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[off topic] Balmy North Pole


A news brief in Scientific American (subscriber only, no link) alerted me to the following article:



Core sediments retrieved by three icebreakers recently analyzed reveal the following:

-North Pole’s temperature 55 million years ago: 23C/73F (today it is -20C/-4F)

-Concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere 55mya was 2000 ppm (today it is 380 ppm)

-Global average temperature 55mya under above conditions was 5C/9F degrees C higher than today (in Sciam News Brief only, Science Daily says tropics remained liveable).

Obviously, the earth recovered, if it was even “harmed”. I post this because so-called global warming is blamed on human activities by the worst kind of consensus pseudoscience (Darwinian evolution is consensus pseudoscience as well) and is projected to be catastrophic. But look at this recent data. With carbon dioxide concentration 5 times higher than today the global average temperature rise is within normal year-to-year variation we all experience right now. The earth doesn’t turn into a runaway greenhouse. We don’t have enough fossil fuel on the planet to quintuple the CO2 in the atmosphere. It happens WITHOUT human activity. It’s NORMAL. Sea levels will rise. Ocean salinity will decrease. Life will go on thriving like it always has. Just like forest fires give certain species their turn at bat in the cyclically changing environment so too does global warming. These are the facts.

Houdin What are you going to do when Texas does have Bagdad temperatures? Drink more water, stay out of the sun more, wear lighter clothes. You know, like the same things they do in Bagdad [sic]. So is that a reason to make things worse? We don't know we're making things worse. If we are making things worse we don't know how much worse we're making it nor do we know by what measure things will improve if we try to make it better. The act of trying to make it better may in fact have worse side effects as it slows the global economy and decreases the amount of food that can be grown, the amount of water that c an be transported, the amount of energy available to warm the cold and cool the hot. You either didn't read any of the things I referenced or you ignored them. DaveScot
DaveScot: "Someone is feeding you a line of BS about 120 degree temperatures in Brownsville. The record for 2005 year was 104 and it never got over 100 in 2006." 2005 was last summer. So my neighbors exaggerated. What are you going to do when Texas does have Bagdad temperatures? I really don't understand your attitude. Let's assume that all the warming we're seeing really is caused by non-human influenced climatic variations. So is that a reason to make things worse? Houdin
The tactics being used to silence global warming skeptics are similar to the tactics used to silence skeptics of Darwinism--and they are maybe even worse:
Sometimes there is a knowing authoritarianism in green activism.... Some institutions employ Orwellian doublespeak when they use the word ‘facts’. They are not talking about submitting theories or hypotheses or evidence for public debate and possibly public approval – they are talking about using ‘facts’ precisely to stifle public debate and change the way people think and behave. ...Whatever the truth about our warming planet, it is clear there is a tidal wave of intolerance in the debate about climate change which is eroding free speech and melting rational debate. There has been no decree from on high or piece of legislation outlawing climate change denial, and indeed there is no need to criminalise it, as [one] Australian columnist suggests. Because in recent months it has been turned into a taboo, chased out of polite society by a wink and a nod, letters of complaint, newspaper articles continually comparing climate change denial to Holocaust denial.
