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No, We're Not Headed For a New Ice Age

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the snowboard-stocks-plummet dept.

Earth 473

purkinje writes "Unusual calm in the solar cycle — called a solar activity minimum — has sparked claims that the Sun will cool the Earth, leading us into a new ice age. While Europe did experience a Little Ice Age during a solar activity minimum three centuries ago, the connection between sunspots and climate is a lot more complicated, and it's unlikely this change in the Sun's activity will cool Earth down — or even affect the climate at all. Plus, any cooling that might come from this would be less than the global warming that's been going on. So don't pull out that parka yet; a new ice age seems more than unlikely."

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First Post! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36476316)

First Post!

Anything to do with climate is a complete mess... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36476322)

Unlikely or politically undesirable? Hmm...

My first First Post (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36476328)

Yay!

Duh! (-1, Flamebait)

Aighearach (97333) | more than 3 years ago | (#36476330)

Right-wing talking point dis-proven, that is not news, that is called Friday.

If they wanted it to be news they would run the story on Monday.

Now get off my lawn, caveman!

Re:Duh! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36476430)

Do you know what proven actually means? Nothing has been proven or dis-proven, it's still a theory in the middle of being tested. The relationship between climate and sun spots is still a fairly infantile science. Don't be stupid.

Re:Duh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36476796)

Climate and weather, two different things.

I myself work off the average temperature that was recording during the period of Lake Missoula. So everything is warmer than it once was

""About 12,000 years ago, the valleys of western Montana lay beneath a lake nearly 2,000 feet deep. Glacial Lake Missoula formed as the Cordilleran Ice Sheet dammed the Clark Fork River just as it entered Idaho. The rising water behind the glacial dam weakened it until water burst through in a catastrophic flood that raced across Idaho, Oregon, and Washington toward the Pacific Ocean. Thundering waves and chunks of ice tore away soils and mountainsides, deposited giant ripple marks, created the scablands of eastern Washington and carved the Columbia River Gorge. Over the course of centuries, Glacial Lake Missoula filled and emptied in repeated cycles, leaving its story embedded in the land.""

BitCoins are a scam (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36476686)

Spamming as AC, because the pro-bitcoin cult are modding in force today.

Re:Duh! (1, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 3 years ago | (#36476802)

There are very few Scientific fact, but a lot of well supported theories. I kinda wish that scientist wouldn't just ignore crazy theories (Leaving people to think, that they are just making it up) that are popular but come up with tests that can prove or disprove them. And show them the results.

For global warming don't just show us a graph that shows a line shooting up. When we come up with different things show it off, prove to us that is wrong. Science had been lucky in the past, the average Joe took everything face value. But with rapid media, and some big mistakes in "Science" people are more distrusting. It is time for the Science Institution to change and regain peoples trust again.

Re:Duh! (5, Insightful)

Grygus (1143095) | more than 3 years ago | (#36477144)

I kinda wish that scientist wouldn't just ignore crazy theories (Leaving people to think, that they are just making it up) that are popular but come up with tests that can prove or disprove them. And show them the results.

For global warming don't just show us a graph that shows a line shooting up. When we come up with different things show it off, prove to us that is wrong. Science had been lucky in the past, the average Joe took everything face value. But with rapid media, and some big mistakes in "Science" people are more distrusting. It is time for the Science Institution to change and regain peoples trust again.

What? No. I don't think you have a good grasp of how science works.

Scientists should be doing science. If your theory isn't falsifiable then it isn't science and therefore not their field at all. If your theory is falsifiable but does not match the current data, then it may have already been disproved and there is no need to waste time on it unless you can show that the data is wrong somehow. In the instance of global warming, scientists have disproved a few crazy theories and they have shown the data, but crackpots do not listen to evidence; that's why they are crackpots in the first place. The fact that you either haven't sought out or accepted the available proof shows that you're not really much interested in the truth yourself. This is not the fault of scientists; they've upheld their half of the bargain. You have to be open to the evidence.

As for science making mistakes: that's an important part of the process. Science is all about trying things, making mistakes and correcting them. It's a slow progress toward the real truth, not a pre-determined truth to which facts are shaped to fit. Admitted mistakes aren't a sign that science isn't working; quite the opposite! That's how you know that science is trustworthy. Anyone who claims to have all the answers and never be wrong is the one you should be distrusting. Whether people recognize this is not the fault of, nor a problem for, scientists; willfully ignorant people will remain so, by definition, and it is entirely their own fault.

Re:Duh! (4, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#36476894)

Why does this always have to fall into politics.Frankly the global warming faithful are getting annoying. Before anyone has a freaking stroke let me lay out the facts as I seem them.
1. CO2 is a greenhouse gas.
2. Over all we have been seeing a warming trend.
Conclusion: even if the warming trend is not caused solely by the increase in CO2 gases reducing emissions is a good thing.
There is is minus the politics and religion. I would even bet that CO2 is the primary cause of the warming trend.
It is really that simple.
Now for the true believers that are blaming global warming for everything from Hurricane Katrina to it snowing in Iran... Please learn the difference between climate and weather.

