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Thread: What is the optimum amount of carbon dioxide?

  1. #1 What is the optimum amount of carbon dioxide? 
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    For the Earth's atmosphere, what is the optimum amount of carbon dioxide? Also, what is the optimum mean temperature for the planet Earth?


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    from a human point of view, the level of anything is not so much important as whether it remains constant or not

    you can always plan for things that stay the same, whether it's high or low temperatures, high or low sea levels, loads or little ice - it's the uncertainty of what to prepare for when things change, and whether you'll be able to cope with the changes that are challenging


    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    Quote Originally Posted by williampinn
    For the Earth's atmosphere, what is the optimum amount of carbon dioxide? Also, what is the optimum mean temperature for the planet Earth?
    Optimum towards what end, williampinn? CO2 content doesn't seem to be the prime kicker in evoluntionary developement whether you be a budding bush or a babbling people. Here though is a considered opinion of a fellow from West Virginia...

    " There has historically been much more CO2 in our atmosphere than exists today. For example, during the Jurassic Period (200 mya), average CO2 concentrations were about 1800 ppm or about 4.7 times higher than today. The highest concentrations of CO2 during all of the Paleozoic Era occurred during the Cambrian Period, nearly 7000 ppm -- about 18 times higher than today.

    The Carboniferous Period and the Ordovician Period were the only geological periods during the Paleozoic Era when global temperatures were as low as they are today. To the consternation of global warming proponents, the Late Ordovician Period was also an Ice Age while at the same time CO2 concentrations then were nearly 12 times higher than today-- 4400 ppm. According to greenhouse theory, Earth should have been exceedingly hot. Instead, global temperatures were no warmer than today. Clearly, other factors besides atmospheric carbon influence earth temperatures and global warming."


    Me? I like my CO2 around 500ppm. Green things grow and people don't starve and I like people.
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  5. #4 Re: What is the optimum amount of carbon dioxide? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by williampinn
    For the Earth's atmosphere, what is the optimum amount of carbon dioxide? Also, what is the optimum mean temperature for the planet Earth?
    There probably isn't such a thing because it depends on what you want. There are bracket though if we want a planet that offers the range of habitats that exist today. Much below 150 ppm starts to interfere with plant photosynthesis. Much over 1000 ppm is probably enough to eliminate arctic climate zones. And as MarnixR states any change means a lot of problems for us and the rest of the biosphere--particularly if it's faster than life can adapt by moving or evolving.

    I might as well address the disinformation quote: "
    " There has historically been much more CO2 in our atmosphere than exists today. For example, during the Jurassic Period (200 mya), average CO2 concentrations were about 1800 ppm or about 4.7 times higher than today. The highest concentrations of CO2 during all of the Paleozoic Era occurred during the Cambrian Period, nearly 7000 ppm -- about 18 times higher than today.

    The Carboniferous Period and the Ordovician Period were the only geological periods during the Paleozoic Era when global temperatures were as low as they are today. To the consternation of global warming proponents, the Late Ordovician Period was also an Ice Age while at the same time CO2 concentrations then were nearly 12 times higher than today-- 4400 ppm. According to greenhouse theory, Earth should have been exceedingly hot. Instead, global temperatures were no warmer than today. Clearly, other factors besides atmospheric carbon influence earth temperatures and global warming." First you'll note there is no citation so it's hard to evaluate the credibility of the author. But regardless of that it has several problems including:

    1) It implied the false dichotomy that either Co2 effects climate or it doesn't at all. No serious climatologist considers Co2 the only source of climate change--not one. Many things cause climate change, including Co2, and some of them interact with each other.

    2) It implies that you can compare the earth and sun of 450 million years ago with the earth of today. The reality is if you took the planet of the ape time ship to back then and remained in orbit you wouldn't even recognize the place--the Sun is dimmer and has slightly different color and the "earth" would only have one continent directly over the South Pole.

    3) The last problem is it implies that the higher Co2 is somehow inconsistent with an icy landmass and surrounding coastlines that were producing the fossils we have today. This too is largely false. Global Circulation models even fifteen years ago were being applied to that ancient system of the dim sun, huge Southern Polar Continent, and high Co2, and low-and-behold were able to reproduce that ice covered mega land mass-a strong indication there's no inconsistency between that high Co2 and lots of ice. Here's an abstract of one of those papers: "Reconciling Late Ordovician (440 Ma) glaciation with very high (14X) CO2 levels
    Crowley, Thomas J.; Baum, Steven K.
    Journal of Geophysical Research, Volume 100, Issue D1, p. 1093-1102

    Geochemical data and models suggest a positive correlation between carbon dioxide changes and climate during the last 540 m.y. The most dramatic exception to this correlation involves the Lage Ordovician (440 Ma) glaciation, which occurred at a time when CO2 levels may have been much greater than present (14-16X?). Since decreased solar luminosity at the time only partially offset increased radiative forcing from CO2, some other factor needs to be considered to explain the glaciation. Prior work with energy balance models (EBMs) suggested that the unique geographic configuration of Gondwanaland at that time may have resulted in a small area of parameter space permitting permanent snow cover and higher CO2 levels. However, the crude snow and sea ice parameterizations in the EBM left these conclusions open to further scrutiny.

