts of sea-level rise. Three effects are inferred: erosion of the shoreline, inundation of low-lying areas, and saline intrusion into the freshwater lens." Woodroffe even cites several scientific papers on these arguments (here's full text of Woodroffe, 2007 (http://www.geog.sussex.ac.uk/teaching/courses/0708/coastal/ModuleIV/articles/Atolls/Woodroffe%202007.pdf)) Go ahead and show that these arguments are not scientific.

Here's additional quote from the Woodroffe paper abstract, from the part you left out: "Low-lying central areas are a feature of many islands, often locally excavated for production of taro. These lower-lying areas are already subject to inundation, which seems certain to increase as the sea rises."

This seems to suggest that Woodroffe thinks that "sinking island idea" is alive and well.


The Auckland study is science, and that science indicates that island morphology tends to "rise to the occasion,"...
And yet it doesn't seem to be doing so in all of the islands nor in the centers of the islands. Perhaps you require the island people to live on the coastline ridges that seem to be last to disappear?


...namely, that regardless of sea levels, there will be islands.
Straw man. Nobody is claiming that all the islands in the world are disappearing completely.

Meanwhile, here are some papers on the global sea levels (http://agwobserver.wordpress.com/2009/10/12/papers-on-global-sea-level/).

peterf
2010-Aug-01, 07:18 AM
Before I continue, I'd like to make something perfectly clear: Nothing I've said has ANYTHING to do with either pro-AGW or anti-AGW schools of thought. Any attempt at insinuating otherwise, for any purpose, is utterly absurd, and quite contrary to what I clearly stated yesterday: "Keeping very well in mind both pzkpfw's comments, as well as steering clear of BAUT's ban on any and all AGW issues, I'd like to tackle the comments made thus far, focusing solely on the few dealing specifically with "how (whether) we'd adapt given the results" as per pzkpfw's post."

dude, listen to yourself. you sound scared senseless! no need to wet your pants...
despite pzkpfw's proudly displayed tank fetish, he probably doesn't have any at home... so, relax! :)

mugaliens
2010-Aug-01, 07:52 AM
"dude, listen to yourself. you sound scared senseless! no need to wet your pants..."

Yes, I'm "scared senselesss." I've been issued an infraction merely because of the perception of AGW commentary, despite the fact I made it perfectly, if not exceptionally clear in my first post on this thread that no such commentary would be coming from my corner.

If you'd like to discuss it further, please PM me.

Trakar
2010-Aug-01, 08:44 AM
...Ok. let's talk science (like we weren't before??? :question:): Associate Professor Paul Kench of the University of Auckland took part in the study I referenced earlier...

Sounds okay to me, though I'm a bit concerned about using private news publications as their recent record of "reporting" often demonstrates gross distortion and editorializing beyond the normal bounds of the assigned opinion pages (on all sides of the issue - and this is to include many if not most of the pop-sci digests and magazines). I think we should be able to make the case for our independent understandings of the science then cite or reference peer-reviewed, journal published science as well as the statements and publications of the relevent mainstream scientific organizations and noted researchers which we feel support and shape those understandings. In the end, I'm not sure that it is up to us, but if we are allowed a say, that is where I am coming from, ...I'm open, however, to persuasion if there is a compelling argument for modifications to my position.

Trakar
2010-Aug-01, 08:59 AM
Sea level rise is not quite the same as sinking islands. Indeed, I'm not even claiming that there is a currently detectable rise in sea level...


The rise is occurring, though half (or more) of the current rise is due to the expansion of warming seas rather than through melting glaciers and ice caps.

http://sealevel.colorado.edu/

Understanding global sea levels: past, present and future - http://academics.eckerd.edu/instructor/hastindw/MS1410-001_FA08/handouts/2008SLRSustain.pdf

Sea Level Rise, After the Ice Melted and Today - http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/gornitz_09/

Nereid
2010-Aug-01, 01:21 PM
Given that there is no prospect of a political settlement over global warming, can we expect civilisation to end by 2100? Will science find a way to make the world liveable? Will the worst case scenario be the best fit scenario, or will the results be more mild then we expected?
Question to the OP: by "global warming", are you referring to just the expected rise in average global temperature, and/or diverse changes in local climates (including such things as increases in storm intensity and frequency), and/or the expected knock-on effect of rising sea levels (globally)?

To what extent are you also interested in the less direct, but equally expected, aspects which flow from the primary cause of the expected rise in global temperatures - i.e. the rise in CO2 concentration in the atmosphere - and what is expected to flow from that, e.g. global ocean acidification?

m74z00219
2010-Aug-01, 01:49 PM
Question to the OP: by "global warming", are you referring to just the expected rise in average global temperature, and/or diverse changes in local climates (including such things as increases in storm intensity and frequency), and/or the expected knock-on effect of rising sea levels (globally)?

To what extent are you also interested in the less direct, but equally expected, aspects which flow from the primary cause of the expected rise in global temperatures - i.e. the rise in CO2 concentration in the atmosphere - and what is expected to flow from that, e.g. global ocean acidification?

As for whether or not civilization will end, I think yes; however, I don't believe it'll come to some kind of "mad max" or "water world" doomsday scenario. I do think there will be great strife between now and 2100.

When you consider humanity's sloth, complacency, and overarching goal to make life easier (in general) - whilst noting a possibly unsustainable demand for food, cheap energy, clean water, and comfort - it is hard to imagine getting enough accomplished to preserve a world civilization of over 6 billion people and the level of freedom they all desire.

Increased levels of moisture may mean increased storm activity on coastal regions of the world (there is some evidence of this already). This coupled with sea level rise (which is not homogeneous by the way) may lead to mass migrations (over what time scale?). Desertification is also a real problem, which is caused by overgrazing, poor irrigation and climate change.

I suppose my biggest worry is the First World on an "empty stomach" (because we have the scariest guns). I fear empathy only extending as far as family and the closest friends, everyone else be damned.



M74

parallaxicality
2010-Aug-01, 02:15 PM
Question to the OP: by "global warming", are you referring to just the expected rise in average global temperature, and/or diverse changes in local climates (including such things as increases in storm intensity and frequency), and/or the expected knock-on effect of rising sea levels (globally)?

To what extent are you also interested in the less direct, but equally expected, aspects which flow from the primary cause of the expected rise in global temperatures - i.e. the rise in CO2 concentration in the atmosphere - and what is expected to flow from that, e.g. global ocean acidification?

I'm using "global warming" as a catchall term for everything it entails- climate change, greenhouse gases, ocean acidification, sea level rise, pest migration, desertification, mass migration, and whatever social breakdowns may result

Nereid
2010-Aug-01, 02:28 PM
Question to the OP: by "global warming", are you referring to just the expected rise in average global temperature, and/or diverse changes in local climates (including such things as increases in storm intensity and frequency), and/or the expected knock-on effect of rising sea levels (globally)?

To what extent are you also interested in the less direct, but equally expected, aspects which flow from the primary cause of the expected rise in global temperatures - i.e. the rise in CO2 concentration in the atmosphere - and what is expected to flow from that, e.g. global ocean acidification?I'm using "global warming" as a catchall term for everything it entails- climate change, greenhouse gases, ocean acidification, sea level rise, pest migration, desertification, mass migration, and whatever social breakdowns may result
Thanks very much! :)

Any response, then, to my post #18 (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php/106405-What-can-we-realistically-expect-re-global-warming?p=1770542#post1770542) in this thread?

Here it is again:

I'm going to give a slightly OT answer - the worst case scenario is a repeat of the greatest mass extinction event in the geological record, the Permian-Triassic (PT) mass extinction (the "Great Dying"). It's unlikely to start happening in a way that will dramatically affect civilisation in 2100, but by then the trends will be irreversible, by us Homo sap.s, and the forthcoming mass extinction (Homo sap. included) inevitable.

Why? Because of 'the other' CO2 issue - acidification of the oceans.

The most robust conclusion re the proximate cause of the PT extinction is ocean acidification due to CO2, and while its effects were far more severe on marine species than land ones, I very much doubt that civilisation as we know it could withstand the world's oceans becoming anoxic.

The inevitability of global oceanic anoxia, in the worst case scenario, comes from the multiple positive feedback loops involving acidification that are linked to global warming, so even if we stopped increasing the atmospheric CO2 concentration by 2050 - which is, IMHO, nigh on impossible - the train will have already left the station.

And in case you're wondering, there is no known potential CO2 sink large enough to stop oceanic acidification; worse, some of the proposed "solutions" to the anthropogenic CO2 problem would just make global ocean anoxia more certain - pumping CO2 into deep ocean trenches, for example.

This is, I think, by far the most dramatic answer of all, in this thread so far; yet, strangely, no one has commented on it ...

neilzero
2010-Aug-01, 07:06 PM
We don't want to risk getting banned, if we dare to suggest the mainstream opinions on climate change are wrong or exaggerated. Neil

mugaliens
2010-Aug-01, 08:12 PM
Any response, then, to my post #82 (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php/106405-What-can-we-realistically-expect-re-global-warming?p=1770542#post1770542) in this thread?

"#82?" You mean #18? Have there been that many deleted posts? :lol:


As for whether or not civilization will end, I think yes; however, I don't believe it'll come to some kind of "mad max" or "water world" doomsday scenario. I do think there will be great strife between now and 2100.

There are few centuries throughout recorded history where we have not had "great strife" as compared to the 20th Century, between the years 1900 and 2000.


When you consider humanity's sloth, complacency, and overarching goal to make life easier (in general) - whilst noting a possibly unsustainable demand for food, cheap energy, clean water, and comfort - it is hard to imagine getting enough accomplished to preserve a world civilization of over 6 billion people and the level of freedom they all desire.

Having visited 30+ countries on all all continents except Antarctica, and having lived in seven of those countries, my observations of humanity reveal that most of us are content with food, clothing, and shelter, but an unacceptably large percentage (10%? 20%?) are incapable of rising to even that level. An unacceptably large percentage believe it's their "right" to receive Robin Hood handouts from their governments.


"Increased levels of moisture may mean increased storm activity on coastal regions of the world (there is some evidence of this already). This coupled with sea level rise (which is not homogeneous by the way) may lead to mass migrations (over what time scale?). Desertification is also a real problem, which is caused by overgrazing, poor irrigation and climate change.

A simple walk through the history of our most recent millenium shows that desertification is perhaps both the most widespread effect, yet also the one which has the last impact, as most recently-produced (the last 1,000 years) deserts were, at best, fairly dry grasslands incapable of supporting dense populations.


I suppose my biggest worry is the First World on an "empty stomach" (because we have the scariest guns).

I'm not sure I follow, as human population for the last 2.5 million years has almost always reflected available food sources, but only so far as our technology has enabled us to procure them. Thus, we've always been on an empty stomach.


I fear empathy only extending as far as family and the closest friends, everyone else be damned.

While we may have evolved to significantly higher levels than our mammalian cousins, I think you will find that very, very few of us will sacrifice ourselves or our families when we get down to that last morsel of food. 2.5 million years of evolution is not only a difficult thing to erase, but I would be troubled by anyone suggesting we do so. Yes, starvation is a serious issue! I donate more than 6% of my disposable income to help children around the world get at lease one square meal a day while receiving a well-rounded, quality eduction. But if I learned my son were starving, I would travel to him, by foot is necessary, to ensure he's being well-fed.


We don't want to risk getting banned, if we dare to suggest the mainstream opinions on climate change are wrong or exaggerated. Neil

I think the issue here is that some ideas promulgated in popular media appear to be mainstream science when in fact they are not. The prudent thing to do is to stick to science, rather than handing out infractions or bans in response to scientific information contrary to something in an ex-vice president's book.

Nereid
2010-Aug-01, 08:16 PM
"#82?" You mean #18? Have there been that many deleted posts? :lol:

[...]
Oops! :o (fixed)

Swift
2010-Aug-01, 08:30 PM
The prudent thing to do is to stick to science, rather than handing out infractions or bans in response to scientific information contrary to something in an ex-vice president's book.

Because I read both sides of the issue in search of the truth, rather than just those which happen to support my opinion: "EDITORIAL: Pacific Islands Not Sinking From Global Warming - New Study Debunks Al Gore's Hysterial Fairy Tale (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/jun/11/pacific-islands-not-sinking-from-global-warming/)." - The Washington Times


And sometimes it's lead by people named Al Gore.
This rant (and it is somewhat of a rant) is not aimed particularly at you Mugs, but you have supplied the appropriate references.

I am completely sick and tired of people using Al Gore as the point guy for AGW, particularly for any anti-AGW positions. If you can prove Al Gore was wrong about something, the whole shaky house of cards on AGW comes tumbling down.

I think my position on AGW is clear. I base absolutely none of that opinion upon anything Al Gore has to say, I've read none of his books, and I have not seen his movie. Quite frankly, I could care less about what he thinks on the issue. And I do not believe anyone has used him as a AGW reference in this thread.

What I do care about is that virtually every climatologist and every scientific organization on this planet has come to the conclusion that climate change is going on and humans are wholly or mostly the cause.

Gillianren
2010-Aug-01, 08:36 PM
I base absolutely none of that opinion upon anything Al Gore has to say, I've read none of his books, and I have not seen his movie.

I watched the movie; it starts with "I." The thing I took away from it is that people might be more willing to listen to the information had he gotten Morgan Freeman to narrate instead of doing it himself.

Trakar
2010-Aug-01, 11:11 PM
We don't want to risk getting banned, if we dare to suggest the mainstream opinions on climate change are wrong or exaggerated. Neil

I don't see where anyone gets "banned" for such a position, but, just like any other position that contradicts established, mainstream scientific understanding, you must advocate your position in a certain area, according to certain rules. Neither condition seems particularly onerous.

Trakar
2010-Aug-01, 11:25 PM
While I initially believed this thread to be about discussing the impacts of climate change, it is becoming increasingly obvious that some are trying to derail it into a series of cat-fights about whether or not climate change is happening and why. If we return to the original line of discussion, I will be happy to rejoin it, ...or if this line continues and the entire thread is moved to ATM, I will rejoin in that forum, until one or the other of those conditions play out however, I'll respectfully bow out of this exchange.

mugaliens
2010-Aug-02, 05:27 AM
...it is becoming increasingly obvious that some are trying to derail it into a series of cat-fights about whether or not climate change is happening and why.

If you're thinking I'm one of those, please don't, as you'd be wrong. Climate change is most certainly happening, and I concur with the idea that much, if not most of it has been caused by us humans.


What I do care about is that virtually every climatologist and every scientific organization on this planet has come to the conclusion that climate change is going on and humans are wholly or mostly the cause.

I'm glad we agree. Now is the time for anyone who has been insinuating that anyone, particularly myself, is trying to raise either AGW or anti-AGW arguements in this thread. I have not, and will not do that. That at least one individual (not you, Swift, nor am I referring to you, Trakar) has jumped to that eroneous conclusion is rather maddening.

Back to the OP, which concerns the affects of global warming:

Earlier today I read through more papers similar to those I've previously referenced, and discovered that many islands are "low islands," that is, they're formed either as a result of sedimentation upon a coral reef or the uplifting of such islands. These are opposed to "high islands," which are formed either by volcanos. The terms "low" and "high" do not refer to the actual elevations, as some low islands are hundreds of feet in height, while some high islands are no more than a few feet about sea level.

Interestingly, "Low islands have poor, sandy soil and little fresh water, which makes them difficult to farm. They don't support human habitation as well as high islands. The people that do live on low islands survive by mostly fishing." - source (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low_island)

My primary interest involves the effect of abrupt climate change, such as that of global warming, on both types of islands. We can see the effects of abrupt climate change, as there have been several since 1976. - source and list (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abrupt_climate_change#Abrupt_climate_shifts_since_ 1976) Sea levels rose approximately 18.5 cm between 1900 and 2000, and the IPCC says it's currently rising around 4 mm/yr. They project it wil be between 0.22 and 0.44 m above 1990 levels. - source (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physical_impacts_of_climate_change#Sea_level_rise)

My concern with the low islands is that coral reefs form their basis, as well as their barrier protection against storms. It's estimated that 10% of the world's coral reefs are already dead, and another 60% are at risk due to destructive, human-related activities, most notably coral mining, pollution, overfishing, blast fishing, and digging. - source (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_issues_with_coral_reefs) Science has noted that coral reefs do not tolerate higher sea temps and increasing acidification, yet much warmer periods have existed throughout history, and corals have continued to exist through those. Thus, the question becomes, "Are they the same corals, or did they evolve to withstand higher temps?" I'd guess the latter, but that may take more time than we have, which means short-term, abrupt climate change could kill most coral reefs. At the very least, most global warming issues reduce coral's already slow growth rate, which for healthy corals is between 1 and 3 centimeters per year horizontally, and 1 to 25 cm/yr vertically.

Clearly, healthy coral's minimum 1 cm/yr vertically can easily keep pace with the 4 mm/yr sea-level rise rate predicted by the IPCC. However, can unhealthy keep up with the sea-rise rate? Certainly dead coral cannot do so! Thus, in order to help protect coral formation, which is critical to low island health, as well as acting as a barrier to high islands, we need to seriously reduce our many adverse impacts on the beautiful little beasties. :)

Nereid
2010-Aug-02, 06:46 AM
[...]

Back to the OP, which concerns the affects of global warming:

Earlier today I read through more papers similar to those I've previously referenced, and discovered that many islands are "low islands," that is, they're formed either as a result of sedimentation upon a coral reef or the uplifting of such islands. These are opposed to "high islands," which are formed either by volcanos. The terms "low" and "high" do not refer to the actual elevations, as some low islands are hundreds of feet in height, while some high islands are no more than a few feet about sea level.

Interestingly, "Low islands have poor, sandy soil and little fresh water, which makes them difficult to farm. They don't support human habitation as well as high islands. The people that do live on low islands survive by mostly fishing." - source (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low_island)

My primary interest involves the effect of abrupt climate change, such as that of global warming, on both types of islands. We can see the effects of abrupt climate change, as there have been several since 1976. - source and list (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abrupt_climate_change#Abrupt_climate_shifts_since_ 1976) Sea levels rose approximately 18.5 cm between 1900 and 2000, and the IPCC says it's currently rising around 4 mm/yr. They project it wil be between 0.22 and 0.44 m above 1990 levels. - source (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physical_impacts_of_climate_change#Sea_level_rise)

My concern with the low islands is that coral reefs form their basis, as well as their barrier protection against storms. It's estimated that 10% of the world's coral reefs are already dead, and another 60% are at risk due to destructive, human-related activities, most notably coral mining, pollution, overfishing, blast fishing, and digging. - source (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_issues_with_coral_reefs) Science has noted that coral reefs do not tolerate higher sea temps and increasing acidification, yet much warmer periods have existed throughout history, and corals have continued to exist through those. Thus, the question becomes, "Are they the same corals, or did they evolve to withstand higher temps?" I'd guess the latter, but that may take more time than we have, which means short-term, abrupt climate change could kill most coral reefs. At the very least, most global warming issues reduce coral's already slow growth rate, which for healthy corals is between 1 and 3 centimeters per year horizontally, and 1 to 25 cm/yr vertically.

Clearly, healthy coral's minimum 1 cm/yr vertically can easily keep pace with the 4 mm/yr sea-level rise rate predicted by the IPCC. However, can unhealthy keep up with the sea-rise rate? Certainly dead coral cannot do so! Thus, in order to help protect coral formation, which is critical to low island health, as well as acting as a barrier to high islands, we need to seriously reduce our many adverse impacts on the beautiful little beasties. :)(bold added)

AFAIK, it's the incredible speed at which the relevant ocean temperatures have been rising, in tandem with the increased acidity, that is (largely) doing many coral reefs in; complex, multi-cellular life is not good at responding to environmental change as fast as it's currently experiencing, especially if it's stuck in one location. Kinda like why the humans in Hiroshima didn't evolve to withstand high doses of radiation when the bomb was dropped on them ...

Trakar
2010-Aug-02, 07:20 AM
If you're thinking I'm one of those, please don't, as you'd be wrong. Climate change is most certainly happening, and I concur with the idea that much, if not most of it has been caused by us humans.

Sounds reasonable to me, and that is surely the core essence of AGW.

mugaliens
2010-Aug-02, 09:32 AM
AFAIK, it's the incredible speed at which the relevant ocean temperatures have been rising, in tandem with the increased acidity, that is (largely) doing many coral reefs in; complex, multi-cellular life is not good at responding to environmental change as fast as it's currently experiencing, especially if it's stuck in one location. Kinda like why the humans in Hiroshima didn't evolve to withstand high doses of radiation when the bomb was dropped on them ...

The radiation released at Hiroshima occurred during 1/630,720,000th of a human generation while corals will undergo many generations in 100 years.

The mechanism of evolution isn't that all oganisms within a species are identical, then evolve slowly over time in response to gradual environmental pressure. Rather, the mechanism is that the organisms vary in terms of their abilities. Some organisms will favor cooler temps, others will favor heat. Some will favor more acidity, others will favor less. When conditions change, the ones favoring the changes will thrive while the others may perish. Thus, for rapid climate change, you might loose 60% of your corals, but the ones that do survive already bear traits which favor the changes, and they'll repopulate the losses. When change is so great that all organisms of a species perish, then obviously no evolution can take place.

As entire reefs have died in recent years, my concern is that between the global warming and the other pressures we create, we may find that entire species will have died. Not only would that be tragic for the loss of coral, but for the pivitol role corals play in our oceanic environment.

Swift
2010-Aug-02, 01:05 PM
Speaking of possible effects of climate change.... this article (titled in the title of this post (http://www.fmap.ca/ramweb/media/phytoplankton_decline/content/Boyce_etal_2010.pdf)) was recently published in Nature.

In the oceans, ubiquitous microscopic phototrophs (phytoplankton) account for approximately half the production of organic matter on Earth. Analyses of satellite-derived phytoplankton concentration (available since 1979) have suggested decadal-scale fluctuations linked to climate forcing, but the length of this record is insufficient to resolve longer-term trends. Here we combine available ocean transparency measurements and in situ chlorophyll observations to estimate the time dependence of phytoplankton biomass at local, regional and global scales since 1899. We observe declines in eight out of ten ocean regions, and estimate a global rate of decline of ~1% of the global median per year. Our analyses further reveal interannual to decadal phytoplankton fluctuations superimposed on long-term trends. These fluctuations are strongly correlated with basin-scale climate indices, whereas long-term declining trends are related to increasing sea surface temperatures. We conclude that global phytoplankton concentration has declined over the past century; this decline will need to be considered in future studies of marine ecosystems, geochemical cycling, ocean circulation and fisheries.
I believe this is the first report of such an effect, so I would take it as preliminary, but if confirmed, it could be rather significant (again, not the end of human civilization or life, but significant).

Thanks to Mike Alexander for referring me to the article.

mike alexander
2010-Aug-02, 01:39 PM
Speaking of possible effects of climate change.... this article (titled in the title of this post (http://www.fmap.ca/ramweb/media/phytoplankton_decline/content/Boyce_etal_2010.pdf)) was recently published in Nature.

I believe this is the first report of such an effect, so I would take it as preliminary, but if confirmed, it could be rather significant (again, not the end of human civilization or life, but significant).

Thanks to Mike Alexander for referring me to the article.

Oh, sure. Blame me.

Ari Jokimaki
2010-Aug-02, 01:59 PM
Here are some papers on already observed reactions in the ecosystems to the global warming. (http://agwobserver.wordpress.com/2009/07/31/papers-on-biological-indicators-of-global-warming/)

eburacum45
2010-Aug-03, 04:44 PM
With respect to the rapid temperature rise in the current ocean; why is the life in the ocean not adaptable enough to cope with this sort of rise? Surely ocean temperatures have been going up and down rapidly for most of the Quaternary period, sometimes more rapidly than they are today, and sometimes reaching higher temperatures than those of today's oceans?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eemian_Stage#Sea_level

I certainly don't doubt AGW, but I am surprised that the oceans are expected to die off when they have been on a roller-coaster for the last million years.

Swift
2010-Aug-03, 06:03 PM
With respect to the rapid temperature rise in the current ocean; why is the life in the ocean not adaptable enough to cope with this sort of rise? Surely ocean temperatures have been going up and down rapidly for most of the Quaternary period, sometimes more rapidly than they are today, and sometimes reaching higher temperatures than those of today's oceans?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eemian_Stage#Sea_level

I certainly don't doubt AGW, but I am surprised that the oceans are expected to die off when they have been on a roller-coaster for the last million years.
I suspect for both ocean life and land life one of the biggest problems is rate of change. A couple of degree temperature rise in 1000 years is a lot easier to adapt to than the same rise in 100 years.

The problems for ocean life are also compounded by the increase in dissolved CO2 in the water, and the changes this causes in seawater pH. This is particularly a problem for creatures that make calcium carbonate shells, since the processes are particularly sensitive to pH and carbonate concentration.

eburacum45
2010-Aug-03, 06:12 PM
Well, there have been quite rapid changes in temperature in the past, particularly at the beginning and end of interglacial periods. But I guess we are getting into uncharted territory, now; there has never been so much stored fossil carbon being burned into the atmosphere at any time in the past.

Nereid
2010-Aug-03, 07:04 PM
Well, there have been quite rapid changes in temperature in the past, particularly at the beginning and end od interglacial periods. But I guess we are getting into uncharted territory, now; there has never been so much stored fossil carbon being burned into the atmosphere at any time in the past.
That's why the PT extinction is so informative; it seems that, for a variety of reasons, the global oceans became acidic and then anoxic (or perhaps both, or in the reverse order), and the proximate cause of that seems to have been a dramatic increase in atmospheric CO2. Now the present-day increase in atmospheric CO2 makes that preceding the PT extinction look like the slowest of snails, compared to today's fastest of cheetahs. Further, I'm not so sure previous changes in global temperatures have been as fast as today's; what looks like an astonishingly fast change in the geological record usually means millennia at the fastest, if not millions of years.

And to add to Swift's point, it's not only the inability to form calcium carbonate shells, but apparently most marine organisms have little tolerance for sustained increases in acidity - reproduction slows down, disease resistance drops, etc - and once the incredibly interlocked ocean ecosystems start to suffer, collapse on a truly grand scale may begin at any time (a classic catastrophe; think of passenger pigeons, or George's Bank cod).

Further, per Swift's link re phytoplankton, maybe one of the canaries is already showing signs of severe distress: a ~1% pa decline sounds innocent enough, right? But consider that the oceans' acidity is increasing, at an increasing rate, and even at only 1% pa, that's a ~50% drop in less than a century*!

Now those reading this post today likely won't have too much to worry about, but our grandchildren and great-grandchildren will surely curse our spinelessness with the most bitter of words ...

* on geological timescales, a century is the same as instantaneous

eburacum45
2010-Aug-03, 07:27 PM
Further, I'm not so sure previous changes in global temperatures have been as fast as today's; what looks like an astonishingly fast change in the geological record usually means millennia at the fastest, if not millions of years.Some of the interglacial/glacial boundaries have had very fast rises, with metres per century of sea level rise (or so some sources say). We haven't got to that stage yet.

Boratssister
2010-Aug-03, 08:34 PM
That's why the PT extinction is so informative; it seems that, for a variety of reasons, the global oceans became acidic and then anoxic (or perhaps both, or in the reverse order), and the proximate cause of that seems to have been a dramatic increase in atmospheric CO2. Now the present-day increase in atmospheric CO2 makes that preceding the PT extinction look like the slowest of snails, compared to today's fastest of cheetahs. Further, I'm not so sure previous changes in global temperatures have been as fast as today's; what looks like an astonishingly fast change in the geological record usually means millennia at the fastest, if not millions of years.

And to add to Swift's point, it's not only the inability to form calcium carbonate shells, but apparently most marine organisms have little tolerance for sustained increases in acidity - reproduction slows down, disease resistance drops, etc - and once the incredibly interlocked ocean ecosystems start to suffer, collapse on a truly grand scale may begin at any time (a classic catastrophe; think of passenger pigeons, or George's Bank cod).

Further, per Swift's link re phytoplankton, maybe one of the canaries is already showing signs of severe distress: a ~1% pa decline sounds innocent enough, right? But consider that the oceans' acidity is increasing, at an increasing rate, and even at only 1% pa, that's a ~50% drop in less than a century*!

Now those reading this post today likely won't have too much to worry about, but our grandchildren and great-grandchildren will surely curse our spinelessness with the most bitter of words ...

* on geological timescales, a century is the same as instantaneous

When I have too much acid I eat a rennie which is mostly calcium carbonate. I think the limestone cliffs of dover will neutralize a great deal of this acid. How much airborne carbon dioxide is there? Will the oceans become fizzy?

Nereid
2010-Aug-03, 08:50 PM
That's why the PT extinction is so informative; it seems that, for a variety of reasons, the global oceans became acidic and then anoxic (or perhaps both, or in the reverse order), and the proximate cause of that seems to have been a dramatic increase in atmospheric CO2. Now the present-day increase in atmospheric CO2 makes that preceding the PT extinction look like the slowest of snails, compared to today's fastest of cheetahs. Further, I'm not so sure previous changes in global temperatures have been as fast as today's; what looks like an astonishingly fast change in the geological record usually means millennia at the fastest, if not millions of years.

And to add to Swift's point, it's not only the inability to form calcium carbonate shells, but apparently most marine organisms have little tolerance for sustained increases in acidity - reproduction slows down, disease resistance drops, etc - and once the incredibly interlocked ocean ecosystems start to suffer, collapse on a truly grand scale may begin at any time (a classic catastrophe; think of passenger pigeons, or George's Bank cod).

Further, per Swift's link re phytoplankton, maybe one of the canaries is already showing signs of severe distress: a ~1% pa decline sounds innocent enough, right? But consider that the oceans' acidity is increasing, at an increasing rate, and even at only 1% pa, that's a ~50% drop in less than a century*!

Now those reading this post today likely won't have too much to worry about, but our grandchildren and great-grandchildren will surely curse our spinelessness with the most bitter of words ...

* on geological timescales, a century is the same as instantaneousWhen I have too much acid I eat a rennie which is mostly calcium carbonate.
I'm sure you do.

And when the oceans become too acidic, they eat rennies too ... the shells of an extremely large number of marine species, including a great many near the bottom of the food chains.


