1. Melbourne, Australia
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    21 Oct '10 05:46
    I am quite persuaded that climate change is happening globally. But there are localised variants. Because much of our planet is water in the Southern Hemisphere the patterns emerging show anomolies and I believe some of the confusion arises because of these variants, such as quite differing emperature changes in the two polar regions.
    In Australia we appear to be emerging from a prolonged drought that caused governments to initiate costly (and power consuming) desalination plants near our large cities. And we have had some of our hottest temperatures recorded over past years with associated serious bushfires.
    But recently we have had, to our relief, high rainfall and an abundant spring. Some of it is due to the Southern Oscillation, but other interesting patterns are also emerging not seen before. Recently a weather pattern emerged with a "funnelling" effect of rains directly from the tropic regions down across the continent to dump large amounts on the east and southern coasts, and also leaving large amounts of water in the usually dry interior. Dams are refilling and many are happy, but there is also an expected increase in illness-bearing mosquitos and locusts associated with this. We are preparing for a locust plaque in the eastern states. Some governments are now left looking somewhat sheepish with there very costly desalination projects.
    I am distinctly left with the impression that while the factual data supports global climate change (and I see human influence strongly), we are still groping somewhat as to predict with simulations the various outcomes regionally. We live in interesting times.
  2. Subscribersonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    slatington, pa, usa
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    21 Oct '10 08:34
    Originally posted by Taoman
    I am quite persuaded that climate change is happening globally. But there are localised variants. Because much of our planet is water in the Southern Hemisphere the patterns emerging show anomolies and I believe some of the confusion arises because of these variants, such as quite differing emperature changes in the two polar regions.
    In Australia we appear ...[text shortened]... as to predict with simulations the various outcomes regionally. We live in interesting times.
    Well I hope they don't decomission those desalanisation plants. I think those rainy episodes will prove to be temporary and you should enjoy them while they last. When the drought returns you won't have bug problems. There are predictions now that the worse areas hit by global warming will be in Asia and the best place to be that has the smallest impact would be in Ireland and Iceland, both island nations. Maybe Australia will fare a bit better than the rest of the world, being a giant island nation itself.
  3. Melbourne, Australia
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    21 Oct '10 10:051 edit
    I fear you will be correct. I hope they don't decommission them either. But the populace jump quickly to conclusions. Volatility in weather patterns is also a climate change indicator.
  4. Subscribersonhouse
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    21 Oct '10 10:371 edit
    Originally posted by Taoman
    I fear you will be correct. I hope they don't decommission them either. But the populace jump quickly to conclusions. Volatility in weather patterns is also a climate change indicator.
    The only thing about the desalinisation idea is newer technologies are making that idea a bit cheaper than the old brute force methods. There is also the problem of large areas in the world getting less moisture, drying up so desalination may be our only hope of having fresh water in the future.
    The really sucky part of global warming is the loss of arctic and antarctic ice which doesn't help at all, just raising the ocean level and ruining perfectly good fresh water which just flows into the ocean, causing its own set of problems.
  5. Cape Town
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    21 Oct '10 11:37
    Originally posted by Taoman
    But the populace jump quickly to conclusions. Volatility in weather patterns is also a climate change indicator.
    We shouldn't be too quick to jump to conclusions regarding volatility in weather patterns either. Every time I hear on the news the prases "hundred year storm" or "the worst floods in 20 years" or something like that, the reporter seems to ignore the fact that the implication is that this does happen on a regular basis (every 100 years or every 20 years), and is not in itself and indicator of anything. We mush show an increase in frequency before we can conclude that it is unusual.
  6. Subscribersonhouse
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    21 Oct '10 14:16
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    We shouldn't be too quick to jump to conclusions regarding volatility in weather patterns either. Every time I hear on the news the prases "hundred year storm" or "the worst floods in 20 years" or something like that, the reporter seems to ignore the fact that the implication is that this does happen on a regular basis (every 100 years or every 20 years), ...[text shortened]... anything. We mush show an increase in frequency before we can conclude that it is unusual.
    And there is no such thing as a single temperature of the Earth. It is too variable. It is going to take years before such a statement as 'the temperature of the earth has gone up 1.3 degrees C' can be taken at face value.
    Don't get me wrong, I think global warming is a fact. It is just going to be hard to totally pin down the actual rise. And of course it is caused by mankind.
  7. Melbourne, Australia
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    21 Oct '10 21:54
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    We shouldn't be too quick to jump to conclusions regarding volatility in weather patterns either. Every time I hear on the news the prases "hundred year storm" or "the worst floods in 20 years" or something like that, the reporter seems to ignore the fact that the implication is that this does happen on a regular basis (every 100 years or every 20 years), ...[text shortened]... anything. We mush show an increase in frequency before we can conclude that it is unusual.
    Yes, the frequency over a longer period of time is required to make any substantial statistical statement or conclusions. But with volatility I was not only referring to the frequency of abnormal events but also the rapidity of the changes between extremes (in areas), within a relatively short period of time. This suggests an underlying increased instability that would be expected with the prediction models. It appears a bit of "wobbling" is occurring. Where it settles out and to what degree time will tell.
    Climate change of course is measured more in centuries than a few seasons. The worrying thing is that any attempts at amelioration is going to take the same amounts of time with the significant time lag of response.
  8. Melbourne, Australia
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    21 Oct '10 22:04
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    And there is no such thing as a single temperature of the Earth. It is too variable. It is going to take years before such a statement as 'the temperature of the earth has gone up 1.3 degrees C' can be taken at face value.
    Don't get me wrong, I think global warming is a fact. It is just going to be hard to totally pin down the actual rise. And of course it is caused by mankind.
    The global figures of temperature change are quite abstract when related to regional variation. For some locally the changes will be a decided improvement in living environment, at least in the interim. For others similarly disastrous. But if the models play out anywhere near their predictions all of us will be effected in some negative way. Nightmare feedback scenarios would ultimately lead to major global devastation. The atmosphere is so thin relatively and the heat tolerances for many forms of life are also relatively narrow.
  9. Cape Town
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    26 Oct '10 05:17
    The only really serious problem I foresee with global warming is the rising ocean. This would be very costly for coastal areas around the globe.

