Friday, September 27, 2013

Venus, Earth, Sun... Global warming fun

After my previous post on global warming I got in a bit of a debate which wasn't all that unexpected. Perusal, the complaints and debate weren't actually about my blog, but climate change in general. So what did they have to say?
Scientists are just making up false data. There is no problem, Liberals are just mad that
people are making money.
 Suppose some scientists plain made stuff up (some examples would be nice), how does that make the vast majority that haven't no longer count? Something like only 0.17% of peer reviewed articles on global warming deny it's existence. Are you seriously suggesting that almost every climate scientist is involved in a mass conspiracy... and out of jealousy no less? I think it's a bit silly to suggest that people made up global warming just because someone was making money. I mean, really?

People make money on all sorts of things. So are there elaborate plans in place to sabotage each and every type of business in America? It's also odd that all these other countries are so worried about American oil companies making money. Also strange that Canada (who we import most of our oil from) would be shooting themselves in the foot by going all along with your proposed 'climate change scheme'. And if making money is such a problem, why are 'Liberals' pushing solar and wind energy. People will make money! Oh the horror! Sorry, but that line of thinking just doesn't wash.

Heck, if they are jealous that someone else is making money, then they should just publish a paper disproving global warming, and collect their Nobel Prize and endless riches.
Al Gore and his commie friends are spouting CO2  to be the cause, but CO2 has actually been found to cool planets, not warm them. (posts a link declaring the CO2 is causing global cooling).

Again with Al Gore... I could give two shits what Al Gore has to say about many things. Why do deniers think he's held up as some global warming oracle? I care about actual scientists and actual data. That's why I agree with the facts that climate change is a real thing.

CO2 cools planets? Venus must be frosty then. Oh, that's right... it's 864°F on it's surface.

On that story you linked... When it starts out by saying "As it turns out, all those atmospheric greenhouse gases that Al Gore and all the other global warming hoaxers have long claimed" it's rather obvious that this article is biased from the start. But after reading this article it's obvious they didn't understand the data. The truth is a bit different than they think...

This report was regarding a study of a solar flare's effect on the thermosphere. 95% or the harmful radiation was reflected back into space. In short the upper atmosphere did what it does each and every day. Without a protective atmosphere, Earth would be long radiated and devoid of life. And remember, it had this atmosphere long before we came on the scene. But the huge doses of radiation that the sun spits out everyday and are reflected aren't the problem.

As everyone has known for as long as I can remember, our atmosphere reflects most of it back into space. But as we can all tell, some still gets through. If it didn't, we wouldn't feel the sun warming our skin when we stand outside on a clear day. So what happens to what does get through? Some is absorbed by the atmosphere on it's way down. Some is absorbed by the Earth's surface. Some is
absorbed by greenhouse gasses on the way back up. And some reflects off the Earth's surface and back into space. The problem is that the more greenhouse gasses, the larger the percentage that fails to make it's way back into space. And since the percentages change in small increments, that's why warming takes place over a long period.

It's the greenhouse effect, plain and simple. I mean, that's grade school science. To deny how global warming works is to deny that a green house can stay warmer that the outside world off of solar energy alone.  
Comparing venus to earth is apple to oranges. Venus is a different size, mass, orbit distance relative to the sun, orbit time around the sun, time for a single revolution, atmospheric density, atmospheric composition, atmoshperic pressure, atmospheric temperature, surface temperature...all of these factors are not being taken into account by those who say "look at venus". It's like saying a small aircraft should be able to carry as much as a truck and a truck should be able to fly because they are close to the same size and weight and they both have a motor. nope
Actually Venus is not a bad example. Yes it's closer to the sun. Yes it's a different size. Yes it has a different orbital speed. But when people say that CO2 doesn't warm planets, or even cools them it becomes a very valid comparison. The truck/airplane comparison is a silly one. Earth/Venus is not.


Year: 224.7 Earth days
Day: 243 days
Orbital distance: about 0.72 AU
Radius: 0.9499 Earths
Volume: 0.866 Earths
Mass: 0.815 Earths
Average Temp: 863°F
CO2 in atmosphere: 96%
Atmospheric pressure: 92x Earth


Year: 365.26 Earth days
Day: 24hrs
Orbital distance: about 1 AU
Radius:1 Earth (6,372km)
Volume: 1 Earth
Mass: 1 Earth
Average Temp: 54.5°F (currently)
CO2 in atmosphere: 0.0387% (2009)
Atmospheric pressure: 1 Earth

So Earth and Venus are pretty much the same in size and mass. Not much to see there. Yes, the length of a Venusian year is a bit shorter. And a day is a LOT different in length that an Earth day. But does that explain the high global temperatures on Venus? Nope. If Earth had a much slower rotational speed the days would be hotter, but the nights would be colder. What we see on Venus is a rather consistent temperature between the bright and dark sides. This is due to the insulating properties of it's atmosphere.

