The Environment

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Postby Shapley » Tue Sep 26, 2006 12:25 pm

Here's a bit more on volcanoes and global cooling

Volcanic eruptions are thought to be responsible for the global cooling that has been observed for a few years after a major eruption. The amount and global extent of the cooling depend on the force of the eruption and, possibly, its latitude. When large masses of gases from the eruption reach the stratosphere, they can produce a large, widespread cooling effect. As a prime example, the effects of Mount Pinatubo, which erupted in June 1991, may have lasted a few years, serving to offset temporarily the predicted greenhouse effect.

As volcanoes erupt, they blast huge clouds into the atmosphere. These clouds are made up of particles and gases, including sulfur dioxide. Millions of tons of sulfur dioxide gas can reach the stratosphere from a major volcano. There, the sulfur dioxide converts to tiny persistent sulfuric acid (sulfate) particles, referred to as aerosols. These sulfate particles reflect energy coming from the sun, thereby preventing the sun's rays from heating the Earth.

Global cooling often has been linked with major volcanic eruptions. The year 1816 often has been referred to as "the year without a summer." It was a time of significant weather-related disruptions in New England and in Western Europe with killing summer frosts in the United States and Canada. These strange phenomena were attributed to a major eruption of the Tambora volcano in 1815 in Indonesia. The volcano threw sulfur dioxide gas into the stratosphere, and the aerosol layer that formed led to brilliant sunsets seen around the world for several years.
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Postby Haggis@wk » Tue Sep 26, 2006 12:28 pm

Pinatubo killed Clark AB in the Philippines.

I returned to Clark years later (98 or 99) and felt like crying. What had been a vibrant community of American, Philippinos and Negrito tribsmen was a wasteland where nothing was even remotely familiar.

There was a tribe of 4-5,000 Negritos actually on the base at the time Pinatubo blew. All their medical care was provided free by the base hospital (never fighred out why, one story was they provided the doctors real time experience with tropical diseases, similar to putting Army doctors in inner city hospitals today to get gunshot experience)

I don't know where the relocated but it damn sure wasn't anywhere arould Clark, that's was 10 - 15 foot of ash on top of where the base had been and looked like a moonscape
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Postby jamiebk » Tue Sep 26, 2006 12:29 pm

So then, the best we can hope for is that the earth explodes, and spews up its bile into our air to reduce the warming. None of this sounds very good to me, or for that matter very good for mankind. These consequences will likely be catastrophic in themsleves. :shock:
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Postby Shapley » Tue Sep 26, 2006 12:41 pm

Jaie,

Eruptions on the scale you seem to indicate would actually bring us back to the ice age. I would expect it would take only one or two eruptions the size of Krakatoa to restore us to the 'little ice age' half a millinea or so ago. However, I'm not even convinced that will happen or is needed. The Earth will warm and cool, as it has always done, and we puny humans can do little or nothing to stop it. As the NASA article I linked points out, we barely have the capability to measure a volcanic eruption, let alone initiate or stop one. It is the height of vanity to think we puny beings can understand the ways of the Earth's climate, let alone affect it.

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Postby BigJon » Wed Sep 27, 2006 1:20 am

jamiebk wrote:So then, the best we can hope for is that the earth explodes, and spews up its bile into our air to reduce the warming. None of this sounds very good to me, or for that matter very good for mankind. These consequences will likely be catastrophic in themsleves. :shock:

Jamie, don't let the high priests of the catastrophe cult get to you. Their crystal ball is a little askew and in danger of rolling off the table. Ask 'em when their models show the earth will start cooling again. (It always does.)
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Postby Shapley » Tue Oct 03, 2006 9:22 am

Alaska Storm Blamed on Antarctica Iceberg Demise

Not that this is really surprising, I just wanted to post it because of this quote:

"The iceberg shattered like a gracile wine glass being sung to by a heavy soprano."

Is Dan Rather now studying Icebergs at the University of Chicago:?: :D

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Postby Shapley » Wed Oct 18, 2006 1:35 pm

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Postby Catmando » Wed Oct 18, 2006 2:12 pm

Wow, it's like mainly all of Russia and China! And then only a few other different areas. :shock:
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Postby jamiebk » Wed Oct 18, 2006 2:19 pm

Apparently you overlooked this article from the same source:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4061871.stm
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Postby Shapley » Wed Oct 18, 2006 2:22 pm

I went to their website list of the 35 worst, and found two in the United States - Hanford and New Orleans, and still others in Russia and China.

