Climate Science Glossary

Term Lookup

Enter a term in the search box to find its definition.

Settings

Use the controls in the far right panel to increase or decrease the number of terms automatically displayed (or to completely turn that feature off).

Term Lookup

Settings


All IPCC definitions taken from Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Working Group I Contribution to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Annex I, Glossary, pp. 941-954. Cambridge University Press.

Home Arguments Software Resources Comments The Consensus Project Translations About Donate

Twitter Facebook YouTube Pinterest

RSS Posts RSS Comments Email Subscribe


Climate's changed before
It's the sun
It's not bad
There is no consensus
It's cooling
Models are unreliable
Temp record is unreliable
Animals and plants can adapt
It hasn't warmed since 1998
Antarctica is gaining ice
View All Arguments...



Username
Password
Keep me logged in
New? Register here
Forgot your password?

Latest Posts

Archives

Sun & climate: moving in opposite directions

What the science says...

Select a level... Basic Intermediate Advanced

In the last 35 years of global warming, sun and climate have been going in opposite directions.

Climate Myth...

It's the sun
"Over the past few hundred years, there has been a steady increase in the numbers of sunspots, at the time when the Earth has been getting warmer. The data suggests solar activity is influencing the global climate causing the world to get warmer." (BBC)

Over the last 35 years the sun has shown a slight cooling trend. However global temperatures have been increasing. Since the sun and climate are going in opposite directions scientists conclude the sun cannot be the cause of recent global warming.

The only way to blame the sun for the current rise in temperatures is by cherry picking the data. This is done by showing only past periods when sun and climate move together and ignoring the last few decades when the two are moving in opposite directions. 


Figure 1: Annual global temperature change (thin light red) with 11 year moving average of temperature (thick dark red). Temperature from NASA GISS. Annual Total Solar Irradiance (thin light blue) with 11 year moving average of TSI (thick dark blue). TSI from 1880 to 1978 from Krivova et al 2007 (data). TSI from 1979 to 2009 from PMOD (see the PMOD index page for data updates).

Last updated on 22 February 2014 by LarryM. View Archives

Printable Version  |  Offline PDF Version  |  Link to this page

Related Arguments

Further viewing

Comments

Prev  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  Next

Comments 551 to 600 out of 967:

  1. Usoskin et al (2005) relies on Mann et al (1999) and Mann and Jones (2003) for temperature reconstructions. Unfortunately, the work of both Mann and Jones have since been discredited. Therefore, it would be appropriate to discredit Usoskin's paper.

    To understand the link between solar insolation and global climate, one must first understand what sunspots represent, and why they track so well with mean atmospheric temperatures.

    Sunspots appear when the sun's magnetic field begins to flip, as it does for some unknown reason every nine to thirteen years (the famous 11-year solar cycle). The sunspots are regions of magnetic disturbances (irregularities) which correlate with distortions in the sun's corona, with solar flares and with coronal mass ejections.

    The lay person could view sunspots like holes in a giant cosmic sprinkler system -- each spot spews enormous amounts of energy out into the solar system. The law of conservation of mass and energy require the entire solar system to either heat or cool, depending on the number and duration of sunspots, and the total solar equivalent energy output. However, the exact energy variability is not yet quantified. Data from satellites like SOHO and STEREO and ULYSSES are still under analysis, and won't yield science applicable to climate change for at least another 10 years.

    In the meantime, ice core data has already indicated temperatures over the past 600,000 years have increased (on average) about 800 years before CO2 started to increase. It is hard to argue any CO2 increase caused global warming to occur some 800 years BEFORE it began.

    Most of the world’s CO2 is actually not in the atmosphere, it is dissolved in the oceans. When global temperatures increase, the oceans give up some of their CO2, outgassing it into the atmosphere and increasing atmospheric concentrations. The amount of CO2 thus "outgassed" is far greater than the total CO2 produced by all anthropogenic sources combined. Mean atmospheric CO2 concentration would seem to be a good proxy for mean global ocean temperature.

    Most climate scientists today agree that some external force (the sun, changes in the Earth’s tilt and rotation, etc) caused past global temperature increases, which were then followed by increases in atmospheric CO2.

    Declaring the change in CO2 (0.01%) significant, while ignoring the change in solar insolation (0.1%) as insignificant is equivalent to scientific malfeasance.
  2. No, Ned. I followed the links provided at the top of this thread.
  3. Johno,
    please point me to any scientific paper claiming that the forcing leading to the glacial-interglacial cycles has been CO2. It's astonishing how this trivial mistake keeps hanging around.
  4. Johno writes: No, Ned. I followed the links provided at the top of this thread.

