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noggin

A growing groundswell of opinion?

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I know exactly what you're saying, but this analogy is far too simplistic to equate to the far more dynamic and complicated system that is the Earth. It misses all the subtlety of the argument that I have laid out in my previous posts - an iron bar is essentially a single lump of multiple identical atoms, which all act and respond to changes in exactly the same way as easch other, whereas the Earth is perhaps a tad more complicated than that...?

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CB

CB,

I'm sorry, atoms are atoms. The point is that energy conversion occurs purely and simply at the atomic level: seeing as you're as smart as you say you are you'll know this. The only way in which the earth can get hotter if incoming energy is a constant is if less is reradiated or if there is a lag effect. There may well be a lag effect, but you'll need to explain why (see the solar thread) this is sometimes present, and sometimes not. The only way less can be reradiated is, as I said, if we get a change in the atmosphere: the surface simply isn't changing that quickly to be a viable explanation: land and sea continue in the proportions they always have, though with the slow retreat of ice mean albedo is falling.

I'm not sure that I've said there's a flick of a switch at all: my point was that you were arguing as if there is, but that the data elsewhere (in the solar thread) clearly shows that this isn't consistently the case. My point is the recurring one about seeming to be selective to suit the argument.

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Thankfully the GW lark is now on the way out. What's the next major disaster to pontificate about? Some sort of disease probrably. Bird flu has already had its time. So what will they come up with next?

It is great to see the props being kicked out from under the GW cult.Aliens or some such tripe to follow?

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CB,

I'm sorry, atoms are atoms. The point is that energy conversion occurs purely and simply at the atomic level: seeing as you're as smart as you say you are you'll know this.

Thanks for that, but you've missed the point (and not a very subtle one) that there rather more than one type of atom on Earth. If you look at Earth solely from an atomic point of view then you're not going to get many answers re AGW.

I'm not sure that I've said there's a flick of a switch at all: my point was that you were arguing as if there is, but that the data elsewhere (in the solar thread) clearly shows that this isn't consistently the case. My point is the recurring one about seeming to be selective to suit the argument.

Ah. I see. I give up.

CB

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I'm not sure that I've said there's a flick of a switch at all: my point was that you were arguing as if there is, but that the data elsewhere (in the solar thread) clearly shows that this isn't consistently the case. My point is the recurring one about seeming to be selective to suit the argument.

I'm not sure about on/off switches, but, I think, it is reasonably well understood that non-linear systems, such as weather, climate, fluid dynamics, pendulums etc etc, do exhibit step functions, whilst linear systems appear smooth.

Don't know about the authors, but this seems to say the same, and is consistent with hysteresis, which, I think, is a property of complex and dynamic systems - which of course, the weather and climate, are.

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I am not trying to be a scientist here so a very basic question/answer from me is: Our oceans are the major factor in earths climate and GW, Ocean sink CO2 take up is a vital part of the climate system with or without AGW, if it fails then excess CO2 will be left in the atmosphere to warm. So my 2 points here is that we know now the ocean sinks are failing to pickup the extra load from atmospheric CO2 which is counter to scientific understanding and previous predictions. They should in some way being trying to increase in response but it appears likely they are being prevented from doing so? Now I don't know too much about this switch theory but Ocean mixing is an important part of CO2 take up as it is ocean temperature. If the mixing process is being hindered then it could well be that the seas surface temps are higher than they should ordinarily be and that warmth is not penetrating at any depth? My key point is that surface water heats and cools far far quicker than the body as a whole and this does lend itself to the idea that once energy is removed our ocean temps will reduce rapidly and we are not likely to see any real lag.

To me I can see plenty to back this theory up, sink failure as result of poor mixing and increased wind speeds leading to higher surface temps which of course lends itself to more rapid ice loss then projected. Hence some doomsday supporters that the IPCC have been far too cautious? I see little or no evidence which points to human CO2 emissions as being able to have this effect on our oceans?

This is why as a honest neutral point of view I think it is so important that the debate should not split into 2 camps because I think both sides including even the alarmists have something to offer which the IPCC filters out. We really can have massive ice loss / CO2 = a GHG / but also find that theories from both sides are relevant.

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I'm not sure about on/off switches, but, I think, it is reasonably well understood that non-linear systems, such as weather, climate, fluid dynamics, pendulums etc etc, do exhibit step functions, whilst linear systems appear smooth.

Don't know about the authors, but this seems to say the same, and is consistent with hysteresis, which, I think, is a property of complex and dynamic systems - which of course, the weather and climate, are.

