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#766769 - 03/19/12 07:15 AM Re: Global Climate Change [Re: Bill_Walker]
Joe Frickin' Friday Offline

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Originally Posted By: Bill_Walker
Originally Posted By: Aluminum_Butt
Quote:
But the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is the "thermostat" for the planet. Too little, and you get Mars, a very cold planet.

From Wikipedia, "The atmosphere of Mars is relatively thin and is composed mostly of carbon dioxide (95.32%)."


Yeah, I oversimplified. Mars suffers from a poor greenhouse effect, but not from low CO2. From the NASA page cited earlier:
"The planet Mars has a very thin atmosphere, nearly all carbon dioxide. Because of the low atmospheric pressure, and with little to no methane or water vapor to reinforce the weak greenhouse effect, Mars has a largely frozen surface that shows no evidence of life."


Mars and Venus make poor benchmarks for absolute comparisons with earth. They are at very different distances from the sun, and since solar flux varies as the square of distance, each of these three plants receives very, very different insolation. Compare:

Earth: 93 million miles from sun, define insolation as "100%"

Mars, 142 million miles from sun, insolation is 43% that of Earth

Venus, 67.5 million miles from sun, insolation is 190% that of Earth

Yes, Mars has a very thin atmosphere (regardless of its composition) that does little to keep heat in, and yes, Venus has an atmosphere composed almost entirely of CO2 with a pressure about 92 times that of earth that results in an impressive greenhouse effect, but the relative differences in solar intensities needs to be considered.
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#766972 - 03/19/12 10:56 PM Re: Global Climate Change [Re: Bill_Walker]
DiggerJim Offline
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Registered: 08/31/05
Posts: 1709
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Originally Posted By: Bill_Walker
"In the thirty years leading up to the 1970s, available temperature recordings suggested that there was a cooling trend. As a result some scientists suggested that the current inter-glacial period could rapidly draw to a close, which might result in the Earth plunging into a new ice age over the next few centuries.

I guess this time they've got it right though huh? No chance they'd be wrong twice eh? That whole local phenomenon or multi-decade counter-trends couldn't possibly be in effect now could it? I guess there was some remedial science education occurring since the 1970s when they misinterpreted that local, half-the-planet, multi-decade cooling trend to be signs of an impending ice-age.

Whew, I'm glad they figured it out before we squandered cash & country trying to prevent the cooling and we're not being led astray twice in one lifetime! It could have been tragic - having bankrupted the western world preventing the ice age that wasn't coming and not leaving anything left to fight the warming that was the real problem.

thumbsup
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#767034 - 03/20/12 09:50 AM Re: Global Climate Change [Re: DiggerJim]
moshe_levy Offline
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Registered: 07/05/06
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Originally Posted By: DiggerJim
It could have been tragic - having bankrupted the western world preventing the ice age that wasn't coming and not leaving anything left to fight the warming that was the real problem.

thumbsup


Why are taking even remedial steps to curb emissions equated with "bankrupting the western world?" Since we're on the subject of proof, can you show any that illustrates this claim? Or even something a fraction as draconian as what you say? Anything at all?

-MKL
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#767037 - 03/20/12 10:25 AM Re: Global Climate Change [Re: moshe_levy]
Mike Offline

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Loc: Chicago area, IL, USA
Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
Originally Posted By: DiggerJim
It could have been tragic - having bankrupted the western world preventing the ice age that wasn't coming and not leaving anything left to fight the warming that was the real problem.

thumbsup


Why are taking even remedial steps to curb emissions equated with "bankrupting the western world?" Since we're on the subject of proof, can you show any that illustrates this claim? Or even something a fraction as draconian as what you say? Anything at all?

-MKL


A wee segue, perhaps, but . . .

Not vouching for the numbers, here's an illustration of the purported economic costs of the Kyoto Protocol for EU nations. Many, of course, argue that the Kyoto Protocol was nothing more than a PR stunt that could have no appreciable impact on the global climate.

If you accept, arguendo, that anthropogenic global warming is occurring and will accelerate, it seems pretty clear that the costs to reinvent what is the existing technological basis of all the Earth's societies in order to reverse that trend would be staggering. You'd have to balance that cost against the potential positive impacts of warming, as well as the losses that might occur. It's a proposition of staggering proportions to account for every impact, positive and negative, then calculate the net effect economically.

