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Global warming is no idle threat (ENVIRONMENTAL BONEHEAD ALERT!)
Chicago Sun-Times ^
| February 1, 2003
| JIM DiPESO
Posted on 02/01/2003 3:59:06 PM PST by Chi-townChief
When frigid air clamped down on the eastern half of the United States last month, the likely response to a question about global warming would have been, ''Bring it on.''
As strange as it sounds, however, the United States could see more and longer such cold snaps if nothing is done about global warming. That's right. Scientists keeping tabs on the Earth's oceans are concerned that global warming could actually lead to dangerously cold weather in North America and Europe.
The notion defies common sense, but the underlying physics are worth the close attention of citizens and national policymakers who would have to deal with the harsh consequences.
It starts with the Gulf Stream, a current of warm water in the Atlantic Ocean that transports warm air northward. That's why much of Western Europe, which is at about the same latitude as Canada, has a relatively mild climate. The Gulf Stream is actually part of an oceanic conveyor belt. As the Gulf Stream gives up its heat in northern latitudes, the current becomes saltier and heavier than surrounding waters and sinks, a process that propels the conveyor belt.
Global warming could interrupt this vital process. As temperatures warm, melting of glaciers and ice fields would accelerate. This is no idle theory. Glaciers worldwide are retreating. Glacier National Park is losing its namesake features. Ernest Hemingway's fabled snows of Kilimanjaro are disappearing.
Melting ice sending a surge of fresh water into the North Atlantic would dilute its saltiness. Less salty water is lighter. At some point, the Gulf Stream could stop sinking into the North Atlantic's depths, bringing the conveyor belt to a halt, like an engine that has seized up.
The consequences could be both abrupt and severe. Within a generation, average winter temperatures in the eastern United States and Western Europe could drop 10 degrees--a huge drop as averages go--and brutal winters could be the norm for the following decades or even centuries in the most economically developed region in the world. Ironically, the regional deep freeze could occur even as the Earth as a whole continues to warm, according to a presentation the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute made to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Jan. 27.
Oceanographers reported in Science magazine last year that the North Atlantic is rapidly becoming less salty. Does that mean the shutdown of the Gulf Stream could happen soon? Scientists do not know. However, there is good evidence from Earth's past that climate can shift abruptly. For example, scientists are investigating whether an abrupt climate shift caused the ''Little Ice Age'' between 1300 and 1850, a period of colder temperatures that resulted in crop failures, disease and mass migration.
So what should government policymakers do? The first step is to underwrite research that will improve scientific understanding of abrupt climate change--both how it occurred in the past and how it could recur in the future. The second, simultaneous step is to reduce the risk that global warming could trigger an abrupt climate shift, through prudent measures to reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.
Earlier this month, Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) introduced legislation to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2016.
The reductions would be accomplished through a market-based ''cap-and-trade'' system applied to electricity generation, petroleum refining, commercial and industrial sectors.
Deep emissions reductions will be needed over the next several decades to stabilize atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases.
But the McCain-Lieberman bill would be an excellent start and a clear signal that the United States, at last, is moving off the climate change sidelines.
For too long, the federal government has been frozen in denial and dithering about global warming. It's time to break the ice jam in Washington and head off a real deep freeze that would endanger our future.
Jim DiPeso is policy director of REP America, the national grassroots organization of Republicans for environmental protection.
TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Illinois
KEYWORDS: carbondioxide; co2; emissions; environment; environmentalism; gasses; globalwarming; globalwarminghoax; green
This clown must have a pocketful of two-headed coins: after years of telling us that our warm winters are absolute proof of global warming, he now discovers that cold winters are the real proof! I hope this group DiPeso says he represents, Republicans for environmental protection, has a membership of one.
from what i recall of my highschool science classes, the water cycle consists of fresh water mixing into the salty oceans and as the water evaporates, the oceans remain just as salty... is this not the case anymore?
sort of a closed loop, water evaporates and then rains down, etc. etc. etc....
is the reason for droughts, because there are too many trees storing moisture that isn't evaporating...
posted on 02/01/2003 4:07:01 PM PST
To: *Global Warming Hoax
Yuh, right. The cycle is: Last winter was warmer than average, proof of global warming. Last winter was colder than average, proof of global warming.
My dog just farted, proof of global warming.
posted on 02/01/2003 4:16:15 PM PST
Melting ice sending a surge of fresh water into the North Atlantic would dilute its saltiness. Less salty water is lighter. At some point, the Gulf Stream could stop sinking into the North Atlantic's depths, bringing the conveyor belt to a halt, like an engine that has seized up. The consequences could be both abrupt and severe. Within a generation, average winter temperatures in the eastern United States and Western Europe could drop 10 degrees--
The Eastern US, other than the maritime climates, does not get its weather from the Gulf Stream. The weather systems travel from the West, and on occasion, from the South. Ireland and Wales would be screwed if the Gulf Stream stopped.
