A question for the AGW deniers

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by futurecurrents, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. Given that CO2 has gone up about 35% over the last 150 years from the burning of fossil fuels and we know CO2 is a dominant greenhouse gas, how could it be that temps should NOT go up?

    Now before jem pipes in that we don't know if the CO2 came from the outgassing of the earth due to the temp rise instead of us.....

    "Over the last 150 years, carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations have risen from 280 to nearly 380 parts per million (ppm). The fact that this is due virtually entirely to human activities is so well established that one rarely sees it questioned. Yet it is quite reasonable to ask how we know this.

    One way that we know that human activities are responsible for the increased CO2 is simply by looking at historical records of human activities. Since the industrial revolution, we have been burning fossil fuels and clearing and burning forested land at an unprecedented rate, and these processes convert organic carbon into CO2. Careful accounting of the amount of fossil fuel that has been extracted and combusted, and how much land clearing has occurred, shows that we have produced far more CO2 than now remains in the atmosphere. The roughly 500 billion metric tons of carbon we have produced is enough to have raised the atmospheric concentration of CO2 to nearly 500 ppm. The concentrations have not reached that level because the ocean and the terrestrial biosphere have the capacity to absorb some of the CO2 we produce.* However, it is the fact that we produce CO2 faster than the ocean and biosphere can absorb it that explains the observed increase.

    Another, quite independent way that we know that fossil fuel burning and land clearing specifically are responsible for the increase in CO2 in the last 150 years is through the measurement of carbon isotopes. Isotopes are simply different atoms with the same chemical behavior (isotope means “same type”) but with different masses. Carbon is composed of three different isotopes, 14C, 13C and 12C. 12C is the most common. 13C is about 1% of the total. 14C accounts for only about 1 in 1 trillion carbon atoms.

    CO2 produced from burning fossil fuels or burning forests has quite a different isotopic composition from CO2 in the atmosphere. This is because plants have a preference for the lighter isotopes (12C vs. 13C); thus they have lower 13C/12C ratios. Since fossil fuels are ultimately derived from ancient plants, plants and fossil fuels all have roughly the same 13C/12C ratio – about 2% lower than that of the atmosphere. As CO2 from these materials is released into, and mixes with, the atmosphere, the average 13C/12C ratio of the atmosphere decreases.

    Isotope geochemists have developed time series of variations in the 14C and 13C concentrations of atmospheric CO2. One of the methods used is to measure the 13C/12C in tree rings, and use this to infer those same ratios in atmospheric CO2. This works because during photosynthesis, trees take up carbon from the atmosphere and lay this carbon down as plant organic material in the form of rings, providing a snapshot of the atmospheric composition of that time. If the ratio of 13C/12C in atmospheric CO2 goes up or down, so does the 13C/12C of the tree rings. This isn’t to say that the tree rings have the same isotopic composition as the atmosphere – as noted above, plants have a preference for the lighter isotopes, but as long as that preference doesn’t change much, the tree-ring changes wiil track the atmospheric changes.

    Sequences of annual tree rings going back thousands of years have now been analyzed for their 13C/12C ratios. Because the age of each ring is precisely known** we can make a graph of the atmospheric 13C/12C ratio vs. time. What is found is at no time in the last 10,000 years are the 13C/12C ratios in the atmosphere as low as they are today. Furthermore, the 13C/12C ratios begin to decline dramatically just as the CO2 starts to increase — around 1850 AD. This is exactly what we expect if the increased CO2 is in fact due to fossil fuel burning. Furthermore, we can trace the absorption of CO2 into the ocean by measuring the 13C/12C ratio of surface ocean waters. While the data are not as complete as the tree ring data (we have only been making these measurements for a few decades) we observe what is expected: the surface ocean 13C/12C is decreasing. Measurements of 13C/12C on corals and sponges — whose carbonate shells reflect the ocean chemistry just as tree rings record the atmospheric chemistry — show that this decline began about the same time as in the atmosphere; that is, when human CO2 production began to accelerate in earnest.***

    In addition to the data from tree rings, there are also of measurements of the 13C/12C ratio in the CO2 trapped in ice cores. The tree ring and ice core data both show that the total change in the 13C/12C ratio of the atmosphere since 1850 is about 0.15%. This sounds very small but is actually very large relative to natural variability. The results show that the full glacial-to-interglacial change in 13C/12C of the atmosphere — which took many thousand years — was about 0.03%, or about 5 times less than that observed in the last 150 years.

