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Round 1. The Vagabond V thelibra: Global Warming

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posted on Jun, 24 2005 @ 10:59 AM
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The topic for this debate is "Global Warming is primarily man-made"

The Vagabond will be arguing for this proposition and will open the debate.
thelibra will argue against this proposition.

Each debater will have one opening statement each. This will be followed by 3 alternating replies each. There will then be one closing statement each and no rebuttal.

No post will be longer than 800 words and in the case of the closing statement no longer than 500 words. In the event of a debater posting more than the stated word limit then the excess words will be deleted by me from the bottom. Credits or references at the bottom do not count towards the word total.

Editing is Strictly forbidden. This means any editing, for any reason. Any edited posts will be completely deleted.

Excluding both the opening and closing statements only one image may be included in each post. No more than 5 references can be included at the bottom of each post. Opening and closing statements must not contain any images, and must have no more than 3 references.

Responses should be made within 24 hours, if people are late with their replies, they run the risk of forfeiting their reply and possibly the debate.

Judging will be done by an anonymous panel of 13 judges. After each debate is completed it will be locked and the judges will begin making their decision. Results will be posted by me as soon as a majority (7) is reached.

This debate is now open, good luck to both of you.




posted on Jun, 24 2005 @ 05:02 PM
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I would like to begin by offering my sincere thanks to Amorymeltzer and Nygdan for bringing this forum back to life. I've waited a long time for the opportunity to participate here. I would also like to say that it is an honor to find myself matched against a formidable opponent so early on. Best of luck to thelibra. Now let's get it on.

The term global warming refers to a dramatic increase in the temperature of the Earth's atmopshere and oceans since the late 19th century. The mainstream scientific community has been compelled by the evidence to conclude that production of greenhouse gasses such as Carbon Dioxide by mankind is the primary cause of this trend. Challenges to this conclusion arise primarily from business leaders and politicians in industrialized nations, whose motives are dubious at best. In this post I will explain the "greenhouse effect" which scientists have concluded to be the cause of global warming. In my subsequent arguments I will demonstrate the correlation between increases in human industrial activity, the presence of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere, and average global temperatures, thus demonstrating that global temperatures react to human activities and that humans have in fact created this looming catastrophe.

When matter absorbs light, it radiates the absorbed energy, warming its surroundings, and reflects some light back away from itself. What greenhouse gasses do is absorb light which is being reflected away from the Earth and radiate heat into the atmopshere, effectively causing the Earth to retain more of the energy which strikes it. A simple analogy would be to imagine yourself wearing a non-waterproof jacket in the rain as opposed to going without a jacket- water that would have rolled off of you will be stored in the jacket and kept in contact with your skin, amplifying the effect.

Normally, when light reached the Earth it would be absorbed primarily by the Earth's surface and by water vapor and naturally occuring carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, radiating a relatively consistent amount heat around our planet. Going back to the wet jacket analogy, this is like wearing a t-shirt in the rain- it will only hold so much, then water will roll off.
Unfortunately, much of mankind's industry over the past century has entailed ever increasing combustion of organic materials and hydrocarbons, which has caused non-infared absorbing homonuclear gasses such as O2 to be converted into H2O and CO2, both of which are greenhouse gasses. Over the past hundred years, mankind has significantly thickened the "jacket", causing more solar energy to be trapped against our planet's surface.

Over the course of this debate, as I have said, you will be shown the uncanny correlation between man's release of greenhouse gasses and the steadily rising temperature of Earth's surface. There will be no room for doubt that Global Warming is the product of human activity.

en.wikipedia.org...
en.wikipedia.org...



posted on Jun, 25 2005 @ 10:42 AM
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Thank you to the organizers and judges of the debates for allowing me to participate in this event. Secondly, I offer thanks to my Vagabond for the compliment, and I'm sure he will prove a worthy adversary.

And now, I wish the reader to consider the actual question at hand:
“Is global warming primarily man made?"

The answer is "No. Of course not. In fact, we couldn’t do it if we [I]tried[/I]"

Global Warming is a natural cycle that has occurred throughout the planet's history, and will continue to occur until the eventual death of the planet (which is no small feat). The Earth is such an amazingly self-correcting entity that it can account for exponential magnitudes far more than anything mankind could possibly throw at it in terms of energy transfer or Carbon Dioxide exchange. Heat is a form of energy, and with a basic understanding of the laws of conservation of energy, one must realize that Global Warming, and Global Cooling, are merely slow transfers of the same energy in a self-correcting cycle that the Earth must undergo on occasion.

