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Our Lazy Solar Dynamo — Hello Dalton Minimum?

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the ra-on-probation dept.

Earth 571

tetrahedrassface writes "Solar maximum is supposed to be occurring, and everything from satellite communications to your toaster or radio could be affected. The only problem is that this just isn't happening, and NASA continues to revise downward the original prediction. In fact, the new forecast for Solar Cycle 24 is a lot smaller, and is now pegged at almost 40% of what was previously predicted. Recently, two scientists at the National Solar Observatory have followed the lead of a prominent Russian scientist, who almost five years ago forecast a dearth of sunspots and the subsequent cooling of Earth for the next several cycles. With Britain currently experiencing the coldest winter in over 300 years, and no new sunspots for the last week, are we heading for a Dalton Minimum, or worse still, yet another Maunder?"

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571 comments

No problem! (1, Funny)

jcr (53032) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724524)

I'll just up my CO2 emissions by a couple of tons. I haven't been using my fireplace nearly enough lately.

-jcr

Re:No problem! (5, Funny)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724682)

Yep. And I'll trade-in my 80 MPG hybrid for a gas-guzzling Porsche (shaped like a penis)* that gets a mere 15 mpg. And move to a home 100 miles from my job.

*
*Buffy reference

Re:No problem! (3, Insightful)

Dolphinzilla (199489) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724938)

My 1995 Porsche 911 gets about 28 MPG on the highway if I keep it at under 80 MPH - yeah I know its not 80 MPG but its better than 15 MPG and its a heck of a lot more fun than a Prius or a some other econobox

Re:No problem! (3, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724980)

Then in a few years when our surprise extension runs out, the Greenhouse will be nice and thick for the return to the typical solar cycle, frying us, too late to ever fix or minimize.

Any excuse to ignore the threat should be taken - damn the consequences just a little later.

In before the Global Warming crowd... (1)

otaku244 (1804244) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724546)

QUICK! Start spilling out greenhouse gasses to save us from global cooling.

Re:In before the Global Warming crowd... (3, Funny)

andoman2000 (1755610) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724596)

I've already got my car running in the garage with the door closed, I'm feeling warmer and sleepy..........

Re:In before the Global Warming crowd... (5, Insightful)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724606)

CO2 also acidifies the oceans. Global warming isn't the only result of pumping billions of tons of green house gases into the atmosphere.

Re:In before the Global Warming crowd... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34724670)

Really? Where to people come up with this crap? Oh yea... The Internet.

Re:In before the Global Warming crowd... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34724704)

Well I don't know about you, but I learnt this in middle school. It's chemistry 101: the concentration of any soluble gas in a liquid is directly dependent on the concentration of the same gas in the air surrounding/above it. The reverse is also true, and that's why a soda bottle fizzes when you open it (minus the pedantism about pressure levels).. /think before you post

Re:In before the Global Warming crowd... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34724762)

I thought there was no fizz when you open a bottle of soda since the CO2 forced into it by greenhouse gas accumulation turns it into carbolic acid killing the factory workers and dissolving the bottle.

Re:In before the Global Warming crowd... (1)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724894)

And the above is a sad example of why government should not allow trailer park families to do homeschooling.

Re:In before the Global Warming crowd... (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724886)

Is there data on how much additional atmospheric CO2 would be required for this acidification to have an actual effect on aquatic life?

Re:In before the Global Warming crowd... (1)

DeadCatX2 (950953) | more than 3 years ago | (#34725048)

Technically, the coldest winter in 300 years in the UK might be an example of local cooling, not global.

So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34724566)

With Britain currently experiencing the coldest winter in over 300 years, and no new sunspots for the last week, are we heading for a Dalton Minimum, or worse still, yet another Maunder?"

"Worse still"? Can you please go into detail about the downside of an extended solar minimum?

Re:So what? (5, Informative)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724592)

Can you please go into detail about the downside of an extended solar minimum?

How much do you enjoy having enough food to eat?

Re:So what? (4, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724618)

After the holidays I could stand to lose a few pounds. This Maunder diet sounds like the ticket.

Re:So what? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724624)

Not to worry: During the last such minimum, the population was too low to make cannibalism a viable reserve food source. In our bold and overpopulated times, we should be able to survive with minimal disruption on what will come to be called the "long pig diet" in a flurry of self-help books and obnoxious mediagenic "doctors" self-promoting Oprah appearances...

Also, if we are sufficiently lucky, the Scandanavian "Black Metal Belt" should move some degrees southward, allowing gene flows between that population and previously isolated genre-concentrations such as the UK punk pool... This should help protect them from excessive inbreeding and the production of incestuous and derivative material...

