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Scientists stirred to ridicule ice age claims
The New Scientist ^ | 19:00 15 April 04 | Fred Pearce

Posted on 04/16/2004 10:17:45 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach

Scientists stirred to ridicule ice age claims

 
19:00 15 April 04
 
NewScientist.com news service
 

Climate scientists have been stirred to ridicule claims in an upcoming Hollywood blockbuster that global warming could trigger a new ice age, a scenario also put forward in a controversial report to the US military.

The $125-million epic, The Day After Tomorrow, opens worldwide in May. It will show Manhattan frozen solid after the warm ocean current known as the Gulf Stream shuts down.

The movie's release will come soon after a report to the US Department of Defense (DoD) in February predicting that such a shutdown could put the northern hemisphere into a deep freeze and trigger global famine within 15 years.

But in the journal Science on Thursday, Andrew Weaver of the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada, surveys the current research and concludes "it is safe to say that global warming will not lead to the onset of a new ice age".


Salty water

The DoD's doomsday scenario, which is very similar to that in the film, was drawn up by Peter Schwartz and Doug Randall of the San Francisco-based Global Business Network. Neither is a climate scientist.

The scenario suggests that as global warming melts Arctic ice packs, the North Atlantic will become less salty. This would shut down a global ocean circulation system that is driven by dense, salty water falling to the bottom of the north Atlantic and that ultimately produces the Gulf Stream.

This much is respectable scientific theory, and some researchers believe it could happen for real in 100 years or so. But the film-makers and DoD authors go further.

They say it could happen very soon. And that if it did, the northern hemisphere would cool so much that that ice sheets would start to grow, creating a catastrophic new ice age.

This is too much even for sympathetic climatologists. Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany, whose own models say the Gulf Stream could shut down within a century, told New Scientist: "The DoD scenario is extreme and highly unlikely."


Achilles heel

And Wallace Broecker of Columbia University, New York, US, who has warned for two decades that the Atlantic circulation is "the Achilles heel of our climate system", seriously questions both the speed and severity of the changes proposed.

 
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In a letter to Science, he accuses the DoD authors of making exaggerated claims that "only intensify the existing polarisation over global warming". He adds: "What is needed is not more words but rather a means to shut down CO2 emissions." Such action could avert any Gulf Stream shutdown in the next 100 years.

Schwartz defends his scenario, saying that while it is "not the most likely scenario, it is plausible, and would challenge US national security in ways that should be considered immediately".

Weaver notes that the movie's budget "would fund my entire research group for my entire life, 10 times over". That might even allow him to discover which scenarios are most plausible.

But there are no sour grapes. "I will be one of the first to see the movie.," he says. "It'll be the Towering Inferno of climate - extremely entertaining." It will not confuse the public, he thinks, but it will not help them understand climate science either.

 

Fred Pearce



TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events; Technical
KEYWORDS: 200402; 200405; agw; atlantic; broecker; climatechange; columbiau; columbiauniversity; globalwarminghoax; gulfstream; hollywood; iceage; moviedeals; wallacebroecker

1 posted on 04/16/2004 10:17:45 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
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To: NormsRevenge; blam; *Global Warming Hoax
fyi
2 posted on 04/16/2004 10:18:39 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (The terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States - and war is what they got!!!!)
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To: nuconvert; F14 Pilot
The sky is falling PING
3 posted on 04/16/2004 10:43:08 PM PDT by Pan_Yans Wife (If indeed you must be candid, be candid beautifully.--Kahlil Gibran)
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To: Pan_Yans Wife
Bump!
4 posted on 04/16/2004 10:45:06 PM PDT by F14 Pilot (John ''Fedayeen" sKerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
There is even a theory suggesting that the poles have shifted in the past & that there might once again be another pole shift.


5 posted on 04/16/2004 10:51:11 PM PDT by Republic_of_Secession.
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
What I'm curious about, is the truth or falsehood of the oft-stated "fact" that ice ages can and do occur precipitously, developing within a period of 5 to 20 years.

(Needless to say, whatever came out of Holeywood on the subject is absolute trash by definition... but I'm just curious about that one issue...)

6 posted on 04/16/2004 10:51:20 PM PDT by fire_eye (Socialism is the opiate of academia.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Earth heats up, more water evaporates, more clouds form, more sun rays reflected, Earth cools down. Homeostasis!
7 posted on 04/16/2004 11:16:14 PM PDT by Mathlete
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
The Day After Tomorrow is the name of the film, huh?

Man, I thought the suits wisened up to giving films names that can easily be made fun of in movie reviews - that is, go see The Day After Tomorrow fast, because the title is a tip-off as to when it will be out of theaters!

8 posted on 04/16/2004 11:23:04 PM PDT by HitmanLV (I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Cool Earth:
Warm Earth:

Dark oceans absorb radiation.
White clouds reflect reflect it.
9 posted on 04/16/2004 11:24:54 PM PDT by Mathlete
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Putting aside the science, what is going on with movie production costs? $125M to make a picture about a frozen city? Today's WSJ had bits on top movies for the summer and they were all over $100M. How on earth did they spend that much money to make The Alamo? What is in that thing to make it so expensive?
10 posted on 04/16/2004 11:59:54 PM PDT by lelio
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To: lelio
No idea!
11 posted on 04/17/2004 12:10:20 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (The terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States - and war is what they got!!!!)
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To: lelio
Perhaps the salaries to the actors? Remedy: Use new actors and pay them less.
12 posted on 04/17/2004 12:15:34 AM PDT by AdmSmith
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Develop automated crawlers that burn old tires and spread the resulting carbon across the ice fields. Solar insolation should take care of the ice.

Next world crises, please. I'm on a roll.

