Online reading group and book discussion forum
  HOME ENTER FORUMS OUR BOOKS LINKS DONATE ADVERTISE CONTACT  
View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Thu Sep 24, 2020 2:00 pm





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 3 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average. 
Ch. 5: The greenhouse effect 
Author Message
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

BookTalk.org Owner
Diamond Contributor 3

Joined: May 2002
Posts: 16299
Location: Florida
Thanks: 3568
Thanked: 1365 times in 1073 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

 Ch. 5: The greenhouse effect
A Farewell to Ice: A Report from the Arctic
by Peter Wadhams


Please use this thread to discuss Ch. 5: The greenhouse effect.



Tue Jun 16, 2020 6:39 pm
Profile Email WWW
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Gold Contributor
Book Discussion Leader

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 5978
Location: Canberra
Thanks: 2402
Thanked: 2342 times in 1771 posts
Gender: Male
Country: Australia (au)

Post Re: Ch. 5: The greenhouse effect
It would be superb if climate deniers would read just this chapter, which explains in simple physics why global warming is about as true as the ideas that the earth is round, about four billion years old and orbits the sun. The natural greenhouse effect increases the planetary temperature by 33°C. If earth had no atmosphere, like the moon, it would have the same temperature as the moon, since both are the same distance from the sun. The moon has an average temperature of -18°C. But the earth’s atmosphere works like greenhouse glass, allowing light in but not allowing heat to escape. This was discovered in the nineteenth century, when Swedish scientist Arrhenius used recently discovered laws of radiation to fairly accurately predict climate sensitivity to the doubling of CO2.

Wadhams provides a graph of satellite measurement of radiation at the top of the atmosphere, like this one from NASA https://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/schmidt_05/ (picture below). It shows how radiation would escape if earth had no atmosphere, and the actual escape rate, with big blockages at exactly the spots theoretically predicted by the study of the main GHGs – CO2, CH4, O3, N2O and H2O. The observation proves the theory. Denying this is like saying the world is flat – moronic.

The villainy of CO2 as the biggest GHG is compounded by how it sticks around for a thousand years, only very slowly removed by the carbon cycle. That is why geoengineering is needed. We have added about 640 billion tonnes of carbon to the air, and most of it will just stay there unless we work out ways to remove it. Ignoring this problem means getting a planet like Bill McKibben has just today described in the New York Review of Books – maybe 6°C hotter, in a situation where running a three degree temperature is a raging fever. https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2020/0 ... 0-degrees/

Wadhams says the only way to permanently get rid of CO2 is to bury it. That may be true, but less permanent solutions such as using carbon to make buildings and roads might be a better option. At least someone would then have the incentive to pay for the storage for centuries, which could end up being as good as permanent. Even what is known as ‘labile carbon’, such as biomass that quickly rots and returns as CO2 to the air, has an important role, since if we constantly increased the amount of planetary biomass by a trillion tonnes we would solve the climate problem. All it relies on is human beings having the brains needed to maintain ongoing regulation of the atmosphere, evolving to become truly sapient.

This chapter also explains that other GHGs – mainly methane and nitrous oxide – cause about 45% of the warming. The rocketing increase in methane seems to have slowed when Russia started caring more about pipeline leaks, and when the destruction of natural methane sources from wetlands accelerated. But that does not mean that destroying frog habitat is a way to stop global warming! A good brief summary is also given of the roles of ozone and the nasty artificial chlorofluorocarbons.

The key concept for climate physics is radiative forcing, the difference between incoming and outgoing radiation at the top of the atmosphere. RF doubled between 1980 and 2011, showing the rampant uncontrolled indifference of humans toward our planetary home. GHG levels define what is known as climate sensitivity, seen by the extraordinarily fine relationship over geological time between CO2 and temperature. Some calculations say the current climate sensitivity means we have stored up enough forcing to heat the planet by nearly 8°C, but Wadhams muses that those numbers are just too politically explosive to get a hearing in the UN.

The temperature rise naturally lags behind the forcing caused by extra GHGs, with most of the heat going into the oceans, but heat will inexorably catch up unless we remove the cause, all that past emissions, of which our new emissions each year amount to about 2%. Restricting climate policy to emission reduction simply ignores the main cause of global warming, the committed increase from past emissions. Wadhams compares the ocean to a temperature flywheel, now set in motion and with enormous momentum.