Re:So what? (1)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724942)

the Scandanavian "Black Metal Belt" should move some degrees southward ....

Great. Can I have an awesome orgy with Angela Gossow AND Lotta Hoglin?

Ok, ok, can I at least get consensual sex in the missionary position for the sole purpose of procreation with Anette Olzon please?

Re:So what? (1)

kesuki (321456) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724668)

no worries we're just carbs water and some vitamins and minerals, if its in soil that can be processed into supplements and we can all live like the jetsons having breakfast pills. sure the stomach would be in pain but thats what advil and tylenol and nuprin are for! and all of that stuff can be recycled again when it comes out of us. so energy to do that becomes the main problem...

so hows that for a dystopia future worth fighting against.

Re:So what? (1)

jambox (1015589) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724984)

Duh... we'll eat *each other*.

Re:So what? (2)

dammy (131759) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724620)

With shorter growing seasons may mean lower crop yields and the world is already tight on food supplies means some ugly times ahead for those who are not getting enough food today. Maunder Minimum is when the Little Ice Age happened. Human population went down by what, 40%?

Re:So what? (2)

ThatMegathronDude (1189203) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724852)

The only reason people go hungry today is due to political strife. There is a huge surplus in food grown around the world.

Re:So what? (1)

GaryOlson (737642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724922)

Higher expenses removing and disposing of frozen homeless people from the street. If the homeless get desperate enough, increased other expenses dealing with break-ins of property and turf wars for warm sleeping spaces.

Also increased liberal news reports of people who can't afford the $800 heating bills for their 800 sq ft shack with inadequate insulation and heaters. More house fires and deaths as more people use camping equipment and other not-rated-for-domestic-use equipment to heat their homes.

Far-north global warming is still accelerating ... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34724590)

Fans of data---as opposed to ideology-driven cherry-picking and quibbling---can verify (via daily satellite updates!) that far-north global warming is still accelerating. The relevant site is Arctic Sea Ice News & Analysis.

Heck, Hudson Bay in Canada *still* hasn't frozen over ... that *never* happens.

Re:Far-north global warming is still accelerating (-1, Troll)

Anthony (4077) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724672)

Well said. People arguing with AGW gave up on data, if they ever did, a long time ago.

Northern Hemisphere Jet Stream summary [theweathernetwork.com]

Re:Far-north global warming is still accelerating (-1)

arivanov (12034) | more than 3 years ago | (#34725060)

Actually, I beg to differ here.

The current AGW protagonists have been caught redhanded to cherry pick the data for a large portion of the northern hemisphere.

http://www.iea.ru/article/kioto_order/15.12.2009.pdf [www.iea.ru]

Read this. I have read this paper over a bottle of wine with my mom this summer. She is a retired met support officer - initially strategic missile command, after that strategic bomber command and after that 30 years of met support for civilian aviation. She used slightly less "diplomatic language", but the exec summary is: "the guys have a point".

Re:Far-north global warming is still accelerating (1)

dila813 (1085573) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724698)

Weather Underground indicates the temps are within Historical norms. Maybe something else driving the sea ice conditions? Geothermal energy?

Re:Far-north global warming is still accelerating (3, Insightful)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724714)

Fans of data---as opposed to ideology-driven cherry-picking and quibbling---can verify (via daily satellite updates!) that far-north global warming is still accelerating. The relevant site is Arctic Sea Ice News & Analysis

Most people strongly tend to cherry-pick and then draw conclusions from it - yet when it involves an above-average hot summer almost no one concerned about global warming complains because it lines up with their ideology. Well, sauce for the goose... you better hope the Russian is wrong.

It is dumb to draw conclusions based on one winter on one relatively tiny section of the globe. Plus local influences and normal variability often drown out the longer-term signal. Up here in the Pacific Northwest, our mid-to-late winter and (especially) spring weather are strongly influenced by the ENSO ("El Niño"). So far we've been having a colder than normal couple of months, and everyone's blaming the current La Niña - but it's probably not a significant factor given the time of year. Nor is it likely the dearth of sunspots - we just happen to be having a cooler-than-normal late fall and early winter. It happens. If February onward are cooler and wetter than normal, then we can talk.

Re:Far-north global warming is still accelerating (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724736)

It is dumb to draw conclusions based on one winter on one relatively tiny section of the globe.

Note: If it's not clear, I was referring to the cold British winter mentioned in the original submission.

Re:Far-north global warming is still accelerating (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34724838)

What really settles it for me is this chart here

http://www.pfeg.noaa.gov/research/climatemarine/cmfclimate/cmfcc2.html

Oceans occupy most of our globe, and they are a good indication of global temperature, since they also trap a good deal of our surface heat. Ocean temperatures are rising. Why are they rising? That much is in debate.

