Science

Published on October 12th, 2008 | by adamwilliams

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NASA Maps Global CO2 Patterns; Produces More Science for Nonbelievers to Dispute


NASA and a pair of California universities have published the first global satellite maps of the key greenhouse gas carbon dioxide in Earth’s mid-troposphere, an area about five miles above Earth.

[social_buttons] An article posted at NASA.gov says:

A research team led by Moustafa Chahine of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., found the distribution of carbon dioxide in the mid-troposphere is strongly influenced by major surface sources of carbon dioxide and by large-scale atmospheric circulation patterns, such as the jet streams and weather systems in Earth’s mid-latitudes.

Patterns of carbon dioxide distribution were also found to differ significantly between the northern hemisphere, with its many land masses, and the southern hemisphere, which is largely covered by ocean.

Now, forgive me if my view is skewed of late by emotion related to all things super-important-turned-ridiculous¬† — extreme polarization over the environment, politics, economics — but I see something like this that NASA has provided, and I feel two quick reactions:

1. Great. More valuable information with which to improve our future.

2. Shit. More valuable information that half of this American society will immediately, mindlessly dismiss as only being part of a hoax, a conspiracy, another wacky idea from those horrible liberal wackos.

That is what everything seems to have spiralled down to for me, since the economy and politicking — and, seemingly, humanity — has found a bottomless pit of hell.

Is it just me? Or are we absurdly divided on everything these days? Are we, as a result, paralyzing ourselves as an American society, and as a global society?

Are we just solidifying our angry oppositions to one another, disregarding sense — and science — to the extreme, all for the sake of….of….what?

I can’t even guess why someone would vow that science is so flat wrong about climate change, especially when those same naysayers — we’ll use Sarah Palin for an example, albeit one completely devoid of credibility — use science (“It’s the weather patterns.”) to dispute NASA’s proof that CO2 emissions have something to do with humans, particularly American humans.

And yes, I realize that the NASA information does not actually point fingers at humans. But if you read the article/press release put out by NASA, it doesn’t take much thought to connect the dots. If CO2 largely originates on surfaces at middle latitudes, such as the U.S. and Europe, it’s not hard to figure out we just might be playing a significant role in that.

Of course, those who want to first identify me — or anyone — as a liberal, are likely to ignore all facts and thought and just go for the jugular. That’s what we do nowadays. That’s what our leaders teach us to do. And we elect those leaders to set our examples and guide our society.

Whatever happened to community, commonality, efforts of all contributing for the good of society? Maybe those washed down the outhouse pit with our collective prosperity, moral priorities, hope, common sense, human decency and general sanity.



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  • justsomeone else

    This is great and all and I believe we need to change our habits, however, geological records prove (several major universities have independently verified) that there is no relationship between CO2 and global warming. It does show that there is a cyclic warming and cooling trend.

  • http://bumface.blog.co.uk Metyu

    It’s not the science that’s the problem, it’s the bullsh!t being written by the media. In recent months, I include Green Options writers.

    You can go OOOOH, carbon: OOOH forever, but those of us that have studied the science and don’t believe in Al Gore’s approach or want to make a living out of propagating such nonsense will always disagree with you.

    Take sea level rise: http://bumface.blog.co.uk/2008/10/13/sea-level-rise-4863271

    We’re in for about 1-2cm rise per year over 100. OOOOH, scary!

    Honestly, come up with something that doesn’t contain the words MIGHT, MAY, COULD, POSSIBLY (etc) and we might start taking you seriously.

    Until then, your efforts to get us to vote for nefarious changes to global systems will fall on deaf ears.

  • http://bumface.blog.co.uk Metyu

    PS you said it yourself: non-BELIEVERS.

  • http://www.yahoo.com Bobby B.

    If the universities, NASA and its affiliates had no economic incentives for “mapping” such patterns, it might be totally believable. However, these groups’ livelihoods depend upon their ability to convince the legislators to continue morphing tax monies into grant monies earmarked for research. So much research today results in funding for more research. Where are the solutions?

