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Joffrey

Political Joff: Climate Change.

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Joffrey    718

I've decided to rant here.. I dont know why.. maybe because I need a good place to vent frustrations anonymously hehe. So here we go:

CLIMATE CHANGE

climate-change.jpg

So, lately I've been hearing more, and more about the climate change movement. Laws, and regulations that are likely to affect many countries. I've been hearing that some 95% or so of scientists "agree" that human caused climate change is real. And I truly believe them at there word that scientists agree to this fact.

          My problem with this statement... is that it is a sensationalist title. I don't think anyone can reasonably argue, that pumping a fair amount of carbon into a contained system that is the earths atmosphere wouldn't effect, or change that system. The question that is important here is... :how much is it effecting?

This is never really talked about, on any of the guest speakers on any in depth level. In fact most informational documentaries released (which there are a lot of) talking about global warming or climate change really say how much our Co2 is really changing our weather. They say "The artic ice sheets of Greenland and Antartica are shrinking."  This is true. No one can argue this very clear fact. What we can argue however is the why:

Things on earth as we know are very dynamic. It wasn't so long ago (~ 10,000 years) the earth was covered in ice sheets. That ocean shorelines were nearly 100 miles further out than they currently are now, due to all the moisture locked into the ice sheets.  The earth then warmed, the sheets melted, and we now have an ocean as we currently see them.

My point is: we have no idea why temperatures have risen and fallen in the ranges of + or - 10-15 degrees Celsius in both directions (Warming and cooling) over the last few million years.  And if we don't even know in the slightest on how such HUGE and in my opinion Catastrophic climate change can take place.. it's really hard for me to then rationally put my finger on human released Co2 as the major culprit in the changes we see now. 

If we look at the timeline on a long term scale, and we have no idea how the climate works.. maybe we shouldn't be crying wolf before having even the slightest clue of what we are talking about. Much less taxing people, and destroying some businesses in the idea that maybe a few billion tons less of Co2  (which isn't a whole lot if we compare it on planetary scales) in the air will suddenly cause the Earth to not change or swing it's climate.

Okay... Rant over.... let's debate if you'd like. Just try to keep it civil.. and jargon ^.^

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Brad    155

There are a lot of studies saying things are being affected by what we do, but I think you are very right. We have no idea if we are causing it or it's just the way the world works. If you look at the warmest temperatures on record, it's all in the 1920's and 30's. We aren't really that close to reaching them.

I also heard an interesting theory about ice caps melting the other day, it went something like this.

"Why do people think the world will flood if they ice caps melt. Ever seen an ice cube melt in a cup full of water? Does the water overflow over the edge of the glass? Nope. Maybe water levels will rise slightly, but there is a lot of space out there for any excess water to go."

Not sure if it's exactly correct, but something that made me go....hmmmm.

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Prince    93

Thumbs-up-anime-30843101-250-258.gif

My thought exactly. how did we get out of the ice age? Answer global warming, but I do not think humans were spewing Co2 into the environment at the time. This whole "HOLY SHIT GLOBAL WARMING WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE IF WE DRIVE A H1 HUMMER!" Was just a issue enlarged by politics (Al Gore *cough). I think that climate change is a natural earth cycle that humans might just be moving a little bit faster.

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My thought exactly. how did we get out of the ice age? Answer global warming, but I do not think humans were spewing Co2 into the environment at the time. This whole "HOLY SHIT GLOBAL WARMING WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE IF WE DRIVE A H1 HUMMER!" Was just a issue enlarged by politics (Al Gore *cough). I think that climate change is a natural earth cycle that humans might just be moving a little bit faster.

Issues like these are meant to be brought in politics, because politics govern what we do as a species. Sure, Al Gore built his campaign on climate change (like any other politicians chooses their own platform to champion). 

The goal of climate change 'believers' (for lack of a better word) isn't just about avoiding some supposed doomsday scenario, it's about adopting and building the infrastructure to support new alternative sources of energy. When government environmental officials have been ex-lobbyists for oil companies, mining companies and other industries - there can also be a bias to shun any evidence/links between climate change and these industries.

New technologies are emerging as alternatives to fossil fuels (a finite resource), plastics and so on. We are at a point where countries are able to make some of the most used materials environmentally safer and more efficient. 

