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Humanity Responsible For Current Climate Change

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the we-screw-things-up dept.

Science 775

tehanu writes "Scientists working with Antarctic ice have found that the level of greenhouse gases is at the highest level in over half a million years. Carbon dioxide is 27% higher now than any other time over the last 650 000 years. Methane, an even stronger greenhouse gas is 130% higher. The period of time studied covers eight full glacial cycles including a time when the earth's position relative to the sun is the same as it is today. Other scientists have found that the annual rate at which the sea has risen since the industrial revolution is twice that of over the last 5000 years. It is predicted that by 2100 the sea level will be 40cm higher. These results provide strong evidence that human activity since the industrial revolution, rather than just natural processes, has strongly altered the world's climate. As one of the scientists involved in the research put it: 'The levels of primary greenhouse gases such as methane, carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide are up dramatically since the Industrial Revolution, at a speed and magnitude that the Earth has not seen in hundreds of thousands of years.'"

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No! God did it! (5, Funny)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116314)

People have only been here a few thousand years, right? Intelligent design and all that.

Any rise in temperature must be part of the Grand Design.

Don't sweat it! (e.g. shit happens.)

Re:No! God did it! (1)

3seas (184403) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116336)

Artic land rush...... now you know what the plan is.

Re:No! God did it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14116341)

you are partially right. we're living on a destroyed planet.

Re:No! God did it! (3, Interesting)

bigman2003 (671309) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116362)

Sadly, the best possible response we will see in America, is people putting some sort of 'Stop Global Warming' magnet on their SUV.

I am a proponent of HUGE tax increases on gasoline. Push it up to the $6 level. People won't stop driving until it really hurts to do it.

We really need to do something about cutting down on emissions. This is a serious problem, and our society is just moving further and futher towards making it worse.

Look at the electronics industry- look at our computers, and how much energy they suck up. Blindly imagining that this problem won't affect us, is like putting our heads in the sand.

But the other day I was looking at some 'Enviro-Logs' I bought. They are like Duraflame logs, but they are made from recycled 'waxed cardboard' (which they can't use for making new cardboard.)

The label touted them as being environmentally friendly because they took the cardboard out of the waste stream and landfill. But is burning it even worse?

This is a very very complex problem, and we Americans are the biggest consumers, and therefore the biggest offenders.

Once again, I say tax the crap out of things. Make it hurt to buy...use that money to correct some of the wrongs that have already been done. Protect the forests, lower emissions, etc. etc.

I'm not a tree-hugger, but I am serious about this.

Re:No! God did it! (5, Insightful)

StarvingSE (875139) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116405)

Yeah thats really smart. Make gas $6 a gallon so people already hurt by the poor economy the US is experiencing can be hurt even more. For the record, I am very environmentally minded, but the fact is that people will drive no matter what the price is. We pay around $2.50 avg around the country (not an exact figure, just estimating for sake of argument) and no one takes the bus to work. The main problem is that in many US cities there is no choice but to drive everywhere. Public transportation is seriously lacking, and I feel that should be top priority in any large metropolitan area. Make public transportation easy, cheap, and readily available, and people will gladly use it instead of paying high gas prices.

And besides, we're going to run out of oil in the next 100 years anyway, and the earth will balance itself out and go back to equilibrium, and everyone will be happy (except for the oil companaies).

Re:No! God did it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14116472)

"And besides, we're going to run out of oil in the next 100 years anyway, and the earth will balance itself out and go back to equilibrium, and everyone will be happy (except for the oil companaies)."

I don't know about you. But, I'm not happy with the idea of becoming the new oil deposits as the planet "balances itself out."

Re:No! God did it! (1, Interesting)

Doppler00 (534739) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116482)

I am a proponent of HUGE tax increases on gasoline. Push it up to the $6 level. People won't stop driving until it really hurts to do it.
And what would that accomplish? Cars in the U.S. are only a small fraction of the total emissions of greenhouse gases. It won't do any good. It will sure give politicians a nice piggy bank of money to spend on their pet projects. It won't help us in anyway though.

But the other day I was looking at some 'Enviro-Logs' I bought. They are like Duraflame logs, but they are made from recycled 'waxed cardboard' (which they can't use for making new cardboard.)
Good for you, I'm glad you did your part to reduce greenhouse emmissions by 0.000000000001%. Guess what, people have been using this renewable resource called "firewood" for several millenia now. What's great is that it can be efficiently harvested and regrown year after year netting a zero increase to greenhouse gasses. Unfortunately, due to environmental restrictions more rural areas are burning natural gas which used to be trapped underground where they were not contributing to global warming.

The label touted them as being environmentally friendly because they took the cardboard out of the waste stream and landfill. But is burning it even worse?
No, because it originated from a tree which would have burned down or decayed into greenhouse gas naturally anyway. If it is in a landfill it consumes landmass and will decay in many more centuries than if it was burned.

Overall I still don't buy any of the arguments that global warming is "bad". "bad" is only a human definition. The environment changes, yes, but you can't say it is "good" or "bad".

Re:No! God did it! (1)

NizzyWizzy4Shizzy (911654) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116496)

I am a proponent of HUGE tax increases on gasoline. Push it up to the $6 level. People won't stop driving until it really hurts to do it.

It's really too bad you'll never be elected into public office. There is no way that will happen, for several reasons.

Not that I'm personally opposed to the thought. Last time I was in Germany, prices were around 4.50 in EUROS... which is about 5-6 dollars.

The whole problem with comparing us to Germany (or any other country for that matter), is that we have fundamentally different lifestyles. Since the population is so heavily concentrated in cities there, mass transit is easier to set up. This is most definately a complex problem, and I'm sorry but just raising the taxes will not help.

Re:No! God did it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14116420)

As an evangelical climatologist, I agree whole-heartedly.

Re:No! God did it! (3, Funny)

luder (923306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116476)

You insensitive clod! Everybody knows it is because of the pirates [venganza.org] !

FIRST RACIST POST (-1, Troll)

Sexual Asspussy (453406) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116317)

I blame the Jews, followed by the niggers and then the slopes.

Re:FIRST RACIST POST (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14116487)

who are the slopes?

That's it!fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14116319)

We're boned.pf

Nothing to see here (2, Funny)

doxology (636469) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116321)

Of course the world is heating up. The rapture is nigh! [raptureready.com]

Please.... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14116323)

Everyone knows that the current climate is just a brief hiccup in the overall climate map. Just ask Rush Limbaugh. He says that we are all nuts. You have to believe him...talent on loan from God...one side of his brain tied behind his back...and all that...

