Global Warming Or A New Ice Age?

Pic: Neethis (PD)

Pic: Neethis (PD)

Via the National:

For many of us, the debate over the reality of climate change never goes beyond wondering if it can explain a recent bout of freakish weather.

Yet for many of the hundreds of thousands of Filipinos living in the UAE the debate has taken a tragically personal turn.

Yeb Sano, leader of the Philippines delegation to November’s UN climate conference in Warsaw, doubtless spoke for many when he implicated global warming for the Super Typhoon Haiyan, which has so far claimed more than 5,000 lives and left 500,000 homeless.

Mr Sano’s speech was made all the more poignant by the fact that exactly a year ago, his delegation appealed for action to combat global warming while his nation was being battered by another typhoon, causing a then-unprecedented disaster on the southern island of Mindanao.

He was close to tears as he called on those still sceptical about climate change to “get off your ivory tower and away from the comfort of your armchair” to witness the evidence. “We can stop this madness”, he said.

There can be no doubting his sincerity. Yet while he is not alone in seeing the disaster as proof of the reality of calamitous climate change, few scientists have been happy to make the connection.

They are all too aware of falling for the notorious fallacy known to logicians as post hoc, ergo propter hoc (after this, therefore because of this).

Many, perhaps most, scientists are convinced that global warming is taking place, and it seems that more violent storms are a natural consequence.

Higher temperatures mean more thermal energy being packed into the oceans, and more powerful convective currents, resulting in more powerful storms.

Yet scientists have long recognised that climatic phenomena are rarely that simple. In the case of tropical storms, the processes are still too poorly understood to make sense of the latest spate of severe storms.

Indeed, there is no clarity even about so basic a fact as whether such storms are becoming more common. While tropical cyclone intensity has increased since the 1970s, the trend is within the normal range of long-term historical records.

It does seem that such storms are causing more damage, but that could reflect the fact that there are just more people and buildings in harm’s way. The population of the Philippines has doubled since the mid-1970s, with some predicting it will exceed 100 million in the next year.

Yet whatever the reality of a link between climate change and Typhoon Haiyan, the chances of Mr Sano’s conference plea to combat global warming leading to action are low to zero.

Barely had he sat down than the government of Japan announced a new greenhouse gas emission target that allows an increase rather than a drastic cut over coming years. Other governments, most recently Australia and Canada, have made their lack of enthusiasm for drastic action no less clear.

So are we now condemned to seeing ever more climate-related tragedies? If so, the blame will certainly lie with mankind alone – at least, that is what environmentalists would have us believe. By disturbing the balance of nature, they argue, disaster will surely follow.

Once again, however, climate science is revealing a more complex reality. Evidence increasingly suggests that man-made global warming may actually be preventing a worldwide calamity, in the form of a new Ice Age.

Read more here.

See also How Global Warming May Cause the Next Ice Age.

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  • heinrich6666

    Runaway warming will result in a new Ice Age when melted Arctic ice drives the North Atlantic current south. It’s a global circuit-breaker.

    • thisbliss

      Yep this is definitely a possibility. The weather system is inherently chaotic

    • doodahman

      How far south has it been driven so far? And the alarmists claim that no sea ice means no albedo reflecting heat so that’s how we get Venus. Ya’ll need to get your doomsday scenarios straight. It’s getting tiresome to here all this nonsense.

  • Damien Quinn

    On the other hand, if we’re in the Ice bound curve of the Ice-age cycle and we’ve warmed things so much that there’s no ice, when the planet switches back to a warmed curve of the cycle, we’re going to become Venus #2.

    Destroying our environment when you don’t need to, just so some people can conserve an imaginary unit of wealth measurement is just as absolutely idiotic as burning down your house to get rid of the meth spiders living in the wallpaper.

    All other arguments, for or against, are a distraction.

    • thisbliss

      I agree. Whatever the arguments for and against it is apparent there is a distinct lack of connection to the earth as sustainer. I can’t make a call on global warming, my opinion is swayed quite often – but I don’t think anyone can, the factors at play are far too diverse. But what we’re left with is a real bad attitude to our sense of circumstance.

  • addalled

    So is this how the warmers are going to avoid admitting that they were wrong? By claiming that global warming caused global cooling?

    • lunasea

      You never saw “The Day After Tomorrow”, I take it…

    • Calypso_1

      Go contemplate HVAC.

  • Zachary Reed

    Humanity has grown bold indeed if we presume that we can affect the balance of a whole world. All our emissions are insignificant compared to what the world can put out all on it’s own. The sun has more effect than we do. One volcano can equal or surpass our own carbon emissions. We obviously think highly of ourselves as a species. There are forces at work far beyond our ability to comprehend.

