Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by Photizo, Nov 29, 2009.

  1. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Paul Krugman calls out the toxic nonsense of climate deniers

    Opposition to climate change action is fundamentally irrational

    . . .Paul Krugman argues that, despite what you may think, the real reason it’s so hard to get American government to tackle climate change isn’t because of fossil fuel barons’ greed, but rather their “toxic mix of ideology and anti-intellectualism.”

    Krugman says he’s been “looking into” the political economy of climate change. What he’s found, he says, is a “somewhat surprising conclusion that it’s not mainly about vested interests.” The interests exist, no doubt; but Krugman says their economic power isn’t so great — and pro-market responses to climate change are not so materially threatening — as to explain why they are so tenaciously resistant to taking action to slow climate change.

    So what’s the deal? The answer, Krugman says, isn’t economic but philosophical. “[T]hink about global warming from the point of view of someone who grew up taking Ayn Rand seriously, believing that the untrammeled pursuit of self-interest is always good and that government is always the problem, never the solution,” he writes. “Along come some scientists declaring that unrestricted pursuit of self-interest will destroy the world, and that government intervention is the only answer. It doesn’t matter how market-friendly you make the proposed intervention; this is a direct challenge to the libertarian worldview.”

    Such a direct challenge, according to Krugman, inspires “angry denial … venom [and] sheer rage” from those who believe man-made climate change is essentially a conspiracy or a myth. And the fact that holding such a position requires the dismissal of nearly the entire scientific community is, Krugman argues, a feature of its appeal — not a bug.
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  3. Grumpy Curmudgeon of Lucidity Valued Senior Member

    Billy T
    All human sources for methane will be dwarfed if the temperature near those ices in and on the continental shelves rises by just a few degrees. Much of our current higher levels is from melting permafrost in the sub arctic regions of Europe and the Americas and retreating glaciers. Cattle are a significant source as well. Even draining fallow rice fields decreases the methane they release from bacteria in the bottom mud. Methane is a result, mainly, of life and has a short halflife in the atmosphere. The levels are rising because of our activities, but at this point we should burn every bit of it we can as the co2 it produces, bad as it is, is 1/25th as bad as allowing it to escape unburned.

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    The Soviets drilled into a gas deposit in Turkmenistan in 1971 and set it off. The cavern that formed as the gas escaped swallowed the drill site and has been growing ever since, it was set afire in the hope it would burn off in a few days but it still burns today as the buried ices melt, releasing the methane, melting more ice, etc. Lakes are forming in the Siberian and Northern Canadian tundras, they virtually boil with methane bubbles. Again, if the Gulf Stream meanders into the Arctic it may already be too little, too late.


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  5. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    Yes by my and The Ames research group's definition as more solar absorption than IR radiation. Of course LTR or the "signature of that" to use their phrase, does not mean temperature will increase without limit as energy can, an will be lost to surrounding areas, not yet with LTR conditions. That is why the PHS temperature is not continuing to increase. Non-local, I.e. full thermal runaway occurs when there is no energy transfer out to other areas.

    If you were to prevent your black asphalt shingles from having any non radiative energy loss (or exactly compensate for them with resistive heating wires embedded in them) then yes they would heat up about 5000K, the solar temperature, and then re-radiate equally to what they are absorbing.

    To restate what I mean, by my defined term, LTR, is that radiative cooling is both less than solar absorption but more than areas near by as the temperature is greater. Perhaps I should have called this Local Super Hot Spot, LSHS?

    OK - returning now to watch the first game of the world cup. later: Brazil won, 3 to 1 and ironically, scored all four goals as Crocia's was accidently knocked in off the foot of a Brazilian player in mix up in front of their goal, but the match was much closer than the score reflects.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 13, 2014
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  7. billvon Valued Senior Member

    OK. Most of the Earth is therefore in LTR and has been for a long time. So nothing has changed.
  8. Write4U Valued Senior Member

  9. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    On the margin now, per second of residence time, you mean. Not over its residence time in otherwise unoccupied air (nitrogen/oxygen mix).

