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Thread: World Needs to Aim for Near-Zero Carbon Emissions

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    World Needs to Aim for Near-Zero Carbon Emissions

    If we really want to combat climate change, how much carbon can we reasonably generate? How much will still push temperatures up? The current presidential candidates are all calling for serious carbon reductions over the next 40 years, but according to researchers at the Carnegie Institution for Science, it's not enough. To really stabilize our [...]

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    I wish them luck with that, but I seriously doubt it'll happen in a mere 40 years. Too many people are fighting too hard to maintain the staus quo.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    I wish them luck with that, but I seriously doubt it'll happen in a mere 40 years. Too many people are fighting too hard to maintain the staus quo.
    Bingo. Many folks with a great deal invested in preserving the status quo, they won't give that up without a fight, even if sea levels rose 10 ft. in the next 10 years.

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    Fortunately, just cutting CO2 emissions in half will drastically reduce the rate of climate change. The slower the change occurs, the less costs it will inflict.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronald Brak View Post
    Fortunately, just cutting CO2 emissions in half will drastically reduce the rate of climate change. The slower the change occurs, the less costs it will inflict.
    And the more time it'll still be having effects.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    And the more time it'll still be having effects.
    A slower rate of temperature change would allow systems, both natural and artifical, more time to adapt. For example, global warming threatens to destroy the Great Barrier Reef. If this change were slowed, then there would be a greater chance that heat resistant coral and other species could adapt and grow, preventing the reef from dying. A temperature change that happens in 50 years is more destructive than an equal change that occurs over 100 years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronald Brak View Post
    A slower rate of temperature change would allow systems, both natural and artifical, more time to adapt. For example, global warming threatens to destroy the Great Barrier Reef. If this change were slowed, then there would be a greater chance that heat resistant coral and other species could adapt and grow, preventing the reef from dying. A temperature change that happens in 50 years is more destructive than an equal change that occurs over 100 years.
    True. But melting ice is melting ice, it doesn't adapt. And as was discussed elsewhere, there are thought to be certain "tipping points", beyond which matters become far harder to reverse or repair.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    True. But melting ice is melting ice, it doesn't adapt. And as was discussed elsewhere, there are thought to be certain "tipping points", beyond which matters become far harder to reverse or repair.
    I take it we're agreed that reducing carbon emissions will reduce the amount of damage caused by global warming.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronald Brak View Post
    I take it we're agreed that reducing carbon emissions will reduce the amount of damage caused by global warming.
    I haven't seen convincing evidence either way. I'm convinced that ice is melting and that is evidence that in those areas some warming is happening. I'm not convinced that the temperature is increasing globally, although I suspect it is, but I don't know how much effect CO2 is having.

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    I haven't seen convincing evidence either way. I'm convinced that ice is melting and that is evidence that in those areas some warming is happening. I'm not convinced that the temperature is increasing globally, although I suspect it is, but I don't know how much effect CO2 is having.
    Scientific evidence collected through the use of thermometers indicate that the average temperature of the earth increased by 0.74 +/- 0.18 degrees over the past 100 years.

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    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by GOURDHEAD View Post
    I haven't seen convincing evidence either way. I'm convinced that ice is melting and that is evidence that in those areas some warming is happening. I'm not convinced that the temperature is increasing globally, although I suspect it is, but I don't know how much effect CO2 is having.
    Even with deep subsurface warming there is CO2 in play. This article here.
    page 3
    Temperature measurements revealed that the sea-level rise observed south of the polar fronts is due to deep subsurface warming, possibly linked to large-scale wind shifts;
    page 2
    The CSIRO says that a “specially designed onboard laboratory [on the L'Astrolabe] also samples the ocean surface to identify how the ocean controls carbon dioxide and is part of the sister program, MINERVE".

    The CSIRO continued that: "Programs like SURVOSTRAL are a key part of a strategy to observe the Southern Ocean and the largest ocean current in the world - the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC)”.
    The study has been running for some 15 years and is the basis of some 40 papers according to the article. So while it is not directly atmospheric CO2 it is a gas of importance to more than one possible cause of warming.

