Author Topic: What do you believe and what are you advocating for regarding Climate Change?  (Read 74904 times)

JoshuaD

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Sometimes when I read discussions on the issue of climate change, I feel like I'm not entirely sure what people believe.  Without arguing with one another (for at least the first page of the thread) could you post your answers to the following questions?

1. What data do you believe to be true about temperature change in the last 100 years and why?  Provide links to primary sources of data if possible.

2. What narrative do you have for the cause of any such temperature change?  Provide links to any public figures whose narratives and justifications you think are basically accurate.

3. What actions do you believe we should take collectively on the federal level, if any, in response to your views on #1 and #2?  Why do you think these actions will have a net positive impact?

4. What actions do you believe we should take collectively on the state level, if any, in response to your views on #1 and #2?  Why do you think these actions will have a net positive impact?

5. What actions do you believe we should each take on an individual level, if any, in response to your views on #1 and #2?  Why do you think these actions will have a net positive impact?

I'm curious which points are highly contentious, and which points we all basically agree on.  I know that we aren't necessarily a snapshot of the American (or Global) public, but I'm still curious.

TheDeamon

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Sorry, not giving sources on this right now. Others might though.

1. What data do you believe to be true about temperature change in the last 100 years and why?  Provide links to primary sources of data if possible.

I believe urban heat islands are real. I believe a lot of temperate recording stations have been significantly impacted by Urban Heat Island over the past 100 years as well.

I also believe land use change has also impacted the environment, and even regional climates, in numerous ways with net effect that has yet to be fully and properly quantified, and rarely discussed in "mainstream circles."

I do think a fair bit of the warming we've experienced is likely due to natural variability that we don't fully have a handle on, in particular as it pertains to the instrument record. In many places of the world, we don't have "reliable records" dating to prior to the satellite era. So large assumptions are being made on very small data sets.

I do think we are contributing to warming, with UHI and albedo changes being major factors that also get under reported by the media.

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2. What narrative do you have for the cause of any such temperature change?  Provide links to any public figures whose narratives and justifications you think are basically accurate.

I was trained as an electronics technician. I know how signal mutiplexing works in theory. I think we are dealing with a confluence of both (geologically) short duration and long duration natural cycles that happened to "converge" and overlay one on top of the other near the end of the 20th Century.  Some of those cycles we're starting to get a handle on, but are still only scratching the surface on IMO. (Atlantic and Pacific Multi-decadal oscillations for example)

Speaking of the MDO's, the Northern Hemisphere in particular seems to be the most impacted by such cycles, and surprise, surprise, both of them were on "warm" phases for the past several decades. Their "synching" with each other as they appear to have done circa the 1980's also is supposed to be something that happens very rarely.

And given that nearly all of the warming is being found in the Northern Hemisphere, well...

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3. What actions do you believe we should take collectively on the federal level, if any, in response to your views on #1 and #2?  Why do you think these actions will have a net positive impact?

Adaptation and "hardening" of the infrastructure wouldn't hurt. Getting people to stop building in likely flood plains would be another option that should be seriously pursued. (Some neighborhoods flooded in the Houston Area should never have been built downstream of one flood control dam for example) 

Also take a page from past Army Corps of Engineering projects from earlier in the 20th century. This may mean relocating entire cities or towns to more viable (higher elevation) locations. Or making the federal Flood Insurance Program start offering buy outs and relocation assistance rather than paying people to rebuild somewhere that is deemed likely to flood again in a handful of years.

The engineering and planning behind "Flood control" needs a comprehensive "bottom up" review performed.  Higher levee walls shouldn't the first answer.

Pursuing an agenda to "Decarbonize" is a worthwhile one, so long as we don't impoverish much of our population while doing so. More nuclear should certainly be on the table.

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4. What actions do you believe we should take collectively on the state level, if any, in response to your views on #1 and #2?  Why do you think these actions will have a net positive impact?

See previous comments about putting measures in place to stop people from building homes in particular in flood prone areas. I understand the desire for "waterfront property" but seriously? Enjoy it from your back porch 100 yards away, instead of from you kitchen window 30 feet from the water(when it isn't at flood stage).

