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Global Temperatures Are Close To 11,000-Year Peak

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the but-it-was-cold-yesterday dept.

Earth 416

ananyo writes "Global average temperatures are now higher than they have been for about 75% of the past 11,300 years, a study published in Science suggests. Researchers have reconstructed global climate trends all the way back to when the Northern Hemisphere was emerging from the most recent ice age. They looked at 73 overlapping temperature records including sediment cores drilled from lake bottoms and sea floors around the world, and ice cores collected in Antarctica and Greenland. For some records, the researchers inferred past temperatures from the ratio of magnesium and calcium ions in the shells of microscopic creatures that had died and dropped to the ocean floor; for others, they measured the lengths of long-chain organic molecules called alkenones that were trapped in the sediments. From the first decade of the twentieth century to now, global average temperatures rose from near their coldest point since the ice age to nearly their warmest, they report (abstract)."

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If only we could figure out.. (5, Funny)

helobugz (2849599) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118117)

If only we could figure out how the cave men managed to make the earth cool off for the last ten millenia...

Re:If only we could figure out.. (4, Insightful)

mspohr (589790) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118423)

They had a very limited ability to burn hydrocarbons.

Re:If only we could figure out.. (-1)

lobiusmoop (305328) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118653)

Re:If only we could figure out.. (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118765)

That's not what your graph says? I'm confused. Am I just being obtuse and you're saying we'll burn all of it?

Re:If only we could figure out.. (2)

Nixoloco (675549) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118823)

Maybe he meant we still have a limited ability in the sense that we will eventually run out of them.

Re:If only we could figure out.. (1)

kenh (9056) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118761)

Cow farts are the scourge of today, I guess the cavemen had to deal with Dinosaur farts "back in the day'...

Re:If only we could figure out.. (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118451)

They didn't. It was cool to begin with, and slowly warming up. Also, by 10000 BP, there were no cavemen anymore. Also, when there *were* cavemen, they were not the only ones living here. See, there weren't enough caves for all the people.

Re:If only we could figure out.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43118483)

Its all that Bayrac O Bamer's fault!

If we dinnt have Teknologistics, we wudnt be der best cuntri in der wurld!

Teknologis an industri wil salv it!

Re:If only we could figure out.. (1, Troll)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118519)

This will be modded down because it conflicts with the meme worldviews of many here (even this itself as a successful prediction carries no weight with these quasi-sentient meme carrying cogs) but do we want to reverse it?

You would risk inducing another ice age...and for what benefit? Slowing sea rise over a century or three?

By introducing great government controls (economy doesn't care why) you will slow down technological development. How stupid would ancestors of 100-300 years ago have been to put clamps on industrialization? Would we be better off with, maybe, year 1900-level tech today?

Absolutely, murderously not. Mass-murderously. Mass-murderously squared.

Yet the difference between now and 300 years from now will be far greater than now and 300 years ago. DO NOTHING HAT GETS IN THE WAY OF A POWERFUL ECONOMY.

Re:If only we could figure out.. (3, Insightful)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118539)

Actually you would modded down for an inane post and nothing else.

Re:If only we could figure out.. (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118737)

I don't know it sounds to me like he has the plot to Deus Ex: Human Revolution down pat.

It's at least a good question to ask even though he states it as a fact.

I think there are some people out there who fear what 300 years may be like from now. It's to bad because without judgment because you know we cannot predict the future so well yet. It might be good.

The answer is to know and make our own choices. I would probably draw the line at violating freedom for the advancement of technology.

Re:If only we could figure out.. (5, Insightful)

GodInHell (258915) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118661)

By introducing great government controls (economy doesn't care why) you will slow down technological development. How stupid would ancestors of 100-300 years ago have been to put clamps on industrialization? Would we be better off with, maybe, year 1900-level tech today?

You mean like the hundreds and thousands of laws we put in place to control and limit the abuses of industrialization - from labor rights, to tarriff controls to bar dumping, to environmental controls to prevent pouring spent lubricants into our lakes and rivers, etc. I think it seems to have worked out pretty well when we've, say, stopped industry from hiring 8 year olds - even though it is absolutely provably true that their little hands ARE better at fitting into tight spaces between trapped gears to release them -- and other dangerous tasks in tight spaces.

Re:If only we could figure out.. (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118751)

By introducing great government controls (economy doesn't care why) you will slow down technological development.

