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Recent Warming of Antarctica "Unusual But Not Unprecedented"

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the earth-ain't-static dept.

Earth 163

First time accepted submitter tomhath writes with a link to the abstract (full article paywalled) in Nature of an "Ice core study that concludes that climate change and associated melting of ice in Antarctica is more the norm than the exception, including rapid warming cycles as we appear to be in today. Study concludes: 'Although warming of the northeastern Antarctic Peninsula began around 600 years ago, the high rate of warming over the past century is unusual (but not unprecedented) in the context of natural climate variability over the past two millennia. The connection shown here between past temperature and ice-shelf stability suggests that warming for several centuries rendered ice shelves on the northeastern Antarctic Peninsula vulnerable to collapse.'"

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163 comments

Round 783 (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41095219)

Let the Global Warming flame-wars begin!

Re:Round 783 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41095357)

If you can think of a better way to heat up the climate I'd like to hear it.

Re:Round 783 (2)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about 2 years ago | (#41097235)

Have the elected officials in Washington D.C. give more speeches. They emit enough hot air to melt the Antarctic.

Re:Round 783 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41096317)

Nothing is better than instant gratification.

Save Lake Missoula.

Re:Round 783 (0)

infodragon (38608) | about 2 years ago | (#41096765)

Scientists first observed global warming in 1895. Then in 1920 they said it was global cooling. Then in 1935 they said there was global warming, but then in 1975 they said it was the verge of a new Ice Age but then it became global warming again. But that is all old news. Let's stop talking about discredited work and move on...

Re:Round 783 (1, Informative)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 years ago | (#41096887)

WRONG. There was NEVER consensus as to the cooling. Not ever. In fact, it was never more then a tiny percent of climatologist.

Re:Round 783 (4, Funny)

starless (60879) | about 2 years ago | (#41097181)

WRONG. There was NEVER consensus as to the cooling. Not ever. In fact, it was never more then a tiny percent of climatologist.

You can try to pretend that cooling was "never" predicted. However, the inconvenient truth is that the seminal, and highly cited, work of Strummer et al. (1979) clearly predicted an incipient increase in ice coverage. As they stated (repeatedly):
The ice age is coming, the sun's zooming in
Meltdown expected, the wheat is growing thin

At least, that's the only work I know of from that era that predicts another ice age soon...

Re:Round 783 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41097281)

There's not a "consensus" on Global Warming either. Not that a consensus is anything at all related to Science.

Re:Round 783 (1)

infodragon (38608) | about 2 years ago | (#41097531)

Woosh!

If we stick our collective heads in the sand... (1, Troll)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | about 2 years ago | (#41095243)

If we stick our collective heads in the sand for long enough...

they will burn off.

Re:If we stick our collective heads in the sand... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41095459)

Oh sorry, I'll just flip this magic switch that sets collective worldwide pollution from "emit" to "collect".

Whew! That was close!

JUST SAY NO TO FLASH! (3, Funny)

Thud457 (234763) | about 2 years ago | (#41096417)

By my calculations, if everybody ran flashblock, we could reduce global warming by 17,000,000,000,000,000 Watts a year. Better bring a sweater.

Mod story down (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41095349)

Story goes against slashdot groupthink. Climate deniers are stupid M$ users. Mod down!

Re:Mod story down (5, Insightful)

medv4380 (1604309) | about 2 years ago | (#41095533)

Say what you want, but I've been having a hard time gauging Slashdot GroupThink on the subject of Climate change. It's ether:
A) Climate Deniers are Stupid
B) Climate Deniers are Justified
or
C) You're just a shill
It really seems to come down to which group has the most Mod Points or which group has the most dedication to the thread. Each side just views the other as Trolls so it goes nowhere.

Re:Mod story down (4, Funny)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 2 years ago | (#41095787)

Shut up, you stupid, justified shill of a troll.

Re:Mod story down (3, Interesting)

jeffmeden (135043) | about 2 years ago | (#41095815)

Say what you want, but I've been having a hard time gauging Slashdot GroupThink on the subject of Climate change. It's ether:

A) Climate Deniers are Stupid

B) Climate Deniers are Justified

or

C) You're just a shill

It really seems to come down to which group has the most Mod Points or which group has the most dedication to the thread. Each side just views the other as Trolls so it goes nowhere.

Agreed, on top of the fact that expending energy on this particular study is wasteful. The story might as well be "water wet, sky blue", basically it's just more evidence that was already had, that temperature variations in the past have happened naturally (read: change MIGHT be non-anthropogenic.) Given that it's not proof or even indicative of anything happening in the present (since there was not a change taking place until after the point where anthropogenic affects came into being) it is particularly only useful to the deniers, so expect to see a lot of that.

