Climate Change & High School Science

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While the scientific community seems united in its vision of climate change and the adverse future on humanity, other scientists offer contrary analyses. Who should we listen to?

 

Here’s a new perspective for us determine which scientists are right: high school science.

 

Let’s bring up the carbon cycle. Through photosynthesis, the electromagnetic energy of the sun is turned into high energy organic molecules of plants. In the normal carbon cycle, the energy of these molecules is released back into the world as heat through decomposition, often within a year’s time. But millions of years ago, there was an aberration to this cycle. A lot of these organic compounds were covered by sediment, effectively trapping the sun’s energy of that era. Today we are releasing this energy through the burning of fossil fuels.

 

Imagine a box about one meter by one meter by one meter. Nothing can get in or out of this closed system. Let’s conduct an experiment with is a lump of coal in this box. The rest of the box is filled with air. Let’s ignite the coal to completely combust it to water and carbon dioxide, thus using up some oxygen. Combustion produces heat. Since this heat has nowhere else to go, the temperature inside the box increases. If this experiment is to be extrapolated to the world, then our conclusion should be that if we burn coal or petroleum, the temperature is going to increase—just as the temperature of the box increased.

 

Let’s talk about convection. Convection is when bodies of liquids or gases move relative to each other because of a temperature difference. If a body of air near a warm surface increases its temperature, its density decreases. It will want to rise relative to the denser cold air above it. Given enough heat and time, eventually the warm air will move past the cold air. The cold air then moves to the surface to gain more heat for itself. In time, this air will warm up and it too will move upwards. This is convection.

 

We can see convection at work in our high school labs. If we place water in a beaker, the water is at the same temperature. To our eye, it looks still and unmoving. But put that beaker over a Bunsen burner and squint closely at the bottom of the beaker. As the bottom water heats up, we can see it swirling around, wanting to move somewhere. Convection is starting.

 

So if we are releasing our sun’s energy of millions of years ago into our atmosphere today, should we not expect higher temperatures, which then results in more convection? Are not hurricanes and tornados and other severe storms are nothing but nature’s chaotic way of using convection to equalize temperatures?

 

And here’s another scientific fact from high school. Warmer air carries more moisture. We should expect more water movement in the air as well. But if the air is warmer, it takes even a colder temperature to get it to drop its moisture. So water in the air will drop out in different geographical areas than it used to. Some areas will be dryer; some will be wetter. In other words, changing climate patterns are almost guaranteed if we just apply high school science.

 

If our academic abilities are limited just to our high school science, then we have to accept that global warming and climate change should be expected from the burning of fossil fuels. I wonder if climate change deniers can use high school science to make their claim.

Comments

Dino Manalis Added Sep 17, 2017 - 7:26pm
The climate is evolving, like everything else, it's common sense and there's nothing wrong to admit it, we need to specifically reduce pollution and waste without ruining the economy.  All countries should contribute, depending on economic development.
Saint George Added Sep 17, 2017 - 7:57pm
While the scientific community seems united in its vision of climate change and the adverse future on humanity . . .
 
No it isn't. That's a complete fabrication.
Jeff Jackson Added Sep 17, 2017 - 9:21pm
We have had 4 ice ages in the past quarter of a million years, and yet, no one has devised an indisputable theory of why they occurred. The earth started getting warmer about 50,000 years ago. It melted the glaciers that covered a substantial portion of North America, and yet we weren't burning fossil fuels to any significant degree at the time. There are some "theories" now, because the climatologists needed to explain why the earth grows warm or cold, but to my knowledge, they have not been proven true.
The weather people can't predict with certainty what the weather will be like tomorrow, at least where I live, they are always getting "surprised." It isn't that I do not realize the earth is getting warmer, it is. Whether humans have made that much of a contribution to that warming is where my doubts lie. The question I always ask: If the earth was getting colder, do you think there could be anything we could do about it?
Maureen Foster Added Sep 18, 2017 - 8:49am
There is a big difference between theory and scientific fact.  It’s a scientific fact that light travels faster that sound.  Any number of high school students could prove this out at the next science fair.  However, proving the Earth is warming due to the burning of fossil fuels is a theory.  It may sound plausible, but it isn't proof.  So I think you’re doing high school science students a great injustice by confusing theory and fact. 
Bill Kamps Added Sep 18, 2017 - 9:50am
Dave, climate is perhaps one of the most complicated things we study, far from high school science.
 
Why? because it isnt a closed linear system like your box.  What we learn in thermodynamics is that heat transfer ( convection ) is non-linear, meaning the rate of cooling and warming is not constant.  Weather, much less climate, is a very non-linear system, with many interactions, between storms, the oceans, the atmosphere, and the chemical make up of these different things.  When we burn fuel, we not only add heat to the atmosphere, we change the chemical make up of the atmosphere.  These chemicals in the atmosphere react at non-linear rates when the atmosphere changes, and they change the heat dissipation into space.
 
The amount of energy the sun puts on the earth is not constant.  It is not constant in location, which is why we have seasons, and it is not constant in total over the  surface of the earth.
 
We use the biggest supercomputers to try to forecast weekly weather, and track hurricanes, and while we are better at it, it is still only a so-so job, as you see with the spaghetti maps of possible hurricane paths.
 
This is why the debate rages on , because it is impossible to model with the technology we have.  We can make some assumptions, but the problem with weather is that small errors in assumptions, can make big differences in the outcome.   Whether a hurricane forms or not, relies on relatively small differences in temp, wind, air pressure and so on.  Small differences relative to the  big difference in outcome, yes or no on the hurricane forming.   We cannot predict before hand whether a hurricane will form, given simple observations of the weather.
Mike Haluska Added Sep 18, 2017 - 11:00am
 
Bill K - well done, great post!
Bill Kamps Added Sep 18, 2017 - 11:25am
Dave, it should also be noted that heat is not the main claimed issue, though it might be an issue we aren't sure.  Nuclear power plants put a lot of heat into the environment, but since they dont exhale C02, they arent claimed to change the climate.  The climate change folks tell us it is the chemical  make up of the atmosphere, more C02, that is the problem.  That makes the atmosphere hold more heat.  
 
Chemical changes in the atmosphere, its affect on weather and temperature, is one of the more complex issues we study.  It is complex because the C02 once put into the atmosphere reacts with everything the the Earth's ecosystem, it is not a static event.
 
FYI, all energy use produces heat, since no motor or appliance perfectly converts fuel or potential energy into motion.  Touch the motor on your drill or saw, and they get pretty hot, for example.
 
On top of all that, as others have pointed out, the Earth's temp changes on its own.  We all know about the Ice Ages, and there have been several mini Ice Ages.  We have theories as to why they happened, but nothing explains them completely.  
 
 
Dave Volek Added Sep 18, 2017 - 11:34am
Bill
 
Great comment about how complex all this climate modelling is.
 
I recall a scientist working with a particular climate model (a very complicated piece of software). They did a run with certain inputs and got a certain result. They moved the software to another computer, entered the same inputs, and got a totally different result.
 
When the scientists investigated the differences, one computer was rounded calculations to eight significant figures; the other was rounding to 16 significant figures. Eight sig figs is still a lot of precision, and for most scientific applications, going to 16 would not produce a significant result.  If a model is this sensitive, this implies how much we still don't know about climate modelling.
 
Either way, we (the world) has to make a decision with the information we currently have. Reducing consumption of fossil fuel is a decision; so too is keeping the status quo. 
 
My decision is reduce consumption of fossil fuels. Using my high school science contributes in part to this decision, and using the relative unity of the scientific community is another part. Plus I think going to greener technology is the right thing to do.
 
While I am 100% convinced that global warming is happening, I am not 100% convinced that it is entirely man-made. Nor am I 100% convinced that the consequences are going to be as bad as THEY say. But I am convinced enough that we need to take some action. So I have made some adjustments to my lifestyle (but could do more) and I politically support carbon taxes as a means to slowly change the behavior of consumers.
 
And a big part of my reasoning is the consequences risk. If we "changers" are found to be wrong a generation from now, the world won't be worse off. If we keep the status quo and the climate change theories start becoming climate change facts, then we have wasted an opportunity.
 
Unfortunately the world cannot handle this kind of thinking. The issue must be presented 100% in one direction or 100% in the other.
 
 
 
 
 
Bill H. Added Sep 18, 2017 - 11:51am
 
Dave - Great article!
It's pretty obvious to those who don't stick their head into the sand that the Earth is warming quickly. To be exact, about 10 times faster than past events. The rate of warming also coincides with the increase in CO2 from man-made sources. Even in my 68 years on the planet, I have witnessed examples of a warming climate. Having studied meteorology in College, I have observed the changes in local surface and sea temperature averages and that forecasting models are having troubles dealing with changes in what was average data that they have used for years to create forecasts. I have also observed changes in plant hardiness zones, which are used by growers to select crops for various regions. A local study also showed timberlines changing at a rate of about 10 times faster than what was calculated during past warming events.
Dave Volek Added Sep 18, 2017 - 12:06pm
Bill H
The melting of the Arctic and Antarctic polar caps should be enough evidence the world is warming up. I think this is in the realm of scientific fact, but it is interesting to see how some deniers claim this is still an unproven hypothesis.
 
Even if much of the warming is caused not by humanity, are we not still responsible to find ways to reduce our contribution to the warming effect?
 
If the modelling is sensitive to 8 vs. 16 significant figures, we just might have to make only a minor adjustment in our fossil fuel consumption to turn things the other way.
Bill Kamps Added Sep 18, 2017 - 1:10pm
Unfortunately the world cannot handle this kind of thinking. The issue must be presented 100% in one direction or 100% in the other.
 
It is not so much that we need to be 100% correct, it is that we dont trust each other, and we dont trust authorities.  That is because we have learned that our leaders are corrupted, and they dont tell us the truth.  They never really did, but 50-100 years we didnt know any better.
 
Al Gore may be correct about climate change, but who can trust him? He lives in a mansion, flies a private jet, and set up a carbon exchange so he would get more rich if carbon credits were traded.  First he doesnt practice what he preaches, and second he sets himself up to profit from what he preaches. 
 
Cutting C02 a lot will have an economic impact, and to cut it enough to make a difference will mean that people cant drive cars, and we cant use air conditioning, for starters.  I dont think most people want to pay that price. Meanwhile countries like China continue to build coal plants, and are exempt from the Paris accords.  Do you want to make sacrifices, while in China they just continue to make matters worse?
 
Since it is unlikely we can change people's world wide habits enough to make a difference, it is likely the temp will continue to go up.
 
Dave Volek Added Sep 18, 2017 - 4:29pm
Bill K
The best thing we can do for the environment is to be environmentally conscious consumers. If enough of us do not make these kinds of changes, we may not have the economy to run our consumer culture any more. So it's a choice we have to make. We may not be able to control countries or our neighbors directly, but we can be a good example.
 
And carbon cap-and-trades are, to me, a ponzi scheme to help the rich get richer. A slowly increasing carbon tax is a better answer. In time, people will adjust their consumer decisions without disrupting the economy.
Nicholas Schroeder Added Sep 18, 2017 - 5:23pm
Part 1
 
I was engaged in an E-mail dialogue over climate change minutiae (Isn't that about 90% of it?) when asked what my bigger point was/is. I thought the following effectively summarizes my bigly points.
 

The upwelling/downwelling/"back" radiation RGHE power flux loop as depicted on K-T and similar graphics is thermodynamic rubbish.

http://writerbeat.com/articles/14306-Greenhouse---We-don-t-need-no-stinkin-greenhouse-Warning-science-ahead-
 

The notion that the earth would be 33 C colder (255K) without an atmosphere than with (288K) as explained in the ACS climate change tool kit is clearly, patently, even embarrassingly, wrong.

http://writerbeat.com/articles/15582-To-be-33C-or-not-to-be-33C
 

The multi-layer model described in the ACS tool kit effectively doubles the energy flowing in the system and the model constraints, no transmission, no reflection, making it not even remotely similar to the actual atmosphere.

http://writerbeat.com/articles/16255-Atmospheric-Layers-and-Thermodynamic-Ping-Pong
 
I cover these three points in detail in my WriterBeat papers that have collected 4,400 views and ZERO scientific rebuttals.
Nicholas Schroeder Added Sep 18, 2017 - 5:25pm
Part 2
 
The genesis of RGHE theory is the incorrect notion that the atmosphere warms the surface (and that is NOT the ground). Explaining the mechanism behind this erroneous notion demands some truly contorted physics, thermo and heat transfer, i.e. energy out of nowhere, cold to hot w/o work, perpetual motion.
 
