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2 hours ago, Midlands Ice Age said:

Knocker..

The one planned at Hinkley is a totally new design..

It has been under design for at least 6 years and is having MAJOR problems. There are 2 trials in existence. Neither have worked so far.

They are a real technical risk and I am surprised that you want to take it!

I would be quite happy for us to go for the well established and proven small and standard reactors. The Hinkley one is a major risk.

MIA 

On the subject of alternative sources of energy, it is surprising that comparatively little research has been done into geothermal energy. It produces minimal CO2 and taps into an existing energy source below ground. There is now technology available for using large heat-exchangers to extract energy from beneath the surface to warm and light homes, offices and factories, again with minimal CO2 production or production of man-made heat. The whole point of these schemes is that heat is taken out of the ground via a heat-exchanger to be transported to homes and offices in the reverse of how a fridge operates. A by-product is cooling of the ground and something like this ought to be pioneered in Siberia and northern Canada where cooling the ground helps preserve the permafrost (in order to prevent the release of methane).

Returning to the one Geo-engineering proposal that might find agreement with Environmentalists and the Green Lobby- Planting Trees: Certain trees are dark in colour (like conifers) and may actually aid Global Warming by absorbing more of the Sun's heat than the bare ground they displace, this could offset much of the eventual cooling caused by their keeping CO2 levels in check. It would be good to focus on planting bright-coloured trees such as maples which produce brilliant yellows in autumn or trees that produce bright spring blossoms such as apple trees and horse-chestnuts. Some trees like the Australian Eucalyptus tree have light-coloured whitish-green leaves that would reflect more of the Sun's heat. Research could be put into genetically-engineering some of these trees and developing white-leaved hybrids that would both take CO2 from the air and reflect more of the Sun's heat than the bare ground they replace. Then money and resources could be put into mass-production of such trees for planting; and this is one solution that might actually get the Environmentalists along-side! It has been pointed out to me at some point last year that trees use sunlight and energy along with CO2 to make chlorophyll and oxygen and that this is an endothermic process; if this can be done with light-coloured trees covering millions of square miles we have a much better chance of averting Dangerous Global Warming.

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3 hours ago, Midlands Ice Age said:

Knocker..

The one planned at Hinkley is a totally new design..

It has been under design for at least 6 years and is having MAJOR problems. There are 2 trials in existence. Neither have worked so far.

They are a real technical risk and I am surprised that you want to take it!

I would be quite happy for us to go for the well established and proven small and standard reactors. The Hinkley one is a major risk.

MIA I do find it interesting that the French and Chinese are happy to build a very large new type nuclear reactor on out soil, but are not willing to do it on their own soil!! If it is so good why are they not building their own!

I think you are missing my point. You said, "I do find it interesting that the French and Chinese are happy to build a very large new type nuclear reactor on out soil, but are not willing to do it on their own soil!! If it is so good why are they not building their own!" which is incorrect. EDF are currently building two EPRs in China that were due to open in 2013 but have been delayed by concerns over safety. The Chinese have nothing to do with the design of the reactor and only became involved after the government went to them cap in hand. They actually have a great deal of expertise in building nuclear power stations. Whether we want them to build some in the UK is another question entirely.

For the record, although I have long been in favour of a British nuclear strategy which should have been in place 30 years ago. I have been dead against Hinkley from the start, not least because it's hugely expensive and getting more so by the minute, and one that the tax payer will be burdened with for years. And also for some of the reasons you mentioned.

The current lack of capacity is due to a complete lack of a coherent energy policy over the last thirty five and not the result of investing in renewable energy which is obviously the common sense way to go. They have known that ageing coal fire stations were coming to the end of their life for years and in any case if we had built new ones we would have been dependent on imported coal. The ultimate coals to Newcastle scenario.

The Severn Barrage has predctable appeared on the agenda yet again. Pity they just didn't get on with it and build it years ago.

