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A new study indicates that dust from regions boarding deserts has a different composition than previously thought. This in turn can alter the impact of dust on climate change, for example via changing the net heating/cooling effect of dust and its effect glacial melting.  (Source: bachmont, Creative Commons)

The study finds that there's more large dust particles in the atmosphere than previously thought. This may mean that climate change models will need to be rerun and reanalyzed to take into account the complex effects of atmospheric dust.  (Source: UCAR)
More large dust particles are present than previously, thought, may act both to cool or accelerate melting

Some of the Earth's tiniest naturally occurring particles may play a much different role in global climate change than previously thought.  New findings reveal that models scientists have long used to estimate the causes and effects of global warming may be flawed due to errors in one of their significant inputs -- atmospheric dust.

This revelation is an indirect conclusion of a new study published in the journal 
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Jasper Kok, a climatology researcher with The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).

I. Ice Melt, Cooling, and Large Dust Particles

The study's key conclusion was to show that the ratio of small soil dust particles (clay), which cool the atmosphere, to large soil dust particles (silt), which may heat or cool depending on their size, may be much lower than previous estimated using empirical (observation based models).  While the number of small dust particles, according to our discussion with Professor Kok, is approximately the same as previously thought, the number of large particles are much higher.

This is a critical finding because it means that current global circulation models (GCMs) used in broader climate change models, may significantly overestimate the net cooling effect per volume of dust (given the greater occurrence of large silt, which favors heating).  The overestimation of the cooling is reported especially high at the top of the atmosphere (TOA), where it may be overestimated by as much as a factor of 15.

It is also critical as these large silt particles tend to precipitate and can play an important role of accelerating glacial melting.  Thus atmospheric dust may not only warm the earth more than previously estimated, but may also lead directly to one of the observed effects often associated with climate change -- glacial melting.

II. A Dusty Surprise

To better understand the study, it's important to get a picture of what these particles are

Mineral dust originates when sand particles are blown by the wind into soil, shattering it into microparticles.  Major sources of mineral dust include the southwestern United States, northern Africa, Northeast Asia (the Gobi Desert) and Australia.

The sand essentially acts like tiny bullets, hammering dirt particles, which tend to be 20 microns or smaller and are thus known as PM20 sediment.  This process, known as saltation ejects a mixed distribution of dust microparticles into the atmosphere, as the cracked particles' aerodynamic forces overwhelm their cohesive forces. 

The smallest resulting microparticles measure less than 2 microns (2000 nm).  These particles are known as clay.  Past studies have shown that they tend to stay in the atmosphere for long periods of time, reflecting light and cooling the Earth.  

Large microparticles, known as silt, can reach 50 microns (50,000 nm) -- about the width of a human hair).  Their weight causes them to quickly fall out of the atmosphere.  Depending on their size they can either exert a net cooling effect or a net heating effect.  Silt larger than 5 microns in diameter tends to warm the earth (as reflection of outgoing radiation back towards the Earth overcomes sun-blocking effects), while silt between 2 and 5 microns tends to cool (as the sun blocking effects are more effective than the reflective effects).  In that regard small silt acts much like clay, albeit being less effective at cooling.

Despite their quick precipitation all types of silt have another significant direct effect on the climate.  After falling through the atmosphere, they tend to accumulate in mountain polar ice, concentrating sunlight, absorbing heat and accelerating melting.

In order to find the true ratio of the particles types, Professor Kok cleverly combined mathematical theory and statistical data.  To determine the breaking method, he used brittle object breaking formulas developed by mathematicians.  Brittle objects, like glass, rocks -- or soil -- break into a predictable distribution of small, medium, and large particles.  

Using these formulas, the researcher turned to statistical information on arid soil, published in a 1983 study Guillaume d'Almeida and Lothar Schüth from the Institute for Meteorology at the University of Mainz in Germany.  By combining the two, he was able to arrive at what is thought to be the most accurate statistical distribution for particle sizes resulting from soil breaking published to date.

And the results yielded a major surprise.  They showed that the ratio of larger particles to small particles (responsible for heating) was two to eight times higher than originally thought.  In other words, this additional large dust may be both exerting more of a net warming effect on the atmosphere and more of a melting effect on glacial ice.

The difference in ratio is large enough that previous models may have even missed the sign of the net forcing from dust (there may have been a net warming due to global dust, rather than a net cooling).  At the least, the dust's per unit cooling effect is much smaller than previously though.

This raises puzzling questions about historic cooling, which traditionally is accompanied by an increase in global dust.  According to Professor Kok, "We know from paleo-records, such as ice cores and lake/ocean sediment cores, that the atmospheric dust concentration during, for example, ice ages, was several times higher than it is now."

The author believes that this is because current GCMs and climate change models significantly underestimate the current volumes of atmospheric dust circulation, and thus come close to the correct net forcing, despite overstating the dust's per-unit net cooling effect.  If true, this could have important ramifications in the biology field, as the Earth's nutrient circulation model would change.

Another possibility not fully analyzed in the paper is that the cooling effect could instead be lesser, but the warming effect from other inputs e.g. carbon aerosols could be less than previously thought.  This would be very significant if true, as it could have a bearing concerning to what degree current emissions need to be regulated.

A crucial question not discussed by the author, but that also seems apparent, is whether warming can trigger an increase in dust, which in turn reins in the system and results in a cooling.  That is a critical question to assessing the possible impact of aerosol emissions, as it could indicate that the planet as the ability to counteract aerosol emissions, via an increase in dust, at least to an extent.

