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Satellites Show That Earth Has a Fever

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the worldwide-baywatch dept.

Space 596

Roland Piquepaille writes "A recent study from NASA says that satellites are acting as thermometers in space. Contrary to meteorological ground stations which measure the air temperature around two meters above the ground, satellites can accurately measure the temperature of the Earth's skin. And this new study, which covers the 18-year period going from 1981 to 1998, shows that the Earth's temperature is rising 0.43C per decade instead of the O.34C found by previous methods. Unfortunately for us, if satellites can more precisely measure this rise of the Earth's temperature, they cannot cure this fever. This overview contains more details and a spectacular image showing the European heat wave of the summer of 2003."

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All your posts are belong to me (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8952996)

j00 4ll 4r3 t3h sux0rz.

1 g0t t3h FP 4nd j00 0t#3r5 4ll f41l l1k3 cry1ng 5ch00l g1rl.

w00t

horrible news... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8953179)

the creator of quake and doom (John Carlack) just blew himself up working on the X-Prize, no further news is available at this pint. He was truly an American icon.

Re:horrible news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8953252)

...no further news is available at this pint.
You think you might get some more news after the next pint?

So? (2, Insightful)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953005)

Here we go again with the whole "Global Warming" theory. Lets just drop it. Hasn't everyone heard of ice ages? If not take a look here [state.il.us] . The last sentence says:
If "ice age" is used to refer to long, generally cool, intervals during which glaciers advance and retreat, we are still in one today. Our modern climate represents a very short, warm period between glacial advances.
And all of these ice ages and thaws (global warming if you will) happened without cars, humans, or anything. It just happened, and life went on when it was warm and cold. Can anyone tell me the worst case scenereo if global warming got as bad as its gonna get in the next century or so? (Baring the seas boiling, but I havn't heard any predictions of oceans boiling or anything.) Even some ppl think that cosmic rays cause global warming. Also, you can check out this article [pbs.org] that says:
Between 52 and 57 million years ago, the Earth was relatively warm. Tropical conditions actually extended all the way into the mid-latitudes (around northern Spain or the central United States for example), polar regions experienced temperate climates, and the difference in temperature between the equator and pole was much smaller than it is today. Indeed it was so warm that trees grew in both the Arctic and Antarctic, and alligators lived in Ellesmere Island at 78 degrees North.
So if the next bad warming experience was as bad as the one 50 some million years ago, it would mean that people would have to move more inshore (there will still be a coast mind you) and we can live further north and south than we can now. Trama. I wish it was beer time!

Re:So? (2, Insightful)

U.I.D 754625 (754625) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953042)

I agree, and 18 year study proves nothing for a world and solar system that is 4.55 billion years (plus or minus about 1%).

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8953072)

I agree, and 18 year study proves nothing for a world and solar system that is 4.55 billion years (plus or minus about 1%) old.

Look douche bag, (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8953143)

I agree, and 18 year study proves nothing for a world and solar system that is 4.55 billion years (plus or minus about 1%) old.

Look douche bag, if you're going to try to pick nits and correct grammar, perhaps you should know some grammar or spelling first. The properly corrected post should be:

I agree, an 18 year study proves nothing for a world and solar system that is 4.55 billion years (plus or minus about 1%) old.

YHBT

Re:So? (3, Insightful)

Unnngh! (731758) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953105)

True, it proves nothing. That doesn't mean that all the current changes, however, are natural. We definitely have the means to cause large-scale climate changes, means which have not been present on earth in all but the last few of those billions of years.

So, are we inadvertently changing the climate for the worst? I personally don't think we are (at least not on a large scale), but there's no good way of telling right now. We probably won't know that we are until it's too late enforce negative gains (i.e. stop using so many fossil fuels) and we will have to do something very proactive to make the climate more pallatable for us humans;)

Re:So? (5, Insightful)

U.I.D 754625 (754625) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953203)

The study is important and needs to continue, but you can't assume a rise in temperature over 2 decades means something bad is happening. I don't think we'll ever have enough data to prove whether we are right or wrong until the damage has been done (or apparently not done).

