Is more CO2 beneficial for Earth's ecosystems?

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 15:47 GMT le 20 novembre 2009

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We should emit as much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as possible and oppose efforts to regulate CO2 emissions, because more CO2 is good for the Earth. That's the take-home message of an audacious TV ad that was run this fall by the advocacy group, CO2isgreen.com. "Higher CO2 levels than we have today would help the Earth's ecosystems, and support more plant and animal life", the ad proclaims.

It's the brainchild of H. Leighton Steward, a retired oil industry executive, and Corbin J. Robertson, Jr., chief executive and leading shareholder in Natural Resource Partners, a Houston-based owner of coal resources that lets other companies mine, in return for royalties. According to an article in the Washington Post, the ad ran this fall in New Mexico and Montana, which have key Congressmen that CO2isgreen.com hopes to sway. The ads form part of a major PR campaign being waged by the fossil fuel industry and its allies in advance of the crucial U.N. Climate Change Conference, which will be held December 7 - 18 in Copenhagen, Denmark. At that meeting, the leaders of the world will gather to negotiate an agreement to replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The new agreement will be the world's road map for dealing with climate change, and the stakes are huge.


Figure 1. Screen shot of the new ad by the advocacy group CO2isgreen.com.

Let's consider the scientific accuracy of the ad's three main points:

1) "Congress is considering a law that would classify CO2 as pollution. This will cost us jobs".
Well, this is a reasonable concern. Fossil fuels represent the foundation upon which modern civilization is built. The marvelous inventions of civilized life that have brought increased health, lifespan, and prosperity to billions of people are largely due to the use of fossil fuels. Regulating CO2 and moving to non-fossil fuel based energy sources won't be cheap or easy, and there is a potential for significant economic harm if our politicians bungle the job. The fossil fuel industry employs millions of people, and some of these jobs will no doubt be lost as new "green" energy sources are developed. However, the longer-term economic benefits of moving to a less fossil fuel-intensive economy, plus the jobs created as a result, must be weighed against the shorter term economic disruption that may occur.

2) "There is no scientific evidence that CO2 is a pollutant".
Webster's dictionary defines a pollutant as "man-made waste that contaminates an environment". Webster's defines "contaminate" as "to make inferior or impure". CO2 is man-made waste, and there is scientific evidence that added CO2 can make our atmosphere "inferior" to its present state, or else the EPA would not be considering regulations. As just one example, when CO2 is dissolved in the oceans, the water grows more acidic. Corals and other creatures that build shells out of calcium carbonate cannot form their shells if the acidity passes a critical level--their shells will dissolve. Thus, for these organisms, CO2 is definitely a pollutant. Several shell-building planktonic organisms, such as coccolithophorids, pteropods, and foraminifera, form an important basis of the food chain in cold ocean waters, and the continued increase in CO2 emissions have many scientists very concerned about a collapse of the oceanic food chain in these regions in coming decades. Presumably, CO2isgreen.com is taking the very narrow view that a pollutant is something that harms human health when breathed. The more important question is, how does CO2 emitted by fossil fuel generation, plus all the effects that come with it, impact human health and the health of Earth's ecosystems?

3) "Higher CO2 levels than we have today would help the Earth's ecosystems, and support more plant and animal life".
It is true that many plants grow faster under enhanced CO2--the so-called "CO2 fertilization effect". Just ask your neighborhood commercial indoor marijuana grower, who probably grows his or her plants in an enhanced CO2 environment. The 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report found that crop yields under unstressed conditions increased by 0 - 25% for a doubling of CO2, and that growth of young tree stands also increased. However, the IPCC noted that ground level ozone pollution will limit the CO2 fertilization effect. Ozone pollution is caused by emissions from fossil fuel burning, and will increase in a warmer world since the chemical reactions that create ozone act more efficiently at higher temperatures. Furthermore, the higher temperatures, increased drought, and increased insect pests that added CO2 is likely to bring to the atmosphere via greenhouse effect warming will induce major stresses to plants that will counteract the CO2 fertilization effect. A 2009 paper by Battisti and Naylor in Science titled, "Historical Warnings of Future Food Insecurity with Unprecedented Seasonal Heat", reported that the 2003 heat wave in Europe--featuring temperatures predicted to be the norm by the end of the century--reduced harvests of fruits and grains by 21 - 36%. The 2007 IPCC report noted, "even slight warming decreases yields in seasonally and low latitude regions". Most of the world's population at risk of starvation live in such regions (e.g., sub-Saharan Africa).

To get more CO2 in the air, we have to mine, transport, and burn fossil fuels, and potentially fight wars to protect them. This creates a host of effects highly detrimental to people and ecosystems:

1) Particle pollution, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides emitted as a result of burning coal and operating motor vehicles cause over $118 billion in health and other damages per year in the U.S., according to a Congressionally-ordered National Academy of Sciences study released last month. The study said this was a "substantial underestimate", as it did not consider climate change-related costs, or pollution emissions from a wide variety of other sources.