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    Fortunately, in spite of so-called "institutional inertia" and government bellyaching, I think a lot can and will be done in this sector, simply because technology keeps marching on. As supplies of something become scarce (coughcoughcheapoilcough), scientists look around for substitutes, many of which are more energy- or materials- efficient than the old methods. Individuals adapt to these new materials and methods, mainly because they want to save money. And all this takes place regardless of whether the government does its thing or not.

    40 years is a long time, technology-wise. Over that same period, the current automobile fleet will be turned over 3-4 times, offices will be renovated at least once, energy and carbon-sequestration technologies will improve, and a whole host of other things will happen that will make future societies energy-lean ones. Again, this all happens regardless of government action or inaction.

    I know not what other BAUTers think, but as for me, give me nuclear or give me death!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maha Vailo View Post
    40 years is a long time, technology-wise. Over that same period, the current automobile fleet will be turned over 3-4 times, offices will be renovated at least once, energy and carbon-sequestration technologies will improve, and a whole host of other things will happen that will make future societies energy-lean ones.
    My lab building looks pretty much like it did 40 years ago - but the equipment within the laboratory is all drastically new.

    As an interesting contrast; most of the testing equipment found in research laboratories 40 years ago could also be found in a secondary school science laboratory. Not true of almost all of the testing equipment we use today (a few High School labs may have FTIRs, but I doubt any have GCMS's, HPLCs, DSCs, Auger's...)

    In glaring contrast, the High school I attended has a new ~two million dollar gym and sports training facility. You wonder why the U.S. is falling so gleefully far behind in hard sciences? Where will these new technologies germinate? Steroid laboratories?
    “It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.” ― Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes

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    I know not what other BAUTers think, but as for me, give me nuclear or give me death!
    I'm sure we can manage both.

    More seriously, a carbon tax would make nuclear power much more competitive. It would also make other low emission power sources much more competitive.

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    Scientific evidence collected through the use of thermometers indicate that the average temperature of the earth increased by 0.74 +/- 0.18 degrees over the past 100 years.
    How many thermometers did the tooth fairy have 100 years ago and where did it place them to get a reasonably accurate global temperature at meaningfully spaced intervals of space and time to establish the reference from which the delta temperature has been determined?

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    How many thermometers did the tooth fairy have 100 years ago and where did it place them to get a reasonably accurate global temperature at meaningfully spaced intervals of space and time to establish the reference from which the delta temperature has been determined?
    Actually it was the British empire that did a lot of the work, along with many other nations. Here is an article on the British Empire:

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

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    Today my province's government announced a carbon tax in its 2008 budget.

    "Starting this summer, subject to approval by the legislature, a revenue-neutral carbon tax will apply to virtually all fossil fuels used in British Columbia. The tax will be phased in to give people and businesses time to adjust to a landscape where higher costs for higher-carbon choices make cleaner options more attractive.

    All carbon tax revenue — about $1.8 billion over three years — will be returned to British Columbians through reductions to income and business taxes. The legislation will require the government to table, annually, a plan to ensure the carbon tax remains revenue neutral in the years to come."

    And they're right wing (well, compared to the opposition).

    I'd speculate on motivations, but that's too political. . . (oh, what the hey, it has to do with wanting to get re-elected)

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    Cow flatulence emit a significant part of the worlds CO2. And even if say we all went vegetarian ( A prospect I consider more unlikely then zero emissions in 40 years) I wonder what would be the emissions of a few billion people adapting to a veggie diet? Lot of gas there my friend, lot of gas.
    [edit} correction, methane. Thank you Halcyon Dayz.
    Last edited by ravens_cry; 2008-Feb-20 at 07:01 AM. Reason: new information.

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    Methane.

    Which is worse.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronald Brak View Post
    Actually it was the British empire that did a lot of the work, along with many other nations.
    Notable obfuscation. I would that the evidence for the actual measuring of temperature was as much in evidence as is the evidence for there having been a British Empire. It is plausible that some of the British ships on occasion took the temperature of sea water and that some occupiers of various land sites recorded temperature, but it is not easy to believe that laboratory discipline of the type required to establish credible measurement of global temperature was practiced by the British empire any more than it was by the tooth fairy.