Limitations on experimentation on humans and even the most basic pollution controls do as well, we should get rid of those too! ALL GLORY TO THE ECONOMY, MAMMON WILL DELIVER US FROM DESTRUCTION!

Re:If only we could figure out.. (1)

SilentStaid (1474575) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118693)

Less CO2.

Taco Bell was a little less common, you see.

Most recent? (1)

JeffOwl (2858633) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118119)

I thought we were still technically in an "Ice Age" that started about 2.5 million years ago.

Re:Most recent? (1, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118213)

No, it's an 11,000 year cycle that follows Earth's perigee and apogee. We're already at the warm spot, which makes AGW worse. We're not due for another ice age for another 9,000 years or so.

Re:Most recent? (4, Informative)

JeffOwl (2858633) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118327)

I think you and I have been given two different definitions of "Ice Age" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quaternary_glaciation [wikipedia.org]

Re:Most recent? (1)

drakaan (688386) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118603)

Best graph ever for lengthening arguments about man-made vs naturally-occurring global warming...

Re:Most recent? (2)

DragonWriter (970822) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118357)

I thought we were still technically in an "Ice Age" that started about 2.5 million years ago.

There are two different frequently encountered uses for "ice age" that conflict; the less-technical one of which is for what is more-technically known as a glacial period within what is, in the more technical use, known as an "ice age".

If someone says "most recent ice-age", they are reasonably unambiguously using the less-technical usage.

Re:Most recent? (3, Informative)

A bsd fool (2667567) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118729)

The "less technical" meaning is meaningless. Basically when the media or average person says "ice age" they mean glacial maximum, or more personally, ice sheets extending from the pole to... wherever they happen to live.

We will be out of the current ice age when Greenland and even Antarctica are ice-sheet free... Which is the normal (average) state of the planet. Cool glacial periods, like the one we're in now, are the exceptional periods vs. the rule Average global temperature, geologically speaking, is about 10C higher than present. The cool periods when ice sheets are possible tend to only last a few million years at most, separated by warmer (than now) periods lasting a hundred million years or longer.

The next glacial maximum may be 50,000 years off. If we cut CO2 concentrations to 2/3 current levels, the next glacial maximum may only be 15,000 years off.

Good (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43118127)

Good Its mid March and its -15 and there is 3 feet of snow. When normally we would be snowless at in the positives temps. Can not come fast enough.

As an anti-science, pro-ignorance republican... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43118129)

Which misleading statistics should I use to ignore the obvious science on human-caused global warming?

Is there a special on a non-news channel like Fox "News" that will help me gather inaccurate data to argue against these obvious scientific facts?

Is there a republican website which covers its anti-science agenda with the same passion it covers its racist agenda?

Yours in Christ,
Rick Perry

Re:As an anti-science, pro-ignorance republican... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43118179)

Look buddy you missed out the Koch brothers, Tea partiers and the 1%. You really need to work on those trolling skills. Maybe on reddit or huffpo that weak sauce will work but here you need to amp up your game.

Re:As an anti-science, pro-ignorance republican... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43118187)

Explore the ozone hole for yourself, if you haven't seen it does it really exist? Is it really a hole?

Re:As an anti-science, pro-ignorance republican... (1)

Doug Otto (2821601) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118365)

The problem with using broad stereotypes to call someone a racist is it makes you look like one.

Re:As an anti-science, pro-ignorance republican... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43118387)

I was wondering which statistics I could manipulate to cause the greatest alarm to help me sell movies and generate government investment in non-viable "green" technologies in an effort to line the pockets of Wall Street fat cats.

Your most obedient servant,
Al Gore

Re:As an anti-science, pro-ignorance republican... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43118611)

I believe every American should support green energy, just as long as you don't put that eyesore of a wind farm in my back yard.

Sincerely,
Edward Kennedy

Re:As an anti-science, pro-ignorance republican... (2)

kenh (9056) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118913)

Thank you Mr. Kennedy, I'd love a ride home after the party...

Sincerely,

Mary Jo Kopechne [politicsdaily.com]

Re:As an anti-science, pro-ignorance republican... (0)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118769)

Anthony Watts' homepage, WattsUpWithThat (brought to you by the Heartland Institute)

Re:As an anti-science, pro-ignorance republican... (2)

kenh (9056) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118833)

The cited statistic is enough to mock this report. It's warmer now than it has been 74% of the time in the past 11,300 years. Seriously? WOuldn't that mean for 25% of the past 11,300 years the average temperature was HIGHER?! WHat makes the current temp so noteworthy? Because it is above the average, but below the highest temperature in the past 11,300 years?

