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Black Soot May Be Aiding Melting In the Himalayas

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the not-yeti dept.

Earth 336

Hugh Pickens writes "The Himalayas, home to some 10,000 glaciers, are the main source of replenishment to lakes, streams, and some of the continent's mightiest rivers, on which millions of people depend for their water supplies. Since the 1960s, the acreage covered by Himalayan glaciers has declined by more than 20 percent with a rate of warming twice the global average over the past 30 years. Now Live Science reports that tiny particles of pollution known as 'black carbon' — and not heat-trapping greenhouse gases — may be causing much of the rapid melting of glaciers in the Himalayas. 'Tibet's glaciers are retreating at an alarming rate,' says James Hansen, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City. 'Black soot is probably responsible for as much as half of the glacial melt, and greenhouse gases are responsible for the rest.' The circulation of the atmosphere in the region causes much of the soot-laden air to 'pile up' against the Himalayas. The soot mixes with other dust from nearby deserts, creating a massive brown cloud visible from space that absorbs incoming solar radiation. As this layer heats up in the Himalayan foothills, it rises and enhances the seasonal northward flow of humid monsoon winds, forcing moisture and hot air up the slopes of the mountain range."

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!millions (2, Informative)

should_be_linear (779431) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511132)

continent's mightiest rivers, on which millions of people depend for their water supplies.

It is more like hundreds of millions.

Re:!millions (2, Funny)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511164)

Hundreds of millions is millions you know. Don't be such a pedant.

Re:!millions (5, Funny)

iamapizza (1312801) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511216)

And millions is thousands and thousands is hundreds. They might as well take it further and just say "on which dozens of people depend for their water supplies. "

Re:!millions (1, Troll)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511240)

Yes, but in a summary, leaving off the "hundreds of" is fine when you're trying to express the concept of "a lot" in rough terms. I'm fairly sure (non-retarded) people can figure out that there are more than two million people in India.

Re:!millions (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30511960)

I'm fairly sure (non-retarded) people can figure out that there are more than two million people in India.

Yes, but this site is mainly for Americans.

Oh, come on. Laugh. It's funny.

Re:!millions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30511308)

Or... you might say that since you have found out about my evil plan to slowly boil the world with clouds of soot I might as well state my demands:

PLEASE WIRE ME A HUNDRED BILLION GAZILLION DOLLARS OR THE GLACIER GETS IT! MUHAHAHAHAHA!!!
And to make it really annoying I want it in bundles of dozens of hundreds, because i'm EVIL! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Sincerely,

Dr. Evil

Re:!millions (1)

alexhs (877055) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511370)

Or keeping with the tradition of some Slashdot summaries, they could have stated 108 people instead of 10^8.

Re:!millions (1)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511408)

Unus pro omnibus, omnes pro uno!

how many hundreds? (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512002)

how many hundreds? why are you so imprecise? is it 500 million? 200 million? are we forgetting 300 million due to laziness? that's just appalling.

Some nice backpedaling there, bud (0, Troll)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511150)

When you ride your ten-speed bike, you can usually spin the pedals backwards without any resistance whatsoever. It doesn't matter how fast you pedal backwards, you never will affect your forward momentum. The course you have already chosen remains unchanged.

So when we see scientists trying to come up with excuses for why ice packs are melting without a huge increase in global temperatures, we need to question both their motives and their data. Yes, we can see oceanic water levels rising *in certain localized areas*, but we aren't seeing the massive deluge that was predicted.

Hopefully we can finally put to bed the reality of global warming and focus on the real problem of global pollution.

Re:Some nice backpedaling there, bud (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30511180)

you can usually spin the pedals backwards without any resistance whatsoever

Ah, so you don't have friction in your made-up little world? If so, you should also have working perpetual motion machines. So, do you?

Re:Some nice backpedaling there, bud (2, Insightful)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511192)

Feeding a lame troll, but the source of soot is the same source as the CO2. So we're still solving the same problem. And they've already noted that the melting in the Himalayas is abnormally fast, but that doesn't change the fact that all the glaciers are melting, if "only" half as fast as the Himalayas.

Re:Some nice backpedaling there, bud (2, Insightful)

Nutria (679911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511342)

So we're still solving the same problem.

But filtering soot by adding smokestack scrubbers (which 1st world countries started doing many decades ago) is a heck of a lot cheaper and less disruptive than destroying the world economy to eliminate CO2.

Re:Some nice backpedaling there, bud (1, Troll)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511404)

Cry me a river about lost corporate profits.

Re:Some nice backpedaling there, bud (1, Insightful)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511490)

Cry me a river about lost corporate profits.

OK, one more time. "Companies don't pay taxes, their customers do!"

So, look around you and pick out all the items in your life that are made by corporations and try to see how it will affect you to pay a little more for each of them and the power it takes to run them.

Re:Some nice backpedaling there, bud (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30511740)

Yup. Cap and trade is a huge scam since the energy companies will be buying all the credits, driving up energy costs for everyone and everything. Meanwhile the chicken little global warming shills are spewing ever more ludicrous nonsense about the sky falling right now. BRB...Gotta go shovel another 8" of snow....

