Howard County Maryland Blog

Local Politics and Current Events

North American and European Warming

Posted by David Keelan on Tuesday, June 12, 2007

This information is readily available.  However, many people prefer to think that any evidence or debate about global warming comes with an agenda.

If you doubt Global Warming you are a hack in the pocket of corporations with no real scientific credentials, an apologist, a propagana monger.  If you accept Global Warming then you are among the most credible scientists in the world.  That is really open minded.

One can say they want an open discussion and debate but do they really want open discussion and debate?  I think for the most part they have made up their minds.

A map above shows the number of weather stations for the world for most of the latter half of the 20th century. Notice the lack of coverage in the oceans, deserts, polar regions, and forests. Notice the coverage of North America and Europe.  So what?

The record and data measuring “global” warming is not measuring global warming.  It is measuring North American and European warming.

“It’s very clear we do not have a climate observing system…This may come as a shock to many people who assume that we do know adequately what’s going on with the climate but we don’t.”

Kevin Trenberth, National Center for Atmospheric research Boulder, CO.

(Of course Dr. Trenberth is just a hack in the pocket of Exxon Mobile.  Right?

The world has less stations now than it did in 1960.

Milankovitch Effect

This observation has been around for over 130 years. Yet, textbooks still tell students the Earth’s orbit around the sun is a fixed elliptical orbit. This is not correct. Variations in the orbit has a termendous bearing on the solar heating and cooling of the earth.

It is accepted by both sides of the debate that the surface temperature of the earth has been changing (back and forth) for thousands of years and has done so without human activity. Ice core samples have shown that atmospheric CO2 varies over time in concert with atmospheric temperatures.

Since Galelio has been studying sunspots (1610 AD) we have known they effect the earth’s surface temperature. What those nifty surface temerature measurements show is that the northern hemisphere surface temperature increases with solar activity.

I have noted in a comment on an earlier post – although no one wants to comment on these facts:

95% of the Greenhouse effect is caused by water vapor (some say as little as 66% and as hight as 85%). The remaining 5% consists of carbon dioxide, methane, etc. of which man contributes 3.2% to 5% the rest occuring naturally.

The fastest growing greenhouse gas is methane (not carbon dioxide). Human activity may cause up to half of methane emmissions. Yet the scinence is contridictary “Long term atmospheric measurements of methane by NOAA show that the build up of methane has slowed dramatically over the last decade, after nearly tripling since pre-industrial times. It is thought that this reduction is due to reduced industrial emissions and drought in wetland areas.” The other half of methane emmissions is naturally occuring. The net life time of methane in the atmosphere is 8.5 years so it has no long term effect on the atmosphere.

CO2 (carbon dioxide) is an important component of regulating the atmosphere because if absorbs infrared radiation – which if it got through would destroy most biological life.

Since the two gases often referred to as the leading cause of global warming are such a small part of the gases that contribute to the green house effect and human activity contributes so little to those two gases I doubt human activity is causing global warming or that we can do much to reduce the effect.

What are we doing to reduce water vapor that make up 95% of the greenhouse gases?  It would seem to me that would be a much easier problem to tackle.  A 1% decrease in 95% of the problem should produce major improvements.  Right?

Finally if one were to compare the 2001 UN report on climate change to the 2007 report one would get the idea that either:

1.  Things have improved vastly over the past 6 years or,

2.  The “predictions” in the 2001 report were extremely flawed.

In the end, the jury is out.  This is not settled science.  Reasonable people who know much more about climate changes do not agree with each others conclusions.

As I said earlier.  One does not have to believe in “North American and European Warming” to be an enviromentalist.

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4 Responses to “North American and European Warming”

  1. Is it that he doesn’t believe humans release carbon into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels? </b>
    Well of course we do not in large enough quantities to make a difference. Or maybe he doesn’t believe that this carbon stays in the atmosphere as long as others say it does?

