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The Coming Ice Age

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Anybody read the new issue of Discover magazine. There is an intriguing article about the possibility that we are on the verge of plunging into another mini-Ice Age. Should make for good skiing all around.
post #2 of 24
hell yeah, I look forward to skiing down the sunshine parkway bridge in florida!
post #3 of 24
Global warming or an Ice age - I think all we REALLY know for sure is that it's going to be different from year to year and cycle to cycle.

If you look back a few decades, a lot of the global warming doomsayers were predicting an ice age in the 70's. Panic/Worry and therfore more $$$$ to support "further study" is what most of them are after in my opinion.
post #4 of 24
Nobody knows for sure, and anybody who claims to KNOW we are the cause is of course blowing smoke. Of course, since its been quite well shown now that humans have altered 40% of the landmass through agriculture/foresting/building/mining . . . to say that its simply not even *possible* that we are having any effect on the planet is equally ignorant.

And any Vegas odds-maker will tell you that if there is even a slight chance you will lose any given game, you better play with that possiblity in mind.

We are talking about something too big to take a chance with, if there is even a slight chance we can help things out . . . we better pull our heads out of the sand and pay attention!
post #5 of 24
I haven't read the article.

Is this the theory regarding a disruption in the gulf stream?
post #6 of 24
Are we on the verge of plunging into a "new mini ice age ?"

Ice ages last for thousands of years, and the transition into and out of an ice age can last for centuries. Most major geologically events are of very long duration. A human lifetime, when compared to an ice age, is but a moment in time.

So if we are on the verge, are we taking ten or more years away ? Maybe?

It appears that the trend in global warming is being slightly accelerated by exhaust fumes due to internal combustion engines, industrial outputs, and Coal/Petrochemical powered electricity generating facilities.

With fuel cell engines, and the harnessing of breeder reactors within the next 50 or so years
[geologically a very short time frame, ] I think the trend of civilization accelerating global warming will stop.

However, mother nature has a mind of her own regardless of what humankind wishes to do. An Ice Age or Global Warming, it is really up to "Mother Nature."

Finally as a caution to one and all please remember the following Madison Avenue phrase of years ago:

"ITS NOT NICE TO FOOL MOTHER NATURE!!"
post #7 of 24
In 1950 there were about 2.5 billion people on the planet, that is now 6+ billion people, should reach 8 billion in 16-18 years, and 12 billion another 20 years after that.

No matter how responsible we are about the fuels we use and such, with that many people we are screwed! All the worries about the manner in which we pollute, crime, war and every thing of the like are essentially worry about the symptoms -- and not the underlying problem. If we keep having more people on the planet then we wil *have* to keep cutting down trees, over fishing, mining, and everything else of the like.
post #8 of 24
in 1970 there was a very weak version of a freshwater induced ice age, so in some respects those who cried "ice age" were somewhat correct, but the system in the north right now is much worse if you remember from reading the article. think... one wet summer and we would be pushed past the threshold into some very cold years for the next say... three hundred years
post #9 of 24
Quote:
In 1950 there were about 2.5 billion people on the planet, that is now 6+ billion people, should reach 8 billion in 16-18 years, and 12 billion another 20 years after that.
But, of course you also know that in 1975 the growth rate of the world population was about 1.75 %/year, it's now about 1.25%/yr and is expected to drop to about .5%/yr in 2050.

The main reason there are more people each year is primarily due to better medicine! Each year fewer people die from disease and such. As medicine and sanitary conditions make their way to the third world more people stay alive.

An article in Newsweek stated:

Quote:
There are ominous signs that the earth's weather patterns have begun to change dramatically and that these changes may portend a drastic decline in food production - with serious political implications for just about every nation on earth. the drop in food output could bening quite soon, perhaps on 10 years from now.
But, this article was written in 1975 and warned of global cooling!

I am a meteorologist by education and have studied climatology. I believe strongly that we have no clue as to what's really going on.

bob
post #10 of 24
Man guys, I've said it before, but come on.... : :

There is _overwhelming_ evidence that Global Warming is real and that it is here. And, as someone said, even if there was just the possiblity of it happening the potential downside is so large that we would be totally irresponsible not to do something about it.

The only people who beleives this isn't the case are Rush Limbaugh and presumably everyone who believes everything he says without doing any critical thinking on their own -- an unfortunatly large population.

Even the Bush adminsitration has admitted that its real; though their current "solution" seems to be that we should just adapt to it. (guess GW would be happy is everywhere was as hot as his ranch in TX...)

