Earth in 1000 Years

2013 ,    »  -   82 Comments
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Earth in 1000 Years

Each glacial period is followed by an interglacial period in which temperatures rise and the ice retreats. The Milankovitch cycles are not strong enough by themselves to cause the shift. What they do is get the ball rolling. A decrease in solar energy hitting the Arctic allows sea ice to form in winter and remain over summer, then to expand its reach the following year. The ice reflects more solar energy back to space. A colder ocean stores more CO2, which further dampens the greenhouse effect.

Conversely, when ocean temperatures raise, more CO2 escapes into the atmosphere where it traps more solar energy. With so many factors at play, each swing of the climate pendulum has produced its own unique conditions. Take, for example, the last interglacial, known as the Eemian, from 130 to 115,000 years ago. This happened at a time when CO2 was at preindustrial levels, and global temperatures had risen only modestly. But with higher solar energy striking the north, temperatures rose dramatically in the Arctic. The effect was amplified by the lower reflectivity of ice-free seas and spreading northern forests.

There is still uncertainty about how much these changes affected sea levels. Estimates range from 5 to 9 meters, levels that would be catastrophic today. That's one reason scientists today are intensively monitoring Earth's frozen zones, including the ice sheet that covers Greenland. Satellite radar shows the flow of ice from the interior of the island and into glaciers. In the eastern part of the island, glaciers push slowly through complex coastal terrain. In areas of higher snowfall in the northwest and west, the ice speeds up by a factor 10. The landscape channels the ice into many small glaciers that flow straight down to the sea.

Scientists are tracking the overall rate of ice loss with the Grace Satellite. They found that from 2003 to 2009, Greenland lost about a trillion tons, mostly along its coastlines. This number mirror's ice loss in the Arctic as a whole. By 2012, summer sea ice coverage had fallen to a little more than half of what it was in the year 1980. While the ice rebounded in 2013, the coverage was still well below the average of the last three decades. Analyzing global data from Grace, one study reports that Earth lost about 4,000 cubic kilometers of ice in the decade leading up to 2012.

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82 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Susan Kalish

    this is a fascinating documentary.

  2. yellowmattercustard

    Good doc. Great cinematography.

    The narrator referred to western Antarctic and eastern Antarctic. Aren't all directions from the south pole north? You can't have a northern Antarctic or a southern Antarctic so how can you have an eastern or western Antarctic?

    Ponderings of a weed addled mind.

  3. yellowmattercustard

    Watched it twice.

  4. Susan Kalish

    it was excellent, didn't you think?

  5. Harry Nutzack

    relative "east" and "west", based on the hemispheres. i often ponder similar imponderables, lol

  6. Max B.F.

    Very easy to watch!

  7. spencer

    no proof c02 being greenhouses psudo science

  8. jay

    Enough with this CO2 s*it. The sun's output fluctuates, and drives the temperature up and down with it. The Farmer's Almanac has been right on about 80% of its weather predictions because it follows the solar output. The co2 carbonazi's have been dead wrong for the last 25 years about everything.

  9. Albert

    Oh boy... If this has you know nothing reasonless denialists this unhinged... I am really going to enjoy this.

  10. Albert

    It is and has been an established scientific fact for over 50 years.

  11. oQ

    A penguin can walk left or right therefore he can go north or south or east or west.
    Ask people at the Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station.

  12. yellowmattercustard

    Not at the pole. It doesn't matter whether he goes left, right. forward, or backward. Little Happy Feet's first step will always be to the north.

    As for the Pole Station it doesn't look like we Americans will be making the trip this year. Congress has seen fit to shut down the government and since polar research is financed by the government......

  13. yellowmattercustard

    Oh there you go. Research no further. Just look it up in the Farmer's Almanac.

  14. jay

    What makes you think I haven't researched it further? I can see that this global warming theory has become like a religion to a lot of people. The herd in my experience is always wrong about everything.

  15. jay

    Hahahahaah denialist!! hahaha God damn zealots!!! You guys crack me up. Ten years from now, when the whole global warming bandwagon has come off its hinges, you guys are gonna look like the earth is flat m*rons.

  16. oQ

    You are right always north, but what about northwest and northeast?

