A little Atmospheric CO2 Science history
Posted: 10 January 2010 04:51 PM   [ Ignore ]
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The American Denial of Global Warming
scientist and historian Naomi Oreskes PhD
Gave a wonderful hour long lecture for the Perspectives of Ocean Science series at UCTV two years ago.  I first heard this lecture about a year ago and have returned to it time and again.  I have cross checked a bunch of her information and haven’t found any nonsense - if you do please do share… otherwise it’s information worth considering next time someone claims the science isn’t proven.


7:10 John Tyndall (1859-1927) established (in the 1850’s) greenhouse properties of carbon dioxide & water
7:30 Svante Arrhenius (1820-1927), chemist who pioneered chemical thermodynamics (“activity constant”)
His early calculations of effect of doubling atmospheric CO2 +1.5 to 4.5°C.
8:15 Guy Stewart Callendar (1898-1964) in the 1930’s argued that increasing CO2 was already occurring - his assertion was based on his collection of frontier temperature reading throughout the empire.
see 1038 Quarterly J. Royal Meteorological Society 64:223 for first temp graph.
9:00 E.O. Hulburt, NRL 1931 Physical Review “Calculation shows that doubling or tripling the amount of the carbon dioxide in atmosphere increases average (surface) temperatures by about 4-7°K respectively…”
9:30 The point being that the basic physics of atmospheric CO2 was understood in the 1930’s

9:40 After the war with continued study the question of H2O vapor thermo qualities vs. CO2’s.
10:05 This question was resolved by Gilbert Plass (1898-1964), in the 1950’s.  He pioneered upper atmosphere spectroscopy.  Resolved absorption bands to much greater specificity and showed they did not overlap
10:15 Suess & Revelle wrote in Tellus (1957): “A great geophysical experiment was underway” 
11:00 The experiment was that fossil fuels had been collecting for hundreds of million years, creating a stored deposit of energy.
12:40 C.D. Keeling CO2 inventory: Trying to resolve how much CO2 dissolves in oceans and how much remains in atmosphere.
13:15 By 1965 Keeling could show that about 1/2 of CO2 goes directly into atmosphere, leading to detectable rise in just a few years.

14:10 By 1964, a National Academy of Sciences study led by Gordon MacDonald entitled “Scientific Problems of Weather Modification, A report of the Panel on Weather and Climate Modification Committee on Atmospheric Sciences [NAS-NRC publication 1236, 1964.  This study was commissioned to investigate potentials for weather modification for agricultural and military purposes.  In the process of evaluating their data they realized that it might also be possible to change climate by accident.  In there report they warned of “inadvertent weather modification” caused by CO2 from burning fossil fuels.

15:30 1965: President’s Science Advisory Committee, Board on Environmental Pollution, lead by Revelle & Keeling.  “... by the year 2000 there will be about 25% more CO2 in our atmosphere than at present (and) this will modify the heat balance of the atmosphere to such an extent that marked changes in climate, not controllable through local or even national efforts, could occur.”  (Dec.1965 p.6)
16:10 Lyndon Johnson’s special message to congress 1965: “... This generation has altered the composition of the atmosphere on a global scale through… a steady increase in carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels…”
17:30 In the mid 60’s issue was over shadowed by the cold war, Viet Nam, etc.
17:45 In the 70’s three reports suggest problem may be serious…
NRC: “Energy and Climate”, headed by Robert White, NOAA (1977)
JASON: “the long-term impact of atmospheric carbon dioxide on climate (1979)
NRC Study Group on Carbon Dioxide,  now referred to as “Charney Report” (1979)

18:00 R.White director of NOAA wrote in the 1978 NRC report: Oceans and Climate: An Introduction, p2-3
“We now understand that industrial wastes, such as carbon dioxide released during the burning of fossil fuels, can have consequences for climate that pose a considerable threat to future society… Experiences… have demonstrated the consequences of even modest fluctuations in climate conditions and lent a new urgency to the study of climate… the scientific problems are formidable ~ the technological problems unprecedented ~ and the potential economic and social impacts ominous.”

