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The Woolly Mammoth  (Source: Corbis/Royal BC Museum, British Columbia)

Ancient humans hunted mammoths, which some think contributed to their extinction.  (Source: On Charcoal)

Researchers in a new study claim that the extinctions, possibly triggered by man, caused the birch trees to take over in regions of Siberia, causing a warming effect of as much as 1 degree Fahrenheit.  (Source: EW Birch Builders)
Mammoth extinction 10,000 years ago may have led to as much as a 1 degree Fahrenheit increase in temperatures

Christopher Doughty, a post-doctoral researcher at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Stanford, California, has led a team of researchers that has reached some controversial and unusual claims about mankind's role in changing the Earth's climate.

Doughty, in a paper published [PDF] in the journal 
Geophysical Research Letters, claims that the extinction of woolly mammoths may have triggered a cascade of effects warming Siberia and neighboring Beringia by at least 0.3 to 0.4 degrees Fahrenheit.  If these controversial claims prove true, it would likely be the first example of man influencing the world's climate in humanity's brief history as a species.

The report may change preconceptions about climate change, claims Doughty; "Some people say that people are unable to affect the climate, that it's just too big.  That's obviously not the case. People started to affect global climate much earlier than we thought."

Previous studies had indicated that mankind's development of agriculture 8,000 years ago could have changed the Earth's climate, but the effects of hunting in mankind's earlier days were not thought to have had significant impact.  The new study draws its basis from a previous study in the November 20, 2009 edition of the journal 
Science.  That study indicated that mammoths kept small trees in check, preserving grasslands.  With their extinction, the darker trees grew, increasing the overall darkness of the terrain, absorbing more solar radiation, and ultimately triggering a warming effect.

The issue with that study was that it posed a chicken-and-the-egg sort of conundrum; warming climates would encourage tree growth over tundra grasslands, but tree growth could also 
trigger warming.  Doughty claims in his new study that in the 850-year period where most of the mammoths disappeared from hunting, the levels of birch pollen increased by 26 percent.  Using modern elephant data, it was estimated that 23 percent of this increase came from the death of the mammoths, while the rest was caused by the heating trend itself.

The team then compiled vegetation loss findings and climate simulations to pinpoint how much of an impact the forestation increased had.  They found that it likely raised temperatures from 0.4 degrees F to the nearly 1 degree F.

Doughty admits in the study that it's not been conclusively shown that humans caused the extinction of mammoths in the first place (again, this is a chicken-egg riddle as warming climates could have pushed them to extinction, but their extinction could have warmed climates).  Man did hunt the beasts, and its the prevailing theory that we played at least a small role in their extinction.

The study was funded by NASA and the Carnegie Institution for Science.



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Bull!
By spread on 7/5/2010 12:22:41 PM , Rating: 5
Can't prove the causes of the current warming, and these researchers think they can go back thousands of years and show that a few thousand humans caused a one degree fahrenheit difference in the global temperature??

This "research" is complete nonsense.




RE: Bull!
By Reclaimer77 on 7/5/2010 12:28:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The study was funded by NASA and the Carnegie Institution for Science.


That's all you need to know to tell you this study is BS.


RE: Bull!
By damonlynch on 7/5/2010 1:37:16 PM , Rating: 2
Talk is cheap. Show us your scientific credentials, or indeed, any evidence whatsoever you are better able to evaluate scientific evidence than either NASA or the Carnegie Institution for Science.


RE: Bull!
By General Disturbance on 7/5/2010 1:50:34 PM , Rating: 5
He has a brain, that's all the "credential" one needs.

Too bad you don't feel the same way about yours. Deferring to someone else's judgment does not make you intelligent...it just relieves yourself of the responsibility of thinking for yourself in the first place.

Have fun with that.


RE: Bull!
By sprockkets on 7/5/2010 2:00:43 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Too bad you don't feel the same way about yours. Deferring to someone else's judgment does not make you intelligent...it just relieves yourself of the responsibility of thinking for yourself in the first place. Have fun with that.


I once came across a wealthy lawyer who's AC didn't work. I told him it was the thermostat. He decided then to save money and replace it himself.

Well, after doing that, he wired it wrong, frying his outdoor defrost board, his indoor air handler control board, his reversing valve coil fried, and his 24v transformer. It ended up costing him $1200 to fix.

I left telling him if I need a lawyer, I'll call him up. Leave the HVAC stuff to me.

Get my point?