I think the limestone cliffs of dover will neutralize a great deal of this acid.
You do?

How many tonnes of CaCO3 are there in said cliffs? How much is in the shells of marine organisms? (these are not idle questions).

And if said cliffs are so effective, why is the acidity of the world's oceans increasing? And at an increasing rate? (HINT: the vastly greater tonnage of extra CO2 in the atmosphere, put there by you-know-who).


How much airborne carbon dioxide is there? Will the oceans become fizzy?
They don't need to "become fizzy" for ~90% of marine species to go extinct; and what happens when lots of marine species die, quickly? (HINT: think of the 'dead zones' off the southern shores of the US).

(answer to the first question later).

Nereid
2010-Aug-03, 08:55 PM
Some of the interglacial/glacial boundaries have had very fast rises, with metres per century of sea level rise (or so some sources say). We haven't got to that stage yet.
Unfortunately, the amount of water locked up in today's ice caps is vastly smaller than that during ice ages; except for a melting of the Antarctic ice (pretty unlikely, in the next century or so, right?), the rest of the world's ice would, if melted, add how many metres to the sea level? Two?

And that's another reason why ocean acidification is so deadly (potentially); dilution by melting ice is not a realistic hope (as it would have been if vast ice sheets were available for melting).

astromark
2010-Aug-03, 09:18 PM
Some excellent input... great to see. House's on stilts could be modified.. might be a little simplistic.

But it needs to be understood that the oceans rise is not quick. We are not looking at overnight changes.

Time is a plenty for migrations away from low atoll dwelling villagers of the Pacific. BUT, ignore it at your peril.

Humanity prevails because it can adapt. It has before and can again. Look across the globe and see the diversity of foods eaten.

Global worming is not a extinction event. Change is a byproduct of life. Its essential.

We do need to understand and work with what we have. Finger pointing and blaming... No.

Adaption and change, relocation and modification are the way forward.

What I see as climate change driven ocean rise. Does not alarm me.

We have only just begun to understand ocean floor farming concepts.

70% of the global surface is ocean. A 5% rise is not the end of us.

We just need to adapt.

We can not stop it can we ?

Boratssister
2010-Aug-03, 09:42 PM
I'm sure you do.

And when the oceans become too acidic, they eat rennies too ... the shells of an extremely large number of marine species, including a great many near the bottom of the food chains.


You do?

How many tonnes of CaCO3 are there in said cliffs? How much is in the shells of marine organisms? (these are not idle questions).

And if said cliffs are so effective, why is the acidity of the world's oceans increasing? And at an increasing rate? (HINT: the vastly greater tonnage of extra CO2 in the atmosphere, put there by you-know-who).


They don't need to "become fizzy" for ~90% of marine species to go extinct; and what happens when lots of marine species die, quickly? (HINT: think of the 'dead zones' off the southern shores of the US).

(answer to the first question later).

May be we should start mining the old chalk nereid, I know one rennie does my all stomach, especially after eating pastries!
Marvellous things are rennie !

Ara Pacis
2010-Aug-03, 09:49 PM
Unfortunately, the amount of water locked up in today's ice caps is vastly smaller than that during ice ages; except for a melting of the Antarctic ice (pretty unlikely, in the next century or so, right?), the rest of the world's ice would, if melted, add how many metres to the sea level? Two?

And that's another reason why ocean acidification is so deadly (potentially); dilution by melting ice is not a realistic hope (as it would have been if vast ice sheets were available for melting).

Sounds like my next screenplay...
In a world that still debates the reality of climate change, a mad scientist and his daughter join forces with a rich heiress as they struggle against the glacial speed of governments to avert ocean acidification to use nukes to destroy the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets in order to save the planet.

Nereid
2010-Aug-03, 10:01 PM
May be we should start mining the old chalk nereid, I know one rennie does my all stomach, especially after eating pastries!
Marvellous things are rennie !
I'll let - hope - our resident chemist weigh in, swiftly (cough); suffice it to say that if you think that will save your grandchildren from cursing ...

* there's only one, isn't there, who has both a relevant degree and professional experience, among the regulars in this thread?

Nereid
2010-Aug-03, 10:02 PM
Sounds like my next screenplay...
In a world that still debates the reality of climate change, a mad scientist and his daughter join forces with a rich heiress as they struggle against the glacial speed of governments to avert ocean acidification to use nukes to destroy the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets in order to save the planet.
Sadly, while it might make a good screenplay, I don't think melting the Greenland icecap will do much good (all the ice in Antarctica too? I don't know).

Strange
2010-Aug-03, 10:19 PM
I'll let - hope - our resident chemist weigh in, swiftly (cough); suffice it to say that if you think that will save your grandchildren from cursing ...

* there's only one, isn't there, who has both a relevant degree and professional experience, among the regulars in this thread?

Although I don't have the degree or professional experience (and have only taken Rennies as a calcium supplement) ... I would just point out that the reason that things like Rennies work is because the acid they are neutralizing is not carbonic acid and, in fact, the use of carbonates to neutralize other acids (such as those in the stomach) would release CO2.

(Never mind all the CO2 that would be produced in order to dig up and move all that chalk/limestone)

Trakar
2010-Aug-03, 10:35 PM
Unfortunately, the amount of water locked up in today's ice caps is vastly smaller than that during ice ages; except for a melting of the Antarctic ice (pretty unlikely, in the next century or so, right?), the rest of the world's ice would, if melted, add how many metres to the sea level? Two?

And that's another reason why ocean acidification is so deadly (potentially); dilution by melting ice is not a realistic hope (as it would have been if vast ice sheets were available for melting).


http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/watercycleice.html


During the last warm spell, 125,000 years ago, the seas were about 18 feet (5.5 meters) higher than they are today. About three million years ago the seas could have been up to 165 feet (50.3 meters) higher.

BTW, most estimates indicate that we have already exceeded the temperatures of the last interglacial, and without a rather dramatic reversal of our current habits and trends, could easily approach and even exceed the temperatures before the begininning of the current ice age some 3 million years ago.

eburacum45
2010-Aug-03, 11:26 PM
If all the glacial ice around the margins of Greenland and Antarctia melted, that would be about 0.5 m.
The icecap on Greenland itself would contribute 7m; all the ice on Antarctica would raise sealevel 60-70 metres. This would bring us back to sealevels in the Miocene or Oligocene, when there was probably no cap on Antarctica to speak of.

eburacum45
2010-Aug-03, 11:35 PM
BTW, most estimates indicate that we have already exceeded the temperatures of the last interglacial, These are different estimates to the ones in my quote from Wiki above, then, about the Eemian?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eemian_Stage#Sea_level

I know Wikipedia isn't all that reliable, but most things I've read over the decades seem to suggest that the Eemian (Ipswichian) was warmer than it is today by a small number of degrees. When did that change?

Trakar
2010-Aug-03, 11:39 PM
Some of the interglacial/glacial boundaries have had very fast rises, with metres per century of sea level rise (or so some sources say). We haven't got to that stage yet.

Well, Rob Young (director of the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines at Western Carolina University) and Orrin Pilkey (James B. Duke Professor Emeritus in the Duke University Division of Earth and Ocean Science) have a new book out entitled "The Rising Sea." (http://www.islandpress.com/bookstore/details.php?prod_id=1760) in it, they lay out the case for us indeed being in that "stage" currently, and are predicting sea level rises in the 7 foot range by 2100. I tend to lend such experts no small meeasure of credence, especially when what they lay out and project is largely reflected in recent IPCC reports such as the Copenhagen Diagnosis (http://www.copenhagendiagnosis.com/).


"Sea level is likely to rise much more by 2100 than the often-cited range of 18-59 centimeters from the IPCC AR4. As noted in the IPCC AR4, the coupled models used in developing the 21st century sea level projections did not include representations of dynamic ice sheets. As such, the oft-cited 18-59 centimeters projected sea level rise only included simple mass balance estimates of the sea level contribution from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. As a consequence of an assumed positive mass balance over the Antarctic ice sheet in the AR4, Antarctica was estimated to have contributed to global sea level decline during the 21st century in that report. However, the Antarctic Ice Sheet is currently losing mass as a consequence of dynamical processes (see Figure 10 in this report). Based on a number of new studies, the synthesis document of the 2009 Copenhagen Climate Congress (Richardson et al. 2009) concluded that 'updated estimates of the future global mean sea level rise are
about double the IPCC projections from 2007.'
Sea level will continue to rise for many centuries after global temperature is stabilized, since it takes that much time for the oceans and ice sheets to fully respond to a warmer climate. Some recent estimates of future rise are compiled in Figure 17. These estimates highlight the fact that unchecked global warming is likely to raise sea level by several meters in coming centuries, leading to the loss of many major coastal cities and entire island states.

And almost all of these projections presume that we come to our senses and virtually eliminate anthropogenic emissions over the next few decades, something I see little or no indication of occurring. If we maintain our current pace, these projections are low-ball estimates.

Nereid
2010-Aug-03, 11:57 PM
Here's one website dedicated to scientific research into ocean acidification: EPOCA (http://www.epoca-project.eu/)

From the site:

Ocean acidification is an undisputed fact. The ocean presently takes up one-fourth of the carbon CO2 emitted to the atmosphere from human activities. As this CO2 dissolves in the surface ocean, it reacts with seawater to form carbonic acid, increasing ocean acidity and shifting the partitioning of inorganic carbon species towards increased CO2 and dissolved inorganic carbon, and decreased concentration of carbonate ion.

While our understanding of the possible consequences of ocean acidification is still rudimentary, both the scientific community and the society at large are increasingly concerned about the possible risks associated with ocean acidification for marine organisms and ecosystems.
There's a great deal on this site, including references to many published papers.

Regarding rates (bold added):

The consequences of man's use of fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas) in terms of global warming has not escaped anyones attention. Ocean acidification is another, and much less known, result of the approximately 79 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) released into the atmosphere every day, not only as a result of fossil fuel burning but also of deforestation and production of cement (7). Since the beginning of the industrial revolution, about one third of the CO2 released in the atmosphere by anthropogenic (human-caused) activities has been absorbed by the world’s oceans,which play a key role in moderating climate change (5). Without this capacity of the oceans, the CO2 content in the atmosphere would have been much higher and global warming and its consequences more dramatic. The impacts of ocean acidification on marine ecosystems are still poorly known but one of the most likely consequences is the slower growth of organisms forming calcareous skeletons or shells, such as corals and mollusks.

Trakar
2010-Aug-04, 12:42 AM
These are different estimates to the ones in my quote from Wiki above, then, about the Eemian?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eemian_Stage#Sea_level

I know Wikipedia isn't all that reliable, but most things I've read over the decades seem to suggest that the Eemian (Ipswichian) was warmer than it is today by a small number of degrees. When did that change?

Your reference seems to be primarily focussed on sea level rather than temp and CO2 levels,
In graph form with references:
http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/science/pastcc_fig1.html

http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/abstracts/2006/Hansen_etal_1.html - lists us as equivilant to Holocene Max and within 1degree C of the max temp of the last million years.

But most specifically to your point are a string of analyses like those represented by: "Temperatures at the last interglacial simulated by a coupled ocean-atmosphere climate model" - http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/1998/97PA02550.shtml

((Which have been in circulation for more than a decade but which have only gained greater acceptance in the last couple of years as supporting evidences from other areas have turned up.))


excerpt -
The last interglacial (Eemian, 125,000 years ago) has generally been considered the warmest time period in the last 200,000 years and thus sometimes been used as a reference for greenhouse projections. Herein we report results from a coupled ocean-atmosphere climate model of the surface temperature response to changes in the radiative forcing at the last interglacial. Although the model generates the expected summer warming in the northern hemisphere, winter cooling of a comparable magnitude occurs over North Africa and tropical Asia. The global annual mean temperature for the Eemian run is 0.3°C cooler than the control run. Validation of simulated sea surface temperatures (SSTs) against reconstructed SSTs supports this conclusion and also the assumption that the flux correction, fitted for the present state, operates satisfactorily for modest perturbations. Our results imply that contrary to conventional expectations, Eemian global temperatures may already have been reached by the mid 20th century.

after we achieve static atmospheric composition and temperature levels and allow sufficient time for the melts to peak in correspondance to those levels, I expect that we will exceed Eemian sea levels and may well end up at pre ice-age levels.

Maha Vailo
2010-Aug-04, 08:20 AM
Personally, I don't see things like wars and shortages happening in the future because we have the technology to deal with this.

Water shortages? Desalinate and conserve. Shower with a friend.

Agricultural problems? Grow crops adapted to the new climate. Breed/genetically engineer the old ones.

Rising sea levels? IIRC these appear to be going at such a slow pace that the resultant migrations would be no harder to accommodate than the original migration southward.

Animals threatened by climate change? Breed them in zoos. Leave nature preserves for them somewhere else.

Fossil fuel burning? Switch to nuclear power, and be more efficient with the energy we do use.

People who think who see nothing but doom-and-gloom from climate change often make the assumption that we're not smart enough to adapt to it, that we'll just sit around until it bites us on the butt. But technology changes (a lot!), and that clouds the predictions somewhat.

I say, hope for the best but prepare for the worst. It's good advice for anything.

- Maha Vailo

eburacum45
2010-Aug-04, 08:42 AM
Thanks! That is interesting and informative. This is a change in data that appears to have emerged in the last decade.

The fact that CO2 levels are currently at unprecedented levels (for the Quaternary) is undeniable, and this will get higher.

Over time the permanent ice caps will melt, but that will be a long job; melting all that ice will consume a lot of latent heat. At the end of this long process we can expect sea-levels and temperatures similar to those in the Miocene; a period when there was abundant land and sea fauna. The rapid transition is what is going to cause the most extinctions- but this transition could be slowed down by the latent heat mechanism, so that the Earth warms more slowly than some predictions suggest- giving the sea fauna more time to revert to a Miocene-type population.

Have there been any studies on this possibility? I apologise for not having found this out for myself, but it seems likely that others here already know where to find the information.

jlhredshift
2010-Aug-04, 11:35 AM
Your reference seems to be primarily focussed on sea level rather than temp and CO2 levels,
In graph form with references:
http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/science/pastcc_fig1.html

http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/abstracts/2006/Hansen_etal_1.html - lists us as equivilant to Holocene Max and within 1degree C of the max temp of the last million years.

But most specifically to your point are a string of analyses like those represented by: "Temperatures at the last interglacial simulated by a coupled ocean-atmosphere climate model" - http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/1998/97PA02550.shtml

((Which have been in circulation for more than a decade but which have only gained greater acceptance in the last couple of years as supporting evidences from other areas have turned up.))



after we achieve static atmospheric composition and temperature levels and allow sufficient time for the melts to peak in correspondance to those levels, I expect that we will exceed Eemian sea levels and may well end up at pre ice-age levels.

Here is the paper that I find referenced fairly often to define the Sangamonian interglacial.

The Deep Ocean During the Last Interglacial Period (http://folk.uib.no/gbskn/share/NICEpdfs/Duplessy.Roche.ea.2007.pdf); J. C. Duplessy et al.; 2007


The climate of the last interglacial (LIG) period, from 129,000 to 118,000 years ago (1, 2), was slightly warmer than today’s and is often viewed as an analog of the climate expected d during the next few centuries. Recent assessments of the LIG climate have provided strong evidence that sea level was 4 to 6 m above the present level, due to partial melting of both Greenland and the
West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) (3, 4). At peak interglacial conditions, summer temperatures were 2° to 5°C warmer than today in the North Atlantic (5) over Greenland (6) and the Arctic (7). The Norwegian-Greenland Sea experienced large variability, but during the warmest period, the Arctic oceanic front was located west of its present location (8). Consequently, the Arctic climate was warm enough to explain the shrinking of the Greenland Ice Sheet during the LIG (9). In the Southern Hemisphere, an ~2°C warming occurred over the Antarctic Plateau during the LIG (10), but it could not have resulted in any melting because local air temperature was still extremely cold (~–50°C). In the Southern Ocean, summer sea surface temperatures were about 2°C higher than during the Holocene (11, 12). Over New Zealand and Tasmania, the LIG warming was between 0° and 2°C (13, 14). Such increases in surface water or air temperature seem too small to have resulted in substantial melting of the WAIS (15).

Boratssister
2010-Aug-04, 12:26 PM
Although I don't have the degree or professional experience (and have only taken Rennies as a calcium supplement) ... I would just point out that the reason that things like Rennies work is because the acid they are neutralizing is not carbonic acid and, in fact, the use of carbonates to neutralize other acids (such as those in the stomach) would release CO2.

(Never mind all the CO2 that would be produced in order to dig up and move all that chalk/limestone)

The white cliffs of dover are thankfully safe then!
What is the best way to neutralize carbonic acid? Hold on, I'm going to get some litmus paper, a bottle of fizzy drink and some alkaline substances , I will post my results later! Science at its best.

Swift
2010-Aug-04, 01:01 PM
Personally, I don't see things like wars and shortages happening in the future because we have the technology to deal with this.

Water shortages? Desalinate and conserve. Shower with a friend.
And yet the American Southwest has chronic water shortages and still struggles to meet the demand.


Agricultural problems? Grow crops adapted to the new climate. Breed/genetically engineer the old ones.
Yet sizeable chunks of the population fear genetically engineered crop plants and have convinced their governments to ban such things.


Fossil fuel burning? Switch to nuclear power, and be more efficient with the energy we do use.
I agree, but look at how quickly the US has adapted nuclear power.

I don't think our problems are the existence of technological solutions, our problems are the will to execute them.

Nereid
2010-Aug-04, 03:25 PM
Personally, I don't see things like wars and shortages happening in the future because we have the technology to deal with this.
As has been noted, it's not the technology, but the will.

There's also the timing; a lot of the processes have rather lengthy lead-times; the effects of something happening today may not be fully felt for another x decades. Ocean acidification is a good example: the full effects, on marine ecosystems, of an increased level of acidity in the global oceans may not fully play out for a century; however, reversing the acidification becomes greatly more difficult the longer we wait (not only is acidification increasing, but the rate is increasing too).



Water shortages? Desalinate and conserve. Shower with a friend.
The core problem with fresh water is economic - the cost of water to end users is grossly mis-aligned with the true, full cost. However, solving that economic problem has proven extraordinarily difficult, in most countries - google 'water rights'.


Agricultural problems? Grow crops adapted to the new climate. Breed/genetically engineer the old ones.
The primary issue here is, again, economic. A great many countries - including nearly all which are big agricultural exporters - heavily subsidise much of the agriculture, and, often, those which use water use it at way below its true cost. However, almost no country has had substantial success in fixing these problems (and those which do suffer at the hands of those which continue the subsidies).


Rising sea levels? IIRC these appear to be going at such a slow pace that the resultant migrations would be no harder to accommodate than the original migration southward.
It's not only rising sea levels, but also increasing severity, and frequency, of 'adverse weather' (i.e. storms and floods).


Animals threatened by climate change? Breed them in zoos. Leave nature preserves for them somewhere else.
Won't work for marine ecosystems.


Fossil fuel burning? Switch to nuclear power, and be more efficient with the energy we do use.
Indeed.

But can the switch be made fast enough to head-off some very nasty changes?

Fortunately, or otherwise, most of the pain will be our children's and grandchildren's to bear ...


People who think who see nothing but doom-and-gloom from climate change often make the assumption that we're not smart enough to adapt to it, that we'll just sit around until it bites us on the butt.
The objective evidence is many and varied on a very strong tendency to "just sit around until it bites us on the butt". For example, the pending collapse of the global blue fin tuna fishery.


But technology changes (a lot!), and that clouds the predictions somewhat.

I say, hope for the best but prepare for the worst. It's good advice for anything.

- Maha Vailo
It's pretty clear that there's precious little "preparing for the worst" going on ...

Nereid
2010-Aug-04, 03:35 PM
Thanks! That is interesting and informative. This is a change in data that appears to have emerged in the last decade.

The fact that CO2 levels are currently at unprecedented levels (for the Quaternary) is undeniable, and this will get higher.

Over time the permanent ice caps will melt, but that will be a long job; melting all that ice will consume a lot of latent heat. At the end of this long process we can expect sea-levels and temperatures similar to those in the Miocene; a period when there was abundant land and sea fauna. The rapid transition is what is going to cause the most extinctions- but this transition could be slowed down by the latent heat mechanism, so that the Earth warms more slowly than some predictions suggest- giving the sea fauna more time to revert to a Miocene-type population.

Have there been any studies on this possibility? I apologise for not having found this out for myself, but it seems likely that others here already know where to find the information.
IIRC, one of the results on ocean acidity is that it is, now, 3x higher than the max in the last 21 million years, and that it has changed 100x faster than at any other time during that period (I'll dig up the source later).

Worse, unless the atmospheric CO2 stops rising immediately (fat chance, right?) the acidification will continue to accelerate. The dates at which the projected ocean concentration drops to levels at which marine organisms' CaCO3 shells (etc) start dissolving vary, by ocean and by model; however, it will very likely be within the lifetimes of today's readers' children. Those marine organisms include many (most?) phytoplankton ... have the implications of that sunk in yet?

Swift
2010-Aug-04, 05:03 PM
The August issue of Scientific American has an article on ocean acidification and the effects on marine life (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=threatening-ocean-life).

Key Concepts
- The pH of seawater worldwide is dropping (acidifying) as oceans absorb ever more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

- Experiments show that the struggle by copepods, snails, sea urchins and brittlestars to balance the changing pH inside their bodies impairs their ability to reproduce and grow. Many species are unlikely to genetically adapt to ocean acidification, because the change is occurring too quickly.

- As species wither, the marine food chain could be disrupted; human action is needed to curtail further acidification.
However, only that summary and the beginning of the article are available on-line.

Gillianren
2010-Aug-04, 05:58 PM
And yet the American Southwest has chronic water shortages and still struggles to meet the demand.

The Colorado River (that's the one through the Grand Canyon!) no longer flows into the sea, because Los Angeles is drinking it all. It's one of the largest cities in the world, and it is in a desert. I've never quite understood why everyone thought settling there was a good idea, because there are some serious problems with the place, but there it is. (Actually, the movie industry is there because it's a desert and therefore unlikely to interrupt filming with rain.) There is an average of fifteen inches of rain there each year. They are draining the Colorado and the ice pack of the Sierra Nevada, and it isn't going to be enough for long.

Trakar
2010-Aug-04, 08:07 PM
Thanks! That is interesting and informative. This is a change in data that appears to have emerged in the last decade.

The fact that CO2 levels are currently at unprecedented levels (for the Quaternary) is undeniable, and this will get higher.

Over time the permanent ice caps will melt, but that will be a long job; melting all that ice will consume a lot of latent heat. At the end of this long process we can expect sea-levels and temperatures similar to those in the Miocene; a period when there was abundant land and sea fauna. The rapid transition is what is going to cause the most extinctions- but this transition could be slowed down by the latent heat mechanism, so that the Earth warms more slowly than some predictions suggest- giving the sea fauna more time to revert to a Miocene-type population.

Have there been any studies on this possibility? I apologise for not having found this out for myself, but it seems likely that others here already know where to find the information.

I don't have access to my full database of refereces until I get back to the homestead (this weekend) but I'll give a peek around and see what turns up.

My initial concern is the speed and degree of change being forced upon the environs. This tends to limit adaptability and erase niches rather than merely incrementally changing them so that existent populations are culled in a manner promoting an evolution of population range. But let me see what the science says rather than relying upon my own intuition and current understandings.

Trakar
2010-Aug-04, 08:20 PM
Here is the paper that I find referenced fairly often to define the Sangamonian interglacial.

The Deep Ocean During the Last Interglacial Period (http://folk.uib.no/gbskn/share/NICEpdfs/Duplessy.Roche.ea.2007.pdf); J. C. Duplessy et al.; 2007

If I'm looking at this correctly, they are referencing material generally as old or older than the reference I cited above for the temp of the last interglacial:



1. J. H. Chen, H. A. Curran, R. White, G. J. Wasserburg,
Geol. Soc. Am. Bull. 103, 82 (1991).
2. C. H. Stirling, T. M. Esat, K. Lambeck, M. T. McCulloch,
Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 160, 745 (1998).


Not that there is anything wrong with this, but many, if not most, more recent evaluations of the last interglacial period seem to indicate that we are at or have exceeded previous interglacial peak temps. Sea levels aren't as high yet, but this is more due to the speed with which our current temps have climbed and the lag of environmental adjustment than anything else,...at least to my understandings (which are occassionally mistaken!).

Ara Pacis
2010-Aug-04, 10:12 PM
The objective evidence is many and varied on a very strong tendency to "just sit around until it bites us on the butt". For example, the pending collapse of the global blue fin tuna fishery.

It's pretty clear that there's precious little "preparing for the worst" going on ...I am preparing for the worst by stocking up on cans of tuna fish.

But seriously, we need a political solution, but we can't talk politics here.

BTW, regarding sea level rise, I've read that the GIS has ~7m worth of ice, WAIS has ~7m and WAIS has about 70m, but those could be off by ten percent. While the melting would absorb heat, and cool down the water, the ice need not melt for sea levels to rise, it simply has to move off land so that it is floating. The Archimedes Principle takes care of the rest.

jlhredshift
2010-Aug-04, 10:52 PM
If I'm looking at this correctly, they are referencing material generally as old or older than the reference I cited above for the temp of the last interglacial:



Not that there is anything wrong with this, but many, if not most, more recent evaluations of the last interglacial period seem to indicate that we are at or have exceeded previous interglacial peak temps. Sea levels aren't as high yet, but this is more due to the speed with which our current temps have climbed and the lag of environmental adjustment than anything else,...at least to my understandings (which are occassionally mistaken!).

Hmm, I thought they were referring to the "stacks" that they had measured and were citing prior work as a basis.

Maha Vailo
2010-Aug-04, 11:20 PM
(sigh)

I try so hard to save the environment and it looks like it will all be to no avail. Nobody seems to care. Maybe it would be a good idea for us to just, well, end it all. Better just to die now than face a world of death and destruction later, right?

Or is it all just my dark and gloomy side talking?

I swear, no one seems to believe me.

- Maha Vailo

Webbo
2010-Aug-04, 11:54 PM
IIRC, one of the results on ocean acidity is that it is, now, 3x higher than the max in the last 21 million years, and that it has changed 100x faster than at any other time during that period (I'll dig up the source later).

Worse, unless the atmospheric CO2 stops rising immediately (fat chance, right?) the acidification will continue to accelerate. The dates at which the projected ocean concentration drops to levels at which marine organisms' CaCO3 shells (etc) start dissolving vary, by ocean and by model; however, it will very likely be within the lifetimes of today's readers' children. Those marine organisms include many (most?) phytoplankton ... have the implications of that sunk in yet?

Fortunately not all phytoplankton are too troubled by the increase in ocean temps and decrease in alkalinity. According to the Continuous Plankton Recorder survey of 2007/2008 here (http://www.sahfos.ac.uk/media/93152/eco%20status%202008.pdf) (these guys measure the populations directly rather than rely on a proxy) their conclusions on the Ecosystem Health and Water Quality states (my bold);


At the regional scale, it has been found that most phytoplankton trends are related to hydro-climatic variability as
opposed to anthropogenic* input (e.g. nutrient input leading to eutrophication*). This means that the North-East
Atlantic as a whole is generally considered to be fairly healthy. This is not to say, however, that certain coastal
areas and the southern North Sea are not vulnerable to eutrophication and climate change may also exacerbate
these negative effects in these vulnerable regions. It has also been found that the number of microplastics*
collected on CPR samples is increasing and the frequency of occurrence and bloom timing of some Harmful
Algal Bloom* species are related to regional climate warming.

How inconvenient.

jlhredshift
2010-Aug-05, 12:41 AM
Hey people, we have a saying on this planet, "Stick around, it'll change".

Trakar
2010-Aug-05, 12:44 AM
Hmm, I thought they were referring to the "stacks" that they had measured and were citing prior work as a basis.

The "stacks" are referencing their work measuring sea floor temps., I'm sure this is as accurate as their evidence and understandings permit. I'm speaking specifically to their statements regarding "The climate of the last interglacial (LIG) period, from 129,000 to 118,000 years ago (1, 2), was slightly warmer than today’s and is often viewed as an analog of the climate expected d during the next few centuries." which as indicated from their reference links are based upon the earlier works as I illustrated from their references above. Current understandings are shifting, due to both better modelling and increasing supportive evidences, that the present era represents a climate that is already as warm or warmer than any interglacial of the current ice age (last 2-3 million years). The topic and focus of the paper you shared wasn't overall global temps, but rather the sea floor temps of the specific locations they studied. I'm sure their work is solid, it is the ancilliary framing that I am raising issue with, and it is still a somewhat contentious issue in paleoclimate studies so I don't want to misrepresent my perspective as definitive on this issue.

jlhredshift
2010-Aug-05, 01:00 AM
The "stacks" are referencing their work measuring sea floor temps., I'm sure this is as accurate as their evidence and understandings permit. I'm speaking specifically to their statements regarding "The climate of the last interglacial (LIG) period, from 129,000 to 118,000 years ago (1, 2), was slightly warmer than today’s and is often viewed as an analog of the climate expected d during the next few centuries." which as indicated from their reference links are based upon the earlier works as I illustrated from their references above. Current understandings are shifting, due to both better modelling and increasing supportive evidences, that the present era represents a climate that is already as warm or warmer than any interglacial of the current ice age (last 2-3 million years). The topic and focus of the paper you shared wasn't overall global temps, but rather the sea floor temps of the specific locations they studied. I'm sure their work is solid, it is the ancilliary framing that I am raising issue with, and it is still a somewhat contentious issue in paleoclimate studies so I don't want to misrepresent my perspective as definitive on this issue.


That's fine, but the "stacks" graphs show the onset and termination of the Sangamonian quite clearly as well as the Wisconsian, which was the point.

Trakar
2010-Aug-05, 01:16 AM
How inconvenient.

Your choice of bolding emphasis is rather curious, as they seem to be saying that one isolated area seemed fairly healthy (as compared to what? what did they find in the other areas surveyed?) but at least you presented a fairly complete quote to examine. I wonder why they stopped releasing annual studies in 2008? I am also led to wonder how well your implied interpretation of thier findings sit with their overall perceptions of the issue, especially given the nature of their sister site http://192.171.193.98/ and their recently achieved accreditation by the http://www.lwec.org.uk/ ? (talk about "inconvenient")

After spending a few minutes reading the report, I have to thank you for bringing it to my attention it is indeed a wealth of good information regarding the effects and dangers of the climate change our planet is currently undergoing!

