the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Sanity Check

Posted by Jeff Id on July 11, 2009

Since we’re considering trashing our global economy for a potential couple degree’s C of warming, here’s an interesting graphic. It assumes humans have added 30% of the 380 parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere (from 280-380ppm). How much is that? Find the red dot at the tip of the arrow.

co2 from humans

Figure 1 Bar plot of human CO2


45 Responses to “Sanity Check”

  1. Page48 said

    LOL

    You have to laugh! Or go crazy!

  2. Vinny Burgoo said

    Is this an ‘in’ joke? The length of the ‘human CO2’ portion of the bar is 1.9% of the total length, not 30%. Please explain how the picture works.

  3. Jeff Id said

    1,000,000/(380-280)ppm = 10,000:1

    The graph used slightly different numbers ~ 8777:1

    The tiny red dot at the tip of the arrow is the human increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration. Can’t see it? 😀

  4. Vinny Burgoo said

    I can see the dot but I can’t see the point of it. What’s your next picture going to be? The decline in the volume of live herrings as a proportion of the total volume of the world’s oceans?

    What determined the placement of the dot?

  5. Jeff Id said

    The point is the small amount of increase we’ve seen. The placement of the dot is because I got tired of looking for the end.

  6. Ryan O said

    I love rescaling. Makes it so much easier to find the dot.

  7. Vinny Burgoo said

    The point is the small amount of increase we’ve seen.

    No, the amount of increase is 30%. You say so yourself. Not small.

    Your point was to belittle that increase in a way that, as someone who knows something about climate change, you must have known was bollocks somewhat lacking in validity.

    It must have been a joke. My mistake.

  8. Ryan O said

    Someone always has to be a party pooper.

    I liked it, at any rate. 😉

  9. John F. Pittman said

    Jeff Id posting graphs like AL Gore…be ashamed!

  10. MikeN said

    Your last two hockey stick posts are not in the section labeled hockey stick.

  11. Fluffy Clouds (Tim L) said

    LOL

  12. harold said

    And according to AR4, the human contribution to atmospheric CO2 is 2.9 %.

  13. Ralph B said

    I am a touch more confused than normal. If you use 1,000,000/380, isn’t that more like 2500/1? rounding 380 up to 400. Just demonstrating that you can manipulate statistics to show whatever you want. Take raw number, insert algorithim, create public hysteria.

  14. Ralph B said

    One question (maybe touched on before I ever visited tAV) why the smiley face at the very bottom of the page?

  15. Jeff Id said

    #13, Yes that would be 2500/1. However, 280 or 265 or something was the alleged pre-industrial level of CO2.

    #14, Smiley faces are courtesy of WordPress. All WordPress blogs get them. I don’t know why.

    ———-

    My whole point with this was to remind people just how ungodly small a change in atmosphere we’re talking about. Typical people see the brown skies in cities and equate it to CO2, nobody likes brown skies. People see the weather change from day to day and imagine it was never that hot before, it’s easy. Someone with 60 years experience told me the weather and winds had been worse than she could remember in the last few years including this summer– in Detroit!

    They just don’t get it and looking at that graph above, I remember just how small 100/870,000 really is. I find myself week by week increasingly doubting the warming will be as severe as claimed. There are too many problems with the data, too much obfuscation in the science and too many people from one side of politics in charge of the programs.

  16. Charlie said

    Are you sure that you and Al Gore aren’t cousins?

  17. AEGeneral said

    #15

    I think it means you have the wordpress stats plugin enabled.

  18. counters said

    My whole point with this was to remind people just how ungodly small a change in atmosphere we’re talking about.

    The problem with this is that you’re taking the numbers completely out of context.

    So what if we’re talking about 0.00038 of the atmosphere? It takes just a nanogram of botulin to kill an adult human (according to Wikipedia). Using the analogy you promote here, that means that if 0.00000000000001 of your body mass is botulin, you should be in big trouble, right?

    Not really. This takes things wildly out of context. Botulin is an extreme case, but it makes the point – context means everything. You’d need that botulin injected intravenously in one instant to really see its effects. But this is ridiculous because botulin poisoning is such a rare event. That’s a real

    We may be talking about an “ungodly small change in atmosphere”, but it’s still 3,0000 gigatonnes. Furthermore, if you follow through the basic science, the radiative forcing is what it is, and that “ungodly small” amount of CO2 has huge ramifications. The correct context is to consider the magnitude of delta_CO2, because that’s what all the science is based on.

  19. Page48 said

    RE: #18, “….Furthermore, if you follow through the basic science, the radiative forcing is what it is, and that “ungodly small” amount of CO2 has huge ramifications. …”

    Sure, the radiative forcing “is what it is.” But, the “ramifications” are only “huge” if the assumed positive water vapor feedback exists as described by the AGW advocates. This aspect of AGW has yet to be proven.

    I never dreamed a little visual could create such controversy.

  20. counters said

    Page48:

    What controversy? I’m only pointing out how silly this picture is. It’s so benign as to merit no controversy whatsoever.

