Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:The science is not settled (Score 1) 550

Of course the driving force behind building up our civilization has come from the more temperate zones of our planet. People living in the "horrible" environments of the world are mostly subsistence survivors living off the land.

You may not be worried about a few feet of sea level rise or a degree or two of warming but what makes you think that's the end of it? What do you think your children (or your relatives children) will have to contend with after you're gone? Current worst case scenarios show around 6 feet of sea level rise and 4-6 degrees C of temperature rise by 2100.

Comment Re:The science is not settled (Score 1) 550

If you think the "past several millennia" has had stable climate then your more deluded or higher than I ever considered!!!.

The Earth's climate has been remarkably stable and so have sea levels for the past 6,000 years or so. Last I heard that is several millennia.

But I do live in Oregon where weed is legal now so you never know ;)

Comment Re:NASA 2005: Mars ice caps "at a prodigious rate" (Score 1) 550

Here is an interesting article on the warming on Mars, 1999-2005. It implies the shrinking of the Martian southern ice cap is a regional phenomenon rather than being global. The comments following the article are interesting too including several rebuttals by the article author.

Yes the Mauna Loa observatory has the longest continuous record of atmospheric CO2 starting in 1958 but since then dozens of other observatories around the world have been measuring CO2 and not all of them are located next to volcanoes (La Jolla pier being one of them). Their results match the curve of the Mauna Loa observations so it doesn't appear that volcanic emissions of CO2 have had any effect on their measurements. There is a slight variance of CO2 levels by latitude with CO2 levels at the South Pole being a few ppm less than in the Northern Hemisphere but the general rise in atmospheric CO2 is evident in both places.

Comment Re:The basic question is answered...but still... (Score 1) 550

If they can't predict a few years, why on earth would we trust a long term average - or trend?

The issue is the signal to noise ratio. Natural variability and weather from year to year (noise) has a greater magnitude of variation than the underlying temperature trend (signal) from year to year. It takes time for the signal to emerge from the noise.

Comment Re:Ah yes, the meeting of Politics and Science (Score 1) 550

Other lessons of history not learned: How long was action on the dangers of smoking tobacco delayed by big tobacco and their paid scientists? How long was action delayed on the dangers of lead in gasoline and paint delayed by those who had a financial interest in them?

Comment Re:The science is not settled (Score 1) 550

What makes people think the climate of pre-industrial humanity is the "ideal" climate? Transitioning may be hard, but shouldn't we determine what the optimal climate is before spending resources trying to control it? Wouldn't those resources be better spent on transitioning if a warmer planet is indeed better for life?

The Earth itself doesn't give a damn about an "ideal" climate. It will keep soldiering along regardless of what happens. Life will adapt but if the change is drastic enough it takes many thousands of years to do that.

But over the past several millennia we have built up a world spanning civilization based on the climate that has existed during that time. There is no guarantee that the cost of adapting our civilization to anthropogenic climate change will be less than the cost of mitigating the problem. In fact most studies I've see say the cost of mitigation is less than adaption.

Comment Re:If it's "settled", it ISN'T "science" (Score 1) 550

How about instead of hypothesizing that climate scientists are conspiring to make a pause in warming disappear you actually do the science to show that their adjustments were unjustified.

It hasn't been until the last few decades that temperature stations have actually taken the needs of climate science in to account. Before that Time of Observation has changed, new instruments were introduced, urban heat islands have built up around temperature stations or they were moved to a new location. In measuring ocean surface temperatures the methods have changed from throwing a wooden bucket overboard to a canvas bucket to the intake pipes of ships to the current ARGO buoys. All of those changes have to be accounted for and corrected to get a relatively accurate contiguous record.

Comment Re:If it's "settled", it ISN'T "science" (Score 1) 550

There's lots and lots of grant money out there for people in that field, but only if their results match what the politicians need to push their agendas.

I see this claim again and again. Why hasn't someone actually done the work to determine how true it is? Information about most grants from the federal government are available. Someone needs to analyze them and show how skewed the grant process is (or not as I suspect they'd find).

Comment Re:The basic question is answered...but still... (Score 1) 550

You kind of have it backwards. Existing global climate models are useless to predict a few years but are the best thing we have to predict what the long term averages for climate will be. Like any model in science they're never perfect and there's always room for improvement.

Slashdot Top Deals

Were there fewer fools, knaves would starve. - Anonymous