[extropy-chat] global warming, with ice

Damien Broderick thespike at satx.rr.com
Sun Dec 31 01:53:23 UTC 2006

At 08:02 PM 12/30/2006 -0500, Joseph wrote:

> >Perhaps the hothouse skeptics will have a view on this report?
>Only that I find it remarkable that the implication is that sheets of
>ice never cleaved off an arctic or antarctic ice sheet prior to the 18th
>century or so

Of course, that's not the implication. Look at what the guy actually said:

<Warwick Vincent of Laval University, who studies Arctic conditions,
travelled to the newly formed ice island and could not believe what he saw.

"This is a dramatic and disturbing event. It shows that we are losing
remarkable features of the Canadian North that have been in place for
many thousands of years. We are crossing climate thresholds, and
these may signal the onset of accelerated change ahead," Vincent said today.

In 10 years of working in the region he has never seen such a
dramatic loss of sea ice, he said....

Scientists say it is the largest event of its kind in Canada in 30
years and point their fingers at climate change as a major contributing factor.

"It is consistent with climate change," Vincent said, adding that the
remaining ice shelves are 90 per cent smaller than when they were
first discovered in 1906.>

Only 10 and 30 and 100 years, true. Can't mean a thing.

>(And by "hothouse skeptics" I am of course
>intuiting that that is what you mean; those who are skeptical of human
>causality for measurable increase in global temperature.)

I meant just what the words mean: someone skeptical of the claim that 
there's a "hothouse" or "greenhouse" warming trend underway. Whether 
it's anthropogenic is another matter. Spike's recent posts suggested 
that at least some such claims of warming are probably bogus.

>Perhaps the fact that the Earth is still coming out of the Little Ice
>Age (which ended in the mid-19th century) might have something to do
>with it, as opposed to human industry.

If only he'd heard of the ice ages, something no climate specialist 
studies. Obviously the man's a complete idiot and talking through his 
ear-flapped hat.

Robert's response was (by contrast, I think) that yeah, it's 
happening, and woo hoo! Profits to be made from it! My pal Gregory 
Benford, meanwhile, is desperately looking for technological (rather 
than moralizing and finger-pointing luddite) methods to mitigate the damage.

Damien Broderick

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