Why should we fear climate change?

Discussion in 'Earth Science' started by Blindman, Dec 15, 2009.

  1. Blindman Valued Senior Member

    Please some tell me why we fear climate change. I have not heard "Runaway green house" for years but its still seems to be the backbone of climate change fear mongering.

    Change presents opportunity. The glass is half full.

    As a child I was taught to fear nuclear war, then as the walls came down, global cooling, now global warming. Predictions in the mid 90's lead us all to believe we would be stuffed by now.

    Please someone tell me what to fear as apathy, coupled with boundless optimism has given me no reason the reduce my consumption.
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  3. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    If it is too rapid it will destroy most agriculture and impoverish most human civilizations, in addition to causing a great extinction which will impoverish most natural environments.

    The world will become a bleaker, harder, more degraded place.
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  5. Blindman Valued Senior Member

    Come now "destroy agriculture..." NO. We simply change or move it. Its not like it happens over night.

    Vast tracks of land are currently unsuited to agriculture, a warmer and wetter world will open these areas for cultivation. Plants love the warmth. We humans can turn arid desert into productive farm land.

    Great extinction... Thats unproven. There are thousands of species that are considered pest in many parts of the world and try as we do we cant make a dent in their populations.

    Granted a few rare or isolated species will be lost but habitat destruction is far more destructive then gradual climate change.

    Bleaker, a cold winters day is bleaker then a warm summers day.
    Harder???? for the arctic fox or polar bear. But for us it will be easier.

    "too rapid" 100, 50 ,10 years? 15 years ago we lived in fear that the coming decade would be the end. The best scientist in the world have a hard time even measuring the change.

    Still not scared.
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  7. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    No. The greenhouse effect is unlikely to be a "runaway" effect that will turn Earth into a second Venus. But if we do nothing the Earth will warm by somewhere between 5 and 11 degrees Celcius by 2100. That may not sound like much, but the effects on the human species and on other species would be far reaching. Mass extinctions would occur. The world will become full of climate refugees. There will be water shortages in many of the world's major cities. Storms will be more frequent and more violent. And so on and so on.

    I don't think so. But our knowledge about the climate has increased significantly since the mid 90s.
  8. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    There's nowhere to move it to. For example, the southwest corner of Western Australia is one of the nation's leading producers of wheat. With global warming, that wheat could be grown further south. The only problem is that there's no land further south until you hit Antarctica. So, Australia's wheat production is being pushed into the sea.

    No. Partly because increased rains won't come at the right time of year. Also because any increases will not be uniform across all areas. Also because encroaching deserts will actually destroy more of the land suitable for agriculture.

    No. It's proven. It's already happening. Many species have already disappeared due directly to global warming.

    Climate change results in habitat destruction.

    No. Already heat exhaustion is a major cause of death even in advanced countries such as the United States.

    No. The change is pretty obvious. Also, suppose we cut all carbon emissions tomorrow. We'd still have to wait 50 years to see any effect of this reduction, as the carbon we put into the atmosphere today would only just be starting to get removed.

    That's because you don't know much about the issue.
  9. Blindman Valued Senior Member

    Demand creates water shortages not heat. As a matter of fact heat creates more rainfall. Where does it rain the most. The warmest parts of the world.

    The violence of storms is linked to the differential in energy of various system. There is little evidence that that differential will increase. It may well decrease.
  10. fellowtraveler Banned Banned

    REPLY: Oh , I do not know why. Keep thinking those happy thoughts. fellowtraveler
  11. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Tell that to the inhabitants of Perth, Sydney and Melbourne, for starters. Water shortages are happening right now due to increased heat. Southern Australia has now been in a state of drought for almost a decade. The only thing is that this drought won't go away because it is affected by global warming.

    Go and look up how much rain the Sahara desert gets.

    In general, global warming will create more rain. But as I said before, it won't be at the right times or in the right places.

    No. Storms are driven by heat. More heat means storms become more powerful. Why do you think that hurricanes start over warm water?
  12. Blindman Valued Senior Member

    Ohh your a fellow sandgroper. The greatest threat to WA's wheat production is salinity not climate change. BTW current GW predictions say that the SW of WA will become wetter and that in turn will lead to increased production. Also wheat production has been on a steady increase in WA for many years.

    Ohh you mean not due to habit destruction. Name a few

    Only where there is no room to move. Poor spotted bandicoot ill miss you so...

    Major cause????? Come now lets not make up facts. Does global warming make us fat and unhealthy. Thought that had something to do with all that wheat and beef we eat.

    I do not deny it will get warmer.

    Still not scared..
  13. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    Not so fast!

    What happened in WA was that land was cleared of native vegetation to produce wheat. That was fine for quite a while until rainfall started to increase due to global warming. Then, rain was falling at times when there was no wheat planted. With no vegetation to soak up the water, the rain percolated through to the level of the crystalline salt, causing it to dissolve and rise towards the surface.

    So you see. The salinity problem is a direct consequence of warming.

    Where can I read about that?

    Has it? Are you sure?

