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  1. #11
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    Yea, heat island effect is real, because of the materials we use.

    As for environmental problems not related to warming, I was listening to a dirt scientist (can't remember the name of the field) that was talking about how we need to adopt more sustainable ways of using the land to prevent the erosion of topsoil (combo of fine sediment and organic matter that sustains life on the crust). He was referencing different cultures of the past that had been done in by such erosion and fertility degradation, along with the fact that China is the worst of all the modern nations.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelric View Post
    But for any given area of the earth's surface, it's not like there's MORE energy in urbanized environments than their pre-urban times. I'd imagine that the urban environments, while they retain more heat at night, etc., if anything would reflect more sunlight than trees, dirt, etc. (that's a guess).

    Or are you talking about plants converting energy (sunlight) to increased potential energy (biomass), whereas this doesn't happen among man-made materials prevalent in cities (concrete, etc.) and that is retained as heat?

    Just speculating.
    I don't think urban areas reflect more heat, especially when you consider the fact that so many homes use materials like asphalt shingles. I wonder how many square miles of the Earth's surface we've covered with asphalt, just in the US. You also have to keep in mind that urban areas also have significant effects on the water cycle (much less is absorbed by plants and ground), and water vapor is a much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Which reminds me of another problem, water usage.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  3. #13
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kangirl View Post
    Can you quickly outline why you are worried about colony collapse disorder? What is it? Do you think it's happening right now? I haven't read about this specifically.
    I really don't know enough about it to speak with any authority, but it has been happening with increased frequency lately. I just don't know if it's happening to enough bee colonies to have a significant impact on the overall bee population. I think the reasons we need bees are pretty self evident.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  4. #14
    Queen hunter Virtual ghost's Avatar
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    I think that carbon is quite large problem because it is strong enough to start processes that will then make a capital difference. Plus not all carbon problems are related to warming.
    There are days when I wonder about if this entire global warming thing is pumped so much in the media because someone is trying to cover up other environmental issues that are much easier to swallow.
    But if someone wants to talk about this we have other threads since I have no intention in sabotaging this one with this.




    As for the bees I have few theories.

    1.We are using pesticides to protect our crops but one chemical is in the environment you can't control it completly.
    For example wind can carry a certain amount to a meadow next to a crops.

    2. Big infrastructure can change the amount of moisture in local evlironment.
    Plus this can change the growth rate of fungi or certain parasites. What could destabilize entire colony.

    3. If human activity is too strong in some area it can destabilize the food chain what could efect species that have large number of individuals in the system.

    4. We are relelase very large number of chemicals into the environment so many of them can be assimilated into the plants what can be harmful for many kinds of bugs.

    5. Many environments look like they are intact my human hand but that is not the truth. Since we have created an entire comunications networks.
    Some field can look as beautyful as they were 100 years ago but the thing is that today many of them are full of cell phone sighnals and TV signals.

    6. What could be is easily the most important part here is that they breath through skin. So all the pollution that is released into the environment can easily penetrate their body.


    So when you mix all of this you get the odd that could explain things that are observed in the real world.


    In a way this is no different then what is happening to amphibians.

    Amphibian decline is rapidly worsening

  5. #15
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Antisocial one View Post
    There are days when I wonder about if this entire global warming thing is pumped so much in the media because someone is trying to cover up other environmental issues that are much easier to swallow.
    I don't think there's any conspiracy. I think people latched onto something that's relatively easy to quantify. Carbon is easy to rail against; coal plants are ugly. And global warming is easy to point out; the 90s and early 00s were hot. So it's been relatively easy to get people on the anti-carbon bandwagon. Other climate issues are not so immediately obvious or understandable for the layman.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  6. #16
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    In terms of warming, I do believe urban heat islands play a role with concrete and other materials storing more heat than plants and dirt.
    The storage of heat is generally irrelevant, except as localized issues. The issue would be the amount of solar energy being absorbed by the system in aggregate, which asphalt and the like can definitely play a part of. Cement and the like do not - it actually improves the situation, but the gap is still relatively small between asphalt and plants. Plants themselves reflect relatively little. It's snow that's the big one, along with beaches/sand/meadow areas.


    re: Bees. This one is extremely serious, but the decline seems to have stabilized. Last number I heard was about 33% population decrease. Don't know any of the details behind it though, but know a bit about the natural pollination cycle as several friends/neighbors had their own bee hives. The impact on plants would of been pretty severe, and there aren't many balances in it (not many other types of bees, or other animals, would cross pollinate if the bees dies off.)

    edit: Replaced words and rephrased to make it make... sense.

