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NASA's Greenhouse Gas Observatory Captures 'First Light'

Unknown Lamer posted about a month and a half ago | from the captain-planet-will-find-you dept.

NASA 143

mdsolar (1045926) writes with news that NASA's second attempt to launch a satellite to map carbon dioxide levels across the globe succeeded, and its instruments are operating properly. From the article: NASA's first spacecraft dedicated to studying Earth's atmospheric climate changing carbon dioxide levels and its carbon cycle has reached its final observing orbit and taken its first science measurements as the leader of the world's first constellation of Earth science satellites known as the International 'A-Train. The Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) is a research satellite tasked with collecting the first global measurements of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) — the leading human-produced greenhouse gas and the principal human-produced driver of climate change. The 'first light' measurements were conducted on Aug. 6 as the observatory flew over central Papua New Guinea and confirmed the health of the science instrument.

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fast forward 5 years.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47663629)

when they dont get the results that they want the sat suddenly loses communications.....

Re:fast forward 5 years.... (4, Informative)

bunratty (545641) | about a month and a half ago | (#47663753)

I don't think it's climatologists who are the ones dismissing results they don't want. Actually, everyone would love to see that carbon dioxide emissions cause very little warming, but that's just not what the bulk of the data shows [wordpress.com] .

Re:fast forward 5 years.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47663881)

just like the fact that they cant explain why there has been no warming for the past 17 years??

Re:fast forward 5 years.... (1)

bunratty (545641) | about a month and a half ago | (#47663903)

That's called the temperature escalator [skepticalscience.com] .

Re:fast forward 5 years.... (-1, Flamebait)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | about a month and a half ago | (#47664063)

Every time someone links to that propaganda website the IQ of the planet goes down a little.

Re:fast forward 5 years.... (3, Insightful)

bunratty (545641) | about a month and a half ago | (#47664131)

This is exactly what I referred to above. When "skeptics" can't argue the issue, they dismiss the evidence they don't want by labeling it "propaganda". You can also take a look at my signature.

Re:fast forward 5 years.... (1)

BoogieChile (517082) | about a month and a half ago | (#47668217)

Problem is, when I look at your signature, I see one comma too many.

Re:fast forward 5 years.... (1)

BoogieChile (517082) | about a month and a half ago | (#47668237)

Not that I'm disagreeing with your statements re "skeptics" and "propoganda"

Re:fast forward 5 years.... (2)

Eunuchswear (210685) | about a month and a half ago | (#47664171)

Repeating a lie does not make it true.

Everything on Skeptical Science is referenced, if you have some complaint tell us what your problem is.

Re:fast forward 5 years.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47664315)

That graph pretty much shows that warming has slowed dramatically in the last dozen years. On the basis of that data, I wouldn't bet much on what the temperature will do next. Only a fool would go all in on a prediction of warming, cooling, or stability.

Re:fast forward 5 years.... (1)

KeensMustard (655606) | about a month and a half ago | (#47666977)

n the basis of that data, I wouldn't bet much on what the temperature will do next. Only a fool would go all in on a prediction of warming, cooling, or stability.

So the warming could in fact be much worse than what the models predict? Talk about your doom and gloom.

Re:fast forward 5 years.... (1)

khallow (566160) | about a month and a half ago | (#47667499)

Giving it a label doesn't mean it exists. Note that climate models don't predict a "temperature escalator". And the graph in question only goes back to 1970 which happens to be a local minimum.

Re:fast forward 5 years.... (1, Troll)

coinreturn (617535) | about a month and a half ago | (#47664183)

just like the fact that they cant explain why there has been no warming for the past 17 years??

Still pushing that same old bullshit canard?

Re:fast forward 5 years.... (1)

coinreturn (617535) | about a month and a half ago | (#47667973)

just like the fact that they cant explain why there has been no warming for the past 17 years??

Still pushing that same old bullshit canard?

Keep modding me troll, deniers. Keep on suppressing discussion. Whatever; you're helping destroy the world.

Re:fast forward 5 years.... (1)

radarskiy (2874255) | about a month and a half ago | (#47664541)

Sure, facts can explain that:
a) considering only the endpoints of an interval does not describe the middle of an interval
b) using an outlier as one of the endpoints of an interval makes the end-to-end comparison look more extreme than the trend would suggest.

Combining this two con consistent with either not knowing how to represent statistical data, or knowing that your audience doesn't know how to present statistical data.

So yes, that is an excellent example of the "how to lie with statistics".That is to say, the actual facts DO explain why there HAS been warming.

Re:fast forward 5 years.... (0)

geekpowa (916089) | about a month and a half ago | (#47667879)

Move your endpoint forward a few years beyond the 1998 el-nino, and the OLS fit is still flat or at best trending much much less than anticipated, depending on what data set you use. Fact is, even with most generous pro-warming interpretation of the data, you must concede that the data clearly indicates that it is, at best, not warming nearly as much as predicted.

The conversation has largely moved on. There is now lots of conversation on explaining why the pause, as opposed to previous conversation which was along the lines of that there is no pause. The pause is real and merits an explanation.

Getting back to the SKS escalator infographic. Although it is quite a clever piece of polemic, it is at heart just a dumb strawman argument and infers a point of view which is not, nor ever was articulated by any CAGW skeptic that I am aware of.

