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Question: What do you consider the single most compelling bit of evidence that us humans are mostly to blame for global warming:  (Voting closed: February 15, 2012, 08:45:42 AM)
Gore said so - 0 (0%)
The experts said so - 4 (36.4%)
The sharp increase in temperature coincides with industrialization - 1 (9.1%)
Analysis of the isotopic ratios in atmospheric carbon dioxide - 2 (18.2%)
The polar caps and glaciers are melting - 1 (9.1%)
Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are higher than ever - 0 (0%)
Other - 3 (27.3%)
Total Voters: 11

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Evidence that global warming is largely caused by humans

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Rigil Kent
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« on: February 10, 2012, 08:45:42 AM »

Just to check if we are on the same page here Evil
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Faerie
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« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2012, 09:02:16 AM »

Gore said so....  Evil

and that other "snotkop" too, cant remember the kid's name, Leonardo?

 Angel

Seriously though, one doesnt need an expert, scientist, politician or movie star to be able to grasp and notice the obvious. Anyway, what else are capable of causing it? The last couple rhinos?
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brianvds
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« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2012, 09:05:10 AM »

It's a bit like asking what the single most compelling bit of evidence for evolution is: it doesn't really work like that. The evidence for both evolution and global warming is by its very nature built up of lots of separate bits. It is perhaps partially why global warming skeptics, just like evolution skeptics, are taken so much more seriously than, say, flat earthers: it requires a fairly broad knowledge to even understand the evidence, hence little holes picked in it here and there in scattershot manner can appear superficially convincing.

Not that I know all that much about global warming. I confess that the whole thing doesn't interest me much.
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Rigil Kent
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« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2012, 09:12:52 AM »

It's a bit like asking what the single most compelling bit of evidence for evolution is

Not sure that is necessarily the case. Darwin had but a smidgen of the current evidence available during his hay-day, yet something must have moved him to come up with his conclusion.

Seriously though, one doesnt need an expert, scientist, politician or movie star to be able to grasp and notice the obvious.

So what, to you, is the obvious?

Rigil
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Faerie
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« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2012, 10:41:25 AM »

Seriously though, one doesnt need an expert, scientist, politician or movie star to be able to grasp and notice the obvious.

So what, to you, is the obvious?

Rigil

To me, we're overpopulated, and we're wrecking the planet on every level that we possibly can. My knowledge on global warming per-se is mediocre to say the least, (I have watched the more popular movies on the subject and read up on it but generally have the same attitude towards it as brian).  We're losing wetlands, we're losing species, the ice caps are melting, we're accidently nuking areas and upsetting natural habitats, our freaking atmospheric space is littered with rubbish. What more can one say (we have rubbish on the moon and bits of electronic gadget roaming Mars?) I dont like the human race all that much and am willing to attribute just about any negative to them.
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Tweefo
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« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2012, 11:49:44 AM »

I voted "The experts say so" for the same reason I go to the doctor when I am sick. I am not qualified, so I go to the expert. I may go for a second opinion but if the vast majority of qualified experts tell you something you got to start believing them.
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brianvds
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« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2012, 12:02:39 PM »

Not sure that is necessarily the case. Darwin had but a smidgen of the current evidence available during his hay-day, yet something must have moved him to come up with his conclusion.

Read his book: his evidence is absolutely overwhelming. It is of course much more so today.

Anyway, my point was simply that in both the case of evolution and global warming, the evidence is a puzzle, that is built up of lots of separate bits, with the picture slowly becoming ever more clear and convincing the more of the pieces you assemble.

It is one mass hysteria that I don't have sleepless nights over though.
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Lilli
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« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2012, 15:14:52 PM »

...if the vast majority of qualified experts tell you something you got to start believing them.
I can't quite agree with that statement - who decides who the experts are? I'm sure that a whole bunch of priests and dominees will think of themselves as 'qualified experst' on the matter of god and religion and I'm not about to start believing them...
Anyways, I work in the environmental field so while I maintain that 'global warming' is a bit of a misnomer, climate change is a very real phenomenon (yes, we measure these things, and the statistical analysis of the world's temperatures is a b*tch, trust me). The human race is messing up a whole lot of ecological systems in a whole lot of ways, and our race has been doing this for a very very long time. What we need to start understanding as a species is that we are not separate from the ecological systems we find ourselves in. All manner of animals alter their habitats to suit them better, or move to more suitable habitats. Build things. Break things. Emit gasses and things etc etc. Difference is that we have no natural enemies (apart from those friggin suicide bombers) to keep our populations in check. And that's why the manner in which we are altering our environments is sort of throwing the whole thing out of whack. Possibly irreparably. And the majority of us think that this is OK, because god mos told us that we are above the natural  world. Arrogance makes me angry.   
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Rigil Kent
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« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2012, 16:48:08 PM »

.. priests and dominees ...
Oo ... excellent counter!

