Lets fix global warming.

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Vaniver
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Re: Lets fix global warming.

Postby Vaniver » Mon Jan 07, 2008 5:16 pm UTC

Article about global warming predictions and media bias: Not So Hot. Indon, in case you're wondering, they did get published in a peer-review journal (and for the science-minded with a subscription to JGR-A, here's the paper).

The gist of the paper- socioeconomic factors effect the quality of ground-based data (which is where most of the warming evidence is coming from). If we use satellite data (which is far superior to ground-based data), the warming is about half as large as we expected.

Indon wrote:This is because the scientific community generally shuts out ideas which are wrong, or poorly formed, or reached using improper methodology. This strongly implies that denying global warming is one or more of those, and it's up to them (not you, but the researchers) to convince me otherwise.
I'm curious. Are you a member of the scientific community, or do you just read about the community in newspapers? And, if the second, why do expect your information to be good when the incompetence of science journalists (well, in the eyes of scientists, at least) is legendary?

Denying that we conclusively know global warming is happening and anthropogenic is more than feasible; it's supported by the general shoddiness of our climate data and projection methods. Conclusively denying that global warming is happening is not feasible, for largely the same reasons. We need to fund more climate satellites and launch DSCOVR (write your Congressperson).
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Re: Lets fix global warming.

Postby EricH » Mon Jan 07, 2008 5:58 pm UTC

EdgarJPublius wrote:Also, using wave power robs energy from the gravitational pull between the earth and the moon, slowly but surely causing the Moon to orbit closer to the earth until one day it falls on us. and nobody wants that :shock:


I hope everyone knows that that's a joke... I didn't recognize it myself, at first (maybe my sense of humor is underdeveloped, but I find it far easier to detect humor in spoken word than written); so my first thought was, "Doesn't he know the difference between a wave and a tide?" and my second thought was, "...and even if he was talking about tides, that would just mean the moon would be moving away more slowly...maybe he doesn't know that it's already moving away...but then how does he even understand how the size of the moon's orbit relates to tides?...WTF?" On third thought, I realized it had to be a joke...I'm not quick, but I usually get there...eventually....

Just an observation on the political controversy--I'm under the impression that the argument isn't really over whether the climate is changing, at this point, it's more over how much of the change is caused by human activity. (Maybe I'm just not keeping up with the issues....)
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Re: Lets fix global warming.

Postby oxoiron » Mon Jan 07, 2008 6:39 pm UTC

EdgarJPublius wrote:Wave power shares all of the problems of Wind Power (expensive, maintenance intensive, small energy returns, eye-sore), only being underwater, it takes the first two and makes them worse for a small increase in energy returns.

Also, using wave power robs energy from the gravitational pull between the earth and the moon, slowly but surely causing the Moon to orbit closer to the earth until one day it falls on us. and nobody wants that :shock:

Like most new technologies, it will take time to become practical. This article takes a look at the feasibility and cost-effectivenss of several types of and locations for wave-powered generators. Here's what they said:

The techno-economic forecast made by the Project Team is
that wave energy will become commercially competitive with
the current 40,000 MW installed land-based wind technology
at a cumulative production volume of 15,000 MW or less in
Hawaii and northern California, about 20,000 MW in Oregon
and about 40,000 MW in Massachusetts. This forecast was
made on the basis of a 300,000 MWh/yr (nominal 90 MW at
38% capacity factor) Pelamis WEC commercial plant design
and the application of technology learning curves. Maine was
the only state in our study whose wave climate was deemed
inadequate to sustain an economically competitive wave
energy plant.


I also suggest that you read the rest of the conclusions and the recommendations on page 6.

Unfortunately, this paper doesn't address your concerns about the moon crashing into the earth, but I see it represents a real problem and the best argument against the use of tidal and wave power. Does this sort of reasoning also imply that using solar power will make the sun burn out sooner? :wink:
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Re: Lets fix global warming.

Postby Triss Hawkeye » Mon Jan 07, 2008 6:56 pm UTC

Of course - everyone knows that without plants or solar power, the sun would continue to burn for twice as long as it is predicted to today. :P

The above was a joke, just to avoid confusion. Haha. :wink:

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Re: Lets fix global warming.

Postby Indon » Mon Jan 07, 2008 6:58 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:Article about global warming predictions and media bias: Not So Hot. Indon, in case you're wondering, they did get published in a peer-review journal (and for the science-minded with a subscription to JGR-A, here's the paper).

The gist of the paper- socioeconomic factors effect the quality of ground-based data (which is where most of the warming evidence is coming from). If we use satellite data (which is far superior to ground-based data), the warming is about half as large as we expected.


Interesting. That's just about what I was asking for, and is definitely food for thought.

Vaniver wrote:I'm curious. Are you a member of the scientific community, or do you just read about the community in newspapers?

Admittedly, working with computers as I do my profession is more of an engineering-oriented one, and I'm not subscribed to any scientific journals, instead getting most of my information from secondary sources (both like the one you posted, and experts in the field, though admittedly I know no meteorologists) or abstracts.

I have no doubt that the field (like most fields) is afflicted with media bias. Panic sells papers, after all, and that's what it's all about. But being published and not being publicized is worlds different from not being published at all. Not being publicized means that your ideas weren't good for selling papers. Not being published means you couldn't convince someone your ideas were good for anything.

