Gaining a Perspective on Magnitude

When I read the latest tripe on Global Warming* the new weasel argument is to talk about numbers out of context.  For example, people talk about “adding three Hiroshima bombs per second of extra energy” to the ocean as a result of the CO2 levels in the atmosphere.  Wow.  That sounds scary.  Three extra bombs.  Per second.

Out of Context

So, how much energy is that exactly?  I mean, how many “Hiroshima” bombs per second NORMALLY go into the ocean per day from sunlight?  Energy is typically measured in Joules.  That Hiroshima bomb, for example, measured in at 63 Terajoules (63 trillion joules).  According to wikipedia, the earth receives approximately 174 petawatts from the sun, of which approximately 70% is not reflected, making for 121.8 petawatts.  121.8 petawatts = 121.8 petajoules / second.  121.8 petajoules = 121,800 terajoules.  So the earth receives about 1933.3 Hiroshima Bombs per second of energy.  Let that sink in while I check my math.  121.8e15 / 63e12 = 1933.3.  Yep.

So we’re worried about an extra 0.15 % power change.  Of course, while they deny using the metaphor to “scare” people, nothing is scarier than atomic bombs!  Now, if they said “we’ve detected what we believe to be an extra 0.15% change in energy in the atmospheric system, and we have to radically change our world energy structure at a cost of TRILLIONS of dollars…”  that would be scary!

How Big a Temperature Increase?

So, as the “heat content” of the Ocean rises by “3 Hiroshima Bombs” a day, what is the actual temperature increase caused by all that energy?  Well, it must be massive!  It’s hiding, you know, waiting to jump out at us without warning and say “gotcha!”  And it’s massive – I mean, it’s 3 Hiroshima Bombs a second EVERY DAY!  HUGE!

Well, again, luckily, someone has done some calculations, and it turns out that adding 3 Hiroshima Bombs to the ocean every second for 10 years produces a…wait for it…. point 1 degree Centigrade (0.1 C ) rise!  That’s right, people – we’re all going to die now!  This is why people state the numbers in Terajoules and Hiroshima Bombs.  You tell people about BIG NUMBERS and dangerous BOMBS, and you can get them to panic and beg you to save them.  You tell people numbers they understand, and all of a sudden it’s not quite the scary bogeyman you need to extract their money from their wallets.

Never mind that we have only 150 years TOTAL data measured with any scientifically accurate instruments, or that we have less than 100 years of world wide coverage, or less than 50 years of satellite data, so making comparisons to the past is impossible.  Oh yeah, ignore the fact that they keep massaging the data (torturing it) to get it to show warming.  It’s all “settled science.”

Apocalypse Never

So, as hurricanes continue to miss the US Coast, and tornado activity in the Midwest continues to be less than “extreme,” as CO2 gets pumped into the atmosphere by India and China at rates that will dwarf the US’s paltry and declining contribution to “greenhouse” gasses, I’m not going to be all that concerned.  You see, there’s LOTS of room in the oceans, and there’s lots of room in the atmosphere, and every year of increasing CO2 results in LESS warming (CO2’s effects are logarithmic – something I’m going to make you look up on your own), and things are generally getting better meteorologicaly.  Life likes warmth – always has, probably always will, and more people die from cold events in winter than heat waves in summer.

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