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Four Scary Surprises of Global Warming

Every once in a while I'll get an email or comment that can be roughly paraphrased as "I'm not actually that big a fan of cold why should I be worried about increasing CO2 emissions?"

Well, for you, I've put together a list of four somewhat surprising (and quite unsettling) things that that scientists have determined are occurring because of rising CO2 levels.

  1. Global Depression
    Depending on who you ask, the necessary changes the purchasing cialis in canada world will have to make as a result of global warming (everything from building higher sea walls to relocating entire cities) will cost up to 20% of the world's GDP. So, yeah, you think it's bad when we have a financial fall-out from a little housing bubble...imagine having 20% of the world's economy sucked into a hole the size of the Larsen Ice Shelf.
  2. Global Fish Kill
    One of the oft-overlooked, but possibly most devastating consequences of global warming is the acidification of the oceans. Oceans suck up huge amounts of CO2. And as the concentration of search levitra CO2 in the atmosphere increases, so does the amount absorbed by the world's oceans. Unfortunately, when the link for you cialis buying CO2 enters the water, it creates carbonic acid. So, over the last hundred years or so, the acidity of the ocean has increased so much that it is literally eroding the shells of mollusks. Unfortunately, these mollusks are the base of many marine ecosystems, important to everything from salmon to sperm whales. The possibilities of an oceanic mass-extinction are on the rise.
  3. Global Hunger
    There is a massive amount of infrastructure in place to create the world's food. And that infrastructure depends on a fairly stable climate. We expect the natural viagra alternative rain to fall where and viagra fast delivery when it falls, we expect the thaw to come where and when it comes. But global warming does more than change the temperature, it changes the climate. Projections show more rain in dry areas and less rain in wet areas, the result of which could be the need to completely re-create much of our farming infrastructure. In th meantime, while that infrastructure is being created, we should expect that a lot of people will be very hungry.
  4. Feedback Loops
    A positive feedback loop is not something one likes to see in nature. For example, if melting snow creates more heat-absorbing land which creates more melting snow which creates more heat absorbing land, we have a positive feedback loop that is likely to exponentially increase its effect on global climate. These feedback loops are everywhere in climate models. From decreasing albedo (the example above) to increased wild fires puffing cities-worth of CO2 into the atmosphere to the Canadian boreal forests dying due to climate change and thus releasing their 27 years-worth of stored carbon into the atmosphere.

So yes...this time of year, I appreciate a nice warm day as much as the next guy. But those who get excited about global warming just don't know what they're talking about. And my thanks go to the scientists who work tirelessly to determine what effect climate change will have on us all, and what we need to do to deal with it.

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Comments (36)Add Comment
written by Julian, February 02, 2009
That is a very poorly researched question. Why would someone ask that? Glad you put them in their place, Hank. I have a whole essay on helping end global warming on my blog, hope that informs some people as well.

But is GW man-made?
written by Eric, February 02, 2009
Yes we have warming now, but there is absolutely no proof that it is of anthropogenic origin.

It is not just Earth that is warming, so is Mars, Jupiter, Titan and Pluto.

Ice core analysis clearly demonstrates cyclical warming and cooling as far back as 1MA BP. Furthermore, ice core analysis clearly shows that warming precedes an increase in CO2 by several hundred years, and then a spike in Fe (iron) occurs and temperatures drop.

Earth's biggest problem is over population and environmental degradation caused by this fact. There is no argument here.
written by Jordanis, February 02, 2009
20% of the global GDP is actually not bad compared to this recession. We've lost about fifty trillion dollars of wealth this last year. Global GDP is about 65-70 Trillion dollars. That works out to ~77% of global GDP.

Now, of course we're talking about 20% of the GDP year after year, but that's much easier to adjust to than a one-year shock like this.
Climate Change & Sustainability
written by Global Patriot, February 03, 2009
The above scenarios are all possible, and all potentially catastrophic. It has been clear for decades that man is altering the planet in a seriously negative way. From pollution to climate change and resource management.