VP,

Great paper, too long to read now but I've had a quick skim. You're absolutely correct re the complex system, and C-B is correct that there are many different types of atoms. Re the latter first: the many different types are, in MOST cases, the very same ones we saw fifty, one hundred, or one hundred and fifty years ago. Why would the reaction be any different now to then? Given this, why the difference in responsiveness of the earth to solar forcing across time (the key point here is that is we're arguing that current warming is from increased solar flux, even though incoming radiaiton has levelled, then we're suggesting a delayed release of radiation from the surface, or a delay in warming, which has not previously been evidenced in warming episodes).

The model on page 1 serves us well. Thinking relatively short term for now the ice mass has not varied enough to have a material impact: there is something of an argument to be made around urbanisation, but not over the last thirty years in isolation (i.e. it's not as if the world was unurbanised pre 1980 and has suddenly urbanised since). I still think that what we're left with is in the atmosphere and as mentioned this morning (was it Nick, or BF?) forcing either from GG or clouds (the latter can work in either direction).

I am not trying to be a scientist here so a very basic question/answer from me is: Our oceans are the major factor in earths climate and GW, Ocean sink CO2 take up is a vital part of the climate system with or without AGW, if it fails then excess CO2 will be left in the atmosphere to warm. So my 2 points here is that we know now the ocean sinks are failing to pickup the extra load from atmospheric CO2 which is counter to scientific understanding and previous predictions. They should in some way being trying to increase in response but it appears likely they are being prevented from doing so? Now I don't know too much about this switch theory but Ocean mixing is an important part of CO2 take up as it is ocean temperature. If the mixing process is being hindered then it could well be that the seas surface temps are higher than they should ordinarily be and that warmth is not penetrating at any depth? My key point is that surface water heats and cools far far quicker than the body as a whole and this does lend itself to the idea that once energy is removed our ocean temps will reduce rapidly and we are not likely to see any real lag.

To me I can see plenty to back this theory up, sink failure as result of poor mixing and increased wind speeds leading to higher surface temps which of course lends itself to more rapid ice loss then projected. Hence some doomsday supporters that the IPCC have been far too cautious? I see little or no evidence which points to human CO2 emissions as being able to have this effect on our oceans?

This is why as a honest neutral point of view I think it is so important that the debate should not split into 2 camps because I think both sides including even the alarmists have something to offer which the IPCC filters out. We really can have massive ice loss / CO2 = a GHG / but also find that theories from both sides are relevant.

If I remember rightly one of the key factors in CO2 and oceans is that colder oceans will hold more CO2. Warm the oceans and the capacity to store falls, ironically at a time when CO2 is increasing, all of which leads to a rather undesirable reinforcing feedback mechanism.

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If I remember rightly one of the key factors in CO2 and oceans is that colder oceans will hold more CO2. Warm the oceans and the capacity to store falls, ironically at a time when CO2 is increasing, all of which leads to a rather undesirable reinforcing feedback mechanism.

If I am correct them CO2 take up happens at the surface, so warm the surface and even if the lower levels get colder CO2 take up is reduced?

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I suppose there is a positive in opening up 'dark water' for the effect that the increase in biological activity would have on CO2 absorption. Silver linings anyone?

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You're absolutely correct re the complex system, and C-B is correct that there are many different types of atoms. Re the latter first: the many different types are, in MOST cases, the very same ones we saw fifty, one hundred, or one hundred and fifty years ago. Why would the reaction be any different now to then?

The simple answer would be that levels of solar activity were not that high back then (if you recall, the solar radiation level only went above 1365.5 W/m2 in the 80s after at least 300 years of being below - even well below - that level).

The more complicated answer raises the point that the atoms themselves are irrelevant - it is the interactions between atoms and molecules and bodies of gas and liquid and solid that are important. To take the argument down to the basic atomic level is an incorrect usage of reductio ad absurbum.

CB

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The simple answer would be that levels of solar activity were not that high back then (if you recall, the solar radiation level only went above 1365.5 W/m2 in the 80s after at least 300 years of being below - even well below - that level).

The more complicated answer raises the point that the atoms themselves are irrelevant - it is the interactions between atoms and molecules and bodies of gas and liquid and solid that are important. To take the argument down to the basic atomic level is an incorrect usage of reductio ad absurbum.

CB

Not sure that follows I'm afraid. If I warm a pan of water the molecules become ever more excited, and in proportiuon to the energy applied. If I read you correctly you're suggesting that at some levels of radiation (energy flux) molecules behave one way, and at another level they behave another way?

