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Re: Climate Change - Yes or No

PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:44 am
by MichaelB
I'm sure the debate will rage on as to the "if" and "why" in this thread.

However, Tracker and Peter have introduced some new points - assuming climate change is real and we do wish to do something in an attempt to address it, what should be done and why isn't it happening at the pace we are led to believe it needs to occur at?

As this warrants a topic of its own, I've started one here:


Re: Climate change - what to do?

PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 12:38 pm
by davidh
Tracker wrote:
The other claim that Lord Monckton made (if I recall correctly}, was that much of the ocean warming is likely coming from Geo-Thermal sources.. Even the latest dramatic (Chile ) earthquake would suggest that more is happening than just in the atmosphere. I think he also questioned the Chicken-And-Egg situation with Temperature and CO2. I think there was a suggestion that higher temperatures (from other reasons) was causing liberation of CO2, but then the contra claim, that Increased CO2 levels, promoted growth and hence CO2 capturing.. BUT - If the Malayans and South Americans are burning their forests faster than the rest of us can let nature heal, then we are surely doomed anyway !

Thank you Tracker.

Understanding where CO2 in the atmosphere is coming from (and why we should do something) requires understanding the difference between changes in the levels of carbon 12 and carbon 13 isotopes. Iā€™m sure that Christopher Monckton understands this, which is why he concedes that humans are adding carbon to the atmosphere, as measured by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). What he neglects to add is that the NOAA records are based on comparing carbon12 from fossil fuel sources, to carbon13 from other natural sources. This is tracked by comparing the changes in levels of these carbon isotopes in the atmosphere.

To quote from Tim Flannery:
ā€œ 12C and 13C can be used as temperature tracers that explain ocean circulation. Plants find it easier to use the lighter isotopes (12C) when they convert sunlight and carbon dioxide into food, thus large blooms of plankton (free-floating organisms) draw large amounts of 12C into the oceans. If those oceans are stratified layers of warm water near the top, and colder water deeper down) the water cannot circulate, thus when the plankton dies it sinks and carries 12C with them, making the surface layers relatively rich in 13C. (Flannery, 2005)ā€

To explain: what this means is that there is much more 13C in our atmosphere than in fossil fuels. The amount of dilution of 13C in our atmosphere gives us a measure of how much 12C we are adding from fossil fuel sources, and that increase cannot be explained by other sources.

It is also the case that CO2 and heat are added from volcanic activity, but that is an ongoing baseline, and changes in that baseline cannot explain the current rapid increase in dilution of 13C, even taking into account the feedback from warming of the oceans.

The feedback mechanisms that increase both CO2 and CH4 are inevitable, but never before in climate change records has fossil fuel produced CO2 increase preceded warming, as at present, which means that we are in for a lot more feedback CO2 in the near future, which will further add to warming.

And, yes, it would help to improve carbon sink if we stopped the destruction of forests in various locations on the planet, but the measurements and modelling says that this is minor in comparison to the addition of 12C by fossil fuel use (although 18.2% contribution to increased CO2 from deforestation is still very important, of course).

Cheers, David

Re: Climate Change - Yes or No

PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 5:40 pm
by Gordon-Loomberah

Re: Climate Change - Yes or No

PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 5:28 am
by Joey
Dr Peter Stott, head of climate monitoring and attribution at the Met Office, said "greenhouse gases are the glaringly obvious explanation" for the 1F (0.56C) rise in average global temperatures over the past 50 years.

So they have records over a 150 year period used for this study , yet they can only claim a minuscule 1F (0.56C) rise in global temperatures over the past 50 years ! they conveniently left out their findings for the other 100 years that the evidence was derived from.

Hardly proof of global warming , but I guess they were funded to investigate global warming and report their findings , the part where the temperature was obviously cooling ( obvious my it's emission in the report ) for the other 100 years will do nothing for their future grants /funding applications .

So glaringly obvious it is greenhouse gases that there is no mention of how they come to this startling conclusion!

Re: Climate Change - Yes or No

PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:24 am
by davidh
Hi Joey,

Hope you are well. How are your solar panels performing? I reckon that's a pretty good system you have there.

First, .56 degree C may seem small, but at a global average level, that is a massive difference.

The evidence from the last 100 years actually shows warming also, but I think they chose the last 50 years because when compared to the previous average rate of increase per decade, there has been an acceleration in the warming in the last 50 years. While climate change always happens, and will always happen, it's the rate of change at present that is concerning scientists. There is no precedence in the climate palaeontology record going back millions of years for such a high rate of increase in warming, and the only reasonable explanation appears to be changes in levels of troposheric gases such as methane, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and several artificially produced gases which also have a heat capturing effect. The artificial gases have also never been present in the atmosphere prior to modern industrial chemistry. Some of these gases, such as sulphur hexafluoride, have green house potentials that are 20,000 times greater than CO2, so it's not just CO2 we should be concerned about.

And ... there is something else that always seems to get forgotten in this debate ... acidification of the oceans due to increased CO2 levels. Carbonic acid is having a devastating effect on marine life, but we've all got our eyes shut to this part. Regardless of global warming, we should be jumping up and down to stop acidification of oceans - forget the rest.

A friend of mine recently likened how humans behave in the face of mounting evidence about climate change as similar to how the crew of the Titanic behaved when they were warned several hours before they hit the ice-berg of large numbers of ice-bergs ahead. We all know how that piece of history ended. In the Titanic's case they had left their binoculars behind in the rush to prepare the ship for the voyage ... we have ours, and we have been warned. I guess it just depends on whether or not we are all prepared to listen and work together.