Another factor that plays in this equation is the ability of the planet to support an ever-increasing population. We may very well see more wars fought over remaining natural resources and viagra super active riots caused by shortages, especially food.

Man has disrespected this planet for so long the irreversible damage has already occurred - not sure how much more it can take.
Increase in CO2 has nothing to do with h
written by David, February 03, 2009
Carbon dioxide follows the order 100 mg tramadol temperature, not precedes. CO2 did not cause the end of the last ice age. Increase in CO2 may or my not affect climate but it has nothing to do with human activity.

Hank, "saving the planet" is futile and arrogant. Why not try saving people instead?
Global warming- a invitable guest
written by selena, February 03, 2009
Over a limit increasing of how to get levitra no prescription co2 is obivously effects the climate badly. increase of co2 and cfc are responsible for acid rain whih is a resulting part of global warming.
Don't forget about...
written by ExistentialDuck, February 03, 2009
Don't forget about the fact that the ocean 'burps' up stored CO2 once in while and tends to asphyxiate everything in the surrounding area...
I am always amazed...
written by Chris, February 03, 2009
...when people ask questions like that. More often that not, arguments like these are followed by a comment like "Hey, we could grow corn in Greenland again, just like the Vikings did". Yeah, right. As if that would be the only consequence of climatic changes on a global level...
written by eric, February 03, 2009
Global warming has taken on religious undertones. "Saving the world" from GW is like saving the world from Satan in the days of old. Science has been hijacked by people who need to believe in something 'good'.
written by marc4, February 03, 2009
Another consequence:
A today big problem is the ever less fresh water supply for populations who lives on the costs (70% of world population!).
A rising of few mm in level sea causes the i recommend free viagra salt water to infiltrate towards hinterland. Effects: salinization of soils ==> googdbye agricolture and decrease in the supply of the pharmacy shop viagra fresh water
The Last Bee Colony
written by Earl_E, February 03, 2009
I am going to try and bring a local bee colony inside my greenhouse and see if I can keep them alive. Please send me an e-mail if you have any info that can help me prepare...

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
written by RecycledBottle, February 03, 2009
I think you are misunderstanding item 1. Rebuilding infrastructure is what FDR sold America to resolve the Depression (but it was really the WWII arms build up). And Obama is also advocating infrastructure maintenance. Work to be done is jobs, not a bad economy.
Another Feedback: Pine-Bark Beetles
written by Peter Belmont, February 03, 2009
Many forests in Colorado, and elsewhere in the US West, are dying very rapidly due to pine-bark beetles. the dead trees will decay and release more CO2.

In earlier times (before 2000?) the beetles' eggs died (for the most part) in the cold winters. Now, with just a little bit of warming, the winters are not cold enough to kill them and, therefore, the beetles are destroying not just trees but forests.
@marc4 - salt water encroachment
written by eric, February 04, 2009
Marc4 you are correct about salt water encroachment, but you must put your knowledge into the perspective of geological time.

It was only 4,000 years ago (the Holocene period) that sea levels were significantly higher than today. The Holocene sea level high-stand was approximately 4 metres higher than it is today. The fresh water/salt water boundary naturally tracks the sea level.

If you live near the coast where there are rocky headlands, you will probably see wave cut benches that are a few metres higher than today's mean high tide point. These benches were cut by wave action during the very recent high stand. These benches are particularly evident around continents which were not subject to glacial ice loading.

Sea levels change, without man's input.
Sea circulation
written by Ted, February 04, 2009
Personally I find the where get real viagra from canada best answer to this to be that disruptions to the climate destabilize the system so that "nice" weather gets changed out for extreme weather; drought, storms and hail ;-)

And if that doesn't get them there is the case of the sea circulation system ("the great ocean conveyor").. If that system should change, slow down or fail it would mean that the globe would become much less temperate. Should the North Atlantic drift get disrupted for example, it would mean the onset of a new ice-age in Europe and North America. If that doesn't send a chill down their spine I don't know what does ;-)
written by S Baker, February 04, 2009
I've got myself covered with CO2 credits by putting my money where my mouth is. i.e. Several hundred hardwood trees planted on my property, mostly oak, walnut and sugar maples. All done with US labor, no illegal mexicans cutting my grass or my lawn. Good stewards of the environment, and I buy local and American. No Japanese or Korean cars on my property, shipped across the ocean in CO2 belching ships!

