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Old 06-22-2011, 05:49 AM   #1
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Co2

Can anybody please explain to me or point to the positive research that PROVES CO2 is a "Greenhouse" gas? I really do want to find out where this came from as our entire economy is now being based on this theory and is proving to be an economic disaster. CO2 is taken in by all living 'green' things and gives us oxygen in exchange which is a good thing, right? I just want to find out where the proof is that CO2 is causing "climate change" (formally 'global warming'). Any help appreciated, thanks in advance.

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Old 06-22-2011, 08:35 AM   #2
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in essence the sun's radiation (mostly as light) passes through the atmosphere and hits the ground where it is partially absorbed and partially reflected back into space (as light). the absorbed radiation is eventually emitted back up towards space. if there was no atmosphere then the radiation would pass on into space. however the earth's atmosphere absorbs and releases the radiation back towards the surface (including the oceans and ice caps) or out into space. the more "greenhouse gases" in the atmosphere, the higher the chance the radiation will be emitted back towards the surface instead of into space.

yes plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, and we're are cutting down forests and planting smaller trees that will take hundreds of years to have an appreciable effect on CO2 absorption all the while we're putting more CO2 into the atmosphere. the oceans are also responsible for capturing CO2 but in doing so they change the pH which has an ill effect on marine life. ice is also a good captor of CO2 but with warmer temperatures the ice melts and releases the CO2 back into the atmosphere.

the reason CO2 is a target is because it's the second highest contributor to the "greenhouse effect" behind water vapor and one we can "do something about." in addition, CO2 remains in the atmosphere for a lot longer than other gases so doing something now will have a positive effect many years from now.
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Old 06-22-2011, 12:12 PM   #3
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Thanks, so far so good. Now since we have had heating and cooling of the planet since it began, just what accounted for the rise and fall? Since we had no SUVs where did all the CO2 come from that caused the planet to warm and then where did it go to cause it to cool? Or, as I suspect, it may have had to do more with the sun than 'gasses'. Yes, the atmosphere traps heat that would be lost in space but why this cycle of cooling and heating? Was there a natural expansion of CO2 then a loss of it that would account for the change? Plus, at the risk of being redundant, just how was it discovered that CO2 is responsible for these changes? Why isn't the sun and its cycles more responsible? Why is the solution higher gas taxes and a return to third world living? Old age wants to know.

AKL ps there are more trees and green here in Ulster county than there were a hundred years ago. You can see all the stone walls running through the now woods. I suggest a ride in an airplane or helicopter.



Quote:
Originally Posted by tonycarreon
in essence the sun's radiation (mostly as light) passes through the atmosphere and hits the ground where it is partially absorbed and partially reflected back into space (as light). the absorbed radiation is eventually emitted back up towards space. if there was no atmosphere then the radiation would pass on into space. however the earth's atmosphere absorbs and releases the radiation back towards the surface (including the oceans and ice caps) or out into space. the more "greenhouse gases" in the atmosphere, the higher the chance the radiation will be emitted back towards the surface instead of into space.

yes plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, and we're are cutting down forests and planting smaller trees that will take hundreds of years to have an appreciable effect on CO2 absorption all the while we're putting more CO2 into the atmosphere. the oceans are also responsible for capturing CO2 but in doing so they change the pH which has an ill effect on marine life. ice is also a good captor of CO2 but with warmer temperatures the ice melts and releases the CO2 back into the atmosphere.

the reason CO2 is a target is because it's the second highest contributor to the "greenhouse effect" behind water vapor and one we can "do something about." in addition, CO2 remains in the atmosphere for a lot longer than other gases so doing something now will have a positive effect many years from now.
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Old 06-22-2011, 01:44 PM   #4
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Here you go...
http://scienceofdoom.com/2009/11/28/co2-an-insignificant-trace-gas-part-one/

This is probably the best explanation I have seen as to the greenhouse effect of CO2. The author presents his information clearly in common language without all the political snark found on most climate websites. He also covers many other areas of climate science so if you like what you see browse around a bit. I think his science is first rate.