Is space cold or hot? There are no molecules in space so our common definitions of hot/cold/heat/energy don't apply.
 
The temperatures of objects in space, e.g. the Earth, Moon, space station, Mars, Venus, etc. are determined by the radiation flowing past them. In the case of the Earth, the solar irradiance of 1,368 W/m^2 has a Stefan Boltzmann black body equilibrium temperature of 394 K, 121 C, 250 F. That's hot. Sort of.
 
But an object's albedo reflects away some of that energy and reduces that temperature.
 
The Earth's albedo reflects away about 30% of the Sun's 1,368 W/m^2 energy leaving 70% or 958 W/m^2 to "warm" the surface (1.5 m above ground) and at an S-B BB equilibrium temperature of 361 K, 33 C cooler (394-361) than the earth with no atmosphere or albedo.
 
The Earth's albedo/atmosphere doesn't keep the Earth warm, it keeps the Earth cool.
Nicholas Schroeder Added Sep 18, 2017 - 5:28pm
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Nicholas Schroeder Added Sep 18, 2017 - 5:31pm
Well that's a serious mess.
 
Ice caps, sea ice melting?
 
NOT HAPPENING!!!!
 
Just go to DMI and Climate4you data and trends.
 
NOT HAPPENING!!!!!
Bill H. Added Sep 18, 2017 - 9:29pm
Who do we believe. Big Oil, or the majority of the independent world scientific community?
Dave Volek Added Sep 19, 2017 - 7:38am
Nicolas
I went to your two articles. I really could not follow them with my current level of knowledge. Nor could I see the relevance of them in terms of trying to explain global warming using high school science. 
 
In fact, I really couldn't even determine whether you believe in climate change or not. I think you need to find an editor to help you explain your perspectives. They look interesting, but they are jumbled thoughts.
 
Bill H.
For sure, we should not believe in scientists funded by Big Oil. 
 
But we should also be wary of political correctness in the scientific community. There is a certain version of climate change that gets acceptance in this community. If a scientist strays too far outside the boundaries, that scientist's career can stall. I have no idea on how to fix this, but this force should be acknowledged.
 
For example, I wondered for many years that if CO2 in the atmosphere was increasing, wouldn't this be good for plants? And wouldn't a more "plantier" world would have its own effect on the climate? In my casual readings of this topic, I could not find any scientist willing to bring up this point--->until I stumbled across this fellow, who is definitely out-of-box scientist: 
 
http://www.ideacity.ca/video/patrick-moore-the-sensible-environmentalist/
 
Another thing that sort of bothers me is that with the continual bombardment of the sun for millions of years, we should be getting warmer and warmer. Yet Earth experiences eras of increasing temperatures and eras of decreasing temperatures. So there must be a mechanism for Earth to release its excess heat to outer space. Conduction does not explain it because there is no medium for significant conduction to take place. The albedo effect does not explain the electromagnetic energy of the sun that gets turned into thermal energy. Does the thermal energy somehow turn back into electromagnetic energy--then escape the Earth that way.
 
There is probably is an explanation out there for my wonderment. But I haven't run across anything to explain in my casual glances at this topic. And I guess I lack the ambition to find the answer.
 
But I think it's important to ask questions and not be dazzled by the experts. They do need to come down to our levels.
opher goodwin Added Sep 19, 2017 - 9:01am
Hi Dave - it's good to see all that old High School Science put to use. Though I am afraid it is a lot more complicated than that. The Earth isn't a closed system. We radiate heat, reflect light, gain gases and dust and lose gasses.
I am a firm believer in the facts of global warming and have studied the rise in temperature of the Earth and the effects of that extensively.
The deniers pick and choose their data from the maverick denier sources but the evidence is mounting by the day - one of the reasons Trump pulled the plug on further research and monitoring - he doesn't want them proving him wrong.
The Carbon Dioxide/Methane greenhouse effect from fossil fuels and cattle is causing the rise. That is well evidenced.
The present set of hurricanes were well predicted and are likely to be a repeating pattern of extreme weather, as is rise in sea temperatures and sea level.
Most of my High School students were well capable of understanding all this. It's a shame that some blinkered politicians, for their own reasons, can't.
opher goodwin Added Sep 19, 2017 - 9:03am
Dave - there is definitely a greening affect from raised CO2 levels. That will be good for crop growth and regeneration of destroyed forest. Every thundercloud has a silver lining.
We will need all the regenerative growth we can get after the deforestation, fracking, mining, flooding, hurricanes and all, have taken their toll.
Bill Kamps Added Sep 19, 2017 - 10:26am
Dave, if C02 did not increase, then the warmer the atmosphere gets, the more rapidly it dissipates the heat into space.  Thermo theory tells us the loss of heat energy increases the greater the difference in temp of the two mediums.  The two mediums in this case are the atmosphere(warm) and space(cold).  So without a change in chemical makeup the radiation from the earth would increase, the warmer we get, helping to stabilize things.  This is why simply generating heat, is not warming the planet.  The more heat generated the faster the rate of radiation.
 
However, when C02 gets added to the atmosphere, it retains more heat, and radiates more slowly.  Some of energy instead of radiating into space, bounces back toward earth, hence the name greenhouse effect.  While greenhouses dont use C02 to hold the heat, the glass walls perform a similar function, trapping the heat inside. 
 
This is all very complex, because nothing is static, and everything is non-linear, which means some changes accelerate, and some decelerate as the composition of the atmosphere changes.
 
Sure it makes sense to make smart choices going forward.  However, the rate of change towards C02 free energy is relatively slow because it takes time to rebuild the infrastructure on a different model than fossil fuels.  For example, while China is pushing electric cars, they continue to build coal plants to generate the electricity.
Dave Volek Added Sep 19, 2017 - 11:31am
Bill and Opher
 
My bewilderment with this topic is how heat escapes the Earth. If it didn't, then the Earth would get warmer and warmer. We would be lot hotter today than the days of the dinosaurs.
 
Outer space supposedly has about 100 hydrogen/helium molecules per cubic meter. That is not enough to enable a serious transfer of thermal energy by conduction. And we don't have to get very high in the atmosphere to notice the much colder temperatures and the lower density of air. I could be wrong; maybe there is conduction happening with these few air molecules.
 
When electromagnetic energy hits an ice pack, much of that energy rebounds back into space as electromagnetic energy.
 
But when electromagnetic energy hits the ground, it is converted into thermal energy. Or if it hits a chlorophyll molecule, is converted into chemical energy. 
 
So when we have this energy being converted at the Earth's surface, it must going back out somehow. Otherwise there would be gradual increase in temperature.
 
Maybe there are some chemical reactions in the upper atmosphere, like ozone, that take in thermal energy and convert it to electromagnetic energy and send it off to space.
 
 
Nicholas Schroeder Added Sep 19, 2017 - 12:30pm
Solar energy heats up air, ground, water, i.e. everything. The sun heats it all during the day. During the night the ground heats the air.
 
Energy in motion, i.e. heat, leaves the surface through a combination of molecular motions, i.e. conduction, convection, latent processed and radiation. When molecules stop, 32 km, S-B radiation takes over.
Dave Volek Added Sep 19, 2017 - 12:43pm
Nicholas:
I understood everything except:
 


When molecules stop, 32 km, S-B radiation takes over.


 
 Can you elaborate?
 
 
Dave Volek Added Sep 19, 2017 - 12:44pm
Something funky with the WB software on my end. So I just repost my question in case the previous post is garbled:
 


When molecules stop, 32 km, S-B radiation takes over.


 
 
 Can you elaborate?
 
Nicholas Schroeder Added Sep 19, 2017 - 1:02pm
You can't apply S-B theory where there are participating media, i.e. molecules. See my layers paper. S-B BB works on the surface of the sun, earth ToA, moon, out in space where there are no molecules. S-B BB does not work in the atmosphere where there are molecules and conduction, convection, latent heat processes at work. In other words, you can not take 16 C, plug it into S-B BB and claim 396 W/m^2 upwelling from the surface especially when only 160 W/m^2 made it to the surface on the first place.
 
NOAA says ToA is 100 km, but the consensus seems to be that 99% of the atmospheric mass is below 32 km, 99.9% below about 48 km.
 
Where there are molecules energy moves, i.e. heat, up through the atmosphere primarily by conduction, convection and latent heat processes per Q = U A dT, same as the walls of a house. Radiation gets the left overs with an emissivity of about 0.15.
 
The following explains why the ISS needs redundant air conditioners.
 
https://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2001/ast21mar_1/
 
"The first design consideration for thermal control is insulation -- to keep heat in for warmth and to keep it out for cooling."
"Here on Earth, environmental heat is transferred in the air primarily by conduction (collisions between individual air molecules) and convection (the circulation or bulk motion of air)." 
 
Oops! WHAT?! Did they forget to mention RGHE "theory?" Global warming? Climate change? Bad scientists! Oh, wait. These must be engineers who actually USE science. 
 
"This is why you can insulate your house basically using the air trapped inside your insulation," said Andrew Hong, an engineer (SEE!!) and thermal control specialist at NASA's Johnson Space Center. "Air is a poor conductor of heat, and the fibers of home insulation that hold the air still minimize convection."
"In space there is no air for conduction or convection," he added. Space is a radiation-dominated environment. Objects heat up by absorbing sunlight and they cool off by emitting infrared energy, a form of radiation which is invisible to the human eye."
 
Uhh, that's in SPACE where radiation rules NOT on EARTH.
 
"Without thermal controls, the temperature of the orbiting Space
Station's Sun-facing side would soar to 250 degrees F (121 C), while
thermometers on the dark side would plunge to minus 250 degrees F (-157 C). There might be a comfortable spot somewhere in the middle of the Station, but searching for it wouldn't be much fun!"
 
121 C plus 273 C = 394 K Ta-dahhh!!!!!
 
Shiny insulation keeps the ISS COOL!!!! Just like the earth's albedo/atmosphere keeps the earth COOL!!! NOT hot like RGHE's BOGUS "theory."
Dave Volek Added Sep 19, 2017 - 1:32pm
Objects heat up by absorbing sunlight and they cool off by emitting infrared energy, a form of radiation which is invisible to the human eye."
 
Now I have, with my high school science background, a fact that helps me understand how Earth gets rid of its excess heat.
 
Thank you.
 
Plus the ancillary information was quite interesting as well.
John Minehan Added Sep 19, 2017 - 2:48pm
Actually, no.
 
The problem with your argument is that this is not a "closed system" at the planetary level. In fact, the majority of the energy inputs come from outside the closed system of this planet.
 
The amount of thermal energy added by man-made activity is negligible compared to solar inputs.
 
However, that is not the problem created by the burning of fossil fuel. The issue with the burning of fossil fuel is the output of carbon and water vapor and other greenhouse gases, which tend to trap the sun's heat.
 
This is why the argument that "There is global warming on Mars and Saturn" is mostly untrue and irrelevant.  There may be increased solar activity, but other planets (which lack technological inhabitants and may lack volcanism) may not be holding that heat energy to the degree the Earth is.
 
You mention the carbon cycle. 
 
