Atmospheric evolution of the Earth

I hope someone can explain this to me. 3.5 billion years ago Carbon Dioxide levels were thousands of times higher than they are today. But yet Earth didn’t turn into Venus. I do believe in global warming due to CO2, but I am not sure I buy some of the more extreme claims predicted by some people. So in order to get some perspective I’m asking the question. How much global warming did we have when the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was 350,000 PPM and why should we be freaking out over 400 PPM?



  1. ± says:

    Your question is too non-sheeple-like. Please keep wool pulled over eyes.

    • Marc Perkel says:

      Thanks for an honest answer. But I am actually trying to wrap my brain around this. The glaciers are actually melting.

    • Hmeyers says:

      Shut-up fag. And here is why I say this:

      Clearly you are science-illiterate. And probably looking to inflame tea-baggers and right wingers (which you probably think are stupid, yet you have no f’ing clue what the chart means so you are better how?)

      Yet your gun is fucking empty (because you are ignorant of science) and I don’t respect that. Because you believe stuff and but clearly don’t know why you do — how is that superior to religion????? (Protip: it ain’t)

      So I shall tell you what you — if you were any good at being a lefty (which you aren’t) — should know:

      Hydrogen and Helium contents vanish because Earth’s gravity is not strong enough to keep it. It goes to the outer atmosphere because it is light and the Earth can’t keep it gravitationally like how Mars can’t keep an atmosphere. Takes a big planet to keep hydrogen/helium. Earth = not big enough.

      The ammonia (NH3) gets converted into molecular nitrogen (N2) gradually. Oxygen is highly reactive and wants to be anything EXCEPT oxygen (like your camp fire, anything that burns) — requires tons of plants to produce significant quantities of oxygen and it requires a great deal of molecular nitrogen too (because something needs to mitigate the propensity of oxygen to burn).

      Carbon dioxide ALWAYS accumulates because oxygen loves to react with carbon (Venus for example) — and once carbon reacts with oxygen it is essentially irreversible because carbon holds its electrons very weakly and isn’t a metal so it does covalent bonding (more technical than I prefer).

      Carbon dioxide is, however, easily converted into sugar and other building blocks for plants so once plants start going crazy — like accumulating CO2 into cell walls, starch, tree trunks, kelp, algae — it depletes the atmosphere of the CO2.

      No traditional biological processes produce ammonia or methane — which are very common in gas giants like Saturn or Jupiter — but nitrogen fixation is going to convert ammonia (NH3) into molecular nitrogen (N2) and the hydrogens will end up in either water (H2O) or organic molecules like sugar (C11H22O11) where the 22 does mean 22 hydrogens … all the building blocks of our cells or plan cells have tons of “carbohydrates” which is what happens to the methane (CH4).

      So … you are in no position to call people “sheeple”.

      Your ignorance of biology and chemistry does not make you superior to a Bible-thumpers ignorance of biology and chemistry.

      • bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Devo says:

        HMyers……………what a turn to the dark side you have taken. I never would have thought the H was for “Hateful.” ….. and I thought you were becoming more liberal over the last year or so?

        Yes, ± is showing himself about as insightful in science as he is in political/electorial analysis as he is in personal dynamics.

        Anyhoo, yes, I do know I am according to my own values “on the edge” of acceptable intercourse (who do I think “I” am…anyway??) which means I am over the line for anyone who disagrees with the factual points I merely present.

        Why so hostile? ± not being any different than forever and better than some?

        Be happy HatespewingMyers….. why not?

      • bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Devo says:

        “No traditional biological processes produce ammonia or methane …” /// Cows? What are cows??? Milk Robots???? And with as much Methane as they BURP—termites produce even more.

        But NOW you got me pissed off. All that money I spent for nitrogen/ammonia filters on my fish tanks. I musta been ripped off ? or maybe a Milk Robot walked by and puked in my aquarium?? No…thats a different subject.

        …..But…. you know.

      • ± says:

        “Shut-up fag. And here is why I say this:” [remainder of non sequitur diatribe left unquoted]

        I missed the part where your soliloquy shows how I am a faggot.

        Also, I’m really impressed with your knowledge of chemistry and stuff.

        [no banal shibboleth added here]

        • bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Devo says:

          That does amuse me, but I will note as you do regarding the intemperant reference to your sexual orientation ((out of character for HMyers, I suspect the worst?)):

          banal: Drearily commonplace and often predictable; trite:

          shibboleth: an old idea, opinion, or saying that is commonly believed and repeated but that may be seen as old-fashioned or untrue

          WELL!!! I’m insulted!! I thought my bon motes were informative homilies. I guess that makes me a faggot too?

          • ± says:

            You picked the wrong meaning of the word “shibboleth”. The sense of it’s usage has eluded you.

            As regards the ratiocination you used to come up with the conclusion that you may be a faggot; you’ll have to explain that to me.

          • bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Devo says:

            I was/am/often in the mode of sarcasm==using the effective reasoning of HatefulMyers: anything/anyone I disagree with is …………. your epithet, shibboleth, of political position of choice.

            It was out of character for HMyers. Often a result of some personal trauma in life that has yet to be resolved.

            Or… you were born on a Donkey and refuse to get off.

  2. dusanmal says:

    Answer from a scientist… You don’t even need to go 3.5Bil yrs (and you shouldn’t – Earth of that time is not the “modern” planet we know, things do not apply trivially…) ago and to quite different planet that Earth now is. Much more important evidence is quite (geologically) recent: 250000 year long temperature and CO2 levels record as found in Antarctic ice (studied, published, peer reviewed and non- controversial, done with repeatable results by all major scientific institutions with interest in it). During this time Earth as a planet and atmosphere haven’t changed fundamentally. What applied 250000 years ago is completely applicable nowadays. (For specific results, just search, plenty of them on the intertubes).
    Crucial to your question is following set of facts from that data:
    1) During last 250000 years rise in CO2 have never caused global temperature increase. Quite the opposite. Rise in CO2 levels typically FOLLOWS rise in Earth temperature with 400-700 yrs delay (side note – AGW proponents typically show that graph with 1 pixel=1000 yrs. In such view it appears that temperature and CO2 levels go “hand-in-hand”. Not so, deception worthy of Pen and Teller. Zoom in…). Rise in CO2 as related to Earth temperature is consequence, not cause.
    2) As both temperature and CO2 levels swung greatly at times over 250000yrs there are dozens and dozens of time periods when a steep drop in temperature coincided with steep rise in CO2… Think of it slowly and carefully…
    3) During these last 250000 yrs of Earth history there were periods of CO2 concentrations significantly, orders of magnitude larger than now. Most peaks of them coincided with temperature drops.
    So, what to read from this indisputable evidence? – CO2 in Earth atmosphere in conditions that planet is in geologically recently is NOT the main driver of Earth global temperature.
    What is? – CERN, 2011, Cloud experiment and research known (theoretically up to CERN results) since late 1960’s-early 1970’s. Water vapor in Earth atmosphere impacts Earth temperature in order of magnitude greater manner than CO2. Particularly interaction of it with high energy particles from space/Sun and increased efficiency of heating this interaction produces as impacting particles energy go up. It is not about total energy received from space. It is about distribution of that energy between lower energy particles and higher energy particles. More higher energy particles – warmer Earth as water vapor in atmosphere is more efficient to convert such impact to heating… That is summary of CERN Cloud experiment results.

    • bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Devo says:

      Duce!! Say WHAT??? You are a scientist???

      I thought there was some other reason at work inhibiting your ability to communicate with the rest of us. But “scientist” could do it.

      You do realize that some people don’t consider astrology to be a science….. no matter how much LIKE astronomy it is????

      The Cern Studies. All those COSMIC RAYS and stuff. Kirby evidently willing to over state/apply the conclusions of the studies? Total douche there.

      But say dusanmal, as a scientist, do you support the use of tar sands oil because co2 plays a negligible role in our future demise, or do you counsel caution by making a MOON SHOT EFFORT to get on green energy?

      Question a la Perkel style: isn’t sulfuric compounds a major combustion product from burning oil/coal…and if so…what is the major policy important as highlighted in my penultimate poser?

      ……..I’ll wait.

    • Tim says:

      “”Rise in CO2 levels typically FOLLOWS rise in Earth temperature with 400-700 yrs delay

      Yes. And one might also point out that this is as a natural and expected consequence of gasses being less solvant in warmer waters and due to increased leaking back out of carbon from increased karst topography/morphology.

      • bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Devo says:

        So….co2 is NOT a green house gas and any initial temp rise is caused by………………. by……………Leprechauns?

        Ha, ha.

        Ignornace of BASIC SCIENCE is your shield and your shield.

        Sad, actually. Funny!….. but still sad.

        • Tim says:

          I’m not saying that co2 is not a *greenhouse gas* {selectively absobative and emmissive with respect to wavelength} just that it seems to regulate itself on our world and not be so much a driver of temperature.

          We have plants. More co2 means more lush growth taking out co2 (algae and plankton included). Sometimes, in complicated systems, things intuitive can go to the opposite feedback.

          An anectotal — My preffered modus operandi for chopping up pot smokers, jazz players, fags, and green weenies is a handheld 2-stroke with a marginally effective number of cutting surfaces.

          It has been a little off lately (like more finiky than usual) and upon examining the plug and chamber I determined that it was overheating due to not getting enough oil {not sufficiently lubricated}. In truth, the problem was already one of a lean condition in which adding more oil to the mix made it worse due to the oil displacing gas and causing an even more lean condition…This burned the oil making ash instead of lubricant. Did that make any sense on intuitive stuff often wrong and right at the same time; Sort of like, IDK, CO2 displacing H2o??

          • bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Devo says:

            Sorry Timmy….but when you post that co2 follows temperature increases you EXACTLY ARE negating the FACT that co2 is a greenhouse gas resulting in the delusional, not thought thru, notion that temperature rises for reasons that cannot be identified.

            In fact, yes its complicated with additional co2 released as temps rise==THAT IS A FEEDBACK LOOP.

            It is part of the basics of the co2 life cycle which like everything is not totally understood as with the storage ability of the deep ocean etc. Each wrinkle discovered is ultimately put in its proper context and DOES NOT negate the general application of the “theory.”

            Yes, most but not all plants benefit by lush growth when exposed to more co2==but most hooman food sources are negatively affected by that: lush green growth AND NO FOOD PRODUCTION!!! Thats why food production per acre for certain crops is falling. That plus the plants are falling behind which is why the atmosphere is gaining co2.

            HEY TIMMY: DO THE MATH!! PPM is going up. There just ain’t enough Kudzu to go around.

            uhhhh–relating your ignorance on two stroke engines to your ignorance on AGW is not a winning strategy. Ha, ha. SCIENCE!!!!!!===>you tried something and it didn’t work, so you went back to the laboratory to find out what would work. Two strokes only take a few days to run the actualities. AGW is a lot harder. It takes decades for the simulations to play out.

            co2 is a greenhouse gas. Digging up carbon and burning it overloads the atmosphere and the co2 cycle that tries to clean it out. We hoomans are poisoning our own living space.

            Simple science. Learn it. Know it.

            Stop bullshitting yourself.

          • Tim says:

            “”you EXACTLY ARE negating the FACT that co2 is a greenhouse gas resulting in the delusional, not thought thru, notion that temperature rises for reasons that cannot be identified

            As I’ve already said I’m not saying it isn’t a greenhouse gas — I’m saying that it’s one that throughout geoligical history that it has followed the warming, possibly contributing to it; in time, and that that ‘lush growth without food’ of which you speak is now due to ‘weeds’ because of Monsanto’s monoculture crap that needs a decimated soil, high aluminum, low co2, and hormone-mimic FuckUp(tm) to make sure you stay gay.

            If I had to look at why temperatures rise due to reasons that can not be identified, then I would look at my deficiancy of fingerprints off our star, the sun.

  3. MikeN says:

    It’s easy. CO2 is not the only factor or the dominant factor.
    So the extra CO2 then caused more warming. However, water vapor is also an important gas, and then there are orbital changes and solar changes as well. Having more warming from CO2 but being a little further away and a weaker sun would make things colder.

    Also, note that warming from CO2 is logarithmic. So what looks like lots of CO2 is not 1000 times more but 10 doublings from current level. Basic physics suggests warming is about 1.2C per doubling. So you are talking about 12 C warmer, but then there are feedbacks. Note that the climate scientists scare us with bigger numbers. They are using models to claim much higher warming because of positive feedbacks that multiply this warming from CO2. For example, warming evaporates the oceans means more water vapor. However, if Nature is producing negative feedbacks, which is likely for stable systems, then total warming would be less than 1.2C per doubling. One mechanism is the warming evaporates the oceans which produces clouds that reflect sunlight.