DonaldD

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1. The analysis and conclusions published by the IPCC are generally correct (https://www.ipcc.ch/reports/). Articles and blogs that disagree with the overall findings are generally poorly sourced, if at all, or are for more limited in scope than they are claimed to be. Also, most memes skeptical of the IPCC findings tend to live on well after they have been debunked (see earth surface temperature studies from a decade ago (https://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/ushcn/v2/monthly/menne-etal2010.pdf, http://static.berkeleyearth.org/pdf/berkeley-earth-announcement-oct-20-11.pdf).

2. I don't know about "narrative" but the conclusions of the IPCC are clear - the vast majority of recent heating is a result of increases in CO2 levels in the atmosphere.

3. Reduce the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere.  This can be done by magically removing CO2 from the atmosphere, or reducing the amount of CO2 that we are pumping into it. If one ascribes to market forces, putting a price on emitted carbon dioxide will reduce the use of technologies that do so. That's only one path, of course; actively removing CO2 from the atmosphere still needs to be part of the solution, so we need to invest in this area of research as well.

5. OF course, on a personal level, people should be making lower carbon choices - eating primarily vegetable diets, absolutely avoiding CO2 intensive foods (meat in general, especially red meat) buying local, living locally and of course, championing low CO2 lifestyles.

Pete at Home

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IMO removing CO2 from the atmosphere was never a matter of “magic” but occurred naturally through living processes of ancient forests, coral reefs, etc.

First priorities: Stop destroying, restore and rebuild these natural processors.


Fenring

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I don't see what the downside would be to an immense reforestation project. If the goal of the thread is to find uncontroversial statements, I doubt anyone will chime in being against tree planting. I don't think we are going to get any kind of agreement about the data, however, nor about its interpretation (which follows). From past threads everyone here does seem to agree that moving to green and/or renewable energy is a win regardless of the state of the environment. The disagreement seems to be in how urgent the rush must be and how many sacrifices are required in the short term to meet the deadline.

NobleHunter

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I don't see what the downside would be to an immense reforestation project. If the goal of the thread is to find uncontroversial statements, I doubt anyone will chime in being against tree planting. I don't think we are going to get any kind of agreement about the data, however, nor about its interpretation (which follows). From past threads everyone here does seem to agree that moving to green and/or renewable energy is a win regardless of the state of the environment. The disagreement seems to be in how urgent the rush must be and how many sacrifices are required in the short term to meet the deadline.

It'd kinda suck if we "reforested" areas that are naturally grasslands. There's a bit of an obsession with trees and forests as the ultimate green space but other biomes are important to the global ecology.

Fenring

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It'd kinda suck if we "reforested" areas that are naturally grasslands. There's a bit of an obsession with trees and forests as the ultimate green space but other biomes are important to the global ecology.

Let's reforest Manhattan! And let's not forget Toronto.

But yes, obviously it would be in suitable areas, whether either there was previous deforestation, or else where there's room to terraform places like deserts.

NobleHunter

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I'm 100% on board for reforesting Toronto. [/Canadian humor] Though good chunks of the GTA should probably be farmland instead of McMansion suburbs.

DonaldD

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If the goal of the thread is to find uncontroversial statements,
I'm pretty sure the goal of the thread was spelled out in the opening post, and it didn't have anything to do with avoiding controversial statements.

Why not use the thread for what is was opened for, at least initially?

Fenring

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If the goal of the thread is to find uncontroversial statements,
I'm pretty sure the goal of the thread was spelled out in the opening post, and it didn't have anything to do with avoiding controversial statements.

Why not use the thread for what is was opened for, at least initially?

Here is what JoshuaD wrote:

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I'm curious which points are highly contentious, and which points we all basically agree on.  I know that we aren't necessarily a snapshot of the American (or Global) public, but I'm still curious.

Perhaps I could have said "if A goal of the thread" rather than "THE goal", but is that your quibble?


DonaldD

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Or you could have highlighted the pertinent point of that statement.  Here:
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I'm curious which points are highly contentious, and which points we all basically agree on
It's hard to identify contentious points if you avoid them.  That being said, that's the last of my responses.  State your position and supporting information, as requested, or don't.  The choice is up to you.

Or didn't your post imply avoiding controversial statements (in which case, why make it that point at all?)