Trakar
2010-Aug-05, 01:25 AM
That's fine, but the "stacks" graphs show the onset and termination of the Sangamonian quite clearly as well as the Wisconsian, which was the point.

Perhaps I'm misunderstanding what you are attempting to focus on? I didn't realize there was any question at hand as to the onset and termination of the interglacial periods. I was talking about average global temp, and CO2 levels when you referenced the paper in response to my comments. If you were attempting an divergent point, I missed where you were headed. Please clarify and help me to understand where you what you are focussed on.

jlhredshift
2010-Aug-05, 01:36 AM
Perhaps I'm misunderstanding what you are attempting to focus on? I didn't realize there was any question at hand as to the onset and termination of the interglacial periods. I was talking about average global temp, and CO2 levels when you referenced the paper in response to my comments. If you were attempting an divergent point, I missed where you were headed. Please clarify and help me to understand where you what you are focussed on.

My bold

In my original post I said:


Here is the paper that I find referenced fairly often to define the Sangamonian interglacial.

Nereid
2010-Aug-05, 01:37 AM
Fortunately not all phytoplankton are too troubled by the increase in ocean temps and decrease in alkalinity. According to the Continuous Plankton Recorder survey of 2007/2008 here (http://www.sahfos.ac.uk/media/93152/eco%20status%202008.pdf) (these guys measure the populations directly rather than rely on a proxy) their conclusions on the Ecosystem Health and Water Quality states (my bold);



How inconvenient.
Cherry picking is a fun pastime, isn't it?

From the same report:

Between the 1960s and the post 1990s, total Calanus biomass has declined by 70%. This huge reduction in biomass has had important consequences for other marine wildlife in the North Sea including fish larvae.

Seasonal timing, or phenology*, is occurring earlier in the North Sea and is related to regional climate warming. For example, some species have moved forward in their seasonal cycle by 4-5 weeks. However, not all trophic levels* are responding to the same extent, therefore in terms of a productive environment, this change is considered detrimental because of the potential of mis-timing (mismatch*) of peak occurrences of plankton with other trophic levels including fish larvae. There is a high confidence that these trends are related to regional climate warming.

The Ceratium genus is a very common armoured dinoflagellate group that is distributed ubiquitously throughout the world’s oceans from the tropics to the polar regions and from the oceanic realm to coastal waters. Ceratium often dominate the larger-sized fraction of the phytoplankton community during the summer months and may reach bloom proportions, producing red-tides. Due to their sensitivity to temperature, the Ceratium genus is widely known as an indicator of temperature changes which are manifested in their morphology, phenology, and biogeographic responses.

This species-rich genus comprises approximately 80 species globally, 46 of which are routinely speciated by the CPR survey in the North Atlantic’s surface waters. Ceratium can be so common in the North Atlantic that they can be recorded at a frequency of over 50% on CPR samples; however, in the last few years the abundance of Ceratium in the North Sea has rapidly collapsed. While the overall biodiversity of Ceratium is increasing in the temperate North Atlantic, a change associated with climate warming, the abundance of its most common species such as C. furca, C. fusus, C. horridum, C. tripos and C. lineatum has drastically declined in the North Sea. Since 2003 the abundance of Ceratium has been consistently low, consecutively recording its lowest values for 50 years from 2003-2007. It is currently unknown why this trend is collectively shared amongst these species and what would cause such a dramatic decline in Ceratium, although various hypotheses are being investigated. No matter the cause of the decline, the degree in temporal consistency can eliminate the possibility that we are
observing a simple anomaly and the cause could therefore be of considerable ecological significance in the North Sea.

While temperature, light and nutrients are probably the most important physical variables structuring marine ecosystems, the pelagic realm will also have to contend with, apart from global climate warming, the impact of anthropogenic CO2 directly influencing the pH of the oceans. Evidence collected and modelled to date indicates that rising CO2 has led to chemical changes in the ocean which has led to the oceans becoming more acidic. Ocean acidification has the potential to affect the process of calcification and therefore certain planktonic organisms (e.g. coccolithophores, foraminifera, pelagic molluscs) may be particularly vulnerable to future CO2 emissions. Apart from climate warming, potential chemical changes to the oceans and their effect on the biology of the oceans could further reduce the ocean’s ability to absorb additional CO2 from the atmosphere, which in turn could affect the rate and scale of climate warming.

And, of course, the North Atlantic, while pretty big in terms of ocean area, contains only a relatively small fraction of the global oceans' total biomass (and no corals, for example).

neilzero
2010-Aug-05, 02:21 AM
We have been told that our atmosphere has 10% (plus or minus 5%) more carbon dioxide than about a century ago. Authorities differ. Has the ocean surface (Pecent of carbon dioxide, to ten meters deep) increased by a similar amount? Has the PH dropped by 0.1? I have not seen any numbers, but lots of generalities. Why do we hate numbers? Neil

Swift
2010-Aug-05, 02:31 AM
(sigh)

I try so hard to save the environment and it looks like it will all be to no avail. Nobody seems to care. Maybe it would be a good idea for us to just, well, end it all. Better just to die now than face a world of death and destruction later, right?

Or is it all just my dark and gloomy side talking?

I swear, no one seems to believe me.

- Maha Vailo
I think there is a path, for us as individuals and for the world as a whole, between "we are all doomed" and "everything is fine". As individuals we can select our personal path to do are own parts, however small, for the world as a whole.

Swift
2010-Aug-05, 02:54 AM
We have been told that our atmosphere has 10% (plus or minus 5%) more carbon dioxide than about a century ago. Authorities differ. Has the ocean surface (to ten meters deep) increased by a similar amount? Has the PH dropped by 0.1? I have not seen any numbers, but lots of generalities. Why do we hate numbers? Neil

I love numbers. I like graphs too.

One of many such graphs (http://www.globalwarmingart.com/images/5/52/Carbon_History_and_Flux_Rev.png) showing CO2 concentration over time. The graph goes back a total of 250 years and uses direct measurements (which go back about 60 years) and ice core data. The change over the last 100 years is about 300 to 370 ppm (I'm taking quick numbers off the graph), which is over a 20% increase.


Has the ocean surface (to ten meters deep) increased by a similar amount?
I don't know what this question means. I'm guessing you are talking about sea level.

Here is a paper entitled "Global Sea Linked to Global Temperature" (http://www.pnas.org/content/106/51/21527.full.pdf) from PNAS, Vol 106, December 22, 2009. For data from 1880 to 2000 they find the correlation between the two is >0.99.

Here is a webpage from the University of Chicago (http://pondside.uchicago.edu/ecol-evol/faculty/Wootton/pH.htm) on studies about the ocean pH and global warming. There is a lot of graphs and information, but I'll quote this summary:

Over the entire span of the data, ocean pH is clearly declining as atmospheric CO2 increases, but at a rate an order of magnitude faster than predicted by current physical models.

Here is a webpage from the Encyclopedia of the Earth (http://www.eoearth.org/article/Ocean_acidification) with lots more information, including this summary:

Ocean acidification relates to the on-going decrease in ocean pH as a result of the uptake of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) in the ocean. Surface ocean pH is estimated to have decreased from approximately 8.25 to 8.14 between 1751 and 2004 and may reach 7.85 in 2100.
I'll just add that you should remember that pH is a log function.

Nereid
2010-Aug-05, 02:58 AM
We have been told that our atmosphere has 10% (plus or minus 5%) more carbon dioxide than about a century ago. Authorities differ. Has the ocean surface (to ten meters deep) increased by a similar amount? Has the PH dropped by 0.1? I have not seen any numbers, but lots of generalities. Why do we hate numbers? Neil
My post #71, and Swift's #80 both contain links to material with lots of numbers. If you follow the "Further Reading" material in the Scientific American article (pick it up at a newstand, or borrow it from your local library), you'll find a great deal more.

As several sources note - not only the two I just referenced - the relationship between average increase in ocean acidity and atmospheric CO2, plus estimates of the net CO2 antropomorphically produced CO2 emission, makes for a nice fit to models of atmosphere-ocean chemistry (the one in the Scientific American article refers to the north-central Pacific, for example, and covers a century or so).

Here (http://www.ocean-acidification.net/)'s another meta-source (i.e. some general statements and conclusions, plus a wealth of references to primary material).

mugaliens
2010-Aug-05, 04:01 AM
Swift's University of Chicago link (http://pondside.uchicago.edu/ecol-evol/faculty/Wootton/pH.htm)contains an interesting excerpt: "In contrast to the widely-held notion that the ocean is well buffered, our pH data exhibit a surprising degree of systematic variability through time. Even over the course of a day, pH typically varies by 0.24 units, a consequence of the uptake and production of CO2 through photosynthesis and respiration. Hence biological processes, which are often left out of models of ocean pH, can have strong effects."

Given this, I can't help but wonder how much of a factor pollution plays in oceanic CO2 levels, by affecting the conversation of CO2 to O2 in the oceans.

Nereid
2010-Aug-05, 04:16 AM
Swift's University of Chicago link (http://pondside.uchicago.edu/ecol-evol/faculty/Wootton/pH.htm)contains an interesting excerpt: "In contrast to the widely-held notion that the ocean is well buffered, our pH data exhibit a surprising degree of systematic variability through time. Even over the course of a day, pH typically varies by 0.24 units, a consequence of the uptake and production of CO2 through photosynthesis and respiration. Hence biological processes, which are often left out of models of ocean pH, can have strong effects."

Given this, I can't help but wonder how much of a factor pollution plays in oceanic CO2 levels, by affecting the conversation of CO2 to O2 in the oceans.
The source Webbo cited has a good deal of data (and references to papers) on just this question; at least for certain parts of the North Atlantic ...

neilzero
2010-Aug-05, 04:20 AM
Thank you Swift and Nereid for the links. So the ph is down about 0.11, which is surely significant if the acidification persists long term. I corrected my post to show I was asking about the percent of carbon dioxide near the ocean surface. More carbon dioxide in the water is the most likely cause of reduced ph. Of course us doubters can wonder if something like urban heat islands skewed the data. ie possibly over fishing caused the increased acidity, or "improved" ph measuring equipment, over the 253 year measuring period, or "better" choices of where we measure the ph or the dust from outer space recently has a lower ph or who knows what we can imagine?
When I was caring for swimming pools 7.4 was considered the ideal ph. If it was 7.3 we might add a gram of lye = sodium hydroxide or a 1/2 cup of bleach = sodium hypochlorite which is equivelent to a gram of lye. If it was 7.5 we might add 2 milliliters of muriatic acid = hydrochloric acid = HCl or alternately 1/2 cup of vinegar. More chemical was needed if the pool was strongly buffered with a kilogram of baking soda = sodium bicarbonate = NaHCO3. Typically we waited until the error was at least a bit larger and/or had persisted for several days. Neil

eburacum45
2010-Aug-05, 10:20 AM
The Earth seems to be rapidly returning to an earlier atmospheric state, with (relatively) high CO2 levels. Levels of CO2 in the air during the Mesozoic and early part of the Tertiary were much higher than today, and the seas were full of life. Unfortunately all of the species that thrived in those conditions are extinct today. From their point of view, I suppose the long-term downward trend of CO2 levels over the last 50 million years has been a disaster; their equivalent of the end of the world.

But the ocean biosphere has had 50 million years to adapt to the current low levels of CO2; today there is a new biota in the oceans, adapted to low CO2 levels. There may be only 50 years left before the biosphere will face the high levels that prevailed back in the old times; it probably isn't long enough, by maybe a factor of about a million.

Nereid
2010-Aug-05, 10:36 AM
Thank you Swift and Nereid for the links. So the ph is down about 0.11, which is surely significant if the acidification persists long term. I corrected my post to show I was asking about the percent of carbon dioxide near the ocean surface. More carbon dioxide in the water is the most likely cause of reduced ph. Of course us doubters can wonder if something like urban heat islands skewed the data. ie possibly over fishing caused the increased acidity, or "improved" ph measuring equipment, over the 253 year measuring period, or "better" choices of where we measure the ph or the dust from outer space recently has a lower ph or who knows what we can imagine?
When I was caring for swimming pools 7.4 was considered the ideal ph. If it was 7.3 we might add a gram of lye = sodium hydroxide or a 1/2 cup of bleach = sodium hypochlorite which is equivelent to a gram of lye. If it was 7.5 we might add 2 milliliters of muriatic acid = hydrochloric acid = HCl or alternately 1/2 cup of vinegar. More chemical was needed if the pool was strongly buffered with a kilogram of baking soda = sodium bicarbonate = NaHCO3. Typically we waited until the error was at least a bit larger and/or had persisted for several days. Neil
There will always be "heat islands"; certainty of the kind many seem to be looking for is impossible (except, perhaps, in hindsight).

The danger of waiting is that the characteristic times for many of the processes we know are at work are long, by human lifetime standards; for example, it may already be too late to avoid a mass extinction of marine life, over a period of a few centuries, starting around 2100 (except, perhaps, by a radical restructuring of civilisation as we know it).

Nereid
2010-Aug-05, 10:44 AM
The Earth seems to be rapidly returning to an earlier atmospheric state, with (relatively) high CO2 levels. Levels of CO2 in the air during the Mesozoic and early part of the Tertiary were much higher than today,
Do you have some materials one can read more about that?


and the seas were full of life. Unfortunately all of the species that thrived in those conditions are extinct today.
Is there any material on what the estimated ph of the oceans was then? I'm particularly interested in whether (and how) various forms of CaCO3 (etc) could be made, by marine organisms, and kept stable in oceans with phs below saturation levels; i.e. how did they keep their shells from dissolving (assuming they could, somehow, form them in the first place)?

Geologically, calcite (and similar) shells formed around the dawn of the Cambrian (though there are shelly fossils in the pre-Cambrian too), and did so in marine environments (oceans, rather than freshwater lakes).


From their point of view, I suppose the long-term downward trend of CO2 levels over the last 50 million years has been a disaster; their equivalent of the end of the world.

But the ocean biosphere has had 50 million years to adapt to the current low levels of CO2; today there is a new biota in the oceans, adapted to low CO2 levels. There may be only 50 years left before the biosphere will face the high levels that prevailed back in the old times; it probably isn't long enough, by maybe a factor of about a million.
And, as has already been noted, it's not just the CO2 levels that have changed so dramatically; for example, the average number of trophic levels, in most oceans, is now one or more less than it was a mere century ago, and the trend seems inexorable.

jlhredshift
2010-Aug-05, 11:33 AM
Do you have some materials one can read more about that?


Is there any material on what the estimated ph of the oceans was then? I'm particularly interested in whether (and how) various forms of CaCO3 (etc) could be made, by marine organisms, and kept stable in oceans with phs below saturation levels; i.e. how did they keep their shells from dissolving (assuming they could, somehow, form them in the first place)?

Geologically, calcite (and similar) shells formed around the dawn of the Cambrian (though there are shelly fossils in the pre-Cambrian too), and did so in marine environments (oceans, rather than freshwater lakes).


And, as has already been noted, it's not just the CO2 levels that have changed so dramatically; for example, the average number of trophic levels, in most oceans, is now one or more less than it was a mere century ago, and the trend seems inexorable.

On the really early stuff I would refer you to the books by Lynn Margulis, she is an outstanding biologist. Coming forward in geologic time the work by Robert Berner comes to mind.

From GSA Today, 2004; CO2 as a primary driver of Phanerozoic climate (http://www.clas.ufl.edu/users/eemartin/GLY6075F08/papers/RoyeretalCO2_ClimateGSAToday'04.pdf)

Edit to add: Andrew H. Knoll et al.; Paleophysiology and end-Permian mass extinction (http://pangea.stanford.edu/~jlpayne/Knoll%20et%20al%202007%20EPSL%20Permian%20Triassic %20paleophysiology.pdf); 2007

Nereid
2010-Aug-05, 12:52 PM
On the really early stuff I would refer you to the books by Lynn Margulis, she is an outstanding biologist. Coming forward in geologic time the work by Robert Berner comes to mind.

From GSA Today, 2004; CO2 as a primary driver of Phanerozoic climate (http://www.clas.ufl.edu/users/eemartin/GLY6075F08/papers/RoyeretalCO2_ClimateGSAToday'04.pdf)For Early life (mostly Precambrian) I am most impressed with Andrew Knoll's "Life on a Young Planet". Certainly lots of the ideas which are now mainstream came from Margulis' mind, but how many of her books contain stuff like the molecular phylogenies, or recent geological research?

That 2004 paper looks very good (and interesting); many thanks.

I must say that my interests lie much more in early life than Cambrian and beyond, except for the PT mass extinction ...

Webbo
2010-Aug-05, 01:40 PM
Cherry picking is a fun pastime, isn't it?

From the same report:





And, of course, the North Atlantic, while pretty big in terms of ocean area, contains only a relatively small fraction of the global oceans' total biomass (and no corals, for example).

Please explain how I cherry picked. I quoted the summary on that aspect of the report. Contrary to the excerpts you decided to emphasise on.

If I wanted to cherry pick i would have selected my favourite part (my bold);


In theNorth Sea a significant increase in phytoplankton biomass
has been found in both heavily anthropogenically-impacted
coastal waters and the comparatively less-affected open
North Sea despite significantly decreasing trends in
nutrient concentrations. The increase in biomass appears
to be linked to warmer temperatures and evidence that the
waters are also becoming clearer (i.e., less turbid), thereby
allowing the normally light-limited coastal phytoplankton
to more effectively utilise lower concentrations of nutrients
(Limnology and Oceanography (2007) 52: 635–648).

So the increase is due to warmer waters in spite of lower nutrients. Good news, yes? Maybe the ocean life this phytoplankton supports should thank humans for warming it up.

jlhredshift
2010-Aug-05, 01:44 PM
For Early life (mostly Precambrian) I am most impressed with Andrew Knoll's "Life on a Young Planet". Certainly lots of the ideas which are now mainstream came from Margulis' mind, but how many of her books contain stuff like the molecular phylogenies, or recent geological research?

That 2004 paper looks very good (and interesting); many thanks.

I must say that my interests lie much more in early life than Cambrian and beyond, except for the PT mass extinction ...

Then I would also add the books of Mark and Dianna McMenamin. Margullis (born 1938) work is somewhat dated but still pertinent, but did you notice the edit where I added a link to Knoll, 2007.

jlhredshift
2010-Aug-05, 02:11 PM
That 2004 paper looks very good (and interesting); many thanks.

...

I think so as well and so I will quote from it:



Atmospheric CO2 is an important greenhouse gas, and because of its short residence time (~4 yr) and numerous sources and sinks, it has the potential to regulate climate over a vast range of timescales, from years to millions of years.

Here is the link again:

CO2 as a primary driver of Phanerozoic climate (http://www.clas.ufl.edu/users/eemartin/GLY6075F08/papers/RoyeretalCO2_ClimateGSAToday'04.pdf); Royer et al; 2004

Nereid
2010-Aug-05, 02:16 PM
Please explain how I cherry picked. I quoted the summary on that aspect of the report.
You quoted one part, of a *five* part summary. One part, of four, you omitted:

Acidification
Organisms that could be particularly vulnerable to acidification are the calcifying organisms such as
coccolithophores and foraminifera. The CPR survey is proving a critical baseline and is currently monitoring
these vulnerable organisms in case in the future these organisms start to show any negative effects due to
acidification.


Contrary to the excerpts you decided to emphasise on.

If I wanted to cherry pick i would have selected my favourite part (my bold);

In theNorth Sea a significant increase in phytoplankton biomass has been found in both heavily anthropogenically-impacted coastal waters and the comparatively less-affected open North Sea despite significantly decreasing trends in nutrient concentrations. The increase in biomass appears to be linked to warmer temperatures and evidence that the waters are also becoming clearer (i.e., less turbid), thereby allowing the normally light-limited coastal phytoplankton to more effectively utilise lower concentrations of nutrients (Limnology and Oceanography (2007) 52: 635–648).
So the increase is due to warmer waters in spite of lower nutrients. Good news, yes?(my bold)

Actually, no.

Look at the second reason for the increase - why do waters become less turbid (i.e. clearer)? Well one reason is that they become (more) acidic ... (remember all those acid lakes, downwind of power stations?)


Maybe the ocean life this phytoplankton supports should thank humans for warming it up.
If they thought about, I doubt they'd give any such thanks; reducing yet another trophic level in the North Sea is not any ocean life's idea of good news ...

Nereid
2010-Aug-05, 02:39 PM
Then I would also add the books of Mark and Dianna McMenamin.
Thanks.


Margullis (born 1938) work is somewhat dated but still pertinent, but did you notice the edit where I added a link to Knoll, 2007.
No; our posts (or mine and your edit) crossed; thanks for that too.

The Knoll et al. (2007) paper is fascinating!

Here's a cherry-picked quote Webbo will like:

Studies addressing the individual and combined effects of hypoxia, hypercapnia, sulfide toxicity, and increased temperature on marine invertebrates are accumulating rapidly, not so much because the end-Permian extinction provides a compelling intellectual problem as because we ourselves live in a world where all of these effects are increasing, at least in part due to human activities.

Here's another two, the first of which links in to an earlier post by Swift:

[...] it is worth emphasizing that consignment to extinction does not require the instantaneous death of all individuals in a species; a decrease of only 1% per generation will reduce animal populations to unsustainable sizes in little more than a century — an instant by geological standards.

For organisms, however, the key variable is rate of change, not magnitude. It is the rapid, unbuffered increase in PCO2 and not its absolute value that causes important associated changes such as reduced [CO32−], pH, and carbonate saturation of seawater. Subjected to gradual increase over millions of years, marine carbonate chemistry will adjust and organisms can adapt their physiologies. Marked change over a few generations, however, leaves populations with only three options: tolerance, migration to more felicitous environments (if they existed), or death.

Webbo
2010-Aug-05, 02:53 PM
You quoted one part, of a *five* part summary. One part, of four, you omitted:
Because I was specifically referencing the general health of the environment and the phytoplankton in it considering the warming ocean. However, if you wish to discuss it, their summary on acidification is specifically "in case in the future" so they haven't measured any adverse affects yet have they? Even after a century+ of intense industrialisation. And this is the trouble with this kind of alarmism; it's always in case it happens in the future even though when you look at the facts as they are measured now there is no disaster. In fact the biomass and biodiversity is increasing in spite on the acidification and warming. Unfortunately those facts don't fit with the expectations.


Actually, no.

Look at the second reason for the increase - why do waters become less turbid (i.e. clearer)? Well one reason is that they become (more) acidic ... (remember all those acid lakes, downwind of power stations?)
So an increase in biomass and biodiversity is bad news? You will have to explain why an increase in the amout and diversity of food available for zooplankton and ultimately all marine life is a bad thing.


If they thought about, I doubt they'd give any such thanks; reducing yet another trophic level in the North Sea is not any ocean life's idea of good news ...
We're talking about increased amounts of phytoplankon so exactly what are they replacing or leapfrogging. Did I miss the Science article that promoted photons to a form of life?

jlhredshift
2010-Aug-05, 02:54 PM
Thanks.


The Knoll et al. (2007) paper is fascinating!


You are welcome.

You also might find the PALEOS (http://www.palaeos.com/Proterozoic/Paleoproterozoic/Paleoproterozoic.html)web page interesting for the links it provides and entertaining comments like:


Most of the data is geochemical. Most of what we actually know about the Paleoproterozoic is geochemistry. This, admittedly, is dull stuff. A couple of paragraphs might have been enough to stupefy your average ravening horde of Mongol invaders and their horses. We are also bitterly and resentfully aware that Andrew H. Knoll of Harvard is the only living organism with the ability to write clearly on this subject. This is monstrously unfair. Worse, much as we would like to pass the buck -- even to some Yankee wingnut who wears two wristwatches -- it has simply become too important for us to ignore.

Nereid
2010-Aug-05, 03:06 PM
Because I was specifically referencing the general health of the environment and the phytoplankton in it considering the warming ocean. However, if you wish to discuss it, their summary on acidification is specifically "in case in the future" so they haven't measured any adverse affects yet have they?
That particular summary does not include much on that, but there are plenty of other materials which do (see the other recent posts, by most other BAUTians, in this thread).


Even after a century+ of intense industrialisation. And this is the trouble with this kind of alarmism; it's always in case it happens in the future even though when you look at the facts as they are measured now there is no disaster.
I take it, then, that you did not actually *read* the material which has be cited here (or, if you did, you did not understand it).

The acidification trends, in global oceans, are clear enough, AND they have been modelled successfully; the primary driver being the increased production of CO2 (largely anthropogenic, over the last century or so).

You also seem to be blind to the fact that the underlying processes have relatively long timescales, not to mention that pH is a logarithmic scale.


In fact the biomass and biodiversity is increasing in spite on the acidification and warming. Unfortunately those facts don't fit with the expectations.
Which is, as I'm sure you are fully aware, a gross mis-representation of even the source you cite!

There *might* be some increase in biomass, in the North Sea; however, across the North-East Atlantic, there is a marked decline. Further, biodiversity is increasing *only* because warmer water species are increasing at the same time colder water ones are declining - a sign of a major transition underway, one with profound consequences for fisheries (to take just one example).

So an increase in biomass and biodiversity is bad news? You will have to explain why an increase in the amout and diversity of food available for zooplankton and ultimately all marine life is a bad thing.
See above.

Also, read some of the other materials reference lately, in this thread.


We're talking about increased amounts of phytoplankon so exactly what are they replacing or leapfrogging. Did I miss the Science article that promoted photons to a form of life?
See above.

Webbo
2010-Aug-05, 03:30 PM
As a reduction in alkalinity seems to be the overiding problem with co2 in the North East Atlantic (in spite of the fact life in general has increased due to warmth and clarity of the water) lets see what the CPR has been measuring over the last 50 years by looking at one of the risk groups; foraminifera.

13513

What a surprise! It appears that warmth and light as suspected is more important than the alkalinity. There is roughly a 300%-400% increase. More good news, yes? And all thanks to man warming the oceans for our little friends.

Webbo
2010-Aug-05, 03:55 PM
There *might* be some increase in biomass, in the North Sea; however, across the North-East Atlantic, there is a marked decline.

Here is a direct quote from the report;


For phytoplankton biomass there has been a large increase since the late 1980s in most regional areas (particularly the North-East Atlantic). In 2007 the Phytoplankton Colour Index was generally above the base-line mean (1958-2007) in most regions, apart from some areas of the North Sea, central Atlantic and Iberian Peninsula.

jlhredshift
2010-Aug-05, 03:57 PM
As a reduction in alkalinity seems to be the overiding problem with co2 in the North East Atlantic (in spite of the fact life in general has increased due to warmth and clarity of the water) lets see what the CPR has been measuring over the last 50 years by looking at one of the risk groups; foraminifera.

13513

What a surprise! It appears that warmth and light as suspected is more important than the alkalinity. There is roughly a 300%-400% increase. More good news, yes? And all thanks to man warming the oceans for our little friends.

In my opinion posting a spikey graph without documention has no meaning.

Webbo
2010-Aug-05, 04:05 PM
In my opinion posting a spikey graph without documention has no meaning.

Fair enough. Then you can choose to ignore it if you wish. Anyone that wishes to educate themselves can read the full report I previously linked.

Webbo
2010-Aug-05, 04:28 PM
As for the previous article that was linked by Swift and recommended by Nereid, the reason that I didn't pay much attention to before is because, as I alluded to before, they did not make any direct measurements of phytoplankton. As is usual it seems for most alarmists, they used a proxy for measurements based on the clarity of the water and as Nereid pointed out, this can be an effect of ph (which is why I am surprised it was recommended as I know they read it) among other things.

So one can choose to accept a report based on direct measurements or accept a suspect proxy measurement although I guess some just prefer to accept the one that fits their belief system.

lomiller1
2010-Aug-05, 06:33 PM
If I'm looking at this correctly, they are referencing material generally as old or older than the reference I cited above for the temp of the last interglacial:



Not that there is anything wrong with this, but many, if not most, more recent evaluations of the last interglacial period seem to indicate that we are at or have exceeded previous interglacial peak temps. Sea levels aren't as high yet, but this is more due to the speed with which our current temps have climbed and the lag of environmental adjustment than anything else,...at least to my understandings (which are occassionally mistaken!).

Something to keep in mind is that when you read comparisons to “today’s” temperatures in a paper that usually means 1950, but sometimes it will be from other baselines. This means that we can have cases where papers cite temperatures “Warmer then today” that we have already exceeded.

In this case though I think you are mistaken. It’s not even clear that we have exceeded the Holocene maximum and AFAIK temperatures 125K years ago are thought to have been ~3 deg C warmer then 1950 mean.

Trakar
2010-Aug-05, 06:44 PM
My bold

In my original post I said:

True, but "define" can have many interpretations. I initially took it in reference to my discussion of temperature, but in your current reference to graphing (at the scale of kiloyears) it looks more like you are talking about time demarcations. Can you help me to better understand exactly what you were referencing?

Trakar
2010-Aug-05, 07:23 PM
We have been told that our atmosphere has 10% (plus or minus 5%) more carbon dioxide than about a century ago. Authorities differ. Has the ocean surface (Pecent of carbon dioxide, to ten meters deep) increased by a similar amount? Has the PH dropped by 0.1? I have not seen any numbers, but lots of generalities. Why do we hate numbers? Neil

Do you have a reference for these CO2 numbers? I don't understand how you are equating 392ppm (today)/290ppm (1900) to a 10% increase (even with a +/- 5 fudge rate)? The records are pretty consistent and reliable on these numbers. I'm not sure how far back and globally accurate the charting of surface layer CO2 extends, but it is an interesting question that I'd be willing to look into in more detail. I know we there are pretty good measurements over the last 30-40 years, and these all seem to indicate an accelerating increase in acidity.


A changing ocean seen with clarity - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2718342/

jlhredshift
2010-Aug-05, 07:39 PM
True, but "define" can have many interpretations. I initially took it in reference to my discussion of temperature, but in your current reference to graphing (at the scale of kiloyears) it looks more like you are talking about time demarcations. Can you help me to better understand exactly what you were referencing?

my bold

Correct, I was just trying to help out with a recent paper on when the glaciations occurred, it is what I study.

