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Old 06-22-2007, 08:48 PM   #1
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About every two weeks or so, we have heated email discussions between our engineers and scientists over the great hot topic of global warming. It is quite interesting to see which side of the fence these scientist and engineers fall based on their education and political views.

So, I’d like to ask the cruiser community two simple questions:

1) Are humans responsible for global warming?

2) Do you believe humans can stop global warming?

For those who believe they are well versed in this new religion, please share your convictions and reasoning. If this discussion goes in the direction that I have seen on a regular basis, everyone will learn something very worthwhile about our favorite topic on this web site.

This should be interesting! Don't be shy...there are no wrong answers

My answers: 1) Yes, about 0.012%, 2) Not even a snow balls chance.
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Old 06-22-2007, 10:50 PM   #2
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There is absolutely no doubt that just prior to elections, every politician in the world believes Man created global warming. There is little doubt that those same politicians modify their beliefs immediately following elections.

I have no specific scientific basis for my contention, but I believe we have contributed to to a somewhat cyclical problem which will ultimatly wane....and which will no doubt be considered a huge victory for politicians. In the meantime we can make ourselves feel a little less guilty by blaming Chinese and Indian development for doing now, what we all did years ago.

I don't think we can make a big impact by modifying our use of nasty compounds, but every little bit helps. Nuclear power, a lower dependence on fossil fuels and a renewed focus on alternative 'green' energy development can not be a bad thing.

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David
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Old 06-22-2007, 10:57 PM   #3
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David I knew I could count on you to start this off.

Interesting factoid

#1: Water makes up 90% of all greenhouse gases.

#2: When an El Nino warms the Pacific Ocean, carbon dioxide increases in the atmosphere, and after the El Nino, the CO2 level decreases.

#3: Only a fraction of a percent of the total volcanic activity on Earth is visible above the surface of the oceans.

#4: Carbon Dioxide is not the cause of global warming (this should surprise most people).

#5: Carbon Dioxide does change the pH of the oceans.
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Old 06-23-2007, 01:30 PM   #4
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What bothers me about the whole global warming controversy is the attitude "Prove beyond any doubt that increased carbon dioxide is going to create a crisis of global warming". Scientists have already proven that certain gases are "greenhouse" gases, i.e., they serve to trap the heat in the atmosphere. What the majority of people don't want to do is inconvenience themselves in any way whatsoever, and they elect politicians who will reassure them that nothing will be done to disturb their comfortable little life. Governments and businesses are historically extremely short-sighted, unable to look beyond the next election or corporate annual report's profits. Humans go along with this if it makes them feel good, yet we are bequeathing a legacy of trouble for our descendants.

I subscribe to New Scientist Magazine, which reports both sides of the controversy, though there is increasingly less and less evidence that refutes the influence of modern society on global warming. Below are some links to articles and letters published recently in the magazine.

Shrugging our shoulders and saying we can't do anything about it is a disappointing reaction from such a "can do" species. I don't believe that there's nothing we can do. It might be a bit uncomfortable and slow, but I believe that each small improvement in how we treat greenhouse gas emissions is a positive and cumulative benefit to the globe.

This first article is a good start, 7 Biggest Myths about Climate Change: http://environment.newscientist.com/channe...ate-change.html

The following article is too long to quote much more than a conclusion: "But together with the indisputable fact that CO[sub]2[/sub] absorbs infrared radiation and thus acts as a greenhouse gas, the close correlation is strong evidence that CO[sub]2[/sub] levels were one of the major factors determining global temperature during the past half million years, although they were not the trigger that started or ended the ice ages." Read the entire article, and the science behind it, at: http://environment.newscientist.com/channe...tures-fell.html

Arctic Spring arriving earlier: http://environment.newscientist.com/channe...ks-earlier.html

My personal beliefs are echoed in this letter to the magazine: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg1942...ming-proof.html

"... Sceptics and believers alike accept the fact that humankind has increased CO[sub]2[/sub] levels substantially since the industrial revolution. Likewise, both must accept that very simple chemistry teaches us that CO[sub]2[/sub] is a greenhouse gas and, other things being equal, increasing CO[sub]2[/sub] levels will warm the world.

Unless it can be demonstrated unequivocally that other things are not equal, and some mechanism exists which is acting to stabilise planetary temperatures, the human race is duty-bound to assume that it must keep CO[sub]2[/sub] levels as near as possible to those which prevailed in the recent past."
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Old 06-23-2007, 09:01 PM   #5
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What bothers me about the whole global warming controversy is the attitude "Prove beyond any doubt that increased carbon dioxide is going to create a crisis of global warming". Scientists have already proven that certain gases are "greenhouse" gases, i.e., they serve to trap the heat in the atmosphere. [/i]
My life revolves around the development of alternative energy and yet, after years of listening to all the debate, I find that most of those scientists who are involved in alt energy technology development know without a doubt that carbon dioxide emissions of any source are only a second order effect on global warming. This is my observation from many years of attending scientific conferences. I find that climatologists are the primary advocates of the “CO2 is bad and humans are to blame” stance. Yes, CO2 is a greenhouse gas, but not a very strong contributor to infrared absorption in even the worst case. Is spewing 90,000,000 pounds of carbon dioxide from jet fuel into the atmosphere everyday a good idea? Absolutely not! However, it is not bad because it is causing global warming. It is REALLY bad because it is changing the pH of the oceans. Global warming is entirely due to solar cycle influence.