19:00 JASON: Reclusive committee of elite scientists (mostly physicists), founded in 1960’s to advise US government on science and technology.  In 1979 they were commissioned by US Department of Energy. In the context of the Arab Oil Embargo 1973, President Nixon proposed increase coal use and President Carter was interested in “synfuels” made from coal.  The committee’s goal: to understand climate change in terms of “basic principles” of what controls the “radiative equilibrium and energy budgets.” 
20:15 Their conclusion: “At current fossil fuel use rates, atmospheric CO2 likely to double by 2035.  This would “perturb the climate by altering the radiative properties of the atmosphere.”
20:20 They built two models.  a Computer model—> 2.8°C average global increase
an Analytic model—> 2.4°C average, but with large zonal differences, up to 10-12°C at poles
“Polar amplification”: prediction is warming effect of 4-5x as great at poles as global mean.
21:45 They predicted a 4-5x amplification between poles and equator.  In 2001-2005 compared to the base period 1951-1980 shows an average global increase of 0.53°C and polar increases as high as 2.1°C accurately reflecting this thirty year old prediction. 

22:10 JASON report reached the White House, where Science Advisor Frank Press ask NAS for a second opinion, resulting in the Charney Report 1979
22:20 “If carbon dioxide continues to increase, we find no reason to doubt that climate changes will result, and no reason to believe that these changes will be negligible.”  US National Academy of Sciences “Carbon Dioxide and Climate: A Scientific Assessment.”  (Charney report 1979)
22:45 Charney report was essentially a summary of all climate modeling and carbon cycling studies done over previous decade.  By GFDL(NASA), DOE, and academics, also international studies by WMO, IIASA
23:30 The reports introduction stated: “A plethora of studies from diverse sources indicates a consensus that climate changes will result from man’s combustion of fossil fuels and changes in land use.” 1979

23:45 In short there was a consensus in 1979 that global warming would be happening and that it was not a small concern.  “The close linkage between man’s welfare and the climate regime within which his society has evolved suggests that such climatic changes would have a profound impact on human society.”  NRC Proposal for Support of CArbon Dioxide and Climate Change: A Scientific Assessment, 1979 NAS Archives, Climate Research Board.

24:15 It is these insights that led to the creation of IPCC (1988) to analyze temperature records, to predict likely effects, to predict when effects would occur, to suggest solutions.
24:45 This also lead to the National Energy Policy Act of 1988.  “... to establish a national energy policy that will quickly reduce the generation of carbon dioxide and trace gases as quickly as is feasible in order to slow the pace and degree of atmospheric warming… to protect the global environment.”
25:30 UN Framework Convention of Climate Change 1992 - President G.H.Bush signed it and called on world leader to translate document into “concrete action to protect the planet.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Then, the Marshall Institute stepped and started playing hard ball for their monied benefactors.  Joined by Fredrick Seitz a one time prominent scientist who’s previous job was adviser to RJReynolds as director to the Medical Research Program dedicated to confounding links between tobacco and cancer.  From here on out a tiny group of scientists funded by huge resources started playing the game that 1% deserves equal air time to 99% of the climate science community.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
And we’ve been playing denial & back sliding ever since.
It would be one thing if the naysayers where actually adding some substantive science, but they never have.  Their science rests upon tearing up (no matter how much lying it takes!) studies that others have undertaken and published.  Oh sure, it helps some to have a dog nipping at you all the, it should make you more careful, but enough is enough. 
For sure climate science can’t tell “exactly” how this will all play out.  But, to deny it is happening, and that a couple dozen gigatons of CO2 injected into our thin atmosphere yearly isn’t the main cause seems insane. 
Especially, since nothing will get done about it so long as Willful Ignorance remains the prime objective.

{oh, just the usual typo corrections}

[ Edited: 10 January 2010 08:33 PM by citizenschallenge ]
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Posted: 10 January 2010 08:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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citizenschallenge - 10 January 2010 04:51 PM

For sure climate science can’t tell “exactly” how this will all play out.

But, they are getting some pretty good ideas....

