1. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    Global warming effects 100+ years from now

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Lea`Brooks, Mar 26, 2016.

    One of my WIP takes place in America, in an undisclosed period in the future. The world has been ravaged by war and global warming -- but my problem is, I'm struggling to find detailed descriptions of what the world might look like after global warming! I know it's all just speculation, which I'm fine with, but I would like it to be somewhat accurate. For example, I don't want to say it rains all the time in one region if the predictions say it'll be suffering from drought.

    Does anyone have any good resources and/or information about what will happen, specifically with sea levels having risen to over 30 meters? I've already found a map showing flooding because of rising sea levels. But other things I'd be interested to know: average temperatures, frequency and intensity of storms, effect on vegetation and animal life, and anything else I may have forgotten.

    In my story, my MCs are traveling from Colorado to Wyoming to Illinois (or Indiana) to Florida, then taking a boat to Orlando, which is the only part of the state that isn't under water after the sea level rose 30-35 meters. I thought about having parts of the Midwest plagued by near constant tornados, which my MC can see from a distance as they drive through Nebraska. But again, I don't know how realistic that is.

    Forgive my ignorance. I've been trying to research this for a while but have yet to find anything... solid, for lack of a better word.

    Thanks for reading!

    ETA: I realize 30 meters may be a little high. I can take it down to 10 and have them go to Miami instead if need be. I just need part of Florida to be cut off and uninhabited, because that's where a secret group of people in my story live.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2016
  2. tonguetied
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    tonguetied Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't have your answer but I do know that much of the Miami area is only about a dozen feet above sea level. So if the oceans rise by ten meters it will be water world at low tide. At 30 meters even Orlando might be in trouble. I remember a sign at Homestead AFB, south of Miami, showing that the elevation was 6' which of course is a bit lower than the general area. At high tide at property I have in the Tampa area the water level is only a couple of feet below the general land.
     
  3. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah, there's a generator from some website that allows you to pick the sea level and see what the coastlines would look like. Miami is pretty close at 10, but there's a large enough swath of land that I could use. Same with Orlando. It's pretty much under water, but there's a significant portion to the south east that's still hanging on.

    I just thought Orlando would be more fun to use, since I could mention Disneyland attractions that have long been abandoned. :p
     
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  4. TheRealStegblob
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    TheRealStegblob Active Member

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    I think a big part of this would have to be just how much global warming happens within the next 100 years. Maybe China ramped up factory work and made the issue worse, maybe most of the world ended up going largely green and countering some of effects. I think it'd probably be easiest to do it this way, somehow, because it gives you more of a fictionalized spin on it that won't need to rely so heavily on pure facts, but that's just my advice.
     
  5. Robert Musil
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    Robert Musil Contributing Member

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    Yeah, I agree with @TheRealStegblob that you probably have a bit of leeway to make up stuff. You could even play around with the coastlines a bit--the projections for how the coastline will change are (I assume) based on a simple "if today's coastlines were covered in x amount of water", and don't take into consideration other factors that would happen in the interim--maybe some parts of the new coastline would erode faster than others?--that could change the coastline in addition to just the sea level rise.

    Also, I'm not sure if you'll ever even be able to find a satisfactory factual answer as to "what will climate change cause in the next 100 years" because it's just hard for even the best models to forecast that far in the future. Just last week a new paper came out (authored by James Hansen) saying that there was evidence that the worst parts of climate change (including sea level rise) might happen well before the IPCC consensus models predict. Here's a link to Newsweek's summary, it's worth taking a look at.
     