Forunately, the piece was written with an eye to Funding-Whoring, so we need not concern ourselves with the quackery. The last time one of these was posted, it promised New Englanders better tomato growing seasons, but I see now that we shall freeze. These people have more excuses than a pregnant nun.
posted on 02/01/2003 4:31:55 PM PST
As strange as it sounds, however, the United States could see more and longer such cold snaps if nothing is done about global warming.
And what precisely does this author figure anyone is going to accomplish, one way or another?
Climatic temperature is predominantly a consequence of Solar heating/cooling arising from variation of solar radiance, plus astronomical & geophysical events affecting surface & atmospheric albedo.
Mankind's maximum impact on Clinmate is only 0.28% of Total Greenhouse effect
- " There is no dispute at all about the fact that even if punctiliously observed, (the Kyoto Protocol) would have an imperceptible effect on future temperatures -- one-twentieth of a degree by 2050. "
Dr. S. Fred Singer, atmospheric physicist
Professor Emeritus of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia,
and former director of the US Weather Satellite Service;
in a Sept. 10, 2001 Letter to Editor, Wall Street Journal
CO2 concentration is an effect of change in atmosperic temperature, not the cause.
Globally Averaged Atmospheric Temperatures
This chart shows the monthly temperature changes for the lower troposphere - Earth's atmosphere from the surface to 8 km, or 5 miles up. The temperature in this region is more strongly influenced by oceanic activity, particularly the "El Niño" and "La Niña" phenomena, which originate as changes in oceanic and atmospheric circulations in the tropical Pacific Ocean. The overall trend in the tropospheric data is near zero, being +0.04 C/decade through Feb 2002. Click on the chart to get the numerical data.
Ice Ages & Astronomical Causes
Brief Introduction to the History of Climate
by Richard A. Muller
Origin of the 100 kyr Glacial Cycle
by Richard A. Muller
Figure 1-2 Climate of the last 2400 years
Figure 1-3 Climate of the last 12,000 years
Figure 1-4 Climate of the last 100,000 years
Figure 1-5 Climate for the last 420 kyr, from Vostok ice
This clown must have a pocketful of two-headed coins: after years of telling us that our warm winters are absolute proof of global warming, he now discovers that cold winters are the real proof!
One of the key attributes of any meaningful scientific theory is that it be falsifiable, that is, there must be some conceivable evidence one could uncover that would show it to be wrong.
Global warming seems to fail this test, since what would appear to be contradictory evidence is cited in support.
posted on 02/01/2003 4:32:41 PM PST
My dog just farted, proof of global warming.
Greenhouse Gas Alert! ! ! Greenhouse Gas Alert! ! !
(Better put a cork in it.)
You beat me to it. Yes, a theory that admits all contradictory facts is unfalsifiable, therefore unprovable, therefore not a theory or hypothesis at all.
posted on 02/01/2003 4:35:37 PM PST
This is great comedy. We're really grabbing at straws now, aren't we? "Oh no! This cold winter doesn't fit in to our big lie. We need another lie!" Didn't they tell us the last three or four mild winters were proof that the globe was warming?
posted on 02/01/2003 4:37:08 PM PST
"That's right. Scientists keeping tabs on the Earth's oceans are concerned that global warming could actually lead to dangerously cold weather in North America and Europe."
Naturally! Global warming is a fact. It's been voted on by a committee of experts and now all observations will be fitted to that democratic decision.
Note the whole world is suffering from the careless and unconcerned priviledged of the world, all concentrated in the U.S. The U.S. and Europe will freeze and the rest of the world will burn up, unless we surrender control of the planets of energy resources to the enlightened committee now at the game board playing sym-Earth.
posted on 02/01/2003 4:53:03 PM PST
"My dog just farted, proof of global warming.
Just don't let him take a nap too close to the hot water heater...for the children's sake.
posted on 02/01/2003 4:56:41 PM PST
Send this idiot to Texas. We've been freezing for the last two weeks.
I'd love to see him stand outside in his shorts.
posted on 02/01/2003 5:02:19 PM PST
(ColdWarrior. I stood the watch.)
Leftists are so simple:
Faced with evidence that their theory is false, they simply modify it so that it is no longer falsifiable.
posted on 02/01/2003 5:14:24 PM PST
(Government Limited to Enumerated Powers is your freedom to do what isn't in the Constitution.)
April 28, 1975
The Cooling World
There are ominous signs that the Earths weather patterns have begun to change dramatically and that these changes may portend a drastic decline in food production with serious political implications for just about every nation on Earth. The drop in food output could begin quite soon, perhaps only 10 years from now. The regions destined to feel its impact are the great wheat-producing lands of Canada and the U.S.S.R. in the North, along with a number of marginally self-sufficient tropical areas parts of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indochina and Indonesia where the growing season is dependent upon the rains brought by the monsoon.
