Global Warming Reprise?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by dostoy, Feb 12, 2007.

  1. dostoy

    dostoy New Member

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    Lex,


    It seems global warming may have alternate explanations (read quoted article below). I personally think all the cement in megalopolis' in the world acts like a huge heat sink. Deforestation may have more of an effect on global temperatures than green house gases. Ever cook an egg on the sidewalk? I've never been able to cook an egg on a palm frond.

    P.S. I think I mentioned the possible effects of the Sun on your global warming thread but I can't remember.

    An experiment that hints we are wrong on climate change-News-UK-TimesOnline


    An experiment that hints we are wrong on climate change

    Nigel Calder, former editor of New Scientist, says the orthodoxy must be challenged



    When politicians and journalists declare that the science of global warming is settled, they show a regrettable ignorance about how science works. We were treated to another dose of it recently when the experts of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued the Summary for Policymakers that puts the political spin on an unfinished scientific dossier on climate change due for publication in a few months’ time. They declared that most of the rise in temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to man-made greenhouse gases.
    The small print explains “very likely” as meaning that the experts who made the judgment felt 90% sure about it. Older readers may recall a press conference at Harwell in 1958 when Sir John Cockcroft, Britain’s top nuclear physicist, said he was 90% certain that his lads had achieved controlled nuclear fusion. It turned out that he was wrong. More positively, a 10% uncertainty in any theory is a wide open breach for any latterday Galileo or Einstein to storm through with a better idea. That is how science really works.
    Twenty years ago, climate research became politicised in favour of one particular hypothesis, which redefined the subject as the study of the effect of greenhouse gases. As a result, the rebellious spirits essential for innovative and trustworthy science are greeted with impediments to their research careers. And while the media usually find mavericks at least entertaining, in this case they often imagine that anyone who doubts the hypothesis of man-made global warming must be in the pay of the oil companies. As a result, some key discoveries in climate research go almost unreported.
    Enthusiasm for the global-warming scare also ensures that heatwaves make headlines, while contrary symptoms, such as this winter’s billion-dollar loss of Californian crops to unusual frost, are relegated to the business pages. The early arrival of migrant birds in spring provides colourful evidence for a recent warming of the northern lands. But did anyone tell you that in east Antarctica the Adélie penguins and Cape petrels are turning up at their spring nesting sites around nine days later than they did 50 years ago? While sea-ice has diminished in the Arctic since 1978, it has grown by 8% in the Southern Ocean.
    So one awkward question you can ask, when you’re forking out those extra taxes for climate change, is “Why is east Antarctica getting colder?” It makes no sense at all if carbon dioxide is driving global warming. While you’re at it, you might inquire whether Gordon Brown will give you a refund if it’s confirmed that global warming has stopped. The best measurements of global air temperatures come from American weather satellites, and they show wobbles but no overall change since 1999.
    That levelling off is just what is expected by the chief rival hypothesis, which says that the sun drives climate changes more emphatically than greenhouse gases do. After becoming much more active during the 20th century, the sun now stands at a high but roughly level state of activity. Solar physicists warn of possible global cooling, should the sun revert to the lazier mood it was in during the Little Ice Age 300 years ago.
    Climate history and related archeology give solid support to the solar hypothesis. The 20th-century episode, or Modern Warming, was just the latest in a long string of similar events produced by a hyperactive sun, of which the last was the Medieval Warming.
    The Chinese population doubled then, while in Europe the Vikings and cathedral-builders prospered. Fascinating relics of earlier episodes come from the Swiss Alps, with the rediscovery in 2003 of a long-forgotten pass used intermittently whenever the world was warm.
    What does the Intergovernmental Panel do with such emphatic evidence for an alternation of warm and cold periods, linked to solar activity and going on long before human industry was a possible factor? Less than nothing. The 2007 Summary for Policymakers boasts of cutting in half a very small contribution by the sun to climate change conceded in a 2001 report.
    Disdain for the sun goes with a failure by the self-appointed greenhouse experts to keep up with inconvenient discoveries about how the solar variations control the climate. The sun’s brightness may change too little to account for the big swings in the climate. But more than 10 years have passed since Henrik Svensmark in Copenhagen first pointed out a much more powerful mechanism.
    He saw from compilations of weather satellite data that cloudiness varies according to how many atomic particles are coming in from exploded stars. More cosmic rays, more clouds. The sun’s magnetic field bats away many of the cosmic rays, and its intensification during the 20th century meant fewer cosmic rays, fewer clouds, and a warmer world. On the other hand the Little Ice Age was chilly because the lazy sun let in more cosmic rays, leaving the world cloudier and gloomier.
    The only trouble with Svensmark’s idea — apart from its being politically incorrect — was that meteorologists denied that cosmic rays could be involved in cloud formation. After long delays in scraping together the funds for an experiment, Svensmark and his small team at the Danish National Space Center hit the jackpot in the summer of 2005.
    In a box of air in the basement, they were able to show that electrons set free by cosmic rays coming through the ceiling stitched together droplets of sulphuric acid and water. These are the building blocks for cloud condensation. But journal after journal declined to publish their report; the discovery finally appeared in the Proceedings of the Royal Society late last year.
    Thanks to having written The Manic Sun, a book about Svensmark’s initial discovery published in 1997, I have been privileged to be on the inside track for reporting his struggles and successes since then. The outcome is a second book, The Chilling Stars, co-authored by the two of us and published next week by Icon books. We are not exaggerating, we believe, when we subtitle it “A new theory of climate change”.
    Where does all that leave the impact of greenhouse gases? Their effects are likely to be a good deal less than advertised, but nobody can really say until the implications of the new theory of climate change are more fully worked out.
    The reappraisal starts with Antarctica, where those contradictory temperature trends are directly predicted by Svensmark’s scenario, because the snow there is whiter than the cloud-tops. Meanwhile humility in face of Nature’s marvels seems more appropriate than arrogant assertions that we can forecast and even control a climate ruled by the sun and the stars.
    The Chilling Stars is published by Icon. It is available for £9.89 including postage from The Sunday Times Books First on 0870 165 8585
     