RE: Bull!
By Reclaimer77 on 7/5/10, Rating: -1
RE: Bull!
By damonlynch on 7/5/2010 3:01:16 PM , Rating: 1
So in short Reclaimer77, you appear to have no scientific credentials whatsoever - no track record of published scientific work, for instance. Nothing that would indicate you actually know anything substantive about what you're so aggressively discussing. In short, you have zero credibility when it comes to climate research, or evolutionary science, etc.


RE: Bull!
By SPOOFE on 7/5/2010 3:03:37 PM , Rating: 5
Appeal To Authority Fallacy.


RE: Bull!
By damonlynch on 7/5/2010 3:33:19 PM , Rating: 2
Actually I do not claim to be an expert on climate science. I never have. But unlike some people here, I don't go around trashing scientists deemed worthy of funding by NASA and the Carnegie Institution for Science.

Reclaimer77 and others like him/her have nothing to back up their often ludicrous claims. They shout loudly, abuse others, and make fools of themselves.


RE: Bull!
By SPOOFE on 7/5/2010 3:55:20 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Actually I do not claim to be an expert on climate science.

You don't need to for your comments to still contain an AtA fallacy. Your response eschews Reclaimer's actual comments and instead focuses on his authority on the subject.

If he truly were incapable of speaking with any accuracy about the subject, that should be made clear by his comments, not any degree or diploma or area of study he may have engaged in.


RE: Bull!
By damonlynch on 7/5/2010 5:49:17 PM , Rating: 2
You seem to wholeheartedly agree with Reclaimer77's implicit argument that he knows more than NASA and the Carnegie folks about climate science.

There are a few people with delusions of self-grandeur lurking here - but that's really scraping the bottom of the barrel.


RE: Bull!
By LordSooooStupid on 7/5/2010 5:58:08 PM , Rating: 2
"You seem to wholeheartedly agree with Reclaimer77's implicit argument that he knows more than NASA and the Carnegie folks about climate science."

And you are qualified to judge him? Let us see YOUR credentials.
Talk about scraping, this is UNDER the barrel.
Hypocrisy can be a funny thing.


RE: Bull!
By SPOOFE on 7/5/2010 6:53:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You seem to wholeheartedly agree with Reclaimer77's implicit argument

If you could, please cite which part of my posts was in agreement with Reclaimer's argument.


RE: Bull!
By LordSooooStupid on 7/5/2010 7:40:02 PM , Rating: 2
"If you could, please cite which part of my posts was in agreement with Reclaimer's argument."

My post wasn't in reply to yours.


RE: Bull!
By Reclaimer77 on 7/5/2010 10:08:53 PM , Rating: 2
You guys are so confusing I can't tell who agrees with who. It just sounded like you were sort of supporting me, now you say you aren't?

This discussion has turned stupid all around. So you need "scientific credentials" if you don't agree with every theory? Especially one a stupid as this?

That strikes me as the worst kind of position, and I'm honestly saddened by how many here support it. I wonder if you would feel the same way if it wasn't an article that enforced a personal belief?

Also, by your logic, you should provide me "scientific credentials" if you SUPPORT this theory. Because how can you truly support something if you aren't an expert yourself?

All in all it's a very childish attempt to silence an opinion. And one that, by now, people should know won't work on me.


RE: Bull!
By LordSooooStupid on 7/5/2010 11:08:17 PM , Rating: 2
"You guys are so confusing I can't tell who agrees with who. It just sounded like you were sort of supporting me, now you say you aren't?"

I'm actually agreeing with you. A lot of reply's must be going on at the same time. I've noticed them to be all out of sorts.

Credentials are only as good as a persons honesty or morality.
Money can sure change minds.


RE: Bull!
By damonlynch on 7/6/2010 11:48:52 AM , Rating: 1
Reclaimer77, I'm going to say this for the last time in this discussion: your claim is that you are in a better position than esteemed scientific bodies to make claims about the validity of climate science than they are. You offer no evidence that you have any justification in doing so. You have demonstrated no track record in scientific analysis. Furthermore, you offer no evidence that you understand how science progresses. The onus is on you to put up or stop making a fool of yourself.

I, on the other hand, am not challenging the climate scientists that I know better than they do. There is no need for me to demonstrate my scientific skills for me to find their analysis compelling. Similarly, if I visit a dentist and listen to her / his advice, there is no need for me to demonstrate that I'm an expert in dentistry. I listen to what the dentist says, and in as much as possible, make an informed decision.

This is all very simple.


RE: Bull!
By Ammohunt on 7/6/2010 2:11:57 PM , Rating: 2
So by your own admission Reclaimer77's belief on this subject has just as much weight as yours. Someone here is more gullible though


RE: Bull!
By damonlynch on 7/7/2010 11:39:38 AM , Rating: 2
No, I didn't say that at all. Reclaimer77's scientific understanding is a joke. Critics such as yourself seem to totally lack even a rudimentary understanding of science, and yet don't hesitate to shoot your mouths off talking as if you know something.