So, with respect to “attitude”, imagine that your profession enabled you to know for a fact that everything being stated almost on an hourly basis by the media and politicians was blatantly incorrect.

From your 1st reference;

The possibility that CO2 also plays a role was suggested more than a century ago. The ice cores show that there is a remarkable correlation between CO2 levels and temperature over the past half-million years.

Well of course it does, when the oceans are warm, CO2 is released, when they are cold, CO2 is sequestered. Wow, that was hard to figure out!

So why, over the past million years or so, has Earth repeatedly switched between ice ages and warmer periods? The long-held theory is that this is due to variations in Earth's orbit - known as Milankovitch cycles - that change the amount and location of solar energy reaching Earth. These correspond with most - but not all - climate transitions (see Graph). However, their direct heating or cooling effect is small, and does not fully explain the temperature switches.

Hmmm, what about those solar cycles? You know, that thing in the sky that actually produces all the energy. Combine solar cycles with Earths orbit, wha-la…you have 99.99% of the picture.

It needs to be said that everything we think we know about global temperatures before about 150 years ago is an estimate - a reconstruction based on second-hand evidence such as ice cores and a set of assumptions. The further back we look, the greater the uncertainties.

No kidding?

In the figure showing past solar activity, they accurately show how solar activity tracks with warming and cooling. They then make a statement like: “Even if solar activity has been exceptionally high over the past century, as the reconstruction sunspot number suggests, this still cannot account for recent warming.”

REALLY!!!! Please tell me how these people can make this statement and then not back it with anything at all, not a reference, not even a blurb???? I could show you volumes that would contradict this pivotal statement. FYI, the authors of this article are journalists, not scientists, and this article has not undergone any kind of peer review other than their editors desk. Just because the name of your magazine is New Scientist, doesn’t mean that the articles are written by scientists.

Catherine Brahic Reuters News Service...no science degree here.

David L. Chandler is a freelance writer and author who has been writing about science since 1975. No Ph.D. in Science, climatology, geology, chemistry or even engineering.

As you go down the list of authors, it only gets worse.

Michael LaPage is a freelance writer and has written a book about growing up in the punk music era….great reference!

Jeanne, I read the entire article and the science behind it is hacked from REAL science journals and restated with major holes to achieve a false conclusion that sells magazines...lots of them. They even sell them to smart people like yourself who believe they are getting first had science information.

I subscribe to New Scientist Magazine, which reports both sides of the controversy, though there is increasingly less and less evidence that refutes the influence of modern society on global warming.

No, the journalists are writing less and less about the evidence that refutes the influence.

Factoid #6: The atmosphere of Mars consists of 95% carbon dioxide, 3% nitrogen, 1.6% argon, and contains traces of oxygen, water, and methane....it does nothing to keep the planet warm.
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Old 06-23-2007, 11:37 PM   #6
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In defence of journalists.

We exist to 'journalise'. In the grand scheme of things, we do not attempt to do anything other than to record those things which we are told by others, to be fact. It is generally after we have written an article that editorial policy is applied by 'subbies'. Journalists understand the essence of any good story is conflict. If conflict does not initially exist, it has to be found. In discovering conflict we risk upsetting 50% of our readers.....Such is the nature of conflict.

Journalists should not express their own opinions*, so we attempt to cover both sides of any story and can do this by interviewing people from opposing camps. Other people's opinions will always be attributed by a good journalist, and not appear to be the journalist's own thoughts. The difference between opinion and fact cannot be clearly delineated, but a dispassionate journalist has a better chance of doing it than an 'expert', because an expert is generally trying to create, or at least select facts to suit a personal hypothesis.

I have specialised as a political journalist for 25 years, yet I am not politician. Politicians, doctors, scientists and any other 'interest' groups, or people with a particular barrow to push, make lousy journalists because they need to sway their audience toward their own opinions. A journalist's job is easier because all we have to do is to entertain and inform....we leave the lobbying to the people about whom we are writing. So please don't shoot the messenger...hug a journalist today..or buy one a beer!

* Tabloid journalism is spreading beyond tabloids. To facilitate the creation of inaccurate garbage, or to avoid the need for substantiation, some former news organisations now call journalists 'commentators' in order to allow them to shove their own opinion down the public gullet. Commentators are of the same pathetic genre as film critics. Other organisations take non trained, legally dangerous 'Ken' and 'Barbie' types and call them 'reporters'. They are called reporters because they can't be called journalists; in exactly the same way as ward orderlies can't be called brain surgeons.

Cheese

David
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Old 06-23-2007, 11:39 PM   #7
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Here is a real nice example of twisted use of data:

Finally, claims that volcanoes emit more CO2 than human activities are simply not true. CO2 levels around the world do not rise after major eruptions. Total emissions from volcanoes on land are estimated to average just 0.3 gigatonnes of CO2 each year - about a hundredth of human emissions - and are balanced by the carbon carried under tectonic plates in subducted ocean sediments.