Re:fast forward 5 years.... (0)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | about a month and a half ago | (#47664057)

Don't be ridiculous. Huge grants to institutions would be lost if it was discovered that carbon dioxide emissions cause very little warming. There's a massive amount of research grant money tied to the hypothesis for NASA and almost every other "scientific" institution on the planet. If they don't get the results they're looking for they'll "adjust" the data or "calibrate" the instruments until they show what they want NASA to show.

Re:fast forward 5 years.... (2, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about a month and a half ago | (#47664149)

If they don't get the results they're looking for they'll "adjust" the data or "calibrate" the instruments until they show what they want NASA to show.

Cite your facts and your science, because otherwise we conclude you're doing nothing more than making an ad hominem attack on science.

Oh, wait, you don't have any facts, right?

Sorry, but if you want to be given any credibility, you need to show some science which refutes it.

Otherwise, it's the same as if I said "Pino Grigio will reject any science which doesn't fit in with his childish worldview, and nothing he says can be taken as more then the rantings of a deluded idiot".

If I had to choose between the integrity of the NASA scientists and the intelligence of your post, I'm going to have to go with NASA on this one.

Re:fast forward 5 years.... (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about a month and a half ago | (#47664655)

not in climate but in other topics it has been done before by the government. Just look at the research done by the NIH on marijuana in the 70s, the study showed that marijuana was not harmful. what happened? the study was buried and no more studies were allowed to be done for wuite some time. His theory that if the government doesnt get the results it wants that it would cover it up are not unfounded.

Re:fast forward 5 years.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47666643)

[Tom Wigley, to Phil Jones and Ben Santer]
“Phil, Here are some speculations on correcting SSTs to partly explain the 1940s warming blip. If you look at the attached plot you will see that the land also shows the 1940s blip (as I’m sure you know). So, if we could reduce the ocean blip by, say, 0.15 degC, then this would be significant for the global mean — but we’d still have to explain the land blip. I’ve chosen 0.15 here deliberately. This still leaves an ocean blip, and i think one needs to have some form of ocean blip to explain the land blip (via either some common forcing, or ocean forcing land, or vice versa, or all of these). When you look at other blips, the land blips are 1.5 to 2 times (roughly) the ocean blips — higher sensitivity plus thermal inertia effects. My 0.15 adjustment leaves things consistent with this, so you can see where I am coming from. Removing ENSO does not affect this. It would be good to remove at least part of the 1940s blip, but we are still left with “why the blip”.

I assume you know to what the above refers, yes, exactly what the previous poster presented, fucking with the data at the HIGHEST level.

Re:fast forward 5 years.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47664157)

bullshit. there are videos on youtube showing EXACTLY how to test CO2 capturing sunlight and converting it into heat. Reproduce those experiments, and let us know if you get different results.

Re:fast forward 5 years.... (1)

Eunuchswear (210685) | about a month and a half ago | (#47664199)

Oh noes, the idiot troll is onto our conspiracy!

Re:fast forward 5 years.... (3, Insightful)

mellon (7048) | about a month and a half ago | (#47664211)

Yes, and really, really huge (many orders of magnitude bigger) amounts of profit would be lost by oil companies' shareholders if we decided to believe the absolutely overwhelming evidence that carbon dioxide causes global warming. Being a global warming scientist is a lot less lucrative than using those same skills to do just about anything else, so it's really hard to believe that job security is the motivational basis for roughly 99% of scientists who study climate change saying that we have a problem. Chances are that they just want to try to prevent their children seeing the last days of civilization and then dying painfully.

The double irony is that a lot of climate change deniers are the same people who stockpile weapons in case of the collapse of civilization. It's almost as if you bloody well want to spend your last days futilely defending the dwindling supplies in your bunker.

Re:fast forward 5 years.... (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about a month and a half ago | (#47664673)

roughly 99% of scientists who study climate change saying that we have a problem

if you are going to make a claim about something, get the claim right at least. 99% of scientists not NOT believe that there is a problem, no where is that stat ever said except for in blogs and bad reporting.

Re:fast forward 5 years.... (2)

riverat1 (1048260) | about a month and a half ago | (#47666253)

He said "scientist who study climate change". You can't find even 5% of that group that says there is no problem

Re:fast forward 5 years.... (1)

khallow (566160) | about a month and a half ago | (#47667553)

We don't need [usnews.com] to take your word for it.

The scientists were about evenly divided on whether they thought the effects of global climate change over the next 50 to 100 years were likely to be near catastrophic (41 percent) or moderately dangerous (44 percent). About 13 percent saw relatively little danger.

While this is a group of knowledgeable outsiders, it's a group of knowledgeable outsiders with somewhat less conflict of interest than those who study "climate change".

Re:fast forward 5 years.... (2)

riverat1 (1048260) | about a month and a half ago | (#47667703)

Your cited article was from 2008. It would be interesting to see how the results reported by that poll have changed in the ensuing 6 years. The poll was conducted among geologists and meteorologists, most of whom were not directly studying climate so it doesn't really negate my point. And finally 41 percent plus 44 percent means that 85 percent of them thought there will be problems from global warming. I don't know about you but for me in most cases if 85% of scientists agree to some extent about something I'm going to listen.

Re:fast forward 5 years.... (1)

khallow (566160) | about a month and a half ago | (#47668149)

What has changed in six years aside from a modest amount of backtracking by the IPCC?

Re:fast forward 5 years.... (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | about a month and a half ago | (#47669057)

Maybe so although I'd call it refinement rather than backtracking. But you're still left with 85% of the scientists in the survey who consider it moderately dangerous to catastrophic.