    That's irrelevant.

    Your analysis predicts thermal runaway and semi-permanent (geological time scale) Venusian heat trap from any large comet impact into fairly deep ocean. Are you saying that has never happened - that we've been just lucky for two billion years?
  10. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    On (1):
    Two main ones: (A) warm surface water flowing into colder regions, like the Gulf Stream and its counter part in the Pacific ("Japanese current" it may be called, but I forget.)
    (B) Evaporation; however "limiting" may not be the most accurate term. It is more accurate, I thing, to say restraining rate of temperature rise. Interestingly, and supporting this POV, the ocean a 100 meters to a kilometer or so deep is warming more rapidly than the surface water is because neither (1) nor (2) operates there, but it is cooler than the surface water. Only the magnitude of the vertical negative temperature gradient is decreasing below the "wave mixed depth."

    On (2):
    I don't see any long term (a few hundred years) limit, I.e. centuries from now 27C water may cover the North Pole, but if that is true we will never know as we will be all dead. If there is a limit, it should operate on Venus too. I.e. any planet with surface 100% covered by thick IR absorbing blanket should, I think, have essentially a nearly constant temperature everywhere on the surface. At higher altitudes where sunlight can heat the equatorial zone more than near the poles, of course it will be hotter at any such fixed altitude in the equatorial zone than at the poles.

    On a decade times scale, in the Northern Hemisphere, (I don't know enough to even guess about the Southern one) Gulf Stream transport of equatorial heat will decrease as the GS weakens with polar warming much more rapidly than the temperate zones. England will become less foggy and colder. Also the atmosphere jet stream, will continue to weaken as it notably already is. The NS range it wanders will increase making temperate zone weather more erratic and warm/cold front storms, like tornados and hail storms more frequent and destructive. (Parts of Germany had 5 cm (2 inch) diameter hail yesterday or day before, breaking some car windshields.)

    It should be noted that the Gulf Steam is mainly driven by the more salty water from the equatorial zone cooling and sinking near Iceland's south-eastern shore. As this still warmer than near by more fresh water falls, it cools and then has even greater "negative buoyancy" as still has its higher salt content. It flows all the way back across the equators on the bottom and even large part make it to the bottom off Southern Africa, some into even the Indian ocean before becoming less salty and warmer to rise back up to the surface, thus completing this great circulation loop we see part of and call the Gulf Stream. (The cold part of the loop, which we don't see, is longer than the Gulf Stream.)

    On a time scale of few hundred years, the main effect at the surface will be less violent storms as the temperature gradient decrease with latitude will continue, but the global average of relative humidity will probably be greater than 50% with much more rain and flooding. I expect many will die in the tropics when the wet bulb goes above 35C, possibly in less than 100 years.

    ON (4):
    I don't know. I doubt if anyone does, with any confidence. Also note that my replies to 1,2 & 3 are just guesses, based on what I do know, but I'm probably ignorant of many important factors.
  11. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    I tried to watch but was told:
    "We're sorry, but this video is not available in your region due to right restrictions."

    However, I will be in US for annual visit with daughters and grand kids, starting on 24 June AM. Brazilian wife, not their mother, and I get together with them in large rented NC (outer banks) beach house for two weeks that include 4 July every year. If I can remember I'll watch the video there on a rainy day. I'm back in Brazil on AM of 17 July. I give both daughters, the max tax free gift ($14,000). All told, it is a nice way to spend ~$75,000. I'm old and can't take it with me but for 2+ decades I have been doing this as it cuts what IRS will get when I die.
  12. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    I won't do any calculation, but think the heat capacity of the Earth (or even just the ocean water mass) is so large that there are few if any comets (and a big one would add its very cold initial mass to that heat capacity) that could do that. Yes their kinetic energy is enormous and Earth might totally eject into space as steam most of the column of water they fell into and some of the ocean floor into low earth orbit? The hot magma may contact the ocean water flowing into the void too. None the less in a few years the damage and heating would stop and probably sunlight would not get to Earth's surface during these first few years. Hard to guess if a year later the main effect would be the "Venusian heat trap" you suggest or "nuclear winter"

    BTW, the effect of (water vapor and clouds) in the air is very important but so variable in time (great changes in only 12 hours) and space (both latitude & longitude) that very few models try to assign any radiative forcing effect number to it. I finally found a paper, and gave reference, that said H2O's RF = 75 and that CO2's RF = 32. That ratio is where the 234% comes from.

