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97% Scientist Consensus: global warming is man-made

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Re: 97% Scientist Consensus: global warming is man-made

Postby kurt_w » Wed Apr 23, 2014 8:35 am

I've been amusing myself reading early papers on climate change and the greenhouse effect. If you go back far enough, British scientist John Tyndall is generally credited with being the first to measure the absorption of infrared radiation by carbon dioxide (or "gaseous carbonic acid" as it was called at the time) ... in 1861.

And Tyndall was a great scientist, and a very interesting and admirable person in many ways.

But I just ran across an interesting note by Raymond Sorenson (link), who discovered an account of a very similar experiment from a few years earlier (1856).

The 1856 experiment languished in obscurity while Tyndall's work became famous, probably for three reasons:

(1) Tyndall was assiduous in publishing and re-publishing his work, giving public lectures, and generally promoting his own research. In contrast, the scientist who conducted the 1856 experiment had someone else give a talk at a national conference of scientists, but never published a full monograph or book, so the only account is a brief description in a third-party summary of the talks given at that conference.

(2) Tyndall was from Britain, one of the leading scientific powerhouses of the day, while the 1856 experiment was by an American, and was presented only at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Albany, NY. In 1856 science was a decidedly Euro-centric activity.

(3) Tyndall was male, while the scientist who conducted the 1856 experiment -- Eunice Newton Foote -- was a woman. Unable to present her own work to the AAAS, Ms Foote had Joseph Henry of the Smithsonian Institution give her talk at the meeting.

Here is the only known account of the presentation of Ms Foote's work on measuring the absorption of infrared radiation by CO2, from the 1856 AAAS meeting:

Prof. Henry then read a paper by Mrs. Eunice Foote, prefacing it with a few words, to the effect that science was of no country and of no sex. The sphere of woman embraces not only the beautiful and the useful, but the true. Mrs. Foote had determined, first, that the action of the rays increases with the density of the air. She has taken two glass cylinders of the same size, containing thermometers. Into one the air was condensed, and from the other air was exhausted. When they were of the same temperature the cylinders were placed side by side in the sun, and the thermometers in the condensed air rose more than twenty degrees higher than those in the rarified air. This effect of rarefaction must contribute to produce the feebleness of heating power in the sun's rays on the summits of lofty mountains. Secondly, the effect of the sun's rays is greater in moist than in dry air. In one cylinder the air was saturated with moisture, in the other dried with chloride of lime; both were placed in the sun, and a difference of about twelve degrees was observed. This high temperature of sunshine in moist air is frequently noticed; for instance, in the intervals between summer showers. The isothermal lines on the earth's surface are doubtless affected by the moisture of the air giving power to the sun, as well as by the temperature of the ocean yielding the moisture. Thirdly, a high effect of the sun's rays is produced in carbonic acid gas. One receiver being filled with carbonic acid, the other with common air, the temperature of the gas in the sun was raised twenty degrees above that of the air. The receiver containing the gas became very sensibly hotter than the other, and was much longer in cooling. An atmosphere of that gas would give to our earth a much higher temperature; and if there once was, as some suppose, a larger proportion of that gas in the air, an increased temperature must have accompanied it, both from the nature of the gas and the increased density of the atmosphere. Mrs. Foote had also tried the heating effect of the sun's rays on hydrogen and oxygen, and found the former to be less, the latter more, susceptible to the heating action of sunlight.


That's remarkable, both that she did this experiment three years before Tyndall, and that she explicitly drew the link to the role of carbon dioxide in climate change.

Eunice Foote and her husband Elisha Foote (a judge, inventor, and mathematician who also presented a paper at the 1856 AAAS meeting) lived in upstate New York. Both of them were signatories of the famous "Declaration of Sentiments" at the great Seneca Falls Convention on women's rights.

