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2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #10

Posted on 7 March 2020 by John Hartz

A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 1, 2020 through Sat, Mar7, 2020

Editor's Pick

Women Fighting Climate Change Are Targets For Misogynists

Rude jokes, hate mail and violent threats—for climate experts, it’s all part of the job. That’s especially true for the women.


(Illustration: Alex Nabaum c/o THEISPOT)

Just months after the Alberta NDP’s surprise 2015 election win, Shannon Phillips, the province’s new environment minister, travelled to Paris for what would turn out to be a historic round of global climate change negotiations. Alberta had long been a climate laggard, but Phillips was an ambitious and relatively young force in the province’s politics—39 years old at the time—and she was part of a wave of fresh faces in leadership. Phillips landed in Paris alongside Alberta’s new premier, Rachel Notley, and Canada’s new prime minister, Justin Trudeau, who were both committed to taking big steps after a decade of foot-dragging under Stephen Harper’s Conservatives.

It was an exciting time to be a cabinet minister working on climate change—the meeting produced what’s known as the Paris Agreement, the first major international pledge to cut greenhouse gas emissions since the Kyoto Protocol nearly 20 years earlier. And right away, Phillips noticed a remarkable detail about the negotiations: the number of women present. At every meeting, the tables were crowded with female ministers, female negotiators, female scientists and activists.

“A massive amount of the heavy lifting around the world on this matter is being done by women,” says Phillips, who still represents her Lethbridge-West riding in the Alberta legislature. “You see more women on panels. You see more women in the negotiating spaces. You see more women in leadership positions on climate.” 

Women Fighting Climate Change Are Targets For Misogynists by Chris Turner, Chatelaine, Mar 5, 2020

Articles Linked to on Facebook

Sun, Mar 1, 2020

Mon, Mar 2, 2020

Tue, Mar 3, 2020

Wed, Mar 4, 2020

Thur, Mar 5, 2020

Fri, Mar 6, 2020

Sat, Mar 7, 2020

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Comments 1 to 22:

  1. How does a molecule of CO2 have a temperature? Exciting the molecule does not count as a temperature increase. For CO2 to actually have any effect on the temperature of anything; it has to be in motion and have velocity, such as when it is in container. Being excited to another state momentarily by a very miniscule amout of energy from an infrared ray does not result in ANY temperature increase to anything. The experiments that attempt to support the "greenhouse gas effect" all require that the CO2 be contained specifically in order for the molecules to have a velocity and then cause a temperature change. A CO2 molecule in the atmosphere cannot have a Temperature simply from its vibration. 

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  2. Dakota , read through the Intermediate and/or Advanced version of Climate Myth number 30  [see Climate Myths, listed at top left of this page].   Number 30's title is "Increasing CO2 has little to no effect".

    That will be a great help to you in gaining understanding of the science.

    (There may well be different threads which you can discover for yourself or which can be recommended by other readers here at SkS.)

    AFAIK, there aren't any scientists saying that an individual molecule of CO2 has a particular temperature (since air temperature  is a sort of averaging of energies possessed by a mass of [mostly] nitrogen & oxygen molecules constituting our atmosphere).   Perhaps you were taking in something of the term "kinetic temperature"  ~ which is of technical interest in the atmosphere above the stratosphere, but which lacks relevance in climate of the lower atmosphere at the planet's surface level.

    If you wish to discuss the topic, then please do so under the thread Myth No. 30   (or other thread, which the Moderators may suggest).

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  3. Dakota @1,

    It may be worth answering your question directly here as it does not of itself explain the greenhouse effect. Further discussion may be more appropriate on a different thread (eg the suggested Myth No 30).

    The Ideal Gas we learn about in school with its PV=nRT involves a constant for specific heat capacity, ĉV. For a gas comprising a single-atom gas, this has a value of about 1.5 but for bi-atomic gases or poly-atomic gases this ĉV is significntly larger. The increased value is because, as well as the kinetic energy of the gas molecule velocities (which is an average velocity so, as you say, an individual molecule's velocity will not define temperature), there is also energy encompassed by the spin of molecules which will be present in bi-atomic gases and there is also further energy encompassed by the waggling of molecules in poly-atomic molecules. It is these poly-atomic molecules which are the greenhouse gases and which, if waggling, can emit infra-red and, of not absorb infra-red.

    The size of the infra-red flux in the lower atmosphere is measured at 340Wm^-2, the same size as the global energy flux from the sun.

