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Ear to the Ground

Climate Crisis Looks Worse and Worse

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Posted on Mar 12, 2009
NASA

The Larsen Ice Shelf in Antarctica as viewed from a NASA DC-8 aircraft.

Scientists meeting in Copenhagen say the U.N.’s worst climate fears are already coming to pass. Lord Stern, who helped alert the world to the economic perils of climate change, said at the conference that his 2006 report underestimated both the speed and scale of climate change.

BBC:

The worst-case scenarios on climate change envisaged by the UN two years ago are already being realised, say scientists at an international meeting.

In a statement in Copenhagen on their six key messages to political leaders, they say there is a increasing risk of abrupt or irreversible climate shifts.

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By wadosy, March 13, 2009 at 9:54 am Link to this comment

dropped url in previous post:

composition of atmosphere (dry)

Nitrogen 78.084%
Oxygen 20.946%
Argon 0.9340%
Carbon dioxide 0.0383%
Neon 0.001818%
Helium 0.000524%
Methane 0.0001745%
Krypton 0.000114%
Hydrogen 0.000055%

Not included in above dry atmosphere:
Water vapor ~0.40% over full atmosphere, typically 1% to 4% near surface

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By wadosy, March 13, 2009 at 9:47 am Link to this comment

meanwhile, emerging economies and the old standbys in the west are doing their level best to produce shade and cool us off by depositing gigatons of particulates into the atmosphere.

too bad the particulates will settle out within a few years, and leave the co2 behind to warm the planet for hundreds of years after the shade has gone.

atmospheric brown clouds... masking 2°C of warming?

google search: “atmospheric brown cloud” dimming

google search: global dimming

google search: “atmospheric lifetime co2

if the fate of anthropogenic carbon must be boiled down into a single number for popular discussion, then 300 years is a sensible number to choose, because it captures the behavior of the majority of the carbon.

A better approximation of the lifetime of fossil fuel CO2 for public discussion might be ‘‘300 years, plus 25% that lasts forever.’‘

http://geosci.uchicago.edu/~archer/reprints/archer.2005.fate_co2.pdf

 

so the problem emerges: if the neocons are successful in gaining control of the world’s energy, if they’re successful in restricting consumption, if they hoard the remaining energy to enforce their policies, they will have to contend with global warming and sea level rise eventually. ...global warming that motivated their PNAC/9-11/“war on terror” operation, global warming that they’ve tried so hard to deny.

and how are they going to enforce their policies once their armies run out of gas?

this is the neocons’ last chance to accomplish their “benevolent global hegemony” before the oil runs out, but how are they going to enforce their policies once their armies run out of gas?

maybe the main goal of whole dismal project is simply to loot the planet before the system collapses into a rotten, depleted heap.

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By wadosy, March 13, 2009 at 9:32 am Link to this comment

greenhouse effect

In the absence of the greenhouse effect and an atmosphere, the Earth’s average surface temperature of 14 °C (57 °F) could be as low as -18 °C (-0.4 °F), the black body temperature of the Earth.


greenhouse gases

Water vapor is a naturally occurring greenhouse gas and accounts for the largest percentage of the greenhouse effect, between 36% and 70%.

...air can hold more water vapor per unit volume when it warms.

...water vapor concentrations in warmer air will amplify the greenhouse effect created by anthropogenic greenhouse gases while maintaining nearly constant relative humidity. Thus water vapor acts as a positive feedback to the forcing provided by greenhouse gases such as CO2.

The concentration of CO2 has increased by about 100 ppm (i.e., from 280 ppm to 380 ppm).