    • DeepCough

      Granted, but the failure to comprehend these natural forces is the sort of thing that leads to that dreadful event called “The End of the World.”

      • Zachary Reed

        No, we don’t understand them, which is why we presume that we are the ones doing it. We don’t know that in any way. Oh, and the world won’t end. We might get wiped out, but the world will still be here. If the world ends it will be because of a colossal collision with another object, a black hole, or the sun swallowing the earth. We couldn’t possibly even begin to destroy the planet.

        • Andrew

          You may not understand them, but some people understand a lot about them. And for the record, yes, I am worried that what we are doing will wipe us out.

          • Zachary Reed

            Ah, that’s the point of the matter, US, not the planet. Everyone seems so worried about the planet when in fact it’s us, not the planet that is in danger.

          • Andrew

            On that we agree.

    • Andrew

      I suppose a nuclear war wouldn’t do much either, eh?

      One volcano can affect the balance of the whole world. But that’s not the case presently. Our emissions increase day after day after day. And deforestation increases day after day after day. Read up on the Pacific Garbage Patch, the Asian Brown Cloud, and the deforestation of the Amazon. We have grown bold, we are affecting the world, and the presumption that our actions have no consequences is false modesty.

      Also, the sun’s been in a cooling trend for a few decades.

      • Zachary Reed

        Our planet is a self balancing system. It is inherently constantly on the edge of disaster, completely without our input. It finds balance by causing extremes to tip the opposite extreme back towards the balance. Our planet would handle nuclear winter just like it would if a volcano created a volcanic winter, which has happened before. Oh, and its a good thing that most of the earths oxygen is produced in the ocean then isn’t it, as opposed to being created by the forests. That garbage patch in the pacific is no different than what would happen in any major tsunami. There would be trees ect floating all over if it wasn’t our stuff. Are you really that afraid of what we mere humans could do? Our planet could throw things at us that would make an all out nuclear war seam trivial in comparison. We have indeed grown bold, but not enough for the planet to take notice yet.

        The suns cooling trend points directly toward the cooling trend of our world since the end of the 80’s. There were ice ages with more CO2 present than there is even now. I’ve noticed the summers being very cool compared to when I was a kid. Sure we have record heat waves and such, but those are only localized events and insignificant in the grand picture. There have been multiple summers for me now where the whole summer except two weeks was like late spring instead.

        • Andrew

          > That garbage patch in the pacific is no different than what would happen in any major tsunami.

          You lost all credibility right there.

          • Zachary Reed

            Did I. All the garbage in the world isn’t a problem. Maybe instead of saying it’s a problem, we should f***ing clean it up.

          • lunasea

            Here’s one way it’s different: it’s plastic.

          • Zachary Reed

            So it takes a little while longer for it to break down. It’s still a localized event at best and not a “global catastrophe”. one, two, or three spots like that would not even be a big deal. Of all the things that could be a major problem, this is not really one of them.

          • lunasea

            This:

            ” That garbage patch in the pacific is no different than what would happen in any major tsunami. There would be trees ect floating all over if it wasn’t our stuff.”

            …is still invalid.

            Do you know what else is invalid? This:

            “Maybe instead of saying it’s a problem, we should f***ing clean it up.”

            Where do you suggest we “f***ing clean it up” TO?? Send it to space? Burn it?

            p.s. Only a mental child would self-censor. If you’re going to say “fucking”, then fucking say it.

          • Zachary Reed

            Ok, then, sure send it to space. Why not? We have a huge self sustaining garbage incinerator at the middle of our solar system. It can’t be that hard to aim a cheap rocket towards the sun. Everyone is going to freak out if you burn it. Every idea is going to have someone screaming that it is un-environmental or unfeasible because of cost. If it’s all a bad decision, then just fucking pick one.

        • Calypso_1

          Yes the planet and life itself can survive extremes and find new points of equilibrium, it even drives evolution through mass population change. However, civilization as we know it won’t make it through.

  • DeepCough

    The Earth is a self-correcting system, and at some point, us humans are going to be
    deemed a serious error.

    • Zachary Reed

      I’ll agree with that, once we’ve actually done something significant to it.

      • DeepCough

        What would you deem significant short of a nuclear holocaust?

        • Zachary Reed

          Attempting to block the sun through airborne chemicals, messing with the earth magnetism. Nuclear holocaust wouldn’t matter, we’d have already killed ourselves.
          Edit: I’m also sure we’re already doing those things, and they will probably bite us in the ass faster than anything else.

  • lunasea

    Incidentally, global warming was the cause of the last Ice Age.

    (“Ancient Aliens” my ass…)

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