RE: Bull!
By LordSooooStupid on 7/5/2010 3:16:33 PM , Rating: 1
"So in short Reclaimer77, you appear to have no scientific credentials"

And where are yours? Let me guess, between your multiple accounts, you are now an expert yourself? I think you are just another hypocrite such as "lordPot". No free thinking at all here people, move along. Just another pie hole taking one or three for team Obama.


RE: Bull!
By YashBudini on 7/5/2010 5:05:51 PM , Rating: 2
"So in short Reclaimer77, you appear to have no scientific credentials whatsoever - no track record of published scientific work, for instance. Nothing that would indicate you actually know anything substantive about what you're so aggressively discussing. In short, you have zero credibility when it comes to climate research, or evolutionary science, etc. "

IE he has all the credentials of a Faux Newscaster.


RE: Bull!
By sprockkets on 7/5/2010 5:09:56 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Those boards have fuses on them so if a low voltage short happens, they won't be damaged.


Didn't help in his case. Fuse blew but the damage was already done.

Don't rely on hi/low pressure switches or float switches to save your butt either.

quote:
Besides, terrible analogy. That is something you can visually quantifiably inspect and observe. We're talking about something that "happened" eons ago. No proof. No evidence. No witnesses/documentation.


Since you missed the point, let me explain it in terms you can understand: The OP mentioned that just having a brain is all you need. Well, apparently not everyone is a mechanic, computer tech, lawyer, doctor or scientist, so you have to take their word for it when they say x or y is broke or this is why it is the way it is.

That's not to say you should take everything without proof. A person may not understand what a cap does for a compressor, but he/she can at least demand to keep the broken part as proof that I replaced it for a reason.


RE: Bull!
By SPOOFE on 7/5/2010 3:02:36 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Get my point?

So... because your lawyer's an idiot, only people with diplomas can be smart?


RE: Bull!
By Amiga500 on 7/5/2010 3:44:36 PM , Rating: 2
There was me thinking all lawyers are idiots ;-)


RE: Bull!
By SPOOFE on 7/5/2010 4:00:28 PM , Rating: 2
Which just makes his example even worse, doesn't it? :D


RE: Bull!
By sprockkets on 7/5/2010 5:16:24 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
So... because your lawyer's an idiot, only people with diplomas can be smart?


He's a good lawyer. He's a terrible electrician. Admit your limitations and hire someone to help you with what you don't know.

Another lawyer decided to ask on an a/c forum the proper way of replacing a TXV, then asked me and my fellow tech what we were doing in order to see if we were doing it right. When he heard and saw we were doing it correctly, he called our supervisor to thank us for doing the job right.

IANAL. He's not an HVAC tech. I'm not a scientist. If they say with reasonable evidence that the world is billions of years old, then it is.


RE: Bull!
By cyclosarin on 7/5/2010 10:48:38 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Another lawyer decided to ask on an a/c forum the proper way of replacing a TXV, then asked me and my fellow tech what we were doing in order to see if we were doing it right. When he heard and saw we were doing it correctly, he called our supervisor to thank us for doing the job right.


So you're saying a non-expert can do minimal research and find out if experts are doing it correctly or not.

You just seem to take issue when Reclaimer77 does it.


RE: Bull!
By Amiga500 on 7/5/2010 3:41:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Deferring to someone else's judgment does not make you intelligent...it just relieves yourself of the responsibility of thinking for yourself in the first place.


Actually, deferring to someone else's judgment is almost always a sign of someone who is smart enough to know what they don't know...

Better to hand a task off to someone else that knows more about the subject than plough on with little more than arrogance and hot air to get the job done.


RE: Bull!
By SPOOFE on 7/5/2010 4:06:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Actually, deferring to someone else's judgment is almost always a sign of someone who is smart enough to know what they don't know...

Your comment does not clash with Reclaimer's; he is correct that deferring to another does not make one intelligent. In that situation, a sign of intelligence would be WHO one defers to, and why.

quote:
Better to hand a task off to someone else that knows more about the subject than plough on with little more than arrogance and hot air to get the job done.

Better still to keep a critical eye on that someone else and scrap him, his work, and his opinion when it starts to look fishy. It's not like there's any shortage of smart dudes with opinions, and embracing a variety of opinions and having them compete helps ensure that the best idea wins out.


RE: Bull!
By arachnid on 7/5/2010 9:27:52 PM , Rating: 2
More trees means less CO2, which should result in cooling according to their peers, right?


