[ RadSafe ] Climate change

Johansen, Kjell Kjell.Johansen at nexteraenergy.com
Tue Feb 26 12:40:00 CST 2013

With regard to the 4 previously mentioned options regarding climate change [warmer, colder, no change, or being hit by an asteroid], I am in the camp that has come to the conclusion that the climate will move to higher temperatures. [We were discussing this back in the '70s in my meteorology and oceanography classes at the University of Michigan and those profs were smart guys.]  Any change in the solar output or axis wobble will make some small changes.  Continuing to pump greenhouse gases (methane, CFCs, and carbon dioxide) into the atmosphere increases the heat containing capacity of the atmosphere. (Ok, to be technically correct, you are increasing the capacity of the atmosphere to capture outgoing radiation and radiating back to the earth as heat.  But, in the overall picture, it results in an increase in the earth's temperature.) By analogy with solar output and axis wobble, compare the water content of an 8-oz glass to that of a 16-oz glass.  No matter how the rate at which you fill the glasses, the 16-oz glass will always contain more water.  Therefore, more greenhouse gases, higher temperatures.

Look at the records in the oceanic sediment cores and the ice cores.  When the greenhouse gases CO2 and methane concentrations are high, so are all of the geochemical markers for increased temperature, ie, the O18/O16 ratios, etc.  To deny any link between greenhouse gases and the average earth temperature is an extreme case of reverse hubris.

Too many people who regularly contribute to RADSAFE tend to dismiss the data which lead climatologists to be concerned about higher earth temperatures because it does not fit their already formed conclusions.   Being flippant is not worthy response to scientific concerns.

As always, these words are my own and I do not intend to formulate any official position for my employer.

Kjell Johansen, PhD
Nuclear Chemistry Analyst
kjell.johansen at NextERAEnergy.com

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