Trakar
2010-Aug-05, 07:40 PM
Swift's University of Chicago link (http://pondside.uchicago.edu/ecol-evol/faculty/Wootton/pH.htm)contains an interesting excerpt: "In contrast to the widely-held notion that the ocean is well buffered, our pH data exhibit a surprising degree of systematic variability through time. Even over the course of a day, pH typically varies by 0.24 units, a consequence of the uptake and production of CO2 through photosynthesis and respiration. Hence biological processes, which are often left out of models of ocean pH, can have strong effects."

Given this, I can't help but wonder how much of a factor pollution plays in oceanic CO2 levels, by affecting the conversation of CO2 to O2 in the oceans.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2718342/


Background
The changes in pCO2 (partial pressure of CO2) in the atmosphere are exactly paralleled in the ocean, but the consequences are very different. CO2 has no atmospheric chemistry and is simply mixed. But increasing CO2 in sea water induces changes in pH, and Dore et al. (1) have measured these changes with remarkable accuracy and precision. They thereby forcefully link air and sea and provide unmistakable evidence of ocean acidification and the complex and still poorly understood consequences of this. And they go beyond the simple surface expression to explore the changes taking place at depth.
Large-scale uptake of atmospheric fossil fuel CO2 has long been recognized (2) as a fundamental consequence of the acid–base balance of slightly alkaline ocean surface waters, poised at about pH 8.2, exposed to an atmosphere of steadily increasing CO2 (3). The quantities involved are huge. Ocean uptake of fossil fuel CO2 is now proceeding at about 1 million metric tons of CO2 per hour, and the accumulated burden of fossil fuel CO2 in ocean waters is now well over 530 billion tons.But the direct measurement of the pH changes brought about by this CO2 uptake has challenged ocean scientists for decades.
Dore et al. (1) have taken modern accurate spectrophotometric ratio techniques (4) and applied these with extraordinary care to obtain an almost 20-year record of pH changes at the now legendary station ALOHA off Hawaii. The dedication is extraordinary, and the results are unassailable. They show that the change in surface ocean CO2 properties produces a “long-term decreasing trend in surface layer pH that is indistinguishable from the rate of acidification expected from equilibration with the atmosphere.”

Trakar
2010-Aug-05, 07:49 PM
Please explain how I cherry picked. I quoted the summary on that aspect of the report. Contrary to the excerpts you decided to emphasise on.

If I wanted to cherry pick i would have selected my favourite part (my bold);

So the increase is due to warmer waters in spite of lower nutrients. Good news, yes? Maybe the ocean life this phytoplankton supports should thank humans for warming it up.

Warming the northern most waters so that they can support marginally more life than they have before, really doesn't offset the greater warming of much larger areas of more southern waters so that they now cannot support as much life. But you are right that perspective is always an issue.

Trakar
2010-Aug-05, 07:59 PM
Because I was specifically referencing the general health of the environment and the phytoplankton in it considering the warming ocean. However, if you wish to discuss it, their summary on acidification is specifically "in case in the future" so they haven't measured any adverse affects yet have they? Even after a century+ of intense industrialisation. And this is the trouble with this kind of alarmism; it's always in case it happens in the future even though when you look at the facts as they are measured now there is no disaster. In fact the biomass and biodiversity is increasing in spite on the acidification and warming. Unfortunately those facts don't fit with the expectations.


So an increase in biomass and biodiversity is bad news? You will have to explain why an increase in the amout and diversity of food available for zooplankton and ultimately all marine life is a bad thing.


We're talking about increased amounts of phytoplankon so exactly what are they replacing or leapfrogging. Did I miss the Science article that promoted photons to a form of life?

From my perspective you weren't "cherry-picking," at least not in the sense that I typically observe. Selective focus perhaps, but that is a rather common failing of most, including myself.

Trakar
2010-Aug-05, 08:04 PM
As a reduction in alkalinity seems to be the overiding problem with co2 in the North East Atlantic (in spite of the fact life in general has increased due to warmth and clarity of the water) lets see what the CPR has been measuring over the last 50 years by looking at one of the risk groups; foraminifera.

13513

What a surprise! It appears that warmth and light as suspected is more important than the alkalinity. There is roughly a 300%-400% increase. More good news, yes? And all thanks to man warming the oceans for our little friends.

Now this is more like the extreme selectivity I associate with cherry-picking.

So, now that you acknowledge that man is warming all of the oceans through increased levels of human produced CO2, you are also acknowledging the bad that may go along with any good you can find?

Trakar
2010-Aug-05, 08:25 PM
Something to keep in mind is that when you read comparisons to “today’s” temperatures in a paper that usually means 1950, but sometimes it will be from other baselines. This means that we can have cases where papers cite temperatures “Warmer then today” that we have already exceeded.

In this case though I think you are mistaken. It’s not even clear that we have exceeded the Holocene maximum and AFAIK temperatures 125K years ago are thought to have been ~3 deg C warmer then 1950 mean.

In the case of the document we were examining the fine-scale was measured in Ka, in which case you are correct, the average of the last millenia was certainly much less than the LIG, but as indicated, re-evaluations of LIG averages and evidence discoveries and assessments over the last couple of decades increasingly indicate that LIG high averages were matched around mid-century, and current global average temps are probably much higher than any average temps seen in the last few million years.

I know Hansen's 2006 paper was generally supportive of this finding though I believe he did find us more on par with LIG temps, but definitely in excess of the early Holocene max. I'll be home tomorrow evening and have access to my database and see if I can't string together a set of links to more clearly illustrate and support my statements.

Trakar
2010-Aug-05, 08:27 PM
my bold

Correct, I was just trying to help out with a recent paper on when the glaciations occurred, it is what I study.

Sorry to have gotten that all tangled up, thank you for helping me to correct my misunderstandings.

lomiller1
2010-Aug-05, 09:45 PM
In the case of the document we were examining the fine-scale was measured in Ka, in which case you are correct, the average of the last millenia was certainly much less than the LIG, but as indicated, re-evaluations of LIG averages and evidence discoveries and assessments over the last couple of decades increasingly indicate that LIG high averages were matched around mid-century, and current global average temps are probably much higher than any average temps seen in the last few million years.

I know Hansen's 2006 paper was generally supportive of this finding though I believe he did find us more on par with LIG temps, but definitely in excess of the early Holocene max. I'll be home tomorrow evening and have access to my database and see if I can't string together a set of links to more clearly illustrate and support my statements.

TBH I’m not quite sure what you are trying to say, are you perhaps talking about Medieval Warm Period highs rather then Little Ice Age highs?

I think the evidence is fairly persuasive that we have surpassed both the Medieval Warm Period and Roman period. (and obviously the LIA which is the coldest period in the last few thousand years.) The Holocene maximum of ~7000 years ago is different, we know it was warm and in the same ballpark as today’s temperatures but there isn’t enough data to conclude which, if either, is warmer. There are quite a few examples in the NH where artifacts that have been covered in ice for 5000-7000 years are starting to thaw.

Trakar
2010-Aug-05, 10:57 PM
TBH I’m not quite sure what you are trying to say, are you perhaps talking about Medieval Warm Period highs rather then Little Ice Age highs?

I think the evidence is fairly persuasive that we have surpassed both the Medieval Warm Period and Roman period. (and obviously the LIA which is the coldest period in the last few thousand years.) The Holocene maximum of ~7000 years ago is different, we know it was warm and in the same ballpark as today’s temperatures but there isn’t enough data to conclude which, if either, is warmer. There are quite a few examples in the NH where artifacts that have been covered in ice for 5000-7000 years are starting to thaw.

Most of what you seem to be talking about were largely regional as opposed to global peaks, and not involved with anything I was speaking about.
LIG - Last InterGlacial (aka Eemian)
Holocene -
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Holocene_Temperature_Variations.png

Much as with more recent reassessments and more in-depth investigations of the Eemian, while early studies focussed on some high temp peaks, more recent discoveries of hemispheric and seasonal temp lows have moderated those earlier temp estimates, somewhat reducing the global averages for those periods such that the holocene max temps are now matched by mid-twentieth century records and well exceeded by current averages (which some modelling studies and scattered evidences suggest may also exceed Eemian highs).

Addendum - ((oh, I was mistaken about Hansen's 2006 paper, in it he puts us on par with Holocene max and says that we are within 1degree C of the the Eemian Max))

Tinaa
2010-Aug-05, 11:34 PM
It is time to get back to the OP. This has turned into another thread of arguments for and against AGW. Please get back on topic or I will be forced to close this thread. Infractions will be awarded to those unable to stay on topic. I have quoted the original post for your convenience:



Given that there is no prospect of a political settlement over global warming, can we expect civilisation to end by 2100? Will science find a way to make the world liveable? Will the worst case scenario be the best fit scenario, or will the results be more mild then we expected?

neilzero
2010-Aug-06, 01:31 AM
A significant number of experts and I think the results will be mild, compared to the gloom and doom. If civilization ends in 2100, climate change or global warming will likely be one of many causes, mostly more important than climate change. With worst case scenarios, science and engineering will help a few people survive, but will likely do little for the masses. A straight tunnel 1000 kilometers long can be 10 kilometers below the surface near the middle, due to the curvature of the Earth. How about a large shopping mall 10 kilometers below the surface at the half way point? If 10 kilometers is incorrect for the cord of a sphere, assume different elevations above sea level to get the 10 kilometers depth. What is the air pressure 5 kilometers below sealevel? 22 psi instead of 14.7 psi, perhaps? Neil

Webbo
2010-Aug-06, 01:44 AM
Given that there is no prospect of a political settlement over global warming, can we expect civilisation to end by 2100?
No.


Will science find a way to make the world liveable?
No need.


Will the worst case scenario be the best fit scenario, or will the results be more mild then we expected?
Depends what you mean by worse. All I see are different scenarios, however, an increase in liquid water and warmer weather should be good for life. We certainly dont want it get colder and dryer as that is bad for life. And if anyone expects it to stay the same they are severely deluded.

Gillianren
2010-Aug-06, 02:20 AM
All I see are different scenarios, however, an increase in liquid water and warmer weather should be good for life. We certainly dont want it get colder and dryer as that is bad for life.

Life where?

Webbo
2010-Aug-06, 01:00 PM
Life where?
Anywhere and everywhere that is already tolerant for life. And I'm talking about life as a whole not individual species.

Strange
2010-Aug-06, 01:55 PM
however, an increase in liquid water and warmer weather should be good for life.

Polar bears are already suffering from increased temperature and a wetter environment. As this continues the number of species adversely affected will increase.


We certainly dont want it get colder and dryer as that is bad for life.

Well, that is going to happen in some places.

jlhredshift
2010-Aug-06, 02:06 PM
Well, that is going to happen in some places.

Though the term "global Temperature" is bandied about there all always pockets that vary even in proximity to areas of extremes. For example, during the Wisconsian stage the southeast United States was one of those areas.

A warm thermal enclave in the Late Pleistocene of the South-eastern United States (http://shadow.eas.gatech.edu/~jean/Russell2009.pdf); Russell et al. 2009

The mix of animals has no modern analog, as the ice sheets spread northern biota were mixed with southern ones.

Webbo
2010-Aug-06, 02:45 PM
I'd love to debate but I dont wish to suffer an infraction. I will add only this rhetorical question; in the search for extra-terrestrial life in this system (and others if we could) , what do we expect to find as an indicator?

Strange
2010-Aug-06, 02:51 PM
I'd love to debate but I dont wish to suffer an infraction.

If you think you have a credible argument against anthropogenic climate change, why not start a thread in ATM? Otherwise, I will have to assume you don't have a case.


I will add only this rhetorical question; in the search for extra-terrestrial life in this system (and others if we could) , what do we expect to find as an indicator?

Quite a non sequitur.

Webbo
2010-Aug-06, 03:00 PM
If you think you have a credible argument against anthropogenic climate change, why not start a thread in ATM? Otherwise, I will have to assume you don't have a case.
Please point out where I have argued against anthropogenic climate change.


Quite a non sequitur.
That's your opinion and you're entitled to it. Unfortunatley I am prohibited from explaining why you are wrong.

Gillianren
2010-Aug-06, 04:10 PM
Anywhere and everywhere that is already tolerant for life. And I'm talking about life as a whole not individual species.

But that's just it. There is no one thing that is better for "life." I've heard it said that life lives everywhere it can, and where it can't, it takes a little while. Extremophiles which live in acidic hot springs don't care if the air is a few degrees hotter or colder above the spring. On the other hand, pretty much everywhere else, a few degrees one way or another can be devastating. By looking at it all as a single entity, you're failing to see quite a lot of what's really going on and what's really at stake. And that is completely relevant to the OP. You seem to believe that what we can expect from AGW (leaving aside whether you're accepting the evidence or not) is things getting better and better, and they might, in places. However, it's really not something you should consider a universal or think of as a single thing.

Webbo
2010-Aug-06, 04:25 PM
On the other hand, pretty much everywhere else, a few degrees one way or another can be devastating.
Interesting. So how does "everywhere else" cope with day/night and summer/winter variances?

Webbo
2010-Aug-06, 04:40 PM
You seem to believe that what we can expect from AGW (leaving aside whether you're accepting the evidence or not) is things getting better and better, and they might, in places.
That's exactly what I believe. Where it's currently cold and dry it will become warmer and wetter therefore there will be an increase in biomass. Where it is already warm and wet an increase will only cause a possible adaptation of or replacement by different species and a net zero effect on biomass. Therefore for a warmer and wetter planet there will be an overall increase in life which is good.

Conversely, if the planet were to become colder and dryer the already cold and dry places will become even less accomodating to life so will result in a reduction of biomass. Where is it warm and wet it will become less warm and wet thereby again causing a reduction in biomass due to the limiting factor of available liquid water. Therefore for a colder and dryer planet there will be an overall reduction in life which is bad.

If anyone expects that the planet will stay the same then I must assume they are deluded therefore I propose no example of such a state.

SolusLupus
2010-Aug-06, 04:46 PM
So drying water wells can't harm anyone?

Your simplistic arguments really don't work for a complex system, or a complex planet with complex geography.

swampyankee
2010-Aug-06, 04:46 PM
Interesting. So how does "everywhere else" cope with day/night and summer/winter variances?

Most plants and animals are evolved to function best within the climate where they currently live. The daily and annual temperature cycles are part of them. Raise the mean temperature and moisture level, and the life will get to deal with a new set of parasites. Some of them won't be able to. Yes, this has happened before. A lot of bad things have happened before, but that is not a moral justification for knowingly allowing them to happen.

Like they say, don't screw around with systems that are not well understood. The entrepreneurs who brought the gypsy moth to the US thought they were just importing a useful business opportunity (silk production). The hills of most of the Northeastern US used to be covered by chestnuts; they're rather tough to find because of an accidental importation of a pest. Same with elms.

We're, communally, mucking about with a system that is both critical and not well understood. After all, if the models are wrong, they're just as likely to be wrong in ways that are even worse than those that are predicted as they are to be wrong in ways that are more convenient for the continuation of the status quo.

In other words, maybe the real problem for parts of the world won't be the in fifty years or a century. Maybe the models are optimistic in their predictions and things could be very bad, very fast.

Strange
2010-Aug-06, 04:54 PM
That's exactly what I believe. Where it's currently cold and dry it will become warmer and wetter therefore there will be an increase in biomass. Where it is already warm and wet an increase will only cause a possible adaptation of or replacement by different species and a net zero effect on biomass. Therefore for a warmer and wetter planet there will be an overall increase in life which is good.

Conversely, if the planet were to become colder and dryer the already cold and dry places will become even less accomodating to life so will result in a reduction of biomass. Where is it warm and wet it will become less warm and wet thereby again causing a reduction in biomass due to the limiting factor of available liquid water. Therefore for a colder and dryer planet there will be an overall reduction in life which is bad.

Can you cite any scientific studies showing that the only effect will be for everywhere in the planet to be warmer and drier?

neilzero
2010-Aug-06, 05:08 PM
Hi Traker, 20 posts ago at 03:23 pm Perhaps 10% is way low. I'm not an expert, but I did a poll of textbooks about 1945, most of them 30 to 40 years old in 1945. Approximately ten said 0.04%, one said 0.05%. one said 0.035% and one said 0.03%. You can understand I am skeptical about 290 PPM and the 300 PPM that someone else suggested for about a century ago. 392 PPM is slightly higher than readings I have heard recently. Are you sure your readings are not exaggerations, even if supplied by a very prestigious expert? Does green house effect peak at an altitude of about 30 kilometers? Do we have robust PPM carbon dioxide data for the peak altitude? What is the parts per million of water vapor at the peak green house altitude at 50% humidity? Is that a reasonable comparison? Neil

lomiller1
2010-Aug-06, 05:28 PM
Interesting. So how does "everywhere else" cope with day/night and summer/winter variances?

We are not discussing variances, we are discussing long term changes. Even nocturnal animals would not do well if nights suddenly became 100 years long.


That's exactly what I believe. Where it's currently cold and dry it will become warmer and wetter therefore there will be an increase in biomass. Where it is already warm and wet an increase will only cause a possible adaptation of or replacement by different species and a net zero effect on biomass. Therefore for a warmer and wetter planet there will be an overall increase in life which is good.

A cooling planet tends to make dry places less dry due to reduced evaporation. Wet places also become less wet, but since they are wet, water usually isn’t the limiting factor in the environment. Worse still shifting monsoons can cause dramatic changes in either direction making areas completely unsuitable for whatever currently lives there.

I told you this before but it you seem to have ignored it…

Gillianren
2010-Aug-06, 05:42 PM
Interesting. So how does "everywhere else" cope with day/night and summer/winter variances?

Are you being deliberately obtuse, or do you genuinely not understand how ecosystems work?


That's exactly what I believe. Where it's currently cold and dry it will become warmer and wetter therefore there will be an increase in biomass. Where it is already warm and wet an increase will only cause a possible adaptation of or replacement by different species and a net zero effect on biomass. Therefore for a warmer and wetter planet there will be an overall increase in life which is good.

Well, depending on what life you're interested in. If you're interested in, say, rye, wetter can cause a mildew on it which is really, really bad for it and anyone/thing which eats it. There are plants back home which require regular brushfires in order to complete a life cycle. If it gets wetter, sure, Los Angeles will have fewer water troubles, but the ecosystem outside the city itself will be devastated. The changes are too rapid for the entire ecosystem to evolve, and so there will be mass extinctions. A lot of the crops we depend on have pretty specific climatological requirements, or haven't you ever seen one of those charts you get in seed catalogues telling you when and where you can plant things?


Conversely, if the planet were to become colder and dryer the already cold and dry places will become even less accomodating to life so will result in a reduction of biomass. Where is it warm and wet it will become less warm and wet thereby again causing a reduction in biomass due to the limiting factor of available liquid water. Therefore for a colder and dryer planet there will be an overall reduction in life which is bad.

You are oversimplifying the situation. Do you know that? If you don't believe it, what would it take to convince you?


If anyone expects that the planet will stay the same then I must assume they are deluded therefore I propose no example of such a state.

Yes, but does that mean we should change it without understanding those changes? Does that mean the biosphere is equipped to handle such rapid change? Or could we be starting a disaster that you just don't understand?


We are not discussing variances, we are discussing long term changes. Even nocturnal animals would not do well if nights suddenly became 100 years long.

And if Western Washington suddenly had the climate of Louisiana, that would be different from the fact that we have warm summers. (Though, blessedly, cooler than last year.) Interesting fact--my mother has to keep bulbs for tulips and so forth in the refrigerator, because the ground in Los Angeles isn't cool enough to keep them from sprouting. My sister knows someone who used to have to keep them in the root cellar through the winter, because the ground was too cold. The life cycle of the daffodil requires a certain climatological pattern, and warmer and wetter isn't it.


A cooling planet tends to make dry places less dry due to reduced evaporation. Wet places also become less wet, but since they are wet, water usually isn’t the limiting factor in the environment. Worse still shifting monsoons can cause dramatic changes in either direction making areas completely unsuitable for whatever currently lives there.

I told you this before but it you seem to have ignored it…

Sure. It's inconvenient to what Webbo wants to believe.

Trakar
2010-Aug-06, 10:47 PM
Hi Traker, 20 posts ago at 03:23 pm Perhaps 10% is way low. I'm not an expert, but I did a poll of textbooks about 1945, most of them 30 to 40 years old in 1945. Approximately ten said 0.04%, one said 0.05%. one said 0.035% and one said 0.03%. You can understand I am skeptical about 290 PPM and the 300 PPM that someone else suggested for about a century ago. 392 PPM is slightly higher than readings I have heard recently. Are you sure your readings are not exaggerations, even if supplied by a very prestigious expert? Does green house effect peak at an altitude of about 30 kilometers? Do we have robust PPM carbon dioxide data for the peak altitude? What is the parts per million of water vapor at the peak green house altitude at 50% humidity? Is that a reasonable comparison? Neil

If you are going to argue with direct instrument readings that are accepted and supported as accurate throughout science and industry, then we really have little to discuss in this forum and you need to take your alternative perspective to ATM and support it apprpriately.

Webbo
2010-Aug-06, 11:05 PM
Too many points to debate and I will only receive an infraction if I try to. Sufice to say, I am talking about life in general while most points made were about specific environments. I'm not arguing that certain species will suffer but as long as there is liquid water something will take its place. The only real places that can be altered significantly are areas where there is no liquid water and an introduction of water and warmth in those places will add biomass. There in no place on earth that is currently too hot and wet for life so there is no upper limit to breach that will kill life. Ergo an increase in warmth and water is good for life on earth in general

Ask yourself this. If the planet were cooling and drying would you be worried?

Strange
2010-Aug-06, 11:19 PM
Too many points to debate and I will only receive an infraction if I try to.

I'm sure you won't get an infraction if you can produce some evidence or cite some scientific papers that support your view.


Sufice to say, I am talking about life in general while most points made were about specific environments.

I'm not sure what "life in general" means. Do you mean the majority of species? Or only those parts of the ecosystem which are important to human survival (food crops, etc)? It sounds very "fuzzy".


I'm not arguing that certain species will suffer but as long as there is liquid water something will take its place.

But that sort of adaptation take a (very) long time. The chnages that we are causing are happening very rapdily.


The only real places that can be altered significantly are areas where there is no liquid water

That is nonsense, as has been repeatedly pointed out.


Ask yourself this. If the planet were cooling and drying would you be worried?

If it were happening as rapidly as the warming is, yes. And if it was because of soemthing we were doing, I would expect us to take action to stop it.

Webbo
2010-Aug-06, 11:49 PM
I'm sure you won't get an infraction if you can produce some evidence or cite some scientific papers that support your view.
Irrelevant. The warning was for strayting from the OP (which we are again) not for lack of evidence.


I'm not sure what "life in general" means. Do you mean the majority of species? Or only those parts of the ecosystem which are important to human survival (food crops, etc)? It sounds very "fuzzy".
Whatever science determines as life. Humans are only one species so it would unfair to favour them.


But that sort of adaptation take a (very) long time. The chnages that we are causing are happening very rapdily.
No. Show me any environment with liquid water and there will be life. Add liquid water to a previously arid area I doubt you need to wait more than a few hours for it to develop.


That is nonsense, as has been repeatedly pointed out.
No it isnt and where exactly has it been pointed out? Where has liquid water been added yet no life formed?


If it were happening as rapidly as the warming is, yes. And if it was because of soemthing we were doing, I would expect us to take action to stop it.
If it were cooling and drying slowly and we were not the cause would you be worried and try to stop it?


I expect an infraction now so I may not be able to respond for a while.

SolusLupus
2010-Aug-07, 01:27 AM
Add liquid water to a previously arid area I doubt you need to wait more than a few hours for it to develop.

Oh, is that all it takes? I'm glad it's all so simple!

To a previous post:


Ask yourself this. If the planet were cooling and drying would you be worried?

Yes. If the planet were cooling and drying at an expedient rate, I'd be quite worried. The same with the planet heating.

Webbo
2010-Aug-07, 02:01 AM
Yes. If the planet were cooling and drying at an expedient rate, I'd be quite worried. The same with the planet heating.

So if the planet gets any warmer/wetter its a bad thing and if it gets any cooler/dryer its also a bad thing thing. Do you actually believe that the current status of the planet is the optimum and should therefore be stabilised as it is?

SolusLupus
2010-Aug-07, 02:11 AM
So if the planet gets any warmer/wetter its a bad thing and if it gets any cooler/dryer its also a bad thing thing. Do you actually believe that the current status of the planet is the optimum and should therefore be stabilised as it is?

I "believe" the facts: That plant and animal life (and the humans that live on such life), are accustomed to a certain temperature and climate, based on their local environment. This goes from crops to livestock to ocean life to local wildlife. Change the climate drastically, "drastically" even meaning over a few decades, and that life will change. For instance, if say, a certain town in Africa suddenly found out that its local watering well dried up (true story), this can cause (and has caused) conflict. Of course, if you think that moving populations, desertification of oceans, and similar have no economic or quality-of-life impact... well, that's up to you.

But really, you set up an interesting false dichotomy. It's like saying if I don't want to freeze to death, I should wish to die from overheating; if not hypothermia, then hyperthermia. It's astoundingly illogical.

If you just want life to survive, well, I suppose some might find that laudable, but that can justify everything and anything, including nuclear war and another "extinction event". SOME life will survive, no? Unfortunately, I'm rather inclined to the survival and well-being of my own species.

Remember: Crops are for us, weeds aren't, but they're both life. Fluctuations in environment can cause weeds. For instance: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_tide

swampyankee
2010-Aug-07, 02:15 AM
So if the planet gets any warmer/wetter its a bad thing and if it gets any cooler/dryer its also a bad thing thing. Do you actually believe that the current status of the planet is the optimum and should therefore be stabilised as it is?

The current status of the planet is rapidly departing the optimum for the current distribution of species, including humans. Nobody -- absolutely nobody -- can be certain of the results of what the effects of climate change will be. I'm old enough to remember analogue power supplies, so my analogy may not work. Open up a complex piece of electronics, like a laptop. Hunt up all the capacitors and resistors (they're there, though they may be tough to find) and replace them with variable capacitors and potentiometers. Adjust them to match the values for the components you've replaced. Turn on your laptop. Twiddle a couple of the pots and varicaps at random. Did the performance improve? Would you expect it to do so?

So, we, as a species, are twiddling the knobs on a system which is very complex and not completely understood. I completely fail to understand why this doesn't worry some people.

William
2010-Aug-07, 02:33 AM
I think the most dramatic effect will be the changes in sea levels. it wont happen fast in a human perspective tho... in geological perspective it is going to happen in the blink of an eye. 2 degrees warming is enough to cause major melting of glaciers that today are critical for ensuring year round water supplies in dry areas of the world. And therein lies the real problem with warming. areas currently left unpopulated due to weather patterns will become better. while areas with lots of people in it today will become less habitable. Mass migrations come with their own set of issues no?
Most of the mass migration can be avoided if the most affected areas can be given a new fresh water source in the form of water treatment. but this is a costly solution unless energy can be gotten for nearly free.

otherwise i more or less agree with swift about biodiversity taking a major hit. a lot of ecosystems are borderline viable for it's occupants already. it does not take much to cause an extinction event in some biotopes.


Sea level is increasing at 3.1 mm/year which is an increase of 12 inches in a 100 years. Sea level in the past was increasing at 1.7 mm/yr. I do not see how a 3.1mm/year increase in sea level is an extinction event. The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are not at risk due to a doubling of CO2 levels. An increase in temperature will result in an increase in snow fall on the Antarctic sheet.

Most of the warming has occurred at higher latitudes. There is an observed increase in shrub growth in the arctic.

The amount of warming observed to date is less than 40% of what is predicted based on assumed warming due to a doubling of CO2 of 3C as per the IPCC reports whose predictions are based on computer models. Why there is 60% less warming than predicted was not been resolved.

The uncertainty in the predicted warming "1C to 5C" for a doubling of atmospheric CO2 is caused by uncertainty in determining whether the planet's response to an increase in temperature is to amplify the change (Positive feedback) or to resist the change (negative feedback. Planetary cloud cover increases when the planet warms and decreases when it cools which thereby resists changes.).

If the feedback is 0 (i.e. neither negative or positive) then a doubling of CO2 will cause the planet to warm 1C.

The IPCC includes with the economic impact of the warming less money for tourism, as due to warmer winters they assume there will be less winter get away travel.

Droughts and heat waves have occurred in the past. It is not clear how one will separate weather from climate change. Back to the point of how much warming will occur and which latitudes are going to warm.

Warmer temperatures at higher latitudes reduces the temperature differential which reduces sever storms.

It should be noted warming due to increased CO2 in the atmosphere is logarithmic. The first CO2 has the greatest effect. Subsequent CO2 added to atmosphere has less effect as the specific spectrum that CO2 absorbs is blocked. CO2 has increased from 280 ppm (0.028%) to 390 ppm (0.039%).

The situation is different for Venus as the Venus atmospheric pressure is 90 times that of the earth. Under very high pressures the quantum states blend as CO2 becomes liquid like which enables it to absorb a greater frequency band.

Comment:
As noted in the thread "Plants Eat CO2" the increase in atmospheric CO2 is beneficial to all plant life on the planet. C4 plants loss roughly 40% of the water they absorb due to low levels of CO2. As CO2 levels increase plants C4 plants reduce the number of stomata on their leaves which reduces the water loss. Atmospheric CO2 levels were at their lowest levels in 800 million years before anthropogenic increases.

William
2010-Aug-07, 02:49 AM
The current status of the planet is rapidly departing the optimum for the current distribution of species, including humans. Nobody -- absolutely nobody -- can be certain of the results of what the effects of climate change will be. I'm old enough to remember analogue power supplies, so my analogy may not work. Open up a complex piece of electronics, like a laptop. Hunt up all the capacitors and resistors (they're there, though they may be tough to find) and replace them with variable capacitors and potentiometers. Adjust them to match the values for the components you've replaced. Turn on your laptop. Twiddle a couple of the pots and varicaps at random. Did the performance improve? Would you expect it to do so?

