Thursday, October 25, 2007

Musician defeats Republican Conservative PhD Chemist in Global Warming debate - Chemist cowardly deletes rebuttal comment

It's amazing how in lock step some Christian conservative Republicans are. It even transcends their critical thinking skills - in this case, this person's own area of expertise.

"Doc" at The Autopsy identity is revealed
"Doc" is: Michael , Ph.D., Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin- Platteville

Apologies to "Tony" who was misidentified as "Doc"

Follow the discussion thread here where he condescends to the less informed musician and cites bogus data and Republican talking points (like the so-called "NASA error"), and uses arguments and non-peer reviewed studies by global warming denialist organizations like the European Science and Environment Forum , the Exxon-funded George C. Marshall Institute, and the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine.

After a lengthy post on the laws of thermodynamics that he 'dumbed down' for me to understand, I posted a response that he cowardly deleted or refused to allow to post.


UPDATE: Thanks to a fellow blogger, my comment has been posted .
UPDATE II: comment finally posted 24 hrs after comments received
UPDATE III: Truce declared, Chemist blames akismet filter for post not going through (although identical post did get through from different IP)
New post and comment on the Global Warming debate at Doc's

This is the post that he didn't want his readers to see:

Thanks for dumbing down the science for me, I really appreciate it.
Welcome readers to this thread as well, I'm sure they will appreciate you dumbing the science down for them too.

Doc's essentially saying here that man-made CO2 production is too insignificant to alter global climate and that the CO2 greenhouse effect is a violation of the physical laws of thermodynamics.

Doc's science lesson is based almost verbatim on he non-peer reviewed report: "Falsification Of The Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse Effects Within The Frame Of Physics,"- Gerhard Gerlich, principal investigator.

Before commenting on the science, let's examine the source. Gerhard Gerlich was quoted as saying in 1995, "the CO2-greenhouse effect of the earth atmosphere is pure fiction of people who like to use big computers, without physical fundamentals." An industry funded denialist from way back, Gerlich was a member of the European Science and Environment Forum. The agenda of this group was to discredit government safety regulations and reports on such things as genetically-engineered bovine growth hormone, pesticides, public smoking, and global warming. Gerlich's coalition fought to discredit the World Health Organisation, and attempted to rebuff the science used by the USA's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Gerlich also worked with the Weinberg Group which ran special conferences for the tobacco industry to fight regulations against second-hand smoke. Gerlich participated in the anti-global warming study co-produced by the Exxon-funded George C. Marshall Institute, "Climate Change and Policy: Making the Connection".

Gerlich's most recent article from July, again, non-peer reviewed, due to it's recent submission is just beginning to get debunked for it's misleading calculations by scientists on various blogs. Here's one:

Back to Doc's argument - man-made CO2 production is too insignificant to alter global climate .

The fact that CO2 levels have remained relatively steady, between 180 and 300 parts per million for the past half-a-million years, shows that natural emissions are usually balanced by natural absorptions. That is until very recently. Now slightly more CO2 must be entering the atmosphere than is being soaked up by carbon "sinks".

Human emissions of CO2 are now estimated to be 26.4 Gt per year, up from 23.5 Gt in the 1990s, according to an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report in February 2007. Disturbances to the land – through deforestation and agriculture, for instance – also contribute roughly 5.9 Gt per year.

About 40% of the extra CO2 entering the atmosphere due to human activity is being absorbed by natural carbon sinks, mostly by the oceans. The rest is boosting levels of CO2 in the atmosphere.

The smoking gun that shows the source of CO2 has resulted from fossil fuel burning and not the warming of the oceans and water vapor is found when determining the source of the increased carbon in the atmosphere. The studies are based on the ratio of the three different carbon isotopes in atmospheric CO2. Carbon has three possible isotopes: C-12, C-13 and C-14.

C-12, which has 6 neutrons, is by far the most prevalent carbon isotope and is a stable isotope. Carbon 13 is also a stable isotope, but plants prefer Carbon 12 and therefore photosynthetic CO2 (fossil fuel or wood fuels) is much lower in C-13 than CO2 that comes from other sources (ie.. animal respiration); and Carbon-14 is radioactive. Studies of carbon isotopes in CO2 has resulted in the following findings:

* There has been a decline in the 14C/12C ratio in CO2 that parallels the increase in CO2. In 1950 a scientist (Suess) discovered that fossils do not contain 14C because they are much older than 10 half lives of 14C.
* There has been a parallel decline in 13C/12C ratio of atmospheric CO2. This has been linked to the fact that fossil fuels, forests and soil carbon come from photosynthetic carbon which is low in 13C. If the increased CO2 was due to warming of the oceans, there should not be a reduction in the ratios of C-13 and C-14 to C-12.