My personal opinion for what it is worth:
Increased man made CO2 must cause increased warming at some level. Whether it will result in catastrophic consequences is a much more difficult question. I believe the sun has been underestimated in it's effect on climate change and if we get a quiet period (no sunspots over 50 years) the earth will cool and mask man made warming effects completely for a while. I classify myself as a lukewarmer.
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Old 06-22-2011, 06:19 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Topless
Here you go...
http://scienceofdoom.com/2009/11/28/co2-an-insignificant-trace-gas-part-one/

This is probably the best explanation I have seen as to the greenhouse effect of CO2. The author presents his information clearly in common language without all the political snark found on most climate websites. He also covers many other areas of climate science so if you like what you see browse around a bit. I think his science is first rate.

My personal opinion for what it is worth:
Increased man made CO2 must cause increased warming at some level. Whether it will result in catastrophic consequences is a much more difficult question. I believe the sun has been underestimated in it's effect on climate change and if we get a quiet period (no sunspots over 50 years) the earth will cool and mask man made warming effects completely for a while. I classify myself as a lukewarmer.
Thank you both for a considered and non emotional response. I will check out your reference.

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Old 06-23-2011, 05:33 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Allen K. Littlefield
Thank you both for a considered and non emotional response. I will check out your reference.

AKL
I read the article and found it very informative. The conclusion and following letters were very on the mark.

Where I stand at this point: There is still no accounting for the rise and fall of CO2 in past years where we have had ice ages and warm cycles. What produced the extra CO2 then and what made it vanish? It still seems that if the sun is more intense then the CO2 will hold more of that and that seems why we would be "warming" and not necessarily the fault of the gas itself. Again, the solution of higher taxes and less energy seem very self serving to the Political parties rather than solving the problem. Like tobacco, if it is so dangerous then just ban it rather than tax it. Stop all fossil fuel or anything else that produces CO2 (remove your cats as they produce CO2) and depend totally on wind and solar. Remember hydro is out because of the endangered fish etc. No clear answers out there but I still recall all the graphs and charts that proved we were going into and ice age back in the 60's. I stand somewhat more enlightened but not convinced, not by a long shot. Will keep an open mind however while I still wait for the proof positive the Man is causing the planet to warm.

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Old 06-30-2011, 04:24 PM   #7
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Your question goes straight to the heart of the global temperature debate which currently seems to have (at least) two competing theories: Solar driven and C02 driven.

In the solar driven theory, increased sun activity causes C02 levels to rise which warms the planet. This warm period is then followed by a slower cooling period as the increased sun activity wanes and the planet absorbs the excess C02. This theory appears to fit the ancient historic data based on Antarctic ice cores.

In C02 driven theory, the use of fossil fuels and resulting increase of C02 emissions overwhelms the natural solar driven thermal cycle and has changed what would classically be expected to be a cooling period (because of lower sun activity) into a recent warming period. This theory appears to fit recent (50 to 80 year) data and this is the "smoking gun" that most people use as their reference point in saying that global warming is "proven" to be caused by man.

However, the water gets pretty muddy when all of the data from the past 50-years is analyzed in regards to the influence of the sun, C02, and global temperatures. At this point, there is no overall scieentific consensus on what causes what or how significant of an influence any particular driver (solar or C02) might have on global termperature.

The scientific community continues to research and debate these two theories today and neither has been proven to be the only correct theory.

Without a clear concrete scientific basis some people are concerned about using these theories as the basis for public policy decisions while others contend that waiting for the science to be fully proven only delays implementing some obvious fixes that are likely to be required regardless of the outcome of the scientific theory and that we might as well start now.

This can be a touchy subject. Hope that I didn't make anyone mad.
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Old 06-30-2011, 05:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thstone
Your question goes straight to the heart of the global temperature debate which currently seems to have (at least) two competing theories: Solar driven and C02 driven.

In the solar driven theory, increased sun activity causes C02 levels to rise which warms the planet. This warm period is then followed by a slower cooling period as the increased sun activity wanes and the planet absorbs the excess C02. This theory appears to fit the ancient historic data based on Antarctic ice cores.