Your simple answer doesn't really explain anything, particularly IF, as I suspect wikll be the case on closer examination of the plot of temperature vs radiation, the behaviour of the earth can be EITHER upwards or downwards re temperature.

If I am correct them CO2 take up happens at the surface, so warm the surface and even if the lower levels get colder CO2 take up is reduced?

I'd expect that to be true, but there will always be cold upwellings in the ocean.

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Not sure that follows I'm afraid. If I warm a pan of water the molecules become ever more excited, and in proportiuon to the energy applied. If I read you correctly you're suggesting that at some levels of radiation (energy flux) molecules behave one way, and at another level they behave another way?

No, that's not what I'm saying at all. You simply can't reduce the Earth climate system down to its atomic constituents like that - there's a heck of a lot more to it that just warming atoms - besides, your counter-argument to my auggestion is basically that every atom on Earth is as excited as it can get, which is bobbins.

Your simple answer doesn't really explain anything, particularly IF, as I suspect wikll be the case on closer examination of the plot of temperature vs radiation, the behaviour of the earth can be EITHER upwards or downwards re temperature.

That's because my simple answer is too simple, which is why I elaborated with the more complicated one. It is clear, however, that you are not seeing (or are refusing to see) what I'm getting at, so there is really no point in me discussing it further.

CB

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If I read you correctly you're suggesting that at some levels of radiation (energy flux) molecules behave one way, and at another level they behave another way?

Even if he was suggesting that he would be correct.

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Even if he was suggesting that he would be correct.

Oh. Maybe I was saying that then! :huh:

:huh: :D;)

CB

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But Noggin, why would it? The whole point of the IPCC is to extrapolate on the basis of what is, not what might be. If you're going to add in massive volcanic eruptions causing dimming, then let's add in meteor impacts wiping out life on earth, and a huge solar explosion boiling us all to oblivion. Yes, add in what might happen, but let's do so at both ends of potential, not just that "warming isn't going to happen" end.

Stratos, I don't think what you say here holds any water (and not just because it would be a fruitless exercise if we were all wiped out by meteor impact or solar explosion). Your reference to "both ends of potential" works two ways, you know. I am just endeavouring to bring the other end in, as it seems to me that the IPCC haven't. Unless anyone can put me right here? So far I have not had an answer to my question.

It is perfectly reasonable to ask if a scenario such as volcanic eruption has been taken into account, as Nature does have a habit of tossing spanners such as volcanic eruptions into the works. It's all very well to "extrapolate on the basis of what is, not what might be" but then it would be wrong of the IPCC and it's exponents to have us on this one-way train to an apocalypse.

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A growing groundswell of opinion....

Looks like it's even reached the Vatican, a voice of reason from an unlikely source.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/arti...in_page_id=1811

Thanks for that link Jethro :lol: I have to say that I am a fan of the new Pope - he doesn't shy away from criticism or contentious issues and says what he truly believes. (No, I'm not just saying this because of this article - I recall how much flak he received over his views on abortion and marriage, to name but two, for being old-fashioned and outdated. It's important to remember of course that his views are traditional Catholic views, and Catholics who don't agree with those views are, perhaps, not the most devout of Catholics.)

Am I going off topic?

:lol:

CB

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A growing groundswell of opinion....

Looks like it's even reached the Vatican, a voice of reason from an unlikely source.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/arti...in_page_id=1811

"The 80-year-old Pope said the world needed to care for the environment but not to the point where the welfare of animals and plants was given a greater priority than that of mankind."

No one is calling for that, equal would be enough.

I thought we were interdependent, but maybe we can manage without other plants and animals. Maybe...

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Thanks for that link Jethro :) I have to say that I am a fan of the new Pope - he doesn't shy away from criticism or contentious issues and says what he truly believes. (No, I'm not just saying this because of this article - I recall how much flak he received over his views on abortion and marriage, to name but two, for being old-fashioned and outdated. It's important to remember of course that his views are traditional Catholic views, and Catholics who don't agree with those views are, perhaps, not the most devout of Catholics.)

Am I going off topic?

:)

CB

You're welcome CB. Have to say I'm not familiar with this Popes thoughts, traditional or otherwise so I'll take your word for it.

Strange but true...I've actually got a Pope in my family history. Breakspear is my family name and the only English Pope ever, Nicholas Breakspear is an ancestor; also part of a brewing dynasty (the poor side, I hasten to add), thought about starting a family tree website, devout drunks r us.com but wasn't too sure it would take off.