2) Oil and natural gas drilling and oil spills have had catastrophic effects on many ecosystems over the past century, and will continue to do so. Coal mining via mountaintop removal has laid waste to vast regions of the Appalachians, obliterating over 700 miles of rivers and streams. Failures of slurry ponds dams such as the one that failed in December 2008 in Tennessee have contaminated numerous ecosystems, and killed hundreds (the Buffalo Creek, WV dam failure of 1972 killed 125, and a 1966 slurry pond dam failure in Aberfan, Wales killed 144, including 126 schoolchildren). The Physicians for Social Responsibility put out a report this week called Coal's Assault on Human Health that details many more examples of how coal is bad for ecosystems and human health.

3) Coal mining accidents killed 65 miners in the U.S. in 2006, and kill tens of thousands of miners worldwide each year (China has averaged 6,000 deaths per year this decade). Tens of thousands of miners contract black lung disease each year, as well.

The Greening of Planet Earth
Fossil fuel industry-funded Public Relations campaigns focusing on the benefits of CO2 for life on Earth are nothing new. In 2006, I blogged about a TV ad run by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) that proclaimed, "as for carbon dioxide, it isn't smog or smoke, it's what we breathe out and plants breathe in. Carbon dioxide: they call it pollution, we call it life.". In 1991, coal giant Western Fuels founded an organization called "The Greening Earth Society" which spent $250,000 to produce the video, "The Greening of Planet Earth" (available on Youtube). The 30-minute movie features scientists who describe in glowing terms the tremendous increases in plant growth that will occur due to increased CO2. Set to appropriately stirring music, the movie concludes: "The future also holds great promise. And contributing to this promise is the positive effect that carbon dioxide has upon our world. Crop plants will continue to grow more productively, contributing to ever-greater supplies of food. Forests will extend their ranges. Grasses will grow where none grow now. And great tracts of barren land we be reclaimed. In fact, it is not inconceivable that the vitality of our biosphere could rise by a full order of magnitude over the next few centuries, to a new, greening Planet Earth". According to Boston Globe investigative reporter Ross Gelbspan in his book The Heat is On, the movie was shown extensively in Washington D.C. and in the capitals of OPEC nations, and was the favorite movie of President George H.W. Bush's chief of staff, John Sununu. It's interesting to note that The Greening Earth Society shares the same mailing address and fax number as the Americans for Balanced Energy Choices (ABEC), a fossil fuel industry front group that was given $35 million to fight climate change regulation in 2008. According to the creators of desmogblog.com, a website dedicated to "Clearing the PR Pollution that Clouds Climate Science", that money, plus an extra $5 million, was shuffled to a new industry front group called the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE), and used to help fund the "Clean Coal" TV ads that dominated the airwaves during the November 2008 election. The details are in the excellent new book, Climate Cover-up, written by desmogblog.com co-founder James Hoggan and Richard Littlemore.

Commentary
The CO2isgreen.com ad is beautifully produced, with multiple windows depicting flowing pictures of flowers blooming, animals grazing, crops growing, and the sun shining over these grand scenes of nature's bounty, all set to the soothing sound track of some slick New Age music. Who wouldn't want to live in such a world? Unfortunately, this is a fantasy world created by fossil fuel industry Public Relations people, and we live in the real world where physics and science rule. Oil is not clean, coal is worse, and the extraction, transportation, and burning of fossil fuels that accompany the enhanced-CO2 world we live in are already causing massive environmental destruction. Add in the immense environmental damage likely to occur as a result of the coming climate change storm, and the fantasy that more CO2 will be good for the world dissolves into a nightmare for a huge proportion of Earth's ecosystems--and the people who depend upon them for life.

Hacked emails purport to show climate scientists' cover-up
A hacker broke into an email server at the Climate Research Unit of the UK's University of East Anglia this week and posted ten years worth of private email exchanges between leading scientists who've published research linking humans to climate change. Realclimate.org has an interesting response to the debacle, saying the emails are a "presumably careful selection of (possibly edited?) correspondence dating back to 1996 and as recently as Nov 12)". They show one example of a "cherry-picked" distortion of one of the emails that global warming contrarians are using to try to discredit the science of climate change, and successfully refute the distortion, in my mind. The realclimate groups adds:

"More interesting is what is not contained in the emails. There is no evidence of any worldwide conspiracy, no mention of George Soros nefariously funding climate research, no grand plan to "get rid of the Medieval Warm Period", no admission that global warming is a hoax, no evidence of the falsifying of data, and no "marching orders" from our socialist/communist/vegetarian overlords. But if cherry-picked out-of-context phrases from stolen personal emails is the only response to the weight of the scientific evidence for the human influence on climate change, then there probably isn't much to it".

There's not a person alive who would not look bad if their private emails made public, taken out of context, and subjected to attack. The reputations of all the scientists involved will suffer, as will understanding of the science of climate change. Global warming contrarians have not been able to effectively dispute the reality of human-caused climate change by publishing peer-reviewed scientific articles, so they've done what any effective (and unethical) politician would do--resort to personal attacks of dubious merit on their opponents, in an attempt to muddy the waters and distract people from the facts. That's politics, and it's not too surprising to see this sort of ugly episode in a game where the stakes are so high.

