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Research Over Tibet Gives Climate Insight

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the natural-highs dept.

106

An anonymous reader writes "NASA is reporting that researchers have discovered thunderstorms above Tibet offer a direct path for water vapor and chemicals to move from the lower atmosphere to the stratosphere. From the article: ' Learning how water vapor reaches the stratosphere can help improve climate prediction models. Similarly, understanding the pathways that ozone-depleting chemicals can take to reach the stratosphere is essential for understanding future threats to the ozone layer, which shields Earth from the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays.'"

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Who cares?! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15304972)

Humanity doesn't have the incentive or motivation do anything about it, so basically this is useless info.

BIG OIL CARES!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15305008)


  so does bush and the republicans!!

HAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAHHAAHAH

Re:BIG OIL CARES!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15305068)

and those who have the will, do not have enough sex to go on and make something.

Free Tibet! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15304983)

With purchase of equal or greater value Tibet

Offer not valid in all areas. Some restrictions may apply.

Re:Free Tibet! (2, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 8 years ago | (#15304992)

They just need to free Tibet already...

Re:Free Tibet! (2, Funny)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305240)

Now we know why the Chinese want it! Ownership of Tibet is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous communist plot we have ever had to face. It offers them a direct route to get their commie water into the stratosphere where it will rain down on all freedom-loving people. It's all part of the international communist-conspiracy to sap and impurify our precious bodily fluids.

That's the way your hardcore commie works.

Tibet is Cheap (1)

linzeal (197905) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305619)

Tibet is cheap though once you get there with enough greenbacks, my friend lived there for less than 200 dollars a month for years and he had to freight 2 tons of crap through India when he was done.

Wow (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15304988)

After all these years who would have thought it was Tibet's fault?

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15305148)

No wonder China occupied it! Obviously they saw it coming and is now trying to fix it. Everyone now... Thank You, China!

Do we need better models? (1, Insightful)

Shannon Love (705240) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305037)

Learning how water vapor reaches the stratosphere can help improve climate prediction models.

Gosh, aren't we told repeatedly that we already have climate models of sufficient accuracy that we can use them to make sweeping changes to our economy and infrastructure? Don't we already have a "scientific consensus" that we are all doomed? Why do we need more research just to tell us what we already know?

Re:Do we need better models? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15305064)

Why do we need more research just to tell us what we already know?


Research funding.

Nothing scares-up a good grant like the dreaded Global Warming(tm). Not only that but the resulting paper is guaranteed to be accepted: nobody is brave/foolish enough to try and criticise a paper which 'confirms' GW(tm).

Re:Do we need better models? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15305077)

We don't need to understand anything better. Close the universities. Science was completed by the year 1900.

Re:Do we need better models? (-1, Flamebait)

malsdavis (542216) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305091)

You should probably start attending your primary school classes and then you won't have to ask such stupid questions.

Re:Do we need better models? (5, Interesting)

windows (452268) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305115)

Wow. I don't even really know what to say to this.

In the troposphere, while it's typically pretty stable, there are cases where it is unstable and particularly strong convection occurs. One case of particularly strong upward motion is supercell thunderstorms. But the upward motion tends to slow and stop at or slightly above the tropopause. Temperature decreases with height in the troposphere, but increases with height in the stratosphere. While momentum carries strong updrafts into the very lower troposphere, even the air in the strongest updrafts don't continue very far before descending again.

In other words, there's not a whole lot of mass exchange occurring between the troposphere and stratosphere.

Understanding this exchange and the sources and sinks of water vapor and other chemicals in the stratosphere is one way to better improve our study of things in the stratosphere.

And you greatly overestimate the accuracy of any numerical model on a computer. It is very impressive, given the large amount of parameterizations and approximations made, that computer models produce as good of output and forecast the weather as well as they do.

Re:Do we need better models? (2, Informative)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305272)

eh, I'm pretty sure she was being sarcastic. we keep hearing about how the computer models are accurate, and Carbon Dioxide is causing massive heating. meanwhile there's been for quite a while pretty good evidence to suggest that the majority of the greenhouse effect is due largely to water vapour + clouds. it's just that all "real environmentalists" have been dismissing the effects of water vapour while proclaming doomsday scenarios based on carbon output increases. hopefuly this project in Tibet is a step towards countering some of the global-warming hysteria.

Re:Do we need better models? (1)

Anarchitect_in_oz (771448) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305723)

;-) You do realise that if Science starts to suggest Gobal Warming is the effect more of water in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide, we are screwed in more ways than we are unwilling to accept.

After all if it is water, that is linked to energy use wholesale, not just the use of Carbon based energy, screwing the environment. We will have to break more than dependance on oil and coal.

Re:Do we need better models? (3, Informative)

ankhank (756164) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305972)

I'm pretty sure you're just being sarcastic, but lest anyone believe you, the effects of water vapor transport have long been one of the major areas of research. You can look this stuff up.

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005 /11/busy-week-for-water-vapor/ [realclimate.org]

People might think you to be confused or fooled by the propaganda that the effect of water vapor swamps that of the anthropogenic greenhouse gases, but again you can look that up.

Basic technique for looking anything up == find sites with footnotes and check them. Trolls and PR industry flacks just make things up, and don't have cites that can be checked. It's the simple way to tell science from bullshit. Kind of a smell test.

Science is hard, you know. No other civilization in the ten to hundred thousand years people lived on Earth managed to invent science. It's worth the effort.

Re:Do we need better models? (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 8 years ago | (#15308436)

Yah. Interesting how the site YOU link doesn't provide footnotes/references....

The bigest problem I have with the global warming hysteria is the clear misrepresentation in the media. Any time you see a graph for instance, it's had it's scale played with in order to make the recent assumed increases in global temperature seem much more dramatic than they are. That these "scientists" need to resort to such tomfoolery in order to scare the public makes me immediately skeptical of not only their ethics, but their research methods as well. Follow that by the fact that most of these predictions are based on computer models of questionable accuracy, and we're left with very little actual evidence that global warming is occuring at all, let alone occuring at the rate that the environmentalists keep epousing. Hell, all of our computer models and scientific sensors can't even pretend the weather in my city, so I'm a bit skeptical when the same "science" that's trying to convince me that I'm sitting under a raincloud right now is also telling me that the world is getting much hotter.

Re:Do we need better models? (1)

ankhank (756164) | more than 8 years ago | (#15308788)

It's a web page -- the links take you to the papers/cites/footnotes

Click the links, Luke, the footnotes are done in HTML there instead of with littlel numbers in the text and fine print at the bottom of the page.

Re:Do we need better models? (1)

ankhank (756164) | more than 8 years ago | (#15308996)

Let me make this easier. Remember we all live in the same world and science is a tool set we can all use openly.

I'll pull out a few of the links you didn't find at the page I refered you to. Go back and click links for many more citations in the complete discussion:

The links from the discussion of water vapor start with the new abstract:
http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2005.../2005GL023 624.shtml [agu.org]

There's a long discussion with links to press reports discussing exactly the sort of error you complain about and demonstrate. With charts and graphics.