So, we, as a species, are twiddling the knobs on a system which is very complex and not completely understood. I completely fail to understand why this doesn't worry some people.

Interesting analogue. Planet's ideal temperature and an electronic circuit.

There is no evidence to date of warming instability. In the past the problem has been the glacial phase of the glacial/interglacial cycle. There was been 22 cycles in the last 1.7 million years.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d2/Atmospheric_CO2_with_glaciers_cycles.gif

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Vostok_Petit_data.svg

Swift
2010-Aug-07, 03:29 AM
Too many points to debate and I will only receive an infraction if I try to.

Irrelevant. The warning was for strayting from the OP (which we are again) not for lack of evidence.

If you are talking mainstream science, you could always start your own thread in Science & Technology to discuss it. There would be no infraction for thread-hijacking.

Nereid
2010-Aug-07, 11:58 AM
Sea level is increasing at 3.1 mm/year which is an increase of 12 inches in a 100 years. Sea level in the past was increasing at 1.7 mm/yr. I do not see how a 3.1mm/year increase in sea level is an extinction event. The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are not at risk due to a doubling of CO2 levels. An increase in temperature will result in an increase in snow fall on the Antarctic sheet.

Most of the warming has occurred at higher latitudes. There is an observed increase in shrub growth in the arctic.

The amount of warming observed to date is less than 40% of what is predicted based on assumed warming due to a doubling of CO2 of 3C as per the IPCC reports whose predictions are based on computer models. Why there is 60% less warming than predicted was not been resolved.

The uncertainty in the predicted warming "1C to 5C" for a doubling of atmospheric CO2 is caused by uncertainty in determining whether the planet's response to an increase in temperature is to amplify the change (Positive feedback) or to resist the change (negative feedback. Planetary cloud cover increases when the planet warms and decreases when it cools which thereby resists changes.).

If the feedback is 0 (i.e. neither negative or positive) then a doubling of CO2 will cause the planet to warm 1C.

The IPCC includes with the economic impact of the warming less money for tourism, as due to warmer winters they assume there will be less winter get away travel.

Droughts and heat waves have occurred in the past. It is not clear how one will separate weather from climate change. Back to the point of how much warming will occur and which latitudes are going to warm.

Warmer temperatures at higher latitudes reduces the temperature differential which reduces sever storms.

It should be noted warming due to increased CO2 in the atmosphere is logarithmic. The first CO2 has the greatest effect. Subsequent CO2 added to atmosphere has less effect as the specific spectrum that CO2 absorbs is blocked. CO2 has increased from 280 ppm (0.028%) to 390 ppm (0.039%).

The situation is different for Venus as the Venus atmospheric pressure is 90 times that of the earth. Under very high pressures the quantum states blend as CO2 becomes liquid like which enables it to absorb a greater frequency band.
I don't understand this; can you explain please?




Comment:
As noted in the thread "Plants Eat CO2" the increase in atmospheric CO2 is beneficial to all plant life on the planet. C4 plants loss roughly 40% of the water they absorb due to low levels of CO2. As CO2 levels increase plants C4 plants reduce the number of stomata on their leaves which reduces the water loss. Atmospheric CO2 levels were at their lowest levels in 800 million years before anthropogenic increases.
the increase in atmospheric CO2 is beneficial to all plant life on the planet

I don't know if you include phytoplankton and algae in "all plant life" ( you seem to be referring to land plants only), but ocean acidification - which can result from increased atmospheric CO2 - may well be anything but beneficial to at least some species of marine 'plants', either directly or indirectly.

Atmospheric CO2 levels were at their lowest levels in 800 million years before anthropogenic increases.

I'm not sure how this is relevant; after all, land plants didn't really appear until ~450 Ma. Can you explain please?

William
2010-Aug-07, 12:51 PM
I don't understand this; can you explain please?


the increase in atmospheric CO2 is beneficial to all plant life on the planet

I don't know if you include phytoplankton and algae in "all plant life" ( you seem to be referring to land plants only), but ocean acidification - which can result from increased atmospheric CO2 - may well be anything but beneficial to at least some species of marine 'plants', either directly or indirectly.

Atmospheric CO2 levels were at their lowest levels in 800 million years before anthropogenic increases.

I'm not sure how this is relevant; after all, land plants didn't really appear until ~450 Ma. Can you explain please?

This is a more scientific explanation of the issues that are not resolved. The key scientific issue is whether planetary feedback response to a change in forcing due to an increase in CO2 or other forcing changes is negative or positive. The term feedback is used to describe how the system responses to an increase or decrease in forcing.

A system that has positive feedback will oscillate and will increase or decrease abruptly in response to a change to forcing as the feedback amplifies rather than resists changes . Planetary clouds and the ice sheets are two mechanisms that changes the planet's albedo which in turn changes how much radiation is reflected into space.

One argument that has been used to support negative feedback is the faint sun paradox. The planet has had liquid water on its surface within roughly 500 million years of the planet's formation. The paradox is the sun's energy emission has roughly 30% less 4 billion years ago.

A feedback that is negative will help to stabilize the planet's temperature resisting increases and decreases. Negative feedback can be used to explain the faint sun paradox. The alternative explanation which very, very, high levels of CO2 is not consistence with the geological record.

Positive feedback has been proposed to explain the glacial/interglacial cycle. The interglacial periods are short and end abruptly. The proposed mechanism is changes in the earth's orbit which affect whether the timing of solar insolation changes. The glacial cycle is currently roughly 100,000 years long and the interglacial period 12000 years long. We are at the end of the interglacial period. The orbital insolation theory has 5 paradoxes (causality problem, 100,000 year timing problem, the 41 kyr problem, and so on) which are currently unanswered.

The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have accumulated sufficient ice that the planet must warm say ball park 15C to melt the ice sheets because of the high elevation of the ice sheet surface. As I noted the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are stable and very cold.

The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets accumulate snow and would continue to grow if they did not calf ice into the sea.

1) Planet has not warmed as much as expected due to a doubling of CO2. Observational Evidence & Theoretical Implications


Why Hasn't Earth Warmed as Much as Expected?
Stephen E. Schwartz, Robert J. Charlson, Ralph A. Kahn, John A. Ogren, Henning Rodhe

The observed increase in global mean surface temperature (GMST) over the industrial era is less than 40% of that expected from observed increases in long-lived greenhouse gases together with the best-estimate equilibrium climate sensitivity given by the 2007 Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Possible reasons for this warming discrepancy are systematically examined here. The warming discrepancy is found to be due mainly to some combination of two factors: the IPCC best estimate of climate sensitivity being too high and/or the greenhouse gas forcing being partially offset by forcing by increased concentrations of atmospheric aerosols; the increase in global heat content due to thermal disequilibrium accounts for less than 25% of the discrepancy, and cooling by natural temperature variation can account for only about 15%. Current uncertainty in climate sensitivity is shown to preclude determining the amount of future fossil fuel CO2 emissions that would be compatible with any chosen maximum allowable increase in GMST; even the sign of such allowable future emissions is unconstrained. Resolving this situation, by empirical determination of Earth's climate sensitivity from the historical record over the industrial period or through use of climate models whose accuracy is evaluated by their performance over this period is shown to require substantial reduction in the uncertainty of aerosol forcing over this period.



Figure 3 in the graph shows how temperatures on the Greenland ice sheet have changed over the last 50,000 years. The point is during the current interglacial the planet was 2.5C warmer than the current period during the Holocene optimum (The interglacial period which we are currently living in is called the Holocene interglacial period) and 1C warming during the Medieval warm period. During the warm periods human civilizations flourished. During the cold periods there are crop failures and starvation.

I would assume as human civilizations flourished during warm periods that is indication that a warmer planet is positive not negative for the biosphere.

http://courses.washington.edu/pcc589/2009/readings/Dahl_Jensen.pdf


Past Temperatures Directly from the Greenland Ice Sheet

A Monte Carlo inverse method has been used on the temperature profiles measured down through the Greenland Ice Core Project (GRIP) borehole, at the summit of the Greenland Ice Sheet, and the Dye 3 borehole 865 kilometers farther south. The result is a 50,000-year-long temperature history at GRIP and a 7000-year history at Dye 3. The Last Glacial Maximum, the Climatic Optimum, the Medieval Warmth, the Little Ice Age, and a warm period at 1930 A.D. are resolved from the GRIP reconstruction with the amplitudes -23 kelvin, +2.5 kelvin, +1 kelvin, -1 kelvin, and -0.5 kelvin, respectively. The Dye 3 temperature is similar to the GRIP history but has an amplitude 1.5 times larger, indicating higher climatic variability there. The calculated terrestrial heat flow density from the GRIP inversion is 51.3 milliwatts per square meter.

Robert Tulip
2010-Aug-07, 01:07 PM
Any response, then, to my post #18 (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php/106405-What-can-we-realistically-expect-re-global-warming?p=1770542#post1770542) in this thread?

I'm going to give a slightly OT answer - the worst case scenario is a repeat of the greatest mass extinction event in the geological record, the Permian-Triassic (PT) mass extinction (the "Great Dying"). It's unlikely to start happening in a way that will dramatically affect civilisation in 2100, but by then the trends will be irreversible, by us Homo sap.s, and the forthcoming mass extinction (Homo sap. included) inevitable.

Why? Because of 'the other' CO2 issue - acidification of the oceans.

The most robust conclusion re the proximate cause of the PT extinction is ocean acidification due to CO2, and while its effects were far more severe on marine species than land ones, I very much doubt that civilisation as we know it could withstand the world's oceans becoming anoxic.

The inevitability of global oceanic anoxia, in the worst case scenario, comes from the multiple positive feedback loops involving acidification that are linked to global warming, so even if we stopped increasing the atmospheric CO2 concentration by 2050 - which is, IMHO, nigh on impossible - the train will have already left the station.

And in case you're wondering, there is no known potential CO2 sink large enough to stop oceanic acidification; worse, some of the proposed "solutions" to the anthropogenic CO2 problem would just make global ocean anoxia more certain - pumping CO2 into deep ocean trenches, for example.
This is, I think, by far the most dramatic answer of all, in this thread so far; yet, strangely, no one has commented on it ...


That's why the PT extinction is so informative; it seems that, for a variety of reasons, the global oceans became acidic and then anoxic (or perhaps both, or in the reverse order), and the proximate cause of that seems to have been a dramatic increase in atmospheric CO2. Now the present-day increase in atmospheric CO2 makes that preceding the PT extinction look like the slowest of snails, compared to today's fastest of cheetahs. Further, I'm not so sure previous changes in global temperatures have been as fast as today's; what looks like an astonishingly fast change in the geological record usually means millennia at the fastest, if not millions of years.

And to add to Swift's point, it's not only the inability to form calcium carbonate shells, but apparently most marine organisms have little tolerance for sustained increases in acidity - reproduction slows down, disease resistance drops, etc - and once the incredibly interlocked ocean ecosystems start to suffer, collapse on a truly grand scale may begin at any time (a classic catastrophe; think of passenger pigeons, or George's Bank cod).

Further, per Swift's link re phytoplankton (http://www.fmap.ca/ramweb/media/phytoplankton_decline/content/Boyce_etal_2010.pdf), maybe one of the canaries is already showing signs of severe distress: a ~1% pa decline sounds innocent enough, right? But consider that the oceans' acidity is increasing, at an increasing rate, and even at only 1% pa, that's a ~50% drop in less than a century*!

Now those reading this post today likely won't have too much to worry about, but our grandchildren and great-grandchildren will surely curse our spinelessness with the most bitter of words ...

* on geological timescales, a century is the same as instantaneous

Yes, the speed of the current change is the danger. Previous climate change has given organisms time to adapt by evolution over generations, but the current speed of change removes that possibility. Economic growth using fossil fuel energy is causing CO2 increase to speed up faster than projections. ( http://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/newsrel/international/03-08ChinasCarbonDioxideEmissions.asp) With global population of six billion people projected to increase to nine or ten billion, and demand for increased energy, the key issue is to shift to an energy method that enables management of global atmosphere and oceans for rapid stabilisation and reduction of CO2 and other greenhouse gasses.

My view (http://rtulip.net/yahoo_site_admin/assets/docs/Strategic_path_for_the_development_of_microalgal_b io-diesel_in_China_-_August_2010.215180342.pdf) is that ocean based algae farming is the best option. I do not know what the relation between large scale algae production and acidification might be, and would welcome advice on this question.

Total emissions of CO2 by human activities are currently about 27 billion tonnes per year (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide#In_the_Earth.27s_atmosphere). If we could cover 0.6% of the global ocean with algae farms, 300 million hectares, fixing 100 tons of CO2 per hectare per year, thirty billion tons in total, it would start to reduce C02 to normal levels. As well, it would locally cool the ocean, protecting coral and other organisms from rapid ocean temperature rise. This could be done rapidly, if algae farms can be self-financing from commercial production of biodiesel, fertilizer, solid fuel, fish food, carbon blocks and plastics.

The main challenge is the cultural aversion to geo-engineering. A method is needed that addresses such concerns.

William
2010-Aug-07, 01:26 PM
I don't understand this; can you explain please?


the increase in atmospheric CO2 is beneficial to all plant life on the planet

I don't know if you include phytoplankton and algae in "all plant life" ( you seem to be referring to land plants only), but ocean acidification - which can result from increased atmospheric CO2 - may well be anything but beneficial to at least some species of marine 'plants', either directly or indirectly.

Atmospheric CO2 levels were at their lowest levels in 800 million years before anthropogenic increases.

I'm not sure how this is relevant; after all, land plants didn't really appear until ~450 Ma. Can you explain please?

These is a link to an article that discusses ocean ph changes. As note in the article a reduction in alkalinity of sea water results in an increase in ocean productivity not a decreases.

Both land and ocean based plants benefit from higher levels of CO2. The biosphere is more productive when CO2 levels are were 1000 to 1500 ppm as opposed to the current 390 ppm.

http://www.seafriends.org.nz/issues/global/acid.htm#intro

I will start a separate thread some day to discuss the ocean ph changes as more research is done on this subject.

William
2010-Aug-07, 01:34 PM
Yes, the speed of the current change is the danger. Previous climate change has given organisms time to adapt by evolution over generations, but the current speed of change removes that possibility. Economic growth using fossil fuel energy is causing CO2 increase to speed up faster than projections. ( http://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/newsrel/international/03-08ChinasCarbonDioxideEmissions.asp) With global population of six billion people projected to increase to nine or ten billion, and demand for increased energy, the key issue is to shift to an energy method that enables management of global atmosphere and oceans for rapid stabilisation and reduction of CO2 and other greenhouse gasses.

My view (http://rtulip.net/yahoo_site_admin/assets/docs/Strategic_path_for_the_development_of_microalgal_b io-diesel_in_China_-_August_2010.215180342.pdf) is that ocean based algae farming is the best option. I do not know what the relation between large scale algae production and acidification might be, and would welcome advice on this question.

Total emissions of CO2 by human activities are currently about 27 billion tonnes per year (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide#In_the_Earth.27s_atmosphere). If we could cover 0.6% of the global ocean with algae farms, 300 million hectares, fixing 100 tons of CO2 per hectare per year, thirty billion tons in total, it would start to reduce C02 to normal levels. As well, it would locally cool the ocean, protecting coral and other organisms from rapid ocean temperature rise. This could be done rapidly, if algae farms can be self-financing from commercial production of biodiesel, fertilizer, solid fuel, fish food, carbon blocks and plastics.

The main challenge is the cultural aversion to geo-engineering. A method is needed that addresses such concerns.

Robert,

How high were CO2 levels during the OT extinction? What mechanism are you assuming to cause that extinction? Your statements lack facts and details.

I am not sure I see any logical connection to what is currently happening - Gradual increase in atmospheric CO2 levels from the lowest in 800 million years - to the OT extinction. There have been periods of very high volcanic activity which resulted in large changes in the atmospheric CO2. No extinction.

A single correlation does not prove causation.

Plants eat CO2. Higher atmospheric CO2 results in a more productive biosphere which is the reason greenhouses inject CO2 to increase plant growth and yield.

Nereid
2010-Aug-07, 02:39 PM
This is a more scientific explanation of the issues that are not resolved. The key scientific issue is whether planetary feedback response to a change in forcing due to an increase in CO2 or other forcing changes is negative or positive. The term feedback is used to describe how the system responses to an increase or decrease in forcing.

A system that has positive feedback will oscillate and will increase or decrease abruptly in response to a change to forcing as the feedback amplifies rather than resists changes . Planetary clouds and the ice sheets are two mechanisms that changes the planet's albedo which in turn changes how much radiation is reflected into space.

One argument that has been used to support negative feedback is the faint sun paradox. The planet has had liquid water on its surface within roughly 500 million years of the planet's formation. The paradox is the sun's energy emission has roughly 30% less 4 billion years ago.

A feedback that is negative will help to stabilize the planet's temperature resisting increases and decreases. Negative feedback can be used to explain the faint sun paradox. The alternative explanation which very, very, high levels of CO2 is not consistence with the geological record.

Positive feedback has been proposed to explain the glacial/interglacial cycle. The interglacial periods are short and end abruptly. The proposed mechanism is changes in the earth's orbit which affect whether the timing of solar insolation changes. The glacial cycle is currently roughly 100,000 years long and the interglacial period 12000 years long. We are at the end of the interglacial period. The orbital insolation theory has 5 paradoxes (causality problem, 100,000 year timing problem, the 41 kyr problem, and so on) which are currently unanswered.

The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have accumulated sufficient ice that the planet must warm say ball park 15C to melt the ice sheets because of the high elevation of the ice sheet surface. As I noted the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are stable and very cold.

The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets accumulate snow and would continue to grow if they did not calf ice into the sea.

1) Planet has not warmed as much as expected due to a doubling of CO2. Observational Evidence & Theoretical Implications




Figure 3 in the graph shows how temperatures on the Greenland ice sheet have changed over the last 50,000 years. The point is during the current interglacial the planet was 2.5C warmer than the current period during the Holocene optimum (The interglacial period which we are currently living in is called the Holocene interglacial period) and 1C warming during the Medieval warm period. During the warm periods human civilizations flourished. During the cold periods there are crop failures and starvation.

I would assume as human civilizations flourished during warm periods that is indication that a warmer planet is positive not negative for the biosphere.

http://courses.washington.edu/pcc589/2009/readings/Dahl_Jensen.pdf
I'm sorry William, I am completely at a loss to understand what you have written.

First, the part I didn't understand was this: "The situation is different for Venus as the Venus atmospheric pressure is 90 times that of the earth. Under very high pressures the quantum states blend as CO2 becomes liquid like which enables it to absorb a greater frequency band."

Second, The relationship between atmospheric CO2 concentrations (or partial pressures, to be more exact) and temperature, over geological timescales (of the order of millions to tens of millions of years), needs to also factor in a great deal more than just the CO2 levels! And time periods of hundreds of thousands of years to tens of millions are, surely, not relevant to what we're considering now (which is time periods of no more than a century or three).

Also, you seem to have not addressed my question concerning this: "Atmospheric CO2 levels were at their lowest levels in 800 million years before anthropogenic increases." Land plants didn't really appear until ~450 Ma. Can you explain please?

Nereid
2010-Aug-07, 02:45 PM
These is a link to an article that discusses ocean ph changes. As note in the article a reduction in alkalinity of sea water results in an increase in ocean productivity not a decreases.

Both land and ocean based plants benefit from higher levels of CO2. The biosphere is more productive when CO2 levels are were 1000 to 1500 ppm as opposed to the current 390 ppm.

http://www.seafriends.org.nz/issues/global/acid.htm#intro

I will start a separate thread some day to discuss the ocean ph changes as more research is done on this subject.
There are, already, several references in this thread on ocean acidification, and plenty of links; have you read them? The source you cite (the link) is anything but mainstream science, right?

The key challenge with ocean acidification, just as with global warming, isn't so much the absolute levels as the speed at which atmospheric C02 levels are changing, and the consequences of that rapid change.

Nereid
2010-Aug-07, 02:48 PM
Robert,

How high were CO2 levels during the OT extinction? What mechanism are you assuming to cause that extinction? Your statements lack facts and details.

I am not sure I see any logical connection to what is currently happening - Gradual increase in atmospheric CO2 levels from the lowest in 800 million years - to the OT extinction. There have been periods of very high volcanic activity which resulted in large changes in the atmospheric CO2. No extinction.

A single correlation does not prove causation.

Plants eat CO2. Higher atmospheric CO2 results in a more productive biosphere which is the reason greenhouses inject CO2 to increase plant growth and yield.
How high were CO2 levels during the OT extinction?

What is "the OT extinction"?

Gradual increase in atmospheric CO2 levels from the lowest in 800 million years - to the OT extinction

Source?

William
2010-Aug-07, 03:06 PM
I'm sorry William, I am completely at a loss to understand what you have written.

First, the part I didn't understand was this: "The situation is different for Venus as the Venus atmospheric pressure is 90 times that of the earth. Under very high pressures the quantum states blend as CO2 becomes liquid like which enables it to absorb a greater frequency band."

Second, The relationship between atmospheric CO2 concentrations (or partial pressures, to be more exact) and temperature, over geological timescales (of the order of millions to tens of millions of years), needs to also factor in a great deal more than just the CO2 levels! And time periods of hundreds of thousands of years to tens of millions are, surely, not relevant to what we're considering now (which is time periods of no more than a century or three).

Also, you seem to have not addressed my question concerning this: "Atmospheric CO2 levels were at their lowest levels in 800 million years before anthropogenic increases." Land plants didn't really appear until ~450 Ma. Can you explain please?

The CO2 molecule only absorbs specific frequencies.

As the concentration of CO2 increases the mechanism saturates such that the subsequent increases in atmosphere CO2 has less and less affect on planetary temperature. Everyone is in agreement that the lower atmosphere is from the standpoint of CO2 greenhouse warming effects saturated.

The frequency band which CO2 absorbs increases under higher pressures as CO2 becomes liquid like. (The quantum levels of the closely packed molecules start to overlap.) That explains why Venus is so very hot. (i.e. The Venus atmospheric pressure is 90 times the earth.)



http://www.warwickhughes.com/papers/barrett_ee05.pdf

Greenhouse molecules, their spectra and function in the atmosphere by Jack Barrett



CO2 levels in the atmosphere in the past.

I did not state that land based plants appeared prior to roughly 450 million years.

My point is CO2 levels have been 5 to 10 times greater than the current levels for most of the last 500 million years. Land based and ocean based plants are more efficient and productive with higher levels of atmospheric CO2. The fact that there are fossils of very large herbivores during the periods when CO2 levels where high in addition to basic research on how plants use CO2 and ocean chemistry supports that assertion.

There were no extinctions due to high temperatures or due to changes in the ocean's ph when CO2 was 5 to 10 times greater than 280 ppm (0.028%). (i.e. CO2 was 5 to 10 times higher than current levels and there was very productive biosphere.)

William
2010-Aug-07, 03:23 PM
How high were CO2 levels during the OT extinction?

What is "the OT extinction"?

Gradual increase in atmospheric CO2 levels from the lowest in 800 million years - to the OT extinction

Source?

Nereid's question is for Robert not William. (Nereid see Robert's comment were he speaks of the OT extinction. I believe he referring to the extinction that occurred roughly 250 million years ago.) Robert asserted that the OT extinction (Permian-Triassic extinction?) at which time CO2 levels were around 7000 ppm to support the assertion that the increase in atmospheric CO2 from 280 ppm to 560 ppm will cause massive extinctions.

I would like a logic explanation in addition to a source. (i.e. A logic explanation would explain why the biosphere was very productive when CO2 levels were 1000 ppm to 3000 ppm and then explain why an increase in CO2 from 280 ppm (0.028%) to 560 ppm (0.056 %) is alleged to causes mass extinctions.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permian%E2%80%93Triassic_extinction_event

There are two issues to address.

1) How much will the planet warm due a doubling of CO2. (How much it has warmed to date compared to what is predicted supports the assertion that feedback response in negative rather than positive.)
If the planet's response to a change in forcing is negative rather than positive then the warming due to an increase in CO2 from 280 ppm to 560 ppm will result in planetary warming of less than 1C.

2) The second issue is how is CO2 used in the biosphere. CO2 is fundamental to all life on this planet. We are CO2 based life forms. What is the scientific reason to state that atmospheric CO2 should be limited to 400 ppm or 600 ppm?

Robert Tulip
2010-Aug-07, 03:23 PM
How high were CO2 levels during the OT extinction? What is "the OT extinction"? William may have meant the PT (Permian-Triassic) extinction. My post quoted Nereid's comment " The most robust conclusion re the proximate cause of the PT extinction is ocean acidification due to CO2, and while its effects were far more severe on marine species than land ones, I very much doubt that civilisation as we know it could withstand the world's oceans becoming anoxic." It seems that William's comment "I am not sure I see any logical connection to what is currently happening" is an assertion that Nereid is wrong to see a comparison between the PT 'great dying' and current events.

Robert Tulip
2010-Aug-07, 03:32 PM
see Robert's comment were he speaks of the OT extinction. No, OT was Nereid's term for off topic. Conflating OT with the PT extinction is William's innovation, not mine. Luckily, the question is on topic as it relates to the OP (opening post) question 'Will the worst case scenario be the best fit scenario?' P-T CO2 levels help to inform a worst case scenario, primarily in terms of the geologically instantaneous speed of the current likely doubling of CO2.

William
2010-Aug-07, 04:04 PM
William may have meant the PT (Permian-Triassic) extinction. My post quoted Nereid's comment " The most robust conclusion re the proximate cause of the PT extinction is ocean acidification due to CO2, and while its effects were far more severe on marine species than land ones, I very much doubt that civilisation as we know it could withstand the world's oceans becoming anoxic." It seems that William's comment "I am not sure I see any logical connection to what is currently happening" is an assertion that Nereid is wrong to see a comparison between the PT 'great dying' and current events.

I believe we agree that Robert is trying to use the Permian-Triasic extinction at which time a large portion of marine life died to assert that the recent ocean ph change of 0.1 due to atmospheric CO2 increasing from 280 ppm to 390 ppm) which is only measurable due to advances in ph measuring instrumentation is any indication that there will be massive extinctions in the future if atmospheric CO2 were to reach let's say 560 ppm (0.056% by volume) or let's say 700 ppm (0.07%) by volume.

Hyperbole is not a valid logic argument to support an assertion. Quantifying how much warming is expected and how much variance in planetary temperature there has been in the past anchors the discussions on fact. Likewise quantifying how much ph changes has occurred and is expected to occur places some logical bounds on the discussion.

The planet is roughly 6C colder during the glacial phase when ice sheets a couple of miles thick covers Canada and the Northern US states and Northern Europe for roughly 100,000 years. CO2 levels dropped to 180 ppm during that period. Planets start to die due to low levels of CO2 at around 150 ppm. Plants eat CO2. It appears a colder planet with less CO2 is not a good thing. In the past the change from warm interglacial conditions to cold glacial conditions has been geologically very short. There is evidence of cyclic rapid abrupt climate change due to some unknown forcing mechanism.

If the planet's feedback response to forcing is negative rather than positive a doubling of atmospheric CO2 will result in warming of less than 1C. If feedback is truly negative rather than positive, the scenario where is alleged to be a massive rapid increase in planetary temperature due to a slow increase in CO2 goes away.

Planetary temperature has been 2.5C warmer than current temperatures during the Holocene optimum period. (Roughly 8000 years ago.) Human civilization has in the past thrived when the planet was warmer which makes sense the portion of the planet that will support life increases when the planet is warmer. (Has anyone traveled to high latitude regions on the planet?)

William
2010-Aug-07, 04:25 PM
There is both direct and indirect evidence to support the assertion that the planet's response to a change in forcing is negative feedback (planetary cloud cover increases when the planet warms and decreases when the planet cools to resist planetary temperature change) as opposed to positive feedback where the planet's response is to amplify forcing changes such that planet warms or cools more than the amount of direct forcing.

If the planet's response to a change in forcing is negative rather than positive then a doubling of atmospheric CO2 will result in a warming of the planet of less than 1C rather than the 3C predicted by the IPCC computer models. (The IPCC computer models assume a strongly positive feedback due to increase CO2 to increase the direct warming due to a doubling of CO2 from 1C to 3C.)

http://www.drroyspencer.com/Lindzen-and-Choi-GRL-2009.pdf


On the determination of climate feedbacks from ERBE data

Climate feedbacks are estimated from fluctuations in the outgoing radiation budget from the latest version of Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE) nonscanner data. It appears, for the entire tropics, the observed outgoing radiation fluxes increase with the increase in sea surface temperatures (SSTs). The observed behavior of radiation fluxes implies negative feedback processes associated with relatively low climate sensitivity.

This is the opposite of the behavior of 11 atmospheric models forced by the same SSTs. Therefore, the models display much higher climate sensitivity than is inferred from ERBE, though it is difficult to pin down such high sensitivities with any precision. Results also show, the feedback in ERBE is mostly from shortwave radiation while the feedback in the models is mostly from longwave radiation. Although such a test does not distinguish the mechanisms, this is important since the inconsistency of climate feedbacks constitutes a very fundamental problem in climate prediction.

William
2010-Aug-07, 04:39 PM
This is a summary of a presentation that was presented at the AGU annual meeting.

An increase in atmospheric CO2 is not a killing mechanism. As stated by the AGU annual meeting presenter, Kump "plants love CO2", as plants eat CO2 and hence need CO2 to live. Plants respond to increase CO2 levels by growing faster and by using less water.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/11/031104063957.htm


Hydrogen Sulfide, Not Carbon Dioxide, May Have Caused Largest Mass Extinction

While most scientists agree that a meteor strike killed the dinosaurs, the cause of the largest mass extinction in Earth's history, 251 million years ago, is still unknown, according to geologists.

"During the end-Permian extinction 95 percent of all species on Earth became extinct, compared to only 75 percent during the KT when the dinosaurs disappeared," says Dr. Lee R. Kump, professor of geosciences. "The end-Permian is puzzling. There is no convincing smoking gun, no compelling evidence of an asteroid impact."

Researchers have shown that the deep oceans were anoxic, lacking oxygen, in the late Permian and research shows that the continental shelf areas in the end-Permian were also anoxic. One explanation is that sea level rose so that the anoxic deep water was covering the shelf. Another possibility is that the surface ocean and deep ocean mixed, bringing anoxic waters to the surface.

