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Global warming poll part two:

  1. Totally fallacious. Complete fabrication. There is utterly no connection whatsoever.

    0 vote(s)
  2. Human society has contributed in theory, but insignificant compared to natural trends.

    8 vote(s)
  3. Our contributions will have measureable effects, but that's just the way it's going to be.

    8 vote(s)
  4. We have created this problem, and only a massive change in human habit will avert disaster.

    14 vote(s)
  1. Nov 25, 2006 #1

    Chi Meson

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    This is the follow-up question.

    Assuming that there is a warming trend, please give your opinion as to the human contribution to this trend. Once again, I would hope that the opinion is informed and not fanciful or political.

    Sorry if none of these match your true opinion, but please choose the one closest to your stance, and qualify your responses here.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2006
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  3. Nov 25, 2006 #2
    I voted for the 4th option, with some trepidation. To explain my vote: disasters are very common as it is. By "disaster" I actually mean, a statistically significant increase in the number and scope of disasters as an effect of "fast" climate change. The wording might be misleading, since it immediatly suggests a sudden cataclycsm on a human time scale, rather than effects that have catastrophic consequences, both human (millions) and economic ($trillions), but which take decades of statistics before the correlation with anthropogenic CO2 is actually clear.

    It's sort of funny that way - global climate is too big for any conscious human activity to control, and too slow for any single human to percieve.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 25, 2006
  4. Nov 25, 2006 #3


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    Climate change has divided many environmental scientists and well pretty much everyone else due to the media attention over the past couple of years. I've never looked at the evidence in detail nor do I come from a position where I could make an informed opinion about it. What I don't understand is that if experst in the field and a large number of them are concerened why do some people still persist in believing its a fabrication because essentially what they're doing is gambling on the fact that a large number of experts are wrong. Personally I don't like those odds.

    We really have two choices; change our habits which really doesn't harm us at all, just an inconvenience or gamble on the fact that the evidence has been misinterpreted at the potential cost of millions of human and animal and plant lives and potential destruction of thousands of species forever.

    I know which I consider the more logical option.
  5. Nov 25, 2006 #4
    Even if Global Warming wasn't a problem, the same measures that we are taking to curb GW should be taken anyway, to improve the quality of life for people in all the world's cities and towns,
  6. Nov 25, 2006 #5

    Ivan Seeking

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    Most climage experts seem to think that we are at least partly responsible. Beyond that, it shouldn't be a matter of opinion for amateurs.

    No vote; no applicable option. To me this would be a bit like voting on String Theory. Unless you're an expert, what good is your opinion?
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2006
  7. Nov 25, 2006 #6
    Good call. If a solution to GW is agreed upon by a group of experts, the government should allow them to go ahead and implement it without a public. We shouldn't allow the common person to have a say, since many will likely be in denial / uninformed.
  8. Nov 25, 2006 #7

    Ivan Seeking

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    Experts tells us the facts, but it is our responsibility to take action.
  9. Nov 25, 2006 #8
    There is way too much hype, fearmongering, politicalization, press sensationalization, limelight desire, economics, etc to form an neutral opinion.

    Better to study the physics of EM-radiation, adsorption and the statistics of multiproxy reconstructions and the selectivity of evidence.
  10. Nov 25, 2006 #9
    My opinion is that enhanced greenhouse effect is the best current explaination as a significant factor to explain the recent temperature trends. Other explainations, such as a strong solar cause, or GCRs, are not well ironed out and seem to have more problems.

    There is the possibility that recent warming is due to an unknown cause not yet discovered, but until then I have to go for enhanced greenhouse effect as most likely.
  11. Nov 25, 2006 #10
    In my opinion, the weirdest thing about these two polls is their order is more or less reversed. Everyone seems more strongly convinced global warming is anthropogenic than they are that it is severe.

    I would say just the opposite: I think the case that it is occurring, and could be quite pronounced, is much stronger than the relatively weak case that it is primarily anthropogenic.

    Imagine the Elizabethan Little Ice Age in today's society. It would cause much greater upheaval in terms of trade patterns and whatnot than it did back in Shakespeare's day. Of course, people have a lot more resources at their disposal, but they consume a great deal more resources in order to maintain their expected standard of living.
  12. Nov 25, 2006 #11
    "Climate experts" are not to be trusted. If they didn't spout doomsday predictions, they'd be jobless.
  13. Nov 25, 2006 #12
    A bit like counter terrorism experts
  14. Nov 25, 2006 #13
    I am not a climatologist, but I have spent a good amount of effort to learn about global warming. I have looked at both sides of the controversy and what I have found is that there is a lot we do not know.

    IN my research I have also discovered a lot of misinformation on the subject, most of it coming from political think tanks.

    I chose number four.

    The bottom line is this;

    Green house gases are the only forcings in climate models that match the record. The increase in GHG is anthropogenic. Unless there is a major discovery of some other forcing, (highly unlikely) the current warming is anthropogenic.

    Will it be a problem?

    Look at Africa. It already is.



