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  • Posted by ProfChuck 2 years, 11 months ago
    Is global warming real?

    As far as global warming ( or climate change or global cooling or ...) goes there are four parts to the question.
    1) Is the climate changing? The answer is "yes". There is abundant evidence for that.
    2) Does human activity play a role in the process? The answer is "probably".
    3) To what extent does human activity determine the path climate change is taking? The honest answer is "we don't know".
    4) Should we do something to slow or reverse climate change? The answer is "Since we don't really understand the dynamics of anthropogenic contribution to climate change there is no way to identify a useful course of action".

    Obviously the reduction of toxic pollutants into the environment is a good idea. However calling carbon dioxide (plant food) and methane (cow farts) pollutants shows a lack of understanding of how the biosphere works.

    In the relatively short history of computerized climate modeling the projections have been wrong as often as they have been right. Given that is it reasonable to upend the global economic system using data that is correct at best only half the time? You could get similar results from flipping a coin.

    The real problem is not climate change its self but its value as a powerful political tool. To a politician the climate change argument provides an irresistible mechanism for the acquisition of political power. The reality of climate change is far less important to the politician than its utility as an argument for increased power and authority.

    Very few politicians have any scientific training but this does not prevent them from using science to their advantage.

    It's not that climate change is bad science but it is certainly incomplete science.
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    • Posted by mccannon01 2 years, 11 months ago
      Nicely said, ProfChuck.

      However, just to toss in a bit of sarcastic humor regarding "... and methane (cow farts) ..." the modelers fail to explain how the planet survived the centuries when millions of buffalo (bison), elk, and caribou crapped and farted all over North America. Of course one could say the white man showed up, slaughtered the great herds, and saved the planet, but that wouldn't fit into any PC narrative.
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    • Posted by CircuitGuy 2 years, 11 months ago
      " four parts to the question."
      I like this model. I would add a #3b: What is the net cost or benefit of those changes? Then #4 becomes a math problem. You multiply #3 * #3b to get the cost of the activities. As you say, it's really hard to get accurate numbers for #3 and #3b. We just don't know. There should be some way of calculating an expected value, though. There are some probability distribution functions (PDFs) of the climate impact of activities and the costs of those impacts. That PDFs will change as scientists learn more. Knowing these distributions you can work out an expected value of the environmental cost of activities, like burning natural gas. This way people can make accurate judgments on alternatives. Maybe the gas bill for the winter is $1000, but if you count environmental costs is let's say $1500. (I have no idea if that's a reasonable number.) Some $1200 alternative, in this scenario, would appear to be not worthwhile until you account that the $1000 natural gas solution is actually costing people $500 in the future.

      As you right say, we do not know the numbers. But people make decisions all day long using numbers with loose tolerances. The tolerance is unfortunately an opportunity for politics to intrude, but I'm not ready to throw up my hands and do nothing.
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  • Posted by Owlsrayne 2 years, 11 months ago
    I have part of the cure, plant more trees and solar panels on the roof. If all the global warming idiots stop their crying, wringing of hands, gnashing of teeth and pull themselves away from their computer screens; go to Home Depot buy a shovel and a young trees. Then plant them, water them and watch natures magic; truly incredible!
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  • Posted by $ Olduglycarl 2 years, 11 months ago
    You know we live in Superman's nemesis Bizarro's World when someone with No basic knowledge of Science is hailed as a "Climate Prophet"!
    Especially when NASA just recently... accidentally... let it slip the sea levels are lower!!!

    How'd That Happen???
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    • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 2 years, 11 months ago
      Not exactly.

      Occasional dips and passing spurts are both seen in the longterm data. But the longterm data is clear: sea levels are rising.

      What "we" do about it is a different question entirely, considering that you might deal with it differently than I would.
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      • Posted by $ Olduglycarl 2 years, 11 months ago
        The polar Ice has been recovering and in all area's except western Antarctica, due to ocean floor volcanic releases. It's also important to note that even the caving we currently see, an occurrence that pervades Solar Minimums, will make the waters in that area colder the following year.
        Now, that is our understanding of the south pole. The north pole ice, mostly on the water and very little land melting has not much of an effect on overall sea level. What does effect local sea levels is the cycle of ocean water driven toward the eastern side of all continents and the opposing cycle where the water is driven toward the west side of all continents...and I apologize for not remembering the length of that cycle.

        There are other factors to consider as well when looking at ocean temperatures; like the north Atlantic oscillations and moon cycles.
        These cycles are a little more complex for me to explain with my present understanding of them.

        The basic take a way is, I wouldn't worry about too much warming for a looooooong time, we'll get an overdose come the end/beginning of our orbital cycle around the sun when we will be in a closer and more circular orbit.

        I don't think you and I will be around for that one...unless we find the "fountain of youth" before our time is up.
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        • Posted by $ Dobrien 2 years, 11 months ago
          Yes the moon's eliptic had shifted north for a period of recent past pulling a pulse of warmer water north, like a type of tide.
          The precession of the lunar orbit takes 18.6 years, so only when the precession aligns with the Saros cycle at an extreme tide will we get maximum tides.

          With the culmination of the 18.6-year cycle of the Moon in 2006 and again in 2024-25, also called the Major Lunar Standstill, we are afforded the unique opportunity to observe the monthly, annual, and 18.6-year wanderings of the Moon. The 18.6-year cycle is caused by the precession of the plane of the lunar orbit, while this orbit maintains a 5° tilt relative to the ecliptic. At the peak of this cycle, the Moon’s declination swings from -28.8° to +28.8° each month. What this means is that each month for the years 2005-2007 and also 2023-2026, the Moon can be seen rising and setting more northerly and also more southerly than the solar extremes, and will transit monthly with altitudes which are higher in the sky than the summer Sun and lower in the sky than the winter Sun.

          It is when that 18.6 year precession cycle lines up just right with the solar alignment 18.03 year Saros Eclipse cycle state (i.e. maximum lunar declination changes and maximum lunar / solar tidal forces aligned) that we ought to get major effects and events.
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      • Posted by Lucky 2 years, 11 months ago
        MM is correct as usual, yes statistically, sea levels are rising.

        How much? About a couple of mm per year. Over one hundred years think
        about a (shortened) 12 inch ruler.
        Sea level changes are not easy to quantify when you want a global figure.
        The rate is not accelerating but may be declining or negative according to
        some recent surveys.

        Why? Tectonic plate movements and other very long term slow geological
        changes. The well publicized locations, where leaders of developing island
        nations ask for international aid, are actually land subsidence.

        Action required? No. This not a problem in the top million.
        Exception- those nations pumping out too much groundwater could use good advice.
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  • Posted by LWinn 2 years, 11 months ago
    I'm impressed with Casabier's logic, but not much comforted by it, there being lots of open questions not broached. These include:
    Is CO2 rise a cause or a symptom?
    What effect the expected massive release of methane and carbon dioxide from melting permafrost and warming oceans?
    How can one possibly trust the results of science conducted with such powerful political and economic agendas?
    But I find all such discussion almost irrelevant. In my perception, a productive portion of humanity needs to leave Earth ASAP for permanent and self-sustaining off world habitats. That should mitigate the problem and make any resulting cataclysm more survivable.
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  • Posted by term2 2 years, 11 months ago
    There is NO WAY oceans would rise that much in 6 weeks. In 50-100 years if the climate changes even with natural forces at work, I could believe that. As to CO2 warming, I really doubt the effect is very large. If the earth is warming, its probably natural cycles anyway, and we will have to live with it. So dont build close to the coasts. Its pretty simple. There is plenty of time to react.
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