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Are we warming or cooling

On 8 Jul 2011 at 12:21am queequeg wrote:
What is the prospect of scientific agreement on whether or not the planet is warming or cooling - and both effects apparently have the same cause, burning fossil fuels!
On 8 Jul 2011 at 8:05am Vesbod wrote:
I think they've reached an equilibrium !!
On 8 Jul 2011 at 11:36am Independent thinker wrote:
The overwhelming scientific consensus is that the planet is warming, with man made greenhouse gas emissions a significant cause. This global warming leads to climate change, which can have all kinds of different effects in different parts of the world. Some areas may actually end up colder for various reasons, but it's the overall global temperature that's measured. For example, 2010 was tied with 2005 for the warmest year since records began (9 of the 10 warmest years happened in the last decade), but our local winter was particularly harsh. Of course usual weather phenomena still have a significant impact, especially el Nino and La Nina, so there will continue to be year by year fluctuations, but the trend is consistent.

Interestingly, sceptics like to start measuring global temperatures from 1998, rather than from when records began, which seems a curiously arbitrary starting point, except that was at the time by far the hottest year on record. Which means they can try to claim that temperatures have been cooling since then. Of course if they'd started with 1997, or 1996, or 1999 that claim falls apart. Always worth looking out for little tricks like that. If you come across an explosive theory on the Internet and wonder why it hasn't been adopted by the mainstream scientific community, there's usually a simple explanation.
On 8 Jul 2011 at 11:44am Vesbod wrote:
What you've really got to look out for is the altitude of where you live. Scientists reckon that if both polar caps melt, the water levels will rise 70 metres, thats about 225 feet. so make sure you're above the 70m contour on an ordnance survey map. I have, and I'm quite looking forward to the big melt - hopefully I'll end up with a nice pad on the Offham Hill seaside !!
On 8 Jul 2011 at 12:15pm Clifford wrote:
How long have we got Vesbod? I'll need a warning if I'm glowing to blow up my inflatable raft.
On 8 Jul 2011 at 5:43pm Vesbod wrote:
Realistically I don't think we'll hit the 70m mark for about 100 years, but....you may want to check that the dingy is servicable, and you've got a puncture kit ready !!
On 8 Jul 2011 at 7:48pm jrsussex wrote:
I am a declared sceptic. Dear old mother earth has coped with several ice ages, severe heat waves, flood, earthquakes, tsunami's, drought, fire and various other disastrous weather over a period of millions of years. I think it is called adapting and I believe in the likelihood that she will continue to do so.
Worry more about the evil human beings who prey on those incapable of defending themselves such as is happening in Somalia right now. The major cause of that is the fighting etc not global warming. Been happening for years and the "dog with no teeth" (the UN) stands back and lets it happen time and time again, year on year.
On 8 Jul 2011 at 8:36pm MC MC wrote:
But never had to cope with an animal with the capacity to have such a huge affect on its environment as us humans. Just because things have always been ok does not mean they always be. The dodo has gone, planets, stars and solar systems have lived and died. We have an intelligent science. Listen to it and act accordingly and we might survive a bit longer. Otherwise, hands over ears, eyes closed, finger in the wind, blind faith/hope, believe that God will not let it happen, the end.

We are cleverer than that. We must listen.
On 8 Jul 2011 at 8:58pm huw wrote:
Now, as many of you might know, I'm not a scientist. However, I thought that the term "Global Warming" frustrates the scientific community because what it actually is used to explain is a phenomenon of climatic extremes. Hotter summers, colder winters, spells of extreme drought and deluge.
I shall wait for a proper scientist to correct me.
On 8 Jul 2011 at 9:15pm MC wrote:
There is an active phenomena currently termed climate change (was called global warming) that virtually all independent scientists who monitor such things attribute to the influence of humans on the planet. It's not certain what the outcome of this change will be except that there will be a lot of change in a very short period of time. We all hope that life on this planet will be supported within this change and that a delicate balance will not be destroyed and a feedback loop resulting in extremes not the result.
I guess we can gamble, hope for the best, have faith (oh for a God!) and assume that huge climatic change in a short period of time is not at all possible....
or we can think this is a gamble with an outcome possibly too final to contemplate and that we ought to be more careful until we know more.

It is impossible to refute that the vast majority of scientists involved with anything remotely influenced by climate think that things are currently changing much faster than they have ever changed in our planet's history (unless you count a large cataclysmic event that wiped out the dinosaurs).
On 9 Jul 2011 at 9:17am Vesbod wrote:
I studied this topic at post grad level and the "global warming" phrase came about as a genuine concern that the average tempartures around the earth would increase. Although of course, some areas would get cooler, and others hotter, hence "climate change" is probably a more appropriate phrase Huw. However, there is hard scientific fact that suggest changes in the earth's cooling/hotting up patterns have shifted. Over the past 4 Billion years (i.e. before the emergence of Lewes bonfires !), there is a fairly regular pattern of ice ages and extreme heat (and I mean a lot hotter than we experience today). The present trend was downwards towards an ice age, but over the past 10,000 years this has slowed down remarkably, to such a stage that it has ‚??levelled out‚?Ě, and started to rise slightly. If we continue to live the way we do, then the rise will continue. The first scary thing is that if the earth‚??s temperature rises by an average 2 degrees centigrade (celsius if you like), the the ice caps will disappear, along with a lot of wildlife as well. Secondly, any hotter than that, and it‚??s going to be ‚??difficult getting hold of fresh, drinkable water, which could lead to a few global ‚??punchups‚?Ě I suspect. But it‚??s a very tricky tightrope that we walk, and stopping using fossil fuels, and removing carbon monoxide and dioxides from the atmosphere is just as likely to send us into the cold zone again. So the word is ‚??moderation‚?Ě I guess. Sorry, that‚??s a bit OTT for a nice sunny Saturday morning !! I‚??m off to town now, and yes, I‚??m walking. Have a nice day.

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