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Global Warming Started 180 Years Ago Near Beginning of Industrial Revolution, Says Study (smh.com.au) 709

New research led by scientists at the Australian National University's Research School of Earth suggests that humans first started to significantly change the climate in the 1830s, near the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. The findings have been published in the journal Nature, and "were based on natural records of climate variation in the world's oceans and continents, including those found in corals, ice cores, tree rings and the changing chemistry of stalagmites in caves." Sydney Morning Herald reports: "Nerilie Abram, another of the lead authors and an associate professor at the Australian National University's Research School of Earth Sciences, said greenhouse gas levels rose from about 280 parts per million in the 1830s to about 295 ppm by the end of that century. They now exceed 400 ppm. Understanding how humans were already altering the composition of the atmosphere through the 19th century means the warming is closer to the 1.5 to 2 degrees target agreed at last year's Paris climate summit than most people realize." "It was one of those moments where science really surprised us," says Abram. "But the results were clear. The climate warming we are witnessing today started about 180 years ago."
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Global Warming Started 180 Years Ago Near Beginning of Industrial Revolution, Says Study

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 24, 2016 @11:34PM (#52766543)

    The deniers do not care, they will be dead before the worst hits. As long as they can live high on the hog on their imaginary money until they die, they are happy. There is not one drop of concern for the future of humanity or life on earth in general.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by HBI ( 604924 )

      Why the hell should anyone care about abstract "people"? Humanity isn't wired that way, we care about those we know, not about the distant future and people we don't know. No one really does, anyway. It's always some self-interest, really, when you dig down into people's true motives. Perhaps to appear better than others by some arbitrary standard.

      Anyway, your comment comes off as naive, immature raving. Yes, it's true we don't care, collectively. But expecting us to is idiotic.

      • by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 ) on Thursday August 25, 2016 @12:30AM (#52766721)

        Why the hell should anyone care about abstract "people"? I'mm not wired that way, we care about those we know, not about anyone I don't know .

        I fixed that for you. There ar ea lot of peopel in this world. Some do not care about anyone outside their immediate or extended family - in fact, some have a great fear outside of their "friend zone". Some don't care about anyone at all. And despite your assertions, there are those among us who actually do care about the future and the people in it.

        You shouldn't presume to speak for all of humanity.

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          It's a strange attitude to have, because it implies that everyone else should be trying to murder them to protect themselves. And in the end, the pollution and climate change will get so bad that it makes their corner of the world uninhabitable or at least extremely uncomfortable anyway, although I suppose they are assuming that is far enough down the line not to be a problem in their lifetimes.

          • by swb ( 14022 ) on Thursday August 25, 2016 @06:51AM (#52767673)

            It's a strange attitude to have, because it implies that everyone else should be trying to murder them to protect themselves.

            Isn't that what we've been doing for most of human history? Family against family, clan against clan, tribe against tribe, village against village and so on for most of human existence?

            Most of European history from the Greeks onward can be seen as some kind of action/reaction to this dynamic. Established civilizations expanding their territories for both economic accumulation but also attempting to build buffers against other expanding or migration civilizations that threaten their borders.

            Roman history can easily be interpreted as a continuous defensive expansionism designed to check the destabilizing influence of Germanic migrations from the North and Parthians in the East from time of Marius all the way to Marcus Aurelius. Much of European history from the 7th century through the 12th century can be defined as action/reaction to Viking expansion, from then on attempts to fix borders against expanding Mongols and Islamic armies from the conquest of Hungary, the Crusades and through the Siege of Vienna.

            You could argue that almost purely economic colonialism on the part of Europeans didn't even really start until the general borders of Europe were largely established and fortified and external threats were minimized in the 17th century and even then such expansion was motivated by political and territorial stalemates of a fairly established European states and borders. The "new worlds" were conquered for their economic value but this can easily be explained as defensive maneuvers to outflank their local European rivals as well.

            And the European conflicts from the 100 Years War, 30 Years War, Spanish Armada, the Napoleonic Wars all the way through WW I and II are attempts to establish hegemony and secure borders within Europe itself.

            It would seem that the entire course of human history can be interpreted as a series of conflicts designed to secure specific regions against outsiders who threaten territorial independence and economic security.

            • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo@NOSpam.world3.net> on Thursday August 25, 2016 @07:04AM (#52767711) Homepage Journal

              Isn't that what we've been doing for most of human history? Family against family, clan against clan, tribe against tribe, village against village and so on for most of human existence?

              Some time in pre-history human beings realized that it was better to work together than to fight each other. It's proven to be a popular philosophy.

            • It would seem that the entire course of human history can be interpreted as a series of conflicts designed to secure specific regions against outsiders who threaten territorial independence and economic security.