  6. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    If coastal cities are underwater, there will be millions of inland bound refugees. Depending on the politics at the time, there may be federal emergencies declared that establish refugee camps. With or without such camps, cities will become burdened by the influx of refugees. There will be increased tensions between those who feel their homes are under thread by said refugees. Hotter temperatures and longer droughts will make certain crops more expensive and will cause more stress on regional water managers, city planners, law enforcement, people in general. Food being more expensive will put more tension on the poor; class stratification will increase. Imagine that in the next 100+ years, despite the fossil fuel industry's influence on politics, the energy system will be mostly if not entirely transformed. Currently, planners are more bent on "mitigation" efforts than prevention. So we may have 100% renewable energy by then, but GHGs will probably still be at unprecedented levels. You may want to think about possible mass sequestration efforts though, such as reforestation, carbon farming, machines that suck carbon out of the atmosphere, and even extreme geoengineering schemes (the least popular), as well as other stuff like algae blooms and stuff my memory isn't telling me about right now. Personally, I find the class/society factors resulting from climate chaos to be the most interesting parts. Read a bunch of cli-fi if you can. Others have imagined these futures already and have put a lot of research and imagination into it. It's very impressive to see what they have done.
     
  7. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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  8. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Glaciers will melt drying up major rivers. Dwindling lack of water sources will be the biggest impact short of flooded coastlines.

    http://www.21stcentech.com/climate-change-impact-major-rivers-asia/

    http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/print/2010/04/tibetan-plateau/larmer-text

    http://www.countercurrents.org/cc120813B.htm

    The reason for more intense droughts and floods:

    http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/science_and_impacts/impacts/heavy-flooding-and-global-warming.html#.VvcI64zR8zY

    https://www.climaterealityproject.org/blog/why-does-climate-change-lead-more-floods-and-droughts


    Another impact will be extinction of animals that cannot migrate. For example, many of the preserves in Africa are essentially like islands. Animals cannot migrate north as the climate warms because there is no wilderness area north of them. Polar bears may adapt but currently their seal hunting is diminishing because the sea ice breaks up too soon. By the same token, the breeding grounds for the seals is those same ice flows that are disappearing.

    A lot of breeding grounds will disappear for many species.

    Forest fires will be more frequent as will larger storms.
     
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  9. Mike Hill
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    Mike Hill Natural born citizen of republic of Finland.

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    For example Al Gores predictions for 2016 have not happened. I mean they have not fully happened. I think most overreact to how different the environment will be in 100 years.
    Because predictions are so untrustworthy you can use your imagination just be consistant. If big changes have happened in Florida then it should reflect to other parts of the world.
    When you have decided how the environment has changed you should think about how it affects societys for example creating a refugee crisis.
     
  10. HelloImRex
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    HelloImRex Contributing Member

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    You can make it however you want. Global warming is mostly made up anyway. Well, when it comes to predicting what will happen its completely made up. About all that's really known is that CO2 in the air is increasing at an exponential rate and this correlates to when the industrial revolution happened. Might be bad, might be fine.
     
  11. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    In any substantial climate change, agriculture will be pretty drastically affected. Crops depend on a fairly predictable combination of rain (even when irrigated, because too much rain can destroy crops), sunlight, heat, pollinators, etc. Each region would have to adjust their crops and learn what will now grow. Perennial crops that take years to get started, like fruit and nut trees, might just stop bearing, and farmers would have to start over with different cultivars--or the weather might be so extreme and unpredictable that whole crop categories would just stop being feasible.

    If governments kept a grip on things, I could see a set of food regulations, rationing, ration booklets, etc., similar to the Word Wars. Government might seize emergency powers to tell growers what to grow--forget the high fructose corn syrup and plant those potatoes! Victory Gardens might become a thing again, with people tilling their lawns under and growing food.

    If I were in this situation, I'd start myself a small flock of ducklings of a good meat/laying variety and plant my garden mostly in potatoes (potatoes are extremely adaptable) with dryfarm tomatoes and squash to hedge my bets. And my town would probably start eating the invading deer.

    I'm not sure what books or other sources to recommend. My first thought is Carol Deppe's The Resilient Gardener, but that's a pretty substantial read for just a few examples of what you're after. (There's a discussion of The Little Ice Age, and what she calls "the year California stole our rain", and so on.) On the other hand, it might contain references that could point you to more sources.

    Remember, too, that even though it's global warming, weather will be more extreme in both directions, both warmer and colder.
     
