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Thread: Odds That Global Warming [Climate Change] is Due to Natural Factors: Slim to None

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    Odds That Global Warming [Climate Change] is Due to Natural Factors: Slim to None

    An analysis of temperature data since 1500 all but rules out the possibility that global warming in the industrial era is just a natural fluctuation in the earth's climate, according to a new study by McGill University physics professor Shaun Lovejoy.
    "This study will be a blow to any remaining climate-change deniers," Lovejoy says. "Their two most convincing arguments - that the warming is natural in origin, and that the computer models are wrong - are either directly contradicted by this analysis, or simply do not apply to it."

    Lovejoy's study applies statistical methodology to determine the probability that global warming since 1880 is due to natural variability. His conclusion: the natural-warming hypothesis may be ruled out "with confidence levels great than 99%, and most likely greater than 99.9%."

    To assess the natural variability before much human interference, the new study uses "multi-proxy climate reconstructions" developed by scientists in recent years to estimate historical temperatures, as well as fluctuation-analysis techniques from nonlinear geophysics. The climate reconstructions take into account a variety of gauges found in nature, such as tree rings, ice cores, and lake sediments. And the fluctuation-analysis techniques make it possible to understand the temperature variations over wide ranges of time scales.
    For the industrial era, Lovejoy's analysis uses carbon-dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels as a proxy for all man-made climate influences - a simplification justified by the tight relationship between global economic activity and the emission of greenhouse gases and particulate pollution, he says. "This allows the new approach to implicitly include the cooling effects of particulate pollution that are still poorly quantified in computer models," he adds.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0411153453.htm

    --

    I don't want to quote much more, as it's a relatively short article, and I'm not sure how much discussion this is really going to generate considering the relatively liberal nature of the forum, but it is great to see the data supporting a theory that's been held by most scientists, and rejected by a pretty vocal minority for a while now.

    Hard to argue with the math here.
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    I blame the glaciers. They used to be so much better at being ice.

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    Was this a big surprise to anyone?

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    I'll paraphrase George Carlin. The planet is fine, it's the people that are fucked. When it's ready, the planet will just shake us off like a bad case of fleas.

    And without the use of these forms of energy, the human race might have gone extinct a long time ago. Every life extending scientific discovery in the last couple hundred years at least have benefited from the burning of fossil fuels.

    That's not to say it wouldn't be in mankind's best interest to find alternatives now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AmericanJesus View Post
    I'll paraphrase George Carlin. The planet is fine, it's the people that are fucked. When it's ready, the planet will just shake us off like a bad case of fleas.

    And without the use of these forms of energy, the human race might have gone extinct a long time ago. Every life extending scientific discovery in the last couple hundred years at least have benefited from the burning of fossil fuels.

    That's not to say it wouldn't be in mankind's best interest to find alternatives now.
    Wouldn't that be considered the next phase of evolution? Adapt or die.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    Wouldn't that be considered the next phase of evolution? Adapt or die.
    It's unfortunate that the lack of willingness to adapt by a lot of people could actually doom those most willing to take that next step.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    Wouldn't that be considered the next phase of evolution? Adapt or die.
    SHHH.

    You'll scare away...wait...nevermind.
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    Senior Member Bantam Division dome's Avatar
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    Did the Sun play any part in this model? You know the big burning fire/plasma ball? The thing that heats up the Earth?

    I forgot, our co2 emission > The Sun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dome View Post
    Did the Sun play any part in this model? You know the big burning fire/plasma ball? The thing that heats up the Earth?

    I forgot, our co2 emission > The Sun.
    So... what are you saying?

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    whole cities under domes of air conditioning linked by mass transit...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jules View Post
    It's unfortunate that the lack of willingness to adapt by a lot of people could actually doom those most willing to take that next step.
    It's not as much willingness to adapt as the willingness to bare the cost of adapting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CCCP View Post
    It's not as much willingness to adapt as the willingness to bare the cost of adapting.
    The cost of adapting to the inevitable? It'd be absurd not to weigh that price against the fatal consequences.
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    Cost of changing technology. Especially for businesses

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    Quote Originally Posted by CCCP View Post
    Cost of changing technology. Especially for businesses
    I have a couple friends with businesses who now reap the benefits of making the switch to more environmental-friendly energy sources early. One of them had the roof of his warehouse covered in solar panels and they are now 95% self-sufficient in electricity (which increased his profit by 30%), especially because we don't have much snow around here.
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    Who paid for those panels?

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    Overall, as long as 500 years seem. Compared to how long this planet is around it's a tiny sample size.
    That said, alternative means to get energy should be top priority regardless.

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    I like to think of funding alternative energy like this: We have spent so much money protecting our resources and energy interests abroad for years and years. Why is it such an unheard of or taboo thing for the U.S. government to spend money on widespread alternative energy research? In the long run, it would cost far less money to produce our own clean energy than it would to worry about the stability of oil suppliers and ensure our position as a top importer.
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    I think that if it was at the point where it was a viable alternative then it would be funded. Alternative energy is great in theory, but it's really expensive, and sometimes does harm to the environment as well (wind turbines kill all types of wildlife)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Bateman View Post
    I think that if it was at the point where it was a viable alternative then it would be funded. Alternative energy is great in theory, but it's really expensive, and sometimes does harm to the environment as well (wind turbines kill all types of wildlife)
    But I'll take few dead birds over the smog like they have in china.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Bateman View Post
    I think that if it was at the point where it was a viable alternative then it would be funded. Alternative energy is great in theory, but it's really expensive, and sometimes does harm to the environment as well (wind turbines kill all types of wildlife)
    I think that part of the problem with the high cost of alternative energy is that it hasn't been encouraged enough. There is far more legislation in place protecting "dirty" energy interests than there is encouraging R&D for clean sources. Yes, there is a lot of regulation of oil, coal and natural gas, but the scales are still tipped deep in their favor.

    As far as level of harm to the environment goes, I don't think it's even comparable. Even if we factor in the disturbance of an ecosystem by turbines or solar panels, it pales in comparison to the proven effects of oil spills and gas leakage.
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