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Humans are Causing Global Warming

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the we-know dept.

Education 1342

Big_Al_B writes "A Times Online article discusses a new study comparing 7 million real world datapoints with several computer models of global warming. Each model had a possible cause associated with it." From the article: "It found that natural variation in the Earth's climate, or changes in solar activity or volcanic eruptions, which have been suggested as alternative explanations for rising temperatures, could not explain the data collected in the real world. "

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Indeed... (1, Insightful)

TrollBridge (550878) | more than 9 years ago | (#11713239)

"Nothing for you to see here. Please move along."

It's a good thing they have millions of years' worth of climate data to work with. Otherwise their computer models might be irrelevant.

Oh wait...

Re:Indeed... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11713261)

You mean like the fossil records going back billions of years?

Not millions, but here is 400,000 years worth (4, Interesting)

skintigh2 (456496) | more than 9 years ago | (#11713352)

Not that facts often change politics-based opinions.


Re:Not millions, but here is 400,000 years worth (4, Insightful)

Doesn't_Comment_Code (692510) | more than 9 years ago | (#11713420)

I'm suspicious when you saw we have 400,000 years worth of data. Perhaps you are referring to ice core samples? If you are, they offer very limited information (like % C02 in atmosphere) and are based on several assumptions. This data IS meaningful, but I would not say that we have 400,000 years of data. And I would not put data collected from ice cores on par with data recorded from weather stations in recent years.

Re:Indeed... (5, Insightful)

93,000 (150453) | more than 9 years ago | (#11713403)

Your point reminds me of idiots who get overly shook up over 'record highs', 'record lows', 'record snowfall'. . .

"OMG! Did you hear the Weather Channel guy? He said it's NEVER been this cold in February before! That's AMAZING!" -- like they're living a part of history.

Um, pretty sure it's been colder. And hotter. And wetter. And you name it. Just not that we're aware of.

Re:Indeed... (1)

Big_Al_B (743369) | more than 9 years ago | (#11713414)

Care to through some analysis or evidence around your assertion of irrelevance, or does evidence not factor into your "logic"?

Re:Indeed... (-1, Troll)

WidescreenFreak (830043) | more than 9 years ago | (#11713468)

Why is it that anyone who goes against the common, left-leaning attitude here on /. regarding politics or science is automatically branded with either "troll" or "overrated"? The parent is 100% correct! We have practically no climate data of any real value beyond a few hundred years or so, yet we're expected to just ooh and aah every time some simulation from some scientist comes across that purports exactly how climates change over eons.

Our own weather forecasters can't even get the weather correct 48 hours in advance most of the time (save for areas like the equator and extreme north/south, of course). Yet, we're supposed to believe that the climate can be accurately simulated for millions or billions of years by having a few hundred years of data and some simulations?

We're going to have global warming because the scientists so! Oh, wait! Just 30 years ago we were supposed to be entering a new ice age because the scientists said so!

Sailors from hundreds of years ago reported the unusually warm, Pacific waters hundreds of hears before the Industrial Revolution! Oh, wait! El Nino is actually being caused by global warming because the scientists said so!

An asteroid is going to slam into us in 30 years because scientists said so! Oh, wait! It's actually going to miss us by about 1 million miles because other scientists said so.

And now ... humans are the cause of global warming because some scientist said so, and the parent is a troll because some moderator said so. Oh, wait! ...

Flame Away! (3, Insightful)

stinerman (812158) | more than 9 years ago | (#11713241)

Both sides of the debate are too set in their thoughts that no amount of data will change their opinions.

Re:Flame Away! (5, Insightful)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 9 years ago | (#11713319)

Well, depends what kind of side are you talking about. If about scientists, i think the majority of scientists claim global warming is happening and it's likely to be caused by humans.

If you're talking about common people, well, it's mostly the fault of the media which covers the issue as if there would be two equal sides in the story.

Personally, i'm always willing to see facts, if they are facts for real, from both sides. It doesn't mean i'm going to accept those facts without challenging them.

Re:Flame Away! (5, Funny)

savagedome (742194) | more than 9 years ago | (#11713324)

Both sides are missing the point that George Carlin bought up and I have mentioned it previously. The Earth is warming itself up because it needs to get rid of us. We were here to deliver plastic and that need is satisfied already.

