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Coming of the Ice Age - 2016

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    Posted: December 30 2015 at 8:34am
The research on this as well as posting has gone on for years. Summing up many posts and data the gist of all this is the following.

1) We are technically still in an ice-age due to the existence of ice upon the planet. Nested within the ice-age cycles are the glacials and right now we’re in an interglacial, and have been for about 10,000 years.

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/43298115/ns/technology_and_science-science/t/lack-sunspots-may-have-aided-little-ice-age/#.VoQFroZpGpI

2)
A dearth of bright spots on the sun might have contributed to a frigid period known as the  "little ice age" in the middle of the past millennium, researchers suggest.

From the 1500s to the 1800s, much of Europe and North America were plunged into what came to be called the little ice age. The coolest part of this cold spell coincided with a 75-year period beginning in 1645 when astronomers detected almost no sunspots on the sun, a time now referred to as the Maunder Minimum.

3) There is a heated debate to whether pollution and technology experiments i.e. HAARP are messing up our weather.

The Tin hats are having a part with "conspiracy theories" about HAARP. HAARP (High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program) is a little-known, yet critically important U.S. military defense project which has generated quite a bit of controversy over its alleged weather control capabilities and much more.

With the current world conference which was held to generate cooperation and a global weather agreement to stop "global warming" there is a real question if we are currently going to experience warmer or colder temperatures.

4) As I posted and has been state by scientists - diluting the Gulf Stream waters by melting ice from the North Pole could result in drastic temperature drop in North American and parts of Europe.

There was a documentary stating this. Recent American government report that believes the collapse of thermohaline circulation will take place around the year 2010 and impose a minor ice age on Europe.

Could Dublin acquire a climate like Spitzberg, and London like that of Siberia? The Gulf Stream is a powerful surface current, driven by the Trade Winds.

Its origins lie in the Gulf of Mexico and it carries the tropical waters from the Florida Strait to the great banks of the United States, where it heads eastward, carrying its warm waters to the borders of the North Atlantic. As soon as the tropical waters hit the Arctic Ocean, they cool abruptly and plunge towards the abyssal zone to form a loop, known as "thermohaline circulation." Then, like an immense conveyor belt that slows down in the ocean depths, it sets out again southward to rejoin the beginning of the Gulf Stream.

5) A lot of data being put out has been called to questions whether some blatant statements are false and meant to create government programs which will make a lot of people a lot of money and will do nothing to help our climate. Changing bus schedules is not going to stop a mini-ice age.

6) The rise of C02 in the atmosphere is a claim some have made which ties industrial nation pollution to global warming. Is this true or are there much greater cycle which we have no control over which are about the chill us all out a lot?

7) Some of the climate scientists are about as accurate in their predictions as a wave of new book authors with ambitious theories. One must balance the science versus the desire to make money.  What is the truth?

We have some really unusual weather patterns developing because of El Nino and La Nina. The weather is getting even more unpredictable. We could have polar vortexes bringing icy conditions to the U.S. and Europe and if the whole climate change thing escalates enough - shut down much of the northern United States.

Right now it's real cold where I am and I am running two heaters. How about you?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Medclinician Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 30 2015 at 8:48am
So in 2004 they released a movie called The Day After Tomorrow. Great movie really and it does have a bit of science behind it.  If this melting continues and the water dilutes and we get intense cold in the U.S. and Europe all the plans to deal with global warming will be frozen along with the people who promoted them.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Medclinician Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 30 2015 at 9:40am
Climate Myths courtesy of Robert M. Carter

LAYING TEN GLOBAL WARMING MYTHS

Myth 1     Average global temperature (AGT) has increased over the last few years.

Fact 1       Within error bounds, AGT has not increased since 1995 and has declined since 2002, despite an increase in atmospheric CO2 of 8% since 1995. 

Myth 2     During the late 20th Century, AGT increased at a dangerously fast rate and reached an unprecedented magnitude.

Facts 2      The late 20th Century AGT rise was at a rate of 1-20 C/century, which lies well within natural rates of climate change for the last 10,000 yr. AGT has been several degrees warmer than today many times in the recent geological past. 

Myth 3     AGT was relatively unchanging in pre-industrial times, has sky-rocketed since 1900, and will increase by several degrees more over the next 100 years (the Mann, Bradley & Hughes “hockey stick” curve and its computer extrapolation).

