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The Carbon Flame War
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jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: No-win conversation on 08/04/2012 18:30:52 MDT Print View

"You do understand that this is a no-win conversation, don't you?"

Great, some other fool has been dragged into this : )

At least we're giving Rog more opportunity to make comments on the internets that he gets paid for each one : )

Willie Evenstop
(redmonk) - F

Locale: Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
The Carbon Flame War on 08/04/2012 18:31:09 MDT Print View

It takes so little to be a denier.

Just turn one mole hill after another into a mountainous reason to discard the current best models, while having no better alternative. Just fabricate a reason for denial.

One doesn't even need to pass a peer review to be a denier, just spend $10 for a domain and start self publishing whatever denies the model best.

The lack of peer review prevents the deniers from having even a ridiculous (literally, worthy of ridicule) alternative model they agree to promote through specially focused research. They only deny.

I look forward to the day they at least have a model of their own, and can bring something other than denial to the table.

David T
(DaveT) - F
all the little things. on 08/04/2012 18:46:58 MDT Print View

"It takes so little to be a denier."

Hang on a sec. I reckon it takes a number of things. I've speculated on some of these previously:

Dimly lit basement. Child's wading-pool. Dinosaur action figures. Cling film. Smudge-pot.

To this I would add:

Weak tea. Day-old scones. Homemade graph-paper. "Borrowed" mini-golf pencils. Dial-up internet. Thrift-store-score Commodore 64.

obx hiker
(obxcola) - MLife

Locale: Outer Banks of North Carolina
"The Carbon Flame War" on 08/04/2012 18:48:46 MDT Print View

Why would anyone assume that any aspect of "denialism" is in some way an amateur effort? I'm convinced "denialists" are; to a man (or woman) paid professional hacks with intense, focused, disciplined and extremely well-financed assistance and direction.

Gotta love fee speech. Really does make one ponder the ironies of the first amendment. Could the unfettered exercise of first amendment rights (however organized and financed) lead to the very destruction of civilization as we know it?

That might be an interpretation of the position of what I suppose one could term climate change advocates. Are the stakes really that high?

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Re: Re: No-win conversation on 08/04/2012 18:49:52 MDT Print View

Jerry: I wish. Still waiting for my cheque from Big Oil.

Cameron: My model replicates the temperature evolution of the last 10,000 years with much higher accuracy than the IPCC models which only attempt the last century. My model was published by a scientist of high standing earlier this year. Although he referred to my work in an earlier presentation he made to the EPA, I requested that he publish solely under his own name. That leaves me free to continue my research in relative peace. Except when I can't resist getting embroiled in the carbon flame war for a bit of fun from time to time. ;-)

dan mchale
(wildlife) - MLife

Locale: Cascadia
definition on 08/04/2012 18:59:11 MDT Print View

Cameron - with that post you get a good look at Tattersalls 'character'. Ya sure ya bet ya.

I was actually just listening to Dr Mueller on Democracy Today. Is that guy ever 2 faced. He is hard to listen to. It's the first time I heard his voice. McKibben is on now.

obx hiker
(obxcola) - MLife

Locale: Outer Banks of North Carolina
"The Carbon Flame War" on 08/04/2012 19:18:09 MDT Print View

"McKibben is on now"

On what? I'd like to hear and/or see that. Sincerely.

dan mchale
(wildlife) - MLife

Locale: Cascadia
AM 1090 on 08/04/2012 19:33:11 MDT Print View

He was on a radio program called Democracy Today or maybe it's Democracy Now. I don't think it's Democracy Yesterday - LOL. I listen every Saturday if I'm working. I'm a bit Dyslexic or I might know! We have a Progressive radio station here in Seattle at AM 1090 that goes all day - it's great.

Here it is, one of the shows on Saturday is Democracy Now;

Edited by wildlife on 08/04/2012 19:42:33 MDT.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: AM 1090 on 08/04/2012 19:41:38 MDT Print View

I listen to AM 1090 when I'm in Seattle

AM 620 when in Portland

NPR is good too - not quite as partisan as 1090 and 620

When in the Olympics sometimes Canadian Public Radio

dan mchale
(wildlife) - MLife

Locale: Cascadia
radio on 08/04/2012 19:44:27 MDT Print View

Radio Free America

obx hiker
(obxcola) - MLife

Locale: Outer Banks of North Carolina
"The Carbon Flame War" on 08/04/2012 20:12:10 MDT Print View

Thanks guys. I'll have to check and see if there's anything like that available over here on the "right" coast.

