Two Books by Craig Bohren on Atmospheric Science


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I recommend two books on atmospheric science;  "Clouds in a Glass of Beer"  and "What Light Through Yonder Window Breaks?"  both by Craig Bohren,  professor emeritus of atmospheric science from the University of Pennsylvania.  Both books talk about atmospheric effects on light and temperature, not by beating the reader over the head with mathematics and heavy physics,  but by illustrating  basic scientific principle  by observations that can be made by ordinary folks  without the use of  expensive machines and instruments. 

Of particular interest to me are the chapters (in both books)  on  infra-red radiation and  the effects of atmospheric  CO2.  Bohren speaks as a professional atmospheric scientist in terms that are plain to non-specialists without dumbing down the science (Bravo! to that)  and without an iota of cant or ideological extremism.  I would classify Bohren as the most readable,  sensible  lukewarmer I have come across in many moons.  (I also include Dr. Roy Spencer in this category). 

The books are readable, entertaining,  charming and witty.   At the time he wrote "Cloud is a Glass of Beer"  the atmospheric CO2 concentration was about 340 ppm (in 1987).  He says if anyone is silly enough to pooh pooh a mere 340 molecules of CO2 per million molecules of atmosphere,  then they should try putting 340 ppm of arsenic in their morning coffee  (I thought that was rather witty).  But Bohren is no alarmist either. 

Please see this article in which Bohren briefly states his views on atmospheric  condition and climate.  If you can't or won't read the books, then read this article:

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/tech/columnist/aprilholladay/2006-08-07-global-warming-truth_x.htm

He wastes no time or verbiage in getting to the main points. 

 

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40 minutes ago, Brant Gaede said:

The article is fraudulent for it speaks of "the climate change debate." That's politicalized jargon for AGW. There is no "debate" about CC. Climate changes. If you aren't talking about AGW you haven't got any balls.

--Brant

Bohren is no fraud nor is his article a fraud.  Bohren is a lukewarmist with regard to AGW.  Many of the people in climate research are lukewarmists but it is not safe to be anything but enthusiastic  for the  panic  view of Climate Change --- OMG! by 2200 c.e we will become Venus!

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2 hours ago, BaalChatzaf said:

Bohren is no fraud nor is his article a fraud.  Bohren is a lukewarmist with regard to AGW.  Many of the people in climate research are lukewarmists but it is not safe to be anything but enthusiastic  for the  panic  view of Climate Change --- OMG! by 2200 c.e we will become Venus!

I didn't say he was a fraud. And it's not his article. He was quoted. Using CC instead of AGW is accepting the PC context of the fraudsteers, however: I view it as appeasement. Both you and William think you can do science about global warming and CO2 on a political-economic-philosophical-liberal arts forum by adducing data and technical arguments out of a supposed scientific context, but there is way, way too much data and climate science is too infantile for the climate is too complex for good modeling and data wars save for the fact that it seems modern industrial carbon-based economy has increased the CO2 in the atmosphere, NOT that that is the cause or even a contributor to a general warming trend since the end of the Little Ice Age. There is absolutely no good evidentiary proof that that has had any effect whatsoever on increasing temperature. Since you are now a "lukewarmist" you have accepted a political not a scientific position which is faux science hence religious. Of course, of this you are completely oblivious. Personally, my position simply is increased CO2 is good for both plant and animal life and we sure as hell don't need another ice age regardless. Also, there has been no general warming now for 20 years.

--Brant

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8 hours ago, Brant Gaede said:

Climate changes.

Temperature changes, weather changes, growing season changes, Arctic sea ice extent changes, atmospheric concentration of CO2 increases, sea level increases, jetstream changes, heat distribution changes,  and so on with a dozen more variables.

Climate is the long view. Weather is the short view. Patterns of weather over yearly cycle in a single place are that place's climate. Like Tucson has a climate unlike Seattle, and Seattle has a climate unlike Boston.

8 hours ago, Brant Gaede said:

There is no "debate" about CC.

Sure about that?  We have already touched on naming before. Whether you like it or not, there is a debate, discussion, controversy, pitched battle, David and Goliath struggle ... to understand our present world's climate in the context of increasing emissions of CO2.  There are confrontations of opinion.

If you take the position that there is no debate, and if you throw around the word "Fraudulent" to refer to an interview with Bob's author, then you have no place of epistemic privilege. You just set yourself apart from any discussion, and seemingly prefer not to be informed.

It might help to think about 'study' of past climate change. That study is not necessarily fraudulent, nor its findings. In the beginnings it was the revolution in Geology that let led to modern discoveries about climate. By that I mean the first understanding that the Earth's climate is not stable and eternal.  It was the discoveries of glacial cycles that raised the questions: why did glacial cycles come and go?  What were the 'mechanics'? Etc.

If you know now that 'climate changes,' you owe that knowledge to folks who 'fraudulently' debated the merits of investigative work by such as Fourier, Tyndall and Arrhenius.

Simplifying all the study and work and scientific to and fro down to an obviously true but far too general "It Changes" doesn't serve to advance rational inquiry.  It can leave a person without any hand-holds on the greater discussions and knowledge claims in the Climate Change Debate.

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Climate changes. If you aren't talking about AGW you haven't got any balls.

As I explained to you some time ago, a temperature increase trend (as in the Arctic) is only 'warming.'  Warming.  But warming of the sea temperatures and the temperature of the atmosphere in the Arctic is only a part of systematic changes taking place at the top of the world.

In other words, warming is only a part of the changes studied.   Climate change is a broader term that encompasses all the observed and reconstructed from proxy data. 

Here is a question for you, not a difficult one, but a tiny bit tricky: If climate changes, if 'climate changes' is correct, and I believe it is correct, then ... how fast does climate change?

How fast does climate change, Brant? 