Quote
Difference is that we have no natural enemies
Do germs count? Smiley

Rigil
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Hermes
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« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2012, 16:50:08 PM »

   No individual can be an expert in every field of study.  At school we already start choosing subjects and in tertiary education the field of study becomes more specialized; on a post graduate level even more so.  For this reason it sometimes becomes necessary to rely on the views of experts rather than to follow our own mind in a field where we lack the expertise.  Deference to experts comes into play here.
   If the topic is physics, we rely on the expertise of physicists; if it is climate change, we rely on climatologists; if it is botany, we rely on botanists, etc.  Sometimes there is no consensus and we have to judge which experts can be trusted.  Then it is advisable to assess the esteem in which these experts are held among their peers.  The majority view of such highly esteemed experts would then be the most reliable to adopt.
   For flimflam such as telepathy, fortune telling or talking to the dead there are no experts.  The dominee or priest may have some expertise in the dogma of a specific religion or church, but there is no evidence for the existence of deities in which one can obtain expertise, and it should therefore be treated as flimflam.
   Global warming/climate change is a specialized field in which most of us probably lack expertise.  Deference to experts would then be the most appropriate strategy.
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Tweefo
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« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2012, 11:35:27 AM »

 Thank you Hermes. I could not put it better. I go to a medical doctor, not a Homeopath. He may be called a expert but a little bit of asking around and... I also get a plumber if the geyser is not working rather than a dentist.
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2012, 13:42:01 PM »

The crux for me lies in "independently verifiable". Can I take the evidence from the expert to study it, possibly reproduce it, and validate that it's legit? I don't necessarily HAVE to do this for every claim but once that evidence is out there it means many other experts can study, reproduce and critique it. Giving us all a much better mechanism of verification than "I'm the expert STFU".
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Superman
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« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2012, 16:23:53 PM »

As I understand global warming skeptics are cynical at how much we can attribute global warming to humans and seem to say this could be a natural occurrence in earths history. Most do not deny global warming itself.

Myself I think humans will find a solution to this. People are looking at ways to solving the problem. I am sure we will find some innovative solutions to the problem and still be able to make a buck in the process. Cool
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beLIEf
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« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2012, 10:53:08 AM »

 I used to be of the opinion that of course global warming was entirely caused by our parasitic species. I was part of the climate justice movement and was an ardent activist but over the last 5 or so years I have realised that as a race we are arrogant and love thinking we caused everything!

When we consider Milankovitch's theories http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milankovitch_cycles which in a nutshell suggests of changes in the shape of the earth's orbit, tilt and proximity to the sun we account for the many variations in climate over geological time when there were no people to "cause" anything. We have evidence of this in pollen samples from paleo-climates and changes in oxygen isotopes in soil which change from isotope 16 to 17 depending on whether the earth was in an "ice-age" or not and that this has happened approx 31 times over millions of years.

I actually don't think we have as much of an effect as we would like to think although of course statistics show there has been a measurable increase in average temperatures since the Industrial revolution. This could also be coincidentally an interstadial period of natural warming.

Saying that I continue to recycle and walk and cycle and conserve electricity consumption and all the usual things that would be associated with a climate conscious citizen.

What I don't agree with is the guilt complex associated with it - I think "offsetting your carbon" by usually paying some company to plant trees for you is akin to  the catholic sentiment of indulgence - paying to forgive your sins. Repent now!!! Relieve your self of your debt of carbon!!!

A book I'd recommend is "The Skeptical Environmentalist" By Bjorn Lomborg who is a swedish climatologist.

I love this graph.....


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brianvds
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« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2012, 13:32:24 PM »

A book I'd recommend is "The Skeptical Environmentalist" By Bjorn Lomborg who is a swedish climatologist.


It should be noted, mind you, that he is emphatically not a global warming denier. He does feel that we are barking up the wrong tree though, and on this point I agree with him.

A documentary by him, titled "Cool it," was recently on circuit here and is well worth the watch.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cool_It_(film)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cool_It:_The_Skeptical_Environmentalist%27s_Guide_to_Global_Warming

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beLIEf
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« Reply #15 on: February 18, 2012, 16:25:20 PM »

A book I'd recommend is "The Skeptical Environmentalist" By Bjorn Lomborg who is a swedish climatologist.


