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kashi
2004-Oct-24, 08:03 AM
"A prime piece of evidence linking human activity to climate change turns out to be an artifact of poor mathematics."

http://www.technologyreview.com/articles/0...r101504.asp?p=0 (http://www.technologyreview.com/articles/04/10/wo_muller101504.asp?p=0)

GOURDHEAD
2004-Oct-25, 02:42 PM
Thanks Kashi, that's an interesting link. I still have difficulty believing that enough reliable data taken with reliable instruments in enough places in the oceans and atmosphere were acquired over the last 600 years to lead to reasonable conclusions about climate trends.

That stated, I still believe caution is indicated when assessing the human impact which could be significant, but nowhere near as significant as the planetwide impact of running out of fossil fuels whether actual or our choosing to drastically reduce usage.

antoniseb
2004-Oct-25, 08:05 PM
I read the article. I can't believe that only one analysis of global warming data was ever done! Surely some of the graphs we've seen correlating various temperatures and dates over the years/centuries were not done using THIS package. I'll be interested in seeing future articles on global warming to see if the chart looks different.

John L
2004-Oct-25, 09:51 PM
Originally posted by GOURDHEAD@Oct 25 2004, 09:42 AM
Thanks Kashi, that's an interesting link.* I still have difficulty believing that enough reliable data taken with reliable instruments in enough places in the oceans and atmosphere were acquired over the last 600 years to lead to reasonable conclusions about climate trends.

That stated, I still believe caution is indicated when assessing the human impact which could be significant, but nowhere near as significant as the planetwide impact of running out of fossil fuels whether actual or our choosing to drastically reduce usage.
The reliable data has only been collected during the last 100 years. The really comprehensive data collection started in the World War II era with the advent of advanced naval and air warefare needing accurate weather forecasting. The long term extrapolations are based on the trends over this short set of data and things like sproadic measurements of ice core gas bubbles. I agree that the data set is far too small to accurately determine what impact the industrial revolution has had on the environment.

Also, there are new theories that the oil we assume came from decayed plant and animal matter from the prehistoric past (hence the term fossil feuls) may be wrong. It seems that a new picture is developing that these hydrocarbons are actually a natural mantel process and that the supply is far more vast than originally expected, and possibly self replenishing. I forget the name of the oil field, but there is one in the Gulf of Mexico that was played out a few decades ago, but when a new technology was brought in to hopefully eek out the last bits, they found that the amount of oil had returned to the pre-drilling levels. Where did all of the new oil come from? The mantel, where all oil and coal is actually formed. Here (http://people.cornell.edu/pages/tg21/usgs.html) is a paper on this possibility.

kashi
2004-Oct-25, 11:48 PM
Were it true, that would be very tragic indeed. I think that the depletion of oil supplies will be the kick start our stubborn leaders need to actually devote some resources into making alternatives viable.

Duane
2004-Oct-25, 11:52 PM
While researching various papers on solar research, I came across several articles where they discuss the methods used to determine ancient temperatures. Ice cores are one, but there are also tree ring studies, ocean floor setiment cores, and lake cores with pollen counts. Even records from literate priests and fur traders from journals and letters. Not exact, and I am not suggesting they are, but enough to give a general picture of our climate over the past thousand or so years.

WHile I don't believe that the global warming we are seeing is necessarily the result of human activity (doesn't Starlab have a post about that somewhere?) I do think we are seeing warming, and I think that we are at least adding to the problem.

Guest_StarLab
2004-Oct-26, 04:20 PM
Yeah, in Q&A I said
Yeah. I think we're just on a Natural High Heat Peak (HHP) as opposed to Human-Induced Biospherical Changes (HIBIC).
I'm not sure if this is the quote you are talking about, but basically I agree that we are responsible somewhat, but most of what's happenning is natural.

DippyHippy
2004-Oct-27, 02:52 PM
"Fascinating" as Mr Spock would say... to be honest, I haven't been able to read the article but what does this mean for future climactic change?

Algenon the mouse
2004-Oct-28, 03:09 AM
To quote a song, " It will be a hot time in the old barn tonight".

