FOLLOW BOREME
TAGS
<< Back to listing
How do we know the CO2 rise is man made?

How do we know the CO2 rise is man made?

(1:07) American geologist and Evan Pugh Professor of Geosciences at Pennsylvania State University, Richard Alley, explains how we know the CO2 rise in the atmosphere is due to man's activities.

Share this post

You can comment as a guest, but registering gives you added benefits

Add your comment
Submit as guest (your name)

Copy code captcha


Submit as member (username / password)

CANCEL
Guest: NickW (1508 days ago)
Latest comment: The ocean is massive. What about the inverse relationship between waters ability to store co2 as temperature rises? ie increase in co2 a byproduct of temp increase.
ReplyVote up (142)down (117)
Original comment
Latest comment: The ocean is massive. What about the inverse relationship between waters ability to store co2 as temperature rises? ie increase in co2 a byproduct of temp increase.
Add your reply
Submit as guest (your name)

Copy code captcha


Submit as member (username / password)

CANCEL
Guest: Non-Academic Brit (1917 days ago)
He lost credibility due to two points: (1) He is an American; (2) He is an academic
ReplyVote up (151)down (130)
Original comment
He lost credibility due to two points: (1) He is an American; (2) He is an academic
Add your reply
Submit as guest (your name)

Copy code captcha


Submit as member (username / password)

CANCEL
Guest: Ad Hominem (1917 days ago)
It is hard to express just how stupid your comment is.
ReplyVote up (149)down (123)
Original comment
It is hard to express just how stupid your comment is.
Add your reply
Submit as guest (your name)

Copy code captcha


Submit as member (username / password)

CANCEL
Guest: just saying (1916 days ago)
Scrub all of that....he used the expression "We then gone and looked".........???
ReplyVote up (141)down (183)
Original comment
Scrub all of that....he used the expression "We then gone and looked".........???
Add your reply
Submit as guest (your name)

Copy code captcha


Submit as member (username / password)

CANCEL
Guest: BJD (1913 days ago)
He said, "We've gone and looked .."
ReplyVote up (141)down (156)
Original comment
He said, "We've gone and looked .."
Add your reply
Submit as guest (your name)

Copy code captcha


Submit as member (username / password)

CANCEL
Guest: Torch (1917 days ago)
It's very easy. Coal and oil have a different C-12 to C-13 isotope ratio to atmospheric CO2 and you can measure that change - thus determine how much of the increased CO2 is due to fossil fuel burning. That's far easier than what he says - although it is also true.
ReplyVote up (138)down (143)
Original comment
It's very easy. Coal and oil have a different C-12 to C-13 isotope ratio to atmospheric CO2 and you can measure that change - thus determine how much of the increased CO2 is due to fossil fuel burning. That's far easier than what he says - although it is also true.
Add your reply
Submit as guest (your name)

Copy code captcha


Submit as member (username / password)

CANCEL
Guest: Kerry (1916 days ago)
Sounds ominous until you realize only 0.04 % of our atmosphere is made up of CO2. Supposedly man made CO2 makes up about 35% of that...an infinitesimal amount. It's not even clear yet whether this is a factor in climate change or not. Climate change itself, changed from Global Warming for convenience sake when record cold temperatures were recorded recently, is a catch all that merely states what we all know...climate changes...but now we need a global tax on it...
ReplyVote up (145)down (147)
Original comment
Sounds ominous until you realize only 0.04 % of our atmosphere is made up of CO2. Supposedly man made CO2 makes up about 35% of that...an infinitesimal amount. It's not even clear yet whether this is a factor in climate change or not. Climate change itself, changed from Global Warming for convenience sake when record cold temperatures were recorded recently, is a catch all that merely states what we all know...climate changes...but now we need a global tax on it...
Add your reply
Submit as guest (your name)

Copy code captcha


Submit as member (username / password)

