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); 192720 views.
In reply toRe: msg 152
Jenifer (Zarknorph)

From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)


'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)


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."


In reply toRe: msg 154
Jenifer (Zarknorph)

From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)


Clean-up operation needs to target source

By including the larger debris sizes in their study, the researchers knew they'd come up with a bigger figure than previous studies, but they were still surprised by just how much mass the larger debris contributed.

"I wasn't expecting to find that 92 per cent of the mass would be [larger plastics]," Mr Lebreton said.

Almost half the larger debris they identified was commercial fishing gear including nets and fish aggregation devices — nets and other structure set adrift intentionally by fishers to attract fish.

Research scientist Dr Denise Hardesty from the CSIRO said it wasn't surprising the survey produced a much larger size estimate of the garbage patch, given the different research methods used.

"When you're comparing aerial surveys that are looking at ghost nets with estimates that are all focused on floating plastics we're not really making the exact same comparison," said Dr Hardesty, who was not involved in the study.

"Ghost nets will weigh so much more than all those little tiny bits and pieces and fragments."

But she says that the new research is still cause for concern.

"Whether you're focusing on count or mass, I think it is alarming and we all recognise that this is an increasing global project and it's going to take local solutions as well as hopefully global governance to help resolve the issues," she said.

"We need to deal with this before it enters the ocean rather than when it's out in the middle of the ocean."

Plastic circulating in the garbage patch does eventually get "kicked out" and washes up on coastline, Dr Hardesty said.

But right now we are feeding waste in at a much higher rate than it can be expelled.

"There's an increasing source that's coming from our coast. And yes shipping and fisheries waste is also contributing, but the lion's share of mismanaged waste is coming from land," she said.

The Ocean Cleanup Foundation said they would use the research to develop technologies that, they claim, would be able to "clean up 50 per cent of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in five years".


From: RRBud


An enormous amount of the plastic garbage in this patch that came from Japan was swept into the ocean as the Fukushima tsunami waters ran off the land they'd inundated.  No, that doesn't excuse Japan from any responsibility for helping to clean up this mess, but that was a significant contributor.

I still think it's necessary to construct a couple of ships specifically designed for this kind of clean-up operation. I very much doubt they will ever turn a profit, but the clean-up must be performed.

Jenifer (Zarknorph)

From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)


It's not about profit, it's about responsibility.

And given that a lot of the debris is fishing nets, then the fishing industry should at least make a start.


From: RRBud


You get no opposition from me on this.  I just wish someone would take it on and manage to turn a profit, because then there'd be a commercial incentive, not merely a commonsense, practical, ethical, moral incentive.

Yes, I am very cynical where it comes to my fellow humans.

Jenifer (Zarknorph)

From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)


You might be able to get oil from the plastic, but I doubt it would be a very good grade.

The profit comes from not killing all the fish in the Pacific.

Then we can kill and eat them.


From: RRBud


Most likely, the primary product we could make from recovered plastics would be more plastics.  Not all of them are bad for our world, but we have to start being careful what we do with the stuff.


From: ElDotardo


So sad . . .

Game over

Skeptics 1, Fanatics 0. That’s the final score.

The corrected mid-range estimate of Charney sensitivity, which is equilibrium sensitivity to doubled CO2 in the air, is less than half of the official mid-range estimates that have prevailed in the past four decades. Transient sensitivity of 1.25 K and Charney sensitivity of 1.45 K are nothing like enough to worry about.

This third article answers some objections raised as a result of the first two pieces. Before I give some definitions, equations and values to provide clarity, let me make it plain that my approach is to accept – for the sake of argument only – that everything in official climatology is true except where we have discovered errors. By this acceptance solum ad argumentum, we minimize the scope for futile objections that avoid the main point, and we focus the discussion on the grave errors we have found.


All definitions except that of temperature feedback are mainstream. I am including them in the hope of forestalling comments to the effect that there is no such thing as the greenhouse effect, or that temperatures (whether entire or delta) cannot induce feedbacks. If you are already well versed in climatology, as most readers here are, skip this section except for the definition of feedback, where climatology is at odds with mainstream feedback theory.

Greenhouse gases possess at least three atoms in their molecules and are thus capable of possessing or, under appropriate conditions, acquiring a dipole moment that causes them to oscillate in one of their vibrational modes and thus to emit heat.

Carbon dioxide (CO2), being symmetrical, does not possess a dipole moment, but acquires one in its bending vibrational mode on interacting with a near-infrared photon. To use Professor Essex’s excellent analogy, when a greenhouse gas meets a photon of the right wavelength it is turned on like a radiator, whereupon some warming must by definition occur.

The non-condensing greenhouse gases exclude water vapor.

Water vapor, the most significant greenhouse gas by quantity, is a condensing gas. All relevant changes in its atmospheric burden are treated as temperature feedbacks. Its atmospheric burden is thought to increase by 7% per Kelvin of warming in accordance with the Clausius-Clapeyron relation (Wentz 2007).

Emission temperature would obtain at the Earth’s surface if there were no non-condensing greenhouse gases or feedbacks present. Emission temperature is a function of insolation, albedo and emissivity (assumed to be unity), and of nothing else. As non-condensing greenhouse gases and feedbacks warm the atmosphere, the altitude at which the emission temperature obtains rises.

Radiative forcing (in W m–2) is an exogenous perturbation in the net (down minus up) radiative flux density at the top of the atmosphere. Forcings become warmings via –

The Planck sensitivity parameter (in K W–1 m
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Jenifer (Zarknorph)

From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)


SO much of that went completely over my head!

Can you summarise the science for me?