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Science

Gulf Stream Slowdown in Progress? 109

Posted by timothy
from the we-need-more-cfcs-now dept.
peacefinder writes "Researchers report that one process which drives the Gulf Stream is slowing down. As that current is part of the global oceanic heat conveyor which keeps parts of Europe and North America warmer than would be expected for their latitudes, such a slowdown might lead to abrupt climate change."
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Gulf Stream Slowdown in Progress?

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  • by Tumbleweed (3706) on Monday May 09, 2005 @06:20PM (#12482388)
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0319262/ [imdb.com]

    A chilling account.

    As it were.
  • History (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TrippTDF (513419) <hiland @ g m a il.com> on Monday May 09, 2005 @06:20PM (#12482389)
    It would be interesting to see the history of the gulf stream. Could it be a fluke of recent development?
  • by dhakbar (783117) on Monday May 09, 2005 @06:21PM (#12482399)
    At no point in earth's history has climate stood still. At no point in earth's history has all life been wiped clean from it. The earth is fine; if people go the way of the dinosaur, then so be it.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      That's why environmetalism is a win-win viewpoint. Either A)they are wrong that humans are causing damage to the earth, and everything goes on just fine or B) they are right, and humans will be wiped of the earth.
    • by Yokaze (70883) on Monday May 09, 2005 @06:38PM (#12482577)
      > At no point in earth's history has climate stood still.

      Well, except for the 8,200y event, the climate has stood relatively still in the last 10 millenia. Coincidentally, the time were began to settle, started farming, mining. This whole idiotic civilisation tech-tree thing.

      > if people go the way of the dinosaur, then so be it.

      You may say, that I'm egoistical, but I find such a prospect in my life-time relatively disturbing.

      • 10 millennia isn't even worth mentioning when you're discussing climate change.

        I say again, at no point in earth's history has climate stood still.
        • by uncadonna (85026) <mtobis@nosPAm.gmail.com> on Monday May 09, 2005 @07:25PM (#12483070) Homepage Journal
          Normally, 10 millenia is a short time in geophysics. Watch out for the next few centuries though. They'll be among the most exciting highlights of the entire multi-billion-year record.

          Welcome to the anthropocene [innovations-report.de].

          • "Watch out for the next few centuries though. They'll be among the most exciting highlights of the entire multi-billion-year record."

            Maybe I'm just shallow, but I like taking the climate for granted.
            • "Watch out for the next few centuries though. They'll be among the most exciting highlights of the entire multi-billion-year record."

              Maybe I'm just lazy, but I like to leave it to my grandchildren. I can buy them a hill to build their house on.
          • I've been thinking about this as well. But maybe it isn't going far enough to say that humanity is taking the earth into a new geological era. A better, be it more speculative, suggestion is that humanity actually has it in their power to usher in a new eon.

            My reasoning for this is that eons are defined by whatever principal force that affects the earth most profoundly changes. A short list:

            The Hadean(4550 mya - 3800 mya), where the earth was cooling and life was impossible.

            The Archaean(3800 mya - 2500
            • So my question is, since the passing of eons basically describe the amount of control and impact life has on its environment, isn't the speed and sophistication of humanity's effect on the environment so profound that we should be entering the Anthropean eon?

              Sure, sounds very reasonable. Let's just hope that our decendents gain the technology that will be needed to ensure that the anthropean eon isn't marked by a runaway greenhouse effect that boils the oceans and produces Venus's twin sister...

              As

              • Not sure, but I'm pretty sure I read that the Greenhouse warming here on Earth was actually supposed to end up causing more of an ice age than Venus' twin.
                • Not sure, but I'm pretty sure I read that the Greenhouse warming here on Earth was actually supposed to end up causing more of an ice age than Venus' twin.

                  Sure, if we only nudge it a little bit - because the polar caps will melt and that will lower the temperature of the oceans creating what we perceive as an ice age. But the overall amount of energy in our system is increasing, not decreasing. Liberating water from ice takes a ton of energy and only gives us the illusion of an overall cooling becau

                  • Erm. I think you are both wrong.