    It does but it is a small part of greenhouse gases effecting “Global Warming”. CO2 represents 3.6% of all greenhouse gases. 96.8% is naturally occurring. Man’s contribution to C02 emissions is minor. I think it has a more detrimental effect on local communities contributing to personal health factors. I think there is more of a correlation between asthma and man made CO2 emissions than to “global warming” and as such is reason enough to limit their emissions. The IPCC doesn’t even know how long it stays in the atmosphere and estimates range from 50 years to 200 years)
    Or does he not believe that we release enough carbon to bring about non-trivial change in its concentration in the atmosphere?
    That is correct.
    Does he not believe the polar ice cores that tell us atmospheric carbon concentrations are at their highest point in the last 800,000 years or that models that indicate it is higher than it’s been in the last 20 million years?
    There is no consensus that these minimal increases have any effect on “global warming”. Carbon concentrations over history have fluctuated with temperatures. These “models” are simply that. They are not predictions. The 2001 IPCC Assessment “models” predicting the increase in surface temperatures have been proven by the 2007 IPCC Assessment to have been wildly inaccurate.
    “Previous reports in 1990, 1995 and 2001 had been progressively more alarmist. In the final draft of the new report there is a change in tone. Though carbon dioxide in the air is increasing, global temperature is not.” Center for Science and Public Policy.
    These models refuse to consider other possible causes for temperature increases.
    Or, maybe he doesn’t believe carbon actually traps heat (is a greenhouse gas)?
    I do believe carbon does trap heat in the atmosphere. Otherwise we would not be here. Without some level of greenhouse effect then life as we know it would not have evolved on earth.
    Perhaps he doesn’t believe the model predictions put about by the UN and others about the potential impacts of increasing carbon in the atmosphere.
    No I don’t but perhaps you can explain why you believe the UN models.
    The Center for Science and Public Policy stated “In the current draft, the UN has cut its estimate of our net effect on climate by more than a third, to 1.6 watts per square metre. It now thinks pollutant particles reflecting sunlight back to space have a very strong cooling effect.”
    If so, that’s fine, I guess. But I’d love to see his models or know exactly what assumptions the scientists are making that he disagrees with.
    I would like to see your models or why you believe the UN models when they have been wildly off in previous reports. Did you validate those models? The IPCC modeling track record is dismal. Why are their assumptions and predictions (a term they refuse to use and opt for the more muted term modeling).
    Maybe he just means that fundamentally altering the concentration of the atmosphere — of somewhat importance to all of human existence — isn’t a big deal. After all, volcanoes do it, why can’t we?
    I don’t believe we emit enough (less than 1% of all greenhouse emissions) to make a difference and to suggest we do fails to take into account the complexity of the world around us and is a rather arrogant position.
    The argument for reducing CO2 emissions is a health issue not a global warming issue.
    Don’t assume that I am an advocate of CO2 emissions. You would be hard pressed to find any statement from me that would advocate that position. Stick to what you know and don’t make assumptions.
    <a href=”http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2007/02/the_church_of_climate_panic.html” rel=”nofollow”>Read this</a>

  2. Hayduke said

    David,

    Now we’re getting into the part that’s really tedious and explains why I’m usually happiest just letting this mess lie.

    Rather than letting the facts speak to you, you’re cherry picking information in a vain and somewhat said attempt to confirm your preconceptions. You’re trotting out canard after canard and hoping at least one sticks. Rather than go through your laundry list of wrongs, let me address a few key points.

    First, you seem utterly incapable of grasping the fact that we’re not talking about global warming specifically. Yes, there are parts of the earth that will warm considerably as a result of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, but as I said this warming will not be uniform, nor will it be the only (or even most significant) impact of the grand chemistry experiment we’re conducting in our atmosphere.

    Temperatures are really just the superficial, easy-to-grasp element of this whole debate. The real concern, as I tried to make clear, is that we are fundamentally and almost-permanently (in human terms, anyway) altering the composition of our atmosphere. Smart people and fast computers have helped piece together the likely implications of this – rising temperatures in some areas, droughts in others, cooling in yet more – but we don’t know for sure what will happen. Which is why, contrary to your characterization, I welcome disagreements on predictive models and policy approaches and adamantly support free and open exchange of ideas and knowledge about the complex functioning of the atmosphere.