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1 hour ago, iapennell said:

On the subject of alternative sources of energy, it is surprising that comparatively little research has been done into geothermal energy. It produces minimal CO2 and taps into an existing energy source below ground. There is now technology available for using large heat-exchangers to extract energy from beneath the surface to warm and light homes, offices and factories, again with minimal CO2 production or production of man-made heat. The whole point of these schemes is that heat is taken out of the ground via a heat-exchanger to be transported to homes and offices in the reverse of how a fridge operates. A by-product is cooling of the ground and something like this ought to be pioneered in Siberia and northern Canada where cooling the ground helps preserve the permafrost (in order to prevent the release of methane).

 

I don't know what you mean by comparatively little research but it looks quite a lot from where I'm sitting.

2016 Annual U.S. & Global Geothermal Power Production Report

http://geo-energy.org/reports/2016/2016 Annual US Global Geothermal Power Production.pdf

Although the UK has been very slow in progressing in this area.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geothermal_power_in_the_United_Kingdom

I haven't a clue where you coming from with the idea that the melting of vast areas of permafrost can slowed down by geothermal projects

 

Edited by knocker
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8 hours ago, BornFromTheVoid said:

I think you've gotten a little lost MIA. Your original assertion was that a pro-CAGW government has been in power for the last 10 years. The evidence simply doesn't support that, at all.

I'm sure some will be impressed with your ability to fill a few dozen lines with little unsupported stats, opinions and claims, comments on Nuclear power and shinning white shields and the big scary idea of being held hostage to China! But some will also be able to see that as the distraction that it is. Beside we both know, you never change your mind!

 

Unsupported facts?

Try the following link -

It is the official UK.Gov paper on the latest trends on energy produced by DECC...

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/energy-trends

 

The report is long, but can I refer you to Table 1.1 and Table 1.2 on page 11 and 12..

Note particulalry that in 2015, the amount of indigenus coal produced had dropped rapidly during 2015 and more particulalry Q1 of 2016

As I quoted it is down to about 2.5% of total energy production on the latest figures. It is actually now down to 4 coal powered stations which are rapidly being converted to make them more carbon efficient using the latest technology, and they have been extended to survive at this level until 2025... (I quoted 3 above as being 'mothballed'  as I was only aware of the plan to keep one of them (in Wales had been converted at a cost of 250 million pounds!), and I thought the rest would be 'rested'.  ..

The total use of coal as used by inland consumption (such thing as used by steel manufacturers, private heating, the production of coke,etc) in addition to that used for power is still relatively high, but dropping steadily, roughly though similar to what  your figures portray. It is being driven by imported coal by the companies concerned, NOT by the government..

This is not related to that which we were talking about (that under the governments control). The government have overseen a big drop in the use of coal for our power, which is what my initial post stated - A none AGW inclined government would not have achieved this.

MIA

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7 hours ago, knocker said:

I haven't a clue where you coming from with the idea that the melting of vast areas of permafrost can slowed down by geothermal projects

 

@knocker In this situation heat would be extracted from the ground by means of a heat-exchanger which in turn delivers this heat to homes and offices for heating and to produce energy for lighting (and also powering the heat-exchanger). This is not Geothermal Energy in the most conventional sense whereby heat is extracted from hot rocks or aquifers far below the surface, heat and energy can also be extracted from the near-surface layers through using a heat-exhanger (it operates on a larger scale to that which makes your fridge cold but in the opposite way, if you will- keeping the interior of homes and offices warm). This effect cools the ground and in parts of the World where the permafrost is melting and about to release large amounts of methane such a scheme would help stabilise the permafrost. If all of Siberia and northern Canada could be encouraged to switch to getting their energy in this way it could make a significant dint slowing down the inevitable out-gassing of methane caused by the loss of permafrost in these parts of the world.

Plus, of course, little CO2 would be released from getting energy in this manner although there would be some CO2 produced in making enough big heat-exchangers to supply all of Siberia and northern Canada in the first place. Once this is done, the heat-exchangers should pay for themselves in terms of CO2 within a year or two. 

I am not suggesting that this is the panacea for dealing with AGW; the reason I posted this topic in the first place was to get folk to think about tackling global warming head-on and to get a little brain-storming of ideas which could be discussed constructively. It does involve thinking outside the box and proposing solutions that might not be considered conventional; however few (if any) of these ideas have any hope of actually becoming reality.

