Ecological disaster?

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Ecological disaster?

Postby Crescent Pulsar S » Sat Jun 29, 2013 9:02 am

I think that's what Endymion says is the reason for the "great freeze," but something that looks like meteorites are displayed as "ecological disaster" is being said, but wouldn't that be a natural disaster instead? Actually, is there anything considered to be an ecological disaster that could lead to the whole world freezing over? I don't think scientists have agreed on whether it actually happened in the past or not, as it is.
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Re: Ecological disaster?

Postby PCHeintz72 » Sat Jun 29, 2013 10:49 am

I'm one of the paranoid ones that find a few faults in that speech he gave the past inners... which actually makes sense if he was trying to limit the knowledge imparted to the past so as to insure his future.

But setting that aside as it is unrelated... while there are tons of events I can think of to cause a increase in temp... there are few events I can think of as natural that would cause a great freeze, and in fact some of this was brought up in your other tread, as the two are fairly similar.

The sun dimming or decreasing its output, it would not need be by a huge amount, and in real life we have identified at least some patterns in its output, it is not always the same output of either light or EM waves... such as the 22 year electromagnetic cycle...

The earth increasing or changing its orbit (this is not as farfetched as it may seem, there is real world evidence that the length of the year has been decreasing over many millions of years... I saw one estimate placing it at over 420 days at one point)

The destruction of the moon by a large enough impact, say a Shoemaker/levy event, could create a dust cloud to really block the sunlight

Likewise a impact on the earth itself could do so...

Potentially... a polar reversal could do so, but only indirectly... this actually occurs in real life and is well documented, but I suppose something could throw the pattern off... that is when the earths poles reverse... this affects a heck of a lot of things, and is even believed to affect the Van Allen belts...
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Re: Ecological disaster?

Postby Spica75 » Sat Jun 29, 2013 11:20 am

I think that's what Endymion says is the reason for the "great freeze," but something that looks like meteorites are displayed as "ecological disaster" is being said, but wouldn't that be a natural disaster instead?

He could be talking about the effect. Ie, the cause may be a natural disaster, but the effect is an ecological disaster.


Actually, is there anything considered to be an ecological disaster that could lead to the whole world freezing over?

Just by itself? Yes. But AFAIK, unlikely to happen. For example, there are microbes that "eats" CO2 and other greenhouse gasses, if for some reason there was suddenly a new type of such(or a growth explosion of them for some reason) and they went om-nom-nom you could get a serious cooling effect.

If you get too much plants that converts CO2 into oxygen while binding the carbon, you could end up with massive firestorms because of high levels of oxygen in the atmosphere. (this is why(or one reason at least) smoking is NOT permitted in hospitals, because there´s use of pure oxygen, and if that is ignited it can even explode)

In fact, there´s probably thousands of things that are theoretically possible.

For example, take a look at this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daisyworld
Daisyworld examines the energy budget of a planet populated by two different types of plants, black daisies and white daisies. The colour of the daisies influences the albedo of the planet such that black daisies absorb light and warm the planet, while white daisies reflect light and cool the planet. Competition between the daisies (based on temperature-effects on growth rates) leads to a balance of populations that tends to favour a planetary temperature close to the optimum for daisy growth.

It´s a very interesting article regardless.
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Re: Ecological disaster?

Postby Crescent Pulsar S » Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:07 pm

Spica75 wrote:He could be talking about the effect. Ie, the cause may be a natural disaster, but the effect is an ecological disaster.
Then just about every natural disaster could conceivably be an ecological disaster, wouldn't it? That sounds a bit redundant. I kind of thought that ecological disasters were directly caused by something biological. Like, if humans set off a volcano, it'd be an ecological disaster rather than a natural one, because the volcano was under their influence.

Like many subjects, this is hardly my area of expertise, so I could be wrong.
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Re: Ecological disaster?

Postby Spica75 » Sat Jun 29, 2013 5:51 pm

Then just about every natural disaster could conceivably be an ecological disaster, wouldn't it? That sounds a bit redundant.

Sure, but it´s not an uncommon way to talk. It´s not that it was ecologically caused, but that it is a disaster for the ecology.

I kind of thought that ecological disasters were directly caused by something biological. Like, if humans set off a volcano, it'd be an ecological disaster rather than a natural one, because the volcano was under their influence.

My guess is that if that happened, it would be called a natural disaster caused by humans. Yeah, terminology isn´t 100% predictable.
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Re: Ecological disaster?

Postby Ellen Kuhfeld » Sat Jun 29, 2013 6:27 pm

The earth increasing or changing its orbit (this is not as farfetched as it may seem, there is real world evidence that the length of the year has been decreasing over many millions of years... I saw one estimate placing it at over 420 days at one point)

True and valid evidence -- but it's usually been interpreted to mean tidal forces are moving the moon further from Earth, the energy being supplied by slowing down the earth's rotation. What with laser retro-reflectors on the moon, there's proof its orbit is increasing by 3.8 cm each year. Then there are those leap seconds being added on to atomic-clock time to keep it in sync with the length of the earth's day. I've never heard of a leap second being taken off atomic-clock time.

If the earth's rotation is slowing down, the days get longer. Which means you don't need as many to fill out one orbit around the sun.

If you want climate effects from orbital changes, look rather to the eccentricity of the orbit, which varies on a scale of 100,000 years.
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Re: Ecological disaster?

Postby Té Rowan » Sun Jun 30, 2013 10:00 am

The polar reversals I have read about are magnetic polar reversals. As far as I can tell, they will indeed affect the Van Allen belts. Might well affect a few more things as well, even cause some species to pull a Hibiki. But, I'll likely be long dead when that happens next. :mucho miffed:
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Re: Ecological disaster?

Postby PCHeintz72 » Sun Jun 30, 2013 10:56 am

Té Rowan wrote:The polar reversals I have read about are magnetic polar reversals. As far as I can tell, they will indeed affect the Van Allen belts. Might well affect a few more things as well, even cause some species to pull a Hibiki. But, I'll likely be long dead when that happens next. :mucho miffed:

Yes, those are the ones I was referring to... I know the cycle, or at least the supposed one... but that does not mean that it cannot be induced by some other influence...

I was only listing possibilities.
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Re: Ecological disaster?

Postby Spica75 » Tue Jul 02, 2013 2:13 pm

Té Rowan wrote:The polar reversals I have read about are magnetic polar reversals. As far as I can tell, they will indeed affect the Van Allen belts. Might well affect a few more things as well, even cause some species to pull a Hibiki. But, I'll likely be long dead when that happens next. :mucho miffed:

Maybe, maybe not. There is some evidence that a reversal might have begun in the last century or so.
OTOH, it might just be "normal progression" going a bit faster than usual.
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http://www.earthweek.com/2011/ew110311/ew110311h.html
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Hundreds of miles south of the geographic North Pole, the location of the Magnetic North Pole was first determined in 1833.

It seemed to barely move until about 1904, when its position began to track northeastward about nine miles per year.

The speed began to increase significantly in a northwesterly direction about 1998, and now averages about 37 miles each year.
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