Can Solar & Wind Fix Everything (e.g., Climate Change) with a battery break-through?

svetz

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TL;DR: Any good books on climate change that includes the role of water vapor (the most powerful greenhouse gas)?

So, I’m what some would call a climate denier... and hey, back when this started I was right that Florida wouldn't be underwater by 2020. ;)

But perhaps I’m just a climate undecider? After all, there's about 20 years more science now. But just because some cried wolf early, I sure as heck don't want to be the idiot that caused the extinction of all life on earth (see leaked UN report). So I'm trying to research it some to see what, if anything, I can do personally (you know, be the change) - definitely disagree with the NPR conclusion that talking about it will accomplish much ...oh wait, dang it... I am talking about it!

So I cracked open Bill Gate’s book How to Avoid a Climate Disaster to see where I’m wrong in my thinking. But, while I have enormous respect for Bill, I immediately started rejecting it. Here's the first reason why:

Making electricity only accounts for 27% of all greenhouse gas emissions. Even with a battery breakthrough and switching all power to wind & solar we would still need to get rid of the other 73%.​

I realize his book is mainly focusing on the technophile view of alternative solutions beyond the battery (like alternatives to concrete (poor example as I believe in that one)). But, the good-enough (not perfect) battery (which I hope is less than a decade away), I believe takes us so much farther than 27%.

This is a 2019 snapshot (I’ll give Bill the 27%, he probably has better information that is more up-to-date than the EPA’s outdated information)
1625918155028.png
Transportation? Wind & solar can power cars, trucks, trains with a great battery...just not air travel unless it's also very light (or the cabin walls/wings are the battery as in structural tech). Let's say of the 29% transportation 5% is airplane fuel use, just making that number up to illustrate a point.

So, if we banned ICE vehicles in favor of EVs and switched everything with that perfect battery break-through, we’d still have another ~50% to cut back on?
(I know “banning” ICE is harsh, but if it’s truly important for our survival then everyone needs to get behind it and everything else or at least get carbon offsets for their ICE pleasures).

BUT... like transportation, all of those pie slices are using fossil fuels that can be replaced with wind, solar, and nuclear. According to the EPA, the 23% from “industry” is primarily from burning fossil fuels for energy, only 7% of that slice is from things like concrete. So, say 15%. In “commercial & Residential”, that’s again primarily from fossil fuels to heat homes, the rest is waste handling. Let’s say it can be cut to 5%. The last is “agricultural”, which looks like it’s primarily cow burps/farts (Methane), fertilizer (N2O), manure (CH4 and N2O), so let’s keep that at 10% (pretty sure at least half of it is fuel for the tractors, generators and such even if it's not in the EPA description).

So, a perfect battery gets us all but 5% transportation + 8% for industry + 5% for residential + 10% for Agricultural. That’s pretty good! Eliminating ~28% should be a lot easier than 73%; and all with a single technology. I will grant that Bill has a point that you shouldn't put all your eggs in one basket and having a number of backup technologies being worked in parallel does seem a sound strategy especially if survival is on the line.

Just to counterbalance the NPR gloom and doom report at the beginning of the OP, take a look at the latest average temperatures, Bill's book said with all the massive COVID layoffs and shutdowns there was only a 5% reduction in the 51 Billion tons of greenhouse gasses emitted in 2020... yet the WHO report shows the average temperature dipping below 2015 levels, the equivalent of 250 billion tons of greenhouse gasses?

1625920417140.png
 
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Samsonite801

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In my opinion, an important part of the equation is to work a lot harder as a society to de-desertify more regions of the world.

Like what John Di Liu, Allen Savory and others have lots of videos about. Those guys really understand that we simply need to get the Earth as a whole more green again, and rejuvenate natural eco-systems...

Bill tends to think we can just build machines to suck all the CO2 out of the air but in my opinion, we don't need all the fancy technology, just need to plant some greens again and let nature do it's thing (but those guys like Bill can't make any money off that since they only think about consumerism)...
 
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A.Justice

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I think there is a massive point that's being missed by most in regards to "climate change".

Factory farming, fishing, and deforestation.

Half of the debris in the oceans are from fishing boats (nets and trash), plus they cause massive amounts of damage to wildlife (plants and fish) with dragnets and boats. Algae (and aquatic plant life) is what let's us breathe, and we are killing it off at staggering rates.