    Odd. The quote you cite appears to be from Lockwood 2010, which just came out. Google only has two references to that quote, one from the 2010 paper itself and one from a very recent commentary about it.

    I don't doubt you, but could you tell us which of the links at the top of the thread has that quote?
  5. Johno, the warming/CO2 lag in the ice cores is very well understood, and has been discussed in great detail on this site. You really ought to spend some time reading this site. A few relevant posts:

    Why does CO2 lag temperature?

    The significance of the CO2 lag

    You can find more by typing the word "lag" into the Search box at the upper left.

    Likewise, we are all very familiar with the fact that "Most of the world’s CO2 is actually not in the atmosphere, it is dissolved in the oceans." This is the source of part of the CO2/temperature feedback, which amplified the Pleistocene glacial/interglacial cycles. However, it's quite clear that the oceans are currently a sink rather than a source for atmospheric CO2. See here

    Is the long-term trend in CO2 caused by warming of the oceans?

    CO2 is [not] coming from the oceans

    See also Takahashi 2009 and Sabine 2004.

    Finally, you end with the following comment: Declaring the change in CO2 (0.01%) significant, while ignoring the change in solar insolation (0.1%) as insignificant is equivalent to scientific malfeasance.

    With all due respect, you have that seriously confused. CO2 is increasing by about 1% per year, and will double before the end of this century.

    If you're referring to the absolute concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, that's completely irrelevant. I'm not sure what source led you to think that is significant ... but you should probably discount anything else that source is telling you, because it's just plain wrong.
  6. One more point... Johno writes: Most climate scientists today agree that some external force (the sun, changes in the Earth’s tilt and rotation, etc) caused past global temperature increases, which were then followed by increases in atmospheric CO2.

    That's true of some past climate changes, but not others. See the discussion in this thread. There have been quite a few times when changes in climate were driven by changes in CO2.

    You might also be interested in Richard Alley's AGU presentation CO2: The Biggest Control Knob: Carbon Dioxide in Earth's Climate History
  7. Dear scientists

    I am not a scientist, just into financial analysis and statistics with a strong intrest into how the sceptical science progress works with regard to AGW.

    I would like to challenge you with the following hypothesis with regard to the amplitude of solar forcing in the current climate system.
    Estimations of climate sensitivity based on top-of-atmosphere
    radiation imbalance,
    (Atmos. Chem. Phys., 10, 1923–1930, 2010
    www.atmos-chem-phys.net/10/1923/2010/
    © Author(s) 2010) is the most recent study that I believe will solve much of the problem about the portion of solar forcing as stored in the present climate memory (soil, cryosphere, oceans, etc.).

    From the abstract:

    In this study, the TOA imbalance value of 0.85 W/m2 is used. Note that this imbalance value has large uncertainties. Based on this value, a positive climate feedback with a feedback coefficient ranging from −1.3 to −1.0 W/m2/K is found. The range of feedback coefficient is determined by climate system memory. The longer the memory, the stronger the positive feedback. The estimated time constant of the climate is large (70120 years) mainly owing to the deep ocean heat
    transport, implying that the system may be not in an equilibrium state under the external forcing during the industrial era. For the doubled-CO2 climate (or 3.7W/m2 forcing), the estimated global warming would be 3.1K if the current estimate Correspondence to: B. Lin
    (bing.lin@nasa.gov)
    of 0.85 W/m2 TOA net radiative heating could be confirmed. With accurate long-term measurements of TOA radiation, the analysis method suggested by this study provides a great potential in the estimations of middle-range climate sensitivity.

    From the results:

    Coupled ocean-atmosphere GCM simulations (Hansen et al., 2007) show that the climate response for an instantaneous 2×CO2 forcing reaches 60% of the equilibrium response after 100 years and 90% after 1000 years. The former system response corresponds to a time constant of 109 years, which is consistent with current estimates, while the latter indicates another even bigger time constant of the climate system of about 434 years. This longer time scale may be related to thermohaline circulations of the deep ocean, whose physical processes are beyond the scope of current study.

    It has been discussed that the mainly short-wave radiation originating from direct solar radiation heats the ocean more efficiently than long term radiation from the atmosphere. I don't want to enter into a debagte about that again. So let's assume, the memory for both solar and greenhouse forcing is about the same over time.

