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Earth's Temperature at Highest Levels in 400 Years

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the hot-one-this-era dept.

1044

thatguywhoiam writes "Congress asked, and the scientists have answered: 'The Earth is the hottest it has been in at least 400 years, probably even longer. The National Academy of Sciences, reaching that conclusion in a broad review of scientific work requested by Congress, reported Thursday that the 'recent warmth is unprecedented for at least the last 400 years and potentially the last several millennia.'"

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1044 comments

temperature (5, Funny)

mytrip (940886) | more than 7 years ago | (#15585594)

dont blame me. i use amd.

Re:temperature (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15585635)

Erm, sorry about that. There's an Intel P4 running in my closet.

To: Mr. George W. Bush (1, Flamebait)

TwoTailedFox (894904) | more than 7 years ago | (#15585596)

To: Mr. George W. Bush.

Please accept that Global Warming Exists.

Signed,

The rest of the whole damn world.

Re:To: Mr. George W. Bush (4, Insightful)

bunions (970377) | more than 7 years ago | (#15585619)

Last time I looked (although I've largely checked out of this debate), no one - including Bush - was questioning that it's getting warmer. The debate (?) is now shifted to what exactly is causing it. plz correct if wrong, kthx.

Re:To: Mr. George W. Bush (2, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#15585648)

Last time I looked (although I've largely checked out of this debate), no one - including Bush - was questioning that it's getting warmer. The debate (?) is now shifted to what exactly is causing it. plz correct if wrong, kthx.

This is entirely correct. Bush has admitted that global warming exists (and that Iraqi WMDs don't, ho ho ho) but AFAICR (can recall) he doesn't admit a human influence and he doesn't believe that measures need to be taken by humans to prevent continued global warming.

I just want to know if it's true that we're delaying an ice age with global warming. Maybe I'll be a proponent of greenhouse gases :)

Re:To: Mr. George W. Bush (1)

wealthychef (584778) | more than 7 years ago | (#15585786)

From what I've heard, there was a period of time during which CO2 levels were way way higher than they are now -- and that was in the middle of an ice age. Is this a correct claim? If so, how does it square with the current greenhouse gas models? I could easily be on crack here, cannot find reference to it on google.

Re:To: Mr. George W. Bush (4, Insightful)

lgw (121541) | more than 7 years ago | (#15585784)

The really interesting question, however, is: is global warming bad?

If you believe the climate is stable, then of course it's bad! But we know better. Based on the data, we're towards the end of a brief (10k year) warm period toards the end of a 100k year warming cycle, but we're still in an ice age. We have 400k years of pretty good temperature and CO2 data now from the Vostock ice cores, and it's clear that a stable climate is an illusion caused by man's relatively short lifespan. This fact is as clear as the fact that global warming is happening.

So, let's assume that mankinds actions are capable of affecting the climate short term (for a few thousand years). Do we want to turn the thermostat up, or down, or try to keep global temperatures about the same? While the last option might sound good, trying to keep achieve stability in a chaotic system that we don't really understand and can barely model is probably pointless.

If we have to choose between sea level rising a bit, and glaciers covering England and most of Europe (on the upside, we'd lose Canada too), warming is probably a smaller problem to del with than cooling. Regardless of what we do, temperatures are certain to return to the ice-age norm long term (all the carbon in the air, water, and all fossile fuels still in the groud are completely trivial compared to the carbon cycle of the lithosphere), but that's a problem we can consider in another 10k years.

If you've never thought about global warming beyond "prevent climate change", you haven't really understood the issue. Preventing climate change isn't a long-term option.

Re:To: Mr. George W. Bush (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15585621)

Fuckwit:

It was this hot 400 years ago.

Signed,

- W

Re:To: Mr. George W. Bush (2, Informative)

Watersplash (851354) | more than 7 years ago | (#15585705)

We don't know that for sure. From another article [yahoo.com]:

"...researchers said they were highly confident the mean global surface temperature was higher in the past 25 years than any comparable period during the previous four centuries.

They had less confidence the past quarter-century was hotter than any comparable period in the years from 900 to 1600, but found that plausible. For the years before 900, the scientists said they had very little confidence about what the Earth's mean surface temperatures were."

It seems to me like the scientists are sticking with what they can prove demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt (temperatures from 1600). If they claimed that we had the hottest temperatures since the 1000s then people with an agenda would pounce on their "unreliable" data and attempt to obfuscate the whole issue.