Re:fast forward 5 years.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47665459)

The double irony is that a lot of climate change deniers are the same people who stockpile weapons in case of the collapse of civilization. It's almost as if you bloody well want to spend your last days futilely defending the dwindling supplies in your bunker.

In fact, I think that is part of the problem. The religious right seems to believe that the end of days is upon us so they're just going to bunker down and hold the fort until Jesus comes to save us. They don't want to accept climate change because doing so might require them to do something about it, which is a pointless exercise in their mind (and highly damaging to their standard of living). If God wants the planet to burn, it's going to burn and only God can save us. The guns are there to protect them from the godless masses until their day of vindication comes.

Re:fast forward 5 years.... (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | about a month and a half ago | (#47666231)

I suppose you think that NASA can bend objective reality to their will as well. In science, particularly a physical science like climate you can maybe get away with fudging things for a little while but sooner or later (usually sooner) objective reality will destroy your fudging.

Re:fast forward 5 years.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47665029)

... everyone would love to see that carbon dioxide emissions cause very little warming, but that's just not what the bulk of the data shows.

I followed your link and there is no data there. All there is there is talk of computer models. Computer models are not data - they simply output numbers that the "programmer" wanted them to output.

Show me cause and effect data. Follow the scientific principal. Or doesn't that apply here?

Re:fast forward 5 years.... (2)

riverat1 (1048260) | about a month and a half ago | (#47666481)

In 1896 Svante Arrhenius said "if the quantity of carbonic acid [CO2] increases in geometric progression, the augmentation of the temperature will increase nearly in arithmetic progression." Expressed as a formula (and working with Slashdot's font limitations) that is:

    (delta)Temperature=(alpha)Ln(C/C(subzero))

Where (alpha) is a constant between 5 and 7 and C is the concentration of CO2 and C(subzero) is the original concentration. That relation still holds and can be verified in the laboratory. In the atmosphere there are complications from interactions with other factors which is what models help us explore but the basic relationship between CO2 concentrations and temperature still exists.

Re:fast forward 5 years.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47666543)

http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/noaa_gisp2_icecore_anim_hi-def3.gif

always help to get a little perspective, eh?

Re:fast forward 5 years.... (0)

gstoddart (321705) | about a month and a half ago | (#47663821)

when they dont get the results that they want the sat suddenly loses communications.....

More likely scenario ... if it starts getting results confirming AGW, some congresscritter will vote to cut its funding on behalf of his 'constituents' (the oil companies).

There is a group interested in not seeing the truth here, and it isn't the climate scientists.

Re:fast forward 5 years.... (0)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | about a month and a half ago | (#47664079)

Just read back what you've written there. Congressman votes to cut AGW funding? Climate Scientists and their institutions don't have any interest there but oil companies do? How the hell did your tiny fucking pea-brain manage to work that one out?

Re:fast forward 5 years.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47664173)

yeah, climate science is where the money is.

Re:fast forward 5 years.... (2)

mellon (7048) | about a month and a half ago | (#47664231)

If that's your best argument, it sounds like you've come to the debate unarmed. Congress is notoriously hostile to climate science.

Re:fast forward 5 years.... (1)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | about a month and a half ago | (#47666031)

Can't you understand this basic argument? What are the incentives here? Are climate scientists and institutions incentivised to support the hypothesis or not? And if they are (which of course they are), how is that any different to oil companies being incentivised against it? Is there another planet somewhere where the climate scientists are robots with absolutely no interest in their careers, tenure, professorships and the various career development opportunities that may be contingent on their ability to publish and attract grant funding to their institutions?

Science is corrupt. It progresses one funeral at a time.

Re:fast forward 5 years.... (2)

riverat1 (1048260) | about a month and a half ago | (#47667241)

You can throw all of the incentives you want at scientists but in the end they still have to reflect the objective reality they are studying. In the end the value of what they produce will be judged against that and only that.

Re:fast forward 5 years.... (1)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | about a month and a half ago | (#47669409)

but in the end they still have to reflect the objective reality they are studying

You're forgetting that "truth" has a half-life and that group-think dominates the process from bottom to top.

Re:fast forward 5 years.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47664365)

How the hell did your tiny fucking pea-brain manage to work that one out?

When you fuck your sister, is she on top or are you?

Re:fast forward 5 years.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47664409)

When that happens (and it probably will) they won't need to "lose communication;" they'll just cut funding, in line with their no-taxes pledge. Ask any Republican and they'll tell you: a faith-based weather model is worth preventing a tenth of a cent being stolen from each person's pocket. It's a matter of honor: lower taxes and strengthened alternatives to evidencism.

let me help cuz I apparently am a slashdot editor (1)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about a month and a half ago | (#47663631)

The "first light" in the summary is just the initial measurements to confirm the health of the equipment. It's not capturing some cool phenomenon. This is apparently a term of art in astronomy, according to Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] .

It's like saying "the satellite booted up for the first time." Good news, but I'm going to keep my pants on.

97% say 'Why?' (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47663741)

All this money wasted on actual measurements could have gone to generating computer models with baked in hockey sticks.

Re:let me help cuz I apparently am a slashdot edit (1)

hey! (33014) | about a month and a half ago | (#47663749)

It's like saying "the satellite booted up for the first time." Good news, but I'm going to keep my pants on.

Thank you.