This article sounds as bad in it's way as crap from FOX news does the other way.
Here is nice little bow for yourself.
"1) Claims of an imminent global ice age are at best exaggerated."
Probably but that is opinion and not science. But then I have seen heard some pretty stupid things from the Church of Global Warming.
"2) The link of global cooling to an extended solar magnetic minimum is tenuous, and almost certainly needs something else to force it to occur (like lots of volcanoes)," Gee that sounds just like what the anti climate change people are saying. Yet when there are fewer sun spots the earths climate does cool. "This is from the very same piece"
"Having said all that, the sunspot cycle may have a very small effect on climate. You might think that since the spots are cooler than the solar surface we’d see a drop in light from the Sun and a corresponding cooling of the Earth during solar max. However, it’s actually the opposite! Sunspots are surrounded by a rim called faculae, and in this region the temperatures are actually higher than the average solar surface. This more than compensates for the cooler area of the spot; sunspots are about 1% dimmer than the solar surface, but faculae are 1.1 to 1.5% brighter. On top of that, faculae emit more UV than the solar surface does, and that wavelength of light is preferentially absorbed by the Earth’s atmosphere, increasing the efficiency of heating.
So, bizarrely, sunspots tend to warm the Earth. That jibes with the idea of a cooling trend during solar minimum; fewer spots means fewer faculae, so the Sun emits less Earth-warming radiation.
But when you look at the numbers, again, it’s not so simple. The effect from faculae is very small, not enough to significantly change the Earth’s temperature on their own."
Except that little ice age did seem happen during that time. That is a fact. They may be unrelated but a change in the sun and the climate being unrelated seems like a very bad bet in my book.
You see the conclusion I find odd. We have seeing a MASSIVE decrease in sunspot activity. We have never seen such an change in modern times. I really question just strongly he is pushing that conclusion. We are also seeing other changes in the suns magnetosphere as well. Since we have never seen such such a thing when we could study it as well I think he is making some massive leaps and throwing in "probables" here and there.
This actually seems like a knee jerk reaction. It is probably a reasonable fear that some people will say "well lets burn more coal to stop this" but that doesn't stop it from being bad science. I think we are going to learn a not about the Sun in the next few years and I wouldn't be so sure about the outcome as this author seems to be.
I wouldn't panic but then I never do.

We're already in one (4, Informative)

japhmi (225606) | more than 3 years ago | (#36476334)

We're currently in an interglacial period of the current ice age, so it's not a matter of moving towards another one, but how long the interglacial period will last, and how if we're moving into a glaciation period will humanity be effecting that.

Re:We're already in one (3, Insightful)

Daniel_is_Legnd (1447519) | more than 3 years ago | (#36476504)

Exactly. Since there is ice on the poles of Earth, we are technically in an ice age. Individual periods of unusual cold or icing are called glacial periods.

Re:We're already in one (2, Interesting)

jd (1658) | more than 3 years ago | (#36476990)

Not entirely true. Climate is chaotic in nature and can be likened to the "owl mask" of the Lorenz atrange attractor system, with glaciation being one orbit and inter-glaciation being the other. But if you displace the system too far, the system will lock onto a very different set of strange attractors and very different orbits, none of which are guaranteed to be glacial in nature. The problem with chaotic systems is that you can't ever know what "too much" means in advance, you can only ever know when the system realigns.

Re:We're already in one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36477042)

Well considering glaciation cycles are almost entirely dependent on changes in earth's orbit (i.e. Milankovitch cycles), no I really doubt humanity will have much effect on that.

And we know this because...? (0, Troll)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 3 years ago | (#36476348)

Probably the biggest thing sparking skepticism about man-made global warming are articles like these. "Please ignore that fiery nuclear furnace behind the curtain."

Just admit you don't have everything figured out. I know that may give rise to healthy skepticism. People may not want to spend trillions in dollars to fix a problem you aren't certain about.

As an aside, it is interesting that the other time of cold temperatures (late 18th century) corresponds to lower sun spot activity.

Re:And we know this because...? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36476446)

LOL.

Re:And we know this because...? (4, Insightful)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 3 years ago | (#36476486)

Who is ignoring solar forcings? They are in basically every model. Straight out denial that ignores basically the whole literature on the subject is not "healthy skepticism"; by the way. Calling it such besmirches the name of every true skeptic out there.

Re:And we know this because...? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36477048)

Nice strawman argument. A 1% change in cloudiness would account for 100% of the surface temperature variability that we have seen since 1880. The climate models ignore the effects of changes in solar magnetic activity on cloudiness.