Re:Mod story down (4, Insightful)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 2 years ago | (#41096845)

Say what you want, but I've been having a hard time gauging Slashdot GroupThink on the subject of Climate change. It's ether:

A) Climate Deniers are Stupid

B) Climate Deniers are Justified

or

C) You're just a shill

It really seems to come down to which group has the most Mod Points or which group has the most dedication to the thread. Each side just views the other as Trolls so it goes nowhere.

Agreed, on top of the fact that expending energy on this particular study is wasteful. The story might as well be "water wet, sky blue", basically it's just more evidence that was already had, that temperature variations in the past have happened naturally (read: change MIGHT be non-anthropogenic.) Given that it's not proof or even indicative of anything happening in the present (since there was not a change taking place until after the point where anthropogenic affects came into being) it is particularly only useful to the deniers, so expect to see a lot of that.

That's the difference between Science and cherry-picking facts to justify one's position. The normal pattern of fluctuation confirms nothing but that the normal pattern IS fluctuation. Climate Change doesn't happen in isolation or for only a single reason. It's part of a large and untidy cloud of general statistics of which this is just one.

Re:Mod story down (1)

wbr1 (2538558) | about 2 years ago | (#41096117)

Say what you want, but I've been having a hard time gauging Slashdot GroupThink on the subject of Climate change. It's ether: A) Climate Deniers are Stupid B) Climate Deniers are Justified or C) You're just a shill It really seems to come down to which group has the most Mod Points or which group has the most dedication to the thread. Each side just views the other as Trolls so it goes nowhere.

So, you are saying its like american society and government? Did'nt know /. was such a good mirror.

Re:Mod story down (1)

medv4380 (1604309) | about 2 years ago | (#41096471)

Kinda, I'm more saying that the GroupThink on /. on this issue isn't nearly as clear cut as the different sides think it is. The GroupThink is there but it's just not a single /. group.

Re:Mod story down (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41097379)

Which claim does the evidence you presented better support:

A. The issue is settled
B. The issue is not settled.

Re:Mod story down (4, Interesting)

zmooc (33175) | about 2 years ago | (#41095965)

Climate deniers? This has nothing to do with them. No unusual warming is predicted for Antarctica for now. Global warming is expected to make the ocean currents that surround Antarctica stronger, thereby isolating it from warming factors and preventing it from heating up significantly for some time to come. It's a pity Al Gore's Unconvenient Truth has incorrectly linked the breaking up of the Ross ice shelf to global warming, leading many to believe something unusual is going on on Antarctica while it is not. Yet.

Re:Mod story down (0)

infodragon (38608) | about 2 years ago | (#41096797)

It's not just /. groupthink...

One summer morning, scientists watching the expansion of mercury in a thermometer all realized: the Earth was getting hotter! If the trend continued unabated, spontaneous fires would start everywhere and entire forests, jungles, and cities would burn down. It was simple arithmetic.

Their eyes met and they knew they were all thinking the same thing: A soft life through endless government research grants. Lifetime sinecures not just for cousins of legislators! This was the first case of scientific consensus. In fact, science previously had not been conducted through votes and consensus at all. These scientists reached an equally unprecedented conclusion that has echoed through legislative hearing rooms ever since: The science is settled!

Re:Mod story down (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41096937)

Here's a hint: if the temperature in your house is 5 degrees warmer than usual it could be because it is a very warm day and your A/C unit is broke. It could also be because your house just caught on fire. In the latter case it is going to get a lot warmer, like the Earth.

Extinctions (5, Insightful)

pr0nbot (313417) | about 2 years ago | (#41095359)

Mass extinctions are also unusual (but not unprecedented). Doesn't mean we shouldn't try to avoid causing them!

Re:Extinctions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41095605)

How many ice ages we've had during last couple of millenias? I remember one ended about 10,000 years ago and during it large parts of Northern hemisphere were under a few km's of ice.

Re:Extinctions (5, Funny)

dietdew7 (1171613) | about 2 years ago | (#41096147)

How old are you?

Re:Extinctions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41096399)

I remember Lake Missoula.
I remember Acid Rain.
I remember Water Conservation.
I remember rotary dial telephones.

Where where you when JFK was shot?

That old, if you must ask,

Re:Extinctions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41096893)

whoosh!

he asked as you said "I remember one ended about 10,000 years ago" implying that you were over 10,000 years old...