Personally, I believe that the days of a dino-powered world will ultimately come to an end and it will be supplanted by more efficient and cleaner sources. My guess is that this will probably happen not through developing a cohesive worldwide approach to energy production and consumption, but through technological and economic evolution driven by cost and practicality.
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#767041 - 03/20/12 10:49 AM Re: Global Climate Change [Re: Mike]
tallman Offline
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Last winter (2010-11) was out second coldest ever.

This winter is one of the warmest ever (nothing official yet).

I predict next winter will occur between fall and spring.
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#767042 - 03/20/12 10:54 AM Re: Global Climate Change [Re: tallman]
Mike Offline

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Originally Posted By: tallman
Last winter (2010-11) was out second coldest ever.

This winter is one of the warmest ever (nothing official yet).

I predict next winter will occur between fall and spring.


Speaking as one who has absolutely no idea what's going on or why it's going on, my only desire is that we get to the point where we Chicagoans can go to the beach in January. We've got March nailed--over 80 here today--but have more work to do.
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#767044 - 03/20/12 11:00 AM Re: Global Climate Change [Re: Mike]
tallman Offline
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Our beaches are open in January...
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#767046 - 03/20/12 11:05 AM Re: Global Climate Change [Re: Mike]
moshe_levy Offline
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Registered: 07/05/06
Posts: 3730
Loc: NJ - God Help Me
Originally Posted By: Mike
Personally, I believe that the days of a dino-powered world will ultimately come to an end and it will be supplanted by more efficient and cleaner sources. My guess is that this will probably happen not through developing a cohesive worldwide approach to energy production and consumption, but through technological and economic evolution driven by cost and practicality.


This blanket argument has some merit, but not always. In matters of both mother nature and markets, co-called "corrections" can happen swiftly, and brutally. The gas crunch of 2008 was a prime example of this. Those that thought ahead more than 1 quarter and had viable products to offer the public profited handsomely. Those that didn't - like Detroit - racked up inventory gluts.

So from both environmental and economical viewpoints, "let the market take the wheel" may not leave you sitting pretty in the event of a swift and brutal correction. It may leave you, both environmentally, and economically, in pretty lousy shape.

-MKL
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#767049 - 03/20/12 11:31 AM Re: Global Climate Change [Re: Mike]
Selden Offline
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Registered: 02/18/08
Posts: 4712
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Originally Posted By: Mike
...Personally, I believe that the days of a dino-powered world will ultimately come to an end and it will be supplanted by more efficient and cleaner sources. My guess is that this will probably happen not through developing a cohesive worldwide approach to energy production and consumption, but through technological and economic evolution driven by cost and practicality.

As J.M. Keynes said, "In the long run we are all dead." In a nutshell, when extraction costs approach energy value, a given energy source is finished usually far before that point is reached, because other energy sources become more cost-competitive.

Ignoring carbon impact, fracking is going to make a huge difference in the USA's energy posture, not just through petroleum, but through natural gas, which, as its price falls, becomes more attractive as a substitute fuel relative to oil, and as a feedstock for gasoline and diesel through gas to liquids conversion.

Just don't expect any dramatic decrease in the cost of gasoline as long as consumption in China and India is growing. The energy business is global, and if oil companies can make more money by exporting fuels, they will do so and are doing so at this time. The primary effect should be on the U.S. trade balance, rather than on lower fuel costs
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#767051 - 03/20/12 11:44 AM Re: Global Climate Change [Re: Mike]
Ohio48 Offline
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Registered: 09/14/10
Posts: 418
Loc: East of the Burning River
Originally Posted By: Mike
Originally Posted By: tallman
Last winter (2010-11) was out second coldest ever.

This winter is one of the warmest ever (nothing official yet).

I predict next winter will occur between fall and spring.


Speaking as one who has absolutely no idea what's going on or why it's going on, my only desire is that we get to the point where we Chicagoans can go to the beach in January. We've got March nailed--over 80 here today--but have more work to do.


Same here in Cleveland!! And we set a record for most days in a row that the temp was 70 or better!!! Hitting 80 today, first day of spring by the way!!!
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