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Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)
35

Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

3
(OP)
I have been repeatedly accused of refusing to accept the basic "facts" of Anthropogenic Cimate Change (ACC nee AGW, nee Global Warming, nee Global cooling). I think we really need to define terms.

In the following I'm going to rely heavily on The Shattered Greenhouse: How Simple Physics Demolishes the "Greenhouse Effect". I've linked the article in for anyone who wants to check my interpretation of the story. It has an extensive bibliography at the end for further reading.

Greenhouse Effect
The basic idea of a greenhouse gas comes from Arrhenius' in 1896 representing (some say misrepresenting) the work of Fourier from 1827

Quote (Arrhenius (1896, p 237))

"Fourier maintained that the atmosphere acts like the glass of a hothouse, because it lets through the light rays of the sun but retains the dark rays from the ground."
In other words, visible light can traverse the atmosphere more easily than infrared can traverse the atmosphere back into space. Fourier actually said nothing of the kind, but it has entered our collective culture that he did.

This idea ignores the fact that in greenhouses, the glass acts to prevent the heated air from mixing with the ambient air outside the box (i.e., prevents mass transfer) and has nothing to do with different wave lengths of light. The ACC concept says that the heating is due to energy absorption and disregards the fact that hot gases rise and there is no physical barrier to how far they can rise.

The linked article ends with:

Quote (Consulting Geologist)

In the real physics of thermodynamics, the measurable thermodynamic properties of common atmospheric gases predict little if any influence on temperature by carbon dioxide concentration and this prediction is confirmed by the inconsistency of temperature and carbon dioxide concentrations in the geological record. Moreover, when the backradiation "Greenhouse Effect" hypothesis of Arrhenius is put to a real, physical, material test, such as the Wood Experiment, there is no sign of it because the "Greenhouse Effect" simply does not exist. This is why the "Greenhouse Effect" is excluded from modern physics textbooks and why Arrhenius' theory of ice ages was so politely forgotten. It is exclusively the "Greenhouse Effect" due to carbon dioxide produced by industry that is used to underpin the claim that humans are changing the climate and causing global warming. However, without the "Greenhouse Effect", how can anyone honestly describe global warming as "anthropogenic"?

If the thermodynamic underpinning of the "Greenhouse Effect" is absolutely missing, ACC does not have a leg to stand on.

Carbon Dating
Much has been made about the "fact" that atmospheric CO2 must have come from geologically old sources because of the lack of Carbon-14 in the atmospheric CO2. The idea of carbon dating is the result of very creative work in 1946 by Willard Libby at the University of Chicago. His concept is that Nitrogen-14 in the atmosphere is bombarded by solar radiation and that some proportion of the impacts will cause the stable nitrogen to lose a neutron and become radioactive Carbon-14 (radiocarbon). He further postulated that the number of collisions is relatively constant and that as animals breathed the C14 a portion of it would be absorbed into their systems and decay to Carbon 12 over time. This means that as long as the animal is breathing they will be ingesting C14. When the animal stops breathing they will stop ingesting C14 and the inventory of radiocarbon in their bodies will decay with a half life of 5730 years. So if you find a sample with 1/4 as much C14 as you expect then it is something like 11,460 years old. There are a large number of assumptions that go into this calculation, and many of them are invalid for any given biological sample, and the uncertainty in dating cam be millennia.

The big question is what sources of fuel have zero C14? Of course hydrocarbons that haven't been alive for 300 million years likely have zero C14. Same with CO2 from volcanoes. What about biological material that has been frozen under the permafrost since the last ice age (2.58 to 0.012 million years ago)? That stuff has been through a lot of half lives of C14. So if the climate is warming, and if the permafrost is retreating, then biological action on the newly thawed material would have zero C14. This means that C14-free CO2 in the atmosphere does not necessarily have to come from industrial activity.

Temperature Record
The temperature record is not just one thing.
  • Data from 2005 might be from digital instruments that self-report or from satellite surrogates.
  • Data from 1970 likely comes from analog instruments manually recorded
  • Data from 1900 likely comes from spotty coverage at universities and on ships.
  • Data from 1800 comes from ice cores, sea floor samples, and tree ring analysis
  • Data from thousands of years ago to about 1.5 million years ago come from ice cores
  • Data older than that comes from analysis of the fossil record (i.e., what kind of plants were growing? how big were they?)
We have no way to directly measure temperature. We can't do it today. We couldn't do it 100,000 million years ago. We can measure the impact of a given temperature on a material with very good accuracy and repeatability and very low uncertainty. That mercury thermometer that your mum stuck up your bum didn't measure your temperature, it measured the thermal expansion of the mercury in a constrained channel. All temperature data is the result of an evaluation of the impact on something physical to a temperature change. To turn ice core data into temperatures the scientist melts the ice then boils the water in a tightly controlled space and evaluates the gasses that come out of the sample. A computer model is used to convert the mix of gases into a temperature. These models are very clever and quite involved. If you assume that CO2 forces temperature change, you get one set of temperature numbers. If you assume that changes in CO2 are a result of temperature change you get a very different set of temperature numbers. When people plot CO2 concentration on the same graph as "temperature" data they are being purposely misleading since everyone with the ability to run this calculation knows that they have selected "cause" or "effect" before they generated the temperature numbers and in spite of having different scales they are actually the same number.

The oldest data has a temporal uncertainty of no less than ±10,000 years. The Ice core data is probably ±200 years. Data from the 1800's is certainly ±1-2 years. Data from the early 1900's is around ±6 months. More contemporary data has a better temporal uncertainty.

Contemporary data is collected from thousands of weather stations and stored in a database. The database (actually there are several, each its own format) contains one record per station per time period. No indication that the data is anything but true and accurate like scientific data is supposed to be. It is anything but that. "Everyone" understands that temperature on a blacktop surface is higher than temperature on a grassy field. As urban populations have expanded to formerly rural spaces, many weather stations have shifted from rural to urban. If you look at the data for the station, there is a step change in the output. To be able to compare a station that is currently urban to data from when it was rural, requires some "adjustments". These adjustments are done destructively without even a flag in the database. Also many of the stations have been broken for months or years and just receive "estimates", without any explicit definition of the estimating technique.

Finally, the historical record can be modified. Luckily several "outsiders" made copies of the databases at various times. Comparing those copies to the "official" records indicates some distinct trends. Several warm periods from the past are no longer included in the historical record. Data from 2000, show the 1930's to have been as much as 5°F warmer than the current string of "warmest on record years". Many of those record-breaking years were warmer by less than 0.05°F when the contemporary records have an uncertainty of ±0.1°F, but "Warmest Year on Record" gets headlines.

Impact of Climate Change
The list of things that ACC is going to cause has been widely published. It includes wildfires, more hurricanes, more tornadoes, floods, droughts, more deserts, reduced biodiversity, rising sea level, etc. This list was generated by a group of grad students sitting around a table throwing out ideas. Things like "when it is hotter it feels like the desert, I bet deserts will grow". In fact the geological record shows that in general during a warm epoch there is additional moisture in the atmosphere and deserts shrink--this is happening today all over the world. The list of consequences is not part of the "science" of ACC, but the scientists involved have rarely spoken out against the list. The scientific theories of ACC talk about physical reactions, but they can't even predict clouds or rotating systems let alone wildfires.

Consensus
Before you say you "believe" in ACC remember:

Quote:

Belief is the acceptance of a theory in the absence of data
For every Michael Mann there is a Judith Curry. For every Al Gore there is a Jim Imhoff (U.S. Senator from Oklahoma). For every David Suzuki there is a Lord Monkton. For every Bill Nye there is a Jack-in-the-Box Clown. For every IPCC report there are contributors who claim their statements were misrepresented. The 97% consensus was made up from whole cloth. Before this subject got so political and began having so much money thrown at it, there were frank and honest discussions among the scientific community and people of varying views could get published or get on the podium at conferences. Not today. There are a large number of scientists who have actually lost tenure for holding opinions that the ACC story does not hold up to scrutiny, and getting published with papers outside the mainstream is nearly impossible. Not the "science" of my youth.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual. Galileo Galilei, Italian Physicist

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

"This idea ignores the fact that in greenhouses, the glass acts to prevent the heated air from mixing with the ambient air outside the box (i.e., prevents mass transfer) and has nothing to do with different wave lengths of light."

More than 50% of sunlight passes through the glass on the way in, less than 1% of the radiated energy makes it back out. The difference lies in the >5000K blackbody temperature of the sun, vs. about 310K temperature within a hothouse.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
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RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

(OP)
IRStuff,
Do the math. The energy that doesn't make it back out has increased the temperature of the mass inside the greenhouse. It feels good to think that greenhouses are radiative processes, but that doesn't stand up to scrutiny. The air in the greenhouse heats up. The walls prevent the warm air from mixing with the ambient air. If you want to cool a greenhouse you open a window and let the warm air out and the cool air in, you don't pull blinds over the glass.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual. Galileo Galilei, Italian Physicist

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

(OP)
Yeah, I know. And that radiation heats the mass inside the greenhouse.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual. Galileo Galilei, Italian Physicist

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

Quote (David)

The ACC concept says that the heating is due to energy absorption and disregards the fact that hot gases rise and there is no physical barrier to how far they can rise.

Please explain.

Quote (David)

If you want to cool a greenhouse you open a window

But our green house hypothetical model has windows that open up to a vacuum.

Ian Riley, PE, SE
Professional Engineer (ME, NH, MA) Structural Engineer (IL)
American Concrete Industries https://www.facebook.com/AmericanConcrete/

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

(OP)
TehMightyEngineer,
If the so-called "greenhouse gases" are acting as a barrier to heat leaving the planet, what is the barrier to the greenhouse gases leaving the planet? You really cannot have it both ways. Either the greenhouse gases act like the glass in the greenhouse stopping mass transfer, or the greenhouse gases themselves heat up and rise to the vacuum of space.

I'm not understanding your second point. The way a greenhouse is cooled is you allow the warm air mass to exit, drawing in ambient air. On a planetary scale, the mass of hot gases would exit to space and be replaced by water vapor from (slightly) increased evaporation from (very slightly) decreased pressure.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual. Galileo Galilei, Italian Physicist

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

Quote (David)

On a planetary scale, the mass of hot gases would exit to space and be replaced by water vapor from (slightly) increased evaporation from (very slightly) decreased pressure.

So, our atmosphere is evaporating? Wont we run out?

Ian Riley, PE, SE
Professional Engineer (ME, NH, MA) Structural Engineer (IL)
American Concrete Industries https://www.facebook.com/AmericanConcrete/

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

Hard to tell if people are kidding, here.
Hot air escapes from the greenhouse window because it is displaced by the cooler hence denser air which surrounds the greenhouse. That mechanism does not apply to the atmosphere as a whole, because space is not a reservoir of cool dense air. The Jeans mechanism by which molecules escape the atmosphere is temperature dependent, but is so slow that the heat carried away, and the small increase in the escape rate due to greenhouse warming, are insignificant.

