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Climate Change

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Frank Chen

on 16 December 2013

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Transcript of Climate Change

Climate Change
The Basics of Climate
The Current Situation
Global Controversy
By: Frank Chen
1. The basics of climate
Table of Contents
2. The current situation
3. The global controversy
Earth's climate system is the complex set of components that interact with each other to produce Earth's climate. They interact with each other in a cyclical manner.
There are four main components of Earth's climate system (other than the Sun):
The Atmosphere - made of layers of gases that surround Earth
The Hydrosphere - the areas where water is found
The Lithosphere - the Earth's crust and upper mantle
The Biosphere - the areas where life is found

The Atmosphere
The atmosphere can be split up into 5 different layers: The troposphere, the stratosphere , the mesosphere, the thermosphere and the exosphere. However, only two layers contribute to Earth's climate.
The troposphere
The stratosphere
The troposphere is 78% nitrogen gas and 21% oxygen gas. The other 1% is a mixture of other gases
Weather occurs in the troposphere, since most of the water vapor and the dust particles are in this layer.
The lowest layer, it goes up to a height of 7 - 20 km.
This layer is heated from below - sunlight heats the ocean/ground, and it radiates the heat into the air above
The second lowest layer, it is about 40km high (starts at about 10km high in the sky, ends at about 50km high)
Most of the ozone layer is located here, since ozone is abundant here. The ozone layer prevents most of the Sun's harmful energy from reaching us by absorbing the high-energy Ultraviolet Rays from the Sun. Otherwise, there would be no life on Earth.
The Sun
The air moves in very fast moving air streams - that is why planes and jets fly at this layer.
The Hydrosphere
Almost all of Earth's energy comes from the Sun. This is because the Sun emits many different types of radiation, including

ultraviolet radiation

(a form of invisible higher-energy radiation)


infrared radiation (a form of invisible lower-energy radiation).
The Sun's energy basically supplies energy for all biological life on Earth
When radiation contacts a particle, three things could happen:
The radiation is absorbed, causing the particle to gain energy
The radiation is transmitted through the particle
The radiation is reflected off the particle

When radiation reaches Earth, about 30% or the energy is reflected back by clouds, and about 70% is absorbed by Earth's surface (plants, rocks, water), clouds and certain gases in the atmosphere
Fortunately for us, heat is also being released back into space from Earth - otherwise, Earth would just be constantly heating up and we would have died a long time ago.

When radiation is absorbed, thermal energy is created by Earth and the temperature rises. As this happens, Earth's warm surface emits lower-energy radiation back out into space, which helps balance out the temperature.

This radiation is then absorbed by the clouds and gases in our atmosphere, or radiated into space.
The hydrosphere in the part of the climate system that includes all water on Earth (liquid water, water vapour and ice). The hydrosphere both absorbs and emits radiaton, and converts radiation into thermal energy.
Large bodies of water have an effect on the climate of nearby regions - water stores and absorbs more thermal energy than land, so water tends to heat up and cool down more slowly than land. This means that the area surrounding the body of water will have more varied temperatures.
The water cycle is a very important part of the climate system, since it is one way that the climate system moves energy from one place to another. Here are some examples of energy movement:
energy is absorbed when water evaporates - this process cools the surrounding areas
energy is released when water vapour condenses into clouds - this process warms the surrounding areas
Water Cycle
Transpiration is the process of evaporating water into the atmosphere from the leaves and stems of plants
Condensation is the conversion of a gaseous state of matter to a liquid state of matter
Precipitation is when liquid, in any form, falls to the ground
The water from the snow/surface of the ground runs off to a nearby large body of water
Evaporation is when water in the liquid form is converted into a gas (water vapour)
Earth's permanent ice is also very important to the climate system, since surfaces covered in ice reflect more radiant energy than any other surface. That is one of the reasons why polar regions are so cold (all the radiant energy is being reflected, not absorbed)
The Lithosphere
The lithosphere is the Earth's crust. It includes all the solid rock, soil, and minerals (including under the ocean). Like the hydrosphere, the lithosphere both absorbs and emits radiation, and converts radiation into thermal energy.
The land formations and topography of a landmass affects the climate of the surrounding area. For example, mountains affect how the air moves over an area, since they are so tall. Thus, as clouds are blown over a mountain, they lose their moisture through precipitation. For flat regions, the cloud movement is not interfered, so there is less precipitation
Also, at higher altitudes, the air pressure is much lower, so air from lower altitudes rises to higher altitudes, expands then cools down. That is why the temperature gets colder as you climb higher.
All the landmasses in the world were believed to have once been a part of a super-continent, called Pangaea. However, the Earth's crust was broken off into smaller pieces, and they began to move around (ever so slightly!). Thus, eventually, after about 200 million years, the land masses are where they are right now. This is based on the theory that states that there are convection currents of molten rock in the Earth's upper mantle, that move the plate tectonics (land/continents)
The Biosphere
All organisms of all sizes and shapes are part of the climate system. This is because plants and animals change the relative amounts of gas in the atmosphere
The biosphere is all areas where biotic elements (plants, bugs, microorganisms, etc...) are present
For example, through photosynthesis, plants take in carbon dioxide, and release oxygen.
Another example: through cellular respiration, plants, animals and other organisms take in oxygen and release carbon dioxide
Carbon Dioxide
There are also some animals (e.g. cows, bacteria) that produce methane gas because of several reasons (e.g. their digestive system produces methane)
All those gases absorb radiation emitted by Earth. So, if the amount of those gases changes, then the amount of radiation that can be absorbed by the atmosphere will also be changed
Greenhouse Gases
Natural Sources
Electricity production - 70% of our electricity comes from burning fossil fuels, namely coal and natural gas - this emits 33% of global greenhouse gas emissions
Deforestation - gases are from either the brurning of fossil fuels for energy, or the trees release the gases - this emits 14% of global greenhouse gas emissions
Transportation (including planes and trains) - gases are from the burning of fuel (fossil fuel) - this emits 28% of global greenhouse gas emissions
There are many different anthropogenic (man-made) sources of greehouse gases. However, these are the main causes.
Anthropogenic Sources
Agriculture - gases are either from livestock (they release methane) or fertilizer - this emits 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions
Industry - gases primarily come from brurning fossil fuels to get energy, or from certain chemical reactions to create specific materials - this emits 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions
The main greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, water vapor and hydroflourocarbons - they help absorb the Sun's energy in the atmosphere
Greenhouse gases absorb lower energy infrared radiation from Earth's surface
Different gases absorb more thermal energy than others, and so are more powerful
- A methane molecule is 23 times more powerful than a carbon dioxide molecule
- A nitrous oxide molecule is 300 times more powerful than a carbon dioxide molecule
Commercial and residential - gases are primarily from bruning of fossil fuels for energy, usage of specific substances and handling of waste - this emits 11% of global greenhouse gas emissions
Outgassing from volcanoes
Combustion and natural decay of organic material
Respiration by aerobic (oxygen using) organisms
Keep the change you filthy animal.
There are also many different natural sources of greenhouse gases, but these are the main ones
Trees and vegetation - through photosynthesis, plants absorb carbon dioxide, and emit oxygen
Sinks are reservoirs that take up a chemical element or compound from another part of its natural cycle
Oceans also absorb carbon dioxide through physicochemical and biological processes
Natural Sinks
Artificial Sinks
Landfills - absorbs carbon dioxide
Carbon capture and storage proposals - absorbs carbon dioxide
The troposphere - absorbs methane gas, which forms water and carbon dioxide when mixed with the OH particles in the atmosphere
There are many natural sinks, but these three are the most significant
Factors affecting climate change
The factors the affect our climate can be divided into two groups - natural and man-made
Natural Factors
Human factors
Increase in volcanic activity

