Skip to comments.Debate on Climate Shifts to Issue of Irreparable Change
Posted on 01/29/2006 2:30:09 AM PST by neverdem
Some Experts on Global Warming Foresee 'Tipping Point' When It Is Too Late to Act
Now that most scientists agree human activity is causing Earth to warm, the central debate has shifted to whether climate change is progressing so rapidly that, within decades, humans may be helpless to slow or reverse the trend.
This "tipping point" scenario has begun to consume many prominent researchers in the United States and abroad, because the answer could determine how drastically countries need to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions in the coming years. While scientists remain uncertain when such a point might occur, many say it is urgent that policymakers cut global carbon dioxide emissions in half over the next 50 years or risk the triggering of changes that would be irreversible.
There are three specific events that these scientists describe as especially worrisome and potentially imminent, although the time frames are a matter of dispute: widespread coral bleaching that could damage the world's fisheries within three decades; dramatic sea level rise by the end of the century that would take tens of thousands of years to reverse; and, within 200 years, a shutdown of the ocean current that moderates temperatures in northern Europe.
The debate has been intensifying because Earth is warming much faster than some researchers had predicted. James E. Hansen, who directs NASA's Goddard Institute of Space Studies, last week confirmed that 2005 was the warmest year on record, surpassing 1998. Earth's average temperature has risen nearly 1 degree Fahrenheit over the past 30 years, he noted, and another increase of about 4 degrees over the next century would "imply changes that constitute practically a different planet."
"It's not something you can adapt to," Hansen said in an interview. "We can't let it go on another 10 years like this. We've..."
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
"The most striking feature of the Sun's magnetic field is its cyclic behaviour. The number of sunspots, which are dark regions of strong magnetic field on the Sun's surface, varies with a period of about 11 years. Superposed on this cycle are secular changes that occur on timescales of centuries and events like the Maunder minimum in the second half of the seventeenth century, when there were very few sunspots. A part of the Sun's magnetic field reaches out from the surface into interplanetary space, and it was recently discovered that the average strength of this interplanetary field has doubled in the past 100 years. There has hitherto been no clear explanation for this doubling. Here we present a model describing the long-term evolution of the Sun's large-scale magnetic field, which reproduces the doubling of the interplanetary field. The model indicates that there is a direct connection between the length of the sunspot cycle and the secular variations."
More evidence that Ol' Sol is the culprit after satellite measurements, the observed increase in sunspots and global warming on Mars.
Great Post ND. More Junk Journalism on display. While most scientists agree there is some warming, many do NOT agree that it is caused by man. Amazing how sloppy Journalists are in their "facts". This level of incompetence regularly displayed by Editors and Journalist would be ground for termination of employment any where else in life.
Anyone who thinks that humans are destroying the climate should do the decent thing and hang themselves.
As far as I am concerned, *if anything* I am helping to prevent the next Ice Age.
Since nuclear power produces no greenhouse gasses, I think we should just play along with the liberals on this one and insist that the country begin a massive program of nuclear power plant construction.
What happened to Evolution? How is it that life made it 4 billion years on this planet through much more drastic climate changes than this only to be done in by a change in sea level and 1.9 to 5 degrees in temperature change? Why can't Norwegians just start dressing more like Kenyans and maybe Canadians can start wearing sombreros like the Mexicans do?!??
I will take global warming seriously when environmentalists drop their opposition to nuclear power.
Apparently, the Wash Post does not maintain reporters in metropolitan Russia or eastern Europe, where it has been as low as Minus 30 Fahrenheit for a two-week stretch recently.
Starting an article with a provable lie is a sure way to turn off your intended audience.
While most scientists may agree that the earth is in a slight warming trend, they hardly agree that the cause is human activity.
I think you are wrong. We need nuclear power. While electricity may not be able to replace imported oil for all of our energy needs, it could help. For instance, the railroads could (relatively) easily be converted to electricity. Supply creates its own demand and all that. Nuclear power now!
Yes, but that's just another symptom of global warming, you see. No, seriously, I've heard that argument, framed as "dramatic climate variations" that may appear confusing, but that are highly indicative of global warming.
The whole global warming "science" strikes me as being similar to the question "Have you stopped beating your wife?". You're guilty no matter what.
BALONEY!As planets age they cool and the earth is no different.This is no more than(with yearly variants)heat working its way to the surface from earth's molten core.All this environmental nonsense is created to generate uncertainty and fear for the purpose of control over the paranoid masses.
"Apparently, the Wash Post does not maintain reporters in metropolitan Russia or eastern Europe, where it has been as low as Minus 30 Fahrenheit for a two-week stretch recently."
Looks like a good time and place for a Gore "global warming" speech.
I'm gonna go out on a limb here and make some wild-eyed predictions for the year 2050:
1. The earth will still be spinning on it's axis.
2. So called "global warming" will not result in our grandchildren surfing on newly formed beaches in Terre Haute, Indiana.
3. Most of the worlds forests will still be, well, forests.
4. Human beings, who have adapted and survived ecological change for thousands if not millions of years will continue to adapt and survive.
The only "tipping point" these "experts" really care about is the one where Mr. Taxpayer shuts off their supply of easy cash. Until then, the "experts" must continue to spread theories of gloom and doom in order to shakedown those firghtened enough to fund such nonsense.
The "tipping point" story is the left's attempt to create public hysteria to achieve what sensible people ordinarily would not agree to -- declaration of a state of environmental emergency and suspension of established legal rights.
Yeah, and most scientists used to think continental drift was bunk when Wegner proposed it.
So the Wash Post starts with a questionable premise and goes downhill from there. Meanwhile, Mars has been getting warmer without SUVs.