That's trivially true for EVERYTHING (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30511744)

That's trivially true for EVERYTHING, therefore is invalid. If there are competitors who ARE NOT polluting, then we move our money to them. Or don't you believe the free market and capitalism have catastrophically failed?

Re:Some nice backpedaling there, bud (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30511524)

you prefer the nomadic life or a world of mad max? where did he say corporate profits (which are only evil in the minds of Marxists, who are evil)... why kill the economy for imaginary science created to control the world governments and redistribute wealth?

Re:Some nice backpedaling there, bud (1)

ProppaT (557551) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511530)

I'm not the trickle down economics type...in fact I'm fervently the opposite...but you do realize that corporations will find their way to make money one way or the other. If you spend millions on technology to be green, you'd be a fool to think that they're not going to make up for the money elsewhere...mainly through eliminating jobs or investing in new technologies to eliminate existing jobs. While I would like to think that most people are generally good and think about the masses before themselves, you're dealing with companies with thousands of shareholders. At the end of the day they answer to the shareholders, not Al Gore.

Re:Some nice backpedaling there, bud (4, Insightful)

Nutria (679911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511592)

Cry me a river about lost corporate profits.

Says he who doesn't realize that Eeeeevil Corporate Profits are what

  1. keep us warm (even state-run electrical plants buy their coal/gas from private companies),
  2. dry (unless you're Amish and built your own house),
  3. clothed (unless, again, you are Amish and your wife makes all your clothes),
  4. fed (unless you grow all your own food),
  5. using a computer (how many governments build their own computers?),
  6. on-line (even if you use a state-run ISP,
  7. transoceanic fiber was laid by private companies), and
  8. (usually) employed.

Or are you too young to remember why the Iron Curtain fell, and why so many (non-union) citizens welcomed (nay, screamed for) government privatization: government bureaucracies do an absolutely suck-ass job of providing services.

Re:Some nice backpedaling there, bud (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30511872)

>Or are you too young to remember why the Iron Curtain fell, and why so many (non-union) citizens welcomed (nay, screamed for) government privatization: government bureaucracies do an absolutely suck-ass job of providing services.

It must be. I am just young enough to remember the end of the USSR and then the wall fell. I see this by people born mid 80s and later.

Have you dealt w/ Govt. offices before. I spent 2 years in a company that serviced city and town govts. Let me tell you about my interactions with the State. It sucks. They lie to you and tell you one thing you code based on that. 8 weeks before deadline they release something totally different to interact with. Hours of late night to deal with. Nothing you can do about it either. I'll take a crappy corporation any time and day. Somebody would have been fired for such behavior, and if not you take your business elsewhere.

Re:Some nice backpedaling there, bud (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511764)

Please don't buy a single thing made by a corporation/containing a part made by a corporation/made using something produced by a corporation ever again.

Re:Some nice backpedaling there, bud (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30511780)

Umm... Enjoy your high prices and high unemployment then.

end of the first world (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512016)

You'll be crying when you're in the greatest depression in history. You won't have a job AND the world's farms will be turning into deserts, there will be no more fish to eat, and cows will be illegal to raise.

Re:Some nice backpedaling there, bud (4, Insightful)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511406)

You haven't addressed the secondary issue; that the melting in the Himalayas is only doubled by the soot, not caused by it. And the scrubbers would have little to no effect on glacier melt in the rest of the world. And that "destroying the world economy" is a politically motivated, short sighted conclusion. Most of the reasonable forecasts show it "dragging" the economy down by about 1-3% of the "GWP" (Gross World Product). The economic doomsday types like to discount the possibility that the cost of oil will increase much beyond the rate of inflation, as if the entire world can start living like Americans (or even Western Europeans) without drastically increasing the price of oil.

Marrying glaciers (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511610)

They could try getting glaciers to "marry" and produce children.

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/in-paper-magazine/sci-tech-world/glaciers-at-risk [dawn.com]

http://www.umb.no/statisk/akrsp/06_publications_and_presentations/03_phd_and_masters_theses/5_ingvar_tveiten.pdf [www.umb.no]

The scientific bunch call it seeding. But the bunch who've been doing it for generations (way before the scientists figured it out) call it marrying.

Re:Some nice backpedaling there, bud (1)

hardburn (141468) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511982)

And when the 1st world countries started forcing scrubbers on coal-burning plants, the companies were complaining about lost profits. Somehow, things still went along.

Re:Some nice backpedaling there, bud (2, Interesting)

zz5555 (998945) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511338)

This is pretty old news. I think I've seen reports of this at least as far back as 2003. But it's estimated that this effect is only 25% of global warming. Green house gases are most of the rest. And, yes, it doesn't necessarily take a huge increase in global temperatures to get the glaciers melting.

Re:Some nice backpedaling there, bud (2, Interesting)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511624)

we aren't seeing the massive deluge that was predicted

Can you just help me out real quick and post a few links to these predictions of a deluge?

Much appreciated.