Personally, I think that anyone that tells me some deity gave him talents and that he has the ability to tie his cerebrum behind his back is a total wackjob. But I'm not 51% of the voting public in the good ol USA.

Hmm (3, Informative)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116324)

I take issue with the conclusion of this submission headline, as there is plenty of evidence suggesting the possibility that we're not much of a contribution at all. I have yet to hear explanations for why temperatures actually DROPPED from the 1940s to the 1970s despite an increase in our use of automobiles and other gases. Not to mention that when you add the numbers up and take into account water vapor, mankind is only responsible for--wait for it--0.27% of the so-called greenhouse gases.

So, as Penn & Teller put it in their Bullshit! episode on the matter, we're still gathering data. So stop jumping to conclusions!

Re:Hmm (-1, Troll)

Caspian (99221) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116352)

Not to mention that when you add the numbers up and take into account water vapor


Water vapor? Water vapor? While I'd imagine water vapor is a lot more common than the others, doesn't it strike you that something as mundane as water vapor might just be a lot less, oh, I don't know, harmful than, say, carbon monoxide (or just about everything else)?

Earth's ecosystem evolved in tandem with the presence of water vapor. Earth is "used" to water vapor. It's not used to several billion internal combustion vehicles and hundreds of thousands of gasoline-burning and jet-fuel-burning aircraft zooming about polluting willy-nilly.

Re:Hmm (2, Insightful)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116491)

Those "several billion internal combustion vehicles and hundreds of thousands of gasoline-burning and jet fuel-burning aircaft" contribute only 0.27% of greenhouse gases. With water vapor taken out of the equation, we contribute 5.53%.

Water vapor is one of the so-called harmful greenhouse gases. It seems you haven't really looked at the numbers and just decided to react to my post. I posted this elsewhere, but here's a link with sources [geocraft.com] .

All I'm saying is there is no proven link that mankind is causing global warming, and there are plenty of possibilities that it is part of a natural cycle based on various opposing evidence. So I took issue with the emotive headline of this Slashdot article that declared humanity responsible for climate change.

Re:Hmm (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14116522)

  1. Water vapor is a greenhouse gas, it contributes to global warming. Since you appear aware that there's lots of water vapor, from your comments that the Earth is "used" to it, then maybe you can understand the grandparent's post that we're not adding all that much greenhouse gases to what is already in the atmosphere.
  2. You say carbon monoxide is harmful. Define harmful. Harmful for you and I to breathe? Sure, and I'd like less of it in the atmosphere. Harmful as a greenhouse gas? Maybe, but regardless of the article description and title, the article doesn't provide conclusive evidence that the 0.27% of greenhouse gases we contribute to the ecosystem is causing global warming (the earth is a lot older than 650,000 years).
  3. Even if we're responsible, there's no conclusive evidence that it's not a good thing. The Earth goes through warm cycles and ice age cycles. Another ice age *is* going to happen. Us causing it to happen sooner through global warming would be bad, but it's not entirely clear we're not delaying it through global warming either.
  4. Numbers of internal combustion vehicles and jet aircraft isn't a very good metric, unless you can quantify the damage of one car or one plane. There are billions of microbes in your body right now! Oh my god, you're going to die! The Earth is pretty big. Those billions of cars and hundreds of thousands of aircraft are still only providing 0.27% of greenhouse gases.

Re:Hmm (0, Flamebait)

abigor (540274) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116361)

"I have yet to hear explanations for why temperatures actually DROPPED from the 1940s to the 1970s despite an increase in our use of automobiles and other gases."

Wow, good one! I'll bet the world's atmospheric scientists never, ever thought of that little "fact", eh? Leave it to a common-sense guy like you - the veritable man in the street - to bring these buffoons to their senses. All that university stuff - bah! All you need is a bit of good old American know-how. Well done! Now let's sharpen our pencils and get down to work! We'll show these darned eggheads what's what, boy oh boy!

Re:Hmm (1)

Random832 (694525) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116406)

The point is that "ignore data that is inconvenient to fit to the hypothesis" is what we generally associate with pseudoscience like Nature's Harmonic Simultaneous 4-day TimeCube. If they haven't explained it, then why?

Re:Hmm (0)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116415)

Gee, I can't argue with that kind of research!

Notice you don't offer an explanation. I find it telling I'm marked as "Overrated" while you've got a nice karma bonus.

Here's the temperature record. [wikipedia.org] Are you telling me that the mere existence of that graph proves a link to humans? Despite a 0.27% contribution of greenhouse gases by humans? There's more CO2 released from the natural exchange of water vapor in the environment than from us. Also, notice the plateau and dip in temperatures in the graph, which refutes the idea that it's been a very steady increase in gases since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.

All I'm saying is, it's silly to jump to any conclusions when there is opposing evidence, opposing opinion, and a lack of any hard proven link.

I call "bullshit" on you. (0, Flamebait)

BorgCopyeditor (590345) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116480)

There's that 0.27% number again. You like to cook your statistics, don't you?

the plateau and dip in temperatures in the graph, which refutes the idea that it's been a very steady increase in gases since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.

ROFL! That's some good reasoning. Let me see if I understand this: since temperature has not been on a steady rise since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, there has not been a steady increase of "greenhouse gases." God, that's funny.

Penn calls "Bullshit" on what most of the rest of the intelligent world recognizes because it gives him a big old stiffy to pretend that his "superior" perspective comes from his being more of a man. What moral deficiency is your excuse for this shoddy thinking?

Re:Hmm (1)

truckaxle (883149) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116492)

Do you realize you just stumbled into Bush's campaign philosophy? It was this very image that he so often restorted to. Bah Washington and their "fuzzy math" you need a man who is just a "awh shucks" sort of guy and can see through all the baloney.

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14116523)

Sure, they've thought of it. Once, and it terrified them so much they shoved it way down deep inside and try to never think of it again. Like you, they use ad hominems and (not particularly) witty bon mots to distract attention from the fact that they've fallen into worst trap a scientist could: they've become emotionally invested in a particular outcome of their work.