  17. yellowmattercustard

    Did you research Farmer's Almanac's claim of 80 per cent accuracy? I did.

  18. yellowmattercustard

    There is no east or west at the south pole so there can be no NE or NW. Once he has taken the first step then he may go east or west.

    Remember this line of thought was the product of a cannabis driven mind so don't quote me.

  19. yellowmattercustard

    A jewel.

  20. oQ

    Been off the stuff for quite some weeks, may be it's time to boggle my mind again

  21. Harry Nutzack

    as far as "filmcraft" goes, the doc above is superb. stunning vistas, superb cinematography, even-handed fact based narration, neither a mantra of "impending doom", or "nothing to see here folks, move along". well worth the watch, even if just for the incredibly impressive landscapes presented. no propaganda, or conclusions, more a joe friday-esque expose of "just the facts, ma'am", TYVM Vlatko and TDF et al for this piece (among MANY others)

  22. southab403

    I also really enjoyed this even handed film on past and future global climactic change.
    One thing caught my attention: If the global cooling due to the orbit of the earth is due to start again in 1500 years and the global warming trend of increased CO2 is projected to reach the level of other inter-glacial periods as measured in the past (1000 ppm in 1000 years), wouldn't they sort of cancel each other out?
    As stated towards the end, the earth will survive and life will adjust no matter what happens.
    I understand that using up our resources in an unsustainable way in a one way trip to poverty and hunger for people and will put stress on much of the environment, but as for destroying the planet, I think humans give themselves too much power and credit.

  23. 1concept1

    Science at its best. Beautiful photography Thank You - TDF/Vlatko

  24. henrymart81

    yikes the climate changers are out in droves today

  25. dsagfsdgdsg

    Another liberal story, just in 2013 it has been reported that Greenland has gained, not lost miles on it ice sheet.

  26. yellowmattercustard

    No, it is a science story. Your statement of the Greenland Ice Sheet is also incorrect.

  27. Harry Nutzack

    here is how i see "climate change". i see a fairly unavoidable cycle, borne out by millenia of evidence. i have no doubt at all we do indeed sit on a "cyclical cusp". i also have little doubt "modernity" has contributed to, and probably hastened the arrival. however, the previous cycle's evidence shows our "contribution" is less than 40%, while it was a 300% change that ushered in the last cycle. that 40% includes ALL the deforestation, industrialization, livestock flatulence, and other biosphere damage done since the dawn of civilization. so, to "correct our ways", even to the extremes of "going paleo", killing off the vast majority of our population, and "johnny appleseed-ing" forests will be nothing but a minor speedbump in the road to an inevitable end: increased temps, higher oceans, and sub-aqueous former coastlines. our "best efforts" can be no more than the insertion of a finger in a crumbling dike.

    to claim "50 years of science shows WE did it" is ludicrous, at best. in that half century time span, our instrumentation for collecting evidence has gone through several generations of ever increasing accuracy, with the majority of progress in the past 2 decades. our knowledge of what "drives the engine of environment" has indeed grown by leaps and bounds, but is still FAR from "comprehensive". ANY conclusions we draw are, at BEST, "educated guesses of ignorant observers". need i remind all here that a half century ago plate tectonics was a "radical new rogue hypothesis", though geology had been studied for a couple of centuries already. thousands of years of head scratching concluded "illness is a manifestation of spiritual imbalance" for many "learned scholars" until germ theory laid such foolishness to rest. "environmental science" is in it's infancy still. we have no basis upon which to declare absolutes. for all anybody truly "knows", our "global warming" could be a minor hiccup that will self correct no matter what WE do, or it could just as easily be the first steps to an unstoppable "planetary doom" that eventually leaves our planet as barren as mars, no matter what scrambling and buttressing we do. we just don't have enough data points borne of educated observation to prove, or disprove ANYTHING.

    does this mean i think we should just "do nothing"? of course not, getting a grip on our wasteful ways, and moving toward that which lessens the damage we do can CERTAINLY do no harm, and would be beneficial even if it had NO effect on climate change. that's just common sense. but, i also think an attitude of "if we just cut CO2, everything will be just fine" is NO less imbecilic than "bah, tree-hugging nonsense, drill baby DRILL!!". from what we can see, cleaning up our act a bit, AND "slowly moving to higher ground" is the ONLY sensible course of action. ol' mother earth has these cycles with, or without our contribution, after all.

    in closing, i'd also like to add "the differences between man and chimp can best be summed up in these 3: 2 fused chromosomes, power tools, and a hyper-inflated ego". don't let that ego lead you to "declaration of fact" when none are truly available.

