The Instigator
ILoveCheese
Pro (for)
Losing
11 Points
The Contender
Puck
Con (against)
Winning
29 Points

There is no anthropomorphic global warming

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/28/2008 Category: Science
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 5,053 times Debate No: 4530
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (11)

 

ILoveCheese

Pro

Global warming has occurred in the past hundred years. This warming occurred mostly in the first half of the 20th century, counter to the period when there was more co2. Correlation between sunspot activity and temperatures are higher than co2 and temperature.
Puck

Con

"There is no anthropomorphic global warming

Global warming has occurred in the past hundred years. This warming occurred mostly in the first half of the 20th century, counter to the period when there was more co2. Correlation between sunspot activity and temperatures are higher than co2 and temperature."

As Pro there is still a burden of proof on your behalf outside of simple refutation. "Global warming is caused by human activity." "No it isn't." Doesn't really cut it.

No:
4 : to imply a meaning expressed by the opposite positive statement
http://www.merriam-webster.com...
Anthropomorphic:
1 : described or thought of as having a human form or human attributes.
2 : ascribing human characteristics to nonhuman things.
http://www.merriam-webster.com...

I am assuming the error is on your part in saying that global warming is 'not human like' as opposed to 'not being human caused'. If I am mistaken round two will be interesting. :)

================================================================================

"This warming occurred mostly in the first half of the 20th century"

"The three warmest years on record have all occurred since 1998; 19 of the warmest 20 since 1980.

Overall land and sea surface temperatures for the world were second highest in 129 years of record keeping, trailing only 2002..." (NOAA's National Climatic Data Center: 2008).

Our influence on Earth's climate did not begin a few decades or centuries ago, but 8000 years before; with the birth of agriculture (see anthropocene).

In a study at the University of Virginia, ancient human activities have shown to have affected the climate. Key discrepancies in levels of greenhouse gases revealed by ice cores show that during the previous three periods between ice ages, levels of carbon dioxide and methane in the air fell in lock-step with decreases in summer sunshine caused by cyclical changes in Earth's orbit. However after the most recent ice age, which peaked around 12,000 years ago, both gases broke the set pattern.

Levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide began to increase 8000 years ago, followed by methane 5000 years ago, even though summer sunshine has been decreasing. "Both gases followed the expected trend for a while but then went up instead of down."

After removing possible natural causes for the greenhouse gas increases, it is probable that early farmers who cleared forests in Europe, India and China accounted for the surge of carbon dioxide, while rice paddies and burgeoning herds of livestock produced the extra methane.

Over time this activity laced the atmosphere with about 40 parts per million of carbon dioxide and 250 parts per billion of methane, enough to produce nearly 0.8 �C of warming before 1700, around the dawn of industrialisation.

Which just about equals the warming humans are thought to have caused since then.

http://www.newscientist.com...
http://courses.eas.ualberta.ca...

"Correlation between sunspot activity and temperatures are higher than co2 and temperature."

For as long as I have been alive, global trend of temperatures has risen. This is a strong correlation. :P

The sun emitted a third less energy about 4 billion years ago and has been brightening since. For most of this time, Earth has been warmer than today, (faint sun paradox). The reason: higher levels of greenhouse gases which trap more of the sun's heat. Solar fluctuations and other factors such as dust ejected by volcanoes - and average global temperatures may well have been largely responsible for warming in the late 19th and early 20th century, leveling off during the mid-century cooling. However there is no positive correlation at all between solar activity and the strong warming during the past 40 years.

http://stephenschneider.stanford.edu...

The evidence that CO2 is a greenhouse gas depends mainly on physics, not on the correlation with past temperature, which tells us nothing about cause and effect. And while the rises in CO2 a few hundred years after the start of inter-glacials can only be explained by rising temperatures (i.e. temperature and CO2 levels are reciprocal), the full measure of temperature increases can only be explained by inclusion of the human influenced rise in CO2 levels.
Debate Round No. 1
ILoveCheese

Pro

It is not true that anything that can cause warming is in fact causing current warming.

In your case, you argue that co2 is a green house gas and can be proven to be a warming agent. I do not disagree. Where I disagree is whether or not this co2 is causing today's warming.

In most historical episodes of warming, co2 trails temperature. If it was a forcing agent, one would expect the exact opposite.

