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Climate Panel Says To Prepare For Weird Weather

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the so-the-ostrich-mukluks-then dept.

Earth 469

Layzej writes "Extreme weather, such as the 2010 Russian heat wave or the drought in the horn of Africa, will become more frequent and severe as the planet warms, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns in a report released today. Some areas could become 'increasingly marginal as places to live in,' the report concludes. Critics of the report note that 'Governments have in the past considerably weakened the language of IPCC summaries for policymakers,' and that the IPCC process tends to water down even the most obvious conclusions."

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Warms?! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38107062)

I'm in central Europe and it was 50 years since it was this bloody cold here! There's going to be snow on Christmas, and I'm not too sure I like that!

Re:Warms?! (0)

G_REEPER (112154) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107088)

LOL like you said 50 years ago, Notice how all this has happen before like i don't know cycles maybe...

Re:Warms?! (3, Insightful)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107422)

Climate changes. It isn't static. Weather, even more so. To cast climate change as the villain in a scare story is the ultimate gimmick. When I was a kid (in the 1950's), we had some long dry spells in NE Pennsylvania. And there was the dust bowl. Further back, there were other notable and unusual climate events. And huge swings in temperature. Also huge swings in CO2 (although they lagged warm periods, they didn't lead them... obviously the plants making lots and lots. But this doesn't provide evidence that CO2 increases warmth, it provide evidence that CO2 correlates with decreasing warmth.) Still, no one can predict climate in the best of times, much less now. Or weather. Yet, sometimes the climate does very unfriendly things. So it's the perfect bogy-man to point at if you want to scare money out of people, or distract them.

Having said that, yes, we should reduce our CO2 emissions. And the good news is, we will -- quite naturally -- as we stop burning petroleum. And we will stop, because it's hard to get, appears to be running out, and we have to negotiate with crazy people to get enough, and alternate sources make more sense on many levels, and we'll be reducing our power consumption by increasing efficiency, a good example being by wide adoption of electric vehicles, which we'll have in great numbers very shortly -- VERY shortly if recent battery tech announcements (1 [cnet.com] ,2 [ieee.org] ) pan out. What we don't need to to is torque the economy (even further) out of shape to deal with an emergency that isn't here and which so far, no one has shown decisively to be incoming.

Climate change ... is nothing new (4, Insightful)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107474)

Nobody makes the obvious point.

Some areas could become 'increasingly marginal as places to live in,' the report concludes.

Great. And how is this different from before ? My grandfather left north holland because it became too cold. Before that I'm told that a few dambreaks (presumably caused either by storms, rising sea level, or in the worst case incompetence) cause my family to leave a place between Amsterdam and Zeeland. That's just the last 200 years, maybe less (I only have generations to go on, not years. And there sure were a lot of dambreaks in the 19th century).

This is not an exception. Just read this : http://weburbanist.com/2008/07/06/20-abandoned-cities-and-towns/ [weburbanist.com] .

That's again just the last century (and not all climate related, some are though). But going further back there's plenty of stuff. 2000 years ago, the Sahara was lush green forest, filled with civilized black people (not arabs, who since exterminated them) who at one point dared attack Rome, and there was serious concern that campaign might succeed (and it did manage to cast aside 4 Roman legions, 3 in less time than it took the senate to notice their legions were gone, never mind decide what to do about it. They didn't do anything about it). The only reason there are Europeans in Europe is climate change in Eastern Asia. This is not news.

Where do we get the weird idea that climate was constant before today ? Where do we get the massive egocentric idea that it will start staying constant for us ? Gaia is a fickle godess that constantly slays things from houses, to cities, to entire states.

I am not saying that "there isn't something going on", but I do remember being taught how Darwinism categorizes species : adapt ... or die.

The whole strategy that seems to be pushed implicitly here seems to me a strategy that falls squarely in the latter category. Trying to keep things constant is not just a losing strategy, it's the way to extinction.

Re:Climate change ... is nothing new (5, Informative)

riverat1 (1048260) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107488)

2000 years ago, the Sahara was lush green forest ...

Not even close. From the Wikipedia article on the Sahara [wikipedia.org] :

The modern Sahara, though, is not lush in vegetation, except in the Nile Valley, at a few oases, and in the northern highlands, where Mediterranean plants such as the olive tree are found to grow. The region has been this way since about 4200 years ago.

Before that it was mostly savannah, not forest.

Re:Climate change ... is nothing new (1)

eminencja (1368047) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107542)

So if the temperature increases, maybe Sahara will be green again? There is no rain there because there is a cold current flowing alongside the banks of the Mediterranean.

Re:Climate change ... is nothing new (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107582)

Yeah, right. There is little rain there because that's where the downward branch of the Hadley Cells [wikipedia.org] occurs.

Re:Warms?! (5, Insightful)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107096)

The planet warming WILL result in regions cooling because it disrupts the heat transfer mechanisms. Central Europe cooling would likely be disruption to the trade winds and the Atlantic Conveyer. It is extremely naive to assume that global warming equates to local warming and the fact that your environment is the coldest in 50 years really should have tipped you off.

Re:Warms?! (5, Interesting)

Genda (560240) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107190)

In fact increased heat in the system has several counter intuitive effects. This is because increased heat vaporizes more water increasing the length and severity of storm events. More Cat 5 hurricanes, more snow, more floods. Conversely it means frequent and unpredictable changes in weather patterns. This has to do with greater swings in climate, increased frequency of swings. This is what thermodynamicists refer to as a system in purturbation.