  2. Nitrofiend

    Nitrofiend New Member

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    I will not give any response to that until you space it out so it's readable. My eyes glazed over a few times trying to read that and meteorology is my topic of specialty.
     
  3. dostoy

    dostoy New Member

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    There is a link at the top of the post to a well spaced online article (The underlined text). It would be cool to hear what a meteoroligist would have to say.
     
  4. Male Bonding etc

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    I read it, and concede it may have some important points.

    However, take the example of 10 feet + of snow in parts of New York State. Some might question how global warming could have had such a counterintuitive impact, and yet, the facts are that the great lakes aren't freezing, their water continues to add moisture to the atmosphere that wouldn't be added if they were frozen, that moisture becomes frozen precipitation, and New York gets way more snow than they normally get.

    Could not a similar effect be in play in Antartica?

    Furthermore wind and water currents are altered by unusual warmth (or cold) on the planet's surface, thus bringing climatic changes that may run counter to the averages.

    So, yes, the earth has gone through hotter and colder periods long before there were humans here to impact the climate. Still, there seems to be plenty of evidence that our emmissions ARE having an impact, which prompts me to ask this question:
    If you are in a car headed for a collision, do you simply continue on the same course as you have been on, or do you use the steering wheel and the brakes to try to avoid the collision?

    I contend that we are driving our car toward the collision, but even if the collision is indepedently headed toward us, we would do well to use whatever resources we have to avoid it.
     
  5. dostoy

    dostoy New Member

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    The gist of the article:

    "He saw from compilations of weather satellite data that cloudiness varies according to how many atomic particles are coming in from exploded stars. More cosmic rays, more clouds. The sun’s magnetic field bats away many of the cosmic rays, and its intensification during the 20th century meant fewer cosmic rays, fewer clouds, and a warmer world. On the other hand the Little Ice Age was chilly because the lazy sun let in more cosmic rays, leaving the world cloudier and gloomier."

    If green house gases only account for 2% heating up we got problems. If it accounts for a larger percentage then cutting back on green house gases; restoring the Amazon jungle; and dressing up megalopolis' makes sense. Otherwise we are at the whim of solar cycles. :-(
     
  6. Male Bonding etc

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    "If" figures prominently in your comment, and we may not have time to determine conclusively that one factor is more at fault than another. I won't always say this, but I think this is one time when we should err (if it is indeed to be proven an error) on the side of caution.

    How hard is it to walk when we can, take mass transit when it is available, combine trips, skip frivolous trips, carpool, use more fuel efficient vehicles, build more energy efficient homes and businesses, keep our houses a little cooler in the winter and warmer in the summer, recycle more and consume less? The benefits will go far beyond the lessening of our contribution to global warming.
     
  7. dostoy

    dostoy New Member

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    I'm all for conservation. I want tropical forest deforestation to stop. I want vehicles to run more efficiently. I want our war money to instead go to research in fusion. If it takes a lie or two to convince the masses its time to do something then I guess I'm for it. I'm just not going to go around deluding myself. That worked once with WMD's and Iraq (I hope the similarities are self-evident). :)

    I saw someone's odometer recently, it hit 180,000 mi. At $1.5/gal that would have been $270,000 in the bank. City living is a good thing.

    Ever see a bacterial colony grow out to the edges of its petri dish and stew in its own waste? That could be humanity on planet earth.