Re:Far-north global warming is still accelerating (1)

WaywardGeek (1480513) | more than 3 years ago | (#34725050)

I tend to find people more credible when they're willing to put their own money on the line. 2010 looks like the warmest year on record [intrade.com] .

Re:Far-north global warming is still accelerating (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34724978)

Fans of data---as opposed to ideology-driven cherry-picking and quibbling---can verify (via daily satellite updates!) that far-north global warming is still accelerating. The relevant site is Arctic Sea Ice News & Analysis

Just to be clear, the Arctic Sea Ice News & Analysis site summarizes a 31-year record of satellite data, covering the whole of the Arctic.

Yes, AGW is real ... yes, it's accelerating ... yes, it's expected to show up first and strongest in the Arctic, then throughout the globe ... yes, the theory and data are in solid agreement ... yes, there's a scientific consensus on this point.

Re:Far-north global warming is still accelerating (0)

cbeaudry (706335) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724854)

Citation please.

Its my understanding it froze over enough in early December (on cue) so that the polar bears could go roaming around and eat some tasty baby seals.

Your BS claims from the site you quoted is dated 4 weeks ago. And their observations on Dec. 6th where based on November data.

The Hudson Bay froze the same week that article was posted, ON CUE. Meaning, thats about the time it freezes over every year.

Re:Far-north global warming is still accelerating (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724908)

that far-north global warming is still accelerating

Isn't it cherry-picking to point specifically to "far-north global warming", when global warming is supposed to be, er... global?

Gore Minimum? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34724602)

nt

But..But...Al Gore said (0, Troll)

gearloos (816828) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724608)

I'm sure Al will set you straight!

Re:But..But...Al Gore said (2)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724638)

Ocean acidification. Solar cycles don't change chemical fact. CO2 + H2O H2CO3 H+(aq) + HCO3-(aq) In other words, as the ocean absorbs more CO2, it becomes more acidic. Combined with the observed isotopic shift in C13/C12 ratios caused by anthropomorphic CO2 sources and it's case closed.

Re:But..But...Al Gore said (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34724694)

See- told you guys...lmao theres always one.

Re:But..But...Al Gore said (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34724700)

Not so simple. The ocean is a buffer system. As its pH decreases, so does the rate at which it buries calcium carbonate. This feed-back will likely increase the alkalinity of seawater once the pH drops below some threshold, causing the ocean to absorb *more* CO2 than it normally would to catch up.

It's not the same runaway effect that alarmists have been touting in regards to the climate.

Lies (3, Funny)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724640)

The globe is warming!
I mean cooling.
I mean "climate changing".
(clings to the Book of Al Gore and whimpers)
;-)

Re:Lies (1)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724870)

Now that we know the sun is trying to cool the earth, it is everyone's duty to go buy a SUV and leave the lights on in every room of the house. Please, think of the children!

Re:Lies (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724940)

>>>leave the lights on in every room of the house

And revoke that US law that bans incandescent bulbs.

Re:Lies (0)

Enry (630) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724900)

Please learn the difference between weather and climate before you embarrass yourself more.

Learn to take a joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34724924)

you self-important jackass.

Re:Learn to take a joke (1)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724960)

Learn to tell funny jokes, and it won't be a problem.

Re:Lies (4, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 3 years ago | (#34725068)

Please learn the difference between weather and climate before you embarrass yourself more.

Please learn the fact that "the climate" is as far outside of your ability to predict and thoroughly understand as is your apparent grasp on a sense of humor.

Britain/Northern Europe is Ocean regulated. (3, Informative)

RichMan (8097) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724650)

Britain/Northern Europe does not owe its climate status to spot heating. Britain is usually warmer than it should be given its northern position due to the gulf stream. The oceans serve as blocks to cold air from up north coming south. There are incredible global circulation systems which see warm air rise in the mid-latitudes tot he upper atmosphere then cool and return to the ground at the poles. This is the cause of the cold winds that come down from the north. These winds find it easier to come south over land, which cools more easily than water which retains heat better, has its own top/bottom circulation as well as global circulation. Normally the warm currents keep the cold air away.

Global Warming means global warming. The oceans make 3/4 of the surface area to 4' cooling of the land is easily offset by 2' warming of the ocean. 4 * 1/4 = 1 is less than 2 * 3/4 = 1.5. Do not take any specific location changes to mean global stuff.

What global warming does mean is more intense weather systems. Do not go jumping onto local cooling/warming like Europes/US east coast and claim it is getting colder. You need to look at the whole globe. Not just the areas man is in.