    Herein we present results from four experiments with the GENESIS general circulation model with CO2 levels 14X greater than present, solar luminosity reduced 4.5%, and an orbital configuration set for minimum summer insolation receipt. We examined the effects of different combinations of ocean heat transport and topography on high-latitude snow cover on Gondwanaland. For the no-elevation simulations we failed to simulate permanent summer snow cover. However, for the slightly elevated topography cases (300-500 m), permanent summer snow cover occurs where geological data indicate the Ordovician ice sheet was present. These results support the hypothesis based on EBM studies. " http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1995JGR...100.1093C
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    from a human point of view, the level of anything is not so much important as whether it remains constant or not

    "you can always plan for things that stay the same, whether it's high or low temperatures, "
    I agree that planning is easier if nothing changes, but when anything ever stay constant? As it has been pointed out by others on this thread, what we humans can control is not the only factor, that being CO2 emissions.

    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    high or low sea levels, loads or little ice - it's the uncertainty of what to prepare for when things change, and whether you'll be able to cope with the changes that are challenging
    Even if we can manage to keep CO2 levels the same, the uncertainty is still present given the complexities of climates and the butterfly effect. So then what will we have really achieved if we kept CO2 constant?
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    Quote Originally Posted by milum
    Quote Originally Posted by williampinn
    For the Earth's atmosphere, what is the optimum amount of carbon dioxide? Also, what is the optimum mean temperature for the planet Earth?
    Optimum towards what end, williampinn? CO2 content doesn't seem to be the prime kicker in evoluntionary developement whether you be a budding bush or a babbling people. Here though is a considered opinion of a fellow from West Virginia...

    " There has historically been much more CO2 in our atmosphere than exists today. For example, during the Jurassic Period (200 mya), average CO2 concentrations were about 1800 ppm or about 4.7 times higher than today. The highest concentrations of CO2 during all of the Paleozoic Era occurred during the Cambrian Period, nearly 7000 ppm -- about 18 times higher than today.

    The Carboniferous Period and the Ordovician Period were the only geological periods during the Paleozoic Era when global temperatures were as low as they are today. To the consternation of global warming proponents, the Late Ordovician Period was also an Ice Age while at the same time CO2 concentrations then were nearly 12 times higher than today-- 4400 ppm. According to greenhouse theory, Earth should have been exceedingly hot. Instead, global temperatures were no warmer than today. Clearly, other factors besides atmospheric carbon influence earth temperatures and global warming."


    Me? I like my CO2 around 500ppm. Green things grow and people don't starve and I like people.
    How do we keep the CO2 at 500ppm? How do we prevent volcanoes from erupting? How do we prevent oceans from absorbing or releasing massive amounts of CO2? How do we control photosynthetic bacteria which can breakdown massive amounts of CO2? Given what you have written here, 500ppm would not be nearly enough if an ice age were to occur, so are you sure about that number?
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  8. #7 Re: What is the optimum amount of carbon dioxide? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox

    There probably isn't such a thing because it depends on what you want.
    That's what I suspected. So any policy would benefit some and not others.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    There are bracket though if we want a planet that offers the range of habitats that exist today. Much below 150 ppm starts to interfere with plant photosynthesis. Much over 1000 ppm is probably enough to eliminate arctic climate zones. And as MarnixR states any change means a lot of problems for us and the rest of the biosphere--particularly if it's faster than life can adapt by moving or evolving.

    So if we can somehow keep the amount of CO2 constant (even though we don't know for sure how much is optimal), will there be no change? That seems unlikely given that some of the most catastrophic changes occurred prior to the existence of humans. Would the mammals had a chance to evolve into humans if the dinosaurs experienced no change? Clearly change occurred anyway and the poor dinosaurs became history.


    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    I might as well address the disinformation quote: "
    " There has historically been much more CO2 in our atmosphere than exists today. For example, during the Jurassic Period (200 mya), average CO2 concentrations were about 1800 ppm or about 4.7 times higher than today. The highest concentrations of CO2 during all of the Paleozoic Era occurred during the Cambrian Period, nearly 7000 ppm -- about 18 times higher than today.

    The Carboniferous Period and the Ordovician Period were the only geological periods during the Paleozoic Era when global temperatures were as low as they are today. To the consternation of global warming proponents, the Late Ordovician Period was also an Ice Age while at the same time CO2 concentrations then were nearly 12 times higher than today-- 4400 ppm. According to greenhouse theory, Earth should have been exceedingly hot. Instead, global temperatures were no warmer than today. Clearly, other factors besides atmospheric carbon influence earth temperatures and global warming." First you'll note there is no citation so it's hard to evaluate the credibility of the author. But regardless of that it has several problems including:

    1) It implied the false dichotomy that either Co2 effects climate or it doesn't at all. No serious climatologist considers Co2 the only source of climate change--not one. Many things cause climate change, including Co2, and some of them interact with each other.
    So then the optimum amount of CO2 would depend on other factors. So how can we be sure that a reduction in CO2 would be the best course? Perhaps an increase in CO2 would be more appropriate if we enter an ice age. It would help prevent "change," that thing we find so abhorrent.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    2) It implies that you can compare the earth and sun of 450 million years ago with the earth of today. The reality is if you took the planet of the ape time ship to back then and remained in orbit you wouldn't even recognize the place--the Sun is dimmer and has slightly different color and the "earth" would only have one continent directly over the South Pole.
    Things have obviously changed a lot since then! How is that possible without the nasty human industrialization? LOL!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    3) The last problem is it implies that the higher Co2 is somehow inconsistent with an icy landmass and surrounding coastlines that were producing the fossils we have today.
    I got the impression that it implies that higher CO2 is consistent with an icy landmass. The point was, I believe, the opposite assertion: that higher CO2 is inconsistent with warming. The bottom line: you can have lots of CO2 and a cold climate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    This too is largely false. Global Circulation models even fifteen years ago were being applied to that ancient system of the dim sun, huge Southern Polar Continent, and high Co2, and low-and-behold were able to reproduce that ice covered mega land mass-a strong indication there's no inconsistency between that high Co2 and lots of ice.
    So you then agree that high CO2 does not necessarily lead to warming.
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  9. #8 Re: What is the optimum amount of carbon dioxide? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by williampinn
    For the Earth's atmosphere, what is the optimum amount of carbon dioxide? Also, what is the optimum mean temperature for the planet Earth?
    This would probably be more productive if you'd defined what you meant by "optimum," before you started responding to serious answers with broad dismissive comments about mass extinction being ok, comparing changes to extremely uncommon catastrophes etc, that pretty much made it a pointless discussion.