    And if we’re going to talk about those “ramifications,” make note that I didn’t explicitly state which “ramifications” those were. I wasn’t even referring to transient climate sensitivity due to CO2; I was actually considering just the raw effect of the presence of a few thousand gigatonnes of CO2, which by itself helps keep the Earth from turning into a freezing snowball. Really, now – what do you think would have happened if that 0.00038 of the atmosphere hadn’t been present throughout our planet’s evolution? Chances are it wouldn’t have turned out the way we see it now.

    But another minor quibble – in science, nothing is “proven.” Evidence either supports a theory or hypothesis, or it doesn’t. Unfortunately for your line of argument, the evidence – both observational and from theoretical experiments – indicate without fail that there is indeed a positive water vapor feedback and, there is mounting evidence that leads to our estimates of its large magnitude.

  21. Jeff Id said

    The problem with this is that you’re taking the numbers completely out of context.

    I didn’t take the numbers out of context. All I did was show the graph.

  22. Page48 said

    RE: #20, “what controversy?”

    I was just making an observation based on the comments placed in this thread.

    RE: #20, the rest of the comment.

    You’re so all over the place that I’m not even sure what you’re trying to say. I’m not going to try to respond.

  23. Eric Anderson said

    “Unfortunately for your line of argument, the evidence – both observational and from theoretical experiments – indicate without fail that there is indeed a positive water vapor feedback and, there is mounting evidence that leads to our estimates of its large magnitude.”

    You’ve got to be kidding, right? Checking the calendar to make sure it is not April 1 . . .

  24. counters said

    Jeff (and Page),

    You call this thread “Sanity Check.” In comment 5, you state that “The point is the small amount of increase we’ve seen.” Yeah, it’s a small amount of increase to the atmosphere. But it’s a 30% increase in raw CO2 and that’s the root of AGW,

    It’s pretty clear you aren’t making a point with this thread. Doesn’t mean I can’t stop by and give this thread its own ‘sanity check.’

  25. Jeff Id said

    #23, Counters is a budding modeler with an oddly supportive view of government and a Taminoesque open mind.

    #24 Counters, unlike RC this is a free speech blog. You are welcome to say what ever you want.

    Eric Anderson is correct that you have way way overstepped the level of proof on feedback. Besides the obvious confusion in the literature, I’ve had several email conversations with a number of different climatologists on this subject and your ‘indicate without fail’ is indeed ‘over the top’. I choose not to look up references because you want to someday work in the field so you should be able to find and comprehend them yourself.

  26. Jeff Id said

    #25 – me. Perhaps one ‘way’ was enough.

  27. counters said

    Jeff,

    You still haven’t nailed down my political philosophy. I invite you to keep trying, although I should point out it’s really irrelevant to any scientific discussion. Betcha can’t pigeonhole my opinion of W-M…

    Anyways, its odd that you allude to Tamino here, as his top post right now concerns a six-month old paper reviewing the matter of water vapor feedback. Not quite the latest-and-greatest contribution to the genre, but pertinent nonetheless. Your thoughts?

  28. Page48 said

    RE #26

    I thought two “was” was appropriate.

  29. Page48 said

    “ways”

  30. “The cost of going green”
    £1.2 Trillion for the UK, if we’re to cut our carbon emissions by the 80% G* target by 2050.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/5812243/CBI-calls-for-rise-in-UKs-nuclear-energy-spending.html

  31. counters said

    I posted a comment between #26 and #27 but it hasn’t shown up yet.

  32. Jeff Id said

    #31, It went to the spam bucket so I released it. Sorry.

    I doubt I can pidgenhole anything. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been much time for blogging lately.

    I’m going to do a post later this evening, RyanO has had an interesting and fruitful conversation with Dr. Beckers on EM infilling are interesting reading for the science minded. From that work, I think we’ll have another attempt at improvement to the Antarctic paper this week but there’s no time for Tamino today.

  33. page48 said

    RE: #29, “You still haven’t nailed down my political philosophy. I invite you to keep trying, although I should point out it’s really irrelevant to any scientific discussion. Betcha can’t pigeonhole my opinion of W-M…”

    Oh, boy.

    Hey, Counters – here’s a radical suggestion. Why don’t you just explain your political philosophy instead of inviting us all to a guessing game.

    “…my political philosophy. …it’s really irrelevant to any scientific discussion.”

    Oh, boy – again

  34. Boy, it’s a good thing scientists always separate their political interests from their scientific pursuits… Hey! Wait a minute…

  35. counters said

    Jeff,

    No problem with the spam filtering. It happens.

    I’ll check by from time to time to see your response to Tamino. I understand it being a busy time of year; only reason I can post so leisurely today is because someone here is being naughty and is scraping the MSS. Problem is our disk is full (2Tb!), and as quick as we can delete stuff it gets filled by the scrape. Can’t exactly perform analysis in that environment, and my netCDF’s are too big to transfer to my own computer. I’d whittle them down to just the variables I need, but I can’t do that because – the disk is full! Joy.