By the way we in Michigan have record snowfall - greatest since records have been kept.
global warming and 'us'...?
written by samantha, February 11, 2009
Does it really matter?
it's good practice to reuse and recycle, its good practice to NOT pump loads of co2 into the atmosphere, its good practice to do a lot of things that people are not doing.

perhaps we deserve the chaos that global warming might bring to us because we're so rubbish (literally) at doing things sensibly and responsibly! someone give me statistics of countries doing 'good' to cheer me up?

written by James, February 11, 2009
It was only 4,000 years ago (the Holocene period)

So says eric, who can't even check his facts. The Holocene warm period was from 7000 to 5000 years ago. I am astonished at the number of people with strong opinions about Global Warming who just keep repeating the same nonsense without studying the actual information. Questioning whether GW is human caused? Now? That is like questioning whether the Sun revolves around the Earth or the Earth revolves around the Sun. Get real, do some work before making fools of yourselves.
Conservation Can Happen Overnight.
written by MajorAluminumm, February 11, 2009
Less is more when it comes to saving ourselves.Reduce Reuse Recycle Rejoice.
And now...! What should be the priority?
written by Spiritual Alex, February 11, 2009
The problem is quiet clear. The four problems above, the problem of too many people, etc. The thing is now: What should we do? Save rain forrests, lowering CO2, etc. And which governance do we need? Do we have an institution powerful enough to clear the way, to set boundaries. Or should the companies take more responsibility? Who is gonna force them?

What I miss is an action plan!
research is needed
written by bee, February 11, 2009
there are so many things that are causing "global warming" that, quite frankly, it would be completely impossible to prevent all of them. Unless we kill all the order cialis in canada cows to stop them from producting melting, mabe send a few ice cubes into the sun to cool it off, and stop every bit of deforestation that is going on right now, there is really no way to prevent all of this from happening. there is a lot more research needed to see what is causing the global warming, and if we are, what we can to do prevent it
written by Geoffrey, February 11, 2009
Some comments by a guy name Dave on this thread are really scary. Are people really that ignorant? Save the planet is futile and arrogant? Save people instead? Where do you think the people are going to live??

And Hank, 20% GDP? Where did you come up with that figure. If our oceans die, our farms need to be relocated, and these idiots in congress are wasting trillions on their own without these challenges, I'm not sure this population is capable or even worthy of saving itself. Especially when there are people who don't look at the evidence all around them and admit there is even a problem. Then you've got real winners who are actually paid to think of ways to change the language so it doesn't seem so scary like "climate change" versus "global warming". Climate change is less specific but our tax dollars paid an agency to come up with that fodder.
Worried Human
written by Ormond Otvos, February 11, 2009
If the first sentence in your analysis doesn't mention overpopulation, don't bother to write it.
Solar Contractor
written by Gerald Sobel, February 12, 2009
This C02 vs historical global warming is besides the point. Never in all history has a species dug up all the Carbon bearing geological strata and buy tramadol ups delivered burned it all up in the stratosphere practically all at once (100 years). Thus we are living an experiment and we'll have hell to pay for the consequences of all this green house gas in our air, not to mention the gross acidification of the Ocean from C02 absorption, causing a mass die off of ocean life, which, between that an our glutenous consumption of fish etc. will mean the mass die off of our species and others who are sadly innocent of our environmental meddling.
written by Gerald Sobel, February 12, 2009
Yes, hopefully human mass die off plus a millennium or two or more, and the planet will recover from selfish bury our heads in the sand human existence, thus breaking the viagra for cheap 'feed-back-loop, and restoring life as we've known it.
written by Steve Bergman, February 12, 2009
Yes we have warming now, but there is absolutely no proof that it is of anthropogenic origin.

