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View Diary: Open Thread: Climate-Change Skeptics (240 comments)

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  •  The reason why climate change is (2+ / 0-)
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    RunawayRose, JeffW

    I live in Ohio, we have both glacier scars near my house - and fossils of giant ferns (tropical type). Big historical swings in temp.

    (to put it mildly) undesirable is not that the Earth hasn't been warmer or colder in the past.  The reason we should try to avoid climate change is because in the past when Earth changed from warm to cold or cold to warm, the changing caused mass extinctions of many species.  Even if the climate change now in progress doesn't cause humans' extinction, it will cause many humans to suffer and other species to become extinct.  This is something that we should avoid if we can.

    My question to the board - when people deny GW - other than just blowing them off - how do you answer the question: If it was warmer in the past than it is now - what does that say about man's influence... just curious.

    It appears that one main reason for prolonged periods of warm/hot climate in the prehistoric past is continental drift.  When one continent is located near a pole and the other continents are located in a way that reduces the circulation of ocean currents that carry heat from the tropics to the poles, the Earth has a cool period.  When the continents are located in a way that allows greater ocean circulation, Earth has a hot period.  
    The other major thing that has affected prehistoric climate is, yep, carbon dioxide.  If volcanoes or some other process release a lot of carbon dioxide or other carbon gasses to the atmosphere, Earth gets hot.  
    The problem is, the continents are now located in a way that should be causing the Earth to be cool, and there haven't been any huge volcanoes or other natural occurrances that released large amounts of carbon gasses.  There have been a few smallish volcanoes erupting in the last 100 or 150 years, but nothing big enough to account for all the carbon.  But CO2 is going up, and it's getting warmer.  What is releasing CO2?  It's us, burning coal and oil.  

    Renewable energy brings national security.

    by Calamity Jean on Sat Mar 06, 2010 at 02:36:57 AM PST

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