Filled Under: IPCC

5 Questions from “The Earth Forum”

The Earth Forum (http://theearthforum.tumblr.com/)
Dialogues concerning Earth and the environment

ask me anything

rss
archive

Question 5

Question

People are concerned that burning fossil fuels, such as coal and oil, will lead to increased carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas) in the atmosphere, which will lead to increased global warming, which will lead to potentially catastrophic events.

Since 2005, the levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere have increased each year. Has the temperature of Earth increased each year, as well?

Which is the correct answer?

A: Since 2005, the temperature of the Earth has increased each year, in step with the increase in CO2 in the atmosphere.

B: Since 2005, the temperature of the earth has, on average, decreased, despite the rise in CO2 levels.

C: Global warming is not real.

D: You are not a climate scientist, and, therefore, are incapable of truly understanding the question or the answer. If you are a climate scientist, you are not funded by an approved green organization, and, therefore, are not credible. If you are a climate scientist funded by an approved green organization, submit a draft of your answer to your funding organization for review.

Answer

The correct answer is B: Since 2005, the temperature of Earth has, on average, decreased, despite the rise in CO2 levels.

Explanation

According to NOAA, in 2005, the level of CO2 in the atmosphere, as measured at the observatory at Mauna Loa, was 379.80 ppm (parts per million). The annual global combined land and ocean surface temperature for 2005 was 14.55 degrees Celsius.

The following year, 2006, the level of CO2 in the atmosphere increased to 381.90 ppm, but the annual global combined land and ocean surface temperature decreased to 14.50 degrees Celsius.

In 2007, the level of CO2 in the atmosphere increased to 383.76 ppm, but the annual global combined land and ocean surface temperature decreased to 14.49 degrees Celsius.

In 2008, the level of CO2 in the atmosphere increased to 385.59 ppm, but the annual global combined land and ocean surface temperature decreased to 14.41 degrees Celsius.

In the years 2006 through 2012, the level of CO2 increased each year. However, over that period of time, the average temperature was 14.48 degrees Celsius, cooler than the 2005 temperature. The temperature for 2010 was higher than 2005, but promptly dropped down in 2011 to a temperature lower than 2005.

In 2012, CO2 was at 393.82 ppm, higher than any of the earlier years. However, the temperature was 14.48 degrees Celsius, lower than 2005.

For information on temperatures, see: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/2012/13 and see ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/anomalies/annual.land_ocean.90S.90N.df_1901-2000mean.dat

For a NOAA graph, see: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cag/time-series/global/globe/land_ocean/13/2005-2012?trend=true&trend_base=10&begtrendyear=2005&endtrendyear=2012

For information on CO2 levels, see: http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/mlo.html#mlo_full
9 months ago
Question 4

Question

For the ten year period ending on December 31, 2012, what changes occurred with Earth’s temperature?

A: The temperature increased.

B. The temperature stayed the same.

C. The temperature decreased.

D. What warming? I still see snow in the mountains.

E. This inquiry is irresponsible because it causes people to question what they have been told about global warming.

Answer

The correct answer is C: The temperature decreased.

Explanation

According to NOAA, Earth’s temperature for 2003 was 14.52 degrees Celsius. The temperature for 2012 was 14.47 degrees Celsius. Thus, the temperature of Earth was lower at the end of the ten year period.

See graph from NOAA: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cag/time-series/global/globe/land_ocean/13/2003-2012?trend=true&trend_base=10&begtrendyear=2003&endtrendyear=2012

In the first year (2003) of the ten year period, the temperature of Earth was 14.52 degrees Celsius. In the years that followed, Earth’s temperature, on average, decreased from the 2003 level. The average temperature of Earth over the ten year period from January 1, 2003 to December 31, 2012 was 14.49 degrees Celsius. At the end of the ten year period, Earth’s temperature had dropped to 14.47 degrees Celsius.

