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!
<Dons flameproof suit> 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.
Like all publications, though, you should be aware that the writer is
only presenting his point of view.
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?
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.
The greatest risk is we ruin ourselves on a ecotard inspired cul de sac,
global warming happens anyway and we don't have the power stations or
the economic strength to deal with it.
which is probably exactly where the politicians are, in fact, taking us
with the total support of the grünatics.
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.
On 24/02/2012 17:32, The Natural Philosopher wrote:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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