A flawed and misleading video about global warming

This is a video made by the Cassiopeia Project, an web based institution made to teach science to the masses via creative videos. This particular one tackles the global warming issue:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVASFcMwTXk

There are many flaws with that video, revealing a profound bias:

  1. Regardless of the oceanic temperatures of the past 3000 years, our civilization is so highly adapted to the specific climate of the late 20th Century that any significant change, of either warming or cooling, would have disasterous economic and social consequences for us.
  2. The video repeats the denialists’ assumption that the Medival Warm Period was warmer than present global temperature averages, by using a cherry picked sample of the ocean (the Sargasso Sea) rather than all of global temperatures. I addressed this unconfirmed claim directly in https://dalehusband.wordpress.com/2008/05/26/debunking-the-mwp-myth/ and in https://dalehusband.wordpress.com/2009/10/12/hockey-stick-graphs-again/.
  3. A slight increase in global temperatures would indeed itself not be noticable, but the consequences, including melting the ice caps, altering weather patterns and the rise in sea levels, would certainly be noticable after a century or so.
  4. U.S surface temperature records, which are about 2% of the Earth’s surface and mostly land, are misleading. Earth’s entire surface is mostly ocean. We are talking about GLOBAL warming, not just U S land warming.
  5. The short term ice cap growth since 2006, as well as the drop in temperatures in 2007-2008, is due to the Sun going quiet since 2005. That does not negate the previous warming and ice cap shrinkage of the past several decades. The Sun could start roaring again at any time.
  6. The increase in Antarctic ice was explained here:  https://dalehusband.wordpress.com/2009/01/19/those-terrible-twins-of-climate-change-co2-and-h2o/ “In the southern hemisphere, global warming has had less of an effect, and this can be explained by geography. There is far more land up north than down south. Land radiates heat, while oceans absorb it. Also, the Arctic Ocean is water surrounded by warmer land, while Antarctica is frigid land surrounded by cold oceans that insulate it from warmer regions. So it stands to reason that the Arctic Ocean will melt long before the Antarctic does, and that there may even be some increase in Antarctic ice for the reasons I explained above.”
  7. Extremely cold weather reports of the past few years are actually explained by the odd combination of  CO2 and H2O interactions. https://dalehusband.wordpress.com/2009/01/19/those-terrible-twins-of-climate-change-co2-and-h2o/ “The process begins with the slight increase in carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere known to be caused by human emissions. Because CO2 traps slightly more heat, it also causes more water to evaporate. Water vapor (H2O) is also a greenhouse gas, so that causes a feedback loop, in which the temperature increases further, causing more water to evaporate. In the summer months, the result is much hotter weather than you might expect from CO2 alone.  But H2O has an opposite effect in winter. As temperature drops, the increased amounts of H2O forms clouds, which block sunlight and thus cool the earth further. Winters will be even colder than one would expect, plus there would be increased precipitation, including snow……..The solar activity has dropped, while the CO2 levels have remained high AND the H2O levels are also high. The end result: Warm summers and VERY COLD WINTERS!
  8. The video claims that water vapor is a far more important greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. But that is not true, because water vapor forms clouds in certain concentrations and temperatures that actually block sunlight and thus act to cool the Earth, providing a counter to the greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide. By contrast, CO2 never forms clouds and thus can ONLY be a greenhouse gas. See here: https://dalehusband.wordpress.com/2009/02/15/icecap-a-group-of-fake-climate-experts/ “Suppose you have a planet with an atmosphere composed exactly like Earth’s, with water oceans and a yellow dwarf sun as well. Thus, its atmosphere would indeed have both CO2 and H2O, complete with clouds and typical weather patterns. Suddenly, all the CO2 is removed from the atmosphere. Without the greenhouse effect it provides, the temperature drops quickly. The relative humidity skyrockets. In some areas, it exceeds 100%, and when that happens, clouds form, increasing the planet’s cloud cover. The clouds block and reflect the sunlight, further cooling the air below them as well as the surface. Precipitation results and the atmosphere loses most of its H2O as well. So the atmosphere becomes colder and drier, until finally the planet is locked in an ice age, which it can never recover from unless CO2 is added. Even the oceans will be frozen up. Now, we add the CO2 back. With CO2 trapping heat once more, ice begins to melt. Then water begins to evaporate. As water evaporates, the H2O kicks in with its own greenhouse effect, resulting in more ice melting. Eventually, the oceans are restored, and the atmosphere returns to what it was. H2O alone on Earth cannot keep the planet warm enough to sustain life, because at certain temperatures and concentrations in the atmosphere it forms clouds which act as cooling agents, and on land below a certain temperature it forms ice, which also reflects light. CO2 must be the trigger for the greenhouse effect of both substances to operate properly on Earth.”
