back to article Global-warming scientist: It's worse than I thought

A renowned global-warming scientist says the problem of global warming is much more serious than previously estimated. However, he also hints that there may be no need to fear catastrophic carbon-driven climate upheaval, as mankind will run out fossil fuels much sooner than presently estimated. James Hansen, chief of NASA's …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    I wonder

    Disclaimer: I haven't read this study, but I wonder if this guy has simply compared CO2 levels and glacier melting and completely disregarded all other variables.

    Doing "studies" this way can generate just about whatever result one wishes, but that doesn't make them true.

    Just have a look at statistics (http://www.venganza.org/about/open-letter/) showing that there is a clear connection between the number of pirates and global warming. (Those statistics are ofcourse true)

  2. Ferry Boat

    Please help

    I may be a bit simple but the article in The Guardian has him saying:

    "...when the world began to glaciate at the start of the Ice age about 35m years ago, the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere stood at about 450ppm."

    Then he says:

    "If you leave us at 450ppm for long enough it will probably melt all the ice..."

    Err... so it was at 450ppm when the ice formed but that same 450ppm is now enough to melt the ice. What is happening?

  3. Tom Silver badge

    Glug Glug!

    'A global cap at 350ppm would appear wildly unrealistic in diplomatic and political terms.'

    With New York and London underwater the politicians might think twice.

    But probably not!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Primary sources

    Those interested in more rigorous language than the front page of the Guardian offers can find primary sources here:

    "Target Atmospheric CO2: Where Should Humanity Aim?</a>" (Hansen et al)

    http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/2008/TargetCO2_20080317.pdf

    See also "Climate Change and Trace Gases" - Hansen et al (2007) :

    http://www.planetwork.net/climate/Hansen2007.pdf

    ...and whilst I'm posting links, here's a great Scientific American article on Antarctic ice-sheets' vulnerability to runaway breakup:

    http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=the-unquiet-ice

    And this is also interesting:

    "Tipping Elements in the Earth's Climate System" (Lenton et al)

    http://www.pnas.org/cgi/reprint/105/6/1786.pdf

    "skeptics", please go read up on well-known myths of global warming before posting the usual guff about volcanos, solar output, orbital variations, "how can we predict climate when we can't predict weather" and all the rest. If you've thought of something that falsifies the current understanding of climate's response to anthropogenic CO2 emisisons, either (a) much cleverer people than you already thought of and accounted for it long ago, or (b) there's a committee in Oslo who'd like to see your peer-reviewed papers, as they have a Prize waiting for you.

  5. Anne van der Bom

    @AC, I wonder

    "but I wonder if this guy has simply compared CO2 levels and glacier melting and completely disregarded all other variables"

    That's probably what you would do and therefore you expect others to do the same.

    Oh wait, you even admit it:

    "I haven't read this study"

    You are not an anonymous coward, but a lazy coward.

  6. Greg

    I don't understand why...

    ...people don't just go along with the climate change stuff anyway. Sure, the global warming theory may still be argued over, and parts or all of it may be crap, but how is reducing our dependence on limited fossil fuels a bad thing? How is pumping less crap into our air ever going to be a bad thing to do? I can't see a downside to finding and utilising alternative sources of energy that are cleaner and more efficient, apart from cost, which will obviously decrease as use of a given technology increases. We really need more investment in these technologies to get over the initial problems and start using them properly.

    Though it's rather ironic that halfway through me writing that, Winamp switched tracks to Jessica by the Allman Brothers Band (the theme to Top Gear, for the uninitiated).

  7. Sceptical Bastard

    Flee or laugh?

    "... probably melt all the ice - that's a sea rise of 75 metres."

    That's us completely fucked then. OMG!

    "...no need to fear catastrophic carbon-driven climate upheaval, as mankind will run out fossil fuels much sooner than presently estimated."

    Hoorah! We're saved in the same article!

  8. Kevin Patrick Crowley

    Why should anyone take the word of a congenital liar?

    Hansen has been cooking the "Global Warming" books for years. Every time he is forced to correct his alleged data he moves the the goal posts. As a paid associate of George Soros any pronouncement of his must be considered wholly a political statement for political purposes. There is no science involved.

  9. Ross Nixon
    Thumb Down

    Hansen's data magic

    More fudged data from James Hansen, if he is running to form. It's amazing that he can get away with hiding his data, using invalid data, and using invalid data manipulation for so long - and still be regarded as an expert! http://tinyurl.com/6gb4rx

  10. Gary F
    Stop

    Brrrr, it's snowing again!

    Snow at Easter and in April, officially the coldest Easter in 40 years. More like the coming of an Ice Age.

    Another NASA scientist released some findings in February that showed the polar ice caps have recovered to near normal levels. What’s most surprising is there is no mainstream media coverage of this in the UK or USA, but there is some in Canada. The Earth’s temperature dropped “significantly” between Jan 07 and Jan 08 according to this NASA scientist.

    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/mostread/s_555066.html

    To the north of Canada the ice covers 2 million sq km MORE than it did in the past 3 winters and is 10-20mm thicker than last year. In the Alps they’ve had the best ever snowfall for 20 years with the skiing season starting 2 weeks early.

    It's amazing how much money is being poured into GW research. No wonder "experts" ring the alarm bells every now and again to ensure the money keeps on coming. The political backing has ensured it's a gravy train for researchers who cash in with consultancy and conference fees, and of course governments who can raise revenue with "green" taxes.

    The man who founded the Weather Channel says GW is a scam. Check out his evidence in this fairly long PDF: http://media.kusi.clickability.com/documents/Global+Warming+is+a+Scam1.pdf

    Footnote: With all that said, I firmly believe in cutting pollution & conserving resources but for different reasons. (I do both)

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    >I wonder

    I wonder if maybe the guy puts a lot of effort into his research and is right.

    I wonder if I should perhaps read his paper before I go around suggesting that he's made a very basic mistake.

    I wonder if pirates did have something to do with global temperature, then there would be many pirates in the last ice age to make it so cold.

    I wonder if I drew a graph of said Pirate-temperature correlation I would put the numbers of the pirates in the right order.

    I wonder if people who don't accept man made global warming would still accept that there may be other good reasons for not being totally reliant on finite resources that are kept in the hands of lunatics.

  12. James Pickett
    Linux

    @Andrew Simmons

    "If you've thought of something that falsifies the current understanding of climate's response to anthropogenic CO2"

    Only that the CO2 level is an effect, not a cause. As Al Gore's infamous (although doubtless peer-reviewed) graph shows when the time-axis is expanded.

