Global Warming

I really wanted to carry on the discussion about Global Warming that started in the Open Forum, but it kind of gave birth to itself smack in the middle of a discussion on Victoria's boulders.

I think Global Warming is pertinent to the subject of Space Exploration because of remote sensing from Space, and also the possibility that if things really start to heat up, we may be faced with the prospect of finding an alternative habitat. So Richard might just forgive me for starting this topic here rather than allowing it to continue on the Open Forum.

I'm concerned that people think that there is a debate regarding Global Warming when all professional climatologists and oceanographers have no doubt that Global Warming is largely due to Human activity.

I am aware of a lot of the hype that goes on, and I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that it's a complex subject, and the general public are looking for simple answers, preferably an answer that makes them feel comfortable.

There have been a number of excellent talks on Global Warming (Let's call it for what it is) on the ABC here in Australia. Robin Williams' Science Show is known for its objective take on many scientific matters.

Here is a short interview with Ralph F. Keeling of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography University of California, one of the world's foremost authorities on Global Warming.

You can see that his refusal to even debate those who are skeptical can easily be taken the wrong way. Scientists are unfortunately not the best communicators.

The whole system is exceptionally complex, and we are just finding out now what the signs of Global Warming will be. The atmospheric content of CO2 has been steadily rising since the late 18th Century. That has been established through many very accurate techniques which I can discuss in as much detail as you'd like.

However, read the transcript or download the audio. The audio only stays up there for a few weeks.


Here is 100% proof that global warming is very real link

I've seen that one before. I guess that's an example of getting down to basics :)

What gets me is that if you look up the credentials of so-called skeptics of global warming, they turn out to be reporters or political scientists or anything else but climatologists.

I found this web page very good on how to address skeptics that can't follow the science.

BTW we design, develop and manufacture a leading edge solar PV concentrator (the SunCube) that can deliver kWhs at less that grid price and do it without tax payer funded rebates or taxing electricity rate payers.

In fact I have laid down a pathway document which shows how to deliver a 60% below 1990 emission cut well before 2050 and do it without increasing electricity prices, costing jobs or reducing mining exports / jobs.

If you are ever in Adelaide, stop by for a coffee, tea, water, bear, wine whatever. Address on the "Contact Us" page.


I do agree with some that Al Gore in using a 6 meter increase was a bit too extreme, at least in our life times. He could have used 1 meter as the effect is almost as bad as the 6 meter increased he used.

This Uni Arizona sea level model is very good and even a bit scary.

At 1 meter the SA coast line is altered quite a bit and we lose our port.

Miami is gone as well as a good bit of the southern part of the US.

This is real and what we may see in our life time if the increased temp rise and accelerated ice melt at the poles continues.

So Al Gore was wrong to use 6 meters. All he had to do was to use 1 meter. To me the 1 meter result is all that you need to show most folks.


I'm actually in Adelaide next weekend, but being Easter and my wife's birthday, I think it's going to be too hectic.

I think I might have heard of your initiative on the ABC. I think the comment that John Howard made in Parliament about the only real option being nuclear was part of the discussion.

Did you end up developing it in Canada or is that somebody else I'm thinking of?

Actually there was an article on the Science Show that tends to suggest that sea level will rise more than predicted as a result of changing circulation patterns that result in more winds being directed towards the poles.

I'll see if I can dig up the transcript, but the good news is that the process ends up in absorbing more of the CO2 (and heat) via the Southern Oceans. The bad news is that melting of the Ice Packs will be accelerated, and that sea water pH is likely to rise. This has a disastrous effect on organisms that produce aragonite or calcite for protective purposes, and will have a significant impact on the food chain, since pterapods fall into that category.

So Al Gore might not be too far wrong. Have you been following the Science Show recently?

Port Adelaide would be gone? Geez don't tell the Crows supporters.

OK next time and yes I did hear the science show.

It amazes me when I hear the Yanks talking about 1 trillion small mirrors in space to reduce the insolation as if that is all that is needed to fix the problem.

Too bad for the oceans aquatic life that needs dissolved oxygen and not to much acid. Or did my biology wrong and life loves CO2 and acid and I really have nothing to worry about?

I wonder if these guys have ever heard of the chemocline layer and what lurks beneath (H2S)?