There are other clues that suggest the source of increased CO2 is not related to the warming of the ocean and subsequent release of CO2 from the ocean.

* There has been a decline in the oxygen concentration of the atmosphere. If ocean warming was responsible for the CO2 increase, we should also observe an increase in atmospheric O2, because O2 is also released as the water is warmed.
* The ocean is a sink for atmospheric carbon, and the carbon content of the oceans has increased by 118±19 PgC in the last 200 years. If the atmospheric CO2 was the result of oceans releasing CO2 to the atmosphere, the CO2 in the ocean should not be rising as a result of ocean warming.

Shall I dumb this down for you doc? Oh... whoops, sorry, you're the Chemistry PhD, I'm the dumb musician. continuing....

Fossil fuels were formed millions of years ago. They therefore contain virtually no carbon-14, because this unstable carbon isotope, formed when cosmic rays hit the atmosphere, has a half-life of around 6000 years. So a dropping concentration of carbon-14 can be explained by the burning of fossil fuels. Studies of tree rings have shown that the proportion of carbon-14 in the atmosphere dropped by about 2% between 1850 and 1954. (After this time, atmospheric nuclear bomb tests altered these data sets by releasing large amounts of carbon-14.)

In addition, fossil fuels also contain more carbon-12 than carbon-13, compared with the atmosphere, because the fuels derive from plants, which preferentially take up the more common carbon-12. The ratio of carbon-13 to carbon-12 in the atmosphere and ocean surface waters is steadily falling, showing that more carbon-12 is entering the atmosphere.

Carbon-12 atoms dominate the chemical structure of all fossil fuels, since carbon-14 naturally decays into it over time. So....where plant tissues are loaded with lots of carbon-12 but little carbon-14, there is more fossil fuel burning. Likewise, where plants have the expected levels of cosmic ray and nuclear-created carbon-14, there is less fossil fuel burning diluting that global signal.

A study by the University of Colorado and Europe's Laboratory of Climate and Environmental Science at Saclay, France has used these measurements in corn plants to map out fossil fuel burning hotspots in the US - actually measuring how much of the carbon dioxide in a given region comes from fossil fuels.

Any questions?


Anonymous said...

And this proves AGW how? You should stick to music. Your convoluted argument does nothing to address the basic premise that CO2 does NOT drive temperature. If CO2 drives global temperature, its steady rise for the last 100 years should have produced steadily rising temperatures. From 1940 to 1975, global temperature declined. That is inexplicable unless some other factor drives global temperature. The solar-activity record correlates very, very closely with the temperature record; and solar activity indeed declined between 1940 to 1975. Number one sun.

When solar flux is high, it not only contributes more heat to the earth, it also mitigates the cosmic ray flux that bombards the earth. The cosmic ray flux interacts with atmospheric gasses to produce cloud seeds. Thus, when cosmic ray bombardment is reduced by a more intense sun, less clouds are created to reflect or block that solar heat and the earth warms more than usual. Thus the sun plays a mighty role in the rise and fall of earth's temperature.

Greenhouse warming is supposed to exhibit its greatest effect not at the earth's surface, but 10 or so kilometers up in the troposphere (where the gasses absorb heat and delay its transmission back into space). Recent global warming is shown to have occurred more strongly at the earth's surface than way up in the troposphere. In fact, satellite temperature measurements show no troposphere temperature increase since 1988. Is that because the greenhouse effect is not responsible, after all, for the warming? Most likely.

Anonymous said...

I thought it was agreed by both sides
that Co2 followed temperature by about 800 to a 1000 years, if that is the case how can the present rising co2 cause the present temperature rise. Is it more likely that the co2 increase we see at the present time was caused by the temperature rise of the medieval warm period.

William said...

Yes, that is how the CO2 relationship has occured under normal Milankovitch ige age cycles. What we are experiencing now can not be compared to those cycles because of the anomalous rise of CO2. This is clearly NOT a natural cycle.

Reason over religion! said...

Is it more likely that the co2 increase we see at the present time was caused by the temperature rise of the medieval warm period.