If anyone should be concerned about this and take it seriously, it should be skiers...jeesh..
post #11 of 24
Quote:
There is _overwhelming_ evidence that Global Warming is real and that it is here.
There is also overwhelming evidence that global warming is NOT real. It's just that the warming theory is in vogue now, just like cooling was 30 years ago.

I'm not going to get into a pissing contest over the evidence.

What I am going to do is ask you a question.

With so much eveidence on either side of the equation, how am I, as a layman, supposed to decide which theory to give credence to and which to dismiss?
post #12 of 24
With the exception of the occasional thing falling from space, the environment is a closed system. We are changing the form of matter that already exists on our planet, not creating new (one of the physical laws). The system will regulate itself again, no matter what we do. It may not be good for the human race, but the earth will be fine in geological history's terms/time.
post #13 of 24
Yes the population rate of growth is expected to decrease, but at that point even though its a small percentage of growth -- its a smaller percentage of a much bigger number than it used to be, and things will continue to get worse.

In 1950 the growth rate was 1.47%/yr, which meant about 37 million new folks a year on the planet. By 2050 they are guessing it will have dropped, to .43%/yr . . . which will mean about 39 million new folks a year.

So, excuse my french . . . we will still be screwed!

Medicine is a big part of the population growth, but so is industrialized agriculture.
post #14 of 24
I blame Rush for all the hot air he is spewing.
post #15 of 24
Oh yea, if there is anything that I can do as an individual to induce a BIG SNOW YEAR, let me know and consider it done.
post #16 of 24
Yeah Alta, that is very true. I hate it when people say we are 'destroying the planet', because its really somewhat arrogant. If we detonated every nuclear weapon, and released every poison . . . in a concious effort to destroy the world. The world would keep on spinning, in fact we couldn't even wipe out all life.

However we certainly would likely wipe ourselves out, and most of the other major lifeforms on the planet. But at the very least microbes and bacteria would survive and thrive, and probably plants and . . . I'm sure the cockroach! [img]smile.gif[/img]

In a million years it would be as if we had never existed.

Would be a damn shame though, even though I think collectively our species acts idiotic - invidually we all know lots of great people, and it would suck to mess things up!

But - overpopulate your environment/resources, and mass die-offs must happen. I of course selfishly hope that it happens long after we have all come and gone, but unless the human race suddenly becomes enlightened and unselfish overnight - I think we are toast. Whether its in 10 years, or 1000.

-----

Oh, the induce a big snow year thing. Well, what if we put masses of reflective foil in high orbit - which has already been discussed as a way of cooling things down (think LARGE scale though). And then maybe detonate a bunch of nukes in the oceans at the start of the cold season to put billions of tons more water into the atmosphere. And THEN go on a huge campaign all winter of cloud seeing with silver nitrate and such over all the mountains.

Maybe that would work? Heck, we are already soiling our nest pretty badly - might as well have fun on the way downhill! [img]smile.gif[/img]

[ August 21, 2002, 02:09 PM: Message edited by: GravityGuru (Todd) ]
post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by GravityGuru (Todd):
In a million years it would be as if we had never existed.

Would be a damn shame thoughI think we are toast. Whether its in 10 years, or 1000.
Man, I hope you're wrong...
post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by GravityGuru (Todd):
Oh, the induce a big snow year thing. Well, what if we put masses of reflective foil in high orbit - which has already been discussed as a way of cooling things down (think LARGE scale though). And then maybe detonate a bunch of nukes in the oceans at the start of the cold season to put billions of tons more water into the atmosphere. And THEN go on a huge campaign all winter of cloud seeing with silver nitrate and such over all the mountains.

Maybe that would work? Heck, we are already soiling our nest pretty badly - might as well have fun on the way downhill! [img]smile.gif[/img]
Consider it done.
post #19 of 24
Maybe we will be the fuel source for the next life form.
post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by nakona:
There is also overwhelming evidence that global warming is NOT real.
Wrong, wrong, wrong...

Quote:
It's just that the warming theory is in vogue now, just like cooling was 30 years ago.
Global cooling was a few researchers poking around with ideas, Global Warming is the consensus of the entire world Scientific Community. _Very_ different.

Quote:
With so much eveidence on either side of the equation, how am I, as a layman, supposed to decide which theory to give credence to and which to dismiss?
Good question. Like a juror, you need to be able to weigh the evidence. And, again, your assumption is wrong, the vast amjority of the evidence and experts (witnesses) argue for global warming. Its not responsible to simply say "different people say contradictory things, so gee, no one really knows." Consider the source, credentials, etc...