Re:Some nice backpedaling there, bud (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30511778)

Look at the history, look at the words used. They, algore et al, have rebranded "Air Pollution" into a nice package called "Global Warming" and/or "Climate change" so that they can put their hands in your pockets for pull out your money (buying "Carbon Credits") and make you feel better about yourself (Ignore the fact that you may live on 15 acres of wooded grounds, you be bad).

Let's call it what it is: Air Pollution, not by what is perceived to be the consequences.

Re:Some nice backpedaling there, bud (3, Informative)

jonnat (1168035) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511840)

So when we see scientists trying to come up with excuses for why ice packs are melting without a huge increase in global temperatures, we need to question both their motives and their data.

A few simple points that are (surprisingly, still) worth mentioning. Scientists are not coming up with "excuses" for the melting of ice packs. They are observing it and developing explanations based on models. You may personally believe that the melting of ice packs would require "huge" (conveniently unquantified) temperature increases to happen, but I'm willing to bet you personal beliefs in this matter are not based on rigorous observation and mechanistic explanations of the system. The questioning of the data used by scientists to come up with the said explanations has to be addressed in an individual basis. I'm certainly supportive that not only data from global warming research, but all publicly funded research be openly available, but it is utterly naive to think that the all conclusions presented in published peer-reviewed articles would not be supported if these data were available (and it's deceptive, at the least, to question their conclusions without even knowing their contents). The questioning of the motives of the scientific community to fabricate the conclusion of ice packs melting due to anthropogenic climate change is, in my opinion, one of the weakest arguments of denialists. Conspiracy theories abound, but no one seems to find the underlying motives that lead this entire scientific community to take on the daunting task of misleading the world's population, while doing it under the public's scrutiny and very aptly covering its tracks. Staging the moon-landing is child's play compared to this.

Yes, we can see oceanic water levels rising *in certain localized areas*, but we aren't seeing the massive deluge that was predicted.

Hopefully we can finally put to bed the reality of global warming and focus on the real problem of global pollution.

How on Earth the oceanic water levels will rise *in certain localized areas* is beyond me. Unless your theory accounts for a substantial increase in oceanic water viscosity as well, although that might explain why the current rises in ocean levels have failed to meet your expectations. And, according to recent EPA definitions, the problem of global warming caused by CO2 emissions *is* "the real problem of global pollution".

Incidentally, everyone is naturally entitled to their opinions, but I prefer anthropogenic global warming denialism when it's devoid of blatant logical inconsistencies.

Disingenuous or just dim (1)

Allicorn (175921) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511188)

(A + !B) != (A + B)

Uh oh (2, Funny)

JustOK (667959) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511226)

How long until the Abominable Smog Man evolves?

"massive brown cloud visible from space" (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30511232)

...which links to a god damn diagram, not an actual picture from space of a massive brown cloud. Way to fail submitter.

Re:"massive brown cloud visible from space" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30511468)

Yeah. "Massive brown cloud visible from space" does sort of lead one to expect a photograph of a massive brown cloud from space so I was expecting, oh I dunno, like a satellite photo of a massive brown cloud. Instead I get an artist's impression.

More liberal propaganda (0, Troll)

ZackSchil (560462) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511248)

Global warming is clearly false. My evidence: It's so cold right now! And those emails which someone told me meant that all climate research was a scam. Give it up, hippies. You lost, we won, get over it.

Re:More liberal propaganda (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30511322)

That's right! Hundreds of thousands of man hours of scientific research is voided by a handful of emails. This proves that you don't have to be "smart" and "educated" to know what you are talking about. As you all should know, the only written work that does not need proof to be true is the bible! After all, if the planet were made in 7 days then the planet has not been around long enough to prove those "theories" about global warming. All you need is faith...in the bible that is. Not in those people who waist their time with "science" and "technology".

Re:More liberal propaganda (1)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511384)

It doesn't matter who wins the argument.

Whatever is going to happen doesn't really care about whether you're right or not. If there's global warming then it's going to have consequences, even if not a single person wants to believe it.

Re:More liberal propaganda (1)

HNS-I (1119771) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511388)

I'm not a big fan of the artificial global warming fad, more worried about the environment and our supply of energy, but your argument is similar to saying: "It's impossible that we will get a spring because look it's winter!"

/me is cueing the monty python references

Re:More liberal propaganda (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30511588)

dude... you totally missed the sarcasm...

Re:More liberal propaganda (1)

ZackSchil (560462) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511500)

Poe's Law strikes again!

great satelite image (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30511252)

i wasn't sure to believe until i saw the proof:

http://www.nsf.gov/news/mmg/media/images/himalayan_glaciers_h.jpg

I read this as "Black Scot" (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511254)

Then I got very confused...

Re:I read this as "Black Scot" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30511488)

Demoman?

Should not be a surprise (3, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511274)

We have already noticed problems with soot [nytimes.com] . In fact I recall reading books about terraforming where soot was sprinkled on an ice cap, so the idea is pretty old.

Re:Should not be a surprise (2, Insightful)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511730)

We have already noticed problems with soot [nytimes.com] . In fact I recall reading books about terraforming where soot was sprinkled on an ice cap, so the idea is pretty old.