They mention subduction ocean tectonic plates, but say nothing about the Liquid Carbon Dioxide released from the 10 of thousands of miles of ocean thermal vents.
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Old 06-24-2007, 12:19 AM   #8
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We exist to 'journalise'. In the grand scheme of things, we do not attempt to do anything other than to record those things which we are told by others, to be fact.
I don't have any issue with journalists in general, only those that write articles as though they are scientific authorities like those referenced above. When we scientists write a scientific journal article, it undergoes a strict round of technical review by teams of referees. When we publish those articles, we give our titles and qualifications in the by line. We also provide a long list of references for substantiation of our findings and reasoning.

Example of the media in action:

[i]The G8 summit has got underway. One of the hot topics is Global warming. Interestingly, the summit will produce aprox. 30,000tonnes of Co2. Over 7,000Tonnes will be produced just going to and from the airport.[/i]"This is a conservative estimate," Moritz Lehmkuhl, managing director of ClimatePartner

Just a rough calculation here assuming all the carbon content of jet fuel results in carbon dioxide and ignoring mass of O2...

1gal jet fuel/21 lbs C x 30000tC x 2000lbs/t = 2,857,142 gallons of jet fuel

In 2005, the daily world-wide consumption of jet fuel was 81,350,000 gallons.

As such, they are claiming that it requires 3.5% of the total daily world wide consumption of jet fuel to deliver people to and from the G8.

And you wonder why there are those of us who question the whole global warming debate.
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Old 06-25-2007, 04:50 PM   #9
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So here is my point on this subject found published in Nature...a true science journal.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE: FOSSIL-FUEL CO2 AND OCEAN PH

The following points are made by K. Caldeira et al (Nature 2003 425:365):

1) Most carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere as a result of the burning of fossil fuels will eventually be absorbed by the ocean(1), with potentially adverse consequences for marine biota(2-4). The authors quantify the changes in ocean pH that may result from this continued release of CO2 and compare these with pH changes estimated from geological and historical records. The authors find that oceanic absorption of CO2 from fossil fuels may result in larger pH changes over the next several centuries than any inferred from the geological record of the past 300 million years, with the possible exception of those resulting from rare, extreme events such as bolide impacts or catastrophic methane hydrate degassing.

2) When carbon dioxide dissolves in the ocean it lowers the pH, making the ocean more acidic. Owing to a paucity of relevant observations, we have a limited understanding of the effects of pH reduction on marine biota. Coral reefs(2), calcareous plankton(3) and other organisms whose skeletons or shells contain calcium carbonate may be particularly affected. Most biota reside near the surface, where the greatest pH change would be expected to occur, but deep-ocean biota may be more sensitive to pH changes(4). The basis of the ocean food chain will be broken!

3) To investigate the effects of CO2 emissions on ocean pH, the authors forced the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory ocean general-circulation model(5) with the pressure of atmospheric CO2 (pCO2) observed from 1975 to 2000, and with CO2 emissions from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's IS92a scenario(1) for 2000–2100. Beyond 2100, emissions follow a logistic function for the burning of the remaining fossil-fuel resources (assuming 5270 gigatonnes of carbon (GtC) in 1750. Simulated atmospheric CO2 exceeds 1900 parts per million (ppm) at around the year 2300. The maximum pH reduction at the ocean surface is 0.77; the authors estimate, using a geochemical model, that changes in temperature, weathering and sedimentation would reduce this maximum reduction by less than 10%.

4) In summary: Based on the record of atmospheric CO2 levels over the past 300 Myr and the geochemical model of the authors, there is no evidence that ocean pH was more than 0.6 units lower than today. The general circulation model results indicate that continued release of fossil-fuel CO2 into the atmosphere could lead to a pH reduction of 0.7 units. The authors conclude that unabated CO2 emissions over the coming centuries may produce changes in ocean pH that are greater than any experienced in the past 300 Myr, with the possible exception of those resulting from rare, catastrophic events in Earth's history.

References (abridged):

1. Houghton, J. T. et al. (eds) Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis (Contribution of Working Group I to the Third Assessment Report of the IPCC, Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge, 2001)

2. Kleypas, J. A. et al. Science 284, 118-120 (1999)

3. Riebesell, U. et al. Nature 407, 364-367 (2000)

4. Seibel, B. A. & Walsh, P. J. Science 294, 319-320 (2001)

5. Caldeira, K. & Duffy, P. B. Science 287, 620-622 (2000)

Nature http://www.nature.com/nature
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Old 06-26-2007, 02:14 AM   #10
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"As such, they are claiming that it requires 3.5% of the total daily world wide consumption of jet fuel to deliver people to and from the G8."

I think you have misinterpreted this. They are talking about CO[sub]2[/sub], not jet fuel. "Going to and from the airport" is talking about CO[sub]2 [/sub]released by fuel for autos, limousines, etc. to get to the airport to board jets and then transport the delegates to the meeting place at the other end. I assume that each country is transporting its delegates via private jet, as the US does. It takes at least three 747s to transport the US president and entourage to a country (well, one or two of the planes are huge transport planes for the helicopters and armored cars). I would have liked to read something a bit more detailed, but I have seen the spectacle that is secure travel, and you could transport 600 or 800 people with the facilities used to transport and protect the President, Secret Service, and various additional people. It is possibly an exaggeration, but not as much as you want it to be.

