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Carbon Emissions 'Will Defer Ice Age'

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the not-cool dept.

Earth 347

Sven-Erik writes "Due to subtle variations in the Earth's orbit, researchers have calculated that the next Ice Age is due within 1,500 years. However, a new study suggests greenhouse gas emissions mean it will not happen that soon (abstract). 'Dr Skinner's group ... calculates that the atmospheric concentration of CO2 would have to fall below about 240 parts per million (ppm) before the glaciation could begin. The current level is around 390ppm. Other research groups have shown that even if emissions were shut off instantly, concentrations would remain elevated for at least 1,000 years, with enough heat stored in the oceans potentially to cause significant melting of polar ice and sea level rise.'"

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347 comments

First Post (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38641622)

(insert topical quip here)

Obligatory (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38641632)

SKINNERRR! - Superintendent Chalmers

my model proves it !!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38641636)

Is this science? Or is it it political posturing ? If an experiment can't reproduce the results, can we really have confidence in the predictions?

Re:my model proves it !!! (5, Insightful)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 2 years ago | (#38641748)

It's hard to get funding for an experiment that takes two identical planets and changes the global CO2 concentration on one.

Climatology is an observational science like geology or astronomy. Models can be checked. It's not just curve fitting to the temperature record: climatologists figure they're on the right track when their models predict phenomena like El Nino.

Re:my model proves it !!! (-1, Troll)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 2 years ago | (#38641874)

No one predicts manbearpig!

Amongst its weaponry are such diverse elements as fear, surprise, ruthless efficiency, an almost fanatical devotion to financial windfall in the form of large government grants

Re:my model proves it !!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38642128)

No, No. They take 2 domes, one is the control and the other they pump in Co2. They have to load it with a bunch of second rate TV stars, or those on dancing with the star. After that, they then can measure something. OK, I really haven't thought much beyond that, but still it's a sound idea.

Re:my model proves it !!! (0, Troll)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#38642196)

Welcome to the New Scientific method.
Step one get a PHD in science (or something that will make you an expert).
Step two you make an hypothesis. (This hypothesis will be based on your political standing and it will either point to certain doom, or discredit others hypothesis for certain doom)
Step three find some data (It really doesn't matter if it is based on your hypothesis or not, we just need data) keep on summarizing the data until you show a trend in your favor.
Step four go in front of congress with your statement to push political action in your favor.

Been there, done that. (4, Informative)

sconeu (64226) | more than 2 years ago | (#38641640)

Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle and Michael Flynn.

Fallen Angels [wikipedia.org]

Offtopic info.... (4, Informative)

rts008 (812749) | more than 2 years ago | (#38641872)

Good book, IMHO.

For those interested, "Fallen Angels" is available at Jim Baen's Free Library to read online, or download. (linked below)
"Fallen Angels" [baenebooks.com]

*Discaimer*
I'm just an enthusiastic fanboy, not affiliated with Baen Books in any way other than being a happy customer.*

Re:Been there, done that. (1)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38641928)

Unfortunately, the Outsiders [wikipedia.org] have yet to show up and teach us how get us off this mudball. So, we're kind of stuck fixing our own problems.

So why to we bitch about global warming? (2)

spaceplanesfan (2120596) | more than 2 years ago | (#38641642)

Its good, as it turns to be? Or do we want an ice age?

Re:So why to we bitch about global warming? (4, Informative)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38641708)

Re:So why to we bitch about global warming? (3, Insightful)

afidel (530433) | more than 2 years ago | (#38641746)

I don't know, is a bit more war and some starvation worse than having the entire northern hemisphere uninhabitable?

Re:So why to we bitch about global warming? (4, Insightful)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38641864)

Describing the impact of global warming as "a bit more war and some starvation" is rather like describing the situation of living living in Pompeii in AD 79 as being "minorly inconvenienced by relatively minor geological events".

Re:So why to we bitch about global warming? (4, Insightful)

afidel (530433) | more than 2 years ago | (#38641966)

How do you know that? Some models predict increased desertification in the mid latitudes but then many show increasing crop productivity at more northern latitudes. What we do know is that during previous ice ages the human species went through some bottleneck events that reduced our numbers to what we would now considered near extinction for a large animal species.