Even the researchers that had objected to global warming now acknowledges its happening. The evidence in incontrovertible. They still argue to the cause, but considering that the year 2011 saw unprecedented production of greenhouse gases (far exceeding even the worst case scenarios), it should now be clear to anyone who doesn't have a personal axe to grind that the climate is in the process of extraordinary change, and that the conditions we rely on to feed 7 billion people are about to get very dicey. It is now time to begin global projects designed to move humanity off of fossil fuel. High altitude wind power, space based solar power, small thorium base reactors, high performance hydrogen fuel cells and advanced power storage technologies could easily cover our need until we perfect fusion. The fundamental impediment has been fighting a fossil fuel corporate monolith which has hijacked our government. Its time for us to take back our future.

Re:Warms?! (1)

sosume (680416) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107218)

Well, maybe if we wouldn't live on this planet with 7 billion people in the first place then all this climate mumbo jumbo wouldn't matter as much. But hey, it's so much better to limit us all than keep the population in check!

Re:Warms?! (4, Insightful)

Stormthirst (66538) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107314)

Would help if there weren't so many left wing nut jobs (read: Republicans) telling the world that abortion is murder, and religious fools (read: The Vatican) that contraception is a sin.

Re:Warms?! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38107450)

I am a doctor and for the health of your mother, we're going to need to abort you in your 53rd trimester. You're just a big blastocyst right now, barely a brain stem, so you probably won't feel any pain when I run you through the grinder. There's absolutely no value to human life, ESPECIALLY YOURS, obviously. You're just meaningless chemicals, so what is a 'feeling' or 'pain' anyways? It'll just be darkness for you after this, no afterlife. Take comfort in that!

Re:Warms?! (4, Insightful)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107370)

A destroyed climate is as bad for a hundred people as it is for 7 billion, so it would matter exactly as much.

Limit you all? LIMIT? Necessity is the mother of invention. If you feel limited by a need to invent, you're on the wrong site. Besides, what are these "limits" of which you speak? You can reduce pollution by increasing efficiency. Increased efficiency means you get more out for the same amount in (since you can't violate the law of conservation of matter and energy and therefore what would be pollutants are now something useful instead). That sounds like a recipe for profits, not limits.

Moving off coal and adopting nuclear fission (for now, fusion later) doesn't LIMIT you. You get much more power on the grid for less fuel and much less pollution. The miners won't be getting lung cancer or blown up in methane explosions, so saving lives and cutting medical (and rescue) expenses, all at the same time. Those freed-up people, if educated and retrained, could be a marvelous resource to tap into. The mistake made by many shifts in industry is to neglect the fact that humans are a powerful and valuable resource. Ignoring them limits your scope for imagination, exploration and development.

And let's examine that for a moment. Here's thousands, if not tens of thousands, of opportunities to try new things, explore new ideas and grow. Who but a fool would call that a limit?

Use the potential that change brings! Ignoring it and wasting it won't stop it, but it will limit what good can come from it.

Re:Warms?! (4, Interesting)

epine (68316) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107416)

They still argue to the cause, but considering that the year 2011 saw unprecedented production of greenhouse gases (far exceeding even the worst case scenarios), it should now be clear to anyone who doesn't have a personal axe to grind that the climate is in the process of extraordinary change, and that the conditions we rely on to feed 7 billion people are about to get very dicey.

With seven billion people on the planet, and rapidly rising standards of living in China and other parts of Asia, with coal increasingly augmenting the petroleum plateau, I'd be shocked if every year didn't set a new record for CO2 emissions.

What would be unprecedented here is a global consensus among rich and poor, east and west in preventing business as usual from raising the bar on CO2 emissions every year for the next half century--which is exactly what would have happened had the earth's CO2 levels not been precisely balanced at a precarious tipping point as science presently tells the story. If we pull this off, we'll be manufacturing a political consensus out of whole cloth such as never before witnessed on this blue marble.

On another note, I don't get this beautification of scientific consensus as the second coming of fast food culture: science is, and always was, a slow food movement. It takes decades or centuries to reach secure conclusions concerning systems as complex as the earth's climate. I think this is a lot like a doctor who discovers a new disease model, then immediately proposes an extremely radical treatment of unknown severity and consequence.

Via Wikipedia:

Monsieur Homais is the town pharmacist. In one incident, he convinces Charles to perform corrective surgery on a young stable boy, afflicted with a club foot. During this era, correcting or eliminating a disability was a daring option and he may have considered this an opportunity to garner personal attention and praise. The operation is a disaster, and the stable boy is left with his leg amputated at the thigh.

Amputated at the thigh IIRC by another doctor who shows and takes responsibility. In the long run, these interventions become routine, and the consequences become understood and mitigated.

Is there any evidence that we can fundamentally shift the global economy away from fossil fuels on a radical program without incurring large and unknowable risks to geopolitical stability in doing so?

The paint is still wet on climate science. Be careful what you wish for. And don't write me off as a club foot surgery denier. The old day-glo Wired was my personal hot tub: I'm a card-carrying techno-optimist. Politically, however, I'm extremely wary about any combination of alacrity with wet paint. Apollo 13 was pretty much the historical high water mark on smooth sailing amidst a crash program instigated by handshakes among our political overlords.

Re:Warms?! (1)

alexgieg (948359) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107690)

The fundamental impediment has been fighting a fossil fuel corporate monolith which has hijacked our government. Its time for us to take back our future.