Re:So? (1)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953047)

Oops, typoed the cosmic rays [cgfi.org] link.

Wrong: The Biggestl Fever Is In (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8953055)

The White House. Don't believe me. Then visit Scrambled-In-Command: The World's Most Dangerous Leader [whitehouse.org] and find out yourself.

Remember, if you are not part of the solution, you are part of theproblem [georgewbush.org]

Patriotically,
K. Trout

Re:So? (4, Insightful)

Tango42 (662363) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953083)

I'm inclined to agree with most of your points, but I think the point the environmentalists are trying to make is that the temperature change is much faster now than it has been in the past, rather than it changing more. Things can adapt to slow changes, but fast changes can be more drastic.

I still don't think we have anything to worry about, personally.

Re:So? (3, Insightful)

mobiux (118006) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953113)

And what the non-environmentalists are saying is that there is probably nothing we can do to stop it. It's a natual cycle on the planet.

We have to look beyond what our personally kept records are and look into history to see what may be coming our way.

Re:So? (3, Informative)

AtariDatacenter (31657) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953102)

Worst case scenerio?

Global warming not only increases, but accelerates in a self-feeding reaction that extinguishes all life* on the planet Earth.

Don't you love worst case scenerios?

* - Well, any life worth talking about, anyhow. Do we really have to count those microscopic volcanic organisms?

Re:So? (3, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953121)

Global warming most definitely exists as a short-term trend over the last 30 years, as so many different measurements can't all be wrong.

The next question, however, is whether us humans are really the cause of it... would the Earth still be getting warmer even if we weren't creating manmade polution? It may just be that even if were we able to eliminate all of the anti-ozone polution in the world, the global average temerature might still go up anyway simply because the Sun keeps throwing more energy our way.

It may be possible that the environmentalists are identifying a real problem, but not proposing a strong enough solution... that we'll actually have to somehow reflect-away a good chunk of sunlight in order to keep the Earth's temperature stable.

Re:So? (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8953122)

Bah, If every cooling and warming period for the past 10 million years was never caused by any action of man, but all of a sudden now that we have SUV's we are causing the earth's tempurature to change?

I mean what was the cause of the tempurature to rise during the time of christ?

In midevel times the tempurature of the Earth was a average of over 1.5 degrees warmer then it is now. But a change of .43 of a degree is going to spell our certian doom.

In the 1800's we had reached a end of a gigantic thousand year cooling trend, but now since we burn coal that is the fault of Global Warming instead of the fact that the sun has increased in activity dramaticly since the early 70's.

Oh, ya. The sun increasing sunspot activity dramiticly and increasing the radation output overall has absolutely nothing to do with the climate of earth, but cow farts are something we need to worry about because they could melt the Ice caps.

I also suppose that by using the evidence gathered about the last 20 years of tempurature change, while we remain wholy ignorant of the cause of climate change over the last 2000000 years means that we should be scared shitless and enact dramatic legislation that will do massive ammounts of economic and social problems while doing abosultely nothing to solve any real issues.

Re:So? (3, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953127)

War. Plague. Famine.

The mass migration you describe is certainly possible, and if temperatures rise enough to melt enough ice tochange coastlines, it's what will happen. Even if the coastlines don't change, there will still be disruptions, and we'll deal with them. Humanity will survive. Life will go on. That's a good thing.

But millions, perhaps tens or hundreds of millions, maybe even billions, of people will die in the ensuing chaos. You may be sanguine about that; I'm not. I've seen mass movement of refugees on a much smaller scale, and trust me, it ain't pretty.

