38 votes

Does human body temperature impact climate change?

Does human body temperature impact climate change? Directly? It's not even a blip. The Earth's population is 7.6 billion. With each person radiating about 80 watts (basal metabolism), that's about 600 ...
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  • 20.4k
24 votes

Could the extraction of energy by wind turbines be harmful to the environment?

The short answer is yes, it's possible. And it can also reduce harm. Summary of the changes Here's a brief summary of the changes that happen when electricity is generated from a wind turbine, rather ...
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  • 4,090
21 votes

Academic but accessible defense of the scientific understanding of anthropogenic climate change?

The definitive place to start is the Summary for Policy Makers at the start of the IPCC AR5 Working Group 1 on the physical science basis of climate change. This also acts as a suitable introduction ...
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  • 4,090
15 votes
Accepted

Why did people draw so many continuous squares in the sand on the beach at Cape Juby?

They are not perfectly straight. Making them with modern GPS equipment should not be too difficult, you just keep a fixed distance to the previous line. They are only 5-6 meters wide. Googling for ...
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  • 2,626
14 votes

About moving ice bergs northwards to slow down all the melting a tiny bit. ( Clearing away navigation hazards is a side effect of this.)

Some background. The idea of towing ice bergs to provide a source for fresh water in dry climate zones was first proposed in the 1970s by Weeks and Campbell (1973) and Hult and Ostrander (1973). This ...
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14 votes
Accepted

What are those arrowlike underwater structures for?

Those are Yap Traditional Fish Weirs, according to islandculture.info In 2008, Yap State Historic Preservation Office (YSHPO) commenced a project to survey the fish weirs (aech) around the main ...
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  • 3,129
11 votes

How much land does it take to support New York City?

The average ecological footprint of a US citizen has been estimated as 8.00 global ha. Multiplying 8.5 million by 8.00 hectare gives 680,000 km², or around 5 times the area of New York state. Of ...
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  • 11.1k
11 votes
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What atmospheric radiative effects, if any, do contrails cause?

We had a surprising opportunity to study this very question during the period of September 11-14, 2001, when all air traffic was grounded across the United States. The research was inconclusive, but ...
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  • 2,708
10 votes

How much of the current global warming is due to human influence?

From the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (2014 / current): It is extremely likely that human activities caused more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 ...
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10 votes

Academic but accessible defense of the scientific understanding of anthropogenic climate change?

An excellent book that concisely summarizes the IPCC physical results (without much of the policy summary editorializing) is Global Warming, Understanding the Forecast by David Archer, 2nd ed 2011. ...
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10 votes
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Can human activity affect volcanoes?

I think you have drawn the 'short straw'! As disasters go, volcanoes have about the least to do with human activity. Basically, volcanoes are the product of plate tectonics, which operates on a scale ...
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10 votes
Accepted

How much mass has humanity added to the planet?

All mass used in construction on Earth comes from material on Earth. Since mass is conserved, there is no change. If we start harvesting material from the moon or asteroids for use in construction ...
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  • 12.7k
9 votes

What are those arrowlike underwater structures for?

They look like stone fish traps or weirs. They are used by native poeple to catch fish on a large scale. They can actually vary quite a bit by culture and can be quite large. Here is a stone and ...
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  • 6,558
9 votes

Review of calculation of CO$_2$ contribution to warming

This reminds me of using Bjørn Lomborg's book in statistics, as examples how not to do statistics, his calculations never make any sense or just make unfounded leaps to conclusions. Erik seems to have ...
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  • 6,558
8 votes

Academic but accessible defense of the scientific understanding of anthropogenic climate change?

You have an economics and statistics background - is it anywhere near mathematical economics resp. mathematical statistics? If so, you could spend hours over at The Science of Doom: Roadmap. I would ...
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8 votes

Earthquakes in Oklahoma influenced by Humans?

The sudden and recent occurrence of multiple earthquakes in Oklahoma is due to a widespread redistribution of stresses within the ground, particularly at depth. Installing large pipes underground for ...
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  • 21.8k
8 votes
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About an alternative type of wind energy facility

This has been tried to some extent; Strata in London was a skyscraper that was built with three wind turbines at the top, with a deliberate design to funnel wind into them. There are other examples. ...
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7 votes

Academic but accessible defense of the scientific understanding of anthropogenic climate change?

Prof. Raymond Pierrehumbert's book the Principles of Planetary Climate is a pretty good primer on the physics that drives climate. I'm not too sure that the mainstream scientific view on ...
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7 votes

Could the extraction of energy by wind turbines be harmful to the environment?

Taming hurricanes with arrays of offshore wind turbines Nature Climate Change 4, 195–200 (2014) It finds that large turbine arrays (300+ GW installed capacity) may diminish peak near-surface ...
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7 votes
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Is it possible to prevent high magnitude earthquakes by induced earthquakes?

The idea of trying to limit energy released by earthquakes and the damage that may result via the use of controlled smaller blast induced quakes is an interesting idea. One of the problems with this ...
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  • 21.8k
7 votes
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Did the Neolithic Revolution have an effect on the earth's climate?

Raising herd animals would likely contribute more than mere farms. Many farms simply produce feed for animals anyway, and this can lead to an inflated population which can wreck havoc when released ...
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7 votes

Can human activity affect volcanoes?

Yes. Human activity can probably cause volcanic eruptions, albeit indirectly. Regardless, human activity affects volcanic disasters in several other ways. First, let's look at how humans can cause ...
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  • 10.8k
7 votes

How much mass has humanity added to the planet?

Don't confuse redistribution of mass with gain/loss of mass. There's a net loss of hydrogen and helium from the uppermost tenuous atmosphere. This far outweighs the incoming meteorites and ...
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7 votes
Accepted

Confused about whether physical impact is 'erosion'

I'm assuming here that you're asking whether you can apply the term ‘erosion’ to the damage your stone suffered, rather than the damage your floor suffered. In this case, the applicability of the term ...
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  • 5,380
7 votes

How did the Rhine originally look like? (before human intervention)

It would help if you'd ask a more clear question -- it's a dynamic river system so it is literally changing its shape every second! The story over long time-scales can be found on Wikipedia: https://...
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  • 1,969
6 votes

Nuclear testing and the Anthropocene, a chemostratigraphic link?

I will try to plainly answer your question about an artificial radionuclide production/diffusion resulting from human activities, without getting into the discussion of deciding if this is ...
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  • 2,623
6 votes
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Nuclear testing and the Anthropocene, a chemostratigraphic link?

Certain anthropogenic radionuclides have pragmatic advantages as markers for the start of the anthropocene. The advantage of radionuclides over anthropogenic stable nuclides is that the primordial ...
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  • 4,319
6 votes
Accepted

Rate of climate change with and without humans?

The Earth should probably be cooling, at least, that's what the Milankovich cycles and historical variation and recent temperature charts all indicate. See XKCD and related question on XKCD chart, ...
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  • 5,727
6 votes

Why is it good scientific practice to 'build' a 'control Earth' from models, and where else do we 'build' controls?

It's true that, usually, when data is collected in an experiment scientists have a control, and very often not having a control results in a flawed experiment - that is, an experiment from which less ...
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