They way we farm now, with pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides, is incredibly damaging to the local ecosystems. The pesticides kill beneficial insects (and necessary ones, like bees), aquatic life, and bacteria in the soil that life needs. It leaves the ground unable to sequester carbon, and leaves "dead" dirt, rather than healthy soil. Don't forget that feed animals have to eat 10x their weight (plus water) per LB of meat. Fu*k the cattle farts, that's not the issue, it's feeding and watering them.

Deforestation is really just an extension of the problems from farming.

I'm a "denier" of global warming in a sense that I don't think it's actually the real issue, it's just an effect of a MUCH larger, and systemic problem.

Most people want to help the environment, but won't turn down the AC in the summer, (svetz pointed out that AC isnt actually a big problem, see post below)--use renewable energy, or cut back on beef. Our culture is built on comfort and "stuff", and comfort and stuff is bad for the planet.

I spend a LOT of time gardening to produce my own food, planting random things in the woods and fields (as well as picking up trash), and I really enjoy playing with solar energy. It's a time consuming "hobby" for me, but most people don't have the time to learn about, and help fix, environmental issues.

I think "global warming" is a distraction used to get people to focus on other issues. The companies that run farms, fishing operations, power plants, and mines, that make chemicals for agriculture, and dump shit into the air and water, would love to get people to think that driving gas vehicles and ordering stuff from Amazon is the REAL reason for environmental damage, not their products and actions.
 
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svetz

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Bill tends to think we can just build machines to suck all the CO2...

That would be a fun read! But, haven't seen anything like that.

The tech in his book seems to be more like TerraPower (safer nuclear power), CarbonCure (a way to create less CO2 when making concrete), ... it's stuff he's pouring a lot of his $$ into (this is different from the Gates foundation, that's a different mission). Basically, he's looked at all the energy sectors, figured out where the CO2 is coming from, and then funded some startup companies to tackle the issue to get to zero. Some of them are, granted, very controversial...but they're also just in the very beginnings (e.g., CarbonCure is currently at 10% and believe they can do a lot better). His argument about growing things for cattle to feed humans versus just growing things to feed humans seems very solid ... but if I didn't know better I would have believed the 27% regarding the better battery (that's assuming I really do know better).

Possibly that source is more from things like his commitment to offsetting his carbon emissions through the purchase of green aviation fuel and paying for direct-air carbon removal -- he says he does that because he travels a lot and doesn't want to be hypocrite about it, he acknowledges his carbon footprint is far bigger than most.

The book is basically we create 51 Billion tons of greenhouse gases today, very soon we need to be at zero and we can do it if we work together. Work together? No wonder people are saying we're doomed. ;)

...to work a lot harder as a society to de-desertify more regions of the world....
And stop creating them as @A.Justice points out. Having "carbon-sinks" is what creates the half-life for CO2. Guess I should post more on that....

I'm a "denier" of global warming in a sense that I don't think it's actually the real issue, it's just an effect of a MUCH larger, and systemic problem.
I hear you! So many people are happy to yell about global warming and climate deniers... but really all I want is some compelling facts and evidence. There's no way to know what to do or how to approach it without understanding what it really is. It's pretty obvious from the vocal people I've talked to that they're all fired up about it, but don't have a clue as to what's going on. Without that knowledge, how do you get the world all pulling together in a single direction (which is what Bill says we need to starting right now). That's why I'm looking for a "good" climate book, something that includes water vapor (guess I should post more on that too).

... but won't turn down the AC in the summer, use renewable energy, or cut back on beef. Our culture is built on comfort and "stuff", and comfort and stuff is bad for the planet.
That might be a myth. Take a look at the EPA calculator: … https://www3.epa.gov/carbon-footprint-calculator/

For my location if I put the average bill at $100 (we pay more in summer, but practically nothing in winter (or did until we got solar ;-)), then the carbon footprint is 12,139 lbs for my area. If I turn the AC up 2 degrees, the footprint only goes down 200 lbs.

But if I replace 12 incandescent bulbs it goes down 476 lbs.

But if I put in Energy star windows I reduce my footprint by 8,880 lbs! Seems like folks ought to be screaming about getting energy star windows or window films and the Government ought to be subsidizing them.

