# Looking Under the Cloak of Complexity

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 6:04 AM GMT on September 01, 2012

Looking Under the Cloak of Complexity: Models, Water, and Temperature (7)

This is a series of blogs on models, water, and temperature (see Intro). The earlier entries in the series are linked at the end.

Doing Science with Models 1.4: In this series I have used the example of balancing a checkbook to talk about the balance of energy that is at the center of the study of the Earth’s climate. In one of the earlier entries I wrote about the cloak of complexity that obscures climate science, and I made the statement that climate science was, in fact, simple physics (energy balance) but in a complex system. In this entry I want to explore complexity. I will stick to the budget equation for money.

Here again is the budget equation for the amount of money that I have.

Today’s Money = Yesterday’s Money + Money I Get – Money I Spend

The equation looks pretty simple, but … when I first started to think about how to write about models, rather than “Money I Get,” I wrote down “Income.” After I thought about that for a moment, I saw that the Money I Get might come from several places. If I use the model of a 1040 Tax Form, for instance, I might have income, and royalties, and gambling winnings. If I get lucky, I might just find some money. I’ll ignore the various methods of ill-gotten gains. The point is that the Money I Get can come from a number of places. It can get pretty complicated if, say, I have a couple of jobs, get paid for some piecework, sell my jars of homemade pickles, receive vouchers for health insurance, and hurry to collect every penny of Social Security that I can.

Then there is Money I Spend. That should probably have been Money I Get Rid Of, because I might drop some money, get robbed, or lose my retirement investment because I bought into a good-sounding geoengineering project to cool the planet using tunnels in the ocean. Again there are a lot of ways that things can get complex simply by the way I get and the way I get rid of money.

The comparison of the budget equation to the Earth’s climate and climate change is that there are many ways the Earth can gain energy or get rid of energy. Even if you say, “The Earth gets energy only from the Sun,” then if you think about how to count that, there is energy from particles like electrons and protons and there is energy from radiation, like visible light. Then there is that question point of view, are we really interested in how much of that energy reaches some boundary of Earth at the edge of Space, or are we interested in the amount of energy at the Earth’s surface? The answer is, scientifically, both of these places, but for the climate that matters to the humans on the surface of the Earth, we have to know what energy gets to surface of the Earth. So we start to add and subtract: We have the Sun's energy at the top of the atmosphere minus the energy that goes into charging up the ionosphere minus the energy that breaks up oxygen atoms to make ozone minus the energy reflected back to space by clouds … you get the point. Simply calculating the budget of energy that gets to and goes away from the surface of the Earth is a challenging accounting problem.

Point of View: In the previous blog I wrote about the importance of point of view. What does the stick man on Simple Earth see?

Figure 1: Simple Earth 1: Some basic ingredients of the Earth’s climate.

First, let’s look into his accounts. He has a checking account to pay his utilities and a checking account to buy knitted sweaters for his terriers. There are a couple of savings accounts, retirement accounts, and because of his years as a highly paid scientist, a large mutual fund of ethically based, environmentally sensitive companies. At the end of every month, if there is money left in his utilities account, then he puts half of that into one of his savings accounts and the other half into that account for the terriers’ sweaters.

So let’s think about that transfer. From the point of view of the sweaters-for-terriers account, the transfer from the utilities account is Money the Terriers Get. It is a source of money – production. From the point of view of the utilities account, this is Money the Utilities Spent. From the point of view of the stick man, money is conserved; the total remains the same. Looking at the level of the accountant, the transfers between accounts are losses in one account and gains in another account, but the total worth remains the same.

Bringing it back to the stick man’s climate, he sees energy going from the ocean to the atmosphere (perhaps in a hurricane), energy going from the atmosphere to the land (perhaps blowing over trees), energy going from the ocean to land (surf on the beach), energy going from the atmosphere to ice (melting the glaciers in Glacier National Park). These are all transfers within the accounts of the Earth. When the winds make waves in the Gulf of Mexico, the atmosphere loses energy and the ocean gains an equal amount of energy. We build up more and more complexity, but we are still just balancing a budget.