Edited by william.scherk
Spelking ...
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When I said "no debate" I meant that climate changes. Period. Who's debating that? There is a matter of sundry time frames. The problem is CC is being used as a euphemism for AGW where there's the debate. The idea is to pretend there is no debate about AGW by calling AGW CC. That's intellectual fraud. That's in turn moral fraud.

--Brant

"climate change denier" my ass--that's a gross slander ad hominem pretense that an AGW denier is an idiot trucked in by the AGW affirmers when they started losing the "conversation"

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I've bolded a passage in Brant's commentary ...

2 hours ago, Brant Gaede said:

Using CC instead of AGW is accepting the PC context of the fraudsteers, however: I view it as appeasement.

See earlier commentary in the APS-Scam thread, and try to use the Principle of Charity in understanding my points and how they hang together to make an argument.

The CC instead of AGW is (simply) one inside of the other. If the 'change' in climate a particular person was studying was a negative warming (a cooling of the entire planetary system), then Global Cooling (of the Little Ice Age, say) is part of a larger suite of changes, knock-ons, entailments, feedbacks and forcings.

The politically-correct context is neither here nor there. As you know well, lots of words and charges get flung around at the fringes of scientific discussion.  Fraudsteers, your word is just that, a word. The word applied to a blob unidentified. Lukewarmer, denialist, alarmist, kook, shill, paid-for whore, etc.

Similarly, appeasement. That has no context of actual actors. As an opinion, it stands without warrants or a developed argument.

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Both you and William think you can do science about global warming and CO2 on a political-economic-philosophical-liberal arts forum by adducing data and technical arguments out of a supposed scientific context, but there is way, way too much data and climate science is too infantile for the climate is too complex for good modeling and data wars save for the fact that it seems modern industrial carbon-based economy has increased the CO2 in the atmosphere, NOT that that is the cause or even a contributor to a general warming trend since the end of the Little Ice Age.

I think Brant, Bob and William are united in thinking that the world is knowable, that human ingenuity and investigative rigour can tell us true things about our world.  Beyond that I cannot generalize too much. 

I think you are approaching the snarl of issues with an "I don't know" which turns to "I can't know, and neither can you,"  and then falling into the epistemic swamp of "Nobody can know."  There may be 'way too much data' for one person to comprehend first-hand, but with specialization and collaboration, the knowledge base gets stronger. 

I am quite interested in Arctic issues at the moment, because there is so much discussion, disagreement, mystery.  I post on the Arctic issues in the APS-Scam thread to make interesting to others what is interesting to me. If I fail to interest others, I still gain in personal knowledge.

It is almost like you are saying that because you don't believe anything is firmly in the 'known' column, or because you are not competent enough to become a well-informed layman, NOBODY can.  I don't believe that.

Anyone with some focus and a talent for hard work can get informed.  Standing on the outside of the 'getting to know things' activity, and junking the motives and abilities and interests of other people ... where does that get a person? I mean, how  does Brant benefit, and how do the lurking reading members and guests benefit?

 

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There is absolutely no good evidentiary proof that [increasing atmospheric CO2] has had any effect whatsoever on increasing temperature.

Brant!  We have been through the basic physics of radiative transfer before -- when you say "no good evidentiary proof' of CO2 warming then you have forgotten what you learned earlier. The No-CO2 Warming stance is that of the Skydragon Slayers. The hardest of the hard science within climatology is that 'Tyndall gases' have the Tyndall gases effect. If you deny that, then you run the risk of being seen as a non-participant with reality. That was the point of my earlier discussion of the Skydragon Slayers and Judith Curry at Climate Etc.  There is a baseline of agreement on the ('lukewarm') basics that derive from radiation physics.  

HR-Tyndall(1861-Frontispiece).gif

 

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Since you are now a "lukewarmist" you have accepted a political not a scientific position which is faux science hence religious. Of course, of this you are completely oblivious. Personally, my position simply is increased CO2 is good for both plant and animal life and we sure as hell don't need another ice age regardless. Also, there has been no general warming now for 20 years.

These are reckless charges, Brant.  

You condemn Bob as accepting a 'faux science.' But what in fuck gives you the cognitive and epistemic authority to trash what he thinks he knows, to address him as a cultist? A charge like yours of religious PC appeasement must apply equally to "our side" people like Curry, Lindzen, Christy, Spencer, Watts -- to all the lukewarmer skeptics who are more or less like Bob in their opinions (who don't dismiss or deny CO2 effects).  In other words, every other inquiry of note on this side of the 'debate' (contra demented Venus alarmism and commie plots) is a big fucking zero next to yours.

Do you see?  Who is oblivious to the import of his argument here?  

It's the blithe accusation of religious cultism that irks. Confident statements about your own gnosis do not overrule Bob's understanding merely by stating them.  

Finally, No general warming now for 20 years ... ?  No general warming since 1997?

If this is so, then bring on good evidentiary material, material solid enough to convince others, others who are not yet at the zenith of knowledge with you. 

 

Edited by william.scherk
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CO2 causing warming (offsetting cooling) is not CO2 causing AGW. One can assume, experiments or not, that since it's already there it may have some effect over hundreds of millions of years, but that's not assuming it has any effect on AGW or that there is any AGW aside, perhaps, a small amount from heat islands. No one is sounding the alarm about heat islands. It's all CO2. Boo, boo, CO2!

Your criticizing me for not having any arguments from authority? Furthermore, you are not addressing my line of reasoning.

I think Bob is quite innocent because of the way genetics has structured his brain. Consequently, he doesn't know what he's standing in. All he sees is science.

As for warming in the last 20 years, if you have a contrary opinion to mine simply state it and I'll try to adduce a good reference against your contrary. The trouble is I work 12 hours a day and this is my first day off in a month. You can easily outgun me 20 - 1 even if I wasn't. Then it's a data battle. I lose. But I am willing to lose.

"It's not what we know, but what we know that just ain't so."