Re:So? (0, Offtopic)

ninjadroid (622900) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953148)

When I started reading your post, it was scored at 4. By the time I finished, it was a 3. I doubt it will make it through the whole discussion alive, since you have been labeled a heretic by the Green Church. I think these forums would be more productive when discussing Global Warming if the proponents of that theory would focus more on moderating up comments they like, as opposed to moderating down their critics.

so this... (4, Insightful)

Pi_0's don't shower (741216) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953162)

The fact that the parent wasn't modded as "sarcastic" is an affront to /.'s moderation options. In seriousness, there are the 4 million brits who stand to lose their homes, http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,3604,120 0272,00.html (Sorry I don't know how to highlight links), and that's just the impact in one place. But I think the importance is that, although we are coming out of an iceage, there is a definite climate change being caused by human impact on the Earth. No, it won't wipe out all life on Earth or even cause us to go extinct, but (in the spirit that Earth day was yesterday) at least consider that we may be messing with things that we cannot control, and may be damaging things that we certainly cannot undo.

Re:so this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8953256)

For that link, you'd type something like this:

<a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,36 04,1200272,00.html">http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_n ews/story/0,3604,1200272,00.html</a>

Exaclty (1)

Prince Vegeta SSJ4 (718736) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953165)

though it is debatable on whether ther is human induced global warming or not, I think there is pretty conclusive evidence that the temperature on the surface of the earth changes in a cyclic manner.

In fact, isn't it generally agreed that one of the previous epochs (periods, etc) had a much more tropical climate than the one we have now?

As such, given the short period of time human beings have produced 'greenhouse' gases, how can we truly measure this within the big picture.

Has there ever been a study that calculates the probabilities and consequences of warming due to cyclic changes as opposed to human induced warming. It could very well be the case that humans are causing accelerated warming, but if the probability that warming would have occured anyway is greater than the probability that humans are causing greenhouse effect, it may indicate a different "Real" affect caused by humans. Or that humans are just accelerating the inevetable.

Re:So? (2, Informative)

mrdogi (82975) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953180)

To add a bit to this, I have been told (sorry, don't have any info on details, I'll see if I can find some) that during this period of Earth's rise in global tempratures, Mars is also warming by a similar amount (given that it is farther from the sun, and all that). So, this global warming seems to have very little, if anything, to do with "green house" gases.

Re:So? (1)

dustinbarbour (721795) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953204)

Exactly.. In fact, the Earth is in the midst of one of the coldest periods in its history. I get tired of this global warming crap. Of course it's going to warm up! There have been times when there was no ice on the planet whatsoever! It's a natural freakin' cycle. The enviro-hippies need to get off of the bandwagon and do a little research.

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8953212)

I heard this stupid argument all the time. It completely shows you lack or ignorance of the facts.

I make it sort and sweet for you ADD people. The last ice age around 20,000 years ago the temperature was around 9 degrees cooler then it is now. Today the temperature raises 3/4 a degree every decade. So in 120 years, the Earth will be 9 degrees warmer at the current rate. 120 years != 20000 years. Remember 9 degrees colder we had Icebergs in Texas. What will 9 degrees warmer do?

Re:So? (5, Insightful)

LS (57954) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953238)

I smell a troll.

I see that you admit at least there is a global warming phenomena. Most scientists finally agree with that. But you question two things:

1. Whether humans are causing global warming
2. Whether global warming is a bad thing

Let's address these two issues:

1. Do humans cause global warming?

1600 scientists, include over 100 NOBEL LAUREATES, agree that human activity is causing global warming. I trust them FAR MORE than you:

http://dieoff.org/page123.htm

It's obvious that climate has changed on Earth with or without humans, but it's also a known fact that human activity is accelerating climate change in a way different from natural causes

2. Is global warming a bad thing?

Here's where the troll part comes in. Do you actually believe the only consequence of global warming is rolling up our pants and walking inland a couple feet? The economy falls apart when the prices go up on oil. What do you think will happen when we are asked to MOVE LOS ANGELES AND NEW YORK INLAND??? What happens when the phytoplankton are no longer able to survive in the ocean water with low salinity? Well, let me tell you that phytoplankton produce most of the oxygen you breath...