GOURDHEAD
2004-Dec-06, 03:50 PM
Here (http://www.solcomhouse.com/yellowstone.htm) and here (http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/yvo/history). are sources of bad news/good news. Global warming may be attenuated at the expense of a short lived disaster of difficult to assess proportions. Let's hope each of the supervolcanoes does not go off at the same time along with a large gurgling sound indicating we have used the last of our petroleum reserves.

It's comforting that the real geologists paint a less dramatic scene.

Greg
2004-Dec-08, 08:56 AM
I think the focus should be shifted to what can be causing the rise in global temperatures that we can control. Volcanic outbursts we cannot control. Solar output we cannot control at least not within the realm of affordability (a radiation shield can always be deployed in orbit to reduce solar output, but at enormous cost.) Manmade Co2 pollution is something we can control, and at a reasonable cost. The fact that there is any cost causes special interests for industry to cry foul. It is the inherent nature for business enterprises to only see a short term cost and miss the fact that a long term cost that can be greatly mitigated by enduring the short term cost. So it is the responsibility of our government leaders to see the long term picture (and act on it) and tune out the whining of special interests focused only on the near-term bottom line. In short, the difference between politicians and leaders is that politicians pander only to their local constituents and leaders have the guts to do what is best for everyone in the long run even if it hurts their constituents in the short run. At least in the U.S., it seems that there are too many politicians and too few leaders in its government.

GOURDHEAD
2005-Feb-17, 02:51 PM
Here (http://www.newscientist.com/channel/earth/mg18524861.400) is one of the more reasoned articles on this subject.

Quoted from the referenced link:

The effect this has on the planet is also measurable. In 2000, researchers based at Imperial College London examined satellite data covering almost three decades to plot changes in the amount of infrared radiation escaping from the atmosphere into space - an indirect measure of how much heat is being trapped. In the part of the infrared spectrum trapped by CO2 - wavelengths between 13 and 19 micrometres - they found that between 1970 and 1997 less and less radiation was escaping. They concluded that the increasing quantity of atmospheric CO2 was trapping energy that used to escape, and storing it in the atmosphere as heat. The results for the other greenhouse gases were similar. This indicates some real measurements are being taken that are less likely to be faulty than allegations based on trends over several hundred years where measurements are not likely to have been consistently accurate nor sufficiently widespread. I still think that much more effort has to be put into assessing the negative and positive feedback loops. I doubt that we are sufficiently smart or technologically competent enough to accurately assess these effects.

Once the assessment is convincingly made, the determination of what action to take will be as difficult to accurately make as was the assessment of the nature of the global effect.

piersdad
2005-Feb-17, 07:29 PM
The debate will go on forever.

The fact is, the fossill fuels are going to be harder to find and extract
while the demand is going up.
They eventually be too expensive to use for energy.

We had better start using todays solar energy in wind farms and sea wave power and other alternative systems.

If we are having a global warming then we had better start to build sea walls around all coastal cities in the next 100 years
Holland has done this sucessfully for the last 100 years or so.

GOURDHEAD
2005-Feb-17, 10:05 PM
If we are having a global warming then we had better start to build sea walls around all coastal cities in the next 100 years How does Holland handle rain water drainage? Some of our cities are located near the mouths of large rivers. How far upstream will the walls have to be built and how many pumps will be needed to handle the rain water trapped behind the river walls?

piersdad
2005-Feb-17, 10:23 PM
holland has pumps and windmills etc and i presume any rivers would also have sea walls around them.

Two things will happen over the hundred years of sea rise.
storms and events will desatroy coastal habitats and they will rebuild on higher ground.
or where high value property can not be rebuilt it will get protection or as in venice they will just sink and build upwards

some islands will dissapear

kashi
2005-Feb-17, 10:33 PM
Of course, nobody really knows what will happen if the current trend of CO2 emissions continues. Perhaps a runaway greenhouse affect (very bad!), or perhaps air and water circulation patterns will change sufficiently to trigger another ice age (also very bad, but at least the planet would remain habitable). Perhaps neither scenario would happen. Regardless, any sensible, rational human being would have to agree that it's not worth the risk. We need to replace coal and oil power stations with nuclear energy and renewables like wind and solar, and we need to do it fast. We also need to plant more trees (this seems to have been largely overlooked in all the hype surrounding the Kyoto protocol).

