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Expedition highlighting global warming called off due to extreme cold

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By David from Truth, Justice, and the American Way,cross-posted by MetaBlog

A North Pole expedition meant to bring attention to global warming
was called off after one of the explorers got frostbite
. The explorers, Ann Bancroft and Liv Arnesen, on Saturday called off what was intended to be a 530-mile trek across the Arctic Ocean after Arnesen suffered frostbite in three of her toes, and extreme cold temperatures drained the batteries in some of their electronic equipment.

“Ann said losing toes and going forward at all costs was never part of the journey,” said Ann Atwood, who helped organize the expedition.

Record cold temperatures in one part of the world aren’t conclusive evidence that global warming isn’t happening. However I can think of a few lessons this episode could teach:

  • The climate is inherently variable, unstable, and unpredictable

The explorers “were prepared to don body suits and swim through areas where polar ice has melted.” Instead “outside temperatures were exceeding 100 below zero.”

We didn’t blame the record number of ice storms this winter on a new ice age. So why does the media pretend that any warm weather is “proof” of global warming?

If you can’t predict the temperature of a single trek, how can you predict the next 100 years?

  • Humans are much better equipped to deal with hot temperatures than cold ones.

The natural population of Antarctica is 0, while people have lived in Death Valley and the Sahara desert for thousands of years, (and even built cities). By comparison to the South Pole, Sarah is a veritable rainforest.

  • Nature is deadly without the proper technology.

The explorers blamed the frostbite on damaged snowshoes, which are an essential tool of survival in the arctic wilderness -just as industry is essential to our survival in civilization.

http://ObjectivismOnline.com/blog/archives/002359.html

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Shall we conclude that their sloppiness, lack of foresight and naivete in preparing for this expedition is representative of the degree of care they apply to their global warming research??

To me, it sounds like bringing body suits for swimming in the globally warmed Arctic pools of water was more of a publicity stunt than anything else. If so, it was highly successful, just not in the way they intended! :lol:

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If you can’t predict the temperature of a single trek, how can you predict the next 100 years?

I work in the stock market. Sometimes it's much easier to predict long term trends than short term outcomes, especially in an inherently volatile system. Inability to predict the weather for the next several weeks doesn't necessarily mean that the overall global temperature is getting warmer.

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AFAIK the question as to whether or not the average global temperature has been increasing over the last decade is not in question, which seems to be the very definition of global warming (short term).

What we don't know is why. Many scientists claim that it is because of our use of fossil fuels. I think that they are evading the reality that the global climate has flucuated from much colder than now to much warmer than now before fossil fuels were widely used.

*EDIT* This doesn't mean that fossil fuels don't play a role in global warming, but we can't pretend we know how large of a role until we better understand carbon absorbtion by the environment and the warming effects of cosmic rays. I've heard that roughly 18% of greenhous gases are the result of domestic animal's digestion (I've heard this number multiple times, but I don't have a link to the study...so consider yourself warned), so I doubt that SUVs will turn out to be the big bad wolf in the global warming scenario.

Edited by LaVache
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AFAIK the question as to whether or not the average global temperature has been increasing over the last decade is not in question, which seems to be the very definition of global warming (short term).
Oh, now you see, I think that actually isn't the definition of global warming. I think the implicit claim is that it's over a vastly onger period of time, like 200 years or so. Why do you think that global warming is defined as an increase over the last decade?
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AFAIK the question as to whether or not the average global temperature has been increasing over the last decade is not in question, which seems to be the very definition of global warming (short term).

No. Over the last 8 years or so there has been no increase in temperatures. 1998 was about the high point.

In fact, what we're looking at is about a 150+ year period, from a period of unusual cold (the little ice age) to the present. There has been an increase over that time, a very slight one of about 1 degree Celsius. Most of that warming occurred prior to 1940, and this was coming out of a cold period, which means the rise is even less interesting.

What we don't know is why. Many scientists claim that it is because of our use of fossil fuels. I think that they are evading the reality that the global climate has fluctuated from much colder than now to much warmer than now before fossil fuels were widely used.

And, they are evading the evidence that Al Gore himself uses, which shows a direct correlation between CO2 levels and temperature levels, but the key is that the causal relationship is reverse to what would be required if CO2 were the cause. Did you see the documentary The Great Global Warming Swindle? If not, you should. It's the best thing I've seen yet on this whole issue.

Here is a link

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XttV2C6B8pU

*EDIT* This doesn't mean that fossil fuels don't play a role in global warming, but we can't pretend we know how large of a role until we better understand carbon absorbtion by the environment and the warming effects of cosmic rays. I've heard that roughly 18% of greenhous gases are the result of domestic animal's digestion (I've heard this number multiple times, but I don't have a link to the study...so consider yourself warned), so I doubt that SUVs will turn out to be the big bad wolf in the global warming scenario.

And keep in mind that CO2 is only a tiny percentage of the atmosphere. I think something in the order of 0.05 percent. The documentary has that in it too.

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The GW theorists definitely speak of very long term trends and long term correlations. As to the more recent warming, the same data can be made to look more scary or less scary on a graph, depending on what one chooses to depict. Here, for instance, are two graphs of "Global mean temperature" data. Both represent the same data set.

NCDC_absolute.gif

NCDC_anomalies.gif

For a little more info click here.

Added: Even this tiny upward trend is questionable because one has to question the whole notion of "Global Mean temperature". I'm not saying that it is invalid, but -- for instance -- it would be invalid, if politicians were to have a say in which places around the world to include. Even if they had just a small say in the matter, one might see a small trend one way or the other. Here's what one scientist says: "the currently used method of determining the global temperature -- and any conclusion drawn from it -- is more political than scientific."

Edited by softwareNerd
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Oh, now you see, I think that actually isn't the definition of global warming. I think the implicit claim is that it's over a vastly onger period of time, like 200 years or so. Why do you think that global warming is defined as an increase over the last decade?

That'd be because I didn't have any sources nearby (didn't feel like rolling around in internet Al Gore type propoganda...but I guess I will next time to avoid the village idiot role) and couldn't remember what kind of timeline.

*EDIT* Thanks for the awesome info Thales, I really appreciate that and will try to dig it up on my own next time.

Edited by LaVache
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Added: Even this tiny upward trend is questionable because one has to question the whole notion of "Global Mean temperature". I'm not saying that it is invalid, but -- for instance -- it would be invalid, if politicians were to have a say in which places around the world to include. Even if they had just a small say in the matter, one might see a small trend one way or the other. Here's what one scientist says: "the currently used method of determining the global temperature -- and any conclusion drawn from it -- is more political than scientific."

I'm not suprised at all by the claim that the global mean temp is politically driven, so much else in the global warming debate is, I just wish they would have put a little more of his argument in that teaser exerpt.

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