Re:To: Mr. George W. Bush (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15585623)

To: Mr. Liberal Hack

Please accept that "global warming" is not conclusively linked to man, oil, or any other favorite targets of the left. The Earth goes through cycles regularly, and until you can PROVE that man is to blame, stop using man's actions as fuel for political attacks.

Signed,
The Voice of Fairness and Reason

Re:To: Mr. George W. Bush (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15585696)

Signed,
The Voice of Fairness and Reason


Wow, writing that must be almost as much fun as masturbating.

Re:To: Mr. George W. Bush (1, Insightful)

jafac (1449) | more than 7 years ago | (#15585761)

Dear Voice;

If we don't do something about it like yesterday, then we're all going to fucking die. As in extinct.

Do you want to continue to assassinate the character of the scientists who are trying to do something about it? Or do you just want to sit in your air conditioned H2 and hope you don't run out of gas?

Signed,
Reality

While we're writing letters (3, Insightful)

linvir (970218) | more than 7 years ago | (#15585768)

Dear Mr. Bipolar Politcs,

Please leave your particular country's ideological distinctions out of this scientific debate that they have nothing to do with. Also please acknowledge that there is more to the world than your narrow-minded battle against an ideological perspective that you happen disagree with.

Please at least learn to control your memes to the point that they no longer lead you to infer things that clearly aren't being implied. A phrase like "Please accept that Global Warming Exists." does not imply a belief that ""global warming" is conclusively linked to man [or] oil", or even a preference for left-wing politics.

Your little political campaign has taken your bigotry to the point where you sign yourself off as "The Voice of Fairness and Reason", which is so intellectually dishonest that my dog just read this page and went and took a shit on an encyclopedia in one of his usual crude but poignant symbolic gestures.

Signed,
Fuck You

PS: In case you missed it, I was implying that my dog is smarter than you.

Lets be honest (1, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#15585799)

You have as much fairness and reason as fox is fair and balanced.

Look, I have no doubt that even if you were transported in a time machine and shown all the termperatures over the millimiums and were moved into the future and new research that proved it, you would still deny it.

A simple fact check would be that the ALL of glaciers that existed before christ are now in retreat. In fact, the only one undergoing growth is the center of antartica. On the edges it is falling off at rates never documented (or shown in side research). That alone should be enough to warrent more than interest in this subject. As to a cycle, yes, it is possible that there is a cycle of more than 60K years. OTH, there is no evidence to support that at all.

Re:To: Mr. George W. Bush (1)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 7 years ago | (#15585802)

Handler P., and K. Andsager, 1994: El-Niño, Volcanism, and Global Climate. Human Ecology, 22, 37-57

Re:To: Mr. George W. Bush (1)

gutnor (872759) | more than 7 years ago | (#15585658)

Yes well, I'm sure he aggrees that global warming exists.

Now, he just need to say that nothing proves that human is the origin of it.
This is indeed true, nothing proves it, but yet why shouldn't that be good politic to take no risk ?

Well, on the other hand he can claim that the next ice age is already due and he is figthing it ...

Re:To: Mr. George W. Bush (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15585713)

It's a THEORY at best, idiot. Do you really think we've aggregated enough info make a conclusion on a planet with a billion years of history.

Left wing nut job......

Re:To: Mr. George W. Bush (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15585724)

I don't think anyone, even Bush, denies that global warming is a real thing. The debate lies in the cause. And, regardless of what the media says, there really hasn't been demonstrated that there is a direct link between all the 'greenhouse' stuff and global warming.

Re:To: Mr. George W. Bush (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15585760)

Please accept that Global Warming Exists.

Oh, we already know that warm periods [wikipedia.org] are a fact of nature. What would you like President Bush to do, build a weather machine? If you got everyone in the world together and had unlimited amounts of money to try and change the climate it would be impossible. The earth is a massive ecosystem and humans aren't even making a dent in its natural cycles. I wouldn't be surprised if in 400 years we're in an ice age.

Re:To: Mr. George W. Bush (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15585769)

To: The rest of the whole damn world.

Thanks for the letter.

Did you vote for George Bush? Has your country done anything helpful for the United States in the last 10 years?

Please be sure to write back when the answer is Yes. Until then, what good are you?

