Archive for Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Hawaii site tracks climate change

November 24, 2009

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Dr. John Barnes is a scientist and station chief for the Mauna Loa Observatory atmospheric research facility in Hawaii. The observatory sits on the north flank of Mauna Loa volcano at an elevation of 11,141 feet above sea level. The facility has been studying atmospheric change since the 1950s.

Dr. John Barnes is a scientist and station chief for the Mauna Loa Observatory atmospheric research facility in Hawaii. The observatory sits on the north flank of Mauna Loa volcano at an elevation of 11,141 feet above sea level. The facility has been studying atmospheric change since the 1950s.

— The readings at this 2-mile-high station show an upward curve as the world counts down to climate talks: Global warming gases have built up to record levels in the atmosphere, from emissions that match scientists’ worst-case scenarios.

Carbon dioxide concentrations this fall are hovering at around 385 parts per million, on their way to a near-certain record high above 390 in the first half of next year, at the annual peak.

“For the past million years we’ve never seen 390. You have to wonder what that’s going to do,” said physicist John Barnes, the observatory director.

One leading atmospheric scientist, Stephen Schneider, sees “coin-flip odds for serious outcomes for our planet.”

Far from this mid-Pacific government observatory, negotiators from 192 nations gather in Copenhagen, Denmark, next month to try to agree on steps to head off the worst of the climate disruptions researchers say will result if concentrations hit around 450 parts per million — in 30 years at the current rate. Some say the world has already passed a danger point, at 350 ppm, and must roll back.

Today’s emissions curve is tracking the worst case among seven emissions scenarios set out in 2001 by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, British climatologists reported in September.

The U.N. expert group projects that such a path would raise global temperatures between 4.3 and 11.5 degrees F by century’s end. That would come on top of a global temperature increase of about 1 degree Fahrenheit in the past century, a warming trend the IPCC says is mainly due to the buildup of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

Such warming will shift climate patterns, cause more extreme weather events, spread drought and floods to new areas, kill off plant and animal species, and cause seas to rise from heat expansion and the melting of land ice, the IPCC says.

“Changing several degrees may not seem like much, but we’re just changing things too fast,” Barnes said. “So the consequences could well be drastic.”

The IPCC has urged industrialized countries to reduce global emissions by 25 to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020. As of 2007, they stood only 4 percent below 1990 levels, and the rest of the world continued pouring out more and more heat-trapping gases, chiefly from the burning of coal, gasoline and other fossil fuels.

Through this decade global emissions have grown by 23 percent. In 2008, almost three-quarters of the increase came from China, re-searchers reported last week. Other big contributors among developing countries were India, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, South Africa, South Korea, Indonesia, Iran and Mexico.

Experts see no sign of a slowdown.

Comments

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 5 months ago

"“For the past million years we’ve never seen 390. You have to wonder what that’s going to do,” said physicist John Barnes, the observatory director."

Not to worry. Help is available in the way of a stipend from the Sarah Palin Lobotomy Foundation. No worries, ever again.

And as a bonus, afterward you'll be able to see Russia from Hawaii.

thewayitis 5 years, 5 months ago

What a load of garbage!! Aren't there volcanos in Hawaii emitting huge amounts of co2? How long have they been monitoring co2 gasses, a million years? ya right. Maybe 10 years. Folks, humans are insignificant in the outcome of earth science. Sorry.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 5 months ago

Unfortunately for those of your ideological persuasion, it's all smoke, and no fire, Solomon.

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2009/11/climate-hack/

"Gavin Schmidt, a research scientist with NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, says the e-mails offer no damning indictment of climate researchers, and that bloggers are reading information in them out of context.

“There’s nothing in the e-mails that shows that global warming is a hoax,” he told Threat Level. “There’s no funding by nefarious groups. There’s no politics in any of these things; nobody from the [United Nations] telling people what to do. There’s nothing hidden, no manipulation.

“It’s just scientists talking about science, and they’re talking relatively openly as people in private e-mails generally are freer with their thoughts than they would be in a public forum. The few quotes that are being pulled out [are out] of context. People are using language used in science and interpreting it in a completely different way.”

Trenberth agrees.

“If you read all of these e-mails, you will be surprised at the integrity of these scientists,” he says. “The unfortunate thing about this is that people can cherry pick and take things out of context.”"

kenos 5 years, 5 months ago

The Rothschild's own the Associated Press. They will make trillions from carbon taxes if Obama signs the Copenhagen treaty; the treaty they're duping us into going along with with a barage of lies. Wake up before it's too late!

Bill Griffith 5 years, 5 months ago

I am confused. How will the AP-the Rothchild's...allegedly...-make "trillions" from carbon taxes?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 5 months ago

The emails weren't deleted, though, unsavory. So why aren't they making a big deal of what was in those supposedly incriminating emails?

remember_username 5 years, 5 months ago

Fifty years from now one side of the argument is going to say to the other side "See, I told you so!" - or possibly there will just be silence everywhere. I am rapidly becoming apathetic about the outcome.

remember_username 5 years, 5 months ago

75x55 - Umm...because we were writing to Anna Undercover on the strippers blog?

staff04 5 years, 5 months ago

Full disclosure: I believe that the human activity is at least partly to blame for the current warming trend.