Links (2, Insightful)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116369)

Forgot to post the link where I got the 0.27% number from: Global warming--a closer look at the numbers [geocraft.com]

I was discussing the global warming issue just last Tuesday with someone who was very adamant that humans are responsible for everything. As I offered more and more opposing evidence suggesting that there is no definitive proof that mankind is responsible, he grew more and more emotional until he told me "attitudes like yours are why the planet is going to hell" and wouldn't discuss it further. Unfortunately, these kinds of responses are common when you're trying to rationally discuss climate change and point out that correlation does not equal causality, and that a proven link has not been made. Most of the time, you see lots of "consensus science" used as a debate point--as in, "Well, so-and-so organization says we're responsible and these guys say we're responsible."

I subscribe to what I call my "1/3 the hype" theory. When you see a lot of hype over something, reduce it to 1/3 of itself and believe that instead. E.g., "Linux on the desktop this year is going to take over!" becomes Linux will make a few gains here and there. And "mankind is responsible for everything according to correlation in some figures!" means there's some possibility we're responsible but no hard links yet.

Besides, when someone mentions that temperatures are higher, they always neglect to mention that temps actually dipped from the 40s to the 70s, giving the impression that it's just been a steady, consistent ramp upward with no variation, when it hasn't. And it is misleading to omit that fact.

Re:Hmm (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14116399)

A 30 year span is insignificant in terms of global climate TRENDS. The authors of the study never said that fluctuations in mean temperatures do not occur on the scale of years or decades - they are talking about hundreds of thousands of years, and you're talking about an insignificant blip on this scale.

One could argue (and there are scientists who do) that the global mean temperature should be influenced by the 11-year solar cycle. The magnitude of this variation is not the same from cycle to cycle, and depends on complicated processes within the sun. Whatever the cause of this 30-year cooling that you refer to, it's not relevant to the conclusions of this climate study.

Re:Hmm (5, Informative)

apsmith (17989) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116435)

Hope you're still there - here's the explanation:

the nowadays accepted interpreation [is] that the cooling was largely caused by sulphate aerosols [realclimate.org]

Those particulates that the clean air act got rid of in the 80's and 90's, caused cooling up to the 70's. They also caused smog, acid rain, lots of health problems etc. so it's a good thing we got rid of them. But the aerosols masked the warming trend for a while. Pretty well understood in the models.

Re:Hmm (1)

Pneuma ROCKS (906002) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116446)

I take issue with the conclusion of this submission headline, as there is plenty of evidence suggesting the possibility that we're not much of a contribution at all.

Yes, I agree. If you want irrefutable evidence of the real cause of global warming, allow me to introduce exhibit A [venganza.org] .

Can I hear a Ramen!

... anyone?

Re:Hmm (1)

ipfwadm (12995) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116498)

Not to mention that when you add the numbers up and take into account water vapor, mankind is only responsible for--wait for it--0.27% of the so-called greenhouse gases.

And that 0.27% could be enough to alter the delicate balance that existed before we began adding our share. Don't think so? Check to see what the house edge on, say, blackjack or craps is. In a number of cases (it varies based on the exact rules the casino sets), less than 1%. Las Vegas keeps on growing though.

That said, I do agree that the headline is rather far-reaching.

Meet the new boss...same as the old boss (4, Insightful)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116327)


This is an interesting turn of events...

When the evidence was less than conclusive about either global warming in general or our role in it in particular, the administration roundly decried it, calling global warming a 'myth' and a 'fantasy'.

When the evidence was conclusive about global warming in general, but inconclusive about our role in it, the administration switched to "well...perhaps it is real, but it's surely just a natural phenomenon...we can't be more than marginally responsible".

And now that the evidence about both global warming in general and our role in it in particular is conclusive, the line will now be "oh well...water under the bridge. There's nothing we can do about it now".

In other words...business in usual. It might be a good idea to sell that beachfront property and start shopping for property further north...particularly since you'll be hunting for your own food when the climate shift causes worldwide food shortages.

Re:Meet the new boss...same as the old boss (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14116348)

Can we get a look at what real Scientists think of this study first? Oh, I know. Every study created by science is fact because they say so. They also conclude that the atmosphere was "X" millions of years ago because of what they found out by going back a few hundred thousand years. Mind you, the facts sound telling, but the progression from a few hundred thousand years to millions of years is disturbing.

By the way, this is what a newspaper thought of the science. The science may be spot on, it may be crap.

Re:Meet the new boss...same as the old boss (1)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116363)


OK, what do we do now?

Sign up and adhere to Kyoto? Will China be interested in throttling down their energy use?

Let's see some ideas.

Re:Meet the new boss...same as the old boss (1)

miu (626917) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116400)

Let's see some ideas.

Spin control and lots of it.

Okay, I'm out of ideas.

Re:Meet the new boss...same as the old boss (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14116452)

40cm higher oceans for the industrial revolution? call me an optimist, but i think it was worth it.

Re:Meet the new boss...same as the old boss (5, Insightful)

nharmon (97591) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116368)

Well, we know what happened the last time a few experts were taken at face value...No WMDs.

"Scientific" studies are supposed to be criticised, repeated, disproven...and then when all else fails...accepted.

Re:Meet the new boss...same as the old boss (5, Insightful)

Lifewish (724999) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116382)

"Scientific" studies are supposed to be criticised, repeated, disproven...and then when all else fails...accepted.

You're right. It's essential for scientific ideas to be challenged by the scientific community. On the other hand, what's happening here is the scientific community's consensus being challenged by the political community, which is insane.

Re:Meet the new boss...same as the old boss (1)

value_added (719364) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116506)

Well, we know what happened the last time a few experts were taken at face value...No WMDs.

No, what was accepted at face value was what was said and repeated publically by Bush, and by those in charge (Cheney, Tenet, and Rice, among others, and to his regret, Powell). To the extent there were experts working for or in conjunction with any of these folks, none of use was privy to the discussions or any disagreements.

Re:Meet the new boss...same as the old boss (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14116370)

Posh. Plants and algae love CO2! If anything, the tree huggers should be thankful. In fact I bet some of them are looking to buy the most efficient motor-vehicles possible to convert every last CC of fuel/air mixture into CO2 with minimal waste.

And who here hasn't hugged a tree, not even once? Honestly! They're just so cute. All puffy and leafy, stoic and firmly planted in their resolve to metabolise CO2 into O2.