                    First, the "ice age" connection is not due to the energy it takes to melt ice. Rather it is due to the very topic of grandparent article. Namely the theory is that in the past the gulf stream shutdown (which is due to the fact that melted ice is less dense than salt water) led to a cooling of the European land mass, leading to extension of glaciers down from the north pole, leading to a higher albedo Earth, leading to cooling of the whole planet.

                    However, this time around
        • And at no point since the rise of mammals has it changed in such abrupt and chaotic ways as it has the last 50-150 years.

          Just like a computer may randomly crash after running for a long time, but will go down far more often when a human is using it.

          Problem isn't just that we may kill ourselves. The problems is we may take a large chunk of everything else with us. However, the former problem should be bad enough.

          I'm guessing you don't have and/or don't want children. I don't, but I do want them. I would l
          • by PedanticSpellingTrol (746300) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @01:38AM (#12485529)
            Conversely, at no point has it EVER been measured as accurately as it has the last 50-150 years.
            • Yes - and you know what happens when scientists get to make policy decisions based on an emerging field?

              You get a food pyramid that kills millions in an attempt to make them less fat (it actually makes them more fat!). Ask a heart surgeon - the FDA listening to early nutritional scientists directly led to the prevalence of heart attacks today.

              If we make policy decisions based on early scientific projections, we may be shooting ourselves in the foot.

              Personally, I believe that since our ability to effect
              • Yes - and you know what happens when scientists get to make policy decisions based on an emerging field?


                You get a food pyramid that kills millions in an attempt to make them less fat (it actually makes them more fat!). Ask a heart surgeon - the FDA listening to early nutritional scientists directly led to the prevalence of heart attacks today.


                Do you -honestly- believe that such a government sponsored group can truly be called "scientists"?

                Or do you honestly believe that current food, health OR econo

                • All true - but the situation is the same for the environmental scientists as well, if not more so. They are so firmly entrenched in parroting whatever the government wants them to say that you cannot tell what is even real science any more.

                  I agree that a new power source would be nice (I like solar, myself), but an economy will always chose the long-term cheapest option acording to the consumers definitions of long-term and cheapest. If you want to affect change, change the consumers definition of long-t
            • On a microscopic scale, yes.

              On a macroscropic scale it is fairly simple to track overall patterns on a 10-25 year scale.

              Far different processes. Do I think a few droughts or a few more hurricanes than normal matter much in the scheme of things? Nope. But consistent and constant changes in temperature, global wind patterns, etc, yes.

              Or, in simpler terms, you're talking about weather, I'm talking about climate.
      • I find such a prospect in my life-time relatively disturbing.

        well, sort of by definition, people can't go extinct in your lifetime.


    • At no point in earth's history has all life been wiped clean from it. The earth is fine; if people go the way of the dinosaur, then so be it.

      You've stumbled upon the central lie of the "environmentalists movement". That is that it's all about "saving the planet". You're absolutely right, the planet is in no danger. Humanity of course, is in some danger.

      As far as not caring about humanity, well you're entitled to your values. The vast majority of us don't want humanity to go away, people to suffer do
      • I think part of people's beef with the environmentalist movement is that (in more relatively libertarian societies like the Unites States and Japan (as opposed to more communitarian societies like, oh, almost all of Europe)) people want (or deserve) the right to act in their own self-interest, and think "Hm. Force people to give up some of their own economic freedoms, for the sake of averting an alleged disaster, the evidence in support of which appears (rightly or not) to be exaggerated, and which I may ve
        • Or when they take to nutty extremes. Like the group that wants air craft banned from flying over Natonal Forests. They feel that looking up and seeing an airliner flying overhead ruines the natural feel of the place.
        • > the evidence in support of which appears (rightly
          > or not) to be exaggerated

          Well, you say "rightly or not", but the evidence only tends to "appear to be exaggerated" to the very people who don't want to give up their Hummers and airconditioners and all of the other trappings that come with cheap fossil energy.