Re:Extinctions (2)

riverat1 (1048260) | about 2 years ago | (#41096521)

I don't think that word means what you think it does. 10,000 years is 10 millenia.

Re:Extinctions (1)

Petron (1771156) | about 2 years ago | (#41095939)

Dinosaurs killed my ancestors you insensitive clod!

Re:Extinctions (2, Insightful)

pubwvj (1045960) | about 2 years ago | (#41097031)

Mass extinctions are predominantly associated with global cooling and isolated extra-terrestial visitors, e.g., impacts. Global warming is associated with greater species diversity and expansion of life on Earth. Prepare for the dawning of a new age of bio-diversity. People just don't like it because it is change.

Re:Extinctions (3, Interesting)

tbannist (230135) | about 2 years ago | (#41097463)

There's only 5 mass extinctions in the geological record and at least one may have been caused by an episode of global warming [economist.com] :

The strong inference from all this is that the late-Triassic mass-extinction was, indeed, caused by CO2-induced global warming. Things simply got too hot for most plants to photosynthesise.

Re:Extinctions (2)

riverat1 (1048260) | about 2 years ago | (#41097661)

Mass extinctions are associated with drastic change whatever the direction it goes. For instance the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum [wikipedia.org] was a time of mass extinction.

Re:Extinctions (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41097551)

We should also stop natural selection and gravity... Natural selection because it's inherently unfair to ugly people and slow runners. Gravity cause falling down hurts.

Oh phew (0)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 2 years ago | (#41095363)

Since this is the sole and most serious problem associated with global warming, let's continue to release lots and lots of greenhouse gases.

Re:Oh phew (-1, Troll)

i kan reed (749298) | about 2 years ago | (#41095501)

Look, I don't think you understand how science works.

Thousands of studies with use long-term empirical evidence to examine a main hypothesis and end up supporting it from numerous different directions: anecdotal, and easily dismissed.

One study that makes an assertion that SOUNDS LIKE it contradicts what people believe is a secondary hypothesis: complete and valid scientific invalidation.

It's not like it's already a well-acknowledged fact that antarctic warming appears to be slower than the rest of the world already or anything.

Re:Oh phew (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41095657)

You apparently kan rad but kannot understand the concept of sarcasm.

Re:Oh phew (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 2 years ago | (#41095919)

Man I thought I was well clear of the Poe zone...

Re:Oh phew (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 2 years ago | (#41095967)

You were. I'm not sure what you're reading that makes you think I was taking your post seriously.

Re:Oh phew (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 2 years ago | (#41095997)

I think we need a name for when it's hard to tell meta-sarcasm from disagreement.

Re:Oh phew (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 years ago | (#41096921)

If only someone would put some sort of punctuation suggest in their sig to denote this kind of stuff~

Re:Oh phew (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 2 years ago | (#41095947)

Nope, there's no way I was both aware of that and building on the same sarcastic foundation. nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnope, I must clearly be an idiot.

Local Climate is not Global Climate (5, Insightful)

RichMan (8097) | about 2 years ago | (#41095405)

Climate on a penninsula is vulnerable to changes in ocean currents. I would say nothing to see here unless global climates can be correlated with the local climate.

Re:Local Climate is not Global Climate (3, Interesting)

tbannist (230135) | about 2 years ago | (#41095951)

Quite true, although there are some other interesting bits in the summary:

Continued warming to temperatures that now exceed the stable conditions of most of the Holocene epoch is likely to cause ice-shelf instability to encroach farther southward along the Antarctic Peninsula.

Another interesting tidbit:

the Antarctic Peninsula did not experience a widespread Medieval Warm Period/Little Ice Age sequence comparable to Northern Hemisphere climate at that time.

So it appears the peninsula did not experience the Medieval Warm Period and it's now about the maximum temperature it's been at since the last ice age (and still warming). Additionally, if there was a global MWP, then the peninsula may be so disconnected from global temperature trends that looking at it is next to useless, although the lack of a MWP/LI sequence is also evidence that the MWP/LI sequence either wasn't global or wasn't strong enough to affect the peninsula.

Re:Local Climate is not Global Climate (2)

C0R1D4N (970153) | about 2 years ago | (#41096257)

Antarctica is isolated weather wise due to the Antarctic Current [wikipedia.org] .

If Antarctica was connected physically to south America or Australia (or both) it could possibly be ice free and get a jetstream like effect from the south pacific.

Soon... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41095427)

The Old Ones shall rise and embrace the earth in their dark and horrible glory.