Industrial revolution came too early (1, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118137)

We're at perihelion now, already where Earth is at its hottest. In a few hundred or thousand years they'll welcome global warming... if global warming hasn't killed everyone by then.

We're at the worst possible place to add to the warming.

Re:Industrial revolution came too early (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43118551)

That, and we're coming into the Sun's "hot" cycle. Still, according to the research, in the greater climate cycle, we're supposed to be cooling off... which is fucking frightening when you consider just how much we've warmed up.

Re:Industrial revolution came too early (3, Informative)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118845)

Er, you know that Perihelions happen every year, right? That the kinetic energy of the earth doesn't vary year-to-year? This is physics 101 stuff.

Global Warming? (-1, Troll)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118149)

Well if the earth is approx 4 BILLION years old then 4 000 000 000 - 11 300 = 3 999 988 700, meaning that given the age of this planet were actually not in a warming period at all.

Re:Global Warming? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43118223)

Well if the earth is approx 4 BILLION years old then 4 000 000 000 - 11 300 = 3 999 988 700, meaning that given the age of this planet were actually not in a warming period at all.

That... is the worst logic I've ever read. You're saying that because there were 3,999,988,700 years of existence before the last 11,300 years, we're not in a warming period?

Re:Global Warming? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43118285)

It seems to make more sense to limit our period of interest to the timeframe when the planet was habitable to humans, since that's what we're concerned about. Still, that's about 150,000 years for homo sapien, of which 10k years is but a small part.

Re:Global Warming? (2)

DragonWriter (970822) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118397)

Well if the earth is approx 4 BILLION years old then 4 000 000 000 - 11 300 = 3 999 988 700, meaning that given the age of this planet were actually not in a warming period at all.

Which would be a relevant comparison if we weren't concerned with the effects of and on human civilization, which arose about 10,000 years ago.

Re:Global Warming? (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118869)

Well, ten thousandish, but who's counting?

Oh No! (1, Troll)

0123456 (636235) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118165)

Temperatures were higher than today for 2,800 of the last 11,300 years! Clearly we're all about to die if we don't ban SUVs!

Re:Oh No! (1, Insightful)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118201)

Sure, why not, at least the roads would be a better place.

Re:Oh No! (1)

0123456 (636235) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118207)

Sure, why not, at least the roads would be a better place.

That is true.

Re:Oh No! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43118587)

Keep your laws off my (auto)Body!

Re:Oh No! (1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43118305)

Temperatures were higher than today for 2,800 of the last 11,300 years!

Your racist so-called "math" is not welcome in this political discussion.

Clear bias against the oil industry (4, Funny)

History's Coming To (1059484) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118173)

These studies only show what they do because most of the world's scientists are funded by the anti-oil lobby, who have so much money that the oil industry find it difficult to compete. Imagine if you were on an environmental archaeologist's research salary - that's got to be in the tens of thousands of dollars a year, why on earth would you accept the measly hundreds of thousands of dollars that the oil industry can afford to pay their researchers?

(That's sarcasm, by the way.)

Re:Clear bias against the oil industry (2)

0123456 (636235) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118193)

Why would the oil industry be opposed to a scare that's mostly been used to close down coal mining?

Re:Clear bias against the oil industry (3, Insightful)

History's Coming To (1059484) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118279)

Because demand for oil will drop as we switch to non-fossil fuels like fission, fusion or (heaven forbid) wind/wave/tidal/solar? Because they have to keep the shareholders happy, which isn't necessarily correlated with any kind of foresight or long-term common sense? Because it's all about money, rather than preserving the environment which makes the concept of money possible? I don't know, I'm as mystified as you.

Re:Clear bias against the oil industry (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43118521)

It is all about money. The late Ted Kennedy wouldn't support clean energy, once it was determined that it would spoil his view of Cape Cod, and lower his property value. Everyone wants green energy, until it is in their back yard.

Re:Clear bias against the oil industry (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43118311)

Coal and oil aren't good substitutes (power stations don't run on oil much anymore these days and there are precious few coal-powered cars), so there's no obvious reason for the oil industry to support moves against coal (compare that to coal vs. gas, which do conflict).

The oil industry's logic is that the sort of people who oppose coal probably oppose oil as well, so coal and oil are more or less in it together.