    It seems reasonable as almost all agree water is more important than CO2. I have told the physics of this - has a permanent electric dipole moment, and no other gas component of the atmosphere with significant concentration does. (OH- does too and it is very significant but via its power to oxidize CH4 etc. not by its direct GW effects.) Aslo I was only trying to show that the "guys at work" you quoted in post 742, were grossly wrong so any reasonable value for H2O's RF would do that - I just did not want to make one up.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 13, 2014
  13. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    Maybe you should email Powell and Bluck and inform them of your findings - after all they have this to say on the matter:
    So you've done the calcs that prove that it's possible for the poles to ever get that hot?

    Remember - Kasting asserted that the earth does not receive enough insolation to acheive a venusian state because the earth does not receive enough sunlight. Kastings assertion has yet to be proven wrong, and more recent, similar, more accurate work has only reinforced this - to the point where even Hansen has been forced to acknowledge he was right.

    This has nothing to do with what I actually asked. Yes, superficially it seems to address my question, however, contextually it doesn't.

    And yet you feel perfectly comfortable asserting that the poles could reach temperatures of 27°C...
  14. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    No, no calculation, but that was, as stated, the "long-term (a few hundred years)" half of my reply. I said that any planet if completely covered by thick IR opaque near surface layer would have essentially the same temperature everywhere. Do you question this statement?

    And went on, for clarity, to tell / agree that at higher altitudes where the sunlight did penetrate to that altitude, then the equatorial temperature at any chosen altitude would be hotter than at that same attitude in the polar region. Further more, I suggested that this would be true of Venus, as I said ANY planet with that thick IR opaque layer near the surface would be essential isothermal at the surface - find data on Venus's surface temperature to show I am wrong, if you can.

    You admit that Venus has two stable state (one with thick IR opaque layer near the surface and one, much colder and more "Earth like" without that) but for reasons not clear, seem to think Earth can have only one stable state with relatively minor long term variations, no matter how much CH4 is released by never before rapid rate of CO2 release. Why? Again, please note Grumpy's graph showing CH4 now has essentially an exponential rate of concentration rise. Also note there does not seem to be any reason why the half life of CH4 can not become 50 years (four times greater than now) as it is very rapidly increasing and is destroying the OH radical concentration now much more rapidly than natural processes can produced OH radical.

    I admit that by being farther from the sun, the hot stable state of Earth is not as hot as Venus is, but see no reason why Earth can not also have a hotter stable state with surface temperature far above 27C everywhere. (~100 C would seem to last for million or so years before the temperature could climb to its final hot state equilibrium temperature - perhaps 200C when the oceans are gone, but I'm jut guessing.)
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 13, 2014
  15. billvon Valued Senior Member

    That's a ridiculous statement. Are you seriously saying that an IR-opaque layer would mean that a planet that received 1400 watts/sq m on one side, and 0 watts/sq m on the other side, would not show temperature differentials between the two sides? That doesn't even pass the smell test.

    Because Earth gets half the radiation that Venus does.
  16. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    You've put the cart before the horse. The surface temperature of 27°C appears to be neccessary to cause the effect in the first place, remember?

    I'm not questioning whether or not this is the case for Venus. Venus has a very different atmosphere from earth, it's in a very different state, and has very different physical properties..

    I've made no such admission. The difference between Venus a couple of billion years ago and venus now is that Venus received substantially less solar radiation than it does now. It took an increase in the amounr of insolation to force the change. If anything, I believe that Venus is currently in its cool state, but whether or not that can change is a question of the permanence of venusian cloud cover.

