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An Inconvenient Truth (Original)

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Brandon
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« Reply #30 on: December 30, 2007, 12:47:44 am »

Psycho

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  posted 06-20-2006 12:20 PM                   
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Study finds more giant pandas

Tuesday, June 20, 2006; Posted: 1:24 p.m. EDT (17:24 GMT)


Pandas are one of the world's most endangered and elusive animals.
NEW YORK (Reuters) -- Giant pandas may not be in as much danger of extinction as feared with a new British-Chinese study finding there could be twice as many living in the wild as previously thought, scientists said on Monday.

"This finding indicates that the species may have a significantly better chance of long-term viability than recently anticipated, and that this beautiful animal may have a brighter future," the scientists said in a statement.

Until now scientists thought there were about 1,590 giant pandas living in reserves in the mountains of China. Pandas, one of the world's most endangered and elusive animals, are dependent on bamboo found in that area.

But scientists from Britain's Cardiff University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences now think there could be as many as 3,000 there after a survey using a new method to profile DNA from panda faeces revealed there was more than double the number of estimated pandas in one reserve.

"This was surprising and exciting. In our opinion, the same parameters can be applied across the whole mountain range," Mike Bruford, professor of biodiversity at Cardiff University's School of Biosciences, told Reuters.

Bruford said the scientists, whose findings will be published in journal Current Biology on Tuesday, stumbled across this discrepancy in the population as they were studying the movement of male and female pandas and their territorial instincts to understand their behavior. The study found about 66 pandas are living in the Wanglang Nature Reserve in Sichuan Province -- and not 27 as estimated in the latest national survey that was conducted in 2002.

Bruford said there was no way that panda births or migration could account for so large a discrepancy and based on this finding, there may be 2,500 to 3,000 pandas in the wild.

Understanding population trends for giant pandas has been a major task for conservation authorities in China for about 30 years with three national surveys carried out but the terrain is hard to survey.

The first two surveys showed declines in numbers but the most recent survey showed signs of a recovery, helped by the Chinese government setting up a network of natural reserves and enforcing anti-poaching and anti-logging laws.

Bruford said the next step was to replicate the British/Chinese survey using its DNA method in other reserves.

The challenge then is to think beyond keeping pandas in reserves and find ways to end their isolation because inbreeding and low genetic diversity remain a possible threat to the species' long-term survival, he added.

He said one way to do this would be to build corridors between the different panda reserves.

"This (finding) means we have a halfway reasonable chance of long-term viability with conservation. It doesn't mean the panda is out of the woods by any stretch of the imagination but it gives us more time and makes a difference," Bruford told Reuters.

Copyright 2006 Reuters. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
http://www.cnn.com/2006/TECH/science/06/20/pandas.future.reut/index.html
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« Reply #31 on: December 30, 2007, 12:48:12 am »

BigFatFurryTexan

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I think to summarize just about everyone's posts: Scientists don't know anything, and they make wild guesses based on measureable criteria. To detect "global warming" one would have to have a life span that would support making the required observations. All of humanity hasn't existed long enough (in our recorded history) to detect global warming trends that could be attributed to anything other than natural causes.

I think that Briwnys hits it on the head, however. How do you measure causation in chaos? If you had an idea of all causative factors, their reactions, and the subsequent effects that they would cause, you could attempt to model it. But, can we seriously identify the causality existant within chaos?

I do think that we think too small. We live in the age of the "big thinkers." Macroeconomists and nuclear physicists. They are identified by their ability to look above the trees and see the forest. But they are not big thinkers at all. They like to think they are such, but a big thinker would realize that the forest is only a small part, as there is still a planet, a solar system....the problem with only thinking outside the box is that you confine yourself to this world. True big thinkers would realize that there are several probabilities that impact the earth, but are not discussed or considered (possibly because it showcases our ignorance):

1. There is likely undetected energy fields and stellar bodies within our local neighborhood of the galaxy and universe. We could very well not understand the energy type, its effects...we may not even be aware that it exists because we cannot measure something that lies within our compound ignorance.

2. There is very likely changes in frequency in the various energy types located in the solar system. This could be regional, and if so we would need to live for the 25k years it would take to have a clue at what the possibilities even are.

3. the center of our galaxy is likely to emit a large jet. It is postulated that all galaxies do this from time to time. the ramifications for us are not clear, as we have no point of reference. It seems grim, however, if it does happen.

4. Plasma cosmology has had some big wins lately with their prediction of behaviors on comet temple with deep impact. if they are right, all starts are powered by "pinches" in the flow of plasma in the massive interstellar birkeland strands. what effect does the crisscrossing of these strands have, or the latent EM radiation left in their wake?

