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The Truth About The Climate Change Debate

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don't think your claim agrees with empirical data or theoretical models, though that is difficult to determine given the vagueness of your claim. For example, the frequency of hurricanes and tornadoes is expected to decrease with climate change.

Argue with the EPA.

The frequency and intensity of extreme precipitation events is projected to increase in some locations, as is the severity (wind speeds and rain) of tropical storms.

I don't think this logically follows. Water flowing downhill is what gives you energy for hydroelectricity, the existence of frozen glaciers does not change that.

Glacial runoff provides water to rivers during the summer after the snow melts in many areas. When the glaciers disappear, that runoff will disappear as well.

What does occur when global temperatures increase is that air can hold more water (clausius-clapeyron relation). As a result, there is greater moisture transfer between oceans and continents. This means that there is on average more precipitation over continents due to global warming, which means there is more water traveling downhill, thus potentially more hydroelectricity.

There may be an increase in precipitation in some areas. However, it may fall in too short a period of time to be captured by the dams and result in floods rather than more electricity. Dams need a steady flow of water not just a massive flood in the spring.

Why would it? Some species benefit, others don't. It depends. Ocean acidification (on the magnitude we are talking, say a decrease in pH from 8.1 to 7.8 over the next century) is not good for mollusks, but vertebrate fish are for the most part unaffected, and some seaweeds benefit.

Nobody really knows what the effects of acidification will be and it isn't just acidification. Warmer water temperatures will displace native fish. This year, when the salmon were returning to the Columbia River, the water was so warm that half the fish were dying due to the water temperature.

http://www.sfgate.com/nation/article/Half-of-Columbia-River-sockeye-salmon-dying-6408287.php

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Argue with the EPA.

Saying that in some locations frequency is expected to increase doesn't mean in some locations frequency isn't expected to decrease, nor that the overall trend is to increased frequency.

Let's take hurricanes. It's simple physics. A hurricane is a giant heat engine that transfers energy from the surface to the troposphere. Yes a warmer earth will have more moisture, but this is counteracted by the lapse rate feedback (the surface-tropopause temperature gradient is reduced with global warming). What you need in order for hurricanes to occur is adiabatic instability (i.e. the surface must be heated more than the tropopause, the sun can cause this). Increases in CO2 and water vapour make the upper troposphere more opaque, which means that there is less potential for adiabatic instability, thus less hurricanes.

With tornadoes, it is more straightforward, since that is highly dependent on the equator-pole temperature gradient, which reduces with global warming.

The idea that hurricane frequency decreases with global warming is the mainstream scientific position. AR5 mentioned it. Here is a random paper in support of this position:

http://www.nature.com/articles/nclimate2646.epdf?referrer_access_token=4CzuStiPvuKdWA4hukB-v9RgN0jAjWel9jnR3ZoTv0Mq-qdc-RdDMlXyDToQJxIR3a4Zi-waXHW7Lect3frQKQzXbQSqNXWuqz9MwYK5wWd3LKIUQc931jeqTxe0ihjjeYyy3H2RNkgKVf1Zg4joPU5QfmeVmspoOfdUPRyUVBc7hwXpgEozpKPuvoNszYEZlnWyBUrAM8kCXCV3tNWS5YIYEyvEqeOTWoq6eZaEOlGBNcCKYMDUTzy4dpLFPgVm&tracking_referrer=arstechnica.com

Glacial runoff provides water to rivers during the summer after the snow melts in many areas. When the glaciers disappear, that runoff will disappear as well.

Our world is constrained by certain laws. One of them is that mass-energy is conserved.

In order for the glacier to be in equilibrium, the amount of runoff it produces must equal the amount of precipitation that feeds into it (ignoring things like sublimation). The existence of a glacier doesn't somehow create more water to be used for hydroelectric power. If the glacier disappears, precipitation will still fall where the glacier was, and that will flow down hill and collect in streams and rivers. You can make a hydroelectric damn at that river and obtain hydropower.

However, it may fall in too short a period of time to be captured by the dams and result in floods rather than more electricity. Dams need a steady flow of water not just a massive flood in the spring.

I don't think you understand how dams work. They allow you to control the flow of water and can be used to store water.

Nobody really knows what the effects of acidification will be and it isn't just acidification. Warmer water temperatures will displace native fish. This year, when the salmon were returning to the Columbia River, the water was so warm that half the fish were dying due to the water temperature.