Actually, since a few years the fossil fuel corporate monolith has seen itself more as an energy corporate monolith than specifically a fossil fuel one. They expect the post-peak oil world to be quite bad for business after a while (specially when it becomes "post-oil" due to oil simply ending), so they're already moving into other energy-related endeavors as a way to continue being the exact same powerhouses (pun intended) they currently are, only with different kinds of power behind their backs. Search around and you'll find that lots, and I mean lots, of research into alternative energy sources is currently financed by them. After all, first to arrive, and to sweetly, sweetly patent for 20 years (or more, with extensions), is the surest way to get ahead and continue dominating.

What doesn't mean they won't continue to milk the oil bandwagon for as long as they realistically can.

Re:Warms?! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38107400)

Of course! I mean, it's OBVIOUS to anyone with eyes that a medium-term cooling trend means warming is going on - ahem, did you forget to mention it's the hottest year on record? Any climate scientist worth his salt has computer simulations that would predict that and many other potentialities.

But I have to criticize your well-meaning retort which has sadly missed the mark. I'm here to help. I know what I'm about to say will be a tough pill, but I hope you will read it all and modulate your approach.

First of all, your meme is antiquated: it's "Climate Change" now. Even accidentally using the word "warming" could make people wonder whether we've got a clue about what's going on when you combine: the atmosphere, water cycle, dynamic solar radiation output, orbital wobble, stardust, magnetic field change, clouds, vegetation rotting on a planetary scale, volcanism, oceanic flows, etc - and then pile on the overwhelming inputs from man-made sources that dwarf all the rest. Only when you sufficiently take all of that into account and countless other variables would one be able to accurately predict the climate.

** BUT WE KNOW **! That's what you have to always stress in these conversations. We hold the one and only truth, our mathematical models for climate are practically world simulators. That's our secret weapon, we have the facts about settled climate science. 9 out of 10 our scientists agree, that's enough for me! The words "Climate Change" properly convey the complexity of our thoughts and the always-expanding sophistication of our computer models. The word 'warm' is no longer politically correct and must be removed from your vocabulary.

I'd also like to urge you to elevate the conversation more when you're making your points. If you've even got a prayer of changing the insufferable skeptics' minds, you must pepper in louder insults against their intelligence and add many more exclamation marks on your sentences with ALLCAPS!! Shame is a tool, you should feel no shame about shaming the bleary-eyed sheeple! Yell louder until they take notice!!!!

"Extremely naive"? Are you kidding me, is that all you've got? That is almost ... FRIENDLY talk! That piece of eurotrash garbage you deign to graciously instruct might have just walked away with a smile! What you gotta do is really shank the (holocaust) deniers in the back and twist it and then break it off! Maybe you were in a hurry when you wrote this, but for godssakes, we're talking about Gaia in crisis! We could literally have months before the seas evaporate! The computer models predict a very sharp spike in planetary temperatures approx. 5-75 years from now!!!!!!!

I just wanted to close by saying that we believe in you and we're pulling for you. Please, PLEASE become the bigmouth, hand-wringing, eco-religious, professorial douche you were born to be - it's for our own good!!!!!!!!!!

Re:Warms?! (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107448)

Awesome. Totally awesome. You made me spit coffee. :)))))

Re:Warms?! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38107182)

>>There's going to be snow on Christmas, and I'm not too sure I like that!

Me, too, and I live in Australia!

Re:Warms?! (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107380)

Years ago I climbed mount Bogong in February and there was a patch of snow close to the summit.

Re:Warms?! (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107250)

If you keep having "bloody cold" winters for the next 10 years then you might have something. Otherwise you're just experiencing natural variation.

Re:Warms?! (1)

tp1024 (2409684) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107638)

But there haven't been bloody hot summers over the last ten years, yet everybody is talking about global warming - while we're just experiencing natural variation.

Re:Warms?! (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107460)

I'm in central Europe ... There's going to be snow on Christmas

Unless this "Europe" you are referring to is some village in Africa, what's so strange about that? Even in the warmest parts of Europe, in the southern part of that continent, it occasionally snows on Christmas.

Re:Warms?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38107646)

/. user says to prepare for weird posts...

Reason to worry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38107074)

All Himalayan glaciers will have melted before the Christmas.

So (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38107082)

This is the same IPCC that said we wouldn't have any glaciers by 2010, or icesheets, or that the northwest passage would be open to traffic(never mind it's been open to traffic since it was first charted). Or that there would never be snow again on various mountains, and so on and so forth. Or that we'd all be dead what was it this year? Or is it next year? I can never keep it straight with all these doomsday predictions from all these environmental groups, and government backed organizations.

Re:So (0, Troll)

G_REEPER (112154) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107110)

I remember all the headlines about New York city would be buried under ice as part of the new ice age to be here by the year 2000. That was in the 70's. So they have a track record for being wrong.:-)

Re:So (0)

sosume (680416) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107200)

Don't forget the acid rain!

Re:So (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38107520)

We don't have a big problem with acid rain any more because of these warnings and following drastic tightening of emission regulations for power plants and other large scale emitters.
The hope is that these worst-case predictions and scenarios for the climate change lead to the required actions to limit further C02 emissions best case or at least prepare to mitigate the effects on things like food and water supply, flooding and storms.

Re:So (3, Insightful)

IWannaBeAnAC (653701) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107222)

Who has a track record for being wrong? Can you point to even a single article published in a respectable scientific journal that claimed that?

