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Summary of how Climatologists know Global Warming could be catastrophic.


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Initial post: Jan 17, 2013 5:41:44 PM PST
Holy cow. Look at #5

Summary of how Climatologists know Global Warming could be catastrophic.

PROOF 1. Despite regional variations, the overall mean temperature of the earth is rising. This is confirmed by:
--weather station data going back to 1880
--satellite data going back to 1979
--balloon data going back to the 1960s

Here is NASA's weather station data which shows the strong slope upwards of global temperature.

Notice the strong temperature upward trend.

http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs_v3/Fig.A2.gif

Climate models (that use as inputs solar radiation, global warming gases, deforestation, aerosols (including volcanic eruptions)) -- can explain -- using PHYSICS equations -- global average temperature. These can explain the last 130 years of data collected from land weather station data.

When all the forcings are combined in Figure 6, the net forcing shows good approximation of global temperature going back to 1880. There is still internal variability superimposed on the temperature record due to short term cycles like ENSO.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Climate_Change_Attribution.png

==============================================================

PROOF 2. We have used proxies (bore holes, tree rings, and most important - ice cores) to measure the long term temperature and concluded, while global mean temperature is relatively stable over time: The difference between the Little Ice Age of the 1600s and today is only about 1 ½ degree Centigrade. This is why a 1-2 degree global mean increase is HUGE!!

Proxies also show it is likely hotter now than thousands of years in the past.

Natural cycles:

The long term ice cores show there are natural cycles approximately 120,000 years in length, broken by short warm periods called interglacials. These Milankovitch natural cycles are thought to be primarily due to long term changes in the Earth's orbit flavor that affect how much sunlight hits the earth.
Notice the ice cores show a 95+% long term correlation of temperature with CO2:

Below is a picture from the Vostok ice core. The blue line is the temperature; the green line is CO2.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Vostok_Petit_data.svg

Here is the mechanism: When there is an initial increase in sunlight from Milankovitch cycles - this triggers an initial warming which warms the oceans and melts ice sheets. After a few hundred years this releases more CO2. The extra CO2 in the atmosphere causes further warming for 99% of the cycle.

When the Milankovitch cycle switches to cooling, the reverse happens.

We are in a COOLING phase of the Milankovitch cycles right now, but temperatures have been increasing.
PROOF 3. We know our warming cycle is not natural (Milankovitch) and not due to the sun because of the following:
A study by Usoskin (2008) is considered the definitive study on solar activity.

"Solar Activity over the last 1150 years - Does it Correlate with Temperature?"

In summary he says yes there is a correlation with a very high (95%) confidence rate between sunspot number index and proxies of solar irradiance from as far back as 850 AD to 1975. However after 1975, this correlation breaks down completely.

"During these last 30 years the solar total irradiance, solar UV irradiance and cosmic ray flux has not shown and significant trend, so that at least this most recent warming episode (since 1975) must have another source." [which Usoskin has said elsewhere is likely Co2 warming. )

http://www.mps.mpg.de/dokumente/publikationen/solanki/c153.pdf

MORE IMPORTANT: There are other clues the warming we have experienced in previous decades is from CO2 and not from the sun:

(i) The sun has been flat in terms of irradiance for the past 50 years.
-- But the average global temperature has been warming.

(ii) If it were the sun causing the warming: Increased sunlight would heat the stratosphere first, where the ozone layer absorbs solar ultraviolet light.
-- But the stratosphere is cooling (as predicted by CO2 radiative warming)

(iii) Increased sunlight would heat the equator more than the poles (Lambert's cosine law).
- Instead we see "polar amplification," (read more for details on the site)

(iv) Increased sunlight would increase daytime temperatures more than nighttime temperatures.
-- But nighttime temperatures have risen more, which is consistent with an atmosphere of increased IR opacity holding in surface warmth better. Think of the way a cloudy night is warmer than a clear night.

(v) Increased sunlight would increase summer temperatures more than winter temperatures.
-- But winter temperatures have risen more. Again, more greenhouse gases hold in the heat better when sunlight is decreased.

see more details here
http://BartonPaulLevenson.com/Sun.html who gets it from the IPCC.
==========================================================

PROOF 4. We have the evidence that our glaciers and both poles are melting.