Facts 3      The Mann et al. curve has been exposed as a statistical contrivance. There is no convincing evidence that past climate was unchanging, nor that 20th century changes in AGT were unusual, nor that dangerous human warming is underway.

Myth 4     Computer models predict that AGT will increase by up to 60 C over the next 100 years.

Facts 4      Deterministic computer models do. Other equally valid (empirical) computer models predict cooling. 

Myth 5     Warming of more than 20 C will have catastrophic effects on ecosystems and mankind alike.

Facts 5      A 20 C change would be well within previous natural bounds. Ecosystems have been adapting to such changes since time immemorial. The result is the process that we call evolution. Mankind can and does adapt to all climate extremes.

Myth 6     Further human addition of CO2 to the atmosphere will cause dangerous warming, and is generally harmful.

Facts 6      No human-caused warming can yet be detected that is distinct from natural system variation and noise. Any additional human-caused warming which occurs will probably amount to less than 10 C. Atmospheric CO2 is a beneficial fertilizer for plants, including especially cereal crops, and also aids efficient evapo-transpiration. 

Myth 7     Changes in solar activity cannot explain recent changes in AGT.

Facts 7      The sun’s output varies in several ways on many time scales (including the 11-, 22 and 80-year solar cycles), with concomitant effects on Earth’s climate. While changes in visible radiation are small, changes in particle flux and magnetic field are known to exercise a strong climatic effect. More than 50% of the 0.80 C rise in AGT observed during the 20th century can be attributed to solar change. 

Myth 8     Unprecedented melting of ice is taking place in both the north and south polar regions.

Facts 8      Both the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are growing in thickness and cooling at their summit. Sea ice around Antarctica attained a record area in 2007. Temperatures in the Arctic region are just now achieving the levels of natural warmth experienced during the early 1940s, and the region was warmer still (sea-ice free) during earlier times.

Myth 9     Human-caused global warming is causing dangerous global sea-level (SL) rise.

Facts 9      SL change differs from time to time and place to place; between 1955 and 1996, for example, SL at Tuvalu fell by 105 mm (2.5 mm/yr). Global average SL is a statistical measure of no value for environmental planning purposes. A global average SL rise of 1-2 mm/yr occurred naturally over the last 150 years, and shows no sign of human-influenced increase. 

Myth 10   The late 20th Century increase in AGT caused an increase in the number of severe storms (cyclones), or in storm intensity.

Facts 10    Meteorological experts are agreed that no increase in storms has occurred beyond that associated with natural variation of the climate system.

comment: So - depending on whose computer model you run you can get just about anything. In some conclusions the common sense factor is noticeably absent.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jacksdad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 30 2015 at 12:11pm
"One paper (authored by Carter) was described by Bob Ward, of the Grantham Research Institute at the London School of Economics, as “probably the worst paper ever published on climate change”."

www.desmogblog.com/2013/07/09/australian-university-dumps-bob-carter-advisor-multiple-global-climate-science-denial-groups
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jacksdad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 31 2015 at 10:17am
I posted this in the "severe weather" thread, but it bears repeating. Strange things afoot with the weather...


Freak storm pushes North Pole 50 degrees above normal to melting point

By Angela Fritz 

December 30 at 7:12 PM 
(This story has been updated to include buoy measurements that confirm the North Pole temperature climbed above 32 degrees on Wednesday.)
 
A powerful winter cyclone — the same storm that led to two tornado outbreaks in the United States and disastrous river flooding — has driven the North Pole to the freezing point this week, 50 degrees above average for this time of year. 
From Tuesday evening to Wednesday morning, a mind-boggling pressure drop was recorded in Iceland: 54 millibars in just 18 hours. This triples the criteria for “bomb” cyclogenesis, which meteorologists use to describe a rapidly intensifying mid­ latitude storm. A “bomb” cyclone is defined as dropping one millibar per hour for 24 hours. 
NOAA’s Ocean Prediction Center said the storm’s minimum pressure dropped to 928 millibars around 1 a.m. Eastern time, which likely places it in the top five strongest storms on record in this region. [Washington, D.C., eclipses warmest December on record by an enormous margin] “According to the center’s records, the all­ time strongest storm in this area occurred on Dec. 15, 1986, and that had a minimum central pressure of 900 millibars,” Mashable’s Andrew Freedman reported on Tuesday. “The second strongest storm occurred in January 1993, with a pressure of 916 millibars.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2015/12/30/freak-storm-has-pushed-north-pole-to-freezing-point-50-degrees-above-normal/



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Medclinician Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 31 2015 at 9:23pm
Originally posted by jacksdad jacksdad wrote:

I posted this in the "severe weather" thread, but it bears repeating. Strange things afoot with the weather...