For hundreds of articles on climate change and alternative energy (updated daily) please visit my climate change site and join my discussion forum:

vet
2005-Feb-17, 10:37 PM
humbly (yeah, right) suggest all should search the latest on the oceans turning into carbonic acid---it happens when you mix co2/w/h20---this is new data released in a UK meeting on the subject. this has had little prior consideration---

previously, some optimist, not noticing their neck was already in a noose, actually said the oceans would consume co2, leading to greater plankton, leading to more fish---apparently none were chemist. the death of coral reefs, the stunning decline in cod populations, the now known 'acidification' of oceans led one expert to point out brits may soon be munching 'jelly-fish& chips'---yummy! this research is Solid.

the same meeting reported the very possible & imminent break-up of antartica, leading to potential 5 meter sea rise. real quick. i wouldn't worry about drowning---just hop in your SUV---but wait! it gets worse---

imagine even 75mm of global sea rise, then think of plate subduction---any idea what the pacific ocean weighs? not me, but when i wrote an old friend at NOAA on the probable increase in suduction rates (high pressure water is a great lubricant), and its effect on the pacific rim? he didn't laugh---monster quakes and super-volcanism would be the obvious result.

so it seems humanity gets out now, or??????

Bobunf
2005-Feb-18, 01:37 AM
“imagine even 75mm of global sea rise, then think of plate subduction… wrote an old friend at NOAA on probable increase in suduction rates…and its effect on the pacific rim…monster quakes and super-volcanism would be the obvious result.”

It may be obvious, but what happened with a 200 meter (not millimeter, meter, a thousand times as much) rise in sea level with the last de-glaciation beginning about 18,000 years ago, and ending with an Earth warmer than it is now about 8,000 years ago? No record of monster quakes or super-volcanism, or really anything much other than a more pleasant world in which to make a living and stay out of the cold.

And this wasn’t the only de-glaciation. It’s happened dozens of times in the last three millions years.

What’s so critical about a change of three orders of magnitude less than we’ve experienced multiple times in the past?

Maybe it just sounds so deliciously alarming. How about “The Sky is Falling” for next time.

Bob

solitonmanny
2005-Feb-18, 10:33 AM
To all,

A few points on this subject, if you don't mind a newbie barging in?

With the possible demise of the Greenland Ice Pack there is a very real possibility that the Gulf Stream will stop doing what it has been doing for many centuries, ensuring that northern Europe doesn't suffer a Mini Ice Age.

If, as one writer mentioned, there were to be a massive rise in water levels, the pressure on the plates would be enormous...and deadly, cold water and very hot substances are not a good thing!, especially in the quantities involved.

The subduction zones in and around the Pacific "chain of fire" would probably kick off the whole shooting match, remember a lot of the "chain of fire" is also on land, added pressure or an introduction of a cold element in those regions makes this a very dangerous piece of real estate.

Until some semblence of critical appraisal and scientific method is applied to the records of the past and the present, we will be sure of nothing, until someone actually employs all of the disciplines available (physicis, chemistry, et al) to the problem then we will be guilty of whistling in the dark in a variety of keys, mostly off key.

Best to all and take care,

Manny
The Newbie

vet
2005-Feb-19, 05:29 AM
Originally posted by Bobunf@Feb 18 2005, 01:37 AM
“imagine even 75mm of global sea rise, then think of plate subduction… wrote an old friend at NOAA on probable increase in suduction rates…and its effect on the pacific rim…monster quakes and super-volcanism would be the obvious result.”

It may be obvious, but what happened with a 200 meter (not millimeter, meter, a thousand times as much) rise in sea level with the last de-glaciation beginning about 18,000 years ago, and ending with an Earth warmer than it is now about 8,000 years ago? No record of monster quakes or super-volcanism, or really anything much other than a more pleasant world in which to make a living and stay out of the cold.