  9. ANY CO2 added to the atmosphere by humans would be an amount that nature would not be adding. The idea that only a small precentage increase in CO2 is nothing to worry about is illogical once the concept of balance of nature is understood.
  10. The greenhouse effect of CO2 and H2O is explained further here: https://dalehusband.wordpress.com/2009/03/27/carbon-dioxide-and-its-greenhouse-effect/ “Another thing to consider is how serious the greenhouse effect of Earth’s atmosphere really is. Without it, Earth’s average temperature would be about -18 degrees C, which is about 32 degrees C different from Earth’s actual average temperature (14 degrees C). Again, people who are not scientifically trained have difficulty grasping this, since they think of temperatures below “room temperture” (18 to 24 degrees C) as being cold. But in fact, it is quite warm compared to most of the universe. The cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation, a leftover remnant of the Big Bang, is about 2.7 degrees above absolute zero, which is itself about −273 degrees C. Thus an object recieving radiation from no other source would still have a temperature of -270.45 degrees C. The Earth recieves radiation from the Sun that by itself adds about 252 degrees C to its temperature. That’s a LOT of heat! The greenhouse effect adds only about 1/8th more heat to Earth. But that is still enough to make the difference between a frigid, lifeless planet and one with oceans filled with life.”
  11. Since growing human populations around the world have destroyed vast areas of forest to build cities and roads and establish farms and ranches, there is less plant mass to absorb the extra CO2 we have generated. The video shows a misleading chart indicating that U.S. forests have increased. Again, THE U.S. IS NOT THE WORLD!
  12. Isn’t it obvious that if animal life increased in proportion to plant life, since animals breath out CO2, the CO2 levels would also remain high? Also, did the makers of that video not consider that human population are still growing, putting more and more pressure on land use? Farm plants that  absorb CO2 will be eaten by humans, who breath out CO2.
  13. The last assertion, denying that there is any evidence that CO2 was, is, or will be a cause of global warming, is a flat out lie! https://dalehusband.wordpress.com/2009/10/14/challenge-to-global-warming-denialists/ “You want evidence for global warming?  How about these:  First, there is the known heat retaining properties of CO2 and other greenhouse gases. This results from the gases being transparent to visible light but opaque to infrared radiation (a.k.a. heat). If you think that is a falsehood, do your own experiments with samples of CO2 to prove it does not retain heat. The scientists who established the greenhouse effect and later connected it to the concept of global warming were Joseph Fourier in 1824, John Tyndall in 1858, and Svante Arrhenius in 1896. Now, if you think you can debunk all the work those three did so long ago, knock yourself out.  Second, there is the confirmation of the greenhouse effect going to extremes on a planetary scale, with the Soviet Venera probes sent to the planet Venus in the 1960s. If you think all that data the probes sent us was faked, prove it! Then there is the recorded increase in CO2 levels since the 1950s. Can you prove that such an increase never happened?”

We need to appeal to a less biased court! Especially after seeing the sources the videos makers relied upon:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8JXvjTpqcZk

Most of those are denialist propaganda sources, not peer-reviewed science journals! And those science sources that are reliable have been cherry-picked. What a disgrace!

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One thought on “A flawed and misleading video about global warming

  1. Well, it seems that the makers of those two videos got their asses handed to them and are no longer proud of their work! When I attempt to view them now, I get:

    This video is private.
    Sorry about that.

    Another victory for scientific truth over denialist dogma!

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