    Habitat destruction results from climate change in some instances. As for providing you with a list, I can't be bothered. Go look for yourself. Such information isn't hard to find.

    I said a major cause, not the major cause.
  14. Blindman Valued Senior Member

    Still no fear..

    At least when I was young there was direct, imminent AND legitimate fear of nuclear holocaust. This global warming fear mongering is nothing compared to that.

    The only fear I have is the economic down turn caused by knee jerk governmental reactions to poorly understood perceived threats.

    Come on people I need something to fear from global warming to make me feel I should vote for a government that will destroy our standard of living.

    Take your own advice my friend..
  15. Pasta Registered Senior Member

    We should fear some of the drastic gradual changes of climate change, like natural global warmings and coolings that can effect people's lives. What I fear even more is people that take advantage of this fact and try to place the blame on humans instead, so they can turn around and control human lives more.
  16. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    If it happens in only a couple of hundred years, it might as well be overnight.

    Suppose the warmup is rapid, as feared and predicted:

    The rice fields in the river deltas of Asia, that currently feed a high proportion of the large populations there, will flood with salt water and grow no more rice. New deltas will take thousands of years to form, upstream on smaller areas.

    The temperate zone corn belt will dry out in the south, move north - but there is no rich mollosoil under the pine trees and peat bogs of the north, and it will take hundreds, maybe thousands, of years to form any. The sunlight regime is not the same, either.

    The glaciers currently irrigating much farmland will vanish. Rivers will shrink and water tables recede, while the rain that does fall will fall in harder storms, increasing erosion and runoff and decreasing the percentage recharging the aquifers. Meanwhile the evapotranspiration deficit experienced by most crops will increase, sharply increasing the demand for irrigation and soil water even as the supply shrinks.

    The growing seasons and best farming practices in msot places will change, and it will take time to adapt to new crops, new weather patterns. Adding to the difficulty, the changes will be unstable in the transition, leading to wild swings in the weather and crop failures scattered. Both deserts and bogs will expand, as the absent rains of some places fall all together on others.

    The higher demand for irrigation with faster evaporation will cause more salting of irrigated fields. Diseases and pests currently restricted by cold weather will spread. Diseases and pests currently adapted to cold weather will find easier prey in the struggling plants of the northern farms. Trees and perennials will suffer in place.

    And so forth.
  17. Blindman Valued Senior Member

    Oh no should I fear starvation. World wide food production continues to grow despite global warming.

    I fear bad agricultural practices more then global warming, it is the greatest threat to food production world wide including in developed countries.

    I will agree that glacial run off will decline and will make water supplies spasmodic rather then gradual. This simply requires better water management. Water management around the world is atrocious and has alot of room for improvement via relatively cheap and simple methods.

    Once again i hear the fallacy that global warming will increase storm intensity. Where does this come from? There is absolutely no proof. Storm intensity is a factor of energy differential not heat. The total amount of energy delivered by the sun is mostly constant, and the greater the green house effect the more uniform the world wide temperatures.

    Come on scare me.. If you can.
  18. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    You are thinking windspeed, probably (and in error, probably). The more intense rainfall is a predicted consequence of warmer air retaining more water vapor, while the cooling effect of geographical rise remains the same - leading to less rain over areas without much geographical relief or the wrong wind patterns, and in consequence heavier rainfall per storm in areas with the necessary uplift at the occasional times of abetting wind.

    Not what the farmers would prefer.
    Like the guy said as he fell past the twentieth floor: "So far, so good".

    You might be right. If the Chinese can figure out how to grow rice in salt water, maybe the world's largest pile of cash and the world's largest supply of engineers and factory labor and the world's best secured supply of industrial resources will not join forces with the world's largest supply of unmarried military aged men to see about getting some more food from somewhere.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2009
  19. Blindman Valued Senior Member

    so far OK

    Your sort of right. Rain fall patterns are a little more complex then that. Something for another thread.

    I will agree that there will be more flooding and more rain over more areas. Basically the tropics will move out from the equator. I see this as a good thing apart from the flooding.

    So instead of holding us all back lets move people away from the flooding danger zones, build dams to manage flows and utilize all this extra water to irrigate and produce power.

    So far the greatest fear is flooding. Yet that is offset by greater fresh water supplies. Lucky I'm a good swimmer..
  20. Blindman Valued Senior Member

    Last edited: Dec 15, 2009
  21. Buffalo Roam Registered Senior Member

    I would have phrased this a little different;

    "Oh no should I fear starvation. World wide food production continues to grow because of global warming."
  22. pjdude1219 screw watergate i want to know about zaragate Valued Senior Member

    fucking with nature doesn't end well.
  23. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Responding to climate change needn't cause an economic downturn. Like you said earlier, it's an opportunity.

    Global warming will have a greater effect on your standard of living if your government does nothing.

    So far... This is only the beginning.

    I explained it to you before. Heat drives storms; it's a form of energy.

    The sun does not deliver energy equally over the Earth's surface. That is the reason why weather patterns exist in the first place. The greenhouse effect will not result in more uniform temperatures, either.

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