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(Some Guy)   Earth as it might be in the future - guys, this does NOT look good   (all-that-is-interesting.com) divider line 39
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18407 clicks; posted to Geek » on 15 Jul 2012 at 5:14 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-07-15 07:08:38 PM  
4 votes:

HotWingAgenda: The fact is, the speed of light is one law we can't break blah blah blah


There are many things we don't understand about the universe we live in, and it is probably centuries too early to say what is and is not possible. It may very well turn out that interstellar travel simply cannot be accomplished, but all that we can say with certainty is that we haven't found a way yet. Your whole post is a fantastic example of the Dunning-Kruger Effect; you know just enough to think you know what you're talking about, but not enough to be right about anything.
2012-07-15 09:15:55 PM  
3 votes:
INeedAName:
HotWingAgenda: That first projection assumes it's actually possible to get to other solar systems. As much of a scifi geek as I am, all the hard facts point to us being trapped on this rock until Sol goes nova. We need literal divine intervention to get human beings to another habitable planet, assuming one even exists.

This comment is completely ignorant. To say that we don't currently have the technology as fine, to even say we don't currently understand the direction our technology needs to hear even makes sense. But frankly there are technically possibilities we most likely haven't even dreamed up yet. So to say it's impossible is rather ridiculous and short sighted.

I can only assume you're one of the congresspersons overseeing NASA.


No, he's just assuming we're a bunch of douchebags. Which we are. As a species we're far more likely to regress into resource-limited genocidal savagery than to pull it together, cooperate, and start launching giant trans-generational starships with crews of thousands of people.
2012-07-15 06:43:28 PM  
3 votes:

HotWingAgenda: The best we could hope for would be a colony ship that floats in the general direction of the nearest solar system for a couple thousand years, but by the time it got there everything onboard would be dead and decayed, because there's no way to replenish raw materials to sustain life in transit between planets.


I hate to break it to you, but if you look in the general direction of "down", you'll find that you're on something that's floating around, has lasted for more than a couple of thousand years, and not only has tons of raw materials, the vast majority are self-replenishing.
In other words, the Earth is a good guide for a colony ship. It doesn't have to be anything this big, but you also aren't restricted to something tiny. I'd say we should start with something like this:
upload.wikimedia.org
At 34 km long and 12 km in diameter, you've got tons of space to hollow out and build your biomes in.

Possible with even today's technology? Absolutely, although prohibitively expensive at the moment. Capable of a long slow drift to a nearby star system without everyone on board starving? Totally.

And it would be full of unrepaired asteroid holes

Space is really, really big, and a ship is really, really tiny. Even if you do see something coming, odds are it isn't going to hit. And if it is, you'll have enough warning to deflect it or change your direction slightly - remember, we're talking about a spacecraft, not just an orbiting rock.
And finally, even if it hits, All the important parts of your ship are buried in the center under a kilometer or two of rock.
2012-07-15 07:56:12 PM  
2 votes:

babtras: I've been thinking about how humans, assuming we'll ever leave this rock, will adapt to a new environment of space. All I am fairly certain of, is assuming we get off Earth before doom arrives, our descendants will no longer be human.

We'll probably have divergent species for each new environment we find. Including 3 foot tall silvery skinned folk who have evolved to survive with limited resources and high radiation doses of scooting around through space. Come to think of it, those Roswell aliens might simply have been time travelling post-humans.


I know that idea has been used here and there, but I'm surprised it doesn't get more traction in SciFi circles. It has appealing symmetry.
2012-07-15 06:49:14 PM  
2 votes:
10*17 years -All white dwarves cool to black dwarves.

But they're still mean to Mexican dwarves.
2012-07-15 06:12:43 PM  
2 votes:
When Andromeda is looming over the horizon as its date with the Milky Way approaches, it will probably be just about as bright as the Milky Way looks right about now. In other words, only exciting in a dark area.
2012-07-15 05:41:22 PM  
2 votes:
None of this matters as we've still haven't yet filed a complaint about the new hyperspatial express route coming through our star system with the local planning
department in Alpha Centauri.
2012-07-15 03:08:46 PM  
2 votes:
YTMND and a slideshow full of graphics from 2000?

