Non aviation content. Play nice – No religion, no politics and no axe grinding please.
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By Miscellaneous
#1733659
eltonioni wrote:Trying to geoengineer the entire Earth is a special level of human conceit that I don't think we're up to fulfilling.

I think we are theoretically capable of reversing the trend, I also think kidding ourselves we will with current efforts is laughable. What I can't make my mind up on is whether our govts are being disingenuous?
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By matthew_w100
#1733678
Absolutely agree we're not up to pulling the strings *deliberately* to achieve a pre-planned outcome. But I think the consensus of those who study these things is that we *are* making changes and that those changes could easily tip us out of a stable state we're comfortable with into one that we're not (Venus or Mars, anyone?) Hyperbole - perhaps. But not to be ignored.

And yes, "move, adapt, technologise" is what we will do. But we may not be able to move quickly enough and it will become "survival" rather than "development".

Oh - and "consensus" doesn't mean "everyone agrees". And science isn't facts, it's models. It is the best guess we have, with the best analysis we can currently do brought to bear on the sum of the evidence we have collected so far. If new evidence comes along the consensus will change, but it will always be the best we can do in the moment. Nothing will ever be "definitive" because that's not what science can do.
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By Miscellaneous
#1733685
matthew_w100 wrote:Nothing will ever be "definitive" because that's not what science can do.

I think that's down playing science somewhat. I don't think it's quite as simple as that, but that's a different discussion.

I'm happy to accept the scientist findings as presented in a 'if there's doubt, there's no doubt' sense. What I don't see is the political will to address it. The environmental movement to the top of govts is riddled with people happy to judge others on their actions whilst judging themselves on their intentions. No where demonstrates that better than this very forum. :D
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By matthew_w100
#1733687
Miscellaneous wrote:I think that's down playing science somewhat. I don't think it's quite as simple as that, but that's a different discussion.

Yes indeed. This is a Flyer Forum, not an epistemology seminar. But science *is* about building models that account for the past and predict the future. They can't be definitive because you can always add more factors into the model. The skill of the scientist is understanding and justifying the things that have been left out as having little or no impact on the predictions.
By LowNSlow1
#1733689
matthew_w100; where did you come up with the idea that "studies" have concluded that the climate has become unstable in the last 50 years?

The climate is unstable, always has been unstable and always will be unstable.

Something that is influenced by unpredictable solar winds, solar emissions, planetary axis variations, changes in the planet's magnetic field, the planet's varying core temperature, earthquakes, volcanoes and, oh yes, the ants running around on the surface is never, ever, going to be stable if you think about it.
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By Miscellaneous
#1733693
matthew_w100 wrote:But science *is* about building models that account for the past and predict the future. They can't be definitive because you can always add more factors into the model.

I agree re cc, we have have our wires crossed. I was considering all of science, which can be definitive and is not all about modelling. :thumleft:
By Bill McCarthy
#1733710
In the next couple of weeks, millions of fir trees will be hacked down to be adorned with plastic material and using megawatts of power for no real reason other than to celebrate the birth of a deity that we no longer believe in. Later, they will be cast aside to decompose in landfill sites. The whole process definitely not carbon neutral.

Are you going to scrub round having one ?
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By matthew_w100
#1733811
Pretty sure the trees are carbon neutral! Not so much the lights, granted. But how much light would we want mid-winter anyway? The extra is probably not *that* much.
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By eltonioni
#1733814
matthew_w100 wrote:Pretty sure the trees are carbon neutral! Not so much the lights, granted. But how much light would we want mid-winter anyway? The extra is probably not *that* much.


Only while they are alive and sequestering the stuff. When they die all that stored carbon is released so the bigger the forest, the more CO2 it releases. ISTR that the Amazon produces more carbon dioxide than all the vehicles on earth.

As usual, like trying to cross the Atlantic by yacht on a schedule, it’s complicated. :?
By johnm
#1733834
When trees die they don't "release all that carbon". Trees absorb large quantities of carbon dioxide during their life to grow, they will also release some of that when they die and decay producing water and CO2 and compost.

Burning trees also releases very large quantities of CO2 which is why burning rain forest is a bad idea as the resulting savannah supports cattle and other creatures all of which are net greenhouse gas emitters, (CO2 and Methane in the main).
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By matthew_w100
#1733841
eltonioni wrote:Only while they are alive and sequestering the stuff. When they die all that stored carbon is released so the bigger the forest, the more CO2 it releases. ISTR that the Amazon produces more carbon dioxide than all the vehicles on earth.

As usual, like trying to cross the Atlantic by yacht on a schedule, it’s complicated. :?

Indeed. But a tree is basically made of carbon it has taken out of the air as carbon dioxide; it can't possibly put back more than it's taken out as it has no other source of carbon. It's just timing differences, but the lifetime of a Christmas tree is not all that long. In fact even with fossil fuels it's timing differences - it's just the delay is longer.
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By eltonioni
#1733885
johnm wrote:When trees die they don't "release all that carbon". Trees absorb large quantities of carbon dioxide during their life to grow, they will also release some of that when they die and decay producing water and CO2 and compost.

Burning trees also releases very large quantities of CO2 which is why burning rain forest is a bad idea as the resulting savannah supports cattle and other creatures all of which are net greenhouse gas emitters, (CO2 and Methane in the main).

Sloppy use of language on my part. Not "all" obviously, but I feel you're looking for a hair to split or a pin to dance upon if that's all that's worth commenting on. Farmers who rear animals on grass rather than grain might feel differently about the environmental value of their stock. My only useful point is that trees are not the magic bullet they are often cracked up to be, especially by politicians trying to outgun each other with insane planting schemes.


@matthew_w100 the input / output point relates to the long lifecycle of entire forests rather than an individual plant. So, deforestation, changing ground, rate of replenishment etc are all factors. I'll have a search to see if I can find the reference I took it from.

On the upside for my earthbound recreational interests, peat bogs store something like 8x the carbon that a rainforest does so there is real potential there for big wins in the UK. I'll see if I can find that reference too, otherwise I'll look sloppy again. :)
By cockney steve
#1733887
As eni fule noes, coal is made from compressed trees,It's a carbon-based fuel. Admittedly, burnt or mulched Christmas-trees will likely decompose (but that would probably be underground anyway )In a few millennia hence, our descendants may well uncover landfill-sites and marvel at the widespread distribution of black carboniferous nuggets, metallic-deposits and oily-substances from long-decomposed plastics....Who knows?
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By Miscellaneous
#1733896
eltonioni wrote:Farmers who rear animals on grass rather than grain might feel differently about the environmental value of their stock. My only useful point is that trees are not the magic bullet they are often cracked up to be, especially by politicians trying to outgun each other with insane planting schemes.

Indeed nor is moving to a plant based diet a magic bullet. All that land that could be available for planting tress to absorb CO2 in favour of growing crops to feed us. And let's not overlook the greenhouse effects of crop growing. :wink:
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