Coalition of the Confused

Hosted by Jenifer (Zarknorph)

Confused malcontents swilling Chardonnay while awaiting the Zombie Apocalypse.

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The debate on Climate Change   General Confusion

Started 7/18/17 by Jenifer (Zarknorph); 174817 views.
Jenifer (Zarknorph)

From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)

3/18/18

Oomp!  Great post!!

This is a very interesting set of scientific facts.

I fear they may be lost on those on the opposite side of the debate.

I imagine some pointless memes are coming your way.

Are gliders used in Climate science research?

Jenifer (Zarknorph)

From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)

3/18/18

Which part of it was nonsense?

Where is your evidence to back up that claim?

Aggravating and meaningless?

You're describing yourself, John.

Are you so incapable of seeing another person's point of view that you would rather look like an ass before exhibiting any sign of cognitive ability - or "weakness"?

 

Jenifer (Zarknorph)

From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)

3/18/18

I find it so frustrating that the answer to two problems is RIGHT THERE, but for some reason it's in the too hard basket?!

RRBud

From: RRBud

3/18/18

Some years ago there was an interest in converting waste to fuel.  It was called, "Anything into Oil," and if memory serves, it seemed limited to the use of animal byproducts, but I think that with suitable modifications it could possibly take our whole organic waste stream and process that into useful materials.  One advantage I think it might present, would be a reduction in the use of fossil fuels, substituting some of that with the use of what I call short-term carbon cycling - - as foodstuffs are usually grown within a year of when they are consumed and human waste produced.  Same thing with most yard clippings.  Just how much of that waste stream could or would be turned back into fuels I have no idea, but our local landfill produces enough methane to fuel a local powerplant, and most of the organic waste is still in that landfill.

Oomp (AstroLib)

From: Oomp (AstroLib)

3/19/18

>>Are gliders used in Climate science research?<<

I really don't know- it was just an observation in that particular flying club 40-odd years ago.  I doubt that there was much  concern about ecology, more about the effects on glider performance. These guys were pretty technology oriented -a few  were aeronautical engineers- and were serious about their experiments, but their #1 concern was always "What will make this thing go farther?" and, for that matter,  at the time nobody much talked about climate change / global warming.  They were just into lighter/heavier air and such. 

As I  alluded,  I wasn't  into it enough to really understand what the deal was, just found it a memorable observation.

-Oomp

Jenifer (Zarknorph)

From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)

3/19/18

Well it was a good one!

Cheers,

Jenifer

Jenifer (Zarknorph)

From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)

3/21/18

How does climate change attribution work?

The basic principle behind climate change attribution is comparing the world as it is, with how it would have been without human-induced greenhouse gases.

To do this researchers use climate models which work like computer-based virtual worlds, to recreate the real world as closely as possible.

They then look at two sets of model experiments, one which is as close as possible to the current world, and one where the human introduced greenhouse gases have been removed.

"We look at the frequency of that specific event between those two simulations and then compare how often it occurs now, compared to the natural world — as we think it used to be," said Dr Perkins-Kirkpatrick.

"Essentially what we're doing is looking between those two groups of models and how the probability or intensity of extreme weather events [such as] heat waves, heavy rainfall events and droughts, are changing just between those two ensembles," said Dr King.

In the past, these attribution studies have found a link between the Canberra and Sydney Heatwaves of February 2017 and climate change.

For more complex weather events, for example Cyclone Debbie, or the 2011 floods of south east Queensland, Dr King says "it's harder to tell."

Part of the reason is that there is a lot of complexity in this analysis.

According to Dr Perkins-Kirkpatrick, "It's not that easy.

"A lot of time, a lot of blood, sweat and tears go into actually defining the event and making sure you've got it right.

"It's taken me weeks before to make sure I've captured the event as well as I can."

How the event is defined, the model used, which parameters are included and how the data is analysed statistically, can all change the outcome, so these simulations are often repeated many times to ensure a robust result.

Continued...

In reply toRe: msg 151
Jenifer (Zarknorph)

From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)

3/21/18

What are the limitations?

Dr Perkins-Kirkpatrick said one of the limitations of climate change attribution studies is that they are heavily model-based.

"You have to be certain, or very confident at least, that that model is a good representation of the actual climate," she said.

"Unfortunately, however, no matter how good your model is, we simply can't really measure what the climate used to be like before climate change actually started."

There are some old observations, mainly in Europe, and paleo records, that are helping to improve knowledge in this area.

But our understanding of pre-industrial revolution conditions are not as good as our understanding of the current climate.