"The earth doesn't share our prejudice towards plastic...plastic came out of the earth, the earth probably sees plastic as just another one of its children...could be the only reason the earth allowed us to be spawned from it in the first place: it wanted plastic for itself, didn't know how to make it, needed us. Could be the answer to our age-old philosophical question...why are we here? plastic, assholes"

Re:Flame Away! (2, Insightful)

schtum (166052) | more than 9 years ago | (#11713349)

"The debate about whether there is a global warming signal now is over,
at least for rational people." (emphasis added)
Why do I get the feeling I'm going to be modded flamebait even though that's a direct quote from the article?

Re:Flame Away! (1)

mordors9 (665662) | more than 9 years ago | (#11713357)

And I don't think the public is going to be convinced one way or another as long as there appears to be such disagreement in the scientific community. I think the public has reached a point with the dueling experts (not just in this area, but in almost every area (look at court trials)) that they figure there is a group of scientists that will back any opinion out there depending on who is paying their bill. So they tend to just ignore all of them.

Re:Flame Away! (1)

Mark_Uplanguage (444809) | more than 9 years ago | (#11713398)

Agreed. So what if the scientists can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that humans have changed the climate of the world. That's not what will make policy makers change their ways. Wait for the rising tides, cancer rates, and whatever ill natured effects of global warming cause your voter district to move or die so that a politician won't get reelected, and THEN maybe some change will come about. The other option is for big business to lose enough customers that their forced to reduce emissions, but apparently there's not enough people willing to boycott every offending industry due to dependence, which means we're all just killing ourselves. Won't vote them out, won't put them out of business. Will suffer and complain actively!

Re:Flame Away! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11713493)

(Posting Anonymous because my views are unpopular)

Actually, I used to be firmly in the "Global Warming is hapenning, and we've got to stop it!" crowd. Then I read a well reasoned critique... think about it:

The dataset on weather we have is pitifully small in geographic time, and the initial results led scientists to believe we were undergoing global cooling. Maybe in 20 more years, we'll be smart enough (Or have a large enough dataset) to believe that maybe the changes have nothing to do with us, and are just cyclical.

Two, all of these models tend to leave something important out: The sun. We can't model its output very well, and the records of its output are, ironically, shady (Yes, that was a pun).

Three, as humans we're very emotional. We see icebergs calving, and there are people promoting a theory of global warming. Clearly the two are related, and this must mean we're heading for disaster! My point? Iceberg calving is very dramatic footage. It looks cool. And, most importantly, it gets on the news when we get some, along with the tag line about how scientists believe there's global warming. What happens if an icesheet adds a couple inches? Nobody cares.

Am I saying that global warming isn't happening? No. It very clearly is, and a very short term scale. The question, however, shouldn't be is global warming happening, it should be "is global warming happening on a long-term scale", and the only answer any of us can give on that is "I don't know". One of those known unknowns as Rumsfeld would put it.

The problem is that people are taking small datasets, extrapolating them into much larger ones, and announcing there's a problem. Yesterday, it was 21C/70F outside. Today it's 14C/57F. I can extrapolate from this that the earth is cooling at an incredible rate, and the data would firmly support this. Problem is there's a flaw in the logic behind it, and that's the problem with Global Warming research: People are making predictions without a large enough dataset to ensure that it's not just a short-term outlyier throughing off the result.

Solution (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11713245)

Let's kill off half the population.

Re:Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11713305)

Or better yet, hold all our farts in on alternating days. That way we can decrease the greenhouse gases we're releasing into the atmosphere.

Re:Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11713308)

Yeah, I agree.

We'll start with you

Final Solution to the ... Human Question? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11713358)

Sieg Hail Sieg Hail Sieg Hail (oh wait. that includes me.) Down with the environmental facists.

What shall we do? (1, Insightful)

TyfStar (747185) | more than 9 years ago | (#11713250)

What?! you mean humans might actually be destroying the earth?! We'll eventually kill ourselves?? NOOO!!! Oh, Cruel Fate!