Again, Professor Kok emphasizes that how atmospheric dust levels change over time is still poorly understood.  But based on our discussion with him, we received the impression that this is absolutely critical to determining how our climate will change in response to a variety of factors, including carbon dioxide emissions.

III. Back to the Drawing Board

The new findings by no means devalue the idea of using computer modeling to study the Earth's climate.  But they are an important reminder that climate models are only as good as their inputs, and in many cases those inputs are based on information that's lacking.

It would be rash not to reevaluate at least some of the modeling work done to date, taking into account this new perspective on atmospheric dust.

How much or how little impact this study has on modeling will rest largely on determining more accurately how atmospheric dust levels vary with time.  According to a brief conversation we had with Professor Kok, the levels of atmospheric dust and how they change with time is a poorly "understood" topic.  Thus the study could potentially invalidate currently collected data from current warming models, or leave it largely unscathed.  But it does indicate that a new round of data collection and verification is necessary to determine which is the case.

Despite the controversy that peripheral effect of the study will bring in the non-scientific community, which is preoccuppied with the kind of instant, absolute answers that can justify billion dollar policy decisions, most objective members of the climate change community will likely take the need for correction in stride. 

The author states:

Climate scientists are acutely aware of the many uncertainties in climate models. They are an imperfect tool to estimate future climate, but they are probably the best tool we have. However, despite the many uncertainties, climate scientists are still able to say that, over long time periods (decades) over which greenhouse warming will overwhelm natural climate variability, the Earth will very likely warm. Exactly how much this warming will be, and how this varies regionally, is still uncertain... For this reason, much of the research in the climate sciences is directed towards reducing uncertainties in climate models by both better understanding processes that are already in the models (such as what my study has done), and by adding additional processes that had not yet been accounted for (the glacier melting by dust deposition has for example been added to some climate models in the last few years). My study is thus a small part of this much bigger effort.

And moreover, Professor Kok thinks that its important not to forget the results' beauty from a mathematical perspective, in the rush to apply them to improving modeling.  He states in the previous NSF press release, "As small as [the particles] are, conglomerates of dust particles in soils behave the same way on impact as a glass dropped on a kitchen floor.  Knowing this pattern can help us put together a clearer picture of what our future climate will look like.  The idea that all these objects shatter in the same way is a beautiful thing, actually.  It's nature's way of creating order in chaos."

Beautiful indeed.  Professor Kok's ability to focus on truly objective mathematical and scientific analysis with regard to what is an increasing politicized topic is exemplary as well.  Given recent revelations [1] [2] [3], this kind of objective dedication to scientific truth is not always present in this field, so it's as refreshing to see that as it is fascinating to observe the symmetry that underlies many laws of our universe.

Update: Dec 31, 2010 11:10 a.m.-

We had a lengthy discussion with Professor Kok to clarify a couple of conclusions that the NSF press release seemed to be pointing at.  Most importantly, Professor Kok explained to us that the levels of small dust was not less than previously expected, rather they were the same and the levels of large dust were higher.

He also explained that solar variance (generally within the range of +/- 0.1 percent of total energy transfered into the atmosphere) and dust's reflectivity (about +/- 0.3 percent of total energy transfered into the atmosphere) indicate that any correlation between dust and the impact of solar activity would be very weak (around 3 ppm).  At 3000 ppm, dust's direct effects via atmospheric dust levels are the more important topic to look at, as confirmed by our further discussions with Professor Kok.

That said the key conclusion of this article -- that warming models need to be re-run with accurate dust info or risk offering misleading conclusions -- still stands, albeit via a different mechanism than we previously thought.  We apologize for the confusion concerning the relationship between solar activity and dust levels.

We'd also like to thank Professor Kok for taking the time to discuss some of this study's finer points.  We're looking forward to doing an interview with him on the topic of climate modeling in the near future.



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The sun heats the earth!
By zmatt on 12/29/2010 6:59:14 PM , Rating: 3
What a revelation! I find it funny how the increased solar activity has been used by skeptics of global warming for quite some time and proponents have always said that CO2 is more important and the solar activity can't account for the temperature changes. Oh how things have changed.




RE: The sun heats the earth!
By CharonPDX on 12/29/10, Rating: -1
RE: The sun heats the earth!
By dark matter on 12/29/2010 8:40:38 PM , Rating: 2
Ummm.

Co2 levels have been higher in the past. In fact, they were higher than they are now during several ice ages...

Inconvenient truth. Never a truer title. Just ignore the facts that don't suit.


RE: The sun heats the earth!
By glennforum on 12/30/2010 1:07:47 AM , Rating: 5
Yeah there is also that nagging problem that CO2 is a follow on effect of warming...not the cause...LOL.

Bottom line: they decided they needed to pick the 4th most abundant element in the universe and come up with a way to tax it and thus control anyone, anything connected to it.

It is the biggest "long con" ever pulled and they call Madoff a criminal...he is Mother Theresa compared to this global cabal.


RE: The sun heats the earth!
By lolmuly on 12/30/10, Rating: -1
RE: The sun heats the earth!
By rrburton on 12/30/2010 6:48:04 AM , Rating: 2
Neither CO2 nor carbon monoxide are elements. The element being discussed is carbon.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abundance_of_the_chem...


RE: The sun heats the earth!
By borismkv on 12/30/2010 10:58:56 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
CO2
quote:
carbon monoxide


Chemistry. You're doing it wrong!