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!

Re:Soon... (4, Funny)

dildos_akimbo (2714029) | about 2 years ago | (#41095509)

I for one welcome our new...old....ones overlords!

not unprecedented (5, Insightful)

Dynedain (141758) | about 2 years ago | (#41095457)

Anything up to and including the entire planet being a blob of molten matter would be "not unprecedented".

Just because the world was really hot during the Jurassic does not mean that humans would enjoy living in that state again.

Re:not unprecedented (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41095649)

High amounts of oxygen, giant bugs, velociraptors .. what's not to like?

Re:not unprecedented (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 2 years ago | (#41095877)

Velociraptors?

Re:not unprecedented (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#41096097)

Giant bugs?

Re:not unprecedented (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41096873)

Oxygen?

Re:not unprecedented (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41097025)

High?

Re:not unprecedented (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 2 years ago | (#41096881)

Giant bugs?

We already have Florida for that.

Re:not unprecedented (2, Insightful)

scrout (814004) | about 2 years ago | (#41095823)

The point is should we spend $4 quadrillion dollars to get the 393ppm CO2 level back to 350ppm? How is the Australia and UK carbon tax schemes affecting worldwide CO2 levels vs. their pocketbooks? I am all for science, but a lot of folks seem to want my money now.

Re:not unprecedented (4, Informative)

tbannist (230135) | about 2 years ago | (#41096151)

To put it in perspective, the estimate is that it would cost between 1-2% of world GDP (roughly equal to cost of sewer systems) to stabilise CO2 levels. And that estimate doesn't take into account technological innovation that might be spurred by the process. As I understand it, the estimates of the costs related to reducing sulphur oxide (SO) and Nitrous Oxide (NOx) levels turned out to be vastly over estimated by the industries involved. Both of those substances are currently regulated in the U.S. using cap and trade systems.

Re:not unprecedented (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | about 2 years ago | (#41096631)

It's a matter of cost/benefit. If spending $4 quadrillion saves you $6 quadrillion in costs then it's worth it.

Re:not unprecedented (1, Redundant)

FhnuZoag (875558) | about 2 years ago | (#41096373)

Yeah.

1. This is a single study, of a single location.
2. The study *did* find that the temperature rise is in the upper 0.3% of the time period investigated.
3. There's significant error bars on the temperatures reconstructed, so I think the authors are overegging their data a little to claim that it's definitely not unprecedented.

The story summary claiming that current warming is more the norm than the except is plainly inaccurate.

Also, it's probably volcanos (2, Informative)

FhnuZoag (875558) | about 2 years ago | (#41096605)

Also, I think reasonable explanations exist for the periods of fast warming they found in ~200 AD, and 1600AD - looking at the chart, they were generally preceeded by large downward spikes, and represented the temperature restoring to its previous level. My speculation is that these events correspond to the gigantic volcanic eruptions in Taupo at around 200AD, and maybe Huaynaputina at 1600AD. Large eruptions project large amounts of sulphates into the atmosphere, which has a strong, but temporary cooling effect. When these sulphates disappear from the atmosphere in a matter of decades, this would lead to dramatic warming, as the climate 'catches up'.

Lies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41095497)

This can not be true because it does not conform to my bias. This is a republican inspired conspiracy!

Stay out of the mountains (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 2 years ago | (#41095543)

As long as they keep out of the mountains, the people there should be fine.

Tekeli-li !

And? (1)

arekin (2605525) | about 2 years ago | (#41095575)

Warming has happened in the past? Cool. This does not rule out the fact that we are causing the warming to happen this time.

Mis-use of science (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41095589)

A whole bunch of people do research and say the planet is getting warmer. More people back up the research and verify it. Okay, the planet is getting warmer. Here's what we think we should do to stop it from getting too warm to support most life. Yay! Problem solved -- BY SCIENCE!

Another bunch of people don't think the solution is, um, 'cost effective', in that it would inversely affect the amount of money they might be able to make. So, they do SCIENCE and come up with research that seems to refute the impact of the first research, or trivialize it, or in some way make it seem like doing nothing would be the best option.

Here's the problem: the first research IS STILL CORRECT. They haven't debunked the 'global warming' research so it is still the best bet for what is going on. Trying to convince the world that sitting on our collective hands will be just find will doom us all.