    BTW, did you notice the relatively low levels of CO2 above the Brazilian and African rain forests? You would think with all the heavy equipment being used to clear cut those resources, the CO2 signature would be more prevalent. And what’s causing all that CO2 over the South Pacific, Australia, and Antarctica? You would think that those sparsely populated and non-industrialized areas would have lower levels. It is also worth noting that the range of the scale is only 10 parts CO2 per million parts of the mixture that we call air.

  • Mike b

    My problem with this, and so much else, is that it’s a snapshot. What was the picture like last year, last decade, last century … and those time spans are really inconsequential for geological events. How does it vary season to season? With El Nino or Nina? What did it look like before humans? I don’t know and neither does NASA. All I now have is another picture. No causality. No trend. Nothing.

    Cool that they can map this sort of thing though :-)

  • Neil

    What’s with all the haters. You would think only greenies would read this blog.

    So, what I’m getting from the five of you, is basically that because economic forces are driving NASA’s programs (big business has a vested interest in disproving global warming actually), because some universities (many university studies are funded by big business) can’t find a link between carbon and climate change, that we should just continue irresponsibly burning through our already scarce resources. Well it MIGHT… MAYBE be POSSIBLE that your views COULD be ill informed and backward.

  • Charles Sifers

    So if you’re so conflicted about this, why do you jump right in to insulting those who disagree with your interpretation of a really limited set of data? “Mindless”, I don’t think so, and obviously more well informed than the average fluffy bunny.

    CO2 can’t possibly be responsible for global warming for reasons based on simple physics. The idea that CO2 is a “Major Greenhouse Gas” is absurd to anyone who has ever taken Chemistry beyond 101.

    Maybe you’d care to dispute this…?

    http://www.nov55.com/ntyg.html

  • Kevin

    Charles Sifers,

    The author of that website has familiarity with certain scientific topics, but he is sorely lacking in basic elements of reason.

    http://www.nov55.com/art1.html

  • paul

    um, I’d just like to say that, whether or not the argument for global warming falls on deaf ears, it will nonetheless be an argument that is as of yet not debunked. I’ll admit that there is not a magic sign in the sky saying that anthropogenic climate change is the reality, but science cannot be denied. and nobody, absolutely nobody, can deny tens of thousands of reports confirming anthropogenic climate change. nobody can truly say that every one of those reports was funded by “crazy liberals” in the government who want to keep us from the truth.

  • http://www.pool.org.au/image/peter_ravenscroft/how_ya_gunna_cap_this_lot_kev Peter Ravenscroft

    G’day from Australia,

    NASA has now released a cartoon, with CO2 maps from AIRS (Atmospheric Infra Red Sounder) for every six days since the AQUA satellite went up in 2002. About 500 maps, I make it, and you can freeze the cartoon and get every one. if you are into reality in this debate.

    It is an astonishing picture, and shows rather clearly I think, that where the C02 goes up (and it shifts all the time)is not where the warming is happening, at least not on this planet and when measured against NASA’s temperature maps.

    The planet is warming most however, where the largest geomagnetic shifts on the planet are happening, at the Antarctic Peninsula and in Eastern Siberia, where the new magnetic north pole is developing. Not a lot of frantic human industry at either of those, last time I checked. And those locations are also precisely where we are getting the largest gravity and geoid shifts on the same small blue planet.

    But, who wants to know? If you by some strange chance do, go to the website given, for my wild guesses as to what is actually going on.

    Regards all,

    Peter Ravenscroft

    Geologist (just for these last 38 years mind, so I am definitely more confused than most)

    Closeburn Queensland, Oz.

    PS Pumping about 3,700 cubic kilometres of freshwater about every year may have something to do with sea level rises, as total global ice-melt from all continental icecaps is about 220-250 cubic kilometres per year. Some of that pumped water just maybe evaporates and later falls into the sea. Wild idea, but it is just possible. Like. maybe half of it? Nobody pumps to put water back underground. It is expensive stuff, pumping. So we pump to have plants use the water. And the planet is two-thirds ocean, so some rain must fall there, perhaps?

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