RE: The sun heats the earth!
By ninjaquick on 1/5/2011 2:24:53 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Neither CO2 nor carbon monoxide are elements. The element being discussed is carbon.


Reading, you're doing it wrong


RE: The sun heats the earth!
By ninjaquick on 1/5/2011 2:27:35 PM , Rating: 3
And reply fail. My bad, wish this could be undone :P


RE: The sun heats the earth!
By glennforum on 12/30/2010 3:01:31 PM , Rating: 5
I wasn't referring to CO2 as an element like the periodic chart of elements...lol.

The EPA recently ruled that CO2 was a toxin. Which could not be further from the truth. In fact if you used the same test for CO2 then we would have to say that H20 is a toxin as well and in fact then you could extend it to O2 because at 10 feet of H20..O2 is lethal as well.

This is a perfect example of fraudulent science used to promote an agenda.

CO2 is just as important as H20 and O2 for our planet to thrive and succeed.

Its all a bunch of horse hockey and to compare CO2 to CO is an asinine thing to do.


RE: The sun heats the earth!
By lolmuly on 12/30/2010 4:07:46 PM , Rating: 2
>.< read my post again.....


RE: The sun heats the earth!
By glennforum on 12/30/2010 4:18:14 PM , Rating: 2
I did...you said that NOT regulating CO is a mistake...no one was discussing CO...only CO2.


RE: The sun heats the earth!
By raddude9 on 12/30/10, Rating: 0
RE: The sun heats the earth!
By knutjb on 12/30/2010 8:09:04 AM , Rating: 5
This all goes to show how little we really know, this is the point many GW skeptics have been making. What other discoveries are lurking out there to put another gaping hole in GW theories. I suspect there are quite a few to come.


RE: The sun heats the earth!
By michael67 on 12/30/2010 10:53:02 AM , Rating: 2
Actually this is not all new news, as it gets mouths of this gets explained in "Global Dimming - BBC Documentary (2005)"

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-205827353...

Its is just logical further study on all ready well documented findings in early this decade.
quote:
What a revelation! I find it funny how the increased solar activity has been used by skeptics of global warming for quite some time and proponents have always said that CO2 is more important and the solar activity can't account for the temperature changes. Oh how things have changed.

Tho this is maybe new news for most of us, its is not new news for people in this field of research, as those researched really don't live on a rock and they do read about all this research from there pears.

My Girlfriend works for the National institute here in Norway, and as dep. director of a part of it, she is responsible for coordination and budget of a lot of research, and we have very often visit/dinner whit researchers.
research from fundamental physics till all kinds of medical research

One of the most hated thing they all say is the miss quoting and cherry picking on articles.

And the curious way people trust scientist, as long as it dose not hurt there walled.
denial is a human condition that decades of modern schooling still have not rooted out

And all of them, not one excluded, are under the imprison that global warming is and was a problem that had to be faced whit extreme measures.
Some of them now think its less of a problem then early research indicted but the consensus is still that the problem still needs to be handled, and whats bin done is still to little to and to late.

So i wonder why we non scientist think we all know better then the people in the field, and we call them crackpots because we don't like the message they bring, but have the fullest respect for nuclear physicist, do we really think they are more dedicated to there work then a climatologists.

Hmmm, on the other hand it is actually not that strange after all ;-)
http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2010/12/fox-ne...


RE: The sun heats the earth!
By Suntan on 12/30/2010 11:59:35 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Tho this is maybe new news for most of us, its is not new news for people in this field of research, as those researched really don't live on a rock and they do read about all this research from there pears.


Ummmm… Sweet, juicy, delicious, research pears…

-Suntan


RE: The sun heats the earth!
By zozzlhandler on 12/30/2010 1:15:28 PM , Rating: 5
There is one good reason why all the researchers agree - any who did not lost their grant money and so they are not researchers any more. This is a terrible indictment of the way science is done now. And since when does agreement of a majority (most certainly not all researchers as you claim) make a theory a fact? The majority are often wrong. Those of us old enough to remember the consensus that a new ice age was coming know that. But of course we know so much better now ...


RE: The sun heats the earth!
By JKflipflop98 on 12/30/2010 9:13:50 PM , Rating: 2
That's pretty funny, being as we're in an ice age right now.

http://www.scotese.com/climate.htm

Now, which way do you fellas think the little line is getting ready to go?


RE: The sun heats the earth!
By michael67 on 1/1/2011 3:54:32 AM , Rating: 1
Damn the rating your post is getting is just making my point.
quote:
Rating: 5

It is amazing how easily people are prawned to believe things that are not true.

Tell me again why did we invade Iraq again, i believe it had to do whit something silly like WMDs.
En no one made a profit from that, it certainly was not the old firm from tricky Dick.

Some how i trust Climatologist more then people like tricky Dick, but hey that's just silly me


RE: The sun heats the earth!
By TacticalTrading on 12/30/2010 4:59:56 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
So i wonder why we non scientist think we all know better then the people in the field, and we call them crackpots because we don't like the message they bring, but have the fullest respect for nuclear physicist, do we really think they are more dedicated to there work then a climatologists.


While I don't speak for all "non scientists" ....
I think a lot of our skepticism revolves around several things:

1) the weatherman's accuracy beyond 3 days is somewhat questionable. So, it stands to reason that we should have a certain degree of skepticism regarding the Climatologists accuracy looking out more than ## (You fill in the number) of years going forward.

2) "Global" ... The Globe is very big, we humans are very small... you do the math.