Dev: I'm sure someone will correct me on this if I'm wrong but I have vague memories from Bible Studies that Man is considered above all other life forms on Earth.

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Stratos, I don't think what you say here holds any water (and not just because it would be a fruitless exercise if we were all wiped out by meteor impact or solar explosion). Your reference to "both ends of potential" works two ways, you know. I am just endeavouring to bring the other end in, as it seems to me that the IPCC haven't. Unless anyone can put me right here? So far I have not had an answer to my question.

It is perfectly reasonable to ask if a scenario such as volcanic eruption has been taken into account, as Nature does have a habit of tossing spanners such as volcanic eruptions into the works. It's all very well to "extrapolate on the basis of what is, not what might be" but then it would be wrong of the IPCC and it's exponents to have us on this one-way train to an apocalypse.

Noggin, I really can't see the difference between a volcanic eruption (which cannot be predicted) and other forcing. The ONLY difference is that your example is indigenous to earth, mine is extraneous but is part of the wider cosmos of which earth is a part (let's not forget that the sun is exogenous as well).

My challenge is WHY would you only pick ONE piece of random forcing which just happens to probably have a cooling effect? If you're going to model something then model consistently - i.e. include unknown events or exclude them, but don't just cherry pick.

In any case, a client of mine a few years ago sat on their hands waiting for rain to fill the reservoirs of upland Yorkshire rather than investing in other (much more expensive) options for guaranteeing the water supply. The rains never came, and they ended up being forced into a solution which was far more expensive than any of the earlier ones would have been. A primary purpose of the IPCC is to drive policy making, and a point that's often overlooked on here is that policy making needs to be made on a balance of probabilities against the impact of certain potential outcomes. If warming was projected to be slight then (potentially expensive) corrective action would be unnecessary. Hoping that 'mother nature' intervenes on our behalf is hardly prudent husbandry of the planet.

Leadership is about making decisions, sometimes difficult ones on the basis of a range of possibilities. Vascillating doesn't solve anything.

I'm presuming when you're gardening in spring, say, and looking after tender plants you don't, having seen a forecast for frost, just hope that a sheet of unforecast cloud will blow over and avert the damage, but rather that you go out and protect those plants.

"The 80-year-old Pope said the world needed to care for the environment but not to the point where the welfare of animals and plants was given a greater priority than that of mankind."

No one is calling for that, equal would be enough.

I thought we were interdependent, but maybe we can manage without other plants and animals. Maybe...

The Pope makes a not unreasonable point about the cost of action versus the value of the benefit of that action, much as I make a very similar point above about acting versus not acting.

One of the reasons why we elect leaders and have Government is to try to ensure that decisions are made in the common good which we would either not choose to, or not be able to, effect individually. An oft played out point in these discussions by some individuals is the "why should I pay now for something that isn't going to impact me" argument. It's wholly rational, and very selfish - but such is our human conditioning. It's hardly far sighted though.

No, that's not what I'm saying at all. You simply can't reduce the Earth climate system down to its atomic constituents like that - there's a heck of a lot more to it that just warming atoms - besides, your counter-argument to my auggestion is basically that every atom on Earth is as excited as it can get, which is bobbins.

CB

I didn't say that every atom is as excited as it can get - that's misinference on your part. What I said is that if the energy input is unchanged then the energy transfer cannot increase, and therefore the level of excitement is a constant. If you turn the heat on a ring to 60C, the water in the pan on the ring CANNOT get hotter than 60C. It's simple physics. The only scope you have for argument is that there's a lag effect, which is plausible, though as I've already argued, you'd need then to account for the fact that at some times in the measured history temperature follows solar forcing immediately, and at other times it doesn't.

That's because my simple answer is too simple, which is why I elaborated with the more complicated one. It is clear, however, that you are not seeing (or are refusing to see) what I'm getting at, so there is really no point in me discussing it further.

CB

I always remind anyone I'm coaching around communication and presentation that a failure on the part of the audience to understand the message might mean that the audience is stupid, or it might mean that the person transmitting the message isn't communicating very clearly (there was a classic example of this a few pages back where you stated something which really was not at all clear, I queried, and you then clarified - albeit with the suggestion that that was what you had said in the first place, although quite clearly it was not). I think the onus is always on us as senders to tolerate, and give the benefit of the doubt, to those who ask for clarification, not least because if nothing else they are indicating a desire to listen. Of course, human nature dictates very often that the presumption re my opening sentence is the first part, not the second; experience tells me that, in fact, the second is no less often the issue.