    For an even better obfuscation, try: "It must be global warming because motorcycles don't have doors."

    Here I need to remind myself that global warming is plausible; it has not been quantified sufficiently to support predictions of extreme disaster. Nor do we know how the combinations and permutations of the many possible feedbacks will function to enlarge or diminish the prolonged effects. Beware of both the chicken littles and the pollyannas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    I wish them luck with that, but I seriously doubt it'll happen in a mere 40 years. Too many people are fighting too hard to maintain the staus quo.
    Noclevername. Agreed. The climate oscillated wildly in the past with no industrial contributions. If they want to put their best foot forward, increase carbon sequestering. Plant drought and cold tolerant perennial trees and shrubs. Propagate them by tissue culture. Increase the landforms' infrared albedo, and the oceans.

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    global warming without raising temperature?

    As Gourdhead pointed, the "fact" of raising temperature (average? on the sea level or where?) is not convincing.
    160 years ago there was only one station for measuring temperature (on the southern hemisphere), I doubt that even 60 years later data collected were representative.
    Noone disputes the fact that the temperature around the planet HAS NOT BEEN RAISING IN THE LAST 10 YEARS, dispite CO2 emission being larger then ever. The southern hemisphere became in fact noticable cooler.
    We see pictures from Greenland where ice is melting very fast.
    But avg air temperature is well bellow 0 degrees, why should ice melt at all?
    Furthermore, there is no sign that the Gulfstream is cause of the phenomenon, it ends somewhere north (and in many models it's going to be shorter as the temperature raises (but it's not!) and eventually shot itselves down, causing another ice age), no satelite images have been provided to support that scenario.
    It might be that CO2 emission has no significant effect in some "gobal warming" scenario.
    Many millions of years ago the CO2 level was 10 times more then today.
    No global warming effect recorded.
    It could be that the Arctic ice is melting because of raising teperature from beneath. A large volcano becoming?

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    Notable obfuscation. I would that the evidence for the actual measuring of temperature was as much in evidence as is the evidence for there having been a British Empire. It is plausible that some of the British ships on occasion took the temperature of sea water and that some occupiers of various land sites recorded temperature, but it is not easy to believe that laboratory discipline of the type required to establish credible measurement of global temperature was practiced by the British empire any more than it was by the tooth fairy.

    For an even better obfuscation, try: "It must be global warming because motorcycles don't have doors."

    Here I need to remind myself that global warming is plausible; it has not been quantified sufficiently to support predictions of extreme disaster. Nor do we know how the combinations and permutations of the many possible feedbacks will function to enlarge or diminish the prolonged effects. Beware of both the chicken littles and the pollyannas.
    Obfuscation? So I am obscuring things? Please explain what I have obscured. You said:

    How many thermometers did the tooth fairy have 100 years ago and where did it place them to get a reasonably accurate global temperature at meaningfully spaced intervals of space and time to establish the reference from which the delta temperature has been determined?
    I pointed out that it wasn't the tooth fairy but the British Empire, amoung others, that took temperature readings. How is that obscuring anything? I was simply explaing that it wasn't the tooth fairy taking temperature readings. I was giving you information, not obscuring anything. I await your explanation. Or an apology.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Svemir View Post
    As Gourdhead pointed, the "fact" of raising temperature (average? on the sea level or where?) is not convincing.
    It's convincing to the geophysical researchers who ran the simulations. It's convincing enough that thousands of scientists all over the world who have studied the subject for years think it's a major concern.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronald Brak View Post
    Obfuscation? So I am obscuring things? Please explain what I have obscured. You said:
    I pointed out that it wasn't the tooth fairy but the British Empire, amoung others, that took temperature readings. How is that obscuring anything? I was simply explaing that it wasn't the tooth fairy taking temperature readings. I was giving you information, not obscuring anything. I await your explanation. Or an apology.
    You seemed to have attempted to have hidden (obfuscated) a proper response to the question of how many locations and how frequently were temperature measurements made 100 years ago in order to establish a meaningful reference from which to compute the temperature difference by merely pointing out that the British Empire existed and recorded some temperatures--a fact about which we agree. Agreeing on the existence of the British Empire and that some of its member citizens occasionally took thermometer readings and recorded them does not add nor detract to the validity of global warming evidence. My guess is that we both agree that the likelihood of meaningful temperature measurements being taken 100 years ago is not far removed from the likelihood of the tooth fairy having taken them. Personally, I doubt that we are taking meaningful temperature measurements even now. The ones we take are probably accurate enough, but are we taking them in a sufficient number of cells at sufficient time intervals within reasonable limits of simultaneity to avoid (or account for) local and transitory effects.