The article you are referring to is HERE [denisdutton.com] . It was in response to Global Cooling, which as we all know was false and THANK GOD we didn't do anything about it. Regardless of our arrogance back then, science in the 70's was no where near where it is today. If we had acted on our ignorant assumptions, it surely would have led to an enormous disaster today.

I wonder what we'll be saying about Global Warming in 35 years.

Re:Should not be a surprise (1)

Smallpond (221300) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511972)

Fortunately, we did do something about the scattered theories and reports of global cooling in the 60s and 70s. We put more money into climate science to find out what was really happening.

Re:Should not be a surprise (2, Insightful)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512038)

Fortunately, we did do something about the scattered theories and reports of global cooling in the 60s and 70s. We put more money into climate science to find out what was really happening.

Yes, because THIS time, we are right. All those other times, we were wrong. So, give us $40,000,000,000,000/yr, control of your lives and we'll fix it for ya.

Wow - a new low of spin-doctoring (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30511284)

'Black soot is probably responsible for as much as half of the glacial melt, and greenhouse gases are responsible for the rest.'

Becomes:

Now Live Science reports that tiny particles of pollution known as 'black carbon' — and not heat-trapping greenhouse gases (...)

Quite shameless. I am almost impressed by the gall of the submitter...

ZOMG! Global warming is wrong! (0, Troll)

Fished (574624) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511286)

The right wingers will surely use this as "proof" that global warming is wrong. Yet... if we started using renewable energy, it would still solve the problem.

Re:ZOMG! Global warming is wrong! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30511300)

Nuclear energy.

Re:ZOMG! Global warming is wrong! (2, Informative)

Nutria (679911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511362)

The right wingers will surely use this as "proof" that global warming is wrong.

AGW skeptics have known about Asian black soot for 2-3 years. (It's also been found in Arctic pack ice and in the Colorado Rockies.)

I'm just glad that the "mainstream" has finally "noticed" it.

Re:ZOMG! Global warming is wrong! (1)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511550)

The right wingers will surely use this as "proof" that global warming is wrong. Yet... if we started using renewable energy, it would still solve the problem.

It's actually the Libertarians that are pushing much of this. They are currently allied with the "right wingers" as many of their goals are the same (smaller government, free market, local control).

Re:ZOMG! Global warming is wrong! (1)

foobsr (693224) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511806)

renewable energy

A marketing fad suggesting that the second law of thermodynamics is not valid. That said, the core problem is that growth is not sustainable, but everybody tries to deny it.

CC.

Seems Familiar (1, Funny)

florescent_beige (608235) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511296)

Don't all apocalypse movies start with ominous scientific discoveries in remote geographical locations?

I hereby predict that within 4 or 5 years the UN will unveil a scheme to Save Mankind from, ummmmmmm, a passing neutron star. The scheme will feature a 1000 MT hydrogen bomb, spaceships, and short wave radio. Nicolas Cage, some hot babe, and a cute kid will survive...on Mars!

Re:Seems Familiar (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511400)

I hereby predict that within 4 or 5 years the UN will unveil a scheme to Save Mankind from, ummmmmmm, a passing neutron star. The scheme will feature a 1000 MT hydrogen bomb, spaceships, and short wave radio. Nicolas Cage, some hot babe, and a cute kid will survive...on Mars!

And both Nicolas Cage and the kid will be Wizards.

The babe will just be hot, which, unlike wizardry, gets things done in a prompt manner.

Re:Seems Familiar (1)

rlp (11898) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511454)

Don't all apocalypse movies start with ominous scientific discoveries in remote geographical locations?

I hereby predict that within 4 or 5 years the UN will unveil a scheme to Save Mankind from, ummmmmmm, a passing neutron star. The scheme will feature several hundred billion dollars given to UN bureaucrats, corrupt NGO's and various tinpot dictators and tyrants

Fixed it for ya.

Prehistoric water reserves? (1)

confu2000 (245635) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511310)

I'll admit I didn't read the article, but I don't understand how this is supposed to work.
If glaciers are responsible for the water supply, then if they don't melt, would these regions end up with no water at all?
Shouldn't these areas be depending on current precipitation for their water?

Or to put it another way, if these regions are depending on glacier melt from water accumulated hundreds of thousands of years ago, aren't they going to be screwed sooner or later? Either the melt isn't high enough and they don't have enough water, or the melt is too high and they'll run out later.

It would seem like the only sustainable situation would be if the melt equals new formation due to precipitation.

Re:Prehistoric water reserves? (2, Interesting)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511352)

I believe they're supposed to act as a buffer. They accumulate water during the wet season, and release it during the dry, in roughly equal amounts. If they melt faster than they accrete, then you get more water during the dry season for a while (while the glaciers are close to their original size), then it starts to taper off as the increased melting is offset by the lesser amount of ice. Eventually, the glaciers are reduced to virtually nil, and you get little or nothing after that.

Re:Prehistoric water reserves? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30511380)

Galciers are essentially a water battery. There is very heavy seasonal precipitation high in the mountains. This precipitation becomes glacier ice, which slides downward and melts.
The sliding process and melting however happens perennial, and thus turns high seasonal percipitation into a dependable perennial water source. Without glaciers, all the water simply comes gushing downhill - which can be very damaging on its own, and leaves the people without a dependable water source for the rest of the year.