One thing that Sorenson doesn't seem to have noticed is that Eunice Foote did have another paper presented in the following year's meeting of AAAS (1857), this one on electrical activity in the atmosphere. Unlike the 1856 paper, this one was actually published in the Proceedings of the AAAS.
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Re: 97% Scientist Consensus: global warming is man-made

Postby johnfajardohenry » Wed Apr 23, 2014 9:29 am

A day late and a dollar short but Happy birth/earthday, Vladimir.

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Re: 97% Scientist Consensus: global warming is man-made

Postby kurt_w » Wed Apr 23, 2014 10:42 am

April 2014 will be the first month in at least a million years -- and possibly 10 million years -- with atmospheric CO2 levels above 400 parts per million:

Image

The measurement briefly rose above 400 ppm for a few days last spring, but not enough to put the monthly average over the threshold. This year, April's average, and possibly May's as well, will exceed that. As CO2 continues to rise, within a couple of years the CO2 level will remain above 400 ppm year-round ... and it will stay that way for centuries.

There are conflicting indicators about whether CO2 reached this level during the Pliocene Epoch -- 2 to 4 million years ago -- or whether you have to go all the way back to the Miocene Epoch, around 10 million years ago.

At that time, when CO2 levels clearly were comparable to expected 21st century values:

* Global temperatures were several degrees higher than today
* Most of the ice on the planet was gone
* Sea levels were tens of meters higher than today

It takes a long time to melt ice, so you wouldn't expect an immediate return to Pliocene- or Miocene sea level any time soon. It could take centuries or longer to completely deglaciate Greenland, but once the process starts it will be very difficult to stop.
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Re: 97% Scientist Consensus: global warming is man-made

Postby Henry Vilas » Wed Apr 30, 2014 1:09 pm

This is a perfect example of why scientists don't vote Republican

When it comes to climate change, the intellectual bankruptcy of the conservative movement is stunning.

For the past decade and more, conservatives have trumpeted to the heavens any scientist with respectable-sounding credentials who is willing to dispute the international consensus on climate change. This week brought one more sad example of this phenomenon, with Red State editor Erick Erickson tweeting this Breitbart post, which gleefully parrots the views of one Professor Les Woodcock. He is that rarest of beasts, a climate denier with a science degree — but not in climatology, naturally.

So some doddering chemist emeritus doesn't believe in climate change. So what, right? But Woodcock's assertions are noteworthy for just how magnificently bogus they are. And the fact that he has been embraced by influential people in the conservative media-sphere shows both the intellectual bankruptcy of movement conservatism and the way it has poisoned the climate change debate.
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Re: 97% Scientist Consensus: global warming is man-made

Postby kurt_w » Wed Apr 30, 2014 6:33 pm

Yeah. I like another quote from that post:

I ... cannot imagine a statement that would be more scientifically incorrect and humiliating than the one Professor Woodcock made. It's like saying you don't believe in the existence of cheese.


Cheese? I wonder if Ryan Cooper is a Wisconsin boy.

He's right. Claiming that there's no evidence that CO2 has increased is absolutely freakin' insane. It's measured all over the world with a high degree of accuracy, and has been for decades.

If this were just some elderly crank who Ryan Cooper had dug up, it would be merely pathetic. But this guy's comment has been trumpeted far and wide by Breitbart, Erickson, and who knows how many other prominent right-wingers. That takes it beyond the pathetic and into the realm of the absurd.

The graph I posted in the comment before Henry's shows that CO2 is higher now than it has been in at least 800,000 years. This ex-professor Woodcock is a fool, but the many people who are seizing upon his words because they support their own anti-climate-science ideology are worse than fools.
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Re: 97% Scientist Consensus: global warming is man-made

Postby DCB » Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:53 pm

Sometimes I get confused just trying to understand the tangle of contradictory nonsense coming from the Denier crowd. CO2 is not increaseing, and the increasing CO2 is good for the environment. The planet isn't warming, and the warming is due to natural causes. Scientist can't be trusted, and I trust the one scientist who proves there is no global warming. Climate is too complicated to predict, and we know for a fact there is no global warming.
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Re: 97% Scientist Consensus: global warming is man-made

