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Climate Concerns

The "CLIMATE CONCERNS" group is dedicated to discussion regarding the topic of the ever present and serious issue of changes to our climate due to the introduction into the atmosphere of human induced effects which prove harmful to the environment and which eventually may prove destructive to our planet. 

Members: 43
Latest Activity: on Wednesday

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Discussion Forum

Future Sea Level Rise: Top 10 Countries In Danger

Started by Joan Denoo. Last reply by Plinius on Wednesday. 6 Replies

"Published on Jul 30, 2015These are the top 10 countries threatened by the 6-meter sea level rise we are almost guaranteed to see in the not-too-distant future, according to the projected pace of…Continue

Tags: warming, ice, melt, global, rise

Arctic Death Spiral

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on Saturday. 9 Replies

Considering that the volume of Arctic Summer sea ice in 2012 is 75% lower than in 1979, some scientists are calling the Arctic melt a death spiral. If you only look at surface area decline, as …Continue

Tags: Arctic ice melt, Arctic Sea Ice volume, Arctic Death Spiral

Human Rise Depended on Reliable Seasons

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Apr 12. 3 Replies

In "What people get wrong about climate change" we learn that the crucial circumstance necessary for homo sapiens to abandon a nomadic existence and "take control of food" was 10,000 years of of…Continue

Tags: ascending from nomadism, climate stability, Save the Earth

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Comment by Daniel W on Tuesday
Interesting article on BBC about how climate change is causing a greening of many areas of the earth. THe CO2 has a fertilizing effect making plants and trees grow more lush and green - a lot more green. Interesting information.

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-36130346
Comment by Grinning Cat on Monday

Hopefully cheezburger.com will get a few people's attention:

SAVE THE EARTH! IT'S THE ONLY PLANET THAT HAS CATS(More precisely, Earth will survive whatever drastic step changes happen to its climate, but keeping the planet habitable for humans and kitties would be a good thing!)

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on April 4, 2016 at 8:14pm

Wild weather? What wild weather?

from cheezburger

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on March 22, 2016 at 1:04pm

A new study indicates that, because our current rate of CO2 increase is an order of magnitude higher than during the PETM extinction, ours will have more severe ocean acidification and ecosystems will be hit harder.

What we’re doing to the Earth has no parallel in 66 million years, ...

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on March 20, 2016 at 12:15pm

Thanks, Čenek, for the detailed explanation. I wasn’t even aware of most of that. RobertScribbler says that the strongest greenhouse effect in the Arctic happens during the long night, during which the angle of incidence wouldn’t apply. Yes it’s been far hotter and colder before we evolved, but that doesn’t reassure me. Humanity wouldn’t fare well with Permian-Triassic mass extinction temperatures.

... the correlative data we have from earlier on all says it has been far far hotter (and colder!) in the past. I'm not worried. 

Human ingenuity!

We're pretty good at solving small scale technical problems, but whole-planet geoengineering is an entirely different scale. Part of the issue is depending on fossil fuels for the energy needed to implement technical solutions. Presupposing abundant energy just comes naturally, based on our previous experience. We're used to experimenting on the bench top, where long term planet-scale side effects can be discounted.

One study, for example, looked at the possibility of pumping sea water on to the Antarctic ice shield to freeze, to mitigate sea level rise. It wasn't remotely feasible.

Apparently, it's really easy to trigger positive feedbacks to raise temperature. One CFC plant could hold back the coming ice age. But trying to go cooler is a technical nightmare.

It's easiest to grasp this asymmetry by abandoning assumptions of linear change. Our planet has had two equilibrium states, the cool/oxidizing equilibrium to which we're accustomed, and a hot/reducing equilibrium (high temperatures and acidic anoxic oceans of most mass extinction events), responding to various positive and negative feedbacks. We're are increasingly far from the cool/oxidizing equilibrium, now subject to more forcings with extreme sensitivity to initial conditions toward the inhospitable equilibrium.

It seems that so far, we've not been hot enough, for long enough yet, to lose significant hydrogen to space from a heat-expanded atmosphere. One new study suggests that a 6°C rise would produce a runaway greenhouse effect, a slow one way trip to a lifeless planet. I guess our own Venus Syndrome would be a new third equilibrium state.

Yes, Donald, the planet was hotter during the Permian-Triassic mass extinction, and we do have flora and fauna today. But 95% of then-existing life was wiped out, followed by a 5 million year long "Dead Zone" before life began to recover.