    [Also, I can make the case that the third world needs to stop contributing to global warming my causing deforestation and polluting the oceans with human waste and chemical waste. More needs to be on the table. Not just gas guzzling vehicles.]
     
  8. Male Bonding etc

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    At this point we don't know it to be a lie. Furthermore a large number of very respected scientists seem to think it is a significant contributor.

    You mention WMD in Iraq, but it seems fair to say that we are largely in that morass because of our dependence on oil. Those who are responsible for putting us there did it on far less intelligence than what we have before us regarding global warming. So, I will assert that, while the two situations are related because of our unbridled consumption of oil, the similarities are not otherwise self evident.

    [And I for one was NOT deluded by the assertions there were WMD in Iraq.]

    Regarding the third world contributions to the problem, they pale in comparison to what we do. Furthermore, we have the awareness, the science, the technology, and the wherewithal to do something about it, we have simply lacked the will so far. Is it not our markets that purchase much of what is harvested through deforestation? Is it not our example of modern living that is largely driving what is seen as success in those countries? Do not our multi-national corporations want consumers to covet their products in those countries also?

    Finally, please note, that I did not limit what needs to be done to gas guzzling vehicles. Perhaps our single biggest contributing factor is consumerism. Buy this, it will make you happy, successful, sexy, rich, thin, comfortable, envied, admired... free from worry or stress. So much of our economy is driven by people buying goods and services that are over-the-top beyond essential.

    We feel down, we drive somewhere to buy something to feel better. We are caught in a never ending cycle of thinking we can buy the things that are meaningful. When the last thing we bought doesn't work, we go get something new...

    Here's a similarity I'll run by you (if you have stayed with me this long): Have you ever seen something that promised it was going to make your life better, bought it, found it DIDN'T do the trick, and then gone and bought something else that was supposed to do the trick? Try comparing THAT to the situation in Iraq. Um, WMD? no. Um, Al Qaida? no. Um, Sadam Hussein? maybe, but now we have a different problem. Um, not enough troops?
     
  9. Shelby

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    A fellow named Jeremy Rifkin was way ahead of the curve warning us to change our ways. Back in 1980 he published a book Entropy:A New World View that made all kinds of dire predictions. It was convincingly written and I (an idealistic left leaning student) bought right in.

    The trouble is he was wrong.
     
  10. B_big dirigible

    B_big dirigible New Member

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    A genuinely despicable attitude. And you evidently don't realize that you are one of the masses who are being lied to and convinced that there's a need to "do something". And do what? Whatever the liars want you to do. Don't count on it having anything to do with the climate, though. Climate change is just the most recent tool with which to whack easily-stampeded sheep on their pointy lil' heads and kick them in their fuzzy butts in the direction their self-appointed "betters" feel they should go.
     
  11. skunkdawg

    skunkdawg New Member

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    Hello this is my first post. I agree with what you have to say. But it should be noted that even though we have had a lot of snow this past week. It is not all that unusual. This area of New York state can get up to 300 to 400 inches of snow in a season
     
  12. Nitrofiend

    Nitrofiend New Member

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    The reason for the unusual amount of lake-effect snow this season in western NY is because the eastern great lakes are much warmer than they have usually been. The pattern of northwest flow has been very prolonged in the region so the function goes like this: wind blows across the warm water, gathers the warm moisture, the Coriolis effect bends the advection towards the shore where the frictional drag on the land is higher (and so is the elevation) causing intense convection (thundersnow is common) due to the rapid adiabatic cooling from this process.

    As long as the lakes are relatively warm compared to the land and the winds are blowing from the northwest, the snow will continue. They currently do not know when it might stop. While a fascinating thing to observe, it's becoming a very threatening hazard to the people in that region as there are already accumulations over 9 feet.
     
  13. Male Bonding etc

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    Hello this is my first post. I agree with what you have to say. But it should be noted that even though we have had a lot of snow this past week. It is not all that unusual. This area of New York state can get up to 300 to 400 inches of snow in a season -- skunkdawg


    Okay, I don't live there (and, sorry, but I AM thankful to be where I am), but it does seem much has been made about this being an unusual amount for such a short period of time. Now, it wouldn't surprise me for the media to have gone sensational on us, but surely there is a little "fire" with all that "smoke?"
     
  14. Nitrofiend

    Nitrofiend New Member

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    (sorry to double post)

    The sun's light rays are not really a factor in global warming (in fact they're getting lesser due to global dimming), however it is also true that the Earth's magnetic poles are overdue for a reversal. Scientists theorize that if that flip occurs, the magnetic shielding that protects the Earth from the Sun's cosmic rays will only be running at about 10% capacity. Naturally that's not a good thing as more radiation (not to mention no magnetic field for position or locational devices) could lead to more heat and greater incidences of cancer. However that's all speculation.

