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JesusLopezViejo
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2007 9:14 pm† †Post subject: LVC Global Warming Project 2007 Reply with quote
I have began requesting opinions from the scientific community all across the world on global warming in relation to human activity.

I will post replies from the faculty as they come in. I plan to hit every scientist in America. If you are a scientist, climatologist or climate researcher, feel free to contact me at support [ AT ] liberalsvsconservatives.com so I can get your opinion.

This will give people a better idea of what the scientists actually think, as opposed to what we hear on the news, from the current government administration and from "climate skeptics".

Copy of email sent:

Quote:

Dear Faculty,

My name is Jon ******.

I'm a student at K*** University studying computer science out of New Jersey.

One of my main hobbies, besides computers, is political debate.

I run a forum named Liberals Versus Conservatives.

Recently I got into a debate on global warming with a member on the board.

I told him the majority of the scientific community believed that human activities played a roll in the acceleration of global warming at an alarming rate. I have read many of the IPCC reports and believe this to be true as well.

As a project, I was hoping I could get the opinions of your faculty of educated professionals on the subject of global warming in relation to human activity.

I am hoping to have a personal opinion from each, because pointing people to scientific journals just doesn't cut it.

I would then post this information on my site as a topic and see what they have to say after they get a dose of uncensored views and direct quotes from educated people.

So, please, if you are up to it, I would love to get everyone in the faculty's opinion...

I compiled a list of people I would hope to hear from...

[ Specific Names Here ]

I thank you for your time and hope to hear back from you.

Regards,

Jon ******
http://liberalsvsconservatives.com


Inquiries sent to:

Climate Institute, University of Maine
Dept. of Atmospheric Studies, University of Washington
Dept. of Meteorology, University of Maryland
Dept. of Meteorology, University of Florida
Dept. of Meteorology, University of Utah - 04/11/07
School of Geo sciences, University of Edinburgh, UK - 04/12/07


Support this project by DIGGing it HERE
then checking out our MySpace Page Here


Last edited by JesusLopezViejo on Mon Apr 16, 2007 7:25 am; edited 13 times in total
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JesusLopezViejo
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2007 1:40 pm† †Post subject: Reply with quote
Replies from Email sent in March, 2007 to The Climate Institute of Maine University:



Research Assistant Professor
Climate Change Institute

Quote:
I appreciate you taking the time to check out the veracity of claims
about what climate scientists think.

The CO2 data suggest to me that human production of CO2 from burning
fossil fuels is playing a key role in climate changes that are measured
today. However, the equation is not as simple as your question
implies; we still don't understand how all the factors that force
Earth's climate system interact to affect the climate. So I do not
refer to what we are experiencing as global warming (in fact some
locations are experiencing cooler temps).

In terms of the political debate, let's ask first: What do we know
about Earth's climate system? We know that:
1. Atmospheric CO2 levels are higher today than they have been during
any other interglacial period -- for whatever reason, and appear to be
continuing to rise. (we know this from measuring CO2 in gas bubbles
trapped in arctic ice cores and actual measurements)
2. CO2 is an effective greenhouse gas -- the more of it there is in
the atmosphere, the less radiant heat will be able to escape.
3. Burning fossil fuels produces CO2. The amount of CO2 put into the
atmosphere by burning fossil fuels can be calculated.

In spite of these inarguable facts, we can't predict how Earth's
climate system is going to respond to this situation. We are in the
middle of a big experiment. The more important question is: "is this
an experiment we want to be conducting?" Wouldn't it make good
political sense to mitigate CO2 production -- regardless of how we got
here -- given what we know? The "debate" about whether or not humans
are causing global warming is no longer important. The debate should
be "What are humans going to do to reduce their contribution of
atmospheric CO2?", regardless of how Earth got to this condition.

Finally, I should add that your sample methods are not scientific, and
so I would be cautious about how you use the information you are
gathering. You are not sampling randomly, and your question poses
bias. It's fine to ask a bunch of scientists what they believe, but
you can't claim that X% of the scientists from the University of Maine
Climate Change Institute support your viewpoint. At the same time, do
you really want to spend time on this debate? I don't think we should
wait for the politicians to "get it". We should work to change our
behavior without them.

Thanks for taking the time to ask questions about this critical issue.
Good luck in your endeavors.



