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Milky Way's Spiral Arms Could Not Have Caused Climate Change

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the it-was-the-one-armed-galaxy dept.

Space 86

KentuckyFC writes "One of the puzzles of Earth's climate history is an apparent 140-million-year cycle in the climate record. Various astronomers think this can be explained by the passage of the Sun through the spiral arms of the Milky Way, which also seems to have had a period of about 140 million years. The thinking is that in regions of denser star populations, supernovas would have been more common, bathing the Earth in cosmic rays more often. These cosmic rays would then have seeded the formation of clouds that cool the planet. But in recent years, astronomers have mapped out the structure of the galaxy in much more detail. And now a pair of US astronomers have reanalyzed this climate change idea in light of the new evidence. Their conclusion is that the climate change cycle cannot possibly have coincided with the movement of the Sun through the spiral arms. So whatever caused the 140-million-year climate change cycle on Earth, it wasn't the Sun's passage through the galaxy."

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Michael Jackson's Frosty Piss (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28490367)

It would have been a steaming hot mug, but he's cold already!

Re:Michael Jackson's Frosty Piss (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28490513)

Not possible. Nancy Pelosi just pushed through a crap and trade bill. Nobody read it or understood it, but it will solve global warming.

Re:Michael Jackson's Frosty Piss (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28491195)

More importantly, it will fuck over republican scum, and that's the main objective of Americans and the international community. Bend over and spread em bitch. Its bubba time.

Climatologists struggle to stay relevant (-1, Troll)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 5 years ago | (#28490393)

Bummer about how the Sun is more responsible for global warming than people. Bummer how the latest economic crunch sent all the "green" masturbators back to their basements. Whats next, are you going to get us worried about meteors and comets hitting the planet? Maybe DDT, or Swine Flu?

Re:Climatologists struggle to stay relevant (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28490433)

Bummer how the latest economic crunch sent all the "green" masturbators back to their basements.

Yeah, look at them hiding in their basements [yahoo.com] .

Note: (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28491005)

It was always expected to narrowly pass in the Democratic-dominated House.

Link again if it passes in the Democratic-dominated Senate (in which it is expected to have a much more difficult time).

Also, Congress became overwhelmingly Democratic in a knee-jerk reaction to the no-longer-popular Bush Administration - had a more moderate Republican been president, I posit that the Democrats would not have had such an overwhelming victory in 2008 and this bill would face much more opposition in both houses of Congress.

I'd argue anyway that the majority of our Congressional representatives (regardless of party) are worthy of the moniker 'basement dweller.'

-Taylor

Re:Climatologists struggle to stay relevant (4, Insightful)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 5 years ago | (#28490437)

Bummer about how the Sun is more responsible for global warming than people.

So what? Heart disease is more responsible for human deaths than murder, and yet we still take action against murderers.

Re:Climatologists struggle to stay relevant (0)

bieber (998013) | more than 5 years ago | (#28490465)

So what? Hippos are responsible for fewer human deaths than heart disease, but we don't take action against hippopotamuses.

See? I can make false analogies too.

Re:Climatologists struggle to stay relevant (1)

HerculesMO (693085) | more than 5 years ago | (#28490587)

Yes, but your analogies suck.

Re:Climatologists struggle to stay relevant (1, Informative)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#28490849)

Neither are false analogies, they are useful examples. His illustrates the principle that just because something is not the top effect it is still worth correcting because if left unchecked it could be disastrous, yours demonstrates the principle that some problems are small and local enough that they don't matter. Both are useful, they just apply to different situations. Unlike hippos, you can't avoid the global climate. Unlike murder, you can't even avoid it by avoiding civilization. Human post-industrial emissions falls in the category of things worth addressing even if it isn't the biggest threat, in my opinion.

Though to get back to non-analogies again research shows that solar variance only accounts for ~30% of the measured change. Yeah believe it or not climatologists remembered to check into the effect of the sun even before trolls piped up to remind them of its existence. Amazing, I know. They're so busy raking in those lucrative global warming bucks and shopping for sports cars and maintaining the charade that is global warming, it's amazing they can remember anything about the environment. Meanwhile, the paupers in the oil industry plead for sanity, trying to find the few climatologists honest enough to work for nothing on behalf of the truth.

That last paragraph had nothing to do with your post, btw. The "It's the sun, fools!" line is still a good troll, enough that I bit several comment generations later. :)

Re:Climatologists struggle to stay relevant (1)

mR.bRiGhTsId3 (1196765) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514211)

But it vexes me off that we are so focused on CO2. Considering there are a whole plethora of things we are dumping into the ecosystem that have measurable health effects now. Maybe we should be worried about industrial byproducts causing heavy metal toxicity. Mercury in the fish anyone? Thats been a known problem for ages. Industrial run-off causing red tides? While I'm sure dumping billions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere isn't good in the long term, your argumen doesn't hold weight with me because if we are going to focus on human caused problems there are more immediate concerns than CO2 output.

Re:Climatologists struggle to stay relevant (1)

Artifakt (700173) | more than 5 years ago | (#28490983)

I'm pretty sure people have shot aggressive or troublesome hippos in the past. We've generally taken as much action as was needed against any big animal species to keep it in line. Unless you really mean to claim that anything short of total extinction doesn't count as taking action, yes, your analogy is false, but in a way that means you are asserting Mr. Slippery's analogy is true.