There are two possibilities how a glacier can "die" - either the yearly precipitation dries up (therefore, melted ice is not replenished), or the temperature gets warmer and the "melting zone" goes up the mountain, ultimately leaving no glacier. We observe the latter across the globe.

here we have a nugget of scientific observation (5, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511312)

underneath we will have a shitstorm of politically biased comments

so i offer a third option, to climate change doubters and climate change believers:

1. who fucking cares whose fault it is

political recrimination gets us nowhere. its cold in the house because someone left the window open? ok, so you're going to sit there and scream at each other over who opened the window? here's a new idea: how about someone demonstrating actual responsibility and instead actually stand the fuck up, walk over, and close the fucking window: NO MATTER WHO LEFT IT OPEN

2. who fucking cares if we are heating up or cooling down or not changing

the fact is, we live here, and we are interested in controlling the thermostat. if it gets too cold, do something to turn it up. if it gets to hot, do something to turn it down. we are homo sapiens, this what we do: we do not adapt to our environment, we adapt our environment to us. we do not grow fur, we make clothes. we do not enter torpor at midday, we invent air conditioning

if you say we shouldn't mess with the weather, you are by extension denying the fact that we already are having an effect on the climate. so we might as well get involved with twiddling with the environment ON PURPOSE, because the notion that 6.5 billion humans can magically have no effect at all is a completely absurd premise on your part

this environmental attitude is the engineer's approach. fuck all of you capitalists, politicians, activists and hysterical whiners. the engineer will prevail here, because only we have the solution to what the rest of you simply bicker about

we need scientifically, factually sound well-researched methods for forcing change on our planet on purpose. and then we'll fix your fucking problem. something like seeding the dead zones of the ocean with iron

lets put it this way: make believe, for the moment, for the sake of argument, regardless of your beliefs, that

1. the earth is actually heating up
2. it is doing so because of nature, not man-made reasons

ok, well what are we supposed to do, just accept rising sea levels, melting glaciers and the sahara desert growing 25%?

no, we artificially introduce methods for cooling the earth down. we do this, #1, for selfish reasons, but also for #2: a preservation of current species and ecosystems, as a side effect. are you going to let the amazon dry up because you don't like the idea of man fiddling with the environment?

yes, the planet could continue to evolve new species without human intervention. but what is really going to happen is that this planet is going to become a museum, under human supervision, of the current catalog of species and ecosystems that have evolved so far. why? because we want to fucking live here, that's why

so, for the deniers in opposition to supposition #1 above: if you don't believe the earth is heating up, you still have to admit the earth has had historic swings in climate, and that we earthlings will have to intervene at some point, correct?

and for the believers in man-made change in opposition to supposition #2 above: you believe that climate change is caused by man, you have to admit that to fix the problem we have to do it PROACTIVELY. please don't try to sell me the moronic bullshit that 6.5 billion humans can live on this planet like ghosts. this is a different kind of denial than those who deny climate change, but no less foolish

imagine that: no pointless recriminations and blame games, no living in denial and sticking your head in the sand

commence with the retarded partisan bickering anyway. meanwhile, us engineers will roll up our sleeves and will actually go and fix your fucking problem while you political assholes do nothing but bicker

more action, less "hot air"

Re:here we have a nugget of scientific observation (1)

Nutria (679911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511426)

and instead actually stand the fuck up, walk over, and close the fucking window

Except that closing a window is a hell of a lot cheaper, easier and faster to do than fundamentally restructuring a world economy.

ok, well what are we supposed to do, just accept rising sea levels, melting glaciers and the sahara desert growing 25%?

Yes, as a matter of fact.

and that we earthlings will have to intervene at some point, correct?

The Earth is Really Big, and we are Really Small.

Re:here we have a nugget of scientific observation (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511526)

and that we earthlings will have to intervene at some point, correct?

The Earth is Really Big, and we are Really Small.

True, but we're really resource-hungry, and underwater mining really sucks.

we have in our power right now (2, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511668)

the ability to plunge the entire planet into winter: just detonate all of our nuclear warheads

we won't do that. i'm simply countering your supposition that the earth is large and we are small. we WERE once so small as you believe. we aren't anymore

we're simply not going to accept the next ice age or the next sahara age. we're going to actively prevent it. when the amazon is drying up, and the taiga is melting, and the streets of london and shanghai are as venice, we will find the industrial, scientific and political willpower to oppose that

simply because massive ecosystem change will imperil billions on this planet and their economic well-being. we will therefore assemble to resist climate change. this is what we do: we are homo sapiens. we do not adapt to nature. nature adapts to us

if you don't understand or believe we have the power to alter our ecosystem, or that for some reason we won't alter our climate when climate change threatens us, manmade or natural, then you are in some sort of serious denial about what kind of creature we really are

Re:here we have a nugget of scientific observation (1)

Drethon (1445051) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511838)

And us little tiny humans will never travel all the way around the globe (or past it) right? Scale just means we need to expand our knowledge of how to do things...