So, 2 degrees on thermostat is nothing compared to energy-efficient windows. But that's what I mean about "really" understanding it...you might think raising the thermostat is doing great, but really it's just not as much as other things. How the heck do you get "real" information?

I think "global warming" is a distraction used to get people to focus on other issues.
Global warming is definitely real, it's easy to measure with the satellites now (although I'm a little leery about the measurements from centuries ago).

Saw this in Bill’s book:
I was surprised when I learned that would sounded like a small increase in the global temperatures – just 1 or 2 degrees Celsius – could actually cause a lot of trouble. During the last ice age the average temperature was 6 degrees Celsius lower. During the age of Dinosaurs, when the temperature was perhaps 4 degrees higher than today, there were crocodiles living above the Arctic Circle.

That was surprising to me too.

Really it's multiple issues for me, not one thing. I think we do need to get to carbon zero regardless of any impact of CO2 on global warming. Hmmm, that seems confusing.... okay... I'll write that in another post... this one is already too long.
 

Samsonite801

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Here is a video talking about the CO2 'sucker' technology...

Don't get me wrong, I think that technology can be a good thing to blend into the mix, but we cannot forget that simplicity in many cases wins, and working with nature (instead of against it), really wins.

Like for example, 'turning down the AC'... Well we have passive home technology today, we already know how to build highly efficient homes for each type of climate/region, where they require no HVAC system, no spinning fans, completely passive, and they can maintain 5-10 degrees indoor temperature year round. In other words, energy conservation is simple tech, allowing us to avoid the need for the energy use in the first place.

One thing I wish we could figure out on how to solve as a society, is like if you're familiar with Toyota's old LEAN methodology, I wish we could implement more thinking like that on the global scale as a cooperative, so things don't have to get transported around the world so much. Now Mexico is talking about a deal with China and Japan to ship all their lithium over there so they can make batteries and ship those out to the world. But the US has a huge need for lithium, why don't we just repair our relationships with our close brothers and move the lithium right next door and inspire China to use lithium that is closer to their geographic area? Just silly stuff like that.

And as far as simplicity goes and batteries, I don't know why we don't just build the simple batteries, you know, the gravity ones, like pumping water up into mountain reservoirs during the day, and using that kinetic energy to run the power at night.

I think if the greatest minds in the think tanks came together and work as one, using simplicity, and working 'with' nature as a theme while developing new technologies, I think we could come up with practical blend where each compliments the other.
 

Bob B

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When it comes to climate change, the thing I have trouble getting past is the radical differences in the climate over geologic time.
Where I live has been at the tips of icebergs to topical forests and swamps over time .... so, I tend to see the climate as constantly changing regardless of human activity. I realize that there has been a rapid increase over the last short period of time .... but I think that has happened in the past also. It's hard for me to differentiate natural and human caused climate change .... maybe we just aren't getting as much volcanic activity as the earth's core cools down.

In spit of that, I'm all for more solar, wind, hydro, etc to reduce pollution if nothing else ... so, I think we need to be doing all of this because it is good for us anyway.

As stated by someone else, I am most concerned about the widespread use of pesticides and herbicides.
We used to fish a small local river setting out many bank lines and catching a LOT of catfish .... "running" the lines much of the night. While doing that, we always saw a lot of frogs also and would catch the frogs and have a group of people join us the next day for a fish and frog leg dinner around the campfire with the frogs croaking around us.
We began to notice the frogs disappearing .... now there are no frogs anywhere on that river that runs thru mostly corn and soybean land ( The frogs did not disappear because we over harvested them) .......and then looking at the agricultural pollution numbers for the river eventually decided that it was not safe to eat the catfish. This happened pretty quickly around about the time Monsanto introduced roundup ..... Oh, and Monsanto also developed agent orange and told the military how it was perfectly safe.
I believe glyphosphate is the top environmental risk to us ... and may also be responsible for the collapse of bee colonies. If the bees disappear we are going to have a really tough time producing food.
 

Samsonite801

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Yeah I remember as a kid in elementary school (whew, so long ago hehe), we had some field trips to Native American tribes, some to the Washington State Forestry Dept, amongst others, and these guys would always emphasize the importance of maintaining natural eco-systems, as Mother Nature already has very complex systems in place to take care of the whole planet in a sustainable chain, but humans come along and think they know better and start to interrupt these chains, and we're coming to a day where we can see real consequences where eco-systems are breaking down.

