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Re: Global warming: are the skeptics correct?
Watashi   2/7/2012 11:19:07 AM
Taking the macro thermal model approach, I agree that solar effects are probably the principle source of earth's temperature fluxuations.  Like you, I would like to have your question answered.

I am an EE and thermal is not my thing. It sounds like you have put some thought into this so I would like to run this by you - Considering the "greenhouse" effect: In a closed system where heat is input but not radiated away, wouldn't one expect that average day and night temperatures would begin to converge as the insulating material became more effective?  It seems to me that if CO2 is as effective a GHG as many assert, as the level rises, the earth's average temperature would rise but also begin to normalize to a standard temp.

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You Don't Need A Weatherman ... - Dylan
bwilson4web   2/7/2012 11:05:16 AM
The sea level is a hard thermometer to ignore, a global metric. As the earth warms, the coast moves inland and landmass above sea level decreases. Given a significant part of the human population lives in coastal areas, it will be an easy sell for them and those impacted by their migration.

As for fossile fuels, I grew up in Oklahoma and there aren't a whole lot of new oil wells being drilled there. Fossile fuels are a finite resource and they are being burned up which drives up costs.

As for our family, we have two Prius to minimize our energy costs as fossile fuel prices rise. The Prius also provide emergency power during severe weather outages. For example, there were a string of tornados last April that sliced up the TVA transmission lines. We had 1 kW of Prius electrical power for over four days for lights, TV, and living.

Fuel efficienct transportation and local power generation are a sensible precaution when heading into high-priced fuel and severe storms. So in 1999, we moved from an area about 50-200 ft above sea level, Washington DC, to an area 600-1,000 ft. . . . Just one less thing to worry about.

Bob Wilson, Huntsville, AL


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Re: How about a timeout here?
jeffbiss   2/7/2012 10:59:21 AM

What global warming industry? Is this like the evolution industry, or the inflation industries?

There is no global warming "industry", only scientists doing their jobs as scientists. Manipulated data? You've got to be kidding. When scientists published papers based on manipulated data, it is eventually uncovered by other scientists. Vested GW interests in acedamia? And what are these? If there is a "vested" interest and the science is good, then there isn't a problem. However, if that interest is wrong, then it will eventually be exposed as fraud, by other scientists.

I'm afraid that rather than science, you are paying all your attention to mass media for your information. But here's what I'd like you to do, post EVIDENCE to support your allegations!

Is this all the skeptics got? Allegations of skewed and incomplete evidence with nothing to back those allegations up! This IS the problem with America and it's alive and well in the engineering community. Anti-intellectualism is the last refuge of true believers.

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Re: No insult
Cassiopeia   2/7/2012 4:28:08 AM
Published in 1938 by the Engineer G.S. Callendar.  If he had the insight based on the scanty evidence and equipment available then, what must he have thought of all this squabbling now?  He must be turning in his grave!

The artificial production of carbon dioxide and its influence on temperature - Callendar (1938) [FULL TEXT]

Abstract: "By fuel combustion man has added about 150,000 million tons of carbon dioxide to the air during the past half century. The author estimates from the best available data that approximately three quarters of this has remained in the atmosphere. The radiation absorption coefficients of carbon dioxide and water vapour are used to show the effect of carbon dioxide on "sky radiation." From this the increase in mean temperature, due to the artificial production of carbon dioxide, is estimated to be at the rate of 0.003°C. per year at the present time. The temperature observations at 200 meteorological stations are used to show that world temperatures have actually increased at an average rate of 0.005°C. per year during the past half century."

Citation: G. S. Callendar, Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, Volume 64, Issue 275, pages 223–240, April 1938, DOI: 10.1002/qj.49706427503.

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Re: No insult
Cassiopeia   2/7/2012 4:03:27 AM
O dear look at Watashi's post

This shows what professional scientists are up against.  The more references to back up the evidence, the more hostile and political the response becomes.

Watashi prefers loose opinion where one view is a valid as another, in that way the 'debate' can remain balanced unencumbered by inconvenient and embarassing facts.

Accuse your opponent exactly what you are, this is a reoccuring tactic amongst 'sceptics' yes I never used the D word! 

If any evidence was needed what drives 'sceptics' there is no need to look further than the terms 'Commie'  'Red' etc. Unfortunately most 'sceptics' are smart enough not to show their hand!

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Re: How about a timeout here?
fatmanonabicycle   2/7/2012 2:27:22 AM
Unfortunately, the global Warming industry frequently has no science to present either, and it is made up on the spot. People talk about vested interests in the sceptics' lobby, but what about vested interests in pro GW academia, who gain the sponsorship of control freak governments as long as they skew everthing in favour of GW ?