None of the so-called "smoking gun" emails the contrarians are excited about change what I pointed out in in my previous post: Arctic sea ice was at a new record low this month, human-emitted greenhouse gases are largely to blame, and the polar ice cap is expected to melt by 2030, throwing the climate into a dangerous new unstable mode.

I'll have a new post on Monday.

Jeff Masters

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Gulf storm
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What do the models do with this one? Don't know where to find non-atlantic models. Bet the phillipenes hope its a fish.


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474. Skyepony (Mod)
Hades~ I commented to NOAA in favor of the change. Definitely like the new format.

Hi~ I Couldn't help but google permafrost melt houses images after reading the hospital foundation article you left.


Drunken houses: buildings slump together as the permafrost beneath them thaws in Yukon, Canada. Photo: Bryan and Cherry Alexander Photography
Member Since: 10 août 2005 Posts: 192 Comments: 38645
I'm trying to catch up on my public advisories. Just completed Tropical Storm Ketsana(17W) Public Advisory #5 0300Z 9-26-09. That is how far off I am on them. Thank goodness for archives.
Member Since: 3 avril 2009 Posts: 107 Comments: 382
Quoting Drakoen:


Holy lord!!!
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470. Inyo
yeah, in summary, my latest posts were not good ones as i was just going after troll bait. I agree that getting political was a poor choice so I'm signing off for a bit... good luck!
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Wondering how much surges (oceans not homogenous) in ocean levels of salinity and acidity (and from industrial waste &/or deposition onto the surface of contaminants from the atmosphere) affect artic ice via freeze point depression.

Also wonder what happens to the buildings currently existing on permafrost soils when they start to thaw. http://www.arcticfoundations.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=78&Itemid=39
Working & Lurking
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Quoting Inyo:
also, this blog is anything but 'full of liberals', if anything the comments lean pretty far right of the mainstream.

And were rather delightfully devoid of political rhetoric until very recently...

L8R, starting to feel dirty by participating right now...
Member Since: 16 août 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
467. Inyo
also, this blog is anything but 'full of liberals', if anything the comments lean pretty far right of the mainstream.
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466. Skyepony (Mod)
Greenland ice loss speeds ahead

Between 2000 and 2008, the Greenland Ice Sheet shrank by roughly 1500 gigatons, research by a team from the Netherlands, UK and US has revealed. The mass loss, equivalent to 0.46 mm of global sea-level rise per year, was split equally between surface processes, such as runoff and precipitation, and ice dynamics.
Member Since: 10 août 2005 Posts: 192 Comments: 38645
465. Inyo
Quoting help4u:
Have you heard of people so smart they have no common sense?This site is full of them.If i get banned because of my opinion at least i can take comfort there are a site full of liberals on here fulfilling their end of world fantasy.


this is exactly what I am talking about! This person is obviously not interested in solving any problems, and instead is repeating sound bites that we have already heard. Have you ever stopped to think that the people working on this problem might actually be concerned about a problem and trying to fix it? Because you don't like the results, you apparently are accusing them of being 'educated but stupid liberals' and 'fulfilling their end of the world fantasy'... do you really think all 'liberals' want the world to end? Usually that is something I only hear from some of the more extreme religious fundimentalists and cultists. If you have an issue with climate research, why not discuss THAT instead of your blind hatred of 'liberals'?
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464. Inyo
This is getting off topic but I would feel a lot more sympathy for Rush's substance abuse problems if he hadn't said previously that he wished all addicts would die/be killed. In any event, your comments are not any 'better' than mine, especially "
All that I am asking is that you think before you type." which is clearly quite rude and condescending.

EVERYONE has a political agenda. I am not towing a party line like some in here, I just dislike hypocrites. You can believe whatever you want and I can't do anything about it, but I personally don't consider some 'emails' distributed by 'hackers' that could have clearly been forged or modified as evidence of anything. Certainly, if it is revealed by a reputable source that scientists are acting in an immoral way, this should be addressed.
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Quoting Inyo:
Have you read Help4u's posts? There weren't any actual content to them, they were clearly just troll posts, though you are correct that responding to them was probably a waste of time.

Do you know how easy it is to download some emails and change them a little bit? The fact is that we have no idea if these files are in any way legitimate, they were not collected by law enforcement agents, they were collected by individuals engaging in criminal activity, with a clear political agenda. Thus, it doesn't mean a thing to me and shouldn't to you either. Ask yourself, if the roles were reversed, and the emails were supposedly from scientists skeptical of global warming, how you would respond! Probably the exact same way as I am.

As for my other comment, you are correct, it is highly out of line. Parrots are highly intelligent animals and would know better than to repeat anything Rush said. (honestly i just thought the comment was silly, not really offensive, oh well)


Actually, your comments, especially in paragraph two ring hollow.

