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Convincing people that global warming is a real thing

12346

Posts

  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    The Earth is getting hotter. Are we causing it? Well we have to be contributing something, but are we causing it? It's been hotter than this before, and I'm not talking during the Jurassic - when vikings visited Canada, they grew grapes.

    The Earth has natural cycles and much bigger ups and downs than we'd like. We'd like it to be a perfect, unchanging environment. But that's not how it works.
    As a whole, the human race has managed to fuck up every single thing on this planet that was once deemed "too big to affected by us".

    We have destroyed species, depleted fisheries, cut down the majority of forests on continents, may well destroy the Amazon, pollute waterways and estuaries to the point of not supporting life. We've carved a fucking hole in the ozone layer sufficiently large to substantially affect the UV surface level radiation in southern Australia (also fixed said problem by stopping our use of the chemicals responsible).

    I find it laughable to suggest that the climate is "too big for us to effect". The Earth goes through natural cycles...it doesn't go through them in the space of 200 years.

  • Professor PhobosProfessor Phobos Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    JebusUD wrote: »
    Maybe you should come in saying why it is wrong rather than just declaring it wrong because it is some kind of suppressive conspiracy.
    I am not claiming a massive conspiracy. But manmade global warming "deniers" are immediately jumped on for dare questioning the science™ behind it. Consider what happened here.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124657655235589119.html

    Just, FYI, you're pretty clearly buying into hogwash here. http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/06/bubkes/

    Debunks that whole manufactured issue. Of course, if all you're reading is bulletins from CEI, then it's only natural you'd believer whatever shit the denial industry is shoveling into your mouth. Of course, even the most cursory effort can bring you to a whole variety of places debunking it with Actual Science. Can't have that, can we?
    But at this point we can't do anything about it.

    No, that isn't true at all. There are two strategies we can adopt- almost all scientists argue for adopting as much of both as possible. The first is mitigation; it's true we're "locked in" for a certain amount of warming and it's not politically realistic to avoid locking ourselves in for more, but it can always, always get worse. 3 degrees is bad but not as bad as 5 degrees; at some point we really do need to mitigate the problem. We probably won't do it for 2 degrees and I'm pessimistic enough to think we're going to set ourselves up for a full 4 degrees of heating, but that still doesn't mean preventing us from hitting 6 or 8 or 10 or 12 isn't a good idea.

    The second strategy is adaptation, which is basically just paying for the consequences of climate change. Ideally we'd have started mitigating in the 1990s and we'd not have a huge bill to pay for adaptation, but we're stuck with it.
    It's been hotter than this before, and I'm not talking during the Jurassic - when vikings visited Canada, they grew grapes.

    Sigh. http://scienceblogs.com/illconsidered/2006/03/vineland-was-full-of-grapes.php

  • ChanusChanus Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    moniker wrote: »
    moniker have I mentioned it's a joy to watch you post in sustainability threads and think you should champion public policy on this matter?

    Oh pshaw.

    One of you needs to change your signature... right now.

    It's too hard to figure out what's going on when I lurk after drinking.

  • ZombiemamboZombiemambo Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    The Earth is getting hotter. Are we causing it? Well we have to be contributing something, but are we causing it? It's been hotter than this before, and I'm not talking during the Jurassic - when vikings visited Canada, they grew grapes.

    The Earth has natural cycles and much bigger ups and downs than we'd like. We'd like it to be a perfect, unchanging environment. But that's not how it works.
    As a whole, the human race has managed to fuck up every single thing on this planet that was once deemed "too big to affected by us".

    We have destroyed species, depleted fisheries, cut down the majority of forests on continents, may well destroy the Amazon, pollute waterways and estuaries to the point of not supporting life. We've carved a fucking hole in the ozone layer sufficiently large to substantially affect the UV surface level radiation in southern Australia (also fixed said problem by stopping our use of the chemicals responsible).

    I find it laughable to suggest that the climate is "too big for us to effect". The Earth goes through natural cycles...it doesn't go through them in the space of 200 years.

    Like I said, we are absolutely contributing to it, but it's not getting warmer just because of us. It isn't too big for us to effect and I never suggested such. But the Earth does it's own thing without our consent.

    What are we going to do, anyway? What if we go to drastic measures to cut down on CO2 emissions and the Earth still gets hot enough to the point where species die and icecaps melt? Going into panic mode is foolish.