Re:Britain/Northern Europe is Ocean regulated. (0)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724702)

So what you're saying is the earth is cooling? Or did you mean warming? TL;DR

Re:Britain/Northern Europe is Ocean regulated. (1)

Enry (630) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724892)

The Earth as a whole is warming, N Europe is cooling.

Re:Britain/Northern Europe is Ocean regulated. (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724746)

This bit looks interesting [wikipedia.org] :

current evidence does not support globally synchronous periods of anomalous cold or warmth over this time frame, and the conventional terms of "Little Ice Age" and "Medieval Warm Period" appear to have limited utility in describing trends in hemispheric or global mean temperature changes in past centuries... [Viewed] hemispherically, the "Little Ice Age" can only be considered as a modest cooling of the Northern Hemisphere during this period of less than 1C relative to late 20th century levels.[6]

As a southerner I am hoping its our turn this time. Temperature hit 40C yesterday.

Re:Britain/Northern Europe is Ocean regulated. (3, Insightful)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724884)

The whole globe doesn't matter -> what matters are local conditions and specific distributions. Nobody has ever been killed because the average cyclonic activity for a year was up by 2%. Plenty of people get killed by specific storms, even when average cyclonic activity for a year was down.

Now, you may believe that an increase in average global temperature is going to specifically cause more damaging weather events where humans are -> but that's a belief system, not a fact. Put more succinctly, even without any change in the average of global temperature, you can have certain distributions that are very damaging, and other distributions that are very benign. There is no evidence that an increase of average temperature must neccessarily create a more damaging distribution of weather events.

The things that must never be said... (0, Flamebait)

dtjohnson (102237) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724664)

Here are the ideas that are considered heretical by the true believers in global warming:

1) The sun is the biggest driver of the Earth's Climate
2) There is already more than enough CO2 for a 'full' greenhouse effect so more will not make it 'worse.'
3) The Earth has been cooling since 2007.
4) Current computer models of the Earth's long-term climate are not necessarily correct.

There are others, of course, but you get the idea. Never say any of the above in the presence of believers.

Re:The things that must never be said... (2)

RichMan (8097) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724686)

When has dumping a chemical into our biosphere such that it reaches many times the natural level been a good thing?

Please give one example. I can site many, many cases where it was a bad.

Re:The things that must never be said... (1)

xtal (49134) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724786)

There's lots of things that must never be said.

- There is no "climate" of earth over timeframes that homo sapiens has existed.
- The current "climate" is an anomaly in the geologic record.
- We do not understand fully the systems that monitor climate and temperature on earth, Sun included.
- Much colder and much warmer temperatures are greater islands of climate stability in the geologic record.
- The earth has sustained and thrived after much worse change than we are introducing.
- The best way to regulate climate change and emissions is zero population growth. (less people)
- Nuclear power is the only sane technology we have to lower emissions.

There are lots more. Don't forget to recycle.. and keep your mouth shut.

Re:The things that must never be said... (2, Interesting)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724856)

When has dumping a chemical into our biosphere such that it reaches many times the natural level been a good thing?

Please give one example. I can site many, many cases where it was a bad.

Well, The Great Oxygen Catastrophe [wikipedia.org] comes to mind.

It was a very good thing for all of us oxygen breathing lifeforms...

(Not such a good thing for lots of Earth's anaerobic life; It "was likely the largest extinction event in Earth's history" for them.)

Not to worry: Life as a whole is far more resilient than any one strain of life, including that of our human race.

Re:The things that must never be said... (1)

cbeaudry (706335) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724902)

Hold on to your horses there buddy.

Chemicals...oOOoo scary word.

WATER is a chemical.

EVERYTHING is made up of chemicals, EVERYTHING.

Re:The things that must never be said... (1)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724928)

When has dumping a chemical into our biosphere such that it reaches many times the natural level been a good thing?

Based on a small slice of time, say the last 1% of time since the birth of earth (40 million years), can you please define "natural levels"? What about the last 1000 years makes this slice of time so special that only it is "normal" and everything else is an anomaly?

Re:The things that must never be said... (1)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724936)

Define "natural level" of anything. The hubris of man, to imagine that anything he does is above nature, is immense.

But I'll give you one example - at one point in time, there was very little O2 in the atmosphere. Without O2, life as we know it would not have been possible:

http://www.astrobio.net/exclusive/541/the-rise-of-oxygen [astrobio.net]

Thanks to the dumping of O2 into the once pristine and oxygen poor biosphere, many many times the original "natural" level, we've got life on earth as we know it.