  12. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Dude, you need to reread that science.
     
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  13. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I'll have to go check but I thought Gore said we would pass the point of no return, not that all of the consequences would be manifest by 2016.

    But even if Gore envisioned a sped up global warming that estimated changes incorrectly, the basic inconvenient truths are fairly well established science.
     
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  14. HelloImRex
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    HelloImRex Contributing Member

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    There's science and then there's politicized doomsday talk. I'm saying the predictions associated with global warming are made up and often overly dramatic. "Florida will be underwater by 2050 and crops won't grow below 50 degrees latitude!" That's in all likelihood not true. The most similar example I can think of is the idea of a nuclear apocalypse. If all the countries were to launch their nukes at each other it wouldn't be a good thing. Still, it's improbable that it would result in the end of humanity or cause some mass extinction event. That's just the stigma behind it because it's fun to carry scenarios to absurd extremes. If limits are set low people are less likely to break through them. That's another reason things are often proponed to be much worse than they are.

    Now, when you're writing, sometimes it's better to suspend some disbelief and put your characters in an extreme setting. People tend to like stories set during a nuclear apocalypse where mutants are running around even though that could never happen. Why should this be any different? Make the world whoever harsh or benign as you want. It's not like there's any sort of official consensus on how bad global warming will be.
     
  15. Bandag
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    Bandag Member

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    Not sure if the OP is still looking for feedback or whether this has just degraded into "GLOBAL WARMING LOL" "read the science!" "Nah. Fox news, brah! Snow balls in congress!"

    In case you are still looking for input, one of the things that gets overlooked a lot is sun burn time and intensity. You northern hemisphere types think of sun burn as being something that takes hours to get, and just results in a little redness and sore skin for a day or two. As a New Zealander, sun burn is something that takes ten minutes, even on a cloudy day, and results in blisters, peeling skin, and horrible pain for weeks. Global warming will make that a reality for the northern hemisphere too. Your characters are going to want either SPF 50-75 sunscreen, or to stay indoors all the time during summer.
     
  16. HelloImRex
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    HelloImRex Contributing Member

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    Global warming has nothing to do with sunburn intensity. It has to do with the amount of UVB light that gets through the atmosphere, not how hot it is outside. The reason latitude plays a factor is because of axial tilt. In other words, the angle of the sun's rays as they shine through the atmosphere determines how much light get through. If they shine directly through the atmosphere top down then they pass through less nitrogen gas and less of the light is deflected. This is why they say sunburns are more likely from 10 am to 2 pm, think about where the sun is in the sky (This specifically is from the Earth rotating on another plane, but it still has the effect of increasing or decreasing the angle.). Anyway, this is all opposed to if the rays hit at an angle and then have to pass through more atmosphere on the way down. Then the light is less strong. Global warming would make things hotter, but this is because of the greenhouse effect. Once light hits the ground some gets deflected as infrared light which has a higher wavelength which means less energy. Less energy means it can't do things like create thymine dimers (cause of skin cancer) or burn you. Sunburns are caused by ultraviolet light, not infrared. Now, the greenhouse effect is that greenhouse gases cause this infrared to get trapped by bouncing off them on the way up instead of escaping the atmosphere. This causes things to heat up. Anyway, I don't want to turn this thread into an argument, but the sunburn thing really isn't something to consider with global warming because that's not how it works. You don't get sunburns from trapped light.

    Okay, I did a little bit of research. Good news for you. This was an interesting article.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2697050/