    Africa is being hit the hardest, while they contribute the fewest GHG's. It just doesn't seem fair to me.
  15. Nov 25, 2006 #14
    Excellent point.

    Sustainability is the mantra for the 21st century. Let's leave the 22nd century's people an ecologically sustainable economy!
  16. Nov 26, 2006 #15


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    I'm not sure I have a very well defined idea of what sustainability is what exactly does it mean?
  17. Nov 26, 2006 #16


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    It means that our great grand children and their great grand chjldren will inherit an inhabitable world.
  18. Nov 26, 2006 #17


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    Given a choice of:

    Our contributions will have measureable effects, but that's just the way it's going to be.

    We have created this problem, and only a massive change in human habit will avert disaster.

    I would prefer an option - Our contributions will have measureable effects, but we can make changes to mitigate the situation and develop a sustainable future. Perhaps a massive change in attitude or thinking is required.

    Certainly a situation where the US with ~5% of the world's population consumes 26% of the energy resources is unsustainable, especially another substantial portion of the world's population is determined to achieve the same level of consumption.

    Renewable resources of energy and otherwise, and more efficient methods of utilization, must be developed. Harmful practices must be eliminated - e.g. deforestation, excessive use of fertilizers, . . . .

    Actions like reforestation must be implemented on a global scale.
  19. Nov 26, 2006 #18
    Maybe it isn't being "forced". Was the Little Ice Age "forced"? Was the Climactic Optimum "forced"? I also don't think the models match anything well, but that point is one widely debated elsewhere. I hate going over retreads all the time.

    But consider for a moment that the bulk of the past 1,000 years, where we have fiarly good records and no real CO2 emmisions hasn't been "forced".

    The drought claim has always puzzled me greatly, and as far as I know, runs contrary to most climate models. Water certainly evaporates more as you add more heat. But it is a closed system. Where is the evaporated water supposed to go? It comes back as rain. More heat means more rain. Since some 75% of the Earth's surface was covered by water the lst time I looked, increased evaporation from the land masses shoudl be more than offset by increased evaporation (and subsequent rainfall) from the oceans.

    The wind patterns will change in some areas, and that will affect the rainfall each region will receive. But on average, the rainfall should go up, not down. And wind pattern changes are notoriously unpredictable. It's what they invented the term "butterfly effect" for.

    I'm willing to accept some of the "global" conclusions, but whenever climatologists start making specific predictions, you need to need to go into the salt business.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2006
  20. Nov 26, 2006 #19


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    More heat doesn't necessarily mean more rain (although part of the problem is getting the rain on a regular basis, rather than having a dry spell followed by torrential rains). The southern and eastern parts of Africa are having significant drought problems, such that the food production has decreased. Australia is having their worst drought (in the third year) ever recorded. Most of the biggest wheat producing areas around the world are seeing dramatic reductions in production - due to reduced rainfall or drought!

    Drought means - it's not raining or it's not raining sufficiently.

    Drought intensifies over eastern and southern Australia as spring rains fail

    Droughts & Flooding Rain

    Droughts & Flooding Rain

    http://www.dfid.gov.uk/News/files/horn-drought-2006.asp [Broken]

    Africa: Weather hazards assessment 19 - 25 Oct 2006
    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/shownh.php3?img_id=13329 [Broken]

    In the US - http://www.drought.unl.edu/dm/monitor.html

    But - some areas are getting too much rain

    Floods in East Africa
    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/shownh.php3?img_id=13958 [Broken]

    Floods ravage Horn of Africa
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200611/s1791983.htm [Broken]

    Guinea: Floods

    Some references from http://www.ocean.washington.edu/courses/oc588/

    IPCC (2001) Climate Change 2001: the scientific basis, Contribution of Working Group I in the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Houghton et al., eds.), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K. and New York, NY, USA, 881 pp.

    Toggweiller, R. and J. Sarmiento (1985) Glacial to interglacial changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide: The critical role of ocean surface water at high latitudes, in: The Carbon Cycle and Atmospheric CO2: Natural variations Archean to Present, (Sundquist, E. and Broecker, W. S., eds) A.G.U. Geophysical Monograph 32, Wash. D. C.

    Sabine, C.L., et al., The oceanic sink for anthropogenic CO2, Science, 305, 367-371, 2004.

    Takahashi, T., The fate of industrial carbon dioxide, Science, 305, 352-353, 2004.

    Quay, P., et al., Carbon isotopic composition of atmospheric CH4: Fossil and biomass burning source strengths, Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 5, 25-47, 1991.

    Long, S.P., E.A. Ainsworth, A. Rogers, and D.R. Ort, Rising atmospheric carbon dioxide: Plants FACE the Future, Annu. Rev. Plant Biol., 55, 591-628, 2004.

    C. Korner, Through enhanced tree dynamics carbon dioxide enrichment may cause tropical forests to lose carbon, Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. B, 359, 493-498, 2004.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  21. Nov 26, 2006 #20
    Here are some definitions.

    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
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