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Postby Shapley » Wed Oct 18, 2006 2:25 pm

Jamie,

From the article you linked:

But many who were once sceptics now accept that enhanced climate change is happening, and that we have to respond - not necessarily by trying to reduce its extent but by adapting to its effects.


Isn't that what I proposed in my 'quiet bulletin board' thread?

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Postby jamiebk » Wed Oct 18, 2006 2:42 pm

I guess you can pick out of context what you want to Shap...I don't believe that was main focus of the article. Here is another section you did not quote:

Dr Geoff Jenkins, of the UK Met Office's Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research, said recently: "Over the last few decades there's been much more evidence for the human influence on climate.

"We've reached the point where it's only by including human activity that we can explain what's happening."

And what's happening now could lead to a world beyond our experience.
[/quote]
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Postby Shapley » Wed Oct 18, 2006 2:49 pm

What do you mean by "out of context"? I quoted the line in it's entirety, and attempted to make no commentary on it. The line clearly states that that is the view of former skeptics, so I don't see how it was 'out of context'.

I don't see what this has to do with the worst polluted list, anyhow. I think we've beat the global warming thread enough, and that article doesn't seem to offer anything new for the debate.
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Postby jamiebk » Wed Oct 18, 2006 2:54 pm

your opinion...not mine. The BB is open to all
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Postby Shapley » Wed Oct 18, 2006 4:08 pm

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Postby Shapley » Wed Oct 18, 2006 4:30 pm

Time Magazine predicts global ice age - June 24, 1974

Yeah, it's a bit dated, but all the evidence pointed to man-made influences that were resulting in the coming of another ice age. My, how science has changed.

In Africa, drought continues for the sixth consecutive year, adding terribly to the toll of famine victims. During 1972 record rains in parts of the U.S., Pakistan and Japan caused some of the worst flooding in centuries. In Canada's wheat belt, a particularly chilly and rainy spring has delayed planting and may well bring a disappointingly small harvest. Rainy Britain, on the other hand, has suffered from uncharacteristic dry spells the past few springs. A series of unusually cold winters has gripped the American Far West, while New England and northern Europe have recently experienced the mildest winters within anyone's recollection.

As they review the bizarre and unpredictable weather pattern of the past several years, a growing number of scientists are beginning to suspect that many seemingly contradictory meteorological fluctuations are actually part of a global climatic upheaval. However widely the weather varies from place to place and time to time, when meteorologists take an average of temperatures around the globe they find that the atmosphere has been growing gradually cooler for the past three decades. The trend shows no indication of reversing. Climatological Cassandras are becoming increasingly apprehensive, for the weather aberrations they are studying may be the harbinger of another ice age.

Telltale signs are everywhere —from the unexpected persistence and thickness of pack ice in the waters around Iceland to the southward migration of a warmth-loving creature like the armadillo from the Midwest.Since the 1940s the mean global temperature has dropped about 2.7° F. Although that figure is at best an estimate, it is supported by other convincing data. When Climatologist George J. Kukla of Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory and his wife Helena analyzed satellite weather data for the Northern Hemisphere, they found that the area of the ice and snow cover had suddenly increased by 12% in 1971 and the increase has persisted ever since. Areas of Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic, for example, were once totally free of any snow in summer; now they are covered year round.

Scientists have found other indications of global cooling. For one thing there has been a noticeable expansion of the great belt of dry, high-altitude polar winds —the so-called circumpolar vortex—that sweep from west to east around the top and bottom of the world. Indeed it is the widening of this cap of cold air that is the immediate cause of Africa's drought. By blocking moisture-bearing equatorial winds and preventing them from bringing rainfall to the parched sub-Sahara region, as well as other drought-ridden areas stretching all the way from Central America to the Middle East and India, the polar winds have in effect caused the Sahara and other deserts to reach farther to the south. Paradoxically, the same vortex has created quite different weather quirks in the U.S. and other temperate zones. As the winds swirl around the globe, their southerly portions undulate like the bottom of a skirt. Cold air is pulled down across the Western U.S. and warm air is swept up to the Northeast. The collision of air masses of widely differing temperatures and humidity can create violent storms—the Midwest's recent rash of disastrous tornadoes, for example.