And this wasn’t the only de-glaciation. It’s happened dozens of times in the last three millions years.

What’s so critical about a change of three orders of magnitude less than we’ve experienced multiple times in the past?

Maybe it just sounds so deliciously alarming. How about “The Sky is Falling” for next time.

Bob
you seem to forget the permian mass-extiction's link to increased volcanism in siberia. and you cerainly don't live in portland oregon, or seattle---where a glance eastward and you're staring at a potential mt. st. helens.

the worst is 'acidifying' oceans, this may not be denied. you refer only to admitted speculation on rapid subduction---not this. and 'the sky is falling?' not likely---i just remember Biology 101---'mass-extinctions on earth are the rule, not the exception'. i just want humanitity out of here ASAP. we may do it now. in 50 years? who knows? you?

8,000 years ago? they had no fragile technocracy---you don't know what they had, but it darn well wasn't what we have now. prior sea rises were relativly slow, and nothing as predicted by the UK conference. i suggest you read the data, before stooping to 'chicken-little' assumptions. i believe it's 'impolite'.

vet
2005-Feb-19, 06:16 AM
Originally posted by solitonmanny@Feb 18 2005, 10:33 AM
To all,

A few points on this subject, if you don't mind a newbie barging in?

With the possible demise of the Greenland Ice Pack there is a very real possibility that the Gulf Stream will stop doing what it has been doing for many centuries, ensuring that northern Europe doesn't suffer a Mini Ice Age.

If, as one writer mentioned, there were to be a massive rise in water levels, the pressure on the plates would be enormous...and deadly, cold water and very hot substances are not a good thing!, especially in the quantities involved.

The subduction zones in and around the Pacific "chain of fire" would probably kick off the whole shooting match, remember a lot of the "chain of fire" is also on land, added pressure or an introduction of a cold element in those regions makes this a very dangerous piece of real estate.

Until some semblence of critical appraisal and scientific method is applied to the records of the past and the present, we will be sure of nothing, until someone actually employs all of the disciplines available (physicis, chemistry, et al) to the problem then we will be guilty of whistling in the dark in a variety of keys, mostly off key.

Best to all and take care,

Manny
The Newbie
alas, everyone knows of the disparity amongst sciences. what's worse is ego---i'm not gay, but the well-known 'scientific-killer' displayed in the film 'the band played on'---and knowingly let HIV spread---this is all too common in science---discusting and deadly.

Dave Mitsky
2005-Feb-19, 10:46 AM
Here's an interesting new slant on global warming.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sn/tvradio/programmes...ing_trans.shtml (http://www.bbc.co.uk/sn/tvradio/programmes/horizon/dimming_trans.shtml)

Dave Mitsky

Moseley
2005-Feb-19, 01:02 PM
Hi, I read another story this morning (unable to find again) which relates to oceanic temperature measurements, and suggests that plenty of heat has already been sunk in the oceans.
This version is not as quantitative but on same subject

http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/20050...02/s1306233.htm (http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200502/s1306233.htm)

the BBC programme was fairly depressing.

Moseley
2005-Feb-19, 01:06 PM
Typical, click 'Add Reply' and then find it:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/climatechange/st...1418131,00.html (http://www.guardian.co.uk/climatechange/story/0,12374,1418131,00.html)

Obviously, this is the Guardian and they love the doomsday scenarii.

TomT
2005-Feb-21, 03:03 AM
Originally posted by kashi@Feb 17 2005, 10:33 PM
We need to replace coal and oil power stations with nuclear energy and renewables like wind and solar, and we need to do it fast. We also need to plant more trees (this seems to have been largely overlooked in all the hype surrounding the Kyoto protocol).


I will second this, especially nuclear power. There are perfectly acceptable 2nd and 3rd generation fission powered plants on the drawing board awaiting the political will to be built. Once the political will happens, the economical means will follow. First we have to overcome irrational fear. The French and Japanese are doing this. Why not the rest of the world? This will buy time until fusion power becomes a reality.
As far as other renewables, they are fine, but will only fill niches where they make sense. And I am all for planting trees, but more for habitat restoration reasons, than any worry about CO2.

