Global Warming - Record heat is just a hint of our future


Karlin
#1
I think that global warming is really a political topic, unless we are just going to discuss "is it real?" [which is a dead topic in my mind].

But here it goes, stuck in the less-read section

This record heat in Toronto is just a hint of what we are facing in our future of unchecked global warming. We could avoid the worst of it, by acting right now to reduce emission and reduce fossil fuels use.

But we won't.

So we can expect 20 to 30 days of "EXTREME HEAT ALERT" in major cities every summer, which will have economic impacts - no work done - and people dying early. ARE WE SURE THAT IS WHAT WE WANT?

EG of heat alerts::
http://www.toronto.ca/health/heat_emergency.htm
{note that they don't say one word about the cause of the dangerous conditions}


We can expect overnight temperatures to stay hot, last night was another overnight record. The future might have entire summers that do not drop below 20oC at night, and weeks on end that are a worse than today in Toronto. ARE YOU SURE IT IS WHAT YOU WANT?

The humidity will get worse as the temperatures go up. Will we be happy people in those conditions? No, and by 2010 we will wish we had done something in 2006 or earlier Also, humidity is the actual #1 heat-trapping gas, so we will see more of the general global warming as humidty goes up.

There is scant little media coverage of the upper end of what is possible with global warming for the next 20 or 30 years. Even just the "plausably conservative worst case" would see the human race suffering much more than we have been led to believe. It isn't what we will want, even more than we don't want any changes right now...

And of course, we turn up the A/C and that adds to the emissions and ambient heat [AC units give off more heat than cold, overall]. If only we had solar panels on every rooftop in Toronto to run those AC units, it would reduce emissions significantly - LETS GET ON WITH IT

Here is the report from CBC on the situation in Toronto, but they give precious little guidance on how to solve this increasing crisis. It would be a good place for them to say "putting up a solar panel to run your AC units would really help the entire planet a lot". But they don't.
Ontario hits record high for power use:
http://tinyurl.com/z2m9q
Quote:

if people don't reduce their hydro demand, there will be voltage reductions, or brownouts, later in the day.

The agency recommends consumers keep air conditioners in the 26 C range, use fans to stay cool and keep blinds and curtains closed.

IESO is also asking people to avoid using major appliances between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.

We are not going to like it, we will wish we had taken action. And the solution is not that painfull, it is just that there is stubborn resistance to it.
 
Mirrormet
#2
As we see in 90% of all natural distasters, human-related distasters etc, in has to reach huge proportions before anything is done, politically or otherwise. Yes there are people who want to do somethine, but it really tells me to be scared when even David Suzuki gives up.. Alls i'm sayin anyways is people won't do anything until they absolutley are forced to b/c theres no food to eat due to droughts, or whatever. Here in manitoba my lawn is dead and brown cuz i've had no rain to speak of...
 
s_lone
#3
Mirrormet what you say is quite pessimist but sadly, it seems to be true. Sometimes we have to hit rock-bottom to react.

With the global weather issue, it is STILL time to react though because the change is gradual. If we are smart, we'll understand that we need to react otherwise we're REALLY gonna suffer the consequences of global warming.

The big problem is that in order to keep relative "control" over our planet's climate, there needs to be an international, global consensus, which can't happen right now because our world is so devoid of trust.
 
Dexter Sinister
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by s_lone

With the global weather issue, it is STILL time to react though because the change is gradual .

{emphasis mine)

Maybe not. Weather and climate appear to be chaotic systems in the strictly scientific sense, which means very tiny changes in initial conditions can produce huge differences in outcomes: a butterfly flaps its wings in Beijing and 3 months later there's an Atlantic hurricane. A bit of an exaggeration perhaps, but it gives you an idea of how important the tiny details are in chaotic systems. Seen or read the Jurassic Park story? The mathematician in that tale gives a pretty good summary of what chaotic systems are about (the book is much better on that than the movie) which accurately foreshadows the plot.

Weather and climate (which is really just average weather over a long period and a large area) also appear to be what are called metastable systems, which means most of the tiny details have no overall impact because they tend to be damped out by each other (they don't all push the systems in the same direction) and the larger influences of large scale weather systems, but there may be a tipping point at which the climate suddenly flip flops into a different metastable state, with disastrous consequences for the plants and animals adapted to the previous state.

Alas, nobody knows for sure. There's so damned much politics and vested interest engaged in the climate change debate--which really should be left as a scientific issue, not a political issue--and the hard data are so close to the noise level (i.e. measurement uncertainties) that it's difficult to be sure of anything. I'm inclined to accept the views of the scientists with no obvious vested interest, the ones who don't work for government or industry. And according to them, we've got a problem.
 
s_lone
#5
Hi Dexter,

I did read the book Jurassic Park but I must have been in 6th grade back then!... I didn't quite understand the implications of the chaos theory back then but it was a nice introduction to the idea.

It's true, the climate is so complex that maybe we will suffer serious consequences a lot sooner than we think because of a relatively unpredictable shift of weather patterns. But still, even if we did pass a point of no return (we are not sure...), what are we going to do? Just keep on burnin' and burnin' and burnin' some more gas until there isn't a drop left? If the change is irreversible we have to at least try to limit the damage. Even if there's no time to react, we have to react.
 