    Solar forcing at the beginning of the industrial area was about 1365.3 W/m2, it then increased steadily to reach about 1366.2 W/m2 in 1960. The 2000 forcing is about 1365.8, which makes it an average forcing of about 1366 W/m2 during those 40 years. This means a sustained natural forcing of about 0.7W/m2 above year 1880 affected the climate system between approx. 1950 - 2005. Therefore, even though we are now in a sustained solar minimum, the memory of the climate system resulting from about +0.7W/m2 solar irradiance is now 60 years old. If, according to AOGCMs, only 60% of the equilibrum response is reached after 100 years for CO2 doubling, I deduce at least the same (if not longer periods) are required for an equilibrium response to solar forcing. Assuming, it is the same, it is safe to assume that at least 40% of the current, estimated radiative imbalance of 0.85W/m2 since 1880 is due to solar forcing. Why? 0.28W response is given after 100 years and later, this leaves a minimum of 0.35W in the memory after 60 years, in 2010. This leaves 0.5W/m2 owing to human forcings, not 0.85W/m2 as "committed" atmospheric warming resulting from human activities for the future. Since, with its logarithmic effect, we reached roughly 1.6W/m2 forcing since the beginning of ia. Subtractingg 0.5W/m2, this leaves 1.1W/m2 to increase temperature of the atmosphere. So with model average beeing S=3°C for 2xCO2eq (3.7W/m2), temperature increase owing to human radiative forces should be roughly +0.9°C from surface to TOA. Even IF this is the case and can be measured soon, it will take 1000 years to reach 90% of the 3°C increase for 2xCO2, remember?
  8. climatepatrol, the Earth's energy imbalance is still increasing, which it cannot be doing if the your hypothesis is correct. See the post Climate Time Lag.
  9. Thank you for your reply. I don't understand your reasoning on this, but I realised that I took the entire solar constant into my back of the envelope calculation. I corrected it below:

    Solar forcing at the beginning of the industrial area was about 1365.3 W/m2, it then increased steadily to reach about 1366.2 W/m2 in 1960. The 2000 forcing is about 1365.8, which makes it an average forcing of about 1366 W/m2 during those 40 years.

    The average solar forcing reaching the earth at any particular time and weather and place is 240 W/m2 according to http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/2007/ .

    I divide the figures used in comment "*558 by 5.8.


    Therefore, even though we are now in a sustained solar minimum, the memory of the climate system resulting from about +0.12W/m2 solar irradiance is now 60 years old. If, according to AOGCMs, only 60% of the equilibrum response is reached after 100 years for CO2 doubling, I deduce at least the same (if not longer periods) are required for an equilibrium response to solar forcing. Assuming, it is the same, it is safe to assume that at least ...% of the current, estimated radiative imbalance of 0.85W/m2 since 1880 is due to solar forcing. Why? 0.05W response is given after 100 years and later, this leaves a minimum of 0.06W in the memory after 60 years, in 2010. This leaves 0.79 W/m2 owing to human forcings, not 0.85W/m2, as "committed" atmospheric warming resulting from human activities for the future. Since, with its logarithmic effect, we reached roughly 1.6 W/m2 forcing since the beginning of ia. Subtracting 0.79 W/m2, this leaves 0.81 W/m2 to increase temperature of the atmosphere. So with model average beeing S=3°C for 2xCO2eq (3.7W/m2), temperature increase owing to human radiative forces should be roughly +0.65°C from surface to TOA.
  10. In reading through this string of posts there seems to be a complete lack of understanding (both experts and non-experts) regarding the physics of energy transfer from the Sun to the Earth. Solar forcing must include more than simply TSI.

    We have barely begun to quantify the interaction between the solar wind and the magnetosphere, which transfers highly variable amounts of energy to the earth's climate system. While early estimates indicated this energy exchange was negligible in comparison to TSI (only a few watts per square meter), it is NOT negligible compared to the assumed forcing of anthropogenic CO2 in earth's atmosphere (also a few watts per square meter).

    Until these phenomena have been successfully observed, measured and monitored for several decades, it will be impossible to adequately account for CO2 forcing.
  11. Johno, do you mean "adequately" account for CO2 forcing, or 'exactly'.........

    If you're trying to say - and until then we should do nothing based on on our current limited understanding - then you're failing to understand science generally.

    In the medical sciences, prescriptions and procedures are tried out, and adjusted when necessary. In the social sciences, economics models and projections are commonly used despite no-one understanding if or when any projection will ever be reliable.

    Life isn't mathematics. Science isn't mathematics. You want absolute certainty? Stick with maths, avoid science.
  12. For those interested in my previous post, the following sources lay a good foundation for understanding our current studies regarding solar energy transfer to the earth's climate system.

    Read:

    "Quantitative modeling of magnetospheric processes" (Olson, W.P. - American Geophysical Union, 1979)

    This book contains the paper by Paulikas & Blake:

    "Effects of the Solar Wind on Magnetospheric Dynamics: Energetic Electrons at the Synchronous Orbit" (Paulikas, G.A. and Blake, J.B. - pp. 180-202)

    Also, read:

    "Solar Wind Magnetosphere Coupling" (Kamide, Y. and Slavins, J.A.; Terra Scientific Pub. Co., 1986)
  13. @adelady: surely you can't be serious?