Re:The things that must never be said... (1)

EllisDees (268037) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724964)

Yes, but it was absolute catastrophe for the life that was on Earth at that time. Hey, if you'd like to see most of the life on the planet wiped out so that the next wave of evolution can happen - more power to ya!

Re:The things that must never be said... (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724944)

When has dumping a chemical into our biosphere such that it reaches many times the natural level been a good thing?

The Great Oxygenation Event, circa 2.4 billion years ago.

If you _don't_ think that was a good thing, I suspect you of being a spy for our would-be methane-breathing overlords.

Re:The things that must never be said... (5, Insightful)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724720)

While you are correct about the religious-like fanaticism, the problem is that some people cite one of these facts and act as though it debunks every bit of science out there. There are occassions here on Slashdot where someone cites a 100-page page-reviewed scientific article on the effect of CO2, and someone else counters with "but the model could be wrong!" and acts like the combined work of 5000 scientists was suddenly silenced by their off-hand remark.

Re:The things that must never be said... (2)

cbeaudry (706335) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724880)

What combined work of 5000 scientists?
IPCC is complied works by half a dozen people, not all of which are scientists. The works are cherry picked and later found to be full of errors.

Most studies out there arent about the effects of CO2 on global temperatures (some are) but most are about the potential effects if such warming occured. Or dirivative works on different subjects with GW splashed in for funding.

This constant claim that 5000 scientists are working in unison and all agree on the same exact data and subject is ludicrous and a lie.

Re:The things that must never be said... (0)

246o1 (914193) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724748)

Here are the ideas that are considered heretical by the true believers in global warming:

3) The Earth has been cooling since 2007.

Wow! That's such a pronounced and noteworthy trend! The US has had a reduced economic output for almost the same period of time (along with much of the planet). This must mean that the US economy hasn't grown or been affected by human activity over the last 200+years. On a serious note, if you argue against something that weakly, you shouldn't be surprised when people assume your position is weak.

Re:The things that must never be said... (5, Insightful)

rbrander (73222) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724760)

1) Yeah, obviously the Sun is a big driver. And if you keep it's heat in more effectively, that would be an issue.

2) "full greenhouse effect" is obtained on Venus. With a nearly pure CO2 atmosphere. It would appear to be hotter there. Much more so than its closer distance to the Sun would suggest.

3) It's very possible the Earth has been "cooling since 2007", and it makes no difference to a larger trend than the fact that Canada has been cooling since August. The temperature would be this wiggly line on the graph, see, and though there are down-wiggles, they are fewer / smaller than the up-wiggles over the longer term. If it were warmer on Sept 23-27th that it was on September 3-9, would you conclude winter was not coming?

4) There's no chance of current computer models being "correct", the question is whether they are a close enough approximation to be useful for making social policy. The computer models of some 20 years ago were considerably more accurate about today's climate than random chance alone would suggest. That gives them scientific credibility and are the reason that climate researchers have increasingly come to believe them.

Re:The things that must never be said... (1)

ArchMageZeratuL (1276832) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724770)

2) There is already more than enough CO2 for a 'full' greenhouse effect so more will not make it 'worse.'

Please, enlighten me... If that's the case, why does Venus (with a massive atmosphere made mostly of CO2) have a far higher (~400 Celsius) surface temperature, even though it actually gets less heat from the Sun? This might sound surprising - Venus is closer to the Sun, so it'd be natural to expect it to get more heat. However, it is shrouded in a thick layer of clouds that reflect most of the light it receives back into space.

Venus's temperature is only explainable by its greenhouse effect. This can even be measured. So, my question is... if we are experiencing a "full" greenhouse effect, then what IS Venus experiencing?

Re:The things that must never be said... (1)

dtjohnson (102237) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724876)

why does Venus (with a massive atmosphere made mostly of CO2) have a far higher (~400 Celsius) surface temperature, even though it actually gets less heat from the Sun?

Why does Mars (with an atmosphere composed of 95% CO2) have a far lower mean temperature (-85C)? The venusian climate is affected by a lot more than CO2...as is the martian climate.

Re:The things that must never be said... (1)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724906)

Because Mars' atmosphere is around 100 times thinner than the one around Venus.

If you spent any time researching these issues, instead of preaching from your gut, you'd know the answers to your own questions.

Re:The things that must never be said... (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724956)

Because Mars' atmosphere is around 100 times thinner than the one around Venus.

Its 10000 times thinner, but otherwise I agree with you.

Re:The things that must never be said... (1)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724968)

Fair enough. I was just going from memory from something I learned a few years ago.