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Dev: I'm sure someone will correct me on this if I'm wrong but I have vague memories from Bible Studies that Man is considered above all other life forms on Earth.

No problem, people can believe whatever religious teaching they like as far as I'm concerned, but it's not an opinion I share for the reason I gave.

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I didn't say that every atom is as excited as it can get - that's misinference on your part.

Apologies - what I should have said is that you implied that every atom was as excited as it could get under those conditions. Even so, this is still not true because of the dynamic nature of the Earth environment - with day on one side and night on the other, land and sea and air all interacting at different depths and different heights it really isn't as cut and dried as it might appear at the atomic level, which is precisely why I say you cannot reduce climate concerns down that far.

What I said is that if the energy input is unchanged then the energy transfer cannot increase, and therefore the level of excitement is a constant. If you turn the heat on a ring to 60C, the water in the pan on the ring CANNOT get hotter than 60C. It's simple physics.

What you describe here is simple physics, I grant you (with the proviso, of course, that the 60C is only an average across the whole pan, with some molecules having more energy and others having less). However, you're still left with the problem that a heating pan of water is far less dynamic (there's that word again!) than the Earth system - all the molecules in a pan of water (with a few exceptions to accomodate impurities) are the same; there is no difference between one H20 molecule and the next. Part of the complication arrives from the fact that there is a heating time lag on the Earth itself - some parts warm more quickly than others, some parts cool more quickly than others, and while the energy is still in the system it will transfer from warmer places to cooler places in preference to radiating back into space.

The only scope you have for argument is that there's a lag effect, which is plausible, though as I've already argued, you'd need then to account for the fact that at some times in the measured history temperature follows solar forcing immediately, and at other times it doesn't.

I haven't even looked into the potential for there to be a lag effect in this instance, but my original proposal doesn't require there to be one anyway.

I always remind anyone I'm coaching around communication and presentation that a failure on the part of the audience to understand the message might mean that the audience is stupid, or it might mean that the person transmitting the message isn't communicating very clearly (there was a classic example of this a few pages back where you stated something which really was not at all clear, I queried, and you then clarified - albeit with the suggestion that that was what you had said in the first place, although quite clearly it was not).

Ah. So what you're saying is that I'm a bad communicator. Funny how nobody else has ever complained about that, and several other people seem to have grasped what I was saying without the need for clarification. Still, it's always nice to have my supposed inadequacies pointed out by a professional communicator. (The "classic example" you mention was, I have to say, a failing on your part - several other people had no difficulty in understanding what I was saying, and agreed that my clarification was in fact what I had originally said - perhaps it is a case of reading into what I was saying what it was that you had expected me to say?)

I think the onus is always on us as senders to tolerate, and give the benefit of the doubt, to those who ask for clarification, not least because if nothing else they are indicating a desire to listen. Of course, human nature dictates very often that the presumption re my opening sentence is the first part, not the second; experience tells me that, in fact, the second is no less often the issue.

Still, I grow weary of this particular argument as, it seems, those who do agree with me do agree with me, and those who don't agree with me won't agree with me. It is always important to remember that there is a distinct difference between actually listening and not simply hearing.

CB

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Apologies - what I should have said is that you implied that every atom was as excited as it could get under those conditions. ....

It is always important to remember that there is a distinct difference between actually listening and not simply hearing.

CB

Mmm, I'm not sure anyone else saw that inference, presumably the same 'anyone else' that saw your original point. Anyway, I thought the way you checked yourself to ensure careful reading was subtle and most dignified. Hats off to you and a lesson to us all.

Re the physics, complexity simply isn't an issue. It is a fundamental law of physics that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. If I have a solid canister that will hold 100 marbles, and I have 1000 equally sized marbles, of a range of colours, it doesn't matter whether I put red marbles in, blue in, green, or any combination: the capacity is 100 marbles.

Earth can only get hotter IF there's a change in the net flux - it's that simple. That means either more energy in or less out. You MIGHT make an argument around unequal distribution, in which case if we didn't or couldn't measure the surface equally some energy might 'hide' or be over-emphasised, but the problem with that argument is that the qualitative evidence of warming is just too widespread and consistent for errors of measurement to be plausible. Your own graphs show that the flux in isn't increasing so all that's left is a reduced reradiation, and that retained energy is being reflected to some extent in the temperature of all surfaces.

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