    Pharmaceutical companies do not invest trillions of dollars to "try out" a new medicine to "see if it works". Surely you aren't proposing we bankrupt the world's economy and limit future industrial development over an irrational fear? Surely you want action based on proper scientific study and evaluation?

    And while (not "medical sciences") pharmaceutical companies do invest billions of dollars for truly promising cures, they are using their own profits, not my hard-earned income, taken by the government through taxation.

    If you aren't following, then consider the following polemic arguments (as unscientific as AGW):

    AGW proponents seem intent on taking my money to fight global climate change. Nonsense! Stop studying pseudo-science and go get a real job, so I won't have to support you anymore. This applies to Dr. James Hansen as much as anyone. His grasp of climate science is limited to his computer model, which has been unfairly compared with direct observations at the top of this subject string.

    Solar, Wind, and other renewable energy sources will become competitive as fossil fuels run out, and prices for fossil fuels naturally rise. When this happens, atmospheric CO2 levels will necessarily begin to fall.

    The only question is how high will CO2 levels rise before fossil fuels run out? Based on the reading I've done, this seems to be somewhere between 2X and 5X current levels (that's 1500ppm, or 0.15% CO2).

    Just so we're clear, all of the AGW fear-mongering to date has been over 0.008% of the earth's atmosphere (+80ppm of CO2). Until the OCO is launched and collects its data, we don't have any reliable method of estimating changes as small as 0.008% of anything global.

    Again, based on the papers I've read, this would generate mean global temperature increase of no more than 10 degC. The increase would occur slowly, over the course of the next 1000 years. Therefore, predictions of coastal flooding and massive loss of life due to climate change (which happens over a period of decades) are simply sensational and unscientific. There remains a complete lack of any objective scientific data to demonstrate that hurricanes, typhoons, floods, or droughts have increased in either number or severity over the course of the last century.

    However, a 10-degree mean temperature increase coupled with 3-fold CO2 increase would produce ideal growing conditions. Plants would thrive. We'd be faced with battling all weeds the way some battle bamboo or briar patches in rich soil. Since the food chain relies on a strong foundation of plant life, all animals would thrive as well.

    In addition, higher global temperatures could result in preventing or delaying the onset of the next Ice Age -- a highly desirable result. Land animals cannot survive an ice ball planet, and crops will fail if growing seasons are cut short.

    The question is not whether ocean levels will rise, or more flooding and droughts will occur if temperatures are generally higher over the next few centuries; the question is how are we preparing for the coming Ice Age?

    Do we bankrupt our economy chasing after a little hot air, or do we begin investing in technologies to help us survive a dormant Sun?
  14. Johno at 00:36 AM on 5 August, 2010: "However, a 10-degree mean temperature increase coupled with 3-fold CO2 increase would produce ideal growing conditions."

    Since even a 6 degree rise would be disastrous, I think you'll have a very hard time finding anyone to sell those crops to. ;)
  15. Johno, it appears that you need to start reading some of the threads here at Skeptical Science.

    Try these, for starters :

    Models are unreliable

    We're heading into an ice age

    It's not bad

    CO2 measurements are suspect

    Hanson's 1998 prediction was wrong

    Animals and plants can adapt to Global Warming

    The rest of the arguments are here
  16. Agreed with JMurphy's comment.

    Johno, it's generally better to stick with one or two topics in a given comment, rather than tossing in economics, taxation, climate models, climate sensitivity, the fact that CO2 is a small fraction of the mass of the atmosphere, reliability of CO2 measurements, climate change impacts, the CO2/primary productivity relationship, ice ages, and solar irradiance.

    Throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks doesn't lead to very productive discussions.
  17. Johno, pharmaceutical companies spend vast amounts of money "seeing if it works."

    "It isn't happening and it's good for us" is not very persuasive, leaving aside your contrarian liturgy of wrongness. It leaves me wondering why you're so passionate about proving the case for AGW wrong if you're so keen on it happening.

    You also might take a look at the Stern Review w/regard to costs and benefits of mitigation. Though criticized in a way remindful of critiques of climate change science, it still has the virtue of existence, something its critics have not been able to address with their own implementation.
  18. By the way, Johno's entry to this thread and subsequent arc of discussion was truly classic. Arrogant but otherwise science-related premise leading to a screed about "my money" attached to a myriad of misinformation.