Signed,

me

Queue up the proof by anecdote posts (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15585598)

I'll start: It was unusually warm at my locale this winter. That's proves global warming.

Re:Queue up the proof by anecdote posts (4, Funny)

TrancePhreak (576593) | more than 7 years ago | (#15585615)

It was unusually cold last summer here. Now it's average! Global warming must be true!

Re:Queue up the proof by anecdote posts (1)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | more than 7 years ago | (#15585673)

Well I read a post on /. from some guy who said it was unusually warm at his locale this winter. So that proves it.

If that's not enough, I'm betting that someone is going to post on /. about how they read a comment by someone who read a comment by someone who experienced an unusually warm winter at his locale. That will really prove it.

Re:Queue up the proof by anecdote posts (1)

joshetc (955226) | more than 7 years ago | (#15585777)

Hmm I was freezing my ass off all winter trying to smoke cigarettes outside of work.. and the highest temps I've noticed around my area thus far have been around 90F(around DC, in virginia)

Pretty cool compared to normal.. I haven't even used the A/C in my car yet...the windows down keeps me very comfy.

CNN had a different figure (3, Interesting)

twofidyKidd (615722) | more than 7 years ago | (#15585600)

CNN was reporting on 2,000 years last time I checked. Sensationalism, maybe?

Study: Earth likely hottest in 2,000 years [cnn.com]

Re:CNN had a different figure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15585634)

If it's the hottest it's been in the last 2,000 years, then it's also the hottest it's been in the last 400 years.

The first implies the second.

Re:CNN had a different figure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15585681)

Sorry, little Timmy, that's not how it works. Thanks for trying though.

Re:CNN had a different figure (1, Informative)

Happy Monkey (183927) | more than 7 years ago | (#15585698)

'recent warmth is unprecedented for at least the last 400 years and potentially the last several millennia.'
The data is most solid for 400 years, but it also supports a timeframe of several thousand years.

Both 400 and 2000 are true (3, Insightful)

kozumik (946298) | more than 7 years ago | (#15585753)

RTFA. The first sentence says 400 years or longer. If you actually read the stories you'll understand why, and get the point that it's hotter than it's been in a long time, and only getting hotter. I have no more patience for these fools who don't have an interest in science or much of anything outside their own little self serving world. They don't read scientific journals, and who hence have no idea how important the global scientific consensus for global warming is. These people don't even give a half a shit literally hundreds of millions of poor people around the world suffer and die from drought, crop failures, and many other near-apocalyptic consequences if global warming is allowed to continue. People often make crazy analogies to Nazis. But seriously, if half of what the entire global scientific community warns of comes to pass, then the ignorant and uncaring people doing nothing to prevent global warming are leading to a holocaust that will be literally tens, maybe as much as a hundred times worse than the holocaust in terms of suffering and lives lost. We're talking about tens to hundreds of millions dying due to climate change. The resistance to accepting the global warming isn't based on scientific logic, or wisdom, or conscience, or anything that could be called credible or ethical. It's just sheer intellectual laziness and choosing to let someone else die because people are unwilling to even slightly inconvenience oneself. That's shameful. The miniscule but well funded dissent is also backed by the fossil fuel industry and people who think their paychecks depend on perpetuating this tragedy so long as it falls on someone else. It's disgusting, tragic, shameful, and represents the worst in human nature.

please (4, Interesting)

polar red (215081) | more than 7 years ago | (#15585601)

And can we now please take some PRECAUTIONARY ACTIONS?

Re:please (1)

Nicaboker (978150) | more than 7 years ago | (#15585682)

What procautionary measures? Like a lot of others on here are saying it all happens in a cycle. The Earth is hot, then cools, then becomes mostly a giant ice block, then warms up again, gets hotter, repeat. Sooner or later it'll get cooler. But, if you some cost effective ideas that everyone can buy into and wont force them to give up their comforts please share.

Re:please (5, Insightful)

Random Destruction (866027) | more than 7 years ago | (#15585801)

I think the point was that since this is either caused by A) nature, or B) us, perhaps we should start working on B just in case it isn't A.
If its A) and we worked on B), then we profit from less oil dependence and less smog, particulate matter,etc
If its B) and we assumed A), we all die.
Until we know more, I wish people would stop pretending they know what's happening. We have a couple theories, thats it, no proof. (correct me if I'm wrong)

First Step In An Emergency Situation.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15585736)

The first step is to REMAIN CALM.