"However, we find mass extinction on land to be an unlikely consequence of carbon dioxide levels of only seven times the preindustrial level," Kump told attendees today (Nov. 3) at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America in Seattle. "Plants, in general, love carbon dioxide, so it is difficult to think of carbon dioxide as a good kill mechanism."

On the other hand, hydrogen sulfide gas, produced in the oceans through sulfate decomposition by sulfur bacteria, can easily kill both terrestrial and oceanic plants and animals.

Nereid
2010-Aug-07, 05:11 PM
This is a summary of a presentation that was presented at the AGU annual meeting.

An increase in atmospheric CO2 is not a killing mechanism. As stated by the AGU annual meeting presenter, Kump "plants love CO2", as plants eat CO2 and hence need CO2 to live. Plants respond to increase CO2 levels by growing faster and by using less water.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/11/031104063957.htm
Earlier, I asked you if you had read the material that had been presented already in this thread.

This last post, and some others, pretty clearly show that you have not.

Try reading post #105, and the Knoll et al. (2007) paper it contains.

FWIW, the case you're trying to make - so it seems to me - is overly simplistic, and amounts to little more than cherry-picking. For example, how well marine organisms can form shells (etc) depends upon whether the oceans they live in are saturated (or super-saturated) in the relevant calcite ions, which in turn depends on quite a few other factors (of which the partial pressure of CO2 in the atmosphere is but one).

Also, the 'kill' mechanism of a mass extinction may be quite different from, and distinct in time from, the 'trigger' mechanism. In the case of present day ocean acidification and a possible PT-like mass extinction, the kill mechanism may turn out to be bacterial infection, but the trigger the increased (anthropogenic) atmospheric CO2, some 50 to 150 years earlier (i.e. about now).

Finally, once again, you seem to be conflating processes which have vastly different characteristic timescales. This is (one of the) mistake(s) in the earlier material you cited; while the oceans as a whole may be able to absorb vastly more CO2, with little net effect on pH, over timescales of millions of years, the rate at which deep ocean water mixes with the surface layers is not as fast as mere decades, and what counts - for most marine ecosystems of immediate concern to us Homo saps. - is the pH of the surface layers.

Nereid
2010-Aug-07, 05:17 PM
No, OT was Nereid's term for off topic. Conflating OT with the PT extinction is William's innovation, not mine. Luckily, the question is on topic as it relates to the OP (opening post) question 'Will the worst case scenario be the best fit scenario?' P-T CO2 levels help to inform a worst case scenario, primarily in terms of the geologically instantaneous speed of the current likely doubling of CO2.(bold added)

Yep, that's it.

Best case? Life is beautiful.

Worst case? A mass extinction comparable to the P-Tr one, in which Homo sapiens is one, of millions, of species which goes extinct.

William
2010-Aug-07, 05:34 PM
There are, already, several references in this thread on ocean acidification, and plenty of links; have you read them? The source you cite (the link) is anything but mainstream science, right?

The key challenge with ocean acidification, just as with global warming, isn't so much the absolute levels as the speed at which atmospheric C02 levels are changing, and the consequences of that rapid change.

The link I provide shows how ocean ph changes when atmospheric CO2 increases. There is a relatively small change in ocean ph for a doubling of atmospheric CO2. As the amount of CO2 dissolved in the ocean changes based on season there is larger affect in ph changes due to seasonality temperature changes.

To scientifically discuss this subject it is necessary to quantify and place book ends on the amount of change. How much temperature change is expected due to doubling of CO2? Do the observation changes support the asserted temperature change. How much ph change is expected in the ocean?

I could not find any links or comments above that lay out the fundamental facts concerning this subject.

People just state that this is fastest increase (CO2, temperature, ph) in the planet's history which is not correct. The exaggeration feeds on itself. It person assumes that the statements are correct because there is widespread repeating of the incorrect statements in the mass media.

When the planet is warmer there is more precipitation and less dust storms. Phytoplankton growth is limited by iron that is supplied by dust or by ocean up welling. The reduction of atmospheric dust could be the reason for a reduction in phytoplankton not warmer oceans.

The ocean surface temperature stopped warming (there is was slight cooling post 2003) in 2003 which was when the new Argos temperature monitoring system was placed in full operation. The 100 year temperature record mixes systems.

If you look at this paper in more detail it becomes obvious that something else besides ocean surface temperature is driving phytoplankton growth.

My issue with the paper is I know the Argos data shows the ocean surface temperature is not warming. There have been years of discussion in a AGW forum which I participate in concerning the fact that the ocean temperature is not increasing.

http://www.fmap.ca/ramweb/media/phytoplankton_decline/content/Boyce_etal_2010.pdf

William
2010-Aug-07, 06:23 PM
Earlier, I asked you if you had read the material that had been presented already in this thread.

This last post, and some others, pretty clearly show that you have not.

Try reading post #105, and the Knoll et al. (2007) paper it contains.

FWIW, the case you're trying to make - so it seems to me - is overly simplistic, and amounts to little more than cherry-picking. For example, how well marine organisms can form shells (etc) depends upon whether the oceans they live in are saturated (or super-saturated) in the relevant calcite ions, which in turn depends on quite a few other factors (of which the partial pressure of CO2 in the atmosphere is but one).

Also, the 'kill' mechanism of a mass extinction may be quite different from, and distinct in time from, the 'trigger' mechanism. In the case of present day ocean acidification and a possible PT-like mass extinction, the kill mechanism may turn out to be bacterial infection, but the trigger the increased (anthropogenic) atmospheric CO2, some 50 to 150 years earlier (i.e. about now).

Finally, once again, you seem to be conflating processes which have vastly different characteristic timescales. This is (one of the) mistake(s) in the earlier material you cited; while the oceans as a whole may be able to absorb vastly more CO2, with little net effect on pH, over timescales of millions of years, the rate at which deep ocean water mixes with the surface layers is not as fast as mere decades, and what counts - for most marine ecosystems of immediate concern to us Homo saps. - is the pH of the surface layers.

Nereid,

Your comments are generalities. You do not lay out the facts and the books ends of the change.

You repeat incorrect media statements that this is the fastest change in the last XX million years. Change in what? How fast and how much does the planetary temperature change from the interglacial period to the glacial period?

That is a rhetorical question. The glacial/interglacial change is roughly 6C. The 20th century warming is 0.5C. (Depends on the base. The 0.5C warming is based on satellite analysis.) Planetary temperature is not rapidly changing.

Atmospheric CO2 has increased 40% from 280 ppm (0.028%) to (0.039%) The planet's temperature has changed roughly 0.5C which is less than natural variation. I see no one has reply to my quotation of a paper that shows the warming due to a increase 40% increase in atmospheric CO2 is less than 40% of what the IPCC predicts which supports as the paper which I also quoted that shows the planet's response to a change in forcing is negative feedback not positive feedback.

it seems to me, that you try to win your point by attacking me. You seem to make a decision concerning a subject irrespective of the facts or logic and then have fun defending that position. That is debating not a scientific discussion. In a scientific discussion one compares hypothesis to hypothesis including data and logic that does not support the hypothesis.

You state that I have not read the paper because it proves .... "what". You need to state the what. Try quoting something from the paper in question (say a fact or logic point). You attack my source without thinking about the subject. My source includes very basic fundamental information such as how much ocean pH changes in response to atmospheric CO2 changes. It is fundamental to our discussion to know how much ocean ph changes if CO2 increases from 390 ppm to 560 ppm.

You ignore my quotation from Kump who states what I have also stated. Plants love CO2. (Plants of course eat CO2). What is the kill mechanism that you alleged for the Permian Triassic extinction? How is that kill mechanism related to what is currently happening when CO2 increases from 390 ppm to 560 ppm? As Kump notes CO2 levels were 7 times higher than current during the Permian Triassic extinction however that is not high.

How much does ocean ph change if CO2 increases from 390 ppm (0.039%) to 560 ppm (0.056%). The change in ocean ph is small.


"During the end-Permian extinction 95 percent of all species on Earth became extinct, compared to only 75 percent during the KT when the dinosaurs disappeared," says Dr. Lee R. Kump, professor of geosciences. "The end-Permian is puzzling. There is no convincing smoking gun, no compelling evidence of an asteroid impact."

Researchers have shown that the deep oceans were anoxic, lacking oxygen, in the late Permian and research shows that the continental shelf areas in the end-Permian were also anoxic. One explanation is that sea level rose so that the anoxic deep water was covering the shelf. Another possibility is that the surface ocean and deep ocean mixed, bringing anoxic waters to the surface.

"However, we find mass extinction on land to be an unlikely consequence of carbon dioxide levels of only seven times the preindustrial level," Kump told attendees today (Nov. 3) at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America in Seattle. "Plants, in general, love carbon dioxide, so it is difficult to think of carbon dioxide as a good kill mechanism."

On the other hand, hydrogen sulfide gas, produced in the oceans through sulfate decomposition by sulfur bacteria, can easily kill both terrestrial and oceanic plants and animals.


http://www.fmap.ca/ramweb/media/phytoplankton_decline/content/Boyce_etal_2010.pdf

Paleophysiology and end-Permian mass extinction

http://pangea.stanford.edu/~jlpayne/Knoll%20et%20al%202007%20EPSL%20Permian%20Triassic %20paleophysiology.pdf

Trakar
2010-Aug-07, 06:59 PM
The link I provide shows how ocean ph changes when atmospheric CO2 increases. There is a relatively small change in ocean ph for a doubling of atmospheric CO2. As the amount of CO2 dissolved in the ocean changes based on season there is larger affect in ph changes due to seasonality temperature changes.

To scientifically discuss this subject it is necessary to quantify and place book ends on the amount of change. How much temperature change is expected due to doubling of CO2? Do the observation changes support the asserted temperature change. How much ph change is expected in the ocean?

I could not find any links or comments above that lay out the fundamental facts concerning this subject.

People just state that this is fastest increase (CO2, temperature, ph) in the planet's history which is not correct. The exaggeration feeds on itself. It person assumes that the statements are correct because there is widespread repeating of the incorrect statements in the mass media.

When the planet is warmer there is more precipitation and less dust storms. Phytoplankton growth is limited by iron that is supplied by dust or by ocean up welling. The reduction of atmospheric dust could be the reason for a reduction in phytoplankton not warmer oceans.

The ocean surface temperature stopped warming (there is was slight cooling post 2003) in 2003 which was when the new Argos temperature monitoring system was placed in full operation. The 100 year temperature record mixes systems.

If you look at this paper in more detail it becomes obvious that something else besides ocean surface temperature is driving phytoplankton growth.

My issue with the paper is I know the Argos data shows the ocean surface temperature is not warming. There have been years of discussion in a GWG forum which are participate in on this subject.

http://www.fmap.ca/ramweb/media/phytoplankton_decline/content/Boyce_etal_2010.pdf

Rising sea surface temperature: towards ice-free Arctic summers and a changing marine food chain - http://www.eea.europa.eu/themes/coast_sea/sea-surface-temperature

Penetration of human-induced warming into the world’s oceans - http://pangea.stanford.edu/research/Oceans/GES205/Barnett_Science_Penetration%20of%20human%20warming %20into%20ocean.pdf

Warming of the world ocean, 1955–2003 - http://www.agu.org/journals/ABS/2005/2004GL021592.shtml

Anthropogenic ocean acidification over the 21st century and its impact on calcifying organisms - http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v437/n7059/abs/nature04095.html (the below paper is complete and appears to be a rewording of this paper in alternate publication)

Anthropogenic Decline in High-Latitude Ocean Carbonate by 2100 - https://darchive.mblwhoilibrary.org/bitstream/handle/1912/370/Orr2004-12-27985_text.pdf?sequence=1

Ocean Acidification: The Other CO2 Problem - http://arjournals.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.marine.010908.163834?prevSearch=%255Bautho r%253A%2BDoney%255D&searchHistoryKey=

Impacts of ocean acidification on marine fauna and ecosystem processes - http://icesjms.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/65/3/414

The consequences of human-driven ocean acidification for marine life - http://www.reefresilience.org/pdf/Doney_2009.pdf

William
2010-Aug-07, 07:59 PM
Rising sea surface temperature: towards ice-free Arctic summers and a changing marine food chain - http://www.eea.europa.eu/themes/coast_sea/sea-surface-temperature

Penetration of human-induced warming into the world’s oceans - http://pangea.stanford.edu/research/Oceans/GES205/Barnett_Science_Penetration%20of%20human%20warming %20into%20ocean.pdf

Warming of the world ocean, 1955–2003 - http://www.agu.org/journals/ABS/2005/2004GL021592.shtml

Anthropogenic ocean acidification over the 21st century and its impact on calcifying organisms - http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v437/n7059/abs/nature04095.html (the below paper is complete and appears to be a rewording of this paper in alternate publication)

Anthropogenic Decline in High-Latitude Ocean Carbonate by 2100 - https://darchive.mblwhoilibrary.org/bitstream/handle/1912/370/Orr2004-12-27985_text.pdf?sequence=1

Ocean Acidification: The Other CO2 Problem - http://arjournals.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.marine.010908.163834?prevSearch=%255Bautho r%253A%2BDoney%255D&searchHistoryKey=

Impacts of ocean acidification on marine fauna and ecosystem processes - http://icesjms.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/65/3/414

The consequences of human-driven ocean acidification for marine life - http://www.reefresilience.org/pdf/Doney_2009.pdf

Hi Trakar,

Perhaps you should start a separate thread to discuss "Ocean Acidification". That is an interesting subject and there are multiple blogs that have started to quantify the magnitude of the anthropogenic change as compared to let say normal seasonal variation of pH and variation of pH by latitude. The point is the magnitude of anthropogenic change is not extreme when compared to seasonal and latitude variation.

Another important point (which is also related to the latitude variation of ocean pH) is that marine life has the genetic ability to handle very wide variation of pH. As the life span of the marine life is short compared to the pace of the current ocean chemistry change, the marine life uses the genes that are available to optimize the marine life in question to the ocean chemistry. The point is the marine life does not need to develop new ability to handle the change. It has that ability. Subsequent generations make use of that ability.

Researchers have noted that the "ocean acidity" laboratory experiments have changed one parameter in a manner that does not correspond to how the chemistry of the ocean changes when the pH increases. Also in addition the studies are one generation studies which does not enable the marine animal to be selected genetically to optimize for the slowly changing ocean pH.

As I have stated current atmospheric CO2 levels are the lowest in the history of the planet. Atmospheric CO2 during the Ordovician was 10 to 15 times higher than current levels. There was no extinction due the 10 to 15 times higher CO2 level during the Ordovician period. I have not heard any acknowledgment of that fact.

CO2 levels during the Permian-Triassic extinction where 7 times higher than current. There is no killing mechanism to connect CO2 levels that were 7 times higher than current with the Permian-Triassic extinction. As others have noted there have been very large abrupt increases in volcanic activity in the past which would have caused rapid increases in CO2 levels however there were no extinction events.

Obviously plants and animals have thrived when CO2 levels were orders of magnitude higher than current.

Your paper links assume the planet will warm 3C to 5C due to doubling of CO2. If the planet warms less than 1C due to a doubling of CO2, the conclusions in your papers are not correct.

The first issue to discuss is how much warming do we expect.

You and others in this thread have not respond to my links that show the planet's response to a change in forcing is negative not positive.

A cooling of the ocean would support the assertion that planet's response to a change in forcing is negative rather than positive. As I noted the new highly accurate Argos ocean temperature system has placed in calibrated service starting 2003.

The faint sun paradox (sun's energy emission was 30% less than current, yet oceans were not not frozen. A negative feedback response to a reduction in forcing would explain the faint sun paradox. A positive forcing would amplify the faint sun paradox.) supports the assertion that the planet's response to a change in forcing is negative which means the planet's system work to stabilize planetary temperature rather than to amplify planetary temperature change.

http://www.ncasi.org/publications/Detail.aspx?id=3152


Cooling of the Ocean since 2003

There is great interest in detecting rates of temperature change in the earth system. It has been suggested (e.g., Pielke 2003) that changes in ocean heat content should be particularly informative. A recent study (Lyman et al. 2006) claimed to find rapid cooling of the ocean between 2003 and 2005, but it was later determined that data from certain instruments caused a substantial cool bias in the result (Willis et al. 2007, 2008a; Wijffels et al. 2008). A corrected and longer dataset has now become available to redo this analysis.


Ocean heat content data from 2003 to 2008 (4.5 years) were evaluated for trend. A trend plus periodic (annual cycle) model fit with R2 = 0.85. The linear component of the model showed a trend of -0.35 (±0.2) x 1022 Joules per year. The result is consistent with other data showing a lack of warming over the past few years.



Why Hasn't Earth Warmed as Much as Expected?
Stephen E. Schwartz, Robert J. Charlson, Ralph A. Kahn, John A. Ogren, Henning Rodhe

The observed increase in global mean surface temperature (GMST) over the industrial era is less than 40% of that expected from observed increases in long-lived greenhouse gases together with the best-estimate equilibrium climate sensitivity given by the 2007 Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Possible reasons for this warming discrepancy are systematically examined here. The warming discrepancy is found to be due mainly to some combination of two factors: the IPCC best estimate of climate sensitivity being too high and/or the greenhouse gas forcing being partially offset by forcing by increased concentrations of atmospheric aerosols; the increase in global heat content due to thermal disequilibrium accounts for less than 25% of the discrepancy, and cooling by natural temperature variation can account for only about 15%. Current uncertainty in climate sensitivity is shown to preclude determining the amount of future fossil fuel CO2 emissions that would be compatible with any chosen maximum allowable increase in GMST; even the sign of such allowable future emissions is unconstrained. Resolving this situation, by empirical determination of Earth's climate sensitivity from the historical record over the industrial period or through use of climate models whose accuracy is evaluated by their performance over this period is shown to require substantial reduction in the uncertainty of aerosol forcing over this period.

http://www.drroyspencer.com/Lindzen-and-Choi-GRL-2009.pdf


On the determination of climate feedbacks from ERBE data

Climate feedbacks are estimated from fluctuations in the outgoing radiation budget from the latest version of Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE) nonscanner data. It appears, for the entire tropics, the observed outgoing radiation fluxes increase with the increase in sea surface temperatures (SSTs). The observed behavior of radiation fluxes implies negative feedback processes associated with relatively low climate sensitivity. This is the opposite of the behavior of 11 atmospheric models forced by the same SSTs. Therefore, the models display much higher climate sensitivity than is inferred from ERBE, though it is difficult to pin down such high sensitivities with any precision. Results also show, the feedback in ERBE is mostly from shortwave radiation while the feedback in the models is mostly from longwave radiation. Although such a test does not distinguish the mechanisms, this is important since the inconsistency of climate feedbacks constitutes a very fundamental problem in climate prediction.

forrest noble
2010-Aug-07, 08:31 PM
What can we realistically expect re: global warming?

Given that there is no prospect of a political settlement over global warming, can we expect civilisation to end by 2100? Will science find a way to make the world liveable? Will the worst case scenario be the best fit scenario, or will the results be more mild then we expected?


Of course this is just a matter of opinion, so here's mine:

The world economy is in recession so there is little money or political will to go forward at this time. When things pick up again such international and domestic proposals will have "more teeth." The evidence is not incontrovertible and the costs for such controls will be great for all countries involved. .8 degrees C for the past 100 years is not monumental. Such controls will likely be implemented slowly.

Trakar
2010-Aug-07, 10:31 PM
Of course this is just a matter of opinion, so here's mine:

The world economy is in recession so there is little money or political will to go forward at this time. When things pick up again such international and domestic proposals will have "more teeth." The evidence is not incontrovertible and the costs for such controls will be great for all countries involved. .8 degrees C for the past 100 years is not monumental. Such controls will likely be implemented slowly.

0.8 for the last century may not seem like much as a global average increase, the rate as of 2000 was pegged at 2-3.5degrees C/century (http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/view.php?id=20891). 0.2/0.19 degrees per decade for at least the last 4 decades is truely monumental (and this rate is increasing and accelerating and expected to achieve 6+ degrees C of difference by 2100 if we keep on keeping on as we have thus far). And 0.8 degrees in itself is rather monumental when compared to non-anthropogenic warmings responsible for many previous climate change episodes!( "Rates of change in natural and anthropogenic radiative forcing over the past 20,000 years" (http://www.pnas.org/content/105/5/1425.full.pdf+html) ) The economic future is dimmer without climate change controls, than it is with controls that will minimize and reduce our impact over the coming decades.

Trakar
2010-Aug-07, 10:50 PM
Hi Trakar,

Perhaps you should start a separate thread to discuss "Ocean Acidification". That is an interesting subject and there are multiple blogs that have started to quantify the magnitude of the anthropogenic change as compared to let say normal seasonal variation of pH and variation of pH by latitude. The point is the magnitude of anthropogenic change is not extreme when compared to seasonal and latitude variation.

I am completely uninterested in blogs and for the most part find such uncompelling in the description or intelligent discussion of most scientific areas of study and interest. I really don't care to discuss ocean acidification, though it is a subject directly related to the OP of this thread. My posted links were merely to demonstrate that even a casual review of the peer-reviewed publications of the last few years turns up a large trove of supporting documentation, research and evidences into the very issues you claimed are not addressed:

People just state that this is fastest increase (CO2, temperature, ph) in the planet's history which is not correct. The exaggeration feeds on itself. It person assumes that the statements are correct because there is widespread repeating of the incorrect statements in the mass media.


What I provided are peer-reviewed papers reflective of the mainstream climate science understandings on the the issue not "widespread repeating of the incorrect statements in the mass media." Other than addressing your blatant errors as concisely as possible, I have no interest in debating these issues with you, and would suggest that if you feel so strongly that the mainstream perspective of climate change is wrong, then your best course of action would be to take your opinion to the appropriate ATM forum and present it. I will be happy to join you there, if that is your choice.
TS (Trakar Shaitanaku)

William
2010-Aug-07, 11:50 PM
I am completely uninterested in blogs and for the most part find such uncompelling in the description or intelligent discussion of most scientific areas of study and interest. I really don't care to discuss ocean acidification, though it is a subject directly related to the OP of this thread. My posted links were merely to demonstrate that even a casual review of the peer-reviewed publications of the last few years turns up a large trove of supporting documentation, research and evidences into the very issues you claimed are not addressed:


What I provided are peer-reviewed papers reflective of the mainstream climate science understandings on the the issue not "widespread repeating of the incorrect statements in the mass media." Other than addressing your blatant errors as concisely as possible, I have no interest in debating these issues with you, and would suggest that if you feel so strongly that the mainstream perspective of climate change is wrong, then your best course of action would be to take your opinion to the appropriate ATM forum and present it. I will be happy to join you there, if that is your choice.
TS (Trakar Shaitanaku)

I will start a thread to discuss "Ocean Acidification".

Trakar,

How did marine life survive when atmospheric CO2 has 10 to 15 times current levels?

You did not read the papers that you quoted. They basically state there could be a problem with "ocean acidification. As I stated there is significant seasonal pH variation and there is variation by variation of pH by latitude.

When data and logic does not support a position the first call is an appeal to Against Mainstream which is a sad excuse for data and logic to support a position.

Drunk Vegan
2010-Aug-08, 12:31 AM
Jumping into this thread late, so forgive me if this has been discussed earlier, but I'm wondering, do current global warming models include the effect of the billions of tons of methane which will be released into the atmosphere as the result of permafrost melting? When I read the literature about the subject it sometimes seems to me that the worst-case scenarios are actually too conservative and the possibility of a feedback cycle (CO2 causes warming, warming decreases permafrost, releasing methane, causing more warming, melting more permafrost) is particularly alarming.

swampyankee
2010-Aug-08, 12:32 AM
I will start a thread to discuss "Ocean Acidification".

Trakar,

How did marine life survive when atmospheric CO2 has 10 to 15 times current levels?

The question isn't how marine life survived higher levels of CO2 in the atmosphere; it's how will current marine life survive. There was life on Earth before there was atmospheric oxygen, too, but such an environment would not be useful for aerobic life. Current life, and its distribution, is evolved for the current climate.

swampyankee
2010-Aug-08, 12:36 AM
Jumping into this thread late, so forgive me if this has been discussed earlier, but I'm wondering, do current global warming models include the effect of the billions of tons of methane which will be released into the atmosphere as the result of permafrost melting? When I read the literature about the subject it sometimes seems to me that the worst-case scenarios are actually too conservative and the possibility of a feedback cycle (CO2 causes warming, warming decreases permafrost, releasing methane, causing more warming, melting more permafrost) is particularly alarming.

Yes. They also include the fact that methane is unstable in the atmosphere, oxidizing to carbon dioxide and water, so its long-term effects are not quite as bad as they would seem from just examining its effect on radiative balance.

This doesn't mean that the worst-case predictions can't be optimistic. Unfortunately, the only way to be certain of the validity of the predictions is wait to see if they come true, or don't. Personally, I think it is equally likely that the models are making optimistic predictions as that they are making pessimistic ones.

Old engineering saying: An optimist is never pleasantly surprised.

Robert Tulip
2010-Aug-08, 01:21 AM
Rising sea surface temperature: towards ice-free Arctic summers and a changing marine food chain - http://www.eea.europa.eu/themes/coast_sea/sea-surface-temperature

Penetration of human-induced warming into the world’s oceans - http://pangea.stanford.edu/research/Oceans/GES205/Barnett_Science_Penetration%20of%20human%20warming %20into%20ocean.pdf

Warming of the world ocean, 1955–2003 - http://www.agu.org/journals/ABS/2005/2004GL021592.shtml

Anthropogenic ocean acidification over the 21st century and its impact on calcifying organisms - http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v437/n7059/abs/nature04095.html (the below paper is complete and appears to be a rewording of this paper in alternate publication)

Anthropogenic Decline in High-Latitude Ocean Carbonate by 2100 - https://darchive.mblwhoilibrary.org/bitstream/handle/1912/370/Orr2004-12-27985_text.pdf?sequence=1

Ocean Acidification: The Other CO2 Problem - http://arjournals.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.marine.010908.163834?prevSearch=%255Bautho r%253A%2BDoney%255D&searchHistoryKey=

Impacts of ocean acidification on marine fauna and ecosystem processes - http://icesjms.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/65/3/414

The consequences of human-driven ocean acidification for marine life - http://www.reefresilience.org/pdf/Doney_2009.pdf

Thanks Trakar, I look forward to reading these links. Contrary to William's assertions, the speed of climate change presents high danger of global instability, especially through human-driven ocean acidification.

My view is that use of wave power to rapidly move nutrients from below the thermocline (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermocline) to the surface to mix with emitted CO2 for algae production is the best available way to respond to the problem of the death of ocean life.

forrest noble
2010-Aug-08, 02:31 AM
Trakar,


0.8 for the last century may not seem like much as a global average increase, the rate as of 2000 was pegged at 2-3.5degrees C/century. 0.2/0.19 degrees per decade for at least the last 4 decades is truely monumental (and this rate is increasing and accelerating and expected to achieve 6+ degrees C of difference by 2100 if we keep on keeping on as we have thus far). And 0.8 degrees in itself is rather monumental when compared to non-anthropogenic warmings responsible for many previous climate change episodes!( "Rates of change in natural and anthropogenic radiative forcing over the past 20,000 years" ) The economic future is dimmer without climate change controls, than it is with controls that will minimize and reduce our impact over the coming decades.

I'm in favor of emission controls but all the costs involved must be considered and a political consensus must form for each country. Realistically nobody in today's world can force anybody else to adhere to any particular guideline which may protect the future but may cause severe economic consequences now, and where no certainties are involved.

Robert Tulip
2010-Aug-08, 02:44 AM
I'm in favor of emission controls but all the costs involved must be considered and a political consensus must form for each country. Realistically nobody in today's world can force anybody else to adhere to any particular guideline which may protect the future but may cause severe economic consequences now, and where no certainties are involved.This is why market instruments should be developed to find profitable use for CO2. Using algae to replace fossil fuel would actually prevent the 'severe economic consequences' you mention by delivering a response to declining petroleum reserves in a way that also reduces atmospheric CO2 levels. Better to move ahead with new technology with minimum economic disruption while that elusive consensus grinds forward.

Webbo
2010-Aug-08, 03:27 AM
My view is that use of wave power to rapidly move nutrients from below the thermocline (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermocline) to the surface to mix with emitted CO2 for algae production is the best available way to respond to the problem of the death of ocean life.

As the Oceans currently have life thriving in them at ph levels ranging from 7.3 to 9.5 I sincerely doubt that a "rapid" 0.1 change in 250 years has/is causing it to die.

In addition, anyone refering to the state of microorganism life in the oceans based on studies that use either satellite measurements or visual proxies of Secchi disks etc. is severely deluding themselves. Most of the biomass such as femtoplankton and picoplankton are not even visible. Unless someone can refer to global studies utilising electron microscoping in addition to direct measurement, they are only ever reporting on a range of microorganisms in the ocean, not all of it. They're not even measuring all of the visible plankton if using chlorophyl as brown and red pigments are also common. None here seem to realise what these papers are reporting and their severe limitations. Sad.

William
2010-Aug-08, 04:23 AM
The question isn't how marine life survived higher levels of CO2 in the atmosphere; it's how will current marine life survive. There was life on Earth before there was atmospheric oxygen, too, but such an environment would not be useful for aerobic life. Current life, and its distribution, is evolved for the current climate.

I do not understand your analog comparing anaerobic life (earth without oxygen) to an increase in atmospheric CO2. Obviously CO2 can and has significantly and abruptly increased in the past due to volcanic activity. Marine life did not go extinct when CO2 levels changed in the past.

Dissolved CO2 in the ocean is temperature dependent. As planetary temperature changes with season and latitude marine life is already able to adapt. The point is there is significant variation in the ocean pH before the CO2 increase.

The change in ocean pH due to the 40% increase in atmosphere CO2 from 280 ppm to 390 ppm was 0.1 units with an measurement uncertainty of +/- 0.3. That change has already occurred.

There are new papers and research that shows that marine life is more not less productive with more H+ ions. As I noted above the first laboratory experiments to determine the effects of an increase in CO2, had a step change increased in CO2 from current levels to 1000 ppm to 1500 ppm and in addition increased temperature. If the feedback is negative rather positive, planetary warming will be less than 1C rather than the 3C to 5C.