Re:Mis-use of science (3, Insightful)

SocietyoftheFist (316444) | about 2 years ago | (#41095779)

The planet is going to do what it will, no matter what we think or do. We've been doing research for how long? How big is our data pool? It is hubris to think that we know the answers, especially when you consider studies like this and the evidence of Norther Europe being warmer than right now within the last 2000 years shows that we don't know jack shit. I'd like to see a climate model and simulation that starts around the time of the national weather service and correctly and accurately predicts current conditions. I'd have more faith then.

Re:Mis-use of science (2, Interesting)

SlippyToad (240532) | about 2 years ago | (#41096049)

The planet is going to do what it will, no matter what we think or do

Bullshit. We have the power to re-shape our world. That has been demonstrated. That our environment is ALSO capricious is not an excuse for shitting in our own water, eating our own seed corn, and befouling our own air.

Re:Mis-use of science (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41096105)

It's hubris to think that we can continually shit where we eat without incurring any long-term negative effects.

Re:Mis-use of science (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41096935)

It's folly to think you can say nothing intelligent about a subject until you know all the answers.

Evolution has been going on nearly as long as the climate has been changing, do we have nothing to say on that subject either? Will you withhold judgement on it until someone can start a simulation that starts when humans and other apes diverged and correctly predicts the species around us today?

Our data is continually growing and thus we're refining our view, but nothing new in the data has cause major upheaval in climate views, so we're probably not on a really crazy track right now.

Re:Mis-use of science (2)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 years ago | (#41097009)

This, again?
Do you even read anything on this topic? You're post, and many like it have been shot to hell over and over again.
Why do you keep posting this crap they doesn't nothing more then let everyone know who you are wallowing in ignorance.

Re:Mis-use of science (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41096461)

~"Okay, the planet is getting warmer. Here's what we think we should do to stop it from getting too warm to support most life. Yay! Problem solved -- BY SCIENCE!"~

Well, no. IF the warming is/was being caused by man, then we try to do something to stop the warming.

If the warming is not caused by man, if it is a natural cycle, then no we do not try to do something to stop it. Those of us who can, adapt to it. Those who cant, dont.

Re:Mis-use of science (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 2 years ago | (#41097071)

So a huge asteroid is going to collide with earth we should just do nothing and let the "natural cycle" take its course? Since man didn't cause the asteroid to be on course to kill us all we shouldn't do something to stop it?

Mankind alters the environment to suit himself, why do you think we should suddenly stop doing that?

climate change is the only consistency (4, Insightful)

onyxruby (118189) | about 2 years ago | (#41095751)

There is no such thing as normal. Normal is only a concept that we as humans have because we live such pathetically short lives. Normal simply isn't a natural concept, and we need to quit thinking of nature as being "normal" and start accepting that "change" in part of the natural cycle and learn to adapt with it.

The climate always has gone from warmer to colder and back and forth. Mostly it has been warmer, but it has also spent a fair amount of time under ice ages as well. I live in a place where I am 2000 miles from the nearest ocean and yet can find sea shells in my back yard from time to time. Things change and we need to quit fighting change and learn to adapt to our environment as our environment changes around us.

The continents will shift (there's a museum in Paris with an exhibit I have heard about that depicts how far the North American plate moves away from the European plate each year). Antarctica will eventually move away from the pole and simply melt. Other natural phenomenon will occur and we have to accept that we are simply one part of nature and to learn to live as part of it.

That being said, there is no reason not be be responsible with the environment and fight pollution for the sake of fighting pollution. Living sustainably is something that we have to do as our population becomes ever larger and we need to increase efforts for green energy like nuclear, thorium, solar and geothermal power sources. I really wish people would set aside politics on this and let science do the talking.....

And What of the Rate of Change? (3, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 2 years ago | (#41096065)

There is no such thing as normal. Normal is only a concept that we as humans have because we live such pathetically short lives. Normal simply isn't a natural concept, and we need to quit thinking of nature as being "normal" and start accepting that "change" in part of the natural cycle and learn to adapt with it.

But there is such a thing as rate of change, right? And we can measure how long it took to get from temperature A to temperature B historically and we can then look at our own time period and compare how quickly or slowly the temperature is changing, right? The funny thing about life on Earth is that it's probably always going to be here in some form or fashion but it's those unicellular organisms that need lengths of time to adjust to extreme weather.

The climate always has gone from warmer to colder and back and forth. Mostly it has been warmer, but it has also spent a fair amount of time under ice ages as well. I live in a place where I am 2000 miles from the nearest ocean and yet can find sea shells in my back yard from time to time. Things change and we need to quit fighting change and learn to adapt to our environment as our environment changes around us.

