Friday, December 28, 2007

Call Al Gore! We have global cooling here in Humboldt!

This has been a cold December. We hit a record low a few days ago and it looks like more cold is heading our way. And we did not seem to have a sweltering summer either. Where can I sign up for this global warming stuff?

64 comments:

Anonymous said...

don't bother,plenty of lemmings in line already

mresquan said...

Move to Antarctica,it may be warmer.

The Boy Most Likely to ... said...

There was a sports talk radio show host who said the same thing. A year ago it was very cold on the east coast, and he said that if this was Global Warming, let's have more of it.

-boy

Fred said...

Yes. It's been too cold for too long this last couple months. I was wondering if it was at least some short term record as far as nights where temperature went below 40?

Fred said...

Esquan wrote "Move to Antarctica,it may be warmer.".

I don't know about that. A few days ago, Ed Denson (who's coming back from Antarctica now, I assume) mentioned on his blog that it was 36 degrees there during the daytime.

Anonymous said...

The change in the global weather means that we will see more extremes in the weather. Expect more volatile weather over the next decade(s).

theotherme said...

9:36,
elaborate please.....and include geologic time in your conversation

Rose said...

Check this out - http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/hotgreen.htm

COLUMBUS , Ohio -- Scientists have discovered what they think may be another reason why Greenland 's ice is melting: a thin spot in Earth's crust is enabling underground magma to heat the ice.

They have found at least one “hotspot” in the northeast corner of Greenland -- just below a site where an ice stream was recently discovered.

The researchers don't yet know how warm the hotspot is. But if it is warm enough to melt the ice above it even a little, it could be lubricating the base of the ice sheet and enabling the ice to slide more rapidly out to sea....

Carson Park Ranger said...

Gosh, there's no reason to believe that our industry and automobiles have any effect on the earth's thin atmosphere.

Eureka Observer said...

First of all as pointed out by anon 9:36 Global Warming is not necessarily local warming, it is climate change, and the most likely outcome is more extreme weather, which implies some places get drier an hotter, and others become colder and wetter. Or for that matter a local spot could simply experience warmer summers and colder winters, which might well be what is happening here.

And trying to suggest a "hot spot in Greenland"is somehow more important than all those carbon dioxide emissions seem to me to be a clear case of misdirection. Or was there some other reason for slipping that zinger in here in a thread about climate change?

theotherme said...

humans have only increased the level of CO2 output on earth by around 35%. the main contribution of CO2 to the atmosphere is made by volcanoes. scientists estimate that the earths atmsphere contained 50 times more CO2 a few hundred million years ago...luckily plants evoloved and the oceans filled up, acting as sinks for the CO2....
relax people, the earth has buffers...

the atmosphere is made up of .03% CO2.....the specific heat capacity of CO2 is basically the same as O2 or N2.....i dont buy the theory of "absorption of infrared light" personally...what is it about CO2 that would trap heat?? .......

by the way, a warmer world would be a better one for the biology on this planet...biological diversity always increases with temperature increases...as one moves towards the equator the biological diversity as well as biological density increases dramatically...

sure, sea levels will rise..they have been rising for the last 10ooo years...water is continually being added to the earth through volcanoes and comets....in a billion years or so, the earth will be covered in 100% water...which is OK since life evolved out of the water anyways...

maybe we should have gone back to the oceans when the dolphins and whales did....

Carson Park Ranger said...

The creation science folks sound so sciency too, don't they?

Anonymous said...

You're finally right about something Carson. It is belief. Your belief,the religious revival of the new millenium Enviro-mental-ism. Joy of all joy's your come to Jesus call Global Warming is proof certain, to you, of your belief.

theotherme said...

huh? i didnt understand that last post.....

carson, are you saying that im a creationist? ive got a science degree and i dont believe in the supernatural..

EkoVox said...

Um....will they shorten the description of the Greenland hot spot for our youth abbreviated society to become just "The G Spot"?

Anonymous said...

The earth has been going through cycles like this for billions of years. Anyone who thinks the earth is only a few thousand years old is stupid. There is no way to prove whether what man is doing makes any difference, and in the end, it won't matter anyway, because the earth will have the final say, and mankind will be erased in a blink of the cosmic eye.

theotherme said...

