Archive for April, 2014

Life on Earth: Principal control knob governing Earth?s temperature

Saturday, April 26th, 2014

Source: http://www.drroyspencer.com/2014/04/life-on-earth-principal-control-knob-governing-earths-temperature/

by Roy Spencer

The title of this post is a purposeful play on the title of a 2010 paper by Lacis, Schmidt, Rind, and Ruedy, entitled Atmospheric CO2: Principal control knob governing Earth?s temperature.

In that paper, the authors claimed that the existence of CO2 is what provides enough warming to keep the Earth from becoming an ice planet. They also claim that, because CO2 is ?non-condensing? (whereas water vapor, Earth?s most abundant greenhouse gas, does condense) this gives it special status as some sort of primary control knob governing Earth temperatures.

That latter argument has never quite convinced me of anything?both CO2 and water vapor have various sources and sinks, and just because water vapor goes through a phase change and CO2 doesn?t is, in my mind, irrelevant. Yes, the CO2 source/sink processes act more slowly than the water vapor ones (evaporation and precipitation) do, but on the long time scales of Earth?s history, who cares? (more…)

Obama’s Last Shot

Saturday, April 26th, 2014

Source:  RollingStoneObama - climate

The president came into office promising to make fighting climate change a priority. Now, he finally seems to be getting serious about it.
By 

EDITOR’S NOTE: On Friday April 18th, after the print version of this story had closed, the State Department announced that the decision on the Keystone XL Pipeline would be delayed due to legal challenges to the pipeline’s route, effectively putting off resolution of this controversial issue until after the election. The text has been updated to reflect these latest developments.

President Obama is not even halfway through his second term yet, but you can almost feel the cement hardening around his feet. The glory days of hope and change have faded, his approval rating has flat-lined below 50 percent, and jockeying for 2016 has begun in earnest. But for Obama, the game ain’t over yet. In the next few months, he will take one of the biggest gambles of his presidency by testing the radical proposition that even SUV-loving Americans believe that global warming is real and are ready to do something about it. (more…)