It would seem to me (at least) that of all the proposals for Geo-engineering- only planting trees on a massive scale or putting SO2 into the Stratosphere has much hope of serious consideration on this Forum let alone under the scrutiny and glare of Environmentalists, national electorates and Committees in governments around the World!

If we cannot put forward ideas to discuss and expound on them in a constructive way without them being dissed out of hand as "crackpot" or insane then we are not going to get anywhere at all. We cannot give up because we know there is opposition out there and consider all untried suggestions are unworkable because to do that would be to force an unpleasant Hobson's Choice on the World- to accept extreme carbon-emissions reductions and taxes on businesses that could decimate economies OR prepare for the killer heat-waves and inundated cities that rising CO2 levels and billions of tonnes of methane pouring into the atmosphere from disintegrating methane clathrates and disappearing permafrost would entail in fifty or more years' time (much depends on whether this coming Maunder Minimum type period with a quiet Sun will buy us much time but if there is just a 20% chance that that won't amount to much I would not take the risk of doing little or nothing). If there is a Third Way out of this conundrum with some obstacles that could be overcome, it would be good if we could take it!      

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The re-distribution of heat from low to high-latitudes through the global wind-circulation (and ocean currents) plays a major part in preventing the Arctic (and Antarctic) getting extremely cold, so if mankind could work on ways to mitigate this re-distribution of heat that would allow high latitudes to cool a little and thus high-latitude snow and ice-cover would stabilise and possibly increase. Some measures such as diverting freshwater from melting glaciers and rivers would reduce the density of cold Arctic waters and slow the thermohaline circulations thereby allowing the Arctic Ocean to cool a little. Freshwater also freezes at a higher temperature than salty water so this all means that sea-ice ought to form more readily and persist through the summer.

This ought not to be too difficult (the Russians did this in the 1960s with the Ob River in Siberia). Diverting several big rivers in the far North so that they flow into the Arctic directly- the Frazer River in British Columbia (Canada), the Yukon and Tanana Rivers in Alaska come to mind- would go some way towards having the desired effect.

However, major excavations and diverting rivers are likely to upset Greenpeace and local Environmental groups so proposals for weakening south-westerly winds where these push into high latitudes through the erection of thousands of "brush" barriers up to 100 metres high (that would absorb the strength of the wind rather than diverting it) and offshore the locations affected by persistent south-west winds (so they don't create an eyesore) could be considered. Given that massive offshore wind-farms have been built it surely would not be too much for mankind to scale up to do something like this off the coasts of Scotland and Norway, which would protect the Arctic Ocean from warm-air advection and allow sea-ice to recover. This would also have a cooling impact on the far north of Siberia, Canada and the Arctic shelves where methane is stored in the permafrost and in methane clathrates on the sea-bed of coastal shelves. Stopping warming of these sensitive regions of the Arctic would prevent the catastrophic situation of large amounts of methane entering Earth's atmosphere and magnifying global warming.

Of course the costs and manpower would be large (as it would be for some of the other suggestions above), but recall that eight years ago former Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his chancellor Alistair Darling borrowed £500 billion to rescue the banks and stave off a serious economic meltdown in Britain. Methane escaping from melting permafrost and disintegrating methane clathrates as the sea-beds warm has implications (in my view) that are much more serious over time and perhaps we need to be serious about finding a similar sum of money to prevent disastrous tipping points from being passed. As to how to raise such money, at a time of high National Debt we cannot borrow it without risking the confidence of global markets over Britain so perhaps slashing Quangos, putting VAT on sugar/fat and introducing a land-value tax would raise the money needed over about five years: Not popular but we do need to wake up to the seriousness of the situation that confronts the global community, possibly within less than fifty years if we don't act fast.