Now that GW itself can't be denied, those who feel threatened financially or otherwise by the prospect of our taking action, have fallen back to their "Plan B": Claim it's not caused by human beings, and thus there is no reason to take action. This has got to be the most brain-dead argument ever put forth by any special interest group in the history of the world. And that is saying a lot.

Think about it this way. Say things had gone slightly differently and we were expecting 99942 Apophis:

to strike the Earth in 2036. To be sure, this would be a "natural" event. Asteroids have hit the Earth in the past, causing incomprehensible devastation and mass extinctions. Clearly, this impending asteroid impact would not have been caused by us. So there would be no reason for us to take action. Right?

Eventually, the "Not caused by us" excuse will prove false and we will find out what their "Plan C" turns out to be. But regardless of the cause, we need to do what we can to avert as much of the impending catastrophe as possible.
Eye-Opening Debates here
written by Carol, February 12, 2009
Nothing like an eye-opening debate to while away the afternoon. My part of Canada is being flooded today by 40mm (almost 2 inches) of rain in 12 hours, driven by 50 mph wind gusts, on top of the massive iceberg melt from all the snow we have piled up here, just like the writer from Michigan. And it's only mid-February. Lots more snow could arrive yet!

Extreme weather is not fun, no matter who or what is causing it. Let's find some solutions now, before the Great Lakes overflow their banks and drown everyone who lives on their shorelines.

