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Ocean Circulation Doesn't Work As Expected

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the veins-and-arteries-of-the-oceans dept.

Earth 658

techno-vampire writes with word that a long-accepted model of deep ocean currents is inaccurate. Deep Sea News has a summary of the research, to be published in Nature. The Woods Hole press release has more details. "A 50-year-old model of global thermohaline circulation that predicts a deep Atlantic counter current below the Gulf Stream is now formally called into question by an armada of subsurface RAFOS floats drifting 700 - 1500m deep. Nearly 80% of the RAFOS floats escaped the Deep Western Boundary Current (DWBC), drifting into the open ocean. This confirms suspicions that have been around since the 1990s, and likely plays havoc with global models of climate change."

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The global (computer) models of climate change (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27966783)

aren't accurate? For Gore's sake, what a surprise!

Re:The global (computer) models of climate change (4, Insightful)

N1ck0 (803359) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967217)

Ocean current that might vary in flow and not exactly match models that are decades old...sheesh. Don't they teach kids how to do fluid dynamics calculations with billions upon billions of variables all of which change over with time and depend on a multitude of other models which themselves have varying levels of accuracy to their data these days.

Re:The global (computer) models of climate change (5, Funny)

hey! (33014) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967533)

sheesh. Don't they teach kids how to do fluid dynamics calculations with billions upon billions of variables all of which change over with time and depend on a multitude of other models which themselves have varying levels of accuracy to their data these days.

My wife went to grad school in physical oceanography (at WHOI, it turns out).

One of my MIT buddies was this guy who pretty much finished up course 18 (Mathematics) undergrad requirements at the end of his sophomore year, and spent the next two years studying these really thin, expensive, and badly printed books of what looked like the output of a line printer on the wrong parity setting. I knew my then girlfriend was in trouble when I told this guy what she was studying and he was impressed.

Re:The global (computer) models of climate change (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27967301)

This is slashdot so I'll just assume you didn't RTFA. Here's the original article:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090513130942.htm

In summary, this finding just makes it harder to measure the effects of climate change. No where does it invalidate climate change you dumb ass. Instead of just measuring the cold return current as they previously thought, the water takes a diffuse route back to the tropics.

Driving Blind (5, Insightful)

StCredZero (169093) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967307)

In other words, now we don't know what might happen and we're *still* mucking with our climate.

Re:Driving Blind (5, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967563)

Today's oil and coal was once carbon dioxide that floated in the atmosphere. What was life like back then? Pretty much the same as now, but more tropical. Giant reptiles roamed the planet, while smaller reptiles (proto-mammals) scurried underfoot. It was one of Earth's most-productive periods and a great time to live, not a tragedy.

I think global warming, if it happens, will be great. No more frozen Canada or Siberia - we can settle those lands and grow more food than in the entire existence of humankind. It requires adaptation, not fear.

deniers come out in 3 .. 2 .. 1 .. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27966785)

global warming deniers come out in 3 .. 2 .. 1 ..

Re:deniers come out in 3 .. 2 .. 1 .. (5, Insightful)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 5 years ago | (#27966887)

I do enjoy the irony.

This confirms suspicions that have been around since the 1990's, and likely plays havoc with global models of climate change.

So, in the AC's world, the entire underpinnings of ocean circulation can be incorrect, yet the conclusions are NOT to be questioned.

Hence the label, 'denier'.

That is not what I understand to be science.

Re:deniers come out in 3 .. 2 .. 1 .. (2, Insightful)

tmosley (996283) | more than 5 years ago | (#27966993)

Mod parent up. Global warming isn't science, it's politics.

Re:deniers come out in 3 .. 2 .. 1 .. (5, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967137)

Mod parent up. Global warming isn't science, it's politics.

No, it's actually science.

What do you think is going to happen now? Either scientists will ignore this data or they will incorporate it into their models... wanna bet they incorporate it?

Wanna bet CO2 still warms the atmosphere after they incorporate the new ocean current data? We won't know for sure until they incorporate the new data, but I'll take that bet.

Unless, of course, your contention is correct and they are not scientists - then they will simply ignore the new data, right?

Re:deniers come out in 3 .. 2 .. 1 .. (3, Insightful)

inviolet (797804) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967239)

What do you think is going to happen now? Either scientists will ignore this data or they will incorporate it into their models... wanna bet they incorporate it?

Wanna bet CO2 still warms the atmosphere after they incorporate the new ocean current data? We won't know for sure until they incorporate the new data, but I'll take that bet.

That's all well and good, and as it should be. The ONLY problem here, is that some folks want to make trillion-dollar adjustments to industry all over the world based on these models which are still in such a preliminary state.

(The trillion-dollar adjustments involve increasing everyone's cost of living in order to internalize costs that may not actually be negative externalities, and include the imposition of a very expensive administrative layer atop everything carbon-related.)

Re:deniers come out in 3 .. 2 .. 1 .. (5, Insightful)

Bemopolis (698691) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967401)

That's all well and good, and as it should be. The ONLY problem here, is that some folks want to make trillion-dollar adjustments to industry all over the world based on these models which are still in such a preliminary state.