There are bogeymen lurking in every corner. I don't think global warming is going to get us, but i may be wrong. i don't think global warming is our fault, but i may be wrong. i do think it is a moot point, as we should love and respect the planet that is our home and provides us with life. but fear mongering over it is a political ploy not truly aimed at reform so much as garnering votes.

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« Reply #32 on: December 30, 2007, 12:48:27 am »

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   posted 06-20-2006 07:41 PM                   
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Bravo, Big! Excellent summation!

Briwnys

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To those who understand, no explanation is necessary; to those who do not, no explanation is possible

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« Reply #33 on: December 30, 2007, 12:48:46 am »

Elmer Jessup

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The idea of global warming goes against the word of God, the Bible says nothing about the earth getting warmer, so why then believe in it? It is a myth created by the liberals to cast doubt on the word of God. They will stop at nothing to undermine Him.

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"I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." - LUKE 5:32
"Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."- MATTHEW 26:41

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« Reply #34 on: December 30, 2007, 12:49:07 am »

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  posted 06-22-2006 12:32 AM                   
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quote:
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 The idea of global warming goes against the word of God, the Bible says nothing about the earth getting warmer, so why then believe in it? It is a myth created by the liberals to cast doubt on the word of God. They will stop at nothing to undermine Him.
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The Bible believe it or not, starts with a flood and ends with a fire,

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
2 Peter 3


So global warming certainly is the word of god.
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« Reply #35 on: December 30, 2007, 12:49:32 am »

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  posted 06-22-2006 07:28 AM                   
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Environmental destruction and the rise of the phenomenon of the great Jewish Prophets

The famous Jewish prophets appeared briefly on the historical scene during the last two centuries of the existence of the Jewish state, followed by a brief renaissance following the return from exile in Babylon (an event which spurred another short episode of prophetic activity). In the prophetic writings we find a fusion of social protest combined with horror over a rapidly advancing environmental destruction, which they then interpreted as ‘the wrath of God.’ Thus environmental destruction they viewed as the righteous punishment for the corruption and immorality that was pervasive in the latter days of the Jewish state.

According to their testimony, oligarchies had arisen in the land, and the rich were dispossessing everyone else, and the welfare of the poor was being cast aside. The political leadership was heavily involved in schemes which involved drafting oppressive laws intended for the protection of a privileged elite at the expense of the rest of the population. The priests and the officially sanctioned prophets had corrupted themselves since they also held a privileged position and also benefitted from the ongoing corruption of the system.

“There is blood on your robes, the lifeblood of the innocent poor...for all this I shall punish you.” Jeremiah 2:34

“Jerusalem is a city ripe for punishment. Oppression is rampant within her...she keeps her wickedness fresh and violence and outrage echo in her streets.” Jeremiah 6:6

“Everyone is out for ill gotten gain. Priests and prophets are all frauds. They dress my people’s wound on the surface only with that saying of theirs, ‘All is well.’ All is well? Nothing is well. They ought to be ashamed of themselves but they don’t even know how to blush. Therefore they shall be overthrown.” Jeremiah 6:13 “The lives they lead are wicked, and the powerful misuse their powers. Even prophet and priest have all become godless...they encourage evildoers so that no one turns back from their sin..” Jeremiah 23:10

“The LORD opens the indictment against the leaders of the people. It is you have ravaged the land and in your houses are the spoils you have taken from the poor. Is it nothing to you that you crush my people and grind the faces of the poor?” Isaiah 4:14

“Your rulers are rebels and companions of thieves. Everyone one of them loves a bribe. They deny the rights of orphans and the cause of the poor is never heard.” Isaiah 1:23

“Woe to those who pass unjust laws, and draft oppressive decrees, to deprive the poor of justice and rob the weakest of my people of their rights, plundering the poor and despoiling the orphans.” Isaiah 10:1

“Listen you rulers of Israel, is it not for you to know what is right and yet you hate good and love evil, you who rip the skin off of my people and the tear the flesh from their bones...so wicked are their deeds.” Micah 3:1

“They are bent on evil, the grasping officer, the venal judge, and the powerful man who follows his own desires. Their goodness is twisted like some rotten weed.” Micah 7:3

As the environment continued to deteriorate, the social protests of the Jewish prophets became fused together with horror over the devastation taking place in land, so that the latter became the divine punishment which was due the former. If you sinned, the rain god would punish the injustice in the land by creating a desert. This type of thinking permeates the message of the Jewish prophets, and in particular is a defining characteristic of the prophecy of Jeremiah.

“When you entered this land, you defiled it, and you made loathsome the home that I gave you...the prophets prophesied by Baal and followed gods who were powerless to help.”


Baal was an ancient rain god, and as the land turned to desert the people turned to Baal the middle eastern rain god in their desperate search for a solution to their problem. In the mind of Jeremiah, this is reversed, and it is the worship of Baal which caused the drought (rather than the drought which led to the worship of Baal, which is what would have really happened).