TomT
2005-Feb-21, 03:39 AM
Originally posted by GOURDHEAD@Feb 17 2005, 02:51 PM

In the part of the infrared spectrum trapped by CO2 - wavelengths between 13 and 19 micrometres - they found that between 1970 and 1997 less and less radiation was escaping. They concluded that the increasing quantity of atmospheric CO2 was trapping energy that used to escape, and storing it in the atmosphere as heat. The results for the other greenhouse gases were similar
Let's analyse this statement.
Infrared radiation (13 to 19 mm) is being increasingly trapped by CO2. "Trapped" means it is reflected back toward the earth. What happens to that radiation? Presumedly it bounces around until it finally strikes a molecule that absorbs it. Let's say it is a gas molecule in the air. This results in an increase in energy for that molecule.
It is now like any other air molecule that has received heat (from your cigarette, a campfire, a steam iron, an automobile engine, whatever). The heated air molecule rises like all others, and eventually gives up its heat to space by radiation. There is no increase in atmospheric temperature. You could say the radiation was "trapped" but the heat wasn't.
Now, lets look at the other side of the coin. There is radiation coming from the sun in the range of 13 to 19 mm. As greenhouse gases increase, more of the sun's radiation in this range is reflected back to space. Thus less of the sun's radiation reaches the earth, and we are cooling off. This is what was originally predicted by greenhouse proponents, and it does make more sense.
Conclusion: If we are witnessing an increase in the earth's temperature, it is not being caused by a greenhouse effect. If I were to make a wager, I would bet that the temperature increase is caused by natural variation in the radiation emitted by the sun.

kashi
2005-Feb-21, 05:30 AM
TomT, you're stating the obvious by saying that the Earth gives off heat energy into space. What the greenhouse affect does is permanently decrease the rate of this heat loss, and the planet gets hotter as a result.

Algenon the mouse
2005-Feb-21, 05:46 AM
I think that our best bet is, as someone mentioned before, to look for alternatives and solutions now. Just to kick back and do nothing would be a great sin to our children.

solitonmanny
2005-Feb-21, 01:05 PM
To all,

If you think that improved energy generating systems are going to have an impact any time soon, forget it..the scale of the problem we are facing is totally outside any experience the human race has had.

The use of novel ways to provide energy is all well and good, but how do you get the whole of the planetary population to use these systems?, ask them nicely? make new laws? Please think of the scale we're discussing here folks, this is a big planet!

It's not just electricity generation and distribution (on a planetary scale!), the combustion engines of not just the so-called industrialised nations but of everyone using them, lets see what we've got:-

Mopeds, scooters. motorbikes, minicars.compact cars, family cars, limousines, people movers, 4x4's,light trucks, vans (all sizes), lorries (all sizes); don't forget the classifications of these vehicles also (civilian, military, rescue services, police etc), then we get to industrial/commercial and then domestic systems.

We have not even approached freight and passenger trains/buses, add the maritime sector plus the airborne sector and you may get some idea of the scale of the problem!

It's not just us in our comfortable, industrialised/modernised societies, its also the people in "developing"nations who have no other option but to go the fossil fuel route.

If we want to change the way we generate electricity, by utilising wind energy, for instance, look at the situation with a cold, logical eye (a la SPOCK):

Present day wind turbines use the old windmill blade system, inefficient at best, there have been experiments to use airfoil systems but the designs ended up bulky due to the torque that was generated: try this instead..

One tower with a cross bar, at each end of the crossbar place a circular open framework (pod) with a double rail at the top and bottom, inside these rails place vertical airfoil blades (6/8/10/12 or whatever combination you require), the rails will ensure that the airfoils are always at the correct angle of attack. The thrust generated by a single airfoil will be impressive enough, if you have between 6 - 12 blades (depending on the mass of the generator) you will have an awful lot of propulsive force available.