Re:So (1, Insightful)

riverat1 (1048260) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107292)

I remember all the headlines about New York city would be buried under ice as part of the new ice age to be here by the year 2000.

[citation needed]

Re:So (0)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107550)

I suppose the "interesting" mod was given out for the actually interesting fact that someone can hold such a twisted view of reality without instantly dying of seizures caused by a brain trying to suicide in utter despair, not wanting to be the substrate on which such a warped mind runs, yes? That was it what you meant, mods, no?

Re:So (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107586)

{Grin}

Re:So (5, Funny)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107136)

I totally agree! A bunch of scientists were wrong once. Sure, they got more data and reevaluated their models to be more accurate, but since they were wrong once there's no good reason to ever listen to them!

Re:So (-1, Troll)

Spy Handler (822350) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107224)

This is the same IPCC that said we wouldn't have any glaciers by 2010, or icesheets, or that the northwest passage would be open to traffic(never mind it's been open to traffic since it was first charted). Or that there would never be snow again on various mountains, and so on and so forth. Or that we'd all be dead what was it this year? Or is it next year? I can never keep it straight with all these doomsday predictions from all these environmental groups, and government backed organizations.

I'm just guessing here, since I don't know anybody at IPCC personally... but it seems like they put out regular statements like this to keep themselves relevant. (reminds me a bit of North Korea)

If they were to say something like, "The earth is a big place and there's all kinds of weird weather everywhere, every year, and it's been like that since the beginning of time, and the planet goes through regular cycles of long ice ages with short warm interglacial period in between, and we really don't know when the next ice age is gonna come, but there's not much we can do about it", there wouldn't be a reason for their existence and their jobs, is there?

I mean, I guess it's possible that the folks on these climate panels have awesome real-world skills and could be making big money creating internet startups or trading derivatives or something, and they're doing this purely as a pursuit enlightenment and truth. But then again, maybe not, maybe climascientology is all they know and they need their grant money like a single mom needs her welfare check.

Re:So (2)

Eunuchswear (210685) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107592)

If they were to say something like, "The earth is a big place and there's all kinds of weird weather everywhere, every year, and it's been like that since the beginning of time, and the planet goes through regular cycles of long ice ages with short warm interglacial period in between, and we really don't know when the next ice age is gonna come, but there's not much we can do about it", there wouldn't be a reason for their existence and their jobs, is there?

It wouldn't fit the science, either.

You know, they don't pull this stuff out of there arses, unlike you.

Re:So (4, Insightful)

riverat1 (1048260) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107330)

This is the same IPCC that said we wouldn't have any glaciers by 2010, or icesheets, or that the northwest passage would be open to traffic(never mind it's been open to traffic since it was first charted). Or that there would never be snow again on various mountains, and so on and so forth. Or that we'd all be dead what was it this year? Or is it next year? I can never keep it straight with all these doomsday predictions from all these environmental groups, and government backed organizations.

Reading fail. The IPCC never said we wouldn't have glaciers or ice sheets by 2010. I'd be willing to put my whole retirement savings up to bet you can't back that statement up (and I'm 59 years old so I have some). I wouldn't call requiring a heavy duty ice breaker to get through the northwest passage in less than a couple of years "open to traffic".

Guys like you never examine the projected time frames on IPCC (and other climate scientists) statements very carefully. You think everything's going to happen in the next 5 or 10 years and if it's longer than that you don't think it's worth worrying about.

Re:So (1)

Coolhand2120 (1001761) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107636)

I'm not defending the Anonymous Coward's statement but he was only off by about 20 years [usnews.com] in his critique of the IPCC's original estimate of 2035.

Re:So (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107666)

The IPCC's 2035 statement was an error that they have admitted. That particular statement never got vetted by a glaciologist who would have known it was ridiculous. It was basically on the level of a typographical error, not a scientific error.

Re:So (2)

Coolhand2120 (1001761) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107738)

Sorry, here's a better citation. [climatesciencewatch.org] But it was not "on the level of a typographical error, not a scientific error" as you say. It was at least incompetence and at most intentionally misleading, even if well meaning.

priorities (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38107092)

sorry but as long as I can play my sega cd, I don't care.

2020 (2)

harvey the nerd (582806) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107094)

Never mind about what we said about the hot weather, just get your mittens and coats ready when solar magnetic decline and solar minimum freeze (y)our rears off in 2020...

Re:2020 (3, Insightful)

EvilAlphonso (809413) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107150)

You mean like the deep solar minimum of 2008/2009?

Re:2020 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38107220)

Well, the magnetic storms got started this year, so no more solar minimum for us, lol.

Re:2020 (0)

Private_Hudson (1589823) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107158)

Never mind about what we said about the hot weather, just get your tinfoil hats ready when solar magnetic decline and solar minimum freeze (y)our rears off in 2020...

FTFY

Re:2020 (2, Interesting)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107720)

"Never mind about what we said about the hot weather, just get your tinfoil hats ready when solar magnetic decline and solar minimum freeze (y)our rears off in 2020..."

Seems to me that tinfoil hats would be better protection against all that warming that hasn't been happening. And you could fold it into little boats to float all your possessions when the sea level rises to... wait, what? Back to the level it was 3 year ago.

bs (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38107176)

climate panel will say anything to justify its existance

the weather is still the same here as it was 40 years ago

Re:bs (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107272)

Wanna bet!