--Brant

edit: I'm going to make it easy on myself: I strike the claim there has been no (aggregated) global warming over the last 20 years (in contradistinction to the warming of previous years)

 

 

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1 hour ago, Brant Gaede said:
3 hours ago, william.scherk said:
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Since you are now a "lukewarmist" you have accepted a political not a scientific position which is faux science hence religious. Of course, of this you are completely oblivious.

These are reckless charges, Brant.  

I think Bob is quite innocent because of the way genetics has structured his brain. Consequently, he doesn't know what he's standing in. All he sees is science.

That is not what you said. You claimed the epistemic high ground against Bob's 'faux science.' And you told us that he is completely oblivious. You take issue with a creditable self-labeling by applying insult terms.  That is shit.

If you can't find the time to study and get up to speed on things that Bob and I and the lukewarmers affirm, no problem.  But claiming superior knowledge is one thing, demonstrating it is another. 

The basic lukewarmer position is that human-industry origin of CO2 has increased the concentration of this atmospheric energy-emitter and absorber.  That CO2 has the effect of delaying infrared heat transmission to space. That this delayed-action atmospheric 'shedding' of energy is part of the reason a relatively thin atmosphere (compared to Venus, say) like that of Earth can confer more warmth than another similar body without an atmosphere: the Moon.

Bob trots out the hoary 33 degree figure, and well he should.  With a Nitrogen/Oxygen atmosphere stripped of Tyndall-gas molecules, the Earth would not be in a Goldilocks zone.  Heat energy would escape from the surfaces without ricocheting around and so 'heating' the atmosphere itself along with lands and oceans beneath. Reflected shortwave and emitted longwave radiation from the surfaces would escape to space much more easily, zooming straight through the non-absorbent molecules.  The CO2 'blanket' would be gone and the Earth would reach a new lower equilibrium.

Those are the basics, if poorly related. They leave out water vapour, which -- all things being equal -- increases as an atmosphere warms. That water H20 is itself a potent warming agent.

Knowing and accepting those basics, it is not religious devotion to further accept that all things held equal, increasing the amount of said CO2 molecules decreases the ease with which heat energy escapes out of our system. 

Thus, lukewarm is a perfectly reasonable position.

My main point, Brant, is that you shouldn't mark the field with enemy formations as including Lukewarmers. That strikes me as unreasonable, wrong. Bob is still on the Good Team against Alarmist Venus-ism and general anti-industrial hoopla and environmental whoopee.

See, by my reckoning the vast majority of 'doubters' if not 'dismissers' are lukewarmers.  By slagging off Bob you seem to be doing what Peter tried to do: "What Side Are You On, Bob?" I think Bob is not part of the 'enemy' but on the side of a great deal of intelligent people. Where they disagree with those further to the left or alarmist pole is on the actual sensitivity of the whole danged system to X worth of more CO2.  Which is where Bob makes his most interesting points, to my mind.  

Think about writing off all the names I listed above as wildly PC cultish and as grossly mistaken as Bob.  That gets you where?

Me, I should go back to the Arctic.  Bob can try to patiently explain to you why he believes there is broad evidentiary support for a Lukewarm position.

1 hour ago, Brant Gaede said:

CO2 causing warming (offsetting cooling) is not CO2 causing AGW.

If a giant volcanic complex began emitting gigatonnes of 'extra' CO2 over a thirty year period, what do you think would happen to the processes of radiative transfer? Or, more simply, the extra heat-absorbing/emitting molecules would do what to the average temperature of the globe over those thirty years?

Look at it the way you present it:  if more 'human-origin' CO2 enters the atmosphere, why should we expect zero additional effect?

Is it that you don't accept that the 33 degree difference between non-greenhouse and greenhouse Earth is due to radiative physics? Are the physics wrong to you?  Maybe you think that there is no temperature-raising effect of CO2 except along a long slow curve. Or that additional CO2 may raise temperatures on average, according to physics, but that it must be slower than any climatologist believes. 

 

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One can assume, experiments or not, that since it's already there it may have some effect over hundreds of millions of years, but that's not assuming it has any effect on AGW or that there is any AGW aside, perhaps, a small amount from heat islands. No one is sounding the alarm about heat islands.

I can't follow this very well.  You have access to evidence that CO2 absorbs and emits radiative energy (infrared energy). You have access to evidence that this absorption/emission does not obey a million-year response rate. 
 

In the end, your arguments and claims and insults don't cohere. Now that I have objected to your insults, and tried to show you where your claims are weak or unwarranted, I figure we should let it go.  I don't think we are on the same road, even if we have the same destination in mind: Understanding climate change arguments.

If you think that all the global temperature datasets (not just NOAA's) are shit, or fraudulent, or that some satellite data interpretations are better than any other data product,  then maybe you can discuss that. But for the most part, all the enemy formations are in rough agreement with the friendly formation. If of course all the data is fraudulent, then we are living through a nightmare of falsity. 

I stick with the Arctic because it is not understood well, and the warming there is palpable, as we speak -- not the specious reconstruction of Fraudsteers.  If the enemies are correct, this is the beginning, not the end.  At some point in our futures (should we live to say a hundred and fifteen) we might see our earlier beliefs overturned by reality.  

For me, that would be great.  

 

PS -- your link is 404 for me.

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Bob says that of himself--that he is oblivious to normal human mental functioning because he's an Aspie. Therefore he sticks to his facts and logic thereupon. I accept that, call it innocence and you call it "shit." The epistemic "high ground" applies to what is commonly known as "Liberal Arts" not what Bob calls "science" (and math). This "high ground" is occupied by maybe 6 or 7 billion people--if they chose to use it. Bob can't. Bob knows about non-scientific subjects but claims no feeling for them. But for them sans feeling means no good and proper understanding beyond so and so says this and so and so says that and results in "I don't care about the collateral damage."

I don't think you've been following Bob too well these last several years.

