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Old 09-17-2013, 02:54 PM   #981 (permalink)
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Thermal runaway is a term that is not applied to climate change.

The notion of "runaway greenhouse effect" is used, at times, to refer to a serious of amplifying feedback loops that keeps heating the planet till it reaches Venus-like temperatures. That is not considered to be a likely option, and could only happen if we burned ALL of the fossil fuels in existence, and possibly not even then.

Feedback loops are smaller systemic reactions, some positive, some negative. A negative global warming feedback would be the increase in icebergs due to accelerating glaciers. Icebergs provide a friendly environment for some kinds of photosynthetic plankton, and they form a series of small carbon sinks that pull CO2 out of the atmosphere and into the ocean.

Positive feedbacks include the albedo effect that I already described (which again - is a matter of simple physics, and not under any real debate), the release of methane from melting arctic permafrost, increase in water vapor due to higher evaporation, decrease in photosynthesis due to drought and high temperatures, and simultaneous decrease in photosynthesis and CO2 release due to wildfires.

All of these have been documented in the last decade.

What, exactly, do you think I'm being "terrorized" by? Observable reality?

 
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Old 09-17-2013, 02:57 PM   #982 (permalink)
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So scientists weren't saying the atmosphere was going to reach 1400 degrees if we don't do something, that never happened. And it has nothing to do with global warming, I see...
 
Old 09-17-2013, 03:04 PM   #983 (permalink)
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Here's a scientific fact: warmer water can hold less gases in solution that colder water.

The ocean has been becoming more acidic, because it has been absorbing carbon dioxide, which becomes carbonic acid.

In the climate past, this is why the level of carbon dioxide has increased *after* warming - and if the ocean water warms enough now - it will release that carbon dioxide - and this will be the Mother of All Climate Feedback.

And, it the water won't just release carbon dioxide, but it will also release the oxygen. This is why cold ocean water is so much more productive of life than warmer water.

What happens if/when the water gets so warm as to release virtually all the oxygen?

Hydrogen sulfide. <-- Science Fact

Notice, I did not say "fun science fact". Hydrogen sulfide is deadly.

So, the reason we all need to be very concerned with climate change is just this little thing: we all depend on the climate for our lives. If we want our species to survive, we have to stop doing what the scientists are telling us is causing the problem.

Would we ignore them if they said a large asteroid was headed for the earth right now?

I think not. The climate is just as serious.
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Old 09-17-2013, 03:07 PM   #984 (permalink)
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The danger is a combination of declining crop yield, scarcity of water, spread of disease, and sea level rise, all of which are -again - already being documented. Beyond that, we have a poorly maintained infrastructure in this country (America), and a flood insurance program that encourages people to build on the coast. That needs to change. We also need legislators that won't do boneheaded things like forbidding municipalities from planning for sea level rise (North Carolina).

It may surprise you to know that I don't have all the answers. I would prefer to have have those in denial stop burying their heads and start thinking about what to do, since diversity of opinion and experience means that people who don't think like me will come up with solutions that would not occur to me.

Beyond that, a mix of solar, wind, geothermal, tidal power, and the conversion of every sewage treatment plant and trash processing plant/landfill into biogas generators. That'd be a good place to start.

Even if we CAN'T replace all fossil fuels with today's technology, there's no question that we can have a much larger percent of our power generated by non-fossil sources.

Start with sewage treatment plant conversion it's pretty cheap, and has a fast return on investment. The one that Thames Water converted a few years ago cost around 4-5 million to convert, and generates about 15-20 million worth of energy every year.

Start with all the federal buildings - have PV panels installed on every government-owned property that's not engaged in photosynthesis. And don't give me the "we can't afford it" line - this is the richest country in the world, and we spend hundreds of billions on the military. It's not whether we HAVE the money, it's how we choose to USE the money.

Start with rebuilding the nation's rail network, and getting it ready for heavy use again.

And as we put renewables in place, we will start to figure out how to iron out the kinks, and do it better, and if we do it right, we will bring back manufacturing to this country.

Again - it's a matter of political will, and a matter of overcoming vested interests that make billions off of NOT doing anything, and instead encouraging people to pretend nothing's wrong.

If we do it right, the result will be a much higher standard of living for everybody in the country, as well as greater resilience to disaster. We already have hydrogen locomotives that can double for a time as one-gigawatt generators. That means that any place with rail capacity can have relief from a damaged power plant in a matter of hours - all it takes is to get a relief train there, and you have supplies and power right at hand.
 
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Old 09-17-2013, 03:09 PM   #985 (permalink)
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P-hack, please CITE YOUR SOURCE for the 1400 degree claim. Some scientist may have said it's a possibility, but I've seen nothing in the literature or from any scientific body claiming that it was a likelihood except in very, very extreme circumstances.
 
Old 09-17-2013, 03:22 PM   #986 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alteredstory View Post
Here's a link to a deconstruction of the graph by John Christy that you posted (along with some analysis of his testimony to Congress):
Christy Once Again Misinforms Congress...
Quoting Skeptical Science is a losing strategy by definition. You do know the founder is a cartoonist turned campaigner ? The DM is equally barmy, but in the other direction.
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Old 09-17-2013, 03:23 PM   #987 (permalink)
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Worth a read, and this guy is a "warmist" (I refuse the alarmist description just as much as denier...)

Roger Pielke Jr.'s Blog: Global Temperature Trends and the IPCC

Quote:
A difficult question for the climate science community is, how is it that this broad community of researchers -- full of bright and thoughtful people -- allowed intolerant activists who make false claims to certainty to become the public face of the field?
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Old 09-17-2013, 03:23 PM   #988 (permalink)
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So if we can't "stop" climate change (which we can't in the long run anyway) They will be able to farm in antartica, and the tropic zones will be over more land mass. The population will shrink for a spell and once arid land will be rainforest. Does that terrify you?
 
Old 09-17-2013, 03:24 PM   #989 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arragonis View Post
Quoting Skeptical Science is a losing strategy by definition. You do know the founder is a cartoonist turned campaigner ? The DM is equally barmy, but in the other direction.
Check his sources. I've found them to be good. The background of a person matters less than what they do and how good their sources are.

Nixon was technically a Quaker, but that didn't mean he was honest or pacifist.

If you disagree with the sources or the conclusions drawn from them, by all means point out the problems.
 
Old 09-17-2013, 03:27 PM   #990 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by P-hack View Post
So if we can't "stop" climate change (which we can't in the long run anyway) They will be able to farm in antartica, and the tropic zones will be over more land mass. The population will shrink for a spell and once arid land will be rainforest. Does that terrify you?
No, because it's bollocks.

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