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« Not quite getting it | Main | The crazy left »

May 23, 2006

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Lex

That'd be Pete DuPont the noted climatologist and not Pete DuPont the politician, right?

Paul Jones

BBC covers two new reports that say warming estimates have been far too low for too long. The article also has a good explanation of the methodology and the long term effects.

David Boyd

I do know that the WSJ's position is, in essence, "our opponents have been correct and effective to date, but don't believe them now." And that just isn't very convincing.

To an extent, but at some point the law of diminishing returns kicks in. The low hanging fruit has mostly been plucked which has led to these dramatic improvements that we can all agree are a good thing. Now we're at the point where exponentially more spending leads to unknown benefits.

Saw something interesting yesterday on a Chinese newspaper. Price Waterhouse (I think that was the firm) predicts that the Chinese economy overtakes the US in 2050. If you're an enviromentalist first, China and India are where it's at. 2.5 billion people getting richer and richer are going to consume vast resources.

Brian Leon

I may be no climatologist but would not the fact that every year we are sending hundreds of millions of tonnes of emissions into the air cause a general thickening of the atmosphere that would result in global warming regardless whether these emissions are greenhouse gases or not?

Bubba

"I'm no expert on climatology, or on workable solutions to problems caused by sustained warming."

Your statement certainly confirms that.

"Problems cause by sutained warming". Those "evil CO2 gases". Spoken as if that is a scientific given, without a (politically correct) doubt.

http://www.cato.org/pubs/regulation/reg15n2g.html

Key point:

"Such weak predictions feed and contribute to what I have already described as a societal instability that can cascade the most questionable suggestions of danger into major political responses with massive economic and social consequences. I have already discussed some of the reasons for this instability: the existence of large cadres of professional planners looking for work, the existence of advocacy groups looking for profitable causes, the existence of agendas in search of saleable rationales, and the ability of many industries to profit from regulation, coupled with an effective neutralization of opposition. It goes almost without saying that the dangers and costs of those economic and social consequences may be far greater than the original environmental danger. That becomes especially true when the benefits of additional knowledge are rejected and when it is forgotten that improved technology and increased societal wealth are what allow society to deal with environmental threats most effectively. The control of societal instability may very well be the real challenge facing us."

http://www.junkscience.com/aug99/baliunas.htm

Excerpt:

"Introducing the sun's impact in the models has shown that human effects on temperature are much smaller than first projected, and perhaps insignificant compared with natural temperature changes. Those who are worried about global warming can cool down."

Bubba

"I may be no climatologist but would not the fact that every year we are sending hundreds of millions of tonnes of emissions into the air cause a general thickening of the atmosphere that would result in global warming regardless whether these emissions are greenhouse gases or not?"

No.

In fact, there is much evidence that suggests that the exact opposite is true. The theory is that particulate matter blocks the sun from causing atmospheric heat up, particularly in less developed areas, such as parts of Africa. Conversely, in areas where "greenhouse gases" have been restricted, solar warming has been the case.

Jim Caserta

Gasoline (octane) + O2 -> CO2 + H2O

2*C8H18 + 25*O2 -> 16*CO2 + 18*H2O

Atomic Mass of O2=32, CO2=44. Mass of "gasses" on LHS = 800amu, RHS = 704amu. H2O is released as a gas, but I'm assuming that it condenses at some point. So BL, there is no net increase in the mass of gass, actually a reduction - in both mass and number of gas molecules (again need to assume H2O condenses at some point). Interesting. Nice to practice stoichiometry once every 10 years...

Jim Caserta

http://antoine.frostburg.edu/chem/senese/101/reactions/faq/equation-octane-combustion.shtml

Jim Caserta

http://scienceworld.wolfram.com/physics/IdealGasLaw.html

PV=nRT :
as long as the H2O condenses, you have less moles of gas, 16 < 25, volume of gas (at a fixed pressure) goes down accordingly.

Jim Caserta

water vapor is considered a greenshouse gas also.

Jim Caserta

Plant respiration and the decomposition of organic matter release more than 10 times the CO2 released by human activities; but these releases have generally been in balance during the centuries leading up to the industrial revolution with carbon dioxide absorbed by terrestrial vegetation and the oceans.

Jim Caserta

http://www.unicef.org/media/media_7596.html

jsykes

Did it snow this winter? How about last winter? I can't remember.

DB: I saw Friedman on CSPAN this weekend and he said the Chinese would likely lead the way in new energy technology for the simple fact that they cannot afford to deal with the effects of pollution from a consumer economy on a scale four times larger than the United States.

Friedman's prediction was that they would "clean our clock" selling us products based on new energy technology in the mid to late 21st century.

I found that interesting.

Jim Caserta

JS - how is China going to surpass us so quickly when all their best engineers come to the US to study? And a large portion of them stay - maybe they like real elections, having 2 kids, or the convenience of 24 hour low-prices at Wal-mart?

jsykes

Jim:

Hey. I don't know, I just heard Friedman talking and thought he made some interesting points vis a vis the size of China's population and the pace that they are modernizing their economy.

I know some Chinese might prefer our elections and freedoms, but I think they have all the best Wal-mart can offer now in China, complete with a Maoist/Samist chant sessions before each shift.

I also saw recently where many students from Asia and India are being frozen out of our universities due to the tightening of visas. Several regional universities are picking up the pace, and even some in Australia, according to the news report I saw on PBS a while back.

Jim Caserta

I have a Chinese friend who had to wait in Beijing (her family lived in a rural area of Wuhan province) for 2 or 3 months to get her visa situation sorted out.

The "India and China are going to surpass us in high-tech" crowd are to a degree crying wolf. At the top of the technology food chain (I mean solving the most challenging engineering problems), most work is still done in the US, Europe, or Japan.

Also, they dont' have to find replacements for 100-200 million gas-guzzlers, they just have to conince people not to buy them, and the govts there are more willing to "convince" citizens.

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