> Either the greenhouse gases act like the glass in the greenhouse stopping mass transfer

They don't. There are two mechanisms in a greenhouse, the mass transfer one you refer to, and a radiation absorbance with frequency one. It's the second effect for which the analogy between greenhouse and atmosphere applies. Incoming solar radiation has a wavelength distribution peaking at around 550 nm or 0.55 um. The atmospheric gases are transparent (low absorbance) to this range of wavelengths. The radiation passes straight through (with or without an atmosphere) and heats the earth. The warm earth re-radiates to space. Since it is cooler than the sun, its spectrum is lower in frequency or longer in wavelength, peaking around 10 um. Without an atmosphere, the earth comes to an equilibrium temperature where the incoming and outgoing radiation energy balance. The atmosphere is relatively opaque to the longer wavelengths. It absorbs much of the outgoing energy, and re-radiates it in all directions. Half returns to earth and increases the equilibrium temperature compared with the no-atmosphere case.

John.

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

(OP)
Please assume that no one is "kidding". I don't think the two camps like each other enough for that.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual. Galileo Galilei, Italian Physicist

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

Here's my point of view on this: the following are known, based on a high standard of evidence, with the overwhelming support of the peer-reviewed literature on the subject:

- multiple measurements which cross-check against one another
- a strong theoretical underpinning which matches the measurements

1) The mean concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere increased from around 280 ppm in the pre-industrial period to above 410 ppm today

2) The origin of the extra CO2 is overwhelmingly the burning of fossil fuels and the roasting of fossil carbonate rocks. Very roughly half of that extra CO2 emission has been taken up by natural processes, and the other half has ended up increasing [CO2] in the atmosphere.

3) Extra CO2 in the atmosphere results in radiative forcing (i.e. a shift in the radiative equilibrium) leading to increased global mean temperature over time

People denying any of these three things are doing so on a basis other than that of science.

We can credibly argue the extent of the resulting warming, how fast it will happen, what the consequences of it will be, how much of it has happened already, and what if any confounding factors there may be. We can also argue what is worth doing about it, what it will cost, what it will cost to adapt to the resulting changes etc.

I won't waste my time debating items 1-3, nor do I suggest that anyone else debate them. They're not at issue in the scientific community.


RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

(OP)
And here's my point, the following are absolutely known:
  • The standard of evidence is not "science" but politics. The data has been destructively manipulated for decades and none of the databases is secure from tampering after the fact to fit an agenda.
  • The only way to get a paper published on climate change in a peer-reviewed format is to agree with the IPCC, so of course the peer-reviewed literature supports the hypotheses.
  • CO2 levels have increased in the last 150 years. On a geological time frame, CO2 is currently in a state called "starved" (up from "extremely starved"), hopefully heading towards a "normal" level of around 1000 ppm.
  • The origin of the increasing CO2 is much more likely to be biological action on the biological mass that has thawed on the fringes of the permafrost than burning fossil fuels.
  • "Radiative forcing" is a fancy term for "Oh we so very much want this to be man's fault".
My basis for denying all of these things is a decade's long professional involvement with this subject and an intense scientific interest in it. I have reviewed the data and find it manipulated to the point of being worthless. I have reviewed the models and found that there are just too many places where they computer "multiplies times zero and adds the right answer". I have reviewed the theory and find it to be shallow and facile.

You are absolutely within your rights to "not waste your time debating 1-3", but I thought you had already said that you weren't going to debate them any more about a week ago. As to "not at issue in the scientific community", you seem to have come up with your own definition of the scope of that community. The lion's share of physicists, geophysicists, astro physicists, chemists, and fluid mechanics experts absolutely do not accept your "given's", the only community of scientists who do accept them are feeding at the trough of ACC and their tenure/grant money depends on it.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual. Galileo Galilei, Italian Physicist

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

3
David:

Let's start with some very basic points.

The term "greenhouse effect" is just a metaphor, and like all metaphors it is not exact. The metaphor is a good one to the extent that it refers to the fact that the atmosphere is more transmissive to incoming energy from the sun than it is to outgoing energy from the earth.

Where the metaphor is not so good is in the mechanism that inhibits the outgoing transmission of energy. In a man-made glass greenhouse, this inhibition is PRIMARILY that of preventing upward convection. In the "atmospheric greenhouse effect", it is inhibiting upward radiation (by radiative absorption).

So all that the Wood experiment you cite demonstrated is that the greenhouse metaphor is not to be taken literally. (And others have done the experiment more carefully have shown that an IR-opaque cover leads to higher temperatures than an IR-transparent cover.)

And there is a huge (YUUUUGE?) difference between the existence of a radiative greenhouse effect (RGHE) in the atmosphere and the possibility of a very high sensitivity to slight changes in the composition in the atmosphere.

There really is no other explanation (and I've looked for years) than the RGHE for the power output we see from the earth's surface compared to the solar input. The earth and its atmosphere absorb ~240 W/m^2 from the sun, averaged over the surface. The surface emits ~500 W/m^2, again, averaged over the surface. These numbers are well measured, and known to within a few percent.

This is a huge discrepancy, given that not even the worst alarmist thinks the planet as a whole is more than 1 W/m^2 out of balance. The moon, without an atmosphere, has no such discrepancy. Every alternative explanation I've seen doesn't even pass the laugh test.

You ask, "what is the barrier to the greenhouse gases leaving the planet?" Fundamentally, gravity. Long before they would get to a high enough energy level to reach "escape velocity", they would radiate away much of that energy to space. (Yes, that's a little simplistic, but fundamentally correct.)

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

What I'm not following in the whole debate, is why everyone's so excitedly focusing on ONE problem. There is a hell of a lot of other types of pollution that is definitely attributable to humanity. And definitely causing much worse ddamage in the local environment, globally speaking. So, why so much excitement about CO2, and weather systems that we don't really understand very well? Why not this level of global awareness about the Great Pacific Rubbish Patch, or the byproducts of producing the lithium-ion batteries that are apparently going to save us all from tthe dreadful CO2 monster??
Could it be simply that nobody's figured out how to monetize that yet, I wonder...

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

(OP)
Mongrel,
I can't answer your basic question, and I wonder about it too. When the East River caught fire, we focused on human-scale problems and fixed it. When the Chicago River smelled like an open sewer, we focused on human-scale problems and fixed it. Same with the worst of the Smog in the LA Basin. When the air in London was toxic, we changed some behaviors and fixed it. We seem to be able to clean up after ourselves once we decide we need to do that.

CO2 is the basic building block of all life, and increasing levels of CO2 are a non-trivial component in the planet's ability to feed 7.4 billion humans. This is not in dispute, but the idea of turning the earth into a greenhouse has created a perfect storm: (1) the world press has a cause that sells papers (and the click-through equivalent); (2) the e-NGOs have a cause to demonize humans; (3) the Globalist politicians have a cause that moves the world closer to a single world-government; and (4) the Socialists have a cause that is able to distribute the wealth of developed nations into their Swiss bank accounts. Just too good to pass up. Dump hundreds of billions of dollars into research departments of universities and you get a plausible story. Wrap it in complex non-linear partial differential equations that do not have a solution (and are actually not included in the models) to make it look all "sciencey" and invent a "consensus" that has never existed on this subject and you have a cause that can make intelligent people like the ones on eng-tips.com buy into it for reasons of their own.

The Great Pacific Rubbish Patch is a fascinating question. When objective scientists (i.e., folks with a desire to learn instead of conform to an agenda) look at it they find organisms that are adapting to its existence and are thriving on it. Microbes consume the plastic. Bugs eat the microbes. Birds and fish eat the bugs. Life thrives. At what point does it become an "eco system" and have people trying to protect it? People find it to be aesthetically objectionable, but the bugs love it. Once again appearance is more important than reality.

If you look at people with a profit motive, they are finding ways to turn a profit off of harvesting parts of the Great Pacific Rubbish Patch (really small scale thus far). It is when the Rubbish Patch becomes political that everything goes sideways. There is so much to learn about humanity, evolution, anthropology, and bio-diversity from the Great Rubbish Patch that it will be a shame when the e-NGO's destroy it as they end up destroying all things.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual. Galileo Galilei, Italian Physicist

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

Mongrel: you're guilty of the nirvana fallacy when you make the false equivalence between the massive global emissions of fossil CO2, all of which is ALSO accompanied by toxic emissions too (emissions obtained whenever you burn anything and dump its effluent into the atmosphere) and the comparatively small, very much more localized emissions from manufacturing lithium ion batteries. Note that the lithium, nickel, cobalt, aluminum and copper in those batteries doesn't evaporate while they're being used and is all still there for recycling after the battery's useful life is finished. Anything we use on earth that isn't grown, is mined from the earth. It's not meaningful to compare processes on the basis of only whether or not they have emissions associated with them, because they ALL HAVE EMISSIONS. Meaningful comparisons need to be made on the basis of the magnitude of the emissions and their comparative harms.

As to the garbage patch: the Pacific garbage patch is thought to contain some 80,000 tonnes of plastic debris- a good chunk of which is abandoned fishing gear which continues to capture and kill sea life. It's a problem for sure- a tiny indicator of a much larger problem which is primarily the result of poor waste disposal practices along the tributaries of ten rivers in Africa and Asia.

In comparison to that 80,000 tonnes total, Toronto alone diverts some 240,000 tonnes of material from landfill using its blue bin recycling program- each YEAR. That's one city, yearly.

And in further comparison, we emit some 15 gigatonnes of fossil CO2 to the atmosphere per year worldwide. That's 15,000,000,000,000 kg per year. While the natural flows of CO2 to and from the atmosphere are even larger still, this is the amount we're taking out of the earth from historical reservoirs (oil, coal, gas, fossil carbonate rocks) and dumping into the atmosphere yearly. And by present measurements, about half of that ends up in the atmosphere, with the other half mostly ending up in the oceans.

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

Another controversial CC sub-topic that seems like it belongs in this thread about facts, myths, and givens, is the greening of earth. There's no dispute it's been happening for several decades. The dispute is whether it's good or bad. I realize plants are only temporary storage of carbon, but it seems the total number of plants will track up and down directly with atmospheric CO2 concentrations, so it is something of an adaptive carbon sink. More plants means more food for every other form of life on the planet. It sounds like a crazy theory among today's conventional wisdom, but it's not a huge stretch to say burning FF now is hedging against global famine in the future.

Disclaimer: I am not condoning increasing (or not reducing) FF consumption for this reason... It's just food for thought. (pun intended)

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

no, it's not crazy, its an unintended positive sideeffect; though it probably is crazy to suggest we burn more FFs to get more of this effect. Increased atmospheric CO2 and warmer temps should increase crop yields. However the reality is more complicated (wasn't it ever thus?) ... changes in weather patterns, rainfall, etc will have an significant effect of crops. And Carbon sequestration in bio-mass is actually a small portion of the Carbon flow.

Something I heard (I think it was NatGeoTV) was that all the oxygen produced by the Amazon rainforest is consumed within the rainforest eco-system

another day in paradise, or is paradise one day closer ?

