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Archive for Thursday, January 15, 2009

CO2 trend

January 15, 2009

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To the editor:

Mr. Smalter (Public Forum, Jan. 8) correctly quotes atmospheric measurements which show that the CO2 content has increased from about 370 to 385 parts per million (ppm) over the past 10 years. He claims that this is a ”very minor” increase and scoffs that it is “Ridiculous!” and “Absurd!” for scientists to suppose that this could be involved in global warming.

Exclamation points aside, the concern over a 15 ppm increase in 10 years is neither ridiculous nor absurd. What scientists are most concerned about is the longer historical record and the recent and future trends, of which 1999 through 2008 is just a small, but significant, part.

Since the beginning of the industrial revolution around 1750, CO2 levels have grown from about 280 to 385 ppm. Most of this 40 percent increase has, in fact, occurred during the last 100 years. If the most recent “very minor” 10-year rate of 15 ppm were to continue for another 100 years, the CO2 level would reach 535 ppm in 2109! This would represent an increase of over 90 percent since 1750, which would be truly deserving of the exclamation mark.

It is this latter scenario which worries the climate scientists. Average annual global surface temperatures have increased somewhat over one degree Fahrenheit during the past 100 years. Calculations based upon continued growth in CO2 levels during the next 100 years predict global temperature increases as large as 5-10 degrees. Such a result would have catastrophic global climatic effects.

Marlin Harmony,
Lawrence

Comments

SettingTheRecordStraight 5 years, 11 months ago

There is nothing you or I or environmentalists or anyone else can do to stop global climate change. If you think we can, you're fooling yourself. The real problem is keeping governments from overreacting and to stop them from wasting trillion$ of our money on dead-end schemes to halt changes to the climate.

Trobs 5 years, 11 months ago

The end is coming!Quickly, we must tax you for your carbon. You must also buy fuel efficient cars and only buy carbon free products! Who cares if they are more expensive the world in ending!

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 11 months ago

Michel Crichton has written an excellent book called State of Fear which says that certain agencies, government and otherwise are trying to scare us into doing things their way using phrases like "Such a result would have catastrophic global climatic effects." Crichton has done considerable research for this book and you will find a list of research materials that he used for background.I really suggest reading it so you will get a different point of view than that usually presented to people. He is not left wing, he is not right wing, he merely states a point of view.But, you have to be able to see two sides of a problem before you can decide what one you are going to go with.

jonas_opines 5 years, 11 months ago

Good letter, Marlin. Not that, as you can see, anyone is actually listening to you, just the straw dummies that they've propped up in front of themselves.

gr 5 years, 11 months ago

"If the most recent “very minor” 10-year rate of 15 ppm were to continue for another 100 years, the CO2 level would reach 535 ppm in 2109!"If the most recent very minor changes of temperature were to continue, imagine what temperature it will be by the end of the week! We all will burn up!!!Can we make longterm projections based upon an hour temperature change?Can we make longterm projections based upon a few years of CO2 change? Especially given it was much higher long ago when life was much more abundant than now.

Trobs 5 years, 11 months ago

I listened to a speech by the head of the UN's climate council yesterday. Reporters were asking about the record cold winter across the Northern Hemisphere. He actually said, "The cold air in one place means there is warm air somewhere else offsetting it. The temperature of the earth never really changes."Yet, his organization is in the lead when it comes to telling us the world is burning up.

jonas_opines 5 years, 11 months ago

"While I believe deeply in supporting the local efforts to sustain, I will not be a part of your cliquish movement."You'll notice, perhaps, that the LTE author did not include any specific call to action. The LTE itself seems intended primarily to inform, not coerce. As near as I can tell, coercian of this type generally exists only in the heads of the people who don't want to have to think about what they're doing with their actions, but that's a generalization, of course.

Sigmund 5 years, 11 months ago

Global warming isn't a threat to humans but global cooling is. Human populations thrive in warmer climates both today and throughout history. If the current sun spot cycle is any guide within three years you will be begging for global warming.

Jason Bailey 5 years, 11 months ago

I wish you scientific folks would get your stories straight.http://english.pravda.ru/science/earth/106922-0/This says that anthropogenic global warming is a farce and that we're about to enter another ice age. Al Gore and his minions say our cars (and his private jet) are a cancer to society. If this ain't religion, I have no idea what is.

jonas_opines 5 years, 11 months ago

notnowdear: LTE = letter to editor"The superficial intent to “inform” could indeed be a way to perception control."Of course it can, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't attempt to inform or be informed, does it? "This country needs to be reeducated on propaganda. We need to learn again how to crap-detect. Who was that,… Karl Albrecht,… that taught us to crap-detect? I think it was. There are all sorts of sources out there that will teach it."Well hell, it's almost as if we would need to start an actual dialog or something as opposed to just yelling about propaganda at every turn. Too many, including the LTE author to some extent, and say Jason2007, seem to believe that their facts always present a complete picture, and that they have found the answer, when likely no one knows exactly. As a note, I have not watched Al Gore's movie either.

