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Thread: Global Warming? I don't know what to believe.

  1. #1

    Global Warming? I don't know what to believe.

    Help me out. Opening a can of worms here. I don't know what to believe about global warming. Is it real or made up? Some days I think it's real, other days I think it's a farce. I do have a couple of scientist friends who are firm believers but, their political views lie far apart from mine and sometimes it seems it's all political. I value everyone's opinion on this forum and I'm trying to keep an open mind. I did find this video about the Paris agreement interesting but, again, is it accurate? https://www.facebook.com/prageru/vid...2017428507777/
    Are we there yet?

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  3. #2
    The earth is currently warming and that is an undeniable fact. The disagreement is over what is causing the warming and is it cyclic or man caused. Some say the warming is caused by man dumping C02 into the atmosphere. Others insist it's just nature taking it's natural course.

    The Paris Climate Agreement is a joke that will harm the US. The reason being is there is no penalty for violating the agreement. Which means the same old thing that always happens. The US will live up to the agreement and just about everyone else will break it.


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  5. #3
    This again?

    I think there's gotta be close to a dozen threads about global warming on this forum. A quick surf through the environmental section should pull up a bunch.

  6. #4
    My thoughts are that global warming is occurring but is not necessarily solely due to mankind. The earth goes thru warming and cooling cycles and they are well documented and it's hotly debated if there is truly a catastrophic warming period occurring.

    CO2 has indeed increased but from a variety of sources and remember CO2 is 3% of the atmosphere and of that 3% only .04% is considered greenhouse gas. One thing I learned recently is that computer models that show Co2 will cause drastic global warming assume that CO2 is that driver. So they are using the output of a model to verify its initial assumption.

    The UN global warming report says "none of the studies cited above has shown clear evidence that we can attribute the observed climate changes to increase in greenhouse gases" and that "no study to date has positively attributed all or part of the climate change to man-made causes."

    The melting glaciers are often cited as proof that global warming is occuring but neglect the fact that glaciers are constantly changing and there are a recorded 33 periods of glaciers growing and retreating.

    Given all that, I personally still think we should be careful and aware of what we do as a society. Even is the theory of global warming is dead wrong we should still have economic and environmental policy that is reasonable. I think that is where all the strife come from. What is reasonable? We shouldn't recklessly do whatever we want, but we also shouldn't enact crazy, Kyoto-esque, restrictions based off faulty analysis.
    beefcake. BEEFCAKE!

  7. #5
    I don't know what to believe about global warming. Is it real or made up?
    Even in conservative areas in northerly latitudes, such as Alaska people believe in global warming since they can actually see the glaciers melt.

    I have lived for 42 years, and even then I'm "old enough" to see many of them melt.

    Being from Washington, we used to go to the Paradise Ice Caves. The Paradise Ice Caves are long gone.

    Here is how they were in the early 1980's:



    Here is what they look like (center of photo) now days. The stream bed is where the ice caves used to be:



    Even more dramatic, when I went to Mexico to climb the high volcanoes in 1992, there were big glaciers on them. I went last Christmas (2016) and was shocked to see them mostly gone. Popo has been erupting, so I knew the glaciers would be gone there, but I was shocked to find them nearly gone on Izta. I knew they would be smaller, but to see them completely gone was shocking to me in a way, since I had it burned into my memory about how the mountain looked in 1992.

    It is too bad that whether or not people believe in global warming is based on politics or which party you belong to. One thing for sure is that while people say that data can be manipulated, no one can fake having a glacier disappear.

    That said, what to do about it will always be argued. As for me, I still use fossil fuels, but offset (with my own money) the carbon footprint X's 2 with rain forest reforestation through the Nature Conservancy (which is a very reputable organization). I don't criticize others for not doing the same though, and seldom mention that I even do it. Even if global warming didn't exist (and there is no way that it does not), I do not see reforestation as something bad and it certainly isn't hurting anything.