CANCEL
WalterEgo WalterEgo (1916 days ago)
It's quite simple really, if you bother to find out. 99% of the gases in the atmosphere, including oxygen and nitrogen, don't interfere with the radiation reflected back from the Earth. 1% of the atmosphere, the greenhouse gases, do - they trap heat. That's why a small change in CO2 can have a huge effect on the climate.
ReplyVote up (148)down (129)
Original comment
It's quite simple really, if you bother to find out. 99% of the gases in the atmosphere, including oxygen and nitrogen, don't interfere with the radiation reflected back from the Earth. 1% of the atmosphere, the greenhouse gases, do - they trap heat. That's why a small change in CO2 can have a huge effect on the climate.
Add your reply
Submit as guest (your name)

Copy code captcha


Submit as member (username / password)

CANCEL
Guest: Kerry (1916 days ago)
Not so simple Walter, just simplified for the masses. we are talking about 0.01 % being mans contribution of CO2 to the atmosphere. IF CO2 was the only driver of climate change you may have a point but it is not. The more obvious player is the Sun which is about to go into it's solar minimum and from all accounts the world will become a lot cooler for the next 10 years or so. 'Climate changes' is a far better name I think.
ReplyVote up (145)down (147)
Original comment
Not so simple Walter, just simplified for the masses. we are talking about 0.01 % being mans contribution of CO2 to the atmosphere. IF CO2 was the only driver of climate change you may have a point but it is not. The more obvious player is the Sun which is about to go into it's solar minimum and from all accounts the world will become a lot cooler for the next 10 years or so. 'Climate changes' is a far better name I think.
Add your reply
Submit as guest (your name)

Copy code captcha


Submit as member (username / password)

CANCEL
WalterEgo WalterEgo (1914 days ago)
Yes you're right, it's not so simple and it is simplified for the masses. That's why it confuses you. Experts, in any field, often have this problem - how to explain something to the masses (that includes you and I) that requires a good grounding in their field to understand it. For example, when explaining gravity to the masses, a scientist might describe it as a force pulling between to objects (e.g. the earth 'pulling' on the moon), even though that is inaccurate. If he talked about spacetime or in mathematical equations, the masses would not understand. There are many cases where experts knowingly misrepresent the 'truth', but they are not lying or incompetent, they are just communicating. That's why Richard Alley in this video uses the oxygen example to check human produced CO2 - it is easier for the masses to visualise than "measure the C-12 to C-13 isotope ratio to atmospheric CO2". If he mentioned about the tiny percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere, he'd have to explain how a tiny bit of salt can alter the taste of a big bowl of custard. The point I'm making is that since you are most certainly not an expert on climate science, you should accept that an expert's view is more likely to be correct than yours. You can't judge the science because you don't know enough. You can only judge the credibility of the scientists, the people who are telling you what the science says. If you believe that the majority of scientists are lying, incompetent, or a combination of both, then that's what you should be talking about. If you want to talk about the science, study it first.
ReplyVote up (129)down (136)
Original comment
Yes you're right, it's not so simple and it is simplified for the masses. That's why it confuses you. Experts, in any field, often have this problem - how to explain something to the masses (that includes you and I) that requires a good grounding in their field to understand it. For example, when explaining gravity to the masses, a scientist might describe it as a force pulling between to objects (e.g. the earth 'pulling' on the moon), even though that is inaccurate. If he talked about spacetime or in mathematical equations, the masses would not understand. There are many cases where experts knowingly misrepresent the 'truth', but they are not lying or incompetent, they are just communicating. That's why Richard Alley in this video uses the oxygen example to check human produced CO2 - it is easier for the masses to visualise than "measure the C-12 to C-13 isotope ratio to atmospheric CO2". If he mentioned about the tiny percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere, he'd have to explain how a tiny bit of salt can alter the taste of a big bowl of custard. The point I'm making is that since you are most certainly not an expert on climate science, you should accept that an expert's view is more likely to be correct than yours. You can't judge the science because you don't know enough. You can only judge the credibility of the scientists, the people who are telling you what the science says. If you believe that the majority of scientists are lying, incompetent, or a combination of both, then that's what you should be talking about. If you want to talk about the science, study it first.
Add your reply
Submit as guest (your name)

Copy code captcha


Submit as member (username / password)

