Is the ocean broken?

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by daiquiri, Oct 24, 2013.

  1. Will Gilmore
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    Will Gilmore Senior Member

    The decrease in production is concerning, but that is what mitigation of this crisis has been calling for all along. Paying workers only stimulates the economy by providing work and moving money faster between hands. The sprouting of a whole new industry in Climate Control is part of what helped us recover from the last recession.

    The economy is relative. If you're spending $100,000, someone else is making $100,000. If production slows so you're not making $100,000, that's someone else not spending $100,000.

    Maybe there is a recession, maybe even a depression, but this would be a wide spread phenomenon and everyone being in the same boat, to use an oddly appropriate figure of speach, would not change their relative status in the economy. Of course, some always advance while others slip and lose out, but it wouldn't really mean much has changed for most of us.

    Now if the study got specific and said, 'the cattle industry was to lose $100,000/ton of carbon' as the World turned from beef in an effort to reduce its carbon foot print, or that the oil industry was going to be devastated, putting hundreds of thousands out of work, leaving the rest of us to support them because electric and natural gas was taking over the transportation industry and our reliance on plastics was being replaced with higher use of wood and metal-based products, then we can start to feel concerned. The sudden growth of the logging industry and the poring of money into ore mining while we also manufacture more batteries and electrical components means a serious restructuring of the economic balance is underway.

    Suddenly we are running out of forests faster and poisoning the lands and oceans with mining and chemical waste at a level we have no experience dealing with. The loss of land to both the wild world and human residential development could be disastrous.

    Shifting a foundational economic and technological staple like oil would disrupt our lives and the lives of every creature on the planet in untold ways. It likely would be devastating. We probably should do a study to determine how probable my statement is. Just thinking about it, I can be sure it will mean hard times for most of us.

    -Will
     
  2. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Fly on the Wall - Miss ddt yet?

    The economy is manipulated by the elites to benefit the elites.
     
  3. ImaginaryNumber
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    ImaginaryNumber Imaginary Member

    Some of your comments I agree with; others I don't. The above is one I think should be more nuanced.

    If we borrow money to pay for something we want but don't have, then we are asking the future to pay for the present. Sometimes that works out well; we get the benefits of what we bought for a longer period of time, and perhaps what we bought makes it easier to pay off our loan. A win-win situation.

    But other times what we bought doesn't give us an advantage to paying off the loan. Or maybe some unforeseen economically adverse event occurs that inhibits our ability to repay the loan. Or maybe we just perversely decided not to repay the loan at all and pass that debt on to our children and grandchildren to repay.

    In my opinion the burning of fossil fuels for the last few hundred years was, in effect, a loan against the future -- although until the last few decades few people realized that it was a loan that would have to be repaid. Many people in the world now do realize that burning fossil fuels is, in effect, a loan that will have to be repaid. But because of the huge size of the current debt, plus the fact that we, ourselves, keep adding to the debt, there is much uncertainty about when or how we should pay down the debt.

    We realize, as you mentioned, that burning fossil fuels greatly adds to our standard of living. And we realize that the wholesale switching to renewable fuel sources is going to be expensive. Furthermore, there is not yet agreement whether it is sufficient to quit adding CO2 to the atmosphere, or whether we also need to be extracting CO2 from the atmosphere, which would be very expensive with today's technologies. It also remains to be decided whether to pay off our loan as fast as possible, or whether we should ignore what our accountants tell us and burden our descendants with an ever-increasing debt?
     
  4. ImaginaryNumber
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    ImaginaryNumber Imaginary Member

    USGS Scientists Add Another Piece to Puzzle of How Hurricanes Can Gain Strength
    • Observations made during Hurricane María in 2017, revealed previously unknown ocean processes
    • Interaction between ocean islands and extreme storms can generate underwater currents that make the storms more powerful
    • The direction of the approaching hurricane winds relative to the coastline can keep the ocean surface layer distinctly warmer compared to the colder waters below. This is important because warmer sea surface temperatures provided more energy for the storm.
    • Understanding how the underlying ocean temperature changes in response to hurricane forces will make it easier to accurately forecast the tracks and intensities of extreme storms
    The research was published in Science Advances
     
  5. Yobarnacle
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    Yobarnacle Senior Member holding true course

    Of course, the oceans and currents affect the climate. I have posted that often. CO2 affects climate very little because it is so little. A tiny 400 parts per million in the atmosphere and most is natural CO2. Not many of those 400 parts were human-produced. The human carbon footprint is insignificant.