I don't think that the issue anymore is: "If we keep pumping co2 into the atmosphere, will we all die?" - It's now: "Why do we need to keep pumping (as much) co2 into the atmosphere if we have alternatives?"

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cartoon-from-trenberth-ams-paper.jpg

But seriously, there's already a lot being gotten wrong in this thread. First off, there is no uncertainty or debate; a scientific consensus has been reached, determining that man-made climate change is real, and is happening right now. Paleoclimatogists have been able to accurately chart the history of the Earth's climate up to at least 500 million years ago, and the data does not lie: the rate of warming experienced by our planet since the onset of the Industrial Revolution is not at all natural. In fact, if we were following natural cycles of climate change, our planet would be cooling. (This was a hypothesis that got some national attention in the 1970s, and is often used as proof that climatologists are swindlers/have no idea what they're talking about, despite the fact that it was pretty quickly shown that cooling was not happening.)

You see, over the past 6,000 years Earth had actually been cooling due to something called Milankovitch cycles - which are periodic wobbles of the Earth's orbit around the Sun. Now, these fluctuations in our orbit follow a 100,000 year cycle, affecting the eccentricity of our orbit, bringing the planet closer to and further from the Sun. This, however, is less important to our climate than the cycle followed by the obliquity of the Earth's axis, which fluctuates between 22.1 and 24.5 degrees every 40,000 years. This affects the intensity of the Sun's radiation hitting different hemispheres of the planet, thereby affecting the climate (the yearly changes in our axis that cause seasons to change are very small in comparison to the overall cycle.) Finally, as it rotates, Earth wobbles slightly on its axis, which is called a precession. This wobble follows a 26,000 cycle.

When all three of these cycles are taken together, you have periods in which the Northern Hemisphere is tilted far enough away from the sun so as to receive so little radiation that temperatures drop significantly, causing the ice sheets to grow massively. As the ice sheets grow, they begin to cover enough of the planet's surface that they begin to reflect more of the Sun's radiation away from the surface, driving temperatures down even further. Before you know it, you've got an Ice Age. When the Milankovitch cycles start to swing the other way, the intensity of the Sun's radiation becomes greater than what's being reflect back into space, and temperatures begin to rise. As temperatures rise, the ice sheets begin to melt. As they melt, trapped carbon dioxide is released, creating a greenhouse effect which causes temperatures to rise further, which causes more ice to melt, which causes more carbon dioxide to be released, etc. until the ice sheets retreat to the North Pole. This is called an interglacial period, which we are now in.

So, Prince, that's why your argument isn't a good one - scientists know perfectly well what has caused past fluctuations in our climate, and have ruled those out as causes for our current rate of warming a long time ago. Like I said, the Earth had been cooling for 6,000 years before the end of the 19th century, and should still be cooling - putting the very beginning of the next Ice Age sometime around 3500 AD. Instead, because of the massive carbon dioxide output of our civilization, this is what's been happening over the past century:

[video=youtube]

http://www.giss.nasa.gov/

Also, Brad, where did you get the idea that the 20's and 30's had the warmest years? The 1930's had one of the hottest in the United States (third or fourth I think,) but worldwide the 10 hottest years on record have all occurred since 1998.

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Guest

funny I studied this subject in geography. now there are 2 theories that are floating bout the climate change world atm.

"Global Warming" and "Global Cooling".

Global warming being the more common one, where the temperature of the world increases. Leading to increase in flooding and whatnot, in fact there is a study that if the temperature increases by 1 degree permanently it'll have massive effect in the earth's atmosphere of course that is a topic that can be debated. what I learn in school, yes they forced us to learn about Climate Change.

Is that the world's temperature is increasing due to green house gases, pollutants and what not. this results in freak weather and a lot of weird shit, like hailstorms in tropical countries, winter during summer, just overall weird weather and climate throughout the world.