Say you think Rog ever sleeps? It's like 2:00 Am over there

dan mchale
(wildlife) - MLife

Locale: Cascadia
possibilities on 08/04/2012 20:35:26 MDT Print View

We don't know that's even him. Anyone could be behind the curtain. 2:00 is reasonable for night owls though!

Edited by wildlife on 08/04/2012 21:03:42 MDT.

Craig Savage
(tremelo) - F

Locale: San Jacinto Mountains
Re: No-win conversation on 08/04/2012 21:55:26 MDT Print View

"when I can't resist getting embroiled in the carbon flame war for a bit of fun from time to time. ;-)"

aka - BPL propagandist 2012 (well, um... sadly, longer)

a b
Re: Re: No-win conversation on 08/04/2012 23:26:52 MDT Print View

What is missing in the study of Earth's current global warming trend is a comparison of what is happening on other worlds.

Solar irradiance is the fundamental factor in ALL planetary warming.

This is why learning more about other planets in our system can teach us better what is going on with our world.

Rather than use solar irradiance variability to dismiss Global warming as Human caused, imagine the two factors combined.

More Solar output plus more greenhouse gasses.

In some circles of scientific thought there is also a warming trend on the planet Mars that cooincides with the Earth's.
Rather than debunking Earths Global warming this could be a wake up call.

If the sun is really putting out more energy AND the Earth is trapping more of that energy due to greenhouse gasses that could be even worse that the basic predictions of simply adding greenhouse gasses to the atmosphere.

We really need to find out what is happening solar system wide.

Post Script: Be kind to Rog.
There was once a time when the whole world was against men who were right...
Galileo, Newton, Archimedes...

I am not putting Rog in that category, just stating that until we know.. we don't know.

The man who thinks he knows.. doesn't know.
The Man who knows he doesn't know.. knows.

Not one person in this thread or on this planet knows any better than anyone else the whims of our parent star or the complexity of our planets atmosphere in totality.

Okay.. what will the exact temperature be in Peru Illinois on tuesday of next week.. one year from now?
When will it rain next in Lima Montana?

Yea.. that is my point.

We are all babes and feeble in the face of it all.

There is nothing to lose and everything to gain by accomodating each others "best guess" as to what is the true nature of nature.

Edited by Ice-axe on 08/04/2012 23:44:13 MDT.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Solar factors in Earth's climate on 08/05/2012 04:34:09 MDT Print View

Matthew, thank you for injecting some good sense into the debate at this point. The solar factor has been wrongly dismissed as being relatively unimportant to our understanding of climate change and in my opinion this is a gross error.

It was dismissed because back in the 80-90's our measurements of the changes in its activity levels over the ~11 year solar cycle were thought to indicate that it doesn't vary enough to make a big difference to Earth's surface temperature. However, this assumption is based on a simple total of its entire output in terms of the total amount of energy leaving the sun and being intercepted by the Earth. This metric is called total solar irradiance (TSI). In terms of the energy hitting the top of the atmosphere TSI varies by around 1 watt per square meter over the solar cycle. This is only around 0.1% of the total solar irradiance.

However it's worth pointing out here that the average temperature of Earth's surface is around 290K and 0.1% of that is 0.29K, which is a substantial proportion of the increase in surface temperature measured over the C20th (around 0.5-0.9K). So in TSI terms alone, the Sun could be responsible for 1/3 to 1/2 of the C20th warming.

But the total energy isn't the whole story. The Sun emits energy across a wide spectrum and important wavelengths within its range vary a lot more. For example, it has since been discovered that Ultra Violet wavelengths can vary by as much as 20% over longer periods of time (decades). UV is an important factor in the inorganic chemistry of the atmosphere, and the organic chemistry of the ocean and land surfaces. Increased UV causes the breakdown of ozone high in the atmosphere and this important gas affects the rates at which energy enters and escapes back to space from the Earth's surface. UV kills plankton and this affects the amount of photsynthesis (and therefore co2 absorption and oxygen production) taking place on the oceans - 3/4 of the planet's surface.

The Sun was unusually active in the second half of the C20th, with a run of particularly high solar cycles (As measured by the sunspot count and later by TSI measurement in the satellite age) and strong UV output.

The co2 global warming theorists have to invoke the Sun as the main cause of climate variation prior to the increase in co2, but claim that co2 took over as the main driver of climate change after 1960, when the Sun peaked with the highest ever recorded monthly sunspot numbers. They say that because the sunspot numbers at the peak of the solar cycle declined after then, the Sun can't be responsible for the increasing surface temperature since the mid 70's.

I'll explain why I think this is a huge misunderstanding of the way the climate system works in my next post.