No, there are TWO problems — the one you mention, and another one, where the people who make their coin on the status quo (and the politicians that they own) will ignore all evidence that the current way of doing business might make the planet unlivable. Or, at a minimum, cost a trillion dollars to adjust to as it changes.

Re:deniers come out in 3 .. 2 .. 1 .. (3, Insightful)

Gospodin (547743) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967639)

No, there are TWO problems -- the one you mention, and another one, where the people who make their coin on the status quo (and the politicians that they own) will ignore all evidence that the current way of doing business might make the planet unlivable. Or, at a minimum, cost a trillion dollars to adjust to as it changes.

You say that like it's a bad thing.

If we have to choose between spending a trillion dollars now and spending a trillion fifty years from now, which should we do? Personally, I'd rather wait the fifty.

But more importantly, there's a philosophical point to be made. When faced with a possible problem, should you always make a radical change to the status quo? Well, what do you do in your personal life? Most people don't do this, unless the potential problem is both very serious and has a high probability. The ones who want to effect massive changes know this and want to convince us on both counts.

Ultimately, though, broken models like this one do damage to the radical policymakers. Those policy choices are dependent on not just climate models, but economic models based on those climate models. If we can't even trust the climate models, where do you think we are with the economic models? And how can we possibly justify spending such massive sums with that much uncertainty as to the outcome?

We might end up impoverishing ourselves to such a degree that we don't have the technology to handle whatever the climate does throw us. And that would be just as disastrous. So there are risks either way. I say stick to the status quo until we know we can't.

Re:deniers come out in 3 .. 2 .. 1 .. (3, Informative)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967251)

That may be true now, but it used to be science, a long time ago, back in the 1990s, back when only journals and magazines such as Science or Nature would talk about it and that no one else cared or listened. I grew up in the 1990s in France reading Science & Vie, global warming was there all along, back then we called it 'climate warming', but then suddenly the American public started caring, and that's when the shit went down and it all became controversial and hysterical.

You damn kids and your newfangled climatological hysteria, get off my lawn!

Re:deniers come out in 3 .. 2 .. 1 .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27967579)

Mod parent up. Global warming isn't science, it's politics.

How true! I invented the physics of greenhouse gasses when I was running for mayor of Peoria.

Re:deniers come out in 3 .. 2 .. 1 .. (5, Insightful)

tgibbs (83782) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967033)

The perennial war cry of the crank is "If this one thing is wrong, then nothing they say can be trusted!"

Of course, in the real world, all data has flaws, and all interpretations are subject to revision. So a demand for absolute perfection gives the crank license to engage in cherry-picking, rationalizing away the data he doesn't like, while accepting that which feeds his obsession.

Real science doesn't work that way. When new data comes in, or errors are found in old data, the scientist carefully reassesses conclusions in the light of the new evidence.

Re:deniers come out in 3 .. 2 .. 1 .. (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967183)

I agree completely. Where, though, are these practitioners of 'Real science'?

It isn't my field, but this seems like a big deal to me. Years of work would need to be reassessed in the light of this sort of a discovery.

It seems a tad soon to break out the "denier" and "crank" handles to me.

Re:deniers come out in 3 .. 2 .. 1 .. (0, Troll)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967221)

Real science doesn't work that way. When new data comes in, or errors are found in old data, the scientist carefully reassesses conclusions in the light of the new evidence.

That's right. Whenever the global warming science is shown to be questionable, you just need to dive right in and blame the problems on the deniers. It's all their fault that the science doesn't ever work out, so they need to be reassessed to a pole, with a large fire build around them, for a very hot conclusion, then you'll have your new evidence of warming by roasting marshmallows on their frying butts!

Global warming has to be real, otherwise how would someone like Algore have gotten a Nobel Prize for making a movie about it?

Re:deniers come out in 3 .. 2 .. 1 .. (5, Informative)

Gospodin (547743) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967289)

There are two separate issues here. On the one hand there are certainly serious scientists working on climatology and climate change. I have no doubt they will incorporate the new information and work to improve their models. However, they are also much more careful about their certainty of the future, than...

The other side of the debate, which is political; it deals with what policies (if any) should be put in place to combat climate change. And in this realm, we are being bombarded by "it's settled science", "it's going to happen", "we have to act in ten years or it'll be too late", etc. ad inf. And the unseriousness of these positions is made clear by radical flaws in models such as the one referenced in this article.

Re:deniers come out in 3 .. 2 .. 1 .. (4, Funny)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967293)

war cry of the crank

OMG. Best. Game. Title. Evar.

Re:deniers come out in 3 .. 2 .. 1 .. (1)

GeekWade (623925) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967339)

You and agree on this. The paid shills with science degrees may too, but most will still produce pretty diagrams that look a lot like the political leanings of their sugar daddies.

Re:deniers come out in 3 .. 2 .. 1 .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27967351)

No, the perennial war cry of the crank is "They didn't believe NAME_OF_GENIUS_HERE either!"

