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Global Warming article - critique and pointers





Jinx
I'm writing an article about global warming to submit on another site, and I'd like some opinions about it. Did I make my point? was my point clear enough? Did I ramble too much? Are there any flaws in my reasoning?
I haven't written anything quite like this since college and I'm a little rusty. Please be honest... I can't make it better unless I know what's wrong with it.

I have to make my point in under 1500 words, and this is pushing the limit, so if I need more explanation somewhere I'll have to decide what to cut out.

Here it is:

Some Facts About Global Warming

Last night I was flipping through radio channels and I paused to hear a political pundit going on about how there is no global warming, and that it's all a lie to keep us afraid and to make money for the Liberal Green Machine. His sole piece of evidence for his claim was that it snowed in New Orleans. I nearly fell out of my seat. Here is a well known radio personality, formerly a politician and an FBI agent, presumably an intelligent person, and he's spreading this idea based on a single point of data that shows an abysmal lack of understanding of the scientific process in general and the phenomenon of climate change in particular.

I had thought that the debate over the existence of Global Warming had been decided. The data is in, the average temperature of our planet has gone up. The only thing that is still up for debate is whether or not the human race caused it. But with talking heads peddling their agendas, and they can be convincing or they wouldn't be effective at their jobs, without the basic facts its hard to know whether to listen to the doomsayers or the naysayers. So, I've done a little research and gathered together some facts from neutral, reputable, scientific sources. What I found was interesting, and, while I expected some of it, I was completely surprised by other facts about what is going on with our planet.

The Scientific Method

A basic understanding of how science works is necessary to fully appreciate the weight of the evidence. It's important to understand the steps scientists use to determine when their ideas have merit, and when they need to go back to the drawing board. Here are the basic steps involved:
1)Observe a phenomenon.
2)Formulate a Hypothesis to explain the phenomenon.
3)Test the Hypothesis.
4)If the data gathered supports the hypothesis you have a theory, if it does not, you must modify your hypothesis to incorporate the new data and test it again, go back to step 2 and repeat until the your hypothesis explains what has been observed.
5)Once you have a theory that fits all the facts and it has been throughly tested it must be published for peer review so that other scientists can pick it apart, find flaws with it, point out where you are wrong, duplicate your experiments or re-evaluate your data, and generally put you through a rigorous process of defending your theory. If other scientists find any flaws with your theory, you must go back to step 2 and do it all over again.
6)Repeat, ad infinitum. Anytime the observable data contradicts the theory the theory must be scrapped or modified. Theories that stand the test of time, after all this poking and prodding trying to prove them wrong, are generally considered reliable models.

So how long has the idea that CO2 and temperature are related been around?

“The idea that CO2 in the air is an important determinant of global temperature is actually quite old, it was first theorized by Svante Arrhenius (1859-1927) in a paper published in Philosophical Magazine 41, 237-276 (1896)” [1]

So the basic theory of the Greenhouse Effect has been around since 1896 – over a hundred years - and it is still going strong. No evidence has been found to disprove the theory that the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has a direct correlation to global temperature.

There is a caveat however - it is important to point out that correlation does not imply causality – it could be argued that warmer temperatures cause higher CO2 levels [2]. So, just because a theory stands the test of time it does not mean that the implications of that theory are not up for debate. This is one small example of why there is so much contention about Global Warming.

Our Complicated Climate

Here is the crux of the matter – our climate is so complex that there is no one easy indicator or explanation. The forces that drive our weather are so chaotic that it is difficult to predict local weather more than about three days out with any degree of accuracy. But by taking thousands of data points from all over the globe spanning over a hundred years, we can see that temperatures have been rising [3]. In fact, temperatures, on average, are higher now than at any time in the past 2000 years [4], with the greatest rise coinciding with the industrial revolution..

Now, the reason I emphasize on average is this: just because some areas may experience an unusual cold snap or winter storm it does not mean that the Earth is not warming up. Greater warming means that weather patterns will shift in unaccustomed ways – not that the whole Earth will suddenly become as sunny and warm as Miami. More heat adds more instability to the climate, allowing for such things as wind-driven arctic fronts moving farther south faster than usual and causing snow in New Orleans. Or stronger hurricanes, or tornadoes in winter, or extended and more severe fire seasons driven by stronger and more frequent Santa Ana winds. But here's the confusing part: just because global warming is one explanation for changes in our climate, it doesn't mean it's the only explanation, or that the extreme weather of the past few years is a direct result of temperature increases. The jury is still out, and scientists are still gathering data. But just because science isn't certain what affect warming will have on us doesn't change the facts – warming is happening.

There have been periods in distant prehistory when the Earth's temperature was much higher than it is now [5], and those who argue against global warming love to point this out, but that argument is something of a red herring. The reason global warming is such an important topic is because it affects our lives today. We did not have cities teeming with millions of people during the Mid-Cretaceous Period. The earth, and life on it can, and will, survive a rise in temperatures, and humans are adaptable enough that our race will survive. But will our quality of life? Flooded cities, and the threat of drought and the loss of thousands of acres of viable farmland would have a very real impact on the survival of millions of people. So it is important to sort out the chaotic tangle of forces that impact our climate so we can plan for future changes – regardless of whether we caused them or they are natural occurrences.