Re:And we know this because...? (5, Funny)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 3 years ago | (#36476502)

Shun the non-believer

Shunnnnnnn

Re:And we know this because...? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36476594)

Shun the non-believer

Beat the strawman

Re:And we know this because...? (1)

Grizzley9 (1407005) | more than 3 years ago | (#36477094)

Shun the non-believer

Shunnnnnnn

No, just convert him.

"Wololo, wololo".

See, now he's on our team.

Denialists are the only ones (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36476536)

Denialists are the only ones who have "everything figured out". Their adherence to their pet theory is immune to any criticism and when was the last time you saw error bars on a trend line from a denialist?

But if you look at the IPCC reports, you'll find that the climate science IS saying "We haven't figured it all out", but since you STILL insist that this isn't the case, rather proves that your statement is, in bald fact, false.

NOTE: They DO say "we've figured out enough to know what we ought to do". That's not "we know it all" by any stretch. A barking dog snarling at you is evidence that you should retreat backwards, but it doesn't mean you know all about canine psychology.

Re:Denialists are the only ones (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#36476920)

None of it matters. We are not going to stop using gas or burning coal. Period. Even if we did, China is definitely not going to... ever. When the atmosphere actually starts becoming toxic... then maybe something will be done... far too late, but that's what's going to happen.

Re:Denialists are the only ones (-1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#36477124)

Denialists are the only ones who have "everything figured out". Their adherence to their pet theory is immune to any criticism and when was the last time you saw error bars on a trend line from a denialist?

Indeed, I always laugh at the Climate Change Denialists when they claim that only humans can cause the climate to change and otherwise it would be completely static. Just look at the 'Hockey Stick', for example; we're supposed to believe that the planet's temperature was basically constant for centuries before humans came along, which is simply ludicrous.

Though admittedly I've seen at least one version of the graph which had error bars so enormous that it was easily consistent with the Medieval Warming Period; but you don't see those when it's reused in newspapers and documentaries.

Re:And we know this because...? (5, Insightful)

bunratty (545641) | more than 3 years ago | (#36476604)

Science never has everything figured out. You should be skeptical of science. But most arguments I've seen against global warming have nothing to do with healthy skepticism; they generally use made up evidence or faulty reasoning. In any case, we will need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions no matter what, because fossil fuels will not last forever. The only question is how quickly should we reduce them. Personally, I think it makes sense to reduce fossil fuel now use simply to reduce demand and avoid energy prices spiraling out of control, and to have sources of energy that do not depend on stability in the Middle East.

Re:And we know this because...? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36476696)

Made against? You mean made for. Everyone who touts global warming as a fact is generally just 'making shit up' as they explain their theory like fact...

Everything after that is spectacular bullshit and shows just how randomly the supporters of 'global warming' link things together...

Re:And we know this because...? (1)

ElektronSpinRezonans (1397787) | more than 3 years ago | (#36476782)

You should be skeptical of science articles on mainstream media

FTFY

Re:And we know this because...? (0)

paulo.casanova (2222146) | more than 3 years ago | (#36477100)

Real science gives you the best known model (or explanation) for all observed phenomena. It is not fixed, it is permanently evolving. But it is the best you have to grab yourself too as long as you understand its limitations.

Global warming is no longer about science. It is about politics. And there things get much more complicated (or simpler, depending on the perspective but definitely not truer or factual). Now mix politics with sensationalist journalism pretending their reporting on science and things get out of control... just check this out [algorelied.com] if you haven't yet :)

Re:And we know this because...? (4, Insightful)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#36476620)

Radiative forcing is one of the first things to go into climate models; nowhere does it say 'ignore the huge nuclear furnace' since it's pretty much.... where the vast bulk of the energy comes from. To suggest that articles like this are what drive skeptics is just not really accurate. Skeptics are going to be doubting the results for any number of specific reasons, not just due to solar cycles.

Re:And we know this because...? (5, Interesting)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 3 years ago | (#36476650)

This is because people are bad at quantitative analysis. Look, solar irradiance averages about 1366 W/m^2 and a has a variation of about 1 W/m^2 (using a one-year moving average). That's 0.073%. If the Earth's temperature was entirely determined by solar irradiance, then the temperature variation would be about 0.2 C. That is, you'd see an 11-year temperature cycle corresponding to the solar output cycle with temperatures varying +/- 0.1 C from the average over the course of this cycle.

There. A tiny bit of research on the Internet and some math and you too can put bounds on how much influence sunspot cycles have on Earth's temperature.

And yes, climate scientists are familiar with this. The sun has been kind of important to climate science since Arrhenius figured out the greenhouse effect in 1896 and used the Stefan-Boltzmann law to estimate the Earth's temperature dependence on CO2.

Re:And we know this because...? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36476804)

The University of Colorado just got caught doctoring data. More crap data being passed off to get people to buy into the carbon credit ponzy scheme. Using state and federal dollars to produce false reports should have a penalty of life in prison.

Re:And we know this because...? (4, Informative)

codewarren (927270) | more than 3 years ago | (#36476806)

False.