JoshuaD

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Notwithstanding any other goals I might've hoped for, I certainly had this one: "Without arguing with one another (for at least the first page of the thread) " :P

My goals in the OP don't really matter; it's a public forum. But my motivation for posting was that I was hoping to get a good overview of everyone's basic ideas on the topic, in direct terms, rather than in contrast to a news article or someone else's argument.

scifibum

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Basically:
1. There's an overwhelming scientific consensus.
2. Most people who disagree with it are not experts.
3. Bias to inaction is real.

JoshuaD

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@Scifi: What actions do you want us to take collectively and what actions do you want each of us to take individually, and what makes you believe they will solve or improve the problem?

scifibum

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Individually, vote Democrat, try to limit our emissions, eat less meat, consider moving out of disaster prone areas, insure against flooding and other natural disasters, telecommute.

Collectively, tax carbon emissions heavily, fund research into agricultural adaptations, build nuclear reactors and wind farms, incentivize migration out of disaster-prone areas, enhance levees, and stop applying only the recession part of Keynesian economics to our federal budget.

Pete at Home

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I don't see what the downside would be to an immense reforestation project. If the goal of the thread is to find uncontroversial statements, I doubt anyone will chime in being against tree planting. I don't think we are going to get any kind of agreement about the data, however, nor about its interpretation (which follows). From past threads everyone here does seem to agree that moving to green and/or renewable energy is a win regardless of the state of the environment. The disagreement seems to be in how urgent the rush must be and how many sacrifices are required in the short term to meet the deadline.

Same would apply to other carbon sinks. If the grasslands of Oklahoma Kansas etc held much carbon prior to the dust bowl collapse, then perhaps we should look at restoring them and the bison that roamed them. Charge non native americans hunting rights to individuals; let native tribes that don’t sell out to the gambling disease to sell the meat, etc.

Scott Card argues that we have a “distribution problem” rather than a population problem, but thie issue isn’t just distribution. Nevertheless I think Scott Card is right that technology and organization and economics factors affect the number of humans that earth can sustainably host.

TheDeamon

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Scott Card argues that we have a “distribution problem” rather than a population problem, but thie issue isn’t just distribution. Nevertheless I think Scott Card is right that technology and organization and economics factors affect the number of humans that earth can sustainably host.

I like that phrasing on his part.

It is a distribution problem, most of your "other problems" can be essentially placed at the feet of "distribution" after all is said and done.

The problem is most people wouldn't like the solutions to many of those problems. (Mass Relocations, by force if needed)

WTB Fusion Power, and someone finding a way to make "building vertical" more economically competitive with horizontal sprawl. For which, I'm sure Fusion Power would help on a number of fronts, but it isn't the only thing that needs solved in that puzzle.  (Cheaper energy costs means lower costs for the manufacture of steel, which would in turn mean steel frame construction costs would be able to go down, among other factors--although most of those "other factors" would apply to other building types as well)

Wayward Son

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Reforestation and other plant sequestrating will help reduce atmospheric CO2 for a while, but it is not a long-term solution.  Plants only hold the carbon for as long as they live.  When they die, they emit most of the CO2 again during decomposition.  So grasses will reduce CO2 during the summer, but emit it again come winter.  And, in fact, the changes in the atmospheric CO2 levels show this.  (See seasonal variations in the Keeling Curve.)

The other problem is the amount of CO2 they have to absorb.  Humanity generates about 24 billion tons of CO2 every year.  Meanwhile, trees absorb between 13 pounds (for new trees) to 48 pounds (for mature trees) of CO2 each year.  That means we would have to plant around 1.8 billion new trees (or the equivalent) each year just to keep up with what we emit.  And bury or equivalent all those trees when they die.

Plants will help, but they won't alone solve the problem.

NobleHunter

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That's the shiny part about Prairie grasses: massive root systems that do offer longer term sequestration.

TheDeamon

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That's the shiny part about Prairie grasses: massive root systems that do offer longer term sequestration.

Even Kentucky Bluegrass will go down to 6 inches under the right conditions. (When people aren't being over aggressive in frequently watering their yard and self-inflicting  "shallow root" issues in their yard)

JoshuaD

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Individually, vote Democrat, try to limit our emissions, eat less meat, consider moving out of disaster prone areas, insure against flooding and other natural disasters, telecommute.

