2011-02-19 04:21:11New Climate Denial Meme re CO2 Concentrations?
John Hartz
John Hartz
john.hartz@hotmail...
98.122.68.19

Earlier today, my blogging nemisis, "Dahun " posted the following statement:

The 20% reduction in US carbon dioxide production desired by imposing carbon taxes or carbon restrictions would amount to a 6/100,000 of a percent reduction in worldwide carbon dioxide levels, an amount that no scientist on earth would suggest can affect climate.

When I asked him to explain the assumptions and calculations he used to derive the "6/100,000 of a percent" number, he provided the following:

Well, I took the known level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere 390.  Took the UN IPCC 2007 report value that 97% of this is natural and multiplied 390 times .03 and came up with 11.7 PPM man-made CO2.  I took the UN IPCC staement that the US produces 25% of man-made CO2; multiplying (you might need a fifth grader to help you with the math) 11.7 PPM times .25, I get 2.9 PPM caused by US caused carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.  The curent goal is to reduce this by 20% with onerous carbon taxes or carbon controls implemented unilaterally by the EPA without legislatuive approval; this would be .2 times the 2.9 PPM or .585 PPM.

Now divide .585 PPM (parts per million) by one million to convert this to express this as a decimal.  .585 divided by 1,000,000 equals .000000585 or less than 6 hundred thousandths of one percent part of the atmosphere which no scientist claims could possibly affect climate or even be measured by the most sensitive instruments in the world.  Even Lisa Jackson admitted this the other day in testimony before congress.  The rational is that we must set an example to other countries by collapsing our economy so that when other countries see this happen they will be willing to follow our example.

2011-02-19 04:51:34
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
38.223.231.252

Well first off the numbers are wrong.  Human CO2 emissions are only 3%, but human CO2 concentrations are 28% (pre-industrial was 280 ppm, now 390 ppm, so we caused 110 ppm increase).  The USA is responsible for about 30% of that, or about 8% of the CO2 increase.

Then the 20% decrease is in emissions, not concentration.  So he's just all kinds of screwed up in his math.

But anyway, it's true that if the USA alone reduced our emissions, it wouldn't have a big impact on global CO2 concentrations.  Monckton recently made the same argument about Australia.  We don't have a rebuttal to this one yet, but it's the "CO2 limits will make little difference" argument.

It's just a logical fallacy.  If everyone says that their emissions reductions won't make a difference, then nobody reduces their emissions.  But if everyone agrees to reduce their emissions, then adding up all the reductions, they make a big difference.  This is why there are international climate conferences like at Kyoto and Copenhagen - so that every country can agree how much they each need to reduce emissions.

And the USA is the lynchpin.  We are responsible for the largest percentage of the atmospheric CO2 increase of any country.  We still have among the highest per capita emissions.  Australia and Canada have already been using USA inaction as an excuse not to cut their own emissions.  Moreover, if we can't cut our own emissions, then we're completely ineffective in international negotiations.  If the USA cuts our emissions, then other countries will follow suit, and it will make a difference.

2011-02-19 05:24:14Dana
John Hartz
John Hartz
john.hartz@hotmail...
98.122.68.19

Muchos gracias!

I do believe we need to crank out a rebuttal argument Dahun's calcualtions  (probably cut & paste form one the Climnate Denier sites) for the US ASAP. 

2011-02-19 05:40:00Measuring CO2 Concentrations
John Hartz
John Hartz
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98.122.68.19
How precise can current instruments measure CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere? A tenth of a decimal point of ppm? Better than that?   
2011-02-19 05:48:11Equivalency
John Hartz
John Hartz
john.hartz@hotmail...
98.122.68.19
How many metric tons of CO2 emissions is required to raise the CO2 concentration of the atmosphere by 1 ppm?
2011-02-19 06:27:392.13 Gigatons
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
97.83.150.102

Yahoo answers says:

Currently there are 386 parts per million by volume of CO2 in the atmosphere (0.0386%) and this has a total mass of 822 billion tons (± 1%). 1 ppmv would therefore have a mass of 2.13 billion tons (822 ÷ 386).

2011-02-19 06:54:43rebuttal
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
38.223.231.252

Yeah, at some point I'll probably work on this "CO2 limits will make little difference" rebuttal.  I've held off because it's more of a logic argument than a science argument.  However, you make a good point that we could put numbers to it.  In his argument about Australia, Monckton did a similar calculation to Dahun, but I think Monckton pretty much got it right.  I'll have to go back and check.

