Posts tagged climate change
Scientists understood the climate 150 years ago better than the EPA head today
Posted on 31 March 2017 by John Abraham
Recently he (Scott Pruitt) claimed on CNBC that carbon dioxide is not a primary contributor to global warming:
I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do, and there’s tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact. So, no, I would not agree that’s a primary contributor to the global warming that we see. But we don’t know that yet. We need to continue the debate and continue the review and the analysis.
“There are two undeniable ironies in this statement. First, taken at face value it would suggest that we actually need to do more analysis – but the current administration is proposing draconian cuts in our climate science research budget. They are doing just the opposite of what he recommends.
The second irony is that scientists have known about the importance of carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas for well over 100 years. There is no debate among any reputable scientists that carbon dioxide is the most important human emitted greenhouse gas. Furthermore, humans have increased the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by 43%. These are facts.”
“The final stop on our way-back trip brings us to 1896 and Swedish researcher Svante Arrhenius. He became the first person (that I know of) to make predictions about how much the Earth temperature would change as we add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. The title of his work, “On the Influence of Carbonic Acid in the Air upon the Temperature of the Ground” says it all.
Using measurements of the energy incoming from the moon, Arrhenius showed that changes to trace gases in the atmosphere can dramatically affect the temperature of the planet. He also discussed how gases are able to absorb specific wavelengths of light. Using experimental data from other preceding studies, he predicted global temperatures would rise approximately 5–6C in response to a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide.”
“Greg Craven summarized why by examining the extreme possible outcomes in his viral climate ‘decision grid’ video.”
Posted on 30 December 2014 by dana1981
If you can afford to watch a video for 9+ minutes, this is a good investment. And, as I recollect, the US government made the column “A” choice over the possibility of a nuclear attack by Russia in the 50’s. Billions of dollars, maybe all total over a trillion, were spent on the nuclear deterrent, mainly by the Air Force Strategic Air Command keeping bombers in the air heading towards targets 24/7 plus a 24/7 command aircraft in the air plus who knows how many Nike missile sites and hundreds of missiles: not to mention the personnel and support costs. The US government definitely took column “A” and avoided the column “B” true. So the method has been tried and proven effective in that case. I suggest it will work in the case of climate change caused by global warming. The boss may not always be right but is still the boss. Humans may not be causing global warming but the Earth’s atmosphere and oceans are still warming. What do you think?
“The overall rise of atmospheric carbon dioxide during the last deglaciation was thought to have been triggered by the release of CO2 from the deep ocean – especially the Southern Ocean. However, the researchers say that no obvious ocean mechanism is known that would trigger rises of 10-15 ppm over a time span as short as one to two centuries.”
“The oceans are simply not thought to respond that fast,” Brook said.
I read daily updates on climate change science and suspected results of the certain rapid increase in CO2 and methane levels in both the atmosphere and oceans. In the oceans it increases acidification to the detriment of crustaceans and other hard shelled animals. In addition I read about climate change deniers and detractors; many of which are paid to create cherry picking and inaccuracies that result in doubt in public opinion.
I find constant revisions and updated findings. The uncertainty fuels deniers who demand scientific “proof.”
Science does not and never has supplied “truth.” The primary cause of the subject of uncertainty is a misunderstanding of the nature of Earth. Earth is a living being and not a machine. Earth events are often unpredictable and constantly break the “laws of Nature” that we persist in holding onto. Earth rhythms and cycles never exactly repeat. Variation resides in the very core of what it is to be planet Earth.
Take our medical Doctor visits. We learn to accept the “uncertainty” of our health and our illness treatments. We think nothing of following medical advice. For instance, the exact cause of an illness often cannot be determined accurately. We are sometimes told to take this medicine and come back in awhile to see if it worked. If not then other medicine is prescribed.
Governments and other power structures have habituated the “do nothing until we have absolute proof,” and “not enough data has been collected” excuses. They fiddle while Rome burns. It is time to stop searching for who started the fire and concentrate on putting out the fire.
We don’t need to know the exact extent of anthropogenic causes to become aware that humans, within the present cultural and global economic system, contribute a significant and irrefutable amount of greenhouse gases. These gasses are undeniably present and increasing. Weather in most regions of Earth is becoming more severe,[see: http://mashable.com/2014/11/02/super-typhoon-nuri-strongest-storm-2014/#:eyJzIjoiZiIsImkiOiJfeGhoOTN4dDhsbmZvcmc1ayJ9] sea levels are rising, glaciers and polar icepacks are melting faster than predicted, and oceans are warming while life-forms that make up our food chain are dying. Desertification is increasing whilst global air currents carry little or no moisture from the rainforests to sustain vegetation.