    An old story but useful. If somebody ends up talking about their money they're not really interested in science and wasting further time in discussion is probably pointless.
  19. Good thing I've kept it short then. ;)
  20. Considering previous time periods with higher concentrations of CO2, I have a few questions. During these times (pick any period) we see larger, widespread plant life. This plethora of vegetation leads to larger animals (dinosaurs). Could someone explain how more plant life due to increased CO2 levels - which provides more food for animals - is a bad scenario? If animal life has benefitted from increased CO2 levels in the past, why is there a negative reaction to increases in CO2 in our current time period? It's assumed that common knowledge of ice age periods lead to a reduction in biological populations. Should this be the real fear instead of warming?
    Response: The difference between the past and now is the sun was much cooler in past periods of high CO2. Currently, we're heading towards high CO2 and high solar output. As it gets hotter, drought severity increases (it's been increasing over the last century). This has a significant impact on plant growth and agriculture.

    As for the fear of an impending ice age, so long as you don't see a huge ice sheet creeping down over Canada, you can rest assured.
  21. GnDoty

    The polar ice caps had melted in many of those warmer periods, which means that the oceans were several tens of meters higher than they are now. Of course that wouldn't be a problem would it? ;o)

    The point is that our agriculture and civilisation has adatped to suit a particular climate. If the climate changes then we have to adapt our agricultre, which can only be done at a cost; a cost that a large proportion of the Earth's population cannot afford (as they are already at subsitence level or worse). Even if overall productivity goes up, that doesn't mean that it will go up everywhere, so what happens to the countries that find because of first world use of fossil fuels their country can no longer support its population? That wouldn't be a bad scenario perhaps for someone who wanted a world government that oversaw the redistribution of wealth to make sure everyone got enough of that food to live on, but I don't think that would be everybodys cup of tea!

    In short, the change is a problem, regardless of the eventual destination. There is also a risk the destination will be bad in its own right, but it doesn't have to be for climate change to be a problem worth trying to avoid.
  22. GnDoty, that's a good question. The appropriate thread for it is It’s not bad.
  23. "Response: The difference between the past and now is the sun was much cooler in past periods of high CO2. Currently, we're heading towards high CO2 and high solar output. As it gets hotter, drought severity increases (it's been increasing over the last century). This has a significant impact on plant growth and agriculture."

    I am still working towards my geophysics degree so I apologize for the continued questions. In a period with a "much cooler" sun, other than increased volcanic activity, what would be another source that could contribute global increases in CO2 to the point of global warming?I could see ice melting releasing methane and CO2, but wouldn't solar influence be the cause for this to happen? If so, would the origin of of all global warming or cooling be the sun? I understand the complexity of climate changes, but I'm trying to simplify the process to find the origin.
    Response: "what would be another source that could contribute global increases in CO2 to the point of global warming?"

    If I understand you correctly, you're asking what could be causing the rise in CO2 levels other than human activity? We actually have many lines of evidence that clearly point to the burning of fossil fuels causing rising CO2. Firstly, the simple numbers that we're emitting around 28 billion tonnes of CO2 per year while the actual amount of CO2 in the air is going up by around 15 billion tonnes per year. Secondly, the type of carbon in the air matches the type of carbon that comes from fossil fuels - a distinct human fingerprint. Thirdly, we see the same pattern in carbon isotopes in corals - another fossil fuel fingerprint. So there is really only one explanation for the sharp rise in CO2 and it's the common sense explanation - much of the CO2 we're throwing into the air is staying there.
  24. Actually, I think GnDoty has a good question, one which has occurred to me. What caused such high levels of CO2 in the past?"

    I believe the answer is a "DaisyWorld" scenario, described in the CO2 was higher in the past thread - with a lower solar output, glaciers cover the world, and block weathering absorption of CO2 by rocks. Over geologic time, CO2 from continuing volcanos accumulate, until enough ice melts to allow weathering to catch up again. It's a slow feedback cycle.

    I could be wrong, though; I'm certainly not a geologist - I invite corrections if I'm just making things up here :)
  25. "We actually have many lines of evidence that clearly point to the burning of fossil fuels causing rising CO2. "

    Sorry, I should have stated more clearly I was inquiring about past warming cycles with higher CO2 concentrations (with a cooler sun). I think KR posted above providing a potential cause for rising CO2 levels which cause warming with a much cooler sun compared to present. If I understood your first response correctly, previous warming was caused by increased CO2 levels caused by non-solar forces. I'm trying to understand what causes CO2 levels to rise high enough to cause warming (excluding fossil fuels, volcanic activity, and the sun). This also begs the question: if current global warming is caused by solar forces AND CO2, are we not fast-tracking the earth to provide a natural balance as seen in the past (assuming an origin for increased CO2 is the sun).
  26. GnDoty - you can't ignore volcanic sources of CO2 over the (very) long haul.

    Temperatures are related to both CO2 and solar input, as described on CO2 was higher in the past.

