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Kubes.SG
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« Reply #30 on: 01 November 2008, 15:43:56 PM »
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:  No rational person would accept the economic and lifestyle cost of stopping global warming.  (despite the fact it is impossible)  It is not like insurance.  Lets put some more realistic numbers into your example, and some realistic outcomes.

This is not true. The Oz Govt modeling has just costed a 20% CE reduction at $4 per week for oil and $2 per week for gas. Per household.

So a thats  less than a $1 a day per household. I think its great insurance. If the world reduces carbon emmission by 40% over the next 20 years it will have bugger all effect on the economy and probably create a whole new industry.

I cant see any down side. If we dont do it the risk is huge if you are wrong. I think its a no brainer.

CT, I am surprised and disappointed in your thought process.  There are lots of risks, and global warming wiping our life on earth is not one of them.  What you are have essentially said is that you will happily reduce your carbon footprint (forced on you by the Govt), and will do it because it makes you feel better as you are at least doing that makes a difference.  That is not the actions of an intelligent, rational or logical person.

The other issue is that Australia produces less than 1% of global carbon emissions. What is the point of reducing the AU output by 20% when that will make zero difference to global carbon levels.  I don't want to ruin our future so that we have some kind of moral leverage when we tell the Chinese, Indians, Africans, Latins and Americans that we are righteous and they should all also cut emissions.  that is just stupid.

I am absolutely not conservative, ideological or a Liberal.  Not left or right or a Labour supporter either.  I go for who has the right policies.  And that is not the Rudd Govt today.

Do read this article...




Australia’s love of emissions trading to combat global warming is ending in the face of economic uncertainty
says Tom Switzer

Kevin Rudd likes to proclaim that ‘climate change is the great economic, environmental and moral challenge of our time’. Malcolm Turnbull seems to agree. Yet their love affair with emissions trading schemes to combat global warming has been pushed to the margins of public life in the face of global financial turmoil. The politics of climate change is shifting dramatically.

Whereas once both leaders were calling on Australians to pay higher energy prices to save the planet, they now warn of tougher economic times as the financial crisis enters a new and dangerous phase. Whereas once Australians wanted to do their bit to cut the gases our leaders claim cause global warming, we now panic about more visceral things like protecting their jobs, mortgages and superannuation. Whereas once Australians were cheering on the Prime Minister to lead the world on the environment, we now fear we’ll succumb to the financial contagion wreaking havoc all over the world. And whereas once the political debate was over co-ordinated global action to tackle global warming, it’s now over co-ordinated global action to stabilise the international financial system.

You know the climate is changing when even ABC gabfests ignore one of the Left’s sacred cows. I recently appeared on Q&A, and I naturally expected questions about Ross Garnaut’s final and most important report on climate change which had been released that very week. Of the dozen or so questions asked, more than half were about Wall Street’s market upheaval; not one question was raised about climate change. Not one. And this disinterest, remember, came from an audience not usually known for reflecting the thoughts and attitudes of Middle Australia.

So you’d expect the federal opposition to be howling about the Rudd government’s call for a huge bureaucratic expansion and undefined costs to industry at a time of economic unrest. Instead the Coalition is sending mixed signals. F. Scott Fitzgerald once remarked: ‘The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.’ Perhaps no one better exemplifies this truth than Turnbull himself.

Amid economic uncertainty, the new Liberal  leader insists that ‘whatever Australia does will be ineffective unless it is part of a global solution’; and yet he also remains committed to a 2011 or 2012 start date for the implementation of an ETS regardless of the outcome of the Copenhagen global conference in December 2009.

Which raises the obvious point: why even make plans to implement an ETS now? If the world’s major emitters such as China, India and the US — which together will account for more than 50 per cent of global emissions by 2030 — won’t participate in any serious carbon reduction plans, why should Australia — which will account for only 1 per cent of global emissions — slash emissions to 60 per cent of 2000 levels in the next 40 years?

A disclaimer is necessary here: from March to September, I worked for former federal Liberal leader Brendan Nelson, and I was credited — or blamed, according to one’s perspective — for having advised the then Liberal leader to toughen up the coalition’s policy approach towards a scheme John Howard himself promised and which Turnbull fiercely defended.

