Share on Facebook

Thread: Humans are pushing the Earth closer to a climate cliff

  1. #1

    Humans are pushing the Earth closer to a climate cliff

    Humans are pushing the Earth closer to a climate cliff

    A new study examines potential climate feedbacks that could push Earth into a ‘hothouse’ state


    A new paper, just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has received a lot of media attention. The attention is justified because the paper paints a very grim picture of the climate and what humans may be doing to it. In particular, the authors of this study tried to determine the trajectory that the Earth is on so we can predict what the future climate will be.

    There are many really important insights from this paper. The authors wanted to know how feedbacks in the Earth’s climate will play a role in shaping the climate in the future. By feedbacks, we mean a change in one part of the climate that then causes another change, which in turn may cause another change, and so on, potentially setting up chain reactions.

    Continues at the link:

    https://www.theguardian.com/environm...-climate-cliff

    .

  2. #2
    Forums Member Olderon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Concord, New Hampshire, U.S.A.
    Posts
    315


    Unfortunately, and unfortunately "usually", these articles leave out atmospheric water vapor (clouds), which both reflects solar radiation in the infrared spectrum (the heat spectrum) and absorbs radiation and the associated heat from both land and sea in the same wave lengths. It is thought (reasoned) that these clouds have some net result with regard to atmospheric heating and cooling, but I have never seen such studies documented anywhere. I do know from personal experience with evaporative cooling that water cools the surface from which it evaporates. So, it would seem that the net effect with regard to Global Warming is at this point scientifically unresolved because of its complexity of interactions and effects. Predominantly Earth is a "water planet" and to ignore water's effects on land air and sea is a big ? on the order of Dark Matter and Dark Energy. I man's ignorance he rarely steps up to admit what he doesn't know, especially those of us who are beating the drum for one cause or another. This mindset is called "scientific bias".

    Here is a post from NASA, which discusses the issue:

    https://isccp.giss.nasa.gov/role.html
    Last edited by Olderon; 18 Aug 18 at 16:41.

  3. #3
    Forums Member KathyLauren's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Nova Scotia
    Posts
    67
    Quote Originally Posted by Olderon View Post


    Unfortunately, and unfortunately "usually", these articles leave out atmospheric water vapor (clouds), which both reflects solar radiation in the infrared spectrum (the heat spectrum) and absorbs radiation and the associated heat from both land and sea in the same wave lengths.
    You can't tell from the article if (and if so, how) clouds were modelled in the studies. Because the feedback from clouds is both positive and negative, it may be that the net effect is minimal. It may also be that the effect, whatever it is, was modelled in one or more of the "feedback systems" that are shown as blobs on the graphic. There is not enough information in the media article to tell. The fact that it was not mentioned in the article is not evidence that it was not studied.

    Which is why detailed arguments about a paper should refer to the actual text of the paper, not to a media article.

    I do know from personal experience with evaporative cooling that water cools the surface from which it evaporates.
    True, but irrelevant, since the water vapour never leaves the earth. The effect is simply a redistribution of energy. There is no net loss of energy from evaporation.

    Om mani padme hum
    Kathy

  4. #4
    Forums Member Olderon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Concord, New Hampshire, U.S.A.
    Posts
    315
    Hi, Kathy. Thanks for your comments. Nice to hear from folks, who are more scientifically informed about this and other such topics than simply zealots regarding the topic, and even worse: "Sheeple", who follow whatever the political wing they have assigned themselves to have directed to be their particular party's talking points.

    Kathy: "Which is why detailed arguments about a paper should refer to the actual text of the paper, not to a media article.
    Nice to hear from folks, who are more scientifically informed about this and other such topics than simply zealots regarding the topic, self described activists, and even worse: "Sheeple", who follow whatever the political wing they have assigned themselves to have directed to be their particular party's talking points.

    I agree with you totally regarding referencing the actual scientifically derived articles, which is why I included a research result document from NASA, which link is provided at the end of my comment regarding why it is so difficult for climatology to study and provide credible results regarding the greatest of all greenhouse gases, Water Vapor.


    Kathy: "True, but irrelevant, since the water vapour never leaves the earth. The effect is simply a redistribution of energy. There is no net loss of energy from evaporation."

    Water vapor reflects incoming heat radiation in the infrared back into space. You are right that energy is not lost from the universe, but it is lost from the Earth System or atmosphere, water, and land. The same net result is true when this same form of radiation is reflected from our Earth System at night back into space. Simply because water vapor has entered the atmosphere does not mean that it is not radiating energy in this manner. The higher water vapor rises into the atmosphere, the greater the efficiency of this thermal radiation, which was begun by "evaporative cooling".


    This is not a simple topic, so, I would study it more and spend less energy being a denier of the ignorance regarding the variable and largely unknown effects of the greatest of all greenhouse gases: "atmospheric water vapor" a.k.a. clouds.


