I try to avoid these discussions specifically because most of the arguments against global climate change being influenced by human activity are based on political agendas, most of which can be boiled down to a common theme of unbridled, shameless and all consuming greed and selfishness - a proud mantra of "me first" with "me" defined entirely by cash on hand. The same proud mantra that would support sending one's neighbor's or even one's own kids to fight in a war that has nothing to do with defending America, as long as no one raises taxes to pay for it.
The argument here, as always, has no structure. The first question we need to answer is, "Is the global climate changing?" If the answer to that is "No" the questions are over. We all shut the fuck up and go home.
If the answer to the first question is "Yes" we go on to other questions.
I think there is sufficient data to demonstrate that there are places on the globe where the climate is warmer than it has been in hundreds of years - the loss of glaciers that take thousands of years to establish, or chunks of the polar ice caps that take equally long periods to accumulate to the size they were several hundred years ago, kind of speak for the case that there is a global climate change underway that is warming substantial parts of the globe. It may also be that there are areas of the globe that have cooled to lower the temperatures in those areas, which would also meet the definition of global climate change.
So, can we agree that there is a mechanism afoot that is changing the climate patterns of the globe?
I will assume we can agree, although assuming is inherently dangerous and here it can be even more so. If you don't agree and want to argue, be my guest, but please explain the loss of enormous volumes of ice on the surface of the globe when you do, and get a message to those guys who think it is getting colder in their neighborhoods that they are full of shit.
Once an agreement is reached that a global climate pattern change is underway, the next question is not whether or not humans did it all. Or that CO2 is doing it all. The question is what explains the warming and the cooling that have been observed. And, Cuban, are you serious about the Hawaii shit? I mean, read Gore's shit. CO2 was never proposed as means to keep people warm in the winter. You know that isn't the way it works, so don't feed the trolls with those "seeded" questions.
From various sources we can, or should be able to agree that most of the Earth's weather is contained in the thick layer of the atmophere closest to the surface and that which contains over half of the entire volume of atmospheric gases. This layer is known as the troposphere. See the chart below for the various layers of the atmosphere and their average temperatures: (can't figure out how to insert a photo and not a url in the text, so the photo is at the bottom).
This layer is the layer where the bulk of the "greenhouse gasses" reside. It is therefore the volume of the atmosphere that we are most concerned about - not only does it warm up, but when it warms up the added energy directly affects the stability (or lack thereof) of the forces that make "weather." Meaning the power in the storms we experience is derived from the energy in this volume.
So, it is this volume to observe and measure. It's energy density and distribution, not necessarily earth surface or surface air temperatures we should be concerned about. So, we don't know if the added CO2 in Hawaii is due to the warmer water releasing the CO2, Cuban, or because the volcanoes are spewing it out, or the Hawaiians are breathing harder than they used to, but it should be clear that as soon as the CO2 rises into the midst of the troposphere the effectiveness of the CO2 as a "greenhouse gas" ( I use quotation marks because they actually don't work like a real greenhouse because they are not trapped in a single location, which may be your issue here - in a greenhouse the gasses are trapped by the glass and they do get warmer locally - in the atmosphere they are free to rise, and as a result, their effect is distributed in the volume of the troposphere, and, because the intensity of the UV and other frequencies of light they absorb are lower at the surface, they are more efficient as they rise - which is totally different that the way a greenhouse works, although it exploits the energy absorbing characteristics of "greenhouse gasses" (mostly water vapor) as well) is more apparent - it more or less "stays put" in the form of a higher concentration of CO2 in the mix of gasses that make up the local atmosphere. So, once the added concentration of CO2 makes it from a tailpipe, a power plant's exhaust stack, etc., etc. at the surface into the troposphere the distribution and effects are mixed by the typical, relatively high velocity winds and turbulence of this layer. The effect goes into powering the global climate for the longer term and not supporting a local weather fuck up.
In the presence of an air to water interface such as the Pacific Ocean, the local effect of greenhouse gas warming the bulk of the atmosphere in daylight hours is extremely unlikely to be apparent - slightly warmer air will evaporate that much more water, giving up much of its added heat, and, the CO2 and water vapor will then rise together, slowly to higher levels of the troposphere. During daylight hours on the surface the air over the land that is a dark color and is absorbing heat on the surface of the Island of Hawaii and the other Islands, is warming much more quickly and intensely and is much more likely the phenomena most responsible for the local temperature measurements you cited.
So the most accurate assessment of the changes in the climate are more appropriately quantified as the energy in the troposphere. This is why global climate change is presented to us by Mother Nature as shittier, shitty weather. Bigger storms, greater extremes in local pressures, temperatures and swings in relative humidity. Higher winds, heavier precipitation, longer and dryer droughts, unusual mixing of air masses, causing peculiar and unstable weather patterns. All this also drives ocean currents and unusual exchanges of ocean water, from the surface layers being driven deeper to deeper, colder, gas filled water rising to the surface to new volumes in major ocean currents. More energy, more chaos.
Once we argue that shit, we can argue why it seems to be accelerating or not, and if humans might be tipping the scales one way or the other as far as energizing the troposphere. Jim
Last edited by JimSmith; 11-17-2008 at 11:37 PM.
Reason: finished a paragraph