Postby DCB » Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:06 pm

The overwhelming consensus of peer-reviewed research is roughly equivalent to one magazine article.
If one magazine article from 39 years ago, buried on page 64, doesn't prove that the world was paralyzed in fear of a new ice age, what does?
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Re: 97% Scientist Consensus: global warming is man-made

Postby ilikebeans » Wed Apr 30, 2014 11:41 pm

Let's just highlight the graphic from that article:

Image
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Re: 97% Scientist Consensus: global warming is man-made

Postby kurt_w » Tue May 06, 2014 1:56 pm

A new report out on climate change in the US. Here's a nice example showing the risk of water shortages in 2050, without the effects of anthropogenic climate change (left) and with those effects (right):

Image

Full report is here.
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Re: 97% Scientist Consensus: global warming is man-made

Postby Sandi » Tue May 06, 2014 2:17 pm

kurt_w wrote:A new report out on climate change in the US. Here's a nice example showing the risk of water shortages in 2050, without the effects of anthropogenic climate change (left) and with those effects (right):

Image

Full report is here.


Kurt: that isn't science, and whats more, you know without a doubt it is little more than conjecture.

You should be embarrassed to post it.
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Re: 97% Scientist Consensus: global warming is man-made

Postby jman111 » Tue May 06, 2014 2:26 pm

Sandi wrote:You should be embarrassed to post it.

Image
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Re: 97% Scientist Consensus: global warming is man-made

Postby kurt_w » Tue May 06, 2014 2:33 pm

Sandi, given your hilarious record of wrongness in this and other climate-change threads, extending over many months, I think I'll stick with the carefully chosen words of the panel of experts who spent years studying climate change in the US. Not the Perpetually Grumpy Oracle of Janesville.
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Re: 97% Scientist Consensus: global warming is man-made

Postby kurt_w » Tue May 06, 2014 2:50 pm

Needless to say, WUWT is in full-blown panic mode over this as we speak. Anthony Watts is palpably sputtering with outrage. I expect Emperor Monckton to be along soon, perhaps to rotate another graph downward as a way of proving that sea level isn't rising, or something. If he can spare the time from inventing snake-oil "miracle cures" for AIDS.
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Re: 97% Scientist Consensus: global warming is man-made

Postby Sandi » Tue May 06, 2014 3:19 pm

kurt_w wrote:Needless to say, WUWT is in full-blown panic mode over this as we speak. Anthony Watts is palpably sputtering with outrage. I expect Emperor Monckton to be along soon, perhaps to rotate another graph downward as a way of proving that sea level isn't rising, or something. If he can spare the time from inventing snake-oil "miracle cures" for AIDS.


Kurt can't refute WUWT with science, so he attacks instead. Not much else the alarmists can do when all the science has turned against them. Well over 17 years now with no significant warming.

You would do better to keep you mouth shut and let people think you a fool, than to open it and remove all doubt.

As for Mockton, I don't know him past a couple of articles I read. So to checked your Mockton and cure for AIDS claim. I googled it.

Guess what people. I got results.... lots of results. However every single one, without exception comes from a CAGW alarmist site. In other words, it looks like kurt has no problem at all repeating lies to besmirch a persons reputation without any evidence.
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Re: 97% Scientist Consensus: global warming is man-made

Postby kurt_w » Tue May 06, 2014 3:23 pm

Another couple of maps from the report. This one shows that in all regions of the US, more of the total precipitation is coming in the form of sporadic intense storms:

Image

Note for Sandi: that's observations, not models.

On the other hand, it looks like at least for the next decade or two, climate change will be mostly beneficial for agriculture in the Midwest -- there won't yet be enough extreme heat waves to outweigh the benefits of the longer frost-free growing season. The report recommends that farmers take advantage of this window to start preparing for the negative impacts further down the road. (See JoeT's recent posts over in the other thread).

Image
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