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Forum » SpaceEngine » Off-topic Discussions » Totally off-topic thread (Talk about anything.)
Totally off-topic thread
expandoDate: Saturday, 26.01.2013, 08:00 | Message # 436
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Well regardless, all the carbon that was deposited under earth was once on the surface and was deposited beneath the surface by life. An argument can be made if man did not come along and redeposit the carbon back into the atmosphere, all life surface life would eventually die due to carbon starvation.




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DoctorOfSpaceDate: Saturday, 26.01.2013, 08:32 | Message # 437
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Quote (expando)
Well regardless, all the carbon that was deposited under earth was once on the surface and was deposited beneath the surface by life.


Where are you getting this "information" from?

Quote (expando)
An argument can be made if man did not come along and redeposit the carbon back into the atmosphere, all life surface life would eventually die due to carbon starvation.


lol





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expandoDate: Saturday, 26.01.2013, 08:45 | Message # 438
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Coal, Oil, Gas is wildly believed to be the deposited remains of organisms, eg fossil fuels. Plants extract carbon from the atmosphere, deposit it in their trunks, sometimes they become burred underground. Same with animals, animals consume carbohydrates, fats/oils and proteins from plants which is used to build their bodies. Generally for the carbon to be burred underground, a sediment layer need to first be deposited over them or they fall into a swamp.

I am undecided on this, I think the abiotic origin of carbon fuels also has merit. All mainstream climate scientists believe in the biological origin of carbon fuels thou.

In regards to the animal "intelligence boom", I have not observed it, but it is something I think is reasonable to assume will happen over time.





"Religion is regarded by the common people as true - by the wise as false - and by the rulers as useful."
Lucius Annaeus Seneca


Edited by expando - Saturday, 26.01.2013, 08:53
 
midtskogenDate: Saturday, 26.01.2013, 08:49 | Message # 439
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Really? I find that rather surprising.

It might be a regional thing. Here in Scandinavia we have for instance two relatively outspoken professors, Solheim and Humlum (the former in astrophysics, the other in geology).

Quote (Watsisname)
Remember: although it is very difficult, we can disentangle and test each of the components that goes into climate sensitivity,

It might not always be true in matters involving those pesky butterflies. If you study two different phenomena, and they seem to be distinct, and you compute their results accurately, it's not necessarily so that they accumulate arithmetically. Is anything in the atmosphere truly independent? I mastered in computer science, and I've worked with video compression for the past 13 years. I see some butterflies in my work as well. I can study two, quite different compression techniques separately. If they both reduce the bandwidth need by 10% (*0.9), I can't just assume that put together I get a 19% (0.9²) reduction. Quite often I can get something close to that, but I can't just assume it.

Quote (HarbingerDawn)
It boils down to this: are humans altering the climate? Yes. Could this potentially have very negative consequences on human societies?

Then the argument should be that this is for the humans, our civilization, not for the polar bears, coral reefs or whatever. That was my point.

Quote (HarbingerDawn)
The argument is simply that it will cause a lot of trouble and hardship that we don't need

How much must also be taken into the equation, so it can be weighed against the costs (too much could cause a lot of trouble and hardship we don't need). It's not black and white either. Like here in Scandinavia, judging by the trees that used to grow here a few thousand years ago that are scarce now, it must have been warmer then and it probably made it easier for those who lived here. The land might not have been settled then otherwise. Change will always make some suffer, other benefit. Ultimately, most of us only borrow the land we live on. Some places will turn into deserts, other places like here will be buried in ice. And coastal areas are always vulnerable, with or without humans. Most coastlines were pretty different a few thousand years ago.

As for fossil fuel, it has to stop anyway. So how do we solve that the quickest way? Wind power? Solar power? Shutting down nuclear power (which also could cause a lot of trouble, etc) Are those actions detours or steps towards what we really want? The objective must not come in the way of the discussion whether it's effective. And while overpopulation might be the real problem, one can think of it positively as well considering what 10 or 15 billion minds can invent and fix. In a few hundred years perhaps it will seem strange that the best use we could find for oil was to burn it, but on the other hand, if we hadn't been burning it, we wouldn't have had the means to develop something better. The best escapes are often the narrow ones.





