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General Chat - anything Goes > Is the Earth's atmosphere warming and, if so, why?

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message 1: by B J (new)

B J Burton (bjburton) | 2914 comments The Earth's climate moves naturally through cycles of warming and cooling. The changes take place over hundreds, if not thousands, of years - which means that measurements taken over shorter time scales are unlikely to be totally conclusive.
The real argument is over whether, or not, human activity is having an impact on the changes. If Earth is in a warming period are we hastening the warming? If Earth is in a cooling period are we slowing the cooling?
IMHO the biggest human contribution to global warming is the huge amount of hot air generated by charlatan investigative journalists.


message 2: by Marc (new)

Marc Nash (sulci) | 7481 comments and internet forum posters...


message 3: by Marc (new)

Marc Nash (sulci) | 7481 comments The earth's magnetic core flips polarity every so often, and we are going through one of those presently. It means that at certain times the earth's magnetic field is less protective than we are accustomed to. That affects temperature.


Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments Uh oh.

Will that affect the closure on my kindle cover????


Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments Effect.


message 6: by B J (new)

B J Burton (bjburton) | 2914 comments How long does it take to flip. 'Flip' smacks of being sudden. Will we wake up one morning and find that north has become south? Is this something else I have to worry about?


Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments I'm worried now.


message 8: by B J (new)

B J Burton (bjburton) | 2914 comments I'm worried that all this worrying could have a warming effect.


message 9: by Kath (new)

Kath Middleton | 25062 comments Patti (baconater) wrote: "Effect."

Affect! ;)


message 10: by Kath (new)

Kath Middleton | 25062 comments B J wrote: "How long does it take to flip. 'Flip' smacks of being sudden. Will we wake up one morning and find that north has become south? Is this something else I have to worry about?"

Geomagnetism - lots of theory - no observational date as yet! ;)
It's deduced from the magnetism observed in rocks that it's flipped many times over the earth's lifetime, which is much longer than mine so I'm not going to worry.


message 11: by B J (new)

B J Burton (bjburton) | 2914 comments Phew - I feel cooler already.


message 12: by Marc (new)

Marc Nash (sulci) | 7481 comments B J wrote: "How long does it take to flip. 'Flip' smacks of being sudden. Will we wake up one morning and find that north has become south? Is this something else I have to worry about?"

no it's not sudden, I couldn't think of a better word. maybe 'reverse' would have been less alarmist.

Tricky thing language


Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments Kath wrote: "Patti (baconater) wrote: "Effect."

Affect! ;)"


Hedged my bets. ;)


message 14: by Kath (new)

Kath Middleton | 25062 comments I know you did.
#seewhatshedidthere


message 15: by Jim (new)

Jim | 21884 comments B J wrote: "How long does it take to flip. 'Flip' smacks of being sudden. Will we wake up one morning and find that north has become south? Is this something else I have to worry about?"

checked wiki
This 'flip' apparently takes from 1000 to 10,000 years

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geomagne...


message 16: by R.M.F. (new)

R.M.F. Brown | 4128 comments There's too many cows. All that methane isn't helping.


message 17: by B J (new)

B J Burton (bjburton) | 2914 comments Why do Swiss cows wear bells?

Because their horns don't work.

Just thought I'd raise the intellectual level of the debate. I acknowledge the help of my 5-year-old granddaughter who gave me this information last night.


message 18: by Kath (new)

Kath Middleton | 25062 comments The two protagonists slogging it out on the Morning thread aren't here. Oh, well.


Geoff (G. Robbins) (merda constat variat altitudo) (snibborg) | 9052 comments Marc wrote: "The earth's magnetic core flips polarity every so often, and we are going through one of those presently. It means that at certain times the earth's magnetic field is less protective than we are ac..."

The Earth's magnetic pole has always moved, Marc. It's because the core is a liquid. Here is an interesting link to a site on the discussion:

http://www.geomag.bgs.ac.uk/education...


Geoff (G. Robbins) (merda constat variat altitudo) (snibborg) | 9052 comments Whilst I agree that the Earth is warming, this is due to natural not anthopogenic change.

The key factor that is put forward by anthropogenic global warming advocates is due to the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.

If this hypothesis is true, then there should be a clear correlation between CO2 levels and a rise in global temperatures. However, and this is confirmed by climate experts, the global temperature has stalled for the last 15 years (See IPCC report released in 2014. The report, not the summary!), despite a continuing rise in CO2 levels.


