Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Saturday, June 09, 2018

We have a pretty good idea of what Earth's atmosphere has looked like for the past 800,000 years. Humans like us -- Homo sapiens -- only evolved about 200,000 years ago, but ice-core records reveal intricate details of our planet's history from long before humans existed. By drilling more than 3 kilometers deep into the ice sheets over Greenland and Antarctica, scientists can see how temperature and atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have changed from then until now.

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For the 800,000 years we have records of, average global CO2 levels fluctuated between about 170 ppm and 280 ppm. Once humans started to burn fossil fuels in the industrial era, things changed rapidly.

Only in the industrial era has the number risen above 300 ppm. The concentration first crept above 400 ppm in 2013, and continues to climb.

Scientists debate the last time CO2 levels were this high. It might have happened during the Pliocene era, between 2 and 4.6 million years ago, when sea levels were at least 60 to 80 feet higher than today. It may have been in the Miocene, 10 to 14 million years ago, when seas were more than 100 feet higher than now.

In our 800,000-year record, it took about 1,000 years for CO2 levels to increase by 35 ppm. We're currently averaging an increase of more than 2 ppm per year, meaning that we could hit an average of 500 ppm within the next 45 years, if not sooner.

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Yep. Doomed. I'll have to make sure my new cyborg body can swim.

#1 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2018-06-09 08:18 PM | Reply

So?

#2 | Posted by sawdust at 2018-06-10 12:38 AM | Reply

So maybe we should do something about it.

#3 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2018-06-10 02:32 AM | Reply

I didn't know they had co2 monitors 800,000 years ago.

#4 | Posted by Sniper at 2018-06-10 09:46 AM | Reply | Funny: 1

They use ice cores, Sniper. Read the article. This is the same method that was explained to me 30 years ago in college. If I could understand it then, so can you. They drill down into ice sheets and glaciers, bringing back up long cylinders of ice with trapped bubbles in it. They then take slices every so often and measure the carbon dioxide content, among other gasses, at various levels and plot it on a graph.

#5 | Posted by madscientist at 2018-06-10 10:01 AM | Reply

Plants love it.

#6 | Posted by visitor_ at 2018-06-10 10:08 AM | Reply

#4 Really? You don't know how ice cores work? How about tree rings? The various forms of isotopic dating? Um, how about the growth rate coral reefs? Did you know the Earth is round?

#7 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2018-06-10 10:34 AM | Reply

Maybe some people want to trust the scientists, but they'd like to know how they're going about gathering the data. This article explains it very well. At least or better than my Analytical Chemistry textbook did. Sniper is unwittingly performing a role in the elucidation of this information by his play-acting of obtuseness.

#8 | Posted by madscientist at 2018-06-10 11:01 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

...play-acting of obtuseness.

I'm sure his obtuseness is quite genuine.

#9 | Posted by REDIAL at 2018-06-10 11:10 AM | Reply

According to the campus tour and other science hype at FSU, we have the largest collection of ice cores in the World.

Or at least we did.... :( www.nature.com

#10 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2018-06-10 11:13 AM | Reply

unwittingly performing a role in the elucidation of this information by his play-acting of obtuseness.

#8 | POSTED BY MADSCIENTIST

You are a gentleman and a scholar. *tips fedora*

#11 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2018-06-10 11:14 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

At least we still have the largest magnet ever made, which may help explain the weird weather patterns that we would have in the area.

#12 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2018-06-10 11:17 AM | Reply

For anyone else curious, FSU's ice cores were moved across the country to OregonStateU, and are protected by a geologist with the last name of Stoner.

Www.today.oregonstate.edu/archives/2017/mar/osu-expand-sediment-core-collection-one-largest-world

#13 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2018-06-10 11:20 AM | Reply

#10 That's awful that the US can't keep those cores stored somewhere. You'd think the NSF would find the money from someone.

Nature is an excellent scientific source, by the way. One of the best. I wish I could afford to buy a years' subscription.

#14 | Posted by madscientist at 2018-06-10 11:20 AM | Reply

Good for Oregon State. These types of samples aren't that easy to come by.