    JKKaAGp.png
  • JebusUDJebusUD Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Like I said, we are absolutely contributing to it, but it's not getting warmer just because of us. It isn't too big for us to effect and I never suggested such. But the Earth does it's own thing without our consent.

    But it appears that it is. Evidence suggests that we are doing it.

    What are we going to do, anyway? What if we go to drastic measures to cut down on CO2 emissions and the Earth still gets hot enough to the point where species die and icecaps melt? Going into panic mode is foolish.

    So if a ship is sinking just ignore it because you might not be able to plug the hole? BRILLIANT!

    You haven't given me a reason to steer clear of you!
  • ZombiemamboZombiemambo Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    JebusUD wrote: »
    Like I said, we are absolutely contributing to it, but it's not getting warmer just because of us. It isn't too big for us to effect and I never suggested such. But the Earth does it's own thing without our consent.

    But it appears that it is. Evidence suggests that we are doing it.

    What are we going to do, anyway? What if we go to drastic measures to cut down on CO2 emissions and the Earth still gets hot enough to the point where species die and icecaps melt? Going into panic mode is foolish.

    So if a ship is sinking just ignore it because you might not be able to plug the hole? BRILLIANT!

    I only have one question:

    is there absolute, undeniable evidence that we are the sole cause of global warming?

    JKKaAGp.png
  • Professor PhobosProfessor Phobos Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    But the Earth does it's own thing without our consent.

    Nothing happens without a reason. When it comes to climate, we've got a pretty good understanding of why most things happen. We're not so good on clouds. But temperature? Man we get temperature.

    And no, the Earth doesn't just "do its own thing." Nothing does anything without a cause. And right now, we're seeing anomalous temperature rises and none of the evidence points to any of the natural causes for temperature rises. The Sun is not any hotter than it used to be- hell we're getting 10% less sunlight due to global dimming (if it weren't totally overwhelmed by AGW we'd be seeing some slight cooling!) and we're not scheduled for any of the orbital forcings for thousands of years. There's not some random Mother Earth "just does things" bullshit going on here- we didn't piss off Zeus and the universe doesn't just do things. It's a goddamn heartless clockwork monster and we can see the gears for climate. Tick, tock.

    But, on the other hand, if you factor in anthropogenic emissions...they match perfectly with what we're observing. As in, we understand how much a given amount of CO2/other GHGs should increase atmospheric temperatures, we know how much GHGs we've put into the atmosphere and we know how much atmospheric temperatures have increased and everything checks out. We have the other factors and they're more-or-less unchanged. Bingo, bongo, I don't want to leave the Congo- it's pretty simple, when you get down to it.

    Estimates of "what would be happening with no industrialization" vary between "slight cooling trend, within natural variability" and "slight warming trend, within natural variability" -i.e., as far as anyone can tell, we'd still be in the equilibrium we used to have before we kicked-started the anthropocene.
    Is there absolute, undeniable evidence that we are the sole cause of global warming?

    YES. If that turned out to be false tomorrow, you'd have to rewrite most of climate science- global warming isn't an assumption, it's a prediction of a whole host of observations, theories, evidence, models, and experiments. If anthropogenic GHG emissions aren't the cause of the recent warming, then something damn strange is going on- not only do you have a Mystery Thing Warming the Earth No One Can Detect, but you have a Mystery Thing Stopping the CO2 We Emitted From Warming the Earth No One Can Detect. Remember, CO2 trapping heat is something a high school chemistry lab in one of the states that actually provides funding for its educational systems can prove. We've known it since like, 1851. Dudes who still thought standing in front of each other and firing a pistol at the other guy was an appropriate way of settling an argument figured the basics of this stuff out.

    If, of course, by "global warming" you mean 'anomalous temperature rise' and not "any place getting hotter by any amount for any length of time for any reason." Yes, there is still natural variability. But we're changing the ranges, the averages, we're gaming the statistics- that's all us, as far as we can tell. And we can tell pretty far.

  • SanderJKSanderJK Crocodylus Pontifex Sinterklasicus Madrid, 3000 ADRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    There is no absolute science, and climate science is tricky. But the scientific consensus is overwhelming, nearly the same as evolution vs. creationism.