    And again, it come back to insolation.

    At what point, do you suppose, as the humidity of the atmosphere increases, might the photolysis of water become an important source of hydroxyl radicals?

    The first question that springs to mind is whether or not the Earth's carbon inventory is sufficient to drive it to these levels I have a feeling that your temperature estimates exceed Kasting's, but I'm not sure.
  17. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    The heat capacity of the earth, or total ocean, has little relevance. The amount of water vapor ejected into the air by a comet impact - including the entire mass of its ice, which vaporizes in ocean impact - is saturating for the entire atmospheric column over many tens of thousands of square miles, and directly over the very hot area of ocean created - that, according to your calculations, touches off a positive feedback greenhouse effect and a runaway thermal catastrophe.

    It never has. Why not?

    No, they don't. They agree that added water vapor has a stronger added greenhouse effect than added CO2 right now, but without the CO2 blanket no water vapor can be maintained in the atmosphere - its own greenhouse effect is not enough - because it condenses and changes phase and so forth. The CO2 is the central and centrally significant greenhouse gas - the multiplying effect of the water is contingent on the CO2 base. Kill the CO2 boost, and you don't have to worry about the water vapor - it will leave on its own.
  18. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    You nose test is not important compared to the facts: I.e. that when Venus is basically on the line between Earth and sun, the side we see if fully in the dark yet the thick cloud cover remains unbroken. Why the Venus probe had to use radar*, instead of cameras, to measure the surface roughness, a it orbited (nearly half of each orbit in the dark and cameras could photograph surface thru the broken cloud cover, if what you assert were true.) To prove you are correct and I am wrong, show me as photo taken of some Venus surface feature. (Not one constructed from the radar data).

    Yes the high atmosphere we see thru will be much cooler with out solar radiation be absorbed, and strong winds from the sunlite side will be trying to keep the high attitude dark side from cooling more greatly than it does.
    True. Why I guesses the surface tempertur in Earth's hotter stable state might be on 200C instead of Venus's 900C. Even only 105C surface temperature can sustain a basically IR thick surface atmosphere so long as the is still liquid water in the oceans to keep evaporating (and raining at higher cooler altitudes, with only the unusually large drops reaching the surface to evaporate there, in stead of earlier during there fall).

    See my soon to be made reply to trippy about not needing 100% of Earth surface to be in Thermal Runaway to have that part which is in what I called LTR but with temperature increase there limited as the excess of local solar absorption over local IR radiation to space is being transported to nearby area still not even in LTR.

    I. e. the less intense solar radiation does not prevent the existence of LTR spot - One is observed now in SE Pacific Ocean. The question is can it expand as it transfer energy to nearby surrounding areas that are almost in LTR condition already? (And if yes, as I seen no reason why not, on what times interval does its area grow by say 10%?)

    * "Synthetic aperture radar" to get the surface topography.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 13, 2014
  19. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    I think you mean Earth's average temperature as recently, for first time ever in recorded time, the surface temperature over a city on land exceeded 50C. I contend /argue that there can be less than full Earth but significant areas that have much more solar energy absorbed than they can send back to space as IR energy (I call them Local Thermal Runaway, LTR, areas and one of "significant area" does exist, the Pacific Hot spot, PHS. - Your link made me aware of that.) Their temperature is not increasing as they transfer, mainly by convection, (both water and air flow) thermal energy to near by area. If your link told the ocean surface temperature, I forgot it, but recall the average relative humidity (Why the escaping IR is so much lower than the absorbed solar energy) of the PHS was 70% vs the nearby area's only 20%.