Not only that... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38107312)

Scientists aren't taking into account that our Solar System actually orbits around another Solar System some call The Milky Way Galaxy and none have taken into consideration that passing nearby celeastial bodies as well as passing through regions of devious electromagnetic and other phenomenon would surely influence our Solar sun in ways that would pass said influence onto the planets in orbin including Earth.

There is just too much "new" to ever call any matter as predictable. I think the Geothermal activity is causing more global warming than anything in the atmosphere. Comparing another Planet like Mars to Earth is an example how Mar even with a dead core is much more habitable than Planet Earth because Earth has so-much sea water insulating the the hot core from scorching the surfact. Foremost, it's already a known fact that Planet Earth is experiencing Global Warming just like all the other planets whom are having much more detectable levels of erupting volcanoes so that is proof alone that there is some thing influencing the Solar System much more than Carbon output.

Re:Not only that... (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107394)

Sometimes it's entertaining to read you guys who don't have a clue what you're talking about.

Re:Not only that... (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107456)

My thought after reading was... "Wonder what the poster does for a living?" ...and I'm sure you know why. :)

Re:Not only that... (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107508)

Yep, I doubt it's astronomy or geology.

Re:Not only that... (1)

Schmorgluck (1293264) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107560)

Astrology or geomancy, maybe?

and... (5, Interesting)

benthurston27 (1220268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107212)

Will it also make some places more habitable?

Re:and... (5, Interesting)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107712)

Yes, but it won't balance out.
Canada, roughly the same land area as the US, becomes slightly more habitable as the US becomes less so. But they don't get any more light, so their food-growing seasons never get to be as good as in the US. Same situation applies to China and Russia.
Plus, you really don't want to find out what happens if that kind of volume of people needs to migrate, particularly when the lands in question belong to different countries. The China/Russia one is particularly exciting to think about. When (and sadly, not if at this point) China and Russia go to war, it is going to affect the whole world.

Just one question... (2)

Statecraftsman (718862) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107236)

Would becoming 'increasingly marginal as a place to live' include the Gulf of Mexico being taken over by a large, year-round, standing hurricane?

In spite of the data? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38107240)

I guess this latest release is in spite of the data. Check the chart showing temps from 2001 to 2011 [dailymail.co.uk] . It's about half way down the page and the temps are statistically flat.

Re:In spite of the data? (3, Informative)

riverat1 (1048260) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107352)

And 10 years has what to do with climate trends? Not much. A recent paper by Santer et. al. calculated the signal (climate) to noise (weather/natural variation) ratio for climate trends. For 10 years the S/N ratio is less than 1. They found it takes 17 years to be sure the signal is greater than the noise.

Re:In spite of the data? (3, Interesting)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107446)

For England, most of the heat input is via the ocean currents. The oceans are extremely large and it takes a lot of heat to make any significant difference in temperature. England will notice changes in rainfall - as indeed it has - long before any other effect becomes noticeable. The delay resulting from the ocean will mask temperature changes in Britain up until the Atlantic Conveyer fails entirely. THEN, temperatures will drop somewhere between 20'F and 40'F.yes, drop. Global temperature refers to the mean temperature of the entire planet, deserts and all. It is NOT an addition you can just make to everything. It is an average. If Billy as a car and Mandy has a car, then Grim gives Mandy Billy's car pus one more, the average number of cars has gone up even though Billy is now sulking in a corner.

Re:In spite of the data? (-1, Troll)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107730)

"And 10 years has what to do with climate trends? Not much. A recent paper by Santer et. al. calculated the signal (climate) to noise (weather/natural variation) ratio for climate trends. For 10 years the S/N ratio is less than 1. They found it takes 17 years to be sure the signal is greater than the noise."

What you -- and other gullible people like you -- don't take into account is that Anthropogenic Global Warming has only been taken seriously for about those same 10 years... and if 10 years is not enough to disprove a trend, it's not enough to demonstrate a trend, either.

If I were you, I'd go take a remedial course in basic logic.

Ah yeah (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38107258)

First it was "Global Warming", then when it became obvious that wasn't happening it was "Climate Change".
Now it's just "Weird Weather".

Luckily fewer and fewer people believe any of this rot any more.

Re:Ah yeah (2)

riverat1 (1048260) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107364)

Global warming is encompassed in climate change, as is weird weather. You can disbelieve all you want but the climate doesn't care.

Corollary (2)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107466)

You can disbelieve all you want but the climate doesn't care.

Yes, very well said. Also, the corollary: You can believe all you want but the climate doesn't care.

Re:Ah yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38107386)

Yea, people are too busy rebuilding their homes after tornadoes or worry about rising sea levels that will swallow their houses to believe in something as absurd as all that.

Re:Ah yeah (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107452)

By "fewer" you mean "more". I take it you're on good terms with the Red Queen.

Re:Ah yeah (3, Informative)

Eunuchswear (210685) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107622)

First it was "Global Warming", then when it became obvious that wasn't happening it was "Climate Change".

No.

http://ngrams.googlelabs.com/graph?content=global+warming%2Cclimate+change&year_start=1970&year_end=2008&corpus=5&smoothing=3 [googlelabs.com]

Click the little linky thing.

Re:Ah yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38107680)

Nice graph, which deserves a caption of "Humans Warming to the topic".

Here's another linkie thing, more wiggly lines ... http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2011/10/30/article-2055191-0E974B4300000578-6_634x639.jpg [dailymail.co.uk] Nice wiggles.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2055191/Scientists-said-climate-change-sceptics-proved-wrong-accused-hiding-truth-colleague.html [dailymail.co.uk]

What a screwed up world it is.