Jason Bailey 5 years, 11 months ago

Jonas: I'm just saying that the scientific community needs to get their act together before running around and shouting the sky is falling. There are many brain dead people who drool on themselves each evening while watching American Idol who buy into this hysteria about, "we're all going to die in 300 degree heat by 2029!" or whatever it is.No one has the answers -- exactly! Why the mad rush to fix the "problem" then?

Ken Lassman 5 years, 11 months ago

I won't even bother to try to enter this discussion, except to say that anyone with an interest to investigate this topic in greater depth may be interested in the following:Thursday, February 19, 2009, 6pm discussion; 7:15 filmFirst Climate Change Book Discussion Group MeetingSpencer Museum of ArtFREE and open to the public Registration is now open for a four-part book discussion and film series sponsored by the Lawrence Public Library and the Spencer Museum of Art, in conjunction with the museum's spring exhibition, Climate Change at the Poles. Participants will meet at the museum at 6 pm for the book discussions, which will be led by KU faculty and staff members. A film will follow at 7:15 pm.Feb 19 Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change by Elizabeth Kolbert. Discussion leaders: Cornelis J. van der Veen, Assoc. Professor of Geography, KU, and Leigh Stearns, Asst Professor of Geology, KU. Film: Everything's CoolMar 12 The Long Summer: How Climate Changed Civilization by Brian Fagan. Discussion leader: Dr. Edith Taylor, Professor and Curator, Dept. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Film: Nanook of the NorthApr 9 The Two-Mile Time Machine: Ice Cores, Abrupt Climate Change, and Our Future by Richard Alley. Discussion leader: Stephen Ingalls, Associate Director – Administration, Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS). Film: Encounters at the End of the WorldMay 14 Storm World: Hurricanes, Politics, and the Battle over Global Warming by Chris Mooney. Discussion leader: TBA. Film: Art from the ArcticRegistration is required to reserve a set of books. The films and discussions are free and open to the public.To Register and for MORE INFORMATIONContact: Maria Butler, Community Relations CoordinatorLawrence Public Library785-843-3833, ext. 123mbutler@lawrence.lib.ks.us mbutler@lawrence.lib.ks.us

jonas_opines 5 years, 11 months ago

"I'm just saying that the scientific community needs to get their act together before running around and shouting the sky is falling."The problem is that it seems like it's not really so much the overall scientific community (minus a few loudmouths) but rather politicians, pundits and assorted fruitcakes on both sides of the discussion that are running around and shouting the sky is falling. For every one greenie (name my own) saying we'll all be dead by 2112, there seems to be another greysky (again) saying that all this is is political pressure to destroy business and halt our economy for a "progressive agenda." "No one has the answers — exactly! Why the mad rush to fix the “problem” then?"Well, this is the way I look at it. (and notnowdear, this can be towards you to) Ignoring, for the time being, methodology on how historical temps are calculated, any clear view at global temps for the past several millenia show something rather clearly. While there Are swings, hot and cold periods, etc., they are gradual swings. As near as I intuit, geological process work this way, gradually, without external stimulus. However, there is a Sharp (key word) upswing in temperatures, starting amazingly right on top of Industrialization, and going up more and more as Industrialization picks up speed. This is why I can't help but wince at some of the more passed around evidence that is all modern. IE: warmest temps were in the 1930s, 2007 was the coldest year since 2001, etc. These are all under the same set of conditions, countries modernizing and industrializing. This is as certain as I get on the subject. It is absolute idiocy to believe that we as humans do not have an impact on the earth past natural shifts and swings. We deplete resources, such as trees, oil, etc., far faster than nature can replenish them. We can, uncontrolled, effectively destory habitats for all species of life, including humans, and we can make habitable lands toxic for us without proper controls. If you don't believe me, buy a plane ticket and go to China sometime. Our "green" regulations are the reason that you can go outside and see blue sky, and walk around without feeling like you're smoking. Basically, taking steps to listen our negative impact on the planet is in our best interests, in the long term, that's at least what I believe. Not because we might die at any moment, but because we can screw ourselves out of resources, habitats, and quality of life if we don't stop to consider our very real impact on the environment, and how we might lessen it.

jonas_opines 5 years, 11 months ago

"Surely you see how this crisis-mongering tactic crosses the political aisle."You haven't followed XD40's posts very much, have you?

