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Global warming debate

  1. Oct 7, 2009 #1
    At school I am constantly called stupid, or an idiot because of my global warming skepticism.
    I do not try to get into debates, but kids who think the have a good understanding of global warming try to anchor me to debate them. Although I try to avoid debate I do eventually get in them, and most of the times it results in them using ad hominem, and straw men arguments or they quote Al Gores movie, (Which for the most part is a weak portrayal of anything)

    So I came here to ask if any of you guys could give me a hand in finding some material I could print out to show them if they try to make the same arguments, so here are the common arguments they have made.

    1. There is a global consensus that man made global warming will cause a catastrophe if not stopped.

    2. One kid says that, if ice land melts the whole world will flood. (I don't buy this since I'm pretty sure Iceland wont melt for 1000s of years, and if he is referring to glaciers sliding, this has been refuted, but it would be a great help if someone could link me to this.

    3. Everyone who is a skeptic has been paid by Exon mobile.

    4. The polar caps are melting, therefore man made global warming is happening and will lead to the major problems.

    5. The mere .5 increase in temperature is enough to cause catastrophe.

    These are their best arguments, the rest are just calling people stupid and what not.

    Thanks guys.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 7, 2009 #2
    Why are you skeptical of global warming?
  4. Oct 7, 2009 #3
    When the first hokey stick graph was debunked, I began to take an interest in global warming. I read different arguments surrounding many of the graphs and models used to predict temperatures. When I saw them I was shocked by how inaccurate they were and their inability to even predict temperature as of now. I was also amazed at the overwhelming number of scientists signatures confirming global warming that had no connection to climate studies what so ever.

    As the years seemed to go by Al Gores movie appeared so incorrect I began to wander why so many people took it literally, and like other things I realized that many people only believed it because they thought all people believed it except the crazy skeptics.

    I do not deny global warming or man made global warming I merely believe that global warming is not going to cause enormous catastrophe.
  5. Oct 7, 2009 #4
    Here is the latest report from MIT

    http://globalchange.mit.edu/files/document/MITJPSPGC_Rpt180.pdf [Broken]

    I think you mean Greenland not Iceland. Glaciers are losing mass. Here is a Google Earth of sea level change.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/kgCYhU5ISwI&hl=en&fs=1&"></param><param [Broken] name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/kgCYhU5ISwI&hl=en&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

    I assume you are not

    Melting ice is a good indicator of warming temperatures.
    The global temperature has already risen ~.6C and this change in climate is causing stress on ecosystems.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  6. Oct 7, 2009 #5
    The Mit Document is interesting and I'd like to do some more research on it.

    but to what you were saying before

    3. Yes I haven't been paid by Exon mobile, but what I meant was the prominent speculators.

    4. I realize that things melting is the result in rising temperatures, however this video doesn't explain how this is not a natural process but instead a man made process. If you view temperatures of the last thousand years there are times when the earth is warm and times when the earth is cold.

    5. I don't disagree that .6 increase causes stress on an ecosystem but, I am not aware that it could cause the catastrophes described by many. How do you explain why the models predicted changes above 4 degrees when co2 was doubled, yet our changes have been merely .6 degrees.
  7. Oct 7, 2009 #6


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    The above link is a technical summary of current scientific understanding regarding global warming. It is clear that average surface temperature have warmed, especially since 1950 and especially in the arctic.

    The thing about global warming is that the rate of warming is so gradual that it is barely noticeable. Even over a 20 year period, it amounts to such a small amount (0.3C or 0.5F) that it is less than the typical temperature changes we experience every day.

    Wether it is a catastrophe depends on if and where one is living. Canada and Russia actually stand to benefit, while places like Florida and Holland will eventually lose land to flooding. However, this is over hundreds of years or so and most all of us will be long dead before then.
  8. Oct 7, 2009 #7
    Exxon did fund a lot of think tanks and bloggers, but they don't anymore.

    The current episode of global warming is due to the enhanced radiative forcing brought on by the rise in greenhouse gases, promarily CO2, from human activities, primarily the combustion of fossil fuels.

    The physics behind AGW, especially CO2 are well understood. The climate sensitivity is estimated at 2C - 4.5C for a doubling of CO2.

    Here is a good thread on this forum that you might find helpful.

  9. Oct 7, 2009 #8


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    CO2 levels have not doubled. They have risen from about 285ppm to 386ppm.
    That equates to 0.44 of a doubling (=LOG((386/285),2)-1).
    Climate sensitivity over the long term to CO2 doubling is more likely about 3C/doubling.
    So, we expect about 1.3C of warmth from the rise in CO2.

    However, there has been a increase in cloudiness over the last century from sulfate aerosals
    that has resulted in about 0.5C of cooling.

    The total temperature increase from 1850-1899 to 2001-2005 is 0.76°C ± 0.19°C.
  10. Oct 7, 2009 #9

    D H

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  11. Oct 7, 2009 #10
    I smell lots of straw man.
  12. Oct 7, 2009 #11


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    depending on when one starts counting of course. It's been down to 180ppm several times in the last million years.
  13. Oct 7, 2009 #12
    Perhaps the consensus is losing steam at Wattsupwiththat, but in the scientific community, especially the climate science community, the evidence supporting AGW is growing.

    http://www.thescientificworld.com/headeradmin/upload/2007.03.91.pdf [Broken]

    Life is resilient true. But it takes millions of years after a major extinction event before it rebounds.

    Actually a more accurate characterization would be a red herring fallacy known as an "[URL [Broken] to motive.
    The warming that began at the beginning of the Holocene peaked about 7000 - 8000 years ago and the Earth has been cooling until the recent Anthropocene epoch.


    The Arctic, until recently had been cooling for at least the last 2000 years.