    Most other changes are minor in comparison to the weather variations that we already experience - and already often have difficulty dealing with. Over time, man has settled down and built up cities without taking in consideration long term extremes. When one of those extremes occur, we suffer. If you look at any large flood, earthquake, hurricane etc you will find that a similar or worse one has occurred in the same location within the last 100 years. Its just that we naively did not prepare for it because they are relatively rare.
    Look at how much better Chile was after an earthquake compared to Haiti even though the Chile earth quake was much larger. They were better prepared.

    In Zambia, when we have heavy rains, some peoples houses get washed away. But a few years later, the go right back and build in the same place.
  10. Standard memberflexmore
    Quack Quack Quack !
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    26 Oct '10 08:05
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    And there is no such thing as a single temperature of the Earth. It is too variable. It is going to take years before such a statement as 'the temperature of the earth has gone up 1.3 degrees C' can be taken at face value.
    Don't get me wrong, I think global warming is a fact. It is just going to be hard to totally pin down the actual rise. And of course it is caused by mankind.
    What about temperatures averaged over large areas ... do you see them as inaccurate?
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    26 Oct '10 08:24
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    The only really serious problem I foresee with global warming is the rising ocean. This would be very costly for coastal areas around the globe.
    There are numerous changes we have to deal with.

    One is the rising of the sea level. People have to move, plain and simple. millions, perhaps up to a billion. But where? And what if they are not welcomed at the new places? War.
    Another one is that the tropical deseases will spread northwards. In Swedesn he haven't had malaria since long time ago. In future we have to learn to deal with it, and other tropical deseases.
    Migration of insects and other animals. Migrate, adapt, or die.
    Agriculture has to adapt. Where you now can grow corn, you cannot in the future. Where you now can grow wheat, you can now grow corn. Where do we grow wheat in the future? In places where nothing is cultivated now.
    The frewh water situation will change.

    But all these problems, and many more, will not affect humankind as a specie, we will survive. But we have to say bye bye to the high standards of today. The specie will survive. We've done it before, we will do it again. The civilisation as we know it will return.

    What will happen with the flora and fauna, however, we don't know much about. Will nature recover? Will it be a mass extinsion, like 65 million years ago, when the dinos died en mass?

    However, the Earth as a planet, will survive.
  12. Cape Town
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    27 Oct '10 06:21
    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    Agriculture has to adapt. Where you now can grow corn, you cannot in the future. Where you now can grow wheat, you can now grow corn. Where do we grow wheat in the future? In places where nothing is cultivated now.
    The frewh water situation will change.
    Although I agree that changes will take place, I believe they are minor in comparison to agricultures problems already.
    Many parts of the world have suffered from deforestation and that alone has cause changes in rainfall patters, soil erosion, flooding and other problems. These must be dealt with regardless of climate change.
    Many part of the world have farming practices that do not take into account long term variations in the weather. Thus a drought results in water tables drying up, etc. Again, we are yet to see a drought that has not happened before, so although global warming may make it worse, we would still have needed to plan for it regardless.
    Many parts of the world use unsustainable farming practices. They deplete the soil over time and eventually they are going to have to face lower harvests or change their practices.
    etc
  13. Melbourne, Australia
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    28 Oct '10 09:17
    Has anybody reputable in the field suggested the real possibility of a nightmare positive feedback scenario bringing unlivable temperatures on the planet?

    The Earth has self-regulated extremes in the past, but with the added aspect of human contribution and such things as tundra thawing with immense amounts of methane release, all synchronizing, I wonder about the degree of realistic probabilities that it could really get away from us and we end up something like Venus?

    The atmosphere is thin comparatively. I'm not a doomsdayer but it seems a viable scenario, though extreme.
  14. Cape Town
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    28 Oct '10 13:17
    Originally posted by Taoman
    Has anybody reputable in the field suggested the real possibility of a nightmare positive feedback scenario bringing unlivable temperatures on the planet?

    The Earth has self-regulated extremes in the past, but with the added aspect of human contribution and such things as tundra thawing with immense amounts of methane release, all synchronizing, I wonder ...[text shortened]... re is thin comparatively. I'm not a doomsdayer but it seems a viable scenario, though extreme.
    The earth has been much warmer in the past. We are after all still in an ice age.
    The earths weather has done extreme things in the past, like a snowball earth, so extremes are not out of the question. But I am not convinced that mans current effects are sufficient to push temperatures above anything experienced previously.
    We must keep in mind that massive extinctions have happened previously, so those certainly cannot be ruled out.
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