Jason Bailey 5 years, 11 months ago

Jonas writes:"It is absolute idiocy to believe that we as humans do not have an impact on the earth past natural shifts and swings. We deplete resources, such as trees, oil, etc., far faster than nature can replenish them"Actually, it's the epitome of arrogance to think that we have any power to influence the climate outside of a complete nuclear war. Even in that scenario, the world's general climate would recover within a few decades.Just because there was a temporary upswing in the early 20th century does not correlate to a definitive tie with industrialization. You said it yourself, 2007 was a cold year. Lansing, MI broke a 95 year record this morning with a record low...many other cities are having the same issue. If industrialization is the evil culprit and global warming is true, then why hasn't another dust bowl swept across the nation? Why the sudden downswing in temperatures world wide? Why is Mars heating up at a relative pace that mirrors ours'?I'm saying this is all hogwash. There's less evidence for anthropogenic global warming than there is for Evolution yet we're all expected to blindly follow the Green God. Why is it that the scientific luminaries on this forum aren't crying for definitive evidence to this "proof" of global warming? You do it everyday when it comes to other myths. Seems very strange, indeed.

jonas_opines 5 years, 11 months ago

"Actually, it's the epitome of arrogance to think that we have any power to influence the climate outside of a complete nuclear war."Did you miss that I was referring to the environment, and not simply the climate? Or was that too inconvenient for your rant?

jonas_opines 5 years, 11 months ago

"Just because there was a temporary upswing in the early 20th century does not correlate to a definitive tie with industrialization."No, but then we don't know if it's temporary or not, since it is still going on. Have you actually looked at a graph of temperature shifts over time? Would you like me to link one for you? Would it, frankly, be worth my time to do so? You seem to have your mind rather firmly made up on this.

Chris Golledge 5 years, 11 months ago

jason2007 (Anonymous) says…...Just because there was a temporary upswing in the early 20th century does not correlate to a definitive tie with industrialization. You said it yourself, 2007 was a cold year...Misinformation abounds. Cold compared to what?"GISS Surface Temperature AnalysisGlobal Temperature Trends: 2007 SummationThe year 2007 tied for second warmest in the period of instrumental data, behind the record warmth of 2005..."http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/2007/

Jason Bailey 5 years, 11 months ago

@Jonas: My mind is made up 100% in every situation -- just as yours' is.Why can't you respond to my point, if possible for you, that you "skeptics" who rely entirely on science to refute other "myths" or ideas which cannot be proven through definitive science yet you blindly follow shaky evidence to anthropogenic global warming. You're skirting the issue and it's very apparent.

Jason Bailey 5 years, 11 months ago

@cg: Would it be too much to ask that you read my post in context? Please? Thank you.The "cold in 2007" was quoting Jonas so please go beat your fellow environmentalist brother over the head for misinformation.

devobrun 5 years, 11 months ago

The problem regarding global warming/climate change is that the definition of science has been modified gradually until sloppy has been valued.That's right, much of what constitutes science today would be unrecognizable to Karl Popper, or any scientist of the 1940s or 50s. 1) Consensus of scientists is not a value in science. It is in most other areas of our culture, but consensus does not replace test.2) Computer program runs do not constitute experiment. Experiments involve independent variables, dependent variables and controls. Modern "spread-sheet science" involves dumping data into a computer and correlating. This is not a test.3) Correlation is not causation. This misunderstanding of cause and effect versus correlation has been the genesis of many a bad scientific statement.4) Statistics are what would get when you don't have good controls in place. Statistics are bad, folks, not good. They mean that you are searching for an area to investigate properly. They are used to indicate a path to a proper experiment. When there is no hope of controlled experiments, you don't have experimental science. The cause of something must be tested before science is being done. At best, correlation produces a hypothesis. 5) Virtually all of the papers published in peer reviewed journals are judged by people who are engaged in the same thing that the authors are. Very few authors from mathematical statistics are reviewing these papers. Most authors and their colleagues know little about the theory and practice of proper statistical analysis. They review each other without outsiders questioning their methods. A good example is the "hockey-stick" graph of Mann used by Al Gore in his movie. When Mann's method was finally tested by a competent statistician, it was found to be faulty. This error of mathematics is compounded by errors of logic. Errors are hidden in a flood of statistical methods and fancy computer generated graphs that swamp the scene.6) Finally, most assertions that occur in this faulty science cannot be falsified. Complexity, large time scales, and non-feasible testing precludes proper experimentation. The requirement of Popper is simply ignored. ---------------------------We live in a mess that was once science. Now it has become dominated by politics and agendas. The science of the post-Popper age has allowed almost any damn fool statement coming out of a computer to be labeled science. Don't look for any real engineering to come from any of this new science. It is useless to the application people, unless your application is a new economic system, a new government-run life.......based upon consensus.