Re:The things that must never be said... (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724916)

why does Venus (with a massive atmosphere made mostly of CO2) have a far higher (~400 Celsius) surface temperature, even though it actually gets less heat from the Sun?

Why does Mars (with an atmosphere composed of 95% CO2) have a far lower mean temperature (-85C)? The venusian climate is affected by a lot more than CO2...as is the martian climate.

Mars has a very thin atmosphere, about 1% of the density on Earth. By coincidence the density on Venus is roughly 100 times the density on Earth.

Re:The things that must never be said... (1)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724974)

Higher surface atmospheric pressure. PV = nRT.

Re:The things that must never be said... (4, Insightful)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724796)

Have you considered the possibility that at least some of these claims are not heretical, but simply false; and that the angry reaction from climatologists derives not from any religious fervor but from the frustration of having to refute them time and time again in the face of someone who thinks some reading online gives them expertise equal to years of academic study?

Who modded this liar up? (4, Interesting)

Vekseid (1528215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724836)

1) The sun is the biggest driver of the Earth's Climate

This is like saying the Earth is the biggest driver of the Earth's climate. It's an essentially meaningless statement.

2) There is already more than enough CO2 for a 'full' greenhouse effect so more will not make it 'worse.'

You are simply lying with this one. A 'full' greenhouse effect would mean that 100% of heat is retained. That's impossible, but you can look at worlds where heat retention is in the 99% range, such as Venus.

3) The Earth has been cooling since 2007.

Bull [noaa.gov] shit [noaa.gov] . Even if it was true, climate is not weather, the same way macroeconomics is not family household planning. Climate change is measured across decades, not years.

4) Current computer models of the Earth's long-term climate are not necessarily correct.

This is irrelevant to historical analysis, which shows a clear warming trend across decades. But unlike yourself, scientists do endeavor to be honest, and refine their model as new data is available. Most excess heat is getting dumped into the oceans.

There are others, of course, but you get the idea. Never say any of the above in the presence of believers.

Because you'll get called out for being the liar that you are.

Re:Who modded this liar up? (1)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724888)

If I had to guess, I'd say the same AC posters that are gloating because they think they just "won" something by reading the summary.

Re:The things that must never be said... (1)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724844)

Here are the ideas that are considered heretical by the true believers in global warming:

Why don't we just say; you'll ignore our wacko's, and we'll ignore yours.

1) The sun is the biggest driver of the Earth's Climate

And it has been declining in output since 1985, which means global temperatures should be declining... Well, dang.

2) There is already more than enough CO2 for a 'full' greenhouse effect so more will not make it 'worse.'

We're already pretty fucked, so let's make it even worse just cause we can?

3) The Earth has been cooling since 2007.

NASA has said 2010 is the warmest meterological year on record (which ends on 30. nov), which means that by 'cooling' you actually mean 'warming' which incidentally makes things so much clearer.

4) Current computer models of the Earth's long-term climate are not necessarily correct.

Neither are those used by CERN to analyze data from the LHC, yet I don't see you taking issues with their results.

Though on second thought, I bet you're also one of those who is expecting the earth to be sucked into a micro black hole.

Re:The things that must never be said... (1)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724898)

1) The sun is the biggest driver of the Earth's Climate

I have never heard anyone say otherwise. No sun == a very stable, if cold, climate. However, changes in solar irradiation have not been sufficient to explain observed changes in the climate.

2) There is already more than enough CO2 for a 'full' greenhouse effect so more will not make it 'worse.'

This statement is gibberish. See the explanation here [aip.org] : "Modern data show that even in the parts of the infrared spectrum where water vapor and CO2 are effective, only a fraction of the heat radiation emitted from the surface of the Earth is blocked before it escapes into space. And that is beside the point anyway. The greenhouse process works regardless of whether the passage of radiation is saturated in lower layers. As explained above, the energy received at the Earth's surface must eventually work its way back up to the higher layers where radiation does slip out easily. Adding some greenhouse gas to those high, thin layers must warm the planet no matter what happens lower down."

3) The Earth has been cooling since 2007.

Nope. In point of fact, 2010 was the warmest year on record [washingtonpost.com] . But such a short-term trend is irrelevant. A cooling trend over three days in May doesn't mean North American is not warming up as summer comes.

4) Current computer models of the Earth's long-term climate are not necessarily correct.

I've not heard anyone suggest that computer models of anything are 100% accurate.

Of course, these facts are inconvenient to believers of various irrational ideologies popular in the U.S. -- fundamentalist Christianity, laissez-faire capitalisms, etc. -- and so are likely to be rejected as heretical.