    Most of us would define optimum as minimally disruptive to life on the planet.

    Anyhow to answer your last question, although Co2 isn't the only driver of climate--the other factors (e.g. continental drift, orbital tilt and eccentricity, abrupt changes to solar irradiance, super volcano eruptions) are either unlikely, or don't appear capable of changing the climate as rapid as doubling (or more) the concentration of Co2 over the next four or five decades.
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  10. #9 Re: What is the optimum amount of carbon dioxide? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox

    This would probably be more productive if you'd defined what you meant by "optimum,"
    You can use the standard Webster definition if you like. The point of this exercise is to find out what YOU think is optimum for CO2 and the global mean temperature.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    "before you started responding to serious answers with broad dismissive comments about mass extinction being ok"
    Never said mass extinction is ok. Can we at least agree that mass extinctions have occurred prior to human industrialization?



    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    , comparing changes to extremely uncommon catastrophes etc, that pretty much made it a pointless discussion.
    Well thank you! Your comment inadvertedly makes the following point: that changes and catastrophes don't have to go hand in hand. Therefore we should not assume that just because the climate changes, it must lead to catastrophy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    Most of us would define optimum as minimally disruptive to life on the planet.
    So then what number would you use for the mean Earth temperature, for instanse?
    How would that number or range of numbers prevent several volcanoes erupting in the South Pacific? How would it prevent the catastrophic changes that can occur in the absense of human industry?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    Anyhow to answer your last question, although Co2 isn't the only driver of climate--the other factors (e.g. continental drift, orbital tilt and eccentricity, abrupt changes to solar irradiance, super volcano eruptions) are either unlikely, or don't appear capable of changing the climate as rapid as doubling (or more) the concentration of Co2 over the next four or five decades.
    Gee that's funny you should say that, because one volcanic eruption puts more CO2 in the atmosphere in a single day than 50 years of human industry. You will note that the mean temperature drops about .5 degrees C within a year. Whereas human activity takes about 50 times that long to achieve that change. There are around 3000 active volcanos in the Pacific alone. Imagine if several were to erupt within a short time span? Can you say ice age? How about nuclear winter? How about mass extinctions? Obviously whatever killed the Dinosaurs was a very abrubt and rapid change in the climate. It might have been an asteroid, or a series of volcanoes, but it was not human industrialization. If we are accelerating climate change, it is hardly noticable compared to what nature can dish out. People have easily adapted to the last 150 years of alleged global warming. Human induced climate change is analogous to racing a snail. Even if the snail doubles its pace, you can still outrun it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by milum
    ... the Late Ordovician Period was also an Ice Age while at the same time CO2 concentrations then were nearly 12 times higher than today-- 4400 ppm. According to greenhouse theory, Earth should have been exceedingly hot. Instead, global temperatures were no warmer than today. Clearly, other factors besides atmospheric carbon influence earth temperatures and global warming.
    let's not forget that geography plays an important role too - the position of the continents forces the way ocean flows redistribute heat around the planet

    a large land mass over one of the poles with very little influx of heat from lower latitudes is more likely to freeze over, even in times of higher CO2 levels
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    Quote Originally Posted by milum
    ... the Late Ordovician Period was also an Ice Age while at the same time CO2 concentrations then were nearly 12 times higher than today-- 4400 ppm. According to greenhouse theory, Earth should have been exceedingly hot. Instead, global temperatures were no warmer than today. Clearly, other factors besides atmospheric carbon influence earth temperatures and global warming.
    let's not forget that geography plays an important role too - the position of the continents forces the way ocean flows redistribute heat around the planet

    a large land mass over one of the poles with very little influx of heat from lower latitudes is more likely to freeze over, even in times of higher CO2 levels
    That may be, but what part of Earth's history can we point to that shows that higher amounts of CO2 is dangerous to life? What part of Earth's history shows that higher temperatures were harmful to life? In the past 10,000 years we humans have experienced an interglacial warming trend. So far it has been beneficial overall--so why assume that a continued trend is harmful?
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  13. #12 Re: What is the optimum amount of carbon dioxide? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by williampinn
    Gee that's funny you should say that, because one volcanic eruption puts more CO2 in the atmosphere in a single day than 50 years of human industry.
    I find that statement very difficult to believe!
    Even if it were true you appear to be suggesting that all eruptions are of roughly the same strength/intensity.
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    Gee that's funny you should say that, because one volcanic eruption puts more CO2 in the atmosphere in a single day than 50 years of human industry. You will note that the mean temperature drops about .5 degrees C within a year. Whereas human activity takes about 50 times that long to achieve that change.
    We covered this already. Why do you think such as improbable event has anything to do with calculated an "Optimum" level of Co2? Your line of thinking is the equivalent of asking a AC installer what size unit you need for your house, and then when he gives you an answer, you start asking him crazy questions like--"what if the kitchen is burning down?" After he ask what that has to do with anything, you ask: "Can we agree that kitchens catch fire! I know a family who lost their house after a kitchen fire!"

    This is why I asked for your definition of "Optimum." For me, and I think most people, that means accounting for likely variations in things that could effect the temperature--not extremely unlikely things.