Another(and possibly more dangerous)  phenomenon is that the seas tend to absorb excess carbon as a function of the carbon cycle, reducing the amount of carbon in the atmosphere trapping the sun's heat, but also increasing the acidity of the seas, which is believed (based on fossil evidence) to have been a contributing factor to the K-T Extinction event.  
Dave Volek Added Sep 19, 2017 - 3:41pm
Thanks John
I suspect that your assertion that the actual heat from combustion may be negligible when compared to heat retained from greenhouse gases. I shall investigate this when opportunity and interest arises. 
opher goodwin Added Sep 19, 2017 - 7:01pm
Dave - it radiates. Heat can move by conduction, convection or radiation. Radiation operates through a vacuum in the same way the sun's heat reaches us.
opher goodwin Added Sep 19, 2017 - 7:02pm
Dave - the heating effect is tiny in the big scheme of things but massive in effect. It is caused by the greenhouse effect and not by combustion. CO2 and Methane trap heat and stop it radiating back into space. The Earth is not a closed system.
Nicholas Schroeder Added Sep 19, 2017 - 8:35pm
"...¦amount of carbon in the atmosphere trapping (thermodynamic RUBBISH!!!!) the sun's heat, but also increasing the acidity of the seas..."

Above a pH of 7.0 a solution is alkaline and becomes more or less alkaline.
 
Below a pH of 7.0 a solution is acidic and becomes more or less acidic.
 
The ocean's pH is about 8.0. That's alkaline. Variations are more or less alkaline, not more or less acidic. The obvious reason for incorrectly using the term "ocean acidification" is a propaganda gambit to scare the gullible and uninformed who associate acid with bad, like alien blood and spit.
 
Highly alkaline compounds such as caustic soda can be just as dangerous as acidic compounds, e.g. concentrated bleach, sodium hypochlorite, pH 9 to 13. On the other hand: rain has a pH of 4.5, lemon juice has a pH of 2.0, tomatoes a pH of 4.5, and vinegar a pH of 2.2. If they get on your hands the flesh doesn't melt and they don't burn a hole in the kitchen counter.
 
Improperly using the term "acidification" to scare the public over bogus CAGW is a disgrace to science. Spit out the Kool-Aid and grow a backbone.
 
 
Nicholas Schroeder Added Sep 19, 2017 - 8:39pm
"CO2 and Methane trap heat and stop it radiating back into space."
Complete chemical, physical and thermodynamic BS!!!
 
The GHE/GHG loop as shown on Trenberth Figure 10 is made up of three main components: upwelling of 396 W/m^2 which has two sub parts: 63 W/m^2 LWIR and 333 W/m^2 and downwelling of 333 W/m^2.
 
The 396 W/m^2 is calculated by inserting 16 C or 279K in the S-B BB equation, a calculation that does not actually exist in the real world. The result is 55 W/m^2 of power flux more than ISR entering ToA, an obvious violation of conservation of energy, i.e. created out of nothing. That should have been a warning.
 
ISR of 341 W/m^2 enter ToA, 102 W/m^2 are reflected by the albedo, leaving a net 239 W/m^2 entering ToA. 78 W/m^2 are absorbed by the atmosphere leaving 161 W/m^2 for the surface. To maintain the overall energy balance and a steady temperature (not really a requirement) 160 W/m^2 rises from the surface (0.9 residual in ground) as 17 W/m^2 convection, 80 W/m^2 latent and 63 W/m^2 LWIR (S-B BB 183 K, -90 C or emissivity = .16) = 160 W/m^2.
 
All of the graphic' power fluxes are now present and accounted for. The remaining and perpetual looping 333 W/m^2 are the spontaneous creation of an inappropriate application of the S-B BB equation violating conservation of energy.
opher goodwin Added Sep 20, 2017 - 5:04am
Nicholas - BS??? So you completely deny the whole greenhouse effect theory?
Do you really expect anyone to bother with the gobbledegook you put out here? Who are you trying to impress?
You are a master of bull shit if ever I saw one.
opher goodwin Added Sep 20, 2017 - 5:10am
Nicholas - acidification is making something more acid. The absorption of CO2 into water creates the weak acid carbonic acid. The oceans have been around 8.2, which is slightly basic. That has dropped to 8.1. That is what we are referring to. Even a modest drop in pH causes problems for organisms with calcareous shells. These are mainly the molluscs and crustacean but also coelenterates (corals). They find it harder to create their exoskeletons or secrete calcium carbonate structures. Any loss of these organisms has a huge impact on other marine life-forms as they are a huge part of the food web and the physical environment they produce is also important.
Nicholas Schroeder Added Sep 20, 2017 - 7:53am
"So you completely deny the whole greenhouse effect theory?"
Yes, and I'm far from alone. In fact, per Arrhenius' 1896 and 1906 papers and Wearts' book on global warming even his contemporaries Angstrom, De Marci and R. W. Wood disagreed. R. W. Wood ran a simple experiment that proved him wrong. Angstrom considered a formal rebuttal a waste of his time.
"Even a modest drop in pH causes problems for organisms with calcareous shells."
Corals have been surviving pH fluctuations for millions of years. And what connection does that have to do with fossil fired CO2? Coincidental cause?
Saying ocean "acidification" is not just semantics, it is just flat wrong and deliberately deceitful. SoP for the climatards.
BTW, your replies contain exactly ZERO!!! Science so who's the BSer?
Nicholas Schroeder Added Sep 20, 2017 - 8:04am
"Earth's carbon cycle contains 46,713 Gt (E15 gr) +/- 850 Gt (+/- 1.8%) of stores and reservoirs with a couple hundred fluxes Gt/y (+/- ??) flowing among those reservoirs. Mankind's gross contribution over 260 years was 555 Gt or 1.2%. (IPCC AR5 Fig 6.1) Mankind's net contribution, 240 Gt or 0.53%, (dry labbed by IPCC to make the numbers work) to this bubbling, churning caldron of carbon/carbon dioxide is 4 Gt/y +/- 96%. (IPCC AR5 Table 6.1) Seems relatively trivial to me. IPCC et. al. says natural variations can't explain the increase in CO2. With these tiny percentages and high levels of uncertainty how would anybody even know? BTW fossil fuel C between 1750 and 2011 represented 0.34% of the biospheric carbon cycle."
 
The ocean contains over 37,100 Gt of C. Mankind's net contribution outside the atmosphere of (555-240=315) Gt even IF it ALL went into the oceans makes a difference of 0.85%. If the ocean pH is changing it sure as hell isn't because of mankind fossil fuel.
 
Nicholas Schroeder Added Sep 20, 2017 - 9:01am
Corals have always had hard lives. El Nino temperature swings, heavy fresh water runoff, tourists, carless boat captains, pH is the least of their worries, yet they are resilient and recover and have done so for millions of years long before mankind showed up to watch them.
"Even a modest drop in pH causes problems for organisms with calcareous shells."
Can you back this up or are you just blowing smoke same as ever?
Mike Haluska Added Sep 20, 2017 - 10:42am
Here is the best explanation of the "Climate Change" scam:
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvdWTcZ4XG8
opher goodwin Added Sep 20, 2017 - 11:23am
Nicholas - I am a biologist. I keep abreast of biological matters. The bleaching of coral due to temperature change and pH is a fact. Much research has been done on this. Likewise the uptake of calcium salts to make shells.
What used to take a lengthy period of time, due to natural changes, is now happening quickly and giving organisms little time to adapt.
opher goodwin Added Sep 20, 2017 - 11:28am
Mike - no scam. You believe Thomas Sowell if you like. I'll take the evidence I've seen for global warming from proper scientists every day of the year. Particularly when I travel the world and see the evidence with my own eyes.
Happy hurricanes.
opher goodwin Added Sep 20, 2017 - 11:31am
Nicholas - my replies contain zero? What does that mean?
You just pick your denier evidence and pretend everything is fine. The whole destruction of our planetary ecosystem is not happening.
I've see it - it is real!!
John Minehan Added Sep 20, 2017 - 12:19pm
That went well.
 
The K-T Extinction Event is theorized  to have occurred because of Carbon released by volcanism being absorbed by the seas, lowering their PH and triggering a mass extinction of shelled ammonites that were the base of the oceanic food chain.
 
There are two counter arguments: 1) the evidence is fossil record and is, by definition, incomplete; and 2) from what we know of the fossil record, the base of the food chain in the late Permian was far more dominated by shelled creatures (which were particularly vulnerable to this change) than the seas today. 
 
An important thing to consider is that the Permian-Triassic ("K-T") Extinction Event was particularly pervasive.  For example, based on fossil evidence, it is the only mass extinction that included large numbers of insect species. 
 
 
John Minehan Added Sep 20, 2017 - 12:26pm
ocean's pH is about 8.0. That's alkaline. Variations are more or less alkaline, not more or less acidic."
 
No. That is a very weak argument.
 
As the PH of something drops, it becomes more acidic, as the PH of a something rises, it becomes more alkaline.
 
If you are describing "acidity" relative to its usual state, it becomes more acid.  If you are describing it in terms of PH, the PH drops.    
 
Mike Haluska Added Sep 20, 2017 - 2:50pm
opher -
 
and the Grand Assumption to every "problem" you find in nature is:
 
It is caused by human generated CO2!!!
 
You are either gullible or just intellectually lazy.  It is the same stupid irrationality that blames humans for every species that is going extinct.  99.9% of all the life forms on this planet are extinct -
 
WE DIDN'T KILL THEM ALL!!!
Mike Haluska Added Sep 20, 2017 - 2:52pm
correction:
 
99.9% of all the life forms on this planet are extinct
                          should read
99.9% of all the life forms that have ever lived on this planet are extinct
 
Mike Haluska Added Sep 20, 2017 - 2:57pm
opher - the problem with your statement:
 
"Particularly when I travel the world and see the evidence with my own eyes.  Happy hurricanes."
 
is that you have selective myopic vision.  What did "your eyes" tell you during the past 12 years when NO HURRICANES struck the US coast - a RECORD HURRICANE DROUGHT!!!!
 
Only looking for data that supports a pre-determined conclusion is NOT legitimate science. 
 
Dave Volek Added Sep 20, 2017 - 4:01pm
John
I deleted your post with all the code. I didn't think you would mind.
 
Orpher
I'm a little confused with your battle with Nicolas. I'm not even sure if he a climate change denier or not. His writing needs work to make his point more clear. And all the math and physics he puts up is interesting, but it may be more than what this discussion needs. 
 
Nicolas also explained to me that the energy leaves the Earth in the form of infrared radiation as warm bodies cool down. That makes perfect sense to me now. Everyone else on this thread missed the opportunity to teach me something.
 
Then Nicolas said something kind profound: the pH of lemon juice is 2.0! If I go to my chemistry lab and make up a solution of HCl(aq) that yields a pH of 2.0, I'm going to wear a lot of protective equipment. So I thought he was crazy for lemon juice is easily handled--and sent down the esophagus. So I went to the internet, and several sources said that citric acid has a pH of 2.0. Now I'm going to have to adjust my thinking of acids--or somehow prove this fact wrong. I suspect there is a little catch to this scientific fact.
 
While there are a few people I avoid reading let alone commenting, I am finding taking the high road on WB a lot more enjoyable.
 
 
 
 
Utpal Patel Added Sep 21, 2017 - 1:13pm
I think Maureen hit the nail on the head and don’t blame you one iota for ignoring her comment.  It’s a scientific fact that the earth has warmed and cooled many times over the course of the last 4.6 billion years.  This means when someone alerts us that the climate is changing the response is “yes,” the climate has always been in a state of flux. 
 
Even if it could be ascertained with surety which way the climate was changing you then have the task of figuring out if humans are to blame. So when someone says that humans are to blame for the climate changing, ask them which way it’s changing?  If they answer “hotter,” remind them that the generally accepted belief a few decades ago was that it was getting colder.  If they answer “colder,” remind them that today’s generally accepted belief is that it’s getting warmer. 
 
My advice to any high school professor who wishes to teach climate science, tell them we know with 100% surety that the climate doesn’t remain the same over time and we’re studying the effects humans may have on the climate.  Then remind them that we know with surety that humans are to blame for pollution. 
Dave Volek Added Sep 21, 2017 - 1:40pm
Uptal
 
Being in business taught me that there is no such thing as having complete facts. You have to make decisions based on what you currently know, then move forward.
 
