The Official Star Trek Movie Forum

The Official Star Trek Movie Forum > Star Trek > Off Topic Discussions > Fascinating to put it mildly.
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #21  
Old 07-20-2009, 12:25 PM
horatio's Avatar
horatio horatio is offline
Fleet Admiral
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 9,282
Default

Yep, nature cares little about whether some ecosystems suffer, it will adept and even we humans will adept. But a lot will suffer and die and amending the damages of climate change will be more expensive than countering it right now with simple measures like cap and trade or CO2 taxes.
It is a simple matter of life and death, resp. cheap and expensive. I don't have to think twice when I see that A is cheaper than B, but the folks who sell B will of course try everything to convince the public that buying A is unwise.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 07-20-2009, 12:47 PM
Akula2ssn's Avatar
Akula2ssn Akula2ssn is offline
Commander
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Seattle
Posts: 1,454
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by TGElder View Post
Nature is amazingly adaptable though. Look at places where human civilizations once flourished, and now there is very little to show us humans once lived there. Nature closes in and erases the traces of humanity.
Look at the Mayan and Aztec civilizations. These cultures once conquered the jungles of Central America. Now their cities are swallowed up by the very jungles that once were their homes.

Nature has a way of balancing itself. I dare say that if we just quit mucking about with things life will go on pretty much as it should.

Now who's first to sign up for the Amish Life?
Probably a more concise way of putting it is, "If it ain't broken, don't fix it." Nature itself isn't broken. Nature is what it is and part of that is moving toward a state of equilibrium in the system and unfortunately part of that process of seeking equilibrium are hurricanes.

Naturally lower latitudes get more average annual sunlight so more heat collects there as opposed to higher latitudes. As a result, tropics are warmer than the temperate and polar regions. Basic thermal dynamics, energy wants to move toward regions of lower energy. Low and behold you get weather patterns.

What I'm kind of curious is if they pump cold water up and pumping warm water down in the water column, would that really help us if at all? Warm water is less dense than cold water. So that cold water you bring up is going to want to sink back down and the warm water will want to come back up anyway and it doesn't look like by using this idea that you've changed the fact that all that heat energy is present in the tropics. All you've done is moved more of that heat into the water rather than in the atmosphere. So what would happen after the storm? All that energy that you've added into the water has to go somewhere. If you have a second storm building up shortly after and you aren't able to keep the pumps running, does that second storm now have even more energy available from the water than it would have if you didn't try pumping the water? Or perhaps will the currents such as the Gulf Stream that carries water away from that region of the world now carry even more heat than normal to Northern Europe for a brief period of time, and if so how does that affect Europe as well as the east coast of the US? If there's more heat in the waters coming out of the gulf to begin with, then the Gulf Stream's ability to pull heat form the east coast might be reduced as well. And even if these changes in the heat distribution between land and sea happen, is the net heat flux still the same? Since the ocean circulation which also affects weather is driven by salinity and temperature, how does this kind of activity change ocean circulation locally and around the world if at all? Are any of the impacts short term or long term? The list of questions goes on and on.

Here's a grossly simplified depiction of ocean circulation for those that are more visually oriented, the reality is much much more complex. Pretty much every oceanographer and maybe some marine scientists are familiar with it. I know my professors would be disappointed that i don't remember how long it takes for one cycle to be completed.
__________________

"Don't confuse facts with reality."
-Robert D. Ballard

Last edited by Akula2ssn : 07-20-2009 at 01:11 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 07-20-2009, 01:23 PM
TGElder TGElder is offline
Commander
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Indian Trail, NC
Posts: 1,323
Default

Maybe we'd freeze the temperate regions and turn Antarctica into a balmy paradise.
__________________
TGElder NCC 1701-E
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 07-20-2009, 01:53 PM
Akula2ssn's Avatar
Akula2ssn Akula2ssn is offline
Commander
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Seattle
Posts: 1,454
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by TGElder View Post
Maybe we'd freeze the temperate regions and turn Antarctica into a balmy paradise.
Or on the other hand, if you follow the Snowball Earth theory, freezing the temperate regions might lead to runaway global cooling. Turning the entire Earth into a ball of ice where the amount of CO2 to pull Earth out of that world wide glaciation is estimated to be as high as 350 times that of present day atmospheric concentrations, a disputed value of course.
__________________

"Don't confuse facts with reality."
-Robert D. Ballard
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 07-20-2009, 02:29 PM
TGElder TGElder is offline
Commander
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Indian Trail, NC
Posts: 1,323
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Akula2ssn View Post
Or on the other hand, if you follow the Snowball Earth theory, freezing the temperate regions might lead to runaway global cooling. Turning the entire Earth into a ball of ice where the amount of CO2 to pull Earth out of that world wide glaciation is estimated to be as high as 350 times that of present day atmospheric concentrations, a disputed value of course.
But the death of all those forested regions would increase the CO2 naturally since nothing is absorbing a large percentage then.
__________________
TGElder NCC 1701-E
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 07-20-2009, 03:00 PM
Akula2ssn's Avatar
Akula2ssn Akula2ssn is offline
Commander
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Seattle
Posts: 1,454
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by TGElder View Post
But the death of all those forested regions would increase the CO2 naturally since nothing is absorbing a large percentage then.
CO2 as a green house gas doesn't work that way. I would actually argue that most people, even many environmental activists don't understand how CO2 works in terms of the greenhouse effect. I hope I'm not offending you by saying that. It's something that isn't well explained to the general public.