Re:here we have a nugget of scientific observation (1)

Nutria (679911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511964)

I doubt that we (as opposed to robots) will travel past LEO (low earth orbit) as anything but a gee whiz flight of fancy. Deep Space is just too hostile to our feeble bodies.

A modest proposal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30511436)

The Himalayas are obviously being heated by the methane gas produced by the hundreds of millions of vegetarians who live near them. Do you have a "solution" to that problem.

Seriously though, if CO2 is contributing, then nations that produce a lot of it need to spend their money finding ways to reduce their emissions (nuclear power plants, more efficient transportation, etc). A wealth transfer to poor countries won't help anything. And if solar cycles are the cause, there's not a darn thing humans can do about it except adapt.

lol (2, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511878)

"And if solar cycles are the cause, there's not a darn thing humans can do about it except adapt."

you really believe that?

if climate change threatens our economic well being, you rest assured that century or two of focused scientific innovation and politically supported engineering and industrial policies will, without a doubt, counteract natural changes, like a cooling or a heating solar cycle cause

nuclear detonations at volcanic regions to cool things down under cloud cover (study factual little ice ages after massive historical volcanic eruptions in man's historical written record)

purposeful amping up of CO2 output to greenhouse effect heat things up

there's all sorts of things we can do

we have amazing technological abilities compared to just a century ago, nevermind what powers we will discover in another century or two

in 2 or 3 centuries, this entire planet will have a micromanaged climate, if civilization doesn't break down. then the issue will be political bickering between, for example, morocco wishing to do away with more sahara so it can can grow more crops, while brazil says this costs them money to counteract the related drying up of the amazon due to morocco's efforts. we already see this sort of environmental bickering between nations over the damming and controlling of rivers that cross national boundaries

lets put it this way: our ancestors would be in amazed awe at our ability to completely redirect an entire river if we wanted to, and as we frequently do in today's world. but ancient man, in looking at the hard work of beavers, would not think it in the realm of the impossible for us to do that one day

likewise, today, looking at how past volcanic eruptions have led to mini-ice ages, i, like ancient man before me looking at beavers, see that future micromanaging of our climate is not impossible, and will be someday a mundane matter-of-fact effort, like garbage disposal and plumbing

you just lack imagination and perception

Re:here we have a nugget of scientific observation (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511444)

we do not grow fur, we make clothes. we do not enter torpor at midday, we invent air conditioning

You've not been to Spain, I gather.

We call both solutions "Pecho lobo" and "Siesta"

Re:here we have a nugget of scientific observation (3, Interesting)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511466)

1. who fucking cares whose fault it is

political recrimination gets us nowhere. its cold in the house because someone left the window open?

Bad example. It's not who left the window open, it's determining that the problem is an open window, as opposed to for instance running the air conditioner in winter. Because fixing the problem the right way (closing the window, or shutting down the AC) is much easier than doing it the wrong way (adding heaters for instance).

If the problem is too much CO2, then it's very possible the easiest fix is to reduce the amount of CO2 instead of starting some sort of planet-wide engineering project.

2. who fucking cares if we are heating up or cooling down or not changing

How is your engineer going to fix the problem without knowing what it is? The solutions to "too cold", "too hot", and "not changing when it should" are different. And depending on the amount of change the scale of your engineering project is going to change quite a lot.

fact: (1, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511554)

the earth has had historic massive swings in climate, without any manmade input

obvious deduction:

even if you isolate all human effects, you're still going to have a dangerous heating up or cooling down at some point

therefore:

you are going to be involved in this sort of purposeful engineering at some point, no matter what humanity's effects are. the alternative is to just allow an ice age or the sahara covering half the globe and massive ecosystem/ species die off. that neglect is a superior approach?

so why not just sidstep all the pointless bickering and pointless blamegames and get down to proactive engineering now

we're going to be engineering our climate some day even if we all magically turn into environmental saints. you see that right?

Re:fact: (1)

foobsr (693224) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511974)

the earth has had historic massive swings in climate, without any manmade input

But: "High-resolution carbon dioxide concentration record 650,000–800,000 years before present"

Quote: "Changes in past atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations can be determined by measuring the composition of air trapped in ice cores from Antarctica. So far, the Antarctic Vostok and EPICA Dome C ice cores have provided a composite record of atmospheric carbon dioxide levels over the past 650,000 years. Here we present results of the lowest 200 m of the Dome C ice core, extending the record of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration by two complete glacial cycles to 800,000 yr before present."
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v453/n7193/full/nature06949.html

CC.

Re:here we have a nugget of scientific observation (3, Insightful)

spafbi (324017) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511472)

Wow... here, have some Prozac. I've often wondered why folks on Slashdot... Nevermind. I was just about to start ranting about how folks here on Slashdot rant as if they're actually going to change someone else's opinion.

Re:here we have a nugget of scientific observation (1)

jonadab (583620) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511522)

> If it gets too cold, do something to turn it up.
> If it gets to hot, do something to turn it down.

That kind of thinking can have unintended consequences. Sometimes the cure is worse than the disease. The insects are a major nuissance, so you introduce a lizard that eats them. But the lizards, with no natural predators, start to take over, so you introduce cats. Now the introduced feral cats are killing off the local birds. When you mess with a system you don't understand, you can really screw things up.

