Climate Change: Scientists Say "Last Chance"

And what are the differences in atmospheric composition in your small, "closed system" test? Carbon dioxide is, in our "polluted" atmosphere, still a trace gas along with neon, helium, methane, krypton, hydrogen, nitrous oxide, xenon, ozone, iodine, carbon monoxide, ammonia, etc. All those trace gasses together making up about 1%, carbon dioxide being, therefore, well less than 1%. Your hot and sweaty beaker filled with Carbon dioxide, which would likely no longer be breathable, should very well be hotter from added capacity for heat absorption, but bears absolutely no resemblance to the reality of the Earth's atmosphere whatsoever.

I never said it did.

Primary school science teachers should have a bit more ability for critical thinking than their pupils, whilst attempting to instill the same through their lesson planning, don't you think?
I agree with your assessment of primary school science teaching. Not sure of the relevance here though.
 
I never said it did.


I agree with your assessment of primary school science teaching. Not sure of the relevance here though.
Also, water vapor generated is not the same as additional water. One is a stronger "greenhouse gas" than CO2, the other isn't.

There is no reason for that experiment, other than to scare little kids with the climate change boogieman.
 
Also, water vapor generated is not the same as additional water. One is a stronger "greenhouse gas" than CO2, the other isn't.
Again, not sure of the relevance.

There is no reason for that experiment,
Actually there are several good reasons for doing it. The main one is to correct the misconception that air isn't really a substance and does actually have an effect on temperature. It's also helpful for demonstrating that carbon dioxide has an effect on temperature which then leads on to global warming.

It's very common to hear "But carbon dioxide is virtually nothing in the atmosphere so can't have any real effect". Once the activity of carbon dioxide has been shown I can then move on to IR absorption, the fact that nitrogen and oxygen do not absorb IR (due to lack of a dipole stretch) and therefore 99% of the atmosphere can be ignored. That's why a small absolute increase in carbon dioxide is a large relative increase and therefore potentially an issue. Very similar to some of the points you made above actually ;)

other than to scare little kids with the climate change boogieman.
No scaring, just the facts and reasons behind them.
 
It might be worthwhile looking at the various gases that affect the atmosphere/temperature/climate and what they contribute.

By far and away the greatest man-made contributor is CO2, accounting for approx 75% and potentially staying in the atmosphere for thousands of years. (The carbon cycle removes a portion of it).

Next is methane at about 16%. It’s over 80 times “stronger” than CO2 in its effect and lasts for about 12 years.

Then NO at about 6%. Over 250 times stronger and lasts for over 100 years. (I don’t know for sure but some of this might be removed in the nitrogen cycle. Not sure if this includes NO and can’t be arrsed finding out).

Then various industrial gases at about 2%. 100s to 1000s times stronger and can last for thousands of years.

Water vapour is the most abundant greenhouse gas but is not tracked as a man-made emission because the overwhelming percentage of it is not down to human activity. (Although it could probably be argued that if the other man-made gases are warming the planet then the warmer seas will produce more water vapour, which I guess is partly the reason for the increased number and severity of hurricanes).

I still cannot see how the gigatonnes of man-made greenhouse gases can not have an influence given their effect and durability.
 
Again, not sure of the relevance.


Actually there are several good reasons for doing it. The main one is to correct the misconception that air isn't really a substance and does actually have an effect on temperature. It's also helpful for demonstrating that carbon dioxide has an effect on temperature which then leads on to global warming.

It's very common to hear "But carbon dioxide is virtually nothing in the atmosphere so can't have any real effect". Once the activity of carbon dioxide has been shown I can then move on to IR absorption, the fact that nitrogen and oxygen do not absorb IR (due to lack of a dipole stretch) and therefore 99% of the atmosphere can be ignored. That's why a small absolute increase in carbon dioxide is a large relative increase and therefore potentially an issue. Very similar to some of the points you made above actually ;)


No scaring, just the facts and reasons behind them.
Conflating a replaced atmosphere of CO2 and water vapor, with actual atmosphere, and saying that is a proper demonstration of the "effect on temperature which leads on to global warming," is exactly the scare tactic I mentioned.

Your not exactly "closed experiment" has displaced the atmosphere in the tiny volume test tube/graduated column/condenser, and is not, in any way, a relevant model for the Earth's atmosphere which you are claiming to show the effect on.

If you wanted a test that was a bit closer to legitimate, instead of your Liebig Condenser, you would be throwing handfuls of Alka-Seltzer, one at a time, into an indoor (greenhouse) pool with a nice big dirt island in the middle of it in an attempt to increase the atmospheric concentration of CO2 by a measured 0.006%, which is the claimed (unmeasured and unproven) addition of CO2 by humanity over the last 300 years (~0.029 to ~0.035%), whilst measuring the temperature change. Of course the greenhouse should remain closed, and you should do your dumping with a robot to ensure you don't interfere with the results.
 