[ August 21, 2002, 02:43 PM: Message edited by: Lodro ]
post #21 of 24
the global cooling epic is talking about would be caused from global warming. the polar ice caps ARE melting and creating a massive pool of freshwater in the north atlantic... this is fact

the premise of the theory about a mini ice age is that this freshwater will BLOCk the current bringing warm water to europe and north america that is commenly know as the gulf stream.

the northern hemesphere WILL cool off if the gulf stream stops. global warming may still be in effect, but somewhere other than here
post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by nakona:
I haven't read the article.

Is this the theory regarding a disruption in the gulf stream?
Yep. Freshwater from Arctic/Greenland melt interupting the oceans' global conveyer flow.
post #23 of 24
But, maybe you are mixing apples and oranges...

Quote:
Global cooling was a few researchers poking around with ideas, Global Warming is the consensus of the entire world Scientific Community. _Very_ different.
If global cooling was just a few researchers it wouldn't have received the cover story that I quoted in Newsweek.

As far as global warming being the consensus of the entire scientific community, this is just not the case. There is lots of discussion going on.

Even amoung those that believe it to be the case there is significant disagreement about just how much mankind has to do with it and just how much other factors (such as million year warm/cool cycles, and sunspots) has to do with it.

I prefer to deal in facts, not fancy. The problem with the "environmental movement" is that they deal in hyperbole and distortion. Consider this admission from Greenpeace in Europe:

Quote:
"The truth is that many environmental issues we fought for ten years back are as good as solved. Even so, the strategy continues to focus on the assumption that 'everything is going to hell.'" (as quoted in the Norwegian newspaper Verdans Gang, March 19, 1998
Another example: Worldwatch Institute claims "the world's forest estate has declined significantly in both area and quality in recent decades." The fact, according to the UN report "State of the World's Forests", 1997, is that global forest cover has increased from 30.04% of global land area in 1950 to 30.89% in 1994.

In any discussion of this sort it is crucial that we cite figures and trends that are true.

Bob
post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by WVSkier:
But, maybe you are mixing apples and oranges...

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr /> Global cooling was a few researchers poking around with ideas, Global Warming is the consensus of the entire world Scientific Community. _Very_ different.
If global cooling was just a few researchers it wouldn't have received the cover story that I quoted in Newsweek.
</font>[/quote]Now we are just confusing ourselves. [img]smile.gif[/img] I was referring to people talking about global cooling in the 1970s that Nakona mentioned. What you are referring to is the possible phenomenon of melting ice-caps causing the gulf-stream to change, making North America and parts of Europe colder. That is interesting speculation and an area for further research, but note as someone else said, its _local_ cooling because of global warming, not global cooling.

Quote:
As far as global warming being the consensus of the entire scientific community, this is just not the case. There is lots of discussion going on....Even amoung those that believe it to be the case there is significant disagreement about just how much mankind has to do with it and just how much other factors (such as million year warm/cool cycles, and sunspots) has to do with it.


Arghh..not true! You might have been able to say this five or ten years ago, but not now. Yes, it is true there are many factors that affect the climate, but there is no quesiton that a significant and sudden factor is human activity. I encourage you to look at unbiased sources, for example in Scientific American or the National Academy of Sciences, or how about even biased sources, like the Bush White House, who would like to sweep this under the rug if at all possible? Here's what GW had to say:

Quote:
There is a natural greenhouse effect that contributes to warming. Greenhouse gases trap heat, and thus warm the earth because they prevent a significant proportion of infrared radiation from escaping into space. Concentration of greenhouse gases, especially CO2, have increased substantially since the beginning of the industrial revolution. And the National Academy of Sciences indicate that the increase is due in large part to human activity.


Ok, that's George Bush, not someone who really cares about the environment, right...but he does recognize that it would be completly silly at this point to pretend that global warming isn't occuring.

Notice that Global Warming is now reported as a fact, not speculation, and it is also a fact that it is caused by human activity.

I agree with you by the way that the environmental movement has in many cases done more harm than good by cultivating a doomsday mythology, creating an us-vs.-them attitude, and failing to recognize progress that has been made. But just because chicken-little is running around with his head cut off does not mean that the sky is not falling and we can all just relax.

Its disheartening to read what people have to say about this because they either seem to think a) "no one really knows", which isn't true, or b) "we're all doomed and there is nothing we can do about it, so let's enjoy ourselves while we can."

Its actually the second response I'm most worried about, and again, the environmental movement can share some of the blame here. Beyond that, people in this country have really gotten the idea that they can't do anything to change anything, but you can, and its our responsibility to do so, even if it means just finding out a bit more about it and sharing what you learn with others.

btw, I know some poeple might feel that this discussion seems OT and political, but I can think of no issue more important to skiers, so I think it belogns here.
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