[ RadSafe ] Keeping an open mind Are we keeping an open mind?

Jess L. Addis III ajess at clemson.edu
Mon Oct 18 15:27:04 CDT 2010

For starters Joe Barton, despite a decent education is an idiot.  Did you catch his theory on how the oil got to Alaska? He had one of those pesky scientist inadvertently make a fool of him in one of the BP hearings and didn't have the sense to know it.  He didn't understand plate tectonics. The man hasn't a clue.

No, CO2 in not the initiator of global warming irrespective of human influence.

It becomes the driver once initiated however.

Changes in the CO2 and CH4 content have played a significant part in the glacial-interglacial climate changes by amplifying, together with the growth and decay of the Northern Hemisphere ice sheets, the relatively weak orbital forcing

What is being talked about here is influence of the seasonal radiative forcing change from the earth’s wobble around the sun (the well established Milankovitch theory of ice ages), combined with the positive feedback of ice sheet albedo (less ice = less reflection of sunlight = warmer temperatures) and greenhouse gas concentrations (higher temperatures lead to more CO2 leads to warmer temperatures). Thus, both CO2 and ice volume should lag temperature somewhat, depending on the characteristic response times of these different components of the climate system. Ice volume should lag temperature by about 10,000 years, due to the relatively long time period required to grow or shrink ice sheets. CO2 might well be expected to lag temperature by about 1000 years, which is the timescale we expect from changes in ocean circulation and the strength of the “carbon pump” (i.e. marine biological photosynthesis) that transfers carbon from the atmosphere to the deep ocean. Or something like that.

Several recent papers have established that there is lag of CO2  behind temperature. We don’t really know the magnitude of that lag as well as Barton implies we do, because it is very challenging to put CO2  records from ice cores on the same timescale as temperature records from those same ice cores, due to the time delay in trapping the atmosphere as the snow is compressed into ice (the ice at any time will always be younger older than the gas bubbles it encloses, and the age difference is inherently uncertain). Still, the best published calculations do show values similar to those quoted by Barton (presumably, taken from this paper by Monnin et al. (2001), or  this one by Caillon et al. (2003)).

Plant a tree :)

Jess Addis, 
Clemson U.

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