There's a summary below that with links to references (in the original each citation is a HTML link to the original)

".... It is impossible to understand the greenhouse effect without thoroughly understanding this point. Even the authors of Phillipona et al. seem to be a little fuzzy on this matter. They seem to think they are looking at the same water vapor feedback discussed in various review articles on the subject (e.g. Held and Soden (Annu. Rev. Energy Environ., 25, 441- 475. (2000)), Pierrehumbert et al. ("On the Relative Humidity of the Earth's Atmosphere" in The General Circulation, T. Schneider and A. Sobel, eds. Princeton U. Press 2005,) Pierrehumbert (Subtropical water vapor as a mediator of rapid global climate change. . in Clark PU, Webb RS and Keigwin LD eds. Mechanisms of global change at millennial time scales. American Geophysical Union:Washington, D.C. Geophysical Monograph Series 112, 394 pp1999), and the RealClimate article on the subject). but they are not. I shall try to explain...."

On your other points, the models are testable, and tested, and the statisticians do this in public. I'm not going to try to explain it on slashdot. You can look it up. Look at the places you read that models are not reliable -- do they give you references? Who tells you these things and can you check what they say?

On your final point, this is a common confusion. Weather and climate are not the same thing; there's a deep literature on the difference in how these are studied.

If you'd prefer a shorter and less academic summary on water vapor, this page is kept up to date:

http://illconsidered.blogspot.com/2006/01/water-va por-is-almost-all-of.html [blogspot.com]

Re:Do we need better models? (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 8 years ago | (#15309639)

The models are testable? I don't see how. If you could explain that I'd be quite interested to learn more about it. What I don't understand is how people can claim that a computer model is reliale when we can't even agree what percentage of the greenhouse effect is generated by CO2. Even the site you link to states it's anywhere between 9% and 30%. That's a HUGE margin of error. On only ONE factor. How much room for error is introduced by our inability to measure the effects of other elements? Or, talking about actual scientific observation, even with the global temperature measurememnts there's a big margin of error because of the difficulty of getting the temperature of something the size of a planet. Not like we can just tell Momma Earth to bend over so we can employ a rectal thermometer. On top of that, even if we could measure the exact global temperature today, we have no idea just how accurte the measurememnts have been over the last hundred years, so making comparisons would be rather foolish. AND, finaly, even if we had EXACT global temperature measurement every couple months for the last 100 years, it's still too small of a time frame to tell us anything useful. Assuming we had such highly accurate measurements, and assuming they showed a dramatic rise in temperatures, we could infer that humans were responsiblefor it. But even then we could easily be wrong. Just like we were wrong about every other doomsday scenario that environmentalists have been spouting since the '70's. And that whackos were spouting for hundreds of years before that.

Anyway, the short and the long of it is that I don't have much faith in these predictions because the methods used to come up with them don't seem either accurate nor scientific, AND because so much of the research is obviously politicized.

Note that I'm not saying I don't beleive in global warming. It's quite obvious that humans DO effect their environment just like all other living organisms. What's at question is how much and in what way might we be affecting the weather, and whether there's good reason to beleive that we could seriously damage the global climate. So far I haven't seen much to either support or disprove the idea, other than the opinions of numerous "experts" with dubious qualifications and/or motivations. Most of these studies certainly couldnt be considered scientific. Science doesn't start with an assumption and then create computer models to prove that assumption. Science is supposed to be about making observations, gathering accurate data, and then conducting experiments based on that data. These global warming studies seem to have more in common with astrology than with science.

Re:Do we need better models? (1)

ankhank (756164) | more than 8 years ago | (#15310385)

It's good to look for sources, thanks for asking. Please give yours also.

Here's a good general discussion responding to questions from one modeler to another:

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005 /10/modeller-vs-modeller/ [realclimate.org]

Other relevant threads for your question -- a few in a quick grab-bag -- include:

http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2006/05/model_projec tions_of_the_north.php [scienceblogs.com]

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006 /03/catastrophic-sea-level-rise-more-evidence-from -the-ice-sheets/ [realclimate.org]

http://www.jamstec.go.jp/frsgc/research/d5/jdannan / [jamstec.go.jp]

One of the fundamental predictions made 10 years ago by modeling that has been borne out in measurement is discussed here:

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006 /01/polar-amplification/ [realclimate.org]

Most of the statements you make deserve footnotes, if you'll tell us where you got those ideas. It's very helpful to understand where these ideas come from -- not uncommonly, they can be traced back to websites of PR industry pages funded by industries trying to deny scientific work can be relied on (see the tobacco papers generally for fifty years of such material).

Your basic idea that science starts only from observation, for example -- who says that and where? Why do you believe it's the only way science can be done? Do none of the scientists you personally know -- ask them! -- first think about things, then go look to see if they can disprove ("falsify") what they imagined might be true? Those I know work that way routinely.

Science moves by self-correction. One example here:
http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2006/05/the_von_s_af fair.php [scienceblogs.com]

Most of the questions you pose are in the 'can be looked up' realm; I'm just a reader of the science like you are, not a climate researcher myself. I recommend the reading. The books reviewed here
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006 /05/my-review-of-books/ [realclimate.org]
may be helpful (all have extensive footnotes that can be looked up, most of the references are online).

Re:Do we need better models? (2, Informative)

FhnuZoag (875558) | more than 8 years ago | (#15306036)

Erm, water vapour is an amplifier, not a forcing. Such studies do not undermine Carbon effects, but tell us more about how locally AGW will lead to implications in the complex weather system. The models are accurate enough to show the massive heating. This new study tells us how massive, and where.

Re:Do we need better models? (3, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305358)

Gosh, don't we have our panties in a bunch?
"Gosh, aren't we told repeatedly that we already have climate models of sufficient accuracy that we can use them to make sweeping changes to our economy and infrastructure?"
No, we are told that are current models predict this and we should be proactive.

" Don't we already have a "scientific consensus" that we are all doomed? "
No, we have scientific consensus that the climate is starting to oscilate and this will change the weather. Making it more violent because of the energy increase.

"Why do we need more research just to tell us what we already know?"

It is another way to make predictions and tests. It is known chemicals get into the upper atmosphere, but no sound theory on HOW they get up there.

Re:Do we need better models? (1)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 8 years ago | (#15306495)

Dude, what were you thinking? Upsetting the apple cart like this is BOUND to get you a "Flamebait" or "Troll!" And, of course, at least one guy who takes you WAY too seriously. You should know you can't inject any negativity into a slashdot Global Warming/Evolution/Anti-Bush post here.
I'll take my "Flamebait" now with a "ThankYouSirMayIHaveAnother!"

NASA Climate Model on your Laptop (5, Informative)

HoneyBeeSpace (724189) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305055)

If you'd like to run your own NASA Global Climate Model (GCM) on your own computer, the EdGCM [columbia.edu] project has ported a GCM to Mac & Windows and wrapped it in a GUI so you can point-and-click your way around. Turn the sun down or add some nitrogen, whatever you want...

Note that the resolution is pretty coarse (8x10 degrees) so that it still runs at a decent clip on your Mac/PC, and therefore Tibet gets 1 or 2 grid cells, that is about it.

We just had a request about removing the Tibetian plateau [columbia.edu] and the resulting effect on Earth climate.

Disclaimer: I'm a developer on the project.

Re:NASA Climate Model on your Laptop (1)

windows (452268) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305136)

Isn't it possible to change the grid spacing to something finer? One or two grid points isn't sufficient to resolve a wave.

