January 9, 2012

Fighting off the Ice Age...

... with Global Warming.

25 comments:

rhhardin said...

Actually they don't know anything about anything.

It's a puff piece to claim that emissions cause global warming.

chickenlittle said...

rhhardin has a point: if we buy into it, then all Lucy has to do is take away the football again (hey, the Ice Age stuff was overestimated--we really are overheating because of SUVs).

On the other hand, the balance between man made cooling and warming is an old equilibrium, as I quoted in an old textbook here: link

Toot toot!


clouds

edutcher said...

So they can bring back Ann's 100 Watt bulbs?

Pastafarian said...

I wish it were so, that we could forestall the next ice age with a little CO2. But this hope is based on the same confusion of cause and effect that gave us the whole AGW boondoggle: They've looked at cores and determined that the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere was lower during ice ages.

No shit. The oceans were colder, and could hold less dissolved CO2, so they outgassed it to the atmosphere.

Trying to delay an ice age by driving up CO2 concentrations is like trying to make the wind blow by spinning the propeller on the little beanie these wieners wear on their pointed heads.

Alex said...

I say we have more to fear from an ice age then more warming. Ice age = death.

Alex said...

Remember CO2 is just one variable in climate. What about sunspot activity, changes in orbital tilt or magnetic field fluctuations? There is so much we don't understand yet - but our self-appointed climate experts claim to have all the answers.

Alex said...

The greenie in the article:

But it's missing the point, because where we're going is not maintaining our currently warm climate but heating it much further, and adding CO2 to a warm climate is very different from adding it to a cold climate.

"The rate of change with CO2 is basically unprecedented, and there are huge consequences if we can't cope with that."


Really unprecedented? How does HE know that?

Don't Tread 2012 said...

There are known knowns.
There are known unknowns.
There are unknown unknowns.

I have never been more convinced that these people represented in this article really don't know what they are talking about.

Even it there were solid science behind any of these claims, the next step would be to challenge them over and over again.

Richard Dolan said...

Instapundit featured a story a week or so ago, dealing with the way in which a sphere having non-uniform conditions over its surface radiates energy. It seems (according to the article) that climate models do not account for the distinction. The author contends that non-uniformity (i.e., a rotating one side night, one side day sphere, having an atmosphere that is non-uniform over its surface (more clouds here than there, differences in atmospheric chemistry here from there, etc.)), impacts the radiation of energy, in a way that causes the models to underestimate the energy lost by being radiated into space. By overestimating the energy retained, the models overestimate the heat potential going forward, particularly over long time lines.

I have no idea whether the article's author was correct. But it underscores the point that the climate system is very complicated indeed, and that linear projections (more CO2 = more X) are unlikely to turn our right in a multi-variable system that is non-linear as to any one such variable.

Scott M said...

By overestimating the energy retained, the models overestimate the heat potential going forward, particularly over long time lines.

Didn't NASA (that space agency we used to have...you remember...the one that went to the moon?) confirm that the models had significantly underestimated the rate at which heat escapes into space? Late last year, if I remember correctly.

MadisonMan said...

It would not surprise me if the treatment of clouds caused problems in Climate Models, as their prediction is not great.

I would be surprised if atmospheric chemistry mucked up a Climate Model. As far as I know, the atmosphere is very well mixed, so gaseous components will not vary much.

traditionalguy said...

Our New Scientists are Merlin the Magician types casting scinece words as spells and our demanding money...all of our money.

CO2 gas has zero effect on anything except plant growth. THERE IS NO HEAT TRAPPING by trace CO2 gas.

This is BS made out of BS and couched as reason.

Chip Ahoy said...

There is one nagging thing that puts me on the side of the climatologists if not on the side of their politics.

We are told that following the formation of planet Earth there was no oxygen at all in the atmosphere. Finally plankton oxygenated the atmosphere. And I'm sitting there going, "What? those tiny things changed the whole atmosphere?" There were a lot of them.

If organisms changed the atmosphere once due to being so widespread, is it so strange to imagine organisms changing it again when they become widespread? I am forced to think, no it is not strange to imagine that.

joated said...

Oh, please! The human contribution to atmospheric CO2 is so miniscule as to be meaningless. The real player in this whole thing--and perhaps the ONLY player--is our dear old Sol. (Although I wouldn't quite toss out ocean currents and continental/plate movements.) And there's not a damn thing we can do about it either except what we've always done: adapt or move.