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

3
(OP)
Moltenmetal
Interesting that you spell out 15 Giga Tonnes as 15,000,000,000,000 kg per year and then reluctantly admit that "While the natural flows of CO2 to and from the atmosphere are even larger still" without giving a number. Well, human additions to the global CO2 are very hard to find today. Five years ago the total was very easy to find. Today it is not. I cannot tell you why.

Five years ago human additions to the global CO2 in the atmosphere (including all agricultural sources and chattels, all transportation sources, all industrial sources, and 7.4 billion people exhaling every so often) was 0.3% of the total CO2. That makes the total around 5,000 GT. Dang if that isn't an even bigger number. Should I spell it out?. I guess I must 5,000,000,000,000,000 kg/year. And CO2 is about 2% of the total greenhouse gas inventory which is on the order of 250,000 GT/year. I'll spell that number out too 250,000,000,000,000,000 kg/year. Man, that 15 GT number seems really really small on a global scale.

As to "taking from the earth from historical reservoirs". Do you have any concept of how much hydrocarbon leaks from the earth every day? Have you ever seen the Santa Barbara Channel seeps? La Brea Tar Pits. Athabasca Tar Sands? The hydrate fields in the Sea of Japan and in the Alaskan Permafrost? There have been several million individual methane and crude oil seeps mapped in the ocean floor. Oh yeah, and we've only mapped about 2% of the ocean in detail. All of that "historical" reserve represents hydrocarbons that are coincidentally trapped in reservoirs this epoch. Every earthquake, volcano, tsunami, or hurricane upsets some of the balance that allows the trapped hydrocarbons to remain trapped and they continue their journey to outer space. Hydrocarbon reserves are absolutely not a "bank account" that we can draw on in the future. They are held for an instant or a million years, but eventually they will leak out.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual. Galileo Galilei, Italian Physicist

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

Zdas - I actually wasn't aware of the extent of the ecosystem that has sprung up in the Patch. Thanks for that - it's fascinating reading!
Molten metal - why do you consider it a fallacy to equate pollution that can, in ssome cases, poison the land or water for thousands of years, with a different form of pollution that we can't even agree on a number for, let alone what the long-term effects may be? I can't recall seeing a single prediction related to CO2 that actually proved to be even close to accurate yet. It's one thing 5o accept scientific, peer-reviewed results from experts in a field, with transparent practices. It's quite anther to expect us to blindly accept predictions with a proven 100% failure rate, from a closed group who repudiate external scrutiny and has vested financial interest in producing particular results.
And this is the problem many people have with the new religion of climate change. People are tired of the rhetoric, the increased costs for imperceptible returns, and the blatant unreliability of the field.

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

(OP)
Mongrel,
The whole "poison the earth for thousands of years" mantra from the e-NGO's has not proven to be true. Even something as awful as Chernobyl has ecosystems thriving in the high-radiation area. When the Chicago River was so polluted you could smell it from Michigan, there were still fish in the river. Life was thriving. Pretty fish, fish we would want to eat, fish we would want to put on the wall were dead, but other fish were still there metabolizing the gunk. When people stopped dumping raw sewage and industrial waste in the river it didn't take long for it to be gone. BTEX (benzene, tolulene, ethylbenzene, and xylene) is some nasty stuff that is often produced with crude oil. When you put any of this stuff in the sun, it begins rapid decomposition into more benign substances. Most of it evaporates quickly and leaves the biosphere. The remaining components are metabolized by organisms evolved to metabolize these natural substances. "Poison the earth for thousands of years" really means "we can't hold a Memorial Day picnic there this year". When you think in global scale and geologic time, nothing can be done that won't be undone by natural processes. If we really really want to hold the picnic at that location this year then we spend money and energy to speed up the natural processes, but all too often our efforts are absolutely counter productive (e.g., the cleanup of the Exxon Valdez spill had thousands of people with Dawn dish soap scrubbing otters and sea birds--independent studies after the event showed an order of magnitude more dead creatures from having the natural oils scrubbed from their fur or feathers than would have died from the oil contamination).

The 2008 BP Macondo disaster is s great example of the hyperbole surrounding this crap. It was a tragedy because people died. It was a tragedy because the Coast Guard ignored advice from actual Oil-Field fire mitigation experts and caused the platform to collapse (losing many billions of dollars of infrastructure that could have been saved). It was not an environmental disaster. Oil is always getting to the beaches of the gulf from those seeps that I talked about in my last post. I've been to several of them and there is always oil or tar on the beaches before the trucks come along and groom them for the day's tourists. Nature has strategies and techniques for dealing with free oil, and they have evolved over hundreds of millions of years to become incredibly effective. A lot of oil spewed out of the casing that the Coast Guard broke, but very very little of it reached the shore. The microbes captured and consumed it. The Plankton and Krill ate the microbes. Other sea critters ate the plankton and krill. Other than loss of tourism business from the hysteria (my son went to the beach in Destin, FL at the height of the hysteria and other than the lack of other tourists could not see a single impact on that beach), the biggest result was a number of years of record shrimp crops and depressed prices for shrimp consumers. Nature deals with stuff in nature very effectively.

And remember that the Clean Air Act explicitly prohibits the EPA from classifying CO2 or Methane as "pollutants". The sue-and-settle strategy of the Obama EPA and the e-NGOs (e.g., the Wild Earth Guardians sue the EPA over methane leaks from pneumatic controllers in Oil & GAS, the EPA notifies the court that they have reached an amicable agreement with the Guardians and submits a consent decree to the court, the consent decree requires the EPA to write rules on methane emissions and the industry spends many billions of dollars complying with the regulation that the court would have said was illegal without the consent decree) has illegally classified both CO2 and methane as "substances of concern" and are requiring mitigation activities.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual. Galileo Galilei, Italian Physicist

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

Hmm, I'm not sure I can agree with you fully there. Granted, there's always something that can eat whatever. Anaerobic microbes, lichens, whatever. Probably even for radioactive waste? I don't know. Plenty of old minesites out there, for instance, that were once poisonous but are now green and thriving.
But it kinda comes across as a dismissal of the damage done short-term; plant and animal life killed, crops destroyed, whatever. Just because nature can deal with it eventually, surely shouldn't mean we can just dump whatever we want?

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

Where the majority of the extra CO2 in the atmosphere came from is not at all controversial in the scientific literature on the subject.

As to the magnitude of the natural flows- it's not the magnitude of the flows that matters, but only the difference. Input minus output equals accumulation. Things were in balance until about 1700, as evident from a measured near constant CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. Those huge up and down flows were in balance, then CO2 started to spike. That's not a supposition based on a model- it's based on measurements. The isotopic balance measurements demonstrates where the majority of the extra CO2 came from. So zdas04, are you arguing that there was some spike in natural seeps etc. that happened to correspond with human industrial-scale exploitation and combustion of fossil fuels? A huge increase that we just missed? Or do you have some other explanation?

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

(OP)
moltenmetal,
Are you really and truly saying that CO2 levels were constant over geological time up until the industrial revolution????? Really??? The whole argument for your belief system is that CO2 is a precursor to temperature variations, and we know that there have been times where ferns grew in Greenland and times when Ice sheets reached nearly to the equator. Graph after graph after graph from the IPCC, many universities, and most climate researchers (hell, even Al Gore's propaganda piece) shows CO2 levels varying from lower than today to much higher than today over every timeline selected. Every single one of them.

The so-called "balance of nature" is actually a "slide towards minimum maximum entropy punctuated with events (earthquakes, volcanoes, asteroid strikes, sun spots, and whatever it is that turns a normal storm into a tornado or hurricane, etc.) that cause an upward downward step change in the overall entropy level, and then entropy starts bleeding off building up again. You are truly grasping at the plastic straws that have been banned in California to support an unsupportable argument. CO2 concentrations that can be attributed to man are 0.0006% of the total inventory of so called greenhouse gases. Not even close to being within the uncertainty of the significant contributing elements.

The "extra" CO2 that a rise from 170 ppm to 480 ppm has resulted in significant reduction of the areal extent of the world's deserts. Yep, new sinks develop to use extra resources, just like they always do.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual. Galileo Galilei, Italian Physicist

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

Clearly nobody is going to change zdas04's mind on this issue. Folks, don't be distracted- David is just plain wrong on this one. It absolutely isn't in dispute in the scientific community.

I'll leave you with this piece, which eloquently and briefly describes the bases of our understanding in this area, which is measurements not models.

https://skeptoid.com/episodes/4549

For those of you who won't click on the link, I've extracted the text from the transcript on the issue in question:

"Proof that the atmosphere's excess CO2 is human generated
You might think that carbon is carbon, and that if we find there's more CO2 in the atmosphere, its source can't easily be proven. But chemistry is a bit more complicated than that; there are different kinds of carbon, as there are of most elements. They're called isotopes. One isotope of carbon is carbon-14. Cosmic rays bombard the Earth at a rate that is more or less constant over time. When they do, they strike atoms in the upper atmosphere, kicking out neutrons. These neutrons then collide with the most common atoms in our atmosphere, nitrogen. This collision kicks a proton out of the nucleus and turns the nitrogen into carbon with two neutrons too many: the unstable and radioactive carbon-14, instead of the normal stable carbon-12.

You've heard of carbon dating; this is done by comparing the relative amounts of carbon-12 and carbon-14 in a sample. Living things, like animals and trees, are in equilibrium with the atmosphere. As they eat and breathe and interact, they contain the same proportions of carbon isotopes as the atmosphere. When they die, that carbon-14 decays over a long time, and since the organism is no longer eating and breathing, no new carbon-14 comes in, and eventually the only carbon remaining is carbon-12 (and some carbon-13). Fossil fuels like oil and natural gas come from plants that died millions of years ago and have no carbon-14 left. The CO2 produced by burning fossil fuels contains only carbon-12.

When a forest fire burns, the CO2 in the smoke came from living or recently dead fuel, so the smoke contains the same proportions of carbon-12 and carbon-14 as the atmosphere. This is the case with nearly all natural sources of CO2. We can carbon date the CO2 in the atmosphere, and tell exactly how much of it comes from humans burning fossil fuels. It's a direct measurement. It leaves no room for interpretation.

There is one natural source of CO2 that contains only carbon-12, and which is often pointed out by climate deniers as the real source of all of this new carbon-12: volcanoes. Volcanoes worldwide constantly erupt, both on land and under the sea. They do so at a fairly constant rate. We measure their output, and we know that annually, worldwide volcanic activity averages about 200 million tons of CO2 added to the atmosphere, all with carbon-12, which is indistinguishable from the carbon-12 produced by burning fossil fuels. However, each year, we measure a total of about 29 billion tons of CO2 added to the atmosphere. That's more than 100 times the amount volcanoes can account for. The only possible source of all the rest of that new CO2 is fossil fuel burned by humans.

This, in short, is the "smoking gun" that proves the increase in CO2 in the atmosphere is caused by humans burning fossil fuel. It's not a conjecture or a model or a prediction, it's a measurement that anyone can reproduce, and isotopes are isotopes, and don't have alternate explanations.