Re:Clear bias against the oil industry (2)

ByOhTek (1181381) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118249)

because obviously the man-made climate change crowd is stupid, and therefore they don't realize that hundreds of thousands of dollars per year are better than tens of thousands of dollars per year, and don't realize they could be doing better!

And if they they aren't smart enough for this simple math, how can we ever trust them with the more complex math required to analyze their data?

(also sarcasm)

Re:Clear bias against the oil industry (1)

ilguido (1704434) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118337)

Well, but the oil lobby never lobbied to sell their oil, they do not need to. They actually lobby to get more oil/gas and to leave less oil/gas to the competition (e.g. Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya wars etc.). Heck, more funds for green power companies means less competition in the oil extraction business, so the only guys who are screwed by this situation are those from the nuclear power lobby. Those cannot compete with the oil and green lobbies.

Re:Clear bias against the oil industry (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43118369)

It didn't take a vast money machine to convince millions of young people to tattoo and pierce themselves in weird places. It doesn't take a vast money machine to convince everybody in academia that AGW is fact.

In both cases, all it takes is peer pressure.

Just because corporations prefer to use big money campaigns as their tool, doesn't mean it's the only tool required to instill a mass belief or activity.

Now, I'm not saying that AGW is or isn't real. The debate over the GW part is pretty much over. It's the 'A' that still looks more like religion than science. There are probably literally a handfull of people who actually have opinions formed on science. They're sitting in universities looking at models run on supercomputers. Everybody else is using these people as priests, even if they didn't ask to be priests.

That's the way I see it, and no oil industry lobbyist paid me. I wouldn't even know where to find one.

Re:Clear bias against the oil industry (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118681)

There are probably literally a handfull of people who actually have opinions formed on science. They're sitting in universities looking at models run on supercomputers. Everybody else is using these people as priests, even if they didn't ask to be priests.

And for those of us who want to form our opinions based on science, but aren't climatologists, looking to the people who are and actually do study and understand climate science and asking them is wrong... how exactly?

For any other non-controversial field of science, this wouldn't be controversial either. Nobody says we're treating particle physicists like "priests" when we go with their best working picture of the microscopic universe with the understanding that this picture may change. How is that like a priest?

And for the record, while I do take what the climatologists say as a provisional truth, I would be delighted if they came out one day and said they were wrong all this time and it turns out there's nothing to worry about. So far, so bad.

Re:Clear bias against the oil industry (1)

History's Coming To (1059484) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118811)

Nobody says we're treating particle physicists like "priests"

Whilst I agree with your comment in general, you're about a week behind the times [guardian.co.uk] on that one.

Precise measurements (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43118185)

Yes! I know we have been keeping accurate records, down to the last 10th of a Centigrade. for the last 10,236 years... The previous few hundred years are easy enough to extrapolate.

Scary and scarier (2, Insightful)

dcmcilrath (2859893) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118229)

First reaction: How are people still denying this???
Second reaction: We are so screwed

After spending a significant amount of time studying the data and politics surrounding this issue, I concluded that global warming is a baked cake at this point (no pun intended) The US contains a little over 4.5% of the worlds population says Google [google.com] yet we are responsible for the majority of world emissions. Now consider that we are trying to cut back, meanwhile China is rapidly industrializing, increasing its footprint with every passing day. When you think of the footprint China will have when it is as industrialized as the USA, any hope of avoiding serious global damage is tiny at this point.

Re:Scary and scarier (1)

postbigbang (761081) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118419)

Other statistics say that contributions to the problem come from many places, including container ships that blast spend kerosene into the sky, unbridled. The oxymoron of "clean coal" and its dirtier real coal burning adds, too. The hole in the ozone layer has narrowed because we cared enough about halogen release that it's narrowed, at least as a by-product if not a direct result of active human conservation.

MPG gets better and lowered emissions as a byproduct, but the outlook is still abysmal. Buy inland property. Book that Northwest Passage Cruise, soon.

Re:Scary and scarier (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43118471)

Now consider that we are trying to cut back, meanwhile China is rapidly industrializing, increasing its footprint with every passing day. When you think of the footprint China will have when it is as industrialized as the USA, any hope of avoiding serious global damage is tiny at this point.

With any luck they do not have a strong "green" movement that opposes nuclear.

When the hippies start saying that we must go nuclear to avoid global warming I will know that they at least believe in it themselves, until then they just look at it as a political argument.

