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About half the Earth-Moon distance ... was how close 2018 GE3 went by last weekend.  Whee!


You can, like I did, call it up on JPL's Small Body Browser though most folks won't find that comprehensible.  50 to 100 meter size class is ... interesting but not extinction-level.  Could be bad if you were right under it, though; assuming it blows up in the atmosphere you'd be under a large nuke-class airburst, and at that point details that are hard to assess start mattering.

Edited by Cancer
left an embarrassing 's' out of 'assess'

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On 4/15/2018 at 7:21 PM, Beast said:

what about ice melting at the ice caps?
the magnetic field does  redirect a good portion of  that radiation to the poles
and maybe  the outflow/inflow of the magnetic field is heating the ice cap?


Magnetic heating is not a factor for non-metallic substances, especially at low strengths such as that of Earth's magnetic field.  The field does indeed guide charged particles to the poles, but if charged particles melted ice caps, then one would expect a weaker magnetic field to result in less melting.


Furthermore, postulating alternate causes for climate change doesn't disprove the generally accepted greenhouse effect as the cause.  Even if the cause might be magnetic fields or sunspots or death rays from Mars, the science of spectral absorption has been well understood since the 19th century.  If we burn X fossil fuels, we add Y carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, resulting in Z heating, and by God we know X and Y, and the resulting Z matches predictions pretty damn closely.*  In order for someone to suggest that something else is causing climate change, they must also explain why it isn't CO2 emissions.


Trust me, I want to believe that our gas guzzlers aren't going to drown the cities and bleach the reefs.  But the reality is pretty dire.



* Supposed errors in the predictive models have since been corrected; the usual culprits are oceanic heat absorption (which caused an apparent slowdown in heating before it was measured) and satellite measurements of upper atmospheric temperatures (which is cherry picking one temperature measurement).  Almost every prediction of heating rates has ultimately turned out to be too conservative.


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And the CO2 data for the last 60 years is bulletproof.


And the CO2 accumulation, without any possible chance of contradiction, is anthropogenic.  Track down the economic figures for coal and petroleum production (they are freely available; every county publishes it as signs of their economic studliness).  Assume all the coal is burned, and half the petroleum is (some gets turned into plastics, and the 50% guess is in the right ball park); take the tonnage of fossil carbon burned, add the necessary tonnage of oxygen to turn that into CO2; then dilute the tonnage of CO2 in the known mass of the atmosphere.  The measured increase in CO2 content is within a factor of 2 of that simple calculation, and it is off in the sense that about half of the fossil-carbon CO2 is absorbed by something (largely dissolved in the ocean, but some is taken up in the biosphere) while the rest accumulates as atmospheric gas.  (If this sounds like a quickie classroom exercise, there's a good reason.) The "coldness" of the modern CO2 (that is, how little carbon-14 there is in it) is confirmation that it's fossil carbon, stuff that had lain for many times the 5730-year half-life of carbon-14 in mineral strata so it had decayed way completely.

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A recent NOVA episode gave quite a thorough explanation for it all, accessible to non-scientists. (Including a recreation of the 1840 experiment that showed that CO2 absorbs infrared.).


Short version is that any "skepticism" about humans causing climate change requires several areas of very well established science to be wrong, in ways that could be detected in a community college science lab. Plus a conspiracy so vast and baroque that it dwarfs the Illuminati, Trilateralists, Freemasons and Antarctic Space Nazis put together.


ADDENDUM: "But how do we know the CO2 comes from fossil fuels?" Cancer addressed this, but the only other known phenomenon that might pump that much CO2 into the atmosphere that quickly is a flood basalt event, like the ones that created the Deccan Traps or the Channeled Scablands of Eastern Washington. And I think we'd notice a few million square miles of fresh, glowing lava.


SECOND ADDENDUM: Also, note what Cancer said before: The magnetic field is weakening on a timescale of tens or hundreds of thousands of years. Climate change is, measurably, happening on a scale of decades to centuries -- a thousand times faster.


Dean Shomshak



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