Friday, January 4, 2013

A Whopper of a Dog's Breakfast

MobyT | 10:05 PM Go to the first of 2 comments. Add a comment

Today's doggie dish is Muzzarati from HotCopper, who presents a delightful mishmash of science, nonsense, politics and drivel all wrapped up in a single post.

Muzza on water vapour

Muzza starts off well enough, if a bit sloppily:

                        Source: HotCopper.com S&M forum

Indeed.  As Gavin Schmidt writes here in attributing absorption of long wave radiation:
We find that water vapor is the dominant substance — responsible for about 50% of the absorption, with clouds responsible for about 25% — and CO2 responsible for 20% of the effect. The remainder is made up with the other minor greenhouse gases, ozone and methane for instance, and a small amount from particles in the air (dust and other "aerosols").
At this point, muzzarati could have continued to show off a basic understanding of climate science with something along the lines of:
Unlike CO2, water vapour has a very short lifetime in the atmosphere - a matter of hours to days.  From early human civilisation to the beginning of the industrial revolution, when CO2 was fairly steady at around 285 ppm, the main causes of fluctuations in climate were things like large volcanic eruptions and changes in the amount of incoming solar radiation.    
Now that we've added another 40% of CO2 to the atmosphere, earth is getting hotter.  Warmer air means more water vapour in the atmosphere.  The extra water vapour is what's known as a positive feedback. The more carbon dioxide we put in the air the hotter earth gets and the more water evaporates and the more it can stay in the air before precipitating.  Earth warms not just from the extra CO2 but also from the extra H2O.  Not good!
But no.  Muzza decides to take the low road - to denialism.

Muzza comes to the defense of an inanimate gas

Muzza makes a special plea on behalf of atmospheric CO2, saying it isn't BAD.  P'raps maudlin from too much of whatever is mixed with his Soda stream?

                      Source: HotCopper.com S&M forum

I won't quibble over referring to the CO2 absorbed by plants for photosynthesis as 'plant food'.  But 'a life giving gas'? Only if you are a plant.  Try inhaling pure CO2 to see if it's a life 'giver' or a life 'taker'.

Muzza's religious experience

              Source: HotCopper.com S&M forum

Muzzarati gives God thanks for creating CO2.  Fair enough if religion is your thing.  We wouldn't be here if not for CO2.  Earth would be a frozen desert.

Muzza on causation and temperature trends

                   Source: HotCopper.com S&M forum

Muzza has a senior's moment, forgetful of saying right up front that CO2 is a greenhouse gas.   What greenhouse gases do is absorb some of the long wave radiation leaving the surface, which would otherwise go straight out to space.  Increase carbon dioxide and for a long time you'll get more energy coming in than going out, resulting in global warming. QED. But Muzza does a complete about face and now rejects the science.

As for 'cooling' - the last decade is the hottest in the temperature record.  Here's a chart of global temperatures showing the earth is very much in a warming trend:

Muzza on terminology:

             Source: HotCopper.com S&M forum

Yes, climate change is most definitely real and caused by global warming. We see evidence every day.

Muzza probably knows that the term 'global warming' refers to the rise in global average surface temperatures and ocean temperatures.  This heating up of the earth will change climates around the world.  (Or maybe Muzza confuses changeable weather with a changing climate.)

On the other hand, Muzza could be an old dog with a short term memory problem, who thinks this 1975 paper by Wallace S Broecker was published only yesterday: Climatic Change: Are We on the Brink of a Pronounced Global Warming?

Finally Muzzarati steps right in the denialist dog poo:

                                                          Source: HotCopper.com S&M forum

Muzzarati should take his/her own advice.  Here are a few pointers for free:

Nature Climate Change
IPCC reports
Journal of Climate

And many more besides - perhaps Muzzarati could wander through Google Scholar.


  1. love it , Thank god, and, you religious zealots in the one post


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