Co2 has been much higher in the past and temperatures were lower:
http://www.nolanchart.com...
"In fact, 450 million years ago when we were in the depths of the coldest period the Earth has had in half a billion years, CO2 levels were 10 times above today's! Even using the last century as evidence for a dependent relationship is meaningless. 65% of the warming this century occurred in the first three decades, and then, while CO2 levels continued to rise, temperatures fell for four decades in a row."
Puck

Con

"In your case, you argue that co2 is a green house gas and can be proven to be a warming agent. I do not disagree. Where I disagree is whether or not this co2 is causing today's warming.
In most historical episodes of warming, co2 trails temperature. If it was a forcing agent, one would expect the exact opposite.
Co2 has been much higher in the past and temperatures were lower:
http://www.nolanchart.com......
"In fact, 450 million years ago when we were in the depths of the coldest period the Earth has had in half a billion years, CO2 levels were 10 times above today's! Even using the last century as evidence for a dependent relationship is meaningless. 65% of the warming this century occurred in the first three decades, and then, while CO2 levels continued to rise, temperatures fell for four decades in a row."

==============================================================================
http://environment.newscientist.com...

Ice cores from Antarctica indicate that at the end of recent ice ages, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere started to rise only after temperatures had begun to climb. There is uncertainty about the timings, in part because the air trapped in the cores is younger than the ice, but it appears the difference might at times have been 800 years or more.
This shows that rising CO2 was not the trigger that caused the initial warming at the end of these ice ages – but no climate scientist has ever made this claim. It certainly does not challenge the idea that increases in CO2 heats the planet.

CO2 is a greenhouse gas because it absorbs and emits frequencies of infrared radiation. Physics tells us that gases with this property trap heat radiating from the Earth, that the planet would be a lot colder if this effect was not real and that adding more CO2 to the atmosphere will trap even more heat.
Furthermore, CO2 is just one of a group of greenhouses gases, and greenhouse gases are just one of many factors affecting the climate. There is no reason to expect a perfect correlation between CO2 levels and temperature in the past: if there is a big change in another climate "factor", the correlation will be hidden.

It takes around 5000 years for an ice age to end and, after the initial 800 year lag, temperature and CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere rise together for a further 4200 years. What seems to have occurred at the end of recent ice ages, some factor - most likely orbital shifts - caused a rise in temperature. This led to an increase in CO2, resulting in further warming that caused more CO2 to be released and so on: a positive feedback that amplified a small change in temperature. At some point, the shrinking of the ice sheets further amplified the warming.

Models indicate that rising greenhouse gases, including CO2, explains for about 40% of the warming as the ice ages ended. The figure is uncertain because it depends on how the extent of ice coverage changed over time, and there is no way to pin this down precisely.

The ice ages show that temperature can determine CO2 as well as CO2 driving temperature. Sceptics - not scientists - have seized upon this idea and claim that the relation is one way, that temperature determines CO2 levels but CO2 levels do not affect temperature.

Higher temperatures lead to more CO2 and more CO2 leads to higher temperatures. There are multiple limiting factors that kick in, the most important being that infrared radiation emitted by Earth increases exponentially with temperature, so as long as some infrared can escape from the atmosphere, at some point heat loss catches up with heat retention. To put it simply, we have altered the way natural feedbacks systems operate via the way we change the planet's surface and atmosphere. That is the difference to "450 million years ago". This is the error in your argument. You are basing climate change purely on CO2 entering the atmosphere. Climate change is vastly more complex than that, and human influence is equally more diverse than that simple aspect.

However since your sole argument is based on CO2 we will continue. Ice cores show that carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have remained steady between 180 and 300 parts per million for the past half-a-million years. In recent centuries, however, CO2 levels have risen sharply, to at least 380 ppm.
Human emissions of CO2 are small compared with natural sources. The fact that CO2 levels have remained steady until very recently indicates that natural emissions are usually balanced by natural absorptions. Now more CO2 must be entering the atmosphere than is being absorbed via carbon "sinks".

The consumption of terrestrial vegetation by animals and by microbes (rotting) emits about 220 gigatonnes of CO2 every year, and respiration by vegetation emits another 220 Gt. These amounts are balanced by the 440 Gt of carbon dioxide absorbed from the atmosphere each year as land plants photosynthesise.
Likewise, parts of the oceans release about 330 Gt of CO2 per year, depending on temperature and rates of photosynthesis by phytoplankton, but other parts usually soak up just as much and are now soaking up slightly more.
Human emissions of CO2 are now estimated to be 26.4 Gt per year, up from 23.5 Gt in the 1990s

http://www.ipcc.ch...