3) The proposed solutions seem to be "political" rather than scientific in character, which makes it look like a power grab (which it is)

4) Did anyone mention water vapor as a more powerful greenhouse gas?... Well, it is, and we can't control evaporation of the oceans, which means we can't control clouds... (But we won't talk about that one)

5) Ever hear the story about the boy that cried wolf? Alarmists get funding, but apparently its a bit more difficult selling alarmists rhetoric to a crowd (read:the global population)

6) And Finally, what if it is or is not? the one constant in life is change. Adapt and overcome or perish... This is what successful species do, and humans have done it very well for thousands of years.

The rejection of Man Made Global Warming revolves around the alternatives. It is growing clear that the proposed solutions are not the preferred alternative.


RE: The sun heats the earth!
By Strunf on 12/31/2010 8:02:15 PM , Rating: 2
1)While the weatherman may have problems predicting the weather for the next 3 days no one questions seasons and yet these can be predict for years...

2)The Globe may be "big" but we are all over it now, if your actions here affect someone on the other side of the planet maybe you should be a bit more responsible for your actions!

3)The problem is that there is no solution that isn't political, any solution to a "problem" that involves a change in industry or elsewhere is forcefully political, be it global warming, pollution restrictions or whatever there's always a politician to shift it its way.

4)You may not talk about it but it's not like its not a known fact, when water evaporates from the oceans it also cools them down and clouds may help to keep us warm but they also block part of the sunlight... though I haven't read much about it even from the skeptics!

5)I don't really understand where people got the idea that apparently only one side gets funding, if I was owner of a company that has much to lose with this global warming thing I sure would be sponsoring the skeptics... they both get funding but probably not from the same source!

6)True however is it fair that someone else pays for your actions? it's like smoking its your damn problem if you want to smoke as long as you don't do it in my face! I would feel pretty bad if people die cause of my actions or inactions, I don't fear the changes I fear the consequences.


RE: The sun heats the earth!
By AnnihilatorX on 1/2/2011 9:27:14 AM , Rating: 2
quote:

1) the weatherman's accuracy beyond 3 days is somewhat questionable.


Macro trend and micro trend are different. Micro-trends are heavily influenced by noise in a complex system, it's actually easier to predict long term than short term in some systems, especially climate where known long cycles exists.

quote:
2) "Global" ... The Globe is very big, we humans are very small... you do the math.


That doesn't mean anything. We have the technology to peek into atoms on scales of nanometers, and we had the technology to measure distances in millions of lightyears.

quote:

3) The proposed solutions seem to be "political" rather than scientific in character, which makes it look like a power grab (which it is)

I can't comment on that, but we'd all hate to see that.

quote:

4) Did anyone mention water vapor as a more powerful greenhouse gas?... Well, it is, and we can't control evaporation of the oceans, which means we can't control clouds... (But we won't talk about that one)


You know all combustion of fossil fuels don't just release CO2? For the simplest example, the burning of methane: 2CH4+4O2 -> 4H2O + 2CO2. You see for every molecule of CO2 released there are 4 units of water vapor? Again argument like this doesn't work as this is no simple matter

quote:

5) Ever hear the story about the boy that cried wolf? Alarmists get funding, but apparently its a bit more difficult selling alarmists rhetoric to a crowd (read:the global population)


Selling anything to the public is though sell, if there's anything requiring sacrifice of luxury, money, quality of life. That's human nature. This doesn't mean it's not worth trying.

quote:
6) And Finally, what if it is or is not? the one constant in life is change. Adapt and overcome or perish... This is what successful species do, and humans have done it very well for thousands of years.

If this is pre industrial time where population is low and resources still abundant there would be no problem. If significant climate shift occurs amount of productive lands which sustain population is not going to cut it. Also, the very essence of 'adapt, overcome or perish' is precisely what scientists are doing at the moment, and some people so called skeptics rather sit on their crouch and enjoy some Whiskey.

quote:
The rejection of Man Made Global Warming revolves around the alternatives. It is growing clear that the proposed solutions are not the preferred alternative.


In my opinion there isn't just one method that's best. A myriad of good methods should be used, starting from ones which have side benefits. Improving energy efficiency, upgrading power grid, distribution, moving to renewable, even going nuclear until fusion bear fruits. Recycling, improving waste treatment methods, waste-to-energy, low CO2 concrete, sustainable urban development projects, energy efficient housing/buildings there are a lot of technologies that do small parts but create opportunities to better life index without jeopardizing green agenda.


RE: The sun heats the earth!
By AnnihilatorX on 1/2/2011 9:28:35 AM , Rating: 2
edit button request

You see for every 2 molecules of CO2 released there are 4 units of water vapor

corrected


By DominionSeraph on 12/29/2010 10:29:42 PM , Rating: 3
This doesn't seem to change anything, though. It's a change in our INFORMATION of the static conditions -- it does not put more dust in the atmosphere nor change the ratio. It does not account for the change in temperatures -- it just says these changes occurred with a different baseline ratio of dust than we previously thought.
In order for this to be a mechanism for the rise in temperatures the ratio or amount must have altered. It doesn't say that.

This is a common mistake made by norms: They think a change in belief about reality is the same thing as a change in reality. You see it made by Fundies a lot: "But if God doesn't exist then everything would be different." No, if the state of reality is that God doesn't exist then everything else that exists has existed just fine without God. "But if evolution is true then..." Then nothing, fool. It has always been true.

