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October 24, 2007

Comments

Charlie

This article seems to be confused on the concepts of measurements versus estimates.

Most of the numbers they give are estimates, calculated by looking at the fossil fuel usage and other reported industrial activity, which shows growth exceeding expectations. This would tend to suggest that they have not been predicting the future behavior of the global industrial economy with even a single significant digit of accuracy.

The one actually measured quantity in the report is the 381 ppm CO2 level in the atmosphere. That number is completely expected, because it is exactly in line with the annual 0.4% to 0.5% increase in atmospheric CO2 levels that have been observed every single year for the past sixty years or so.

Kit P

How odd, that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are pretty much exactly where they were expected to be and are certainly not showing any dramatic acceleration. Could this be another case of the virtual world predictions not matching the real world?

The only thing that can be accurately measured is in the curve presented is the amount of fossil burned. If someone wants to pick a point in time where the economy is slowing and compare it to a time the economy is accelerating, then I might be justified in calling them fear mongers without any scientific credibility. I predict in the actual report they call for more funding of their research.

bigTom

Actually Kit I think the amount of carbon burned globally may not be very well known. I doubt we have very good accounting for all industrial processes. Atmospheric concentrations can be well measured. Slight differences in concentration are used to estimate the strength of local sources/sinks (I find it amazing that we can measure slight differences accurately enough to do that).

The headline is disingenuous, it has been known for at least a year that emmisions/concentrations since 2000 are well above trend. It is probably the rapid expansion of Chindia emmisions that was underanticipated. There is evidence that the percentage of carbon emmisions being absorbed by natural processes has decreased (from 60% to 55%), with North Atlantic and Southern oceans being the prime suspects. The fear is that the rate of natural absorption may be entering a longterm decline.

jlw

Actually, another measured quantity is the rate of increase in measured CO2. From 2000 to 2006, it rose at a rate of 1.93 parts per million per year. That's 20 to 30 percent greater than the rate of increase measured over the previous two decades.

So, the rate of carbon dioxide increase in the atmosphere is indeed accelerating.

Charlie's point that it is "in line with the annual 0.4% to 0.5% increase in atmospheric CO2 levels that have been observed every single year for the past sixty years or so" ought not be a comfort to anyone who understands compounded growth.

bigTom

jlw: "compounded growth."
The effect of CO2 concentration is such that the logarithm of the concentration is a good approximation to its Greenhouse effect. A 1% increase at say 280ppm, would give the same heating effect as a 1% increase at 380ppm, even though the latter requires 40% more CO2. The current AGHG forcing is half the forcing we would see at 560ppm.

fjh

And meeting KYOTO goals has had no impact what so ever? so is setting them simply a matter of 'faith' in eco-theology and not verifiable by measurements of C02 or temps.

Kit P

It would appear that bigTom got his info backwards. Keeping track of fossil use is very straight forward. If fact I can tell you how much gasoline I bought last month. The coal plant can tell you the number of tons they burn daily.

I can even tell you accurate how the amount of CO2 it takes to make anhydrous ammonia. However, all bets are off when you try to figure out the ghg from applying fertilizer. Naturally sources and sinks are even harder to figure out. Anthropogenic ghg sources are a small fraction of natural sources which have a huge uncertainty.

Furthermore, the increase in fossil fuel use in China was not unexpected. Many have argued that that Kyoto is joke for that reason. I can provide a long list of ways to effectively reduce ghg without destroying the American dream while sharing it with the rest of world. Poverty will not reduce AGW, innovation will.

johnbo

There is increasing evidence that atmospheric CO2 increases are a result of global warming rather than CO2 causing global warming. Many scientists are changing their beliefs about CO2 warming effects. Here are some who have changed….

http://www.speroforum.com/site/article.asp?idarticle=9469

Many scientists have never believed in man made global warming. After reading both sides for a few years now, I believe humankind’s contribution to global warming is insignificant. However, I do believe we need to develop renewable energy for many obvious reasons.

bigTom

kit:
Your local Coal plant can tell you their consumption, what about those in the third world and rural China? There are likely quite a few plants in these places that are poorly accounted for.

Natural GHG sources tend to be two ways. Plants absorb several times human emmisions, then the leaves decay over winter andgive it back. Most natural sources/sinks have little long term impact.

You are right that poverty is not the way to go. There are too many loonies out there preaching that.

Demesure

"it rose at a rate of 1.93 parts per million per year. That's 20 to 30 percent greater than the rate of increase measured over the previous two decades."