  28. Mike Allen

    Don't think in terms of compass direction. Think in terms of eastern hemisphere and western hemisphere. This makes a clear distinction as to which side of the continent your are talking about.

  29. chris

    i don't know if what you say is true but compare the time it took us to cause that 40% to the hundreds of years it took nature to cause the same amount of change

  30. yellowmattercustard

    I understand the hemispheres. No problem there. Just having a little brain fun. When navigating Antartica, grid north has to be used - not magnetic north. Grid north is aligned with the Greenwich Meridian so by default there would be an east and west. Yet if you decline 90 degrees from west you would expect to find south but not at the South Pole. You'll only find north regardless of the Greenwich Meridian

  31. urban deadite

    Question is why are the polar caps on Mars melting really fast too?

  32. rudeboi

    there is some proof that we are indeed headed for another ice age, which leads me to believe science has no clue as to what's going on here.

  33. Harry Nutzack

    that 40% is a cumulative total for our agricultural and industrial periods. that's about 5000 years Chris. re-watch the vid, CO2 levels before the last "hot spell" began were 250ppm, while the peak "hot spell" CO2 levels were 1000ppm. that's a 300% increase. our current levels are 350ppm, that's a 40% increase over levels when humans were the least influential. that 40% also includes increases due to solar activity, volcanism, and degassing of the oceans, so even attributing the whole of the 40% to humans is "b*llsh*t science".

  34. Harry Nutzack

    the exhaust of our rockets, of course.... lol

  35. Epicurus

    lol great thought. It really only applies at the very tip of the pole no?

  36. yellowmattercustard

    Let's talk about the 40% increase. Using the base of 250 ppm, you contend that our present 350 ppm can also be attributed to natural causes outside of man-made CO2. What you fail to include in your math is that at 250 ppm the same natural processes were occuring. Hence the 40% increase would have to come from some source other than nature.

  37. yellowmattercustard

    So what was your next research project- Punxsutawney Phil?

  38. yellowmattercustard

    Only on the pole. Another thought. At the pole I can out-pace the rotation of the earth. Just stand on the pole and spin around.

    Gotta lay off the weed.

  39. oQ

    That pole spinning sure would not be in your birthday suit.

    also from Wiki: From 1982 to 2005, the pole drifted southeast toward northern Labrador, Canada, at a rate of about 2 milliarcseconds —or roughly 6 centimetres — per year. But in 2005, the pole changed course and began galloping east toward Greenland at a rate of more than 7 milliarcseconds per year

  40. Harry Nutzack

    you assume ALL conditions except a single one, "human contribution", are EXACTLY THE SAME. that is technically impossible. could we be responsible for the entire 40%? of course we could (and possibly even a bit more, as there is no way to "compare nature's contribution", as nobody was recording such data last time). by the same token, we could just as easily NOT be responsible for it all. the data points we compare to are those for a complete cycle, thousands of years before ANYBODY was measuring. comparing real time results to historical aggregate computations is "b*llsh*t science". comparison of aggregate at the END of this cycle to aggregate at the END of the last one is "clean science". that same flawed methodology was the cause of the "impending global freezing" doom of 4 decades or so ago. how did that work out? why would you expect the same methodology to be any more accurate NOW? GIGO is GIGO, no matter what the end result prognosticates.

  41. yellowmattercustard

    I should have been more clear. I was trying to convey that whatever we put into the atmosphere is always in addition (very important) to natural sources. We do not have to cross a threshold by our own accord. All we must do is add enough to naturally occuring CO2 to affect a change. If tomorrow a volcanic eruption of such magnitude as to add 100 ppm of CO2 to our atmosphere were to occur we are going to wish we had that 40% contribution of ours back.

