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CO2/warming correlation - how to respond?

vitesse

Active Member
Apr 2, 2019
1,021
285
Hertfordshire (UK)
First of all can I make it clear - I'm completely convinced human activity, primarily through fossil fuel CO2 emissions over the last 200 years is causing global warming and that we have to at least try to do something to stem the trend. It's why we've got a Tesla, why my kids are going vegetarian and being much more careful about their consumer choices, as are myself and my wife - if to a lesser degree.

I also don't want to 'disrespect' the views of others - just to concentrate on the facts, which means science.

So here's the situation; a person I know is questioning the correlation between CO2 emissions and global warming. He isn't doesn't deny global warming is happening and doesn't deny CO2 is contributing to it but he's, lets say, wary, that there is too much of a mass stampede to try to fix things through the CO2 factor. He's also a chemical engineer, so he has a scientific background. For example, he has questioned the correlation between the rise in CO2 and the change in sea temperatures and suggests that a warming atmosphere has a smaller effect on ocean temperatures than is factored and alleges that scientists are not addressing this 'gap' in the data.

I am guessing that this point of view is not exclusive to him. So I am hoping that someone here can point me to some useful data to respond to his points.

For what it's worth, my point of view is that we can't just sit around pondering - if there is even a chance that CO2 is the primary cause of global warming and it can be mitigated, we need to try and not tomorrow but now. The benefits apart from the climate change issue include a cleaner and more pleasant (healthier air) environment and the switch to clean renewable energy creates a lot of new jobs everywhere.
 

Silicon Desert

Active Member
Oct 1, 2018
3,276
3,009
Sparks Nevada / GF 1
Well, I wonder if it is because he has seen articles like this one..... Global Warming Natural Cycle — OSS Foundation
warming and cooling cycles long before we ever contributed to it. But ok, my personal belief is that we sure aren't helping it any, and may be contributing to it at a faster rate.

Help me on this one though..... your comment, "my kids are going vegetarian". Does that mean they are going to fart less from eating less protein? :rolleyes: yea, just some sick humor, but seriously, help me through the thought process on that one. :)
 

vitesse

Active Member
Apr 2, 2019
1,021
285
Hertfordshire (UK)
Well, I wonder if it is because he has seen articles like this one..... Global Warming Natural Cycle — OSS Foundation
warming and cooling cycles long before we ever contributed to it. But ok, my personal belief is that we sure aren't helping it any, and may be contributing to it at a faster rate.

Help me on this one though..... your comment, "my kids are going vegetarian". Does that mean they are going to fart less from eating less protein? :rolleyes: yea, just some sick humor, but seriously, help me through the thought process on that one. :)

A lot less CO2 and methane is produced in growing a plant-based diet compared to the meat (and dairy) elements of an omnivorous diet. It's not just diet and global warming but leading a less throw-away lifestyle, less waste, less plastic killing the wildlife, etc. It's their future after all.
 
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nwdiver

Well-Known Member
Feb 17, 2013
7,755
9,983
United States
So here's the situation; a person I know is questioning the correlation between CO2 emissions and global warming. He isn't doesn't deny global warming is happening and doesn't deny CO2 is contributing to it but he's, lets say, wary, that there is too much of a mass stampede to try to fix things through the CO2 factor. He's also a chemical engineer, so he has a scientific background. For example, he has questioned the correlation between the rise in CO2 and the change in sea temperatures and suggests that a warming atmosphere has a smaller effect on ocean temperatures than is factored and alleges that scientists are not addressing this 'gap' in the data.

??? From which perspective is he skeptical of CO2? From the perspective that humans are responsible for the rise in CO2 levels or that CO2 is causing the warming?

If he's a chemical engineer then he should be good at math (I would hope). The math supports it. The 40B tons per year adds up to ~5ppm/yr so we're 100% responsible for the increase in CO2. The CO2 we've added is causing a radiative imbalance of ~1.5w/m^2. Again.... just run the numbers. (1.5w/m^2)(510M km^2) = 7.7E15w ; (7.7E15w)(24)(365) = 6.7E19wh/yr OR 2.4E22 Joules per Year.

Which is roughly in line with the increase in Ocean heat content.... which is where ~93% of the thermal imbalance is going.

Screen Shot 2020-02-09 at 10.56.29 AM.png



So if he's a rational person that understanding Math then respond with Math. According to numbers humans are 100% responsible for the rise in CO2 levels and the rise in CO2 levels are ~100% responsible for the increase in temperature....
 
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Big Dog

Active Member
Mar 7, 2016
1,537
1,531
Irvine, CA
First of all can I make it clear - I'm completely convinced human activity, primarily through fossil fuel CO2 emissions over the last 200 years is causing global warming and that we have to at least try to do something to stem the trend. It's why we've got a Tesla, why my kids are going vegetarian and being much more careful about their consumer choices, as are myself and my wife - if to a lesser degree.

I also don't want to 'disrespect' the views of others - just to concentrate on the facts, which means science.

So here's the situation; a person I know is questioning the correlation between CO2 emissions and global warming. He isn't doesn't deny global warming is happening and doesn't deny CO2 is contributing to it but he's, lets say, wary, that there is too much of a mass stampede to try to fix things through the CO2 factor. He's also a chemical engineer, so he has a scientific background. For example, he has questioned the correlation between the rise in CO2 and the change in sea temperatures and suggests that a warming atmosphere has a smaller effect on ocean temperatures than is factored and alleges that scientists are not addressing this 'gap' in the data.

