August 23, 2002
5:58 AM   Subscribe

Global Warming with Regional Variations: Antarctic Ice Growing over the last 20 years.
posted by Irontom (5 comments total)
Sure: How about global warming causing a small ice-age in Europe?

Easy. Global warming melts Arctic ice, which flows south. Since freshwater is less dense than salt water, it floats on top, pushing the existing waters down. This can change currents.

Northern europe is warmed by the Gulf Stream. Divert that, and you have large drops in average temperature there. Bingo, mini ice age. (They suspect that diverson of the Gulf Stream is what caused the last long cold spell in Europe in the 1400-1600s.)

Climate is complex. The biggest danger of altering the environment is we really don't know what all the effects might be.
posted by eriko at 6:42 AM on August 23, 2002

Last week on MeFi: Melting ice is evidence for global warming.

This week on MeFi: More ice is evidence for global warming with regional variations.

I don't know whether global warming is a fact or not. Neither do you. Neither does the scientific community. But the more its proponents stretch to make every experimental observation fit the hypothesis, and the more global warming becomes so slippery an idea that it is no longer falsifiable. And that means that it takes on the characteristics of pseudo-science.
posted by fuzz at 8:58 AM on August 23, 2002

and the more global warming becomes so slippery an idea that it is no longer falsifiable.

...and continues to care not a whit how we view or classify it, to what degree we understand it, or what actions we take or don't take concerning it. Nature is inexorable.
posted by rushmc at 9:34 AM on August 23, 2002

The scientific community doesn't actually deal in facts. We deal with hypotheses. We can never prove them, we just fail to disprove them. That's why it's so easy for politicians and others to ignore scientific suggestions that might negatively impact their personal agendas. So far, the scientific community has failed to disprove the global warming hypothesis. So perhaps, just perhaps, it might be a good idea to err on the side of caution on this issue, as most scientists dealing with the issue suggest, and try not to do things that might contribute to a massive change in climate.
posted by naturegrrl at 11:04 AM on August 23, 2002

Well, it's due to this, sillies.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 2:49 PM on August 23, 2002

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