Re:Meet the new boss...same as the old boss (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14116371)

Well, to be fair, almost everyone agrees that carbon dioxide is in higher quantities in the atmosphere. The disagreement is whether it is actually causing temperatures to rise. (that is, they wouldn't have risen on their on, as part of natural fluctuations)

It doesn't matter how much evidence is found. (1, Flamebait)

Caspian (99221) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116335)

The reactionary conservative crowd will stick their fingers in their ears and say that "global warming" is a myth. They'll crack jokes about how "global worming" (sic) is supposed to cause an ice age (hyuk hyuk, how funny). Then they'll segue into a rant about how those evil scientists are still trying to spread the "disproven" theory of evolution.

The mountain of evidence that we are, slowly but surely, screwing up our planet's very ability to support life itself does not matter to many people. They would prefer to believe (against all reason) that such a bad thing simply cannot happen to us. Worse, many (most?) people simply don't care what will happen in three or four or five (or ten) generations, since "ah well, I won't be alive then anyways." Never mind that this is the present generation's great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren, or whatnot we're talking about, and that most people-- if asked-- will vehemently insist that they care about their children.

Trying to talk sense into these people is like trying to argue with a Scientologist about psychiatry or with a Southern Baptist about evolution.

Re:It doesn't matter how much evidence is found. (2, Insightful)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116412)

Miller gave an interesting interview.

http://www.actionbioscience.org/evolution/miller.h tml [actionbioscience.org]

I discount his science because he's as fundy for gaia as some are for god. Global warming has become a religion and no longer counts as science.

Re:It doesn't matter how much evidence is found. (1, Troll)

garcia (6573) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116428)

I have a completely different philosophy (and routinely get modded into oblivion for expressing it because God forbid you have a different opinion): So what if we are exitinct? Who cares? The Earth doesn't. We're just one small blip on the map of the history of Earth. If we're gone it's likely that something else will come along later that might even be better (maybe not).

It's all part of the lifecycle. Stop worrying about it. If it's not Global Warming it'll be volcanos, nuclear holocaust, mass disease, World War, or mass alien abduction!

Re:It doesn't matter how much evidence is found. (2, Insightful)

gatzke (2977) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116429)


The Earth will not lose the ability to support life. Even all out USSR USA nucular war would not remove the ability to support life, as cockroaches would still be around...

What you are worried about is significant change in the balance. We already have that. Think about the change in world population in the last 1000 years, from millions to billions. That is disruptive, as we are not currently self-sustaining.

You want to lock us in to one point in time and make sure nobody is hurting too bad. Guess what, bad things may happen and a lot (millions) of people may die until things settle out to a sustainable level.

I hope our tech can hold off major change for a few generations, but you never know...

Re:It doesn't matter how much evidence is found. (3, Insightful)

gtrubetskoy (734033) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116436)

Trying to talk sense into these people is like trying to argue with a Scientologist about psychiatry or with a Southern Baptist about evolution.

"Sense" is neither one view or the other. If we develop ways to produce and consume energy that do not pollute the environment, the debate on whether global warming is caused by humans would be completely irrelevant.

What bothers me is the folks who cannot accept that the answer is somewhere in between, it has to be a total disaster scenario or complete denial.

Of the two news items that read "So and so has almost positively proven the cause of global warming" or "So and so has developed a way to reduce co2 emissions by 2.76%" - which one is more sensational, which one qualifies as "front page"? Which sceintist will get more funding and publicity - the one behind the former story or the latter? Yet which of has contributed more to society? That's problem with us people, hype-driven beings...

Re:It doesn't matter how much evidence is found. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14116444)

What a surprise, you got modded down by pissant conservatives who can't handle any criticism of their fragile little worldview.

Re:It doesn't matter how much evidence is found. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14116469)

It's just an off-topic troll. And should be modded accordingly. DUH.

Re:It doesn't matter how much evidence is found. (-1)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116464)

Basically, your post was a flamebait stereotyping of anybody who might have an opposing viewpoint.

There is no hard link proving humans are causing anything. All you have is "correlation = causality" and how many times have Slashdotters pointed out that one does not equal the other? If we want to look at correlation, solar activity is the highest it's ever been right now, and it's often been theorized in the past that there is a link. And you mock anyone who brings up all the "new Ice Age" talk from the 70s. Why? It's a valid point--people were saying back then that we were COOLING (due to the dip in temperatures at the time). Now we're WARMING (due to a rise in temperatures since).

Temperatures DIPPED from the 1940s to the 1970s, which suggests we're not causing any steady upramp of temperatures. When you add up the numbers (including natural water vapors), mankind only contributes about 0.27% of greenhouse gases. But these kinds of figures don't get discussed here, for some reason. They are dismissed as looney, just as you are doing. For some reason, a lot of people, particularly on Slashdot, have just assumed it's some sort of universal consensus that mankind has been proven to be the cause, that the evil Bush administration and their capitalist minions (who remind you of Scientologists--good dig there) are seeking to hide the numbers.

You make reference to a "mountain of evidence." But there is no provable mountain of evidence. The fact there is debate on the issue proves as much. There is plenty of opposing evidence and opinion. Many have written about the fact that many environmentalists are going into environmental science already believing that there is a natural dilemma caused by mankind--pre-made assumptions that they are looking to prove, instead of the other way around. And if you go against the majority, you get attacked. Look at what happened to the author of "The Skeptical Environmentalist."

A lot of people use global warming as an excuse to revel in their self-loathing, rattling on about companies and mankind and industry while ignoring the lack of any provable link and the hard numbers that suggest we're a negligible threat to the environment.

But hey, go on dismissing and stereotyping instead of calmly discussing it.

Re:It doesn't matter how much evidence is found. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14116479)

Yeah, well maybe if you go on believing that just has hard as you can it will magically become true!

Re:It doesn't matter how much evidence is found. (2, Insightful)

Salgak1 (20136) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116510)

Let's assume Global Warming is a fact. Now let's pull back to a Geologic Time Scale. Earth has been in an Ice Age for the past 5-10 million years. Apply Global Warming and. . . . . . . . we get "normal" conditions for the vast majority of this planet's history. When dealing with planetary-level events, one should also use a planetary-level timescale. . .

Solar Activiity is at its highest levels since (3, Insightful)

Crashmarik (635988) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116338)

Galileo started recording sunspots. Mars has its polar caps showing sines of melting and pluto also shows signs of warming.

It would be nice if all the reports about the environment didn't carry the chicken little byline.

Re:Solar Activiity is at its highest levels since (2, Funny)

Crashmarik (635988) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116350)

Oops make that signs should not read slashdot while doing math.

Re:Solar Activiity is at its highest levels since (1)

jd (1658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116500)

Does that mean your post was on a tangent? And are the claims of environmental scientists merely hyperbole, or should we consider that they may in fact be parabolic?