          It may appear that the evidence for anthropogenic global warming is exaggerated to those folks, but to the vast, vast majority (not ALL, I said "vast majority") of people who are:

          a) scient

      • Actually, the grandparent expresses the perfect environmentalist viewpoint. The fundamental philosophy of the most vocal group of "environmentalists" is that I should treat the planet (or something) as being more important than human life. That's the single point that it all comes back to, even if not everyone who makes that argument knows that they are.
        • The fundamental philosophy of the most vocal group of "environmentalists" is that I should treat the planet (or something) as being more important than human life.

          Kindly name them. I'd LOVE to see an official quote where PETA says that we should kill humans to make room for wolves.

          Political Environmentalists hold the historically shocking assertion that preventing damage to the biosphere* is more important than human profit. If you take even the most outrageous environmentalist group large enough to be
          • Human "profit" is that which helps, benefits, improves, or aids humans, according to my dictionary. Doesn't really sound like the kind of thing you want to be against, does it?
          • On page two of this article [cbrinfo.org], one long time outspoken PETA member is claimed to have rated a health rat as more important than a sick child.

            David Kupelian of World Net Daily considers [worldnetdaily.com] PETA's official non-committal stance on abortion to be saying that an animal's life is worth saving, a human babies isn't.

            I would say that PETA does consider animal life to be at least equal if not supperior to human life.

            • On page two of this article, one long time outspoken PETA member is claimed to have rated a health rat as more important than a sick child.

              Which was, in that same paragraph, an argument that parents should be allowed to euthanize. Just like the owners of a sick rat can kill it.

              David Kupelian of World Net Daily considers PETA's official non-committal stance on abortion to be saying that an animal's life is worth saving, a human babies isn't.

              The question for abortion is "is a fetus a legal person?" An
          • Against medical testing? Because they harm animals for human profit.

            Yet IIRC, isn't the Number 2 person at PETA taking Insulin that is not only a result of animl research, but contains animal products?

            The fundamental philosophy of the most vocal group of "environmentalists" is that I should treat the planet (or something) as being more important than human life.
            --
            Kindly name them. I'd LOVE to see an official quote where PETA says that we should kill humans to make room for wolves.


            Ah posit a known fals
            • Yet IIRC, isn't the Number 2 person at PETA taking Insulin that is not only a result of animl research, but contains animal products?

              Veganism and environmentalism aren't synonyms. On a given day you might find me acting quite like an environmentalist, but you'll never see me acting like a vegan.

              This answer does in fact state a position that animals are mroe valuable than humans.

              No, it doesn't. In fact, by strict numbers, it says that animals are 1/10th as valueable as humans--but that the cost of a

              • Veganism and environmentalism aren't synonyms. On a given day you might find me acting quite like an environmentalist, but you'll never see me acting like a vegan.


                True, but she calls for an end to Medical research and products made by animal research/use. She is living solely because of the research she wants to end.

                No, it doesn't. In fact, by strict numbers, it says that animals are 1/10th as valueable as humans--but that the cost of a murder is far higher than the price of saving 10,000 lives.

                Sorry
                • Sorry, you've got it backward

                  No... go back and read it again.

                  "Is 1 child's death worth saving 10,000? What about 10 puppies?"

                  So, 1 human life is worth more than 10,000 saves. And 10 puppy-lives are worth more than 10,000 saves--so, by the only equal metere there, 1 human = 10 puppies.

                  That assumes the right to get drunk and endanger others exists.

                  It does. Try this: lease a racing track--one with walls large enough to smash into a 100 mph and not hurt anyone. Then get plastered. Then drive.

                  You h
                  • No... go back and read it again.

                    "Is 1 child's death worth saving 10,000? What about 10 puppies?"

