Climate change, global warming & the environment

Discussion in 'Gravel Trap' started by cider_and_toast, Sep 25, 2009.

  1. cider_and_toast

    cider_and_toast Everything in moderation Staff Member Premium Contributor

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    This is a seperate thread with reference to a comment from Rick D in the Ari for president thread.

    Below is a link to the National Snow and Ice Center in Amercia that records summer ice levels in the Arctic. It's pretty clear from this information that the pace of metling in the north polar region has reversed in the last two years. 2009 was up over 900000 square km on 2007 and 2008 was up 500000 square km on the 2007 record low. It would seem that scientist do not consider this 2 year reverse of trend to be a sign that Ice melt has bottomed out.

    http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

    It's interesting that this second increase in summer ice has gone virtually un-reported. Whichever side of the enviromental debate you are on the more information in the public domain enables more people to have an informed opinion.
     
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  3. Brogan

    Brogan Running Man Staff Member

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    Re: Summer Ice Levels

    Good news if true.

    David Attenborough made a very troubling statement on TV the other night.
    He said that since he started doing his natural history programs, the population of the earth has tripled :o

    This link shows that in 1950 the population was 2,521 and in 2008 was 6,707.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_population

    Personally I believe until population growth is curbed, the climate will continue to change.

    Normally I make it a point of not getting involved with threads to do with religion, politics, war or climate change as it usually ends in tears :D
     
  4. cider_and_toast

    cider_and_toast Everything in moderation Staff Member Premium Contributor

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    Re: Summer Ice Levels

    :D It's your fault for creating the Gravel Trap !!!
     
  5. RickD

    RickD Pole Sitter

    Re: Summer Ice Levels

    Yeah, its in some advert the BBC is showing for (I think) the Today programme.

    The population levels are quite simply unsustainable. One way or another, this will be an issue that will get sorted out. I think it is better if we sort it out ourselves as a race rather than wait for disease/war/famine/massive disaster (take your pick) before anything is done. It is very easy to curb population, it just takes forsight and guts to do. All we need to do is limit the number of births, then within a generation, we can bring things down to a sustainable level. The other thing we need to do in this regard is to help countries out of poverty, we can then state that if they really want help, they will agree to limit their population.

    Not too difficult methinks.. ;)
     
  6. FB

    FB Not my cup of cake Valued Member

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    Re: Summer Ice Levels

    Having just lived through what must be the two worst summers I can remember (albeit my firts two oop north in Yorkshire) I would like to add that I think global warming is complete Hooey. Any wetter and I ran the risk of trench foot!

    On a more serious note, the climate change agenda (note it is not global warming anymore) has, unfortunately, been hijacked by many extreme groups to push anti-capitalist and anti-goverment agendas. Universities have used it to demand more funding for research grants and as long as they keep reaching the conclusion "yup, it's getting warmer" they keep getting more money to investigate speculate on the consequences and also for goverments to levy taxes here, there and everywhere on the premise that they are "saving the planet".

    It is fairly obvious that what mankind does must have some consequences for the planet's eco-system and we should try and reduce the use of fossil fuels but the doom mongers would have us believe most of East Anglia will be under water in the next 20 years. Hang on, there's an upside then LOL
     
  7. Brogan

    Brogan Running Man Staff Member

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    Re: Summer Ice Levels

    I think that's why the phrase "global warming" has been superseded by "climate change".

    One consequence is apparently more extremes; so some years may be a lot wetter than normal and others may be a lot drier.

    I saw a report the other night of all the cattle and elephants (can't remember where) dying due to a lack of water.

    So climate change affects different areas in different ways by making the normal weather more extreme.

    My biggest concern is population growth.
    The rate it's climbing at means it will only be 10-20 years before it hits 10 billion.
    Can the earth sustain that number of people?
    Is there enough arable land and fresh water to grow enough crops and feed enough animals?
    I guess we'll find out.
     