Daniel's answer comes from user Trevor, who I can vouch for.  He knows what he's talking about - he's a climate scientist.  As for the precision of CO2 measurements, NOAA puts it at two decimal places.

2011-02-19 07:57:25
Paul D

chillcast@googlemail...
82.18.130.183

There is also the argument IMO that it is a moral responsibility to cut emissions even if others don't. Also if you don't cut emissions you can hardly tell others to cut theirs.


2011-02-19 08:29:00The Ville
John Hartz
John Hartz
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98.122.68.19

The moral argument falls on deaf ears with people who deny that increased CO2 emissions cause climate change. A significant percentage of the American public believe this to be true. With respect to climate change, the US is going backwards, not forwards -- especially now that the super-rich and large corporations are calling the shots in Washington. History will not be kind to Barak Obama for giving health care reform a higher priority than climate change legislation.  

2011-02-19 08:33:56Politico.com Article
John Hartz
John Hartz
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98.122.68.19

I have been slogging all day with Dahun on the article, "Climate skeptics grill Obama advisor (Holdren)"

http://dyn.politico.com/members/forums/thread.cfm?catid=1&subcatid=55&threadid=5105869&start=91¤tPage=4

Please join in if you have the time/inclination to do so.

2011-02-19 08:38:00An excellent post by thival
John Hartz
John Hartz
john.hartz@hotmail...
98.122.68.19

Here's an excllent post by "thival" in response to Dahun.

There's no reason to respond to this example of elementary mathematics. It uses the data in ways that have no bearing with how real scientists calculate climate change or how policies regarding emissions of greenhouse gases would affect that change. Given the complexty of the mathematical formulas climate scientists are using, displaying an ability to do simple multiplication and division haphazardly is nothing to crow about. Your methodology is completely wrong; therefore, your math is nonsense.

The IPCC, the same agency you are referring to, does not use the data they collected in the elementary-school way that you are using it. The IPCC talks about amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere as contributing to radiative forcing, which is a mouthful but also the most correct term for describing how greenhouse gases in the atmosphere increase the amount of radiation energy in the atmosphere and limit the amount of radiation energy leaving the atmosphere.

What's interesting about the relationship between the amount of carbon dioxide and radiative forcing is not 1 to 1, as your thinking would  suggest.  Instead, it's logarithmic. If you would like to use the correct equation for determining how carbon reduction would truly affect radiative forcing, it is published in the IFCC report. Crunch some numbers and get back to us with a more informed argument for how the 20% reduction of carbon emissions contribute a small step toward solving the problem of anthromorphic climate change. Remember to show your work for full credit.

i doubt, however, that you'll even approach this argument with an open mind. Which, in the end, makes you the worst kind of scientist of all--a pseudoscientist with a political agenda who cherry picks data and basically throws all scientific methodolgy out of the window when it is politically inconvenient.

2011-02-19 08:50:47Dahun's response to an SkS rebuttal
John Hartz
John Hartz
john.hartz@hotmail...
98.122.68.19

 Here's Dahun's repsonse to my posting of the basic version of "How do human CO2 emissions compare to natural CO2 emissions>" I called him out on his first sentence, but have not yet had the time to set the record straight re his tome on plant photosynthesis.    

Yawn, so once again you claim that carbon dioxide levels have been constant and balanced and only man made carbon dioxide is not subject to photosynthesis.  How bizarre a notion.  

Plants can break down levels twice that of current levels and the only change is they grow much quicker, but somehow in the world of alarmists even todays levels cannot be photosynteisized.

 Costly methods of stimulating plant growth, in order to market them at optimum profit, are presently being used. One of these is extra heat (with open vents). This, however, increases operating costs and decreases profit. On the other hand, growers using CO2 are cutting their heating costs as much as 50% while realizing extra profit from increased crop production.
SAMPLE RESULTS FROM CO2 ENRICHMENT STUDIES
BIBB LETTUCEBy adding CO2 to the atmosphere around the plant, a 40% crop increase was achieved. Whereas previous crops averaged 22 heads per basket, lettuce grown in the increased CO2 atmosphere (550 ppm) averaged 16 heads of better quality per basket.
CARNATIONS
CO2 levels to 550 ppm produced an obvious increase in yield (over 30%), but the greatest benefits were earlier flowering (up to 2 weeks) with an increased percentage of dry matter.
ROSES
The addition of controlled carbon dioxide provided a remarkable improvement in blossom quality, number and yield. Plants consistently produced many more flowers with 24 to 30 inch stems. Average yield was increased by 39.7%.
TOMATOES
Work in experimental stations has shown that crop increases of as much as 29% have been obtained by increasing the CO2 concentration. More desirable firmness and more uniform ripening are also observed.

http://homeharvest.com/carbondioxideenrichment.htm

Note the optimum concentration of 550 PPM which is above atmospheric concentrations of 390 today.  Saying there is some limitation to photosynthesis based on existing CO2 levels is nonsense.