Re:Ah yeah (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107682)

People started saying climate change instead of global warming because idiots focussed on the warming bit, not the global bit. Global temperatures went up, but if the local temperature went down so people said things like this [youtube.com] .

For those that dismiss these news as irrelevant (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38107262)

You would do well to consider that flooded server rooms may have an adverse impact on the IT infrastructure.

Same can be said for production facilities. Take the recent example of Thailand floods causing an hard drive shortage [ibtimes.com] that is steadily driving prices up.

Adverse weather will only make things gradually more challenging, requiring more technical know-how and workarounds to deal with it.

Re:For those that dismiss these news as irrelevant (5, Informative)

siddesu (698447) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107300)

Give credit where it is due, Chicken Little, Thailand floods are purely anthropogenic in nature -- a result of deforestation, bad farming practices and non-existing city planning, not global warming.

Re:For those that dismiss these news as irrelevant (4, Informative)

riverat1 (1048260) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107372)

All of those things are true but it's true that there was a record amount of rainfall as well.

Re:For those that dismiss these news as irrelevant (1, Interesting)

siddesu (698447) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107470)

It is true that there has been a lot of rain, but the only people who say it is due to the global warming so far that I am aware of are the Thai politicians who are asking for aid money. If you've seen something more than that, please post it, it would be an interesting read.

Re:For those that dismiss these news as irrelevant (3, Informative)

riverat1 (1048260) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107552)

Changes in precipitation with climate change [ucar.edu] [PDF] by Kevin Trenberth.

Re:For those that dismiss these news as irrelevant (1)

siddesu (698447) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107630)

I did not find much on Thai monsoons in the paper, but the predictions seem to be (from the abstract) that:

1. there is increased runoff and risk of flooding in early spring, but increased risk of drought in summer, especially over continental areas

2. with more precipitation per unit of upward motion in the atmosphere, i.e. ‘more bang for the buck’, atmospheric circulation weakens, causing monsoons to falter

On a first read that sounds like the opposite of what's happening in Thailand right now -- if I am not mistaken the rainfall was caused by the monsoon. Also, it seems that while the heavy rainfall this year is, indeed, exceptionally high, it is not unheard of. Similar amounts of rain have fallen 4 or 5 times during the 20th century, according to the rain data (the data source is quoted as thai govt weather service). [anu.edu.au]

So, while there is probably some contribution, it is quite hard to blame the flood on the global warming yet.

Re:For those that dismiss these news as irrelevant (1, Troll)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107752)

Kevin Trenberth has been caught more than once telling bald-faced lies, even to fellow researchers, about possible weather effects of climate change. [colorado.edu] He simply has no credibility anymore as a scientist. Please don't quote him again as a source unless you want people to laugh at you.

Re:For those that dismiss these news as irrelevant (2)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107724)

Thailand floods are purely anthropogenic in nature -- a result of deforestation, bad farming practices and non-existing city planning, just like global warming.

FTFY.

Re:For those that dismiss these news as irrelevant (1)

siddesu (698447) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107744)

Thanks, but I fail to see the need for the "fix". Maybe you can elaborate?

Because we all should live (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38107324)

At an average mean and equal temperature, yes? I mean, every location on the planet should have the same temperature range, right? We would not want anyone to have to migrate to another area to live, because of course our ancestors never had to do that, right?

Past the tipping point (4, Informative)

ndogg (158021) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107336)

I think we've past the tipping point already. At the least, I don't think we can change our habits enough to prevent climate change at this point, so...

I think we need to start planning for the aftermath of all of this, and do as much as we can in preparation for those changes. Unfortunately I don't think we will, and all I can see is a lot of people needlessly suffering for it all.

Re:Past the tipping point (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38107402)

God fearing merkins dont want to after all they were given Domain not steward ship over the planet and they will be rapturedout.
Only the Godless will be left in the mess they left behind.

Re:Past the tipping point (5, Insightful)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107564)

James Lovelock, the grandfather of geoplanetary science, agrees with you. I'm not inclined to argue the point with him, since he has been right on every prediction so far and is the inventor of the best model we have of how planetary systems work.

My argument is the same one as it has always been - the top 2% of the population are Mensa-level, which means we've 140,000,000 geniuses planet-wide. That is more than adequate, provided they have the education and the resources, to prepare humanity for what is inevitable and to prevent what is inevitable from being any worse. That's not even including those who are brilliant in ways IQ cannot measure, so you might need to double or triple the brainpower that can be let loose on this.

You'd need to be willing to spend money. Over the next ten years, the US would need to double its debt just to educate its own. I did the calculation for that a while back on Slashdot for those interested in how I got that figure. However, it could be done. You just have to want to.

Weird Weather (4, Funny)

MPAB (1074440) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107346)

Publicity for Ubuntu 16.04 or around.

I live in the North-West of Scotland. (5, Interesting)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107360)

We already have weird weather. It's the end of November and it's 15C outside (I can't put a degree symbol because the slashdot janitors have made an arse od input parsing). It reached a deep low of about 8C earlier in the month. During the summer, the temperature varied between -2C and 26C in July.

Yesterday I was seeing wind speeds of up to 90mph in gusts and 60mph sustained, and today it is flat calm. In January we normally see sustained 120mph winds, but this year they were only about 90mph.

Although it's flat calm and warm and sunny now, in as little as ten minutes the weather could go to a hailstorm with high winds and the cloudbase at about treetop height, then clear up just as soon as it came.