    It is actually physically and scientifically impossible to add greenhouses gases to the atmosphere without having an effect. That is simply physics, chemistry, and thermodynamics. That said though, how much effect adding gases will have can be argued and is incredibly difficult to predict.

    Greenhouse gases aren't actually a bad thing per se. The moon and earth are about equal distances from the sun. The moon's average temperature is around 0F (-18C). The earth would have a similar average temperature if it weren't for greenhouse gases. If there were no greenhouse effect, there would almost certainly be very little life on earth.

    Also, the reason the tropical areas and rain forests are so diverse is because the flora and fauna have not been wiped out by ice ages as they have in higher latitudes. From a biodiversity (or a human livability) standpoint, some areas of the earth will certainly benefit from warming. Other areas will not. It is hard to say what exactly would happen if the earth's temperature rose a few degrees very quickly.

    On a final not, obviously there are a lot of other factors in play as well. Just because greenhouses gases can cause some warning, doesn't mean that there aren't many, many other factors that come into play as well. Many other natural factors can cause cooling or warming. The climate of the earth has never been stable for that long of a geologic time period. Oscillations, changes in the orbit and ration of the earth, big volcanic eruptions, sun spots, asteroids, continental drift, even life, etc. can (and will) effect the earth's climate.
    Utah is a very special and unique place. There is no where else like it on earth. Please take care of it and keep the remaining wild areas in pristine condition. The world will be a better place if you do.

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  9. #6
    Regardless about the truth or falseness of global warming, good arguments and reasons exist for us to improve the cleanliness and sustainability of our energy, production and lifestyles.

    So while I accept the science behind global warming, I think the things we should do to minimize global warming are smart and important in their own right.

    Policies about carbon cap and trade are not what I mean though. Indeed, government is not the best method in general. In the free world, elections and changes in government and policy make it difficult to push through and maintain the longer term efforts that try to transition our economy and lifestyle. Just look at the Trump policies overturning Obama. And the flip again when different leadership takes hold.

    So it seems that the better method is for visionaries in the public economy to overthrow the poor tools with newer and better solutions rather than having government dictate it. We're seeing massive disruption in transit. Electric cars, ride share, lower adoption of driver licenses and so on. A corollary of this is less production and purchase of cars in general in the developed world--green in it's own right though risky to economies and employment.

    Along the Wasatch Front we're going to add a few million more people by 2050. Even if they all take public/shared transit, that's a water heater and furnace/AC for million(s) more households. That's a lot of emissions and heating/cooling is thought to be the next big hurdle for the Wasatch region to handle as it bypasses vehicle emissions in output in the near future. We don't have to be concerned about Global Warming to make that a critical issue to address in it's own right. I don't think emissions laws could deal with that? 90% efficient furnaces aren't enough. The inversions in winter and high heat in the summer dictate the requirement for something entirely different than what we're doing and that needs to be emissionless. So perhaps ground loop heating and cooling powered by solar and batteries? I don't know, but we can't keep emitting on the Wasatch Front and grow as is likely to happen.

    The benefits to Global Warming issues are a benefit of what we really need to be doing anyway.

  10. #7
    There is no "solution" to global warming. All we can do is adapt as there is no magic solution that will stabilize the global climate. Way too many factors and moving parts for humans to control. That said, we can minimize our global footprint for sure...which is a good thing and has benefits in their own right as Phatch suggested. Also in agreement with Phatch that politics isn't the answer as politics are subject to change and besides, how are you going to enforce climate policy on a global level? Are you gonna punish China, Russia and North Korea for emitting beyond what we deem is acceptable? Who's gonna volunteer to go punish third world countries for over emitting? There will always be rogue nations that will do whatever they want regardless of environmental policy.

    And another thing, why do we uphold this fantasy that we can reverse global warming, somehow bringing global temperatures down to an acceptable level and then maintain it there indefinitely? The earth has undergone a cyclical pattern of warming and cooling ever since this planet was a planet. Why do we think we can maintain the global temperatures within an acceptable, comfortable range like resetting the thermostat in our homes? Do we really think we have that much power over mother nature? Pretty narcissistic IMO.
    Epstein did not kill himself...