Re:So why to we bitch about global warming? (5, Interesting)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#38642124)

How do you know that? Some models predict increased desertification in the mid latitudes but then many show increasing crop productivity at more northern latitudes. What we do know is that during previous ice ages the human species went through some bottleneck events that reduced our numbers to what we would now considered near extinction for a large animal species.

Go visit the tundra, tell me what you think that place will smell like when it thaws.

Sure, in about 1000 years when the toxic rot has run its course, there will be productive land there able to grow crops, but it won't get there without a lot of pain during the transition.

Intrinsically, people are inconvenienced by change, change of this magnitude is inconvenient enough that people will go to war over it.

Re:So why to we bitch about global warming? (3, Interesting)

afidel (530433) | more than 2 years ago | (#38642290)

So? Homosapien has been going to war since before we left the trees (at least we're pretty sure since most of our closest relatives wage war). We've had war since we've been around and it's never come close to wiping us out, on the other hand we're pretty damn sure that glaciation has come really close to killing us off. I'll take a bit more war over a near extinction event that we can't control.

Re:So why to we bitch about global warming? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38642466)

holy cow,

" I'll take a bit more war over a near extinction event that we can't control..."

Yeah, a bit of war with, you know a bit of thermonuclear/biological weapons thrown in.. Yeah, smart choice...

PS. you might also want to read about nuclear winter

Re:So why to we bitch about global warming? (2, Interesting)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38642194)

I don't "know" in the sense that certain faith based folks "know" that they'll be the ones saved.

I do, however, know in the sense that I've read a lot about it, including impact models ranging from US government predictions (military [guardian.co.uk] , civilian [foxnews.com] ), international studies [www.ipcc.ch] , many of which predict widespread starvation [usnews.com] and chaos [msn.com] .

Re:So why to we bitch about global warming? (1)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 2 years ago | (#38642392)

That's actually exactly the same sense of "knowing." You've decided which prophecy you believe, and now you're sure it's right. Welcome to the religious mindset.

Also, carefully note I did not express an opinion on climate change in this post.

Re:So why to we bitch about global warming? (3, Insightful)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38642580)

So, you're arguing that peer reviewed scientific theories and religious gospel are equivalent? And acceptance of the peer review process is an indicator of a religious mindset?

Re:So why to we bitch about global warming? (2)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#38642068)

I'm almost certain afidel is in a First World country in the Northern Hemisphere. Therefore, for him, having the entire Northern Hemisphere uninhabitable is a bigger deal than the war and starvation which will mostly occur in Third World countries.

It's sort of like how many people, if given the chance to vote between spending millions of dollars feeding starving Africans, or spending millions of dollars to revive Firefly, might pick Firefly.

Re:So why to we bitch about global warming? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38642204)

The problem with feeding starving africans is that all that happens is there are more africans around next year to again be starving as the brutal reality of their continent comes to bear again. With firefly, at least there is another dvd to add to the box set and a year from now it won't cost you a cent.

Re:So why to we bitch about global warming? (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#38642292)

Feeding starving africans will do NO good. Instead, far better to help them feed themselves. Best way is to get businesses going with them. IOW, even helping firefly does more to help africa then simply giving food to ppl that are then cut off later and starve again.

Re:So why to we bitch about global warming? (2)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 2 years ago | (#38642380)

Feeding starving africans will do NO good. Instead, far better to help them feed themselves.

Without food security, they'll be unable to get businesses going. Without food security, they'll be unable to learn how to feed themselves.

Food security is the #1 requirement for them to do anything else than just concentrate on day-to-day survival.

Re:So why to we bitch about global warming? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38642170)

Well, sometimes I use the analogy of going downhill on a ski slope, with the declining elevation rather like the long-term, thousand-year timescale of glacial cycles. Yes, in the long term over the next few thousand years we're heading into an ice age, if our understanding of Milankovitch astronomical cycles is correct. If you don't want to go downhill too far, then I suppose any local, short-term bump in temperatures (say, century-scale) might be regarded as a good thing that keeps you from sliding further downhill into a cold ice age.

Unfortunately, by that analogy the expected global warming in the next century is a bit like running into a ski jump or a wall. Not necessarily fun either.

Re:So why to we bitch about global warming? (5, Insightful)

Ambitwistor (1041236) | more than 2 years ago | (#38642230)

Hating ice ages doesn't mean liking global warming. If you want to prevent the planet from cooling into an ice age, you don't need to warm it up above present temperatures. You just have to keep it from cooling below present temperatures.