                    So, 1 human life is worth more than 10,000 saves. And 10 puppy-lives are worth more than 10,000 saves--so, by the only equal metere there, 1 human = 10 puppies.


                    I see the problem: we are reading entirely different answers The FAQ I referenced makes no mentions of puppies or a child.

                    Specifically it says:

                    Would you allow an experiment that would sacrifice 10 animals to save 10,000 people?"

                    The original answe

                    • Suppose the only way to save those 10,000 people was to experiment on one mentally-challenged orphan.

                      First line in the friggin response.

                      The fact is, everytime someone asks about animals and rights, they fall back to the retarded child, the retarded orphan. WHy> Their position is that retarded people and animals neither can utilize their rights, nor understand them. Yet they retain them despite the physical incapability to even grasp them. If animals can have their reproductive rights usurped "for the

        • The fundamental philosophy of the most vocal group of "environmentalists" is that I should treat the planet (or something) as being more important than human life.

          And you're expressing the fundamental philosophy of the most vocal corporate public relations departments -- that human life is somehow separate and independent of the global environment. We can't thrive without a healthy environment. We can't exist without a reasonably functional environment.
          • Of course. I'm not saying "let's go destroy us some environment"; merely that I should preserve and improve the environment for my benefit (because I'm a part of it), not to my detriment.

            • Of course. I'm not saying "let's go destroy us some environment"; merely that I should preserve and improve the environment for my benefit (because I'm a part of it), not to my detriment.

              Maybe you could expand on the idea that preserving the environment could work to your detriment. You know your lifestyle in unsustainable. Why keep delaying the inevitable and further reducing our options? Either we adjust willingly or we have reality thrust upon us in incredibly painful ways. Your anti-environmentalis
              • Um, WTF? Since when am I "campaigning"? I'm sorry that you feel persecuted because you can't understand what I'm saying, but don't take it personally.

                Anyway, as to your point: nothing is "sustainable". It's a fact of the universe. Living your life with minimal impact on the world is nice and Zen and all, but that's the strategy of "delaying the inevitable", not anything I've ever talked about. You can keep on being "sustainable" right up to the (inevitable, as far as you or I know at the moment) heat death

                • I'm sorry that you feel persecuted because you can't understand what I'm saying, but don't take it personally.

                  The arrogance of the wealthy elite is sometimes quite enlightening. I think you're revealing more about yourself than you realize.

                  Anyway, as to your point: nothing is "sustainable".

                  Then why is that word in the English language?

                  It's a fact of the universe. Living your life with minimal impact on the world is nice and Zen and all, but that's the strategy of "delaying the inevitable", n
                  • The majority of your post is a mass of unfounded hyperbole with no relation to anything I've ever said, but I'd like to respond to one point in particular: "then why is that word in the English language?" The answer, of course, is that the idea exists; English is able to express the impossible (such as "faster than light" or "nigritude ultramarine") just as easily as the possible. Otherwise it wouldn't be much of a language.

                    • The majority of your post is a mass of unfounded hyperbole with no relation to anything I've ever said..."

                      Even though I quoted back your exact words before my comments? Way to have courage and stand behind your words, dude. Let me know when you want your spine back.
          • It is not as simple as that. There are people who feel that the propper balance is to have no technology higher than domesticated animals. There are others that believe that poisoning a lake is a fair trade for jet aircraft. There is a question how much value "nature" presents. Presumably, even you have a value of "profit" at which you would destroy nature - for example to save a nation's children, struck with some disease that can only be cured by the processing (destruction) of some rain forest.

            The t

            • There are people who feel that the propper balance is to have no technology higher than domesticated animals. There are others that believe that poisoning a lake is a fair trade for jet aircraft.

              And those people would be classified as extremists. I love to hear people toss that crap out there -- a little misdirection to conflate environmentalists with Luddites. The people who want to poison the lakes seem to be in charge, though.

              There is a question how much value "nature" presents. ...
              The truely di
              • And your assertion that we're "not allowing the extremists on either side to take charge" is completely false. The extremists on one side have taken charge.

