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Matthew Huber of Purdue University  (Source:
The paper describes what would happen to humans and other mammals if global temperatures were to rise a certain amount over the course of this century

A Purdue climatologist has published a paper that questions, "How much warming can humans physically handle?"

Matthew Huber, a Purdue University climatologist, wrote a scientific paper that describes what would happen to humans and other mammals if expected rises in global temperature were to occur by the year 2100. Average estimates from certain models land in the 3 to 4 degrees Celsius range, while others predict 10 or even 20 degree hikes.

Using a measurement technique called "wet-bulb temperature," Huber and Sherwood were able to model what would happen to humans if the 3, 4, 10 or 20 degree increases were to occur by 2100. The wet-bulb temperature method consists of a thermometer bulb wrapped in wet cloth and ventilated, which represents the most perfect scenario for a human to withstand increasing global temperatures: a naked, healthy adult standing in the shade while drinking gallons and gallons of water. Any other scenario that strays from this perfect example would place heat-related stress on a person or mammal to some degree depending on the increase in global temperature.

"We intentionally were trying to explore the upper limit of what humans can possibly stand," said Huber. "Essentially we were assuming a perfectly acclimated person, in perfect health, not performing physical labor, and out of the sun, and were then asking, 'What would it take to kill them quickly?' A real person would be profoundly uncomfortable, miserable and/or sick long before we reach the limit discussed in our paper. Infants, pregnant women, and the elderly would be especially vulnerable long before we hit the limit discussed.

"Thus, the global mean temperature increase of about >10°C that causes widespread heat death in our paper probably is a significant overestimate of the threshold at which substantial harm [would come] to societies and individuals would suffer harm and/or reduced productivity. Put in more prosaic terms, large parts of the world would be violating OSHA and international health standards for work long before we approach this >10°C threshold. But we wanted to be sure we had a limit set by physical and thermodynamic laws and not by human ones (since those are mutable)."

According to Huber, it's most important for the world to set a goal of what temperature increase to avoid. He believes avoiding a 2 degree Celsius increase by 2100 would be impossible by this point, but maybe a 6 degree (and definitely 10 degree) increase is preventable if the proper actions are taken.

If a 10 or 12 degree global temperature increase was achieved by 2100, Huber said people would likely be dying in the streets or running to air conditioned-only locations. However, increased air conditioning can lead to power grid issues, and the grid is strained enough as it is.

What would the world be like if we hit a 12 degree Celsius increase?

"My nightmare," said Huber. "I'm in Oklahoma on a hot summer day. Under a heat lamp. Running. Wrapped in plastic."

There is much debate over whether climate models are correct or not, so Huber's method of basing his results of off many of them (which have varied results of 3 to 20 degree Celsius predicted hikes by 2100) have caused scientists to be skeptical.

"The models aren't perfect," said Huber. "The thing to ask is, are they biased to produce a world that is too warm or too cold in the future? For 30 years, climate modelers have compared simulations of past climate change (glacial intervals, greenhouse climates such as the Eocene) against data and found that models get the general climate right but that they are systematically biased to be somewhat too insensitive to forcing. In other words, what modeling of past climates tells us is that these models are—if anything—biased to underpredict future climate change."

Another question addressed is whether humans can adapt to the increase in global temperature. Huber seems to think some can through burrowing, staying near bodies of water, reducing activities and becoming more active at night.

"The most direct way for humans to respond physiologically, which would take thousands of years if at all (we are most likely to change our behaviors) is to get small and skinny, to decrease our volume and maximize our surface area so we can lose heat more effectively," said Huber.

Earlier this week, ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson said that manmade global warming has been overexaggerated, and that humans could easily adapt to rising global temperatures. He also blamed a lazy press, illiterate public and fear-mongering advocacy groups for the bad light placed on the oil industry.

"We have spent our entire existence adapting," said Tillerson. "We'll adapt. It's an engineering problem and there will be an engineering solution."

Huber and Sherwood's paper was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Source: Mother Jones

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RE: Stop with the scam
By EricMartello on 7/2/2012 9:30:59 PM , Rating: 0
So the best they can do is make a prediction for 88 years in the future when nobody will remember they made it? Is that a nod toward Marty McFly?

Sorry, it's not even worth posting crap like this on a news site because it isn't news and it sure as hell isn't science.

Are you retarded? Even the Exxon CEO has admitted that global warming is real. He just questions our ability to really extrapolate the impacts that we will have over the long term.

No, he didn't admit anything. He conceded that fossil fuels "may cause global warming" and he stated that he feels the issue is exaggerated. What he did not do is validate the existence of man-made global warming on the scale that eco-morons claim it to be because it simply does not exist and there is no real science to back up any of their claims.

Read a little more.

Follow your own advice.

RE: Stop with the scam
By dgatewood on 7/2/2012 9:42:56 PM , Rating: 2
To cover yourself, you place the word "scale" because you know he has admitted to the existence of man-made global warming. He even calls this global warming, "manageable." When you state that something is manageable, you are admitting to the existence of whatever may be manageable.

I never said anything about "scales" of global warming.

RE: Stop with the scam
By AstroCreep on 7/3/2012 12:44:14 AM , Rating: 2
No, he didn't admit anything. He conceded that fossil fuels "may cause global warming" and he stated that he feels the issue is exaggerated.

Well, that's where it gets interesting...
In the article by DailyTech ( ) Tiffany Kaiser states "Tillerson said that fossil fuels may cause global warming, but argued that humans can easily adapt to the warmer climate.", however she cites the following article as the source:
In that article the author states "In a speech Wednesday, Tillerson acknowledged that burning of fossil fuels is warming the planet, but said society will be able to adapt."

So, I guess I should ask "Who is right"? Considering DT is referencing the article at Thetyee, I'd say it is Thetyee and that DT simply took "Journalistic License" with their article.

RE: Stop with the scam
By EricMartello on 7/3/2012 6:18:32 AM , Rating: 3
He did not directly admit that man-made global warming exists on a global scale. He did "acknowledge" that the earth is warming, but that is entirely pointless to mention because we already know that and as I've said before, I think that the normal state for the earth is a quite a bit warmer than it is now. The current relatively cool state is abnormal for this planet.

The problem is not that global warming is a "myth", it's that special interest groups have made it into a political issue and have taken it upon themselves to use ignorance to spread FUD to boost donations/memberships to their "non profit" organizations.

Furthermore even if he did come out and say "yeah, global warming is happening and the main cause is us burning fossil fuels" it still wouldn't matter because he is a businessman, not a scientist so he really can't make an assessment...all he would be doing is validating some eco-tard's baseless beliefs.

Climate models are easily dismissible because they cannot accurately predict weather changes within a 2-3 day span let alone a half century or more. It's a total joke that anyone would even take them seriously when article are posted telling us what the climate of earth will be 50, 100 or 1,000 years from today "if we continue on our forsaken path".

What the CEO of Exxon is trying to do is the same thing Obama does - pandering. He wants to sway public opinion in his industry's favor and nothing more.

"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs

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