“From our earliest days Baal worship has devoured the fruits of our father’s labors. Let us lie down in shame covered by our disgrace for we have sinned against our God.” Jeremiah 3:24

I looked on the earth, and lo, it was waste and void ... I looked, and lo, there was no one at all, and all the birds of the air had fled ... I looked, and lo, the fruitful land was a desert, and all its cities were laid in ruins before the LORD, before his fierce anger. Jeremiah 4:23

They did not say, ‘Let us fear the Lord who brings the spring showers.’ But your wrongdoing has upset the natural order and your sins have kept away the bounty of nature. Jeremiah 5:24

Take up weeping and wailing for the mountains, and a lamentation for the pastures of the wilderness, because they are laid waste so that no one passes through, and the lowing of cattle is not heard; both the birds of the air and the animals have fled and are gone ... Who is wise enough to understand this? ... Why is the land ruined and laid waste like a desert, so that no one passes through? And the LORD says: Because they have forsaken my law ... and have gone after the Baals, as their ancestors taught them. Jeremiah 9:10


Now if we look back over all this from a modern scientific perspective it is easy to see that Jeremiah’s interpretation was in error. It was environmental destruction that led to desertification. The Jewish people had rolled the rain god and every other god into one single god, and when their rituals failed to call up this one god to end the drought, they turned to the worship of the traditional middle eastern rain god, the Baal. Baal worship did not cause the desertification of the country, but rather was a logically following consequence of desertification.

Further clues of environmental destruction emerge in the writings of the prophets, in particular their protests against the wide spread practice of driving animals to extinction, which was a consequence of land clearing policies which began early in the days of the Jewish state, a policy which was begun by Solomon, and then carried on by successive Jewish Monarchs. This practice of killing off the animals enraged the Jewish prophets, and it tells us something about the bad environmental practices that were the root cause of the decline of the environment and the resulting spread of the desert.. Animals disappear and go extinct when their habitat is destroyed, and so animal extinction is one of the key indicators of environmental destruction.

For the violence done to Lebanon will overwhelm you; the destruction of the animals will terrify you— because of violence to the earth. Habakkuk 2:17

How long will the land mourn, and the grass of every field wither? For the wickedness of those who live in it the animals and the birds are swept away. Jeremiah 12:4

Bloodshed follows bloodshed. Therefore the land mourns, and all who live in it languish; together with the wild animals and the birds of the air, even the fish of the sea are perishing ... My quarrel is with you, O priest ... My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest. Hosea 4:2


It was typical for Jewish prophets to make use of the destruction of the environment in their sermons, and it was typical of them to use curses that employed devastation of the landscape as metaphors for punishment for all the evils they saw taking place in the land, desertification being seen as the just and righteous punishment for sin.

They shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when relief comes. They shall live in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land. Jeremiah 17:6

Your mother shall be utterly shamed, and she who bore you shall be disgraced. Lo, she shall be the last of the nations, a wilderness, dry land, and a desert. Jeremiah 50:12

Her cities have become an object of horror, a land of drought and a desert, a land in which no one lives, and through which no mortal passes. Jeremiah 51:43

How the animals groan! The herds of cattle wander about because there is no pasture for them; even the flocks of sheep are dazed. Even the wild animals cry to you because the watercourses are dried up, and fire has devoured the pastures of the wilderness. Joel 1:18

The highways are deserted, travelers have quit the road. The treaty is broken, its oaths are despised, its obligation is disregarded. The land mourns and languishes; Lebanon is confounded and withers away; Sharon is like a desert; and Bashan and Carmel shake off their leaves. Isaiah 33:7


The Jewish prophets were also concerned with the devastation of the forests, although they never made the connection between the advancing desertification in the Middle East and the clear cutting of the forests and the destruction of native flora to make wave for pastures and farmland. Apparently, all the nations of the region were pursuing similar policies to fuel the growth of their states, and eventually the growth of the military and the wealth of rising empires. The King of Babylon (ruling from what is now modern day Iraq) was clear cutting the forests according to a prophecy found in the book of Isaiah.

The translators of the King James Bible did not have access to the knowledge uncovered by modern archeology, and they were quite frank in their introduction in that they said that there was much of the Bible they could not translate, since the ancient words were unknown in their time, and so they were forced to guess what certain passages might mean. One example of this is the fourteenth chapter of Isaiah, which they guessed was a poem damning Satan the Devil. Archeological discoveries have revealed that the mysterious words actually referred to the King of Babylon, and thus the fourteenth chapter of Isaiah actually makes sense today (it never did make sense as a poem about Satan the Devil since it refers to a King going down to the world of the grave, and Christian theology always held that Satan the Devil would not die, but rather would burn in hell).

