Hit the link for some interesting follow-ups to the conversation.
Science Daily reported on a new study from the University of Bristol released over the holidays that deserves to get wider attention. In contrast to claims from anthropogenic global-warming activists, this new analysis refutes one of the key principles of carbon-driven warming:
Most of the carbon dioxide emitted by human activity does not remain in the atmosphere, but is instead absorbed by the oceans and terrestrial ecosystems. In fact, only about 45 percent of emitted carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere. …
To assess whether the airborne fraction is indeed increasing, Wolfgang Knorr of the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Bristol reanalyzed available atmospheric carbon dioxide and emissions data since 1850 and considers the uncertainties in the data.
In contradiction to some recent studies, he finds that the airborne fraction of carbon dioxide has not increased either during the past 150 years or during the most recent five decades.
The thumbnail argument for AGW is this: the CO2 emitted by industrialization over the last 150 years has accumulated in the atmosphere, along with other gases such as methane, warming the globe more rapidly than otherwise would have happened. The continuing emissions of CO2 from industrialized and developing nations will result in an exponential explosion of warming the longer it continues as the CO2 accumulates at faster and faster rates in the atmosphere, both because the previous emissions have not been absorbed and more people are emitting than ever. Therefore, we have to control emissions just to contain the damage, and it might already be too late!
Of course, that's why everyone flew private jets to Copenhagen last month — in order to warn about carbon emissions.
If this University of Bristol analysis is correct, CO2 hasn't been accumulating in the atmosphere at all. That means whatever warming we have experienced (and we have experienced warming) did not come from increased CO2 in the atmosphere. That would explain why we have experienced a cooling cycle for the last ten to twelve years despite an increase of CO2 emissions, albeit an increase at a slower rate than before. The new analysis completely destroys the AGW argument, because if CO2 is not accumulating in the atmosphere, it can't be causing global warming.
The point is, of course, that environmentalist wackos are, well, wackos, and that the notion of man-made climate change is a complete hoax. The science is far from 'settled', and in fact points the other direction.
Also, look out the window. Most of the country is in the middle of a massive cold snap that is breaking record after record in a tsunami of...non-warming. The fact that liberals will claim that all this cold is just the result of global warming simply proves the point about being wackos.
There's my two cents.