It might be worthwhile looking at the various gases that affect the atmosphere/temperature/climate and what they contribute.

By far and away the greatest man-made contributor is CO2, accounting for approx 75% and potentially staying in the atmosphere for thousands of years. (The carbon cycle removes a portion of it).

Next is methane at about 16%. It’s over 80 times “stronger” than CO2 in its effect and lasts for about 12 years.

Then NO at about 6%. Over 250 times stronger and lasts for over 100 years. (I don’t know for sure but some of this might be removed in the nitrogen cycle. Not sure if this includes NO and can’t be arrsed finding out).

Then various industrial gases at about 2%. 100s to 1000s times stronger and can last for thousands of years.

Water vapour is the most abundant greenhouse gas but is not tracked as a man-made emission because the overwhelming percentage of it is not down to human activity. (Although it could probably be argued that if the other man-made gases are warming the planet then the warmer seas will produce more water vapour, which I guess is partly the reason for the increased number and severity of hurricanes).

I still cannot see how the gigatonnes of man-made greenhouse gases can not have an influence given their effect and durability.

Nice lies.

Nitrogen in the form of N2 accounts for ~78.08% of the atmosphere.
Oxygen in the form of O2 accounts for ~20.95%.

This would be ~99.03% of the atmosphere.

This is with the caveat that Water vapor (H2O) makes up from 0 to 4% of the atmosphere depending on temperature, elevation, and latitude (~0 at the poles, and ~4 at the equator).

Argon (Ar) is the next most common gas in the atmosphere at ~0.93%

Then we get to the trace gases...

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is at ~0.0360% right now, which is up a claimed 33% over the last 300 years.
Neon (Ne) is at about ~0.0018%
Helium (He) accounts for ~0.0005%
Methane (CH4) another one of those vicious greenhouse gases accounts for 0.00017%
Hydrogen (H2) is at 0.00005% (yay, not enough for boom boom)
Nitrous Oxide (N2O) another greenhouse gas is at 0.00003%
And Ozone (O3) which keeps us safe by keeping out a lot of nasty UV radiation from our heat source rings in at 0.000004%.

Note that there is no measurement of S02 in the atmosphere, but it is the volcanic gas that is responsible for moderating the effects of CO2 which is also a volcanic gas. Apparently a very tiny amount of SO2 goes a very long way (even longer than Ozone) as volcanic eruptions, which dump more CO2 into the atmosphere in seconds, than humans in years, get blamed for the global cooling caused by their SO2 release obscuring that pesky anthropogenic climate change. While we get to spend extra scrubbing SO2 out of diesel exhaust because it's dangerous, innit.
 
Conflating a replaced atmosphere of CO2 and water vapor, with actual atmosphere, and saying that is a proper demonstration of the "effect on temperature which leads on to global warming," is exactly the scare tactic I mentioned.

Your not exactly "closed experiment" has displaced the atmosphere in the tiny volume test tube/graduated column/condenser, and is not, in any way, a relevant model for the Earth's atmosphere which you are claiming to show the effect on.

If you wanted a test that was a bit closer to legitimate, instead of your Liebig Condenser, you would be throwing handfuls of Alka-Seltzer, one at a time, into an indoor (greenhouse) pool with a nice big dirt island in the middle of it in an attempt to increase the atmospheric concentration of CO2 by a measured 0.006%, which is the claimed (unmeasured and unproven) addition of CO2 by humanity over the last 300 years (~0.029 to ~0.035%), whilst measuring the temperature change. Of course the greenhouse should remain closed, and you should do your dumping with a robot to ensure you don't interfere with the results.
I'm happy to argue things but not if you're going to tell me what you think I do rather than reading what I actually do. Nowhere have I mentioned condensers, test tubes or columns.
 
Any chance we can have all the climate change threads combined together in one place?

 
I'm happy to argue things but not if you're going to tell me what you think I do rather than reading what I actually do. Nowhere have I mentioned condensers, test tubes or columns.
So, you hold the water in your hands? Or a fish bowl? Or a fish bowl in a fish tank?

Because 99.96% of the atmosphere does not absorb IR, that means ramping up the atmosphere to contain more than it's current "polluted" state (anything over 0.036% CO2) is invalid for the purposes of comparison, or inference, of effect.