Surely it is obvious to all rational beings that we can wait no longer for certainty, for “scientific proof.”
“In 2012 the world crossed an ominous threshold. A reading of 400 parts per million [ppm] of atmospheric carbon dioxide was recorded by monitoring stations across the arctic. That is at least 50ppm higher than the maximum concentration during the last 12,000 years, a period that allowed us to develop agriculture and civilization.” At the Edge of the Roof: The Evolutionary Crisis of the Human Spirit
From Spiritual Ecology Edited by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee
Quote from loc 574 on Kindle Edition
“On May 9, the daily mean concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of Mauna Loa, Hawaii, surpassed 400 parts per million (ppm) for the first time since measurements began in 1958.”
I am saddened by what appears to be either a misprint [“during the last 12,000 years…”] or a misunderstanding of how CO2 and temperature varies profoundly [at least over the last million years] in an approximately 120k year cycle of around 90% massive glaciation and low average atmospheric temperature and a 10% is the interglacial period of approximately 12,000 years. Up until the present interglacial period, human population has had from very little to no effect on these cycles. These cycles have been authenticated by several research projects of which the Russian Vostok station in East Antarctica is arguably the most well known.
Also well documented and validated is the behaviour of the atmospheric temperature and CO2 ppm which varies with much the same pattern. Thus, we can observe from a graphical presentation that both temperature and CO2 rises sharply to a sharp peak and then almost as quickly plunge. Details may be found here: https://www.google.gr/search?q=vostok+core+samples&espv=210&es_sm=122&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=bPzLUtG1G
So my point here is that all recorded cycles reveal high CO2 content during the peak of the interglacial warm part of the cycle. CO2ppm will always be the highest during the peak of the interglacial part of the cycle.
What then is the point?
What I suggest IS the point, however, is that the graphs of various ice core drillings reveal that CO2 has never been this high in at least a 800,000 years. Average temperature have been this high or higher before but never CO2ppm.
It has been 3.6 million years since CO2 has been this high. http://www.skepticalscience.com/pliocene-snapshot.html
I don’t need to reiterate just why CO2 is a problem. Both common sense and overwhelming scientific research and scientist’s consensus point to anthropogenic factors involved here. Just what are they? The most well known factor is, of course, the human industrial infrastructure that burns such huge quantities of fossil fuels at a rate exceeding what Gaia can balance out and/or absorb. Thus the greenhouse effect is driving average global temperature up. I won’t repeat the well known details of what has been driving temperatures in the past. See: http://www.earthenspirituality.com/glogal-warming/
The Gaia Theory
There is another factor which is seldom cited. It seems to only come to mind when the obvious question is asked. I admit, the question appears to only be obvious to a few, myself included.
What has driven the temperature down sharply at the end of previous interglacial warming periods?
So much talk and media exposure is spent on what is causing the warming. However, we may be overdue for the temperature drop. The details of our present Holocene period reveal that the temperature did level off around two thousand years or so and began to drop. Painfully obvious is the fact that it is now rising.
Now let me be clear. As I mentioned above, all the cycles are different and our present one cannot be predicted to any extensive degree of accuracy. Not only do we not have historical details to compare with, but after all we are dealing with a living being and living organisms do not behave like a machine in preciseness. Why we expect this and how well funded climate change deniers capitalise on lack of preciseness is the subject for another paper at some other time.
Let me answer the question above. We have a lot of scientific evidence to support the analysis of what starts the warming for the rapid temperature increase and ensuing start of an interglacial period. Not much has been documented about how the tail end, the cooling is forced. Melankovitch cycles are a major part of it, but I suggest that they need augmentation. The juxtaposition of the planet’s angle to the sun’s radiation and the sun’s distance do decrease, but these factors don’t appear to be able in themselves decrease the CO2 content and thus decrease the greenhouse effect. So what does?
Trees. Yes, billions of trees, bushes and tall grass that slowly follow the melting glaciers northward in the northern hemisphere and southward in the southern hemisphere. This vegetation not only sucks up tons of CO2 but from transpiration helps form significant cloud cover whose overall effect is to increase the deflection of the sun’s radiation more than their addition to the greenhouse effect. Could we look back at the endings of previous interglacial periods, we would see these billions of trees and miles of long grass and savannah constantly pulling CO2 from the atmosphere; reducing the greenhouse effect adding to the decreased insolation and thereby causing a sudden tipping point for the temperature decline. The complete halt in forest harvesting and massive planting is simply the least expensive and most overall beneficial action that could be taken to mitigate the effects of the greenhouse effect. There are now sacred cows in India; there could be sacred trees worldwide.