You expect us to view those e-mails as possibly altered and asked us, if the roles were reversed, how would we respond to something with a clear political agenda.

Well, you attempted to make an out of place political comment by attacking Rush and his treated drug problem by pulling a slight of hand on us with the parrot trick and in so doing revealed yourself to have a clear and pervasive political agenda.

You knew that your off-handed comment was not silly in the very least because you tied it to the pills.

All that I am asking is that you think before you type.
Member Since: 10 octobre 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 716
461. Inyo
Have you read Help4u's posts? There weren't any actual content to them, they were clearly just troll posts, though you are correct that responding to them was probably a waste of time.

Do you know how easy it is to download some emails and change them a little bit? The fact is that we have no idea if these files are in any way legitimate, they were not collected by law enforcement agents, they were collected by individuals engaging in criminal activity, with a clear political agenda. Thus, it doesn't mean a thing to me and shouldn't to you either. Ask yourself, if the roles were reversed, and the emails were supposedly from scientists skeptical of global warming, how you would respond! Probably the exact same way as I am.

As for my other comment, you are correct, it is highly out of line. Parrots are highly intelligent animals and would know better than to repeat anything Rush said. (honestly i just thought the comment was silly, not really offensive, oh well)
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All the Fuss and BS over some Hacked e-mails is ridiculous at best.

Its Kinda like finding a Shiny Quarter on the sidewalk out the blue..it feels good for a moment,..but in reality..its just 25cents worth of "Wow,gee"..
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Quoting Inyo:
also, to be fair, we should not have all the private emails of all the so called 'skeptics' published! That should be fun!

This whole thing got political, and when things get political, they get nasty and dirty, regardless of whose 'side' you are on... and that is a fact no one here is going to dispute, I think.


Looks like you are right there in the mix with that comment about Rush Limbaugh.

There was no need for you to get nasty and dirty with that out of place comment.

Shame on you.
Member Since: 10 octobre 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 716
Regarding those supposedly hacked e-mails...

Download the whole 60+ megabyte file at:

www.filedropper.com/foi2009

Read it for yourself and you decide what was and wasn't taken out of context.
Member Since: 10 octobre 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 716
457. Inyo
also, to be fair, we should not have all the private emails of all the so called 'skeptics' published! That should be fun!

This whole thing got political, and when things get political, they get nasty and dirty, regardless of whose 'side' you are on... and that is a fact no one here is going to dispute, I think.
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456. Inyo
Help4u, if you actually want to discuss or debate the human effect on climate, why not actually throw out some evidence, or at least some original thoughts? You sound like Rush Limbaugh's parrot after eating one too many pills.
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455. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)

FOR EXAMPLE PURPOSES ONLY!!

BULLETIN
TROPICAL STORM DOLLY ADVISORY NUMBER 5
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL042008
1100 AM EDT MON JUL 21 2008

...DOLLY NOW OVER THE WARM WATERS OF THE GULF OF MEXICO...


WATCHES AND WARNINGS
--------------------
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY...

-A HURRICANE WATCH IS ISSUED FOR THE TEXAS COAST FROM BROWNSVILLE
NORTHWARD TO PORT O'CONNOR.

-A TROPICAL STORM WATCH IS ISSUED FOR THE TEXAS COAST FROM NORTH OF
PORT O'CONNOR TO SAN LUIS PASS. A TROPICAL STORM WATCH MEANS THAT
TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE WITHIN THE WATCH AREA...
GENERALLY WITHIN 36 HOURS.

-THE GOVERNMENT OF MEXICO HAS ISSUED A HURRICANE WATCH FROM RIO SAN
FERNANDO MEXICO NORTHWARD TO THE U.S. BORDER...AND A TROPICAL STORM
WATCH FROM LA PESCA MEXICO NORTHWARD TO RIO SAN FERNANDO.


SUMMARY OF WARNINGS AND WATCHES IN EFFECT...

A HURRICANE WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR...
-TEXAS COAST FROM BROWNSVILLE TO PORT O.CONNER
-COAST OF MEXICO FROM RIO SAN FERNANDO TO U.S. BORDER.

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR...
-THE YUCATAN PENINSULA OF MEXICO FROM THE BORDER WITH BELIZE TO
CAMPECHE MEXICO.

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR...
-TEXAS COAST FROM NORTH OF PORT O.CONNER TO SAN LUIS PASS
-COAST OF MEXICO FROM LAS PESCA TO SOUTH OF RIO SAN FERNANDO

A HURRICANE WATCH MEANS THAT HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE WITHIN
THE WATCH AREA...GENERALLY WITHIN 36 HOURS.

FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA...INCLUDING POSSIBLE
INLAND WATCHES AND WARNINGS...PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED
BY YOUR LOCAL WEATHER OFFICE.


DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
------------------------------
THE CENTER OF TROPICAL STORM DOLLY WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 22.1
NORTH...LONGITUDE 89.5 WEST OR ABOUT 55 MILES... 90 KM...NORTH-
NORTHEAST OF PROGRESO MEXICO.

