Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth movie review

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 5:02 PM GMT on June 19, 2006

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Al Gore's global warming movie, "An Inconvenient Truth," aims to call attention to the dangers society faces from climate change, and suggests urgent actions that need to be taken immediately. It is based on a slide show on climate Gore has presented to audiences worldwide over 1000 times in the past 15 years, but it is not purely a documentary. Gore's movie is an advocacy piece that is part documentary, part biography, and part campaign ad. I'll discuss all three of these aspects below. In brief, Al Gore has the right idea--climate change is an urgent issue that requires immediate action, and his thoughtful movie is a welcome addition to the usual array of mindless Hollywood summer fare. However, the movie has flaws. The presentation of the science is good, but not great--I rate it B minus. The excessive details on Al Gore's life make the movie too long, and his insistence on using the movie as something of a campaign ad detracts from its message.

An Inconvenient Truth as a biography of Al Gore
The creators of the movie presumably thought that simply presenting Gore's slide show would be too dull, so they decided to give the movie some human interest by interweaving a biography of Al Gore's life. Al Gore has led an interesting life, but "interesting" and "Al Gore" are not words one can often put together. As my daughter noted in her movie review yesterday, Al Gore is boring, and the 20 minutes or so of biography presented in An Inconvenient Truth is too much for a movie that is 1 hour and 36 minutes long. For example, I didn't really need to see the road where Al Gore totaled his car when he was 14 years old, or a replay of his loss in the 2000 election. On the other hand, some details of his past were interesting and relevant, such as the fact that he took college courses in the late 1960s from Harvard's Dr. Roger Revelle. Revelle and Dr. Charles Keeling were the pioneers in measurements of atmospheric CO2, and thus Gore got a very early exposure to the now infamous "Keeling Curve" (Figure 1), showing the build-up of atmospheric CO2. This early exposure to the significant impact humans were having on the atmosphere deeply affected Gore, and in the movie he details efforts he made to call attention to the issue long before most people had heard of it, back in the 1970s and 80s. Gore's slide show appropriately displays many graphs of the Keeling Curve, as it is probably the most important and most famous finding in climate change science.


Figure 1. The Keeling Curve is a record of CO2 measurements taken at he top of Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii since 1958.

The science of An Inconvenient Truth
The science presented is mostly good, and at times compelling, but there are a few errors and one major distortion of the truth. Gore does an excellent job focusing on the most important issues, and usually presents them with a minimum of hype and distortion. The only exception to this comes in his treatment of global warming and extreme weather events such as hurricanes.

Basic global warming science
Gore begins the science part of his talk with a very easy to understand presentation on the basics of how the greenhouse effect works. His speech is clear, the graphics top notch, and he spices it up with a hilarious two-minute cartoon depicting roughneck global warming gases preventing poor Mr. Sunbeam from escaping Earth's atmosphere. Gore addresses the argument of skeptics who claim that the Earth is too big for humans to affect by showing Space Shuttle photos of how thin the atmosphere really is compared to the vast bulk of our planet. "The problem we now face is that this thin layer of atmosphere is being thickened by huge quantities of carbon dioxide," he asserts, which is not correct. The build-up of CO2 has virtually no effect on the density or thickness of Earth's atmosphere. The correct thing to say would have been, "The problem we now face is that this thin layer of atmosphere is being made more opaque to the transmission of infrared radiation (heat) by huge quantities of carbon dioxide."

Glaciers
Gore shows an impressive series of "then and now" images documenting the widespread retreat of many glaciers over the past century. Most dramatically, he shows Tanzania's Mt. Kilimanjaro, whose 11,000 year-old glaciers are almost gone. While not all the world's glaciers have retreated in the past century, Gore's presentation is an effective and reasonable way to show how global warming has affected the majority of the world's glaciers. Greenhouse skeptics, including Michael Crichton in his State of Fear book, are fond of bashing those who use Mt. Kilimanjaro as a poster child for demonstrating global warming. They cite scientific research showing that the glacial retreat on Mt. Kilimanjaro is due to drying of the atmosphere, not global warming. However, as discussed at great length in a realclimate.org post, the research which supposedly supports the skeptics' claims has been widely misquoted and misinterpreted, and much of Kilimanjaro's melting can indeed be ascribed to warming of the atmosphere since 1960.

Gore does an excellent job discussing the ice caps of Greenland and Antarctica. Again, Gore's graphics are superb, and he does a nice job narrating. He shows animations of what a 20-foot rise in sea level would do to Manhattan, Florida, India, and China. A 20-foot sea level rise is what we expect if all of Greenland or all of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet were to melt. Such a 20-foot rise is not expected by 2100, and it would have been appropriate for Gore to acknowledge that the consensus of climate scientists--as published in the most recent report by the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)--is that sea level is likely to rise between 4 and 35 inches, with a central value of 19 inches, by 2100. He should have also mentioned that temperatures in Greenland in the 1930s were about as warm as today's temperatures, so the current melting of Greenland's glaciers does have historical precedent. Nevertheless, the risk of a catastrophic melting and break-up of the Greenland or West Antarctic ice sheets is very real, when we consider that sea level before the most recent ice age was 15 feet higher than it is now. Gore is right to draw attention to what might happen if sea level rose 20 feet.