    Steam: SanderJK Origin: SanderJK
  • JebusUDJebusUD Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    JebusUD wrote: »
    Like I said, we are absolutely contributing to it, but it's not getting warmer just because of us. It isn't too big for us to effect and I never suggested such. But the Earth does it's own thing without our consent.

    But it appears that it is. Evidence suggests that we are doing it.

    What are we going to do, anyway? What if we go to drastic measures to cut down on CO2 emissions and the Earth still gets hot enough to the point where species die and icecaps melt? Going into panic mode is foolish.

    So if a ship is sinking just ignore it because you might not be able to plug the hole? BRILLIANT!

    I only have one question:

    is there absolute, undeniable evidence that we are the sole cause of global warming?

    You want me to say that there is no other possible contributing causes? Because I won't say that. What I will say is that there is strong reason to think that we are the main cause of global warming and that if we do not change what we do bad things we don't want to happen will happen.

    I think you are trying to hold this issue to an insane standard of evidence. When the ship starts listing do you think "is there absolute, undeniable evidence that the ship has taken on water? Maybe we have actually been attacked by the kraken, in which case we are dead anyway! Better wait and see if that's what it is before we send people to go find and fix the hole!"

    You haven't given me a reason to steer clear of you!
  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    The Earth is getting hotter. Are we causing it? Well we have to be contributing something, but are we causing it? It's been hotter than this before, and I'm not talking during the Jurassic - when vikings visited Canada, they grew grapes.

    The Earth has natural cycles and much bigger ups and downs than we'd like. We'd like it to be a perfect, unchanging environment. But that's not how it works.

    1000yr_change.jpg

    Explain to me how there is that much CO2 independent of human activity.

    Seriously J not only are you a monumentally umpleasant person when you start uttering the nonsense that passes for philosophy in your mind (shame on whatever institution you graduated in, and shame on your tutors for creating such a monster), but your sense of humor, such as it is, is awful.
  • Professor PhobosProfessor Phobos Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    _J_ wrote: »
    The Earth is getting hotter. Are we causing it? Well we have to be contributing something, but are we causing it? It's been hotter than this before, and I'm not talking during the Jurassic - when vikings visited Canada, they grew grapes.

    The Earth has natural cycles and much bigger ups and downs than we'd like. We'd like it to be a perfect, unchanging environment. But that's not how it works.

    1000yr_change.jpg

    Explain to me how there is that much CO2 independent of human activity.

    Bad way to phrase it, since most CO2 in the atmosphere is from natural sources. Better way to say it is how much of the change in atmospheric CO2 concentrations from the pre-industrial equililbrium is independent of human activity- the answer is, "very little."

    We're looking for what screwed up the pre-industrial temperature equilibrium- not the total amount of CO2, but the difference in CO2 (and other GHGs). There are plenty of ways that nature can alter a planetary temperature by itself...but most of those take a lot of time, and none of the ones that work fast have been observed.

    I only commented because saying "how much CO2 is independent of human activity" leaves you vulnerable to some asshole going "MOST OF IT! GLOBAL WARMING IS A HOAX! JAMES INHOLFE IS JESUS CHRIST REBORN!" because he can quibble over your phrasing.

  • YannYann Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    That chart is pretty damning. I mean it's hard to argue against something as conclusive as that...

  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    We're looking for what screwed up the pre-industrial temperature equilibrium. There are plenty of ways that nature can alter a planetary temperature by itself...but most of those take a lot of time, and none of the ones that work fast have been observed.

    So. I don't know what you're saying. Are you saying

    1) When human industrial society began there was a dramatic increase of CO2 concentration, and we don't know what caused it.

    2) Global CO2 levels change over time, but there was a significant change when human industrial society began, and we don't know what caused that significant change?

    Seriously J not only are you a monumentally umpleasant person when you start uttering the nonsense that passes for philosophy in your mind (shame on whatever institution you graduated in, and shame on your tutors for creating such a monster), but your sense of humor, such as it is, is awful.
  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Yann wrote: »
    That chart is pretty damning. I mean it's hard to argue against something as conclusive as that...

    I think the trick is to not argue against it but rather dismiss it and attack points no one makes.

