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Neven having a go at me for using the word 'we' is fair enough and I stopped posting as I was being a bore! Since I have been told off again by others I just want to add a note that I was responding to several fairly broad and general posts that had used the word 'we' and referred to 'man' or 'humanity'. My 'we' referrred to the very first para of my post where i referred to humanity. I am not presumptious of other peoples opinions or theories I do however assume all posters belong to 'humanity' to which my posts referrred. To Neven I apologise for boring him
The rate of CO2 increase is an interesting one - is this just a larger spike than the last time or is it genuinely a nightmare moment - only time will tell. Mans contribution is not big enough to cause the increase alone so there are other factors involved, again we are in the territory of theory as to why the increase is so sudden. The increase from 300ppm to 400ppm is more than mans total contribution. Could it be we are upsetting the global balance somewhere else. I still believe this is cyclical and a balancing reduction will occur. To say we have passed a tipping point is rather daft considering the levels of CO2 in our prehistoric past, we are still at a low point not a high point. Scaremongering comments are made to attempt to reinforce point of view. It does not mean however that anthropological involvement is not now causing a runaway CO2 increase. But this would need backup of considerably more factors than pure anthropological CO2 production. Most of the historical data comes from the deep antarctic ice cores where the CO2 content is known to diffuse out so the actual rate of increase/decline is difficult to measure. The recent increases are over a very short period which makes them very difficult to match up with data thousands of years old. I, like most people, am extremely concerned when a trend like this occurs and doesnt stop - we dont fully know what is causing it or what will happen in the future. In the past we have knowledge of cataclysmic volcanic and meteoric events that changed life on this planet - however the planet recovered. Should we as humans cause our own demise the rest of life on earth will probably say thank you. Doomsday scenarios are all very well but they are just scenarios or theories until the prediction is proven by events themselves. if we continue to pour trillions of dollars into AGW prevention and we succeed in reducing CO2 emissions and catastrophy doesnt occur, we will never know if we prevented disaster or whether nature did it on its own. ie AGW will still be unproven scientifically. However if we continue with the trillions of dollars and warming still occurs, we will have spent huge amounts of money to prove we can do little to stop it. Worse still we spend trillions and the earth significantly cools and shows no further warming trend - what then. If it cools to the extent of the recent mini ice ages the consequences for food production are very dire indeed and we will have spent huge resources following an erroneous trend instead of investing in the science to help cope with global cooling. That to me is what is worrying - we have good scientific theory as to what is happening but the earth keeps surprising us and shows us we dont yet have the knowledge. Global warming is continually showing us that graphs and trends and historic data and cycles still do not mirror climatic reality.
I think we are entering 'interesting times'. I think mans pollution of the earths surface is out of control and no amount of writing about it is going to have a significant effect on it. However we are still in a period of very low carbon dioxide even with the recent increases and much as we tend to believe we are causing the current fluctuations in climate I still tend to think that our influence on climate is still relatively minor and moves in to new energy sources are interesting and neccessary but will have an almost immeasurably small effect on climate at the current population levels. Comment above about agriculture is very true, and we are rapidly reaching a tipping point in world population where depleted soils around the world will be less and less able to support plant life no matter how good the technology. Personally from my own experience in my own field of agriculture i would think the crisis point will be around double the current population level - which is not far away. But and its a big but, one cannot rule out the pure ingeniousness of man and I would expect it will be possible to extend this even further delaying the tipping point further. One thing is for sure carbon dioxide at its present level is no where near a level where it is a pollutant - in fact it is a very welcome promoter of plant growth and both water and land based plants benefit enormously from the increase. This increase in growth increases the amount of carbon going back in to long term storage (consider the incredibly huge amounts of carbon held in chalk for instance, the old ocean floor). We too easily take up ideologies that are far from proven. Anyone who is convinced that AGW is a definite and is unable to accept counter arguments is not a true scientist and is in danger of taking his eye off the bigger picture due to blinkered thinking. It is entirely possible that for the very first time in the earths history carbon dioxide is causing warming of the earth rather than vice versa (the norm) but there is along way to go on weather data and Piomas data before the trend is proven. My point here is that the crisis for mankind is human population increase which will prove to be catastrophic long before the ice disappears or the seas rise significantly or temperatures rise to a historical new highpoint. This site is very interesting and I must thank again Neven for it being so. Having said that the true way to reduce pollution and achieve equilibrium again is through reduction of population - that will need some huge faith in our politicians who at the moment would never even consider such a thing. Likeliest scenario - catastrophy followed by politics on a world scale.
Hi Chris, thank you for that, that is a very concise answer, much appreciated. I hope i didnt rattle any cages - not my intention. I shall enjoy the further reading. And Wili - I think essentially you know what I mean - sorry for my mangled prose!
Toggle Commented Oct 7, 2013 on Pinpointing the minimum at Arctic Sea Ice
Thanks wili - I'm a sceptic on everything scientific - thats why I dont take sides - I like to absorb as much as I can within my capabilities. ..... You read me quite right. Whilst current trends go the opposite way to those expected I am keeping my mind open to the reasons why. So so long as arguments are based in fact I will take them onboard, but if they do not entirely hold up then I wait until more info comes forward. Climate is so chaotic and the mere fact that models have tended to be wrong in the short term means that inputs are inadequate ie we are missing factors that are currently not included. The info on this blog is great and hard to absorb. Its difficult to get a grip on why the Arctic ice fluctuates like it does when most theories are speculative. My view for what its worth (and having followed this site for some time) is that there are too many factors running all the time to be able to predict future behaviour from 'trending'. In effect a neverending task I reckon which leaves me having the greatest of respect for those on here so adept in translating input into recognisable data and illustration. Anyhow - if you dont mind I wont take up any more space on here as I am sure I am not adding much! Mark
Toggle Commented Oct 7, 2013 on Pinpointing the minimum at Arctic Sea Ice
It would appear I have been assigned a number so for clarity my name is Mark and I have been visiting this site for 2 years now as it provides such a high insight in to the polar ice conundrum. I think that the level of debate here lead by Neven is superb and I am glad to see some different ideas appearing. Not that I am a denier - far from it I like to absorb all the arguments that are put forward. So I have a few questions of my own. why is the approach of a Dalton minimum cycle not taken in to account - is it because this theory is in doubt, or because accelerated warming has countered the effect or is a cooling cycle not treated as relevant to the overall warming trend. I ask this merely because the current trends lean towards a cooling period but noone here seems to want to factor it in, which in a scientific sense confuses me as I would have thought it would support the longer term warming trend rather than disproving it. As for the atmospheric CO2 argument - I was lead to understand that a lower percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere would produce very marked changes in radiation absorption for small changes but as concentrations increased these changes are much less significant (on a logarithmic scale in fact). So even localised increases over the ice at our present concentration levels would only have a small variance in potential temperature change. And lastly on ice breakers - surely at this time of year any exposure of the sea surface would allow increased local cooling as the sea would be able to lose heat more effectively. Would this not have the effect of negating the disturbance caused by the ice breaking itself. In the melt period when the reverse would be true I would assume ice breaking activity is much reduced.
Toggle Commented Oct 7, 2013 on Pinpointing the minimum at Arctic Sea Ice
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