Another proposal for lessening the advection of warm air into the Arctic is to do something that one Donald J. Trump proposes- to build a huge large wall! This one would not be between the USA and Mexico but it would run along 60N across Canada and then from Norway across Sweden, jumping the Baltic to cross Finland and all of Russia to the east Siberian Coast. The wall would need to be up to 1 km high and 100 metres wide at its base and the aim would be to a) discourage warm air-masses penetrating the Arctic and b) encourage major baroclinic zones to intensify near 60N to bring increased snowfall on the poleward side of this wall. The extra snow-cover would persist with lower temperatures and reflect more heat from the Sun helping to keep global temperatures down. Low temperatures over the Arctic would be preserved and this would help preserve the pack-ice (and more importantly help keep methane clathrates on the sea-bed). If mankind has built such engineering feats as the Hoover Dam and the Three Gorges Dam (in the last century) then it is not technologically infeasible to work on something like this Circumpolar Wall. Of course the Canadians, Russians and Scandinavians might object but if they get £500 billion out of it between them and a source of good employment for their citizens for the next 15 years, it is possible they might come round to the idea!

OK, maybe a little tongue-in-cheek given the likely cost of (and resistance to) some of these ideas but I do believe Geo-engineering is something we need as a society to consider seriously given the alternatives and we need to be open to discussion about new and different ideas for dealing with the climatic threat to our futures and the futures of seven billion others on our planet. Certainly putting sulphur dioxide into the stratosphere to reduce the amount of sunshine reaching the surface is relatively cheap and feasible and it is agreeable to some of us on this Forum as is the possibility of developing light-coloured trees and planting them on a truly global scale. The latter idea would at least find agreement with some of the rabid Environmentalists and Eco-warriors that abound these days!   

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Some interesting suggestions from folk on here, however, the cost would be considerably high for some of the aforementioned ideas. A short-term (albeit a big help) would be to reduce soot! Soot—also known as black carbon—heats up the atmosphere because it absorbs sunlight. Black things do. That is basic physics. For years the institutions that focus on climate policy have played down the role of pollutants such as black carbon that stay in the atmosphere for a short time, that soot has been discovered to be a leading cause of snow and ice melting in the Arctic and the Himalayas, soot has a much faster influence on temperature than CO2, and that it is relatively easy to reduce soot.  At least then polar bear will stand a greater chance than if we don't act now! We need to begin somewhere.

Edited by Seanlid
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15 hours ago, Seanlid said:

Some interesting suggestions from folk on here, however, the cost would be considerably high for some of the aforementioned ideas. A short-term (albeit a big help) would be to reduce soot! Soot—also known as black carbon—heats up the atmosphere because it absorbs sunlight. Black things do. That is basic physics. For years the institutions that focus on climate policy have played down the role of pollutants such as black carbon that stay in the atmosphere for a short time, that soot has been discovered to be a leading cause of snow and ice melting in the Arctic and the Himalayas, soot has a much faster influence on temperature than CO2, and that it is relatively easy to reduce soot.  At least then polar bear will stand a greater chance than if we don't act now! We need to begin somewhere.

Numerous Clean Air Acts have been passed in this country and other Western nations legislating that businesses don't pollute the atmosphere in this way, at least this is so over the last fifty years. The cities of Britain used to be terribly polluted until the 1960s. There was a killer smog in London in December 1952 and another occurred a decade later. The urban areas were often laced with smoke, sulphur and other effluent in the atmosphere, particularly during quiet weather in the winter months.  Yet despite the frequent pollution of smoke and soot, which left cities looking grimy, the climate of both Britain and the whole World was almost 1C colder. 

Nowadays it is China and other emerging economies that have problems with smoke and other industrial pollutants, probably as much as the West had this problem in the past. The smoke pollution from Asian countries does find it's way into the Arctic but so too did such pollution find its way from North America and Europe into Arctic Regions in the past. Yet the climates of high northern latitudes has warmed up to 2C over the last fifty years. 

Soot does help melt snow and ice by decreasing the albedo of the surface so that these absorb the Sun's heat. Soot and smoke high in the atmosphere is another matter. Sure the soot would absorb heat helping the atmosphere to warm but it does so by intercepting sunlight that would otherwise get through to the surface. And at critical high latitudes where the Sun is low in the sky by day almost all year round this means little heat reaches the surface. 