I also think that you are too sensitive about journalists "that write articles as though they are scientific authorities." If the journalist is reporting the results of scientific studies and reports, condensing it for the purposes of summarizing several studies, why is that incorrect? I do not believe that you have disproved the science, you have only tried to discredit the article because it was not written by a scientist.

I also subscribe to Scientific American, and usually pick up American Scientist Magazine http://www.americanscientist.org/

and find the same weight of concern about CO[sub]2 [/sub]and global warming, but most of the articles are studies that cover small pieces of the whole that is global climate, and are usually written in such a turgid style that it would lose the average non-scientist reader. Much of the information in the scientific journals deserves a wider reading audience, and that is where a science journalist provides a valuable service. A science journalist does not make science, he reports the results of scientific inquiry. With the incredible volume of information bombarding us, nobody has the time to read it all, including other scientists. That is where a magazine such as New Scientist is so valuable - it reports the news of current studies and papers and provides the sources to interested but busy scientists who wish to investigate the subject further. It is little different from a scientific extract, though written in a more readable style.

You dismiss David L. Chandler as merely a journalist with no PhD. Yet he's not "merely" a journalist. Here's an excerpt from his biography: "He has received the Media Award of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the Award of Excellence of the Aviation/Space Writers' Association. He was listed in the Forbes MediaGuide directory of the 500 most influential journalists, and one of his stories was selected by the MediaGuide as one of the ten best science stories of the year (1993). He has been listed in Who's Who in America, Who's Who in Science and Technology, and Who's Who in Entertainment. One of his articles was listed in "America's Best Science and Nature Writing, 2003."

He was at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1999-2000, on a Knight Science Journalism Fellowship, and has since served as a judge for the fellowship's application process (for a mini-fellowship on genetics). "

If scientists could write as cogently as journalists perhaps more students would find science more interesting and choose it as a field of study and career.

You characterize the science reporting as "hacking" from "real" science journals with "holes" in the facts. You've used what are called "loaded" words to discredit articles, a tactic usually attributed to yellow journalism. The journalist is doing nothing different in reporting science news than the journalists who report legal decisions, congressional activity, or any of the myriad activities that makes this civilization what it is. New Scientist is a respected science magazine that you are dismissing without actually providing any proof that the science in the articles was misreported. I understand that it's not the most widely recognized science magazine in the US, but it is a respected science news resource internationally, which you would recognize if you had access to the print magazine.

I find your reporting of the article "ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE: FOSSIL-FUEL CO2 AND OCEAN PH" to be pretty much the same as what is reported by a science journalist. Why should it be accepted that your reporting of what has been written by an Atmospheric Scientist to be any more reliable than that of a science journalist?

I am curious about your opinion of the theories put forth in that article by Mr. Caldeira. We know there is global warming, we know that CO[sub]2[/sub] levels have risen significantly, but where is the evidence that the excessive rise in CO[sub]2[/sub] in our atmosphere is being absorbed by the oceans? From reading your summary, to say that the oceans will eventually absorb the CO[sub]2[/sub] appears to me to be an unsubstantiated and unproven theory. The conclusions drawn seem to be that the excessive CO[sub]2[/sub] absorbed by the oceans will cause catastrophic changes in the ecology of the oceans. I assume you are not proposing that this paper is a refutation of the theories of global warming, but rather just another theory of what might happen with unrestrained burning of fossil fuels and release of such high levels of CO[sub]2[/sub] into the atmosphere. Am I correct in that assumption?

A journalist reporting on this paper would give examples of what a reduction of 0.77 in pH would be equivalent to (i.e., say, the difference between apple juice and vinegar). He would probably not use the term "biota", electing a more commonly used term to inform non-scientists as well as scientists.

The facts aren't in dispute, are they? The earth is warming. I don't see any dispute that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are higher than any time in the recorded past (including that recorded in polar ice cores, not just what has been recorded by Man in the very recent past). What is disputed by some is that the CO[sub]2 [/sub]is a significant contributor to global warming.

My problem with the present debate is the insistence by the "do nothing" camp that nothing be done unless there is incontrovertible proof that CO[sub]2[/sub] causes the warming of the atmosphere. The "do something now" camp recognizes that it would be too late if we waited, and since we know that a lower atmospheric concentration of CO[sub]2[/sub] is not a problem sees no harm in reducing CO[sub]2[/sub]. The Do Something camp offers the possibility of great benefit, while the "do nothing" camp has no upside, just the possibility of great harm. People willingly take massive doses of vitamins with less evidence of any benefit than is assembled for global harm from CO[sub]2.[/sub]

The general populace of the United States is astonishingly materialistic and embarrassingly dumb about the rest of the world. The problem with that is that the United States wields so much power, consumes such a huge majority of the world's resources, and has the least to lose from climate change that there is little incentive for Americans to behave well. I appreciate the benefits that I have received from being born in this country, but sometimes the current selfishness annoys me. I don't think that everybody who disagrees with me is wrong or selfish, but it bothers me that the US' resistance to the science behind global warming is so contrary to the opinions in the rest of the world. Why do we think that we are so right and the rest of the world is so wrong? I can't help but argue against that.
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Old 06-26-2007, 06:28 AM   #11
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I think you have misinterpreted this. They are talking about CO[sub]2[/sub], not jet fuel. "Going to and from the airport" is talking about CO[sub]2 [/sub]released by fuel for autos, limousines, etc. to get to the airport to board jets and then transport the delegates to the meeting place at the other end.
I'll answer this one first....