    Page,

    There’s no need to because it’s not pertinent to the discussion. Believe it or not (and this goes for you too, Dave), science is performed without preference to its outcome. When I’m analyzing data, I don’t even think about the outcome. I don’t even immediately think about it in a greater context. You start with just the analysis you’re performing, and then you see how it ties in.

    If we have to go all the way to the end of the scientific process though, the evidence is pretty clear, and it’s pretty easy to make a objective statement: AGW poses a problem, and that problem needs a solution. It’s only once we start talking about solutions that I’ll let my political ideas start influencing my suggestions. But of course, at this point in the process we’re far past the science.

  36. Jeff Id said

    It might be a tiny bit unfair to bash counters on his politics because I brought it up. I’m not soon going to forget a thread here which turned into a counters discussion about the ‘best’ way for government to regulate CO2.

    Half the people lurking here don’t agree with my correct political views and I pay a price for venting on them but if you missed it you can imagine my responses to the ‘best way to tax’ energy. [self snip]

  37. page48 said

    RE: #35

    Counters – you seem to have missed the point both Dave and I were making

    RE: #36

    I’m not bashing Counters about his/her political philosophy; I don’t even know what it is.

  38. Jeff Id said

    AGW poses a problem, and that problem needs a solution.

    I don’t agree with this counters, the specificity of the knowledge is not as robust as you believe. The models are currently falling out of agreement exceeding even the over-corrected (very poor quality)surface data. The data set is particularly terrible 60 years ago. We don’t know how bad AGW is, we don’t have good temp data, we don’t know how much problem it creates, the data thus far doesn’t support any of the disaster scenarios. None of it, Corals, acidification, sea level, hurricanes, sea ice, drought …..on and on.

    The other problem is that the political solutions are not related to science yet the scientists can’t seem to grasp the motivation of the politicians.

  39. Antonio San said

    AGW is a made up problem. The physical meteorological reality shows an evolution quite in opposition with AGW.

  40. Terry said

    AGW poses a problem, and that problem needs a solution.

    Have no fear, Our Leaders have decided to limit the temperature increase to 2 deg C. As they now have a means to control the climate, during the next election cycle I hope to hear promises of fewer droughts, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, record colds or highs, or sea level rise. All of which are products of AGW and C02 pollution. Hopefully they’ve acted soon enough to save the last 3 polar bears in existence, and hopefully said polar bears like each other, if you know what I mean 😉 I just really wish Hansen, Schmidt, Mann, et al were born earlier – they could have eliminated the MWP, LIA, and especially the Dust Bowl. Unnecessary!

    Ok – that, and I wouldn’t have to watch them clumsily torture data until it confessed crimes never committed.

    In any case – you’re in good hands with All State. Da.

  41. Andrew said

    AGW is an imaginary problem with an imaginary solution. In fact, it has to be imaginary to cash in on people’s capacity to believe in things they can’t see, hear or touch. If it was a demonstrable fact, it would be dealt with in a realistic way. Boring. That is not the desired outcome. The desired outcome is an attempt to realize the tantalizing vision of worldly power. But people won’t hand over their freedom unless they are scared into thinking they have to. Thus, the curtain rose on the AGW Show…

    Andrew

  42. timetochooseagain said

    One cannot take any scientific analysis and jump to a “need” for “solutions”. No scientific conclusion can imply anything WRT politics. Anyone who says otherwise, has an agenda. Not saying what that agenda might be, but there tends to be one.

    Moreover the “existence” of a “problem” does NOT imply a need for a “solution”-most “problems” solve themselves and most tinkering “problem solvers” end up looking like buffoons. But let’s say you insist AGW is different. And let’s say you are going to insist that, rather than evidence mounting against a “problem” you insist that it has never more strongly favored the existence of a “problem”-what should be done in your view? Since you want us to try and guess your biases, you could try to drop some hints. THAT will be how we decide whether you are ven worth talking to (although your bible thumping belief in AGW does not win you style points in that regard-particularly that you hang out with creeps like Grant “Tammy” F****r).

  43. Kenneth Fritsch said

    If we have to go all the way to the end of the scientific process though, the evidence is pretty clear, and it’s pretty easy to make a objective statement: AGW poses a problem, and that problem needs a solution. It’s only once we start talking about solutions that I’ll let my political ideas start influencing my suggestions. But of course, at this point in the process we’re far past the science.

    That graph that presented CO2 levels at a simplistic level has evidently provoked liked mannered responses.

  44. Mitchel44 said

    Good one, I took it in line with Dr Spencer’s joke from back in January, http://www.drroyspencer.com/2009/01/50-years-of-co2-time-for-a-vision-test/

  45. Ralph B said

    The question people with open inquiring minds ask is what is the problem we face if AGW were true? I read Bjorn Lumborgs book “Cool It” and I have yet to here any rational counterpoint.

    Me, I see the earth has warmed and it has cooled many times over. The carbon we are putting in the air came from the air (unless you believe in abiotic oil). It is basically a form of solar power and renewable (just takes a while to renew). I need definative proof (falsifiable) not plausabilities before I am willing to soil my pants.

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