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  1. #1

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    Climate Change

    From that communist/environmentalist magazine Fortune:

    Global warming may be bad news for future generations, but let's face it, most of us spend as little time worrying about it as we did about al Qaeda before 9/11. Like the terrorists, though, the seemingly remote climate risk may hit home sooner and harder than we ever imagined. In fact, the prospect has become so real that the Pentagon's strategic planners are grappling with it.
    The threat that has riveted their attention is this: Global warming, rather than causing gradual, centuries-spanning change, may be pushing the climate to a tipping point. Growing evidence suggests the ocean-atmosphere system that controls the world's climate can lurch from one state to another in less than a decade—like a canoe that's gradually tilted until suddenly it flips over. Scientists don't know how close the system is to a critical threshold. But abrupt climate change may well occur in the not-too-distant future. If it does, the need to rapidly adapt may overwhelm many societies—thereby upsetting the geopolitical balance of power.

    Though triggered by warming, such change would probably cause cooling in the Northern Hemisphere, leading to longer, harsher winters in much of the U.S. and Europe. Worse, it would cause massive droughts, turning farmland to dust bowls and forests to ashes. Picture last fall's California wildfires as a regular thing. Or imagine similar disasters destabilizing nuclear powers such as Pakistan or Russia—it's easy to see why the Pentagon has become interested in abrupt climate change.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    Warming cause cooling... great logic.... :-P

    First off.. If you want to believe a global warming that it's main support is thousands of metereological stations world wide (with a big global error margin), many strategically placed in airports and cities (making it warmer), others that are left unattended for months or that have their records tampered. Be my guest.
    Go on and preach the impending doom of global warming just like the impending doom of global cooling back in the 1960's and 1970's.

    But if you watch the sattelites and trust the fewer and more reliable information they give about the global temperature (because remember, our planet is ~70% water, with major oceans where you can't put meterological stations) and that information shows only a very slight warming.

    And don't get me into the global climatological history thing... the IPCC uses the "Hockey stick" model, even after several scientific (unlike the hockey stick) papers that say that there were things as Little Warm Age (the vikings lived thanks to that global warming) and the Little Ice Age (the vikings and the England vinyards dissapeared because of this)and that question heavily the scientific process behind the hockey stick (misuse of data for an exaple).

    Oh and don't forget to blame the "greenhouse" effect gasses that make the earth a warm enough place to live rather than a freezing iceberg. Who cares about the effect of the sun cycles on our climate either... it's not as important as the evil "greenhouse" gasses. And the droughts will be caused not by global warming, but rather a global cooling. You know, when oceans are cooler, they make less clouds and less clouds mean less rain!

    One last thing: Climate Change? how spooky! (Ironically, but true) One of the biggest constants in global climate is CHANGE! So live with it... let's get prepared to adapt ourselves to the upcoming changes; cooling or warming, whatever that may come; but the only way we can survive is adapting (remember Darwin?)

    Pheeew... sorry for the rant...

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by SkeLeton
    Warming cause cooling... great logic.... :-P
    My daddy (you have to hear that with the correct Southern pronunciation) is 79 and growed up on a farm in Indiana. He sez: Cold spells follow hot spells like rain follows drought.

    Maybe they are finally ketching up with the wisdom of my high school drop-out father. o

  4. #4

    I'm on the fence.

    To dismiss the potential, well, you'd have to be a fool. And that's why the Pentagon is studying the situation, that or someone needs a job. There is no all knowing encompassing -this is the way the climatic cycle works evaluation. These things take time, considering that we just started studying this process, I won't jump to any conclusions.

  5. #5

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    You are missing the whole point, Skel. Global Warming affects overall climate patterns, creating instability. It is not irrational to state that human-created changes in atmospheric gasses may, for some climates, lower temperatures. The point is, increased swings and instability.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    You are missing the whole point, Skel. Global Warming affects overall climate patterns, creating instability. It is not irrational to state that human-created changes in atmospheric gasses may, for some climates, lower temperatures. The point is, increased swings and instability.
    Hum.. did you even read my whole post or did you just read the first line?

