The recent discovery published in BioScience by a group of scientists seems to add evidence for actions to be taken to prevent human influence on global warming.
The article elaborates evidence that reservoirs created by dams are an important source of greenhouse gasses that are understood as a significant influence on global warming. Most probably, there are no doubts that the article rests on the reliable scientific method. Methane is produced in large quantities from enormous surfaces of water trapped behind artificial dams.
Thus I do not challenge the science behind this article, but the science behind the concept of man produced and consequently man controllable global warming. And this article helps me in this respect a great deal. Why?
Because it adds evidence for complexity behind global warming issues, complexity emerges with the number of items that are interrelated through a network (Stuart Kauffmann: A World Beyond Physics). More evidence for linearity of global warming, less probable it becomes.
Consider this series of questions that fuel global warming phenomena.
Complexity of points
- How many points in the atmosphere do we measure? We know that we can not measure all points around the globe up to 100.000 meters high in the Earth stratosphere. But then we see that we do not have to weigh all points all the time. We can calculate averages – but again those averages are more accurate with each additional measure point and with shorter time lapses between measurements. On micro measurements, we see that we can now predict the weather for the next ten days for a “point” of approximately 5 square km. While this is a joke in micro measurement, even more, important trick happens in climatology, in the macro analysis.
- In climatology macro measurements come in place. But macro measurement also means macro time scale. Saying that in macro measurement, 100.000 years means as much as 1 second of our life or even less. Can we make a difference between 100.000 years ago and 200.000 years ago as meaningful for the climate to change? Even less, we can evaluate climate changes on the scale of 200 years that supposed to belong to the Anthropocene era. (By the way: the idea of the scientific community to declare the Anthropocene era as starting with industrial revolution is naive, ideological and anti-scientific. The hell: stupid! First of all, we can not say the moment when humans appeared on Earth since according to evolutionary theory, this would be utmost stupidity. And second: to erase 99% of human history from the Anthropocene era is something that one can only understand as blindness provoked by the notion that technology replaced a mighty God.) Due to such confusions in macro measurement climate change proponents compare (unreliable) short term temperature rises with quite reliable long term trends.
- And then there is another utterly unresolved question to which mentioned article ads problems. Namely: what influences Earth climate and in what degree each of them influences climate. It should be quite clear that there is no such thing on Earth that would not affect thermodynamic equilibrium. We do know that butterfly wing movement in China could in theory and in practice influence a storm in the USA. This is not a metaphor. It is only a metaphor as it explains in clear language that it is impossible to list all provoked events from a butterfly in China to a storm in the USA. But this is only one event that happens each moment at each point of our atmosphere.
Nature is irreducible
What has to be done to manipulate Earth’s climate is to permutate all results of all three above questions. And since each of three questions produces a permuted (huge) number of possible outcomes, the permutation of all results brings many options and relations higher than the number of atoms in the entire Universe. We will understand relations with scientific experiments better every day. Still, we will never be able to develop an algorithm that would describe the system and allow us to influence it with predictable results.
Even more. As Stuart Kauffmann clearly describes in already mentioned A World Beyond Physics, the biosphere is irreducible and not explainable by any algorithm in principle.
Article in BioScience is thus crucial, for it adds additional evidence to the complexity of climate to those that still believe someday we will be able to deduce it to a manageable algorithm. But it is also crucial for another reason: it brings cognitive dissonance to all prophets of renewable energy mantra. Hydropower was acclaimed as one of “cleanest” and “carbon-free” energy sources available. With solar panels inefficient and causing problems in disposing of used solar panels, now we have hydropower not only to be blamed for huge “visual” damages to Mother Nature but also as crucial global warming factor. Poor global-warming-panic-makers, you will have to read some philosophy as well and learn that sometimes less is more and more is less.