There's an Xbox Live political poll that's up and one question from the poll is "Do you believe in global warming". More than half of Americans don't believe that global warming is real or believe that its effects are exaggerated.
I'm curious about your thoughts on this issue - if you vote, make sure that you explain your decision and why you believe that way.
Global Warming is just a possible effect of the greater issue that is the energy crisis. That's just one annoying part about America. We focus on stupid shit, like arguing about the side effects of a problem until we are blue in the face, instead of trying to deal with the root of the thing that actually matters.
Yes. To some extent, global warming is a natural occurrence, as the Earth fluctuates between periods of warmth and freezing, but the affects of industrialization in the last few centuries have exacerbated the warming period, making it occur much more rapidly. At this point, it's unclear whether or not the Earth will ever be able to reach another ice age as long as humans exist and pollute as much as they do.
I don't believe in "global warming" in a political sense, but I believe that the earth changes and there's nothing we can do about it. If the earth needs to purge itself of us or cleanse itself then it probably will. There's nothing we can really do to help the situation other than not exist or only have a limited existence. The only thing we could do is be able to be so self sustaining that we can live in ships in space. That's about the only way I can imagine no longer hurting the earth. Otherwise our population will keep growing and more and more people will consume and hold water for longer periods causing less water to be replenished fast enough. Mother Earth will probably wipe 80% of the population out while at the same time fixing whatever we did to the earth.
Like so many other things, it's gotten turned into a political issue. There's really no serious debate on if global warming is happening, but that doesn't stop pundits from waving it around as a specter that the left has cooked up to redistribute all our money, etc. In other countries like China, India, or Russia, it's more an issue of them being unwilling to curb their growth to combat their CO2 emissions. Sadly, it's a simple matter of most countries being unwilling to change because as it stands, that change would be more painful than the perceived consequences of not doing so.
Do you believe in magic, in a young girl's heart?
Do you believe in gravity?
But yes, weather stations overwhelmingly show that average temperatures continue to rise, and the leading hypothesis from the scientific community is that humanity is contributing significantly, and they generally know what they're talking about. Also, just because some countries have turned this into a political issue doesn't mean we should treat it as one; climatologists are more interested in devoting their lives to doing good climatology than in advancing a political agenda, and any theory they propose has to be supported by the evidence.
No one can deny that global warming is occurring. The question of whether it's attributable to human activity is more complicated, but also well supported by scientific consensus. The GOP is not much more than a mouthpiece for corporate interests anymore, so of course they're going to promote the idea that industrialization could not possibly cause this. And then their lackeys at Fox News will fall in line with the talking points, and a certain segment of the population is just stupid enough to buy all of it, as long as it's all wrapped up in the usual pro-gun, pro-life, pro-fundamentialism hot button issues that have gotten the right in America their votes for decades.
It's hard to throw facts at someone who's been getting spoonfed this kind of crap their whole life.
After 9/11, the earth warmed 2 degrees on average because those streams that planes leave behind are good reflectors. The earth is measurably warmer and that's not up for debate.
Man also thought the earth was flat and the sun revolved around the earth. Take that into consideration.
I guess I'll share my thoughts on this issue as well because I voted too.
It's a little long so I hope you stay with me.
One of the main arguments against the belief that global warming is man-made is that the Earth naturally cycles between Ice ages and hot times. This is because the Earth doesn't perfectly orbit around the Sun and there are deviations in the distance in larger geological time scales. The effects of global warming are also exaggerated. For example, in the Carboniferous period the carbon dioxide content was over three times the current level (post-industrial) yet during this time, life flourished and prospered. So the climate change that is happening today is part of a natural process that is inevitable. Furthermore, certain scientists have been found to have changed data in order to fuel their hypotheses.
Well, what do I think about these arguments?
I diasgree with them entirely although many of these arguments stem from and have a foundation in truth.
The evidence that we have that global warming is man-made is astonishing. Yes it's true that the Earth cycles between hot/cold periods much like a Katy Perry song, but the argument is that humans have greatly fueled the hotter climate. This is true because the oceans stopped steadily rising around 7,000 years ago. It's not until the last 100 years have we observed its fast rise again. We know that global warming is happening and is man-made because
1. Carbon Dioxide levels have been rising since measurement in the 1960's. It use to be around 300ppm but today it's around 400ppm.
2. Sea levels are rising.
3. Islands and river deltas are being submerged (although the latter is also caused by land subsidence and dams).
4. We see stronger hurricanes as time passes by.
5. Methane levels are rapidly increasing.
6. We see mountain tree lines escalating and going closer to the peaks.
We know these things because we look at tree rings, at ice cores, at coral cores, and we actively measure the temperature and atmosphere. Through the coral cores and ice cores, which reveals the levels of oxygen 18 isotopes, we know that before the industrial age the carbon ppm and temperature was lower than today.
The science behind it is simple. When light from the sun goes through the atmosphere and hits Earth, the ground absorbs the light radiation and reflects some back as infrared radiation. Big gas molecules such as ( Lower ozone, CO2, CH4) hold in heat through absorbing infrared radiation because of their bonds.
But what I'm worried about and what scientists still have debates about - is the effects of this heating. Yes it's real. Yes it's man-made. But how worried should we be?
In my opinion, we should be very worried. Unlike the natural heating that occurred during the carboniferous period 300-something million years ago, the climate change today is happening so fast that plants and animals will not be able to adapt. Serious desertification processes are happening. Some places will get much dryer and some will get colder and wetter. Many things will change, many things will perish and go extinct and there will be a big loss in bio diversity. Evolution happens on a scale of hundreds of thousands to millions of years - but we're only giving the current life a hundred or so. A simple rise of 1 or 2 celsius in heat per century is disastrous for animal life.
