August 19, 2010

This week in Prof. Rick's horn book Earth sciences

File under#blamesunspots

Dadgummit, it's those local bloggers again, and they're chortling!

This week Prof. Rick reminds us that measurements in solar activity are indeed taken into consideration by scientists when formulating calculations, algorithms, and computer modeling related to assessing the effects of heat* trapped by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Even for fallible scientists, that fiery orb is mighty difficult to ignore.

Thanks, Prof. Rick, for the enlightenment. Unfortunately Prof. Rick's blinding glimpses of the obvious and his links to newspaper opinion columns do zero work by way of validating Republican candidate Ron Johnson's assertion that it's "far more likely it's just sunspot activity" that's causing observed increases in global temperatures.

Nor does Prof. Rick venture to undertake a defense of Ron Johnson's much wilder claim that excess carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere "gets sucked down by trees and helps the trees grow."

Given the dramatically inverse relationship between increasing carbon emissions and reducing global forestation, perhaps engaging that sparkling gem of scientific reasoning far exceeded even Prof. Rick's formidable powers of conservative Republican apologetic.

In the meantime it seems unlikely that Ron Johnson places his bonsai tree collection beneath the tailpipe of an idling Escalade overnight.

Nor would he sit in a chamber pumped full of "excess" carbon dioxide.

* Heat, as contrasted with temperature, which makes Prof. Rick's attempted funny at Russ Feingold's expense fall completely flat.

eta: "It's an important point," sez funnyman and dendrochronologist Patrick McIlheran. Yes. Hard to believe nobody thought of it before.

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