(We take some actions both against murderers and against heart disease. We generally catch a higher percentage of murderers than we do causes of heart disease, but we manage some reduction in both. We could spend less money on stopping murder so as to free up more for use against heart disease, but we don't have compelling proof we should change as a whole culture. We may not be getting the balance just right, but both actions are doing some good. Shifting focus is among our options, as well as choosing inaction. The choice of what to do is complex, with several alternatives. Our confidence we know the best path should be low and we should reevaluate the mix of actions and resource commitments frequently.)

(We can't do much if anything about the sun's contribution to global warming. We can do something about our own contribution. We can manage some reduction in only one source of the problem. In this case, spending less on fixing man made causes of global warming would not free up resources to deal with the sun's contribution, so we have even less reason to think we should stop fighting man made global warming than to think we should do less about murder. The sole action we can take is doing some good. Shifting focus to fight the sun is not an option, and so choosing inaction is the only alternative apparent. The choice of what to do is therefore simpler, with fewer alternatives. Our confidence we know the best path should actually be higher than in the murder/heart disease analogy case, as there are these fewer alternatives. We should stick to the plan of doing what we can about one of the two causes with high confidence unless something happens to give us more options and make the choice more complex.)

      Now if you disagree that we are doing any good in some or all of those cases, go ahead, but that doesn't shoot Mr. Slippery's analogy down. If you think it's not fair to compare spending resources on two causes of death directly without including all the other things we also have to spend resources on, by all means make that point, but then that point goes for global warming and all those other things too, and you still haven't shot Slip's analogy down.

Re:Climatologists struggle to stay relevant (2, Insightful)

genner (694963) | more than 5 years ago | (#28491791)

So what? Hippos are responsible for fewer human deaths than heart disease, but we don't take action against hippopotamuses.

Maybe you don't.
Your totally going to get your canoe bitten in half with that attitude.

Re:Climatologists struggle to stay relevant (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#28490549)

And normal cell proliferation causes most cancers, but smoking is still a bad idea.

Re:Climatologists struggle to stay relevant (2, Insightful)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 5 years ago | (#28490963)

The first 300 degrees Kelvin due to the sun might be all well and good, but when you add 20 degrees more by man-made causes you get big problems.

Re:Climatologists struggle to stay relevant (1)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 5 years ago | (#28492615)

Another 2 degrees. 2. Not 20.

Nope, ~35C (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28492797)

We have 33C from the greenhouse gasses already and another 2C we're adding AGAIN on top of that.

And it would be true, too, if we added 20C we would be in serious trouble.

Re:Nope, ~35C (1)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 5 years ago | (#28493037)

20 degrees more by man-made causes

We do not have 20 degrees more from man-made causes. Yes, inherent atmospheric effects raise the surface temperature. Those are not man-made. The 2 degrees centigrade is the purportedly man-made portion.

Surface Temperature relationship to Pressure (1)

coopex (873732) | more than 5 years ago | (#28498387)

Something you may be interested in, though water vapor makes the calculation much more complex so this is for Venus.

Derivation:
The adiabatic lapse rate = dT/dz = -Mg/R*(y-1)/y = ~7.82K/km (I was lazy and used 100% CO2 for this, also y = gamma) which isn't too far off from the ALR calculated from measurements using least squares = ~7.74K/km.

T(z) = Tsurface - ALR*z, by definition (~= 735 - 7.82z).
The barometric equation is P = Psurface*e^(-Mgz/RT).
Solving for z = -RT/Mg*ln(P/Psurface),
    and plugging into T(z), we get T(P) = Tsurface - (y-1)/y*Mg/R*RT/Mg*ln(Psurface/P)
    = T = Tsurface - (y-1)/y*T*ln(Psurface/P),
    rearranging, T(P)*(1+(y-1)/y*(ln(Psurface)-ln(P))) = Tsurface
    Thereforce T(P) = Tsurface/(1+(y-1)/y*(ln(Psurface)-ln(P)))

Since these comments are going to suck.... (3, Insightful)

HerculesMO (693085) | more than 5 years ago | (#28490489)

Because now the political "we don't cause GW" arguments will begin, and the bickering....

It shouldn't even be about global warming. It should be about national security. If you have no renewable resources, and rely on other (enemy) nations to provide that stuff to you and your way of life, you have a severe problem.

Let's get off oil if for nothing else, to bankrupt every middle eastern country out there. We won't bother maintaining a presence there if there's nothing to take advantage of.

Re:Since these comments are going to suck.... (4, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#28490557)

It needs to be at least a little about the environment, because otherwise our easiest move may be to switch from oil to coal, which we have a lot more of. Of course, coal pollutes like crazy (even so-called "clean" coal), so it would be nice if we could keep the environmental stuff at the forefront too. I do agree that national security is a helpful selling point, though.

Re:Since these comments are going to suck.... (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#28490563)

Let's get off oil if for nothing else, to bankrupt every middle eastern country out there.

On the other hand, the only middle eastern countries that don't want to nuke the US to hell are those which are rich off oil.