To fully comprehend this, one must remove the human arrogance that we are cause for things of such magnitude, and take a purely scientific angle.

First, let us examine Energy:
Everything on Earth is composed of an enormous amount of energy, in one form or another. The gravitational binding alone, according to the formula E=(3/5)GM^2/R works out to roughly 2.24x10^32 Joules of energy. The Sun puts out that much energy in a week. According to the laws of conservation, and in particular, the Conservation of Natural Symmetries, Energy is neither created, nor destroyed; it is only transferred from one state to another. For example, what was once carbon and heat, is now a diamond, and what was once coal becomes heat; and every single event leading to the transition in states was the result of uncountable transactions in energy across the planet. One fully developed hurricane can release heat energy at a rate of 5 to 20x10^13 watts, or between 1.8 to 7.2x10^17 Joules per hour. According to the 1993 World Almanac, the entire human race used energy at a rate of 10^13 watts in 1990, a rate less than 20% of the power of a hurricane. And yet a hurricane still makes up for a minutia of the total energy transactions on the planet each year.

The simple physics of the matter is that such a large number of energy transactions occur on the planet every single second of the day, between organic and inorganic means, that the total combined effects of humans can only make up make up an insignificant fraction of the energy exchanges on the planet.


Next, let us examine the levels of Carbon Dioxide and its effects:
According to ice core samples, Carbon Dioxide (CO2) levels increase naturally during warming cycles, and decrease during cooling cycles. They are at their lowest point during ice ages. Thus, they are related, but the common misconception is that the level of CO2 in the atmosphere is the cause of the temperature variance. In fact, it is now becoming apparent that in actuality, the temperature that affects the level of CO2, according to detailed studies by Ohio State University Researchers. The reason so many studies seem to draw the wrong conclusion is that they fail to account for Transpiration, the natural cycle of water from solid, to liquid, to gas, and back again. In fact, every year some 90 billion tons of CO2 are released in Transpiration, and another 60 billion tons of CO2 are released in the exchange between vegetation and the atmosphere. That's a total of 150 billion tons compared to mankind's pittance cause of 5 to 6 billion tons released per year. That's less than 5% of the total of the CO2 released each year, which is not nearly enough to significantly impact global temperature. So how could so many studies get this wrong? Because one flawed National Academy of Sciences report in 1977 identified water as a vapor, instead of a gas, and thus, failed to include it as part of the considerations in CO2 studies. This flawed report has been the basis of countless reports since.

Thus, the argument of humanity's release of Carbon Dioxide playing a major role in global warming is grossly inaccurate, and based off of a flawed report some thirty years ago. Additionally, more recent studies are concluding that CO2 levels overall are not the cause of global temperature change, but rather, the result.


In Conclusion, though global warming is taking place, it can be mathematically proven that mankind cannot have had anything more than an trivial impact on an otherwise natural cycle.



REFERENCES:
Conservation of Energy
www.infoplease.com...

Energy from Hurricane and the Human Race
www.aoml.noaa.gov...

Carbon Dioxide
www.sciencedaily.com...
www.globalwarming.org...

The Fortitude of Earth (and gravitational energy)
www.livescience.com...



posted on Jun, 25 2005 @ 06:54 PM
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In order to understand how human production of greenhouse gasses is responsible for the unnaturally rapid warming trend over the past century and projected for the next century, colloquially known as global warming, one must distinguish between climate change and climate variability.
Chemical processes, both organic and inorganic, fluctuations in the amount of solar energy absorbed by the earth as a result of the portion of the earth most exposed to the sun during particular seasons and other considerations, and a host of other factors all work together to create what the IPPC Glossary calls "climate variability". Climate Variability is a natural cycle of increasing and decreasing reception, storage, and release of energy by the Earth.
Climate Variability must be distinguished from Climate Change. The UNFCCC distinctly defines Climate Change as “a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods”.
In short, Climate Change, if it can be proven to exist, is an anthropogenic (man-made) acceleration and exacerbation of the Climate Variability created by natural processes.

In order to establish that anthropogenic Climate Change does exist and is the primary cause of global warming, a contrast must be made between what is happening now and what would normally be expected without human interference. This effect must also correlate to a measurable cause, in order to rule out a statistically outlying peak in the natural cycle as the cause of Global Warming.


