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Author Topic: Global Warming Is Basically Unstoppable  (Read 2995 times)

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Offline AviTopic starter

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Global Warming Is Basically Unstoppable
« on: January 27, 2009, 09:14:01 AM »
http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2009/20090126_climate.html

My first thought when I saw this on Yahoo! this morning was one of complete and utter disbelief.  But then, when I remembered the stuff I learned in my Atmospheric Science class, I realized it made sense.  I only hope that this serves as a big wake-up call that we need to do something, NOW, before we completely screw over the planet.

Any other thoughts?

Offline Zakharra

Re: Global Warming Is Basically Unstoppable
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2009, 10:17:11 AM »
  Uumm.. learn to live with it? Global warming/cooling has come and gone many times. It happens, all we can do is learn to adapt. Canada, the next Breadbasket of the world.  ;D

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Global Warming Is Basically Unstoppable
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2009, 12:51:47 PM »
If its unstoppable I agree we need to focus on adapting to climate change in our nations, and have to fend for ourselves.

Offline Silk

Re: Global Warming Is Basically Unstoppable
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2009, 05:33:05 PM »
Just because its inevitable doesnt mean its unstoppable, we can still improve the situation.

Offline Inkidu

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Re: Global Warming Is Basically Unstoppable
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2009, 09:25:13 PM »
Just because its inevitable doesnt mean its unstoppable, we can still improve the situation.
Say what?

Offline Zakharra

Re: Global Warming Is Basically Unstoppable
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2009, 11:16:56 PM »
Just because its inevitable doesnt mean its unstoppable, we can still improve the situation.

 Inevitable more or less means unstoppable. It's going to happen no matter what. Nothing we can do, short of a nuclear winter can change that.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Global Warming Is Basically Unstoppable
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2009, 08:50:57 AM »
Heh thats an idea detonate enough nukes to cause Nuclear Wnter to counter Global Warming, not a big Nuclear Winter just keep the temperature a little cooler planetwide.
 :D

Seriously we might be able to mitigate the problems but since no one has the resources or the will in the three nations that matter- America, China and India to really do that much. Its just not a priority for your average American with the economy tanking.

Offline Lithos

Re: Global Warming Is Basically Unstoppable
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2009, 08:18:27 PM »
Thousand years is not much in geologic scale, if better control of emissions now can affect earth 1000 years later, at least we can fix thing for further way in the future. In the meantime we just need to adapt. The question is, how well will flora and fauna be able to adapt, I think humans will do a lot better. While some areas might submerge, many others that were barely habitable become a lot better for populating.

Offline daryy

Re: Global Warming Is Basically Unstoppable
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2009, 08:55:54 PM »
we can still improve the situation.I hope

Offline Inkidu

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Re: Global Warming Is Basically Unstoppable
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2009, 09:32:50 PM »
Thousand years is not much in geologic scale, if better control of emissions now can affect earth 1000 years later, at least we can fix thing for further way in the future. In the meantime we just need to adapt. The question is, how well will flora and fauna be able to adapt, I think humans will do a lot better. While some areas might submerge, many others that were barely habitable become a lot better for populating.
To think that all the emissions in the world are going to change the world in a millennium where it took a meteor hitting North Dakota roughly the same amount of time is quite a stretch.

Offline Paradox

Re: Global Warming Is Basically Unstoppable
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2009, 09:52:12 PM »
To think that all the emissions in the world are going to change the world in a millennium where it took a meteor hitting North Dakota roughly the same amount of time is quite a stretch.

The change might not be as drastic--and most definitely not as immediate-- but it will still be significant.

(Keep in mind, Inkidu, I think man-made global warming is a steaming load of paranoid, trendy bullshit, but regardless of what's causing the warming trend, it will still affect our planet in numerous ways. Be it man or natural climate fluctuation, it's coming.)

Offline Inkidu

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Re: Global Warming Is Basically Unstoppable
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2009, 09:54:58 PM »
The change might not be as drastic--and most definitely not as immediate-- but it will still be significant.

(Keep in mind, Inkidu, I think man-made global warming is a steaming load of paranoid, trendy bullshit, but regardless of what's causing the warming trend, it will still affect our planet in numerous ways. Be it man or natural climate fluctuation, it's coming.)
That's why I said emissions it could very well be ma' nature's time of the epoch. I agree it's not man-made.

Offline OldSchoolGamer

Re: Global Warming Is Basically Unstoppable
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2009, 02:55:51 AM »
Curiously, if you look at paleoclimatological records, carbon dioxide levels are a lagging, rather than a leading, indicator of temperature.