    The situation about the Ordovician Period are just a red herring--the earth was different in ways that don't appear possible in the short term--(ie. configuration of continents and 5% lower solar radiance). In addition, given the same general circulation models can replicate the general characteristics of that very different earth&sun, and todays climate --adds confidence that the models are sound.
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    Great Green Smokestack! You get up to take a leak then come back and find your computer filled with quirks and funky errors!

    Firstly, williampinn; when you ask a loose question like " What is your favorite color?" or "What atmospheric concentration of CO2 do you think best?" you can't then turn and explode volcanos to make your point.

    And as for you, Lynx_Fox; when I paste a statement from "a man from West Virginia" you should respectfully ask for supporting evidence rather than shrieking "CITE!".
    We here, are not writing scientific papers. We are only chatting about scientific stuff.

    And Moderator MarnixR; with you I have no complaint so I'll just add that your comments are too brief but they are briefly appreciated.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Carbon Dioxide is Good for the Environment
    - by John Carlisle


    Carbon dioxide is good for the environment.
    That simple fact must be restated to counter environmentalists' baseless allegations that the accumulation of man-made carbon dioxide, produced by cars, power plants and other human activities, is causing dangerous global warming.

    Indeed, far from being a poisonous gas that will wreak havoc on the planet's ecosystem, carbon dioxide is arguably the Earth's best friend in that trees, wheat, peanuts, flowers, cotton and numerous other plants significantly benefit from increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

    Dr. Craig Idso of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, one of the nation's leading carbon dioxide research centers, examined records of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations and air temperature over the last 250,000 years. There were three dramatic episodes of global warming that occurred at the end of the last three ice ages. Interestingly, temperatures started to rise during those warming periods well before the atmospheric carbon dioxide started to increase. In fact, the carbon dioxide levels did not begin to rise until 400 to 1,000 years after the planet began to warm. Concludes Dr. Idso, "Clearly, there is no way that these real-world observations can be construed to even hint at the possibility that a significant increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide will necessarily lead to any global warming."1

    On the other hand, scientists have lots of evidence demonstrating that increased carbon dioxide levels leads to healthier plants. A team of scientists in Nevada conducted a five-year experiment in which they grew one group of ponderosa pine trees at the current carbon dioxide atmospheric level of about 360 parts per million (ppm) and another group of pines at 700 ppm. The doubled carbon dioxide level increased tree height by 43 percent and diameter by 24 percent. Similarly, a team of scientists from Virginia Tech University reported that growing loblolly pine trees in a greenhouse with a carbon dioxide concentration of 700 ppm increased average tree height 9 percent, diameter by 7 percent, needle biomass by 16 percent and root biomass by 33 percent.2

    Increased atmospheric carbon dioxide doesn't just make a plant bigger. Carbon dioxide also makes plants more resistant to extreme weather conditions. In a study discussed in the journal Plant Ecology, a team of scientists subjected the Mojave Desert evergreen shrub to three different concentrations of carbon dioxide - the current level of 360 ppm and at 550 ppm and 700 ppm. The plants, which were being grown in simulated drought conditions, responded more favorably in the carbon dioxide-rich environments. Photosynthetic activity doubled in the 550 ppm environment and tripled at 700 ppm. Increased photosynthetic activity enables plants to withstand drought better.3

    Likewise, a team of biologists grew seedlings of three yucca plants in cooler greenhouse environments at the 360 ppm and 700 ppm concentrations. The yucca plants exposed to the enhanced carbon dioxide concentration showed a greater resistance to the colder temperatures. Dr. Robert Balling, a climatologist at Arizona State University, notes that by making plants healthier and more resistant to extreme weather conditions, higher levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide expands the habitat of many plants, improves rangeland in semi-arid areas and enhances agricultural productivity in arid areas.4

    Another benefit of enhanced atmospheric carbon dioxide is that it helps the tropical rainforests. Scientists from Venezuela and the United Kingdom grew several species of tropical trees and other plants in greenhouse conditions at carbon dioxide concentrations double the current level. The plants responded favorably, showing an increase in photosynthetic activity. The scientists concluded that, "In a future atmosphere with a higher carbon dioxide concentration, these species should be able to show a higher productivity than today."5

    Another team of British and New Zealand researchers grew tropical trees for 119 days at elevated levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide. They found that the enriched carbon dioxide environment stimulated the trees' root growth by 23 percent. Expanded root systems help tropical trees by increasing their ability to absorb water and nutrients.6

    Bigger trees, increased resistance to bad weather, improved agricultural productivity and a boon to rainforests are just some of the many benefits that carbon dioxide bestows on the environment. With little evidence that carbon dioxide triggers dangerous global warming but lots of evidence showing how carbon dioxide helps the environment, environmentalists should be extolling the virtues of this benign greenhouse gas.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Footnotes:
    1 Dr. Craig Idso, "CO2 and Temperature: The Great Geophysical Waltz," Editorial Review, Vol. 2, No. 7, April 1, 1999.