    So not only does the significant increase in ĉV demonstrate that molecular waggling is in no way "miniscule" as you suggest, the 340Wm^-2 also demonstrates that the infra-red fluxes within the atmosphere are also in no way "miniscule."

    This, of course, does not explain the mechanism of CO2's influence on the greenhouse effect, but it does demonstrate that there are very significant forces at work powering the greenhouse effect, this being the substance of your comment.

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  4. Dakota, there is a rather useful explanation of photon - molecule interactions here. However, your post makes me suspect that have a very flawed idea as to what the greenhouse effect is. You do understand that radiative heating of the earth surface from backradiation is the important effect not radiative heating of the atmosphere?

    "The experiments that attempt to support the "greenhouse gas effect" all require that the CO2 be contained specifically in order for the molecules to have a velocity and then cause a temperature change."

    Where do you get this idea? The radiative interactions of CO2 and infrared are particular examples of behaviour described by the radiative transfer equations. You can use these to predict the radiation spectrum at surface, top of atmosphere or anywhere in between. The measurements match predictions with exquisite precesion. (eg Evans 2006, Harries 2001). In general, we depend on the RTEs heavily in numerous applications like remote sensing, laser guided bombs (the MODTRAN program for doing such calculations were initially developed by USAF) and GPS.

    Furthermore, the effect of adding CO2 can be directly measured.

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  5. thanks for the explanation. That really helped me to understand how a photon that strikes a CO2 molecule at 90K altitude and -80C could have enormous effects on the Temperature on the surface of the Earth. Thank you so much. Quantum physics and electron excitation or molecular vibration cannot cause sufficient heat warm the Earth. Swing and a miss. 

    Name a gas that exists as a single atom. Molecular spin does not cause radiative heat over long distances. Doesn't matter what the infrared flux is when it relates to a single molecule and its vibrations. You cannot expand Quantum physics to explain the temperature of the planet. Heres another idea to explain.  The 6 most important factors affecting climate are latitude, ocean currents, wind, elevation, proximity to water. None of those are related to CO2 levels.  Causes of Hurricanes: not CO2 levels. Tornadoes, also not caused by CO2 levels. Please name any weather phenomenon that is directly and specifically caused or affected by CO2. Do you know thy the IPCC doesnt talk about the fact that water vapor being the supposed greatest factor in Global warming? Oh, wait. They actually made that statement in 1995. Answer: because they couldnt make a policy or do anything about it because its not a man made factor.

    The Inter-Governmental PCC is a Political body with political motives relative to the Goals of the UN. GCC is a political endeavor to try to get developed countries to finance energy development methods for developing nations.  Most people in developing nations are not concerned with the future in 100 to 1000 years; they mostly need food,water, shelter, healthcare, etc. Just saying.  Please again name Any weather phenomenon that is caused by CO2.  Thanks.


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    Moderator Response:

    [TD] Repost your struck out comments/questions either in the post that explains that nobody claims CO2 is the only driver of climate, or in one of the relevant posts about hurricanes or other weather, or water vapor, that you can find by using the Search field at the top left of the page. I snipped your rant about the IPCC's motives. Don't repost that anywhere or you will be banned from this site permanently and without warning. Also abandon your snide attitude.

  6. Dakota, please read the freely downloaded textbook Introduction to Climate Science by Andreas Schmittner of Oregon State University, in particular chapter 4, Theory. Or any other textbook. The fundamentals that you refuse to accept have been understood for over 100 years.

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  7. I have looked at the experiments.  To demonstrate the "greenhouse effect" in a Laboratory; which many enthusiasts do all the time. It is necessary to have the two bottles or containers Sealed  in some way preventing the gases from escaping. That is Impossible in the Real world. Heres another thing. Have a look at the experiments on any video or information platform.  What happens if you  get the 2 containers to demonstrate your theory and they are both at different temperatures the conclusion; then walk across the room and let me know how much heat you feel. Or ask any scientist who demonstrates your theory to try it with the canisters open; you know so the CO2 can escape into the room/atmosphere. Those canisters will remain at the same temperature because it doesn't work if they are not Sealed to prevent any heat from molecular colisions from escaping. The Greenhouse effect is not a valid theory, you know because it doesn't work.  An actual Greenhouse is sealed essentially also; and it prevents escape of the warm air inside it by preventing convection. Again; please look at the laboratory tests and notice the Sealed containers. The atmosphere is Not a sealed container; so any excitation of any CO2 molecules will not result in any heat at any significant diatance. And if you try to analogize it to the Blanket over the Earth or a  blanket over a person. The  distance the blanket is away from the Earth or the person's blanket has significant problems when thed distance between them is varied. The atmosphere gets Colder as you increase your altitude; as you well know.  How does any excited wiggling CO2 molecule excited by a photon at 50 kilometers in space at --80C radiate heat back to the earth. The excitation of a CO2 molecule does not cause any heat that persists for a significant amount of time to radiate  beyond very short distances. Convection cancels it out at any distance at over a micron. For any gas to have a temperature change; it is necessary for it to collide with a surface or another molecule and again be in a container so the energy cannot diffuse out. Heres another one to ponder; the supposed Runaway Greenhouse effect on Venus is also an impossibility. The temperature at the surface of Venus is due to the extremely high pressure that compressed the CO2 in the atmosphere; not because of the percentage of CO2 in its atmosphere. Gases have to behave like gasses no matter where they are; probably except in a plasma state.  See the Ideal gas law for explanation how gases behave under pressure, volume, parameters and the temperature changes associated with those limits. Thanks.