LS

LS

Re:So? (1)

niko9 (315647) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953251)

Except that most non-techinal people love simplistic answers to complex ideas.

e.g.: "I have a 4wd vehicle, ergo: I can drive like a knucklehead in a any weatehr conditions!"

I blame... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8953007)

...Kylie Minogue. She could melt Pluto, that minx.

Mmmrroowwwr!

I know why too... (1, Funny)

jmpresto_78 (238308) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953008)

Probably due to all of the sick people walking around...

ha!

How you feeling? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8953010)

HOT HOT HOT!

Big deal. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8953012)

Weather is cyclic. Film at 11.

The latest fad (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8953014)

The same findings would have been used in 1972 to support that era's wild-guess fad of "the ice age is coming!"

Perfect Solution (1)

damiena (263598) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953016)

Unfortunately for us, if satellites can more precisely measure this rise of the Earth's temperature, they cannot cure this fever.

Then, according to the logic presented here, if you stop using the satellites as thermometers, then they would be able to cure it?

Re:Perfect Solution (1)

Eagle5596 (575899) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953063)

Just be glad it wasn't michael posting the article...ARGH! His take would have had a comment something like this: "The message from the government here seems to be clear, stay out of the Earth."

Re:Perfect Solution (1)

errxn (108621) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953133)

No, he'd say something like this: "The message from the government here seems to be clear, stay out of the Earth, and BTW, Microsoft is EVIL."

Editing baron (1)

consolidatedbord (689996) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953017)

"Unfortunately for us, if satellites can more precisely measure this rise of the Earth's temperature, they cannot cure this fever."

...although satellites can more precisely measure this rise...?

Satellites Show That Earth Has a Fever... (5, Funny)

the Man in Black (102634) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953021)

....and the only PRESCRIPTION...is more COWBELL [geekspeakweekly.com] .

What? I'm the only one that thought that?

Re:Satellites Show That Earth Has a Fever... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8953086)

You bastard, you beat me to it! :)

One word (1)

xg0blin (547154) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953023)

Nyquil. The Earth will be in too much of a coma to care about its fever.

Or.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8953024)

Perhaps satellites are just dyslexic.

Satellites cannot cure? (1)

AtariDatacenter (31657) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953032)

Unfortunately for us, if satellites can more precisely measure this rise of the Earth's temperature, they cannot cure this fever. ...unless you outfit a large number of satellites with solar shades in order to reduce the amount of light reaching the earth.

Never use the word 'cannot' in the body of a story submission. Or was it 'never' that we're not supposed to use? Oh well. SOMEONE will prove me wrong!

Re:Satellites cannot cure? (1)

Quikah (14419) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953233)

Talk about bad grammar. Apparently if we just knock out the sensors of the sattelites they will be able to cure the fever.

A question is raised. (OT) (2, Funny)

weeboo0104 (644849) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953033)

"A recent study from NASA says that satellites are acting as thermometers in space.

Q) Do you know how to tell the difference between an oral and a rectal thermometer?

A) By the taste.

I've got a fever! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8953036)

And the only prescription is more cow bell.

Earthly skin? (1)

beatnitup (616700) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953037)

sooo ummm maybe Circumcising earth will help reduce heat in those moist damn regions?

Re:Earthly skin? (1)

beatnitup (616700) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953065)

*damp*

Heatsink time (1)

Merlinium (678576) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953039)

Time to upgrade the Heatsink of Earth, maybe go with a Heatpipe and a couple of huge fans?

past climates (1, Insightful)

millahtime (710421) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953043)

Over the past there have been many different climates. It is said that flying dinosaurs couldn't have flown in todays enviornment. The air isn't dense enough or humid enough. It needed to be more tropical.