Re:NASA Climate Model on your Laptop (2, Informative)

HoneyBeeSpace (724189) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305174)

The current model is only 8x10. This does resolve waves, but only large scale waves (wave order 1 (planetary) through 4 or so (continental) perhaps?).

Vertically we have 12 layers and I'm not sure what type of structures appear there... You can see hadley cells, ferrel cells (slightly), etc.

Higher res models ported to the GUI are in progress. If you'd like to run them without the GUI there are many out there... both at GISS/Columbia and other climate labs.

Re:NASA Climate Model on your Laptop (1)

windows (452268) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305212)

Ah. I'll admit I'm a little surprised that some of that can't be defined by whoever is running the model. I do some research with regional/mesoscale models such as the WRF. The WRF is run at many places at a variety of resolutions. I've seen as coarse as a 22 km grid spacing and as fine as a 1 km grid spacing.

Out of curiosity, has the idea come up of perhaps nesting grids and allowing the effects of things in the nested grid to propagate into the larger grid? It would allow one to better study the behavior of phenomena over a small area while maintaining a coarser grid spacing over the rest of the planet. I don't know which models permit this other than the extremely old NGM model. Maybe such a thing is hard to implement, but if it could be done, it would allow for studying the effects of smaller features on climate while still allowing the simulation to run quickly on standard PCs/Macs.

Thanks for your answer and thanks for your time, sir.

Re:NASA Climate Model on your Laptop (1)

HoneyBeeSpace (724189) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305330)

Yes, many models have variable resolution. This one does not.

It is also common to feed GCMs to regional models or regional results as GCM inputs. Occasionally people do GCM regional in a dual feedback loop. It is difficult to implement, and this model does not support it out of the box. But the source is available so you could do it if you really wanted to...

Re:NASA Climate Model on your Laptop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15305143)

You're lucky I graduated. Back when I was at Columbia, I managed to get every separate subnet banned from commenting on Slashdot due to BSD trolls written in the style of Herman Melville. Oh, good times, good times.

Re:NASA Climate Model on your Laptop (1)

pomo monster (873962) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305204)

That was you? Asshole.

I consign thee to the depths of hell, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15309037)

and from the depths of hell I stab at thee, BSD!

I don't remember those, got any links?

Re:I consign thee to the depths of hell, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15309980)

no

More on Tibet and climate (2, Interesting)

hawkfish (8978) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305200)

AGW appears to be drying out Tibet [commondreams.org] . The number of people in those watersheds is frightening.

(Sorry to post as a reply, but I can't find the frigging "top level reply" link on the article page for some reason...)

Re:More on Tibet and climate (1)

Gulthek (12570) | more than 8 years ago | (#15309440)

(Sorry to post as a reply, but I can't find the frigging "top level reply" link on the article page for some reason...)

It's...where it always is. Did you buy your 4 digit id off eBay?

Re:More on Tibet and climate (1)

hawkfish (8978) | more than 8 years ago | (#15312086)

It's...where it always is.
Ah, I see it now. Putting it next to the display settings is one of the dumbest pieces of UI design I have seen since... I guess since the last time I made a top level post.
Did you buy your 4 digit id off eBay?
No, I just haven't made a top level post in a while. Some of us have a life outside of /.

Re:NASA Climate Model on your Laptop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15305983)

The download is going at a crawl (0.2Kbps)... can someone post a mirror or torrent?
Thanks.

Re:NASA Climate Model on your Laptop (1)

HoneyBeeSpace (724189) | more than 8 years ago | (#15306104)

I've just discovered that Columbia is throttling our site to roughly modem speeds because of their bandwidth policy.

I've requested that our site be exempt, so we'll see if they approve that.

But normally we're high speed, internet 2, all that good stuff. Please come back tomorrow and I promise it'll be plenty fast.

Re:NASA Climate Model on your Laptop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15306111)

I should've thought of that... I've got access to Internet2 at my uni (I'm a grad student), I'll try downloading over that path then to my home machine.

Cheers!

WAR modelling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15306021)

Here's a model for you. An expanded war in the mideast results in a limited nuclear exchange centered around iran, with a lot of secondary explosions in saudi arabia, israel, iraq, etc. A nice middle sized war, not a tiny one like now. Aproxiximately 4 million tons (pick your own wild guess, I think that is reasonable for 20-30 nukes which will be a small amount used most likely if they get used at all) of radioactive dust is injected to an altitude of over 20,000+ feet and starts to drift eastward. For weeks afterwards, major regional sized fires (entire cities, oil tankers, oil production facilities, forests near major targets, etc) add to the particulate matter injected into the atmosphere. It hits this tibetan plateau area, picking up moisture on the way, then a lot of that dust/smoke/gasses whatever makes it into the stratosphere, entering the jetstream and rapidly crossing across the northern hemisphere, thereby creating a persistant and extensive artifical "cloud" cover (yes, I know, pretty hard to maintain at that height, but past giant supervolcanoes did it and the effects lasted a long time and past one-at-a-time atmospheric nuke tests did it as well).

How much cooling would we expect the first year after the exchange? Similar to the last mini ice age? 5 degrees C maybe? What would be global crop losses due to a lessening of the sunshine reaching the surface and the drops in temps? Could we expect to see at least one summer with a major freezing (crop killing) frost every month, completely through all the summer months, as well as the sping, fall and winter? (I would guess 3/4ths or better crop losses based on one year living "up north" with major frosts every month in the summer and having a big garden at the time)

  If so, how extensive, if not, why not? (I don't ask much do it :) (no, not going to run my own model, use them super dooper throw down clustered boxes you got, don't cost ya much, it ain't your money is it?? heh, hey, "homeland security" grant study cash, go for it!)

There's a real world scenario *someone* should be researching _right now_, before the neocons, likudniks and mullah uber:loonbots let loose over there, which I am afraid looks pretty likely now.

note to self:buy more canned tuna and vegetables.....

Re:WAR modelling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15306131)

I just downloaded the software and it does include a pre-made solar decrease experiment. That would be a rough model of what you are describing perhaps? Should be able to answer your own questions yourself.

No linux version? (1)

themusicgod1 (241799) | more than 8 years ago | (#15306876)

Or source code?

Re:No linux version? (1)

Bacon Bits (926911) | more than 8 years ago | (#15306898)

Linux people don't go outside. Their weather is always 65 F with 30% humidity.

Re:No linux version? (1)

HoneyBeeSpace (724189) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307213)

Linux version of the GUI cannot exist because of 4D. Check our FAQ and pester them, we'd love to support Linux...

Source code is availble. Check the GISS website, or email with a request.

Re:NASA Climate Model on your Laptop (1)

constantnormal (512494) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307778)

Silly me -- I had failed to consider the possibility of simply removing the Himalayas, and thus truncating this path for greenhouse gas migration into the stratosphere.

Removing the Himalayas is something we can certainly do (tunnel into the base and detonate several gigatons of thermonuclear warheads deep inside the mountains), and even manage to disperse much of the mountain range into the upper atmosphere as radioactive dust to immediately reduce global temperature, as was done in 1816 (the Year Without a Summer [wikipedia.org] ) when the Earth was blanketed with dust from volcanic eruptions.

