Hottest january ever say climate experts

Discussion in 'World Events' started by desi, Feb 27, 2010.

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  1. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member


    The world does not end at the equator, it's that simple.

    Only one of those papers you presented deals with the SOUTHERN hemisphere, which is having SUMMER at the moment, when it's like, you know HOT.

    Jeez, this aint rocket science. Not even all of the Northern Hemisphere is experiencing record setting lows.

    I'm not ignoring anything you dishonest hack, you're the one that's ignoring (at least) HALF THE FRICKING WORLD.

    Could ya get any more desperate?
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 3, 2010
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  3. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member


    Desi, can you find any link which is not of the form "A scientist said......."
    See if you can link to a report which names the scientist and the report he produced.
    I've looked, and I can't.
    I don't know if you are familiar with the Express, but I wouldn't trust a word it said.
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  5. Buffalo Roam Registered Senior Member

    Trippy, is this the best you can do? seems you missed the Rocket Science Course.

    You are becoming pathetic.
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  7. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    I'll tell you what.

    When you're ready to admit that:
    1. The Southern Hemisphere exists.
    2. The Southern Hemisphere is having summer.
    3. The Climate of the Antarctic is not representative of the entire southern hemisphere.

    Then you can try and talk down to me about basic science

    Are you ready to give us those straight answers yet?
  8. StrawDog disseminated primatemaia Valued Senior Member


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  9. StrawDog disseminated primatemaia Valued Senior Member


    You seem to know your way around this science. Is this your professional domain?

    In your opinion, what percentage of climate change that has/is occurring, is mankind directly responsible for?
  10. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

    trippy, the only problem with those maps is it gives an over inflated opinion to sheep rooters that they are "on top of the world"

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  11. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    Rather be a Sheep-shagger than a horse scratcher any day mate

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    Figured out how to spell Beer yet? (here's a clue, it's not XXXX

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  12. Repo Man Valued Senior Member

  13. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    I'm an environmental chemist by trade, I, essentially, make my living by applying what I know about statistics to what I know about aquatic chemistry to figure out if the Council Poo-plant is having a significant effect down stream (by comparing downstream water chemistry to upstream water chemistry, and the chemistry of the effluent being discharged), I also monitor them to ensure that they stay within the conditions specified in their discharge permits - essentially, I enforce the New Zealand Resource Management Act (1991). I'm a chemist, a statistician, and a law enforcement officer all rolled into one.

    As for my personal opinion as to how much of climate change man is actually responsible for? I don't know - and have never claimed otherwise.

    Here's what I do know:
    Simple Harmonic Motion (weights on springs) predicts that Carbon Dioxide absorbs infrared radiation over a range of wavelengths, and that that infra red radiation is turned into energy of motion (symetric and asymetric bending, stretching and, I believe, rotational modes).
    Quantum Mechanics reinforces this prediction.
    Emperical Observation also reinforces this prediction, we can measure it in the laboratory, and we can measure it 'in the field'.
    We are burning fossil fuels.
    We are burning fossil fuels at an increasing rate - to get an emperical indication of this compare how many cars there were per household 30 years ago to today, or how many coal fired powerstations there were around the world 30 years ago compared to today.
    Combustion of Carbon produces carbondioxide.
    Therefore, logically, if the rate at which we are burning fossils fuels is increasing, then the rate at which we're producing CO[sub]2[/sub] must also be increasing, and if the amount of CO[sub]2[/sub] in the atmosphere is increasing (and there are other sources of CO[sub]2[/sub] besides us) then the amount of infra red radiation being absorbed by the atmosphere and converted into heat energy must also be increasing.
    However, this is where things get less certain.
    Now, we know that CO[sub]2[/sub] is absorbed from the atmosphere primarily through three process. Plant growth, Sillicate Weathering, and oceanic absorption.
    Plant Growth:
    Yes, it's true plants use CO[sub]2[/sub] in photosynthesis, however, plants also respire at night, absorbing oxygen and producing carbondioxide, and only some plants actually have the net effect of removing CO[sub]2[/sub] from the atmosphere and sequiestering it. This Carbon sink represents the smallest carbon sink available, but also the one that responds most rapidly to change (plants, to some extent, respond better to a higher ppCO[sub]2[/sub], however I believe as with all nutrients there is a peak effect).
    The next biggest carbon sink is sillicate weathering. This also tends to increase as CO[sub]2[/sub] increases, because as CO[sub]2[/sub] increases, and temperature increases, glaciers start melting faster and retreating, exposing more bedrock to the atmosphere. A greater area of exposed bedrock results in increased silicate weathering, which results in increased removal of CO[sub]2[/sub] from the atmosphere.

    So for both of these, it is fairly straight forward in the sense that any natural rise in CO[sub]2[/sub] will result in a small adjustment with some lag time, and the sources and sinks will find a new equilibrium.

