Environment/Nature

Eastern seaboard of the United States to be much hotter

If you’ve been following the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) global heating releases, you know that there has been a lot of criticism by most scientists involved that the national governments are going out of their way to tone down the group’s conclusions so they don’t sound so dire and so the governments can justify doing the absolute minimum (in some cases that means nothing, nada, zip) to forestall global heating.

Now we have a new NASA commissioned study of the effects of global heating on the eastern United States (reported by The Seattle Post-Intelligencer) saying that says that average temperatures in the east are probably going to be 10 degrees hotter by 2085.

Why? Because the models used by other climate estimates overestimated the amount of rain that would cool the average temperatures down. Anyone ready for an average high of 102 in Jacksonville?

This is why I call it “global heating” instead of “global warming.”

19 replies »

  1. Factual problem – the oceans are not emitting C02. If the oceans were emitting CO2 due to thermal heating, the amount of atmospheric oxygen would also be going up due to fact that dissolved O would also be coming out of the water – and it’s not. In addition, the carbon content of the ocean has increased over the last 200 years, indicating that the oceans are in fact, as expected, functioning as a carbon sink, not a source. (check out the links below for the source)

    Humans are the source of the problem, and here’s why. Carbon comes in several different atomic weights, or isotopes, namely C12, C13, and C14 (I left of the official superscripts for readability). Living beings, especially trees, preferentially metabolize C12 instead of C13 or C14 because it takes a miniscule amount less energy to metabolize C12 than C13, so there is a difference in the ratio of C13/C12 in the bodies of trees than there is in general. Specifically, CO2 produced by the burning of forests, or of forest-derived fossil fuels, have a lower C13/C12 ratio than inorganically occuring CO2.

    According to tree ring records, the C13/C12 record is the lowest is has been in 10,000 years, and just as the CO2 levels start rising dramatically, the C13/C12 ratio starts taking a nose-dive. And according to gas extracted from glacial ice cores, the decrese in the ratio since 1850 has been approximately .15%, or 5x the natural variability since the last ice age.

    In addition, coral records show the same minimal variation in C13/C12 ratio until the start of the 1800s, when it also starts dropping significantly.

    Sources:
    RealClimate.org discussion 1 and comments
    RealClimate.org discussion 2 and comments
    EnvironmentalChemistry.com, the source of the ocean debunking above.

  2. Thanks for being civil – that’s much more than I generally get when discussing global warming.

    I’ve read the articles you linked to and I appreciate the additional information. I still have some unanswered questions:

    1. If man is increasing CO2 levels, what happened between 1940 and 1975 when there was disastrous global cooling? Why doesn’t that match man made CO2 output but it does match sun spot activity?

    2. I thought man-made CO2 amounts were minuscule compared to leaves decaying, volcanoes erupting, cows flatulating, and oceans emitting and absorbing CO2. I thought it was orders of magnitude less. Is this not true? – http://www.goglobalwarmingawareness2007.com/globalwarming-is-not-due-to-manmade-carbon-dioxide.html That covers some of the points in “The Global Warming Swindle”, which, I’ve been told, has some inaccuracies in it but the overall arguments in it are what I’m talking about.

    3. “By quantity, there is much more water vapor than carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Water vapor varies from a trace in extremely cold and dry air to about 4% in extremely warm and humid air. The average amount of water vapor in the atmosphere averaged for all locations is between 2 and 3%. Carbon dioxide levels are near 0.04%.” – http://www.theweatherprediction.com/habyhints/155 So that’s over 60 times as much water vapor than CO2 in the air – aren’t we looking at something relatively insignificant here especially since the human part of that 0.04% would be even less than 0.04%.

    Again, thanks for the civility.

  3. Ok – that one showed up – I had to log out as rcronk and post as a guest, just typing in rcronk as a guest – I’ll summarize my last two attempts at posting:

    Thanks for your civility. I read the articles you linked to – thanks for the additional information. I still have some questions:

    1. What about the global cooling between 1940 and 1975 that didn’t track CO2 levels at all but did track sun spot activity?

    2. Water vapor is 2%-3% of the atmosphere while all CO2 is 0.04% (man made CO2 is a small fraction of that 0.04%) so we’re talking about orders of magnitude of insignificance when talking about man made CO2. Why are we saying that it’s such a huge factor when it apparently isn’t when compared to water vapor and non-man made CO2? – http://www.goglobalwarmingawareness2007.com/globalwarming-is-not-due-to-manmade-carbon-dioxide.html

  4. rcronk- sorry it took me so long to get back to this, but RL does interfere with my posting ability from time to time.

    Cooling from 1940-1975 is widely understood to have been caused by aerosols (ie pollution) from unregulated industry and transportation. In this case, the smog from our burning of fossil fuels offset the heating effects of the CO2. As far as volcanos, they cause cooling, not heating, because of the massive amounts of particulates and sulphur dioxide (SO2) they release into the air. New science shows that leaves decaying tend to emit methane instead of CO2, but the amount is WAY lower than the human-produced methane (and technically cows belching qualifies as human-produced, since cows are domestic animals), although we could see a positive-feedback loop with plant leaves releasing MORE methane as the world heats up, making the heating worse.