My tendency is to ignore the guy yelling the loudest.

Re:please (2, Insightful)

TooMuchEspressoGuy (763203) | more than 7 years ago | (#15585766)

That depends.

Did they need "precautionary actions" the last time this happened 400-X000 years ago?

What about before that?

No? Hmmm...

There's no question in my mind that things like greenhouse gases and the decimation of the ozone layer are Bad Things, but I think there's more practical arguments that you can make for taking further measures against them than "ZOMG TEH EARTH WILL HEAT UP & KILL US ALL!"

So... (2, Insightful)

yobjob (942868) | more than 7 years ago | (#15585602)

It was this hot 400 years ago? Global warming indeed...

Re:So... (1)

mfaras (979322) | more than 7 years ago | (#15585685)

Good point.

But they are saying that probable several milenia ago, it was this hot too. So the problem is not that the world is hotter than ever, it's if we are the cause.

Ok, we're hot. But what caused the other warmings?
There weren't AMD beowolf clusters back then, only the sun and some chemical reactions here and there... if that was enough then, it should be enough now... but there's the humans, the curiosity, and the blame, and the fear that if this keeps up, there will be no world left, so the first thought is that if we're doing something that warms it up, we should stop.

But I raise other issue: If the earth is warming on it's own, and it's about to kill us all... should we intervein?

--
I drunk "Crush", but never crushed drunk.

Re:So... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15585695)

How the hell did this get modded +2 insightful? For one, the article said, "for at least 400 years," implying that is how far they looked through the records! If it had been 400 years since the global temperature averaged this high, they would have used a word like "since" rather than "for at least!" Did this guy, as the Slashdot saying seems to go, "read the fucking article," or is reading the headline enough these days?

I know I'm anonymous coward, so it's harder to get the coveted +5 blessing, but really, sometimes the wisdom of anonymous cowards is better than the Wisdom of Cowards.

Re:So... (5, Informative)

Happy Monkey (183927) | more than 7 years ago | (#15585738)

'recent warmth is unprecedented for at least the last 400 years and potentially the last several millennia.'
Not quite. They have solid data for 400 years, and less solid data for several millennia past that.

Re:So... (3, Funny)

MrSquirrel (976630) | more than 7 years ago | (#15585750)

It is proof of global warming. Scientists from the future (where it's REALLY hot) created a time machine that they threw all the hot air into -- then they sent it back to the late 1500's because they were like "Fuck, no one cares about the 1500's". It's true, I saw it on the internet.

Will always be the highest in X years (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15585604)

So we've been in a cooling streak since 401 years ago and we're climbing out of it? This fact by itself is meaningless.

What caused the warming 400 years ago? (1, Insightful)

raitchison (734047) | more than 7 years ago | (#15585627)

I'm prepared to be labeled a mindless republican bushite and modded down for this but..

If it currently the warmest it's been in 400 years (or the past few millenia) that means it was this warm 400 years (or a few mllenia) ago. Since obvioulsy it wasn't human generated greenhouse gasses that caused the previous temperature, it does call into question the certianty that human generated greenhouse gasses is causing the current warming.

Now if the scientists can come up with causality for the previous warming periods, such as volcanic or solar activity and we aren't experiencing the same now then that makes more of a case.

Re:What caused the warming 400 years ago? (4, Informative)

Pyromage (19360) | more than 7 years ago | (#15585677)

You'd be right if that was what they said. But they didn't say that.

They said it was unprecedented within the last 400 years, at least. That's not the same thing.

Re:What caused the warming 400 years ago? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15585710)

Even though your post is the dumbest post I've ever read in my six years of reading slashdot, it does not preclude it from being the dumbest post ever posted to slashdot.

Re:What caused the warming 400 years ago? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15585714)

It's the highest in 400 years because it is hard to prove it longer back, not because it was hotter 400 years ago.
Stop interpreting everything through thick narrowminded glasses.

just as good as you can prove al-qaeda iraq links (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15585749)

i mean if we are going for standards of proof here, why not insult everyone?

Re:What caused the warming 400 years ago? (5, Informative)

Stalyn (662) | more than 7 years ago | (#15585759)

RTFA

1. It wasn't this hot 400 years ago... we only have 400 years of reliable temperature data.

2. From the fucking article...
A panel of top climate scientists told lawmakers that the Earth is running a fever and that "human activities are responsible for much of the recent warming."
...
Between 1 A.D. and 1850, volcanic eruptions and solar fluctuations were the main causes of changes in greenhouse gas levels. But those temperature changes "were much less pronounced than the warming due to greenhouse gas" levels by pollution since the mid-19th century, it said.