Chris Golledge 5 years, 11 months ago

Hey Jason,Sorry, were you not agreeing with the statement and using it to further your own point? It seemed that you were.

Chris Golledge 5 years, 11 months ago

Actually, it seemed more like you were taking the information out of context. Jonas said it was cold relative to a really hot year; you said it was just cold.

ASBESTOS 5 years, 11 months ago

"DCS, when did you hear that? 1978?"It was on CBS, CNN, and PBS. ALl of them reported the decrease in temperature.

jonas_opines 5 years, 11 months ago

"@Jonas: My mind is made up 100% in every situation — just as yours' is."I'm sorry, but that is simply false and, I challege, unjustifiable. At least for me, if you want to say it for yourself you're of course free to do so. "Why can't you respond to my point, if possible for you, that you “skeptics” who rely entirely on science to refute other “myths” or ideas which cannot be proven through definitive science yet you blindly follow shaky evidence to anthropogenic global warming."That was your point? I'm sorry, since it didn't actually seem to apply to me as a poster, and since it had nothing to do with anything anyone had been talking about previously, I simply thought you were setting up a rather vapid strawman. I didn't realize that you were legitimately trying to make. . . a point. "You're skirting the issue and it's very apparent."Since all three of our exchanges to date have ended with you, at some point, ignoring me for the rest of the thread, I find this a pretty questionable claim for you to make. I'm afraid, to answer you, that I have no idea which myths and which science and which issues you happen to be referring to. I've noticed, however, that you have given me a label, and so I'm assuming that you are simply lumping me in with a number of other people that you have had discussions with. Understand that I am not, as you say, trying to skirt the issue, so if you can think of things that I've said that would contradict in the way that you seem to believe, you're welcome to bring them to my attention. I dispute the notion that I blindly follow the idea of global warming, and to be honest if you read that in my post I think it was because you, deliberately or unconciously, simply read that Into my post. I have given some reasons why I believe it is a possibility, and at other times have myself said that the sky is falling folk are potentially in the wrong. Generally, I tend to believe that evidence of some nature is preferable to absense of evidence, which is why I hold some of the views that I do. That evidence can be of a variety of types, but I can't really break it down any further unless you specifically tell me what you're talking about, which I'm sorry but you really haven't done.

Jaylee 5 years, 11 months ago

Someone should ask God for a CO2 Bailout. . .

jonas_opines 5 years, 11 months ago

"Don't look for any real engineering to come from any of this new science."And thus it goes. Imagine, if you will, an engineer suggesting that the only thing that matters is immediate engineering applicability. I would imagine that there wasn't a whole lot of engineering applicability the first time someone advanced the notion that the sky was more than a pretty picture that they couldn't touch. /not that I'm equating the two. we have the benefit of hindsight on one

jonas_opines 5 years, 11 months ago

"Someone should ask God for a CO2 Bailout. . ."What, do you think God's some sort of Socialist?

jonas_opines 5 years, 11 months ago

. . . and surely, Devonbrun, you must realize the irony of your post when you lead off with this:"That's right, much of what constitutes science today would be unrecognizable to Karl Popper, or any scientist of the 1940s or 50s."which is both an appeal to authority and the reliance on concensus. One a potential Logical fallacy and the other something you yourself suggest is irrellevant.

Sigmund 5 years, 11 months ago

devobrun (Anonymous) says…"The problem regarding global warming/climate change is that the definition of science has been modified gradually until sloppy has been valued."And what is worse is all federal grant money for studies when it was apparent that the feds wanted a specific predefined conclusions and every researcher water boarding the numbers till they confessed what they wanted to hear.

ASBESTOS 5 years, 11 months ago

"Someone should ask God for a CO2 Bailout. . ."It is exactly the same thing, we are sepnding our children's futures, why not also spend their "environment" and "Climate" as well.At least that is selfish consistency.

jonas_opines 5 years, 11 months ago

Maybe they were implying Divine Personality, like Ra.