The poem invites people to taunt the King of Babylon (in the King James you are invited to taunt Satan the Devil, and this is a mistranslation), and then the poem celebrates the fact that now that the King of Babylon is dead no one will be clear cutting the forests (also something that Satan the Devil was never famous for having done...however if Christians want to insist that clear cutting forests is the task of Satan the Devil then it follows that, in keeping with a consistent theology, the same Christians must be against clear cutting the last stands of old growth forest, which is the work of the devil...).

Take up this taunt against the king of Babylon: How the oppressor has ceased! How his insolence has ceased! God has broken the staff of the wicked, the scepter of rulers, that struck down the peoples in wrath with unceasing blows, that ruled the nations in anger with unrelenting persecution. The whole earth is at rest and quiet; they break forth into singing. The cypresses exult over you, the cedars of Lebanon, saying, "Since you were laid low, no one comes to cut us down." Sheol (the grave) beneath is stirred up to meet you ... all who were leaders of the earth ... all who were kings of the nations... You too have become as weak. Isaiah 14:4

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As Above So Below.

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« Reply #36 on: December 30, 2007, 12:49:53 am »

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  posted 06-22-2006 07:39 AM                   
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http://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&q=bible+global+warming&btnG=Google+Search&meta=

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« Reply #37 on: December 30, 2007, 12:50:47 am »

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  posted 06-22-2006 12:28 PM                   
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Study: Earth hottest in 400 years
Panel says humans responsible for much of the warming

Thursday, June 22, 2006; Posted: 12:45 p.m. EDT (16:45 GMT)


-- The Earth is the hottest it has been in at least 400, maybe more.

-- The National Academy of Sciences studied tree rings, corals and other natural formations, in part, to conclude that the heat is unprecedented for potentially the last several millennia.

-- Human activities are responsible for much of the recent warming, the Academy says.

Source: AP SPECIAL REPORT

• A changing Earth's challenges
• Climate change's science debate
• Flash: Hot spots around the globe
• Explainer: Global warming
• Special ReportYOUR E-MAIL ALERTS

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Earth is the hottest it has been in at least 400 years, probably even longer.

The National Academy of Sciences, reaching that conclusion in a broad review of scientific work requested by Congress, reported Thursday that the "recent warmth is unprecedented for at least the last 400 years and potentially the last several millennia."

A panel of top climate scientists told lawmakers that the Earth is running a fever and that "human activities are responsible for much of the recent warming." Their 155-page report said average global surface temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere rose about 1 degree during the 20th century.

The report was requested in November by the chairman of the House Science Committee, Rep. Sherwood Boehlert, R-New York, to address naysayers who question whether global warming is a major threat.

Last year, when the House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman, Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, launched an investigation of three climate scientists, Boehlert said Barton should try to learn from scientists, not intimidate them.

The Bush administration also has maintained that the threat is not severe enough to warrant new pollution controls that the White House says would have cost 5 million Americans their jobs.

Climate scientists Michael Mann, Raymond Bradley and Malcolm Hughes had concluded the Northern Hemisphere was the warmest it has been in 2,000 years. Their research was known as the "hockey-stick" graphic because it compared the sharp curve of the hockey blade to the recent uptick in temperatures and the stick's long shaft to centuries of previous climate stability.

The National Academy scientists concluded that the Mann-Bradley-Hughes research from the late 1990s was "likely" to be true, said John "Mike" Wallace, an atmospheric sciences professor at the University of Washington and a panel member. The conclusions from the '90s research "are very close to being right" and are supported by even more recent data, Wallace said.

The panel looked at how other scientists reconstructed the Earth's temperatures going back thousands of years, before there was data from modern scientific instruments.

For all but the most recent 150 years, the academy scientists relied on "proxy" evidence from tree rings, corals, glaciers and ice cores, cave deposits, ocean and lake sediments, boreholes and other sources. They also examined indirect records such as paintings of glaciers in the Alps.

Combining that information gave the panel "a high level of confidence that the last few decades of the 20th century were warmer than any comparable period in the last 400 years," the academy said.

Overall, the panel agreed that the warming in the last few decades of the 20th century was unprecedented over the last 1,000 years, though relatively warm conditions persisted around the year 1000, followed by a "Little Ice Age" from about 1500 to 1850.

The scientists said they had less confidence in the evidence of temperatures before 1600. But they considered it reliable enough to conclude there were sharp spikes in carbon dioxide and methane, the two major "greenhouse" gases blamed for trapping heat in the atmosphere, beginning in the 20th century, after remaining fairly level for 12,000 years.