Some have said that 29 billion tons is not a problem, because of how small that is compared to the atmosphere's total existing carbon load. It's true that 29 billion tons is a drop in the bucket compared to the 750 billion tons that moves through the carbon cycle each year, which is our name for the natural processes by which carbon is exchanged between the atmosphere and the oceans and vegetation. Each year, of that 750 billion tons, the ocean absorbs a net gain of about 6 billion, and vegetation absorbs a net gain of about 11 billion. They're only able to absorb about half of the 29 billion we're adding. The other half — about 15 billion tons each year — remains in the atmosphere, after maxing out the Earth's ability to absorb it into its system. These numbers, too, are reproducible measurements; not conjectures, models, or predictions. The system is provably absorbing all it can, but still unable to keep up."

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

2
Moltenmetal, it seems you're also guilty of closed ears, perhaps? 😎
Nobody is really debating whether we're producing extra CO2, as far as I can see. To my mind, the debate is more centred around the reliability of the "experts", who are yet to produce a single model or prediction that's even close to true, in the experience of myself, and many others. And then there's the general hysteria that's been carefully created around it, and the fact that proponents of AGW use terms like "belief" and "denial" with complete lack of irony.
Or, put another way - it's not whether we produce it, it's a question of how much risk there actually is?
I have a friend who's extremely religious, and also believes the Earth is flat. He tends to throw up Web addresses with the same sort of names, using words like "denier", "debunk", etc. I've quickly come to expect little in the way of rational discourse from such literature. We still debate sometimes on the subject, and it can be quite a good way to pass time. But the only way he'll ever be convinced is probably to actually orbit the planet. Sometimes, people become so attached to a theory, you have to show them incontrovertible proof before they'll even consider changing their minds.
And that's the problem with the AGW argument. Yes, there's proof we're creating CO2. Yes, like most pollution, it would be a good idea to stop, or slow it down. For efficiency's sake, if nothing else.
But where's the proof that excess CO2 will *definitely* cause runaway warming of the planet?
It's just another unproven theory. It's logical, and believable, but by now there have been way too many fearmongering predictions that have just been flat out wrong. So, is there any wonder that people have little trust in the "experts"?

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

(OP)
Moltenmetal,
Just the flat statement "David is wrong on this one. It absolutely isn't in dispute in the scientific community". And then you go into an inept rehash of carbon dating. Methane form seeps has no C14. Methane and CO2 from hydrates under the permafrost have no C14. The organic material that has been frozen in the permafrost for 100 million years has no C14. Carbon from volcanoes has no C14. Carbon dating has a long long list of assumptions to get from an isotope measurement to an elapsed time. In fact you are so very wrong on this one, no one will ever change your mind, and the scientific community has many many disputes on all of these issues.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual. Galileo Galilei, Italian Physicist

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

It seems that zdas04's implied hypothesis is that, coincident with the increases in fossil CO2 being dumped to the atmosphere which we know about, but entirely unrelated to it, methane seeps etc. suddenly started dumping huge amounts of fossil carbon into the atmosphere and raising the atmospheric CO2 concentration with C14-free CO2, and we somehow failed to notice. Not volcanoes, mind you, because we know about those- we don't miss them, and when they happen they don't even make a blip in the atmospheric concentration. These natural sources weren't increasing the atmospheric CO2 concentration significantly before 1700, but they started doing it with gusto when we started to burn coal, and increased their rate of emission in locked step to the amount we generated by burning fossils over the same period. Have I got that right?

Here's the data on historical CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere:

https://climate.nasa.gov/climate_resources/24/grap...



Granted, those prehistoric CO2 concentration estimates are going to have a much lower precision than those we can measure from indicators during the more recent past:

http://withouthotair.com/c1/page_6.shtml



It seems that zdas04's alternative hypothesis for the cause of this CO2 concentration increase is some kind of a planetary conspiracy theory. Nothing to look at here folks- it isn't us that caused it, it's just nature messing with us!

And you accuse me of having closed ears!

I'll leave it to readers to figure out which point of view is better supported by the data. I'm trying my best to stop beating my head against this particular wall, since it is clearly a wall and isn't moving- but of course I'm failing. I can't stand back when such obviously settled matters keep coming up as if they're in doubt- letting those assertions go unchallenged is corrosive to the public discourse, especially on a site such as this which is supposed to have at least some scientific credibility.

It would be so much more productive if we could focus on the things we can all agree to be in doubt, within a range of certainty at least. I'm all ears to practical suggestions of how we might accomplish that goal, assuming others share that view.

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

and again the medieval warm and cold periods disappear,
or are changes unrelated to CO2 ?
or are localised events (so what does a global average mean ?) ?

and (surely) no-one credits a "hockey stick" graph anymore ? surely this has been discredited ? surely ??

and (surely) the only conclusion that can be drawn is "we're doomed" ... the levels are So alarmingly unnatural that no remediation can save the situation. If we stop adding CO2 today how long would it that to return to "normal" levels (from the graph normal seems to be low 200s) ?

another day in paradise, or is paradise one day closer ?

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

Molten it appears you have not bothered to watch the documentary I posted in the other thread. Granted, it is an hour long, but if you want to argue one side you should at least be aware of what the other side has to say. Things like, while CO2 and temperature do have a strong correlation over the millennia, CO2 has lagged temperature increases by 800 years. The data does not show that CO2 causes temperature increases, but that temperature increases cause CO2 increases. Or that both are caused by something else because, as we all know correlation does not mean causation. All of the people interviewed are climate scientists.

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

Folks: the data I've posted is the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere versus time. Please don't conflate it with other issues. We need to get zdas04 to concede a point here on this subject for the very first time EVER. We're trying to put to bed something that, frankly, isn't in dispute: a) that the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere has risen, suddenly, since about 1700 (a measured fact) and b) the source of that CO2 is, predominantly, the burning of fossil fuels and roasting of fossil carbonate rocks. In my view, on the basis of everything I've personally read on the subject from authoritative sources, a) and b) above are not suppositions or model predictions but rather solid facts based on measurement with a firm theoretical underpinning.

Compositepro: your documentary link was from something like a decade ago, was it not? Do any of these people dispute either the rise in CO2 concentrations or its origin? I am fairly aware of the arguments being made by the denialists, but few of them debate either the fact of the [CO2] or its origin- except the idiots who make specious claims about volcanoes etc. that are obviously and patently false. Otherwise, your post talks about something which is absolutely up for debate and discussion, i.e. how severe the climactic forcing resulting from the increased [CO2] might be, and inferences to be made from past [CO2] vs past estimates of global mean temperature. That is absolutely fair game for debate and discussion- while the climate science community has an overhwelming opinion that the (geologically) recent [CO2] increase is very worrisome with respect to climactic forcing, there is no absolute consensus on how bad it will get, how quickly etc.

rb1957: you looked at a graph of the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere versus time and somehow jumped to the conclusion that it was a graph of temperature versus time. It isn't.

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

@mm ...
umm, no I didn't "jumped to the conclusion that it was a graph of temperature versus time."

I made no reference to temperature. I made no comment on the data (there are IMHO as many CO2 graphs as there are people working the field).

I mentioned two historical events where temperature were perceived to have changed, but there's no indication of a change in CO2 level ... no appreciable change. Then I supposed two other reasons why this could happen.

The conclusion I did come to from the graph presented was that CO2 levels are far higher than they've (almost) ever been and trending higher, hence the conclusion "we're doomed". I asked how can we possibly retrieve the situation, even by the most draconian measures (stop burning FFs, entirely, today) ? To me this a apparent from the graph.

Then I also asked "isn't the hockey stick "debunked" (to use a word bandied about here) ?" I believe it has been. I don't particularly care if other people are created their own hockey stick graphs ("ok, Mann manipulated the data and got his hockey stick, but I haven't and get the same result" ... "what, you mean Mann didn't have to manipulate the data ? why would he risk his professional statue if he didn't have to ?".

another day in paradise, or is paradise one day closer ?

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

rb1957: OK, sorry, a re-reading of what you wrote with the explanation you're giving makes your point a little clearer, but only a little. I guess you're alluding to arguments on the part of some that CO2 concentrations are a result of some other climactic driver, or that CO2 concentration changes arising from some or other driver were responsible for previous climactic events like warm and cold periods in recorded history, or am I yet again missing your point here?

CO2 concentrations have in fact increased- a lot- over the pre-industrial mean. Does that mean we're doomed? That's a huge leap in my opinion. I think that natural sinks (the ocean has taken half of the fossil CO2 we've emitted so far) and heat capacity give us some time to react. What can we do about it in time that is feasible and worth doing? Fair topic for further discussion.

Again, can we please just focus on this one simple point, and see if we can get anywhere? If we can't, the whole discussion is pointless unless the participant list changes.

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

@mm,

1) the graph shows no changes (in atmospheric CO2) during two well documented climate events (the medieval warm and cold periods) so either ...
a) these changes were unrelated to atmospheric CO2 (that'd be odd given today's opinions), or
b) these changes were localised to Europe (that'd be "odd" for two quite extreme events and also should question the meaning of a global mean temperature or global CO2 level).

2) I repeat, the level of CO2 is so much higher than "ever" that how can this not have a dire effect on the environment ? I mean, it is clear that we'll soon have levels of 500 ppm (if the trend continues for a short time unabated). The only way (IMHO) that the atmospheric level of CO2 can come down is if we stop (or drastically slow down) producing it, and even then I'd expect the level to increase for a while and then start to come down. And this is not being talked about, only small 1/2 measures (get back to 1990s level for instance is possibly the most dramatic proposal) and with these I'd expect the trend shown to continue though possibly not to accelerate (and so we'd hit 500 ppm a few decades later). I don't see new sequestration mechanisms suddenly becoming active, but who knows ? I think it's fair to say that the atmosphere is still in a state of flux from the CO2 added previously.

But in any case, what would you propose to mitigate this trend ? Constraining ourselves to 1990s levels would only slow the inevitable rise at an enormous cost (particularly to the developing economies). If we stopped producing CO2 I'd expect it'd take something over 100 years for the level to decline to "normal" 250s.

3) I have deliberately not questioned the data presented, I have just drawn my conclusion from it.

another day in paradise, or is paradise one day closer ?

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

moltenmetal,

I for one will concede that CO2 levels are increasing, but think that is "pointless" to the climate change discussion(s).

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

rb1957: the first step in a process of reversing a trend in the wrong direction is to stop it. And before you can stop it, you must reduce the magnitude of the trend in the wrong direction. For heaven's sake, we're not even THERE yet- not really. We haven't even established the basic economic conditions necessary to make such a reduction come about over time- not worldwide anyway. Even comparatively progressive, wealthy nations like Canada are just getting there now, 30 years after we had a strong suspicion about what was going on and what we needed to do about it. We're taking baby steps, but I do see us at least starting to take steps in some of the right direction. It is incredibly difficult, it will take time, and effort, and money, but that doesn't make it any less necessary in my opinion.

What is a key reason we haven't even properly done what is necessary? People like zdas04, creating controversy even in the parts of this difficult problem that are NOT in dispute! People see these "debates" and say, "Hell, even the propellorheads can't agree that there's a problem. Guess I'll just gas up the SUV and go for a drive."