                Unfortunately, all this shows is that you are an extremist by the measures we use in society. Probably those around you are also extremists, so you do not have any external perspective. One of the most important lessons to learn in life is to listen to those that you disagree with - you cannot learn by listening to those that you agree with.

                In the

                • Unfortunately, all this shows is that you are an extremist by the measures we use in society.

                  Who is this self-proclaimed "we?" You act as if you and your imaginary "we" have a monopoly on the definition of extremism. That's pure totalitarian thinking -- as if your thinking is pure and therefore uniquely qualified to make this determination. I call that cultural correctness.

                  Probably those around you are also extremists, so you do not have any external perspective. One of the most important lessons t
                  • Your probably are a troll, but just in case...

                    I am sorry if I offended you - I was trying to state my point of view, not to attack yours. "We" is meant to include the public will, as currently implemented by the government. You seem to believe that excludes you.

                    On my using a "teacher's voice," I do need to watch that. I honestly care about other people, and want them to succeed - and I often see people doing things I think will hurt themselves in the end. Perhaps that comes off wrong. Anyway, what I

                    • Your probably are a troll, but just in case...

                      I'm a troll? I've brought plenty of facts to this debate that you just seem to want to ignore or wish away with your fingers in your ears, and somehow I'm the troll? You truly are delusional.
                      I'm actually just driving a wedge into you to pry open and expose your hypocrisy. Thanks for cooperating.

                      "We" is meant to include the public will, as currently implemented by the government. You seem to believe that excludes you.

                      Let me explain something to
                    • Please let me know if you would like to have a civil discussion. I believe you are wrong on several important points. You believe I am similarly wrong. If you were more polite, I think we might both learn something.

                      As it is, I'm afraid any discussion with you is pointless.
                    • Yes, run away little cultural warrior. Your plastic sword and shield can't stand the heat of inquiry. Run back into your little reality bubble where your certainty is assured. You can be free from the disorder and uncertainty of real life there. You will ask yourself no questions and all of life will be as you wish it to be.
    • At no point in history has a species existed that took intelligent action to forstall its own demise. So what if humans could do that? So be it.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I ruled at that game, so I'm fine, right?

  • Scary! (Score:1, Redundant)

    by TheSHAD0W (258774)
  • by EvilMagnus (32878) on Monday May 09, 2005 @06:29PM (#12482488)
    ...to move to California.

    Now all I have to worry about is the ground shaking and opening up, me falling in to the resulting hole, then being covered by a mudslide with a bushfire on top.

    Oh, and maybe bears and mountain lions feasting on my protruding limbs as I flail for help.

    But at least I'll be warm.
    • Oh, I don't think the bears and mountain lions will feast on on you while you have a flaming bush over you, though of course your protuding limbs will be flailing around in fire. Gotta take the good with the bad.
  • Demise of the Maya (Score:5, Interesting)

    by 4of12 (97621) on Monday May 09, 2005 @06:33PM (#12482524) Homepage Journal

    A TV program a while back highlighted research investigating just why huge indigenous populations of Central America mysteriously disappeared around 800.

    Lakebed sediment cores suggested a fairly severe multi-year drought around that time that was linked (through that Atlantic conveyor) to some severe winters in northern Europe. That drought was thought to disrupt agriculture that those cultures relied upon.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      But that was more than a thousand years before the Industrial Revolution! How could the climate change without gobs of coal smoke being spewed into the air by greedy industrialists?
    • by FifthRaven (701549) on Monday May 09, 2005 @07:51PM (#12483257) Journal
      But of course we *ALL* know that burning fossil fuels has absolutely *NOTHING* to do with any of this climate change stuff. Global warming DOESN'T exist, Oil will never run out, and Bill Gates earned his money through fair buisness practices.
    • As an interesting experiment... think of the consequences of either scenario.

      Large population centers in Europe experience significant drops in temperature and South America experiences consecutive droughts.

