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2009-12-09 12:03 PM
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Subject: RE: You are in violation of the EPA
drewb8 - 2009-12-09 11:51 AM

I'm not sure what you are trying to show with that graph.  As far as I can tell it looks like the peaks of temperature coincide with the peaks in CO2 and the decline in CO2 coincides with the declines in temperature.  I don't see the lag you're talking about.  if anything that graph seems to show a correlation between the amount of CO2 and temperature (although obviously correlation <> causation).  Do you know of any studies which address this lag?


Not sure about the lag studies but let's just say for the sake of argument that they are tied.  Do you still see a pattern in that graph?  I sure do.  It's like those MENSA test where they show you 4 shapes and then you have to guess the 5th.  Can you guess which way the temp graph (as evidenced by millions of years of evidence) is going next?

And I never said no real real scientists dispute that we're changing the climate, there are a bunch of really smart guys who think that.  But it's a small minority of those who are actively doing work on the subject.


I know.  Someone else said it.  It was directed at the thread in general, not you specifically.

I must say Drew this is the longest, most civil "discussion" I've ever had in COJ.  While we might not agree I respect you for keeping it intelligent and logical.

Edited by TriRSquared 2009-12-09 12:03 PM


2009-12-09 12:31 PM
in reply to: #2550561

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Subject: RE: You are in violation of the EPA
TriRSquared - 2009-12-09 11:03 AM
drewb8 - 2009-12-09 11:51 AM

I'm not sure what you are trying to show with that graph.  As far as I can tell it looks like the peaks of temperature coincide with the peaks in CO2 and the decline in CO2 coincides with the declines in temperature.  I don't see the lag you're talking about.  if anything that graph seems to show a correlation between the amount of CO2 and temperature (although obviously correlation <> causation).  Do you know of any studies which address this lag?


Not sure about the lag studies but let's just say for the sake of argument that they are tied.  Do you still see a pattern in that graph?  I sure do.  It's like those MENSA test where they show you 4 shapes and then you have to guess the 5th.  Can you guess which way the temp graph (as evidenced by millions of years of evidence) is going next?

And I never said no real real scientists dispute that we're changing the climate, there are a bunch of really smart guys who think that.  But it's a small minority of those who are actively doing work on the subject.


I know.  Someone else said it.  It was directed at the thread in general, not you specifically.

I must say Drew this is the longest, most civil "discussion" I've ever had in COJ.  While we might not agree I respect you for keeping it intelligent and logical.


Right back at ya.  I've been trying to keep this focused on the actual data and science and not unverified claims from either side.  So thanks to eveyrone for playing along, it IS nice to be part of a civil discussion.

I have to say, I still don't see your point about the graph.  Take your mouse and put it on a point on the temperature scale.  Now move it straight down (so you're staying on the same year) until you hit the CO2 curve.  When one goes up the other goes up, when one goes down the other goes down.  The peaks and valleys all seem to align and I don't see one moving before the other.  I don't see any lag, but the time scale on that graph is so large that I guess a lag could be too small (if it were sayon the order of a few tens or hundreds of years) show up at that resolution.


Edited by drewb8 2009-12-09 12:31 PM
2009-12-09 1:11 PM
in reply to: #2546012

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Subject: RE: You are in violation of the EPA
Just wanted to note that while I don't see the lag you're talking about on the graph there have been times inthe past where CO2 changes have lagged behind temperature, so yo uare right in that respect.

When looking at historical timescales (tens and hundreds of years) CO2 DOES lead temperature.  Increases in CO2 are followed by increases in temperature. 

However, interestingly, there are ice core studies that show that when looking at interglacial/glacial timescales (thousands of years) there have been times in the past where temperature led CO2, generally by about 800 years or so (although there is some dispute to that).  This happend in a few instances at the end of ice ages when warming occured.  The process is thought to go like this: some smaller, currently unknown forcing starts some warming in antarctica and the surrounding ocean.  This warming begins to initiate the release of CO2 from deep ocean sinks.  Around 800 years or so later the levels of CO2 start rising and increase the amount of warming, releasing more CO2 and so on.  "In other words, CO2 does not initiate the warmings, but acts as an amplifier once they are underway".  The entire length of the warming trend was generally about 5000 years.  Now obviously CO2 isn't the sole reason for the warming, there are other forcings going on, but in these cases it seems to act as an accelerator and amplifier.  
2009-12-09 1:16 PM
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Subject: RE: You are in violation of the EPA
I guess I am not being clear.  Sorry.  It really has nothig to do with the lag.