ARCTIC - The ice in the Arctic is about half now about what it was 30 years ago (as measured by satellites); and most of it is "new" ice; not old ice.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYaubXBfVqo

ANTARCTIC:
NASA's Grace satellite show that Antarctica has been losing more than a hundred cubic kilometers (24 cubic miles) of ice each year since 2002 and at an accelerating rate, too. How is it possible for surface melting to decrease, but for the continent to lose mass anyway? The answer boils down to the fact that ice can flow without melting.

http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/20100108_Is_Antarctica_Melting.html

GLACIERS: Glaciers are melting around the world
"There is no doubt that most mountain glaciers are shrinking worldwide in response to a warming climate."

http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=2277&from=rss_home

Here is a Wikipedia link that compiles the dramatic global loss in glaciers.

http://www.globalwarmingart.com/wiki/File:Glacier_Mass_Balance_png

Here is a description of the worldwide loss of glaciers around the world.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retreat_of_glaciers_since_1850

PROOF 5. CO2 levels have increased 40% since the Industrial Age and are now at the highest levels since at least 400,000 years [i.e., are higher than any shown in the ice cores].

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide_in_Earth%27s_atmosphere

Lab studies have validated that CO2 has a warming effect as a greenhouse gas.

We also have strong evidence CO2 has a warming effect by looking at our own solar system.

The planet Venus is hotter than Mercury, even though Mercury is closer to the sun, because of CO2. [The equations that estimate planetary history can be used fairly accurately to apply to Venus and Mars as well as the Earth.]

Remember the high correlation in the ice cores between CO2 and temperature?

--Notice we are at much higher levels now of CO2, but the warming hasn't hit yet. Scientists think it is indirect FEEDBACKS from extra CO2 in effect that could make warming catastrophic. Here is why:

-- the ice caps are melting-- NASA and NOAA satellites confirm it.
The ice acts to reflect sunlight back into space, therefore more heat will be absorbed by the Earth (temperatures will increase substantially), when the ice has fully melted.

--underneath the ice are LARGE deposits of methane. Methane is a more powerful global warming gas, than CO2 that will now be released into the atmosphere.

--warming from CO2 means the atmosphere can hold more water vapor (another global warming gas); Because there are more clouds, this creates more powerful weather systems -- including in some areas more rain AND more snow (clouds shut out sunlight)

-- the oceans are currently absorbing around 80% of the additional CO2 from human causes. This is creating problems with the corals and algae in higher latitudes now and studies indicate will creep into lower attitudes. In addition, there is concern that the oceans will saturate and start releasing more CO2 into the atmosphere.

Then of course the additional CO2 is creating acidification of the ocean waters, and many coral species and other plankton life will die from this, affecting the food chain. And it is happening so rapidly, scientists worry if new species will have enough time to develop or not.

PROOF 6. We also know we are emitted more CO2 because the oceans are more acidic and already creating problems.

--The chemistry of the oceans is changing faster than it has in at least the last 800,000 years because of the carbon dioxide being absorbed from the atmosphere, according to the National Research Council an arm of the National Academy of Science. The RATE of change "exceeds any known change in ocean chemistry for at least 800,000 years," the report said.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100422/ap_on_sc/us_sci_acid_oceans

Ocean Dead-Zones May Be Linked To Global Warming

A review of all available ocean data records concludes that the low-oxygen events which have plagued the Pacific Northwest coast since 2002 are unprecedented in the five decades prior to that, and may well be linked to the stronger, persistent winds that are expected to occur with global warming.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080214144547.htm

Plankton may not be able to adapt to the acidic conditions of the oceans
Furthermore, our simulations show higher rates of environmental change at the surface for the future than the Palaeocene-Eocene thermal maximum, which could potentially challenge the ability of plankton to adapt.

http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v3/n3/abs/ngeo755.html
High temperatures have already destroyed some coral reefs
http://www.bbc.co.uk/learningzone/clips/the-impact-of-global-warming-on-coral-reefs/14039.html

Sound like the type of world you want your children to inherit?

Posted on Jan 17, 2013 7:48:37 PM PST
As global warming continues to melt the once frozen permafrost and biological action again starts in some of that material it will also add more greenhouse gasses from large areas. This could cause an accelerating greenhouse effect. This is mentioned in number 5.

I think we have all seen recently how unstable the world economy can be with change. What effects will global warming have on economic stability?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 17, 2013 9:19:16 PM PST
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 18, 2013 1:20:36 AM PST
SinSeeker says:
Well, I for one am convinced by your concise and erudite contradiction of Truthseeker's painstakingly collected evidence, and all done without reference to any external sources! Impressive!

I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 18, 2013 5:19:10 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 18, 2013 5:26:25 AM PST
It is the type of world our children WILL inherit.