Re:let me help cuz I apparently am a slashdot edit (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47663793)

First light is significantly more than bootup. After launch, typically at least a few days to weeks are spent doing initial power-on and checkout of various subsystems before collecting science or mission data. The initial health checks (monitoring component temperatures, voltages, currents, communications, powering on subsystems in order, etc) are much more analogous to booting up.

Once initial checks are complete, then the instrument is commanded to collect real data. That is first light. For any satellite like this which is years in the making, first light is most definitely a "cool" milestone.

Source: I work on (unrelated to this) remote sensing satellite systems and have supported at least 8 launches / early orbit testing phases over the years.

Re:let me help cuz I apparently am a slashdot edit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47663801)

It's like saying "the satellite booted up for the first time."

Close.

It's more like saying "now that it's been booted, and through all of its other tests, the instruments have collected their first data and been confirmed as working".

This is the first end-to-end functionality test.

commissioning & Phase E (3, Informative)

oneiros27 (46144) | about a month and a half ago | (#47664595)

The launch of the spacecraft is effectively the start of 'Phase E' (operations) for the instruments ... but there's a lot of things that still have to happen:

  • They have to deploy any solar panels (unless it's got an RTG), and align with the sun
  • They have to check out the spacecraft health, to make sure that nothing shook loose during launch, and they can talk to it.
  • The spacecraft has to get to the right place. (which takes *years* for missions to the outer planets)
  • They test the instruments against a known source (calibration lamp or similar)
  • They deploy antenna or instrument booms, remove covers, etc.
  • They take real measurements (aka. "first light")
  • They may perform maneuvers (eg, take an image, roll the spacecraft over, take an image again ... or take an exposure whole rolling) for flat fielding (aka. "calibration")
  • They compare the results from the new sensor against other measurements to determine how (aka. "validation")

They refer to this whole period as "commissioning". They're not always run in order (eg, for the missions to the outer planets, which might take *years* to get to, they try to check on the health of the instruments before they get to the planet). For some instruments, it might take years to validate the data.

There's also typically a press conference with the "first release" of the data, after the first calibration is done, but that's more to do with scientists on the ground than the spacecraft itself.

disclaimer : I work for a NASA center, but I don't deal with spacecraft directly; I just manage the data after it's downlinked & processed.

Someone doesn't want this in orbit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47663781)

1st attempt: launch failure when the payload fairing failed to separate
2nd attempt: launch delayed due to a faulty valve

Is someone trying to sabotage this mission?

How is CO2 leading cause of warming? (0)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a month and a half ago | (#47663819)

CO2 levels have continued to rise rapidly over the last decade, even as actual warming has kind of flatlined,

If CO2 were a leading cause of warming, why would the temperatures not be spiking along with CO2 levels?

It's great that we are tracking CO2, but the human race seems overall far too concerned with one aspect of warming that seems not to be playing out as a dangerous factor.

Re:How is CO2 leading cause of warming? (4, Informative)

gstoddart (321705) | about a month and a half ago | (#47663853)

If CO2 were a leading cause of warming, why would the temperatures not be spiking along with CO2 levels?

You seem to be assuming it's linear and immediate, as opposed to being a complex system with built in lag and other factors -- which would boil down to "if I release X amount of CO2, tomorrow the temperature will go up by Y".

It doesn't work that way, and is much more complex.

Much like if you turn up your thermostat, your house isn't instantly warmer, because, thermodynamics.

Re:How is CO2 leading cause of warming? (0)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | about a month and a half ago | (#47664125)

It doesn't work that way, and is much more complex

. Yes, it's so complex that you don't understand it. And neither do climate scientists as evidenced by their modelling effort failures. Despite not understanding it, both you and they are 100% confident the hypothesis is correct, however.

Re:How is CO2 leading cause of warming? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about a month and a half ago | (#47664167)

And based on your completely ignorant and idiotic posts, I assume you have nothing at all to refute any of this, other than your firmly held idiocy and conviction that they must be wrong?

Why don't you go visit the creation museum or something, you might find other people who care about what you say.

Re:How is CO2 leading cause of warming? (1)

by (1706743) (1706744) | about a month and a half ago | (#47664485)

We don't have a completely satisfactory theory of gravity (getting GR to play nice with quantum mechanics). Yet, we are very confident that the hypothesis that "things tend to fall" is correct.

Gravity is exceedingly complex, yet there are certain things which are evident from even a rudimentary theory of gravity -- namely, things tend to fall. CO2, likewise, has a complicated relationship to the climate -- but it is a known greenhouse gas, which has certain implications.

Re:How is CO2 leading cause of warming? (1)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | about a month and a half ago | (#47665985)

By implication you are suggesting that the evidence for gravity existing is the same as the evidence that the AGW hypothesis is correct? Really? And what implications are there apart from that Al Gore earning £100m, taxes needing to rise and scientific institutions being handed billions of dollars to "study" it? Who is studying the positive effects of a warmer climate? Anyone? Why is that I wonder...

Re:How is CO2 leading cause of warming? (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a month and a half ago | (#47666641)

You seem to be confusing science and politics. You'd do well to ignore the politics and look at the science.

Who is studying the positive effects of a warmer climate?

That sounds rather unscientific. Surely one should study the effects of a warmer climate, not bias onesself to positive and negative.

But anyway why are your fishing for these red herrings? The effects on people has nothing to do with climate science. Climate scientists don't stufy the positive or negative effects, because they're too busy figuring out how the climate will change.