CANCEL
Guest: Kerry (1914 days ago)
Of course you are right about the science and scientists Walter, I don't come to these conclusions on my own. However, knowing there is a political agenda and huge money involved(which go hand in hand) it depends on the scientists you listen to and the points they put forward. For example we often hear that "The science is settled" or there is a consensus etc. but is that true? I believe not, for eg. LINK
ReplyVote up (184)down (193)
Original comment
Of course you are right about the science and scientists Walter, I don't come to these conclusions on my own. However, knowing there is a political agenda and huge money involved(which go hand in hand) it depends on the scientists you listen to and the points they put forward. For example we often hear that "The science is settled" or there is a consensus etc. but is that true? I believe not, for eg. LINK
Add your reply
Submit as guest (your name)

Copy code captcha


Submit as member (username / password)

CANCEL
Guest: Kerry (1914 days ago)
Sorry, that link doesn't work, try this one LINK
ReplyVote up (123)down (123)
Original comment
Sorry, that link doesn't work, try this one LINK
Add your reply
Submit as guest (your name)

Copy code captcha


Submit as member (username / password)

CANCEL
WalterEgo WalterEgo (1913 days ago)
Strange that you choose a report from a government agency. Desperation? Anyway, this page examines that report - LINK Another study in 2009 shows that of 1,372 most actively published climate researchers, 97-98% are convinced by the evidence for anthropogenic climate change. Perhaps if you debunk this study, then you may have a point - LINK
ReplyVote up (136)down (139)
Original comment
Strange that you choose a report from a government agency. Desperation? Anyway, this page examines that report - LINK Another study in 2009 shows that of 1,372 most actively published climate researchers, 97-98% are convinced by the evidence for anthropogenic climate change. Perhaps if you debunk this study, then you may have a point - LINK
Add your reply
Submit as guest (your name)

Copy code captcha


Submit as member (username / password)

CANCEL
Guest: Kerry (1911 days ago)
Well that first link was a bit of a non-event with a few red herring s thrown in. This statement " If they were to limit the report to scientists who deny that climate change is occurring they would not be able to use a number like 400 in the title." Well the problem there is that climate does change..naturally, and the issue is really are humans the cause of it? They weren't before so why now? Of 400 scientists it looks like he's found a few who he can nit pick about...hardly proof Walter. But on that same level the head of the IPCC is a railway engineer! I mean you can't make this stuff up!
ReplyVote up (122)down (161)
Original comment
Well that first link was a bit of a non-event with a few red herring s thrown in. This statement " If they were to limit the report to scientists who deny that climate change is occurring they would not be able to use a number like 400 in the title." Well the problem there is that climate does change..naturally, and the issue is really are humans the cause of it? They weren't before so why now? Of 400 scientists it looks like he's found a few who he can nit pick about...hardly proof Walter. But on that same level the head of the IPCC is a railway engineer! I mean you can't make this stuff up!
Add your reply
Submit as guest (your name)

Copy code captcha


Submit as member (username / password)

CANCEL
WalterEgo WalterEgo (1911 days ago)
This stuff is not made up. You need to read the debunking report a bit more carefully. The author sums up at the end with: "This report is one of the most dishonest documents, in both its content and its presentation, that I have ever read and the fact that it is hosted on a web server belonging to the US Government makes me ashamed." About Rajendra Pachauri, the head of the IPCC - if you run a business, you'll know that the role chief is different to the team. Put very simply, chief sees the big picture, his team work on the detail. Pachauri 's CV is actually quite impressive, you should try Wikipedia sometime. On the other hand, he might have got the job because he looks so amazing, like a wiser species.
ReplyVote up (177)down (173)
Original comment
This stuff is not made up. You need to read the debunking report a bit more carefully. The author sums up at the end with: "This report is one of the most dishonest documents, in both its content and its presentation, that I have ever read and the fact that it is hosted on a web server belonging to the US Government makes me ashamed." About Rajendra Pachauri, the head of the IPCC - if you run a business, you'll know that the role chief is different to the team. Put very simply, chief sees the big picture, his team work on the detail. Pachauri 's CV is actually quite impressive, you should try Wikipedia sometime. On the other hand, he might have got the job because he looks so amazing, like a wiser species.
Add your reply
Submit as guest (your name)