    It is also possible that the current warming is not primarily because of CO2, but rather the warming that has been happening for a few centuries, with the CO2 warming just a small portion of this.

    Roy Spencer has theorized that a natural change in cloudiness has caused most of the current warming, and that this change in cloudiness was then interpreted as a positive feedback of global warming, thus increasing the predictions of the amount of CO2 warming even more. Upon seeing this theory get published, climate scientist activists had the editor of the journal write an apology and resign his position as editor- No Mozart is this Wolfgang. They also got the prestigious journal Geophysical Research Letters to fast-track their rebuttal, approving it in record time. The paper ended up having crucial errors, caught by Roy Spencer.

  4. bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Devo says:

    Douche–you made my eyes water! Did you answer the queston??

    Marc: HOW DID YOUR SPEECH GO????

    You got that interesting chart from someplace….can you provide the link????

    10 to 1 that link gave you the answer???

    I don’t know Earths history that well, but from faulty memory wasn’t the Earth initially a molten ball of lava? So—YES—we were just like Venus?

    Then with significant cooling life was able to form in the first oceans. Single cell only that consumed co2 and excreted O2. O2 was toxic to these first organisms as co2 is toxic to us.

    Thats what I’ve seen presented all the time. I’ve never seen or read the atmosphere compared to Venus/Hot House Earth at those early times. Just as you suspect, I suspect the atmospher/earth was VERY warm, and I have no doubt the answer is “out there.”

    The word/concept “like” is very tricky. Everything is like and not like everything else in the Universe. That is how quicksilver the notion is. In point of fact, whenever you say/think the word “like” you SHOULD IMMEDIATELY start an express list. LIST HOW X IS LIKE Y. That is the predicate for listing how x and y are NOT LIKE each other. Can you guess where that leads you??

    Venus CANNOT BE MUCH LIKE EARTH. …. because it is so much closer to the Sun.

    Ain’t that a Bitch????

    Ha, ha. So, I’m going to go google Archean Period and not be surprised if the Answer is right in the name?

    Marc==I am very curious as to what “extreme claims” you have heard from some people. By definition, extreme claims should not be believed at all. What is your hesitancy??? And just as with like===not like, you should keep a list of some people not to listen to?

    …………..but I dither.

    • Marc Perkel says:

      My speech went well. Hope to post it soon.

    • dade0 says:

      You got that interesting chart from someplace….can you provide the link????

      10 to 1 that link gave you the answer???

      See, you save that image to your desktop, navigate your browser to images.google.com, drag the save image to that page which will open a drop zone to upload to google’s magic server that compares it and shows you the best matches. I got a page with the terms:

      timeline of gases in the atmosphere
      https://www.google.com/search?safe=off&q=timeline+of+gases+in+the+atmosphere

      … Teach a man to fish..

      • bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Devo says:

        You are very wise dadeo…caught me teaching Marc to fish.

        Ooooooh!

        But I’m lazy. What if the chart shows up in 5 different hits? Which one did Marc use???

        Pros and Cons. Good to see you posting.

  5. Dave T from Canada says:

    I was going to explain things pretty much like “dusanmal” did. I was going to clarify how the planet today is an entirely different place.

    Think about tectonic plate movement first. Go back a couple of billion years and the oceans weren’t divided up in the way they are today. There might not have even been any ice cap on the poles. Heck the poles might not even be related to our North-South alignment but with an entirely different orientation.

    I was glad to see the explanation as being about water vapour. This is much more important to the survival of humans than the temperature. Living up here in the frozen North demonstrates the human capacity (however fragile) to engineer our way around temperature variations and extreme climates. It has an impact on lifestyle (not many open air pools in backyards around these parts) but not so much on our ability to get things done and have a decent community existence.

    I learned something from the previous explanation, in that the distribution of the energy captured by the atmosphere is more important to the livability of the planet than the levels of any particular gas or particles. There have been times when there were many more active volcanoes. There have been many ice age changes and movement of large water bodies as well as erosion and the formation of mountain ranges. Those great lakes wouldn’t be there affecting local weather if the previous ice age had not left them there.

    All of these can affect the local climates in different parts of the world. The interaction of these localized climates can affect the overall climate of the planet.

    We can have high CO2 levels and it might actually increase the growth of jungles and rainforests. But it might also cause more heat to be captured in the air and generate much more evaporation of the oceans. Once that vapour is lifted it can either come back as extreme weather events or create a permanent cloud cover. What we know is things are changing. What we don’t know about those changes is what might kill us all.

    I have read there were different periods in which various other dinosaur epochs had die offs and there were many periods of different kinds of dinosaur groups. While I’m no paleontologist I just think there might be various periods of human life on the planet and following this one might have a completely different type of humans taking over from us.

  6. Tyson of the Northwest says:

    Also, we had an explosion of life that ate the CO2 and released O2, died and locked the Carbon in it’s corpse. That algae corpse gets buried by sediment and whatnot, then ad pressure and time and we get Oil, that we then dig up, burn, and release that carbon back into the atmosphere as CO2 and CO. The big question is when we had CO2 at those levels what did the climate look like. Also what has happened in the past when a jump of 300PPM to 400PPM has happened. Unfortunately the only evidence we have so far of such jumps take place over 1,000+ year time scale, not a 50 year time scale, and usually coincide with large die offs primarily of higher order mammalians and other vertebrates though Plants tend to do ok, as do lower order invertebrates.

    As far as we can tell Venus never got alge. So there was no process that trapped the carbon removing it from the atmosphere. One of the reasons there is hope for potentially Terraforming Venus is that we are discovering extremophiles that capture carbon and could potentially survive the Venus atmosphere, and reduce ambient carbon.

    • bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Devo says:

      Good points. “The Blue Ball Earth” is because of WATER!!! Liquid water. Venus, too close to the sun never had and never will have liquid water.

      The above is a wag. Not being a scientist, I should look up the temp of Venus, but seems to me metal melts on the surface of Venus…but that could be Mercury. Same deal though.

      Without knowing any of the details, I think a planet’s distance from the Sun pretty much spells its fate. Some people like Goldilocks agree with me.

      • MWD78 says:

        since Mercury is tidally locked with the Sun and has no atmosphere, its average temperature there is actually lowest of all the inner planets.

        • bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Devo says:

          HAH! Interesting mathematical cherry picking there MWD. I assume you mean mean and not mode?

          and by inner planets, I assume you mean “only” Venus? as I assume Great Mother Earth is cooler than Mercury? Pulease, don’t make me Google the point???

          Nice rhetorical construction…maybe technically accurate, but totally misleading and full of BS.

          I like it.

  7. bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Devo says:

    The wiki is interesting about Archean: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archean

    and interestingly, it is much about “heat.” With co2 playing a very minor role.

    You gotta LOVE SCIENCE!

    I see Mickey is some kind of people. Starts off ok, then careens into the stupidity he is want to hold so dear.

    There is so much to KNOW, if your curiosity and emotions don’t drive you away.

    • bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Devo says:

      Excellent overview of planetary evolution. Doesn’t the discussion under Archean age pretty much give all the answers..mostly touched on above and really all coming down to: Cooler Temps (farther from the sun) and: WATER (allowing for all the necessary chemical reactions).

      I feel good.

  8. dave m brewer says:

    They forgot to put my butt farts on the chart.

    • bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Devo says:

      No, Marcs link covers the coversion of methane by chemical reactions allowed by high temps.

      Ain’t Science grand?

  9. bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Devo says:

    YOU KNOW…. hooman civilization will crumble and fall waaaaaaaay before we get to this, but its only ONE logorhythm away:

    Lethal Level of co2: 5000 ppm. So much closer than I thought?

    More concern: how much before the mere presence of co2 interferes with what that is a tipping point for hoomans?

    http://cdc.gov/niosh/idlh/124389.html

    ……..dithering apes, had it: lost it.

  10. Marc Perkel says:

    As to Venus being closer to the sun – true – but …

    The cloud layers of Venus reflect 70% of the suns energy back into space where Earth reflects only 30%. So the solar energy absorption of Venus is actually less the the Earth.

    • bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Devo says:

      Marc—gosh darn nabbit….I SAID I wasn’t a scientist, and now you confront me with “facts?”

      ………..facts are niggly things. Like statistics.

      Venus is closer to the sun…we agree. To my mind, that means that a lower percentage of a much higher solar heat exposure could still be higher than Planet Earth?….but I’m only guessing.

      So, what the freak====”….♫….YOU MADE ME GOOGLE, I didn’t want to do it, you know you made me do it…”

      864 degrees Fahrenheit
      The average temperature on Venus is 864 degrees Fahrenheit (462 degrees Celsius). Temperature changes slightly traveling through the atmosphere, growing cooler farther away from the surface. Lead would melt on the surface of the planet, where the temperature is around 872 F (467 C).

      https://google.com/search?q=venus+surface+temp&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&channel=sb

      So many options.

      • bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Devo says:

        I posted “options” thinking of a tangential subject, but more obviously on point would have been: “variables.”

        Marc==I assume you do know that the Temp on Venus is “very hot?” Why do you listen to your brain when it says “but cloud level is higher?”

        “How do you know what you know, and how do you change your mind?” /// YOU KNOW…Marc, everyone else, me, and Sadly HMyers…how we think is something we can think about. Its part of being conscious, self aware, self actualized, value driven. It does take practice.

        EVERY DAY starts by us chosing to be who we are. Of course, who we are is not all our own personal grinding fault as others and institutions/culture/history/unthinking assumptions are highly influential, but those chains can be broken…all to the point of us becoming better/happier people. or not. Being better and happier doesn’t appeal to many people. They would rather be saved….by one dogmatic system or another.

        EVERYTHING really is a choice, whether we make it consciously … or by habit.

        A good thing to know.

      • Marc Perkel says:

        Venus is hotter but not because of solar. We don’t know why Venus is hotter but it does have something like 20 time as much atmosphere. so maybe it never cooled off. But the solar isn’t making it hotter.

        • bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Devo says:

          Marc–when you say “we” don’t you actually mean….YOU!

          I have it in mind that Venus is often referred to as a planet with a “runaway GreenHouse effect.” But that is pop science and run thru my faulty memory.

          From the wiki:

          “Although Venus is the planet closest to Earth (some 40,000,000 kilometres (25,000,000 mi) at inferior conjunction), and is similar in size, the resemblance is superficial: no probe has been able to survive more than one hour on its surface because the atmospheric pressure is some 90 times that of Earth’s. The temperature on the surface is around 450 °C (842 °F). This is mostly caused by the greenhouse effect created by an atmosphere composed mainly of carbon dioxide (96.5%).”

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geology_of_Venus

          Its all “right there” AT YOUR FINGERTIPS.

          Just ………………….. look.

          • Marc Perkel says:

            Anyone who claims that Venus is hot because of runaway greenhouse effect is lying. That’s the hype I really don’t like when it’s just clearly not true.

          • bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Devo says:

            Marc….that is amusing. More amusing than Timmy.

            What is your source for this anti-science position of yours that is on par with Flat Earth Society initial clearance approval?

            From the quote you responded to: “The temperature on the surface is around 450 °C (842 °F). This is mostly caused by the greenhouse effect created by an atmosphere composed mainly of carbon dioxide (96.5%).” /// What have you heard from somebody that contradicts this?

            Hmmmmmm?

  11. bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Devo says:

    I was off reading about how Fundamentalist Christian faith is still roilling the AF Academy ((http://townhall.com/columnists/toddstarnes/2014/03/12/air-force-academy-removes-bible-verse-from-cadets-whiteboard-n1807834/page/2)) but came back for:

    “why should we be freaking out over 400 PPM?” /// And, not being a scientist who can be side tracked by possible just released studies, I recall an organization called something something 350? Wherein 350 ppm is a “tipping point” for all kinds of bad shit. So 400 must be even worse?

    Yes…. the earth has been warmer and colder before===SO WHAT?

    Yes… the ocean has been deeper and shallower before===SO WHAT?

    Yes… Mother Earth will continue on with or without humans or human civilization extant on the planet…..but so what? Our very existence, for what are we “worth” if not our civilization…the accumulated knowledge we have gained passed on to future generations…that is a BIG SO WHAT

    Nothing at all says that next week another triple combo won’t send a storm surge into NYC, London, Boston, Mumbai, etc and totally shut those cities/institutions down. Think your pantry with one months worth of rice will protect you from the consequences?

    Unlike a computer, when a civilization gets a blue screen, there is no quick reboot.

