Friday, January 01, 2010

The more we produce CO2, the more that plants and oceans gobble it up

We actually live in a low carbon era so this is no surprise. Potential capacity for carbon absorption is large

Most of the carbon dioxide emitted by human activity does not remain in the atmosphere, but is instead absorbed by the oceans and terrestrial ecosystems. In fact, only about 45 percent of emitted carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere.

However, some studies have suggested that the ability of oceans and plants to absorb carbon dioxide recently may have begun to decline and that the airborne fraction of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions is therefore beginning to increase.

Many climate models also assume that the airborne fraction will increase. Because understanding of the airborne fraction of carbon dioxide is important for predicting future climate change, it is essential to have accurate knowledge of whether that fraction is changing or will change as emissions increase.

To assess whether the airborne fraction is indeed increasing, Wolfgang Knorr of the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Bristol reanalyzed available atmospheric carbon dioxide and emissions data since 1850 and considers the uncertainties in the data.

In contradiction to some recent studies, he finds that the airborne fraction of carbon dioxide has not increased either during the past 150 years or during the most recent five decades.

SOURCE. Journal abstract here.

German Physicists Trash Global Warming “Theory”

By John O'Sullivan

For any non-scientist interested in the climate debate, there is nothing better than a ready primer to guide you through the complexities of atmospheric physics – the “hardest” science of climatology. Here we outline the essential points made by Dr. Gerhard Gerlich, a respected German physicist, that counter the bogus theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW).

Before going further, it’s worth bearing in mind that no climatologist ever completed any university course in climatology–that’s how new this branch of science really is. Like any new science the fall-back position of a cornered AGW proponent is the dreaded “appeal to authority” where the flustered debater, out of his or her depth, will say, “Well, professor so-and-so says it’s true – so it must be true.” Don’t fall for that proxy tree-ring counter’s gambit any longer. Here is the finest shredding of junk science you will ever read.

In a recently revised and re-published paper, Dr Gerlich debunks AGW and shows that the IPCC “consensus” atmospheric physics model tying CO2 to global warming is not only unverifiable, but actually violates basic laws of physics, i.e. the First and Second Law of Thermodynamics. The latest version of this momentous scientific paper appears in the March 2009 edition of the International Journal of Modern Physics.

The central claims of Dr. Gerlich and his colleague, Dr. Ralf Tscheuschner, include, but are not limited to:

1) The mechanism of warming in an actual greenhouse is different than the mechanism of warming in the atmosphere, therefore it is not a “greenhouse” effect and should be called something else.

2) The climate models that predict catastrophic global warming also result in a net heat flow from atmospheric greenhouse gasses to the warmer ground, which is in violation of the second law of thermodynamics.

Essentially, any machine which transfers heat from a low temperature reservoir to a high temperature reservoir without external work applied cannot exist. If it did it would be a “perpetual motion machine” – the realm of pure sci-fi.

Gerlich’s and Tscheuschner’s independent theoretical study is detailed in a lengthy (115 pages), mathematically complex (144 equations, 13 data tables, and 32 figures or graphs), and well-sourced (205 references) paper. The German physicists prove that even if CO2 concentrations double (a prospect even global warming advocates admit is decades away), the thermal conductivity of air would not change more than 0.03%. They show that the classic concept of the glass greenhouse wholly fails to replicate the physics of Earth’s climate. They also prove that a greenhouse operates as a “closed” system while the planet works as an “open” system and the term “atmospheric greenhouse effect” does not occur in any fundamental work involving thermodynamics, physical kinetics, or radiation theory. All through their paper the German scientists show how the greenhouse gas theory relies on guesstimates about the scientific properties involved to “calculate” the chaotic interplay of such a myriad and unquantifiable array of factors that is beyond even the abilities of the most powerful of modern supercomputers.

The paper’s introduction states it neatly:

(a) there are no common physical laws between the warming phenomenon in glass houses and the fictitious atmospheric greenhouse effects, (b) there are no calculations to determine an average surface temperature of a planet, (c) the frequently mentioned difference of 33 degrees Celsius is a meaningless number calculated wrongly, (d) the formulas of cavity radiation are used inappropriately, (e) the assumption of a radiative balance is unphysical, (f) thermal conductivity and friction must not be set to zero, the atmospheric greenhouse conjecture is falsified.