Re:How is CO2 leading cause of warming? (1)

Garfong (1815272) | about a month and a half ago | (#47664685)

The ability to accurately model the details of a system is usually not required to model the average, long term, behaviour of the system.

Rolling dice is a complex chaotic system. Yet despite my complete inability to predict the results of any roll, I'm confident that casinos will make money on craps tables.

Re:How is CO2 leading cause of warming? (1)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | about a month and a half ago | (#47665933)

Yes, yes it is required. You must understand every aspect of the system if you want to make predictions of a real=world system by modelling it. The analogy would be you trying to make predictions thinking a dice has 6 faces when in fact the real dice has 13. Kind-of screws up your crap tables doesn't it.

Re:How is CO2 leading cause of warming? (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a month and a half ago | (#47666671)

ou must understand every aspect of the system if you want to make predictions of a real=world system by modelling it.

No you're flat out wrong. We certainly do not understand all aspects of physics. There is no way of unifying quantum mechnics and gravity yet. Yet both complex CPUs and GPS works just fine without understanding "every aspect".

Re:How is CO2 leading cause of warming? (1)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | about a month and a half ago | (#47669449)

Just so I understand, when you simulate a GPS on a computer or model that CPU on a computer, does the model produce predictions that turn out to be completely wrong? If it does then you have not understood important aspects of the "system".

Because of this I can only conclude you haven't really thought the point through and your arm-waving about Quantum Gravity a somewhat distracting irrelevance.

Re:How is CO2 leading cause of warming? (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a month and a half ago | (#47669475)

Just so I understand,

No you don't understand. Your posts are full of red herrings, moving the goalposts and straw men. You then adopt a smug attitude when I did not answer to your satisfaction a question that you never raised.

In the previous post you claimed it was impossible to simulate anything without understand every single aspect of it.

That is demonstrably false and I demonstrated it. I though you were merely ignorant and figured I'd correct you. It turns out you're not ignorant, you're an idiot with a massive agenda.

Re:How is CO2 leading cause of warming? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47664725)

You seem to be assuming it's linear and immediate, as opposed to being a complex system with built in lag and other factors -- which would boil down to "if I release X amount of CO2, tomorrow the temperature will go up by Y".

It doesn't work that way, and is much more complex.

Right, it's too complex to follow science. I'll just need to buy more books and have more conferences on the subject before I really understand what the men behind the curtain are selling (I mean, studying).You see, the problem with announcing the scientific certainty of a causal relationship is that it requires the effects to appear in the presence of causes. It's not even about the quantity of the effects at this point, it's about their existence. If CO2 is a greenhouse gas, then injecting an enormous amount of it into the atmosphere should have IMMEDIATE effects on the temperature and longterm effects on the climate.

Re: How is CO2 leading cause of warming? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47669285)

Yes, but 17 years later my house would be warmer, it isn't that complicated, the heat would have to go somewhere.

Another perhaps more logical explanation staring you in the face is that co2 is not related to AGW

Re:How is CO2 leading cause of warming? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47663889)

Because science is hard.

Re:How is CO2 leading cause of warming? (4, Interesting)

bunratty (545641) | about a month and a half ago | (#47663891)

Most of the heat is going into the oceans and causing the sea level to rise [nationalgeographic.com] due to thermal expansion. Much of the rest of the heat is continuing to melt the ice caps in the Arctic [nsidc.org] and Antarctic [slate.com] .

Re:How is CO2 leading cause of warming? (0)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | about a month and a half ago | (#47664143)

So what's this magic mechanism that fools the laws of Thermodynamics called? Because as far as I know the oceans have one thousand times the heat capacity of the atmosphere.

Re:How is CO2 leading cause of warming? (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | about a month and a half ago | (#47666915)

What do you mean by "magic mechanism"? Nothing is happening that is outside of thermodynamics. It is well known that over 90% of the heat of global warming is going into the oceans.

Re:How is CO2 leading cause of warming? (1)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | about a month and a half ago | (#47669421)

The oceans transfer heat into the atmosphere. The oceans themselves are heated by that yellow-white thing in the sky that seems to get completely ignored here on slashdot. The point remains, the oceans have 1000 time the heat capacity of the atmosphere. So how is it that the atmosphere is warming the oceans? The whole argument is completely ridiculous.

Re:How is CO2 leading cause of warming? (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a month and a half ago | (#47664271)

Then there's nothing to worry about from CO2 if the oceans are absorbing the heat - even with all that melting and expansion we are getting at worst around a foot of rise in the next few hundred years. That's easily dealt with by coastal communities, especially over such a long period of time. Whole towns (and nations!) rise and fall over that kind of timescale...

The situation is even better if you believe the IPCC:

"The IPCC Fourth Assessment Report described studies that estimated sea level rise for the 20th century between 0.5 and 3.0 mm a year. The most likely range, according to the IPCC, was between 1.0 and 2.0 mm a year."

2.0mm/ year or rise means 8 inches in 200 years... Why does that panic you?

Re:How is CO2 leading cause of warming? (1)

bunratty (545641) | about a month and a half ago | (#47664599)

Who said anything about panic? Anyway, you're using linear extrapolation to estimate future sea level rise, because it gives you results you like. The actual estimates of future sea level rise [epa.gov] are far larger than your naive and optimistic guess.

Re:How is CO2 leading cause of warming? (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a month and a half ago | (#47665763)

That EPA article is scaremongering published before the IPCC (you know, the INTERNATIONAL panel on climate instead of just the U.S.) revised estimates significantly downwards...