In C02 driven theory, the use of fossil fuels and resulting increase of C02 emissions overwhelms the natural solar driven thermal cycle and has changed what would classically be expected to be a cooling period (because of lower sun activity) into a recent warming period. This theory appears to fit recent (50 to 80 year) data and this is the "smoking gun" that most people use as their reference point in saying that global warming is "proven" to be caused by man.

However, the water gets pretty muddy when all of the data from the past 50-years is analyzed in regards to the influence of the sun, C02, and global temperatures. At this point, there is no overall scieentific consensus on what causes what or how significant of an influence any particular driver (solar or C02) might have on global termperature.

The scientific community continues to research and debate these two theories today and neither has been proven to be the only correct theory.

Without a clear concrete scientific basis some people are concerned about using these theories as the basis for public policy decisions while others contend that waiting for the science to be fully proven only delays implementing some obvious fixes that are likely to be required regardless of the outcome of the scientific theory and that we might as well start now.

This can be a touchy subject. Hope that I didn't make anyone mad.
No, you have hit the nail on the head. I just can't get my arms around the cure that gives more money in taxes to the govt. and leads to a lower standard of living and subsequent 'dependency' as the cure. NO legislation should be based on unproven 'theory', at least IMHO. Thanks for the solid contribution.

AKL
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Old 07-02-2011, 01:36 PM   #9
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Here's my take on the CO2 debate, which comes partly from my understanding after taking a chemistry course where this topic was discussed in length.

It is fact that CO2 (along with water vapor, CFC's, and other gasses) absorb high quantities of IR light (this is invisible to the naked eye, but every living organism emits IR light). When the IR light is absorbed by CO2, the bonds between the carbon and oxygen atoms vibrate and cause atoms of CO2 to move faster (the definition of temperature).

It's not up to debate whether to or not an increase in CO2 will increase the temperature of the planet. The vast majority of the scientific community agrees that temperatures will rise. The question (at least in the scientific community) is how much will temperatures rise and will it make a difference in things such as ocean levels and the biology of the planet.

The bigger question after this becomes should governments try to reduce/stop the increase in CO2 in the atmosphere. I personally think yes, because private citizens and companies do not work in unison, and therefore it would be very hard/impossible to get these entities to stop releasing CO2 in appreciable amounts. But this should only be done if carbon dioxide does prove to be a threat to biology.
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Old 07-02-2011, 08:11 PM   #10
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AKL,
I think cap and tax policy has been effectively killed everywhere except perhaps my home state of Commiefornia. Shifting to renewable energy sources where economically viable simply makes sense. I don't see the East Coast coal-fired power plants closing any time soon.
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Old 07-03-2011, 07:49 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lordblood
Here's my take on the CO2 debate, which comes partly from my understanding after taking a chemistry course where this topic was discussed in length.

It is fact that CO2 (along with water vapor, CFC's, and other gasses) absorb high quantities of IR light (this is invisible to the naked eye, but every living organism emits IR light). When the IR light is absorbed by CO2, the bonds between the carbon and oxygen atoms vibrate and cause atoms of CO2 to move faster (the definition of temperature).

It's not up to debate whether to or not an increase in CO2 will increase the temperature of the planet. The vast majority of the scientific community agrees that temperatures will rise. The question (at least in the scientific community) is how much will temperatures rise and will it make a difference in things such as ocean levels and the biology of the planet.

The bigger question after this becomes should governments try to reduce/stop the increase in CO2 in the atmosphere. I personally think yes, because private citizens and companies do not work in unison, and therefore it would be very hard/impossible to get these entities to stop releasing CO2 in appreciable amounts. But this should only be done if carbon dioxide does prove to be a threat to biology.

Topless and Lordblood, thanks again for sane contributions to this debate. So far response has been civil and informative.

Lordblood, good explanation on the role of CO2 and temperature. I have limited chemistry background and comments from those who do add to the knowledge.

As for "not up to debate" is where I have trouble. There is debate on this question as we have covered in Mr. Suns role in the process. Science has still not accounted for the centuries of climate change both up and down. I would wager it was not due to the volume of CO2 alone or what caused this volume to wax or wane. Until that time I remain skeptical.