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Edited by midtskogen - Saturday, 26.01.2013, 08:53
 
DoctorOfSpaceDate: Saturday, 26.01.2013, 08:50 | Message # 440
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Coal, Oil, Gas is wildly believed to be the deposited remains of organisms, eg fossil fuels. Plants extract carbon from the atmosphere, deposit it in their trunks, sometimes they become burred underground. Same with animals, animals consume carbohydrates, fats/oils and proteins from plants which is used to build their bodies. Generally for the carbon to be burred underground, a sediment layer need to first be deposited over them or they fall into a swamp.


You do know about the carbon cycle don't you?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_cycle


Quote
Carbon flows between each reservoir in an exchange called the carbon cycle, which has slow and fast components. Any change in the cycle that shifts carbon out of one reservoir puts more carbon in the other reservoirs. Changes that put carbon gases into the atmosphere result in warmer temperatures on Earth.

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Feature....eatures

Quote (expando)
In regards to the animal "intelligence boom", I have not observed it, but it is something I think is reasonable to assume will happen over time.


If it were a constant fight of out smarting or dying then yes that would be a reasonable assumption. However when it comes to human ingenuity versus animal instinct there really is no competition.





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Edited by DoctorOfSpace - Saturday, 26.01.2013, 09:25
 
expandoDate: Saturday, 26.01.2013, 13:34 | Message # 441
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Regardless some percentage of the carbon cycle gets trapped underground every year. If it didn't, we would not have any fossil fuel reserves.



This a Motie from the book "the mote in god's eye". It is quite good, the second book, "the gripping hand" was pretty poor. On Mote Prime, their environment was so polluted that the water had a permanent petroleum taste. When they went off world and drank fresh water, they would keep a bottle of oil handy to flavour it.

Anyway, the Humans planned to keep them bottled up in their system and eventually exterminate them smile





"Religion is regarded by the common people as true - by the wise as false - and by the rulers as useful."
Lucius Annaeus Seneca


Edited by expando - Saturday, 26.01.2013, 13:40
 
apenpaapDate: Saturday, 26.01.2013, 13:45 | Message # 442
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Regardless some percentage of the carbon cycle gets trapped underground every year. If it didn't, we would not have any fossil fuel reserves.


Except the fossil fuel reserves were mainly created during the Carboniferous, when much of the planet was a swamp and bacteria that could digest the newly-evolved wooden stems of plants hadn't evolved yet, causing lots and lots of anaerobic decomposition. Since then, barely any more fossil fuels have formed and the subsumed carbon is easily balanced by volcanic eruptions.





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DoctorOfSpaceDate: Saturday, 26.01.2013, 13:49 | Message # 443
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Except the fossil fuel reserves were mainly created during the Carboniferous, when much of the planet was a swamp and bacteria that could digest the newly-evolved wooden stems of plants hadn't evolved yet, causing lots and lots of anaerobic decomposition.


Sometimes I find the absurdity in our luck to be quite amusing.





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HarbingerDawnDate: Saturday, 26.01.2013, 15:41 | Message # 444
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Quote (midtskogen)
Then the argument should be that this is for the humans, our civilization, not for the polar bears, coral reefs or whatever. That was my point.

That is not the argument that I hear most commonly from people. Usually only the environmentalists use the polar bear pitch. Climate scientists are far more concerned about the human impact.

Quote (expando)
I am undecided on this, I think the abiotic origin of carbon fuels also has merit. All mainstream climate scientists believe in the biological origin of carbon fuels thou.

This is not even something that climatologists study, and in any case it is quite well established that oil is biological in origin.

Quote (expando)
I don't think what man is doing to the world is wrong, he is just following his natural instinct with is the same for all life.

My natural instincts often tell me to destroy property or assault people. Are you saying that the world would be better off if I were to stop controlling those instincts?

Your philosophy seems to be, "if it happens, then it's fine". I find this troubling.





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Edited by HarbingerDawn - Sunday, 27.01.2013, 04:21
 
TimDate: Saturday, 26.01.2013, 18:36 | Message # 445
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Well, there is a clear difference between instinct and selfconsciousness.
The more a species becomes selfconscious, the less it counts on its instinct. Besides, say we would do whatever we feel nature tells us to do, we would eventually destroy ourselves. We've evolved into what we are, because our current traits give us a higher chance of survival. That evolution, however, is not programmed and does not take into account the future, only the now.
So if we want to survive longer than that, we'll have to let go of the instinct and start thinking for ourselves.
 
