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Aberdeen
24-06-14, 03:14
I found this article from Associated Press. People who hike near glaciers in Switzerland are being encouraged to watch for ancient artifacts that have been uncovered by the melting of the glaciers. I suppose that would be good advice for anyone who goes hiking near glaciers anywhere in the world.

"Swiss scientists are urging alpinists and hikers to keep an eye out this summer for lost items in melting ice patches — items lost hundreds or even thousands of years ago.A project run by a Swiss cultural institute and a graduate student in Graubuenden aims to gather artifacts trapped long ago in glaciers — finds that are now turning up with more frequency due to a warming planet. The project — the brainchild of Leandra Naef, who has a master's degree in prehistoric archeology from the University of Zurich — encourages people to turn over things like wood or clothing they might run across in eastern Switzerland where the Swiss National Park is located. In recent decades mountaineers have found everything from goat skin leggings in the Swiss Alps to a corpse in the melting ice of South Tirol, each about 5,000 years old. According to the institute and her published research, Naef focused the most promising possibilities down to about 300 sites that are 2,500 metres high or more. She then prioritized them by how often they might have been used by past mountain travellers. Some of the sites she will try to explore herself, but for most she will rely on the alert eyes of other climbers and hikers, asking them to report any finds to Swiss Alpine Club huts. The institute is sponsoring the project through the end of 2015 in hopes of cataloguing the most promising sites for archaeologists to explore further."

LeBrok
24-06-14, 04:30
Isn't it a prove that during Holocene Optimum it was as warm or even warmer than today? Not only there was no glacier at this altitude but must have been green enough to make it worth for shepherds to get sheeps up there for grazing. I'm not saying there is no anthropogenic effect to current warming, just pointing things out for some people who might think that it was never as warm as in current times.

Aberdeen
24-06-14, 05:17
Isn't it a prove that during Holocene Optimum it was as warm or even warmer than today? Not only there was no glacier at this altitude but must have been green enough to make it worth for shepherds to get sheeps up there for grazing. I'm not saying there is no anthropogenic effect to current warming, just pointing things out for some people who might think that it was never as warm as in current times.

Yes, the problem with global warming for at least part of the world, for now, isn't that the world is getting warmer but the rate at which the change is happening - overly rapid change doesn't give the plants or animals enough time to adjust. Although if the temperature increase accelerates, we could eventually have hotter temperatures than the world has seen for a very long time, so that mass extinctions would happen even if the temperature change was happening more slowly. And of course in some parts of the world there's a lot of damage happening because sea levels are rising as a result of climate change because people are now living in areas that were probably under water when the oceans were higher in the past. And desertification can increase in certain areas when temperature rises - some areas that might have been uninhabitable long ago may become uninhabitable now, so the people who are living there must either move or die. That seems to be what's actually happening right now over vast tracks of land in Africa as the Sahara spreads south. I prefer to live in a country like Canada, where the concern is about retreating glaciers. I should take a trip out to your part of the country and see if I can find some ancient remains near a glacier.

LeBrok
24-06-14, 09:14
Yes, the problem with global warming for at least part of the world, for now, isn't that the world is getting warmer but the rate at which the change is happening - overly rapid change doesn't give the plants or animals enough time to adjust. Although if the temperature increase accelerates, So far it is not rising any faster than in the past. At the end of Ice Age warming was very dramatic, few degrees celsius within few hundreds of years.


we could eventually have hotter temperatures than the world has seen for a very long time, so that mass extinctions would happen even if the temperature change was happening more slowly. Usually the plants and animals move according to climatic zones. During Ice ages there was nothing in Canada except 2 km of ice, then during interglacial periods plants and animals move in. Similar in Sahara between dry and wet cycles. Mas dying off yes, but extinctions are very rare.


And of course in some parts of the world there's a lot of damage happening because sea levels are rising as a result of climate change because people are now living in areas that were probably under water when the oceans were higher in the past. According to this article, seal level has risen about 7 inches in last 100 years. Hardly it will do any devastation. Some pacific atolls are getting submerged, but the speed of sinking is not adequate to sea level rise. The sinking is mostly tectonic in nature, I suppose. We are talking about couple of thousand people being affected on some atolls. Canada or Australia can take these few extra emigrants in when they can't live there anymore.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/5e/Trends_in_global_average_absolute_sea_level%2C_187 0-2008_%28US_EPA%29.png
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Current_sea_level_rise


And desertification can increase in certain areas when temperature rises - some areas that might have been uninhabitable long ago may become uninhabitable now, so the people who are living there must either move or die. Actually the earth was much dryer during Ice Age. Warm temps make water evaporate, more clouds, more rain. If people cause warmer climate the earth will be greener for sure. It is called "greenhouse" effect for a reason. I think you worry a bit too much.