Human civilization has adapted itself to a relatively stable range of climate over the last 10,000 years. Large warming or large cooling pushes us outside of that range. It may be costly to adapt our civilization to a completely different climate, particularly if it happens "fast" (century time scale). Thus, it's possible to hate both global warming and "ice ages".

If you want to use the greenhouse effect to prevent the planet from falling into a glacial period, then you should want to save fossil fuels for when we need them, rather than using them up now, when we don't. That is, dole them out slowly over thousands of years to keep the interglacial climate stable, as the next glacial period gradually deepens, instead of our current course of using them up rapidly and elevating temperatures well above the Holocene climate range.

Besides which, this study is controversial. Everyone agrees that we will see another glacial period someday, barring human intervention. The question is when. This study suggests 1500 years; a number of others have suggested that the next glacial period isn't due for as long as 50,000 years. Which is even less of an argument for global warming.

So is that good or bad? (4, Interesting)

unimacs (597299) | more than 2 years ago | (#38641646)

Neither melting ice caps nor a new ice age sound particularly appealing.

Re:So is that good or bad? (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | more than 2 years ago | (#38641730)

Neither melting ice caps nor a new ice age sound particularly appealing.

I agree. Too bad our ecosystem is not terribly static even in the best of times.

Re:So is that good or bad? (0)

polar red (215081) | more than 2 years ago | (#38642262)

Too bad our ecosystem is not terribly static even in the best of times.

and holding a flame under it is a good idea how ?

Re:So is that good or bad? (5, Insightful)

Avin22 (1438931) | more than 2 years ago | (#38641762)

Unfortunately, the effects from the ice age will not be apparent for another 1,500 years, while, on the other hand, the ice caps are already starting to melt. Though a small amount of global warming might be beneficial in the future for preventing an ice age (who knows what environmental impact THAT would have), it is very likely to be seriously detrimental for the next few centuries until then.

Re:So is that good or bad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38641940)

Mod parent up

Re:So is that good or bad? (1, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#38642206)

How detrimental? I know that attempting to run a technological civilization under a few hundred meters of ice is a bit more difficult than running one on land a few meters under sea level.

Re:So is that good or bad? (1, Insightful)

phayes (202222) | more than 2 years ago | (#38642246)

Says who? You? Why exactly is your opinion to be trusted?

Very little is known on how exactly an ice-age begins AFAIK. Is it rapid onset? Slow? It may begin with higher than normal snowfalls & a shorter growing season in the northern hemisphere inducing wide-spread crop failures in that part of the world which is currently feeding the other part thus rendering your reassurances hollow.

Re:So is that good or bad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38642440)

while, on the other hand, the ice caps are continuing to melt from our exit of the last ice age.

FTFY

20-100 thousand years ago there was a LOT more ice on this planet. The last 10,000 years of mostly static conditions is not NORMAL for this planet. Climatologists used to states this till they realized they could get a shit load of funding if they cried wolf.

Human advancement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38641648)

Consider the rate of human advancement before and after the last ice age and you'll see why having another one may not be in our best interest.

Re:Human advancement (3, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38641878)

That's a tad different. During the last ice age we didn't have the ability to ship food thousands of miles and make user of the land that was now useful for agriculture. Also, we didn't have insulation and heating technology like we do today.

An ice age isn't the greatest thing ever, but life has a much better chance of coping with it effectively than the rather extreme changes in climate that we're setting off.

Re:Human advancement (1)

cdcoulon (1979848) | more than 2 years ago | (#38642394)

we also didn't have an abundance of fossil fuels in the last ice age to fuel our tech. course we won't have one of those in the near future either.

Of course (1)

Sigvatr (1207234) | more than 2 years ago | (#38641652)

It makes sense to me that by melting all ice, carbon emissions would prevent the occurrence of an ice 'age'.

Re:Of course (5, Interesting)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38641776)

Except... that isn't quite how it works.

Global warming means that we're changing a massively complex system. And like all massively complex system, when you tweak the parameters beyond a certain point, the system as a whole can itself wind up altering other parameters drastically as it seeks a new stable state.

Or, to put it simply, global warming could potentially lead to a sudden and drastic cooling:

http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2004/05mar_arctic/ [nasa.gov]

Mankind's mere existence (2)

jabberw0k (62554) | more than 2 years ago | (#38641886)

Anything we do, "could potentially" do something, or nothing, or upset part of Mother Nature that proves unexpectedly fragile. Unless Mankind goes away, we will continue to influence the environment forever. I suggest doing Nothing as the only possible prudent course of action.