The first 50 ppm increase took place in about 200 years, from the start of the Industrial Revolution to around 1973; the next 50 ppm increase took place in about 33 years, from 1973 to 2006.


greenhouse gases and contribution to greenhouse effect

water vapor contributes 36–70%
carbon dioxide contributes 9–26%
methane contributes 4–9%
ozone contributes 3–7%


composition of atmosphere (dry)

Nitrogen 78.084%
Oxygen 20.946%
Argon 0.9340%
Carbon dioxide 0.0383%
Neon 0.001818%
Helium 0.000524%
Methane 0.0001745%
Krypton 0.000114%
Hydrogen 0.000055%

Not included in above dry atmosphere:
Water vapor ~0.40% over full atmosphere, typically 1% to 4% near surface

 

if water vapor, at a concentration of 1% to 4% in the lower atmosphere, and overall concentration of fourth tenths of a percent, contributes max 70% of the greenhouse effect that warms the planet enough to make it habitable, that must mean that the other 30% of the warming comes from the other greenhouse gases, of which co2 is dominant.

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By lifewriter, March 13, 2009 at 9:07 am Link to this comment

As much as this is a story about climate change, and the damage done solely by the subsequent warming that occurs after the introduction of fossil fuel emissions, there’s another – perhaps least understood – component to these human-caused disasters: Ocean Acidification.  Read up on this.  Learn about it.  Because of this issue alone – the oceans absorbing carbon-dioxide – our seas stands to lose their major bottom-of-the-food-chain constituent.  Phytoplankton, that small macroscopic shell forming plant that lives in the ocean is very dependent on it’s ecosystem remaining just as it was prior to 1850, when the Industrial Revolution first took flight.  The trouble is, the oceans are changing. “Acidification harms shell-forming plants and animals including surface and deep-water corals, many plankton, pteropods (marine snails), mollusks (clams, oysters), and lobsters (Orr et al., 2005).”  See http://www.whoi.edu/page.do?pid=8916&tid=282&cid=27206

The quote above was sited by Scott Doney testifying on May 10, 2007 before The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation’s Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard who said earlier in his testimony that “global warming should be called ocean warming, as more than 80% of the added heat resides in the ocean. Clear alterations to the ocean have already been detected from observations. The magnitude and patterns of these changes are consistent with an attribution to human activities and not explained by natural variability alone.” 

Here’s another definitive example.  This one from an Antarctic satellite photo:  http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=37455.  The article on this page identifies “ship tracks” or exhaust columns that trail behind merchant ships as they carry cargo around the southern reaches of Alaska. What’s most evocative here is that this photo visually describes the impact of a human action forming novel clouds – from sea level – not from a certain altitude in the sky above.  “The particles in ship exhaust are even tinier than natural sea salt particles, so the clouds that form in the wakes of ships have smaller droplets.”  Again, we find here a common-sense, cause and effect scenario that immediately illustrates how oceans are uniquely susceptible to anthropocentric behaviors which are currently suffocating the biomes that have survived for millions of years on this planet.

The allure of waiving off a bad dream is a natural reaction…who would want to look squarely into the mirror and think that with every step of every day, we as a humanity are quickly destroying our home – in such a manner that our ability to correct the problem may be too complicated and overwhelming to truly consider.  Well, simply put, you need to.  Say it out loud in front of that mirror, as you brush your teeth.  Promise your reflection that today, you will change, or begin the task of educating yourself about HOW you can change to ease the burden that our world is currently carrying. 

One example in migrating to a softer ecological footprint can be observed by studying how Sweden has adopted conservation protocols into their government.  Over the past several decades, a group called The Natural Step (TNS) has assisted many businesses, municipalities and national governments in that task.  See http://www.naturalstep.org/.  This website contains a eLearning module that is worth investigating.  Some municipalities within the US have likewise adopted TNS’s systems-thinking approach to combating climate change, with much success.  See http://www.sustainjefferson.org for example.  Here, community members have rallied together to take on the inertia of corporate run governance by educating themselves, and consequently running for office in order to mandate change to policies that have eroded our world’s ability to sustain itself.  It’s time you did too.

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By wadosy, March 13, 2009 at 9:06 am Link to this comment

the big mystery about global warming deniers is this:

when it comes to global warming, why do deniers believe the same people who lied us into these wars, and very probably staged a false flag attack on america to get their project rolling?

