December 15, 2007

It's the world's biggest catastrophe, right?

"Who says it is warming catastrophically?

Humans have only been trying to measure the temperature fairly consistently since about 1880, during which time we think the world may have warmed by about +0.6 °C ± 0.2 °C. As we've already pointed out, the estimate of warming is less than the error margin on our ability to take the Earth's temperature, generally given as 14 °C ± 0.7 °C for the average 1961-1990 while the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) suggest 13.9 °C for their average 1880-2004.

We are pretty sure it was cold before the 1880 commencement of record and we would probably not handle the situation too well if such conditions returned but there has been no demonstrable catastrophic warming while people have been trying to measure the planet's temperature.

If we have really been measuring a warming episode as we think we have, then setting new records for "hottest ever in recorded history" should happen just about every year -- although half a degree over a century is hardly something to write home about -- so there's really nothing exciting about scoring the highest number when looking at such a short history."

Also, did you know:

  • Water vapor and carbon dioxide are major greenhouse gases.
  • Water vapor accounts for about 70% of the greenhouse effect, carbon dioxide somewhere between 4.2% and 8.4%.

  • Much of the wavelength bands where carbon dioxide is active are either at or near saturation.

  • Water vapor absorbs infrared over much the same range as carbon dioxide and more besides.

  • Clouds are not composed of greenhouse gas -- they are mostly water droplets -- but absorb about one-fifth of the longwave radiation emitted by Earth.

  • Clouds can briefly saturate the atmospheric radiation window (8-13µm) through which some Earth radiation passes directly to space (those hot and sticky overcast nights produce this effect - that is greenhouse but has nothing to do with carbon dioxide).

  • Greenhouse gases can not obstruct this window although ozone absorbs in a narrow slice at 9.6µm.

  • Adding more greenhouse gases which absorb in already saturated bandwidths has no net effect.
  • Adding them in near-saturated bands has little additional effect.

Junk Science ...


  1. Anonymous10:56 PM

    Why is there such a panic over global warming, from some quarters then, Caz?
    Just can't figure it out myself.

  2. I'll take balmy weather over an ice age any old time Kath.

    Even with ordinary weather, such that we have experienced through recorded human history (hence why there are now so bloody many of us, and we can keep recording away ...), far more people die in winter than in summer.

    Ice ages last for tens of thousands of years, interspersed with an all too brief few thousand years of human-friendly climate.

    What is it in the human psyche of so many that craves disaster, real or imagined?

    What is it in the human psyche that yearns for eco-gedden to be true?

    Does it add meaning to people's lives?

    Is it a form of communal self-flagellation?

    We know too well how easily and unthinkingly people succumb to power and conformity, and the disastrous human catastrophes that can result. This is starting to look all too much like blind, obedient, conformance on a global scale, the likes of which human history has never seen before.

    Such dumb obedience is frightening.

    There are so many terrifically better things that we can and should be doing for current and future generations to preserve planet earth, and it's resources, but "stopping the climate" sure as sugar isn't one of them.

  3. Anonymous9:33 AM

    Speaking of hysterical Caz, read some of the comments on WD.

    They seem to be convinced taht the collapse of western civilization and capitalism is only months away.

    Totally nutty stuff. Hating JH seems have provided a slight link to reality for that lot, the place is barking mad now

  4. Haven't found the eco-gedden comments yet Craig, but I'll keep looking (good comedy is hard to come by).

    In the meantime, I'm tickled pink to see that the grammar of post contributers to WD has improved enormously:

    "How can the Liberal Party got it so wrong?"

    And that forays into tra-la-land have morphed into blissful passages of deep common sense:

    "I cannot help but believe that the attitude of the poorest of our citizens, when relieved of the burden of being, in most cases, forced into crime due to the desperation to survive, will eventually degrade us into the cosmopolitan and shattered society of the American dream.

    And those who are so forced into crime will eventually become a business themselves - for profit or survival."

    Err, yep, the crime outbreak has been praying on my mind too.

  5. I note too, with heaving, thumping heart, that WD continues to carry the burden of Australia's self-created *identity crisis*:

    "Is Australia an Asian country? or a Western country? or an Eurasian country? or none of the above? Sometimes, I think we don’t know the answer to this question ourselves."

    Guess they didn't have the privilege of a primary school education and rudimentary history lessons, and they've probably been forced into crime - for profit and / or survival - so I mustn't be too harsh on them. Really I mustn't.

  6. Anonymous1:18 PM

    Hi Caz, have a look at the open letter to PM thread. It really is fruit loop stuff. Someone now claims that the US won WW2 because they controlled oil supplies. Rommel ran out of Petrol in North Africa you know. Never mind the trivial little detail that he also ran out of weapons and men and was totally outnumbered at El Alemain.

    I think of replying, but then I know I will get sucked back into the vortex and Im not going there again!

    Playing the crminals are the victim line again. Sigh... how predictable

  7. Not sure which I should be more afraid of Craig:

    - that the end of the "American Empire" is nigh;


    - that some random guy has written a seven page unsolicited letter to the new PM, providing wide-ranging prophecies and offering solutions and actions for the gov't to take, post haste.

    [Oh, the guy on the "management update" post, who confidentially offers that the ALP victory could largely be attributed to WD and it's participants? That too was deeply disturbing.)

  8. Anonymous8:43 PM

    We'll all be rooooooned, yep we are all do000omed and there aint nuffing we can do bout it.

    I'm packing death, really, cause we are all going to get blown to buggery.

    That's if you happen to be around in another 4 billion or so years when our sun packs it in, blows out and quietly resumes life as a white dwarf. Yep we'll all be squashed up together inside a hunk of rock (bags being next to Kath).

    That's when it will be all over in our little nook of space. But never fear a big friendly black hole will drift along, suck us in and blow us all into another dimension or whatever.

    Fuck aint life (and death) fun and so much to look forward to.

    Best not waste anytime, 4 billion years will go just like that; hell, I'm going to up my alcohol intake.

    Now wouldn't that be disappointing, getting blown to across the universe and not being able to finish your last drink.

    Like most things, it's a matter of timing I spose.

  9. Anonymous8:49 PM

    The guy's a pompous old arse! The frightening thing is Caz,he is not the only one there thinking along those lines.

    And what about that fool Daniel Smythe.He thinks all his Christmas's have come at once, now that his saviour Rudd has become PM.

    And, he makes such inane puerile comments like,
    " Bali was not a gabfest for children Eliot, it was a place for mature adults, most of whom had some intelligence and some of whom had a lot." (shakes head)

  10. Anonymous8:52 PM

    So I guess WE SHOULD have one last spin in the potomac then, before we play squash , eh, Jus?

  11. "Now wouldn't that be disappointing, getting blown to across the universe and not being able to finish your last drink"

    Or spilling it.

    Would never happen to Father Park of course ...

  12. "Bali was not a gabfest for children Eliot"

    Err, no, indeed not.

    Bali is better known as a safe harbor for Aussie drug mules and such.

  13. Anonymous9:27 PM

    and what a spin that will be hey Kath.

    3 billion, 999 million, 999 thousand, 999 years, 364 days, 23 hours and 27 minutes to go.

    We'll be there in a flash my darling.....