This is old.
2012-07-16 03:54:16 PM  
1 votes:
I see this has turned into a global warming debate thread. I can't help myself, here's my 2 cents:

Is there global warming? Almost certainly
Man made? Very likely
Should we do something about it? I would be a heck of a gamble to not do something about it
Is it hypothetically possible for Government to plan and manipulate economic incentives in such a manner so as to improve or ability to do something about it? Yes
Are real Governments, in practice, very likely to wind up doing that? Almost certainly not
So, they're much more likely to make things worse instead? Yep
So, what should we do? Eliminate the Dept. of Energy, keep taxes low, less regulation, free trade, stay informed, take personal responsibility, and hope for the best
Really, that's all we can do? Probably
But, don't the Utopians promise us a Government-directed future where everyone goes green, holds hands and sings, and it all kinda looks like Star Trek: The Next Generation? Yes, but they're morons who don't understand economics or human nature
2012-07-16 02:00:10 PM  
1 votes:

dready zim: There is a plan to use an asteroid in a retrograde orbit to move earth out as the sun warms so we stay in the goldilocks zone. Anyone who thinks we can`t get off planet in a billion years has no idea how long a billion years is.


Anyone who thinks this species will survive a billion years has no idea how long a billion years is.
2012-07-16 01:19:31 PM  
1 votes:

THE GREAT NAME: I am claiming this practice is virtually ubiquitous, but since you demand citation, consider this: http://www.climatecentral.org/blogs/extreme-weather-report-top-stories / in which the IPCC actually goes out of its way to distance itself from confirmation (and hence refutation) by events.


Nothing in that link substantiates what you said.

As to your other points, I will note that you do not address the pink noise issue directly, and the statistical tricks you have done appear to be based on the white noise assumption. In effect, you are arguing my point by assuming it false - not convincing in a debate.

My point was very clearly about trend significance relating to your paragraph questioning whether there is much difference between a 12-year trend and 20-year trend. I showed that there is quite a significant difference. You mentioned pink noise in an entirely different paragraph. As it happens, use of reasonable levels of pink noise strengthens my point - 20-year trends are more significant than 12-year ones.

By mentioning annual and other known cycles you are missing the point. You and I both know about the established cycles, they are well-confirmed by successful predictions and simple, believable mechanisms.

Hmm... I remember when someone said 'Pink noise is scale-invariant, and in this context it means the system does *not* become predictable at longer timescales.'

Perhaps you'd like to modify this statement.

They are not really part of the debate at all. We are talking about the deviations, which are still not understood (unless you insist that some climatologist's model, which has not been tested on new data, based on a heinous blend of cherrypicked theory and cherrypicked fitting, and whose source code is a secret constitutes "understanding").

Models are constantly tested against new data. If you need any more indication that you really haven't put in enough research to be making the bold statements you are, observe the following lines:

GISS model E code: http://www.giss.nasa.gov/tools/modelE/
GFDL model code access: http://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/fms
NCAR CCSM code access: http://www.cesm.ucar.edu/models/
MIT GCM: http://mitgcm.org/
HadCM3 model code: http://cms.ncas.ac.uk/code_browsers/UM4.5/UMbrowser/

In your last paragraph, you still seem to inist on white noise (did you even bother googling pink noise before replying? Probably not, such is the hubris of the ecoist). Therefore, you insist that a 100-year trend must be a significant deviation from expected noise. Not true. When noise is pink, structure on this scale is entirely expected. Which is 100-year scale trends have been happening for as far back as we can measure.

The thing about global climate is that it is effectively a closed system involving the Earth and the Sun, and in the real world energy must be conserved. The energy arriving at Earth from the Sun must be emitted back out to space in the same quantity, otherwise the planet will warm (or cool) due to the accumulation (or loss) of energy. Also, a warming planet will increase its radiative efficiency (Planck response) thereby closing the gap on any energy imbalance that existed.