2011-02-19 09:26:25
Paul D

chillcast@googlemail...
82.18.130.183

All the examples he gives (from a commercial organisation selling glasshouse CO2 systems) regarding 'crops' are specific mono-culture farmed plants in the controlled environment of glass houses.
In the real world, genetics are far more varied, soils are far more varied, rain fall is far more varied etc. We can't live on lettuces and carnations alone, we need wild plants and a wide variety of species, many of which are sensitive to changes.

This research was published last year:

http://www.uoguelph.ca/news/2010/10/forests_arent_t.html

The point being that the exact response is complex and will differ from plant to location. A tree can't grow forever, you can increase CO2 continously, but even if a tree could respond, it would eventually stop growing.
I don't know what impact accelerated growth would have on some trees. Field Maples have a life of about 50 years, where as an Oak would have 100 years or more. If a field Maple reached full size quicker, would it have a shorter life??
I haven't really looked into the issue.

The only real 'solution' is to plant more trees. That isn't generally happening.

2011-02-19 09:54:03Dahun's first response to thival
John Hartz
John Hartz
john.hartz@hotmail...
98.122.68.19

EPA Administrator Jackson confirmed an EPA analysis showing that unilateral U.S. action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions would have no effect on climate. Moreover, when presented with an EPA chart depicting that outcome, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said he disagreed with EPA’s analysis.

“I believe the central parts of the [EPA] chart are that U.S. action alone will not impact world CO2 levels,” Administrator Jackson said.

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) presented the chart to both Jackson and Secretary Chu, which shows that meaningful emissions reductions cannot occur without aggressive action by China, India, and other developing countries. “I am encouraged that Administrator Jackson agrees that unilateral action by the U.S. will be all cost for no climate gain,” Sen. Inhofe said. “With China and India recently issuing statements of defiant opposition to mandatory emissions controls, acting alone through the job-killing Waxman-Markey bill would impose severe economic burdens on American consumers, businesses, and families, all without any impact on climate.”

http://blog.heritage.org/2009/07/08/epa-admits-cap-and-trade-won%E2%80%99t-work/

Get back to me when you can disprove the head of the EPA.


2011-02-19 09:56:48Dahun's second response to thival
John Hartz
John Hartz
john.hartz@hotmail...
98.122.68.19

At right we have a logarithmic calculator so you can play with the atmosphere to your heart's content. The calculator will always assume a base of 33 °C for the starting net greenhouse effect - it's limited to a max of 10% greenhouse effect from CO2 and a minimum of 2ppmv CO2 so you can really have a play with the atmosphere and logarithmic effect. Notice how doubling small concentrations of carbon dioxide gives large responses while the reverse also applies - enjoy! When you are finished we have some more information below the calculators.

How did you go? No? Oh well, try 4.2% of greenhouse effect for a net warming of 1.4 °C for the linear calculator.

http://www.junkscience.com/Greenhouse/

The bottom line is the cataclysmic predictions are only made by models and the predictions by these models have never come close to being correct.


They drag out science as a prop, without understanding the basic method and attitude of science. -Robert Tracinski

2011-02-19 11:04:30Dahun's second response to thival
John Hartz
John Hartz
john.hartz@hotmail...
98.122.68.19

At right we have a logarithmic calculator so you can play with the atmosphere to your heart's content. The calculator will always assume a base of 33 °C for the starting net greenhouse effect - it's limited to a max of 10% greenhouse effect from CO2 and a minimum of 2ppmv CO2 so you can really have a play with the atmosphere and logarithmic effect. Notice how doubling small concentrations of carbon dioxide gives large responses while the reverse also applies - enjoy! When you are finished we have some more information below the calculators.

 

How did you go? No? Oh well, try 4.2% of greenhouse effect for a net warming of 1.4 °C for the linear calculator.

http://www.junkscience.com/Greenhouse/

The bottom line is the cataclysmic predictions are only made by models and the predictions by these models have never come close to being correct.


They drag out science as a prop, without understanding the basic method and attitude of science. -Robert Tracinski

2011-02-22 00:10:19
Dikran Marsupial
Gavin Cawley
gcc@cmp.uea.ac...
139.222.14.107

 

Arguments of this nature always remind me of one of my favourite demotivational posters:

 

 

;o)