Friday, April 25, 2008

ice age alarmism

"I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken."

This is an interesting contrary viewpoint. Human caused increase in CO2 levels is only one factor amongst many contributing to the earth's climate:
Sorry to ruin the fun, but an ice age cometh
... there is a close correlation between variations in the sunspot cycle and Earth's climate. The previous time a cycle was delayed like this was in the Dalton Minimum, an especially cold period that lasted several decades from 1790
Ice age alarmism is needed to combat global warming alarmism? How should we be conducting this debate?


Anonymous said...

Well, ice age is not a sure thing yet. But I personally hope for one. I just can't deal with hot weather and mowing the stupid grass.

So far the sunspot count is down for many months and past winter actually almost feels like a normal winter compared to the past 4-8 winters.

If the ice age comes, I for one will not be alarmed. Global Warming is way too scary!

John Dougan said...

Anon, I hope that was tongue in cheek...the return of the Ice is far more scary than Global Warming. We can survive some heating, it won't necessarily be comfortable, but we can do it. But if glaciation starts again then we are in for a very rough ride.

Overall we need to do actual physical research instead of the computer model wanking we have right now. There are still far too many factors we don't understand or even have good numbers for over a long enough baseline.

Bill Kerr said...

thoughts for the day
Just creating a clickable link to john dougan's article (the long urls don't wrap in blogger comments)

Otter said...

how should we be conducting this debate?

First off, we have to get the MSM and politicians to even bother to deign to Notice that the Sun is The major driving force in the weather, before we can even get to the FACT that it is going to be cooling us down.

btw, I know it is not likely but the instant I saw your pic I thought 'Arthur C Clark.' :P

Anonymous said...

john dougan,
Well, I disagree with the assessment of the ice age alarmism mentioned in the article. So I do meant what I said. Further, I strongly disagree that we can survive "some heating". Maybe you would be very comfortable on the planet Venus.

Bill Kerr said...

as to how to conduct the debate, I think john dougan aka coyote does well in the article he linked us to, Thoughts for the Day . I like this bit a lot:

"There are a lot of reasons not to be worried about "inaction" on global warming. To justify the enormously expensive cuts in CO2 productions, on the order of 80% as supported by Obama and Clinton, one has to believe every element of a five-step logic chain:

1. Mankind is increasing CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere

2. Increased atmospheric CO2 causes the world to warm (by some amount, large or small)

3. The increases in CO2 from man will cause substantial warming, large enough to be detectable above natural climate variations

4. The increases in world temperatures due to man's CO2 will have catastrophic impacts on civilization

5. These catastrophic impacts and their costs are larger than the enormous costs, in terms of poverty and lost wealth, from reducing CO2 with current technologies.

Climate alarmists have adopted a rhetorical trick that no one in the media seems willing to call them on. They like to wage the debate over global warming policy on points one and two only, skipping over the rest. Why? Because the science behind numbers one and two are pretty strong. Yes, there are a few folks who will battle them on these points, but even very strong skeptics like myself accept points one and two as proved. "

Bill Kerr said...

hi otter,

actually I noticed that resemblance with arthur C clarke myself when I posted this :-)

I like your blog, Global Warning - I've passed it on to some friends and if time will try to leave some comments there. You might like to check out Last Superpower , which covers many of the same issues that concern you (I also write there, in the forum )

John Dougan said...

Oops, I see I left a mistaken impression. I can only wish that that article and blog were mine. It does, however, represent my position pretty closely. Personally I tend to emphasize the computer model wanking problem as it's an area I know a bit more about.

Anon: By some heating I'm talking about the IPCC projected increases of one to three degrees over the next century, not Venus.

I grew up in an area with evidence of glaciation all around me and Dad was a geologist so, while growing up, I learned a great deal about ice ages. Probably the most important thing I learned is that you don't want to be anywhere near one. Having your country under a mile or so of ice is a difficult problem as you just can't get at the ground to grow things (This problem does not exist in global warming scenarios). The next most important thing I learned is that we're just about due for another one, given their estimated historical spacing of around 11,000 years. The Great Coming Ice Age Scare of the 70s was partially fueled by a realization of this and a strong dip in world temperatures from the 40s through the 70s.

There has been more recent research that has shown that when an full ice age comes upon us, it comes with surprising speed (100 years to cover North America with ice) and shifts the continental plates enough to cause earthquake on all the fault lines. It's also looking like the transition time from non-ice age to ice age weather can be as little as 3 years. And once we are in an ice age, the historical data suggests that it'll stay that way from hundreds (in the case of a little ice age) to thousands of years.

I don't know about you all, but that scares the heck out of me.