Re:Since these comments are going to suck.... (2, Insightful)

HerculesMO (693085) | more than 5 years ago | (#28490583)

Uhm, the countries that have oil and we buy it from them don't want to nuke us.

The ones we take oil from do want to nuke us.

Either way, if we remove oil from the picture, it's a win-win.

Re:Since these comments are going to suck.... (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 5 years ago | (#28490869)

Where, exactly, does Iran fit into your perfectly classified view of oil and nuclear politics?

Re:Since these comments are going to suck.... (4, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 5 years ago | (#28491061)

The ones we take oil from do want to nuke us.

Please list the countries from which we "take" oil.

Re:Since these comments are going to suck.... (3, Informative)

abigor (540274) | more than 5 years ago | (#28491245)

Exactly. The people who rattle on about how the US invades countries for oil tend to fall silent when they find out that Canada is the largest exporter of oil to the US.

Re:Since these comments are going to suck.... (2, Insightful)

chartreuse (16508) | more than 5 years ago | (#28492181)

Nice straw man. Time to learn about realpolitik.

Re:Since these comments are going to suck.... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28492267)

It's not about where in particular the US consumer's oil comes from, since it's all part of a single global market.

What's important, in geopolitical terms, is controlling the oil that other people are using. It gives tremendous political leverage internationally. This has almost nothing to do with domestic US politics.

Consider for instance how FDR would have gotten the USA into WWII, without having an effective monopoly control over global oil sales (in cooperation with the British and Dutch govt. in exile - the USSR's oil not being sold on the global open market at that time - the British and Dutch having become virtual satellites of the USA even before the US entry into the war thanks to their being bankrupt and the USA being their major backer in terms of lend lease). No de facto control over global oil sales, no ability to embargo Japan, and thus no ability to force Japan to either go to war with the USA, or else become FDR's bitches by giving in to blackmail and becoming a de facto lackey of the USA.

It's about controlling oil in global terms, it is not about where the oil US consumers use happens to come from.

Re:Since these comments are going to suck.... (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#28495535)

It's not about where in particular the US consumer's oil comes from, since it's all part of a single global market.

What's important, in geopolitical terms, is controlling the oil that other people are using. It gives tremendous political leverage internationally. This has almost nothing to do with domestic US politics.

Thanks. People go on about how oil is a fungible commodity, as if that means there's no profit or advantage in owning or controlling sources of it and that therefore the U.S. (and I guess no other country either) would never go to war just for oil (not that it's ever just for oil). They're thinking about it only from the perspective of standing at the gas pumps.

Re:Since these comments are going to suck.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28494617)

The people who rattle on about how the US invades countries for oil tend to fall silent when they find out that Canada is the largest exporter of oil to the US.

Aha, now we finally learn the true cause of the War of 1812!

Re:Since these comments are going to suck.... (1)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 5 years ago | (#28495263)

Exactly. The people who rattle on about how the US invades countries for oil tend to fall silent when they find out that Canada is the largest exporter of oil to the US.

Let's ignore that Canada still only supplies 9% of the oil the US consumes. It never was about oil for Americans, it was always about oil for American oil companies.

Re:Since these comments are going to suck.... (1)

abigor (540274) | more than 5 years ago | (#28495361)

Fair enough, though "American oil companies" is still misleading, as Shell's behaviour in Nigeria demonstrates. Given the chance, large corporations from anywhere often behave poorly.

I am no huge supporter of oil corporations, believe me. But I do get tired of the monomaniacal obsession with demonstrating how evil the US is in all things. It is frustrating to meet people who honestly believe that the US "steals" all of its oil.

By the way, Canada supplies about 23% of US petroleum, and 22% of crude oil, not 9% as you stated: http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/oil_gas/petroleum/data_publications/company_level_imports/current/import.html [doe.gov]

I'm not American, in case it matters.

Re:Since these comments are going to suck.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28495445)

Well, I counted in the fact that the US gets more than half its oil from itself ;-) http://www.eia.doe.gov/basics/quickoil.html [doe.gov]

Re:Since these comments are going to suck.... (1)

abigor (540274) | more than 5 years ago | (#28496089)

Haha, point taken. I actually didn't realise it was that much.

Re:Since these comments are going to suck.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28492161)

Iraq, or are you permanently unconscious?

Re:Since these comments are going to suck.... (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 5 years ago | (#28493209)

Iraq, or are you permanently unconscious?

Iraq's government hasn't even settled the issue of which companies get to pay Iraq in exchange for the rights to work on that country's oil infrastructure and be involved in the selling of that country's oil. You know, selling. On the world market. It's a commodity. There is no "taking" going on. The US is putting more cash into supporting Iraq's nascent police and military and civil institutions than Iraq is making while selling oil (to the entire world market). US oil companies get to bid on that commodity just like European and Asian ones do.

Or, do you have a specific example of how the US government is actually filling up boats with oil in the middle of the night and not paying for it? No? I didn't think so.

Re:Since these comments are going to suck.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28494047)

The US is putting more cash into supporting Iraq's nascent police and military and civil institutions than Iraq is making while selling oil

Citation needed. Iraqi oil has been paying for their security forces since the beginning of the occupation. US money goes exclusively to US contractors, none of it gets to real Iraq directly.

Re:Since these comments are going to suck.... (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 5 years ago | (#28493963)

Iraq, or are you permanently unconscious?