We're seeing less healthy soil (having to pump lots of nitrogen into it to make it grow anything), water tables dropping, deforestation, desertification, animal life diminishing, drought in many regions, extreme unpredictable weather patterns, etc... It's all connected.

Unfortunately, we humans are easily caught up in habit and we were brought up in the consumerism era which relies on sucking Earth of her natural resources dry. I don't really know if humanity will ever come together as one and figure out how to solve this or not, but I think if we even had a shot at it, it will have to start on individual level, wake up from ignorance, determine if we are part of the problem, or part of the solution, decide what we have the power to do to help change the trajectory, step outside of comfort zone, keep learning, set an example, and stop buying products that fuel more consumerism in the unsustainable way.
 
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svetz

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Here is a video talking about the CO2 'sucker' technology...
Thanks! Sort of cool, but seems like it should be on top of the fossil fuel power plant exhaust stack. Ocean water also has a lot higher concentration so seems like lower hanging fruit.

Let's see, they say their costs are between $94 and $232 per ton of CO₂. It's ~$80/acre to plant trees (not including land which is the big cost), and an acre of new forest absorbs 2.5 tons annually and once planted lasts ~100 years.... so trees seem like a better way if you don't have to pay for the land.

But, at 51 billion tons of greenhouse gases per year generated we'd need to plant 20400000000 acres or 31,875,000 square miles, about 10x the size of the united states? Yeah, trees alone aint' gonna cut it assuming the calculations are correct.

If coal is ~80% carbon then 1 Ton of coal produces about 3 tons of CO₂ [=.8 x 44/12] and about 2.26 MWh [ref]. We don't know the power consumption of the sucker, but it would definitely increase the cost of electricity. Solar, wind and nuclear may be better than sucking tech.
 
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svetz

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Having "carbon-sinks" is what creates the half-life for CO₂. Guess I should post more on that....
How do Greenhouse Gases Compare?

The greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are, in order of concentration:

Gas
Half-Life
GWP
Notes
Water vapor (H₂O)9dnot ratedthe strongest and largest contributor by far
Carbon dioxide (CO₂)31 to 1000 years…1half-life references are all over the place
Methane (CH4)9.128 to 36decomposes into CO2
Nitrous oxide (N₂O)114 years265–298
Ozone (O3)3d to 3 months918-1022
Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)100 years23000
Hydrofluorocarbons12 years23,000includes HCFCs and HFCs
The Kyoto Protocol also includes sulphurhexafluoride, but it doesn't even appear in Wikipedia's list of Greenhouse gases.

Do we need to go to Carbon Zero?
Half-life is important, it tells us how long what we made sticks around. It’s pretty clear we need to do something about the CO₂, because the half-life is really long and we make a lot of it, over 40 billion (80% of 51 billion) tons per year and the amount grows each year. Even with solar, wind, and the perfect battery, that would still be 40 x 20% = 8 billion tons of CO2 per year. With that long of a half-life we can’t just be spewing it out willy nilly and yes at some point unchecked it must start causing problems.

So, yes to going to carbon zero or even better Carbon negative. I’m on board with that.

Same for N₂O and CFCs, they linger around for a long time and have a big impact.
But let's not focus exclusively on CO₂ and lose sight of the goal (not to put fossil fuels out of business, but to not extinguish life on the planet).

water vapor...not equal...I'll post more on that....

Climate Warming from CO2
I don’t like GWP (
Global Warming Potential). I’d much prefer a BTU/lb for the various compounds. I understand they don’t want to have one for water because water vapor is the proverbial joker and I wouldn't be surprised if no one really understands how it works (clouds reflect heat to space, but vapor to the ground, but what controls how much is in the air as vapor or clouds in response to warming?). So water vapor, even though it’s the most powerful, is assumed to be neutral since the environment worked before we started dumping; but it also assumes there is no buffering effect. That is the whole argument for climate change seems to be based on the additional gases released having some impact. That makes sense, there should be some effect, but without knowing how water works I don't see how you can get an accurate timeline. Timeline is really crucial because doing more faster requires more $ and more cooperation, both hard to do in this controversial world with a controversial subject.