Nelson, his chief of staff Peter Hendy and I believed the coalition should sharpen the difference with Labor over its proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, by arguing that it was mad to slash Australia’s carbon levels at a high cost in jobs and cash when no nation that matters would follow our lead.

The response was overwhelmingly hostile. The media, more interested in subjecting the opposition’s policy to more scrutiny than the government’s Green Paper, viewed Nelson’s intentions through the prism of the never-ending leadership speculation.

The Rudd government used the episode to accuse the Liberals of being climate change deniers in the pocket of Big Oil and Big Coal companies. Several shadow ministers, meanwhile, were aghast that their leader had the temerity to question the previous government’s recommendations for an ETS — even though these same critics had no qualms about jettisoning other Howard policies on an apology, Work Choices and Kyoto ratification.

The strange thing was that the article that induced this violent reaction was a very modest one. Writing in the Australian on 11 July, Nelson merely pointed out the obvious: that there are serious risks for Australia if we implement an ETS before any global agreement.

The article was undogmatic in its presentation, studded to the point of tedium with pro-green lines such as ‘It is prudent to reduce our carbon footprint’ and ‘Practical steps to reduce carbon emissions are imperative’. Nelson did not question the science underlining global warming, nor did he propose any serious alternative to the cap-and-trade model.

Nothing in the article suggested opposition to an ETS itself. It only took issue with the idea of Australia, with its natural abundance of fossil fuels, going out on a limb ahead of the world on cutting greenhouse gases. Unless the nations responsible for the biggest emissions commit to effective plans to reduce them, Nelson argued, Australian unilateral action would inflict collateral damage on the wider economy in lower growth and higher prices up and down the energy chain. And it would lead to the export of our energy-intensive jobs to those nations that do not take action to reduce carbon emissions, thus worsening the emissions problem.

Now, in the face of the global financial crisis, all this sounds reasonable enough. Yet the stridency of the response to our proposal at the time left Nelson, Hendy and me wondering whether, unwittingly, the article might have touched an exposed nerve of a new political correctness in Australia. Not only was it impermissible to question climate change science; we were now being told to not even question unilateral action to combat global warming, even if it would come at huge cost to the economy. It was a sad state of affairs that ideas bearing on Australia’s national interest could not be discussed and speculated on freely without fear of being dismissed by those who claim moral superiority in this debate.

That was back then — only a few months ago, when polls showed 77 per cent of Australians were content to pay higher bills for electricity, gas, and other consumer goods, and Professor Garnaut was presenting his reports that made him famous among the elites. The world that confronts us today is not the one announced in the program and shown in the preview. As a recent Lowy Institute poll shows, Australians are now much more worried about jobs and economic security than emissions trading and global warming.

All of a sudden, the idea that a single-income family should pay more to run their evaporative air conditioning system, washing machine and dryer, fridge and stove, computer and large flat-screen television does not sound so morally self-satisfying after all. To say again: it was not meant to be like this, but the fact that it is suggests many advocates of unilateral action were naive to think that climate change could possibly trump cost-of-living issues that are the bread and butter of election campaigns. As Sarah Palin might say, Joe Six-Pack may not understand emissions trading schemes, but he sure as heck understands hits to the hip pocket.

In the midst of a global financial crisis, moreover, it is surely Pollyanna-ish to think the world will somehow reach a consensus on climate change. The Chinese government is not only refusing to cut its emissions; it is building a new coal-fired plant nearly every week. The Indian government is not only rejecting Rudd-style cuts; it is unashamedly saying poverty poses a greater threat to its people than climate change. In the US, although both presidential candidates support an ETS, the Democratic-controlled Congress recently failed to pass a watered-down version of their plans. Most of Europe, meanwhile, has failed to meet its mandatory carbon targets under the Kyoto protocol, despite already having implemented an ETS.

During the week that shadow cabinet ‘rolled’ Nelson’s common-sense ideas, the other major global talks — the Doha round of multilateral trade — collapsed. The culprits? India’s Congress, which sought to placate small farmers in the run-up to the next elections; and Chinese leaders who doggedly defended cotton and rice producers. What’s to stop a few other well-placed parochial interests bringing another vast global process tumbling down? Indeed, if the world can’t reach a consensus on something as relatively simple as free trade, how on earth will it be able to reach a consensus on something as complicated as climate change?

