Global Warming (Again)

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Lex, Feb 2, 2007.

  1. Lex

    Lex
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    The latest report makes the strongest statement that it is caused by humans.

    From CNN.com

    PARIS, France (AP) -- The world's leading climate scientists, in their most powerful language ever used on the issue, said global warming is "very likely" man-made, according to a new report obtained Friday by The Associated Press.

    The report provides what may be cold comfort in slightly reduced projections on rising temperatures and sea levels by the year 2100. But it is tempered by a flat pronouncement that global warming is essentially a runaway train that cannot be stopped for centuries.

    "The observed widespread warming of the atmosphere and ocean, together with ice-mass loss, support the conclusion that it is extremely unlikely that global climate change of the past 50 years can be explained without external forcing, and very likely that is not due to known natural causes alone," said the 20-page report.

    Human-caused warming and rises in sea-level "would continue for centuries" because the process has already started, "even if greenhouse gas concentrations were to be stabilized," said the 20-page report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

    The report by a group of hundreds of scientists and representatives of 113 governments contains the most authoritative science on the issue. It was due for official release later Friday morning in Paris. (Watch climate experts discuss the planet's future http://i.a.cnn.net/cnn/.element/img/1.5/main/icon_video.gif)

    The phrase "very likely" translates to a more than 90 percent certainty that global warming is caused by man.

    What that means in layman's language is "we have this nailed," said top U.S. climate scientist Jerry Mahlman, who originated the percentage system.

    It marked an escalation from the panel's last report in 2001, which said warming was "likely" caused by human activity. There had been speculation that the participants might try to up the ante to "virtually certain" man causes global warming, which translates to 99 percent chance.
    On sea levels, the report projects rises of 7-23 inches by the end of the century. That could be augmented by an additional 4-8 inches if recent surprising polar ice sheet melt continues. (Watch how rising sea levels could affect San Francisco http://i.a.cnn.net/cnn/.element/img/1.5/main/icon_video.gif)

    The 2001 report projected a sea level rise of up to 35 inches.
    Many scientists had warned that this was being too cautious and said sea level rise could be closer to 3 to 5 feet because of ice sheet melt.
    But despite losing on that battle, scientists said the report is strong.
    "There's no question that the powerful language is intimately linked to the more powerful science," said one of the study's many co-authors, Andrew Weaver of the University of Victoria, who spoke by phone from Canada. He said the report was based on science that is rock-solid, peer-reviewed, conservative and consensus.

    "It's very conservative. Scientists by their nature are skeptics."
    The scientists wrote the report, based on years of peer-reviewed research; government officials edited it with an eye toward the required unanimous approval by world governments.

    In the end, there was little debate on the strength of the wording about human activity most likely to blame.
    "That is a big move. I hope it is a powerful statement," said Jan Pretel, head of the department of climate change at the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute.

    Rising sea levels

    The panel quickly agreed Thursday on two of the most contentious issues: attributing global warming to man-made burning of fossil fuels and connecting it to a recent increase in stronger hurricanes. Negotiations over a final third difficult issue -- how much sea level rise is predicted by 2100 -- went into the night Thursday with a deadline approaching for the report. (Watch a preview of the report http://i.a.cnn.net/cnn/.element/img/1.5/main/icon_video.gif)

    While critics call the panel overly alarmist, it is by nature relatively cautious because it relies on hundreds of scientists, including skeptics.
    "I hope that policymakers will be quite convinced by this message," said Riibeta Abeta, a delegate whose island nation Kiribati is threatened by rising seas. "The purpose is to get them moving."

    The Chinese delegation was resistant to strong wording on global warming, said Barbados delegate Leonard Fields and others. China has increasingly turned to fossil fuels for its huge and growing energy needs and it asked that an ambiguous footnote be added to the "very likely" statement. (Watch how Asian nations have given the U.S. political cover on energy consumption http://i.a.cnn.net/cnn/.element/img/1.5/main/icon_video.gif)

    The footnote reads: "Consideration of remaining uncertainty is based on current methodology," according to an official who was at the negotiations but was sworn to secrecy.

    Meanwhile, the U.S. government delegation was not one of the more vocal groups in the debate over whether warming is man-made, said other countries' officials. And several attendees credited the head of the panel session, Susan Solomon, a top U.S. government climate scientist, with pushing through the agreement so quickly.

    The Bush administration acknowledges that global warming is man-made and a problem that must be dealt with, Bush science adviser John Marburger has said. However, Bush continues to reject mandatory limits on so-called "greenhouse" gases, even as he acknowledges the existence of climate change.

    Climate change a global issue

    But this is more than just a U.S. issue.
    "What you're trying to do is get the whole planet under the proverbial tent in how to deal with this, not just the rich countries," Mahlman said Thursday. "I think we're in a different kind of game now."