Research Professor
Department of Geological Sciences and Climate Change Institute

Quote:
There is no question but that climate is changing - warming - and
that one of the primary contributers to this is human activity -
specifically burning of fossil fuels.


Last edited by JesusLopezViejo on Thu Mar 22, 2007 6:56 pm; edited 3 times in total
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JesusLopezViejo
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2007 4:29 pm† †Post subject: Reply with quote
Replies from Email sent in March, 2007 to Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science The University of Maryland:


UMCP Assistant Research Scientist

Quote:

Dear Mr ******,

Thanks for your questions. I think it is valuable to collect opinions
and
arguments from scientific experts, but I also suggest it would be
valuable
to try to find out why so-called "climate skeptics" so vehemently
disregard scientific expertise. It's partly due to inadequate
scientific
communication (which you are helping to remedy), but I think also
partly
because, to coin a phrase, some truth is inconvenient; or maybe
"uncomfortable" is a better word. Genuine skeptics doubt whatever they
hear until they can reason or test it out, but so-called "climate
skeptics" often seem to be very credulous of unqualified sources
stating
more convenient, comfortable claims. Do they not seek the most expert
opinion for their own medical, legal, architectural, automotive etc.
needs?


Professor & Chairman

Quote:
Not a very scientific sampling, but put me down on the side of global
warming is dangerous and almost certainly man-made.


Last edited by JesusLopezViejo on Tue Mar 27, 2007 2:23 pm; edited 2 times in total
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JesusLopezViejo
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2007 5:54 pm† †Post subject: Reply with quote
Replies from Email sent in March, 2007 to Department of Atmospheric Studies, University of Washington:


Philip Mote, PhD State Climatologist
JISAO/SMA Climate Impacts Group

Quote:
Human activity has unquestionably increased the atmospheric concentration of many greenhouse gases. The increase in global average temperature since about 1950 has been fairly convincingly linked to the increase in greenhouse gases. I'll simply say that I stand behind the major conclusions reflected in the IPCC Summary for Policymakers 2007.


For those that aren't aware...What Philip speaks of is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. This is a collective study of scientists from all around the world. The general consensus in this report is that the climate change is most likely a direct effect of human activity. Here is a quote from the report if you don't feel like reading the whole thing:

"It is likely that there has been significant anthropogenic warming over the past 50 years averaged over each
continent except Antarctica (see Figure SPM-4). The observed patterns of warming, including greater
warming over land than over the ocean, and their changes over time, are only simulated by models that
include anthropogenic forcing. The ability of coupled climate models to simulate the observed temperature
evolution on each of six continents provides stronger evidence of human influence on climate."


Professor
Principal Research Scientist, UW Applied Physics Laboratory
Ph.D., Purdue University

Quote:
My readings lead me to believe that humans are warming the climate through their activities. However, my research is not directly about large-scale climate change but about small scale processes like air-sea transfer that can affect climate change. I'm not sure my opinion about global warming is worth much more than that of the man-in-the-street. However, I would suggest that you contact ***** ***** in our group (removed email for confidentiality). Her research on how the ocean affects climate is more related to climate change than mine. She can give you a much more informed opinion.


Last edited by JesusLopezViejo on Sun Apr 15, 2007 7:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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JesusLopezViejo
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 6:07 pm† †Post subject: Reply with quote
Replies from Email sent in April, 2007 to University of Utah Meteorology Department:



Professor

Quote:

Please see the letter to our local newspaper endorsed by all of our faculty.



The article he provided was a great read. However, if you don't feel the need to read it or not have the time. I will point out some important parts:

"Air-temperature measurements and temperature trends inferred from ice cores, tree rings and other sources indicate that the past few decades were warmer than any comparable period in the last 400 years and possibly the last millennium. Climate record inconsistencies noted by global warming critics have largely been resolved and basic scientific understanding, together with climate simulations, show that the observed warming in the past century is driven primarily by human-generated increases in greenhouse gas concentrations. Natural processes play only a secondary role. We are already seeing societal and environmental effects of global warming. The Arctic is warming rapidly and the coverage of Arctic sea ice reached a record low in September 2005. In Alaska, homes and highways have been damaged by permafrost thawing. Mountain glaciers are in retreat worldwide.

