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Steve the Chemist
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Re: It's Not Just One Question
Steve the Chemist   9/17/2012 4:09:21 PM
Atlantic Conveyor not yet broken.  Maybe the Brits will be affected, and so if it gets broken, try to fix it.  My guess is the Gulf of Mexico, the  GOM puts out so much 

hot salty water into the Gulf Stream  and so the shape of the ocean floor combines with the bulge of North Africa to keep the North Atlantic stable. 

The Antarctic Circumpolar Current is a different matter. 

That one already had a major anomaly this past year and knocked a few microseconds off the clock here and there.   When the rotational momentum from the ACC  Antarctic Circumpolar Current gets knocked into the west coast of South Africa, the continent gets pushed faster.

Whole earth spins a bit faster.   This is fun.  Just like being on a merry-go-round. 

People hop on and fall off.  Ocean currents are the same. 

Arctic Circumpolar Current spins then goes off track. 

Even Magellan could notice the current as we go past Good Hope and 

Tierra del Fuego.  And when that current breaks into the South Atlantic, 

that is measurable and real.  So the air and the oceans do interact. 

Only the people are too slow to understand what is happening. 


Steve the Chemist
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Re: Global warming: is ANYBODY right?
Steve the Chemist   9/17/2012 2:18:36 PM
The Eureka  ALERT  is a good post.  Hot parched areas can trigger both dust storms and rain and lightning storms.  The heat from sunlight can dry wet ground and also the negative feedback, when that system snaps back, will bring rain. 

I think of the earth as a big boiling pot.  Phase One and Phase Two types of boiling sure do happen.  And the transition between Phase One and Phase Two can be truly explosive.   Water has a surface tension.  When that tension snaps, watch out. 


We live in interesting times.  The carbon is changing faster in the air during my lifetime than ever before in history.  And the truly amazing thing is, we can sit under a tree and watch the clouds build up in the sky. 

I love to sit under a tree and watch the seasons change - snow and rain, then sunny and hot and dry.  Each year the fruit trees are a bit different. 

That reminds me - many pears are ripe now.  Apples and peaches had a rough year.   Even the blueberries were a bit off and the black berries did better than the 

many shades of red, gold and black raspberries.  Even many varieties of seedless and seeded grapes tell a story.

Global Warming happens, and methane and carbon dioxide is really building up fast.  We can see it in our lifetimes.  Sure hope the heat does not make the Arab States restless.   They live in a difficult part of the world - the Marsh Arabs and the Nomads in the Desert.  Read Kalil Gibran... 


Steve the Chemist
User Rank
Re: Carbon one element of the environmental picture
Steve the Chemist   9/17/2012 1:53:50 PM
Slow Monday Afternoon.  Boss not watching, so the thermal management 

problem came to mind.  About politics and religion - Judges  4::8  in the 

King James Version says Barak chased the chariots, and won. 

    About thermal management on Earth - the carbon makes some places 

both Hot and Dry.  Like in the Laundromat.  The dryer is hot.  And it dries. 

Wet clothes stay wet, when they are cold. 

    Carbon Dioxide and Methane soak up infrared energy.  They do. 

That transfers heat to the air and to the water - both liquid and airborne. 

All of this is just a percentage basis. 

   So, if we are at 273 Absolute Kelvin, and add a percent or two. 

That makes perhaps 3 to 5 Celsius Degrees warmer in my lifetime. 

And the dry areas get hit extra hard, especially during the daytime. 

Phoenix Arizona might hit 140 F during my lifetime, on a hot day. 

    This year, Phoenix was high over a hundred for a month straight. 

But it was / is a dry heat.  So expect it to go higher in the future. 

More dry.  More hot.  But I do not live in Arizona.  Thank God for that. 

Religion and Politics should stay clear and clean away from Science. 

Even Leonhard Euler knew that.  e to the i  times pi equals minus one. 

   Therefore God Exists.  That was Euler's Formula.  Also known as 

DeMoivre Theorem and R * CIS ( theta )


    Do the math.  We are getting warmer - more heat and more 

degrees than the current thermometers have.  Hot. 



Steve the Chemist
User Rank
Re: Carbon one element of the environmental picture
Steve the Chemist   9/16/2012 11:56:33 PM
Global Warming and Climate Change are really current - 

here in 2012.  The start of this discussion, back in February 

had tons of scientific info.    Now we are devolving. 

    Religion and Politics - almost crazy religion and 

crazy politics.  I love SCIENCE  and  ENGINEERING 

and  MATH   and  TECHNOLOGY... 

    global  warming  is  a  very  real  extension of 

tobacco addiction sales - big corporations take true 

nut-ball ideas, like they say  " Tobacco not addictive." 

     Science tells us tobacco is addictive. 

Same for Carbon in the air.  Methane and CO-2 are 

toxic - just how toxic is what we need to understand. 

   We are killing off the coral reefs.  And the polar bears. 

The Arctic Ocean has record melting this year - 2012. 

My first post here is full of info.   I do love MATH. 

    So we could do some real numbers. 

Here is a real number - INSOLATION  in WATTS 

is  1366.   Per square meter of course. 

    Do you all use MKS  like the physicists use? 

I normally used CGS in school  Centi and Grams and 

S  for  Seconds.   Hours, minutes, seconds. 

And Degrees and Minutes and Seconds. 

    Finally, search for that number, Go Ogle. 

Thirteen-sixty-six  watts per square meter. 

      I believe that  Charles Darwin had his 

Bull Dog.   I try to be the Global Warming Dog. 