8:51,
thank you. you summed up my point for me........

nature bats last!!! humans have large egos, we think that the earth revolves around us...

what did that too us? heres what i think:
evolution made humans be fearful and resourceful creatures. THEN came along the idea of an everasting life(reigion). belief in an afterlife has made humans less fearful of death, which has in turn boosted the egos of modern humans.....hence, the idea that WE control the universe...

i wish that more peope would get and out explore the world to see how big it really is. with the falling dollar, im afraid that the next generation of americans will miss out on seeing the world like the last few generations were able to enjoy..

Eureka Observer said...

"theotherme" engages in some pseudoscience and the line about biodiversity is not relevant because that change requires a very long time, and the other problems are relatively short term. Plus there is nothing to support the statement "warmer world would be a better one for the biology on this planet". Most scientists think otherwise. And one form of "biology" that is predicted to increase is disease. Not all increases are beneficial.

But the rest is spot on. Nature does indeed bat last. Is is just not the atmosphere we tinkering with, but everything else...runaway population growth, eradication of species, depletion of fossil fuels, trashing our oceans, etc. We think are so special, but in a way we are own worst enemy, and humankind should probably be on the endangered species list...not that any other critter on the planet would care.

theotherme said...

1:17,
i would recommend reading any number of books on biodiversity. the book that first laid out the concept of "more biodiversity at the equator" to me was written by EO Wilson. it is called the "diversity of life"...fascinating book that is still used at local colleges...

the fact that most of the biodiversity occurs at the equator seems to be a universal sentiment...a quick google search brought up tons of sites saying the same thing.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biodiversity#Distribution

Biodiversity is not distributed evenly on Earth. It is consistently richer in the tropics and in other localized regions such as the California Floristic Province. As one approaches polar regions one generally finds fewer species.

thats your definition of psuedo-science? i understand that bioogy isnt as cut and dry as chemistry or physics, but this issue seems to be put to rest by scientists..

Eureka Observer said...

I am sorry about the psuedoscience crack. I was really only bothered by the volcano part. To use an analogy...if you were six feet tall and standing in a lake 5 feet 8 inches deep, the water would only have to rise 4 inches to drown you.

Sure volcanism tosses lots of CO2 into the atmosphere, but the it the additional portion added by humans that promises to create the rapid temperature change we seem to be experiencing and the possible dire consequences.

I happen to love E.O. Wilson and "Diversity of Life" is indeed a great book, but a newer tome by him called "The Future of Life" is a lot more hard hitting and of course controversial. It should be must reading for everyone. It is in here he argues that species eradication has major implications for ALL life on earth.

theotherme said...

observer,
heres my probem with your stance.....you seem to think that humans have the power to control the atmosphere....we have been coming out of an ice age for 10ooo years. there is NO POSSIBLE way that humans could or would ever want to reverse such change.......

again, there is .03% CO2 in the atmosphere. saying that one almost undetectable gas is resposible for heating the entire atmosphere goes agasint the laws of thermodynamics.

i need more evidence before i start building a spaceship to move my family to mars. im skeptical about scaremongers, especialy ones trying to sell carbon credits...im as eco-groovy as they come, but thats how i see it...

Eureka Observer said...

Well we could argue this until the cows come home, and you are correct about very small amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (.03%). However it is just that fact that there is so little of it, that makes the impact of human activity so dramatic. I believe the estimate is that since the dawn of the industrial age the percentage has gone up about 33% and is rising now at a much faster rate. A little bit makes a lot of difference as I understand this, and again if I follow this correctly it take a very long time to remove any excess.

I am not crying "Chicken Little". I only think that when the potential consequences might be so drastic, we should pay a great deal of attention to what scientists tell us. I am not so naive as not realize that sometimes scientists are drastically wrong, nor am I blind to the notion that sometimes things get hyped so someone can sell you something (like carbon credits), but during the past five years I have read quite a few books and papers on this. I tend to think we are in trouble. And actually the thing that worried me the most is species eradication which I why I mentioned E.O. Wilson's "The Future of Life", which in layperson terms set forth his argument about what the implications of this might be. We may find a way to deal with rising sea levels, climate extremes, disease, loss of fossil fuel, the population bomb, but the loss of half the worlds species in a hundred years (which is actually possible), could upset the balance of nature so badly the whole house or cards we call "life on earth" and this house could come tumbling down. Seem like the prudent thing to do is to be careful, very careful.

