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Thread: Did Early Farming Prevent Global Cooling?

  1. #1
    Advisor Angela's Avatar
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    Did Early Farming Prevent Global Cooling?

    Here is a recent study on the subject.

    I once made an off-hand and perhaps not very well thought out comment that perhaps the things we're putting into the atmosphere have actually prevented us from having another devastating Ice Age.

    I thought I would get lynched. :) In certain circles even minor quibbles with the orthodoxy is pretty dangerous.

    Non si fa il proprio dovere perchè qualcuno ci dica grazie, lo si fa per principio, per se stessi, per la propria dignità. Oriana Fallaci

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    I don't think humans had much of impact on climate till pretty much today when we, 7 billion of us, do things on industrial scale.

    I have few contr arguments to this hypothesis.
    1. Typical warm interglacial period lasts about 10-12 thousand years, so there is nothing extraordinary about our warm period, yet.

    2. We can observe steady cooling in our warm period, not a gradual heating up, to implicated human activity in it. Aside controversy of last 100 years.

    3. Anthropogenic effect on global warming is still unclear today when we have 7 billion people in our industrial times. What I mean we can't separate natural climate fluctuations from man made effect. How much effect could 10 million farmers have during Neolithic? We are talking about factor of 1 in 1,000. Even if we assume that current warming is entirely man made, the whole 1 or 2 deg C in last 150 years, then 10 million of Neolithic farmers can be blamed only for mere 0.001C.
    Be wary of people who tend to glorify the past, underestimate the present, and demonize the future.

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    I have heard this claim before about rice farming in China, but not farming in general.

  4. #4
    Advisor bicicleur's Avatar
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    Climate has never been stable nor pedictable, and today some people try to relate every climate change to human induced global warming.
    Human induced global warming was already an issue around 1960, but then there were a few cold winters in the 60's and it was forgotten for a few decades.
    Now it has been picked up again.
    But climate is so complicated, there is no way to tell what actualy causes certain climate changes.
    It is certain tough that humans play a role in global warming, but exactly what role is unknown. I doesn't prevent certain politicians and action groups to pretend that they know. There is already a whole industry living on this issue.
    Anyway the alternative to global warming would be a new ice age, which would be much more desastrous than global warming.
    I'm convinced that in the long future, humans will have a better understanding of climate and will try to manipulate climate to their benefit.

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