/john

13 posted on 04/17/2004 12:56:32 AM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Soy el jefe de la cocina. No discuta con mí.)
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To: Mathlete
WHERE'S THE HEAT?

From Junkscience, 16 January 2001
http://www.junkscience.com

Now even models suggest that warmer ocean temperatures induce more
evaporation, leading to more cloud formation and subsequent surface cooling!
This is one of the great problems with the enhanced greenhouse hypothesis -
the so-called positive feedback of increased evaporation (water vapor is the
major greenhouse gas) inevitably results in the negative feedback of
increased albedo (reflection of solar radiation) due to increased cloud
formation, damping rather than enhancing the negligible warming influence
possible from anthropogenic atmospheric CO2 addition. Parenthetically, this
piece alludes to a global decadal trend of +0.1°C since 1950 although such a
figure is extremely dubious. The contiguous US composite record makes a fair
to muddling proxy for global temperature trends over the period, so judge
for yourself. Hard to pick a decadal trend of +0.1°C since 1950 isn't it?
These fanciful figures are enabled by using estimates of proxies for air
temperature. Over 7-10ths of the Earth's surface is composed of the oceans,
this means using ocean 'surface' temperatures (everything from 'bucket on a
rope' to ships' engine coolant water manifold temperatures) as a proxy for
air temperature. If you think this might be a less-than-reliable means of
establishing Earth temperature trends you are not alone.
14 posted on 04/17/2004 2:14:40 AM PDT by Straight Vermonter (06/07/04 - 1000 days since 09/11/01)
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To: lelio
What is in that thing to make it so expensive?

Disingenuous crap for the mini-minds who think that Hollyweird is the intellectual center of the universe. It takes longer to make these films (thus the higher costs) because the actors and crew can't stop laughing for long enough periods to film a complete scene - so there are increased editing costs. In addition, it costs more to make a film about junk science because it takes more effort to find a writer with a lobotomy capable of writing the script while the production crew is still alive.
15 posted on 04/17/2004 3:41:52 AM PDT by DustyMoment (Repeal CFR NOW!!)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
"The Day After Tomorrow"

Ah, anyone remember "Waterworld"?? Does this POS star Kevin Costner???

16 posted on 04/17/2004 4:24:56 AM PDT by Wonder Warthog (The Hog of Steel)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Climate scientists have been stirred to ridicule claims in an upcoming Hollywood blockbuster that global warming could trigger a new ice age....

Note to climate scientist...... It's a movie

17 posted on 04/17/2004 4:29:11 AM PDT by Fzob (Why does this tag line keep showing up?)
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To: DustyMoment
ROFL!!!
18 posted on 04/17/2004 9:11:18 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (The terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States - and war is what they got!!!!)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
I guess I'm confused. If the melting of the arctic icepack could lead to a new ice age, wouldn't that ice age rebuild the arctic icepack?

It seems self-correcting to me.

19 posted on 04/17/2004 9:16:52 AM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: Dog Gone

20 posted on 04/17/2004 9:23:01 AM PDT by null and void (Posts passing in the night...)
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To: null and void; Dog Gone
The answer is in there?

I listened to him a bit the other night, seemed like a reasonable fellow.
21 posted on 04/17/2004 9:26:42 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (The terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States - and war is what they got!!!!)
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To: Mathlete
The recurring cycle seems to me.
22 posted on 04/17/2004 9:27:48 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (The terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States - and war is what they got!!!!)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Sometimes. I look at CoastToCoastAM as a gold mine.

Tons of ore, ounces of gold...

23 posted on 04/17/2004 9:28:57 AM PDT by null and void (Posts passing in the night...)
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To: Fzob
Note to climate scientist...... It's a movie

Which is also why the hero will save the day and have it all done in under 2 hours. Not many people will rush to see a film where nothing detectable happens in the story for hundreds of years.

24 posted on 04/17/2004 9:34:02 AM PDT by Redcloak (Have you hugged your tagline today?)
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To: AdmSmith
Perhaps the salaries to the actors? Remedy: Use new actors and pay them less.

I think that was the case of the Punisher film: take an unknown and put them in the role.

I think the problem with doing that is that there's so much money riding on one single film that its safer to make a sure bet with a known star. Its like a $10M insurance policy to get a big name.

It seems like once you make a film that isn't a box office smash you're blacklisted for a couple of years. No one wants to take a chance in making a flop so everyone goes for the same known quanities. For example, the new film "Troy" has about 4 big names in it. All of them are good actors (I think Brad Pitt's a good actor, but in this role its a stretch).

I think the solution to this is for studios to start pumping out a lot more films to spread the risk around. By definition one can make 8 $12M films for the cost of a $100M one, and its not like there's a shortage of workers out there.

We'll probably see something like this with Mark Cuban's purchase of Landmark Theaters to show his own lower budget films.
25 posted on 04/17/2004 12:19:21 PM PDT by lelio
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To: Straight Vermonter
One sometimes hears the comparison between the greenhouse effect in the atmosphere (not in real greenhouses) and the interior of a parked car which has been left in the summer Sun with its windows rolled up. This comparison is as phony as is the comparison to real greenhouses. -- Bad Meteorology

Sounds as if the Saganists were right on their positive-feedback system dynamics, that the Medieval Warm Period would have stayed warm and never returned to the coolness we experience now.

Nevertheless, the "Super Power" (namely us) is the country with the most "life force", and "life force" is equivalent to entropy. Burning fossil fuels is the USA's way of producing this vigor. It's not surprising that other envious lesser countries would love to attenuate our vitality by forcing us to slow down.

26 posted on 04/17/2004 1:13:18 PM PDT by Mathlete
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.


27 posted on 12/12/2009 5:21:54 PM PST by piasa (Attitude adjustments offered here free of charge)
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