The type of event matters too.

Dr King said that hot or cold extremes are quite easy to attribute, especially on a big scale; other more variable events like rainfall, are more difficult.

"More complex events like fire weather, which has a combination of high temperatures, low humidity, strong winds — those are a lot harder."

Dr Perkins-Kirkpatrick also puts individual cyclones in the variable pile.

"It doesn't necessarily mean with those events that there is no anthropogenic signal," said Dr Perkins-Kirkpatrick.

"It just means that we can't yet detect it because there's a lot of variability overlying that particular signal."

And finally...

In reply toRe: msg 152
Jenifer (Zarknorph)

From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)

3/21/18

'Weather' vs. 'climate'

Communicating the difference between long term-climate trends and individual extreme weather events is where all of this gets messy.

The weather is what is going on day-to-day; the climate is what is happening over time.

Using the wardrobe analogy: climate is all of the clothes in your closet, while weather is what you wear each day.

Which raises the question: does every event need to prove or disprove climate change?

According to Dr Perkins-Kirkpatrick the answer is no.

"A lot of the events — I'm just saying a lot, I'm not saying all on purpose — would have probably occurred without climate change, but now they're occurring more frequently," she said.

"And that's exactly what attribution looks at: whether or not a particular event is occurring more frequently because of climate change,.

"We've always had tropical cyclones for example, they're always going to occur.

"It doesn't necessarily mean that every single tropical cyclone needs to be attributed to climate change."

"And we look at every event separately because they're all very different and very individual."

Likewise, not every cold snap means climate change is wrong.

"It's quite frustrating as a climate scientist to hear people saying that," Dr King said. "Especially if it's the president of the United States, it's not very helpful."

"We're always going to have that variable weather — even in a hundred years.

"It's just that the warm extremes are a bit warmer, the cool extremes are not quite as cold as they would've been in the past."

Both Drs King and Perkins-Kirkpatrick are trying to move away from publicly assigning a number or percentage to how much climate change has contributed to an individual event, despite media pressure.

Dr Perkins-Kirkpatrick said she understands the pressure from the media, "They want that analysis because it is interesting and it does show that climate change is actually happening now."

The researchers explain there is only so fast they can get such analysis done.

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Jenifer (Zarknorph)

From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)

3/23/18

The problem keeps growing while we talk...

Image result for Great Pacific garbage patch

New findings show that the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a rotating soup of plastic in the north Pacific Ocean, contains up to 16 times more waste than previous surveys were able to detect.

Key points

  • Surveys of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch conducted in 2015 and 2016 estimate 78,200 tonnes of plastic waste are packed into an area almost the size of Queensland
  • This figure is much greater than previous estimates and has increased exponentially since the 1970s
  • Scientists were surprised to find that most of the mass was made up of larger pieces, such as fishing debris

A team of scientists has conducted what they say is the most comprehensive study to date of the patch's size and the debris floating in it.

Using a combination of drag netting and visual surveys from boats and an aeroplane, they estimated the patch is 1.6 million square kilometres in area — almost the same size as Queensland.

Packed into this area is more than 78,000 tonnes of plastic, the researchers report in the journal Scientific Reports.

Most of the mass was made up of pieces larger than 5 centimetres. While microplastics, which account for about 8 per cent of the mass, made up a bulk of the estimated 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic floating in the patch.

Lead researcher Laurent Lebreton said the garbage patch was growing exponentially and was boosted by debris washed out to sea during the Japanese tsunami in 2011.

"We show that plastic concentration has been increasing exponentially since the 1970s for different reasons," said Dr Lebreton, an oceanographer at the Ocean Cleanup Foundation in the Netherlands.

"We found about 30 per cent of the identifiable objects were likely coming from Japan.

"We correlated that with our model and we looked at estimates from the Japanese Government in terms of how much they think was washed to sea that day… and we predict that about 10-20 per cent of the materials post-2011 in the larger size class came from the tsunami."

Previous sampling, which estimated the patch contained around 4,800 tonnes of garbage, had primarily involved dragging funnel nets behind vessels to collect surface debris.

But Dr Lebreton said that this method excludes larger debris that cannot be collected by the nets, and that boat surveys can only cover a limited area.

"We saw that the surface area sampled by our trawls was not really large enough to be representative of the contribution of the bigger debris," he said.

"[So] we decided … to conduct an aerial expedition above the patch. We collected about 7,000 images [from the plane] and that helped us to calculate the contribution of larger debris such as ghost nets."

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