Offline AviTopic starter

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Re: Global Warming Is Basically Unstoppable
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2009, 12:52:48 PM »
However, if you look at core ice drillings from the polar icecaps, there's a definite corellation between the thickness of the ice layers and the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.  The more CO2, the thinner the layer of ice, thus a warmer climate at that time.

Offline Inkidu

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Re: Global Warming Is Basically Unstoppable
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2009, 02:19:02 PM »
However, if you look at core ice drillings from the polar icecaps, there's a definite corellation between the thickness of the ice layers and the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.  The more CO2, the thinner the layer of ice, thus a warmer climate at that time.
Yep but they show you that it does happen in cycles. Supporting the theory it's merely a force of nature.

Offline AviTopic starter

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Re: Global Warming Is Basically Unstoppable
« Reply #15 on: January 29, 2009, 02:37:00 PM »
Indeed, but human activity has also been shown to be contributing to it.  Co2 levels went up significantly with the start of the Industrial Revolution, and they haven't gone down since.  If anything, we're at least exacerbating the problem.

Offline Inkidu

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Re: Global Warming Is Basically Unstoppable
« Reply #16 on: January 29, 2009, 02:41:40 PM »
Indeed, but human activity has also been shown to be contributing to it.  Co2 levels went up significantly with the start of the Industrial Revolution, and they haven't gone down since.  If anything, we're at least exacerbating the problem.
However, it's not going to cause the drastic climate change people predict. The earth will have a hiccup and it will correct the problem.

Offline Paradox

Re: Global Warming Is Basically Unstoppable
« Reply #17 on: January 29, 2009, 02:47:30 PM »
Oh bullshit.

The Earth doesn't "correct" anything; on the contrary, certain species simply die out due to the altered conditions, while others thrive because they had genes with enough variability to withstand the changes. It's not like the planet actually plays a guiding role.

Online Valerian

Re: Global Warming Is Basically Unstoppable
« Reply #18 on: January 29, 2009, 03:06:14 PM »
Please disagree a little less explosively.  Thanks.

Also, as a clarification: the article linked to above says that the current state of things probably can't be improved for the next 1000 years or so, not that global warming itself is unstoppable.  There's been a bit of confusion with words like irreversible and inevitable being thrown around.

Offline consortium11

Re: Global Warming Is Basically Unstoppable
« Reply #19 on: January 29, 2009, 03:14:24 PM »
I think an issue here is that the terms global warming and climate change are often used interchangeably.

Climate change is pretty much unstoppable (without sci-fi levels of technology), as it's a natural process of the galaxy/world.

Global warming is unstoppable on the same basis, but so is the global cooling that will follow.

The question becomes how do our own actions contribute to these natural processes... and I find myself on the sceptical side of the debate as to the huge changes we're making.

Offline The Overlord

Re: Global Warming Is Basically Unstoppable
« Reply #20 on: January 29, 2009, 03:32:47 PM »
However, it's not going to cause the drastic climate change people predict. The earth will have a hiccup and it will correct the problem.

Problem is, where you're talking about a system the size of a large terrestrial planet, that 'hiccup' could easily be something that takes us off the map. Care to keep going with business as usual and arrogant species denial, and bet on whether or not it will or won't? I sure as hell don't.

If global geological records prove anything, it's that the planet is easily capable of dealing us a bitch slap we can't handle.

Offline Inkidu

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Re: Global Warming Is Basically Unstoppable
« Reply #21 on: January 29, 2009, 03:51:29 PM »
Problem is, where you're talking about a system the size of a large terrestrial planet, that 'hiccup' could easily be something that takes us off the map. Care to keep going with business as usual and arrogant species denial, and bet on whether or not it will or won't? I sure as hell don't.

If global geological records prove anything, it's that the planet is easily capable of dealing us a bitch slap we can't handle.

Well I look at it this way if the universe wants us gone then we're toast. Changing our ways ain't going to help. Look at the dinosaurs. They didn't drive cars they stayed within the bounds of nature and something wiped them out. If you're think having an environmental conscious is going to stop a meteor...

And besides to think that carbon emissions that have been going on for three hundred or so years are going to have a significant impact on the earth in one hundred thousand years is still a stretch. Especially now that humans are becoming enviro-savvy. It's entirely possible we can fix our problem. For what it's worth in the grand scheme of things.   

Offline The Overlord

Re: Global Warming Is Basically Unstoppable
« Reply #22 on: January 29, 2009, 04:23:55 PM »
Well I look at it this way if the universe wants us gone then we're toast. Changing our ways ain't going to help. Look at the dinosaurs. They didn't drive cars they stayed within the bounds of nature and something wiped them out. If you're think having an environmental conscious is going to stop a meteor...