  8. cider_and_toast

    cider_and_toast Everything in moderation Staff Member Premium Contributor

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    Re: Summer Ice Levels

    Maybe this explains why Lotus are relocating to Malaya in the next couple of years LOL
     
  9. RickD

    RickD Pole Sitter

    Re: Summer Ice Levels

    They probably get as much rain there as they do in Norfolk though..
     
  10. sobriety

    sobriety Pole Sitter

    Re: Summer Ice Levels

    Since this is our global climate thread, with the current series of earthquakes in SE Asia, i wonder if the Big Boy is warming up?
     
  11. RickD

    RickD Pole Sitter

    Re: Summer Ice Levels

    Well, its still growing, but not big enough yet to go off big time. It has a few hundred years of growing yet at least.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldne ... dlier.html
     
  12. gribbli

    gribbli Points Scorer Valued Member

    Re: Summer Ice Levels

    Whether we are effecting climate or not is far beyond the wit of man to calculate. I'd be the first one to say down with big oil but the case for carbon dioxide causing positive feedback loops is that of a straw man IMO.

    Given that you can look back at the early paleozoic, cambrian era and see atmospheric co2 levels around 20 times (roughly 7000ppm) the levels of today, suffice to say if their positive feedback model had and credibility, then none of us would be here today to argue the toss. I'd love to see some studies on what natural processes could cause the co2 levels to drop to the historical lows of this era over the course of 600m years, but alas, researches would get their funding cut if they dared look at such a subject in the current 'climate'.

    Though i did find a really fascinating study by NASA which showed that when plants are moved into a atmosphere of much greater co2 levels, their photosynthesizing efficiency goes through the roof. Now given that both the ocean & land plant life is the natural co2 sink of the planet, I dont think its beyond credulity to consider the possibility that there is a natural symbiosis between the co2 sources and co2 sinks, one that i dare say is capable of dealing with much higher co2 levels than we will ever achieve from burning fossil fuel.
     
  13. Brogan

    Brogan Running Man Staff Member

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    Re: Summer Ice Levels

    All well and good.
    But there weren't 6 billion humans around then, heavy industry, deforestation, urbanisation, etc.

    I'm not saying it's the only factor but IMO it's part of the problem.
     
  14. Speshal

    Speshal World Champion Valued Member

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    Re: Summer Ice Levels

    What we need is a massive pandemic, thin out a billion or 2, that should sort things out.
     
  15. Brogan

    Brogan Running Man Staff Member

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    Re: Summer Ice Levels

    Twelve Monkeys.
     
  16. Speshal

    Speshal World Champion Valued Member

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    Re: Summer Ice Levels

    They'd take a while to write the next Shakespear as there's only a dozen.

    I don't disagree with the people who say that humans have had a negative impact on this planet and in a personal respect I try and recycle as much as I can, only because we have a finite amount of resources and I get paid for it.

    I do disagree with the lot that say we'll be underwater in 20 years unless we all drive a Prius - Prius, not as economical as a BMW 520d - http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/drivin ... 552994.ece
     
  17. gribbli

    gribbli Points Scorer Valued Member

    Re: Summer Ice Levels

    I dunno, it depends whether you think 6billion is alot for the planet, when you read some media reports, anyone would think we are not going to be able to walk in a straight line without bumping into each other soon enough. However as far as biomass goes we could be considered pretty small fry compared to some.

    For instance, just looking at the biomass wiki, Antartic Krill take up more room than us by a ratio of 5:1, even though they themselves only account for ~0.7% of the world's total. Meaning we are in the 0.14% range. Or look at it another way, In order for humans to take up the same biomass as ants, we would need to increase the human population to around half a trillion people. And then when you look at the amount taken up by plant life, well safe to say all other life on this planet is left in the shade if you will excuse the pun LOL

    So as far as resources to stop people starving to death, I think other animals are proving there is more than enough to go around, I believe its more about who holds the keys to the food cupboard personally. As long as a load of corrupt, power hungry nutters run pretty much every country on the planet, you will continue to see the engineering of shortages that shouldnt be so.