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  12. #8
    Global warming is not made up, and there is no controversy or argument about the different mechanisms that contribute, or to the contribution from the use of fossil fuels. Not among the people who study the science. The scientists who study the area argue over details, but not over the basic behavior or causes. Most of the argument over the science is from people who don't like the results. Policy is a different matter - there is a lot of argument over policy. I think much of the policy argument is worth having.

    If you are serious about wanting to know about the science of global warming, I recommend the Coursera course "Global Warming I: The Science and Modeling of Climate Change. It is a challenging course, but it covers a lot of ground, including the carbon cycle, feedback loops, the structure of the atmosphere and how energy from the sun interacts with it. You will have a chance to use some models and work with actual data. The course also covers human impact and potential mitigation. If you really want to go even deeper, take Global Warming II, where you will use Python to build models and apply some of the ideas from the first course. It's taught by David Archer, a professor at the U of Chicago.

    I have taken the first course (the second wasn't available at the time, and I'm not a programmer). The chemistry and physics involved were pretty straight-forward. The course was demanding. I had an advantage in that I use algebra fairly often, and I'm used to models. But it's a cross-discipline field, and it requires detailed knowledge from several different areas. That means you have to cover a lot of ground in order to get a good understanding of the science, and (at least in my opinion), that takes work and effort. If you are willing to put in the effort, you will certainly understand a lot more of what you read in the news.

    Edited: Oh, and the course is free.
    Deb

  13. #9
    Deb, its easier just to stick your head in the sand and complain about the liberal elites...

    Have you seen the movie Idiocracy?

    Ha ha.

    Good info, thanks.

  14. #10
    Personally, I think "anthropogenic climate change" is nonsense. I'm pushing 54 years old, and for as long as I can remember, some nutcase or another has been predicting the end of the world. The "Population Bomb", global cooling, mass extinction events, nuclear war, epic deforestation, oceans rising, lack of food and clean water, poison and pollution, asteroid impact...somethings coming around the bend to do us in.

    I don't believe most of the crap I hear or read in the media...everything's for sale, baby. Show me, don't tell me...that's my motto. Remember how after Katrina we were supposed to have hurricanes kicking the living snot out of everything? Weren't they supposed to be relocating Miami and New York by now? Predictions of doom and destruction, foiled...made up by con men. There's people out there that will sell you a rock, if you're willing to buy it. A sucker born every minute.

    Scott mentioned his eyewitness accounts of glaciers melting. I don't know what to say about that except I have to wonder what these things looked like say, 300 years ago? They say that the warming is starting in the Arctic and working it's way down? I spent the summer of '93 up there, roaming around. The sun shines at 10pm in the summer and hardly makes an appearance in the winter...so I reckon the weather up there can be kinda weird, huh?

    I read a book "Colorado Without Mountains" by Harold Hamil, published in 1976, when he was a very old man. It told the story of him growing up in the eastern plains of Colorado around the turn of the century. Ranching and farming is what they did, so the weather played a big role in their lives and he mentioned it a lot. He said it was quite variable...hot summers, cool summers, warm winters, others freezing cold for weeks at a time. Lots of ice for the root cellar, sometimes very little of it (they cut it from ponds, and it had to be at least 3' thick to make it worthwhile) sometimes the South Platte River would flow all summer, other times it would disappear under the sand for a quarter mile at a time.

    Most every winter since 2001 I've traveled to the South Pacific. I stay out there for two months. I've been to the Fiji islands, Tahitian, Tuamotus, Marquesas. I don't just plant my butt on a beach chair at some resort...I'm a backpacker and I'll usually only stay on one island for a few days. I've been to some (most, actually) that are practically still in the stone age, where the people are fascinated by the sight of a multi-tool. The oceans haven't "risen"...the piers, docks and villages are still in the same place and are still being used just the same for generations. The Tuamotus are low lying coral atolls, and when I asked about the ocean rising, all I got were bewildered looks.