Up here, this is all perfectly normal. It's just what it's like here.

"Weird weather", is it? Well, we'll see.

I can see the weirdness (1)

SuperTechnoNerd (964528) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107374)

I'm in New York north of NYC, and Hurricane Irene passed through in August this year with rain the likes of which I have never seen outside of Florida. Then we had over 6 inches of snow before Halloween. Neither of which I have seen in my 40+ years of living here. Also, another strange thing I noticed; when I was a young kid all the leaves were off the trees by oct 31st, but that is getting later and later. Now it's at end of November early December before the trees are bare. In fact there are still quite a few leaves on the trees now. I am not sure why that is. When that early snow storm came through, it was a disaster because if the snow sticking to the leaves and making branches very heavy. We had widespread power loss. Lastly, spring and fall are very short now in terms of temperature. So indeed it think the weirdness has begun.

Re:I can see the weirdness (4, Informative)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107492)

I'm in New York north of NYC, and Hurricane Irene passed through in August this year with rain the likes of which I have never seen outside of Florida.

Your memory is too short, grasshopper: In August of 1955, hurricane Dianne [blish.org] dumped almost double the peak amount of rain (24 inches) on your region as compared to hurricane Irene [lmgtfy.com] , and the consequences were likewise notable. And no-one, not even the truest climate change believers, are blaming Hurricane Dianne on CO2. Every once in a while, it is normal for a hurricane to do exactly that -- drop a bunch of water on the NY/PA region. It doesn't mean that we're experiencing climate change. It just means a hurricane followed an inconvenient track, while doing exactly what hurricanes always do. Again.

Re:I can see the weirdness (1)

Gideon Wells (1412675) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107718)

Devil's advocate. Irene was NYC Region's Katrina. The storm that everyone who didn't have their head in a hole had been expecting. It was one of the reasons I was hesitant to seriously consider moving there after college. NYC gets an Irene like storm every 60-75 years and I knew it was due from past statistical records.

Everything else? I'll have to take your word on. Not all weirdness is weird, but sometimes weirdness is just weirdness.

More heat more water (0)

riverat1 (1048260) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107382)

Because of global warming there is more heat in the atmosphere and more water vapor as well. That will lead to more energetic weather. This is an expected result.

Re:More heat more water (2)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107496)

It will also lead to additional cooling. This is also an expected result. It's a feedback loop. One of many.

Re:More heat more water (1)

Troed (102527) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107572)

... but it hasn't happened. A bunch of models predict it will happen, but there's no data yet to show that the models are correct.

You do know how the scientific method works, I hope?

http://policlimate.com/tropical/ [policlimate.com]

Sh17 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38107384)

fucking numbers, Lit8e is straining

I have the answer folks, send me my prize. (5, Interesting)

lexsird (1208192) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107412)

Seriously, here it is.

We engage the warp drive on the hemp production. We will suck every drop of carbon out of the atmosphere with it. Seriously, we have our number one oxygen scrubber growling like a weed. Once upon a time hemp grew like a weed. It was a damn weed and it would grow out of control. It's a pain in the ass if you want to grow corn crops. It makes great rope, in fact we enacted farmers to grow hemp for the war effort. Then we said...no..no more hemp.

It seems the cotton industry hated it. Here is a WEED that people go grab for fibers then that they could weave for themselves cloths and such. Coupled with corn farmers they lobbied it as an evil South of the border thing. And they did their best to eradicate it. It also turned out that the jazz and blues musicians were smoking it in all of those wrong kind of places to be seen at as a decent Christian sort. They were able to demonize it even more with their lobbyists. Preachers thundered on about it, etc.

But lets look at the facts of the matter. This plant has some amazing qualities to it aside from deer and rabbits wanting to eat it like it's a delicacy to them. The seeds of this are from what I understand can be distilled into a petroleum. Yes, I thought that as well. Petroleum? Seriously?

Petro is a hydrocarbon. Correct? What do we have floating about fucking up our atmosphere? Carbon? What thrives on this stuff in the air? Plants? How about a plant that will chew this stuff up and store that carbon in it's seeds as energy for it's babies. Imagine harvesting those seeds for that hydrocarbon? Then you have a very strong fiber resulting from the harvest as well. There are various grades of this fiber to work with. First being very long strong straight strands, then of course pulp fiber which can be pressed into parchment paper such as what the US Constitution is wrote on. Imagine the image quality of a high quality ink printer photo on a paper that ages like our Constitution. I can't get that at Office Max, can you? Let me know if you do, I want to print off pirate maps on some. Arrgh!

Here is the solution. You legalize and authorize hemp production in the US. It has to be licensed and monitored by the Ag department, not the DEA. Don't worry, stoners will not be growing weed in it or near it. They will cry if they do because it will be allowed to massively pollinate with Midwestern native hemp, which will drop the THC levels into the ditch weed category. Not to mention it will become seedy as FUCK. Everyone hates seedy pot. If you go to smoke pot and there is a seed in the pipe or the joint, BOOM! I have seen seeds blow up in a pot pipe someone was smoking and blow all the pot out of it and give them a face full of burning weed. It wasn't like a grenade, it just startles the living crap out of them when it happens. As a kid, I would get a seed, hollow out the tobacco of a cigarette, drop a big fat juicy seed in it, then repack it. We've all sabotaged a smoker like that before, right?

As I digress...

