I can feel a "conspiracy" coming on!

Discussion in 'Earth Science' started by paddoboy, Apr 9, 2020.

  1. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    27,534
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-04-09/himalayas-visible-india-pollution/12136856

    Peaks of Himalayas visible from parts of India for first time in decades as pollution drops amid lockdown
    By Zena Chamas
    Updated about an hour ago

    Indian residents can now see the towering peaks of the Himalayas from Punjab for the first time in 30 years, after a massive drop in pollution caused by the country's coronavirus lockdown.

    The lockdown, implemented on March 22, has resulted in a "significant improvement in air quality in the country", as revealed by data analysis from India's Central Pollution Control Board.

    The report showed air quality in 85 cities had improved significantly as most vehicles remained off roads and non-essential businesses closed.

    The report said:

    "Data shows that on average, Indian cities had an AQI [Air Quality Index] of 115 between March 16 and 24."

    "The air quality started showing improvements from the first day of the 21-day lockdown. The average AQI fell to 75 in the first three days of the lockdown."

    more at link..................

    related story:
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03...ina-sees-air-pollution-levels-tumble/12014692

    Coronavirus lockdown in China has air pollution levels tumbling, NASA satellites reveal

    Air pollution over China has plummeted in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak that forced the shutdown of industry and transport, NASA says.

    NASA and the European Space Agency's pollution monitoring satellites have detected a significant decline in the amount of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) — a noxious gas emitted by cars, power plants and factories.

    "There is evidence that the change is at least partly related to the economic slowdown following the outbreak of coronavirus," NASA said in a statement.

    According to NASA, the reduction in NO2 was first apparent near Wuhan, the epicentre of the virus, where millions of people were quarantined.

    more at link............
     
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  3. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    So all facetiousness and jokes aside [with regards to the thread title] what is this telling us?
    The Earth probably has around 3 or 4 billion years of being habitable left [ignoring intervening catastrophic events] before our Sun enters its giant red phase and engulfs us.
    Q1:Is it able to self correct and absorb and/or modify its "system" at all stages?Q2: Is there a "tipping point" where pollution can get to a stage that no self correction could ever be undertaken?
    Q3:Will climate change denialists use this as evidence to deride and lessen the criticality of climate change?
    And Q4: Is this evidence that climate change is not as critical as we are led to believe?
     
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  5. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    My own thoughts are that climate change is still as serious a threat as it always was. Sea level rises are already engulfing many low lying South Pacific Islands as we speak....Plastic is of course non degradable and is still and always will be a threat.
     
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  7. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    The sun gets warmer as it burns though the hydrogen so Earth won't be habitable long before the Sun engulfs it in the Red Giant phase. I'd say life on Earth has more like 1 billion years left.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2020
  8. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    No argument, and correct of course.
     
  9. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Why are you talking about climate change? The above post was about pollution, not climate change.
     
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  10. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    Um... because the same processes cause both phenomena?
     
  11. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    ?? Not sure what you mean.

    Visible pollution generally reflects light. High altitude aerosols (which low altitude pollution contributes to slightly) decrease warming. So less pollution generally equals more warming, not less - at least in the short term. Especially in India, where much of the pollution comes from coal plants, a leading cause of high altitude aerosols. (Fun fact - artificial high altitude aerosols have been proposed as a way to artificially cool the planet.)

    CO2 and methane, the two primary causes of global warming, are colorless and odorless gases. They are not visible, and saying "look how clear it is out!" doesn't mean anything in terms of CO2 concentrations.
     
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  12. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    10,097
    Yes I remember reading, when I was involved in marine lubs and fuels, that sulphur emissions lead to sulphate particles at high altitude which have a cooling effect. Some volcanic eruptions do the same, if I recall correctly.
     
  13. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    27,534
    I understand they are two different problems, both having an effect on the Biosystem and health.
    But I do see a relationship, and as the facetious thread title insinuates, the lessening of observed pollution due to whole country lockdowns, may be something that climate change denialists would grab hold of and run with.

    I also found the following......
    https://theconversation.com/climate...gmLUuDW2kyCQBjGcX32ksinirCxHerqxoCQuUQAvD_BwE

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0013935108000704

    Public perception and behavior change in relationship to hot weather and air pollution:

    Abstract
    Background

    Changes in climate systems are increasing heat wave frequency and air stagnation, both conditions associated with exacerbating poor air quality and of considerable public health concern.

    Objectives

    Heat and air pollution advisory systems are in place in many cities for early detection and response to reduce health consequences, or severity of adverse conditions. Whereas the ability to forecast heat waves and/or air pollution episodes has become increasingly sophisticated and accurate, little is known about the effectiveness of advisories in altering public behavior.

    Methods

    Air quality and meteorological conditions were measured during advisory and control days in Portland, OR and Houston, TX in 2005 and 2006 and 1962 subjects were interviewed by telephone about their perception and response to these conditions.

    Results

    Elevated ambient temperatures were accurately recognized regardless of air conditioning use; in Portland, respondents resorted to active cooling behavior (AC, fan, etc.), while in Houston no such change was observed. More heat-related symptoms were reported in Portland compared to Houston, probably due to low air conditioning use in the northwest. One-third of study participants were aware of air quality advisories but only ∼10–15% claimed to have changed activities during such an episode. Not the advisory, however, drove their behavior change, but rather the perception of poor air quality, which was not related to PM2.5 or ozone measurements.