In any case it has a been a lively discussion, and I only wish it was over on Fred's Blog, where seems to think any discussion of Climate Change is a plot by the Democrats to seize power.

Well its off to celebrate the end of 2007 and hope that 2008 is better, not worse.


Cheers.

theotherme said...

observer,
to be fair, the earth's atmosphere contained over 50 times the current concentration of CO2 a few hundred million years ago.......

the oceans and the organic matter(incuding ourselves) are carbon sinks that store CO2.....we as humans store much more carbon in our bodies by weight than we will ever release as CO2 through respiration.......

im sorry, but i just dont buy the argument that the level of CO2 at .03% is just fine, but .04% CO2 is catastophic to the planet? hard to believe....the planet is too big, with too many buffers...

Carson Park Ranger said...

Theotherme can wave his "science degree" around all he wants to, but my point was that to dismiss global warming with condescending drivel ("...you seem to think that humans have the power to control the atmosphere...") is indeed to resemble the creationists who believe that scientists have all somehow fallen into line with some sort of magically coercive "political correctness."

Anonymous said...

"The planet is to big with too many buffers..."

Interesting arguments going on here. Positive feed back loops come into play with rising temperatures - less snow and ice to reflect sunlight = earth surface and low level atmosphere temps to rise which causes spring to start weeks earlier and winter to begin weeks later at far northern latitudes causing more snow and ice to melt each year. Melting permafrost is releasing millions of metric tons of hydrogen into the atmosphere which is 70 times more efficient at trapping heat as co2. Sometime in the future, melting hydrogen sulfite produced in the ocean floor at the continental/ocean plate boundaries could overwhelm the lower atmosphere and cause massive die off as has happened in the past. I have come across one science article where research indicates ocean surface levels - top fifty feet - have reached co2 saturation because it takes years for co2 to sink through ocean thermal layers. The vegetation that colonized the earth several hundred years ago bear little in common with vegetation that adapted to today's atmospheric co2 levels. Carbon captured by those ancient plants is combined with much heavier oxygen atoms during combustion. We have left the ancient carbon cycle behind. Carbon credits are a bullshit political smoke screen designed to get us to point the finger at stupid lefty progs and scientists needing research funding instead of greedy multi-billion dollar energy companies. The difference between a nice climate and the ice age is a few degrees in average global temperature. The average temperature in the arctic has risen by eight degrees in the last thirty years. At this latitude climate change is hidden in more intense weather patterns. The pacific ocean acts to mask some of the intensity. But the Atlantic's gulf stream has lost forty percent of its energy which is effecting Europe's weather dramatically.

theotherme said...

carson,
who dismmissed global warming? ive known that we have been coming out of an ice age for over 30 years........i dont think that many people are debating whether or not the earth is warming..........

the silly debate that is being presented here is this: that temperature increase brings about loss of life....yet the fact remains that biological diversity INCREASES with temperature increase.

to think that the temperature will rise enought to kill off a significant part of the population in the next 100 years is ABSURD. we should be thinking about feeding starving people, getting health care to people, finding alternative energies, finding cures for diseases. if we are so concerned about this planet and the people on, then HELP the people on it...whats more important, worrying about sea levels rising 3 inches over the next 100 years, or people suffering NOW??? by the sound of the talk of americans these days, they would rather worry about the 3 inch rise and go watch american idol....

whining about the end of the world is not helping anything......ironic that no solutions have been made by the global warming crowd. maybe they are busy hiding in the closet from the boogieman...


when you start buiding your spaceship, ill get alarmed.

Anonymous said...