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    Moderator Response:

    [TD] You are spewing monologues, not engaging in conversations with the people who have volunteered their time and labor to respond to you. This comment of yours is wrong in some ways, not even wrong in others. You are not addressing the actual greenhouse gas effect, rather some wildly wrong personal “theory” that does not even seem to be coherent. Use the pointers you have been given to learn what scientists actually claim, then if you have questions or objections, post them on the appropriate threads of this site. Separate your comments into the appropriate threads by topic. And separate your comments into coherent paragraphs.

  8. One can wonder why Dakota would be all incensed about the IPCC statement that water vapor is the largest contributor to the GH effect while at the same time denying that there is such a thing at all. Furthermore, if one is really concerned about water vapor, then phasing out fossil fuel is even more urgent since burning them combines their hydrogen with atmospheric oxygen to release water vapor. Of course, those who are informed know that this is not the problem, because water vapor, man made or not, precipitates and can not act as a forcing.

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  9. scaddendp. Correct those applications don't involve the transfer or heat energy over long distances.  You have probable experimented with lasers; how many times have you ever been burned by one. Lasers are amplifications of radiation from excited atoms or molecules with a focused beam of light. The key word for this purpose is Amplification. If you just excite an atom or molecule you dont get enough energy to do anything with it. Even lasers require the gases be sealed inside a tube. If you just excite them in space; you get nothing useful. 

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    Moderator Response:

    [DB]  Off-topic snipped.  I'd warn you about conforming future comments to adhere to the Comments Policy, but it's clear that you consider adherence to it optional.

  10. Ah, as first suspected, the jumbled ideation @ post #1 was just the tip of a very large D-K iceberg ~ combined with WUWT-style aggression.

    Mr Dakota, you have a lot of work ahead of you, if you choose to educate yourself on climate and science generally.  Do you have the grit and backbone to carry that through?   Probably best if you get a friend to help you with the basic high-school science stuff, and then you can build on that.  Return to the forum here, when you are up to speed and able to ask meaningful questions about climate science.

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  11. Phillippe Chantreu. I put "greenhouse effect" in parentheses. Water vapor is also visible as clouds; which have significant weather effects.  I have seen the argument before about water vapor not lasting long enough in the atmosphere to have significant effects. It is a constant state of formation and precipitation. So a Hurricane that has water vapor is not a forcing of weather? See Clouds for significance of water vapor; and rain and snow. You ever see any CO2 clouds? The IPCC just leaves it out because it's not something that policies or man can alter. They just skip over it; and almost deny it has any effects at all. Insane logic or reason.

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    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Take all further discussion of water vapor to this thread.  This is NOT optional.  Only post there if you have read it and the comments underneath it and still have questions.

    Further misrepresentations of the science and / or the IPCC will result in a forfeiture of commenting privileges here.

  12. Dakota is obviously tolling.  He's been given an adequate explanation of the relationship of the vibration of the CO2 molecule and temperature by MAR @3, and hasn't been able to falsify it, instead he chooses to ignore it and repeat his deluge of empty, false assertions.

    There is plenty of published science going from the CO2 molecules behaviour to calculating global warming, eg the earliest was by S Arrhenius easily googled and available for free.

    The fact that the atmosphere is not contained as such doesn't matter because the greenhouse effect inherently operates by reducing the rate of heat transfer to space (simplifying) without needing physical containment as such. The use of the term greenhouse is also only a rough analogy, not a literal requirement that the real world effect of CO2 on temperature somehow needs to be contained.