    As Professor Philip Stott and others are probably tired of pointing out, climate change is something that has occurred since we had a climate. He puts it all much more eloquently than I could, here:

    http://parliamentofthings.info/climate.html

    (Tux, since he's keen on ice-caps)

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Confused...

    Why is an ice-age deemed preferable to the ice melting?

    Surely if the glaciers advance then we're all screwed anyway. Why not be screwed with nice warm temperatures?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    I suppose the beauty of wild global warming theories is...

    That all we have to do is wait to see if they're true. Sure, we may be underwater, or we may be laughing at the so-called experts, but either way, we'll eventually find out the truth.

    Personally, I think we should phase out ALL polluting energy sources as soon as possible, but I also believe that 'global warming' is part of a larger cycle of our planet---and we're like a small dog barking at the moon trying to make it go away, for all the good our efforts to reverse this trend are going to be.

  15. Jerry
    Stop

    @ Andrew Simmons - Regurgitator

    O.K. You have a bunch of URLs and you also say any opposition to your point of view needs a peer reviewed paper and an invitation to Oslo.

    What *precisely* do you have to add to the discussion on global warming (aka climate change)? i.e. Peer reviewed papers, published articles in Nature, that sort of thing.

    What scientific contribution do you make?

    Myself? No papers, no peer review, but at least the humility to acknowledge that.

  16. Kevin Patrick Crowley

    Check out the Bakken Oil Reserves

    Oil will not run out for probably a century and coal not for at least 4 centuries and nuclear reserves for multiple millennia. The only energy and "Global Warming" crisis are phantasms created by and in the minds of those who want to drive everyones lives except their own.

  17. Chris Miller

    OTOH

    Strange then that, according to the IPCC 2007 report (Summary for Policymakers, Table SPM 1), the worst-worst case (roughly 3% economic growth for 100 years, with CO2 output rising in proportion and no mitigation effort) would give a sea level rise of 0.6m by 2100. Now, I may not be a fully paid-up climate scientist, but that's a long way from 75m. Sure, if all the ice melted from Antarctica, but that would take many centuries (probably millennia), giving us some time to prepare defences (I'd like a space parasol, myself, but working fusion would probably do it).

    If I may borrow a formulation from Bruce Schneier:

    The physics are impeccable, the computer models are flawed, the economics are lousy, and the politics are abysmal.

  18. greg

    Disaster, really ?

    Well, it would only be a disaster if you postulate that we achieved the best possible living conditions, and that those conditions would suffer...

    On the other side of the logic, there are going to be change in living conditions, but who can pretend that has to be a disaster ? It might well end up with even better conditions if humanity has to rethink about itself...

  19. Geoff Johnson

    We're all saved

    If global temperature is related to piracy, then don't worry. Piracy is on the increase.

    Can't remember where I read that but I did read an article on it once.

  20. breakfast
    Flame

    Peak Oil doesn't help

    There is no advantage to Peak Oil- all that means is that it will become economically viable to start using coal-derived automotive fuels, which are typically a lot more polluting ( Clean Coal is currently a myth ) and just as environmentally destructive in their extraction.

    It seems that people in power are conscious of this already - take a look at the Merthyr Tydfil Open-Cast scandal to see the toxic political behaviour and blatant corruption involved in the coal industry currently.

  21. Brutus
    Pirate

    High-level risk analysis:

    Essentially, we have four scenarios

    1/ GW is a lie/We do nothing

    Cool, we don't spend vast amount of time, effort and money combatting a non-existant problem. We don't die.

    2/ GW is a lie/We try to fix it

    Bugger, wasted a vast amount of time, effort and money combatting a non-existant problem. We don't die

    3/ GW is true/We do nothing

    Oh shit. We saved a vast amount of time, effort and money. We die.

    4/ GW is true/We try to fix it.

    OK, we spend vast amount of time, effort and money. Maybe we don't die.

    So, overall, we shouldn't bother about it. Save our money, take our chances. But then, do we really want to take the chance. After all, we have loads of money, loads of people to put in the effort and not much time left to make it work.

    Pirates, because we'll be safe sailing the seven (or how ever many were left with) seas!

  22. Luther Blissett

    Arghhh - save the planet from stupidity

    The global temperature and CO2 levels appear to be broadly cyclic in the long term record. They appear to be broadly of the same frequency. They also appear not to be in phase. Assertions based on associating peak temperatures (such as might speculatively melt Antarctic ice) and synchronous CO2 levels are what you would might expect of kindergarten scientists.

    Just as well they are not 180 degrees out of phase, as we would have to be stoking up hell just to keep the plants alive so we could breathe - tho doubtless the imperialists would arrange things so the "excess" billions could do the shoveling.

  23. Dave
    Paris Hilton

    75 metres...

    75 metres my a$$. This higher temperature is causing floating icebergs to melt, but wont make the ocean rise 75 metres.... In order to float, the iceberg displaces a volume of water that has a weight equal to that of the iceberg. Submarines use this principle to rise and sink in the water by changing their weight....

    If all of the Antarctic ice melted (which it wont), sea levels around the world would rise approx 61 metres due to the amount of ice on land however were talking about the Arctic Ocean here which is all floating so you can shove your 75 metres

  24. Dr Stephen Jones

    Hansen "invented" Global Warming

    Which is a problem now that the Earth has been cooling for ten years (while CO2 has increased).

    So The Emperor has to make his scare stories more terrifying. Or people might notice what he's wearing.

  25. Eric Werme

    Mauna Loa CO2 2008 level may be less than 2007

    No, no one is claiming that we're emitting less CO2 than before, but the current La Nina is bringing colder water than usual and apparently more CO2 is being absorbed. The result is an interesting downturn in Mauna Loa data, see http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/ for details.

    Data from several other CO2 monitoring stations doesn't show the effect, but do point out that it's tough to implement a 350 ppm cap when we're at 386.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Human Race?

    Is that race as in Race (n): Humans considered as a group, or race as in Race (n): A competition of speed, as in running or riding.

    Or perhaps both!!!

  27. Chris Cheale

    vested intrest

    Hint:

    "James Hansen, chief of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies..."

    Did you spot it?

    NASA - the people behind the space program.

    In other words:

    The world's screwed, give us a tonne of cash and we'll find another world for everyone to live on?

    If age was measured in world-weary cynicism, I'd give Yoda a run for his money.

  28. Elmer Phud
    Coat

    How long is really what we want to know . . .

    because we're all selfish buggers who don't give a toss if we're going to snuff it anyway before the ice melts.

    "Snow at Easter and in April, officially the coldest Easter in 40 years. More like the coming of an Ice Age." Nah, really early Easter, snow in April is nothing new 'eh, we 'ad all that before yer global warming malarkey'.