Smoke and soot are also very effective condensation nuclei,  so their presence encourages fog and \or low cloud to form. Fog and low cloud reflect more heat than bare ground (except snowcover) and their relatively warm tops radiate a lot of heat upwards so their net effect is a cooling. 

Allowing homes, factories and offices to belch as much smoke into the atmosphere would probably help to ameliorate CO2 driven global warming, other things being equal. I did suggest something like this in a previous discussion about Geo-engineering. 

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On 03/08/2016 at 18:29, Snowyowl9 said:

The earth will tilt naturally,without any feeble human intervention.

Couldn't have put it better myself! Was reading away, thinking exactly the same thing.

Someone needs to bring this thread up in 20 years time when global temperatures have fallen again.

Edited by CreweCold

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6 hours ago, CreweCold said:

Couldn't have put it better myself! Was reading away, thinking exactly the same thing.

Someone needs to bring this thread up in 20 years time when global temperatures have fallen again.

I've heard this kind of statement consistently since I took an interest in climate change about 12 years ago. First people though we'd see cooling when the PDO turned negative, but that didn't work out. Then it was when we see a quiet solar phase, but the quietest in a century did nothing.
What mechanism do you think will produce a global cooling trend up to 20 years from now? Backed up with peer reviewed sources would be nice too:)

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8 hours ago, BornFromTheVoid said:

I've heard this kind of statement consistently since I took an interest in climate change about 12 years ago. First people though we'd see cooling when the PDO turned negative, but that didn't work out. Then it was when we see a quiet solar phase, but the quietest in a century did nothing.
What mechanism do you think will produce a global cooling trend up to 20 years from now? Backed up with peer reviewed sources would be nice too:)

BFTV, global temperatures are at least 2C cooler now than they were 2000 years ago...that is as much a fact as we can prove given the timescale involved and the fact we have to extrapolate using N hemisphere ice data. It is also a fact then when plotted, this ice data suggests that we are still very much within a general cooling trend within the context of the past 2000 years. As you know, this would never be a smooth and linear decline. It is also a fact that reliable temperature records were initiated at the end of the coldest part of the last 2000 years....hence this warming is measured against a very low benchmark. These facts are often brushed over by those who champion the man made warming argument; instead choosing to point towards the last 100 years or so of warming to make their point. If 100 years of cooling was to commence in the near future do you think that would give people the mandate to suggest with confidence that we were heading in to a glaciated period? The answer is no. 

I am not for one minute suggesting man made global warming is not a 'thing' but I cannot help but feel we have jumped the gun massively on this or may be overstating its overall contribution. The thread title is about as sensationalist as you can get. What reason can you give that suggests 'dangerous global warming' won't stop by its own accord? Please don't point me in the direction of computer program simulations as we all know that these are mostly built on one variable- CO2 and completely ignore variables such as the sun.

If the impending solar grand minimum has no effect on global temperatures then I'll happily change my tune, but until then I think we should all hold fire?

As for some of the suggestions in this thread, I agree whole heartedly with Kev....I couldn't believe what I was reading at times......building giant steel walls, mirrors to reflect incoming solar radiation etc. Lunacy.

Edited by CreweCold
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23 minutes ago, CreweCold said:

BFTV, global temperatures are at least 2C cooler now than they were 2000 years ago...that is as much a fact as we can prove given the timescale involved and the fact we have to extrapolate using N hemisphere ice data. It is also a fact then when plotted, this ice data suggests that we are still very much within a general cooling trend within the context of the past 2000 years. As you know, this would never be a smooth and linear decline. It is also a fact that reliable temperature records were initiated at the end of the coldest part of the last 2000 years....hence this warming is measured against a very low benchmark. 

I am not for one minute suggesting man made global warming is not a 'thing' but I cannot help but feel we have jumped the gun massively on this or may be overstating its overall contribution. The thread title is about as sensationalist as you can get. What reason can you give that suggests 'dangerous global warming' won't stop by its own accord? Please don't point me in the direction of computer program simulations as we all know that these are mostly built on one variable- CO2 and completely ignore variables such as the sun.

