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Old 01-19-2006, 08:14 PM   #16
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Gaia Angry!
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Old 01-19-2006, 08:17 PM   #17
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It seems that the planet is always in a state of self-organising criticality, the same feedback loops that we view as "perfect" today did not exist a few thousand years ago. As environments change species do die out, but in their place new species diversify filling specific ecological niches.

Today we are in the grips of a mass extinction, a factor in this is the rise of humanity, but we also have inadvertant side effects, we may be averting global catastrophe by keeping the planet in an inter-glacial state artificially. Our CO2 emissions could be averting massive global cooling. Our aerosols buffer against significant global warming.
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Old 01-19-2006, 08:49 PM   #18
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No offense to the scientists here but I am completely fed up with hearing conflicting and nigh-on irreconcilable opinions from science on this issue.

It makes it totally impossible for the non-scientist to make any kind of sense of the issue.

The Y2k was quite frankly a fraud perpretated by an element of the IT community on the general public.

Are we being had again - this time by a branch of science?
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Old 01-19-2006, 09:02 PM   #19
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A better comparison would be "the population bomb", only here you have a collectivist system being established to tax wealthy emitting nations to shift towards poorer ones. Heres just one more piece of the puzzle
Quote:
Warming ocean currents are bringing sardines back to Monterey Bay after decades of decline.

Some scientists think global warming could be partly responsible for the burgeoning sardine population, although no one can say for sure whether warmer water is part of a natural cycle.

"Global warming may make it so that we always have sardines in California," said oceanographer Jerrold Norton of the National Marine Fisheries Service.

The silvery fish are making a comeback from Mexico to British Columbia.
link

The point of that is that changes in climate around the globe however they may be caused can have effects that are not altogether negative. The effects of climate change are big unknowns, the causes of climate change also has some big unknowns, climate models used 5 years ago have been turned over with new discoveries and new predictions get made.

Do not build expensive policy detrimental to national interests on this stuff. There are some genuine environmental problems out there that warrant more attention but don't get it because "global warming" (which has now been replaced with "climate change" to encompass all extreme weather) takes up the headlines. Groundwater salinity in Australia is more important than a hypothetical 2 degree celsius rise in a century. Overfishing, deforestation etc. are all areas that deserve attention.
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Old 01-20-2006, 02:41 PM   #20
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A_Wanderer, maybe you can answer b/c you seem to know a great deal about science and I don't....but I remember learning in grade school about how the climate has changed drastically, even without the presence of humans. For example, I swear we learned that where I live (Michigan) was once hot and semi-tropical, like Florida, and again at one time it was frozen and full of snow animals like wolves and mastadons. Of course, in each of these changes, certain species live and certain die and new ones come about.
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Old 01-20-2006, 07:19 PM   #21
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Yes you are right, the large mammals that you listed existed during the last ice age and would have encompassed that latitude. The way that we uncover paleoclimate can be by signs of ice, such as linear streaks on rocks called glacial striations, also glacial till (the rocks brought down with the glacier and deposited as sediment) is a sign. If we are dealing with a marine environment with icebergs you get dropstones, here rocks that get stuck inside the ice eventually drop out of the iceberg as it melts and fall to the bottom of the sea leaving an impression beneath the underlying sediment. Also fossils of plants and animals around at the time can be indicators of environment (if you find fossilised trees from a temperate zone or a savannah it can be useful in reconstructing what was going on).

The location of continents is crutial when dealing with geological time, they move around, thankfully we have palaeomagnetic data that can aproximate the latitude of continents. This can checked with fossil information.

The snownball earth hypothesis looks back into earths past over 500 million years ago and posits a situation where all the continents shifted to the equator as a single supercontinent. With this configuration (and the system of currents) the polar ice caps were able to grow and keep growing unabated comletly enveloping the earth in ice, covering land and sea, stopping interaction between the atmosphere and rocky earth (lithosphere). The planet would have remained at -40 C, it would place tremendous pressure on life (which at that time was restricted to algae's - it was slimeworld). The mechanism that knocked it out was the greenhouse effect, without having rock-atmosphere interactions the greenhouse gasses released by volcanism were able to build up ultimately allowing enough warming to melt the ice and restore the world to an unfrozen state, with the former life of slimeworld decimated it opened up ecological niches for other life forms including the multicelluar proto-animals and proto-plants.