This being the case, what would it take for a random walk to cause 0.7ºC average surface warming in a Century? There are two possibilities: (1) shifting of heat from one energy reservoir to another, the only realistic candidate here being the ocean, (2) some small random(?) fluctuation causing a perturbation and then extremely strong positive feedbacks keeping climate moving in a particular direction, rather than the perturbation being immediately closed by the Planck response. Let's examine the options.

Option 1 is a priori plausible. However, observational data shows that temperatures in the deep ocean have been increasing. How can the ocean be the main cause of warming at the surface if it is also warming?

Option 2 is also plausible. However, it would require a system with extremely strong positive feedbacks. Given that GHGs have also exerted a warming influence over this period, it seems slightly uncredible that there could be two forces pushing towards warming with large positive feedbacks and yet only ~0.7ºC warming observed.

Clearly there will always be some "pink noise" component to climate but the evidence suggests it isn't overriding.
2012-07-16 09:53:29 AM  
1 votes:

THE GREAT NAME: The trick (actually one of many tricks) they use is to claim that we cannot confirm or falsify any current climate change theory.


Citation?

In order to make a theory that is both untestable and highly certain, they have to use various subtle fallacies in the presentation of the theory. For example, they either ignore or lie about the temperatures before about 1850.

Opening with vague conspiracy theories is not a good sign.

They claim trends as short as 20 years are "long-term" and therefore meaningful as climatology, but trends as long as 12 years are not. Not much difference between 12 and 20 years.

You'd be surprised. When trying to make conclusions based on simple statistical trends the first thing you need to do is test significance: that is, quantify how likely it is that what you see is not simply a chance arrangement of noise. For example I recently setup a little monte-carlo type test by producing a random time series of 1000 "years" with similar interannual variability properties to global surface temperature records, and a constant +0.02/year underlying trend (to test the idea of a 0.2ºC/decade trend). I then tested different length linear trends across the whole time series to gauge how far away they typically were from the real underlying trend.

I found that 11-year trends at a 90 confidence level could only be stated with an uncertanity of +/-0.23ºC/Decade (i.e. I couldn't state with 90% confidence that the underlying trend isn't 0.2/Decade unless a measured 11-year trend is less than -0.03 or greater than +0.43), whereas 19-year trends could be stated at +/-0.1. That's a considerable difference.

Of course, the length of trend required is determined by what you want to prove or disprove.

More insidiously, the actual basis for "climatology" as a discipline seperate from meteorology (weather forecasting) is based on a sneaky false assumption. They say that "obviously" the weather system is more predictable over long timescales as the random fluctuations average out.

No, the study of climate generally concerns the statistics of weather. There is no a priori assumption of greater predictability in this study. The extent of climate predictability has been a product of research into the subject. For clear examples of predictability see the regular shape in the annual cycle in global average temperatures (select AQUA ch05 from the drop-down menu, then tick all years and redraw), the regularity in the annual cycle of Arctic sea ice or the climate response from large volcanic eruptions ejecting SO2 into the atmosphere, both in the stratosphere (warming response, eruptions were in 1982 and 1991) and troposphere (cooling response). For an example closer to home, the changing seasons you experience in any particular location are a predictable expression of climate.

The question of climatic predictability over centennial timescales while perturbing with large forcing changes (e.g. increase in atmospheric GHGs, aerosols etc.) is to some degree an open one. The observed shape of climate change over the twentieth century has been shown to be eminently reproducable with both simple and complex models fed with estimated forcing changes. There is uncertainty in these forcings (particularly anthropogenic aerosols) as well as climate sensitivity and thermal inertia, meaning that some of these models underestimate warming while others overestimate. We can effectively extrapolate this uncertainty into the 21st Century and come up with an expected warming of about 1.5-4ºC based on middle-of-the-road assumptions concerning economic development. However, that means we're likely to be taking the Earth into conditions which haven't existed for millions of years, so the possibility of surprises is not something which can be discounted.
2012-07-16 03:49:17 AM  
1 votes:
AliceBToklasLives:
lisarenee3505: The chances of the human race nuking itself into oblivion are pretty slim these days.