Drought and heat waves
An excellent discussion of the most serious climate change issue our generation is likely to face, the threat of increased drought and reduced water supplies, is presented. Gore makes reference to the extreme heat wave that affected Europe during the summer of 2004, and I was glad to see that he didn't blame the heat wave on global warming--he merely said that more events of this nature will be likely in the future.

Hurricanes and severe weather
The biggest failure in the movie's presentation of science comes in the discussion hurricanes and severe weather events. The devastation wrought by Katrina is used to very dramatic effect to warn of the dangers climate change presents. We are told that Katrina grew "stronger and stronger and stronger" as it passed over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico that were heated up by global warming. We are told that global warming is increasing the intensity of hurricanes, but not provided information on the great amount of uncertainty and vigorous scientific debate on this issue. Graphs showing recent record insurance losses from natural disasters are presented, but no mention is made of how increasing population and insistence on building in vulnerable areas are the predominant factors causing recent high insurance claims from disasters such as Katrina. Gore points to some unprecedented events in 2004 as evidence of increasing severe weather events worldwide--the record 10 typhoons in Japan, the most tornadoes ever in the U.S., and the appearance of Brazil's first hurricane ever. However, examples of this kind are meaningless. No single weather event, or unconnected series of severe weather events such as Gore presents, are indicative of climate change. In particular, the IPCC has not found any evidence that climate change has increased tornado frequency, or is likely to. Gore doesn't mention the unusually quiet tornado season of 2005, when for the first time ever, no tornadoes were reported in Oklahoma in the month of May.

Other science
Gore presents many other important aspects of climate change, including the threat of abrupt climate change leading to a shut-off of the Gulf Stream current, the increase in damaging insect infestations and tropical diseases, loss of coral reefs, loss of ice in the polar ice cap, and melting of permafrost in the Arctic. With the possible exception of his treatment of the spread of tropical diseases, all of these issues were presented with sound science.

An Inconvenient Truth as a campaign ad
Gore has repeatedly said that he has no intention of running for president again, and that this movie was created as part of his life-long passion to protect the environment. Gore undoubtedly does care very deeply about the planet, but this movie very much looks like a campaign ad. We are shown many scenes of Gore being applauded, Gore traveling the globe to present his slide show, and Gore working to uncover evidence of Republican shenanigans to alter or suppress climate change science. Gore is portrayed as a humble and tireless crusader for good, and if the movie is not intended to promote his political ambitions, it is certainly intended to benefit the Democratic Party. All this gets in the way of the movie's central message.

Conclusion
At the end of the movie, we are presented with the same image that Gore started the movie with, that of a beautiful river in the wilderness. Throughout the movie, Gore emphasizes how beautiful and special our planet is, and he does an effective job conveying this. He also makes a powerful case that something can and should be done to protect the planet, and it is worth hearing his message, even if the science is flawed and the messenger does get in the way of the message. Overall, the movie rates 2.5 stars--worth seeing, but you might want to wait until the DVD comes out.

At the end of the movie, Gore presents some tips on how everyone can contribute, and points people to his web site, www.climatecrisis.net. However, I would recommend that people who want to get educated about climate change get their information from web sites not associated with a politician; perhaps the least politicized source of information is the latest scientific summary of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change(IPCC), a group of over 2000 scientists from 100 countries working under a mandate from the United Nations in the largest peer-reviewed scientific collaboration in history.

Jeff Masters

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478. hurricanehamster
2:33 PM GMT on August 30, 2007
lol hi yall im from the future!
477. SamJohnston
3:09 PM GMT on September 15, 2006
Here is the True Truth about an inconvenient truth!

http://www.shelleytherepublican.com/2006/07/07/an-inconvenient-truth.aspx

"It’s all lies. As I’ve already said, the biggest
falsehood in this film is about so-called ‘climate
change’. ‘Climate change’ is what the liberals claim
is happening to this planet to scare good Christians
into voting for them. They say that the world is
getting hotter (the junk science technical term for
this is “global warming”) and say that if we don’t do
something about it soon we will all be dead because of
rising sea levels. They also say that this ‘climate
change’ is caused by pollution. Suspiciously enough,
they also claim that this pollution is caused by
people living the American way by driving nice cars
and not sitting in the dark at night. That’s right:
the very way of life that liberals hate!"
476. dewfree
8:08 AM GMT on September 03, 2006
of course that is the way of things vague terms and such because they simply dont know ,it is what is called and educated guess simply no better than an uneducated guess lol
Member Since: August 27, 2006 Posts: 7 Comments: 589
475. Cavin Rawlins
2:26 PM GMT on June 21, 2006
I was just looking through the NHC tropical weather outlook between June 1 and July 15. boy were they off....they only was sure on tropical storm Arlene and Hurricane Dennis...but poorly off on Bret (because of its proxmity to land) cindy the same and Emily they said upper level winds.

these were they most common words. Conditions dont appear favorable. Development is nor expected over the next 24 hours.

the word expected is like saying....I am not sure if something will form.