If we understood climate change better, we might be better equipped to try to control it, but the fact is we don't understand it very well at all. For the time being, I think the wisest course of action is to adapt our society to live with whatever climate changes come down the pike (and of course to continue to collect as many data as possible, with a view toward eventually forming a more complete understanding of how stuff works).

there's always a shadow of a doubt (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511598)

of the results of your actions in a complex situation

but you proceed anyways, because the alternative, doing nothing, is guaranteed to fail

what you seek: certain results from new strategies, is an impossibility, and should therefore never drive your decision making

Re:here we have a nugget of scientific observation (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511654)

No one is willing to act now because the issue hasn't become significant enough to have a real effect on anyone with a pocketbook. When/if it becomes serious enough to start flooding New York City, you can bet we'll act. And before anyone says "But by then it will be too late," note that it's NEVER too late. Humans are the most adaptive species on the planet. When push comes to shove, we will find a way. Sure, it may be more sensible to act now, but we are also a very conservative species that only adapts when forced to (though, when sufficiently motivated, we can literally move mountains).

Pointing out that some polar bears are dying or some ice is melting isn't going to motivate politicians who have to answer to voters just trying to find a job and pay their bills. That's the reality, for good or ill.

Re:here we have a nugget of scientific observation (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511670)

You go first. We follow. ;)

Re:here we have a nugget of scientific observation (1)

dr2chase (653338) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511736)

Problem is that people believe things for reasons. These reasons include:
  • Stupid liberals believe in human-caused GW, I hate stupid liberals, therefore I don't believe in HCGW.
  • Stupid conservatives are always wrong, I know they're wrong about this, too (equal opportunity politics here).
  • You'll take my SUV from me when you pry it from my cold dead fingers.
  • Solar panels??!!!? The condo board/zoning laws/homeowners association Will Not Allow.
  • Give up (well, drastically reduce) beef and pork? Are you kidding?
  • Not drop my little darlings off at school? What, you want them to walk and get hit by a car?

Note that generally, though not always, it is the desire to avoid change that motivates a disbelief in human-caused global warming. I have plenty of sympathy with people who really don't trust the models, and who don't trust temperature readings from urban areas, but the number of people for whom that is the primary motivation is relatively small. Most people, just don't want to change. Heck, we could not even get the metric system adopted in this country. So, whether natural and we should try to control, or unnatural and we should quit causing it, either way you are asking people to change.

There are easy engineering solutions to CO2 production (engineers use the metric system, too). The difficulties are social and political. The goofiest part of this is that the same poltical retort works both ways. "Give up beef/my truck? What are we, a nation of girly-men?" vs "Can't ride your bike to work/put on a sweater? What are we, a nation of girly-men?"

Re:here we have a nugget of scientific observation (1)

foobsr (693224) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511908)

Partly, I agree. Interestingly (well, after all, this will be a real big global business), the Institution of Mechanical Engineers has recently come up with a geo-engineering approach [imeche.org] .

CC.

Re:here we have a nugget of scientific observation (1)

NetNinja (469346) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511998)

"Us Engineers?" I am smarter than the rest of the human race because I can fix problems? Or is it the megalomanic attitude that get's us into more trouble?

I agree with most of your posting and no posting of couse is perfect due to the fact you have people who love to read the surface of a posting and not bother to read in between the lines or make something out of nothing.

 

bad science (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30511394)

Since this goes against what I want to believe (and, worse yet, what massive corporations want to believe) this clearly must be bad science.

Sincerely,

Glen Beck

Re:bad science (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30511850)

Hey Glenn,
You got so far ahead of yourself, you spelled your own name wrong!
I'm beginning to think this post might not actually be you.
Come to think of it, I'm not sure this is me, either!

ha a aha aha ahha ha ha aha (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30511428)

"Now Live Science reports that tiny particles of pollution known as 'black carbon' -- and not heat-trapping greenhouse gases -- may be causing much of the rapid melting of glaciers in the Himalayas."..haha aha aha aha ahaha aha aha aha aha aha ahaha aha aha ahaa ahaahah haha ahahaha aha aha ahaha haa aha haa ha aha ha cough cough hack...ha aha aha aha aha ha aha haha aha aha aha ahaha aha aha aha aha aha ahaha aha aha ahaa ahaahah haha ahahaha aha aha ahaha haa aha haa ha aha ha.... cough cough hack...aha aha ha aha

Satellite Imagery (4, Interesting)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511448)

Re:Satellite Imagery (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30511852)

So you're saying it's all those 3rd world countries (yes, China is 3rd world, sorry; most of the population are dirt farmers) with practically no regulation or even laws causing 99% of the problems? These same countries that are basically being funded by the 1st world nations?

Just isn't natural. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30511478)

"...half of melting can be attributed...to soot with the other half being caused by global warming"

So glaciers don't melt naturally? Seriously? Don't get me wrong, pollution clouds visible from space is a problem but comments like these that always manage to link to anthropological global warming only serve to continue to discredit actual problems.

