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Not by Fire but by Ice
THE NEXT ICE AGE - NOW!
Discover What Killed the Dinosaurs . . . and Why it Could Soon Kill Us
12 July 07
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"You can go outside and spit and
have the same effect as doubling C02'"
Prominent climate scientist
calls warming fears 'absurd'
Some people are lucky enough to enjoy their work, some are lucky enough to love it, and then there’s Reid Bryson. At age 86, he’s still hard at it every day, delving into the science some say he invented.
Reid A. Bryson holds the 30th PhD in Meteorology granted in the history of American education. Emeritus Professor and founding chairman of the University of Wisconsin Department of Meteorology—now the Department of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences—in the 1970s he became the first director of what’s now the UW’s Gaylord Nelson Institute of Environmental Studies. He’s a member of the United Nations Global 500 Roll of Honor—created, the U.N. says, to recognize "outstanding achievements in the protection and improvement of the environment." He has authored five books and more than 230 other publications and was identified by the British Institute of Geographers as the most frequently cited climatologist in the world.
"Climate’s always been changing and it’s been changing rapidly at various times, and so something was making it change in the past," he told us in an interview this past winter. "Before there were enough people to make any difference at all, two million years ago, nobody was changing the climate, yet the climate was changing, okay?"
"All this argument is the temperature going up or not, it’s absurd," Bryson continues. ""Of course it’s going up. It has gone up since the early 1800s, before the Industrial Revolution, because we’re coming out of the Little Ice Age, not because we’re putting more carbon dioxide into the air.""
Little Ice Age? That’s what chased the Vikings out of Greenland after they’d farmed there for a few hundred years during the Mediaeval Warm Period, an earlier run of a few centuries when the planet was very likely warmer than it is now, without any help from industrial activity in making it that way. Today, old Viking farmsteads are covered by glaciers.
Bryson mentions the retreat of Alpine glaciers, common grist for current headlines. "What do they find when the ice sheets retreat, in the Alps?"
"A silver mine! The guys had stacked up their tools because they were going to be back the next spring to mine more silver, only the snow never went," he says. "There used to be less ice than now. It’s just getting back to normal."
What is normal? Maybe continuous change is the only thing that qualifies. There’s been warming over the past 150 years and even though it’s less than one degree, Celsius, something had to cause it. The usual suspect is the "greenhouse effect," various atmospheric gases trapping solar energy, preventing it being reflected back into space.
Eighty percent of the heat radiated back from the surface is absorbed in the first 30 feet by water vapor……
And how much is absorbed by carbon dioxide? Eight hundredths of one percent. One one-thousandth as important as water vapor. You can go outside and spit and have the same effect as doubling carbon dioxide.
From the May 2007 issue of Wisconsin Energy Cooperative News
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