I think that humans will adapt to the heating just fine - but our reliance on animals and the natural world for medicine, food, and survival will be greatly challenged.
Thanks for reading.
Significant global climate change is occurring. The extent to which that is guided by mankind's actions is questionable, but it's certainly a factor. And regardless of its true level of influence on what is occurring, we should be making more efforts to limit our negative impact on the environment.
Global Warming isn't happening. Global Climate Change is, the question is simply, is our climate robust or fragile. You all should look up medieval warm period.
TIME MAGAZINE -1974
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."
TIME MAGAZINE -2006
Be worried, be very worried
The climate is crashing, and global warming is to blame
Sunday, March 26, 2006; Posted: 11:27 a.m. EST (16:27 GMT)
Editor's note: The following is a summary of this week's Time magazine cover story.
And with sea ice vanishing, polar bears are starting to turn up drowned.
• TIME.com: Read the entire cover story on Timeexternal link
• Earth's past points to melting
• Radar plane gauges Arctic snow
• A changing Earth's challenges
• Climate change's science debate
• Flash: Hot spots around the globe
• Explainer: Global warming
• Special Report
(Time.comexternal link) -- No one can say exactly what it looks like when a planet takes ill, but it probably looks a lot like Earth
Never mind what you've heard about global warming as a slow-motion emergency that would take decades to play out. Suddenly and unexpectedly, the crisis is upon us.
From heat waves to storms to floods to fires to massive glacial melts, the global climate seems to be crashing around us.
The problem -- as scientists suspected but few others appreciated -- is that global climate systems are booby-trapped with tipping points and feedback loops, thresholds past which the slow creep of environmental decay gives way to sudden and self-perpetuating collapse. That's just what's happening now.
It's at the north and south poles -- where ice cover is crumbling to slush -- that the crisis is being felt the most acutely.
Late last year, for example, researchers analyzed data from Canadian and European satellites and found that the Greenland ice sheet is not only melting, but doing so faster and faster, with 53 cubic miles draining away into the sea last year alone, compared to 23 cubic miles in 1996.
One of the reasons the loss of the planet's ice cover is accelerating is that as the poles' bright white surface disappears it changes the relationship of the Earth and the sun. Polar ice is so reflective that 90 percent of the sunlight that strikes it simply bounces back into space, taking its energy with it. Ocean water does just the opposite, absorbing 90 percent of the light and heat it receives, meaning that each mile of ice that melts vanishes faster than the mile that preceded it.
This is what scientists call a feedback loop, and a similar one is also melting the frozen land called permafrost, much of which has been frozen -- since the end of last ice age in fact, or at least 8,000 years ago.
Sealed inside that cryonic time capsule are layers of decaying organic matter, thick with carbon, which itself can transform into CO2. In places like the southern boundary of Alaska the soil is now melting and softening.
As fast as global warming is changing the oceans and ice caps, it's having an even more immediate effect on land. Droughts are increasingly common as higher temperatures also bake moisture out of soil faster, causing dry regions that live at the margins to tip into full-blown crisis.
Wildfires in such sensitive regions as Indonesia, the western U.S. and even inland Alaska have been occurring with increased frequency as timberlands grow more parched. Those forests that don't succumb to fire can simply die from thirst.
With habitats crashing, the animals that call them home are succumbing too. In Alaska, salmon populations are faltering as melting permafrost pours mud into rivers, burying the gravel the fish need for spawning. Small animals such as bushy tailed rats, chipmunks and pinion mice are being chased upslope by rising temperatures, until they at last have no place to run.
And with sea ice vanishing, polar bears are starting to turn up drowned. "There will be no polar ice by 2060," says Larry Schweiger, president of the National Wildlife Federation. "Somewhere along that path, the polar bear drops out."
So much environmental collapse has at last awakened much of the world, particularly the 141 nations that have ratified the Kyoto treaty to reduce emissions. The Bush administration, however, has shown no willingness to address the warming crisis in a serious way and Congress has not been much more encouraging.
Sens. John McCain and Joe Lieberman have twice been unable to get even mild measures to limit carbon emissions through a recalcitrant Senate.
A 10-member House delegation did recently travel to Antarctica, Australia and New Zealand to meet with scientists studying climate change. "Of the 10 of us, only three were believers to begin with," says Rep. Sherman Boehlert of New York. "Every one of the others said this opened their eyes."
But lawmakers who still applaud themselves for recognizing global warming are hardly the same as lawmakers with the courage to reverse it, and increasingly, state and local governments are stepping forward.
The mayors of more than 200 cities have signed the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, pledging, among other things, that they will meet the Kyoto goal of reducing greenhouse emissions in their own cities to 1990 levels by 2012. Nine northeastern states have established the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative for the purpose of developing a program to cap greenhouse gasses.
@runnah555After 9/11, the earth warmed 2 degrees on average because those streams that planes leave behind are good reflectors. The earth is measurably warmer and that's not up for debate.
Man also thought the earth was flat and the sun revolved around the earth. Take that into consideration.
Not sure I understand the first sentence.
Fucking hell. Global warming is not something to 'believe'. It's something that's happening, it's a fact. This is like asking 'do you believe in oxygen?'.
There you go, discussion's over. How the hell you can even look at the subject as something to 'believe' in is beyond me. It's happening, it's man-made (by far most of what we've been experiencing during the last decades is, at least), and we need to be very thankful for the people that are researching, innovating, and investing heavily in the subject despite the vast army of idiots (fronted by some very rich Americans) actively yelling at the media that it's 'a hoax'. And the media just cover whatever topic is interesting without any responsibility, so that this looks like a 50-50 game to the uninformed public, which it isn't. As someone else in this topic already mentioned: if all of us would be like those idiots, we would indeed be a doomed race.
Yes, and it's far worse than "government scientists" would have you believe.