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5.0 out of 5 stars A More Dangerous Result of Global Warming!, June 18, 2007
This review is from: Under a Green Sky: Global Warming, the Mass Extinctions of the Past, and What They Can Tell Us About Our Future (Hardcover)
Global warming, contrary to some, is pretty much a done deal, at least with a 90% certainty. Yes, there is a 10% possibility that it is not happening, or that humans are not the main cause, but who wants to bet on 9 to 1 odds, especially when there is a high chance of catastrophe?

It amazes me that there are still some people who deny that the process is occurring or that it is to a large extent human caused. Some go so far as to ascribe the whole idea to a secret plan to increase the use of nuclear power! But the evidence for global warming keeps piling up, despite their views. As a biologist I have observed the creep ahead of the seasons even in the temperate zone, and the Arctic is having an even more marked change. Numerous studies have linked the rise in temperature primarily to human carbon dioxide production.

Peter D. Ward is a professor of biology and earth and space sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle. While studying the mass extinctions of the past, especially the Permian-Triassic, the Triassic-Jurassic and the Paleocene-Eocene, he and his associates have turned up an even greater threat of global warming- the release of toxic gases from the oceans.

In "Under a Green Sky: Global Warming, the Mass Extinctions of the Past, and What they Can Tell Us About Our Future" Ward outlines the causes of these major extinctions. Once thought to all have occurred because of asteroid strikes, these extinctions were quite different from the Cretaceous-Paleocene event, which apparently was triggered by such a cosmic calamity. Now the three are more probably connected to naturally occurring high carbon dioxide and methane levels, leading to the melting of polar ice caps, the shutting down of the oceanic conveyor system, and the proliferation of sulfur bacteria in anoxic oceans. This is ominous, given our current rise in greenhouse gases, as the oceans then rose to cover the shore far inland in low lying areas and the atmosphere turned poisonous.

If Ward is right we are in deep trouble. He just might be wrong, but it would be folly not to pay attention! Everyone should read this book or something like it. It might change your thoughts on the subject.
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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 2, 2007 10:51:01 AM PDT
Actually, it doesn't surprise me that there are people who still adamantly claim that Global Warming is a myth. These people seem to have some common characteristics such as a conservative or Right Wing political viewpoint and/or have a vested financial interest in denying Global Warming. Often they have both. In many cases they have actually received money from a corporation or lobbying group that has a vested interest in denying Global Warming. One would think that their conscience would bother them. The narrow-minded, selfishness & short-sightedness of the Deniers is all too obvious.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 15, 2007 4:55:37 AM PDT
Yep, that hits the nail on the head alright! Unfortunately some humans will slit their own mother's throat for a fast buck. They are of course quite stupid, because their actions could quite easily come back on them, or certainly their descendants!

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 13, 2007 10:20:32 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 13, 2007 10:22:07 AM PDT
Perhaps the right is not as stupid as you and I think. In other words, since the climate change processes humanity has set in motion will not stop global warming (even with a drastic cutback in carbon--which will NOT take place)the wealthy right wingers know they have the resources to 'hunker' as the rest of the world's impoverished get culled...and rather quickly. 'Selfishness' is a rather common charactersitic of the human experience--from day one for Homo.

Other:
Ward's coverage of a planet facing temps last present during the Eocene was the most disturbing part of this work.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 15, 2007 5:57:46 AM PDT
Indeed, but one has to have some hope that while we cannot completely stop the process, we will be able to slow it or even keep it from tipping into a runaway greenhouse. I think in the long run such greed is stupid as there is no guarantee that they will in the ultimate escape their (and our, to be fair) follies. Ma Nature bats last!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2007 1:20:14 PM PDT
Gio says:
I agree with Mr. Safranek's comment that nothing our political 'leaders' are even discussing will have enough impact to shift the likelihoods from Ward's #3 (utter catastrophe) down to #2 (mere disaster).
Ma Nature batting last is cold comfort when my son's future is the ball.

Posted on Jun 29, 2008 2:21:34 PM PDT
I. Thomas says:
Check out the youtube video of bubbling methane in an extreme northern Alaskan lake. Could be significant....

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2008 5:20:38 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 13, 2008 1:57:07 PM PDT
davip says:
You have a car, do you not Bruno? If you do, you are, in large measure, part of the problem. People squawk about environmental calamity but few are prepared to moderate their own behaviour where it counts.

As a geologist also working on planetary climate change issues, I fear that Ward is right: the world's fresh water content has not changed significantly since Palaeo-Mesozoic highstand times, neither has the mean elevation of the continental masses, so the geohistorical sea level record tells us pretty much what's going to happen once tipping point is reached. When all the triggers for basal melting kick in (in their undoubtedly complex and unmodellable way) every major city outside of Bhutan, Bolivia and Ecuador will be under water. And we'll all die the same death, rational and doubter, good and bad alike. The geologist understands the signals and the consequences, but it is regrettable all the same.

Incidentally pizza-man, there is a difference between those with something to say and those with something to prove -- it only seems like arrogance to those who get their understanding secondhand.

Posted on May 25, 2015 10:19:42 AM PDT
Mark A. Leo says:
I am permanently confused by the AGW phenomenon. My take on humanity's fate was that it was tied to the new Ice Age to come; now this, and thousands of other works besides it claiming we are doomed because of runaway CO2.

Posted on Jun 24, 2015 8:57:44 PM PDT
two in tents says:
"I am permanently confused by the AGW phenomenon."

It comes of being intellectually lazy.

Posted on Jun 24, 2015 8:58:43 PM PDT
two in tents says:
"You have a car, do you not Bruno? If you do, you are, in large measure, part of the problem."

Ad hominem nonsense.
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