For that matter, a well-placed nuke could probably trigger Mt St Helens as well, and if things get really hot, we might be able to activate the Yellowstone caldera for some real fireworks. In addition to ejecting many cubic miles of dust, smoke and soot into the upper atmosphere, this would have the side benefit of silencing millions of noisy American environmentalists (and their counterparts as well).

Of course, we need to be pretty sure about this, as I'm not at all sure we are capable of replacing the Himalayas if it turned out we had to.

This global warming thing is looking easier and easier to manage.

Prediction smediction (2, Insightful)

celardore (844933) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305072)

I was always taught by my geography teacher that there as so many variables concerned, and all fairly random - that even a reasonably accurate prediction of climate changes over any length of time would be only ever be wildly inaccurate.

But still, if this helps my local weatherman to tell me it's going to be sunny on laundry day, and it actually is sunny then I'm all for it...

Re:Prediction smediction (0)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305097)

"I was always taught by my geography teacher that there as so many variables concerned, and all fairly random - that even a reasonably accurate prediction of climate changes over any length of time would be only ever be wildly inaccurate."

Global warming causes hurricanes to be more powerful. There is nothing vague or uncertain about that.

Re:Prediction smediction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15305131)

>Global warming causes hurricanes to be more powerful.
>There is nothing vague or uncertain about that.

In other news....RAIN MAKES THINGS WET!!!

Re:Prediction smediction (1)

windows (452268) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305166)

There is little evidence to conclusively. Nice try. I'd like to think you're joking, but you might be trolling.

Even if, say, global warming increased the temperature of the oceans, other factors (such as perhaps increased vertical wind shear) or a change in the location of the ITCZ (probably shifting poleward in a warmer planet) would affect the climatology of tropical cyclones.

And there is reason to believe that greater hurricane activity is due to natural cycles such as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO).

Re:Prediction smediction (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305273)

Yes there is.

Fact: Global warming = warmer water
Fact: Warmer Water = more violent hurricanes.

Re:Prediction smediction (3, Informative)

windows (452268) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305354)

There's a LOT more that goes into the development of a hurricane than warm water. Did you even read my post?

I encourage you to read NOAA's summary of recent research on the topic: http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/tcfaq/G3.html [noaa.gov]

If you still doubt it, there's a long list of articles published by scientists in reputable peer-reviewed journals in the meteorological community.

Re:Prediction smediction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15305917)

Fact: Hurricanes are groups of thunderstorms. Fact: Colder air over warm water = Fast updrafts => Thunderstorms ? Fact: Warmer air over warm water = Weak updrafts => Clouds ? Fact: We don't know.

Re:Prediction smediction (0, Troll)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305350)

"Even if, say, global warming increased the temperature of the oceans, other factors (such as perhaps increased vertical wind shear) or a change in the location of the ITCZ (probably shifting poleward in a warmer planet) would affect the climatology of tropical cyclones."

I said nothing about the location of the hurricanes, or their number. That would be impossible to predict. It's a simple fact that hurricanes and similar cyclonic storms are more powerful when they are over warmer water. This is what causes the regular "November gales" that can be very lethal (such as in 1913 [wikipedia.org] ) over the Great Lakes. Feel free to label me a troll, however.

Re:Prediction smediction (1)

windows (452268) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305376)

The problem is that hurricanes aren't only affected by sea-surface temperatures. There's a lot of other factors such as vertical wind shear that make a difference.

The El-Nino phase of the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) correlates with increased vertical wind shear over the Atlantic, for example. While waters in the eastern Pacific are warmer, tropical cyclone activity is actually suppressed over the Atlantic. This is one example of a way in which tropical cyclone activity can be suppressed.

It doesn't mean there won't be stronger hurricanes, but there's a lot of evidence to possibly suggest otherwise. And there's long-term oscillations such as the PDO that play a large role in hurricane activity.

Warmer water is far from the only factor in strength and number of tropical cyclones.

Re:Prediction smediction (1)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305418)

Damn you random HBO special! All lies and simplifications!!

Re:Prediction smediction (1)

indifferent children (842621) | more than 8 years ago | (#15308551)

The problem is that hurricanes aren't only affected by sea-surface temperatures.

Yes. In fact, global warming is going to reduce or eliminate the hurricane problem. The higher temperatures will cause population decimation, or even extinction, among butterflies. And since the root cause of hurricanes is butterflies flapping their wings in China, there will be few-to-zero hurricanes in the near future.

Re:Prediction smediction (1)

kaufmanmoore (930593) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305960)

The storms over the great lakes have the effect they do because of how water changes temperature slower than the air above it. With the cooler air over the warmer water you get strong convection currents. You also get the polar jet stream moving further south starting around November and that steers storms from the Gulf of Alaska toward the great lakes region. There are strong arguments that we are in an active period that cycles about every 30 years, we also don't know what sort of effects global warming would have on global wind patterns and ocean currents which also affect the strength of hurricanes. I dont have strong feelings either way on this debate, but it would be good irregardless if we can cut emissions and fossil fuel dependence.

Re:Prediction smediction (3, Insightful)

Decaff (42676) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305216)

I was always taught by my geography teacher that there as so many variables concerned, and all fairly random - that even a reasonably accurate prediction of climate changes over any length of time would be only ever be wildly inaccurate.

But still, if this helps my local weatherman to tell me it's going to be sunny on laundry day, and it actually is sunny then I'm all for it...


Your geography teacher was wrong. He would be right if he was talking about weather, but climate is not weather - it is the long-term average of things. It is like the flow of a river - there may be chaotic localised turbulence and vortices, but the overall flow is steady and predictable.

Re:Prediction smediction (1)

windows (452268) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305283)

Small-scale features can impact larger scale features, but in general, they don't have a huge effect. For example, a supercell thunderstorm over Oklahoma isn't going to cause more than a tiny ripple in the large scale pattern of longwaves over the Northern Hemisphere. Synoptic scale features can affect planetary scale features, and mesoscale features can affect synoptic scale features, but in general, small features don't have a big effect on large features. And large scale features persist much longer than small scale features.

Not random (3, Insightful)

jd (1658) | more than 8 years ago | (#15306358)

That part is definitely wrong. The climate - and the weather - are 100% deterministic systems. There is nothing "random" about the climate, it follows very exact mathematical and physical laws, with no exceptions. Now, your geography teacher may have meant "non-predictable", and that would be true. The climate is a chaotic system, which means it is very sensitive to initial conditions, has no stable points and the mathematical system representing it has no differential.


(The difference is that a random system has nothing predictable about it. It can do absolutely anything at any time, merely following the probability distribution for that system. However, the exact state at time T can be known - it merely doesn't mean a whole lot. A chaotic system, on the other hand, has definable patterns, definable mechanics and definable structure, but you can NEVER know the exact state for ANY time and small differences CAN - but won't always - cascade into large changes.)


If you were to look at the climate as far back as we can reliably know it, you will see oscillations between ice ages and warmer periods. The troughs and peaks appear fairly random, but really they aren't. The climate can be approximated (badly) as a simple oscillating function, but that's pretty crude. Actually, there's a greater correspondence between 10 years stock prices for wheat and 100,000 years of global temperature than there is between climate and a sine wave. (See: "Fractal Geometry of Nature", Mandelbrot, B., for more details, as the margins here are much too big - err, small.)