When we're talking about trying to reverse warming, even in the best case scenario at a minimum we're talking about this not occurring for several generations. And the best case scenario is rather unlikely.

BTW for those interested in alternative energy etc I found a very nice website which provides up to date news:

http://www.governorswindenergycoalition.org/

I also discovered that Bill Gates, Jeffrey Immelt, and some other top businesspeople have formed a group advocating for more federal committment to energy research and development called the American Energy Innovation Council:

http://americanenergyinnovation.org/

I also found out about someone I'd never heard of: Tom Steyer, a California billionaire who is on the short list to replace Stephen Chu as Energy Secretary. He's done some amazing things, such as defeating the challenge to California's cap and trade system.

So a lot of good people are doing a lot of good things, and the U.S. is slowly moving in the direction, just not fast enough given the challenges ahead.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 18, 2013 5:31:10 AM PST
Some hopeful signs:

1. Renewal of subsidies for wind energy for 1 more year.
2. Cape Wind has now obtained guarantees to purchase 75% of its generated energy, which should allow it to obtain financing.
3. Plans are moving ahead to build the first segment from Jersey City to Atlantic City of the Atlantic Wind Connection, an offshore power line which will facilitate offshore wind development.
4. California has seen so much alternative energy development that it no longer needs new projects to meet its current goal of 20% renewables, raising the question as to whether Gov. Brown will increase the percentage.
5. China has developed so much wind generation capacity so quickly that some wind farms stand idle until China can upgrade its transmission capacity.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 18, 2013 6:29:12 AM PST
Brian Curtis says:
At least Horsie's helpful enough to label all his posts "nonsense."

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 18, 2013 7:57:50 AM PST
A. Caplan says:
Truthseeker ( **Not** TeaPartyWoman) says: Summary of how Climatologists know Global Warming could be catastrophic.
>I don't know how climate change would be catastrophic. It is a climate change, just one of the many that Homo sapiens has survived for a couple of hundred thousand years. We will adapt, just as we always have. Our big advantage over prehistoric man is that we have technology to help us.

Of course, there is our collective stupidity at work. Here in Florida and, I am sure, elsewhere we ignore the rising ocean levels and continue to allow building on the barrier islands. This is just one of many of our failures to address the issue of climate change. There probably will be little government reaction until some of the shoreline residents complain that the water is up to their lower lip.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 18, 2013 8:09:35 AM PST
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In reply to an earlier post on Jan 18, 2013 8:10:43 AM PST
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In reply to an earlier post on Jan 18, 2013 10:10:44 AM PST
Horse. Your posts and arguments often make so little sense it almost reads as if you must really mean the opposite and that you are being sarcastic. I don't think that's it though.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 18, 2013 3:08:31 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 18, 2013 3:25:45 PM PST
Roeselare says:
"Ocean Dead-Zones May Be Linked To Global Warming
A review of all available ocean data records concludes that the low-oxygen events which have plagued the Pacific Northwest coast since 2002 are unprecedented in the five decades prior to that, and may well be linked to the stronger, persistent winds that are expected to occur with global warming."

The O2 gets depleted because the plankton aren't thriving, because nutrients aren't rising, because upwelling is sporadic, because of stronger persistent winds? Global warming will theoretically cause stronger winds in what we call "long waves" (relatively low pressure) AND in the strength of ridging (relatively high pressure). The ridging will oppose the west/east flow, which would be good for upwelling (the North Pacific High is a big factor in California coast upwelling). The stronger long waves will interrupt the process of upwelling. From the article, I gather we're learning that the effect of the long waves is much stronger than the interludes of stronger ridging.

I just wish they'd spell it out. They never do. Is what I've posted here too difficult to read about? I don't get it. There's a disconnect somewhere and it feeds the denier industry...

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 18, 2013 4:50:51 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 18, 2013 5:31:46 PM PST
Horse: there has been no increase for 17 years

TS: That is easily proven to be a lie.

Here are the 20 warmest years on record (°C anomaly from 1901-2000 mean)-2012 would now be in 12th place.

Year - Global Temperature Anomaly

2005 - 0.6183
2010 - 0.6171
1998 - 0.5984
2003 - 0.5832
2002 - 0.5762
2006 - 0.5623
2009 - 0.5591
2007 - 0.5509
2004 - 0.5441
2001 - 0.5188
2011 - 0.5124
2008 - 0.4842
1997 - 0.4799
1999 - 0.421
1995 - 0.4097
2000 - 0.3899
1990 - 0.3879
1991 - 0.338
1988 - 0.3028
1987 - 0.2991

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instrumental_temperature_record

Does it look like we are really cooling?