Or perhaps we can adjust our actions to limit the amount of change? Why do you use a waste disposal system in your house? Why not just throw garbage and urine and feces where ever you want inside your house? You can always learn to adapt to your environment, right? You'll get used to the smell, you'll learn to make friends with the raccoons and cockroaches living in the debris -- possibly even feed off them. So why do you take these basic precautions to keep your home clean? Is your planning not comparable to policies that aim to keep the Earth clean?

The continents will shift (there's a museum in Paris with an exhibit I have heard about that depicts how far the North American plate moves away from the European plate each year). Antarctica will eventually move away from the pole and simply melt. Other natural phenomenon will occur and we have to accept that we are simply one part of nature and to learn to live as part of it.

Again we're talking about a process that takes tens of thousands of years versus what we've done in the past hundred years. The rate at which we are influencing our environment is increasing as our population increases. The Earth's plates are not speeding up. I don't understand your analogy nor do I see how it makes our problem seem unimportant -- plate movements have been known to be catastrophic for humans.

That being said, there is no reason not be be responsible with the environment and fight pollution for the sake of fighting pollution. Living sustainably is something that we have to do as our population becomes ever larger and we need to increase efforts for green energy like nuclear, thorium, solar and geothermal power sources.

So I guess we can agree on that. Our record so far on sustainability hasn't been reflected too well in the ocean. And burning fossil fuels is directly influencing it [reuters.com] in addition to just plain overfishing. So is it still taboo to start to talk about curbing that stuff?

I really wish people would set aside politics on this and let science do the talking.....

Funny, your post about "times change deal with it" really seems to undermine nearly all the published peer review research on the topic. Your post is a shining example to me of how someone can interject their own politics and policies into a scientific endeavor and masquerade as being the voice of reason and science themselves. Tell me, what sort of first hand results have you collected and examined that I obviously do not have access to?

Re:And What of the Rate of Change? (2)

phantomfive (622387) | about 2 years ago | (#41097153)

But there is such a thing as rate of change, right? And we can measure how long it took to get from temperature A to temperature B historically and we can then look at our own time period and compare how quickly or slowly the temperature is changing, right?

Not sure if you read the summary, but it mentions the rate of change is not unprecedented.

Tell me, what sort of first hand results have you collected and examined that I obviously do not have access to?

The summary, apparently!

Re:And What of the Rate of Change? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41097199)

Way to quote that out of context, it was clearly in response to onyxruby's allusions of the climate becoming warmer and colder, not TFA.

Re:And What of the Rate of Change? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41097233)

Tell me, what sort of first hand results have you collected and examined that I obviously do not have access to?

The summary, apparently!

A summary on a news aggregator referencing a peer reviewed journal is what you call "first hand results"? Ah, what modern science has become ...

Re:climate change is the only consistency (3, Interesting)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about 2 years ago | (#41096179)

Ok, look. Climate change happens naturally, no one is disputing that. The thing is, this particular climate change has a real possibility of being much more sudden than those natural variations. It takes thousands of years for the climate to change a few degrees C naturally, the rates we are seeing will have those changes in less than 100. Over 1000s of years, plants and animals can migrate, change behaviors, and even evolve, rapid change will make that much more difficult or impossible. Not to mention, this climate change is going to be laid over top of the natural changes, if the natural cycle goes up and down 4C, and we lay our 3 degree addition over top of it, all the sudden you've got a global climate that hasn't been seen since dinosaurs were the dominant life form.

But hey, lets just keep ignoring it. After all, I survived getting hit by several dodge balls as a kid, I'm sure I can take a hit from this wrecking ball too, it's essentially the same thing after all.

Re:climate change is the only consistency (4, Interesting)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#41096275)

Here's the problem. You're likely correct - at least to some point. However, if you are at all interested in the 'fate of mankind' i.e., everybody else, then you notice that humans a perched on a fairly narrow ledge in terms of the survivability of large swatches of population. If you preturb the climate, especially if the changes are relatively rapid, a lot of people are going to a) starve b) displaced c) not be particularly happy about a and b and try to get a resources of those who aren't so drastically affected.

That leads to conflict, upheaval, war and pestilence - fairly typical (but generally frowned upon) human behaviors.

Note that climate pressures on human settlements are often the driver for abandonment / downfalls of civilizations (the Diamond and Tainter arguments) - it's just with 7 billion (or whatever) of us on the planet we're capable of making some really big messes at present.

Then there are the persons of the tree hugging persuasion who feel that it's morally indefensible to take the entire planet down so we can have iPods and Big Macs. Your personal moral codes may vary.