Anyway, keep well.

Cheers, David

Re: Climate Change - Yes or No

PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:36 am
by Gordon-Loomberah

Re: Climate Change - Yes or No

PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2010 11:25 am
by relaxedcamper
The Victorian Fires Commission ended on Saturday. It was suggested that 2-3 times the amount of burring off of bush land had to occur to make Victoria communities safe. How much extra pollution will this produce, and is it a case of making us safer now with consequences later?

Re: Climate Change - Yes or No

PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2010 8:27 pm
by bpratt
relaxedcamper wrote:The Victorian Fires Commission ended on Saturday. It was suggested that 2-3 times the amount of burring off of bush land had to occur to make Victoria communities safe. How much extra pollution will this produce, and is it a case of making us safer now with consequences later?

In nature there are irregular burn offs happening all the time.... only since people started building houses out in nature is when we started to kick up a stink about the enviroment, and how come regular burn offs stopped occurring.

Now that nature has bitten back, controlled burn offs will start to happen again.

Re: Climate Change - Yes or No

PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 1:04 pm
by zzsstt
Any particular study will always demonstrate quite clearly what the author of the study wishes to show. This is the nature of what we now call "science". It does not matter whether it is in the field of climatology or anything else, the study will prove what the author wants to prove, and this will normally be whatever the author stand to profit from. Does anybody really believe that caffeine (yes, the stuff in coffee) is a painkiller? And yet it is now being marketed as a "second painkilling ingredient" in headache pills, based on the results of a "study". Is it not far more likely that since the legal changes removing "codeine" from supermarket headche pills, the companies simply needed something that sounded similar (caffeine - codeine) to maintain their sales? No! Of course it's genuine, it was proven in a "study". Another recent study had demonstrated that worms emit vast amounts of greenhouse gases and are bad for the environment - though the only company to have run with these results sells (perhaps unsurprisingly) a wormless composting system!

This, of course, makes it very hard to decide what is real and what is not. In the field of climate change, the situation is no different. At present a large number of people make their livings directly or indirectly from climate change and/or the fear derived from it. It is not in their interests to question the validity of it!

The arguments for and against climate change all rely on extracting tiny bits of data from the overall picture, and using them as 'incontrovertible proof". The reality, I believe, is that we have absolutely proved that the climate is changing, but also that is has always been changing. We have also proved that mans activities have added CO2 to the atmosphere. We have not yet proven, however, that the two facts are related as cause and effect, merely that both are true. Of course it is possible to create an experiment, or a computer simulation, that will confirm or deny the relationship depending on the wishes of those funding the "science".

Given this situation, and having spent a great deal of time investigating the various claims and studies only to conclude that their is enough bulldust, lies, doubt, uncertainty and dodgy "science" behind both sides of the argument that no clear answer can be reached, I have decided upon a different approach. As a private individual, I have access only to the information that is published for me to see. I have no doubt that both sides of the argument have far more information that for various reasons they do not wish to publish, usually the reason being that it doesn't support their story! However their own actions, I believe, are more telling about their true motives than what they are saying, so I will use those actions by which to judge both their motives and the validity of their claims.

As a result, I can safely ignore the claims of anybody warning me about climate change and then attempting to sell me a product to fix it, unless that product be both genuinely effective and priced to make only minimal profit. As such products are very rare, this does not bode well for the "climate change" camp.

I will ignore the claims of any group using climate change as a lever to forward another agenda. It is hardly surprising that the oil companies don't agree with climate change being manmade. It is equally obvious that vegetarians will wish to promote their cause by "proving" that cattle are bad for the environment (thankfully the authors of that particular "study" have now admitted that their work was largely a fabrication!). Equally the fact that the "Green Party" sees the problem and believes it to be best addressed by social and economic policies reminiscent of extreme socialism comes as no surprise when their leaders backgrounds are apparently largely communist.

I would assume that the governments of the world have as much information as I, and presumably more. Therefore I think it would be fair to suggest that if they believed the problem to be real, they would be doing something about it. In fact it would seem that worldwide very little is actually being done. In Australia the only actions have been those designed to win votes rather than alleviate the problems. Locking up land, creating national parks, buying water licenses, these are all items that impress people with no knowledge of the situation, but do very little of any actual use. Carbon trading is nothing more than another profit stream for the financial institutions. Wind farms have been shown to be a very poor investment, making money for the developers and doing very little good. PV systems are perhaps the one constructive step that has been taken, though clearly the NSW FIT was a last ditch attempt to salvage popularity and a fair few people have made an enormous profit from selling the systems. Overall, it is clear that the governments of the world do not think that climate change is enough of a threat to take even the most obvious actions, unless the actions in question generate revenue or votes. If the Australian government believe it is OK for me to spend $50 on a large terracota pot that has been shipped all the way from Vietnam, who am I to argue? If it was a problem, they could very easily have addressed it and all such unnecessary (and clearly ridiculous) imports.

Don't get me wrong, the "anti" brigade are just as bad. Both Al Gore and Lord Monckton live very well from the proceeds of their work, and the air miles racked up by the popstars and activists on both sides must be huge.

Overall I will continue as I am. A changing climate is inevitable, but I do not believe we have proven whether it is manmade or not. In any case, I do not think that our extravagent consumption is either a requirement nor in any way wise, but my attempts to improve my own impact or lack of it will be thoroughly researched and based on what is real, rather than hype.

Re: Climate Change - Yes or No

PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 2:07 pm
by davidh
Granted there are always probabilities involved in science, but you appear to be confusing probability with uncertainty.

Cheers, David