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« Don’t get cocky: Al Qaida has at least another 10 years | Main | Aren’t even Armenian Americans opposed to an untimely Turkey genocide resolution? »

October 16, 2007

Comments

Frank Henry

Hi,

Al Gore's truth says humans are
causing global warming via our
generation of CO2. Others are
not of this opinion.

As Frank Warner draws out a true
point in his article...the debate
for the truth has finally begun!

Voltaier, a French philosopher,
once said "Before we begin our
debate/conversation, let us define
our terms."

So as the debate begins the terms
we need to have clear scientific
knowledge and understanding of are:

1. What is the entire mechanism
by which CO2 is generated by us
humans? And;

2. What is the entire mechanism
by which CO2 is generated by
the earth?

Thanks, and Good Luck,
Let the debate begin.

Frank Henry
Cottonwood, Arizona
Tel: 928-649-0249
e-mail: fmhenry4@netzero.com

Christopher Taylor

Well let's take a few of these and look at the actual science:

1.) The sea level will rise up to 20 feet because of the melting of either West Antarctica or Greenland in the near future.

two things here. First, the IPCC has backed away from the 20 foot claim, and says at most 3 feet - and that's the absolute WORST possible scenario.

Second, Greenland's glaciers are growing, not shrinking.

4.) There is a direct coincidence between the rise in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the rise in temperature over the last 650,000 years.

That's true: but the relationship is that as temperatures rise, so does C02 by as much as an 800 year lag. This is because the ocean releases more C02 when the temperature rises, and stores more when it is cold. Think of the sea as a huge CO2 battery.

5.) The disappearance of the snows on Mount Kilimanjaro is expressly attributable to global warming.

While scientists since the 1800s have noted that the glaciers on Klimanjaro were shrinking, since 1998 they have been growing.

6.) The drying up of Lake Chad is a prime example of a catastrophic result of global warming.

The funny thing is, other areas nearby have gotten more water. Some of the Andes glaciers shrank, others grew. Is it specifically lying to tell only part of the picture? No, Gore might just be inexcusably uninformed.

Hurricane Katrina and the consequent devastation in New Orleans is because of global warming.

No reputable or capable atmospheric scientist on earth believes this. They uniformly reject it and point out that it was inevitable that New Orleans be hit by a hurricane eventually, and the devestation was caused by an incompetent, corrupt government and the refusal to build better flood protection levees despite being told repeatedly by experts that they wouldn't withstand a storm even weaker than Katrina.

Polar bears are drowning because they have to swim long distances to find ice.

As the judge notes the only study finding drowned polar bears took place after a huge storm, and lacks any previous data to compare against. There is absolutely and factually a greater population of Polar Bears now than in any previous time in their history, according to the experts. This stresses their food supply, so they are traveling further and going places they previously had not, however.

And that's just the errors the judge mentions. There are a lot more.

Frank Warner

Is the IPCC backing away from saying the oceans could rise 23 feet over several thousand years?

And on Kilimanjaro, I thought the new scientific thinking was that the recent lack of snow was the result of deforestation at the foothills. Without the forests, the idea is, the area cannot hold enough moisture to produce the snows it once had.

Christopher Taylor

Is the IPCC backing away from saying the oceans could rise 23 feet over several thousand years?

The latest 2007 IPCC report absolutely reduced it to 3 feet (1 meter) at the outside, the most. They also reduced the maximum temperature increase by a significant amount.

Gore bases his entire powerpoint show on the 2001 IPCC report, which included the hockey stick graph that is the laughing stock of the scientific community. They've since abandoned much of what he's using for his movie and book, and talk.

Not that he's changing his story, because it was never about the environment, it was always about a crusade, a way to get notice, attention, money, and power.

Frank Warner

The IPCC's February 2007 Fourth Assessment Report said oceans could rise 23 feet (7 meters) over a period of millennia.

http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/wg1-report.html

jj mollo

Sea Level Issues

If you access publicly available information on the size of the Greenland Ice Cap, it is fairly easy to calculate an estimate for its potential effect on sea level. You need to know the size of Greenland (don’t go by maps, they exaggerate its size), the surface area of the oceans and the average thickness of the ice. I did the calculation myself and come up with 4.6 meters. While this is substantially less than the 20 feet suggested, it is in the ballpark. It is only a rough estimate and does not take into account the effect of expansion when water temperatures increase. I do not believe that Gore said this would happen by any specific date. He just said if the ice cap melted, that’s what would happen. This statement is incontrovertible. The debate is over whether such an event is likely. The judge did not believe it was. By the way, the numbers for Antarctica are much higher.