Edited by tallbloke on 08/05/2012 05:18:14 MDT.

dan mchale
(wildlife) - MLife

Locale: Cascadia
solar wind on 08/05/2012 12:05:00 MDT Print View

You are probably going to talk about how Solar Wind blocks Cosmic rays. But, why do you leave out the fact the sun has been in a very low solar minimum with no sunspot activity through most of the last decade that we've had the warmest decade on record? Was that cosmic rays? Well the Sun has come back to life now and look what we have? We don't have a cooler planet with enhanced solar wind. When I heard of the very first heat wave in Chicago early this spring I told my sister in Kansas it's going to be a very hot summer. Why couldn't the USDA figure that out? With the weird stock market trading we have now, there are probably people that are reaping in big profits that bet against crops this year. Why was the USDA predicting a record crop this year when heat almost busted last years crop? Doesn't the USDA know about solar mins and maxs? I read where Secretary Vilsack was praying for the Drought to be over - that's the best him and his team could do to warn farmers of what was coming? These are the kind of people that are running the show now - political dupes and corporate shills that know nothing of science, that in fact shun science.

Matthew, you are correct, the combination of manmade CO2 and the other variations is not a good combo.

I found this story after posting my speculative comments about the USDA. After all, that's how the FDA and most of them work now. Maybe they always did;

Just to show CO2 is not the only problem facing us;

Edited by wildlife on 08/05/2012 12:41:31 MDT.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Solar factors in Earth's climate on 08/05/2012 14:15:48 MDT Print View

Dan, I'll try to answer your questions about the Sun in what follows. I don't have anything much to say about predictions about this years agriculture from USDA; it's not my area of expertise and as Homer Simpson said: "predictions are hard, especially ones about the future".

Having said that, the research grouping of which I'm a part has been making excellent progress in finding out how to predict solar activity in the medium and longer term. Once we can accurately predict short term solar activity, I predict the Sun will suddenly be back in vogue as an important climate variable...

But you asked why it is that despite the protracted solar minimum (about a year longer than normal) and the less than previously active current solar cycle haven't prevented the last decade from being the warmest in the recent past (last millenium).

The answer lies in Earth's oceans.

When you compare solar cycles longer term ups and downs, it is evident that there is approximately a one cycle lag between solar activity and its resulting effect in the climate system. The reason for this is that water has a high heat capacity - it takes time to warm it up, and it takes time for it to cool down once it's warm. Although the last decade has been warm, the surface temperature hasn't increased, and according to some metrics, the ocean heat content has been in decline. In other words, the surface has been maintained at a high temperature at the expense of the temperature further down in the ocean.

The co2 global warming theorists have been saying that it's perfectly possible for natural variation to cause a cessation of global warming for a decade despite the fact that co2 in the atmosphere has increased from 0.037% of the atmosphere to 0.039% of the atmosphere over the period. The implication is that the oceans are capable of retaining heat on decadal (and multi-decadal) timescales. This being the case, we need to reconsider the reasons why the co2 theorists say the Sun can't be the main driver of the recent warming.

The absolute amplitude of the solar cycles has been gently dropping since a high point in 1958. However the subsequent cycles were still historically high and also short, with brief minima and steep up and downramps. This means the avearage sunspot number (a good indicator of Total Solar Irradiance) was high compared to the earlier part of the century.

The ocean absorbs and retains the solar energy entering it. When the sunspot number is below about 40 per month, the ocean cools. When the sunspot number is above 40, it warms. The average over the 1956-2003 period was over 70. The result of that is that the ocean heat content increased.

The Ocean has as much heat capacity in the top ten feet as the entire atmosphere above it. The global average temperature of the lower atmosphere (troposphere) follows along behind the ocean surface temperature by several months. The ocean drives the atmospheric temperature. But it doesn't do it at a steady rate. The major climate related phenomenon related to big releases of oceanic energy into the atmosphere is the ENSO, the cycle of successive El Nino and La Nina events. This oscillation is what caused the big spikes in global surface air temperatures in 1998 and 2010.

Both those events and the previous three bigger El Nino events followed shortly after Solar minimum. This is when the ocean flips from heat absorbing mode into heat release mode. What goes in must come back out in energy terms. The best time for this to happen is when less solar energy is being pumped in than usual, i.e. at solar minimum. This is the reason for the loose synchronisation between El Nino and Solar cycles. I say loose, because there are other factors affecting ENSO which I'll leave for another day.