Re:The things that must never be said... (1)

ultranova (717540) | more than 3 years ago | (#34725012)

Here are the ideas that are considered heretical by the true believers in global warming:

I suppose your attempt to paint anyone disagreeing with you as religious fanatics could be considered as violating pretty much every scientific principle and thus "heretical".

1) The sun is the biggest driver of the Earth's Climate

Of course it is, and currently experiencing a cyclical minimum in energy production, which refutes your own point number 3.

2) There is already more than enough CO2 for a 'full' greenhouse effect so more will not make it 'worse.'

There is no "full" greenhouse effect. The more CO2 you have in the atmosphere, the stronger the effect becomes.

3) The Earth has been cooling since 2007.

Which, as you noted yourself, is due to Sun.

4) Current computer models of the Earth's long-term climate are not necessarily correct.

No model is necessarily correct. Yours is a complete nonstatement.

There are others, of course, but you get the idea. Never say any of the above in the presence of believers.

Indeed, you will be corrected and perhaps considered slightly slow.

Guess I picked the wrong decade to.... (3, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724666)

give up burning oil.

So, it's cold in the UK. (1)

migla (1099771) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724678)

And it's cold in Scandinavia. But is it colder on earth in average for this time of year?

Isn't this just about winds from the arctic blowing over us this year and warmer winds from the Atlantic blowing further south than usual? At least that's how some graphic on the telly was explaining the current harsh winter.

So many things wrong with this submission... (0)

Snowhare (263311) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724706)

1. Even if the Sun were to enter a Grand Minimum it would only offset warming for a few decades. And when the minimum ended, all that warming would come rushing right back.

2. 2010 is on track to be the warmest year ever in modern history. Think about that. The Sun is in the deepest minimum in around a century, scarcely a sunspot to be seen and we are still breaking the all time record for warmth globally.

3. It may be cold in England. But it is way above normal in Greenland. What part of Global don't you understand? Local weather has little to nothing to do with global climate.

Re:So many things wrong with this submission... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34724840)

"2010 is on track to the warmest year ever in modern history." is bogus info from the British Met Office.

“This will be the warmest winter in living memory, the data has already been recorded. For your information, we take the highest 15 readings between November and March and then produce an average. As November was a very seasonally warm month, then all the data will come from those readings.”

all wrong (2)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724716)

TFS contains at least two major errors:

1) according to the linked wik entry on the Dalton Minimum, "Recent papers have suggested that a rise in volcanism was largely responsible for the cooling trend." I.e., not a decrease in solar activity.

2) Local climate != global climate. Many models expect that even as global temperatures rise, England will cool, due to shifts in the Gulf Stream [timesonline.co.uk] .

I see the Al Gore haters are out. (5, Insightful)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724724)

What I find depressing are the amount of people that dismiss the science, because they don't like Al Gore as a politician. It's intellectually lazy and dishonest.

Re:I see the Al Gore haters are out. (0)

Dolphinzilla (199489) | more than 3 years ago | (#34725020)

For the record I disliked Al Gore (and his annoying wife) before he picked Global Warming as his crusade, But there are plenty of scientist and engineers that have shown the liberties taken with the statistics - Some of the data might have merit but that has been tarnished for the sake of sensationalism and votes - I don't find the skepticism of global warming to be intellectually lazy or dishonest, One of the best reasoned papers on this was penned by Burt Rutan, If you are only a casual follower of AGW I challenge you to read this and see things from one of the disbelievers points of view http://rps3.com/Files/AGW/EngrCritique.AGW-Science.v4.pdf [rps3.com]

OMG (1, Insightful)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724734)

Religious freaks will go crazy if they interpret that the lower sun activity is there to compensate human global warming, as a sign of some god trying to fix our mistakes here. Add that to the near 2012, and be ready for massive amount of people in the streets ready for the rapture.

Re:OMG (2)

xtal (49134) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724860)

..none of said freaks are out selling their houses that they won't need after 2012, either.

HF radio propagation (1)

alphajim (1254080) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724768)

Those sunspots also charge our ionosphere. The dearth of spots means less bounce off of the F layer and less signal propagation.

(This comment only relevant to the 5 or so amateur radio ops who read /.)

Re:HF radio propagation (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724820)

But on the other hand commercial services are deserting LF, MF and HF when they go digital so in theory it should be possible to open up new long wave bands for amateurs. How do you feel about running some really long antennas?

Re:HF radio propagation (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 3 years ago | (#34725000)

At my QTH up north (not very north, only 57) I've already got room for a half-wave dipole on 136kHz. Not that I've even listened to that band, ever.

