Global warming vs. the real threat to humanity

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Seriously, I do not think global warming is going to be a serious issue. Sure, there will be issues with a serious climate change like this but it would open up many more opportunities. Imagine the Midwest able to farm all year round and even parts of Canada and Russia can farm all year? It would open up more shipping routes in the Arctic ocean allowing much faster shipping from Europe to the far-east (which would hurt Panama’s economy with fewer ships going though the Panama canal).

Sure, hurricanes would be more intense but due to increased wind shear, there would be fewer hurricanes. Arctic and Antarctic ice would melt and raise seal levels so we’d have to leave some coastal areas (most of the people who live on the coast can afford it anyway).

Our real threat, which I’ll admit may not be a threat for a few to several hundred years, is the end of our current warming cycle. No, I don’t mean our 150 year trend of warm weather (after the last “mini” (really a micro) ice age). We had a similar warming period about 2,000 years ago when the Roman Empire was in its height. There was a lot of good farming. Warmth allows us to grow more food, raise more cattle, and opens up trade routs that formerly would be inaccessible.

I mean the earth, over the past 10,000 years (the time we, humans, have thrived) has been though a very long warming period. We had a sample of the real threat about 150-400 years ago. We had a mini-ice age (the worst was around the 1850s). Most of Europe has to think of new agricultural processes etc.. Luckily, the “New World” was discovered and foods that were available in Central America (potatoes, yucca etc..) were able to thrive in the cooler environment but the cooler age was devastating to Europe, which thrived during the previous warming period.

Our real threat is the next ice age, even if it is as minor as the one that ended roughly 150 years ago. Imagine the polar ice caps reaching South Carolina, Texas, and central California. Imagine Europe much like Siberia.

And we need to keep an eye on this, no one knows when it would happen and back in the 1850s when the ice age ended things went pretty close to normal after the worst of it which means the Earth has the ability to switch the environment as needed.

One thing we need to look at is the “belt” in the Atlantic Ocean that brings warm waters to north-western Europe. People think of New England and New Brunswick, Canada as cold places but think of northern France and southern UK as warm, but in reality, the European counterparts are actually further north than the North American locations. Why? That conveyor belt.

It has been theorized that global warming can slow, even halt, this warm current which would create a much colder environment to north-western Europe. Big deal, right?

A colder environment will create more ice and the Arctic Ocean could start to freeze again. This will slow the motion of the water in the Arctic Ocean. Moving water doesn’t freeze. If you don’t believe me, try to freeze a pot of water while you stir it. It will not freeze. So, this ice will not only reflect more sunlight but it will also slow the movement of water in the Arctic Ocean, thus allowing more of the water to freeze. Once the Bering Straight is frozen over, then the movement / circulation will stop, creating a very large icebox. As the ocean freezes, the ice will creep down over northern Asia, Europe, and North America. All of a sudden, all of these great farmlands are now unfarmable. The US’s Midwest will become a permafrost (like modern day Siberia). With more ice in the Arctic (and Antarctic) there will be less rain so places that could become farmlands (the Middle East, northern Africa, and northern South America) may be deserts.

I’m not saying this will happen overnight but it is something we will have to face generations ahead of us. Global warming will be an inconvenience for us compared to what the next ice age may do.

“Life After People”, oil, global warming, and global balance.

Author: admin  |  Category: Nature, Thoughts  |  Comments (0)  |  Add Comment

I don’t know if many people here caught this program on the Discovery Channel (Life After People), especially since many of you are outside the US and I don’t know if it was broadcasted out of the US.

They basically go over what would happen to the Earth if hu8mans just disappeared one day, everything would be left in tact as it is the second we all disappeared. They go over buildings corroding and collapsing, houses crumbling, cars rusting and how animals would adapt. (It’s a fascinating program, I recommend anyone to watch it).

They discussed that pretty much the only man-made item that may survive for the next generation of intelligent life to see would me mount Rushmore. The favorable conditions where it is (low erosion, cooler climate, elevation, etc..) as well as it being carved out of granite would make it the least vulnerable item in our civilization (the statues of Petra and other similar ones could last, but sandstorms would sand them down). As long as tectonics keep it in favorable conditions it could be visible that it is not natural for millions of years. (This is unlikely considering the possibility of global tectonic shift / polar reversal, but possible).

Second thought, oil. I watched another program on the History channel about oil, how it affects us and our civilization and how it is formed. First, look at the conditioned that are needed for it to be “created”.

Oil fields are nothing more than gargantuan (and that is an understatement) grave yard for prehistoric life. Marine life swam into a dead zone in the ocean (like what we’re starting to see form in today’s oceans) and it dies, then floats to the bottom. The pressure and chemicals in this dead water helps preserve the corpses and over millions of years it forms oil. These dead spots happen when the global temperatures rise and the ocean temperatures rise, like what the climate was like back in prehistoric times (when global temperatures were much higher than they are today). These corpses also capture a lot of carbon that is in the atmosphere / climate and keep it away (in the oil) thus removing carbon from the atmosphere, reversing greenhouse gasses.

Two things come to mind.

1) It is very possible that there was another civilization of intelligent life on Earth millions of years before humans came up (exactly like what the Star Trek Voyager episode called “Distant Origins” or “Displaced” was about). Any sign of them would be long gone today whether they went extinct or moved onto other planets. Throw in the Discovery program, “The Future Is Wild” and we can assume that crustations (squids specifically) are the next likely candidate to take over some 5-10 millions years from now.

2) Using oil releases all that trapped carbon into the atmosphere, thus creating a greenhouse effect and creating another climate not unlike what the climate was like when the oil was starting to form (warmer for the dead spots). We could be creating the conditions for oil to start forming in the ocean for the next intelligent species to arrive.

I’ve come to the conclusion that oil is the Earth’s way to either test it’s dominant / intelligent species or as a balance (global species / respect balance, not US vs. OPEC kind of balance)..

The Earth gives us this resource that makes our lives and routines very easy for us but at a severe cost. It could test us to see if we can harness these powers yet not damage the Earth (like what carbon emissions have the potential to do) and if we cannot, it starts the reset button that takes millions of years to reset (either driving modern life to extinction or forces us off of the planet).

Thinking of that, it makes you wonder how many of these cycles has the planet gone though? Even if each cycle takes 100 million years, the earth is over 4 billion years old which means we could be on as many as the 40th cycle, each civilization being erased from the future generation’s views. The previous generation harnessed oil from the one before them as we are harnessing the oil from them today and we’re creating the environment to create more oil for the next generation some 10 to 100 million years from now.