    I was pretty much right when their conclusion is that global warming will increase skin cancer because people will spend more time outside. They did mention partway through the paper an increase in temperature can actually cause UV light to be more damaging. This could potentially lead to an increase of 6000 cases of skin cancer per year. In the UK, where this paper was written, there's around 150-200k cases a year. I don't think that would noticeably make sunburns more intense. What you are describing isn't a 7.5% stronger sunburns. Its something two or three times as strong. Also, the other study that showed this did the tests on mice by blasting them with UV radiation in different temperatures, so I'm honestly not convinced mice in a higher temperature aren't just under more stress because they have to do more work all the time and accumulate more mutations. But that's a whole other thing, and would still probably happen in humans outside for extended periods of time. I don't know, maybe you have a point with the sunburns on a much smaller scale. However, I'm not convinced. I'll look at it more later.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2016
  17. Lew
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    Lew Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah, it is a little high. More like one to three feet in a hundred years. I have an MS in Aero engineering and write physics papers among other things, so I have some scientific credentials. When I got my degree in 1977 the big environmental bug bear was global cooling, and we were supposed to be up to our ass in ice now... if we didn't do something about the sulfates in the upper atmosphere that were blocking the sun, the same sulfates some have proposed unleashing in the upper atmosphere to stop warming. Navy students at Monterey were doing theses on global cooling for the Fleet Numerical Weather Center, and it was seriously considered as a cause for the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, because their ports were going to ice over and they needed warm water ports in the Indian Ocean.

    I took several course in non-linear dynamics and my masters thesis actually involved linearizing anon-linear model of a hovercraft. I learned that modeling non-linear differential equations such as the Navier-Stokes equation used in both aero and atmospheric science, is fraught with peril, and horribly prone to run-away with inadequate step size in time and space. Which is why the models in use have never been satisfactorily validated with past history, nor have their short term predictions panned out. I think global warming will be remembered as a bad joke a hundred years from now, if at all
     
  18. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    Actually, there were many more scientific articles published on global warming than cooling in the 1970s:
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/What-1970s-science-said-about-global-cooling.html

    And actually, regarding your "the models they use are crappy," the observed data and IPCC projections have panned out pretty accurately for many things. http://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-models.htm

    Maybe you should debate the NASA physicists on this? They'll understand the jargon you're using better than us. http://climate.nasa.gov/
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2016
  19. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hmm. So, if you can predict the rate of your bathtub filling up with water based on observable data, and then you say "by x time, the bathroom will be flooded," there's nothing dramatic about it. Predictions about coastal cities being flooded by sea level rise aren't exactly dramatic. In fact, if you look at what a lot of climate scientists have been saying in recent years, they're becoming frustrated because the public doesn't pay attention to their not at all dramatic papers. They publish year after year, papers that suggest that drastic government action needs to be taken. People only pay attention once the dramatization occurs, or when thousands of people march in the streets, or when people chain themselves to things to stop pipelines from getting built.

    If you look at what scientists are actually saying, there's nothing dramatic there most of the time. This NASA article, for example:
    http://climate.nasa.gov/news/2293/

    Sometimes, scientists -- like city planners and others who just crunch numbers -- are asked for projected scenarios, risks, etc. This is where they have to to some interpretation. Okay, if the global average temperature is up 1 degree, things might look like this. If by 3 degrees, this. If by 10 degrees, this. They do some number crunching and go, okay if we go beyond this number, some of the systems over here seem extremely at risk, and some messed up things happen over here. People who wish to prevent the bathtub from overflowing (because what a mess!) may want to resort to some dramatic communication styles because, switching back to global warming, it's not as easy as switching off the faucet. This problem requires intense public pressure on government, while government is being fed tons of money by industries that depend on pouring GHGs into the atmosphere. The civil rights movement was "dramatic" because it was an issue of human suffering, and once you organize around people being in pain, others start to listen. Global warming has become a political issue for the same reason, with the added oddity of the non-dramatic scientific papers getting ignored by policy makers year after year (in part because they're extremely difficult to understand, are boring, and because of the $ in politics issue).
     
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  20. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    My climate prediction about this thread is that it'll be exiled into the debate room in under 5 days. Call me an alarmist.
     
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  21. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    As many as 5?
     
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  22. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Sometimes the science is not as intuitive as one might think. :)
     
  23. HelloImRex
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    HelloImRex Contributing Member

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    Try predicting it when the rate the water flows in isn't constant. And then change it where it takes years to fill up. There's suddenly many more variables and deciding which ones are important becomes subjective. How much water will evaporate? Will the water bill be paid every month? Will the pipes rust? Is the jet of water coming out of the faucet of higher pressure during the day? Does it matter if its warm or cold water? On top of that make the behavior of this faucet a major subject in politics. It's not really so simple anymore.