Even look at the earths poles. THere is evidence to show that the poles are reversed from a previous point in history.

THe point is the earth goes throgh changes in climate without any human intervention at all. The continents weren't the same way way back when. Why are we harping so much on this?

Re:past climates (1)

RetroGeek (206522) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953161)

Why are we harping so much on this?

People need "A Cause"(tm).

Re:past climates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8953176)

The point is the earth goes throgh changes in climate without any human intervention at all. The continents weren't the same way way back when. Why are we harping so much on this?

Because a hotter earth will make life damn uncomfortable for our children's children. That's known as a "bad thing".

Why is "this is a natural effect, so let's not worry about it" considered an insightful comment? Earthquakes are natural too, but I don't see people being modded Insightful for arguing that there's no point trying to design earthquake-safe buildings. Disease is natural, but I don't see people being modded Insightful for complaining about tax dollars being "wasted" on medical research.

Whether it's "natural" or not is irrelevant. The question is whether it's actually happening (the evidence says it is) and if so, whether there's anything we can do about it.

Re:past climates (1)

millahtime (710421) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953229)

The question is whether it's actually happening (the evidence says it is)

From basic historic knowledge should show that changes in the planet and climate have been happening as far back as we can tell. Why should news that it's still happening be a big deal. Nothing has changed.

Why is "this is a natural effect, so let's not worry about it" considered an insightful comment? Earthquakes are natural too, but I don't see people being modded Insightful for arguing that there's no point trying to design earthquake-safe buildings. Disease is natural, but I don't see people being modded Insightful for complaining about tax dollars being "wasted" on medical research.

Are we trying to stop earth quakes??? Maybe detect them better. This is analogos to saying lets mke better air conditioning units for when the world gets hot. Once again disease is to save those who are dying or hurting. Who says that the Earth heating up will kill us or harm us. Humans are very adaptive. We live in just about every climate on earth.

Seems you are jumping to a few conclusions.

Re:past climates (2, Insightful)

FlyingOrca (747207) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953239)

Because this time we appear to be causing it ourselves, and because the ramifications for our descendents are immensely disruptive and expensive.

While many otherwise reasonable people seem to like to question the former point, the fact is that the best climate models we have predicted a certain amount of anthropogenic climate forcing. Observations are right in line with those predictions.

Energy content of the wind (3, Interesting)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953045)


If the ground measurements are 0.34 degrees/decade, and the external measurements are 0.43 degrees/decade, then presumably the extra energy is contained within the circulating atmosphere. Certainly this ought to make the global dissipation happen faster (air tends to move more than water and earth (!) and has a fairly good heat-sink at the space boundary, not to mention the poles). I wonder if they've taken that into account.

On a slightly different note, I've always felt a sense of wonder when thousands of billions of air molecules synchronise their motion and hit you full in the face. I've always thought it ought to have a more poetic name than 'wind', considering the breathtaking nature of the phenomenon. Just a thought :-)

Simon.

Re:Energy content of the wind; Rough weather? (1)

David Hume (200499) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953192)


If the ground measurements are 0.34 degrees/decade, and the external measurements are 0.43 degrees/decade, then presumably the extra energy is contained within the circulating atmosphere.


If this is true, does it mean that we are in for some rough weather? Is there anything other than anecdotal evidence that the weather has been worse (i.e., more windy, "energy... contained within the circulating atmosphere") over the past 18 years than it was before?

strange (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8953048)

if satellites can more precisely measure this rise of the Earth's temperature, they cannot cure this fever

Is this really why they can't cure the fever?

I have a anul fur..... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8953051)

poop sticks to mai buttehoal!

Mother earth... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8953054)

...wants more cowbell.

OH NO THE END IS COMING! (3, Insightful)

FroMan (111520) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953058)

Perhaps we need a sample size of more than 20 years?

Re:OH NO THE END IS COMING! (1)

millahtime (710421) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953166)

Perhaps we need a sample size of more than 20 years?