Oblivion is very unlikely, but we're far from out of the woods: the gentleman pictured below is doing his best to ensure a nuclear war in the next 20 years.

upload.wikimedia.org


armchairmogul.files.wordpress.com
A.Q. KHAAAAAAAAAAAN!
2012-07-16 02:15:56 AM  
1 votes:

Captain Steroid: Guess I should quit slacking off and get to work on that Hyperdrive, then. -_-


I can help you with that. I live in Missoula, it's about a three hour drive to Bozeman, where I assume you are.
2012-07-15 11:23:12 PM  
1 votes:
Well, that was depressing.....time for a beer.
2012-07-15 09:56:44 PM  
1 votes:

vygramul: Theaetetus: vygramul: Note that the light green optimistic calculation has the earth leaving the habitable zone in ~3b years, not 1.

Well, that's easy enough. We just need to accelerate the Earth. Forward takes you out.

Believe it or not, that idea has been looked at. You fling very large asteroids from way out in the solar system, and if you throw it close enough to earth (and don't make a mistake) and throw enough of them, you can move the earth's orbit out an appreciable amount.


Given that we're looking at a billion years, you could probably use a solar sail to hold a large mass in orbit around the sun and in position in front of the Earth. The gravitational pull would very slightly accelerate the Earth, enlarging the orbit.

/Nice thing is that it wouldn't alter the eccentricity much, just elongate the year.
//Of course, we'd end up with lousy Smarch weather.
2012-07-15 09:54:25 PM  
1 votes:

lisarenee3505: The chances of the human race nuking itself into oblivion are pretty slim these days.


Oblivion is very unlikely, but we're far from out of the woods: the gentleman pictured below is doing his best to ensure a nuclear war in the next 20 years.

upload.wikimedia.org
2012-07-15 09:53:24 PM  
1 votes:

HotWingAgenda: That first projection assumes it's actually possible to get to other solar systems. As much of a scifi geek as I am, all the hard facts point to us being trapped on this rock until Sol goes nova. We need literal divine intervention to get human beings to another habitable planet, assuming one even exists.


=================================

You're going on the assumption that our current understanding of physics is correct, but there is growing evidence that Einstein missed the mark by several degrees. Take the (IMHO patently absurd) concepts of "dark matter" and "dark energy." Do you know why cosmologists came up with those terms? Because our observations don't jive with what Einstein's math was saying. It is more likely that the math is incorrect than it is that there is some mysterious "dark" force or matter floating around out there that cannot be detected at all.

/not saying old Albert was entirely wrong
//just that he was not entirely right
2012-07-15 09:52:50 PM  
1 votes:

Theaetetus: vygramul: Note that the light green optimistic calculation has the earth leaving the habitable zone in ~3b years, not 1.

Well, that's easy enough. We just need to accelerate the Earth. Forward takes you out.


Believe it or not, that idea has been looked at. You fling very large asteroids from way out in the solar system, and if you throw it close enough to earth (and don't make a mistake) and throw enough of them, you can move the earth's orbit out an appreciable amount.
2012-07-15 09:43:23 PM  
1 votes:
lounge.moviecodec.com

Simon: Even if we were to be enslaved by the galaxy's cycle of rebirth...
Yoko: ...The feelings that were left behind will open the door!
Leeron: Even if the Infinite Universe was to go against us...
Viral: ...Our burning blood will cut through fate!
Dai-Gurren-Dan: We'll break through heaven and dimensions! We'll show you our path through force! TENGEN TOPPA GURREN-LAGANN! JUST WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK WE ARE?
2012-07-15 09:34:20 PM  
1 votes:

davidphogan: I think a cool movie would be a sci fi retelling of the idea of Noah's Ark, but with the ships taking samples of Earth life somewhere else on a ship to colonize a freshly terraformed planet. Set it in the future where the Earth isn't doing so well. Eventually things would obviously go horribly wrong resulting in the tragic death of most of the crew, but it just seems like having a scene on the way to the planet would allow for a zero-g fight between a shark, a lion, a bear, and a hot chick with a spear. That would be pretty epic.