Aberdeen
24-06-14, 16:36
It must be nice to have your head in the sand, like an ostrich - you see no worries that way. But if the melting of Greenland and Antarctica accelerates, the ocean levels will start to rise dramatically. And an increase of even one metre will displace tens of millions of people in Bangladesh and parts of Indonesia. As for a more moist world if it gets warmer, that only applies where there's sufficient plant growth. Read up on the desertification of countries like Mali - large parts of it have become uninhabitable in the last few years.

LeBrok
24-06-14, 18:35
It must be nice to have your head in the sand, like an ostrich - you see no worries that way. But if the melting of Greenland and Antarctica accelerates, the ocean levels will start to rise dramatically.
The problem is that so far, with our scientific knowledge about climatic prediction, we are still at the face of ifs and perhaps. There is no agreement between scientists how much temp will rise when we double CO2 in the atmosphere, or what effect clouds have, etc. So far I don't see any dramatic climate change. Neither in speed of warming nor in the scale.
PS. I think the ostrich puts his head in sand when he's scared.


And an increase of even one metre will displace tens of millions of people in Bangladesh and parts of Indonesia. As for a more moist world if it gets warmer, that only applies where there's sufficient plant growth. Read up on the desertification of countries like Mali - large parts of it have become uninhabitable in the last few years. Warmer climate is definitely better for Canada. Can you be more nationalistic once in a wile. ;)
You can have it your way and stop producing CO2, but if air cools down one degree celsius, the cooling of 1800 hundreds will return and Canada will not be able to produce wheat for the whole world. There were no farmlands in the prairies for that reason at this time. It was too cold and too dry for wheat to grow.
Where Canadians will go live when Ice Age returns?
As you see, warming or cooling, there always will be changes. You don't suppose we can keep, if somehow we could, earth climate in status quo for ever?

Cool map of ice thickness change in last few years. In 2013 Ice Cap rebuilt and I expect the same after last winter.

http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/autumn_sea-ice_thickness_from_cryosat_2010_2013.gif?w=640&h=640
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/02/05/cryosat-shows-arctic-sea-ice-volume-up-50-from-last-year/

Aberdeen
24-06-14, 20:16
I suppose Canada will benefit from becoming warmer, but that wouldn't suit me. I find summers here in Ontario to be far too hot already. And it's going to get worse. Here's an article from the American news service Reuters.

"NEW YORK, June 24 (Reuters) - The old adage, "it's not the heat, it's the humidity," will come into play more often and in more places because of climate change, with life-altering results in southern U.S. cities from Miami to Atlanta to Washington and even northern ones such as New York, Chicago and Seattle. "As temperatures rise, toward the end of the century, less than an hour of activity outdoors in the shade could cause a moderately fit individual to suffer heat stroke," said climatologist Robert Kopp of Rutgers University, lead scientific author of the report. "That's something that doesn't exist anywhere in the world today." That result emerges from the heat-and-humidity analysis in "Risky Business," the report on the economic consequences of climate change released on Tuesday. The analysis goes beyond other studies, which have focused on rising temperatures, to incorporate growing medical understanding of the physiological effects of heat and humidity, as well as research on how and where humidity levels will likely rise as the climate changes. The body's capacity to cool down in hot weather depends on the evaporation of sweat. That keeps skin temperature below 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 Celsius). Above that, core temperature rises past 98.6F. But if humidity is also high, sweat cannot evaporate, and core temperature can increase until the person collapses from heat stroke. "If it's humid you can't sweat, and if you can't sweat you can't maintain core body temperature in the heat, and you die," said Dr Al Sommer, dean emeritus of the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University and author of a chapter on health effects in the new report. The highest heat-plus-humidity reading in the United States was in 1995 in Appleton, Wisconsin, when the outside temperature was 101F. While the Upper Midwest is not known for tropical conditions, climate research shows that it will experience more warming than lower latitudes as well as more humidity. As a result, the deadliest heat-and-humidity combinations are expected to center around that region, with threads reaching to the Eastern Seaboard and islands of dangerous conditions along the northwest Pacific coast. If climate change continues on its current trajectory, the report concluded, Midwesterners could see deadly heat-and-humidity pairings (which meteorologists call "wet-bulb temperature") two days every year by later this century. "It will be functionally impossible to be outside, including for things like construction work and farming, as well as recreation," said climate scientist Michael Oppenheimer of Princeton University. Even without killer humidity, heat waves are expected to take a larger and larger toll. The Southeast is expected to be hit with an additional 17 to 52 extremely hot days per year by mid-century and an additional 48 to 130 days by 2100. That could prove deadly for thousands: "Risky Business" projects an additional 15 to 21 deaths per 100,000 people every year from the heat, or 11,000 to 36,000 additional deaths at current population levels."