    2 Dr. Robert Balling, "Pine v. Weeds," World Climate Report, Vol. 6, No. 7, December 26, 2000.

    3 Dr. Robert Balling, "Evergreener," World Climate Report, Vol. 6, No. 6, December 12, 2000.

    4 Dr. Robert Balling, "CO2 as Antifreeze," World Climate Report, Vol. 6, No. 4, November 6, 2000.

    5 Dr. Robert Balling, "CO2 Packs Tropical Punch," World Climate Report, Vol. 6, No. 5, November 20, 2000.

    6 Ibid.
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  16. #15 Re: What is the optimum amount of carbon dioxide? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halliday
    Quote Originally Posted by williampinn
    Gee that's funny you should say that, because one volcanic eruption puts more CO2 in the atmosphere in a single day than 50 years of human industry.
    I find that statement impossible to believe!
    Even if it were true you appear to be suggesting that all eruptions are of roughly the same strength/intensity.
    Either that or someone is suggesting that human industrialization is the same strength and intensity. In any case the amount of carbon dioxide humans produce seems like a lot but it is a pittance compared to what volcanoes can produce. In the 1980's it was predicted by climate models that the northeast United States would have a tropical climate within a decade. Obviously that never happened. It is the climate models you should find hard to believe, not the emprirical evidence of volcanoes erupting and mass extinctions that have resulted in the past--before there were any "evil" humans polluting the planet.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    We covered this already. Why do you think such as improbable event has anything to do with calculated an "Optimum" level of Co2?
    First, volcanic eruptions are not improbable. Try Googling the history of volcanic eruptions. I have personally experienced the effects of two eruptions in my short life. Secondly, it is not clear what the optimum level of CO2 is, since other factors (volcanoes included) can turn any estimate on its ear. The point is any estimate of optimum CO2 will not guarantee a utopian climate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    Your line of thinking is the equivalent of asking a AC installer what size unit you need for your house, and then when he gives you an answer, you start asking him crazy questions like--"what if the kitchen is burning down?" After he ask what that has to do with anything, you ask: "Can we agree that kitchens catch fire! I know a family who lost their house after a kitchen fire!"
    Your analogy here is poor. A better analogy is an AC installer that predicts your house will burn down if you don't pay him bucko bucks to install a system that allegedly is optimal. You then point out that your house could burn down anyway even if his optimal system is installed.
    [quote="Lynx_Fox"]

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    This is why I asked for your definition of "Optimum." For me, and I think most people, that means accounting for likely variations in things that could effect the temperature--not extremely unlikely things.
    I am curious. What do you think are likely variations? Factoring in only these variations, what successful preditions have been made? Let me make an educated guess here: zero.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    The situation about the Ordovician Period are just a red herring--the earth was different in ways that don't appear possible in the short term--(ie. configuration of continents and 5% lower solar radiance). In addition, given the same general circulation models can replicate the general characteristics of that very different earth&sun, and todays climate --adds confidence that the models are sound.
    It doesn't add any confidence that the models are sound. Hindsight is always 20/20. For example, I can put together a model that correlates beautifully with past stock prices, but it will totally suck when I try to use it to predict future stock prices. The stock market confounds any prediction model because it is ever changing. It does not remain static in any predictable way. The same is true with long-term climate predictions. The butterfly effect screws them up. If your model is off by an inperceptable amount, your prediction will be way off. You see, the more time you allow, the greater the probability that some improbable event (by your estimate) will happen that will ruin your model's prediction. So what have your "sound" models predicted successfully other than the past? Let me guess: nada zip!
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    Quote Originally Posted by milum
    Great Green Smokestack! You get up to take a leak then come back and find your computer filled with quirks and funky errors!

    Firstly, williampinn; when you ask a loose question like " What is your favorite color?" or "What atmospheric concentration of CO2 do you think best?" you can't then turn and explode volcanos to make your point.
    I am sorry if you are having trouble understanding my point, but the good news is I have no trouble following yours.
    Quote Originally Posted by milum
    And as for you, Lynx_Fox; when I paste a statement from "a man from West Virginia" you should respectfully ask for supporting evidence rather than shrieking "CITE!".
    We here, are not writing scientific papers. We are only chatting about scientific stuff.
    Well I am glad you cleared that up for us. Although I am pretty sure that we already knew we were just chatting.


    Quote Originally Posted by milum
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Carbon Dioxide is Good for the Environment
    - by John Carlisle


    Carbon dioxide is good for the environment.
    That simple fact must be restated to counter environmentalists' baseless allegations that the accumulation of man-made carbon dioxide, produced by cars, power plants and other human activities, is causing dangerous global warming.

    Indeed, far from being a poisonous gas that will wreak havoc on the planet's ecosystem, carbon dioxide is arguably the Earth's best friend in that trees, wheat, peanuts, flowers, cotton and numerous other plants significantly benefit from increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

    Dr. Craig Idso of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, one of the nation's leading carbon dioxide research centers, examined records of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations and air temperature over the last 250,000 years. There were three dramatic episodes of global warming that occurred at the end of the last three ice ages. Interestingly, temperatures started to rise during those warming periods well before the atmospheric carbon dioxide started to increase. In fact, the carbon dioxide levels did not begin to rise until 400 to 1,000 years after the planet began to warm. Concludes Dr. Idso, "Clearly, there is no way that these real-world observations can be construed to even hint at the possibility that a significant increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide will necessarily lead to any global warming."1

    On the other hand, scientists have lots of evidence demonstrating that increased carbon dioxide levels leads to healthier plants. A team of scientists in Nevada conducted a five-year experiment in which they grew one group of ponderosa pine trees at the current carbon dioxide atmospheric level of about 360 parts per million (ppm) and another group of pines at 700 ppm. The doubled carbon dioxide level increased tree height by 43 percent and diameter by 24 percent. Similarly, a team of scientists from Virginia Tech University reported that growing loblolly pine trees in a greenhouse with a carbon dioxide concentration of 700 ppm increased average tree height 9 percent, diameter by 7 percent, needle biomass by 16 percent and root biomass by 33 percent.2