Hmmm.. maybe what we need is more of those microbes from that last "industrial waste may be helping the planet" story..

In other news: pigs are flying... (-1, Troll)

tliet (167733) | more than 9 years ago | (#11713257)

It won't help much, no matter what real world evidence says, the Bush administration won't accept it anyway.

[Obvious] (0, Flamebait)

CerebusUS (21051) | more than 9 years ago | (#11713258)

Not that it will help. Remember, we need to give equal time to people who think this is caused by thetans.

This just in... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11713264)

Humans cause global warming.
Pictures at 11.

What about farting Cattle (2, Insightful)

DisprinDirect (755967) | more than 9 years ago | (#11713271)

Did the include the millions of farting cattle in this model? and what about Guinness drinkers? Are they covered?

Re:What about farting Cattle (4, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 9 years ago | (#11713359)

> Did the include the millions of farting cattle in this model? and what about Guinness drinkers? Are they covered?

Hey, just because it's Friday and some of us started drinking early doesn't mean we're responsible for global warming. Leave my cow orkers out of it!

No shit sherlock? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11713277)

404 File Not Found

The requested URL (science/05/02/18/1558239.shtml?tid=146&tid=14) was not found.

If you feel like it, mail the url, and where ya came from to pater@slashdot.org.

And... (3, Insightful)

gustgr (695173) | more than 9 years ago | (#11713281)

Despite that the US the has not signed the Kyoto treaty [yet].

Re:And... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11713404)

Why should we sign it when developing countries, like China, can continue to pollute? This would lead to even more outsourcing and have a detrimental impact on our economy.

And this is coming from a Kerry-supporting liberal.

Re:And... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11713472)

Because by cleaning up our own act we can then sell the "right to pollute" to those countries, forcing them to either pay for their deeds or clean up as well.

Or hey, we can ignore the whole environment thing, and continue to spew a disproportionate amount of crap into our ecology. We can always take over China or invade Europe when theres nothing left that can grow here in the US.

Re:And... (5, Insightful)

scmason (574559) | more than 9 years ago | (#11713444)

And that is really disgusting considering the fact that we are the worlds #1 producer of CO2. The response I heard to this yesterday was that we can't because it would cost us jobs if we had to slow down on energy consumption. Isn't it funny how the conservatives can selectively decide when they care about jobs? I mean, so what if IT jobs are being outsourced over seas, according to Bush during the debates, he will enact some programs to help us get retrained at 'community colleges'. !

Re:And... (4, Informative)

3waygeek (58990) | more than 9 years ago | (#11713467)

Actually, President Clinton signed the Kyoto treaty in 1998 [bard.edu]. However, under the US Constitution, all treaties must be ratified by a two-thirds vote of the Senate [senate.gov] -- no such vote has ever been scheduled, because there's not enough Senate support for the treaty.

In 2001, President Bush "withdrew" the US signature on the Kyoto treaty -- I have no idea if such a withdrawal is legitimate, not that it matters much.

Re:And... (4, Insightful)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 9 years ago | (#11713518)

Because global warming can only be stemmed through the wacky anti-US industry restrictions of the Kyoto Treaty?

Dude, being anti-Kyoto treaty doesn't necessarily make one anti-environment, although the media would have one believe so (It's in their best interests to dumb down complex issues into a 22-minute Captain Planet cartoon). Pull that Matrix-plug-thingie out of the base of your neck and do your own thinking on this one.

Humans cause... (2, Funny)

chia_monkey (593501) | more than 9 years ago | (#11713286)

Humans cause global warming? Get out! Next they'll say "humans cause polution" and other cockamany "problems".

Old news (5, Informative)

Pi_0's don't shower (741216) | more than 9 years ago | (#11713289)

Even the Bush White House has said over six months ago that humans are responsible for global warming [newscientist.com]. Unfortunately, there are many people who will refuse to let your overwhelming evidence influence their dogma...

Re:Old news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11713501)

Unfortunately, there are many people who will refuse to let your overwhelming evidence influence their dogma...