As for the atmospheric composition, atmospheric pressure, atmospheric temperature, surface temperature... How can you say that they aren't being taken into account? They were the main reason for the comparison for crying out loud! Sure, the upper atmosphere temp is cooler than the surface temp. That's true of all planets with a meaningful atmosphere. The composition of the atmosphere is a HUGE issue. Venus is almost all CO2, Earth doesn't have much comparatively. Yet it's the greenhouse effect on Venus (caused largely by the CO2) that makes it by far the hottest planet in the solar system despite being much further from the Sun than Mercury (-280°F to 800°F). Venus has a much more robust greenhouse effect than Earth, which largely accounts for it's hellish temperatures.

Atmospheric pressure is also much higher on Venus. But do you know what Venus doesn't have? Oceans. CO2 is absorbed by water. If all the CO2 absorbed by Earth's oceans were to be released, the atmosphere would be 70times denser and have a CO2 concentration in the high 90% range. So basically, pretty much the same as Venus. Not to mention CO2 being dumped into the atmosphere by human causes increases pressure as well, albeit on an incredibly negligible scale.

So Venus is actually a very good comparison if you are actually interested in looking a bit closer, or not just looking for reasons to eliminate it. Venus is an excellent example of what it looks like when it all goes wrong on a planet like ours.
If it was in fact grade school science then why is there so much controversy about it? Because they are not using science. Science takes ALL variables into account to eliminate OPINION which there is a lot of on this topic. Do a search on global warming omission or missing unaccounted variables and you will get loads of info. (posts links that claim that the sun is the cause and that this is being ignored, and also that the warming has stopped)
Why is there so much controversy? That's a complex answer. In a lot of cases I see, it's because people have a very poor grasp or understanding on the topic. Another large group I've experienced are those that simply don't like the implications. Some (oil companies) don't like being the supplier of the cause, or the eventual financial hit. The reaction here is usually to deny the problem. No problem = no one to blame. No problem = business as usual.

Everyday people sometimes deny warming because if it is real, they may have to change their routine or make sacrifices. As we all know, people can be pretty damn greedy. No problem = I don't have to change my life. Some are just parrot what they hear from biased sources (usually financed by the fossil fuel industry), and then never look into the facts.

The only controversy is a public one that is largely manufactured. In the science world, there is no controversy as those denying warming is an amazingly small minority. As for climate change not being science... You're wrong there. The increase in atmospheric CO2 is the explanation that best fits all the data. An explanation that has led to predictions that have been fairly reliable. If anyone is starting with an opinion, it's been the deniers I've encountered. I wish climate change weren't so, I really do. I wish I would wake up tomorrow and read a report that found that it's all down to some natural cause. But I have to be honest with myself and admit to what the data concludes at the moment.

As for your links... The first misses the mark and reads as largely biased. All this talk of solar activity, but the solar activity of recent years should have meant a cooling trend, yet the we saw a warming trend. He talks a lot about there not being any warming for the past 15 years. It is true that warming has slowed when compared with the 20 years prior. But the fact is that the global temperature rose 0.11°F. Less than expected, but it did rise. It may not sound like much, but you must remember that climate change (like evolution) is a slow slow road. But why did the warming slow? One prospect is that more of the CO2 has been absorbed by the oceans than the atmosphere in recent years. Record lows of ice coverage means more waterways available for absorption. But that question is one still being investigated.

Oh, and I find it comical that he cites record snow falls. Climate change actually predicts more extreme weather. Heavy snow is not to be unexpected. Hotter Earth = more water evaporated, which leads to more water to come down as snow in such a storm system.

Second link... Not sure where the got their info, but solar activity has been considered, and eventually ruled out because it didn't match up with observations or yield meaningful predictive value. Much of the rest of the article just goes to show the writers bias.

I find it odd how most people I discuss this topic with simply jump to another line or argument  whenever I point out the flaws with their previous one. What's wrong with admitting fault? I know that if someone showed me proof that climate change was all fake or just a natural cycle that I would have egg on my face. But I would also own up and admit that I was wrong. My opinion is open to revision, but why does it seem that so many deniers refuse to even entertain the possibility that they could be mistaken?

-Brain Hulk

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