Indeed, but I'd still like to try to find out the answer to my
question without asking outright because of that risk! I recently
asked a question about a particular brand of powertool in a
woodworking group, and it turned into a 'friendly discussion' about
the physics of hi-fi speaker wires. I'd like to avoid such situations
as much as possible!
The truth about man made Global Warming seems to
be, as yet, "We don't know". The precautionary principle says we should
stop adding CO2 and methane to the atmosphere, as although we don't have
cast iron proof that there is an effect, doing this can't do any harm,
and may minimise any problems we are going to have in the future in any
Some people claim that absence of proof is not proof of absence, others
that the records we have show that AGW is happening and accelerating,
while others point to the same data and deny that there is anything
other than a random fluctuation happening.
Sustainable Energy - Without The Hot Air is an e-book which is free to
download, and addresses the subject and ways of reducing the effects,
but acknowledges that it may be too late.
all publications, though, you should be aware that the writer is
only presenting his point of view.
I don't think there is a reliable source anywhere.
Climate changes, it always has and it always will.
That's about as close to an accurate statement you will get.
As for 'why?' and 'by how much?' and 'when?',... you have wandered out
of the set called 'reliable' IMHO.
I've done more research than most, and my final conclusion is that no
one has a reliable handle on any of it.
Despite the huge amounts of crap spouted about it.
I think that is very unfair. David is not presenting his VIEW - he is
presenting the results of some very painstaking research based on actual
FACTS for the most part, like 'how much power do we use' and 'how
efficient is a steam turbine' and so on.
Nowhere does he say anything about climate change beyond noting that if
it is down to CO2, the purpose of the book is to look rationally at how
we might address the problem.
It is a book about human uses of energy and sources of it.
Not about climate change.
The problem with AGW - as opposed to 'climate change' is that it leaps
from a FACT :"CO2 is a greenhouse gas", adds another FACT: "CO2 is
increasing due to human activity" calculates what effect this would have
IF EVERYTHING ELSE WAS EQUAL and arrives at a figure which is so
pathetically small you wouldn't sell a single wind turbine on the
strength of it. And that's where the fudging and the leaps of faith come
in. Because the last part of the 20th century saw massive increase in
global temperature, the logical leap of faith of the IPCC was that this
was all DRIVEN by CO2 and AMPLIFIED (to make the numbers fit ) by some
*unkown* feedback system.
Despite there being no real evidence of such a system, and despite the
problem that in the historical past we have had similar changes in
temperature that can't be explained, with no CO2 variation, and often
massively bigger ones that CAUSED CO2 variation - not the other way round.
And as we learn more, it seems that climate and weather come in
irregular chaotic cycles, that may be related to instabilities in air
masses and sea currents, passage through spiral arms of the galaxy, and
what the sun is doing at the time as well.
Over my lifetimes a new ice age was predicted..but it just got steadily
warmer, then massive global warming was predicted, and its STOPPED
Do you REALLY think anyone has more than a biassed guess to offer?
Before the question can be answered adequately you need to give us some
idea of your level of scientific knowledge. The main IPCC reports are
actually a pretty good summary and well indexed to primary literature,
but they are hard going unless you are a science graduate or researcher.
sci.geo.meteorology would be a better place to ask this question.
Although it is much easier to make a list of *UNRELIABLE* sources which
would include Heartland Institute, Marshall Institute, Screaming Lord
Monckton et Al. Basically look back to see if they were involved in
denier for hire work on seatbelts, tobacco or the ozone layer and then
draw your own conclusions about how trustworthy they are on AGW.
Of the recent studies I reckon the independent analysis funded by the
Koch brothers (and so expected to refute climate change) Berkley Earth
study of global temperature is about the most accessible:
Climate changes, it always has and it always will.
True enough, but until recently we were not able to affect the planets
energy balance significantly. That has changed in the past few decades -
even the genuinely sceptical scientists concede this point. GHG forcing
has to be included after about 1970 to balance the books and you cannot
just handwave the sun brighter since there is satellite monitoring of
the total solar irradiance in the relevant period.
Only if you demand absolute certainty as a way of avoiding accepting
that we have evidence that greenhouse gas forcing is now a significant
factor in climate change and that it will become more important as time
progresses. Exxon has paid a lot of money to PR men to spread doubt and
uncertainty about AGW and it has worked astonishingly well (exactly the
same techniques are used to keep the suckers smoking tobacco and even
some of the same practitioners).
These tactics annoyed the Royal Society so much that they wrote an open
letter to Exxon asking them to stop wilfully misrepresenting the
science. It didn't work to any noticeable extent.
Shame. You are otherwise quite rational about other things.
There's no shortage of information. The problem is that it isn't
understandable without advanced knowledge of meteorology and the ability
to process the data on a supercomputer.
So I understand what you want (as opposed to what you asked for) but can
state with reasonable certainty that it doesn't exist.
What you will find is lots of opinions and analyses of the data. You
need to decide whose analyses are most credible.
We can't affect the energy balance significantly now.
There is heat energy from radioactivity in the core, heat from tidal
effects, heat from the Sun and an miniscule amount from burning fuel and
*All* of which radiates away into space.
In the past 15 years, despite rising CO2 levels, the climate has not
warmed in the way that models based upon that assumption predicted.