The Sun

Gases in our atmosphere are not the only things that affect our planet's temperature. The biggest influence is our source of heat – the Sun. The sun goes through 11 year cycles in which the number of sunspots ebb and flow. There is evidence that during periods of low sunspot activity the Earth receives less warmth from the sun – periods of almost no sunspot activity such as the Sporer, Maunder, and Dalton minimums seem to coincide with dips in global temperature [6]. It just so happens that we are in the midst of a sunspot minimum during 2008/2009 [7], which could account for a year or two of lower temperatures in the midst of a general warming trend.

So, while there is no doubt that Global Warming is real and is happening right now, there is debate about its causes and it's results. Every day we have more data, and we move closer to answers, but currently we don't have those answers. And if anyone tells you that they know, beyond a doubt, what the deal is with Global Warming, ask them to prove it, because we'd all like to know.




Resources:


1)Library 4 Science – Global Warming Greenhouse Science - http://www.global-warming-geo-engineering.org/global-warming-science-1.html
2)Science Bits – The Inconvenient Truth about the Ice Core Carbon Dioxide Temperature Correlation - http://www.sciencebits.com/IceCoreTruth

3)NOAA/National Climactic Data Center – A Paleo Perspective on Global Warming - http://lwf.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/globalwarming/instrumental.html
4)NOAA/National Climactic Data Center – A Paleo Perspective on Global Warming - http://lwf.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/globalwarming/paleolast.html
5)NOAA/National Climactic Data Center – A Paleo Perspective on Global Warming - http://lwf.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/globalwarming/paleobefore.html
6)Sunspots and Climate - http://www-das.uwyo.edu/~geerts/cwx/notes/chap02/sunspots.html
7)NOAA – Solar Cycle Progression - http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/SolarCycle/
Bikerman
Jinx,
I'll need to digest this before I can offer a proper critique. The quick scan I've done reveals something which seems basically sound. I've spotted a couple of things (minor) which are problematic, but I haven't got the time right now to read it thoroughly. Give me 24 hours or so and I'll get back to you with a more detailed consideration...
deanhills
I am no expert, and from that position, your points came through very clear in simple, easy to understand language. I learned the first time round, and then learned more with the second reading. It is long, but I think all of your points were necessary. The sub-headings break it up nicely. All the sections fit well together.
ocalhoun
Jinx wrote:


There have been periods in distant prehistory when the Earth's temperature was much higher than it is now [5], and those who argue against global warming love to point this out, but that argument is something of a red herring. The reason global warming is such an important topic is because it affects our lives today. We did not have cities teeming with millions of people during the Mid-Cretaceous Period. The earth, and life on it can, and will, survive a rise in temperatures, and humans are adaptable enough that our race will survive. But will our quality of life? Flooded cities, and the threat of drought and the loss of thousands of acres of viable farmland would have a very real impact on the survival of millions of people. So it is important to sort out the chaotic tangle of forces that impact our climate so we can plan for future changes – regardless of whether we caused them or they are natural occurrences.

The refutation of this is a little weak, because it relies on saying that the question of whether it is man-made or not is pointless. Knowing if it is natural or man-made is important. If it is man-made, we should take efforts to stop it, but if it is not, then we should let the planet continue its ancient cycle, instead of possibly making things worse by trying to compensate for something that is far beyond our control.
Jinx
Bikerman: Thanks, I'm eagerly awaiting your thoughts Smile

Deanhills: Thank you Smile


Ocahoun:
ocalhoun wrote:
Jinx wrote:


There have been periods in distant prehistory when the Earth's temperature was much higher than it is now [5], and those who argue against global warming love to point this out, but that argument is something of a red herring. The reason global warming is such an important topic is because it affects our lives today. We did not have cities teeming with millions of people during the Mid-Cretaceous Period. The earth, and life on it can, and will, survive a rise in temperatures, and humans are adaptable enough that our race will survive. But will our quality of life? Flooded cities, and the threat of drought and the loss of thousands of acres of viable farmland would have a very real impact on the survival of millions of people. So it is important to sort out the chaotic tangle of forces that impact our climate so we can plan for future changes – regardless of whether we caused them or they are natural occurrences.

The refutation of this is a little weak, because it relies on saying that the question of whether it is man-made or not is pointless. Knowing if it is natural or man-made is important. If it is man-made, we should take efforts to stop it, but if it is not, then we should let the planet continue its ancient cycle, instead of possibly making things worse by trying to compensate for something that is far beyond our control.


my point here is that the argument over whether or not it is man made, while important, should be a secondary concern - if it is man made, great we can try to fix it, but either way we also need to be figuring out how to predict the effects so we can control coastal flooding, shift agriculture to compensate for desertification, and prepare for more storms like Katrina and Wilma and Ike. But mainly I'm trying to point out the flaw in the argument of the no-global-warming crowd - namely that even if it is a natural cycle, it's still going to cause major problems. We can't just shrug and say, oh, it's just nature, and stand by and watch as millions are flooded out of their homes.