The ability to predict solar activity has nothing to do with climatologists. Climatologists don't predict what the sun will do, they look at past solar activity and past temperatures and past human activity and a whole host of other data and develop models that explain what the climate will do based on what any of the others will do. (e.g. if the solar activity is X, the earth's temperature will respond Y, etc).

If the sun goes into an unexpectedly deep minimum, that doesn't mean climatologists "don't have everything figured out" because it has nothing to do with climatologists.

If the Sun does cool and earth does cool as a result, exactly according to climatologist models, I predict that the climate change deniers will still not notice.

Agreed, but how about clean air? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36476906)

As my wife likes to say to folks who say "Global Warming is a Hoax!" and go off a parrot some opinion they've heard from the pundits, why not clean up the air (we've been having smog warnings for weeks now)? Hoax or not, the things that will stop Global Warming will also clean up the air, why can't we do that? They usually agree.

Now before someone posts something about my parroting comment, unless you analyzed the scientific data yourself, you are parroting another's opinion too - granted, parroting a climate scientist's opinion is a bit more valid than a pundit's opinion who is nothing more than a college dropout [wikipedia.org] , but you're still regurgitating another's opinion.

Does that mean... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36476350)

there is no consensus on global cooling?

I bet you're sorry now... (0)

metacell (523607) | more than 3 years ago | (#36476396)

I bet you're sorry now you spent all that money and effort on battling global warming.

Re:I bet you're sorry now... (1)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 3 years ago | (#36476862)

I bet your sorry now you spent all those years in school, since you apparently never learned reading comprehension.

Re:I bet you're sorry now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36476916)

PWN

Lack of Mammoth (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36476398)

Of course we are not headed for a new ice age. You can't have an ice age without mammoths.

Nobody is working on cloning mammoths, right?

Re:Lack of Mammoth (3, Funny)

amliebsch (724858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36476616)

Uh oh. [pcworld.com]

The data shows... (1, Troll)

Mage66 (732291) | more than 3 years ago | (#36476454)

That we've been in a cooling period since 1998 that has reversed ALL of the observed warming that took place previously in the early 20th Century and more.

The assertion that the calm Sun activity won't reverse the warming is true only in that there is no longer any warming to reverse.

Re:The data shows... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36476482)

[citation needed]

OK, that's an interesting claim. Mind backing it up with specific data?

Re:The data shows... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36476664)

[citation needed]

OK, that's an interesting claim. Mind backing it up with specific data?

He read a Michael Crichton book with a bunk of misleading bunk science in it...

Re:The data shows... (-1, Troll)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 3 years ago | (#36476546)

Does it actually hurt when you lie that badly? I'd really like to know, never been there. In case you are actually honest and not just a lying scumbag, would you mind to provide data?

Re:The data shows... (-1, Troll)

Mage66 (732291) | more than 3 years ago | (#36476624)

I suggest you use your preferred search engine to do your own research.

Someone like you who so quickly jumps to nasty ad hominem attacks as a first response, would probably not trust any data I posted.

I suggest you do your own research.

I won't be holding my breath for an apology,

Re:The data shows... (3, Insightful)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 3 years ago | (#36476772)

So you have no data at all, you are just lying. And then you demand an apology. Sure. By the way, the ad hominem fallacy means attacking the messenger regardless of his message to make the content of said message less believable. That is somewhat different from calling a liar a liar, now is it?

Re:The data shows... (-1, Troll)

Mage66 (732291) | more than 3 years ago | (#36476870)

LOL!!

You seem to think that ad hominem attacks are a valid way to have discussions.

It's obvious you never took the time to actually research the data yourself.

You'd be red-faced and apologetic if you had, rather than just being a troll.

Re:The data shows... (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 3 years ago | (#36477052)

You still do not get what "ad hominem" actually means, no? Please, go ahead, show me that data that supposedly is all over the place. Otherwise I must suppose that this is just another lie.

Re:The data shows... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36476780)

Temperature records seem to show that the average temperature has risen, there are a couple small drops but nothing to suggest it isn't getting warmer. But that's just the Wikipedia page on instrumental temperature record, I'm sure a quick Google search will further disprove your point. You should hold your breath for that apology, we could do without you.

Re:The data shows... (3, Insightful)

coldfarnorth (799174) | more than 3 years ago | (#36476984)

My data [nasa.gov] indicates that your claim that "we are in a cooling period" is wrong. It indicates exactly the opposite. If you feel that my data is not from a trustworthy source, please feel free to explain why.

"No one will trust my data so I'm not going to bother giving you any" is not an acceptable argument. You should be able to support your positions, and fortunately, you have made a claim for which plenty of data exists. Unfortunately, a great deal of it is contrary to your statement.

