• Global Warming

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 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by DavidMc at 2007-01-31 06:50 PM
Perhaps a little study of how modern societies cope with very hot and dry conditions would be useful here. Phoenix,  Arizona and Las Vegas, Nevada come to mind.  I understand people are moving there in droves.

I'll try and dig up some details.

 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by dalek at 2007-01-31 07:45 PM

David, My experience was that people lived in air conditioned homes, drove to work at air conditioned offices in air condtioned cars. That's fine I guess. But it can have adverse effects on some peoples health .  For the record, I drive to work in an air conditioned car to an air conditioned office but I live in a non airconditioned home.

A few live in homes that are basically underground, just as some local tribes did once.  These homes are really comfortable.

The real problem with large scale migration to the areas you mention is the provision of water, the Nevada river can no longer supply sufficient without augmentation. There are reports that the snowfall is declining in the High Sierra and being replaced by rain. The problem with this is that the snow melt provides a reservoir that releases the water over a period of time.

This little fact once again shows up the need for great caution and attention to detail when asssessing statistics, the annual overall precipitation has not changed but the water that comes with the rain simply runs down the river to the sea in a flood.


 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by DavidMc at 2007-01-31 10:09 PM
Here are some recent signs of discomfort by climate scientists at the increasing level of alarmism:

Chaotic world of climate truth
Mike Hulme
By Mike Hulme
Director, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research

As activists organised by the group Stop Climate Chaos gather in London to demand action, one of Britain's top climate scientists says the language of chaos and catastrophe has got out of hand.


A load of hot air?
By Simon Cox and Richard Vadon
BBC News

Hardly a day goes by without a new dire warning about climate change. But some claims are more extreme than others, giving rise to fears that the problem is being oversold and damaging the issue.


Tyndall Centre    Tyndall Briefing Note No. 16

for Climate Change Research    November 2005
`Dangerous claims':
Is the way we perceive
climate change leading
to a precautionary
approach or an
irrational response?
Toni Lowe, Tyndall Centre for
Climate Change Research',
Norwich. UK


 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by dalek at 2007-02-01 02:58 PM


Flannery, made the point on ABC radio this morning that most scientists are very conservative. I agree.

At the same time there is a group of scientists who have a tendency to an apocalyptic view, another that has aview that it is all a fuss about nothing. I am basically undecided, I can however claim to have a fairly good understanding of some of the basic physics and I am worried, particularily as my work involves the anaysis of feedback systems (in another field).

I know how feedback systems can dramatically effect the rate of change in a system and that sometimes our predictions for rate of change can be way off.


 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by DavidMc at 2007-02-02 05:43 AM
Climate is changing faster than predicted
The Australian February 02, 2007

Some scientists are claiming that sea levels may be rising more than expected and this was one sign of of the seriousness of global warming.

From the article:

Satellite and tide gauge measurements of sea levels indicated an upward trend of an average of about 3mm a year between 1993 and last year.

The 2001 IPCC report projected a "best-estimate" rise of less than 2mm a year.

"Note that the rate of rise for the last 20 years ... is 25 per cent faster than the rate of rise in any 20-year period in the preceding 115 years," writes Dr Church and his co-workers.

I'm sorry. Are we supposed to be concerned about a sea level rise that was 25 per cent more than something that went unnoticed? At 3mm per year you get a sea level rise of 30cm or a foot over a 100 year period. You will need to come up with something scarier than that!

 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by dalek at 2007-02-04 03:10 PM


No 1. Be aware that many of the statistics you are dealing with may be in fact exponential - not uncommon in physical systems. The difficulty is that the initial rise of the exponential from the base line could be very slow and the "noise" and uncertainty may mask the function.

No2. Even a small rise in sea level of say 0.5 metre could spell great difficulty for cities on the sea during tidal surges. for example I estimate that a sea level (actually river) rise of 0.5 m would cause much of Brisbane to be flooded during tidal surges. Already there is considerable damage occuring where ordinary high tides come over the banks. Sure Brisbane could build a Thames style barrage but that solution would not answer for Manhattan island for example.

No3. An even samaller rise will destroy many of the Pacific Islands, is already doing so.