No misinterpretation whatsoever. When you burn fuel to produce power (jet, car, motor bike, boat, whatever) you are oxidizing the fuel producing various species of oxides and lower molecular weight hydrocarbons. The conversion I provided shows that there are 21 lbs of carbon dioxide produced in the oxidation of 1 gallon of jet fuel. The articles claimed that G8 produced 30,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide in getting to the G8 meeting and 7,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide just driving cars to the airport. So, since they produced 7,000 tonnes going to the airport, the only assumption is that they flew by jet. I then back calculated from tonnes of carbon dioxide how much jet fuel needed to be consumed to produce that conservative 30,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide. The result is a ridiculous 3.5% of the total jet fuel burned in a day by all jets worldwide. They call this a conservative estimate. With this math, I can see how they can conclude that human generated carbon dioxide is causing global warming.

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You are dismissing without actually providing any proof that the science in the articles was misreported.
Ah, the invitation this bored sole was waiting for on a Monday night! I probably should be working on my final report to CERDEC, but this is far more interesting.

Without using loaded yellow words, I’ll try my best to simplify the physics of infrared energy absorption.

The first important thing to understand is that the Sun does not generate infrared (IR) energy in the IR spectrum absorbed by carbon dioxide. We know this because the sun is too hot to produce low frequency radiation. The high frequency radiation from the sun passes through carbon dioxide without any first order absorption (meaning some low frequency IR can be produced on the way through the atmosphere). As a result of being heated by the Sun’s high frequency radiation, low frequency IR is emitted by the surface of the Earth.

Click image for larger version

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Carbon dioxide has three absorption bands in the infrared region at about 2.7, 4.3, and 15 microns.

Based on published work [1 & 2], it has been shown that there is enough carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to absorb almost all the IR radiation from the sun and surface of the Earth.

I, and many others who perform mass spec analysis of gasses on a daily basis (yes, fuel cells emit far more species of gasses than water), assert that there is already enough carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to absorb all of the radiation from the surface of the earth in the principal carbon dioxide absorption bands. Doubling the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will only lower the altitude at which it is completely absorbed.

I will provide additional graphs, data and my own calculations if you are interested. With respect to the pH levels of the ocean, I will address this with some simple examples tomorrow during lunch.

I'm sure Chandler is a wonderful guy, but I'm quite certain he has never actually performed an FTIR measurement for himself and then reported his findings. Also, I don't think any right minded scientist or engineer believes that we shouldn't be reducing our emissions of carbon. Let's just do it for the right reason. This is why I titled this "Global Warming...a new religion", because tangible evidence of global warming can be shown by politicians in video clips to generate fear and then used as a political platform to get votes. Everybody loves to hate those evil petroleum companies.

From the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) working group

"Our ability to quantify the human influence on global climate is currently limited because the expected signal is still emerging from the noise of natural variability, and because there are uncertainties in key factors".

1) Thomas, G.E. and Stamnes, K Radiative Transfer in the Atmosphere and Ocean. Cambridge University Press, 1999, p. 441.

2) Peixoto, J. P., and A. H. Oort, Physics of Climate, 520 pp., Am. Inst. Phys, New York, 1992.
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Old 06-26-2007, 08:21 AM   #12
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About every two weeks or so, we have heated email discussions between our engineers and scientists over the great hot topic of global warming. It is quite interesting see which side of the fence these scientist and engineers fall based on their education and political views.

So, I’d like to ask the cruiser community two simple questions:

1) Are humans responsible for global warming?

2) Do you believe humans can stop global warming?

For those who believe they are well versed in this new religion, please share your convictions and reasoning. If this discussion goes in the direction that I have seen on a regular basis, everyone will learn something very worthwhile about our favorite topic on this web site.

This should be interesting! Don't be shy...there are no wrong answers

My answers: 1) Yes, about 0.012%, 2) Not even a snow balls chance.
Hi,

You said there are no wrong answers, than as soon as somebody voted the wrong way, against your opinion, you started to defend and debate. That just is not right!

Did you want people to provide honest answers to your survey, or did you want somebody to play with because the office people grew tired of playing the game? Or is it that you need to fill in the boring gaps in between the two week heated e-mail discussions.

I'm so furious I'll take your survey, because I am of another opinion.

1) Are humans responsible for global warming?

Yes, in part. Nobody knows how much that part is, we are not smart enough yet to know that. We have made great strides in studying the skies above in a really really short time period, but we know very very little about the depths of our oceans. We know less about the oceans than we know about outer space.

We do not know all. We have not figured out the jig-saw puzzle pieces yet. Man has been around a fairly long time, but just a glimpse in time compared to the life of the world. We know a fair amount of history, of world changes, past weather; but we lack historical information to know fully understand what is normal. Even if we did know everything about the past and cycles such as ice ages, does not mean we know what the world would be or should be without the influence of man.