    Increased atmospheric carbon dioxide doesn't just make a plant bigger. Carbon dioxide also makes plants more resistant to extreme weather conditions. In a study discussed in the journal Plant Ecology, a team of scientists subjected the Mojave Desert evergreen shrub to three different concentrations of carbon dioxide - the current level of 360 ppm and at 550 ppm and 700 ppm. The plants, which were being grown in simulated drought conditions, responded more favorably in the carbon dioxide-rich environments. Photosynthetic activity doubled in the 550 ppm environment and tripled at 700 ppm. Increased photosynthetic activity enables plants to withstand drought better.3

    Likewise, a team of biologists grew seedlings of three yucca plants in cooler greenhouse environments at the 360 ppm and 700 ppm concentrations. The yucca plants exposed to the enhanced carbon dioxide concentration showed a greater resistance to the colder temperatures. Dr. Robert Balling, a climatologist at Arizona State University, notes that by making plants healthier and more resistant to extreme weather conditions, higher levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide expands the habitat of many plants, improves rangeland in semi-arid areas and enhances agricultural productivity in arid areas.4

    Another benefit of enhanced atmospheric carbon dioxide is that it helps the tropical rainforests. Scientists from Venezuela and the United Kingdom grew several species of tropical trees and other plants in greenhouse conditions at carbon dioxide concentrations double the current level. The plants responded favorably, showing an increase in photosynthetic activity. The scientists concluded that, "In a future atmosphere with a higher carbon dioxide concentration, these species should be able to show a higher productivity than today."5

    Another team of British and New Zealand researchers grew tropical trees for 119 days at elevated levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide. They found that the enriched carbon dioxide environment stimulated the trees' root growth by 23 percent. Expanded root systems help tropical trees by increasing their ability to absorb water and nutrients.6

    Bigger trees, increased resistance to bad weather, improved agricultural productivity and a boon to rainforests are just some of the many benefits that carbon dioxide bestows on the environment. With little evidence that carbon dioxide triggers dangerous global warming but lots of evidence showing how carbon dioxide helps the environment, environmentalists should be extolling the virtues of this benign greenhouse gas.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Footnotes:
    1 Dr. Craig Idso, "CO2 and Temperature: The Great Geophysical Waltz," Editorial Review, Vol. 2, No. 7, April 1, 1999.

    2 Dr. Robert Balling, "Pine v. Weeds," World Climate Report, Vol. 6, No. 7, December 26, 2000.

    3 Dr. Robert Balling, "Evergreener," World Climate Report, Vol. 6, No. 6, December 12, 2000.

    4 Dr. Robert Balling, "CO2 as Antifreeze," World Climate Report, Vol. 6, No. 4, November 6, 2000.

    5 Dr. Robert Balling, "CO2 Packs Tropical Punch," World Climate Report, Vol. 6, No. 5, November 20, 2000.

    6 Ibid.
    Well that's a neat paper...er chat you posted there. Your previous answer to my question was around 500 ppm. Are you now increasing your estimate to 700ppm? Why stop there? Why not increase it to 2000 ppm? I like really big watermelons in the summer time!
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  19. #18  
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    Quote Originally Posted by williampinn
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    We covered this already. Why do you think such as improbable event has anything to do with calculated an "Optimum" level of Co2?
    First, volcanic eruptions are not improbable. Try Googling the history of volcanic eruptions. I have personally experienced the effects of two eruptions in my short life. Secondly, it is not clear what the optimum level of CO2 is, since other factors (volcanoes included) can turn any estimate on its ear.
    Unless you're thousands of years old, you've never experienced a volcano which effected global temperature for more than a few years--far shorter period than what we'd consider climate change of the type we're talking about. The largest recent volcano which noticeable changed the temperature was Pinatubo resulting in about two year global effect. Even the 1815 Tambora eruption, which was the largest blast in something like 10,000 years, the global temperatures had recovered in less than four years --a few years compared to thousands of years from increased Co2 forcing. Not acting to prevent a likely unpleasant event because of there's a remote chance of of something even larger that happens less often than every ten thousand years is pretty silly--but that seems to be the cornerstone of your argument.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    This is why I asked for your definition of "Optimum." For me, and I think most people, that means accounting for likely variations in things that could effect the temperature--not extremely unlikely things.
    I am curious. What do you think are likely variations?
    Based on what we understand, the sun's radiance isn't likely to change by more than a small fraction of a percent associated with the solar cycle, the continents won't drift, the eccentricity of the earth's orbit nor tilt isn't going to change significantly. Essentially, other than man-made effects, there's little reason to think we're heading towards a dramatic change in climate over the next century.

    Do you good Sir, actually have anything in mind that actually has a long term effect and is likely to happen--and do you have any science to back up your supposition? Or was your use of the term "Optimum" in your opening post just meant to troll rather than engage in serious conversation?

    --
    And as for you, Lynx_Fox; when I paste a statement from "a man from West Virginia" you should respectfully ask for supporting evidence rather than shrieking "CITE!". We here, are not writing scientific papers. We are only chatting about scientific stuff.
    A basic tenet of any rational argument is a source of information is available so its credibility can be assessed. Even in an informal science forum that's not an unreasonable request, especially since it was in quotes. A "man from West Virginia" sounds more like the start of an limerick than something to put a lot of credence into.
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    Quote Originally Posted by williampinn
    ... one volcanic eruption puts more CO2 in the atmosphere in a single day than 50 years of human industry
    I don't know of any volcano past, present or imagined that can release over 100 billion tons of CO2 in a single day - especially when you consider that all volcanoes combined are estimated to release considerably less than 250 million tons annually.

    Could you tell me where you got the "more CO2 in the atmosphere in a single day than 50 years of human industry" figure?
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    Yes, Zwirko, that figure does seem excessive.

    Bye the bye, where did you get your figure...

