God's illgitament son Location: state of confusion
Total posts: 1489
Posted:Ok so as I am sure some (if not most) of you know the Kyoto pact was inacted today. Now the devide is split down the middle on if this will do any good, so I pose this question to you........
What if global warming is a natural process? What if the planet warming, the polar caps melting, and the eventual flooding of Earth is supose to happen?
Now I am not disputing the fact that we do need to start taking ALOT better care of this planet. Deforestation, the polluting of our ocean and seas, and the general watse we produce is all a major problem; and I am sure it plays at least a small part in global warming...........but what if this is going to happen no matter what we do?
You can't avoid pain by fencing yourself from it. Some times you need the help of others more than anything else But you have to let them close enough to help...... People want to be needed, I found that out too
let's see - you'd have to build about 30 or 40 of those to power Houston, Texas. If they all are working and some percentage are not ofline that is - since turbines are prone to failure a lot, they tend to be offline about 10% or the time, so lets say we need 40 of those. that would give us a nice round 1,000,000 acres for this project. that is 4,047,000,000 square meters.
so basically you would have to put aside an area of 63 km by 63 km to power Houston this way. I think that is about 1/2 the size of Houston.
Of course now you got the problem of having 40 1 kilometer high towers all around Houston, and the Federal aviation Administration won't even let you build a building 1/3 that height in Houston because of the air traffic...
Sounds like an interesting project if you don't mind setting aside big parcels of land that will become completely heat baked. A bit more efficient than solar cells if their numbers are correct, and less industry polution from making it.
or course you have a lot of things like land price and broken greenhouse panels and storm damage to worry about, but seems more feasable that the equivelent solar panel maintainance would be.
wonder how it compares to a solar furnace type steam generator...
Posted:so last week I went to a physics conference that had a lot of talks about global warming which I attended a few of. several points to address.
1) glacial ice records as evidence of previous temperature changes. Apparently even the strongest advocates of this meathod have to admit 20 to 30% error (in the magnetude of temperature change, not in the total temperature), and that all it does is very indirectly take into account the change in solar irradience in how the temperature on earth varies. I won't get into the details of how they do that (would take a few hundred words), but it was interesting to see that a large percentage of scientists present considered this technique to be total bunk because it does not take MANY other factors into account in the earth enviroment, and I have to say I was strongly swayed by their arguments to this end. while there is good evidence that a reduction in the amount of energy the sun puts out causes cold spells on the earth, there is little to support the opposite conclusion that increased solar output causes warmer periods.
2) considerable evidence also shows that increased solar irradience (how much energy it puts out) actually increases cloud cover due to the greater UV flux (number of ultraviolet rays hitting the earth's atmosphere) generating more ionized air particles for water vapor to condense on - this is particualrly true for the high level ice particle type clouds which are particularly effective at blocking out warming radiation - thus increases in solar irradience may actually cause a cooling trend on earth in some circumstances. Not only does this completely destroy the foundations of using the glacial ice records as a proxy for earth surface temperature, but there is some evidence that increased greenhouse gasses, particularly CO2, also cause increased cloud cover (a convincing graph was shown that displayed a strong correltion between global percentage cloud cover and varying CO2 levels) - meaning that global warming from greenhouse gasses may in fact cause things like longer and more severe winters in certain regions even if the average temperature on earth increases (which it may not apparently because more clouds let in less solar energy for warming). what this means is that while ice caps may melt in some areas, they *may* actually increase in other areas, meaning in turn that there is little change in global sea levels.
3) strong evidence was shown that there was a period about 250,000 years ago where the earth was a few degrees (celcius) warmer than now (found from other meathods not having to do with glacial ice records which do not agree, and in my view more reliable). even stronger evidence was shown that the sea level was only about 1.5 meters higher at that time (instead of the 20 - 30 meters predicted by some for such an increase). furthermore, there were periodic temperature humps of this sort with a semi-chaotic period of aproximately 150.000 - 400,000 years, and we are on one of those humps now.
4) projections/conjectures for global temperature increase suffer greatly from endpoint extrapolation errors. if I was refereeing a paper on say, space physics, that drew those sort of conclusions from extrapolated data in similar circumastances, I would have to say that I would regect the paper immediatly and say it was unfit for publication in a respectable journal due to overly naive application of the math involved leading to wildly inappropriate conclusions. however, the topic is, in this case, a little more sensitive and important to the world at large than some conclusions based off of a satellite orbiting high above the earth which I would be asked to review.
the main conclusion I got from the meeting was that even as of yet, scientists have not fully convinced themselves that global warming is really going to happen to the degree everyone is saying it will. We have our share of chicken littles saying that the sky is falling, but there is more than enough evidence around to shoot lots of holes in their conclusions. But we don't do this, at least not publically, because this is too important to screw up. If we listen to and act on the worst possible case scenario, then our economies are hurt a bit and we are inconvenienced to a moderate degree perhaps. But if we don't listen to it and the doom-sayers are correct, things will be much much worse for us than that - though almost certainly not as catostrophic as certain eco-warriors and sesationalistic movies would have you believe. The smart move is of course to predict the worst, do what you can to prevent it from happening, and hope for the best.
unfortunately the evidence for global warming is not so clear cut and plainly obvious to all as say the ozone hole from CFCs was. in that the scientific community was easily and rapidly convinced by overwhelming evidence, and the strength of this in turn effectivly swayed politicians into believing the threat was real and immediate. we are not able to through our weight behind this issue so convincingly (though we try in a lackluster way), but rather seem to be conspiring at this to keep dissent to a minimum publically just in case.