Climate change - what could happen?

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Re: Climate change - what could happen?

Postby Joey » Fri Mar 12, 2010 3:44 am

Gordon-Loomberah wrote:
Joey wrote:To Quote myself again : I say do nothing because no matter we do it will achieve nothing , unless of course someone can produce evidence that we have ever been able to influence climate , weather , sea levels or the amounts of ice globally.


Ever heard of cloud seeding to change the amount/distribution of rain/snowfall? It's practiced in quite a few countries, including Australia.


Yes have heard of this , the is a man made event created locally not a global influence or change , also worth noting if this was effective there would be no such thing as drought or empty dams ,we would not need to spend billions of dollars building desalination plants either.
If we had the ability to control rain we would also be able to stop or control flooding.

We most certainly have never been able to reverse or prevent a single naturally occurring event in the history of man kind.


Humans have caused much disturbance to natural systems by our destructive ways. Acid rain has killed a lot of forests in Germany, do you think that was not caused by industrial pollution?


This is what I have been saying , we claim the ability to cause all this damage , although it is localized to the effecting area ,it's not a global event.
Please read my statement again , I am not claiming we can't cause destruction , I am saying "We most certainly have never been able to reverse or prevent a single naturally occurring event in the history of man kind.

Destruction of forests and ecosystems caused by industry/agriculture/forestry/introduction of feral animals is well known and documented. Loss of large areas of forests is thought to have changed rainfall patterns in some regions.


Again these events are localized "Some regions", again I am not claiming man hasn't created these things , but I am saying again "We most certainly have never been able to reverse or prevent a single naturally occurring event in the history of man kind"

Are you advocating that we continue business as usual?
IMHO thats a recipe for disaster!


YES , it will make no difference at all , the sum of all our ability and record to date is to adapt to what ever it is people imagine is happening or going to happen.
All we have ever been able to do is react and observe , I can 100% guarantee that if the entire population of the planet gave 100% of their time and energy to whatever it is people believe is needed , several million of them are still going to be wiped out by hurricanes , tornado's , earth quakes , floods , tsunami's etc because like everything else in nature we have no control over it. , but we can react and observe the same as all man kind has ever been able to do.
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Re: Climate change - what could happen?

Postby Gordon-Loomberah » Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:56 am

Joey wrote:We most certainly have never been able to reverse or prevent a single naturally occurring event in the history of man kind.


OK, if you are only talking about globally here, then thats is probably true with the exception of stopping the increase of ozone depletion due to CFC emissions, and that is showing signs of improvement now, but it is a decades long process, so it's maybe too early to say for sure...but remember, other than that I dont think we have actually tried to change anything globally. We sure as hell arent doing anything serious about reducing CO2 emissions at the moment.

several million of them are still going to be wiped out by hurricanes , tornado's , earth quakes , floods , tsunami's etc


There is no doubt about that at all. We could change that to some extent if we could be bothered, but the poor people who suffer most in these events (citizens of "third word" countries, trailer park residents in the US etc) dont feature big on the radar of those with the financial ability to do something about it - better/stronger housing, relocation to non flood zones etc.

In any case, the Earth is overpopulated beyond its sustainable carrying capacity, given our current consumption of resources, and sooner or later the population will come down, by one means or another.

Anyway, its just about time for bed here!
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Re: Climate change - what could happen?

Postby davidh » Fri Mar 12, 2010 8:39 am

Joey wrote:
Are you advocating that we continue business as usual?
IMHO thats a recipe for disaster!


YES , it will make no difference at all , the sum of all our ability and record to date is to adapt to what ever it is people imagine is happening or going to happen.
All we have ever been able to do is react and observe , I can 100% guarantee that if the entire population of the planet gave 100% of their time and energy to whatever it is people believe is needed , several million of them are still going to be wiped out by hurricanes , tornado's , earth quakes , floods , tsunami's etc because like everything else in nature we have no control over it. , but we can react and observe the same as all man kind has ever been able to do.


Hi Joey, always great to hear from you.

You are saying that humans will adapt and survive, no matter what, and it will simply be a matter of survival of the fittest and best prepared. You are also saying that change is inevitable.

Climate change, as a recurring part of earth's history, is inevitable. That is well understood by climate change scientists. Volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, earth quakes, floods & etc are all natural and inevitable, nobody is arguing about that.

