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January 16, 2006

Shocker: Earth Will Likely Continue to Sustain Life

Break out the Dom Perignon.

Earth scientists with the longest frames of reference, particularly those whose specialties begin with the prefix "paleo," often seem to be the least agitated about human-caused global warming.

Shut up.

And through hundreds of millions of years, concentrations of carbon dioxide and the other trace gases that trap solar energy and prevent the planet from being an ice ball have mostly been far higher than those typical during humankind's short existence.

Compared with that norm, the rapid buildup of carbon dioxide now from a binge of burning forests, coal and oil lasting for centuries (and counting) is but a blip.

Not only that, but apparently the Earth can sustain far more of us than the overpopulation-worriers think it can.

Dr Badescu and Richard Cathcart, a geographical consultant in Burbank, California, repeated Prof Fremlin's calculations, using more up to date thermodynamic models. Assuming that every person emits 120 watts of heat and that it would be uncomfortable if the average temperature at the Earth's surface rose too much, the researchers declared the Earth could sustain 1.3 million billion people without overheating.

Writing in the journal, the researchers acknowledge the Earth's resources could be put under severe strain long before the theoretical population peak is reached.

"Constraints like food availability or physiological necessities may become critical in the relatively near future. But they are subjected to a continuous change as a result of the development of human civilisation and technology," Dr Badescu said.

1.3 million billion?
Can you imagine the line at Sizzler? Forget about it.

Good paper on the subject of climate change here.

And a delicious little FAQ here.

UPDATE: That 1.3 million billion thing looking more suspicious and silly all the time. Does he mean shoulder-to-shoulder?

However, warming world coupled with higher atmospheric CO2...is a good thing for people.

In conclusion, the results of the several studies we have reviewed in this Summary clearly demonstrate that the concomitant increases in air temperature and CO2 concentration experienced over the past century or more did not exert a significant negative influence on the agricultural enterprise. In most cases, in fact, they actually contributed to the large increases in yield experienced over this period, even in the face of a temperature increase claimed by climate alarmists to have been unprecedented over the past two millennia and an atmospheric CO2 increase that may well have been unprecedented over the past several hundred millennia. Yet these two atmospheric trends are claimed by the world's radical environmentalists to constitute the greatest threat facing the world today.

They could not be more wrong. In light of the material presented here, and especially in our Subject Index under the heading Agriculture (Our Greatest Challenge), it is clear that we are going to need all of the extra atmospheric CO2 we can get in order to not have to usurp all remaining land and freshwater resources to produce the food that will be needed to feed our growing numbers in the years and decades ahead.


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posted by LauraW. at 09:45 PM

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