Re:The data shows... (4, Informative)

bunratty (545641) | more than 3 years ago | (#36476642)

That's an interesting claim. That's the fabricated evidence I usually see in arguments against global warming. In fact, 2010 tied 1998 as the warmest year on record according to the NOAA [noaa.gov] . You can see the instrumental temperature record [wikipedia.org] to see the warming of the past several decades. If there were good evidence against global warming, you wouldn't need to fabricate any, would you?

Re:The data shows... (-1, Troll)

Mage66 (732291) | more than 3 years ago | (#36476818)

Fabricate?

Do you realize that you said that 2011 TIED 1998? The year the cooling started?

You didn't provide any actual numbers. You just made an assertion that 2011 tied 1998. If 1998 was cooler than 1997, just how does that prove that there's warming?

And remember, the observed warming was a fraction of a degree. My house differs in temperature MUCH more than that from the sunlit side to the shady side of the house.

You are repeating stuff without applying critical thinking skills to it.

You have yet to prove I fabricated anything. I simply repeated the conclusion from data gathered by the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia that showed that between 1998 and 2005, global temperatures didn't increase, but in fact slightly decreased. Enough in fact to reverse the fraction of a degree rise observed previously.

Tell me again I fabricated it.

Re:The data shows... (1)

bunratty (545641) | more than 3 years ago | (#36477044)

I think you should read your post, my reply, and your reply again. You're not making any sense at all. How can it cool and yet also be the same temperature? How can 2011 be tied as the warmest year on record, if as you claim, "we've been in a cooling period since 1998 that has reversed ALL of the observed warming that took place previously in the early 20th Century and more"? If what you claim is true, it should be much cooled now that in 1998, not the same temperature. Can you think straight for a few seconds?

Re:The data shows... (2)

tbannist (230135) | more than 3 years ago | (#36476924)

Maybe you should actually look at the temperature record [wikipedia.org] . The years 2000-2009 were on average 0.2 degrees warmer than the years 1990-1999 which were themselves on average 0.24 degrees warmer than the years 1980-1989.

Child of the 80s (1, Insightful)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 3 years ago | (#36476480)

As a child of the 80s, this is what we were being told in schools growing up - not that the earth would die from global warming, but rather that the hole in the ozone layer and other environmental disasters would cause us to be plunged into a new ice age.

I guess the term "climate change" is a lot more useful than "global warming", if a few decade late.

Re:Child of the 80s (2, Insightful)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 3 years ago | (#36476676)

Try lying harder? When exactly was the ozone hole made to be a reason for a cooling spell? The concern about stratospheric ozone was always about increased UV and thereby increased cancer risk. We happened to do something about it that worked by the way. Care to provide any source for your claims?

Re:Child of the 80s (0)

jon_doh2.0 (2097642) | more than 3 years ago | (#36476910)

Try engaging others in debate without being a snarky fuckwit? Care to provide any sources for your claims?

I claim you are a snarky fuckwit, my source is http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/Your_mom [wikia.com]

Re:Child of the 80s (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 3 years ago | (#36477078)

Nice summary of your side's debating skill. Thanks for the link.

Re:Child of the 80s (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36476738)

I remember that. I also seem to remember hotter, much drier summers, and colder, snowier winters in Iowa. Now our 'extreme' weather is a longer duration of 90's days with more storms and flooding and then -30 being a big deal somehow in the winter. Also, a lot windier now altogether. (A lot windier now)

Re:Child of the 80s (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36476752)

Not quite. The "press" learned that ice-ages were periodical from the discovery in the late 70s, and then started publishing crap like "Oh noes! We're heading for an ice-age!", despite being unequivocally denied by everyone in the field. So what we have today it people like you continuing the myth that it was valid information back then. It wasn't, so stop it!

Ozone is a different matter, it's is a real problem, and the govts lead by Thatcher did something about the cause. We now have to wait several decades for the damage to be repaired. Go and ask someone down-under about their massive hole and skin-cancer problem.

Re:Child of the 80s (2)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 3 years ago | (#36476986)

Not quite. The "press" learned that ice-ages were periodical from the discovery in the late 70s, and then started publishing crap like "Oh noes! We're heading for an ice-age!", despite being unequivocally denied by everyone in the field. So what we have today it people like you continuing the myth that it was valid information back then. It wasn't, so stop it!

Ozone is a different matter, it's is a real problem, and the govts lead by Thatcher did something about the cause. We now have to wait several decades for the damage to be repaired. Go and ask someone down-under about their massive hole and skin-cancer problem.

So, you mean Newsweek and Time aren't reputable, peer-reviewed scientific journals??? Say it isn't so!

Re:Child of the 80s (2, Informative)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 3 years ago | (#36476944)

rather that the hole in the ozone layer and other environmental disasters would cause something I didn't pay attention to

FTFY

BTW, the reason things like the ozone layer and acid rain (which is one you apparently forgot) aren't so worrisome now is that we actually *did* something about them. Funny how seeing a problem, determining the correct solution, and then implementing the solution tends to actually produce positive results. It's certainly a lot better than sticking our heads in the sand or plugging our ears shouting "LA! LA! LA! I can't hear you!"