Re:Scary and scarier (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43118507)

The US is highest per capita, yes, but China holds the majority in total emissions. [wikipedia.org] And those are 2011 numbers, they've had a whole year to up the ante(note from 2010-2011, the US went down a little bit, China went up 17%). Think where the world will be when China surpasses us per capita.

captcha: equality

Re:Scary and scarier (3, Informative)

alexander_686 (957440) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118523)

I don’t think the US is the #1 greenhouse gas emitter. IRC
          Canada and Australia are higher per person then the USA, having a lot of extractive industries.
          China admits more than the US, having a higher population and a greater reliance on inefficient coal for energy.
          India has the fastest growth.

(Not trying to diminish your concerns, just adding facts.)

Re:Scary and scarier (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43118583)

The US is responsible for the majority of world emissions? [wikipedia.org] Where'd you get that bunk?
 
And this isn't to say I've missed the point of your post and that I don't agree that the people need to step up and take this on as a serious challange. What I am saying is that if your going to present something like this and have people take it seriously it needs to be a solid as a rock or people are going to dismiss it. Perhaps you did it out of bad data or an erronious assumption but whatever the case is, it still looks bad.

Re:Scary and scarier (3, Insightful)

narcc (412956) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118667)

First reaction: How are people still denying this???

If I had to guess, it's probably a reaction to the ridiculous alarmist end-times rhetoric from the less competent believers.

For example, one user posted:

Second reaction: We are so screwed

Followed by some thinly-veiled xenophobia.

Can you blame them for wanting to distance themselves from that kind of crazy?

Re:Scary and scarier (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118745)

When you think of the footprint China will have when it is as industrialized as the USA, any hope of avoiding serious global damage is tiny at this point.

If I were to be wildly optimistic, I'd suggest that there's a non-zero chance the leadership in China will realize that investing in renewables and/or nuclear energy is the smart way to go in the medium and especially long term, and that climate change will threaten their stability.

Realistically, I think if climate change threatens the US and China much, they'll simply inject iron into the ocean [wikipedia.org] without bothering to determine the long-term consequences of that action. Presumably their plan for dealing with those consequences will end with gorillas freezing to death.

This is good news (4, Interesting)

gr8_phk (621180) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118237)

From the first decade of the twentieth century to now, global average temperatures rose from near their coldest point since the ice age to nearly their warmest

We're preventing the temperature decline that would lead us into the next glaciation. And like another poster mentioned, we're still in an "ice age" but we're toward the end of one of the interglacial periods. If we heat things up enough maybe we can get out of the ice age altogether. ;-)

Re:This is potentially not so good news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43118579)

I think what people are worried about is a run-away global warming contingency. If that happens then it's only a matter of time before our atmosphere bleeds off and the Earth is left looking a lot like Mars. In the distant future, travelers visiting our planet might not think it a very significant place to visit. They may even never realize there was once life here. Of course, the time scales for all of this happening are on such large magnitudes that the average person won't care. But, it affects your descendants if that matters.

To quote the 60's (1)

fredrated (639554) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118243)

Burn baby burn.

Looks outside. Sees snow. Sigh. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43118251)

Once again slashdot pushing its left wing environazi agenda. Next up a similarly made up story about bacon being bad for you. Just watch.

And cooler than 25% (0, Troll)

KermodeBear (738243) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118287)

If the current years have been warmer than 75% of the past 11,000 years or so, then 25% of that time has been warmer.

Very Encouraging! (4, Funny)

scarboni888 (1122993) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118289)

As a Canadian I completely support the global warming movement and am always glad to see reports like this showing its' progress.

GO WARMING GO WARMING IT'S YOUR BIRTHDAY, GO WARMING!!

How is 75% 'close'? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43118299)

That's like saying graduating with a 2.5gpa is 'close' to graduating summa cum laude

Re:How is 75% 'close'? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43118615)

No, it's not like that at all. It's like saying that graduating at the 75th percentile or higher is "close" to summa cum laude. That 75%ile GPA is going to differ by institution, but somewhere north of 3.5 is probably a reasonable guess.

Hey (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118317)

At least we can take our hockey sticks [icr.org] on the plane now

Seems to me it was warmer then if it was a peek (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43118355)

Well, so that is 11,000 years ago, lets stop taking a finite point and average it out over a billion year curve. The Earth was really hot 11,000 years ago , I was not aware we were burning Coal 11,000 years ago to generate power

Warmer than 75% of the last 11,000 years (4, Insightful)

onyxruby (118189) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118361)

Articles like this can be scaremongering with misleading titles for headline purposes. "Warmer than 75% of the last 11,000 years" means that is has been cooler than about 2700 of the last 11,000 years. This of course can turn around and bit you when your trying to do something for political gain instead of scientific gain. After all it's all too easy to point to something like this as proof that things aren't as bad as they have been in the past pre-industrial era.