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
474. guygee
2:22 PM GMT on June 21, 2006
New blog up...
Member Since: September 16, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3060
473. thelmores
2:20 PM GMT on June 21, 2006
hey 456..... i agree, i just have a feeling that we will have more activity than forecasted....

as for this behama blob, nice to have some weather to talk about......tired of politics and gw...
Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3788
472. thelmores
2:19 PM GMT on June 21, 2006
hey 456..... i agree, i just have a feeling that we will have more activity than forecasted....

as for this behama blob, nice to have some weather to talk about......tired of politics and gw....
Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3788
471. Cavin Rawlins
2:14 PM GMT on June 21, 2006
but the system in the bay of campeche fromed into bret........just goes to show....dont wait on the NHC to know something is brewing.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
470. Cavin Rawlins
2:13 PM GMT on June 21, 2006
tropical weather outlook from June 21, 2005

TWOAT
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
1030 PM EDT TUE JUN 21 2005

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

A TROPICAL WAVE IS PRODUCING CLOUDINESS...SCATTERED SHOWERS...AND
THUNDERSTORMS OVER MUCH OF THE NORTHEASTERN CARIBBEAN SEA AND
ADJACENT LAND AREAS. ALTHOUGH CONDITIONS REMAIN UNFAVORABLE FOR
TROPICAL CYCLONE DEVELOPMENT TO OCCUR...LOCALLY HEAVY RAINFALL AND
GUSTY WINDS MAY ACCOMPANY SOME OF THE STRONGER SHOWERS ACROSS
SOUTHERN HISPANIOLA AS THE SYSTEM MOVES WEST-NORTHWESTWARD AT 15 TO
20 MPH.

A DEEP UPPER-LEVEL TROUGH IS PRODUCING CLOUDINESS...SHOWERS...AND
SCATTERED THUNDERSTORMS FROM THE BAY OF CAMPECHE AND THE YUCATAN
PENINSULA NORTHEASTWARD ACROSS THE EASTERN GULF OF MEXICO AND THE
FLORIDA PENINSULA...AND INTO THE EXTREME WESTERN ATLANTIC
FOR SEVERAL HUNDRED MILES. TROPICAL CYCLONE DEVELOPMENT IS NOT
EXPECTED...BUT PERIODS OF LOCALLY HEAVY RAINFALL MAY OCCUR ACROSS
PORTIONS OF THE FLORIDA PENINSULA FOR THE NEXT DAY OR TWO.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL STORM FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED THROUGH
THURSDAY.

FORECASTER STEWART
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
468. PBG00
2:04 PM GMT on June 21, 2006
I think we are in for another wild season even if beryl does not form by next friday...I think we may have beryl by this weekend
Member Since: October 20, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 6650
467. Cavin Rawlins
1:59 PM GMT on June 21, 2006
does anyone beleive that if berly forms before next friday that we might be loking at 2005 again.

Alberto ACE 2.51
Arlene ACE 2.56

Bret 2005 formed around June 28.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
465. PBG00
1:48 PM GMT on June 21, 2006
I think it it getting its act together
Member Since: October 20, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 6650
464. guygee
1:47 PM GMT on June 21, 2006
Spatial Dyslexia is a terrible disease for the amateur meteorologist...please forgive generously ;-(

I'll be back later to check in one everyone's thoughts on the Bahama Blob-Proto-Beryl; we might have something to worry about by then. Definitely too close for comfort for the whole SE coast.


Member Since: September 16, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3060
463. IKE
1:43 PM GMT on June 21, 2006
Almost looks like the Bahamas blob is now moving SE..maybe it loops back once the high builds in.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
462. PBG00
1:40 PM GMT on June 21, 2006
Lost the post..I think we will have something by friday
Member Since: October 20, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 6650
461. PBG00
1:39 PM GMT on June 21, 2006
I think by friday we will have something
Member Since: October 20, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 6650
460. guygee
1:39 PM GMT on June 21, 2006
If the low-level feature makes progress to the WEST or NW!!

(Edit feature now, please)
Member Since: September 16, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3060
459. Cavin Rawlins
1:39 PM GMT on June 21, 2006
i agree...this blog was full of global waming yesterday.

My Blog
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
458. guygee
1:35 PM GMT on June 21, 2006
The upper-level SW winds over the Bahamas Blob have been fierce, and have continually sheared away the deep convection that has tried to form. I can see the wave axis in the movement of the low-level clouds, with NE or ENE winds to the west and SE winds to the east (this on the GHCC visible close-up). If the surface feature makes progress to the east or NE, the upper-level winds are very much weaker...I think we might see it blowup at that point, but it will be at least a day. Maybe late tonight we will see the embryonic start of some real development.
Member Since: September 16, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3060
456. PBG00
1:29 PM GMT on June 21, 2006
News here is gearing up as well..went from no expectation of development yesterday to closly watching and "starting to develop" this morning..the nam has it going up the coast..the cmc more aggressive and into Fla
Member Since: October 20, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 6650
455. weatherbrat
1:25 PM GMT on June 21, 2006
Mornin' ya'll!

Please, lay off the global warming topic for today. Let's discuss the tropics. I see something brewing in the Bahamas. It will be interesting to watch the next couple of days.

What do you think? Any thoughts if this could become our first lady Beryl?
452. PBG00
1:17 PM GMT on June 21, 2006
mornin..be interesting to see what unfolds..the cmc was spinning something up as early as Sun..then stopped and is doing it again this morning..only difference is now some other models are leaning that way
Member Since: October 20, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 6650
451. weatherboyfsu
1:14 PM GMT on June 21, 2006
Good morning everyone.........