The main points I'm trying to communicate in this post are that just because we don't see an immediate one to one relationship between solar activity and climate metrics such as surface temperature, doesn't mean it isn't a major driver of the system once you understand the chain of causality.

dan mchale
(wildlife) - MLife

Locale: Cascadia
Both ways on 08/05/2012 14:35:25 MDT Print View

Rog, your statement below is confusing. The first sentence says CO2 theorists say the solar variations can explain a flatline in warming over the last decade. Then, in the last sentence you claim CO2 'theorists' say the opposite;

Rog said,

"The co2 global warming theorists have been saying that it's perfectly possible for natural variation to cause a cessation of global warming for a decade despite the fact that co2 in the atmosphere has increased from 0.037% of the atmosphere to 0.039% of the atmosphere over the period. The implication is that the oceans are capable of retaining heat on decadal (and multi-decadal) timescales. This being the case, we need to reconsider the reasons why the co2 theorists say the Sun can't be the main driver of the recent warming."

Within 3 sentences you claim the CO2 theorists say the sun cycles can be a driving facter and then you say the CO2 people claim the cycles can't be a factor.

I for one do believe that at this point in the CO2 buildup that a decrease in solar output can make it look like the increased CO2 is not having it's projected effects. I have believed that once the sun came out of it's last minimum we would start having serious trouble.

And of course the oceans are a big player in all this - it should be known that you are not teaching many of us anything new here - as much as you would like people to think so with your condescending tone. The absorption of heat there has also minimized the effects of the CO2, both in heat retention and absorption of the CO2 itself. You previously mentioned the residency period of C02 being five years. Well, when it goes into the ocean it does not neccesarily stay there as we all know.

Also, I commented on your voluminous posting here yet you are not a member. I just now upgraded my yearly membership to lifetime and I promise I will upgrade my lifetime membership every year (pay $99.00 per year) from here on out. I'm betting you don't have the you know what to match that. I don't see why Ryan could not come up with another category of membership. It could be called ELife - short for Elite (actually Ecology) for $99.00 per year.

Edited by wildlife on 08/05/2012 15:29:30 MDT.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Re: Both ways on 08/05/2012 15:46:21 MDT Print View

Dan, if you read what I wrote again about what the co2 global warming theorists have been saying, you'll see that I didn't contradict myself because I said that they are saying natural variation can cause a cessation of warming, not that solar effects can cause a cessation of warming. There is ambiguity here, and it's theirs not mine. There are a lot of different reasonings being given for the lack of warming over the last decade from a number of different climate science groupings. The 'consensus' isn't a consensus on this issue. If they were to claim that the Sun is responsible for the interegnum in warming as you have, the obvious question arises:

If the Sun can cause a reduction in warming in its inactive phase, how much did it add to the warming in its active phase? Not a question those who wish to attribute most or all of the warming to human activity want to consider, for obvious reasons.

Climate science is changing as the realisation sinks in that Nature is contradicting theory which was thought to be well established. You won't hear much about this change in the media or on the pro AGW blogs, but those who keep an eye on trends in the literature can see it. Part of my training as a historian and philosopher of science taught me to observe these things, and I'm simply passing on what I have observed, so don't get stroppy with the messenger.

There is a period of confusion under way, where some data are being adjusted to conform with theory as a way of 'calibrating' measurement systems which inherently have uncertainty. Sea level satellite altimetry and ocean heat content data from the ARGO system are cases in point. We will have to do our best to consider these in relation to climate signs which don't rely on human decisions. For example winter snow extents, long established tide gauges and sunshine hours counts. This is why I made reference to agreed standards in my earlier post. Practitioners of 'hard sciences' such as physics and chemistry have made a lot of comment regarding this issue in climate science. It's a young discipline which needs to mature and establish its ground.

dan mchale
(wildlife) - MLife

Locale: Cascadia
gem on 08/05/2012 15:53:08 MDT Print View

It takes a real gem of a guy to make the previous statement concerning what CO2 'theorists' said and then come back and claim it is their amgiguity and contradiction. This is absurd. You wrote what was said in your statement - they didn't. I hope everybody can see what we are dealing with here. Do you have a grade school student blogging for you? I will say more later. I really can't begin to comment on how laughable this all is.

You going to become a member here Rog or do you just sign up for organizations like the Heartland Institute?

Yeah, let's all take a hint from Rog and watch for those new trends - like the baloney about how solid rock lava fields in Italy are off-gasing significant amounts of CO2.

What's the next new trend you are going to create Rog? Are fire hyrants going to be throwing off Earth's magnetic field and twisting the Gulf Stream and Jet Stream?

How's that BPL membership coming? We going to see a big red M next to your name soon. Got $25.00?

Edited by wildlife on 08/05/2012 16:11:37 MDT.