We don't buy oil from Iraq. Mostly Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, and Nigeria.

Re:Since these comments are going to suck.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28495773)

Since you guys invaded no one buys oil from Iraq. Lots of other countries used to, or were at least trying hard to. But someone had to throw a tantrum and throw all the toys out of the Iraq pram.

Re:Since these comments are going to suck.... (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 5 years ago | (#28502387)

Since you guys invaded no one buys oil from Iraq.

Iraq sold roughly $31 billion worth of oil in 2007, and double that in 2008. 2009 will be more still. That is damned peculiar, for "no one" buying it. It's a shame you haven't learned, yet, to use Google, and occasionally read about which companies and countries [entrepreneur.com] are regularly buying from Iraq. Because, you know, you'd look like less of an ass and whatnot.

Re:Since these comments are going to suck.... (2, Informative)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#28490585)

Where is the national security in forcing any remaining manufacturers offshore where they don't have to deal with carbon credits and higher electrical costs?

The US has 273 billion tons of proven coal reserves, far more than any other country, and that coal can be liquefactioned into gasoline.

Re:Since these comments are going to suck.... (1, Interesting)

HerculesMO (693085) | more than 5 years ago | (#28490593)

Again, FINITE RESOURCE.

Coal isn't renewable. That's kind of the point. We will just be down the same path and the same ultimate consequences at a more accelerated rate. You are thiinking on the span of what, maybe 50, 100 years? I am thinking a bit longer term.

Re:Since these comments are going to suck.... (5, Insightful)

Dr Damage I (692789) | more than 5 years ago | (#28491637)

Long term thinking is all very well so long as the short term picture doesn't sneak up and slit your throat before you get there. We can't "get off oil" tomorrow, that would achieve much the same effect as carpet bombing Americas 20 biggest cities would have. Until there is a viable long term alternative to fossil fuels for baseload electrical power, heating, cooking and transportation, it makes sense to pursue short term solutions to energy problems at the same time is we pursue long term renewable sources of energy

Why care about your kids, then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28493131)

Why demand from the government that they let you deed lots of your money to your kids on death? That's long term thinking. Your kid could have his throat cut before he gets it.

Why invest for your retirement? That's long-term thinking.

Why look after your heart? That's long-term thinking.

Why worry about copyright expiring in 50 years and demand it last 95? That's long-term thinking.

Re:Why care about your kids, then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28494787)

I think your an idiot and lucky you pasted AC and I will explain why.

He wasn't saying don't ever look to the long term, he said don't ignore the short term and let it kill you.

Why demand from the government that they let you deed lots of your money to your kids on death? That's long term thinking. Your kid could have his throat cut before he gets it.

But you don't will the land to him when he is 7 and then stop feeding him. You don't go around beating him, neglecting him, or do anything but car for him. This cap and trade idea is akin to saying "lets give our grandchildren a better environment by killing our children off".

Why invest for your retirement? That's long-term thinking

Again, it's not an all or nothing situation. Your forgetting his point, that you shouldn't be destroying today in order to protect tomorrow. To be similar, you would need to stop feeding or housing yourself now in order to invest in your retirement.

Why look after your heart? That's long-term thinking.

Huh? Are you grasping for things here? Your health is immediate term.

Why worry about copyright expiring in 50 years and demand it last 95? That's long-term thinking.

Yep, you are grasping for a lot here. What does copyright, something that so few people have ownership of, have to do with this? Oh, you might be thinking that the few people speaking speak for everyone ever alive. Well, that's another part of confusions but we won't get into it today.

Re:Since these comments are going to suck.... (2, Insightful)

john.r.strohm (586791) | more than 5 years ago | (#28494929)

Dude, there already *IS* a viable long term alternative to fossil fuels for baseload electrical power, heating, cooking and transportation.

It is called "nuclear".

See "The Economics of Nuclear Power" at http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf02.html [world-nuclear.org] .

For the people who feel like ranting about nuclear waste, consider the sheer size of the installations that are being proposed for ground-level solar arrays or algae farms, and ask yourselves how many Astrodome-sized nuclear waste storage facilities could be built on that amount of land.

For the people who want to rant about the waste being horribly toxic for millenia (it isn't; the dangerous stuff is very, very short-lived), consider that the CO2 pollution model assumes that industrial carbon dioxide is deadly FOREVER - which it isn't, left to itself, with a little assist from Mother Nature, carbon dioxide turns into trees and grass and FOOD.

(Note that mine tailings, while considered radwaste by the Department of Energy, are actually LESS radioactive than the raw ore was, because the useful uranium has been TAKEN OUT of the mine tailings. If, as raw ore, it was safe enough to leave it in the ground, without any stewardship whatsoever, I really fail to understand how REDUCING its radioactivity has made it UNSAFE to put BACK in the ground.)

For some reason, environmentally-concerned citizens seem to have never learned basic arithmetic OR basic biology The carbon cycle, how animals consume oxygen and emit carbon dioxide, while plants consume carbon dioxide and emit oxygen, used to be taught in elementary school science lessons, and then again, in more detail, in high-school biology classes, at least in the US.

Re:Since these comments are going to suck.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28492323)

273 billion tons is surely enough to cover the whole country with a two meter thick layer of coal sludge. You know, the stuff that remains after the "clean" coal.