  7. #17
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    The storage of heat is generally irrelevant, except as localized issues. The issue would be the amount of solar energy being absorbed by the system in aggregate, which asphalt and the like can definitely play a part of. Cement and the like do not - it actually improves the situation, but the gap is still relatively small between asphalt and plants. Plants themselves reflect relatively little. It's snow that's the big one, along with beaches/sand/meadow areas.
    Have you seen any research in this area? I ask because I've heard others state what you have said, but the explanation is too simplistic. My intuition tells me that the time when the heat is re-radiated is important (though I'm not exactly sure how). So while aggregate storage may not be the most important aspect, I think that releasing that heat at a different time of the day will have an effect.

    re: Bees. This one is extremely serious, but the decline seems to have stabilized. Last number I heard was about 33% population decrease. Don't know any of the details behind it though, but know a bit about the natural pollination cycle as several friends/neighbors had their own bee hives. The impact on plants would of been pretty severe, and there aren't many balances in it (not many other types of bees, or other animals, would cross pollinate if the bees dies off.)

    edit: Replaced words and rephrased to make it make... sense.
    33%...damn. If bees die off, we're in for some really rough times.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  8. #18
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    Have you seen any research in this area? I ask because I've heard others state what you have said, but the explanation is too simplistic.
    It depends on what you want to know. Will it have an impact on climate change? Only in aggregate, which IIRC, is extremely small relative to the other effects involved. In many cases, it can add up to be advantageous. The way to think of it is ([reflective index before]-[relfective index after])*([area affected]/[surface area of earth]). Well, technically, you'd want to actual reflective index change relative to the whole planet, but... you get the jist

    In that sense, it's relatively small. It add entropy to the system, but the global concerns are relatively minor.

    (edit: There are some notable exceptions, mainly agricultural, such as in South America. Slash and burn -> farmland is a large scale effect and while it may not be a dire threat globally, the term local isn't as sufficient. For cities, however, they are not notably bad. And I laugh at cities with grass on the roofs for this reason. Trees, please. Get a park, grow some trees. You want air scrubbers, not meadows!)

    My intuition tells me that the time when the heat is re-radiated is important (though I'm not exactly sure how). So while aggregate storage may not be the most important aspect, I think that releasing that heat at a different time of the day will have an effect.
    Locally, it probably matters... but I don't know of much about that. It's rather like pollution. Locally, it matters a lot, but if it's still pretty minor on a global scale, it probably won't have a climate change kind of impact.

  9. #19
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    Locally, it probably matters... but I don't know of much about that. It's rather like pollution. Locally, it matters a lot, but if it's still pretty minor on a global scale, it probably won't have a climate change kind of impact.
    How much do urban areas contribute to an increase in water vapor? There must be some increase because that water has to go somewhere.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  10. #20
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    How much do urban areas contribute to an increase in water vapor? There must be some increase because that water has to go somewhere.
    I don't know (need city planners for this kind of stuff )

    However, it is the ambient temperature that would determine the influence of water vapor (the amount that would stay in the atmosphere)... close to entirely, as I understand it. I don't think we generate water in any larger amounts, except as a by product of energy generation. Water that would be absorbed by the soil would be added to the atmosphere (ie: off city roads), but the majority of that is run off into sewers, which tend to feed into oceans, negating the majority of the effect. The rest of the water tends to be consumed by humans, which also goes directly into the sewage system.

    Having said that, this is just deductive - I don't know the actual numbers. Never heard it as an issue before.

    edit: Just reading into it - Greenhouse gas - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Seems like it really is just temperature that affects it... humans can't directly influence it easily.

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