The area near the bahamas has interesting low level winds suggesting that a low is trying to form. If you go to the Colorado State site, it has some nice close ups. You can clearly see the southwest winds turning left into the thunderstorm complex. If that keeps up, we might here some recognition from the NHC.....
Member Since: July 17, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1025
450. NAtlanticCyclone
1:00 PM GMT on June 21, 2006
The CMC is good at forecasting development of a tropical storm but the forecasted path is not so sure from my understanding.
449. thelmores
12:56 PM GMT on June 21, 2006
boy, sure glad I'm not an Exxon shareholder! LOL

hydrogen and solar energy are nice, but the real breakthrough in energy will be nuclear fusion.......

I love all the science, facts and figures, but sometimes the comments and attitudes that go with them I could do without.....

I used to think this blog was boring sometimes just talking about the next low, tropical model, or latest wave..... but now I can't wait to be bored again! :D
Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3788
448. IKE
12:56 PM GMT on June 21, 2006
It's hot as h*ll here. Heat indexes over 100 daily.

The gulf is turning into a steam bath, just waiting...
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
447. IKE
12:52 PM GMT on June 21, 2006
The CMC has been persistent with it forming and crossing Florida and paralleling the northern Gulf Coast. Could bring beneficial rains...we need it desperately here in the Florida panhandle.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
445. Cavin Rawlins
12:49 PM GMT on June 21, 2006
my new blog is up...leave comments if you want to to know how to make the picture below.

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
444. IKE
12:48 PM GMT on June 21, 2006
The SW caribbean is getting a little more active....looking at satellite pictures.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
442. IKE
12:44 PM GMT on June 21, 2006
I think that morning blowup will be what has the potential to develop. Latest NAM run has it moving toward Florida's east coast or turning up toward the Carolina's. Also...it tries to develop something else around the Yucatan peninsula. The GFS is less bullish on the Bahamas blob...but I remember the NAM was on target with Alberto developing at least a day..maybe 2 before the GFS.

Maybe that Caribbean wave has a shot. Looks like a trough might be coming SE toward the end of this week. This could steer the Bahamas blob and the Caribbean wave.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
441. guygee
12:40 PM GMT on June 21, 2006
Amazing how that convection keeps regenerating in the vicinity of the Bahamas. The convection from yesterday is completely sheared to the NE in the face of the approaching deep-layer trough exiting the coast, but more convection has blown up and the trough axis is passing the laititude of the Bahamas as a mid/uppser level high is moving in to the north. Here is the NWS Melbourne local forcast discussion on the feature from early this morning:

"PERSISTENT UPPER LOW (H5-H25) NEAR THE BAHAMAS IS FORECAST TO REMAIN NEARLY STATIONARY THEN SHIFT WESTWARD TO FL THIS WEEKEND. BOTH GFS AND NAM-WRF DEVELOP A SFC LOW NE OF THE BAHAMAS BY THU. THIS APPEARS REASONABLE GIVEN DEEP CONVECTION EXISTS THERE NOW...ON THE
DYNAMICALLY FAVORABLE EAST SIDE OF THE UPPER FEATURE. BOTH MODELS BRING THE SFC WAVE...A CLOSED SFC LOW...WEST TOWARD THE SE U.S. THIS WEEKEND. IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT THE UKMET AND ECMWF ARE MUCH LESS BULLISH ON THIS SCENARIO...PREFERRING TO KEEP AN OPEN WAVE MOVING MORE QUICKLY (AND FARTHER SOUTH) ACROSS S FL. ITS TOO EARLY TO SAY IF THIS WILL DEVELOP INTO THE ATLANTIC BASINS "B" STORM (WHICH WOULD BE BERYL) BUT IT IS SOMETHING TO MONITOR. DEPENDING ON HOW VIGOROUS THE SFC LOW BECOMES...THERE COULD BE MORE SIGNIFICANT DRYING AROUND THE PERIPHERY OF THE LOW THAN WHAT THE OFFICIAL FORECAST IS INDICATING FOR FRI AND SAT."
SHORT TERM...PENDERGRAST
LONG TERM....KELLY
Member Since: September 16, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3060
440. skeptik
12:24 PM GMT on June 21, 2006
jeff,

I'm not criticizing "Nature" and if you noticed the second quote you pointed out came from that journal. Google it if you don't believe me. That info regarding antartica is also in the UN paper that Dr Masters pointed out. I am also not disputing the CO2 rise that may or may not be Man made, I am disputing the conclusions that are being drawn from data that may or may not be related or potentially could be coincidental. Every day new creatures are bing discovered around the world and new breakthroughs occur in our understanding of the world and our interactions with it, so why when even the UN paper cites the majority of causative factors in their projections and models as "Likely" to occur and not "Very Likely"(See the percentages in the UN report) should we close our minds and only accept this single theory?

My point about Nature is simply that it and this global warming debate is held to a different scientific standard than medical science and mathmatical science and that, I think, in itself is significant. I don't know what your background is so I don't know if you understand the statistical terms "p value" or "confidence interval" (basically, the chance of any of these findings occuring by coincidence, with 5% or less usually being the standard for acceptance), but for some reason, these values are never shown in relation to this debate, but are never left out of medical scientific literature. Why the difference?

To go back to my medical analogy, would you cut off an arm or a leg under a doctor's treatment if there was a 35% chance he was wrong about the needing too? Thats what "likely" means in the UN paper, a 65% chance the data is related?
439. ScienceCop
10:27 AM GMT on June 21, 2006
Posted By: GulfScotsman at 6:28 PM GMT on June 20, 2006.
For the scientists and mathemeticians here help me out.