It should be noted, mind you, that he is emphatically not a global warming denier. He does feel that we are barking up the wrong tree though, and on this point I agree with him.

A documentary by him, titled "Cool it," was recently on circuit here and is well worth the watch.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cool_It_(film)




Yes not a denier at all but a rationale view from someone who should professionally speaking only be on one side of the fence.

Thanks for the link for the film   Cool




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Hermes
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« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2012, 14:48:37 PM »

When we consider Lungfish's theories http://en.wiped.org/Viki/Lungfish_cycles which in a nutshell suggests of changes in the shape of the earth's orbit, tilt and proximity to the sun we account for the many variations in climate over geological time when there were no people to "cause" anything.

Natural factors contributing to climate change have of course been taken into account by the IPCC, which has analysed diverse data from thousands of scientists in over a hundred countries during the last 26 years.  The IPCC has never claimed that climate change is exclusively anthropogenic, but concludes that they are 95% confidant that human emissions of green house gases has a material impact on global warming.  It is a popular decoy of AGW deniers to sow confusion about this issue by setting up a false dichotomy between natural and anthropogenic causes.
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jasongerm
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« Reply #17 on: February 20, 2012, 16:34:35 PM »

I have an honours in geology and did chemistry and environmental geochemistry as well. I am a complete fence sitter on the issue of anthropogenic global warming and find it hard to believe so many "non-scientist" have taken to global warming and pleading for carbon taxes hook-line-and-sincker.

There are much more pressing issues at hand, namely:
1) Water scarcity
2) Population growth and food security
3) Waste management

This global warming business and the fact that a bunch of stupid ignorant fools who read 1 psuedo-scientific article on global warming no believe they are experts.

I dont go around telling economics that: "As a geologist, I know that - after reading the Introduction to Economics for Dummies - to stimulate growth in South Africa's economy we would to kill all the butterflys and harvest fertilizer that emerges out of politicians mouths when they speak."
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Benjammin
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« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2012, 11:55:03 AM »

I have an honours in geology and did chemistry and environmental geochemistry as well. I am a complete fence sitter on the issue of anthropogenic global warming and find it hard to believe so many "non-scientist" have taken to global warming and pleading for carbon taxes hook-line-and-sincker.

I am not a climate scientists, but that doesn't mean I cannot take a position of global warming. I trust in the consensus of scientists who are experts in climate science. In the same way that I am not a particle physicists, but don't have to remain neutral on the existence of the Higgs fields. I can put my trust the scientists running CERN. Almost all of my opinions and positions are based on trust.

Quote
No scientific body of national or international standing has maintained a dissenting opinion
from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change#Statements_by_concurring_organizations.

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Hermes
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« Reply #19 on: February 21, 2012, 20:37:22 PM »

Quote
No scientific body of national or international standing has maintained a dissenting opinion
from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change#Statements_by_concurring_organizations.
The peer support in your reference can hardly be ignored.
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brianvds
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« Reply #20 on: February 22, 2012, 06:01:38 AM »

I am not a climate scientists, but that doesn't mean I cannot take a position of global warming. I trust in the consensus of scientists who are experts in climate science. In the same way that I am not a particle physicists, but don't have to remain neutral on the existence of the Higgs fields. I can put my trust the scientists running CERN. Almost all of my opinions and positions are based on trust.

Very skeptical of you. But you are of course right. When I want an opinion on homeopathy, I ask a qualified homeopath... {very evil grin}

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Hermes
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« Reply #21 on: February 22, 2012, 11:41:34 AM »

Very skeptical of you. But you are of course right. When I want an opinion on homeopathy, I ask a qualified homeopath... {very evil grin}
For flimflam such as telepathy, fortune telling or talking to the dead there are no experts


I love this graph.....
The right hand side of that graph has a suspicious resemblance to a hockey stick....
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Benjammin
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« Reply #22 on: February 22, 2012, 14:02:58 PM »

Very skeptical of you. But you are of course right. When I want an opinion on homeopathy, I ask a qualified homeopath... {very evil grin}

I assume you are joking but just to be sure...

You are making an argument from Analogy: Science and Homeopathy both have experts, we trust scientific experts, therefore we should trust homeopathic experts. It is a false analogy of course, science and homeopathy are crucially different. Science works, demonstrably, homeopathy doesn't, demonstrably. Trust is earned not given, planes fly, antibiotics works, homoeopathy fails dismally  Grin
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Hermes
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« Reply #23 on: February 22, 2012, 15:58:30 PM »

A good source of articles, updates and comments on global warming can be found at http://www.skepticalscience.com/
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brianvds
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« Reply #24 on: February 22, 2012, 18:25:26 PM »

Very skeptical of you. But you are of course right. When I want an opinion on homeopathy, I ask a qualified homeopath... {very evil grin}

I assume you are joking but just to be sure...