Copy code captcha


Submit as member (username / password)

CANCEL
WalterEgo WalterEgo (1911 days ago)
Kerry, can I suggest why you are a climate change skeptic in the face of overwhelming evidence? I think it's because your strong libertarian views distort how you see reality. You hate the idea of government using climate change as a reason to tax you, so the government must be wrong, and the scientists are part of a 'conspiracy' because they agree with the government. You've jumped to a conclusion starting from your political views. But it's the laws of physics that rule the climate, and they don't care about politics. That is why we have science - it is the method we use to try to understand what is really going on, without political distortion. Whether you like it or not, you should believe the scientific consensus, unless you can show that 97% of the most published climate scientists are distorting their conclusions for political reasons. Remember, the laws of physics don't give a wang-dang-doodle about politics.
ReplyVote up (118)down (163)
Original comment
Kerry, can I suggest why you are a climate change skeptic in the face of overwhelming evidence? I think it's because your strong libertarian views distort how you see reality. You hate the idea of government using climate change as a reason to tax you, so the government must be wrong, and the scientists are part of a 'conspiracy' because they agree with the government. You've jumped to a conclusion starting from your political views. But it's the laws of physics that rule the climate, and they don't care about politics. That is why we have science - it is the method we use to try to understand what is really going on, without political distortion. Whether you like it or not, you should believe the scientific consensus, unless you can show that 97% of the most published climate scientists are distorting their conclusions for political reasons. Remember, the laws of physics don't give a wang-dang-doodle about politics.
Add your reply
Submit as guest (your name)

Copy code captcha


Submit as member (username / password)

CANCEL
Guest: I agree with him (1911 days ago)
Indeed
ReplyVote up (157)down (131)
Original comment
Indeed
Add your reply
Submit as guest (your name)

Copy code captcha


Submit as member (username / password)

CANCEL
WalterEgo WalterEgo (1916 days ago)
To be fair to scientists, the change from using the term "global warming" to "climate change" came because when cold records are broken, people who don't understand get confused and smell a conspiracy. Scientists expect cold records to be broken. The climate is not just getting warmer, it's also getting more extreme. And it makes sense - more heat means more energy in the atmosphere, and more energy means the air moves around more - a bit like boiling up water, you add heat and eventually bubbles form.
ReplyVote up (143)down (160)
Original comment
To be fair to scientists, the change from using the term "global warming" to "climate change" came because when cold records are broken, people who don't understand get confused and smell a conspiracy. Scientists expect cold records to be broken. The climate is not just getting warmer, it's also getting more extreme. And it makes sense - more heat means more energy in the atmosphere, and more energy means the air moves around more - a bit like boiling up water, you add heat and eventually bubbles form.
Add your reply
Submit as guest (your name)

Copy code captcha


Submit as member (username / password)

CANCEL
WalterEgo WalterEgo (1916 days ago)
Cold records are broken, but for every one cold record, there are at least 10 warm records broken. That indicates a climate getting more extreme and warmer at the same time.
ReplyVote up (149)down (109)
Original comment
Cold records are broken, but for every one cold record, there are at least 10 warm records broken. That indicates a climate getting more extreme and warmer at the same time.
Add your reply
Submit as guest (your name)

Copy code captcha


Submit as member (username / password)