Also govt. being the answer is also questionable. This assumes that all other parties other than govt. are totally greedy and suicidal and govt. only operates on the most honest of levels. My take on this is govt. sees a way to achieve more control over our lives and get more tax money in the process. We have a long history of govt. "good intentions" and their results. I give you the 'great society' programs for a shining example. I like your caveat that nothing should be done unless CO2 proves to be the culprit. The can we take a 20% chance to not do something just in case it is true is bogus at best and disingenuous at least. You could use that argument to set up a police state etc.

Again, thanks to all who have civilly contributed to this thread.

Happy 4th, AKL
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Old 07-03-2011, 04:50 PM   #12
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I'm a strong advocate for natural gas !
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Old 07-04-2011, 02:32 AM   #13
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I'm a strong advocate for natural gas !
There you go, the 'answer' and from Dan Gerous no less. Who woulda thunk?!?!?!

AKL

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Old 07-04-2011, 04:52 AM   #14
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"do you know the way to San Jose"???


I think I may have lost my way .....
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Old 07-10-2011, 01:08 AM   #15
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As for "not up to debate" is where I have trouble. There is debate on this question as we have covered in Mr. Suns role in the process. Science has still not accounted for the centuries of climate change both up and down. I would wager it was not due to the volume of CO2 alone or what caused this volume to wax or wane. Until that time I remain skeptical.

Also govt. being the answer is also questionable. This assumes that all other parties other than govt. are totally greedy and suicidal and govt. only operates on the most honest of levels. My take on this is govt. sees a way to achieve more control over our lives and get more tax money in the process. We have a long history of govt. "good intentions" and their results. I give you the 'great society' programs for a shining example. I like your caveat that nothing should be done unless CO2 proves to be the culprit. The can we take a 20% chance to not do something just in case it is true is bogus at best and disingenuous at least. You could use that argument to set up a police state etc.

Again, thanks to all who have civilly contributed to this thread.

Happy 4th, AKL
I think you misunderstood what I said was not up to debate. CO2 will rise in temperature if it finds IR light to absorb, no question about it. I can show you an IR spectrum of CO2 to prove it if you so wish.

The real argument lies in what you mentioned about the role of the sun, and on top of that the abundance of other gasses in the atmosphere having a role. In addition, the real reason CO2 poses a problem is because it absorbs a certain type of light that coincidentally is emitted by all living things (night vision is basically a camera that detects IR light). This means a population increase would also contribute to global warming. And lastly, how all of this will contribute to global warming as numbers. Will we see a 5 degree Celsius increase (this would be enough to do major damage) or .01 degree increase? You are most definitely right, CO2 is not the only culprit; many people (including me) believe it is the one that is most controllable.

On the government, I also do not want an overbearing government; there are real dangers in giving too much power to such a corrupt institution. However, I also believe that there are certain things that cannot be governed by the private sector. For instance, having a private army would not be efficient, neither would having a private public transportation system. I think the government would be most efficient in running regulations on the environment, because as of now it does not make financial sense for the private sector to change on their own. Businessmen aren't corrupt, but they are definitely maximizers.

I try to stay civilized about these debates. I think rational people should be able to discuss ideas without getting into a fight.
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Old 07-10-2011, 06:13 AM   #16
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I think you misunderstood what I said was not up to debate. CO2 will rise in temperature if it finds IR light to absorb, no question about it. I can show you an IR spectrum of CO2 to prove it if you so wish.

The real argument lies in what you mentioned about the role of the sun, and on top of that the abundance of other gasses in the atmosphere having a role. In addition, the real reason CO2 poses a problem is because it absorbs a certain type of light that coincidentally is emitted by all living things (night vision is basically a camera that detects IR light). This means a population increase would also contribute to global warming. And lastly, how all of this will contribute to global warming as numbers. Will we see a 5 degree Celsius increase (this would be enough to do major damage) or .01 degree increase? You are most definitely right, CO2 is not the only culprit; many people (including me) believe it is the one that is most controllable.