Yes in part. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out. Anybody with two brain cells more than a hammer knows that sitting on the grass in a park is cooler than sitting in the middle of an asphalt parking lot; which much energy was consumed and much heat generated in the various steps along the way in placing the parking lot over the grass that once was there.

It is cooler in the CO2 consuming forests and jungles than it is the heat retentive and reflective concrete, glass covered, skyscrapers, cooled by heat producing air conditioners, operated by heat producing electrical generators. Many of the forests and jungles are already gone, and we loose more everyday, especially with the slash and burn techniques often common in developing countries. I do not know how much CO2 that produces. I don't care to debate IF CO2 is a green house gas or if it causes global warming. But slash and burn is not a good thing. Fire causes heat, a contributor. Fire causes smoke, not a good thing, regardless of the source, especially for anything that breathes.

At the same time the forests and jungles are declining, the asphalt, concrete, and glass jungles are expanding. How many degrees or fractions of a degree does that rise the global temperature, I don't know, but it makes a contribution to it.

I used to work for Fedex. I was told that every night when the fleet of cargo jets arrives at the main hub in Memphis, Tennessee, within a few hours time period, the airport temperature rises by 10°F. I can not substantiate that, but one thing is certain, it does not cool down with 400 jet planes landing within about 2-4 hours. Fedex has since grown, and I think now has 8 other hubs, with a couple more in the making. A contributor, but not alone, that is one company of many air freight carriers, let alone the passenger airlines.

Friction and Heat are big problems with machines, and machinery. Even Neanderthal's knew that friction makes heat. Man causes a lot of heat, even in the process of making things cold. Man causes a lot of heat, in most everything we do, especially in the energy conversion process, let alone mining, refining, and production.

Even the way you conducted the post, by saying there was no wrong answer, than trying to explain there was, made my temperature go up a few degrees.

2) Do you believe humans can stop global warming?

Yes, in part. Man influences the world. We need to stop or at least make reasonable and real attempts to minimize the negative influences that we make. That is difficult. We want a good life, things to be easy and comfortable. We are politically and economically motivated. Those with awareness and a conscience make attempts to make improvements. Some people, some countries, some special interests, could care less, what they leave in the wake behind them, or for future generations.

That is MY OPINION, and just a few justifications for it.
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Old 06-26-2007, 08:56 AM   #13
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You said there are no wrong answers, than as soon as somebody voted the wrong way, against your opinion, you started to defend and debate. That just is not right!
Roserita ....like I said, it is like a new religion. I appear to be a blasphemer of the modern age, Burn me at the stake, but leave my boat alone!

There really aren't any wrong answers. However there are lots of heated responses...some with more technical data than others.
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Old 06-26-2007, 09:06 AM   #14
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The facts aren't in dispute, are they? The earth is warming.
Fourth Warmest May on record

May 2007 was the fourth warmest May for the globe on record, and the period January - May of 2007 was tied with 1998 for the warmest such period ever, according to statistics released by the National Climatic Data Center. The global average temperature for May was +0.53°C (+0.95°F) above the 20th century mean. Over land, May global temperatures were the warmest ever measured, the second straight month that has happened. Ocean temperatures were a bit cooler (ninth warmest on record), thanks to the cooling associated with the disappearance of the winter El Niño event. The global temperature record goes back 128 years. The Middle East has seen their second tropical cyclone of the month; Tropical Cyclone 3B crossed India, killing at least 140, and re-formed in the Arabian Sea, and is poised to hit Iran or Pakistan tomorrow. We maybe looking at hundreds of years since the last time the Middle East was hit by two tropical cyclones in the same month. Tropical Cyclone Gonu pounded Oman and Iran earlier this month.

May temperatures were particularly warm across Russia. Moscow recorded its highest May temperature since record keeping began 128 years ago -32.9°C (91.2°F). The heat forced Russia's energy administrator to restrict the use of non-residential energy for the first time in summer. In India, a heat wave during mid-May produced temperatures as high as 45-50°C (113-122°F) resulting in at least 128 fatalities. Although record heat was more prevalent across the globe, Argentina experienced its coldest May in twenty years, and at least 23 fatalities were reported as a result of cold weather during the last week of May.

11th warmest May on record in the U.S.

In the U.S., May 2007 ranked as the 11th warmest since record keeping began in 1895. The period January through May was the 20th warmest such period on record. Spring (March - May) was 5th warmest on record in the continental U.S. The past six months (Dec-May) were the driest on record for the Southeast U.S. Portions of Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee are experiencing exceptional drought. However, the drought has eased some since late May over the Florida Peninsula.

Sea ice extent

Sea ice extent in the Arctic for May was the third lowest on record, a modest recovery from the lowest ever sea ice coverage observed in April. Arctic sea ice coverage in May has declined by about 8% since measurements began in 1979.
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Old 06-26-2007, 11:24 AM   #15
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Let us see - 500 years ago the earth cooled a little and changed a lot of area that had to change crops. A lot of people died. I have not read why this happened. Now, the reverse is happening. Nobody has explained these 2 to me.