I'm old enough to know that the scientists were indeed predicting the start of another ice age. But that thought started swinging the other way about 1980. The scientists could be wrong again. Is that enough reason not to take action on climate change?
 
But we are seeing almost 40 years of this trend. So the next question is: Is this change man-made or part of a natural process?
 
The scientific community is in agreement with this increase is man-made. Yes, we can point to hundreds of scientists--who may not even be the pockets of oil companies--who disagree. And we can point to those scientists who support climate change--and have put out what seems to be some pretty bad science. But they still have credentials, you and I do not.
 
The consensus among scientists for action on climate change is at least 75% for and 25% against. This level of unity is more than enough to effect any other kind of political movement. Yet the 25% (or less) seem to be driving the bus in terms of public policy on climate change.    
 
I see your response as a sneaky way to justify keeping our current levels of consumer consumption.
 
The scientists may indeed be wrong. But we should take their recommendations when they are as united as they are. If they are wrong, then we have only adjusted our economy more towards greener energy. Is that such a wrong move? If they are right, then there will be big consequences if we don't act.
Nicholas Schroeder Added Sep 21, 2017 - 2:35pm
Science isn't a popularity contest. It follows long established laws that nobody decides by polls.
 
My WB papers formally, technically and scientifically challenge what I see from the perspective of a graduate BSME, registered PE w/35 years of actual real applied science experience (not sitting in some academic cube farm running computer models), i.e. that the Radiative Greenhouse Effect Theory (It's not a law, still a theory.) violates pretty much every one of the laws of thermodynamics. I'm not the first and I am hardly alone.
 
It's pretty heady stuff for amateurs and looky loo's so if you can't defend RGHE then take my work to somebody nearby, a college or university physics, chemical or mechanical engineering department and ask them to critique my work. I would absolutely love to hear what they have to say.
Dave Volek Added Sep 21, 2017 - 2:57pm
Nicholas
 
I could sort of follow what you were trying to get at. But the writing was not strong enough for me to easily see your points. And I really don't have the resources to verify your math/science. So I'm not going in that direction to prove or disprove whatever you were trying to say.
 
However, I do need to satisfy myself with the knowledge I currently have, which is my high school science. When I apply these principles, global warming seems to be the case and there will be consequences if we don't take some action.
 
And when scientists are fairly united in the same position, that reinforces my thinking. 
 
You are right: this should not be a popularity contest. The scientists get to vote; the rest of us don't know enough to vote wisely.
 
 
 
 
 
Mike Haluska Added Sep 21, 2017 - 3:01pm
Nicholas - terrific post!  How long would legitimate scientists last if over the past 40 years they have predicted one ridiculous "Imminent Doomsday Forecast" after another?  I mean it's not like they were correct 50% of the time, so there may be some credibility there - they are NEVER RIGHT!!!
Bill H. Added Sep 21, 2017 - 3:27pm
Uptal - Your comment "It’s a scientific fact that the earth has warmed and cooled many times over the course of the last 4.6 billion years.  This means when someone alerts us that the climate is changing the response is “yes,” the climate has always been in a state of flux." is true to a point.
The one factor that many out here seem to ignore or would rather not deal with is that the present climate change event is occurring at a rate that is around 100 times faster than past events. The rate of warming directly coincides with the rise in CO2 ppm.
Nicholas Schroeder Added Sep 21, 2017 - 4:25pm
"And when scientists are fairly united in the same position, that reinforces my thinking."
 
ALL scientists? How do you know? Don't believe the MSM

"You are right: this should not be a popularity contest. The scientists get to vote; the rest of us don't know enough to vote wisely." 


No, it's not a "vote" even among scientists. They all have to prove their cases based on scientific principles. 

"...present climate change event is occurring at a rate that is around 100 (number pulled out of your ass) times faster than past events." 
Coincidence is not cause and there is substantial uncertainty. See IPCC AR5 TS 6. 
"The rate of warming directly coincides with the rise in CO2 ppm." 
Bunk!! What about the "pause?" and coincidence isn't cause.
 
The fundamental premise of the RGHE theory is that the earth is 33 C (288 K -255 K) warmer with an atmosphere than without. This is just flat wrong. The earth would be like the moon, blazing hot on the lit side, bone chilling cold on the dark. 
 
Here's a recent paper way over all our heads that says the same thing I do, RGHE theory has it wrong.
 
On the average temperature of airless spherical bodies and the magnitude of Earth's atmospheric thermal effect.
Den Volokin and Lark ReLlez

 
Mike Haluska Added Sep 21, 2017 - 4:38pm
Bill H - your claims:
 
"The one factor that many out here seem to ignore or would rather not deal with is that the present climate change event is occurring at a rate that is around 100 times faster than past events."
 
is nonsensical at best.  The last Ice Age took place 10,000 years ago.  If the present climate was changing at 100 TIMES that rate, there would be an Ice Age every Century!!!  We don't even have reliable direct temperature data prior to the 1990's - how the hell does anyone KNOW what the average Earth temperature was in 2675 BC, 10,000 years ago, 100,000 years ago . . .
 
"The rate of warming directly coincides with the rise in CO2 ppm." 
 
I don't know why I need to keep schooling you on this.  First of all, "directly coinciding" is "NOT CAUSALITY".  Second, according to the IPCC data the Earth warms before the increase in CO2 - which means CO2 could NOT possibly cause Earth temperature to change! 
Mike Haluska Added Sep 21, 2017 - 4:46pm
Dave - since you are teaching kids about Science, you should first learn what the hell Science is.  Here are my recommendations:
 
1) Review and understand Scientific Method
2) Read the article by Dr. Michael Crichton on "Consensus Science"
                   https://msu.edu/course/lbs/332/bellon/R0124b.pdf
 
The article should explain why real scientists don't:
     - "Vote" on the validity of a theory
     - Denounce skeptics and call them "Deniers"
     - Gather and examine ALL data - not just data that supports a pre-determined conclusion.
Bill H. Added Sep 21, 2017 - 4:52pm
Mike-
I don't expect you, nor do I believe that you would even consider believing what most scientists already know. Of course we won't be seeing an Ice Age soon, as our warming event is not a normal event of the Earth's climate cycle.
 
Nicholas Schroeder Added Sep 21, 2017 - 7:31pm
If you go to DMI and Climate4You and NSIDC you will discover that:
Arctic sea ice is behaving within averages and norms for the past several decades.
Antarctic ice is higher than average.
Greenland is adding record amounts of ice.
If you look at NOAA sea level trends sea level rise has held steady at 2 to 3 mm per year for several decades. Do you know how small 3 mm is? It's 0.003m! That's a little more than 0.10"! IPCC AR5 worst^4 case scenario RCP 8.5 takes until year 2500 for dangerous sea levels!
 
WE ARE BEING LIED TO!!!!
 
And the media is complicit.
 
You say that's conspiracy nonsense.
What did the world say when informed during the 30's of the Holocaust? Just a conspiracy, nothing like that could actually happen.
Remember WMDs? Cold fusion?
Yeah, dismissing conspiracy theory with trillions of dollars at stake is just willful ignorance.
Mike Haluska Added Sep 22, 2017 - 10:43am
Bill H - just examine what you just wrote:
 
"I don't expect you, nor do I believe that you would even consider believing what most scientists already know."
 
Here is what I and you KNOW - NOBODY KNOWS THE FUTURE!  Second - stop with the myth that "most scientists support AGW"!  Many Nobel Laureates have spoken out against this pseudo science including:
 
Professor Ivar Giaever
Freeman Dyson
William Happer
Judith Curry
Roy Spencer  
 
and as you NEVER CONSIDER - Science is NOT voted on, nor is it determined by how many scientists getting fat government grants favor a theory!  Consensus has NOTHING to do with Science - period!
 
"Of course we won't be seeing an Ice Age soon, as our warming event is not a normal event of the Earth's climate cycle."
 
If the Earth was warming/cooling at 100 TIMES the historical rate, we wouldn't have had to put up with over 40 years of "Imminent Doomsday Forecasts" would we???
   
Mike Haluska Added Sep 22, 2017 - 10:48am
Nicholas - you jacked it out of the park with that post!  The "Ocean Level Rise" is so Frakkin' absurd and you did a great illustrating how insignificant their measures are.  Even so, I defy ANYONE to explain just HOW you measure the sea level of Earth's oceans to such precision!
 
These people who fall for this pseudo-science just eat it up when one of their "scientists" claim that:
                  "XYZ has risen 3.097635428% in the past 100 years"
The more decimal places, the more they believe this crap!!!
 
Bill H. Added Sep 22, 2017 - 11:44am
Don't worry Mike. You can always convert your Corvette to an all-electric vehicle. Nobody will know if you can record the exhaust sound and play it back while you are driving!
Nicholas Schroeder Added Sep 22, 2017 - 1:22pm
NOAA's cherry picking lies. If you think Heller has it wrong - PROVE IT!!!
 
https://realclimatescience.com/2017/09/little-change-in-arctic-sea-ice-since-1971/
Dave Volek Added Sep 22, 2017 - 5:34pm
Mike
At some point we have to make a decision to go one way or the other way. And not acting, thus keeping the status quo, is one of those decisions. 
 
Your argument that science is not a democracy is a good point. We should only go where  But the scientists are not fully united on this topic. So who decides which scientists are right? 
 
You can point me to your articles. You can offer your logic. But at the end of the day, I side with the position that climate change is happening and we should do something about it.
 
But I am not a scientist: my understanding is limited to the high school level. I don't get to vote.
 
You are not a scientist. Even if you think you have read more science articles than average citizens, you too are not a scientist. You do not get a vote. 
 
Who votes? The scientists get to vote. From my perspective, at least 75% of the world's scientist agree that climate is happening and we should do something about it. 
 
In any other political endeavor, a 75% majority would mean a movement in this direction. But for some reason, 25% or less can hold us back. 
 
Unless you can offer positive proof that convinces the other 75% of scientists (you can't), you have no grounds to deny climate change or prevent public policy from addressing this issue.  
 
 
 
Nicholas Schroeder Added Sep 22, 2017 - 6:28pm
What is a "scientist?" More precisely, who qualifies as a "climate" scientist?
Engineers? Nope. Astro-physicists? Nope. Physicists? Nope. Geologists? Nope. Chemists? Nope. Botanists? Nope.
Guess who decides? Why, "climate" scientist like Trenberth and Mann and Hanson pulling down mega-million dollar tax-payer financed CAGW grants.
Here's an excellent example of fake news.
"97% of scientists (implying ALL!!! scientists) believe in man-caused climate change." 
What the MSM meant to say is 97% of all CLIMATE scientists (similar to aroma-therapists and horse whisperers) actively researching and publishing in that field (At this point insert getting paid.) consider the evidence compelling - all 82 of them "cherry picked" out of the 10,500 surveys that were sent out. (Doran and Zimmerman) 
Demonizing, marginalizing, silencing and censoring the skeptics and critics (Union of Concerned "Scientists" & Disqus & FB & USA Today & MSN) is the real anti-science. Science without doubt, science without uncertainty, becomes religion.
You are assuming that "climate" scientists are honorable  and honest and untainted by filthy lucre.
Wow, are you both naïve and WRONG!
Ever heard of climate gate?
Actually, this is a great idea. Let's require the electorate to pass a current events exam, HS civics test, naturalization quiz, reveal their paymasters, etc. before they are allowed to vote. Bet that would alter the political landscape.
"From my perspective, at least 75% of the world's scientist agree that climate is happening and we should do something about it."
Wattsupwiththat has a list of dozens of skeptical web sites, organizations and individual scientists.
Your "perspective" is clearly out of your **s. Why don't you do some real homework.
Bill H. Added Sep 22, 2017 - 8:51pm
 
Big Oil will do virtually anything to make sure that they retain there profit margins. It's as simple as that!
John Minehan Added Sep 22, 2017 - 9:08pm
"More precisely, who qualifies as a 'climate' scientist?"
 
Actually, there is an answer to that.  Usually they have a BS in Physics (sometimes Chemistry) and a Ph.D. in Climatology.  Here are the requirements for admission to MIT's Ph.D. program in that area.
Nicholas Schroeder Added Sep 22, 2017 - 10:05pm
What's "climatology?" Sounds made up to me. Anything like astrology and cosmetology.
 