If the impending solar grand minimum has no effect on global temperatures then I'll happily change my tune, but until then I think we should all hold fire?

As for some of the suggestions in this thread, I agree whole heartedly with Kev....I couldn't believe what I was reading at times......building giant steel walls, mirrors to reflect incoming solar radiation etc. Lunacy.

Let me preface this by saying that I think most of the suggestions in this thread are completely unfeasible and a few are plain ridiculous. Saying that...

At least 2C cooler than 2,000 years ago? You'll have to back up that statement, seeing as everything I've read on the subject suggests that despite the planet cooling from about 8,000 years ago until the industrial revolution, we're nearing 1C warmer than 2,000 years ago and a few tenths warmer than when the cooling began.

From Marcott et al 2013(PDF)

marcott-et-al-2013-2.jpg

 

We all don't know that climate models are just built on one variable, but that's a handy way to discard any evidence that doesn't suit, even if they've been shown to do a great job. But lets ignore such a silly statement for now because there is other evidence. For example, the paleoclimate record showing the correlation between CO2 and temperature:

vostok_temp_co2_charts.jpg

But, some will claim that CO2 is following temperatures, and that it isn't driving them (even though CO2 acted as a positive feedback, kicking the temperatures even higher). So then I guess the question really is, how do we know that CO2 (and other GhGs) are the cause of most if not all the warming over the last century and a half?


Well, we know CO2 is a greenhouse gas. It absorbs longwave radiation/energy at certain wavelengths (the kind given off by Earth) and re-emits it in all directions, with some going back to the surface. Lately, satellites have been able to measure changes in the energy given off by Earth including the wavelength of energy that CO2 absorbs and, as expected, the amount of that energy reaching the satellites has dropped (because CO2 is absorbing it). Conversely, instruments on the surface measuring how much of that energy is coming in have found an increase, because CO2 is re-emitting some back down. Satellite have also measured the overall energy coming in and going out, and we currently have a +ve energy balance, meaning if all GhGs currently stablised the planet would continue to warm until it reached equilibrium. This is due to GhGs.
But there's more:

  • nights are warming faster than days (opposite would occur if warming was solar driven)
  • winter is warming faster than summer (opposite would occur if warming was solar driven)
  • the stratosphere is cooling (wouldn't happen with solar induced warming)
  • Even as we went through the quietest solar cycle in a century, the planet still warmed and oceans accumulated massive amounts of warmth.

Cooling_Stratosphere.gif global-ocean-heat-content-change.png

 

Basically, the climate is reacting as would be expected under greenhouse gas induced warming. There is no reason to think that the global temperatures will start falling as we continue to pump ever more CO2 into the air, and as natural feedback mechanisms begin to release even more CO2. Should the temperature continue on their upward trajectory, it will become increasingly dangerous and costly. This is something agreed upon by the vast majority of experts on the subject.

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2 hours ago, BornFromTheVoid said:

Let me preface this by saying that I think most of the suggestions in this thread are completely unfeasible and a few are plain ridiculous.

 

 

Well we agree on something then!

I'll be perfectly honest with you, I have little more than a slight interest in the issue as, in my opinion of course, climate will continue to ebb and flow throughout time- right up until the sun engulfs us. Do I believe we'll see runaway warming up until this point? Absolutely not. I'm very much of the 'wait and see' mindset however. We can all agree (I think) that the next 30 years will offer a nice little test to the assumptions that have been made and it should be an interesting period either way.

 

Edited by CreweCold
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17 minutes ago, CreweCold said:

Well we agree on something then!

I'll be perfectly honest with you, I have little more than a slight interest in the issue as, in my opinion of course, climate will continue to ebb and flow throughout time- right up until the sun engulfs us. Do I believe we'll see runaway warming up until this point? Absolutely not. I'm very much of the 'wait and see' mindset however. We can all agree (I think) that the next 30 years will offer a nice little test to the assumptions that have been made and it should be an interesting period either way.