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2015/12/30/freak-storm-has-pushed-north-pole-to-freezing-point-50-degrees-above-normal/



I just saw this and I have a New Year update. The question is if this melts the ice are we going to get the dilution effect on the Gulf Stream and have an extreme cold wave in North America and Europe very soon. It's a good thing I restarted this thread again for 2016. We are in for some real surprises perhaps.

http://www.foxnews.com/science/2016/01/01/temperatures-spike-almost-50-degrees-in-north-pole.html?intcmp=hpbt3


There has been a heat wave of sorts in the North Pole this week that might even have Santa trading in his sleigh for swim trunks.

Temperatures were as much as 50 degrees above average on Wednesday– almost reaching 32 degrees Fahrenheit in portions of the Arctic Circle that average 20 below zero at this time of year.

Meteorologists and experts at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration blame the strange weather on winter cyclones over the Atlantic near Iceland that pushed warm air far up from the south. Another storm in the Arctic north of Greenland - helped by low-pressure system that also produced blizzards in New Mexico, tornadoes in Texas and flooding in Missouri - was also to blame.

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comment: We are due for some colder weather soon despite this.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jacksdad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 01 2016 at 10:26am
Reminds of the Chinese curse about living in interesting times Confused
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dutch Josh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 04 2016 at 12:06am
The Arctic and East Greenland have to deal with a longer melting season. I do not see any possibility for an ice-age. http://www.prescribedevolution.com/global-warming-and-the-future-of-life/

Planet Earth is warming up faster than predicted in any model. http://www.globalpolicyjournal.com/articles/climate-change-energy-and-sustainability/climate-disruption-are-we-beyond-worst-case-scen-0. Peter Ward  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Ward_(paleontologist) studied life-extinction processes and is warning for H2S-"purple" oceans as the outcome of climatechange. (Others warn that methane could give Earth a Venus-like climate in 2090).

Volcanic eruptions in the past did have cooling-effects but with the present climate models it could possibly even worsen the climate system, since they also could cause methane and H2S release. Solar activity now is having a coolong effect on the climate, blaming global warming on the sun is incorrect.
Que sera, sera, Whatever will be, will be, The future is not ours to see, Que sera, sera !
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dutch Josh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 04 2016 at 2:25am
If the predictions on rapid climatechange escalations are correct (and I surely hope they are not !!!) life on this planet is in acute danger. When you think of how Fukushima happened in combination with very strong storms and the spread of nuclear power plants near water/shore rapid climate escalation will mean escelation of "nuclear accidents". 

Some scientists already claim that Fukushima itself is a very serious treath for live on Earth. Storms, increasing Earthquake risks (due to global warming and redistribution of pressure on the Earths crust-melting of (land) ice (Antarctica, Greenland etc), lack of cooling water will make nuclear power even more dangerous that it already is. 

In my opinion we, as humans, should do everything possible to make risks smaller, even if we are already full-speed in a dead-end street.
Que sera, sera, Whatever will be, will be, The future is not ours to see, Que sera, sera !
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Medclinician Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 06 2016 at 9:23am
http://phys.org/news/2016-01-current-pace-environmental-unprecedented-earth.html#nRlv

news dated January 5, 2016


University of Bristol Cabot Institute researchers and their colleagues today published research that further documents the unprecedented rate of environmental change occurring today, compared to that which occurred during natural events in Earth's history.

The research, published online on 4 January in Nature Geosciences reconstructs the changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide (pCO2) during a global environmental change event that occurred about 120 Million years ago. New geochemical data provide evidence that pCO2 increased in response to volcanic outgassing and remained high for around 1.5-2 million years, until enhanced organic matter burial in an oxygen-poor ocean caused areturn to original levels.

comment: We in the midst of an approaching global climate change. While the effects of El Nino and La Nina are fairly unpredictable, a new model needs to be developed as the ice continues to melt and dilute a stream between the U.S. and Europe which warms both areas.