No 4. A combination of land subsidence due mostly to aquifer extraction and sea level rise could be catastrophic for Jakarta, Singapore Hong Kong and many other sea side cities. 

It's all very well to be sanguine about climate change, I note that the LS is no longer quite so strident in its denial. It seems to me that a program of CO2 reduction would actually create extra economic activity and jobs etc.

I have maintained for a long time that one of the reasons capitalism has been so successful is that the explouitation of fossile fuels has massively increased ths productive capacity of ordinary people. For example the farmer of today has at his disposal the equivalent of 100+ horse power where at the beginning of the 20th century he had 1 or 2 horse power if he was lucky.  We have not gained this productivity increase for no cost, in the pollution of London in the 19th century for example and in the massive increase of anthropogenic greenhouse warming gasses such as CO2.

I cannot really understand why LS has taken a contrarian position on Global Warming, I guess it fits with your general anti-scientific and idealist stance.  



 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by DavidMc at 2007-02-05 03:17 AM
Dalek when it comes to sea level rise I think we have a very different idea of what constitutes a catastrophe. If they have to, Pacific Islanders can move. They don't have to stand around waiting for the water to wash over their heads. Building wall a meter or two high around Manhattan does not stike me as a major engineering project. In places where the cost of containment is too high, there is plenty of time to move to higher ground. And the richer we are the less hassle it will be.

 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by dalek at 2007-02-05 02:37 PM

David, Lets be clear about this, I am not into catastrophe, Global Warming is a manageable phenomena. at least at the present.

My concern is that we may leave it too late and be faced with far bigger challenges than those presented by a few thousand Pacific Islanders who being mostly black-ish are clearly not of concern to you. One wonders how you will react to the plight of the (mostly) white Dutch when the Levees around Holland are breached, maybe they can just "move" too. Or the people of Bangladesh, oh I forgot they are not white and don't count, maybe they could build  1 metre high wall around their country, using usorious funds from the world bank.

It seems to me that rather than engage in your Trotskyite terraforming exercises a little effort on our part to manage the probelm at source (CO2) would be far more productive and less reactive.


 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by owenss at 2007-02-06 03:44 PM

dalek I dont know David personally but I do know several of the people who write at this site and I am well aquainted with their politics and they are strong anti racists.

regards Steve

 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by dalek at 2007-02-06 05:36 PM

Owens I did not think they were racist either until I came across this astonishing statement:

"If they have to, Pacific Islanders can move. They don't have to stand around waiting for the water to wash over their heads. Building wall a meter or two high around Manhattan does not stike me as a major engineering project."

The only possible interpreation of this is that Its going to be OK to move the Pacific Islanders to some Gulag but we will spend billions of dollars to make sure the (mostly white and rich) inhabitants of Manhattan are OK. The whole tone of it is also sneering "They (The Islanders) don't have to stand around waiting for the water to wash over their heads". This is a racist slur if ever I read one.

The people in the Pacific Islands and Bangladesh have no "higher ground" to move to.

Perhaps the racist content in the post is entirely unconcious. I think the writer and the moderator should critically examine the post if they have a no racist post rule.


 • Global warming is a class question

Posted by dalek at 2007-02-06 08:01 PM

I realise that raising the question of class is probably not fashionable at LS. However there is a serious issue here.

Firstly, let us assume that human activity can influence the planet for the better. Surely you must concede this in the light of the posts that I have read about humans being the most dominant, amazingly intelligent and wonderful species on the face of the Earth and soon (no doubt) outer space.

Now if human activity (despite much evidence to the contrary) can produce a utopia on earth surely it is possible for that same activity to have some negative consequences or is only the positive admitted ?

So, for the sake of argument, let's assume that global warming from anthropogenic sources is a reality, we can argue about the absolute degree but that is not important. Lets also assume that the consequences will be a mild rise in sea level, say 0.5m and two degrees rise in average temperature.

What are the consequences of this? Well if you are a wealthy sybarite on the beaches of the Pacific coast the sand will get a bit smaller so you won't have walk so far to get to the beach and the temperature for swimming will be better.  The downside is that you need vaccinations and tratment against the Dengue Fever, Malaria and TB that are now endemic in the region, your hired help is sick more often as she cannot afford the medication as she is busy sending money back to semi-flooded Bangladesh, so that her family can afford to pay the people smugglers to take them across the fortified border into India.