--Brant

 

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6 hours ago, Brant Gaede said:

I didn't say he was a fraud. And it's not his article. He was quoted. Using CC instead of AGW is accepting the PC context of the fraudsteers, however: I view it as appeasement. Both you and William think you can do science about global warming and CO2 on a political-economic-philosophical-liberal arts forum by adducing data and technical arguments out of a supposed scientific context, but there is way, way too much data and climate science is too infantile for the climate is too complex for good modeling and data wars save for the fact that it seems modern industrial carbon-based economy has increased the CO2 in the atmosphere, NOT that that is the cause or even a contributor to a general warming trend since the end of the Little Ice Age. There is absolutely no good evidentiary proof that that has had any effect whatsoever on increasing temperature. Since you are now a "lukewarmist" you have accepted a political not a scientific position which is faux science hence religious. Of course, of this you are completely oblivious. Personally, my position simply is increased CO2 is good for both plant and animal life and we sure as hell don't need another ice age regardless. Also, there has been no general warming now for 20 years.

--Brant

Some of the lukewarmers think humans might add a half a degree C  when the CO2 concentration hits 500 ppm.  The rest of the increase will be due to natural drivers.   The earth has been warming up some since the bottom of the Little Ice Age which lasted from 1300 to 1850  c.e.  But when cold snaps end, it is because things have warmed up.   Part of the warming is due to the Oceanic Decadal Oscillations. Very little of the warming (most likely)  is due to what humans have done to alter the atmosphere. And very likely some time in the next 5000 years  we will be back in a real ice age. 

In any case the genuine climate scientists have quite a ways to go to get decent models.

I am a lukewarmer  because it is a fact, scientifically established that CO2 in the atmosphere does slow down the rate at which the earth radiates heat back out into space.  If there were no CO2 in the atmosphere the average surface temperature of the Earth would be -15 deg C.  O2 and N2  are nearly transparent to infra red  radiation.  It is the minute amount of CO2,  and NH4  along with water vapor  that keeps  us as warm as we are. 

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2 hours ago, Brant Gaede said:

[to William] Furthermore, you are not addressing my line of reasoning.

Right.  Many, many words of response while missing the point that no one doubts that climate changes, and that "climate change" is used as a fraudulent cover to smuggle in specifically AGW claims.

Ellen

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38 minutes ago, BaalChatzaf said:

Some of the lukewarmers think humans might add a half a degree C  when the CO2 concentration hits 500 ppm.

Which would hardly be the big frigging catastrophe alarmists try to tell us we have to radically curtail fossil fuel use to prevent.

The alarmist goal isn't control of climate.  It's control of people.

Ellen

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43 minutes ago, BaalChatzaf said:

Some of the lukewarmers think humans might add a half a degree C  when the CO2 concentration hits 500 ppm.  The rest of the increase will be due to natural drivers.   The earth has been warming up some since the bottom of the Little Ice Age which lasted from 1300 to 1850  c.e.  But when cold snaps end, it is because things have warmed up.   Part of the warming is due to the Oceanic Decadal Oscillations. Very little of the warming (most likely)  is due to what humans have done to alter the atmosphere. And very likely some time in the next 5000 years  we will be back in a real ice age. 

In any case the genuine climate scientists have quite a ways to go to get decent models.

I am a lukewarmer  because it is a fact, scientifically established that CO2 in the atmosphere does slow down the rate at which the earth radiates heat back out into space.  If there were no CO2 in the atmosphere the average surface temperature of the Earth would be -15 deg C.  O2 and N2  are nearly transparent to infra red  radiation.  It is the minute amount of CO2,  and NH4  along with water vapor  that keeps  us as warm as we are. 

That's a very good and rational statement.

--Brant

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53 minutes ago, Ellen Stuttle said:

Right.  Many, many words of response while missing the point that no one doubts that climate changes, and that "climate change" is used as a fraudulent cover to smuggle in specifically AGW claims.

Ellen

Missing the point is the point.

When you're an advocate of the "settled science" of CC AGW but know that that bluntness for that irrational position won't work here, you simply pour on the facts--real or not--available in defense of what you don't admit. (Some of it, btw, is interesting in itself.) Another problem is there are an unlimited number of such facts available. It's laying down smoke. The true and basic proposition is there is no such thing as "settled science." This is illustrated by his statement that sea levels are rising--guess why--enough to require the implementation of coastal defenses. The actual rise of sea levels seems to be quite slight, but beaches and coastal sand dunes come and go, sometimes dramatically.

--Brant

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2 hours ago, Ellen Stuttle said:

Which would hardly be the big frigging catastrophe alarmists try to tell us we have to radically curtail fossil fuel use to prevent.

The alarmist goal isn't control of climate.  It's control of people.

Ellen

Exactly!

 

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5 hours ago, Brant Gaede said:

[to William] Furthermore, you are not addressing my line of reasoning.

Not quite true.   You had separate lines of reasoning. I unpacked them, and criticized them -- that is addressing them, and done in good faith.  One such line of 'reasoning' was to attach Bob to a bad-thinking blob in the 'enemy' formation of Lukewarmism. That was the shit that I called shit. It was unnecessary and wrong.

The other loop of reasoning was that everyone else but you (and some unspecified blob of right-thinkers) is fooled or duped -- including the roster of Lukewarmers I cited above. My list was an entailment of your generalization. I tried to open up your reasoning to show the risk of inadvertent error.

I won't run through the same arguments since they are expanded upon already as best I can do. Your attendant lines of 'reasoning' on CO2 show an disinterest in scientific basics in this area. I can't help that, but I can lay out information in a logical whole to help you see where you may have been misled.

If you want to state the line of reasoning that I failed to consider again, in a pithy logical form, I will give it consideration.

3 hours ago, Ellen Stuttle said:
5 hours ago, Brant Gaede said:

Your criticizing me for not having any arguments from authority? Furthermore, you are not addressing my line of reasoning.

[W]hile missing the point that no one doubts that climate changes

Yikes.  