His section on The Recent Temperature History of the Earth shows the predicted rapid increase caused mainly by CO2 release, with a dip in the rate of increase caused by coal burning in the mid twentieth century, when so much polluting soot was released that it dimmed the tide of warming. The chapter concludes with an introduction to Arctic Amplification, which is the key terrifying problem of the world, considered objectively over decadal timeframe. Since 1850, the North Pole has warmed up at triple the rate of the rest of the planet, providing a bellwether for our global future. The main cause seems to be albedo, the farewell to ice, the fact that we are turning the pole from white to black with all our heating, from radiating reflector to heat absorber. All that heat that goes into the ocean warms the currents which flow through the Arctic, generating enormous warming forcing and a range of dangerous accelerating feedback systems.

Image


_________________
http://rtulip.net


The following user would like to thank Robert Tulip for this post:
DWill
Fri Aug 07, 2020 3:14 am
Profile Email WWW
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Platinum Contributor
Book Discussion Leader

Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 6702
Location: Luray, Virginia
Thanks: 2043
Thanked: 2287 times in 1725 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: Ch. 5: The greenhouse effect
Robert Tulip wrote:
The key concept for climate physics is radiative forcing, the difference between incoming and outgoing radiation at the top of the atmosphere. RF doubled between 1980 and 2011, showing the rampant uncontrolled indifference of humans toward our planetary home. GHG levels define what is known as climate sensitivity, seen by the extraordinarily fine relationship over geological time between CO2 and temperature. Some calculations say the current climate sensitivity means we have stored up enough forcing to heat the planet by nearly 8°C, but Wadhams muses that those numbers are just too politically explosive to get a hearing in the UN.

The greenhouse concept has been a successful way of communicating science to the public. I have to think that to the extent that we understand what is causing warming, calling our home a greenhouse is mostly responsible. Not so with radiative forcing, unfortunately. I think a more vivid term could have been popularized to drive home why the greenhouse is retaining more heat.
Quote:
His section on The Recent Temperature History of the Earth shows the predicted rapid increase caused mainly by CO2 release, with a dip in the rate of increase caused by coal burning in the mid twentieth century, when so much polluting soot was released that it dimmed the tide of warming. The chapter concludes with an introduction to Arctic Amplification, which is the key terrifying problem of the world, considered objectively over decadal timeframe. Since 1850, the North Pole has warmed up at triple the rate of the rest of the planet, providing a bellwether for our global future. The main cause seems to be albedo, the farewell to ice, the fact that we are turning the pole from white to black with all our heating, from radiating reflector to heat absorber. All that heat that goes into the ocean warms the currents which flow through the Arctic, generating enormous warming forcing and a range of dangerous accelerating feedback systems.

Daniel Kahneman has an acronym that captures our habit of thinking that the rest of the world corresponds to the conditions we can see right in front of us--WYSIATI, what you see is all there is. As far as the Arctic is concerned, it's out of our ken and concern. If we experience a severe heat wave or more severe weather, we might then think something needs to be done, but when conditions return to more like normal, we settle back into comfortable complacency.

Wadhams mentions the ozone hole caused by CFC releases, recognized by 1985 and quickly addressed by international treaty in 1987. Replacing CFCs with other refrigerants and propellants was a notable achievement. But we don't have anything in the offing that can replace hydrocarbons at the level needed to sustain our economy, much less grow it.



Thu Aug 13, 2020 2:31 pm
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 3 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average. 



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:



Site Resources 
HELPFUL INFO:
Community Rules & Tips
Frequently Asked Questions
BBCode Explained
Author Interview Transcripts
Book Discussion Leaders

IDEAS FOR WHAT TO READ:
Bestsellers
Book Awards
• Book Reviews
• Online Books
• Team Picks
Newspaper Book Sections

WHERE TO BUY BOOKS:
• Coming Soon!

BEHIND THE BOOKS:
• Coming Soon!

PROMOTE YOUR BOOK!
Advertise on BookTalk.org
Promote your FICTION book
Promote your NON-FICTION book





BookTalk.org is a thriving book discussion forum, online reading group or book club. We read and talk about both fiction and non-fiction books as a community. Our forums are open to anyone in the world. While discussing books is our passion we also have active forums for talking about poetry, short stories, writing and authors. Our general discussion forum section includes forums for discussing science, religion, philosophy, politics, history, current events, arts, entertainment and more. We hope you join us!


Navigation 
MAIN NAVIGATION

HOMEFORUMSOUR BOOKSAUTHOR INTERVIEWSADVERTISELINKSFAQDONATETERMS OF USEPRIVACY POLICYSITEMAP

OTHER PAGES WORTH EXPLORING
Banned Book ListOnline Reading GroupTop 10 Atheism Books

Copyright © BookTalk.org 2002-2019. All rights reserved.
Display Pagerank