    I'll get me boat

  29. Cathryn

    @Brutus

    You left one out - GW is (or isn't) true, we try to fix it, and screw everything up even worse. Not to say we shouldn't try, but some schemes that they've come up with seem to be a little bit risky, given that we don't understand very much about all this yet.

  30. Jim

    GW?

    Anybody noticed that the media quietly moved to using term "Climate Change" instead of "Global Warming"? Morale is simple, pay your taxes whatever climate...

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So what's happening with oil?

    I'm guessing 80 euros a barrel for oil by the end of the year which will be about $150 a barrel by then (due to dollar depreciation / moron leadership).

    I'm guessing they won't cover the $750 billion that will cost to import with real money (recall their oil imports use to be zero), if you look their imports have dropped slightly due to belt tightening, but no way near enough to fix the problem.

    Unless they have a serious dollar collapse, I can't ever see USA cutting it's oil consumption much and the people lending them money (Asian + Middle East) will likely pull their investments slow and steady to avoid dollar collapse. So I'm not expecting major improvements in that.

    As for the GW is a scam comment above, solar activity has dropped since 1985, not increased yet average global temperature has increased (and rate of increase also increases). So if anything it's buffering our increase.

    Coldest Easter in 40 years, was also the *earliest* easter in 95 years, Easter being a date that varies from year to year.

    http://www.maa.mhn.de/StarDate/publ_holidays.html

    And presumably when the favorable North Atlantic Oscillations swing to unfavourable, you'll start quoting numbers from the *southern* hemisphere instead?

  32. Dunstan Vavasour
    Coat

    Weather .neq. Climate

    For heaven's sake, please can we get past all the "oh look, it's snowing, what global warming?"

    As has been previously documented, the most likely change in the short term is that melting ice (which is observed now) will cause localised freshening in the ocean, which will bugger up the ocean currents. Weather and localised climates are very dependent on ocean currents - while it's not an exact science, it is likely that the slowing of the gulf stream would cause Northern Europe to get a lot colder, and some heavily populated tropical areas to get warmer and drier.

    Mine's the warm woolly one, ready for when ocean current change makes GB perishing cold.

  33. chris
    Flame

    @Jerry

    So you flame someone for contributing links to credible primary sources as if he was just spewing self-aggrandising crap then tell us "Myself? No papers, no peer review, but at least the humility to acknowledge that." Away and polish your halo.

    Congratulations on trying to keep science, data and sense out of a discussion on global warming. No place for that on the register

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Andrew Simmons

    This would be the same Hanson whose 1998 paper produced the infamous "hockey stick" graph that has been thoroughly debunked by, amongst others, McIntyre and McKitrick.

    The same Hansen who refuses to release the data and methods used in his calculations so that others may verify his work.

    The same Hansen who, in his 1998 paper, has Paris (France) located in New England, Toulouse located in South Carolina, Philadelphia located in Bombay for his precipitation calculations.

    The same Hansen whose 2007 paper has the same location errors as the 1998 paper despite having the errors brought to his attention.

    The same Hansen who believes that a bunch of bristlecone pines in North America can tell you everything you need to know about global climate over the past 1000 years via teleconnection

  35. Simpson
    Linux

    Full Employment

    Sadly, the inhabitants of London and Manhattan will not drown in a potential rising of the level of the sea. They will move. So would the people living in the current costal areas.

    I trump Mr Gore's offer of hundreds of thousands of jobs, with the millions of jobs that could be created by a rise in sea levels. Contruction, engineers, sea wall builders, movers, real estate agents, etc. It would be wonderfull. Jobs for one and all.

    Those of you with property in London or Manhattan, on the beach or on an island; Wake up! Your property is worthless!

    I can't help but feel sorry for you, so I am making the generous offer to purchase your wothless property at 10% of its pre-future flooded value.

    Bofins have been speculating that we would run out of oil in the next 20 - 30 years, for the last 100 years. Hopefully we will discover enough oil in Antartica to last another 150 years.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Couple of responses

    @James Pickett:

    > "Only that the CO2 level is an effect, not a cause. "

    No, it's not, it's a common myth amongst people who have not bothered to read up the actual science.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/04/the-lag-between-temp-and-co2/

    Oh and incidentally "this NASA bloke" is in fact the head of the Goddard Institute of Space Studies, and is one of the most respected scientists in the field.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Hansen

    @Jerry:

    "What *precisely* do you have to add to the discussion on global warming (aka climate change)? i.e. Peer reviewed papers, published articles in Nature, that sort of thing."

    I try to point those who are intelligent enough to understand them but unfortunately misinformed to fall for one of the many canards, myths and outright lies that float around the public perception of the science at solid, well researched and authoritative sources of scientific knowledge.

    No, I'm not a climatologist, just a layperson who likes to be informed and has had an interest in and been following AGW science for 22 years.

  37. wibbilus maximus
    Happy

    We're all screwed anyway

    As soon as they turn on the Hadron collider in July, GW will disappear with everything else into thousands of tiny blackholes

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    response - 75m, Mauna Loa, "world is cooling"

    @Dave: I guess (I have not yet read the full paper) the 75m figure is the expected result of losing both the east and west antarctic ice sheets (WAIS, EAIS) as well as Greenland.

    Eric Werme ("Mauna Loa CO2 2008 level may be less than 2007"): I prefer primary sources for exactly this reason. I think the trend is pretty clear...:

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/co2_data_mlo.html

    "Dr" Stephen Jones (Dr of what? Do share):

    The world has *NOT* been "cooling for 10 years". The politest thing I can say in response is "citation needed".

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Fossil Fuels will soon run out?

    I've been hearing that line for the last ~30years. It is the staple line the the Energy industry uses to justify their prices.

    Of course, Fossil fuels will run out eventually, I seriously doubt it will happen in the next 100-years.

    Personally, I think one of the better suggestions is to encourage the building of more energy efficient buildings, improve insulation etc to reduce the amount of energy that people insist on wasting; also a reduced amount of pseudo-science (special-interest based politics) hype and general BS on the subject would be a good thing, too.

    Flame-on, because we appear to have plenty of fuel to burn.

  40. Gary F

    Has everyone forgotten Archimedes?

    If the North Pole melts I doubt we'll see flooding. Why?

    It's called water displacement - physics for 12 year olds, if kids are still taught science these days?

    All that ice is already in the sea which means its mass has already displaced the sea level. If you run a bath and then sit in it the water level will rise. This is what will happen to the sea level, so claim the doom mongers. Wrong! That's bad geography and physics on their part because if the ice (which rests on top of the sea) melts it's not adding any more mass or displacement to the sea level because it was already in the sea when it was ice! There is no land mass at the North Pole, it's all ice sitting on top of the sea.