Mistinterpreting simple statement (1)

wmshub (25291) | more than 7 years ago | (#15585763)

Uhh, you are either stupidly or intentionally misinterpreting a very simple statement. You pick.

"It is the warmest it has been in the last 400 million years" does not mean "400 million years ago it was even warmer." It means exactly what it says. The report says that it is certain that the past 400 million years have all been cooler than now; before that, they were *probably* cooler for a few millenia, but it gets harder to tell. Farther back than the last few millenia, it is even harder to tell.

Re:What caused the warming 400 years ago? (1)

gpw213 (691600) | more than 7 years ago | (#15585795)

If it currently the warmest it's been in 400 years (or the past few millenia) that means it was this warm 400 years (or a few mllenia) ago.

Sorry, wrong, that is not what they were saying at all. The report states that they have direct temperature records for the past 150 years, very good indirect evidence of temperature for the last 400 years, and weaker indirect evidence for the past 2000 years. While there were fluctuations, including a warm period in the middle ages, there is no indication that in any of those times past it was ever warmer than now.

The National Acadamies summary [nationalacademies.org] is better than the Yahoo article, and links to the (155 page!) report itself.

Re:What caused the warming 400 years ago? (1)

linvir (970218) | more than 7 years ago | (#15585804)

I'm prepared to be labeled a mindless republican bushite and modded down for this but..

Maybe this is just a technique to groom readers and prepare them to be sympathetic to your point. Maybe it's a legitimate concern.

Either way, my experience of the ever-repeating global warming debate on Slashdot is that people leave politics out of proper discussion (like the last 2 paragraphs of your post). You'll see plenty of people saying similar things to your post in this story, talking about the ins and outs of pattern-spotting, leaving politics out of it quite happily. Many of them might even be... liberals!

Must be... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15585628)

all those exploding Dell laptop batteries.

Don't panic yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15585629)

The overall global increase in temperature is around a degree or so.

Re:Don't panic yet (1)

OldeTimeGeek (725417) | more than 7 years ago | (#15585692)

You're thinking in human terms. If the increase in temperature makes the difference between ice fields being just above freezing rather than just below freezing, the effect could be a bit worrisome...

This just in . . . (2, Insightful)

ndansmith (582590) | more than 7 years ago | (#15585630)

The earth's climate is cyclical. If you place that 400 year figure next to the age of the earth (say 4+ billion years), it does not seem that significant. Even if it were the warmest the earth has ever been, it does not mean that human activity is the primary cause.

Re:This just in . . . (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15585667)

gee whiz guy, no one EVER thought of that! Seriously, of the thousands of scientists to tackle this problem, you are the VERY FIRST to realize that there cycles to the Earth's climate. Scientists have just never taken this into account! /sarcasm

Now I'll tell you to look up the term Milankovitch Cycles and be done with you.

Re:This just in . . . (3, Informative)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 7 years ago | (#15585697)

Even if it were the warmest the earth has ever been

"Millions of years ago, the Earth was a great, molten mass, called Pangaea."

Re:This just in . . . (4, Funny)

Dzimas (547818) | more than 7 years ago | (#15585798)

"Millions of years ago, the Earth was a great, molten mass, called Pangaea."

Errm... there wasn't anyone around to name the Earth anything a few hundred million years ago, unless you count the Vogons and the mice.

sucks to be you if you live in the desert (5, Insightful)

poopie (35416) | more than 7 years ago | (#15585633)

Good luck to all those people living in Arizona and Nevada - you're entering a spiraling heat wave. Once people build up the land with houses and roads, the cars, pollution, and A/C makes the air even hotter.

Oh, and with much of China and India either already a desert or turning into a desert due to deforestation thousands of years ago, it's not going to get any better for them.

The desert is actually spreading too - look at China in google earth and see how much of China is sand, and with hunter/gatherer populations foraging for food and fuel, animals eating every plant that springs up from the earth, and pavement being laid down everywhere to speed rain runoff and reduce the amount of water that saturates the soil - the situation looks bleak.