I'll see if I can figure out a way to reword this passage to make that more clear. Thanks Smile
Bikerman
OK,
overall I think it is a balanced and well considered piece. Any criticisms are minor, even slightly nit-picky, but here they are:
a) The correlation between CO2 and temperature is certainly there. One interesting point is that there seems to be a lag - ie temperature rises BEFORE CO2 concentrations. This is, as yet, not fully explained by any current models. One promising hypothesis is that increasing temp triggers massive volcanism as ice melts and the land thaws, allowing more volcanic activity and thus pushing up the CO2 concentrations. The jury is, I think, still out on this one.
b) The forces driving climate are not necessarily chaotic in themselves. Chaotic systems result from well understood and deterministic systems. Thus a series of otherwise 'simple' systems can easily combine to produce a non-linear chaotic outcome. This normally occurs when you have feedback from one element of the system.
c) The reference to 'highest temps for 2000 years' is not particularly useful. We have to consider much longer timescales when looking at global temperatures (or, paradoxically, much shorter timescales). The accurate data we have undoubtedly shows a temperature anomaly over the last 4 decades.
http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/myths/2.html
http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/myths/3.html
When looking back over longer periods it isn't really useful to think of anything less than 50,000 year periods since we need to consider ice-ages and interglacial periods.
d) When looking at solar activity it would be useful to show a graph correlating solar activity with temp. Normally there is a tight correlation (certainly since reliable records have been kept), but this correlation 'broke' in the post-60s era.
http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/myths/4.html

Otherwise I think the article is pretty well done.
Jinx
Thanks Bikerman and Ocalhoun, I've made the suggested changes, and I even replaced one of my sources with one of the ones you provided for me, Chris. Thanks for your help. Here's the article with changes:


Some Facts About Global Warming

Last night I was flipping through radio channels and I paused to hear a political pundit going on about how there is no global warming, and that it's all a lie to keep us afraid and to make money for the Liberal Green Machine. His sole piece of evidence for his claim was that it snowed in New Orleans. I nearly fell out of my seat. Here is a well known radio personality, formerly a politician and an FBI agent, presumably an intelligent person, and he's spreading this idea based on a single point of data that shows an abysmal lack of understanding of the scientific process in general and the phenomenon of climate change in particular.

I had thought that the debate over the existence of Global Warming had been decided. The data is in, the average temperature of our planet has gone up. The only thing that is still up for debate is whether or not the human race caused it. But with talking heads peddling their agendas, and they can be convincing or they wouldn't be effective at their jobs, without the basic facts its hard to know whether to listen to the doomsayers or the naysayers. So, I've done a little research and gathered together some facts from neutral, reputable, scientific sources. What I found was interesting, and, while I expected some of it, I was completely surprised by other facts about what is going on with our planet.

The Scientific Method

A basic understanding of how science works is necessary to fully appreciate the weight of the evidence. It's important to understand the steps scientists use to determine when their ideas have merit, and when they need to go back to the drawing board. Here are the basic steps involved:
1)Observe a phenomenon.
2)Formulate a Hypothesis to explain the phenomenon.
3)Test the Hypothesis.
4)If the data gathered supports the hypothesis you have a theory, if it does not, you must modify your hypothesis to incorporate the new data and test it again, go back to step 2 and repeat until the your hypothesis explains what has been observed.
5)Once you have a theory that fits all the facts and it has been throughly tested it must be published for peer review so that other scientists can pick it apart, find flaws with it, point out where you are wrong, duplicate your experiments or re-evaluate your data, and generally put you through a rigorous process of defending your theory. If other scientists find any flaws with your theory, you must go back to step 2 and do it all over again.
6)Repeat, ad infinitum. Anytime the observable data contradicts the theory the theory must be scrapped or modified. Theories that stand the test of time, after all this poking and prodding trying to prove them wrong, are generally considered reliable models.

So how long has the idea that CO2 and temperature are related been around?

“The idea that CO2 in the air is an important determinant of global temperature is actually quite old, it was first theorized by Svante Arrhenius (1859-1927) in a paper published in Philosophical Magazine 41, 237-276 (1896)” [1]

So the basic theory of the Greenhouse Effect has been around since 1896 – over a hundred years - and it is still going strong. No evidence has been found to disprove the theory that the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has a direct correlation to global temperature.

There is a caveat however - it is important to point out that correlation does not imply causality. In fact there is data to suggest that there is a lag, and temperature rise actually comes before a corresponding rise in CO2 [2]. So, just because a theory stands the test of time it does not mean that the implications of that theory are not up for debate. This is one small example of why there is so much contention about Global Warming.

Our Complicated Climate

Here is the crux of the matter – our climate is so complex that there is no one easy indicator or explanation. There are so many forces and variables that drive our weather that it is difficult to predict local weather more than about three days out with any degree of accuracy. But by taking thousands of data points from all over the globe spanning over a hundred years, we can see that temperatures have been rising [3]. In fact, temperatures, on average, have been increasing steadily over the past 40 years and are higher now than at any time in the past 2000 years [4].

Now, the reason I emphasize on average is this: just because some areas may experience an unusual cold snap or winter storm it does not mean that the Earth is not warming up. Greater warming means that weather patterns will shift in unaccustomed ways – not that the whole Earth will suddenly become as sunny and warm as Miami. More heat adds more instability to the climate, allowing for such things as wind-driven arctic fronts moving farther south faster than usual and causing snow in New Orleans. Or stronger hurricanes, or tornadoes in winter, or extended and more severe fire seasons driven by stronger and more frequent Santa Ana winds. But here's the confusing part: just because global warming is one explanation for changes in our climate, it doesn't mean it's the only explanation, or that the extreme weather of the past few years is a direct result of temperature increases. The jury is still out, and scientists are still gathering data. But just because science isn't certain what affect warming will have on us doesn't change the facts – warming is happening.

