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Forget Global Warming, Prepare for New Ice Age, Says Scientist

Discussion in 'Environmental Discussion' started by fairclge, Apr 23, 2008.

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  1. fairclge

    fairclge New Member

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    'Forget global warming, prepare for Ice Age' | NEWS.com.au


    Sunspot activity has not resumed after hitting an 11-year low in March last year, raising fears that - far from warming - the globe is about to return to an Ice Age.
    Astronaut and geophysicist Phil Chapman, the first Australian to become an astronaut with NASA, said pictures from the U.S. Solar and Heliospheric Observatory showed no spots on the sun.
    He said the world cooled quickly between January last year and January this year, by about 0.7C.
    "This is the fastest temperature change in the instrumental record, and it puts us back to where we were in 1930," Dr. Chapman writes in The Australian today.
    "If the temperature does not soon recover, we will have to conclude that global warming is over."


    :smow:
  2. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    From what I've read, sunspot activity does not have a large impact on climate unless extrapolated over a large period of time. Does this guy have a paper on the subject or just the news media article?
  3. fairclge

    fairclge New Member

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    No I don't know of any other supporting information. Just like to through a opposing viewpoint on the subject to keep it real...
  4. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    It should not be considered an opposing view until it has been validated... If I decide to take out an article claiming I am a seraphim angel does that make it true?

    Again, if you are going to post an opposing view then please try to find something in a peer reviewed journal that has credibility. I'm all for opposing views in the science world but I'm not for media hyperbole. :)
  5. markderail

    markderail I do 45 mins @ 3200 PSI

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    The huge snowfall this winter in Eastern Canada, is indicative of increased humidity and energy (storms).

    The summer before that was very wet. Our personal garden produced next to nothing.

    So I think a global shift of weather patterns, increased storms all year round. Hardly an Ice Age scenario.
  6. fairclge

    fairclge New Member

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    Astronaut and geophysicist Phil Chapman, the first Australian to become an astronaut with NASA, said…
    Are you an expert on angles? If so, I may read what you have to say on the subject matter and decide for myself if I believe it or not.

    As for the story,
    I think you have to trust multiple media sources from which this article is sited. So I do believe its Phil Chapman’s opinion. He is an astronaut and geophysicist and this is PRIUS CHAT not academia.
    I respect your request that opposing thought must be vetted first and peered reviewed with a stamp of approval; nothing like group think when it comes to science. You have to respect others right to post (free speech). Like other posts on the web it’s up to you to decide what you believe it and do some self research on the subject matter.

    Do I believe the story, who knows? Google the subject and you will get topics that say sun spot do / do not affect the earth’s temperature.

    Mostly, I posted this topic to get people to post comments such as yours...
    :baby:
  7. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    I respect your right to free speech but the problem is repeating inaccuracies to the point where the mass populace believes them regardless of their factual basis. This is harmful to society and should be discouraged. Because this man is a geophysicist makes him an expert in climatology? How did you come to this conclusion? IMO you should be very careful about which media sources you believe since they are owned and regulated by very few corporations with vested interests.

    So in a nutshell there is nothing wrong with you posting such information, what I feel is wrong is assuming that it is true and/or presenting the information as a situation balancer as if this man's opinion somehow nullifies the other 90% of the scientific population's opinion.

    As for this not being academia, well I'm delighted that PC at least tries to tease out factual data or else we'd be like every other forum filled with uneducated clowns who latch on to the first news article they find and claim it as gospel. Try reading some of the racing forums and you'll know what I'm talking about. LOL
  8. dogfriend

    dogfriend Human - Animal Hybrid

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    I just read that you are a seraphim angel (whatever that is). Is that true? ;)
  9. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    Of course my son. I've sent my message through Cardinal Glick. You may view his mdeia message here
  10. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    There is a neat documentary by National Geographic that speaks on the subject of the sun's magnetic field and it's effect on gamma rays and their effect on climate. I watched it a week ago and it was pretty good. See here:


    *edit* I noticed this is not the full version. Unfortunately you have to watch it to the end where they state that greenhouse gasses like CO2 are very important climate drivers and the information on the sun's affect on climate does not change this and in some cases could actually make things worse depending on what kind of solar activity we recieve.
  11. dogfriend

    dogfriend Human - Animal Hybrid

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    Thanks for clearing that up.