    Sit in a full, large bath and curl up pretending to be a mountain of ice. Now melt and stretch out. Did the water rise? Of course not (assuming your bum wasn't resting on the sea bed). Here's a better experiement. Fill a glass half with water. Put in 3 or 4 ice cubes and mark the water level. Wait for them to melt and compare the levels. It will be the same. No rise in sea levels.

    It's the melting of the *South* Pole that people would need to be concerned with because a lot of the ice there is supported by land which means its mass has not been displaced in the sea. Luckily for us the South Pole is *NOT* melting.

  41. Chris Paulson

    The simple answer to finite resource

    There are eight pints of beer reaming in the whole world.

    Do you: -

    A) Share them with a load of strangers

    B) Take very little sips to make them last for a very long time

    C) Drink them all in a big piss up have a laugh and fuck everyone else.

    Count me as a C!

  42. Eric Werme
    Flame

    BBC global temperature decline story changed to suit activist

    This is not quite on topic, but is the story of story that amuses Reg readers.

    Last week, the BBC published http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7329799.stm titled "Global temperatures 'to decrease'".

    The BBC then changed the title and contents a few times, much to the amusement and consternation of people who noticed.

    Today comes a purported dialog between an activist, Jo Abbess, and BBC Environment reporter Roger Harrabin that was behind those changes. I can't vouch for the accuracy of the claims, but it makes for amusing reading at

    http://www.jennifermarohasy.com/blog/archives/002906.html

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    @Anonymous Coward, ref McIntyre and McKitrick.

    "This would be the same Hanson whose 1998 paper produced the infamous "hockey stick" graph that has been thoroughly debunked by, amongst others, McIntyre and McKitrick."

    >snicker<

    heh

    heheh, ,

    chortle, ,

    ha

    hahahahahah

    bwahahahahahahahahaha!

    That's really pretty funny.

    McIntyre, and McKitrick, , , sheesh, you kill me.

    hehehehehe

    ha,

    sheesh

    Paris, because she's good at science too!

    btw, that was Dr. Michael Mann' hockey stick.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    Re: has everyone forgotton archimedes

    Erm - The "South pole" isn't melting? <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7313264.stm"> So why are there articles like this?</a> talking about how antarctic ice shelves are breaking away.

    Alternitively it could be that the water supported ice is been melted by rising sea tempertures, and rising sea tempretures will eventually translate into rising air tempretures, which will translate into melting land locked ice.

  45. Joe K
    IT Angle

    It never ceases to amaze me...

    .....how many shouty sceptics come into these threads and try to disprove some of the worlds greatest scientists, pretty much all of which think we are up shit creek without a paddle.

  46. Simpson
    Alert

    Runaway marketing

    Cash seeking boffins, hand wringers, civilization haters, lend me your ears!

    Much like scientologist's, you are victims of guerilla marketing for a sci-fi book/writer. The guerilla marketing for "alternative 3" (published as non fiction, by the way) just got out of hand. Now the true believers spend their time shouting down anyone who disagrees with them.

    My Grandpa says he walked through three feet of snow to get to school. My Grandma complains that the summers are so cold now. I just don't know who to believe.

  47. Brett

    Dont care, dont care

    That does it, never looking at another environment article. These guys have no idea what they are doing

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    eight pints of beer

    D) Come up with a way to make more beer.

    Better not jug 'em all at once either, what if you need some beer to make more beer?

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Call me thick but what's the problem :

    If the sea did rise 75 m it seems to me that :

    New York can be renamed New Venice. I like Venice.

    And surely there will be a much greater area of sea , so that will lead to a greater dispersal of pirates, less density per square fathom or whatever.

    And they will have to sail much further to board your yacht. Not seize, as you abandoned it some while again when the oil ran out.

    Which way is Oslo? Do they read the Sun, my daily paper?

  50. Andrew Fenton

    Credentials please

    Would all those posting with such certainty here please add to their posts where they got their doctorates? Also, a list of the papers they've published.

    Oh wait, you don't actually know anything about the subject, but just believe a lot of conspiracy crap by non-scientists? What a surprise.

  51. Tom Kelsall

    I don't care what the science says...

    ...about global warming per sé.

    What I do care about is that we are pouring poison into our atmosphere at an alarming rate, of hundreds, nay thousands, of types. Surely any effort to reduce the amount of poison in our atmosphere is GOOD? Surely it doesn't matter whether we argue over whether the effects of this poison entering the atmosphere are *this* effect, or *that* effect? Surely the fact that it is poison, is enough?

    FACTS: we cannot breathe pure carbon dioxide - and when the levels of carbon dioxide in our local atmosphere reach particular levels with respect to the oxygen level, we begin to suffocate. Plants breathe carbon dioxide and give off oxygen as a by-product.

    QUESTIONS: Are we pouring more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than plants can breathe for us? Within the meaning of this post, can we count carbon dioxide as a "poison"?

    I say, let them reduce our carbon dioxide output, whether or not its alleged global warming effects are true. Let NATURE decide how much of any given gas is in our atmosphere, and let us WORK WITH nature to live, rather than largely ignoring it.

    p.s. I know that my post will have zero effect on government policy; but while they want us to reduce pollution, I'm right behind them, WHATEVER science they're basing it on.

  52. amanfromMars Silver badge
    Boffin

    What do they teach in schools today?

    I thought trees and plants breathed in CO2 and gave out O2.

    Stop deforestation for wealth and start planting trees for Life seems like a good Plan. And so simple to do, that not to do it on a massive global scale, must indicate that the Global Warming thing is a scam.

  53. Anne van der Bom

    Re: Has everyone forgotten Archimedes?

    @Gary F,

    It's an exact science, so lets be exactly exact.

    Because the density of ice is lower than the water, it rises slightly above the surface of the water. You can imagine that the water produced by the melting of that part of the ice that is above the water, will be spread out over the seas and cause a small rise in sea level.

    And sea levels will also rise due to expansion of the warmer water.

  54. 3x2

    @Andrew Simmons

    <...>No, it's not, it's a common myth amongst people who have not bothered to read up the actual science.<...>

    Read : who read anything that contradicts MY "science"

    <...>I try to point those who are intelligent enough to understand them<...>

    Well how benevolent of you, it's good that you are looking out for those of us that just can't follow your "science".

    You are exactly why we are "sceptics" - another arrogant, self-appointed priest of your religion.

  55. StarsAndStripesForever
    Linux

    The Sky is falling!

    How many times can chicken little tell his tall tales before no-one will believe him?

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    NATURE

    >can we count carbon dioxide as a "poison"?