Re:Child of the 80s (1)

thrich81 (1357561) | more than 3 years ago | (#36476988)

Thanks to the scientists who discovered the thinning of the ozone and thanks to the policymakers who created the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer in the late 80's, we still have an ozone layer today. The whining back then about taking action to preserve the atmosphere in a state which supports us was about the same as it is now -- I can still recall the cries that we would have to give up all our air conditioners and refrigerators.

Well who needs science.... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36476484)

Who needs science when we have your unedchumicated opinion that ya just spew out. Lets just all ignore the sun's effect on heating and lighting the planet when we have your computer models that can't predict the past, present, future, or weather next week. Thanks for clearing it all up for us.

Re:Well who needs science.... (2)

jd (1658) | more than 3 years ago | (#36476882)

The weather is about as meaningful to climate science as the ability to track individual gas molecules is meaningful to the physics of gasses. It is precisely because brownian motion is chaotic that the whole is statistically predictable. If it were not for the unpredictability on the micro scale, you could not have gasoline engines, pressure cookers or jet engines.

To claim that the weather channel's difficulties in predicting the impact on one small place at one small interval of time has any bearing on being able to predict the net change of an entire planet over decades is ignorance at its most extreme.

If you were driving in stop-go traffic, you can't predict when you will reach any given traffic light, right? But you know on aggregate about how long the journey will take because the average is much easier to work out. That it'll be approximate doesn't change the fact that you will reach your destination.

Re:Well who needs science.... (1)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 3 years ago | (#36477066)

Who needs science when we have your unedchumicated opinion that ya just spew out. Lets just all ignore the sun's effect on heating and lighting the planet when we have your computer models that can't predict the past, present, future, or weather next week. Thanks for clearing it all up for us.

Thanks for intentionally misunderstanding the difference between weather and climate, dipshit. I guess you can ignore the predictions about when the tide will come in and out too since we can't predict accurately the timing, size and location of each and every wave that will crash on the shore.

Global Warming alarmists (2, Insightful)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 3 years ago | (#36476530)

I've always found people who go on and on about global warming extremely annoying. They talk about saving the earth and the environment but the bottom line is it's about saving the status quo. There have been times in earths history when it was much hotter than it is now and much colder. Humans will survive and so will the earth. If or when the last man bites the dirt the earth will still be here live in kicking unless we managed to do something really bad like strip away the atmosphere.

Re:Global Warming alarmists (3, Insightful)

Mage66 (732291) | more than 3 years ago | (#36476688)

Just so. How do we know that any set of conditions in the climate is optimal?

Maybe optimal is a degree warmer. Maybe not.

Squandering trillions of dollars in wealth and productivity just to maintain the status quo seems silly.

I like Bjorn Lomborg's approach which is to spend that money on clean water, medical care, and feeding the hungry instead. As well as simply moving people out of areas that might be impacted.

We can save more lives, and vastly improve the quality of lots of poor that way, rather than chasing a fraction of a degree of temperature rise.

Re:Global Warming alarmists (2)

codewarren (927270) | more than 3 years ago | (#36477134)

A couple degrees of temperature rising can inundate a coastal city. That's not going to be "optimal". Stopping global warming was never about keeping summers from getting a little too uncomfortable. It's about global catastrophe caused by ecological and environmental upheaval.

Re:Global Warming alarmists (1)

magsol (1406749) | more than 3 years ago | (#36476706)

Putting aside for the moment whether or not I agree with global warming itself, you seem to harbor a patently false understanding of what exactly these "global warming alarmists" are after, because it's anything *but* maintaining the status quo. Changing entrenched lifestyles, adopting new and largely inefficient technologies, and taking the big oil companies and the entire infrastructures that support them out of the game is most assuredly *not* maintaining the status quo. Unless you were using status quo as a synonym to human survival, which is debatable even aside from global warming.

Re:Global Warming alarmists (1)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 3 years ago | (#36476946)

I'm using the status quo here in reference to the current climate of the earth. Not political status or anything like that.

Re:Global Warming alarmists (2)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 3 years ago | (#36476776)

True. The earth will still be around. Life will almost certainly still be around, although the environment will be very different. Worse has happened before. Humans will probably still be around, as we're pretty good technologists. We sure as hell may not like the transition period, though. Sure, we're being greedily protective of the status quo, but that's because large-scale climate change will be very, very expensive.

Re:Global Warming alarmists (2)

Virtucon (127420) | more than 3 years ago | (#36476830)

Well, I don't think you can ignore a lot of the facts about how temperatures are rising and how that is correlated with CO2 concentrations.

http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/last_400k_yrs.html [geocraft.com]

Now, from a particular Carlinesque viewpoint we are a "minor surface nuisance" and yes the Earth will survive, even as scientists predict when the Sun becomes a Red Giant near the end of it's Nuclear Cycle and it is reduced to a rock floating in space, the Earth will survive. It just wouldn't want to be a place where I'd like to live.