Water is not shown in the chart below. It varies widely depending on location and temperature. The amount of water vapor is measured by humidity. Saturated, air contains 28g per cubic meter at 86°F. Here in Florida on a 90°F day with a 90% RH, there’s 27,819 PPM of water vapor in the air. In winter, when the RH% goes to 70 and the temperature dips to a chilly 70°F, the PPM of water is 17,612. When I lived in Colorado and the furniture was cracking from 15% RH and the temperature was 40°F, the water vapor was at 1244 PPM. Compared to the 410 PPM of CO2 now in the air.

1625950878982.png
So, using the GWPs (and ignoring water), what’s the biggest impactor? Using a total of 100 and assuming GFCs can be used as GWP x amount, then:

CO₂: 1 x 80% = 80
CH4: 30 x 10% = 300
N₂O: 280 x 7% = 1960
CFCs: 23,000 x 3% = 69,000


So, given the rate CO₂ is produced I can see people jumping to the conclusion to work on that. But in terms of harm to the environment, the CO₂ looks like noise. The 3% of CFCs are doing 69,900 / 80 = 862 times more damage than the 80% and it last for hundreds of years. I thought we'd eliminated CFCs, yet some countries are still making it and using it (e.g., china in closed-cell foams). Seems like everyone should stop buying anything with CFCs and that should be simple to do if we had some sort of CFC-Free labeling.

The same thing with N₂O, lasts for a long time and does > 20% damage of CO₂. Methane doesn't last that long, but breaks down into CO₂.

All of them look like noise next to water.
So that’s what confuses me with all the talk about going after CO₂ and why I'm looking for something that fits water into the climate math.
 
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A.Justice

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I believe glyphosphate is the top environmental risk to us ... and may also be responsible for the collapse of bee colonies. If the bees disappear we are going to have a really tough time producing food.
Absolutely. That stuff should have never been made.

My neighbor wiped out half my garden (a few hundred ears of corn, 20 or so garlic, lots of tomatoes) a few weeks ago when he tried to "weed" his lawn behind our fence. He didn't realize you were supposed to cut roundup, and killed half his yard. It was so bad he had to bring in top soil on a truck and professionally re-sod his lawn. I'm f*cking pissed.

I keep my kid and dogs away from the area, it's like the Chernobyl of the back yard. Its unbelievable that just anyone can walk into Home Depot and buy something like that.
 

HRTKD

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On the topic of wind/solar being more effective with battery storage, I would be in favor of that in spite of my climate denier status. But the net cost would have to be lower than the cost of fossil fuels.

With regard to banning ICE vehicles, it's easy for urban dwellers to be in favor of that. For those of us that travel in very rural areas, for hundreds of miles, that isn't going to happen any time in the next 20 years. There simply isn't a big enough battery and a mobile recharging system to travel long distances pulling heavy loads. My diesel F-350 is clean smelling and soot-less. If it was producing soot, the front of my white trailer would reflect that.
 

svetz

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On the topic of wind/solar being more effective with battery storage, I would be in favor of that in spite of my climate denier status. But the net cost would have to be lower than the cost of fossil fuels.
That would be nice. But despite my denier status, I'd be okay with paying a teensy bit more just in case I'm wrong. What am I saying? I'd just get a couple more panels if prices went up. ;)

With regard to banning ICE vehicles, it's easy for urban dwellers to be in favor of that. For those of us that travel in very rural areas, for hundreds of miles, that isn't going to happen any time in the next 20 years. There simply isn't a big enough battery and a mobile recharging system...
Never say never.

For example:
  • A solid-state battery with a range of 500 miles that can be recharged in the same time it takes to pump gas?
  • Or a supercapacitor that recharges in seconds.
  • Or using power transmitters in roads so your battery was never even used on the highways (this tech is sort of like putting your phone on a charger plate, except the car is the phone and the plate is the highway)
  • Or treat the batteries like fuel and swap them with a fully charged one in one minute at any gas station?
Just saying... anything could happen and a lot of the tech is ready (not the supercapacitor, and solid-state batteries are probably a few years out).

For example, The Honda Clarity Fuel Cell range is currently 360 miles per tank and can be refilled in under 5 minutes... all that needs is to have hydrogen stations rolled out along the highway and for some DIY & canned hydrogen generation kits (already available) so you can refill from solar at the home/farm.

But yeah ... that's all going to cost money and time to figure out and switch everyone to... which is why I'm trying to find a good book on climate change to see what the science is rather than all the shouting about it.
 

