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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted -  15/12/2007  :  07:03
I thought it might be a good thing to have a topic devoted to this important subject.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk
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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 16/12/2009 : 07:25
PS. Chuck gets attacked this morning for flying to Copenhagen in an executive jet. Good.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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AiredalePete
New Member


29 Posts
Posted - 16/12/2009 : 14:32
Nobody has a monopoly on truth or certainty and the best scientists will admit that. However, over years evidence builds and a balance has to be taken for or against. Everyone is entitled to their own view and if they express it they should be prepared to be assessed and perhaps even criticised. Anyone who can't admit to the possibility that releasing trillions of tons of pollutants into the atmosphere carries at least the possibility of ill-effects is, at the very least, disingenuous. - Stanley

I totally agree with you, Stanley.  Whichever side of the argument we are on, we are still persuaded by media reports or scientific analyses,  any of which are as vulnerable to misrepresentatiion as any other.

I have just been reading about 230 climate protestors having been arrested in Copenhagen.  How ridiculous is that!  They have no interest in truth, just in the version that suits their own interests.

Gordon Brown has made a statement about jobs being at risk if the UK doesn't reach a deal...

As high-level talks got underway at the conference in the Danish capital, the Prime Minister said a deal mattered to Britain in terms of jobs and the well-being of future generations.

I somehow doubt that it is the jobs of people in the oil industry whom he has in mind.

This whole thing has moved from a reasoned debate to a hysterical melée and you know what?  In another fifty years our great grandchildren will think it very funny that for a few years, much of the world's population was polarised in its view on whether or not man could do anything at all to influence the climate.

In fact, they will probably view it in much the same way as we view King Canute's efforts to turn back the tides.


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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 16/12/2009 : 20:27


quote:
AiredalePete wrote:
Pete, you are repeating mantras. - Tizer

Laughing
  How do you know that they are mantras rather than facts, Tizer?  It seems to me that it is the shrill voices of those who are basing their campaign on the pseudo-science of human-induced climate change that is turning it into some kind of religion, with those of us who are more inclined to weigh all of the evidence, rather than just part of it,  being considered heretics.

Pete, because people have been repeating them since the 1990s to anyone who would listen even though they are not relevant to the argument. There are shrill voices on both sides and the best route is to listen to neither. Instead, do as you yourself suggest and weigh all of the evidence and not just part of it - but take your evidence from original sources, the people who actually did the measurements, the  earlier studies of the relevant sciences such as geology, oceanography, atmosphere sciences, earth sciences etc. There isn't a small group of scientists making the claims about global warming, there are thousands around the world and hundreds of rigorous scientific studies. Scientists approach a new theory by trying to disprove it, not to confirm it. When, after hundreds of studies try to disprove it but find the same, you begin to say that the probability is the theory is right. It doesn't stop you considering a different theory, but the proponents of the different theory have to come up with the evidence that their theory is better.

I'm not a climate scientist. I have a science background (biochemistry) and have an amateur interest in geology. Also, I spent a little time in geochemistry where I had to learn about the science of the oceans and atmosphere. I don't have any vested interests in either side of the climate debate. I would rather believe that we are all safe and sound. One of my tasks in the past has been to judge the merit and validity of scientific papers submitted to journals and this is how I have approached the debate on climate change. I simply look to see which hypothesis is best supported by the evidence, and I would change my views tomorrow if someone came up with better evidence for a different theory.

For anyone out there who wants to make a well reasoned judgement on climate change I suggest reading up some basic background in geology first. It's not difficult and really quite interesting. It's especially important to take on board the time scale of geological changes. Also, find out a bit about how the the oceans and atmosphere act and interact. And most of all, how the world as we know it is very finely balanced. There are massive inputs and outputs of energy all the time yet the earth can maintain a constant state for thousands of years, allowing life to exist. It's not those massive, regular, natural flows of energy that we are concerned about - it's the recent pushing out of balance that is causing the danger. The normal feedback mechanisms can no longer cope and that fine balance is in jeopardy.


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tripps
Senior Member


1404 Posts
Posted - 17/12/2009 : 14:44
Did you see Newsnight last night. BBC's science reporter did an "experiment" in the kitchen of their environment man to prove AGW. Not fuly paying attention, but she had two lemonade bottles, one full of air, and into the other she piped some CO2 generated locally from vinegar and bi carb. Then applied heat to one side of both, and measured the temp on the opposite side of he bottle. Conclusively proved that the one with extra CO2 passed more heat .  Pure Blue Peter stuff. I think she is to science what Rusty Lee is to fine dining, great personality, and charisma, but not too much science. Has anyone done a real similar experiment, with the correct proportion of CO2, water vapour, and in a real greenhouse? Simplistic, I know, but that's how I am.


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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 17/12/2009 : 20:21
"Conclusively proved that the one with extra CO2 passed more heat".
David, I think you mean  "passed less heat". CO2 aborbs the radiated heat, the gases in that bottle would therefore get hotter and the temperature at the other side of the bottle would be less because less heat was getting through.

