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Topic: Global warming is a good thing
Replies: 2   Last Post: Nov 11, 2013 1:36 PM

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Sam Wormley

Posts: 607
Registered: 12/18/09
Re: Global warming is a good thing
Posted: Nov 11, 2013 9:08 AM
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On 11/11/13, 1:56 AM, Tom Potter wrote:
> As can be seen from the Science Daily URL below, it appears that global
> warming is a good thing
> that will spark a surge in cultural innovation and create a superior
> human race and culture.

What the science says...

> Here?s a list of cause and effect relationships, showing that most
> climate change impacts will confer few or no benefits, but may do
> great harm at considerable cost.
> Agriculture

> While CO2 is essential for plant growth, all agriculture depends also
> on steady water supplies, and climate change is likely to disrupt
> those supplies through floods and droughts. It has been suggested
> that higher latitudes ? Siberia, for example ? may become productive
> due to global warming, but the soil in Arctic and bordering
> territories is very poor, and the amount of sunlight reaching the
> ground in summer will not change because it is governed by the tilt
> of the earth. Agriculture can also be disrupted by wildfires and
> changes in seasonal periodicity, which is already taking place, and
> changes to grasslands and water supplies could impact grazing and
> welfare of domestic livestock. Increased warming may also have a
> greater effect on countries whose climate is already near or at a
> temperature limit over which yields reduce or crops fail ? in the
> tropics or sub-Sahara, for example.
> Health

> Warmer winters would mean fewer deaths, particularly among vulnerable
> groups like the aged. However, the same groups are also vulnerable to
> additional heat, and deaths attributable to heatwaves are expected to
> be approximately five times as great as winter deaths prevented. It
> is widely believed that warmer climes will encourage migration of
> disease-bearing insects like mosquitoes and malaria is already
> appearing in places it hasn?t been seen before.
> Polar Melting

> While the opening of a year-round ice free Arctic passage between the
> Atlantic and Pacific oceans would confer some commercial benefits,
> these are considerably outweighed by the negatives. Detrimental
> effects include loss of polar bear habitat and increased mobile ice
> hazards to shipping. The loss of ice albedo (the reflection of heat),
> causing the ocean to absorb more heat, is also a positive feedback;
> the warming waters increase glacier and Greenland ice cap melt, as
> well as raising the temperature of Arctic tundra, which then releases
> methane, a very potent greenhouse gas (methane is also released from
> the sea-bed, where it is trapped in ice-crystals called clathrates).
> Melting of the Antarctic ice shelves is predicted to add further to
> sea-level rise with no benefits accruing.
> Ocean Acidification

> A cause for considerable concern, there appear to be no benefits to
> the change in pH of the oceans. This process is caused by additional
> CO2 being absorbed in the water, and may have severe destabilising
> effects on the entire oceanic food-chain.
> Melting Glaciers

> The effects of glaciers melting are largely detrimental, the
> principle impact being that many millions of people (one-sixth of the
> world?s population) depend on fresh water supplied each year by
> natural spring melt and regrowth cycles and those water supplies ?
> drinking water, agriculture ? may fail.
> Sea Level Rise

> Many parts of the world are low-lying and will be severely affected
> by modest sea rises. Rice paddies are being inundated with salt
> water, which destroys the crops. Seawater is contaminating rivers as
> it mixes with fresh water further upstream, and aquifers are becoming
> polluted. Given that the IPCC did not include melt-water from the
> Greenland and Antarctic ice-caps due to uncertainties at that time,
> estimates of sea-level rise are feared to considerably underestimate
> the scale of the problem. There are no proposed benefits to sea-level
> rise.
> Environmental

> Positive effects of climate change may include greener rainforests
> and enhanced plant growth in the Amazon, increased vegitation in
> northern latitudes and possible increases in plankton biomass in some
> parts of the ocean. Negative responses may include further growth of
> oxygen poor ocean zones, contamination or exhaustion of fresh water,
> increased incidence of natural fires, extensive vegetation die-off
> due to droughts, increased risk of coral extinction, decline in
> global photoplankton, changes in migration patterns of birds and
> animals, changes in seasonal periodicity, disruption to food chains
> and species loss.
> Economic

> The economic impacts of climate change may be catastrophic, while
> there have been very few benefits projected at all. The Stern report
> made clear the overall pattern of economic distress, and while the
> specific numbers may be contested, the costs of climate change were
> far in excess of the costs of preventing it. Certain scenarios
> projected in the IPCC AR4 report would witness massive migration as
> low-lying countries were flooded. Disruptions to global trade,
> transport, energy supplies and labour markets, banking and finance,
> investment and insurance, would all wreak havoc on the stability of
> both developed and developing nations. Markets would endure increased
> volatility and institutional investors such as pension funds and
> insurance companies would experience considerable difficulty.
> Developing countries, some of which are already embroiled in military
> conflict, may be drawn into larger and more protracted disputes over
> water, energy supplies or food, all of which may disrupt economic
> growth at a time when developing countries are beset by more
> egregious manifestations of climate change. It is widely accepted
> that the detrimental effects of climate change will be visited
> largely on the countries least equipped to adapt, socially or
> economically.

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