Since he has a scientific background, and presumably is a fan of teh scientific method, why not ask him for the research sources that he has seen, so you can attempt to refute his data gap?

Otherwise, the short answer is that you can't "respond to his points" bcos you don't know what they are based on. For example, nwdiver posted a graph since 1960. Perhaps your friend is looking at data trends since the 1800's?
 

SageBrush

REJECT Fascism
May 7, 2015
12,250
15,177
New Mexico
AGW can be broken down into two parts:

1. CO2 Forcing
2. Temperature Sensitivity

Forcing is the easiest to understand for anyone with some science background. CO2 is a greenhouse gas; as it accumulates in the atmosphere, there is a net energy gain usually expressed in watts/meter*meter. The friend should be able to easily convince him/herself of the relationship between global heat gain and CO2 rise.

(2) can be complicated with short time scale dips and peaks over land masses but clearly most of the heat ends up in the oceans. From there to temperature changes over land is a deep discussion
 

Uncle Paul

Well-Known Member
Nov 1, 2013
6,253
6,768
Canyon Lake,CA
While man made CO2 rise is a real thing, many feel that this data has been weaponized and policitized to make tremendous profits for those causes. They want to not live in fear that the end is near, as so many scream.

Amazing to me, that with so much evidence available, people still build near the coast instead of inland, where it is safer from the predicted rise in oceans.

Even people who claim to be concerned still build multiple homes, fly in private jets, drive gas guzzling cars, have lots of kids, use google, spend their time on electronic gadgets, heat their homes till comfortable, and don't grow their own food.
 
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Superendo

Member
Jul 11, 2017
400
261
Nijmegen
Global warming IS caused by humans; since mars has been visited by man-made objects Mars is warming up...


As is earth.




Cause and effect is still not 100% certain.
Should we be careful with our planet? YES.
But one dollar/euro wisely spent in for example China India, Afrika would help more then 100 dollar/euro in the western world.
 

SSedan

Active Member
Jul 24, 2017
2,948
2,310
Greenville Wisconsin
When Greta causes a CREW to have to fly back across the Atlantic rather than her fly here. When Obama who never held a productive job in his life is spending $15m on waterfront and on and on and on why should anyone listen.
Yes we need to take better care of the planet, we only have one.
As Superendo said other countries changing would accomplish more than browbeating America with raging hypocrisy.
 

nwdiver

Well-Known Member
Feb 17, 2013
7,755
9,983
United States
Cause and effect is still not 100% certain.

Neither is the relationship of mass and gravity. Or anything else in the real world.

The fact that our pathetic addiction to fools fuel has increased CO2 from ~280 to 400 ppm AND that increase has caused the Earth to warm by ~1.5F with much more on the way is just as 'proven' as anything else we accept as physical reality.

When Greta causes a CREW to have to fly back across the Atlantic rather than her fly here.

So they couldn't get the logistics to be absolutely perfect. What would you suggest? The fact a teenager was willing to spend weeks at sea instead of directly burning the fools fuel required to more conveniently hop across the Atlantic in a few hours had the desired effect.

Flight shaming hits air travel as 'Greta effect' takes off

That sure seems to be a win because math.
 
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TheTalkingMule

Distributed Energy Enthusiast
Oct 20, 2012
6,808
24,535
Philadelphia, PA
When Greta causes a CREW to have to fly back across the Atlantic rather than her fly here. When Obama who never held a productive job in his life is spending $15m on waterfront and on and on and on why should anyone listen.
Yes we need to take better care of the planet, we only have one.
As Superendo said other countries changing would accomplish more than browbeating America with raging hypocrisy.
Certain people are just rightfully upset. Whether it's rural decline, still expanding wealth inequality, whatever. That can move your filter quite a bit toward skepticism, but "climate change concerned" folks need to understand they have have a filter too.

IMO going around trying to convince everyone you're right doesn't do much. Trump voters are just as milling to install solar panels as the next guy, so long as it saves money(which it does). We need to focus on street-level work and leave the evangelism to someone else.

As for Obama not having a productive job......you know he killed Osama, right?

giphy.gif
 

SSedan

Active Member
Jul 24, 2017
2,948
2,310
Greenville Wisconsin
Certain people are just rightfully upset. Whether it's rural decline, still expanding wealth inequality, whatever. That can move your filter quite a bit toward skepticism, but "climate change concerned" folks need to understand they have have a filter too.

IMO going around trying to convince everyone you're right doesn't do much. Trump voters are just as milling to install solar panels as the next guy, so long as it saves money(which it does). We need to focus on street-level work and leave the evangelism to someone else.

As for Obama not having a productive job......you know he killed Osama, right?

giphy.gif
I thought killing terrorist leaders was a bad thing? At least that is what media and politicians were saying a month ago........

I spend plenty on "green" things and haven't yet seen a return on that far as savings, doesn't stop me from shopping for the next Green thing.

I am not going to take guidance from.some raging hypocrite Hollywood type or power hungry hypocrite politician. Remember AOC's chief of staff let the cat out of the bag.

AOC’s Chief of Staff Admits the Green New Deal Is Not about Climate Change
 

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