You are making an argument from Analogy: Science and Homeopathy both have experts, we trust scientific experts, therefore we should trust homeopathic experts. It is a false analogy of course, science and homeopathy are crucially different. Science works, demonstrably, homeopathy doesn't, demonstrably. Trust is earned not given, planes fly, antibiotics works, homoeopathy fails dismally  Grin

I was partially joking. What you say is of course perfectly true. But what about, say, the science of psychology? Serial killer profiling? Some theories of modern physics? Freudian psychoanalysis? Economics? Stock market analysis? And, to get back on topic, global warming?

One cannot always simply defer to experts. I'm not too sure what else to do though. On some things, apparently we just don't know.
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« Reply #25 on: February 22, 2012, 20:33:11 PM »

Thank you Hermes. I could not put it better. I go to a medical doctor, not a Homeopath. He may be called a expert but a little bit of asking around and... I also get a plumber if the geyser is not working rather than a dentist.
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Benjammin
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« Reply #26 on: February 22, 2012, 20:34:22 PM »

I was partially joking. What you say is of course perfectly true. But what about, say, the science of psychology? Serial killer profiling? Some theories of modern physics? Freudian psychoanalysis? Economics? Stock market analysis? And, to get back on topic, global warming?

One cannot always simply defer to experts. I'm not too sure what else to do though. On some things, apparently we just don't know.


I suggest reading Massimo Pigliucci on the differences between so called hard and soft sciences: http://www.science20.com/rationally_speaking/strong_inference_and_distinction_between_soft_and_hard_science. It is not that you cannot know anything, it is to understand the limits of your knowledge. Some of the science of global warming is as hard as it comes, you can test CO2 in a lab, it is a greenhouse gas. The long term predictions are softer, climate is complex. What we do know is that we are energising the life sustaining system of the planet, and whatever uncertainties exist should mean more caution not less. That is the reason behind 350.org, we know from geological history that the earth's climate is stable under 350 ppm of CO2. We are beyond that now, and that is really stupid and dangerous.
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brianvds
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« Reply #27 on: February 23, 2012, 08:38:21 AM »

I suggest reading Massimo Pigliucci on the differences between so called hard and soft sciences: http://www.science20.com/rationally_speaking/strong_inference_and_distinction_between_soft_and_hard_science. It is not that you cannot know anything, it is to understand the limits of your knowledge. Some of the science of global warming is as hard as it comes, you can test CO2 in a lab, it is a greenhouse gas. The long term predictions are softer, climate is complex. What we do know is that we are energising the life sustaining system of the planet, and whatever uncertainties exist should mean more caution not less. That is the reason behind 350.org, we know from geological history that the earth's climate is stable under 350 ppm of CO2. We are beyond that now, and that is really stupid and dangerous.


I can guarantee you: we are going to burn every lump of coal and every drop of oil, whatever noble-sounding undertakings we make and whatever international treaties we sign. Might as well get used to it.

I am satisfied that anthopogenic global warming is for real (I am, frankly, deferring to the experts!) I'm not convinced I need to have sleepless nights over it though.
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Benjammin
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« Reply #28 on: February 23, 2012, 09:47:44 AM »

I can guarantee you: we are going to burn every lump of coal and every drop of oil, whatever noble-sounding undertakings we make and whatever international treaties we sign. Might as well get used to it.

I am satisfied that anthopogenic global warming is for real (I am, frankly, deferring to the experts!) I'm not convinced I need to have sleepless nights over it though.


In climate talks I often here: 'we didn't move beyond the stone age because we ran out of stones'. That is a false analogy in some ways, but I hope that one day our ancestors look back at the way we burn ancient plant and animal matter with the same horror that we look back at our ancestors banging rocks together to make tools. If we burn all the coal and oil we won't have an atmosphere left, and will probably be closer to Venus than the current earth.
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« Reply #29 on: February 24, 2012, 10:11:57 AM »

I reckon we'll never run out of oil or coal, simply because at some point it will become so scarce and expensive that world will have no choice but to move onto other technologies, which would make the reserves that ar left at that point, useless.

That is, if we don't kill ourselves before then.