If the GW lobby did not act as if they had something to hide, if they did not continuously maniulate date to their own ends, thinking people could think better of them.

If we didn't hear the repeated lie that "all scientists agree...."; unfortunately, this particular lie seems to be based on the premise that you have to believe in GW to be a scientist, and believing in GW makes you one. Their Nazi-like zeal works against them, and there are some pretty rubbish scientists put forward to make their case.

I am making no comment as to whether GW, man-made or otherwise- is happening. Subjectively, winters seem warmer nowadays, but memories can befuddle us. The data is far less definitive than many would have us believe.

Why does the GW lobby feel the need to act in the way it does ? Why does it so frequently hide evidence and present skewed and incomplete evidence ?

"Hello kettle, this is the pot. By the way, did you know you're black ?".

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Re: How about a timeout here?
ChrisP   2/7/2012 12:35:33 AM
The sceptics have no science to present. They certainly don't put it into scientific or engineering magazines.  This article proves that.  Just another Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly appeal to the ignorant masses with high sounding titles to their name.

Rutan is good at designing radical oneoff aircraft - provided you don't want to go into production. His word against hundreds of people taking real measurements - no.  And then there are all those other emeritus professors (who regularly pop up with all sorts of crazy theories)

Group think in the US appears to be based on a theory of American exceptionalism and that ideas from elsewhere are "socialism".  American news doesn't show half of what goes on around the planet - you have to watch AL Jazeera and the other foreign news programs for that. 

Fiddling while Rome burns -- as yet another train load of carbon rolls down the track to be combined with more than it's own weight in oxygen we'd like to breath to muck up the atmosphere.

Do you seriously believe that you can keep on chucking those billions of tons of carbon in to the environment with no effect?



Glenn Tamblyn
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Re: Global warming: are the skeptics correct?
Glenn Tamblyn   2/6/2012 11:06:11 PM
William K

Consider an analogy. Some Civil Engineers assess an old bridge and conclude that it has weakened and may be unsafe. We should reduce the loads we put onto and work towards building a new bridge. Then a group of not very bright people in your town start predicting how the bridge could collapse at any moment, the town will be isolated and we will all starve! From this should you conclude that the bridge is perfectly OK just because the town panic-merchants are in a flap? Or should you go ask the engineers?

If you want to form an opinion about AGW, surely the correct approach is to look into the science. Surely this sort of approach is what we do all through life isn't it? Judge the Message, not the Messenger?

Next, who is saying you are bad. Aren't you being just a little over-sensitive. Or reading something into this that isn't there. What is being said is simple. The bridge is weak, we need to take the load off it and then build a new one. No judgements of anyone there, just a description of a necessary couurse of action.

As to a few tenths of a percent change in Solar output. Solar intensity at the edge of the Earths atmosphere is around 1364 Watts/M^2. Allow for the fact that the Earth is a sphere but the frontal area it presents to the Sun is a circle and we have to divide by 4. So average solar intensity over the Entire Earth is 341 W/M^2. 1 tenth of one percent of this is 0.341 W/M^2. In contrast, each doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere produces a radiative imbalance of 3.7 W/M^2, for the effects of CO2 alone. Over the course of a Sunspot cycle, the sun's output varies by 1 or 2 tenths of a percent So your 'few' tenths (depending on how you define few) will have less impact than the amount of CO2 we have added already


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Re: Global warming: are the skeptics correct?
jeffbiss   2/6/2012 10:05:51 PM
William K,

So you don't appreciate having your lifestyle questioned? As I've said, the global warming argument has nothing to do with global warming but with our perceived place in the universe.

It is obvious that the deniers, or "skeptics", argument is a backlash against those that would question the free market by claiming that our activity causes harm. This flows from the fact that we are fundamentally a Calvinist nation, in which the free market is the only valid paradigm because it allows god's will to operate, and no man has the authority to refute god's will. Of course, for those who aren't religious there exists Ayn Rand.

So, like I said, this is about not accepting certain truths accepted by the right and nothing to do with the science. At least you admit that. This also indicates that science is trumped by belief overall, whether religious or secular because it's about "me".

William K.
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Global warming: are the skeptics correct?
William K.   2/6/2012 8:40:25 PM
One of the first reasons that I was skeptical of the cause of the alleged warming is that the same folks who were screaming the loudest were the ones previously complaining about how much better our standard of living was than so much of the rest of the world. So when these same people all at once come up with some new assertion about how bad I am because my actions are going to destroy the world, I found it all rather suspect. 

And once again I ask, so how much would the "few tenths of a percent" solar output increase change our ambient temperature? I would guess by several degrees.

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