The graph above demonstrates temperature changes and CO2 level changes as indicated by ice cores from Lake Vostok, Antarctica. In prehistoric cases, note the tendency of carbon dioxide levels to rise to their highest point with little or no interruption, then to decline, with temperatures following suit. In the most recent instance however, carbon dioxide levels reached a second, higher peak after beginning to decrease, and this corresponds with a plateau of high temperatures which cannot be observed in previous events.
This seems to indicate that anthropogenic production of carbon dioxide has stopped what should be a waning phase, meaning that the our contribution to the problem at present is more than one might suspect simply by comparing current conditions to the previous high points.

Exactly how much carbon dioxide must we be producing to cause this? The answer is that we are producing so much that while carbon dioxide levels, according to historical trends, should be falling by up to 20 parts per million (see graph above), the total level is actually growing by .4% per year (see IPPC link, paragraph 2).
At this rate we will achieve a GAIN of 20 parts per million over the next 20 years rather than a fall of that amount, driving CO2 levels to a new record for the historical period documented by the ice at Vostok. Furthermore, again referring to the IPPC link, the isotopic composition of this additional CO2 proves that it is the result of burning fossil fuels.

It can be concluded from this information that human production of greenhouse gasses is not only suspending the natural drop in CO2 levels which is to be expected now, after the peak of an interglacial period, but is rasing CO2 levels in spite of this. In the near term this represents a significant problem in and of itself, however if and when the natural decline in CO2 levels is arrested, the true extent of anthropogenic greenhouse gas production would become horrifyingly obvious, with dire implications for the future of this planet.

Sources
IPPC Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, addressing human influences on the climate system.
www.grida.no...

IPPC Glossary
www.grida.no...

UNFCCC Article 1
unfccc.int...



posted on Jun, 26 2005 @ 06:35 PM
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I wish to thank Vagabond for the excellent chart, which unfortunately for him, provides plenty of evidence for my argument that Global Warming, and Cooking, are a perfectly natural (if disconcerting) cycle.

While the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere and the global temperature are linked, the opposition is still going by the assumption that CO2 is the cause of these temperature changes, and not the result. However, looking at data from those same 400,000 year-old samples from the Vostok station, two things can be observed:
  • In a mere 400,000 years we have gone through 4 ice ages, and this one is right on schedule: There is a fairly regular clockwork to these patterns as well. In fact, for the last million years, the climate cycle changes roughly every 100,000 years. Previously to one million years ago, the cycles were 41,000 years old. There is nothing startling about the rise in global temperature when viewed from an historic perspective. In fact, the only thing worrisome about it is that the rapid decline in global temperature will probably happen at some point within the next 500 to 1000 years. So you may want to ask your descendants to buy coats. The Earth is just gearing up for the climax of global warming, followed by the inevitable rapid slide into its next ice age.

  • The CO2 is always increasing after a temperature rise, and decreasing after a temperature fall. The orientation of the opposition's graph is a bit misleading, having the most recent years to the left, and older years to the right, but if you flip it around, it's as plain as day. The CO2 levels follow the temperature. The historic deviations in Earth's orbit (referenced later) match perfectly with the rise and fall of the interglacial periods, which in turn, match perfectly with the rise and fall of CO2. According to the charts, we're simply near a peak in the current cycle that started about 25,000 years ago.


Now, let's continue more evidence, unrelated to the chart, as to why humanity's burning of fossil fuels is not responsible for causing global warming:
  • Miniature cycles of hot and cold are running right on time. Let's examine the last 2000 years:
    • ~250BCE - 400AD = The Roman Warm Period (~600 years)
    • ~400AD - 850AD = cold spell during the Dark Ages (~400 years)
    • ~850AD - 1250AD = the Medieval Warm Period (~400 years).
    • ~1250AD - 1850AD = The Little Ice Age. (~600 years)
    • 1750AD - The Industrial Revolution (first widespread burning of fossil fuels)

    If one is to blame humanity for rises and falls in global temperature, it will take something besides the burning fossil fuels and CO2 release to do so, because such variances have always existed before.

  • Further, The Earth does not have a perfect spin; it wobbles, tilts on its axis, and has a periodic shift between circular and elliptical orbits. When the wobble is small, the Earth's orbit is more circular, and when the wobble is larger, the orbit is more elliptical. This in turn, changes the Earth's orientation from the Sun as well. These factors combined have a far greater influence on global climate, and no amount of CO2 is going to affect those factors.



    Three orbital parameters are especially important in causing ice sheet waxing and waning:
    • Changes in the eccentricity of the Earth's orbit, which affects the amount of radiation the surface receives at the points nearest and farthest from the sun. This in turn changes the seasonal contrast in the two hemispheres. This plays an extremely important role in the expansion and melting of ice sheets. Not coincidentally, the periodicity between circular and elliptical orbits is 100,000 years (the same as the CO2 cycle, and the Ice Age cycle). The graph above illustrates this.