This thorough debunking of the theory of man made warming disproves that there exists a mechanism whereby carbon dioxide in the cooler upper atmosphere exerts any thermal “forcing” effect on the warmer surface below. To do so would violate both the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics. As there is no glass roof on the earth to trap the excess heat, it escapes upward into space.Thus we may conclude that the common sense axioms are preserved so that the deeper the ocean, the colder the water and heat rises, it does not fall. QED.

SOURCE. Journal abstract here.

Natural Variability Led to Extra-Cold 2008, Research Finds

An especially cold year in North America in 2008 led some members of the public and the media to question the scientific consensus on human-induced global warming. In addition, the cool global temperatures during the past decade may appear to contrast with the warming expected due to human influence.

To clarify the roles of human influence and natural climate variability, Perlwitz et al. used observed temperature data and a suite of climate model simulations to analyze factors contributing to the 2008 North American temperature conditions.

The researchers found that the anthropogenic forcing in 2008 did contribute to temperatures warmer than would otherwise have occurred but that those human-induced effects were overwhelmed by a particularly strong bout of natural cooling. The authors determined that the North American cooling likely resulted from a widespread natural coolness in the tropical and northeastern Pacific Ocean. [Right on! Just as natural influences caused a slight warming in the late 20th century]

The study implies [but does not prove] that the abnormally cool 2008 is not likely part of a prolonged cooling trend and that general warming trends are likely to continue.


College kids fall for "Green" hokum

I suppose it's no worse than studying "Theory" in English literature courses

Colleges are rapidly adding new majors and minors in green studies, and students are filling them fast. Nationwide, more than 100 majors, minors or certificates were created this year in energy and sustainability-focused programs at colleges big and small, says the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. That's up from just three programs added in 2005.

Two factors are driving the surge: Students want the courses, and employers want the trained students, says Paul Rowland, the association's executive director.

"There's a great perception that there's a sweet spot with energy to do good and do well, and it appears to be the place of job growth," says Rob Melnick, executive dean of the Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University.

The institute started an undergraduate program in sustainability studies — with a focus on solar — a year and a half ago. It now has about 600 students who've declared sustainability a major. "The growth rate is unprecedented," even though the program has the toughest admission standards of any school at the university, Melnick says.

Other schools are also seeing big demand, including:

•Illinois State University in Normal, Ill. The school of 21,000 students has 65 majors in renewable energy, a program started in 2008 with help from a $1 million Department of Energy grant. The program has "more students wanting in than we can handle," says Richard Boser, chair of the Department of Technology. Nearby employers, including those in wind energy, hope to hire future graduates, Boser says.

•Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In September it launched a minor in energy studies. A student survey said 43% of freshmen and sophomores were very or extremely interested in it. "That's a very large number," says Vladimir Bulovic, associate professor of communication and technology. MIT's student energy club has 1,700 members, vs. several hundred a few years ago, Bulovic says.

•University of California-Berkeley. The school has seen student interest in its introductory energy class explode. Ten years ago, it attracted 40 or so students. Now, the class runs 270, says Daniel Kammen, director of the school's Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory.

The Obama administration has estimated that jobs in energy and environmental-related occupations will grow 52% from 2000 through 2016, vs. 14% for other occupations. That's partly why budget-strapped schools are adding energy and sustainability programs even while cutting other majors, Rowland says.


Next climate conference likely to be a fizzer too

The climate conferences never stop and never achieve anything -- but they are great paid holidays for the participants

IT has been said that Copenhagen was all about attitudes and aspirations and the meeting this year in Mexico City will be about results. But without the leadership of the US - which accounts for 20 per cent of all greenhouse gases - the prospects of an enforceable, verifiable and legally binding new global treaty on emissions reductions are virtually zero.

All the evidence indicates that President Barack Obama won't be able to lead the world to a post-Kyoto deal. This is because the politics of the environment have shifted dramatically in recent months. There are many reasons for the changing climate in Washington. Here are four of them:

First, both Congress and the White House remain pre-occupied with other policy priorities from overhauling the healthcare and immigration systems and increasing 30,000 troops to Afghanistan to implementing new Wall Street regulations and tackling double-digit unemployment and skyrocketing debt and deficit.

Second, polls and surveys Pew, Gallup, Zogby, Rasmussen show Americans are quickly losing faith in the science of man-made climate change. A Harris Poll found that those who believe that carbon dioxide leads to global warming have dropped from 71 per cent two years ago to only 51 per cent today. And this poll was conducted before Climategate erupted.

It may be the case that the thousands of leaked emails and documents from the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit do not disprove the science of man-made global warming. But it is also true that the uproar over allegations that some IPCC scientists manipulated data, hid inconvenient evidence and tried to silence dissenting views has led to calls for government inquiries and congressional hearings into the scandal. After all, US tax dollars fund many climate scientists.