I would also be willing to bet that the change in climate as a function of the change in climate composition is also very deterministic. As we're talking systems that appear to be oscillating, my best guess is that the ratio of the peak intervals of different types of oscillation with small differences in climate composition will always be Feigenbaum's Constant, as that's usually the case in chaotically-produced pseudo-oscillations.


Now, despite all this talk of chaos, lack of absolutes and so on, the climate is very predictable in general form. No great surprise there - if you generate the Mandelbrot Set, or the Lorenz owl-mask, you expect to see the same general shape each time. That is not going to change. The same is true with the climate... for now. The climate is orbiting a bunch of Strange Attractors, as per the Lorenz owl-mask. We know the general shape and we know the general effects of altering the various parameters.


There is a problem, however. If the climate were to jump from the current set of Strange Attractors to any other set, the climate would change relatively rapidly and definitely counter to any model that relies on the current patterns holding true.


What could cause such a jump? When could it occur? Well, that's the problem. Strange Attractors are not like nice, neat gravitational sources, you can't see them, and they have no physical existence, they are merely a product of irreducable mathematical problems. They could, however, cause the planet to boil or freeze the moment the system strays too far. (If you don't know which Strange Attractor the climate would switch to, you cannot make any useful prediction from past trends.)

Re:Not random (2, Informative)

Decaff (42676) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307310)

They could, however, cause the planet to boil or freeze the moment the system strays too far. (If you don't know which Strange Attractor the climate would switch to, you cannot make any useful prediction from past trends.)

This is a bit extreme; The climate has been perturbed a LOT in the past - such by phenomenal heating through asteroid strikes, and substantial cooling after 'supervolcano' eruptions (most recently, only a matter of tens of thousands of years ago), but has not boiled or frozen. The attractors for those states can be that near....

Re:Prediction smediction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15306456)

sunny on laundry day??

good lord, you've actually got a clothseline?
to hear that on Slashdot is hilarious to me. The ultimate in lo tech... which, when performed by a geek, is the uber-tech.

You're man amongst men. I salute you.

The earth is sweating! (3, Funny)

ugmoe (776194) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305084)

"Learning how water vapor reaches the stratosphere can help improve climate prediction models."

Oh no, global warming has become so bad that the earth is sweating!

Eric Raymond Goes to Tibet (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15305127)

Eric had been driving through Pennsylvania since dusk and had crossed into Ohio about two hours ago. It was 2 AM and pitch black outside as he approached Columbus. He flicked the ash from his Marlboro Light out his cracked window and mopped a greasy swatch of orange-brown hair back across his forehead. He hadn't stopped to eat, drink, or relieve himself since he'd left Malvern and the strain of the road was getting to him. With a gulp of cold coffee and one last puff from his cigarette he rolled his window up and refocused.

His eyes glanced over the console on their way back up to his dirty windshield, and to Eric's chagrin the gas needle was hovering just above E, shimmying ever so slightly as his Omni wiggled and jammed down the highway. He began scanning the horizon for travel plazas where he could buy gas and freshen up for the next third of his journey. It wasn't long before he saw Exit 122 and soon after a sign for a Flying J Travel Plaza [google.com] . Eric exited I-70 quickly, anxious for a break.

After pulling up next to a pump, Eric dragged himself out of his car and waited with the gas nozzle in hand, just in case of a backfire, as his Omni usually shuttered for a minute or so after he'd shut it off. Finally jamming the nozzle into the hole, Eric smiled as he envisioned a steamy hot shower. After that he would indulge in the luxury of a late-night truck-stop feast. ESR tapped his foot as he waited for the pump to start. Half a second later, he almost had a heart attack.

Sir, all of our pumps are now prepay and you'll have to come inside to pay before you can pump your gas, an unseen speaker blared at him.

Startled, Eric jumped back, dropped the nozzle on the ground, and bumped the Omni's gas door shut with his ass. His heart beat furiously and he trembled uncontrollably. Heeding the cashier's friendly greeting, Eric picked the nozzle up and shoved it back in its holster and made his way to the store's entrance. He was not pleased with having to prepay, not pleased at all. And he intended to share this with the clerk. He marched up to the front checkout and drew himself up to his whole 5'6 and glared.

Do you know who I am? Eric demanded, his voice like a teapot about to blow its top.

The cashier, a lean young man of about 20 with longish dark hair pulled back in a pony tail with three days of stubble and sky-blue eyes, looked at him and stifled a chuckle. No, he said. I don't.

Well that's your first mistake, Eric said before he paused to look at the clerk's name-tag, Shawn.

Shawn bit his cheeks to keep from smiling and made direct eye contact with Eric or tried to, since Eric's eyes were all over the place at this late hour. I'm sorry about that, sir. What can I help you with tonight? he asked.

You can start by putting thirty five dollars in gas on pump thirteen, Eric said. And then I'll take three of these motor oils, five of those bottles of trucker pills, and one of your hot showers in the back, he finished, grabbing and throwing the items on the counter.

Ringing, Shawn watched to make sure Eric didn't pack anything in his pockets during the sale.

Will this be cash or credit? Shawn asked.

Credit, Eric answered with gusto. On my VA Software credit card!

Eric produced a blue credit card with the familiar Tux penguin logo in the right hand corner and gave it to Shawn. He stared at the ground and tapped his foot while the transaction went through. He yawned and looked off into the distance at the showers, where he would soon bathe himself after days of sweaty odium. That last eight hours of driving had really clenched the odor. Eric idly noticed one of the doors had a Linux sticker on it and smiled, bemused. He'd take that room for luck.

Just sign here, Shawn said after handing Eric his card, a receipt, and a cheap pen. Would you like a bag?

No, no, no, no bag tonight, Eric said as he signed the receipt and gathered his purchases up in his arms and began hobbling toward the door.

Sir, wait up! Shawn called after him.

Eric turned and raised his eyebrows. Yes, what is it? he said.

Shawn held out a small, full plastic bag. You forgot your shower bag, sir. he told Eric, who was now standing at the counter again, negotiating a hand free from his motor oil and speed pills.

You can use any of the free stalls, you just have to lock it from the inside, Shawn told Eric as he deftly placed the bag on top of the motor oil. Enjoy your stall, man.

Oh, I will! Eric said as he made his way outside. I will!

Eric sauntered slowly to the shower rooms in the back of the Flying J trucker mall, thinking about how nice a long, steamy shower would feel. He opened the door with the Linux sticker on it and took a towel, wash rag, soap, shampoo, and several small tea lights out of his shower bag and set them on the sink. Humming Ride of the Valkyries, he disrobed and began lighting the candles, thinking of sudsing his sloping shoulders and running soap through his naughty areas. His humming grew more intense.

Standing naked in the candlelight humming, Eric closed his eyes and envisioned summer waterfalls in the Germanic countryside. In Eric's fantasy pure Teutonic waters lapped at his thin, pale chest while Swabian maidens giggled as he spat water at them. His hands reached forward past the shower curtain, turning the faucets, and water began spraying from the shower head. He stepped inside. His humming filled the shower and he was lost in the Black Forest, wild with the secrets of Germany and Open Source.

He ran his thin bar of soap across his limp body as the warm water washed over him. A German maiden stepped under the hidden waterfall with Eric, eyes sparkling in the candlelight. Eric soaped his buttocks and stood ready for her in the warmth and darkness. Wagner thundered in the magic cavern and he extended his hand, full of the magic energy of the motherland and soap to caress his young valkyrie's face. He reached out, ever so slowly, savoring the moment...