Geoff (G. Robbins) (merda constat variat altitudo) (snibborg) | 9052 comments Kath wrote: "The two protagonists slogging it out on the Morning thread aren't here. Oh, well."

I'm here Kath. Reporting for duty. I hope you've done your homework.


message 22: by Kath (new)

Kath Middleton | 25062 comments Did mine years ago, Geoff. The dog ate my book! ;)


Geoff (G. Robbins) (merda constat variat altitudo) (snibborg) | 9052 comments My last post taken from the Morning thread:

Well done Will, once again you go attacking the person not the issue. Let me open your eyes a little. Whether you care to see the evidence instead of ignoring it is up to you.

"Does it matter what Sir Paul Nurse's specialism is?" You cannot be serious. Remind me the next time you want a major medical procedure, I have a friend who is a highly qualified mechanical engineer who reckons he can fix you without any problems.

You say "And all the people with the "right" specialisms are saying the same thing." You are wrong.

Unfortunately, there is not the consensus that you think. In 2013 the Petition Project proposed the statement

"There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth."

31,487 US scientists have now signed this petition.

The breakdown of specialties is as follows:

1. Atmospheric, environmental, and Earth sciences includes 3,805 scientists trained in specialties directly related to the physical environment of the Earth and the past and current phenomena that affect that environment.

2. Computer and mathematical sciences includes 935 scientists trained in computer and mathematical methods. Since the human-caused global warming hypothesis rests entirely upon mathematical computer projections and not upon experimental observations, these sciences are especially important in evaluating this hypothesis.

3. Physics and aerospace sciences include 5,812 scientists trained in the fundamental physical and molecular properties of gases, liquids, and solids, which are essential to understanding the physical properties of the atmosphere and Earth.

4. Chemistry includes 4,822 scientists trained in the molecular interactions and behaviors of the substances of which the atmosphere and Earth are composed.

5. Biology and agriculture includes 2,965 scientists trained in the functional and environmental requirements of living things on the Earth.

6. Medicine includes 3,046 scientists trained in the functional and environmental requirements of human beings on the Earth.

7. Engineering and general science includes 10,102 scientists trained primarily in the many engineering specialties required to maintain modern civilization and the prosperity required for all human actions, including environmental programs.

Source: http://www.petitionproject.org/

I refer you to the following report that informs you that the head of the Royal Society does not need to get the consent of the members before voicing an opinion. See

http://www.thegwpf.org/images/stories...


Geoff (G. Robbins) (merda constat variat altitudo) (snibborg) | 9052 comments Here is Will's last post, which led to the above reply:

Geoff (G. Robbins) (The noisy passionfruit) wrote: "Will wrote: "Geoff (G. Robbins) (The noisy passionfruit) wrote: "Is he less qualified than sir Paul Nurse who is the president of the Royal Society who is constantly speaking publicly on the subjec..."

You are trying to defend the indefensible. On the one hand we have a respected scientist with decades of experience. On the other hand we have a journalist with zero training and experience and who has a history of drawing incorrect conclusions from minimal data.

Does it matter what Sir Paul Nurse's specialism is? Every single scientist who becomes President of the Royal Society will have a particular specialism. That's how science works.

What his training does give him is an appreciation of the scientific method, the ability to weigh evidence and the skills to understand statistical techniques.

If he was the only person talking about climate change, then you might have a point. We would question what a microbiologist and geneticist would know about the climate. But that's not what is happening here. Sir Paul Nurse is doing what his position requires him to do - reporting the views and conclusions of the people who do have the specialist knowledge.

And all the people with the "right" specialisms are saying the same thing.

Here's the difference. A scientist weighs up all the evidence then comes to a conclusion. A scare-monger decides on his conclusions first and then goes looking for evidence to justify it. And if he finds contradictory evidence he claims that someone made it up. That's how silly conspiracy theories get invented.

Booker is a classic scare-monger, trying to use extremely limited evidence to counter what just about everyone with credibility is saying.


Geoff (G. Robbins) (merda constat variat altitudo) (snibborg) | 9052 comments Here is the link to the IPCC reports. Unfortunately, there has been a great deal of controversy regarding this document, as many scientists have commented, as requested upon it, but none have been added that questioned the science.

The summary was written by politicians for politicians and is therefore worthless. It also contradicts the science in the report. Tragically, the politicians only ever read the summary, hence their ignorance.

http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_d...