However there is another theory that it is Global Cooling, where the temperature in some countries are dropping instead of increasing. it's the same as global warming but it'll render those who live in cold places like the arctic completely uninhabitable.

another one is natural cycle, assuming you know about the periods of the earth, it goes through this cycle every hundred thousands years or so, where it basically "refreshes" itself. for example the ice age which almost wiped out life on earth, the volcanoes which killed the dinosaurs and shit like that. Super Volcanos(look it up) still exist in "dormant" state because when they erupt they cause destruction so great it'll move the plate technics. causing the plates to shift. it is believed that the earth goes through this cycle, where freak weather and shit like that will eventually "renew" the earth. how reliable is this source? I'm not certain, but it is out there.

that is what I learned in school, it's a little layman but I can't be bothered to revise my entire Climate Change weather after I finished my geography paper a couple weeks back

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Brad    155

http://www.giss.nasa.gov/

Also, Brad, where did you get the idea that the 20's and 30's had the warmest years? The 1930's had one of the hottest in the United States (third or fourth I think,) but worldwide the 10 hottest years on record have all occurred since 1998.

Googling it, shows that indeed the last ten years have been warm, but then also shows they still aren't certain of that.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2915061/Nasa-climate-scientists-said-2014-warmest-year-record-38-sure-right.html

Don't get me wrong. Changes to avoid pollution is a good thing.  We should be doing it regardless.  My entire point was that when it comes to climate or weather, scientists can say they have everything mapped out, but that doesn't mean they're 100% on the right track.

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Guest

Selena Gomez was born so the temperature naturally changed and got hotter. Nuff said bois.

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Selena Gomez was born so the temperature naturally changed and got hotter. Nuff said bois.

Never been a huge fan of Selena Gomez but the science holds true.

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Guest

Selena Gomez was born so the temperature naturally changed and got hotter. Nuff said bois.

Never been a huge fan of Selena Gomez but the science holds true.

Im surprised it's not hotter considering we also have Emma Watson and Ariana Grande fam.

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Joffrey    718

Snip

These are excellent points! However,  the aforementionefd Milankovitch Cycle, Earths axis and tilt really only explain these long term cooling and heating cycles. and temperature change throughout the last 400,000 years has hardly been predictable or constant in the slightest. What these cycles do not cover are the freak warming, and cooling events that happen throughout time. Significant, even catastrophic climate change. Like the younger, and older Dryas. Sure melt water is a possible reason for the younger  Dryas, but we don't really know. Also we shant forget "The little Ice age" part 1 and 2. Or the medieval warming period, where temperature changes were up to 10 degrees Celsius in flux. Taking place in very short time spans. Hundreds of years, not the tens of thousands mentioned prior.

Is the climate affected by human activity? (Co2) Absolutely.  But it is just one variable of many complex factors. We're talking ~400 ppm of Co2, at the begining of the industrial revolution it was roughly 100ppm less, so say 300 ppm. (Assuming of course that all of it was added purely by us, and no other significant factors, like volcanic, or oceanic release and many others). It's not entirely clear that we are responsible for all the 100 ppm of Co2 added over ~100 years. But for the sake of argument let's say we are the cause of all 100 ppm added to the atmosphere. That's the equivalent of  having a fish tank with 100,000 fish in it, and every ten years dropping one more fish in the tank. Would you even notice that? Also, there has been many times in earths history where it has naturally been 700-1,100 ppm Co2 in the atmosphere. I am not convinced that 400 ppm is the doomsday man-made scenario rhetoric that we hear so much today.  Do we effect the climate? Sure. Absolutely. But not nearly to the extent that is being expounded on the media.

Another point, is on that NASA graph showing temperatures, it is a false data read. The mass majority of the temperature stations are mainland, at airports, and meteorological stations in cites. Where you get the added thermal output of the cities concrete buildings, and asphalt parking lots. The data from satellite temp readings give a much more reasonable data output, and the satellite graphs are not nearly as dramatic as the land/city based charts.

Finally, to the point of the cartoon claiming that our current policies will make things better. Maybe it will, but most likely it will be replacing one demon for another. Everything (for now) still requires oil to grease gears, make tires, and thousands and thousands of other uses. When green energy becomes the majority they will have all the same lobbyists that the oil companys have, and will fight just as hard to keep things in their favor. Which is fine, but its hardly the utopian replacement for what we currently have.  I am all for less pollution, less lobbying, and all the other bad political / natural disaster jargon that we certainly should be held responsible for.  It's just the Carbon argument is ridiculous. We have no idea all the different factors that control climate. And until we make significant advances in our data collection, and Super Computer simulation software... it's not likely we'll have a sure answer for climate change anytime soon.

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