There have been periods in distant prehistory when the Earth's temperature was much higher than it is now [5], and those who argue against global warming love to point this out, but this argument is something of a red herring. The reason global warming is such an important topic is because it affects our lives today. We did not have cities teeming with millions of people during the Mid-Cretaceous Period. In fact, it would be better if it were a man made condition because we would then have a chance to reverse it. The earth, and life on it can, and will, survive a rise in temperatures, and humans are adaptable enough that our race will survive. But will our quality of life? Flooded cities, and the threat of drought and the loss of thousands of acres of viable farmland would have a very real impact on the survival of millions of people. So it is important to sort out the tangle of forces that impact our climate so we can plan for future changes – regardless of whether we caused them or they are natural occurrences.

The Sun

Gases in our atmosphere are not the only things that affect our planet's temperature. The biggest influence is our source of heat – the Sun. The sun goes through 11 year cycles in which the number of sunspots ebb and flow. There is evidence that during periods of low sunspot activity the Earth receives less warmth from the sun – periods of almost no sunspot activity such as the Sporer, Maunder, and Dalton minimums seem to coincide with dips in global temperature [6]. It just so happens that we are in the midst of a sunspot minimum during 2008/2009 [7], which could account for a year or two of lower temperatures in the midst of a general warming trend.

So, while there is no doubt that Global Warming is real and is happening right now, there is debate about its causes and it's results. Every day we have more data, and we move closer to answers, but currently we don't have those answers. And if anyone tells you that they know, beyond a doubt, what the deal is with Global Warming, ask them to prove it, because we'd all like to know.




Resources:


1)Library 4 Science – Global Warming Greenhouse Science - http://www.global-warming-geo-engineering.org/global-warming-science-1.html
2)Science Bits – The Inconvenient Truth about the Ice Core Carbon Dioxide Temperature Correlation - http://www.sciencebits.com/IceCoreTruth
3)Met Office – Climate Change: fact 2 - http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/myths/2.html
4)NOAA/National Climactic Data Center – A Paleo Perspective on Global Warming - http://lwf.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/globalwarming/paleolast.html
5)NOAA/National Climactic Data Center – A Paleo Perspective on Global Warming - http://lwf.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/globalwarming/paleobefore.html
6)Sunspots and Climate - http://www-das.uwyo.edu/~geerts/cwx/notes/chap02/sunspots.html
7)NOAA – Solar Cycle Progression - http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/SolarCycle/
ocalhoun
Jinx wrote:

Ocahoun:
ocalhoun wrote:
Jinx wrote:


There have been periods in distant prehistory when the Earth's temperature was much higher than it is now [5], and those who argue against global warming love to point this out, but that argument is something of a red herring. The reason global warming is such an important topic is because it affects our lives today. We did not have cities teeming with millions of people during the Mid-Cretaceous Period. The earth, and life on it can, and will, survive a rise in temperatures, and humans are adaptable enough that our race will survive. But will our quality of life? Flooded cities, and the threat of drought and the loss of thousands of acres of viable farmland would have a very real impact on the survival of millions of people. So it is important to sort out the chaotic tangle of forces that impact our climate so we can plan for future changes – regardless of whether we caused them or they are natural occurrences.

The refutation of this is a little weak, because it relies on saying that the question of whether it is man-made or not is pointless. Knowing if it is natural or man-made is important. If it is man-made, we should take efforts to stop it, but if it is not, then we should let the planet continue its ancient cycle, instead of possibly making things worse by trying to compensate for something that is far beyond our control.


my point here is that the argument over whether or not it is man made, while important, should be a secondary concern - if it is man made, great we can try to fix it, but either way we also need to be figuring out how to predict the effects so we can control coastal flooding, shift agriculture to compensate for desertification, and prepare for more storms like Katrina and Wilma and Ike. But mainly I'm trying to point out the flaw in the argument of the no-global-warming crowd - namely that even if it is a natural cycle, it's still going to cause major problems. We can't just shrug and say, oh, it's just nature, and stand by and watch as millions are flooded out of their homes.

I'll see if I can figure out a way to reword this passage to make that more clear. Thanks Smile

Okay, yes prediction and preparation would be good in any case, and we certainly couldn't hurt anything by reducing our pollution. But, if it isn't man-made, then we would do much better to save the massive amounts of effort and money that would be put towards stopping global warming for more practical and much cheaper environmental projects.
BigGeek
Jinx,

I like the article, well written, and your points are clear. You are touching on a subject that is open for debate in many areas!

So here is a little more food for thought.

First off I agree that global warming is happening, even if you don't buy the CO2 model of warming, and see the average temperature model as flawed, you can't help but look at the ice sheets, and glaciers around the world, and honestly conclude that atmosphereic warming is not happening, it certainly is.

The debate about whether it is man made or not is inconsequential in my opinion. The reason that I hold that opinion is simple. We still need to get off coal, and oil as sources of power/energy. With the availability of Hydrogen, Brown's gas, solar, wind, and so many other technologies available there is no reason to continue burning oil as a fuel. We have to invest the money and time in our infastructure to convert to alternative fuels that are clean burning. It has to get done, and if it helps global warming, all the better, but either way we as a species have to make this change. Plus Oil is too precious a comodity in terms of plastics, rubbers, and other materials it is used for, to be burning it willy nilly as fuel. Again, this is simply my opinion, and others may disagree.

I love your write up about the scientific method, and it is right on the money, that is how science is "SUPPOSED" to work. Too bad it does not, and outdated unproven theories are kept in place because of the money they generate, and the belief system they influence, and they become entrenched, and are impossible to replace with more accurate theories. This is the truth, and what science tends to do is throw out the data that does not support the popular theory. This is dogma, and not true science, but it still goes on, and anyone that claims this is not so, needs to do the research to prove to me I'm wrong, because as you delve into it you will find what I'm saying is true!