If there's no need to panic then why care about CO2 emissions? We should instead be focused on REAL pollution.

Re:How is CO2 leading cause of warming? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a month and a half ago | (#47664931)

Then there's nothing to worry about from CO2 if the oceans are absorbing the heat

The oceans are absorbing the CO2, causing ocean acidification. Nothing to worry about, right?

Whoosh (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a month and a half ago | (#47668343)

You might want to read the science on that skippy, the claim is that the oceans are ABSORBING HEAT.

This is exactly why the global warming debate is so absurd, the people who claim they are on the science are not using science, but fear and calling that science.

Re:How is CO2 leading cause of warming? (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about a month and a half ago | (#47666721)

2.0mm/ year or rise means 8 inches in 200 years... Why does that panic you?

No, 2mm/year means 16 inches in 200 years.

Or is an inch 50mm where you come from?

Re:How is CO2 leading cause of warming? (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a month and a half ago | (#47668741)

I miscalculated but I thought that was too low, thanks for the correction.

Still not a figure that is hard to deal with, and nothing like the 20-40 feet in a few decades some people are throwing about.

Re:How is CO2 leading cause of warming? (2)

Kiwikwi (2734467) | about a month and a half ago | (#47664117)

actual warming has kind of flatlined,

I keep hearing this, but I really don't see it [noaa.gov] .

It's like the repeated statement that "there has been no warming [since the record-setting global average in 1998]". Nobody ever claimed that global temperature would rise monotonically year-on-year; fortunately, we are allowed to look at the trend line across years and draw the quite obvious conclusion that yes, temperatures have been rising in the last two decades as well.

(You'd think the 1998 argument would lose steam after the 2005 and 2010 global temperature anomalies actually surpassed the 1998 record, but I guess it was never an argument made in good faith.)

Re:How is CO2 leading cause of warming? (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a month and a half ago | (#47664197)

yes, temperatures have been rising in the last two decades as well.

Of course they have but the point is that CO2 emissions have been constantly high over that period, which should have accelerated the trend line upward way more than it has.

In order to reach some of the gloomier temperature increases predicted to occur by 2100, you now have to have a massive increase in temperature gains that year by year is increasingly unlikely. At this point it's pretty obvious CO2 alone is not much of a danger.

Re:How is CO2 leading cause of warming? (1)

Kiwikwi (2734467) | about a month and a half ago | (#47665505)

Of course they have but the point is that CO2 emissions have been constantly high over that period, which should have accelerated the trend line upward way more than it has.

The NOAA source I linked can tell us that the 1990-2014 trend has been a rise of 0.14 C per decade, and that 2013 was already 0.78 C above the 1880 pre-industrial level. A simple linear extrapolation gives us a temperature of (2100-2014)*0.014 + 0.62 - (-0.16) = 2.0 C in the year 2100, coincidentally the same 2 C used as the critical limit beyond which global warming will have alarming consequences.

Some may contend that the 2000-2014 trend has been a rise of only 0.04 C per decade, to which I'll note that the 2012-2013 trend was a rise of 0.47 C per decade. Unsurprisingly, short periods make for bad statistics. But when you pick a longer period - whether you go back to 1990, 1980, 1970 or even 1960 - you consistently get ~ 0.14 C per decade.

(Please substitute "degrees celsius" for C above, since Slashdot apparently supports neither Unicode nor even Latin 1...)

Re:How is CO2 leading cause of warming? (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a month and a half ago | (#47665671)

coincidentally the same 2 C used as the critical limit beyond which global warming will have alarming consequences.

Why, when that is still far less warm than it has been in the past?

The danger of CO2 was always advertised as runaway warming, with a feedback loop of warming that could not be ended - not a slow linear ramp up of just 2C over 100 years.

That amount of increase still does not show any reason to worry about CO2 emissions. If there were something to worry about it would be because of an exponential increase, not a simple linear increase that could just as easily be natural climate variability as CO2.

As you say the trend has been constantly 0.14C /decade, even as CO2 emissions have increased. Again it's pretty obvious that CO2 is not factoring much into that warming.

Re:How is CO2 leading cause of warming? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47666389)

Yes, in the distant past before leafy plants, let alone human beings or civilization dependent on agriculture, there was more CO2 and it was hotter than it is now. Do you want to return to that? What do you think it's going to be like when everything we depend on in our daily lives will have to be replaced with something else, or we starve? The places where we currently farm our food are becoming un-farmable. Do you want to slow down that progress, or accelerate it? The choice is collectively ours.

Re:How is CO2 leading cause of warming? (1)

mellon (7048) | about a month and a half ago | (#47664261)

This person probably lives downwind of the great lakes, which froze last winter because the polar vortex moved off the poles (which were above freezing at times) and landed on Minnesota. We had a great winter in Vermont. OTOH, they are experiencing unseasonable high temperatures in California this summer, and Europe has had some really hot summers recently. Unfortunately people confuse their local climate with the global climate.

Re:How is CO2 leading cause of warming? (1)

slew (2918) | about a month and a half ago | (#47664145)

If CO2 were a leading cause of warming, why would the temperatures not be spiking along with CO2 levels?

If you notice closely, they attempted to pose a slightly different question...

carbon dioxide (CO2) — the leading human-produced greenhouse gas and the principal human-produced driver of climate change.

If you ask the question like this, it's true. However, leading causes of warming is the sun and the other main gas driving global climate change is methane, neither of which is technically human produced.