  42. Harry Nutzack

    true enough, and i agree. notice my ultimate conclusion in the first post in this particular "tete-a-tete": "from what we can see, cleaning up our act a bit, AND "slowly moving to
    higher ground" is the ONLY sensible course of action. ol' mother earth
    has these cycles with, or without our contribution, after all."

    my point is NOT "global warming is a lie!", nor is it "we have no culpability in the problem". my point is ONLY "even doing all we could to minimize our contribution will NOT stop it". that means, assuming no "self correction" by nature materializes, my 4th floor apartment in sunny southeast florida will be a good spot to moor a boat in the not so distant future, even if we "go paleo, wipe out the majority of our population, and johnny appleseed as much as we can". clean up our act? absolutely, no argument here. assume doing so will save my apt from it's fate? not a smart conclusion at all.

  43. yellowmattercustard

    Polar Wander.

  44. jay

    350 ppm is bulls*it. I have a co2 ppm meter and out here in Los Angeles the ambient ppm never goes over 310, its around 300 most of the time. The meter is a calibrated digital meter. Keep in mind, that this is the most densely populated, urban city in the world, with a ton of cars everywhere.

  45. Harry Nutzack

    350 is an average. go to the industrial hinterland of china, and you'll see your meter light up like a 40s pinball machine, wander to a peak in montana and see the other extreme. also, have you ever had your meter calibrated? if not, you may as well be waving around a tv antenna.

  46. yellowmattercustard

    According to a poll conducted by the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies (April 2013) only 49% of Americans believe global warming is caused by human activity. That would make your ilk the herd and you are right, the herd is always wrong.

  47. yellowmattercustard

    Manila is the most densely populated city in the world. LA doesn't even crack the top ten.

    Why do you continue making statements that are not true?

  48. Wayne Siemund

    If science has no clue what is going on, then where did you get the proof about an impending ice age? Did you get that proof from non-science?

  49. Wayne Siemund

    If carbon sequestration is required to create an ice age, then we may still prevent it. Even when oil runs out, the planet will suck up all of that nice delicious carbon into plants and trees which future people will use for energy causing all of that carbon to be shoved back into the atmosphere along with the heat capturing abilities of forests and cleared land.

  50. Thomas Moore

    facts dont require experts for you to understand bub some things become apart if you open your eyes. great example compare solar cycles to earth temp and watch your part in "global warming" make you feel stupid for owning an electric mini

  51. Thomas Moore

    you both sound smart, like indoc style classroom smart... i was wondering how often do you look outside the planet for a reason? and c02 is really important for life isnt it? if the main issue is temp is the sun heating and cooling? yes. same as earth temp rise/low? identical. if we don't think about how we are influenced we waste a lot of time arguing.

  52. yellowmattercustard

    Good question. It should be obvious that the sun is the most important factor in the earth's temperature. And surely any fluctuation, hiccup, or belch from the sun will affect the earth. It's a given. But there is also another given to consider.

    We live inside a sealed system. Sealed System. And it is how this sealed system deals with energy from the sun that is the important factor. We cannot and never will change the sun's behavior. So let us imagine the sun has increased its energy output and it is causing a rise in global temperature. Does it make sense to compound the problem? If we should be getting a 1 degree rise but we are getting a 2 degree rise we have to know the problem lies within the sealed system and as such the solution lies within the sealed system.

    You cannot pump billions of tons a year of co2 into the atmosphere and say it does no harm. You cannot pump anything into the atmosphere of any sealed system and not expect a change in how it deals with energy input.

  53. Jay Lucas

    You are pretty dense aren't you. Los Angeles is one of the biggest cities in the world. Most of
    the planets surface is open wilderness, cities cover a very small
    percentage of all the available surface on the planet. Even in a city as
    densely populated as Los Angeles, with all its smog and traffic,
    ambient CO2 levels never go over 310ppm. And yes I have a digital co2
    monitor, which is electronically calibrated. As a matter of fact I know of 4 other friends that have these meters and show the same readings. We all use CO2 sensors for co2 enrichment in greenhouses.

  54. Jay Lucas

    What dinosaur went to Jupiter and died to make hydrocarbons in its atmosphere? Fossil fuels are on almost every major celestial body in the Solar System, never could figure out why.

    Look up abiotic oil theory.