Comment by Donald L. Engel on March 19, 2016 at 11:34pm

Think about it Joan, if the earth has been hotter and colder in the past, and we now have flora and fauna,  it must have survived in the past to be here now.

Comment by Joan Denoo on March 19, 2016 at 10:19pm

"I'm not worried."

Are you saying that the rising gases, of whatever kind, and rising temperatures that exist today is not a problem? Yes, Earth has been hotter and colder in our history. The point is, will flora and fauna survive either too hot or too cold?

 I'm not worried.

Comment by Čenek Sekavec on March 19, 2016 at 7:54pm

Yes you are right I should have phrased that differently. Sorry. 

Your linked site is quite well written. I won't nit pick it. The diagram is helpful in visualizing the types of phenomena but also partly misleading. I'll explain the major things that concern me that aren't accounted for (both in the diagram and in many climate models)

The angle of incidence is a crucial factor. The vast majority of surface heating comes from the part of the earth in the most direct sunlight.  However that area has the least greenhouse effect. At the same time the area with the highest greenhouse effect is the area with the least direct heating. These zones move relative to the surface of the earth as it rotates. Why is the variance important? For example in the low greenhouse zone the earth is absorbing about 700 W/m^2 but only ~40-110 W/m^2 is able to be greenhouse captured.  The high greenhouse effect zone is where light must travel through more atmosphere. This zone is dusk/dawn horizons and the poles. 

Now ironically enough, the major complaint of orthodox climate science about these high greenhouse zones is that the atmosphere is too cold.  The idea is that since less energy is being kept in upper atmosphere away from the surface of the poles, thus contributing to ice cap melt. This cold air that lets light melt ice is called ozone holes. 

Another figure labeled 'back radiation' in this essay is another victim of using statistics badly. Whereas he took the global average (~340W/m^2) for energy in, he used the global high for 'back radiation'.  Even that figure (335) has large error bars unfortunately. We need more raw measurements!

Why this digression? Simply do the math and you see the issue. Taking the diagram at face value we keep 102 W/m^2 so the earth should be heating at a rate somewhere near 0.07 degrees C per hour. 

But really I forgive the error. Not even climate science agrees on the energy budget numbers. Compare his diagram to the (also incorrect) diagram on Wikipedia:  

I can't know for sure but I believe that the reason for the errors in their models is that the difficult math required to model a differential equation with x,y,z,t,k,θ,°C,γ, and probably other variables - All of which aren't scalar!  

For example, γ (specific gravity) changes with respect to time as the heat changes. I have never seen a model that accounts for this (This doesn't mean the model doesn't exist). And it matters! The greenhouse layer constantly heats up and cools down according to the rotation of the earth. As the density decreases so does the ability of those gasses to reflect heat back to earth. 

The significance in change in greenhouse gasses is almost in the same ballpark as thermal change due to night time city illumination. 

I could nit pick on this all day. 

A quick note about our warm temps.  Only have about 400 years of direct observation on temp. And the correlative data we have from earlier on all says it has been far far hotter (and colder!) in the past. I'm not worried. 

Human ingenuity!

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on March 18, 2016 at 11:03am

Outgoing infrared radiation certainly carries less energy than incoming solar did, but “nearly all its energy” is misleading. The important point is how much energy used to be radiated to space when the Earth was stable compared to how much is radiated now, as greenhouse gases continually rise.

image source

BTW, the six highest monthly temperature departures on record for the planet have all occurred in the last six months.

NOAA: Earth had its 10th straight record warm month in February

“The departures are what we would consider astronomical,” NOAA climate scientist Jessica Blunden told the Associated Press.

While surface temperatures are bound to back off from this extraordinary high, they'll probably drop to a higher level than before. My concern is that the temporary high will accelerate positive feedbacks such as tundra wildfires and methane release.

Comment by Čenek Sekavec on March 15, 2016 at 11:28pm

Ruth that graph looks about right to me. 

Some of the light reflected by earth is the perfect frequency to get trapped by CO2 or other greenhouse gasses.  How much? What substances emit light at that frequency? What proportion of the total solar input energy is then absorbed by greenhouse gasses (thus warming the air)?

These are the points where I disagree with the orthodoxy. Mostly because when the models are laid out and I look at the math, for brevity sake, it doesn't add up without certain assumptions.

 

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