Now, it’s true Rudd is so scared of inevitable voter anger over the ETS that he has softened Garnaut’s original recommendations. Petrol taxes, for example, will be reduced for the first three years of the scheme. Nonetheless, forcing companies to buy pollution permits will raise the cost of energy production and hit every corner of the economy. According to the government’s Green Paper, electricity and gas prices will rise by 16 and 9 per cent respectively. Why then should the Liberal party, ostensibly the party of small government, be complicit in a scheme that has all the hallmarks of a giant revenue grab and creeping socialism?

No doubt some critics will warn that Liberals can’t afford to be seen as ‘browner than John Howard’. No doubt too they will use any Coalition opposition to an ETS as evidence that conservatives remain climate change deniers. But as Oscar Wilde said: ‘The truth is rarely pure, and never simple.’ What’s so wrong with embracing an agnostic position on climate change which says: yes, it can’t be good to pollute the atmosphere, but the moral absolutists who presume to know exactly what to do are kidding themselves? Meanwhile, with one of the world’s biggest supplies of uranium, Australia could develop an alternative form of energy use which produces not an ounce of carbon dioxide: nuclear.

In any case, conservatives won’t be able to attack effectively the government’s global warming scheme if they remain carbon copies of Labor. When all is said and done, Turnbull and his shadow environment minister Greg Hunt agree with virtually everything that Rudd and his climate change minister Penny Wong say about taxing industry and redistributing the proceeds at potentially huge cost to the economy.

The only point of difference is the start date: the government supports a deadline of 2010; the opposition says no later than 2012 — no matter what the rest of the world does. But by putting forward a simple, sharp critique of this costly and risky scheme at a time of global economic turmoil and when no global consensus exists, the Coalition would be better able to feel the pain of battlers who will suffer most from higher energy prices as companies pass on costs.

This is what Brendan Nelson was essentially saying behind the scenes. For his pains, he was disowned by many of his colleagues and was denounced as a denier by the foolish. But this is what Malcolm Turnbull should be saying on the record in the most forceful and coherent language he can find — and sooner, rather than later, he will have to.

Tom Switzer was a senior adviser to the former federal Liberal leader Brendan Nelson and formerly an opinion editor of the Australian.



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« Reply #30 on: 01 November 2008, 15:43:56 PM »
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« Reply #31 on: 01 November 2008, 16:43:30 PM »
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Actually, that is factually incorrect.  Those gasses ARE causes of global warming.  I remember as clear as yesterday in highschool doing experiments on different gasses in large sealed glass domes, taking temperature measurements etc... all part of the basic curriculum. 

This of this as an appeal.  Those gases have been found guilty of causing global warming, prove that mankind isn't behind the current increases and rate of increases.  Good luck!

Innocent until proven guilty applies to CO2, Methane and Nitrogen Trifluoride as the key causes of global warming.  So better that you present your case, and I will defend against it.  So please start....
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« Reply #32 on: 01 November 2008, 17:00:37 PM »
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So to look at the numbers, would it be rational for someone to have pay an annual 2.5% insurance cost, for a risk that has less than 0.000001% of happening.  Of course not.

Well frankly yes. Even if the odds are that small, protecting the planet is worth 2.5% of GDP. Cripes, we happily spend 5% of global GDP on Defence.

I am a big fan of David Suzuki. The world is a test tube and it has limits on growth. The first thing I learnt in Economics was the law of diminishing returns. I think the western economies are at full capacity and the concept of continual GDP growth is flawed. Basically, I think we have enough toys and we have to learn to use those toys more efficently. eg tax on carbon.
Then maybe a new technology breakthrough will lead us into a new era. Cue the big collider thingy.
Interesting times.
Kubes, the carbon thing is a done deal. Its just symbolic grand standing for big KEV to lead the charge. But it has to start somewhere.
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« Reply #33 on: 01 November 2008, 19:05:17 PM »
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CT; agree that 'growth is good' mantra needs to be reviewed.  If the whole planet achieves a western-style standard of living, we are screwed.  Key is to gradually even things about and re-define what is an appropriate life-style.  Have you read any of Jared Diamond's work? or James Lovelock? My personal property at home is totally subsistence, bore, arable land to support myself and family etc - even my apartment here in Singapore, the balcony is full of planted miniature fruit tree's vegetables etc.... anyway, on a non-global warming topic, Kubes you might want to check out a book called 'the real wealth of nations' - very interesting look at the intersection between sound social fabric and economics.  Enlightening to say the least.
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« Reply #34 on: 01 November 2008, 20:39:13 PM »
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Actually, that is factually incorrect.  Those gasses ARE causes of global warming.  I remember as clear as yesterday in highschool doing experiments on different gasses in large sealed glass domes, taking temperature measurements etc... all part of the basic curriculum. 