Climate paleontology also tells us that there have been significant ice ages and hot periods in the past, and at some time the earth's atmosphere has either been highly toxic to the point that current life forms could not tolerate it, or frozen over its entire surface. No problem with accepting all of that. However, from understanding why these events happened over hundreds of thousands to millions of years ago, we can understant how and why our current climate change is occurring, and we can compare the rate of change now to what has happened previously.

What scares the climate scientists is that feedback events that used to occur after natural global warming events, such as increased CO2 lagging hundreds of years behind global warming (and also sustained warming for longer), are now occurring leading into a global warming event before it has reached its peak, which means that CO2 is going to go up even more as a feedback, and could further force temperature increase in the troposhpere.

What we also know with certainty is that the current increased CO2 is not "natural", in the sense that it would not have occurred so quickly on such a large scale without human interference. We know from making observations in remote locations thousands of kilometers away from the location that particular aerosols were released by industry, that those aerosols have dispersed into the atmosphere around the entire globe, and would not have been there if humans had not put them there. Many of these aerosols are made under such unusual conditions, that nature could not produce them. Some chemicals are made in high pressure stainless steel containers, and other unusual industrialised processes. The problem is, that without unusual industrialised processes to recycle these chemicals, they remain in the atmosphere for thousands of years and are cumulative. Even if one factory only releases a few gigatonnes per year, with many factories over many years this begins to add up, particularly if the substance is something as potent as sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), which is a powerful greenhouse gas. It's not just CO2 we should be worried about.

Which is why we should be slowing it all down.

Cheers, David
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Re: Climate change - what could happen?

Postby Joey » Fri Mar 12, 2010 3:07 pm

Thanks Gordon and as always David ,

You guys pretty much summed up what I have been trying to say and yes I do agree that we contribute to all sorts of pollution and devastation , but I don't believe any more than earth itself has experienced without human influence , We didn't make the earth enhabitable after it being too hot , too cold or too toxic to support life.

Climate change, as a recurring part of earth's history, is inevitable. That is well understood by climate change scientists. Volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, earth quakes, floods & etc are all natural and inevitable, nobody is arguing about that.


Which part in the above and which part are we responsible for is really the entire question and of course which part of the naturally occurring climate change do wish to alter to our benefit without even knowing if it's possible!, but people are trying to convince the world that we can change certain conditions to our benefit when you clearly have never had the ability or understanding to before.

We could put a blanket over Australia so not one milligram of CO2 went into the atmosphere and this still wouldn't reduce the amount of CO2 being released by population growth alone around the world.
It will continue to increase globally and as has always been the case we will observe , react and adapt as best we can.
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Re: Climate change - what could happen?

Postby davidh » Sat Mar 13, 2010 9:10 am

Hi Joey

Joey wrote:
Which part in the above and which part are we responsible for is really the entire question and of course which part of the naturally occurring climate change do wish to alter to our benefit without even knowing if it's possible!



Since this is a forum about "what could happen?" ...

At the risk of being quoted as saying, "I'm not trying to over-emphasise the risks, or blow them out of proportion":

What some scientists are suggesting as an outcome scenario is that if we do not at least slow down human contributions to climate change (remembering that even sceptical conservative policay makers such as Christopher Monckton agree that we are contributing something), we run the greater risk of "runaway" climate change, instead of a tipping point to complete melting of polar ice caps followed by a tipping point back to an ice age.

Obviously runaway climate change is an unlikely (but possible) worst case scenario, but if it occurs, then we end up with a planetary atmosphere somewhat similar to Venus, and completely uninhabitable by existing aerobic oxygen breathing animals and other present day organisms. Yes, even it happens the whole thing might come back to present day conditions ... in a million years or so.

And on that gloomy note, have a good day.

Cheers, David
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Re: Climate change - what could happen?

Postby Red » Sun Jul 11, 2010 3:27 am

We are a water world so you have to think in terms of how water works, its physical properties and it ability to deal with energy in ways other materials / liquids do not.

Once you know that then you need to understand how gases, acids and bases work with water and at certain temps where things begin to change from what is normal.

Then you must understand the Hadley Cell and how it works, what a Low pressure system is and how it works and same to for a high pressure system. You will need to understand phase transition of water / water gas / ice and thermal air mass transfer and what implications that has. (i.e was Feb 7 the result of a high energy / potential cascade of systems in play? hint: Floods in Queensland + Blocking High over the Tasman, what is really happening there and how does that make the weather so nasty and at opposite ends in the same country?)

