Monday, June 09, 2008

Planetary perspective 

Anthony Watts has a wonderful post up that puts the Earth and its climate in physical perspective. Yes, there are pictures and a pretty cool animation file, but there is also this:

What is very clear though, when you look at history, and the graph above, is that our earths atmosphere and resulting climate is extremely sensitive to variations in solar output. The sweet center point seems to be about 1365 watts per square meter of irradiance…what we consider as “normal” climate. Take 1.5 watts/sq. meter away, and we get significant cooling, harsh winters, cool summers, and increases in ice and glaciers. Add 1.5 watts,/sq. meter and we get hotter summers, mild winters, and melting of ice and glaciers.

The scariest thing we have learned about climate change -- not admitted by most people who want to shape public policy on account of it -- is how little control we have over it. The sun can twitch ever so slightly in either direction and humanity confronts a demographic disaster. A bit too cool, and the most agriculturally productive areas suffer severe crop failures. A bit too hot, and the vast numbers who live at sea level have to migrate at somebody else's expense.

Scary stuff indeed.


By Blogger Grumpy Old Man, at Mon Jun 09, 08:20:00 AM:

This, of course, says nothing about whether human-induced global warming is occurring, or not, nor if so, what its relative contribution to climate change might be.

Science is a great thing, but in my lifetime the consensus about what kinds of diets contribute to human obsesity has changed several times.

Global climate is far more complex. Color me agnostic.  

By Blogger Miss Ladybug, at Mon Jun 09, 09:37:00 PM:

I just can't buy into the anthropogenic global warming. The planet has been much warmer in the past, prior to the industrial age, and recent data indicating global temps are dropping (or at the least no longer rising) just tells me the AGW proponents are FOS. Global climate is far too complex for any model created by man to come close to replicating what really happensP: we think we know what we know, and we think we know what we don't know, but we really can't identify what we don't know we don't know. And, I haven't seem anything from the AGW side that can explain away the fact that when the earth's temperatures increase, so do other planets. And, last I checked, there aren't humans anywhere else...  

By Blogger randian, at Mon Jun 09, 11:43:00 PM:

And, last I checked, there aren't humans anywhere else...

There's always that lost 13th tribe... Seriously, they'll do what they always do with contradictory data: get the MSM to paint it as the delusions of a "denier", then ignore it.  

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