Anyway, this appears to make any contribution from CO2 that much worse. If climate change leads to desertification, and desertification puts more dust in the atmosphere, that dust doesn't cool as much as we previously thought.




By TacticalTrading on 12/30/2010 5:20:51 PM , Rating: 2
Actually this does change things quite a lot.

It is my understanding that the best climate models do a very poor job of modeling known history. That being said, it is difficult to have faith in their forward looking accuracy.

This new knowledge may allow the models to be improved and possibly increase their ability to model known history and thus improve their forward looking accuracy.

What we don't know is how big of an impact Dust has relative to CO2.
What if (Scary words for some) Dust levels in conjunction with solar output prove to be the primary regulators of water vapor, which turns out to be the driver of global temps? (as if it could be that simple)

But if this is the case, then humans can not control global climate.
It is what it is, but "Can Not Control" is something politicians do NOT like to hear.


By Alexvrb on 1/1/2011 12:59:39 AM , Rating: 2
Since AGW claims are made based on certain information, a change in this information could debunk their claims. If their facts are wrong, maybe their theory is wrong too.

Your high horse lance at "Fundies" can apply to AGW proponents as well. "If changes to the Earth's climate aren't driven by humanity then..." then nothing fool. They are driven by something else, and this has always been true.

See how that works? You can apply it to a lot of situations and groups. Hope you don't twist an ankle coming off that towering steed of yours.


Quick, get the check book!
By priusone on 12/30/2010 8:03:54 AM , Rating: 5
Can we buy particle credits along with carbon credits?




RE: Quick, get the check book!
By maverick85wd on 12/30/2010 1:09:16 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sure Mr. Gore would be happy to sell you either


By diggernash on 12/30/2010 9:14:16 AM , Rating: 4
Heating or cooling. Worst case it shifts the world's food production centers further away from or toward the equator. I'm pretty sure we could walk into Canada or Mexico and start growing wheat if needed. There are much worse things afoot that we should be worrying about.




Well, oops
By morphologia on 12/29/2010 6:15:36 PM , Rating: 3
This is kinda like a Y2K realization for climatology, only this time the apocalypse is postponed instead of precipitated. Hopefully those really expensive computers they're designing to simulate the earth will help them get accurate data on this.

So, this means that general health concerns are now the primary reason for reducing carbon emissions, instead of slow-motion weather Armageddon? Still worthy of some effort, mind you...




Interesting but...
By Gurthang on 12/30/2010 10:10:18 AM , Rating: 3
The abstract does not match the atricle's "all climate models are now wrong" slant. They could be I don't know I don't write them. All it seems to say is that prior dust models could not account for measured size distributions and that his new model more accuratly reflects actual measurments of size distribution in regional dust. And thus could improve any model that incorporates the effects of dust in them.

So then the questiobn becomes do the climate modelers actualy use the known flawed dust model without any sort of corrections or do they use some other stastical model based on current measurments with some assumptions like that only amount of dust will change and not the size distribution. Since there are no perfect models that contain no assumptions I find it hard to believe someone would choose to use a known bad model without compensation.

Another big question is how much effect does dust have on global climate. And does prediction of dust effects suffer from the same problems as the cloud formation prediction issues where the level of computation required to accuratly model formation of dust storms or clouds is so somputationaly intensive that doing global modeling using them is currently impossible so simplier models must be used. Also like the whole CO2 vs. Water Vapor debate does it get first billing or is it in a support role on the great climate change play.




By corduroygt on 12/29/2010 7:16:07 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, Kok!




By rdhood on 12/30/2010 12:28:30 PM , Rating: 2
Most people don't realize that it would take the dust of just ONE super volcano, like Yellow Stone, to go off and and we would IMMEDIATELY move into the next ice age.

All the hand wringing, name calling and machinations of man are nothing compared certain acts of nature.

And, BTW, Yellow Stone has been exhibiting all the characteristics of a volcano lurching toward eruption (cluster earthquakes, a swelling caldera, etc. The volcano erupts with a near-clockwork cycle of every 600,000 years. The last eruption was more than 640,000 years ago.




fear
By mememine69 on 12/30/2010 4:39:22 PM , Rating: 2
2011 brings us 25 years of “unstoppable warming” warnings from the thousands of consensus scientists apparently who have somehow managed to out numbered the climate change protesters. If crisis was real, not only would the scientists be marching, we would be talking about the crisis, not debating it’s existence. And it’s been two and a half decades. A quarter of a century.
A wave of former believers has arrived who see further belief dividing the efforts of environmentalism and worst of all, the dragging of the progressive message to the people, down with it. And how foolish do we all look? We act like we WANT this crisis to be real and we condemn our very own children to a DEATH BY CO2. We need love, not windmills. We need to act like liberals again who question and challenge authority, not bow to a fat American politician promising to tax the air and lower the seas and make the weather colder.
This was our Iraq War people. Our fear mongering with our climate WMD’s could keep us out of power for decades. Drop the CO2 and start anew I say.

What did the IPCC scientists all agree on?

1-Human CO2 is impacting the climate.

2-The effects will be:

a-"little if any to negligible"
to
b-"unstoppable warming' -as in death.

Remove the CO2 factor from the equation and nothing changes. We would still strive to be responsible environmentalists except the spear of fear is removed from our backs. And as far as being dedicated progressives, we sit in the dark with the electric lights turned off for an hour once a year and call it radical. We are embarrassing ourselves.