Collectively, tax carbon emissions heavily, fund research into agricultural adaptations, build nuclear reactors and wind farms, incentivize migration out of disaster-prone areas, enhance levees, and stop applying only the recession part of Keynesian economics to our federal budget.

Could you break these down a bit and tell me 1. To what degree you think each proposed action will improve the situation?  2. Whether you think the changes you are advocating for, if fully adopted, are enough to stave off (or appreciably reduce) the problems you believe the data predicts?

Pete at Home

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Reforestation and other plant sequestrating will help reduce atmospheric CO2 for a while, but it is not a long-term solution.

Hundred million years is short term? The fact that it comes back eons later as petraoleum is an odd objection.

Global warming maps better to deforestation and marine poisoning than to gaseous emissions.  Best way to explain the shifts of the last 10,000 years.

Wayward Son

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Reforestation and other plant sequestrating will help reduce atmospheric CO2 for a while, but it is not a long-term solution.

Hundred million years is short term? The fact that it comes back eons later as petroleum is an odd objection.

What percentage of plant matter gets fossilized and becomes fossil fuels, etc.?  The plant has to be buried before it decays, then not consumed by bacteria, fungus and borrowing animals.  As I recall, most plants do not become fossilized.

Burying plants deeply is a very good method of sequestration, but to have a significant effect, it has to be actively done.  In other words, we have to bury it.  How much grass and trees are you willing to bury each years? ;)

Otherwise, you will only sequester the carbon until the plant decays.  Not very long for a vast majority of plants.  And the huge number of new plants required each year would be a major undertaking itself, and require vast areas to be devoted to growing these plants.  That would be in addition to what we grow for food.

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Global warming maps better to deforestation and marine poisoning than to gaseous emissions.  Best way to explain the shifts of the last 10,000 years.

Could you please cite your source?  Correlation does not prove causation, and I would like to see what other data there is to support this (especially the numbers that show how the increase in CO2 levels in the atmosphere is completely accounted for by deforestation, in spite of the billions of tons of CO2 we add every year).  And remember:  CO2 traps heat.  Any other source of global warming is simply ADDING to what the CO2 is doing.  There is no argument about that.

TheDeamon

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One thing to remember regarding Carbon Sequestration:

"stick built" structures are pretty good for Carbon Sequestration as well, it takes lumber from trees, and places them in structures that will stand for decades if not longer. And when/if that structure is torn down, the materials will either be recycled, or placed in a landfill, where it will be buried underground at such a depth that most gasses release from decomposition will be limited, and easily addressed by other means.

Fenring

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Since it was requested in the other thread that I stop taking potshots and saying something constructive, I'll make my attempt here, although it's probably not exactly what JoshuaD had in mind re: data.

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1. What data do you believe to be true about temperature change in the last 100 years and why?  Provide links to primary sources of data if possible.

2. What narrative do you have for the cause of any such temperature change?  Provide links to any public figures whose narratives and justifications you think are basically accurate.

At this point I feel like I don't know jack about climate data, not even enough to wager an educated guess or conjecture. My fear is that this is also true of climate scientists but I can't be quite sure about that. Based on my experience listening to 'experts' in other chaos-driven fields like economics my instinct is to believe that people are so full of crap that they'll puff themselves up and pretend to know all this stuff when they really don't know what they're talking about. And yeah, I thought that in Richard Feynman's voice when I wrote it :)

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3. What actions do you believe we should take collectively on the federal level, if any, in response to your views on #1 and #2?  Why do you think these actions will have a net positive impact?

Divert huge amounts of funding away from military, towards education and tech R&D. Create incentive-based contests for tech development, subsidies for workable green energy, and most importantly, outlaw lobbying and remove special interests from government.

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4. What actions do you believe we should take collectively on the state level, if any, in response to your views on #1 and #2?  Why do you think these actions will have a net positive impact?

A bit of a conflict of interest here, because states need to court business, especially those important to the local economy. But if the state (and municipal) levels want to help out with this project, I think their best bet is to increasingly build bridges connecting the governing and police forces with the general public. Stop the militarization of police, better community relations, and build trust in local government and public servants. If that gets much better the idea of trusting authority will increase, and consequently there might not be so much pushback against those who feel manipulated, lied to, and bullied. A lot of the relations between big government and the people need to be firmed up at the local level, I think.