"Suggested" DOES NOT = "Required"!!!
 
I was recently and lengthily associated w/ a PhD process. My take away? A PhD is 10% expertise and 90% playing the academic game, i.e. sacrificing lots of personal money and time and knowing which butts to kiss. Much like corporate advancement, knowing who to play golf with, fly fish with, go to church with, go to Harvard with, etc.
 
I think I have that "science" thing covered. 
Decades ago I earned and was awarded a BSME degree (same as Bill Nye) which requires demonstrated competence in chemistry, physics, heat transfer, thermodynamics, fluid dynamics, statistics, algebra, calculus, etc.  Get the idea? 
Fresh out of school I sat for the 8 hour exam for the EIT and years later the 8 hour exam to become a registered professional engineer. 
I have applied that knowledge for over 35 years (Beats the crap out of some hoity toity PhD.) where my work has to actually work. I have followed CAGW since 1989 and have read related materials extensively. Much of my work has been peer reviewed on open climate change blogs, not just a closed system of good old boys. My postings are totally my own, not handed to me on a clipboard in some troll's minimum wage cube, and as clearly noted several times based on IPCC AR5 and other references.
I'm tired of hearing wet behind the ears millennial sociologist/journalist progressives who know nothing about physics, chemistry, heat transfer, thermodynamics or how the earth heats and cools, who obviously get their science from the MSM propaganda machine and have happily downed the CAGW Kool-Aid, pontificate on global warming, greenhouse gases and the evils of modern mankind. 
There is nothing special about "climate" science. They have to follow the same fundamentals as everyone else. 
Now, do you have any specific scientific based criticism or rebuttals to my three skeptical WB postings or just the typical hysterical off topic ad hominem troll vomit?
If YOU can't handle the R&C go find somebody who can. And share what they have to say, I would love to hear it.
WTF are your credentials?
 
Katharine Otto Added Sep 22, 2017 - 11:15pm
Dave,
The earth is not a closed system.  Science is limited by the scientific method, which must artificially reduce variables to one to obtain a specific yes or no answer. By that token, "climate science" is a contradiction in terms.  Also, predictions are not scientific, no matter how fancy the computer models.
 
More important, I have to wonder how relevant this discussion is.  It reminds me of the old argument about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.  Last I heard, CO2 comprised less than 0.02% of the atmosphere, compared with nitrogen, a whopping 78%, oxygen, 21%, and argon comprising most of the remaining 1%.  Also, burning organic fuels produces twice as much water as CO2.  Both CO2 and methane (CH4) are integral to the natural cycle of life, death, and decomposition.   
 
I would agree that human beings are turning the earth into a toxic waste dump, and the petroleum industry plays a large role.  But contributors to changing climate patterns go far beyond the largely innocent molecules of CO2 and methane.  Think of the massive thermal storage effects of urbanization and highways.  Cities are known to affect weather patterns by generating "thermals," hot air rising.
 
Replacement of carbon sinks like fields and forests with pavement and parking lots also leads to flooding and erosion.  
 
Unlike other people, I wonder if the whole "climate change" controversy was instigated by Big Oil and other corporations, who want "carbon credits" not to raze rain forests or drill new oil wells.  It's like paying farmers not to farm.  
 
Maybe the whole issue of climate change, with CO2 and methane the main targets, is a ruse to distract people from thinking of the rampant consumerism mentality that is filling the oceans with plastic, the aquifers with industrial waste, and the rivers and streams with toxic accumulations of industrial chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, and litter.  
 
Climate change, if it is occurring, is an abstract issue and something we can do little about, although the control freaks in government and industry are calculating ways to profit by trying.  We can do a great deal to clean up the environment, though, and reduce waste.  If you are really concerned about CO2 buildup, plant more trees.  It's a greener solution than carbon credits, carbon taxes, and climate accords, and it makes for "grass roots" solutions.  
Nicholas Schroeder Added Sep 23, 2017 - 10:02am
Katharine
 
"...CO2 comprised less than 0.02%,..." 400 ppm or 0.04%
"I would agree that human beings are turning the earth into a toxic waste dump..."
Exaggerated hysterical non-science. Anecdotes based on isolated examples. It's a lot better than 100 years ago.
"...was instigated by Big Oil..." Ridiculous conspiracy theory, like all of them.
"...rampant consumerism mentality..." Your progressive, judgmental, elitist, know-it-all attitude and agenda is showing.
You really ought to do a lot more in-depth homework. Most of your comments must come from the MSM propaganda machine.
John Minehan Added Sep 23, 2017 - 10:32am
"I was recently and lengthily associated w/ a PhD process. My take away? A PhD is 10% expertise and 90% playing the academic game, i.e. sacrificing lots of personal money and time and knowing which butts to kiss."
 
Thus, maybe an ABD. 
 
Still a BSME gives you a good basis upon which to opine on the thermodynamics, if not the atmospheric or Oceanic chemistry.
 
I still don't know.  I thing the dangerous issue we may be missing is carbon build up in the seas.  But that is based on fossil evidence and is almost certainly very incomplete. 
Katharine Otto Added Sep 24, 2017 - 8:09pm
Nicholas,
You are so off base with your assumptions that it's almost funny.  Look around you.  Landfill sites filling up, giant gyres in the oceans full of plastic, deforestation, blowing the tops off mountains, pipelines leaking, groundwater contamination, oil spills, litter in the streets, urban sprawl, rivers dying because of industrial waste.  You don't have to be a rocket scientist to notice the filth we have created.
 
My point, which you apparently missed, is that CO2 and methane are the least of our problems.  To cut back on our "rampant consumerism" would be a blessing for the planet.
 
I was partly joking about Big Oil, but I guess you would have to have a sense of humor to notice it. Humor is not scientific.
 
Personal insults are not scientific, either. 
Katharine Otto Added Sep 24, 2017 - 8:15pm
John M,
I'm suspicious of institutionalized science for just that reason.  The "go along to get along" peer pressure, along with grant funding, skew research in politically popular ways.
John Minehan Added Sep 24, 2017 - 9:01pm
Science is how we study the natural world.
 
What we decide to study is a cultural artifact.
 
Gravimetric analysis is how the world works.  That Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier, developed the theory while trying to improve the metallurgy of French Artillery before the French Revolution is a cultural phenomenon . . . that cost Lavoisier his head.  
Dave Volek Added Sep 25, 2017 - 11:23am
Katherine
 
You indeed may be correct in that the "filth" may pose a bigger problem than excess CO2, CH4, or H2O in the atmosphere. Science suffers from its fads and fashions, just like most other things in life. What is popular thinking in one decade may be cast aside the next. And I would say that your kind of science has not been able to generate the same level of fear that climate change people have generated. Which one is right--or more right--is hard to really know.
 
However, I share your concern. I live in a rural area that services about 25,000 people. About 15 years ago, we created a new landfill site. The design of this site is to put most of the waste above ground, then cover it with dirt. Whether this is good engineering or not remains to be seen, but what can be seen is that we now have a big hill in the middle of the prairie. I think this landfill is not going to last its 50-year lifetime. We will need to build another landfill soon.
 
25,000 people are generating their per capita share of garbage. When we extrapolate that hill to the 4,000,000 people in the province, the filth is indeed scary.
 
 
Katharine Otto Added Sep 25, 2017 - 12:59pm
Dave,
Thanks for your reasonable response.  I have noticed that the controversy over climate change has made more people interested in science, generally.  How do natural forces work and respond to man's intervention?  
 
Your landfill example offers an opportunity for "scientific inquiry," since landfill generates methane.  I'm interested in the technology that allows landfill methane to be captured and used for energy production.  I'm also interested in the technology of waste-to-energy plants that can burn trash to generate energy, as long as we're producing so much trash.
 
The word "science" comes from the Latin word "sciere," meaning "to know."  Is any knowledge ever complete?  Doesn't answering one question only lead to more questions?  It seems scientific inquiry must remain open-minded and curious to avoid becoming static and ossified.  I think that the current controversy may lead to many workable solutions, but the polarization helps no one. 
 
Katharine Otto Added Sep 25, 2017 - 1:13pm
John  M.,
What is "gravimetric analysis?"  
 
I'm interested in the possible applications of basic science, such as the energy absorbed and released in the phase-changes of water, for instance.  It interests me that water absorbs 539 cal/gm when it converts from liquid to gaseous state.  "Latent heat of vaporization."  
 
It releases that heat when it re-converts to the liquid state.  I wonder if that heat could radiate into space when the water re-converts to rain or other precipitation.  I've never seen or read of anyone addressing this, yet any discussion of climate should, I think, take this into account.
Mike Haluska Added Sep 25, 2017 - 1:20pm
Dave - based on your comment:
 
"I side with the position that climate change is happening and we should do something about it."
 
I would say that your ignorance of how legitimate science is supposed to work combined with your fear of "peer pressure" draws you to such a conclusion.  The issue is NOT that the climate is changing - it's whether or not it is being significantly influenced by human generated CO2.  And the answer to that question is already known - IT IS NOT!  Nobody in OVER 40 YEARS OF RESEARCH has shown a CAUSAL LINK between human generated CO2 and changes to the Earth's climate - PERIOD!
 
"You are not a scientist. Even if you think you have read more science articles than average citizens, you too are not a scientist. You do not get a vote. 
 
Who votes? The scientists get to vote. From my perspective, at least 75% of the world's scientist agree that climate is happening and we should do something about it."
 
This statement by someone educating our children causes great concern to me - especially if you are representative of the majority of school teachers!  My scientific and engineering qualifications have been put forth many times on Writer Beat.  In any case, the persistent belief on your part that "The scientists get to vote" is just flat out WRONG AND DANGEROUS!  Did you read - much less comprehend - the utter disasters wrought by Consensus Science in the recent past? 
 
And most of the discreditation of human caused climate change doesn't require an engineering or science degree - just your common sense!  So, bottom line - exactly what is your group of "scientists" recommending we do about climate change?  THROW MONEY AT IT!  These frauds want to transfer $trillions of dollars from the US to backward, bankrupt socialist cesspools in return for "CO2 Credits" that industries can use to keep polluting at the rate they are now! 
 
From the article in the link below:
 
Imagine that there is a new scientific theory that warns of an impending crisis, and points to a way out.
This theory quickly draws support from leading scientists, politicians and celebrities around the world. Research is funded by distinguished philanthropies, and carried out at prestigious universities. The crisis is reported frequently in the media. The science is taught in college and high school classrooms.
I don’t mean global warming. I’m talking about another theory, which rose to prominence a century ago.
All in all, the research, legislation and molding of public opinion surrounding the theory went on for almost half a century. Those who opposed the theory were shouted down and called reactionary, blind to reality, or just plain ignorant. But in hindsight, what is surprising is that so few people objected. 


Today, we know that this famous theory that gained so much support was actually pseudoscience. The crisis it claimed was nonexistent. And the actions taken in the name of theory were morally and criminally wrong. Ultimately, they led to the deaths of millions of people.
The theory was eugenics, and its history is so dreadful — and, to those who were caught up in it, so embarrassing — that it is now rarely discussed. But it is a story that should be well know to every citizen, so that its horrors are not repeated.
 
CLICK LINK AND READ BEFORE DISMISSING THIS TIME:
http://www.michaelcrichton.com/why-politicized-science-is-dangerous/


 
 
Dave Volek Added Sep 25, 2017 - 2:17pm
Mike
 
I went to your link and found nothing too crazy for me to grasp. It makes a great point that the scientific community can be manipulated and take us in a wrong direction. My favorite example is that a minority of scientists opposed the use of leaded gasoline for decades, probably at the detriment of their career.
 
Popular Science has been wrong before and this is why I am not 100% convinced that climate change is not mostly man-made. Nor am I 100% convinced that we will face all the dire consequences many climate change scientists are predicting.
 