    Sea ice extent has increased slightly in the Antarctic, but overall ice mass on the continent is decreasing. The Arctic sea ice extent has recovered slightly since the 2007 minimum, but thicker perennial ice is still in decline.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  14. Oct 7, 2009 #13
    And those doublings resulted in more than 3C, but were associated with changes in insolation and albedo flip.

  15. Oct 8, 2009 #14


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    I'm not sure what you mean here when you say 'resulted in...' followed by 'but were associated with...'
  16. Oct 8, 2009 #15
    Maybe -from seeing all symtoms in this thread- that global warming is much more interesting as a socialogical case than as climatological case. Of course it's also a splendid example of the prevailance of fallacies over science.

    Meanwhile, I wonder what the evidence is, that the difference between the current average temperature and any average temperature from the past, is mainly caused by the increase of concentrations of radiative gasses gasses in the atmosphere.
  17. Oct 8, 2009 #16
    I feel that whether global warming is true or not, there is still a necessity for us to change our lifestyles. Lets face it, everyone knows that coal and oil are not unlimited and when these resources do run out, we are in a lot of trouble.
    It is because of this that we must see that the concept of global warming is like a signal that our current life is not practical and should be changed before its too late. Even if more coal and oil is found, we need to see the wider implications such as petrodictatorship and general public health in particulalry polluted places like beijing.
    This is why we should not underestimate the power of global warming true or not.
  18. Oct 8, 2009 #17
    What I was saying is that a doubling resulted in more than 3C rise in temperature, closer to 8C. Not all of that rise however was from CO2.
  19. Oct 8, 2009 #18
    Of course you do.

  20. Oct 8, 2009 #19
    Then why don't you tell it finally?
  21. Oct 8, 2009 #20
    John Tyndall already did. Modern physics has confirmed it. You simply refuse to believe it in your quest for a black swan.
  22. Oct 8, 2009 #21
    so how did he proof it and what has modern science confirmed?

    I still don't see that there is positive proof for the difference between the current average temperature and any average temperature from the past, to be caused mainly by the increase of concentrations of radiative gasses gasses in the atmosphere.
  23. Oct 8, 2009 #22
    New estimates have been coming out that show there's more oil than once thought. We're developing the technologies to actually get this oil. OPEC can just say there's xxxx oil left when there's actually yyyy oil left. There's an interview with an OPEC representative on YouTube that I'm trying to find.

    Here's my questions about global warming:
    1. What's the proof that anthropogenic release of CO2 is causing global warming? Is it just association as causation? Graphs that I've seen show that temperature rises before CO2, which leads me to believe that something besides CO2 initially causes global warming. And according to the IPCC's 2001 report, over 97% of CO2 in the atmosphere is natural and not from man.
    2. What are Al Gore's qualifications? Or any politician really? Al Gore has a degree in political science IIRC. He's not an expert in natural science, so why is he considered an authority? Plus he got sued for fraud. And his "documentary" had at least 11 falacies according to the UK. His "documentary" was filled with lies. I've heard many politicians talk about global warming/climate change. Most of them talk out of their rear ends.
    3. Why doesn't the IPCC (or Al Gore) cite water vapor as a greenhouse gas? I'm pretty sure it is and there's a lot of it. Something like 95% of all greenhouse gas is water vapor. That's not to say that 95% of the greenhouse effect is attributed to water vapor, but if you take water vapor out of the equation, CO2 looks like a huge problem.
  24. Oct 8, 2009 #23


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    I'm not going to bother discussing Al Gore's qualifications for obvious reasons.

    Anyhow, earth is covered with water and the amount of water vapor is a function of other factors. So, it'd be silly to cite water vapor as a climate driver; similar to wondering about Al Gore.

    The amount of water vapor in the atmosphere is primarily a function of CO2 and CH4 levels.
    Without CO2 or CH4, there'd be almost no water vapor in the atmosphere.
  25. Oct 8, 2009 #24
    So how about an empirical test?

    Take a chamber with water on the bottom and above it ,one atmosphere of inert gas and one chamber with any radiative gas, CO2 whatever.

    Have both chambers heated with an insolation flux of 1367/pi , that's roughly the average solar energy at the equator. Since there was no water vapor and hence no clouds, the albedo of those chambers could be about the same as the moon, say 12% so we have about 383 w/m2left that is absorpted and that heats the chambers to a temp of 287 Kelvin. At that average temperature (14C) water can evaporate, without help of CO2, to attain http://www.humidity-calculator.com/index.php [Broken].

    So how much water vapor would both chambers contain after stabilisation? Why would the chamber without radiative gasses hold no water vapor?

    And what if the CO2 less air of that hypothetical earth is getting to several gram/m3 at the equator, would that not start greenhouse effect and create positive feedback?

    Also the residence time of water vapor in the atmosphere is very short, which is the reason why it is thought that it is a feedback of CO2. But water evaporates all the time and the vapor that disappears by condensation, clouds and precipitation, is simply replaced with new water vapor especially in the equator, sustaining it's own greenhouse effect, regardless of the residence time.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  26. Oct 8, 2009 #25


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    Er not really. If I understand correctly, the reason why water vapor is not germane to forcings is that near the ground water vapor completely dominates and shuts off nearly all long wave outward radiation, and thus near the ground the only outward bound thermal paths are conduction/convection. Thus near the ground more or less CO2 doesn't matter. Most of the potential for radiative change is at the higher altitudes where water vapor is not, and CO2 is.

    That's not a useful statement. With out a great many factors there'd be no water vapor in the atmosphere, and yes w/ no greenhouse effect at all the water would nearly all be ice. Obviously solar insolation is the primary driver. I think you want something like "for human caused changes to water vapor in the atmosphere, increases to CO2 are the primary agent" - and I don't know if even that is true.
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