And touched a thick blanket of whiskers.

What the fuck! Eric yelled as he opened his eyes.

Standing at the other end of the shower was none other than Richard Stallman, leader of the Free Software Foundation, in his dripping wet altogether with a look of anticipation on his shaggy face.

I was wondering when you'd realize I was here, he said. His voice was high pitched and monotonic. It rang in Eric's ears.

What, Eric yelled, Are you doing in my shower twenty minutes outside of Columbus?!

Please, Eric, calm yourself, Richard said. I thought we were getting along.

We were, Eric said, Except for that nasty little problem of you always saying that Free Software is better than Open Source.

Richard looked at Eric with puppy dog eyes. Fine enough to have a truck stop rendezvous? he pleaded.

Look no not until you tell me how you knew I would be here, Eric said, pointing at Richard. Was it you on Match.com all along?

Match.com? Richard said, looking puzzled. If you're cruising for ass online you should not use Match.com. It is not Free.

Then what are you doing here? Eric said, ignoring Richard's capital F. Columbus is a little out of your territory, don't you think?

I could ask the same thing of you, Richard said. He noted that the shower was still running warm water all over Eric's backside as they spoke. But I am down here speaking to the Central Ohio Linux User's Group [colug.net] about the GPL.

Eric said, I'm on a little road-trip to Kansas City, He dropped his hands to his hips. And I took this room because I saw the Tux sticker on it.

Ah! Richard exclaimed. I knew I should have used a gnu sticker! Any old bum will take a room with a penguin on the door.

Eric noticed the gleam in Richard's dark, beady eyes from the low amber light of the candles. And just then, in the middle of their silence, Flying J's muzak came on. Richard and Eric both looked up, waiting to catch the tune. It began softly but suggested a faster beat. Then, slowly, the sound came into focus it was Hung Up [apple.com] , the first single from Madonna's new album. Both Eric and Richard's heads bobbed in sync with the beat and their feet began tapping along. Eric's hips started swaying as well.

Eric was the first to break out of the song. Look, I have a bottle of Jäger in my Omni. There's not much room in there, but

Don't worry about how much room there is, Richard said, stopping Eric. Let's just enjoy this song first and worry about the rest later.

And that's exactly what Eric and Richard did while Madonna gave way to a string of other muzak hits and the tea lights burned out. Eric had a long night ahead of him before he embarked westward to Kansas City in the morning. [trollaxor.com]

Good news/Bad news (5, Funny)

jvalenzu (96614) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305157)

The good news: global warming will be solved within 50 years!

The bad news: it will coincide with the deindustrialization of our civilization due to the lack of fossil fuels.

Re:Good news/Bad news (2, Interesting)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305193)

Sounds like good news either way to a Distributist [wikipedia.org] like me. Industrialization has just been one long transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich, hidden behind cheap goods made available by economies of scale. This will repair itself about the same time that Cottage Industry and small-scale production starts up again because long-haul shipping will disappear.

Oh, the Irony (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305308)

You monicker and your statements stand in absolute opposition to eachother. You obviously fail to realize that Marx was a proponent of Industrialization and Capitalims because he strongly beleived that only a capitalist economy could be strong and productive enough to provide the sort of wealth neccesary for a transition into Communism. Transfer from the rich to the poor indeed. Have you not the slightest bit of common sense?

I'm not a Marx fan at all, nor do I have anything but contempt for communism, yet even I know that much about the man. Either change your name, or read some of his writings.

Re:Oh, the Irony (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 8 years ago | (#15306208)

You monicker and your statements stand in absolute opposition to eachother. You obviously fail to realize that Marx was a proponent of Industrialization and Capitalims because he strongly beleived that only a capitalist economy could be strong and productive enough to provide the sort of wealth neccesary for a transition into Communism. Transfer from the rich to the poor indeed. Have you not the slightest bit of common sense?

Marx is where I START, not where I END. I hack. I hack systems. Communism is just another form of capitalism that replaces the rich with the state. Distributism on the other hand spreads the wealth out, decentralizes it- what every hacker should be for.

I'm not a Marx fan at all, nor do I have anything but contempt for communism, yet even I know that much about the man. Either change your name, or read some of his writings.

I have- you apparently have not read my profile if you stop with just the first word.

Re:Oh, the Irony (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 8 years ago | (#15308451)

Distributism?

That's what we used to call being a nomad. Wandering around, living off the land.

You can't beterribly bright if you think 6 billion people could live on this planet in such a manner.

Re:Oh, the Irony (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 8 years ago | (#15308860)

That's what we used to call being a nomad. Wandering around, living off the land.

You might want to look at it again, it's somewhat more civilized than that. Think Feudalism and Guilds- small scale distributed manufacturing and local knowledge brokers, trade with your immediate neighbors first, trade outside your community only for what you can't make for yourselves.

You can't beterribly bright if you think 6 billion people could live on this planet in such a manner.

I think if we had 8 billion people, each family could still have 4.5 acres of arable land if we were sufficiently decentralized and used crops that fit the environment. And that modern permaculture/ambient energy techniques pioneered in the Pacific Northwest would allow you to grow all the food and energy you need on that 4.5 acres. Cities aren't neccessary to have a population of 8 billion people- intelligent choices ARE. Right now we're making some stupendously short-sighted and stupid choices with our food and energy usage. A good point is what's happening in the Americas right now- cheap subsidized corn from the United States has ripped the market out from under Latin American farms- who fight back by raising cheap subsidized fruit. We waste tons of fuel in ships and jets to ship corn south and fruit north- when in reality the climates are similar enough that we could be raising that food right next to the people who are eating it. And in so doing, you've got fruit farmers in the United States going out of business, and illegal aliens coming from the south who have lost their jobs farming corn, and for what? So that you can have out-of-season food in your supermarket?

The free market has become stupid and inefficient- more choice available for less human good.

Re:Oh, the Irony (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 8 years ago | (#15309331)

Not bad, you've actually got some good points. So how do you propose we go about changing the gloabal political structure? Especially when we're having problems just getting people to accept the idea of basic universal human freedoms.

Remember, an idea is no good if it's not practical. Implementing your system would be, I fear, even more difficult than achieveing the utopian marxist society. Although in the field of finite mathematics, when you start seing such ludicrously high numbers the diference between them tends to be irrelevant since both are so improbable as to effectively be impossible.

Re:Oh, the Irony (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 8 years ago | (#15309791)

So how do you propose we go about changing the gloabal political structure?

I'm beginning to think that, in short, is the wrong goal entirely. Instead of changing the GLOBAL political structure, what we need to do is change our LOCAL political structures. Create defensible, small communities that are ready for the end of mass long distance transportation- and are ready for public short-distance transportation services. Make sure those communities have everything they need locally. Empower citizens to make decisions for themselves- clear up to trade tarrifs and kicking large corporations out of the community when appropriate. Attract a large variety of artisan-inventors, people who can build anything out of anything. But most importantly keep it small- because once you're dealing on a daily basis with people you don't know and don't care about, your primary purpose becomes your own good rather than the good of the community. I personally think that's where the inefficiency in capitalism (and most certainly Lenin/Stalin's version of totalitarian communism) comes in- it removes the human friendships from the equation, destroying trust and loyalty.