So more humidity isn't always a good thing. However, in sub-Saharan Africa, the problems are increased aridity and walls of sand advancing out of the Sahara.

Aberdeen
24-06-14, 20:21
Here's an article from MacLean's Magazine about ancient artifacts recovered from vanishing ice fields here in Canada.

"Greg Hare, a veteran archaeologist with the Yukon government, has been instrumental in assembling one of the finest collections anywhere of superbly preserved ancient hunting tools. Expounding on the trove of more than 200 artifacts stored in his Whitehorse lab, Hare might seem, with his scholarly manner and standard-issue khakis, all no-nonsense scientist. But ask him how hunters actually wielded these weapons, and he turns boyishly animated in his eagerness to demonstrate. All artifacts were found in several alpine ice patches in southern Yukon. Pointing out an almost 5,000-year-old throwing dart that rests under glass in several painstakingly collected pieces, he reaches for an exact replica on a nearby shelf. He fixes one end of the slender, roughly two-metre-long willow dart into a notch in a wooden board that he grips in one hand. “It gives you an extension on your arm,” he explains, “allowing you to hurl this dart with great force and distance.” Hare heaves back, slow-motioning a throw, complete with a phwew sound effect at the point of release. A short section of a dart shaft was the very first artifact found to launch the remarkable, ongoing saga of Yukon ice patch archaeology. Back in 1997, a local husband and wife were hunting Dall sheep up in the southern Yukon mountains, when they smelled something barnyardy, and found that the odour was coming from a mound of melting caribou dung. The strange thing was that caribou hadn’t been seen in the area for many years. That led to a sequence of investigations, including radiocarbon dating of the dung and then that first fragment of a dart, and finally to a grasp on what was happening: Climate change was eating away at the edges of mountain ice patches, revealing droppings left by caribou herds thousands of years ago—and tools lost by the hunters who had once pursued them. Wooden artifacts recovered from the yukon iceman site are shown on this recent handout photo. Ancient no longer appears to be the best word to describe the estimated age of the frozen remains of a hunter found last month on a northern British Columbia glacier. According to Hare, climate conditions on about two dozen Yukon mountains have proven to be almost uniquely suited to preserving organic material. Unlike glaciers that move, slowly grinding down any artifacts trapped in them, the Yukon ice patches tend to remain stable. Or at least they did, until gradual warming over the past several decades began to shrink them and reveal treasures. Among the finds: wooden darts as old as nearly 9,000 years, some complete with stone points, sinew bindings, bits of feather and traces of ochre decoration; a finely carved, barbed antler projectile point from about 1,200 years ago; and a size-four moccasin, 1,400 years old, amazingly intact, and believed to be a boy’s. “Some of it is very beautiful,” Hare says. In the first years after those sheep hunters caught a whiff of something, the ice patch archeology project was soon organized around annual helicopter trips into the mountains. The window of opportunity is limited: sometimes there is only one week every August, when the short Yukon summer has melted away the previous winter’s snow cover and perhaps exposed newly mushy portions of the old ice beneath. First Nations were partners from the outset, and Aboriginal field assistants often made key finds. But last summer’s search was cancelled entirely, when Yukon Native groups went to court to block a routine archeological permit. Rather than engage in a legal battle, the Yukon government withdrew the application. Neither the archaeologists nor the First Nations leaders involved would explain the clash to Maclean’s, with both sides saying they’re close to finalizing a new memorandum of understanding. Diane Strand, the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations’ heritage director and a key negotiator in the dispute, says she looks forward to bringing elders and young people from her community to work again with the archaeologists this summer. “Going out on a patch, doing the work together, and then coming together around a campfire, that’s going to feel good,” Strand says. Hare has similar hopes. “In the early days, every time you found something it was a ‘Holy crow!’ moment,” he says. “But it’s been 15 years. My objective now is more than anything else to get young First Nations students up there experiencing being on the ice and having the opportunity of finding something.”