January 24, 2011

Bathtubs and defending common sense

While reading the ridiculous story in the post below one piece of absurdity really caught my attention. It has to do with the alarm over higher water temperatures. The story points to this concern  in several places:
Scientists warn higher temperatures and lower rainfall in summer will lead to lower river flows and rising water temperatures....
And this absurd idea:
The Environment Agency is planning to plant more trees on river banks to increase shade and reduce water temperatures..
Much of the global warming lore is built around the idea that warmer water temperatures are going to reek havoc on the Earth and mankind. Everything from increasing the quantity and strength of hurricanes due to warmer oceans, to the absurd notion of transplanting fishes because of warmer lake and rivers.

Much of the warmer water nonsense, at least as regards to lakes and rivers has little to do with warmer atmospheric temperatures directly but as the result of of less rainfall and droughts, as the above linked article vaguely alludes to:
Scientists warn higher temperatures and lower rainfall in summer will lead to lower river flows and rising water temperatures.
The higher temperatures by themselves could have little affect on water temperatures as I'll explain in a moment. The idea that Great Britain or any other country can make plans based upon the assumption that global warming is going to cause them to suffer through excessive droughts is beyond both common sense or science.

How do we know this? Just look what is going on in Australia and how the previous drought conditions and the current flooding are both being blamed on global warming. We also learned recently that even believers know that there is no way to predict precipitation trends even if you believe the globe will continue to warm.

Scott Loarie, a researcher at the Carnegie Institution of Science on the Stanford University campus, says most of the research into this topic has been focused on temperature trends, "because we know the most about temperature. Pretty much all our evidence shows the Earth will get hotter, and there's very little dispute about that. We don't know very much about precipitation."

Loarie says the new study underlines just how important precipitation can be. Unfortunately, in many parts of the world, scientists simply can't say whether climate change in the long run will bring more moisture or more drought. Loarie says California is a case in point — the various climate forecasts disagree.

"So it's really a crapshoot in California whether we're facing a drier or a wetter future," he says.
So some scientist are beginning to admit, given overwhelming evidence, that they really do no know whether it is going to rain more or less because of their man made global warming. But that doesn't matter does it, the warmer temperatures will cause warmer oceans, lakes and rivers anyway right?

I wish I could remember where I read or heard this analogy so that I could give the person credit, but I can not. Regardless it is not my original thinking, it makes too much sense for me to have come up with it on my own and so I'm taking what I remember and modifying it in my far less sophisticated way.

The first thing you must remember is that the theory of global warming is that added CO2 in the atmosphere will warm the atmosphere which will cause positive feedbacks which will warm the atmosphere even more. Nothing in the theory says that additional CO2 will directly warm the water, just the atmosphere- pretty simple isn't it?

Now consider your bathtub full of water. It doesn't matter what the temperature is but let's say it is 80 degF. Now let's say you want the water in your tub to be a bit warmer. Let's say you wanted it to be 83 degF. Normally you would just run some hotter water into it to increase the heat of the water. But unlike modern plumbing, in order to raise the temperature in your tub using the new scientific methodology, we will have to turn up the temperature in your house. Now consider how long it would take to raise the temperature in your tub by turning up the thermostat in your house. Yes what we are saying is that we are going to raise the temperature of the water in your tub by turning up the heat in your house.

Now if your house was completely closed up and the water stayed stagnant in the tub and you then  turned up the heat in the house to a point where you could barely stand to live in it while you waited for your bath, eventually the tub water would increase in temperature. Of course if you had a dripping faucet which allowed a bit of colder water into the tub which caused the tub to loose a little water in the overflow, that would slow down the process a bit. Then of course if you had to go in and out of the house regularly while you were waiting for your bath, allowing cool air into the house on occasion, that might slow it down a bit more. Oh and you forgot that ceiling fan in the bedroom too, which circulates the air which slows down the process a bit as well. Oh and the poor kids sweltering half to death in your mad attempt to have a warmer bath, are going and opening the freezer on occasion for some ice cream, and, and ,and.....and that is for a fairly closed body of water, like a lake, how about a flowing river?

A river fed by mountain runoff of snow or glaciers, how will you warm your running facets in your sink? Perhaps you could plant a shade tree.

Consider all the moving, swirling elements that make up not only our climate system, but our entire ecosystem. Do you really believe that we could raise the temperature of the Earth's atmosphere enough to raise the temperature of the Thames, the Mississippi, Lake Superior, the Pacific Ocean? How warm would the Earth's atmosphere have to become to cause these massive bodies of dynamic waters to increase in temperatures able to kill off fish populations. This assertion is even more absurd than believing we are melting the poles where the average yearly temperatures are far below zero.

There is so much that man can do to protect our beloved Earth from real man made problems yet mad scientist are drowning reason in a tub of babbling foolishness paid for with your tax dollars.

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