    Also, I remember hearing 20 years ago that here in Colorado, the devastation of the alpine environment was was supposed to be well under way by now because of lack of snow. The poor Marmots and Pikas were going to go extinct. I had friends that lived up there lamenting that...swallowing the liberal fortune tellers by the mouthful.

    I say show me don't tell me...but ESPECIALLY, don't tell me bullshit 'cuz it'll just put me back on my heels and force me to apply the chicken little badge. If they could stop exaggerating things, perhaps they could make a case?
    Everything
    In it's right place

  15. #11
    Ya know.... all we need is one good volcanic eruption, say the Yellowstone Caldera, or a good old fashion 6 km meter strike and we'll instantly be back in another ice age. Problem solved!

  16. #12
    If the Yellowstone Caldera were to catastrophically blow then libs would have something new to bitch about. Suddenly wikileaks and Russian scandals would be less important.

  17. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by rockgremlin View Post
    If the Yellowstone Caldera were to catastrophically blow then libs would have something new to bitch about. Suddenly wikileaks and Russian scandals would be less important.
    And...it'd still be blamed on Obama...

    Or another example of how the ineffective EPA isn't doing their job.

    Same ol', same ol'.

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  19. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian in SLC View Post
    And...it'd still be blamed on Obama....
    One the bright side..... it's no longer Obama's problem.


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  21. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by ddavis View Post
    Global warming is not made up, and there is no controversy or argument about the different mechanisms that contribute, or to the contribution from the use of fossil fuels. Not among the people who study the science. The scientists who study the area argue over details, but not over the basic behavior or causes. Most of the argument over the science is from people who don't like the results. Policy is a different matter - there is a lot of argument over policy. I think much of the policy argument is worth having.

    If you are serious about wanting to know about the science of global warming, I recommend the Coursera course "Global Warming I: The Science and Modeling of Climate Change. It is a challenging course, but it covers a lot of ground, including the carbon cycle, feedback loops, the structure of the atmosphere and how energy from the sun interacts with it. You will have a chance to use some models and work with actual data. The course also covers human impact and potential mitigation. If you really want to go even deeper, take Global Warming II, where you will use Python to build models and apply some of the ideas from the first course. It's taught by David Archer, a professor at the U of Chicago.

    I have taken the first course (the second wasn't available at the time, and I'm not a programmer). The chemistry and physics involved were pretty straight-forward. The course was demanding. I had an advantage in that I use algebra fairly often, and I'm used to models. But it's a cross-discipline field, and it requires detailed knowledge from several different areas. That means you have to cover a lot of ground in order to get a good understanding of the science, and (at least in my opinion), that takes work and effort. If you are willing to put in the effort, you will certainly understand a lot more of what you read in the news.

    Edited: Oh, and the course is free.
    As an engineer I work with models all day every day. The problem with models is they are only as good as the data entered. Or as engineers often say "garbage in, garbage out". Now I'm not saying your model or data was garbage as I have no clue, I'm saying models can't always be trusted. I have no clue what model you were using or where your data came from, but the temperatures NASA is now using are being "adjusted", and they are not using the actual numbers obtained as they were before 2000, Just sayin'.

  22. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Iceaxe View Post
    As an engineer I work with models all day every day. The problem with models is they are only as good as the data entered. Or as engineers often say "garbage in, garbage out". Now I'm not saying your model or data was garbage as I have no clue, I'm saying models can't always be trusted. I have no clue what model you were using or where your data came from, but the temperatures NASA is now using are being "adjusted", and they are not using the actual numbers obtained as they were before 2000, Just sayin'.
    Yeah, you're 'just sayin'. If you don't trust the numbers being used, the raw data are available, and the adjustments are all explained. You can check what they did for yourself and see what you think. It's not easy, but it can be done. There was one guy in the session of the course I took who did exactly that. He downloaded the raw data and did his own processing as part of his research project (one of the assignments). Not to mention the fact that these databases are some of the most heavily challenged and reviewed measurements ever generated.