And yes, individual journals can and do screw up; but most fields have more than one journal to work with; thus a field progresses despite individual failures. To fail to get published in any applicable journal means either:

-You're working in a very limited-scope field that simply doesn't have many publications, and one person or group of them screwed up,
-You're working in a less limited-scope field that has a number of publications, and a bunch of people all managed to screw up,
-Something's wrong with your paper.

I would imagine meteorology is wide enough in scope for a member of the field to have plenty of chances to get his work published; and in fact, you demonstrate that these individuals can get their work published after all, or at least one team of them. Your source, as good as it is, doesn't seem to talk about bias in scientific publications; it seems to hint that it might exist then goes to talk about media bias instead.

As for denying global warming is happening, I don't think that's a safe bet. Even 50% is still quite a bit more than 0%, though it does mean we don't have to cover our asses as quickly. And denying that it is human-caused, as I noted earlier in the thread, still neccessitates that we either fix it (if, indeed, we can) or otherwise prepare for it.

On-topic, I think I'm inclined to agree that nuclear power is the answer. I wish someone would comment on if heat-based power from completely exhausted nuclear fuel would be economically feasible, though. I think that would make for a better compliment to a nuclear power strategy than solar (though not neccessarily wind) power.
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Re: Lets fix global warming.

Postby Vaniver » Mon Jan 07, 2008 7:28 pm UTC

Indon wrote:But being published and not being publicized is worlds different from not being published at all. Not being publicized means that your ideas weren't good for selling papers. Not being published means you couldn't convince someone your ideas were good for anything.
This is one of the places where words like "consensus" cause problems; if the only results we hear about have quality X, we have no clue how many of all published results have quality X. Another problem is the natural bias of people to not publish null or contradictory results; if I can't get my model to spit out the results I'm looking for, I may conclude it's a problem with the model (and not publish it) instead of a problem with what I'm looking for.

Indon wrote:Your source, as good as it is, doesn't seem to talk about bias in scientific publications; it seems to hint that it might exist then goes to talk about media bias instead.
You'll note I used the words media bias. The problem is that most people don't have access (in a meaningful sense) to the science and, when they do, they rarely have the background required to interpret the results or gauge the quality of the science. The picture most people have of a field is one that's filtered through the eyes of a few science journalists and maybe a scientist or two (how many people are educated about String Theory almost exclusively by the works of Brian Greene?). This lamentable state of affairs is to be expected- it takes incredibly clever people years to understand one of these fields, and it's a part-time job to stay abreast of the majority of new papers in one subject.

But, the question of how to communicate science to the general populace is only tangentially related, and so I'll cut myself off here. The point is that one should have a healthy skepticism of what the media portrays scientists as thinking, and trust careful, deliberate analysis more than 'soundbytes' (like, for example, a graph without error-bars).

Indon wrote:On-topic, I think I'm inclined to agree that nuclear power is the answer. I wish someone would comment on if heat-based power from completely exhausted nuclear fuel would be economically feasible, though. I think that would make for a better compliment to a nuclear power strategy than solar (though not neccessarily wind) power.
That depends on what you mean by completely exhausted; there are types of nuclear reactors that get more energy out of their fuel than other types (the ones that are designed to create the byproduct of plutonium for military applications are not as good as the ones that focus solely on extracting energy). But once something is completely exhausted, it's, well, completely exhausted.
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Re: Lets fix global warming.

Postby Indon » Mon Jan 07, 2008 8:28 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:This is one of the places where words like "consensus" cause problems; if the only results we hear about have quality X, we have no clue how many of all published results have quality X. Another problem is the natural bias of people to not publish null or contradictory results; if I can't get my model to spit out the results I'm looking for, I may conclude it's a problem with the model (and not publish it) instead of a problem with what I'm looking for.

Yeah, that goes back to, as you noted, the unreliability of the science, which includes our ability to collect data.

Vaniver wrote:You'll note I used the words media bias. The problem is that most people don't have access (in a meaningful sense) to the science and, when they do, they rarely have the background required to interpret the results or gauge the quality of the science. The picture most people have of a field is one that's filtered through the eyes of a few science journalists and maybe a scientist or two (how many people are educated about String Theory almost exclusively by the works of Brian Greene?). This lamentable state of affairs is to be expected- it takes incredibly clever people years to understand one of these fields, and it's a part-time job to stay abreast of the majority of new papers in one subject.

But, the question of how to communicate science to the general populace is only tangentially related, and so I'll cut myself off here. The point is that one should have a healthy skepticism of what the media portrays scientists as thinking, and trust careful, deliberate analysis more than 'soundbytes' (like, for example, a graph without error-bars).

Subscribing to science journals is expensive, too. :(

A 'how to communicate good science to everyone?' thread may be called for in SB. Hmm...

Vaniver wrote:That depends on what you mean by completely exhausted; there are types of nuclear reactors that get more energy out of their fuel than other types (the ones that are designed to create the byproduct of plutonium for military applications are not as good as the ones that focus solely on extracting energy). But once something is completely exhausted, it's, well, completely exhausted.