Unbelieving that the warming is just natural fluctuatingness is one of Al Quida's most terroristic strategories.
Geo^H^H^H A Patriotory Citizen

An idea (3, Interesting)

gowen (141411) | more than 9 years ago | (#11713291)

Before stating how you believe that Global Warming is a myth perpertrated by scientists after funding money, demonstrate your knowledge of the area by describing, briefly, the three of the following five things :

i) The propagation mechanism for Rossby Waves
ii) The primary sources of deep water formation in the Atlantic
iii) How a western boundary current is formed
iv) What Meddies are.
v) What a pycnocline is.

If you can't, you don't know anything about climate dynamics, and you're not smart, you're just recycling someone else's opinion.

Re:An idea (5, Informative)

Kenja (541830) | more than 9 years ago | (#11713401)

"If you can't, you don't know anything about climate dynamics, and you're not smart, you're just recycling someone else's opinion."

No, it just shows that you know how to use Google.

i) The propagation mechanism for Rossby Waves [soton.ac.uk]
ii) The primary sources of deep water formation in the Atlantic [usc.edu]
iii) How a western boundary current is formed [iugg.org]
iv) What Meddies are. [xs4all.nl]
v) What a pycnocline is. [noaa.gov]

Re:An idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11713453)

Reminds me of a Fark username.


Seriously, do 5 linked documents make a person an authority? What does? Formal education? Informal education? When am I 'allowed' to have an opinion on the matter?

Re:An idea (1)

DisprinDirect (755967) | more than 9 years ago | (#11713508)

What TRIPE! Must we fully understand something to have a falid opinion? I'm sure Socrates would have a view, but I really don't know him well enough to ask!

Don't be silly (2, Insightful)

FunWithHeadlines (644929) | more than 9 years ago | (#11713293)

Don't be silly. Those data points do not match the political talking points. Politics trumps science nowadays, so ignore this article. Put your fingers in your ears and hum loudly "America the Beautiful" until you forget this article.

Re:Don't be silly (1)

BrettJB (64947) | more than 9 years ago | (#11713487)

Hmmm hummmmm hm hm hm hmmmmmm hmm hmm....

It's not working. Can I stop now?

So, when do we get to stop debating the cause of climate change, and begin debating the steps we can take to stop causing it? It seems to me that an awful lot of time has already been wasted convincing a few people that it's really taking place.

Can't we just accept that there's a problem, and begin fighting like cats and dogs over the solution?

Newsflash (1, Insightful)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 9 years ago | (#11713302)

Animals living on earth cause changes in their environment in various ways.

Film at 11.

(Yes, yes, humans have the potential to cause *more* change in some respects. From transportation, thousands of years of farming, damming rivers, factories, and so on and so on. As cliche as this sounds, we do have the RIGHT to do things that might make changes - changes which can neither with any certainty be defined as "positive" or "negative" in the broad sense - to our surroundings. Should we go out of our way to destroy life, land, or air? Of course not. But, at the same time, we can't, and frankly shouldn't, have no impact whatsoever. So, once again, it's about THRESHOLDS, and is NOT a black and white discussion. But I think that this continued "HUMANS ARE CAUSING GLOBAL WARMING" agenda has taken on a life of its own...)

Re:Newsflash (3, Insightful)

Qrlx (258924) | more than 9 years ago | (#11713517)

You're being pedantic. The animals that place 2nd and 3rd behind man in terms of altering the environment are the dam-building beaver and the bush-stomping elephant. Man's changes the environment are many, many orders of magnitude greater.

I'm not sure where you get the idea that damming a river or strip mining or clear-cutting forest can't be defined as "negative" to our surroundings, but I'd like to know. Positive to man's economy, sure. But positive to the environment? Are you for real?

Do people in the US... (5, Insightful)

Sanity (1431) | more than 9 years ago | (#11713304)

...understand that most people outside the US view the refusal to accept that human activity causes global warming in much the same way that many within the US view the creationist argument against the teaching of the theory of evolution?

I mean, it isn't even a topic of debate outside the US, people accept it as fact.

Re:Do people in the US... (1)

Qrlx (258924) | more than 9 years ago | (#11713355)

Why should the Emipre care what those in the hinterlands think?

(Obviously, for many reasons, including it's own preservation, the Emipre should care. But that's the attitude I encounter.)