Hokie: pretty much every reasonable person agrees that CO2 concentrations are rising and that human activities are the cause of that rise. It's tough to debate that, given both of those statements arise from measurements, not models. And nobody who actually understands the physics will debate that more CO2 closes the infrared wavelength window into space, hence resulting in climactic forcing- that too can be and has been measured. Reasonable people absolutely can debate the extent of the net forcing, the evidence about how bad it will get, how quickly it will get bad, and what if anything is both sensible and effective to do about it. I assume that what you mean by saying that the increase in CO2 is "pointless to the discussion", what you mean is that you consider the radiative forcing resulting from the higher [CO2] to be insignificant to the climate, whereas the people who study the subject for a living are pretty much in unanimous disagreement with you. Or maybe that's not your point at all- fair enough, either way, we can get to that later.

What we're looking for here is to establish a baseline for useful further discussion- establishing points of agreement. We have to bring zdas04 across that line on this very obvious point of fact or else I'd argue that he should really have no further part in the discussion.

While I hope I'm wrong, honestly, I don't think he's capable of conceding this point. His whole identity seems to be tied up in denying the whole AGW thing- every piece of it- in fact, recent posts indicate that he also denies that DDT has any significant environmental consequences (something else for which there is also good scientific evidence), and he also denies that CFCs destroy ozone in the upper atmosphere (again, the chemistry there is both well known and has been measured in situ). And yes, if he fails to concede this point, I do think that should be weighed by readers when they are trying to determine his credibility on any aspect of this topic.

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

given the graph (and taking it as fact) there's no point, IMHO, to taking "baby steps". For what I know we haven't stablised CO2 output though we may have just reduced the rate of increase. CO2 level will continue to increase and will probably pass 500 ppm in the next couple of decades. What are the consequences of that ? I don't know. When the graph was produced it was already too late, if CO2 level implies CC. But if CO2 level doesn't imply CC, then what does it mean to have 500 ppm ?? why should we care ??

another day in paradise, or is paradise one day closer ?

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

If increased CO2 means climate change, we should do something about it. If increased CO2 means very significant climate change happening in the near term, we should do everything we can to eliminate our fossil CO2 emissions as quickly as possible. Just how much climate change will happen, and how fast? And what's worth doing about it? Fair points of debate and discussion. But I'd argue that increased CO2 inarguably leads to SOME climate change- it's tough to imagine how it would be otherwise, understanding the basic physics involved.

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

What does it mean that CO2 levels were so much higher several hundred million years ago (>2000 ppmv)?
Is this true?
How do we relate that to today 410 ppm?

Thanks,
Mark

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

Quote:

What does it mean that CO2 levels were so much higher several hundred million years ago (>2000 ppmv)?
Is this true?
How do we relate that to today 410 ppm?

The short answer is that CO2 is not the only variable.

Longer answer:
https://www.skepticalscience.com/co2-higher-in-past.htm

Doug Jenkins
Interactive Design Services
http://newtonexcelbach.wordpress.com/

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

It is unfortunate that you had to go a long way to Australia to find a BS geologist that shares your opinions. The course of study for geologists generally consists of:

Geology is the study of the solid earth. It focuses on the structural and chemical properties of the rocks in the Crust, Lithosphere, Mantle and the Earth’s surface and how they change through the laws of Thermodynamics and Physics. Here is a list of the major fields of study that fall under the field of “Geology”

-Mineralogy The study of the chemical and physical properties of raw minerals and their origins

-Petrology The study of rocks and the chemical/physical conditions that lead to the variety of rocks in the Earth, and their origin

-Volcanology The study of Volcanoes

-Seismology The study of Earthquakes and the waves they produce

-Geophysics The study of the earth using magnetism, gravity and seismic waves

-Structural Geology The 3-D geometric study of rock structures, used to understand the deformation/tectonic changes of a region

-Sedimentation The study of sediment origin, transport, and deposition. It also encompasses Sedimentary Petrology which studies the chemical/physical processes involved in transforming sediments into sedimentary rocks

-Paleontology The study of ancient life through fossils in rock layers

-Stratigraphy The study of rock layers, and layering. This with paleontology, sedimentation and structural geology allows us to interpret the environmental and tectonic changes of a region through out time

Hydrogeology Focuses on the study of water beneath the surface of the earth flowing through rock, and the physics that drives it.

Geomorphology I like to think of it as the study of erosion, but it encompasses all physical and chemical change to the Earth’s surface.


Nothing there appears to have anything to do with the study of climate, except maybe volcanology. However, it appears that Mr. Casey failed volcanology.

An example of Timothy Casey's drivel style is shown by his table of emissions per year from various volcanoes. Unfortunately for him, one of his sources (Shinohara, 2008) is available free online. Consulting that work you will find that Shinohara lists total emissions for an eruption event, not emissions per year (see table 3, and the discussion in text). While eruptions typically take less than a year to occur, they do not represent ongoing emissions and presenting them as such distorts his source.

Another misrepresentation among many, is Casey's discussion of C13 where he suggests volcanic CO2 could account for the modern rise in CO2. In fact, volcanic CO2 is C13 depleted relative to the Vienna Pee Dee Belemnite Standard having a d13C of -4 in most cases, but up to -12 at convergent plate boundaries. For comparison, fossil fuels have a d13C of -27, and the atmosphere has a d13C of -8. That is right. The atmosphere is C13 depleted relative to the standard, and the vast majority of volcanoes are not depleted relative to the atmosphere, ie., volcanic eruptions typically enrich the atmosphere with C13. Casey creates the opposite impression by only noting the C13 depletion.

Would you also visit a quack if you were in need of medical attention?


RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

7
I'm going to summarize what I've learned from this thread:

1) The greenhouse effect is a bit of a inaccurate term.
2) The real link between atmospheric gasses and global temperatures (note I did not say warming) is related to radiative effects.
3) The warming effect of the earths atmosphere is well established. Just compare temperatures on the earth to those on the moon and to adjacent planets.

I honestly don't think we should be arguing over any of those three bullet points. To me those first three are items we need to agree upon in order to have any discussion on the subject.

Now, the next concepts are open for SOME debate. Though I would argue that they are all accurate statements. But, there are those who would truly disagree.

4) CO2 is one of the atmospheric gasses that leads to this warming effect.
5) Atmospheric CO2 has increased significantly over the last 150 years or so.
6) This increase in CO2 is very likely a man made effect caused by the burning of fossil fuels.

To me the scientific community needs to do a better job breaking down the science behind these three items (especially item #4) to the public at large. Because if you accept items 4 and 5 you accept the concept of "global warming". Then if you accept item #6 then you accept that it's (at least partially) a man made effect.

7) How much of the global warming that has been measured is due to the increase in CO2.
8) What in turn can we expect to happen in the future based on the current levels of C02 and the projected increase in CO2 based on current fuel consumption.
9) What should be done about this?

Now, it's with this last three questions that the debate becomes more politicized and less tied to science. The earth's atmosphere is an incredibly complex multi-variable system that makes it virtually impossible to predict future temperatures with any true accuracy. Now, we can predict general trends. The trends, unfortunately, may not be apparent when you look at a year or two or three. But, when you look at decades compiled together it should be much more apparent.

The problem is that we're at a tough spot right now. We've got one group (the global warming alarmists) claiming that we cannot wait the decades required to convince others that disbelievers that our predictions and trends are accurate. That there will be catastrophic consequences if we don't act now. Note: I say "global warming alarmists" not as a derogatory term but as a descriptive term. They are sounding the alarm claiming that it is required that we act now.

Then we've got a 2nd group which hears the alarmists shouting and says, "What are you talking about? I don't see any problems happening right now. Why should I believe what you're saying? You claim x, y, or z (e.g. that sea levels are rising), but I don't see any evident of that."

I was originally a part of this 2nd group. But, over the last few years have moved over to the first group. It would not have taken so much convincing if the 1st group had changed their strategy. Their strategy seemed to be to point towards everything and say that this was evidence of climate change. A bad hurricane hits, claim that it's because of global warming. A tornado, a snow storm,... all evidence of global warming. These are not convincing arguments.

Instead, I believe we should be focusing on a much simpler argument.

10) I cannot say conclusively what will happen over the next decade or two. However, there is sufficient evidence that I believe we all need to be genuinely concerned.
11) I believe that if we wait a few decades we will be proven correct. But, I'm concerned that if we wait that long, there could be catastrophic consequences.
12) There are very simple incremental steps that we can take today to reduce the likelihood of the catastrophic effects. Can we get some agreement on some simple steps moving forward? We'll start here at home (in our own country) and see what we can do in an incremental and cost effective manner to move in the right direction.

The problem is when you make it into an argument, people get too caught up in winning the argument. They forget what that we're all in this together and that the goal is to work together to find some sort of common ground, whether we agree or not. Whether we win the argument or not.

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

In my mind, here is the crux of the paradox that will prevent a common sense approach. In order to drive the economy and sustain it, people must be kept in a state of disposable consumerism. Buy and spend rather than conserve and save. However, consumption of all commodities at all levels must be reduced if we want to reduce the production and use of electricity, materials, and transportation, all of which are primarily responsible for human-generated CO2. This will dampen the economy. By how much remains to be seen. It's precisely the same principle as trying to spend oneself out of poverty. There will be pain involved.

It is better to have enough ideas for some of them to be wrong, than to be always right by having no ideas at all.

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

JoshPlum: excellent post. It's key that we separate what we know, through measurements, from what we suspect but cannot accurately quantify.

There is no doubt that a) there's new CO2 in the atmosphere- the rise started in earnest around the year 1700 b) of fossil origin that c) we put there and are continuing to put there from known sources. It is also clear that d) extra CO2 in the atmosphere narrows the radiative wavelength window into outer space. These all need to be taken as fact, because as much as anything can be considered a fact, they are facts, based on credible, reproducible and cross-checked measurements with a sound theoretical underpinning. Subject, as all scientific observations are, to correction through the use of improved methods yielding better data- but the basic facts are quite solid.

Where we can differ, credibly, is in relation to how severe the resulting warming will be, how fast it will occur, and what if anything we can do about it. PLENTY of room for debate and discussion on those topics! Trying to quantify the effect and estimate its rate and severity relies on modelling an extraordinarily complex and poorly parameterized system for which there is no external control possible- no parallel accelerated timescale Earths on which to do controlled experiments. That doesn't negate the efforts that have been made to try to do so, and to substitute internal controls for the impossible external ones.

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

RE JoshPlum's point #12: Fact is, many things are being done every day to reduce CO2 emissions and other GHG emissions as well. They are in fact small, incremental measures and go not very far to address what we are told is the scope and timescale of the problem. They in no way satisfy the zealots.

And ornerynorsk the real crux is the developing world. It wants approximately the same standard of living the developed world enjoys and it should have it. Problem is, where is all the non-carbon energy to come from? If the developed world were to cease all GHG emissions immediately such an effort would be overwhelmed by the developing world carrying on as at present.

No good short term answers that I can see.

Regards,

Mike

The problem with sloppy work is that the supply FAR EXCEEDS the demand

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

SnTMan,
Why do you say that just because the developing world wants the same standard of living as the developed world, they should have it?