    "all volcanoes combined are estimated to release considerably less than 250 million tons annually."

    It seems considerably low and considerably inflexible for high varibles like volcano eruptions.
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    He should probably have posted it but I'll put it up:
    http://volcano.oregonstate.edu/education/gases/man.html
    That article list three references, and fortunately both nature and EOS are readily available if you care to visit a library.


    Gerlach, T.M., 1991, Present-day CO2 emissions from volcanoes: Transactions of the American Geophysical Union (EOS), v. 72, p. 249, and 254-255.

    Gerlach, T.M., 1991, Etna's Greenhouse Pump: Nature, 351, p. 352-353.

    Gerlach, T.M., 1990, Natural Sources of Greenhouse gases: CO2 emissions from volcanoes. Geothermal Resources Council Transactions, vol. 14, part I, pp. 639-641,

    The idea that volcanoes overwhelm 50 years of human industry is completely unsubstantiated. Below I put up the growth of Co2 over the past 50 years and you can't even detect the volcanoes at all. We're less certain about the far more powerful super volcanoes which come along every 100,000 years or so, but even there we don't see any huge spikes in the 800,000 year record of Co2 which comes anywhere close to what man's put into the atmosphere in the later half of the 20th century.

    Anyhow lets pick out the volcanoes:
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    Unless you're thousands of years old, you've never experienced a volcano which effected global temperature for more than a few years--far shorter period than what we'd consider climate change of the type we're talking about.
    So you now concede that volcanic eruptions are not improbable. Good! I assume the kind of climate change you are talking about is man-made CO2 emissions as opposed to volcanic CO2 emissions or the oceans' CO2 emissions. If volcanic CO2 has only a temporary impact on global temperatures, I would assume that the man-made stuff would also have only a temporary impact. Is man-made CO2 more evil than that which nature provides in vast quantities? (A rhetorical question.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    The largest recent volcano which noticeable changed the temperature was Pinatubo resulting in about two year global effect. Even the 1815 Tambora eruption, which was the largest blast in something like 10,000 years, the global temperatures had recovered in less than four years --a few years compared to thousands of years from increased Co2 forcing. Not acting to prevent a likely unpleasant event because of there's a remote chance of of something even larger that happens less often than every ten thousand years is pretty silly--but that seems to be the cornerstone of your argument.
    Well at least I noticed the effects of Pinatubo. I never notice the effects of man-made CO2. Assuming man-made CO2 is as as plentiful, one would notice the effects as easily as the effects of a volcano. Bottom line: we don't need computer models to tell us that Pinatubo impacted the climate. We do need models to tell us about the so-called impacts of man-made CO2--because it isn't obvious at all!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    Quote Originally Posted by williampinn
    I am curious. What do you think are likely variations?
    Based on what we understand, the sun's radiance isn't likely to change by more than a small fraction of a percent associated with the solar cycle, the continents won't drift, the eccentricity of the earth's orbit nor tilt isn't going to change significantly. Essentially, other than man-made effects, there's little reason to think we're heading towards a dramatic change in climate over the next century.

    Do you good Sir, actually have anything in mind that actually has a long term effect and is likely to happen--and do you have any science to back up your supposition? Or was your use of the term "Optimum" in your opening post just meant to troll rather than engage in serious conversation?
    Here is an article that might help you out. I am assuming you are truly interested in serious conversation, since you implied I was trolling. LOL! Surely you realize that any kid on the playground can resort to namecalling. Read the article then get back to me if you are serious.

    "University at Buffalo scientists working with ice cores have solved a mystery surrounding sunspots and their effect on climate that has puzzled scientists since they began studying the phenomenon.
    The research, published in a paper in the May 15 issue of Geophysical Research Letters, provides striking evidence that sunspots -- blemishes on the sun's surface indicating strong solar activity -- do influence global climate change, but that explosive volcanic eruptions on Earth can completely reverse those influences.
    It is the first time that volcanic eruptions have been identified as the atmospheric event responsible for the sudden and baffling reversals that scientists have seen in correlations between sunspots and climate."

    http://www.unisci.com/stories/20022/0613022.htm


    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    A basic tenet of any rational argument is a source of information is available so its credibility can be assessed. Even in an informal science forum that's not an unreasonable request, especially since it was in quotes. A "man from West Virginia" sounds more like the start of an limerick than something to put a lot of credence into.
    And if all else fails, accuse him of trolling. LOL!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwirko
    Quote Originally Posted by williampinn
    ... one volcanic eruption puts more CO2 in the atmosphere in a single day than 50 years of human industry
    I don't know of any volcano past, present or imagined that can release over 100 billion tons of CO2 in a single day - especially when you consider that all volcanoes combined are estimated to release considerably less than 250 million tons annually.

    Could you tell me where you got the "more CO2 in the atmosphere in a single day than 50 years of human industry" figure?
    Let's assume arguendo that YOUR numbers are correct. Why does the release of 250 million tons of CO2 impact the climate more noticably than the release of over 100 billion tons? When Mt. St. Helens erupted, the impact was noticed around the world. But man-made CO2's impact, if any, is so unnoticable, people have to resort to computer modeling to convince anyone there is an impact. Do you see the problem yet?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    He should probably have posted it but I'll put it up:
    http://volcano.oregonstate.edu/education/gases/man.html
    That article list three references, and fortunately both nature and EOS are readily available if you care to visit a library.


    Gerlach, T.M., 1991, Present-day CO2 emissions from volcanoes: Transactions of the American Geophysical Union (EOS), v. 72, p. 249, and 254-255.

    Gerlach, T.M., 1991, Etna's Greenhouse Pump: Nature, 351, p. 352-353.

    Gerlach, T.M., 1990, Natural Sources of Greenhouse gases: CO2 emissions from volcanoes. Geothermal Resources Council Transactions, vol. 14, part I, pp. 639-641,

    The idea that volcanoes overwhelm 50 years of human industry is completely unsubstantiated. Below I put up the growth of Co2 over the past 50 years and you can't even detect the volcanoes at all. We're less certain about the far more powerful super volcanoes which come along every 100,000 years or so, but even there we don't see any huge spikes in the 800,000 year record of Co2 which comes anywhere close to what man's put into the atmosphere in the later half of the 20th century.

    Anyhow lets pick out the volcanoes:

    "Present-day carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from subaerial and submarine volcanoes are uncertain at the present time. Gerlach (1991) estimated a total global release of 3-4 x 10E12 mol/yr from volcanoes. While this is a conservative estimate, man-made (anthropogenic) CO2 emissions overwhelm this estimate by at least 150 times."

    LOL! What a dumb article! They are uncertain about how much CO2 is released by volcanoes, but "hey...we know in our heart of hearts that Mankind releases 150 times that (!) much." Did I miss something or did somebody forget to mention where the 150-times figure came from? I would venture to guess someone pulled that estimate from a very dark place where the sun does not shine.

    Nice chart, by the way. I hope who ever made it didn't go to too much trouble. They could have put a little irregular variance in it to make it look more realistic.
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    The issue William is your refusal to define what Optimum means to you. You asked the question in the opening post, than confront several serious attempts to answer your question with continued refusal to define the question and extreme examples that really have nothing to do with defining optimums. This makes it pretty clear you really don't think there is any such thing as a optimum--that's fine but means the original question was meant to bait people and spark controversy rather than engage in serious discussion--most call that trolling.

    Your attempt to change the subject won't work. Perhaps next time you'll at least go through the motions of a self-fact check before you discuss volcano gas emissions. You'd get more respect if you simple admitted you were wrong, misunderstood something you read, or were just a bit too gullible (that volcano disinformation has been around many years). It's ok to be wrong, I certainly am from time to time, and have admitted as much on these boards before. Most of us are ignorant about just about everything anyhow--(thanks to modern science--LOL).

    The intellectually honest try not to let the strength of their convictions exceed their relative knowledge about a subject and are willing to learn--I think that should be the cornerstone of a good science forum.

    I didn't accuse Milum of trolling, and haven't seen any obvious examples. I simply asked him to provide a reference when they are obviously available (like the long quote that was put up) so people can read the source, assess the credibility and context for themselves.
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    Quote Originally Posted by williampinn
    Why does the release of 250 million tons of CO2 impact the climate more noticably than the release of over 100 billion tons? When Mt. St. Helens erupted, the impact was noticed around the world.
    It didn't. The release of sulfur, dust and other matter reduced the surface insolation. I think you already know that--or should.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    The issue William is your refusal to define what Optimum means to you.
    Why would that be an issue? If I had an answer to my own question, then I wouldn't need to ask.


    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    You asked the question in the opening post, than confront several serious attempts to answer your question with continued refusal to define the question and extreme examples that really have nothing to do with defining optimums.
    What part of the question do you not understand? I think you gave your answer. All I did was encourage you to think about that answer. Is your answer really the optimum? If you could somehow maintain that optimum, do you honestly believe the climate won't change? Sorry if I made you think. I know it's painful. LOL!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    This makes it pretty clear you really don't think there is any such thing as a optimum--that's fine but means the original question was meant to bait people and spark controversy rather than engage in serious discussion--most call that trolling.
    Well I think the truth is your answer was unsatisfactory. Rather than face the fact that someone in this world could question your infinite wisdom, it does your ego good to assume I am trolling. Surely someone your age does not still believe in trolls. Do you believe in Santa Claus?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    Your attempt to change the subject won't work.
    Your attempt to delude yourself and others won't work. I never changed the subject.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    Perhaps next time you'll at least go through the motions of a self-fact check before you discuss volcano gas emissions. You'd get more respect if you simple admitted you were wrong or misunderstood something you read.
    What am I wrong about? What are you right about? You did give us a chart, but it looks kind of phony. It lacks any irregular variance one would expect to see when looking at scatterplot data.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    It's ok to be wrong, I certainly am from time to time, and have admitted as much on these boards before.
    LOL! This I have to see! Link please!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    Most of us are ignorant about just about everything anyhow--(thanks to modern science--LOL).
    Well I know next to nothing, but at least I know I know next to nothing. The biggest idiots think they are smarter than the rest of us...just because.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    The intellectually honest try not to let the strength of their convictions exceed their relative knowledge about a subject and are willing to learn--I think that should be the cornerstone of a good science forum.
    What have you learned?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    I didn't accuse Milum of trolling, and haven't seen any obvious examples. I simply asked him to provide a reference when they are obviously available (like the long quote that was put up) so people can read the source, assess the credibility and context for themselves.
    Why not? Shouldn't you at least be consistent with your trolling accusation? Frankly I think the term is over-used. "Hey, I don't like your opinions either, so you're a troll, OK?" You can't see how childish that is? That's baby talk, bud.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    Quote Originally Posted by williampinn
    Why does the release of 250 million tons of CO2 impact the climate more noticably than the release of over 100 billion tons? When Mt. St. Helens erupted, the impact was noticed around the world.
    It didn't. The release of sulfur, dust and other matter reduced the surface insolation. I think you already know that--or should.
    It didn't? What didn't do what? Be specific. Are you trying to communicate that sulfer and dust made the impact of the eruption unnoticable? But gosh it made all the papers!
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