Re:Solar Activiity is at its highest levels since (1)

benbob (554908) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116439)

27% higher now than any other time over the last 650 000 years

I dont think Galileo has been recording for quite as long as the ice? This is a major 'event' whatever way you look at it.

Re:Solar Activiity is at its highest levels since (5, Informative)

e_lehman (143896) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116461)

You're a bit off on your timescales. The southern icecap on Mars is melting because it is spring there:

From NASA [nasa.gov] :

Like Earth, Mars has seasons that cause its polar caps to wax and wane. "It's late spring at the south pole of Mars," says planetary scientist Dave Smith of the Goddard Space Flight Center. "The polar cap is receding because the springtime sun is shining on it."

Similarly, the warming on Pluto is also apparently seasonal (though its seasons are long, of course). From Space.com:

Pluto's atmospheric pressure has tripled over the past 14 years, indicating a stark temperature rise, the researchers said. The change is likely a seasonal event, much as seasons on Earth change as the hemispheres alter their inclination to the Sun during the planet's annual orbit.

When scientists worry about global warming on earth, they're not just griping about the arrival of spring!

Re:Solar Activiity is at its highest levels since (1)

e_lehman (143896) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116477)

Oops... The source for the second quote is here [space.com] on space.com.

Re:Solar Activiity is at its highest levels since (1)

Exquilax (924776) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116483)

Yes, observations made by someone quite a few hundreds of years ago and signs on distant planets are much better scientific evidence than ice samples collected here... /sarcasm off

Although there's the 'duh' factor, nice research (1, Flamebait)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116344)

Will it scare humanity into changing their habits? I would hope so, but the US ignores the Kyoto Treaty, and burns CO2/CO-producing fuels at hell-bent rates. Mass transportation? Nah.

It proves that unless you're interested in murdering subsequent generations, we need to start now to get energy that doesn't smut-up the atmosphere, our lungs, and forestry/ag plans that don't cut the lungs out of the earth so that someone can have cute cabinets in Miami.

Unfortunately, a little more natural drama (maybe a few dozen more hurricanes this year?) to get the body of humanity to change their habits.

But we can hope.

Devil's Advocate position (3, Interesting)

xmas2003 (739875) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116360)

While I personally agree there is some truth that we are affecting the planet on a global scale, let me play devil's advocate for a moment here. Assuming the data is good (a BIG assumption), how do we know this isn't part of some bigger natural geological cycle? Remember that continents/mountains move SLOWLY ... like millions of years. It may be that this is the natural ebb and flow of nature. And the "sea level" raising 40cm by 2100 makes one wonder about places like New Orleans.

BTW, I usually run Firefox, but happened to open this up in Internet Exploder - all three URL's in the article had popups - you forget about those things when you predominantly use Firefox.

P.S. I'm argueably contributing to global warming with my 20,000+ Christmas lights [komar.org] ... although at least I signed up for wind power.

We need realistic plans for change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14116366)

I think we can all agree that it is clear that the most realistic, cost-effective, quickest, safest plans for change involve ubiquitous personal nuclear power and terraforming Mars.

Bad news? (3, Funny)

MutantHamster (816782) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116367)

"It is predicted that by 2100 the sea level will be 40cm higher."

Awesome. That's 40 cm less I have to drive to get to the beach.

Dude - your car can drive down a vertical surface? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14116402)

Niiiiiice.

Re:Bad news? (1)

truckaxle (883149) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116414)

Actually it is better than you think. If you live in one of the interior states then the beach will come to you....

Re:Bad news? (1)

Danimoth (852665) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116421)

With water levels 40cm higher there wont BE a beach.

Re:Bad news? (1)

sillybilly (668960) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116430)

Actually, if you know trigonometry, it's 40cm / tangent(beach slope angle). For example, if your beach slope is 5 degrees, the tangent is 0.0875, and thus you have to drive 40 cm / 0.0875=457 cm less, or 4.5 meters less. If your beach slope is only 1 degrees, barely sloping, then the tangent is 0.0175, and you have to drive a whopping 23 meters less!

Even in the darkest hours, there is yet hope..... (3, Interesting)

Ex-MislTech (557759) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116376)

Well the Tech is out there to reverse this .

We just need a Apollo program level of devotion to it .

University of Wisconsin has a working 3HE reactor, he fuel is just the issue, the moon is the answer.

Helium-3 on the moon, and the new finding of altering Hydrogen atoms molecular
orbits in a manner unknown before and pointing to fundamental errors in physics/Calculus .

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/story/0,3605,162 7424,00.html [guardian.co.uk]

Keep in mind he has had some peer review on this before chucking it on the bone pile .

The Algae that makes enormous amounts of oil for biodiesel and other uses also
gives as a short term methodolgy vs. drilling for oil . It also burns cleaner .

        * Soybean: 40 to 50 US gal/acre (40 to 50 m/km)
        * Rapeseed: 110 to 145 US gal/acre (100 to 140 m/km)
        * Mustard: 140 US gal/acre (130 m/km)
        * Jatropha: 175 US gal/acre (160 m/km)
        * Palm oil: 650 US gal/acre (610 m/km) [2]
        * Algae: 10,000 to 20,000 US gal/acre (10,000 to 20,000 m/km)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biodiesel [wikipedia.org]

There is yet Hope, but stray a little and you will fail to the ruin of us all - LOTR

Ex-MislTech

Re:Even in the darkest hours, there is yet hope... (0, Offtopic)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116445)

You are perfectly correct.

However, the world is not all that straight-forward.

The issue on hand is NOT oil, it is the control and money it brings with it.

Today's oil barons are ready to ditch oil in a moment's notice, PROVIDED, they can control the alternate source as easily as oil.

Any attempt to break that cartel will NOT succeed. They have been entrenched too long, too powerful, and too much moneyed to be ignored or broken easily.

To save the world from further ruin, we should collaborate with them.
If we are truly "for earth", Bio-diesel and portable nuclear fuel reactors may be the answer. However to be easily adopted, we need to "PROVE" that the same cartel that controls oil (iam not talking about OPEC), needs to be assured that they will still have absolute control over both supply and pricing of the new fangled energy sources.

There have been numerous attempts to replace oil with cleaner fuels, more cheaper sources, however, all have failed for the reason that the cartel is unwilling to relinquish control and will squash any attempt at dismantling the cartel.

