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Climate Science Doesnt Know ,What It Doesnt Know

Discussion in 'Environmental Discussion' started by mojo, Feb 10, 2012.

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  1. mojo

    mojo Senior Member

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  2. tochatihu

    tochatihu Senior Member

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    I share your enthusiasm that continued science funding will deepen our knowledge of atmospheric chemistry. Atmospheric radical reactions are important for ozone as well.

    Some of the same authors first reported on these biradicals in J American Chem Soc in 2008. But the January 2011 publication in Science has attracted a lot more attention.

    Whatever the contribution of these chemicals, the recent trends in cloud cover are being clarified. Those must result from the net effects of all atmospheric chemicals, especially cloud condensation nuclei. So, biradicals must be part of the story. I guess we will know empirically how cloud cover varies through time, well before we know the contributing role of each of the chemicals.

    If we rush ahead with speculation that these will save the earth from heat trapping by infrared-absorbing gases, it seems we are also obliged to wonder why they do not prevent cyclic ice ages, and why they did not prevent the PETM.

    I haven't heard the Criegee authors rushing ahead. That is the domain of the media.

    I might have posted on this here myself, but I have lately been limiting my attention to bringing demonstrably good news to the attention of PC. Like a study indicated reduced climate sensitivity to CO2, and the latest GRACE analysis of glaciers. In no way would I try to limit our discussion to such good news.. It's just that there is so much going on in earth systems science that it seems impossible to summarize it for PC.
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  3. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Nadir of Wrongness

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    Just a comment on your title: I am a computer programmer, my motto is "To the best of my knowledge, it has no undetectable errors."
  4. icarus

    icarus Senior Member

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    Citing "watts up with that" as some authoritative source, is sort of like aksing your vet to diagnose your car!

    Icarus
  5. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster HID Guru

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    Got to love stupid circular definitions.
  6. chogan2

    chogan2 Senior Member

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    Doing two minutes of reading, I found the following.

    First, these are not new chemicals in the atmosphere. They are not even new in our understanding of atmospheric chemistry. They are named after the guy who first proposed them as part of a reaction chain, back in the 1950s.

    Second, they are incredibly short-lived intermediate products that form from ozone and alkanes (e.g., methane, ethane), and they go on to oxidize -- well, probably pretty much anything they hit, but in particular S02 and N02. Which converts those from being essentially inert to being reactive sulfate (N04) and nitrate (N03), which I suppose then go on to make sufuric and nitric acid, and form cloud droplets.

    Third, what is new is that they were able to show how fast they react. Previously, their reaction speed had merely been classed as being far too fast to be observed. The guesses as to speed spanned orders of magnitude. Here, with the help of a particle accelerator, they were able to observe exactly how fast they react. The actual speed is at the high end of prior guesses, so, among the various ways in which the atmosphere oxidizes things, this pathway will now be given more prominence.

    Fourth, as noted above, whatever impact these chemicals have, it's already been felt. And has been for a long time. The "could reverse global warming", in quotes, in the headline, appears to have been completely made up. To read what the authors said, look at the last line, and pay attention to the verb tense, 'Natural ecosystems could be playing a role ...".

    Summary: It's not a new chemical, it's not man-made, it was already known. The advance is that the reaction speed is at the high end of prior guesses, so presumably this oxidation pathway will now be given greater weight when modeling atmospheric chemistry. All in all, normal science.
  7. mojo

    mojo Senior Member

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    My point with the title is that science is never settled.To presume that all is known is inane.
    This observation of the creation of cloud nuclei is a new frontier to those whose minds aren't already "settled".
    Moreabundant CO2 produces a more abundance of plant life.Criegee molecules are created in greater abundance from more plants.Cloud nuclei are created in greater abundance.
    Clouds are created in greater abundance raising albedo and cooling the planet.
    A negative feedback totally unknown to the the settled minds of climate scientists.
    They already know all of climates mechanisms ,and they are satisfied with their computer models designed with only positive feedbacks.
    Except they left out what they don't know.The Earth is a stable system.
  8. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Nadir of Wrongness

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    Politics is never settled, religion is never settled, architecture is never settled, heck, sports are never settled, art is never settled. It is great that we learn new things, try new ideas, brave new adventures.

    Ask a T-Rex/Mammoth/Dodo how stable earth is next time you meet one.
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  9. FL_Prius_Driver

    FL_Prius_Driver Senior Member

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    From a larger perspective, this is basic chemistry. It's interesting that these basic mechanisms are just being determined due to the need to know, not entirely the desire to know.
  10. Corwyn

    Corwyn Energy Curmudgeon

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    Please list the names of all climate scientists who have stated that they are satisfied with their computer models.

    I suspect this is an amazing strawman designed to sow uncertainty.
  11. mojo

    mojo Senior Member

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    That's quite a cop out.The science that "97%" of all believe In?
    Hansen is the one with the biggest mouth.But youcan add to a list ,any involved with any IPCC Report.



  12. mojo

    mojo Senior Member

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  13. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Nadir of Wrongness

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    You seem upset that climate scientists have 'settled' AND that they continue to do research. It would be less confusing if you either were angry that they did one or the other, not both.

    For my self, more research is always needed, but refusing to make models before every bit of data is in, means we never get a model at all.
  14. tochatihu

    tochatihu Senior Member

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    Good on mojo again, for mentioning "the literature". This time, Geophysical Research Letters, and it just hit the streets 3 Feb!

    If I have played any small role in stimulating your interest along these lines, it would be most gratifying.

    However, if every any new thing that gets published is only seen in the light of "here is another thing scientists didn't know", I am afraid you are learning much less than possible from the experience.

    As you mentioned that CO2 makes plants grow (upthread), perhaps I could stimulate your interest in that particular area. If you were to focus on this, I'm sure the response of plants to all their necessary resources (CO2, light, water and nutrients) would become clearer. And that's a good thing. You could start with the Reich et al. 2006 review. It's free to download here

    http://www.biocon.umn.edu/ReichAREES2006.pdf

    Actually a lot of that literature is listed at the Idsos' CO2science web site. Perhaps making that an easier starting point than google scholar. However, you will see that the Idsos' interpretation is just as one-dimensional as yours. That is, only CO2 matters. So you'll probably not learn anything new from their interpretation.

    In another light it might serve as a good example of the thread title. The Idsos are scientists who don't know what they don't know. Not that things haven't been published; rather that they (appear to) make an effort not to know them.
  15. chogan2

    chogan2 Senior Member

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    1) Start clock
    2) Open the Google Scholar search page.
    3) Search "clouds general circulation model"
    4) Pick a random page -- 16.
    5) Note that even 160 citations into the listing, the articles appear to be very much on topic -- looking at how general circulation models deal with clouds, or not.
    6) Stop clock. Time elapsed, 32 seconds.
    7) Suggestion: Google Scholar, "cloud cover trends".
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