But at the end of the day, we have to make a decision. I have based my decision based on (1) my understanding of high school science and how it applies to climate change, (2) a significant majority of scientist support the climate change theory, and (3) possible consequences of keeping the status quo vs. developing public policy to the scientists' warnings.
 
You can point me to all sorts of links to 25% (or less) of scientists who disagree with climate change scientists. The problem is that much of the science is over my head so I won't be able to understand it. And I don't know which scientists are quacks (and there are indeed quacks on both sides). And a scientist that happens to be funded by petroleum companies is no better than a scientist funded by a liberal think tank that hates petroleum companies. It is really hard to figure which side has the best scientists just by the spin of both sides. So again I go back to the three points in the previous paragraph as my test to figure out where I sit on this issue. I believe we need to move anyway from fossil fuels and on to greener technology.
 
 
You may or not be aware that I am advocating an alternative system of democratic governance. When this system is implemented, I believe we are going to have a lot less controversy for these issues, plus our decision makers will be making fewer mistakes. 
 
But in the meantime, we have to work things out the best we can with the inadequate tools of western democracy. The side that can put out the better spin and propaganda is going to win more public policy battles, but there is no guarantee that it is hold on to a better version of the truth.
 
If you don't like where climate change science is going, then you should consider my alternative system of governance.
 
 
John Minehan Added Sep 25, 2017 - 2:45pm
"Gravimetric analysis describes a set of methods used in analytical chemistry for the quantitative determination of an analyte (the ion being analyzed) based on its mass. The principle behind this type of analysis is that once an ion's mass has been determined as a unique compound, that known measurement can then be used to determine the same analyte's mass in a mixture, as long as the relative quantities of the other constituents are known.[1]"
 
 
 
Nicholas Schroeder Added Sep 25, 2017 - 4:13pm
Katharine,
"Landfill sites filling up, giant gyres in the oceans full of plastic, deforestation, blowing the tops off mountains, pipelines leaking, groundwater contamination, oil spills, litter in the streets, urban sprawl, rivers dying because of industrial waste.  You don't have to be a rocket scientist to notice the filth we have created."
You've been watching too many Saturday morning cartoons. The only place your breathless hysterical exaggerated hyperbolic image exists is in your imagination and MSM propaganda.
Do these things happen? Certainly, but not nearly as terrible as advertised. Remember the Exxon Valdez? Try to find evidence of it now. And the Deepwater Horizon, another 10 years only place you will find it is in history books.
Personal insults. Do you mean like "denier' as in Holocaust denier?
Gravimetric says that the analysis is based on mass rather than volume. It's the molecules that do the work and and a given volume will have different numbers and masses based on the density. High school chemistry.
The phase change of water is a powerful mover of energy. Water to steam back to water or the Rankine cycle is what most of the electric power generating stations use to make electricity. It is this property that makes water/water vapor the real climate thermostat. Clouds, precipitation, storms, winds, the hydrological runs the climate, 0.04% GHGs are insignificant.
Mike Haluska Added Sep 27, 2017 - 2:38pm
Dave -
I understand your difficulty in evaluating "who is right" regarding man made climate change.  Your statement:
"You may or not be aware that I am advocating an alternative system of democratic governance. "
hopefully confines itself to areas unrelated to science.  Science and Politics should NEVER be mixed for reasons made clear in Dr. Crichton's article.  The great thing about Scientific Method is that it is a crucible for getting to the truth.  When applied properly and rigorously, only what actually happens in nature matters and only one person showing once case where a theory doesn't hold in reality invalidates the theory.
 
If you live in the Chicago area I would be happy to visit your classroom and explain Scientific Method in a manner that school children can grasp.
Dave Volek Added Sep 27, 2017 - 4:01pm
Mike
 
We cannot ever take science out of politics--or vice versa if you want. Neither western democracy nor my future system will be able to separate these two. If politicians are making decisions without the benefits of science (and I will include the soft sciences of economics, sociology, and psychology in this list), then we will consistently not be making very good decisions. All these sciences somehow have to incorporated into our general knowledge to better society. Otherwise there really isn't much point to having science in the first place.
 
While I left much of designing the TDG to the future builders of the TDG, I believe it will eventually develop a science consultancy, where the elected politicians can get a fairly honest and expert scientific opinion. But that is for the future.
 
I'm sure whether your scientific method lines up with my scientific method. But if we really want to know for sure if the combustion of fossil fuels is contributing to adverse climate change, then we should just keep the status quo: keep combusting fossils fuels for another century or two. Then this great experiment will get us the undeniable proof. 
 
If it is proven there is no correlation, then keeping the status quo was the right decision. But if there are adverse effects, we might have taken the planet too far down the path to prove--with 100% certainty--that combusting fossil fuels does affect climate adversely. We won't be able to turn ourselves back.
 
If you can find one scientist to prove that climate change does not exist or it is not man-made or it will not create adverse effects, than that scientist's position is also a theory. It is not a fact until we undergo the great experiment of keeping the status quo in terms of combusting fossil fuels.
 
With the exception of America (and this can change in the next election cycle), most of the world is going with the theory that climate change is significantly man-made, we should do something about it, and here are the changes we are making. So, like it or not, we are not going down the path that will truly determine whether the climate change theory is correct or not.  
 
If we are indeed fools for going down the climate change path, then you need to be fixing the political system such that only "wise" people are allowed to vote and run for public office.
Mike Haluska Added Sep 29, 2017 - 12:22pm
Dave - please tell me where it is written:
 
"We cannot ever take science out of politics--or vice versa if you want."
 
Let me give you an example of how science and government can work together WITHOUT either unduly influencing the other.  Right now our government awards research grants subjectively and is heavily influenced by Congressmen and Senators who want those government research dollars spent in their respective states.  These "influencers" have been so overbearing on "Climate Change" grants that do you know how many grants out of the $510 BILLION spent on "Human Caused Climate Change" has gone to research into verification of whether it even really exists???
                                                ZERO $$$
If you're a university professor, your job security depends on bringing research dollars to the university.  If you see that $BILLIONS are awarded to those scholars that perform research supporting "Human Caused Climate Change" and $ZERO goes to verification, what will your research paper "conclusions" look like?
 
What many objective scientists have advocated is a "Double Blind" system of grant awards.  In a "Double Blind" system the donors put their donations into a "pool" and have no way of designating where the dollars go.  Likewise, the researcher has no idea who donated the money and no way of knowing in advance "which way" the research should go.  This will ensure that the researchers produce honest, objective results.
 
Mike Haluska Added Sep 29, 2017 - 12:30pm
Dave - your statement:
"If you can find one scientist to prove that climate change does not exist or it is not man-made or it will not create adverse effects, than that scientist's position is also a theory."
highlights the general public's misunderstanding of how legitimate science works.  It is NOT the job of the peer group to "prove a negative".  For example, I cannot claim:
          "I believe God exists - prove God doesn't exist or agree with me."  
It is not only a principle of Scientific Method, it is a fundamental principle of Logic - nobody can be called on to prove a negative.  If you are the proponent of a theory, it is up to you to provide evidence and proof that anyone can replicate, anywhere, anytime.  It is not up to the rest of us to prove you wrong.
Mike Haluska Added Sep 29, 2017 - 12:33pm
Dave - one other piece of important information.  Your statement:
 
"If it is proven there is no correlation"
 
shows a confusion between "correlation" and "causality".  They are NOT interchangeable terms by any means!  Correlation offers absolutely NO PROOF of anything, neither does lack of correlation disprove anything!
Mike Haluska Added Sep 29, 2017 - 12:37pm
Dave -
If the National Science Foundation started awarding billions of dollars in grants to "prove" that peanut butter causes liver disease, guess what the next "cause celebre" would be?
Katharine Otto Added Sep 29, 2017 - 2:02pm
Mike,
I agree with your description of scientific method regarding the inability to prove a negative.  However, the scientific method cannot prove causality backwards, that is, going backwards from effects to causes, especially when there are so many variables.
 
Also, man's effect on the climate is impossible to quantify given the time period we have existed.  We are a mere blip on the planet, time-wise.  We only know about the past from fossil records and a whole host of assumptions therefrom.  Geologic time suggests the oceans have been much higher and much lower, and ice ages and thaws are beyond our grasp or understanding.
Katharine Otto Added Sep 29, 2017 - 2:10pm
Nicholas,
 
I don't own a television or watch one.  I don't even know what MSM is, although I've seen the term used here.  I am the opposite of what you assume, because I observe nature around me, the styrofoam that floats up the river, and the fact I can no longer see the North Star because of light and smog pollution.  The noise pollution from all the aircraft and traffic.  
 
As far as I'm concerned, the climate change controversy is political science, fabricated by politicians and their friends to justify their loss of relevance in an increasingly dysfunctional world.  Carbon credits and carbon taxes are just another justification for making the many pay for the excesses of the few.
 
Let's talk about something we can do something about, why don't we?  As long as there is a life cycle on earth, carbon, water, and methane will continue to be a part of it.  That's science.
Mike Haluska Added Sep 29, 2017 - 3:50pm
Katharine -
 
I agree with your assessment.  I'm not sure how you arrived at the conclusion I contend that Scientific Method can "prove causality backwards".  If you could expound on that I would appreciate it.
 
As far as the geological cycle is concerned, you are correct that a 100 year sample of data is a geological "blink of an eye".  An example I have used effectively to explain this is as follows:
 
Suppose you grab Reel #2 of a 3 reel movie (full length feature film) and unroll it to the middle and examine 3 frames of the movie.  Then based on what you saw in the 3 frames you make a prediction how the movie will end.  That's the kind of "forecasting" that is going on, only computers are looking at the 3 frames of film!!!
Dave Volek Added Sep 29, 2017 - 5:53pm
Mike
 
What many objective scientists have advocated is a "Double Blind" system of grant awards.  In a "Double Blind" system the donors put their donations into a "pool" and have no way of designating where the dollars go.  Likewise, the researcher has no idea who donated the money and no way of knowing in advance "which way" the research should go.  This will ensure that the researchers produce honest, objective results.
 
This is worthy of further discussion. In this way, we would know there is no bias in the science (or least in relation to being paid). I'm not sure the donors would agree though. And scientists would still have the scientific biases.
 
----
And as per your comments of scientists tripping over each other to get grants to "prove" climate change one way or another, I would this is a sign we need another system of governance for western democracy does not seem to handle this topic in an honest and trustworthy way.
 
And indeed, the climate change is discredited partically for this reason.
 
 
-----
 
I will try to make my previous point in a different way. There is no mathematical theory or big software or laboratory experiment that can move any climate change theory into fact. The only true way to prove climate change is to let the world continue with this experiment for the next 100 years, burning as much fossil fuels as its natural markets deem.
 
To prove climate change to you, we would have to take the world to such a state that we run through the alphabet twice during hurricane season. Then you might say: "Hmmmm. Maybe we climate change deniers were wrong 50 years ago!" and "Maybe we should have done something about that for all cities on coastal areas are much harder to inhabit."
 
But you are going to say "Prove that we can have twice as many hurricanes in 50 years." So it seems we are locked again. 
 
Let's move this into a decision tree analysis: a common practice in business and engineering. A decision tree operates on the assumption that we don't know the final outcome of any action, but there are probabilities. We have two actions to put into our tree:
 
Action 1: We generate some public policy towards enticing citizens away from consuming as much fossils fuels as they used to consume and move more towards greener technologies.
 
Action 2: We continue with the status quo. We allow the market forces to dictate the consumption of fossil fuels.
 
At this point, we have not proven whether climate change is real or not. We have just identified two possible action. We will get the proof we need 50 years from now.
 
We assign two possible outcomes to Action 1 based on whether climate change is real or not.
 
If climate change is not real, then the outcome is that we have diverted some our economic resources away from fossil fuels to green technology. We are not as prosperous as we should be because we have moved our economy towards a less efficient path.  But the climate is still more or less the same as before.
 
If climate change is real and our climate is the same as before, then we have successfully bit the bullet.
 
We assign the same two possible outcomes to Action 2.
 
Climate change is not real. Then the world has the same climate as before (I believe this is where you believe we should go and will end up).
 
