Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
there is plenty of evidence, too. Between CO2 histories from mountains in Hawaii and ice-cores in Antarctica, we have a fairly strong indication of a human-induced rise in carbon dioxide - as I'm sure you are aware. The effect of various artificial, volatile chemicals on atmospheric ozone seems to be demonstrated. Reduced albedo due to reduced ice caps is certainly working in a complementary fashion with 'greenhouse gases'.

Acidification of the oceans indicates that some of the buffering actions that might mitigate climate change have been 'neutralized'. poemless mentions deforestation, which is well-documented. Besides the loss of the forests' carbon-sink, there is the use of the land after logging, such as planting sugar cane for ethanol production for use as fuel. It may be a minor example in terms of portion, but even the fallow clear-cut is giving up CO2 and methane via decomposition.

So, yes, I believe in human-induced global warming, however much non-human influence there may be. And here's one to add to the list - NOx - which is a more potent 'greenhouse gas' than CO2. Modern (last century or so) internal combustion and turbine motors generate vast quantities. This component of the issue has not been studied to the same extent as CO2, because the tests are much less developed. For one thing the molecules are much more reactive than carbon dioxide, so how do you distinguish NO that has become a nitrate from a geologically-generated nitrate? Meantime, the original NO was airborne for awhile, but what did it contribute to the 'greenhouse effect' while it was still NO? Another problem is that much less NOx is generated in a turbine than CO2, so it is harder to detect, but yet it has more effect as a 'greenhouse gas'. Point being that we have a potentially strong influence that was introduced to the equation rather recently and about which we lack study.

Beyond that, I will throw in my eccentric POV - it is a mistake to rely on machines and fuels to the extent that we do, if for no other reason than that humans must connect with their own lives via muscle-power, face-to-face communications with their fellows, skill development, contact with wood and dirt and plants and animals. It is gratifying, aesthetically pleasing, less expensive, and, ultimately I hope, communitarian.

paul spencer

by paul spencer (spencerinthegorge AT yahoo DOT com) on Wed Nov 19th, 2008 at 04:17:49 PM EST
I guess you mean N2O, not NOx...
Nitrous oxide - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Nitrous oxide reacts with ozone in the stratosphere. Nitrous oxide is the main naturally occurring regulator of stratospheric ozone. Nitrous oxide is a major greenhouse gas. Considered over a 100 year period, it has 298 times more impact per unit weight than carbon dioxide. Thus, despite its low concentration, nitrous oxide is the fourth largest contributor to these greenhouse gases. It ranks behind carbon dioxide, methane, and water vapor, the latter of which comprises greater than 95% of all greenhouse gases. Control of nitrous oxide is part of efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

NOx is nasty stuff, contributes to smog and acid rain, but not a greenhouse gas.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Wed Nov 19th, 2008 at 05:09:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the various compounds of Nitrogen and Oxygen. Plus, I'm not sure what your point is, in that your entry says that N2O is a greenhouse gas, and you say that it is not.

paul spencer
by paul spencer (spencerinthegorge AT yahoo DOT com) on Wed Nov 19th, 2008 at 07:00:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I did not say that N2O is not a greenhouse gas. That's presuming that I use your definition, which is a form of begging the question.

But anyway, there is reason for this misunderstanding, I see, because there sometimes is a broader and sometimes a narrower use of the symbol.

Nitrogen oxide - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

NOx is a generic term for mono-nitrogen oxides (NO and NO2). These oxides are produced during combustion, especially combustion at high temperatures.

Nitrogen Oxides: Health and Environmental Impacts of NOx | Six Common Pollutants | Air & Radiation | US EPA
NOx causes a wide variety of health and environmental impacts because of various compounds and derivatives in the family of nitrogen oxides, including nitrogen dioxide, nitric acid, nitrous oxide, nitrates, and nitric oxide.

At any rate, nitrous oxide (N2O) is not produced in vast quantities as an emission of internal combustion engines, that is NO and NO2, which are not greenhouse gases. Older catalysts meant to reduce those do produce some N2O. The main sources are industrial processes and agriculture.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Thu Nov 20th, 2008 at 03:59:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Environmental Protection Agency, "One member of the NOx, nitrous oxide or N2O, is a greenhouse gas." This is the basis of my definition of NOx, which comes from my years as a Safety and Health Officer and sometime Environmental Affairs Officer for two different companies in WA and OR. Maybe it's an old-school definition, and the world has moved on, but that's all that I have.

As to derivation of N2O, the Wikipedia also says "The livestock sector (primarily cows, chickens, and pigs) produces 65% of human-related nitrous oxide. [1] Industrial sources make up only about 20% of all anthropogenic sources, and include the production of nylon and nitric acid, and the burning of fossil fuel in internal combustion engines." So - I defer to your point as to its sources, but please note that they include internal combustion engines.

Beyond that, I suggest that NO2 and atmospheric Nitric Acid are also GHG, which have not been adequately studied - not to mention SO2 and atmospheric Sulfuric Acid. And this might be worthwhile, given the increase in coal-fired electrical generation facilities. Again, maybe my science is too old, but I remember that the greenhouse effect was originally conceptualized on the basis of study of Venus' atmosphere.

paul spencer

by paul spencer (spencerinthegorge AT yahoo DOT com) on Thu Nov 20th, 2008 at 12:58:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
most atmospheric climate scientists tally Green House Gasses (GHG) instead, not just CO2. The focus on CO2 when framing the debate on climate change has been one of my long-standing irks - it's simplistic and fallacious to single it out.

Although kcurie will probably growl at me for re-opening this.

by Nomad on Wed Nov 19th, 2008 at 06:37:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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