Re:Even in the darkest hours, there is yet hope... (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116447)

We just need a Apollo program level of devotion to it .

Not even that.. Just getting some iron into the Pacific ocean west of South America would make a good start.

-jcr

Up by Fargo, Global Warming can't come too soon! (3, Funny)

Robotbeat (461248) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116377)

I live in Minnesota, and it was about 8 degrees Fahrenheit (about -13.3 C) on Turkey Day morning, so I don't really give a hoot that all you suckers in Florida are gonna drown, winter is COLD up here, and I'm for as much global warming as we can push out of our gas-guzzling tanks-as-SUVs. I mean, I think there's a "Minnesotans for Global Warming" club somewhere, and I want to join! (We have recorded -60F (-51C) temperatures in MN like 10 years, and that ain't no stinking wind chill, either, so we have pretty harsh winters!)

(In other news, sell any property you own near sea level.)

Re:Up by Fargo, Global Warming can't come too soon (1)

saskboy (600063) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116409)

Too bad warmer Winters isn't what we can expect from climate change. The changes are not bound to mean that every day through the year will be warmer, just that on average they will be. We might still have extreme cold, but instead broken up by periods of thaw, which will hurt trees for one thing, and make roads icy and broken. And we'll have bugs moving north, with more trouble for our crops, since we might get snow in August now and then.

Change in the climate stresses every biological creature, and when creatures get stressed, there's death as a result for some of them. We're adapted to live under certain conditions, and if things either suddenly change, or change over time to something very different, the lives our children live could look nothing like our parent's lives did.

Re:Up by Fargo, Global Warming can't come too soon (1)

Robotbeat (461248) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116511)

I was trying to be funny (you can't really take me to be serious when I say that I am fine about millions of people dying in floods as long as Minnesota's winters are milder), but I always forget how poorly sarcasm is transmitted over the internet! (Sorry)

But that's a good point, although from my learning of physics, I find it unlikely that there would be increased temp. differentials, but I would expect DECREASED temp differentials (from more energetic convection), with their own set of dangers. Also, we still wouldn't have many bugs up north in your scenario, since as long as there's one or two good, hard frosts, the bugs will die off (it takes at least a month or two for any significant number of them to come back after the last frost in the spring).

Re:Up by Fargo, Global Warming can't come too soon (1)

Robotbeat (461248) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116467)

But we Minnesotans also have a solution to global warming. All gasoline sold in MN is a 10% ethanol mix (by law), and many gas stations have 85% ethanol mixes (which costs less per gallon, but because of fuel economy, it works to be about even with gasoline per mile). In fact, last time I topped off (Thanksgiving morning), I filled up with 85% ethanol in a new Mercury Flexible Fuel Vehicle (FFV). Many new cars are FFV, and ethanol (or other biofuels) is really the only choice that I can see if we humans want to be able to drive around in cars in 300 years when there won't be a drop of oil anywhere. Nice thing about ethanol (from my perspective) is that if you ever take a trip across the US (from car or plane), you'll see endless fields of corn. And we still have a lot of land that can be farmed (in places like Montana, etc.), which translates into more fuel. I consider myself quite the conservative and one the other of my biggest reasons for burning ethanol instead of gasoline is that then I don't have to give money to shady places like Venezuela and Saudi Arabia and Canada (oops! JK, but we actually do get most of our gasoline in Minnesota from Canada, I believe).

Good (0, Flamebait)

liangzai (837960) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116378)

For us people in Scandinavia, this climatic change will actually be pretty good, with better climate all around the year.

Too bad, tho, for the already poor people all over the world, in Africa and Asia, and it is also too bad for the Americans.

But this is what they wanted, right? Bush didn't sign the Kyoto protocol, and he could care less about the climate, since the "climate" is so far away from Texas; man, does he detest these "international" things where he isn't the given monarch or what. Besides, Katrina and such disasters are acts of God, not an act of man; there is much intelligence in a design like a hurricane.

And China has said it won't comply to any environmental agreements, since the West already has a hundred years of polluting the world; China wants to catch up before they do anything about it, so that they also can enjoy what the people in the West enjoys. And they are so used to "natural disasters" such as floodings, droughts, "great leaps forward" and so on, and they have so many people to sacrifice for the cause.

So, if I allow myself to be just as selfish as the Americans and the Chinese for a moment, I will say this bodes well for the Swedish economy; we can thrive on your miseries, make me filfthy rich cleaning up your mess and provide services to combat a rising sea level, ever worse hurricanes, serious droughts and other phenomena.

You had it coming, suckers!

Re:Good -- treat this as investment advice (2, Funny)

flitelog (598837) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116407)

I just bought a home 10 miles from the ocan. I figure, in 30 years (when I retire) I'll be sitting on ocean front property!

1. Buy land a few feet above sea level

2. Steady the course, environomentally

3. Sell ocean front real-estate in 30 years

4. PROFIT!

Re:Good (3, Informative)

reiggin (646111) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116442)

Bush didn't sign the Kyoto protocol... blahblahblah...

And neither did Clinton. Oh, and no one on either side of Congress voted for it, either. Sorry for this temporary insertion of non-slanted facts. You can resume your regular misinformed spin now.

Re:Good (1)

truckaxle (883149) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116453)

Actually most of the global warming models involving the north Atlantic oceanic conveyor predicts northern Europe will plunge into a new ice age. Brrr.... That is why we selfish Americans are not overly concerned about it.

Re:Good (2, Insightful)

ChipMonk (711367) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116465)

Bush didn't sign the Kyoto protocol

Clinton didn't sign it, either. Thankfully, neither one could sign it without the Senate's approval.

You had it coming, suckers!

Uh, excuse me, but who's running more and more Diesel engines [typepad.com] ? You're not exactly complying with Kyoto either, and you did sign it.

Stop spreading FUD, do something productive (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14116385)


There is too many reports citing scientists on global warming doom and gloom and next to nothing being published about our progress in using hydrogen as the source of energy. It almost makes you want to say "Sceintists, stop with the global warming stuff, start working on the renewable energy already!".

The reason? Doom is sensational - and guess what the news outlets will publish first?

I'm not so sure I agree ... (1)

Infinity Salad (657619) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116516)

There is too many reports citing scientists on global warming doom and gloom and next to nothing being published about our progress in using hydrogen as the source of energy. It almost makes you want to say "Sceintists, stop with the global warming stuff, start working on the renewable energy already!". The reason? Doom is sensational - and guess what the news outlets will publish first?