If indeed Sun spot activity and the lack thereof is correlated to Earth Temperatures, then yes, lack of Sun Spots would mean less energy radiating from the Sun and less heat here on Earth, normally. Now that we've pumped billions of tons of C02 into the atmosphere, we're probably averting the next Ice Age but again I probably wouldn't want to live close to a coastline or in areas where strong weather fronts can converge creating severe weather patterns. Wait, that rules out most of the inhabitable space on the planet, doesn't it?

Well, we'll all see. It's one big experiment and while I'm not a C02 alarmist I think there's enough evidence there that indicates we need to make some changes. We may not eliminate C02 emissions either, but we certainly could reduce it. Heck the Ozone layer was going away and we were all going to die of skin cancer, but wait it's healing! But wait, that may cause more global warming! http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100125192016.htm [sciencedaily.com] So, let's bring back CFCs so we can deplete the Ozone layer to create brighter clouds and reduce warming otherwise we'll all just die in a massive Tornado! It's just one big happy experiment with the planet and we're the lab rats.

Re:Global Warming alarmists (1)

Marc Madness (2205586) | more than 3 years ago | (#36476940)

It would be useful to provide support for your assertion that there have been times in earth's history when it was much hotter than it is now. According to instrumental temperature records [wikimedia.org] The years 2001-2010 feature among the warmest on record. Before 1880, we have to rely on temperature reconstruction by proxy measurements. The main takeaway from this data is that the "global mean surface temperatures over the last 25 years have been higher than any comparable period since AD 1600, and probably since AD 900 [wikimedia.org] "(Originally sourced from Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the Last 2,000 Years [ibookdb.net] ). Just randomly asserting that there have been warmer years in history does not make it so. Personally I think haphazard invention of facts is more annoying than any zealous supporter of any philosophy.

Re:Global Warming alarmists (1)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 3 years ago | (#36477050)

I'm talking about times in history when there weren't even men. Think Jurassic age and before. Notice I said 'the earth's history' not Man's history.

Of course Discover magazine would say this (1, Insightful)

pjbgravely (751384) | more than 3 years ago | (#36476544)

They are extremely pro AWG. They may be right but they only show one side of the picture. There is no room for debate in their eyes. I wonder if they are heavy invested in carbon dioxide credits.

Re:Of course Discover magazine would say this (2, Insightful)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 3 years ago | (#36476720)

Close. Discover is pro-science. It's kind of their schtick.

Re:Of course Discover magazine would say this (0)

pjbgravely (751384) | more than 3 years ago | (#36476948)

Then how come they ignore the science theory that cosmic rays seed clouds. [junkscience.com] A solar minimum produces reduced solar winds and magnetic field which means more cosmic rays hit the Earth. If they theory is correct then more clouds will form reducing the solar heating of the oceans.

Re:Of course Discover magazine would say this (5, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 3 years ago | (#36476958)

Yup. But /. had to counter that bad story earlier that might have caused a few of the faithful to stray from the One True Religion and rags like Discover can be relied upon to provide rebuttal to any evidence that might bring AGW into question. Real scientists studying the the Sun come out with a "This is unusual, we didn't expect to see this. This might have consequences so we are putting out a press release so others can come look at our data." type report and a few days later we are reassured by purkinje that "any cooling that might come from this would be less than the global warming that's been going on."

We aren't told who purkinj is though, what his degree is in, who is financing him, etc. How many carbon credits or solar projects he is invested in, nothin. But we can trust him because he is Faithful. Also note that this guy seems to have a straight pipe to the submission queue and never participates in the comments.

Meanwhile the IPCC is in yet another fresh scandal where it is learned that they allowed a Greanpeace activist to be the lead author on a section of their report on alternative energy and repackage his own earlier work with zero peer review or oversight.

Re:Of course Discover magazine would say this (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 3 years ago | (#36476996)

So, show me your data. Show me any data that supports your position. So far, you only engaged in poisoning the well.

I'm not believing anything until.. (4, Funny)

gearloos (816828) | more than 3 years ago | (#36476556)

I'm not believing anything until Al Gore says it's so.

ah scientists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36476590)

is there anything they can agree on?

It is plausible (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36476596)

People will believe facts that bolster their preconceived opinions. They will disregard or twist facts that do not.

I used to believe that CO2 could cause global warming but didn't think too deeply about it. Then they tried to erase the Medieval Warm Period. That got my attention and 'Global Warming' has become a bit of a hobby for me.

What I can say is that there is junk science on both sides of the debate. There is also good science on both sides of the debate.

There is plenty of historical evidence that, when there is a long period with few sunspots, there is global cooling. In fact, IMHO, the evidence is a lot more robust for that than is the evidence that CO2 is causing catastrophic global warming.