"No one doubts that climate changes" is an empty suit -- it contains no further meat in itself to what period of time is significant or what aspects of climate are changeable, over what latitudes, with what distribution -- and it removes entirely from consideration contingent answers to the question of WHY, WHEN and HOW climate changes.

In other words, it makes more sense to talk about "climate change" in specifics. Without a temporal body in the suit, It could mean that nobody doubts that climate changes over all scales, or just the Holocene, or anytime anywhere. It covers everything (with an in-smuggled presumption that all this endless dimensionless change is 'natural').

So it was  Brant's reasoning beyond that 'climate changes' is what I take issue with. Especially casting Bob in with the 'wrong-thinking' victims of Fraudsteers.  

I mean, I appreciate your brief interjection, but it advances no argument, just states a case. There is so much more you can say, both to expose my errors more clearly -- and to advance the argument that sustains your opinion (if not in answer to Is Bob A Cultist Lukewarmer Siss Boom Bah):

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[W]hile missing the point that "climate change" is used as a fraudulent cover to smuggle in specifically AGW claims.

Unspecified specifics. By this time I want an at least an anecdote to illustrate the contention. Otherwise, it could prove to be as ill-warranted as Brant's insults about Bob being in the grip of religious delusion.

 

Brant, if I could boil down my concerns to the most important, it would be to beware of attaching allies to an enemy Blob.  The "Lukewarmers" are like Bob, and Bob has the advantage of not being moved by emotional arguments. It is akin to calling a lizard names. It doesn't matter, he goes on to the next juicy insect. I like overwrought castigation and insult as much as the next guy, but there has to be a kernel of fairness to make it worthy. 

Summary for Policy-makers:

The Lizard-man Aspie is a friend of science, and probably has the best tools here to ultimately cut through the bullshit. I like it when he calls me on my bullshit (and when he turns a corner on such bullshit as the dragon Slayers, Gerlich et al, etc).

I haven't shrieked out the danger of our becoming Venus by 2100 in quite some time. 

 

8 hours ago, william.scherk said:

Here is a question for you, not a difficult one, but a tiny bit tricky: If climate changes, if 'climate changes' is correct, and I believe it is correct, then ... how fast does climate change?

How fast does climate change, Brant? 

Tick tock.

 

 

Edited by william.scherk
Venus or Bust; Tick Tock
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Lurching back into the direction of "Atmospheric Sciences,"  a breaking story that is all about wild weather.  The Oroville dam in California was completed circa 1965.  Earlier today, it topped its "full" height for the very first time.  This means the reservoir behind is full at 900 feet, and that yesterday night the reservoir reached 901 feet. 

Brief backstory is that in the last several days damage has multiplied on its concrete spillway, once cavities were discovered in its side and bottom near its lower end. But because of an ever-increasing level in the reservoir, the engineers had no choice but to continue spilling 2/3 of its maximum flow capacity. 

Because the outflow remained less than inflow, the engineers gave warning that the emergency spillway would begin discharge this time yesterday.  This meant overflow now runs through vegetation and soil on its way down the slope. 

Now, in the past hour, we have news that the emergency spillway itself could fail (be dangerously undermined on the reservoir side). If this happens, there will be floods -- as the reservoir waters tear away enough beneath its weakest edge, it will unleash a pulse of water, the equivalent of a flash flood. The last time a major dam overran its emergency spillway was in Texas in 2002, during historic flooding** over the lip of the Canyon Lake Dam: 

FFA_Canyon_Lake_Spill_Way_2002.jpg

I am guessing that the failure of the Oroville emergency spillway will have less dire effects than the worst that is planned for, and that evacuees will be returning as soon as  the current atmospheric river stops dumping precipitation in the catchment basin.  So far there has been only one smallish cavity discovered.

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By Pam Wright and Ada Carr
Feb 12 2017 09:15 PM EST
weather.com

California Dam Breaches Emergency Spillway

California's Oroville Dam overflows its auxiliary spillway for the first time. 

With the emergency spillway at risk of failing, officials ordered the immediate evacuation of areas near the damaged Oroville Dam in California Sunday evening.

The Butte County Sheriff has announced that the erosion of the emergency spillway that had caused the greatest concern is not advancing as rapidly as they thought, according to the Associated Press. The initial evacuation order apparently went out after engineers with the California Department of Water Resources spotted a hole eroding toward the top of the spillway.

 

There is currently a plan in place to plug the hole by using helicopters to drop rocks into it. Approximately  two inches of water is still coming over the dam, which is less than earlier.

(MORE: The latest On Deadly Flooding in the West)

“That has helped reduce the level of the lake,” Butte County Sheriff Knoey Honea told The Sacaremtno Bee. “It’s hopefully going to reduce the pressure on that alternative, emergency spillway and stabilize the situation so we can find a repair and hopefully prevent it from complete failure.”

Sunday evening officials announced they expected a failure of the auxiliary spillway and ordered residents of the low levels of Oroville and areas downstream to evacuate in a northward direction, toward Chico, according to the California Department of Water Resources. Sutter County and Yuba County were also under evacuations. The Yuba, Sutter and Butte counties evacuations affected more than 162,000 residents and incude Marysville, Olivehurst/Linda, Nicolaus, Plumas Lake, Gridley, Live Oak, Hallwood and Yuba City, according to The Sacramento Bee.

The Yuba County Office of Emergency Services asked residents in the valley floor to evacuate and take routes to the east, south, or west.

(MORE: Tracking Winter Storm Orson)

"A hazardous situation is developing with the Oroville Dam auxiliary spillway," the Butte County Sheriff Department said in a release. "Operation of the auxiliary spillway has lead to severe erosion that could lead to a failure of the structure. Failure of the auxiliary spillway structure will result in an uncontrolled release of flood waters from Lake Oroville."

In response, officials are releasing up to 100,000 cubic feet per second, up from 55,000 cubic feet per second, from the damaged main spillway in an effort to ease pressure on the emergency spillway before a failure occurs, according to The Sacramento Bee.