Material which can no longer be used in a productive nuclear reaction may still be radioactive, and radioactivity can be used to generate electricity via heat. That process was described at one point in either this thread, or the Nuclear Power Q&A thread in Serious Business, and I was interested in discussing its' fiscal viability. It seems to be a high initial investment, low maintenance, low-yield source of power that could be used on small or large scales. I see promise, and I'm just waiting for someone informed in the field to shoot me down.
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Re: Lets fix global warming.

Postby EdgarJPublius » Tue Jan 08, 2008 3:27 am UTC

EricH wrote:
EdgarJPublius wrote:Also, using wave power robs energy from the gravitational pull between the earth and the moon, slowly but surely causing the Moon to orbit closer to the earth until one day it falls on us. and nobody wants that :shock:


I hope everyone knows that that's a joke... I didn't recognize it myself, at first (maybe my sense of humor is underdeveloped, but I find it far easier to detect humor in spoken word than written); so my first thought was, "Doesn't he know the difference between a wave and a tide?" and my second thought was, "...and even if he was talking about tides, that would just mean the moon would be moving away more slowly...maybe he doesn't know that it's already moving away...but then how does he even understand how the size of the moon's orbit relates to tides?...WTF?" On third thought, I realized it had to be a joke...I'm not quick, but I usually get there...eventually....

I generally use smilies to indicate more subtle humor. Though wave power does rob some energy from tides as well, and even thought he moon is currently moving away from the earth, robbing enough energy in this way could eventually cause the the moon to reverse course. but that's a heck of a lot of energy to be used, by the time human use would have any appreciable effect, we'd already have a dyson sphere.


Using solar power however doesn't rob energy from the sun however, as the sun is already radiating that energy, though at this time there is some controversy over quantum observation/use effects, but the latest theories don't yet support this.

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Re: Lets fix global warming.

Postby LoopQuantumGravity » Tue Jan 08, 2008 8:10 am UTC

Vaniver wrote:You'll note I used the words media bias. The problem is that most people don't have access (in a meaningful sense) to the science and, when they do, they rarely have the background required to interpret the results or gauge the quality of the science. The picture most people have of a field is one that's filtered through the eyes of a few science journalists and maybe a scientist or two (how many people are educated about String Theory almost exclusively by the works of Brian Greene?). This lamentable state of affairs is to be expected- it takes incredibly clever people years to understand one of these fields, and it's a part-time job to stay abreast of the majority of new papers in one subject.

But, the question of how to communicate science to the general populace is only tangentially related, and so I'll cut myself off here. The point is that one should have a healthy skepticism of what the media portrays scientists as thinking, and trust careful, deliberate analysis more than 'soundbytes' (like, for example, a graph without error-bars).


Yeah, this is definitely true. But sometimes (often) the media doesn't even try to understand. A number of years ago, there were a lot of newspapers and TV shows talking about scientists "breaking the speed of light" and how that challenges relativity, and all the amazing things we could do with it, and blah blah blah. Some of the scientists doing the research contacted some of these people and pointed out that their experiment actually had nothing to do with that, and nothing actually went faster than light (the "faster than light" effect was due to the difference between phase and group velocities). And the purpose of the experiment has absolutely nothing to do with trying to go faster than light.

Naturally, the media then talked about how these amazing scientists broke the speed of light using their amazing experiment, and used lots of quotes from the scientists' explanation of how they didn't break the speed of light.

The scientists again contacted them, trying again to correct them, saying again, they didn't actually do that... So the media published some more stuff about these amazing scientists groundbreaking work!

Eventually, the scientists published a very angry rant on their website about how everything the media said was wrong, and how they can't believe how this happens like every 5 years, and the media never learns.

So, yeah, don't trust the media. :D
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Re: Lets fix global warming.

Postby Indon » Tue Jan 08, 2008 1:44 pm UTC

EdgarJPublius wrote:I generally use smilies to indicate more subtle humor. Though wave power does rob some energy from tides as well, and even thought he moon is currently moving away from the earth, robbing enough energy in this way could eventually cause the the moon to reverse course. but that's a heck of a lot of energy to be used, by the time human use would have any appreciable effect, we'd already have a dyson sphere.


So, harvesting wave power increases the effective, uh, lifespan of our moon? (Since robbing less energy than would be required for the moon to move towards us would seemingly make it move away from us less)

That's interesting.
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Re: Lets fix global warming.

Postby AbNo » Wed Jan 09, 2008 8:48 pm UTC

Indon wrote:More like, I trust the peer review for most modern publications; I have no particular reason to doubt the scientific community as a whole. As such, people who can't get published in them sound like, well, kooks.

Well, that'd make it easier to get published outside of them, in a place we can easily access their papers (even an abstract wouldn't be bad) so we can look at them ourselves and not only evaluate the papers themselves, but in so doing test these 'global warming deniers' claims about the system that supposedly is conspiring against them.


So, first you're saying we should ignore people that aren't published in Indon-approved tm scientific journals, then a few sentences later, you are saying we should evaluate them?

Indon wrote:The onus of proof is generally on the people who think that Science Is Conspiring Against Them To Shut Out Their Ideas. This is because the scientific community generally shuts out ideas which are wrong, or poorly formed, or reached using improper methodology. This strongly implies that denying global warming is one or more of those, and it's up to them (not you, but the researchers) to convince me otherwise.


Yaa! Now I'm a tin-foil hat wearing, Bible-thumping creationist conspiracy nut! :mrgreen:

That'll look great on a resume.

