Author Topic: If the Earth was about to cool 2-4 C degrees, what would it be like?  (Read 431 times)

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Offline Quetzalcoatl

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We all know that climate change will land us at a climate probably 2 to 4 C degrees warmer than pre-industrial levels by 2100. Depending on a lot of variables.

However, imagine that we had the opposite scenario. The world is cooling, and set to become 2-4 C degrees colder compared to pre-industrial levels by 2100. What would that mean for us? Would it be a net good or a net bad, on a global scale? What would the world become like?

I imagine that the northern-most parts of Europe, North America, and Asia, as well as the southern-most parts of South America, would become uninhabitable, or at least able to support a much smaller population than is the case today. Growing seasons for certain crops would also be reduced, as well as the currently available farmland. However, I guess it would also mean that the amount of ice in the poles would increase, thereby making more land available. Regions currently very inhospitable to human settlement, like the Sahara Desert and the central parts of Australia, would perhaps become more suitable for humans to live in.

At least these are my guesses. What do you think?
"I’m a member of no party. I have no ideology. I’m a rationalist. I do what I can in the international struggle between science and reason and the barbarism, superstition and stupidity that’s all around us." - Christopher Hitchens

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Re: If the Earth was about to cool 2-4 C degrees, what would it be like?
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2019, 03:47:47 PM »
6°C colder is an ice age. 1°C colder was the Little Ice Age. So somewhere in between.

Offline daniel1948

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Re: If the Earth was about to cool 2-4 C degrees, what would it be like?
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2019, 06:48:50 PM »
The entire industrial revolution and the creation of the society we know today has occurred during a period of unusually stable climate. Any change will be disastrous. Any significant cooling would cover huge populated areas with ice, and any significant warming will flood densely populated coastal regions. And either would change weather patterns, shifting rainfall away from the regions where we have the infrastructure for the production of food and its transportation to population centers. It's a delicate balance, and a shift in either direction will topple it.

All dreams of a marvelous technological future are dependent on the persistence of the stable climate we've enjoyed for a century, and which we are doing our damndest to overturn.
Daniel
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"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

Offline DanDanDan

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Re: If the Earth was about to cool 2-4 C degrees, what would it be like?
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2019, 07:56:41 PM »
First, check this out-
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_cooling

Then, read this report which is mentioned in the Wikipedia article-
https://web.archive.org/web/20090320054750/http://www.climate.org/PDF/clim_change_scenario.pdf

Droughts, high winds, food shortages, water shortages.., wouldn't be pretty. Still, interesting stuff.

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Offline Soldier of FORTRAN

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If global warming is real then how come I just felt this chill down my spine?

Offline DanDanDan

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Re: If the Earth was about to cool 2-4 C degrees, what would it be like?
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2019, 12:12:51 AM »
First, check this out-
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_cooling

This is a handy chart:


If you're thinking that I'm a climate change "skeptic", hold your horses.

I pointed to those articles to answer the OP's question. That paper gives folks an understanding of what the future would look like if global cooling was happening. It ain't.

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Offline Soldier of FORTRAN

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Re: If the Earth was about to cool 2-4 C degrees, what would it be like?
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2019, 12:17:46 AM »
Oh there's no subtext.  That's literally just me going, "ooh"

edit: It's a very succinct rebuttal to the, "oh yeah well they used to think the earth was gonna freeze," people.
If global warming is real then how come I just felt this chill down my spine?

Offline DanDanDan

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Re: If the Earth was about to cool 2-4 C degrees, what would it be like?
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2019, 12:37:06 AM »
Oh there's no subtext.  That's literally just me going, "ooh"

edit: It's a very succinct rebuttal to the, "oh yeah well they used to think the earth was gonna freeze," people.
Yeah, my subtext skills are average at best.

Hmm. That gives me an idea for a new thread...

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Offline lonely moa

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Re: If the Earth was about to cool 2-4 C degrees, what would it be like?
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2019, 03:40:37 AM »
Skier's paradise.  I'd love it.
"Pull the goalie", Malcolm Gladwell.

Offline Quetzalcoatl

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Re: If the Earth was about to cool 2-4 C degrees, what would it be like?
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2019, 04:02:19 PM »
First, check this out-
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_cooling

This is a handy chart:


If you're thinking that I'm a climate change "skeptic", hold your horses.

I pointed to those articles to answer the OP's question. That paper gives folks an understanding of what the future would look like if global cooling was happening. It ain't.

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Just to clarify, I was in no way arguing that. It was just a question of curiosity.

It really seems then like humans and human civilization as we know it are pretty strongly dependent on a rather narrow climate range. Which doesn't bode well for our long-time survival.
"I’m a member of no party. I have no ideology. I’m a rationalist. I do what I can in the international struggle between science and reason and the barbarism, superstition and stupidity that’s all around us." - Christopher Hitchens

Offline daniel1948

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Re: If the Earth was about to cool 2-4 C degrees, what would it be like?
« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2019, 06:22:56 PM »
It really seems then like humans and human civilization as we know it are pretty strongly dependent on a rather narrow climate range. Which doesn't bode well for our long-time survival.

Exactly!
Daniel
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"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck