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Thread: A question for AGW skeptics Cobra and Cypress

  1. #1 A question for AGW skeptics Cobra and Cypress 
    Gus
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    I am observing the debate on global warming at the moment and as a layman you can imagine the debate can get quite confusing ! I would like to ask you two a couple of questions to clarify things - I hope this doesnt seem forward.

    I would like to ask you :

    1. By what mechanisms does Carbon dioxide effect the climate ?

    2. What is the evidence that temperature and CO2 levels rise at the same time ? I would like to know all the different sources of this evidence so I can judge for myself. Where does all this evidence come from exactly and how reliable is it ?

    3. Why would governments be promoting AGW as a serious threat if it is not ? Some people say governments are funding climate research that advocates AGW deliberately - do you agree with this and if sdo what are their motives ?

    I would ask those who are advocates of anthropogenic global warming to please wait until Cobra and Cypress have answered before giving any counter arguments. Obviously you have your own answers to these questions but I would like to see their side of the argument clearly befor ethe debate ensues - I hope this OK.


     

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  3. #2 Re: A question for AGW skeptics Cobra and Cypress 
    Forum Professor Wild Cobra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gus
    I am observing the debate on global warming at the moment and as a layman you can imagine the debate can get quite confusing ! I would like to ask you two a couple of questions to clarify things - I hope this doesnt seem forward.

    I would like to ask you :

    1. By what mechanisms does Carbon dioxide effect the climate ?
    It has a minimal chemical effect. Probably insignificant to such a discussion. It is, no doubt, a greenhouse gas. What is in disagreement, is how much of effect it really has on the greenhouse effect.

    As for the mechanism, it absorbs infared energy at specific frequencies, turning it into heat.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gus
    2. What is the evidence that temperature and CO2 levels rise at the same time ? I would like to know all the different sources of this evidence so I can judge for myself. Where does all this evidence come from exactly and how reliable is it ?
    There is allot of information out there. Various ice core samples have CO2 and proxy isotopes trapped as a record dating back something like 420,000 years. As for the same time? I think most scientists agree that most historical data shows CO2 levels lagging temperature. then those advocating AGW say that in the last few hundred years, temperature lags CO2. I don't buy their arguments.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gus
    3. Why would governments be promoting AGW as a serious threat if it is not ? Some people say governments are funding climate research that advocates AGW deliberately - do you agree with this and if sdo what are their motives ?
    Yes, the government provides grants for such research.

    Politicians love power. What better way to control us little people than to control what energy we can and cannot use?
    Quote Originally Posted by Gus
    I would ask those who are advocates of anthropogenic global warming to please wait until Cobra and Cypress have answered before giving any counter arguments. Obviously you have your own answers to these questions but I would like to see their side of the argument clearly befor ethe debate ensues - I hope this OK.
    I have in no way given you a complete answer. Unless they say something new that I haven't responded to already, I might not post again in this thread. I'm simply tired of being told I am wrong by others responding with links I have already shown why are wrong. We just keep going in circles, and they will claim the same thing that I am wrong.

    What's the point?

    If you haven't already, one interesting place to go is here.


     

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    Tbh I havn't read anything about this, however my personal theory (please don't be offended) is that it has vastly different effect depending on the amount of CO2. With the ongoing onslaught of rainforest and rampart CO2 emmission, we'r havn't seen nothing yet, it's only the beginning ~1% we have seen thus far.
     

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    I geneeraly agree with much of what WC says but for completeness will also answer the questions in my own words.


    Quote Originally Posted by Gus
    I am observing the debate on global warming at the moment and as a layman you can imagine the debate can get quite confusing ! I would like to ask you two a couple of questions to clarify things - I hope this doesnt seem forward.

    I would like to ask you :

    1. By what mechanisms does Carbon dioxide effect the climate ?
    CO2 is a greenhouse gas that elevates surface temperature by suppressing radiative heat losses into space. For low concentration the theoretical effect increases quickly but the incremental effect decays rapidly above 300 ppm so that by 500-700 ppm incremental effects are likely small. In the atmosphere, complex interaction with other components make it difficult to quantify the net effect for modest changes in concentration.

    2. What is the evidence that temperature and CO2 levels rise at the same time ? I would like to know all the different sources of this evidence so I can judge for myself. Where does all this evidence come from exactly and how reliable is it ?
    Historical proxy data from ice cores indicate that climate changes drive changes in atmospheric CO2. Nearly all sources of proxy data agree on this point. The evidence generally indicates that after a peak, surface temperatures decline while CO2 concentration continues to rise for many more years.

    Global temperatures declined from a warm period between 900 and 1200 into the little Ice age beginning in the 1300's and C02 dropped in the 1500's. Then temperatures began recovering beginning in 1650's and CO2 concentrations began increasing following the temperature rise in 1750. Temperatures rose and peaked in the 1930-1945 then fell a bit and peaked again in 2002 while CO2 continues to rise. Human activity seems to have accelerated and elevated CO2 in the lower lattitudes by 60 -80 ppm over what might otherwise been observed.

    3. Why would governments be promoting AGW as a serious threat if it is not ?
    Because those promoting policy in the governments believe it is a serious threat. I think they are mistaken. I believe that many are predisposed to these beliefs.

    Some people say governments are funding climate research that advocates AGW deliberately - do you agree with this and if sdo what are their motives ?
    I am quite sure that some researchers are driven by funding and that drive attenuates bias to some extent. If policy makers are anxious to fund research that supports their strong beliefs, that should not be surprising.

    The motive for policy makers is that they have strong conviction about AGW and have a desire to demonstrate that their conviction in correct. Being correct of course is the primary goal. They have little interest in funding research that might contradict their conviction.
     

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    I don't know mate; the consequencs of what you say being correct seems to be a protracted economic headache, whereas the consequences of you being wrong are what?

    Short of enrolling the entire population in night-classes how are we supposed to judge? By severity of consequences seems to be the most sensible way, and if we're being reamed by corruption in science or some liberal agenda then heads should comprehensively roll; but after the fact. There seems little else to do for now except trust, however naive that may seem to you.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by gus
    1. By what mechanisms does Carbon dioxide effect the climate ?

    2. What is the evidence that temperature and CO2 levels rise at the same time ?
    If you are scoring, Gus, notice that so far neither WC or Cypress have even attempted to give you the actual arguments and evidence being used by the people warning of the likely consequences of our current CO2 boosting.
     

  8. #7  
    Gus
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    Ok thanks guys I will respond in short. However I now some questions for the AGW crowd and likewise I would appreciate it if the skeptics could let them speak their piece before any debate begins.

    My questions are :

    1. Whereas there may be no doubt that CO2 traps infrared radiation and has risen and fallen in the past with temperature - what evidence is there that CO2 capable of producing significant warming from past records.
    For example the ice cores show CO2 rising with temperature and falling in Tandem - what is the evidence that CO2 was a significant driver of the temperature change and not just a side effect ?
    I know that CO2 lags slightly (this is easy to understand - temperature rises for whatever reason > CO2 is released from oceans etc > CO2 traps more heat > more CO2 is rteleased ad infinitum)
    - however what is the actually the evidence that this feedback system occurs and is a significant driver ?

    To put things more clearly we explain the relationship between CO2 and temperature in the ice core graphs as :

    warming world due to natural variation (solar, Earths wobble etc) > more CO2 released > CO2 traps significantly more heat > more CO2 released > CO2 eventually sequestered > world cools .

    How do we know its not in fact :

    Warming world due to natural variation > more CO2 released > CO2 traps only insignificant heat > world cools due to natural variation > less CO2 produced

    ?


    2. Are there any labs experiments which indicate clearly exactly how much solar radiation CO2 can trap ?


    3. What is the evidence (please cite sources) that current warming is anthropogenic not from natural sources ?
    For example sosme cite solar activity (a vague term), sunspots etc as being responsible for current warming. The response is that it cannot be alone responible for the current rate of warming. What are the actual facts of recent solar activity and can you show that it is not alone responsible for current warming ?
     

  9. #8  
    Geo
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    All of your queries have been thrashed in previous threads.
     

  10. #9  
    Gus
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geo
    All of your queries have been thrashed in previous threads.
    Hi Geo - I do aplogise of if this is the case - I have spent some time reading on this issue and could not find clear answers to these questions (im not saying there arent any) - possibly because there is so much petty squabbling and attempts to derail threads to wade through that it is impossible to see the arguments clearly . If you have the patience to answer any of the questions it would be greatly appreciated - especially the bit highlighted in blue.
    Hopefully this thread can be a bit more civilised !
     

  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gus
    Ok thanks guys I will respond in short. However I now some questions for the AGW crowd and likewise I would appreciate it if the skeptics could let them speak their piece before any debate begins.

    My questions are :

    1. Whereas there may be no doubt that CO2 traps infrared radiation and has risen and fallen in the past with temperature - what evidence is there that CO2 capable of producing significant warming from past records.
    For example the ice cores show CO2 rising with temperature and falling in Tandem - what is the evidence that CO2 was a significant driver of the temperature change and not just a side effect ?
    I know that CO2 lags slightly (this is easy to understand - temperature rises for whatever reason > CO2 is released from oceans etc > CO2 traps more heat > more CO2 is rteleased ad infinitum)
    - however what is the actually the evidence that this feedback system occurs and is a significant driver ?

    To put things more clearly we explain the relationship between CO2 and temperature in the ice core graphs as :

    warming world due to natural variation (solar, Earths wobble etc) > more CO2 released > CO2 traps significantly more heat > more CO2 released > CO2 eventually sequestered > world cools .

    How do we know its not in fact :

    Warming world due to natural variation > more CO2 released > CO2 traps only insignificant heat > world cools due to natural variation > less CO2 produced

    ?


    2. Are there any labs experiments which indicate clearly exactly how much solar radiation CO2 can trap ?


    3. What is the evidence (please cite sources) that current warming is anthropogenic not from natural sources ?
    For example sosme cite solar activity (a vague term), sunspots etc as being responsible for current warming. The response is that it cannot be alone responible for the current rate of warming. What are the actual facts of recent solar activity and can you show that it is not alone responsible for current warming ?
    Cheers Gus,

    here are some points for your consideration. They may not be direct answers to your questions but do relate.

    1 and 3. Carbon dioxide clearly does not arise simply from natural sources. the amount and relative abundance of CO2 that is in the atmosphere resulting from fossil fuel use for example, can be calculated by the isotopic composition of the carbon. See as one example: http://www.biogeosciences-discuss.ne...2005-print.pdf


    1. CO2 as a driver .... Obviously CO2 and climate are related to one another and no one disputes this. Many scientists would describe each as participating in a feedback loop, as you outline. I do not know of any scientists that claim that CO2 drives climate and that climate does not drive CO2. Indeed, scientists seem unequivocal that even eliminating all CO2 emissions today would not stop warming for some time. Skeptics seem to want to remove CO2 as a participant in the feedback loop altogether. This is nonsense. For one review of the current thinking from a scientific perspective of the role on CO2 as a driver of climate, I would direct you to the following link from Nature:

    http://www.uvm.edu/~bbeckage/Teachin...ature.2002.pdf



    2. Radiative forcing: I do not personally know how such a lab experiment could be conducted. Searching on google scholar with the terms 'radiative forcing" and empirical may yield some information.

    There was some interest in climate following the September 11th attacks in the united states, when air travel was eliminated for a several days. In that case, it is suggested that the absence of contrails (water vapour) led to an immediate effect on climate.

    http://facstaff.uww.edu/travisd/pdf/...papermar04.pdf


    In short, it is blindingly obvious that we as a race affect climate in a number of ways, and we are increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels through a raft of behaviours including land use, fossil fuel oxidation, and so forth.
     

  12. #11  
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    The question about laboratory experiments is an interesting one. Angstrom’s original badly flawed experiment led to decades of complacency about increasing CO2 levels. The basic error was in assuming that a 30cm long tube filled with CO2 could simulate the atmosphere. The amount of CO2 in the tube was (inaccurately) estimated to equal the amount of CO2 in an atmospheric column of the same diameter, but the effect of dilution by nitrogen and oxygen was completely overlooked, among other important complications. The experiment led to a belief that the atmosphere was already radiatively saturated with CO2. This belief is in fact nowhere remotely close to the actual case, but some people still use the “saturated atmosphere” as an argument even though it was discredited a hundred years ago.

    This could be taken as an example of how the physics of complex systems can be better represented by theory-based models than by laboratory experiments. The models are continuously improved as more climate data become available. In the case of climate change, the laboratory is in fact the Earth.
     

  13. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunbury
    The question about laboratory experiments is an interesting one. Angstrom’s original badly flawed experiment led to decades of complacency about increasing CO2 levels. The basic error was in assuming that a 30cm long tube filled with CO2 could simulate the atmosphere. The amount of CO2 in the tube was (inaccurately) estimated to equal the amount of CO2 in an atmospheric column of the same diameter, but the effect of dilution by nitrogen and oxygen was completely overlooked, among other important complications. The experiment led to a belief that the atmosphere was already radiatively saturated with CO2. This belief is in fact nowhere remotely close to the actual case, but some people still use the “saturated atmosphere” as an argument even though it was discredited a hundred years ago.

    This could be taken as an example of how the physics of complex systems can be better represented by theory-based models than by laboratory experiments. The models are continuously improved as more climate data become available. In the case of climate change, the laboratory is in fact the Earth.
    Really...

    Can you back that up? My understanding was his results were wrong first, because he used steam as his black body source. Later reduced his calculations because if that. Now a tube of pure CO2 is incorrect as you say, because it doesn't include gasses in their proper mix, and doesn't allow for heat exchange to not-CO2 gas, resulting in too high a reading, not less.
     

  14. #13  
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    Here's the reference:

    Ångström, Knut (1900). "Über die Bedeutung des Wasserdampfes und der Kohlensaüres bei der Absorption der Erdatmosphäre." Annalen der Physik 4(3): 720-32. published online 308(12): 720-32 (2006) [doi: 10.1002/andp.19003081208]
    Here's a summary:

    A few years after Arrhenius published his hypothesis, another scientist in Sweden, Knut Ångström, asked an assistant to measure the passage of infrared radiation through a tube filled with carbon dioxide. The assistant ("Herr J. Koch," otherwise unrecorded in history) put in rather less of the gas in total than would be found in a column of air reaching to the top of the atmosphere. The assistant reported that the amount of radiation that got through the tube scarcely changed when he cut the quantity of gas back by a third. Apparently it took only a trace of the gas to "saturate" the absorption — that is, in the bands of the spectrum where CO2 blocked radiation, it did it so thoroughly that more gas could make little difference.
    ...........
    These measurements and arguments had fatal flaws. Herr Koch had reported to Ångström that the absorption had not been reduced by more than 0.4% when he lowered the pressure, but a modern calculation shows that the absorption would have decreased about 1% — like many a researcher, the assistant was over confident about his degree of precision.(9*) But even if he had seen the1% shift, Ångström would have thought this an insignificant perturbation. He failed to understand that the logic of the experiment was altogether false.
    The greenhouse effect will in fact operate even if the absorption of radiation were totally saturated in the lower atmosphere. The planet's temperature is regulated by the thin upper layers where radiation does escape easily into space. Adding more greenhouse gas there will change the balance. Moreover, even a 1% change in that delicate balance would make a serious difference in the planet’s surface temperature. The logic is rather simple once it is grasped, but it takes a new way of looking at the atmosphere — not as a single slab, like the gas in Koch's tube (or the glass over a greenhouse), but as a set of interacting layers.
    http://www.aip.org/history/climate/co2.htm
     

  15. #14  
    Gus
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    Thanks to you all - I am currently reading through free radicals articles at the moment so will respond properly afterwards.
    I am also suprised that nobody has mentioned CO2's effect on methanogens yet........
     

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    Although it is very clear that we as a race affect the environment, I am not so certain it is clear we can affect climate patterns to any great degree. The continued debate and the surveys indicate there are split views and has to be because it is not clear.

    Having read through the articles offered, the only "evidence" cited to support AGW claims are GCM predictions (climate models). The models of course reflect the opinions of the designers of the simulators. I don't think opinions qualify as evidence.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    The continued debate and the surveys indicate there are split views and has to be because it is not clear.
    Not among people who have been studying this their whole lives, wherein 97% of them accept that the climate is changing and that human activities are the primary driver.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scienti...climate_change
     

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    True enough Inow. Those from your survey seem to be the same writers of the papers that cite simulator output as if computer models are able to generate physical evidence. Nice. I would hope at least they believe what they write.
     

  19. #18  
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    Poison the well, much?
     

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    This tread was designed as an obvious troll so I'm shutting it down.
    Meteorologist/Naturalist & Retired Soldier
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