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

How can it be denied to them? I'm all right Jack.

The problem with sloppy work is that the supply FAR EXCEEDS the demand

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

In fact we in the so-called developed world have had a huge advantage- we got to build our societies guilt free on the incredible energy density of fossils, before we understood this particular downside. As a consequence, we have even more responsibility than the developing world does to go further- to do more to reduce our own GHG contributions.

The developing world have every bit as much right to enjoy the same quality of life that we've enjoyed. But they don't have the luxury of enjoying it at the expense of pretending that the atmosphere is a free and limitless public sewer- nor do we.

So we'll all have to pay our share of the costs of the transition. We'll all have to price fossil CO2 emissions. And anybody not playing the game will need to have their goods and services tariffed or taxed at the border to take away their advantage.

Why aren't we just getting on with it? Because people are reluctant to change. Because some have been actively "preaching the controversy"- not just in relation to the portions of the issue that ARE controversial, but trying to create doubt where there really isn't room for any (the issues I've listed in posts above). And why are they doing that? Money, convenience, and a feeling of entitlement- why should they need to worry about this issue that their parents and grandparents didn't worry about? It's not that bad- yet. We'll be in the ground before it gets too bad. So why worry? Somebody will invent us a way out of it, so we can just keep living the way we're accustomed to but without the worry of accelerating climate change. As they say, denial isn't just a river in Africa- it's a very comfortable place where many people live significant fractions of their lives. Reality does come home to roost eventually though, and we technical people have a responsibility to get people out of their denial, off their duffs, and on to the hard task of making this enormous, monumental change. Ultimately, I'm convinced it will be a change for the better.

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

mm, more or less what I was getting at.

The problem with sloppy work is that the supply FAR EXCEEDS the demand

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

I would think the opposite. The "developing world" had a head start, but has never developed.

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

Yeah, I know what you're saying, but we are told China is bringing on a coal plant a week. India not far behind. That's development. In terms of C02 emissions, it hardly matters what the US for example does.

The problem with sloppy work is that the supply FAR EXCEEDS the demand

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

Where is the scientific work highlighting the climate change doubters perspective. Not blogs and such but peer reviewed work. And NO there is not a coordinated conspiracy among climate scientists.

As far as the developing worlds quality of life. There is a difference between having a developed infrastructure with modern capabilities and the need for "entertainment" use of fossil fuels. Much of US consumption is like this.

It never ceases to amaze me what intelligent people can talk themselves into believing when they really really want an untruth to be true.

How can someone with engineering background actually question the greenhouse effect ?
The psychological aspect to this issue is most fascinating.

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

In my opinion, it hardly matters by now if ACC (Anthropogenic Climate Change) is true or not. The politicians throughout the developed world have decided, or are acting, as if it is, and are driving responses to it. Politics being what it is, only so much can be done at any time. Incremental measures. Good enough? From what we are told, it would not appear so. Much coping strategy and technology will be needed.

The problem with sloppy work is that the supply FAR EXCEEDS the demand

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

At the risk of incurring the wrath of those who have already made up their minds and arent open to opposing facts..... Consider that all known deposits of coal originated in tropical Amazon type geological/climatic conditions. Condider that there are a number of large known coal deposits in the NWT of Canada where permafrost exists today, and probably has been sub zero for thousands of years.

At the least , IMO, this strongly suggests that any global warming associated here is not man made. It might also suggest the futility of trying to prevent / reduce naturally occurring cycles.

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

Materialistically speaking, nobody has a right to anything unless you can afford to procure it for yourself. What do we tell our kids? You can have it when you can earn it! My opinion, which I'm reasonably sure that many do not share.

It is better to have enough ideas for some of them to be wrong, than to be always right by having no ideas at all.

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

ornerynorsk, all I am saying is that nobody really has the right to deny the developing world an improved standard of living based especially on environmental issues. China can certainly afford its' new coal plant a week.

The problem with sloppy work is that the supply FAR EXCEEDS the demand

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

jdmunno,

Quote (Petition Project)

It is evident that 31,487 Americans with university degrees in science – including 9,029 PhDs, are not "a few."

1) Having a BS degree in science doesn't mean you understand climate. Hell, you barely understand engineering when you graduate with a degree in that field.
2) Same applies to PhD. If you have a PhD in anything other than something climate related, it's an irrelevant point.

The scientific consensus everyone speaks of is the one between the scientists that actually study the climate for a living. Among those scientists, who are best equipped to comment or reach a decision, 97% or whatever agree on the facts. It's science, so of course there are some debates on the minutia.

The fact is, there's very few people on this forum or elsewhere who are educated and informed enough to comment on climate change. That's why, ideally, politicians listen to those scientists who've dedicated their careers to that field.

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

SnTMan, I think I might be agreeing with you. It's the new-found wealth of the developing world that will sustain the consumer mentality. They can now afford the things they've never had, and it's unlikely that they're going to suddenly get a philosophical conscience concerning all of the nice things that are ripe for the picking.

It is better to have enough ideas for some of them to be wrong, than to be always right by having no ideas at all.

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

ornerynorsk, exactly :)

The problem with sloppy work is that the supply FAR EXCEEDS the demand

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

RVAmeche,
I think you have hit on the key issue here. The "97%" are those who are being paid to agree.

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

And really I'm not talking about "consumerism" as much as about having a reasonable amount of reliable, affordable electric power, lights at night, not cooking and heating with wood or water buffalo chips, etc.

The problem with sloppy work is that the supply FAR EXCEEDS the demand

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

Available, reliable, and affordable. That's what we all want in terms of power. But even in the developed world, that is under threat from green politics.

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

The lack of scepticism amongst the alarmists who believe that climate change is just a conspiracy is quite extraordinary.

As engineers we should:
Consider all the evidence available.
Make sure we don't dismiss evidence just because it is inconvenient, or doesn't fit with our preconceptions.
Include hidden and future costs, so far as is possible.
In the case of uncertainty, consider the consequences of the worst case.

That's all basic engineering.

Doug Jenkins
Interactive Design Services
http://newtonexcelbach.wordpress.com/

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

"The lack of scepticism amongst the alarmists who believe that climate change is just a conspiracy is quite extraordinary."

Not sure I get what you're saying Doug. I wouldn't've thought that "alarmists" believed "climate change is just a conspiracy".

Possibly ...
a) the lack of scepticism amongst the alarmists who readily accept climate change (as being solely driven by humans) is quite extraordinary. or

b) the lack of scepticism amongst "deniers" who believe that climate change is just a conspiracy is quite extraordinary. (ie, deniers are too invested in the notion of a conspiracy to question their belief).

I get your "basic engineering" tenets but the problem here is your last point "In the case of uncertainty, consider the consequences of the worst case." Obviously the worst case is extinction, obviously a bad thing for everyone involved. Thus your tenet would have us pay any price to avoid this. Unfortunately some/many think this would result in beggaring ourselves without changing the outcome (how can we enlist the other nations to make this a collective vision and action ?). Who do we choose to die ?

"what??" ... yes, who do we choose to die ? The changes required "to pay any cost" would be absolutely catastrophic to the world economy (hence most other nations wouldn't join in). Hence there would be a significant "trimming" of the global population.

there is, of course, a middle ground where we reduce our dependence on FFs for carbon neutral options (the best short term solution IMHO is nuclear, the best long term is fusion) and we can have "green" options filling niches and giving some "feel good" optics. It would be an interesting choice, to invest now is a "massive" nuclear PP building program, and at least some action, but to get the politics to align ...

One advantage of this course is that it is well scalable to the developing world, the idea being to jump over the "old" FF economy and to jump into the new, electricity based economy. The problems are, of course, making batteries for the world will really mess with the environment, but maybe we have time (whilst building these new PPs) to research this ?

another day in paradise, or is paradise one day closer ?

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

jdmunno.

the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine ??

https://www.conservapedia.com/The_Oregon_Institute....

"The institute is founded and headed by Art Robinson, a noted conservative Christian scientist"

Really ?

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

rb1957 - I mean b), although I avoid the use of the word "deniers". People who don't think we should be spending any time effort or money on reducing GHG emissions are frequently alarmists and almost always totally un-sceptical about the information they quote.

Considering the consequences of the worst case includes considering the consequences of any proposed action, so self-evidently it rules out any extreme action that may have consequences just as bad as those you are trying to avoid. What that leaves as the best course of action is an extremely difficult question that requires rational discussion, which is what this forum is supposed to be about.

As for what action we should be taking, in my opinion we should focus on:
- Reducing demand for products with high GHG emissions by increases in efficiency and reduction in waste.
- Increased capacity for energy storage and adaption of processes to make best use of intermittent supply where possible.
- Making better use of the nuclear fusion plant that we have been orbiting for the past few billion years.

Doug Jenkins
Interactive Design Services
http://newtonexcelbach.wordpress.com/

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

2
hokie66,

Wrong. The 97% are the ones who actually study the science.

Fundamentally I don't even understand how you can believe a worldwide conspiracy on this magnitude. It's like saying the Illuminati is the ones behind it because "reasons". And you can't argue that fact because everyone is "in on it". Meanwhile in previous posts basic things like the greenhouse effect (outside of it's contribution to climate change, the fact that it exists) is being doubted. It's astounding. And the claim that no school/institution would be able to produce peer-reviewed articles refuting climate change because of "the system" are equally silly.

The entire concept of science is proposing a hypothesis, gathering data, and drawing conclusions. 97% of scientists who focus on this subject (climate) agree with the scientific consensus that this is happening. Geologists or any other type of scientists play a negligible role in determining whether or not this theory is accurate. China is producing tons of new coal power plants. If their scientists could publish peer-reviewed studies refuting what "they" say, of course China would do so. It's as absurd as the anti-vax movement.

We're all technical minded, intelligent people in this forum. However, as I mentioned before, almost none us study the climate. We have better grasps of physics and scientific principles, but to say all the experts who dedicate their lives to the study of this subject are wrong is laughable. It'd be like a Senior Mechanical Engineer, who's very knowledgeable and experienced within his field saying that power transmission lines are a scam because he doesn't understand the electrical principles.

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

RVAmeche,
This is becoming the common theme in the debate/discussion about climate change. When anyone doubts that the alarmists are correct, they are in turn called "wrong" because of the "97%". But thanks for the lecture.

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

Quote:

This is becoming the common theme in the debate/discussion about climate change. When anyone doubts that the alarmists are correct, they are in turn called "wrong" because of the "97%". But thanks for the lecture.

It doesn't matter what "alarmists" say, no matter which side of the debate they are on. How about responding to the non-alarmist discussion?