I'm not taking sides on this issue, what I'm arguing is that people need to let science do the talking and leave politics on the wayside. The result of failing to do so is that otherwise perfectly sound science research gets tainted by politics. More science and less politics please, that is all.

Re:Warmer than 75% of the last 11,000 years (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43118767)

[ "Warmer than 75% of the last 11,000 years" means that is has been cooler than about 2700 of the last 11,000 years. ]

No, it does not mean that.
There is a ratio of years (or decades) when the temps were equal.
And then there is a ratio of years (decades) when the temps are found to be NOT significantly different.

If you score 100 on an IQ-test and your friend scores 99, then statistically it is a tie. Statistically it is a tie even if you score 100 and your friend scores 90.

Re:Warmer than 75% of the last 11,000 years (2)

dAzED1 (33635) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118865)

you didn't mention at all that the article says it is warmer than 75% of the last 11,000 - marked since the last ice age. Well yeah, we're warmer than the last ice age. A large part of that chunk of time should be completely eliminated for, well, being ice-age. But maybe I'm just an oil-industry shill; after all, my house is solar powered, and I refuse to own a car...

Yay (0, Offtopic)

clam666 (1178429) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118377)

Finally, winter has been a bitch.

Also, thanks to prudent home buying I'll get ocean front property while getting it at cut rate prices.

Why do I care if the earth gets warmer, say, to Jurassic levels?

Benefits: We get great new places to live in northern Canada, Siberia, Greenland, etc. Billions of tons of food will be able to be grown where it never has been before. Due to outcry, really polluting industries clean up their act so I don't have to smell there disgusting dumping all over the neighborhood.

Cons: Whining rich people with ocean front property go Wah Wah because my house is the new ocean front property. New Jersey is eliminated to make new cleaner beaches. New York returns to New Amsterdam and is a beautiful playground of water traffic like Venice and is still irritating as hell. Doomsday preppers act smug around everyone else. Florida is eliminated, easing political issues from there, but at the same time frees up billions in social security liabilities and 401K assets.

Sounds like an even push to me. It's going to happen whether we want it to, attempt to stop it, go back to the stone ages and live in caves, or pray to Allah. 11,000 years after that there will be glaciers down all the way into the Socialist Republic of New Texas.

So calm the fuck down about religion, deniers, AGW, man made causes, SUVs, smug ass Californians, and Al Gore. Just realize accordingly, spend less money on ski equipment and more money on boats.

Re:Yay (4, Insightful)

rilister (316428) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118643)

ok, this stinks of troll, but I'll take it:
"So calm the fuck down about religion, deniers, AGW, man made causes, SUVs, smug ass Californians, and Al Gore. Just realize accordingly, spend less money on ski equipment and more money on boats."

I dig your cool complacency, and actually I kind of agree. Global climate change probably won't make much of difference to your life during your lifetime, and maybe not even to your kids. Because you're rich. You can afford to pay 50% more for food (as agriculture is disrupted): the worst that will happen is you might move house, accept a slightly lower standard of living and bitch about the price of things. Oh, and 'buy more boats'.

It's the poor who will pay. I don't mean the middle class, I mean the 1 billion+ people who live on less than $1 a day. They will starve in greater numbers and die in greater numbers - they can't move, or "buy less ski equipment". I get that you don't care about that, but I hope that as a society we can bring ourselves to give a shit.

Re:Yay (1)

slim (1652) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118813)

The middle class will suffer too. If you currently live in a coastal city, you're going to have to either move (expensive) or fund flood defences (expensive).

Re:Yay (2)

mjr167 (2477430) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118679)

How is New Jersey eliminated a con?