    As far the resources for luxuries go, the main one being fossil fuels, i really dont think they have much puff left in them, certainly i would be suprised if they were still being used when im old an grey. The website 'theoildrum' gives lots of brilliant statistics on the very real falling off a cliff that reserves are going through at the moment, at the rate we are using the oil, we will have to go 100% renewable in my lifetime, or we can go the way of the dinosaurs.

    But the use of oil, like food resources is another engineered fallacy, its an archaic form of energy that we havent needed for a century, oil being finite is the very reason they have for trading it, because they make more money that way. In any event I'd still put good money that we will stop using it long before we could have any negative effects on this planet, im more concerned with whats going on with something that really effects our climate, that big yellow fire ball that one rarely gets to see in Wales LOL
     
  18. teabagyokel

    teabagyokel #dejavu Valued Member

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    Re: Summer Ice Levels

    Hats off gav :goodday:

    Is the Sun still at a sunspot minimum then, gav, or has the activity increased as usual?

    The maximum of solar activity was in the summer of 2003. If you can remember what that summer was like, it all starts to make sense! :o
     
  19. Brogan

    Brogan Running Man Staff Member

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    Re: Summer Ice Levels

    Yes, 7 billion people is small when you consider the size of the earth but it's the resources those 7 billion people consume that's the problem.

    We already have chickens designed to hatch, grow and be slaughtered in 20 days just so we can produce them fast enough for people to eat.

    A large portion of southern Spain is now one big greenhouse just to grow enough vegetables for those countries which aren't able to due to a lack of favourable growing conditions.
    See here: Greenhouses in Spain from Space

    We also have pig farms which house 10's of thousands of pigs which never see the light of day and are intensively "grown" in a short period of time for their meat.

    All of the meat and crops we consume require water.
    As do the 7 billion people who eat them.
    They also need water for their baths, showers, gardens, concrete to build houses, land to build the houses on, etc.

    The more land we build houses on the less there is for agriculture and livestock.

    To think that just because we're a small biomass means we can continue increasing our population to half a trillion people is, IMO, flawed thinking.

    The resources of the planet will reach tipping point long before the human race approaches anything like that.
     
  20. Brogan

    Brogan Running Man Staff Member

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    Re: Summer Ice Levels

    Here's a chart showing the world population growth.
    When you see it like this you realise just how unsustainable that level of growth is.


    Taken from this site: http://www.theglobaleducationproject.org/earth/human-conditions.php
     

    Attached Files:

  21. gribbli

    gribbli Points Scorer Valued Member

    Re: Summer Ice Levels

    Well its a false dichotomy to presume we will just because we can when it comes to population growth. The actual irony of it all is that in 1st world countries where resources are plentiful, the population levels have stagnated, so this likening of the human race to a swarm of locust devouring and multiplying out of control is a weak one IMO, yes the population has grown over the years, but to automatically equate that to something negative seems to be to be a huge over simplification of the issue.

    I firmly believe that resourcing issues are not down to a lack of the possibility to produce, rather it is a lack of honesty, lack of will on the part of our representatives and truly woeful infrastructure. Speaking of farming, you just have to look at how its playing out, more and more farmers are having to hang up their boots every year, yet the ones that do survive are still having to drop their prices to compete.

    So which is more likely, that these specific markets are magically defying all economic precedents, or is it that every law passed, every nod, every bit of spare funding always seems to fall on the side of large corporations. How much land does Tesco now have, which they have no intention of using, just because they are allowed to do as they please.

    South Africa was another good example, where economic apartheid is as real today as is was decades ago. Here you had white farmer producing, having de-skilled all of the african natives, then when farms were given back to those who laid claim on them, no attempt was made whatsoever to re-skill. So they managed to turn an immoral agricultural success into a moral wasteland. All because the government didnt then, and still dont have the foresight to give people the appropriate skills, so a resource problem, but not because its impossible, but because of the lack of honesty, will and infrastructure.

    TBY couple of meaty looking sunspots started flairing up last month, the SOHO images are brill, for your viewing pleasure:

    [​IMG]
     

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