My #1 argument against living in cities is that they cause too much concentrated CO2 emissions, leading to episodes of localized extreme weather. These cause sudden disruptions to essential services that are very costly to contain and repair, as the city of Toronto is finding out today. The environmentally friendly GO Transit (inter-city train) was shut down this morning by a flood in the main station connected to the suburbs and GTA, and again this afternoon by an electrical failure in the main switching centre. A lot of people will be staying in Toronto tonight, instead of "getting on the GO" to go home. Many will choose to drive their cars into town during the next big rainstorm, you can bet on it.
written by Tomas S., February 16, 2009
I think everyone should admit there are problems w/ us & our world. If not please go away. My questions for ALL of you is: what do we do about warming, what do we do about pollution, what do we do about population, what do we do about our food supply? Did I miss something? We seem to be like our politicians & ALL talk & no action! Think about this folks, if you want to bitch about something fine but at least give some thought about a solution and mention it. For you people who want to rip new as..holes for grammar or for your perception of someones ignorance you show symptoms of the problem. Look at what they are trying to say and judge the solution of the problem they state or if what they state is a problem but not there character. Let's stop blowing hot air about the problems because there are problems but let's find solutions. Our politicians are blowing enough hot air & I do NOT see them EVER coming up w/ solutions. I hope I have my grammar & syntax right for those who still can't figure things out. Now about CO2 is there anyway to break the bond between C + O2 & free the cialis daily uk O2 & tie up the carbon somehow? This is on a global scale or better yet one person at a time that doesn't cost an arm & a leg.
written by Daniel S, February 17, 2009
Regarding "doing something about GW" my approach has been to put my hard earned money & time directly on the line, having installed at our upstate NY home - energy efficient appliances, added insulation, PV solar electric system, solar hot air heating, passive solar lighting, geothermal cooling, efficient hot water and heating systems. This has been accomplished within a 10 year plan, diligently exercised, without regard to the conventional wisdom of "payback", usually defined in the context of short term profitability, exclusive of "toys & trinkets", and without regards to intrinsic value returned. (as an exercise please calculate the "payback" period from the purchase of a new car")
Curious Bystander
written by fred, February 19, 2009
Dear DS,
There are 3 kind of environmental problems:
1) Easy Problems - Readily accepted and soluble, for example; Cleaning up gross filth in the oceans is do-able. Countries should not dump into the ocean or face trade restrictions. The UN can help organize countries with navies to clean up portions of the ocean - volunteers help clean our national highways. Manufacture of some items can be limited when preferable substitutes are available. No more 1000 year water bottles.
2) Hard Problems - The problems are accepted but we don't have easy answers. At the root of it all is the planet is becoming overpopulated - should we pay people NOT to have children? Seems to work for farm overproduction. Dumping carbon products into the air is a problem but there no solution we all agree on and much of our modern civilization is dependent on the benefits. Only science will lead us out of this problem by producing substitutes that are MORE economical. The substitute must compete or it will not work. Preaching at the users is a waste of time. The biggest disservice to the environmental movement in the past 50 years is Al Gore who, blimplike, flies around like Baron Harkonnen from Dune, and preaches that the rest of us should peddle to work.
3) Problems of Awe - We don't even know if it is a problem, much less how to fix it. The atom is an obvious thing though no one can see it - we blow things up with it. The fluctuation of trace elements in the heavens causing climate variations is not an obvious thing. It requires research because we just don't know. Species disappear and are created and it can be either a good thing or a bad thing. I personally would like to see leprosy eliminated and if it's the snail darters turn next, so be it tho I hold know personal animus. All living things must be treated with respect and humility but that does not mean we must save every species at all costs.
written by Pete Scaffidi, February 25, 2009
How can CO2 which is heavier than air rise to the top of the Stratosphere? Only the airplanes can put CO2 up high, maybe air travel should stop. CO2 down low benefits plants.
written by MG, March 19, 2009
I want you to know this is just my thoughts...good or not...Before women went to work..and yes,I am a woman and I do work full time, there were not that many people on the roads, we didn't need to have dinners pre-made, we didn't have to have the laundry dry cleaned etc. etc. etc. I find that since women went to work, the world has taken a big down turn, even the kids today are screwed up, no one is looking after them or teaching them to be mature adults. I don't remember as much garbage, greed, etc when I was young....DO YOU?
written by MG, March 19, 2009
Oops, off topic, Yes the world is over populated, why? who knows...who has the money to take care of the kids,...oops, look at USA...give away the cash and then screw everyone up cause they couldn't secure the funds...Stop buying STUFF you don't need...the manufacturers won't make it if you don't buy may lose your job...OR we may just kill the planet and our childrens children...get back to a simpler life?
Methane and visit web site cheap cialis CO2 - main pollutants
written by SandruMircea, August 18, 2009
I found recently that methane is 23 times more affective in retaining heat than is not a good thing!smilies/sad.gif
"overpopulated" and other things
written by sheleftmalfoy, November 18, 2009
First of all, you cannot blame climate change on overpopulation. Overpopulation means that there are too many people in one area and the environment cannot meet their needs. On Earth as a whole, we produce more food than needed for all these people. Also, many of the countries with highest pop density have the lowest per capital GHG emissions. I don't think its a good idea to have 6+ billion people on Earth, but the real issue is the lives of us greedy, wasteful North Americans.
Next, I'd like to add that to everyone who jokes that they would like "global warming", rebut by saying that even though on average the Earth will warm by a few degrees, the real issue is global climate extremism. The deserts will get dryer, and hotter, but some places, like Canada, are expected to get cooler and wetter. The problem is that people are living in risky locations and will have to migrate, and the areas that are habitable will be fewer and farer between than now.
Lastly, regardless of whether you think that climate change is anthropogenic, you cannot argue that spewing tons of GHG into the atmosphere is a good thing. I have asthma and I don't want cancer. My arguement for why we are affecting climate change is that yes, there are natural cycles of heating and cooling of the planet (I have heard of the ice ages we keep having), but that humans have upset the balance of nature. We extract CO2 from the earth and generic propecia effective spew it into the air at a faster rate than ever before, we are creating and dumping toxic substances all over the earth and consuming much more than are share of the earth's resources.
written by Arcee, December 13, 2009
The really sad part is that the Anthro GW seems to be a weakly supported side show to other more important eco calamities. I wonder if the where to purchase cialis distractors will apologize when it turns out that AGW was a blip of Solar influences and we have neglected the other, real problems at our peril.

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