Oroville Dam is a spearate structure from the spillway and California Department of Water Resources states the dam itself is sound.

 

 

Evacuation centers have been established for residents at the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds in Chico, Paradise Alliance Church, and Elks Lodge.

________________________

** when the waters slopped over the the emergency spillway at Canyon Lake dam, the flooding was uninterrupted until the reservoir got done emptying its overflow.  Nothing 'failed' in that the design worked as it should for a once-in-a-lifetime or hundred-year flood. What was neat came when the waters stopped flowing and the result of the massive spill was revealed. In this case, the waters had stripped off all soil and vegetation and also torqued deep into the bedrock formations, leaving a brand-new gorge.

A gorge carved in three days:

 

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Ba’al wrote: . . . The earth has been warming up some since the bottom of the Little Ice Age which lasted from 1300 to 1850 c.e.  But when cold snaps end, it is because things have warmed up . . . . Very little of the warming (most likely) is due to what humans have done to alter the atmosphere. And very likely sometime in the next 5000 years we will be back in a real ice age. end quote

And Ellen responded: Which would hardly be the big frigging catastrophe alarmists try to tell us we have to radically curtail fossil fuel use to prevent. The alarmist goal isn't control of climate.  It's control of people. end quote

Agreed and agreed. So what is real that is HUMAN caused? Pollution. Water depletion and water diversion for agriculture. Dams and manmade lakes. The city “heat island effect” caused by asphalt and concrete. Loss of habitat and forests. Reuse of nature for human uses, i.e., farming, and reforestation for profit, etc. Anything else? Were humans depleting the ozone? And when are we going to reanimate mammoths or the dinosaurs from DNA stored in mosquitoes encased in amber, like in the movie “Jurassic Park?”

As I have mentioned repeatedly, when I took physical geography back in the seventies the “perfesser” bucked the left wing trend and assured us with graphs and reasoning that we would be heading for another ice age soon which meant in thousands of years. I still adhere to that view. In the meantime, bring on that global warming. Imagine palm trees from Florida to New York’s Central Park. Hardly anyone would complain except for the folks who miss those “white Christmas’s.”

As Penny would say to Sheldon, “And now Sweetie, for the Valentine’s Day grand prize, what the hell is William predicting? Do the math and tell me if it is anything to worry about, Shelly.”        

Peter   

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3 hours ago, Peter said:

Ba’al wrote: . . . The earth has been warming up some since the bottom of the Little Ice Age which lasted from 1300 to 1850 c.e.  But when cold snaps end, it is because things have warmed up . . . . Very little of the warming (most likely) is due to what humans have done to alter the atmosphere. And very likely sometime in the next 5000 years we will be back in a real ice age. end quote

And Ellen responded: Which would hardly be the big frigging catastrophe alarmists try to tell us we have to radically curtail fossil fuel use to prevent. The alarmist goal isn't control of climate.  It's control of people. end quote

Agreed and agreed. So what is real that is HUMAN caused? Pollution. Water depletion and water diversion for agriculture. Dams and manmade lakes. The city “heat island effect” caused by asphalt and concrete. Loss of habitat and forests. Reuse of nature for human uses, i.e., farming, and reforestation for profit, etc. Anything else? Were humans depleting the ozone? And when are we going to reanimate mammoths or the dinosaurs from DNA stored in mosquitoes encased in amber, like in the movie “Jurassic Park?”

As I have mentioned repeatedly, when I took physical geography back in the seventies the “perfesser” bucked the left wing trend and assured us with graphs and reasoning that we would be heading for another ice age soon which meant in thousands of years. I still adhere to that view. In the meantime, bring on that global warming. Imagine palm trees from Florida to New York’s Central Park. Hardly anyone would complain except for the folks who miss those “white Christmas’s.”

As Penny would say to Sheldon, “And now Sweetie, for the Valentine’s Day grand prize, what the hell is William predicting? Do the math and tell me if it is anything to worry about, Shelly.”        

Peter   

Virtually all of human cultural, social, political and technological advances took place during the "warm spells".   During Ice Ages and Cold Snaps humans have to hunker down in order to survive.  Historically, the first major human advances took place in the tropics and the low latitudes (23.5  to 45.5 deg).  Egypt, Babylon, Greece and Rome were mostly in the tropics (between the equator and the Tropic of Cancer.  No great civilizations arose in the far north temperate zones and the polar regions. Conclusion:  warm weather is good for human advancement. 

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On February 12, 2017 at 9:26 PM, william.scherk said:

I want an at least an anecdote to illustrate the contention [by which you mean my statement - here - "that 'climate change' is used as a fraudulent cover to smuggle in specifically AGW claims"].

You say, while providing an illustration yourself at your usual rambling and murky length, in the course of which, furthermore, you again use "lukewarmists" as a fudge term for enlisting a "roster" of persons who are not allies of alarmist claims.  Reminiscent of the "97%" ploy.

Regarding your ostensively coming to "lukewarmist" Bob's defense against Brant, Bob isn't an ally of alarmism either, and I think that Bob and Brant got things clarified between themselves by themselves.

Ellen

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Ba’al wrote: No great civilizations arose in the far north temperate zones and the polar regions. Conclusion:  warm weather is good for human advancement. end quote

That is excellent reasoning. Only now with innovations in clothes, farming, housing, snow removal, air conditioning, road building, etc., can humans thrive in colder climates.

With your same historical reasoning one can see that the current “great civilizations” are now in the temperate zones, while the tropics are on a lower rung of civilization. The Renaissance began in temperate zones. True freedom began in more temperate places.

As far as the tropical countries go I suppose one could say Israel, India, Brazil, and other warmer countries are advancing their GNP, technical and electronic expertise, and personal income but they still lag behind. Tropical countries with agricultural expertise are doing well (love those bananas and winter watermelons) and of course the oil rich, middle east is quite warm. The glut in oil is decreasing the profits of Saudi Arabia and I don’t think they have much else going for themselves. In many ways they are medieval.  