Between 1 A.D. and 1850, volcanic eruptions and solar fluctuations were the main causes of changes in greenhouse gas levels. But those temperature changes "were much less pronounced than the warming due to greenhouse gas" levels by pollution since the mid-19th century, it said.

The National Academy of Sciences is a private organization chartered by Congress to advise the government of scientific matters.


http://www.cnn.com/2006/TECH/science/06/22/global.warming.ap/index.html
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« Reply #38 on: December 30, 2007, 12:51:14 am »

BigFatFurryTexan

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humans may be responsible, but we don't know it. there are so many other possible causes, and the history of the earth bears witness to the instability of temperature, both regionally and globally. The glaciers shrink in one part of the world, grow in another. Deserts come and go. Oceans rise and fall. Such is the circle of life (queue cheesy Elton John music).

I will say that whether man is responsible for "global warming" or not, our behavior and treatment of this planet is reprehensible, and the motivation behind this treatment makes it evil. We may well be the only race in the universe that has sold their home planets welfare and environment for cheap fossil fuels (due to laziness and a lack of will). we are a sad group, indeed.

however, considering the scale of time we are referring to, i am not sure that making a prediction based on a 400 year timespan is going to yield anything accurate or meaningful.

so, i will not believe the global warming schpiel, but will wholeheartedly agree that it is irrelevent in the big picture, as the behavior in question is grotesque regardless.

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« Reply #39 on: December 30, 2007, 12:51:59 am »

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THE GREENHOUSE EFFECT

A Comparative Planetary Perspective: 1990


Comparative Temperatures on Venus and Earth
We can begin by examining Earth and its nearest planetary neighbor, Venus. Our beliefs about Venusian temperatures underwent striking revisions. Being somewhat closer to the Sun than Earth (7/10 the distance), Venus receives more intense sunlight and should have been a bit warmer than Earth. But the presence of a thick cover of clouds on Venus led early astronomers to wrong conclusions about this planet's temperatures. These clouds, it was believed, would shield Venus from excess sunlight, thus keeping its temperatures closer to ours. The fact that Venus is just about the same size as Earth, and that its clouds are made of water, led some astronomers to suppose that it had oceans and perhaps even lush life. Unfortunately, space travel disclosed harsher realities.

The surface of the entire planet turned out to have kiln-like temperatures. At 860°F (460°C), lead and tin would melt, mercury boil, animals and plants sizzle. Near the ground, water can't exist on the Venusian surface in liquid form. Life as we know it was but a dream in Venus, except perhaps as an afterlife inferno. Venus is a sizzling cauldron, not the idyllic water planet it was believed to be.



Venus' atmosphere as see by the Galileo spacecraft.


Thus, temperatures on Venus and Earth differ markedly. For instance, water on Venus' surface can only exist as steam, while on Earth it can exist as liquid, vapor, and ice. Numerous calculations convincingly show that this vast temperature difference is not for the most part traceable to Earth's greater distance from the Sun. Hence, something other than proximity to the sun must account for the observed temperatures. This additional factor, as we shall now see, is the presence and chemical composition of planetary atmospheres.

Why is Venus so Hot?

The rather different atmospheres of Venus and Earth play a decisive role in determining their climates. Venus' atmosphere is about 90 times denser than Earth's. That is, if we took two identical cups and filled one with Venus' air, the other with Earth's, and weighed the contents of both on Earth, the contents of the Venusian cup would be 90 times heavier. Another way of putting this: in Venus, the mercury column of a barometer would be more than 80 times taller than it is on Earth (it is not exactly 90 times because objects on Venus weigh less than they do on Earth). This is equal to the pressure exerted in the ocean at a depth of one-half a mile.

Measurements showed that Venus' atmosphere is approximately 97% carbon dioxide (CO2) and 3% nitrogen. Its thick clouds are made of water and highly corrosive sulfuric acid. Owing to the incredible density of its air, Venus' slow-moving ground winds are more powerful than Earthly hurricanes. Venus' thick clouds indeed block most of the sunlight, as early astronomers believed. Venus is closer to the Sun than Earth and gets more intense sunlight, but only little of this light reaches the ground. Consequently, Venus' surface receives only one-sixth the sunlight Earth receives. Its surface is not as sunny as Earth's, although it is sufficiently lit to make distant objects visible.

But what is it about the atmospheres of the two planets which keep Earth warm enough to support life? Why is life as we know it impossible on Venus? Why is all the water of Venus found in the clouds above it, whereas the bulk of Earth's water is in its oceans?

To answer these questions, we need to understand the nature of radiation. Each type has its own characteristic wavelength—what we call red, for instance, has longer wavelength than what we call yellow. Under certain conditions, one type of radiation changes into another. Sunlight can go through the atmosphere—that's why we see the sun. Sunlight then warms the ground, which then emits different forms of radiation than sunlight. Although we can't see this radiation, we can feel it—it is heat radiation. In physical terms, heat radiation belongs to a different part of the spectrum. Since it is beyond visible red, it is called infrared (below red) radiation. This radiation has a longer wavelength than visible light.

