Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Two proofs of global warming

(Via Grugoš Jotl.)

That should be enough to neutralize the heretics.


  1. Dear Lumos,

    Thanks, but if the climate scientists see these, they will take them at face value, without seeing the joke.

    The media too will think this is the ultimate proof of global warming, that in Victorian times girls wore full bathing costumes, but now it's so warm they only need g-strings on the beach...

    Nature will gradually restore equilibrium. If more CO2 is pumped into the atmosphere, more sea life will precipitate calcium carbonate to the sea bed, and as the CO2 is removed from the atmosphere in this way, the temperature will plummet. The only important temperature fluctuation will be near the equator (no warming at the poles) and the major consequence will be increased evaporation of water, forming hurricanes where the sea surface is warmer than 27 C.

    The biological feedback is obvious. Put more CO2 out, and it is used up. Vegetation and sea life proliferate in the warmer, CO2 richer world, transforming CO2 into cellulose, wood, shell CaCO3, and thus restoring the equilibrium. There is a lot of CO2 being pumped out by power stations, cars, etc., but it is small in comparison to the biological system.

    The danger is that if the combined effect of extra CO2 and warmer oceans means there is a real explosion of sealife and the CO2 level in the air drops as it is locked up as CaCO3 in the shells of shellfish, then the atomspheric level of CO2 will drop below the existing level, and a new ice age will occur.

    This is a bigger problem than that the climatic modellers see. Their computer simulations don't accurately reflect ecology and the effects I'm mentioning here.

    In summer, the CO2 enters the top warm 100 m layer of ocean above the thermocline, but with the first winter storms the whole ocean gets mixed up right the way down, and sea creatures on the ocean bed, 3000 m or so below the surface, have access to the CO2 and can use it to make their shells. The amount of sealife on the bottom, which is in complete darkness of course, is not well researched, because it takes expensive diving submarines and most of the ocean floors have not been properly explored. The data is so patchy, you just can't estimate the biomass on the ocean beds accurately.

    Best wishes,

  2. (Physical climatic models largely neglect BIOLOGICAL processes which remove CO2 in the oceans and rainforests. From satellites you know the size of forests, and you can estimate the amount of CO2 locked up in trees from the % of cellulose which is carbon (extracted from CO2 by the tree).

    But the oceans are more complex, you can't predict using a physics simulation what the ocean will do, because it is a chaotic biological process. An early blooming of photoplankton next year might cover a wide range of possible areas of the ocean, and the density in the water might vary within a wide range. This traps CO2 in the plant material which gets eaten by small fish, which get eaten by bigger fish, and eventually the material ends up on the ocean floor where a range of shellfish convert the carbon into CaCO3 of the shells.

    If the blooming goes out of control, the soak up of CO2 by the oceans could bring about an ice age. It is not predictable by climatic models which just ignore all the biological mechanisms.

    The earth's atmosphere only contains oxygen because of living things, plants! Similarly, living things produce CO2. You cannot treat the earth purely by climatic models, and there is a larger amount of uncertainty due to biology than due to physics of cloud reflection, which is simple to measure and model.)