Seriously, I hate to sound like a tree hugging hippie, but if everyone in the world planted a few trees, I believe we could have a positive impact on the global climate

Re:sucks to be you if you live in the desert (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15585703)

> Good luck to all those people living in Arizona and Nevada

Erm, about those people living in New York, Tokyo, Venice, and San Francisco?

> if everyone in the world planted a few trees

Where?

Re:sucks to be you if you live in the desert (1)

TykeClone (668449) | more than 7 years ago | (#15585717)

Seriously, I hate to sound like a tree hugging hippie, but if everyone in the world planted a few trees,

Whew - I should be good to go then :)

When I was living at home, my folks had me plant several hundred trees for a new grove.

Re:sucks to be you if you live in the desert (1)

travisco_nabisco (817002) | more than 7 years ago | (#15585785)

I agree, I planted over 100,000 trees for a summer job, guess my conscience is clear. Now were can I get enough money to buy a big SUV? Maybe I should plant more trees.

Editors, please post flamebait stories in the AM (5, Funny)

spun (1352) | more than 7 years ago | (#15585637)

Thanks. What's the point of posting a story like this now, when everyone who reads slashdot has left work already? Nothing relieves the boredom of work like a good flamefest. Now I have to wait until tomorrow. (read from home? and waste MY precious time?)

I love the smell of burning karma in the morning... It smells like slashdot!

Re:Editors, please post flamebait stories in the A (1)

lelitsch (31136) | more than 7 years ago | (#15585787)

Ever heard of the small state of California? And what's that software company in Redmond, WA again? Not that anybody uses a computer or reads /. in either place.

By the way, the OP must be right, it's about 100 here in Walnut Creek and in the high 90s in the South Bay.

Did they every stop and consider.. (1)

mr_stinky_britches (926212) | more than 7 years ago | (#15585640)

that perhaps global warming is at least partly due to Earth's natural cycle of events?

Re:Did they every stop and consider.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15585671)

Or, far more likely, it's due to a lack of pirates.

Re: Did they every stop and consider.. (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 7 years ago | (#15585711)

> that perhaps global warming is at least partly due to Earth's natural cycle of events?

No, they're scientists, they never consider stuff like that. /sarcasm

What a boring job... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15585644)

Just imagine being the guy in charge of manning the weather station that has been keeping track of this data for the past several centuries.... Talk about monotonous

This scares me... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15585651)

...because 400 is a really big number.

Right, just past the mini-ice age.... (4, Interesting)

caffiend666 (598633) | more than 7 years ago | (#15585653)

There was a mini-ice age in the 1700's believed to be related to lower solar activity. All this means is we have returned to pre-mini-ice-age temperatures. I don't know of anyone that does not accept global warming (as in the warming of regions of the earth). I know a lot of people which can't agree on the causes. Temperatures were warmer 1000 years ago. The reason the vikings were so active from Norway was that they had mild temperatures up there, warmer than now. Cyclical Global warming != greenhouse effect. Greenhouse gases effect may play a part, but the biggest variable (the sun) is not yet being realistically tracked.

Baseline (4, Interesting)

No_CO2_warming (822194) | more than 7 years ago | (#15585661)

The 1600s were smack in the middle of the little ice age. The study doesn't say it was this warm 400 years ago. It says that with 400 years worth of data, this is the hottest period observed. Proxy studies and urban heat island effects cloud the results of all such studies. Another way to look at this: The Earth has fully recovered from the Little Ice Age period. Horray! Warmer is far better than colder. The 1600s will go down in European history as among the worst times. Famine from crop failures. Diseases were epidemic.

Hear me out. Measurable data. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15585666)

Okay, I'm indifferent to politics but I do like life on this planet along with intellectual honesty.

How many actual "years" of data do we have? Verified, maybe the last 200-800 years? What about before that?

I don't see how we can look at 250-5000 year block and say with all certaintly what is or will happen on a > 20 million year old planet.

Would anyone accept the fact that within one day my body tempature may be >98.6 degrees? Is that enough considering I have 365 days a year along with a lifetime of >30 years of unknown data?

As a side note, I don't see how brown air is helping humans other than allowing us to travel quickly so I'm in favor of clean fuel alternatives.

Didn't I just read.... ? (2, Interesting)

mtcrowe (86952) | more than 7 years ago | (#15585686)

I'm surprised that no one has yet referenced the recent article [slashdot.org] referenced on Slashdot and linking to Canadafreepress.com which quotes climate change experts who disagree with Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" movie?