Carbon dioxide, water vapor, and a few other gases have the wonderful property of letting sunshine in, but blocking some of the infrared radiation. They serve as a blanket, keeping the ground—the source of heat radiation—warmer by not letting this heat escape. This heat, having no place to go, is trapped. (The greenhouse effect received its name from the belief that glass had similar properties to CO2, and that a similar process keeps a greenhouse warmer; it is now believed however that a different principle operates behind a greenhouse. It was too late, by then, to change the name).

The greenhouse theory was first propounded by Rupert Wildt in the 1940s to explain the unexpectedly high temperatures of Venus. By the early 1960s, it was revived and championed by an American astronomer who is a household name in this country—Carl Sagan.

This fabulous ability of greenhouse gases such as CO2 to trap heat explains why Earth is warm enough to support life. Without its greenhouses gases, Earth may have been, on average, 86 F colder than it is now, and hence, lifeless. This is why it makes perfect sense to say that the atmosphere is Earth's blanket. Sunlight goes through the lower atmosphere. At the surface, some of this light is converted into heat. The ground reflects this heat, which is then trapped by the lower atmosphere. Sunshine goes through CO2 readily, but heat radiation bounces back. Our planet is thus a comfortably sleeping giant, with the atmospheric greenhouses gases serving as its blanket.

As we have seen, Venus' atmosphere has much more CO2 than Earth. In the first place, CO2 exists only in small amounts in our atmosphere, but it comprises some 97% of the Venusian atmosphere. In the second place, Venus' atmosphere is far denser than Earth's. So, for every CO2 molecule in earth's atmosphere there are over 60,000 molecules of CO2 molecules in Venus'. Most likely, this is why Venus is so much hotter than Earth, even though much of the sunshine Venus receives is permanently blocked by its cloud cover.


On Earth, then, CO2 is a critically important compound. For one thing, it keeps our planet just warm enough to sustain life. For another, it is the raw material from which plants are made through the process known as photosynthesis (which literally means "light production). Here, plants absorb CO2 from the atmosphere through their leaves and water through their roots. Then, through a quantum step that makes virtually all life possible, the light energy is captured to begin the process by which CO2 and water are transformed into glucose and oxygen. The plants use glucose as a source of energy for life and growth. Animals eat plants to live and grow, and they breathe the oxygen these plants produce.




Can there be too much of as good a thing as CO2? Venus tells us that there can be, and that we ought to be careful. Industrial civilization burns enormous quantities of fossil fuels—coal, gas, and oil, thereby steadily raising the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. Our civilization is also burning massive tracts of forests, thereby releasing more CO2. Moreover, since living plants consume CO2, deforestation adds insult to injury by turning trees from long term consumers of CO2 to short term producers. One recent estimate suggests that levels went up in the last 300 years by 25%.

Moreover, CO2 is not the only greenhouse gas. Water vapor can trap heat too. That is one reason why cloudy nights in summer are the hottest—clouds trap heat, not allowing the Earth to cool as much it would have in the absence of clouds. That is one reason why deserts, which are often cloudless, have more extreme day/night temperature shifts. Methane—the gas we use to heat our homes and which is given off in enormous quantities in cattle feedlots and garbage landfills—has similar properties. Some manmade chemicals released to the atmosphere will stay there for decades or centuries, and they too block some heat radiation. Chief among these manmade scoundrels is a group of substances chemists call chlorofluorocarbons (CFC's for short), more commonly known as freons. CFC's are used as propellants in aerosol sprays, in styrofoam cups, packing materials, refrigerators, and air conditioners.

Besides the rising levels of CO2 and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and besides the global warming of the last decade, there are other indications that at least a mild form of global warming is slowly overtaking our planet. Since 1935, some glaciers in the Himalayas retreated considerably. In the last century, warm-climate fish and trees have been migrating northward. Sea levels have been slightly rising every year.

It is impossible to predict with certainty anything as complex as major climate shifts; we can only make educated guesses. Still, the most reasonable guess leads most scientists to worry about the long term effects of greenhouse gases on Earth's climate. In fifty years, if we continue the unbridled release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, temperatures might be high enough to melt the polar ice caps, raise sea levels, and submerge low lying areas such as Louisiana. Indeed, if all the icecaps completely melted, sea level might rise by as much as 200 feet, drowning the coastal areas of all continents, including many of the world's largest cities. Climates may shift dramatically, perhaps turning once prosperous agricultural areas into deserts.