If the global warming crowd controlled how governments spend money - feeding starving people, getting health care to people, finding alternative energies, finding cures for diseases, and figuring out how to avert the coming population crash when available oil supplies come to an end- there would be less whining/more doing. Another billion people are added to the human population every 15 years - a feat not achieved in human history till 1850. The solutions needed will not be voluntary. Energy companies use their money to preserve the energy status quo. Governments pander to the interests of Wall Street - profits are better than ever, thanks. Loss of species is happening at an alarming rate due to habitat degradation and outright loss, which is due in large part to the human population explosion - which is tied to the "boon" of fossil fuels. Serious challenges need to be met in the next couple of decades. Large problems facing everybody cannot be solved individually. Our Government is seriously behind the curve... Unless forced population adjustment is it's goal.

Anonymous said...

Local economies are one direction we should be moving, especially in food production. Solar, wind, tidal, energy technologies would be exploited and improved to a much larger extent if incentives were not wasted on the coal and petroleum industries. Moving away from Middle Eastern oil should not include a plan to capture Middle Eastern oil fields. The Government should be open and not in the business of controlling public perception at the behest of Wall Street.

theotherme said...

i can agree with the last post, but for different reasons. the largest wealth transfer in the human history has been taking place the last 5 years. the high price of oil has left us sending TRILLIONS of dollars of our wealth to the middle east........i think we need to move away from fossil fuels for economic and national security reasons, not because the world is coming to an end.

Anonymous said...

You enviros sure have a lot of denominations in your religion.What I like most is your Hellfire and brimstone message.

Eureka Observer said...

Suggesting we should
a) Stop run-a-way population growth
b) stop species eradication
c) curb emissions
d) stop deforesting the planet
e) stop polluting the oceans
and so on

is not "hiding in the closet from the boogieman..." and is not "whining".

I find it interesting we seem to mostly disagree on the potential effect of global warming (which is fair because it is based on predictive analysis), but seem to agree on most everything else, or at least it appears that way.

You said "we should be thinking about feeding starving people, getting health care to people, finding alternative energies, finding cures for diseases."

Absolutely.

Anonymous said...

"Sure volcanism tosses lots of CO2 into the atmosphere, but the it the additional portion added by humans that promises to create the rapid temperature change"

What in the fuck have you been smoking?

Anonymous said...

Put that crack pipe down baby. The sky isn't falling only your blood sugar.

Anonymous said...

Overpopulation (see J-curve) will destroy the earth.

theotherme said...

the earth will just implode from the weight of so many fat ass humans or what?

Anonymous said...

I can't remember the source, but recently it came to my attention that the current human population is at two and a half times the earth's carrying capacity. Meaning that we are using resources at two and a half times the sustainable rate. Food production is not a problem, but food distribution is. In some third world countries food has to be imported to meet production shortages. Control of food distribution is at times used as a weapon, and sometimes there just isn't the resources to get it to people who need it. Fresh produce is shipped into this country from a lot of other countries. If there is ever a sudden prolonged shortage of petroleum it would have a devastating effect on the whole supply chain, from production where shortages of petroleum based fertilizer and insecticides would have a dramatic effect on quantity and quality, to distribution and price. Having locally grown food is some insurance and growing some of your own and raising a few chickens is too. There was a time, only a couple of generations back, town folk kept small flocks for eggs and meat. Not being alarmist, but that could happen again. Hopefully , the end of oil will be gradual enough so that everyone can adapt. The higher prices we pay for gasoline points to the fact that demand is beginning to outstrip production. At some point there will be shortages. Low income people will be the most vulnerable.

Eric V. Kirk said...

Rose - that is interesting! I look forward to the climatologist community's response.

Richard - I'm far from an expert on the subject, but colder winters in some places are actually a symptom of global warming.

Anonymous said...

Demand is outstriping production. It is manipulation not decline in reserves. Not yet,not for a long time. Price fixing and positioning will continue to pressure prices. To damn many people? Now we're on the real issue.

Anonymous said...

I hope you are right, 4:05. Though, I have read a number of articles that have made me stop and think. Off the top of my head, I will list some things that give me concern:

1) Over declared reserves by OPEC member countries so that they are allowed to make higher short term profits.
2) No major oil fields left to be discovered and exploited.
3) Most, maybe all, producing oil fields of significance are near or already beyond peak oil production and will produce significantly less with each passing year.
4) Economic growth of India and China are projected to double world demand for oil by 2024.
5) Oil producing nations and nations that own US debt demand payment in euros, at some future date, as a hedge against falling value of US currency.

