Thread: Eaarth
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Old 12-30-2010, 01:50 PM   #319 (permalink)
t vago
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Here's a little scientific paper for you, Neil. I doubt you'll read it, or if you do, you'll find some little thing about it that you will claim invalidates it.

For the rest of us knuckle-dragging mouth breathers, the paper states that a. Mankind produces about 3% of the total annual carbon dioxide output that goes into the atmosphere, b. carbon dioxide as a whole contributes about 8% to the greenhouse effect, and c. Mankind's contribution to the greenhouse effect is a whopping 0.24%

Furthermore, the paper contains this nifty little gem:

Quote:
The oceans act as a huge heat energy buffer; the global climate is primarily governed by the enormous amount of heat stored in the oceans (total mass approx. 1.4 x 1024 g), rather than the minute amount of heat withheld in the heat-absorbing part of the atmosphere (total mass approx. 1.4 x 1018 g), a mass difference of one million times (Peixoto & Oort, 1992). Most of the atmospheric heat absorption occurs in water vapor (total mass approx. 1.3 x 1019 g), which is equivalent to a uniform layer of only 2.5 cm
of liquid water covering the globe, with a residence time of about 9 days (Peixoto & Oort, 1992).

The total internal energy of the whole ocean is more than 1.6 x 1027 Joule, about 2000 times larger than the total internal energy 9.4 x 1023 Joule of the whole atmosphere. Note that this energy is defined with respect to 0 Kelvin (Peixoto & Oort, 1992).

Furthermore the cryosphere (ice sheets, sea ice, permafrost, and glaciers; total mass of the continental ice is approx. 3.3 x 1022 g) plays a central role in the Earth's climate as an effective heat sink for the atmosphere and oceans, with a large latent heat of melting on the order of 9.3 x 1024 Joule, a hypothetic energy equivalent to cooling the entire oceans by about 2C (5.8 x 1024 J/C). For comparison, the energy needed to warm the entire atmosphere by 1C is only 5.1 x 1021 Joule (Oerlemans & van der Veen, 1984).

Hence it will be impossible to melt the Earth's ice caps and thereby increase the sea level just by increasing the heat energy of the atmosphere through a few percent by added heat absorption of anthropogenic CO2 in the lower atmosphere.
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