And besides to think that carbon emissions that have been going on for three hundred or so years are going to have a significant impact on the earth in one hundred thousand years is still a stretch. Especially now that humans are becoming enviro-savvy. It's entirely possible we can fix our problem. For what it's worth in the grand scheme of things.   


VERY debatable. Yeah if a local star decides to give off a massive cosmic ray burst and burns off our atmosphere, not a hella lot we can do about it, and it's certainly not going to be our fault.

The problem with the arguments for and against global warming is that we're speaking in degrees: How much of an effect are we truly having? In my view this is incredibly ignorant and foolish...let's indulge and do something hypothetical for a moment. Suppose there are natural forces at work; some of these long term global cycles that we know have occurred in the past. Suppose these natural causes are 90% to blame. OK fine, Earth is just doing what it's been doing for eons.

However, even though the matter of degrees of guilt is a very contested argument, the international scientific community is nearly unanimous on the belief that we're absolutely responsible to some degree.

So, going to back to my original hypothetical argument, what if our 10% contribution is the 10% that helps push the climate over the edge? At the least, what if it's enough to speed up something that's naturally occurring, enough to speed it up to a pace that the global biosphere can't handle?

I'm sorry, but I can't see any rational counter-argument here. Are we willing to gamble that we're not responsible at all, and just keep on going as we are? Because if we do, we're betting the entire pot: This is a potentially an all-or-nothing roll of the roulette wheel. An argument of degrees is missing the point.


Arguing if we started it or are just helping it is pointless and insignificant: It is occurring, and one does not sit inside a burning house and watching it burn while they argue the best way to help put it out.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2009, 04:25:10 PM by The Overlord »

Offline consortium11

Re: Global Warming Is Basically Unstoppable
« Reply #23 on: January 29, 2009, 04:45:10 PM »
Then it becomes an issue of priorities.

To use your analogy, we're sat in the burning house. In that situation you do everything you can to save yourself, agreed?

So, apply that to how we live right now. You'd immediately junk all cars/planes/trains and all non-pure green electricity. Everything that could in any way contribute to climate change would have to be stopped. All medical research, all transport, all industry and production etc etc. We put our way of life immediately back to pre-industrial revolution levels.

Because if the world is a burning house, that's what you'd do.

On the other hand, some of us think curing cancer, developing the third world, being able to fly emergency supplies to disaster areas and being able to talk to people all across the world using a medium like this are all important. But if we're using the burning house example, they'd all be dropped like a hot potato.

Let's also look at the effects of half-thought out "green" schemes that have put in place so far. Bio-fuel, at one time the next big thing in preventing global warming/climate change. Huge tracts of farmland turned into bio-fuel crops. What happened? Food prices rocketed, there was a world shortage in rice leading to hording, the every day price and lack of avaliability of even local vegetables in the devloped world soared and there was a real risk of famine in areas that were once thought to have escaped that terror. Now the mass move to bio-fuel is considered a dangerous mistake.

But in a burning house you'd do it anyway...

No-one is polluting the world for the fun of it. Even the most ardant fundamentalist who doesn't believe in any form of climate change isn't going to deliberately leave his engine on and running. We all take small steps to stop polluting the world. But simply put I'm not sure I'm willing to sacrifice all the good that technology has brought us for a "might".

And that's without considering the practical elements. How likely is it that Russia or China will suddenly turn green? That Dubai will stop building (although the current financial crisis is doing that to an extent already). And are we even morally justified in telling for example much of Africa that they cannot build factories or anything else to help their development and instead stay in their current state. Because China especially is one of the world's biggest polluters and contributors to man-made climate change, to whatever degree that exists/effects the overall picture.

Offline OldSchoolGamer

Re: Global Warming Is Basically Unstoppable
« Reply #24 on: January 30, 2009, 12:46:52 AM »
Indeed, but human activity has also been shown to be contributing to it.  Co2 levels went up significantly with the start of the Industrial Revolution, and they haven't gone down since.  If anything, we're at least exacerbating the problem.

We probably are, but the record shows that the atmosphere is capable of rather extreme and sudden swings in temperature even without an obvious forcing agent, like a sapient species altering the level of trace gases. 

No matter what AGW believers say, the facts are that we're dealing with a billion-plus year old system, for which we have a few million years of rough data (a few tenths of a percent), a few hundred thousand years of so-so data like ice cores (let's see, that covers around 0.05%), a few thousand years of moderately detailed data (a few ten-thousandths of a percent), and maybe a few decades to a few centuries of confirmable, scientifically verifiable data (a few millionths of a percent?).

So honestly, we have to say, "we don't know."  And we can't make economy-wrecking decisions on the basis of "we don't know."  Prudent steps, yes.  Panic, no.