    Best case scenario, not even realistic with nothing but INCREASED co2 being dumped into the air with our race to 500 ppm: slowly rising sea level swamps our coastal areas until “one day” a bunch of Greenland slumps into the ocean with a one week rise in ocean level of 30-60 feet. Who knew there was that much ice on top of Greenland?

    Tipping Point: once reached, the hypothetical horribles even though 25 years hence cannot be stopped.

    And that is what we call: a real bitch.

    Just ………………… look.

    http://350.org/about/science/

    Not too hard to visualize/conceptualize.

    • deegee says:

      I welcome mother earth’s rage at ridding itself of mankind through “natural” disasters and destruction. We don’t deserve this planet — humans have too much greed and pride. I wait with a tender heart for the post-apocalyptic days after climate change removes most of mankind. My pantry is stocked for many years of survival.

      As George Carlin once said in his stand-up, after the earth shakes us off, maybe the earth just wanted plastic. Every AGW needs to watch it and pay attention. www. youtube.com/watch?v=rld0KDcan_w

      • bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Devo says:

        Yeah, I remember that bit. Disappointed me…kinda like Dennis Miller losing a leg and turning to the right. Thankfully, The Great Carlin only had a few bloopers.

        I know a lot of “nature lovers” don’t think it thru far enough. The beauty of nature is something to marvel at—but that is only done by self aware consciousnesses===ie ====>HOOMANS Sadly, WITH all our faults, we are the only self aware, conscious, observing entities that give this universe any meaning at all.

        Its the devil of evolution. What it takes to survive may be exactly what causes our own extinction. Its a close contest … whatever the outcome. I don’t see homo sapiens expiring at all==but I do think our civilization which is actually what matters, IS very fragil and subject to extinction/reboot at very reduced capabilities.

        We coulda been contenders, but the monkeys lost their grip.

        • Tim says:

          ^^ Well, ‘fuck you’, bobbo; You seem to have gotten most of that correct {in my own huberist pov}. Shill. —

          monkeys, let them go;
          http://youtube.com/watch?v=UMA_PakBuCM

          • bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Devo says:

            Excellent…not as an answer, but as another starting point:

            Some monkey try and make your world so complicated
            Some monkey leave while you carry his heavy load
            Some monkey tells you that your life is over-rated
            Shouting at the cars while he’s lying in the road
            Let this monkey go

            Some monkey paints an eerie picture of your future
            Some monkey yells and throws the canvas on the floor
            Some monkey lives to smash your face into the mirror
            the monkey laughs when he’s walking out the door

            And after all those things I saw
            I just never want to get that low
            And now my only words of wisdom are
            well you’ve got to let this monkey go

            I climbed the winding path up a rainy mountain
            The monkey followed me and said this is the end
            Jump off the edge cos you’ve nothing left to live for
            I grabbed his tail and said after you my friend

            And after all those things I saw
            I just never want to get that low
            And now my only words of wisdom are
            well you’ve got to let this monkey go

      • Tim says:

        “”My pantry is stocked for many years of survival

        I bet you are missing iodine, guns, and cannabis {or equivalent afficatious herbs <– good luck, with that one}.

        • deegee says:

          The first rule of prepping:
          Don’t tell anyone you are prepping. ;-)

          • Tim says:

            “I’m prepping! I got a ticket and will pimp out this cop’s son for a tin of heirloom seeds!”

            Imma preppin’ ; If ya gotta bug out with wood, then I just recently came across this one-log solution for self maintaining and long lasting heat that you can also cook on; IT WAS SO SIMPLE!Q!!!! arrg.

            Behold, the Swedish Torch/Wood Candle/Fire Log/Stove

            http://youtube.com/watch?v=vjQRLQTNsJo
            http://youtube.com/watch?v=WfRovJ1KcCg

            It works. It scales up real big to, if you want; Just cut more slits. ^^Those guys are still fags. I mean, really? — “..consult local ordinance to see about picking shit up in your back yard..” {or, words to that effect}

          • Tim says:

            Umm; What was that rule, again??

          • Tim says:

            That’s right, bobbo… ” He’s, he’sss, he is BURNING WOOD!” And, he is also a terrorist for showing others how to do it with efficacy.

  12. sargasso_c says:

    High primordial CO2 levels were most likely geological in origin. Oceans absorbed most of it.

    • bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Devo says:

      Thats true: lime stone…but it doesn’t explain WHY Earth did not follow Venus and become super hot.

      I do hope the answer is perfectly clear above…but I don’t assume so.

      YOUWCH!!!!!

      • sargasso_c says:

        Venus is orbiting much closer to the sun and is a similar size to the Earth, so it’s hotter. As far as primordial oceans are concerned Venus probably never had more than short lived lakes.

        • bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Devo says:

          Venus is hot, hot, HOT, always has been.

          What is this hang up for water being on Venus? The Earth Concentric Hooman just relates that way??

          I wonder what a google search on Venus would quickly reveal?

          But let’s skip science and what is at our fingertips and explore just what some people might say?

          Hypothetically, argumentatively, using our common sense….how would there be pools of short lived water on Venus?

          Just curious.

          • bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Devo says:

            “Water is almost nonexistent on Venus, and thus the only erosive process to be found (apart from thermal erosion by lava flows) is the interaction produced by the atmosphere with the surface.” /// Almost nonexistent with temps of 850 Degrees…I’m gonna guess any lakes would be quite small.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geology_of_Venus

          • Tim says:

            “”Hypothetically, argumentatively, using our common sense….how would there be pools of short lived water on Venus?

            I don’t find that hard to imagine. While the surface temperature of Venus is hot enough to melt lead, the surface pressure is {very high} and the boiling point of water is related to pressure.

          • bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Devo says:

            Well, thats an excellent point Timmy. From memory, the Venus surface is 90 times the pressure of Earth? Unfortuneately, my pressure cooker chart only goes to 15 psi? (240 degrees for the cognescetti==I use my PC ALL THE TIME. Its fast, cheap, and produces food only matched by slow cooking.)

            But you gotta do more than imagine whatever that temp of water to condense on Venus when the fricking Wiki says “there is virtually NO WATER on Venus.

            …………or, we can imagine there is???

            Ha, ha. Like imagining that higher co2 levels on Earth will be good for us because you know…we breath it so its natural.