What you say is true, however I think it misses the big picture. By publishing articles like these, more people will take notice (you know that most people haven't thought through the implications of global warming, right?) and pressure their governments to change their ways or support scientific research, like hydrogen, to solve or mitigate the impending problems.

My point: Articles about scientists working on alternative energy or climate restoration will not catch the general population's notice when presented without a recognized context.

Conservative scum on wrong side of every issue (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14116389)

Conservatives fought against the abolition of slavery.
Conservatives fought against the child labor laws.
Conservatives fought against free speech.
Conservatives fought on the side of Adolph Hitler.
Conservatives fought to keep apartheid in South Africa.
Conservatives denied that cigarettes posed any health risk.
Conservatives fought against free speech.
Conservatives fought to keep oral sex illegal.
Conservatives hate science.
Conservatives fought against equal rights for women.
Conservatives fought against long hair on men.
Conservatives fought against slacks for women.
Conservatives fought against equal rights.
Conservatives fought against the minimum wage.
CONSERVATIVES ARE UN-AMERICAN SCUM.

Bigger picture (4, Funny)

wombatmobile (623057) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116392)

Carbon dioxide is 27% higher now than any other time over the last 650 000 years.

But the Earth is 4.5 billion years old.

Maybe the C02 level rises every million years or so, each time life evolves into things that make internal combustion engines. Then it falls for a while after each thermonuclear war.

A graph [v2.nl] of the last 3 million years?

Re:Bigger picture (1)

Verity_Crux (523278) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116502)

Carbon dioxide is 27% higher now than any other time over the last 650 000 years.

So does any other time in the last 650 000 years include yesterday? Did it actually go up 27% last night? Wait, what if it included this morning? Somebody took a serious lunch break?

US will be the big losers, so F'em (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14116404)

Human induced climate change will cause havoc, but it won't destroy the biosphere. The asteroid strikes the obliterated the dinosaurs were far more catastrophic and life continued. So if humanity is too stupid to control it's own destiny, then let it suffer the consequences. Life on Earth will be much happier with a few billion fewer humans running around destroying everything.

idustrial revolution caused a climate change? (0, Troll)

ndruw1 (921682) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116411)

no shit




i could be a scientist

Re:idustrial revolution caused a climate change? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14116440)

Somehow I doubt that.

An important point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14116426)

Whether or not anyone is convinced by scientific evidence on this issue is only relevant if the conclusions are false (ie no anthropogenic climate change). If it's true, then there is little humanity can do to reverse the change, nor could they organize to do it even if it were possible. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

So, (3, Insightful)

Descalzo (898339) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116433)

at a speed and magnitude that the Earth has not seen in hundreds of thousands of years.

So what were those lousy smegheads doing to the earth hundreds of thousands of years ago? Stupid cavemen and their earth-raping!

Still don't understand (1)

blockhouse (42351) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116434)

I still don't understand how global warming is supposed to make sea levels rise. Ice has a lower density than water. If you put ice cubes in a glass of water and allow the ice cubes to melt, the water level will go down. So as the polar icecaps melt, won't the sea level go down? (I'm assuming that the outlying pack ice overlying the Antarctic Ocean will melt before the pack overlying the continent.)

Re:Still don't understand (2, Informative)

apsmith (17989) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116456)

Floating ice will make no difference due to hydrostatic balance. The difference in sea level comes from warming of ocean water itself and resulting expansion, and melting of continental glaciers - Greenland probably most worrisome right now.

Re:Still don't understand (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116466)

So as the polar icecaps melt, won't the sea level go down?

No.

Most of the Antartic ice cap is on land, and a great deal of ice in northern lattitudes is in glaciers on Greenland, Asia, and North America.

We could drop the world sea level by a dozen feet or so if we flooded the Sahara through Libya, though. We could power North Africa and most of southern Europe that way, too.

-jcr

whew... (0)

syntap (242090) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116443)

It is predicted that by 2100 the sea level will be 40cm higher.

Thanks goodness... that should give me some time to finally aquire an XBox 360.

I hate this sensationalism (1)

detritus` (32392) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116454)

Seriously... Just because CO2 and CH4 are up does NOT mean global warming is anthropogenic... and these models assume the gases in these bubbles in not in flux. I assure you this ice is not a system that is "frozen" (sorry about the pun, but...) as i'm sure these gases do migrate through the ice, especially for those layers closest to the surface, but also for the ones further down. And even if this was shown to be 100% factual (i know, can never be in science) it STILL doesnt mean that this is whats responsible for global warming. Just because you can correlate something does mean there's actually a relationship. After all you could correlate the amount of environmentalists with global warming, so therefor its environmentalist's fault that we're warming. We're coming out of an ice age, its a known fact. These models almost never correlate the preturbations in the earths orbit and spin, as well as solar output (how can we know the suns activities 1000s of years ago? we cant) when a 1% increase in solar output would cause way more of an impact than this unproven facts.

Re:I hate this sensationalism (1)

emagery (914122) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116470)

A few things... while I agree that humanity is not the sole cause, these figures are pretty hard to dismiss... with that in mind, by what method can you 'assure' me that ice layers are not, as you say, 'frozen.' Where's your data? Granted, this is a challenge to you, but seriously as well, if you have that data, I'd love to see it, because I am a bit torn on this... though, there is NO question whatsoever that we need to rectify this issue a lot, even if we're not as bad a cause as we think. The levels of prozac and caffiene found in the SAME salmon extractions is evidence enough. =P

Having your town destroyed is NOT sensationalism (1)

humankind (704050) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116514)

It really pisses me off that armchair scientist wankers such as yourself want to dismiss the overwhelming amount of evidence that the climate is going through major changes.

Meanwhile, weeks after hurricane season has ended, tropical storm DELTA is brewing.

My entire home town has been reduced to rubble.

Fuck you.

This is news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14116460)

This is news?

who's to blame? (4, Insightful)

RussP (247375) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116471)

If the thesis of this article is true -- and that's a big "if" -- then who is more to blame than anyone else for global warming? Why, it't the anti-nuclear "environmentalists," of course. Nuclear power produces no greenhouse gases -- none! Yet the U.S. gets half its electric power from coal. Folks, we burn three tons of coal per *second* in the U.S. alone, and the gaseous emissions kill an estimated 50,000 people per year.

If indeed human activity is causing global warming, then we can solve this problem inteligently or stupidly. The intelligent solution starts with nuclear power. The stupid solution is to give up our mobility and regress to third world living conditions.