    No, CO2 kills by displacing oxygen, it's not a poison anymore than water is a poison.

    >Let NATURE decide how much of any given gas is in our atmosphere

    And what would NATURE decide?

    Perhaps NATURE wants us living like cavemen, with no cars, air-con or heating?

    What would NATURE think of hospital disinfectants and antibiotics?

    In short, the whole nature thing is a load of hippy shite.

  57. druck Silver badge
    Flame

    Funding round?

    Is it time for another IPCC funding round already? Better wheel out the "oh no its worse than we even told you last time" research papers.

  58. Anne van der Bom

    @3x2 sceptics

    If find it hugely amusing to see how 90% of the self-proclaimed sceptics are convinced global warming is a scam. Do you see the contradiction? Sceptic - convinced.

    A true sceptic is one who is convinced of nothing, but is perpared to believe whatever the facts tell him. And since there is no conclusive proof yet in the climate change debate, a true sceptic stands on neither side.

    3x2 don't flatter yourself. You are not a sceptic.

  59. Aargh jimlad
    Paris Hilton

    Trendy

    I'm not a scientist i'm a gardener, i have noticed certain plants haven't lost their leaves in the last few winters as they always have done in my life time (38), flowers are flowering earlier, granted we are having a colder spring than last year, it was 20 degrees here in Holland* at the same time last year.

    When i came to Holland* in 93 it was still very common to skate on natural ice during the winter, now it is not, my local out door ice ring hasn't even frozen hard enough to skate on in the last three years.

    I have not noticed an increase in pirates though although there are many more dirty thieving chavs these days :paranoid:

    As i look at it there is only one option, do what you think is right.

    *aye doomed!

  60. Mark

    @James Pickett

    So how is it an effect and NOT (ever) a cause? Please show us how this happens.

    Don't point at a graph and show how it lags because

    a) it's not lagging now

    b) it's not then now

    How does it manage to be an effect of GW and not ever a cause?

  61. Mark

    Re: Brrrr, it's snowing again!

    Brrr. Weather Not Climate. Your House Not World. You Silly.

  62. Mark

    Higher level risk analysis

    "2/ GW is a lie/We try to fix it"

    We are more efficient now in using our energy. Less resources required to attain increasing quality of life.

    We should try to fix it.

  63. Mark

    @Chris Paulson and Gary F

    D) Beat the snot out of Chris Paulson and steal his 8 pints.

    Count me as D!!!

    And Gary, What about the ice sheets on Canada, Alaska, North Russia et al? What about Greenland? What about the south pole? Being as these are all landmasses and water tends to run off into the ocean, what do you reckon will happen?

  64. Chris
    Stop

    CO2 driven warming?

    True, there is a link between atmospheric CO2 levels and temperature, but it's not the way round that many people would have you believe - it's the temperature that drives CO2, not the other way around, and there's a lag of about 300 years.

    What really drives the climate is the sun. Forget reducing carbon emissions and start thinking about controlling sun spots and the earth's orbit. Or just admit it's out of our control and adapt as best we can as and when the changes occur.

  65. Anne van der Bom

    @JonB, poison?

    CO2 will sort of kill you at a 4% concentration. For me that sounds pretty poisonous.

    What is your definition of a poison? Everything can be poisonous, even oxygen. It's just a matter of concentration. How it kills is not important.

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Archimedes

    The problem is the ice that is not already in the sea, along with the relative densities of salt and fresh water, and warm and cold water.

  67. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Anne van der Bom - Poison

    >CO2 will sort of kill you at a 4% concentration.

    You breathe it out at 4.5%-ish so it's clearly not as dangerous as that.

    I was under the impression that it was a case of suffocation, rather than an actual chemical effect it looks like I'm wrong on that though having read up on it a bit.

    How it kills is relevant to whether it's considered a poison, if you drop someone in a river with concrete boots on they'll drown and die, but you would not consider them to have been poisoned.

  68. Dr Stephen Jones
    Paris Hilton

    Do not listen to the heretics. Repeat: do not...

    @Andrew Simmons

    "Oh and incidentally "this NASA bloke" is in fact the head of the Goddard Institute of Space Studies, and is one of the most respected scientists in the field"

    Sure. And Captain Cyborg is a respected cybernetics expect. He really is.

    ".... Solid, well researched and authoritative sources of scientific knowledge."

    Let us know when you find any science in "climate science".

    (Paris, because she's a flimsy model too)

  69. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You can't breathe it out

    "You breathe it out at 4.5%-ish so it's clearly not as dangerous as that."

    I think that's the point, you need to get rid of CO2, past a certain concentration you can no longer get rid of it by breathing it out and die. It makes no difference if there's enough O2 in the remaining gas, it's that you can't get rid of the CO2 you're making as a byproduct of respiration.

    But death by Co2 poisoning is not one of the plausible scenarios.

  70. Nexox Enigma

    @Anne van der Bom - Archimedes

    """Because the density of ice is lower than the water, it rises slightly above the surface of the water. You can imagine that the water produced by the melting of that part of the ice that is above the water, will be spread out over the seas and cause a small rise in sea level."""

    But when the above-water ice melts its density increases, so volume decreases, and it does /not/ contribute to water level rising.

    As others have tried to explain, a floating object will displace a mass of water equal to the mass of the floating object. Since the floating object is made of water, and since mass is conserved on a phase change, a melted floating piece of ice will exactly fill the volume that it displaced. The density increase will account for the tip of the 'berg that sticks out of the water.

    You are right about increased ocean temperatures causing a volume increase, though.

    I know nothing about climate, but I do know a bit about sketchy science when I see it. The whole GW problem has too much funding and political interest for real science to be the priority. The presence of such wildly varying reports and forecasts just lead me to believe that nobody really knows much of anything. I suspect that most of the sceptics out there merely pick up on the illegitimacy of a large amount of the goings on in this area, and refute things that sound unrealistic based not on their knowledge of climate so much as their knowledge of 'scientists' liking large amounts of money.

    Humans are humans because they adapt. I'm not really worried about massive climate change, because I know that humans will still live through it. Honestly some of the measures to prevent global warming would have a worse impact on quality of life than mass flooding would, and in the end, that is what people care about.

  71. Anne van der Bom

    @JonB

    You say it right: You breathe it OUT at 4.5%-ish. What you breathe IN must be below 4%, otherwise the CO2 levels in your blood will become too high and you run the risk of dying. See the list at:

    http://www.modcon.co.il/exposure.htm

    The IDLH (Immideately Dangerous to Life and Health) for carbon dioxide is 40.000 ppm.

    As far as I can see, the link above contains accepted exposure norms for various substances.

    By the way: current levels are 380 ppm, so no global warming scare here.