Who needs more than 20 years. I'm sure scientists will try to extrapolate the next 10,000 years based on these findings.

Re:OH NO THE END IS COMING! (1)

FroMan (111520) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953190)

Right, we'll be out of oil in the next 20 years...

Just like the last twenty years...

But not to worry, cold fusion will save us by then...

Cause its only 20 years away too.

Re:OH NO THE END IS COMING! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8953245)

Very few reputable scientists endorsed cold fusion. It was a couple of crazies from the get-go and amounted basically to a smear campaign by the media, whether or not they themselves were cognisant enough to be doing it intentionally.

What the earth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8953059)

needs is an enima, and the enima is "CARE"

To Cure the Fever (2, Funny)

Prince Vegeta SSJ4 (718736) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953064)

is a rather complex process. However, not as complex as one might think as the cure is readily available. The complexity comes in the delivery process.
  • Gather 17.5678 million tons of C8-H9-NO2
  • The hard part is distributing it on a global scale at the same instant, maybe coordinating a release in the upper atmosphere by rocket or something?

Re:To Cure the Fever (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953115)

The active ingredient in Tylenol is acetaminophen. The actual
chemical name of the substance (systematic name) is N-(4-hydroxyphenyl)acetamide.
The formula is C8H9NO2

There is a cure! (1)

mekkab (133181) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953067)

Gaia, here's some chicken soup for the planet's soul...

Re:There is a cure! (1)

millahtime (710421) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953134)

Gaia, here's some chicken soup for the planet's soul...

Doesn't she just call on Captain Planet to cure the earth.

A solution? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8953070)

Be fatter and driver a bigger car. /sarcasm

Earth cycles (2, Insightful)

marika (572224) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953073)

We don't even know the earth enough to really be sure we are the ones causing these events. What if the planet is just due to warm up. Yes we mess a lot with the planet, humans are very good with messing with unlown stuff. There is so much we don't understand yet.

I for one (1, Funny)

scotch (102596) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953084)

As a resident of Seattle, I welcome moderate and immediate global warming. Thanks go out to all you CO2 spewing consumers out there.

I'VE GOT A FEVER! (0, Redundant)

Progman3K (515744) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953087)

And the prescription is MORE COWBELL!

Wait, this isn't Fark... Never mind.

What the hell are you babbling about??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8953246)

n/t

When in doubt... (2, Insightful)

phaetonic (621542) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953088)

use the butterfly theory [fortunecity.com] to explain it.

they can not cure it nor (2, Insightful)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953089)

define what is causing it.

is it nature or is it humans.

we do not know, all we have is correlational data which is far from proof of anything at all.

Actually... (1)

parsnip11 (637516) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953092)

...the Earth's temperature is rising 0.43C per decade instead of the O.34C found by previous methods.

Maybe the guy who did the old study was just dyslexic?

Come on already (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8953094)

The one thing I've noticed about Slashdot is that a huge number of users seem dead set against the idea of global warming. Am I the only one who thinks that regardless of the exact status of global warming its reasonable to take steps to reduce emissions and so on?
Assume global warming is real, and then enviromentally friendly policies are needed.
Then assume it isn't. Its not like enviromentally friendly policies require you to sacrifice your first born son. We enact them, maybe have fewer SUV's, and live in a slightly cleaner world.
You don't stand to lose anything by assuming global warming is real and going from there. You stand to lose a lot by ignoring it and having it turn out to be real.

Re:Come on already (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8953158)

You don't stand to lose anything by assuming global warming is real and going from there.

Wrong. People stand to lose their lifestyle.

But isn't it easy to order others to make sacrifices?

Thermometers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8953095)

At least the thermometer isnt up the butt. Speaking of which, where is the Earth's ass?

Re:Thermometers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8953181)

Speaking of which, where is the Earth's ass?