If you want to get technical, if factor in our desires for growing plants, industrialization, keeping warm and eating beef, then both CO2 and methane are somewhat similar in that regard. There's about 200x the CO2 than methane in the atmosphere, but methane is about 86x better at trapping atmospheric heat.

It's easy to forget humans are likely responsible for only 25Gtons of the CO2 released, where the natural carbon cycle is about 750Gtons (+- a extra volcano eruptions which are about 40Gtons)... Human contribution is non-negligible, for sure, but natural variations are of the same scale. Certainly there is case to be made that doing something is better than nothing, but even if somehow we could collectively reduce our carbon footprint to zero (likely impossible), it's likely that some warming is already inevitably started and the only long term solution would be to adapt our planet to sink the additional carbon output we will be producing...

Truth be told, all the CO2 we humans are likely to responsible for is dwarfed by the Methane Clathrate Ice timebomb at the bottom of our oceans. All that stuff was there long before humans and has been theorized to be the source of historical global run-away climate events. It's probably already too late for this, so it's likely that adaptation for a higher climate variation is something we just have to adapt for...

Re:How is CO2 leading cause of warming? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47664461)

I just read yesterday (look on google for article about earth farting) about warming oceans and permafrost releasing more sequestered methane.

Re:How is CO2 leading cause of warming? (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | about a month and a half ago | (#47667005)

It's easy to forget humans are likely responsible for only 25Gtons of the CO2 released, where the natural carbon cycle is about 750Gtons (+- a extra volcano eruptions which are about 40Gtons)... Human contribution is non-negligible, for sure, but natural variations are of the same scale.

Lately human caused emissions of CO2 are closer to 35 GT/year and volcanic eruptions are around 0.3 GT/year. When you say natural CO2 emissions are 750 GT/year that's kind of misleading if you don't also mention the ~770 GT/year that are naturally absorbed. That's why for thousands of years before human industrialization the CO2 level was around 280 ppm while the yearly seasonal variation was about 10 ppm.

Re:How is CO2 leading cause of warming? (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about a month and a half ago | (#47664177)

Because, based on other issues, we were supposed to be cooling off. However, the truth is, that we continue to climb.

Re:How is CO2 leading cause of warming? (1)

mellon (7048) | about a month and a half ago | (#47664247)

Warming hasn't flatlined. Atmospheric warming hasn't even flatlined. But sea warming has been consistent and substantial. Google clathrates if you're curious why you should care about that.

Confusing Weather and Climate (1)

ideonexus (1257332) | about a month and a half ago | (#47665327)

You might be misunderstanding the difference between short-term forecasts and longterm projections. I know I failed to understand the scientific nuance until recently.

You see, "global average temperatures are going to rise X by 2100" is a projection. It's based on pretty basic thermodynamics (ie. this much carbon increases the greenhouse effect by such-and-such). This science, because it's so basic, is pretty solid.

At the same time "global average temperatures are going to rise by Y by 2025" is a forecast. It's based on computer models that are perpetually being refined to more accurately predict the short-term trend. Most recently, these models were found to be missing el-nino/la-nina cycles [phys.org] which is why they have lagged over the last decade.

This is why people get confused when I tell them the science of global warming is actually extremely basic. It's just thermodynamics, but then they confuse projections with forecasts and wonder why the models haven't accurately predicted the last 10 years. It's the "weather versus climate" debate all over again.

Why do scientists even publish forecasts when they know they are still very much a work in progress? Politics. You see, your local representative couldn't give a damn if your children's children suffer from today's lack of leadership a century from now. So scientists are tasked to find out what the short-term effect will be on the constituency to inform politicians whether or not they might suffer some voter backlash on the issue.

In other words, our children's children are doomed to shell out billions to fix this mess.

Re:How is CO2 leading cause of warming? (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a month and a half ago | (#47666789)

Because the climate is a complex system. And because you like to start looking at the year of an El Nino effect, and we're currently in a La Nina period,

Now just because there has been a satellite launched to measure CO2 is no reason for your denialism memes you be repeated once again, you tedious asshole. So fuck off.

OCO2 is one of the most important sats that .... (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about a month and a half ago | (#47664151)

has gone up since Sputnik.
Right now, most of the world's CO2 emissions numbers are based on what gov claim that their nation consumed in coal, oil, and nat gas. Yet, it does not take into account issues such as inefficiencies, etc. Most of the numbers dealing with 3rd world and even some of the western nations are really wrong.
With this, it will show the TRUE flow of CO2 outward, as well as into, of nations.

Sadly, it will also become controversially once the far left realizes that America is NOT the massive polluter that they claim, but that instead, it will turn out that most of the 3rd world nations are some of the WORST.

BUT, where the real issue will come in, is once it shows that China produces more than 40% of the CO2, and not the 33% that is expected.
At that point, does the world finally point to China and say enough is enough, or will the far left still insist on giving them a MASSIVE out?

Re:OCO2 is one of the most important sats that ... (2)

bughunter (10093) | about a month and a half ago | (#47664281)

Thank you for the intelligent comment. I worked on the original instrument design at Hamilton Sundstrand over 10 years ago, and it was heartbreaking to learn of the original launch failure. A lot of us suspected but had no evidence that the failure was someone's desired outcome... now that OCO-2 is on station and collecting data we finally feel a sense of accomplishment.

And we'll not only learn who's contributing CO2 to the atmosphere, (and when, and where) but also what's consuming it, so we can not only reduce emissions but we can also sequester it better (e.g., by planting forests in the right places).

