Saturday, January 7, 2012

Global Warming Extremism

This author thinks it's important to continue gathering data and studying earth's temperatures, and we might want to start considering mitigating measures to deal with changing crop patterns and the possibility of rising ocean levels in coming decades.  But an immediate crisis, we do not have.   Some alarmists have worked hard to scare people to tears, but their credibility is finally on the wane.

Here's where the fuss starts.  Carbon dioxide concentration is indeed rising from 320 parts per million to 380 parts per million over the past 50 years.  The concentrations are exceedingly small amounts; only 0.038% up from 0.032%.  To give you some perspective, my exhaled breath is 4.00% or 100 times more concentrated!

The issue is that man is releasing about 7.3 gigatons per year in total carbon into the atmosphere.  But photosynthesis absorbs 1.7 gigaton/yr and the ocean is absorbing 2.2 gigatons/year.   This means that 3.3 gigatons/yr of carbon is accumulating in the atmosphere.  Ultimately the ocean will absorb all of that carbon given enough time (centuries).  To stop the rising accumulation, we must reduce carbon emitted by about 50%.  This amount would steady atmospheric concentration of carbon (not reduce it).

And there is a slight warming of temperatures in our recent history--about 1 degree F (0.5 deg C) in 40 years.  It's worthy of continuing to study and modeling---now that we have satellite to measure global temperatures.  

The data is to the right.  (People have noted the last 10 or so years of actual data and see little warming if any.  Models have predicted much higher temperatures, so science meets nature.)
The hydrocarbon era might only last another 50 years.   During the next 50 years, it would be logical to suggest that the warming would be another 1 deg.Fahrenheit--the same as the last 50.

What I'm saying is that there is no reason for panic-----yet. 

I can say almost for sure that there will be no carbon capture and sequestration.  It's insanely expensive!  After decades of alarm-ism, there is still not one power plant with carbon capture in existence in the world--anywhere in the world!   The US has 10,000 power plants alone.  We don't even know exactly how best to do it.   I figure that it would cost $10 trillion dollars to electrify automobiles, build nuclear and wind power plants (the only options economically viable currently) to power the cars in the US alone.  Even this would only reduce CO2 emission by 50%.  This would have to replicated around the world just to steady carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere at a cost of $40 trillion. It just won't happen.  Period.  Remember, after $40 trillion, CO2 in the atmosphere would not decrease---it would remain elevated.  So, presumably temperature rises would stabilize at the higher level.

It would make more sense to use US natural gas in a nationwide push for CNG buses and mass transit.  I believe that if buses came every 3 to 5 minutes, people would use them and relinquish personal automobiles.  This in combination with increased gasoline taxes would be very effective at curbing CO2 emissions.  This is much more practical.  Where's this debate in the media?   Where is our Energy Department on this subject?  Why do we even have an Energy Dept?  They can't do anything!

It will take billions, not trillions to build seawalls or relocate coastal cities to higher ground.  I don't believe there is an immediate panic in terms of ocean levels but it's worth keeping an eye on.

The cost of mitigating the effects of possibly higher temperatures (if they come to past) will be infinitely less costly than carbon capture and sequestration.  Where's this debate in the media? 

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