It has been stated while this may not bring about an event as dire as "The Day After Tomorrow" it could produce further weather instability and either widely diverse warming or cooling on the East Coast, heavy rain on the West Coast, and further tornado and severe storm activity in the Midwest.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Medclinician Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 22 2016 at 8:47am
Snowmageddon

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/01/22/capital-in-crosshairs-dc-braces-for-potentially-historic-snowstorm.html?intcmp=hpbt1

That could put this snowstorm near the top 10 to hit the East, with the weekend timing and days of warning helping to limit deaths and damage, said Kocin, who compared it to "Snowmageddon," the first of two storms that "wiped out" Washington in 2010 and dumped up to 30 inches of snow in places.

The most intense part of the storm will come Saturday morning from around 4 a.m. through 12 p.m," said Fox 5 DC meteorologist Gary McGrady. "We can expect heavy snow, possibly 2 inches per hour, and blizzard conditions with 30 to 35 mph winds creating legitimate whiteout conditions." McGrady added that his forecast called for between 1 and 2 feet of snow to fall in the national capital region before all was said and done.

comment: in California the skies are dark - so we have something coming even here. There has been some bad weather to this point, but with all the bad news in the world, we return to the core of it all for many in the U.S. - a storm - New York.  It never came for Christmas and traditionally many were denied what they were used to living in the predictably cold New York in the dead of winter.

The question is, is this part of any pattern that is about to finally start and bring in a long period of cold and nasty storms?  The word vortex is not being touched. Strap yourself down New York. It could be a bumpy ride.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Medclinician Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 22 2016 at 8:49am
Published on Jan 22, 2016
A major snowstorm event is taking place right now across the east coast. Blizzard Warnings are in effect with the potential of up to three feet of snow. Washington DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Trenton, and New York City are some of the major locations under Blizzard Warnings.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Medclinician Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 23 2016 at 6:44am
Halfway through the storm in the Northeast, conditions are getting bad. It is estimated there is still 17 hours to go and already snow is piling up around the White House where there was no accumulation before. The Metro system in Washington D.C. was shutdown last night as well as the one in Philadelphia.  One of the primary concerns is will there be power outages and how long will it take them to dig out.  If it is this hard for these state to deal with one severe storm, how would they deal with a climate change that bring Arctic like conditions over months or even years?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Medclinician Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 23 2016 at 6:49am
Did they know this storm was coming or were they able to predict it sometime before it hit? Not really. It was known as a "sleeping giant" and some will only say they think it was formed by a low pressure area which formed in the North Atlantic area off the coast. 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dutch Josh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 23 2016 at 9:31am
http://robertscribbler.com/2016/01/23/blizzard-fueled-by-ocean-heat-cripples-eastern-us-floods-coast-with-historic-storm-surge/

The Arctic is still getting above freezing temperatures. Parts of the land-ice on Greenland are melting-in January !!!!! I do not see any sign of an ice-age !

The cold parts of the US is getting is being pushed from the Arctic ! There is serious danger of flooding for the US East Coast:

Along the coast, Jonas’s impacts began to look more like those of Superstorm Sandy than of a typical winter snowmaker. Winds on the Eastern Shore of Virginia hit a peak hurricane force gust of 85 miles per hour earlier this morning as Jonas gorged on record warm Atlantic Ocean waters and intensified. These strong winds combined with astronomical high tides and a climate change related pile up of Gulf Stream waters off the US East Coast to push tides to the second highest level on record for Delaware beaches.

According to the Weather Channel:

On Saturday morning, the water level at Lewes, Delaware, rose to 9.27 feet, a storm surge of more than 4 feet. This is the highest level on record at that gauge, beating 9.20 feet on March 6, 1962. Record flooding has also been observed in at least three New Jersey locations (Great Channel at Stone Harbor, Cape May Harbor, Delaware Bay at Cape May).


see also http://arctic-news.blogspot.nl/2016/01/why-america-should-lead-on-climate.html

Que sera, sera, Whatever will be, will be, The future is not ours to see, Que sera, sera !
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FluMom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 23 2016 at 2:22pm
This is all well and good but Denver is having a historic warm winter. We have a small snow storm then 45 - 55 degree weather.