Here is the graph (from NASA).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:NOAA_Land_Ocean.svg

You know, it is easy to scream No No No. How about a reality check past that, ok?
I'd appreciate you try to provide that kind of support instead of just the screaming, if you have the mental ability.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 18, 2013 5:07:25 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 18, 2013 5:16:59 PM PST
AF: Some hopeful signs:

TS: Connect these dots for me and see if you get the same conclusion. [I suddenly feel akin to Barton, or maybe I should say James Hansen)

#Step: 1 CO2 levels have increased 40% since the Industrial Age and are now at the highest levels since at least 400,000 years [i.e., are higher than any shown in the ice cores]. Some think we are higher now than in the last 800

I see I didn't pick out the graph is the problem -- Look here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Carbon_Dioxide_400kyr.png

# Step 2 Remember how the ice cores show an extremely high correlation of temperature with CO2. Like 95+% over 400,000 years.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Vostok_Petit_data.svg

But there is a LEAD time involved! This graph is compressed in time so it doesn't show it takes 100 years or so to melt the ice at the caps as it is the indirect effects [no ice, therefore there is a lower albedo, or less reflection of sunlight) and more methane is released that are the main drivers of the temperature.

Step #3 . my citation on the Arctic shows there is 30% less ice and snow now than there was in the 1970s -- ie the poles are already in serious melting stage.

Put them together: in less than a hundred years, we should be hotter than in the last 300,000 years guys.

Conclusion: How can we remove that much CO2 in the air to reverse course how much CO2 we have already put up there?

Get it now?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 18, 2013 5:11:33 PM PST
BC: At least Horsie's helpful enough to label all his posts "nonsense."

TS: Lol. I suspect horsie is a she though. Why? She is extremely conservative -- but like TeaPartywoman, she seemed to take **personal** offense at recent Republican abortion policies and statements on the political forum. I could be wrong...

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 18, 2013 5:30:31 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 18, 2013 5:32:45 PM PST
<<"Ocean Dead-Zones May Be Linked To Global Warming
A review of all available ocean data records concludes that the low-oxygen events which have plagued the Pacific Northwest coast since 2002 are unprecedented in the five decades prior to that, and may well be linked to the stronger, persistent winds that are expected to occur with global warming."

barb: The O2 gets depleted because the plankton aren't thriving, because nutrients aren't rising, because upwelling is sporadic, because of stronger persistent winds? Global warming will theoretically cause stronger winds in what we call "long waves" (relatively low pressure) AND in the strength of ridging (relatively high pressure). The ridging will oppose the west/east flow, which would be good for upwelling (the North Pacific High is a big factor in California coast upwelling). The stronger long waves will interrupt the process of upwelling. From the article, I gather we're learning that the effect of the long waves is much stronger than the interludes of stronger ridging.

I just wish they'd spell it out. They never do. Is what I've posted here too difficult to read about? I don't get it. There's a disconnect somewhere and it feeds the denier industry...

TS: I don't think pressure systems and upwelling is the primary cause -- although it's true Wiki lists it as one source of it.

<<Use of chemical fertilizers is considered the major human-related cause of dead zones around the world. Natural causes include coastal upwelling and changes in wind and water circulation patterns. Runoff from sewage, urban land use, and fertilizers can also contribute to eutrophication>>

I think this is considered a bigger connection to global warming:

<<The major groups of algae are Cyanobacteria, Green Algae, Dinoflagellates, Coccolithophores and Diatom Algae. Increase in input of nitrogen and phosphorus generally causes Cyanobacteria to bloom and this causes Dead Zones. Cyanobacteria are not good food for zooplankton and fish and hence accumulate in water and die and decompose. Other algae are consumed and hence do not accumulate to the same extent as Cyanobacteria.>>

That is, it is this group of algae that likes the extra heat and will thrive under a greenhouse effect. This is the primary cause of dead zones, which means fish will die off.

Algae souffle for dinner anyone == instead of fish?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 19, 2013 7:19:42 AM PST
I got it before. Now I still get it.

?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 19, 2013 9:38:48 AM PST
AF: I got it before. Now I still get it.

TS: Great, sorry I really couldn't tell.

The difference was it didn't address what was ALREADY in the works from our current CO2 levels; yes it should help mitigate the increase in CO2 levels.

Regards, TS
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Initial post:  Jan 17, 2013
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