    Seriously J not only are you a monumentally umpleasant person when you start uttering the nonsense that passes for philosophy in your mind (shame on whatever institution you graduated in, and shame on your tutors for creating such a monster), but your sense of humor, such as it is, is awful.
  • Professor PhobosProfessor Phobos Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    _J_ wrote: »
    We're looking for what screwed up the pre-industrial temperature equilibrium. There are plenty of ways that nature can alter a planetary temperature by itself...but most of those take a lot of time, and none of the ones that work fast have been observed.

    So. I don't know what you're saying. Are you saying

    1) When human industrial society began there was a dramatic increase of CO2 concentration, and we don't know what caused it.

    What? No. Human industrial society added CO2 to the atmosphere.
    2) Global CO2 levels change over time, but there was a significant change when human industrial society began, and we don't know what caused that significant change?

    What, no? It was human industrial society that did that.

    Oh, I see. I was speaking as if global warming was the answer to a English-cozy mystery, and I was the detective in the parlor explaining how the murderer got in through the locked window. If there are no natural culprits, the only thing left is to blame the butler- i.e., human CO2 emissions. More importantly, we have a motive (i.e., a mechanism) for how human emissions did the murder (heating). Namely, CO2 traps heat.

    Add CO2, more heat trapped, planet get hotter. Easy.

  • MedopineMedopine __BANNED USERS
    edited July 2009
    does someone have a temperature chart that spans like...thousands of years instead of hundreds?

    I know we've only been around to measure so long, but, y'know, ice cores and stuff, right?

  • ÆthelredÆthelred Registered User
    edited July 2009
    The Earth has natural cycles and has been hotter in the past.

    It would be shitty to live back then.

    pokes: 1505 8032 8399
  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    [citation needed]

    gkcmatch_zps97480250.jpg
    stand up! It was the smallest on the list but
    pluto was a planet and I'll never forget
  • CabezoneCabezone Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    The question I have is does it matter if it gets hotter? I'm not being an ass here I really would like someone to tell me what terrible stuff happens is the earth gets a bit warmer. It used to be quite a bit hotter and life still thrived. Will we suddenly be unable to grow crops in the quantities needed to maintain our population levels?

  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    I remember a friend surprised me with this comment:

    "Yeah, but people ignore that the south pole's ice cap is getting larger."

    I stared at him for about a minute, resisting the urge to bash my head against the wall.

    I really don't understand why it's so hard for people to admit that maybe, just possibly, the huge amount of carbon dioxide and other gasea, the astronomic amount of pollutive substances that have just recently come about since the industrial age, the huge amount of trees we've cut down in the last few centuries and the giant hole in the O-zone layer might possibly have some sort of long-term consequence on the weather...

    I mean, for god sakes, there are six billion of us, and we enjoy doing this like strip mining, clear cutting, nuclear tests and war. I'm not saying we should stop doing these things, but at least acknowledge that maybe there's a consequence that we're doing all of this in the same atmosphere?

    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • ChanusChanus Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Cabezone wrote: »
    The question I have is does it matter if it gets hotter? I'm not being an ass here I really would like someone to tell me what terrible stuff happens is the earth gets a bit warmer. It used to be quite a bit hotter and life still thrived. Will we suddenly be unable to grow crops in the quantities needed to maintain our population levels?

    It wont destroy the planet, it will possibly make life a real bitch for us, though.

    Grasslands become deserts (and probably conversely as well -- the problem is changing where the fertile land lies, not that it will all disappear), cities going underwater, Lizard people...

  • Grid SystemGrid System Registered User
    edited July 2009
    Cabezone wrote: »
    The question I have is does it matter if it gets hotter? I'm not being an ass here I really would like someone to tell me what terrible stuff happens is the earth gets a bit warmer. It used to be quite a bit hotter many time and life still thrived. Will we suddenly be unable to grow crops?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Effects_of_global_warming

  • DmanDman Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    The Earth has natural cycles and has been hotter in the past.

    It would be shitty to live back then.

    My penis has natural cycles too.
    Nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT) is the spontaneous occurrence of a penile erection during sleep. All men without physiological erectile dysfunction experience this phenomenon, usually three to five times during the night

    But if I'm in the middle of hot sexin I wouldn't claim my erection was due to the natural erection cycle.

  • ChanusChanus Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Dman wrote: »
    The Earth has natural cycles and has been hotter in the past.

    It would be shitty to live back then.