      Or most of the globe warms up resulting in fairly dramatic shifts in locations of arable lands and significant increase in disease vectors.

      Either scenario represents a disruptive event to today's societies.

    • They obviously didn't sacrifice quite enough beautiful young maidens to appease the rain god. In these cynical god-less times, could we learn from the wisdom of the ancients?
  • Darn (Score:4, Interesting)

    by aoteoroa (596031) on Monday May 09, 2005 @07:58PM (#12483307)
    Here on the Canadian West Coast global warming has been great. Winters are getting milder and milder and we've have had some great summers in the last few years.

    The only downsides have been a few pesky forest fires, and annual water restrictions.
    • How many years has this been keeping up? It may very well be a result of Solar Cycles [www.oulu.fi] rather than purely terrestrial climate effects.
      • I was half joking about the global warming, but on a serious level I have witnessed a change in climate.

        Anecdotally:
        I live in Vancouver. Being a coastal city it is warmer than the rest of Canada, and the temperature has never stayed below freezing for very long, but when I was a kid we used to have at least one good cold snap a year that would last long enough (a week or so) that we could go skating on the local ponds.

        During the ten years that I was in High School, and college we seemed to have a c

    • On the other side of the rockies, however, things suck.

      10 years ago, there was snow up to my waist for at least 4 months out of the year. Last year, I had to shovel exactly twice, and realistically I coud have used a broom to sweep aside the white dust that passes for snow.

      Unfortunately, while the climate change has spared us from hours of chopping away at icy chunks of snow that barricade us inside our houses, it hasn't stopped the bloody cold weather. So, now all those plants that used to get covered by
  • negative nancy (Score:3, Interesting)

    by witte (681163) on Monday May 09, 2005 @08:33PM (#12483495)
    As usual, this will only become an issue once the majority of people make the connection between climate change, its origins, and the resulting unpleasantness. (Starvation, war for dwindling resources, mad max, etc.)
  • Yes, it will be sad if Europe reverts to the temperature range of Canada or Russia. (French Ice Wine, anyone?) On the other hand, NJ and much of the east coast is also warmer than it should be due to the Gulf Stream.

    No more people moving from NY/VT/NH to Florida, etc., for the climate and ruining our tax base!
  • by cahiha (873942) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @02:00AM (#12485626)
    Well, the responses are pretty predictable:
    Let those godless commie pinko Europeans freeze under dozens of feet of snow in their hovels, as long as we can keep driving our SUVs with oil "imported" from the middle east. It's our goddamn right--I'm a libertarian and nobody is gonna tell me what not to drive. And they hate us anyway, so what do we care?

    Nothing good comes from there anyway. Those people just keep buying dollars and real estate and all that, and they are sneakily devaluing the dollar by refusing to buy our products and dumping their wine on us. Travel there hasn't been much fun either: they still speak all those funny languages, and the waiters are surly. And technologically, they live in the stone age--I mean, we invented it all anyway, the telephone and television and everything.

    And what are they gonna do about it? Our army is bigger than theirs and there isn't a damned thing they can do other than complain in their funny accents.

    Besides, until the gulf stream is dead in its tracks, it might just be a false alarm. And even if it does happen, who is to prove that we caused it? It might be cow farts that stopped the gulf stream, or too much hot air from politicians.

    And technology can fix it. We're just gonna dump some industrial waste into the ocean and it's gonna fertilize the algae, and then they are going to eat up all the CO2, and then everything is gonna be alright. Or maybe we'll just build some spaceships and colonize space. Yeah, that's what we'll do--space elevators, interstellar travel, and Orion slave girls, and we can still keep driving our SUVs.

    Life is good.
    • A disaster in Europe, or elsewhere in the world, has economic reprocussions everywhere else.

      The flip-side to buffering trading partners from disaster (mutually beneficial) is being desimated by enormous disasters they encounter.

      International trade has never been greater.

      A deep freeze in Europe would probably throw the whole world into a depression, not to mention send luddites panicking in the streets.