Re:Do people in the US... (4, Insightful)

Badgerman (19207) | more than 9 years ago | (#11713430)

As an Ameircan, I feel our culture has gotten more anti-intellectual and anti-scientific as of late (or pseudo-scientific). Intellectual analysis and science often come to unpleasant conclusions, especially those butting heads with cherished beliefs.

Also, frankly, people will throw money at a problem before dealing with the discoveries surrounding it. Thus many people don't take care of themselves, and end up paying higher medical bills, for instance.

Re:Do people in the US... (2, Interesting)

nuclear305 (674185) | more than 9 years ago | (#11713441)

"Do people in the US...understand that most people..."

It has nothing to do with what the people believe; it's what the government does.

If the current administration refuses to change their position on the matter; there's almost nothing the people can do about it for another 4 years.

I've accepted it as fact, and I doubt I'm alone on that...

I think the question I have is: "Do people outside the US realize that the US Gov't is not necessarily representative of the consensus of its people?"

News? This is the common view... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11713322)

...outside America. Everywhere.

For Americans, this is a natural phenomenon which the human explanation's only goal is to hurt the American economy.

Poor fools.

Re:News? This is the common view... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11713510)

I thought the Kyoto treaty was Europe's way of excusing their inefficient economic policies and forcing the US to succumb to European stagnation while giving China the advantage Europe needs to devalue the US currency further.

In addition, it gives a scientist a way of denouncing a political office without being political.

Every day... (1)

Reignking (832642) | more than 9 years ago | (#11713323)

It seems that every day we have someone coming out with a study that either affirms or denies global warming. Isn't there a scorecard to keep track of all of these?

Re:Every day... (1)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 9 years ago | (#11713455)

It seems that every day we have someone coming out with a study that either affirms or denies global warming. Isn't there a scorecard to keep track of all of these?

Independent scientists: 100% believe in global warming
Scientists paid by the oil industry: 100% say it's hokum.

Yes, it is hard to know who to believe.

Yeah Cool, (1, Insightful)

Starji (578920) | more than 9 years ago | (#11713327)

I just wished they had linked to the researchers or the academic paper. I have a hard time taking things in the news at face value, especially about something like this

(disclaimer: Yes, I know there is global warming, I'm just not sure it's all the humans' fault)

Well... (1)

Avyakata (825132) | more than 9 years ago | (#11713330)

I know we produce carbon-dioxide as a result of various...er...bodily functions, but that wouldn't be enough to change anything significantly.

...would it?

Kyoto (-1, Troll)

millwall (622730) | more than 9 years ago | (#11713331)

In light of these findings it's funny to see that the nation US, who refuses to agree to the Kyoto treaty (basically because of greed) is the same nation that feels that "western values" should be imposed on other countries.

Us being worlds greatest pollutor, it would be interesting to see how the rest of the world would look like if it would conform to this culture.

..er hang on a minute, maybe it wouldn't be so funny!

Global Warming and Economics (2, Insightful)

Yevda (859322) | more than 9 years ago | (#11713338)

Bush won't take a stand against our ability to pollute because of the difficulties it would have on our economy... Yet if we don't at least try to do something about it we won't be here to have an economy to worry about... So which do we choose? The economy or longer existance on this planet?

Re:Global Warming and Economics (1)

jwigum (813234) | more than 9 years ago | (#11713447)

Come on... That's like asking "The planet, or Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs?" I choose the chocolate.

The science behind global warming (essay) (3, Informative)

cmpalmer (234347) | more than 9 years ago | (#11713340)

http://www.crichton-official.com/speeches/speeches _quote04.html/ [crichton-official.com]

Interesting speech by Michael Crichton on whether global warming is science or politics and what the difference is. Highly recommended no matter what side you are on.

Of course, who wants to be on the side of ignoring or supporting the widespread destruction of the planet by humans? Therein likes the rub...

Re:The science behind global warming (essay) (1)

saintp (595331) | more than 9 years ago | (#11713478)

Of course, who wants to be on the side of ignoring or supporting the widespread destruction of the planet by humans?
James Watt.

Also, your link was broken [crichton-official.com] (extra trailing /).