CANCEL
Guest: Kerry (1916 days ago)
I would be more inclined to say "To be fair to politicians and others poised to profit' the name change helps those who don't understand and get confused over the obvious discrepancies. It's still way to early to determine whether or not man made CO2 is the culprit or not and certainly the rush to tax us all over it is very suspicious given many questions remain. For eg. the oceans give off a hell of a lot more CO2, about 80% more, than man makes, especially during warming from the El Nino cycles etc. and we have the Sun, and times where CO2 increase doesn't correlate to an increase in temperature and visa versa, plus orbital cycles of the Earth etc....too many variables for me to be comfortable with I'm afraid.
ReplyVote up (130)down (126)
Original comment
I would be more inclined to say "To be fair to politicians and others poised to profit' the name change helps those who don't understand and get confused over the obvious discrepancies. It's still way to early to determine whether or not man made CO2 is the culprit or not and certainly the rush to tax us all over it is very suspicious given many questions remain. For eg. the oceans give off a hell of a lot more CO2, about 80% more, than man makes, especially during warming from the El Nino cycles etc. and we have the Sun, and times where CO2 increase doesn't correlate to an increase in temperature and visa versa, plus orbital cycles of the Earth etc....too many variables for me to be comfortable with I'm afraid.
Add your reply
Submit as guest (your name)

Copy code captcha


Submit as member (username / password)

CANCEL
WalterEgo WalterEgo (1915 days ago)
Sure there are lots of variables but not much you can do about that, it's the nature of nature. I think there's a simple way of dealing with the variables. We probably agree that since neither of us are climate experts, we should accept the view of climatologists, as long as we are happy that no significant 'corruption' is involved, e.g. scientists distorting data for government or industry money. Well over 90% of climatologists say that human activity is significant in warming the planet. Whether you believe them will be dictated by what you think about 'corruption' in climate science.
ReplyVote up (173)down (130)
Original comment
Sure there are lots of variables but not much you can do about that, it's the nature of nature. I think there's a simple way of dealing with the variables. We probably agree that since neither of us are climate experts, we should accept the view of climatologists, as long as we are happy that no significant 'corruption' is involved, e.g. scientists distorting data for government or industry money. Well over 90% of climatologists say that human activity is significant in warming the planet. Whether you believe them will be dictated by what you think about 'corruption' in climate science.
Add your reply
Submit as guest (your name)

Copy code captcha


Submit as member (username / password)

CANCEL
WalterEgo WalterEgo (1915 days ago)
In a previous conversation with you about climate change, another commentator talked about the motivation to exaggerate climate change. I'll summarise what he said. Big business funds government, and both government and big business fund scientists. If corruption is afoot, you'd expect science to support the wishes of big business and governments. What we see is scientists saying what the oil industry does NOT want to hear. Oil companies do not want oil to be blamed for climate change, after all, there's still trillions of dollars worth of oil underground. Politicians don't want to deal with the cost of changing our power sources, especially during hard economic times. It's hard to see why a scientist would twist data to not support their paymasters, unless that's what the data predicts. Or to twist data to allow politicians to tax them more.
ReplyVote up (176)down (114)
Original comment
In a previous conversation with you about climate change, another commentator talked about the motivation to exaggerate climate change. I'll summarise what he said. Big business funds government, and both government and big business fund scientists. If corruption is afoot, you'd expect science to support the wishes of big business and governments. What we see is scientists saying what the oil industry does NOT want to hear. Oil companies do not want oil to be blamed for climate change, after all, there's still trillions of dollars worth of oil underground. Politicians don't want to deal with the cost of changing our power sources, especially during hard economic times. It's hard to see why a scientist would twist data to not support their paymasters, unless that's what the data predicts. Or to twist data to allow politicians to tax them more.
Add your reply
Submit as guest (your name)

Copy code captcha


Submit as member (username / password)

CANCEL
Guest: Kerry (1914 days ago)
Well you maybe suprised to learn that some of the biggest investors in green energy are the big oil companies and of course Wall street. They know a boondoggle when they see it and the tax dollars that follow. As for the politicians do you really think they give a damn? They are looking at getting their hands on another MONSTROUS pile of cash they can funnel to their influential friends and buy political favours, it's really that simple. Look at Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae for eg. designed to help every American reach the American dream...and bankrupt them and the country in the process. With plenty of kick backs and money to around for every one.
ReplyVote up (119)down (129)
Original comment
Well you maybe suprised to learn that some of the biggest investors in green energy are the big oil companies and of course Wall street. They know a boondoggle when they see it and the tax dollars that follow. As for the politicians do you really think they give a damn? They are looking at getting their hands on another MONSTROUS pile of cash they can funnel to their influential friends and buy political favours, it's really that simple. Look at Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae for eg. designed to help every American reach the American dream...and bankrupt them and the country in the process. With plenty of kick backs and money to around for every one.
Add your reply
Submit as guest (your name)