Now to the good part...one of these pods will be turning clockwise and the other will turn anticlockwise, since the airfoild will be vertical then the direction of the wind is unimportant, the creation of torque is moot, since the contra-rotating pods will cancel that also. Remember, each pod will have its own generator/dynamo.

There you have a very simple system to generate electricity utilising wind power (hopefully) as efficiently as possible. With these systems you could (theoretically) power a desalination system along a coastline (a simple hot/cold distillation unit using a Hilsch Vortex Tube arrangement) with as many units as required, subsistence farmers would rather a consistant and constant flow of potable water than great surges (they can plan their crop properly).

Try using the system to seperate Hydrogen and Oxygen from sea water, clean fuel (at least for the local area and the local transport infrastructure). Geater use of photovoltaics seems like a good idea from our protected vantage points, whether it would be practical is another matter, think of the logistical problems of distribution and connection out in the boonies!

We can and should do more within our cities, try utilising the updraft in elevator shafts in multi storey buildings by placing generators with wide fan blades at the top, this will alleviate the amount of electricity used by the inhabitants during office hours, it will also work while nobody is in, generating electricity 'round the clock and lessening the demand on the utility company, remember that architects and structural engineers always try to cancel out or circumvent these updrafts, this time use them to our benefit.

That's enough rambling from this dissolute old scribbler, best to all and take care.

Manny
The Newbie

TomT
2005-Feb-21, 01:50 PM
Originally posted by kashi@Feb 21 2005, 05:30 AM
TomT, you're stating the obvious by saying that the Earth gives off heat energy into space. What the greenhouse affect does is permanently decrease the rate of this heat loss, and the planet gets hotter as a result.
Can you explain how the greenhouse effect "permanently" decreases the rate of heat loss from the earth to space? Start with the radiation coming from the sun, and show us step by step how increased CO2 causes a permanent warming of the earth.

GOURDHEAD
2005-Feb-21, 02:16 PM
Here (http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/solar.renewables/page/trends/table1.html) is a table of energy sources for U.S. usage over recent years through 2003. Note that less than 14% is from non-fossil fuel sources; of which less than 8% is from nuclear fission and barely over 6% is from renewable energy sources. Although I don't currently have access to supporting data, it's reasonable to assume the worldwide usage doesn't vary much over the same categories, although I have read that Japan and France are more heavily dependent on nuclear sources. Nothing was said about the disposition of nuclear wastes and the energy required to manage and maintain such processes and sites.

A not insignificant amount of energy will be required to manufacture and maintain facilities and equipment needed to increase the harnessing of non-fossil fuel energy production. Fossil fuels provide the energy that powers the world economy, provides the "production" and distribution of fresh water, and produces and distributes the food supply which is especially critical to large population centers where gardens and small farms are essentially non-existent. Whether we voluntarily reduce the use of fossil fuels to save the environment or just exhaust the Earth's supply beyond the point of economical, in terms of energy, retrieval we are facing industrial strength doom and gloom, not the least component of which is the death and destruction from civil strife,....unless action is begun immediately to solve this most pressing of problems.

The sun is a good source for aother 3 or 4 billion years only if we begin now to emplace systems and processes to manage the harnessing of its energy. It will be extremely difficult to do this after we have exhausted sources of fossil fuels. Lamenting and handwringing will not suffice. Verily, verily, I say unto you, unless the number of days required to solve this dilemma is reduced, no flesh shall be left alive.

Guest
2005-Feb-21, 06:03 PM
Originally posted by GOURDHEAD@Feb 21 2005, 02:16 PM
......although I have read that Japan and France are more heavily dependent on nuclear sources. Nothing was said about the disposition of nuclear wastes and the energy required to manage and maintain such processes and sites.


France and Japan do use nuclear fission to generate much of their electricity. They don't throw away their spent fuel rods, they re-enrich them and use them again. This is an enlightened method which we can do.

kashi
2005-Feb-21, 10:51 PM
No problem TomT.