There is one more source of complexity that I want to explore -Time. Let’s start with credit. One month, a simply fabulous terrier sweater appears on the web, and I charge it on my Usurious Bank credit card. Usurious lets me take years to pay and only charges me 5 percent per month. So now rather than What I Spend happening instantly, I have already spent some of the Money That I (will) Get. Of course, it costs me a little more than the actual money I paid for the terrier sweater; there is that interest rate. Every month, an extra bit of money is added to the debt that I will eventually have to pay.

We add complexity to our accounts by spreading out our income and expenses over time. If I were fortunate enough to lend money and receive interest then someone else's debt would look like income to me, but spread out over time. We do this all the time; we invest; we buy on credit; we buy items that we hope will become more valuable, like terrier sweaters of the Hapsburg’.

Where does this element of Time fit into the climate? Everywhere. Energy (heat) and carbon dioxide can stay in the ocean for a long time compared to how long they stay in the atmosphere. How long? That, too, is an issue of complexity, but think about the interest rate in that loan. If the interest rate goes up, it costs you more, and if you pay the same amount every month, then it takes you longer to pay off the debt. If you increase the Time that the atmosphere holds energy (heat) near the surface of the Earth, then it takes a little longer for that energy to get back to Space, to leave the Earth. Therefore, the surface of the Earth is warmer. We change the transfers between accounts. It still, however, only requires us to balance the budget to understand what is happening.

Interesting Research: Recent Warming Reverses Long-Term Arctic Cooling - This past week saw a record low in Arctic sea ice. (nice blog in Washington Post) The previous record low was in 2007. There are those who dismiss this as a record low of sea ice because it is from “satellite data,” which are only about 30 years of observations. But I would argue that we can make a pretty convincing argument that these are record lows for, well, thousands of years. It’s really quite profound.

The paper that I want to highlight in this entry is a couple of years old. It is “Recent Warming Reverses Long-Term Arctic Cooling” which was published by Darrell Kaufman and co-authors in Science in 2009. ( Correction, 2010 ). This paper looks at the energy budget and temperature of the Arctic over the past 2000 years. The data that are used to represent temperature are from tree rings, lake sediments, and ice cores. All of these are valid proxies for temperature, and we rely on some type of model to convert the original measurement, for example, the amount of biological detritus in lake sediment to temperature.

Lake sediments provide a remarkable measure of temperature. Because of the extreme cold of the winters, and the lack of biological activity, the biological part of the sediments is a measure of summertime temperature. Biologically rich, summertime layers are separated from each other by biologically poor sediments from other seasons. This allows numbering the years with high confidence.

If you focus on the Arctic for the last 2000 years and count up the energy budget, an important part of that budget comes from the energy provided by the Sun. Because of the way the orbit of the Earth around the Sun changes, for most of the last 2000 years there has been a decreasing amount of sunlight in the Arctic summer. If only solar heating was considered, the Arctic should still be cooling. This is documented in the paper.

Starting in the 20th century, the warming of the planet associated with increasing greenhouse gas has countered the cooling associated with decreasing solar heating. This signal has increased in the more recent years, with the graph beginning to look like a variation on the hockey stick. Here is a version of one of Kaufman’s summary figures from the website of Scott Mandia at SUNY Suffolk entitled Global Warming: Man or Myth?

Figure 2: Summary picture of Arctic mean temperatures for the past 2000 years from Kaufman et al. (2009) (Correction, 2010). This figure was redrafted by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research. The figure shows a decline in temperature that is consistent with a decline in solar heating. Though the solar heating suggests a continued decline in temperature, this decline (loss of energy at the surface) has been overwhelmed by warming (gain of energy at the surface). The warming is attributed, primarily, to carbon dioxide buildup.

So again and again, climate scientists use this accounting to understand the energy present in the different accounts that make up the portfolio of Earth’s energy budget. The story is consistent: the surface of the Earth is warming. The Arctic is the most stunning example of this warming. There has been enough energy to melt ice that had accumulated over many years. And in the past five years, we have seen two record lows of ice extent; ice mass declines. These years are amongst the warmest in the last 2000 years. The ice will continue to decrease with weather systems causing the ice amount to vary up and down a little bit. There is no reason to expect systematic cooling and recovery. The Navy will need a new fleet for the open waters.