73s de MM0YEQ

In Newfoundland... (2)

nigeljw (1968314) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724780)

We are experiencing a very warm winter without snow, when usually we have a cold winter with a significant amount of snow due to the Labrador current. Our current climate opposite of Britain and the rest of North America, where normally we have their current climates and they have ours. 6 years ago we had a very cold winter and the most snow since 1850, and each year followed suit until last year. Before that we had a short period of winters without snow, which was exactly as it is now. And before that (my childhood) we had a significant amount snow all throughout. I don't remember anything before that. My point being, to any Wikipedia scientists, there simply is a cycle of climates which is directly affected by the temperature of the earth, which cycles itself. The jet stream would be the most significant factor influencing our climates. It is of my belief that the current variances in weather are due to the reversal of polarization of our magnetic poles. In the recent years, the magnetic north pole has been moving around in much greater distances, which anyone reading /. should know. But at least I know this is all pure speculation, unlike most other people who constantly talk in absolutes and yet have no definitive proof.

Re:In Newfoundland... (1)

nigeljw (1968314) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724822)

In addendum, I meant to relate this to TFA by inferring that the solar maximum also influences our climates, and quite possibly the cause of the changes in our magnetic field.

Re:In Newfoundland... (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724828)

I don't see how the magnetic pole can influence the amount of heat striking the ground, or the amount of heat retained by the atmosphere.

No Sunspots = Starvation... (4, Interesting)

BoRegardless (721219) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724814)

There were nearly no sunspots for 2 years, 2007-9 and that easily confirms we will have real hard couple of winters a bit later down the road. And then a remission of sunspots AGAIN just recently makes it look like we are "bouncing down" the activity curve, typical of a "cycle".

Every time (since Galileo's time 1600) when we have had a minimal or near zero sunspot activity, there have been colder winters, freezing and storms. Hence we have about 400 years of well documented sunspot activity with weather records to verify what happened.

It is amazing to me that out "news anchors", meaning writers in the "mainstream media" are so ill-educated that they can not do simple reading up on what the effects are of minimal sunspot activity.

Instead "news anchors" and writers in the media spout political lines (Al Gore and global warming crowd), instead of pointing out specific facts and what those measureable facts mean short term (cold weather a year or so later) and what it could mean longer term.

The last time I spoke with a person who ran the solar observations from the radio telescopes in the Mojave Desert, he noted they still were not able to predict longer term events as mentioned (Maunder or Dalton type events).

Why are these events hugely important? I don't hear the news researcher/writers mentioning this. Sweden, Denmark and France lost 10% of their population to starvation/freezing in the Maunder minimum and Finland lost about 30%. That is the equivalent of losses in a major world war or WORSE.

Re:No Sunspots = Starvation... (5, Insightful)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724834)

By the "global warming crowd" you mean the vast majority of climate scientists in the world?

Re:No Sunspots = Starvation... (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 3 years ago | (#34725044)

He probably means all the people swayed by formula science news crap [guardian.co.uk]

..which is pretty much everyone you will ever encounter who would like to discuss this subject with you, be they for or against.

Enjoy your SUVs, you bastards. (4, Funny)

sdoneill (840353) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724816)

You've destroyed the sun.

Global climate != Local weather (5, Insightful)

pnot (96038) | more than 3 years ago | (#34724864)

With Britain currently experiencing the coldest winter in over 300 years, and no new sunspots for the last week, are we heading for a Dalton Minimum

Why yes, it makes perfect sense to conclude things about decadal-scale global climate trends based on a month's data from 0.05% of the Earth's surface area!

For a global view of the temperature anomaly (vs. a 1951-1980 base period), see this GISS surface temperature analysis [nasa.gov] (that's for November; December data not available yet). So yes, there's a -1 deg C anomaly in Britain, counterbalanced by huge +4 to +10 deg C anomalies across northern Asia and the Arctic.

For a look at the longer-term trends, try this map [nasa.gov] of annual average temperatures for the past ten years vs. the same base period. Guess what? It's getting warmer, despite declining solar activity [solen.info] .

The GISS map generator [nasa.gov] is a great tool for exploring these variations.

Blame France! (1)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 3 years ago | (#34725058)

From TFwA [wikipedia.org] :
Curiously, the duration of the Maunder Minimum (1645-1715) coincides very closely with the reign of King Louis XIV of France (1643-1715), known as the Sun King.

The conclusion is obvious. It's France's fault! Now, pass me a mess of those Freedom Fries.

Cold? What cold? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34725072)

It may be the coldest winter ever in the UK, but here in Quebec, Canada, we've just had our second day in a row with an average temperature of about -1 degree celsius. The warmth of the sun hitting cars was enough to remove any trace of snow and ice that had been building up since last month.

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