People can do studies and make educated guesses.

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Let's take hurricanes....

Hurricanes and tornadoes are not the only damaging storms. And warmer weather should expand the range where tornadoes occur and the length of the tornado season

The existence of a glacier doesn't somehow create more water to be used for hydroelectric power.

Yes, that's exactly what glacier melt does. It helps keep the rivers from drying up in the summer after the snow has melted. Otherwise, the only water comes from the occasional rain.

I don't think you understand how dams work. They allow you to control the flow of water and can be used to store water.

Oh, gee, thanks. I didn't know that. :rolleyes:

And do they store infinite amounts of water or do they get full? And during dry years, when snowfall is light and there is little rain, where does the water come from if there are no glaciers melting?

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And warmer weather should expand the range where tornadoes occur and the length of the tornado season

Please provide a physical mechanism for this crazy claim.

Why do you think tornado alley is located where there is a large temperature gradient between cold polar air to the north and warm tropical air to the south? Why do you think tornado season occurs during late winter/early spring when the temperature gradient is the largest? What do you think will occur if that temperature gradient decreases?

Yes, that's exactly what glacier melt does. It helps keep the rivers from drying up in the summer after the snow has melted. Otherwise, the only water comes from the occasional rain.

Too bad you can't build a dam to mitigate that problem.

And do they store infinite amounts of water or do they get full?

Glaciers also don't hold infinite water.

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Please provide a physical mechanism for this crazy claim.

Well, OK, I'm not an expert in tornadoes. But I do know how to do a bit of basic research.

Link

They found that while the yearly tornado total will climb by 2080, the number of tornadoes will also vary wildly from year to year. That's because sometimes, the weather will get stuck in a pattern that favors tornadoes, and sometimes, conditions will stymie stormy weather, according to the report, published Jan. 15 in the journal Climatic Change.

Link

The climate change effect is probably only a 5 to 10 percent effect in terms of the instability and subsequent rainfall, but it translates into up to a 33 percent effect in terms of damage.

Link

"What we find in the models," Trapp says, "is there's actually an increase in the product. The decrease in wind shear is more than compensated [for] by the increase in energy. This tells us that the number of days that support severe thunderstorms generically should increase.

And, as I said earlier, tornadoes and hurricanes are not the only extreme weather people need to worry about.

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Well, OK, I'm not an expert in tornadoes. But I do know how to do a bit of basic research.

You clearly don't. Do you know what confirmation bias is?

And, as I said earlier, tornadoes and hurricanes are not the only extreme weather people need to worry about.

True. But when many studies use a definition of 'extreme weather' that violates the transitive property of ordering climate states by the amount of extreme weather, then it's pretty easy to get more extreme weather.

Edited by -1=e^ipi

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So climate change sceptics, I really do know nothing about this topic. Educate me with your ten favourite peer-reviewed articles from the scientific literature supporting your position. Climate change believers, do the same. Then we can see what turns up.

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So climate change sceptics, I really do know nothing about this topic. Educate me with your ten favourite peer-reviewed articles from the scientific literature supporting your position. Climate change believers, do the same. Then we can see what turns up.

You realize that 'climate change skeptics' and 'climate change believers' aren't mutually exclusive groups, right?

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You realize that 'climate change skeptics' and 'climate change believers' aren't mutually exclusive groups, right?

Please go on and clarify the matters at issue here.

Edited by SpankyMcFarland

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Please go on and clarify the matters at issue here.

Most people that are labeled as 'skeptics' are 'believers' in that they believe in climate change. Even a hardcore contrarian like Christopher Monckton believes that equilibrium climate sensitivity is 0.5 C (i.e. he attributes some warming to greenhouse gases). And even if I take a denier who doesn't believe that greenhouse gas emissions affect global temperature, like Ezra Levant, he still categorizes as a 'climate change believer' because he believes that climate changes due to natural factors. Very few people would be classified as a non-climate change believer. Maybe some young earth creationists that don't believe in ice-ages and think that God controls climate can be categorized as a non-climate change believer.

On the other hand, 'climate change skeptic' can include a very large section of the population as well. Most people are skeptical to some extent, and one could believe in all the tenants of climate change alarmism while being skeptical. As an analogy, I believe that the speed of light is constant in all inertial reference frames, as hypothesized by Einstein back in 1905. Yet I'm skeptical of it and am open to it being wrong if new evidence comes along that points to the contrary (which did occur a few years ago at the Large Hadron Collider, but that turned out to not be a violation of relativity).