Sunspot Cycle. The changing weather is apparently connected with differences in the amount of energy that the earth's surface receives from the sun. Changes in the earth's tilt and distance from the sun could, for instance, significantly increase or decrease the amount of solar radiation falling on either hemisphere—thereby altering the earth's climate. Some observers have tried to connect the eleven-year sunspot cycle with climate patterns, but have so far been unable to provide a satisfactory explanation of how the cycle might be involved.

Man, too, may be somewhat responsible for the cooling trend. The University of Wisconsin's Reid A. Bryson and other climatologists suggest that dust and other particles released into the atmosphere as a result of farming and fuel burning may be blocking more and more sunlight from reaching and heating the surface of the earth.

Climatic Balance. Some scientists like Donald Oilman, chief of the National Weather Service's long-range-prediction group, think that the cooling trend may be only temporary. But all agree that vastly more information is needed about the major influences on the earth's climate. Indeed, it is to gain such knowledge that 38 ships and 13 aircraft, carrying scientists from almost 70 nations, are now assembling in the Atlantic and elsewhere for a massive 100-day study of the effects of the tropical seas and atmosphere on worldwide weather. The study itself is only part of an international scientific effort known acronymically as GARP (for Global Atmospheric Research Program).

Whatever the cause of the cooling trend, its effects could be extremely serious, if not catastrophic. Scientists figure that only a 1% decrease in the amount of sunlight hitting the earth's surface could tip the climatic balance, and cool the planet enough to send it sliding down the road to another ice age within only a few hundred years.

The earth's current climate is something of an anomaly; in the past 700,000 years, there have been at least seven major episodes of glaciers spreading over much of the planet. Temperatures have been as high as they are now only about 5% of the time. But there is a peril more immediate than the prospect of another ice age. Even if temperature and rainfall patterns change only slightly in the near future in one or more of the three major grain-exporting countries—the U.S., Canada and Australia —global food stores would be sharply reduced. University of Toronto Climatologist Kenneth Hare, a former president of the Royal Meteorological Society, believes that the continuing drought and the recent failure of the Russian harvest gave the world a grim premonition of what might happen. Warns Hare: "I don't believe that the world's present population is sustainable if there are more than three years like 1972 in a row."
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Postby jamiebk » Wed Oct 18, 2006 4:47 pm

We've learned a lot in 32 years. The good news is that we are always discovering. Fortunately we now have data, modeling, and tools (computers) that help us understand more every day.
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Postby Selma in Sandy Eggo » Wed Oct 18, 2006 4:54 pm

I still think we need to figure out how to shovel the objectionable stuff into a subduction fault. The ultimate in recycling, with possible diamonds as an outcome. :wink:
>^..^<
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Postby Shapley » Wed Oct 18, 2006 5:05 pm

We've learned a lot in 32 years. The good news is that we are always discovering. Fortunately we now have data, modeling, and tools (computers) that help us understand more every day.


And we'll learn a lot more in the next 32 years. Will this decade's science facts be next decades refuted alarmist theory? Even now there are websites that claim that the claims made by Time Magazine in 1974 never existed. Like the Maunder Minimum, the 'Little Ice Age', and the Medieval Warm Period, they don't fit the science du juor, so they're discarded.

Scientists in Russia are already claiming that global warming has peaked and that we're beginning a coolling trend. How long and how much, and on what new evidence they base that claim I don't know.

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Postby Shapley » Thu Oct 19, 2006 11:08 am

[url=http://www.nationalcenter.org/GWFactSheet.html]National Center For Policy Analysis Fact Sheet On Global Warming[url]

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's 1995 Second Assessment Report -- the basis for the ongoing global warming negotiations -- estimated that the average global temperature would rise by 0.18° Celsius (0.32° Fahrenheit) per decade on the earth's surface through 2100. The report also forecast that the deep layer measured by weather balloons and satellites would warm by 0.23° Celsius (0.41° Fahrenheit) per decade during the same period. Thus far, however, these forecasts have not been matched by actual temperature readings from satellites, weather balloons or even surface temperature gages. Both NASA satellites and weather balloons have shown a slight cooling trend since 1979 while surface temperature gages indicate a small warming trend that is 17% below the most recent projections of the IPCC.




"They insist on using everything to measure the temperature of the planet except a thermometer."


[i]Dr. S. Fred Singer, atmospheric scientist with the Science and Environmental Policy Project, making the point that global warming theory advocates use butterfly migration patterns, glacial movement and other factors as evidence of global warming while ignoring satellite data showing a cooling trend, September 25, 1998[/quote]
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