Comments on: Hot Air From Weathermen Global environmental challenges Wed, 16 Nov 2016 08:14:55 +0000 hourly 1 By: Nate Fri, 05 Sep 2008 00:59:12 +0000 Does human activity have an impact on the climate and the globe, and are methane, water vapor, and carbon dioxide greenhouse gases? Undoubtedly.

Has rapid and catastrophic climate change occured in the earths history when humanity was not present? Undoubtedly.

The big question is, what causes drastic climate changes? Models that have been developed face a host of very complex variables which naturally reduces their accuracy. We can see from ice cores a record of gases present in the atmosphere throughout time and we know that large sea level fluctuations and temperature swings have occured numerous times in the past. So what causes global warming? We don’t know for sure.

However, it would be foolish of us as humans to continue to waste resources like we have been. This is why I whole-heartedly support the push to reduce fossil fuel use and reduce resource use in general. But taking the bus because you think that will somehow keep the planet at some constant temperature? That’s not scientifically realistic.

The biggest problem we face is not climate change. It will naturally change even if we emitted zero green house gases in our day to day activities, and it will change due greenhouse gases in addition to many other factors beyond what we can comprehend.

The biggest problem we face, hands down, is overpopulation and the associated overuse of the earth’s resources. Do take the bus, do recycle, do use less water keeping your grass green (after all, somehow having a green lawn that you’ll rarely ever use is important.. that was sarcasm). Stop wasting time believing that the planet needs to be maintained in some constant state, because that’s like believing you can keep a three year old from making a mess eating spaghetti.

By: Pete Wed, 30 Jul 2008 14:59:14 +0000 Arguments over the “cost” of environmental action are a weak defense when so many taxpayer dollars are blatantly wasted on ill-advised war and govt. bail-outs of greedy, short-sighted industry. But, that is the fact of life. My father was once the mayor of a fairly large southern metro city in the early 80’s. I asked him to please consider simple recycling efforts (curbside pick-up). His response was that it wasn’t economically feasible and resulted in net cash outflow for the city. He didn’t get it either.

By: Anubis Wed, 30 Jul 2008 12:46:51 +0000 There is proof that man is causing climate change. There is also proof that co2 is a greenhouse gas. I encourage everyone to visit the Scripps Institution of Oceanography website There is wealth of data and published papers as well as external links to other research centers. This information is accesible and can be easily understood by average folks. The science has been in for 40 years Ron. We all have a responsibility to become well informed before we formulate opinions and plans of action(or inaction).

By: Ron Tue, 29 Jul 2008 21:32:43 +0000 The earth has cooled and heated to different temperatures since the beginning of time. I think it’s pretty arrogant of some to think that man can actually alter the temperature of this planet by his actions. Besides, there is no proof that man is causing global warming. Just how would you go about proving that anyway? This global warming hype is just a way for liberals to gain control over people’s lives by making more laws and taxation.

By: Natalie Tue, 29 Jul 2008 17:06:06 +0000 I personally do not know too many facts about the effects of CO2 on the atmosphere but what I do know is that it couldn’t hurt to reduce some of our wasteful habits. I know that a natural balance is required in every aspect of life. So, my vote is for whatever will fight to maintain and enforce that balance.

By: JF Chalmers Tue, 29 Jul 2008 15:09:24 +0000 Its amazing how the skeptics are so incredibly knowledgeable and expert when it comes to climate change!.. I’m in absolute awe. Tell ya, who needs the climate scientists when you have such expertise at the layman level! We should simply let all the self proclaimed experts and skeptics here to lead us on… Darn, I should have known climate change and all the so-called observed facts are only illusions and the vast majority of scientists a bunch irrational, fear mongerers or outright liars. Terribly sorry, how dumb of me to have thought otherwise!