On the government, I also do not want an overbearing government; there are real dangers in giving too much power to such a corrupt institution. However, I also believe that there are certain things that cannot be governed by the private sector. For instance, having a private army would not be efficient, neither would having a private public transportation system. I think the government would be most efficient in running regulations on the environment, because as of now it does not make financial sense for the private sector to change on their own. Businessmen aren't corrupt, but they are definitely maximizers.

I try to stay civilized about these debates. I think rational people should be able to discuss ideas without getting into a fight.


I thank you for your contributions and civil discourse. I am sure you are correct on your assessment of the role that CO2 plays in our overall climate. I am just not convinced that it alone is a factor. Again I submit the heating and cooling over the centuries when there were little or no human influence at the risk of becoming boring but there it is. There is also an assumption that our current mean temperature is the ONLY temp. that is good for everything and has to be maintained. This is quite impossible for the reason I just cited above, climate changes on its own without human influence.

As for the roll of govt. being "most efficient" in running regulations I have yet to see the govt. run anything efficiently or even competently. It is a vast money absorbing and spending machine intent on increasing its power, at least in my observations and humble opinion. The only thing that works is the military if it is not being misused by bespoke politicians.

The day Algore gives up his corporate jet, massive home and NObama cuts back on his fuel consuming trips home and abroad and run their refrigerators off of solar or wind only, I remain skeptical as do many others including a number in the scientific community. Some maintain the temp has NOT risen in a number of years. I guess it depends on whose data is gathered and if was funded by a govt. grant or not. Who really knows?

Again, this has been an interesting civil debate at least to this point. Let's hope it stays this way if it continues at all. I think many minds are already made up.


AKL
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Old 07-10-2011, 04:34 PM   #17
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AKL,

Be careful not to come into contact with this form of gas . It contains the very rare and exotic elements of DO2; danger dioxide . Scientists won't disclose this, but it's known to stimulate a person's erogenous zones.
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Old 07-10-2011, 06:11 PM   #18
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AKL,

Be careful not to come into contact with this form of gas . It's contains the very rare and exotic elements of DO2; danger dioxide . Scientists won't disclose this, but it's known to stimulate a person's erogenous zones.

Great photo of a squashed Halloween mask. You can make out the mouth and nose at the bottom but only one eye is discernible. Either that or some quick shots of fresh road kill. Keep up the good work J.D. Good to see you are getting out more.

AKL
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Old 07-17-2011, 08:09 AM   #19
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"(night vision is basically a camera that detects IR light). "

Let's be careful in using terms so we don't confuse anyone - there are actually three types of technology used for night vision:

The technology that most people call "night vision" works by amplifying the very low level of visible ambient light that our eyes cannot detect. A better name for this technolgy is "light amplification". This technology creates the classic "green" scene images that we've all seen from the military. The military likes this approach because it is passive in nature and will not give away a soldiers position.

Alterntively, other night vision devices use an energy source (just out of the visible range in either near-wave IR or UV) to illuminate a scene in a wavelenth that humans cannot see. This is an active technology and is kind of like mounting your old hippie black light from your garage to a camera that detects the black light. Obviously the military doen't like this approach because this type of device can be easily dectected by an IR or UV sensor which would immediately give away your position but it is useful for other situations and can provide very good quality images because there is an actual source of energy illuminating the scene. These images are characteristically black and white (not green) with a bright spot (more white) where the illuminator energy is strongest.

Otherwise, true IR cameras detect heat or thermal energy and can be used for night vision but only objects with different temperatures can be resolved. This can be helpful when searching for a Sasquatch (hot) in a forest where the ave temp of the background forest is colder than the Big Foot or any other hot blooded animal but many objects can go undetected or unresolved because they are same or close to the same in temperature as the surrounding background (e.g. cold blooded animals or made made objects). These images are recognizable by their wide range of full colors (red, yellow, green, and blue) with bright red being the warmest and dark blue being the coldest.
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Old 07-18-2011, 10:34 AM   #20
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The other issue that is rarely concentrated on is how burning fossil fuels at these global levels dumps unprecedented amounts of mercury into the enviorment. That ends up in the air you breathe, the water you drink and the fish you eat. Warming or no warming.
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