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Old 12-23-2010, 05:14 PM   #245 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard View Post
Of course we had rain before the temperature average increased. And we had snow, and landslides, and wildfires, and lightning. That is not what we are talking about.
No that would be just events as opposed to a long term trend where those events become either more or less numerous or serious. And when we say serious do we mean they become bigger or they threaten more of us and our property ? And if the latter then maybe we shouldn't have moved out of the cities to those landslide regions ? Of course when we weren't there we weren't observing them either.

Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard View Post
We are talking about changes in the previous patterns, and long term trends in all sorts of things. Just like some places are seeing increases in rainfall, others are seeing decreases in rainfall -- long term changes; we are also seeing larger tropical zones (2+ degrees latitude north and south for 8.5 million square miles more tropics) and we are seeing some areas getting colder.
But to get this we have to know a pattern. We only know patterns in some places for 150 years, or less. Did I tell you about the church near where I live which is over 1000 years old and still in continuous use ? The roof leaks. It may be because they replaced the old roof in 1875 or it may have leaked since the place was built in 950-odd or when it was replaced in the intervening time.

Who knows ? We don't have records of all the leaks.

We could of course try to reconstruct the leak rate using the rate of growth of fungus between the stones on the floor or the tide marks in the crypt but before we could do that we would have to get some known leak statistics and construct a relationship between those items and leak rate.

This is really how climate is reconstructed. No honest this is really how it works. People get Nobel prizes for this mince. Unbelievable but true.

Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard View Post
Overall, the average temperatures are warmer, but that does not mean that they are warmer everywhere.
If temps are increasing then over what period ?

For this to be significant we would have to be able to say this has not happened before. And we can't. All we can say is that during the pathetically miserable period we have been observing nature with any interest some things have changed.

Those 1000 year temp records are reconstructions. Pretend. Make believe. Made up. Assumptions. Models. Maths. And not very good maths either. See my 1000 year old church example above.

Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard View Post
Warmer temperatures mean that water has lower density -- and greater volume. Higher levels of carbon dioxide mean less heat is lost back out into space, and higher acidity on average in the oceans. But even this is is not all over -- it depends on the temperature; colder water absorbs more carbon, which means that the richest fishing areas will be most affected. It depends on the adjacent land -- limestone areas counteract the acidification somewhat, while granite areas will be affected more.
Arhenius worked out the CO2 greenhouse effect in his experiments. He also calculated the feedback rate - i.e. how much the heat retained increases for an increase in the concentration of CO2.

Why do the models always include several times the level he calculated in their software ? Why do the models also assume several times the rate of change observed when calculating the possible effects ?

Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard View Post
So sure, it cools things to condense water, but there is more heat to evaporate the water. And the clouds that do not produce precipitation -- cause more warming. Because water vapor is GHG, but it depends on carbon dioxide to "get started".
Of course the clouds also reflect more radiation from the sun something which is hard to calculate or include in models but you can feel it.

You remember the sun, the thing that provides all the energy we use to live? Big, fiery, ball shaped thing in the sky. I remember it, but then again I live in Scotland so I tend not to see it often. Clouds, now I see lots of those very very often.

Have you observed the link between the fiery ball, and clouds and temperatures at all ? In my part of the world when the fiery ball is visible then temperatures get warm. When clouds get in the way then it gets cold and Mrs A complains about being chilly when we sit outside in the garden.

This is an instant effect on local temps. But clouds are tens of square miles in size sometimes. Thats a lot of the ground coolling by a few degrees in a couple of seconds.

Damn tricky to model though. No matter how big your computer is.

Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard View Post
Warming climate melts more ice -- most all glaciers are melting, as are the Arctic and Antarctic and Greenland ice. It is the land ice that will have the greatest affect on ocean level. But the lowered albedo of open water means there is more heat absorbed.

Warming climate melts the tundra, which is releasing lots and lots of trapped methane. Methane is a far more insulating GHG than is carbon dioxide; so we will see more and more warming now that we have passed the probably threshold of 350ppm of carbon dioxide.
Except, er, well, firstly it has happened before and has reversed, and at the moment in the antarctic, you remember that bit at the bottom of the planet, well its getting bigger. More ice you see. And its summer there at the moment.

How do we know ? Well the tundra contains a lot of trapped plant matter. Those plants lived at some point so it must have been warmer.

Anyway why is 350ppm a threshold, says who? A threshold to what exactly? Some kind of vicious circle of some kind ? But the evidence suggests it has been higher before and it went down again. And we are talking about 350 ppm - thats parts per million. Of which our additions are what ?

Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard View Post
Warming climate is causing plants and animals to die off. Plants in particular are on the other side of the carbon dioxide / oxygen balance in the atmosphere. The large boreal forests that have already died are releasing the carbon dioxide they had absorbed at a much higher rate than if they had a "normal" life cycle.
It hasn't before. Remember those polar bears ? They have lived through much warmer times than now. And it looks like they are still there. In fact there are so many that some countries would like them off the endangered list.

Plants like warmth too - they also like water. Combine the two you get rain forests - loads of life there.

Cold is not good for animals to reproduce either. Apart from the obvious comfort issues to those of us without fur, cold temps also reduce fertility.

Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard View Post
[Edit: I am not panicking; but I am very concerned. I do believe the scientists, though; because they have looked at all the factors, and as time has gone on (in the decades that they have been working on this), the trends are worse than originally thought; and none of the data indicates that this is anything other than anthropomorphic climate change.
I strongly panic about the opposite - that we decide to make loads of changes which do not change the environment - as we aren't doing anyway - but at the same time condemn billions of people to illness, starvation, poverty and ultimately death for no purpose. Meanwhile we live comfortably in the developed world thinking we are making a difference, except we too also stop developing, advancing and growing our knowledge.

If you want to reduce your CO2 drastically then quite simply have no children. Each child is (according to most sources) a tiny CO2 factory in a baby grow. Or indeed move out of the US and the developed world, and live where you simply don't have the means to make CO2. Your life will be miserable, full of illness and with little food, heat or comfort. Your life expectency will be reduced as will that of your children.

Ironically of course all those weather and climate satelites wouldn't be there unless we spent the fuel and created the CO2 to put them there.

Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard View Post
Things have already changed, and we need to acknowledge the facts. We need to do whatever is possible to minimize future changes.]
I have no problem acknowledging facts. Its just when the talk turns from the facts to trying to apportion some kind of cause and effect I start to disagree. The science is not settled. Thousands of scientists agree and thousands do not - the model of 99% of experts telling you your house is dangerous and 1% not is no longer valid.
[I]So long and thanks for all the fish.[/I]