 

Fair enough, we live and learn. I suppose the main argument against the wait and see approach is that by the time 30 years have passed and more people are convinced that climate change is real, it will probably be too late to keep things manageable without resorting to some risky geoengineering efforts. Nevertheless, the next few decades will certainly be interesting, as you say.

Would you start to think that our GhG emissions are playing a bigger role if the next solar minimum is as long as some suggest, and we don't see any global cooling by the early 2020s?

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1 hour ago, CreweCold said:

Well we agree on something then!

I'll be perfectly honest with you, I have little more than a slight interest in the issue as, in my opinion of course, climate will continue to ebb and flow throughout time- right up until the sun engulfs us. Do I believe we'll see runaway warming up until this point? Absolutely not. I'm very much of the 'wait and see' mindset however. We can all agree (I think) that the next 30 years will offer a nice little test to the assumptions that have been made and it should be an interesting period either way.

 

Just last year there was 10+ theories why the winter Antarctica sea ice was  trending well above the average. Its now back to average which makes nonsense of wind theory and everything else . We need 30 yrs of more data rather then need jerk reactions . we cant spend trillions on trying to increase artic summer ice when it could switch in a few seasons.

https://ads.nipr.ac.jp/vishop/#/extent

 

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1 hour ago, BornFromTheVoid said:



Would you start to think that our GhG emissions are playing a bigger role if the next solar minimum is as long as some suggest, and we don't see any global cooling by the early 2020s?

I would say the early 2020s would be still too early to judge. If by 2030 there has been no change in the (so far) short term trend of increasing warmth, then I think it will be very difficult to deny the role of greenhouse gasses in the change of climate being experienced.

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Some of the recent posts remind me of the old climate area where statements could be made willy nilly without the requirement of supporting evidence. If, as appears to be the case, some refute that GhG emissions, primarily CO2,,from human activities are not the cause of significant global warming over the last 150 years then they need to do two things, Either (a) provide credible scientific evidence that the world has not warmed in that period or (b) If they accept that it has, present credible scientific evidence for an alternative explanation that stands up to vigorous scientific scrutiny. And at the same time explain why an undisputed scientific theory, and it has been undisputed for many years, suddenly is not applicable. 

Edited by knocker
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On 8/23/2016 at 17:14, CreweCold said:

BFTV, global temperatures are at least 2C cooler now than they were 2000 years ago...that is as much a fact as we can prove given the timescale involved and the fact we have to extrapolate using N hemisphere ice data. It is also a fact then when plotted, this ice data suggests that we are still very much within a general cooling trend within the context of the past 2000 years. As you know, this would never be a smooth and linear decline. It is also a fact that reliable temperature records were initiated at the end of the coldest part of the last 2000 years....hence this warming is measured against a very low benchmark. These facts are often brushed over by those who champion the man made warming argument; instead choosing to point towards the last 100 years or so of warming to make their point. If 100 years of cooling was to commence in the near future do you think that would give people the mandate to suggest with confidence that we were heading in to a glaciated period? The answer is no. 

I am not for one minute suggesting man made global warming is not a 'thing' but I cannot help but feel we have jumped the gun massively on this or may be overstating its overall contribution. The thread title is about as sensationalist as you can get. What reason can you give that suggests 'dangerous global warming' won't stop by its own accord? Please don't point me in the direction of computer program simulations as we all know that these are mostly built on one variable- CO2 and completely ignore variables such as the sun.

If the impending solar grand minimum has no effect on global temperatures then I'll happily change my tune, but until then I think we should all hold fire?

As for some of the suggestions in this thread, I agree whole heartedly with Kev....I couldn't believe what I was reading at times......building giant steel walls, mirrors to reflect incoming solar radiation etc. Lunacy.