Using 2 decimals ppm while uncertainties is in the order of 0.5 ppm and year to year variability more than 2 ppm is a statistical nonsense.

If as stated, the rate of increase is 35 percent faster than "expected", the only sensible conclusion is that experts and multi-million $ models don't do better than a simple linear fit.

bigTom

johnbo: No such conclusion is being reached.
There is the interesting matter than Antacrtica warmed up rouchly 1300 years before the end of the last ice age (which coincided with the CO2 increase).
It seems the Antacrtic warming was due to insolation (earth oribital) changes, once the reduced amount of cold bottom water had filled up enough ocean that the surface waters warmed, then some of the CO2 held in the ocean could be released to the atmosphere. Clearly climate change on a geologic scale is a complex interplay of solar forcings, and feedbacks. The CO2 feedback is very important to the process.

johnbo

bigTom: thanks for your feedback.
There is news from many sources and studies that say I am right and you are wrong. Here’s another if you care to read it:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/technology/technology.html?in_article_id=440049&in_page_id=1965

ALSO, I agree there are many sources that say you are right and I am wrong. Furthermore, I agree climate change on a geologic scale is complex. Climate change on short time frames is equally or even more complex. Bottom line, no one knows. Like a religion, one can decide what suits him best and follow that path. You can preach either side and attract followers from this or that climate model or geologic study. It’s a great topic for politicians and news media to use for their own agenda. Case in point today I read how the media have extrapolated the global warming issue as the cause of fires in California… preposterous… ha-ha. However, since this GW issue is helping the move to renewable energy and a cleaner environment it has some benefits.

bigTom

I am bothered when politicians/media types throw out GW as the cause for any particular event. There is the partial truth, that such events will (and already have) become more common than in the past, but we really only can talk statistics not direct cause/effect. They did the same thing last night on Planet-in-Peril where they all but claimed a six year olds Luekemia was due to local Houston Ship Canal air polution. The epidemiology they gave said 50% icrease, that means out of three cases on average one would be because of the pollution...

So we have a difficulty of communication. When changes we are making make certain negative events more likely, but are not the sole cause, how do we properly communicate that to the public? Considering how poor math literacy is in our society (including nearly all politicians and media types) it is a real problem.

Amsterdamned

Case in point today I read how the media have extrapolated the global warming issue as the cause of fires in California… preposterous… ha-ha.

Didn't the officials made clear that the fires were not natural but intentionally created by humans?

Yuanping Zhao

Globe warming comes from greenhouse gases (GHG). The largest GHG source is CO2, which mostly comes from automobiles today. As car engines are the largest CO2 makers currently, we must reduce engine CO2 emission. But where is the solution? Based on the current 25% engine efficiency, the whole world lacks feasible solution and technology until now:
High Efficiency Integrated Heat Engine (HEIHE) is just invented and patented recently. HEIHE integrates multiple engine theory and practice into one engine body —— compound combustion, heterogeneous combustion, staged-combustion, combined cycles, multiple power strokes, multiple working fluids, multiple operation strokes and multiple engine efficiency contributors. HEIHE comprises twin compound cylinder structure. Such a twin cylinder structure provides the secondary compound expansions of three (3) different fluids as to harness the energies that would be lost with the fluid exhausts or during braking. All of these make HEIHE work around six (6) cycles with twelve (12) operation strokes. Among six (6) working cycles involved, four (4) cycles contain four (4) different power strokes but only one of the power strokes consumes the fuel. Thus the fuel conversion efficiency could be greatly increased, or even be doubled comparing with the conventional internal combustion engine (ICE). This innovative engine structure has been posted at wfeast.com for comments and its prototyping funding supports.
The inventor of this green engine is expecting to see double fuel convention efficiency, thus double gas mileage, once it is implemented. Based on HEIHE architecture, 21st Century engine revolution is waving to us. I believe any investment will definitely trig this engine revolution, making this innovative green engine a reality.
HEIHE — Welcome to our energy hungry world!

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One of the biggest issues facing us right now is global warming. Its effects on animals and on agriculture are indeed frightening, and the effects on the human population are even scarier. The facts about global warming are often debated in politics and the media, but, unfortunately, even if we disagree about the causes, global warming effects are real, global, and measurable. The causes are mainly from us, the human race, and the effects on us will be severe.

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There is evidence that the percentage of carbon emmisions being absorbed by natural processes has decreased (from 60% to 55%), with North Atlantic and Southern oceans being the prime suspects. The fear is that the rate of natural absorption may be entering a longterm decline.

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