Doug Jenkins
Interactive Design Services
http://newtonexcelbach.wordpress.com/

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

2
I suggest that the biggest problem that many have, is the perception that little effective change (in terms of pollution control) is actually seen to be happening. Which is fair, it was always going to have to be a slow change to avoid damaging economies.
But we're seeing things like carbon taxes, making plenty of money for certain types, and having little real effect other than to drive up costs.
And we're wondering, what's the point? We're told it's to combat the carbon bogeyman, totally ignoring almost all other "greenhouse gases".
And yet, the biggest polluters appear to be allowed to continue unabated, while the rest of us must struggle to pay for the climate change religion's vision.
So can you blame people for being skeptical? It appears most are happy with the general idea of reducing pollution and waste in general. But with the amount of self-satisfied "climate warriors" ramming carbon emissions down the throats of the general public, and the glaringly incorrect predictions of the past, I don't see how you can argue that the predictions are definitely so correct!
Yes, we need to reduce our pollution in general. Including items such as waste plastic wrappers. This would be far better accomplished through meaningful education devoid of hyperbole, and encouraging, more than punitive, measures. Right now, "global warming" looks far more like someone's get-rich-quick scheme to me. And many others...

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

hokie66,

That's because among the actual scientists there is NO debate. It's amongst people like ourselves in this forum and the politicians. So the "non-alarmists" are, frankly, the people who don't understand the science. I don't pretend to be a climate scientist and I don't pretend to know more about their area of expertise either. Much like those 32,000 "people with degrees in science" by the Petition Project that carries zero weight on the topic.

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

RVAmeche: almost, but not quite true. Among the actual scientists there is MUCH debate- but it's debate about the severity, how quickly it will be felt, where/in what ways it will be felt worst, and what to do about it which will be effective. There is no meaningful debate about the origin of the CO2 nor about the resulting climactic forcing. And the lack of meaningful debate on those topics doesn't arise from an unwillingness to consider other theories- it arises because the existing theory is consistent with our measurements (multiple cross referenced measurements), and has a strong theoretical underpinning (i.e. we understand not just that it is happening, but also why).

Again, it's important- as this thread apparently sought to accomplish- to distinguish between what we theorize based on strong evidence, and what we merely suspect.

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

"We're told it's to combat the carbon bogeyman, totally ignoring almost all other "greenhouse gases"

Not true, at all. We're focusing on CO2 because it is the GHG with the longest environmental persistence which has increased by the largest amount. We're not ignoring methane, NOx etc., nor are we ignoring water vapour either.

"And yet, the biggest polluters appear to be allowed to continue unabated, while the rest of us must struggle to pay for the climate change religion's vision."

We are the consumers of fossil fuels, hence WE are the the "biggest polluters" in that sense. The characterization of concern over anthropogenic climate change as "religion" is hyperbole and belies the real issue in your commentary- you think the evidence isn't solid enough to justify the necessary response. Why not? Because the change is gradual- the planet has a lot of "inertia" to what we're doing to it, so the problem seems less urgent than it otherwise would.

As to the assertion that global warming is making people rich: as someone who helps clients develop new technology, I can say that the assumption that we'd get serious eventually about dealing with global warming has led to a lot of people betting the farm, so to speak, and losing it as a result. The notion that we can have a non-emitting suite of technologies compete- and win- against a suite of existing emitting technologies with NO PREMIUM on those emissions in economic terms, flies in the face of basic economics and elementary commonsense. I can also tell you that I daily see the result of the efforts of people like the Koch brothers, who profit from the status quo and want it to stick around for as long as possible- at very least until they're in the ground- sowing discord and disinformation- preaching controversy where there is none.

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

This is coupled with the aggressive sales of US oil from non-traditional sources, which has consistently led to a glut of low-cost oil, providing even less incentive to conserve and reduce consumption growth.

Ignoring AGC and other considerations, the "manifest destiny" approach to our own natural resources appears to be short-sighted, given that we ought to conserve our own natural resources, rather than pump and dump until our own wells run dry.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
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RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

Quote:

(rb1957)

there is, of course, a middle ground where we reduce our dependence on FFs for carbon neutral options (the best short term solution IMHO is nuclear, the best long term is fusion) and we can have "green" options filling niches and giving some "feel good" optics. It would be an interesting choice, to invest now is a "massive" nuclear PP building program, and at least some action, but to get the politics to align ...

I think nuclear is the answer as well. I'm not a big government guy.....but I would be willing to pay more taxes for a massive R&D project to get fusion off the ground.

Quote:

(SnTMan)

Yeah, I know what you're saying, but we are told China is bringing on a coal plant a week. India not far behind. That's development. In terms of C02 emissions, it hardly matters what the US for example does.

I kind of disagree because I think we should do our part to reduce emissions....but I'm glad somebody recognizes this about China & India. The USA is only 15% of CO2 emissions.

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

WARose, I did not mean to imply the US should do nothing, just that the developed world can't make much difference acting alone.

EDIT: Probably should say "enough"

The problem with sloppy work is that the supply FAR EXCEEDS the demand

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

yes, but we don't want to "crucify" ourselves with excessive economic penalties if others aren't following suite.

and we don't want to suffer these penalties if they don't significantly change the outcome.

trading Carbon credits is just a scam ... the money is not (IMHO) being used to help resolve the problem.

we have a very difficult problem to solve. It is a global problem and needs a global solution.
The solution (IMHO) will require some stick (taxes, penalties for using FFs) and some carrot (incentives for using other sources). We should (IMHO) being trying to redirect the developing world (particularly China) towards more of an electric economy, but we have to recognise the problems with this approach (building the world's supply of batteries for one thing). We should be increasing fusion energy research. Higher energy consumption is an (almost) necessary corollary of increased development; we (developed economies) should not try to restrain development in other countries ... though we can nudge it towards a path we think is "better".

And possibly China is getting a bad rap here. I hear that for as much "harm" they're doing (building coal powered power stations) they are also doing developments in non-FF fuels/energy.

another day in paradise, or is paradise one day closer ?

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

One thing that has happened in recent years is an effort by some countries (in Europe mostly) to legislate cleaner energy practices for their manufacturing. This (like all regulation) drives the cost of manufacturing up. Justifiably perhaps. However, it has the unintended consequences of companies moving their manufacturing over to countries that are farther away and which use even less "clean" energy than was used originally. So, the efforts for to improve the environment through environmental regulation fails in this respect.

Now, I'm more pro "free market" and "free trade" than most people I know. However, it seems to me that the way to deal with this is to do the following:
a) Impose "tarrifs" on goods that are manufactured in a way that is problematic for the people of the USA. Not with the intention of singling out any one country or starting a trade war. But rather merely to increase the cost of those goods.
b) Use the money from those taxes / tarrifs to fund clean energy projects either at home or abroad. This could be done in a way that discourages a trade war. For example: if we're concerned about what percentage of some nation comes from burning coal, we can fund the construction of a replacement combined cycle gas turbine power plant in that nation (which produces a whole lot less CO2 per MegaWatt than burning coal). Obviously we could try for solar or wind or something as well, but it's probably more efficient use of funds (in terms of $$ per ton decrease in C02 emission) to switch from coal to natural gas.

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

JoshPlum- you've nailed the reason that nobody wants to be the first penguin off the iceflow. Nobody wants their goods for export to be burdened with a penalty for doing something good for the world, i.e. taxing the fossil carbon emissions associated with those goods' manufacture. So any carbon taxing or other pricing scheme MUST be paired with tariffs on goods and services from nations who don't have a similar tax, or else the tax will be set too low to be effective or the public will not support it.

Canada would have had a carbon tax in place nationally two decades ago had the US done so- and free trade between the countries means that tariffing US goods and services isn't in the cards. So free trade does stymie climate action in that sense. I say "free trade", despite the illegal American tariffs on steel and aluminum- against the rules of the agreements America has signed with its neighbours- which persist despite the NEW free trade agreement.

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

Lol, in this thread I've learned that politicians know more about climate change than the people studying it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_effect

Some of the deniers on here should go thru the above link and cite their sources as they discredit the entire wiki page on how global warming works. The first person to recognize the possibility lived in 1896!

Global warming isn't Santa Claus. You don't get to believe in it or not. It is happening. It is easy science.

Here's a 3 minute video with cartoons. Please tell me how it is wrong with sources:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTvqIijqvTg&vl...

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

Wel,
I think people so desperately want to impress others with their knowledge that you are all over complicating the entire discussion.

Regards,
Matt

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

@matt,

interesting, could you explain your version of the discussion ?

another day in paradise, or is paradise one day closer ?

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

The concluding remarks from the snopes article seem reasonable:

"As interesting as this nearly century-old article might be from a modern perspective, however, it isn’t substantive evidence either for or against the concept of anthropogenic global warming. As documented elsewhere, the warming phenomena observed in 1922 proved to be indicative only of a local event in Spitzbergen, not a trend applicable to the Arctic as a whole."

Doug Jenkins
Interactive Design Services
http://newtonexcelbach.wordpress.com/

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

I wonder if the relevance to today's discussion is data being misunderstood and wrong conclusions being drawn ?
though, of course, the article isn't prima facie evidence for or against ACC.

another day in paradise, or is paradise one day closer ?

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

Awhicker -

I enjoyed that short cartoon you linked to. There is one item that was mentioned that I have a question about. The part where it says that relatively small changes in carbon dioxide in the air have been linked to large changes in temperature based on the ice core records.

I read someone (Michael Crighton?) give a relatively convincing argument that this correlation isn't as definitive at it would seem. That when examining the ice core data, the increase in temperatures appears to occur before the increase in CO2. Anyone else read something similar?

Note: to me, this doesn't raise many issues with the overall concept of global warming gases. Just maybe calls into question how accurate some of the computer models will be if they use the ice core correlation as a basis of their model. After all there are so many other variables that may have been changing at the same time.

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

Josh, you are correct. The 800 year lag between rising temperature and rising CO2 is discussed in the documentary "The Great Global Warming Swindle", to which I posted a link in an earlier thread by the same name. I have not seen any refutation of this very damning evidence, except a very pronounced silence.

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

"I have not seen any refutation of this very damning evidence, except a very pronounced silence."

Only if you choose not to search for something that happened and was refuted more than 10 years ago.:
https://www.headheritage.co.uk/uknow/features.php/...
http://www.ofcomswindlecomplaint.net/About/Ruling/...
https://web.archive.org/web/20090914151107/http://...
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2007/mar...
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007...

TTFN (ta ta for now)
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RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

Compositepro - apart from there not having been a silence on this topic, as IRstuff illustrates, it is not clear to me why you see this evidence as "damning".

The climate is affected by factors other than the concentration of CO2. No climate scientist would dispute that.

Doug Jenkins
Interactive Design Services
http://newtonexcelbach.wordpress.com/

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

TDS: precisely. That CO2 lagged climate changes in past is no evidence whatsoever AGAINST the climactic forcing arising from the narrowing of the IR window into space which increased atospheric CO2 concentration represents.

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

I was afraid that there might be some actual refutation presented in the links above. They are simply more piling onto the global warming religion with testimonials.

From IRstuff's first link:
PROFESSOR CHRIS RAPLEY CBE, BRITISH ANTARCTIC SURVEY, writes:

This refers to the records of Antarctic climate and CO2 obtained from Antarctic ice cores covering the last 650,000 years. In these, the Earth can be seen to undergo natural changes from glacial conditions to warmer times like the present.

When temperature is warm, the CO2 concentration is high, and when temperature is cold, the CO2 concentration is low. During the exit from glacial periods (for example the transition from the last cold period, between about 18,000 and 11,000 years ago), both temperature and CO2 increased slowly and in parallel.