RE: Bull!
By gamerk2 on 7/6/2010 8:26:30 AM , Rating: 2
Read up on Albedo. Darker surfaces absorb more solar radiation [Heat] then ligher ones. [Black absorbs, white reflects; basic science]. Therefore, more trees covering the ice would darken the planets surface, absorbing more heat in the process. The effects of Albedo have been extensivly studied, since modifiying a planets albedo has long been considered a key to any terraforming attempts [NASA did a LOT of studies in this area in regards to Mars in the late 70's...]

The theory itself is perfectly sound; whether its true is another matter. But you see how quickly climate science turns into a mess, with all the regional/global/solar factors to consider. Yes, more trees = more O2 = more cooling, but you also darken the planet which leads to more heat absorbtion.


RE: Bull!
By JediJeb on 7/6/2010 6:02:24 PM , Rating: 2
I had a funny thought that would go along with the article in a bad way. If the trees lead to warming, then we should cut down all the dark trees of the rain forests and replace them with light colored grasses or just soil to offset warming.

Just as the end of the article says, they don't know what caused what or to what extent. It is all just a guess, just as mine about cutting down all the trees. The only way to know for sure would be to cut them down, which would be a terrible idea.


RE: Bull!
By gamerk2 on 7/6/2010 8:08:14 AM , Rating: 2
Its called "albedo": Dark surfaces absorb radiation, and lighter surfaces reflect it. [Black absorbes, white reflects, remember?]. So the argument that the growth of trees affected temperature is perfectly scientifically sound [if not scientifically proven].

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albedo

The only argument is this: Was the tree growth due to the extinction of the Mamoths enough to affect temperatures on a global scale?


RE: Bull!
By JediJeb on 7/6/2010 6:28:57 PM , Rating: 2
Actually there is a second question: Did tree growth effect the temperatures and cause the Mammoth extinction.

Even the author of the paper said they can not know for certain which happened first.

It is just like one theory I saw on Discovery channel for a past extinction. They had proof that something caused a large rise in methane due to the thawing of the methane hydrates which coincided with a mass extinction. Their conclusion was that higher methane levels caused global warming which caused mass extinction. The other obvious conclusion they did not consider was that since methane is poisonous to most large animals, could the methane itself have directly killed off the animals?

The entire program was excellent up until the last five minutes where they all of a sudden linked everything to global warming, even though up to that point there was really no evidence pointing to global warming. It was obvious that they were wanting to link to global warming in some way, even though their entire program full of data left the conclusion open to several interpretations. A good scientist will put forward all possible conclusions, much as the one that did the study did, whether or not they coincide with their hoped for outcome.


RE: Bull!
By clovell on 7/7/2010 10:32:17 AM , Rating: 1
The article doesn't even talk about a global scale - it's conclusions stick to a regional influence. I understand how difficult it can be sometimes to separate fact from Mick-tion.


RE: Bull!
By clovell on 7/7/2010 10:29:21 AM , Rating: 1
The post clearly restates the conclusion of the article:

> Doughty, in a paper published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, claims that the extinction of woolly mammoths may have triggered a cascade of effects warming Siberia and neighboring Beringia by at least 0.3 to 0.4 degrees Fahrenheit.

Which means exactly that - the extinction of the largest mammalian species ever to roam the planet may have triggered a cascade of environmental consequences that rippled through a disrupted regional ecosystem, causing regional warming that, if true, would have been at least 0.3 degrees fahrenheit.

Researchers today can't prove GLOBAL warming, but they can give a pretty good idea of LOCAL or REGIONAL warming. Urban Heat Islands is only one (albeit a controversial) example.

So quit being such a f*cking tool. You either didn't read the article or didn't comprehend it, and yet here you are mocking it. Classy.


When will the US catch up...
By gamefoo21 on 7/5/2010 12:33:58 PM , Rating: 1
I guess standard/imperial is like hard line creationism in the US, it just won't go away, no matter how outdated... lol




RE: When will the US catch up...
By LordSojar on 7/5/2010 12:41:01 PM , Rating: 5
Indeed. The Imperial/Standard system is such a plague. I grow tired of conversions, and doing any form of research requires it when using American sources. Writing a technical document is an exercise in tedium thanks to the POS imperial system we cling to for no reason. Let me guess, yet another of my "crazy" views that makes me unamerican. "We're American, so we should be different and use a stupid system that the rest of the scientific world finds laughable at best, because we are different and aren't the rest of the world!" Did I do that correctly all my little xenophobic righties?

Creationism is a whole different issue, one that is just so silly, it doesn't even need further discussion.