Answer this question for me, if you will....

Do you believe that there is incentive, be it financial, personal, political, or otherwise, to perpetuate the myth of global warming?

The "myth" part is, of course, my own take on the subject, feel free to omit it with regards to your answer. (i.e. answer without the words "the myth of")

Below are some potential incentives that I could think of in the span of about 30 seconds (I'm on a time schedule today). Feel free to take them into consideration while you

Financial: Donations, research grants, book deals, cushy jobs
Personal: Fame, reputation (no one wants to be proven wrong), personal legacy, free travel (I hear Bali is nice in December and January)
Political: "Vote for me! I'll end pollution!"

Oh, and if you can do that without going "ZOMG! Teh big oil companies!!!11", that'd be great. It seems like everytime I post a question like this, the only response I get is "Yeah, but *tired almost copy-and-paste from two days ago*" that tries to deflect the argument.


Indon wrote:Though if you really want people to believe that there's some scientific conspiracy against these people, and that their ideas are valid despite the consensus explicitly against them, you might want to have some kind of source so that people don't just write you off for the same reasons I just wrote you off in this thread.


Oh, I never said a conspiracy against the people, that's your wording, be it intentional or otherwise.

You seem to be trying to make my words into and us vs them (pro-GW scientists) situation, and I do not appreciate it.

I simply say that there is plenty of other incentive for them, namely, the reasons listed above. Going hippy-level green is becoming its own big business, ironically enough. There's a lot of money to be had. Ever look up "carbon credit" on eBay? On Google?
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Re: Lets fix global warming.

Postby Vaniver » Wed Jan 09, 2008 9:42 pm UTC

AbNo wrote:Do you believe that there would be incentive, be it financial, personal, political, or otherwise, to perpetuate a myth of global warming?
Fixed to be a bit less skewed.
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Re: Lets fix global warming.

Postby Indon » Wed Jan 09, 2008 11:08 pm UTC

AbNo wrote:So, first you're saying we should ignore people that aren't published in Indon-approved tm scientific journals, then a few sentences later, you are saying we should evaluate them?

I'm saying that not being able to make it into a peer-reviewed journal is a mark against them, but that doesn't prevent them from trying to make their case (and in doing so, demonstrating that the system is biased against them).

AbNo wrote:Yaa! Now I'm a tin-foil hat wearing, Bible-thumping creationist conspiracy nut! :mrgreen:

Well, you appear to think that anti-global warming publications can't get published because of a scientific conspiracy against them.

AbNo wrote:Singer is one of a LONG line of scientists derided, demonized, and silenced because they do not perpetuate the Great Global Warming Myth, and if you think I'm just taking singular, random events from the past, I'd like to point out that it happened just three short weeks ago.

A quick search for "global warming dissent" pulls up stories with lines such as the Telegraph's "Leading scientific journals 'are censoring debate on global warming", the Boston Herald's "...when it comes to global warming, dissent is treated as heresy", or, for more fun, the Senate's web site, in which The Weather Channel's Heidi Cullen advocated the American Meteorological Society deny the AMS Seal of Approval.


If you expect to be believed, you should take steps to support your position, which according to your own words, is that people who agree with you can't get published. For anyone who actually trusts a scientific field to produce unbiased results, such a stonewalling of a position is most likely because it's not good science.

You could attempt to argue this by showing the science (which Vaniver did a good job of doing with his citation, I can honestly say I'm recalculating my perception of global warming), or by trying to prove a bias.

AbNo wrote:Do you believe that there is incentive, be it financial, personal, political, or otherwise, to perpetuate the myth of global warming?

Not so prevalent that it would prevent any significant meteorology publication from publishing an anti-global warming finding. And in fact, if I'm to take Vaniver's source as accurate (and it seems about as solid as you can get for being a newspaper), it isn't the case.

There's clearly a bias in media interpretation of the scientific community, but I have no reason to doubt the community itself, especially one so large and diverse as the meteorological one.

AbNo wrote:Below are some potential incentives that I could think of in the span of about 30 seconds (I'm on a time schedule today). Feel free to take them into consideration while you

Financial: Donations, research grants, book deals, cushy jobs
Personal: Fame, reputation (no one wants to be proven wrong), personal legacy, free travel (I hear Bali is nice in December and January)
Political: "Vote for me! I'll end pollution!"

Oh, and if you can do that without going "ZOMG! Teh big oil companies!!!11", that'd be great. It seems like everytime I post a question like this, the only response I get is "Yeah, but *tired almost copy-and-paste from two days ago*" that tries to deflect the argument.


Who is possibly supplying all the money to pay off the boards of every meteorology journal in the western hemisphere? Are you trying to tell me that each and every one - or even a majority - is doting on a cushy research grant specifically concerning global warming such that they would risk their jobs by making unethical decisions in order to keep?

Similarly, there's money for anti-global warming advocates... but where's the motive to give it? Western energy companies can stand to rake in cash for changeover to clean energy sources, and it's not like oil would become any less vital to our economy - petroleum is used to make PLASTIC, for God's sake, and is the least expensive source for most kinds of it. Octane is practically a byproduct of the production of something far more vital to our economy than SUV's.