      We're all in this together, unfortunately. When a significant part of the globe gets fucked up, the eco
  • From the first link:

    "The thermohaline circulation is a global ocean circulation. It is driven by differences in the density of the sea water which is controlled by temperature (thermal) and salinity (haline). In the North Atlantic it transports warm and salty water to the North."

    Since the Argo [slashdot.org] project measures [ucsd.edu] these attributes along with current direction and possibly speed, it is the perfect way to either confirm or disconfirm this finding. If Dr. Wadhams is correct, in his prediction that the poler
  • Briefish synopsis:

    Recent measurements show that one of the three mechanisms believed to drive the Gulf Stream is decreasing more than expected. The result could be that the Gulf Stream turns off, meaning that warm currents from the equator are no longer brought to Northern Europe and North East America. This may happen in a decade, which might decrease our temperature by 5-8 degrees. Or it might happen over the next couple of centuries, which might actually be beneficial because it could counteract globa
    • Re:A quick synopsis (Score:2, Interesting)

      by g011um (560626)
      Let me get this:
      • Global warming adds more pure water to the sea in the North Atlantic
      • Gulf stream slows
      • Slower Gulf stream cools the temperatures

      Sounds to me like a natural thermostat.

      Also a lower temperature sea will increase the likelyhood of dissolving the extra CO2 into the seawater.

      Most of this kind of research (models) are focused on extrapolation [thefreedictionary.com] in this case the time-frame (using a couple of years +-100 to predict too much 800 or more and using limited knowledge gained from other sources su

      • It is all about the assumptions.
        Considering:
        "The atmospheric concentration of CO2 has increased by 31% above pre-industrial levels since 1750. This is considerably higher than at any time during the last 420,000 years, the period for which reliable data has been extracted from ice cores."

        The historical average, called the "stable level" is about 280ppm. The highest *recent* peak we've seen is, IIRC, 380ppm. There is nothing to indicate, even current levels and rates of increase, a doubling of atmospheric
        • 1750 happens to coincide with the start of the industrial revolution in Europe where people started large scale burning of coal. Which would increase the amount of atmospheric CO2.

          Now if you look at your data (380 - 280)/ (2005 - 1750) = 100ppm / 255 years or 0.4 PPM / year which is much lower than 1.5ppm. But last year was 1.5 PPM so what's going on? Well I guess the rate is increasing over time. So I guess someone looking at your data would assume that over the next 70 years we will increase by mo
          • Also remember that with peak oil coming into play, the rate CO2 will be dumped into the atmosphere will probably level off, although you can also have factors such as the saturation of CO2 sinks, which could cause sudden surges in atmospheric CO2 even if the rate of CO2 generation levels off. Nobody really knows what will happen in the next 140 years, it could quadruple, or it could stop increasing at all. Who knows?
            • Nobody really knows what will happen in the next 140 years

              My point exactly. And if you don't know, don't go off half cocked trying the fix something you don't understand. In other words:


              Let's stay cool, people... Let's work the problem, people. Let's not make things worse by guessing.

              -Gene Kranz (Ed Harris), Apollo 13

          • 1750 happens to coincide with the start of the industrial revolution in Europe where people started large scale burning of coal. Which would increase the amount of atmospheric CO2.

            Yes, it does. But the history records of coal production do not reliably show mass use of coal in until the late 1800's. But for sake of argument, we'll leave the 1750 date alone for now.

            According to prevailing carbon cycle change windows, *if* one attributes *all* of the increase in CO2 levels since 1750 to humans, we are curr
            • Ok, that was a much better counter argument than I was expecting to such a flippant post. I was trying to get across that these numbers are not unreasonable while trying to sound funny.

              Now I have never look at the "real" data all that closely but I just want to point out some things.

              While coal was not the only fuel source in the industrial revolution people switched to it after they ran out of wood.

              As I said Oil is not the only source if CO2 we need to look at. You need to note how much total CO

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