- When volcanoes erupt, volcanic gases (e.g. sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide) and ash are injected into the atmosphere. Although the ash falls and disappears quickly, the gases are absorbed, and cause changes in climate
- Sulfur dioxide can cause global cooling, where carbon dioxide can promote global warming (although there is not enough carbon dioxide emitted to actually make a significant difference)
- The sulfur dioxide is converted to sulfuric acid, which increases the amount of the Sun's radiation that is reflected into space - this causes cooling
Changes in the Sun's energy

- The Sun's radiation/energy is reflected back into space, as you already know. However, some of the energy is captured/absorbed in the atmosphere thus supplying a sufficient amount of heat for life to continue
- Unfortunately, that means that when the Sun's energy increases, the amount of heat absorbed by the atmosphere increases, which results in global warming
Build-up of man-made greenhouse gases in the troposphere

- As you already know, greenhouse gases help absorb the Sun's radiation
- Unfortunately, by burning fossil fuels and through industrialization, humans are creating greenhouse gases at an alarming rate
- This means that there will be an increased amount of energy/heat that is absorbed by the atmosphere, because more greenhouse gases are being created
- Basically, the result will be global warming, because more heat is being absorbed by the atmosphere
Conversion of land for forestry and urbanization

- Plants take in carbon dioxide, and release oxygen
- However, when deforestation occurs, trees are killed, which results in less plants to take in carbon dioxide
- Then, there will be an increase in carbon dioxide in the region, a greenhouse gas, which results in heating
- Urbanization results in more cars and buildings - basically more greenhouse gases and harmful substances are being produced
Effects of climate change around the world
Energy transfer in the climate system
The Sun's rays are most intense near the equator - thus the air at the equator heats up, and becomes less dense
The colder/denser air drops below the heated air, and pushes the warm air up
As warm air moves up, it creates an area of low pressure below it
Once the warm air is high in the atmosphere, it spreads out towards the Earth's poles and cools down
This cool air sinks back to Earths surface, resulting in high pressure in the area
Energy Transfer in the Atmosphere
The winds/air pressure affects the climate in the area - as wind passes over the ocean, it picks up water vapor
- when the wind reaches land, the water vapor condenses, becoming precipitation
- if the wind passes over the North Pole, the wind will be cold and dry - thus, regions that the wind passes by tend to be colder and drier
Energy Transfer in the Oceans
As water moves towards the poles, the water becomes colder
Also, the water becomes saltier, since the sea ice that forms on the surface is mostly fresh water, and it rejects salt, thus making the water more salty
Both the saltiness and the cold make the water at the poles more dense, and so the water sinks to the bottom of the ocean
warmer water from the equator flows toward the pole to take the place of the cold water
This process is called the thermohaline circulation of the oceans, and creates the ocean currents and is another one of the main ways energy is transferred
The ocean currents affect the climate on nearby land