So in short, the categories 'climate change skeptics' and 'climate change believers' are so vague and inclusive that they aren't very useful.

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I don't think we are going to make much progress here. I assumed we were talking about anthropogenic effects on climate.

We are, in this thread. I was just pointing out the vagueness of your categories. Even if we ignore people like Ezra Levant, these categories are still not very helpful. You are basically lumping everyone from Christopher Monckton to David Suzuki together.

Edited by -1=e^ipi

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We are, in this thread. I was just pointing out the vagueness of your categories. Even if we ignore people like Ezra Levant, these categories are still not very helpful. You are basically lumping everyone from Christopher Monckton to David Suzuki together.

Please come up with categories more to your liking, then, and make your point.

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Please come up with categories more to your liking, then, and make your point.

I don't think I can give adequate categories because there are a large diversity of opinions as the issue is very complex and the few terms that are thrown around don't have well accepted definitions.

If you must have labels, maybe start with belief on what equilibrium climate sensitivity is (long term increase in global temperature due to doubling of CO2, minus albedo feedback effects). Here are some of the labels that I have seen used:

0 C - Denier

between 0 C and 1.5 C - Contrarian

between 1.5 C and 3.0 C - Lukewarmer

between 3.0 C and 4.5 C - Warmist

more than 4.5 C - Alarmist

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I don't think I can give adequate categories because there are a large diversity of opinions as the issue is very complex and the few terms that are thrown around don't have well accepted definitions.

If you must have labels, maybe start with belief on what equilibrium climate sensitivity is (long term increase in global temperature due to doubling of CO2, minus albedo feedback effects). Here are some of the labels that I have seen used:

0 C - Denier

between 0 C and 1.5 C - Contrarian

between 1.5 C and 3.0 C - Lukewarmer

between 3.0 C and 4.5 C - Warmist

more than 4.5 C - Alarmist

Thanks. Do you have a link for that?

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Thanks. Do you have a link for that?

No, it's through the accumulation of reading various climate blogs and seeing the usage.

0 is obviously Denier. 1.5 C to 4.5 C is the IPCC's range of climate sensitivity. Below 1.5 C starts to become unphysical, since the no-feedback sensitivity is about 1.15 C and obviously there are various feedbacks such as water vapour; so I think labeling below 1.5 C people as contrarian is reasonable since they are basically advocating a position outside of empirical evidence. Above 4.5 C people are so alarmist they are above the IPCC's range despite its questionable CMIP5 models, so labeling them as alarmists seems reasonable to me. The terms lukewarmer and warmist are terms I've seen thrown quite a bit to distinguish between people that agree with the IPCC's range. The lukewarmer's tend to claim lower estimates of sensitivity based on instrumental data, while the warmists tend to claim higher sensitivity due to general circulation models and paleoclimate estimates (though I would claim that the main reason these paleoclimate estimates are getting higher sensitivities is due to not taking into account certain factors, such as change in distribution of radiative forcing). The disagreement between lukewarmers and warmists is the reason the IPCC did not give a best estimate of climate sensitivity in AR5.

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I have been trying to follow the global warming and climate change debate for a while. There are passionate views on both sides and the use of "scientific data" which claim to prove each case. I do not understand most of this science and suspect that there are proponents on both sides who share the same shortcoming.

What I do know is that we are creating an escalating pollution problem. This includes refuse processing, car emissions, industry emissions, chemical by-products etc. We have to address this growing problem.

We live on the North Shore of Lake Erie. I have some cottage property on the shoreline. The predominant winds are from the West so generally we get what London Ont. and Northern Michigan sends us. The air is usually clear and fresh. I have spent too many sunny, clear mornings sitting with a coffee and notice the cloud of pollution to our South across the lake and above Erie Pennsylvania. At times, the wind changes and comes up from the South taking that poisonous cloud over the lake and over Southern Ontario. Eyes start to water and an iron smell permeates the county. We should not have to endure this. This is not what I want to leave to my grandchildren and their children.

The basic quality of life which we owe to our future generations has to be clean air and water. If they do not have that, then what good is material wealth?

Edited by Big Guy

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There are passionate views on both sides

Screw 'both sides'. There are more than 2 positions to take on climate change and the 'both sides' you refer to (deniers and alarmists) are idiotic and dogmatic.

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