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5. What actions do you believe we should each take on an individual level, if any, in response to your views on #1 and #2?  Why do you think these actions will have a net positive impact?

I don't think the individual choices made matter all that much right now. I don't think recycling achieves almost anything; composting is probably good, though. Some people avoid meat to help with pollution, and there is merit to that, but I think alternative food sources will emerge faster than any popular anti-meat movement could gain traction. Overall I don't think harping on individual conduct, such "how could you buy that product in a plastic container", or "don't go to Starbucks" is going to help.

scifibum

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Individually, vote Democrat, try to limit our emissions, eat less meat, consider moving out of disaster prone areas, insure against flooding and other natural disasters, telecommute.

Collectively, tax carbon emissions heavily, fund research into agricultural adaptations, build nuclear reactors and wind farms, incentivize migration out of disaster-prone areas, enhance levees, and stop applying only the recession part of Keynesian economics to our federal budget.

Could you break these down a bit and tell me 1. To what degree you think each proposed action will improve the situation?  2. Whether you think the changes you are advocating for, if fully adopted, are enough to stave off (or appreciably reduce) the problems you believe the data predicts?

I'm sure you are asking for reasons you consider good. But no. It is not a good use of time. I have no hope of convincing anyone of anything here. I am not myself an expert. Those who are willing to be persuaded should be looking to experts.

TheDrake

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IMO removing CO2 from the atmosphere was never a matter of “magic” but occurred naturally through living processes of ancient forests, coral reefs, etc.

First priorities: Stop destroying, restore and rebuild these natural processors.

Well, Ethiopia heard your call.

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Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is leading the project, which aims to counter the effects of deforestation and climate change in the drought-prone country.

Some public offices have been shut down to allow civil servants to take part.

The UN says Ethiopia's forest coverage declined from 35% of total land in the early 20th Century to a little above 4% in the 2000s.

Mr Abiy launched the tree-planting exercise as part of his Green Legacy Initiative, which is taking place in 1,000 sites across the country.

Officials were assigned to count the seedlings being planted by volunteers, reports BBC's Kalkidan Yibeltal in the capital, Addis Ababa.

Ethiopia's Minister of Innovation and Technology Getahun Mekuria tweeted that more than 350 million trees were planted in 12 hours:

Can you even imagine the reaction if public money were being spent on reforestation in the US, and if government offices shut down in the process?

Meanwhile....

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In truth, we would have to cover the entire contiguous US with trees just to capture 10% of the CO2 we emit annually.

Pete at Home

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IMO removing CO2 from the atmosphere was never a matter of “magic” but occurred naturally through living processes of ancient forests, coral reefs, etc.

First priorities: Stop destroying, restore and rebuild these natural processors.

Well, Ethiopia heard your call.

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Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is leading the project, which aims to counter the effects of deforestation and climate change in the drought-prone country.

Some public offices have been shut down to allow civil servants to take part.

The UN says Ethiopia's forest coverage declined from 35% of total land in the early 20th Century to a little above 4% in the 2000s.

Mr Abiy launched the tree-planting exercise as part of his Green Legacy Initiative, which is taking place in 1,000 sites across the country.

Officials were assigned to count the seedlings being planted by volunteers, reports BBC's Kalkidan Yibeltal in the capital, Addis Ababa.

Ethiopia's Minister of Innovation and Technology Getahun Mekuria tweeted that more than 350 million trees were planted in 12 hours:

Can you even imagine the reaction if public money were being spent on reforestation in the US, and if government offices shut down in the process?

Meanwhile....

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In truth, we would have to cover the entire contiguous US with trees just to capture 10% of the CO2 we emit annually.

Can anyone here explain the CO2 difference between old growth forest and Drakes idea of covering the land with new trees? 

Pete at Home

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  Correlation does not prove causation, and I would like to see what other data there is to support this (especially the numbers that show how the increase in CO2 levels in the atmosphere is completely accounted for by deforestation, in spite of the billions of tons of CO2 we add every year).

That’s a pretty wayward transformation of what I said.

Uh, Wayward, my point was that for most of the last 10,000 years humans have NOT been adding billions of tons of CO2 into the air. Have you confused the Flintstones with early human history?