You read in the paper about the heat wave that has killed many of the poor old people in Europe and are glad that you can afford air conditioning because you remember that during the last heat wave in Utopia Waters, the temperature peaked at 50C and killed all the derros who hang around the streets.

You regret the loss of those pacific islands but you note that this was not as bad as the loss of Manhattan Island when the storm surge came across the levees and turned Wall street into a lake. The global recession triggered by this event caused several million job losses but c'est la vie eh?

The endless fires in the tropics as the rainforests burn put an end to the holiday in Bali but what the hell they people of Bali can find somethingelse to do apart from the tourist trade eh?

I could go on for hours with this but the long and the short of it is that the impact of Global warming will be most dire on the workers and the poor and the weak and the old, so what is the LS solution? Let them learn to live with it.

Surely a better solution would be to taclkle the problem at source by building new Geothermal power stations (Jobs) that would eventually lower the cost of electricity (more jobs and higher productivity) as there is no fuel and environmental "externality" to pay . 

Instead we have LS allying itself with the worst type of reactionaries, to prevent the very progress that it espouses; to trample on the very class that it pretends to support!

Good one. 



 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by DavidMc at 2007-02-08 05:22 AM
Here are critical assessments of the IPCC Report by Christopher Monckton and by the Fraser Institute in Canada. I've also included realclimate.org's response to the Fraser Institute.

I won't get a chance to read them until next week. But here they are for everyone's reading pleasure.

IPCC Fourth Assessment Report 2007
Analysis and Summary by Christopher Monckton Viscount Monckton of Brenchley
February 2007 Washington, D.C. 202-454-5249

A  Short Summary and link to Fraser Institute's Independent Review of UN Climate Change Report

RealClimate.org's response to Fraser Institute's Review

 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by dalek at 2007-02-08 09:16 PM

David, You might find this interesting - it suppports your position, I think. It is from the Stanford Environmental Law Journal January, 1998 http://www.metatronics.net/lit/geo2.html


 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by dalek at 2007-02-15 02:57 PM

CO2 being pushed deep into the oceans

*       22:00 12 February 2007

*       NewScientist.com news service

Atmospheric carbon dioxide is being pushed deeper into the oceans than previously thought, according to researchers.

The findings mean the oceans may continue to absorb human emissions of the greenhouse gas more rapidly and for longer, they say, reducing their impact on global warming. But the research is bad news for the marine organisms that are already suffering from ocean acidification.

Higher levels of CO2 in the atmosphere, caused largely by industrial activities, push the greenhouse gas into ocean waters. Although this process is fairly well understood, scientists have only estimates of the depth at which CO2 from human activities is stored in the oceans.

"Previous estimates, based on educated assumptions about what the pre-industrial oceans looked like, suggested that in the high latitudes of the North Atlantic, anthropogenic CO2 was not found below 2500 metres," says Douglas Wallace of the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences in Germany.

Wallace and colleagues have now published the first measurements showing the location of CO2 from human activities in the North Atlantic. They used data collected during a research cruise in 1981 as a baseline, and then returned to exactly the same sampling locations in 2004.

"This revealed quite large changes in the CO2 in very deep water, between 3000 m and 5000 m," Wallace told New Scientist.

Dissolving depth

If their findings are replicated in the much bigger southern oceans, it could mean that the oceans' capacity to take up CO2 is greater than previously thought.

While this may soak up some of the CO2 that would otherwise warm the atmosphere, the flipside is that the new findings give further evidence that human activities are rapidly changing the chemistry of the deep oceans.

"There is a depth in the ocean above which calcium carbonate shells don't dissolve, and below which they do," says Wallace. The findings suggest that the CO2 pumped into the oceans has pushed up this boundary by 400 m, compared to its level before the industrial age. And the researchers predict that it will be 700 m shallower by 2050 if CO2 emissions continue their fast growth.