- Warm ocean currents heat the air above them, and when the warm/moist air reaches land, the area becomes warmer and it begins to rain (e.g. North West coast of Europe
- Cold ocean currents cool the air above them, and when the cold/dry air reaches land, it cools the land and creates dry, desert areasf(e.g. California, Mexico)
This movement of warm and cold air is called the convection current
Convection currents are one of the main ways energy is transported in the atmosphere - they move thermal energy from the equator toward the North and South poles
Air flows from high pressure to low pressure - this creates air currents, or wind
Since Earth rotates, winds curve instead of going directly North or South
China currently has one of the largest greenhouse gas emissions in the world. This is mostly caused by the large amounts of automobiles that run on fossil fuels. The results of these emissions are very noticeable and dangerous. For example:
In some cities, there are permanent smog clouds
The heat is significantly warmer in the city than in rural areas
Severe weather has been known to hit urban areas more often than rural areas

Fortunately, the Beijing government has taking the initiative in encouraging the use of public transportation and biking, through several ways, including encouraged usage of the hundreds of kilometers of the bike roads
The distribution of license plates for privately owned cars is limited and more controlled - 240,000 license plates were issued in 2011, which is more than 3 times less than the year before. Also, the government has imposed a system which has odd-numbered license plated cars allowed to be driven on one day, and even-numbered license plated cars allowed to be driven on the next day.
Beijing roads are closed off to all non-Beijing-citizens during the peak hours, which encourages people to take the bus to the city
Restrictions are being applied to the amount of official cars (e.g. organizations, government, corporation, etc...) - this is because the official vehicles contribute to 15% of car ownership in Beijing
The parking fees for all motorized vehicles/automobiles have been increased significantly to discourage the use of privately owned automobiles - in 2002 the prices were, on average, 2 yuan, and in 2010, the prices were 10 yuan (15 yuan in congested areas)
There were many results that came as a result of these actions, but these were the main ones:
average speed of cars during peak increased to 28km/hr (rather than being stuck in traffic)
average daily rail passengers increased by 21%
average bus passengers increased by 4%
In my opinion, these changes made by the Beijing municipal government are/will be effective and beneficial This is mainly because of all of the positive environmental effects, and the fact that Beijing's decision has encouraged other cities to make changes (e.g. Mexico City). Hopefully, other countries/cities will follow Beijing's example.
Canada has many different fuel sources. Unfortunately, several of those sources are fossil fuels, and contribute to the increase of greenhouse gases (such as coal, gas, and oil). The effects of greenhouse gases include a decrease in water supply and quality, an increase in extreme weather and an increase in average temperatures.
Fortunately, the Canadian Government has created a new set of regulations which every resource industry must follow. For example:
A non-scientific viewpoint
A non-scientific viewpoint
A scientific viewpoint
A scientific viewpoint
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change confirms what we already know. First, the climate system is definitely warming. Second, humans are now a dominant driver of the climate and are very likely to be responsible for most of the recent warming we have experienced. And future warming over the 21st century will likely be several degrees. While a few degrees may not sound like a lot of warming, changes in the global average temperature this large have, in the past, been associated with very large and significant changes in the climate (for example, the last ice age was only about 10 degrees Farenheit colder than today). In fact, one could argue that climate science has not significantly changed since it was first hypothesized that combustion of fossil fuels could change the climate — in 1896. That's why, of the dozens of atmospheric scientists in our state at Texas A&M, University of Texas, Rice, Texas Tech, University of Houston, etc., approximately zero of them are skeptical of this mainstream view of climate science. Our department and the Climate Systems Science Group at the University of Texas even have statements on our websites confirming our agreement. So why is there such a disconnect between what scientists think and the public debate? Recent cognitive research helps us understand this. Researchers find that beliefs on climate change science strongly correlate with other policy preferences. For example, if you are skeptical of the science of climate change, then you almost certainly oppose the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, and support gun rights. Those who support action to reduce greenhouse gases very likely hold the opposite views. If arguments about the science of climate change were actually about the science, then this result would make no sense. Whether climate change is true or not is a scientific matter, and it should be uncorrelated with philosophical views on the role of government in health care or the constitutional right to own a firearm. But they are correlated. And this tells us that the arguments about the science of climate change are not actually about science. So what is the argument about? The answer is policy. If climate change is true and we decide to reduce emissions, then it will almost certainly require intervention by the government into the energy market. For some, that idea is so repugnant that the only conclusion is that the problem must not exist. It is also about being part of the tribe. Climate change has achieved such an elevated status in the policy debate that it has become a litmus test. To be a Republican, for example, you must reject the science. Any Republican who does not risks being voted out of office — as happened, for example, to Rep. Bob Inglis. As proud Texans, we are sympathetic to those who worry about out-of-control eco-totalitarianism. And we both love cheap and abundant energy and the lifestyle it allows us to lead. But, like most people, Republican and Democrat alike, we also want to protect the environment. Thus, we both support balanced action to address the clear and present danger of climate change. It is important to remember that we've done this before. In the early 1970s, Congress passed the Clean Air Act, which drastically improved air quality, yielding benefits that exceed the cost by more than 30 times. And the Montreal Protocol, which phased out ozone-depleting