              Differential analysis:

              The wealthiest playing games and using the rest of us as cannon fodder.

          • by Charcharodon ( 611187 ) on Thursday August 25, 2016 @06:57AM (#52767687)
            Lol, you kids crack me up. The pollution and climate change will get so bad? First off unless you live in the 3rd world shit hole, pollution has gotten lower than it has ever been in my life time and that of my parents and even grandparents. Then again, 3rd world shit holes are not exactly the same as they were when I was a kid either. Back in the day they were truly horrible places to live. Sure they are worse off with pollution compared to say the US or Europe but everything else disease, poverty, crime, famine, etc is much less so. Eventually they will clean up their act as well, and everyone will wonder what the big fuss is about.
            • by avandesande ( 143899 ) on Thursday August 25, 2016 @09:44AM (#52768353) Journal
              Not to mention that nobody talks about positive effects of global warming... will increased atmospheric moisture turn the southwest or the sahara into arable land? We don't really know.
            • by haruchai ( 17472 ) on Thursday August 25, 2016 @08:45PM (#52772657)

              "pollution has gotten lower than it has ever been in my life time"

              It hasn't "gotten lower" - laws were passed that FORCED individuals & industry to clean up or not a a horrible mess in the 1st place.
              If those laws aren't enforced or if they are repealed as more than a few politicians have been trying to do, you'll be living in your grandparent's mess.

          • "It's a strange attitude to have, because it implies that everyone else should be trying to murder them to protect themselves."

            Which is why people with that attitude (all of them) generally dismiss the idea of murdering everyone immediately. You seem to be confusing self-interested with short-sighted moron. Long term and thought out self interest is still self interest, looking out for others because it benefits you is still self interest, cultivating a group relationship because it is stronger than you by
        • by DarkOx ( 621550 )

          I like the grand parent's idea of abstract people isn't anyone I don't happen to know. Its people that I could not go an physically touch today.

          I do care about people, I care a lot about them enough not to demand the throw their lives away economically speaking for a the sake of some folks two generations away.

          I would instead suggest that they enjoy the gift of life they have received to its fullest. At the same time lets use the economic advantage we learn how the climate system actually works rather con

          • Its entirely possible we have already crossed into a run-away condition. If true conservation alone won't save your future generations. We should begin a global scale climate engineer project TODAY! So that its ready in time to be used.

            The likliehood that we'll hit a runaway condition is extremely low. CO2 levels have been much higher at times in the past, and we didn't get anywhere near that level of instability.

            What will happen is serious instability as the shift in climate changes weather patterns. This will probably have arid regions become rainy, and vice versa. As well, temperate areas may become sub tropical and sub-arctic areas become temperate. All at the same time that oceanic boundaries shift.

            Here is a plausible, but not a

    • by GLMDesigns ( 2044134 ) on Thursday August 25, 2016 @08:43AM (#52768031)
      Either that or the reasoning behind the facts are wrong. The first steam engine did not get invented until the the 1710s by Newcomen. Watt's steam engine didn't come out until 1770s or so. The amount of coal burnt in the early 19thC as a result of the steam engines was minuscule (It's a guestimate. I don't have the figures.) compared to the total amount of coal and wood that was being burnt for millennia.

      So this round of global warming may have started in the 1830 but it is damning - in my eyes anyway - to say that it is the result of the industrial revolution.
    • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

      So the basic math of the proposition doesn't bother you any? You just take it on faith that the English could manage to start destroying the entire planet all on their own as soon as they started building factories?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This is not Reddit, FFS!

    How about an article on the dozens of predictions made by climate scientists that never ended up happening? The ones like " No more snow by 2012" etc?

    Why always toe the line?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by quantaman ( 517394 )

      This is not Reddit, FFS!

      How about an article on the dozens of predictions made by climate scientists that never ended up happening? The ones like " No more snow by 2012" etc?

      Why always toe the line?

      Yeah! Why isn't there an article blaming scientists for all the bizarre predictions you imagined them making?

  • Human beings like burning things.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 24, 2016 @11:44PM (#52766585)

    Tim Flannery keeps being quoted by the ABC and Fairfax as a global warming guru. So it’s important that we keep confronting the Climate Council head with his spectacularly dud predictions.

    In 2005:

    I’m afraid that the science around climate change is firming up fairly quickly . . . we’ve seen just drought, drought, drought, and particularly regions like Sydney and the Warragamba catchment—if you look at the Warragamba catchment figures, since 98 the water has been in virtual freefall, and they’ve got about two years of supply left . . .

    Maxine McKew: But. . . we won’t see a return to more normal patterns?

    Flannery: . . . they do seem to be of a permanent nature. I don’t think it’s just a cycle. I’d love to be wrong, but I think the science is pointing in the other direction.