One group of authoritarians uses the phrase "Evolution (i.e. Darwinism) is a fact" to make debate about Darwinism illegitimate; another group (composed of many of the same people, probably) uses "climate change is a fact" to stifle debate about global warming. Regardless of the merits of the clmate change claims, the use of tactics to shame and deligitimatize opponents is unscientific in both cases--unless the "science" being pursued is really the science of thought control. After all, "we have always been at war with Eastasia." edj
jerry The North Atlantic oceanic crust moves 1 cm/year. In 55 million years that works out to 550 kilometers. If the scientists running the drilling expedition knew what they were doing they would have taken this into account but even if they hadn't the Arctic Circle is about 5000 kilometers in diameter so 550 km is not much of a move. Nice try though. DaveScot
Egbooth, There was no world flooding during the last global warming in the period 950-1250 which also saw one of the greatest economic expansions in world history. This was the time when the great cathedrals of Europe were built and trade expanded all over Europe and apparently they were growing wine in Scotland. New farming techniques led to expanded supplies of food and wealth. Global cooling came near the end of the 13th century and along with the outbreaks of the plague slowed the economic expanision in Europe. jerry
Dave, I just noticed your post about the ocean crust. It is certainly moving and might move faster than the plates. Just how fast it moves I am not sure. But as new crust is created at the oceanic ridges, mainly in the Atlantic Ocean, it forces previous crust to move away and then extra is destroyed when it is forced under the continental plates in the suduction zones. Currently the Pacific Ocean is getting smaller and the Atlantic expanding. The Andes were formed by the crust moving under the west side of South America, as the Pacific is getting smaller. So the crust does move and the wikipedia article you pointed to indicates this because new crust is created at a fixed point and then moves away when new crust is created. So what is under the North Pole now was probably some place else 55 mya. jerry
Egbooth It's not a matter of two wrongs making a right. It's a matter of one wrong cancelling another wrong. In other words, fighting fire with fire. If global warming alarmists can latch onto normal year-to-year climate fluctuation as evidence in support of their theory then it's only fair to cite contrary evidence of similar nature to thwart it. If a really active hurricane year is presented as evidence in favor of global warming then a really inactive year must be allowed as evidence against it. That also applies to record breaking heat waves which are also cited. Record breaking cold waves then become fair game for contrary evidence. As far as flood control once again it is a question of economics and we don't have enough data to make any reasonable decisions. What timetable and funding do your friends at the ACoE work with? I doubt they have a 1000 year plan and projected budget but that's a reasonable length of time for dealing with the effects global warming. Throwing money at a problem that might not even exist, might not be curable, or create a cure that is worse than the disease is foolish. Thankfully at least our president and U.S. senate were bright enough to recognize the huge boondoggle called Kyoto and unanimously rejected it. DaveScot
One other thing...Boy you have a lot of faith in the Army Corps of Engineers! I have several friends who work for them out in California and they are nowhere near as optimistic as you are as far as flood control in the face of climate change is concerned. Don't get me wrong, I have a lot of respect for the Army Corps but they are not a bunch of super-heroes that will save us from every possible flood (see Katrina). Yes...flood control reservoirs are built to control floods but every reservoir (just like every levee) has a designed performance limit. Right now those limits are based on the assumption that climate (and therefore streamflow) is stationary, which it's not. The hydrology community is working very hard to change that mentality but the statistics get a lot more challenging after you get rid of the stationary assumption. egbooth
I guarantee a majority of your readers did not see your comments as 'tongue-in-cheek'. I bet they cried out to themselves, "Oh my! That DaveScot nailed those liberal-secular-climate alarmists! No way global warming is happening!" I agree that a lot of people tend to exaggerate the link between specific events and global warming but as the ol' saying goes, Dave, two wrongs don't make a right. egbooth
Egbooth I was very careful to say crop production benefits from increased CO2. Crops are, if needed, artificially irrigated and fertilized so while those might be limiting factors for uncultivated plants they are not the limiting factors for cultivated plants. Neither did I claim that increased agricultural output would work as a carbon dioxide sink. I only claimed that agriculture would become more efficient and fresh water more abundant. Those are well established facts. Of course I noted the record breaking cold and snow with my tongue firmly in cheek. I was in fact mocking the environmentalist whackos who hopped on the Katrina is a result of global warming wagon and who point to a few decades of possibly increasing global average temperature as evidence of manmade global warming. One thing is for sure though, record cold and snowfall doesn't help make a case for global warming. As for more severe precipitation events from a more rapid water cycle, that's what flood control reservoirs are for. They capture that excess precipitation for use when needed. As someone who's suffering the 19th month of a drought I'm here to say I was wishing the global warming alarmists were right about increased hurricane activity because south central texas could sure use a hurricane remnant or rainbands to push inland here. Katrina and Rita didn't give us one extra drop here and this hurricane season, needless to say, didn't either. I almost forgot to mention... the timed release of stored floodwaters is used to generate electricty. Another benefit of a faster water cycle. DaveScot