Wallace says that whether the findings are replicated in the southern oceans remains to be seen, and he is encouraging colleagues to replicate his study there. There may be differences. For example, much of the southern ocean's water sinks to the bottom off the coast of Antarctica. There, sea ice may prevent CO2 entering the water from the atmosphere to the same extent as in the north.

The scientist who first coined the phrase "ocean acidification", Ken Caldeira, at the Carnegie Institution, California, US, says the extent to which the rising boundary will affect deep-sea corals and shelled organisms remains uncertain. But when human activities start impacting remote parts of planet, it's a wake-up call that we are interfering in our planets functioning on a very large scale," he says.

Journal reference: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0606574104)

 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by DavidMc at 2007-02-16 07:57 AM
Here is some more reading on ocean acidification

The Impact of Anthropogenic CO2 Emissions on Calcifying Marine Organisms, CO2 Science, Volume 8, Number 40: 5 October 2005

Coral Calcification vs. pH and Aragonite Saturation State

Corals and Climate Change at World Climate Report. I love the final paragraph
It’s probably a better bet that organisms that have been around for 500 million years, on a planet that was much warmer, had much more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, got hit by an asteroid or two, experienced ice ages, and now a slight warming, will be around long after homo sapiens hit the evolutionary road.

 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by DavidMc at 2007-03-12 03:26 AM
I've just watched the Great Global Warming Swindle at video.google.com. It's quite an effective piece of work and I imagine will give most viewers a bit of a jolt. It will be interesting to see how the alarmists respond over coming weeks.

It is great the way it has been made immediately available on the Net. It is full screen size and the low definition is quite tolerable. It goes for 1 hour 15 minutes.

Email the URL to friends and others

 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by dalek at 2007-03-12 06:47 PM

David, thanks for drawing attention to the "Great Global Warming Swindle", I watched it last night. I note that at least one of the participants (Carl Wunsch) has had second thoughts.


There is no doubt that there are many who are pumping up the Global Warming thing for a host of reasons; that we can agree on. I suggest you watch foreign correspondent on the ABC tonight. No doubt the ABC sent wave making machines up there just to get some graphic footage.

A minor point re the "Great Global Warming Swindle" maybe they should have done enough science to know that malaria coverage does not depend upon the temperature range that suits "malarial" mosquitos it depends upon the temperature range that suits the malarial parasite. The film is shot through with such errors.

My view is that  we may as well take sensible steps to reduce our energy consumption and reduce our CO2 and other pollutant emissions as it makes sound economic sense and improves our standard of living. You don't have to be a believer in GW to take this position.

The difficulty I have with your position is that you seem to imply that energy consumption per se is a measure of progress.

I would remind you that early power stations had a thermal efficiency of <12% now they hover around 40% with 70% on the horizon. Early (small, domestic) electric motors had efficiencies of around 40% now they attain 70%, according to your measure of progress these are steps backward?






 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by DavidMc at 2007-03-13 12:22 AM
dalek, Wunsch did not have second thoughts. He apparently was not aware of what he was getting into. At the moment his priority would be ensuring that he is not tarred with the skeptic brush given the "climate" among climate scientists.

From what I can gather poverty is the cause of malaria.

You will find that energy per capita has increased considerably over the last century or so in developed countries. Because of energy efficiencies it has not increased as much as living standards. We can expect something similar to occur in developing countries over the next century.

 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by dalek at 2007-03-13 03:41 PM

David, there is no point in impugning the motives of Wunsch, my reading of his explanation is that his contribution to The "Great Global warming Swindle" the was edited in such a way that his point about the ocean as a carbon sink was entirely reversed. My point about the malarial mosquito's was that the reference to them in the "Great Global warming Swindle" confection was a bald faced lie. Another point that I picked up was a statement in the program that an increase in the average temperature of the globe would have a stabilising effect on cyclones etc. This I know to be thermodynamic nonsense. Increase the energy in an a oscillitory system and the amplitude of the oscillations must increase.

I am puzzled by your passionate denial on the question of Global Warming, sure there are a lot of hand wringers out there. Your denial seems irrational to me.




 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by DavidMc at 2007-03-14 02:56 AM
Above link to the Great Climate Warming Swindle is now dead. Try this one.