If the process continues unchecked, it could reach a point of no return, as it apparently had on Venus. As the Earth heats up, water would convert into steam, which is a greenhouse gas. The Earth would get hotter and hotter. As the atmosphere heats up, more CO2 might escape from its present location in ocean rocks and shells. Beyond a certain point, the process may be self-sustaining. Venus tells us how far such a process can go—hellish temperatures, a cloud cover that lets less sunlight reach the earth but helps trap the heat, enormous pressures at ground levels weighing heavily upon everything and distorting the landscape. Venus provides us a timely warning. If we pay no attention, in some 800 years life on Earth might perish.

The uncertainties involving the greenhouse effect cannot be overemphasized. Scientists can predict some things extremely well, e.g., the return of Halley's comet, but are poor at studying and forecasting other things, e.g., tomorrow's stock prices. The greenhouse effect belongs to the second category. Some scientists are saying that the few unusually hot recent summers are a natural phenomenon. Others are convinced that the oceans will be able to absorb the excess amounts of CO2, with no consequent warming and disasters. Still others argue that the warming effects of greenhouse gases will be neatly counterbalanced by the chilling effects of increasing quantities of dust and smog, or by the next ice age. Naturally, you can expect scientists in the employ of the powerful oil industry, CFC's industry, cattle industry, packing industry, power companies, car companies, fast food industries—whose employers benefit over the short term from the release of greenhouse gases—to be somewhat more skeptical about the greenhouse effect than their independent counterparts in the academic world. But, besides all this, the subject is surrounded by much uncertainty—we can only make educated guesses. This gives our policy makers the excuse they need to bury their heads in the sand and hope that humanity will be lucky and that the greenhouse effect will turn out to be a mere chimera.

Time magazine, not particularly known for its radical views, felt forced to put the situation in the following terms:

Unfortunately, scientists cannot agree on how much global warming has occurred, how much more is on the way and what the climatic consequences will be, giving policy makers an excuse for delay. But no one disputes the fact that the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has risen and continues to increase rapidly and that the human race is thus conducting a dangerous experiment on an unprecedented scale. The possible consequences are so scary that it is only prudent for governments to slow the buildup of CO2 through preventive measures, from encouraging energy conservation to developing alternatives to fossil fuels.

Time goes on to suggest that we could reduce somewhat the severity of the greenhouse effect, if we wanted. The good news is that Time and all other mass circulation media outlets in the U.S. are far too pessimistic about what we could and could not do to save our species from a possible cataclysm. In a rational world, we could do away with the greenhouse effect on Earth, if we cared to, especially since doing so would not adversely affect our material quality of life. We could, in principle, stop the burning of forests. We could make sure that a forest always remains a forest by replanting trees. We could recycle paper, thereby considerably reducing deforestation. Rich countries could give sufficient economic incentives to Third World countries such as Brazil to cease and desist from the permanent destruction of forests. We could achieve zero population growth or roll back our numbers to lessen humanity's impact on the biosphere. We could ban CFC's and replace them with benign substitutes. We could cut our energy use by 3/4 without suffering any reduction in our material standard of living (see your Living in the Environment Reader). In the long-term we could switch to safe forms of energy which don't generate carbon dioxide and which don't poison the earth, e.g., the type of energy used now by solar calculators.

The bad news is that so far humanity is doing nothing about the greenhouse effect except pontificate. The bad news is that if we keep waiting, it might just be too late to do anything. We seem to be on a suicidal path. The answer, if there is one, is in the political arena. And, since the U.S. is the world's most powerful nation and, at the same time, by far the world's greatest polluter, the key to humanity's future can be found in the American political process. The people who launched this country's nationhood called our political system an experiment in self-government. Humankind's environmental woes (of which the greenhouse effect is just one) and the potential for nuclear holocaust place this experiment's (and all others') existence at risk. The ordinary citizen's steadfast refusal to become informed, to safeguard his and his children's interests; his insistence on life in the never-never land of celebrities and fads, television and commercials, political illiteracy and ignorance of humankind's peril; his willingness to make money his supreme goal in life; his appetite for infinite distractions and aversion to live and think in the here and now about the things that really matter; put this experiment to its most severe test in its 200 years history. One can only hope that we shall pass this test, and that freedom, civilization, and life will survive and flourish long after grass has grown over our cheeks.

Source: Moti Nissan, 1990. Permission for the free use of this material is hereby granted. Additional, more up-to-date (but lacking a comparative astonomical perspective) greenhouse writings and references can be found at: www.cll.wayne.edu/isp/mnissani/PAGEPUB/gh.htm

Back to Atoms & Stars, Main

http://www.is.wayne.edu/mnissani/a&s/GREENHOU.htm
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« Reply #40 on: December 30, 2007, 12:52:59 am »

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Greenhouse effect, clouds and winds


On the global scale, Venus’s climate is strongly driven by the most powerful greenhouse effect found in the Solar System. The greenhouse agents sustaining it are water vapour, carbon dioxide and sulphuric acid aerosols.