Re:climate change is the only consistency (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#41096313)

Either Slashdot gets an edit function (come on, it can't be that hard) or I quit posting until my blood caffeine levels are up in the therapeutic range. grrr.

Re:climate change is the only consistency (2, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 2 years ago | (#41096281)

That being said, there is no reason not be be responsible with the environment and fight pollution for the sake of fighting pollution.

Sure there is: If I'm owning a corporation doing the polluting, I stand to make a very large sum of money by ignoring the problem. Of course, everybody else might be a bit upset about this, but I can use some of that cash to buy off politicians to ensure that those annoyed masses don't actually have the power to stop me, and some more of the cash to fund "Institutes" and "think tanks" and media organizations to legitimately convince people that that what I'm doing isn't a problem.

Purely hypothetical, of course.

Re:climate change is the only consistency (2, Interesting)

na1led (1030470) | about 2 years ago | (#41096409)

You're forgetting the fact that this planet never had a species like Humans for Millions of Years. We have done more damage to this planet in the last few hundred years, than nature could do in thousands of years. We already cut down 1/3 of the trees, and look how much live stock we have, just because we like the taste of meat. This planet has been at peace for a long time, until we infected it.

Re:climate change is the only consistency (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41096957)

Typical self hater. Just shot yourself and be done with it.

Some guy made a documentary somewhere explaining that we could save an ungodly amount of money dealing with the results of Global Warming rather than trying to stop GW which we can't. GW at best can only be slowed. Sooner or later we are going to have to deal with warmer temps. Let's just skip the insanely expensive and worthless attempts to curb Co2 and just deal with the problems.

Re:climate change is the only consistency (1)

ScentCone (795499) | about 2 years ago | (#41097217)

This planet has been at peace for a long time, until we infected it.

I'm curious which scripting language and platform you used to post this after you killed yourself in the interests of the planet.

this planet never had a species like Humans

The planet has had all sorts of very destructive, greenhouse-gas-emitting species. Including gigantic herds of mult-ton herbivores capable of srtipping the vegitation from an entire valley in a week before moving on. Wildly more species are extinct than exist, and this was true long before we came along.

Re:climate change is the only consistency (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41096689)

I looked this up by the way and some sources are saying that this happens every 150 years, those claims are false and ill informed. The truth is that this has only happened 4 times in 2000 years and the only event that comes remotely close in scale or rapidity to this one was the event in 750AD that effectively shut down the Atlantic Conveyor belt and plunged Europe into a period history refers to as the Dark Ages and Climatologist consider a "mini ice age". I really don't care about stopping climate change, the time for that has long passed and so arguments about whether or not we caused it are moot . I think instead we need to start preparing to live through the consequences, which sooner than we think, might include an ice age.

Re:climate change is the only consistency (1, Insightful)

kenorland (2691677) | about 2 years ago | (#41096701)

There's quite a bit more known. Since about 7 million years ago, we have been in a continuous ice age, with rapid cycling between warmer and colder periods. We're currently towards the end of a warm period, which started about 20000 years ago.

Unless man-made global warming is strong enough, within somewhere between a few hundred and a few thousand years, temperatures are going to start dropping rapidly, and within another few thousand years, large parts of Europe and North America will be covered by ice sheets again.

Re:climate change is the only consistency (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41097149)

BLASPHEMER!!!!

Almost anything could be considered Unprecedented (0)

na1led (1030470) | about 2 years ago | (#41095759)

If you go back far enough in time, I'm sure you'll find a similar event that's happening today, but has it all happened at once? Too many unusual events are occurring at the same time to be considered UNPRECEDENTED, IMO.

No such thing as 'man made global warming' (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41096131)

www.climatedepot.com

When will you idiots give this cult up?

Re:No such thing as 'man made global warming' (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41096553)

A site run by CFACT, "a conservative Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization whose stated mission is to promote free market solutions to environmental problems." Yeah, those guys aren't politically motivated.

Re:No such thing as 'man made global warming' (1)

fredrated (639554) | about 2 years ago | (#41096731)

About the time you idiots quit posting.

Just more proof that "climate change" is a hoax. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41096337)

Not that I expect the anti-science liberal leftists who are trying to cram global warming down our throats and make us pay more taxes will care. These are the same scumbag assholes who still try to force our children to get dangerous vaccinations and who want to brain wash them that they "evolved" from monkeys. These fuckers will not stop until every last vestige of thousands of years of western scientific and moral thought has been wiped clean to make room for their idiotic beliefs.

Re:Just more proof that "climate change" is a hoax (1)

DeTech (2589785) | about 2 years ago | (#41096523)

Obvious troll is obvious.

