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Global Warming
Posted: 28 August 2005 09:45 PM   [ Ignore ]
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For years people have been saying that mankind is disrupting the “natural order” of things, causing the global climate to reach record temperatures never before reached.  But after looking at the actual facts, I’ve begun to question that popular view of global warming.

First, the whole thing about “record temperatures” is misleading.  We’ve only had useful thermometers since about the 17th century, and most of our actual records of temperature go back only 150 years or so.  And these records are for the most part very localized, mainly being in the region of western Europe and eastern North America.  Records for the Southern Hemisphere have been limited. It’s only been in recent years that we’ve really started taking global measurements, and those show that while in some of the Northern Hemisphere temperatures are rising, in many areas temperatures are actually dropping.  Nor is there really any agreement or absolute certainty on what the readings we get regarding temperature and greenhouse gases and whatnot mean.

And even if we accept the extrapolations showing that the entire planet’s climate is heating up, that’s not really a new thing.  If you look at ice core records and other sources, you’ll see that the global temperature over the past few hundred thousand years has had an impressive series of highs and lows, many of the highs being greater than they are now.  And even further back in time, temperatures were much higher than anywhere on those graphs (it appears that for much of its history, the Earth hasn’t even had ice caps at all).  Global temperatures have been rising and falling since well before mankind.

So it seems to me that the planet’s just going about its normal climate fluctuations.  The natural state of the planet is change, not one steady temperature.  So really, what the people who are trying to get us to stop the climate from changing are wanting us to do is to keep things unnaturally steady, so that the climate is more comfortable for us.  If we let the temperatures get higher the way they would normally do, then we’ll have to sweat more, and we’ll lose some of our waterfront property to rising sea levels, and we’d have to change a lot of things like our agricultural methods.  Personally, I have nothing against trying to keep the planet nice for the members of humankind (I’m one myself, after all), but I find it rather hypocritical of all these people claiming that we need to stop artificially affecting the climate, when what they’re actually suggesting we do seems to be just that.

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Posted: 28 August 2005 10:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Men have died of natural causes in the past, this doesn’t mean that if you shoot a man you aren’t to blame for his death.

“Growth in industry, agriculture, and transportation since the Industrial Revolution has produced additional quantities of the natural greenhouse gases plus chlorofluorocarbons and other gases, augmenting the thermal blanket. It is generally accepted that this increase in the quantity of greenhouse gases is trapping more heat and increasing global temperatures, making a process that has been beneficial to life potentially disruptive and harmful.”

No, we’re not destroying the world, but we are damaging the world as we know it.  I agree that it is good to discuss the past environmental conditions of the Earth, but it should not really be used to confuse the public on the nature of Global Warming.  Humanity has a responsibility to monitor and control its effect on the Earth.

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Posted: 28 August 2005 10:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I agree that human pollution is doing some rather strange things to the world.  But a lot of the information on greenhouse gases just seems to be so sketchy.  How can you tell if a molecule of carbon dioxide or methane floating around in the atmosphere was produced naturally, or by industrial processes?  With carbon dioxide, for example, it is only to be expected that its levels in the atmosphere would rise at an increasing rate as the temperature goes up.  As the climate gets warmer, the permafrost and oceans can hold less carbon dioxide trapped, so the gas is released into the atmosphere,  which raises the temperatures even more, and so on.  So a lot of these higher levels of greenhouse gases could be the result of natural processes.  I know that this doesn’t hold true for some of them, which are only man-made, but those purely artificial ones seem to be a minority of the greenhouse gases.

According to all the research I’ve been able to find, the Earth is at a point where it is only to be expected that global temperatures will rise even if mankind had never been around.  The point I was making is that by trying to stop the global temperatures from rising, we’re actually acting against what we would consider to be natural.  The “world as we know it” is simply the world at one point on its cycle of changes.  If we’d been around a few hundred thousand years ago, the world as we know it would be a lot warmer, and we’d all be concerned about how the temperatures seem to have been dropping recently.

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Posted: 28 August 2005 10:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Accipiter - 29 August 2005 02:24 AM

I agree that human pollution is doing some rather strange things to the world.  But a lot of the information on greenhouse gases just seems to be so sketchy.  How can you tell if a molecule of carbon dioxide or methane floating around in the atmosphere was produced naturally, or by industrial processes?  With carbon dioxide, for example, it is only to be expected that its levels in the atmosphere would rise at an increasing rate as the temperature goes up.  As the climate gets warmer, the permafrost and oceans can hold less carbon dioxide trapped, so the gas is released into the atmosphere,  which raises the temperatures even more, and so on.  So a lot of these higher levels of greenhouse gases could be the result of natural processes.  I know that this doesn’t hold true for some of them, which are only man-made, but those purely artificial ones seem to be a minority of the greenhouse gases.

According to all the research I’ve been able to find, the Earth is at a point where it is only to be expected that global temperatures will rise even if mankind had never been around.  The point I was making is that by trying to stop the global temperatures from rising, we’re actually acting against what we would consider to be natural.  The “world as we know it” is simply the world at one point on its cycle of changes.  If we’d been around a few hundred thousand years ago, the world as we know it would be a lot warmer, and we’d all be concerned about how the temperatures seem to have been dropping recently.

Well I think we both agree that reducing pollution isn’t unnatural.  It’s not as if we’re squirting other chemicals into the atmosphere to reverse global warming, although it may come to that some day.

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Posted: 28 August 2005 11:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Actually, some of what we release does reduce the temperature.  Some of the sulphur compounds, for example.  Of course, they also contribute to fun things like acid rain. . .

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Posted: 29 August 2005 08:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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...Does the movement of the moon have anything to do with the temperature?  Maybe the earth’s rotation changes, and effects the weather - like the tile of the axis.  I dunno, I never really enderstood the atmosphere or ozone.  I was one of those kids that thought the space ship put a hole in the atmosphere.

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Posted: 29 August 2005 12:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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There’s a lot that can affect the climate, Maegan.  On a large scale you’ve got things like changes in the sun’s energy output and Milankovitch cycles (changes in the Earth’s rotation and orbit).  On the Earth itself, you have atmospheric composition (some gases trap heat, others don’t), the amount of dust and debris in the air (a lot of dust in the air can block sunlight, cooling the planet), plate tectonics (big mountain ranges can shift weather patterns), changes in the ocean currents. . .and there are probably plenty of other things that have some significant impact as well.  I’m not sure what the moon might do as far as affecting the temperature.  Its gravitational pull might influence some of the things I mentioned above, like plate tectonics.  And to some small extent, it could block some of the sun’s energy when it gets between the sun and the Earth, and it might reflect some of the sun’s energy onto us at other times.

Besides, all that green cheese fermenting in the moon must put out a lot of heat. . .

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Posted: 29 August 2005 02:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Thanks for trying, Acci.  I’m just going to pretend that you asked me if I like the color blue.

Yes, yes I do.

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Posted: 29 August 2005 02:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Blue is nice. . .

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Posted: 29 August 2005 11:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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I heard also that the even the magnetic fields from the Earth’s mantle can effect weather systems.  Which is why I don’t think I want to be a meteorologist.

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Posted: 30 August 2005 07:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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I don’t want to be a meteorologist, b/c you have to stay in the weather room during the hurricanes.

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Posted: 30 August 2005 11:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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I read somewhere that it takes just 1 volcano to do more polluting then man ever has…..interesting…I have been a sceptic on the global warming thing….the Earth repairs herself. I even am skeptical about the ozone layer….we have only known about that for a short period of time….

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