If I take an area of the ocean with SST of around 83 deg F - say 1 square mile. And I want to cool that area with subsurface water pumped up and dispersed over that area.

How much water do I need to pump at what temperature for what period of time, to cool the 1 sq mile area to 79 deg F?


To show you how hopeless the task would be, I volunteer to explain it.

Equilibrium is arrived at by mixing two volumes at unequal temperatures. The Loop Current that enters the Gulf of Mexico gets hot deep. Last year when Katrina passed over it and sprang into a 165 mph Category 5 hurricane the temperatures were hot to 500 meters (1640 feet) deep. Below that is where you need to go to get your cooler water.

If the initial temperature is 83 and you want a final temperature of 79°F which is a 4 degree spread, you need a additive water four degrees cooler than the final temperature. That is one gallon of 83°F mixed with one gallon of water at 75°F would result in two gallons of 79°F water.

Say the coolant water below was not 4 degrees cooler than 79, but only one degree cooler at 78? Then you would need four gallons of the 78°F water to cool each gallon of 83°F water to a final temperature of 79°F for all five gallons.

Katrina was a substantial storm, which raised heat out of the waters up as water vapor to cool at -70°C (-94°F) at cloudtop heights far above where jetliners fly. Then the sleet fell back to turn into rain long before it reached the surface. By the time it had reached the surface it was warm rain again from contact with the heat energy below. To a certain extent you could say that ice supercooled to siberian winter temperatures was added to the track behind Katrina.

The cooling waters from rain often reduce the hurricane powering sea surface temperatures for a couple of weeks, but the Loop Current was hot so deep that it was warm again within 6 days after Katrina passed. Rita passed over that same track three weeks later it too became super-charged with heat energy and sprang into 180 mph category 5 hurricane even more powerful than Katrina.

The rainfall tells the story of the energy in the storm. The advisory for 10:00 pm Sept 21st had the tropical storm winds extended 185 miles from the center, or 370 miles wide. The rains were predicted to be 8" to 10" over that area. Think of Rita as an airborn puddle 370 miles by 9" (split the difference between 8" and 10" rain). The storm was covering 107,521 square miles at that moment in time. Each square miles has 27,878,400 square feet times 107521 square miles equals 2,997,190,883,400 square feet of surface waters. That times three-quaters of a foot of rain (9") equals 2,247,893,162,550 cubic feet of rain. Each cubic foot has 7.47 gallons of water in it, so multiply that and you get 16,791,761,924,248 gallons of water.

The storm was moving 9 miles per hour -- it took 20.5 hours for the passage from the first tropial force winds to the last to pass by. So each 20.5 hours it was dropping 16,791,761,924,248 gallons of water.

Here's the energy-math part, and I use metrics, so get used to it. each cc of water takes one calorie of energy to raise the temperature 1 degree C. From 29°C (85°F) to 100°C (212°F) requires 71 calories, but to go from liquid to vapor adds another 600 calories, for a total of 671 calories required per cc. There are 3785 CCs in one gallon of water, so it takes 671 times 3785 for a total of 2539735 calories to loft each gallon of water up to fall as rain later. The passage of Rita over a spot discharged 4.26466254706813e19 calories of heat each 20.5 hours.

That number is a little awkward, so translate to megawatt-hours equivilent makes it a more managable 49,598,030,000 MW/hrs. It's hard to think in megawatt hours, so translate to kilowatt-hours like is on your electric bill: 49,598,030,000,000 KWh. I use that much electricity powering my home every 16,532,676,667 years based on my current bill usage. The heat energy in Rita at peak strength would power 6 billion households like mine for 33 months based on energy accounting for the passage over one single point in 20.5 hours time.

Not only we can't do the diluting thing, but we shouldn't even be thinking about ways to avoid dealing with our energy thing that doesn't create problems to solve like this. A third hurricane hit the headwaters of the Loop Current in the Carribean, Wilma, and became the strongest ever measured in the Atlantic. It was bigger and meaner than Katrina and Rita, and it wiped out 60,000 of 70,000 hotel accomodations at Cancun and Cozumel. It dropped 50 inches of rain over western Cuba, and my calculater doesn't even go that high to figure out what kind of energy we are talking about.

As fast as ideas come in your head you need to give them the bum's rush right back out again, if they have anything to do with continuing carbon-based fuels and CO2 exhausts. 70% of the whole world is covered with dihydrogen-oxide, and the two parts of that is what NASA uses to launch the Space Shuttle. You need to grow some hair on your chest and face hydrogen like a man and accept it that you live on a planet covered with rocket fuel, and if you are ever going into space you will be flying fueled on that stuff, so get used to it. The "Hindenberg Syndrome Sissies" can go hide in the corner.

The power of the storms is solar power and anybody saying it's too diffuse to be used is missing things as big as Katrina, Rita and Wilma, who use that energy at rates of 2,419,416,097 megawatts per hour as we just figured out based on Rita. There's never going to be a shortage of Hydrogen or a shortage of Solar Power, so get your thinking onto the real solutions.