So where will civilization advance next and will climate play a part?  

Peter

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11 hours ago, Ellen Stuttle said:
On 2/12/2017 at 10:39 AM, WSS said:
BG said:

Since you [Bob] are now a "lukewarmist" you have accepted a political not a scientific position which is faux science hence religious. Of course, of this you are completely oblivious. 

A charge like yours of religious PC appeasement must apply equally to "our side" people like Curry, Lindzen, Christy, Spencer, Watts -- to all the lukewarmer skeptics who are more or less like Bob in their opinions (who don't dismiss or deny CO2 effects). 

You [...] again use "lukewarmists" as a fudge term for enlisting a "roster" of persons who are not allies of alarmist claims.

As you prefer. Which preference would agree with Brant's, that Bob be assigned to the 'oblivious' roster.

On the other hand, the ''faux science" of Lukewarmist Bob espied by Brant is not categorically  different from the "faux science" propounded by the worthies.  The point is ready to grasp -- Bob has no more accepted a religious position than have Curry, Lindzen, Christy, Spencer, Watts.

They ''religiously accept" the "faux science"  of "Tyndall gases," they accept that there is a so-called Greenhouse Effect. They break with the mainstream of course -- just as Bob does -- in the confidence they have in model forecasts. They also have no patience with false alarm. 

Brant thought it made sense to class Bob's positions as accepting "faux science" ... to put his beliefs within an 'enemy' Blob. I thought it made sense to point to others of The Blob. They are as accepting as Bob of the "faux science" that gets up Brant's nose or confuses him or angers him.

I appreciate the interjection, and am glad to clear up misunderstanding.

On 2/5/2017 at 7:39 AM, BaalChatzaf said:

Please see this article in which Bohren briefly states his views on atmospheric  condition and climate [...]

[How to get to the bottom of the global warming debate ]

It's definitely worth a read.  His opinions are not uncommon on this side of the 'debate' chasm ... they might tend to reinforce some stances or offer new-ish (2006) examples or arguments to wield against the Venusian Alarmists. 

Quote

Discussion: First off, let me say I consider the concept of a global mean temperature [upon which global warming statistics are based] to be somewhat dubious, and I say so in my recent book (with Eugene Clothiaux) Fundamentals of Atmospheric Radiation. A single number cannot adequately capture climate change. This number, as I see it, is aimed mostly at politicians and journalists.

The issue of global warming is extremely complicated, and it transcends science. Views on global warming are as much determined by political and religious biases as by science. No one comes to the table about this issue without biases. So I'll state some of mine.

My biases: The pronouncements of climate modelers, who don't do experiments, don't make observations, don't even confect theories, but rather [in my opinion] play computer games using huge programs containing dozens of separate components the details of which they may be largely ignorant, don't move me. I am much more impressed by direct evidence: retreating glaciers, longer growing seasons, the migration of species, rising sea level, etc.

I have lived long enough to have seen many doomsday scenarios painted by people who profited by doing so, but which never came to pass. This has made me a skeptic. Perhaps global warming is an example of the old fable about the boy who cried wolf, but this time the doomsayers are, alas, right. Maybe, but I can't help noting that some of the prominent global warmers of today were global coolers of not so long ago. In particular, Steven Schneider, now at Stanford, previously at NCAR, about 30 years ago was sounding the alarm about an imminent ice age. The culprit then was particles belched into the atmosphere by human activities. No matter how the climate changes he can correctly say that he predicted it. No one in the atmospheric science community has been more successful at getting publicity. NCAR used to send my department clippings from newspaper and magazine articles in which NCAR researchers were named. We'd get thick wads of clippings, almost all of which were devoted to Schneider. Perhaps global warming is bad for the rest of us, but for Schneider and others it has been a godsend. [...]

People who write alarmist books are either trying to make a buck or they have an axe to grind. For example, it is in the best interests of astronomers to scare us so that we'll pressure the government to support astronomy research more generously. The same is true for biology, medicine, atmospheric science [and all sciences]. This does not mean that the alarmists are wrong or even dishonest, merely that in assessing their claims we must always ask about the extent to which they will profit from our believing and acting on them.[...]

Professors who get research money to work on aspects of global warming are not doing anything dishonest or illegal. This is not graft. But when it is in the best financial and career interests of professors to raise the alarm about global warming (or anything), we should be skeptical.

Perhaps some critics of global warming are in the pay of the oil and automotive companies. If so, they should be forthright about this. But so should folks on the other side of the debate. What fraction of their salaries comes from research on global warming?

Now to more of my biases. I have an MS in nuclear engineering. About 40 years ago I was designing nuclear reactors. I got out of the business mostly because of boredom .... I have long felt that burning fossil fuels is madness in the long run regardless of what this will do to climate. Burning fossil fuels creates air pollution, which is not good for anyone's health. Also, fossil fuels are the feedstock for all kinds of industries, and so burning them is like burning fine furniture to heat your house. And finally, most important of all, basing an economy on a commodity that [in my opinion] is controlled by the most backward, unstable, and violent countries in the world is madness.

Nuclear power is dangerous but so is non-nuclear power. Several years ago Petr Beckmann published The Health Hazards of not Going Nuclear in which he ... tried to account for how many people die because of fossil fuels (not including automobile accidents). And this was before Gulf War I, the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and so on. [In my view] these recent wars are mostly a consequence of oil....[...]

Now to the biases of others. It hardly comes as a surprise [to me] that the Wall Street Journal takes shots at global warming. Conservatives believe in unlimited growth, a consumer society that consumes more and more. Good for business. [It is my opinion that] the Bush White House is in the hands of oilmen who will never accept that burning oil could have any deleterious consequences....