Outside of the claims of mass media, there is no reason to believe that there's any bias in the meteorological community as a whole for or against global warming. If the media is claiming that such a bias exists, my first instinct is to say they're full of it - after all, if we've established anything in this thread, it's that the media does not accurately report science.

As such, if anti-global warming advocates are seriously having such a hard time being believed, it's probably because they aren't very believable. If anything, I consider it much more believable that science that does not imply global warming is simply being ignored by the media, and that this 'censoring', as you quoted, is a fabrication.

AbNo wrote:Oh, I never said a conspiracy against the people, that's your wording, be it intentional or otherwise.

You seem to be trying to make my words into and us vs them (pro-GW scientists) situation, and I do not appreciate it.

My words? You speak of the "Global Warming Myth", and pick quotes from individuals talking about how denyers of the myth are treated as heretical and censored, and _I_ am trying to make your words into an us-vs-them?

AbNo wrote:I simply say that there is plenty of other incentive for them, namely, the reasons listed above. Going hippy-level green is becoming its own big business, ironically enough. There's a lot of money to be had. Ever look up "carbon credit" on eBay? On Google?


I know what the carbon credit system is, and I think the idea has both upsides and downsides. On the one hand, I think it works well as an incentive program. On the other, it presents a challenge for a company to reduce their carbon emissions when they must already buy additional credits to sustain their business - scrubbers are hella expensive. Thus in some cases, it can backfire.

But, on the topic, if you're going to try to tell me that industries that recieve carbon credit for their emissions, and that can sell their credit because they are not producing much carbon emissions, are in a position to influence the scientific community, please support your claim.
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Re: Lets fix global warming.

Postby zealo » Mon Feb 04, 2008 3:52 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:The gist of the paper- socioeconomic factors effect the quality of ground-based data (which is where most of the warming evidence is coming from). If we use satellite data (which is far superior to ground-based data), the warming is about half as large as we expected.


you use parentheses for statements which are wrong?

the fact that urban areas are warmer than the undeveloped surroundings is not newly discovered.
basically: developed areas, with all the buildings and tarmac and the like, are warmer than surrounding undeveloped areas, with all the trees and grasses and the like. this effect causes cities to show up as 'urban heat islands' on data over a large area. weather stations are usually built outside of cities for this reason, but having them relatively close makes it feasible for people who work the to get there everyday. observatories have a similar problem with placement due to smog and light pollution.
cities and towns have this tendency to grow, and eventually have more and more of an effect on surrounding weather stations (or weather stations built within the city) as they do so.
obviously, this will affect readings and, if not taken into account, in the long term make it look like the climate is getting warmer faster than it really is. also obvious is that this does not mean the climate isn't getting warmer at all.

as an extreme analogy, if someone 100 years ago had place a rain gauge next to where i am sitting, and it had been monitored over that time, the would be a rather dramatic decrease in rainfall about 20 years ago when this house was built. does that mean that it hasn't rained since then? no. does knowing the reason that the readings were inaccurate mean that there hasn't been a drought in australia for (8 years now is it?)? no.

the 3rd and 4th IPCC reports take this into account, as does the NAS report. nothing gets into those reports if there is any reasonable doubt (even if they have to include rather large ranges to make everyone happy). i used to think the idea of anthropogenic global warming was something idiotic those anti-nuclear people came up with, but every 'argument' against it i had or have seen is addressed in the 3rd IPCC report.
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Re: Lets fix global warming.

Postby Vaniver » Mon Feb 04, 2008 9:07 pm UTC

zealo wrote:you use parentheses for statements which are wrong?
Not on purpose, no.

zealo wrote:the fact that urban areas are warmer than the undeveloped surroundings is not newly discovered.
basically: developed areas, with all the buildings and tarmac and the like, are warmer than surrounding undeveloped areas, with all the trees and grasses and the like. this effect causes cities to show up as 'urban heat islands' on data over a large area. weather stations are usually built outside of cities for this reason, but having them relatively close makes it feasible for people who work the to get there everyday. observatories have a similar problem with placement due to smog and light pollution.
cities and towns have this tendency to grow, and eventually have more and more of an effect on surrounding weather stations (or weather stations built within the city) as they do so.
obviously, this will affect readings and, if not taken into account, in the long term make it look like the climate is getting warmer faster than it really is. also obvious is that this does not mean the climate isn't getting warmer at all.
If you read the article I linked to, you would have noticed this:
Patrick J. Michaels wrote:Scientists have known for years that temperature records can be contaminated by so-called "urban warming," which results from the fact that long-term temperature histories tend to have originated at points of commerce. The bricks, buildings, and pavement of cities retain the heat of the day and impede the flow of ventilating winds.

For example, downtown Washington is warmer than nearby (and more rural) Dulles Airport. As government and services expand down the Dulles Access road, it, too, is beginning to warm compared to more rural sites to the west.

zealo wrote:the 3rd and 4th IPCC reports take this into account, as does the NAS report. nothing gets into those reports if there is any reasonable doubt (even if they have to include rather large ranges to make everyone happy). i used to think the idea of anthropogenic global warming was something idiotic those anti-nuclear people came up with, but every 'argument' against it i had or have seen is addressed in the 3rd IPCC report.
Again:
Patrick J. Michaels wrote:Adjusting data for this effect, or using only rural stations, the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change states with confidence that less than 10% of the observed warming in long-term climate histories is due to urbanization.