History is clear that when the temperature is as warm as it is now, or warmer, people have thrived. When the temperature was much cooler that it is now, humanity has suffered many calamities. I would far prefer a warmer planet to a colder one.

Re:It is plausible (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 3 years ago | (#36477112)

I used to believe that CO2 could cause global warming but didn't think too deeply about it. Then they tried to erase the Medieval Warm Period. That got my attention and 'Global Warming' has become a bit of a hobby for me.

"They"? Who exactly are "they"?

Nitpicking: MORE than unlikely? (2)

macraig (621737) | more than 3 years ago | (#36476626)

I would hope he actually meant LESS than unlikely. I would also hope that next time the editors spot the mistake and correct it.

You are wrong ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36476632)

Ice Age 4 coming in July 2012

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_Age_4

Trollololololo (3, Informative)

Silverhammer (13644) | more than 3 years ago | (#36476634)

The writer of TFA is a well-known AGW advocate who routinely trolls everyone who isn't as pro-AGW as him, with all the charm and humor of a drunk fratboy. If you want to have serious discussion about this, find someone else to link to.

I call bullshit on the OP! (3, Interesting)

sribe (304414) | more than 3 years ago | (#36476656)

...or even affect the climate at all.

Not going to cause an ice age? OK, fine, that I believe. A significant drop in the source of nearly all heat for the planet not causing a change at all? Well now.

Re:I call bullshit on the OP! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36476790)

"unlikely" is such a weasily word. Are the changes 0.1%, 1% or 49%.

Re:I call bullshit on the OP! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36476850)

A significant drop in the source of nearly all heat for the planet not causing a change at all? Well now.

Sunspots are the source of nearly all heat for the planet? Really?

Am I the only one that was bothered by this? (5, Insightful)

Anubis IV (1279820) | more than 3 years ago | (#36476672)

In the summary (emphasis mine):

...has sparked claims that the Sun will cool the Earth...

The Sun does not cool the Earth, nor did anyone claim that such was a possibility. It may simply warm it less, should the recent concerns pan out, but cooling it is out of the question. It's a giant ball of fire in the sky, not a giant A/C unit in the sky.

Re:Am I the only one that was bothered by this? (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 3 years ago | (#36476742)

Damn, I was just about to say the same thing. How in the world could the sun cool the Earth? Unless someone accidentally flipped the switch to reverse?

Re:Am I the only one that was bothered by this? (1)

Mister Fright (1559681) | more than 3 years ago | (#36477070)

Yeah, I didn't like that wording. Reminds me of the episode of The Simpsons where after their AC breaks Homer asks Marge, "Marge, can you set the oven to 'cold'?"

it will mask manmade effects (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#36476760)

worst case scenario is the natural cooling will mask the manmade warming, lull unless into false complacency, and at some point in a century or so, we'll be dealing with a much warmer/ violent atmosphere

we're also beginning to push up against the limits of agriculture in terms of economically supporting the worlds population. combine that with climate hijinks, i figure somwhere in the next century, we're going to have some serious problems

of course, we can have less kids and control our carbon output, but this of course requires foresight and will power. so we're doomed. or rather, a whole lot of poor people ("screw 'em! their poor!" they said, as if they are immune to effects of that instability)

... a bazillion people. (1)

jamesl (106902) | more than 3 years ago | (#36476768)

From the linked article:

Note: a lot of this is taken from my book ... where I interviewed approximately a bazillion people.

This man is not a serious writer.

Someone tell the Starks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36476792)

Winter is not coming.

AGW Worship: Green on the outside.. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36476864)

Red on the inside (as in communist red for those of you who don't know your history which is most liberals).

The notion of AGW is nothing more than an attempt to control all aspects of everyone's lives; the ultimate boogey man to mandate top down regulation of everything you do. There is no evidence for man made global warming. To ignore the sun's immense impact on earth's climate and then suggest that CO2 is a pollutant shows your amazing lacking of common sense let alone critical thinking.

Re:AGW Worship: Green on the outside.. (0)

pieceofstone (1579885) | more than 3 years ago | (#36476922)

Venus. Carbon dioxide.

We Will Find Out (1)

oakwine (1709682) | more than 3 years ago | (#36476866)

One way or the other or neither. Time will tell, not political science.

Because His Book Tells Us So... (1)

BoRegardless (721219) | more than 3 years ago | (#36476872)

So an author (not a solar scientist) of a book writes a blurb for an online story with his opinion and refers to his book as proof?

Some of the NASA and other solar scientists are saying their is some probability of a lull in Solar Output based on the science evidence and models they form. Proof, no, not yet. But there are reasons to consider it possible.

More science observations and correlations will come in the next few years.

Computer models - but enough data to validate them (1)

david.emery (127135) | more than 3 years ago | (#36477030)

I'm VERY SKEPTICAL of those computer modelers who claim to have sufficient climate data to validate their models!!!

dave

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