    What I don’t welcome is misinformation and selective citations. As FreeMarket said, the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is higher than it has been in a long, long time, likely since the dinosaurs, though we can’t say for sure. In the last 200 years, it has risen nearly 35 percent (from 285 ppm to 375 ppm). And this is a non-trivial change, according to you? Really? What makes you say that? If your income dropped 35 percent in a matter of days (minutes would be more accurate from a geologic perspective), would you consider that a non-trivial difference?

    Apples to oranges, you’re probably thinking. Carbon makes up such a small percentage of the atmosphere that even large changes to its concentration won’t have big effects. Water vapor is the real greenhouse gas that we need to look at. Am I characterizing this correctly?

    There are a number of reasons why water vapor is largely a red herring. See here for the complex refutation of tired talking point or here for the wordy, but easier to understand answer. The general point, however, is that water vapor in the atmosphere is in equilibrium and humans aren’t changing its concentration. Also, by changing the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere we are not only increasing the carbon’s impact on the greenhouse effect, we’re also getting an increase in water vapor (creating a new equilibrium).

    Just a few loose ends from your comment that need refutation:

    I think it has a more detrimental effect on local communities contributing to personal health factors. I think there is more of a correlation between asthma and man made CO2 emissions than to “global warming” and as such is reason enough to limit their emissions.

    You think? I think airborne particulates and other low-level pollution, of which CO2 is not really a concern (NOx and SOx are), are of bigger concern than CO2. Of course, an increase in CO2 in the atmosphere can cause plants to emit more pollen, so in a roundabout way we might both be right. That said, CO2’s impact climate change is probably a bigger concern than localized public health issues. But I suppose that depends on whether you live here or in Bangladesh.

    The IPCC doesn’t even know how long it stays in the atmosphere and estimates range from 50 years to 200 years)

    Not all the CO2 leaves the atmosphere. Some of it sticks around forever in a new equilibrium, meaning we are permanently changing things.

    An in-depth discussion of models is probably best suited for technocrats, not a couple yokels spitting at each other on some blogs. That said, models are just models. They’ll evolve as our knowledge evolves. They are there to provide guidance to policymakers. They aren’t crystal balls. If anyone’s putting too much stock into them it’s their critics.

    I don’t believe we emit enough (less than 1% of all greenhouse emissions) to make a difference and to suggest we do fails to take into account the complexity of the world around us and is a rather arrogant position.

    Did you write that with a straight face? I can’t imagine you did. The beginning and the end should get together and hash out their differences. Am I being snide? Perhaps. But if anyone’s being arrogant it’s you. So, you don’t “believe” what thousands of trained professionals have spent years researching and questioning, and yet those with in-depth, highly-specialized research are the arrogant ones who fail to appreciate the complexity of the situation? And this from the guy who seems to think all these professionals have overlooked something as simple as water vapor.

    Don’t assume that I am an advocate of CO2 emissions. You would be hard pressed to find any statement from me that would advocate that position.

    I never assumed that but you might as well be if you refuse to look past your biases and misperceptions.

    Stick to what you know and don’t make assumptions.

    Practice what you preach.

    I don’t know how many times I’ll have to link to it, but if you really want to understand this issue – not that you, I or any other untrained laymen will ever fully understand it – you should read Real Climate. It’s just scientists talking about the science — no one’s trying to make any money or score political points. Here’s their review of Al Gore’s movie, including corrections.

    (Cross-posted on my blog)

  3. Hayduke said

    (Not sure why this didn’t post the first time, so I’m trying again):

    David,

    Now we’re getting into the part that’s really tedious and explains why I’m usually happiest just letting this mess lie.

    Rather than letting the facts speak to you, you’re cherry picking information in a vain and somewhat said attempt to confirm your preconceptions. You’re trotting out canard after canard and hoping at least one sticks. Rather than go through your laundry list of wrongs, let me address a few key points.

    First, you seem utterly incapable of grasping the fact that we’re not talking about global warming specifically. Yes, there are parts of the earth that will warm considerably as a result of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, but as I said this warming will not be uniform, nor will it be the only (or even most significant) impact of the grand chemistry experiment we’re conducting in our atmosphere.