Again, upward shifts in Global temperatures, rises water levels, glaciers melting, map to our clearing earths vast primordial forests, thousands of years before human techs polluted at a significant level.



DonaldD

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Again, upward shifts in Global temperatures, rises water levels, glaciers melting, map to our clearing earths vast primordial forests, thousands of years before human techs polluted at a significant level.
I know it's still the first page, but - I don't think this is true. Notwithstanding that land clearing from thousands of years ago did NOT increase global temperatures at anywhere near the rate since the industrial revolution... Humanity currently releases on the order of 40 billion tons of CO2 annually, compared to roughly 1.5 billion tons as a result of deforested wood releasing CO2.  In some estimates, total CO2 released by the 'deforestation industry' makes up 15% of total annual human output.  Long term (once at steady state) and assuming the complete cessation of deforestation, we would need to re-forest at a rate of 7-20 times the current rate of deforestation in order to offset humanity's other CO2 output... not to mention that such a reforestation project would itself be unlikely, we would quickly run out of un-forested area to reforest.  Re-forestation/cessation of deforestation is important - it is just not a singular solution.

DonaldD

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Can anyone here explain the CO2 difference between old growth forest and Drakes idea of covering the land with new trees?
There's little to no difference, from an old vs new growth perspective, but there is a difference between CO2 uptake between young trees and mature trees - where mature trees take up far more CO2 than younger trees.

TheDrake

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Um about those heat islands from solar plants.

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The result demonstrates that there are potential heat costs to generating green power although the added heat dissipates quickly and can't be measured 100 feet away from the power plants. Considering the external costs of solar power, the discovery of this heat island effect may affect future decisions on when and where to convert natural ecosystems into large-scale solar facilities.

Now I wonder, how big is a solar plant?

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This solar farm in the southern state of Tamil Nadu in India has a capacity of 648 megawatts and covers an area of 10 square kilometres. In 2016, this project was deemed to be the largest solar power plant at a single location. The project comprises 2.5 million individual solar modules and cost approximately 679 million USD to build.

3.3 km x 3.3 km.

And

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The national average carbon dioxide output rate for electricity generated in 2017 was 998.4 lbs CO2 per megawatt-hour (EPA 2018), which translates to about 1,074.7 lbs CO2 per megawatt-hour for delivered electricity,

Do the math on that, and ask if heating 10km2 an extra few degrees is worth eliminating a ton of co2 every two hours.

Honestly, it doesn't matter how many of these lurching red herrings I gun down, another dozen will sprout in their place like a game of Centipede.

TheDeamon

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Um about those heat islands from solar plants.

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The result demonstrates that there are potential heat costs to generating green power although the added heat dissipates quickly and can't be measured 100 feet away from the power plants. Considering the external costs of solar power, the discovery of this heat island effect may affect future decisions on when and where to convert natural ecosystems into large-scale solar facilities.

Now I wonder, how big is a solar plant?

So we don't have to worry about the greenhouse effect trapping heat anymore because they can't measure it from 100 feet away? :)

TheDrake

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Don't be daft. Because a heat island that is 4 square miles and doesn't significantly radiate heat can't impact the global temperature.

TheDeamon

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Don't be daft. Because a heat island that is 4 square miles and doesn't significantly radiate heat can't impact the global temperature.

A singular heat island can't. Much like a single 1970's Ford Mustang can't.

But hundreds of thousands/millions of them? There has to be a cumulative impact at some point. Right?

TheDrake

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We should be so lucky to have that much solar. More than offset by any carbon emission. Plus, I tend to think that the heat is either going to get concentrated in the solar plant - or it will be reflected back into the atmosphere where (wait for it) it gets trapped by greenhouse gasses.

TheDeamon

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or it will be reflected back into the atmosphere where (wait for it) it gets trapped by greenhouse gasses.

So long as you're being internally consistent on that. Either heat is trapped in the atmosphere by greenhouse gases, or it isn't. Saying something has a measurable warming effect over an area wouldn't be subject to that same said greenhouse effects is a bit bizarre in my book.

Pete at Home

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Can anyone here explain the CO2 difference between old growth forest and Drakes idea of covering the land with new trees?
There's little to no difference, from an old vs new growth perspective, but there is a difference between CO2 uptake between young trees and mature trees - where mature trees take up far more CO2 than younger trees.