CO2 works as a greenhouse gas because it absorbs and re-emits longwave radiation. So basically infrared or heat radiation. However, light from the sun or from a typical light bulb is not pure infrared radiation. If it were, the entire world would literally be dark to us because our eyes are not sensitive to radiation on that part of the spectrum. Light from the sun and a light bulb is literally a mess of radiation from all over the spectrum. You have green, you have red, you have blue, you have orange, you have infrared, you have ultra-violet. So basically you have the entire rainbow, just like they teach us in grade school science.

As I mentioned earlier, CO2 works by absorbing radiation on the long end of the spectrum such as infrared. Keep that in mind, that's a very important detail. So take Seattle, which is a temperate city. We have a lot of green trees and grass among other things like asphalt on our roads. Well a tree looks green because it is absorbing every other wavelength of radiation that is visible to our eyes except for radiation that is green in color. The radiation that is green in color is reflected back. So basically only a small percentage of the radiation that hits it is reflected back. The rest is absorbed. And that green radiation, which accounts for only a small percentage of the total radiation that hit that green tree, goes off into space. CO2 cannot absorb it. CO2 is transparent to that color. It is transparent to blue, it is transparent to pretty much every color what our eyes can see.

So now the question is what happens to all the other colors of radiation that the green tree absorbed. Well when an object absorbs radiation, it gets warm. Just go outside in the summer and compare how the pavement feels between early morning and late afternoon. Well heat radiation is longwave radiation like infrared. So basically by absorbing all the other colors of radiation and getting warm, that green tree has converted all those other colors of radiation into longwave radiation. And it is that longwave radiation that CO2 can absorb.

Now, how do we go from all that to freezing the temperate areas creating run away global cooling? Well snow is white in color. It is that way because it reflects, not absorbs, almost all colors/wavelength of radiation. It may absorb 1% or less of the sunlight that hits it and thus maybe less than 1% and thus maybe 1% of the light that hits snow will be converted to longwave radiation, whereas a green tree might absorb like 99% of that radiation that hits it and convert 99% of that radiation into longwave radiation. That's why if one person wears a black shirt in the summer and another person wears a white shirt in the summer, the person in the black shirt is going to be nice and toasty. So if you freeze the temperate regions of the planet, and maybe even some of the tropics as well, where most of the average sunlight is all year round, most of the sun's radiation is reflected back out into space and less of it is trapped in the atmosphere.

So if I were to have a planet with a pure CO2 atmosphere, but it's surface reflected 90% of solar radiation, the planet should be cooler than a planet with a black surface and a 90% CO2 atmosphere. That's why if the entire Earth were covered in nothing but white snow and ice, you theoretically need even more CO2 in the atmosphere than we have now in order to heat up the Earth enough to being to thaw out.
__________________

"Don't confuse facts with reality."
-Robert D. Ballard

Last edited by Akula2ssn : 07-20-2009 at 03:12 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 07-20-2009, 03:32 PM
Akula2ssn's Avatar
Akula2ssn Akula2ssn is offline
Commander
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Seattle
Posts: 1,454
Default

Now that I think of it, I should correct my wording. Snowball Earth is a hypothesis not a theory, and still a controversial one.
__________________

"Don't confuse facts with reality."
-Robert D. Ballard
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 07-20-2009, 03:34 PM
TGElder TGElder is offline
Commander
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Indian Trail, NC
Posts: 1,323
Default

That's the trouble with theories though, they become adopted as scientific fact when the truth of the matter is that no one has ever proven them.
__________________
TGElder NCC 1701-E
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 07-20-2009, 03:54 PM
Akula2ssn's Avatar
Akula2ssn Akula2ssn is offline
Commander
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Seattle
Posts: 1,454
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by TGElder View Post
That's the trouble with theories though, they become adopted as scientific fact when the truth of the matter is that no one has ever proven them.
Well there are two things about that. First, you are right about theory often being adopted as fact.

Secondly, theory isn't supposed to be fact. Even scientists often confuse the two. A fact is an observation and theory is an explanation of those observations. For example, and these aren't actual figures, just an illustration:

-Fact 1: We have measured an increase in average temperature over the course of the past 100 years.
-Fact 2: We have also measured an increase in CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere over the past 100 years.

Hypothesis (or theory depending on whether or not it has gone through testing): Increased concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere absorb and re-emit longwave radiation, preventing it from going off into space. This results in an increase in temperature.
__________________

"Don't confuse facts with reality."
-Robert D. Ballard
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 07-20-2009, 03:58 PM
TGElder TGElder is offline
Commander
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Indian Trail, NC
Posts: 1,323
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Akula2ssn View Post
Well there are two things about that. First, you are right about theory often being adopted as fact.

Secondly, theory isn't supposed to be fact. Even scientists often confuse the two. A fact is an observation and theory is an explanation of those observations. For example, and these aren't actual figures, just an illustration:

-Fact 1: We have measured an increase in average temperature over the course of the past 100 years.
-Fact 2: We have also measured an increase in CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere over the past 100 years.

Hypothesis (or theory depending on whether or not it has gone through testing): Increased concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere absorb and re-emit longwave radiation, preventing it from going off into space. This results in an increase in temperature.
Exactly the point. Just because two facts seem to be related, doesn't follow that there is a proven correlation between them.
__________________
TGElder NCC 1701-E
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:46 AM.


Forum theme courtesy of Mark Lambert
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright © 2009 by Paramount Pictures. STAR TREK and all related
marks and logos are trademarks of CBS Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.