Climate change is real and we have 50 hurricanes a year ravaging the Central Atlantic. 
 
The Action 2/Outcome Real has devastating social consequences. If Carribean Islands are ravaged every 20 years to the extent of Puerto Rico, there is not much sense anyone building anything there. 
 
Action 2/NotReal and Action 1/Real produce the same climate as we had before. 
 
Action 1/Not Real will cause some economic dislocations, but nothing like Action 2/Real.
 
Logic says that we should avoid Action 2/Real. The only way to do that is to take Action 1.
 
You can scoff at this decision technique all you want because it cannot provide a 100% certainty. But it is used a lot by practitioners of many professions.
 
 
-------------
 
Let's get back to Proof.
 
The Arctic Ice Pack is melting. The Antarctic Ice Pack is melting. That is proof enough for me that climate change is happening. If you insist that I must provide proof, then I say that the onus is now on you to prove the opposite. 
 
We can argue whether these changes are due to man-made activities or not, but if the water in the pot gets too hot, we should turn down the burner.
 
Nicholas Schroeder Added Sep 29, 2017 - 6:44pm
"The Arctic Ice Pack is melting. The Antarctic Ice Pack is melting."
NO, IT'S NOT! NO, IT'S NOT!
And the sky isn't falling, either.
Go to DMI and Climate4You and National sea and ice and look at the actual data.
Nicholas Schroeder Added Sep 29, 2017 - 11:41pm
NOBODY says climate change is not real. That's a bogus straw man argument.
 
Climate change has been real for eons.
 
Mankind's fossil fuel and other activities are not the cause.
Nicholas Schroeder Added Sep 30, 2017 - 9:37am
The Ice Caps
 
DMI, Climate4you and NSIDC collect, trend and display tons of data bout the cryosphere with a graph such as the one attached. (Go to the site.)
 
As one can see there are numerous lines for the past several years BELOW average. OOOHHHH, SCARY. Must mean shrinkage.
 
Just how does an average work?
 
For every line and data point below average there is a corresponding line and data point the exact same distance on the opposite side of the average - otherwise it wouldn't be an average.
 
If ALL the lines and data points that went into the average line were plotted there would be a muti-coloured cloudy band half-inch wide centered on the average line (That's what average means,) from which one can conclude
 
abs-so-lutely NOTHING!!!!
 
But that doesn't fund government grants,
 
that doesn't let the MSM talking clown heads hyperventilate while whipping their gullible audience into saving the earth as in those Saturday morning cartoons,
 
that doesn't give the liberal, progressive, elitist, we-know-more-that-you-deplorable-morons an excuse, not that they have ever needed one, to micro-manage every detail of our lives and businesses.
 
That's called slavery.
Mike Haluska Added Oct 2, 2017 - 10:47am
Dave - your statement:
 
"To prove climate change to you, we would have to take the world to such a state that we run through the alphabet twice during hurricane season."
 
merits a response.  The responsibility of "proof" is on the PROPONENTS of "Human Caused Climate Change".  So far, all that has been offered is a supposed "correlation" between CO2 and Earth temperature.  This means NOTHING to legitimate scientists because we are solely interested in "causality".  Even their correlation claims are highly suspect.  Take a look for yourself at the CO2/Temp chart for the past 100 years - the CO2 rises AFTER the temperature rises!  How could that be possible if CO2 is the cause of the rise?  It's like saying that daylight occurs BEFORE the Sun rises!!!
 
EVEN IF we allowed "correlation" as a substitute for causality, the proponents track record of forecast vs actual events has been abysmal.  There have been literally thousands of "Imminent Doomsday Forecasts" made since the 1970's where the proponents "guaranteed" that "if we don't stop burning fossil fuels the world will experience (fill in natural Biblical disaster) in 5 years".  Sorry Mr. Gore, your 2008 proclamation that "the polar ice would all be gone in 5 years and NYC and London would be under water" never panned out.
 
 
Mike Haluska Added Oct 2, 2017 - 11:13am
Dave - a comment about your Decision Tree analogue.  Using a Decision Tree requires quantifiable and statistical validity.  For instance, you are playing Blackjack and you are holding a Jack and a 6 while the dealer is showing an 8 with the other card down.  Here's your Decision Tree:
 
You can either:
stand pat
     or
ask for another card
 
The probabilities of winning are finite and calculable.  Even if you make your decision based on probability, you can still lose.
 
Applying Decision Tree logic to the Climate Change issue is a false analogy.  First of all, there is no reason to believe that reducing CO2 concentration won't cause more harm than good.  All life on this planet depends on plants converting CO2, H2O and sunlight into oxygen and glucose (basic food for all life).  It certainly stands to reason that less CO2 could result in reduction in plant life, which will harm animal life. 
Second of all, there is absolutely NO REASON to assume that a rise in CO2 or even the projected 0.3 degree rise in temperature will have the disastrous effects claimed by the proponents.
 
Also, the proponents exploit a desire by most reasonable people to minimize pollution as much as possible.  They have arbitrarily declared CO2 as a "pollutant" so as to additionally justify their position.  The very idea that CO2 is a "pollutant" should cause anyone to seriously question the motives and validity of the "Human Caused Climate Change" proponents.
Mike Haluska Added Oct 2, 2017 - 11:16am
Dave - regarding your statement:
 
"We can argue whether these changes are due to man-made activities or not, but if the water in the pot gets too hot, we should turn down the burner."
 
just how do we "turn down the burner" if there is no causality between CO2 and temperature?
 
Mike Haluska Added Oct 2, 2017 - 11:37am
Dave - your suggestion:
 
"If climate change is not real, then the outcome is that we have diverted some our economic resources away from fossil fuels to green technology. We are not as prosperous as we should be because we have moved our economy towards a less efficient path."
 
has life or death consequences that are conveniently ignored by the proponents of "Human Caused Climate Change" - to wit:
 
Since 1980 the US has spent $510 BILLION on "climate change" activities.  Last year $26 BILLION was allocate to "climate change" activities.  To put that amount in perspective, only $2 billion was spent on Cancer research.  Here are some things to ponder if this allocation of resources continues:
 
1) There are millions of people around the world dying from diseases that have been wiped out in the civilized world simply because of lack of vaccines.  There is NO REASON anyone should die from Smallpox or Malaria - the biggest killers on the planet.  We could easily fix that problem with a lot less than $26 Billion and lives would be saved TODAY - not "maybe in a 100 years".
 
2) Hundreds of millions of people around the world are sick and dying from malnutrition.  Again, this is a problem of resources - not technology.  A lot less than 26 Billion could easily end this nightmare that affects all of us.
 
3) Hundreds of millions of people around the world are literally drinking their own sewage and swallowing parasitical organisms every day.  Bring fresh, clean water and proper sanitation is a basic technology that is cheap and could be made available for a lot less than $26 Billion!  
 
4) Lack of education for millions of children has a cost that is incalculable.  Who knows how many doctors, scientists, engineers, inventors have never had the opportunity to reach their potential due to lack of education?
 
I trust you get my point.  We have REAL PROBLEMS THAT ARE HAPPENING NOW IN FRONT OF OUR EYES!  Would you like to be the person who has to look a starving child in the eye and say "sorry - we have money to buy food to feed you but we are spending it on research for a problem that may occur 100 years from now"?
 
Dave Volek Added Oct 2, 2017 - 1:08pm
Mike
All interesting points. Probably too many for me to address. I shall try to be brief with some of them.
 
1) Way further up this thread, one contributor mentioned that of all GHG, CO2 was the least concern. H2O had a much bigger impact than CO2 in keeping infrared radiation from escaping. Seems to make sense to me. If you keep insisting on bringing up CO2 and not bring up the H2O, that seems to suggest you are picking on the weaker points of climate change scientists.
 
2) The moment I heard Mr. Gore predict the end of coastal cities simply because of the melting of the Greenland ice sheet, I knew he was wrong at that point.
 
3) Decision Trees do not require a known probability. Practitioners can often make a reasonable estimate--and plug that estimate into the calculations to get a better handle than any EITHER/OR analysis. Or they can do some back calculations to determine a break-even probability. Sometimes when this probability is calculated, the answer becomes pretty clear. And sometimes it is still inconclusive. Even so, the good decision makers make their decision knowing there is still uncertainty. They evaluate the risks of all possible outcomes. They will forge ahead knowing several outcomes are likely. They don't try to paint the issue as an EITHER / OR. 
 
4) There is a scientist called Patrick Moore who said that a rise in CO2 will be beneficial to plant life on earth. Makes sense to me. You are right CO2 is not that great of a pollutant. There are quack scientists on both sides of this issues.
 
5) I don't know what you mean by $510B in climate change activities. It sounds like a fairy-tale figure concocted by a think tank that doesn't want to go down any climate change route. It probably includes the costs of taking recycling to the recycling center.
 
6) Societies are always setting and shifting priorities. There is often a connection between Activity A and B, and A and C, and B and C, etc. Enhancing one activity often means taking resources away from another activity.  If you really believe we are making a wrong  choice, then we need to look at the reasons why we have made that choice. If you believe the politicians have been duped by quack scientists, then the system is at fault, not the quack scientists. Or in other words, if we cannot elect politicians who cannot see past the quack science, then we should be electing a different kind of politicians.
 
7) And should we invest resources into something that won't pay out for 50 or 100 years from now? If we are using any calculations using present value techniques, the answer is clearly no. Half a century from now---well that's a future generation's problem. These financial techniques really can't see past a decade.
 
But even big business has to throw this financial theory aside every once in a while. It makes big decisions even though the numbers are telling it not to make those investments.
 
Sometimes we need to look to the future.
 
-----------
 
I have been pondering your Scientific Method for several posts now--and I have not been able to come up with a satisfactory response.
 
You claim that one example that is contrary to the theory more or less invalidates the theory. My mother lives in a nursing home. They have a smoking room in the building. There are a few people in their 90s who are still smoking their pack a day. No lung cancer there. Does that disprove the theory that tobacco kills people? 
 
Or does a non-smoker who gets lung cancer also disprove the theory?
 
-------
 
Let's get back to my original article.
 
I'm not saying that my high school science is correct. But when I hear the contrary opinions of both sides, both sides having their quack science, and both sides insisting the other side is a fool, all I have is to see things with my own eyes. All I have is the logic my high school chemistry.  The logical conclusion for someone with only a high school science background is that climate change is man-made and it is LIKELY to have some serious negative consequences. 
Katharine Otto Added Oct 2, 2017 - 1:28pm
Mike,
"Proving causality backwards," would mean observing effects and trying to determine causes.  A good example may be the statins, like Lipitor, which reduce cholesterol.  The entire statin market was developed and promoted under the assumption that high cholesterol causes heart disease.  Now, the original research is being questioned, and long-term evidence is suggesting statins may do more harm than good.  
 
The controversy over climate change seems to fall in the same category.  It makes no sense to me to bicker over whether it exists or whether man is causative.  It does make sense to acknowledge we are energy hogs, often for no good reason, and to curb our wasteful ways.  It also makes sense to take a good look at the popular "fixes" like electric cars, which would require a huge infrastructure change, including greater reliance on the electric grid for battery charges.  Here's where the nuclear power advocates are having a field day, claiming nuclear energy is preferable because it doesn't generate CO2.
Nicholas Schroeder Added Oct 2, 2017 - 1:38pm
"H2O had a much bigger impact than CO2 in keeping infrared radiation from escaping."
 
There is NO valid scientific explanation for this THEORY, in fact, it grossly violates long established thermodynamic LAWS.
 
