GLOBAL..."WARMING"?

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GLOBAL..."WARMING"?

Bignuf Bignuf
Decades ago, the big claim was "warning..the next ice age (man made) is upon us. It made all the headlines in news magazines.

A few decades later, when that did not pan out, it became "global warming" and all those dire predictions....till we had several record low temp winters.

Now the same folks have altered the "dire warnings" again, to "man made climate change"...so it can cover just about anything.

I know we must have SOME effect on climate, but since you could take every human on earth, given one square foot, and fit them ALL on Manhattan Island, I think our "total footprint" on ANYTHING to do with this big planet is not nearly what some would have us believe.

In fact, for MILLIONS of years, we have had HUGE climate shifts...ICE AGES across the globe and BURNING HEAT in huge stretches of the now habitable places on earth...and this was before man was a spec on the environmental horizon.

SO...what do YOU think? Do you believe we have as much an impact on all this odd weather as some would want us to believe, or is it part of NATURES cycle of weather and WAY beyond our ability to have a lot of influence on?



(Yes, I do recycle, use energy efficient bulbs and try and do my part to help MINIMIZE our impact on the environment, but when places like China and India are spewing 1000 times more waste out then the USA, I wonder how much of our little attempt to regulate has any effect anyway. More over, I am still confused as to the human impact to begin with).
10/30/2011
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Ghost Ghost
Wow. Ok.

It's not "global warming", per se. It is more of a "climate change phenomena". What we are doing is adding large amounts of carbon, nitrogen and sulfur into the atmosphere, and this has many effects. Such as:

- These gasses trap IR radiation, effectively raising the temperature of the atmospher, which
- alters wind and ocean current patterns, changing climates around the world to be: drier, wetter, colder, hotter, etc.
- This alters the pattern of global distribution of many organisms, and many have gone extinct and will continue to go extinct

It's true, the earth has suffered many massive swings in climate. The difference is, this "swing" has occurred since the onset of large-scale use of fossil fuels (about 100 years ago), whereas previous climate change took on the order of 100's of thousands to millions of years to accomplish.


Here's my recommendation: stop watching the news, start doing more scholarly research. Note: this doesn't include internet "articles".
10/30/2011
Ghost Ghost
And I will go ahead and apologize ahead of time for sounding smug, but I'm an ecologist and we have to answer the same damn question all the time from people who just watch the news with all the "he said-she said" political B.S. and it gets old fast.
10/30/2011
Ms. Spice Ms. Spice
I second Elnoa. (except I'm not an ecologist and I'm not aware of all the scientific nitpicky stuff). It's been proven that climate change is a lot more drastic than it should be and there's more than ample evidence that climate change is being catalyzed by harmful human activity.

Only in america do we question actual scientific evidence and call it bs lol (the same goes for evolution).

just because it's snowing and a couple record cold temps happen doesn't mean that it's not occuring.
10/30/2011
Ansley Ansley
"What if everything we've ever known turned out to be completely inaccurate?"

I'm sure that scientists and professionals attached to scientific discoveries believe quite strongly that their research, calculations and theories are accurate and that predictions of the future can be made from evidence of the past.

That being said, I'm a "don't believe it until I can see it" kind of person. None of us were there thousands and billions of years ago and I remain skeptical that scientists can't and don't direct experiments to go in the direction they wish, orchestrating their intended conclusion.

I'm sure the climate is drastically different than it was all of those centuries ago and I'm sure that it will continue change. But, say that there was a period of 100 years where the weather did swing out of control during those thousands and billions of years ago. Scientists can't see that time period because the imprint wasn't devastating enough to leave a significant amount of evidence behind. Too many what-ifs. And of course this is coming from someone who is usually out of the loop when it comes to this kind of thing. So, I'm sure I'm wrong and it's all very noticeable and I just don't want to believe it.

I usually stay out of discussions like this because ultimately my response boils down to: I'm not really sure that the loss of the human species in the scheme of the universe would be a super, huge deal.
10/30/2011
KrazyKandy KrazyKandy
I think even if its real or not that we should help keep our "home" clean.
10/30/2011
Ghost Ghost
I think the problem is that the public doesn't understand the type of evidence used. Let me just say a few things:

1) The loss of the human species would not impact the universe at all, in any way.
2) Most scientists don't "direct experiments to go in the direction they wish, orchestrating their intended conclusion". Those scientists are called "quacks" and lose funding, standing, and their careers (until they are hired by political parties or corporations, where they influence policies that the rest of us have no access to).
3) Estimates of ancient climate are based on largely geological evidence: ice cores (which can be accurately analyzed for temperature at freezing, as well as what concentration of gasses are present in the ice), fossils (what organisms exists, and where they existed is a huge indicator of climate), and sedimentation rates (I'm not going to go into detail about this)

The way we assess global change now is:
1) Extinction rates (compared to past or "background" rates)
2) Gas content of the atmosphere
3) Frequency of ENSO/El Nino weather anomalies
4) Changes in global wind and current patterns
5) Changes in distribution of organisms (mainly marine)


The change is there, but will the world explode? No.
10/30/2011
Ryuson Ryuson
I'm less focused on the climate change as much as I am the shit tossed in landfills and oceans. It's ridiculous how non-degradable most of it is; out grandchildren will still be finding our coke bottles!

And I know that the ozone has slowed down depletion, but we're still doing damage (Not necessarily us in the more environmentally concerned countries, but us as a species)
10/30/2011
ThoughtsAblaze ThoughtsAblaze
Elnoa has made some excellent points.

I simply do not have a belief for or against the existence of global warming. I do, however, recognize humanity's impact on the environment and our need to curb any ill effect, whether it is huge or small, immediately realized or not.
10/30/2011
Errant Venture Errant Venture
Wow. I can only bow to the superior expertise of Elnoa, who conveyed her message succinctly and well. I share her thoughts. Though I will address some things that haven't been covered.

The name change: this is simply because, as time goes on, scientists gain more of an understanding of the environment, they learn new things, and as such their message changes, to reflect these new pieces of information. Science is not: 'here's the answer. Our job is done.' it's 'here's the answer, to the best of our knowledge. If it changes, we'll let you know.'

Second; fitting everyone on Manhattan island: I don't know if that's true. I doubt it, since there's about 7 billion of us, but what you're not taking into account is we don't create all these harmful things just by being alive. It's in our actions. It's us making machinery, and building things and, yes, making things that don't degrade over time. If you could fit everyone of us and all of our possessions on to Manhattan island, then that might hold some more water.

Lastly, minimising impact: I know you weren't saying this, but it does need to be said. Just because countries like India and China are spewing 1000 times more waste than the US, doesn't mean that we in the rest of the world can shirk off, too. As the old saying goes, if everyone else was jumping off the bridge, does that mean you should, too?
10/31/2011
Gunsmoke Gunsmoke
By definition we are in an interglacial period. The only question is when does the next ice age begin? Frankly it doesn't matter - if it's man made it's too late to stop it. When are we going to start talk about how to mitigate the potential effects of climate change - whether it's man made or not - we've got to survive it.
11/01/2011
Total posts: 11
Unique posters: 9