I hope that you are right and that the coming Grand Solar Minimum does reverse some of the recent global warming and buy mankind more time to get to grips with rising CO2 levels (in as business-friendly way as possible) and start to take Geo-engineering seriously at the same time. It is a scientific fact that a doubling of CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere from pre-industrial times (270 ppm) to 540 ppm in the atmosphere has a forcing of about 4 Watts per square metre. This equates to around 1.5C and once positive feedback effects such as more water-vapour in the air (itself a greenhouse gas) and melting snow and ice cover at high latitudes come into play you end up with a forcing near 3C. The coming "Grand Solar Minimum" will reduce Solar Input by up to half of one percent leading to a global cooling of 0.5C once the same positive feedback effects (in the opposite direction) come into play. This leaves us with a net warming of 2.5C above pre-industrial levels and after the Grand Solar Minimum ends (circa 2060) we are looking at global temperatures some 3C warmer than pre-industrial times as the Sun recovers its output.

There are of course other factors that affect the climate that are hard to predict at present. Yellowstone might blow it's top resulting in such massive injections of dust and sulphur dioxide into the stratosphere that global temperatures plunge by more than 5C as heat from the Sun is reflected back into space. The resulting increase in snow and ice-cover would lead to such an increase in the surface albedo of the planet that the Earth stays cold for a long time despite further increases in CO2; this could even be the trigger for the next Ice Age. However, this super-volcano only erupts once every 500,000 years and even though it is overdue the changes of this erupting and saving Earth from dangerous global warming in the next fifty years is very remote (1 in 10,000) so we cant rely on this happening so that mankind can carry on as usual.

A global warming of 3C is warmer than the Earth has been for millions of years and the resulting melting of the permafrost and Arctic sea-beds could, as I have already suggested, release billions of tons of methane into the atmosphere. Methane is 20 times more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas and if we have billions more tonnes of a much stronger greenhouse gas in the atmosphere global warming will be a lot more than 3C: The Greenland Icecap would melt and large chunks of West Antarctica's ice will melt with sea-levels rising worldwide by more than 10 metres- putting many coastal communities under water and displacing many millions of people. Killer heat-waves would become commonplace in the tropics and in mid-latitude continents (such as central Europe) in summer and tropical diseases like malaria would spread into mid-latitudes. Torrential rains and flooding will become commonplace in tropical and higher-latitude locations whilst lower mid-latitudes and the subtropics would have to deal with devastating drought and summer heat. This is not a future that we would want to end up with!

In the meantime, as the World continues to warm up I do believe humankind needs to take seriously the threat to all our futures that continually-increasing global temperatures poses: This means that all means at our disposal for preventing global warming cannot be off the table and therefore dissing Geo-engineering proposals out-of-hand as lunacy, insane, mad is a luxury that we can no longer afford. I am not suggesting for a moment that all of the ideas discussed in this thread be given serious consideration by the scientific community (let alone implemented by governments worldwide), but time is running out. There are still a couple of ideas that are worthy of merit (they find considerable agreement here) and perhaps now is the time to run with them to tackle Global Warming head-on.  

Edited by iapennell
correct spelling mistake
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I can't believe we still have people wanting more evidence and or completely denying the effect humans as a whole have on the planets climate.  This is a huge issue for the next generation, if we don't take action now who will take action when we are gone, or perhaps when there is a positive feedback loop so strong nothing but a huge global effort can stop it. And even then, the world won't get together even if it was on humanities future.

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16 hours ago, BREIFMAN11 said:

I can't believe we still have people wanting more evidence and or completely denying the effect humans as a whole have on the planets climate.

Don't think they would make very good detectives as the evidence is staring us in the face.

For people still in denial about man having an effect look what happened with the ozone layer due to man's use of CFC,s should be proof enough that mans activity can have an effect on the atmosphere.

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8 hours ago, sundog said:

Don't think they would make very good detectives as the evidence is staring us in the face.

For people still in denial about man having an effect look what happened with the ozone layer due to man's use of CFC,s should be proof enough that mans activity can have an effect on the atmosphere.

No end of people used to dispute that. Some still do, Donald Trump, for example:

What a time to be alive.

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@CreweCold What have global temperatures 2000 years back got to do with the current rate of temperature increase? Trump's got a good excuse - he's an idiot; you clearly are not...So what's your excuse?:p

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God help us if that idiot gets elected,I have faith though that he won't. Idiots like him think for some reason they know better then scientific research ect,when the reality is they haven't a clue what they are talking about. Laughable but scary at the same time.

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