Scale
By fearrun on 12/30/2010 6:46:22 PM , Rating: 2
If those measurements were not shown on the image of the earth and the comparative sizes, I might come to believe that the real danger to life on earth is gigantic particles and human hair crushing everyone and altering the earth's gravity.

With the size of those human hairs, we could make a space bridge to the moon a reality!




Yes, Someone Is High
By GreyMulkin on 12/29/2010 9:06:32 PM , Rating: 1
From TFA above:

"The study's key conclusion was to show that the ratio of small soil dust particles (clay) , which cool the atmosphere, to large soil dust particles (silt) ..."

But then:

"The smallest microparticles measure a mere 2 microns (2000 nm). These particles are known as silt. They tend to stay in the atmosphere for long periods of time, reflecting light and cooling the Earth.

Large microparticles, known as clay, can reach 50 microns (50,000 nm) -- about the width of a human hair)."




kk
By Randomblame on 12/30/10, Rating: 0
Give it a rest, Mick
By pirspilane on 12/29/10, Rating: -1
RE: Give it a rest, Mick
By Alexvrb on 12/29/2010 8:01:54 PM , Rating: 5
Are you high? When I first started reading Jason Mick's articles he came off as a tree hugging hippy, global warming proponent. I can't help it if he has gradually matured and come to realize over the years what a load of dung a lot of the global warming "science" is.

Sounds to me like you haven't read anything he wrote when Masher was still around. Jason has improved a lot since then, in my opinion.


RE: Give it a rest, Mick
By bug77 on 12/29/10, Rating: 0
RE: Give it a rest, Mick
By jbartabas on 12/29/2010 8:44:46 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
I have taken no such class, but I can tell you this. 1. Distance from Sun to Earth: ~150.000.000Km. 2. The Poles are about 6.000Km farther than the Equator. 3. 6.000/150.000.000=0.00004 (that's 0.004%) 4. That minuscule difference tends to "slightly" change the temperatures between the Equator and Poles. Granted, variations in Sun activity aren't that large, but I still find it stupid/manipulative to dismiss all causes of the greenhouse effect and blame it all on CO2.


The temperature differences pole/equator have much more to do with the inclination of the local surface wrt the incoming radiation than with the minuscule change in distance wrt to the Sun that you've yourself emphasized.


RE: Give it a rest, Mick
By bug77 on 12/29/2010 8:56:32 PM , Rating: 1
But it's still connected to the amount of light/heat received and not to the CO2 levels.


RE: Give it a rest, Mick
By jbartabas on 12/29/2010 11:08:15 PM , Rating: 2
And what does that have to do with the impact of solar activity on temperature fluctuations?


RE: Give it a rest, Mick
By mckirkus on 12/30/2010 12:27:58 AM , Rating: 3
Mr. Bug77, what you've just written is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever read. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone on DailyTech is now dumber for having read it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.


RE: Give it a rest, Mick
By bug77 on 12/30/2010 7:49:29 AM , Rating: 2
Why is it idiotic? It is widely accepted among astronomers that life can only exist on a planet at a certain distance from its sun. Too close and it will be too hot, too far away and it will be too cold.

Yet AGW supporters keep telling me that our Sun does not influence the temperature on Earth at all. I said "fine, maybe its variations are too small to have a significant influence", but why go straight for CO2 for an explanation?
Of all the factors, in all the solar system, in all of Earth's atmosphere, they had to pick on CO2.


RE: Give it a rest, Mick
By mckirkus on 12/30/2010 9:39:30 AM , Rating: 2
You might be right but your insistence that the north pole is colder because it's farther away from the sun is evidence of a massive dearth of scientific understanding. The equator is hot because the sun is directly above you. On the poles the sun never rises much higher than the sun gets at maybe 4pm on the equator.


RE: Give it a rest, Mick
By jbartabas on 12/30/2010 9:49:11 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Why is it idiotic?[...]Yet AGW supporters keep telling me that our Sun does not influence the temperature on Earth at all.


You're totally missing the point, and yes, your failed attempt at even the most basic physics above was ... embarrassing (but apparently you're above that, even in flagrant display of ignorance).


RE: Give it a rest, Mick
By fearrun on 12/30/2010 6:34:28 PM , Rating: 2
Nice usage of that dialogue. Additional point loss to Bug77 for lacking a sense of humor.


RE: Give it a rest, Mick
By dark matter on 12/29/2010 8:38:01 PM , Rating: 2
Of course the sun has no effect on the temperature of the Earth.

What were we thinking, it's the cows farting in the fields..


RE: Give it a rest, Mick
By glennforum on 12/30/10, Rating: -1
RE: Give it a rest, Mick
By dreddly on 12/30/2010 3:31:04 AM , Rating: 1
I'm with you.

My new years resolution is to stop visiting this site.

I have been requesting better political methodology on here for months to no avail.

No longer will I visit or recommended links to my classes.


RE: Give it a rest, Mick
By zozzlhandler on 12/30/2010 2:53:57 PM , Rating: 2
Don't let the doornob ream your behind on the way out...


RE: Give it a rest, Mick
By JKflipflop98 on 12/30/2010 9:22:27 PM , Rating: 1
Are you trying to assert your knowledge of astronomy - and then in the same breath telling us that the sun doesn't have anything to do with the temperatures on our planet?

Wow.


Doesn't change a damned thing
By Philippine Mango on 12/29/10, Rating: -1
RE: Doesn't change a damned thing
By jmunjr on 12/29/10, Rating: 0
RE: Doesn't change a damned thing
By Fraggeren on 12/29/2010 6:44:49 PM , Rating: 2
It's true that CO2 levels correlates with destruction of corals, this acidification of the oceans could turn out to be a big deal.