But hey who needs aquatic life? So just give that guy several trillion dollars and block out the sun while continuing to pour more and more CO2 into the atmosphere.

Madness, sheer madness.


Add to that list:

Port Pirie
Port Augusta
Port Lincoln
Coffin Bay
Victor Harbour
All small low lying coastal towns

At least the Murray mouth will be much wider but the barrage system that holds Lake Alexandrina back will be gone.

But why worry, JH and GWB will fix it all. Just give the Indonesians $200 million to stop tree logging. Like that will ever happen or have any effect!

When the latest IPCC report on the effect of GW on Australia is released in a few days, the media will explode. Adelaide get the weather of Alice Springs. The Murray get 50% less water than it does now.

But as our PM says it is all just a cyclic effect and there is no reason to change governmental policy away from protecting coal mining profits.

Madness, sheer madness at the highest level of government.


The capitalist system is great, but when it prevents us taking action to prevent a global catastrophy for the sake of short-term profit taking by Oil companies, or when it prevents the development of cancer or AIDS cures because of the impact on profitability on pharmaceutical companies, then there need to be some checks and balances in the system.

I sent you an email.

Actually, many plants do better in a hihger CO2 environment. Fro example, if pine trees grow faster if there is more CO2 in the atmosphere, they may sequester carbon by building root systems which get buried. But again, if microrganisms metabolized the carbon in the root system and respire the CO2 back into the atmosphere, we are at a loss.

The net balance is we are pumping carbon out of the earth, in the form of hydrocarbon fuesl (coal, oil, natural gas) and burning them. eh carbon all ends up either in the atmosphere or in biomass ( more plants & animals) but the balance of biomass is limited, so long term the result is the carbon ends up in the atmosphere.

Why not just bury an equal amount of carbon, in the form of biomass, to balance the carbon we are pumping/digging out of the ground?

Its a simple solution. If we mine 1 ton of carbon from a coal strip mine, when we are done, bury an equal amount of carbon in any kind of biomass we want, as long as we sequester it. We could bury organic waste, lawn trimmings, etc. although I doubnt that would meet the required mass. We would probably have to resort to GROWING biomas, maybe trees or even corn, so we can bury it to balance the carbon debt removed from the earth in the form of coal. And, the sequesterd biomass would also provide a landfill for strip mines. Solve two problems at once. And, we could come back in a million years or so, and all that biomass would have been converted back into fuel.

Of course, it begs the obivous question, whihc is why do we dig fossil fules out of the ground and burn them when we could just as easily get our fuel carbon from biomass produced today. But, it is a good example of what we are REALLY doing, in terms of moving around the carbon, and the real value of alternative biofuels. In the total cycyle, it is more efficient to grow biomass and harvest biofuel from it (with energy eventually supplied from SUNLIGHT) then digging up fossil fuels with carbon and energy locked under ground millions of years ago. If we can't survive on the energy budget the natural world provides us, in terms of sunlight and other renewables like hydro and wind power, we are running at a net loss anyway and it just is not sustainable.

I think sequestration is a viable option. There is talk of building coal fired power stations with carbon dioxide sequestration. One option that is being explored is to pump the CO2 into old oil reservoirs. Of course that will leak out, but much slower than direct emission.

Greg's suncubes are a pretty novel idea. I've looked at solar options for domestic use previously, but these seem to be much more cost effective.

The problem with biogas is that in some parts of the world, natural forests are being cleared to make way for growing biofuel crops.

One possibility is to use smart power stations powered by recycled hydrocarbons. The first step would be to react hydrocarbons and steam in a catalytic reformer to produce hydrogen, some of which could be used for automotive fuel. This process is exothermal, and heat would be used to generate steam for use by a turbogenerator.

The byproduct of the first process would be carbon monoxide. The next process converts the carbon monoxide plus hydrogen to hydrocarbons, using another catalyst, and the resultant hydrocarbon is fed back into the system.

The first process using the reformer is well known. The second process is new.

The problem can be solved. After all, nature has been converting water and carbon dioxide into hydrocarbons for many years, using energy from the sun. There are chemical processes that can be used to mimic nature, albeit much faster.