    The difficulty now is that we're adding CO2 at an extremely high rate by geologic standards, and the geological weathering feedback and other CO2 sinks are too slow to keep up. We're entering a new domain, as described on On temperature and CO2 in the past. I'm not looking forward to the temperature catching up with current CO2 and solar levels...
  27. I'd be interested in data on current CO2 output caused by fossil fuels versus the CO2 output of an active volcanic period. Both rapidly increase CO2 levels. Would everyone agree that if the output was similar, the earth and life would simply adapt as it has before? This is assuming we as a species will advance technologically to the point of becoming far less dependent on fossil fuels.

    In my opinion, we can't come to any realistic conclusion when too many variables such as solar influence are not fully understood. This leads a person with an open mind like me to wonder why such drastic measures are being proposed when the situation is still not factually conclusive.
    Response: Here is a comparison of CO2 levels and volcanic activity. The 3 largest volcanic eruptions over the past 50 years had an almost negligible effect on CO2 levels:


  28. GnDoty, if a tree falls in the forest and nobody is there, nobody can be crushed by the tree. We've no experience with having 7+ billion people on the Earth during (for instance) the Deccan flood basalt events, which in any case took far longer to mutate the climate than what we're doing.

    I'm a firm believer that we're not going to go extinct any more than are cockroaches, but by ignoring what we're doing we're going to end up living a little bit more like cockroaches. Why would we want to do that? Folks raising their hands "aye" to enjoying our present living standard should pay heed. Just ask President Medvedev of Russia. He's got a fresh perspective on "adaptation."
  29. GnDoty - read Do volcanoes emit more CO2 than humans for some info on relative CO2 rates.

    Volcanoes emit at a time averaged ~1% of current human rates - they aren't similar.

    As to solar influence - that's really pretty well understood. It's been decreasing since the 1970's, but over geologic/cosmic time it's been brightening, as per its life cycle. Stellar evolution is considered to be very well understood - we've got, after all, billions of examples to look at.

    There's a nice image of the solar life-cycle on Wikipedia.
  30. I have been reading many of the posts here and must admit I am a layman in terms of climatology, however, has anyone looked into comparing the density of atmospheric gasses/atmosphere/atmospheric ceiling over time?. As I understand it, Low earth orbit debris has been increasing due to a lower atmospheric ceiling, and if it is due to a lower ceiling/upper atmosphere density has the atmosphere increased in pressure or been absorbed somwhere else? (co2 into the ocean possibly? methane reacting with UV?). Now if the aforementioned where true, would it not be a similar scenario to how a refrigerator functions in that the denser gas acts as an insulator retaining the heat then as it is decompressed/expands it cools by realising the heat energy (like an aerosol can)?.. as i have previously stated I am a complete novice and apologise for not being able to submit any sources, this comment is intended more as food for thought than anything else and will most likely barking up the wrong tree altogether!
  31. What I am trying to articulate (badly) is the overall constitution of atmospheric gas density and thermal retention - is there a correlation there?
  32. Eg. atmospheric density affecting solar absorbtion rates
  33. http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2000/ast30may_1m/

    Apologies for spamming the forums! heres one source that discusses the low earth orbit/atmospheric friction/ solar activity
  34. sun tzu @ 580

    No harm in being a layman in anything. All of us were at one time.

    Remember the atmosphere is layered, like an onion. Forces that act on one layer may, or may not, act upon an adjacent one. Increasing CO2 exerts its main influence in the upper troposphere, the lowest layer, causing it to warm. Lack of energy being transmitted upward from the troposphere to the stratosphere means the stratosphere cools (which is measured by satellites).

    When layers cool, they can compress, thinning somewhat. Recent UV output from the sun has been declining, causing the thermosphere, one of the outer layers of the Earth's atmosphere, to compress downward, to a record low thickness. The net effect of this compression is less atmospheric drag on our communication & research satellites in low Earth orbit (which extends their service lifetime - bonus!).

    Note that changing energy levels of the various layers of the atmosphere or their thicknesses has no effect on the mass of the column of air above any point on the Earth (which is what determines the local air pressure).

    Atmospheric physics is a complex area of study. Even experts in it get confused sometimes (or tripped by the D-K Effect). For an introductory starting point, try start here first, then go here, then go here to figure out where to go next.

    Wiki, surprisingly, is a good source as well. Once you know what to type in, anyway (Catch-22: you have to know enough to search for what to learn about next, but how do you search if you're a complete beginner?).

