Global warming quiz: Do you know or think you know?

If you believe that man-made global warming is a fact, let's test your knowledge Photo: AP

LOUISIANA, April 25, 2013 ― Are those who so adamantly declare that climate change and global warming are caused primarily by human activity aware of the facts? If you, like them, believe that man-made global warming is a fact, the following will test your knowledge.

We do know that the atmosphere is constantly in a state of flux. It attempts to achieve equilibrium, but never gets there. Global temperature variability is the norm. 

Those who say that man-made greenhouse gases are the culprit behind “monster tropical storms” are not considering all the facts. Atmospheric motions in the upper troposphere, weak vertical wind shear, and normal warm oceanic temperatures are the main factors that enhance the likelihood of tropical storm development.   

Once the system develops, it is the latent heat of condensation, and not global warming, that becomes the supercharger for the system’s energy and further development.

This is not to deny that the earth goes through cyclical climate changes. Decades of climate data confirm the same. Man-made global warming, despite what you’ve been taught, is a myth.   

This should have thinking persons asking what the reasons are for the “global-warming” fear campaign and the resulting assaults on liberties and freedoms. 

The objective of the “global-warming” campaign is to make the fear of climate change the vehicle to impose more regulations that restrict business and commerce. 

It will also pave the way for governments to seize money via hefty carbon taxes levied against business and consumers. The consumer ― you and I ― will end up paying more and more because business costs are eventually paid by the end user.

For those who are proponents of man-made global warming, or intersted in testing what they do, or don’t know, a test of sorts is in order:

1. How much does temperature factor into the strength of the subtropical jet stream that transports warmer temperatures from equatorial and low-latitude regions? 

2. Meteorologically speaking, which of the following are heating processes in the atmosphere: a. melting, b. freezing,  c. condensation, d. evaporation?

3. What percentage of the atmosphere we breathe is composed of the “greenhouse gas” carbon dioxide? a. 0.038%; b. 0.38%; c. 3.8%; d. varies significantly by at least 0.5%, depending on proximity to industrialized regions.

4. What is the most important gas in terms of meteorology? a. ozone; b. carbon dioxide; c. water vapor; d. argon; e. nitrogen; f. oxygen

5. Trapping of low level atmospheric  pollutants as evidenced by haze, fog/smog is caused primarily by: a. greenhouse gases; b. atmospheric motions and inversions associated with high pressure systems; c. persistent low level cloudiness; d. stagnant air that is depleted of sufficient oxygen and nitrogen

6. True or False: Meteorology is, in a practical sense, the study of meteors.

7. Which of of the following are the top two (2) factors in determining how much the earth’s surface will be heated? a. concentration of greenhouse gases; b. angle of incidence of incoming solar radiation; c. ozone layer; d. albedo (amount of reflectivity of an object: lighter colors reflect more; darker colors absorb more)

8. How accurate are computerized forecasts? a. reasonable for up to 48 hrs; unreliable after 120 hrs.; b. reasonable up to 15 days; unreliable after 30 days; c. our forecast numerical models are now reasonably accurate up to a year, depending on the computing ability of the microprocessors used.

ANSWERS

1. None. The strength of the SubTropical Jetstream (STJ) is caused by the conservation of angular momentum. In fact, the STJ reaches its maximum strength at its furthest point north. This is because relative spin and vorticity increases as the Coriolis force increases during its trek northward. Unlike the Polar Front Jetstream (PFJ) and Arctic Front Jetstream (AFJ), the STJ is NOT caused by differential heating.

2. B and C, freezing and condensation. Heating and cooling processes are classified based on their effect on the surrounding air. Therefore, you must determine what happens to the surrounding air when the moisture undergoes its change, e.g., from liquid to solid, etc. When moisture freezes, the moisture LOSES heat to the surrounding air >>the atmosphere gains that heat = heating process.  When moisture condenses, releases heat to the surrounding air >> the atmosphere gains heat = a heating process.

3. The amounts of carbon dioxide are so miniscule that it is less than 1/10th of 1% (0.038%).  While it is true that scientists are able to demonstrate that carbon dioxide does retain more heat than nitrogen or oxygen, that demonstration can only be done in a small, controlled environment. If a room 10ft. X 10ft X 10ft was filled with CO2, then heated to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, that room would retain the heat much longer than a similar room with our normal atmospheric gases. 

But think about it: That experiment takes a trace compound that comprises 0.038% of our atmosphere and increases it over 1000-fold in a controlled environment.  Some then make the unreasonable leap to hypothesize that our open, free  atmosphere will heat up much more over time due to greenhouse gases. That condition cannot be remotely replicated in an open, free environment. To suggest that the trace compound of carbon dioxide is responsible for man-made global warming is patently absurd.