    My penis has natural cycles too.
    Nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT) is the spontaneous occurrence of a penile erection during sleep. All men without physiological erectile dysfunction experience this phenomenon, usually three to five times during the night

    But if I'm in the middle of hot sexin I wouldn't claim my erection was due to the natural erection cycle.

    You know... usually interwebs forum analogies are pretty flawed... but I'm having trouble punching holes in this one.

  • Professor PhobosProfessor Phobos Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Cabezone wrote: »
    The question I have is does it matter if it gets hotter? I'm not being an ass here I really would like someone to tell me what terrible stuff happens is the earth gets a bit warmer. It used to be quite a bit hotter and life still thrived. Will we suddenly be unable to grow crops in the quantities needed to maintain our population levels?

    Basically, the issue is not whether or not we'll be too hot for life, but too hot for many ecosystems and human civilization as they are currently adapted and configured. It's not so much the heat as it is the speed of increase.

    To pick one particular effect as an example- moisture. Projected effects range from increased droughts in some places to increased flooding in others- as a rule of thumb, places that are already "wet" will get wetter and places that are already dry will get dryer. This is generally not good for either. Prolonged drought conditions will lead to displacement of people; basically "climate refugees", leading to political instability, resource scarcity, and a huge humanitarian crisis.

    Water scarcity is a big one- much of India is watered by runoff from Himalayan glaciers. No more glaciers, no more/much less runoff in streams and rivers. Sure, they might get more rain in some places, but it's difficult to gather up a lot of rain and distribute it to places not getting any rain or the rivers/streams/lakes it is accustomed to.

    I'm just picking one thing out of a huge hat of pain here. Effects range all over the place- sea level rise is going to fuck over a lot of coastlines, particular Bangladesh. Hell, there are some island nations in the Pacific starting to plan for straight-up national evacuation. Increased temperature range changes all kinds of animal/plant/insect patterns. Anything from a warm-weather termite heading further north in Canada to malaria spreading further than it used to.

    Then there's the positive feedback problem. Glaciers melt; no more glaciers, less albedo. Less albedo, planet gets hotter. Ice-caps melt. Smaller ice-caps, less albedo, planet gets hotter. Planet gets hotter, Siberian/Canadian permafrost melts a bit, releases methane, more methane, planet gets hotter, melts more permafrost, releases more methane, planet gets hotter...

    That's just the warming effects of GHGs. We haven't even talked about what CO2 does to the ocean.

  • UnarmedOracleUnarmedOracle Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Cabezone wrote: »
    The question I have is does it matter if it gets hotter? I'm not being an ass here I really would like someone to tell me what terrible stuff happens is the earth gets a bit warmer. It used to be quite a bit hotter and life still thrived. Will we suddenly be unable to grow crops in the quantities needed to maintain our population levels?

    The problem is that a lot of our agriculture is hyper specialized to work with our existing climate. Think of what happens when there isn't quite enough rain during a growing season -- that's usually referred to as a drought, and people die because of it. Now think of that happening permanently in most of the places where we grow our food. Would we be able to grow oranges in Alaska? Maybe, if we could find places where the soil chemistry is just so, but even granting that possibility there's no infrastruture in place. People will starve while we get this figured out. That's just one angle, too -- I mean, where I live the mountain pine beetle just finished wiping out most of a biome because of a mixture of factors, one of which is that winters are no longer cold enough to control their populations. Why did the epidemic end? Because there was nothing left for them to eat. In the meantime, don't expect lumber out of British Columbia for the next forty years.

    Imagine disruptions like that in biomes across the planet, only affecting things like food.

    signature.jpg
  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Some countries like Russia might benefit, and the western countries should be able to deal with it. The developing countries are going to be really, really fucked.

  • Professor PhobosProfessor Phobos Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Couscous wrote: »
    Some countries like Russia might benefit, and the western countries should be able to deal with it. The developing countries are going to be really, really fucked.

    Russia might have short-run benefits but the long run stuff is just as bad for them as anyone else. (And the Russians, god bless them, are really not prepared to take advantage of any benefits they might reap, on account of being Russia)

  • TinuzTinuz Registered User
    edited July 2009
    Cabezone wrote: »
    The question I have is does it matter if it gets hotter? I'm not being an ass here I really would like someone to tell me what terrible stuff happens is the earth gets a bit warmer. It used to be quite a bit hotter and life still thrived. Will we suddenly be unable to grow crops in the quantities needed to maintain our population levels?

