Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Mike Thomas in the February 10th Orlando Sentinel:
The science of global warming has arrived at a conclusion, which all data must now accommodate.

Unfortunately, it sometimes does not.

You may recall that in his movie, An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore noted nine of the 10 hottest recorded years have occurred since 1995. That's what the NASA data showed until a blogger crunched the agency's data and found out it made a mistake.

In fact, six of the 10 hottest years came before 1954, with the 1930s being particularly toasty. Ever hear of the Dust Bowl?

There has been much alarm about Greenland melting and drowning Florida. Feeding this are images of rapidly melting glaciers. They were melting quickly between 2000 and 2005. But since then the melting has slowed to what is considered a normal level.

Researchers from the Los Alamos National Laboratory discovered that the rate of warming in Greenland between 1920 and 1930 was 50 percent higher than today. And the glaciers were smaller.

Ice cores taken from a Russian research site in the Antarctic reveal that when you go back in time, the theory of global warming seems to put the cart before the horse. We are told that greenhouse gases build up and cause temperatures to rise.

But an analysis of the ice cores shows the temperature goes up first, followed by an increase in greenhouse gases. The heat is triggered by other natural phenomenon, such as solar radiation. This heats up the ocean, which releases carbon dioxide.

The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere right now actually is downright paltry compared with what it has been during Earth's history.

I could go on and on. Most all scientists agree the world has gotten warmer.

But many distinguished scientists think the evidence blaming humans is either bogus, incomplete or not overwhelming enough to think we are a significant part of a problem.

I have gone from being a believer to being a global-warming agnostic. I think we are having some impact but am not convinced how much of one. I remain receptive to arguments from both sides.

Global warming is a science in which imperfect data are plugged into imperfect models by too many scientists looking for the same conclusion.
(via Planet Gore)

1 comment:

OBloodyHell said...

> This heats up the ocean, which releases carbon dioxide.

Not to dispute any other aspect of the thesis, but this is almost certainly inaccurate.

A warmer fluid should hold more dissolved CO2 than a cooler fluid.

That's one of the reasons a soda which has been freshly chilled is more likely to "explode" when opened than a warm one -- the pressurized container keeps it in solution despite the cooler temperature, but eliminate the pressurization and it expands in-place, creating foam and overflowing the bottle and getting you yelled at by whoever you spilled it on.

Further, as melting freshwater ice flows into the oceans, it distinctly increases the ocean's total capacity for CO2 storage, leading towards lower CO2 in the atmosphere as the atmospheric CO2 goes into solution in the oceans until there is a balance. It's an interesting negative-feedback balancing system. If it gets warmer due to CO2, the warmth itself triggers increased CO2 storage by natural methods of "carbon capping" -- likewise, increased CO2 leads to increased plant growth, which leads to more of it being sequestered as plant detritus.

I'm not claiming I've studied it at all, and the above might be wrong for subtle reasons outside those I've mentioned, but the above is what the basic chemistry will tell you.

Whatever the source of the increase of CO2, I strongly suspect that it's not the warming of water. My first guess would be that perhaps whatever warms the earth also triggers a small but distinct increase in volcano activity... that sounds as though it makes sense, and it would not take much of that to increase the CO2 in the air. I'd think that would also increase sulphur dioxide levels which ought to show up in ice cores, too.