    Hydrologic Cycle: https://www.bing.com/images/search?v...x=4&ajaxhist=0
    Last edited by Olderon; 19 Aug 18 at 16:23.

  5. #5
    Forums Member KathyLauren's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Nova Scotia
    Posts
    67
    Quote Originally Posted by Olderon View Post
    Water vapor reflects incoming heat radiation in the infrared back into space. You are right that energy is not lost from the universe, but it is lost from the Earth System or atmosphere, water, and land. The same net result is true when this same form of radiation is reflected from our Earth System at night back into space. Simply because water vapor has entered the atmosphere does not mean that it is not radiating energy in this manner. The higher water vapor rises into the atmosphere, the greater the efficiency of this thermal radiation, which was begun by "evaporative cooling".
    I see that you are confusing water vapour with clouds, which are liquid water droplets, not water vapour. You are also confusing radiating heat from the Earth system with reflecting incoming heat. Both are means of reducing the net heat load on the planet, but they are entirely different processes.

    The heat lost at a surface by evaporation goes into the water vapour, which is retained in the Earth system. It blows 'away' to some other part of the world, where it warms the environment. There is no net reduction in heat.

    If the water vapour condenses into clouds, it is no longer vapour. The clouds can then reflect incoming solar radiation. But the heat that was originally removed from the surface as evaporation remains. Most of it gets dumped into the air when the vapour condenses. Air and clouds radiate heat poorly, and radiation is the only mechanism for removing heat from the Earth system.

    Om mani padme hum
    Kathy

  6. #6
    Forums Member Olderon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Concord, New Hampshire, U.S.A.
    Posts
    315
    Hello again, Kathy.

    You are right, water vapor is transparent to solar radiation before it condenses into clouds, just as it is transparent to cosmic radiation ( a study never done ) and passes on to earth and sea, and when it collides with either surface is converted to heat as these photons cause translation, vibration, rotation, and oscillation of the molecules of gases, liquids and solids (heat). Much of this heat, now converted to photons in the infrared spectrum, is radiated back into space if there is no cloud cover. Since water vapor is transparent to incoming radiation, it is also transparent to radiation on the way out. If you had ever spent any time in arid regions (biomes), you would have experienced that effect at night for yourself when temperatures dropped as much as forty degrees F. as our military personnel have when serving in desert campaigns, or been posted in polar regions. This heat is lost back into space at night, but gained during the day due to solar radiation from our local star, the Sun. Regarding polar regions, arid regions also, snow and ice reflect heat back into space during the day as well as at night. That is why our Earth heats up as we lose snow and ice from these regions, causing a degenerative loop as far as global warming is concerned.

    (Back to the topic!) As I said previously, the various interactions of water vapor in the atmosphere, its formation through condensation into clouds, the wide variety of cloud formations is "not" well understood and therefore models created by such imprecise fields of study as Climatology are therefore imprecise.

    Again, I strongly suggest (if you haven't already) "reading" the article from NASA, who have actually studied the topic, which I have excerpted here for you, which explains that fact:

    Cloud Climatology: Computer Climate Models

    Because there are so many possibilities for change, climatologists must know how clouds over the entire Earth will respond. Determining that response calls for computer models of the global climate that can explore changing conditions. Climate models are sets of mathematical equations that describe the properties of Earth's atmosphere at discrete places and times, along with the ways such properties can change. The challenge for climate models is to account for the most important physical processes, including cloud microphysics and cloud dynamics, and their complex interactions accurately enough to carry climatic predictions tens of years into the future. When contemporary models are given information about Earth's present condition — the size, shape and topography of the continents; the composition of the atmosphere; the amount of sunlight striking the globe — they create artificial climates that mathematically resemble the real one: their temperatures and winds are accurate to within about 5%, but their clouds and rainfall are only accurate to within about 25-35%. Such models can also accurately forecast the temperatures and winds of the weather many days ahead when given information about current conditions.

    Unfortunately, such a margin of error is much too large for making a reliable forecast about climate changes, such as the global warming will result from increasing abundances of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. A doubling in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), predicted to take place in the next 50 to 100 years, is expected to change the radiation balance at the surface by only about 2 percent. Yet according to current climate models, such a small change could raise global mean surface temperatures by between 2-5°C (4-9°F), with potentially dramatic consequences. If a 2 percent change is that important, then a climate model to be useful must be accurate to something like 0.25%. Thus today's models must be improved by about a hundredfold in accuracy, a very challenging task. To develop a much better understanding of clouds, radiation and precipitation, as well as many other climate processes, we need much better observations.

    Top Return to Top
    Cloud Climatology: Simple Early Views of Clouds
    The earliest attempts to predict how changes in cloud cover would affect greenhouse warming concluded that they would have no net effect: clouds would neither speed nor slow a change in climate. That conclusion was based on the belief that any change that made clouds better at cooling the Earth would also make them more efficient at retaining heat near the surface. For example, if cloud cover were to increase (as many thought it would, assuming that warmer temperatures would speed evaporation), the amount of sunlight reaching Earth's surface would decrease, but then the thermal radiation trapped by the cloud might increase by the same amount.