    Basically, the issue is not whether or not we'll be too hot for life, but too hot for many ecosystems and human civilization as they are currently adapted and configured. It's not so much the heat as it is the speed of increase.

    To pick one particular effect as an example- moisture. Projected effects range from increased droughts in some places to increased flooding in others- as a rule of thumb, places that are already "wet" will get wetter and places that are already dry will get dryer. This is generally not good for either. Prolonged drought conditions will lead to displacement of people; basically "climate refugees", leading to political instability, resource scarcity, and a huge humanitarian crisis.

    Water scarcity is a big one- much of India is watered by runoff from Himalayan glaciers. No more glaciers, no more/much less runoff in streams and rivers. Sure, they might get more rain in some places, but it's difficult to gather up a lot of rain and distribute it to places not getting any rain or the rivers/streams/lakes it is accustomed to.

    I'm just picking one thing out of a huge hat of pain here. Effects range all over the place- sea level rise is going to fuck over a lot of coastlines, particular Bangladesh. Hell, there are some island nations in the Pacific starting to plan for straight-up national evacuation. Increased temperature range changes all kinds of animal/plant/insect patterns. Anything from a warm-weather termite heading further north in Canada to malaria spreading further than it used to.

    Then there's the positive feedback problem. Glaciers melt; no more glaciers, less albedo. Less albedo, planet gets hotter. Ice-caps melt. Smaller ice-caps, less albedo, planet gets hotter. Planet gets hotter, Siberian/Canadian permafrost melts a bit, releases methane, more methane, planet gets hotter, melts more permafrost, releases more methane, planet gets hotter...

    That's just the warming effects of GHGs. We haven't even talked about what CO2 does to the ocean.

    This is more or less true, but you are forgetting a few things that actually feed back into the process...such as hotter planet -> More evaporation -> More clouds -> More high up albedo -> cooler planet. Also, more moisture and C02 -> more plants -> less CO2 -> Cooler planet, etc.

    The thing is, it is very hard to distinguish between all these interacting factors. How do they interact, what are their relative weights? Are there cutoff levels?

    The basic lesson here is that yes, the climate is changing (hotter or colder), how exactly, by how much and when....well, I wouldn't just start betting money on dates and temperatures yet.

    Also, many people seem to focus on CO2. How about our global deforestation? Dead zones in the oceans? All these things should be taken into account.

    As for people not wanting to believe we cause global climate change....fine. Honestly, who cares? It's about what we do to prevent ourselves from fucking up this planet more than we absolutely need to. Be that motivated from climate change, the going extinct of the panda bear, or little Timmie's Asthma ... it doesn't really matter that much.*

    *: Yes, human stupidity is worrying, and we should do things to combat it. However, sometimes it's about doing the right thing for the wrong reasons.

    Quelreth wrote:
    .....when you made it sound like turning on a blacklight in your room would be like setting off a flashbang.
  • PantsBPantsB Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Medopine wrote: »
    does someone have a temperature chart that spans like...thousands of years instead of hundreds?

    I know we've only been around to measure so long, but, y'know, ice cores and stuff, right?

    It's very difficult to show over longer periods of time because the change is so rapid in order to show a longer time frame the latest change looks like a blip. For instance,
    2K from wiki (left to right)
    Spoiler:
    and 10K years from wiki (right to left)
    Spoiler:

    11793-1.png
    Spoiler:
  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Medopine wrote: »
    does someone have a temperature chart that spans like...thousands of years instead of hundreds?

    I know we've only been around to measure so long, but, y'know, ice cores and stuff, right?
    Chanus wrote: »
    Spoiler:

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • MedopineMedopine __BANNED USERS
    edited July 2009
    nice, thanks dudes

    for the earth, it really is a blip anyway :P

  • PantsBPantsB Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Tinuz wrote: »
    This is more or less true, but you are forgetting a few things that actually feed back into the process...such as hotter planet -> More evaporation -> More clouds -> More high up albedo -> cooler planet. Also, more moisture and C02 -> more plants -> less CO2 -> Cooler planet, etc.

    Unsupported.
    NASA wrote:
    Clouds play a leading role in this real-life mystery. Clouds both reflect sunlight, which cools the Earth, and trap heat in the same way as greenhouse gases, thus warming the Earth. Different types of clouds do more of one than the other. The net effect of clouds on climate change depends on which cloud types change, and whether they become more or less abundant, thicker or thinner, and higher or lower in altitude.

