• andrewk
    1.2k
    Instead you often get responses like thisWISDOMfromPO-MO
    Thank the Good Lord for that!
  • WISDOMfromPO-MO
    753
    Thank the Good Lord for that!andrewk

    In other words, "Thank the Good Lord that some of his children are treated by their brothers and sisters as less than human".
  • Ciceronianus the White
    564
    It's hardly surprising those involved in these disputes differ regarding values. I doubt there is anyone who would contend otherwise. Why is that significant, or even interesting?

    Interesting to me is the place and uses of science, of critical reasoning and intelligence generally, in these disputes. My earlier post addressed what I think is a similarly insignificant and uninteresting claim made in the article you applaud, which I quoted. That claim is that there is always some room for doubt as to almost all scientific findings. This assertion, together with the fact that opponents of, e.g., evolution, vaccination and climate charge refer to science or at least scientists in doing so, is used to indicate that those opponents are not anti-science.

    That there may be room for doubt as to scientific findings does nothing in itself to explain or justify this opposition. My point is that what should be considered in determining whether and to what extent scientific findings should be relied on i n making decisions on these issues should be what we lawyers like to call the weight of the evidence. In the case of evolution, for instance, we compare the scientific evidence supporting it and the scientific
    evidence supporting intelligent design.

    If the scientific evidence supporting the theory of evolution is of far greater quality and more reliable than the scientific evidence supporting the theory of intelligent design, then the fact that there may be "room for doubt" the evidence supporting evolution, and the fact that there may be some scientists who are critical of the theory of evolution and believe in intelligent design doesn't establish that those who criticize the theory of evolution and believe in intelligent design are not anti-science. It establishes instead that they refuse to accept that there is overwhelming evidence indicating that the theory of evolution is correct, regardless of the fact that there may be "room for doubt."

    That refusal may very well be the result of the fact that they think the weight of the scientific evidence is of far less worth and value than something else. But, it also results from the fact that they maintain that the scientific evidence--science--should not be considered. That seems pretty anti-science to me.
  • Pierre-Normand
    1.1k
    Being patronising will not help your (ahem!) "argument"charleton

    Your own argument is that CO2 is a trace gas and that, as such, it can't contribute much to the enhanced greenhouse effect. It is true that CO2 is a minor component of the atmosphere, which is mainly composed of oxygen and nitrogen. However, both oxygen and nitrogen are gases that are fully transparent to infrared radiation, and so their relatively much higher concentration is quite irrelevant to the CO2 contribution to the greenhouse effect. The CO2 concentration in the atmosphere is high enough that, at sea level pressure and dry conditions, almost all of the upwelling infrared radiation has already been scattered by CO2 molecules on the first ten meters on their way up.

    Interestingly enough, skeptics have harped on this fact to argue that the atmosphere already has achieved CO2 saturation and hence increases in CO2 levels can't have any additional effect. This premise runs exactly opposite to your own. What those skeptics neglect, however, is that while the atmosphere is radiatively opaque to infrared radiation in most of the troposphere, in the higher reaches of the atmosphere it is much thinner and there is a level where it is tenuous enough for most of the infrared radiation to escape to space. This highest level of opacity (which varies as a function of wavelength) rises when the concentration of CO2 increases, and, owing to the convective lapse rate, comes to have a lower temperature and hence a lower power of emission. This is the reason why increasing the concentration of atmospheric CO2 reduces the ability of the atmosphere to radiate back to space the power received from the Sun.

    Another interesting and relevant fact is that collisions between CO2 molecules and other molecules (such as oxygen and nitrogen) produce what is called pressure broadening of the CO2 spectral lines. It makes CO2 molecules more efficient in scattering infrared radiation. So, the fact that there is such a high concentration of nitrogen and oxygen, compared with CO2, in the atmosphere, actually makes the CO2 molecules more efficient rather than less as a greenhouse gas, which also runs exactly counter to your argument that since CO2 is such a minor relative constituent of the total atmosphere it can't be relevant.
  • charleton
    1.2k
    The CO2 concentration in the atmosphere is high enough that, at sea level pressure and dry conditions, almost all of the upwelling infrared radiation has already been scattered by CO2 molecules on the first ten meters on their way upPierre-Normand

    No water vapour is the most potent greenhouse chemical and well as methane.
  • charleton
    1.2k
    Another interesting and relevant fact is that collisions between CO2 molecules and other molecules (such as oxygen and nitrogen) produce what is called pressure broadening of the CO2 spectral lines.Pierre-Normand

    Interesting but speculative.
  • Pierre-Normand
    1.1k
    No water vapour is the most potent greenhouse chemical and well as methane.charleton

    Methane is indeed a much more potent greenhouse gas than CO2 is, on a per-molecule basis, but it also is over 200 times less concentrated (1800 parts per billion compared to over 400 parts per million for CO2). As a result, the radiative forcing from the anthropogenic increased in methane concentration is about one third that of the increased CO2 concentration. Obviously, it's part of the problem too, but methane also is less long lived in the atmosphere.

    As for water vapor, its contribution to the greenhouse effect is indeed larger than that of non-condensable greenhouse gases such as CO2 and methane. However, its average concentration in the troposphere is being controlled by temperature rather than the other way around. Average water vapor concentration in the troposphere thus functions as a feedback that increases the enhanced greenhouse effect consequent on an increase in the concentration of non-condensable greenhouse gases. It's because of water vapor that the equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) to a doubling of CO2 (or equivalent forcing) is something around 3K/(W/m^2) rather than something around 1K/(W/m^2).

    (ECS could actually be anywhere between 2K/(W/m^2) and 4.5K(W/m^2) but the main source of the uncertainty isn't the water vapor feedback, which is very well understood, but rather the cloud feedback.)

    Interesting but speculative.charleton

    Hardly. It has been a basic principle spectroscopy almost since its inception although the precise quantum mechanical explanation followed the observation.
  • CuddlyHedgehog
    459
    are regularly portrayed as intellectually incompetent, sociopathic nutcases who are a grave threat to all of humanityWISDOMfromPO-MO
    It’s a pretty accurate description actually :smile:
12Next
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment

Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.