Next, problem you have is that scientists do not know how climate actually works, and although they have "theories" about it, none of them are proven and all of them have holes. In your discussion about CO2 you left out one important fact, the largest producer of CO2 is the oceans. Also, the amount of CO2 per square kilometer of ocean that is emitted has almost trippled in the last 10 years according to NOAA. Problem with this fact is that no one really knows how the CO2 affects the atmosphereic temperature.

It is impossible to say what is causing the effect that you are observing to any system, if you do not fully understand how that system works!

Your point about the sun is also very good, I've read in a few other places, like livescience.com, that scientists are observing warming on just about all the planets in the solar system, so that might be a clue that the sun is a major contributor to the phenomenon.

Last but not least I'll throw a few other things your way to think about.

www.thunderbolts.info

This is a site that has refuted the gravity model of the universe and solar system and attempts to replace it with the "Plasma Discharge Model", this proposes a whole new theory to science about how the universe works. They are met with scathing reviews by their piers. Did you know that the Aurora Borialis is the grounding out of trillions of watts of electricity per second at the poles of the earth due to ionization of the solar particles with the earths magnetic field? Did you know that lightning is seen as a blue discharge into the top of the clouds before it discharges to the ground?

Is it that weather, solar system, the planet with it's Van Allen belt are the product of ELECTRICITY, that everything is electrically driven?

Are you aware that every atmospheric phenomenon observed in natrue can be recreated in the MIT cloud chamber, it just depends on how much electricity they pump into the the chamber to create it.

If the sun is a plasma discharge node discharging on all the planets, and it is responsible for the Van Allen Belt and the electrical nature of the atmosphere, then it would stand to reason that the main driving force behind global warming is the sun.

Hope I didn't throw too much your way to think about. But good article, well written, points were clear, and hopefully I won't be so late in review of your next one.
Bikerman
Err..
a) The oceans do not produce CO2 - they recycle it (ie they absorb and emit it depending on temperature and salinity).
b) The plasma cosmology model appears to be a very poor version of the Alfvιn model from the 1960s. It didn't work then and it doesn't work now. Even Alfvιn didn't propose that gravity didn't exist, however. This is a real half-assed version of the original theory.
BigGeek
I never said gravity didn't exist, nor did the Plasma discharge model. It says that gravity is the weak force and not the dominate driving mechanism behind the universe, it explains that electromotive force which is much stronger is the dominate force. That's the theory anyway. As far as it not working I'd have to point out that Ort Clouds, ice ball comets and black holes seem to be mental masturbations of the astrophysicists, and don't seem to work very well either, but like I said no one ever questions those theories, they stand as law to this day.

Have you ever read any of the articles or links to articles on the www.thunderbolts.info website?

As far as the oceans not producing CO2, one model shows they recycle it, others show it produces it, with an emission rate much higher than absorbtion, you are correct depends on salinity and temperature, but if NOAA figures are correct, then the oceans show a much larger absorbtion rate to the increased emissions rate, which they don't in may areas, so what's right? I'm not an authority here, but I've read both interpretations.

The problem I have with almost all of this stuff is that one place you read one calculation, and one set of interpretations to something, and in another you read a different and contrasting view, which is right?

I get the impression that you think I'm full of shit, and I just talk out my ass? Which may be true, but I need to keep my posts and points up for my website, and just trying to throw some things out there, in response to the topics!

Quite obviously I've got no real clue as to what I'm talking about!
Bikerman
BigGeek wrote:
I never said gravity didn't exist, nor did the Plasma discharge model. It says that gravity is the weak force and not the dominate driving mechanism behind the universe, it explains that electromotive force which is much stronger is the dominate force. That's the theory anyway. As far as it not working I'd have to point out that Ort Clouds, ice ball comets and black holes seem to be mental masturbations of the astrophysicists, and don't seem to work very well either, but like I said no one ever questions those theories, they stand as law to this day.
Plenty of people question those theories routinely. Have you read anything by Penrose, Smolin, Turok, Steinherdt, Witten or Greene?
Quote:
Have you ever read any of the articles or links to articles on the www.thunderbolts.info website?
Yes, I glanced through the forums and had a browse round the site. It seems to me to be a marketing site for the books of David Talbott and Wallace Thornhill and is therefore of little interest to me.
Quote:
As far as the oceans not producing CO2, one model shows they recycle it, others show it produces it, with an emission rate much higher than absorbtion, you are correct depends on salinity and temperature, but if NOAA figures are correct, then the oceans show a much larger absorbtion rate to the increased emissions rate, which they don't in may areas, so what's right? I'm not an authority here, but I've read both interpretations.
The oceans are carbon sinks - that is they store a huge amount of CO2. The ability of the oceans to do this is, possibly, currently diminishing and they may therefore be a net emission, but they don't 'produce' net CO2.
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/07/0715_040715_oceancarbon.html
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18723606/
BigGeek
[quote="Bikerman"]
BigGeek wrote:
I never said gravity didn't exist, nor did the Plasma discharge model. It says that gravity is the weak force and not the dominate driving mechanism behind the universe, it explains that electromotive force which is much stronger is the dominate force. That's the theory anyway. As far as it not working I'd have to point out that Ort Clouds, ice ball comets and black holes seem to be mental masturbations of the astrophysicists, and don't seem to work very well either, but like I said no one ever questions those theories, they stand as law to this day.