#15 | Posted by madscientist at 2018-06-10 11:21 AM | Reply

Nature is an excellent scientific source, by the way. One of the best. I wish I could afford to buy a years' subscription.
#14 | POSTED BY MADSCIENTIST

Yesss, you definitely get what you pay for with that journal, but it's really pricey for the layman :(

#16 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2018-06-10 11:25 AM | Reply

The governments of the world know the CO2 concentration is causing warming. The burning of fossil fuels isn't likely to go away...China and India will still burn them, and the US and Britain will sell it to them. For a tidy profit.

The politicians don't know what to do about it, so that it won't wreck the global economy.

Oil is an excellent store of chemical energy. Somebody's going to use it.

My old boss said oil is too precious a commodity to burn.

#17 | Posted by madscientist at 2018-06-10 11:26 AM | Reply

I just looked it up and the price has gone down to $199/year for a personal subscription. I might look into it again.

Some scientific journals cost upwards of $20,000/year.

#18 | Posted by madscientist at 2018-06-10 11:29 AM | Reply

I just looked it up and the price has gone down to $199/year for a personal subscription. I might look into it again.

Some scientific journals cost upwards of $20,000/year.

#19 | Posted by madscientist at 2018-06-10 11:29 AM | Reply

I just looked it up and the price has gone down to $199/year for a personal subscription. I might look into it again.

Some scientific journals cost upwards of $20,000/year.

#20 | Posted by madscientist at 2018-06-10 11:29 AM | Reply

Well, that was odd.

#21 | Posted by madscientist at 2018-06-10 11:30 AM | Reply

#5 | Posted by madscientist & others

The only way to deal with Moscow trolls like snippy is to totally ignore them. They probably get paid for each reply. Arguing does no good. They're paid to dispense a certain view and that's what they're going to do.

#22 | Posted by SomebodyElse at 2018-06-10 11:48 AM | Reply

I didn't know they had co2 monitors 800,000 years ago.

#4 | POSTED BY SNIPER

Why do you even bother posting? You know whatever you post is guaranteed to be wrong.

#23 | Posted by jpw at 2018-06-10 12:35 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 5

I usually ignore him. But he made himself useful in his mocking sarcasm by providing a starting point to explain how the geologists, biologists, physicists, environmental scientists, and chemists go about analyzing the data.

It's what helped it "click" for me a long time ago. In other words, being skeptical, I remember wanting to know how scientists knew this information. When I found out, I was embarrassed that I hadn't had the tools to find out.

Today, with the internet, there's no excuse for being ignorant. You have to be prepared enough to winnow out the -------- from the real information. Sometimes it even takes a degree in a hard science to do it.

I've never wanted to be one of the stereotypical scientists that are arrogant ------- blowhards. And nobody likes a know-it-all or a show off.

#24 | Posted by madscientist at 2018-06-10 12:39 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

#23 He's still stuck in the "oh, yeah, prove it" mentality. Instead of researching the information for himself. It's a lazy way of misusing the Socratic method. Because, with asking enough questions, you'll eventually find the limit of someones knowledge on a subject. Goatman used to do it incessantly.

I figured in his case it was the "technician" vs. the "college boy" mentality. Sniper's using it lately.

People who never got their degree love to belittle people who did as a defense mechanism. It's really unnecessary. Since many jobs require a degree. Such as a Biologist, Chemist, Physicist, Engineer, Pharmacist, etc.

#25 | Posted by madscientist at 2018-06-10 12:47 PM | Reply

You have to be prepared enough to winnow out the -------- from the real information. Sometimes it even takes a degree in a hard science to do it.

Often times a little bit of humility as well to acknowledge that somebody who's lived the topic for decades has something to teach you.

#26 | Posted by jpw at 2018-06-10 01:03 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

People who never got their degree love to belittle people who did as a defense mechanism.

I'll only belittle those with degrees when they deserve it. Like the guy who tries and tells me how to fix his fireplace. Dude if you know so much why the F are you paying me 75 bucks an hour to do it? Sit down shut up and let me work. Or the one who tries to explain how the stone fascia on his house is done wrong and won't support the weight. Hey jackass it's fascia not support it just has to stay stuck.