    The panel, created by the United Nations in 1988, releases its assessments every five or six years -- although scientists have been observing aspects of climate change since as far back as the 1960s. The reports are released in phases, with this one being the first of four this year.

    The next report is due in April and will discuss the effects of global warming.

    But there are some elements of that in the current document.
    The report says that global warming has made stronger hurricanes, including those on the Atlantic Ocean, such as Hurricane Katrina, according to Fields, the Barbados delegate, and others.

    It also said an increase in hurricane and tropical cyclone strength since 1970 "more likely than not" can be attributed to man-made global warming. The scientists said global warming's connection varies with storms in different parts of the world, but that the storms that strike the Americas are global warming-influenced.

    That's a contrast from the 2001 report, which said there was not enough evidence to make such a conclusion. And it conflicts with a November 2006 statement by the World Meteorological Organization, which helped found the IPCC. The meteorological group said it could not link past stronger storms to global warming.

    Fields -- of Barbados, a country in the path of many hurricanes -- said the new wording was "very important." He noted that insurance companies -- which look to science to calculate storm risk -- "watch the language, too."

     
  2. dolf250

    dolf250 New Member

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    At this point it is still conjecture. I have no doubt that we are contributing to it and that we will continue to contribute. The fact of the matter is that the temperature has been rising for a very long time, it is just accelerating. The sea level has also been rising a little over the last vew thousand years, again it is accelerating. There are even a group of scientists who think that the global warming could case an ice age. If I recall correctly they stated that it does not need to get any colder, there just needs to be more moisture in the air. Warmer oceans, according to them would cause an increase in precipitation which would in turn lead to enough snow that it would, over time cause New York (what they used as an example) to be “buried in hundreds of feet of snow. But that is neither here nor there.

    If the sea rises 5 feet, nobody except the people on the coast will likely care enough to change their habits. Greenhouse gases are produced not only by industry, but by regular people as well. We have known about this for quite some time and yet how many SUV's are sold in this country? It all comes back to an issue that “it will not affect me directly, and I cannot do anything to make an appreciable difference.”

    I drive a small car sometimes, and a H1 others. I will kill my engine while waiting for a train or drive through, and I do try to make some small contributions, but ultimately, we are not going to give up our lifestyle to prevent a future occurrence.

    As a side note, I used to work in a mine where the truck I operated sucked back up to 800 gallons of diesel in a 12 hour shift- and the company I worked for had 12 such behemoths and 3 hydraulic shovels (which took more fuel) a few D10's and a few more D11 dozers in addition to graders and pickups. They were a subcontractor. The mine itself had hundreds of pieces of equipment in addition to it's own power plant, and heated huge volumes of water. The landscape looks more like a scene you would find looking at the moon through a telescope than it does earth, and yet it makes huge money so it continues at an accelerated pace. Really, does anybody think that this report is going to change a thing either in the way that the general population lives their lives or the way in which industry conducts business?
     
  3. Ganymede

    Ganymede Guest

    Of course it's caused by humans.
     
  4. DC_DEEP

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    Global climate is cyclical, and has been since forever. However, I doubt that we will ever get an accurate picture of the research that has been done, at least not by scientists in this country. The semi-annual reports to Congress, produced and submitted by both the EPA and the EPA-OIG, are edited (!?!?!) by "The White House" before submission. It violates federal law, but no one seems to mind that. I don't know how much integrity the French scientists are allowed to maintain, nor how much of the conclusion has relied upon shared data among those 113 countries participating. I just have not had time to read all the documents and reports.

    Regardless, irresponsible stewardship of the earth can't possibly be a good idea... but try to tell that to the greedy, careless, conspicuous consumer.
     
  5. Lex

    Lex
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    Right. I would not say that humans have caused it. I would say that we have greatly contributed to it.
     
  6. B_spiker067

    B_spiker067 New Member

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    You cannot assume that all the green house gases (that are a by-product of human life) do not affect the environment in someway. And they likely do contribute to heating up the atmosphere of the planet.

    What you have to question is whether the sun is getting hotter and whether the overheating is 90% sun induced and 10% heat trapping gases or whether it is the reverse of that.

    By the way if these gases just keep accumulating in our atmosphere, how long before there isn't enough oxygen for us to breath?
     
  7. D_Humper E Bogart

    D_Humper E Bogart New Member

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    Not to mention that almost every living creature in existance (besides plants and really weird bacteria) release CO2 either through respiration, or a side effect of dying!

    And stop farting for Baal's sake!

    ..That means you!
     
  8. SteveHd

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    Umm ... that reminds me ... I read that animal flatulence is a major part of the global contributions. It isn't just human activity.
     
  9. D_Humper E Bogart

    D_Humper E Bogart New Member

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    Guess what, so is breathing, decomposing, hiccuping, taking a shit, dungbeetles shitting (youch) and other scat play.

    And beware those motherfucking bacteria pumping CO2 into the air...and yeast! "Stop moulding my bread you're polluting my environment!"
     
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