This of this as an appeal.  Those gases have been found guilty of causing global warming, prove that mankind isn't behind the current increases and rate of increases.  Good luck!

Innocent until proven guilty applies to CO2, Methane and Nitrogen Trifluoride as the key causes of global warming.  So better that you present your case, and I will defend against it.  So please start....

Let me open with an expert witness, Dr David Evans, who from 1999 to 2005 was with the Australian Greenhouse Office, established to help set policy and funding for tackling the greenhouse theory.  Here are his words on the matter of Co2 and it alleged role in global warming.  He is highly qualified and part of the leading AU Govt organization to drive this program.

These are just the opening statements and they call into question that Co2 was in any way involved in the crime of global warming.  No evidence has been presented by the prosecution. 

http://nzclimatescience.net/images/PDFs/evans.pdf

This is a nice easy to read opening statement.


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« Reply #35 on: 01 November 2008, 21:08:57 PM »
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So to look at the numbers, would it be rational for someone to have pay an annual 2.5% insurance cost, for a risk that has less than 0.000001% of happening.  Of course not.

Well frankly yes. Even if the odds are that small, protecting the planet is worth 2.5% of GDP. Cripes, we happily spend 5% of global GDP on Defence.

I am a big fan of David Suzuki. The world is a test tube and it has limits on growth. The first thing I learnt in Economics was the law of diminishing returns. I think the western economies are at full capacity and the concept of continual GDP growth is flawed. Basically, I think we have enough toys and we have to learn to use those toys more efficently. eg tax on carbon.
Then maybe a new technology breakthrough will lead us into a new era. Cue the big collider thingy.
Interesting times.
Kubes, the carbon thing is a done deal. Its just symbolic grand standing for big KEV to lead the charge. But it has to start somewhere.

Your last para highlights the problem we have.  "It is a done deal" is the response of the people who are not willing to debate the facts and the questions.  The statement that "the science is settle" a 100% false.  The vast majority of scientists do not support the theory that Global Warming is manmade,   If this push for cutting carbon emissions was just a few Greenies wanting to hug trees I would be happy for them to do that forever in their misguided belief they are saving something.  But this is now a question of economic future of AU and even NZ, both of whom now have Govts that seem to be intent to bankrupt those two countries in the name of "saving the world" by cutting global carbon emissions by 0.2%. 

These countries are being led into this mess in just the same way US (and the coalition of the willing) were led into the Iraq War II by Bush/Cheney with their absurd claim/ies of  WMDs.  Plenty of people believed that was true.  But the majority of the world know it to be a total lie.

If we are going spend any more billions on Co2 and carbon emission reduction, lets at least base those decisions on facts and proof.  that is the minimum any tax-payer, or any human should expect.

There has been no debate.  The facts are not understood.  People, (even reasonably intelligent ones) are confused and caught up the hype and hysteria.



This is entirely political and not about science.  It is even evolving into a kind of religious fundamentalism.  Read on...


Climate change debate is being distorted by dogma
Created 17/07/2008 - 06:00

Human activity is indeed changing the climate, at least in part, but there is an increasing body of science that says that the sun may have a greater role than previously thought, argues Geoffrey Kearsley.

It is now pretty much taken for granted that global warming is ongoing, that climate change is being driven by human activity and that it is critically important that extraordinary changes be made in fundamental aspects of our economy and way of life.

On the small scale, people plant trees, examine food miles, purchase carbon offsets and modify their travel behaviour.

Cities and even countries vie with one another to become carbon neutral; as a nation, we are contemplating emission controls, taxes and carbon-trading schemes that will have a profound effect on individual households and the national economy alike.

