I agree with you StuDent. However, that is already happening. Has always happened. It is called the scientific literature, conferences etc. The scientists have already 'sat down and look at the strengths and limitations of the actual studies. Arguing over conclusions without examining how those conclusions were reached is nonproductive.' This is ongoing and is the full time job of 100's of 1000' of people. They do it intensely and intensively.
Perhaps what you are alluding to is a secondary debate about the science being held outside scientific circles, such as here. So several questions. Why do we arm-chair scientists need to repeat what the full time ones have already done? Are we more competent than they are to carry on such a debate? Are we better informed on all the available data? Do we know what the traps and pitfalls are that any scientist, during the 10-20 years it takes to become really knowledgable, has already avoided with help from their tutors and so on. Are we certain that we aren't falling into the trap of not understanding the Dunning-Kruger Effect?
The Orbital Changes are called Milankovitch Cycles. They involve oscillations in the eccentricity of the Earths orbit around the Sun, the axial tilt of the Earth between 22.1 & 24.5 Degrees, Precession of the earths axis - currently Polaris is the Pole Sta but thousands of years from now it won't be. These result in changes in how much solar energy reaches the earth at different times over the year. With the highly assymetrical arrangement of the continents North/South this influence climate and ice accumulation. The combined effect of these cycles is the initial trigger for the warming and cooling during Ice Age cycles. They aren't strong enough to drive the whole cycle but they kick start it. Then changes in CO2, Methane, Ice Cover, Vegetation cover and dust levels all contribute the rest.
The US Geological Survey estimates that all volcanoes on Earth, both terestrial and undersea contribute 1/130th the CO2 that humanity does. When Pinatubo erupted, the cooling effect from the ash & so forth was visible in the climate for 2-3 years. But the CO2 levels in the atmosphere didn't even register a blip. see here and pick any observation station you want.
"There are points in time when trees were growing in the artic regions. No ice caps at all. How did this happen without humans?"
Yes, because CO2 levels were higher in the distant past. Its not about Humans, its about understanding what the CO2 does. There weren't just trees, there were tropical trees and crocodiles. If the Earth returned to that climate now, the reptiles would love it. But we warm-blooded mammals would find it far more uncomfortable. Not to mention our crops that have been bred by us and co-evolved with us to fit cycles of sunlight, air temperature, soil temperature and moisture. Taking them out of their preferred environments is a risky gamble when we have to feed 7 Billion people, rising to 10 billion by mid-century.
"NASA thinks we are absorbing an additional .58W /Sq. Meter due to an increase of 300ppM in CO2. The total is only about (something less than 400ppM). "
I think you have misread what they meant. The increase from Pre-Industrial levels of 280 ppm is about 110 ppm so far. The radiative forcing varies logarithmically with CO2 concentration, each doubling of CO2 having the same effect. So going from 280 to 560 will have a forcing of 3.7 W/M^2. Similarly reducing CO2 would have a similar reverse forcing for each halving. So from approx' 400 now to 200, 100, 50, 25, 12.5, 6.25 - 6 halvings - would cause a negative forcing of around 22.2 W/M^2. This doesn't include the reduction in water vapour content in the atmosphere that would occur due to the cooling from CO2. Since Water Vapour is around 2.5 times as important as CO2 in the GH Effect, reduction of this would also cause substantial more cooling.
Average Incident Solar at the surface isn't 1kW/M^2, that is Peak at midday. Averaged out over day & night, and allowing for sunlight reflected by clouds and the atmosphere and reflected off the surface, average incident Solar absorbed at the surface is 161 W/M^2 So removing virtually all the CO2 would have an impact that is significant compared to the Sun's input.
Island_Al; I think you need to revisit your calculations.
I remember years ago reading that a car emits more than its weight in CO2 over its lifetime. I was sure tha this was impossible. But when you calculate that each 2 H's combines with 1 O; water is 10X heavier than hydrogen. And each C combines with 2 O's; carbon dioxide is more than 3x heavier. So the question is not volume of oil into the volume of the atmosphere, it is the volume of the combustion products, which is several times the original oil.
I agree completely with what the Engineering Ethics teacher is saying. I'd like to dig deeper, however. I haven't examined the original paper of a single study yet. I've been involved in peer reviewing papers, though, and have seen a surprising amount of lackluster reviewing. I think that all the vituperation is meaningless until people on both sides sit down and look at the strengths and limitations of the actual studies. Arguing over conclusions without examining how those conclusions were reached is nonproductive.
Many of the so called scientists that signed that WSJ document are not qualified to judge whether CO2 emiisions are a cause of global warming. One is a Biochemist, one is a chemist, one is in physics and one is in technology just for examples. So what on earth makes them expert enough to decide whether Global warming is occurring or not. I only saw about 3 people on that list that might be qualified to judge.
I respect your reply - at least most of it! My engineering buddy in the office next door rides a Harley and gets about the same mileage. The number is somewhat lower than I'd expect for a motorcycle (Chevy ECO Cruze getting 42 mpg), but it's an "ECO friendly" value. I was told that cycles were required to be fuel injected in 2007 (with an O2 sensor) and recently catalytic converters have been added. My point being that, unless the bike is new, it may emit substantially more pollutants than a small car. I can't claim to have researched this to any extent.
As someone who isn't convinced AGW is occurring, I take exception to being labeled as "fighting battles for the wealthy". Very few of us have anything to gain by supporting our views based on this. One of the biggest problems is radicals on both sides fanning the flames and upsetting the others. In my mind, the side supporting the AGW theory has the upper hand in this approach and it does nothing to help further your cause.
Also, just because a person doesn't buy into AGW, doesn't mean they don't care about the environment. You do a lot to reduce your effect on the environment and, while perhaps I haven't done as much, I have changed my habits to "reasonably" reduce my impact.
It was pointed out to me that the group that handles "cap and trade" will indeed profit a whole lot, since nobody will have a choice but to utilize their services. So before that process is passed into law there really needs to be additional rules to assure that nobody gets rich because of everybody else's misery. And the cap and trade thing will certainly be misery for at least some folks.
The worst of the potential damage, however, would be the total destruction of any credibility for those respnsible for the implementation of cap & trade. That would damage anybody else who hoped to do anything to redduce whatever is deemed responsible.
Now it's not the GW religion, it's wealth inequality. Take from the rich and somehow the poor will benefit. Ever check out the batteries in an electric car? The wasted energy that goes into producing them and the resultant pollution? I'm not perfect either. I'm working hard and making life better for others.
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