And yes, I have.


message 26: by B J (new)

B J Burton (bjburton) | 2914 comments I was a bit baffled for a moment there, Geoff. Let me see if I understand the situation.
Unlike Booker, you agree that we are in a phase of global warming. You are far from convinced that mankind is having any impact on global warming as temperature measurements may suggest that there has been no significant rise over the last 15 years, a period when measurements also suggest that the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere has risen sharply.


Geoff (G. Robbins) (merda constat variat altitudo) (snibborg) | 9052 comments You've missed out a major word there, BJ. That word is significant. The temperature has risen, but at such a low level that there has been only a slight rise in the last 15 years. That level is so low that it would have no effect on climate change. Furthermore, it destroys the link between CO2 and global warming. If you look through the IPCC report, that is confirmed.

There are some wild, panic driven theories being bandied about, including the deep ocean absorbing heat. Something, if like me, you took a degree that included physics will know, destroys the law of thermodynamics.

Finally, if you look through Booker's work, you will see that he does accept a rise in global temperatures, however he does not consider it anthropogenic. See here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth...


message 28: by Pete (new)

Pete Carter (petecarter) | 637 comments Why are we all so worried about 'global warming'? Life is but bacteria temporarily growing on the cooling skin of a lump of galactic debris. The Earth owes us nothing, in fact being inorganic it doesn't even know we're here. We are merely flourishing in a few galactic microseconds of temperate climate. The Earth, on a wobbly and fluctuating orbit around its heat source, never exhibits a stable temperature, when measured over millennia. So why should we be worried now that we are 'technical' enough to measure slight changes? Ah, yes - the dreaded CO2, the stuff that makes plant life flourish. Can't have that, can we?

Ridiculously high levels of CO2 are toxic to humans, but then so is dihydrogen oxide if you try and breathe it. Moderately high levels of CO2 has been shown to slow cognitive processes, so, IF, and I repeat IF, man-made CO2 is having any significant long term effect upon the Earth's atmosphere, then the salvation will come at the point when levels are so high that Man becomes too stupid to create more of it.

We can't begin to micromanage an entire planet, (hell, we can't even manage ourselves) so mankind's best hope it to find some way to leave it and go pollute someplace else. That, I believe is an genetic survival trait that expresses itself through the media of Science Fiction, until something better comes along.

And when we do go, can we please leave all the theorists behind?


Geoff (G. Robbins) (merda constat variat altitudo) (snibborg) | 9052 comments A very Adams-ish idea, Pete. However, probably not particularly palatable to us creature hanging onto the rock.


message 30: by Pete (new)

Pete Carter (petecarter) | 637 comments Ah, yes - the pan-galactic highway. I forgot. Perhaps that will happen first.


message 31: by Tim (new)

Tim | 9478 comments I think the worry about climate change is directed primarily towards the resulting extremes of weather (as being distinct from climate) - big storms, devastating droughts, flooding from rising sea levels etc.

But mankind is not worried enough to get off its collective arses and fix the perceived problem.

"It's getting cold out" says the scientist, "maybe we should shut the door."
"Meh," says man, "it'll be spring soon. Just chuck another forest on the fire. It's not a real door anyway."

Ultimately the issue of flooding the atmosphere with human-generated CO2 is going to be limited by our ability to produce the stuff. Given that we are repeatedly being told that the earth's supply of oil is rapidly running out and will only last "a few more decades", is the problem going to solve itself because we've run out of oil to burn?

(presumably we won't care too much at that point since we'll be faced with economic meltdown, chaos, possibly extinction-scale wars etc...)


The only way -- imho -- for mankind to survive beyond the next century or so as a technological entity, is to get off this rock. If we stay here, we'll just stew in our own juices until cooked.


message 32: by Jim (new)

Jim | 21884 comments Way back, like when I were a kid, I was given an atlas with an introduction by someone whose name now escapes me.
But I do remember his comment that we were heading for an ice age which was already long overdue.

I can even remember there was a bit of a rash of SF short stories in various sixties anthologies that washed up in our public library about civilisation being crushed by the ice


message 33: by Pete (new)

Pete Carter (petecarter) | 637 comments Geologically the next ice age is overdue. But the Earth doesn't believe in calendars. Our axis is however gradually tilting so that an ice age is inevitable. The frightening thing is they take thousands of years to melt (we haven't fully come out of the last one) but only a hundred years or so to form.