RE: When will the US catch up...
By MadMan007 on 7/5/10, Rating: -1
RE: When will the US catch up...
By Ammohunt on 7/6/2010 2:56:07 PM , Rating: 2
I had the same experince we used the metric system in the Military. Seems the only stupid people are the ones that can't comprehend two systems of measurement. "OMG! how many litres are in a gallon of Milk! my degree didn't cover that!"


RE: When will the US catch up...
By quiksilvr on 7/5/2010 1:31:49 PM , Rating: 2
Think of it in a monetary standpoint. What's cheaper? Converting EVERYTHING, including the mindset that 38 degrees Celsius is hot and 100 km/hr is standard highway speeds, or just sticking with the current annoying system and asking Google how to convert the numbers?


RE: When will the US catch up...
By sprockkets on 7/5/2010 1:52:12 PM , Rating: 5
Converting everything. No more having two sets of tools, no more stupid mistakes happening when one didn't know whether it was metric or not (NASA), no more having to manufacture two different sets of products or program two different sets of measurements, as in HVAC, etc.

People like to hold on to our system because they like torque instead of newton meters.


RE: When will the US catch up...
By General Disturbance on 7/5/2010 1:55:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
People like to hold on to our system because they like torque instead of newton meters.


Correction:

They like torque in Foot-Pounds instead of Newton-Meters


RE: When will the US catch up...
By SPOOFE on 7/5/2010 2:47:28 PM , Rating: 2
Foot-Pounds is so much more efficient; there's only half as many syllables! :D


RE: When will the US catch up...
By LordSooooStupid on 7/5/10, Rating: 0
RE: When will the US catch up...
By LordSojar on 7/5/2010 4:03:11 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Stop being a cry baby and be an individual. Nothing wrong with being different or better


Using the metric system has nothing to do with individuality.

There is nothing wrong with being different, on an individual level. This isn't a therapy session, it's the scientific community. Adding tedium to calculations for the sake of being different isn't being different, it's being annoying. No one is crying except those who cling to this ridiculous imperial system. And... the imperial system is far from "better".

The imperial/standard system is vastly inferior to the metric system, widely recognized by the scientific community; since it uses the simplistic base 10 system, values are incredible easy to manipulate. It's far more accurate, can easily be expressed in both macro and micro terms, and can be converted and understood quickly thanks to universal prefixes.

Had your post have had anything to do with the topic, it might not have come across so naive; but, since you are clearly here just to post inane bullshit and attempt to have it considered as part of some semi intelligent discourse, it comes across as such. Go away, troll.


RE: When will the US catch up...
By RaisedinUS on 7/6/2010 9:01:37 AM , Rating: 1
"since you are clearly here just to post inane bullshit and attempt to have it considered as part of some semi intelligent discourse,"

Self righteous prick, take your own advice. More BS has spewed from your keyboard than I have seen in a long time.
LordHypocrite know what's best for us aaa!

" Go away, troll. "
You first asshat.

" it's being annoying"

Yes you are, crybaby.

Obama called, he want's you to take another for the Team. GO TEAM!


By RaisedinUS on 7/6/2010 9:04:03 AM , Rating: 2
Well, that didn't work out too well.
I was going to say: Looks like the children are out but something went wrong with the post. Oh well.


By Arlosaurus on 7/6/2010 11:50:32 AM , Rating: 2
I love the irony of USians hanging onto the system of measurement used by a country whose system of government did not "meaasure up". Hehe.

It is not like the US even really uses the whole bushel of measures. The folks who argue the hardest for keeping the "English" are usually the ones who only use the most basic subset of measures. Almost anybody who has to collaborate internationally works either in both systems or just in SI.

But if people want to buy a litre of milk and then use 2 cups of it to make a cake then let them. Go with what you know and let other people do the same. All you are going to do by arguing about it is get everybody hot under the collar and that will just cause more global warming.


RE: When will the US catch up...
By Ammohunt on 7/6/2010 2:59:04 PM , Rating: 2
So why don't we adopt base 10 time keeping?


RE: When will the US catch up...
By HoosierEngineer5 on 7/5/2010 3:54:30 PM , Rating: 3
So what's so bad with the English system? It's based on powers of two, which computers use natively (gallon/quart/pint/cup). We need to fix our money system also, where we have 25 cent pieces, but dollars are split at 20. Why have dimes which are two nickels, but nickels are 5 pennies?

Get rid of the silly metric system, fix up the English system, thereby use something 'natural'. In the US, home builders do binary fractional arithmetic in their heads (1/8 inch plus 1/4 inch is of course 3/8 inch). Simple as simple can be.