When linked with the other great crisis of our times - peak oil - it has become not only socially desirable to embrace all of this, but sustainability has achieved the status of a higher morality.  It has become politically unacceptable to doubt any of the current dogma.  Not to subscribe wholeheartedly to the sustainability ethos is to be labelled not just a sceptic but a denier, with overtones of Holocaust denial and a wilful, unreasonable immorality.

It is said that we are now beyond the science and that the science of global warming has been finalised or determined and that all scientists agree.

Sceptics and deniers are simply cynical pawns in the pockets of the big oil companies.  This is unfortunate, to say the least.

Science is rarely determined or finalised; science evolves and the huge complexity of climate science will certainly continue to evolve in the light of new facts, new experiences and new understandings.

Here is an example of how science changes.

Early in the 1900s, Alfred Wegener proposed that the continents were once joined up; their coastlines seemed to match, there appeared to be great rifts and tears in the continental fabric.  This view was ridiculed; how could the continents move? What possible force could transport the unimaginable mass of Africa or Australia hundreds and thousands of kilometres across the earth?

Today, of course, plate tectonics is well understood. We know that continents move and we know how and what the consequences are.

Global warming seemed sewn up as well in the year 2000.  Mann's hockey-stick graph showed centuries of modest change culminating in an explosive temperature growth in recent decades, leading to terrifying projections of a climate out of control with the sea rising to drown us all.

Al Gore's apocalyptic images of tsunami-like flooding and dying polar bears brought global warming into every home.  To sign up to Kyoto was an act of sanctity and belief; only political dinosaurs in the pay of big business would not flock to this new crusade. 

Today, the hockey stick has gone.  Its basic data were flawed and the statistical processes inadequate; it failed to describe known climate changes from the historically recorded past, so how could it be a reliable predictor?

Although Mr Gore received the Nobel Peace Prize, his famous movie has been shown to be riddled with inaccuracies, distortions and misrepresentations; it cannot be shown in British schools without a comprehensive explanation of its mistakes and an acknowledgement that it is advocacy, not science.

There is no doubt that the climate is changing; it always has done.  We have become familiar with the regularly repeating glaciations of the past.  Human history has mainly occupied an exceptionally warm interglacial peak in a world that, for the last half million years at least, has generally been much cooler, although, in deep time, the world has been much warmer than now.

In the 1970s, climate science was concerned about when the next ice age might commence; we may have to return to that position.  There have been considerably warmer eras in the past couple of thousand years.  In both the Roman and medieval warm periods, vineyards flourished as far north as York in England; Greenland was indeed green, at least in parts.

By contrast, just 400 years ago, there was a Little Ice Age in America and Europe, at least, that lasted until well into the 1800s.  The historic record confirms all of this, beyond doubt.

What we also know, by historical record and by proxy calculation, is that these large swings in temperature closely correlate with the frequency of sunspots, which are a visible indicator of activity in the sun.  Sunspots vary in number according to a series of short-term and long-term cycles.

In periods of high temperature, sunspots proliferated, but during the Little Ice Age, there were few or none for many decades, a phenomenon known as the Maunder Minimum; the last quarter of the 20th century saw a flurry of activity.  The last cycle was at its energetic peak in 1998, our warmest year for some time.  The mechanism is unclear, but it seems related to solar magnetic influences and the amount of gamma radiation that reaches the earth.

The last 10 years have seen a static or even cooling trend as the sunspot cycle ran down; 2007 saw bitter weather around the world and the mean global temperature dropped by an unprecedented amount.

It is not picking up.

The Antarctic winter sea ice was at its largest extent since satellite observation began, and it snowed in Baghdad and Buenos Aires for the first time in living memory. China's winter was awful.

And now the scary news.

The latest sunspot cycle should have started up around the middle or end of 2006; it didn't.  According to Nasa's forecasts, there should be a sunspot index of 70 or more, as the new cycle ran up.  I looked at a real-time photo of the sun on a recent morning; there are no sunspots at all.  There have only been a couple of brief, tiny ones since the last cycle ended.

Not only that, but the longer trends tell us that by 2020, we will be experiencing an unusually low-energy sun.  Apparently, these are exactly the conditions that preceded the Maunder Minimum and ushered in the Little Ice Age.

The science goes on.

Water vapour is the biggest greenhouse gas by a huge factor.