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Re: Carbon one element of the environmental picture
Watashi   9/13/2012 4:56:10 PM
I agree with your observations. 

I think that the issue quickly becomes a political one because of some of the draconian solutions proposed.  It seems that the 'environmental cause' is not just for the environment, but is also being used as cover for a range of socio-economic initiatives.  That just complicates an already complicated issue.

Fred McGalliard
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Re: Carbon one element of the environmental picture
Fred McGalliard   9/13/2012 4:28:49 PM
I notice that a lot of folk, specifically but not exclusivly those who are not climate scientests, hit on a specific issue, solar insolation as an example, and form a very lightly informed opinion. There is nothing wrong with that if you study and then grow beyond it, but it can really get in the way sometimes. The solar insolation is not a contravening piece of this puzzle. It is an important part of it and has been, since the first few years of this study, a major part of the study. I did read one of the NOAA reports "Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere" from April 2006. This is like an introduction to a small part of this huge body of study. Pretty heavy going for a novice. The killer problem for us novices is that the actual weather prediction from global warming has so many butterfly effects (randomizing factors), that you are unable to, as example, link the specific exceptional heat wave in the US this summer to any specific changes that can be traced directly to global warming. I have not had time to see if I can find any current studies on all the other factors that affect the GW equation. Deforestation, large scale irrigation, the impacts of aerosols and disolved compounds in runoff, and our pressure on some/many critical life forms. Fun to study, if you have a mind to, but kind of scarry to see so many strong points of view that are so badly informed. If we could figure out an optimum course of action, we would not let ourselves take it for the sake of argument.

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Re: Carbon one element of the environmental picture
Watashi   9/13/2012 3:52:39 PM
As an EE I think in simple Thermo terms - heat source, absorbtion, radiation, etc...  I certainly am not a thermo expert; I just know enough to be able to mitigate heat when I need to.

I haven't taken the time to research much of this, mainly because I believe it to have a flawed premise.  I was party to research in my college days and have seen data that put the whole AGW thing to bed for me.  There was data showing a direct corralation between solar activity and planetary warming.  Not big news for most of the planets, but the earth showed exactly the same trends, even with the atmosphere damping things.  I wish I would have had the forsight to personally archive the report, but frankly, the global warming thing has lasted longer than I thought it would. 

 I am going to have to look into this super-weather thing some more.  The mechanisms do not seem intuitive to me.  Higher humidity and saturation of air in an ever warming system leads me to believe that we would have less severe weather and become more like Yoda's home world (pardon the analogy to a fictious planet).

Maybe I can come back and revive this old thread one more time another 6 months from now!  This has probably been the most commented Design News article ever.

Fred McGalliard
User Rank
Re: Carbon one element of the environmental picture
Fred McGalliard   9/13/2012 2:40:54 PM
Sorry. I forgot. Why does increased evaporation from the oceans/etc, imply increased storm activity and increased storm strength. As you know, what goes up, must come down. Thus more rain, bigger, more often, more violent storms. I am a physicist, not a serious weather scientist. You could study up on the science and perhaps come back and make me look like a fool? Consider that encouragement to do just that. As a scientist at heart, I would as soon have you show me where I am wrong as accept that I know a little about the subject and let it go at that.

Fred McGalliard
User Rank
Re: Carbon one element of the environmental picture
Fred McGalliard   9/13/2012 2:34:46 PM
1. The use of the term thermodynamics here seems to decorate the discussion not direct it.
2. The thermo + nuclear reactions + electro plasma dynamics and gravity of the sun has resulted in it being a surprisingly stable long lived star. The awesome violence and turbulence results in a very steady driver for our greenhouse effect.
3. The long term drift of solar insolation and other astronomical effects (as our pole drift), have been considered extensively as part of the greenhouse studies. Were this subject freshly brought up you might be right to point this out. But at this point you should study the existing science and either add to it or at least discuss it, and not just hold forth with partly formed opinions on it. This confuses people who know less than you do about it.
4. You are right that if the earth were a dry flat sphere, we could expect the day night temperature differences to decrease. In fact the original calculation, presumed all else constant except CO2 warming, predicted (as I recall) about 3 times the heating that we observe. Water, mountains and seas, dramatically change this behavior though. And then it gets interesting.
5. A gradual warming of a couple of degrees does not have much effect. This is also not how you will observe the weather that is driven by this global warming. The weather itself will be more violent and distributed differently than now. We are changing the driving function (global heat input) gradually, and the weather is responding. The predictability of that response is a very difficult problem. The recent continent wide heat wave has already had a huge impact on our food supply. If this is driven further, to become more common, by additional global warming, feeding our kids may become much harder than today.
6. BTB. Without the greenhouse effect the earth would be a frigid ball of ice. Had we a lot more atmosphere and oceans, a runaway greenhouse effect would drive us to a Venus. I am not thrilled that we do not now have a very good idea of just what factors give us "just the right amount" of global warming, but the impact of screwing that up even by a small percentage may bring to mind your citing evolution. That which can survive does, that which cannot, dies. We choose our survival strategy. If we choose wrong, we and a whole lot of other life, will get a chance to test the limits of evolution.

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Re: Carbon one element of the environmental picture
Watashi   9/13/2012 2:01:14 PM
I'm glad that you are not "under rating" in your version of calamity, but that was not the subject of the post.  Where am I wrong regarding thermodynamics or the extrapolation to a standard global temperature gradient?

You are still making a leap from increased evaporation to increased storm activity or even desertification as others espouse.  I am still trying to find someone to explain why my ideas are poorly thought out; credibly.

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