It's nearly impossible to separate the wheat from the chaff in this discussion since it's so politically and emotionally charged, but who is the average citizen supposed to trust if both sides are trotting out 'climate experts' to disagree?

Weasel Words: Scientists vs. Politicians (4, Insightful)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 7 years ago | (#15585694)

The root cause of the misunderstanding is that scientists and politicians mean opposite things when they use qualifiers/modifiers on their adjectives.

Suppose you ask the question: Is X happening?

When a scientist says that a phenomenon "X is probably happening", or "the bulk of the evidence indicates that X is happening", he means "I'm pretty damn sure about it, but because everyting in science is subject to further investigation, I'm open to hear evidence to the contrary."

When a lawyer says that "X is probably happening", or "the bulk of the evidence indicates that X is happening", he means "I haven't the foggiest idea, and I need wiggle room so I don't look like an idiot when someone who knows what he's talking about asks me."

Trouble starts when the two world views are mixed. The scientist hears the bolded words in his part of the speech -- and the politician hears precisely the opposite.

The qualifiers are necessary to the scientist, because they're part of why a theory is explanation falsifiable (and by extension, scientific). Science can't progress except for those areas in which there exists Reasonable Doubt.

The politician hears only the phrases "is probably" (as opposed to certainly), the "bulk of" (as opposed to all of the evidence), and the "indication" (as opposed to conclusive truth pounded out on the table before Judge and Jury) that something is the case. In an adversarial "justice" system, you can't use weasel words, because the holy grail is Proof Beyond A Reasonable Doubt.

And the planet burns because people who don't grok science prefer oratory.

What the hell, the dinosaurs died because they didn't understand science either.

Question: How do they know? (1)

hasbeard (982620) | more than 7 years ago | (#15585699)

Ok, I am not a scientist, so please bear with me (or just bear me, if need be). But how do they know what the temperature was four hundred years (or longer) ago? How long has it been possible to measure temperature with any degree (no pun intended) of accuracy?

Unprecedented? No. (3, Informative)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 7 years ago | (#15585700)

Unprecedented high temperatures in recent history, perhaps. Unprecedented in terms of Earth's history? I'm afraid not. [daviesand.com] Notice the three sharp spikes occurring at roughly 130,000 year intervals. We started such a rise about 15,000 years ago, right at the expected time if the pattern repeats, but something levelled it off around present-day levels and has kept it there for the last 10,000 years. Whatever cause the levelling-out it wasn't humans, we weren't doing anything on a scale large enough to cause global effects 15,000 years back. If whatever it is stops, I'd expect global temperatures to spike by another 2-3 degrees C, then drop sharply to 4-6 degrees C below "normal".

Scientific Consensus (1)

MightyMait (787428) | more than 7 years ago | (#15585722)

As has been pointed out by other posters, we're talking about a net increase of one degree in temperature. As has also been pointed out, the earth's climate has natural cycles. The fact is: it's impossible to prove that humans are the cause of this regardless of how much deforestation and fossil-feul burning has occurred--it's basic science: correlation does not equal causation (search Google for "pirates global warming")

While I consider myself to be an environmentalist, I'm opposed to using FUD to scare people into doing the right thing. We oughta stop destroying the environment because we're poisoning ourselves at the local level (and many other valid reasons), not because of a slight warming trend which we may or may not be causing.

All the articles refer to "scientific consensus", not "conclusive proof". May I remind the Slashdot readers that, in the time of Galileo, the "scientific consensus" was that the Earth is the center of the solar system (or is that the universe?).

Kioto (0, Troll)

omar_armas (633987) | more than 7 years ago | (#15585727)

Gringos, sign the Kioto Protocol!

Omar

Re:Kioto (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15585808)

Okay, will you go home then? Cuz I'm sure the instant it is signed tempratures will change and the world will turn into a "perfect" paradise. Then you can pick apples back home.

The hockey stick (3, Insightful)

emarkp (67813) | more than 7 years ago | (#15585731)

Ah yes, the infamous hockey stick (the chart). It was what convinced me that global warming was human-caused. Until of course I found that when you put random data into the analysis, you got a hockey stick [lbl.gov].

What it comes down to is that more than 200 years ago we didn't have accurate temperature measurement. Everything before that is an educated guess. And the precision necessary to show a fractional degree of change is simply unattainable.

