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Humanity on a ticking time bomb?

  1. Apr 26, 2007 #1
    Is Humanity sitting on a ticking time bomb? If the vast majority of the world's scientists are right, we have just ten years to avert a major catastrophe that could send our entire planet into a tail-spin of epic destruction involving extreme weather, floods, droughts, epidemics and killer heat waves beyond anything we have ever experienced. Do you think we should be doing something like alerting people who have no idea about this? Or do you think this is just a made up story?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 26, 2007 #2

    russ_watters

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    Well, I've never heard any talk about global warming the way you are, except for the unlikely concept of a "tipping point" (no such thing has ever been seen in our planet's history).

    Humans can adapt to the worst of the mainstream predicted changes without major upheaval in most places.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2007
  4. Apr 26, 2007 #3
    The erroneous tipping point / flickering climate hypothesis is brilliantly but erringly explained by Richard Alley in the price winning book "The two mile time machine"

    http://www.amazon.com/Two-Mile-Time-Machine-Abrupt-Climate/dp/0691102961

    It is based on the extreme fluctuations of methane and ice isotopes in the Greenland Ice Cores, known as the Dansgaard Oeschger events and the Bolling Allerod events during the last glacial transition.

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/abrupt/data_glacial2.html

    Now there is a firm and wide believe all the way from the most notorious climate sceptics to the most prominent climate alarmists, that those spikes are about dramatic warming and cooling in a few decades.

    However this is demonstratably wrong, I've done that here before. It's about arid and moist episodes although it will probably take another generation to clear the cognitive dissonance, aka the Alfred Wegener syndrone (at least by me).

    These events are also the strongest reason that almost all ice core specialists are firm global warming believers. Another reason why it's virtually impossible to have the truth accepted.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2007
  5. Apr 26, 2007 #4
    Why not ask 15 year old Kristin?

    http://home.earthlink.net/~ponderthemaunder/index.html

    She gets about 100K hits per week BTW.

    Alternatevely, it may be a good idea to browse this area a bit, for instance:

    https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=124770
    https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=127482
    https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=149342
    https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=49049
    https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=105248
    https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=108165
    https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=163931
    https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=162192
     
  6. Apr 27, 2007 #5

    Mk

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    How many degrees do you think it will go up by 2016?
    http://www.giss.nasa.gov/edu/gwdebate/00fig1.gif
    http://www.crichton-official.com/speeches/NPC-NewVersion_files/image023.jpg
    Since it looks to me like he's basically throwing linear trends out there (what more can you do in predicting the climate?). Like David Deutsch says, maybe if the catastrophe is coming and we can't stop it, why don't we start adapting to it and developing technologies to take advantage of it?
     
  7. Apr 30, 2007 #6

    "Could". Rapid climate change has happened in the past, and I don't think the mechanisms (in most cases) are understood well. There are some educated guesses, but no credible source as far as I know has said that by such and such a date, at such and such a temperature rise, such and such will happen.

    There does seem to be some risk. What that would involve, who knows? Climatologists aren't predicting it in the short term. I don't know how much comfort that is, because they really don't know one way or another. http://www.wunderground.com/education/abruptclimate.asp

    It seems to me, and I have no qualifications for my opinions, that there are lots of more minor scenarios that are more likely in the short term:
    1) Crop losses due to changes in weather patterns. Whatever products are affected would become expensive.
    2) Heat waves and/or droughts causing the public to accept or demand measures like carbon taxes and fuel rationing. Higher prices for almost everything. A very low demand for homes that are hard to heat. No value whatsoever for motor homes and other wasteful toys.
    3) An increase in the rate of sea level rise, causing people to realize that low-bank waterfront property ownership is, at best, a long term lease with Nature holding the lease.
    Etc. Use your imagination, but keep it on a short leash.
     
  8. Apr 30, 2007 #7
    Bill,

    Your link brings us to the Dansgaard Oeschger events of the last 100,000 years, terminating with the last major ones, the Bolling Allerod events between 14,500 and 11,800 years ago preceding the Younger Dryas.

    I have presented compelling evidence that those events did not synchronize with the Northern hemisphere warming but they do synchronize with Northern Hemisphere arid and moist events.

    Furthermore, the ratio of isotopes in precipitation -thought to be paleo thermometer- is mainly depending the temperature during condensation. But this temperature has nothing to do with the ambient temperature but is a direct function of the moisture of the air, also known as dew point. Moist air, high dewpoint, dry air, low dew point. Therefore, there is both a mechanism and supporting evidence that those spikes are not about temperature but about precipitation.

    Do we have to wait a generation to understand that?
     
  9. May 8, 2007 #8
    It won't be some spiral of disaster, as Al Gore and his eco-terrorist ilk like to claim. It will be a gradual heating up of the atmosphere, aided by increased greenhouse gasses, which will take a long while to correct itself, but eventually it will. Earth's systems have ways of correcting themselves, refer to Le Chatelier's Principle.
     