SpyroDate: Saturday, 26.01.2013, 23:17 | Message # 446
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Your philosophy seems to be, "if it happens, then it's fine". I find this troubling.

I agree. With all the alternate universes taken into perspective, everything possible happens. So that means that "if it happens, then it's fine" belief, that means it's perfectly okay to crash into other people, buy 1858265978784966577653856 cats, or let chickens be treated this way:


Attachments: 0192486.jpg(16Kb)





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WatsisnameDate: Sunday, 27.01.2013, 04:08 | Message # 447
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Quote (midtskogen)
It might be a regional thing. Here in Scandinavia we have for instance two relatively outspoken professors, Solheim and Humlum (the former in astrophysics, the other in geology).


Yeah, those guys are fairly fringe when it comes to climate science. Humlum's pretty well known as a researcher with flawed practices and dishonest communication about these topics with the public. (Notice the difference between the content of his blog articles vs. what actually gets published in journal articles.) If you can, try reading some critical reviews of his work, they are pretty illuminating.

I was not familiar with Solheim, but after reading one of his papers I can see some errors in methodology; such as trying to link temperature to the length of solar cycles by using regional data, and then completely ignoring other sources of variability. Not a very strong paper... I grant that his research topics are very interesting, but he appears to be a little disillusioned about the extent of its role in climate variability and stretches his conclusions far beyond what the data can support. :/

Quote
It might not always be true in matters involving those pesky butterflies. If you study two different phenomena, and they seem to be distinct, and you compute their results accurately, it's not necessarily so that they accumulate arithmetically. Is anything in the atmosphere truly independent?


Yes, you are basically referring to complex/chaotic behavior in nonlinear systems. Having received your degree in computer science, you may have had some experience with differential equations, where this concept often comes into play. (The Lorenz equations are a famous example). Now Earth's climate is probably the most complex nonlinear system we know of. That's why I said climate science is such an active and extensive field. However, as I also said earlier, it is still possible to decouple and test the feedbacks individually, as you can see from the work that researchers are doing.

On a related note, the complex and nonlinear nature of climate also means that decreased reduction in the uncertainty of feedbacks does not necessarily lead to a comparable reduction in uncertainty in the probability distribution. This paper is an excellent examination of this fact. (Sorry that it's not a free-text).

Quote (midtskogen)
Then the argument should be that this is for the humans, our civilization, not for the polar bears, coral reefs or whatever. That was my point.


Climate scientists are interested in climate. Not polar bears. I think Harbinger's response to this was fairly accurate.

The concern about climate change is that it affects the entire planet, and polar bears and coral reefs make up such a small portion of the biosphere that saying that they are the main issue is completely ridiculous. As scientists we are interested in all the effects. A quick browsing of the current literature will reveal a seemingly endless number of studies on how climate change is impacting specific components of the ecosystem. The IPCC reports have very thorough discussions of the topic as well.

As an aside, I find that another common belief among the public is that a significant concern about climate change is its effect on storm systems. For instance, here in the US, the impact of Hurricane Sandy incited a new wave of debate about human vulnerability to climate change. The effect of climate change on storms is interesting and I read about it sometimes, but really I think a much more important effect people should think about is droughts, not storms. The impact of a severe storm can adversely effect a region for months or even years, as we have seen. Droughts on the other hand can end civilizations, as we have also seen. The belief that these things are not of concern to us because of our improved technology is very common and in my opinion also very dangerous.

Quote

How much must also be taken into the equation, so it can be weighed against the costs (too much could cause a lot of trouble and hardship we don't need). [etc]


Summarized as "Climate change isn't all bad." Yeah there is some degree of truth to it. There will always be winners in a changing environment -- that's just the principles of adaptation and darwinian evolution in action. The catch though, is that on geologic timescales, the current era of human-driven climate change is occurring very fast. Much faster than the ecosystem can handle it. For humans, the near future (next 100s of years) is very likely going to be a rough period. And that goes for the terrestrial biosphere in general, too. Technically, with regard to rate of species loss, we are already in a mass extinction event. Not something I feel proud of for the sake of our distant descendants.