Dexter Sinister
#6
Agreed, uncertainty is no excuse for inaction, particularly when there are lots of other good reasons to reduce fossil fuel use quite apart from the threat of global warming.
 
#juan
#7
I just read an add for a new vehicle. That vehicle was a pickup truck. It was a full size, four wheel drive pickup with four doors and reclining rear seats. It also had a seven litre V-10 gas engine that pushes this vehicle along at a pretty good pace when you consider it's 11,300lb curb weight. One of my neighbors has one and he says it gets about 9 mpg in city traffic, when he drives it to work and back. The manufacturer calls it a "family truck". Isn't it about time we stopped doing stupid things just because we can?

Global warming, I don't know, but I boil whenever I see one of these stupid things with almost no box left to haul anything.

End of rant
 
Kreskin
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by #juan

I just read an add for a new vehicle. That vehicle was a pickup truck. It was a full size, four wheel drive pickup with four doors and reclining rear seats. It also had a seven litre V-10 gas engine that pushes this vehicle along at a pretty good pace when you consider it's 11,300lb curb weight. One of my neighbors has one and he says it gets about 9 mpg in city traffic, when he drives it to work and back. The manufacturer calls it a "family truck". Isn't it about time we stopped doing stupid things just because we can?

Global warming, I don't know, but I boil whenever I see one of these stupid things with almost no box left to haul anything.

End of rant

How true. On top of the environment issue, I've seen some brought to the brink of bankruptcy over toys like this. Not too good for their families. You could fund the kids educations with the $$ pissed away on one of those.
 
VoteForGraeme
#9
One hotspell cannot be blammed on global warming!!

It just doesn't work like that. We are talking about .6 degrees over a period of 100 years.

It is the average that matters and that is the average over a few years... We could have a far below normal winter this year, what are you going to say then???
 
Dexter Sinister
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by #juan

Isn't it about time we stopped doing stupid things just because we can?

My sentiments exactly. Just because we can do something doesn't mean it's a good idea, a phrase that was my personal motto in all the years I spent doing software development and running computer systems and networks for assorted employers. But they were no smarter than the automakers and many of the people who buy their products, so I had to try to do a lot of stupid things that turned out not to work very well. Unfortunately, you don't get any points when you tell the bosses that what they want to do is dumb and events prove you're right. "I told you so" gets you fired. Retirement's the best job I've ever had.

[off topic]
Frankly, in my considered opinion the vast majority of the human species isn't very smart or far sighted, and that's why we're in the global environmental and geopolitical mess we're in right now.
[/on topic]

And just a personal note here relating to fossil fuel use. I was recently looking at replacing my car with a new vehicle, mostly for reasons of energy efficiency, but decided to keep the old vehicle instead. It'd cost me over $30K to replace it with something equivalent, and a lot of that cost represents the energy input of its manufacture. I've just returned from a camping trip with my family in the old car, which is a 1993 Toyota Camry with a 3 litre V6 engine. It was an 800 kilometre round trip in temperatures around 35 degrees, and that fine old car with a full load and the air conditioning on all the way hummed along at 115 km/hr on the TransCanada Highway and gave me 37 miles per gallon.

I can buy a lot of gas for $30K, more than that car will burn if I keep maintaining it for the rest of my likely lifespan.
 
Gilgamesh
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by Karlin View Post

I think that global warming is really a political topic, unless we are just going to discuss "is it real?" [which is a dead topic in my mind].

But here it goes, stuck in the less-read section

This record heat in Toronto is just a hint of what we are facing in our future of unchecked global warming. We could avoid the worst of it, by acting right now to reduce emission and reduce fossil fuels use.

But we won't.

So we can expect 20 to 30 days of "EXTREME HEAT ALERT" in major cities every summer, which will have economic impacts - no work done - and people dying early. ARE WE SURE THAT IS WHAT WE WANT?

EG of heat alerts::
http://www.toronto.ca/health/heat_emergency.htm
{note that they don't say one word about the cause of the dangerous conditions}


We can expect overnight temperatures to stay hot, last night was another overnight record. The future might have entire summers that do not drop below 20oC at night, and weeks on end that are a worse than today in Toronto. ARE YOU SURE IT IS WHAT YOU WANT?

The humidity will get worse as the temperatures go up. Will we be happy people in those conditions? No, and by 2010 we will wish we had done something in 2006 or earlier Also, humidity is the actual #1 heat-trapping gas, so we will see more of the general global warming as humidty goes up.

There is scant little media coverage of the upper end of what is possible with global warming for the next 20 or 30 years. Even just the "plausably conservative worst case" would see the human race suffering much more than we have been led to believe. It isn't what we will want, even more than we don't want any changes right now...

And of course, we turn up the A/C and that adds to the emissions and ambient heat [AC units give off more heat than cold, overall]. If only we had solar panels on every rooftop in Toronto to run those AC units, it would reduce emissions significantly - LETS GET ON WITH IT

Here is the report from CBC on the situation in Toronto, but they give precious little guidance on how to solve this increasing crisis. It would be a good place for them to say "putting up a solar panel to run your AC units would really help the entire planet a lot". But they don't.
Ontario hits record high for power use:
http://tinyurl.com/z2m9q


We are not going to like it, we will wish we had taken action. And the solution is not that painfull, it is just that there is stubborn resistance to it.

The heat isn't record. Even if it were, our records go back such a short time they are meaningless.
 

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