That was sorta the premise behind Titan A.E.
2012-07-15 09:31:19 PM  
1 votes:
I think a cool movie would be a sci fi retelling of the idea of Noah's Ark, but with the ships taking samples of Earth life somewhere else on a ship to colonize a freshly terraformed planet. Set it in the future where the Earth isn't doing so well. Eventually things would obviously go horribly wrong resulting in the tragic death of most of the crew, but it just seems like having a scene on the way to the planet would allow for a zero-g fight between a shark, a lion, a bear, and a hot chick with a spear. That would be pretty epic.
2012-07-15 09:20:50 PM  
1 votes:

Theaetetus: HotWingAgenda: The best we could hope for would be a colony ship that floats in the general direction of the nearest solar system for a couple thousand years, but by the time it got there everything onboard would be dead and decayed, because there's no way to replenish raw materials to sustain life in transit between planets.

I hate to break it to you, but if you look in the general direction of "down", you'll find that you're on something that's floating around, has lasted for more than a couple of thousand years, and not only has tons of raw materials, the vast majority are self-replenishing.
In other words, the Earth is a good guide for a colony ship. It doesn't have to be anything this big, but you also aren't restricted to something tiny. I'd say we should start with something like this:
[upload.wikimedia.org image 300x225]
At 34 km long and 12 km in diameter, you've got tons of space to hollow out and build your biomes in.

Possible with even today's technology? Absolutely, although prohibitively expensive at the moment. Capable of a long slow drift to a nearby star system without everyone on board starving? Totally.

And it would be full of unrepaired asteroid holes

Space is really, really big, and a ship is really, really tiny. Even if you do see something coming, odds are it isn't going to hit. And if it is, you'll have enough warning to deflect it or change your direction slightly - remember, we're talking about a spacecraft, not just an orbiting rock.
And finally, even if it hits, All the important parts of your ship are buried in the center under a kilometer or two of rock.


Yeah, this is what I was thinking as well, but maybe on an even larger scale -

Has anyone ever read the short story by Alan Dean Foster, "With Friends Like These"?

Big spoiler: At the end of the book the humans fly their planet off to do battle with another alien species. Oh, and they bring their moon with them because they're sentimental that way.
2012-07-15 09:17:05 PM  
1 votes:

INeedAName: HotWingAgenda: That first projection assumes it's actually possible to get to other solar systems. As much of a scifi geek as I am, all the hard facts point to us being trapped on this rock until Sol goes nova. We need literal divine intervention to get human beings to another habitable planet, assuming one even exists.

This comment is completely ignorant. To say that we don't currently have the technology as fine, to even say we don't currently understand the direction our technology needs to hear even makes sense. But frankly there are technically possibilities we most likely haven't even dreamed up yet. So to say it's impossible is rather ridiculous and short sighted.

I can only assume you're one of the congresspersons overseeing NASA.


Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind- bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space.
2012-07-15 09:01:50 PM  
1 votes:
Really? I have to do everything myself, around here.

www.alexhilhorst.com

static.tvfanatic.com

/Hot like the Earth in the future
2012-07-15 08:39:14 PM  
1 votes:

vygramul: +1 billion prediction depends on pessimistic estimates of a "wet" greenhouse effect.


That's the optimistic prediction for 1.1. If the oceans aren't gone by then we end up like Venus.

They have some other problems also--the 3.5 billion for the oceans is bonkers--the water is long gone by then.

Likewise, the current math says we just barely survive the red giant phase rather than being eaten. Earth's ORBIT is too close in but the sun will shed mass and the Earth will move out. It's still going to be hot enough to melt the crust, though.

HotWingAgenda: That first projection assumes it's actually possible to get to other solar systems. As much of a scifi geek as I am, all the hard facts point to us being trapped on this rock until Sol goes nova. We need literal divine intervention to get human beings to another habitable planet, assuming one even exists.