Title vs summary (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43118381)

Title: Global Temperatures Are Close To 11,000-Year Peak

Actual first line: Global average temperatures are now higher than they have been for about 75% of the past 11,300 years

Some peak - it's barely in the first quartile.

the great die back required (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43118391)

Lets remove all persons who drive automatic transmission cars and those who do not drive :)

Manual is the way to :)

Man-Made Global Warming vs Natural Climate change? (2)

DaCaptn19 (2693159) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118403)

Yeah when we discuss global warming I think it is a great idea to ignore the fact that the Earth was much warmer before the Ice Ages. Yeah we can all agree there was some event that helped put the earth into an Ice Age but why hasn't anyone ever asked if It was warmer here before the Ice Age wouldn't it be almost natural to expect the Earth to gradually return to what it was before the event before man was here to supposedly create a problem we refer to as "global warming". Almost like a spinning top a slight jolt can cause its motion to be erratic but it eventually rights itself? So again the model is Really Warm (dino era) >>>>Big Event makes it cold>>>> gradually the earth is returning to what it once was. IMO it would probably do this with or without us. We just want to pretend that since it is better for us the way it is now that this just has to be how it is supposed to remain forever

The rate of change is problematic (0)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118405)

Global temps are being helped along by anthropogenic emissions. The *rate* at which temps have gone up over the past 100 years is unprecedented in any climate record and that is what's most alarming. It's never climbed this fast in this short amount of time. This is the part most "research" reports leave out but is a key fact in the debate.

http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/science/indicators/weather-climate/temperature.html [epa.gov]

Re:The rate of change is problematic (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43118645)

Except for this fact [thegwpf.org] .

The *rate* at which temps have gone up over the last 17 years is 0. Which I assume makes your entire claim worthless. If it was caused by humans it would have contineud to accelerate, so your premise is wrong and the only "logical" conclusion is that it can't be human caused by the reasons given. Either Gore's hockey stick is right and temps kept climing, or its a lie and temps haven't increased. Now we have the facts of his prediction and they were wrong.

Hypothesis->Observation->Theory overturned. Its called science.

Wow, really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43118429)

It's been getting warmer since the last time that it was colder? No shit.

Ice age 12,000 years ago (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43118441)

And 6000 years ago, the temperature was at the highest level in 6000 years.

Solution that can make all sides happy (4, Interesting)

wanfuse123 (2860713) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118443)

Convert all coal fire plants to LFTR Nuclear reactors. It will end up being as cheap as coal, even cheaper in the long run when you account for longevity of the converted plants which will increase the age from 25 years to 80 years. Stop worrying so much about feeling bad over whether its man mad or not, really who cares, the fact is as a species we should care about what makes our species have the most prosperous environment to live in. Forget for a moment about every other species on the planet. Let's be selfish, worry about us. Convert the plants to LFTR reactors get 1000 years of the most power dense, low waste solution while we have it available. Doesn't pollute large areas of land (one mountain pass has enough Thorium to last us 1000 years at 100% of US consumption for everything...every last Watt we use! Has less than .01 % waste that only lasts for 300 years and it consumes the long term waste at the same time. The power density of Thorium is a 1,000,000 ...thats 1 million times the power density of coal. It has none of the draw backs of other alternate energies and the nuclear reactors made with liquid salts can NOT melt down...That is no Fukushima, NO Chernobyl No Three Mile Island. IT is in no way possible with these reactors. It is a clean solution and doesn't pollute and like other alternative energies it works 24 hours a day. I have even worked out a method to pay for it, that only has a 1 year investment associated with it. COAL to LFTR [rawcell.com]

Good News! Warmer since the ice age (4, Informative)

pubwvj (1045960) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118497)

Well, that is wonderful news since about that long ago was the 'end' of the last ice age when temperatures were so low we were having massive die offs due to the cold climate.

Warming is good for life. You might not be acclimated to it but the reality is when we have periods of cooling we have die offs and when we have periods of warming there is an expansion of species, of biodiversity. The Earth has been much warmer in the past and that was good for life.

I welcome warmer temperatures. It has been too cold in the last thousands of years.

All this fussing about warming is ignoring the real problem. Global Warming is just a distraction from the real issue of toxic pollution.

Moscow, Mexico City, Beijing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43118533)

What are we going to do about the 9 billion people that don't live in a society that can afford solar panels and Priusiz again. Shame them into stepping back into pre-industrial technology. Threaten them with armed conflict lest they keep struggling to build a middle class at the cost of our air and water.

11,000 Year Peak: So we are going down! (1)

BoRegardless (721219) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118549)

Great news. We have an 11,000 year solar cycle then, right?

Re:11,000 Year Peak: So we are going down! (1)

scorp1us (235526) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118575)

No, 22,000. This is the upswing. You forgot to include the down-swing.