    "People also ask
    What percentage of CO2 is produced by humans?
    In fact, carbon dioxide, which is blamed for climate warming, has only a volume share of 0.04 percent in the atmosphere. And of these 0.04 percent CO2, 95 percent come from natural sources, such as volcanoes or decomposition processes in nature. The human CO2 content in the air is thus only 0.0016 percent.Jan 25, 2018"
    Copied from search results
     
  6. ImaginaryNumber
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    ImaginaryNumber Imaginary Member

    Would you be so kind as to provide a reference link for your quote? Thanks.
     
  7. Yobarnacle
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    Yobarnacle Senior Member holding true course

  8. ImaginaryNumber
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    ImaginaryNumber Imaginary Member

    Thank you, Yob.

    So your quote came from the website
    And the page that your quote came from is entitled
    That page starts out by saying:

    The basic facts about the global increase of CO2 in our atmosphere are clear and established beyond reasonable doubt. Nevertheless, I’ve recently seen some of the old myths peddled by “climate skeptics” pop up again. Are the forests responsible for the CO2 increase? Or volcanoes? Or perhaps the oceans?

    What might those old myths be, you ask? A little further down the page we find that one of them is:

    Are the forests to blame?

    Die Welt presented a common number-trick by climate deniers (readers can probably point to some english-language examples):

    [this is the part that Yob quotes, which the website considers a myth]

    In fact, carbon dioxide, which is blamed for climate warming, has only a volume share of 0.04 percent in the atmosphere. And of these 0.04 percent CO2, 95 percent come from natural sources, such as volcanoes or decomposition processes in nature. The human CO2 content in the air is thus only 0.0016 percent.
    [and here is the web author's rebuttal]

    The claim “95 percent from natural sources” and the “0.0016 percent” are simply wrong (neither does the arithmetic add up – how would 5% of 0.04 be 0.0016?). These (and similar – sometimes you read 97% from natural sources) numbers have been making the rounds in climate denier circles for many years (and have repeatedly been rebutted by scientists). They present a simple mix-up of turnover and profit, in economic terms. The land ecosystems have, of course, a high turnover of carbon, but (unlike humans) do not add any net CO2 to the atmosphere. Any biomass which decomposes must first have grown – the CO2 released during rotting was first taken from the atmosphere by photosynthesis. This is a cycle. Hey, perhaps that’s why it’s called the carbon cycle!

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    And the page continues on with more denialist myths, and climate science responses. It certainly seems odd the Yob would quote a myth and a mistake from an AGW apologists web site to support his denialist views!
     
  9. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Fly on the Wall - Miss ddt yet?

    Bzzz.
    Zzzz.
     
  10. Will Gilmore
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    Will Gilmore Senior Member

    "Both water vapor and CO2 are responsible for global warming, and once we increase the CO2 in the atmosphere, the oceans warm up, which inevitably triggers an increase in water vapor. But while we have no way to control water vapor, we can control CO2. And because we are increasing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere by continuing to burn fossil fuels, even in relatively small amounts compared to the entire mass of the atmosphere, we are disturbing the entire heat balance of the planet."
    From the next Google hit below Yob's link. You Asked: If CO2 Is Only 0.04% of the Atmosphere, How Does it Drive Global Warming? https://news.climate.columbia.edu/2019/07/30/co2-drives-global-warming/
    What I find interesting about this article is the emphasis it places on water vapor over CO2. The article argues that the evidence that man is responsible for the increase in CO2 is that CO2 had nearly doubled since the industrial revolution. This is, I agree, strongly suggestive of man's involvement, but it is only a correlation. I don't, however doubt it. What is interesting to me is the relationship the article draws to the increase in CO2, Global Warming, and the increase in water vapor in the atmosphere.

    Given that condensation nuclei in the form of smog has increased in the atmosphere since the industrial revolution, I am surprised that water vapor hasn't actually decreased as it more easily condenses and falls out of the air as rain. What, I wonder, were the pre-industrial levels of water vapor compared to today?

    -Will
     
  11. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Fly on the Wall - Miss ddt yet?

    Water vapor doesn't cause warming. Warming causes water vapor.
    Condensation doesn't cause cooling. Cooling causes condensation.
     
  12. ImaginaryNumber
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    ImaginaryNumber Imaginary Member

    How do we know that recent CO2 increases are due to human activities?

    Another, quite independent way that we know that fossil fuel burning and land clearing specifically are responsible for the increase in CO2 in the last 150 years is through the measurement of carbon isotopes. Isotopes are simply different atoms with the same chemical behavior (isotope means “same type”) but with different masses. Carbon is composed of three different isotopes, 14C, 13C and 12C. 12C is the most common. 13C is about 1% of the total. 14C accounts for only about 1 in 1 trillion carbon atoms.