Even if you carefully limited the additional CO2 to only 1% of your new atmosphere, that is about 50x the amount that humankind has been claimed to be able to cram into the atmosphere in 100 years (even counting unmeasured volcanic activity as human). Have you done any volume calculations on the amount of CO2 "your" experiment pushes into the not very "representative sample atmosphere?"
 
So, you hold the water in your hands? Or a fish bowl? Or a fish bowl in a fish tank?
A bottle. Like I've said in multiple posts. 2 litre soft drink bottle to be exact.

Because 99.96% of the atmosphere does not absorb IR, that means ramping up the atmosphere to contain more than it's current "polluted" state (anything over 0.036% CO2) is invalid for the purposes of comparison, or inference, of effect.
Er, no it isn't. Again, you're reading more into this than is there. If I was aiming to accurately model the atmosphere and saying "This is what's actually happening" then you would be correct.

As the point is just to show people that gases affect temperature and carbon dioxide absorbs IR with a consequent increase in temperature your criticism is missing the mark a tad.

Even if you carefully limited the additional CO2 to only 1% of your new atmosphere, that is about 50x the amount that humankind has been claimed to be able to cram into the atmosphere in 100 years (even counting unmeasured volcanic activity as human). Have you done any volume calculations on the amount of CO2 "your" experiment pushes into the not very "representative sample atmosphere?"
Back of a fag packet numbers: an Alka Seltzer tablet contains 1.916g of sodium bicarbonate which would give 1 gram of carbon dioxide. Assuming behaviour as an ideal gas, no carbon dioxide dissolving into the water, 100 ml of water (an overestimate) gives about 21% CO2 in the bottle.

Handily enough, that's enough to show a clear temperature rise in a short period of time. Which is the whole point of doing it.
 
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A bottle. Like I've said in multiple posts. 2 litre soft drink bottle to be exact.


Er, no it isn't. Again, you're reading more into this than is there. If I was aiming to accurately model the atmosphere and saying "This is what's actually happening" then you would be correct.

As the point is just to show people that gases affect temperature and carbon dioxide absorbs IR with a consequent increase in temperature your crticism is missing the mark a tad.


Back of a fag packet numbers: an Alka Seltzer tablet contains 1.916g of sodium bicarbonate which would give 1 gram of carbon dioxide. Assuming behaviour as an ideal gas, no carbon dioxide dissolving into the water, 100 ml of water (an overestimate) gives about 21% CO2 in the bottle.

Handily enough, that's enough to show a clear temperature rise in a short period of time. Which is the whole point of doing it.
Obviously it is not designed to accurately model the atmosphere, it is designed to program and scare kids with the idea of what could be happening, which can't, but definitely is.

So, only increasing the CO2 by over 1000% of what has been claimed humans (and unmeasured volcanic activity) has been able to supply for 100 years...

*That means it will take us over 100,000 years to get there...

1. We'd never make it that long with heavier CO2 displacing the oxygen we need to breathe.
2. We are going to "run out of" coal in an estimated 150 years.
3. We are going to "run out of" oil in an estimated 52 years.

So... how much more can we (and all that unmeasured volcanic activity) move the needle?

All the way up to about 0.042% at full chat *(actually I doubled it here being conservative and matching the last 300 years). Not even a decent sized chip off the old Alka-Seltzer.

Go ahead, chop that Alka-Seltzer up into 1000 little pieces, and throw in 3 of those little pieces to represent more than double *(actually quadruple) what we could hope to put out in the 150 years our supply of coal and oil will last (with continuing unmeasured volcanic output).

How much have you increased the heat storage capacity of the bottle atmosphere now?

21% atmosphere of CO2 shows clear temperature rise of what? Nothing that resembles the earth's atmosphere, and you have indeed implied here that the change in your bottle means it has to change in the larger world as well...

Is it not perhaps easier to accept that MMGW theory offers nothing in the way of understanding of what has been and even less in the way of understanding what is yet to be?
No.

Carbon dioxide and other gases absorb IR radiation and increase the temperature of a system. That is a fact.

...

The alternative is to think that carbon dioxide and various other compounds will absorb IR and increase local temperatures in a lab but somehow when out in the 'real world' have zero effect. I'm not that stupid.
I have to wonder how much less clear you are about the experiment being completely irrelevant when presenting it in the classroom, especially with that nice little passive ad hom bomb at the end.
 

Cyberhacker

Old-Salt
I've done it myself, two bottles with temperature probes in, a bit of water at the bottom and a desk lamp illuminating both. Run for 10 minutes or so, both probes show the same temperature. Drop an Alka Seltzer tablet into one bottle (other carbon dioxide producing tablets are available), watch the temperature in the carbon dioxide filling bottle rise.
Fair enough... but your bottle of alkaselza gas will have a significantly higher concentration of C02 than the general atmosphere which is 410 (or maybe 411 now) parts per million... or 0.041%
 
Obviously it is not designed to accurately model the atmosphere, it is designed to program and scare kids with the idea of what could be happening, which can't, but definitely is.