As Tim will tell you, during the last one the peoples of Africa had to burn the Sahara Forest just to keep warm.


message 34: by Pete (new)

Pete Carter (petecarter) | 637 comments I'm not sure 'geologically' is the right word to describe ice ages.


message 35: by Tim (new)

Tim | 9478 comments See, if you'd only shut the bleeding door, we wouldn't have had an ice age (4 movies already!) and we'd still have that nice forest. Still, they keep saying on TV that the Amazon Desert is an area of special scientific interest and maybe it'll rain there before the end of the century...


message 36: by Pete (new)

Pete Carter (petecarter) | 637 comments Tim wrote: "See, if you'd only shut the bleeding door, we wouldn't have had an ice age (4 movies already!) and we'd still have that nice forest. Still, they keep saying on TV that the Amazon Desert is an area of special scientific interest and maybe it'll rain there before the end of the century...."

I do hope not. Personally I find the global dust storms quite exhilarating.


Geoff (G. Robbins) (merda constat variat altitudo) (snibborg) | 9052 comments Another problem that we have is what is being done in the name of green energy.

Because of the Climate Change Act, by 2030 we are unlikely to have any gas appliances in our homes, which includes boilers. The electricity being produced by nuclear will be horrendously expensive. There will be no coal fire stations left and the earliest the nukes will be online will be 2022.

As for wind turbines. In Denmark, which has the highest number of windfarms, their carbon emissions have risen because the windmills have to draw power from the grid to rotate them to prevent siezure. The other problem we have is that there is no storage method for electricity, so we have to pay for the wind farms to not generate electricity.


Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments Yes, it's interesting what one can discover when one delves a bit into the energy costs involved in producing and maintaining the equipment required in the making of so-called green energy.

What did you discover about solar panels, Geoff?


message 39: by Jim (new)

Jim | 21884 comments The problem with wind and solar was obvious here in the cold snap between Christmas and New Year
Not only was there no wind (apparently turbines produced less than 1% of their supposed output nationally) but there was less than eight hours daylight for a lot of us, never mind sunshine


message 40: by Will (new)

Will Once (willonce) | 4053 comments Ah, that's better. We can have the discussion on topic in a thread expressly designed for it.

But where to start? Let's start with the obvious.

There is now almost universal scientific support for the argument that the earth is warming and that man's activities are at least partly to blame. We might dismiss this as a hoax or a conspiracy, except that it has been independently verified by a huge number of experts in different fields, in different countries and funded by different agencies.

The oil and gas companies initially tried to discredit this line of argument, but they have since given up. The evidence is overwhelming.

Set against this we have a relatively small number of people who arguing against climate change. They generally don't have a scientific background, they haven't got much evidence and they don't really know much about the subject.

The so-called "petition" with over 30,000 signatures? Read more about it here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oregon_P...

Christopher Booker? Here's his Wikipedia entry:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christop...

The problem that we all face is that our climate is complicated. The planet doesn't just uniformly heat up. Instead it is a chaotic system where there are many forces interacting against each other - wind, tide, man's activities, solar activities and so on.

This means that the effects of a changing climate aren't linear and predictable. Scientists look at this unpredictability and try to understand it. The armchair experts seize on the unpredictability and try to claim that the science of climate change is somehow wrong.

A case in point - is 2014 the hottest year on record? We are not quite sure. It's awfully close. If it was the hottest, the margin is within the confidence intervals for the monitoring techniques that we use.

To anyone with the slightest understanding of science or statistics, that is not a big deal. It doesn't matter whether 2014 was the warmest year or not. And uncertainty at the margin do not affect the overall conclusion. The earth is heating up. We are partly to blame.

But the armchair experts - desperate for any evidence to support their cause - leap on this question with gusto. How can we trust the experts if they can't tell whether 2014 was the warmest year or not?

Ahem. Climate change is not (yet) a precise science because we are trying to understand a chaotic system. But that isn't proof of anything, other than the fact that our climate is a chaotic system.

When someone is using a non-argument like this it shows how little they understand the issue.


message 41: by David (new)

David Hadley | 4873 comments How to solve global warming?

Simple....

Turn the sun off at night.

Now, on to the next thread.


Geoff (G. Robbins) (merda constat variat altitudo) (snibborg) | 9052 comments Once again, Will, you misrepresent the points very well.

The Wikipedia entry is not peer reviewed in any way. It's quite apparent that you have either not read the FAQ on the petition web site, or have decided to ignore it for effect.