Kyoto is only a start (5, Interesting)

Sgs-Cruz (526085) | more than 9 years ago | (#11713341)

The Kyoto protocol (Which I'm sure you've all read too much about over the last couple days) in my opinion is only a start. It'll reduce human-caused temperature forcing by something like 5% if fully implemented. Which of course is taken as an argument by many (read: a lot of the USA, and a lot of conservative/business types here in Canada) as a reason to not do anything.

It's funny when you read the articles arguing against Kyoto, though: they always end with "Kyoto is fatally flawed, and it'll cost too much to cut CO2, so we should wait to do it." Do you think it's going to be any easier to cut GHG emissions even more drastically in 10 years, just as we're realizing oil is getting more expensive and having to switch back to coal?

The funny thing about all of this is that Canada stands to make out really well. Our four-month growing season will probably become more like the American midwest's 6 -8 months, and our boreal forest ecosystem will shift to a St.Lawrence-Deciduous style forest, which is much more habitable for humans. Also we have a ton of oil here.

Of course, there's the problem of Prince Edward Island probably being under water by then. And oh yes, countries like Bangladesh or the Maldives which will be entirely under water if Antartica (i.e. Ross Ice Shelf) starts to melt. My view is that the best thing to do as an individual is a) bike to work (which I intend to do for the first time this summer), b) keep your house colder than you normally would, and c) evangelize energy efficiency. I don't really see that I can do anymore (aside from reading everything I can) as an just one person with no government connections.

Bike to work!!! (1)

MoxFulder (159829) | more than 9 years ago | (#11713516)

I've been biking to work winter and summer for about 1.5 years (it's easy here in the DC area). I go 5 miles each way and would happily do twice as much. Most of the time is spent on a peaceful trail and it's very relaxing and enjoyable, only takes me 20 minutes each way.

har har har (1)

ruxxell (819349) | more than 9 years ago | (#11713347)

i heard the same guys who did this study also revealed:

"guns don't kill people, i do"

ok wait maybe that wasn't that funny.

It's true. Humans ARE causing global warming... (1)

Joey Patterson (547891) | more than 9 years ago | (#11713362)

404 File Not Found
The requested URL (science/05/02/18/1558239.shtml?tid=146&tid=14) was not found.

If you feel like it, mail the url, and where ya came from to pater@slashdot.org.

My body temperature rose about .001 degrees Celsius each time I tried to reload the article and saw the preceeding text.

Says nuffin' (1)

thePjunisher (858667) | more than 9 years ago | (#11713363)

This article... and I stress _this article_ brings nothing new to the table. I would be interested in reading Dr. Barnett's actual study though.

A an interesting reversal... (4, Funny)

Ingolfke (515826) | more than 9 years ago | (#11713366)

Here's a hypothesis.

1. Global warming will result in colder temperatures in some currently heavily populated regions.
2. People tend to stay inside when it is colder.
3. Staying inside increases the likely hood of procreation.

Therefore, global warming will cause humans.

Re:A an interesting reversal... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11713500)

This is an excellent example of correlation not implying causation, and vice versa.

How do we know that it is not actually the rising global temperatures that are resulting in an increasing global population? Does this then imply that the next ice age will trigger a near-extinction ?

ok, we cause it... (1)

N3Z (746334) | more than 9 years ago | (#11713367)

The real question is how will the earth repond long term? That's a little harder to predict.

You are right .... 2 words: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11713370)

Butt gas

damn high-fat foods

The debate continues (0, Troll)

eclectro (227083) | more than 9 years ago | (#11713373)

from the article; "The debate about whether there is a global warming signal now is over, at least for rational people," said Tim Barnett

So I guess that means that the debate continues for president Bush.

Think "Big Picture" (1)

AKAJack (31058) | more than 9 years ago | (#11713375)

If you're over 30 years old think about how the world - just your tiny part of it - has changed since you were a kid.

There are many more humans on this planet, with little sign of a stable population anytime in the near future.

No one knows what "critical mass" is regarding population, but don't doubt for one minute that population control will be the "next big thing" at some point in the next 50 years.

Even if the planet itself can support more people think about the life you're living now and imagine even 25% more people crowded into "your" space.