  72. Kevin Patrick Crowley

    For the kool-aid drinkers.

    http://junkscience.com/JSJ_Course/jsjudocourse/1.html

    http://junkscience.com

    http://www.co2science.org/

    http://globalwarming.org/

    http://friendsofscience.org/

  73. Bounty

    Can we at least agree that smog is real?

    Can we at least agree that smog is real? Can we at least agree that smog is harmful?

    Sorry, but I live in a valley, and smog is real, and is harmful. Bring on the renewabls and more efficient stuff. We need to watch everything we put into the air in quantity, not just CO2.

    Do we need go around acting crazy, no. Do we need to be heads up.... yeah.

    (p.s. I'd rather pay a smart engineer here than a jerk sitting on an oil well overseas)

  74. J
    Boffin

    Re: What do they teach in schools today?

    "I thought trees and plants breathed in CO2 and gave out O2."

    Thinking can be dangerous, get some training.

    Plants (and the like) "breath" O2 to "burn" glucose just like the rest of us, and the end product is CO2 plus H2O, again just like the rest of us. That's called respiration.

    What you were talking about there is photosynthesis, which is the inverse process. OK. But the problem is that this only helps significantly in *actively growing* plants (you know, the ones actually incorporating new carbon to their structure, and not just recycling). After they reach full size, the balance is zero, although some researchers suggest that the forests might be absorbing a bit more than they produce.

    Here for a simple explanation:

    http://www-saps.plantsci.cam.ac.uk/records/rec255.htm

    And here for a more in depth account, questioning the balance of respiration and photosynthesis:

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v404/n6780/full/404819a0.html

    So, planting trees will sequester CO2 -- for a while. And then we'd have to refrain from producing more, specially by cutting down said trees...

  75. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Cool

    So basically to save the earth i have to buy two hummers, fly long hall as much as possible, commute by plane, leave all the lights on, stop using energy efficent stuff and generally behave like an American? Burn that fossil fuel baby burn!

    They are going to be so annoying when they find out there lifestyle saved the earth!

  76. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    @Anne van der Bom

    >"but I wonder if this guy has simply compared CO2 levels and glacier melting and completely disregarded all other variables"

    >That's probably what you would do and therefore you expect others to do the same.

    No, but I've seen "scientists" do this before, and the GW "debate" seems to have its fair share of them.

    >Oh wait, you even admit it:

    >"I haven't read this study"

    >You are not an anonymous coward, but a lazy coward.

    I never said I wasn't lazy.

    Pirate icon because.. Maybe if we got more of them, GW would go away.

  77. Jeff Davies

    Gary F and others, you need to get your head out of the sand

    For starters: the Antarctic *IS* melting, so is the Greenland Ice sheet.

    The head scientist of Norway thinks there is a good chance that the Arctic will cease to exist this summer (that's September for minimum sea ice extent). The reason?

    Sure the current extent of the ice is slightly larger than last january (this is the total area of sea covered by ice), however during the Arctic winter the perennial ice (the stuff that isn't supposed to melt) has melted in huge quantities. If it's melting in huge quantities in winter, what's going to happen in summer? No one knows, but the smart ones fear.

    The greenland ice sheet and west antarctic ice sheet are covered in moulins like larsen B before it shattered.

    In addition to this, for the last 4 years crops have failed in the following territories: Australia, central europe, USA, South America, China, to the extent that staple food has risen 80% on the world markets. There are currently food riots in 52 countries including India, Pakistan, Egypt, Phillipines, Vietnam, Cambodia.

    (lots of population). The global stock of food has fallen to a mere 5 weeks.

    This means we could be 5 weeks away from starvation of billions in the worst case.

    Spain is becoming uninhabitable, with the water in the reservoirs down so low that the remnants are unusable, as the dregs are full of heavy metals.

    Salmon stocks have collapsed on the west of the USA, and fishing has been cancelled all the way up the US west coast as a result. The main reason for this isn't over-fishing, it's algal blooms in the sea starving the fish of oxygen.

    The sea is full of plastic trash that is gradually being worn down into smaller and smaller particles, they even have a name for the giant mid-pacific trash island. The particles are injested by all sea-life. Unfortunately, due to their nature, these particles of plastic are adhesive to toxins, so each particle is becoming a poison pill for the sealife to injest.

    What happens to the 3 billion people in asia that will march on europe when their food or water runs out? What happens when the ice sheets collapse flooding most of england and netherlands, bangladesh, and most large cities on the coast around the world?

    Why aren't people talking about this? Is there a desire to avoid panic buying of food? I wonder. We are living on a knife edge.

  78. Mike Richards

    @Kevin Patrick Crowley

    'Check out the Bakken Oil Reserves'

    Yup lots of oil in the Bakken formation, it's already producing oil in South Saskachewan. Sadly the porosity of the Bakken rock is generally very low - good oil fields have very high porosities which allow oil to accumulate between rock grains and move through the rock. The lower the porosity, the lower the amount of recoverable oil. Highly productive fields generally have porosities in the 20 - 25%. The exceptional Ghawar field in Saudi Arabia has 35% porosity; by contrast Bakken in down around 3 - 4%.

    The numbers about Bakken are derived from mathematical models with only isolated drill logs and production figures. It's hard to say how much of the oil that could have been formed in Bakken has migrated into traps where it can be exploited; how much remains locked up in useless non-interconnected pores and how much has been lost through faulting or pyrolisis. Oil geologists are very wary about citing figures like these because there is a long and fabulous history of new elephant fields proving to be entirely dry.

    The conservative industry figures for recoverable oil in Bakken, add about 10% to the known US reserves. These figures might be improved with horizontal drilling and hydrofracturing, but they would not come anywhere near the headline figure of 413 billion barrels.

    There's far more recoverable energy in Montana's enormous coal fields, though exploiting them would be an ecological catastrophe for the American west and the rest of the World.

    Mine's the one with the Silva compass and the geological hammer in the pocket.

  79. Beto Ochoa
    Pirate

    This dude is looney tunes.

    The Earth does not care what we wee folk do. It has a mechanism to regulate the temp that is more powerful than all the oil we could ever burn. You should get ready for a decade of colder and colder winters. Hope you have a four wheel drive.

  80. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yawn

    Why use physics and scientific fact to confuse the issues of water displacement? Half the folks that claim to understand, get it wrong.

    Personally, I could care less if LA or NYC got flushed, because they're both full of idiots who can't see beyond their borders and think the world completely revolves around them.

  81. Dex
    Happy

    3 Words

    Holocene Thermal Maximum

    Definition: A warm period that lasted from approx. 9500 yrs BP to 5000 yrs BP.