By Douglas Fischer
The Daily Climate
The largest, most-consistent money fueling the climate denial movement are a number of well-funded conservative foundations built with so-called “dark money,” or concealed donations, according to an analysis released Friday afternoon.
The study, by Drexel University environmental sociologist Robert Brulle, is the first academic effort to probe the organizational underpinnings and funding behind the climate denial movement.
It found that the amount of money flowing through third-party, pass-through foundations like Donors Trust and Donors Capital, whose funding cannot be traced, has risen dramatically over the past five years.
In all, 140 foundations funneled $558 million to almost 100 climate denial organizations from 2003 to 2010.
Meanwhile the traceable cash flow from more traditional sources, such as Koch Industries and ExxonMobil, has disappeared.
The study was published Friday in the journal Climatic Change.
July 25, 2014
Groups who sell their services to companies who wish to sow doubt
“The Heartland Institute has become more visible, and the George Marshall Institute a bit less, but the overall picture continues: these groups continue to dismiss or disparage the science, attack scientists, and sow doubt.
They continue to try to block action by confusing us about the facts. And the arguments, the tactics, and the overall strategy has remained the same. And, they’ve been extremely successful. CO2 has reached 400 ppm, meaningful action is still not in sight, and people who really understand the science—understand what is at stake—are getting very worried.”
By Cheryl Katz
The Daily Climate
“What’s more, Iceland’s glaciers have advanced and retreated several times in the 11 centuries that A Climate at Your Doorstep story.
humans have lived there, leading many to see the current retreat as part of a temporary, natural cycle.
“The glaciers have always been going up and down,” said Hallgrimsson, who noted that early settlers faced considerably less ice than do residents today. “It looks like we are getting a period similar to around 900 (A.D.)”
‘Of course nobody knows.’”
“It looks like we are getting a period similar to around 900 (A.D.)”
I’ve read a lot of statements similar to the one above. I find them sad because they reveal a serious misunderstanding of how it is to be a planet like Earth and have varieties of weather and climates. For one thing, the main drivers for climate change are known as the Milankovitch Cycles.
It is the coincidence of how these three cycles affect insolation [The incident radiant energy emitted by the sun which reaches a unit area over a period of time] that has the greatest effect on climate. Since the exact duration of these cycles is not constant, throughout the past and in the future, the coincident value of the three never repeat. Thus the resultant climate at any particular place on the planet will never exactly repeat. Not only that, but the last major extinction of life on earth was some 65 million years ago. For around 2.6 million years now we have had a cyclical glaciation/warming environment. Conditions prior to each positive and negative temperature swing were similar in that two are sometimes all three of the cycles favoured a change.
Anthropogenic air, sea and land pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and the massive destruction of forests have never preceded a cyclic swing within this period. My meaning is that we have no precedents to help us understand just how a swing to a cooler environment and subsequent negative temperature swing might come about. No-one other than [An Exceptionally Long Interglacial ahead? A. Berger and M. F. Loutre] appears willing to make a statement about the analysis of the present state of the cycles, greenhouse gasses and temperature as to what the chances are for a downward trend in temperature. My unprofessional analysis comes up with a notion that the Earth shall skip a complete glacial/interglacial cycle. How Earth will cope with the continued rise of greenhouse gasses and temperature leaves me frightened.
Perfluorotributylamine is an unregulated, long-living industrial chemical that breaks all records for potential climate impacts
“PFTBA is just one example of an industrial chemical that is produced but there are no policies that control its production, use or emission,” Hong said. “It is not being regulated by any type of climate policy.”
Suzanne Goldenberg, US environment correspondent
theguardian.com, Tuesday 10 December 2013 16.17 GMT
We need to be told just why and how this has escaped the news and investigation before.
Thanks for killing the planet, boomers!
The world as we know it is ending, and the indifference by Americans, politicians and mainstream press is maddening
“Elsewhere, apathy runs rampant. According to an oft-cited research paper by Anthony Leiserowitz,
a Gallup poll recently found that “the environment” was the 16th most important issue to Americans today. Even more troubling, among environmental issues, global warming ranked 12 out of 13 — just lower than “urban sprawl.” This apathy exists in spite of poll numbers that show a vast majority of Americans believe in man-made climate change and the requisite dangers that it poses. According to Leiserowitz, since the year 2000 polls have consistently shown that 60-70 percent of people in the U.S. ‘believe that global warming is real and already underway (74 percent), believe that there is a scientific consensus on the reality of climate change (61 percent), and already view climate change as a somewhat to very serious problem (76 percent).’”