AEI exxon warming denial


another interesting thing: co2 has been accepted as a greenhouse gas over 100 years… it’s a physical fact that co2 is a greenhouse gas.

it’s also a fact that burning one gallon of gasoline produces about 20 pounds of co2.

it’s also a fact that every year, we put about 29 billion tons of extra co2 into the atmosphere.

it’s another fact that we are putting so many particulates into the atmosphere that the greenhouse effect from greenhouse gases is being masked.

it isnt surprising that an israeli scientist discovered global dimming, and published his findings in 2001… we can only wonder how his discovery played into the decision to stage 9/11.


and what happens if the global economy crashes so bad that china quits making widgets to ship to walmart?

…and what if the particulate matter settles out, quits shading the planet, the total effect of co2 is unmasked, and we get a couple degrees of warming in a decade?

what happens if the methane gets loose?

here’s what happens...

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By Revere, March 13, 2009 at 7:57 am Link to this comment

The climate change scam is a guilt program used to further vilify man.  It is a control mechanism invented and documented by The Club of Rome think tank.  Of course Club of Rome is affiliated with the network of World Government dictatorship annunciated by David Rockefeller in his autobiography where he stated:  “Some even believe we (Rockefeller family) are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as ‘internationalists’ and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure – one world, if you will. If that’s the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.”

Now please consider this reasonable view of the situation:  Former astronaut Harrison Schmitt, who walked on the moon and once served New Mexico in the U.S. Senate, doesn’t believe that humans are causing global warming.

“I don’t think the human effect is significant compared to the natural effect,” said Schmitt, who is among 70 skeptics scheduled to speak next month at the International Conference on Climate Change in New York.

Schmitt contends that scientists “are being intimidated” if they disagree with the idea that burning fossil fuels has increased carbon dioxide levels, temperatures and sea levels.

“They’ve seen too many of their colleagues lose grant funding when they haven’t gone along with the so-called political consensus that we’re in a human-caused global warming,” Schmitt said.

Dan Williams, publisher with the Chicago-based Heartland Institute, which is hosting the climate change conference, said he invited Schmitt after reading about his resignation from The Planetary Society, a nonprofit dedicated to space exploration.

Schmitt resigned after the group blamed global warming on human activity. In his resignation letter, the 74-year-old geologist argued that the “global warming scare is being used as a political tool to increase government control over American lives, incomes and decision making.”

Williams said Heartland is skeptical about the crisis that people are proclaiming in global warming.

“Not that the planet hasn’t warmed. We know it has or we’d all still be in the Ice Age,” he said. “But it has not reached a crisis proportion and, even among us skeptics, there’s disagreement about how much man has been responsible for that warming.”

Schmitt said historical documents indicate average temperatures have risen by 1 degree per century since around 1400 A.D., and the rise in carbon dioxide is because of the temperature rise.

Schmitt also said geological evidence indicates changes in sea level have been going on for thousands of years. He said smaller changes are related to changes in the elevation of land masses — for example, the Great Lakes are rising because the earth’s crust is rebounding from being depressed by glaciers.

Schmitt, who grew up in Silver City and now lives in Albuquerque, has a science degree from the California Institute of Technology. He also studied geology at the University of Oslo in Norway and took a doctorate in geology from Harvard University in 1964.

In 1972, he was one of the last men to walk on the moon as part of the Apollo 17 mission.

Schmitt said he’s heartened that the upcoming conference is made up of scientists who haven’t been manipulated by politics.

Of the global warming debate, he said: “It’s one of the few times you’ve seen a sizable portion of scientists who ought to be objective take a political position and it’s coloring their objectivity.”

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By Grousefeather, March 13, 2009 at 6:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Voltaire: The progress of the rivers to the sea is not as rapid as men to error.

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knobcreekfarmer's avatar

By knobcreekfarmer, March 13, 2009 at 3:37 am Link to this comment

Too bad American MSM is all propaganda and holds back what is most important. Of course I never thought that Google, the corporate monster that it is, would also bend. Check out this “World” “News” story found on news.google.com the other day. Front page. All day…

http://blogs.usatoday.com/oped/2009/03/global-warming.html

It’s a fucking opinion! And a bad one at that… Why was it on the front page of the World News section if not to continue the mass brain washing that we’ve been subject too for the past 30 years???

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