Quote:
Plenty of people question those theories routinely. Have you read anything by Penrose, Smolin, Turok, Steinherdt, Witten or Greene?


Penrose I've read, but that was quite sometime ago, like 1990, and I'd be at a loss to go into talking intellegently about his book. As far as the others no, got any links to articles or books by them?

Quote:
Have you ever read any of the articles or links to articles on the www.thunderbolts.info website?

Quote:
Yes, I glanced through the forums and had a browse round the site. It seems to me to be a marketing site for the books of David Talbott and Wallace Thornhill and is therefore of little interest to me.


Bikerman, of course they are trying to sell books that's how they make their money and communicate their ideas and theories.

Everyone tries to sell their books and make money, and as smart as you are, you should do the same, you sure have a lot of really good information to post and accurate things to say, and what better way to communicate it and make money, than writing books. That Wave Speed equation in the other post about ocean wave speeds was really good, impressed the hell out of me Cool

I personally am OK with buying books and reading them, hell look how much money I spent on books I didn't want but was forced to buy in college, the physics, math, geology and geophyiscs books I was interested in, physchology, and philosophy books, I had no interest in, but had to buy them none the less. College, talk about a money making racket Shocked

Also thunderbolts has some great articles explaining things that are observed in nature, and the plasma discharge theory explains so much in common easy to understand terms that traditinal geology and geophysics theories fall so short of explaining, or the explaination gets so complicated it makes no sense. Plus they have plenty of links to other websites and authors that also support the theory, and have some pretty good information. I can understand your disinterest in the site, I was at first too, but over time I warmed to their ideas as I read more of their articles. I've never been in the forums!

Quote:
As far as the oceans not producing CO2, one model shows they recycle it, others show it produces it, with an emission rate much higher than absorbtion, you are correct depends on salinity and temperature, but if NOAA figures are correct, then the oceans show a much larger absorbtion rate to the increased emissions rate, which they don't in may areas, so what's right? I'm not an authority here, but I've read both interpretations.


Quote:
The oceans are carbon sinks - that is they store a huge amount of CO2. The ability of the oceans to do this is, possibly, currently diminishing and they may therefore be a net emission, but they don't 'produce' net CO2.
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/07/0715_040715_oceancarbon.html
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18723606/


Thanks for the links, I see your point here!

As far as staying on topic, I gotta tell you, the idea of how the atmosphere warms from CO2 and other gases just does not make sense to me. The theory is (correct me if I'm wrong here) that the solar radiation comes into the atmosphere, hits the surface of the earth, and as it reflects back, the "greenhouse gases" trap it in the atmosphere and create the warming effect. I just never got that, I mean if the greenhouse gases trap the heat and radiation, and reflect it back, then wouldn't it make sense that they would block out the heat and radiation and cause a cooling effect. Basically I question how the heat and radiation get through this barrier in the first place in order to get trapped. Maybe I'm ignoring some concepts here, but in general I never really got that idea or theory, the logic kind of evaded me. But then again a lot of things I've learned over the years evade me in their logic Confused
Bikerman
OK, the difficulty you are having is in distinguishing between the incoming radiation (short and visible wavelengths) and the reflected radiation from the earth's surface (long wave (infra red) radiation).
Clouds (water vapour), NOx, CH4 and CO2 are fairly transparent to the higher wavelengths but pretty opaque to infra-red, thus the infra-red energy (heat) gets trapped...
Bikerman
Lee Smolin
Ed Witten 1
Ed Witten 2
Turok & Steinherdt

Brain Greene is the author of the popular science book 'The Elegant Universe' which is worth a read.
BigGeek
Bikerman wrote:
Lee Smolin
Ed Witten 1
Ed Witten 2
Turok & Steinherdt

Brain Greene is the author of the popular science book 'The Elegant Universe' which is worth a read.


Oh Shit! I know who Greene is, I've seen him on the discovery channel and his discussions about membranes, and the Woman physiscist I can't recall her name now, but she is a rock climber, Kaku the ice skater is the main speaker. The Elegant Universe is on my to read list, haven't gotten to it yet!

Thanks for the links!
BigGeek
Bikerman wrote:
OK, the difficulty you are having is in distinguishing between the incoming radiation (short and visible wavelengths) and the reflected radiation from the earth's surface (long wave (infra red) radiation).
Clouds (water vapour), NOx, CH4 and CO2 are fairly transparent to the higher wavelengths but pretty opaque to infra-red, thus the infra-red energy (heat) gets trapped...


OK I got it, thanks!
Bikerman
BigGeek wrote:
Oh ***! I know who Greene is, I've seen him on the discovery channel and his discussions about membranes, and the Woman physiscist I can't recall her name now, but she is a rock climber, Kaku the ice skater is the main speaker. The Elegant Universe is on my to read list, haven't gotten to it yet!

Thanks for the links!

No problem.
Greene also has a second book - The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space. Time. And the Texture of Reality - which is also worth a read. Both books are very light on maths (in fact there is none) so very 'readable' for the non-scientist.

Ed Witten is the great hope of string theory. He is regarded by many as the most brilliant physicist alive.