Where are the error bars on the hockey stick? It's shown as if we had exact data for the last 1000 years--which of course we don't.

Meaning... (1)

hapoo (607664) | more than 7 years ago | (#15585739)

Meaning it was just as hot (if not more) "several millenia ago", without any help from mankind, and yet it managed to fix itself. Ya think it can do it again?

Global Warming? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15585740)

The Earth is now cooler than it was 4 billion years ago.

Perhaps they should have asked....A NINJA. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15585780)

ENOUGH! For years I have remained hidden -- For years, my love of the sword, and my love of the pancake have remained silent, brooding, simmering quietly on the griddle of my soul. But now, the edges have become bubbly, the rim, golden brown. The day of reckoning is upon us.

Yesterday, the calls two summer sparrows after my morning tea and pancake, I had discussed this very issue with my wife. "Wife!" I exclaimed, pancake in mouth, "I am tired of this 'global warming' nonsense! Do they not see it? Do they not SEE how improperly cooked pancakes are to blame? ENOUGH! ENOUGH with this asshattery and douchebaggery!"

She said nothing.

Her face, motionless, the color of faint rouge applied to alabaster skin.... her eyes, gently weeping...knowing that I, the Pancake Ninja, must once again resume my quest. The quest...for the perfect pancake.

Leaping from my chair, and shoving the table away from me, I stormed out of my dojo, sword in hand.

Today, my friends, is the day of reckoning. Soon the world will know that the rise of global temperature can be directly correlated with the expansion of IHOP restaraunts.

Shall I prepare a graph? Shall I put my quill to ink, and expose this unspeakable, unscientific douchebaggery for what it is? Will it bring me closer to karaguchi ah-nowakadesu....the perfect pancake?

I do not know when I will again see my wife, and see the cherry blossoms fall to the steps of my dojo. My sword is my guide.

"We need more research." Well, research is in... (1)

posterlogo (943853) | more than 7 years ago | (#15585790)

The National Academy of Sciences panel stated that ""recent warmth is unprecedented for at least the last 400 years and potentially the last several millennia." Moreover they have "a high level of confidence that the last few decades of the 20th century were warmer than any comparable period in the last 400 years." What's the cause? The panel concluded that "human activities are responsible for much of the recent warming." This should help answer the critics that claim there is some controversy, even among scientists, that human activities affect global climate. Even more notably, this panel report appears to be endorsed by a bipartisan Congressional committee, headed by a Republican, Joe Barton, who said "There is nothing in this report that should raise any doubts about the broad scientific consensus on global climate change." It seems the scientific community has finally spoken loudly enough for the politicians to begin listening. So, Bush has always said the research is inconclusive. Will he finally allow us to act on this comprehensive report from the NAS?

little ice age anyone? (1)

steak (145650) | more than 7 years ago | (#15585791)

400 years ago was smack in the middle of the little ice age [wikipedia.org]. so are we a little warmer than a mild ice age, and why are some people aparently so obsessed with having a static gloabal climate? if you are follower of the religion of science then you need a dynamic global climate to create life. alegedly. if you follow another religion then you need Marduk or something.

Junk Science Clouding Real Theory (3, Insightful)

Shihar (153932) | more than 7 years ago | (#15585807)

Look, I DO believe in global warming. That said, crap headlines like this are, well, crap.

The fact that this point is warmer then some other point in some arbitrary number of years means nothing. There have been literally countless points in time when you can point backwards and say that it has not been so warm for 400+ years. Any idiot can see that pointing out that we are in another of such periods where the last local max with 400 years ago is thoroughly and completely normal and uninteresting.

Flouting stupid statistics like this is what makes smart people believe that global warming is a crap political ploy by environmentalist/anti-globalist/leftists/exc. If your goal is to divide, crap like this is a great idea as it assures everyone that the opposing side are idiots who couldn't tell the truth if their life depended upon it. If your goal is to build a consensus and spawn action, throwing out junk science is a waste of everyone's time.

There are a lot of good reasons to believe that the Earth is heating in an appreciable way and that humans could very well be the cause of much of that heating. We don't need to throw out junk science and sensationalist crap like "OMFG hottest year in 400 years!" as any idiot with even an ounce of grey matter is going to realize that "hottest year in 400 years" is pretty damn normal during any heating phase, especially heating phases that happen on geologic time.
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