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Matthew Huber of Purdue University  (Source: arcticstories.net)
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: PPM
By raddude9 on 7/3/2012 8:26:20 AM , Rating: 3
Because the water vapor is mostly occurring naturally, i.e. we can't do anything about it, and it cycles quite quickly, i.e. it doesn't stay in the atmosphere very long. CO2 stays much longer in the atmosphere once it's put there, and human activity is causing an increase in the CO2.


RE: PPM
By Arsynic on 7/3/2012 9:46:56 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
and human activity is causing an increase in the CO2.

You don't say. But is human impact significant enough to bankrupt corporations and nations alike trying to correct it?

Enviroweenies treat human beings as some aliens that came to the Earth to rape and pillage it and that we should make our foot-print as small as possible. I believe the opposite. I believe that the Earth was built with us in mind and that we should make as big an impact (responsibly) as we can.

What has me suspicious is the data (or the lack thereof) when it comes to climate change. The same people that like to remind us "Bible-thumpin' hayseeds" that the Earth is more than 7,000 years old show up with around 200 years of actual climate data to try and convince us that we're killing the planet. At least show me 7,000 years worth of data and maybe we can talk. :)


RE: PPM
By NihilistZerO on 7/3/2012 1:51:02 PM , Rating: 3
^^THIS!^^

And I'm an Atheist buddy. The skepticism applied to religion should apply to this Global Warming Cult as well. Even if we are somewhat contributing to the effects we'll most likely be long off fossil fuels (via market forces) before anything catastrophic were to happen...

Let me correct myself THERE IS NOTHING CATASTROPHIC THAT'S GONNA HAPPEN!!! Mankind is not steering Gaia's path. Mother Earth makes her own way.


RE: PPM
By raddude9 on 7/3/2012 4:28:49 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The skepticism applied to religion should apply to this Global Warming Cult as well.


But skepticism isn't applied to religion at all. I used to go to church all the time, and not once did someone stand up and question all the mumbo jumbo. Scientists frequently question each other and they don't even agree on how much CO2 is too much.

quote:
Even if we are somewhat contributing to the effects we'll most likely be long off fossil fuels (via market forces) before anything catastrophic were to happen...


I'd like to know how you see that happening. What is going to be cheaper than digging coal out of a pit and burning it???


RE: PPM
By raddude9 on 7/3/2012 4:18:59 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
But is human impact significant enough to bankrupt corporations and nations alike trying to correct it?


Correct away I say, corporations particularly don't like any kind of change because it affects their quarterly reports (thus hitting the impoverished CEOs in the pocket). They whinge and whine saying that they can't take any kind of hit, but when they are forced to changed their ways they do it quickly and efficiently.

quote:
I believe that the Earth was built with us in mind and that we should make as big an impact (responsibly) as we can.


I believe the opposite, i.e. Humans were built with the earth in mind, so let's not completely f*** the planet up.

quote:
At least show me 7,000 years worth of data and maybe we can talk. :)


good idea, we just need those damn scientists to come up with that time machine.


RE: PPM
By overlandpark4me on 7/3/2012 4:11:13 PM , Rating: 2
Get outside, the meth fumes are messing you up


RE: PPM
By ppardee on 7/3/2012 7:27:11 PM , Rating: 2
The products of burning hydrocarbons (gasoline, for example) are carbon and water vapor... thus Hydro... Carbon.

Interestingly, water vapor is also a product of the green poster child hydrogen and hydrogen fuel cells. Other common water vapor producers are coal, ethanol, nuclear power plants, swamp coolers, people, cattle, agriculture (from evaporation of irrigated fields, for example). Human activity has caused a very small increase in CO2 (0.01% by volume of the atmosphere) over the last 150 or so years. For every 8 moles of CO2 created while burning gasoline, 9 moles of water vapor are created.

You can't use water vapor as the demon gas in the global warming scheme because you can see and feel it. You need something invisible and nebulous to cause this kind of hysteria.


RE: PPM
By cscpianoman on 7/4/2012 9:40:04 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, hydrocarbon refers to the presence of hydrogen and carbon. You are correct when combusted to water and carbon dioxide, but hydro specifically refers to hydrogen in this case.

Propane combustion: C3H8 + 5 O2 = 3 CO2 + 4 H2O


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