More greenhouses gasses mean that more radiation from the sun is trapped in our atmosphere. Theoretically this should eventually dissipate into space as some kind of heat energy, however it takes much longer to do so the more greenhouse gasses we have blanketing the planet. During this waiting time, more radiation keeps on entering the atmosphere. In other the words the ratio: rate of heat gain/rate of heat loss increases, as it takes longer for heat to escape. Think about it as a kind of a "heat buffer" that will never go away until we can somehow increase the rate of heat loss or decrease the rate of heat gain. In fact, the problem will keep getting worse until the planet is uninhabitable like Venus. Increased temperatures will cause the oceans to produce more CO2, and that will only increase this ratio even more.

Bobunf
2005-Feb-22, 01:42 AM
From what I’ve read about the subject of the mechanisms of the greenhouse effect, the matter is, like so many other things in science, “not well understood.”

Kashi, I’m sure you recognize that saying the radiation of the heat into space “takes much longer” is pretty unsatisfying as an explanation. How long does this radiation bounce around before being absorbed? A millisecond? That would be traveling 300 kilometers or so in the atmosphere, reflected every which way, without hitting anything. A millisecond seems like a stretch.

Then how long does it take this warm gas to rise and cool? Two minutes before 90% of the excess heat is radiated? I don’t know, but certainly not very many minutes—perhaps seconds.

The ratio idea doesn’t satisfy either. The radiation received will stay pretty much the same as the radiation emitted; a new equilibrium level will be reached essentially instantaneously; and the ratio will remain at 1 to 1 except for insignificant excursions.

I do understand that part of the explanation for the greenhouse mechanism may lie in effects on evaporation and wind, and thus evaporative and convection cooling. But the whole thing is immensely complicated.

But what difference does it make? If global warming is occurring, and if it’s a bad thing, we need to do what we can about it no matter the cause: people, cows, the sun, whatever. But we sure shouldn’t waste our time and resources on something that won’t work, or on something that’s not a real problem.

If we make changes that cause the generation of electricity to use more resources (or to state it more generally, to cost more), we’ll have less resources to use on other things, like increasing life expectancy, educating people, film making, poetry, space exploration and a host of other things.

The same is true for increasing the resource utilization involved in agriculture, manufacturing, transportation and most other energy using activities.

Let’s figure this one out carefully in order to come up with the right solutions to the right problems. Careful figuring is not helped by alarmist rhetoric based on little or no evidence.

So, we’re solving a problem, an important and complicated problem. But we’re not involved in a moral crusade with heroes and villains.

Bob

TomT
2005-Feb-22, 02:24 AM
Originally posted by kashi@Feb 21 2005, 10:51 PM
No problem TomT.

More greenhouses gasses mean that more radiation from the sun is trapped in our atmosphere. Theoretically this should eventually dissipate into space as some kind of heat energy, however it takes much longer to do so the more greenhouse gasses we have blanketing the planet. During this waiting time, more radiation keeps on entering the atmosphere. In other the words the ratio: rate of heat gain/rate of heat loss increases, as it takes longer for heat to escape. Think about it as a kind of a "heat buffer" that will never go away until we can somehow increase the rate of heat loss or decrease the rate of heat gain. In fact, the problem will keep getting worse until the planet is uninhabitable like Venus. Increased temperatures will cause the oceans to produce more CO2, and that will only increase this ratio even more.
Kashi,
Let's get more specific here, using CO2 as an example. The greenhouse (GH) argument starts with saying that some of the short wavelength radiation from the sun penetrates the earth's atmosphere and reflects off the earth's surface. During the reflection process, some of this reflected radiation changes to longer wavelengths that are in the range that is reflected by CO2 molecules. Thus this reflected radiation becomes trapped in the lower atmosphere. As you state, the heat generated by this trapped radiation will eventually dissipate back to space. The GH theory argues that there is a time lag such that the earth heats up in the process.
If a person accepts this argument as true, then the other side of the coin also has to be true. Radiation coming in from the sun of the same wavelengths reflected by CO2, will never reach the earth, and thus is prevented from heating up the earth. As the CO2 in the atmosphere increases, more and more of this incoming radiation is prevented from reaching us. This will cause cooling of the earth.