    For those who are interested in the details, some relevant references are:
    Stuiver, M., Burk, R. L. and Quay, P. D. 1984. 13C/12C ratios and the transfer of biospheric carbon to the atmosphere. J. Geophys. Res. 89, 11,731-11,748.
    Francey, R.J., Allison, C.E., Etheridge, D.M., Trudinger, C.M., Enting, I.G., Leuenberger, M., Langenfelds, R.L., Michel, E., Steele, L.P., 1999. A 1000-year high precision record of d13Cin atmospheric CO2. Tellus 51B, 170–193.
    Quay, P.D., B. Tilbrook, C.S. Wong. Oceanic uptake of fossil fuel CO2: carbon-13 evidence. Science 256 (1992), 74-79"

  2. gwb-trading


    As outlined over and over again, any rise in CO2 did not occur due to man's activities. It is simply part of the natural cycle of CO2 in the environment. The percentage of CO2 created by man is miniscule compared to the CO2 put out by the nature processes of the planet.
  3. Didn't you read the piece? It absolutely IS due to man. It's a fact. There are multiple ways we know this. Now you're simply being stupid.

    If you're going to ignore facts there is no point with arguing with you anymore.

    So, I ask again, how can this NOT lead to warming.
  4. Ricter


    According to the chart of the earth's historical CO2 levels, so long as atmospheric CO2 stays below 300 ppmv we should have nothing to worry about.
  5. jem


    you have a problem with cause and effect in open systems.

    Man creates some CO2 - check.
    Earth processes CO2 - check.

    The question becomes what causes the CO2 to accumulate instead of being outgassed or processed.
  6. stoic


    First, Your question is flawed from the start. Your asking how can one deny the facts. Questioning a theory is good science, accepting a theory, or promoting a theory as fact is not science.

    Stating that CO2 is up 35% is a good example of how one quotes a statistic to make their point. Yes, an increase of CO2 from 280 ppm to 380 ppm can be stated as a 35% increase. But those looking to promote their agenda know that stating the point as a increase of 100 ppm, or an increase of 1 one hundredth of 1 % ppm, just doesn't have quite the same dazzle.

    One must acknowledge the fact that CO2 is indeed a Greenhouse gas, 2nd to water vapor. CO2 is composed of two oxygen atoms bonded to a single carbon atom and considered a trace gas at a concentration of 0.039 per cent by volume (not quite what one would call dominant). It is fact that CO2 is produced naturally in nature and by humans in the combustion of hydrocarbons. Stating that this 100 parts per million increase is "....due virtually entirely to human activities is so well established...... " is not stating facts.

    Yes it's a fact that ....." Since the industrial revolution, we have been burning fossil at an unprecedented rate, and these processes convert organic carbon into CO2" It is also a fact that Volcanoes (just one of the natural sources of CO2) spew 130 million tones of CO2 each year. Some have theorized that just one major eruption spews as much CO2 into the atmosphere as the entire history of the industrial revolution.(keep that 100 parts per million in mind) Additionally even proponents of global warming show data, with periods of significantly higher levels of CO2 prior to the industrial revolution.

    It has been agreed that human activity, and the recent use of fossil fuels since the industrial revolution contributes to CO2. There is also little doubt the earth has warmed slightly over the same period. However there is no compelling reason to believe that the rise in temperature was caused by the rise in CO2.

    It is a fact that periods of climate change such as The Little Ice Age (1350 to about 1850), the Medieval Warm Period from (950 to 1250) or the Holocene Maximum , (9,000 to 5,000 years B.P.) cannot be explained by proponents of the current Industrial Revolution and CO2 climate apocalypse. Periods certainly with greater climate variations. These periods are simply brushed aside with the idiom.... "we're only interested in the data since the the use of fossil fuels....anything before the last 200 years is irrelevant to our models......". This statement alone is cause for skepticism. It is a fact that true legitimate scientific research demands as much information as one can assemble. As true in climatology, as in any other pursuit of knowledge.

    It is a fact that the climate is changing, it's a fact that it has always been changing, it's a fact that it will always be changing.