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Models, Water, and Temperature

Models are Not All Wet: Series Introduction

Models are Everywhere

Ledgers, Graphics, and Carvings

Balancing the Budget

Point of View

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##### 199. BobWallace
 If you do nothing more than talk about doom you may be a doomer.IMO it's time for those most concerned about climate change to start doing something about it. Part of doing something is recognizing what works and when we are making progress. If we ignore the positive then we risk spinning into the void of defeat.
Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
##### 198. SteveDa1
Member Since: October 17, 2006 Posts: 60 Comments: 1321
##### 197. RevElvis
 Caribbean coral reefs face collapsehttp://www.guardian.co.uk/Caribbean coral reefs – which make up one of the world's most colourful, vivid and productive ecosystems – are on the verge of collapse, with less than 10% of the reef area showing live coral cover.With so little growth left, the reefs are in danger of utter devastation unless urgent action is taken, conservationists warned. They said the drastic loss was the result of severe environmental problems, including over-exploitation, pollution from agricultural run-off and other sources, and climate change.The decline of the reefs has been rapid: in the 1970s, more than 50% showed live coral cover, compared with 8% in the newly completed survey. The scientists who carried it out warned there was no sign of the rate of coral death slowing.
##### 196. Neapolitan
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 15214
##### 195. BobWallace
Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
##### 194. Neapolitan
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 15214
##### 193. RevElvis
 Mysterious Changes in Ocean Salt Spur NASA ExpeditionLiveScience.comOver the past 50 years, the salty parts of the oceans have become saltier and the fresh regions have become fresher, and the degree of change is greater than scientists can explain.Researchers are heading out into one particularly salty ocean region, in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean, in the hopes of better understanding what drives variation in salinity in the upper ocean.Ultimately, they hope, research like this will offer insight on the dynamics behind the dramatic changes in the ocean's salt content.
##### 191. BobWallace
 Mike, the working title of the paper on which I am currently working is "Light at the End of the Tunnel?"The light at the end of my metaphorical tunnel is the observation that CO2 emissions may have peaked in the US and the EU27.Clearly we are in trouble. Only the deniers deny that and even many of them are admitting a problem, just trying to deny the cause.Clearly we need to get the message to others that we are in trouble, but that message is out there. Only 2% of Canadians are climate change deniers. Only 23% of Americans say that climate change does not worry them at all. (And I'd bet that many of the 23% are lying.)Awareness is adequate, IMO. That's not to say that more won't help or that people won't benefit from reminders and certainly people should be kept aware if things worsen.But, IMO, it's time to stop concentrating on what's happened and start concentrating on what we need to do. We need to know what tools we have and how well they work. And we need to figure out how to get government, businesses and individuals working faster.Go back to Jim's graph that started this discussion off. The longer we drag our feet, the hard it will be to fix the problem. I'm suggesting that it is time to minimize the hand-wringing and maximize the bailing.
Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
##### 190. BobWallace
 Quoting pintada:No, you're cherry picking.Rather than admit that CO2 discharges follow GDP, you limit the data set, and pick numbers that support your bogus claim.Are you a reformed denier playing the same game you learned while denying the obvious about AGW?And, as spbloom pointed out, everyone knows that there is a small benefit to burning CH4 rather than coal. No news there.I'm out.Here are all years - 1990 to 2010 - CO2 emissions and GDP.What might be a little hard to see is that CO2 emissions peaked in 2005 at 6,029 million tonnes and fell to 5,607 in 2010. CO2 emissions are down 6.6% from 2005 to 2010.Clearly GDP has risen since 2005. GDP is up 15.1% 2005 to 2010.----In no way was I cherry picking. I was working from 2010 because that is the most recent year for which I've found an official numbers. I took the 2010 emission level and looked back to find the previous year in which emissions had been approximately the same. That year was 1998. I then compared electricity generated, miles driven and other statistics for the two years.
Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
##### 189. Some1Has2BtheRookie
 Deleted