Copy code captcha


Submit as member (username / password)

CANCEL
WalterEgo WalterEgo (1914 days ago)
I'm not at all surprised that oil companies and Wall Street are investing in green energy. I think they are smart enough to realise we won't be having this conversation within 10 years or so. At some point, we will know what is causing climate change (if indeed there is any) because the actual physical weather, coupled with advances in science, will prove it beyond reasonable doubt. Personally I think we are there already, but that is irrelevant. If oil bigwigs truly believe that oil plays no significant role in global warming, then they'd be foolish to invest in green energy, because when they are proven right, the last thing they would want is for green energy to be far enough advanced to rival oil. Which suggests they are not climate change deniers, and know that at some point, the public will turn off the oil for good.
ReplyVote up (106)down (138)
Original comment
I'm not at all surprised that oil companies and Wall Street are investing in green energy. I think they are smart enough to realise we won't be having this conversation within 10 years or so. At some point, we will know what is causing climate change (if indeed there is any) because the actual physical weather, coupled with advances in science, will prove it beyond reasonable doubt. Personally I think we are there already, but that is irrelevant. If oil bigwigs truly believe that oil plays no significant role in global warming, then they'd be foolish to invest in green energy, because when they are proven right, the last thing they would want is for green energy to be far enough advanced to rival oil. Which suggests they are not climate change deniers, and know that at some point, the public will turn off the oil for good.
Add your reply
Submit as guest (your name)

Copy code captcha


Submit as member (username / password)

CANCEL
Guest: Mmm (1914 days ago)
Governments will base a percentage of their taxation policy on carbon emissions or similar. This does not prove or disprove climate change any more than the policy of imposing death duty proves or disproves humans have a finite life cycle. IMO letting your own cynical views on politicians' motives and the power you think they wield so heavily influence your belief/disbelief in climate change is just not a fair-minded way to view the issue.
ReplyVote up (120)down (118)
Original comment
Governments will base a percentage of their taxation policy on carbon emissions or similar. This does not prove or disprove climate change any more than the policy of imposing death duty proves or disproves humans have a finite life cycle. IMO letting your own cynical views on politicians' motives and the power you think they wield so heavily influence your belief/disbelief in climate change is just not a fair-minded way to view the issue.
Add your reply
Submit as guest (your name)

Copy code captcha


Submit as member (username / password)

CANCEL
Guest: Kerry (1914 days ago)
Considering govts. are going broke all over the world and need money to keep control and power it is not something to be discounted, in fact the whole debate has become very politicized so it is a factor but obviously not the main one in terms of science but it is in how political will can, through funding initiatives, skew the outcome and we have heard of this happening. If you don't think politicians have motives and power then I suggest you look at the recent debacles on wall street regarding MF Global, G.S., JP Morgan etc. political contributions and any lack of accountability.
ReplyVote up (135)down (94)
Original comment
Considering govts. are going broke all over the world and need money to keep control and power it is not something to be discounted, in fact the whole debate has become very politicized so it is a factor but obviously not the main one in terms of science but it is in how political will can, through funding initiatives, skew the outcome and we have heard of this happening. If you don't think politicians have motives and power then I suggest you look at the recent debacles on wall street regarding MF Global, G.S., JP Morgan etc. political contributions and any lack of accountability.
Add your reply
Submit as guest (your name)

Copy code captcha


Submit as member (username / password)

CANCEL
RELATED POSTS
Scientists turn carbon dioxide into stone
Scientists turn carbon dioxide into stone
Tropical forests now emit more CO2 than all US cars and trucks combined
Tropical forests now emit more CO2 than all US cars and trucks combined
How does CO2 actually warm the planet?
How does CO2 actually warm the planet?
NASA scientist answers questions about thawing permafrost
NASA scientist answers questions about thawing permafrost
The other carbon problem, ocean acidification
The other carbon problem, ocean acidification