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View Full Version : A very technical, but very interesting read.



djones520
01-01-2010, 12:38 PM
I found this to be a pretty unbiased report on Atmospheric Radiation, and how it correlates with Global Warming. I'll link the specific portion regarding GW, but would suggest everyone read it to get a better idea about the nuts and bolts of the whole system.


The Global Warming Debate
There is evidence that the average temperature of the Earth is increasing. The rate of increase is slow, and is certainly not unreasonable. The average temperature has fluctuated rather widely in recent geological history. In fact, it is generally assumed that we are in an interglacial era, and that the temperature is changing is less remarkable than if it remained unchanged. The reasons for continental glaciation are still quite unknown, and prediction is not possible. It is somewhat remarkable that permanent ice still persists at polar latitudes and high altitudes, since this does not appear to be typical in geologic history. At present, then, it would be reasonable for the Earth's temperature either to decrease or to increase, since it is at a rather intermediate level, perhaps cooler than normal, so an increase would not be surprising.

The argument current among some scientists, politicians and the general public (not remarkable for geologic knowledge) is that the increase in temperature is caused by carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere by human activity, and that restriction of coal burning by electrical utilities, together with some less effective measures, will reduce the carbon dioxide concentration and solve the problem. It is indeed an inconvenient truth that this simple argument is rubbish.

We have noted above that by far the most effective greenhouse gas is water vapor. Some very small increase in its atmospheric concentration, perhaps caused by human activity, would also cause an increased greenhouse effect, and an increase in the Earth's average temperature if the greenhouse effect is indeed responsible for climate. Exactly the same argument can be made for water vapor as for carbon dioxide. For example, burning natural gas produces large quantities of the principal greenhouse gas, while if coal is burned to produce the same amount of heat, only the much less effective carbon dioxide is emitted, turning the usual argument on its head. The atmosphere is no more a closed system for water vapor than it is for carbon dioxide, and what is added may not end up in the atmosphere after all. In fact, agriculture could be responsible for much water vapor, and since agriculture increases at the same rate as population, this would provide an anthropogenic source as well.

Not only is water vapor not mentioned in connection with global warming, neither is the effect of population, except peripherally. If global warming is anthropogenic, then the only means of preventing it would be a significant reduction in human numbers, which seems politically impossible. It is another inconvenient truth that there appears to be no way for human population to be self-limiting until resources are exhausted and starvation does the job. Russia seems to be the only major country expecting a decrease in population (which they are doing all possible to avoid). This is valid even in the carbon dioxide picture. Predictions are now being made for times when the population will certainly exceed the resources, as soon as 2050, when the population will (hypothetically) have doubled. How much limitation of carbon dioxide can be realized in this case?

More carbon dioxide and warmer weather are good news for plants (they survive and give us food even with the small amount of carbon dioxide available in the atmosphere). Such conditions are maintained in some actual greenhouses to increase crop yield, but any positive consequences of global warming or increased carbon dioxide are extremely unpopular with the enthusiasts.

None of the proposals for controlling climate can be expected to have any measurable effects whatever, as good as they may be for conservation and efficiency.

http://mysite.du.edu/~etuttle/weather/atmrad.htm#Glob

PoliCon
01-01-2010, 02:45 PM
I found this to be a pretty unbiased report on Atmospheric Radiation, and how it correlates with Global Warming. I'll link the specific portion regarding GW, but would suggest everyone read it to get a better idea about the nuts and bolts of the whole system.



http://mysite.du.edu/~etuttle/weather/atmrad.htm#Glob

Dude an article from DU?

djones520
01-01-2010, 02:47 PM
Dude an article from DU?

Ummm... not that DU. DU as in Denver University, hence the EDU part of the address.

PoliCon
01-01-2010, 02:58 PM
Ummm... not that DU. DU as in Denver University, hence the EDU part of the address.

Denver University? Isn't that the school that Ward Churchill taught at? Hardly much better :p