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    You seemed to have attempted to have hidden (obfuscated) a proper response to the question of how many locations and how frequently were temperature measurements made 100 years ago in order to establish a meaningful reference from which to compute the temperature difference by merely pointing out that the British Empire existed and recorded some temperatures--a fact about which we agree. Agreeing on the existence of the British Empire and that some of its member citizens occasionally took thermometer readings and recorded them does not add nor detract to the validity of global warming evidence. My guess is that we both agree that the likelihood of meaningful temperature measurements being taken 100 years ago is not far removed from the likelihood of the tooth fairy having taken them. Personally, I doubt that we are taking meaningful temperature measurements even now. The ones we take are probably accurate enough, but are we taking them in a sufficient number of cells at sufficient time intervals within reasonable limits of simultaneity to avoid (or account for) local and transitory effects.
    I still don't see how I obfuscated anything. You said:

    How many thermometers did the tooth fairy have 100 years ago and where did it place them to get a reasonably accurate global temperature at meaningfully spaced intervals of space and time to establish the reference from which the delta temperature has been determined?
    In response I gave you the information that it was the British Empire, among others, that that took temperature readings. I provided a link so you could see the extent of the British Empire. I don't see how I was hiding anything. And I don't see how you can conclude that I was. An apology would be nice.

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    I just deleted a multiparagragh rant.

    I've been worring about this since the late 70's. I don't care anymore. After being assure we aren't going to go Venus, its become a game of semantics.

    I'm more worried about the people involved in the controversy than the subject of the controversy.
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
    (John, not the other one.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    It's convincing to the geophysical researchers who ran the simulations. It's convincing enough that thousands of scientists all over the world who have studied the subject for years think it's a major concern.
    Well, the temperature is not raising.
    Has not been raising in the last 10 years (simulations say it should raise by 0.2 -0.3 C).
    The measurements in the last 100 years which makes a strating point for the simulations are not reliable.
    What is global warming consisted of, I ask?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronald Brak View Post
    An apology would be nice.
    I apologize for responding with "notable obfuscation". I could have made my point as well without using that phrase to let you know I was aware that you were trying to invent germaneness for the existence of the British Empire as a substitute for a rational argument for how well the Earth's temperature has been monitored. If temperature from such sparse sampling sources is being used as an input to climate models, how valid can they be?

    Again, I must keep reminding myself as well as you that I believe there is some global warming. It's the quantification of the temperature measurement that lacks credibility. This lack of credibility flows into the prediction of disaster as well as any other outcome. My guess is that Earth's temperature is seeking its mean value from having strayed into lower values (the recent glaciation) for reasons that are not clearly understood by anyone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Svemir View Post
    Well, the temperature is not raising.
    Has not been raising in the last 10 years (simulations say it should raise by 0.2 -0.3 C).
    The measurements in the last 100 years which makes a strating point for the simulations are not reliable.
    What is global warming consisted of, I ask?
    These are all curious statements. According to Jeff Masters, the last ten years have been amoung the warmest of any ever recorded; with more class 5 hurricanes in the last five years than in any prior decade. The melting of ice packs and glaciers have proceeded at phenomenal rates - much greater rates than found in the past by studying ice cores.

    Ignorance may be bliss, but it can lead to rather confusing arguments.
    “It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.” ― Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes

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