DOLLY IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST NEAR 18 MPH...30 KM/HR. A
GRADUAL DECREASE IN FORWARD SPEED IS FORECAST DURING THE NEXT
COUPLE OF DAYS...WITH LITTLE CHANGE IN THE DIRECTION OF MOTION. ON
THIS TRACK...DOLLY WILL BE APPROACHING THE COAST OF THE WESTERN
GULF OF MEXICO BY WEDNESDAY.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 50 MPH...85 KM/HR...WITH HIGHER
GUSTS. STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST...AND DOLLY COULD BECOME A
HURRICANE BY TOMORROW.

TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 175 MILES...280 KM
FROM THE CENTER.

THE ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS BASED ON RECENT AIRCRAFT
DATA.


STORM HAZARDS
-------------
RAINFALL...TOTAL RAIN ACCUMULATIONS OF 2 TO 4 INCHES IS EXPECTED
ACROSS THE NORTHERN YUCATAN PENINSULA OF MEXICO WITH ISOLATED MAXIMUM
AMOUNTS UP TO 6 INCHES.


SUMMARY OF 1100 AM AST INFORMATION
----------------------------------
LOCATION...22.1N 89.5W
ABOUT 55 MILES...90 KM NNE OF PROGRESSO MEXICO
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...50 MPH...85 KM/HR
PRESENT MOVEMENT...WEST-NORTHWEST OR 285 DEGREES AT 18 MPH...30 KM/HR
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1005 MB...29.68 INCHES


NEXT ADVISORY...ISSUED BY NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER
---------------------------------------------------
NEXT INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY...200 PM EDT.
NEXT COMPLETE ADVISORY...500 PM EDT.

$$
FORECASTER KNABB


The new proposal for NHC advisories in the future hurricane season looks very organized
Member Since: 24 mai 2006 Posts: 51 Comments: 46142
Quoting indianrivguy:
Michael Mann discusses how to destroy a journal that has published sceptic papers.(1047388489)

Phil Jones says he has use Mann's "Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series"...to hide the decline". Real Climate says "hiding" was an unfortunate turn of phrase.(0942777075)

Mann thinks he will contact BBC's Richard Black to find out why another BBC journalist was allowed to publish a vaguely sceptical article.(1255352257)

Mann tells Jones that it would be nice to '"contain" the putative Medieval Warm Period'. (1054736277)

Mann discusses tactics for screening and delaying postings at Real Climate.(1139521913)

Mann launches RealClimate to the scientific community.(1102687002)

Same people...so I fail to see how taking any posting there for fact answers anyone's questions.

No mention from anyone (that I have seen) that any of the released data has been tampered with whatsoever, either.
Member Since: 16 août 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
Quoting Skyepony:
The e-mail hacks began at some British Univ. From there many across the board were gleamed from scientists at NASA to Real Climate.. Many of these one liners are taken out of context... some don't even appear to be authentic. Unless you've hacked & read the e-mails, realize the one liners may not be the truth by any stretch. Does make a nice distraction from the health hazards we suffer & pay for, the vanishing mountain tops, oil spills, the haze & such.

Here's a link to the discussion at real climate

Yeah, let's go to an Enron executives blog about Enron's practices. Or David Vitter's page about how to be faithful to your spouse.

Here, go look at Exxon's environmental page while you're at it: (j/k)

Really, I've been looking at the RC post and comments.
1. You don't go there to get a real impartial discussion of climate, or any controversial component, as evidenced by said emails
2. They aren't handling any of the pointed questions they are actually allowing in comments, well, either.
Member Since: 16 août 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
Thanks Skye
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Quoting LongStrangeTrip:
Floodman is home!!

That is super good news, the best to him.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
450. Skyepony (Mod)
The e-mail hacks began at some British Univ. From there many across the board were gleamed from scientists at NASA to Real Climate.. Many of these one liners are taken out of context... some don't even appear to be authentic. Unless you've hacked & read the e-mails, realize the one liners may not be the truth by any stretch. Does make a nice distraction from the health hazards we suffer & pay for, the vanishing mountain tops, oil spills, the haze & such.

Here's a link to the discussion at real climate
Member Since: 10 août 2005 Posts: 192 Comments: 38645
Floodman is home!! Woo hooooooo!!

He'll likely be in later to say hello. He missed everyone!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
448. Skyepony (Mod)
Water Vapor wise it seems a positive feedback. Increased surface heat lowers the amount of low clouds that would have helped cool the surface but increases high clouds that trap heat & cause more extreme precipitation events.. (Interesting article on the GA floods this year).


Observational and Model Evidence for Positive Low-Level Cloud Feedback
Amy C. Clement,1,* Robert Burgman,1 and Joel R. Norris2

Abstract

Feedbacks involving low-level clouds remain a primary cause of uncertainty in global climate model projections. This issue was addressed by examining changes in low-level clouds over the Northeast Pacific in observations and climate models. Decadal fluctuations were identified in multiple, independent cloud data sets, and changes in cloud cover appeared to be linked to changes in both local temperature structure and large-scale circulation. This observational analysis further indicated that clouds act as a positive feedback in this region on decadal time scales. The observed relationships between cloud cover and regional meteorological conditions provide a more complete way of testing the realism of the cloud simulation in current-generation climate models. The only model that passed this test simulated a reduction in cloud cover over much of the Pacific when greenhouse gases were increased, providing modeling evidence for a positive low-level cloud feedback.