I am not in panic mode, yet. I sometimes wonder that I'm not. I don't know if all the above oh-oh moments have served to desensitize me, or if it is the lack of concern displayed by everyone. Maybe they are better prepared.

samoasoftball said...

OK already! If we are experiencing colder winters it is because of global warming! Now I understand! Makes sense. (or does it?)

Anonymous said...

About as much sence as your HCDCC butt licking.

Anonymous said...

A good point was made by theotherme about increased biodiversity at the equator. Something that was pointed out to me about nearly 30 years ago - the equatorial region experiences a much higher yield of solar radiation that plants photosynthesize. It is the stored solar energy in plants that feeds directly or indirectly everything else that munches in order to survive. Everything living there had to adapt to the stifling heat and humidity, though.

Eureka Observer said...

And of course it it the equatorial regions where most of the deforestation is taking place. What do you think that does to biodiversity?

Anonymous said...

It has a disastrous effect. The Amazon River basin routinely floods over wide areas with the effect of leaching nutrients out of the soil. Tree farms planted by large forest industry companies on their clearcut land down there get harvested once, then the soil is depleted. There is a lot of timber poaching going on in Brazil. Rain forest is often replaced by cattle ranches. The big oil companies build roads into sensitive areas and experience little or no enforcement of environmental laws. The pollution they are responsible for is vile. The Exploitation is on going. Probably irreversible.

Anonymous said...

somebody, enroll these last two posters in a science class. ASAP!!!

Anonymous said...

Theotherme, if you truly have a science degree, you should know about the population j-curve.

theotherme said...

the population curve indicates the rate of growth for a particular country or for the world at large. the "j" curve that was mentioned can only exist without a limit to population size. i would argue that many many many limits exist in the world to limit the popuation of any organism.....

how can you be saying that all life as we know it will be decimated if the earth warms up 2 degrees over the next 100 years and AT THE SAME TIME say that population has no limits to the number of organisms that can survive.

lets start naming limits to population size while we are at it:

habitat(only so much exists, it is limited)

food

disease(not every organism will fight off every disease every time)

temperature(organisms have a very narrow range of temperatures that they can survive in)

earthquakes

war

meteors

volcanoes

who can name more?

Anonymous said...

There is a lot of speculation about how high the temperature might rise in the coming century. Self reinforcing feedback loops might make temperatures rise even higher in the next century. Usually when you read scientific projections, what is emphasized is the average. It is just not known what factors will come into play as average temperatures rise above human historic experience. Three inch ocean rise is nothing compared to a seven meter rise. The latest measured rate of ice melt in Greenland and western Antarctica is much higher than anybody expected. Melting mountain snow-pack is the source of drinking water for Peru. That source is expected to melt away by 2015. Imagine the impact. It has the potential to displace an enormous number of people - or worse.

anon5 said...

Theotherme, you rattle on and put words into my mouth (blog) that I did not say. Anyone who knows anything about population growth and the j-curve knows that the j-curve will eventually become an s-curve when the environment's carrying capacity is exceeded. A signifcant portion of the population will be eliminated in a massive dieoff and the population will fluctuate in smaller and smaller s-curves around the maximum carrying capacity value of the environment.

Perhaps someone else on this blog said that there is no limit to the j-curve, but it was not me, nor did I say that life as we know it will be decimated if it warms up 2 degrees.

What the maximum population is that the earth can carry is pure speculation. If we haven't already passed that number we are certainly close.

The one thing that you forgot to mention when listing things that limit population growth is perhaps the most improtant . . water.

So, get off your soap box, because you are not as smart as you think.

Anonymous said...

how can the earth be EXCEDING its carrying capacity if we are all alive?

and im all for "Self reinforcing feedback loops".....im gonna fire up my electric guitar and mess with them right now........

Anonymous said...

On the other hand, this has been an enjoyable discussion in which theotherme has been a major contributer. If everybody always agreed with each other, what would be the point. This has been fun. I hope the discussion can continue.

theotherme said...