I, for one, can't wait for the oil to run out. Certain arrogant, imperialist warmongering  'superpowers' would finally eat some humble pie when they don't have fuel to power their warplanes... Sure, you can power ICBMs with synthetic fuels, but you base your economy on military power if you don't have cheap, ubandant fuel, OR the desire to freck around in middle east politics if you don't need the oil there....
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Brian
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I think therefor I am, I think


« Reply #30 on: December 17, 2012, 18:34:26 PM »

an amazing calving in Greenland: http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/12/behold-the-largest-iceberg-breakup-ever-caught-on-film/266193/
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Hermes
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« Reply #31 on: December 18, 2012, 12:00:05 PM »

Awesome, Brian.

Last December I visited the Perito Moreno Glacier at El Calafate during a tour of Argentina and Chile.  The glacier is about 250 km2 in size.  At the front it is quite noisy and one regularly hears sounds like gunshots as the ice cracks.  At intervals of about twenty minutes, towers of ice tumble into the lake.  The glacier bisects Lago Argentino, causing the water on the one side to rise well above that on the other side.  Once in about four years it ruptures, the water carving a spectacular arch through the ice.

This is one of the only glaciers that is growing in size at present.

more
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« Reply #32 on: December 18, 2012, 12:14:38 PM »

This is one of the only glaziers that is growing in size at present.
The one who came to fix our lounge window (a cricket ball mishap) was quite obese, but I don't know whether or not he was still growing.
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Mefiante
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In solidarity with rwenzori: Κοπρος φανεται


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« Reply #33 on: December 18, 2012, 12:17:38 PM »

The one who came to fix our lounge window (a cricket ball mishap) was quite obese, but I don't know whether or not he was still growing.
Being obese, did he move glacially? Or set a cracking pace?  Wink

'Luthon64
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« Reply #34 on: December 18, 2012, 13:20:56 PM »

The one who came to fix our lounge window (a cricket ball mishap) was quite obese, but I don't know whether or not he was still growing.
Being obese, did he move glacially? Or set a cracking pace?  Wink

'Luthon64
He certainly sweated a lot, a possible indication of a warming trend.
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« Reply #35 on: December 18, 2012, 13:45:46 PM »

This is one of the only glaziers that is growing in size at present.
The one who came to fix our lounge window (a cricket ball mishap) was quite obese, but I don't know whether or not he was still growing.
Have you been spayed?
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« Reply #36 on: December 18, 2012, 13:58:04 PM »

This is one of the only glaziers that is growing in size at present.
The one who came to fix our lounge window (a cricket ball mishap) was quite obese, but I don't know whether or not he was still growing.
Have you been spayed?
¿Che?
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« Reply #37 on: December 18, 2012, 15:29:41 PM »

The one who came to fix our lounge window (a cricket ball mishap) was quite obese, but I don't know whether or not he was still growing.
Being obese, did he move glacially? Or set a cracking pace?  Wink

'Luthon64
He certainly sweated a lot, a possible indication of a warming trend.

Did he show any cracks?
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« Reply #38 on: December 18, 2012, 15:30:52 PM »

The one who came to fix our lounge window (a cricket ball mishap) was quite obese, but I don't know whether or not he was still growing.
Being obese, did he move glacially? Or set a cracking pace?  Wink

'Luthon64
He certainly sweated a lot, a possible indication of a warming trend.

Did he show any cracks?
I didn't dare look.
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #39 on: December 18, 2012, 16:05:15 PM »

¿Che?


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Hermes
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« Reply #40 on: December 18, 2012, 16:38:34 PM »

The one who came to fix our lounge window (a cricket ball mishap) was quite obese, but I don't know whether or not he was still growing.
I trust he performed a panestaking job?
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Mefiante
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« Reply #41 on: December 18, 2012, 16:58:41 PM »

I didn't dare look.
But of course!  Good job, sir:  Plumber’s bum, amply mediated by the observer’s embarrassment, is the real cause of AGW!

'Luthon64
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« Reply #42 on: December 18, 2012, 18:43:36 PM »

But of course!  Good job, sir:  Plumber’s bum, amply mediated by the observer’s embarrassment, is the real cause of AGW!'Luthon64
Perito Moreno Plumber?  You probably mean glacier?
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Mefiante
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« Reply #43 on: December 18, 2012, 20:06:03 PM »

Perito Moreno Plumber?  You probably mean glacier?
An Andean piper with an icy temperament and a glass tube fetish?  Nope, bummer’s plum it is — and that curious exothermic mixture of sweaty look-aside discomfiture and hotly suppressed amusement.

'Luthon64
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Rigil Kent
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« Reply #44 on: December 19, 2012, 13:29:14 PM »

This is one of the only glaziers that is growing in size at present.
The one who came to fix our lounge window (a cricket ball mishap) was quite obese, but I don't know whether or not he was still growing.
Have you been spayed?
  Grin
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