If the premise here is true, then I vote that we continue to spew CO2 (i.e. breathing) in order to save humanity and all of the forest critters from the next ice age.

Oh yeah, and if rising temperatures are so harmful to species on Earth, does this mean that all of the species on the planet have come into existence over the past thousand years or so? I was under the impression that every creature that we know of has been around for millions of years, but since the Earth's temperature has varied greatly over that time (tropical, ice-ages)and any subtle change in temperature would kill life as we know it, I guess the bible must be right and the animals (and humans) must have been "created" in the past few thousand years. I mean, there's no other way right?

at last, a climate change scenario with facts (-1, Flamebait)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511648)

Global dimming, and this article, are actually based on real facts. We could have built meaningful case for mankind to change its polluting ways based on this kind of thing. Too bad the "climatologists" instead went for extrapolation and models based on natural solar maximums, and now are looking like idiots now that deep solar minimum is making the earth cool (temporarily, yes; part of up and down cycle, yes). And people like Al Gore and the director of CRU who had to step down made the most absurd and unfounded claims about near future events that no thinking person believes they have any credibility at all. A -ist is not an expert, it is a media label. A punk with a megaphone inciting riot is an "activist". A doped out hippie chained to a tree is an "activist". And a doomsayer alarmist getting grants and making models to please his political benefactors is a "climatologist". See, no real credentials or training necessary to be an "-ist", even if they have sheepskin scientific method has nothing to do with it.

Re:at last, a climate change scenario with facts (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511786)

Global dimming, and this article, are actually based on real facts.

Pro-tip: "facts" aren't things which just happen to match your personal world view. Or: why confirmation bias is something to try and avoid.

Oh, and BTW, if you'd read the whole summary, you'd note that a) the himalayan glaciers are melting *much* faster than any others on the planet, well above the rate expected when global warming is taken into account, and b) soot can only attribute for about half the melting, leaving the other half to... you guessed it, global warming.

Lastly: The earth is not cooling. No, it really isn't. You can say it is over and over, chanting it with the rest of your denier friends, as I'm sure doing so makes you feel better, not to mention so very superior, but it's a lie, plain and simple.

Re:at last, a climate change scenario with facts (1)

iggymanz (596061) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511860)

Global average temperature has fallen last three years, you say earth is warming. one of us has problem with "facts". Guess that fact doesn't coincide with your Al Gore Climatology religion's world view.

Re:at last, a climate change scenario with facts (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511944)

Global average temperature has fallen last three years

Uh, no, it hasn't [nasa.gov] . And even if it had, let me introduce you to a concept called "noise". Or: Why three years of data doesn't represent anywhere close to a trend.

But, keep lying in the face of facts. I'm sure it makes you feel so very much better.

Shoddy PR at work (3, Insightful)

Qbertino (265505) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511666)

The linked diagramm is a dead giveaway that this is more of a PR stunt than usefull scientific research. No matter what the verdict, fact is: we are putting to much polution into the atmosphere and we need to stop. That's a fact, and no lobbying otherwise will change it.

Acreage? (1)

Gorath99 (746654) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511684)

the acreage covered by Himalayan glaciers

"Acreage"? Really? What's wrong with "surface area"? Should we now call length "footage", and volume "gallonage"?

At the very least use SI square meterage. ;-)

Stupid idiots... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30511686)

Why don't they just use white soot instead?

In other Indian News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30511690)

There is heaviest snowfall in New York !

So ... melting in line with GW in the end... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30511710)

The Horror:

A rate of warming twice the global average over the past 30 years.

Ah, a reason:

'Black soot is probably responsible for as much as half of the glacial melt,

and thus in line with the global average:

and greenhouse gases are responsible for the rest.'

Wonder how many people will be claiming that this proves GW isn't happening and that it isn't man-made (like black soot from human activities isn't man-made!). Oh well, time to read the comments I guess.

Black Soot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30511732)

De-forestation is a signficant cause of glacial melting in the Himalayas.

Not a new Phenominon (2, Insightful)

Breccia (785630) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511814)

Back in 1970, at Resolute Bay in the Canadian high arctic, I had a discussion with two scientists about global warming -- back then, the Arctic Ocean had increased in temperature by 2.7 degrees over the previous 40 years!!! One identified mechanism was soot from the atmosphere, a byproduct of combustion and to a lesser extent, volcanic ash. The amount of energy it takes to raise the temperature of an entire ocean by this amount is staggering...

This soot reduces the albedo of the snow and ice, resulting in less incident energy being reflected back into space and the unreflected energy raising the local temperature.

For anyone who cares to look, "global warming" is a function of very many causes creating a frightening synergy, greenhouse gasses though probably being the main culprit.

More Satellite Imagery! (1)

Bicx (1042846) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511816)

This is more relevant to western society:

Pollution Clouds over the U.S. [bitstomp.com]

Glacial Melting in Greenland [bitstomp.com]

We have to act fast! To get started, you can get a great deal on LED lightbulbs through my eBay storefront!

ID10T error (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30511868)

And where do you exactly think the black soot comes from if not from Indian and Chinese coal plants? Oh my...

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