We can't stop it look to China and all their pollution to the earth the U.S.A. does not do half as much pollution as China!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dutch Josh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 23 2016 at 9:33pm
I also posted this in the dungeon, from Paul Beckwith-facebook: 

It’s just that simple...
1. Global warming is real. It’s here and it’s happening “faster than anyone expected”. It has entered the abrupt phase. Abrupt? Yes, last climate change took several thousand years to unfold, this time it’s going to take decades.
2. Global warming is exponential. This means that it is slow to start but once it accelerates, it’s going to change the face of this planet. Remember: “The Hotter It Gets, The Faster It Gets Hotter”. The temperature will keep rising at an ever accelaring rate until it reaches some equilibrium. Right now the equilibrium looks to be 6-8C above pre-industrial levels. The last time such a temperature difference happened (8C below normal), New York was under a mile of ice. With 6C above normal, Paris is in the middle of a dessert.
3. Global warming is weather mayhem. Many think the weather will get warmer. While it’s true when it comes to average temperatures, the weather will get more unpredictable and more severe. Severe storms, severe droughts, severe winters, severe hothouse summers, all across the globe.
4. Global warming is migration on global scale. Contrary to popular belief, migration will occur before sea level rise. Sea level rise will happen after people leave their coastal cities. Droughts and extreme weather events will force people to migrate into other areas, causing tension, leading to civil unrest, civil wars and then whole scale invasions that haven’t been seen since barbarians invaded Rome.
5. Global warming is now irreversible. We had a chance to stop it and reveres it 40 years ago. We had a chance to stop it 20 years ago. We had a chance to slow it down 10 years ago. Today, even if we stop burning fossil fuels, the temeratures will shoot up within weeks. Burning coal produces sulphates and aerosols and they stay up in the air for a few weeks keeping us cool, then they fall out. As long as we burn coal, this global dimming effect will remain, if we stop burning coal, the temperatures will shoot up by 1.2C within weeks.
6. Global warming is habitat killer. Our eco system depends on stable temperatures that we’ve experienced for the past 10,000 years. Slight changes in weather patterns and temperatures, cause eco systems to change or die. Think about having mild winters in the agricultural heartland of North America, all pests that winter kills will be able to survive and destroy our crops. Extreme weather destroys habitat, which destroys flora and fauna, which we depend upon in order to live. When habitat is gone, so will humans.
7. Global warming has feedbacks. These feedbacks are either positive or negative. Negative feedbacks slow global warming down or reverse it, positive feedbacks make global warming worse. Unfortunately, positive feedbacks are prevalant in the warming world and some of these have caused temperatures to jump 5-10C in matter of decades. For example, warming Arctic ocean can cause a release of just 2% of methane in a small part of the Arctic Ocean. This can cause temperatures to rise 1.2C within a year, causing sea ice to disappear completely in the Arctic and thaw the permafrost. This positive feedback can cause all the methane to be released within decades, ensuring temperatures rise 5-10C within decades. This will kill all living things on the planet.
Solution: The best solution is to stop burning all fossil fuels now. If we do, we might still have a chance to have some humans survive. We must prepare for very difficult times ahead. We must teach people how to farm, begin a massive depopulation program (if we don’t do this volunteraly, nature will do it for us, indiscriminately). Resilience should be our goal. Sustainability will only ensure humanity’s extinction. These are tough choices, but they must be made soon. We have, at most, 10 years left. Maybe less.
Technology, green or otherwise will have no effect on global warming anymore. Green tech will cause temperatures to rise quickly, and without fossil fuels to extract rare earth metals and iron, copper ores, green techs are dead in the water. Green technology is a solution to the wrong problem. The real cause Global warming is overpopulation, but that’s a different argument.
Bonus: Once global warming picks up pace, all nuclear power stations will be in danger of meltdown. If we don’t shut them down now properly and store spent fuel safely, we could experience Fukushima style meltdowns around the globe. This event will destroy all life on Earth, forever.
Que sera, sera, Whatever will be, will be, The future is not ours to see, Que sera, sera !
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Medclinician Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 24 2016 at 2:50am
Once more...