The points are quite clearly made about the temperatures in 2014. The IPCC's own data shows that the temperature taken from weather stations differs from the temperatures tested from satellites. The weather station data has been gathered over the years but the number of stations themselves have shrunk by 50%. There are no weather stations in many of the coldest parts of the planet. Those weather stations that have survived over time are no longer in the same environment that they were. A great number that were in the countryside are now in city areas, as urbanisation has spread. The deliberate use of this spurious statistic was used to hype up the recent Climate Change summit and attempt to sway the opinions of the delegates.

I have put all the information in my postings along with analysed data. In your posting you have not provided any substantive data, relying upon poor attempts at character assassination and dubious wikipedia entries that can be edited by anyone.

Frankly, your whole post is a poor smear, without any substance whatever. Laughable.


Geoff (G. Robbins) (merda constat variat altitudo) (snibborg) | 9052 comments David wrote: "How to solve global warming?

Simple....

Turn the sun off at night.

Now, on to the next thread."


I'm beginning to think the Hadley Centre was named after you, David.

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate-c...


Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments Saving the planet is simple.

We all need to eat more bacon.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/artic...


message 45: by Tim (new)

Tim | 9478 comments Would we still have the hugely expensive (more than double the gas-sourced wholesale price) "green" electricity if all these unprofitable windfarms were not so heavily subsidised?


message 46: by David (new)

David Hadley | 4873 comments Geoff (G. Robbins) (The noisy passionfruit) wrote: "I'm beginning to think the Hadley Centre was named after you, David."

Ssshh.

It's supposed to be a secret.


Geoff (G. Robbins) (merda constat variat altitudo) (snibborg) | 9052 comments Tim wrote: "Would we still have the hugely expensive (more than double the gas-sourced wholesale price) "green" electricity if all these unprofitable windfarms were not so heavily subsidised?"

Unfortunately no,Tim. It is so bad that some of the companies who are in the wind farm business are putting up turbines deliberately where the is insufficient wind as they will never be used for generation. They are not interested in the generation only the subsidy.


message 48: by Anita (new)

Anita | 3758 comments You see if you had asked my hubby he would have told you that it's warming up because I have the heating blaring out and insist on leaving the back door wide open, you didn't need all this expensive research after all !


message 49: by Simon (Highwayman) (last edited Jan 28, 2015 05:21AM) (new)

Simon (Highwayman) (highwayman) | 4698 comments So perhaps we should just get on and do what we like. If we over populate and polute we will eventually kill the host or at least make it unsuited for us as parasites. We will die out and the earth willtrecover and start again. Maybe this isn't the first time anyway.

Who remembers Eric von Danikenhttp://www.amazon.co.uk/Chariots-of-t...


message 50: by Geoff (G. Robbins) (merda constat variat altitudo) (last edited Jan 28, 2015 05:43AM) (new)

Geoff (G. Robbins) (merda constat variat altitudo) (snibborg) | 9052 comments Patti (baconater) wrote: "Yes, it's interesting what one can discover when one delves a bit into the energy costs involved in producing and maintaining the equipment required in the making of so-called green energy.

What did you discover about solar panels, Geoff?
"


I have to confess that after doing a great deal of research we have got 4Kw of solar panels on our roofs. Great for us, not great for green energy. Let me explain.

The problem is that solar panels, as the name implies, only supplies electricity during the day. As I have mentioned elsewhere in this discussion, we currently have few ways of storing that energy. The only way currently is to use hydroelectric dams. What you thought they generated electricity? Nope, when there is surplus electricity, it is used to pump water from the bottom to the top of the dam. When electricity is required the sluices are opened and the water passes through a turbine generating power. Isn't kinetic energy wonderful? Unfortunately, there is too few locations to site this type of dam.

I digress. As a result of solar panels, electricity is being generated when it is least needed. We get a significant incentive to have solar panels, otherwise they would not be economical. We get a payment for the amount of electricity the panels should generate and a payment for half the electricity we actually generate (This latter is chosen because the electricity companies only measure how much electricity they sell us. They have no way of measuring how much electricity we export to them.). As a result we wait for our panels to reach peak output and turn on the washing machine, do the ironing, etc., etc.

As a result of this we reckon that we made over £500 last year in savings and payments. The panels cost £5000 and last 25-30 years. The subsidy was for 20 years and is index linked. If you work out the payment as interest we are making considerably more than we would get in any UK bank (Try Russia if you want better, but you better have strong nerves.). Of course, we paid cash for these panels, so if you are thinking of taking out a loan for panels, don't forget to factor in the interest on the loan.

Does that answer your question, Patti?


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