In reality the marine life will have decades to be genetically selected for gradually increased pH. Marine life has the genetic material to optimize for more H+ ions in the water. There is marine life that is also adapted to warmer water.

The experiments with planetary temperature increases did not allow animals to gradually migrate to latitude which is optimum for them.

William
2010-Aug-08, 04:40 AM
Jumping into this thread late, so forgive me if this has been discussed earlier, but I'm wondering, do current global warming models include the effect of the billions of tons of methane which will be released into the atmosphere as the result of permafrost melting? When I read the literature about the subject it sometimes seems to me that the worst-case scenarios are actually too conservative and the possibility of a feedback cycle (CO2 causes warming, warming decreases permafrost, releasing methane, causing more warming, melting more permafrost) is particularly alarming.

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


Methane in the atmosphere is eventually oxidized, producing carbon dioxide and water. As a result, methane in the atmosphere has a half life of seven years

Trakar
2010-Aug-08, 06:25 AM
Trakar,

I'm in favor of emission controls but all the costs involved must be considered and a political consensus must form for each country. Realistically nobody in today's world can force anybody else to adhere to any particular guideline which may protect the future but may cause severe economic consequences now, and where no certainties are involved.

If we continue as we have, and are currently, there are certainties,...and consequences. The longer we continue, the greater the consequences.

Trakar
2010-Aug-08, 07:35 AM
I will start a thread to discuss "Ocean Acidification".

And I will probably eat breakfast in the morning.



Trakar,

How did marine life survive when atmospheric CO2 has 10 to 15 times current levels?


Ignoratio elenchi



You did not read the papers that you quoted.


Your psychic inabilities have demonstrated their value once again.



They basically state there could be a problem with "ocean acidification.


"...Over the last 250 years, oceans have absorbed 530 billion tons of CO2, triggering a 30 percent increase in ocean acidity....Calculations
employing measurements from the surface layers of the oceans and the understanding of ocean chemistry indicate that this absorption of CO2 has created a reduction of surface layer pH of 0.1 units, this is approximately a 30% increase in the concentration of hydrogen ions....Even if atmospheric CO2 returned to pre-industrial levels today, it will take thousands of years for ocean pH to return to levels prevelant in pre-industrial times (~250 ya)..."

Key relevent excerpt phrases from the listed papers which indicate that your shinola has a peculiar odor



As I stated there is significant seasonal pH variation and there is variation by variation of pH by latitude.


Which is largely irrelevent to the issue that was being discussed, climate change induced pH change of the oceans, or the OP



When data and logic does not support a position the first call is an appeal to Against Mainstream which is a sad excuse for data and logic to support a position.

False premise, unsupported conclusion, subjective characterization and possible denigration ...all OT

Ari Jokimaki
2010-Aug-08, 07:35 AM
I see that William is at it again. As William fills his posts with numerous claims (most of which are ATM claims by the way) without backing them up and leaves the fact-checking to the reader, let's just see couple of his claims:


The amount of warming observed to date is less than 40% of what is predicted based on assumed warming due to a doubling of CO2 of 3C as per the IPCC reports whose predictions are based on computer models. Why there is 60% less warming than predicted was not been resolved.
William has parroted this claim before and has been told how it is wrong. Also, no reference here from William. The claim is misinterpretation of Schwartz et al. (2010) (http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/2009JCLI3461.1). Their abstract says: "The observed increase in global mean surface temperature (GMST) over the industrial era is less than 40% of that expected from observed increases in long-lived greenhouse gases together with the best-estimate equilibrium climate sensitivity given by the 2007 Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)." So, Schwartz et al. looked how much temperature should increase from greenhouse gases and climate sensitivity alone. That number doesn't contain other forcings. Schwartz et al. do report some discrepancy between observed temperatures and all forcings, but the difference is not "less than 40 %" but it's far smaller. The outcome of the Schwartz et al. paper is basically that there are lot of uncertainty in the climate sensitivity and/or aerosol forcing (which really is not much new result). William just presents this greenhouse gas forcing only number as if it would present the whole situation.


The uncertainty in the predicted warming "1C to 5C" for a doubling of atmospheric CO2 is caused by uncertainty in determining whether the planet's response to an increase in temperature is to amplify the change (Positive feedback) or to resist the change (negative feedback. Planetary cloud cover increases when the planet warms and decreases when it cools which thereby resists changes.).
The uncertainty range William gives here (without reference of course) is rather ATM one. Here's a recent paper from Huybers (2010) (http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/2010JCLI3380.1). Huybers' abstract says: "The spread in climate sensitivity obtained from 12 general circulation model runs used in the Fourth Assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change indicates a 95% confidence interval of 2.1°–5.5°C, but this reflects compensation between model feedbacks. In particular, cloud feedback strength negatively covaries with the albedo feedback as well as with the combined water vapor plus lapse rate feedback. If the compensation between feedbacks is removed, the 95% confidence interval for climate sensitivity expands to 1.9°–8.0°C." Surely there are some papers that give a climate sensitivity like the one William gives but such papers are in a minority (http://agwobserver.wordpress.com/2009/11/05/papers-on-climate-sensitivity-estimates/), so William has cherry-picked the existing scientific literature here. So, the majority of the papers on climate sensitivity are saying that the overall feedback range does not reach negative values or even zero.

So, this sample of William's argumentation shows that he still continues to distort and cherry-pick the climate science. His posts belong to the ATM forum.

Robert Tulip
2010-Aug-08, 07:57 AM
anyone refering to the state of microorganism life in the oceans based on studies that use either satellite measurements or visual proxies of Secchi disks etc. is severely deluding themselves. Most of the biomass such as femtoplankton and picoplankton are not even visible.It seems quite clear that ocean deserts are expanding as a result of increased water temperature. A paper from NASA Earth Sciences, An Ocean Full of Deserts (http://nasadaacs.eos.nasa.gov/articles/2009/2009_oceans.html), states
“We were very surprised. We looked at the North Atlantic, the South Atlantic, the Indian Ocean—we saw the same trends all over the globe. Over nearly the past decade, regions with low surface chlorophyll were expanding into nearby ocean basins. The total area lost was quite enormous.” The area of new global ocean desert added up to 6.6 million square kilometers (2.5 million square miles), representing about a 15 percent expansion in the area of the least productive waters between 1998 and 2006. Plus, the connection to sea surface temperature was clear. “The expansion of low-productivity waters matched up with significant increases in sea surface temperature,” See also http://environmentalism.suite101.com/article.cfm/ocean_desert_areas_are_escalating

Some conclusions were:

The unproductive regions or ocean deserts grew by 15 percent or 6.6 million square kilometers
Sea surface temperatures have grown an average of one percent or about 0.03 degrees Celsius a year
Increased ocean surface warming stratifies water into layers and reduces the flow of nutrients to the surface
The low productivity ocean deserts now cover 51 million square kilometers worldwide
In the three ocean regions studied, the rate of growth for these desert zones was greater in the winter
The gyre found in the Atlantic Ocean is smallest of those observed, but growing the fastest
The ocean desert zone of the Indian Ocean showed trends similar to other regions, but the changes were not statistically significant
This research supports global warming theories predicting increased stratification of ocean waters and reduced plant productivity. Rates of expansion shown in the project are much greater than anticipated in many climate models.

Trakar
2010-Aug-08, 08:35 AM
Jumping into this thread late, so forgive me if this has been discussed earlier, but I'm wondering, do current global warming models include the effect of the billions of tons of methane which will be released into the atmosphere as the result of permafrost melting? When I read the literature about the subject it sometimes seems to me that the worst-case scenarios are actually too conservative and the possibility of a feedback cycle (CO2 causes warming, warming decreases permafrost, releasing methane, causing more warming, melting more permafrost) is particularly alarming.

Well..., your question is awkward. The climate models are primarily designed to depict and emulate past and current conditions based upon past and current data and the best understandings of the conditions and circumstances that produce the current data from the past data states. They can, and are used to estimate future conditions depending upon how the parameters of the model are tweaked and adjusted. The current models are remarkably accurate,...but, though I hate to do it, Donald Rumsfeld's quote is probably most apropo here: "As we know, there are known knowns. There are things we know we know. We also know, there are known unknowns. That is to say, we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don't know we don't know." There are a number of projections based upon the release of various temporarily sequestered climate forcing gasses, but these projections cover a variety of complex circumstances and unfortunately we don't have any good past data situations that match the current situation to guide us in precisely how the future unfolds from the present. ...That's the long, fuzzy, but most accurate answer. The short answer is Yes simulations have given us a pretty good idea of what will occur if various amounts of CO2 and methane in the permafrost, soils, deep oceans, etc., are released. What we can't say is how much, at what rate and when such releases will occur.

William
2010-Aug-08, 12:38 PM
I see that William is at it again. As William fills his posts with numerous claims (most of which are ATM claims by the way) without backing them up and leaves the fact-checking to the reader, let's just see couple of his claims:


William has parroted this claim before and has been told how it is wrong. Also, no reference here from William. The claim is misinterpretation of Schwartz et al. (2010) (http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/2009JCLI3461.1). Their abstract says: "The observed increase in global mean surface temperature (GMST) over the industrial era is less than 40% of that expected from observed increases in long-lived greenhouse gases together with the best-estimate equilibrium climate sensitivity given by the 2007 Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)." So, Schwartz et al. looked how much temperature should increase from greenhouse gases and climate sensitivity alone. That number doesn't contain other forcings. Schwartz et al. do report some discrepancy between observed temperatures and all forcings, but the difference is not "less than 40 %" but it's far smaller. The outcome of the Schwartz et al. paper is basically that there are lot of uncertainty in the climate sensitivity and/or aerosol forcing (which really is not much new result). William just presents this greenhouse gas forcing only number as if it would present the whole situation.


The uncertainty range William gives here (without reference of course) is rather ATM one. Here's a recent paper from Huybers (2010) (http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/2010JCLI3380.1). Huybers' abstract says: "The spread in climate sensitivity obtained from 12 general circulation model runs used in the Fourth Assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change indicates a 95% confidence interval of 2.1°–5.5°C, but this reflects compensation between model feedbacks. In particular, cloud feedback strength negatively covaries with the albedo feedback as well as with the combined water vapor plus lapse rate feedback. If the compensation between feedbacks is removed, the 95% confidence interval for climate sensitivity expands to 1.9°–8.0°C." Surely there are some papers that give a climate sensitivity like the one William gives but such papers are in a minority (http://agwobserver.wordpress.com/2009/11/05/papers-on-climate-sensitivity-estimates/), so William has cherry-picked the existing scientific literature here. So, the majority of the papers on climate sensitivity are saying that the overall feedback range does not reach negative values or even zero.

So, this sample of William's argumentation shows that he still continues to distort and cherry-pick the climate science. His posts belong to the ATM forum.

Ari,

You did not read my comment 182 that quotes the papers that supports my statement.

I request an apology for your ad hominem.

You make statements that are contradicted by the papers I quote. Have you read Shultz's paper?

Do you understand negative feedback vs positive feedback?

The data indicates the planet's response to a forcing change is negative (cloud cover increases when the planet is warmer) as opposed to positive (planet amplifies forcing change.) Shultz makes that statement in his paper.

The finding that global warming is less than 40% of what is predicted by the 12 general climate models indicates cloud cover increases when the planet is warmer which supports Lindzen's paper.

Ari you continue to ignore data that does not support your position.



http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/2009JCLI3461.1



Why Hasn't Earth Warmed as Much as Expected?
Stephen E. Schwartz, Robert J. Charlson, Ralph A. Kahn, John A. Ogren, Henning Rodhe

The observed increase in global mean surface temperature (GMST) over the industrial era is less than 40% of that expected from observed increases in long-lived greenhouse gases together with the best-estimate equilibrium climate sensitivity given by the 2007 Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Possible reasons for this warming discrepancy are systematically examined here. The warming discrepancy is found to be due mainly to some combination of two factors: the IPCC best estimate of climate sensitivity being too high and/or the greenhouse gas forcing being partially offset by forcing by increased concentrations of atmospheric aerosols; the increase in global heat content due to thermal disequilibrium accounts for less than 25% of the discrepancy, and cooling by natural temperature variation can account for only about 15%.

Current uncertainty in climate sensitivity is shown to preclude determining the amount of future fossil fuel CO2 emissions that would be compatible with any chosen maximum allowable increase in GMST; even the sign of such allowable future emissions is unconstrained. Resolving this situation, by empirical determination of Earth's climate sensitivity from the historical record over the industrial period or through use of climate models whose accuracy is evaluated by their performance over this period is shown to require substantial reduction in the uncertainty of aerosol forcing over this period.


http://www.drroyspencer.com/Lindzen-and-Choi-GRL-2009.pdf


On the determination of climate feedbacks from ERBE data

Climate feedbacks are estimated from fluctuations in the outgoing radiation budget from the latest version of Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE) nonscanner data. It appears, for the entire tropics, the observed outgoing radiation fluxes increase with the increase in sea surface temperatures (SSTs). The observed behavior of radiation fluxes implies negative feedback processes associated with relatively low climate sensitivity. This is the opposite of the behavior of 11 atmospheric models forced by the same SSTs. Therefore, the models display much higher climate sensitivity than is inferred from ERBE, though it is difficult to pin down such high sensitivities with any precision. Results also show, the feedback in ERBE is mostly from shortwave radiation while the feedback in the models is mostly from longwave radiation. Although such a test does not distinguish the mechanisms, this is important since the inconsistency of climate feedbacks constitutes a very fundamental problem in climate prediction.

William
2010-Aug-08, 01:03 PM
I see Shultz has a second paper that supports Lindzen's et al's analysis that shows planetary cloud cover increases or decreases to resist planetary temperature change. (See my above comment for Shultz's other paper.)

This is very good new. Low sensitivity to forcing indicates the planet will warm due to a doubling of atmospheric CO2 by less than 1C.

http://www.ecd.bnl.gov/steve/pubs/HeatCapacity.pdf



Heat Capacity, Time Constant, and Sensitivity of Earth’s climate system

The equilibrium sensitivity of Earth's climate is determined as the quotient of the relaxation time constant of the system and the pertinent global heat capacity. The heat capacity of the global ocean, obtained from regression of ocean heat content vs. global mean surface temperature, GMST, is 14 ± 6 W yr m-2 K-1, equivalent to 110 m of ocean water; other sinks raise the effective planetary heat capacity to 17 ± 7 W yr m-2 K-1 (all uncertainties are 1-sigma estimates). The time constant pertinent to changes in GMST is determined from autocorrelation of that quantity over 1880-2004 to be 5 ± 1 yr.

The resultant equilibrium climate sensitivity, 0.30 ± 0.14 K/(W m-2), corresponds to an equilibrium temperature increase for doubled CO2 of 1.1 ± 0.5 K. The short time constant implies that GMST is in near equilibrium with applied forcings and hence that net climate forcing over the twentieth century can be obtained from the observed temperature increase over this period, 0.57 ± 0.08 K, as 1.9 ± 0.9 W m-2. For this forcing considered the sum of radiative forcing by incremental greenhouse gases, 2.2 ± 0.3 W m-2, and other forcings, other forcing agents, mainly incremental tropospheric aerosols, are inferred to have exerted only a slight forcing over the twentieth century of -0.3 ± 1.0 W m-2.


http://www.drroyspencer.com/Lindzen-and-Choi-GRL-2009.pdf



On the determination of climate feedbacks from ERBE data

Climate feedbacks are estimated from fluctuations in the outgoing radiation budget from the latest version of Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE) nonscanner data. It appears, for the entire tropics, the observed outgoing radiation fluxes increase with the increase in sea surface temperatures (SSTs). The observed behavior of radiation fluxes implies negative feedback processes associated with relatively low climate sensitivity. This is the opposite of the behavior of 11 atmospheric models forced by the same SSTs. Therefore, the models display much higher climate sensitivity than is inferred from ERBE, though it is difficult to pin down such high sensitivities with any precision. Results also show, the feedback in ERBE is mostly from shortwave radiation while the feedback in the models is mostly from longwave radiation. Although such a test does not distinguish the mechanisms, this is important since the inconsistency of climate feedbacks constitutes a very fundamental problem in climate prediction.

William
2010-Aug-08, 04:23 PM
This is an advance copy of a new paper that has been accepted for publication. The paper in question compares observed warming to general climate model predicted warming.

Santer et al's 2008 paper which compared the General Climate models (GCM) predicted temperatures to observed temperature for some unexplained reason only used planetary temperature data up until 1999. This paper uses all available planetary data up until 2009 which results in a different conclusion than the Santer et al 2008 paper.

The finding of this paper is that the GCM predicted planetary warming is 2 to 4 times greater than observed warming. This paper's finding could be explained by the papers I linked to above that show the planet's response to increased forcing is negative (planet produces more clouds which resists the forcing change by reflecting more solar radiation back into space.) rather than positive (positive feedback would occur if the planet's response to an increase or decrease in forcing was to amplify the change.)

http://rossmckitrick.weebly.com/uploads/4/8/0/8/4808045/mmh_asl2010.pdf



Panel and Multivariate Methods for Tests of Trend Equivalence in Climate Data Series

We used the same archive of climate model simulations as Santer et al. (2008). The available group now includes 57 runs from 23 models. Each source provides data for both the lower troposphere (LT) and mid-troposphere (MT). Each model uses prescribed forcing inputs up to the end of the 20th century climate experiment (20C3M, see Santer et al. 2005). Projections forward use the A1B emission scenario. Table 1 lists the models, the number of runs in each ensemble mean and other details. We used four observational temperature series: two satellite-borne microwave sounding unit (MSU)-derived series and two balloon-borne radiosonde series. We use monthly data starting in 1979, covering the tropics from 20 degrees N to 20 degrees S. The MSU observations come from the University of Alabama-Huntsville (UAH, Spencer and Christy 1990) and Remote Sensing Systems Inc. (RSS, Mears et al 2003). The HadAT radiosonde series is an MSU-equivalent published on the Hadley Centre web site (http://hadobs.metoffice.com/hadat/msu_equivalents.html, Thorne et al. 2005). The Radiosonde Innovation Composite Homogenization (RICH) series is published by Haimberger et al. (2008) and is available at ftp://srvx6.img.univie.ac.at/pub/rich_gridded_2009.nc. We used the RICH gridded data and MSU-weights supplied by John Christy (pers. comm.) to construct MSU-equivalent series (see SI for details).




In our example on temperatures in the tropical troposphere, on data ending in 1999 we find the trend differences between models and observations are only marginally significant, partially confirming the view of Santer et al. (2008) against Douglass et al. (2007). The observed temperature trends themselves are statistically insignificant. Over the 1979 to 2009 interval, in the LT layer, observed trends are jointly significant and three of four data sets have individually significant trends.

In the MT layer two of four data sets have individually significant trends and the trends are jointly insignificant or marginal depending on the test used. Over the interval 1979 to 2009, model-projected temperature trends are two to four times larger than observed trends in both the lower and mid-troposphere and the differences are statistically significant at the 99% level.

Our methods assume trends are linear. We found no evidence for nonlinearity on the observed data, but some on modeled data in the MT. Also, the fact that the results are sensitive to the end date suggests that they might also be sensitive to the start date. Since the satellite data are unavailable prior to 1979 we cannot extend these series earlier. Interpretation of trend comparisons should therefore make reference to the time period analysed, which, ideally, should have some intrinsic interest. In this case the 1979-2009 interval is a 31-year span during which the upward trend in surface data strongly suggests a climate-scale warming process. As noted in the studies cited in the introduction, comparing models to observations in the tropical troposphere is an important aspect of testing explanations of the origins of surface warming.


This graph is excerpted from the paper.

http://noconsensus.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/mm1.png

forrest noble
2010-Aug-08, 07:11 PM
.............the possibility of a feedback cycle (CO2 causes warming, warming decreases permafrost, releasing methane, causing more warming, melting more permafrost) is particularly alarming.

You're right about that, it's a real possibility. But there are complications to the scenario. All the emission particles that go along with extra CO2 also cause global cooling in the same way that volcano eruptions cause world temperatures to go down by haze which block solar radiation to some extent. Maybe the only certain evidence for global warming has been the .8 degrees centigrade average global temperature increase the past hundred years. Also sun spots have diminished the past few years. Decreased sun-spots is thought to mean decreased solar activity which could cause global cooling and could have been the main cause of past ice-ages. Also higher ocean temperatures produce more clouds which reduce global warming, a positive feedback. For all these reasons it will be difficult to get a political consensus anywhere, especially in a country like Russia where global warming could be a big boon to their economy and comfort. Canada is a "green" country so despite the advantages to them if global warming takes place, they are more inclined to be less self centered.

A little humor -- This past July has been the coolest July in recorded history (since the 1880's) here in Southern California where I live.
The point is that global warming if valid will not be consistent. Air and ocean currents would slowly change. Some places would become hotter and others cooler, some wetter and others drier.

Trakar
2010-Aug-08, 07:31 PM
This is an advance copy of a new paper that has been accepted for publication. The paper in question compares observed warming to general climate model predicted warming.

If you believe that this paper submitted for review and possible publication successfully challenges and refutes the mainstream scientific perspective of climate change, use it as the basis of an Against The Mainstream science argument and make your case in the appropriate forum. If you can successfully present your case it would be a boon for the forum and understandings.

Trakar
2010-Aug-08, 07:49 PM
You're right about that, it's a real possibility. But there are complications to the scenario. All the emission particles that go along with extra CO2 also cause global cooling in the same way that volcano eruptions cause world temperatures to go down by haze which block solar radiation to some extent. Maybe the only certain evidence for global warming has been the .8 degrees centigrade average global temperature increase the past hundred years. Also sun spots have diminished the past few years. Decreased sun-spots is thought to mean decreased solar activity which could cause global cooling and could have been the main cause of past ice-ages. Also higher ocean temperatures produce more clouds which reduce global warming, a positive feedback. For all these reasons it will be difficult to get a political consensus anywhere, especially in a country like Russia where global warming could be a big boon to their economy and comfort. Canada is a "green" country so despite the advantages to them if global warming takes place, they are more inclined to be less self centered.

A little humor -- This past July has been the coolest July in recorded history (since the 1880's) here in Southern California where I live.
The point is that global warming if valid will not be consistent. Air and ocean currents would slowly change. Some places would become hotter and others cooler, some wetter and others drier.

Your understandings of the science and what it says and predicts are, at best, confused. Try spending a bit of time going through the following sites and the references they provide:

http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/science/index.html

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=science-behind-climate-change

http://www.aip.org/history/climate/index.htm

http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10139

Some of these need to be updated a bit, but they provide a good foundation of understanding from which to progress to more involved understandings.

William
2010-Aug-08, 08:16 PM
If you believe that this paper submitted for review and possible publication successfully challenges and refutes the mainstream scientific perspective of climate change, use it as the basis of an Against The Mainstream science argument and make your case in the appropriate forum. If you can successfully present your case it would be a boon for the forum and understandings.

Trakar,

Did you read my comment http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php/106405-What-can-we-realistically-expect-re-global-warming?p=1774199#post1774199?

As I noted, the paper linked to in my comment 2003 has been accepted for publication, not submitted for publication.

Comment,
I see Roy Spencer has a new paper that also has been accepted for publication that supports Lindzen's et al's paper that shows planetary feedback is negative, rather than positive. Spencer presented a portion of his results at the 2009 fall annual AGU meeting in November. As I do not have a copy of Spencer's paper I will wait until the abstract is available and then will add it to growing list of published papers that shows the GCM do not match observations which is supported by list of papers that shows the planet's feedback response is negative not positive.

Swift
2010-Aug-08, 09:27 PM
And I will probably eat breakfast in the morning.
...
Your psychic inabilities have demonstrated their value once again.


I see that William is at it again. As William fills his posts with numerous claims (most of which are ATM claims by the way) without backing them up and leaves the fact-checking to the reader, let's just see couple of his claims:
....
So, this sample of William's argumentation shows that he still continues to distort and cherry-pick the climate science. His posts belong to the ATM forum.


If you believe that this paper submitted for review and possible publication successfully challenges and refutes the mainstream scientific perspective of climate change, use it as the basis of an Against The Mainstream science argument and make your case in the appropriate forum. If you can successfully present your case it would be a boon for the forum and understandings.

You did not read the papers that you quoted.

...

When data and logic does not support a position the first call is an appeal to Against Mainstream which is a sad excuse for data and logic to support a position.


This is a general warning to everyone, including the members I have quoted here. The tone of the posts will change immediately or there will be moderator actions, up to and including infractions and suspensions.

There is entirely too much pseudo-moderation from members in this thread. If you suspect someone is violating the rules, such as posting ATM ideas in Science & Technology, then you report the post, you do not post instructions to them.

And the sarcastic and otherwise insulting comments will stop immediately. Do not make guesses about another members' thoughts or actions, especially in any sort of insulting manner.

This thread seems to be poised to turn into another debate like the never-ending AGW thread we closed several months ago, and with the same members involved. This is not a thread for a broad debate on AGW. There has already been one moderator warning to stay narrowly on topic, I am repeating it.

Any further problems and this thread will be closed.

Trakar
2010-Aug-08, 09:48 PM
Apologies to all involved

m74z00219
2010-Aug-09, 01:53 AM
Also higher ocean temperatures produce more clouds which reduce global warming, a positive feedback.



Not that you didn't make some good points, and not that I'm picking on you exactly, but I'm a real stickler for language. What you are saying here is an example of what I would call the "all or nothing" fallacy. For instance, some people deny that the gulf oil spill is a problem because oil naturally leaks into the ocean; however, they are neglecting the rates and concentration.

I would really like to stress the importance of the "bathtub analogy". Whether or not a bathtub will overflow depends on the inflow rate being greater than the outflow. When a bathtub will overflow depends on the current water level, the inflow rate, and the outflow rate.

The climate, like the bathtub, is a dynamical system. More cloud cover might mean greater reflectance of incident radiation, but higher moisture content also means greater heat capacity. Knowing both of these facts doesn't immediately imply a net temperature increase or decrease.

Just my two cents,
M74

Robert Tulip
2010-Aug-09, 04:38 AM
Given that there is no prospect of a political settlement over global warming, can we expect civilisation to end by 2100? Will science find a way to make the world liveable? Will the worst case scenario be the best fit scenario, or will the results be more mild then we expected?

A political settlement may not be the key factor. The Kyoto Protocol did not even slow the increase of emissions, and was more about being seen to respond than actually delivering anything to mitigate climate change. Similar criticism applies to the Copenhagen conference.

Reducing annual global emissions from 30 billion tons to 25 billion tons would deliver maybe a few years before a dangerous tipping point is reached. Emission reduction of this scale is essentially pointless, merely slowing an impending crisis. The real question is whether and how energy supply can be transformed globally in a way that would push CO2 concentrations downward.

Regarding sceptic views on a tipping point, the issue is the extreme rapid geological speed of increase, not whether we can stoically imagine life continuing in a high CO2 atmosphere. Of course life could survive an experimental quadrupling of CO2, just as 5% of organisms survived the Permian catastrophe, but that is hardly an optimal model.

The OP asks ‘can science find a way to make the world liveable?’ The task here is to find a way to stabilise and reduce CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. Geological sequestration of CO2 is too expensive, and does not turn CO2 into a valuable commodity. Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation is more a way to achieve environmental goals under the guise of a climate objective. Nuclear power is a valuable stopgap, but will only deliver a fraction of the required change in energy system.

The question, assuming we desire to return the planet to a 250 ppm CO2 state, is whether there is any way to suck CO2 out of the air and sea on a scale approaching 50 billion tons per year, assuming we continue to emit 30 billion tons, and whether such change can be made politically attractive by being self-financing and ecologically beneficial.

As far as I can see, large scale algae production is the only feasible answer. If algae can fix 100 tons of CO2 per hectare per year, then algae farms covering one percent of the world ocean (ie five million square kilometres) will be needed to stabilise the world climate. Such farms would be more than ‘bandaids on Gaia’, as they would produce a wide range of valuable commodities. Enough of the produced carbon could remain unburned, in the form of fertilizer, fish food, plastics and carbon blocks, to have material impact on climate stability. If we can work out how to build infrastructure such as roads and buildings out of carbon sourced from algae, we may be able to use a commercial market system to stabilise the world climate.

Strange
2010-Aug-09, 09:10 AM
A political settlement may not be the key factor. The Kyoto Protocol did not even slow the increase of emissions, and was more about being seen to respond than actually delivering anything to mitigate climate change. Similar criticism applies to the Copenhagen conference.

Good point. It seems that more progress is being made at a more local level (e.g. individual cities or states within countries) and by industry. Including, even, the energy companies who initially argued so hard against climate change - although to what extent this is "green washing" is hard to say. I suspect national and international agreements will follow once the chnages have already happened.


As far as I can see, large scale algae production is the only feasible answer.

I have seen some interesting research on this. But I don't think there is ever just one answer.

Webbo
2010-Aug-09, 02:53 PM
It seems quite clear that ocean deserts are expanding as a result of increased water temperature. A paper from NASA Earth Sciences, An Ocean Full of Deserts (http://nasadaacs.eos.nasa.gov/articles/2009/2009_oceans.html), statesSee also http://environmentalism.suite101.com/article.cfm/ocean_desert_areas_are_escalating

Did you even read my post? Both these links use analysis of green plankton larger than 700nm only. Where are their measurements on the non-chlorophyll large plankton? Or what about the measurements of the invisible femtoplankton and picoplankton? What about their data regarding the most abundent biomass in the ocean; marine virus? If these areas are dead or dying as reported, I assume these scientists have made direct measurements regarding these immense classes of species; so where are the papers and data?

Gillianren
2010-Aug-09, 03:54 PM
Good point. It seems that more progress is being made at a more local level (e.g. individual cities or states within countries) and by industry. Including, even, the energy companies who initially argued so hard against climate change - although to what extent this is "green washing" is hard to say. I suspect national and international agreements will follow once the chnages have already happened.

Yeah, but local stuff is still, in general, political in origin, isn't it? I mean, the newest building on campus at my alma mater is a "green building," and they presumably had to reach a decision within the board of directors and what the state would pay for to do that.