That's a wonderful hypothesis, and Ross and I decided to test it.

We noted that other types of bias must still be affecting historical climate records. What about the quality of a national network and the competence of the observers? Other factors include movement or closing of weather stations and modification of local land surfaces, such as replacing a forest with a cornfield.

Many of these are socioeconomic, so we built a computer model that included both regional climatic factors, such as latitude, as well as socioeconomic indicators like GDP and applied it to the IPCC's temperature history.


If you want to argue against what they're saying, it may help to carefully examine what they say first.
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Re: Lets fix global warming.

Postby zealo » Tue Feb 05, 2008 9:24 am UTC

fair enough, all i could access was the abstract.

my point was the this is a minor adjustment and does not detract from the argument that global warming is happening and largely caused by people releasing CO2 into the atmosphere.
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Re: Lets fix global warming.

Postby Vaniver » Wed Feb 06, 2008 12:59 am UTC

zealo wrote:my point was the this is a minor adjustment and does not detract from the argument that global warming is happening and largely caused by people releasing CO2 into the atmosphere.
I'm not sure how a factor of 2 can be considered minor. In either event, the important question now that we're reasonably sure that there's a good chance that global warming is happening is does it matter?
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Re: Lets fix global warming.

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Feb 06, 2008 4:47 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:In either event, the important question now that we're reasonably sure that there's a good chance that global warming is happening is does it matter?

And that's a question that should be addressed in some other thread. This is the science forum, not SB.
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Re: Lets fix global warming.

Postby Blubb3r3ng3l » Tue Mar 11, 2008 11:25 pm UTC

Blatm wrote:Inspired by:
Swordfish on global warming wrote:Paint your roof white.


I also had a much more far fetched idea that won't work of finding something that will bind with CO2 molecules and throw them into the atmosphere so they become heavier and fall out of the sky...or something. Maybe if we put our heads together, we might make some progress. Probably not, but we'll probably have some fun.

Would Swordfish's idea work? How badly would mine not work/backfire horribly? Do you have any crazy schemes that won't work?

Discuss!


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Re: Lets fix global warming.

Postby Azrael001 » Wed Mar 12, 2008 12:48 am UTC

I have said many times that Nukes are the solution to everything.
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Re: Lets fix global warming.

Postby Graham Finch » Wed Mar 12, 2008 8:50 am UTC

Azrael001 wrote:I have said many times that Nukes are the solution to everything.


...except global warming.

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Re:

Postby Firnagzen » Wed Mar 12, 2008 9:43 am UTC

skeptical scientist wrote:
Vaniver wrote:
Trees in temperate and polar regions are at best carbon-neutral. They breathe out about as much CO2 as they breathe in. We need more tropical forests, but of course they're the ones that are disappearing...
I was under the impression that every tree took a considerable amount of carbon out of circulation while it was alive, and people were looking into what happens to the carbon once the tree dies / starts decaying.

Yeah, this makes no sense. Roughly speaking, carbon used by living things is either stored in energy storage molecules (such as fats and sugars), used for structural purposes (such as cellulose and proteins) or breathed in and out as CO2. So any time something grows or stores energy, they are net consumers of CO2, and any time they use stored energy they are net producers of CO2. Animals, of course, do relatively little growing over their lifespans, and expend lots of stored energy, which they get by eating things (rather than by converting solar energy into a stored form themselves, as plants do). By contrast, any plant (with the exception of carnivorous plants) essentially only uses energy they've stored themselves, spend very little energy compared to most animals, and often grow quite a lot compared to animals
as well. So any plant is a net consumer of CO2, although some are of course better than others.

Am I missing something here? How could any tree, tropical or not, be carbon neutral? (Of course if you consider the amount of carbon released after the tree dies this is possible, but since we're considering whole forests, new tree growth should at the very least cancel with decaying trees, so the only important consideration would be the change in size of the forest.)


Well, you see, you're correct. But as you said, the tree releases carbon dioxide when they die: and most forests don't grow unchecked like that any more. They did in the past- They laid down all those wonderful crude oil (or was it coal?) reserves and as a result released the oxygen we're breathing today. So, when we burn fossil fuels now, we put that carbon dioxide back into the air. If we were to cut down trees when they were fully grown and... I don't know, shipped them into space, it would reduce net amount of carbon on the earth. Or maybe bury them deep under the earth with no oxygen to rot and produce more coal for the future.

japanese_jew wrote:Or you could just dump it over depleted fields. But I'm a little skeptical of "Self sustainable" or "solar powered planes". Planes require quite a bit of energy, I believe.

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Re: Lets fix global warming.

Postby Blubb3r3ng3l » Wed Mar 12, 2008 3:45 pm UTC

Coal and oil happen by the same process... I think it's a developmental thing. Oil happens after coal, under more intense pressure, *I think*. Most oil was actually formed by algae deposits and ancient wetlands, and not dinosaurs against popular knowledge.

Another problem we're beginning to see has to do with continued melting of arctic areas. Having not always been arctic, and often having plant material that is frozen into the permafrost, the arctic is one of the world's (aside from oil) largest reserves of carbon. As the temperatures slowly rise, and as ice retreats from winter levels, the permafrost that HAD been, well, permanently frosted is beginning to thaw. With that comes digestion by bacteria, and with that comes CO2 and methane... ack.