    • Changes in the tilt of the Earth's axis, which greatly affects the radiation levels at higher latitudes (such as where one might find glaciers and ice sheets), with a variance of approximately 41,000 years.

    • The precession, or change in timing, of the equinoxes, which determines affects the seasonal balance of radiation. Its periodicity is approximately 22,000 years.



In conclusion, we see multiple historic trends that show this cycle was in place long before the amount of CO2 humans release into the air was ever a factor. And again, referencing earlier data, the idea that we should have a hit a major ice age in the next 1000 years is perfectly in keeping with the timing of both the minor events in the last 2,000 years, and the major events of the last 400,000 years.



REFERENCES
1.) Orbital Variance: www.geo.arizona.edu...
2.) Comparison to Vostok ice samples: (periodical: 'National Geographic' issue Sept 2004.)
3.) CO2 cycles: researchnews.osu.edu...
4.) Orbital Cycles affecting global temperature: museum.state.il.us...
5.) Historical Trends: www.clearlight.com...



posted on Jun, 26 2005 @ 07:59 PM
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Now the judges are presented with facts from each side which seem contradictory. My opponent states that a hurricane contains more energy than mankind used in 1993, that the natural processes of transpiration and photosynthesis release a combined 150 billion tons of carbon dioxide each year- more than 30 times the amount released by humans. In contrast, I have demonstrated that this supposedly negligible addition of greenhouse gasses by humans over the past century has coincided with an unprecedented deviation in climate patterns for an interglacial period. In short, I have shown that humans are overwhelming the forces of nature.

The unavoidable implication of these contradictory facts is that one side or the other has misinterpreted the data. As this debate forced me to consider the issue, I discovered those errors.
First, how is human activity playing such a tremendous role in the environment if we are producing thirty times less CO2 than natural causes? Because those numbers state how much CO2 is being put out, not the net change when absorbing processes are factored in.
Human contribution to the problem is more significant when compared to the net gain of CO2 from natural processes, which the EPA's inventory of greenhouse gasses and sinks for 1990-2000 (source 1) states on page 5 cannot influence levels appreciably on a decadal time scale.

Next, how much heat would anthropogenic greenhouse gas have to be trapping to create a temperature change when one hurricane has so much more heat energy than the whole world used in 1993? Again the confusion is a result of misinterpretation. Hurricanes do not primarily generate heat from other forms of stored energy. They transfer existing heat by convection, losing 10% of their heat as work energy along the way. The example of a hurricane as a generation of heat which shows the minute scale of heat trapped by CO2 is completely erroneous.
If one examines the negative argument carefully, it can be seen that the forces behind Climate Variability are not as swift or dramatic enough to cause Global Warming.

Being relieved now of the notion that the net change created by natural forces dwarfs human contributions, we must revisit the definition of Global Warming so there can be no mistake about the subject and no mistake as to the incontrovertibly human cause of global warming. Global Warming is not a generic term. Global Warming, in common parlance, refers to the dramatic increase in temperatures over the past century and implicitly the corresponding 31% jump in CO2 levels since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. This Global Warming, is too rapid to be the result of natural processes, and contradicts the precedents set by every previous interglacial of the past 400,000 years. It differs in several ways from past manifestations of the cycles my opponent relies upon for an explanation.

Now I will return to a few figures I have raised to demonstrate again that this dramatic increase has taken place. See source 1, page 5, and you will find figures from the Inventory of US Greenhouse Gasses and Sinks, 1990-2000 which are not observable on the smoothed graph I presented above, which is constructed to show changes over centuries and millennia, not decades. Specifically note that CO2 concentrations are now 367ppm, as opposed to 280ppm in past peaks. The Inventory quotes the IPCC's third annual report as stating that CO2 concentration has not been this high at any other time in the last 420,000 years and probably not in the past 20 million years!
Furthermore, on page 4 you will note that while the average temperate rose an estimated .6 degrees Celsius in the 20th century, as of 1994 estimates were .15 degrees lower. The final five years included 3 record breakers and shifted the actual mean temperature increase of the century by 25%!


Human beings have contributed in a significant way to the enhancement of the normal Climate Variablity cycle, creating the unnatural phenomenon of Global Warming. This fact can only be denied through misinterpretation of data.

Speaking of which, I have taken the liberty of scaling and comparing the Milankovich cycle graph with the temperature graph.