Especially when we're having problems just getting people to accept the idea of basic universal human freedoms.

Has it ever occured to you perhaps the reason we don't have basic universal human freedoms is because some of those freedoms make no sense given the climates people have to live in? Each community should be allowed to define it's own human freedom- each community needs to tune it's own culture to the demands of the environment.

Remember, an idea is no good if it's not practical. Implementing your system would be, I fear, even more difficult than achieveing the utopian marxist society. Although in the field of finite mathematics, when you start seing such ludicrously high numbers the diference between them tends to be irrelevant since both are so improbable as to effectively be impossible.

If I was trying to implement it on a wide scale, I'd agree. But I see no way to implement such a thing on a wide scale without punitive tariffs and violent protectionism; it is entirely possible that it can't even be implemented locally without such things. But we won't know until we make the investment and TRY- create the microfabricators and nanofactories we need, get our own houses off the grid or at least to grid neutral, make pledges to find out where we buy things from and simply refuse to buy from communities that don't share our values. This has to be consumer driven- industry driven solutions will never fit the local climate.

As for finite mathematics- well the key is to keep it small. Subsidarity and Solidarity first, trade outside the community only for grave need.

Re:Oh, the Irony (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 8 years ago | (#15310794)

Sounds like you've got it planned out pretty good. The key word in the first paragraph though is "defencible". Small communities cannot defend themselves against large nations. Implementing something like this on a small scale only works so long as it's being done in a free nation, which maintains a powerfull military. As soon as you lose that protection, someone's going to come by and show you how THEY think you should live.

And I don't quite get what basic freedoms such as freedom of speech or freedom of association have to do with climate. Hot or cold, dry or wet, the climate isn't going to change my ability to speak, nor should it. And, ofcourse, cultures which do not respect basic freedoms not only treat their own people in an inhumane manner, but are much more likely to come over and disturb your utopian society too. If the villiage next to yours beleives it's allright to kidnap and rape your daughter, I'm sure you won't just stand idly by and say "well, they have to define their own rights...".

Other than that, I find myself actually being quite attracted to your ideas. But I still think your monicker is totaly unsuitable :) There's verry little that's Marxist about you.

Re:Oh, the Irony (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 8 years ago | (#15310933)

Sounds like you've got it planned out pretty good. The key word in the first paragraph though is "defencible". Small communities cannot defend themselves against large nations. Implementing something like this on a small scale only works so long as it's being done in a free nation, which maintains a powerfull military. As soon as you lose that protection, someone's going to come by and show you how THEY think you should live.

The other alternative, of course, is to find a place where the geography works with you. Also, those large armies depend heavily on oil at present time; which is a major problem if we have truly hit peak oil. The same thing that will eventually stop international shipping is the same thing that will eventually stop your large nations from existing at all.

And I don't quite get what basic freedoms such as freedom of speech or freedom of association have to do with climate.

Quite a bit- more than can be put into a JE. I suggest you study the lifestyle of the Inuit, the Bedouin, the Australian Aborigene, and the Kwakiutal for the answers to that question. They've each come up with a different set of rules that is carefully tuned through several millenia for a given climate.

Hot or cold, dry or wet, the climate isn't going to change my ability to speak, nor should it.

Absolutely it should if what you speak reduces the ability of the tribe to survive. It's all evolutionary- survival of the fittest. Your idea of a free society does not match that of the Bedouin Arab, nor that of the Inuit- but then again, their idea of a free society doesn't match yours too well either.

And, ofcourse, cultures which do not respect basic freedoms not only treat their own people in an inhumane manner, but are much more likely to come over and disturb your utopian society too.

Ah, but you see, what I'm going for isn't a utopian society- just an evolved one. And what constitutes "basic freedoms" is something entirely different in a desert dust storm or an arctic blizzard than it is in temperate zone America.

If the villiage next to yours beleives it's allright to kidnap and rape your daughter, I'm sure you won't just stand idly by and say "well, they have to define their own rights...".

Which brings us back to the defensible borders part....ideally, the person from the neighboring villiage should expect the death penalty for tresspassing in that situation.

Other than that, I find myself actually being quite attracted to your ideas. But I still think your monicker is totaly unsuitable :) There's verry little that's Marxist about you.

Well, maybe I can bring that back a bit. You see, Karl Marx was a plagerist- he and I get our ideas from the same basic place: The Christian Bible. Specifically the Book of Acts, chapters 4 & 5. The idea that the economy is in fact an artifact, an invention, no different than a wheel or a hammer- and that the economy should serve man, rather than man serving the economy. This differs from the classical capitalists, who believe that the economy is an abstract concept in it's own right that needs no engineering and will exist regardless of what we do in it's current shape.

But I'm by no means the first to make the connection between the two- wikipedia has a great article on Distributism that I linked to earlier in the thread, and the writings of GK Chesterton and Dorthy Day.

Re:Good news/Bad news (3, Insightful)

jvalenzu (96614) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305313)

Unfortunately, the Earth's current carrying capacity is proportional to our energy consumption. This "shortfall" will be borne by the poor, either in death or dramatically lower quality of life.

Re:Good news/Bad news (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 8 years ago | (#15306160)

The more prosperous a country becomes the more dynamic the rich and the poor are. That said, the poor in 1st world countries are still richer than the richest in 3rd world countries (not counting thugs and dictators).

To understand this effect in reverse, read up on the Great American Depression. The really poor didn't notice a hit all that much. The poor got a little poorer. The rich, fell flat on their asses. There aways acceptions to the rule of course. Point is, facts are irrelevant when "class envy" shrouds judgment.

Re:Good news/Bad news (2, Insightful)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 8 years ago | (#15306221)

Unfortunately, the Earth's current carrying capacity is proportional to our energy consumption. This "shortfall" will be borne by the poor, either in death or dramatically lower quality of life.

Maybe- Maybe not. We don't actually know what would happen if we applied what we now know of genetics and organic chemistry to native plants and native food/energy production. We're too busy centralizing wealth to ask the correct questions. But if centralization of wealth becomes impossible- if the only thing that can be traded across borders is knowledge because energy is so much cheaper to ship than mass- then it could get VERY interesting. Myself, I'm planting Camas bulbs- in case onions and potatos and grains are no longer available.

Re:Good news/Bad news (2, Insightful)

foreverdisillusioned (763799) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305731)

Lack of fossil fuels (or any other raw material, for that matter) will not cause deindustrialization. We won't just "run out" of anything. Supply will slowly decrease, driving up prices thereby decreasing consumption while people search for alternatives. Eventually, when gas becomes too expensive and short in supply, we'll switch to biodiesel, ethenol, or hydrogen (yes, I know people say that hydrogen = natural gas, but the fact remains you *can* make hydrogen from water, and I'm sure someone will eventually design a power plant optimized for hydrogen electrolysis.) Electricity will switch to hydro, windmills, solar, tidal, geothermal and nuclear (as stupid as people are over this issue, eventually necessity will win out over nuclear paranoia.)

Yes, it will be a painful and fairly costly switch, but it's well within our means (technologically speaking) and financial necessity will eventually force it to happen.

