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  #261  
Old 09.09.2007, 12:55
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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One thing that really wound me up was when the CND were that close to supporting nuclear power stations to reduce emissions, but then pulled out as their membership got all stroppy. Just what do those people think is the best solution, then?
By the way, I'm heavily opposed to nuclear power generation because of the damage it causes to water resources, both through disposal of spent nuclear fuel and the mining operations required to obtain nuclear fuel. What can I say, the atmosphere is important, but I care more about where people will get their drinking water...
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  #262  
Old 09.09.2007, 13:25
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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Well, i'm not skeptical that the climate is changing, but I'm still not convinced that CO2 plays as big a part as claimed, especially with some of the evidence provided in posts upthread.
Would you be able to summarise these? At least the post #s. All I can think of at the moment is the stuff about ignoring volcano emissions.
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  #263  
Old 10.09.2007, 23:55
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Falsification Of The Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse Effects Within The Frame Of Physics

I just came across this. Some bloody anti-AGW perp dropped it into a forum thread. don't think the poster understood what she was posting, but bloody hell!

Falsification Of The Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse Effects Within The Frame Of Physics

I wonder if this is correct. I wonder if this is being taken seriously in climatology circles.

I'm up to page 21 so far.

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  #264  
Old 13.09.2007, 19:38
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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Would you be able to summarise these? At least the post #s. All I can think of at the moment is the stuff about ignoring volcano emissions.
BoB: yeah - no problem. one was a study made on the effect of carbon particles in the atmosphere released in major forest burning, such as in some parts of Asia. It's been known for some time that large amounts of ash and soot can cause cooling (see cfarns' post above which covers it nicely), but because carbon is very absorbing of IR to UV light, it also can cause heating of the air around it (think of how a black object heats up in sunlight to become a lot hotter than its surroundings). The study reckons over a percentage of the globe, the warming effect can be as much as equal to that calculated for CO2.
The second was a study on the effects of soot on ice cap melting. They found that periods of large atmospheric soot concentrations caused larger-than-normal melting of ice (same as above - dark particles heat up faster) and this can have (again) as big an effect at times as the predicted warming from CO2.
In addition, someone posted the study on ozone and its effect on plant's ability to absorb CO2. Apparently even a small increase in ozone levels can really damaged the stomata (like pores, but on leaves) and leave the plant unable to photosynthesise properly. Again, the prediction is that in some areas, it can be as important as CO2.

cfarns: quite right about Science and Nature - they don't often cock it up and you're definitely right about being worried by the ocean acidification. It's not something I would want to think about if it did happen, especially as plankton do an awful lot of photosynthesis and mopping up of CO2...

I have to admit, though, something I get very annoyed with is when people start playing about with time spans to frame their results, you know, 'biggest effect in 100,000 years', then '200,000 years' and whatever particular time scale makes their results look more significant.
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  #265  
Old 13.09.2007, 20:28
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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I have to admit, though, something I get very annoyed with is when people start playing about with time spans to frame their results, you know, 'biggest effect in 100,000 years', then '200,000 years' and whatever particular time scale makes their results look more significant.
It sounds unrealistic yes, but does that mean that it's not true?

I think it's for the scientists to decide that, rather than for ourselves with our limited knowledge.
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  #266  
Old 13.09.2007, 20:49
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

While I am not a climatologist, I think it is certainly possible to look at the widely differing criteria for declaring a set of results to be as significant as others. In other words, looks like changing the bounds of the study to produce the biggest result.

Something I saw over the last few days is a bit of a showcase of some new experimental systems, that if they work, will flay the living arse off of wind and coal in terms of power generation. Very nice stuff.
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  #267  
Old 13.09.2007, 20:54
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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Something I saw over the last few days is a bit of a showcase of some new experimental systems, that if they work, will flay the living arse off of wind and coal in terms of power generation. Very nice stuff.
Sounds great. Do you have a link?
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  #268  
Old 13.09.2007, 22:34
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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If you want a more direct bad effect of CO2, try acidification of the oceans, causing mass die-offs. CO2 gas forms carbonic acid in solution (same thing you have in fizzy drinks), and draws down the pH of the oceans, which has been at 8.2 (slightly basic) for a long time. Just a change of 1 pH unit would have a major impact on marine ecology.
Now, I happily admit I have not done the calculations, but I really don't think CO2-induced acidification of the oceans should be a big worry.

I seem to remember that sea water has a large buffer capacity at pH 8.2, AFAIR the HCO3-/CO3-- equilibrium.

In Denmark I had very hard tap water (similar to sea water apart from NaCl), used it in a fish tank with added CO2 (from a fermenting bottle), and pH changed less than 0.5. Compared to that CO2 load the changes in the atmosphere are minute.

And raising sea temperatures should release CO2, thus raising pH.

I may be wrong, but I don't think so (yet)
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  #269  
Old 13.09.2007, 22:38
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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Sounds great. Do you have a link?
Ah, it was a set of lectures. Several were about photosynthesis mimics, but instead of going on to make sugar, the electron released from the bit that picks up the light can be channelled into wires to create electricity. the trick is to tune the systems and make them cheap enough, but giving the rise in energy prices, it might not be too long. Basically solar cells, but much smarter and more efficient as well as cheap.
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  #270  
Old 13.09.2007, 22:56
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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In Denmark I had very hard tap water (similar to sea water apart from NaCl), used it in a fish tank with added CO2 (from a fermenting bottle), and pH changed less than 0.5. Compared to that CO2 load the changes in the atmosphere are minute.
Not sure whether we can compare the worlds oceans to a fish tank.

Have you ever heard of coral bleeching? It's a huge problem, especially at the great barrier reef in Australia. And it's all due to the increased acidification of the oceans.
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  #271  
Old 13.09.2007, 23:38
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

Ok a discussion about aquatic chemistry, the subject of my PhD! Now I'm into it!

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I seem to remember that sea water has a large buffer capacity at pH 8.2, AFAIR the HCO3-/CO3-- equilibrium.
That buffer capacity is for water in equilibrium with a solid CaCO3 (calcite), and does not consider the additional atmospheric input of carbonate/carbon dioxide. (In water, carbon dioxide (CO2) attaches to a water molecule (H2O*CO2 = H2CO3) and becomes an acid that can give up protons (2H+, 1CO3--).) Dissolving calcite only releases CO3--, a weak base, into the water. I haven't done the calculation either, but this article (http://www.geos.ed.ac.uk/ccs/Technical/Ocean/) claims that the oceans are 30% more acidic than they were before fossil fuel burning. Because pH is on a logarithmic scale, it's hard to say what "30% more acidic" really means. Ecological impacts are described here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/low/science/nature/4633681.stm

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In Denmark I had very hard tap water (similar to sea water apart from NaCl), used it in a fish tank with added CO2 (from a fermenting bottle), and pH changed less than 0.5. Compared to that CO2 load the changes in the atmosphere are minute.
"Hard" water means there's a lot of carbonate in it. As an aquatic chemist I would hesitate to compare hard water to the ocean minus NaCl, cuz there's actually a lot of other stuff in seawater that's probably not in your tap water, like high levels of bromine (Br) and sulfate (SO4--). I don't mean to criticize but to educate!

Yeah, your fish tank example isn't a bad one. In your case, the CO2 was probably designed to bring the pH a little lower for the fish to be happy, considering all the carbonate in your water probably made it a little too basic (pH>7) for them.

There are a couple of reasons why the ocean is not like the fish tank.
1. Part-per-million CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere, multiplied by the entire volume of the atmosphere, equals a heck of a lot of CO2 entering the ocean. Consider the time factor (~200 years of increased fossil fuel burning), and the CO2 we're talking about goes way beyond the small amount you're adding to your fish tank.

2. The ocean isn't entirely well-mixed. The top part equilibrates with the atmosphere, then the water sinks into the deep ocean, and takes CO2 with it. It takes a long time for a packet of water to travel all the way through the deep and surface oceans, so that presents a lag between the CO2 entering the water and the effects that we measure and observe.

3. Temperature will perhaps slightly increase the CO2 emissions from the oceans. But higher CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere will also increase CO2 emissions from the oceans - as well as CO2 uptake into the oceans (higher concentrations make the fluxes get bigger too). I believe that the concentration impact on Henry's Law (describing equilibrium between gas phases and aqueous phases of a chemical species) far outweighs the scale of the temperature impact on Henry's Law. Remember, so far climate change is on the order of a degree Celsius or so. For most aquatic chemists, we don't even bother adjust the equilibrium constants for temperature changes that small (which would be done with the Van't Hoff equation).

Feel free to read up on Wikipedia on the chemistry if you don't follow my terminology. And really, no offense intended by the post, Sorensen, just education!
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  #272  
Old 13.09.2007, 23:44
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Re: Falsification Of The Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse Effects Within The Frame Of Physi

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I just came across this. Some bloody anti-AGW perp dropped it into a forum thread. don't think the poster understood what she was posting, but bloody hell!

Falsification Of The Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse Effects Within The Frame Of Physics

I wonder if this is correct. I wonder if this is being taken seriously in climatology circles.

I'm up to page 21 so far.
Whoa. After doing science all day, it's hard to come home and try to decipher that one. Essentially (after skimming it) it argues against every major assumption made in modeling and predicting climate. That's fair, since assumptions are no excuse for real physics, but if the assumptions are so wrong, why do we predict climate so well? Anyone seen the 1992 IPCC predictions for where we are today? Still, very interesting. Thanks for sharing it!
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  #273  
Old 14.09.2007, 01:55
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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...
Feel free to read up on Wikipedia on the chemistry if you don't follow my terminology. And really, no offense intended by the post, Sorensen, just education!
I thank you for this post! It well covered one dead end of speculations aka CO2 solubility in water.

As for the global warming due to CO2... I advocate the statement that a steady, long-term increase of any chemical in the Earth's biosphere (even if it were oxygen! At a certain concentration it starts being poisonous, remember?) will change the climate. Maybe it will be global cooling, but it definitely threatens to be devastating. The climate IS changing and if we carry on the same way it will KEEP changing, there is no denying it.

Those who say "Jeez, shouldn't we do something about it?" have the best point in the following sense: If we could really behave to maintain the levels of CO2 and everything else stable and unchanging, we would MOST LIKELY keep the planet climatically unchanged and therefore pleasant to live on. We know only one climate setup that suits us (the existing one), but we can easily imagine tons of climate changes that will not suite us at all. Probability that the climate will change in a way FAVOURABLE to us is much smaller than the cummulative probability of all other options. As long as we do not know enough about the biosphere (and we really do not), the "conservative" approach is the safest. There is the best chance we wouldn't do something wrong to Mankind's future.

Then there is the opinion of Mr. President (my president, the Czech president I regret to say) that there is no use trying to lower our impact on the biosphere, because it is going its own way and we are not nearly mighty enough to significantly influence it. I think this is at the bottom of their beliefs and it is just as valid belief as the exact opposite - it's a belief that cannot be proven right or wrong in a lifetime. Beyond this belief it is merely piling up evidence to support the "irresponsible" approach and regretfully they have fair points as well: Such as that people are people and even if the country's laws are "A", there will be enough corrupt individuals doing "notA" for their own gain, effectively canceling the efforts of the compliant majority. Such as that this compliant majority will just be bullied around by the legal system, while the big naughty fish will just laugh at it and abuse it. This is happening already, it has been since the dawn of legal systems...

Well, I side with Gore rather than Klaus, I remember how awful it used to be in my country during the communist era, the air pollution, the acid rains, the ignorance and arrogance all over... and how much better it feels now, when the country DID enforce some regulations on the emissions from factories, and even from households. This is good evidence to me (not proof) that we CAN influence the biosphere in a perceptible way. As I already wrote, the "conservative" approach to biosphere is the safest, most likely to ensure continuation of human race and all else. Global warming or not, the global climate change is more likely to come and be devastating if we turn our back at it than if we try to do something.
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  #274  
Old 14.09.2007, 22:19
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

A key Bush aide is finally admitting that climate change is largely due to human activities, and that the world may be rendered unhabitable if this trend cannot be stopped.

There you go: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6994760.stm


So let's see, is there anyone left who doesn't believe that humans are responsible for climate change?

Uhh... yeah... I forgot....
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  #275  
Old 14.09.2007, 22:36
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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A key Bush aide is finally admitting that climate change is largely due to human activities, and that the world may be rendered unhabitable if this trend cannot be stopped.

There you go: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6994760.stm
Aaaargh. Will someone please stop pushing the view of so called scientists who have clearly been appointed by politicians!

"Professor John Marburger, who advises President Bush"

Nicholas Stern of IPCC report fame, an economist, not a scientist, ex World Bank man, appointed by Gordon Brown.
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  #276  
Old 14.09.2007, 22:42
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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Aaaargh. Will someone please stop pushing the view of so called scientists who have clearly been appointed by politicians!
The problem is that the "real scientists" have been telling this a long time before even Mr. Stern got his report printed.

Ask the scientists at Oxford university, they have close links to the Headly Center which have some of the world leading scientists in climatology on this issue.
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Old 14.09.2007, 23:02
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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The problem is that the "real scientists" have been telling this a long time before even Mr. Stern got his report printed.

Ask the scientists at Oxford university, they have close links to the Headly Center which have some of the world leading scientists in climatology on this issue.
Apologies for the outburst, but I was on the periphery of a massive row about Anthropomorphic Global Warming (AGW) several months ago. I couldn't understand the hatred and sheer vitriol between the various factions there, so decided to follow the money.

What I saw, I didn't like. I am not disputing the fact that the planet may be warming up, and do believe in cutting pollution where possible, but I think the politicians (who are mostly not scientists themselves) are trying to take us for a ride on this one.
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  #278  
Old 14.09.2007, 23:09
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

No problem.

I think global warming is a serious issue.

If the politicians and businesses are trying to jump on that bandwagon, then all the better.

BTW: The northwest passage which allows ships to go from the american east coast to the west coast has just been created for the first time due to extreme levels of melting in the arctic ice: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6995999.stm .

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  #279  
Old 15.09.2007, 02:54
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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No problem.

I think global warming is a serious issue.

If the politicians and businesses are trying to jump on that bandwagon, then all the better.
Then we have to agree to disagree. I am highly sceptical of politicians, and I have met a few of 'em in my time.
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Old 15.09.2007, 13:42
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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Then we have to agree to disagree. I am highly sceptical of politicians, and I have met a few of 'em in my time.
Please don't discount the human cause of global warming merely because some politicians got involved. It always bugs me when they get involved in things they don't understand, sure, but then I have to check the facts personally. In this case, the politicians happen to extrapolate a lot from the scientific fact, but that fact, nonetheless, is that humans are definitely and irrevocably causing climate change (http://www.its.caltech.edu/~farnswor...html#consensus). The real debate should be at what point it is economically justifiable to limit growth in order to sustain a certain limit of warming.
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