So are we to blame for the CO2 increase? There are several lines of evidence. Fossil fuels were formed millions of years ago. Therefore they contain virtually no carbon-14. Because this unstable carbon isotope, formed when cosmic rays hit the atmosphere, it has a half-life of around 6000 years. So a dropping concentration of carbon-14 can be explained by the burning of fossil fuels. Studies of tree rings have shown that the proportion of carbon-14 in the atmosphere dropped by about 2% between 1850 and 1954. After this time, atmospheric nuclear bomb tests ruined this method by releasing large amounts of carbon-14.

Additionally fossil fuels contain less carbon-13 than carbon-12, compared with the atmosphere. These fuels are derived from plants, which preferentially take up the more common carbon-12. The ratio of carbon-13 to carbon-12 in the atmosphere and ocean surface waters is steadily falling, clearly showing that more carbon-12 is entering the atmosphere.

Frankly your argument so far is based solely on the link to CO2 and temperatures. CO2 is not the only greenhouse gas neither is fossil fuel burning the sole reason for their increase. Deforestation removes natural carbon sinks, draining swamps releases large amounts of stored CO2 and methane. Similarly greenhouse gases are not the sole reason climate change is occurring. Factors relate and feed off each other; warmer air, warmer ocean currents etc. CO2 feeds off temperature, temperature feeds off CO2. It is flawed to say that humans are the sole reason for climate change because clearly it plays to natural systems. It is equally mistaken however to say that humans have had no substantial impact at all.

Which brings us to "it is not true that anything that can cause warming is in fact causing current warming." that being self refuting rubbish. Clearly it has a cause(s).

Recommended:
http://www.ipcc.ch...
Debate Round No. 2
ILoveCheese

Pro

The majority of your previous post was a continuation of the arguments that I pointed out were incorrect in my previous posts. Plausibility does not mean reality.

Yes, I agree that one can prove and have proven that co2 can act as a green house gas and can theoretically warm the planet. Where I disagree is that co2 has been proven to be the cause of global warming. Yes, I will agree that in miniscule amounts it probably does warm the planet. I do not think though that it has been proven that it raises temperatures significantly.

Even in your 'runaway' co2 warming hypothesis, there is not evidence that co2 causes additional warming. The co2 is the effect, not the cause of warming.

But I will take this further and argue that the entire field of climate science is too uncertain for any to be able to prove that man made global warming is fact.

Consider http://www.sciencedaily.com...

"The researchers estimate that this effect could cut by two-thirds the projected increase in global temperatures initiated by a doubling of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere."

How do you know that increasing co2 didn't 'cause' this vent to work? Or any other natural self regulation? It's the same with co2 acting as a fertizer for more plant growth.

Not to mention our minimal knowledge of cloud formation.

And I do not agree with your contention that solar variability is irrelevent:
http://www.theminorityreportblog.com...
Variations in solar energy as a driver for global climate change have been wholly discounted by the IPCC and climate modellers on the basis that something they call Total Solar Irradiance has not changed enough between 1975 and 1998 to make a significant contribution to the climate warming observed during that period.

It is because solar influences have been discounted that the IPCC and climate modellers have been determined to attribute most of the observed warming during that period to an enhanced greenhouse effect caused by CO2 produced by human activity.

Consequently the climate models currently in use contain no solar effects as a component.

This article shows that they are wrong and that, in fact, solar energy is and always has been the overwhelming primary driver for global temperature with CO2 such a minor component that it should be ignored. Due to the differences in scale between the solar effect and the effect of CO2 the latter is only ever going to have a marginal effect at and around the peak of any natural warming trend and is unlikely to activate any tipping point that would not have been activated by natural cause. Indeed, during natural cooling spells CO2 will be a wholly beneficial mitigating factor.

This article will then go on to identify the additional parameters apart from solar activity that will need to be measured to give us a workable if approximate predictor of global temperature movements.

Showing that solar energy has been the predominant driver throughout history prior to the industrial revolution is not difficult."

There is so much unknown and so much complexity that at this point it is impossible to categorically say that man is causing global warming.
Puck

Con

"one can prove and have proven that co2 can act as a green house gas and can theoretically warm the planet."

Not theoretically. It does. Basic physics as outlined in R2 and R2.

"Where I disagree is that co2 has been proven to be the cause of global warming"

No one climate scientist states that it is. It would be great if you actually read my rounds. It is one part of many.This goes back to my R1 statement of merely saying it is not true, is not good enough.

"I do not think though that it has been proven that it raises temperatures significantly."

Again, it is in conjunction with the other climate change factors.