    So I can just go ahead and blindly accept whatever I read on the internet?

    Cool. That's going to save a lot of time. I usually try to get different viewpoints on the subject and weigh the arguments. That takes some effort.
  12. hyo silver

    hyo silver Awaaaaay

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    The speech may be free, but it's the thought that counts.
  13. chogan2

    chogan2 Senior Member

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    At least check the facts.

    Yes, we're at a solar minimum. But no, a cursory Google search says the first spot of the new solar cycle was observed earlier this year.

    NASA - Old Solar Cycle Returns

    Reading that, and the related articles on that site, I'd say most people who observe sunspots for a living aren't very freaked out about it. I'll get worried when they do.

    Yes, the little ice age corresponded to the Maunder (sp?) minimum, a period of no (or at least little) sunspot activity. It could happen again. There is no basis for predicting that at present. To the contrary (see above), things do not look that unusual at the moment. If it turns out this guy is right, it'll be solely by luck.

    No, cherrypicking just two months (January versus January) to define your trend is nonsense when discussing climate. Analysis posted on realclimate.org suggested something on the order of decades is about right. I could just as easily (and with just about as much irrelevance) cite the NOAA website, where they state that global land surface temperatures hit a new all-time high record in March. And talk about the acceleration of warming. Foolish. At the very least, if we returned to 1930 in January, it was apparently a relatively brief stay.

    NOAA - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - NOAA: U.S. Temperatures Near Average in March as Global Land Temperature Sets Record

    Finally, I'd say the "1930" part was the giveaway. Looking at the data, I can't figure how this guy thinks January 2008 was as cold as January 1930. Maybe it's an Australian thing. Certainly not true for the earth as a whole, as far as I can tell.

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/tabledata/GLB.Ts dSST.txt

    For the record, 2007 was tied as the earth's second-warmest year in the modern era.

    NASA GISS: Research News: 2007 Was Tied as Earth's Second-Warmest Year
  14. Austin50mpg

    Austin50mpg Prius Driving Right Winger

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    Im assuming you were assuming you would get a lot of flack with this thread especially on this forum!

    LOL! :)

    You might as well have uhmm...pissed on an Al Gore painting.
    :flame:

    You have Cojones :usa2:
  15. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    Do you have any valid information on the subject to share?
  16. AussieOwner

    AussieOwner Active Member

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    I am not buying into the NASA related argument, but here in Australia we have just had a show on TV that has the same message - prepare for New Ice Age. It was called "The Gulf Stream and the Next Ice Age", and according to the station's summary of the show, it was "A documentary which explores the results of a recent American government report that believes that the collapse of thermohaline circulation will take place around the year 2010 and impose a minor ice age on Europe. Could Dublin acquire a climate like Spitzberg, and London like that of Siberia?"

    This "documentary" (and it is in quotes as it was presented as a documentary) dealt with the Gulf Stream and was stating that as a result of global warming, the salinity of the water in the Gulf Stream is reducing, meaning that this could cause the stream to not go as far north as it currently does. Without the warmth from the stream, this will actually cause a new ice age in Europe, with, of course, ramafications for the rest of the world. All put in a very nice "scientific" presentation, and actually quite logical in its presumptions.

    Has anyone else seen this show?
  17. Austin50mpg

    Austin50mpg Prius Driving Right Winger

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    Yes. However, the last time I checked, this forum is about a neat little car that happens to have great MPG.

    :nono:
  18. chogan2

    chogan2 Senior Member

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    No, I have not, but let's approach this logically.

    The original post was about the lack of sunspots as a harbinger of a long period of reduced solar output leading to the next ice age. Understanding, of course, that we monitor solar output directly using satellites, and it hasn't fallen below the norm for a typical solar cycle yet. So, this was a prediction of decline, not a measurement of decline.

    But now the argument is that we can dismiss NASA's analysis to the contrary because of a TV show about the thermohaline circulation shutting down in two years?

    OK, that's clearly a change of topic, but let's go with that.

    First, I cited NASA only because they have an organized process for studying the solar cycle. But it's not like NASA is alone. There are other organizations around the world who do the same thing and reach more or less the same conclusion. And it's not like NASA is winging it -- if you'd followed the citation above, you would read there's an entire international expert panel process set up to predict solar cycle intensity. Why? Why does NASA put so much effort into this? Because there's a lot of money at stake when solar flares knock out satellites, require satellite orbits to be changed, disrupt communications, and so on. These guys study and predict the solar cycle because it's key to their line of business.