Look in the mirror

Re:Thermometers? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8953197)

At least the thermometer isnt up the butt. Speaking of which, where is the Earth's ass?

France smells like it might be.

Re:Thermometers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8953198)

United States Of America

The map of Europe was interesting but... (3, Interesting)

mobiux (118006) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953096)

I am assuming that since the red showed warmer areas, the blue areas would show cooler areas.
And it looks like most of the rest of Eastern Europe was cooler.

It seems to me that most people think that it's getting hotter, well, it probably is.
But I don't think that people realize that they have to take into count mroe than the most recent 200 years of history, that's a pretty small time table for something as old as the earth.

Re:The map of Europe was interesting but... (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953196)

I am assuming that since the red showed warmer areas, the blue areas would show cooler areas. And it looks like most of the rest of Eastern Europe was cooler.

The whole notion of demonstrating global warming through anecdote is absurd. Even Al Gore may have started to realize that after delivering a big speech on global warming in New York on the coldest day there in a century.

What's wrong with change??? (2, Insightful)

millahtime (710421) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953101)

So, the Earth is getting warmer. Who says change is a bad thing??? Is it bad for the earth to be warmer than it is today??? I would guess not since it has been there before.

I would assume it's because we humans are resistant to change and like what we know. But we are highly adaptive so, I'm sure we will be fine.

Re:What's wrong with change??? (4, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953167)

Life is adaptive, but even species are not. I kinda think we as humanity want to keep this delaying this meek-inheriting-the-Earth thing as long as possible.

Re:What's wrong with change??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8953228)

Who says change is a bad thing???

Easy...
- People just north of the Sahara desert think this is a bad thing.
- Canadians think that it's a good thing.

How many time still before... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8953104)

political leaders ánd general public are going to do something to protect our precious environment?

Sick huh? (1)

thedogcow (694111) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953114)

Well this explains the smelly sulphur dioxide emitted from volcanoes....

The earth just has an upset tummy...

Climate change (3, Insightful)

Doug Coulter (754128) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953118)

The problem isn't global warming, per se -- some like it hot. The problem could be better described as climate change. Sure the Earth's been through many cycles, but none where we were trying to have a technology-based civilization at the time, with food production concentrated in small areas, and the rest as cities/suburbs. All it would take to create major problems would be a major change in the pattern of rainfall. No one's going to want to tear down, say, New York, just because the climate there is suddenly good for growing crops, while California's went too dry and hot for that. And oak trees take a long time to migrate. Sure, the race will survive, but it might not be with as much fun as it could have been.

Re:Climate change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8953221)

So what are you going to do about it?

With todays technology we humans can adapt to greater amounts of change.

Also scientists are unable to predict what sort of changes this actually means.

For instance 2000 years ago or so the tempurater of the planet was much hotter. Also africa was much greener.

Could the increase in tempurature help evaporate more moisture from the oceans and icrease rainfall over africa and turn large parts of the desert green again?

This is one of those situations that renders us powerless, we only have to react.

Change is scary, but that' the only constant: CHANGE. Earth changes constantly and we are designed to adapt.

Not really correct (4, Interesting)

Tenebrious1 (530949) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953136)

And this new study, which covers the 18-year period going from 1981 to 1998, shows that the Earth's temperature is rising 0.43C per decade instead of the O.34C found by previous methods.

For those who just skimmed the linked article; the article links to another, which says the satellites can only detect temperature on land, but not over snow covered land. Hmm... seems like a skewed data set to me.

How do they know that the colder, snow-covered regions aren't getting colder, to balance out the average temperature? Or maybe the oceans are getting cooler which might also brings down the average temperature to what the ground stations recorded.

Maybe the scientists do know, and this is just a case of bad reporting...

Introducing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8953138)

Proactiv for planets! Guaranteed to clear up Earth's skin problems in 90 days or your money back. Please allow 6-8 million years for delivery.