RE: Doesn't change a damned thing
By wordsworm on 12/29/2010 7:13:12 PM , Rating: 2
If mankind's actions had no effect on the planet, there would be no such thing as an environmentalist.

Environmentalists have saved countless birds from fighting DDT. They have fought lead in gasoline. The air in cities I recall from the 80s was a thick smog that used to block out the sun to the extent I couldn't see it in bigger cities. Though smog hasn't been entirely eradicated, the progress is welcomed. We still have a long way to go. There's much that needs to be done to help save our planet.

Environmentalists would love nothing better than to find out that we have no impact on the earth. But, sadly, this is not so. We know that deforestation and dragnet fishing needs to be fought. We also know that there is a finite supply of fossil fuels and that we're on the verge of a nuclear fuel shortage (of course, the new arms reduction deal might stave that off for another period). While some environmentalists are extreme, the majority just want to make sure that the environment in which we live in, today and tomorrow, is healthy and clean as much as we can make it.

There's something else. A single volcano has been shown to have the capacity to either drastically warm or cool the earth depending on the chemical makeup. Either direction can have a negative impact. By continually applying ourselves to environmental studies, we might one day find a way to save ourselves in the event of some catastrophic natural event.


RE: Doesn't change a damned thing
By Spuke on 12/29/2010 10:36:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
we might one day find a way to save ourselves in the event of some catastrophic natural event.
Or we just may all die.


RE: Doesn't change a damned thing
By Flunk on 12/30/2010 11:31:58 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, that's a certainty. We will all die.


RE: Doesn't change a damned thing
By FITCamaro on 12/30/10, Rating: 0
RE: Doesn't change a damned thing
By Suntan on 12/30/2010 12:15:59 PM , Rating: 2
I know the popular, knee-jerk reaction for a lot of people is to down rate you for saying DDT might be useful, but I tend to agree with you.

I too have read a couple of studies that discovered that *responsible* usage of DDT in poor countries vastly diminished the deaths caused by malaria and other insect borne diseases with little to no impact on the local egg laying animals.

It is just unfortunate that 1) a number of (vocal) environmentalist groups tend to prefer solutions that make a bold statement, even if it indirectly costs human lives in favor of furthering their “cause” and 2) most everyone else just chooses the easier method of outright stopping the use of DDT instead of looking to use it responsibly in places where the human benefit far outweighs the environmental impact because it shuts up the whining environmentalists.

-Suntan


RE: Doesn't change a damned thing
By zozzlhandler on 12/29/2010 7:38:54 PM , Rating: 3
While damage coral is of concern, the co2 levels have been much higher in the past and the sea survived. I believe we need to understand better what is going on before spending billions trying to fix what may or may not be the cause. What if it wasn't co2? The limits on our knowledge and ability to predict have been shown by this study. Should we not learn from this? The (fascinating) book The Black Swan shows clearly how difficult predictions of this kind are. It is foolish to conduct an experiment putting co2 into the atmosphere in an uncontrolled manner, but just as stupid to spend huge sums trying to reduce it when we do not know for sure if it is the cause of our problems.


RE: Doesn't change a damned thing
By raddude9 on 12/30/2010 5:21:09 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
While damage coral is of concern, the co2 levels have been much higher in the past and the sea survived.


Not this manure again. Yes, CO2 levels were much higher, but you are talking hundreds of millions of years. In the last million years or so, CO2 levels were always lower than today. And this is what matters to the plans and animals that are currently alive.

CO2 is a greenhouse gas, there is no getting around the physics of it. From that I conclude that it is more stupid to "put CO2 into the atmosphere in an uncontrolled manner" than it is to try to reduce it.


By EricMartello on 12/30/2010 11:46:53 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, for hundreds of millions of years, the earth was warm with higher CO2 levels in the atmosphere...only recently have things began to cool down. Simple logic would suggest that that "norm" for this planet is in fact elevated CO2 levels and global temperatures...and that the current state is the 'fluke'.

CO2 is not the only gas that has a greenhouse effect, and its effects are lower than water vapor...so making it into some kind of scapegoat to stake a flawed theory upon is a really good way to make sure nobody with something more than a room temperature IQ takes you too seriously.


RE: Doesn't change a damned thing
By zozzlhandler on 12/30/2010 3:04:01 PM , Rating: 2
You Sir, need a lesson on how to discuss in an intelligent manner. Calling something "manure" does not disprove it. Maybe we can use it to fertilize an intelligent discussion?

Anyway, we have seen how supposedly accepted theories can have huge gaping holes, How do we know that its the CO2 causing the coral die-off? What if its something else like silt? We need to know before spending billions on remedies that may or may not work.


By raddude9 on 1/2/2011 6:39:18 AM , Rating: 2
I'm calling it manure because looking at the CO2 levels on earth hundreds of millions of years ago and expecting those levels to have relevance today is patently stupid.

quote:
How do we know that its the CO2 causing the coral die-off


higher CO2 --> more acidic oceans --> dead coral

Coral cannot tolerate more acidic water, there's plenty of research to show that if you are bothered to look. What's the point in spending money on research if people are too blinkered to read or understand it.


RE: Doesn't change a damned thing
By GatoRat on 12/30/2010 1:59:52 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, pretty good studies have found a much stronger correlation with ocean silt and coral die off. This is directly related to over deforestation on many islands and the resulting mud flowing into reefs and blocking sunlight.