            Silly Hoomans (talking about Pallin…and all her ilk))

          • Tim says:

            using Trouton’s rule, with an boiling point of 100C at 1013 kPa {our 1 atmosphere, or 1 bar}, and substituting the new pressure of 93196 kPa yeilds a boiling point of 732.2 C — much higher than the 464 c stated for Venus.

            http://www-jmg.ch.cam.ac.uk/tools/magnus/boil.html

            Now, this is materials science and much of the ‘curves’ and calculations won’t match when too far outside everyday experiences; Just consider the strange curve for water which is at its most dense several degrees before freezing — I’m not claiming at this time that real-world liquid water would be possible at such temps and pressures but to say that with that simple curve it *should* be able to exist. I actually have no idea.

            As for the claims of virtually no water on venus, I’m not sure of the quality or quantity of the observations — much of the atmosphere is opaque to not only visible but ir measurements due to water vapor and co2 absorbtion bands and what not and surface probes have proven problematic.

            As for radar measurements of a chemical?? This is interesting to me —

            “”The pressure found on Venus’s surface is high enough that the carbon dioxide is technically no longer a gas, but a supercritical fluid. This supercritical carbon dioxide forms a kind of sea that cover the entire surface of Venus.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmosphere_of_Venus#Troposphere

            I would have to wonder how spotting something with radar is going to work through such a refractive discontinuity which is essentially a mirror to it??

            p.s. that boiling point calc is something right for the WolframAlpha computational search engine — but mine seems broken, at the moment.

            http://wolframalpha.com/input/?i=boiling+point+vapor+pressure+water+92+bar&dataset=&equal=Submit

          • bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Devo says:

            Hey Timmy…. you did the Math: AWESOME!! Again—I’m not a scientist or a mathematician or even a logician or a rhetorician…I just criticize the heck out of everyone. :-)

            How do you know anything about Venus except by science (measurements and reports from studies and what not). And then you take from science here and there to disbelieve it or negate it? Its called the logical fallacy of arguing from ignorance: you don’t believe it, so it can’t be true? You see several other examples, one quite GLARING, in this very thread.

            But anyhoo, why do you negate the report that there is not much water at all on Venus rather than find out why that is true?

            Just to begin with, you say radar can’t get thru the water vapor? Huh? Water Vapor? Doesn’t that require water??–and not that much of it as on Earth at standard parameters water vapor occupies about 1700 times the space of liquid water? (sic==that from memory from where or when I don’t recall) but your analysis of heat and pressure is impressive and make such analysis NOT directly applicable. You did a good job on limiting your flight of fantasy there.

            ……..I’m no scientist, but isn’t the atmospheric make up of far away stars and nearby planets made by photo spectrometry and not radar? Your basic approach to the subject is just simply fubar.

            I rely on the Wiki==not some BS argument, or what I remember I heard from somebody at sometime. Some BS blog post at least is in writing and provides the MINIMUM requirement for a thinking response.

            What you got?

          • Tim says:

            “”How do you know anything about Venus except by science (measurements and reports from studies and what not).

            It is not by *science* that I don’t know the base parameters — It is more by *politics* and what has been chosen by others to reveal to me. You are correct, my preducated assumtions for first-order calculation are likely bogus.

            I guess, I should endeavor to build a 2 billion dollar probe to answer them for myself — The Arduino controller has gotten cheap, I hear; It is like 35 bucks for a processor and bus. It is a bloody shame that they improsion people for making rockets;

            The Astonaut Farmer:
            http://imdb.com/title/tt0469263/

            Watch it because it’s billybob thornton {sheeple}:
            http://youtube.com/watch?v=390WaPcxnFI

          • bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Devo says:

            You do know what recognizing yourself that you are wrong but holding to the opinion anyway means/makes you?

            Ha, ha.

            Time for an epiphany. Better than an orgasm……as I remember either.

          • Marc Perkel says:

            Venus reflects 70% of the solar energy back into space. Earth Reflects 30%. Venus gets twice as much but the higher reflectivity means that it actually retains less solar than Earth does.

          • Tim says:

            “”Venus gets twice as much but the higher reflectivity means that it actually retains less solar than Earth does.

            Marc, recieving less and staying hotter is exactly more efficient retention for whatever reason so long as the source of that heat is solar. That is a lot of co2 such that I imagine that some interplay of it with clouds somehow makes a pretty good blanket. Interestingly, sulfur dioxide is one of the constituents of geoengineering {chemtrails} that is proposed to stay up in the stratosphere and reflect sunlight {like with a volcanic eruption} for the cooling effect; What could possibly go wrong??

            But more than that, what interests me is the so called *superrotation* and stratification of winds going to near zero at the surface {indicates to me an even temperature} at such pressures. I can imagine that much of that energy is somehow transported below either by direct injection of momentum or by something akin to a ‘heat pump’ possibly through novel phase transition of the co2 going supercritical fluid. — Since the planet lacks it’s own magnetic field, the source of heat is unlikely to be a thoroughly molten interior.

      • deegee says:

        bobbo: “… but it doesn’t explain WHY Earth did not follow Venus and become super hot.”

        One word: YHWH.

        That oughta get the conversation going… ;-)

  13. Monty says:

    The reason we should be concerned about CO2 emissions is the *rate* at which we are spewing it out. What we’ve done in the short space of time since the industrial revolution is to take hundreds of millions of years of fossil carbon and spewed it back into the atmosphere as CO2. There will be consequences. Ocean acidification and climate change are two of the more extreme possibilities that leap to mind. Over time species may well adapt to a new environment or migrate but if the change is too rapid, too calamitous then food sources are threatened and extinction will result.

    • bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Devo says:

      Ocean acidification and climate change are two of the more extreme possibilities that leap to mind. //// Let me fix that: Ocean acidification and climate change and sea level rise are three of the most immediate unavoidable consequences that we are already past the tipping point ((350ppm)) on.

      Lets no confuse being moderate and equal handed with

      BEING WRONG

  14. Dallas says:

    First of all, that was 10,000 years ago when God was doing his thang and the sun was a lot smaller

  15. bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Devo says:

    YOU KNOW….I posted something like what will follow a few years ago. Wish I could find it or had copied it for personal reference. Heres my regurgitation, it still touches on something worthwhile:

    Your position/thinking on gay rights demonstrates your ability to be introspective as to your own sexual choices/development/maturity.

    Your position/thinking on race theory demonstrates your attachment to irrelevant dogma controlling bigger issues that your own recognitions will show are untrue.

