Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tension: Will it be Fire or Ice?

Fire and Ice

by Robert Frost

Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice. From what I've tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire. But if it had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate To say that for destruction ice Is also great And would suffice.

Global Warming is all the rage based on exactly what? Weather patterns operate on the many time scales. They don't call "Ice Ages" ages for nothing. Nor is weather a well understood phenomenon else our forecasts would be more accurate.
The current brouhaha about global warming is only a couple of decades long. Prior to that there was concern about global cooling. Since we've been coming out of the last ice age for a very long time, I think warming is the better hypothesis unless we're going into the next ice age. They are cyclic after all and there are a few very good reasons for that, mostly having to do with things like the sun and the earth's orbit and axial tilt and almost nothing to do with CO2, which by the way is essential to the plant life that we all survive by eating.
So will the world end in Fire or in Ice? The answer is both. There will be more ice ages before the earth and life on earth ends. They will probably not be very different from those of the past. But the time will come when the sun runs out of fuel and explodes as a nova. For a short time on the galactic scale the earth will be crisped and if it physically survives that experience it will become a very cold place as the sun collapses. Meanwhile, don't worry about a thing ... It's just weather.

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