While global warming having been officially ignored by the political arm of the Bush administration, and Al Gore's conference on the topic during one of the coldest days of recent years provided joke fodder for conservative talk show hosts, the citizens of Europe and the Pentagon are taking a new look at the greatest danger such climate change could produce for the northern hemisphere - a sudden shift into a new ice age. What they're finding is not at all comforting.

In quick summary, if enough cold, fresh water coming from the melting polar ice caps and the melting glaciers of Greenland flows into the northern Atlantic, it will shut down the Gulf Stream, which keeps Europe and northeastern North America warm. The worst-case scenario would be a full-blown return of the last ice age - in a period as short as 2 to 3 years from its onset - and the mid-case scenario would be a period like the "little ice age" of a few centuries ago that disrupted worldwide weather patterns leading to extremely harsh winters, droughts, worldwide desertification, crop failures, and wars around the world.

Here's how it works.

If you look at a globe, you'll see that the latitude of much of Europe and Scandinavia is the same as that of Alaska and permafrost-locked parts of northern Canada and central Siberia. Yet Europe has a climate more similar to that of the United States than northern Canada or Siberia. Why?

It turns out that our warmth is the result of ocean currents that bring warm surface water up from the equator into northern regions that would otherwise be so cold that even in summer they'd be covered with ice. The current of greatest concern is often referred to as "The Great Conveyor Belt," which includes what we call the Gulf Stream.

The Great Conveyor Belt, while shaped by the Coriolis effect of the Earth's rotation, is mostly driven by the greater force created by differences in water temperatures and salinity. The North Atlantic Ocean is saltier and colder than the Pacific, the result of it being so much smaller and locked into place by the Northern and Southern American Hemispheres on the west and Europe and Africa on the east.

As a result, the warm water of the Great Conveyor Belt evaporates out of the North Atlantic leaving behind saltier waters, and the cold continental winds off the northern parts of North America cool the waters. Salty, cool waters settle to the bottom of the sea, most at a point a few hundred kilometers south of the southern tip of Greenland, producing a whirlpool of falling water that's 5 to 10 miles across. While the whirlpool rarely breaks the surface, during certain times of year it does produce an indentation and current in the ocean that can tilt ships and be seen from space (and may be what we see on the maps of ancient mariners).

This falling column of cold, salt-laden water pours itself to the bottom of the Atlantic, where it forms an undersea river forty times larger than all the rivers on land combined, flowing south down to and around the southern tip of Africa, where it finally reaches the Pacific. Amazingly, the water is so deep and so dense (because of its cold and salinity) that it often doesn't surface in the Pacific for as much as a thousand years after it first sank in the North Atlantic off the coast of Greenland.

The out-flowing undersea river of cold, salty water makes the level of the Atlantic slightly lower than that of the Pacific, drawing in a strong surface current of warm, fresher water from the Pacific to replace the outflow of the undersea river. This warmer, fresher water slides up through the South Atlantic, loops around North America where it's known as the Gulf Stream, and ends up off the coast of Europe. By the time it arrives near Greenland, it's cooled off and evaporated enough water to become cold and salty and sink to the ocean floor, providing a continuous feed for that deep-sea river flowing to the Pacific.

These two flows - warm, fresher water in from the Pacific, which then grows salty and cools and sinks to form an exiting deep sea river - are known as the Great Conveyor Belt.

Amazingly, the Great Conveyor Belt is only thing between comfortable summers and a permanent ice age for Europe and the eastern coast of North America.

Much of this science was unknown as recently as twenty years ago. Then an international group of scientists went to Greenland and used newly developed drilling and sensing equipment to drill into some of the world's most ancient accessible glaciers. Their instruments were so sensitive that when they analyzed the ice core samples they brought up, they were able to look at individual years of snow. The results were shocking.

Prior to the last decades, it was thought that the periods between glaciations and warmer times in North America, Europe, and North Asia were gradual. We knew from the fossil record that the Great Ice Age period began a few million years ago, and during those years there were times where for hundreds or thousands of years North America, Europe, and Siberia were covered with thick sheets of ice year-round. In between these icy times, there were periods when the glaciers thawed, bare land was exposed, forests grew, and land animals (including early humans) moved into these northern regions.