The temperatures used herein are the annual global land and ocean temperatures as determined by NOAA. See: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/2012/13

NOAA is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
9 months ago
Question 3

Question

Each year, carbon dioxide, CO2 , is released into the atmosphere. CO2 is a greenhouse gas and contributes to the warming of the planet. How much of the CO2 released into the atmosphere each year comes from man-made sources and human activities, and how much comes from natural sources? Which of the following is the correct answer?

A: Most of the CO2 released into the atmosphere each year comes from man-made sources and human activities; only a small percentage comes from natural sources.

B: Approximately half comes from man-made sources and human activities, and half comes from natural sources.

C: Approximately 5% of the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere each year comes from man-made sources and human activities: about 95% is from natural sources.

D: Global warming is simply a scare tactic.

E: We don’t have time for a meeting of flat-earth society.

Answer

The correct answer is: C: Approximately 5% of the CO2 released into the atmosphere each year comes from man-made sources and human activities; about 95% is from natural sources.

According to the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (2007), at Chapter 7, Section 7.3.1.1, vegetation, soil and detritus annually releases 119.6 Gt of carbon into the atmosphere, the ocean annually releases 90.6 Gt of carbon into the atmosphere, burning of fossil fuels (which is human caused) annually releases 6.6 Gt of carbon into the atmosphere, and land use change (which is human caused) annually releases 1.6 Gt of carbon into the atmosphere. Thus, the total amount of carbon released into the atmosphere from man-made sources and human causes is 8 Gt annually, representing about 5% of the total amount released annually from all sources.

The report indicates that much of the CO2 released into the atmosphere each year is absorbed by natural processes, taking much of the CO2 out of the atmosphere.

At Chapter 7, section 7.3.2.4.1, the report acknowledges that since 1960, the rate of growth of CO2 in the atmosphere has varied widely: in some years there is a very low rate of growth, in other years there is a much higher rate of growth. This has occurred despite the rather steady increase in CO2 emissions from man-made sources and human events since 1960.

The report acknowledges that the variation in the rate of growth of atmospheric CO2 cannot be explained by variability of fossil fuel emissions.

See: http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch7s7-3.html#7-3-1

Gt is the abbreviation for gigatonnes. A gigatonne is equal to one million tonnes. A single tonne is equal to 1000 kilograms.

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gigatonne#Gigatonne

The IPCC is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change established by the United Nations Environment Program and the World Meteorological Organization.
9 months ago
Question 2

Question

After hearing a talk on climate change, a young student asked when the climate first started changing. So, when did the climate first begin to change?

A: After the formation of the Environmental Protection Agency

B: After detonation of first atomic bomb

C: After the start of Industrial Revolution

D: After the appearance of Homo Sapiens

E: Prior to the appearance Tyrannosaurus Rex

F: 666 years after the Big Bang

Answer

The correct answer is E: Prior to the appearance of Tyrannosaurus Rex.

The climate has been changing for millions of years, even before Tyrannosaurus Rex.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paleoclimatology
10 months ago
Question 1

Question

A student just learning about global warming asked if the earth had experienced prior periods of global warming. What is the correct answer to give to this student?

A: Yes

B: No

C: Global warming is nonsense

D: All issues relating to global warming and climate change have been fully answered. The time for questions is over. Only wealth transfers, carbon taxes, and government subsidies can save the planet now.

Answer

The correct answer is A: Yes

The earth has had periods of global warming in the past. For supporting data and information, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Holocene_Temperature_Variations.png
10 months ago
Our Agenda

Our agenda is to ask questions, provide factually correct answers, and identify and separate fact from opinion, argument, and beliefs, irregardless of conventional wisdom or political concerns.
10 months ago
Why We Are Here

We seek to promote understanding about Earth and the environment through dialogues on global warming, climate change, and mankind’s use of land, water, air, flora and fauna.
10 months ago
Who We Are

We are individuals concerned about Earth and the environment.