Engineers are the worst, not sure why my dad was an engineer and he had a bit of renaissance man in him but if he hired a guy to do a job he just said what he wanted and trusted the professional to figure it out.

Sorry rant over. Back to your regularly scheduled CO2 measurement.

#27 | Posted by TaoWarrior at 2018-06-10 01:28 PM | Reply

I actually know what you mean, Tao. I'm extra cautious when I hire someone to do a job...not to hang around a watch them, unless they ask for my help. I was changing the spark plugs on my truck once and my girlfriend was playing boss. She had no idea what I was doing, but felt completely competent on telling me what I was doing wrong. I finally turned around to her and said, "Goddamit Julie, I don't need a ------- foreman."

I didn't know my father was in the garage and overheard me. He started laughing and went inside. So, whenever the A/C guy or a plumber or electrician comes over to do a job, I stay away and leave them alone. There's nothing more infuriating than somebody hanging over your shoulder critiquing what you're doing who has no idea what you're doing.

#28 | Posted by madscientist at 2018-06-10 01:48 PM | Reply

Plants love it.

#6 | POSTED BY VISITOR

Drink Brawndo! Plants love it. It's got electrolytes!

#29 | Posted by donnerboy at 2018-06-10 03:06 PM | Reply | Funny: 2

I didn't know...

#4 | POSTED BY SNIPER

I am detecting a pattern here.

#30 | Posted by donnerboy at 2018-06-10 03:08 PM | Reply

Drink Brawndo! Plants love it. It's got electrolytes!

#29 | POSTED BY DONNERBOY

Trump just needs to show up with a machine gun and we've fulfilled the premise of that movie 100%.

#31 | Posted by jpw at 2018-06-10 10:46 PM | Reply

arstechnica.com

A good article on this discussion.

#32 | Posted by jpw at 2018-06-11 12:53 AM | Reply

Trump just needs to show up with a machine gun and we've fulfilled the premise of that movie 100%.

For you, JPW:

time.com

#33 | Posted by YAV at 2018-06-11 09:13 AM | Reply

Plants love it.

#6 | Posted by visitor

You're right. But the problem is, we are denuding the planet at an alarming rate while cranking up the co2 production. This order should be reversed.

#34 | Posted by Daniel at 2018-06-11 10:17 AM | Reply

I didn't know they had co2 monitors 800,000 years ago.

#4 | POSTED BY SNIPER

Willful ignorance.

"We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light."
― Plato

#35 | Posted by 726 at 2018-06-11 12:19 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

The problem with this is it takes CO2 so damn long to bleed out of the atmosphere - roughly 2000 years.

#36 | Posted by JeffJ at 2018-06-11 02:53 PM | Reply

I expect everyone to stop driving stop using electricity or anything else related to oil or be called a hypocrite. Someday the technology will arrive that replaces oil it will happen but until it does why argue about it.

#37 | Posted by WTFIGO at 2018-06-11 05:11 PM | Reply

Goatman used to say the same Tu Quoque argument.

#38 | Posted by madscientist at 2018-06-11 05:15 PM | Reply

I expect everyone to stop driving stop using electricity or anything else related to oil or be called a hypocrite.

Got any more deep thoughts to share?

#39 | Posted by jpw at 2018-06-11 08:13 PM | Reply

i>The problem with this is it takes CO2 so damn long to bleed out of the atmosphere - roughly 2000 years.

#36 | Posted by JeffJ

The other problem is that a lot of it is going into the oceans, which isn't exactly a good thing either.

#40 | Posted by jpw at 2018-06-11 08:21 PM | Reply

"The problem with this is it takes CO2 so damn long to bleed out of the atmosphere - roughly 2000 years."

The problem is, when you drive your car, you put back into the atmosphere in minutes what nature took out of the atmosphere and buried underground over hundreds of millions of years.

#41 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-06-11 08:29 PM | Reply

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