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Opinion: Climate change anything but settled

Depends on what you mean by settled.

We have known for 150 years that CO2 interferes with the transmission of radiative energy within the infrared spectrum the earth emits.
We know that we have added more CO2 to the air.
We know that more CO2 reduces the outflow of energy.
We know that we are receiving pretty much the same amount of energy from the sun.
We know that the amount of energy in the earth climate system is increasing.

So, unless you think there is a problem with the laws regarding the conservation of matter and energy, human activities are responsible for the 40% increase in atmospheric CO2, and the majority of the 0.8 C global warming we have seen in the last 150 years. The rest of the complexities are just waves on the incoming tide. The waves are interesting, but the tide is still coming in.

Regarding California, climate models predict the expansion of Hadley Cells, and this expansion has been observed.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ear...
http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=%...
And Hadley Cells strongly influence precipitation patterns.

California is drier in the south than the north.
http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/pcpn/ca.gif

So, as the drier region expands to the north, you would expect drought in the boundary regions between the very dry and the not so dry. And that is pretty much what we are currently seeing.
http://blog.sfgate.com/stew/wp-conten...

Charles is projecting (it's a psych term) his own lack of understanding onto the climate scientists.

February 23, 2014 at 7:38 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Kansas House panel shortens, adopts climate measure

I'm not a big fan of more government regulations myself, but we have a problem, and so far it sounds like the GOP wants to replace a plan to do something with a plan to do nothing.

February 19, 2014 at 3:13 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Debate over religious beliefs, gay rights will continue

People keep mentioning morals, but morals involve choices, and a person's sexual orientation is no more a choice than the color of their skin. Be honest with yourself; did you choose to like boys/girls, or was it just part of you? I've thought there was something special about girls since before I understood what the differences are. I don't know why it would be different for anyone else. Heterosexuals have a natural distaste for homosexual sex, but I suppose the feeling is mutual. We should not judge people for matters over which they have no choice, and which have no impact on us one way or the other.

February 19, 2014 at 3:03 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Energy truths

Here Gerald, maybe this will help you put things into perspective.
http://woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/...

The US Air Force developed and uses MODTRAN and HITRAN for modeling atmospheric radiative energy transfer. Here is a short presentation where the output of MODTRAN is used to show warming caused by CO2.
http://mensch.org/5223/RadForce_print...

What is it you think you know about atmospheric physics that the Air Force has gotten wrong? How do you think they know how to make heat seeking missiles?

February 18, 2014 at 11:23 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Energy truths

Oh, so, your Gish Gallop has been challenged, and you are responding with the tl;dr.
http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Gish_Gal...

So, Gerald, tell us what exactly you know about atmospheric physics that disproves the understanding built over the last 200 years?

February 18, 2014 at 11:10 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Energy truths

Gerald, are you familiar with the term Gish Gallop?
http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Gish_Gallop
Please review the history of climate change science and tell us where you think they started to get things wrong.
http://www.aip.org/history/climate/ti...

February 18, 2014 at 2:28 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Energy truths

Sure, I think I knew what you were trying to say, but going back to Ken Lassman's point, Ken Meyer seems to put a carbon tax in the same category as these fixes, some of which are superficial, and I don't think they really belong together.

I mean, yeah, if the energy used to charge your electric car comes from a coal plant, you have not really accomplished much. In general, it would be better to focus on the supply side rather than the consumer side because it is simpler and does indeed impact all products, which was one of Ken M's objections.

February 17, 2014 at 4:24 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Opinion: ACA impact on jobs becoming clear

The actual report describes workers in relation to number of hours per year worked, and this is somewhat different from the way Republicans are spinning it as jobs. For instance, while I think Pelosi's comment is a bit imaginative, part of the reduction in workers is the count of labor reduced by someone deciding they don't need that second, part-time job to cover all their expenses, including health care, because they can get the health benefits they need without it.

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-met...

February 17, 2014 at 11:37 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Energy truths

Aye, there is a lot of greenwashing going on, but that has nothing to do with a carbon tax and dividend.

February 17, 2014 at 11:05 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Energy truths

It is not a choice between increased energy costs and no costs. It is a choice between increased energy costs and increased costs for food and infrastructure. Agricultural yields are known to be negatively impacted by temperatures above certain thresholds, and, obviously, shifting patterns for rain are not good either.

Amongst other studies, there was one from K-State recently which showed that winter wheat yields in Kansas are reduced 20% for every 1 C of global temperature increase, and we are looking at somewhere around a 2 C increase even if we start getting serious about mitigation today. In addition, the amount of the land that experiences heat waves like what devastated our agriculture in recent years has become more than 10 times more common.

Anyone notice a spike in copper and other construction materials after Katrina and Sandy? The most powerful storms have become more common; there is more energy in the weather system to power them.

In levelized costs, wind is already cheaper than coal.
http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/elec...
(Which makes me why our governor precluded development of wind in practically all of the highest wind potenial area nearest our highest population areas.)

Some non-fossil fuel energy sources will not scale as well as others, and some will achieve economies of scale they do not currently enjoy. A carbon tax and dividend is better than energy regulations because it lets the market sort out a working solution rather than having one dictated by government. In that sense, we would not need regulations on car MPG or government incentives to grow corn for ethanol. If these kind of things make sense, the market will respond to the internalized cost of carbon and use them, if not, it won't.

February 17, 2014 at 10:53 a.m. ( | suggest removal )