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The Global Warming debate of 2005

By Aldanatech ·
On this year's Earth day (04/22/05), PBS'S Now featured the effects of global warming, the climate changes of years to come, the Crichton effect, and several different perspectives. It looks at recent scientific evidence that has set off alarms about the implications of melting glaciers for rising ocean levels and talks to one coal-burning energy company that has voluntarily pledged to stabilize its greenhouse gas emissions:

http://www.pbs.org/now/transcript/transcriptNOW116_full.html

http://www.pbs.org/now/thisweek/index_042205.html

According to Now, scientists say that over the last century, almost every glacier on earth has gotten smaller and that the Arctic, which serves as the "air conditioner" for the world, is warming twice as fast as anywhere else. It's part of the body of evidence, they say, that proves humans are changing the atmosphere and causing a global climate change, which has enormous implications for the health of the planet and its inhabitants. The government however still claims that global warming is a hoax. Where do you stand on this issue and what do you think we should do about it?

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Not a hoax

by Dr Dij In reply to The Global Warming debate ...

I don't think even our govt says that, however they didn't join the international accord partly for selfish reasons and partly because it exempted China and India from emissions controls. It appears that one 2 cycle car in India spews out vastly more pollution than quite a few cars in industrialized nations, and that factories also spew out pollution.

China is particulary bad. They are scrambling to produce more industrial goods, and most electricity is coming from coal which is very dirty. There may be clean burning coal to electricity technologies implemented but now.

Not only will global warming continue and extinctions rise to unprecedented levels but sea levels will rise, not only due to bulk of ice caps that are melting (the sea north of Canada is predicted to be ice free in a few years) but supposedly sea levels will rise 36 feet or so. I'm told this is due more to the effect of warmer water expanding. Sure it's only one or two degrees but that is 2 degrees times roughly 1,260,000,000,000,000,000,000 liters of water.

Will we survive just that? Probably.
Will it cause great hardship on the worlds peoples? definitely.
Just stopping the atlantic 'conveyor belt' of warm water (GUlf stream) that hits the arctic then falls to the bottom of the ocean and ends up winding around cape horn to the indian ocean will cause major climatic changes in Europe, probably a mini-ice age despite planet being warmer elsewhere. This is a major way planet equalized heat. And the conveyor stops quicker than we thought, could stop in 10 years we've found from glacial cores. End result is more heat difference between tropics and north will spawn more hurricanes, cyclones, tornadoes to equalize heat.

For those in LA, the '72 and partly cloudy' may be a thing of the past, witness near record rains this year, 36" in a few weeks.

You AXF and Sim City fans may have an answer, building an orbiting solar shade of thin mylar might become a global necessity project soon.

While we're at it, we could add orbiting solar power stations, beaming the energy down to receiving stations on the surface. Have fun roasting if the beam goes off tracking and frys the area around the station!

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This will be tried in the year 3000 and not work

by Montgomery Gator In reply to Not a hoax

"You AXF and Sim City fans may have an answer, building an orbiting solar shade of thin mylar might become a global necessity project soon."
...
Saw a rerun of Futurama last night, which was about global warming, and Wormstrum (scientist rival to Professor Farnsworth) built a huge mirror to reflect the sun's rays away from the Earth. However, a small asteroid hit it and turned it back to Earth to concentrate the Sun's rays back towards Earth, burning a swath through the building where the Global Warming meeting was being held. The solution then proposed was to destroy the robots who were releasing greenhouse gas. However, Professor Farnsworth had a better idea. He had all the robots turn their jets upward from the same location (Galapagos Islands, where they were tricked to go for a party where they wer actually destroyed). These jets then pushed the Earth into a orbit further out and solved the problem. So, we can can learn from Futurama that a giant space mirror is a bad idea.

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LOL - Good one

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to This will be tried in the ...

How did they stop the sun's light and the solar wind from making the mirror sail out of orbit ?

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How do they?

by neilb@uk In reply to LOL - Good one

Sorry, Tony - major hard sci-fi geek so I had to answer. Stick a payload hung from strings on the edge to turn the mirror into a light-sail then you can align it to the Sun until the "push" of the Sun equals the pull of gravity on the payload. Light pressure on a flat mirror is always perpendicular to the surface as the bounce-away is at the same angle as the incidence so the more you tilt away from the Sun, the lower the force. Gets more complex with a curved mirror but it still works. The faster you spin the mirror, the flatter it gets.

Edit: So dumb, that. You were asking about Futurama and I'm in with both feet!

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I knew that just wondered

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to How do they?

how technical Futurama was. I'm betting they missed that bit of elementary physics out.

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Don't know

by Montgomery Gator In reply to LOL - Good one

The meteor hit it as soon as it was put up there.

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New ideas on coral reef bleaching

by Dr Dij In reply to This will be tried in the ...

Yes, that Futurama was hilarious. We'll have to ban fuel hungry robots in the future.

Previously I had from articles that coral reefs bleached due to them being very picky about exact temperature, no problem (kindof), some other tropical species of coral will take their place? This was just their best guess it appears.

Apparently not. Last nite on PBS, researchers found several actual reasons coral reefs bleach. Around Jamaica, we've overfished 90% of the big fish in the ocean. Anyway I think the show said the herbivorus fish that eat the algae that tends to grow on coral reefs were reduced in numbers such that nothing was left to control the algae and it quickly covers the coral, killing it. In a nearby island, they setup marine reserves (no fishing areas that are actually enforced effectively) a few years ago after nearly wiping out their reefs also. On these islands, larger fish are returning and reefs are much healthier.

And in Australia, crown of thorns starfish (they eat coral) population explosions wiped out reefs. It appears it was slightly different reasons: algae again grew rampant, setting off the crown of thorns. Sugar cane appears to blame. Farmers add nitrogen fertilizers heavily, which they must use on sugarcane and tropical storms wash it into the ocean, causing the algae to overrun the coral. They've cut down all the trees between the river and the fields, so it washes right in.

Suggested fix was to increase the border of trees between the fields and river, wide enuf to soak up the excess nutrients.

In both these cases we'd collapsed the whole local ecosystem, making recovery much harder. Ecosystem collapse may be the actual cause of most of our problems in the near future, as plant life is very adaptable and can move to warmer / cooler regions. In fact signs point to trees in the appalachians doing just that in last ice age.

Sadly cruise ships still just push garbage out into the ocean and many developing countries have no pollution laws.

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Tell me Again

by holdcraftm In reply to This will be tried in the ...

Tell me again, what planet do you live on? You definitely are not on this one!

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Earth

by Montgomery Gator In reply to Tell me Again

We had a TV show called "Futurama" on Earth, and the old episodes are rebroadcast on the Cartoon Network. If you were from Earth, you woud know that.

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More coffee on the screen

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Earth

Good come back.

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