RE: When will the US catch up...
By SPOOFE on 7/5/2010 3:58:52 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
So what's so bad with the English system

Arbitrary relations between measurements, whereas the metric system is essentially based on a single arbitrary unit and everything else derived in uniform relation from that unit.

quote:
We need to fix our money system also, where we have 25 cent pieces, but dollars are split at 20. Why have dimes which are two nickels, but nickels are 5 pennies?

Coinage is based around convenience; note that the relations between the denominations is still based on a uniform and consistent system, even if the actual amounts vary in non-uniform ways.


RE: When will the US catch up...
By sprockkets on 7/5/2010 5:45:34 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
So what's so bad with the English system? It's based on powers of two, which computers use natively (gallon/quart/pint/cup).


Uh...

2 cups a pint
2 pints a quart
2 quarts a oh crap it's 4 quarts a gallon

3 teaspoons for a tablespoon
3 tablespoons for a oh crap its only 2 tablespoons for an ounce

16 parts to an inch
16 inches give oh crap it is 12 inches to a foot

quote:
In the US, home builders do binary fractional arithmetic in their heads (1/8 inch plus 1/4 inch is of course 3/8 inch). Simple as simple can be.


Or you can simply add 3 mm + 5 mm without the stupid conversion of fractions. Or do you prefer adding 5/16 + 1 7/8 inches all day?


RE: When will the US catch up...
By clovell on 7/7/2010 1:26:08 PM , Rating: 2
Not to nitpick - but you realize that with 4 quarts to a gallon - 4 is a power of 2...

Just sayin.


By Arlosaurus on 7/7/2010 2:28:42 PM , Rating: 2
Actually it is only in the US version of the Imperial system that there are 4 qt/gal. In the real Imperial system there are 5 quarts to a gallon. 5 is a prime.

Don't you love how flexible this system is? I think the number of pecks in a bushel is the same though. Wouldn't that be a problem if they differed? (just kidding)


RE: When will the US catch up...
By Motoman on 7/5/2010 12:52:32 PM , Rating: 2
I remember in 3rd grade (this is in the 70s, mind you) we had this BIG push in school to teach all the kids the metric system, because the USA was *going metric.* So we all learned the metric system, and I started talking in metric terms to my parents, grandparents, etc.

...who would typically just look at me funny. And then, lo and behold, the USA did no such thing.

I seriously doubt the US will ever switch. It's too engrained in the society and I don't see switching 300 million people from one system of measurement to another...regardless of whether or not the new system is more rational.

Remember that even the Metric system has it's limitations...I think it was France that tried to implement a "metric" time system - something like 10 hours a day and 100 minutes per hour. It failed miserably...people would accept a new measurement system for "stuff" but not for time.


RE: When will the US catch up...
By Murloc on 7/5/2010 1:18:03 PM , Rating: 2
you teach it in the schools and impose that all the new scholars will use the metric system from now.

Eventually the other system will go extinct.

You can still use the imperial system to measure your garden and how large your door has to be, but you begin by using the international system in scientific papers, the rest will come.


RE: When will the US catch up...
By omnicronx on 7/5/2010 1:45:05 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You can still use the imperial system to measure your garden and how large your door has to be, but you begin by using the international system in scientific papers, the rest will come.
Exactly, even in countries that use the Metric system, this still happens. Construction for example is a field where the imperial system is still used in many countries. I.e a 2x4 is still a 2x4 ;) Everything for the most part is still measured in inches.

Another Example is with Scales (KG may be the secondary measure, but the default is still pounds)


By Arlosaurus on 7/6/2010 11:59:29 AM , Rating: 2
But a 2x4 isn't actually 2x4 now is it? We all know that a 2x4 is actually 1.5 in × 3.52 in or 38 mm × 89 mm.

You can't justify a mesurement system with an example that is a label and not a actual measure.


RE: When will the US catch up...
By omnicronx on 7/5/2010 1:40:24 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I seriously doubt the US will ever switch. It's too engrained in the society and I don't see switching 300 million people from one system of measurement to another
The only problem I've ever had with this statement is that there are ALOT of Americans in which changing to metric would have little to no effect. I'm not meaning to profile, but how many people in the southern states for example know that there are 5280 feet in a mile? Or sadly 16 ounces in a pound?

This has always had more to do with politics than feasibility.. Nobody wants to be the guy that pulls the switch, it would be political suicide.


RE: When will the US catch up...
By Motoman on 7/5/2010 2:37:50 PM , Rating: 2
People may or may not know how many feet are in a mile, or what a furlong is, or how a nautical mile relates to a regular mile...