Here I disagree. All we really need is to eliminate death by old age. At that point we can get to other stars by fusion-powered Orion. Engineering to make Apollo look small but nothing impossible.
2012-07-15 07:58:17 PM  
1 votes:

HotWingAgenda: That first projection assumes it's actually possible to get to other solar systems off the ground. As much of a scifi geek as I am, all the hard facts point to us being trapped on this rock the ground until Sol goes nova. We need literal divine intervention to get human beings to another habitable planet, assuming one even exists in the air.


We went from nothing to powered flight to our own moon in < 70 years. True its been 50 years and weve accomplished little more, but most of our hurdles regarding advances in space travel are political.
2012-07-15 07:56:02 PM  
1 votes:
So I've got time to finish this beer then?

OK cool.
2012-07-15 07:43:01 PM  
1 votes:
I've been thinking about how humans, assuming we'll ever leave this rock, will adapt to a new environment of space. All I am fairly certain of, is assuming we get off Earth before doom arrives, our descendants will no longer be human.

We'll probably have divergent species for each new environment we find. Including 3 foot tall silvery skinned folk who have evolved to survive with limited resources and high radiation doses of scooting around through space. Come to think of it, those Roswell aliens might simply have been time travelling post-humans.
2012-07-15 06:36:05 PM  
1 votes:

HotWingAgenda: That first projection assumes it's actually possible to get to other solar systems. As much of a scifi geek as I am, all the hard facts point to us being trapped on this rock until Sol goes nova. We need literal divine intervention to get human beings to another habitable planet, assuming one even exists.


Fusion-powered "generation ships", man. Imagine how bizarre human society would be after a couple centuries living in space.

/no, I'm not high
2012-07-15 06:10:48 PM  
1 votes:

HotWingAgenda: That first projection assumes it's actually possible to get to other solar systems. As much of a scifi geek as I am, all the hard facts point to us being trapped on this rock until Sol goes nova. We need literal divine intervention to get human beings to another habitable planet, assuming one even exists.


This comment is completely ignorant. To say that we don't currently have the technology as fine, to even say we don't currently understand the direction our technology needs to hear even makes sense. But frankly there are technically possibilities we most likely haven't even dreamed up yet. So to say it's impossible is rather ridiculous and short sighted.

I can only assume you're one of the congresspersons overseeing NASA.
2012-07-15 05:47:37 PM  
1 votes:
I love those 256-color GIFs, welcome to the 1990s!
2012-07-15 05:38:42 PM  
1 votes:
Gets all preachy there at the end and is still bullshiat.

Apparently the Earth is gonna die whether we're nice to each other or not!
2012-07-15 05:34:45 PM  
1 votes:
Entropy happens.
2012-07-15 05:30:31 PM  
1 votes:

Ambivalence: I found the first "projection" to be wayyyy too optimistic. Although, I suppose it's possible that, the various cycles of civilizations that fall and give rise to new civilizations, it is possible that it would take an entire 50k years for us to advance to an interstellar species. So I guess it's not as optimistic as I thought. But that all assumes we don't nuke ourselves to oblivion before then so...wayyyy too optimistic.


Indeed. I have little to no faith in our species.

/One can always hope for the best that the endless pursuit for the illusion of power and wealth doesn't consume us all.
2012-07-15 05:26:50 PM  
1 votes:
Well, that's just like your opinion, man.
2012-07-15 05:15:14 PM  
1 votes:
I found the first "projection" to be wayyyy too optimistic. Although, I suppose it's possible that, the various cycles of civilizations that fall and give rise to new civilizations, it is possible that it would take an entire 50k years for us to advance to an interstellar species. So I guess it's not as optimistic as I thought. But that all assumes we don't nuke ourselves to oblivion before then so...wayyyy too optimistic.
2012-07-15 03:52:32 PM  
1 votes:
Nonsense.

The real story: Rapture (any day now)

~The End
2012-07-15 02:38:43 PM  
1 votes:
Guess I should quit slacking off and get to work on that Hyperdrive, then. -_-
 
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