I have seen some interesting research on this. But I don't think there is ever just one answer.

I think one of the great failings of humanity is that we expect there to be one in much of anything.

Strange
2010-Aug-09, 04:02 PM
Yeah, but local stuff is still, in general, political in origin, isn't it? I mean, the newest building on campus at my alma mater is a "green building," and they presumably had to reach a decision within the board of directors and what the state would pay for to do that.

Agreed. As, to some extent, are the decisons by corporations to be (or appear to be) greener. But it feels like it going to be more of a bottom up thing, rather than being driven by international agreement. Which, in an ideal world, is the way it should be governments should do what the people tell them rather than vice versa. But here the ice begings to feel a bit thin... and not just because of global warming :)

Robert Tulip
2010-Aug-09, 08:29 PM
Did you even read my post? Both these links use analysis of green plankton larger than 700nm only. Where are their measurements on the non-chlorophyll large plankton? Or what about the measurements of the invisible femtoplankton and picoplankton? What about their data regarding the most abundent biomass in the ocean; marine virus? If these areas are dead or dying as reported, I assume these scientists have made direct measurements regarding these immense classes of species; so where are the papers and data?The NASA research on ocean deserts measures decline of chlorophyll from satellite data. This data shows rapid expansion of ocean deserts, apparently linked to global warming. In Ocean Desert Areas are Growing: Study: Ocean's Least Productive Waters Are Expanding (http://environmentalism.suite101.com/article.cfm/ocean_desert_areas_are_escalating#ixzz0w8sjFvHW) The National Marine Fisheries Service and U Hawaii say the unproductive regions or ocean deserts grew by 15 percent or 6.6 million square kilometers from 1998 to 2007.

In this context of the alarming scale of rapid dying of observable plankton, it is irrelevant to speculate without evidence that perhaps invisible plankton is not following this large observed trend.

Robert Tulip
2010-Aug-09, 08:41 PM
Good point. It seems that more progress is being made at a more local level (e.g. individual cities or states within countries) and by industry. Including, even, the energy companies who initially argued so hard against climate change - although to what extent this is "green washing" is hard to say. I suspect national and international agreements will follow once the chnages have already happened.
Local level change is largely as irrelevant to global climate as is the Kyoto Protocol. Industry is where the action is. When methods are developed to make extraction of CO2 from the air a profitable activity, markets will enable climate stability. The only real candidate for such a method is algae biodiesel.
I have seen some interesting research on this. But I don't think there is ever just one answer.My question that you suggest may have multiple answers was "is there is any way to suck CO2 out of the air and sea on a scale approaching 50 billion tons per year?" This is just the sort of question that is likely to have just one answer, in this case, algae.

Nereid
2010-Aug-09, 09:09 PM
I'm curious about this algae idea.

AFAIK, algal blooms are responsible for many of the dreaded 'dead zones' that sometimes (often?) form in the ocean just beyond river deltas such as the Mississippi (these are regions of anoxic ocean; algae, like all eukaryotes, consume oxygen in aerobic respiration; AFAIK, only bacteria and archaea thrive in anoxic environments). How would algal farming avoid creating regional dead zones?

SolusLupus
2010-Aug-09, 09:29 PM
I'm curious about this algae idea.

AFAIK, algal blooms are responsible for many of the dreaded 'dead zones' that sometimes (often?) form in the ocean just beyond river deltas such as the Mississippi (these are regions of anoxic ocean; algae, like all eukaryotes, consume oxygen in aerobic respiration; AFAIK, only bacteria and archaea thrive in anoxic environments). How would algal farming avoid creating regional dead zones?

My knee-jerk assumption would be that the algaea would be kept separate from wild zones, grown in enclosed environments. I was under the impression they had planned to do this in the "basement" of the Tokyo Megacity Pyramid.

Not that I'm an expert.

Gillianren
2010-Aug-10, 01:09 AM
They can harvest from our lake. Maybe they can get the intruder snails while they're at it.

swampyankee
2010-Aug-10, 02:59 AM
...and the Eurasian water-millfoil (which should have only 1 "l" before the "f") and freshwater jellyfish?

Robert Tulip
2010-Aug-10, 04:39 AM
I'm curious about this algae idea.

AFAIK, algal blooms are responsible for many of the dreaded 'dead zones' that sometimes (often?) form in the ocean just beyond river deltas such as the Mississippi (these are regions of anoxic ocean; algae, like all eukaryotes, consume oxygen in aerobic respiration; AFAIK, only bacteria and archaea thrive in anoxic environments). How would algal farming avoid creating regional dead zones?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_zone_(ecology) indicates that algal blooms are an effect of the nutrient load in dead zones, so it is not right to say algae is responsible for causing the dead zones. The dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico is caused by the high nitrogen and phosphorus load from fertilizer runoff in the Mississippi River. If this rich water was used to grow algae in a contained environment, for example a series of floating polymer bladders at sea, it would significantly improve water quality in the Gulf. Algae grown by this method would increase the oxygen content of the water through photosynthesis, converting fertilizer runoff into algae that can then be refined into biodiesel and other products. The anoxia is caused largely by algae decay, and can be prevented by removing algae from the water.

Algal farming could repair regional dead zones by cleaning polluted water at river mouths. Algae could also reduce the size of the much larger pelagic deserts if an efficient method could be found to raise nutrients from below the thermocline to mix with surface water for algae production.

Nereid
2010-Aug-10, 07:01 AM
My knee-jerk assumption would be that the algaea would be kept separate from wild zones, grown in enclosed environments. I was under the impression they had planned to do this in the "basement" of the Tokyo Megacity Pyramid.

Not that I'm an expert.
Not easy to see how!

After all, per RP, ~5 million square km would be required, which is an area bigger than all but six countries. It might take up just ~1% of the surface area of the world's oceans, but it's also far, far, far larger than any project undertaken by us Homo saps., to date, on land or sea ...

Nereid
2010-Aug-10, 07:12 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_zone_(ecology) indicates that algal blooms are an effect of the nutrient load in dead zones, so it is not right to say algae is responsible for causing the dead zones.
From the wiki article:

Eutrophication can lead to rapid increases in the density of certain types of these phytoplankton, a phenomenon known as an algal bloom. Although these algae produce oxygen in the daytime via photosynthesis, during the night hours they continue to undergo cellular respiration and can therefore deplete the water column of available oxygen. In addition, when algal blooms die off, oxygen is used up further during bacterial decomposition of the dead algal cells. Both of these processes can result in a significant depletion of dissolved oxygen in the water, creating hypoxic conditions.


The dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico is caused by the high nitrogen and phosphorus load from fertilizer runoff in the Mississippi River. If this rich water was used to grow algae in a contained environment, for example a series of floating polymer bladders at sea, it would significantly improve water quality in the Gulf.
How? The algae will still respire at night, and will still die.

Also, how much CO2 would be produced to manufacture the floating polymer bladders, sufficient for ~5 million square km of algal farms? And how much microplastic would, within a decade or three, be added to that already fouling the world's oceans?


Algae grown by this method would increase the oxygen content of the water through photosynthesis, converting fertilizer runoff into algae that can then be refined into biodiesel and other products. The anoxia is caused largely by algae decay, and can be prevented by removing algae from the water.
It's not only decay, but also respiration, and controlling the specific species of algae which grow would be very difficult I suspect.


Algal farming could repair regional dead zones by cleaning polluted water at river mouths. Algae could also reduce the size of the much larger pelagic deserts if an efficient method could be found to raise nutrients from below the thermocline to mix with surface water for algae production.
Sounds like an awful lot of CO2 would be needed to pull off these tricks!

BTW, I should have used the term hypoxia, rather than anoxia (although the effects are essentially the same).

SolusLupus
2010-Aug-10, 01:57 PM
Sounds like an awful lot of CO2 would be needed to pull off these tricks!

Naturally, you'd have to compare the increase of CO2 during the project vs. the long-term effects of the algae.

Nereid
2010-Aug-10, 02:00 PM
Naturally, you'd have to compare the increase of CO2 during the project vs. the long-term effects of the algae.
Of course, but the project seems to involve a lot of harvesting - which presumably takes fossil-fuelled vessels - maintenance (how often would the polymer bladders need to be replaced?), and so on. Who knows, maybe this is a marine version of the corn ethanol scam?

lomiller1
2010-Aug-10, 02:12 PM
This paper suggests increased night time temperatures decreases rice yields (higher daytime temperatures increase it). Higher night time temperatures are one of the signatures of greenhouse warming and rice is a staple food for several billion of the world’s poorest people.


http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2010/07/26/1001222107

SolusLupus
2010-Aug-10, 02:14 PM
I don't know about any "corn ethanol scam", but that's beside the point.

Any given number of fossil-fueled vessels (outside of almost all of them, or half of all in existence or something) are actually a very small fraction of the total emission of greenhouse gasses. According to this:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/e0/Greenhouse_Gas_by_Sector.png/646px-Greenhouse_Gas_by_Sector.png

You're talking about an extremely slim fraction of 14%, and if we're dealing with ships, then it'll necessarily produce less CO2 than, say, jet fuel. Compared to the number of fishing ships and recreational vehicles (and I mean, just all the recreational vessels in the marina right next to where I was staying in Maryland!), the CO2 output would be extremely small. Unless we're using manure to fertilize the algae, I don't think that "agricultural byproducts" would factor under there. If we burn the dead algae, then maybe it would help contribute to "biomass burning" (dunno on that).

If the algae contributes to helping stave off, for instance, 5% of CO2, I think that would more than make up for the "cost".

Could it be a scam? I don't know. I'd want the experts to weigh the costs vs. the benefits, though.

Nereid
2010-Aug-10, 02:47 PM
I don't know about any "corn ethanol scam", but that's beside the point.

Any given number of fossil-fueled vessels (outside of almost all of them, or half of all in existence or something) are actually a very small fraction of the total emission of greenhouse gasses. According to this:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/e0/Greenhouse_Gas_by_Sector.png/646px-Greenhouse_Gas_by_Sector.png

You're talking about an extremely slim fraction of 14%, and if we're dealing with ships, then it'll necessarily produce less CO2 than, say, jet fuel. Compared to the number of fishing ships and recreational vehicles (and I mean, just all the recreational vessels in the marina right next to where I was staying in Maryland!), the CO2 output would be extremely small. Unless we're using manure to fertilize the algae, I don't think that "agricultural byproducts" would factor under there. If we burn the dead algae, then maybe it would help contribute to "biomass burning" (dunno on that).

If the algae contributes to helping stave off, for instance, 5% of CO2, I think that would more than make up for the "cost".

Could it be a scam? I don't know. I'd want the experts to weigh the costs vs. the benefits, though.
You have to think big, very, very big.

The project, as outlined, would involve 5 million square km of ocean surface, an area which is approx equal to half-way between Australia and India. It will be interesting to see how many vessels would be required for harvesting, maintenance, and so on for a "farmed" area of the ocean that big (note that the total land area used for growing corn, wheat, and soybeans - combined! - is not even 1 million square km (source (http://www.nue.okstate.edu/Crop_Information/World_Wheat_Production.htm))).

Webbo
2010-Aug-10, 02:49 PM
The NASA research on ocean deserts measures decline of chlorophyll from satellite data. This data shows rapid expansion of ocean deserts, apparently linked to global warming. In Ocean Desert Areas are Growing: Study: Ocean's Least Productive Waters Are Expanding (http://environmentalism.suite101.com/article.cfm/ocean_desert_areas_are_escalating#ixzz0w8sjFvHW) The National Marine Fisheries Service and U Hawaii say the unproductive regions or ocean deserts grew by 15 percent or 6.6 million square kilometers from 1998 to 2007.

In this context of the alarming scale of rapid dying of observable plankton, it is irrelevant to speculate without evidence that perhaps invisible plankton is not following this large observed trend.

Therefore it is irrelevant to refer to these areas as deserts or that they are dying or dead. When then dominant 95% is observed and/or measured everyone (but particularly scientists) should refrain from these alarmist phrases. You would think NASA would know better.

SolusLupus
2010-Aug-10, 03:11 PM
You have to think big, very, very big.

The project, as outlined, would involve 5 million square km of ocean surface, an area which is approx equal to half-way between Australia and India. It will be interesting to see how many vessels would be required for harvesting, maintenance, and so on for a "farmed" area of the ocean that big (note that the total land area used for growing corn, wheat, and soybeans - combined! - is not even 1 million square km (source (http://www.nue.okstate.edu/Crop_Information/World_Wheat_Production.htm))).

That distance can be severely decreased, I believe, by using the "farmscraper" solution; several floors of a single building devoted to containing salt water. I'm not sure on its feasability, as I'm no expert, but there really is more than one way to skin a cat.

Trakar
2010-Aug-10, 03:34 PM
That distance can be severely decreased, I believe, by using the "farmscraper" solution; several floors of a single building devoted to containing salt water. I'm not sure on its feasability, as I'm no expert, but there really is more than one way to skin a cat.

The key is probably not to look for a single solution to a problem, and not to allow one's thinking and future to become dependent upon any single type of resolution. We don't want to replace "big oil" with "big goo" regardless of how much better a solution we might feel goo is to oil. Diversification and distribution help us to spread the risks and focus the benefits of all approaches.

Drunk Vegan
2010-Aug-10, 03:43 PM
My question that you suggest may have multiple answers was "is there is any way to suck CO2 out of the air and sea on a scale approaching 50 billion tons per year?" This is just the sort of question that is likely to have just one answer, in this case, algae.

Actually I think relying on one answer would ultimately be shortsighted. Why put all your faith in one method of CO2 reduction, when there are literally dozens of different approaches that can work? Having an "algae forest" doesn't mean coal companies should stop trying to sequester their CO2, or that factories shouldn't try to find cleaner alternatives in their industrial processes.

Nor does it invalidate the work of companies that have invented devices that can gather hundreds of tons of carbon from the air. I recall reading about such a device in Scientific American recently, IIRC a single device could sequester a few hundred tons of CO2 per year, which could then be sold back to industry as it has some commercial applications.

Personally I'd rather see several competing methods in place rather than put my faith in just one project. Then measure the efficacy of all of them, and whatever works, keep... whatever doesn't, back to the drawing board for a redesign.

Nereid
2010-Aug-10, 04:11 PM
Actually I think relying on one answer would ultimately be shortsighted. Why put all your faith in one method of CO2 reduction, when there are literally dozens of different approaches that can work? Having an "algae forest" doesn't mean coal companies should stop trying to sequester their CO2, or that factories shouldn't try to find cleaner alternatives in their industrial processes.

Nor does it invalidate the work of companies that have invented devices that can gather hundreds of tons of carbon from the air. I recall reading about such a device in Scientific American recently, IIRC a single device could sequester a few hundred tons of CO2 per year, which could then be sold back to industry as it has some commercial applications.

Personally I'd rather see several competing methods in place rather than put my faith in just one project. Then measure the efficacy of all of them, and whatever works, keep... whatever doesn't, back to the drawing board for a redesign.
A.k.a. "wedge strategy".

eburacum45
2010-Aug-10, 04:13 PM
note that an algae farm would be carbon neutral once the algae biomass reaches its maximum size. Algae, forests and any other plant-mass only extract CO2 from the atmosphere when they are growing in size. When the plantmass reaches a stable value it neither adds nor removes CO2 from the atmosphere, unless some of the dead material is buried permanently.

SolusLupus
2010-Aug-10, 04:21 PM
The key is probably not to look for a single solution to a problem, and not to allow one's thinking and future to become dependent upon any single type of resolution. We don't want to replace "big oil" with "big goo" regardless of how much better a solution we might feel goo is to oil. Diversification and distribution help us to spread the risks and focus the benefits of all approaches.

I couldn't have said it better, Trakar. I agree completely.

SolusLupus
2010-Aug-10, 04:23 PM
A.k.a. "wedge strategy".

I fail to see what the tactics of the Discovery Institute have in common with Drunk Vegan's proposal; or do you mean a different kind of "wedge strategy"?

Nereid
2010-Aug-10, 05:18 PM
I fail to see what the tactics of the Discovery Institute have in common with Drunk Vegan's proposal; or do you mean a different kind of "wedge strategy"?
I have no idea what the Discovery Institute's tactics are, nor what they are called.

Wrt actions to address AGW, 'wedge strategy' refers to the simultaneous development of many different approaches, which address different aspects - some focus on reducing CO2 emissions (from power plants, from cement production), some on developing non-CO2-producing energy sources, some on sustainable forestry, etc. Each on its own is quite insufficient to meet some 2050 (say) goal re AGW, but, collectively they do meet such a goal (or even exceed it). Sorta 'don't put all your eggs in one basket' kinda thing ...

SolusLupus
2010-Aug-10, 05:35 PM
I have no idea what the Discovery Institute's tactics are, nor what they are called. I was referring to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wedge_Strategy


Wrt actions to address AGW, 'wedge strategy' refers to the simultaneous development of many different approaches, which address different aspects - some focus on reducing CO2 emissions (from power plants, from cement production), some on developing non-CO2-producing energy sources, some on sustainable forestry, etc. Each on its own is quite insufficient to meet some 2050 (say) goal re AGW, but, collectively they do meet such a goal (or even exceed it). Sorta 'don't put all your eggs in one basket' kinda thing ...

Ah, yes. An agreeable strategy, I concur.

One thing that's always annoyed me was, when I would make an argument for doing X to help combat global warming, I get constantly criticized for claiming that we should only use one strategy instead of a myriad of strategies, when they're necessarily inserting words in my mouth by claiming that I was only supporting one solo strategy and proposing we ignore all others.

forrest noble
2010-Aug-10, 06:08 PM
m74z00219,


Not that you didn't make some good points, and not that I'm picking on you exactly, but I'm a real stickler for language. What you are saying here is an example of what I would call the "all or nothing" fallacy. For instance, some people deny that the gulf oil spill is a problem because oil naturally leaks into the ocean; however, they are neglecting the rates and concentration.

I would really like to stress the importance of the "bathtub analogy". Whether or not a bathtub will overflow depends on the inflow rate being greater than the outflow. When a bathtub will overflow depends on the current water level, the inflow rate, and the outflow rate.
Not that you didn't make some good points, and not that I'm picking on you exactly, but I'm a real stickler for language. What you are saying here is an example of what I would call the "all or nothing" fallacy. For instance, some people deny that the gulf oil spill is a problem because oil naturally leaks into the ocean; however, they are neglecting the rates and concentration.

I would really like to stress the importance of the "bathtub analogy". Whether or not a bathtub will overflow depends on the inflow rate being greater than the outflow. When a bathtub will overflow depends on the current water level, the inflow rate, and the outflow rate.

The climate, like the bathtub, is a dynamical system. More cloud cover might mean greater reflectance of incident radiation, but higher moisture content also means greater heat capacity. Knowing both of these facts doesn't immediately imply a net temperature increase or decrease.

Just my two cents,
M74

The climate, like the bathtub, is a dynamical system. More cloud cover might mean greater reflectance of incident radiation, but higher moisture content also means greater heat capacity. Knowing both of these facts doesn't immediately imply a net temperature increase or decrease.

Just my two cents,
M74

I would also say that you also have made some good points M74.

KABOOM
2010-Aug-10, 07:53 PM
I have found this to be a very informative and relatively well-behaved discussion on the topic (compared to things I've stumbled upon on GW on other message boards). So mods please forbear in shutting this thread down as I find it to be a healthy discussion.

I applaude the contributions from William, as I learned some interesting vantage points from a different perspective. My own views are much more down the middle of the road on this topic and thus I like to see the evidence/arguments from all sides.

A few questions/comments?

A Feb-28-07 National Geographic article cited warming trends on Mars (melting of CO2 ice caps) and thus suggested increase in solar irradiance heating (non man-made) as a contributor to the modest (0.8 degrees over 100 yrs) temp increases.

There has been much emphasis on the rapid pace of temp/CO2/ocean acidity increases as a "unique" phenomena. However, some of the latest thinking on the onset of glaciation periods is that they can materialize in as short as a decade. While sea levels could rise ~ ~ 5 to 10 feet via GW, the end of the present interglaciation would decrease sea levels by ~ 350 to 400 feet. What will be man's response to this? Or maybe would simply be "game over" if the next ice age could set in in as quickly as 10 or 20 years with a much more significant alteration of the current landscape. Also, is anyone nervous that we are already ~ 12,000 years into the present interglaciation that usually don't last much longer than this?

From an evolutionary standpoint, some of our most significant advances (per Rick Potts @ Smithsonian), such as bipedalism, brain size increase, tool-making, are thought to have been triggered by climate changes. Also, agriculture, arguably the greatest advance in mankind history, was enabled by climate changes 12-15,000 years ago as CO2 levels increase from sub-200 to higher levels. Photosynthesis in C3 plants (eatable) is stimulated in the 200-300 range vs C4 (weeds) that were more abundant previously.

Here's a link: www.spaceandsceince.net/id16.html that suggests that we have just begun a period of "solar hibernation", a cooling cycle that could have an adverse effect on world food supplies.

Robert Tulip
2010-Aug-10, 08:03 PM
How [would growing algae in floating polymer bladders improve water quality in the Gulf of Mexico]? Inputs are polluted river water and CO2, output is algae and clean water. If the algae is then taken from the system, and sold for fuel, fertilizer and animal food, the nutrient load in the dead zone is managed and removed.

The algae will still respire at night, and will still die.
Perhaps someone can provide a quantum for respiration, but my understanding is that the daytime consumption of CO2 through photosynthesis is far and away the primary process. Full grown algae can be removed and sold as a commodity.
how much CO2 would be produced to manufacture the floating polymer bladders, sufficient for ~5 million square km of algal farms? ~5m km^2 is my rough estimate of the scale of operation needed to stabilise the global climate and solve the problems of energy security and food security. Current research is exploring use of algae to make plastic. Any emissions from the bag manufacture process would be massively repaid in the operation phase.
And how much microplastic would, within a decade or three, be added to that already fouling the world's oceans?None. Floating polymer bags can remove the plastic from the garbage dumps in the North Pacific Gyre and elsewhere. Think of it like pods of robot whales moving through the sea to process rubbish. If the plastic has a lifespan of five to ten years, it will be recycled at the end of that time. It should be possible for the entire algae production system to contain air chambers for buoyancy that can be deflated during storm to temporarily sink the farm to a safe depth.
controlling the specific species of algae which grow would be very difficult I suspect.
Yes, choice and development of oil producing strains of algae is the subject of intensive research. My opinion is that plant husbandry, feeding the most productive output back to the start of an ocean pond system, is likely to be a safer method than genetic engineering of high yielding strains. Robust and resilient strains of algae should be developed that can compete against contamination from wild strains inside an ocean photobioreactor. These high yield strains would depend on high input of CO2, so would not present a risk to the external environment. Ecological benefits of carbon sequestration, fish food and ocean cooling are significant.
the project seems to involve a lot of harvesting - which presumably takes fossil-fuelled vessels - maintenance (how often would the polymer bladders need to be replaced?), and so on. Who knows, maybe this is a marine version of the corn ethanol scam? My view is that new methods can be developed to use wave, tide, current, wind and solar energy for propulsion and pumping, eventually enabling replacement of fossil fuels entirely. Corn ethanol is ineffective as a means to mitigate emissions. The advantages of marine algae include that it does not compete with food production or other land uses, algae is by far the fastest growing plant, and it presents a potential method to regulate the global climate while producing profitable commodities on a free market basis without subsidy. My thoughts on how such an operation could work are here (http://rtulip.net/ocean_based_algae_production_system_provisional_pa tent).

Swift
2010-Aug-10, 08:04 PM
A Feb-28-07 National Geographic article cited warming trends on Mars (melting of CO2 ice caps) and thus suggested increase in solar irradiance heating (non man-made) as a contributor to the modest (0.8 degrees over 100 yrs) temp increases.
I am fairly certain this has been discussed on BAUT before. However, it is used as an argument against the mainstream interpretation of climate change. Thus, it is not an appropriate discussion point for this thread, per our current rules on this topic (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php/103687-New-Global-Warming-Discussion-Policy). If you want to discuss it, please start a separate thread (which may get moved to ATM if you are advocating that position).

Where we are in the interglaciation would seem to be off topic for this thread, which is about the effects of global warming - I would suggest you start a new thread on that topic.

Thanks for your cooperation.

KABOOM
2010-Aug-10, 11:02 PM
I am fairly certain this has been discussed on BAUT before. However, it is used as an argument against the mainstream interpretation of climate change. Thus, it is not an appropriate discussion point for this thread, per our current rules on this topic (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php/103687-New-Global-Warming-Discussion-Policy). If you want to discuss it, please start a separate thread (which may get moved to ATM if you are advocating that position).


Where we are in the interglaciation would seem to be off topic for this thread, which is about the effects of global warming - I would suggest you start a new thread on that topic.


Thanks for your cooperation.
My sincere apologies for citing the 3 year old NG article.

However, I respectfully differ with respect to the degree of relevance between the "effects of global warming" and the timing of where Earth is in the current interglaciation cycle. I see such assessment as extremely "on point". Others may disagree but it is an opinion and certainly not a unique one.

jlhredshift
2010-Aug-11, 12:15 AM
My sincere apologies for citing the 3 year old NG article.

However, I respectfully differ with respect to the degree of relevance between the "effects of global warming" and the timing of where Earth is in the current interglaciation cycle. I see such assessment as extremely "on point". Others may disagree but it is an opinion and certainly not a unique one.

Orbital eccentricity and obliquity are declining. Source http://aom.giss.nasa.gov/srorbpar.html
see Milankovitch cycles (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milankovitch_cycles)wiki

No ice anytime soon.

Torsten
2010-Aug-11, 02:07 AM
OT comment:

Photosynthesis in C3 plants (eatable) is stimulated in the 200-300 range vs C4 (weeds) that were more abundant previously.

So maize, sugar cane, millet, and sorghum are weeds?

200-300 ppm CO2 has been the normal range on Earth for at least the last 800,000 years, and higher in the more distant past. Within and around this range, C4 photosynthesis is advantageous at higher daytime temperatures.

C4 plants in grasslands have become more abundant in the last few million years but what drove the expansion of C4 grasslands is not simply the relative efficiencies given CO2 and temperature, and is still the subject of some debate.

Wikipedia' article on C4 photosynthesis. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C4_carbon_fixation)

A good review article on Origins of C4 Grasslands (http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/sci;328/5978/587).

Webbo
2010-Aug-11, 05:35 PM
This paper suggests increased night time temperatures decreases rice yields (higher daytime temperatures increase it). Higher night time temperatures are one of the signatures of greenhouse warming and rice is a staple food for several billion of the world’s poorest people.


http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2010/07/26/1001222107

You do realise that this paper is refering to yield growth rates not total yield. Rice production increases year on year and has done so for many decades in spite of (because of?) increased CO2 & temperatures. Or maybe they are just running out of arable land to farm. Obviously it cannot be on the increase for ever.

KABOOM
2010-Aug-11, 05:46 PM
Orbital eccentricity and obliquity are declining. Source http://aom.giss.nasa.gov/srorbpar.html
see Milankovitch cycles (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milankovitch_cycles)wiki

No ice anytime soon.

I couldn't open the NASA article without a subscription. However, this quote from the end of the Wiki writeup on Milankovitch cycles - "More recent work by Berger and Loutre suggests that the current warm climate may last another 50,000 years. The best chances for a decline in Northern hemisphere summer insolation that would be sufficient for triggering an ice age is at 130,000 years or possibly as far out at 620,000 years" does not appear to line up with the attached 2 graphs of 400,000 years of data from the Vostok Ice Core that show the onset of glaciation every 100,000 years, punctuated by 10-12,000 years of inter-glaciation (btw, we are ~ 11,700 years into the current inter-glaciation).

www.sierraclub.ca/.../vostok-ice-core.jpg

http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread505140/pg2


I really don't have a bias either way on this issue (onset of next glaciation) so I would appreciate any further light that you can shed on the latest and greatest thinking in that regard. I found the Wiki writeup to be good background but kind of all over the place in terms of where things go from here.

jlhredshift
2010-Aug-11, 06:36 PM
I couldn't open the NASA article without a subscription.

Could someone PM me with where on the planet you cannot open a NASA site.

Though the retreat of ice was irregular, the last hurrah was the Younger Dryas when sizeable re-advances are rcognized ca 11,700 c14 ybp.

KABOOM
2010-Aug-11, 08:06 PM
Could someone PM me with where on the planet you cannot open a NASA site.

Though the retreat of ice was irregular, the last hurrah was the Younger Dryas when sizeable re-advances are rcognized ca 11,700 c14 ybp.

This is what I found on the NASA link that you provided. I was mistaken in terms of a subscription. However, there was no info only the following (only the last of which cited paper on Mars was a link, the others were simply referenced):

Determination of the Earth's Orbital Parameters
The Earth's orbital parameters are: Eccentricity of the Earth's elliptical orbit about the Sun
Obliquity = dihedral angle between Earth's equatorial plane and Earth's orbital plane
Longitude of Perihelion = spatial angle from moving vernal equinox to perihelion with Sun as angle vertex

Orbital parameters used in climate models are based on the work of Andre L. Berger. We cite two references to his work:
Andre L. Berger, 1978. Long Term Variations of Daily Insolation and Quaternary Climatic Changes. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, volume 35(12), 2362-2367.
Andre L. Berger, 1978. A Simple Algorithm to Compute Long Term Variations of Daily or Monthly Insolation. Institut d'Astronomie et de Geophysique, Universite Catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, No. 18.
Berger's orbital parameters are considered to be valid for approximately 1 million years.

More recent calculations and other methods of calculating the Earth's orbital parameters are discussed in:
Berger A and Loutre MF, 1992. Astronomical solutions for paleoclimate studies over the last 3 million years. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 111, 369-382.

Discussion by Allison and McEwen that concentrated on Mars' insolation is also relevant for insolation on Earth. The reference is:
Michael Allison and Megan McEwen, 2000. A post-Pathfinder evaluation of aerocentric solar coordinates with improved timing recipes for Mars seasonal/diurnal climate studies. Planetary and Space Science, 48, 215-235.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Produce a table of the Earth's orbital parameters for selected years -999999 and 999999 A.D. (Limited to 1001 values.)

Enter minimum year, maximum year, and yearly increment: