This is what pissed me off:
Bush claiming credit where none is due
But before I get to that, please bear with me. I'll get back to it in the next post.
No blog is complete without it's mention of global warming. I'm not going to bother linking the thousands of sites that discuss global warming. Clearly the Earth is heating. I don't think this is disputed any more.
The dispute is about whether or not people are causing that by dumping CO2 into the atmosphere or if our CO2 dumping is just a drop in the ocean in terms of atmospheric content. There is plenty of data out there to describe this pro and con.
To sum up the 'other side'..here is a nice video. [EDIT: this link is dead now, it seems that The Great Global Warming Video is no longer viewable for free] It nicely summarizes all the aspects of the naysayers. The science is only 38 minutes of the entire video. The rest of it is nonsense about conspiracy theories about funding and a truly offensive implication that GW advocates are causing strife in Africa, which I just have to answer like this: Please show me a single bill from any 1st world nation requiring African Nations to get energy from renewable resources instead of fossil fuels. Secondly, the reason a clinic in the bush has a solar panel is because its incredibly expensive to run a power line out to it. If they don't have enough power with that panel, it is still cheaper to get another panel than to run a power line out to it. The implication in this movie is truly sinister. One more dumb thing in the video. they try to connect Temperature with economy. No climatologist says economy causes GW, its CO2, and there has never been a drop in CO2 production in 150 years.
to summarize the video and the 'other side':
- The earth heats due to the suns cycles (not disputed)
- some say sun cycles are the sole cause of our current heating (very disputed)
- The earth cools, when cosmic rays makes clouds and reflects the sun (and the solar input recedes at the same time)
- CO2 is a result of rising Earth temperatures, not a cause
- Satellite data does not support CO2-GHG theories
- Adding a tiny bit extra (not defined) of anthropomorphic CO2 to the natural sources is not significant. Natural sources being the ocean, permafrost, volcanoes and cow farts.
- Water is the most pervasive green house gas, and compared to that, CO2 is nothing
I am on the side that humans cause global warming. Here is why. Lets start with why CO2 has lagged temperature in the past.
- The earth gets heated by a variety of cosmic events, solar cycles, cosmic rays, cow farts or whatever. These are natural forcing functions and have always been there and will always be there. some are cyclical some are not.
- For the past 650,000 years (unless you are a bible thumper in which case its for the past 6000 years), the earth has heated due to these forcing functions. This heating releases CO2 from the ocean and other CO2 sinks.
- CO2 goes into the atmosphere and what can be seen is that the cooling (presumably once the forcing function is over) is far slower than the heating. Every Single Time. (historical temperatures go backward to the right on this graph). It's also why GHG theory allows for the earth to cool when solar input diminishes, it just doesn't cool as fast or as much as it would have without the CO2
Second question: If CO2 does not effect the temperature, why does the earth cool slower when the CO2 concentration is higher after the forcing function is gone?
Third question: if CO2 is leaving the oceans like it always has, why is the CO2 content in the oceans increasing even though the temperature of the Earth is rising? (if CO2 leaves the ocean when the temp rises the Ph should rise too)
Fourth question: why don't you know that the previous satellite data was wrong and the newest data actually shows that the CO2-GW theory is actually supported by satellite data (because the troposphere is actually heating, while the stratosphere is cooling)?
Fifth Question: For as long as we have been measuring cosmic rays, why has there been no correlation between them and earths temperature?
Sixth Question: if sun cycles are causing our current heating why is there no correlation between the sun cycles and the earth temperature and why is the earth heating when the solar input is currently decreasing?
Last question: If human activity adds so little CO2 to the natural sources (actually the amount is an extra 5%), why are the current CO2 levels higher than at any time in history even though the earths temperature is not as high as it has ever been?
Further, and to me the most important. At no time in the history of earth has the temperature risen as quickly as it has in the last few decades. It is not really scary that the average temperature of the globe is hotter than it has been since we have been recording temperature. The earth has been this hot lots of times. The scary part is that it has never risen this fast. So in all the cycles, cosmic rays, sun spots and whatever other theories that right wingnuts want to put out there, there is no getting around the fact that this rate of temperature rise has never been seen before.
And finally, you cant expect to dump 14 000 000 000 pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere every single year and not expect some sort of negative response.
Of course the GHG theory explains all the data that is inconsistent with the movie.
One more quick note on water. Yes it is true it is a green house gas. however the atmosphere is 99.99% saturated naturally with it. Human beings literally can not add to this amount of water in the atmosphere even if we burned all the fossil fuel on the planet. However, we easily can add to the CO2 in the atmosphere (and we have). Further, this saturation has always been there, it doesn't explain atmospheric temperature shifts. However, not all greenhouse gases are the same. CO2 absorbs light at a different wavelength than water does. So by changing the amount of CO2 in the air, we are actually absorbing a different set of wavelengths than water alone. Its important because its the same set of wavelengths that radiate off the earth when the light hits it an heats.
These things lead me to believe that CO2 is causing the current temperature rise. Think of this: If I put a wire in a box filled with something thermally conductive, lets say water, the heating elements will rise to some temperature X, perhaps a few degrees. but if I change the media around the wire to something far more insulating like air, the wire will heat to potentially thousands of degrees! The element in a 20 watt bulb is thousands of degrees not because 20 watts is a lot, but because the vacuum it is in is a great insulator.
We have added 37% more CO2 insulation to our atmosphere in the last 150 years. This is not disputable. There does not need to be a change in the heat input to make the global temperature rise. Any changes in the heat inputs (say a solar cycles) will be exaggerated (in the hotter direction) due to the increased insulation.
There is tons more data out there about how CO2 and other GHGs are warming the earth. Most of the nay sayers arguments have been put to rest (cosmic rays causing clouding, solar activity, troposphere temperatures, etc etc). Don't bother posting these tired 'alternate theories' in the comments (if anyone reads this at all).
Here is a nice little remark on the outdated information in the video. Its sad that the naysayers have to keep their data restricted to before 1980, in order for it to be cohesive. Here is another point by point argument against the movie. And here is another nice rebuttal.
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