chemicals, was a profoundly cost-effective policy that saved the ozone layer. Prior to implementation of both policies, it was argued that these regulations would bankrupt us and cause a litany of other terrible consequences — for example, forcing middle-class families to give up their air conditioners. These predictions obviously turned out to be wrong. And today, many of those same people are arguing that regulations on greenhouse gases will bankrupt us and force us to give up cheap energy. These people are, in fact, the true alarmists in the climate debate. Throughout history, American ingenuity has overwhelmed every problem we've faced. Along the way, we have found cost-effective ways to clean up the air and switch off ozone-depleting substances. This not only led to a cleaner environment but to economic growth. And we are confident that the same thing will happen here. If we put our minds to it, we can solve the climate problem and prosper along the way. Only someone profoundly pessimistic would bet against American ingenuity.
Since the French land mass is relatively small and the population is always increasing, the land usage is greatly unbalanced - most of the land is artificial, which results in a lost of both natural and agricultural land. The effects include an increased amount of greenhouse gases, and a decrease in greenhouse gas sinks, which leads to many other problems (e.g. significant reduction in natural lifeforms)
Fortunately, the European Environment Agency has come up with several plans to solve this problem. For example
Management of dangerous sites - There is considerable pressure to exploit industrial wastelands in urban areas. Before they can be reallocated to new uses, soil remediation operations are sometimes needed - France has created policies that focuses on three main aspects; prevention, treatment and rehabilitation in the area. This will mean that harmful substances that contribute to greenhouse gases will be controlled very strictly, and contamination in areas will be much less frequent
Sensitive areas, such as near the mountains or the coast, have specified laws that restrict urbanization - this will result in less water contamination and precipitation variety
The creation of more green spaces, and other environmental places in urban areas, to create a balance between artificial and natural land
Predicted results:
precipitation will be more consistent
weather will not be as extreme
less harmful substances in the natural environment
Produces of gasoline must produce less than 400 cubic meters of gasoline or diesel fuel per year
Reduction of the use of biocrude for both gasoline and distillate
A significant increase in renewable fuel in gasoline and distillate formulas (e.g. biofuels, hydrogen fuel)
decrease in carbon in the atmosphere
less reports of contaminated water - although there are still many reports
weather patterns are beginning to be more consent
Their Knowledge:
It is predicted that the average temperature will increase by several degrees
The climate system is warming significantly
Their Beliefs:
Humans are the cause of the climate change
All Republicans do not believe in science, so therefore, only Republicans do not believe in the climate change science
Everyone who doesn't believe in climate change science also doesn't support ObamaCare and supports gun rights
Climate change debate is about policy, not science
People believe that regulations on greenhouse gases will bankrupt and force us to give up cheap fuel for expensive ones
People that don't believe in climate change are alarmists and pessimists
Their Values:
The world's environment must be taken care of and treated well, or else catastrophic consequences will occur
The Earth's climate has changed throughout history. Just in the last 650,000 years there have been seven cycles of glacial advance and retreat, with the abrupt end of the last ice age about 7,000 years ago marking the beginning of the modern climate era — and of human civilization. Most of these climate changes are attributed to very small variations in Earth’s orbit that change the amount of solar energy our planet receives. The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is very likely human-induced and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented in the past 1,300 years. Earth-orbiting satellites and other technological advances have enabled scientists to see the big picture, collecting many different types of information about our planet and its climate on a global scale. Studying these climate data collected over many years reveal the signals of a changing climate.
Certain facts about Earth's climate are not in dispute: The heat-trapping nature of carbon dioxide and other gases was demonstrated in the mid-19th century.Their ability to affect the transfer of infrared energy through the atmosphere is the scientific basis of many instruments flown by NASA. Increased levels of greenhouse gases must cause the Earth to warm in response. Ice cores drawn from Greenland, Antarctica, and tropical mountain glaciers show that the Earth’s climate responds to changes in solar output, in the Earth’s orbit, and in greenhouse gas levels. They also show that in the past, large changes in climate have happened very quickly, geologically-speaking: in tens of years, not in millions or even thousands.
The evidence for rapid climate change is compelling:
Global sea level rose about 17 centimeters (6.7 inches) in the last century. The rate in the last decade, however, is nearly double that of the last century. Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the acidity of surface ocean waters has increased by about 30 percent. This increase is the result of humans emitting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and hence more being absorbed into the oceans. The amount of carbon dioxide absorbed by the upper layer of the oceans is increasing by about 2 billion tons per year.All three major global surface temperature reconstructions show that Earth has warmed since 1880. Most of this warming has occurred since the 1970s, with the 20 warmest years having occurred since 1981 and with all 10 of the warmest years occurring in the past 12 years. Even though the 2000s witnessed a solar output decline resulting in an unusually deep solar minimum in 2007-2009, surface temperatures continue to increase. The oceans have absorbed much of this increased heat, with the top 700 meters (about 2,300 feet) of ocean showing warming of 0.302 degrees Fahrenheit since 1969. The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have decreased in mass. Data from NASA's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment show Greenland lost 150 to 250 cubic kilometers (36 to 60 cubic miles) of ice per year between 2002 and 2006, while Antarctica lost about 152 cubic kilometers (36 cubic miles) of ice between 2002 and 2005. Both the extent and thickness of Arctic sea ice has declined rapidly over the last several decades. Glaciers are retreating almost everywhere around the world — including in the Alps, Himalayas, Andes, Rockies, Alaska and Africa. The number of record high temperature events in the United States has been increasing, while the number of record low temperature events has been decreasing, since 1950. The U.S. has also witnessed increasing numbers of intense rainfall events.