Quote
As for fossil fuel, it has to stop anyway. [etc]


Of course. We've burned millions of years of deposited organic carbon in a century. That is not only not sustainable, but as we've been discussing it is affecting the thermodynamics of the planet. How to correct this is a matter of science, economics, and politics combined, and to be honest it's outside of my area of interest and comfortable knowledge. GH emissions have to be reduced... of this I think there is no question. It is easier to keep CO2 out of the atmosphere than it is to remove it. How to replace our method of energy production is a much more difficult question.





 
HarbingerDawnDate: Sunday, 27.01.2013, 04:22 | Message # 448
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Quote (Watsisname)
I think Harbinger's response to this was fairly accurate.

And that made me notice that I left out a very important word "not" in my earlier response. Fixed now smile





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midtskogenDate: Sunday, 27.01.2013, 08:57 | Message # 449
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I grant that his research topics are very interesting, but he appears to be a little disillusioned about the extent of its role in climate variability and stretches his conclusions far beyond what the data can support. :/

While it might be something in it, I think too that this is a stretch. If you have a conclusion and just need data to support it, you can try an endless combinations of your data and eventually you'll likely find a correlation. Fortunately, we just had a fairly long solar cycle, and the next one may be weak and long as well, so we may soon get some additional data for this. He could also be partially correct correct if there is a link and the effects are regional.

As I mentioned earlier, it's easy to be affected by an importance bias. (Which also applies to climate scientists regarding how important their work is).

I can understand much of Humlum's scepticism based on his work and first hand evidence, which includes many years in Svalbard where there is much evidence for large changes previously both in near and far history (and the homogenised temperature record for this place is in my opinion highly questionable yet important to research of climate change due to the scarcity of arctic weather stations). It's easy to attack many things in climate research, because of the uncertainties and the many assumptations that have to be made to arrive at a useful result. But rather than simply attack the weaknesses, Humlum also presents alternative explanations which rely on at least as many assumptations and uncertainties. That I find hard to understand.

Quote (HarbingerDawn)
Climate scientists are interested in climate. Not polar bears. I think Harbinger's response to this was fairly accurate.

Most climate scientists wisely stay away from activism, so it's not from them we hear most about climate change.

Quote (Watsisname)
I find that another common belief among the public is that a significant concern about climate change is its effect on storm systems

When we have unusual weather, journalists will simply call scientists until they find someone who says something about how this could be linked to climate change, how we should expect more of this in the future, and there is a story.

Here we hear much about how winter snow will disappear from coastal areas, and that we'll get wetter and wilder climate (though the latter view is somewhat disputed among researchers). But they don't get much public trust this way, since they've been saying this for many years, perhaps understandable since we had some very poor snow winters here around 1990, yet winters still return nearly 25 years along, sometimes very cold. They provide seasonal forecasts which don't seem to be more accurate than "this winter will be like the previous winter". The forecast for this winter was 3 °C above the normal, but about 2/3 into the winter, we're at around 2 °C below the normal. They seem safer speaking about the climate and weather 100 years ahead, not about current events.

Quote (Watsisname)
Technically, with regard to rate of species loss, we are already in a mass extinction event.

Yes, but are you saying that this is due to climate changes? I'd rather blame the invention of agriculture and domestication followed by the population growth that was then made possible.





NIL DIFFICILE VOLENTI


Edited by midtskogen - Sunday, 27.01.2013, 09:00
 
expandoDate: Sunday, 27.01.2013, 09:29 | Message # 450
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The root cause of environmental problems is population expansion, the media and government where we get most of our information from mostly does not relate population growth and climate change together. For example I live in Australia, our government has already put in place a carbon tax which all the money simply goes to the European union. They love the boom in commodities and all the extra coal we are shipping to china to burn. Also our prime minister says they believe in a BIG Australia and have planned to double Australia's population in 40 years through Baby bonus cash back and immigration. Every day they say how the government is committed to a green future. Another red flag is their unquestioned commitment to the current financial system which requires exponential growth to continue puttering along. Government funds all the Climate Change research, you can bet for sure if one of them comes up with any conclusion that man made global warming is not a reality, their funding will be withdrawn.

I think most scientists engaged in government funded research are bias and I would not trust their data or conclusions.





"Religion is regarded by the common people as true - by the wise as false - and by the rulers as useful."
Lucius Annaeus Seneca
 
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