The Conveyor Belt is broken!?!?

I am shocked and dismayed!  (Not really – just being a bit sarcastic and melodramatic)

One of the foundations of predicting the climate is that we have some idea of how water moves around the planet.  That water can be in the form of water vapor or liquid water that is flowing in streams, lakes and the oceans.  Since the Earth is approximately 2/3 water and water vapor is the single largest greenhouse gas, the way it acts is very important for understanding climate and predicting the future of climate.


The Anti-Industrial Coup

Mr. Tracinski at had a very interesting commentary on the recent decision to treat carbon dioxide as a pollutant but not water vapor.  While I think that his end conclusion that this could be the beginning of the end of a representative government are likely overblown, his logic and discussion is worth reading and considering.

I originally found this article at RealClearPolitics so please click over there if you want to read every sentence.  Here are the highlights that I found interesting.

We all expect that there will be a contest in Congress this year over global warming and a “cap-and-trade” bill limiting carbon dioxide emissions. After all, the government cannot impose sweeping new controls on our lives without extensive public debate and a vote in Congress that must gain the support of a clear majority of the representatives of the people.


In Science, Ignorance is not Bliss

Launch Magazine – July/August issue

Walter Cunningham is one of the astronauts of Apollo 7.  He writes about global warming in the latest issue of Launch Magazine and his comments bear considering.

Mr. Cunningham is important in this discussion because of his obvious intelligence and past leadership but also in his strong ability in analyzing scientific and political events and drawing conclusions.

What I find to be most compelling are:

  • his ridicule of climate models.
  • his discussions of correlation and causation.
  • the replacement of scientific discussion with emotional arguments.
  • the condemnation of Mr. Hansen – one of the early warning voices of global warming and an employee of NASA.


Reader questions – Part 3 of 4

I enjoy emails from readers of this site.  My contact information is in the About page and the comments and encouragement I receive makes this site a joy to run.  I recently received an email from Brittany C asking four questions.  Brittany is allowing me to publish her questions and my answers.  These answers are a combination of scientific fact with conjecture and opinion from me. This is her 3rd question of the 4.

Question 3: Greenhouse gases trap in the heat from the sun’s rays.  Why do these gases trap in the heat?  Why don’t these gases keep the sun’s heat and rays from entering the earth’s atmosphere in the first place?  I would think that if the gases keep heat from escaping, they would also keep it from entering the atmosphere and reaching the earth’s surface?


Climate skepticism: The top 10

BBC News – November 12, 2007

If you are a global warming skeptic (or if you deal with one regularly), you need to read this article on BBC. It covers a claimed top ten reasons that skeptics likely cite regarding global warming and then gives a short reason why the excuse is not valid.


The persistent role of the Sun in climate forcing

Danish National Space Center – March 2007

Once again, we find that the scientific understanding of our complicated climate is evolving. I repeat my call for more effort and concentration in this area of science since it appears that causality of climate change is not fully understood (comments by a famous politician not withstanding).

This study points out that there appears to be something missing between the causes of solar activity and other influences. When you see a claim such as "one can only wonder about the quality of the surface temperature record" then you start to question what is missing.

Yet over the past 20 years the solar cycle remains fully apparent in variations both of tropospheric air temperature and of ocean sub-surface water temperature.


From Wales, a box to make biofuel from car fumes

Reuters – July 19, 2007

If this works out, it is very cool. This is a double whammy – capture emissions and grow algae for the production of bio-diesel.  While the process of making bio-diesel can be quite expensive, from an energy perspective, if we can rapidly increase the growing of the raw materials then it could make a big difference.

I tend to be a little skeptical on this since it seems like there is a “revolutionary” process announced every 3-4 months.  Many of these processes make great headlines but then die away quickly as the real analysis sets in.


Global warming may save the snows of Kilimanjaro

This is a very interesting blog entry. I haven’t been able to find further evidence of the claim aside from the CNN story that the blog references. Rather than quoting the CNN story though, I thought it was more interesting to read the thoughts of the author of the blog especially since the title of the blog is “Classically Liberal” but the stance is not typical of a liberal in the US political scene.

The author begins by describing multiple references to snow disappearing on Kilimanjaro but then proceeds to ridicule these references by citing the CNN story. For the purposes of this entry, I will focus on the new claims and leave it to you to click through to the entire treatment.


How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic: ‘Climate scientists dodge the subject of water vapor’

Gristmill – December 24, 2006

Gristmill has put a series of articles and for the most part they are excellent.  I suggest you read all of them.  This article is also very good although it does have a few items that, while not untrue, do not completely discuss the issue. I am sure that the author knows better but I wanted to point the incomplete statements.


Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide

Global Warming Petition Project – January, 1998

This a rather old text. It was one of the first to come out and say that the CO2 effects are being over emphasized and the data is not conclusive. Most people that have followed this subject for several years have read and understood this text but the topic of climate change is gaining increased popularity. If you have only recently started reading about this subject, it is important that you familiarize yourself with this early text.