The same crooks and liars who are throwing mud at science about Global Warming have their networks spamming lies about H2-PV as well. They are paid high wages to steer you to the Exxon Station as the only choice allowed, and you are left trying to figure out how to fix their mess. Prosecute Exxon Stockholders for Global Warming Deaths and Destruction and you will see every rooftop in America covered in blue within 10 years. Not blue tarps, but blue solar cells made out of the same stuff as beer bottles (and just as cheap as beer bottles when you make as many solar cells as we make beer bottles). Put the Exxon Stockholders in jail and your Global Warming problem will be gone in a decade.
438. ScienceCop
8:08 AM GMT on June 21, 2006
Posted By: guygee at 6:09 AM GMT on June 20, 2006.
Snowboy, your last few posts are right on the mark. I've given up trying to convince the skeptics; it is like a religion for them.

The real frontier in global warming research is in risk mitigation and adaptation. There will be a battle of the elites that is already beginning, as large corporations such as banks and insurance companies are beginning to realize the large losses and damages they face if human society cannot adapt to a more sustainable economy in the long run. Until then, much damage will be done.


Sorry to tell you this, but the robber barons of the 19th century got rich and invested in banks and insurance companies. John D. Rockefeller founded Standard Oil, and his brother Wiiliam Rockefeller invested the ever growing pile of Standard Oil money in the National City Bank, which became known as Citibank and that was known as "Bill Rockefeller's Bank". Later John D. invested his share in Chase Manhattan Bank, later known as JP Morgan Chase. Chase was known as "John D's Bank".

Two of Bill Rockefeller's sons married two daughters of National City Bank founder Stillman, cementing the relationship. Bill's daughter Geraldine married into the Hartley-Dodge family and brought into the family Equitable Insurance Company and Remington Arms Company. The New York Times was founded on loans from the Equitable Insurance Company, so for a century the Times has been silent about Rockefeller malfeasances.

The Rockefeller Standard Oil was broken up into 28 seperate companies by Supreme Court order, and they evolved into Exxon, Mobil, Chevron, Conoco, Arco, Amoco, Esso and some 20 others. The Rockefellers also were invested in coal, steel, ore, railroads, and when John D died his estate had stocks in 14 newspapers. He divested to his heirs before he died so we don't know all that was owned, but insurance and banking were definately big in there.

The mainstream news is owned by the same heirs of the New York 400 Families of High Society. They all marry each other's sons and daughters. The media, the insurance industry and the banks will not lift a finger against the Standard Oil heir group.

Rockefeller's invented the public relations business when John D. Rockefeller Junior needed to whitewash the Ludlow Massacre. He hired Ivy Lee, known as the "Father of Public Relations" to cleanse the blood off the image. Ivy Lee went on to be PR guy for the Nazis, importing tons of German propaganda "world without end", as he told a a congressional investigating committee. The Standard Oil heirs group still owns all that, plus important downtown Manhattan real estate, like the Rockefeller Center, and the twin towers of the famous WTC were named for David & Nelson Rockefeller.

They still use PR guys to whitewash their family business. Exxon alone has had millions of dollars traced to 200 think tanks and institutes who front for Exxon's position in Global Warming and lobbying congress.

http://www.exxonsecrets.org/em.php?mapid=167

This page will introduce you to the Exxon connected front organizations.

You might want to look up the pictorial views of the Global Warming crooks and liars connected to the http://TobaccoDocuments.org racketeering court evidence.

http://www.exxonsecrets.org/em.php?mapid=174
http://www.exxonsecrets.org/em.php?mapid=392
http://www.exxonsecrets.org/em.php?mapid=95

Or just read my blog, for facts about the people whitewashing the dirty pollution of the biggest crooks this world has ever known committing the biggest crime ever in history. http://www.wunderground.com/blog/ScienceCop/show.html

437. F5
6:19 AM GMT on June 21, 2006
It's called a TUTT. They form quite frequently in the Gulf of Mexico. Cold core upper low. In this case, the upper level ridge has flattened a bit, leaving the prevailing westerlies further to the N. This has allowed the TUTT to just sit over the Houston area, drawing up significant Gulf moisture, which it then deposited on Houston. It has nothing to do with CO2, and I highly doubt you would find any reputable scientiest who believes in global warming would concur that elevated concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere are responsible for the flooding in Houston.

436. F5
6:10 AM GMT on June 21, 2006
This is a great article regarding Mann's flawed hockey stick.

Link

There's other good stuff on the site worth reading.

Another interesting article on the supposed hockey stick...
Link

And more...Link

There are many others out there as well. Given the importance the IPCC placed on the hockey stick, the repeated proclamations (incorrect as well) about the 1990's being the warmest decade in the past 1000 years, etc., and some of you wonder why the rest of us are skeptical about AGW due to CO2.

And to Snowboy, who wondered why I continue to question the so-called "settled science", I refer you to this from the National Academy of Science..."The fallibility of methods is a valuable reminder of the importance of skepticism in science. Scientific knowledge and scientific methods, whether old or new, must be continually scrutinized for possible errors. Such skepticism can conflict with other important features of science, such as the need for creativity and for conviction in arguing a given position. But organized and searching skepticism as well as an openness to new ideas are essential to guard against the intrusion of dogma or collective bias into scientific results."

There are a bunch of great links and other articles on the main site...Link

Happy reading
435. ScienceCop
6:09 AM GMT on June 21, 2006
Posted By: newt3d at 3:22 AM GMT on June 20, 2006.
ScienceCop,

I'm having trouble following your argument, for a lot of reasons.