    Hope this helps,

    The Yooper
  35. Thanks for the reply, actually the above question stemmed from reading a book by Sir Patrick Moore called 'Astronomy' where he briefly covered solar activity and the effects on the thermosphere (I am currently starting to study Astronomy and astrophysics as a past time and found it to be a great starting point!). The reason I considered the atmospheric effect is we have been undergoing a mild period of cooling over the last couple of years whilst the upper atmospheric altitude is apparently reduced. It occured to me that another effect of this is, if the atmosphere has a smaller diameter then is it logical that the planets solar foot print is also smaller meaning more solar energy just keeps on going through space rather than getting absorbed by atmospheric gasses?.. Another area I dont think I have seen mentioned on here is the question of why are the planet Mars Ice caps also receeding? is this in some way linked to our own warming or is it simply a matter of Mars orbit in realtion to the sun? has anyone been able to reference Martian Polar recession with our own warming cycles in relation to its proximity to the sun?... Im not 100% in favour of 'The sun did it' as there are many many other areas that affect global climate, Deforestation of the rain forests, Methane, CO2 Emissions, Atmospheric particulates, Atomic Testing infact a whole load of variables.. however, it does occur to me that perhaps CO2 is more an effect than a cause? eg CO2 release due to polar ice decay, Deforestation etc... I would hate to describe myself as a 'tree hugger' but from what I can tell perhaps everyone in both camps might be right here increased carbon gasses and solar activity may both have a role to play in global warming, amongst many many other variables!... another thought as well is the icecaps are receeding then doesnt that put alot more cold water at the bottom of the oceans too? and im guessing that might in someway cause for carbon release?

    Anyhow, looks like i have a few years worth of reading, experimenting and computer modelling to go lol... All I can say is Im half between 'Tax on Co2' being a government attempt to charge more for less resources (charge more for fuel and electricity whilst not having to invest in infrastructure for the ever growing global population,peak oil etc, after all Climategate has done the scientific community no favours at all either way) and a very serious genuine problem that needs to be addressed urgently yet is being cashed in on by unscupulous politicians and glory seeking scare mongerers!..anyhow, thanks for the excellent reply and will get thinking, researching and trying to test some ideas out!
  36. Another thought in a devils advocate kind of way is perhaps there are just too many people? is there a correlation between warming and population both in the more technologically advanced/dependent societies and some of the less industrialised nations? could sewerage/carbon cycling of crops be a major factor? eg. biomass stores co2 and would traditionally store it, however its now being consumed with some of the co2/methane being released prematurely? could crops also affect the heat absorbing properties of the earths surface?..anyhow.. the questions are endless lol..
  37. sun tzu wrote : "...we have been undergoing a mild period of cooling over the last couple of years..."


    Have we ? Having seen this year so far break most global temperature records, it would be interesting to see how you came up with that particular statement. Where did you get it from ? Or is it something you worked out yourself ? If so, what information did you use ?


    Here are some other threads on this site, to do with other matters you have included in your post :

    Mars is not warming globally

    Land use

    CO2 coming from the ocean

    CO2 is the main driver of climate change

    It's the sun

    Climategate 'conspiracy'
  38. thanks Jim, its more looking for answers to some personal observations (theres so much conflicting information on temperature statistics and other environmental information its difficult to choose which ones are genuine and statistically stable or otherwise!)and I do not profess to be an expert at all.. I'll have a read of those threads
    Thanks again
  39. Actually, got another question, Jim asked where did I get my data from which lead me to ask, where does everyone else get their data from? is there an unbiased neutral source of climate data available with reference to Earths average temperature? Ive had a good look around the internet (must be accurate!) and theres alot of conflicting information out there all cited by 'credible' sources!
  40. just for the record I am not denying or admitting that I consider global warming or regional warming/cooling (altering the global statistics) to be occuring, The question is how much of it is man made? how much of it is a natural cycle, and if either is the case is one accelerating the other? and does nature have a counter balance? however for every argument I have read there are an equal number of counter arguments which usually end up in slanging matches with lots of opposing data being thrown around. It occurs to me that there are far too many motives both commercially, governmental, or in terms of attention seeking scare mongering in order to secure funding and the whole subject of research into climate change is completely polluted with its own hot air. Basically from what I have read between it all is CO2 and other gasses are being released at a greater rate than at any other time in recorded history and the averages of global temperature over a given period show a relatively rapid increase in warming. The bit that gets me is that every time I try to find out atmospheric concentrations of CO2 or global average temperatures (its a starting point, some places seem get colder others hotter seasonally) im confronted by a whole array of wildly differing information! the overal summary as a layman is 'we jsut dont know the answer to why the place is getting warmer but its highly likely to be related to the increase in certain atmospheric gasses as a result of mans activity, however not every one agrees on this!' I might be wrong or right and I am not a scientist, but from someone trying to casually research the subject I find that I am continually going around in circles with out any clear answers!
  41. suntzu, you could start with WIKIPEDIA, which will give you all the available sources of temperature readings, where you will see how all of them agree on an upward trend :

    Instrumental temperature record

    Why not look further from there, or from another thread on this site :

    Are surface temperature records reliable?

