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Letter to the Editor: Response to “Weak Correlation Between CO2 and Temperature' ...

on August 1, 2013 - 6:53am
Response to “Weak Correlation Between CO2 and Temperature Proves Nothing About Causation” by J.G. Beery from Los Alamos.
By Liviu Popa-Simil

I have to disagree in part with the author, because it presents just a part of the problem.

The CO2 and all the green house effects are based on the relationship between transmission absorption coefficients of the gases in the day light spectrum (light coming from sun) and night spectrum (light emitted by the Earth, mainly in IR), and has a logarithmic variation with partial pressure (concentration) of a gas or composite particles.

The good news observed by Dr. Berry, is that if we double the concentration now from about 400 ppm to 800 ppm, the CO2 IR power emission blocking would barely grow from 3.5 W/m2 to about 4 W/m  (less than 15percent.) Note: the values are approximate, for accurate values, search for the appropriate tables on the web.

The bad news is that if we reduce its concentration by half at only 200 ppm, overnight, the reduction in light shielding will be of about 15 percent, at about 3.2 W/m2, and will take effect after the Earth’s reaction time - that is about 10-20 years (various eigen modes are interfering here to make the things look complicated.) That means that no matter what we might do, for the next 20 years we have to prepare to be able to afford the consequences of that initial concentration – in simple terms take the wallet out and be prepared to pay. And that shows already.

But, what do those power density values mean? Let’s make a simple calculation: Rge Earth Radius is 6,400,000 m, and consider it a sphere. Its surface is: 4 Pi r2= 4 x 3.14 x 6.4 x 6.4 x 1012 m2 = about 500 Tm2 =0.5 Pm2 (Peta – Square-meter.) For a power density of 1 watt per square meter, it turns at 0.5 PW= 500 TW (Terra Watt) the total power. The planet’s actual power production is about 15 TW = 0.015 PW.

The sun irradiance in space at 1 AU is about 1335.6 W/m2 at minimum activity and 1336.4 W/m2 at maximum. The variance is of less than 1 W/m2, but is applied to the Earth’s cross section that is ¼  of the sphere’s surface., giving a total variance of about 150 TW. That is 50 times the total earth power, which generates the CO2.

In conclusion: in order to produce 14 TW of power that finally becomes heat and warms up the Earth, our technology is triggering an undesired collateral phenomenon that triggers an undesired planet warm up of 2,000 TW, about 135 times more – that is the pollution amplification factor – that trigger a part of atmospheric phenomena that have already been seen, with a tendency of aggravating in the future. See NOAA data. If we will give up using fossil fuels, and replace them with nuclear and renewable energy, we may increase the total power production on earth up to 100 times, without consequences that we face today.

Earth, it is a complex system, and to correlate all bad weather incidents to CO2 levels is inappropriate. No matter if it is about cooling or warming, the change is bad especially for those caught unprepared, or unable to understand the threat and adapt in real time. What will happen – natural selection, after Darwin’s rules, known for 200 + years.

For those who believe that Earth is so complex and will take a turn in humans' favor, I can say that only by coincidence, because it did not do anything to favor the Neanderthals, and other many species at the biggest extinctions. Neanderthals probably had a God, too, but that God did not interfere in Earth’s actions, and so our many Gods we pray and believe in will let us face the nature’s elements without too much interference.

So, if we, the people of the Earth will not take a turn for good, nobody and nothing will push us in that direction in time to make us survive nature’s challenge. Read more details in the kindle e-book “The challenges of the future – How future weather might affect US. There one may find an externality calculation saying that for any $1,000 spent on gasoline, nature brings about $200 in damages that are shared with the entire population of the Earth, no matter whether they use gasoline. It is not accurate, it is an estimation but is worrisome. The book also shows that there is about a 20 year window of opportunity remaining for us to prepare and adapt, because when the time to perform comes - the time to prepare is already past.