    Global warming is an instability, it's a change, and it's been natural for centuries and milleniums, so why all of the sudden it's our fault? There have been short term and fast changes in climates, the Little Warm period and Little Ice age are the proof (even though the IPCC doesn't want to see it... B-))

    The overall temperature of the world is quite cyclic. It goes up, it goes down. Ice ages, glaciations and inter glaciation periods, deglaciations, warm periods.

    The point is not trying to control the climate or trying to stop the change, the point is to adapt.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    Since I've studied 3 years of Meteorology and Climatology, I owe some comment.

    Skel is on the right track. We have only 100-200 years of accurate somewhat worldwide measurements to base climate change on. Using this data to gauge that we are increasing in temperature by the direct impact of greenhouse gases is foolish. Many of the leading climatologists have jumped off the global warming bandwagon and now take the lessor stance of human influenced climate change. We, as humans, do cause changes to the overall ecosystem of the planet. However, larger scale cycles such as solar cycles, lunar cycles, electromagnetic cycles, and other little understood phenomena may play the larger role in climate variability.

    The climate has been extremely volatile in the past. Based on rock records and ice cores there have been global temperature swings of over 10 degrees Celsius in only 5 years. That's climate change. We've experienced only a degree or two change world wide over 150 years. While it's something not to ignore, it's nothing to panic over.

    I still insist that tougher EPA standards on emissions are absolutely required. We should not be introducing excess pollution, in the form of particulates or gases into the atmosphere not because of global warming, but because of the negative impact on ecological and biological health.
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  8. #8

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    I can live with Boiker's last paragraph

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    I am kind of serious in my comment about "cold spells follow hot spells". But, Boiker already said pretty much "everything" that needs to be said. The short version is that we are "like fleas on the butt of a dog, trying to figure out which way the dog is going" (to quote a professor of mine).

    As for Boiker's last paragraph: yeah, the particulates have really nasty effects on the respiratory system, and this is independent of the presence of other air born pollutants. The research on that is very solid. (Now if only I could remember the name of the famous researcher who is doing the work on that. Sigh.)

  10. #10
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    boiker -- Have you heard of pond cores? I actually heard a talk from a climatologist who was working on them a few years back. Basically, they take cores of pond beds exactly like they do with ice. They then analyze them layer by layer, looking at the pollen that was trapped in the sediment from each season. From that they can figure out which species of plants were near that pond at a given point in time. Since every species has its own temperature range, getting a number of different species can give a very accurate measure of the climate near that pond.

    Anyhow, they've been coring ponds all over the United States (She had just gotten back from some place in Colarado) and they give very accurate data back to the last ice age (about 10k years ago). So in the United States, because of pond cores, we have good solid climate date for the last 10,000 years. Granted, that's not worldwide, but I can't imagine that the US is the only country that's coring its ponds.

    I also read another article a bit ago that was talking about how the ice ages were not at all caused by changes in the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere, as had been previously thought. CO2 was ruled out as a factor because it was discovered that CO2 levels in the atmosphere have remained relatively constant for the last... really long time. At least several ice ages. Now, however, CO2 levels are rising significantly, and it's pretty clear why, but there's no historical evidence as to what that CO2 is going to do, because it hasn't happened before.

    Now, maybe it'll do nothing, maybe it'll be beneficial, maybe it'll make it very difficult for us to live on this planet. We can drastically reduce our CO2 emissions through technological advances, through conservation, and most importantly, through learning to live less consumerist and car-dependent lives. We can still live lives just as full as our current ones (such as that is), and probably a lot moreso, and yet discharge a tiny fraction of the CO2 we're currently releasing.