Lee Smolin is a bit more controversial. His basic thesis is that evolutionary theory might also apply to cosmology. It would, for example, address the fine tuning problem (ie why all the physical constants are so critical that a small change would mean no universe). His basic thesis is that Black Holes spawn more universes. Therefore Universes which produce black holes are 'selected for' by standard evolutionary pressure. He goes on to postulate that the conditions that produce black holes are also favourable for life - which explains why we are here.
A lot of physicists think he has pushed it a bit too far, but he's no idiot and certainly worth a read.
BigGeek
I'll have to give both the Greene books a read, I'm ok with math though, as much of it as I studied in college I understand it, and in college, math and physics classes were always an A for the grade point average. But so much of it is just lost over the years because you know how higher math works, it is a use it or loose it sort of thing. Just because I understood it 30 years ago desn't mean the same applies today, the basci concepts are there, but the applicaitons and theroms are long forgotten.

Ed Witten and string theory, somehow I think I should know that. You know we could get into a hell of a discussion on sting theory and membrane theory. BRANES, cause as I get older I'm loosing my BRAINS Laughing

Lee Smolins sounds like my kinda guy, the more controversial they are the more I seem to like them. Even if they aren't right, the fact that they challenge everyone and make things progress always seems pretty cool to me. Black holes and their correlation to life, now that sounds out there!

You know one of the things that I've always been at odds with in science is the so inceredibly complicated theories that they come up with, and the even more incredible and complicated explainations and proofs of those theories are. If I recall, the assumptions that they would make in the math always left me baffled, like "you assumed WHAT?" There are times that I used to say to myself and others.....isn't it gonna blow all their minds when they find out it's not so complicated? That the KISS method is really the best. But hey, I'm no great mind, so what do I know?
deanhills
BigGeek wrote:
You know one of the things that I've always been at odds with in science is the so inceredibly complicated theories that they come up with, and the even more incredible and complicated explainations and proofs of those theories are. If I recall, the assumptions that they would make in the math always left me baffled, like "you assumed WHAT?" There are times that I used to say to myself and others.....isn't it gonna blow all their minds when they find out it's not so complicated? That the KISS method is really the best. But hey, I'm no great mind, so what do I know?


Absolutely BigGeek. Feel the same about this. But then if you think about it, the most brilliant discoveries that have happened in science have usually been along very simple lines (Einstein's relativity theory)? It is usually all the complicated theories that trip up the guys before they finally make their "simple" discoveries? Perhaps if there had not been all those complicated theories, conditioning scientists to look for their answers along complicated theory highways, such as the guy who invented the light bulb had to negotiate, perhaps we would have been much further and all those REALLY brilliant guys, who could not master the complicated theories, be given space to show their brilliance (some of the bright scientists did not make it at school)?
Bikerman
deanhills wrote:
BigGeek wrote:
You know one of the things that I've always been at odds with in science is the so inceredibly complicated theories that they come up with, and the even more incredible and complicated explainations and proofs of those theories are. If I recall, the assumptions that they would make in the math always left me baffled, like "you assumed WHAT?" There are times that I used to say to myself and others.....isn't it gonna blow all their minds when they find out it's not so complicated? That the KISS method is really the best. But hey, I'm no great mind, so what do I know?


Absolutely BigGeek. Feel the same about this. But then if you think about it, the most brilliant discoveries that have happened in science have usually been along very simple lines (Einstein's relativity theory)? It is usually all the complicated theories that trip up the guys before they finally make their "simple" discoveries? Perhaps if there had not been all those complicated theories, conditioning scientists to look for their answers along complicated theory highways, such as the guy who invented the light bulb had to negotiate, perhaps we would have been much further and all those REALLY brilliant guys, who could not master the complicated theories, be given space to show their brilliance (some of the bright scientists did not make it at school)?
Nope - this is full of the normal misconceptions that haunt science.
1) Relativity is far from simple. The mathematical 'proof' of GR took Einstein a decade. If you think it is simple then I suggest you take a really close look at the field equations.
2) Relativity came along because it had to. Maxwell forced it with his own work on electromagnetism. Maxwell was correct which meant that Newton must be wrong. Something (in this case the 'simple' but wrong Newton) had to give. Thus the simple system was proved wrong and a much more complicated but powerful system (relativity) replaced it.
3) Really brilliant guys CAN master complicated theories. People always harp on about how Einstein was a clerk. Complete bollox. He was a part time patent clerk, yes, but he was also busy reading the latest work in physics from around the world.

Look - science IS difficult, there is no way around it. You don't get some numpty who just appears and solves one of the great problems in science - it doesn't happen (apart from in the imagination of the idiots who haunt science forums with their 'theories'). First you have to learn the language (maths), the grammar and the vocabulary (be it physics, chemistry or whatever). Then you start reading the classics (the existing theories and hypotheses) and finally you can start thinking about becoming an author.
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
Look - science IS difficult, there is no way around it. You don't get some numpty who just appears and solves one of the great problems in science - it doesn't happen (apart from in the imagination of the idiots who haunt science forums with their 'theories'). First you have to learn the language (maths), the grammar and the vocabulary (be it physics, chemistry or whatever). Then you start reading the classics (the existing theories and hypotheses) and finally you can start thinking about becoming an author.


Thanks Chris. I always thought that some people (you included) were born with this fabulous gift of being able to do physics, chemistry "or whatever" much easier that normal people. Doesn't say we're not gifted too, but perhaps gifted differently. For example in my family, there are people who just have this knack with math. Comes natural to them and seemingly effortlessly. Smile
Bikerman
deanhills wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
Look - science IS difficult, there is no way around it. You don't get some numpty who just appears and solves one of the great problems in science - it doesn't happen (apart from in the imagination of the idiots who haunt science forums with their 'theories'). First you have to learn the language (maths), the grammar and the vocabulary (be it physics, chemistry or whatever). Then you start reading the classics (the existing theories and hypotheses) and finally you can start thinking about becoming an author.