The other stuff is of less importance i.e easterly trade winds and jet streams though it does have a crucial role for weather and rain outcomes.

Runaway Greenhouse? Unlikely but it could get so bad that life as we know it simply fails, the food chain fails and large swathes of species fall into extinction including us. While a hothouse / sauna on Earth would likely create the most severe weather in history it will also in the most part block sunlight like a blanket. The contradiction is that it is always generally warmer in winter when its raining, not when its sunny so much, what is going on there? What is temperature inversion and what is the tropopause?

The best outcome is we can correct the worst of it. The best we can hope for is that the storms it will bring do not gain so much energy they smash entire cities to bits. The ultimate outcome is that we come through this, all of us without a single scratch and that humans start thinking along the terms of a being custodians of the most unique thing we have and start protecting it for everything we know and have and not because it looks pretty, dramatic or unique.

I can do without toilet paper if I had a bidet...
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Re: Climate change - what could happen?

Postby zzsstt » Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:05 pm

davidh wrote:When large regions of ice melt, it changes the distribution of mass in that region, which lowers gravity in that location, which in turn lowers the ocean level (but of course there is more water overall). There is redistribution of that ice as water mass elsewhere on the planet, which increases ocean level more in the remainder of the ocean, and changes gravity elsewhere.


Question 1:

If ice from glaciers above sea level rises, all that water joins the oceans. Because the area from which the water came was above sea level, changes in it's local gravity presumably have little impact on the sea so does the water distribute evenly across the worlds oceans?

Question 2:

If floating ice melts, it will raise sea levels a small amount because sea water is more dense at 1020kg/m3 than freshwater at 1000kg/m3 and thus floating freshwater ice has a slightly higher volume than the seawater it displaces. However it would seem on first analysis that the overall change of mass (ice displacing its own mass of seawater, rather than it own volume) would be relatively small, because logically if floating ice melts, the net volume change to the oceans is only that caused by the density difference between freshwater ice and seawater, and only that net volume of water moves away from the area. Hence if 1020kg or 1020L of floating ice melts, it creates a net 20L of water (20kg being the additional volume over the 1000L or 1020kg of sea water it displaced). By that calculation, only 2% of the the mass of ice that melts actually leaves the area. If the antarctic ice sheet is declining by 152 km3 (+-60) as some studies have suggested, that means that 3km3 of "mass" is leaving the area. Given that the total ice mass of the antarctic is taken to be about 20million km3, and given that the total mass of all the worlds oceans is stated as being about 1/4400 of the entire planet, does a 0.000015% annual reduction of antarctic ice mass make a significant difference to planetary or local gravity?
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Re: Climate change - what could happen?

Postby Gordon-Loomberah » Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:25 pm

Keep in mind that not all the ice that is melting is floating...
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Re: Climate change - what could happen?

Postby redfrog75 » Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:34 pm

Hey davidh....

Some years ago (2007 I think), on 4 corners, or a show like that, they looked into peak oil.
Of all the people they talked to, and there were about 10 or more from memory, not one of the scientists, thought peak oil was still to happen - they all agreed that maybe just before, or just after 2000, we reached peak oil.
I wasn't so intrested in when peak oil may have happened, but that they all said it had already happened.
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Re: Climate change - what could happen?

Postby zzsstt » Thu Aug 05, 2010 9:46 pm

Gordon-Loomberah wrote:Keep in mind that not all the ice that is melting is floating...


I could easily be wrong, but I thought the last information I read suggested that the land based ice on one side of antarctica was increasing, and it was the other side that was decreasing - the explanation being that it was changes in ocean currents that was melting the sea ice, rather than the direct influence of a warmer surface temperature. Whilst some of that ice mass (again, from memory) is deep enough to make contact with the ocean floor and is therefore not floating per se, it would seem logical that the majority of the ice that is actually melting is doing so from the outside edge, which would seem more likely to be floating. The interior ice would seem unlikely to melt, as it's meltwater would have to either evaporate, or pass through either the ocean floor or the ice surrounding it. So it is my assumption (hey, I've not been there!) that it is the edges that are melting, and the edges are likely to be floating given the way the ice is said to move from the interior (where it is deposited as snow) and the exterior.
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