They are inconsistent. At present a low eccentricity is coinciding with a high temperature. 125,000 years ago a high eccentricity coincided with a high temperature. About 200,000 years ago a high eccentricity coincided with a VERY brief low temperature which snaps back up on either side faster than the eccentricity changes. 300,000 years ago a high eccentricity coincided with a high temperature.

While climate does fluctuate, it is becoming clear that Global Warming is an abnormal intensification of the trend caused by humans.

References
yosemite.epa.gov...$File/ghg_gwp.pdf



posted on Jun, 27 2005 @ 06:52 PM
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My competitor would like us to think the facts have been misinterpreted, and I do not blame him, because the facts are so clearly on my side. But let us examine his statements point by point to find the fallacies in his reasons for these unfounded accusations.


Originally posted by The Vagabond
First, how is human activity playing such a tremendous role in the environment if we are producing thirty times less CO2 than natural causes? Because those numbers state how much CO2 is being put out, not the net change when absorbing processes are factored in.


There are two problems with this statement:

1.) There is no "net change". Roughly 75% of the CO2 sinks are among un-inventoried and unaccounted for organic matter, according to Professor S. Pacala of Princeton University. This means the accounting for the net change by my competition is off by roughly 3/4ths! The absorbing process is fine, the reports, however, are flawed, as they only represent the accounted for sinks.

2.) Additionally, the amount of CO2 being put out is not something that one can simply dismiss in the process. In the last 20 years, although carbon dioxide emissions are up almost 40 percent, the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has decreased or remained the same, according to Steven C. Wofsy with the Atmospheric Sciences Program, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard University.

Thus, we find that not only do humans put out a mere ~3.33% of the CO2 at 5 billion tons per year, but that the 0.4% rise is not of the total percentage, it is in the amount. And the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere still has yet to increase, because the Earth can easily process about four times the 150 billion tons total.

In order for humanity to produce the additional 450 billion tons of CO2 neccessary to impact Earth's CO2 sinks, from our present rate of about 5 billion, we would have to increase at our present rate of 0.4% for 1125 years. A simple spreadsheet will verify this.


Originally posted by The Vagabond
Next, how much heat would anthropogenic greenhouse gas have to be trapping to create a temperature change when one hurricane has so much more heat energy than the whole world used in 1993?


For the sake of simplicity, 76°F day, 50% Relative Humidity. At that temperature, air is able to hold 1 gram of water for each cubic yard of air, but the humidity gives us an average of 0.5 grams per cubic yard.

Thus, there are roughly 847,222,223,510 grams of water in the air, and that many BTUs is what it would take to heat up the water in the atmosphere by one degree, at a constant rate.

Also, there is one more thing to consider. CO2 reflection of energy is a two way street; every amount you are reflecting back to Earth from the atmosphere, you must consider the increase that is bounced away from the atmosphere into space.


Originally posted by The Vagabond
The example of a hurricane as a generation of heat which shows the minute scale of heat trapped by CO2 is completely erroneous.


When terribly misquoted and misrepresented, any argument can be bent to any direction. I never once implied that a hurricane causes global warming. What I said was that the amount of energy generated as the result of man-made means is made inconsequential by the sum all energy transactions on and within Earth, and I used a hurricane as an example of but one source.


Originally posted by The Vagabond
Global Warming is not a generic term. Global Warming, in common parlance, refers to the dramatic increase in temperatures over the past century and implicitly the corresponding 31% jump in CO2 levels since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.


I disagree--and apparently so does the dictionary.



global warming
n. An increase in the average temperature of the earth's atmosphere, especially a sustained increase sufficient to cause climatic change.
(Source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Ed.)


You cannot just make up definitions to words in order to support your side.

On with the Milankovich Cycle Graph



I will let the chart's obvious patterns speak for themselves, The graph clearly shows a pattern that anyone with eyes can see. Toss in the additional factors of the changes in tilt of the Earth's axis, and the precession of the equinox, and you can see why the degree of eccentricity is not so important as the trend towards more or less elliptical.

My opponent’s attempt to debunk my argument is little more than a Chewbacca Defense, with Carbon as his Wookiee.


REFERENCES

Chewbacca Defense
en.wikipedia.org...

Carbon Dioxide Levels Not Increasing
www.globalwarming.org...

Water Vapor Stats
www.ucar.edu...

Definition of Global Warming
dictionary.reference.com...



posted on Jun, 27 2005 @ 10:02 PM
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My opponent has now unleashed a barrage of falsehoods, errors, and misunderstandings which can't fail to overwhelm. If I were to debunk each to the fullest, I would have no room left to complete my own case. I will however briefly dispel the most relevant errors.