Look at the peaks and valleys.  CO2 goes up, temp goes up, CO2 goes down, temp goes down...repeat.  At the left side of the graph (current day) we are at a "temp up/CO2 up" phase of the graph.  The next part of the graph (in the future), historically speaking, should be a temp down/CO2 down period.
2009-12-09 2:03 PM
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Subject: RE: You are in violation of the EPA
TriRSquared - 2009-12-09 12:16 PM I guess I am not being clear.  Sorry.  It really has nothig to do with the lag.

Look at the peaks and valleys.  CO2 goes up, temp goes up, CO2 goes down, temp goes down...repeat.  At the left side of the graph (current day) we are at a "temp up/CO2 up" phase of the graph.  The next part of the graph (in the future), historically speaking, should be a temp down/CO2 down period.

Well I don't know that you can infer future conditions just from a plot of CO2 vs temp it doesn't tell you want is causing it to go up or down, but I'm willing to go along with you.  And maybe if we weren't tinkering with the atmosphere it would be a temp/CO2 down trend in the future.  But we know there's going to be a CO2 up trend in the future because we're adding it to the atmosphere ourselves.

Edited by drewb8 2009-12-09 2:05 PM
2009-12-09 6:13 PM
in reply to: #2546012

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Subject: RE: You are in violation of the EPA
So, relative to the cycles of CO2 up -> temp up, CO2 down -> temp down we think we seen in the really long term, the question is, what is the effect of man-made CO2 going to have on the whole process?

If it's relatively minor, we're getting all worked up for nothing.  If it's relatively substantial, we better start trying to cap it now before something "bad" happens.

I personally think we are having an effect on our environment, and as stewards of our planet, need to do something about it.  I'm not particularly interested in giving up heat, or central air, or plastics, to get there though. 

For the record, I found the electricity/broadband argument an interesting read as well....   


2009-12-09 8:42 PM
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Subject: RE: You are in violation of the EPA
ColdRingo6 - 2009-12-09 5:13 PM So, relative to the cycles of CO2 up -> temp up, CO2 down -> temp down we think we seen in the really long term, the question is, what is the effect of man-made CO2 going to have on the whole process?

If it's relatively minor, we're getting all worked up for nothing.  If it's relatively substantial, we better start trying to cap it now before something "bad" happens.

I personally think we are having an effect on our environment, and as stewards of our planet, need to do something about it.  I'm not particularly interested in giving up heat, or central air, or plastics, to get there though. 

For the record, I found the electricity/broadband argument an interesting read as well....   

Thats the million dollar question. 

We know we're affecting the climate and the environment right now but how much more it will warm and how long it will take still contain some larger uncertainties  We can make some fairly educated guesses using climate models to predict what future conditions will be but there are still a few areas of the climate which we don't fully understand which limit our ability to make predictions.  Most notably is the water vapor/cloud feedback.  The studies right now point to it being a positive feedback, but the magnitude is still up in the air and considering water vapor is the most potent greenhouse gas there is it makes a big difference to the models.  There are also several possible feedback loops which are poorly understood as well.  Right now we're seeing a warimgn of about .4*F per decade, which is on the high side of the model prections and the predictions are anywhere from 2*- 11.5*F of additional rise during the next century which you'll notice is a pretty wide range.  Another 2*F rise would still bring some dramatic changes but maybe we could adapt to that fiarly painlessly.  A rise of 11* on the other hand would be bad news pretty much no matter what.

So the bottom line is that we can make some reasonably educated guesses (which will get better with time as more research is done and our understanding increases) but whether the uncertainties are small enough now or the possible effects are bad enough to warrant action is more of a politcal question than  scientific one.  Science can only help inform that decision.
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