(Video Obsolete, see desc) James Burke : "After The Warming", 1/11
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Uploaded on Feb 9, 2009
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In typical "Connections" style, Mr. Burke takes a look at a possible future world where mankind has taken appropriate steps to forestall the ongoing trend of global warming, presumably primarily due to excess "greenhouse gasses". Burke takes a look at similar global temperature changes that had occurred in the past, of which there are two kinds.
One kind of global climate change happens in regular cycles having to do with alterations in the earth's orbital and also it's tilt with respect to the sun (the so-called minor and major "ice ages"). Burke examines periods in human history and development when these events occurred. Namely how they effected the entire human race, or individual societies.
The other class of changes happen through disruptions in the "temperature regulatory system" of the planet (these are like massive "rivers" deep beneath the oceans). This could happen for instance if a large "wall" of ice, acting as a dam for an even larger fresh-water lake, suddenly breaks releasing a lot of fresh water into a "salty" ocean. It turns out that the driving force behind this "oceanic circulatory system" is, in fact, salt. So if the salinity changes to a large enough degree, then the cycle alters, (or stops alltogether) and this can have dramatic effects on the earth's climate as a whole, and also over a very short period of time (less than a century).
Burke notes that climate change due to humans, being foreseeable, could be forestalled, prevented, or even reversed and presents the show as a news broadcast from the year 2050 wherein his ancestors (ie. our children) had the foresight to be able to prevent much of the catastrophic outcomes that normally result when major climate change occurs on Earth.
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