    Many people assume that since more water will evaporate from the oceans as the climate warms, it will be cloudier, with thicker and denser clouds. However, a warmer atmosphere needs more water vapor molecules to become saturated and to condense into clouds, so it is hard to anticipate exactly how clouds respond to human-induced climate perturbations. For example, although summer is warmer than winter, and the humidity is usually higher in summer, nevertheless the sky is not noticeably cloudier on average in summer than in winter.
    The link contains findings regarding clouds as climate change continues and concludes
    Since the changes in low- and high-level clouds mostly canceled each other out, the net global effect of the clouds did not differ very much in the warmer climate scenario from that in today's climate. This scenario differs considerably from what many climate scientists had been assuming in the 1990s. It had been thought that brighter clouds would partly "save" us from significant global warming, by reflecting more energy into space. Instead, these results suggest that clouds are not necessarily the white knight that will rescue us from climate change. Therefore, our society should seriously consider reasonable steps to limit future emissions of greenhouse gases and soot aerosols as part of an overall strategy to reduce air pollution.

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    Spoiler:
  • Professor PhobosProfessor Phobos Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Tinuz wrote: »
    Cabezone wrote: »
    The question I have is does it matter if it gets hotter? I'm not being an ass here I really would like someone to tell me what terrible stuff happens is the earth gets a bit warmer. It used to be quite a bit hotter and life still thrived. Will we suddenly be unable to grow crops in the quantities needed to maintain our population levels?

    Basically, the issue is not whether or not we'll be too hot for life, but too hot for many ecosystems and human civilization as they are currently adapted and configured. It's not so much the heat as it is the speed of increase.

    To pick one particular effect as an example- moisture. Projected effects range from increased droughts in some places to increased flooding in others- as a rule of thumb, places that are already "wet" will get wetter and places that are already dry will get dryer. This is generally not good for either. Prolonged drought conditions will lead to displacement of people; basically "climate refugees", leading to political instability, resource scarcity, and a huge humanitarian crisis.

    Water scarcity is a big one- much of India is watered by runoff from Himalayan glaciers. No more glaciers, no more/much less runoff in streams and rivers. Sure, they might get more rain in some places, but it's difficult to gather up a lot of rain and distribute it to places not getting any rain or the rivers/streams/lakes it is accustomed to.

    I'm just picking one thing out of a huge hat of pain here. Effects range all over the place- sea level rise is going to fuck over a lot of coastlines, particular Bangladesh. Hell, there are some island nations in the Pacific starting to plan for straight-up national evacuation. Increased temperature range changes all kinds of animal/plant/insect patterns. Anything from a warm-weather termite heading further north in Canada to malaria spreading further than it used to.

    Then there's the positive feedback problem. Glaciers melt; no more glaciers, less albedo. Less albedo, planet gets hotter. Ice-caps melt. Smaller ice-caps, less albedo, planet gets hotter. Planet gets hotter, Siberian/Canadian permafrost melts a bit, releases methane, more methane, planet gets hotter, melts more permafrost, releases more methane, planet gets hotter...

    That's just the warming effects of GHGs. We haven't even talked about what CO2 does to the ocean.

    This is more or less true, but you are forgetting a few things that actually feed back into the process...such as hotter planet -> More evaporation -> More clouds -> More high up albedo -> cooler planet. Also, more moisture and C02 -> more plants -> less CO2 -> Cooler planet, etc.

    Oh yeah, good point. There are negative feedbacks in the process- though I'm not sure we've established whether clouds are net negative or net positive, since depending on location, altitude, type, etc, they heat or cool. (Clouds are hard)
    The thing is, it is very hard to distinguish between all these interacting factors. How do they interact, what are their relative weights? Are there cutoff levels?

    Yeah, this is where most of the work is going. We do, however, have a broad idea of the basic skeleton of all this, though- the maximums, the minimums, etc. It's like we know how much water is in a lake, but have no idea how large any of the streams feeding into it are- but we know how much they add up to, since we have the lake.
    The basic lesson here is that yes, the climate is changing (hotter or colder), how exactly, by how much and when....well, I wouldn't just start betting money on dates and temperatures yet.