Gentlemen, start your rhetoric (5, Insightful)

Badgerman (19207) | more than 9 years ago | (#11713378)

I'm sure once again we'll see more pointless deabate as opposed to thinking over the issues involved.

Me? I look at it this way. There's a lot of good information out there and a lot of experienced people have made very sober arguments about the issues of global warming. So, I give them credit, and figure that the efforts to reduce global warming, even if they do nothing, are unlikely to have a significant negative impact.

I'd say global warming appears to be one of those things like evolution . . . but I'd be right in more ways than one.

I do find it amusing to see people argue that a large number of experienced, intelligent, educated people are somehow irrelevant because some pundit shoots off his mouth. I'd like to start a talk show, then begin discussing how only egghead crackpots believe seatbelts save lives and that eating fried lard is unhealthy. I wonder how many people I could decieve into terribly unhealthy habits just by shooting my mouth off long enough.

Accurate weather simulations?? (3, Insightful)

Neff (859976) | more than 9 years ago | (#11713389)

I find it hard to believe that computer models can't tell me whether or not it will rain on Thursday, but can suddenly "absolutely nail" the predictions for temperature patterns of oceans.

Re:Accurate weather simulations?? (5, Informative)

0x461FAB0BD7D2 (812236) | more than 9 years ago | (#11713522)

Weather is not climate. Climate is based on long-term trends. Weather is unpredictable.

An analogy would be that if you flipped a coin once, you wouldn't be able to tell if it would end up heads or tails, but if you flipped it a thousand or a million times, you'd notice a general trend of 50-50.

km^2? (1)

cperciva (102828) | more than 9 years ago | (#11713409)

In a separate study, also presented to the conference, a team led by Ruth Curry of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Connecticut has established that 20,000 square kilometres of freshwater ice melted in the Arctic between 1965 and 1995.

Strange, I've always measured volumes in cubic metres, not square metres...

More seriously, does anyone have a clue what this "20,000 square kilometres of freshwater ice" is supposed to mean?

One of those dumb distinctions (1)

thelizman (304517) | more than 9 years ago | (#11713511)

Freshwater ice is ice collected from sources such as inland freshwater lakes and streams, or from precipitation. It distinguishes from ice formed out of salty ocean water. Ironically, ice in nature contains freshwater, so the distinction is quite misleading.

It doesn't help (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11713434)

When you associate your cause with politics, don't expect to impress people with how smart and right you are about global warming. I might actually buy what the wackos are selling, if it weren't for the million-and-one issues that come with the package of "environmentalism" by virtue of association.

Not us (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11713462)

I blame cows. Eat more beef.

Obviously they missed some data points (1)

eseiat (650560) | more than 9 years ago | (#11713470)

Because the amount of methane contributed to the atmosphere after "Burrito Night" at my house certainly needs to be accounted for and will undoubtedly be found as the sole cause of global warming.

Oh come on, a fart joke needed to be made! Laugh already.

What is the time scope of this study? (1)

SeaDuck79 (851025) | more than 9 years ago | (#11713475)

It would be interesting to actually read it, so we can determine whether the source data references a historically small slice of time or is able to be corroborated by looking back at past global warming events (like the ones between all of the ice ages we had before man). It would be too easy to make current data support a preconceived end point. I'm one of maybe the few that is still willing to make a conclusion based on data. I just haven't seen good data supporting the "Humans cause global warming" theory yet.

new study reveals the climate warming mystery? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11713492)

Dozens of computer clusters all around the world, simulating Earth in search for reason for global warming, have unfortunately failed. Researchers say: "We need more computing power, more computer clusters full of fastest CPUs to solve this mystery"

Captain Obvious? (1)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 9 years ago | (#11713494)

I was wondering where he had got to. Nice to see he is back and bringing us news!

Seriously though, I think the increasing extremes in climate are going to start convincing people faster than anything else. We've had clear mild (40s-50s) here in the NW when in the past its been nothing but nut numbing cold. A few more years of this and people will believe. Science might have been telling us this for years, but until the general population actually feels the effects, they won't believe it.

No shit sherlock. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11713513)

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