The implication being that as geniuses were considered crazy in their time, so people who are crazy must really be geniuses!

but it's not just one thing (1)

SpiceWare (3438) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967461)

Has the global sea ice decline stopped? [chron.com]

The planet has not shown substantial warming [wordpress.com] for a decade now. The Gore Effect [politico.com] seems to be holding. Some glaciers are advancing [nsf.gov] . And the Arctic Sea ice [nsidc.org] appears to have halted its decline, if only temporarily.

Re:deniers come out in 3 .. 2 .. 1 .. (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967617)

What I would like to see is some more data before we start passing laws that are ruinous economically.

However, since we are doomed in 30 to 50 years anyway, it's a bit of jerking off anyway.

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may.

Re:deniers come out in 3 .. 2 .. 1 .. (2, Insightful)

hardburn (141468) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967075)

The ultimate goal of these models is to make solid predictions on the effects of climate change. As of yet, few if any are much more than toys. They're useful toys in so far as they help move us towards a good model, but toys just the same.

However, the fact that climate change is occuring and directly related to human activity is based on empirical data. The models being wrong do not change that conclusion.

Re:deniers come out in 3 .. 2 .. 1 .. (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967229)

However, the fact that climate change is occuring and directly related to human activity is based on empirical data. The models being wrong do not change that conclusion.

Based on what work?

You can already say that misrepresenting how the ocean currents work will have no impact on the conclusion?

How?

Re:deniers come out in 3 .. 2 .. 1 .. (3, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967447)

That global warming is occurring is based on empirical data I'll grant; but how is the human cause based on empirical data? In order to make an empirical assertion about a cause you would need a control group, which is pretty much impossible with a sample size of one.

We think that the cause his human activity because its the simplest explanation for such a rapid rise in temperatures, that's not the same as saying we have direct experimental evidence that says the same thing.

Re:deniers come out in 3 .. 2 .. 1 .. (5, Interesting)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967101)

Ocean Circulation doesn't affect the *global* temperature directly. It simply redistributes the heat around the planet. Hence the name CONVEYOR.

The down side is that if the 'conveyor' belt doesn't work as we expect, global warming may actually end up being WORSE. The (now questined) premise of the conveyor belt is that if the northern Atlantic ocean becomes less salty (due to melting Greenland ice), the water stops falling to the ocean depths, and since no conveyor means no warm gulf steam to warm the northeastern US and European continents, they will get colder.

This in turn produces more snowfall in the northern latitudes, thicker ice, etc. Which in turn reflects more sunlight lessening the effects of global warming.

So the conveyor belt may act as somewhat of a coarse 'brake' on global warming over longer time frames.

Or at least that was the theory. If the conveyor belt doesn't work as we thought, it might just mean we will feel the full effects of global warming.

Some of the deniers will jump on this as a natural cycle. Understand it that is a natural environment *response* to an unnatural influx of carbon dioxide from humans.

Re:deniers come out in 3 .. 2 .. 1 .. (2, Informative)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967135)

and since no conveyor means no warm gulf steam to warm the northeastern US and European continents, they will get colder.

Does the Gulf Stream actually have much of an impact on North America? Wouldn't the typical weather patterns (i.e: west to east) suggest that the heat moved by the Gulf Stream would wind up making most of it's impact on the Atlantic Ocean and Europe?

Re:deniers come out in 3 .. 2 .. 1 .. (1)

GargamelSpaceman (992546) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967331)

Yeah, I think the gulf stream bypasses any warming of the northeastern US. This is more of a problem for Europe.

Re:deniers come out in 3 .. 2 .. 1 .. (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967393)

Does the Gulf Stream actually have much of an impact on North America?

Pretty darn likely [geotimes.org] . (Neat picture, BTW).

Re:deniers come out in 3 .. 2 .. 1 .. (2, Insightful)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967463)

Or, it could also make global warming somehow better than it was predicted. It could be either worse or better, and those studies that predicted the end of the world if Kyoto wasn't ratified will need to be redone.

This will take time.

Shoring up conclusions today without considering that these original assumptions were false is NOT science.

And, on a side note, I like these sorts of statements:

Understand it that is a natural environment *response* to an unnatural influx of carbon dioxide from humans.

As if humans have the capability of creating matter from thin air now...

Every molecule of carbon on Earth was here before we were aware of it, and it will all still be here long after the race has ran itself out.

You can reasonably blame human behavior if you like, but placing the blame squarely on 'carbon' is a fashionista tactic, and little else.

Personally, I wonder why we're not considering the impact of all the little heat pockets we need to survive on this planet. Think about it - we warm our cars, our homes, our beverages, we use electrical devices that ALL radiate heat, and we're actually producing a fair amount of thermal energy just by walking around and breathing...

For that matter, what about all the concrete/asphalt in the world? That stuff gets HOT in the sun light, and there's a lot of it. Could that not warm things up a bit? There used to be trees there, you know...

All that heat, and yet we blame poor little 'carbon'. :D

But seriously, I do fear that an all-electric world will produce more net heat than an oil-powered one, if for no other reason than oil has a far greater energy density than we can currently achieve with electricity.