    Temperatures averaged approx 2C WARMER that present.

    Interestingly enough that period is associated with the explosion of civilization in the Fertile Crescent.

    So. How does Mr. Hansen account for this period of extended warmth? Sport Utility Cattle?

  82. Steve Roper

    Ice and water

    Now I'm not a scientist, so correct me if I'm wrong, but I seem to remember learning years ago in high school physics that ice expands on freezing, and actually occupies more volume than liquid water. So would it not be the case that if the all the ice melted, the total H20 volume on the planet would *decrease*? That is, unless I've missed something, if all the ice melted the sea levels should actually *drop*, not rise.

    I'm going to try filling a glass with ice cubes and water and mark the levels before and after melting to see if I'm actually right about this, and I'll let everyone know the result of the experiment.

  83. Legless
    Unhappy

    Dumbo...

    There's some people on here that seem to be thicker than a castle wall.

    North Pole.

    OK. It's ice floating on the sea so when/if it melts it's not going to raise the sea level. But the thing you have to worry about is the ice-sheets on Greenland. They're VAST. Second only to the Antarctic ice sheet.

    They're 2.85 million km³ . Look at that figure. 2.85 million cubic KILOMETRES of frozen water. That's a lot of ice. Add to that the Canadian ice sheet and it's a shitload of water. That lot melts, you're looking at a rise of about 8m. Then the fun starts.

    You see, all that ice reflects a decent amount of sunlight back out to space. When it's melted, the water will instead absorb that energy leading to the oceans getting distinctly warmer. And that warmth could trigger the melting of the Antarctic then we're all fucked.

    The scary thing about these scenarios are that they could happen faster than you could imagine. All we need to do is to exceed one "tipping point" and the whole thing enters a positive feedback loop.

    Cheers

  84. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bring on the heat.

    It's snowing here, in April. It never snows in April.

    Also a bunch of them say global warming is inevitable, so we might as well stop doing stuff.

  85. Frank Liszt
    Alert

    Global warming hysterics...

    ...are not at all helped by flatly stupid "The Sky is Falling" whining such as that of Mr. Hansen.

    In fact, his moronic pronouncements on their behalf make the hysterics look dumber than a bag of hair.

    It's not science with this lot - it's a religion.

    And for any who disagree with me, that's fine, but those who'd choose to tell me that I'm wrong because I haven't read all of his, or his co-religionists deranged scribblings, I'd pre-emptively ask you to please fuck off, reach into the clue bag, and grab a couple.

    I don't read the late L Ron Hubbard, or the late Jim Jones either, but that doesn't make them any less profoundly retarded.

  86. Alan Wilkinson
    Alien

    Some of these comments!

    Ice floating in water does nothing to the water level when it melts!

    If the sea expands when it gets hotter, so does the land! It will make no difference (actually, most likely the land will expand a bit more and get higher).

    Unfortunately Hansen/Schmidt/GISS/RealClimate are fanatics first and scientists second. Handle their statements with a very long barge pole.

    Greenland was hot enough to support a population of up to 3000 Viking farmers for three centuries in medieval times. There are no reports of London being under water due to consequential sea level rise during that period.

  87. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ice and water & a plea for sanity

    To Steve Roper: It is true that water expands on freezing (which is, of course, why ice floats), but as Archimedes discovered a couple of thousand years ago during his Eureka moment in the bath, the mass of water displaced by any floating ice is equal to the mass of the ice, so when the ice melts, there will be no change in overall height of the water (as you've no doubt confirmed by now if you've done your experiment). So any floating ice, such as the arctic ice sheet, would make zero difference to sea levels if it all melted. Ice sheets on land, however, *would* increase the sea level if they melted since they aren't floating.

    You shouldn't worry though, since it isn't going to happen anyway. Despite the relentless battering from the media, politicians and pressure groups, I think most people realize that the whole global warming issue is a gigantic scam. It would funny if not for the very real damage that is now starting to be caused by over-zealous governments and pressure groups in their efforts to cope with a non-existent problem. Increased taxes, the desecration of the natural world (that these people claim to care about) by building wind farms, growing biofuels and so on and the general destruction of the economy that will lead to increased misery for everyone, especially those who can least afford it.

    It is heartening, however, to see that the sane voices arguing against these climate fools are slowly gaining ground. We can only hope it is not too late.

  88. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Anne van der Bom - Poison

    While obviously, I accept that my initial comment on CO2 poisoning was wrong in that I was under the impression the risk was suffocation. But by your definition of poison, almost everything would be poisonous, so the concept becomes useless.

    I'm starting to become concerned that there's oxygen in the atmosphere:-

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxygen_toxicity

    @others

    >if the all the ice melted, the total H20 volume on the planet would *decrease*?

    The total volume may decrease, but there's lots stored on land in ice flows 300 metres thick that aren't partially submerged.

    I initially had my doubts about the 60m level that was claimed as well, but the ice is very thick.

    >I could [not?] care less if LA or NYC got flushed

    Amsterdam and the Maldives would be a shame though.

  89. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Eco-Emu's hijack forum...again

    Good to see the Emu's are back in force, with their heads well and truly buried in the sand, happy to watch the world go to hell in a handbasket.

    Delusional statictial analysis? Present and incorrect

    Flawed arguments? Check

    Just plain making stuff up? Check

    Symptoms of complete denial? Check

    You lot aren't Apple fan-bois by any chance?

    PS: Jeff Davies; can you quote sources, before the Eco-Emu's accuse you of being an Eco-Nazi?

  90. Mark

    Re: Some of these comments!

    Some of YOURS!!!

    What's the coefficient of expansion of water? What's the coefficient of expansion of regolith?

    Water expands more than land.

    K?

    And what about ice currently on land (called ICE too, for some reason...)? Does that remain on land as water piled up a hundred feet high?

  91. Mark

    Re:3 Words

    Three words back:

    No Frigging Humans!

    Well, there were some thousands maybe even millions, but they didn't require shedloads of resources just to live and they didn't live in the soon-to-be-flooded areas.

  92. KarlTh

    @Steve Roper

    The level will neither rise nor fall. The water displaced by the ice is exactly equal to the amount of water created by the ice melting - that's why it floats at that level. Ice is less dense than water to exactly the same extent that it floats above the water.

    Archimedes.

    1 KG of water (a litre) will freeze to a little over a litre of ice. But when it floats, it will displace exactly 1 KG (a litre) of water. The water level therefore doesn't change.

  93. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Global warming

    I am heartened that some writers insist that the less informed brush up on their science instead of babbling.