    In the Great Debate on man-made climate change we seem to have one side that always questions the "computer models" always questions the theories, always want more information, always point out real or potential flaws in the analysis, always asks new questions, and thus sound more like true inquisitive humans. On the other side, the purveyors of AGW state their theories as fact, they alone are the ones that KNOW how nature works. Their computer models cannot be questioned. (only modified to show even greater shocking consequences) Sensationalize their endeavors with predictions of apocalyptic floods, drought, pestilence and famine. Their books must be read, their UN grants received, their names on papers.

    You have "A question for the AGW deniers" I can only speak for myself. I cannot say I am an expert on the climate. In life I am always in pursuit of knowledge, I hope...... I like to think that I seek all sides, and opposing views where pertinent. In this debate one may argue that one side is in the majority. From my point of view, one side sounds like the squeakiest wheels, the Chicken Little's. The other side seems more like true intellectuals in pursuit of knowledge.

    That is why I cannot embrace AGW as Fact.

    I can truly say, I pity those that put their faith in Chicken Little.
  7. You're lecturing me about science? That's funny.

    The earth as a whole is a CLOSED system. The biosphere and the oceans can only absorb so much CO2. We put 8 billion tons of CO2 into the air every year. Much of is absorbed raising the ph of the ocean and goes into vegetation. But the excess accumulates. This excess CO2 is from the burning of fossil fuels and this has been proven in several different ways as outlined above. If you reject the solid science and simple math that goes into proving this, there is really no hope of convincing you of anything as you will prove yourself to be simply irrational.
  8. jem


    you are such a fool or a fraud.
    has the earth accumulated and then dissipated higher levels of CO2 without the help of man.

    Can the earth absorb or outgas CO2.
    So who the hell are you to write such crap.

    by the way... CO2 still lags right up til now.

    explain this...


    Using data series on atmospheric carbon dioxide and global temperatures we investigate the phase relation (leads/lags) between these for the period January 1980 to December 2011. Ice cores show atmospheric CO2 variations to lag behind atmospheric temperature changes on a century to millennium scale, but modern temperature is expected to lag changes in atmospheric CO2, as the atmospheric temperature increase since about 1975 generally is assumed to be caused by the modern increase in CO2. In our analysis we use eight well-known datasets; 1) globally averaged well-mixed marine boundary layer CO2 data, 2) HadCRUT3 surface air temperature data, 3) GISS surface air temperature data, 4) NCDC surface air temperature data, 5) HadSST2 sea surface data, 6) UAH lower troposphere temperature data series, 7) CDIAC data on release of anthropogene CO2, and 8) GWP data on volcanic eruptions. Annual cycles are present in all datasets except 7) and 8), and to remove the influence of these we analyze 12-month averaged data. We find a high degree of co-variation between all data series except 7) and 8), but with changes in CO2 always lagging changes in temperature. The maximum positive correlation between CO2 and temperature is found for CO2 lagging 11–12 months in relation to global sea surface temperature, 9.5-10 months to global surface air temperature, and about 9 months to global lower troposphere temperature. The correlation between changes in ocean temperatures and atmospheric CO2 is high, but do not explain all observed changes.
  9. stop right there.. you are irrational but you don't seem to be capable of understanding that. "CO2 has gone up because of fossil fuels"? That is an assumption on your part, not a foregone conclusion like the way you state it. "We know that CO2 is a dominant greenhouse gas".. we know that because we have a pair of earths and we experimented with their atmospheres?

    What you have is a lot of conjecture and stuff based on computer models.. computer models of an entire planet no less!! How about you show us a computer model of the markets? Our markets are a lot less complex than the earth and it's atmosphere and all the life on it but not too many models seem to exist, if they did we would all be using them to trade! How about a model that predicts the weather, very accurately, and years in advance, why don't you produce something like that before you run around with all this drivel of yours.

    You have a lot of conjecture with the trappings of science and nothing more than that. Once you understand that, you might be able to get on with being rational. They used to teach critical thinking in the public schools but that was phased out, along with memorization of facts and phonics.. Take a philosophy 101 course and learn about assumptions, logic, fallacious arguments.. You're a joke.
  10. Wow you're stupid, or insane, or both. Did you not read all the evidence that I presented that proves the extra CO2 is from man?
    #10     Feb 2, 2013