Things which catch my eye or make me think - looking for aquamarinegreen, the evidence and the truth of it all.....

Monday, 30 July 2007

The earth has a finite lifespan

The earth has a lifespan of about 12 billion years before it will be destroyed or seriously burned by the Sun when it becomes a red giant star. Earth is now about 4.5 billion years old and the age of animals started at around 4 billion years - and will probably only last until about 5 billion years - there is a predictable sequence for the breakdown of habitability of the earth, due to the increasing luminosity of the sun and its consequences.

Every species has a finite lifespan due to changing conditions on the earth . Think of the age of the earth as a clock starting at 12 noon and ending at 12 midnight- each number on the clock represents 1 billion years. The end of the Earth will be at midnight. First life was around 1pm, oxygen appeared in the atmposphere just after 2pm, the age of animals started at 4pm and it is now 4.30pm. The age of animals will probably end at around 5pm and the age of man is the blink of an eye.

Ref "The Life and Death of Planet Earth" by Peter Ward and Donald Brownlee first published 2002

Monday, 23 July 2007

CO2 is not a pollutant

Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant! It is present in our atmposhere at a concentration of 385 ppm in other words 0.0385%.It is non-toxic to humans at more than10 times present levels and is of course essential to life. Yes it is a greenhouse gas - it partially traps solar radiation in the atmposphere thus helping to make the earth habitable. CO2 accounts for 2-4% of the greenhouse effect (water vapour is responsible for most of the rest).

Some scientists in the late 1980s claimed that the 30% rise in in CO2 over the preceding 150 years (280-360ppm) was attributable to humans and was causing global warming. This was taken on board by Al Gore and other politicians,and scientists funded by government departments, who continue to talk about CO2 as a pollutant and call for carbon taxes.. Where is the evidence for these views about CO2?

1.There is no evidence that the recent rise in CO2 is responsible for the measured rise in global temperature (there is a correlation; correlation does not prove cause and effect; CO2 increase tends to follow temperature increase- this would appear to disprove the cause and effect claimed!)

2.There is no evidence that humans are responsible for the measured rise in CO2. Most of the CO2 on earth is used by or stored in oceans, plants, and animals. As the oceans heat up CO2 is released into the atmosphere.

3.There is no evidence that a modest warming will threaten human life through environmental catastrophe .

With no proof the climate modellers have assumed that humans are causing increasing CO2 levels, which is causing global warming, which will lead to serious threats to sustainable life on earth. This is where the money is for scientific research....

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Global warming - hot air?

Like most people I guess, I was somewhat shocked after watching Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" - what struck me was the amazing correlation between carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere ( trapped gas bubbles in the Vostok ice core record the history of atmospheric CO2 concentrations for over 400,000 years ), and temperature variation (the same ice cores also reveal the fraction of heavy oxygen and hydrogen in snowfall which is an indicator of annual mean temperature).

The next surprise is when you look in detail at the graphs - the correlation is unarguable, but it is clearly the change in temperature which precedes the change in CO2 levels- by about 800 years. It seems that this is well known and well documented, yet the graphs are still being used as "proof" that CO2 levels drive temperature variation! If there is cause and effect, how can the cause be after the effect? Models of climate change have an inbuilt assumption that increasing CO2 levels cause global warming..... The evidence is not convincing. The oceans in fact are the biggest reservoirs of CO2 - which they release as the temperature warms up......