The liberal, progressive, elites believe that 7 billion is TOO many people and as far as they are concerned the more of those they consider useless die off the better so they don't have to share the world's resources. They got theirs (fossil fueled, btw) , screw the third world.
Nicholas Schroeder Added Oct 2, 2017 - 1:50pm
Speaking of which, an excellent example of the liberal, progressive, elitist we-know-better-than-you moronic "deplorables" attitude. Some of that respect and civility the USAFA commander was preaching.
"It does make sense (straw man ELITIST!) to acknowledge we are energy hogs, often for no good reason, (100% judgmental with zero relevant FACTS.) and to curb our wasteful ways. (Knows best the problem, knows best the solutions and us "deniers" and "deplorables" need to shut up and go along like good sheeple.) It also makes sense (straw man ELITIST^2) to take a good look at the popular "fixes" like electric cars, (financially idiotic!!) which would require a huge infrastructure change, (for NO good reason!) including greater reliance on the electric grid for battery charges.  Here's where the nuclear power advocates are having a field day, claiming nuclear energy (crippled by extreme and expensive regulations) is preferable because it doesn't generate CO2."
Katharine Otto Added Oct 2, 2017 - 2:08pm
Nicholas,
I'm only suggesting we make more efficient use of what we have, such as passenger rail.  I'm no fan of nuclear energy, or electric cars.  Nor am I fan of cheap plastic junk made by slave labor in China and Bangladesh, imported to the US in triple-packaging in Panamax ships that we're deepening our harbors to accommodate. 
 
Your name-calling is getting tiresome and isn't fair.  And no, I'm not one of those people who wants to kill off population, but I believe the toxic waste dump we are creating, along with our perpetual wars, will do it if we don't exercise some self-restraint.  
Nicholas Schroeder Added Oct 2, 2017 - 2:35pm
Katharine,
As a "denier," ala Holocaust denier, who climatard true believers propose should be jailed if not executed, I am fully aware of the name calling.
"I believe the toxic waste dump we are creating, along with our perpetual wars, will do it if we don't exercise some self-restraint."
Lots of hyperbolic belief/opinion, got any evidence or facts? Have heard this doom^3 mantra for centuries, hasn't arrived yet. More Heaven's Gate nonsense?
The world was considerably more toxic in the recent past and as far as perpetual wars are concerned the Europeans, Ottomans, Venetians, Greeks, Romans, et. al. from before zero to 1900 make our current era look positively peaceful.
Mike Haluska Added Oct 3, 2017 - 11:17am
Dave - let me clarify:
 
"If you keep insisting on bringing up CO2 and not bring up the H2O, that seems to suggest you are picking on the weaker points of climate change scientists."
 
I keep bringing up CO2 because that is all that the "Climate Change" proponents focus on!  They ("Climate Change proponents) won't acknowledge water vapor because there's not a damned thing we can do about cloud cover/water vapor!!!
 
"I don't know what you mean by $510B in climate change activities. It sounds like a fairy-tale figure concocted by a think tank that doesn't want to go down any climate change route."
 
Unlike a lot of posters, I don't take anything for granted!  I checked with the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) and got the data straight from them.  I'll tell you this - if the "Climate Change" dollars dried up tomorrow, so would the interest by "Climate Change" proponents!
 
"If you believe the politicians have been duped by quack scientists, then the system is at fault, not the quack scientists."
 
Dave - are you sure you want to go down that route?  What if someone posed as you and cleaned out your bank account, borrowed $100,000 against your home, charged $50,000 on credit cards taken out in your name?  You're not going to blame the thief, you're going to "blame the system"???  In the case of "Climate Change" both the scientists and the politicians are in on the scam.  It's the oldest political scam in the books - a politician grants a "favor" (e.g. a $500,000,000 research grant to a research institute) and the politician gets millions of dollars in campaign contributions, cash under the table, etc.
Mike Haluska Added Oct 3, 2017 - 11:22am
Dave - I accidentally omitted one point:
 
"There are a few people in their 90s who are still smoking their pack a day. No lung cancer there. Does that disprove the theory that tobacco kills people?"
 
Nobody in the medical profession says that everyone who smokes cigarettes will contract lung cancer.  What they can show is an increased likelihood of lung cancer along with other debilitating problems like heart disease, COPD, high blood pressure, etc.  A complex organism like the human body that varies from one person to the next means that lots of things that can be harmful are probabilistic, not certain.  I found out when I was a kid that I could roll around in Poison Ivy and nothing would happen to me.  My brothers can look at Poison Ivy and catch it! 
Mike Haluska Added Oct 3, 2017 - 11:29am
Katharine -
You make valid points.  As far as being "energy hogs", the best method of reducing that problem (if it is indeed a real problem and not just somebody's guilt trip) is the free market. 
 
In my humble opinion, the "energy crisis" will never be resolved until room temperature "Superconductors" are economically viable.  This technology will make fusion reactors possible along with micro size batteries, motors, computers, generators, etc.  Fusion power will be limitless, clean and essentially "free" since all it requires is water (even sea water).
Dave Volek Added Oct 3, 2017 - 11:58am
Mike
I'm not getting your analogy to identify theft and system change. Yes we need to catch the thief. And yes, both private companies and public institutions need to beef up the system to make it harder for thieves. Otherwise trust in the system will dissipate, and we will insist on cash transactions.
 
But from your comments, you are quite cynical of elected politicians and how they get their money to be and remain elected. If you don't like that, then we need to change the system. If you believe that climate change scientists are straying too far from the truth and the political establishment has bought into their falsehoods, what other falsehoods have been purchased? Should not the system be changed out? I believe I have answer for that.
 
Like the human body, the world ecosystem is a complex organism. If we provide a stimulus of any kind, we are only making best guesses as to what will happen. I see moving away from fossil fuels as a risk management--even though I acknowledge these scientists may not be right or maybe only 50% right. The possible cost of not taking any action is just too high (more hurricanes and typhoons).
 
 
 
 
Nicholas Schroeder Added Oct 3, 2017 - 12:42pm
Dave,
"But from your comments, you are quite cynical of elected politicians and how they get their money to be and remain elected."
You should spend some time with US history books. We don't know the half of it. Go over to RealClimateScience.com, Heller can fill you in on political/science corruption.
"The possible cost of not taking any action is just too high...."
Wasting money and other "action" resources on a non-problem deprives real problems of funding and such feel good, knee-jerk misallocation of resources is really harmful to the environment.
 
Mike Haluska Added Oct 3, 2017 - 1:50pm
Dave - your comments:
"I see moving away from fossil fuels as a risk management--even though I acknowledge these scientists may not be right or maybe only 50% right." 
 
display a lack of understanding of science and Scientific Method.  Ever hear of a law of physics being "50% right?".  Is E=mc2 correct 50% of the time?  Does water boil at 212 F sometimes and 106 F sometimes?  Unlike Liberal Arts, there is no "partial credit" in science - it is either correct in all cases and places or it isn't - period!
 
"The possible cost of not taking any action is just too high (more hurricanes and typhoons)."
 
leads me to believe that you have just bought into the hysteria and refuse to consider the obvious:
 
1) According to the NOOA the frequency of hurricanes has DIMINISHED over the past 20 years.  Until this year, there was a record drought of 12 consecutive years WITHOUT a single hurricane hitting the US.
 
2) You just assume that somehow scientists "know" how to reduce/eliminate hurricanes - they DON'T!  As I explained to you before, EVEN IF we somehow eliminated ALL HUMAN CO2, the CO2 concentration would only fall from 400 ppm to 395 ppm. 
 
3) As wealthy as the US is, it still has a finite amount of resources.  We have spent $510 Billion on "Climate Change" to date with NOTHING TO SHOW FOR IT - what makes you think spending another $26 Billion will have any effect whatsoever?
 
4) What is the "cost of not taking action" for the millions of people dying TODAY of the things I mentioned previously that we KNOW how to fix? 
 
Mike Haluska Added Oct 3, 2017 - 2:02pm
Dave - your question:
 
"If you believe that climate change scientists are straying too far from the truth and the political establishment has bought into their falsehoods, what other falsehoods have been purchased?"
 
Gee, Dave - where do I start? 
- Ever heard of the great DDT ban that resulted in millions of people dying from malaria over a totally cooked up lie about "deadly concentrations of DDT in fish? 
- Ever heard of the "Global Cooling" scam of the 1970's?
- Ever heard of the "Unsafe at Any Speed" Chevy Corvair? 
- How about the great "CFC - Ozone Hole" bamboozle?
- Or the grand-daddy of them all, the Eugenics scandal?
 
The last one lead to such abominations as the NAZI slaughter of that "inferior sub-species" - the Jews.
 
Read about Eugenics for yourself:
https://msu.edu/course/lbs/332/bellon/R0124b.pdf
 
 
Tubularsock Added Oct 6, 2017 - 7:30pm
Dave: Well you sure let the cat out of the bag with all this climate change opinion.
 
Science rests on the Scientific Method, you have a theory, you test the theory and publish the “facts” putting them out for others to test your theory and following your presented procedures attempting to show the same results.
 
If your theory is “proven correct” it become a Scientific Fact UNTIL someone comes along and “Proves” your conclusions incorrect. At that point, the process starts again.
 
We live in constant movement. NOTHING is at rest, EVER.
 
For Tubularsock the environment we ALL LIVE IN is at risk to all of us as we continue polluting our air and watering hole. Yet we want to debate who is doing it. ALL OF US!
 
And for those idiots who believe that protections may affect “economic growth” let them
eat shit instead of cake and see how long they and their families last!
 
The only Proof one needs is that of observation and logic. So here is Tubularsock’s lesson for High School Science.
 
Connect the school toilets to exit into the school's swimming pool. Then, everyone goes swimming. A direct learning lesson, no reading required!
Nicholas Schroeder Added Oct 6, 2017 - 7:53pm
Tubular,
 
CARBON DIOXIDE IS NOT POLLUTION!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
The genesis of RGHE theory is the incorrect notion that the atmosphere warms the surface (and that is NOT the ground). Explaining the mechanism behind this erroneous notion demands some truly contorted physics, thermo and heat transfer, i.e. energy out of nowhere, cold to hot w/o work, perpetual motion.
 
Is space cold or hot? There are no molecules in space so our common definitions of hot/cold/heat/energy don't apply.
 
The temperatures of objects in space, e.g. the Earth, Moon, space station, Mars, Venus, etc. are determined by the radiation flowing past them. In the case of the Earth, the solar irradiance of 1,368 W/m^2 has a Stefan Boltzmann black body equilibrium temperature of 394 K, 121 C, 250 F. That's hot. Sort of.
 
But an object's albedo reflects away some of that energy and reduces that temperature.
 
The Earth's albedo reflects away about 30% of the Sun's 1,368 W/m^2 energy leaving 70% or 958 W/m^2 to "warm" the surface (1.5 m above ground) and at an S-B BB equilibrium temperature of 361 K, 33 C cooler (394-361) than the earth with no atmosphere or albedo.
 
The Earth's albedo/atmosphere doesn't keep the Earth warm, it keeps the Earth cool.
 
Bring science, I did.
 
http://writerbeat.com/articles/14306-Greenhouse---We-don-t-need-no-stinkin-greenhouse-Warning-science-ahead-
 
http://writerbeat.com/articles/15582-To-be-33C-or-not-to-be-33C
 
http://writerbeat.com/articles/16255-Atmospheric-Layers-and-Thermodynamic-Ping-Pong
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tubularsock Added Oct 7, 2017 - 7:40pm
Nicholas Schroeder, Tubularsock is not in an augment with you.
 
Man’s activities affect the earth and ANYTHING in the direction of minimizing any ill affects can’t hurt, can it?
 
In fact, it would be a major change.
 
Humans are a destructive force and Tubularsock isn’t worried about the earth surviving no matter what we do. It is the humans that will be missing the last bus out!
Nicholas Schroeder Added Oct 7, 2017 - 7:56pm
"...ANYTHING in the direction of minimizing any ill affects can't hurt, can it?"
Well, yes it can, by shifting resources away from real problems. The ill effects are illusions.
"It is the humans that will be missing the last bus out!"
Would the cosmos know or care?
Tubularsock Added Oct 7, 2017 - 8:10pm
Nicholas, very good point if we ever put resources to real problems
anyway. Most resources are directed to war as a past time talking about the ill effects of the illusion!
 
And the cosmos doesn't know or care is so true. And on top of that we shouldn't either because our ticket out is already paid for and is non-refundable. Cheers.

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