1 Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Miami, Division of Meteorology and Physical Oceanography, MSC 362, 4600 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami, FL 33149, U.S.A.
2 Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California-San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093–0224, U.S.A.

*Correspondence, e-mail: aclement@rsmas.miami.edu

Link to abstract: http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/325/5939/460
Member Since: 10 août 2005 Posts: 192 Comments: 38645
447. Skyepony (Mod)
Water-vapor climate feedback inferred from climate fluctuations, 2003–2008
Water-vapor climate feedback inferred from climate fluctuations, 2003–2008

A. E. Dessler, Z. Zhang and P. Yang (Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, U.S.A.)

Abstract

Between 2003 and 2008, the global-average surface temperature of the Earth varied by 0.6°C. We analyze here the response of tropospheric water vapor to these variations. Height-resolved measurements of specific humidity (q) and relative humidity (RH) are obtained from NASA's satellite-borne Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS). Over most of the troposphere, q increased with increasing global-average surface temperature, although some regions showed the opposite response. RH increased in some regions and decreased in others, with the global average remaining nearly constant at most altitudes. The water-vapor feedback implied by these observations is strongly positive, with an average magnitude of λ q = 2.04 W/m2/K, similar to that simulated by climate models. The magnitude is similar to that obtained if the atmosphere maintained constant RH everywhere.

(Received 13 July 2008, accepted 19 September 2008, published 23 October 2008.)

Dessler, A. E., Zhang, & P. Yang, P. (2008), Water-vapor climate feedback inferred from climate fluctuations, 2003–2008, Geophysical Research Letters, 35, L20704; doi:10.1029/2008GL035333.

Link to abstract: http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2008/2008GL035333.shtml
Member Since: 10 août 2005 Posts: 192 Comments: 38645
well.. we had a poster start a thread about the hacked emails over at ThePhins where I am on staff.. some interesting stuff showed up that questions Dr. Masters dismisal of the info gleaned from the hacked emails. I don't know amything about Bishop Hill.. he could be over top out of his mind for all I know, but I now have some questions that didn't exist before.

http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2009/11/20/climate-cuttings-33.html

Here is some content;

In the circumstances, here are some summaries of the CRUgate files. I'll update these as and when I can. The refs are the email number.

Phil Jones writes to University of Hull to try to stop sceptic Sonia Boehmer Christiansen using her Hull affiliation. Graham F Haughton of Hull University says its easier to push greenery there now SB-C has retired.(1256765544)

Michael Mann discusses how to destroy a journal that has published sceptic papers.(1047388489)

Tim Osborn discusses how data are truncated to stop an apparent cooling trend showing up in the results (0939154709)

Phil Jones describes the death of sceptic, John Daly, as "cheering news".
Phil Jones encourages colleagues to delete information subject to FoI request.(1212063122)

Phil Jones says he has use Mann's "Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series"...to hide the decline". Real Climate says "hiding" was an unfortunate turn of phrase.(0942777075)

Letter to The Times from climate scientists was drafted with the help of Greenpeace.(0872202064)

Mann thinks he will contact BBC's Richard Black to find out why another BBC journalist was allowed to publish a vaguely sceptical article.(1255352257)

Kevin Trenberth says they can't account for the lack of recent warming and that it is a travesty that they can't.(1255352257)
Tom Wigley says that Lindzen and Choi's paper is crap.(1257532857)

Tom Wigley says that von Storch is partly to blame for sceptic papers getting published at Climate Research. Says he encourages the publication of crap science. Says they should tell publisher that the journal is being used for misinformation. Says that whether this is true or not doesn't matter. Says they need to get editorial board to resign. Says they need to get rid of von Storch too. (1051190249)
Ben Santer says (presumably jokingly!) he's "tempted, very tempted, to beat the crap" out of sceptic Pat Michaels. (1255100876)
Mann tells Jones that it would be nice to '"contain" the putative Medieval Warm Period'. (1054736277)

Tom Wigley tells Jones that the land warming since 1980 has been twice the ocean warming and that this might be used by sceptics as evidence for urban heat islands.(1257546975)

Tom Wigley say that Keith Briffa has got himself into a mess over the Yamal chronology (although also says it's insignificant. Wonders how Briffa explains McIntyre's sensitivity test on Yamal and how he explains the use of a less-well replicated chronology over a better one. Wonders if he can. Says data withholding issue is hot potato, since many "good" scientists condemn it.(1254756944)

Briffa is funding Russian dendro Shiyatov, who asks him to send money to personal bank account so as to avoid tax, thereby retaining money for research.(0826209667)