Yes, Donald, that’s 1 (one) difference.  Older trees take in far more CO2.

Another difference is that an old growth forest fosters growth of other symbiotic plants, lichen, mosses and other carbon sinks. And old growth trees are able to grow more in such a complex symbiotic environment.  Interlocking root systems store up a lot of carbon.

Are you seriously going to argue that soaring old growth forests, regrowing the Great Plains and bringing buffalo back will do less to reduce atmospheric carbon than the Kyoto/Paris ethanol schemes?

TheDeamon

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Are you seriously going to argue that soaring old growth forests, regrowing the Great Plains and bringing buffalo back will do less to reduce atmospheric carbon than the Kyoto/Paris ethanol schemes?

I'd think Bison would be subject to the same gastro-intestinal issues as cows in general, which means they emit a lot of methane. So restoring the bison herds would increase AGW, not decrease it.

DonaldD

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Another difference is that an old growth forest fosters growth of other symbiotic plants, lichen, mosses and other carbon sinks
There's nothing magical about "old growth" trees vs new growth trees - over millennial time frames, most forests will suffer wild fires that end up clearing the undergrowth completely and allowing new growth from seeds.  And there is nothing inherent in new growth forest that would preclude bio diversity (whether logging companies who end up replanting have this as a priority is a completely different question.)

TheDrake

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or it will be reflected back into the atmosphere where (wait for it) it gets trapped by greenhouse gasses.

So long as you're being internally consistent on that. Either heat is trapped in the atmosphere by greenhouse gases, or it isn't. Saying something has a measurable warming effect over an area wouldn't be subject to that same said greenhouse effects is a bit bizarre in my book.

Nope, I'm saying that heat island or no heat island, that energy has already entered the atmosphere. Heat islands from solar plants are not generating their own heat, it is heat that came from the sun. It can get trapped in the island for a little while before radiating out at night, or it can bounce of the desert floor immediately. The net result is no additional warming on a global scale.

TheDeamon

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or it will be reflected back into the atmosphere where (wait for it) it gets trapped by greenhouse gasses.

So long as you're being internally consistent on that. Either heat is trapped in the atmosphere by greenhouse gases, or it isn't. Saying something has a measurable warming effect over an area wouldn't be subject to that same said greenhouse effects is a bit bizarre in my book.

Nope, I'm saying that heat island or no heat island, that energy has already entered the atmosphere. Heat islands from solar plants are not generating their own heat, it is heat that came from the sun. It can get trapped in the island for a little while before radiating out at night, or it can bounce of the desert floor immediately. The net result is no additional warming on a global scale.

Uh, it changes the spectrum that the heat is presenting itself at. That change is rather significant IMO. Particularly as I recall that the greenhouse gases are supposed to be particularly effective in the IR band.

Black solar panels are likely to be putting out a heck of a lot more IR than yellow prairie grass, which would simply be reflecting light back up into the atmosphere, rather than having it change energy states.

Pete at Home

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Another difference is that an old growth forest fosters growth of other symbiotic plants, lichen, mosses and other carbon sinks
There's nothing magical about "old growth" trees vs new growth trees - over millennial time frames, most forests will suffer wild fires that end up clearing the undergrowth completely and allowing new growth from seeds.  And there is nothing inherent in new growth forest that would preclude bio diversity (whether logging companies who end up replanting have this as a priority is a completely different question.)

You irrationally presume without that we could even identify all of the significant species in an old growth forest.  In your forest fire argument, you reason like a striplogger and like a climate change denier, using dated assumptions from one study in the 1960s. Do I really need to source the obvious fact that the participant species (microscopic to redwood size, and subterranean through the canopy) workings of an old growth forest ecosystem is beyond our current science? 


https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080910133934.htm

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old growth forests around the world are not protected by international treaties and have been considered of no significance in the national "carbon budgets" as outlined in the Kyoto Protocol. That perspective was largely based on findings of a single study from the late 1960s which had become accepted theory, and scientists now say it needs to be changed.

"Carbon accounting rules for forests should give credit for leaving old growth forest intact," researchers from Oregon State University and several other institutions concluded in their report. "Much of this carbon, even soil carbon, will move back to the atmosphere if these forests are disturbed."