Remember when the American Enterprise Institute had to pony up a cash reward to any climate scientist who would publish opposition to prevailing scientific consensus on climate change? Wasn't that hilarious?

Surprised to see some people getting all indignant over this.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 5 months ago

Some day Gore's name will rank up there with Ponzi and John R. Brinkley as one of the greaters grifters in history.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 5 months ago

"The irony of this situation is that most of us expect science to be conducted in the open, without unpublished secret data, hidden agendas, and computer programs of dubious reliability."

Most of "us?" You skeptics couldn't care less about science. For you, this is all about ideology.

monkeyhawk 5 years, 5 months ago

boozo, I give you credit for being smart. You fully know the big scams that are being pulled with global warming (or is it cooling or climate change?), health control, cap & trade, Rev. Wright, Bill Ayers, Alinsky & ACORN, etc., and you are completely in agreement that any means justify the end. You cannot deny that you are a worshiper of the progressive god, so it is always amusing when you accuse someone else of being motivated by ideology.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 5 months ago

"And what's this all about for you?"

Of course, I have an agenda. Everyone does. But at least mine is rooted in an attempt to understand the realities of the world, not mythologies no more advanced than the hero-worshipping cultures of the ancient Greeks or the Vikings.

notajayhawk 5 years, 5 months ago

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus (Anonymous) says…

"Unfortunately for those of your ideological persuasion, it's all smoke, and no fire, Solomon."

Uh, gee, boohoozo, you mean when asked if they were doing anything wrong, they denied it? Wow. Guess that proves it.

"You skeptics couldn't care less about science. For you, this is all about ideology."

Says the acolyte of the prophet AlGore from the sacred church of neoLuddism.

Paul Decelles 5 years, 5 months ago

Thewayitis,

http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2009/nov/24/hawaii-site-tracks-climate-change/#c1060081

You raise an interesting point often raised by global warming skeptics...what about volcanoes and carbon dioxide. First of all the output of CO2 from volcanoes is much more sporadic than the actual curve of CO2 increases. The Hawaiian monitoring effort has been ongoing since 1962 and the results are consistent with data obtained from ice cores as you can see in this graph from a physical geology site:

http://www.physicalgeography.net/fundamentals/images/co2_atmosphere.jpg

If the CO2 curve were due to volcanoes then we ought to see a correlation between that curve and increased volcanic activity. Besides, rather than warming things up volcanoes may actually cool things down:

Here is a pretty good explanation from popular mechanics:

http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/research/1282246.html

Actually there is information about CO2 output from Hawaiian volcanoes: http://www.mlo.noaa.gov/programs/esrl/volcanicco2/volcanicco2.html

and you can decide for yourself about whether or not carbon dioxide from volcanoes explains recent changes in carbon dioxide concentration.

staff04 5 years, 5 months ago

"The irony of this situation is that most of us expect science to be conducted in the open, without unpublished secret data, hidden agendas..."

Hidden agendas? I guess all those billionaire scientists must really think they are getting one over on the ol' U.S. of A. Little do they know that you are on to them!!!

Chris Golledge 5 years, 5 months ago

Thanks Paul.

I was too tired to do battle with willful ignorance today.

But, since you sparked my interest, and more on the topic, we may be able to go a lot further back, maybe 20 million years or more.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091008152242.htm

No doubt that press article was based on this paper

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/1178296?ijkey=CjLX0DG/7xdHY&keytype=ref&siteid=sci

From the paper,

"During the Mid-Miocene, when pCO2 was apparently grossly similar to modern levels, global surface temperatures were on average 3 to 6°C warmer than present (2, 24). We suggest the Mid-Miocene would be useful to study in order to understand what effect sustained high pCO2 levels (i.e., a climate in equilibrium with near-modern pCO2 values) may have on climate."

I say willful ignorance because it took me all of 5 minutes to look this stuff up.

notajayhawk 5 years, 5 months ago

cg22165 (Anonymous) says…

“During the Mid-Miocene, when pCO2 was apparently grossly similar to modern levels, global surface temperatures were on average 3 to 6°C warmer than present (2, 24). We suggest the Mid-Miocene would be useful to study in order to understand what effect sustained high pCO2 levels (i.e., a climate in equilibrium with near-modern pCO2 values) may have on climate.”

Lotta' man-made sources of CO2 during the mid-Miocene, were there?

Also, didn't the climate cool - considerably - during the mid-Miocene? Without the hominids having to pass Cap & Trade?

puddleglum 5 years, 5 months ago

snap sez: greaters grifters

I wanna be a greaters grifters!'

that is a good band name, thanks snap.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 5 months ago

“…personal heuristic is that if the solution to a proposed problem is the rollback of western civilization, the problem probably doesn’t exist.” http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=1447

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