Re:Mankind's mere existence (2)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38642018)

Of course we're going to have an impact on our environment. The difference between us and the first cyanobacteria [scientificamerican.com] (that caused massive climatic upheaval when the oxygen levels on earth reached a tipping point where other first generation single celled entities died off en masse) is that we have the ability to reason, if we use it, and chose options that will not be as destructive to the ecosystem that we are a part of, and upon which we rely for our lives.

Re:Mankind's mere existence (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#38642242)

and chose options that will not be as destructive to the ecosystem that we are a part of, and upon which we rely for our lives.

Unless, of course, those less destructive options are not in our interests.

Re:Mankind's mere existence (1)

phayes (202222) | more than 2 years ago | (#38642412)

Another fallacy is considering that Nature is stable & that all man-linked influences are inherently bad for the kind of environment we want to live in. First Off, Nature is NOT stable. There would be climate change whether or not mankind was here or not. Secondly, I know that the popular environmentalist meme enshrined in so many books & movies (Jeff Glodblum in Jurassic Parc grunting "Mankind Bad, Mother Nature Good" among them) is that all man-linked influences are bad. I just don't believe the meme is universally true. It does appear to be true that mankind has a tendency to transform grassland into desert (see the climate of Northern Africa & the Middle east from a few thousand years ago until now), however, we may be modifying the environment in a more positive manner if it stops an Ice Age...

Re:Of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38641964)

I agree. Also, temperature isn't the only problem, CO2 causes Ocean Acidification which may have unpredicted effects on ocean life. What would happen if we crashed the phytoplankton blooms that happen in the ocean? These blooms are a major carbon sync, we would be compounding our CO2 problems.

I think until we understand the ecosystems on Earth the safest bet is to not influence it or we could end up hitting the reset button for complex life on Earth.

Re:Of course (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38641992)

There's more snow! Therefore, Glooooabaaaal Waaaarming .....(in a condescending satirical tone) is a Liberal Myth.

-AM Radio Pundits.

Global Warming is a Fraud!

-AM Radio Listeners.

and ....

Whatever...

People are ignorant and they like being ignorant because educating oneself usually means you prove yourself wrong. I dont' like being wrong either. Then again, the thought of living my entire life wrong scares me even more.

But that's just me.

Re:Of course (1, Interesting)

the computer guy nex (916959) | more than 2 years ago | (#38642060)

"Global warming means that we're changing a massively complex system"

The Earth's climate is a massively complex system that has been constantly changing for billions of years. The climate wasn't static before we showed up.

Problem is we don't have the slightest clue what climate change is sustainable by the Earth and what changes aren't. If you think of the Earth's life as one 24 hour period, we've been around for a couple seconds. One thing we do know for sure is the Earth has sustained much warmer and much cooler periods than we're living in currently.

Re:Of course (4, Insightful)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38642252)

The Earth certainly has. But humans have a pretty narrow temperature band in which they can live. Humans sweat based temperature regulation would not have functioned over most of the Earth when the dinosaurs ruled.

But really, this isn't about the Earth's survival. It's about Humans. You're right - we haven't been around that long. And it seems that our refusal to acknowledge that we're soiling our niche will ensure that we aren't around for all that long, either.

Re:Of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38642368)

"Global warming means that we're changing a massively complex system. And like all massively complex system, when you tweak the parameters beyond a certain point, the system as a whole can itself wind up altering other parameters drastically as it seeks a new stable state."

Yes, but unlike all other massively complex systems with these properties, the system can be simulated sufficiently accurately to make meaningful predictions about what happens when any parameter is altered. Therefore, though there is risk, we can rely on our climatologists to deliver us from danger.

....

....

...can't we?

already stored? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38641660)

The heat is ALREADY in the oceans. WTF?

So, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38641662)

global warming may save the human race?

Re:So, (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#38642356)

Why? Do you think a bit of ice could kill off all humans?

Re:So, (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#38642472)

Just about 99.95 percent of us. You don't expect Russia, China and the US to go quietly into the cold do you? If it became clear an ice age is dawning, we get uncivilized again.

This is good news. (2, Insightful)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38641664)

This is good news, since many of us live in areas which would be covered with glaciers.