The cooling effect is instantaneous and permanent, while the heating effect is temporary because as you state, the heat eventually dissipates back to space. As I stated previously, you could make a better argument that increased greenhouse gases cool the earth.

vet
2005-Feb-22, 02:28 AM
re: john l on 'fossil-fuel'---you nailed it john, the hypothesis of 'fossil-fuel' being unrelated to the old 'carbiniforous forest' deal has been rather dead for years---oil IS a by-product of earth's dynamism, not some finite residue of 'past-life'. this place is 'full-of-it'---but knowing that would make a lot of billionaires, simple millionaires---we can't have that---
what's this to with astronomy? plenty---if we switched from killing people-for-profit, diverted the defense budget to sub-surface lunar colonization---then we'ed have a shot at immortality. we could laugh at gamma-ray bursters, climate change, 'fossil-fuel-depletion', solar flares, etc.---but we're not doing it. intelligent species? give me a break. as mr. sagan pointed out---we either get-to-hell out in timely fashion or we're toast.

TomT
2005-Feb-22, 03:24 AM
Originally posted by Bobunf@Feb 22 2005, 01:42 AM
Let’s figure this one out carefully in order to come up with the right solutions to the right problems. Careful figuring is not helped by alarmist rhetoric based on little or no evidence.

So, we’re solving a problem, an important and complicated problem. But we’re not involved in a moral crusade with heroes and villains.

Bob
Well stated Bob. All we need is a near infinite supply of clean electricity. The only way to get started in the near term is nuclear electric generation, coupled with reuse of the spent fuel. This is being done today in France and Japan with first generation fission plants. It can be done much better with 2nd and 3rd generation fission plants now on the drawing board, and fusion plants in a century or so.
As these are being phased in, fossil fuel plants, as well as gasoline powered automobiles, will be phased out. Our dependence on Mid East oil will go away, and environment pollution will dramatically decrease. All that is missing is the will to do it. This takes an enlightened public, motivated by facts not fear.

vet
2005-Feb-22, 03:45 AM
Originally posted by Moseley@Feb 19 2005, 01:06 PM
Typical, click 'Add Reply' and then find it:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/climatechange/st...1418131,00.html (http://www.guardian.co.uk/climatechange/story/0,12374,1418131,00.html)

Obviously, this is the Guardian and they love the doomsday scenarii.
i am unfamiliar w/'the guardian'---but appreciate the data you provided. if one looks at the cancer-death-rates in the usa, los angeles is one big black spot---so even if one were to 'de-consider' global warming, you're left with the problem of proven cancer rates in industrialized areas. when one is among a hungry herd of 'utililitarianism' jackals, a 'guardian' seems a good thing. thanks

vet
2005-Feb-22, 04:00 AM
Originally posted by TomT+Feb 22 2005, 03:24 AM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (TomT @ Feb 22 2005, 03:24 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-Bobunf@Feb 22 2005, 01:42 AM
Let’s figure this one out carefully in order to come up with the right solutions to the right problems.* Careful figuring is not helped by alarmist rhetoric based on little or no evidence.

So, we’re solving a problem, an important and complicated problem.* But we’re not involved in a moral crusade with heroes and villains.*

Bob
Well stated Bob. All we need is a near infinite supply of clean electricity. The only way to get started in the near term is nuclear electric generation, coupled with reuse of the spent fuel. This is being done today in France and Japan with first generation fission plants. It can be done much better with 2nd and 3rd generation fission plants now on the drawing board, and fusion plants in a century or so.
As these are being phased in, fossil fuel plants, as well as gasoline powered automobiles, will be phased out. Our dependence on Mid East oil will go away, and environment pollution will dramatically decrease. All that is missing is the will to do it. This takes an enlightened public, motivated by facts not fear. [/b][/quote]
perhaps you&#39;ve seen the pbs special on german fission tech? they managed to design a &#39;melt-down&#39; proof reactor---and to test it they quietly sat in the center and drained all coolant. it worked, as expected. they lived. no problems. unless you&#39;re in the oil biz---then you&#39;ve problems. personally, i trust no one advocating oil as anything beyond a lubricant.