Re:deniers come out in 3 .. 2 .. 1 .. (5, Insightful)

jhw539 (982431) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967185)

"That is not what I understand to be science."

What I see is the scientific establishment diligently working to identify flaws in the existing theory of climate change and freely publishing any flaws found. The FACT is that the scientific community is vigorously collecting data to challenge and correct where necessary climate change theory, and has been for over two decades now. Note this is the same scientific community that has endorsed the current climate change theories and it's predictions - which include pretty fat error bars you know.

I understand that to be science and is why I respect the consensus of National Academies of Science (or equivalent bodies) across the first world in this matter (and not Mr Gore or Exxon or the headline of the week).

Re:deniers come out in 3 .. 2 .. 1 .. (3, Insightful)

FooRat (182725) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967215)

So, in the AC's world, the entire underpinnings of ocean circulation can be incorrect, yet the conclusions are NOT to be questioned.

Perhaps that's because the fact that the planet is getting warmer is, um, a *fact*. We measure that. This doesn't call that "conclusion" into question; at best it implies we have even less understanding of why the planet is getting hotter, which suggests we need *less* calm, not more. Our temperature measurements aren't wrong, and still remain valid.

Re:deniers come out in 3 .. 2 .. 1 .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27967511)

Or at least, they remain as valid or invalid as they were before.

Re:deniers come out in 3 .. 2 .. 1 .. (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967583)

Our temperature measurements aren't wrong, and still remain valid.

Absolutely true.

And yet I understand that the Earth warmed and cooled periodically without the intervention of humanity.

Correlation does not equal causation. Ever.

Humanity is so prideful that we insist we understand every tiny nuance of a vastly complex system to the level where we understand which actions we need to take in the short term.

We're so infallible that we absolutely know that these are the correct courses of action despite when we discover that 50-some years of climate science have been using the wrong data.

This is what separates us from the animals, and I am grateful for it, to be sure. But it does make me chuckle from time to time...

Re:deniers come out in 3 .. 2 .. 1 .. (0, Troll)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967423)

It equally implies that the evidence underpinning the "denial" is incorrect.

So lets face it, there is very little science and an awful lot of jealous hatred of Al Gore motivating the deniers in this thread.

Re:deniers come out in 3 .. 2 .. 1 .. (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967603)

So long as we're willing to concede the opposite as well, in reverence to intellectual honesty...

Re:deniers come out in 3 .. 2 .. 1 .. (5, Funny)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 5 years ago | (#27966931)

There is no global warming. It's just the surface. The core temperature is unaffected.

Re:deniers come out in 3 .. 2 .. 1 .. (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27966973)

The core temperature is unaffected.

Just wait until some crazy Romulan with a scary looking CGI drilling device comes along ;)

Re:deniers come out in 3 .. 2 .. 1 .. (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967607)

Just wait until some crazy Romulan with a scary looking CGI drilling device comes along ;)

Why does it matter if they control the drilling device with a CGI script?

Re:deniers come out in 3 .. 2 .. 1 .. (1)

wisty (1335733) | more than 5 years ago | (#27966979)

I'm not a denier, but I'd like to see more source code. The Royal Society worked because people were able to reproduce results. Even a worthless bookbinder like Faraday was able to reproduce experiments, if he was curious. Calculus worked because Leibniz published his methodology, and not just his initial assumptions and final results, rather than sitting on it like Newton.

I know there's a few models with published source, but it's a rare thing to see the method and apparatus (i.e. the program that produced the results) displayed in all it's gory detail. The usual excuses ("the code is just research quality", or "nobody would understand it") just don't seem to be in the spirit of science.

Better call Dennis Quaid on Sunday... (0, Offtopic)

anjilslaire (968692) | more than 5 years ago | (#27966787)

cuz it's the Day After Tomorrow

Re:Better call Dennis Quaid on Sunday... (3, Funny)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967079)

Yeah, but today is two days before the day after tomorrow!

Re:Better call Dennis Quaid on Sunday... (1)

anjilslaire (968692) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967377)

offtopic? Climate shifting? Ocean currents? Must be too early for some...

Darn it (1)

bugeaterr (836984) | more than 5 years ago | (#27966795)

And I already replaced all my light bulbs with those dim, mercury-filled corkscrew kind!

Re:Darn it (5, Interesting)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27966955)

And I already replaced all my light bulbs with those dim, mercury-filled corkscrew kind!

I can't be the only one that hates those damn things. They are useful in areas where the lights are left on for extended periods but I find them to be highly annoying in areas that I walk into and out of quickly. They don't even manage to reach full brightness before I've accomplished what I came into the room to do.

They also seem to fail miserably if you have the misfortune of living somewhere that lacks stable voltage. My old apartment had voltage issues because the next door neighbor ran electric kiln's for a glass business. I'd watch the voltage dip from 118V down to 105V and back up to 118V for hours on end when she ran those damn things. The CFL's just couldn't take it. Most of them crapped out within six months. Regular incandescents worked just fine (albeit with annoying changes in brightness when the voltage dipped), as did regular fluorescents.