    If this planet suddently decides to make itself very difficult for us to live on, well, there's not much we can do about that. But when we are doing something that could potentially devastate our civilization, and it's well within our means to stop doing it, then it would be insane for us to continue.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Duke Of Dystopia's avatar
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    [QUOTE=SkeLeton]Warming cause cooling... great logic.... :-P

    First off.. If you want to believe a global warming that it's main support is thousands of metereological stations world wide (with a big global error margin), many strategically placed in airports and cities (making it warmer),......

    But if you watch the sattelites and trust the fewer and more reliable information ........that information shows only a very slight warming.

    .........Little Warm Age (the vikings lived thanks to that global warming) and the Little Ice Age (the vikings and the England vinyards dissapeared because of this).........

    ........Who cares about the effect of the sun cycles on our climate either... it's not as important as the evil "greenhouse" gasses. And the droughts will be caused not by global warming, but rather a global cooling.........

    One last thing: Climate Change? .........

    the only way we can survive is adapting (remember Darwin?)
    QUOTE]

    1) You miss the point skel. It is not global warming or climate change. It is more like "additional energy into the enviornment". In this case it means a trend in some locations that will change climate. If you shift the number of days in a growing season a week or two, you have made a huge difference in world markets. The cold weather no longer keeps killer bees out of Wisconsin, etc.

    2) You are now arguing AMOUNT rather than the EXISTENCE of energy change in fact. If it is happening, then there should be signs in the environment that show it is happening. They do have weather stations in both oceans. They dump little electronic devices into the water that measre temperature, and by downloading thier information daily, they get a very acurate picture of ocean temps and curent flows.

    Ice packs on both poles are shrinking, as are mountain glaciers planet wide. Also, the density of the Atlantic is changing, showing a possible tipping point toward stoping the North Atlantic Conveyor Belt. Thats what keeps North America and Europe warm. If that fails, it could indeed be warmer in other geographic contexts and cold in NA & Europe.

    3) Viking longships were a marvel of medeavil engineering. They could journey to the new world, but losses were HEAVY! In many instances in excess of 20%. Would you fly very often with a 1 in 5 shot at crashing each time? Iceland which was populated in an uninterupted fashion, fared poorly during the little ice age. Throw in thick flows of sea ice and Greenland becomes uninhabitable. During the warm period proceding the little ice age, europe was warmer.

    4) As a lover of winter, a big cooling won't bother me, except, I live where the geography has been dominated by ice ages. Not that the ice will get too thick here, but such a cooling would make agriculture in Canada, nearly impossible in economic terms. Sudenly, instead of 25 weeks of growth, you have 21. Now what you are looking at massive economic dislocation of whole populations.

    5) Again, climate change is the result of a change in energy output. Global warming was never a good name, and it is not what the original scinetists called it. Now they changed it to climate change because it is a good description.

    6) Adapt? yes, we are good at that as a species. We have no choice. So what if the defense department is looking at it. As you admit yourself, its a matter of degree, not if it is actually happening.

    Read the book, "Fallen Angels" by Larry Niven and James Pournelle. You would like it.

    Also, you need to get into some real environmental science classes so you can destinguish what is fact and fiction in political arguments. Every political group twists the data thier own way. You need to go past the simple newspaper columns, talking heads, and occasional magazine article.
    I can't deliver UTOPIA, but I can create a HELL for you to LIVE in :)DoD:(

  12. #12
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    boiker -- Have you heard of pond cores? I actually heard a talk from a climatologist who was working on them a few years back. Basically, they take cores of pond beds exactly like they do with ice. They then analyze them layer by layer, looking at the pollen that was trapped in the sediment from each season. From that they can figure out which species of plants were near that pond at a given point in time. Since every species has its own temperature range, getting a number of different species can give a very accurate measure of the climate near that pond.
    Thanks for jarring that nugget of info, I forgot about pond cores. Either way, 10,000 of climate change in the US does give climatologists a frame of reference. We can track the migration of tree/other plant species as the temperatures warmed up after the last glacial advance.