Their Knowledge:
The global levels of carbon dioxide has increased a lot - levels spiked at nearly a 90 degree angle during the 1900s
Large changes of climate have recently been happening in tens of years, not hundreds or thousands of years
Earth's climate changes in response to greenhouse gas levels, the position of Earth's orbit and the solar output
Global sea level rose 17 cm in the last century - the rate has doubled within the last decade
Acidity of surface ocean waters has increased by 30% since Industrial Revolution (2 billion tons of carbon dioxide absorbed per year
most of the global warming occurred in 1970s - present, even though there has been unusual deep solar minimums
Northern and Southern ice sheets have decreased size (decreasing at a rate of 150-250 cubic km per year)
Extent and thickness of Arctic ice has declined rapidly over the last few decades
Glaciers are retreating at almost everywhere around the world
Extreme weather patterns are more frequent
Their Beliefs
Human activity has rapidly increased greenhouse gas amounts and, in turn, has caused a lot of natural catastrophes/events
Their Values
The world's environment is in danger, and so it must be saved/taken care of
RUSH: You know, the global warming crowd is back. What was it, the UN, the IPP, UPP, we PP, whatever the group is. The climate science group says there's 95% certainty now that the undeniable global warming is undeniably caused by human beings. That was last week. It is a hoax. All of it. I don't know how else to say it. All of that is just wrong, and these people know it's wrong.
The factual data contradicts virtually every claim they make -- and yet, I have to tell you: As I mentioned before, I read high-tech blogs and the high-tech bloggers. Some of them think they're scientists, and there's a couple of these blogs, whenever there's global warming news, they report it as though it's gospel. These young kids... Well, "young kids." They're 24 to 30 years old, and they buy into it totally. They totally buy into it! They can't wait to be able to afford a Tesla, an electric car.
They can't wait to have their own windmill in the backyard. They believe that oil and man are causing global warming. They don't even question it, and they're not even aware. Of course, these people think they're some of the smartest people in the world. They're not even aware that the whole thing's been debunked. Real Science, Steven Goddard. "This summer, the US has experienced the fewest number of 100 degree readings in a century."The five hottest summers (1936, 1934, 1954, 1980 and 1930) all occurred with CO2 below 350 PPM." Four of these summers were before the number one cause of global warming: SUVs and fossil fuel-burning vehicles. Now, Algore made a big deal a couple weeks ago about the fact that CO2 levels have now gone past 400 parts per million this year, indicating that heat waves and carbon dioxide have nothing to do with each other, and I'm telling you that these scientists who claim otherwise are just lying or they are dangerously incompetent.
There is no warming, and there hasn't been for 15 years. They chalk that up to, "Well, there's volcanoes, and other mitigating factors. It's just a temporary interruption." But the only thing that you really need to know is, these people are out warning us of global warming, "It's a very bad thing! I mean, it's grown destroy this! It's gonna forever change the earth. It might swallow up entire coastlines and islands!" It's a very bad thing, to these people. So any news that it isn't happening auditing greeted with happiness, right?
But it isn't.
Any news that global warming isn't happening causes a panic and causes a crisis.
That's because -- I say again as a broken record -- global warming is a political issue. It is as much a political issue to the left as abortion is. It's as big a political issue as health care is. It is nothing more than another spoke in the wheel that advances the Democrat or leftist agenda. It's not science. It has nothing to do with science. It's simply called "science" because science is still an area where most people do not think it's been corrupted.
They do not think it's been politicized, and I'm here to tell you: Virtually every walk of life that the Democrats or the leftists talk about is political and has been corrupted politically and is used to advance the agenda. Seriously. If rising sea levels are going to forever alter or swallow up parts of New York City, wouldn't it be good that that isn't happening? It would. And they're not happy. And you know what else?
They have been suggesting various ways to stop this warming. Why not take credit for it? If it's been 15 years and no warming has taken place, why don't they say it's because of them and their efforts, that they have succeeded in having governments implement all around the world? "It's working, and we just need to do more of this." They don't even do that. All they do is get their backs up and start lying even more. To me, that's the single biggest piece of evidence to refute them that there is.
Some warming would actually be good in some parts of the world. It would actually be helpful to a lot of people, both in comfort and the production of food. "No, it's all bad. It's calamitous, in fact!" So why not be happy? And why not take the credit? Well, the answer is the political agenda depends on people believing they are responsible for it. The political agenda depends on the left being able to convince you that you are causing it, thereby giving them control over your life to supposedly stop this disaster from happening.
Which is all this is about. It is a way to get you to agreeably give your liberty. And that's what's being interrupted. The fact is that they need warming for the rest of their claims to be believed, and when it isn't warming, they've got a problem. That's how they come up with these really outrageous lies. But it is a fascinating thing to me, I must tell you. It's a fascinating thing to me to watch and to read and to see how otherwise intelligent people have just bought this without questioning it.
Hook, line, and sinker.
It's a learning exercise for me. It once again reminds me what we are up against, and it's frustrating at the same time. Because if otherwise smart people can be so easily sucked in to believe something like this, what else can they be made to believe? And we already know. "Republicans and conservatives are racist, sexist, bigot, homophobes! No question about it. In fact, the Republicans run Congress!