    A scientific paper shouldn't be suggesting legislation. How is that okay? That just proves the point that bringing politics into this creates a bias. A paper should report the significance of data taken, not delve into the morals of what should be done about a problem.

    Thanks for a link to something, most people don't go to the trouble. Anyway, it's interesting that NASA made a simulation. There isn't much about what it says on the page, just that it's there and exists. I saw there was a file download, but I need to download software to run it and I don't feel like doing that right now. I have a suspicion it's one of those things where you manually change one variable and see how it influences everything else. A shortcut for people doing calculations. A tool for people to test their hypotheses rather than a single scenario that dictates how it will definitely go.

    How is anyone suffering from global warming? The whole premise is that the deleterious consequences are in the future. It reminds me much more of the public's reaction to nuclear weapons and the government's propaganda surrounding it. The whole hide under a desk if you hear the nuclear bomb alarm is what comes to mind. Will a nuclear bomb ever hit? Possible, but hopefully not. Will hiding under a desk do anything if it does? No. Will global warming ever create serious problems for the world? Possible, but hopefully not. Would passing laws to reduce greenhouse gases do anything at this point? No. The driving force of the civil rights movement was outrage at something that was ongoing, not fear of impending doom.

    The amount is what matters there. Its marginal compared to what the guy I was replying to was saying. It's significance is like the gravity of a black hole compared to the gravity of a rock (just a regular rock) when both are on either side of a spaceship. A sunburn that is on average 7.5% more severe (carcinogenicity is 7.5% more severe, this probably translates fairly linearly though) would not be noticeable for the purposes of inclusion into a story. Imagine a cut 7.5% longer, you wouldn't even notice. Latitude and time of day would still rule as the determining factors when considering damage done since they can vary the severity much more drastically.

    I am confused as to why a higher temperature near the surface would have any consequence, no matter how negligible, on the damaging effects of ultraviolet light. That's something I want to figure out. This is the specific statement.

    "Mouse experiments have shown that the carcinogenic effectiveness of UV radiation increases by 5% per °C, so a long-term elevation of temperatures by 3.5°C would increase the carcinogenicity by 7.5%. "

    If anyone has an idea on why this is the case please let me know, it's bugging me even though the consequence of it on the argument isn't significant.


    Anyway, I don't know how much we are helping the op anymore, if someone wants to make a thread in the debate room I can keep replying there.
     
  24. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    I encourage anyone who has never taken a university level course on global warming to go here. There are many free online courses on the subject. I remember when I took my first undergrad global warming class, and we had to read "it's real here's why" and "it's fake here's why" essays, and we had to dissect the arguments, cited sources, etc, and use basic climate modeling programs. The professor, Catherine Gautier, who I'd consider an acquaintance if not an almost-friend, is also very receptive to emails, and discussions about the subject. She is a physicist, and retired, and very nice (and French, which is great because... cheese). There are thousands of other climate scientists you can find on the internet, who you can email, Facebook, Twitter, and engage this subject. None of us in this thread are climate scientists, I'm pretty sure, so we can only refer to their work. Engaging them directly, if there is any actual interest beyond trolling, would probably be the best way to actually learn.

    Farewell, thread.
     
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  25. HelloImRex
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    HelloImRex Contributing Member

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    You linked me out to a google search of "global warming classes". Really? That's a little bit silly. Also, I don't think anyone is saying its fake. It's a question on if the consequences people always talk about are accurate or overhyped. "How bad is it?" is a different question than "Is it real?". And sure, I might take up the offer and email the expert you cited. I would probably learn some stuff that way. I do want to point out that when someone's best argument after a couple of rounds is to consult with someone more qualified than them, they probably lost the argument pretty badly. Anyway, that seems like the natural conclusion to this. Sorry if I cluttered the thread.
     

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