  10. May 14, 2007 #9

    Ivan Seeking

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    This report discusses worst case scenarios that scientists imagine might be possible. As the article specifies, this is not a forecast.

    http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2004/02/09/360120/index.htm

    I didn't spot the .gov or .mil version but it all seems to be legit.
    http://www.climate.org/PDF/clim_change_scenario.pdf
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2007
  11. May 15, 2007 #10

    Evo

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    This report is predicting drastic global cooling starting in 2010, with average temperature drops of 6 degrees F. The Pentagon's weather Nightmare is abrupt global cooling. Good articles showing that warming is not the issue, it's cooling. They are saying that the warming blip is going to cause rapid catastrophic cooling.

    "Each of the years from 2010-2020 sees average temperature drops throughout Northern Europe, leading to as much as a 6 degree Fahrenheit drop in ten years. Average annual rainfall in this region decreases by nearly 30%; and winds are up to 15% stronger on average. The climatic conditions are more severe in the continental interior regions of northern Asia and North America.

    In the North Atlantic region and across northern Asia, cooling is most pronounced in the heart of winter -- December, January, and February -- although its effects linger through the seasons, the cooling becomes increasingly intense and less predictable. As snow accumulates in mountain regions, the cooling spreads to summertime. In addition to cooling and summertime dryness, wind pattern velocity strengthens as the atmospheric circulation becomes more zonal.

    While weather patterns are disrupted during the onset of the climatic change around the globe, the effects are far more pronounced in Northern Europe for the first five years after the thermohaline circulation collapse. By the second half of this decade, the chill and harsher conditions spread deeper into Southern Europe, North America, and beyond. Northern Europe cools as a pattern of colder weather lengthens the time that sea ice is present over the northern North Atlantic Ocean, creating a further cooling influence and extending the period of wintertime surface air temperatures. Winds pick up as the atmosphere tries to deal with the stronger pole-to-equator temperature gradient. Cold air blowing across the European continent causes especially harsh conditions for agriculture. The combination of wind and dryness causes widespread dust storms and soil loss."
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2007
  12. May 15, 2007 #11

    Ivan Seeking

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    From the header of the report
    Also, global cooling has always been recognized as a potential result of global warming. That is why is it now properly called Global Climate Change. However, the change is driven by global warming.

    The report also suggests that from 2010 through 2020
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2007
  13. May 15, 2007 #12
    Global? Local high latitude cooling has been considered a possible result of global warming. I don't think most scientists are currently expecting that to happen.

    In any case, climatology has been progressing so fast - and high latitude climates have been warming noticeably - - that projections from 2003 and 2004 are out of date already. The key issue though isn't any specific scenario, but the finding that climate change can occur quite suddenly and on a global scale.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 15, 2007
  14. May 15, 2007 #13

    Evo

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    It appears that "Global Warming" has been replaced with just "Climate Change", global has been ommited, at least by the EPA.

    "EPA's Climate Change Site replaces EPA's Global Warming Site"

    http://epa.gov/climatechange/

    They are now taking a more realistic approach.

    "Because climate is uncontrollable (albeit influenceable by humans), the models are the only available experimental laboratory for climate. They also are the appropriate high-end tool for forecasting hypothetical climates in the years and centuries ahead. However, climate models are imperfect. Their simulation skill is limited by uncertainties in their formulation, the limited size of their calculations, and the difficulty of interpreting their answers that exhibit almost as much complexity as in nature."

    The more realistic tone, the re-focusing on pollution and impacts on regional climate changes are a definite move in the right direction.
     
  15. May 17, 2007 #14

    Tsu

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    Well... we don't have very good news here--
    http://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/science/05/17/climate.ocean.reut/index.html

    *I really don't think this woman is a slouch.
    Dr. Corinne Le Quéré
    Curriculum Vitae, Nov. 2005.
    http://www.bgc-jena.mpg.de/~corinne.lequere/cv.shtml
     
  16. May 17, 2007 #15

    Ivan Seeking

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    Funny, I don't remember saying anything that specific.

    The point was that some areas will get cooler. This is nothing new. I even remember James Burke talking about this prediction over thirty years ago on one of the first documentaries about global warming. As is expected with something so complex, our understanding of how the climate will change is continually evolving.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2007
  17. May 18, 2007 #16
  18. May 18, 2007 #17
    From the article,
    This is totally bogus :surprised , The warming is totally not due to human activity, there is yet to be determined the fraction of contribution to the warming!!!!! I stopped reading after this sentence :grumpy:

    There is everything wrong with this sentence.
     
  19. May 18, 2007 #18
    Quote taken out of context. Original quote:

     
  20. May 18, 2007 #19
    Certainly not out of context. If you insist, let me repeat myself with all of this quote. There is no evidence whatso ever that the warming is human induced!!!!! :grumpy: Whoever wrote this nonsense should appologise for misleading and incorrect information. On the cotrary, the evidence and scientific community knows that the warming is natural and we are trying hard to see if humans have any significant contribution to it.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2007
  21. May 18, 2007 #20
    A lot of evidence points to a human contribution to climate change. The important scientific discussion is on how much humans contribute as oppose to contribution from nonhuman source. Both AIT and GGWS has propaganda in it.

    Saying that climate change is natural is ambiguous. Humans are a part of nature and all changes are 'natural' as oppose to 'supernatural', contributed by humans or not.

    The article series even attacks some of the argument from Gore camp.

    http://environment.newscientist.com/channel/earth/climate-change/dn11838

     
    Last edited: May 18, 2007
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