  55. Jay Lucas

    Reported in ScienceDaily, researchers at the Royal Institute of
    Technology (KTH) in Stockholm have managed to prove that fossils from
    animals and plants are not necessary for crude oil and natural gas to be
    generated. The findings are revolutionary since this means, on the one
    hand, that it will be much easier to find these sources of energy and,
    on the other hand, that they can be found all over the globe.

  56. yellowmattercustard

    I don't give a whit about your silly meters.

    You claimed LA is "the most densely populated urban city in the world". I'm calling bulls**t on you. Again.

    Answer to that.

  57. yellowmattercustard

    ScienceDaily? Did you catch the 4,246 articles on human-driven climate change? Or did you just over-look all 4,246 by accident.

  58. yellowmattercustard

    I did look up abiotic oil theory and all I could find were those woo sites you seem to visit. So I looked up the actual paper by Dr. Krutcherov. Here in their entirety are the first two sentences of Dr. Krutcherov's paper:

    "There is widespread evidence that petroleum originates from BIOLOGICAL (emphasis mine) processes. Whether hydrocarbons can also be produced from abiogenic precursor molecules under the high pressure, high temperature conditions charateristic of the upper mantle remains an open question."

    This is why science treated the good doctor's paper with a collective yawn. That and he just can't seem to find all that Swedish abiotic oil he was bragging about.

  59. Tobias MacRobie

    I think it might be more appropriate to simply note that organisms (organic-isms? haha) are a prominent place that molecules form a lot of carbon structures. Sure, carbon atoms are found in other stuff too. Are those quantities significant, and do they form hydrocarbon chains or aromatic molecules? Now that is the question I would like to find an answer for. =) cheers.

  60. whoopi goldberg

    climate change or not who wants to live with such air pollution? look at northern china right now.. I'll take sunny blue skies over that smog any day.

  61. Lord_Kral

    Earth will be just fine. It'll keep on going and evolving like it has for billions of years. Humans are screwed, though.

  62. avd420

    "I'll take sunny blue skies over that smog any day."

    For a less hypocritical approach try saying that without wearing and using hundreds of products made in China.

  63. whoopi goldberg

    ok let me try this again.

    regardless if global warming is caused by man kind or not, efforts to reduce global emissions should be taken so i can maybe one day show my possible future kids some beautiful sunny skies.

  64. anastasius

    I like this documentary as it points out that earth (and it's climate) is a dynamic system. Milankovitch cycles are atributed to changing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. Is it possible that our sun is also a dynamic system with varying outputs of solar energy?

    Maybe one day our scientists will address that question rather than regurgitating the politicized "manmade" global warming agenda.

  65. eugenemarks

    every 100 Million Years or so every living thing on the planet that is over 25kg (about 50lbs) is killed due to a catastrophic asteroid impact. So yeah Humans wont even matter after something like that. Unless of course, we can divert the asteroid or be a 2 planet specie by then.

  66. eugenemarks

    lol, really? Ide take chinas economy over sunny blue skies any day..

  67. mike jarvis

    since when are energy and greenhouse gases the same...assuming i understand your statement? if animals and plants didnt form fossil fuels...? where did the come from?

  68. mike jarvis

    Someone has the answers i NEED! 2 billion year s of plant formation...say the beginning or the fossil fuel age..o.k. bear with me... 2 billion years of fixing carbon to hydrogen(anoxic or through anaerobic decomposition) does it really matter? the facts are we have burned through a major part of carbon that was "fixed" into fossil fuels in the tinniest fraction of time(say the industrial revolution). The earth went from a "fairly" stable population of <1bill. people for pre1890,s to 7bill. + in a little over a 100yrs.Why have we been so successful ? we BURN STUFF! We have traded sequestered carbon for food for heat for air cond. for homes clothes,cars, ipads for bullshit! Is it inconceivable that HUMANS are having an effect on our planet? Back to point...40% maybe not.. but you do not need to add 40% to a teedertodder to have one end fall to the ground!!!!!

  69. mike jarvis

    yes....my only redeeming thought of this planet... a 100000 years after the death of the last human parasite... this planet will re evolve to its original beauty!!!

  70. Guest

    Earth has weather cycles yes and so does the sun, Why people do not think pumping CO2 and other gases would make no difference at all boggles my mind.
    Of course it does, we are speeding the climate change, Whether it would naturally occur over a longer period of time does not matter,
    either way its going to devastate our economies. The slower the change the more time we have to adapt.