Re:Since these comments are going to suck.... (1)

BlueStrat (756137) | more than 5 years ago | (#28492983)

Where is the national security in forcing any remaining manufacturers offshore where they don't have to deal with carbon credits and higher electrical costs?

That's the elephant in the room that they don't want anyone to notice. Once the cap & tax hits, any business that can leave, will. Those that can't will raise their prices to consumers and if unable to maintain sufficient sales because nobody will be able to afford to buy anything, they will fail and disappear. These price increases will include everything, including food.

Other countries like India, China, Japan, Russia, etc are not silly enough to cripple themselves in this way. The USA will become a third- or fourth-rate economy with an unemployed, over-taxed, freezing & starving population ruled over by a semi-socialist, semi-fascist government.

One bright spot though. The illegal immigration problem will disappear and eventually reverse itself as Americans start fleeing south & north to escape the horrible economic conditions and oppression. Of course, *then* the government will build the fences on the borders and move troops to guard it, but it will be to prevent people leaving.

Get ready baby, 'cuz here it comes!

Unless of course the people finally wake the **** up and throw all the current politicians out, by force if need be. I've a bad feeling that if the politicians saw that the people really were determined to clean house in Washington and stopped paying their propaganda any attention, they'd find a pretext to declare martial law or something.

Strat

Re:Since these comments are going to suck.... (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 5 years ago | (#28492031)

Let's get off oil if for nothing else, to bankrupt every middle eastern country out there.

Suppose I don't care to bankrupt myself in order to bankrupt every Middle Eastern country out there? And how does destroying the US economy help national security? Frankly, the current situation isn't that bad to warrant such action.

Re:Since these comments are going to suck.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28493571)

Because now the political "we don't cause GW" arguments will begin, and the bickering....

...

You fucking EARNED it.

And by "you" I mean all the jump-on-the-bandwagon PleaseSaveGaiaFromTheEvilHumansWhoAreDestroyingTheWorld(EspeciallyTheUS!!!!) smug loudmouthed TWITS who WANTED TO POLITICIZE GLOBAL WARMING and a whole lot of other science, too.

Well, YOU GOT YOUR WISH.

Jackasses.

Too bad for you the majority of people in the world don't think humanity inherently damages the planet, and they sure as hell aren't willing to sacrifice their standard of living for YOUR "man is teh EVIL (especially Americans!)" ideals.

Too bad for you.

So fuck off.

Re:Since these comments are going to suck.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28495451)

Man did cause a climate change, but not because of CFC's or other greenhouse gasses. To prove this... just walk around barefoot on a day when temperatures are in the mid 80's and mostly sunny, around say 1pm to 3pm in the afternoon, in other words, not too cold, but not extremely hot either.

Notice the sun isn't any hotter as far as overall ambient air temperature. Notice that the concrete isn't any hotter, it may be hot but not severe enough to cause pain right away. Notice that sand and dirt isn't any hotter, it may burn but it's still tolerable to walk on. Notice that gravel-like asphalt isn't any hotter, it may burn and be extremely hot, but walking quickly enough is still doable.

Now, notice that any asphalt surface that has been "slurry sealed" is insanely hot. Even walking on it burns after just a few steps and continuing to walk on it will very likely result in blistered soles in just a few more steps unless the burning stops, soon. Also pay attention to going into the shade after the burning has started still results in a lasting burning sensation on the soles, meaning that the surface absorbed and also transferred heat very effectively. Infrared thermometer readings early in the day show the surface temperature to already be around 118 to 120 degrees F and later on may be as high as 130 to 140+ degrees F.

Pay close attention again to just how many areas (shopping centers, office areas with parking lots) have redone their parking lots as slurry seal. Well, all of that slurry seal is absorbing the heat of the sun and radiating it back into the air. Also notice a severe lack of any significant trees or bushes in those areas with slurry seal parking lots.

(And the whole reason for the barefoot test is because with modern shoes, there is no real knowledge of just how much heat that slurry seal surface is absorbing, radiating, and transferring.)

There's the localized root cause of global warming/climate change folks. Greenhouse gasses and holes in the ozone layer at the poles do not immediately translate to a localized warming in a given area. Search on something like "asphalt jungle" and find even more proof of this being one factor in so-called warming/climate change.

Heh (4, Funny)

Kingrames (858416) | more than 5 years ago | (#28490497)

This is the very technical (and long-winded) explanation for something along the lines of "We are telling you, Miss Daisy, that your cat was not put into that tree by giant ninja robots from outer space."

Re:Heh (2, Interesting)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#28490581)

Unfortunately, Miss Daisy will still cite it as one of the many reasons she shouldn't have to keep her damn cat inside.

Re:Heh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28494857)

giant ninja robots from outer space

I just shat bricks.

Hold on there, Wilbur (2, Funny)

uassholes (1179143) | more than 5 years ago | (#28490615)

I took a look at it: http://arxiv.org/abs/0906.2777 [arxiv.org]

They're jumping to conclusions. It will be 140 million years before we have enough data to decide.

Maybe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28490629)

They've eliminated one pattern. They don't know if there might be something else, such as moving through the parts where the grues are. The grues move around, and the astronomers haven't spotted where they tend to be.