1. There is an indisputable 35% increase in man-made CO2 in the atmosphere.

Since when? What are the relative ratios of man-made CO2 and naturally occuring CO2?


You know, you can inform yourself on a subject by actually reading some science books in your library, or consulting google before you ask questions whose answer is PROBABLY on Wikipedia before you even ask. I have a bookmark to Wikipedia, and a google toolbar on my browser, and often I can get links to facts-filled pages faster than I could type up a question in my mind.

According to Wikipedia (make sure you bookmark the pages if you intend to argue Global Warming or CO2 volumes) the pre-industrial revolution CO2 was about 280 ppmv and current Carbon dioxide (CO2)is 381 ppmv (1/280 x 381 = 1.36, or 36% increase). Natural background CO2 is 64% and man-made CO2 is 36%
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth_atmosphere
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_effect

Our open public satellites are quite good and the classified ones are said to be much better. If you post your home address I can look in your driveway on google maps satellite view and tell you the color of the car parked in your driveway. Most of the weather satellites use infrared energy to resolve details which are not detectable by visible spectra.



In this picture all the reds are thunderstorms with ample heat energy and the US Southwest and Mexico are purple from the noonday sun, June 19th, 2006, about 2:30 pm local time at picture center. We not only can see "invisible" infrared radiation, but we know a lot about it and how to use it to see things that are otherwise invisible. This is possible because of greenhouse gases, including water vapor and CO2, and their special radiative properties.


2. The physics are inescapable. There is an indisputable 35% increase in man-made CO2 in the atmosphere. No weather event can duck, bob and weave to avoid this 35% increase. The results are in EVERY weather event on Earth.

Disregarding my qualms with the 35% statement, I grant you this point, the CO2 does exist, and it is in the atmosphere. I'll ask you though, how does a 35% increase in man-made CO2 manifest itself? Quantitatively?


It manifests as 2 extra watts per meter of Earth Surface averaged globally. The Earth does not absorb radiation equally over a curved surface (hence the frozen polar regions), so more energy enters the tropics in a perpendicular manner through the thinnest portion of atmosphere. Astronomers know quite well the thickness of the atmosphere affects the objects they can view when the telescopes are aimed at an angle through thicker sections of atmosphere. You can see this with the naked eye as different coloring of the sky straight overhead and near the horizon during daylight hours, with particulates and water vapor making striking color displays through the atmosphere at sunrise and sunset.

The net effect is a drastic warming beginning from the tropics and spreading polewards. The clash line between hot and cold changes with the seasons. On June 19th the quantitative effects of this energy appeared as 10 inches of rain in Houston. Some people had to be rescued from their rooftops because of flooding, and there were fears that Houston would have it's second 500-year-flood since 2001. On the posted picture you can see a thin trail of moisture drifting north from the central Mexican Pacific Coast. A time lapse series of these pictures shows that red spot over Houston, flooding the place, came from that trail of moisture which curved back to the Gulf.

That's what 381 ppmv CO2 in the air can do, quantitatively. That's what two watts per meter means. In dramatic terms it means the enire nuclear arsenal of the USA, 7,000 nukes, going off every 20 minutes of the day and night every day of the year, quantitatively.



3. "Is the impact of 35% known increase in total CO2 having an impact on weather that can be proven by specific weather events?" The answer is YES. There is a major impact, very destructive severe events which can be demonstrated with evidence beyond reproach.

This is a bold statement to make. One cannot just show pretty pictures of events that they say support their claim -- you need more than that! Where's the actual science behind your argument? How does an increase in CO2 relate to ocean hot spots? How does CO2 relate to Tropical Depression 2E? How do you know the effects, if any, are statistically relevant?


It's called science, my boy, and the first 12 years of education in this country are completely free to every citizen. Is this a great country, or what? Most of what you need to understand the physics are taught in those first 12 years. City colleges and community colleges are a cheap way to get more education for low cost, and if budget is not a concern, we enjoy many fine universities in every state of the nation. There's one near you -- check it out. There are also free libraries, and bookmobiles touching every hamlet and backwater as well as in all the cities. Al Gore delivered on his promise to connect every school and every library in the country to the internet by the year 2000. You are using the internet, so we see you have that capability. Try google -- you'll like it, I promise.

4. What do politicians and conspiracy theories and corporations and tobacco companies have to do with scientifically proving your original point? What do they know about CO2 and global warming that the general scientific community does not?


The blog entry is a review of Al Gore's movie on Global Warming. Liars and crooks have been attacking Al Gore since he was Senator Gore, and crooks have been lying about Global Warming as far back as those 1989 memos grabbed from the crooks file cabinets. We know there were racketeers, liars and crooks, and we know their names. They are the only ones throwing mud at the Global Warming science today -- nobody else stands with them but known associates of career criminals. I think people ought to know the mud slingers have a crooked history when listening to their story. Once a guy is CAUGHT faking science, nobody can ever trust him again for life on science, just like that crook caught faking stem cell research in Korea will never be trusted again for life. The only punishment science has for hoaxers is to throw the bums out and forget everything about them -- it's harsh, but the price to be paid is known to everybody who goes down the crooked path of their own free will.

For having the name ScienceCop, you really do not argue scientifically. Quite often, your statements contain many truths, but usually digress from there with fautly logic. I'm sorry if this sounds a bit harsh, but I really felt that it had to be said.