Those same "blow the fuck up in your face, so you better clean them out, NOOB" seeds are the ones that you run through a high pressure roller press and collect the oil. We also have to do this scientifically to appease the most staunch of skeptics. First, it has to be grown by using a strong composing, we can do this by processing a lot of our waste. We can let it process a trashy swampy sewer-ed field into clay, instead of devouring crop land. You just have to engineer the fields according with EPA standards for a land fill situation. It's called, get out the bulldozers time and do some serious earth moving.

We can do some genetic experimentation with this to tweak it to grow insanely big and fast. Plants are amazingly fun to mess with on a genetic level, we have been doing it for quite a time now. We used to call it "breeding". There are an amazing variety of this plant that we can cross breed with. Take for example there is a breed of it in italy that grows 6 inches I day, I would say couple that with some native Kansas river hemp that can grow in the 20 to 30ft height, one might have an interesting result.

From a climate view, if you do enough acres of this you have an effective carbon scrubbing system that deposits the carbon back into a handy dandy form. It's not like it's a hard thing to tend to either. It's not a difficult technology to augment, and it's profitable.

Imagine that?

Re:I have the answer folks, send me my prize. (5, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107472)

What would be better than hemp (at least, as a foundation) would be algae and bamboo.

I'm not anti-hemp, but let's look at some facts. Fact, bamboo can be grown on crappy, dirty water. Fact, there's a strain of bamboo for almost every climate. Fact, bamboo is fast-growing and has more mass than hemp where you can grow the right varieties; one planting of many types is said to essentially fix all the excess carbon floating about above that land area. We can use it for many purposes, just like hemp. It's far more useful as a building material, which is very handy because in order to actually sequester carbon with plants you have to cut them down and bury them, or build stuff out of them. Allowing it to compost itself back to the land causes it to release most of its carbon back into the atmosphere which does not help us at all.

As for algae, we have enough unused desert land in the USA to replace all of our fuel oil consumption with biodiesel from algae using technology proven at Sandia NREL in the 1980s. That technology was believed to be profitable by the time diesel fuel hit $3/gallon. This is of course dependent on getting permits from the BLM to grow the algae there. You can get permits for coal or oil but not for solar, so algae is probably out of the question as well unless we make some fundamental changes in our society. I could see Africa getting on board if they weren't being fucked by everyone in turn.

Re:I have the answer folks, send me my prize. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38107534)

Go ahead an enjoy smoking your bamboo.

Re:I have the answer folks, send me my prize. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107580)

Go ahead an enjoy smoking your bamboo.

You first. No, really, I must insist.

Re:I have the answer folks, send me my prize. (1)

Splab (574204) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107594)

Show me medicinal qualities from bamboo rivalising those of hash and you got a deal.

Re:I have the answer folks, send me my prize. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38107654)

It's a delicious food when cooked properly.

Re:I have the answer folks, send me my prize. (4, Funny)

Joe Jay Bee (1151309) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107600)

I think you misunderstand. The GP doesn't care about that. The GP wants to get high.

Re:I have the answer folks, send me my prize. (2)

Gideon Wells (1412675) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107756)

Wants to get high, justifies possible aid to global climate change.

Quite similar to a person with a vested interest in ethanol once told me. Ethanol is carbon negative! Take the corn kernels and make ethanol. What do you do with the cob and stalks? He didn't know, but you could do something with them as they are made from carbon pulled from the air. There you go, more carbon stored than burned. Therefore, make and burn more ethanol by building plants made by the company he works for.

Re:I have the answer folks, send me my prize. (1)

lexsird (1208192) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107652)

Indeed, viable solutions. As far as the composting process we haven't began to tap the energy potentials. We waste so much methane into the atmosphere that we should be harvesting. Sewer plants have insanely high levels of methane about them, at least the ones I have seen working do. We need to seriously do the "mad max beyond thunderdome" thing with hog lot slop. Swine produce crazy amounts of biological soups, so do we for that fact. It's disgusting, but that stench is potential energy that should be contained, processed in a highly efficient manor. Methane extractors, I need to look into them I guess.

Another factor that we keep ignoring is our own concrete footprint on the planet. We have set out so many heat sinks on the surface that we have to be effecting over all tempratures. Let me explain, I live in a small town, of about 8 thousand, I can take a quick drive out to the country side. It's far cooler in the country than in town in the Summer. All of that concrete, buildings etc gather a collective heat. This isn't dissipated as it should be like it would be with photosynthesis cooking along in it's spot. Have you ever been out in the deep thick green woods? It's cool inside them. Cooler I should say. But if you head deep into a thick growth, you will find plenty of shade and a canopy above you eating up all of that energy.

We need to foliate the surface, take structure underground. We can adapt plenty of lighting options to naturally light our subterranean environments. Much of what we deal with would be better protected, insulated and heated from the ground temperature. Storms will become an annoyance instead of deadly. One could build observatories above it, a tower so to speak and it should be tall, but take up a low sun facing footprint. It can be like a tall tree, so to speak. One needs its for one's arrays.

Think of it as a subtractive process of engineering, Minecraft for real life.

Re:I have the answer folks, send me my prize. (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107734)

You understand that as soon as you combust the hemp that you convert to hydrocarbons, you're netting nothing, right? That the reason our co2 is shooting up right now is because we're burning the sequester that was done by prehistoric plants?

"Weakened/watered down" (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 2 years ago | (#38107758)

So the report saying we are all completely fucked is actually criticized because things are much worse than it says?

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