My Opinion on Environmentalists.
By dark matter on 12/29/10, Rating: -1
RE: My Opinion on Environmentalists.
By Spuke on 12/29/2010 10:34:24 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But above all else, it's their pomposity and self righteousness that really grates on me. They must think we are all idiots to not see through their hypocrisy.
It used to grate me too. But I realized that we all do what we want do to and use whatever to justify our actions, right or wrong. Now, if I "debate" with environmentalists or their wannabees, it's just for fun (I like to argue).


By DominionSeraph on 12/29/2010 10:36:53 PM , Rating: 2
PJABBER, is that you?

I told you you weren't very good at reading motivations. You should really stop now.
Or not. I can derive enjoyment from watching people face plant.


RE: My Opinion on Environmentalists.
By wordsworm on 12/29/10, Rating: 0
By glennforum on 12/30/2010 12:55:37 AM , Rating: 5
Al Gore is NOT an environmentalist. He is a "state-capitalist" - one who believes in his connections and ability to control things to fund his outrageous ego and narcisissim.

His father was one of the worst environmental terrorists the USA has ever seen.

Al Gore has profited over $100 million in his support for the AGW scam. His motivation is pure greed and power...nothing else.

He is a complete hypocrite wasting 23 X's more energy than the average household in the USA...etc...

CFL light bulbs are a perfect example of the "fake green - envrionmentalists" out there. Introduce a product that if it breaks would amount to a hazardous spill. Incredible...but why CFL...oh yeah their cronies could produce them and they all could make money off it? Didn't they get rid of thermostats that had mercury switches...now all of a sudden mercury is all the rage...LOL.

The sheeple of world are complete fools...get the facts...and have your voice heard before they herd you into global enslavement.


RE: My Opinion on Environmentalists.
By ekv on 12/30/2010 1:16:53 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
looking for ways to reduce the negative effects we have on the environment
LOL. Yeah, by randomly lobbing inflammatory remarks about Christians into some innocuous article/thread. I suppose I ought to be honored by your pejoratives?

Give it rest, huh, and focus on the science. O, wait...


RE: My Opinion on Environmentalists.
By wordsworm on 12/30/2010 8:06:05 AM , Rating: 1
Spoken like someone who's never been to a church. I have been to many of them.

Jesus was the ultimate hippy. I'm sorry if my comment gave your cranium inflammation. Maybe you should have it looked at.

The initial poster was basically saying that all environmentalists are dirty hippies. Funny how that didn't cause cranial inflammation.


RE: My Opinion on Environmentalists.
By ekv on 12/30/10, Rating: -1
RE: My Opinion on Environmentalists.
By fic2 on 12/30/2010 4:42:24 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
You have the hypocrisy to think that simply attending a church makes you a Christian [because what you actually believe doesn't matter ... or does it?].


To be fair most of the "christians" that I know seem to feel the same way. I have several cousins who are born again, go to church every Sunday, pray before every meal that are the most racist people I know. You can't mention the color of any object without it being made into some kind of racist slur by them. Thank goodness I moved to a different state and only have to deal with them occasionally.
I also used to have long hair and a beard. A lot of the people that I dealt with didn't approve even though they worshiped a guy with long hair and beard.


RE: My Opinion on Environmentalists.
By ekv on 12/31/10, Rating: -1
RE: My Opinion on Environmentalists.
By wordsworm on 12/31/2010 3:30:15 PM , Rating: 2
Don't take it too personally. I think he just wanted to cry on my shoulder. How he came to believe I was a Christian I'll never know. Intellectual curiosity is not the same as buying into the mythology.

He still has a hard time linking the fact that Jesus was a hippy with the fact that environmentalists are often categorized as hippies. But that's OK. I know he's suffering from inflammation.


RE: My Opinion on Environmentalists.
By ekv on 1/1/2011 3:28:48 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
How he came to believe I was a Christian
Never said such a thing and never implied such. Perhaps you're delusional, or simply put out that your pet AGW is a theory in crisis.

If I were you, I would have to continue to double-down by deflecting criticism away from Environmentalists -- wasn't that what the thread's about(?). And above all, don't talk about the science. Dust particles can be largely ignored in all current models. Only somebody with intellectual curiosity would look into that.


By JKflipflop98 on 1/1/2011 10:34:43 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
You insult me first off. You inject Christians into the argument where it wasn't before. You fail to make the connection. You insult me again. You have the hypocrisy to think that simply attending a church makes you a Christian [because what you actually believe doesn't matter ... or does it?]. The list goes on and on.


quote:
Wah. Everybody, all together now, POOR BABY! Somebody wrote, actually wrote an insult on the Internet? O no! How derisive! How sarcastic! And to think the reason for this is that you feel threatened about science eroding the hype surrounding AGW.


I don't even need to add anything here. Classic.


RE: My Opinion on Environmentalists.
By NesuD on 12/30/2010 3:27:17 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Al Gore is an environmentalist. He typically wears a suit.


Wrong! Al Gore is first and foremost a capitalist who sometimes wears the suit of an environmentalist. Be clear on this. Environmentalism is his business . Were it not highly profitable he would likely not be as involved.


By wordsworm on 12/30/2010 8:00:45 AM , Rating: 2
It would be more suspect if he espoused solar investment without investing himself. His film pulled in a cool 50 million. It's about the environment. Where do you suppose he ought to invest his time and money?


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