Basically, thats an argument for why we've started a bit of a chain reaction. As the world heats up, it'll do nothing but speed up thanks to astronomically huge amounts of carbon stored in places like Russia, Alaska and Canada. Woops.

Also... who says nukes can't solve global warming. I think it was Futurama that said 'Whew, I'm glad global warming never happened.
It did!
What?
Why yes, but good thing nuclear winter canceled it out"

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Re: Lets fix global warming.

Postby EdgarJPublius » Wed Mar 12, 2008 10:16 pm UTC

Recent studies are finding that 'global warming' may not be solely responsible for retreating antarctic ice-sheets, but that volcanoes under the ice cap are lending no small support to the process.
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Re: Lets fix global warming.

Postby Blubb3r3ng3l » Wed Mar 12, 2008 10:25 pm UTC

EdgarJPublius wrote:Recent studies are finding that 'global warming' may not be solely responsible for retreating antarctic ice-sheets, but that volcanoes under the ice cap are lending no small support to the process.


Please find me that. I pride myself on knowing as much about the different ways global warming may or may not have been man-made, and have never come across the 'volcanoes under the North Pole' theory.
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Re: Lets fix global warming.

Postby Azrael001 » Thu Mar 13, 2008 2:45 am UTC

Graham Finch wrote:
Azrael001 wrote:I have said many times that Nukes are the solution to everything.


...except global warming.


Are you saying that nuclear winter would be warmer than the current future global climate?
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Re: Lets fix global warming.

Postby Swordfish » Thu Mar 13, 2008 5:57 pm UTC

Blubb3r3ng3l wrote:Please find me that. I pride myself on knowing as much about the different ways global warming may or may not have been man-made, and have never come across the 'volcanoes under the North Pole' theory.


Here's the best I could do on the Volcano: http://www.livescience.com/environment/ ... lcano.html

And that would be the South Pole, we're talking about, not the North Pole. :P

Anyway, what happens is this volcano melts the ice around it, and the water flows underneath the glacier. This acts as a lubricant allowing the glacier to move faster. These glaciers move toward the ice shelves on the coast and, eventually, all of the weight causes the shelf to collapse.
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Re: Lets fix global warming.

Postby Azrael001 » Thu Mar 13, 2008 6:07 pm UTC

I don't know if I posted this already, but it is another article which is interesting and relevant.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/02/070228-mars-warming.html
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Re: Lets fix global warming.

Postby Blubb3r3ng3l » Thu Mar 13, 2008 6:42 pm UTC

Swordfish wrote:
Blubb3r3ng3l wrote:Please find me that. I pride myself on knowing as much about the different ways global warming may or may not have been man-made, and have never come across the 'volcanoes under the North Pole' theory.


Here's the best I could do on the Volcano: http://www.livescience.com/environment/ ... lcano.html

And that would be the South Pole, we're talking about, not the North Pole. :P

Anyway, what happens is this volcano melts the ice around it, and the water flows underneath the glacier. This acts as a lubricant allowing the glacier to move faster. These glaciers move toward the ice shelves on the coast and, eventually, all of the weight causes the shelf to collapse.

Thanks for the link. One quick 'framing' thing I'll do hyper quick to support MY agenda... (why even pretend I'm trying to be unbiased)

Vaughan noted, however, that the hidden volcano doesn't explain widespread thinning of Antarctic glaciers.


*edit to not use another post* Seriously. Not mocking here, just framing my argument.
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Re: Lets fix global warming.

Postby Swordfish » Thu Mar 13, 2008 7:58 pm UTC

Just to be clear here, that last post wasn't to support one side of the other. I was just writing about something that's happening down there for education purposes.
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General Global Warming Discussion Thread

Postby Bright Shadows » Mon Mar 23, 2009 10:19 pm UTC

The Science board seemed like a good place for something like this.

The other topic that was probably similar (Let's fix global warming) had its last post about a year ago, I think, so a new topic might be warranted. Call me on it if I'm wrong, I'm wrong a lot.

My only possible contribution after this is discussion starting, so I'll do that now.

Solar: Won't fix the problem, I think, even with space in the equation. Repair in space would be a pain anyway. Also, storage would be too, probably. These might help though.

Wind: In the ocean. I think it's a good idea, but again, repair and storage are pains.

Global Warming as a subject: What is it supposed to do, again? Reduce crops and make more deserts?
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Re: Lets fix global warming.

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Mar 23, 2009 10:30 pm UTC

Nah, I'm going to go ahead and say discussion should be kept in this thread. Much of any new discussion would probably involve people thinking, "You know, I definitely posted something exactly like this before, now if only I could just find it..."

Thank you for searching before starting the new one, though. Finding the already-existing thread and deciding it's defunct is much nicer from a moderatorly perspective than not bothering to check and creating a new thread despite there already being one (or in some cases several) discussions about the same topic.
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Re: Lets fix global warming.

Postby Azrael001 » Mon Mar 23, 2009 10:38 pm UTC

One of my friends in Environmental Science has told me that the main threat of global warming over the long term is it's potential to start a new ice age. Apparently the movie The Day After Tomorrow got that part right at least. The salt content of the ocean helps guide the currents. Should the Greenland ice-sheet become destabilized it could disrupt the north Atlantic current. This would be bad.