    McKew: So does that mean, really, we’re faced with—if that’s right—back-to-back droughts and continuing thirsty cities?

    Flannery: That’s right.

    (UPDATE: HELP WANTED! THE VIDEO OF THE ABOVE INTERVIEW McKEW DID WITH FLANNERY NO LONGER APPEARS ON THE ABC SITE. DOES ANYONE HAVE A COPY OF IT FOR ME TO SHOW ON TV?)

    In 2005:

    Perth is facing the possibility of a catastrophic failure of the city’s water supply I’m personally more worried about Sydney than Perth. Where does Sydney go for more water? At least Perth has a buffer of underground water sources. Sydney doesn’t have any backup. And while Perth is forging ahead with a desalination plant, Sydney doesn’t have any major scheme in place to bolster water. It also has nowhere to put the vast infrastructure of a desalination plant.,,

    There’s only two years’ water supply in Warragamba Dam If the computer models are right then drought conditions will become permanent in eastern Australia.

    In 2007:

    So even the rain that falls isn’t actually going to fill our dams and our river systems...

    Since then, of course, there have been repeated floods with dams in Sydney, Brisbane and Canberra filled to overspilling.

    UPDATE

    Melbourne ABC presenter Jon Faine, a fervent warmist, has advertised he will later today discuss what the NSW rain says about changes to our climate. It is yet to be seen if he links global warming to this rain, but Melbourne readers might wish to ensure any scaremongering is challenged (1300 222 774). Here are some facts and admissions worth noting from the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

    Some key passages:

    On thunderstorms:

    In summary, there is low confidence in observed trends in small-scale severe weather phenomena such as hail and thunderstorms because of historical data inhomogeneities and inadequacies in monitoring systems.

    On heavy rain events:

    In summary, there continues to be a lack of evidence and thus low confidence regarding the sign of trend in the magnitude and/or frequency of floods on a global scale.

    On cyclones and storms:

    Over periods of a century or more, evidence suggests slight decreases in the frequency of tropical cyclones making landfall in the North Atlantic and the South Pacific Several studies suggest an increase in intensity, but data sampling issues hamper these assessments Callaghan and Power (2011) find a statistically significant decrease in Eastern Australia land-falling tropical cyclones since the late 19th century although including 2010/2011 season data this trend becomes non-significant ...

    On extreme weather events:

    For instance, evidence is most compelling for increases in heavy precipitation in North

  • by hsthompson69 ( 1674722 ) on Wednesday August 24, 2016 @11:58PM (#52766629)

    ...even before humans had any significant CO2 output.

    Good to know. I'm sure someone out there will find some magical particle humans were emitting in the 1800s at a certain level that didn't scale with the massive growth in population of humanity.

    • It is because we burned all that that we sit here with 2016 technology not dying of different diseases and injuries and infections and feeding many multiples of people per acre than they did.

      I have no desire to slow this progress. We would literally, and I mean literally, be better off in the year 2100 or 2300 with risen seas and 2100 or 2300 tech than lower seas and 2050 or 2200 tech.

      People in the mid 1800s slamming on the brakes, leaving us with year 1890 or 1930 tech would be no friend to humanity.

      And n

      • by Mr0bvious ( 968303 ) on Thursday August 25, 2016 @12:49AM (#52766775)

        Surely that's a stawman argument.

        "Reducing use of fossil fuels" != "halting all progress"

        You use the phrase "slow this progress" but the remainder of your comment implies almost halting progress.

        Limiting use of fossil fuels has (relatively short in terms of human history) economic consequences which will be overcome. If we drastically reduced the use of fossil fuels today I doubt it will take hundreds of years to find a working cleaner alternative, especially when there is economic motive.

      • It is because we burned all that that we sit here with 2016 technology not dying of different diseases and injuries and infections and feeding many multiples of people per acre than they did.

        and once the temps get too high, it gets difficult to grow things, check out the sahara and other deserts

        I have no desire to slow this progress. We would literally, and I mean literally, be better off in the year 2100 or 2300 with risen seas and 2100 or 2300 tech than lower seas and 2050 or 2200 tech.

        Ask those who live in countries where the temp is over 50%c if its better

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      do you not know history? coal, wood livestock. many of the same things that contribute to global warming today, existed back then, too. the steam engine, for example, PREDATES the 'industrial revolution' by over a century... it was a catalyst for the rapid advances during that period, but it was invented in 1606 for fucks sake. open a history book, huh?

      and as far as the so called report goes... geographically isolated australia might have been a little slow back then, the 'industrial revolution' started in

    • Basically, the ability of the environment to absorb the co2 had been depleted. IOW, mankind had been adding co2 for millenniums above and beyond what nature could handle. Had industrial revolution not happened, then it simply means that this would have been delayed.
    • ...even before humans had any significant CO2 output.

