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  • Final Warning

    Recent review of James Lovelock's latest book:

    In The Vanishing Face Of Gaia, Lovelock argues that model projections of the climate a century ahead are of little use. The models of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) extrapolate from a smooth trend of warming, yet the real climate system, complex and fully coupled to the biology of land and ocean, is unlikely to change in this simple way. It is more likely to flip from one state to another, with non-linear tipping points that the IPCC models are too simplistic to capture. Lovelock fears that the climate will shift to a new and considerably hotter regime, and that once underway, this shift will be irreversible.

    Source (link might need subcription to Nature)
    Lovelock's vision for humanity: rapid climate change will lead to the deaths of most people on the planet, and to mass migrations to those places that are still habitable.
    The controversy lies less in the climatology and more in the sociology. How will societies behave in the face of such change? Will we pull together with a wartime spirit, or will we fragment, fight and kill one another
    If it came to this, personally, I think the latter.

  • #2
    The History Channel has some very good documentaries on "How the Earth was Made" and "Earth After People" that dramatically illustrate that all things geological and climatic are temporary in the grand plan of the universe. Change is slow but inevitable. Variation within one life span it is insignificant but cumulative over centuries there have been substantial changes within recorded or reconstructed history.
    The only cataclysmic event that comes to mind is the Yucaton meteorite that wiped out the dinosuars 60 million years ago.. it takes a long time to move a continent any appreciable distance, so don't worry about it..

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    • #3
      Originally posted by lonewolf
      Change is slow but inevitable. Variation within one life span it is insignificant but cumulative over centuries there have been substantial changes within recorded or reconstructed history.
      This is not always the case. The ice core data is unequivical that changes can happen very fast, within one generation. The point is that the models probably cannot predict such rapid change. Ecologists see similar things in lake ecosystems (rapid, irreversible change).



      Disclaimer: I'm not saying humans can control the inevitable, only that change is not always slow.

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      • #4
        Dang, Daisy, there you go, researching me again.
        That graph clearly illustrates that earth is emerging from the most recent Ice Age and is pretty impressive until you realize it is in thousands of years, not years. Extend it back a million years and it would look like a topographic cross-section of a mountain range with repeated high and low temp cycles.

        Yes, there have been "relatively quick" climatic changes in earth's 5 billion year history. There was even an observable "Mini Ice Age" in the 16th Century., noted on the graph.
        You a correct in your disclaimer that it is inevitable. Everything is temporary.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by lonewolf
          That graph is pretty impressive until you realize it is in thousands of years, not years.
          :lol:

          Right, not that fast.

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