The evidence in support of these predictions has now begun to accumulate so massively that meteorologists are hard-pressed to keep up with it. In England, farmers have seen their growing season decline by about two weeks since 1950, with a resultant overall loss in grain production estimated at up to 100,000 tons annually. During the same time, the average temperature around the equator has risen by a fraction of a degree a fraction that in some areas can mean drought and desolation. Last April, in the most devastating outbreak of tornadoes ever recorded, 148 twisters killed more than 300 people and caused half a billion dollars' worth of damage in 13 U.S. states.
To scientists, these seemingly disparate incidents represent the advance signs of fundamental changes in the world's weather. Meteorologists disagree about the cause and extent of the trend, as well as over its specific impact on local weather conditions. But they are almost unanimous in the view that the trend will reduce agricultural productivity for the rest of the century. If the climatic change is as profound as some of the pessimists fear, the resulting famines could be catastrophic. A major climatic change would force economic and social adjustments on a worldwide scale, warns a recent report by the National Academy of Sciences, because the global patterns of food production and population that have evolved are implicitly dependent on the climate of the present century.
A survey completed last year by Dr. Murray Mitchell of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reveals a drop of half a degree in average ground temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere between 1945 and 1968. According to George Kukla of Columbia University, satellite photos indicated a sudden, large increase in Northern Hemisphere snow cover in the winter of 1971-72. And a study released last month by two NOAA scientists notes that the amount of sunshine reaching the ground in the continental U.S. diminished by 1.3% between 1964 and 1972.
To the layman, the relatively small changes in temperature and sunshine can be highly misleading. Reid Bryson of the University of Wisconsin points out that the Earths average temperature during the great Ice Ages was only about seven degrees lower than during its warmest eras and that the present decline has taken the planet about a sixth of the way toward the Ice Age average. Others regard the cooling as a reversion to the little ice age conditions that brought bitter winters to much of Europe and northern America between 1600 and 1900 years when the Thames used to freeze so solidly that Londoners roasted oxen on the ice and when iceboats sailed the Hudson River almost as far south as New York City.
Just what causes the onset of major and minor ice ages remains a mystery. Our knowledge of the mechanisms of climatic change is at least as fragmentary as our data, concedes the National Academy of Sciences report. Not only are the basic scientific questions largely unanswered, but in many cases we do not yet know enough to pose the key questions.
Meteorologists think that they can forecast the short-term results of the return to the norm of the last century. They begin by noting the slight drop in overall temperature that produces large numbers of pressure centers in the upper atmosphere. These break up the smooth flow of westerly winds over temperate areas. The stagnant air produced in this way causes an increase in extremes of local weather such as droughts, floods, extended dry spells, long freezes, delayed monsoons and even local temperature increases all of which have a direct impact on food supplies.
The worlds food-producing system, warns Dr. James D. McQuigg of NOAAs Center for Climatic and Environmental Assessment, is much more sensitive to the weather variable than it was even five years ago. Furthermore, the growth of world population and creation of new national boundaries make it impossible for starving peoples to migrate from their devastated fields, as they did during past famines.
Climatologists are pessimistic that political leaders will take any positive action to compensate for the climatic change, or even to allay its effects. They concede that some of the more spectacular solutions proposed, such as melting the Arctic ice cap by covering it with black soot or diverting arctic rivers, might create problems far greater than those they solve. But the scientists see few signs that government leaders anywhere are even prepared to take the simple measures of stockpiling food or of introducing the variables of climatic uncertainty into economic projections of future food supplies. The longer the planners delay, the more difficult will they find it to cope with climatic change once the results become grim reality.
Reprinted from Financial Post - Canada, Jun 21, 2000
All Material Subject to Copyright.
Copyright © 2000 Global Climate Coalition, All rights reserved.
posted on 02/01/2003 5:44:03 PM PST
(Age and deceit beat youth and skill)
Need access to invaluable temperature records across the USA dating back over 100 years?
Then check out: www.co2science.org
posted on 02/01/2003 6:05:25 PM PST
>>...the United States could see more and longer such cold snaps if nothing is done about global warming...
That does sorta fly in the face of common sense.
The author of this piece is paraphrasing "The Coming Global Superstorm" by Art Bell and Whitley Strieber. The "physics" claims are right out of the book. Pure speculation.
posted on 02/01/2003 9:35:48 PM PST
>> Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) introduced legislation to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2016.
Why do we need legislation when the two of them could just refrain from exhaling and accomplish the same thing?
Even if Globo Warmo was right, it gives no credence to the enviro wacko cult of polyps pierced freaks.
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