Actually, you *over*stated that by an order of magnitude.
Surface area of the planet is approximately 200 million square miles. That's
5.6 quadrillion square feet, or about 800 quadrillion square inches.
Atmospheric pressure is 14.7 pounds per square inch, giving a total
atmospheric mass of approximately 12 quintillion pounds, or 6 quadrillion
tons. Four tenths of one percent, approximately, of that is CO2; thus the
total mass of CO2 in the atmosphere is approximately 24 trillion tons.
20 GT is less than one *tenth* of one percent of total atmospheric CO2.
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
No. He said humans were dumping some amount of CO2 into
the atmosphere each year.
The next poster said that was 1% of the total in the atmosphere.
If both statements are true, the implication is a 1% increase
per annum, don't you agree?
On Sat, 17 Feb 2007 14:12:48 GMT, firstname.lastname@example.org (Doug Miller) wrote:
Let's not lose site of the fact that the earth is not an open-cycle
system. CO2 is added and subtracted due to photosynthesis and other
mechanisms. Those processes themselves are complex, closed-loop systems,
thus making a purely "addition-driven" computation show only part of the
If you're gonna be dumb, you better be tough
The biggest uncertainty seems to be in the ocean's capacity to remove
carbon dioxide from the atmosphere:
Here's an interesting discussion of why that matters:
And here is something else to worry about:
There's also considerable uncertainty regarding the ability of the biosphere
to remove CO2 as well. It's been suggested that increased CO2 levels will spur
an increase in plant growth as well, and this may be a good thing.
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
between correlation and cause. The street lights reliably are correlated
to come on when the sun sets. But the sun does not set BECAUSE the street lights
come on. In scientific research, correlation is relatively easy to establish
and can even hint at causal relationships. But actually demonstrating causality
is MUCH harder.
That why your statement above is "wrong". Increasing CO2 levels
in the atmosphere are not "known" be causal for global warming. The macro trend
for warming has been positive since the last ice age - well before industrial
CO2 production amplified the rate of injection into the carbon cycle. Is it
worth studying? Sure. But it's also worth noting that the geophysical history
of the planet suggest far HIGHER CO2 maximums in geologic history than we see
and correspondingly good environmental health at the same time.
THIS IS AN OPINION NOT FACT: My guess is that the reason the models are so
today is twofold:
1) Climate modeling is more-or-less a "complex system" mathematically. Such
show wildly changing outputs with very small changes in input - the
Lorentz Butterfly Effect. The number of precision of variables you have
and, more importantly, their degree of precision, is far outside our
of climate. Our guesses are thus too coarse to be of much use.
2) We do not have enough long-term reliable planetary climate data to build
Climate fluctuates over geologic time, not 50 years. For models to make
sense, we need way, way, way more data than what we have today. Worrying
because there was few degree fluctuation in the last couple of decades is
about urinating in the ocean - it's a real, but insignificant, factor.
That statement is wrong. The spectral characteristics
of CO2 and other atmospheric gases are well understood.
OTHER factors that affect climate change are not as well
understood. It is whence the uncertainties exist.
The macro trend
While I don;t argue against studying those correlations,
doing so is no substitute for understanding causality.
Most people have no concept of conservation of energy.
Many of those who do, can't seem to grasp its application.
Some from each of those groups may read this and claim
conservation of energy is irrelevant. They probably also
don't understand albedo.
You know, there may very well be global warming- I'm not a climate
scientist, and I can't make the assertion that there is not.
*But* there is absolutely nothing at all that we are going to be able
to do about it. If every man, woman and child in the US, Canada and
Europe do everything that is being suggested to remedy the situation,
China will continue to have it's industrial revolution. And we are
not going to war to stop them- we depend on them too heavily, and they
hold far too much of our outstanding debt. Even if that were not the
case, there is no moral grounds for holding them back from doing what
our own country has already done and largely passed through.
I've got a fuel-efficient car. It was to save money at the gas pump,
and not to placate eco-nuts. But that's about the extent of what I'm
willing to do before the Orient decides they're going to stop burning
coal like it's going out of style and erecting cities the size of
Detroit every week. I'm not willing to freeze to death in the dark so
that I can wear a green t-shirt and hang out with hippies.
Whether the whole deal is true or not, the US is not the major culprit
in this- if you're talking about emmissions from the early 1900's,
then yes, mea culpa. But we've already cleaned up our acts, despite
the attempts to make everyone feel guilty about using lights at night
and having the audacity to drive a car to work every day.
So cross your fingers and hope for the best. That's what you can do
about it, just like most of the things in the world.
Like most things, it's something we can't prove for sure until someone
comes up with a reliable way to test it. Perhaps the solution is to
teach two (a master and apprentice) people how to take proper weather
measurements and go back in time so we've got all the proper data we need
for several thousand years, not just the 100 or so we've got now. (Then,
this would upset the timeline and we'd skew from this 1985 into an
*snip: Paragraph I'm not interested in commenting on besides to comment
that I'm not interested in commenting on the paragraph that I refused to
comment on except for this comment and lengthy sentence.)
I'm all for "Goin' green" (no "greenage" here... sorry Dusty,) but I
don't want to give up anything for it. My primary light sources at home
happen to be flourescent. I'm getting more light at less wattage, it's a
I'm looking into buying a Prius now, the main selling points being gas
mileage and design (it looks like a very well designed car). The
environmental aspects just a minor selling point. It's kinda a "eh,
that's nice" rather than a "got to get into the Nexus ribbon" feeling.
Oh, and movie references. Be sure to reference movies.
Can you tell I haven't been to bed yet? It's 20 minutes to 7:00 where I
Wise is the man who attempts to answer his question before asking it.
To email me directly, send a message to puckdropper (at) fastmail.fm
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