Thanks Chris. I always thought that some people (you included) were born with this fabulous gift of being able to do physics, chemistry "or whatever" much easier that normal people. Doesn't say we're not gifted too, but perhaps gifted differently. For example in my family, there are people who just have this knack with math. Comes natural to them and seemingly effortlessly. Smile

Well, I certainly know a couple of people who have a natural gift for maths, but that is not me - I have to work really hard at it.
Afaceinthematrix
Well I can add a few things to the article. I know this is a little late (and you wouldn't really be able to use this information because you're limited to few words, but you can use this info if you ever write a longer article) but I found some information in my chemistry book that may be useful. I'll just copy it word for word so that none of it is lost in the translation.

...talking about the greenhouse effect, the negative impacts of global warming, how to reduce it, alternative fuel sources, stuff you already mentioned, etc.... Okay, the new stuff is coming up...

Quote:
Natural fluctuations in temperature must be taken into account, as well as cyclic changes in solar activity. Moreover, as the amount of CO2 increases from fossil-fuel burning, so does the amount of particulate matter and SO2, which may block sunlight and have a cooling effect. Water vapor also traps heat, and as temperatures rise, more water evaporates. The increased amounts of water vapor may thicken cloud cover and lead to cooling.

Despite these opposing factors, the overwhelming majority of models predict a net warming of the atmosphere, and scientists are now documenting the predicted climate disruptions....


It goes on talk more about global warming and it spends a lot of time talking about the chemistry behind it (because it is in a chemistry text book. I just thought I'd copy down that part down so that you'd have the opposing factor.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot to include the source. This is a link to the page with all of the information about the book (I'm too lazy to write out an official bibliography, and I figured that a link would suffice for an informal internet post. If it does not suffice, just say so and I'll write out the bibliography for the book): http://www.mcgraw-hill.com.au/html/9780077216504.html

The page numbers are 256-259
BigGeek
Bikerman wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
Look - science IS difficult, there is no way around it. You don't get some numpty who just appears and solves one of the great problems in science - it doesn't happen (apart from in the imagination of the idiots who haunt science forums with their 'theories'). First you have to learn the language (maths), the grammar and the vocabulary (be it physics, chemistry or whatever). Then you start reading the classics (the existing theories and hypotheses) and finally you can start thinking about becoming an author.


Thanks Chris. I always thought that some people (you included) were born with this fabulous gift of being able to do physics, chemistry "or whatever" much easier that normal people. Doesn't say we're not gifted too, but perhaps gifted differently. For example in my family, there are people who just have this knack with math. Comes natural to them and seemingly effortlessly. Smile

Well, I certainly know a couple of people who have a natural gift for maths, but that is not me - I have to work really hard at it.


BMan you know working really hard at something, is a gift too!

I so identify with this statement, as I too had to work really hard to understand the math and physics involved in earning my degree. But you have to admit when it comes to science and math, it is so much easier to study and work hard at it, because when you work the problems you get an answer that is either right or wrong, no grey areas. This I can handle, it is extrapolating and discussing things that are open to interpretation that gets me bogged down.

Thus my claims about Science being simple, no doubt it is hard in that you have to work hard and struggle to understand the concepts and language that it is built on. My problem is when theories get circular in their logic, and claims that one theory and it's assumptions superseed another when it seems that it doesn't, or when they claim that one theory supports another, when it doesn't seem to, or at least not completely. There in lies my gripe!

Granted some utzoid is not going to solve the great mysteries that science has to offer, and I'm certianly not going to either, but it just seems to me that the illogical logic that seems to abound, and assumptions that don't seem to make sense can take hold in an effort to prove something that may not be correct. That's where I make my point that maybe making contradictory assumptions in an effort to prove something that is the standard may not be the best course, and making it more complicated as well, may not be the best approach.

But that's my opinion, and since it's free, it's worth what you payed for it!

Also, sorry for not getting back here sooner, the holidays and my truck have been consuming a lot of my forum time these days. Hopefully as soon as I get the rear disc brake conversion done to my 1979 Chevy, I'll get the article written about what I had to go through to get it working, and post it on my website. I'll look forward to all of your reviews!!
joe_b
I thought this was an interesting perspective on global warming.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mF_anaVcCXg
yagnyavalkya
Good one wish you all the best will the article be peer review or just published?
yagnyavalkya
Above all the Bikeman wrote about science
one should remember that the funding is the most important thing here
you may have the language, grammar etc., but if you cant get funding it is very difficult
but one may argue that when you have all theses you ought to get funding
but it is not always the case as recession can hit science as well
yagnyavalkya
I have a question here Bike
what about emission of CO2 from marine life
Jinx
Wow, this topic has really taken off. Thanks for all the pointers and good info, y'all.


yagnyavalkya:
No, it's not going to be peer reviewed. I found a website called Bukisa that pays for content and I wanted to try it out. Between this article and a couple of others, including some book reviews, I've made about two dollars so far, but then I only have 7 articles. Its a numbers game and I just don't have time to write the way I'd like to.

They also have a network system where if you get people to join using your affiliate link, and they start contributing articles you can earn even more money.
So, if anyone wants to check it out, do me a favor and use my join link - http://www.bukisa.com/join/1718

It's a way to make a little pocket change if you've got the time to devote to it.
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