 Quoting BobWallace:I've done what you suggest and more. I'm currently researching a paper for another site.2010 US CO2 emissions were roughly what they were in 1998. (I'm still working to find an official 2011 emission number.)This is not due to the recession. It is not due to GDP peaking. (But thanks for giving me another statistic to include.)It is not because we are driving or flying less.It is not because we are generating less electricity.------------Now I realize that you completely missed the point of my #138 post. What I was pointing out is that people on this site tend to "I like this" bad news and ignore good news.No, you're cherry picking.Rather than admit that CO2 discharges follow GDP, you limit the data set, and pick numbers that support your bogus claim.Are you a reformed denier playing the same game you learned while denying the obvious about AGW?And, as spbloom pointed out, everyone knows that there is a small benefit to burning CH4 rather than coal. No news there.I'm out.
Member Since: July 15, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 234
##### 187. BobWallace
 Quoting pintada:OK, I'll bite. There is a 50-50 chance that you are jerking me around.Two data points do not constitute a viable trend.Get Excell or Apple Numbers.Enter the CO2 discharge data by quarter starting in 1990 and continuing to the presentEnter the GDP data by quarter starting n 1990 and continuing to the presentCreate a graph of Gigatons of CO2 on the y axis vs timeOn the same paper plot GDP in trillions on the y axis vs timeLook at the shape of the curves (hint: they will be nearly the same shape)If you are honest, you will see that GDP is inexorably linked to the CO2 discharge rate and vice versa. Since you have the data in a spreadsheet, you can do any statistics you want. Show me that our CO2 discharge amount is not at least 95% dependent on GDP.ORIf thats too much work just realize that we get 90%+ of our power from fossil fuels if that percentage suddenly went to 89% would that (suddenly and magically) decouple the CO2 discharge rate from GDP? Of course not, just as saying that we get 90% of our power from fossil fuels rather than 95%+ did not.HOWEVERIf you want to make the case that (IN THE US) CO2 discharge has peaked because the GDP has peaked, then you are in good company. See:Tyler Cowen - "The Great Stagnation"Richard Duncan - "The New Depression"Richard Heinberg - "The End of Growth"Jorgen Randers - "2052"Fareed Zakaria - "The Post-American World"I've done what you suggest and more. I'm currently researching a paper for another site.2010 US CO2 emissions were roughly what they were in 1998. (I'm still working to find an official 2011 emission number.)This is not due to the recession. It is not due to GDP peaking. (But thanks for giving me another statistic to include.)It is not because we are driving or flying less.It is not because we are generating less electricity.------------Now I realize that you completely missed the point of my #138 post. What I was pointing out is that people on this site tend to "I like this" bad news and ignore good news.
Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
##### 186. Xandra
Member Since: July 15, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 234
##### 183. BobWallace
Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
##### 182. spbloom
 Old news won't get a lot of pluses, Bob.
##### 180. greentortuloni
 Quoting Neapolitan:It has more than three book recommendations, but you may be looking for this one from February 17 of this year: Heartland Institute documents reveal strategy of attacks against climate science, a blog post with a section titled "Eight books challenging the Manufactured Doubt industry".FWIW, I've now read all of the eight listed by Dr. Masters, and found much to like about every one. But my two favorites are Merchants of Doubt by Naomi Oreskes, and Michael Mann's The Hockey Stick and Climate Wars. (I've gone through both of them twice [luckily I'm a fast reader].)(EDIT: I see it's not on that list of eight, so I'd also recommend The Rough Guide to Climate Change, now in its third edition. It's particularly good for people who may not be very familiar with the subject.)Cheers. Yeah, that is the blog, thanks.
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##### 179. SteveDa1
 Understanding The Human-Caused Arctic Death SpiralA long, but interesting read with many graphs.
Member Since: October 17, 2006 Posts: 60 Comments: 1321
##### 178. Neapolitan
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 15214
##### 177. BobWallace
 Quoting pintada:When you are cherry picking either through ignorance or just to mislead you don't get many plusses.I'm afraid that I do not understand your question.Would you please rephrase it?
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Member Since: July 15, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 234
##### 175. greentortuloni
 Sorry to ask a Jeff Master's question of Dr Rood's blog but i try to stay out of JM's when there are hurricanes:I remember reading a blog entry where Jeff discussed three books about climate change. I've searched both with google and through the blog categories but I cannot find that entry.I was asked to recommend a book by a family member and the only ones I can think of are about Mann or Hansen, not bad but not what i was looking for. Does anyone remember that entry? Or perhaps just your personal recommendations? Thanks