You know what this means? (2, Funny)

Kenja (541830) | more than 5 years ago | (#28490643)

It must be the unicorns fault!

I mean... it cant be us. Right?

Re:You know what this means? (2, Insightful)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 5 years ago | (#28494825)

140 million years ago? sure, who else could it be?

Re:You know what this means? (2, Insightful)

overunderunderdone (521462) | more than 5 years ago | (#28495019)

Well yes, a 140 million year cycle can't be us.

Decepticons (0, Offtopic)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 5 years ago | (#28490647)

My theory is that the Decepticons are responsible.




(Sorry, but my brain is still recovering from the 2.5-hour Mighty Transformin' Power Rangers movie I sat through as a favor for my friend who wanted to see it. The dramatic parts made me laugh, the action scenes nearly put me sleep, and the comedy bits made me wish my phone would ring.)

Re:Decepticons (1)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 5 years ago | (#28492643)

Does your friend have a mental disability (includes being under the age of 12)? If so, well, you're a better friend than I. If not...you need to redefine "friend."

Re:Decepticons (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 5 years ago | (#28503129)

As a matter of fact, he does.

I can't account for the other adults in the theater.

Farnsworth exists? (1)

russlar (1122455) | more than 5 years ago | (#28490667)

I have a hunch that the scientist that first theorized this prefaced it with "Good news, everyone!"

Re:Farnsworth exists? (2, Insightful)

linzeal (197905) | more than 5 years ago | (#28493779)

Damn you kids, um Philo Farnsworth [wikipedia.org] who invented the television and inertial confinement fusion amongst other things.

It is difficult to say who is right (5, Informative)

ctrl-alt-canc (977108) | more than 5 years ago | (#28490677)

Both Shaviv's and Melott's papers are based upon models of the Milky Way that are built from observations taken from a single point in the universe, and made during a negligible time frame. This model is then kept valid and unchanged for a timeframe of about 1.000.000.000 years, neglecting for example errors in measuring accelerations of the galaxy and of the solar system, the 3D structure of the galaxy, dark matter influence (and existence...) on the motion of the galaxy, etc. Still too much unknowns before reaching a definite answer, isn't it ?!?

It is, however, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28493039)

the single point WE'RE SITTING ON!!!

So the one with more data on is more likely to be correct, yes? Else more data is, you say, likely to make it incorrect. Which is daft.

Shit you really cannot handle it being man's fault, can you.

ANYTHING else, just not that.

Why?

"Slashdot requires you to wait between each successful posting of a comment to allow everyone a fair chance at posting a comment.

It's been 17 minutes since you last successfully posted a comment"

Ah, what crap through yonder orifice breaks...

Re:It is difficult to say who is right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28494051)

Translation:
Their model and observations aren't perfect therefore I who propose no model and have made no observation is right and they are wrong.

Re:It is difficult to say who is right (1)

avilliers (1158273) | more than 5 years ago | (#28501701)

But you've now lost all correlation between the two cycles, which was the driving force for the hypothesis. Scientifically, this is like suspecting someone of a murder solely because an eyewitness placed him at the crime; proving the eyewitness was mistaken; then, insisting he could still be the murderer because no one has proven he wasn't there. I mean, sure, that's technically true, but it's not a very promising lead anymore, is it? Going back to the science, to support the original hypothesis you'd probably need hard evidence to validate that cosmic rays really do cause climate change, then additionally show it's at least plausible that the cycles do line up, best measurements to contrary. Incidentally, I don't have any great knowledge of astronomy, but I do suspect the 'models' of the Milky Way have smaller error bars than you imply. It'd take a lot of energy to change the momentum of something that big, and if we collided with something that big we should still be able to see it . . .

Re:It is difficult to say who is right (2, Interesting)

ctrl-alt-canc (977108) | more than 5 years ago | (#28502917)

Here [ucsd.edu] you can find a brief description of the Milky Way structure. In the time frame of 1 Gy our solar system makes probably four revolutions around the center of our galaxy. I try to make an example about what is the problem with the theory related with TFA. Suppose you live in New York City: get out from your home, look carefully to people around you, then get into the underground. Make four trips all around the city, and go back home. Are the very same people you met before still all around you ?!? Some of your neighbours for sure, others don't, somebody who previously was hidden is now in sight of you, and somebody else died or emigrated elsewhere. Now you are the solar system: what if one of your neighbours is like this one [skyandtelescope.com] ? And what about dark matter (if ever exists) ? My point is that to prove or disprove the theories from Shaviv or Mellot we need something better than a piece of paper with a sketch of our galaxy, and a sign showing "you are here". I wonder if some further evidence can be inferred from geological data besides O16/O18 measurements. I am very curious about the outcome...

Ok Once more (0)

sparhawktn (818225) | more than 5 years ago | (#28490913)

Ok once more for those people playing along in Rio Linda

Any change in the earths temperature, heat wave or ice age, is cause by that great big ball of gas 93 million miles away it's a little thing we like to call the SUN!

ANY change? (2, Informative)

denzacar (181829) | more than 5 years ago | (#28491139)

You mean like that time that big ball of burning gas shot down and all dinosaurs died? Or did it just burn colder for a while back then?