Kevin Trenberth says climatologists are nowhere near knowing where the energy goes or what the effect of clouds is. Says nowhere balancing the energy budget. Geoengineering is not possible.(1255523796)

Mann discusses tactics for screening and delaying postings at Real Climate.(1139521913)

Tom Wigley discusses how to deal with the advent of FoI law in UK. Jones says use IPR argument to hold onto code. Says data is covered by agreements with outsiders and that CRU will be "hiding behind them".(1106338806)

Overpeck has no recollection of saying that he wanted to "get rid of the Medieval Warm Period". Thinks he may have been quoted out of context.(1206628118)

Mann launches RealClimate to the scientific community.(1102687002)

Santer complaining about FoI requests from McIntyre. Says he expects support of Lawrence Livermore Lab management. Jones says that once support staff at CRU realised the kind of people the scientists were dealing with they became very supportive. Says the VC [vice chancellor] knows what is going on (in one case).(1228330629)

Rob Wilson concerned about upsetting Mann in a manuscript. Says he needs to word things diplomatically.(1140554230)

Briffa says he is sick to death of Mann claiming his reconstruction is tropical because it has a few poorly temp sensitive tropical proxies. Says he should regress these against something else like the "increasing trend of self-opinionated verbiage" he produces. Ed Cook agrees with problems.(1024334440)

Now, I trust Dr. Masters a LOT, and put heavy weight to any and all of his opinions but I surely don't know what to make of this.
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444. i thought the shepherd comment was funny, too...but it bombed as well! LOL
Member Since: 14 septembre 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
Gee, you guys need to find your funny bones...

Underside Heat Island?

I thought that was at least worth a chuckle! L8R.
Member Since: 16 août 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
Special Weather Statement for Micronesia on the tropical disturbance.

000
WWPQ80 PGUM 211219 CCA
SPSPQ

SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TIYAN GU
1019 PM CHST SAT NOV 21 2009

PMZ171-172-220100-
YAP-CHUUK-
1019 PM CHST SAT NOV 21 2009

...TROPICAL DISTURBANCE FORMING WEST OF CHUUK...

CORRECTED TO ADD YAP STATE FOR SATAWAL ISLAND AND TO REMOVE A
REFERENCE TO TROPICAL STORM 22W

AT 1200Z...A TROPICAL DISTURBANCE WAS FORMING NEAR 6N149E WHICH IS
ABOUT 225 MILES WEST-SOUTHWEST OF CHUUK...75 MILES SOUTH OF PULUWAT
AND 590 MILES SOUTH-SOUTHEAST OF GUAM. IT IS NEARLY STATIONARY WITH
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS OF 25 MPH. THE DISTURBANCE IS NOW THE
SUBJECT OF A TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION ALERT FROM THE JOINT TYPHOON
WARNING CENTER. FOR MORE INFORMATION...SEE BULLETIN TCMWP1 UNDER WMO
HEADER WTPN21 PGTW.

SCATTERED SHOWERS WITH BRIEF LOCAL HEAVY DOWNPOURS AND ISOLATED
THUNDERSTORMS ARE EXPECTED FOR CHUUK AND PULUWAT IN CHUUK STATE AND
FOR SATAWAL IN YAP STATE AND NEARBY ISLANDS THRU MONDAY. WINDS OF 10
TO 20 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 30 MPH IN SHOWERS ARE ANTICIPATED.

RESIDENTS OF YAP AND CHUUK STATE ARE ADVISED TO CLOSELY MONITOR THE
LATEST STATUS OF THIS TROPICAL DISTURBANCE WITH THE NATIONAL WEATHER
SERVICE AND THEIR LOCAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT OFFICES.

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WILL CONTINUE TO MONITOR THIS SYSTEM
FOR ANY CHANGES AND UPDATE THIS STATEMENT IF NECESSARY.

$$

STANKO/LEE




Member Since: 3 avril 2009 Posts: 107 Comments: 382
USGS Glacier Monitoring Studies


Monitoring and Assessing Glacier Changes and Their Associated Hydrologic and Ecologic Effects in Glacier National Park


Purpose:

To systematically monitor changes in Glacier National Park’s namesake glaciers and to determine the causes of changes, assess their ecological and hydrological effects, and predict future changes and effects.
GPS data collection, Sperry Glacier, 2005, USGS Photo

Glacier National Park’s namesake glaciers have receded rapidly since the Park’s establishment in 1910, primarily due to long-term changes in regional and global climate. These changes include warming, particularly of daily minimum temperatures, and persistent droughts. This warming is ongoing and the loss of the Park’s glaciers continues, with the park’s glaciers predicted to disappear by 2030.

In the past decade, Glacier NP has experienced dramatic climate variability that includes record winter and summer droughts, near record summertime temperatures, as well as near-record winter snowfall. While the park’s glaciers continue to shrink, it is not clear whether these dramatic fluctuations have accelerated or slowed glacier recession and downwasting. In part this is because studies of glaciers in Glacier NP to date have focused on changes in the area of individual glaciers and the extent of glaciers in the park. Few measurements of glacier volume or mass have been made. Measurements of area alone can be misleading; changes in mass and/or ice flux can result in significant changes to the glacier and to streamflow below the glacier even when glacier area remains stable. Though hydrologic changes such as these can have important ecologic effects downstream of the glaciers, the nature and extent of changes in runoff volume, and stream temperature have not been measured or analyzed.