"That alone is justification for ignoring them when it comes to going to war, when it comes to using maybe even a one-day nuclear strike on Syria. Ah, we don't have to go through Congress; the Republicans run it. Everybody hates them! We don't have to pay attention to it. They don't even support us. So why should we go through them?" Meaning: "We're not about opposition. Any opposition to us is illegitimate. We're not gonna even acknowledge opposition." So says the president. So says the Democrat Party.
But ask yourself: We are now August 28th, and this story is absolutely true.
How many overwhelmingly, abnormally hot days have captivated the media this summer in their reporting? I don't remember, frankly, any. I don't remember a couple days in a row of the media talking about unusually warm days here or there, "which means obviously that global warming is happening," because there haven't been any of these outrageously hot, 100-degree-plus days. The evidence keeps mounting that the pro-global warming people are nothing but a bunch of political hacks.
Their Knowledge:
There hasn't been significant global warming for 15 years
The highest temperatures were in the 30s and the 80s
Their Beliefs:
The debate for climate change is political, not scientific
Scientists are all wrong/lying about the fact that humans are causing climate change
Scientists who support global warming are pessimists, and just out to cause trouble in the world/public
Climate change is called science only to make you (the people) believe them - they are corrupted
Democrats/climate change scientists are taking credit for evidence that climate change doesn't exist, saying that it was because of their efforts
All the lies are a way of getting people to agreeably give away their liberty
Their Values:
We must stop the corruption of the world by the Democrats, and face the facts
Other extremely important insights can be gleaned from the ice-core record. If CO2 was the main contributor to climate change, then history would reveal that the levels of CO2 would precede the mean temperature rise around the globe. In fact it is the opposite! Increases in CO2 have always lagged behind temperature rises and the lag involved is estimated to be 400 to 800 years. The core samples show that there has never been a period when CO2 increases have come before a global temperature increase. Any recent apparent temperature upward trend cannot be linked to CO2 increases. There is no physical evidence to support that. In fact there is the high probability that the more likely explanation of an overall warming trend is that we follow the ‘recent’ Little Ice Age, 400-600 years ago. There was also a Mediaeval Warm Period (MWP) that preceded that too!
The heat from the sun varies over a number of solar cycles which can last from about 9.5 years to about 13.6 years (the main one is the cycle of 11 years). The earth also has an irregular orbit around the sun. These and other effects like the gravitational effects of the planets of the solar system, combine to affect the sun’s magnetic field. Solar fares and sunspots affect the amount of heat generated from the sun. In fact, there is an excellent correspondence in general warming on earth with increased sun spot activity. The graphical correlation of sun-spot activity and the earth’s mean temperature changes is quite amazing. It appears that the activity of the dominant ‘heat supplier’ (the sun) has a far greater affect on weather (and therefore climate change) than any traces of atmospheric gases.
It is also interesting to note that NASA’s Aqua satellite system has shown that the earth has been cooling since 1998. This corresponds with measurements from the Argos sub-ocean probes that the ocean is cooling. This is in stark contrast with the proposals from many ‘climate alarmists’. The solar effect is huge and overwhelming and there must be time delays in absorbance and build up in energy received by earth and ocean masses. But the warmer the Earth gets, the faster it radiates heat out into space. This is a self-correcting, self-healing process.
The sun directly drives the El Nino–El Nina current motions that drive temperature changes world-wide. The sun sets up evaporative cycles, drives larger air and water currents or cycles, and changes weather patterns and therefore climate change. The varying degrees of lag and out-of-phase changes cause periodic oceanic oscillations. The El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO cycle) turns from warming to cooling depending on the net warming or cooling effect of the sun. This occurs quite rapidly. From about 1975 to 2000 there was a strong El Nino warming period (a positive Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). Now there is a La Nina period, and this has a cooling or decrease in warming (negative PDO). In essence the ENSO and PDO switching is caused directly by the sun. Also there are similar periodic oscillations in other oceans (Atlantic and the Arctic oceans).
Recently in the USA, the Weather Channel announced that at any one time there were 20 trillion gallons (20,000,000,000,000 gallons) of water in the atmosphere over the States at any one time. This equates to 75,000 million tonnes of water, or 10,000 tonnes of water in the air for every square kilometer. This would approximate to about 2,600 million tonnes of water in the atmosphere over New Zealand at any one time.
The panic to do something about climate change has led to some unrealistic and unsustainable actions. For example, Bio-fuels from grain will greatly increase food prices and roughly 30 million people are expected to be severely deprived. The USA will use up to 30% of the annual corn crop for alcohol production for vehicles alone. Ethanol production requires energy too to make it economically. The actual cost/liter is much the same as other liquid fuels, but the liters/kilometer consumed by vehicles is much higher than petrol, and well-meaning motorists will have to use far more ethanol. Just one tank full of ethanol for an SUV is obtained from enough corn to feed one African for a year. Worldwide the ethanol plant subsidies in 2008 will total $15 billion. A 2008 study on bio-fuels has shown that the CO2 emissions will actually double if carbon-rich forests are cut down