    Fossil fuels are also limited so its never too soon to try and ween ourselves off them, Might be good for our general health too and our children's pockets, who knows what the price of fuel will be in 10 yrs.

  71. Travis Sichel

    Earth has weather cycles yes and so does the sun, Why people think pumping CO2 and other gases would make no difference at all boggles my mind.
    Of course it does, we are speeding the climate change, Whether it would naturally occur over a longer period of time does not matter,
    either way its going to devastate our economies. The slower the change the more time we have to adapt.

    Fossil fuels are also limited so its never too soon to try and ween ourselves off them, Might be good for our general health too and our children's pockets, who knows what the price of fuel will be in 10 yrs.

  72. Dave M

    I guess they just found a tar sand patch (up to 30 billion barrels) in utah. If its not aleady game over it surely will be when this is exausted.

  73. Dave M

    The only thing that will save us is when the oil runs out and we are forced to switch to renewable (which we could already do if we really wanted). The sad part is there is still TONS of oil left on the planet. Especially in the oceans and in places currently covered by snow and ice. (The Arctic, Siberia, Greenland, Antarctica, etc.)

  74. happyMephisto

    Also,when the 30 billion barrels runs out,will be lucky to have any clean drinking water left.By then the great lakes will be on borrowed time.

  75. James Miller

    Very true Travis, the sun's going to do what the sun's going to do. A lot of people have a hard time accepting this. I don't think they like they idea of such a large factor in climate change being out of they're hands. Fear of that which they cannot control yet they fail to prepare for what they know is coming.

  76. Yogurt Head

    Ok; done!

  77. Yogurt Head

    Evidently you do not have a very good understanding of China's economy.

  78. Spark

    What will really end us is capitalism, when corporations have billions in the bank and blow up a mountain or rip out another rain forest just to add another billion, now that's insane!

  79. Spark

    Yup your right, if Mother Earth was watching us from the moon I'm sure she would call humans termites, grinding up, blowing up, consuming everything in site, killing everything including each other and rearranging everything that took millions of years to create.
    My guess she would do as a wet dog does, share those parasites off!

  80. Truman Peyote

    Interesting exchanges. Yes, the 'mob' is always wrong. "The earth has a skin, and that skin has many diseases...the major one being Man"...'thus spoke Zarathustra'.

    I think Sartre got it right; "hell is other people". Too many of them, way too many. And, this is the central problem from which ALL others spring.

    The bright spot for this ancient autodidactic misanthrope is that the end is near.

  81. Rod Martin, Jr.

    Good video. Too many comments bashing humans, though. Responsibility is one thing; suicide is something else entirely -- wrong direction.

    We live in an Ice Age and psychopaths want us to cool down the planet. And too much of this video shows a fetish for ice. Cold kills; warmth promotes life. End the damned Ice Age.

    Sea level rise is not nearly as disastrous as the initiation of another glacial period of the current Ice Age. So what if people have to move? If we get more glaciation, then people are going to have to move, also. The problem with the cooling, though, is that cooler oceans have less evaporation, resulting in far less rain and far larger deserts. This is why human populations could never get above a few tens of thousands during the glacial period.

    Global Warming made civilization possible; could cooling make civilization impossible.

    And the notion that CO2 is pollution that some people are gullible enough to believe is nonsense. Glyphosate is pollution. Atrazine is pollution. Sulfur dioxide is pollution. CO2 is a vital gas of life and we've lived too long in CO2 starvation. Thirty million years ago, CO2 levels plummeted down to 800 ppm (2x modern levels), and plants evolved C4 species to cope with the CO2 starvation. Now, excess CO2 is helping to green the Earth. Hooray for humans! Plants are loving it.

    For those of you who think humans are a plague, why are you still here? Grow up and get a brain. Some humans are bad. Start to know the difference. The only population problem we have is having more than zero corporations and more than zero psychopaths who are selfish enough to say things like "mankind is the disease."

    Thermophobia is a disease of ignorance. A new book out by the same name has the cure.

  82. john noecker jr

    If you travel 1000 meters north, then reverse your direction of travel, are you still headed north ? I think...NOT.

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