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  13. Dakota - Eclectic is pointing out that you dont understand the science and you should try to do so before you criticise it. You can measure the radiative properties of gases in a laboratory but you cannot reproduce the greenhouse effect in a laboratory with say glass tubes 10s of kms high. (Is that still a laboratory?) Perhaps come back and discuss when understand that you cannot have a GHE in an isothermal gas?


    A very large amount of science is not done in the laboratory. Here is how it works. From real, established physics (not the sort that you seem to know) using radiative transfer equations, gas laws, etc. you calculate what observations should be if theory is correct. Then you make the observations and compare. You can overturn a theory if you can demonstrate a better theory that also reproduces the observation that are made. You do agree that observations win in science? What is your alternative explanation for the direct measurements of the GHE?

    "Correct those applications don't involve the transfer or heat energy over long distances"

    "Heat energy" is being used rather loosely, again I suspect because you dont understand the theory, and it appears are absolutely opposed to improving your knowledge.

    All those applications involve understanding the interaction of radiation (which absolutely is energy transfer) through gases, especially the atmosphere. The upshot of the greenhouse effect is that the backradiation from interaction with CO2 results in an extra 4W/m2 of radiation warming the surface of the surface for a doubling of CO2. I certainly hope that you agree extra radiation hitting the surface will result in the temperature rising? (Stephan-Boltzmann).

    You are apparently posting to try and persuade people that textbook science is wrong. You cannot possibly hope to achieve that by pushing a half-baked version of physics and going la-la-la to actual observations.

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    Moderator Response:

    [DB] The user in question has recused themselves from further participation here.

  14. Oh well, Dakota also seemed to have no clue why RTEs are important to laser-guided bombs. Should anyone else be interested, they work by illuminated the target with a laser (usually, and crucially for greenhouse gas theory, an infrared laser). The bomb senses the reflected back infrared light and steers towards that. To make all that work you have to know how your laser beam is interacting with the atmosphere it passing through so bomb locks onto the correct signature. Climate physics is indebted to USAF for their work in this area.

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  15. Moderators, user Dakota has posted a question on a more appropriate thread  ~ and my reply to him "disappeared" as it was uploading.  It was a reasonably long reply, that he might have found helpful, if his mind was open to it !   Doggedly, I composed a new shorter reply ~ which likewise disappeared during uploading.

    Is there a gremlin in the system?

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  16. Is this introduction of the nonsense about "contained gasses" a Russian trope? Adding fire to what is a devisive issue is certainly one of their favorite targets.

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  17. Dakota disgorged a slew of poorly understood half-truths mixed with outright misinformation and unsubstantiated assertions. I see that he has lost the privilege of posting, but I’d like to address one of his points if only to make sure that my own understanding is correct.

    Dakota wrote:
    “The temperature at the surface of Venus is due to the extremely high pressure that compressed the CO2 in the atmosphere”

    This oft asserted argument seems to suffer from a fundamental misunderstanding of thermodynamics and atmospheric physics. It is true that as you compress a gas it heats up as the molecules are forced closer together, but this heat of compression is generated only as the gas is compressed, not as it is kept compressed. Once compressed the heat that was generated is conducted and/or radiated away.

    To illustrate, think about what happens when a scuba diver’s air tank is filled. As the air is compressed it heats up. That heat is conducted to the tank itself, thus warming the tank. Come back the next day and the heat will have been radiated away and both the tank and the compressed air inside it will be back at room temperature. Similarly, Venus’s atmosphere is not being compressed by the planet's gravity, it has already been compressed.

    Is my understanding correct?

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  18. Jim Eager @17,

    While Venus doesn't have any on-going compression to provide a heat source, that is not true of all the planets. Jupiter is said to be still undergoing gravitational compression.

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  19. slcochran - parsimonious guess would tribal US republican, (ie identity politics) with iron-clad resistance to learning anything contrary to what they would like to believe. I hope my country never descends into this kind of polarised tribes. It seems state of US media lets you choose which reality you live in which is a very dangerous state of affairs.

    I dont think it is helpful to be blaming the russians for everything - while russian trolls dont help, I think majority of problems like this are firmly rooted in increasing tribalism.

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  20. @scaddenp 19: Political tribalism thrives in the USA in a large part because the far right wing-nuts have two powerful propaganda machines — Faux News and Sinclair Broadcasting.  

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  21. John, I note existance of Huffpost (and probably others) that look like they create alternative reality for liberals, though maybe/maybe not on same scale as Fox. I have little faith in any US news source.

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  22. MA Rodger, thanks for the confirmation, while pointing out that gas giants like Jupiter are a different case.

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