Re:This is good news. (4, Insightful)

jimmerz28 (1928616) | more than 2 years ago | (#38641698)

What about the ones that live in areas that are going to be covered in water?

Re:This is good news. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38641752)

Actually, in terms of surface area, more would be covered by glaciers than by water due to liquid pooling and oceanic expansion.

Granted, warming affects coastlines where people congregate so that sucks, but it would open up a lot of northern land to live and grow food.

Re:This is good news. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38641818)

And all of the methane sequestered in that northern land would be released, furthering global warming. Are we going to end up in a runaway situation, where the only habitable land is at the poles?

Re:This is good news. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38642034)

Good luck finding habitable land at the North Pole!

Re:This is good news. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38641824)

They are part of the global warming conspiracy, and thus we don't need to care.

Re:This is good news. (2)

tmosley (996283) | more than 2 years ago | (#38641900)

If such a thing were to happen, it isn't that hard to move. In fact, it has been done in the past repeatedly. Numerous ancient Roman ports have been excavated well inland.

Further, if warming trends were to continue, the grain belt of the midwestern US would stretch up into Canada, potentially doubling the population support capacity of the farms of North America, to say nothing of those of Russia.

Re:This is good news. (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#38642062)

Further, if warming trends were to continue, the grain belt of the midwestern US would stretch up into Canada, potentially doubling the population support capacity of the farms of North America, to say nothing of those of Russia.

Please note that moving the "grain belt latitudes" into say, central america, would somewhat reduce our total grain production simply due to lack of land.

One requirement to having ice ages is having a lot of land at high latitudes, which means a huge food crunch during ice ages. There's just less biomass.

Being flooded sucks, but at least theoretically florida could be a nice fishery.

Starve to death or build another city... I'm going with the city.

Re:This is good news. (0)

Third Position (1725934) | more than 2 years ago | (#38641988)

What about the ones that live in areas that are going to be covered in water?

Well, given that in the US, that would be the coasts, which is where most of those annoying warmists live.

I fail to see a down side here...

Re:This is good news. (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 2 years ago | (#38642250)

Well, if New Orleans and Dallas are any indication (both of their downtown centers are below the local water level), the seawall building business is going to heat up. If Galveston's proven anything, it's that a 17' seawall is extremely effective, and durable over the 100-year term.

Re:This is good news. (1)

cyberchondriac (456626) | more than 2 years ago | (#38642598)

Either way you look at it, water is the enemy. Let's get rid of the stuff! I propose a giant space straw.. we'll just stick a big pump on the moon and suck it up to the Lunar surface. Instant space beachfront property.

How long will your grandkids be alive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38641800)

two words: time scale.

hmm (5, Insightful)

nomadic (141991) | more than 2 years ago | (#38641668)

Wonder how many hypocrites who previously excoriate all climatologists who caution about global warming as corrupt and biased instantly trumpeting that these brilliant, honest, decent climatologists have to be right because the end result is one that they want.

Re:hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38641810)

the answer would be all of them...right?

do i pass?

where is my cookie?

Re:hmm (-1, Troll)

tmosley (996283) | more than 2 years ago | (#38641976)

Climate skeptics come in all shapes and sizes. I see the logic in many of their positions, and generally take the position that the best path forward is to refrain from attempting to choke human industry with CO2 caps, which applies across ALL eventualities, both pro and anti AGW.

I have yet to see an actual physical argument as to why CO2 contributes more to global warming than does the rest of the atmosphere, as CO2's absorbance spectrum, and thus heat capacity, and thus heat forcing ability is actually LOWER (very slightly) than the average for the rest of the atmosphere, and that the likely reality is that if there is anthropomorphic climate change going on, it is much more likely the result of additional water vapor being pumped into the atmosphere, something that is much more easily fixed.

Re:hmm (1)

phayes (202222) | more than 2 years ago | (#38642536)

It's not hypocritical to criticize those those using global warming to push for extreme changes to actually have meaningful proof that their hypotheses are valid before breaking the economy. The current study, if it is valid, would just make it clear that the climatologists were not as right as they had been trumpeting and that distrust of their hasty conclusions was the correct course.

Children's children (4, Funny)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38641670)

And people said global warming deniers didn't care about future generations. They were trying to help them all along!

Re:Children's children (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38641796)

Is your argument really so weak that you have to cheapen the tragic memory of the Holocaust in order to tear someone down? You really need to reflect on your life and your soul, because you have lost your way.