The analysis of 519 different plot studies found that about 15 percent of the forest land in the Northern Hemisphere is unmanaged primary forests with large amounts of old growth, and that rather than being irrelevant to the Earth's carbon budget, they may account for as much as 10 percent of the global net uptake of carbon dioxide.

In forests anywhere between 15 and 800 years of age, the study said, the net carbon balance of the forest and soils is usually positive – meaning they absorb more carbon dioxide than they release.

"If you are concerned about offsetting greenhouse gas emissions and look at old forests from nothing more than a carbon perspective, the best thing to do is leave them alone," said Beverly Law, professor of forest science at OSU and director of the AmeriFlux network, a group of 90 research sites in North and Central America that helps to monitor the current global "budget" of carbon dioxide.

Forests use carbon dioxide as building blocks for organic molecules and store it in woody tissues, but that process is not indefinite. In the 1960s, a study using 10 years worth of data from a single plantation suggested that forests 150 or more years old give off as much carbon as they take up from the atmosphere, and are thus "carbon neutral."

"That's the story that we all learned for decades in ecology classes," Law said. "But it was just based on observations in a single study of one type of forest, and it simply doesn't apply in all cases. The current data now makes it clear that carbon accumulation can continue in forests that are centuries old."

When an old growth forest is harvested, Law said, studies show that there's a new input of carbon to the atmosphere for about 5-20 years, before the growing young trees begin to absorb and sequester more carbon than they give off. The creation of new forests, whether naturally or by humans, is often associated with disturbance to soil and the previous vegetation, resulting in decomposition that exceeds for some period the net primary productivity of re-growth.

Old growth forests, the study said, continue to sequester carbon for many centuries. And when individual trees die due to lightning, insects, fungal attack or other causes, there is generally a second canopy layer waiting in the shade to take over and maintain productivity.

One implication of the study, Law said, is that nations with significant amounts of old forests may find it somewhat easier to offset greenhouse gas emissions if those forests are left intact. It will also be necessary, she said, for land surface models that attempt to define carbon balance to better characterize function of old forests.

Many of the conclusions from the study were based on data acquired from the AmeriFlux and CarboEurope programs, researchers said. Multiple funding sources included the U.S. Department of Energy, CarboEurope, the European Union, and others. Authors were from institutions in the U.S., Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, France and the United Kingdom.

« Last Edit: July 30, 2019, 07:06:34 PM by Pete at Home »

DonaldD

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You're so angry, Pete..."irrationally"?  Really?  If you ask an open ended questions, and you get a response, here's a hint: don't read the response as if the person responding knows all of your unstated assumptions, and don't read into the response imagined insults that aren't there.

 In response to the quote, though, what part of all that is in dispute, BTW? The way that "old growth" is being used above is pretty indistinguishable from "mature"

Pete at Home

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I’m angry that you value political conformity even above the life of the planet. The death of old growth forests and coral reefs is an ongoing holocaust. Climate change is real and Obama was right that it threatens our mid term and long term national security more than ISIS and Al Qaeda combined.

In this situation Kyoto/Paris is worse than climate change denial. It’s a very expensive scam. Like ethanol

DonaldD

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You have no idea what I value, Pete.

Your question had nothing to do with any of what you just wrote.  I get that your underlying assumptions presupposed both bad intent on my part, as well as value judgments of any negative response to your question.  But an answer to your question as written does not even remotely lead where you have blindly sprinted towards.

Pete at Home

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I have no idea what you are behind your persona, Donald, but I respond to what you say here.

Hope something in the article I sent you strikes a chord.

Pete at Home

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Even a forest fire doesn’t completely obviate the good of the forest. Most ash return to the soil.

TheDrake

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Your article says it right here:

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they may account for as much as 10 percent of the global net uptake of carbon dioxide.

In other words, the trees are not the primary problem.

Pete at Home

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Your article says it right here:

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they may account for as much as 10 percent of the global net uptake of carbon dioxide.

In other words, the trees are not the primary problem.

Trees aren’t a problem at all. It’s the lack of trees, and old growth in particular.   If they represent 10% today, then obviously the old forests would take in more carbon if there were more of them.

Then there are the coral reefs, rich underwater ecosystems that turn the oceans’ CO2 into oxygen.