    There are three versions to look at in the above, depending on how much detail you are looking for.

    You still haven't said where you got your information concerning the "mild period of cooling over the last couple of years". Can you reveal all, to me or Jim...
  42. sun tzu, stick to the science and the peer-reviewed literature, rather than opinion on blogs. There is plenty of information on this site :

    Start Here

    There is also plenty of information (and many sources) here :

    IPCC Summary for Policymakers

    Why aren't you more forthcoming as to the sources of your information ? Provide a few examples of where contrary information is being given that you believe is as believable as any of the information you find on this site.
  43. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8299079.stm

    http://www.canadafreepress.com/2004/deweese121404.htm

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/7369339/New-evidence-for-man-made-global-warming.html

    http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20091123115037AAItLGF

    they are not scientific sources although they do cite them selves as such, however given the massive number of variables at play in the overal arena of 'warming' or 'cooling' whos to say they are any more accurate than anyone elses opinions? im sure next week will be another startling media discovery or discreditation to do with climate anomolies... from where Im sitting with the information presented to me via these forums, the internet as a whole not to mention having lived in many locations around the globe and witnessed first hand from real people discussing the way in which their environments have changed, eg lack of snow on peaks, reservoir depletion and also the opposite too, snow storms, floods etc all of which where loclalised events but none the less at each place I have been to every one seemed to agree that one way or another something is changing percevably with the climate. anyhow, I could fire up a supercomputer and feed lots of stats in and see what the results tell me, but even so, if I miss so much as one variable or miscalculate or use inaccurate results im going to be back at square one with 'im not sure'... however theres a good chance its this...
  44. ps. that was just a small cross section of some of the media reports etc, im not quoting any of them specifically
  45. more to the point, without citing other people stats or research, what do you think is the cause behind climate fluctuations and why?
  46. my personal unaided view is chopping down the amazon, solar activity and increased agruculture have alot to answer for!
  47. "more to the point, without citing other people stats or research, what do you think is the cause behind climate fluctuations and why?"

    If you discount stats and research (ie, science), you're pretty much left with anecdotal data. Why, in this day and age, anyone would think that anecdotal data has any real standing in science amazes me. Looking for science information in the media also seems suspect to me. I'm not a climatologist, but I am a scientist, and the number of times that the media has gotten things wrong in areas I do know about are depressing.
  48. sun tzu, I see where you are being side-tracked now.
    From your links :

    The BBC one is a blog post from a year ago;
    The Canada Free Post one is an Opinion piece from 6 years ago;
    The Telegraph article (by an Environmental reporter) is about a report, published in Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews Climate Change, which confirms what you could find by sticking to the actual science;
    The Yahoo Answers link is not worth the paper it's not printed on !


    Don't rely on blogs, opinion or the mass media. Try the links I gave above, plus :

    Scientific American

    The Discovery of Global Warming

    Science

    Science News

    Science Daily

    Physics World

    New Scientist

    Nature

    National Academies, and here

    Knight Science Journalism Tracker

    Climate Central

    Climate Data
  49. sun tzu - MORE to the point - why should any consideration be given to uninformed opinion?

    What affecting climate... well without moving the earth's plates around you have four ways to influence climate.

    1 solar - amount and distribution. Stable or dropping
    2 aerosol - stable
    3 albedo - actually replacing forest by agriculture increases albedo and so a net cooling affect.
    4 GHG - increasing and unsurprisingly, so is temperature.
  50. thanks, after reading up on it and starting to understand the basics im pretty much sold on the CO2 and greenhouse gas as the prime candidates.. only problem is, it seems so many people want to blame it on something that wont hit their profit margins, not to mention all the media and blog sensationalism pushing the general consensun to the point of denial. Anyhow, thank you very much for taking the time to reply to my posts. I also found this link to be a source of great information :
    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climatechange/
    However I cant help but feel that a very real problem is being used as an excuse to keep energy company shareholders happy - charge more for less - after all... its saving the world lol

Prev  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  Next

Post a Comment

Political, off-topic or ad hominem comments will be deleted. Comments Policy...

You need to be logged in to post a comment. Login via the left margin or if you're new, register here.

Link to this page



The Consensus Project Website

TEXTBOOK

THE ESCALATOR

(free to republish)

THE DEBUNKING HANDBOOK

BOOK NOW AVAILABLE

The Scientific Guide to
Global Warming Skepticism

Smartphone Apps

iPhone
Android
Nokia

© Copyright 2014 John Cook
Home | Links | Translations | About Us | Contact Us