4. Nearly all weather and most clouds are dependent on water vapor – the most important gas in terms of meteorology.  Water vapor varies from a trace to 5% by volume. Another factor is that water vapor does not mix with dry air; it displaces it. Under similar temperature and pressure, saturated air is lighter than unsaturated air. 

5. In the northern hemisphere, the southeastern part of a high pressure system is the strongest quadrant. Atmospheric motions cause widespread sinking (subsidence) of the air over such regions. Sinking air in the atmosphere often creates an inversion which caps the low-level atmosphere. Low level inversions  often cause widespread haze, fog/smog, depending on moisture conditions and how long the inversion has lasted over the area.

6. In a practical sense, meteorology, which is the science of the atmosphere and its phenomena, is the study of meteors: hydrometeors (moisture: clouds, fog, precipitation, rime, glaze, etc), lithometeors (small, dry particles: haze, dust, blowing sand, etc.), electrometeors (lightning, thunder), and photometeors (rainbow, aurora borealis, etc).

7. B and D (angle of incidence and albedo). The angle of incidence is the angle formed between a line perpendicular to the earth’s surface a line representing the sun’s incoming rays. Think about it: In the summertime, in the early morning hours, the incoming rays are nearly parallel to the earth’s surface. But as the earth continues to rotate and the day wears on, the incoming rays change to perpendicular. So when the sun is nearly overhead, you’re getting more direct sunlight, and the angle between the sun’s rays and a line perpendicular to the surface is very small or zero. As angle of incidence increases, incoming solar radiation decreases. 

In the wintertime, overall angle of incidence is much less than in summer. In fact, in the northern hemisphere, the sun is actually FURTHER AWAY (i.e., earth’s orbit around the sun is at apogee) during our summer! But because the incoming solar radiation is more direct, we receive much more heat. 

Albedo (the amount of reflectivity of an object) is the second most important factor. Ocean surfaces and snow cover can reflect like a mirror; dark asphalt and dark rooftops, for example, will absorb more heating. 

8. Forecast models are reasonable up to 48 hours; unreliable after 120 hours. There are several factors that come into play with this:

a. forecast model initialization: Is the input data accurate? If not, the end product will be inaccurate (garbage in; garbage out);

b. sparse data: There are areas where reporting stations are lacking. And although modern numerical models use gridded mathematical formulas to interpolate where areas where data is missing, this factor is especially important when conditions of the upper atmosphere are forecast;

c. moisture advection: Long range forecast models are mainly DRY forecast models. That is, moisture parameters are absent. This is because beyond 120 hours, variables brought into play as the model forecasts further and further out, make it impractical for moisture to be accurately depicted in the end;

d. high latitudes: When the forecast model attempts to cross the polar caps in the high latitudes, the forecast model has much greater difficulty in determining accurate positions of weather systems. 

Anyone who tells you that numerical forecast models have accurately depicted future changes in our climate (months and years ahead) is not telling the truth.

Bottom Line: If you are a proponent of man-made global warming, ask credible scientists to explain their rationale for believing (and teaching) the same. If you prefer, independently research the info. 

Question everything; don’t settle for interpreted-facts.  True facts may only need explanation; they need no interpretation.

Bill Randall is a retired military meteorologist (U.S. Navy Aerographer’s Mate – E9). He is a former instructor of meteorology, oceanography and basic geodesy.  His experience involved direct atmospheric and oceanographic measurements, as well as developing environmental forecasts for military mission planning. 


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Bill Randall

Bill was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in the neighborhood known as the Lower Ninth Ward.  His U.S. Navy career spanned from August 1974 through December 2001, during which he had a decorated and distinguished span of honorable service.  His profession and specialty was Earth Science (Meteorology, Oceanography and Geodesy).  After retiring from active duty on January 1, 2002, he entered the private sector as an Independent Insurance Agent (AFLAC) and garnered recognition as a top performer as a new member. Shortly thereafter he earned his B.S. degree in Business Management, and later earned his MBA degree.  He has also earned Information Technology (IT) Certification from Wake Technical Community College (May 2013).  Bill worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs at the Milwaukee VA Pension Center (2002 –2005), processing hundreds of benefits claims for veterans and their family members.  Bill subsequently relocated and served on the staff of a local church in Pensacola, FL (May – Dec 2005), and then accepted a business opportunity as a Generalist with a major Management Consulting Firm (2006 – 2008).  Bill now owns a private Management Consulting company based in Wake Forest, NC.  He and his family relocated to North Carolina after his wife, Wendy, accepted a job offer in there.  He once ran for Chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party (June 2009).  He has also twice run for U.S Congress (NC-13th Congressional district), winning the GOP nomination in the 2010 Primary, and losing in the GOP Primary in 2012.  He is an author and a Community Chaplain.  Bill and his wife have resided in Wake Forest, NC since October 2008.  Bill has a son and four daughters.

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