    The third sink is a little more complicated. The Ocean absorbs CO[sub]2[/sub directly from the atmosphere. It's a straightforward diffusion process that follows well known physical laws (Henry's Law). Increasing the partial pressure of CO[sub]2[/sub] in the atmosphere increases the solubility of CO[sub]2[/sub] in the oceans, it's the same basic principle behind a can or bottle of coke or pepsi. So that's all good, however, if we accept the principles of simple harmonic motion, and the theory that carbon dioxide absorbs infrared radiation, and stores it as heat energy, then as ppCO[sub]2[/sub] increases, increasing temperatures also come into play, because the solubility of a gas in a liquid is inversey proportional to temperature. The hotter it gets, the less soluble a gas is in a liquid, and eventually you reach a point where if the liquid gets hot enough, it doesn't matter how high the pp of the gas is, it's still insoluble, or sparingly soluble in the liquid.

    Unfortunately, this isn't the end of it for the oceans, because there's still the Lysocline, and the Carbonate compensation depth, both of which also influence the ability of the oceans to store CO[sub]2[/sub]. essentially, when anyhting with a carbonate shell dies, it's shell starts to sink. If the water is shallow enough, it will sit there, and this tendency increases the amount of CO[sub]2[/sub] the oceans can store through the following chemistry:

    CO[sub]2[/sub]+H[sub]2[/sub]O ↔ H[sub]2[/sub]CO[sub]3[/sub] + CaCO[sub]3[/sub] ↔2HCO[sub]3[/sub][sup]-[/sup] + Ca[sup]2+[/sup]

    This reaction effectively acts to remove CO[sub]2[/sub] from the water, which is why the oceans are our biggest resivoir of CO[sub]2[/sub].

    There's a catch though, because it relies on a diffusion process, the further away you get from the interface in the water (the deeper you go) the less CO[sub]2[/sub] there is in the water, which has the effect of increasing the solubility of the Calcite (common ion effect essentially), eventually you reach a depth where the solubility of calcite increases dramatically, this is the lysocline, below the lysocline the calcite shells become soluble again, at a rate that increases with depth, until you reach a point where the rate at which the calcite is deposited by dying things is equal to the rate at which the calcite dissolves - analgous to the snow line.

    The total mass of calcite in the oceans above this depth is what determines the amount of CO[sub]2[/sub] that can be absorbed by the oceans. There's a lot of it, I think the CCD averages something like 1200-2000m in depth. However, because of the volume of water that needs to re-establish equilibrium with the atmosphere. Our largest carbon resivior is also our slowest to respond.

    It's these opposing rates of change that make making any predictions difficult, but it gets worse still, because reducing ice cap cover, and replacing it with bedrock changes the average albedo of the planet, which in turn change sthe percentage of radiation absorbed, which changes the effective temperature of the planet, which changes the amount of infra red radiation emitted by the earth. At the same time, water is a better greenhouse gas than CO[sub]2[/sub], however the amount of water in the atmosphere is controled by the temperature of the atmosphere, and the amount of IR absorbed by water is more or less maxed out in most of its absorption windows., however, increasing the amount of water in the atmosphere, I believe has the effect of changing the type and extent of cloud cover which can have conflicting effects on long wave retention.

    And that's without even looking at things like increasing aerosol emissions that logically accompany increased fossil fuel consumption (aerosols have, I believe, a net cooling effect).

    All of the above (and more, it's time for me to go home now) is why I generally say "Up to a certain point the science is fixed in stone, it's the effects beyond that point which are open to debate".

    However, people like Buffalo Roam, and Pasta seem to prefer to believe that because I question their arguments, and point out what I believe to be fallacies and falsehoods in them, that I must be some sort of pseudo religous acolyte.

    I can try for more detail later if you would like?
  14. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Hey, Buffalo,

    Did you notice that the Olympic downhill skiing events were delayed because there wasn't enough snow? The words "unusually warm winter" come to mind for Canada.

    And we might as well take Canada as reflecting global average temperatures. Right?
  15. kira Valued Senior Member


    Actually, Trippy, Buffalo Roam this time is correct, because the article in the OP is referring to the WINTER in the UK, which is in the Northern Hemisphere.

    The main idea of the article in the OP (which is published in February 26,2010) is that, just last month (January 2010) the climate scientists from the southern hemisphere (or to be exact, Australia) said that it was the hottest January ever. That was supposed to support global warming claim. However, just a month later, the Britons suffering the coldest winter in 30 years. If the last month claim supported the global warming, supposedly that this winter will not be the coldest. If it was usually -15, it supposed to be -13, not -17 (just an example).