    I also read another article a bit ago that was talking about how the ice ages were not at all caused by changes in the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere, as had been previously thought. CO2 was ruled out as a factor because it was discovered that CO2 levels in the atmosphere have remained relatively constant for the last... really long time. At least several ice ages. Now, however, CO2 levels are rising significantly, and it's pretty clear why, but there's no historical evidence as to what that CO2 is going to do, because it hasn't happened before.
    I guess I was always in the "CO2 alone is too simple crowd" I've read information that suggests that planetary wobble (the fact that the earth is not always titled at 23.5 degrees) causes a dramatic amount of climate change. I believe this wobble operates on a 22,000 year cycle or something like that. The greater the tilt, the greater the extreme in seasons and weather events. Also, geological events such as volcanic eruptions can cause big time, short duration climate change. Mt. Pinatubo eruption in 93? 94? helped reduce the world wide temperature by almost 2 deg. C. for a couple years.

    I've gotten completly off track, but basically, we should be more worried about ozone depeletion (which scientists are learning may also be cyclic, but lately appears to be significantly aided by humans). Ozone depletion will negatively effect ecosystems and biology. You eliminate/reduce the biomass, you wreck a major compnent of climate control. This, I believe, may be a more significant cause of climate change.
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Duke Of Dystopia's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by boiker
    .....I guess I was always in the "CO2 alone is too simple crowd" ....
    As I understand the mechanics of ocean temperature from a grad school class, a degree or 2 of ocean warming, can cause the release of massive methane pockets that exist a slurry mix under an overlying bed of debris.

    When the ocean temps rise, the ocean floor temp warms up. This warming causes the volitile release of Methane gas in "massive" amounts that are naturaly occuring and then released into the atmosphere. If memory serves me right, methane is a much more long term and effective greenhouse gass.
    I can't deliver UTOPIA, but I can create a HELL for you to LIVE in :)DoD:(

  14. #14
    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
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    You all forgot cow farts
    “As soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the State is not far from its fall”
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Duke Of Dystopia's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by giff57
    You all forgot cow farts

    Nope, got that covered with the methane gas just above that!
    I can't deliver UTOPIA, but I can create a HELL for you to LIVE in :)DoD:(

  16. #16
    Cyburbian
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    DoD you're right on the methane, it's far more heater than the CO2, but even more than methane and CO2, is water vapour.

    I still believe that we could understand far more about our solar system and about earth climate (and other planets too) if we study the Sun. It's logical that one of the biggest factors in earth climate is the sun, it's our energy source afterall. And there's plenty of papers about it's cycles. See, this is even a good method to make space exploration an important thing to fund. With all of the greenies alarming about the impending doom and saying things like: 1998 was the hottest year ever, and nonsense like that...

    Oh and about the glaciers: Not all are melting away, some are growing too.
    Just like some places are heating up, others are cooling down.

    My last words: don't trust the computer generated models... earth's climate has way too much variables to be computed correctly.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Duke Of Dystopia's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by SkeLeton
    ....I still believe that we could understand far more about our solar system and about earth climate (and other planets too) if we study the Sun. .....

    .....My last words: don't trust the computer generated models... earth's climate has way too much variables to be computed correctly.
    We don't spend nearly enough on space exploration. We could have colonies on the moon and mars in exchange for fighting a false war.

    As for models, they are all flawed by nature, but they are necessary, and as we do research and test the models, we can build ever more accurate models. Some predictive value is better than no predictive model.
    I can't deliver UTOPIA, but I can create a HELL for you to LIVE in :)DoD:(

  18. #18
    Cyburbian boilerplater's avatar
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    Methane Bubbles Bad!

    See this month's Discover magazine for an article about all the methane trapped in the sediment at the bottom of the ocean and how releases of it could lead to all kinds of awful things, like tsunamis and climate change.

    Despite our brilliant technological advances, it may be microscopic bacteria, primitive life forms, that do us in!

  19. #19
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Duke Of Dystopia
    We don't spend nearly enough on space exploration. We could have colonies on the moon and mars in exchange for fighting a false war.