    As far as your comment about the water vapor, percentage amount of the atmosphere of CO2 vs H2O doesn’t necessarily mean much. Water vapor in the air varies hugely depending on where you are on the planet, but since it’s a greenhouse gas, more water vapor will probably mean more average global warming. The water cycle is one of the biggest unknowns in every climate model, but there’s not a model out there that doesn’t show more heating no matter what the water effects are – more water just makes the average global heating increase. Note also that methane makes up even less of the atmosphere than CO2 does, but because methane is 20x more effective as a greenhouse gas, rising methane levels are also a significant concern (and cows produce methane, not CO2).

    Remember that we’re talking changes from what was pretty much a steady-state atmospheric composition. So the small changes in overall CO2 in the atmosphere doesn’t matter so much as the magnitude of the increase in CO2, what its source is, and what it’s effects are. When analyzing the data from an experiment, you correlate what changed as an input and compare that to what changed as an output. The amount of CO2 increases as an input and the temperature of the planet increased.

    Sources:
    Main source, with lots of links to data
    Scientific American article
    National Geographic

  5. Sorry for the multiple posts.

    So what percentage of the cooling between 1940 and 1975 was due to aerosols and what percentage was due to decreased sun spot activity? What started the aerosol use in 1940 and stopped it in 1975? Isn’t it a strange coincidence that sun spot activity tracked aerosol use?

    Ok, even if humans were causing all of the CO2 output (which they aren’t, but for argument’s sake…) it’s still 0.04% of the atmosphere whild water vapor is 2-3%. You say that the percentage of these two greenhouse gasses doesn’t matter. Please explain the amount of effect 2-3% water vapor has on warming/cooling compared to 0.04% CO2. What are the effectiveness ratios of water vapor and CO2? (you said methane was 20x as effective as CO2, for example)

    You seem to be ignoring the sun’s input into this system in your comments. Please state how much effect the sun’s activity has on this system compared to CO2. I need to see the evidence behind your assertions, or the lack of assertion in the case of sun activity.

    Thanks.

  6. As far as the cooling part of this goes, check out this paper. It goes into detail about how solar heating is part of the equation, but how it alone can’t explain what we’re seeing at present.

    Whereas we estimate that greenhouse warming is likely to have caused more warming than observed during 1950

  7. Thanks for the link to that paper. They admit that solar influence has not been included enough in estimates and models and that solar influenced the first half of the 1900’s but that the second half was a different story. From the solar data I’ve seen (which includes the graphs in the above linked paper) I’m still convinced that it’s solar influences that is mainly driving climate change – aerosols in the graphs in those papers actually went down during the 1940-1975 cooling. Of all of the things graphed, only solar activity matched global temperatures. The solar activity flattened out a bit at the end though. Do you think the CO2 that has gone up because of the warming is in a feedback loop of sorts? There are also graphs of how global temperature is actually leveling off and starting back down, which would again match the solar inputs. Interesting stuff.

    The following page contains information from scientists that oppose the mainstream assertions of humans being the main cause of global warming:

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

    It has information and statements from them that talk about how CO2 is a minor greenhouse gas and how solar influences seem to match the climate changes very well and that we’re actually starting to see a cooling trend in response to the leveling off of solar activity. More interesting stuff. One of the many quotes there:

    “Marcel Leroux, former Professor of Climatology, Universit

  8. I’m sorry, but you’ve mis-read the figures. Figure 2 shows (although not clearly or simply) that the “temperature anomaly” tracks the solar irradiance models very well for a while, but the correlation starts tracking the G (greenhouse gases) curve more closely, and it clearly shows that the LBB and HS curves take a downturn after 1992 while the anomaly continues to track with greenhouse gases.

    I read an interesting commentary in my local paper last week on this. It basically said “I’m skeptical of all this global warming stuff because there have been too many instances in the history of science where there was widespread scientific consensus that turned out to be wrong. But even if humans aren’t the cause of it, all the things that we would do as a civilization are still good things to do for our, and our planet’s, health.”

    I’m convinced that everything I’ve read points to the fact that global heating is real, it’s happening, we’re the cause of it all, and so we need to make changes. And that’s the safest course in general. Because if you’re right and we make all these changes, the world’s a better place faster than it might have been otherwise. But if you’re wrong and we DON’T make those changes, then the world is far more screwed than it already is. Simple risk analyses.

  9. To me, greenhouse gasses and temp continue upward as a matter of coincidence since they don’t closely track each other in that graph up to the end and historically, as temperature goes up, so does CO2.

    What about the scientists I linked to and quoted? What about the things they have to say?

    Hypothetically, specifically what data would have to come forth to convince you that global warming was not primarily caused by humans?