About 80% of the incoming solar radiation is reflected back to space by the cloud layer, about 10% is absorbed by the atmosphere and only 10% manages to get through it and heat the surface. However, the thermal radiation emitted by the surface gets trapped by the same atmosphere. The result is an amazing 500 °C difference between the surface and cloud-top temperatures.
Are there other gases sustaining such an efficient planetary greenhouse? How is the heat transported from the surface to the cloud layer: through radiation or dynamic mechanisms such as turbulence?

Mysterious ultraviolet markings on the clouds

Looking at Venus’s thick cloud layer in visible wavelengths would not reveal much. However, by looking at the clouds in other wavelengths, like infrared and ultraviolet light, a very different world appears.

The clouds on Venus are very inhomogeneous in all directions. This is possibly due the formation of enormous cumulus-type clouds.

Furthermore, the upper clouds are marked by areas visible in the ultraviolet light that mysteriously absorb half of the whole solar energy received by the planet.

What is the origin of these ultraviolet markings? What makes their absorption power so high?


Hurricane winds and huge atmospheric vortexes

The lower atmosphere of Venus has a dramatic and peculiar behaviour. At the level of the cloud tops, the atmosphere rotates at a formidable velocity, with wind speeds up to 360 kilometres per hour.

The speed of the winds then progressively decreases to almost zero at the planet surface, where it becomes a gentle breeze, only able to raise dust. What mechanisms cause this ‘zonal super-rotation’?

Furthermore, two enormous vortices, with very complex shapes and behaviours, rotate vertically over the poles, recycling the atmosphere downwards. The vortex at the north pole, the only one previously observed in some detail, has a peculiar double ‘eye’ shape, surrounded by a collar of cool air. It completes a full rotation in only three Earth days.

How are the super-rotation and the polar vortices linked? How does the global atmospheric circulation on Venus work? No model is able to simulate so far the dynamics of the atmosphere of Venus as too few data are available.


http://www.esa.int/esaMI/Venus_Express/SEMFPY808BE_0.html
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« Reply #41 on: December 30, 2007, 12:53:19 am »

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Venus has a N2O2 atmosphere like Earth.

NASA data is BS data.
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« Reply #42 on: December 30, 2007, 12:53:45 am »

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Wouldn't you just love to take Volitzer to Venus and have him "breathe" the Venusian atmosphere. Probably not; I really hate to see anyone die in such a horrible fashion. 
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« Reply #43 on: December 30, 2007, 12:54:05 am »

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Yeah, I guess seeing (or in this case choking) is believing.
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« Reply #44 on: December 30, 2007, 12:54:30 am »

Ishtar

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  posted 06-28-2006 09:27 AM                   
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http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/06/060627-ancient-seals.html

Ancient Seal Remains Reveal Warmer Antarctica, Study Says
Adrianne Appel
for National Geographic News

June 26, 2006
In an Antarctic "ghost town," freeze-dried whiskers, skin, and bones provide evidence that the South Pole was a much warmer place not too long ago, a new study reveals.

The 1,000- to 6,000-year-old elephant seal remains were found in abandoned breeding colonies in a now barren region of Victoria Land on the Antarctic coast near the Ross Sea

The discovery, scientists say, is the first hard evidence for a warming period in the region between 2,300 and 1,100 years ago.

An earlier warming period, between 6,000 and 4,000 years ago, has been recognized by other researchers and is believed to have been widespread, at least throughout the Southern Hemisphere.

But evidence for this more recent warming had not been observed until now, says Brenda Hall, a glacial geologist at the University of Maine in Orono.

"Nobody has seen the warming we have noted—certainly not in the Ross Sea, of this magnitude and duration observed—in the seal record," Hall said.

Hall and co-authors present their work in today's issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Seal and Penguin Switch

Elephant seals are named for their huge size—adult males can be as heavy as 4 tons (3.6 metric tons)—and for the males' inflatable, trunklike snout (photo: elephant seals battle for mates).

The animals were heavily hunted in the 19th century and currently number about 600,000.

Southern elephant seals thrive in a sub-Antarctic climate and require a coastal home where they can move between land and sea to breed and molt.

Today many of the marine mammals live near Antarctica, on Australia's Macquarie Island and the U.K.'s South Georgia Island. On these islands they have suitable temperatures and ready access to open water.

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“Ad initio, alea iacta est.”
And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
it's Later Than You Think
http://forums.atlantisrising.com/cgi-bin/ubb/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=28;t=000023;p=1

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