a reply to: jrod
We don't know?
No, we do not.
All of the predictions are based on mathematical models using computer algorithms. These algorithms are produced by scientists and mathematicians
analyzing various factors and estimating feedback coefficients. These programs are fed known historical weather data and then attempt to analyze that
data and predict future data. If they do so accurately and consistently, the algorithm is mostly correct within the range being tested; if not, the
differences between actual and predicted trends is further analyzed, adjustments are made to the feedback algorithms, and the program is tried
So far, we have had zero success predicting future trends of even a year or so. Work is progressing, but until an algorithm works, we do not
understand the various feedbacks sufficiently to make predictions. That hasn't stopped pundits from making assumptions based on unproven models,
however... it just means they don't know what they are talking about.
The CO2 problem was first noted over 100 years ago by Svante Arrhenius around 1896.
Arrhenius' theory is being mis-applied in present Global Warming Theory. He postulated that an increase in a certain gases (now called "greenhouse
gases") had the ability to absorb and emit certain wavelengths of EM radiation ("spectroscopy"). He was not fully correct in his calculations of the
magnitude of energy retention, as carbon dioxide does not respond linearly.
But even more intriguing is that Arrhenius actually argued (as I do) that an increase in carbon dioxide and the corresponding increase in heat would
be not just beneficial but absolutely required to provide food for an expanding population.
We do know that doubling(we are on pace to do in the next 50 years CO2 using 280ppm as a starting point) will make the world a warmer place.
This will also make the sea levels rise, which is already being observed. The extra CO2 in also causes more to CO2 being dissolved in the ocean which
among many other things kills coral.
Oh, dear, where to start?
First of all, those predictions of doubling carbon dioxide levels (which would attain a resultant atmospheric carbon dioxide level of 560 ppmv) are
assuming quite a few things, not the least of which is that photosynthetic activity will not increase along with the higher levels (which we know it
does; the planet is already "greening"). Secondly, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels of 280 ppmv have not existed since 1800 (it was 280 ppmv in 1800
and has slowly been climbing ever since). Present levels are at ~400 ppmv, an increase of 120 ppmv over a 120 year time span. From those figures, it
is silly to expect an increase of an additional 100 ppmv in 50 years.
However, that is misleading. According to NOAA
, the increase at the Mauna Loa Observatory has
increased mainly since 1960 when it was ~316 ppmv. Present readings are at ~411 ppmv, a 85 ppmv increase over 60 years. That would indeed allow for
500 ppmv in 50 years as you say. However, look at the CH4 (methane) levels, which are directly caused by the volcano itself: they correlate with the
rise in carbon dioxide levels. The increase in carbon dioxide is obviously coming from volcanic venting
280 ppmv is also the level that is postulated to actually retard
plant growth. Plant matter increases with carbon dioxide levels at least until
1500 ppmv (which is about where some effect on humans would become apparent). We know this because greenhouses use concentrated carbon dioxide at
those levels to grow plants faster and larger.
There is no observed sea level rise. There is observed continental sinkage. Sinkage can be limited to one particular area, while oceanic rise must, by
the laws of physics, either happen globally or a mechanism to change the gravitational constant ion particular areas exists. The reports of "rising
oceans" also correlate to areas which have experienced significant growth along sealines, which explains why these areas are sinking: additional
construction resulting in additional weight on the land surfaces.
It is simply not possible for the ocean to rise in Miami and not rise in Los Angeles. Most sea level measurements are taken from land-based