So, only increasing the CO2 by over 1000% of what has been claimed humans (and unmeasured volcanic activity) has been able to supply for 100 years...

*That means it will take us over 100,000 years to get there...

1. We'd never make it that long with heavier CO2 displacing the oxygen we need to breathe.
2. We are going to "run out of" coal in an estimated 150 years.
3. We are going to "run out of" oil in an estimated 52 years.

So... how much more can we (and all that unmeasured volcanic activity) move the needle?

All the way up to about 0.042% at full chat *(actually I doubled it here being conservative and matching the last 300 years). Not even a decent sized chip off the old Alka-Seltzer.

Go ahead, chop that Alka-Seltzer up into 1000 little pieces, and throw in 3 of those little pieces to represent more than double *(actually quadruple) what we could hope to put out in the 150 years our supply of coal and oil will last (with continuing unmeasured volcanic output).

How much have you increased the heat storage capacity of the bottle atmosphere now?

21% atmosphere of CO2 shows clear temperature rise of what? Nothing that resembles the earth's atmosphere, and you have indeed implied here that the change in your bottle means it has to change in the larger world as well...
I'll try once more. The aim is not to accurately model the atmosphere. The aim is to show that not all gases affect temperature by absorbing IR but carbon dioxide does.

I have to wonder how much less clear you are about the experiment being completely irrelevant when presenting it in the classroom, especially with that nice little passive ad hom bomb at the end.
It's not irrelevant. It demonstrates, in a very clear and simple way, that carbon dioxide absorbs IR. After that then a discussion about percentages of gases in the atmosphere and percentage change can happen.

Fair enough... but your bottle of alkaselza gas will have a significantly higher concentration of C02 than the general atmosphere which is 410 (or maybe 411 now) parts per million... or 0.041%
Indeed and it's essential that is the case. I could, as Anonymous Yank is claiming I should do, accurately model the proportion of CO2 in the atmosphere. The only issue with that is it has taken the Earth around 40 years to increase the global average temperature by around 0.8 °C and that's using the Sun as an IR source rather than a rather old desk lamp.

I think parents might complain if I keep students in my lab until they are in their mid 50s just to see less than a degree of temperature rise ;)
 
I'll try once more. The aim is not to accurately model the atmosphere. The aim is to show that not all gases affect temperature by absorbing IR but carbon dioxide does.


It's not irrelevant. It demonstrates, in a very clear and simple way, that carbon dioxide absorbs IR. After that then a discussion about percentages of gases in the atmosphere and percentage change can happen.


Indeed and it's essential that is the case. I could, as Anonymous Yank is claiming I should do, accurately model the proportion of CO2 in the atmosphere. The only issue with that is it has taken the Earth around 40 years to increase the global average temperature by around 0.8 °C and that's using the Sun as an IR source rather than a rather old desk lamp.

I think parents might complain if I keep students in my lab until they are in their mid 50s just to see less than a degree of temperature rise ;)
An honest discussion saying there is no way we can achieve 1/10th of one percent of the demonstrated change with the resources estimated on this planet? Bullshite. If any primary teachers were being honest/knew what they were teaching there would be no Gretas.

Can't afford £200 for a UKAS Accredited ISO/IEC 17025 0.05 accuracy precision digital thermometer for the science class to show a tenth of a degree rise by the time they finish their O-Levels? What kind of statistical significance would we ascribe to these types of results kids? Oh right, statistically INSIGNIFICANT. Translation - no ******* real change.
 
Fair enough... but your bottle of alkaselza gas will have a significantly higher concentration of C02 than the general atmosphere which is 410 (or maybe 411 now) parts per million... or 0.041%
No, it is ~0.036% right now... in 150 years it could be as high as ~0.042% if we try really hard to burn everything we can get our hands on, and the Earth helps out with a few extra nice burps.
 
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An honest discussion saying there is no way we can achieve 1/10th of one percent of the demonstrated change with the resources estimated on this planet? Bullshite. If any primary teachers were being honest/knew what they were teaching there would be no Gretas.

Can't afford £200 for a UKAS Accredited ISO/IEC 17025 0.05 accuracy precision digital thermometer for the science class to show a tenth of a degree rise by the time they finish their O-Levels? What kind of statistical significance would we ascribe to these types of results kids? Oh right, statistically INSIGNIFICANT. Translation - no ******* real change.
Fine.
 

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