Re:Good news/Bad news (1, Informative)

BluedemonX (198949) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305914)

Butanol, actually. www.butanol.org

No need to buy a new engine, new car, or new anything. Simply grow a 100% compatible with gasoline fuel, right now.

Re:Good news/Bad news (1)

constantnormal (512494) | more than 8 years ago | (#15308206)

... it will coincide with the deindustrialization of our civilization due to the lack of fossil fuels.

This assumes that widespread use of fossil fuels is the primary cause and driving force behind global warming.

That is unlikely, considering that the current global warming trend started over 10,000 years ago. [nasa.gov]

Also, there are powerful positive feedback loops (e.g., the millions of square miles of thawing/decomposing tundra [wikipedia.org] , and the rising levels of global humidity) that will shortly eclipse the carbon emissions of humankind.

It seems likely that these powerful positive feedback loops are responsible for the sharp swings between hothouse and icehouse climates -- the most we have done is to have shifted the knee of the curve by a tiny amount, and as these powerful natural mechanisms eclipse civilization as a source of greenhouse gases, it will not matter whether we produce carbon emissions or not -- we're too small a contributor in the larger scheme of things.

Global warming will persist in the absence of human civilization -- as it has repeatedly done in the planet's past -- and human civilization will not die out as oil is used up, we have plenty of coal, and nuclear power as well. There are lots of alternatives available to power our civlization (such as it is).

I bet it's the monks. (1)

jfclavette (961511) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305173)

Maybe liberating Tibet could solve global warming !

Date storage losses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15305181)

Won't somebody think of the data storage?

HV/AC and the Ozone Daily News (1)

synonymous (707504) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305207)

Just so people know. Every single "Certified" air conditioning installer and repair person that I have met and known just lets their repair or replacement freon go into the sky. Think it one further. When you call them in because your having trouble cooling your house or building, it is most likely due to a leak in the system. Which only means that it's being let go into the sky anyway. So for real, every system ever made will eventually fail and most likely have its refrigerant just plume to the sky, slowly or all at once. Sad situation is, is that AC manufacturers actually plan the weakest link as the coil at its fittings. So right about when the warranty expires, you can expect the coils to fail shortly after and lose your refrigerant into the sky. Take note of all names, especially budget names, that will not be around in another 10 years due to the manufactured defects, yet to only have that same company reappear under a different name selling another defect. Sneaky huh. Not to mention cars or ice boxes. It is a serious situation that is going on everywhere and has been for a long time.

Re:HV/AC and the Ozone Daily News (1)

geekbeater (967717) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305863)

So what you're saying is that when the ice age left us due to the earth warming... it was all those cavemen running cheap AC and cows farting...

Re:HV/AC and the Ozone Daily News (1)

synonymous (707504) | more than 8 years ago | (#15306106)

I wonder what your analogy is of your mother telling you that she loves you.

Re:HV/AC and the Ozone Daily News (1)

linuxguy1454 (856932) | more than 8 years ago | (#15306101)

Except freon that has been so widely used in cooling systems is heavier than air, so it flows down to the ground and eventually dissipates. And one of the main reasons it was chosen as a heat transfer medium for cooling systems is because it is extremely inert.

But who am I to question the "science" gods.

Re:HV/AC and the Ozone Daily News (1)

famebait (450028) | more than 8 years ago | (#15306752)

Dissipates? Do you even know what that means? Hint: it doesn't mean it's gone.

Dust and aerosols are heavier than air too.

Being inert is precisely the problem: the compound survives long enough to get to where it can do harm.

Re:HV/AC and the Ozone Daily News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15306638)

Not all are cowboys. I take pride in collecting it and seeing it destroyed.
However talking about design.. in most home fridges in this side of the world there is often a small section of pipe that is steel covered with tar just after the evaporator. All home fridges eventually suck water into themselves and surprise surprise this rusts the pipe. One guy i know of replaces this pipe with copper. It's a pain to do, but his fridges last much longer.

Not all countries are so dumb with refrigerant disposal. In the Pacific, where I live there is a fee when you purchase R22/410a etc that pays for disposal and there is a big fine if you release the gas out. The law is a little unhelpful as even with the greatest care it is impossible to not release very small amounts. The cowboys completely ignore the law and release it - you cant prove whether he released freon or nitrogen. And yes he can make a lot more money due to reduced tool expenses and faster work.

Perhaps the system should add a higher levy to the sale of the gas, and pay a refund for it's collection.

Re:HV/AC and the Ozone Daily News (1)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 8 years ago | (#15308119)

from Anthropogenic Ozone Depletion: Status [usgcrp.gov]

-Monitoring data show that the growth in concentrations of ozone-depleting chemicals in the atmosphere is slowing, consistent with the declining production required by international agreements.

-The maximum ozone depletion (and increase in UV-B radiation) is likely to occur within the next 10 years; thereafter, the ozone layer is expected to slowly recover over the next several decades.

Somehow appropriate (2, Interesting)

Kelson (129150) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305253)

I mean, it turns out that Tibet even provides a path to the heavens for water vapor!

Re:Somehow appropriate (1)

barefootgenius (926803) | more than 8 years ago | (#15306140)

"I mean, it turns out that Tibet even provides a path to the heavens for water vapor!"

No, it was just the only way to escape China.



Disclaimer: No, I haven't been to China. Yes, I am full of shit.

Tibet? (0, Flamebait)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305374)

Don't they mean Xizang? "Tibet" is a nice idea for activist bumper stickers and so on, but it's not a contemporary geographical designation. They might as well refer to Iran as Persia, or Turkey as the Ottoman Empire. What's next? Weather reports for Prussia? Travel guides for Siam?

Okay... (1)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305801)

So does this mean that we can save the environment by using enough nukes to reduce the elevation of Tibet to a more reasonable level? I suppose we'd have to deal with the rest of the Himalayas similarly, but hey, we've got enough nukes to destroy the world several times over, right? So this ought to be easy!

Not meaning to troll (1)

drrngrvy (873112) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305831)

NASA is reporting that researchers have discovered thunderstorms above Tibet offer a direct path for water vapor and chemicals to move from the lower atmosphere to the stratosphere.

Should be (pick one):
NASA is reporting that researchers have discovered [that] thunderstorms above Tibet [that] offer a direct path for water vapor and chemicals to move from the lower atmosphere to the stratosphere.

Sorry /., but bad grammar annoys the crap out of me. </grammar police>

Article raises questions (1)

JavaManJim (946878) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305967)

What differentates Indian thunderstorms from those in Tibet? For example how high are the tops of Indian vs Tibetan thunderstorms? The article lacks this information. What other places on earth that have similar thunderstorm stratosphere pumping mechanisms? It is improbable that all the water vapor in the stratosphere originates from Tibet.

Re: New Ozone Hole? (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 8 years ago | (#15306850)

the Tibetian Plateau has elevation that makes it unique in the world. There's a new one million square mile [xinhuanet.com] hole forming in the ozone over that area, believed due to air ciculation and not cfc

Research (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15307580)

Yeah and when the research proves global warming isn't caused by the capitalist industrial pigs, you'll hear fuck all about it.

Flatten Tibet (1)

owlstead (636356) | more than 8 years ago | (#15309061)

Maybe we should flatten Tibet if it is such a contributor to global warming. Let's create some nice rice-fields and do away with al lthese tiny valeys.
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