HRTKD

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Never say never.

I did say in the next 20 years.
slap.gif
smile.gif


Retrofitting every road in the U.S. for charging would be a "Heat The Ocean" project. Similarly, fast charging stations would need to be deployed at every existing gas station to make cross country trips possible. Even then, would it be enough? Not with the range of most of the EV that are on the road now. Driving 40 MPH in the city is nothing like driving 75 MPH on the interstate. The MPG decrease on the interstate is not insignificant.

I currently drive a full-on EV, not one of those hybrids. I'm familiar with what it takes to drive an EV.

I'm a big believer in Tech. We can do this, but it's going to take a while.
 

svetz

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I'm a big believer in Tech. We can do this, but it's going to take a while.
You sound like Bill Gates (that's a compliment ;-) I know you said 20 years, I was just saying I believe some of it could probably be done responsibly in 5 to 10 years if we were really serious about it and all pulled together (like the WWII effort Bill and the folks quoting the UN report are saying).

I just want to understand the science more so still hoping for a good book recommendation. I'll be long gone by the time anything happens; but will do my part if it's needed.
 

svetz

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Anti-Greenhouse Gases
High energy wavelengths (light) hit the earth warming it, then longer wavelengths (infrared) are emitted from the Earth. The Greenhouse effect occurs when gases in the atmosphere reflect those longer wavelengths back to the Earth trapping the heat.

Anti-Greenhouse gasses are those in the atmosphere that reflect the high energy wavelengths before they heat the earth (and reduce your solar power input).

ref
Dimethylsulfide (DMS for short), is a sweet smelling sulfur gas found globally in the upper surface ocean. If you’ve ever opened a can of corn, you know what DMS smells like!

DMS is an anti-greenhouse gas and contributes up to 40% of the global atmospheric sulfur flux (Lana et al. 2011). When DMS volatilizes from the surface ocean to the atmosphere, it promotes cloud formation, which blocks radiation from the sun and thereby cools sea surface temperatures. DMSP, the precursor compound to DMS, is originally formed inside of phytoplankton cells. When phytoplankton die or a zooplankton comes along and munches on them, DMSP is released into the water where hungry bacteria are waiting for this yummy carbon and sulfur source to convert it into energy. About 10% of the time, when bacteria consume DMSP, they form a by-product of DMS.

More recently, Lovelock and his colleague Chris Rapley suggested a somewhat extreme solution to climate change and rising sea surface temperatures: place giant pumps in the ocean that bring deep waters full of nutrients to the surface to induce a phytoplankton bloom (Lovelock and Rapley 2007). Not only would a bloom remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere (phytoplankton breathe in CO2, whereas we breathe in O2), it could also promote DMS production and therefore cool sea surface temperatures

What are some other anti-greenhouse gases [ref]:
Nitrogen (N2), Argon (Ar), Neon (Ne), Helium (He), Water (H2O)
So, looks like water goes both ways!

And people wonder why I'm confused! ;)
 

Bob B

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I would like to read up on climate change also .... the problem is it seems to me that the science of it has been totally corrupted.
If climate change really is going to get us, you can put a big part of the blame on the "scientists" that totally corrupted the science by injecting fake numbers and models that are no where close to being accurate ... and people like Al Gore who are totally in it just to make big bucks selling energy credits.
We were supposed to be in deep S*^t several years ago with Florida being completely under water by now.

How is anyone going to know what is really happening when they fudge the numbers in such a way as to make it impossible.
 

svetz

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I would like to read up on climate change also .... the problem is it seems to me that the science of it has been totally corrupted.
I so hear you.

Just sat patiently through a video being called an evil incarnate climate denier every 5 seconds because I ask questions about how water vapor plays into it. That my goal is only using facts to obscure the truth. Makes it hard to research as by the time I get to the end I've flipped the bozo bit on them.

If only I had facts or knew the truth. Why can't they give me the benefit of the doubt that I'm just not knowledgeable and the burden is on them to explain it in clear ways?
 

Bob B

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I so hear you.

Just sat patiently through a video being called an evil incarnate climate denier every 5 seconds because I ask questions about how water vapor plays into it. That my goal is only using facts to obscure the truth.

If only I had facts or knew the truth. Why can't they give me the benefit of the doubt that I'm just not knowledgeable and the burden is on them to explain it in clear ways?