The link between CO2 and temperature change is erratic; often, carbon follows heat rather than the uncritical popular perception that heat is induced by carbon.  The oceans are a vast reservoir of dissolved CO2; as they warm, they release it and reabsorb it as they cool.

Which causes what? There is much more yet to learn.

My point is this: It may well be that human activity is indeed changing the climate, at least in part, but there is an increasing body of science that says that the sun may have a greater role.  If it does have, then global warming is likely to stop, as it appears to have done since 1998, and if the current sunspot cycle fails to ignite, then cooling, possibly rapid and severe cooling, may eventuate.

The next five years will tell us a great deal. In these circumstances, we should wait and see.

With China and India churning out new thermal power stations at assembly-line speed, our influence on the global climate is negligible.  Surrounded as we are by great oceans, even the alarmist predictions will have relatively minor consequences for us for some time.

We can afford to wait.

There is no point in decimating our economy in the pursuit of carbon neutrality if carbon is not the main culprit or if the climate is now on a new trend.  Instead, now is the time to moderate the pseudo-religious and uncritical belief that global warming is still as we once thought it might have been.

Prof Geoffrey Kearsley is a geographer developing a programme in environmental communication.




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« Reply #36 on: 02 November 2008, 4:45:58 AM »
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The defence present this as part of the basic premise of understanding the role of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere:

Quantum mechanics provides the basis for computing the interactions between molecules and radiation. Most of this interaction occurs when the frequency of the radiation closely matches that of the spectral lines of the molecule, determined by the quantization of the modes of vibration and rotation of the molecule. (The electronic excitations are generally not relevant for infrared radiation, as they require energy larger than that in an infrared photon.)


Major greenhouse gas trends
The width of a spectral line is an important element in understanding its importance for the absorption of radiation. In the Earth’s atmosphere these spectral widths are primarily determined by “pressure broadening”, which is the distortion of the spectrum due to the collision with another molecule. Most of the infrared absorption in the atmosphere can be thought of as occurring while two molecules are colliding. The absorption due to a photon interacting with a lone molecule is relatively small. This three-body aspect of the problem, one photon and two molecules, makes direct quantum mechanical computation for molecules of interest more challenging. Careful laboratory spectroscopic measurements, rather than ab initio quantum mechanical computations, provide the basis for most of the radiative transfer calculations used in studies of the atmosphere.


The molecules/atoms that constitute the bulk of the atmosphere: oxygen (O2), nitrogen (N2) and argon (Ar); do not interact with infrared radiation significantly. While the oxygen and nitrogen molecules can vibrate, because of their symmetry these vibrations do not create any transient charge separation. Without such a transient dipole moment, they can neither absorb nor emit infrared radiation.

In the Earth’s atmosphere, the dominant infrared absorbing gases are water vapor, carbon dioxide, and ozone (O3). The same molecules are also the dominant infrared emitting molecules.

CO2 and O3 have "floppy" vibration motions whose quantum states can be excited by collisions at energies encountered in the atmosphere. For example, carbon dioxide is a linear molecule, but it has an important vibrational mode in which the molecule bends with the carbon in the middle moving one way and the oxygens on the ends moving the other way, creating some charge separation, a dipole moment, thus carbon dioxide molecules can absorb IR radiation. Collisions will immediately transfer this energy to heating the surrounding gas. On the other hand, other CO2 molecules will be vibrationally excited by collisions. Roughly 5% of CO2 molecules are vibrationally excited at room temperature and it is this 5% that radiates.

A substantial part of the greenhouse effect due to carbon dioxide exists because this vibration is easily excited by infrared radiation.