    As a side note, of course we can't say anything about climate change just from the last 2 months data, because the standard climate is supposed to be an average data of about 30 years (me thinks), not a sudden monthly variation.

    In addition to that, I think the article in the OP is exaggerating (like a gossip tabloid).
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2010
  16. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    Summary of previous post:

    The basic science says it is possible, I've seen some compelling evidence that it is probable, but I don't think it's neccessarily something there's a straight forward 'yes or no' answer to.
  17. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    I think you're missing the point as well Kira.
    Buffalo's original claim, and the point I was adressing in the post you quoted.
    The point is that the claim 'Hottest January either' is reliant on global statistics, but the contrary claims regarding coldest winter ever, and the context that claim is presented in, as if it is somehow contrary to the claim 'hotest January ever' is misleading and fallicous because it ignores the statistics of the Southern hemisphere.

    In other words the two aren't mutually exclusive.

    It can still be the coldest January ever in parts of Europe and the US, while being the hottest January over all.

    Get it yet?

    This is precisely what Buffalo Roam has been arguing, that the claim that thi sis the hottest january yet is somehow contradicted by record setting cold temperatures in the US and Norway.

    One is a GLOBAL claim, based on GLOBAL statistics, which include the Southern Hemisphere summer. The other is a LOCAL claim based on a local statistic - this is even implied in the opening post.

    This sentence: "The article in the OP is referring to the WINTER in the UK, which is in the Northern Hemisphere."
    Is precisely the point that I have been trying to make.

    One article that discusses the local winter, and how cold it is, in no way neccssarily contradicts the idea that over all, the average temperature is up, in spite of the local record setting cold.
  18. kira Valued Senior Member


    Ouch, in that case I see your point, and you are right. Anyway, the point that the article was making is similar to the one James made, i.e. taking Britain (or Canada) to reflect global statistics, which is misleading. That's why I added in the previous post that the article wasn't exactly right (it's for tabloid gossip). Oh wait, I guess James was being sarcastic!

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  19. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    And I don't doubt that Britons And North Americans have shivered through one of their worst winters in a while, however the causes of that (may) lay elsewhere (i'm reminded of a discussion in a book I've recently finished readin in fact).
  20. StrawDog disseminated primatemaia Valued Senior Member

    That is very eloquently stated in a digestible size infochunk.

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    I appreciate your input on this.

    It seems rather logical that human activity can have a localized environmental impact, and of course we have ample evidence of the negative (smog, acid rain, fauna and flora extinctions, etc) impact of industrial pollution over the previous many decades. Thus it does not require a major leap to accept that the cumulative global effect of human industry (including CO[sub]2[/sub] and other) which has grown in leaps and bounds, may absolutely have a role to play in influencing and effecting global climate.

    I also understand and appreciate that such climate effects are not apparent over a clearly predictable time scale, thus an extreme European winter (or two, or three) is not indicative that warming is debunked or that a warming or cooling trend can be measured in a couple of years.

    Of course the interesting offset is the reasonable evidence for historic and prehistoric periods or cycles of warming and cooling before (known) large scale industrialized and agriculteral human activity. (Singer & Avery)

    Your arguments are clear and well presented. Pleasant change from the norm. :m:
  21. kira Valued Senior Member


    Anyway, it is quite interesting to note, that the unusual hottest month globally happened at about the same time with the unusual coldest month in some regions. This indicates that, there must have been a significant increase of temperature in some other part of the world, and this increase is bigger than the decrease in other area. I wonder why that is, btw..

    To Buffalo Roam: what Trippy was trying to say, can be simplified into this:

    Let say in January usually the temperature in the north (such as UK, USA) is 2 degC (winter). In the same month, the temperature in the south (such as Chile, Australia) is 30 degC (summer). So, overall in the world, the temperature in January is (2+30)/2=16 degC.

    This time, the temperature in the north during January is 1 degC (coldest ever); however, in the south, the temperature is 35 degC. So, in average the global temperature is (1+35)/2 = 18 degC.

    So, it is possible that even if January this year is the coldest month in the north (1 degC instead of 2 degC), it is also globally the hottest ever (18 degC instead of 16 degC).

    Of course all numbers is just simplification.
  22. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    Thankyou, I appreciate the compliments.

    You raise an interesting point regarding historical and prehistorical patterns, however consider this:
    How does that actually disprove the notion that Humans are having an impact?
    My answer is that it doesn't, the two events are not mutually exclusive.
    Consider as a very very rough analog, a dam in a river.
    The level of the water might vary naturally, it might even naturally vary to the height of the dam, but, no one would argue that the dam isn't having an anthropogenic effect right?

    Yes, I admit, it's a very poor analogy, but I trust you understand my point?
  23. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    I believe I've already mentioned that this year has been an el nino year?

    That will be part of the explanation.
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