It's only faulty logic to those who can't be bothered to look up the air they breath when they hear there "might" be a big problem with CO2. Since you admit that you don't know the science of CO2 and radiative forcing, you simply disqualified yourself to have any "informed opinion". Undoubtably you would be much educated by going to Gore's movie.

http://www.wunderground.com/blog/ScienceCop/
434. guygee
3:39 AM GMT on June 21, 2006
MahFL - The subtropical Arctic is hardly a change along the lines of "stuff happens". It took place at the start of the Eocene epoch, about 56 million years ago. No one knows what caused it, but here is a brief description of the Eocene Thermal Maximum from Wikipedia:

"Marking the start of the Eocene, the planet heated up in one of the most rapid (in geologic terms) and extreme global warming events recorded in geologic history, called the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum or Initial Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM or IETM). This was an episode of rapid and intense warming (up to 7°C at high latitudes) that lasted less than 100,000 years. The Thermal Maximum provoked a sharp extinction event that distinguishes Eocene fauna from the ecosystems of the Paleocene."
Member Since: September 16, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3060
433. MahFL
3:30 AM GMT on June 21, 2006
Thelmores, thats an intersesting web site regarding the Glaciers. No doubt about it Global Warming is happening. However I do think everybody is over reacting about it as remember the Artic Circle once had a Subtropical Climate, so changes are always going to be happening, some times quicker than may have happened in the past though.
Member Since: June 9, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 2913
432. jeffB
3:28 AM GMT on June 21, 2006
skeptik wrote:

The reality is that science is a logical method of trial and error, all these CO2 numbers floating around out there are simply the best guess to date by a group of scientists that may or may not have a financial or political interest in the research and there is no way to know what reality is in regards to the importance of any of these measures. Follow the money and political leanings of these scientists that are promoting this global warming debate and look at where they are based Look at where their data is published. For example is "Nature" a globally accepted peer reviewed scientific journal or is it a commercial interest with subscriptions to the general public?

I honestly can't tell if you're serious, or if you're just leading us on. Nature is not only a globally accepted peer reviewed scientific journal, it's near the top of every list that ranks such journals by influence and importance.

Oh, and Nature requires every author of every paper to declare any relevant financial interests in their research.

In another post, skeptik wrote:

Remember these headlines published in the last several years?

15 January 2002
Global Cooling In Antarctica
Antarctica overall has cooled measurably during the last 35 years - despite a global average increase in air temperature of 0.06 degrees Celsius during the 20th century - making it unique among the Earth's continental landmasses, according to a paper published today in the online version of Nature.


You know, if I'd seen "Global Cooling In Antarctica as a headline, I think I would have remembered it. I also would have wondered what part of "unique among the Earth's continental landmasses" the headline writer failed to understand. :-)
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 41
431. guygee
3:22 AM GMT on June 21, 2006
I was asking because I think a lot of the most severe wind damage in some hurricanes comes from tornados. It's not like there are spotters out there looking for them during the storm.

The damage from Francis in the small barrier island town on the East Central FL coast where I live was concentrated in 2 corridors, one about a half miles south of me and another about a mile north. My house suffered little damage, but in those corridors the post office was severely damaged and many people lost their roofs. I don't think these were ever identified as tornados, but the fact that they were aligned with the wind direction (ENE) makes me suspicious. I often wonder if a lot of the anomalous localized severe damage and high wind reports in tropical cyclones are caused by tornados (like your 20 ton lawn dart).

Very glad that you and your family came through OK, it sounds like you had a very close call.

BTW, you make very good points about overdevelopment on wetlands and subsequent erosion, plus careless underfunding of the levees, being much more significant factors than any potential effect of global warming in the destruction caused by Katrina. This should be obvious to all. New Orleans was one of the great jewels of this country, and I am ashamed for my country that we neglected you and the other people there.
Member Since: September 16, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3060
430. skeptik
3:03 AM GMT on June 21, 2006
We have Bamboo planted about 10 feed thick on the north side of our house and it created a "bubble effect" leaving my house in an isolated pocket of air as the wind flowed over the bamboo.

I was standing in the doorway watching all the trees on my street falling like dominoes when Our tree hit.

I never saw or heard any loud noises, but with all the wind rushing by anything is possible.
429. guygee
2:58 AM GMT on June 21, 2006
skeptik - Could it have been a tornado that passd over or touched down?
Member Since: September 16, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3060
428. skeptik
2:52 AM GMT on June 21, 2006
Hey mike, I live 28 miles north of New Orleans. I stayed the whole time and caught a tree on my house from it. I also own a small business that took a $15000 hit from it and was down for a month. So I understand what is at stake as much as anyone.

But the reality is that the problems in New Orleans were not Katrina's fault and in no way related to global warming. Ask the experts, Katrina was only a category 2 or 3 when it hit right? Thats what the Sea Foam told these "scientists" right?

I was in my house when the 80 foot pine tree flew 160 feet to land on the roof right over where my wife was napping. and 120 mph max winds did this correct? a 20 ton tree 160 feet like a lawn dart.

The cause of the problem was development in the wetlands and the subsequent erosion caused by men, canals that overtopped their levees dug by men, failed levees made by men and more politicians trying to get in the spotlight picking victems off the roof of their house rather than filling the breaches in the levees the first 3 days.

None of these issues were caused by global warming. It took scientists and engineers and politicians to cause every one of them. Now maybe you know why I am a SKEPTIK.

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.