Stop global warming

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Facts on global warming

Global warming has so many implications for industries and government, besides being an environmental issue, that there are powerful forces on all sides trying to convince us of one reality or another. You can only know the truth by digging it up for yourself. Here are some helps in that direction.

1. I just finished reading "The discovery of Global Warming" by Spencer Weart. (Harvard Univ. Press, 2003) This is an account of the history of the subject, written from an expert viewpoint, but fairly balanced. Weart is the director of the Center for History of Physics at the American Institute of Physics--great credentials. This is a great book, but won't tell you details of the science, just how various evidence has fit together over time. It's quite an eye-opener. Only a year old, it is already out of date on technical grounds. You can probably check out this book in a college library, I did.

2. A big sticking point among some "professionals" has been the publications of John Christy (U. of Alabama, Huntsville) which have shown no warming trends in satellite measurements of atmospheric temperature. His measurements have been a great comfort to the present Republican administration, which abandoned the Kyoto agreements that the U.S. had helped to forge. Christy's work is now being seriously challenged by two recent publications that show large warming trends based on satellite data. (If interested, I think you can get a recent Christy paper on-line: John R. Christy et al. "Update on Microwave-based Atmospheric Temperatures from UAH" 15th Symposium on Global Change and Climate Variations. 2003) Christy has a web site: john.christy@nsstc.uah.edu. Following are the challenging references.

3. Qiang Fu et el., "Contribution of Stratospheric Cooling to Satellite-inferred Tropospheric Temperature Trends" Nature 429, 55-58 (6 May 2004). Fu says that Christy overlooked the influence of tropospheric cooling in his calculations. He makes the correction, and finds a large warming trend. This appears to be a hot topic right now. Hard copies of this issue may not have reached library shelves yet, but a helpful librarian can download the paper for you.

4. Menglin Jin, "Analysis of Land Skin Temperature Using AVHRR Observations" Bul. of the American Meteorological Soc. (BAMS) April, 2004, p. 587-600. Jin analyzes satellite data to obtain earth surface temperature. He also shows a large warming trend. This is a major paper, lots of references. Most of the figures are in color, good luck getting it copied.

Final word: It can be shown logically that a warming earth does not necessary cause the upper troposphere to get warmer, as Christy would argue. I will provide this in a future post.

Ernie Rogers

4 Comments:

  • Master Ernie,

    First let me say that I am all about more efficient vehicles...or no vehicles at all. Modern humans are wasteful and short sighted.

    In my previous life, I worked on a NASA project called FIRST (among other things)...which was the first instrument that could systematically measure the radiation given off by the earth in the 10 to 100 micron region...coincidentally that wavelength region is where the earth radiates most of its energy into space (black body peak at average earth surface temperature).

    Think of earth as a black box...energy goes in from the sun, energy goes out by radiation. The difference between the two is the net energy gain(loss) of the earth. What amazes me is that we have NEVER MEASURED the energy that the earth radiates into space in a systematic manner. The FIRST instrument flew this summer in New Mexico....and made the first measurements of this band of energy.

    Crazy...we are missing half of the equation to balance the earth's energy budget. FIRST only showed that it was possible to make the measurement...now we need global coverage...for 20 years...then we might be able to make sense out of global warming. In any event, we will understand it too late. I predict that about the time of the next ice age we will have gotten our greenhouse gasses under control!

    Trivia: What atmospheric gas contributes most to global warming?

    By Blogger Cam, at September 15, 2005 at 9:12 PM  

  • Good jetta post!

    By Blogger autocounsel, at October 27, 2005 at 8:12 AM  

  • ....uh, methane from NZ sheep could be a problem; or carry a few of 'em in one's car for extra fuel (piping could be a bit of a challenge)...

    on global warming, a "hot" topic... I've heard some counter-politically correct ideas:

    1. the sun's causing it mostly ...more sun spot activity and flares, and will get worse before better.

    2. excellent book, "Why Geography Matters" (three challenges facing America) by Harm de Blij, talks about 'normal' earth heating/cooling cycles ....we've been cold for awhile

    3. maybe people have little to do with it; mostly poor data for long-term phenomenon, poor correlation of cause/effect

    4. like Carlin says ("Jammin' in NY") ... the earth's fine, it's the people that are going away!!

    5. one wonders are there really... I mean REALLY facts on global warning, or just poorly and non-scientifically documented conclusions?

    6. damned sure not gonna trust Al Gore or ExxonMobil - both are self-serving and remember the 'ole adage: "figures don't lie, but liars figure!"

    By Blogger Bill, at July 27, 2007 at 5:54 PM  

  • nice .. check out mine!
    Save the earth

    By Blogger Admin, at February 21, 2009 at 2:52 PM  

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