RedwoodCoast 5 years, 11 months ago

My, my, my... why do climate scientists even have jobs? I mean, just look at all of these armchair experts here! Those dastardly scientists are only trying to scare people so that they can continue faking experiments and data and models simply to maintain the clamor that keeps them employed!!! Oh the profundity! Or is that punditry? I don't know anymore.

devobrun 5 years, 11 months ago

Redwood: You're right, there should be maybe 2 dozen climate scientists max. Ditto for most of the sciences that are about 14 levels removed from physics. Notnowdear: I take from your posts further evidence that we don't know. That's it folks, mostly we don't know. Science based upon such complex systems with multiple feedbacks is folly. We don't know. Chicken Little doesn't know. But people need to have uncertainty removed from their lives, so they create reality. Ra the sun god. Yahweh, Jesus, Einstein, Darwin, all provide explanations to answer wobbly-kneeded people who must know when and how they are going to die.There's a P.T. Barnum ready to supply the huddled masses with just the right story every time. Science is narrative until somebody comes along and uses it to build something, like a heater to stave off the cold. The heater is meaningful, folks, not the narrative of how the methane got into the ground.The development of technology with a clear goal of providing more energy than it takes to fabricate and run the system should be the quest. Hand wringers like our LTE have been heard from. Now, we must hear from engineers. The energy budgets and cold, hard reports must be produced. Hope is a human value. Energy doesn't care. Design a system based upon alternative sources. No projections, no untested assumptions, no mixing of money and energy and emotion. Not going to happen until the public learns that worry is an emotion. Work is what big boys do.

grimpeur 5 years, 11 months ago

As long as I can justify the unabated continuation of my waste, consumption, pollution, and the other facets of my god-given way of life, I will. And since I, like the previous poster, don't plan to be around in the year 2109, why should I care about the future?

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 11 months ago

True, we don't "know", but that does not mean we can not live our lives as sensibly and thoughtfully as we can. Waste not, want not, is the slogan I grew up with. Science takes observable phenomenon and seeks to find patterns. Science is not Satan at work, it is the study of the planet we live on, the life forces on that planet. There are patterns in everything though they may be occurring at such a slow rate that they are not readily apparent. Some scientists are hellbent on furthering their own agenda, and others can admit a mistake and move on.Okay, so maybe Galileo had something there. I am still pondering that one. :-)

Flap Doodle 5 years, 11 months ago

Methane plumes have been spotted on Mars. I blame Exxon.

Trobs 5 years, 11 months ago

Redwood - Is it is the armchair scientist that keeps people honest. I challenge anyone here to prove to me the Government does not lie to us. Spanish-American war, Pearl Harbor, Tonkin Gulf, all events in which the Government lied in order to fulfill a goal. Mind you, all of these lead to war. Thus, is it a stretch to imagine a Government entity manipulating data and making bold claims of the end of the world in order to push an agenda? I think not. So. It is the responsibility of these armchair scientists to do research and provide commentary to keep the professionals honest. When billions of dollars and the life of the planet is at stake, it helps to keep everyone involved so we are getting the best information we can.

RedwoodCoast 5 years, 11 months ago

I would define 'armchair' as 'haughty layperson.'I thought someone would get my sarcasm, but I guess I was wrong. Essentially, I was saying that these climate change/CO2 articles really bring out the 'truth' behind these debates, and by 'truth,' I don't mean 'authority.' My input was sarcasm and the output, hilariously, was punditry.

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 11 months ago

Patterns, people, look for the patterns. Did ye not learn anything?

devobrun 5 years, 11 months ago

Cleopatra: Patterns are mathematically described by correlation resulting from a model. That is, data is gathered. A linear or nonlinear model is assumed and coefficients are determined mathematically for a "best fit" of the model to the data.This is the first step in a scientific process. Science is being done, but without controls and further refining of the reasons for the correlation, you can't really publish a paper, yet. So, you release the correlation data to the popular press and generate a PR campaign. Further science is hopeless. So, go ahead drink red wine, green tea. Eat soy, organic bread, wear organic cotton. Drink coffee, no don't drink coffee. Wait no, coffee and second-hand smoke are bad, no they're OK if you take vitamin E, no wait, maybe......oh my we really don't know, do we.If experiments are continued and the coefficients can be explained by fundamental physics, then you are really getting somewhere. Less than a controlled experiment leaves you in limbo. It leaves you with suggestions that further work must be done. When scientists jump the gun, they do a disservice to all of science. This often happens in science that can't have controlled experiments. And then when scientists join forces with politicians, real damage can be done. To err is human but to really screw things up it takes a computer and a government.People are easily scared. They get manipulated by saviorsAl Gore is a savior.World government the UN, the IPCC are saviors.Dr. Phil, Oprah, that charismatic university professor who flirted with you, Robert Redford, Paul Newman, Johhny Depp. They will all show you the way to salvation through the proper use of anti-oxidants and thigh-masters. Everybody is doin' it. How can you possibly question the authority of such brilliant people? Science has become cool. Rational thought has lost.

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