      And that is why "We are only talking about a small effect during the 19th century because the increases in greenhouse gases were small compared to the very rapid changes that we see today," RTFA

  • by ITRambo ( 1467509 )
    These have been increases in temperatures. This implies global warming. Since we are still at the infant stage of understanding and accurately predicting what will happen over mid to long spans of time it's best to stop arguing, try to pollute less since that just makes sense, and enjoy our lives. Life is too damn short to fight about issues primarily created and controlled by oil, gas, and energy corporations.
  • by Nostalgia4Infinity ( 3752305 ) on Thursday August 25, 2016 @01:25AM (#52766871)
    They should have said 20,000 years ago, because that's when it started warming: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]
  • by WindBourne ( 631190 ) on Thursday August 25, 2016 @02:07AM (#52766975) Journal
    So many like to point to industrial revolution for causing this. Yet, what this study is really saying is that for centuries, if not millenniums, man had been overwhelming nature and slowly breaking down its ability to absorb the co2.
    • So many like to point to industrial revolution for causing this.

      That's because humans now emit more CO2 than volcanism.

      Yet, what this study is really saying is that for centuries, if not millenniums, man had been overwhelming nature and slowly breaking down its ability to absorb the co2.

      Yes, that is also true. We were deforesting the planet in pursuit of war. Most of the really heavy deforestation came when the big countries went naval warfare. We were cutting them down, making them into boats, then putting them out into the ocean and sinking them and losing that wood forever.

      Of course, today we're still doing the equivalent; just try getting a permit to cut down a tree in Japan and use it for something, but they are buying California'

  • Little Ice Age (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bradley13 ( 1118935 ) on Thursday August 25, 2016 @05:38AM (#52767533) Homepage

    As always, TFA fails to look at the broader context. 200 years ago was the Little Ice Age" [jennifermarohasy.com], i.e., an unusually cold period in history. Much of the warming of the past 200 years is simply due to coming out of this cold period. Exactly how much, is difficult to say.

  • by zerofoo ( 262795 ) on Thursday August 25, 2016 @09:35AM (#52768303)

    I'm old enough to remember the LA smog in the 80s.

    That doesn't really happen anymore. The way climate change people talk, it would seem like there has been no environmental progress since the start of the industrial revolution.

    Rivers used to catch fire in this country:

    http://clevelandhistorical.org... [clevelandhistorical.org]

    That doesn't seem to happen much anymore either.

    I'm sure back then, people argued against smog and water pollution controls as well. These changes take time - but they eventually happen.

  • by WillAffleckUW ( 858324 ) on Thursday August 25, 2016 @02:07PM (#52770335) Homepage Journal

    Without the 90 percent massive subsidies that fossil fuels get, in depreciation, cheap federal and state lands (mining regs), escaping penalties for pollution by bankruptcy, and literal cash infusions for fossil fuel industries, they would be bankrupt today.

    Let's help them along and get rid of all fossil fuel vehicle and business tax exemptions, tax deductions, regulatory escapes, and all the other things that subsidize these inefficient fossil fuel dinosaurs.

    Literally.

  • by NotARealUser ( 4083383 ) on Thursday August 25, 2016 @02:31PM (#52770461)

    Humans adapt. Throughout history, there have been periods that have been frigid and periods that have been hot. People were able to adjust lifestyles and the human race went on.

    However, equally true is the common narrative throughout history that nature will soon cause our end. There is just a subset of the population that will always fear what they do not understand. Not that fear is all bad, but some become obsessed with their fears to the point that they cannot see the tools they have at their disposal to adapt to the circumstances.

    When the world went through the little ice age, lasting approximately 550 years (1300-1850), the world did not come to an end. Neither did it come to an end in the warm period preceding the little ice age.

    The world is bigger than the time period that you have been a part of. The climate (and probably most things on earth) tends to work within the confines of a bell curve. Adjusting variables can have some effect. The further from the center you go, the harder it is to have an effect. As we move from the center, we run into bigger issues of which we have no control (i.e. planetary location, solar cycles, etc). The world has been through all sorts of climate patterns and temperature ranges in which adaptations were needed. The point is that Earth, and the species that exist on the planet, are well suited for such variances.

    • Throughout history there have been plagues that kill off up to 30% of the world's population. Fortunately, Yellow Fever, Ebola and Zika may not actually turn out to be amongst them (but the data is not in yet).

"And do you think (fop that I am) that I could be the Scarlet Pumpernickel?" -- Looney Tunes, The Scarlet Pumpernickel (1950, Chuck Jones)

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