1. Through unsubstantiated estimations of the capacity of "uninventoried" CO2 sinks, my opponent argues that humans can't produce enough CO2 to raise atmospheric concentrations, and thus he attempts to redefine the data I have presented.
The Inventory of US Greenhouse Emissions and Sinks, 1990-2000, page 5 clearly states that CO2 concentration in the atmosphere has increased 31% since the Industrial Revolution. This is a key point. It strongly suggests human ability to affect CO2 levels on a massive scale and betrays the error of my opponents estimations of CO2 sink capacity.
My opponent then claims that since his flawed math "proves" we can't affect atmospheric concentrations, that my .4% growth figure must be for output, not concentration. He has lacked the respect to even glance at the sources, clearly. I quote from source 1, main post 1, paragraph 2 of source page:
quote: For about a thousand years before the Industrial Revolution, the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere remained relatively constant. Since then, the concentration of various greenhouse gases has increased. The amount of carbon dioxide, for example, has increased by more than 30% since pre-industrial times and is still increasing at an unprecedented rate of on average 0.4% per year, mainly due to the combustion of fossil fuels and deforestation.


2. My opponent claims the greenhouse effect is self-negating, reflecting as much incoming as it retains outgoing. How could scientists have missed this?! Because scientists understand the laws of physics. Wien's Displacement Law establishes the inverse relationship between the temperature of a radiating body and the peak wavelength of its emissions. The temperature disparity between the Sun and Earth mean that incoming light is primarily in visible and near infrared ranges, and can pass through greenhouse gasses, while the reflection from Earth is in the far infrared range and is heavily absorbed and reradiated by greenhouse gasses. Sources below.. Then there is my opponents now debunked assertion that the Milankovich cycle alone can explain all temperature changes. He posts my attack on this position but does not reply to it- it's a pseudo response on his part because he can't defend against what your own eyes can see. Present day on the graph, low eccentricity and high temperatures. 150,000 years ago, high eccentricity and high temperatures. If the cycle can't explain all the anomalies then there are other forces at work. As I have been showing, the other forces at work are humans.

Then my opponent claims I make a Chewbacca Defense- a defense which seeks to overwhelm the observers ability to reason by presenting a barrage of nonsense. This is a tactic of proving negatives however- a Chewbacca Defense cannot establish the veracity of a claim- only overwhelm the ability of the observer to follow an affirmative argument to its logical conclusion. His accusation is patently absurd. My organization may be lacking, but when I tie it all together in my conclusion there will be no doubt. If you've paid close attention, there is already little room for doubt.

Now that the impact of humans on CO2 levels is beyond questions and the correlation of CO2 and temperature increases has been demonstrated, it is absolutely vital to the negative side to prove a reversal of the causal relationship between CO2 and warm temperatures. This is an interesting proposition as it flies in the face of science. I take you back to a previously cited source, to page 6, in the last paragraph of the CO2 entry. "The increased amount of CO2 is leading to climate change and will produce, on average, a global warming of the Earth's surface because of its enhanced greenhouse effect".
We must also consider the logical implications of claiming that higher temperatures case the rise in CO2 levels (which my opponent, by the way, said were dropping, even though temperatures are indisputably rising). If warmth generated more greenhouse gas, you would have a runaway heating pattern unless some new mysterious factor stepped in to correct it. Now, going by the quote in your signature, you must either not believe the assertion of the entire scientific community that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, or you must not believe that it increases as a result of higher temperatures, or alternatively you may credulously believe that there is a hidden third factor to reconcile your beliefs..
It is undeniable, CO2 can cause climate change.


Eagerly awaiting your reply so that we can wrap up with closers and send it off to the judges.

Greenhouse effect
en.wikipedia.org...

Wein's displacement law
en.wikipedia.org...

(Edit to add sources, fix length)

[edit on 6/29/2005 by Amorymeltzer]



posted on Jun, 28 2005 @ 06:24 PM
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Originally posted by The Vagabond
Through unsubstantiated estimations of the capacity of "uninventoried" CO2 sinks


The findings of two different PHDs from two of America's most prestigious Universities' (Princeton and Harvard) Environmental Sciences departments are
considered "unsubstantiated"?

Would that I had your credentials, to be able to make such a bold claim!



Originally posted by The Vagabond
My opponent claims the greenhouse effect is self-negating, reflecting as much
incoming as it retains outgoing. How could scientists have missed this?!
Because scientists understand the laws of physics.