If you oppose nuclear power, please educate yourself [russp.us] .

just so much anti-American fucking bullshit (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14116475)

This (TFA) is the most unbelievably bad science I've ever seen. It is an abomination of the art.

PLEASE, please, /. ers, TRY and raise yourselves up above reporting and commenting on this sort of asinine shit.

Instead, focus on the REAL problem in the world, the uncvilized assholes in the Middle East ...

http://www.breitbart.com/news/2005/11/25/D8E3HI1G0 .html [breitbart.com]

THESE (and the filthy Chinese, the world's worst polluters) are the sorts of people ruining the planet. Not us.

could it be... (1)

rootedgimp (523254) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116489)

...that a comet was flying through the solar system, and parts of it or the ice tail landed in various places. it could help explain why the craters on the moon are not evenly distributed over its surface, it could also explain the craters on mars -- which are also not evenly distributed. as a matter of fact, according to http://www.thule.org/mars/ [thule.org]

The following conclusions can be made:
I . Mars received about 86 percent of its craters in one catastrophic day.
2. Mars received the other 14 percent of its craters during all other time.
3. The 14 percent in all other time impacted Mars equally in both hemispheres.
4. Approximately 2831 of the 3068 craters in the Hemisphere of Craters impacted Mars during one single day, and, for that matter, during one single 60-minute spasm of tidal upheaval and crater formation.


It kinda reminded me of this [slashdot.org] article. wasn't that crater full of ice near the planets north pole? isnt ice slightly magnetic? don't we have two ice covered poles on our own planet?

Ok so if a meteor was flying nearby our planet, and tons of ice chunks came into our atmosphere and landed on our north and south poles how would we know? well.. we might find plants and trees not nearly suitable for arctic climates under the ice there. and we do. we also find animals that shouldnt be in those areas (eg. animals that eat only plants). havn't we even found frozen mammoths standing straight up with food undigested in their stomachs? how would you freeze something the size of an elephant that fast without the inside rotting out before freezing? coldest temperature if i remember right was recorded in antarctica, something like -130 F. thats cold, but not nearly cold enough -- you'd need something like -300/400 snow falling really quick and really long. hmmm... so then while the mammoths are trying to walk off -- they get stuck in snow where they cannot move at all, and freeze standing straight up. ideas?

The Christian Right's response... (2, Funny)

Stoopid-Guy0 (814282) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116515)

Global warming is a theory, not a science. Intelligent Warming, anyone?

State of Fear? (2, Interesting)

frank249 (100528) | more than 8 years ago | (#14116521)

The research, published in today's issue of the journal Science, describes the content of the greenhouse gases within the core and shows that carbon dioxide levels today are 27% higher than they have been in the last 650,000 years.

So what? There has been a history of natual climate change cycles. Why would a relatively miniscule change in CO2 be the culprit for global change? 27% is not miniscule you say. well lets look at the composition of the atmosphere.

Think of the composition of the atmosphere in relation to the size of a football field. Nitrogen takes you all the way to the seventy-eight-yard line. And most of what's left is oxygen. Oxygen takes you to the ninety-nine-yard line. Only one yard to go. But most of what remains is the inert gas argon. Argon brings you within three and a half inches of the goal line. That's pretty much the thickness of the chalk stripe. And how much of that remaining three inches is carbon dioxide? One inch. That's how much CO2 we have in our atmosphere. One inch in a hundred-yard football field. So, you are told that carbon dioxide has increased in the last fifty years. Do you know how much it has increased, on our football field? It has increased by three-eighths of an inch--less than the thickness of a pencil. It's a lot more carbon dioxide, but it's a minuscule change in our total atmosphere. Yet you are asked to believe that this tiny change has driven the entire planet into a dangerous warming pattern?

Well we still should take action, you say?

Like the Kyoto accord? Many articles estimate the effect of Kyoto, even with the US signed on, as reducing temperature change by 4 hunthreds of a degree over the next 100 years. Most recently, Nature 22 (October 2003): 395-741, stated, with Russia signed on, temperature affected by Kyoto would be-.02 degrees C by 2050. IPCC models estimate more, but none exceed .15 C. see Lomborg, p. 302. Wigley, 1998: "Global warming reductions are small, .08-.28 C."

Unfortunately it appears that there is nothing we can do in the near future. Tom Wigley and a panel of seventeen scientists and engineers from around the world made a careful study and concluded that there is no known technology capable of reducing carbon emissions, or even holding them to levels many times higher than today. They conclude that wind, solar, and even nuclear power will not be sufficient to solve the problem. They say totally new and undiscovered technology is required. *

[from the article]...levels of methane, an even more powerful greenhouse gas, are 130% higher, said Thomas Stocker, a climate researcher at the University of Bern and senior member of the European team that wrote two papers based on the core.

Ah, good point. Methane is a much worse green house gas than CO2. Is this humanities fault? Well we raise cows and cows burb methane. Sorry, not a fraction of what termites produce.

The total weight of termites exceeds the total weight of all the humans in the world. A thousand times greater, in fact. Do you know how much methane termites produce? Lots.

Man, I am tired of these self rightgious echoterrorists scarying the shit out of my kids at school. What is even worse is that some industries or even governments may be exagerating the dangers just to scare people. Why else would we see almost daily headlines about how pacific islands are being washed over by rising sea levels. While while the average air temperature at the Earth's surface has increased by 0.06 C per decade during the 20th century, and by 0.19 C per decade from 1979 to 1998, the average temperature in Antartica has decreased and the thickness of the ice there is increasing. See article in Nature [nature.com] . This is important since Antartica has 90% of the world's ice. Greenland has 4% and the rest of the world combined has only 6%. So even if the world's temperature rises, there appears to be no danger of the sea level rising dramaticly. Hell, the Maldives are barely a foot above sealevel and they have not recorded any significant rise in sea level. If the levels did start rising, they would be the first to go.

The science does not support all the scare mongering that is going on. Michael Crichton says that the scientific evidence for global warming is thin and that the environmental movement, ignoring science, has gone off track. He thinks we live in a 'State of Fear,' a 'near-hysterical preoccupation with safety that's at best a waste of resources and a crimp on the human spirit, and at worst an invitation to totalitarianism'.

* Martin Hoffert, et al., "Advanced Technology Paths to Global Climate Stability: Energy for a Greenhouse Planet," Science 298 (Nov. 1, 2002): 981-87
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