Member Since: June 5, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1220
##### 174. SteveDa1
 Quoting #'s 171 and 172LOL!I presume the absurd denier-crowd is losing, and will lose much credence--that is, if they had any to start with apart from inside their own heads--thanks to the drastic drop in arctic sea ice. So there is more good news despite the bad.Quoting # 173You don't say! ...
Member Since: October 17, 2006 Posts: 60 Comments: 1321
##### 173. RevElvis
 Link Between Climate Denial and Conspiracy Beliefs Sparks Conspiracy TheoriesLiveScience.comA study suggesting climate change deniers also tend to hold general beliefs in conspiracy theories has sparked accusations of a conspiracy on climate change-denial blogs.The research, which will be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Psychological Science, surveyed more than 1,000 readers of science blogs regarding their beliefs regarding global warming. The results revealed that people who tend to believe in a wide array of conspiracy theories are more likely to reject the scientific consensus that the Earth is heating up.Believing that climate change isn't happening or that it's not human-caused requires a belief that thousands of climate scientists around the world are lying outright, Lewandowsky and his colleagues wrote in their new paper. Conspiracy theory beliefs are known to come in clusters — someone who thinks NASA faked the moon landing is more likely to accept the theory that 9/11 was an inside job, for example. So Lewandowsky and his colleagues created an online survey and asked eight mostly pro-science blogs and five climate-skeptic blogs to post a link to the survey for their readers. The respondents were self-selecting, but highly motivated to care about climate science, the researchers noted.
##### 172. RevElvis
 Court throws out climate change deniers' lawsuit against scientistsRawStory.comNew Zealand's High Court on Friday dismissed a challenge launched by climate change skeptics against a government research agency's finding that the temperature had risen in the past century.The court backed the science that led the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) to conclude that New Zealand's climate warmed almost one degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) between 1909 and 2009.New Zealand Climate Science Education Trust, a private body that rejects the argument that human activity has caused global warming, went to court alleging NIWA's methodology was flawed and its findings were not peer reviewed.Venning ordered the trust to pay NIWA's costs.NIWA was not immediately available for comment but a group of six climate change scientists from New Zealand tertiary institutions including Wellington's Victoria University and the University of Otago welcomed the decision.The basic science of climate change has been established for well over a century, and almost all scientists active in climate research agree that human activity is causing the climate to change,- they said in a statement.For a small group of scientists to appeal to a court of law to find otherwise is bizarre.
##### 171. Neapolitan
 The IMS measurement of Arctic sea ice--which I mentioned last week as being the last bastion and refuge of the denialist community because of its typical lag time in exhibiting a new record low--has, indeed, set that record:Neven Acropolis over at the excellent Arctic Sea Ice blog has posted a scathing, no-punches-pulled takedown of uber-denialist and--let's call a spade a spade--climate change liar Anthony Watts. There's far too much to post here, but I will leave you this fine snippet:My advice to Anthony Watts: either you stop denying the seriousness of the disappearance of Arctic sea ice, or you just shut up about it.Boo-yah...And speaking of Watts, for a great dose of comedy, I suggest you read at least some of the forum comments attached to WUWT's latest sea ice update (wattsupwiththat.com/2012/09/04/sea-ice-news-volum e-3-number-12-has-arctic-sea-ice-started-to-turn-t he-corner/). The delusional folks over there are looking at the normal September slowdown in melt as "a recovery", and a sure sign that a record re-freeze is about to get underway. And despite that fact that extent, area, and volume are all still dropping--yet another 52,000 km2 in area just yesterday, breaking last year's record by more than 600,000 km2--the mindless, lockstepping legions of WattsBots™ are certain that the corner has been turned. It's too funny, yet it's also too sad. As Neven said, of course they and their Fearful Leader are desperate for this horrendous melt season to end; it's kicked out yet another of their dwindling arguments. But while their denial may be understandable, it's not really forgivable.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 15214