One, I never gave a ratio.
Two, they do reflect back into space.
Three, scientists don't fully understand the effects yet.

We know the Earth's albedo (the reflectiveness back into space) to be about
30%. However, the understanding of human impact on the albedo is simply not
known at this time.


by Livescience.com
Albedo is a crucial factor in any climate change equation. But it is one of
Earth's least-understood properties, says Robert Charlson, a University of
Washington atmospheric scientist. "If we don't understand the albedo-related
effects," Charlson said today, "then we can't understand the effects of
greenhouse gases."


Charlson even goes so far as to state the "grasp of the human impact on albedo could be off by as much as 100 percent."


Originally posted by The Vagabond
Now that the impact of humans on CO2 levels is beyond questions


Beyond question? Hah! All you did was parrot one flawed report, over and over. Questionable is about the only suitable adjective to describe it.

I, on the other hand, have provided hard math, scientific fact, a slew of natural variables you've never even addressed, and multiple timelines repeated cycles of global warming.


Originally posted by The Vagabond
Then there is my opponents now debunked assertion that the Milankovich cycle
alone can explain all temperature changes.


I'm sure the Flat-Earthers think they've debunked that whole "The Earth is Round" thing too, but just stating one has debunked something doesn't make it so.

For one thing, I never once stated that the Milankovich cycle alone explains all the changes.

An ever-changing balance between solar radiation, cloud cover, and greenhouse gases controls long-term swings in global temperature, and all factors must be considered. Not just the human ones.

The amount of solar radiation received, and the angle it is received at, severely impacts the melting or growth of polar ice. This, in turn, affects the amount of freshwater in the global oceanic currents, which in turn, affects the climate.

I briefly touched upon the effects of Orbital Variance earlier. Now I will give a verbose account of the factors involved.

Eccentricity is only one of the factors affecting climatic change on the Earth. As I already explained it in a previous post, I'll continue on.

Obliquity - describes the tilt of the Earth's axis, which can vary from 22.2 and 24.5 degrees. This can amplify or suppress the seasons, as a larger tilt means that the summer hemisphere will receive more solar radiation, and the northern hemisphere will receive less. Our current tilt is 23.5, coming from a downward trend. Meaning that our winters have been, and continue to be gradually getting hotter, while our summers are gradually getting milder, which is consistant with the observed trends in the last few years. This again is a perfectly normal cycle repeated quite often, every 41,000 years.

Precession of the Equinoxes - Loosely phrased, this is the process by which the equinoxes and solstices move around the Earth's orbit. They are not fixed entities, they move about with respect to the aphelion (point in Earth's orbit farthest from the Sun) and the perihelion (point closest to the sun). In conjunction with the tilt, this determines which pole points towards the sun at any given time. The periodicity averages around 22,000 years.

Together with the Eccentricity, they determine how much radiation at any given point is hitting the ice at the poles. The more radiation that hits, the more the ice will melt. Together with the affect on the seasons this causes climatic changes, on regular cycles that intertwine.

The entire cycle is loosely demonstrated as such:



Yet another unaddressed factor of warming is from solar output, such as sunspots, which exhibit their own cycles in 11, 22, 125, and 720 year increments. The greater the sunspot activity, the greater the solar output, the greater the solar output, the greater the impact on global climate.

And yet there are even more factors to consider, but I’ve run out of space. If I had 8,000 words instead of a mere 800, I still could not begin to list all the ways in which natural cycles dwarf the contributions of mankind towards global warming.

REFERENCES

Human Impact on Albedo Unknown
www.livescience.com...

Balance factors of Global Climate
www.livescience.com...

Orbital Variance
earth.usc.edu...
www.dnr.mo.gov...



posted on Jun, 29 2005 @ 04:23 AM
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I am accused of presenting a Chewbacca Defense, so I will mince no words. I will highlight the evidence I have presented, and it will require very little commentary.


The graph demonstrates temperature changes and CO2 level changes... In prehistoric cases, note the tendency of carbon dioxide levels to rise to their highest point with little or no interruption, then to decline, with temperatures following suit. In the most recent instance however, carbon dioxide levels reached a second, higher peak after beginning to decrease, and this corresponds with a plateau of high temperatures which cannot be observed in previous events.



Exactly how much carbon dioxide must we be producing to cause this?... the total level is actually growing by .4% per year


My opponent argued that I had misread that figure, but he obviously didn't even check the source.