I guarantee we'll learn something we didn't expect. And scientists, being scientists, will embrace the surprises rather than reject them. This instrument will help us understand the problem better, produce better model forecasts, and plan better solutions.

Re:OCO2 is one of the most important sats that ... (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about a month and a half ago | (#47665545)

Thank you for the work. I worked on Mars Global Surveyor and Suspect that I had the same feeling when we lost MGS
And yeah, when OCS's shroud failed to release, I was miffed, but far more miffed when they got the next contract for OCO2. Thank god that it was turned over to ULA. Oddly, not sure if you have noticed, but 100% of OCS's failures were earth sats. That has always struck me as interesting.

But, I suspect that when the initial batch of numbers come from OCO2, that it is going to drive a lot of politicians crazy. We continue to focus just on America, when I THINK that we contribute only about 13-15% of total. The idea that so many focus on stopping America, while ignoring China and their constant growth in CO2 is just amazing to me. In fact, it is scary. There is a real lack of logic by both the far right and left WRT to this issue and others like it.

Re:OCO2 is one of the most important sats that ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47666207)

And, when the guilty (China, India) are identified, what would be your plan? Talk them to death? (Obama) Nuke them? (Bush) Recognize Hamas? (Carter)
The problem is that China and India will tell the west to fuck off, pleading poverty. So, do the western democracies destroy their own economies and national defences pursuing policies that will make not one whit of difference when China and India build fifty coal plants per year? Please enlighten us poor, benighted proles.

Re:OCO2 is one of the most important sats that ... (2)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a month and a half ago | (#47664545)

At that point, does the world finally point to China and say enough is enough, or will the far left still insist on giving them a MASSIVE out?

That 'out' is the best thing that we can do. If you look carefully, China is moving as fast as it can towards fast breeder reactors, hydro, etc. They're cheaper in the long-run than carbon-based energy sources and much better for their air (and ours) but the capital expense is really high. Look, nobody in Beijing is happy about breathing diesel soup for breakfast.

If you want to reduce China's available capital, you're just going to delay their cleaning up their act. Even the IPCC models count on economic development as a major source of reduction. All the "Scare Numbers" that politicians quote are based on IPCC's worst estimates based on a throttling of economic development.

Economies are dynamic, not static (sorry, Mr. Keynes, your fantasy failed). China has learned the foibles of central-planning - we should not do worse than they did.

Re:OCO2 is one of the most important sats that ... (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about a month and a half ago | (#47665739)

No, China is NOT moving as fast as possible. They could stop producing new coal plants and buy nuke plants that are produced in America. However, that is EXACTLY what they are avoiding. Chinese leaders do NOT care about the lead, mercury, CO2, etc that they dump into the air and water. What they care about is holding on to power, while winning the cold war that they have with the west.

China claimed that they were going to spend 100's of billions on doing Solar and Wind for China, BUT, for the amount that they put in, the Chinese gov would have been paying 10x what America paid for our solar/wind. Basically, that money went not into developing China's AE programs, but about destroying companies in Germany, Japan, and America.

We NEVER should have given them a single thing about thorium plants. That will come back to haunt us.

And as to the Chinese economics, they are still a centrally planned system. The only parts that are really free market are companies that export to the west. However, to work there, you have to have gov. permission. Otherwise, the gov still tells you where you will work and what you will earn.

Re:OCO2 is one of the most important sats that ... (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a month and a half ago | (#47666851)

Sadly, it will also become controversially once the far left realizes that America is NOT the massive polluter that they claim, but that instead, it will turn out that most of the 3rd world nations are some of the WORST.

You seem to be assuming something that couldn't be measured till now. Maybe you're right and maybe you're wrong. BUT you're probably not even framing the question right. If American companies are contracting 3rd world nations to make products or product components, that are then consumed in America, then that CO2 should rightly be assigned to America, not the 3rd world countries.

That's not "a massive out". That's just rather more sophisticated thinking.

Re: OCO2 is one of the most important sats that .. (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about a month and a half ago | (#47667169)

Actually, with america not able to directly control what a nation does, it is neither fair nor sophisticated. In fact, it is akin to telling a rape victim that s?he owes their rapist for services rendered.
Instead, we should put an increasing tax on all goods based on where the parts come from. In addition, the normalization should be co2 / $GDP. With this approach nations like India which actually has a low emission / $GDP will have a lower to none existent tax, while nations / states such as China, or wyoming , america, will have high tax unless they change their way.

It's a very "cool" satellite (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47664571)

"The Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) is a research satellite tasked with generating massive amounts of data to support the leftist global warming agenda."

You cannot put a leftist agenda-driven organization like NASA or NOAA in charge of collecting data. The confirmation bias is built into that arrangement.

I like plants more than people, so (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47665047)

I release as much CO2 as I can.

What a waste. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47669613)

So when they see CO2 rise, how do they know it's due to "human-produced greenhouse gas" vs. natural events? It won't matter because the leftist, controlling gov't is out to put more restrictions on freedoms, not prove any science. And who's to say that the temperatures that we see today are the "norm", or are too hot, or too cool? Like most things, it's all about the money, just follow the trail. Either it's "researchers" looking for more funding dollars, or the gov't looking to tax something so it can get more money. Pretty clear really.

And heaven forbid if the CO2 fall. They've already tried to "explain" the colder temperature due to something about the oceans absorbing gasses.

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