Start thinking of the 380ppm carbon dioxide in the atmosphere as a resource instead of a problem. What chemical processes can use this resource in the same way as nature does, but faster? Those are the questions we need to be asking.

The sun provides on the surface of the planet 120,000 TWs of energy. We currently use 13 TWs total or about 0.01% of what is available.

Here is a summary of a DOE paper on energy sourcing for 2100 you guys may find interesting.

So yes we need to develop ways to clean the atmosphere of CO2 above useful levels (that what is needed to stop ice age cycling).

For better or worst we are now in control of the earth's weather. Expect we don't know how the controls fully work yet.

As for additional CO2 helping plants to grow, to my knowledge it has never been demonstrated this actually occurs. Additionally the increased CO2 heats the soil (via increased trapped heat) reducing moisture and reducing rain so plant growth actually declines. Massive wild fires in the worlds forests and grass lands are a real big worry which will only get worst. This is a positive feedback system which like ice melting to expose more water / soil which heats from more absorbed solar radiation melting more ice exposing more water / soil increasing local heating, etc, is a system which once started, continues on it's own and can't be stopped.


Interesting paper. I wonder if global sharing of Electricity will ever happen. It already happens internationally in Europe to a limited extent. Potentially we could have a solar network without the constraints of storage if parts of the network are always in sunlit areas.

I found this most interesting:
Global Warming Swindle

Hi Kevin,

Interesting in what way? It is the biggest collection of BS that the global warming denier community has every come up with.

Just a few points.
Volcanoes, over the last 200 years have contributed about 3% the CO2 that humans have.

Solar output does effect the global warming forcings but it is a very small effect.

Note the steady increase in atmospheric CO2. No volcanic spikes there. Additionally due to the particle emissions from volcanoes they actually cool the earth.

Note the big red spike on the right side of this ice core graph. We did that and not the sun nor volcanoes nor animals farting nor vegetation clearance.

Finally when we plot energy usage, CO2 levels and global temperature guess what we get.

With that movie the only person being swindled is the viewer. Several of the real climate scientists have threatened to sue the movie makers as they claim their comments were taken out of context and used to produce a result which was not that was given.

So yup it is a Swindle. A Swindle of the truth.


There are many people a lot smarter than us who say that our co2 couldn't possibly do the BS the chicken-littles scream about.They can't even predict the weather for a week, and I'm supposed to panic over something that scientists cannot agree on that may or may not happen in 10...20...30...years??That Al Gore doc was the biggest bunch of hooey ever.Anyone who accepts one side or the other of this argument is wrong.I can pull BS charts and graphs out of context just like you did and get the complete opposite results.We only know the earth is warming slightly...we don't know why.I'm not against doing what we can to reduce emissions, but I don't buy into this nonsense that the issue is solved and I'm the bad guy.That's the BS and that's the swindle.

Hi Kevin,

Sorry mate but the data I presented is not out of context or in error. I don't really care what Al Gore says, I studied the research data and guess what? Al and the 2,500 climate scientist that made up the latest IPCC report are correct. Have you ever actually studied the research data?

If not start here and learn about how the earth's energy balance is altered by a very tiny amount of CO2. It's a link to a Scientific American site.

Then click here to learn what Nasa has to say about the mechanics of climate change.

Finally go to this NOAA site to learn about the various forcing.

See no Al Gore, just good old plain scientific research and data.

As a close you can review the latest CO2 levels here.

It's real, it's happening, it is changing our world and we caused it. Guess what? Only we can fix it. So just maybe it is time to accept responsibility, stop the politics and get on with fixing it while we can. Some of the CO2 heating triggers positive feedback loops and once they get a hold we can't stop them even if we reduce the CO2 emissions to zero.

The best info currently is that we will lose the North polar ice cap and there is nothing we can do to stop it happening. When that happens vast amounts of methane will be released from the melted permafrost and we will be living on a very different planet.

Dr James Hansen suggests we have less than 10 years to enact massive CO2 reductions. I suggest you ignore him at your peril.


When you say the warming is slight have you seen the actual measured increases? Note the big increase at the north pole and across Russia.

Now do you understand why the North Polar Ice cap is melting and will be gone in 30 years or less.

Warming up, rain fall down, changed weather patterns world wide. End result crop failure, mass starvation and/or mass migration.

And we did it.