    As for models, they are all flawed by nature, but they are necessary, and as we do research and test the models, we can build ever more accurate models. Some predictive value is better than no predictive model.
    How about a model that uses a sun CONSTANT? it's results will be useless, since the sun is anything but constant. We all know the 11 year sun spot cycle, the last one was a double peak high in 2002-2003. But the sun doesn't have only one cycle.

    I don't know why people are so concerned about CO2... trees and plants "eat" it and there are some studies that show that the best for catching CO2 is young and fast growing trees, when they grow old they stop catching CO2 and even start releasing it. So, let's start making lots of sustainable forestry activity instead of keeping a bunch of old polutant trees.

    BTW: I wonder if Bush wants to go to the moon to explore the posible oil that may be there.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by boilerplater
    See this month's Discover magazine for an article about all the methane trapped in the sediment at the bottom of the ocean and how releases of it could lead to all kinds of awful things, like tsunamis and climate change.

    Despite our brilliant technological advances, it may be microscopic bacteria, primitive life forms, that do us in!
    Microbiology may be the single biggest factor in biological climate control. They are the most plentiful, the largest food source, and the most sensitive to UV radiation changes. Although, resistant forms are evolving.

    Methane bubbles, yep they're like earthquakes. Mostly small little releases that no one notices, but every once in a while....
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  21. #21
    Cyburbian Duke Of Dystopia's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by SkeLeton
    ....So, let's start making lots of sustainable forestry activity instead of keeping a bunch of old polutant trees.

    BTW: I wonder if Bush wants to go to the moon to explore the posible oil that may be there.
    This tree factory is called the Russian steeps and the Northwest territory.

    Nah, the moon is best used as a transit point, vacation destination, medical research facility, and a series of national defense platforms to keep the US on top of the world force structure.
    I can't deliver UTOPIA, but I can create a HELL for you to LIVE in :)DoD:(

  22. #22
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    Um, how could there possibly be oil on the Moon?

  23. #23
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    Um, how could there possibly be oil on the Moon?
    Off-topic:
    Ever heard about the abiogenic oil theory? This basically states that oil doesn't come from the decomposition of biological waste. One of the points in favor of it, is that the presence of Helium in oil fields would be explained, because the formation of oil fields dates back to the formation of the planet, and that there are lots of oil fields 100 km down in the earth. The presence of Helium in oil fields is one of the biggest unresolved questions of the biogenic theory (yes, theory, not scientific truth like they misteach in school). Why would there be oil on the moon also? There's also the theory that the moon once was a part of the proto earth that got separated due to a meteor crash. If oil is indeed abiogenic, it could be anywhere in the universe.


    DoD... the point is making it sustainable.. and also keeping biodiversity.

    I've heard that they're experimenting on making plantations of cherry trees to forestry.. it's better for the soil than pine or eucaliptus and you have lots of cherries too

  24. #24
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by SkeLeton
    Off-topic:
    Ever heard about the abiogenic oil theory? This basically states that oil doesn't come from the decomposition of biological waste. One of the points in favor of it, is that the presence of Helium in oil fields would be explained, because the formation of oil fields dates back to the formation of the planet, and that there are lots of oil fields 100 km down in the earth. The presence of Helium in oil fields is one of the biggest unresolved questions of the biogenic theory (yes, theory, not scientific truth like they misteach in school). Why would there be oil on the moon also? There's also the theory that the moon once was a part of the proto earth that got separated due to a meteor crash. If oil is indeed abiogenic, it could be anywhere in the universe.


    DoD... the point is making it sustainable.. and also keeping biodiversity.

    I've heard that they're experimenting on making plantations of cherry trees to forestry.. it's better for the soil than pine or eucaliptus and you have lots of cherries too
    Now the truth comes out. Bush wants to open up the moon to US oil interests. I foresee a big contract for Haliburton to build an oil pipeline to the moon.
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