  * Our planet is suffering an energy imbalance and is steadily accumulating heat (Hansen 2005, Murphy 2009, von Schuckmann 2009, Trenberth 2009)
  * Animal and plant species are responding to earlier springs. Eg - earlier frog breeding, bird nesting, earlier flowering, earlier migration of birds and butterflies (Parmeson 2003)
  * The distribution of tree lines, plants, birds, mammals, insects, fish, reptiles, marine invertebrates are shifting towards the poles (Parmeson 2003)
  * Arctic permafrost is degrading (Anisimov 2006) plus warming at greater depths in the permafrost (Stieglitz 2003)
  * Global sea level rise is accelerating (Church 2006)
  * Antarctic ice loss is accelerating (Velicogna 2009), even from East Antarctica which was previously thought to be too stable to lose ice mass (Chen 2009)
  * Greenland ice loss is accelerating (Velicogna 2009, van den Broeke et al 2009)
  * Glaciers are shrinking globally at an accelerating rate (WGMS 2008)
  * Arctic sea-ice loss is accelerating with the loss rate exceeding model forecasts by around a factor of 3 (Stroeve 2007).
  * The height of the tropopause is increasing (Santer 2003, press release)
  * Jet streams are moving poleward (Archer 2008, Seidel 2007, Fu 2006)
  * The tropical belt is widening (Seidel 2007, Fu 2006)
  * There is an increasing trend in record hot days versus record cold temperatures with currently twice as many record hot days than record cold temperatures (Meehle 2009, see press release).

The Climategate controversy hasn’t even touched upon the empirical evidence indicating that human activity is the cause of recent warming:

  * Humans are emitting CO2 at such rates that atmospheric CO2 is at its highest level over the past 800,000 years (Brook 2008). The rate of increase is the fastest in 22,000 years (Joos 2008)
  * Satellites measure less infrared radiation escaping out to space at the wavelengths that CO2 absorb energy (Harries 2001, Griggs 2004, Chen 2007)
  * Surface measurements find more infrared radiation returning back to the Earth’s surface (Philipona 2004), specifically at the wavelengths that CO2 absorb energy (Evans 2006)

One cannot deny that some of the Climategate emails are embarrassing for the scientists involved. Their comments and behaviour shouldn’t be swept under the carpet and more transparency in climate science is a good thing. However, using quote-mined emails to disregard an entire scientific field is not the behaviour of people genuinely seeking to understand how our climate works. It is, on the other hand, a stupendous act of cognitive dissonance.

  * A shift towards earlier seasons (Stine 2009)
  * Lake & river ice cover throughout the Northern Hemisphere are freezing later & breaking up earlier (Magnuson 2000, Hodgkins 2005)
  * Changes to physical and biological systems across the globe are consistent with warming temperatures (Rosenzweig 2008)
  * Cooling and contraction of the upper atmosphere consistent with predicted effects of increasing greenhouse gases (Lastovicka 2008)
  * Pitcher-plant mosquitoes are genetically evolving to adapt to shifting seasons (Bradshaw 2001)
  * Distribution of plants are shifting to higher elevations (Lenoir 2008)

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Posted: 10 January 2010 09:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Holly Molly,
Talk about serendipity.

I was going to go off for the rest of the evening and decompress with ANCIENT LANDSCAPES OF THE COLORADO PLATEAU by Ron Blakey and Wayne Ranney, awesomes book, ( they also have a pretty cool lecture on YouTube.)
But, thought I’d check up on my pal Greenman3610 on YouTube, I’ve waiting to see what new video he’ll come up with, its been awhile.

Well, what do you know! 
His new video is out, titled “32000 Scientists.”
And guess what?  It’s the Dr. Seitz story.  And the man’s even worse than I knew.

Check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Py2XVILHUjQ

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Posted: 19 January 2010 07:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v285/n5763/abs/285309a0.html

maybe these Saturn’s rings are the answer—1980 paper suggested global cooling was caused by rings at the “Eocene” event…

earth_saturn.jpg

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Posted: 19 January 2010 08:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Jackson - 19 January 2010 07:57 PM

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v285/n5763/abs/285309a0.html

maybe these Saturn’s rings are the answer—1980 paper suggested global cooling was caused by rings at the “Eocene” event…

wow, that was a fascinating story.  First time I’ve heard of that one.  Very interesting regarding the earth of 35ish million years ago.

But so far a “maybe the answer”

in the words of some long forgotten TV commercial:  “What’s The Question?”

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Posted: 19 January 2010 08:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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citizenschallenge - 19 January 2010 08:13 PM

in the words of some long forgotten TV commercial:  “What’s The Question?”

I thought it was “Where’s the Beef”?

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Posted: 19 January 2010 09:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Jackson - 19 January 2010 08:19 PM
citizenschallenge - 19 January 2010 08:13 PM

in the words of some long forgotten TV commercial:  “What’s The Question?”

I thought it was “Where’s the Beef”?

different commerical wink

just curious, you weren’t trying to draw some modern analogy away from that interesting hypothesis regarding maybe rings around the Earth 35 million years ago.

[ Edited: 19 January 2010 09:17 PM by citizenschallenge ]
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