Riiiigt, God is just monkeying with the isotope ratios to test us, like with the dinasaur bones.

Gotcha' ;)

Anonymous said...

"Riiiigt, God is just monkeying with the isotope ratios to test us, like with the dinasaur bones"

I didn't see anything about God in the comments. Embellishing your response and using nothing but sarcasm indicates you are insecure in your statements.

You should have done a Google search before replying so you could find out what you're supposed to think like the rest of the sheep.

Owl said...

To anonymous: Increased GHG's facilitates higher temperatures. It's not a debatable, it's their physical properties. Neither factor 'causes' the other. Other factors and contributions don't disappear as GHGs rise, so your 40-70 cooling argument has no merit. You conveniently ignore them for the period, while accusing your opposition of ignoring them for the latest 30 years. Weak.

Solar activity correlations break down over the the last half century.

The cosmic ray=clouds=climate change isn't established (even Svensmark is on board for GHG influences).

The satellite data contradiction you refer to, was one of two major corrections in the last few years (calculation error and drift miscalculation). It actually substantiated the AGW models. UAH's Christy now hums about the 'equatorial' disagreement. (btw - the other error was the Argosy correction that took oceanic 'cooling' off the charts.)

Actually, William's explanation of the isotope is very good. It's our pollution, its unprecedented, and GHGs do what the chemistry says they'll do.

The Gerlich paper is your best hope right now - disprove the Greenhouse effect. Then there's no concern about the 30% delta the IEA is projecting above the IPCC's worst-case scenario (by 2030).

Bob Armstrong said...

How come those who accept the AGW scare mongering distrust free market backed researcher for what minor amounts of money they may receive from productive corporations but accept as untainted the work of those literally 1000 times more massively funded by governments ? One Trust governments more than market participants who thrive or fail based on the accuracy of their understanding of reality ?

Anonymous said...

Peer review is vital. Without it, no one who who hasn't seen the data, or isn't qualified to understand it, cannot possibly determine the validity of the argument presented. The only problem is that since World War Two "academia" and "science" has been entirely beholden to government and
big business for funding - challenge their agenda and starve.

Hmmm, what is their agenda on this topic? Umm, global crisis that "justifies" bigger, more intrusive governments, new taxes and allows mega-corporations to control vast portions of the Earth in order to manage resources according to the guidelines of the government(s) that they emplace and replace at will.

And, to address the belligerent comment about how this addresses the Global Warming Religion-to-an-End and the statement that CO2 drives the Global warming mechanism - by Al Gore's own graphic, the correlation is ALWAYS warming LEADING the CO@ rise. Why? Most likely because of the unimaginably vast amount of CO2 sequestered in the oceans.

Research has shown that a FIVE-FOLD increase of atmospheric CO2 would not be detrimental to the ecosystem. In fact, plant life would BOOM. Slightly warmer temperatures + increased availability of CO2 = rapid plant growth which over time sequesters some of the CO2 before the cooling begins again. It's a natural cycle that functions to prevent the oceans from ending up with all of the CO2 in the closed system. Umm, where does all of this (insignificant amount by comparison)carbon that is such an "Earth-killing" dose of CO2 come from? Fossil fuels, right? And what are fossil fuels? Plants and animals that flourished in previously warm periods of the very same cycle.

The only constant is change. That's more than a cliche'. It's the only way any system can avoid stagnation and destruction.

Anonymous said...

To Owl: What is not debatable is that the amount of greenhouse gases released by human activity, ALL of human activity throughout history, is miniscule by comparison to the the natural fluctuations which[i] as evidenced by Al Gore's own graph[/i]always FOLLOW warming trends.

To Bob Armstrong: Because they're watermelons - green on the outside and red on the inside.

Anonymous said...

"The only problem is that since World War Two "academia" and "science" has been entirely beholden to government and big business for funding "

Really, that's the case in all of the 8 different countries where the world's climate labs reside? Or is it a fear of some liberal regulatory effort hyped by political conservatives? You statement is telling :

"global crisis that "justifies" bigger, more intrusive governments, new taxes and allows mega-corporations to control vast portions of the Earth in order to manage resources according to the guidelines of the government"

Obvious that's where your coming from, anon.

Your right about man's miniscule contribution of CO2 compared to previous natural events that caused events like the PETM, but we're dealing with human history, just a blip on the geologic time scale.

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