Levi Starks said...

Next big story: "Global warming so severe that it threatens to make impending ice age even worse"

timmaguire42 said...

In theory, global warming is mankind's greatest achievement for precisely the reason they give--civilization will not survive the next ice age and delaying it should be official UN policy.

I think it's wonderful that they know the exact atmospheric carbon level that will prevent the ice age. That certainly simplifies things.

timmaguire42 said...

Chip, I'm with you part way. I can accept that we are changing the chemical composition of the atmosphere and, in doing so, are changing the heat exchange values, thus changing the heat content of the planet.

However, we cannot know the degree to which we are changing it or the direction in which we are changing it (because of the many poorly understood feedback mechanisms on our planet).

So we're faced with a choice: put all our chits in one basket and bankrupt ourselves trying to prevent one possible outcome, or marshal our strengths to cope with whatever change comes our way (because change will come, it always has and it always will).

I may have doubts about AGW, but I do not have doubts about which path an intelligent society would follow.

The problem is not that AGW is wrong (which it may or may not be), but that environmentalists are wrong even if AGW is right.

Indigo Red said...

Alex said...
I say we have more to fear from an ice age then more warming. Ice age = death.

1/9/12 11:32 AM


Oh, pish! Humans will be just fine in the next Ice Age. Japanese scientists at the appropriately named Kinki University announced last January they will be able to resurrect the Woolly Mammoth from DNA extracted from a frozen specimen found in Siberia in five or six years. And we already know how to make sharp pointy sticks, so killing them again won't be a problem. We'll be fine.

ABC link

Jose_K said...

Greenhouse gases:
Water vapour : The sun and the seas
Methane:organic product.

Life gas:
Breathed by plants to produce 02,CO2

n.n said...

If they're right, then the AGW/AGCC/"climate disruption" agenda is designed to facilitate the return of an ice age, which would destroy the civilizations that are a progressive distance from the equator.

Now their motivations are made clear. They start with stripping the product of our labor (e.g. capital), then they wait for nature's wrath to lay waste to our agriculture, economy, and civilization.

I have often wondered how the most powerful nation on Earth would be brought to heel. I would have thought we followed the historical path where moral decline was progressive and collapse inevitable. I guess the people behind the global warming agenda have grown weary of Americans' resistance and impatient to pillage America.

Yet another claim to knowledge of an incompletely, and likely insufficiently, characterized system, based on limited, circumstantial evidence. I would question the faith of religious people, before that adhered to by this class of secular zealots.

Maguro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maguro said...

Ah, so the next ice age would've begun in 1,500 years, but now it won't because of global warming.

Um...OK. Whatever happened to the idea that science is based on developing a falsifiable hypothesis and checking it against real results? Are supposed to check in in 1,500 years to see if this this guy was full of shit or not?

How are these people any different from sideshow fortune-tellers, besides being taxpayer-funded?

Paul said...

Now ain't that a gas. So if Al Gore was right and we did his bidding (and he made BILLIONS) the whole world would be plunged into an ice age.

So either way, right or wrong, Al was wrong.

Now ain't that a gas!

Rusty said...

MadisonMan said...


I would be surprised if atmospheric chemistry mucked up a Climate Model. As far as I know, the atmosphere is very well mixed, so gaseous components will not vary much.




Except where there is a volacano, they tend to radically skew the readings.

Victor Erimita said...

I can see there are a lot of skeptics (e.g., Deniers) commenting here. But as for me, the science is settled. The debate is over. It is clearly the moral duty of all of us to produce as much CO2 as we possibly can to avert the next ice age. Everyone should buy the largest SUV they can find and drive it a lot. Scowl at your neighbor's Prius (how can these people be so flagrantly unethical? Don't they know they need to be increasing their carbon footprint to save The Planet?) Earth Firsters, please report to your nearest Prius dealer , equipped with Molotov cocktails. Unsustainable energy sources such as solar and wind must be scrapped. Sustainable energy sources, especially coal, need to be subsidized with massive government graft, I mean investment. The new "green" means "not white," as in Ice Age white. Textbooks and public school curricula need to be changed. Warm weather species (especially fuzzy, cute ones) need to be put on the endangered species list, so we can sue industries that don't produce sufficient amounts of carbon.

We can do this together.