CO2 has two other vibrational modes. The symmetric stretch does not radiate, and the asymmetric stretch is at too high a frequency to be effectively excited by atmospheric temperature collisions, although it does contribute to absorption of IR radiation. The vibrational modes of water are at too high energies to effectively radiate, but do absorb higher frequency IR radiation. Water vapor has a bent shape. It has a permanent dipole moment (the O atom end is electron rich, and the H atoms electron poor) which means that IR radiation can be emitted and absorbed during rotational transitions, and these transitions can also be produced by collisional energy transfer. Clouds are also very important infrared absorbers. Therefore, water has multiple effects on infrared radiation, through its vapor phase and through its condensed phases. Other absorbers of significance include methane, nitrous oxide and the chlorofluorocarbons.
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« Reply #37 on: 02 November 2008, 11:58:32 AM »
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Dear BM2:

Your premise, and in fact the entire basis of your argument is based on the greenhouse gas theory.  It is recognized by all to be just a theory, it is not proven; and concerningly for the AGW alarmist community is that it is not supported by science or by empirical data.  As you have explained the science/mechanics of gas theory you have not addressed fact that despite these observed behaviors of various gases in controlled test environments, that fact is that the atmosphere is not behaving as the Greenhouse gas theory requires.  That is, the atmosphere has not warmed in the same way as surface temperatures.  Even NASA researchers as long ago as 1998 were surprised that there was no correlation between rising surface temperatures and declining atmospheric temperatures.  The latest satellite data continues to show very limited correlation.

NASA evidence based on facts:  http://spacescience.spaceref.com/newhome/headlines/notebook/essd13aug98_1.htm

Now to dissect the science behind the greenhouse effect.  BM2 you grow your own veggies on your balcony and come from a very cold climate, so as a man of the earth you should very much understand the science behind greenhouses.   So for others, let me explain how a greenhouse works, and why the atmosphere does NOT behave like a greenhouse.

The atmosphere does not work like a garden greenhouse. In the simplest of terms, a greenhouse functions because the in-coming solar radiation - the sun - warms the soil, the tables, the plants, and the pathways inside it, which in turn, warm the air trapped within the closed greenhouse environment (remember that there is very little direct solar heating of the air}. The air then continues to remain warm because it is trapped within the closed greenhouse so that the heat cannot be lost through the process of convection, unlike in the air outside the greenhouse and in the atmosphere, where free convection is uninhibited. If you want to test this, or to cool your greenhouse, you must open the door, or, preferably, a window or two in the greenhouse roof, to permit convection to occur. Greenhouses work, first and foremost, because they prevent the normal processes of convection, not because of radiative forcing, precisely the opposite of what happens in the open atmosphere.

Thus, the down-to-earth greenhouse effect does not, and can not, apply to the atmosphere, which experiences free convection. Indeed, so true is this fact that any complex model relating to climate must take it into account, so that we are not even dealing with a purely radiative effect, but with a much more complex, and still very little understood, set of radiative-convective effects. In essence, the ‘opacity’ of the atmosphere to outgoing infrared radiation determines the height from which most photons will be emitted into space. The more ‘opaque’ the atmosphere, the more the escaping photons will be emitted from higher in the atmosphere, and, because the emission of infrared radiation is a function of temperature, it is the temperature of the atmosphere, at this emission level, that will be determined by the requirement for the emitted flux to balance the absorbed solar flux.

We must further take into account the standard fact that the temperature of the atmosphere decreases with height at a rate of ~6.5 °C per kilometre (on average), until the Stratosphere is attained (between 8 - 16 km above the surface) [we can assume for this purpose that the lapse rate is fixed by non-radiative energy fluxes]. If we then determine the temperature (and height) at the emission level of the infrared flux escaping into space, the surface temperature can be computed by increasing temperature at the rate of 6.5 °C per kilometre - the above-mentioned environmental lapse rate, reversed - until one reaches the surface. Thus, the more ‘opaque’ the atmosphere, the higher will be the emission level of the escaping infrared radiation, and, consequently, the warmer the surface, since the lapse rate will occupy a longer distance in the vertical.

But, all this is going much farther than I need.  The point is ever so simple. The atmosphere - carbon dioxide, nitrogen trifluoride, methane or whatever - does not function like a greenhouse in our gardens.

Also, the temperatures on the Moon and Mars, and other planets have seen the same warming and recent cooling patterns over the last 3-4 decades that we have seen on Earth.  As far as I know, there is not greenhouse effect or Carbon emission problems on those heavenly bodies.

Read the facts here:  http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/02/070228-mars-warming.html

I am enjoying this discussion, but I would really prefer that we focus the points being made not on theories or compuer models, but on the actual facts and science involved.  This is an important subject.


« Last Edit: 02 November 2008, 13:03:59 PM by Kubes.SG » Logged

The object in life is not to be on the side of the Majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the Insane.
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