Re:Darn it (4, Interesting)

mikael (484) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967179)

Worked for a company that was right next to a private school with their own electrically heated swimming pool. Every morning around 11.00am, the fluorescent strips in our room would start blinking one by one then going out. After 12.30pm when the pool had been heated, all the lights would come back on.

Re:Darn it (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967371)

Wow, I wonder what kind of wattage you have to draw to heat a swimming pool? That's kind of impressive, albeit scary.

In my experience the regular old fluorescent setups handled it just fine. I am not an electrical engineer but my guess would be that you could build a better ballast [wikipedia.org] when you aren't limited to the footprint of a CFL. Or perhaps the old mechanical ballasts are more resistant to voltage changes than the newer solid-state ones?

I actually preferred the non-CFL fluorescents because they wouldn't dim as noticeably as incandescents when the voltage dipped. I just wish the CFL's would have tolerated it better. I wasted a decent amount of money trying different brands and swapping them out before I gave up on it and replaced them all with incandescents.

Re:Darn it (5, Informative)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967269)

And I already replaced all my light bulbs with those dim, mercury-filled corkscrew kind!

Dim? The lower energy usage and heat output means I can put "100 Watt equivalent" bulbs in fixtures that are only supposed to have 60 Watt bulbs in them, that's quite a bit brighter. Plus they don't have that horrid long-wavelength tinge to them.

I can't be the only one that hates those damn things. They are useful in areas where the lights are left on for extended periods but I find them to be highly annoying in areas that I walk into and out of quickly. They don't even manage to reach full brightness before I've accomplished what I came into the room to do.

Most of he ones I have hit full brightness pretty much immediately. The ones that do take a while are "floodlight" shape and can go in enclosed spaces without getting fried, don't know whether they're just crappy or starting quickly isn't compatible with surviving that.

Re:Darn it (1)

clickety6 (141178) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967375)

Try getting ones designed for dimmer switches. They should handle it better.

Re:Darn it (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967421)

Or I could replace them with cheaper incandescents which don't come with the added bonus of needing to be driven back to the store to be properly disposed of and which can't poison me if they break.......

Re:Darn it (1)

Diss Champ (934796) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967457)

They also add to issues with getting stable voltage. CFLs have nasty characteristics as loads- one engineer who works in power management told me that they basically cost the power company 5x the amount that they are labeled as. Most non-industrial customers have meters where they are charged for power as rated, but big industrial companies actually pay extra if they have non-unity power factors. It's not just power factors though with CFLs, they induce harmonics with traditional power factor correction doesn't fix for you.

Re:Darn it (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27967503)

Most CFLs instantly turn on to about 70% of the rated brightness and take a couple of minutes to reach 100%. However, since they use less than a quarter of the electricity and produce much less heat, you can use a CFL which is rated as 50% brighter than the incandescent it replaces. That results in instant 1.5*0.7=105% brightness and 150% brightness after a couple of minutes, while still using less than a third of the electricity.

Also, get your electrical installation fixed.

Re:Darn it (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967635)

>>>They don't even manage to reach full brightness

Agreed. Those are the "instant on" kind, which start dim and then gradually warm-up. I've reached the conclusion that the best fluorescent light is the "flickering" kind that takes 1 second to turn-on, but its at full brightness. IMHO that's a better bulb.

Re:Darn it (1)

GargamelSpaceman (992546) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967499)

Ok, aside from the mercury, anyone has got to admit that those things are awesome. They aren't dim at all if you're using a bright enough wattage, and if you percieve a dimness, then you can increase the wattage and still be paying less than you would to run an incandescent bulb. They say right on the package in dollars how much they save you compared with incandescent bulbs over their life. It's always about four times what you pay for the bulbs or more. They don't get as hot ( less fire hazard ) and they last on the order of years rather than months. They beat incandescent bulbs in any contest. The only thing incandescent bulbs can do that the corkscrew fluorescent kind can't do is run off a dimmer. That's why my house has exactly 4 incandescent bulbs in a cieling fan running off a dimmer. And I could give a damn about the environment. I only care about it when it doesn't decrease my standard of living to, which is practically not at all.

Re:Darn it (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967597)

Buy better ones you shortsighted cheapskate.
The amount of mercury in the cfl is less than the amount a coal burning plant would put out due to the extra electrical draw an incandescent bulb would take.

If you eat canned tuna you should not even be thinking about the tiny amount of mercury in a cfl.

Oh and they will save you a ton on your power bills.

Warning: NSFW! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27966821)

I wish you had warned about that masthead.

Got into lots of trouble with my boss who just happens to be a jellyfish.

Don't tell me, let me guess... (0)

kclittle (625128) | more than 5 years ago | (#27966841)

... we're all gonna die, right?

Re:Don't tell me, let me guess... (0, Flamebait)

quangdog (1002624) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967003)

Nope. The Obama administration will save us all by passing some legislation to regulate the currents back to the way they are supposed to work.

We'll be fine.