Humans did it? Maybe. No proof either way.
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Old 06-26-2007, 02:51 PM   #16
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"The articles claimed that G8 produced 30,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide in getting to the G8 meeting and 7,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide just driving cars to the airport. "

What was actually said was that 30,000 tonnes would be produced by the G8 summit, of which over 7,000 tons would be created just going to and from the airport. You calculated the carbon produced from jet fuel using 30,000 tons of CO[sub]2[/sub] in place of the 7,000 for all transportation. I don't think your figures were deliberate misrepresentations, but as you can see, exaggeration exists on both sides of the argument, obscuring the science.

"I, and many others who perform mass spec analysis of gasses on a daily basis (yes, fuel cells emit far more species of gasses than water), assert that there is already enough carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to absorb all of the radiation from the surface of the earth in the principal carbon dioxide absorption bands. Doubling the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will only lower the altitude at which it is completely absorbed."

Now, to me that's a fact with no conclusion or analysis of what that means. Climatologists agree with the above, and assert that you now have the basis for global warming. The IR is not being radiated out of our atmosphere, but rather absorbed by CO[sub]2[/sub] and then trapped by the water vapor in our atmosphere, raising the temperature of the globe (yes, that's a very simplistic sentence). Since Mars' atmosphere is so thin, with a mean surface level pressure of 0.6 kPa compared to Earth's mean surface level pressure of 101 Pa (or 6/1000ths), and no water vapor, heat is not trapped. Isn't Venus a better model of what is happening on Earth?

"I am sure Chandler is a nice guy...." You might not mean to be patronizing, but that's how that sentence appears to me. More to the point, to imply that reporting what others have done is invalid, "I'm quite certain he has never actually performed an FTIR measurement for himself and then reported his findings." is holding journalists to a standard that is higher than what scientists are held to. Virtually every scientific paper will cite the research and findings of others, in order to refute them or to buttress their own arguments of the same conclusions using difference measurements or experiments. All of science builds upon work done by others. You don't have to rediscover carbon to use its properties yourself. A doctor need not do the research that developed a medication in order to prescribe it for his patients. We all rely on others to report developments outside our own field of expertise. FTIR measurements are not the only data used or needed to analyze the various effects on global climate, and expertise in this field does not make a person a climatologist.

It is not the politicians who are providing the evidence of global warming. In the US, the politicians in the current administration are the ones who have pooh-poohed global warming, have been accused of suppressing valid scientific evidence of the impact of CO[sub]2[/sub] on climate, and until only very recently have invested its entire political capital in the status quo. This political administration has done nothing like what you allege, "..shown by politicians in video clips to generate fear and then used as a political platform to get votes."

Did you ever see the Australian public service ad urging childhood vaccination for whooping cough? It shows an infant coughing itself to death because it caught whooping cough from an unvaccinated person. That's a video clip generating fear (or it should generate fear in all parents), and IMO it's a legitimate tactic to educate the public about the dangers of whooping cough in a society and an age where whooping cough and its damage is virtually unknown through experience.

Politicians are not my favorite people, and vote-getting in our society seems to be their primary occupation. That does not mean that all politicians are bad, or do things only to get votes or campaign contributions. There has been a lot of good done by legislation in this country. Besides, we all need somebody to hate, and politicians are the perfect candidates for that!

I probably won't be able to post anything more for quite some time. We set off in a few hours for Sweden, and it's a long, long haul! I will probably be quite cranky when we land in Stockholm 24 or more hours from now.

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Old 06-26-2007, 06:20 PM   #17
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"The articles claimed that G8 produced 30,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide in getting to the G8 meeting and 7,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide just driving cars to the airport. "

What was actually said was that 30,000 tonnes would be produced by the G8 summit, of which over 7,000 tons would be created just going to and from the airport. You calculated the carbon produced from jet fuel using 30,000 tons of CO[sub]2[/sub] in place of the 7,000 for all transportation. I don't think your figures were deliberate misrepresentations, but as you can see, exaggeration exists on both sides of the argument, obscuring the science.
Jeanne, you know I'm not going to let this one go.

If my calculation produces a ridiculous number based on jet fuel consumption, the same caluculation will simply produce an even more ridiculous number if the means of generating carbon dioxide are anything other than a jet since they burn fossil fuel faster and less efficiently than any other means known to man...or me at least. Let's do a non-specific, time weighted average calculation. The average American produces 21 tonnes of carbon dioxide in 1 year. That is approximately 115 pounds/day. This would mean that the equivalent of 214,493 Americans were members of the 2007 G8 conference. That is a lot of G8 members... 26,811 members per country! Hard to imagine how they all could be heard injust 3 days

Now, to me that's a fact with no conclusion or analysis of what that means. Climatologists agree with the above, and assert that you now have the basis for global warming. The IR is not being radiated out of our atmosphere, but rather absorbed by CO2 and then trapped by the water vapor in our atmosphere, raising the temperature of the globe (yes, that's a very simplistic sentence).

Wow! And here I thought I explained it as simply as possible...this must be a really hard concept to grasp without a physics background. Let me see if I can clarify with an analogy. Let's just say for the purposes of the analogy, that carbon dioxide absorbed all visible wavelengths of light. We then presently have enough carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to absorb all visible light. Therefore, for purposes of analogy, additional carbon dioxide will not make it any darker. As such, outside the analogy, it will not get any (or much) hotter as a result of having more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Once those bands of energy are absorbed...the heating by CO2 is done.