##### 170. BobWallace
 Here's what President Obama said in his acceptance speech last night...“More droughts and floods and wildfires are not a joke. They're a threat to our children's future. And in this election, you can do something about it,” he said to loud applause near the beginning of his speech in Charlotte, N.C., accepting his party’s presidential nomination at the Democratic National Convention.“My plan will continue to reduce the carbon pollution that is heating our planet. Because climate change is not a hoax,” Obama said.--What has he done?Raised the fleet gas mileage for American car to twice what it now is. That will cut oil usage for personal transportation in half and cut CO2 in half.For the first time pickup trucks and SUVs are included in the measurement.The only way that car companies can meet this requirement is by making a significant portion of their fleets non-fuel burners. A lot of EVs and PHEVs.-He's had the various agencies work to identify several million acres of public land as appropriate for renewable energy project sites. The most critical habitat and most beautiful/unique places have been put off limit.This will eliminate the need to got through the review process over and over with each project. He's also had the permitting process streamlined in order to reduce the time it takes to get a project started.-He steered a big hunk of the stimulus bill to help fund several new EV battery plants.-He's done a lot of wind turbine factory visits to give them local publicity and make people aware of the jobs being created.-I can write more about what he's done if you are actually interested. But sometimes I get the feeling that good news is met with a yawn here.
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##### 169. RevElvis
 The wet get wetter and the dry get drierTreeHugger.comWe talk a lot about how climate change is likely to make dry areas (especially those in sub-tropical zones) even drier in coming years, while those wet areas in the sub-polar and equatorial regions are likely to become even wetter. If all that's tough for you to visualize or fully grasp the atmospheric science behind it, then this video from NOAA.
##### 167. robodave
 The earth is like a ball of grimacing animal faces and computerized oversized neon circuitry and bacterial masses and viral blisters bulging out from a gooey mass of waste and chemistry that's on the verge of killing us all and we're trying to figure it out to prevent it. We're like helpless creatures to this mass of complexity. It belies and reproaches our sense of self-importance. It's tempting to nuke the whole mess in an attempt to greatly simplify it. Destroy the oceans, the atmosphere, the ecosystems, the lifeforms, remove it all until it's just a barren rock with a ring of leftovers orbiting it. The only problem will be figuring out how to recreate everything we lost in our mad attempt to simplify earth living.I see an earth with much less biodiversity in our future. I don't anticipate a mass exodus. We like earth too much to leave it even if we could. Maybe someday we'll recreate what we destroy, maybe.More likely whatever is created is something new. We're creators, not museum curators.I admit I am a pessimist only half of the day. I understand the optimism. Thing is, even if we stopped all emissions of CO2/Methane/etc, there's still hell to pay. We've got so many concerns vying for attention. The consequences of what we've sown are irreversible when viewed from the broader perspective. We may give it some cosmetic treatment, but overall, we're as much passengers on this ride as we're drivers. Too many competing interests. Too many complications. The planet is evolving, changing, transforming, and the change is metastasizing and now permanently embedded.Still, I think we have to do something. Like someone else here said, we can't wait for superman or hocus pocus to rescue us, we have to do something now with what's available.If you value the past, you work to keep it. Wait too long and your chance to remedy is past.But I think the better part of the changes is permanent and immutable to reversal.
##### 166. Some1Has2BtheRookie
 Deleted
##### 165. Doxienan
 Quoting yoboi:there might be new technolgy in the near future to reduce it very fast...If you mean geoengineering as the "new technology" to stop climate change, this article in the New Yorker explains how unreliable geoengineering will be:LinkI agree with the others. There is no magic bullet. It will take lots of smart people, lots of cooperation, lots of time, & lots of money to halt climate catastrophe. We should have started decades ago.
##### 164. Neapolitan
 Quoting yoboi:there might be new technolgy in the near future to reduce it very fast...Not likely. Thousands of very smart people have been looking for that technology in earnest for years, and even decades. There will be incremental improvements in technology, to be sure--but there'll be no magic bullet to make the problem go away.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 15214