Re:Just more proof that "climate change" is a hoax (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | about 2 years ago | (#41096725)

These fuckers will not stop until every last vestige of thousands of years of western scientific and moral thought has been wiped clean to make room for their idiotic beliefs.

Looks like you got a head start on that.

Let's just say that's it's normal... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41096609)

The amount of pollution we create is still astronomically high. It's like peeing your pants, and as we all know; that will only keep you warm for so long. Besides, there's been far more conclusive evidence than this that climate change is being heavily influenced by our activities.

It's not evidence against or for global warming... (5, Informative)

divisionbyzero (300681) | about 2 years ago | (#41096713)

I wasn't going to respond since I have mod points and figured I'd mod up a good response instead. Too bad it's all been cheerleading for believers and deniers. Anyhow, this result isn't evidence for or against climate change. It's another data point. The fact that people think it is evidence for one side or the other shows most people still don't understand climate change. I know statistics and thermodynamics are hard as are non-linear systems. Blah, blah, blah.

Here's the deal. Global warming refers to *average* temperature increase. In order for the average temperature to increase we should expect a higher frequency of warmer events or events driven by increasing warmth. We're not in a pot on a stove over a fire that constantly increases in temperature (actually don't pick at that analogy too much because at a microscopic level it is somewhat similar). As global average temperature increases we should see more warm days but not necessarily the hottest days ever recorded. So, in this case, if we see more frequent unusual events like this one or not, then we might have some evidence one way or the other, but by itself it tells us nothing.

Published by Creationists against climate change! (1, Funny)

Paracelcus (151056) | about 2 years ago | (#41096963)

And Mothers against Gay Marriage, Hillbillies for (foreign religious book that starts with a K) burning and rednecks for capital punishment!
And the Flat Earth Society!

Boiler Plate Restatement of the Theory (2)

Stirling Newberry (848268) | about 2 years ago | (#41096993)

Once all natural forcing is taken into account, the Earth's atmosphere is warmer than it should be, and the only explanatory cause is the release of greenhouse gases from human activity.

Of course that means we want to study the baseline climate variability, because that is how we find ways of confirming, refuting, or improving the above stated theory. That climate varies, even more than by the amount cause by human activity, is obvious from the climate record, and in the cases of natural climate variation, we want to look for proxies as to what the natural forcing was that caused it. AGW is the delta between the climate that should be without AGW, and what is observed. The long increase in Antartic ice size should have decelerated, but not reversed into a historically abnormal warming (specifically if you pull down the supplemental data, there are four, and perhaps five similarly rapid warming events in their studied period in the geographic area that the scientists looked at).

What irks people who study climate is that "natural variability" is the latest foxhole for "burn more carbon until catastrophic events occur in the present." The "Carbon until catastrophe" paradigm is the fall back from the denial paradigm, with the usual suspects pimping it in the usual places.

"Year without a summer" = 0.4C to 0.7C change (4, Informative)

Maow (620678) | about 2 years ago | (#41097129)

The Year without a Summer [wikipedia.org] (1816) had a global temperature drop of 0.4C to 0.7C.

It was thought to be caused by a series of volcanic eruptions combined with an historic low in solar activity.

The result was:

major food shortages across the Northern Hemisphere.[3][4]

Historian John D. Post has called this "the last great subsistence crisis in the Western world".[5]

The result was regional malnutrition, starvation, epidemic,[clarification needed] and increased mortality.

Famine was prevalent in north and southwest Ireland, following the failure of wheat, oats, and potato harvests. The crisis was severe in Germany, where food prices rose sharply. Due to the unknown cause of the problems, demonstrations in front of grain markets and bakeries, followed by riots, arson, and looting, took place in many European cities. It was the worst famine of the 19th century.[8][11]

All that and more with a global variation of <1 degree Celsius.

It really is in our interest to keep global temperature averages from fluctuating too far from what we're accustomed to if possible. The repercussions with such a dramatically larger population could be catastrophic.

At Last!!!! (1)

Angrywhiteshoes (2440876) | about 2 years ago | (#41097419)

Adolf Hitler's secret Nazi base will finally be revealed ( source[totally legit]: http://youtu.be/EcZOQWRMnCc [youtu.be] ) and we can use his portal to enter Atlantis.

Proof... (2)

otaku244 (1804244) | about 2 years ago | (#41097459)

We can legitimately rape our planet and... you know...the planet has a way of shutting the whole "global warming" thing down. (Too soon?)
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