Third, world leaders are recognising that reaching a global consensus on climate change is even more difficult than reaching a global consensus on multilateral trade. China and India insist they won't be part of what they see as an economic suicide pact. In Canada, a Kyoto signatory that has increased its emissions much faster than the US, the ETS bill is stalled in legislative limbo. In Australia, the conservative opposition parties just defeated Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.

In the EU, cap and trade has not only been the victim of fraudulent traders; emissions from the 27 member states have increased by nearly 2 per cent since the ETS was implemented in 2005.

Copenhagen itself failed to produce a climate deal of any substance. In this environment, the argument goes, why should the US go out on a limb and disadvantage industry?

Fourth, this year is an American election year. A huge new energy tax that threatens to cut wages and jobs unnerves politicians facing a mid-term vote. And not just Senate Republicans either. "Blue Dog" Democrats from the South as well as "Brown Dog" Democrats from the Midwest and Great Plains, whose states are dependent on coal and manufacturing, are uneasy about the administration's energy policies.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the US will help raise $US100 billion ($111bn) a year to defray the cost of climate-change mitigation in the developing world. But although the idea that rich nations should pay for poor nations to adapt to non-carbon technology may be accepted wisdom at Harvard University and The New York Times, it is hardly a vote winner in middle America during a recession. Imagine a Democrat senator from a Rust Belt state telling his coal mining constituents that they should pay higher taxes to help China become more energy efficient and more economically competitive.

Not surprisingly, nine Democrat senators recently set out the terms of their support for an emissions trading scheme, including that every other nation, especially China and India, enact and enforce carbon laws of their own. With the failure of Copenhagen, that won't happen.

Contrary to expectations, the ETS legislation that the House of Representatives narrowly approved last June failed to pass the Senate this year. Only 41 senate votes are required to filibuster the vote. And now some moderate Senate Democrats are urging the White House to ditch the ETS bill this year. At this stage, most seasoned observers in Washington think cap and trade is dead.

The administration does have one card up its sleeve: the Environmental Protection Agency. It could override Congress and impose taxes and regulation across the entire economy under clean-air laws. But such action would almost certainly be tied up in litigation for years.

Having struggled to get his landmark healthcare plan through Congress, Obama faces an uphill battle in trying to enact his energy and climate policy. If he fails at home, then expect another debacle and more disappointment at this year's climate change conference in Mexico City.


Utah snowstorm squelches climate change protest

A downtown protest of the climate change talks in Copenhagen became a victim of Wednesday's snowstorm. "Not many people showed up because of the blizzard conditions," said organizer Clea Major, an international studies student at the University of Utah.

It didn't take long for the six friends to pack up a bullhorn and posters they'd planned to use for their "scream-in," an outlet for their frustration about the failure of the Copenhagen climate talks earlier this month to curb the pollution blamed for climate change.

Still, they chatted with a few passers-by during the commuter-hour protest near the Gateway, and explained that, blizzard aside, climate change is expected to bring chaos to the global climate, said Major.

She called Wednesday evening's effort a success and possibly the first in a series. As for the snow, it's not entirely new; a protest she attended last year in Washington, D.C., suffered a similar fate. "There is always the irony element," Major said. [True believers are not swayed by reality]



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1 comment:

ScienceofDoom said...

Gerlich and Tscheuschner are Having a Laugh

You said "..well-sourced (205 references) paper" - but they don't reference any modern climate science who use the radiative transfer equations to solve the physics behind the inappropriately-named "greenhouse" effect.

For example, the seminal and often-cited Climate Modeling through Radiative Convective Methods by Ramanathan and Coakley (1978).

You say - ".. even if CO2 concentrations double.. the thermal conductivity of air would not change more than 0.03%" - who can disagree? They state it as if anyone in climate science would disagree. Clearly they are having a laugh as everyone knows that conductivity of the atmosphere is not important. Except you fell for it..

You say - "..They show that the classic concept of the glass greenhouse wholly fails to replicate the physics of Earth’s climate." - and so all climate science agrees because no one actually intent on demonstrating anything important in radiative effects call on the "greenhouse" effect. They call on the radiative transfer equations which G&T appear to endorse but avoid actually saying so.

Take a look at On Having a Laugh – by Gerlich and Tscheuschner (2009) and the follow up, On the Miseducation of the Uninformed by Gerlich and Tscheuschner (2009)