    CO2 produced from burning fossil fuels or burning forests has quite a different isotopic composition from CO2 in the atmosphere. This is because plants have a preference for the lighter isotopes (12C vs. 13C); thus they have lower 13C/12C ratios. Since fossil fuels are ultimately derived from ancient plants, plants and fossil fuels all have roughly the same 13C/12C ratio – about 2% lower than that of the atmosphere. As CO2 from these materials is released into, and mixes with, the atmosphere, the average 13C/12C ratio of the atmosphere decreases.

    Isotope geochemists have developed time series of variations in the 14C and 13C concentrations of atmospheric CO2. One of the methods used is to measure the 13C/12C in tree rings, and use this to infer those same ratios in atmospheric CO2. This works because during photosynthesis, trees take up carbon from the atmosphere and lay this carbon down as plant organic material in the form of rings, providing a snapshot of the atmospheric composition of that time. If the ratio of 13C/12C in atmospheric CO2 goes up or down, so does the 13C/12C of the tree rings. This isn’t to say that the tree rings have the same isotopic composition as the atmosphere – as noted above, plants have a preference for the lighter isotopes, but as long as that preference doesn’t change much, the tree-ring changes wiil track the atmospheric changes.

    Sequences of annual tree rings going back thousands of years have now been analyzed for their 13C/12C ratios. Because the age of each ring is precisely known** we can make a graph of the atmospheric 13C/12C ratio vs. time. What is found is at no time in the last 10,000 years are the 13C/12C ratios in the atmosphere as low as they are today. Furthermore, the 13C/12C ratios begin to decline dramatically just as the CO2 starts to increase — around 1850 AD. This is exactly what we expect if the increased CO2 is in fact due to fossil fuel burning. Furthermore, we can trace the absorption of CO2 into the ocean by measuring the 13C/12C ratio of surface ocean waters. While the data are not as complete as the tree ring data (we have only been making these measurements for a few decades) we observe what is expected: the surface ocean 13C/12C is decreasing. Measurements of 13C/12C on corals and sponges — whose carbonate shells reflect the ocean chemistry just as tree rings record the atmospheric chemistry — show that this decline began about the same time as in the atmosphere; that is, when human CO2 production began to accelerate in earnest.***

    In addition to the data from tree rings, there are also of measurements of the 13C/12C ratio in the CO2 trapped in ice cores. The tree ring and ice core data both show that the total change in the 13C/12C ratio of the atmosphere since 1850 is about 0.15%. This sounds very small but is actually very large relative to natural variability. The results show that the full glacial-to-interglacial change in 13C/12C of the atmosphere — which took many thousand years — was about 0.03%, or about 5 times less than that observed in the last 150 years.
     
  13. ImaginaryNumber
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    ImaginaryNumber Imaginary Member

    Air pollution 'causes more rain - but also less rain'
    Writing in the journal Science, the scientists said pollution can both increase and decrease rainfall depending on local environmental conditions....

    Aerosols can have two effects on this process - on the one hand they act like a sunscreen reducing the amount of sun energy reaching the ground, which reduces the amount of water evaporating to form rainclouds, but on the other hand, clouds cannot form without aerosol particles.

    But the scientists found that if there is a surplus of aerosols, the droplets never reach the critical mass needed to fall to earth as rain, as there is not enough water to share between all the aerosol particles.

    With rising pollution, the amount of rain at first rises, then maxes out, and finally falls off sharply at very high aerosol concentrations, they concluded.....
     
  14. Will Gilmore
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    Will Gilmore Senior Member

    This is a complicated explanation about the effects smog has on rain, but it doesn't directly address water vapor in the atmosphere.

    It sounds like it is saying the result is smog protects the Earth from heating and thus reduces evaporation so there is less water vapor in the atmosphere to cause rain. If this is correct, why are we warming up?

    Perhaps the clearing skies resulting from the industrial shut down from the pandemic is not helping. Now that business as usual is on the horizon, we can get back to cooling the Earth with a nice thick layer of smog.

    -Will
     

  15. ImaginaryNumber
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    ImaginaryNumber Imaginary Member

    COVID-19 lockdowns temporarily raised global temperatures, research shows
    Summary:
    The lockdowns and reduced societal activity related to the COVID-19 pandemic affected emissions of pollutants in ways that slightly warmed the planet for several months last year, according to new research. The counterintuitive finding highlights the influence of airborne particles, or aerosols, that block incoming sunlight.

    The research was published in Geophysical Research Letters

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    Cleaning Up Air Pollution May Strengthen Global Warming

    Pollution in the atmosphere is having an unexpected consequence, scientists say—it's helping to cool the climate, masking some of the global warming that's occurred so far.

    That means efforts worldwide to clean up the air may cause an increase in warming, as well as other climate effects, as this pollution disappears.

    The study was published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters
     
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