##### 163. SteveDa1
 I think as long as politicians mostly ignore the future disastrous consequences of Global Warming, we can except no real progress. Our Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, isn't striving to mitigate the effects of climate change at all. My province's, Quebec, new minister who just won three days ago, is much more focused on riding this province of English and separating from Canada to form her own country because of her illogical fear for the disappearance of French culture and language. By the way, someone fired a gun and killed 2 people while she was performing her speech. We think the killer was aiming to kill her, but failed, thanks to the security. The man was English and obviously pissed off at the results of the election. Amazing how there is still unreasonable, remarkable hatred between French and English ... Anyway, her plans also include: a mandatory teaching of French at school to all immigrants, and no English wording on any store products, advertisements, banners, etc. Someone outta remind her we are in 2012? This is one reason I don't follow politics--it gets me depressed and very cynical.Not much more good news coming out of the U.S.A., is there? I heard Romney doesn't approve of clean, alternative sources of energy and is still much more interested in oil. What about Barack Obama? What about the rest of the world?Sadly, I think, something major, and obvious, climate-wise, has to occur to make politicians finally bulge to avoid social unrest, such as: an immediate, substantial rise in sea-levels noticed along coastlines around the world by hundreds of millions of people. They don't listen to scientists but they will have to listen to the populace. Massive droughts, rampant floods, huge storms and an arctic ice-free summer are all regional events and can still be denied as having anything to do with global Climate Change. A global-scale event such as an obvious, rapid rise in sea-levels needs to happen, in my opinion ... Quite sad when I think about it.
Member Since: October 17, 2006 Posts: 60 Comments: 1321
##### 162. BobWallace
 Quoting yoboi:there might be new technolgy in the near future to reduce it very fast...There might be. But it's not a good strategy to sit passively as our boat sinks and hope that some unknown boat appears on the horizon to save us.Fix the leak. Bail. Build a life raft.
Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
##### 161. no1der
 Quoting yoboi:there might be new technolgy in the near future to reduce it very fast...Right! Let's cover much of the planet, both land and ocean, with efficient, adaptive, highly evolved self-replicating CO2-capture machines powered by sunlight. A system like that should be able clean things up in maybe 100Kyr or so if the past performance is any indication.You're thinking of something better?
##### 160. Some1Has2BtheRookie
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##### 158. Some1Has2BtheRookie
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##### 157. Some1Has2BtheRookie
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##### 155. BobWallace
 Spineless creatures under threat, from worms to bees: studyBy Alister DoylePosted 2012/08/31 at 9:20 am EDTOSLO, Aug. 31, 2012 (Reuters) — The vital tasks carried out by tiny "engineers" like earthworms that recycle waste and bees that pollinate crops are under threat because one fifth of the world's spineless creatures may be at risk of extinction, a study showed on Friday.The rising human population is putting ever more pressure on the "spineless creatures that rule the world" including slugs, spiders, jellyfish, lobsters, corals, and bugs such as beetles and butterflies, it said."One in five invertebrates (creatures without a backbone) look to be threatened with extinction," said Ben Collen at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) of an 87-page report produced with the International Union for Conservation of Nature."The invertebrates are the eco-system engineers," he told Reuters. "They produce a lot of the things that humans rely on and they produce them for free."The report said that invertebrates, creatures that have no internal skeleton, faced loss of habitat, pollution, over-exploitation and climate change.Link
Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
##### 154. BobWallace
 Destruction of coastal habitats may release as much as 1 billion tons of carbon emissions into the atmosphere each year, 10 times higher than previously reported, according to a new Duke led study. Published online this week in PLOS ONE, the analysis provides the most comprehensive estimate of global carbon emissions from the loss of these coastal habitats to date: 0.15 to 1.2 billion tons. Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2012-09-coastal-habitats-sign ificant-greenhouse-gas.html#jCp
Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
##### 153. BobWallace
 It looks like all the major Arctic sea ice measurements are down again today.Things look very bad for us.
Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
##### 152. Some1Has2BtheRookie
 Deleted
##### 150. Neapolitan
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 15214
##### 149. Neapolitan
 Spencer and Christy just released the global average tropospheric temperature anomaly for August: 0.34C. They've updated their chart, and I've updated mine (though mine doesn't have the misleading--and by Christy's own admission, meaningless--polynomial trendline).Looks like JB is gonna have to wait a little while longer for the onset of the next ice age...
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 15214

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