Posted Jul 27, 2006 21:35 UTC (Thu) by AJWM
In reply to: Gerbil worming
Parent article: Ubuntu Linux 6.06 review (Jem Report)
(1) the CO2 level is much higher than a century ago
I'll give you that one, for very limited values of "much".
(2) we are clearly the source
But not that one. "Clearly"? I don't think so. Natural sources of atmospheric CO2 still outweigh anthropogenic sources. It could even be that global warming causes an increase in atmospheric CO2 -- warm water dissolves less gas than cold water, etc.
(3) big changes obviously affect the climate
Nor that one. Big changes in what, CO2? For what values of "big"? 10%, 100%, 1000%? How "obviously"? The greenhouse gas with the most effect on Earth's climate -- and there is an effect or else the polar caps would extend to about latitude 45 or so (recall how cold the Apollo 13 crew got when they had to power down and rely on the equilibrium between sunlight and thermal radiation) -- is H2O. Other gases like CO2 and CH4, etc. have relatively small contributions to the greenhouse effect. There is a lot of H2O in the atmosphere -- and 70% or so of the Earth's surface is open water. And are you sure it's not the climate (as influenced by, say, variations in the solar "constant") that has an effect on CO2 levels?
Even assuming that global warming is actually happening -- it may well be, but the evidence isn't yet solid enough to rule out local warming -- there's no evidence that changing our CO2 production will have any effect on it. We may well be better off just painting our roofs and roads white, increasing (slightly) the planetary albedo and reflecting back more sunlight. Might be cheaper, too.
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