Re:Children's children (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38641848)

huh? what's the holocaust got to do with any of this?

Re:Children's children (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38642002)

And why am I arguing with myself?

Re:Children's children (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38642134)

I blame myself. Which -- fortunately for me -- is you!

Da Ice Age (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38641836)

Hmmmm, seems to me the ice cores from the last ice age revealed a CO2 concentration 20 times todays readings. Don't know if I trust this prediction. On the other hand, sea levels have not risen, the 50 Million supposed climate refugees from areas that were to have been flooded by now are no where to be found. Indeed, those island areas have actually grown. The Arctic ice has not melted to what it was in 1940-1945 when the RCMP sailed the Ste Roche from Vancouver to Halifax and back through the NW Passage, the AntArctic Ice sheets have grown, the Himalyan Glaciers are chiefly rebounding and there has been no statistical warming in the last decade. Maybe the Ice Age cometh quicker than we expect.

Let's not do anything (3, Insightful)

qmaqdk (522323) | more than 2 years ago | (#38641892)

Let's roll the dice so we don't have to be inconvenienced by sorting our garbage and driving cars with smaller engines.

I don't buy it. (4, Insightful)

SETIGuy (33768) | more than 2 years ago | (#38641938)

I buy that CO2 could prevent or delay the onset of an ice age. What I don't by is the suggestion that an ice age is due to start 1500 years from now. Looking more carefully, I see that the value of CO2 level required to prevent an ice age 1500 years from now is below the pre-industrial level. In other words they've predicted an ice age that would, under no conceivable circumstance, occur and then said, look, it won't occur because of CO2. Yes, but then again our lakes aren't frozen in the summer now because of CO2. Maybe we should send out a press release.

Re:I don't buy it. (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 2 years ago | (#38642048)

This is exactly what the summary says to me.

Human released co2 will prevent next ice age.

Co2 levels required to permit the iceage are preindustrial. This means that human produced co2 from industrial activity will prevent the next iceage.

How is that not exactly what the summary says?

I fail to understand the significance of pointing this out.

Re:I don't buy it. (1)

SETIGuy (33768) | more than 2 years ago | (#38642438)

I think you're understanding. The pre-industrial level was 280 ppm. The amount required to prevent the coming ice age is 240 ppm. Therefore human CO2 emissions are not required to prevent this ice age. It's also why nobody else has predicted that an ice age will start in 1500 years.

I think it's just another step in the decline of "Nature".

Remember the Greening Earth Society (2)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 2 years ago | (#38641972)

Remember the Greening Earth Society?
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Greening_Earth_Society [sourcewatch.org]

In the late 1990s I remember they were out there with an interesting take that not only was the greenhouse effect real, but that we should promote it because it would "make Greenland green again" and otherwise unlock many areas of tundra and for conventional agriculture and human expansion.

Re:Remember the Greening Earth Society (2)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#38642110)

"make Greenland green again"

Greenland wasn't green when the Vikings first landed on it - Eric the Red named it "Greenland" for marketing purposes.

Re:Remember the Greening Earth Society (1)

SETIGuy (33768) | more than 2 years ago | (#38642606)

Eric the Red named it "Greenland" for marketing purposes.

That's one theory. Another is that it was named "Gruntland" because of the shallow bays around it (grunt being a term for shallow bottom related to the English word aground). We probably won't ever know the truth. Other than that it hasn't been green for thousands of years... at minimum.

Under the ice on Greenland we would find lots of rock and gravel. Not much in the way of arable land. The people who think otherwise have never seen melting tundra or a glacier bed.

Looks like we have a goal (1)

L337Wulf (1504555) | more than 2 years ago | (#38641974)

Apparently it is imperative that we keep CO2 levels above 240ppm unless we want to destroy life as we know it. We have an obligation to save the planet and it's inhabitants from dying a slow, cold death!

He did it! (2, Funny)

KIFulgore (972701) | more than 2 years ago | (#38642094)

One thing's for certain: whether coastal cities are under 20 feet of water or up to their asses in ice 2000 years from now, there will still be politicians pointing at each other over whose fault it is.

Re:He did it! (1)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 2 years ago | (#38642478)

I blame magnetic pole reversal.
As we near closer to the the tipping point, the Magnetosphere reduces in strength.
This let's more sun come through...

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