In the short term, more extreme weather is expected. Stronger storms, colder winters, hotter summers etc.

I'm of the opinion that nuclear power is the way to go, but There have been promising strides in both wind and solar power collection.
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Re: Lets fix global warming.

Postby Rustyington » Wed Mar 25, 2009 2:33 am UTC

How about accepting temperature cycles and variations as an age-old and necessary part of our planet, and stop using pop-science to prop up our campaign against prosperity and business?

The way to fix global warming is to educate the public about what a lie it is.

Read the damn thread before posting here again, please.

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Re: Lets fix global warming.

Postby Tass » Wed Mar 25, 2009 9:16 am UTC

Meteorswarm wrote:What do you guys think about wind power?


As a dane I could hardly be against wind power, my country being one of the worlds leading in that technology. As with solar we badly need storage though. It may be cheaper than coal on avarage, but as it is now we are forced to export the power from peak production to our neighbouring contries for a very cheap price even though most of our energy still comes from coal. Still the politicians are putting up more windmills because of the green image.

If we get the energy storage sorted out then wind power certainly has potential.

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Re: Lets fix global warming.

Postby Bright Shadows » Thu Mar 26, 2009 11:09 pm UTC

It seems as though transmission and storage are some of the more significant problems in terms of energy use. We might want to get on that.

Removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere? A good idea? Could it work on a large scale?

Trapping CO2?
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Re:

Postby GoodRudeFun » Sat Mar 28, 2009 10:54 am UTC

japanese_jew wrote:Or you could just dump it over depleted fields. But I'm a little skeptical of "Self sustainable" or "solar powered planes". Planes require quite a bit of energy, I believe.
Why not a blimp or zeppelin type option? I'm not familiar with the efficiency, but I'd assume it'd be better than a plane. Correct me on any issues involved though, there could be consequences I'm missing.

I think we need to address our overall energy consumption rather than find miracle clean energy sources. Not that we should abandon those sources, but one also has to figure in the heat produced by using those sources, and in certain areas heat pollution can be a problem. Lowering our over all consumption of energy (and other items as well) would be a more effective way of curing the cause. The problem is that doing so would conflict with our economy, which is based largely on consumption. If we could move away from that.... but thats a topic for SB, not here. if we could lower our over all consumption of energy and products that are produced inefficiently, we could really help slow global warming.

I'd also like to see more investment in electric car tech. They were pretty viable already, but more investment would make them even better. As it is they are a better option than combustion engine cars, if you don't have to drive too far.

But here's my hypothetical super cool idea: energy plants. If we could reproduce photosynthesis in an efficient manner would have energy plants that consume CO2 and produce stored energy or even building resources. Though there is the problem that releasing the stored energy would also release the stored CO2, I think...

EDIT: crap, I didn't realize there was more than one page, forgot while reading >.>


To the storage issue: I really think we should invest a lot more into battery technology. Of course I'm sure investment is already high, but the more the better. With more efficient and cleaner battery technology we could use it for transporting energy from ocean based wind energy farms as well as efficient vehicles. Hell, if we ever reached a point where battery tech was perfect, then collecting solar energy in space would be perfect (if we also found a way to transport the batteries back to earth).
Oh. Well that's alright then.

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Re: Lets fix global warming.

Postby eternauta3k » Sat Mar 28, 2009 6:44 pm UTC

EdgarJPublius wrote:plants also use chemical energy from nutrients in the soil

Do they? I thought they only used them to get elements and compounds they can't synthesize
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Re: Lets fix global warming.

Postby quintopia » Sat Mar 28, 2009 8:52 pm UTC

From a discussion of last night:

1) Convert base power production (stable 80%) to breeder fission plants (in which waste is very small after spent fuels are reprocessed and reused) in the short run (50-100 years)
2) Develop self-sustaining fusion reaction plants that work on smaller scales than the tokamak (i.e. really efficient cold fusion devices) and begin using them to replace the fission plants.
3) Place other sorts of environmentally-friendly power sources in places where they can be most effective (like kite power plants across the midwest).
4) At the same time, revamp the infrastructure to encourage efficient low-emissions transportation and greatly reward high-efficiency or sustainable homes and businesses.

a) This process requires lots of money.
b) Which probably means it requires lots of people either voluntarily giving that money or convincing the government to give that money.
c) Which means a greater portion of the citizenry need to get on the bandwagon of pushing these goals forward, like the Red Scare did for space flight.
d) Which requires large media outlets to constantly place the spotlight on the harm being done in the present by climate change and on those working to stop it and reverse
e) Which means those who stand to profit from the greening of the infrastructure in the future need to sponsor these news stories in the present.

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Re: Lets fix global warming.

Postby Charlie! » Sun Mar 29, 2009 12:32 am UTC

The important thing that nuclear has that solar and wind don't have is an easy to calculate baseline output. It's theoretically possible to have not enough wind or solar energy for a long period of time, but nuclear will just keep chuggin' away. Until even better storage methods are available (although molten salt storage is pretty cool, it still doesn't allow us to compensate for longer-term shortages, requiring a larger number of "emergency" power plants) I think any new energy plan is going to have to include some form of nuclear.

And fortunately, the places with the least access to water are also going to tend to need nuclear power the least (lower chance of heavily cloudy days).
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