The problem with stating something as a hypothetical is that people deliberately misinterpret you as saying it will happen and accuse you of being alarmist. Antarctica, at least, is melting. It is not alarmist to point out real possibilities. The important question in my mind revolves around the complexity of the Earth system. There may well be positive feedback loops and catastrophe events triggered by the accumulated impact of gradual changes. Examples are the creation of the Scablands by a sudden release of fresh water, or the creation of the Mediterranean Sea, or the onset of the Younger Dryas. Another might be the takeover of the Atlantic fisheries by jellyfish. Things are connected in startling ways. The core problem is that there are things that we don't know about the System, but we do know from geologic history that it is capable of misbehaving to our detriment. Let me quote from a Science editorial from 2006, March 24:

Fifty million years ago, CO2 levels may have topped 1000 parts per million by volume (ppmv) and sea levels were about 50 meters higher than those today. … The Holocene, over its 10,000-year life, has provided us with a comparatively stable period. Now we are changing an important parameter. Evidence presented in two papers, a News story, and two Perspectives in this issue demonstrates an accelerating decay of ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica. Given the concurrent rapid recent rise in CO2 concentration, history suggests that we should expect other changes. Will these changes return us to a climate like the Miocene or earlier? Or will we experience a repeat of the Eemian? Nothing in the record suggests that an "equilibrium" climate model is the right standard of comparison. We are in the midst of a highly kinetic system, and in the past, dramatic climate changes have taken place in only a few decades. Our comfort in the Holocene may have heightened our sense of security, but the expectation that change is unlikely is not a reasonable position. ...
Frank Warner

The judge said, in effect, that he does believe the ice cap is melting, particularly around Greenland, but that it would take thousands of years of continued melting for it to rise the 20 feet Gore was talking about.

I believe that, as Gore was talking about the 20-foot rise in the movie, he was showing animated graphics of New York City being flooded. That gave the impression this 20 feet of flooding was about to happen in this century.

If you're doing a serious documentary, you've got to nail down things like dates, and avoid implying false chronologies or false urgency. Gore could just as easily have said the Earth will freeze and die some day, as it probably will.

That ocean-rising question, it seems to me, is the most important question in the global warming debate. The height of oceans affects everything, and the timing of its rise affects how urgently we must respond and how much money we'll have to spend on the response.

One or 2 feet means pull back from the banks a little. Twenty feet means run for the hills.

Christopher Taylor

Interesting, the information I have from earlier in the year from the IPCC clearly states they believed it would raise no more than 1 meter. So now what, which is true?

In any case, the 20 foot estimate was based on the absolute worst possible case scenario, and was clearly stated as being in this century, at least in the 2001 report.

The movie shows a huge flood of water pouring into New York like the ludicrous Day After Tomorrow movie, when even if this somehow takes place it would be a matter of rising an inch every few months at most, which you can adapt to rather than a sudden wall of water.

Frank Warner

The British judge, Justice Burton, did a wonderful job with the subject. I hope every school begins its study of global warming with a reading of that Oct. 10, 2007, opinion.

The link is in my post, at the words, "his ruling."

jj mollo

From the Science article I quoted, it is suggested that 50 meters is the worst case scenario. I presume this would involve complete melting of the Antarctic ice as well as Greenland. There would probably also be expansion of sea water from rising global temperatures. What could cause such a thing? I can imagine a variety of processes that could lead to that outcome. You could too if you weren't convinced that it's impossible. The thing that worries me is that there may be a runaway chain reaction waiting to happen that we don't know about yet. In other words, we are pushing our luck with this CO2 stuff. We're like a kid playing with a mousetrap when we don't know how it works.

Frank Warner

Then again, we could take some drastic measures to cool things off, just in time to find out we were in for a natural Ice Age all along. Man, that would be bad timing.

By the way, I've seen lots of references to doubts about warming in most of Antarctica. Is it true the snow is getting deeper there? (Maybe the snow can get deeper even if the ice is thinning.)

Another point: Several people have been arguing that average temperatures haven't risen in at least 10 years. That's interesting, in that our extra CO2 doesn't seem to be pumping up the heat. On the other hand, if the last 10 years are the hottest 10 years of the last 150 years, and if the current heat is melting Greenland's ice, that ice is going to continue melting until average temperatures actually go down. (And they're aren't going down.)

Christopher Taylor

No, you have it wrong. I'm not convinced it's not impossible, I'm convinced that it's not going to happen and that the science clearly shows differently. I reject it because the evidence doesn't support it, logic doesn't support it, and the fantastical, hysterical shreikings of people like Vice President Gore are causing harm.

And Greenlands ice is not melting it's getting thicker.

Frank Warner

Now wait a minute. Who says Greenland's ice is getting thicker?

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