Over the geological history of the earth there has been at various stages much more carbon dioxide in the earths atmosphere than there is today, much warmer temperatures, series of glacial periods interupted by inter-glacial warm spots (we are in such a spot today). The flora and fauna of the planet is in a constant state of flux, species go extinct all the time naturally (the background extinction rate) at some stages extinction rates peak and we have mass extinctions - we are in a mass extinction today. Things change, they can change on a rapid scale (40M changes in sea level over a few tens of thousands of years recently).

The issue today is that our recorded state of change is greater than anything seen before, we are also seeing a dramatic loss in biodiversity around the globe. There is a margin of unknown in these effects but if we take them as a given we should understand what we can do to adress the situation (climate engineering could be cheaper than curbing emissions) and understand what the effects will really be, for instance 2005 was Australias hottest year on record but it had fewer extreme weather events than usual, right now Russia is in the grips of a severe winter - a model of more greenhouse gas by man = hotter temps all over doesn't account for this. Even the Antarctic peninsula where glaciers are in retreat today is not matched on other bits of the continent where more ice is being layed down. Also bear in mind sea ice is no threat when it melts - ice displaces more water than it is made up of.

Where we fit into all this is still largely unknown and the ammount of potential climate change averted by the Kyoto protocol is but a small fraction of a degree. If we can really initiate change for the worse inadvertantly then we should be able to engineer it deliberately for the better.
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Old 01-21-2006, 08:05 PM   #22
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For those who are interested, the 17th Global Warming International Conference will be held in Miami from 20-21 April 2006.

Here is the link to their website:

http://www.globalwarming.net/


I hope some people will be motivated to learn more about the hazards of the world's global warming trends and of its VERY REAL potential threats to future survival on our planet.


Listen - everyone has an opinion. We don't always have to agree.

But when SIX former heads of the U.S. government agency charged with protecting the environment speak in a unified voice as described above, COMMON SENSE TELLS YOU SOMETHING IS VERY WRONG with the way that we are treating our environment.
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Old 01-21-2006, 11:20 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jamila

Listen - everyone has an opinion. We don't always have to agree.

But when SIX former heads of the U.S. government agency charged with protecting the environment speak in a unified voice as described above, COMMON SENSE TELLS YOU SOMETHING IS VERY WRONG with the way that we are treating our environment.
I think you're taking my comments too personally. I never said what we're going to the environment is OK. Go back and read what I said for what it is. I thought I made it VERY clear that people are mistreating the environment every day at the most basic levels. My problem is with the way you're trying to assign blame. It makes no sense.
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Old 01-22-2006, 03:02 PM   #24
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Actually, LivLuv, I wasn't addressing you.

Sorry you misunderstood.
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Old 01-22-2006, 06:05 PM   #25
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Heh, you outright blame Bush for global warming, and I'm the one with a misunderstanding? Wow......just...wow....
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Old 01-22-2006, 06:43 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally posted by LivLuvAndBootlegMusic
Heh, you outright blame Bush for global warming, and I'm the one with a misunderstanding? Wow......just...wow....
Its best not to respond....

Or you will make it worse

You are with us or against us

No room for deviation

That makes us all one
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Old 01-22-2006, 06:52 PM   #27
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Old 01-23-2006, 05:06 AM   #28
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It is amazing how you can say something nice to someone here and still get flamed.

It's really amusing.

This is my contention in this thread:

"when SIX former heads of the U.S. government agency charged with protecting the environment speak in a unified voice as described above, COMMON SENSE TELLS YOU SOMETHING IS VERY WRONG with the way that we are treating our environment. "


These former heads of the EPA are saying Bush isn't doing enough to help the environment, not me.


I just agreed with them.

Isn't that allowed here in FYM?


Let's keep the discussion steadied on issues in this thread - not personal likes and dislikes.
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Old 01-23-2006, 12:07 PM   #29
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Please quantify what is “doing enough to help the environment”.

The political statement of six individuals does not establish a presumption that SOMETHING IS VERY WRONG with the way that we are treating our environment.

And as for your suggestion that you were “only agreeing with them,” you forget your other comments like:

Quote:
Originally posted by Jamila
I hope some people will be motivated to learn more about the hazards of the world's global warming trends and of its VERY REAL potential threats to future survival on our planet.
Wagging you finger is not the same as “only agreeing with them.”
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