Close analysis of the relationship between the two curves shows that, within the uncertainties of matching their timescales, the temperature led by a few centuries.

This is expected, since it was changes in the Earth's orbital parameters (including the shape of its orbit around the Sun, and the tilt of Earth's axis) that caused the small initial temperature rise. This then raised atmospheric CO2 levels, in part by out-gassing from the oceans, causing the temperature to rise further. By amplifying each other's response, this "positive feedback" can turn a small initial perturbation into a large climate change.

There is therefore no surprise that the temperature and CO2 rose in parallel, with the temperature initially in advance. In the current case, the situation is different, because human actions are raising the CO2 level, and we are starting to observe the temperature response.


This argument is hogwash. If CO2 lags temperature rise, it disproves CO2 causes temperature rise. The alarmists frequently use the graph of correlation to convince people that CO2 causes temperature change. It is very powerful and convincing evidence. But the lag, if anything, proves the opposite. One "scientist" testimonial even had the gall to say:

"Temperature leads CO2 by 800 years in the ice cores. Not quite as true as they said, but basically correct; however they misinterpret it. The way they said this you would have thought that T and CO2 are anti-correlated; but if you overlay the full 400/800 kyr of ice core record, you can’t even see the lag because its so small. The correct interpretation of this is well known: that there is a T-CO2 feedback."

I am becoming more and more convinced that saying 97% of climate scientists agree that global warming is man made is the same as saying that 97% of religious scholars agree that there is a god. I would expect more like 100%. And I do not believe it is a conspiracy. It is human nature.

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

"If CO2 lags temperature rise, it disproves CO2 causes temperature rise. "

No, it does not. As stated in the links, when temperature rises, CO2 rises, which is independent of whether a rise in CO2 can cause a rise in temperature.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
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RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

Compositepro - just saying hogwash and repeating a statement that is at best a gross oversimplification doesn't get us anywhere.

If you think the quoted statements are hogwash, and expect other people to agree, you need to work through what they actually said, and explain why it is not valid.

Doug Jenkins
Interactive Design Services
http://newtonexcelbach.wordpress.com/

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

The only plausible proof of that assertion is if you can find evidence where a CO2 rise was not followed at all by a temperature rise, assuming there are not other factors involved.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
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RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

CompositePro -

I'm glad you responded with the information about the (approximately) 800 year lag. And, the info on "The Great Global Warming Swindle". I will probably check that out. However, I'm equally glad that IRstuff responded with those links. I've read through one of them and it was really good. I think you might want to read them too.... I'm not saying this with the intent that these links can truly "disprove" your point of view. Rather I say it from the perspective that we all try to better understand why some genuinely smart, rational people come to an alternate conclusion on this CO2 and Global Warming concept.


RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

Which link was it. I checked the first two and was disappointed enough to not continue. I don't really care about this subject enough spend my time on it, when that investment will not ultimately make any difference. I do care when politicians and "scientists" call for a carbon tax that will cost trillions when it is clear that that will not solve the problem. Taxes are not a scientific issue.

And, by the way, I did not say the lag disproves that CO2 causes warming, I said if anything it does. The main beef I have with the alarmists and the CO2 temperature correlation is that since Al Gore they have used the correlation as persuasive evidence of causation. The lag, if anything, disproves causation. Now they say, yes in the past global warming caused CO2 release from the oceans, and then CO2 caused more warming. So, why is there still life on earth? When the correlation is referenced without mentioning the lag, it is intentionally misleading. You cannot trust people who even once try to deceive you. So now the debate is political and not scientific. The script for the global warming debate seems to come straight out of the disaster and sci-fi movies of the last 70 years.

If the oceans rise 10 ft. in the next hundred years humanity will survive. In WWII Tokyo, Dresden, Berlin, Hiroshima, etc. were almost entirely destroyed. 20 years later they were bigger and economically better-off than ever. Global warming will not kill any one. Declaring urgency is a con artist tactic to get the victim to take the bait. Hurry, this special offer is only available today!

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

Well said Compositepro! Just ask yourself if the alarm message comes from anyone outside the reach of government funding or government brainwashing.

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

Quote:

Well said Compositepro! Just ask yourself if the alarm message comes from anyone outside the reach of government funding or government brainwashing.

There are plenty of people who think climate change is a cause for concern who are not government funded and who consider all the evidence with an appropriate level of scepticism.

On the other hand I have not once seen anyone who calls themself a sceptic show the least hint of scepticism about any evidence that appears to support their opinion, or question any supportive opinion, even if it is expressed by someone with a vested interest.

Doug Jenkins
Interactive Design Services
http://newtonexcelbach.wordpress.com/

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

I copied your text, verbatim. Again, misuse of the data does not prove or disprove whether a CO2 rise will result in warming; it merely proves that a rise in temperature can result in a rise in CO2. It says absolutely nothing about whether a rise CO2 can result in warming. The fact of the matter is that atmospheric CO2 concentration has been rising, which by your argument says that it should be lagging a temperature rise, so either way, temperature is rising.


"Just ask yourself if the alarm message comes from anyone outside the reach of government funding or government brainwashing"

What does that prove? Are you saying that scientists all over the world are money-grubbing ignorant sluts? Aside from being slanderous, it amounts to saying that there's a world-wide conspiracy of silence from any climate scientists who are honest? Or that all those scientists that are beholden to fossil fuel interests are pure as the driven snow? Interestingly, our president's choices for officials are indeed behold to oil and coal interests, and have been busily silencing government scientists.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
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RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

Nobody “calls themselves a skeptic.” Only “believers” paint others with identities. One’s “cause for concern” is not license to confiscate the product of others through means of force i.e. taxes and regulations. Of course looters and moochers do not care to abide by “rules” that protect individuals. Instead they will say, their actions are necessary for the sake of humanity, the world, the children, the unborn, the nonexistent... anybody but the individual whose wealth they are confiscating.

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

jdmunno - OK, there's no point in continuing the discussion.

Doug Jenkins
Interactive Design Services
http://newtonexcelbach.wordpress.com/

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

2
The physics by which CO2 concentration rises after a rise in global temperature due to, say, Milankovich cycles or other known climate drivers is pretty easy to understand: rising surface temperatures would cause CO2 to desorb from the oceans, melt permafrost etc.

That's not what is happening this time, though.

How do we know? The isotopic balance of the CO2 in the atmosphere demonstrates that the new CO2 is of fossil origin, and it accounts for only about 1/2 of the fossil CO2 we know we've emitted by burning fossils- the rest has ended up in the biosphere and the oceans.

That the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere lagged global mean temperature in past does not in any way negate the fact that adding CO2 to the atmosphere narrows the radiative wavelength window into outer space, which obviously represents climactic forcing, i.e. shifting the balance to retaining heat.

Furthermore, we're at a level of CO2 in the atmosphere that hasn't been seen on earth for at least 800,000 years- before anything close to an identifiable human existed.

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

MoltenMetal -

Thank you for that contribution about variations of isotopes in atmospheric carbon. That's something that is easily understandable (at least by me) and that (assuming it's true) demonstrates with some degree of certainty that a good portion of the current increase in C02 in our atmosphere is due to fossil fuels.


Jdmunno -

For what it's worth, I consider myself a skeptic. Personally I try to be skeptical of both sides of most issues. I try not to take a definitive stance on the far side of an issue unless I have really spent a lot of time understanding both sides. Now, the challenge for me (and for most skeptics) is to avoid "confirmation bias" where I overly skeptical of information opposed to my position and much less skeptical of information that supports my position.

I'm just pointing out that I don't think anyone referring to someone who doesn't buy into the global warming as a "skeptic" is not intended as an insult. I think it's just an accurate descriptions. Just as I have referred to some on the other side of the issue as "global warming alarmists". It's an accurate term, not an insult. They're alarmed by what's happening and they are trying to sound the alarm for the rest of us.

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

While "global warming alarmists" might technically not be pejorative, it's clearly been used by the other side as a means of painting their antagonists as "Chicken Littles" running around screaming that the sky is falling, etc. It's pretty clear that it's an ad hominem attack, to paint the opponents as hysterical, or as conspiracists, or as money-grubbing sluts willing to say anything for money, while they are merely reasonable "skeptics."

Regardless, the data should speak for itself, and continuing to claim that "this" proves "that," when the current data clearly disproves it, is simply an attack of attrition, rather than logic. If temperature ALWAYS leads CO2 rise, and we have a CO2 rise, then temperature must already be high, and so global warming is happening. Moreover, given that the current CO2 levels are more than 50% above the historical highs used in the argument, then our temperature rise is in uncharted territory, and THAT should be cause for reflection, both in terms of what is actually happening, and whether one's position as a "skeptic" is simply trying to deny reality.

I see both denial and anger, so we're only two more steps from acceptance. Unfortunately, we humans are rarely able to move cleanly to acceptance; we know we're supposed to eat right and exercise, yet, we're getting fatter every year, so perhaps we're all "fat skeptics," read that any way you want winky smile

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
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RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

Whilst totally agreeing with IRstuff on how the word "alarmist" is currently used, I think Josh makes a good point. If a skeptical review of all the available evidence leads to alarming conclusions, then we should be alarmists.

I have therefore decided I will sign up for membership of the small but growing group of Climate Change Skeptic Alarmists.

And yes, the term "skeptic" is a compliment, not derogatory at all.

Doug Jenkins
Interactive Design Services
http://newtonexcelbach.wordpress.com/

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

All scientist should be skeptics. Being a scientist does not require any certificate. It is someone who practices the scientific method. The fundamental principle of the scientific method is that nothing (i.e., no hypothesis) can be proved to be true with 100% certainty, but one example of a hypothesis not being true, disproves the hypothesis 100%. So scientists do not (or should not) design experiments to prove a hypothesis, but to try to prove it is wrong. When many experiments designed to disprove the hypothesis are unsuccessful, the hypothesis become a theory that is believed to be true. In this context the word "belief" is used to mean this is what we think is true, but it may still be wrong. This is very different than religious belief, which mean something we accept on faith.

I do not think that alarmist is a pejorative. It is a description of a type of behavior. The alarmist might be right (Louis Pasteur) or wrong (Chicken Little). Alarmism has has nothing to do with science per se, but it may be a reaction to scientific discoveries.

RE: Facts, Myths, and Givens in Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC)

"But there is one feature I notice that is generally missing in Cargo Cult Science. That is the idea that we all hope you have learned in studying science in school—we never explicitly say what this is, but just hope that you catch on by all the examples of scientific investigation. It is interesting, therefore, to bring it out now and speak of it explicitly. It’s a kind of scientific integrity, a principle of scientific thought that corresponds to a kind of utter honesty—a kind of leaning over backwards. For example, if you’re doing an experiment, you should report everything that you think might make it invalid—not only what you think is right about it: other causes that could possibly explain your results; and things you thought of that you’ve eliminated by some other experiment, and how they worked—to make sure the other fellow can tell they have been eliminated."

The absence of published critique of their own work is what dooms climate change scienciness.

Cheers

Greg Locock

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