...but to say it won't effect them is absurd. All they know is pounds and ounces (even if some don't know there's 16 ounces in a pound) - so they compare products at the grocery store based on that. They know they weigh X number of pounds, that they are X'Y" tall, that their car's gas tank can hold Z gallons of gas, they can understand what 100 yards is, relatively speaking, but couldn't process 20 meters well...so on and so forth.

It would be a HUGE change for EVERY person in America.

Not that I'm necessarily against it. I'd probably have a mildly hard time with it now...but I'd get along fine in short order. But to say that there are "ALOT" (note: not a word) of Americans to which such a change would have little or no effect is ridiculous.


RE: When will the US catch up...
By Ammohunt on 7/6/2010 3:06:03 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think you give Americans enough credit the metric system is taught and has ben for a long time in American schools and know how long it takes to travel 5km or buy a half kg of cheese.


RE: When will the US catch up...
By sviola on 7/5/2010 1:45:44 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Remember that even the Metric system has it's limitations...I think it was France that tried to implement a "metric" time system - something like 10 hours a day and 100 minutes per hour. It failed miserably...people would accept a new measurement system for "stuff" but not for time.


Just to let you know, second is a unit in the metric system


RE: When will the US catch up...
By SPOOFE on 7/5/2010 2:55:25 PM , Rating: 2
France's attempt at metric time would have created the "metric second", which would have been slightly shorter than a regular second; a minute would have been 100 such seconds and would have been slightly longer than a regular minute. Let's not even get into the nonsense of the metric calendar...

It didn't go over well, and "metric time" was scrapped, leaving us with the de facto standard of time we all know and love.


RE: When will the US catch up...
By Nfarce on 7/5/2010 4:02:12 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
I remember in 3rd grade (this is in the 70s, mind you) we had this BIG push in school to teach all the kids the metric system, because the USA was *going metric.*


Word up, fellow '70s childhood friend. I also remember the speed limit signs being posted with KHR numbers too. Even better we witnessed the transition on our automobile speedometers to also read KHR. The wildest speedometer that I ever had was in an '84 Z-28 which had one needle that pointed one at MPH and one at KPH on opposite sides, just like a compass needle.

But over the years I've learned distance and the metric system due to my experience with racing and flying (a meter is 3.28 feet, or roughly 3 feet 3 inches, and a kilometer roughly .62 miles). I've also learned the C vs. F difference, especially with PC building and overclocking: I know what 50 degrees Celsius vs. 58 degrees means to my CPU as the voltage goes up.

Now regarding weights, like grams, that's something I'll never get. I know how much a pound is and what 3,350 pounds means to a Nissan 370Z. Don't ask me what 1,600 kilograms means.


RE: When will the US catch up...
By SPOOFE on 7/5/2010 4:07:54 PM , Rating: 2
I learned the difference between metric and imperial by being a Star Wars dweeb back in the day: A Star Destroyer is 1.6 kilometers, or 1 mile, long. Makes many larger distance conversions easier to do in my head. :D


By LordSojar on 7/5/2010 6:07:49 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Now regarding weights, like grams, that's something I'll never get. I know how much a pound is and what 3,350 pounds means to a Nissan 370Z. Don't ask me what 1,600 kilograms means.


Grams is a measure of how massive an object is (mass). Mass is a measure of just the material itself, not including gravity (weight is mass X gravity).

F=m*a, where F=weight, m=mass, and a=gravity (accleration)

So... to calculate weight in the metric system...

F=(mass)x 10 m/s^2. F will be expressed in Newtons.

Thus, a 1kg object weighs 10 Newtons.


Oh great NASA again.
By Swedishelk on 7/5/2010 1:18:35 PM , Rating: 4
NASA should be renamed the fun with fiction company.

or

FWFC




RE: Oh great NASA again.
By LordSojar on 7/5/2010 4:10:34 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
NASA should be renamed the fun with fiction company. or FWFC


You have NASA to thank for about 100 modern technologies you use daily. I'd stop there while you still can, else NASA might slap you with a Velcro pimp glove.


RE: Oh great NASA again.
By imaheadcase on 7/5/2010 10:29:21 PM , Rating: 2
The 100 or so technologies that would be invented without NASA eventually. The only thing NASA did was pump billions into the research to find them.


RE: Oh great NASA again.
By Reclaimer77 on 7/6/2010 2:17:39 AM , Rating: 2
That was in the past. NASA doesn't have the funding to do that anymore on the scale it's been used to. NASA is slowly being transformed from a space exploration firm, to a politically based climate change mouthpiece of the Obama administration. How many satellites from NASA are pointing to Earth, shouldn't they pointing to SPACE?