    Even such a simple scenario has problems, though. Because the decrease in solar heating would affect surface temperatures, whereas the change in the emission of thermal radiation would affect air temperatures at higher altitudes, additional cloud cover would reduce the temperature contrasts between the surface and the higher altitudes that drive the winds. Any reduction of winds might in turn inhibit the formation of clouds. The early studies did not account for this possibility.

    Another idea is that higher atmospheric temperatures could create denser clouds, since greater evaporation rates at higher temperatures would make more water vapor available in the atmosphere for cloud condensation. Because denser clouds reflect more sunlight, there would be an enhanced cooling effect. This would reduce the magnitude of the greenhouse warming. On the other hand, denser clouds might also lead to an increase in precipitation (rainfall and snowfall), possibly from storm clouds, whose tops are especially high and cold. Such clouds, which are particularly good absorbers of thermal radiation, could more than make up for their tendency to block sunshine. In that case the warming would be intensified. Observations have shown, however, that warmer temperatures seems to create less dense, low-level clouds instead. The evidence we have so far suggests that this effect occurs because, as temperature increases, the air near the surface becomes drier, causing the cloud base to rise and reducing the cloud layer thickness. Earlier studies did not consider this possibility.

    Such "what-if" discussions can go on indefinitely. All of the changes mentioned above are physically reasonable and there are many more to be considered. The question is: How many and which ones will actually take place when the climate changes and exactly how large will they be? In all likelihood, all of these changes and more would occur together, but we don't know what the net effect would be.
    source: https://isccp.giss.nasa.gov/role.html#FORMANDTRAVEL
    Last edited by Olderon; 20 Aug 18 at 19:54.

  7. #7
    Forums Member Olderon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Concord, New Hampshire, U.S.A.
    Posts
    315
    Note: Since I am going into surgery tomorrow morning, I will have to excuse myself from this very important discussion to those of us, who have worked in the environmental health and safety field most of their lives.

    I encourage everyone around the world to continue to study and research the topic, but to stick to unbiased, non-self serving sources and methods following scientific protocols that remain independent in their studies and publishing of their results, rather than those biased as to the politics of the issues.

    Earth will not be destroyed by Global Warming. Don't let anyone tell you that with a straight face. However, mankind may have to change the way that it survives if our global temperatures continue to rise as predicted. So, "pay attention", and do what you personally can to live responsibly as members of Earths diverse ecosystems. The Earth will survive with or without us until our sun goes Red Giant, or is struck by a rogue planet, or a migrating one such a Jupiter or Saturn as has apparently been the case in the Solar System's past, and as is occurring in other systems and galaxies around our universe.


    In any case, matter and energy are neither created nor destroyed and we will be back in one form or another. So, enjoy what we have while it lasts, and don't sweat the small stuff!

    May all beings live with loving-kindness and compassion.

    _/\_Ron
    Last edited by Olderon; 20 Aug 18 at 14:23.

  8. #8
    Forums Member Olderon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Concord, New Hampshire, U.S.A.
    Posts
    315
    Latest posting from NASA:

    https://climate.nasa.gov/

  9. #9
    Previous Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Posts
    20
    It's very important not to get lost in the reality of this by focusing on details, or believe so called experts and large government institutions with their obvious agendas. We are often not seeing the whole picture, something that western science always leans toward because of it's practices of compartmentalization and specialization. Climate change is a fact, and for humans and many others, this is deadly. The planet is heating up, oceans are rising, and dangerous hurricanes and other large storms are increasing in frequency. When I lived in Hawaii years ago we worried about tidal waves, not hurricanes. That has changed. Cause and effect always operate impersonally.

    There is only so much change that the earth can endure and still support life as we know it, especially when we factor in the yearly increase in human population, the ongoing pollution, and the destruction of many animal and plant species along with their habitat due to unchecked development and industrialism. The balance of climatic events is being destroyed. Countries the world over are run by corporations founded on greed, and there is no respect for the earth. Unless something changes, the planet is in grave danger. By that I mean the planet as we know it. Human existence is imperiled, which some people may say could be a good thing for the earth, but I don't see it that way at all. There is no evidence that human consciousness is changing, and it is humans who have brought about the disastrous changes in the earth's balance. I'm not being negative, just realistic.
    Last edited by steve marino; 21 Sep 18 at 17:18.

  10. #10
    Forums Member justusryans's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Buckingham, Virginia
    Posts
    299
    Global warming is a scientific fact that has been denied for political reasons. This will not effect the earth for very long I think. The earth has been around for six billion years or so, it will survive this. Mankind however, may not. Action is needed today.

Los Angeles Mexico City London Colombo Kuala Lumpur Sydney
Mon, 11:29 PM Tue, 1:29 AM Tue, 7:29 AM Tue, 12:59 PM Tue, 3:29 PM Tue, 6:29 PM