    I have already noted that both diffusion and much more importantly convection must be raising the relative humidity of the very nearby areas. As their relative humidity increases, the difference between their solar absorption and IR radiation escaping to space must increase also. I. e. the boundary of the PHS, at least on the side where convection is delivering 70% relative humidity must have increasing relative humidity so is becoming more like the PHS. I don't see any reason why with time, this immediate boundary can not transition into the LTR condition. There may be a good reason why the PHS can not expand that I don't know. Measurements are required, perhaps for more than a decade to see if it is expanding or not. I suspect that an area in LTR condition can expand and possibly grow to cover the entire earth - not claiming that it must, just noting that I don't see why it can not grow in area.

    Again I am mainly advocating switching to sugar can based alcohol fuel for all cars need liquid fuel as there are many benefits of doing that, in addition to reducing CO2 release, and no reason not to. It MAY be fatale to mankind not to take every very simple and more economical than current system steps we can to error on the "safe side" IMO. We don't do much now, so CO2 (and CH4) are still increasing as few take GW seriously enough and know how uncertain its models are so are willing to error on the unsafe side. That is silly in the case of more economical per mile driven sugar cane alcohol.
    I'm not sure, still researching OH production processes and that certainly is a possible one, provided the harse UV gets down to where there is significant water vapor or the water vapor gets up to where there is significant harsh UV (UVc, I think it is called.) From what I have read so far, that is an insignificant source now, especially with the ozone concentrations high up now recovering from the damage the use of Florocarbons did before they were banned.

    To return the favor of giving an informative link, here are a set from:
    The second in the set on the Planetary Boundary layer was so good that I will be reading them all.
  20. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Because the Venus cloud cover is COMPLETELY opaque, which is very different from being IR-opaque.
    Important part bolded.

    Then why, during much hotter periods - periods that will be much hotter than anything predicted as a result of AGW - did this never happen?

    Here's an equally valid scenario:

    If we get another winter as bad as the last one, then there will be local thermal runaway conditions where:
    1) white snow covers the surface of the earth
    2) the albedo is reduced and the local air temperature drops
    3) cold air holds less water vapor so greenhouse gases are reduced
    4) this causes more snow etc etc

    I would expect this to get to the point where the oceans are all frozen. As the temperature drops, CO2 will condense out of the atmosphere, followed by nitrogen and oxygen, until the Earth becomes a nearly 100% reflective ball of ice (with no greenhouse effect at all) and temperatures drop to nearly absolute zero. We can prove that this negative local thermal runaway (NLTR) happens today. Therefore it is inevitable.
  21. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    No, not "very different" not different at all. IR opaque means not IR goes thru, same "dead" means same thing as "completely dead."

    There is more than enough water in the ocean to make Earth's atmosphere IR opaque (or "completely opaque" if you prefer)* due to water vapor if it nears 100C but as the atmosphere mass rises the ground level pressure would be many times greater than 15PSI so the boiling point of water would be a little higher than 100C.

    My guess that the final temperature might be 200C, not 900C was due to Earth being father from sun than Venus is. I have suggested than for a "million or so" years the complete ocean evaporation would take that the surface temperature would slowly rise and only surge up to the final Hot Stable State temperature when liquid H2O only exists in a 100% covering IR opaque cloud cover much higher than current clouds, with water vapor above the cloud tops and very high up some ice crystals as now.

    These clouds would of course have lower albedo than Earth's current average, but probably greater than 0.1 so the IR radiated energy would be less than now and come from the tops of the clouds or a little above them. It must basically equal the net solar absorbed energy.

    *BTW, animals would be "completely dead" too.
  22. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member


    I said what I meant, and I meant what I said.

    Yes, it did, 27°C. Maybe you should go and read it again, this time actually take the time to familiarize yourself with it.

    This is why I posted the map of sea surface temp. The first question you need to answer is: If it's as simple as you seem to think it is, why hasn't it happened elsewhere?
  23. billvon Valued Senior Member

    No, you are mistaken. Most of the solar radiation we receive at the surface of the Earth is NOT IR radiation. Thus IR opaque is not the same as opaque.

    To use your own example, someone with dead (gangrenous) legs is not dead. Just part of him is.

    Or -270C. Just as likely.

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