Re:Don't tell me, let me guess... (1)

cptnapalm (120276) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967047)

I'm personally hoping that Congress repeals the laws of physics.

Re:Don't tell me, let me guess... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27967341)

100,000 union workers with paddles.

With a fleet of lawyers to monitor from the ocean floor.

that won't stop old Al (3, Funny)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 5 years ago | (#27966849)

Clearly this is a product of Western materialism. However, Al Gore will stop at nothing to demonstrate our danger:

http://www.theonion.com/content/news/al_gore_caught_warming_globe_to [theonion.com]

Re:that won't stop old Al (2, Interesting)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967053)

Manbearpig

No, No, now it's worse!!!! (4, Insightful)

crypTeX (643412) | more than 5 years ago | (#27966855)

Despite the fact that we didn't have accurate data about the pattern of ocean currents earlier, we can now welcome panicked decrees that we are changing the pattern of ocean currents!

Re:No, No, now it's worse!!!! (3, Funny)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967023)

Don't worry. It won't affect us before the CERN black holes have eaten the planet. :-)

more study required (1)

naeone (1430095) | more than 5 years ago | (#27966861)

more study required and then to re run those disaster scenarios the day after the week tomorrow

"long accepted" (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27966883)

Something that everyone should keep in mind with nearly any theory regarding earth science -- "long accepted" doesn't go back very far. Most "modern" geologic (and oceanographic) theories only go back 40 or 50 years. When compared to the other major scientific fields, that's not very long at all. Hell, we've understood nuclear fusion and fission longer than we've understood the basic mechanics of the Earth.

Re:"long accepted" (1)

pj2541 (600359) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967527)

"... understood the basic mechanics of the Earth."

?

The whole point of this article is that we don't yet understand the basic mechanics of the Earth.

But Al Gore says (-1, Flamebait)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 5 years ago | (#27966885)

and likely plays havoc with global models of climate change

      But I thought the discussion was over, and there was no argument against climate change. All scientists agree on global warming. End of story.

      Of course really smart people will see all of these shenanigans as a way for the politicians to prepare the world for "carbon taxes", "carbon rationing" etc. Not being satisfied with a fair percentage of our incomes AND a chunk of every single transaction (sales/VAT, etc), the governments need to screw even MORE money out of the people. Carbon taxes are where the future is at. What better mantra to get the sheep braying than "OR THE WORLD WILL END".

      The amount of CO2 in the world is fixed. There is not more C02 in the world than there was several billion years ago. The oil came from somewhere, idiots. God didn't magically place it underground. It was once in the atmosphere. So it goes back into the atmosphere - big deal. Some species will die. Others will benefit. END OF STORY.

Re:But Al Gore says (2, Insightful)

rhakka (224319) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967027)

"some species will die".

yes, that's kind of the problem, isn't it? Since the oil predates human existence, who's to say the world that results from the release of all of that sequestered carbon leaves us a world in which WE will survive? We have never survived a world in which all that carbon was in the atmosphere before.

I'm not really a big worrier about climate change... other environmental issues bother me a lot more... but your argument is a bit weak.

Re:But Al Gore says (1)

GargamelSpaceman (992546) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967581)

People are quite cockroachlike, though not quite cockroaches ourselves. We will survive as a species in some sort of existence if any animals of 30+ pounds survive.

Re:But Al Gore says (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27967029)

There is such a thing as stable states. By your logic, uranium underground, uranium in atmosphere, no difference, right?

Re:But Al Gore says (1)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967045)

The amount of CO2 in the world is fixed. There is not more C02 in the world than there was several billion years ago.

No, the amount of carbon is fixed (ignoring unnoticeably small effects like gasses lost to space, and nuclear decay, and the like). If I burn a pencil, that carbon goes from graphite and organic material to CO2, and the amount of CO2 actually increases a tiny bit. Carbon can also be found in various kinds of rock, such as limestone... I think the carbon in limestone is actually carbon that used to be in CO2 in the atmosphere, since it's sedimentary rock.

Re:But Al Gore says (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27967067)

And of course the observant people will see that what the politicians says needs done very rarely matches what they're told by climatologists.

The amount of CO2 in the world is fixed. There is not more C02 in the world than there was several billion years ago. The oil came from somewhere, idiots.

Oh dear, I'm sorry but this made me lol. The amount of carbon and oxygen atoms has remained relatively constant of course, but the whole point is that when they are components of long chain hydrocarbons, they are not carbon dioxide molecules!

It was once in the atmosphere. So it goes back into the atmosphere - big deal. Some species will die. Others will benefit. END OF STORY.

And given our dependence on so many species of animal and plant, some think that its in our best interests to minimise such extinctions. And also, more specifically, we are trying to reduce the number of human deaths that occur, as we'd prefer to reduce our population in a controlled manner, rather than through famine and drought. You actually have a problem with that? Yeesh.

Re:But Al Gore says (5, Interesting)

Splab (574204) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967107)

It's kind of poetic how stupid you come off trying to dis on the global warming people.