It's the heat transmitted as infra-red radiation (i.e. like heat from an electric fire) that is being absorbed by the CO2. Oxygen and nitrogen in air don't absorb heat but CO2 does (as do water vapour and some other gases).  In a sense people use heat absorption by CO2  all the time David. You can use infra-red absorption to measure the concentration of CO2 in, e.g. car exhausts. It's known as infra-red (IR) spectrometry. You measure not just total IR radiation but the amounts at different wavelengths (the IR spectrum). Different gases absorb at different parts of the spectrum, so you can selectively measure one gas in a mixture as in the car exhaust.

The `greenhouse' is an analogy where glass represents CO2. Solar radiation (UV and visible wavelengths) can pass through glass and CO2 unhindered. When they reach the other side of the glass/CO2 they are absorbed by the materials there (plant pots/earth's surface). These realease some of the energy again as IR radiation but this cannot pass through the glass/CO2 and is trapped. The greenhouse/earth warms up. In the case of the earth this ensures that enough heat is retained for life to exist. So the greenhouse effect is a good thing - as long as it stays in balance.


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tripps
Senior Member


1404 Posts
Posted - 17/12/2009 : 21:06
Fair enough Peter. look at the experiment, and tell me what you think

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/newsnight/8418356.stm

Bear in mind - in real life the CO2 level is still only  0.03 % of the atmosphere. There seemed to be no attempt to recreate this situation.


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AiredalePete
New Member


29 Posts
Posted - 18/12/2009 : 07:26
It's the heat transmitted as infra-red radiation (i.e. like heat from an electric fire) that is being absorbed by the CO2. Oxygen and nitrogen in air don't absorb heat but CO2 does (as do water vapour and some other gases). - Tizer

"As do water vapour and some other gases".

Tizer,  the issue as I see it is concerned with carbon dioxide and the notion that human beings are  causing our planet to warm up by releasing this gas into the atmosphere.

By admitting that water vapour also absorbs heat, you have effectively destroyed your own argument (and that of the pseudo-scientists), because water vapour is immensely more prolific in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide.

Taking Tripps' level of 0.03% of the troposphere consisting of carbon dioxide - and I have no reason to doubt it because it is a tiny fraction of the gases present - the amount of carbon dioxide produced by industry is a minute fraction of this 0.03%,  It is dwarfed by the volume of CO2 released from the oceans, from volcanos, from vegetation and from every living thing on the planet, including us.  

I don't think anyone is disputing that the temperature of the planet is increasing but increasing from what?  According to ice core data sampling, it is increasing, entirely naturally, from some of the lowest temperatures that the planet has been in the past ten thousand years. 


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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 18/12/2009 : 10:13
David, thanks for posting the video link which I've now watched. Instead of measuring the temperature on the other side of the bottle (which would be more sujbect to error) they have measured the temperature of the gas inside the bottle. So they are showing the higher temperature due to absorption of gas by the high CO2 level in the bottle rather than the decreased amount of heat getting through the bottle to the other side. You can do the experiment either way - measure transmission or absortion. The way they chose is more relevant to the analogy with the earth's atmosphere and less subject to error.

Pete, I mentioned the water vapour and other gases because if I didn't you would accuse me of trying to mislead you. I've been through the water vapour argument elsewhere on OGFB. You obviously aren't going to accept my explanations so the best I can do is recommend you to read up some of the background as I suggested above. Try it - it's a very interesting subject and you might even turn into a climate scientist!  Wink


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tripps
Senior Member


1404 Posts
Posted - 18/12/2009 : 10:48
Very restrained answer Tiz, thanks. I said I didn't pay close attention on first viewing.  To replicate a real atmosphere, in such a tiny volume of air, ie increase the CO2  level to 0.03% I don't think you need to generate new CO2, and put it in the bottle. I think part of an exhaled breath would be enough?  I didn't like the scare tactics of David King, the former government advisor on such things, when he spoke of all the ice melting and sea levels rising by between 6and 100 metres.

Adpete, I think the oceans and vegetation actually absorb, rather than emit CO2?


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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 19/12/2009 : 12:22
Yes, you wouldn't need much extra CO2 in the bottle to mimick the rise in atmospheric levels, but it would be hard to measure the difference in temperature accurately if you used  much less than they did in such a crude experiment.

Over 99% of air consists of nitrogen and oxygen, which do not absorb heat significantly. Scientists express the concentration of atmospheric CO2 in parts per million (ppm) to give more accurate numbers than %. At school we used to be taught that air contains 0.03% CO2 which is the same as 300 ppm. It is now 389 ppm. For thousands of years it was about 270 ppm then began to rise at the time of the Industrial Revolution, so that it is now 30% higher than when it was in a stable state. We are talking *average* CO2 concentration here - it's very important to remember that when talking about climate everything has to be in averages because on a short-term basis climate is actively fluctuating in a regular way but on the longer term it is (or was) stable. There is a daily and seasonal variation in CO2 for instance.