Scare-tactics.... (1, Informative)

DaCaptn19 (2693159) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118601)

just googled it because I wanted to know what the hottest temps were within this 11000 year period. results http://goo.gl/FpzFH [goo.gl] .....Some news sites are using this same data and claiming it to be hotter than it has been in the last 11k years....... The people that want us to believe the lie that is MANmade global warming know that perception = reality. If they can spew enough lies and claims it does not matter if they are actually true. There are idiots everywhere that will believe it.

you F4il It! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43118639)

you down. It was best. Indivi3uals

Meaningless fear mongering. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43118731)

dnrffma. Did Not Read Full Fear Mongering Article.

1. title of slashdot post: "global temperatures are close to 11,000 year peak".
2. first paragraph of post: "Global average temperatures are now higher than they have been for about 75% of the past 11,300 years."

thus,

A. higher than 50% of past 11,300 years means higher than the middle. doesn't say much.
B. higher than 100% of past 11,300 years means peak is right now. says a lot, only with respect to last 11,300 years and not last 500,000 years.
C. higher than 75% of past 11,300 years means right smack dab middle between A. and B.

in conclusion:

BIG FUCKING DEAL. nature.com needs to be shot in the head and put out of my misery.

This (2, Informative)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118747)

As with all "global warming" topics, I can divide the opinions based on their mod points:
[-1,1] = "global warming is a farce"
[2,5] = "global warming is supported by a majority of scientists, debate over, hand over the keys to your SUV"

Of the last 11,000? (1)

SirCodeAlot (574117) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118785)

Wow, that's like almost as long as the entire Earth's history right? OMG!!! WERE ALL GONNA DIE!!!!!

Still a model (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43118789)

This information is still based off of a model and estimated with small snapshots from particular regions of the earth. we do not have the capability to accurately predict weather for just a few days in the future. we have less than a century of statistically significant past temperature records. so, 100 years (at best) for a 11,000 year prediction? no more than 0.9% of the time to make a model? our models of weather on the earth is woefully inadequate, and yet, climatologists insist that we take drastic measures based on this poor information.

climate is always cyclical.. it is the nature of a balancing system. climate change is guaranteed as part of the cycle. we need to determine if the cycle is out of the normal bounds, but we have millions of man hours of research/study and potentially decades of time before we can begin to comprehend our earth's complex system.

Yeah (1)

Viewsonic (584922) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118877)

I'm so sick of snow.

Ok, get over it (1)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118901)

Yes, the planet is heating up, time to figure out what to do next.

All this bullshit about blaming us for warming up the planet. Whether we have directly done this, or some natural occurring change has happened, its irrelevant.

Bottom line is, yes lets stop living as an excessive society. If we can make technology that don't pump pollutants or excessive CO2 into the atmosphere then lets do it. Don't do it to "Save the Planet" do it because it its just about being state-of-the art. Like, how about we stop exploding hydrocarbons in mechanical devices invented 100 years ago so that only 5% of the available energy is used to move us towards a drive thru. I think we can come up with better ways to propelling ourselves forward that doesn't involve exploding something.

Second, yes, if you live on the coast you are going to have problems with rising sea levels and super-storms. Deal with it. Don't build cheap flimsy buildings next to the ocean, and if you can't afford to strengthen you home, then move. Katrina and Sandy are a beginning, not anomalies. All those people wanting a nice view when they wake up in the morning need to wake up and realize that view will try to kill them one day. I'm tired of people bemoaning when their house got washed away when they choose to live below sea level. 99% of the country is not on the fucking coast.

Third, don't worry about the fucking polar bears. The polar bears only came into existence 600,000 years ago during the last ice age. They evolved from regular black or brown bears to deal better with falling temperatures and long term snowy conditions. Times change, animals evolve. Lamenting the loss of a species that evolved to survive specialized climate conditions that are changing is just stupid. Yes, they evolved, God didn't put them there for us to tend to and coddle.

Lastly, we will not destroy our planet. Sure, conditions for human survival might make it more difficult in the long run, and I am sure that as pressures mount from having 7+ billion people vying for a better quality of life might eventually wipe us out from global war, the bottom line is the planet itself has survived far worse then us. Plants and animals, and eventually another evolution of a dominant intelligent species will probably happen several more times over the next few billions years until the sun blows up and nukes the plant forever more. But the idea we will turn our planet into Mars is just laughable. Think about it, what plant doesn't like warmer weather and more CO2?

Everybody grab a towel and don't panic! Its just a warming planet. Its been warm, its been cold, it keeps going and going.

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