Now, kidding aside, continued skepticism when confronted with the overwhelming scientific consensus backed by the observations in the real World really boils down to this one glaring fact: barring complete intellectual ineptitude – a definite possibility for many of them – the skeptics that remain are not really skeptics at all.. they are morally bankrupt individuals who are too selfish and self-centered to be willing to face the prospect of making ANY effort and sacrifice that is needed to counter man-made climate change and are not honest enough to admit it. I believe the applicable term is “socio-paths”?

By: Tim Tue, 29 Jul 2008 11:46:43 +0000 Although several highly qualified physicists reject the greenhouse hypothesis altogether, I’m prepared to accept it on the basis that it really isn’t that big a deal. After all, the maximum temperature increase associated with a doubling of CO2 is reckoned to be about 1 degree C using the Stefan Boltzmann radiative theory equations that the IPCC uses. Any extra increase in projected temperatures rely on positive feedback mechanisms which have never been observed and only exist in the climate models. These models however were unable to predict the current warming hiatus since 2002 and indeed the present cooling observed both in the atmosphere and the oceans.

Even so, I’ll accept the CO2 warming hypothesis because one degree here or there is inconsequential and would not be outside natural climate variation. It might even be welcome if the natural variation cools the planet any further, which is equally possible.

By: Jeff Tue, 29 Jul 2008 01:22:57 +0000 In response to Tom (#4)

All of the issues you raise have been addressed. In order:

1) Climate scientists already take into account the effect of water vapor in global circulation models. The reason that you don’t hear about water vapor is because its concentration is a function of temperature only. If you put more water vapor in the atmosphere it rains, if you remove water vapor, evaporation from the oceans restores it to its original amount.

2) CO2 has not been steadily increasing for 100,000 years. The primary mechanism for removing it from th atmosphere is weathering of crustal rocks. When ice sheets cover the continents, you get less weathering and CO2 buildup. In addition, volcanism is episodic. Large volcanic eruptions like the Deccan Traps or Siberian Traps put huge amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere. These large eruptions are anomalies, however. The average contribution of volcanism is 50 times smaller than human contributions.

3) Heat flow from any underwater seamounts, volcanic ridges, etc. is miniscule compared to solar radiation. This is rather easy to estimate. Temperatures 400 m below the surface show no appreciable warming in the Arctic.

4) Variations in sunspot activity account for a 0.1% change in forcing. While the sun does play a part in any climate model, solar forcing is not the main player. CO2 forcing and associated feedbacks are.

5) There is no proof that other planets have been warming. Do we have a network of temperature sensors on the surface? No. Satellite records may give you some indication, but the errors are large.

6) If you look in the scientific literature, only a few scientists ever predicted that an ice age would occur. They were certainly in the minority.

There is nothing wrong with skepticism, but rehashing the same tired theories doesn’t represent some sort of “debate.”


By: tom Mon, 28 Jul 2008 19:40:17 +0000 Why isn’t water vapor talked about by the Al Gore types? Water vapor is by far the largest global green house gas! What about the fact that CO2 levels have been rising steadily for the past…100,000 years (as per the last IPCC report)?

And the Arctic ice cap melting? Um, wasn’t it NASA or NOAA that said a large part was due to the jet streams over the Arctic shifting and now the ice gets blown into th Atlantic instead of getting stuck in the Arctic Ocean and forming an ice pack? Wasn’t it just recently found out that there’s a large undersea vent in the Arctic that’s been much more active recently?

What about the sun-spot cycle nearing an end? Or the fact that other planets in our solar system have also been warming?

Oh, but its only human based activities that is causing the Earth to warm? Maybe I wouldn’t be more skeptical if these other issues were addressed? At a minimum, just awknowledged that the debate isn’t ‘over’.

Heck, some ‘scientists’ also think the Earth is headed for another ice age! We ought to be happy that we’re keeping ourselves artifically warm them.

Look, I agree with not polluting the Earth and being environmentally friendly. I’m all for that. But at what cost? and exactly for what? I think there’s a lot that has not been explained properly or thoroughly.

By: Greg Mon, 28 Jul 2008 17:08:49 +0000 (sorry for the double post)

Don’t forget Methane.