    Further on point, it's not like the lull in activity was a particular surprise. As cited here, for example:
    New sunspot marks start of solar cycle - SBS World News Australia

    "Last April, an international panel of solar experts forecast that Solar Cycle 24 would start in March 2008, plus or minus six months. The panel was split between those predicting a strong or weak cycle."

    So, at this point, can we just lay the solar cycle thing to rest? We're at the solar minimum, last year the experts predicted the new cycle would start around now, it appears to be starting around now. If it isn't starting fast enough for some guy who decided to dabble in this field, well, that doesn't mean much. (Currently, the guy in the original article is a US citizen, running a company with a $6M contract from NASA to provide support services to the international space station.)

    Philip K. Chapman - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    On the likelihood of the thermohaline circulation/gulf stream shutting down:

    a) That would be local, not global cooling.
    b) I just flat disbelieve that there is "a government report" from the US that says the gulf stream is shutting down at the end of next year. If that were true it would have caused a bit of a stir here, I think. This is not a proof, but I sure didn't see anything like that when I searched.


    Wikipedia has a reasonable-looking article on this issue:
    Shutdown of thermohaline circulation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    There's a lot of uncertainty there, a lot of concern there, but not a lot of data. The shutdown of the thermohaline circulation is one of those events that's unlikely but would have a large impact. And becomes increasingly likely as the earth warms -- warmer North Atlantic water, more North Atlantic precipitation, and more ice melting would all contribute, and all are predicted under global warming.

    It's worth reading what those who are most at risk have to say about, and see what they're doing about it. Let's see what the Brits have to say. Knowing nothing about them, here's a plausible sounding piece:

    CRU Information Sheet no. 7: Thermohaline circulation

    They don't dismiss it, but model the resulting temperature change as -2 degrees centigrade.

    A smattering of other articles discuss the recent observed slowdown, but nobody appears willing to say it'll shut down next year:

    NERC - European climate could change rapidly, over decades rather than centuries

    These guys tell roughly the same story -- expected to occur far in the future, but you can't say that with certainty.

    The sense I get in reading these articles is that there's a pretty good chance it'll occur in the next 200 years or so. And a non-negligible change it might occur sooner. But nobody's saying 2010, as far as I can see.

    Finally, it's always worthwhile to read what's posted on realclimate.org.

    RealClimate
    RealClimate
    RealClimate

    Aha, read the last one if you're sincerely interested in this. Turns out that the study that started the "immediate slowdown" discussion was a one-week, five-site snapshot of ocean water flows, with full acknowledgment of the uncertainty that implied. The Brits then put an array of moored buoys in place to monitor the circulation continuously. And the answer is ... it varies a lot from week to week, and from place to place, which had not been known before. And, as with all popular press, the median picked up on the horror story aspects of one particular low-flow reading (and a similar one few "chimneys" of descending cold water), and never presented a sane, balanced analysis. Here's the key quote from that last realclimate article:

    "The minimum values appeared to be during a 10 day interval in November 2004 when the inferred deep western boundary current appeared to be very weak indeed. But then it came back. Now, recall that we have never seen this quality of data before and explanations for the variability (deep eddies? waves?) are not yet available. Thus, no-one has any clue whether this is normal or unusual - right now it's simply an interesting phenomenon."

    Upshot: yes, there is uncertainty in the thermohaline circulation. No, the key pieces of the reported slowdown probably reflect existing natural variability. And, per that last realclimate article, no, the popular press didn't present the full facts, they cherry-picked the outlier data.

    MY FINAL OBSERVATION, FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH: I think what you're seeing in Australian media may be more sociological than scientific. Obviously you all are worried about the drought. It was classed as a once-in-1000-years event. But it's not clear whether it was a one-time thing, or whether this is just a harbinger of what Australia is going to be like, with significant global warming. That's got to be frightening. Anybody who can tell you it'll all be OK is probably going to get some press there.
  19. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    Actually you wandered into the environmental section. ;) Just like I made the mistake of entering the political section yesterday. LOL
  20. Austin50mpg

    Austin50mpg Prius Driving Right Winger

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    Ooops My bad.

    I will pay more attention next time.

    :behindsofa:
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