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Saturday, January 14, 2023

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Hi Bill. Thank you for responding to my points, although I caused some confusion about the third question. It is clear that the global warming caused by CO2 is man-made, and we know its extent. However it is much less than the warming that is observed. To explain the difference, some scientists think it is explained by the water vapour ‘positive feedback’ effect. But the effect is little understood. Moreover, the extent of the observed warming is uncertain because the observation depends on the historical time period sampled.

On your other question, μετάβασις εἰς ἄλλο γένος is from the Posterior Analytics 75a38
see also De Caelo 268b
„ Ἀλλ' ἐκεῖνο μὲν δῆλον, ὡς οὐκ ἔστιν εἰς ἄλλο γένος μετάβασις, ὥσπερ ἐκ μήκους εἰς ἐπιφάνειαν, εἰς δὲ σῶμα ἐξ ἐπιφαείας

I fear I have caused confusion again. The whole problem is giving a clear definition to ‘global warming’. Suppose we define it as ‘change in equilibrium temperature’, where ‘equilibrium temperature’ is defined as ‘the temperature which the atmosphere will eventually reach, corresponding to a defined level of atmospheric CO2’. Then, since the change in atmospheric CO2 is entirely caused by man, the answer to your question 3 follows immediately. All global warming, as defined, is man-made.

The confusion is also inherent in your first question. “Is global warming (GW) occurring?” What do you mean by global warming?

>>The whole problem is giving a clear definition to ‘global warming’.<<

Exactly. So back up a step. What do you mean by 'global'? You write as if what is warming is merely the atmosphere. What about the oceans? What about land masses including polar icecaps and glaciers and such? Are they exclkuded by definition from global warming? I don't think so.

You ignored my question about the shift from 'global warming' to 'climate change.' Why the shift from the species to the genus? Obviously, those phrases do not have the same meaning.

>>since the change in atmospheric CO2 is entirely caused by man, the answer to your question 3 follows immediately. All global warming, as defined, is man-made.<<

This can't be right since "there are natural sources of atmospheric carbon dioxide, such as outgassing from the ocean, decomposing vegetation and other biomass, venting volcanoes, naturally occurring wildfires, and even belches from ruminant animals" and the production levels from these sources can change, and not just by human causes.

To define 'global warming' in such a way that all of it is man-made has all the benefits of theft over honest toil as Bertrand Russell remarked in a different connection. Surely empirical questions cannot be answered by definition.

What do I mean by global warming? I mean that the globe, i.e., planet Earth together with its atmosphere, oceans, lakes, ice caps, glaciers, etc is getting warmer and warmer over time. The question whether it is is an empirical question EVEN IF the answer is obvious. It is not a definitional /conceptual question.

Initium sapientiae here is to distinguish between empirical and conceptual/definitional questions. To drive home that point was the reason I wrote that Substack article.

Volcanoes contribute about 1/60 of the CO2 caused by human emissions.

"The planet etc ... is getting warmer and warmer over time."

I question the present tense. Do you mean has got warmer and warmer over time, or will get warmer? Difficult to predict the future, and if we look to the past the question is over what time period. The problem is that we have a time series with an impressive amount of noise in it, and we are trying to extract a trend.

By contrast, the physics of CO2 forcing is well understood and is real. The problem is that CO2 forcing on its own has a much smaller effect on temperature than predicted by climate science. That is why climate science appeals to water vapour effects. The hypothesis is that there is a feedback loop which amplify the effect of CO2. But this remains a hypothesis that is difficult to test.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/opinion/al-gore-goes-on-unhinged-rant-about-rain-bombs-boiled-oceans-other-climate-threats-at-davos/ar-AA16udWn

"Gore’s speech, which involved him yelling about climate change "boiling the oceans," causing freak weather occurrences like "rain bombs" and ultimately affecting humanity’s ability for "self-governance," made for quite the spectacle on the world stage and on social media."

He forgets that all the fossil fuels we are burning are from dead animals which once roamed the earth, and which when dead trapped the CO2 in the earth.

Burning their remains simply restores the earth to the state it previously was. Let's also not forget that we are in an interglacial period.

You keep ignoring my questions. Again: You ignored my question about the shift from 'global warming' to 'climate change.' Why the shift from the species to the genus? Obviously, those phrases do not have the same meaning.

It should be obvious from my existing answers that global warming in the sense I have given it, i.e. shift in equilibrium temperature, is equivalent to climate change.

Discussions with you, my friend, no matter what the topic are always delightfully exasperating. We are supposedly talking about globalwarming, and we cannot even agree on what it is. Here is what the terms mean in contemporary debates:

Global warming is the long-term warming of the planet’s overall temperature. Though this warming trend has been going on for a long time, its pace has significantly increased in the last hundred years due to the burning of fossil fuels. As the human population has increased, so has the volume of fossil fuels burned. Fossil fuels include coal, oil, and natural gas, and burning them causes what is known as the “greenhouse effect” in Earth’s atmosphere.

The greenhouse effect is when the sun’s rays penetrate the atmosphere, but when that heat is reflected off the surface cannot escape back into space. Gases produced by the burning of fossil fuels prevent the heat from leaving the atmosphere. These greenhouse gasses are carbon dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons, water vapor, methane, and nitrous oxide. The excess heat in the atmosphere has caused the average global temperature to rise overtime, otherwise known as global warming.

Global warming has presented another issue called climate change. Sometimes these phrases are used interchangeably, however, they are different. Climate change refers to changes in weather patterns and growing seasons around the world. It also refers to sea level rise caused by the expansion of warmer seas and melting ice sheets and glaciers. Global warming causes climate change, which poses a serious threat to life on Earth in the forms of widespread flooding and extreme weather. Scientists continue to study global warming and its impact on Earth.

See here: https://education.nationalgeographic.org/resource/global-warming

>Global warming is the long-term warming of the planet’s overall temperature. Though this warming trend has been going on for a long time, its pace has significantly increased in the last hundred years due to the burning of fossil fuels.

Bad definition because there is no clear definition of ‘trend’. If you start from a point, say in the late 19C, you may find that the temperature was higher than today. There was also a time much longer ago, called the ‘medieval warm period’ where evidence suggests the temperature was higher than now. Vines growing in Greenland etc. But this is all speculation. Other scientists deny the existence of the warm period. Generally, if we are talking about observed temperature, the notion of a trend is difficult to verify. (Which is why I prefer the definition by change in equilibrium temperature).

> As the human population has increased, so has the volume of fossil fuels burned.

That is correct, although I note my own house, which is nearly 200 years old, has 6 fireplaces for burning coal, which is a high CO2 emitter than gas. The problem here is accurate data going back centuries on CO2 emission.

> Fossil fuels include coal, oil, and natural gas, and burning them causes what is known as the “greenhouse effect” in Earth’s atmosphere.

That is correct, and what I called ‘forcing’. However, as I pointed out, we only fully understand the effect of CO2 on its own, which is not enough to explain the amount of warming predicted by alarmists. Hence the water vapour theory, but the science of that is not well understood.

The third para is OK, but the last sentence is

>The excess heat in the atmosphere has caused the average global temperature to rise overtime, otherwise known as global warming.

As I pointed out before, the cause and effect relationship is not fully understood.

The fourth para is about climate change as opposed to global warming. I can accept that definition.

Does climate change pose a serious threat to life on Earth? As I pointed out by email, all the fossil fuels we are burning are simply returning to the atmosphere the CO2 that existed before. Hardly going to destroy the earth, although it may have an impact on the economic system. But then the economic system is highly resilient.

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