It is important to recognize, however, that the climate system takes time to respond to increasing greenhouse gas concentrations. Even if we hold greenhouse gas concentrations at their current levels, the atmosphere and oceans will continue to warm over the next century and sea level rise will accelerate. Modest cuts in greenhouse gas emissions will slow but not stop the rise in greenhouse gas concentrations and ensuing climate response.

As a result, the longer we wait to take decisive action, the greater we are committed to additional climate change. Even the most conservative climate model projections produce the largest and most rapid shifts in global climate since the emergence of modern civilization.

Political decisions today will play a role in defining the climate that we, our children and all future Utahns inherit."



Ph.D., Florida State University
Professor
Tropical convection, hurricanes, lightning

Quote:

Jesus Lopez Viejo,

You are to be congratulated for following this up and for contacting
faculty members
who should know what they're talking about. I hope that you are
asking faculty at
a number of Universities.

I only have time for a short response, but since you did not ask any
detailed questions,
I assume that you are only looking for something like that first.

Bottom line: Global warming is real. The planet is warming, and at
an accelerating rate. It is
warming far more rapidly at high latitudes than at low latitudes,
fast enough that the Arctic Ocean
ice coverage is decreasing rapidly each year, and may disappear
entirely in summer before
2050-2075 time frame. Almost all glaciers are melting and many will
disappear this century.

All these changes are consistent with the large majority of computer
models, and the agreement
between models and observations is quite good if human-caused
increases in greenhouse gases
are included in the models, and there is little if any warming if
those same increases in
greenhouse gases are omitted. There are some uncertainties
introduced by aerosols (particulates)
that temporarily masked the warming between ~1940-1970, but these
uncertainties are small
compared to the overwhelming consensus that humans are largely
responsible for the warming
in the past 100 years, and that the planet will continue warming at
an accelerating rate for the
next decades-to centuries, even if emissions were to be halted
tomorrow. The degree of warming
beyond, say, 50 years from now will depend largely on the emission
scenarios starting now.

Mankind has been performing an unprecedented experiment on the
earth's atmosphere, and
the outcome of this experiment is uncertain, because we don't know
enough about the consequences
of the warming. The debate needs to shift from whether we are facing
another 1C or 3C, towards what
the consequences are for ecosystems, water resources, coral reefs,
permafrost, potential additional
positive feedback between anthropogenic greenhouse gases and water
vapor and clouds (water
vapor is the most potent greenhouse gas in our atmosphere), and most
importantly of all, the amount
of sea level rise.

There will be some winners but many more losers as a consequence of
climate change. Too bad that
the current do-nothing politicians will be long gone before the
generations to come must deal with
the state of the planet 50-100-200 years from now.

E.Z.



Adjunct Associate Professor

Quote:

Jesus Lopez Viejo,

The atmosphere we live in is habitable (warm enough for humankind to
thrive) because we have an atmosphere whose composition includes gases
that re-radiate emitted radiation back to the Earth. These are
greenhouse gases. The important ones are water (H2O), carbon dioxide
(CO2), N2O, ozone (O3), and methane (CH4). In total, these plus clouds
'insulate' the Earth and keep it a comfortable average temperature.
This
is fundamental atmospheric science and can be found in any number of
basic atmospheric radiation books.

An increase in CO2 then, as one of these 'insulating' gases, will then
logically increase the insulating effect and result in warming. It is
also known that warmer air is capable of holding more water vapor
(H2O).
Thus there is a natural feedback of additional warming due to increased
water vapor when the atmosphere warms.

So then the question really comes down to whether humans have caused
the
recent increase in CO2. I have only read summaries of papers on this
topic (the so-called Carbon balance), but as I understand it the
increase in CO2 to current levels and its rate of increase since the
industrial revolution is proportional to the amount released by human
activities. A considerable portion of CO2 has been absorbed by the
oceans during this time, which has helped keep the numbers down.

There are a number of natural cycles (solar output, oceanic cycles,
vegetative cycles) superimposed on this atmospheric component, but the
fundamental physics of our atmosphere give a clear answer - that an
increase in any greenhouse gas will have a warming effect. Since carbon
budgets show that a large fraction of the increase in CO2 is due to
human activities we can then say unequivocally that human activities
have contributed a large fraction of that component of temperature
change in our atmosphere. We can further logically state that further
increases in the concentration of any greenhouse gases will have a
warming effect. Whether, in any given period, that warming effect is
overwhelmed by natural cooling processes or amplified by natural
warming
processes, will determine whether warming is detected in physical
measurements of global temperature. Humans, however, 'own' the portion
of temperature change associated with CO2 increases due to human
activity. This number is pegged between 75 and 95% of the CO2
component.