RE: Oh great NASA again.
By gamerk2 on 7/6/2010 8:15:19 AM , Rating: 2
NASA isn't just a space agency, and never has been. Don't forget it was created out of an agency that was primarilly responsable for atmospheric studies.


RE: Oh great NASA again.
By Reclaimer77 on 7/6/2010 11:20:07 AM , Rating: 2
Right, the whole moon landing, hundreds of shuttle launches, and thousands of general launches and orbits around the Earth was just a side gig.


So in conclusion...
By Amiga500 on 7/5/2010 1:14:35 PM , Rating: 3
We should continue to cut down the rainforests, as the darker vegetation is contributing to "global warming"?

In addition, we should also remove many other forests the world over, replacing them with grassland to graze methane producing cattle on?

Amiga is confused....




RE: So in conclusion...
By Scabies on 7/5/2010 1:20:25 PM , Rating: 3
I was just in the middle of starting a thread along these lines. It really seems like people are grasping at straws, but then somehow they get celebrated (and paid) for the tripe they come up with.

man killed all the mammoths
mammoths ate all the trees
trees make the world hot
Nobel Prize

I wonder if we can tax the neanderthal for this one-degree shift? Maybe Obama can land another prize for that one (he could just talk about it instead, that's cool too.)


RE: So in conclusion...
By JonnyDough on 7/6/10, Rating: 0
RE: So in conclusion...
By Reclaimer77 on 7/6/2010 11:22:01 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
You know the best thing for the earth would be for humans to do...nothing. And by that I mean stop eating.


Ok you go first. We're all right behind you on that.


RE: So in conclusion...
By JonnyDough on 7/6/2010 6:59:41 PM , Rating: 1
Or, we could just stop making so many more mouths to feed...

and by that I mean you. Don't reproduce.


Come on man . . .
By blueboy09 on 7/5/2010 7:57:03 PM , Rating: 2
Jason, were you really there to see if the extinction came before warming? People just keep on pulling ideas and theories out of their ass these days. We can't assume what happened, since none of us were there to being with, period. When you build a time machine, let me know and then we can find out. - BLUEBOY




RE: Come on man . . .
By gamerk2 on 7/6/2010 8:21:52 AM , Rating: 2
Well, we can determine when the planet started to heat up via various means, and we can use carbon dating to date the latest known mammoth fossil, so yes, you should be able to determin which event started to occur first.


Farts
By btc909 on 7/6/2010 12:55:11 AM , Rating: 2
So Mammoth farts altered the Earths temperature, oh great.




RE: Farts
By gamerk2 on 7/6/2010 8:10:00 AM , Rating: 2
Its called "albedo": Dark surfaces absorb radiation, and lighter surfaces reflect it. [Black absorbes, white reflects, remember?]. So the argument that the growth of trees affected temperature is perfectly scientifically sound [if not scientifically proven].

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albedo

The only argument is this: Was the tree growth due to the extinction of the Mamoths enough to affect temperatures on a global scale?


More than one cause
By Arlosaurus on 7/6/2010 11:38:50 AM , Rating: 3
We have all been around long enough to know that there is rarely ever just a single cause for historically significant events be they historical, political or environmental. This paper is presenting one theory to explain what was a dramatic environmental change about 10,000 years ago.

Another paper came out in the past few days that also looked at the extinction of "mega-fauna" in the same time frame. This paper in the journal BioScience use a series of events called a "trophic cascade" to explain how mega-fauna could have gone extinct soon after humans arrived in North America.

I think if you combine the two theories you start to see how different pieces of the puzzle fit together. It is even more compelling if you have ever seen how animals such as beavers in NA or feral pigs in Australia can change a local eco-system. The point here is that animals have always had an impact on the environment since the beginning of time with single-celled plankton pumping O2 into the atmosphere.

How hard is it to believe that we could come along and help push things one way or another by inadvertently wiping out mega-fauna?




By Stuart21 on 7/5/2010 8:14:38 PM , Rating: 2
So what's so bad with the English system?

If the Hinglish system is so good, why don't the Hinglish use it?




Climate changed period.
By DarthKaos on 7/6/2010 11:32:25 AM , Rating: 2
The point I took away from this article is that humans are finally admitting that temperature change could take place for many different reasons and we will continue to investigate all possibilities.

All you skeptics out there can keep being skeptics. Anyone who flat says "humans are not affecting the planet" can keep closing your eyes to the possibilities of humans holding the fate of the world in their greedy little hands.

Anyone else out there like me who believes in all the possibilities? If so keep doing what you can and keep learning as much as possible so maybe someone will be ready to do something after this rock decides it has had enough of our species.




"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007














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