My opponent then claims that since his flawed math "proves" we can't affect atmospheric concentrations, that my .4% growth figure must be for output, not concentration... I quote from source 1...
quote: For about a thousand years before the Industrial Revolution, the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere remained relatively constant. Since then, the concentration of various greenhouse gases has increased. The amount of carbon dioxide, for example, has increased by more than 30% since pre-industrial times and is still increasing at an unprecedented rate of on average 0.4% per year, mainly due to the combustion of fossil fuels and deforestation.



Specifically note that CO2 concentrations are now 367ppm, as opposed to 280ppm in past peaks. The Inventory quotes the IPCC's third annual report as stating that CO2 concentration has not been this high at any other time in the last 420,000 years and probably not in the past 20 million years! Furthermore, on page 4 you will note that while the average temperate rose an estimated .6 degrees Celsius in the 20th century, as of 1994 estimates were .15 degrees lower. The final five years included 3 record breakers and shifted the actual mean temperature increase of the century by 25%!



I take you back to a previously cited source... "The increased amount of CO2 is leading to climate change and will produce, on average, a global warming of the Earth's surface because of its enhanced greenhouse effect".


Above you have:
-An unprecedented raise in CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere, documented by the UN and US, which my opponent denies, coinciding with the Industrial Revolution.
-An unprecedented plateau of high temperatures after the peak of the interglacial, projected to increase exponentially, which my opponent does not deny.
-The US, an industrialized nation which refuses the Kyoto Accords, acknowledging that human CO2 production is causing climate change. My opponent claims the cause and effect to be reversed, but offers not one word of substantiation.

Clearly, humans have supplemented the natural cycle and are exacerbating Global Warming to an extent that our species will be very lucky to survive.



posted on Jun, 29 2005 @ 10:26 AM
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Ladies and Gentlemen of the Judges,

The question now set before you is whether or not humans are primarily responsible for Global Warming.

Before I continue, I would just like to re-iterate the definition of Global Warming, according to The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Ed.




Global Warming:
n. An increase in the average temperature of the earth's atmosphere, especially a sustained increase sufficient to cause climatic change.


Please note that there are no references to a specified time range, conditions causing the increase, or factors involved in that increase.

My opposition has repeatedly claimed how carbon dioxide output is on the rise, how temperatures are rising, and little else. And perhaps both are even true. This does not, however, make for proof that Global Warming is primarily caused by humans.

Whereas I have demonstrated the following:
  • Heat is a form of transferred energy, and the total amount of energy used by mankind is infinitesimally small when compared to the total energy transactions taking place at any given moment.

  • For CO2 levels alone to cause even a one degree Fahrenheit increase towards global warming, the amount of energy required to be reflected back only by CO2 would have to constantly be in excess of 850 Billion BTUs.

  • Carbon Dioxide levels themselves in the atmosphere have not increased in the last 20 years despite an overall increase of 40% in the output of them. There is even evidence to suggest that the levels have decreased.

  • Nature itself releases over 96.5% of the carbon dioxide released each year. Even if CO2 did play a major enough role (which it doesn't), the evidence suggests that CO2 release levels are the result of climatic changes, rather than the cause.

  • The reports on which my competition bases his entire argument on are flawed for two reasons: Only 25% of the Earth's Carbon Dioxide sinks are being considered in the inventory, and Water Vapor was not taken into consideration as a greenhouse gas.

  • Multiple verified timelines, both long and short-term, demonstrate that the Earth has exhibited major climatic cycles on a regular basis, for many hundreds of thousands of years before human civilization, and that our current situation matches both long and short-term cycles.

  • Other factors, such as Orbital Variance and Sunspot Activity cycles play such a major role in the climatic changes of Earth that they cannot possibly be ignored.


In researching all this, I have learned that we live on a truly amazing, self-correcting, and nearly indestructible planet. And while Global Warming is occurring, and the rise (and subsequent fall) of temperatures are going to be quite unpleasant for humanity, it is not entirely, or even mostly, their fault. Rather, it is a natural process that our world must go through periodically in order to provide the balance necessary to make it the haven for life that it is. We just happen to be more aware of it this time around.



posted on Jun, 29 2005 @ 10:38 AM
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Nicely done both of you, a strong show of force this was. Off to the judges!



posted on Jul, 6 2005 @ 11:24 AM
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Excellent job to both gentlemen, you've both managed to keep a technical topic interesting and readable!

Thelibra has won by a good margin. Judging was cautious, yet in the end decisive. Congratulations, but don't celebrate too soon, you're going to have to defend a new position shortly in Round 2.



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