    Conclusions

    Messages are not reaching the public during potentially hazardous weather and air quality conditions. Climatic forecasts are increasingly predictive but public agencies fail to mount an appropriate outreach response.

     
  14. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    I mean that heavy industry, particularly the burning of fossil fuels, causes climate change and also pollutes every part of the environment.
    The science may be complicated; the outcome is simple: we all die.
     
  15. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Agreed there. However, "clean air" <> "no climate change." If, for example, we go to all clean coal, the air gets very clean - but we warm even faster.
    That's going to be a big problem in the coming years as climate change gets dramatically worse and we don't all die. "See?" climate change deniers will claim (rightly.) "Those so-called scientists said we would all die and we didn't! Climate change is FAKE NEWS!"
     
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  16. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    To... what now?
    We don't all die at once. 20,000 here, 400,000 there, a million yonder - pretty soon it starts adding to numbers even Trump can't tweet away. Some of the dying is quiet and ignorable, like wide-spread environmental illnesses; some are "tragic natural occurrences" like storm and fire damage; the really splashy ones can always be blamed on politics - other people's politics. There is no known limit to excuses and evasions.
    Last idiot standing can keep denying until he runs out of breath or realizes that there is nobody left to argue with.
     
  17. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Again, silly claims like that guarantee that no one will take climate change mitigations seriously.

    We're not all going to die. The human race will not be reduced to one person. Stop with the silly claims and focus on the science and the very real human costs.
     
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  18. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    I'm focused. Laser-like. Now what?
    ----
    Nothing. I makes no frickin difference what silly things either of us say. The lines are drawn; deniers won't be convinced; the knowledgeable won't be dissuaded.
    Of course everybody won't die. The billion or so remnant might not kill one another off if they're scattered far and wide enough. So that's all right.
     
  19. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Nor will climate change kill off most people. Again, focus on the science, not on the apocalypse movie scripts.
     
  20. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    It doesn't need to. It just has to make people suffer privation. Too many people need too little food, water and habitable land. People got nukes. Science can't stop them killing one another.
     
  21. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    19,052
    I saw that movie, too.

    Look, no one sane is arguing that climate change is just fine. But by making accurate predictions, and then seeing them come to pass, people will start taking climate change science (and political solutions to it) more seriously.

    Consider the case of two doctors.

    Doctor one hates smoking with a passion - it killed a friend of his, he thinks it stinks etc. So he tells his smoking patients "Look - if you don't stop smoking you are going to drop dead real soon. This week, maybe the next." Then three weeks go by. None of them quit - and all of them are still alive. Are they going to take him seriously after that?

    Doctor two also dislikes smoking but he is less emotional about it. He tells his smoking patients the risks of emphysema, lung cancer, COPD and heart disease. He explains the average reduction in their lifespan, and the reduction of their quality of life both now and in the future. It won't kill them outright, but it stands a good chance of making their lives miserable later in life. And those patients think "hmm, I have been getting out of breath a lot more lately." Are they going to take him more seriously?
     
  22. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    30,824
    Bizarre.
    How does that "guarantee" actually work?
    Why would the existence of silly claims from a few of the hundreds of millions of people involved prevent those hundreds of millions of responsible adults from taking bona fide emergencies seriously?

    It is not the job of the well-informed and responsible to persuade the unpersuadable. That cannot be a condition of getting anything done. There isn't enough time to screw around like that. If we can't get anything done until we have silenced every fringe opinion on the internet, we will never get anything done.
    The entire Republican Party media operation is doing exactly that, with the support of a majority of the governing officials at every level of US government.
    OK, what they are doing is not exactly "arguing" - but they can't tell the difference, and in their lives there isn't one.
    Pollyanna.
    If that had a chance of success, it would have worked already.
    That approach has never yet changed the behavior of the post-Reagan US Republican Party and those complicit with it - and that's who currently holds power in the US; Federal, State, and local.
    No.
    Not if they are Republican voters, anyway.

    They will, instead, sign up with the industry reps who throw in a pack of free cigarettes if they buy a box, tell them the elitist doctors with their fancy college educations don't respect them (have you ever listened to a Trump voter talk about "doctors"?), and pay old guys who have smoked all their lives to go on TV and make fun of the libtards.

    This isn't an intellectual argument. It's a propaganda war. And if you don't realize who's fighting it - if you can't see fascism when it's standing on your neck - you will lose.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2020
  23. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    4,799
    How comfortable for you!
    The Iraqis, Syrians, Palestinians, Egyptians, Lebanese, Indians, Pakistanis, Columbians, Nigerians, Yemenese, Ethiopians, Ecuadorians, and the odd stray other person in the world, have been experiencing it first-hand, for the last six decades. Nobody wants all those hungry people, but walls won't feed them and sinking their boats won't stop them going from where they know they can't live to where they hope they can.
    This is real. Nobody who hasn't taken it seriously up till now will start tomorrow, whether they think I'm silly or not.
    Meanwhile, keep focusing on the science.
     

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