    There are some scientists that believe Global Warming can actually lead to global cooling. If you saw the movie, The Day After Tomorrow, you'll see what I'm getting at (even though at times that movie was grossly inaccurate).

    The gulf stream runs clockwise around the Atlantic Ocean. The convection up from the equator runs warmer, salty, surface water upwards in lattitude along the US coast and spreads a jet of warm currents into the shores of Western Europe and the British Isles. The latter current is called the North Atlantic Current and it runs based on a convection cell of displaced fresh water. Fresh water and salt water do not mix and the denser saltwater sinks to the bottom shifting the current downwards in depth to run along the bottom half of the ocean. This constant cycle of cooling and sinking is what drives the eastern part of the current and keeps Western Europe warm and temperate.

    As you know, Global Warming is melting the major ice caps and glacial plains of Greenland into the ocean. That freshwater output from the melted ice is theorized to be jeopardizing the function of the atlantic conveyor belt of warmth that keeps W. Europe inhabitable. If the tipping point in the equilibrium is exceeded, and an increased concentration of freshwater to saltwater stops the convection cell, the current could shut down or reverse. The result would be disastrous for Europe, which would plunge into a mini ice age.

    NOTE: I am NOT a certified meteorologist contrary to the OP's assumption. I'm just a college kid with that ambition.
     
  15. skunkdawg

    skunkdawg New Member

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    They are sending people up to the Tug Hill area to get an official number. Redfield is claiming 140 inches which would break the state record by 1 foot which was set in 1992 if my mind serves me correctly. This event lasted about seven days which would break the old seven day record. I live about 50 miles from the Tug Hill area so we don't get the full effect of the squalls. The last big one we had was two years ago, we had over 100 inches of snow in one week. Yes, it is rought when we get hit by squalls but it is something you get use to. No one has died from this event. Gee this is my second posting since joining LPSG. Thank you for getting me to become an active member.
     
  16. dostoy

    dostoy New Member

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    When people just believe the scientists w/o understanding the science it is something akin to a faith based religion (It makes no allowances for the politics and other fallible humanity aspects of the scientific class).

    I like how I riled both the left and right simulataneously with one post (not the OP). It convinces me that I'm right to some greater degree than either. :)

    BTW deforestation is mostly about overpopulation on lands insufficient to supply their needs and poor agricultural practices which leads to desertification, which likely leads to global warming. Find some satellite photos and check out the spread of human civilization.
     
  17. dostoy

    dostoy New Member

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    I'll say that this post is accurate. I've heard the information before so it is valid for the sake of consideration.

    BTW, I knew you were only 18 but assumed you'd probably be able to significantly contribute to the discussion. Good job. :)

    Also, did you read the article and get the idea that the sun is blocking some interstellar radiation from hitting the earth and that lesser cloud cover is a result? New theory to me. Suprised you didn't comment on that.

    GREENLAND wasn't call Greenland because it was too cold for Viking farming.
     
  18. sutarikun

    sutarikun New Member

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    .... because, obviously, we're the only thing that really can be to blame. There have been major climate shifts before, and I don't know anything about how truly past due we are for one (as much as anything can be said for certain). I just believe that there's both plenty that can and cannot be done, and even if we are not the cause of global warming and even if global warming does not exist, we are destroying our own air. We need to think: "hmm.... do I want to inhale gasoline for the rest of my life?" We need to stop worrying about having third and fourth houses, and we need to stop fricking developing every inch of woodland left here so that people can have "a nice view." Especially in areas where people will *need* to drive far to get to anything (translation: We need to get the new condos off of North Hutchinson Island and put back the trees).
     
  19. Nitrofiend

    Nitrofiend New Member

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    "The sun’s magnetic field bats away many of the cosmic rays, and its intensification during the 20th century meant fewer cosmic rays, fewer clouds, and a warmer world."

    I can't lend the article much credence just because of that one mistake. It's the Earth's magnetic field that "bats away many of the cosmic rays". Overall the article still seems fishy to me. I smell a bias and I'd have to see something more dryly written about the theory for me to discuss it. Also, there's no explanation of the "more-cosmic-rays, more-clouds-theory" to be found. That doesn't make the best sense to me, I'd have to read more.
     
  20. dostoy

    dostoy New Member

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    The theory just got published in a book not yet available via Amazon:

    The Chilling Stars is published by Icon. It is available for £9.89 including postage from The Sunday Times Books First on 0870 165 8585


    Again, good summary on all the ideas on the conveyor belt theory post of yours. I've heard it and your other references and they all seem to be very reasonable theories. I wonder how The Chilling Stars idea will pan out. I know too little to guess off hand.

    Have you taken 2nd semester physics yet? That's when EM theory first get presented. I wonder if that will be enough to read and understand this book?
     
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