    I would be shocked if temperature data taken over such long periods of time (the data extend well before 2000) didn't require adjustment. Anytime instrumentation changes, or there is a change in the measurement method, there is the chance of a bias in the data that needs to be accounted for. One well-known example is the adjustment that had to be made when there was a significant change in the way ships measure ocean temperatures. Another well known example involves measurement stations that start out in rural areas, but end up surrounded by development. The point is that none of the adjustments to the data are arbitrary - they all have reasons, the adjustments are done using widely accepted methods, and the validity has to be established. The adjustments are all called out, so anyone can evaluate, or even do their own.

    The guys who use the data aren't stupid. If you know how critical good data is when using models, what makes you think they don't know that too? None of them want to waste their time working with shitty data. I'm not an engineer (they just call me one at work), I'm a chemist, but I generate data over long periods of time (in some cases over decades), and I use that data in models to predict material properties into the future. I have had to deal with adjustments in data sets because of new instruments, different operators, improvements in test methods, improvements in computers and software, and laboratory relocations. I have to take data generated from multiple studies and put them together into one coherent set. Then I have to model that data and predict future behavior. I haven't looked at every single adjustment made to the temperature data, but I know how those adjustments had to happen and be verified. The fact that there have been adjustments does not invalidate the data, and it is misleading to suggest that it does.

    So 'just sayin' - saying what? Are you accusing all of those researchers of fraud? That's the implication of 'just sayin'.
    Deb

  23. #17
    As for the models used in the course, the professor has them in a publicly accessible web site:

    http://forecast.uchicago.edu/models.html

    They are older models, so they aren't state-of-the art. Each one has a 'Model Description' button, and a 'Source Code' button. I didn't check every single model, but I looked at several of them at the time I was taking the course, and they were all published in peer reviewed journals. One model description was a report to the Air Force (the model that simulates IR emission and absorption in the atmosphere). Those papers and reports will tell you how the models were built, what assumptions were used, what the model emphasizes, and will probably include limitations of the model. Go take a look and see what you think. You can try using them, but it might be hard to figure out how. I not only needed the class discussion, but I had to look at the video introduction for all of the models. And it was still hard. But the effort is worth while, if you want some understanding of the field.
    Deb

  24. #18
    I may as well add that David Archer also has a text book (Global Warming - Understanding the Forecast) that you can buy, if you don't want to take the Coursera course. There are problems at the end of each chapter, and some of the problems involve using his models. That might be easier than just going in cold.
    Deb

  25. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by nelsonccc View Post
    remember CO2 is 3% of the atmosphere and of that 3% only .04% is considered greenhouse gas.
    I'm not entirely sure I understand what you mean here. If you are saying that only a small fraction of the CO2 in the atmosphere is actually a greenhouse gas, then you are wrong. A greenhouse gas is a molecule in the atmosphere that absorbs in the infrared. That's it. All CO2 molecules absorb in the infrared. That is a property of the molecule, so all of the CO2 in the atmosphere is a greenhouse gas. The source doesn't matter, volcanoes, wood, fossil fuels, space aliens, whatever, it's all greenhouse gas.

    Did you mean something else by your statement?
    Deb

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  27. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by twotimer View Post
    Show me, don't tell me...that's my motto.
    In my world, 'show me don't tell me' means I want to see your derivations and your math. That supposes I have the background necessary to understand those derivations and the math. And that I have the background to understand the processes involved in developing the principles involved (ie, the scientific method). If I don't have that background, then I have a choice - I can either put in the hard work to get the necessary background, or I have to accept being told by the experts in the field.

    What do you mean by 'show, don't tell'?
    Deb

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