    I recommend taking the following test:

    http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/GlobWarmTest/start.html"

  94. samtheengineer

    Middle ground

    As with most polarised debates the truth normally lies somewhere between the two extremes (from nothing is going on to a 75m sea rise). If anyone wants to settle most of the points of contention raised, there is a series of articles here that cover most of them:

    http://environment.newscientist.com/channel/earth/dn11462

    As to what the scientific concensus is: the sea level has risen about 3mm per year for the last decade (half due to thermal expansion of the sea and half through melting of ice on land, archimedes doesn't come into it) and will continue to rise such that by 2100 the level will be about 0.5m higher than today. It is also unlikely that during the next century the gulf stream will get cut off or that either the West Antarctic or Greenland Ice Sheets will melt.

    Now that terrifying assessment came from those fearmongers at the IPCC.

    http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/ar4-wg1.htm

    *Naively hoping to add some light and remove some heat from this thread.

  95. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IPCC Veterans against Bali

    The recent Global Warming/Climate Change conference had some detractors.

    "More than 100 scientists, including veterans of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and some prominent names like Freeman Dyson, Richard Lindzen and Reid Bryson, signed a letter to the Secretary General of the United Nations arguing that the U.N. conference at Bali “is taking the world in entirely the wrong direction.” You can read the full text here [see Below]. The letter warns that mandating drastic cuts in greenhouse-gas emissions would be futile, costly and “constitute a tragic misallocation of resources that would be better spent on humanity’s real and pressing problems.” The letter urges a focus on adaptation:

    " It is not possible to stop climate change, a natural phenomenon that has affected humanity through the ages. Geological, archaeological, oral and written histories all attest to the dramatic challenges posed to past societies from unanticipated changes in temperature, precipitation, winds and other climatic variables. We therefore need to equip nations to become resilient to the full range of these natural phenomena by promoting economic growth and wealth generation." *

    http://tierneylab.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/12/14/contrarians-v-bali/#comment-66596 *

  96. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    CO2

    Carbon dioxide is such a small component of Earth's atmosphere (380 parts per million or 0.038%) . Compared to former geologic times, Earth's atmosphere is "CO2 impoverished."

  97. Dex

    3 Words Back Again

    That makes NO sense. 500 years ago - 2C WARMER, Maybe 100 million humans alive back then. ??

    6 BILLION Humans now. 2C COOLER now. Good God man. Think before you write anything.

  98. Dex
    Jobs Halo

    3 Words back Again

    I meant 5000 years ago. I should take my own advice

  99. Mark

    Re: 3 Words Back Again

    The issue is that when things flooded back then, we moved. Maybe thousands died in the move, but we moved.

    When we're already got all our infrastructure in big machinery, live near the coast and are using every square inch of land that we can to live eat and dig stuff up, where do we move???

    You don't want to think about the context, but it is what makes your assinine spouting of "facts" irrelevant.

  100. Edward Pearson
    Flame

    So what he's saying...

    ...is that he was wrong before? Why should I trust him now?

  101. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lost in Space

    "The issue is that when things flooded back then, we moved. Maybe thousands died in the move, but we moved."

    They might not say it but the warmenists want to set a point in time as the perfect time for the world and move us back to that time.

  102. Mark

    Re: Lost in Space

    So where would we live? What is currently there and how much would removing it harm our economy?

  103. Kevin Patrick Crowley

    To Mark

    There are approx. 6.7 billion people in the world.

    There is approx. 148 million square kilometers of land.

    36,571,596,457 acres works out to be about five acres a person.

    Try it another way. Say each person gets 5000 square ft of house space and if you include the thickness of floor and ceilings every one needs 12 ft of height. That is 60,000 cubic ft of living space per person.

    That means everyone in the world could live in a five level house that covers the state of Texas.

    Now as big as Texas thinks it is it is not very large in comparison to all of everywhere else.

    Most "environmental" problems become easy when arithmetic is applied judiciously.

  104. Steve Roper
    Boffin

    Results of experiment

    To those who replied to my comment about the sea level actually dropping - thanks for that. I did the experiment with ice cubes and water last night when I got home from work and you're absolutely right: the water level in the glass does not change because of ice melt.

    I performed the experiment with two glasses: one (A) with water + ice cubes, the other (B) with just water as a control. In the time it took for the ice to melt (48 min), the water level in glass A decreased by 0.16 mm, while the water level in glass B decreased by 0.18 mm, measured with a digital 0.01mm resolution vernier gauge.

    Conclusions: This discrepancy could be either due to evaporation, since the water in glass B was warmer and therefore would have evaporated slightly faster, or it could also (more likely) be due to errors in measurement. I have no reason to believe the ice melting was the cause of the 0.02 mm discrepancy, since given the volume of ice in glass A, and the volume of ice compared to that of the equivalent mass of water, if this volume difference were a cause, the discrepancy would have been considerably more than 0.02 mm.

    Either way, I believe I have just demonstrated, by scientific method, that the ice caps melting will not cause any change in sea level. Note that this does not take into account ice on land (glaciers, mountaintops, Antarctica etc.) If this ice melts, then it will run into the sea. However, given the volume of the sea compared to land, coupled with the small land area actually covered by ice, it is highly unlikely that this would cause a change in sea level of more than a few centimetres at most. As I'm not a scientist, I could not give an exact figure on this, but I certainly don't believe the hype about coastal cities being drowned by rising sea levels.

    So there you go. Global flooding as a result of global warming is bullshit.

  105. Mark

    @Steve Roper

    Do you know how thick the ice is on Greenland? That's the largest island on the planet, excepting Antartica. And antartica, how thick do you think the ice is there?

    Miles.

    That's a lot of feet.

    Squoosh that over the sea area and that's still going to be lots of feet.

    You plonker.

  106. Mark

    @Steve Roper

    Hmmm. How much of that land is inhabitable? How much is used for farming? How much for resources thereon? How much for infrastructure (roads etc)?

    How much of that is flat enough to make building houses affordably?

    We're using up most of the land we can use. We can fragment but where are the millions of londoners going? Half way up Snowdon???

  107. Philip Machanick
    Flame

    Hansen's science

    I recently saw a documentary on the Apollo 13 rescue (not the movie); the fact that they were able to pull off something like that remains one of the great achievements of 20th century science. NASA may have had its bureaucratic screw-ups but it employs top talent in its science departments. It's not for nothing that "rocket scientist" is a synonym for someone able to do hard science.

    It's plain ludicrous that people are asserting Hansen left out obvious things or is purely engaged in political spin. Read some of his papers at www.giss.nasa.gov and see for yourself. I am not a climate scientist and prefer to verify things myself; what I have been able to check out looks good. See for example http://opinion-nation.blogspot.com/2008/04/climate-science-predictive-power.html

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