Re:ANY change? (1)

sparhawktn (818225) | more than 5 years ago | (#28498073)

Hrrm and that blocked out what? Oh THE SUN! Again any change is due to the Sun you are talking about a disaster what the general rule when people talk about any warming or cooling of the earth is the "evil man". Which is an untruth. Earth even changes the climate itself by slight variations in the orbit around the Sun. That was my point.
And the point of this article was that the possibility of the Milky Way impacting the Earth climate. Which is a ludicrous thing to even think about. I find it funny the mods liked your post and missed mine completely.

Re:ANY change? (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 5 years ago | (#28499475)

Hrrm and that blocked out what? Oh THE SUN!

Oh, so it is "It ain't the fall but the sudden stop" logic?
Or in this case "It wasn't the asteroid impact blocking the sunlight, but Sun's rays being blocked by the asteroid impact".

Earth even changes the climate itself by slight variations in the orbit around the Sun. That was my point.

No.
No, that was not your point. Let me remind you what you said:

Ok once more for those people playing along in Rio Linda
Any change in the earths temperature, heat wave or ice age, is cause by that great big ball of gas 93 million miles away it's a little thing we like to call the SUN!

Sun, only Sun, and nothing but the Sun.

I find it funny the mods liked your post and missed mine completely.

Actually, they didn't. You were noticed. It is just that you got modded down cause your post sounded rather trollish.

Might have been that condescending euphemism for "dumb people" that you used to characterize anyone who might disagree with you regarding your following (poorly thought through) statement about Sun and its influence on the climate changes on Earth.

Here is a hint.
Rush Limbaugh is not a great philosopher nor orator.
He also lacks expertise in just about any discipline except being what is commonly called a "jerk".
As any other shock-jock, his popularity mainly stems from his ability to use the position he is in to shout louder than other people - which many confuse with wit and humor.
As you lack the backing and resources at his disposal, using his lingo will only make you sound like a jerk - without receiving any benefits that he may experience.

At least try being original.
In absence of originality, being honest when calling people dumb may at least give you some character.

Re:ANY change? (1)

sparhawktn (818225) | more than 5 years ago | (#28508755)

ya you still don't get the sacraism that is ok. I only used the Rio Linda because it fit how stupid for even thinking the arms of the milky way have anything to do with the weather on earth. Again good show thanks for pointing out I am stupid. I hope you now how "hope" and feel better about yourself.

Just invalidates Cosmic Ray cloud seeding. (2, Interesting)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#28490949)

A lot of the invalidations of these spaced theories tend to focus on the effects of cloud formation by cosmic rays, but are they so sure that these are the only effects that space could have? Space is pretty big, and the earth is pretty complex, and I would be willing to bet that there's going to be something out there in space, besides the obvious asteroid, that screws us.

Re:Just invalidates Cosmic Ray cloud seeding. (1)

Will.Woodhull (1038600) | more than 5 years ago | (#28494497)

Agreed, there are too many unknowns and no theory is provable. However TFA does a credible job of dismissing a group of theories from further consideration, so it is significant in narrowing things down a little bit.

This wikipedia article on the galaxy [wikipedia.org] seems like a good overview of known data; a long article but well worth the reading, as recent observations have caused major changes to the model of the Galaxy a lot of us grew up with. The specific section I'm pointing to describes how Sol bobs from one side of the galactic plane to the other every 43 million years or so, and that this seems to correlate with mass extinction events. One possible mechanism being an increase in asteroid hits as we bob through the denser stuff on the plane. No need to posit gamma death rays; simple Newtonian kinetics as we dash from one side of the freeway to the other would be sufficient.

Cosmic clock? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28491787)

Maybe 140 million years is the limit of the cosmic time register. When the clock resets, the climate control system doesn't work properly for a bit until they patch it.

Not Arms (2, Interesting)

DynaSoar (714234) | more than 5 years ago | (#28492503)

In 1978 is was suggested that a galactic density wave, rather than passage through the arms, was responsible for the 140 My events. This wave, with a period 1/2 that of galactic rotation, eminates from the galactic core. http://www.springerlink.com/content/k1t6v868227t7403/ [springerlink.com]

The solar system doesn't just orbit the galaxy. It oscillates up and down through the galactic plane with a period of 88 +/- 5 My. This too has been suggested as being involved in extinctions, since the galactic plane is denser than the regions outside it.

I'm glad they got a better galactic map, and I'm sure it shows what they say. But the arms themselves aren't the only things hypothesized to be involved.

Re:Not Arms (3, Interesting)

Teancum (67324) | more than 5 years ago | (#28493915)

One of the problems with the suggestion of moving through the galactic plane being a major issue is that the Sun is currently very close to the main galactic plane at the moment. That is something that has to be explained if you want to use this concept to prove or disprove a hypothesis regarding the orbit our solar system takes through the galaxy.

What I would be curious about is the "CO2 data" that they are using, and the assumption that global temperatures have a direct correlation to this substance, not to mention the reliability of the measurement process over the scale of billions of years to calculate what levels of this gas were through more than just a couple of galactic years. Yes, I know there are attempts to measure global temperatures over time using the geologic record, but it seems to me that both the CO2 measurements as well as measurements of the orbit of the solar system have such huge margins of error that doing a statistical comparison of the two could give you virtually any kind of conclusion that you want.