"Even in your 'runaway' co2 warming hypothesis, there is not evidence that co2 causes additional warming. The co2 is the effect, not the cause of warming."

Firstly, my "runaway warming hypothesis" was in reference to ice age warming (the previous paragraphs) secondly and this refers to you reading again, I have stated several times that CO2 and temperature have been shown to act on each other. CO2 causes temperature rises; temperature rises in turn increase CO2.

"The researchers estimate that this effect could cut by two-thirds the projected increase in global temperatures initiated by a doubling of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

How do you know that increasing co2 didn't 'cause' this vent to work?"

How do you know it did? What is inherent in CO2 that it can create a seabed vent? Merely postulating it as such does not give the notion any more validity. To actually make your point (the article is 2001) you have 7 years of data to show (1) correlatory evidence (2) Physical evidence i.e CO2 increase caused by said vent. You have not.

"Not to mention our minimal knowledge of cloud formation."

Yours maybe, less so those that dedicate their careers to such things.

"And I do not agree with your contention that solar variability is irrelevent:"

And I do not take my evidence from a blogger. The articles author that the blog uses is a self informed i.e. non professional climate modeller.

Now for evidence i.e. scientific as opposed to the, I can surf the internet, sort of your blogger.

There is no evidence of a link between cosmic rays and warming temperatures on Earth.
"A decrease in the globally averaged low level cloud cover, deduced from the ISCCP infrared data, as the cosmic ray intensity decreased during the solar cycle 22 was observed by two groups. The groups went on to hypothesize that the decrease in ionization due to cosmic rays causes the decrease in cloud cover, thereby explaining a large part of the currently observed global warming. We have examined this hypothesis to look for evidence to corroborate it. None has been found and so our conclusions are to doubt it."

http://www.iop.org...

Cosmic rays are energetic particles from space that travel at near the speeds of light when they hit the atmosphere. They are redirected toward the Earth by the Sun and some have claimed that changes in solar activity deflect varying amounts of cosmic rays towards us. A favourite theory among climate sceptics is that the rays are responsible for boosting the formation of clouds, which in turn could be warming the planet.

"finding no evidence of a link between the ionizing cosmic rays and the production of low cloud cover"

http://domino.lancs.ac.uk...

So no, it is not solar, or cloud formation as you propose.

"not wholly discounted by the IPCC and climate modellers"

So I think we can safely say that said climate modellers are sceptics and not actual climate modellers in the scientific sense it is used. I think we can also safely say the name drop IPCC is there purely because I gave you a link to their site. Actually showing where they say so would be great, unless, clearly, they do not say such things. :)

Which brings us to the end of your arguments, and the rather glaring fact that you have done absolutely nothing to show that my proof is wrong in any real scientific evidential sense.

"Global atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide have increased markedly as a result of human activities since 1750 and now far exceed pre-industrial values determined from ice cores spanning many thousands of years. The global increases in carbon dioxide concentration are due primarily to fossil fuel use and land-use change, while those of methane and nitrous oxide are primarily due to agriculture." (IPCC Report on Climate Change: 2007)

Feel free to read the report summary
http://media.newscientist.com...
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by vibrodigits 6 years ago
vibrodigits
"Ice cores from Antarctica indicate that at the end of recent ice ages, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere started to rise only after temperatures had begun to climb. There is uncertainty about the timings, in part because the air trapped in the cores is younger than the ice, but it appears the difference might at times have been 800 years or more.
This shows that rising CO2 was not the trigger that caused the initial warming at the end of these ice ages – but no climate scientist has ever made this claim. It certainly does not challenge the idea that increases in CO2 heats the planet."

According to a couple of IPCC scientists I saw on TV, this is predicted by:

Variations in Earth's orbit (Milankovitch cycles).
IIRC.

If so, this contradicts your assertion:
"This shows that rising CO2 was not the trigger that caused the initial warming at the end of these ice ages"

Nothing is simple.
Posted by YesiShy 6 years ago
YesiShy
U BOTH HAD REAL GOOD ARGUMENTS.
PUCK, U BROUGHT UP A LOT OF INFO & CONS. THAT'S GOOD.
GOOD THIKING :)
Posted by left_wing_mormon 6 years ago
left_wing_mormon
I have to say it was interesting to see Pro keep up with Con. Con was very hard-hitting and was presistent in providing the facts. Pro did well though i must say.
Posted by Puck 6 years ago
Puck
edit: "Basic physics as outlined in R2 and R2." 'R1 and R2'
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