Let me know if this helps. I don't think I can explain spectral absorption in much simpler terms.

If global warming is happening, it is due to increased solar activity resulting in increased IR levels (more energy passing through, ie Flux) which are being absorbed by water vapor and carbon dioxide. As the mean temperature rises, the water vapor levels will rise, CO2 levels will rise, and more IR energy will be trapped by the green house. This will continue until the deep sea ocean temperatures rise and suddenly release billions of tons of methane held in clathrates. At this point, global warming won't be an issue because we will all be dead...how is that for fear So, the mechanism of heating is increase flux of energy. It is all about flux levels. Increasing absorption is a second order effect...PERIOD.

Since Mars' atmosphere is so thin, with a mean surface level pressure of 0.6 kPa compared to Earth's mean surface level pressure of 101 Pa (or 6/1000ths), and no water vapor, heat is not trapped. Isn't Venus a better model of what is happening on Earth?

Ah, glad you mentioned Venus. The atmosphere of Venus is estimated to be 88 - 90 times thicker than Earth's and is 96% carbon dioxide. Thus, Venus carbon dioxide levels are approximately 300,000 times higher than on Earth. Venus however, is not 300,000 times hotter than Earth and carbon dioxide isn't the reason Venus is so hot. Venus is hot because it is 30% closer to the sun. Therefore, far more IR energy is produced in a single solar cycle i.e., energy Flux is greater. In addition, the atmosphere contains sulfuric acid, hydrochloric acid, and hydrofluoric acid and thus, more of the IR spectrum is absorbed. Jone et a., "Optical constants of sulphuric acid in the far infrared", 1976.

Just learned this today: as the Martian polar CO2 caps freeze and evaporate, the atmospheric pressure of Mars increases and decreases as one would expect. What I didn't expect was how much...take a look!

Click image for larger version

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This means it fluctuates between 0.6kPa and 1.0kPa. Therefore, Mars and Earth could be much more alike than described below.


Here on Earth, the total current atmospheric carbon dioxide is 368,400 parts per billion, or 0.0368% of the atmosphere. If our atmosphere were made entirely of that 368 ppm carbon dioxide and we had the gravity of Mars, our atmospheric pressure would be 1.2kPa...only twice that of Mars. Earth would become the same frozen (thermally unstable) wasteland as Mars. Even if we tripled, quadrupled or increased atmospheric carbon dioxide by an order of magnitude, (assuming no oceans of course) Earth would behave like Mars in each case, approximately the same amount of IR is coming from the surface and the same amount is being absorbed...getting the picture?

And yes, it really is that simple. The heated and highly debated scientific theories center on fractions of a percent of a degree Kelvin with respect to mechanics of heating and cooling in the upper atmosphere and whether or not CO2 contributions are bound as they are in the lower atmosphere i.e., is there a logarithmic relation or do we have potential for run away warming without additional flux. I think common scientific sense, even general common sense, would suggest the former and not the latter. We can continue into the scientific underbelly if you are interested...but be warned, climatologists have been know to include arguments as esoteric as quantum mechanics. When a scientist, especially a climatologist, throws the quantum card on the table, you know for sure he (or she) is all in
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Old 06-26-2007, 06:34 PM   #18
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Did you ever see the Australian public service ad urging childhood vaccination for whooping cough? It shows an infant coughing itself to death because it caught whooping cough from an unvaccinated person. That's a video clip generating fear (or it should generate fear in all parents), and IMO it's a legitimate tactic to educate the public about the dangers of whooping cough in a society and an age where whooping cough and its damage is virtually unknown through experience.
Fear has been the primary method of controlling the masses since the beginning of human culture...fear of God has worked for many centuries but now days is waning. Therefore, human culture needs a new religion, a Global Religion, one that everyone cares about and will abide by...

I've got one, how about fear of death on a really hot day, or guilt for displacing those poor lovable polar bears. They are cute after-all.

This is all tongue-in-cheeky...I'm really not trying to be a smart-***...so please don't take offense if you happen to be religious or are a member of PITA. Eventually I will relate all this to the health of our oceans.
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Old 06-26-2007, 09:47 PM   #19
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You dismiss David L. Chandler as merely a journalist with no PhD. Yet he's not "merely" a journalist. Here's an excerpt from his biography: "[font="Times New Roman Times serif"]He has received the Media Award of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the Award of Excellence of the Aviation/Space Writers' Association. He was listed in the Forbes MediaGuide directory of the 500 most influential journalists, and one of his stories was selected by the MediaGuide as one of the ten best science stories of the year (1993). He has been listed in Who's Who in America, Who's Who in Science and Technology, and Who's Who in Entertainment. One of his articles was listed in "America's Best Science and Nature Writing, 2003."

He was at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1999-2000, on a Knight Science Journalism Fellowship, and has since served as a judge for the fellowship's application process (for a mini-fellowship on genetics). "
Still doesn't make Haward Cosell a better athelete!

OK, I am being a smart arss...sorry.
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Old 06-27-2007, 03:41 AM   #20
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Are we talking about the weatherman being RIGHT???
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