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Tipping point?

Discussion of the distribution and abundance of living organisms and how these properties are affected by interactions between the organisms and their environment

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Tipping point?

Postby Draco » Wed Feb 06, 2008 3:51 pm

Have we reached the tipping point in global climate change where we can't go back? I ask this because of the abnormal wheather in some parts of the world, 3ft of snow in china and the cold temperatures in India.
Personaly I think that if we haven't already reached tipping point then we are very close.
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Postby tianlai » Thu Feb 07, 2008 4:10 am

The factor of human being interrupts the pendulum of climate's regular changing. This unpredictable wave of climate just meets the second law of thermodynamics. ;)
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Postby Draco » Thu Feb 07, 2008 12:35 pm

Yes there is natural change in the climatic conditions but it must have been sped up passed the normal rate with all these greenhouse gases that we are producing. What I'm talking about is have we gone passed the tipping point where we can't slow it back to the normal rate of climate change?
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Postby tianlai » Thu Feb 07, 2008 1:38 pm

I think it is not too later. We have time to fix it, if we no longer act pure consumers. When we could control the discharge of pollution effectually, I believe the ecosystem has enough power to balance the effect.
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Postby Draco » Thu Feb 07, 2008 5:06 pm

I've seen a program about this, the earth can correct the balance but it will take billions of years and humans will have died out, leaving the earth available for the next dominant species.
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Postby tianlai » Thu Feb 07, 2008 6:14 pm

I hope our science and technology might catalyze the recover process. Never give up hope and dream.
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Postby Draco » Fri Feb 08, 2008 11:13 am

True as that is there are some things that science can't provide the solutions for, and keeping humans as the dominant species forever has got to be one of them.
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Postby mcar » Sat Feb 09, 2008 12:24 pm

I do agree that the world's ability to restore its original condition would take much time. I am actually thinking of the volume of the pollution which is produced in every human and industrial activity, and the time where the world's pollution would exceed the threshold level.
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Postby Draco » Sat Feb 09, 2008 1:09 pm

Like I say, people think that the planet needs saving but the planet will correct itself, it is us humans that need saving.
The higher temperatures of the planet have started causing the permafrost to melt and release the greenhouse gas methane, this then starts a positive feed back loop causing temperatures to rise faster than they ever have.
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Postby Darwin420 » Thu Mar 06, 2008 6:56 pm

This is how I look at it. I am in environmental resource this year and switching into environmental biology next year. As we know the earths climate is changing, and yes, we have found a positive correlation between greenhouse gases (i.e. carbon dioxide, water vapour, methane etc.) and temp increasion - as the greenhouse gasses go up so does mean temperature. However, say that we do somehow stop using coal plants, switch to hydrogen fueled cars and reduce our greenhouse emissions, it will only prolong the (somewhat) stability of the earth's climate. We have endless evidence from geological records, paleoclimatologist that the earths temp naturally changes. Example: Mid eval heat wave, the last ice age roughly 10 000 y.a. Heck, we can even go back to the dawn of time roughly 4 billion years ago - the Haden eon when the whole earth was at sky rocket temperatures, the ground was comprised of lava!!

The earth naturally changes, and the fittest species survive, we can try (and should), reduce greenhouse emission (emitted by human activity), but at the end of the day, climate change happens naturally, and it will eventually occur to a level which whipes out the human race - sorry to say so folks.

Than again, this is just my opinion based on a series of facts.
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Postby Darwin420 » Thu Mar 06, 2008 7:00 pm

Ok, I realize I went a little off topic in regards to your question. No, I do not think we have gone past the tipping point, I believe we can some what stabalize the earths temp and G.H.G. emission for the time being. But like I said, the earth will inevitably change in surface temperature.
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Postby Cat » Fri Mar 07, 2008 7:51 pm

I think it is more to the point that we interrupt most nature’s attempts toward climate equilibrium. As I understand it, for the climate to “right itself” dramatic events have to occur. The problem is that we are able to squash most of those smaller events (since they are inconvenient to us) and the next event has to be larger. If we stop interfering, however, it is a good possibility that a large part of human population will be wiped out. It is unnatural for us to consciously allow that to happen, and, of course, polluting planet further does not help any.
In regards to the tipping point, I agree with Draco.
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