    Definitely not, since the "it'll be really bad and come soon" camp is still arguing with the "it'll be bad and come in a little while" camp.

  • [Tycho?][Tycho?] Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Step 1: basic science education.
    Step 2: there is no step 2.

    ragesig.jpg

  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Medopine wrote: »
    nice, thanks dudes

    for the earth, it really is a blip anyway :P

    Yep, but for the earth, a mass extinction event is also a blip.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • Tiger BurningTiger Burning (poster is a bear)Registered User, SolidSaints Tube regular
    edited July 2009
    So, only like 5 out of 6 scientists believe in anthropogenic global warming, and only 7 out of 8 in evolution. That's fewer than I expected. Linky

    “You could tell by the way he talked, though, that he had gone to school a long time. That was probably what was wrong with him.”
  • Professor PhobosProfessor Phobos Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    So, only like 5 out of 6 scientists believe in anthropogenic global warming, and only 7 out of 8 in evolution. That's fewer than I expected. Linky

    Note that 19 out of 20 climate scientists believe in AGW, from a different poll the link to which I no longer have, but should be around somewhere in the Usual Places.

  • Tiger BurningTiger Burning (poster is a bear)Registered User, SolidSaints Tube regular
    edited July 2009
    So, only like 5 out of 6 scientists believe in anthropogenic global warming, and only 7 out of 8 in evolution. That's fewer than I expected. Linky

    Note that 19 out of 20 climate scientists believe in AGW, from a different poll the link to which I no longer have, but should be around somewhere in the Usual Places.

    19 out of 20 climate scientists is also lower than I expected.

    “You could tell by the way he talked, though, that he had gone to school a long time. That was probably what was wrong with him.”
  • TinuzTinuz Registered User
    edited July 2009
    This is more or less true, but you are forgetting a few things that actually feed back into the process...such as hotter planet -> More evaporation -> More clouds -> More high up albedo -> cooler planet. Also, more moisture and C02 -> more plants -> less CO2 -> Cooler planet, etc.

    Oh yeah, good point. There are negative feedbacks in the process- though I'm not sure we've established whether clouds are net negative or net positive, since depending on location, altitude, type, etc, they heat or cool. (Clouds are hard)

    I was always taught that clouds are a net negative in the long term. Think of fall vs a clouded summer day. The latter makes it a bit hotter, but the former makes it colder. The difference being the duration of said cloud events.

    It's funny, I majored in Ecology, Minored in Earth Sciences...then did a Master's in Computational Geo-ecology. I have been around a lot of climate scientists of various standing.....even they can't agree on some of the more basic stuff (and on most of the more advanced). Always debating what is the bigger factor, how the other guys research is flawed and whatnot. Everyone agrees that something is coming, and we'd better be prepared. Also, although not all agree how much is actually man-made, all agree that we should stop fucking the environment up.

    The thing is, it is very hard to distinguish between all these interacting factors. How do they interact, what are their relative weights? Are there cutoff levels?

    Yeah, this is where most of the work is going. We do, however, have a broad idea of the basic skeleton of all this, though- the maximums, the minimums, etc. It's like we know how much water is in a lake, but have no idea how large any of the streams feeding into it are- but we know how much they add up to, since we have the lake.

    We have a basic idea...but what you are suggesting is vastly over simplified (I see the analogy though). Climate is very, very non-linear, chaotic and ill-behaved. Sure, we roughly know how things work, we know a lot of the processes which play a role. Hell, maybe we even know all the major ones. Too bad that screwing up a small one is more than enough to completely invalidate your whole analysis/modeling effort.

    That is not to say we can't say anything about climate change. We have historic data, we see correlations, we see the extremes, and we can see what happens when 'the shit hits the fan'....actual predictions about this specific event are a different league though.

    Finally, I solidly believe in the way this science is conducted (Hell, I am one of those scientists) even though I know we are making massive errors. This causes us to sometimes be wrong, maybe even a lot of the times. Unfortunately, people are not receptive to the standard if's and but's of a scientific article, and only want to hear 'strong reasoning', i.e. This WILL be the case, that WILL happen. Moreover, people no longer want to learn for themselves (did they ever) and as a result, they become skeptic of everything we say. And hence feel okay to ignore whatever they don't like.

    Quelreth wrote:
    .....when you made it sound like turning on a blacklight in your room would be like setting off a flashbang.
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