And by the way, it's 65 degrees in Austin right now, 20 degrees below normal for this time of year. DaveScot
All time record (at least in 137 years of record keeping) for October snowfall in southwestern Ontario and western New York State (where I grew up). 300,000 without electricity in Buffalo according to my mom who I just got off the phone with. She didn't get any snow 60 miles se of Buffalo but it's below freezing at this moment which is pretty unheard of for mid-October. http://www.canada.com/topics/news/national/story.html?id=6ed35449-b3a3-4ff0-b2a7-e20577bf96c6&k=91002 If this is global warming we don't need any global cooling. DaveScot
DS, Oh, c'mon...are you honestly saying that this short-term unusually cold weather in the midwest turns global warming into a hoax? Gimme a break. That's the same logic used by wanna-be climatologist Pat Robertson when he admitted that global warming was real just because his hometown was really hot this past summer. You should know that climate research is based on long-term trends not little blips here and there. Nice try. You make these potential problems due to global warming seem like cake for our civilization. If you are familiar with our recent history, our society has been dreadfully bad at adapting to a changing environment. Katrina is a good example. So all we have to do is just move up to the Northwest Territories next to the melting glaciers and we'll have plenty of water, eh? Sure. No problem at all. And excuse me...we don't know anything about how much sea-level rise will occur? Well, I think we have plenty of research on the rate of sea-level rise in the past 50 years to base a pretty good guess from. Check out: Church et al. 2004, Estimates of the regional distribution of sea-level rise over the 1950 to 2000 period, Journal of Climate (17) for starters. And yes, there is uncertainty with the numbers given (which is specifically addressed) but to claim that we have no idea how much and when is untrue. We can't just be so cavalier and naive about this issue. We have to admit that we are ill-prepared for the estimated changes in our climate and the re-distribution of natural resources and start educating people on how best to adapt. Also, a few corrections: 1) You said, "A warmer world will speed up the water cycle causing more precipitation which again is a boon to agriculture." Once again, you turn a complicated issue into a black and white one. It's not that simple, Dave. For instance, increasing intensity of the water cycle can also mean more extremes, like flooding. Check out: Milly, P. C. D., R. T. Wetherald, et al. (2002). "Increasing risk of great floods in a changing climate." Nature 415(6871): 514-517. 2) You said, "Higher CO2 levels means crops grow faster..." WRONG! Only if CO2 is the limiting factor for plant growth, which is very rare! Plant growth is almost always limited by nutrients or water. Also, new research at the molecular level by scientists at UCSD goes against your over-generalization. http://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/newsrel/science/sCO2plants.asp However, I do agree with you that dwindling supplies of fresh water is a major crisis but rising sea level and other global warming effects will also be major headaches that will compound our problem with water supply. egbooth
Today was earliest snowfall ever recorded in Chicago and Detroit. http://cbs2chicago.com/local/local_story_285064105.html http://freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061013/NEWS05/610130326/1007 DaveScot
What you seem to be forgetting here is the enormous cost of shifting cities and people inland with rising sea-level. I can't forget what I never knew. I don't know how much it costs to shift cities and people inland. To know that one has to know which cities need to be moved and when they need to be moved by. Compounding not knowing when and how much sea level might rise is not knowing if or how much it would be slowed down by any given reduction in fossil fuel emissions. The economic impact of reduction of greenhouse gas emissions will be felt but no one knows the magnitude of that either. There are benefits to global warming too. Vast expanses of frozen wastelands will become arable land for agriculture. Meltwater from otherwise useless icepack will fill new and existing freshwater lakes, rivers, and aquifers with badly needed irrigation water. A warmer world will speed up the water cycle causing more precipitation which again is a boon to agriculture. Higher CO2 levels means crops grow faster and plants in a higher CO2 environment transpire less water helping the dwindling freshwater supply for agriculture even more. Lower ocean salinity means desalinization works more efficiently making that