You use the term 'alarming' in your statement. What is alarming to one
person is not alarming to another and I recommend using that term with
caution.

Playing devil's advocate, let us conjecture that the Earth is to enter
a
glacial period in 40 years due to cooling caused by a natural reduction
in solar output. Let us then say that due to CO2 warming by human
activity offsets that effect such that glaciers stay about the same,
rather than increasing in size so that they cover all of Canada and the
northern U.S. to Missouri? Now how does one feel about taking action
against further CO2 increases?

I would also venture that if global warming were to allow crops to be
grown well into central Canada that the Canadians wouldn't mind a bit
of
warming for its positive impact on their economy.

Since a large fraction of the world's population lives along coasts
then
one could state then that the main reason to take immediate action
would
be the potential rise of the seas from warming (melting of ice plus
expansion of warmer waters). But if that rise occurs over 100 years,
can't we adjust by moving back a bit? Would that cost any more than
proposals to reduce CO2 emission?

The above three paragraphs speak to the complicated nature of deciding
what to do about the CO2 increases.

Personally, I think that there are two great reasons in addition to the
potential impacts of the warming to eliminate CO2 output by humans due
to fossil fuel burning, 1) it will clean the air and that is good for
human health (asthma, lung function, cancer etc.), 2) it will greatly
reduce one of the main tensions in international politics - over fossil
fuels for energy. These two improvements of world condition (health,
politics) may have a larger positive impact on society than the
reduction of CO2 itself.

Other than the 'devil's advocate' paragraphs above I see little
downside
to reducing fossil fuel consumption to inconsequential levels.


G.P.
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JesusLopezViejo
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 9:54 pm† †Post subject: Reply with quote
Replies from Email sent in April, 2007 to School of Geo sciences University of Edinburgh, UK:



PhD research at the University of Edinburgh

Quote:

Jesus Lopez Viejo,

Thank you for your inquisitiveness. The **raison d'Ítre** of a
scientist is research. This discipline requires strong deductive
reasoning as well as a healthy amount of self-criticism in order to
maintain a high quality of research findings. The scientist must then
be able to compress their findings into a compact and readable format
for publication. This process results in (hopefully) trivial details
and inconsequential information being excluded from the published
findings. This process can sometimes make it difficult for
non-scientists to be able to appraise scientific information.
Likewise,
as scientists we must also obtain the information on which we base our
opinions from other scientists and their writings. When studying the
results of others' research, scientists are again quite critical,
always
looking for weaknesses in the logic and conclusions of the published
research. Sometimes weaknesses are readily apparent (in which case the
information does often not reach publication) and some times the
weaknesses may not appear for years. Exposure of these weaknesses is
generally a good result as it allows future scientists to avoid the
same
mistake.

That climate change is occurring is, generally, not under dispute by
the
vast majority of scientists. With a high certainty we know how the
climate has changed in the recent past ~100 years, and with a moderate
amount of certainty we know that this change is unusual in how quickly
it is occurring. What is more difficult is assigning a cause to this
change. The complexity of the earth's climate makes assessing this
problem difficult to achieve with a high degree of certainty. The work
conducted over the past 10 to 20 years has lead most scientists to
suspect that anthropogenic sources (primarily CO2) are the primary
cause
of global warming, though other hypotheses do exist.

As a citizen, it is best to encourage scientists without expecting a
predefined outcome. Do not support scientists because their results
fall into line with your socio-political beliefs, support them if they
can provide a well reasoned argument for their hypothesis. In this way
the less plausible hypotheses will be revealed as such and the more
likely hypotheses will flourish.

However, this does not address how one should react with regards to
climate change. This is of course a personal matter, though it seems
clear to me that humanity should treat the earth in the same way as a
family would keep its home. That is clean and healthy, with sufficient
reserve resources in case of an emergency. But that is just my
opinion... you may think it best to live otherwise.

R.C.
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