I have to assume that this paper addresses these issues in some detail (I would love to read the original paper).

One other thing that struck me, in looking at the supposed solar system orbit that they plotted in this paper, is if they have accounted for the fact that the galaxy is a dynamic and not a static place? They calculated the path of the Sun over apparently three galactic years, but at the same time all of the objects that they used for measuring protuberance of the orbit are also moving in their own galactic orbits. If there is a model that they were able to develop that shows the galactic evolution of the Milky Way over the past 500 million years. Seriously, I had no idea that stellar parallax measurements (to accurately plot the positions of stars) were so accurate and have been for long enough to not only get a good fix on the position of a large number of stars in the Milky Way to be able to also plot the apparent trajectories of this many stars and galactic nebulae. That is some trick, and such a model would have a great many other uses besides trying to prove anthropogenic global warming (or disproving an alternative hypothesis).

My understanding was that stellar parallax measurements were only good to about 1 or 2 significant digits and getting the order of magnitude down. That may have improved with the Hubble and some other star surveys with really accurate telescopes, but I don't think it is too much better than that.

Re:Not Arms (1)

DynaSoar (714234) | more than 5 years ago | (#28497479)

A very coherent and insightful reply. Thank you.

The original paper re: galactic plane crossing is available at http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=1851772 [cambridge.org] but it costs US$20.

Being close to the galactic plane now may or may not be a significant threat if the density wave theory were also correct. It may be that they need to coincide for there to be enough matter density to initiate an event.

Something I don't believe any of the references considered was that the sun and it's family constitute a minor arm of their own, a residual component of the galaxy they originated in before it collided with the Milky Way. It carries its own density of gasses which can be compressed and might be goaded into activity by any of the mechanisms mentioned as well as others such as happening upon a nearby chance supernova.

Another point not mentioned is whether our local stellar family is orbiting as regular as they plotted in TFA. I find it hard to believe that we don't have a significant orbital eccentricity. That'd definitely throw a wrench into the various relevant calculations.

Re:Not Arms (1)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 5 years ago | (#28494733)

This too has been suggested as being involved in extinctions, since the galactic plane is denser than the regions outside it.

One of the theories that makes sense to me is the increased chances for asteroid strike. This paper doesn't seem to touch on that.

summary wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28492767)

the sun doesn't move through the spiral arms, the spiral arms move past the sun.

It's just a density wave.

DOOMED (1)

lazy genes (741633) | more than 5 years ago | (#28492999)

Looks like all the dust and emission particles are warming the sea surface temperatures. On our planet warmer water moves to the poles ( Quantum Information on a sphere in space moves to the poles). Its all fine and dandy until the arctic ocean fills with warm water and starts to evaporate into clouds. If the arctic is ice free in the winter the northern hemisphere will be measuring snow depth in kilometers instead of inches. Prior glacial maximums could have been caused by our planet moving through a dust cloud.

the actual cause of global warming. (2, Funny)

Cr0vv (1223332) | more than 5 years ago | (#28495433)

The actual cause of global warming, is a planet in the solar system that Nasa warned us about in 1983 (Washington Post) but was quickly repressed by the Government. Since then, the planet has progressed in it's sling orbit through our solar system. Currently, it resides just north of the Sun's south pole near the ecliptic. It's a magnetic brown dwarf with unusual moon swirls in 2 "tails", which is why ancient cultures depicted it as a winged planet. It's a magnetic powerhouse, which is why the Sun is uncharacteristically sunspot/activity quiet now -- the interloping planet has it's north pole pointing at the sun. The magma of the Earth is very responsive to a magnetic field; it roils due to the magnetic influence of this planet causing the Earth's crust to heat up -- hence, Global Warming. That simple. Don't look for the evidence of this in normal news channels, they are not allowed to report on this, neither are the astronauts or the astronomical observatories. Crow.

Re:the actual cause of global warming. (1)

ehrichweiss (706417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28613535)

So the sunspots have returned, where's your god, er, magnetic planet now?

Care to explain how EVERY observatory, especially those not under United States governmental control, would be even remotely willing to suppress this information?

However, that said, if you really believe this, can I buy your house/car/stereo for a dollar? I mean you won't have any use for it in a few months if you're right so put your money where your mouth is.

A big surprize. (1)

Cr0vv (1223332) | more than 5 years ago | (#28496775)

The actual cause of global warming, is a planet in the solar system that Nasa warned us about in 1983 (Washington Post) the news of which was quickly repressed by the U.S. Government. Since then, the planet has progressed in it's sling orbit through our solar system. Currently, it resides just north of the Sun's south pole near the ecliptic. It's a magnetic brown dwarf with unusual moon swirls in 2 "tails", which is why ancient cultures depicted it as a winged planet. It's a magnetic powerhouse, which is why the Sun is uncharacteristically sunspot/activity quiet now -- the interloping planet has it's south pole pointing at the sun. The magma of the Earth is very responsive to a magnetic field, ...it roils due to the magnetic influence of this planet causing the Earth's crust to heat up -- hence, Global Warming. That simple. Don't look for the evidence of this in normal news channels, they are not allowed to report on this, neither are the astronauts or the astronomical observatories. Crow.
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