Most scientists figured the transition time from icy to warm was gradual, lasting dozens to hundreds of years, and nobody was sure exactly what had caused it. (Variations in solar radiation were suspected, as were volcanic activity, along with early theories about the Great Conveyor Belt, which, until recently, was a poorly understood phenomenon.)

Looking at the ice cores, however, scientists were shocked to discover that the transitions from ice age-like weather to contemporary-type weather usually took only two or three years. Something was flipping the weather of the planet back and forth with a rapidity that was startling.

It turns out that the ice age versus temperate weather patterns weren't part of a smooth and linear process, like a dimmer slider for an overhead light bulb. They are part of a delicately balanced teeter-totter, which can exist in one state or the other, but transits through the middle stage almost overnight. They more resemble a light switch, which is off as you gradually and slowly lift it, until it hits a mid-point threshold or "breakover point" where suddenly the state is flipped from off to on and the light comes on.

It appears that small (less that .1 percent) variations in solar energy happen in roughly 1500-year cycles. This cycle, for example, is what brought us the "Little Ice Age" that started around the year 1400 and dramatically cooled North America and Europe (we're now in the warming phase, recovering from that). When the ice in the Arctic Ocean is frozen solid and locked up, and the glaciers on Greenland are relatively stable, this variation warms and cools the Earth in a very small way, but doesn't affect the operation of the Great Conveyor Belt that brings moderating warm water into the North Atlantic.

courtesy of Thom Hartmann

further comment: The key question here is did a period of global warming precede the last Ice Age or at least a period of intense cold?  Can this happen in a few years instead of centuries?

Yes, the ice may be melting at the North Poles, but this very process could shut down the Gulf Stream. Even if this "Ice Age" were not global - it could seriously freeze most of North America and Europe. Granted people living in the Equatorial Regions might yawn yet as was portrayed in The Day After Tomorrow, we (in the U.S.) might find many of us on the Mexican border trying to climb and head south over the wall that Donald Trump intends to build.

One cannot help but see the irony here. There are more storms coming to New York and the East Coast. With its dense population and our vulnerable airports, they may bravely get through this Storm of the Century today, but more are coming.

point: Where we have an Ice Age that only effects the northern part of the U.S. and Europe when planes cannot even fly (as there was a period of serious ice shards downing jets) across the Northern Atlantic, it might be technically not an Ice Age, but New York won't think it matters.

I will proceed with my book, Coming of the Ice Age,  and serious belief that global warming may have proceeded the last Ice Age or at least where there was a flash freezing of dinosaurs standing munching on food when it hit.  Some say it was a comet that shifted our axis, but I rather think that our models are askew.

Weather is not rocket science and we cannot base our predictions on the database we have which only really extended on observable scientifically recorded weather for the last several hundred years.

Perhaps we won't have any glaciers in the Bay Area in California even if Northern U.S. becomes Snowland but sitting in a boat over where I used to live after the Great Earthquake of 2016 won't be much comfort.

Even more so -  telling a New Yorker when all the airports are shut down and warming current that had saved them is no longer working -"It's not an Ice Age - really we are in the middle of a period of global warming." won't seem that significant or even important.

Medclinician


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Medclinician Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 24 2016 at 8:40am
Perhaps the best understanding of the Gulf Stream which was discovered by Benjamin Franklin could be explained visually. What if someone had already put up a convincing and thought provoking documentary of what I have been trying to say for the last year?  They have.  You may watch this and other very interesting documentaries at

http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/

Gets popcorn, coffee, and an extra pillow for my chair. I am glad I am not in New York, and am starting  to really understand - what is this Gulf Stream I have been talking about and how could its disruption by the current melting of the Icecap and glaciers plunge us into a mini-ice-age?

It is very possible.  "Rather than wondering if it will occur, the authors believe it's more of a question of when." If not within our lifetimes, easily within those of our children. Do we care enough about them to try and change this if it all we can? We should at least try.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Medclinician Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 24 2016 at 9:41am
Okay, maybe not the day after tomorrow, or even the day after that, but soon.  Yes, there is global warming and things are melting, but perhaps it is that which is about to take us into - another Ice Age.  Medclinician

 
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