OTOH, Soviet scientists, who think that the driving factor is sun spot
activity, predicted that by 2012 we would start to see signs of a
cooling cycle and that is not contradicted by what has been happening.
No we don't.
Thats the point.
What we have is direct laboratory evidence that CO2 is a green house gas
and completely contradictory evidence that is way *not* enough to
account for last centuries temperature rises.
The slight of hand of the IPPC is to create a circular argument that
fools most scientists.
1/. Assume all the increase is due to CO2
2/. adjust value of a suitable constant - lamda - to make the
temperature rises fit the theory.
3/. Announce that the facts now 'prove' the theory. That all the
increase is due to CO2.
You appear to have swallowed this.
Its false on two counts: first of all facts don't prove theories.
Absence of facts that contradict theories alllw them to survive, that's all.
Secondly, the logic is circular.
how this technique can be used to 'prove' a completely different
and that it will become more important as time
I think you will found that the global spend on promoting AGW is about
200 times higher...one wonders why its necessary to do that.
Well you have fallen for the scientific con hook line and sinker.
I don't say AGW is wrong, but it is certainly VERY bad science. In fact
its not science at all. Its first year garduate curve fitting crapola.
Just because you can fit a polynomial to set of data points doesn't mean
that the underlying cause of those data points is anything to do with
the polynomial function.
And when you have to massage the data hugely to get anywhere NEAR a fit
its becomes a very very poor example of even that.
CO2 by itself will account for 0.2C or 0.4C over the next century,.
That's what the maths says. The 1,2,3,4C rises are pure conjceture based
on randomly adjusting the lamda constant in the AGW equations to fit
last centuries data.
But of course, we had lots of WEATHER. El Ninos, la Ninas, PDOs
NAOs..at some point they can all sum, at other points they cancel.
NONE of that is ever taken into account EXCEPT when trying to explain
why the weather *doesn't* fit the climate models of the IPCC. ALL of it
is ignored in the making of that model.
It remains a very poor and very incomplete model, and normally no one
would give a damn except its being used as a vehicle for racketeering by
'green' companies - and forget Exxon. They cont care any more. They KNOW
renewable energy doesn't work and they will still be pumping shale come
what may. And Germany will be burning coal....
Yeah,. I think fossil fuel and nuclear fuel is less than 1% of total
incoming solra radiation, and tahst about it.
It does raise the amusing sums done by one person who calculated that if
population kept on growing and everyone had a western lifestyle, within
50 years the required energy budget would exceed all the sunlight
falling on the earth, thus proving that sustainable growth and renewable
energy together made about as much sense as wheels on a balloon.
OK, so I know I've probably disappointed everyone by opening up this
debate, so I'll state my position and what my 2 questions are. I have
a working knowledge of physics, a bit of biology and next-to-nothing
1. Carbon Dioxide is often portrayed as the bad man responsible for
the greenhouse effect. I am not sure that this is plausible. Remember,
I have no knowledge of chemistry. Why I think this is that CO2 makes
up 0.039% of the atmosphere, whilst Nitrogen makes up 78.084% (source:
. This works out (I
think... maths ain't a strong point of mine either, sadly) that in one
cubic metre of air, CO2 comprises roughly the volume of a can of coke,
whilst Nitrogen occupies a wee bit more.
I once read that Nitrogen is more insulative than CO2, rendering the
idea that an increase in CO2 would cause warming on it's own null. Of
course, I cannot find this reference any more, and the only reason it
stuck in my mind is because of its oddity. I am happy to accept it as
cobblers if it is so. I have no idea how the insulative properties of
gasses work, and again, I have no real chemistry knowledge.
My question then: By what mechanism is CO2 supposed to cause warming?
2. This is just an idle thought, and if I could be bothered, I'd try
to work it out myself, but being close to death at the minute (I have
a horrendous condition where I feel weak and woozy and my nose keeps
If all energy we use generally ends up as heat in one way or another,
then if we turned off all machines for a week, would we see any
cooling effect of the atmosphere?
So there you go. I am not trying to stir anything, I am just trying to
understand something about CO2 which has been at the back of my mind
for a while. I tried to ask it at a Skeptic's Club meeting once and
got pilloried as a ney-sayer. Great.
I am not trying to argue that anything is wrong. I am pro-nuclear and
pro-parsimonious-for-prudence'-sake (but doesn't mean I'm an
ascetic!). I am just genuinely curious.
Let through UV, reflects IR.. sunlight is high value in high freq,
Radiated heat is high value in IR.
Same as aircraft contrails, helps keep you warm at night..
Himan energy is less than 1% of total insolatin.
Aren't we all? But we get spoon fed the on message guff, never the
On Feb 24, 5:51=A0pm, The Natural Philosopher
Except that it hasn't.
There has been a small but statistically significant warming trend in
atmospheric temperatures over the period that most people say warming
has stopped, despite La Nina effects that would tend to cause
The recent BEST report by people who started out on the sceptical side
confirmed the atmospheric warming trend.
There has been a much more significant warming of the oceans however
over this period. I fail to see how that can be ignored.
And speaking of the ocean, we should be worried about increased
acidification from increasing CO2 concentration even if the warming
does not happen to concern us.