Friday, 14 January 2011

Yet More Global Dieoff by Global Warming

This post is a little bit of a rant. Forewarning.

I'm not a "global warming is bullshit" kind of guy given that I have a bachelors in math and physics. I can do the math and I get the science.
As an analyst and an MBA, however I'm not even slightly convinced by the analysis and the conclusions.

To wit:
As a scientist I'm not disputing the *possibility* of global warming (or even of global cooling). Clearly the science shows that adding CO2 to the atmosphere does *something* and there is indeed a mathematical formula that predicts (all things being equal) that if you double the CO2 you get X amount of temperature forcing.

Where I break ranks with these guys, however, is when they build their models with dubious assumptions, without fully understanding the feedback loops and THEN extrapolate toward the SAME GOAL EVERY SINGLE TIME:

i.e. reduce ENERGY USAGE rather than reduce FOSSIL FUELS burning and also REDUCE THE SIZE OF THE ECONOMY?!?

Sorry my ecocologist friends, but that does not FUCKING COMPUTE.

There are yet other examples of where they get a model to say "something different is going to happen" THEREFORE "that's bad" AND "we must therefore shut down the economy".

One such bunch of claptrap is the idea that if we add another 600 ppm of emissions to the atmosphere and we get the same temperatures as we had 30-50 million years ago then we are FUCKED.

The scaremongerrs state that given that the poles during the above mentioned epoch were 15-20C warmer and the tropics were 5-10C warmer then that's an unmitigated DISASTER.

Funny I thought, if the poles melt and Greenland, Siberia and Northern Canada suddenly become prime farmland is that a big fucking DISASTER? I think not.

Anyways, returning to the disaster meme.
Why is EOCENE like temperatures an unmitigated disaster?

Well, they say, "because human civilization has never had to deal with temperatures like that before".


South Texas deals with temperatures like that every summer.
So does Las Vegas.

Admittedly Las Vegas is a *strange* kind of civilization but you can HARDLY argue that it doesn't classify as HUMAN civilization.

Come on guys, you're starting to sound like quacks now.



Barba Rija said...

You are opening a can of worms, dude ;). Seriously, leave global warming alone, you'll get yourself inside a hole of contensious confusion in no time.

I remember when I first became very skeptical of peak oil, some 4 years ago. And then one year later I revised the evidence of catastrophe caused by global warming. The reason is that the philosophy of these "doomers" is exactly the same, and their total lack of predicting skill seems to fail in the same exact places: pessimism in overkill, overconfidence in their results, and sheer bias towards "bad" results. But while peak oil is somewhat fringe, global warming is as mainstream science as it gets. So it's a very strange phenomena indeed. Apparently, the malthusian draconians (with blatantly open totalitarian agendas) have conquered the environmental sciences... it will backslash, of course, and "science" itself will take the pain. Ah well... it isn't the first time anyway....

Wolf Frankula said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but from my studies, it's not usual for this planet to HAVE icecaps. Ice free, or nearly ice free poles are usual for Sol III.

Wolf Frankula

Anonymous said...

Hey again mate
there is a new "evil twin" of global warming doomism which came into the scene june 2010.

its about the apperant mass ekstinktion of Phytoplankton (the foundation of life in the oceans and the producers of 30% of our oxygen)

according to the research this is connected to the warming of the oceans and the acidisation of the seas.

the conclutions differ but many think that, once they are gone, Earth will face yet another mass extinction event (they are even connecting past mass dieoffs with the death of oxygin in oceans)

the above site is a bit problematic, but I couldent find the orginal BBC source

I would really like a debunk of this, since it scares me personally

DB said...

Hello Anonymous,

May I susggest you use spell check? :->
I'm not going to give you a debunk of anoxia causing extinctions because according to what you can
find out there, it looks like there are in fact large scale hypoxias
in the oceans closely preceding or during mass extinctions in some cases.

That said, you have to ask yourself what are the causes of these
and we find that there are also usually catastrophic conditions just
preceding the hypoxias (such as comets impacting the gulf of mexico
or super-volcano explosions or huge landslides collapsing the methane hydrates
etc etc)

To be fair, if a comet hit the earth or we had a super-volcano go
off then I'd rate the chances of "the road" movie becoming real as
pretty high.

But those kinds of events are not ones worth considering because
there's nothing sensible we can really do about them.

That said let's try to think about this for a second taking what you can find on the internet.

Taking a more plausible scenario and comparing today to the Eocene
when there was much more carbon dioxide in the air and there were
also a large anoxic event in the oceans, yet there wasn't a huge
extinction and in fact global diversity was much higher than it
is now.

That said, since we humans are driving extinction by coopting
habitats of other creatures to our own uses, it's likely that
bio-diversity as such won't increase concurrently with higher co2
unlike during the Eocene.

On the topic of acidification, yes the shelled plankton would be
reduced, but shelled plankton are not the only producer of oxygen in
the oceans and neither are they the main producer of oxygen in the
oceans. Cyanobacteria are the major producer of oxygen and they
do not have shells. The problem exists for animals which are
higher up the food chain and fee off of shelled phytoplankton.
You have to buy into the idea that we humans are 100% dependent
on a fully diversified global ecosystem and we can't survive
the reduction of it. As far as I can find, the rainforests
produce about 20% of the world's oxygen, the oceans produce about
another 30% and the rest is produced by the remaining plants
and trees in the temperate regions.

My position with regards to the survivability of losing
a major portion of the ocean ecosystem is we don't live in
the ocean! Secondly, given our ability to control our environment
and generate appropriate technological solutions even with a
drastically reduced global ecosystem I suspect that we're not
even close to looking at a human extinction due to killing
plankton or creating anoxix regions due to fertilizer spill.