Sky: I must read up on how Sociologists and Eco-Psychologists account for why there is such a lot of apathy around climate change. I’ll continue this later.
Study to focus on Arctic after Greenland Sea found to have warmed 10 times faster than global ocean
By Phoebe McDonald
Updated Sat 2 Nov 2013, 4:57pm AEDT
“Scientists have revealed plans to examine temperature changes in the Arctic Ocean after a long-term study found the Greenland Sea is warming 10 times faster than the global ocean.”
Sky: There are some troublesome by the by statements here that deserve special attention. Some 10 years or so ago, there was a report that the flow of the Atlantic Current at its northern edge was decreasing: Let me see if I can find the reference. Here we are:
01 December 2005
“The Atlantic Ocean overturning current that maintains Europe’s moderate climate has slowed by 30 per cent according to scientists from the National Oceanography Centre at the University of Southampton in research published today in Nature (Thursday, 1 December 2005).”
Then there was a retraction that not enough data had been collected. Then there was an article about how many monitors had been strung along a horizontal line across the Atlantic to measure the flow. Then nothing. No reports. Nothing. Now, in this article I read:
“Until the early 1980s, the central Greenland Sea has been mixed from the top to the bottom by winter cooling at the surface making waters dense enough to reach to sea floor,” she said.
“This transfer of cold water from the top to the bottom has not occurred in the last 30 years.
“After the ’80s it seems that winter heat losses – how much heat is lost from the ocean to the atmosphere – has decreased.
“The waters at the surface are lighter during the wintertime than before. They don’t reach the necessary density to reach the bottom of the Greenland Sea.”
In the past, the Thermohaline Circulation Conveyor [Atlantic Current] was driven by the sinking of the cooled down, saltier [heavier] water having been mixed with the cooler water from the higher latitudes. This drove the circulation current as we all know keeping winter temperatures several degrees warmer in Europe, especially the British Isles. It has always seemed common sense to me that as the arctic ice melts, a greater and greater volume of cold water will push this overturning further and further south.
“She says if current trends continue the density, temperature and salinity levels of deep water in the Greenland Sea will reach the same levels of those in the Arctic Ocean.
“The Greenland Sea is getting lighter … It will reach the same density of the waters that are coming in,” she said.
“When they reach the same density we don’t know what will happen.”
Well, I think she has a good idea. This means the end of the conveyor effect at that latitude. Remember, It is only in recent times that the vast accumulation of ice of the Arctic Ocean has melted. Before that time, there was not nearly the volume of colder water mixing with southern currents at that latitude.
I would like to see a report from all the meters strung out to measure current flow across the northern Atlantic. If the Greenland see continues to warm and the warm saltier waters from the south are not cooled sufficiently to make them sink, then the conveyor will end. Period. How fast is unknown.
Naomi Klein: Why Science Is Telling All of Us to Revolt and Change Our Lives Before We Destroy the Planet
“But there are many people who are well aware of the revolutionary nature of climate science. It’s why some of the governments that decided to chuck their climate commitments in favour of digging up more carbon have had to find ever more thuggish ways to silence and intimidate their nations’ scientists. In Britain, this strategy is becoming more overt, with Ian Boyd, the chief scientific adviser at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, writing recently that scientists should avoid “’suggesting that policies are either right or wrong” and should express their views “by working with embedded advisers (such as myself), and by being the voice of reason, rather than dissent, in the public arena’”.
Naomi Klein, the author of “The Shock Doctrine” and “No Logo”, is working on a book and a film about the revolutionary power of climate change.
I was shocked by the quote above taken from a statement by Ian Boyd at DEFRA concerning his advice that scientists should not criticise (“’suggesting that policies are either right or wrong”) government policy. When I Googled “UK government criticism”, I found dozens of people and organisations from all walks of life offering criticism. Why not scientists? They are specialists and I suggest that many if not most are extremely well qualified. Are all climate scientists working for the government now?
“by being the voice of reason, rather than dissent, in the public arena.“
Thesaurus.com reveals that the word reason is a noun meaning mental analysis or explanation for an action. Therefore when a scientist comments on a climate event, it may well be an explanation for an action and thus perfectly reasonable. Without reference to a dictionary or the Thesaurus, I submit that dissent means to disagree. Quite obviously, disagreeing with an explanation and using reasonable arguments are neither synonyms nor antonyms. During a discussion, one can always offer reasonable dissenting opinions.