a more viable option for particularly arid regions. We're either in the middle of or near the end of an interglacial period (10,000 years since last ice age with interglacials lasting between 10,000 and 30,000 years). For all we know the greenhouse gas emissions caused by mankind might be postponing the next ice age. Glaciers covering a major fraction of the earth's land would cause vast economic and agricultural hardship too. Much worse hardship than global warming as ice ages lock up vast quantities of fresh water in useless ice packs and cover arable land with an ice sheet effectively removing it from agricultural use. A shrinking supply of fresh water is the worst climate-related crisis we are facing and unlike global warming it's a huge problem in the present and immediate future not some hypothetical problem with rising sea level centuries in the future. DaveScot
DaveScot, What you seem to be forgetting here is the enormous cost of shifting cities and people inland with rising sea-level. Our technology is pretty good but even that task will be devastatingly expensive. We're not a nomadic culture, DS. Our cities, our infrastructure is completely dependent upon the assumption that our climate and natural resources stay constant. When climate changes (the reason is irrelevant), the redistribution of natural resources will be our biggest problem. Case in point: Almost the entire west coast depends upon the snowpack in the Sierra and Cascade mountains. What do you think will happen when the temperature goes up?...Yes, you guessed it, less snow. Precipitation events will be much more rainfall-driven than today...which means more flooding in the winter and much less streamflow in the summer (i.e. more droughts). This phenomenon is being studied by the best and the brightest in California right now and it does not look too hopeful if temperatures continue their rise. So what to do? We need to really start thinking more about adaptation to a changing climate as opposed to just trying to "stop" global warming. Some of the solutions are the same, like conserving energy, but other issues like natural disaster readiness are also very important. But by far our most important topic that will be coming to the table more and more in the coming years will be water resources. egbooth
OK, check this out, now we have Nuremberg type trials proposed for the subversive elements. http://epw.senate.gov/fact.cfm?party=rep&id=264568 So, where does this all end? Are we not permitted to hold various opinions and views? Why don't we just establish Big Brother to monitor all of our thoughts, lest we ever question the party line? Ekstasis
Dharmabum More than 8 years have passed. So what? The history of the planet didn't change, it was pencil whipped. You pointedly ignore the recent findings from core sediments that even at CO2 levels five times the current levels the tropics remained liveable and vast expanses of frozen tundra became lush forests. There was no runaway greenhouse that turned the earth into a boiling wasteland devoid of life even at CO2 levels that we can't possibly reach by burning fossil fuels. If, and that's a big if, average global temperatures increase it will cause a rise in sea levels making many of the coastal cities uninhabitable while at the same time making inland cities into the new seashore resorts for the rich and famous. I wouldn't plan on needing to move inland anytime in the near future. Meanwhile, vast expanses of uninhabitable frozen wastelands will become greenbelts. I wouldn't start investing in land in Siberia quite yet either. The bottom line remains an economic question. Is it less expensive to hobble the global economy now by draconian efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or simply deal with the effects of global warming if and when they happen. Until that question can be answered with reasonable certainty it's going to be business as usual and the latter option wins by default. As to your one unverified claim that a physicist signed the petition for unsound reasons. Great. Only 16,999 signatures to go. Get busy. DaveScot
Mike1962 I fondly remember the Y2K brouhaha. :-) I was working at Dell and it was like manna raining down from heaven beginning in 1998. We played it up for all it was worth. All our big customers started systematically replacing their PCs and servers with "Y2K compliant" boxes in 1998. I switched from being a buyer to a seller of Dell stock late in 1998 in anticipation of the inevitable slump in sales. I retired a bare month after the millenium rollover. The stock price six years later is still only half what it was in 1999. I wonder if there's a "Global Warming" stock fund that focuses on companies that are profiting from the global warming scare. Now might be a good time to short it. Personally, I've always been more worried about what's going to happen when the Maya Calendar expires in 2012. DaveScot
Research Review of Global Warming Evidence Below is an eight page review of information on the subject of “global warming,” [...] Frederick Seitz Past President, National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A. President Emeritus, Rockefeller University Paper: Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide
The paper is dated January 1998. More than eight years have passed, and the full NAS -- not just a past president -- has issued a consensus statement that human activity is causing global warming. I know somebody who signed the "no global warming" petition. He was an arrogant physicist who never reviewed the data, and who thought that by dint of his superior intellect and superior education he could pronounce on a hot-button topic he knew little about. Oh, and he incidentally had a lot of money invested in a company that used CFCs to clean the hulls of U.S. navy vessels. DharmaBum
John Davison is no longer with us due to abusive personal emails sent to me by him. DaveScot
What part of ” I’ll let you have the last word” do you not understand? The part where it's your words that appear last. DaveScot
What part of " I'll let you have the last word" do you not understand? John A. Davison
Over 17,000 scientists agree with me: http://www.oism.org/pproject/s33p357.htm
Explanation Listed below are 17,200 of the initial signers During the past 2 years, more than 17,100 basic and applied American scientists, two-thirds with advanced degrees, have signed the Global Warming Petition. Signers of this petition so far include 2,660 physicists, geophysicists, climatologists, meteorologists, oceanographers, and environmental scientists (select this link for a listing of these individuals) who are especially well qualified to evaluate the effects of carbon dioxide on the Earth's atmosphere and climate. Signers of this petition also include 5,017 scientists whose fields of specialization in chemistry, biochemistry, biology, and other life sciences (select this link for a listing of these individuals) make them especially well qualified to evaluate the effects of carbon dioxide upon the Earth's plant and animal life. Nearly all of the initial 17,100 scientist signers have technical training suitable for the evaluation of the relevant research data, and many are trained in related fields. In addition to these 17,100, approximately 2,400 individuals have signed the petition who are trained in fields other than science or whose field of specialization was not specified on their returned petition. Of the 19,700 signatures that the project has received in total so far, 17,800 have been independently verified and the other 1,900 have not yet been independently verified. Of those signers holding the degree of PhD, 95% have now been independently verified. One name that was sent in by enviro pranksters, Geri Halliwell, PhD, has been eliminated. Several names, such as Perry Mason and Robert Byrd are still on the list even though enviro press reports have ridiculed their identity with the names of famous personalities. They are actual signers. Perry Mason, for example, is a PhD Chemist. The costs of this petition project have been paid entirely by private donations. No industrial funding or money from sources within the coal, oil, natural gas or related industries has been utilized. The petition's organizers, who include some faculty members and staff of the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, do not otherwise receive funds from such sources. The Institute itself has no such funding. Also, no funds of tax-exempt organizations have been used for this project. The signatures and the text of the petition stand alone and speak for themselves. These scientists have signed this specific document. They are not associated with any particular organization. Their signatures represent a strong statement about this important issue by many of the best scientific minds in the United States. This project is titled "Petition Project" and uses a mailing address of its own because the organizers desired an independent, individual opinion from each scientist based on the scientific issues involved - without any implied endorsements of individuals, groups, or institutions. The remainder of the initial signers and all new signers will be added to these lists as data entry is completed.
I'm not dismissing this at all, John. That's why I wrote the article. I consider the global warming hysteria to be unfounded and dangerous. The reaction to the fear mongering has the potential to really disrupt economic growth, cause lowered living standards, and the death of uncounted millions or billions in places where living standards are already abysmal. I take bad science propagated by liberals and academic elites very seriously. This is the second biggest hoax next to Darwinism and possibly first biggest in potential to cause damage. President Bush and a 95-0 vote in the U.S. senate to reject Kyoto saved us but the threat of Kyoto or something else like it is still real as long as people wrongly believe that rise in atmospheric CO2 is catastrophic. DaveScot
Another opinion:
Letter from Frederick Seitz Research Review of Global Warming Evidence Below is an eight page review of information on the subject of "global warming," and a petition in the form of a reply card. Please consider these materials carefully. The United States is very close to adopting an international agreement that would ration the use of energy and of technologies that depend upon coal, oil, and natural gas and some other organic compounds. This treaty is, in our opinion, based upon flawed ideas. Research data on climate change do not show that human use of hydrocarbons is harmful. To the contrary, there is good evidence that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide is environmentally helpful. The proposed agreement would have very negative effects upon the technology of nations throughout the world, especially those that are currently attempting to lift from poverty and provide opportunities to the over 4 billion people in technologically underdeveloped countries. It is especially important for America to hear from its citizens who have the training necessary to evaluate the relevant data and offer sound advice. We urge you to sign and return the petition card. If you would like more cards for use by your colleagues, these will be sent. Frederick Seitz Past President, National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A. President Emeritus, Rockefeller University Paper: Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide
I will be happy to accept your last word on the subject with the understanding that nobody knows a darn thing about the long term significance of the recent and continuing rise of atmospheric CO2, on a per annum basis, apparently the most rapid in history. I also feel that the tide is turning with respect to global warming and its potentially drastic effects. It most certainly should not be simply dismissed as of no consequence. I see no correlation whatsoever between Darwinism and global warming or any other aspect of man's effect on his environment. I am only showing concern about a phenomenon about which very little is known with certainty. "A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable." John A. Davison John A. Davison
John Higher atmospheric CO2 increases plant growth. You seem to be implying that lower CO2 increases plant growth. On your previous comment about CO2 levels increasing because of human activity. So what? The hoax isn't man is increasing Co2 levels. He is. The hoax is that it's causing a problem. If anying it's beneficial in higher crop yields. There is no correlation between increased CO2 and increased temperatures. Only computer models predict that effect. Actual average global temperature measured in the troposphere, which is more reliable than surface measurements which are confounded by man-made "heat islands", has been decreasing since 1978. The computer models used since that time are very, very wrong. I suspect the people who made those models are the same ones who made the models that "prove" Darwinian evolution is true. Please look at (at least) the historic temperature graphs from this website: http://www.oism.org/pproject/s33p36.htm You might also want to read the analysis of crop yields as a function of atmospheric CO2. Crop yields have been rising along with rising atmospheric CO2. I wonder how many more people will starve if we stop it from increasing and/or reverse it? DaveScot
http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Exploding_Stars_Influence_Climate_Of_Earth_999.html Reduction in cosmic ray penetration into atmosphere, caused by the strong magnetic field, reduces low cloud cover, which will increase temperatures. I am not sold on global warming by a long shot, but even if you could get me there, facts like this make it increasingly difficult to think man has anything significant to do with it and can do even less to change its course. EdH
The Darwimpian gossips over at "After The Bar Closes" are ridiculing me these days for claiming that CO2 can be the limiting fact0r for plant growth. Since I am banned from posting there I will respond here. It has been EXPERIMENTALLY established that with sufficient light, water and mineral nutrients that CO2 IS the limiting factor for plant growth. How does that grab you? I bet it smarts some doesn't it? I certainly hope so! That is why it is very important that we stop destroying the tropical rain forests which are one of the primary sinks for the CO2 that we are generating with industry and automobiles. not to mention a monoculture of 7 billion humans, another 7 billion chickens and billions of other various edible animals. Whether we like it or not and no matter what we think about it, if the CO2 levels increase as they are at annual rates higher than any previously known in the history of the planet, global warming will follow. I am convinced it already has. If others are going to ignore hard cold facts and assume that we can't do anything about it, then don't expect me to remain silent because I will not. There are huge areas in the temperate and tropical zones that could be used to grow sources of sugar for fermentation and the production of ethanol as a substitute for fossil fuels. Brazil has already done as much. This could simultaneously solve both our dependence on foreign oil and potential global warming, the melting of the polar icecaps and all the other effects that will undoubtedly ensue of we do not reverse the obvious trends which I have documented in my last message. We are dealing here with a fundamental aspect of the physiology of the earth. We have drastically upset the balance of Nature and to treat it with cavalier nonchalance is a serious mistake. Sugars are already half oxidized which means that they burn far more cleanly than any highly reduced fuels like gasoline or diesel oil which are terrible pollutants of the atmosphere. Try riding a bicycle behind a city bus as I used to do if you don't believe me. After all it is glucose that is our fuel isn't it? When humans are forced to burn their fat they have bad breath because it is very difficult to completely oxidize fat and some of the products are bad smelling ketones and aldehydes. Water deprived camels have hideously bad breath for the same reason. You see what I mean? Glucose is the answer! It is hard to believe isn't it? "The one thing we learn from history is that we don't learn from history." anonymous (I think) "A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable." John A. Davison John A. Davison
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