1. Pretty much everyone agrees that the term global warming is bad, since what is happening is global climate change, which is very real and a very big problem.
2. The amount of CO2 is not fixed as you claim, CO2 is a by product of chemical reactions. There are also reactions going the other way, but unfortunately we are producing way more CO2 than is being consumed, this is a problem.
3. While you are correct that the world will probably survive just fine as a whole, some of us are rather concerned about the amount of climate refuges we are going to see and in time the wars that will most likely follow.

Re:But Al Gore says (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967387)

3. While you are correct that the world will probably survive just fine as a whole, some of us are rather concerned about the amount of climate refuges we are going to see and in time the wars that will most likely follow.

Good point. Part of what killed the Roman empire was a slight climate change (the world getting colder), causing more people going southwards, where the Roman empire was "in the way".

Re:But Al Gore says (2)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967143)

Some species will die. Others will benefit. END OF STORY.

The only question is in what group our species will be found.

Re:But Al Gore says (1)

cptnapalm (120276) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967161)

I'm with you on the substance of what you say.

But even really smart people can be amazingly stupid, at least from time to time. It doesn't mean that they are stupid all the time, just that they are, well, people.

Case in point, I had this professor of ethics who was an incredibly bright guy. When in high school, one of his experiments went on the space shuttle. Attended Harvard, got his PhD at Brown. He had a phenomenal memory and a great broad understanding of his field.

He also was fired because he was living in his office, since he spent all his money on heroin. Actually, he didn't make enough money to support his habit, so he robbed houses. Pretty stupid.

Not sure if it is that big of a deal. (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 5 years ago | (#27966889)

TFA says there is a cold water current that exists, but it just happens to flow differently than previously thought.

FTFA:

"This new path is not constrained by the continental shelf. It's more diffuse," said Bower. "It's a swath in the wide-open, turbulent interior of the North Atlantic and much more difficult to access and study."

Oh no (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27966905)

Grumpy comments from the "right to bear coal-fired-power stations" gang will be arriving in three, two, one ...

Chuck Norris of climate change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27966909)

I don't care what the research shows, Al Gore IS the Chuck Norris of climate change. If Al Gore says its warming then mis-understood ocean currents and insufficient data points be damned, its warming.

"The entire North Polar ice cap.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27966933)

...may well be completely gone in 5 years."

- Al Gore, December 2008

what a suprise (4, Insightful)

wjh31 (1372867) | more than 5 years ago | (#27966941)

who would have ever guessed that we would have trouble forming an accurate model of a vast, complex, chaotic system

Re:what a suprise (-1, Flamebait)

Zordak (123132) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967111)

Apparently not the entire scientific community, which I was told all unanimously agreed that our models are infallible because they were blessed by His Holiness Al Gore.

Not wrong, just wrong place... (1)

bl968 (190792) | more than 5 years ago | (#27966977)

Doesn't mean it's totally wrong, just that they are looking in the wrong place...

Using field observations and computer models, the study shows that much of the southward flow of cold water from the Labrador Sea moves not along the deep western boundary current, but along a previously unknown path in the interior of the North Atlantic.

Re:Not wrong, just wrong place... (0, Troll)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967619)

The payroll program isn't totally wrong when it calculates that you owe 5X more taxes than you get paid, it's just a slight miscalculation. you wouldn't want to discredit the program for something this minor. Just leave a check to cover the taxes at the front desk every week.

Algore and friends are using flawed models like this to increase the costs of living. Higher taxes, more expensive goods and services. While he is using 50x the normal power for ONE of his own houses. It's "do as I say, not as I do".

The "science" always turns up flawed. Until they can come up with a model of the planet that can predict the current/past history, how do they expect to predict future events? How are you supposed to fix something when you don't even begin to understand, and aren't even sure it's happening? Are you sure what you're doing isn't having the opposite effect on the environment from what you want?

I love science (4, Informative)

SoupGuru (723634) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967149)

Damnit, I love science!

This is how it's supposed to work.

Doesn't contradict global warming (5, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967169)

These results don't say that global warming is occurring. In fact, they neither support nor oppose the idea at all. The Woods Hole press release [eurekalert.org] is fairly neutral:

And since this cold southward-flowing water is thought to influence and perhaps moderate human-caused climate change, this finding may impact the work of global warming forecasters.

"May impact the work of global warming forecasters" is true; it might also influence the thinking of UFO chasers but that won't help determine whether they're piloted by little green men. This research will complicate models designed to model the specific effects of global warming. Given how much is unknown yet, and how much has yet to be determined by human activities (to the extent that we choose to mitigate or fail to mitigate our impact on the biosphere) those models are already only potentially correct by marvelous coincidence anyway.

Re:Doesn't contradict global warming (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967637)

it might also influence the thinking of UFO chasers but that won't help determine whether they're piloted by little green men.

Well, the little green men are probably here because they use the cold, nutrient rich waters of the Western Current to irrigate the symbiotic culture of blue-green algae that colors their skin and from which their bloodstream harvests ATP molecules.

Um, not quite. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27967181)

IAAPO (physical oceanographer).