Well, what about all the latest pictures, videos and TV programmes on climate change? Yes, there is a lot happening! Weather patterns are changing in many parts of the world and some catastrophic events seem to point to the earth warming. Even over our lifetime we have observed many weather pattern changes where we live. But what we observe (the ‘effect’) in a relatively small time span cannot honestly be connected directly to any supposed ‘cause’ without investigating all the mechanisms that cause change. It is so easy to grab onto the notion that the increase in fossil-fuel burning and subsequent growth in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is directly the major cause. Even from season to season we see snow and ice-covered mountains thaw, and massive areas of the Antarctic ice shelf melt, but in just 6 or so months they are restored. [The Antarctic is 14+ million square kilometers with many mountains and 6-7 million square kilometers of ice shelf form and thaw every year …about the size of Australia]. We are not alarmed at these annual changes! So why can’t we see that climate changes occurring all over the world now (not as big as these dramatic annual changes) are simply similar but on a larger time-scale. We have the ice-core and sea-bed core evidence at least to show us that this has happened in recent centuries. History also tells us that there have been significant cooling periods over the last 1,000 years.
Climate and local weather is forever changing. Sure we must minimise pollution of our air and water systems with obnoxious chemical and particulates, and not treat them as ‘sewers’. But even doubling or trebling the amount of carbon dioxide will virtually have little impact, as water vapour and water condensed on particles as clouds dominate the worldwide scene and always will.
Because of the length of this article, I split it up into three parts so you will not have to squint to see the words.
Their Knowledge:
The sun, location and water vapor are very influential in climate change
Humans emit less than a fifth of the carbon dioxide levels in the world
Average temperatures decreased 0.6 degrees Celsius since 1980
Their Beliefs:
Theoretical computers give incorrect results
Man-made greenhouse gases are not dominant in climate change
Water vapor and natural events affects climate change more than carbon dioxide and human activity
Their Values
We shouldn't be treating our world like a sewer, but man-made greenhouse gases has little to no effect on climate change
We should be worried about the natural events
Climate is always changing, and always will. There are seasons. There are day-night (diurnal) cycles. At any one location, heat energy from the sun varies during the day. Energy from the sun is affected by local conditions and clouds. Heat absorption depends on whether it impacts water or land, and then even the type of land (desert, forest, snow-covered land), or the layout of the land (continental masses, or islands surrounded by seas). In some areas temperatures are climbing and in some areas they are dropping. Warming is not occurring everywhere at once, and hence ‘global warming’ is a misnomer.
So what are the key players in ‘Climate Change’? The major driver is the sun. Warming depends on the sun. Cooling is due to the lack of sun’s energy. Radiant energy enters the earth’s atmosphere - air (on a dry basis) which mainly consists of nitrogen 78.08% and oxygen 20.94%. Of the 0.98% remaining, 0.934% (almost all) is the inert gas argon. Carbon dioxide CO2 is a trace. It is less than 400ppm (parts per million) or 0.04%. Surprisingly, less than a fifth of that is man-made CO2 (0.008% of the total), and that is only since the beginning of the industrial era and the rapid increase in world population.
What is the next major constituent of air apart from oxygen and nitrogen? Water: as a vapour, a condensed liquid, or ice crystals. The atmosphere is comprised of about 1-3% water vapour [At 200C and 100% humidity there is 0.015kg water/kg air or 1.5%: at 50% Humidity, 0.008kg water/kg air or 0.8%: and in warmer climate at say 300C, 100% humidity, 0.028kg water/kg air or 2.8%]. Water vapour condenses to form clouds and it is by far the most abundant and significant of the greenhouse gases. Water accounts for about 95% of the greenhouse effect. The main atmospheric ‘intermediary’ between the sun and earth is water, and thus it dictates the behaviour of the earth's climate. Without water vapour in particular and other greenhouse gases in the air in general, the surface air temperatures worldwide would be well below freezing. The sun clearly must be a much bigger influence on global temperatures than any of the greenhouse gases, even water and CO2. Carbon dioxide is about 1/60 of water in air!! It clearly is not the major player even though it is wise to minimize man-made emissions like particulate emissions, and CO2 and other pollutants and gases where practically possible.
Variable and unstable weather conditions are caused by local as well as large-scale differences in conditions (wind, rain, evaporation, topography etc). They naturally induce either warming or cooling locally, regionally, or worldwide. We all have experienced how clouds on a cloudy/sunny day strongly affect our experience of both heat and light (infrared energy and visible light). Clouds do several things! The atmosphere may be heated by clouds by emitting latent heat of condensation as water vapour condenses. But clouds can both heat the atmosphere by reducing the amount of radiation transmitted, or cool the atmosphere by reflecting radiation. So of all the affects that can cause heating and cooling in the atmosphere and on earth, clearly water is the main greenhouse ‘gas’. Other greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide CO2, methane CH4, oxides of nitrogen etc) are 1/60 to 1/30 smaller in both quantity and effect. So with all ‘greenhouse gases’ including water, human activity accounts for only minute amounts, just 0.28% of the total greenhouse gases. If we exclude the key one, water, then human activity would only account for about 5.53% of the total greenhouse effect. This is minute in the total picture whatever way we look at it.
Unfortunately a lot of estimates and predictions are strongly based on theoretical computer models. Many now even trust models and their ‘theoretical results’ more than actual measurements and facts from reality. Computer analysis requires that the earth surface area be ‘cut’ into small, separate areas (actually volumes), each being analysed for heat input/outputs and other gas/vapour fluxes. Even so the computational analysis domain size (basic computer grid elements) is huge, 150km x 150km by 1km high, with the current computer power. It is so large that the effects of even the very large clouds are not included; and that includes clouds in our visual horizon. The spatial resolution is therefore very poor. Supercomputers cannot give us the accuracy we need. Modellers therefore use parameters: ‘one factor fits’ all, for each of the domains (a kind of a ‘fudge factor). This is sad, as water as vapour in clouds is 30 to 60 times more significant than other minute amounts of other greenhouse gases. Clearly climate simulations and thus predictions can be in serious error unless the actual cloud effects are well defined in the models. It is not only the number and spacing of the clouds in that 150 square kilometre area, but also