Both political parties, liberals and conservatives, are to blame for the U.S. not having a rational energy policy.

Conservatives are correct in that a sudden decrease in the consumption of oil would have grave economic consequences. Like it or not, the U.S. economy (indeed the world economy) is based on readily available cheap oil. We as a nation made lots of bad decisions: cars instead of mass transport in cities, trucks instead of railroads, suburbs and so on. The food that almost everyone eats is transported long distances by trucks. We are no longer a nation of self-sufficient farmers. We depend on all kinds of networks of food, water, and power kept in operation mostly by burning fossil fuels.

Liberals have a curiously puritanical view of global warming. [They think, in my view, that] our contribution to it is evidence of our wickedness.

Stated simply (and probably unfairly), [I think] conservatives do not believe that global warming exists (because they don't want it to exist) whereas liberals believe in global warming (because they want it to exist).

And then there are religious biases. Certainly one means of mitigating the undesirable consequences of climate change, whatever its causes, would be population control. But [I believe] this is not acceptable to many religions.

[I think] some Christians seem to take the view that God cannot possibly let us destroy our planet, whereas others want us to perish because of our sinful ways. Some evangelical Christians seem to be eager for the end of the Earth.

Economists take a quite different view of global warming than do atmospheric scientists. Not long ago a group of prominent economists compiled a list of pressing problems for humanity. Global warming was near the bottom of the list, which outraged the "global warmers." But in the short run global warming surely must be of little concern to someone in Africa dying of AIDS or malaria or malnutrition. Or who doesn't have clean water, education, a job.

People in China, India, and Brazil, where the bulk of humanity lives, aspire to the same standard of living as those of us in the U.S. and Europe. No matter what we do, these other countries are going to consume more fossil fuels, and there isn't much we can do about it.

Fortunately [for me], I'll be dead before the consequences of global warming become dire, if indeed they do. But I would like to stick around long enough to see this drama played out.

[...]

April Holladay, science journalist for USATODAY.com, lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. A few years ago Holladay retired early from computer engineering to canoe the flood-swollen Mackenzie, Canada's largest river. Now she writes a column about nature and science, which appears Fridays at USATODAY.com. To read April's past WonderQuest columns, please check out her site. If you have a question for April, visit this informational page.

Plus the side-bar from the article:

Quote

WARMING TO TRUTHS

This is about all Bohren thinks can be said rationally about global warming:

  • The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has been steadily increasing since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. This increase is most likely a consequence of increased burning of fossil fuels.
  • Carbon dioxide is an infrared-active gas (I hate the term "greenhouse gas"), and hence all else being equal (an important qualification) we expect more downward infrared radiation (and a heating effect) from the atmosphere with an increase in carbon dioxide. The detailed consequences of this, however, are unknown and possibly unknowable. By consequences I mean length of growing season, distribution and amount of rain, distribution and amount of sunshine, etc. And the economic and social consequences are even more uncertain. However the climate changes, it is likely that some regions of the planet will gain, others will lose.
  • Climate has changed in the past, and there is no reason to believe that it will not change in the future. After all, the last Ice Age ended only about 10,000 years ago, and it is fair to say that another Ice Age would be equally or more catastrophic for Earth than global warming.
  • How much of the present climate change is a direct consequence of human activity is difficult to say with certainty.
  • A prudent society would reduce its dependence on fossil fuels, especially oil, as quickly as possible for many reasons, not just the possibility of global warming. A prudent society would also develop drought-resistant crops and make other long-term plans for inevitable climate change of any kind.
  • At the present, there seems to be no alternative to central power generation than nuclear power. Fusion is pie-in-the-sky. We are not even close to fusion. Solar and wind and tidal power can help but are not panaceas. Conservation is desirable but probably not acceptable to many people. The advantages and disadvantages, costs and benefits of all schemes for power generation should be carefully assessed. A full and honest balance sheet is needed. No matter how power is generated, some people will die or be injured as a consequence. This is a fact of life. I worked on the construction of a large power plant (not nuclear) about 46 years ago in Pittsburg, California. It was taken as axiomatic that several workers would die in the construction of any power plant.
  • Whatever the US and Europe do to mitigate consumption is likely to be negated by increased consumption in countries such as China, India, and Brazil.
  • Those who advocate less consumption (in the US) should show the way by consuming less themselves.
  • Because of the present large population of Earth and the existence of nation-states, mass migration of people is no longer a feasible response to climate change without wars on all scales.
  • There is no simple solution to global warming given the disparate views of people of different religions, political views, and nationalities, as well of competition between different countries for resources.
  • The concept of tradeoffs has to be firmly grasped by everyone, especially environmentalists, who whine about global warming and then hop in jet planes and fly 2000 miles to go skiing in the Rockies. The notion of "green" power generation is absurd. A network of wind turbines adequate to provide appreciable power would require staggering amounts of construction materials: steel, aluminum, concrete. The same is true for solar power and tidal power—and anything else.

 

Edited by william.scherk
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If lukewarmism means accepting that aggregated global temperatures are going up because of increased CO2 in the atmosphere, that's accepting AGW. I'm not saying it's not true. I'm saying there's no good evidence of that. If you guys want to debate the quality of the evidence, go right ahead. If you guys want to state it's settled science and true, I'll call you out on that. In the first instance it's a data and analysis war. In the second instance it's authoritarian ad hominem and a religious position even if one doesn't know it and just backs into it in good faith. As I understand the near-historical record, the CO2 goes up after the temperature goes up plus the contribution of CO2 by the burning of hydrocarbons. If this is true it doesn't mean there is no tripping point wherein the increased CO2 won't then push up temperatures, but that would be a speculation. We have little more than 5000-10,000 years of written human history. A drop in time. Another drop in time may well see another ice age. There is even a speculation increased temperatures could precipitate the next ice age. In the meantime, we're supposed to make life miserable or impossible for billions of people by waging an all out war on the use of hydrocarbons?

--Brant

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