Plants absorb CO2 during the day to make sugars by photosynthesis but they emit CO2 day and night by respiration. There are 3 billion tons of CO2 in the atmosphere. Human activity produces 100 times more CO2 than do volcanoes, but all natural sources in total release 10 times more than that. But it's a CO2 cycle and the gas is absorbed at the rate it is produced (on average, over time), particularly by the oceans, in a finely balanced system. But the balance is being lost now as more CO2 accumulates in the air and the ocean cannot take it up fast enough. Unfortunately the solubility of CO2 in water goes down as its temperature goes up and the oceans are warming (an average again!).

Another point about oceans that doesn't seem to be mentioned. We've heard in the last week or so that the oceans are becoming more acid and that this can kill corals and other sea creatures. More important is that acidification of the oceans is like putting vinegar on bicarb of soda - the acid breaks down the bicarb into CO2 and water. CO2 is stored in the oceans as bicarb and this is what will happen in the oceans now as they get more acid and it will add even more CO2 to the atmosphere.

There is a readable document from the UN Environment Programme in PDF that can be downloaded from this page. They call it an `information kit'. Some of the data is a bit out of date but it is useful to read. You can alos click on the links on the web page - they provide information but in a boring presentation style! They also have a Climate Change Compendium but it is bigger and probably more technical.


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tripps
Senior Member


1404 Posts
Posted - 19/12/2009 : 13:19
"but it would be hard to measure the difference in temperature accurately if you used  much less than they did"

Exactly!


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AiredalePete
New Member


29 Posts
Posted - 19/12/2009 : 13:52
Another point about oceans that doesn't seem to be mentioned. We've heard in the last week or so that the oceans are becoming more acid and that this can kill corals and other sea creatures. - Tizer



"Ocean Acidification is the fall back position for the global warming activists. The report makes the claim that it will harm shelly creatures in the world's oceans. This is pure fantasy. This interesting demonstration illustrates how fast the CO2 dissolves in water as carbonic acid and converts to calcium carbonate. The calcium carbonate falls to the bottom of the ocean where it is used by creatures to make their shells. It happens quickly as you can see. There is enough Calcium in the oceans to combine with all the coal and oil produced CO2 currently in the Earth 100 times over. The ocean will not become acidic. The thought is that if the oceans become more acidic, the calcium carbonate will dissolve leaving nothing for the shelly creatures. This can't happen. For a more detailed explanation go here. "

Source:  http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=3611


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 20/12/2009 : 07:15
So what's killing the corals?


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 20/12/2009 : 12:04
"...There is enough Calcium in the oceans to combine with all the coal and oil produced CO2 currently in the Earth 100 times over..."

In that case, why has atmospheric CO2 risen by 30% since about 1800 and is still rising? Have a look at this graphic which shows the CO2 rising. The curve on the graph oscillates with the seasons as I mentioned above but the CO2 is obviously rising. This is from the US National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration which is world renowned and has been studying the oceans and Atmosphere for a long time.

http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/globalview/

As for the experiment in the video, it is useful to show the school chemistry reaction of CO2 with calcium hydroxide (slaked lime) to give calcium carbonate (chalk) but doesn't work for the attempted demonstration of what happens to CO2 in the oceans. The experiment produces a massive amount of chalk in minutes which is bound to precipitate out, nothing like what is happening in the ocean. Such experiments are being used to mislead people - don't let them do this. Don't listen to me, find out more and make up your own mind.

The oceans are acidifying. Long term measurements show it. It is not in doubt, and it has been known for a long time that if the atmosphere above seawater increases in CO2 then the seawater becomes more acid.


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AiredalePete
New Member


29 Posts
Posted - 20/12/2009 : 20:06
In that case, why has atmospheric CO2 risen by 30% since about 1800 and is still rising? Have a look at this graphic which shows the CO2 rising. The curve on the graph oscillates with the seasons as I mentioned above but the CO2 is obviously rising. - Tizer

Why is atmospheric CO2 rising? Because the earth is warming up.  Why is the earth warming up?  Because the sun is producing more bursts of energy, 'sunspots', releasing more radiation, releasing more CO2 from the oceans.  Nothing whatsoever to do with human beings.

You drew my attention to an animated graphic.  Did you notice what the units of measurement are? MICROMOLES!  How much smaller can they go? 

From Junkscience.com:

One point apparently causing confusion among our readers is the relative abundance of CO2 in the atmosphere today as compared with Earth's historical levels. Most people seem surprised when we say current levels are relatively low, at least from a long-term perspective - understandable considering the constant media/activist bleat about current levels being allegedly "catastrophically high." Even more express surprise that Earth is currently suffering one of its chilliest episodes in about six hundred million (600,000,000) years.

More


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