    Temperatures are really just the superficial, easy-to-grasp element of this whole debate. The real concern, as I tried to make clear, is that we are fundamentally and almost-permanently (in human terms, anyway) altering the composition of our atmosphere. Smart people and fast computers have helped piece together the likely implications of this – rising temperatures in some areas, droughts in others, cooling in yet more – but we don’t know for sure what will happen. Which is why, contrary to your characterization, I welcome disagreements on predictive models and policy approaches and adamantly support free and open exchange of ideas and knowledge about the complex functioning of the atmosphere.

    What I don’t welcome is misinformation and selective citations. As FreeMarket said, the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is higher than it has been in a long, long time, likely since the dinosaurs, though we can’t say for sure. In the last 200 years, it has risen nearly 35 percent (from 285 ppm to 375 ppm). And this is a non-trivial change, according to you? Really? What makes you say that? If your income dropped 35 percent in a matter of days (minutes would be more accurate from a geologic perspective), would you consider that a non-trivial difference?

    Apples to oranges, you’re probably thinking. Carbon makes up such a small percentage of the atmosphere that even large changes to its concentration won’t have big effects. Water vapor is the real greenhouse gas that we need to look at. Am I characterizing this correctly?

    There are a number of reasons why water vapor is largely a red herring. See for the complex refutation of tired talking point or here for the wordy, but easier to understand answer. The general point, however, is that water vapor in the atmosphere is in equilibrium and humans aren’t changing its concentration. Also, by changing the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere we are not only increasing the carbon’s impact on the greenhouse effect, we’re also getting an increase in water vapor (creating a new equilibrium).

    Just a few loose ends from your comment that need refutation:

    I think it has a more detrimental effect on local communities contributing to personal health factors. I think there is more of a correlation between asthma and man made CO2 emissions than to “global warming” and as such is reason enough to limit their emissions.

    You think? I think airborne particulates and other low-level pollution, of which CO2 is not really a concern (NOx and SOx are), are of bigger concern than CO2. Of course, an increase in CO2 in the atmosphere can cause plants to emit more pollen, so in a roundabout way we might both be right. That said, CO2’s impact climate change is probably a bigger concern than localized public health issues. But I suppose that depends on whether you live here or in Bangladesh.

    The IPCC doesn’t even know how long it stays in the atmosphere and estimates range from 50 years to 200 years)

    Not all the CO2 leaves the atmosphere. Some of it sticks around forever in a new equilibrium, meaning we are permanently changing things.

    An in-depth discussion of models is probably best suited for technocrats, not a couple yokels spitting at each other on some blogs. That said, models are just models. They’ll evolve as our knowledge evolves. They are there to provide guidance to policymakers. They aren’t crystal balls. If anyone’s putting too much stock into them it’s their critics.

    I don’t believe we emit enough (less than 1% of all greenhouse emissions) to make a difference and to suggest we do fails to take into account the complexity of the world around us and is a rather arrogant position.

    Did you write that with a straight face? I can’t imagine you did. The beginning and the end should get together and hash out their differences. Am I being snide? Perhaps. But if anyone’s being arrogant it’s you. So, you don’t “believe” what thousands of trained professionals have spent years researching and questioning, and yet those with in-depth, highly-specialized research are the arrogant ones who fail to appreciate the complexity of the situation? And this from the guy who seems to think all these professionals have overlooked something as simple as water vapor.

    Don’t assume that I am an advocate of CO2 emissions. You would be hard pressed to find any statement from me that would advocate that position.

    I never assumed that but you might as well be if you refuse to look past your biases and misperceptions.

    Stick to what you know and don’t make assumptions.

    Practice what you preach.

    I don’t know how many times I’ll have to link to it, but if you really want to understand this issue – not that you, I or any other untrained laymen will ever fully understand it – you should read Real Climate. It’s just scientists talking about the science — no one’s trying to make any money or score political points. Here’s their review of Al Gore’s movie, including corrections.

    (Cross-posted on my blog)

  4. Hayduke said

    Ack! The first link on the water vapor part is broken. Go here.

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