The quoted blog is being a little over-excited about this. There's nothing in WHOI's press release that suggests that this brings the thermohaline circulation tumbling down, and certainly nothing to play "havoc" with climate models. Quoth the press release:

And since this cold southward-flowing water is thought to influence and perhaps moderate human-caused climate change, this finding may impact the work of global warming forecasters.

"This finding means it is going to be more difficult to measure climate signals in the deep ocean," Lozier said. "We thought we could just measure them in the Deep Western Boundary Current, but we really can't."

In other words, the circulation is there, but it's more diffuse that expected, and so you can measure it by looking at a well-defined path along the continental shelf as expected. That requires some revamping of theory, and will make circulation model validation and data assimilation more difficult, but that's all.

The DWBC has an interesting scientific history -- it's one of the few ocean phenomena predicted by theory before it was observed, in part because its depth and slowness prevented observation.

But, hey, never mind, Al Gore, manbearpig, lalala I can't hear you.

ocean bug report? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27967199)

Is it me, or does the title sound like a bug report indicating that the oceans to not behave properly?

Can not reproduce. Will not fix.

Most things don't work like we expect (1)

UseCase (939095) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967227)

We (mankind) are currently lacking in the capability to accurately quantify many natural phenomena. We may not ever, given our nature and the nature of the universe, be able to see somethings as they actually are.

News at 11! (1)

GordonCopestake (941689) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967235)

Shock - Simplified computer models of $HIGHLY_COMPLEX_SYSTEM found to be inaccurate! News at 11!

I don't get it (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967283)

"...and likely plays havoc with global models of climate change"

So, they think it might make a difference in the model, but they don't know - which means they haven't tested it and are going on gut instinct that a single boundary condition to a problem with thousands of boundary conditions (not all equal, of course) will completely reverse the theory and find out that the earth is acting in a way opposite to our expectations.

Call me when they actually update the model and correlate it with global temperature readings. Being wrong in one area is no big deal. Being wrong and having it completely invalidate the overall results is quite different.

Mmmm, CPMA (2, Funny)

ndg123 (801212) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967347)

Its been a while since I worked a problem queue for a living, but this sev 1 defect which has been raised "Ocean Circulation Doesn't Work As Expected" is just going to be closed as "Working as designed".

"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, (3, Insightful)

idontgno (624372) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967419)

the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny...'"

-- Isaac Asimov

I don't care. I BELIEVE in climate change. (-1, Flamebait)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967439)

We KNOW the truth, we KNOW it will happen, because we KNOW we are the chosen people of Gore. These scientists are just heathen sinners trying to make us stray off the path to liberation.

Can I get an amen?

Yeah! Faith brothers, hold onto your faith. Global warming is coming and we must be prepared for the grand revelation.

/end

I think that pretty much sums-up the current state of climate change supporters. Although some are rational, most are not. They claim to trust science, and yet when science shows data that questions climate change, suddenly that science is "right-wing propaganda" or some other nonsense. It's more religion than logic.

Nice FUD (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967633)

I like how you've used this story as a place to post your rant, when in fact this particular piece of information only suggests that our models for precisely what will happen as the globe warms are wrong. As they were pretty much guaranteed to be wrong anyway (which is why we call weather a chaotic system — we don't get it yet, and "small" inputs can have large so-far-unpredictable outputs) this is entirely irrelevant to the question of global warming. Science still says the answer is "yes". If you want to know whether your particular valley is going to get warmer or cooler, then this information is directly relevant to you. If you want to know whether the Earth is warming or cooling, it's not that relevant. It says where and how, not what.

The Difference Between Science and Politics (5, Insightful)

LordKaT (619540) | more than 5 years ago | (#27967477)

Science: "We've observed that the Earth's climate is getting warmer by nearly a full degree Celsius over a period of observation of around 200 years. We've noticed a correlating increase in CO2 emissions in that timespan."

Politics: "GLOBAL WARMING IS GOING TO CHANGE EVERYTHING ABOUT OUR LIVES!"

Science: "But the Earth is 4.54 billion years old, so our dataset is incomplete."

Politics: "THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS GLOBAL WARMING, WE DON'T KNOW ENOUGH ABOUT THE EARTH!"

Science: "Of course, we've seen in tests that increasing the level of CO2 in an environment can significantly increase the temperature of an environment."

Politics: "CO2 CAUSES WORLD OT GET HOTTER!"

Science: "One of the leading theories we have as to the increase in global temperatures is this so-called 'blanket-effect'"

Politics: "GLOBAL WARMING IS BLANKET EFFECT! WE ALL MUST USE HYBRIDS NOW OR DIE!"

Science: "On the other hand, it's still a possibility that we're in a natural cycle of global warming. We saw a similar pattern in history, which occurred right before we experienced a miniature ice age."

Politics: "GLOBAL WARMING NATURAL CYCLE. ICE AGE IMMINENT!"

Repeat until you either change the channel or become so psychotic from the endless political bashing that you go out and kill 50 or 60 people, just to relieve the stress.

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