    Your position/thinking on Anthropomorphic Global Warming demonstrates your affinity to changing your mind when new evidence is discovered. IOW, your orientation to what you already think you think…or, to science.

    I think I said it better before, but there it is.

    Are you a Man of Science….. or Devo? ((Too many homophobic, racist, Devo’s dragging their knuckles around. Ha, ha.))

  16. Peppeddu says:

    Watch An Inconvenient Truth. It covers that point in details.

  17. bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Devo says:

    Timmy demonstrating the contradictory magical thinking that arises when one departs from SCIENCE says:
    3/13/2014 at 10:43 am

    “”you EXACTLY ARE negating the FACT that co2 is a greenhouse gas resulting in the delusional, not thought thru, notion that temperature rises for reasons that cannot be identified

    As I’ve already said I’m not saying it isn’t a greenhouse gas — I’m saying that it’s one that throughout geoligical history that it has followed the warming, possibly contributing to it; in time, /// All you are showing is a failure to accept the FACT that co2 IS a green house gas. Yes, you “say” it, but then make an argument that is based on just the opposite. When you introduce co2 to an atmosphere, that atmosphere will HEAT UP. course, that is “all other things being equal” including in the main cloud formation that can have a net plus or minus effect on temps depending on other variables. THERE ARE A LOT OF VARIABLES…and they all inter react with one another making single point analysis very difficult. The “co2 follows temp rises” is a FEED BACK LOOP showing how complicated all the relationships can be. I googled the issue a few years ago and forget the specifics. You should as well. co2 is a greenhouse gas. THAT MEANS it heats up the atmosphere NOW====>not later. The effect of the SUN and orbital distance etc are all part of the model and understood fairly well. To argue the AGW is based on the sun is to demonstrate abysmal ignorance of simple facts. Thats actually good, because you can educate yourself out of it.

    and that that ‘lush growth without food’ of which you speak is now due to ‘weeds’ because of Monsanto’s monoculture crap that needs a decimated soil, high aluminum, low co2, and hormone-mimic FuckUp(tm) to make sure you stay gay. /// No, its not. So much gibberish there I won’t dissect.

    If I had to look at why temperatures rise due to reasons that can not be identified, then I would look at my deficiancy of fingerprints off our star, the sun. /// The suns impact HAS BEEN identified. Educate yourself. Right now, you are arguing with your pants down.

    • Tim says:

      “”THAT MEANS it heats up the atmosphere NOW====>not later.

      Well, alrighty then. I guess that is why it has been getting cooler since 1998 with a climbing co2. Or is that just ‘weather’?? Whatever; The science is in.

      This polar vortex breakdown and our subsequent harsh winter being related to AGW is just tripe. It happens all the time {see Sudden Stratospheric Warming Event} and has nothing to do with majical missing heat in the deep oceans suddenly transferring to the stratosphere. The energy/momentum transferre that does occure originates from the tropopause and ‘rolls’ up there due to topography.

      “”The first continuous measurements of the stratosphere were taken by Richard Scherhag in 1951. He used radiosondes to take reliable temperature readings in the upper stratosphere (~40 km). It was his persistence which led him to witness the first ever observed stratospheric warming on 27 January 1952

      “”Following a sudden stratospheric warming, the high altitude winds reverse to flow westward instead of their usual eastward. The westward winds progress down through the atmosphere and weaken the jet stream, often giving westward winds near the surface and resulting in dramatic reductions in temperature in the Eastern U.S. and Europe.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sudden_stratospheric_warming

    • Tim says:

      “”To argue the AGW is based on the sun is to demonstrate abysmal ignorance of simple facts.

      Stop shitting on the sun! You, and people like you, are anthropogenically fucking up the sun for the rest of us.

  18. bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Devo says:

    Marc, you may not want to, but I encourage you to think about the subject yourself even if you don’t post here. You expressly state: “I do believe in global warming due to CO2, but I am not sure I buy some of the more extreme claims predicted by some people.” Yet when presented with the saying that Venus is an example of run away Green House Effect AND THAT its atmosphere is 96.5% co2 and hotter than Mercury which is closer to the sun, you say that is a lie and hype.

    This would be amusing….but only if you were an uneducated, illiterate, buffoon. You clearly are educated and you can read….so why the buffoonery???

    I ask you pointedly because I envy you. It is rare as an adult to be given such a clear example of being so totally WRONG on so many levels. Will you take the challenge to resolve your anti-science/reality/logic/experiential world view….or tighten your grip on whatever it is that keeps you from clear rational thought?

    My last such experience was several decades ago when I was till rather young. I’d love to experience a real epiphany again.

    What joy.

    • Tim says:

      “”My last such experience was several decades ago when I was till rather young. I’d love to experience a real epiphany again.

      Nintindo cheat-codes, while nifty, are best left to ones’ self and out of the argument at hand.

      • bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Devo says:

        Ha, ha. Well done. For some reason, I don’t know why, I’ve never been attracted to gaming. I do have two Arcade Machines on my porch though: Space Invaders and Gorf. I always rapidly advance to a given level and then crap out.

        Perhaps like life, a cheat code is required?

        • Tim says:

          Gorf. Did they call it that because all the other four-letter words were taken — including ‘golf’??

          “”On July 17, 2011, Keith Swanson of Orlando, Fla, set a new Gorf world record score of 1,129,660 points recognized by Twin Galaxies. It took a total of 6 hours 30 minutes of game play to achieve that high score. Keith Swanson is the first person to ever score a million points on 3 ship settings. His game lasted 826 missions.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gorf

          fucking thing sux.

    • MikeN says:

      > It is rare as an adult to be given such a clear example of being so totally WRONG on so many levels.

      Not for everyone else on this blog.

      • bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Devo says:

        Well Mickey—what do YOU “think(sic!)”

        Is Venus an example of what happens to a planet with a shit load of co2 in the atmosphere…… or not?

        Source????

        Links????

        What level of co2 do you consider a shit load to be???

        ………..etc…………

        …………………………………but I dither.

  19. bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Devo says:

    HAH!!! Idiot Senator from Wisconsin (R….of course) complaining about global warming concerns because……………………
    ……………………………………………
    …………………………………………….. because……………………
    ……………………………………………
    ……………………………………………………………. wait for it ……………..
    ……………………………………………………..
    “because there are 250 Glaciers in Wisconsin…..”