    I agree we should be taking care of our planet and conserve, etc. but we have to realise that the environmental movement, according to Patrick Moore – one of the founders of Greenpeace but who has since left, has been hijacked by the socialist/communist movement because it’s so easy to take the U.S. and shut them down economically just by throwing out a global warming scare so that the people of the world will think that the U.S. and other CO2 producers are destroying the planet and so everyone else has the right to stop the U.S. by putting them back to pre-industrial times. I don’t think the, “just go along with it because it can’t hurt” attitude, if the Greenpeace founder is right, could actually hurt us tremendously.

  10. With all due respect to the “communist hijack” argument, more and more conservatives are acknowledging the reality of heating and of man’s role in it. I mean, when you have evangelical enviro groups, crunchy cons, and people like James Freakin’ Baker climbing on the bus it’s safe to say that we can step away from the idea that this is some kind of lefty conspiracy.

    Let’s also not lose sight of what Gore points out – there are no studies in reputable scientific journals that dispute the reality of warming and man’s involvement in it. And even if you hate Gore and manage to find a couple that appear, at first glance, to look legit, there’s such a massive preponderance of research and expert opinion it feels like arguing over whether the Earth is round or flat.

  11. To say that something is true because more and more people are believing it is a logical fallacy called appeal to the people.

    There are experts on both sides and the number of experts is less relevant than the content of their research.

    Speaking of the world being flat, the majority of people and scientists at the time also had a consensus – it’s flat.

    Did you go to the link of scientists who are skeptical of man’s role in global warming? Did you read their claims?

  12. Claim #1: Satellite data shows cooling, not heating (Dr. Bell from U. of Winnipeg). This one has been debunked recently.

    Claim #2: Horizontal resolution is not good enough to get realistic information from a model (Dr. Tennekes from Royal Netherlands Meterological Institute). I have to defer to the experts on this one and say that if the vast majority of climate researchers and modelers think we have good enough models to draw conclusions from from the 4th IPCC report, that their conclusions are accurate and that our understanding will only get better as models improve.

    Claim #3: Natural cycles have always driven temperature up and down. Yep, absolutely true. The question is whether this increase is entirely natural or not. The vast majority of climate scientists believe it is more human-caused than natural at this point.

    Claim #4: We’re just coming out of the Little Ice Age: If you look at this image, you’ll notice that the temperature anamoly is WAY greater than you could reasonably attribute to coming out of the Little Ice Age.

    Claim #5: global warming will be good for the planet: Not likely. Check out this paper from the Pew Center on Global Climate Change.

    Claim #6: Cosmic rays are the reason for global heating. Highly unlikely, but not impossible, and it could be part of the problem. Check out this link for a little more discussion of this one.

    I’ve already addressed solar intensity variations above.

    In short, you may be convinced by a few skeptics – I’m not, especially when they’re so easily countered and have been, repeatedly, in peer-reviewed journals.

    BTW, I’ve provided a massive amount of information about global warming. Since your opinions on this issue are so colored by the supposed hijacking of the environmental movement by people trying to shut down the U.S. economy, how about some proof of that claim?

  13. From a CNN story this morning via Reuters:

    “The Southern Ocean around Antarctica is so loaded with carbon dioxide that it can barely absorb any more, so more of the gas will stay in the atmosphere to warm up the planet, scientists reported Thursday.

    “Human activity is the main culprit, said researcher Corinne Le Quere, who called the finding very alarming.

    “The phenomenon wasn’t expected to be apparent for decades, Le Quere said in a telephone interview from the University of East Anglia in Britain.

    “”We thought we would be able to detect these only the second half of this century, say 2050 or so,” she said. But data from 1981 through 2004 show the sink is already full of carbon dioxide. “So I find this really quite alarming.”

    “The Southern Ocean is one of the world’s biggest reservoirs of carbon, known as a carbon sink. When carbon is in a sink — whether it’s an ocean or a forest, both of which can lock up carbon dioxide — it stays out of the atmosphere and does not contribute to global warming.”

    http://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/science/05/17/climate.ocean.reut/index.html

  14. Thanks for the information – I’ll go read up on the links you provided. You are right that you have been willing to provide information that supports your claims and I thank you for that. Most people I’ve discussed this with have not done so.

    Much of the support of my claim to at least part of the global warming hype being socialist-driven anti U.S. propaganda comes from the second half of “The Great Global Warming Swindle” video where scientists talks about being black-listed, politicians looking for science to match policy when it comes to dependence on oil/coal, Patrick Moore talking about how over the years, especially after the fall of the Iron Curtain, he’s seen a lot of socialists and anti-U.S./capitalism folks flooding into the environmental movement because of its easy access to power.

    So, I am relying on the scientists and environmental activists who say they have seen it happening and I also see the huge amount of power that global warming could give a group and so anytime there’s a potential for handing over a large amount of power to a group, I’m a bit weary of it and would like as much checks, balances, and skepticism as possible.

    These same people are rumoring about carbon taxes and other things that, if this is not authentic, would be a huge way of wielding a lot of power against those who they oppose. I don’t want consensus – I want science, deliberation, debate, and skepticism and not black listing and “denier” status on anyone willing to challenge the norm.

Leave us a reply. All replies are moderated according to our Comment Policy (see "About S&R")

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s