cloud height effects, and cloud structure (condensed water or ice particles). These are not accounted for at all. Typhoons are still not represented in most models. Many tropical storms and local intense rain downfalls cannot be ‘seen’ by the models. Volcanic eruptions and large forest fires are extremely difficult to model. These emit enormous tonnages of small particulate matter that have immense shielding effects and interactions in the atmosphere. The inter-zonal effect of such larger-scale movements like the Gulf stream, or the El Nino–El Nina patterns, are not really greatly understood, and virtually impossible to model. The ‘noise’ (random fluctuations) in the results from the computer models is often greater than the magnitude of the computer readout results themselves! It is really surprising why model computer-forecasts are trusted for periods of say 30 - 50 or so years, yet weather forecasts are often very inaccurate even over a 2 or 3 week period. A good model should be able to ‘predict even the recent the past’. The fact that these models cannot, clearly shows that we should shift our thinking and trust away from computer models to longer-term analysis of actual data and to understanding the real physical mechanisms and processes. Someone has said; “if tomorrow’s weather is inaccurately modelled and predicted, how can we pretend to predict long-term climate changes?”
Linearising short-term, random fluctuations in weather changes and temperature changes is scientifically untenable (weather and climate changes should be studied over very long periods if reliable trends are to be discerned). Much credence is given to the ‘hockey-stick effect’ of temperature data (upward swing in mean temperature over just the last decade or so) proposed and adopted by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). Nations have grabbed this and are using this to base policies for actions on global warming effects, and the implementation of controls on carbon-based emissions by carbon taxing. The very computer programme that gave IPCC those results was recently rigorously tested by inputing random numbers, and the computer-generated readout gave the same upward, hockey-stick, data trend with this meaningless input. This makes a mockery out the early IPCC reports and subsequent actions. Of course IPCC cannot admit to that as their report has been regarded as ‘gospel’ by many nations. [IPCC actually omit the ‘hockey-stick’ graph without apology in their latest report in 2007]. In stunning direct contrast, actual data (not idealistic models) from remote sensors in satellites have measured the world's temperature and have shown that the trend in the warming period ended in 2001. Actual satellite measurements show that the temperature has dropped about 0.60C in the past year when compared to the mean recorded 1980 temperature. Why can’t we believe actual accurate data?
A man-made ‘greenhouse’ does not create new heat. A man-made ‘greenhouse’ can only increase the residence time or holding-time time of heat just like a blanket. Likewise in the atmosphere, the ‘greenhouse effect’ acts as a mechanism to smooth out fluctuations or falls and rises in temperature (that is advantageous). It is a dampener! It cannot be a dominant factor for global temperature change. It is the sun that gives the heat energy and drives temperature change. Simply, if the sun’s energy decreases, then the ‘global’ temperature will fall; with or without any greenhouse effect (and vice-versa).
But we must also consider the location of the effects. The surface of Earth is slightly more than 70 % water. Water has a far greater heat carrying capacity than land; or even the atmosphere itself. Most of the incoming heat from the sun is absorbed by the seas and lakes (simply because they occupy 70% of the world’s surface area). When we compare that with land masses, a lower proportion of heat is reflected from watery zones to participate in the greenhouse effect. The greenhouse effect is mainly a phenomenon of the land surface and the atmosphere because land masses lose most of the heat they receive during the day by the action of overnight radiation. To multiply that effect, the atmosphere loses heat rapidly out into space by rainfall, convection and radiation despite the greenhouse effect. So the large surface area of water over the earth and the heat storage of water, are far more significant than any atmospheric greenhouse effect. The oceans really control the transport of water vapour and latent heat changes into the atmosphere (latent heat is heat needed to convert water-to-vapour, or conversely is given up when vapour goes to water; and this is far more significant than sensible heat changes alone).
The seas take a long time to warm up or cool down when compared to land. This means the storage of total heat by the oceans is immense. As mentioned, heat energy reaching the land by day is soon radiated back out into space at night. But there are also zonal differences! The sun’s energy at the equator is consistent all year round, and in this region the larger proportion of surface area happens to be the ocean water. The dominant heat loss is primarily at the poles with each pole alternating as the main loser of heat. As a result there are severe cyclical variations in temperature with the seas and ice caps having the dominant effects in energy changes and hence temperature effects. If the erroneously-called, ‘global warming’ was occurring now we should see it now. Oceans would be expanding and rising; in fact over the past two years, the global sea level has decreased not increased. Satellites orbiting the planet every 10 days have measured the global sea level to an accuracy of 3-4 millimeters (2/10 inch inches) [see sea level.colorado.edu]. Many glaciers are receding but some are increasing. Glacial shelves at the poles melt and reform every year because there are periodic seasonal changes; these alone show dramatically just what changes can occur from summer-to-winter-to-summer again and again. Dramatic changes? Yes; but they are perfectly normal and to be expected.
It is also important to highlight that CO2 is not a pollutant. It is vital for plant, tree, and food-crop growth. The basic principle of equilibria shows that when A and B make C and D, then C and D will react to form more A and B. Hence, as CO2 is produced, it will ‘react’ to produce more oxygen and cellulosic carbon through the well-know chlorophyllic process. Tree, plant, and food-crop production goes up markedly. With low amounts of CO2 in the air we would have severe food crop deficiencies. This process occurs with plankton too. But over and above this chemical-biochemical reaction is the simple physical equilibrium process of solubility. As the seas cool, more CO2 dissolves in the water, and CO2 in the air reduces (and vice-versa).
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