Roland Piquepaille (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8953144)

If Roland could pick a peck of Piquepailles,
How many Piquepailles could Roland pick?

Fever and Agent Smith's golden words (4, Insightful)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953169)

According to this medical site [stlouischildrens.org] :
The temperature increases for a number of reasons:
* Chemicals, called cytokines and mediators, are produced in the body in response to an invasion from a microorganism, malignancy, or other intruder.
* The body is making more macrophages, which are cells that go to combat when intruders are present in the body. These cells actually "eat-up" the invading organism.
* The body is busily trying to produce natural antibodies, which fight infection. These antibodies will recognize the infection next time it tries to invade.

Taken together with Agent Smith's insightful words [hackvan.com] :
"Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You are a plague. And we are... the cure."

I think the message is clear - Mother Earth is trying to get rid of us.

Just more data (2, Insightful)

Nurf (11774) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953177)

The problem with this is that it really means nothing. It's useful data to have, but with our current state of knowledge, we can't infer anything from it.

The Earth's weather is a chaotic system. About the only thing you can be sure of is that things will be different tomorrow, compared to today. With a lot more research, we may be able to find strange attractors for some places at certain times, and use them to predict what is going to happen.

The human concept of "climate" is entirely that: a human concept. Eighteen years of observations is a miniscule speck in the age of this planet, and we can't say with any certainty that any trends in those eighteen years will carry to the next eighteen years. A thousand years of observations falls into the same category - a tiny sample of a big and complex system.

The Earth's weather changes on many scales: years, decades, centuries, millenia, and more. At each of those scales, there is change. Until we can understand or predict its behaviour across all those scales, we are practising voodoo when we make predictions.

I have seen arguments and models that predict that the world will heat up dramatically in the next century. I have also seen others that predict that we will be entering a new ice age. The thing is, the models for both predictions are quite reasonable.

So. We have a little data, and that's all we have. Conclusions may follow in the indeterminate future. Until then we have speculation.

This is all fine and well, but the part that annoys me is that the media (in general) are treating the speculation as fact, and only covering the speculation that fits their agenda. Please beware!

I can fix it. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8953187)

Take 2 asprins and call me in the morning.

Spectacular image? (1)

Bobman1235 (191138) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953191)

This overview contains more details and a spectacular image showing the European heat wave of the summer of 2003

Spectacular image? Honestly. It looks like a pencil sketch of Europe with Paprika sprinkled on it. A four-color map does not a "spectacular image" make.

The technology may or may not be spectacular. The image, decidedly NOT.

What's the greatest cause of global warming?... (1)

LinuxWhore (90833) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953211)

The Sun. [slashdot.org]

No, really. It has little if nothing to do with us capitalistic humans inflicting our evil habits on poor Mother Earth.

Or has everone forgotten that apparently robotic Mars probes cause global warming as well?

Dear Earth: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8953219)

I hope you didn't have the fish.

Paint everthing white (3, Funny)

cyber_rigger (527103) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953223)



Reflect the sun's energy back into space.

So What? (1)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 10 years ago | (#8953224)

There is a belief that all "global warming" is the result of the evil, short-sighted addictions of man to fossil fuels. Yet there is a natural cycle that has existed through the ages that is ignored. Indeed, those that bring this up are branded luddites and more, simply for suggesting other possibilities. But more than that, so the earth is warming. So what? Just as many animal species die out, so will we one day, we can not hold nature at what we perceive to be some abstract "perfect" state, it changes, the world changes.

The average temperature on Earth. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8953243)

A first year question for climatologists:

Define the average temperature on Earth.

[ No, I'm serious. Given the controversy, we
should at least be able to define what we mean
by the disputed physical quantity ]

Note that this quantity both has to be measured (in a consistent way over at least the past century) and predicted with climate models (over the next century) to be useful to derive policy from it.

Go ahead - and: success !

Toon Moene (A GNU Fortran maintainer and meteorologist at large)
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