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i'm trying to locate a paper i say a while back that showed relative humidity levels in the atmosphere were decreasing...i'll link it if i find it.
Member Since: 14 septembre 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
Todays EVA up on Orbit is well underway as the 2 Spacewalkers go about their workday High above the Planet.

NASA TV
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439. IKE
Global warming on the blog...check.
Politics on the blog...check.
YELLING on the blog...check.

Found Dr. Masters blog.

Oh...I saved a ton of money on my car insurance by switching to Geico.


***Back to lurk mode***
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Wunderful..we have a non blogger type stuck on Politics..in a Phd's entry.

Ya think he could tackle the Huffington Post,but no..hes a whiner bent on stooging up the area.

Well...thats gonna cost his team 15yards and a 96 hr timeout.


The ticket was submitted to the Server office,..and should take effect soon.
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431: Please stop, especially with the shouting. You aren't doing anyone any favors...
Member Since: 16 août 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
Quoting Patrap:
Every time I pass alil methane,..I do feel a Tad warmer,but thats a Local effect Im sure.

I'll pass them numbers along next time I get a measurement.

For those,er..analytical types.

That is called Underside Heat Island (UHI)...not useful for calculating regional temps.
Member Since: 16 août 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
Quoting lawntonlookers:
Is it possible that with the melting of the artic ice the amount of water vapor in the air is also increasing. That should be fairly easy to determine by checking the world wide rainfall and seeing if that is increasing.

Probably not all that tough, except for the part about comparison to long term observation, thus would have to use rain gauge results at long-term stations, not satellite-derived obs.

Biggest issue is attribution of any change. Aerosol count and type is a huge factor in cloud formation and droplet size...
Member Since: 16 août 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
Every time I pass alil methane,..I do feel a Tad warmer,but thats a Local effect Im sure.

I'll pass them numbers along next time I get a measurement.

For those,er..analytical types.
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Quoting Ossqss:
And now for something completely different. LoL

Go figure.

Move over CO2—you’ve been ousted, along with methane, as the biggest offenders of global climate change.

Hah! Been saying that for years, too.

Chemist: Yay, we created a non-flammable refrigerant that isn't harmful to the ozone layer, but...
Boss: Stop. That is all I need to know.
Chemist: But, you need to know...
Boss: Really, I don't want to know what IR wavelengths currently not attenuated and clear to escape to space this gas absorbs at, nor it's atmospheric lifetime.
Chemist: Ummm, okay, but don't say I didn't...
Boss: You didn't.
Member Since: 16 août 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
I did a lot of reading on GW since my comments yesterday. What I thought was the most interesting was the amount that CO2 has increased since 2000. I was trying to relate to what has happened between then and today and the two things that come to mind is the housing boom that the US has had. Along with that is the number of large developments that used to be wooded are now residential developments. The other is the deforstation of the tropical forest.

Another thing that I thoug interesting is that water vapor it self is considered a greenhouse gas. Is it possible that with the melting of the artic ice the amount of water vapor in the air is also increasing. That should be fairly easy to determine by checking the world wide rainfall and seeing if that is increasing.

Probably with the things that have been talked about, solar energy, wind energy, reforstation, as well as getting some of the developing countries to think green now, it will not only help the climate, but also save some of our natural resources that WILL NOT LAST FOREVER.
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Quoting natureobs:
A few thoughts on global warming...

3) Unnatural. Anything done by humans is frequently labeled "unnatural." Yet, we are a part of nature too. When beavers build dams that's OK, when humans do, that's unnatural. Why?

Drawing such broad inappropriate analogies can yield inaccurate conclusions. One might look at the relativity of the situation to make a better analogy. Such as how six billion beavers building dams across the planet would also be unnatural.

According to wikipedia, in the 1940s, beavers were brought to the island of Tierra Del Fuego in southern Chile and Argentina, for commercial fur production. However, the project failed and the beavers, a few pairs, were released into the wild. Having no natural predators in their new environment, they quickly spread throughout the island, and to other islands in the region, reaching a number of 100,000 individuals within just 50 years. They are now considered a serious invasive species in the region, due to their massive destruction of forest trees, and efforts are being made for their eradication.

So, similar unrestrained human activity across the globe has resulted in unsustainable depletion of natural resources to the ultimate detriment of mankind and many of the creatures man is supposed to be intelligent enough to provide stewardship for.

Just another thought on global warming from a less human-centric perspective.
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Stormtop, is that you?
Member Since: 14 septembre 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
I think that Guy was Sarah Palins speechwriter..

Thus the Handle..


The National Moaning Blog is 3 doors down on the RIGHT,..marked, "sebastinjer".
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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