4:31,
thanks for the thought. earth science has always fascinated me...



anon5,
i never said that i was smart. i just gave my two cents worth on the topic. if the fact that life may survive on earth in the future pisses you off that much, then kill yourself now.

Anonymous said...

The evidence that we are exceeding our carrying capacity may not be readily evident through casual observation. Here in the west we have the benefit of the world's resources. But, even here, in the land of plenty, there are people who go to bed hungry. Fresh water is in short supply in many parts of the world. World wide, hunger claims a life every twenty seconds. Every year, as forests are converted to crop land, more species are added to the endangered list. Changing weather patterns related to global warming have the potential to change rainfall patterns that cause crops to fail and loss of livestock - a disaster for those living on marginal land far from urban food distribution infrastructure. Global warming, whether assisted by human activity, or just part of a naturally repeating cycle can take one of two courses. Either swing rapidly back to an ice age in a repeat of history, or due to man's contribution of greenhouse gases, get increasingly warmer till we are all listening to your red hot guitar riffs in hell, 4:28.

theotherme said...

6:11,

kill yourself now. why put everyone through your personal agony? the scenario you gave sounds like it is straight out of the bible...is armageddon near?


i personally love the earth. i love the outdoors. i am continually amazed at the diversity and size of our planet. the whiners here who say that the earth is a shithole must not get out much....

Anonymous said...

Ouch! Discussing what is observable doesn't mean that I am suffering personal agony. But, measurable changes in the increasing rate of melt of ice and permafrost in polar regions and high elevation suggest that we can expect changes to sea levels, weather patterns, and temperature rise in this century that 15 years ago were not expected to happen for five hundred years. It's a subject worthy of discussion. Maybe not here.

theotherme said...

how about in a natural history class? or a climatology class?

i TRIED to have a scientific discussion. im sorry, but just saying that the sky is falling doesnt get very far with me......

Anonymous said...

"...just saying the sky is falling doesn't get very far with me..."

Did you understand the part about sun light, not warmer temperatures being responsible for greater biodiversity at the equator?

Dr. Jekyll, theotherme, Mr. Hyde

theotherme said...

9:12,
apparently not. care to elaborate?

samoasoftball said...

Anyways, it is cold.

Anonymous said...

Put simply, life on earth is carbon based. After hydrogen and oxygen in the form of water, carbon is the most common element in all living things. Carbon that existed originally as atmospheric co2. Carbon is the major building block of simple organic compounds that are at the base of every food chain. This is made possible by photosynthesis. The equator receives more solar energy than temperate regions. Arctic regions receive less than temperate regions. Heat does not drive biodiversity. Photosynthesis does. Greenhouse gases are responsible for capturing and reflecting heat back to earth. Plants capture solar energy in the form of organic compounds. More photosynthesis happens at the equator = more biomass = more diversity.

What do ya think, Mr.Hyde?

theotherme said...

we are in agreement on all points.....
if i was gonna nitpick anything, i would replace the word "greenhouse" in greenhouse gasses to the "atmospheric" gasses in the phrase about reflection....."greenhouse gases" and "global warming" have become such buzzwords....

Anonymous said...

I just checked with ExxonMoble, they like it!

eureka observer said...

I thought I was done here, but the comments on biodiversity bother me. Biodiversity (even on the equator) expands relatively slowly, and even if global warming expands the equatorial biomass it will take centuries for any meaningful increase in biodiversity to occur. Meanwhile we are causing the extinction of species to occur at a very rapid rate in a very short time. So any improvements (and these are very speculative anyway) in biodiversity are dwarfed by other activities, such as habitat destruction.

Anonymous said...

I do not believe global warming can expand biomass or diversity out from the equator. It is likely that a sudden reversal will put the earth back in an ice age. Core samples suggest that abrupt climate change from warm to ice age has happened in the past in as little as ten years. Even if that happens, there will be little temperature change at the Equator. American Paleo-Indians lived within a hundred miles of ice sheets that covered the northern tier of the US. But, they weren't growing corn. American Bison and the passenger pigeon are notable exceptions of abundance that were caused by Indian fire and their promotion of the growth of mast producing trees.