Yes ... it has become somewhat of a religion for some zealots and that is ruining the ability to discuss it in a reasonable fashion or get "facts" that can be trusted .... and the zealots want to control the narrative ......much like some of the other hot social issues.
 
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labeeman

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When it comes to climate change, the thing I have trouble getting past is the radical differences in the climate over geologic time.
Where I live has been at the tips of icebergs to topical forests and swamps over time .... so, I tend to see the climate as constantly changing regardless of human activity. I realize that there has been a rapid increase over the last short period of time .... but I think that has happened in the past also. It's hard for me to differentiate natural and human caused climate change .... maybe we just aren't getting as much volcanic activity as the earth's core cools down.

In spit of that, I'm all for more solar, wind, hydro, etc to reduce pollution if nothing else ... so, I think we need to be doing all of this because it is good for us anyway.

As stated by someone else, I am most concerned about the widespread use of pesticides and herbicides.
We used to fish a small local river setting out many bank lines and catching a LOT of catfish .... "running" the lines much of the night. While doing that, we always saw a lot of frogs also and would catch the frogs and have a group of people join us the next day for a fish and frog leg dinner around the campfire with the frogs croaking around us.
We began to notice the frogs disappearing .... now there are no frogs anywhere on that river that runs thru mostly corn and soybean land ( The frogs did not disappear because we over harvested them) .......and then looking at the agricultural pollution numbers for the river eventually decided that it was not safe to eat the catfish. This happened pretty quickly around about the time Monsanto introduced roundup ..... Oh, and Monsanto also developed agent orange and told the military how it was perfectly safe.
I believe glyphosphate is the top environmental risk to us ... and may also be responsible for the collapse of bee colonies. If the bees disappear we are going to have a really tough time producing food.
I have been a beekeeper for 40+ years and have seen the damage that herbicides cause to bee forage it needs to be banned worldwide. Safe nuclear is a Joke there will never be such a thing as the spent fuel is deadly for decades the disaster that happened in Russia actually slowed down global warming as it stopped humans from developing that area and it returned to nature there is too much concrete being used to stop nature from growing plants and the concrete itself is a contributor to co2. Loss of habitat for life is alarming concrete and blacktop for roads are a BIG contributor to global warming another contributor is lawn mowing.
 

svetz

Works in theory! Practice? That's something else
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But What about Water!!!

Most of what I see about water goes like this ref:
When compared to other greenhouse gases, water vapour stays in the atmosphere for a much shorter period of time. Water vapour will generally stay in the atmosphere for days (before precipitating out)
What they seem to be saying is water's 9 day half-life is so short it's not worth considering.

That confused me because where I live, the relative humidity doesn't halve after 9 days of no rains. That is the humidity is near-constant, and that's because I live near a large body of water that the sun is vaporizing. That is, all the water precipitating out is being replaced just as fast. But most of Earth's surface is water... so you just can't discount it as being unimportant.

Unimportant? From the numbers in #9, At 70% RH water vapor is 17,612 ppm, or 43x the concentration of CO₂. Water is the strongest greenhouse gas so its GWP is > 23,000; but using that number and concentration it shows that water vapor is contributing > 12,000x CO₂. Water vapor is the biggest contributor.

So what's going on?? I suspect that water vapor as a whole can be ignored because before we started dumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere the climate was balanced (or we were headed into a mini ice age). I think the climate scientists are only considering additional things being dumped into the atmosphere now. So, when they're ruling it out, I think they're saying "the new water vapor added into the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels can be ruled out".

But it's still not clear to me... in the obnoxious video I watched they said the water half-life was due to clouds that formed and it left the atmosphere as rain. But clouds reflect sunlight so that extra water seems to be an anti-greenhouse element too? My best guess on this is that it's somewhat of a balance, that is the heat from the extra water vapor in the atmosphere is "paid-for" by the cloud reflectivity. It would be nice to get an idea of net energy flow of water in it's vapor-to-cloud life-cycle.

It used to be that global warming was going to cause more storms. More storms would mean more clouds that would reflect more heat, so there was a "buffering" argument. In the atmospheric electricity thread it was discovered that storms (lightning anyway) are actually reducing, and that thread also has some links to climate information where the position about more storms was reversed.
 
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