    The man isn’t worth the bullet it would take to put him out of his misery. Sadly, he will visit his stupidity on the rest of us.

  20. bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Devo says:

    Hey Marc—-just for grins====BECAUSE, I do admire your libertarian stance…… and your squirrel.

    If you have remaining questions that maybe tossing the ball back and forth could provide some insights…..drop me an email…..or answer here. I will follow this thread for a time to gauge any continuing interest on your part.

    Your words notwithstanding, I sense you are anti-AGW “in final analysis/reality.” I’ll even say: make it a three way. Mickey is anti AGW BUT==also well informed. By well, I mean he does have a lot of the mechanics and details/science down….then he fubars when it comes to drawing a common sense/scientific conclusion. THAT is interesting too!

    How do we know what we know, and how do we change our mind?……….Endlessly fascinating to me. I DO have my mind around it….from time to time….issue by issue. Comes and goes actually!! :-)

    • IM75 says:

      Impressed (certainly more lately than I used to be.) Not that it matters.

  21. Captain Obvious says:

    I’m trying to figure out at what point did this thread cross the event horizon and couldn’t escape the crushing oblivion of the bobbo black hole.

  22. MikeN says:

    Fess up, Mark Perkel. This post of yours was the result of a Trading Places style bet. You got Bobbo to post half the responses.
    So who is Valentine?

    • bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Devo says:

      YOU KNOW….the flip side of the complaint that I post too much is: why aren’t you guys posting more?

      On the OP, I totally understand the kind of ambiguity that presents when you first read that co2 causes atmosphere to heat up and then that Earth had lots of co2 and did not heat up. Sounds like a contradiction…but it completely demonstrates a real weakness of innate human reasoning that we all must become aware of: treating complicated multi factored issues as if there was but one variable. Recognize this trait/tendency and many more issues become almost immediately less contradictory: there are other issues that give us the outcome. Try it. I laugh at myself when I notice I’m doing it. Course, I do it less which gives me more time to be confused by my other failings.

      Amusing.

  23. MikeN says:

    http://vimeo.com/8865909

    Small list of errors by one prominent climate scientist.
    hiizuru.wordpress.com/2014/02/10/a-list-of-manns-screw-ups/

    • bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Devo says:

      Hey Mickey.

      Religious/conservative mind set: resistant to change, uncomfortable with ambiguity, seeks simple absolute explanations.

      Scientific/humanist mind set: seeks change/new ideas, looks for the ambiguity, and distrusts simple absolute explanations.

      Forarmed as you are now….how should the “theory”/understanding of AGW go forward? Absolute and correct right out of the gate with not a single authority world wide ever getting anything wrong….or like EVERY OTHER FREAKING THING WE KNOW IN THE UNIVERSE==>by hits and misses that narrow down to what is generally accepted?

      Go===============>

      #2–So Mickey==another conservative mind set: never deal with questions that undermine what you already think. Does Venus demonstrate the effect of co2 loading in an atmosphere or not? How does it apply to Earth’s atmosphere? ie==much or hardly at all?

      Take a breath, THEN……GO===========>

      Ha, ha. Oh Mickey, why do I like you so much?

    • bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Devo says:

      Nice link to read though. I don’t know the science well enough to parse it on first look. On its face, it sure looks like Mann is incompetent if not fraudulent.

      If that dense cloud cover on Venus just made it cooler than Earth…..wouldn’t that meet Marc’s skepticism et al?

      AGW==a good issue re Man vs Devo. How do you make up your mind, and how do you change it?

      I accept the general consensus of scientists that evolution proceeds pretty much as Darwin first published and that co2 is a Green House gas that if not curtailed will poisonous us all.

      After that, its all dithering details.

      • Tim says:

        Derp.

        • bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Devo says:

          I agree. So succinct you are Timmy. A real pleasure to read.

          What we need is fag hating HMyers to kick our asses all over the place with his most informed opinion.

          I love it when that happens.

      • deowll says:

        Venus has a surface pressure of 90 bars. That is 90 times what earth has. It also gets 3 times as much solar energy as Earth. It also seems to rotate on its axis about once a year according the last study I read but they used to say it was tidally locked on the sun.

        You might want to look at this: http://energy.wsu.edu/Documents/CO2inbuildings.pdf

        Please not that the air you breathe out contains between 35,000 and 50,000 ppm of CO2. Indoor air at 5,000 ppm makes you groggy.

    • Captain Obvious says:

      I guess all the guys who can’t post on reddit science forum come here now.

  24. pedro says:

    Could someone please give bobbo his medicine? Thank you!

  25. Bookshelf says:

    400-500 PPM and you die. after 3 hours

  26. deowll says:

    I did a little research and CO2 is nothing like as powerful as water vapor as a green house gas because it only directly impacts a tiny part of the spectrum. Reality is that if you double the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, in theory, you just might get 2C of warming and another doubling would do the same etc. but that also assumes air doesn’t move and it does. AGW was supposed to work by causing more water vapor to be in the air but satellite data shows that isn’t happening. That should have ended it.

  27. Harris says:

    The reason Earth’s surface temp has been relatively stable (with the exception of some ice ages) despite the huge drop in atmospheric CO2 over time all has to due with the Sun. Back when the Sun was 4 Billion years younger it was significantly dimmer and put out a lot less energy.
    However, there was a far higher level of greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere at the time which compensated for the lack of solar radiation.
    Over time the Sun’s output steadily increased (like all good yellow dwarfs do) and if the amount of greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere remained constant Earth would indeed have ended up looking like Venus.
    Luckily for us, and all other forms of life here, the amount of CO2 and various other greenhouse gasses began to drop. What caused this drop? The main cause has been the sea life such as foraminifera and coccoliths which pull CO2 out of the water (which pulls CO2 out of the air) in order to make their tiny shells. When they die, depending on the local ocean temperature and chemistry, they fall to the bottom and become limestone. Sometimes the limestone gets dissolved through various mechanisms but most of the time it just sits there.

    So to sum up, we did have way more atmospheric CO2 contributing to the greenhouse effect 3.5 Billion years ago but it didn’t make the Earth much hotter than it is now because the Sun was weaker then. Since that time the rate of decline in the % of CO2 has been, more-or-less, matched by the rate of increase in solar output. If we start to increase the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere without a significant rise in temperature we need to find a way to reduce the amount of solar radiation that hits Earth.