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Sat Dec 1, 2012, 03:34 AM

GLOBAL EXTINCTION WITHIN ONE HUMAN LIFETIME?

Has anyone read this scientific article? It really is frightening. Please, discuss and comment.

Global Extinction within one Human Lifetime as a Result of a Spreading Atmospheric Arctic Methane Heat wave and Surface Firestorm

Abstract


Although the sudden high rate Arctic methane increase at Svalbard in late 2010 data set applies to only a short time interval, similar sudden methane concentration peaks also occur at Barrow point and the effects of a major methane build-up has been observed using all the major scientific observation systems. Giant fountains/torches/plumes of methane entering the atmosphere up to 1 km across have been seen on the East Siberian Shelf. This methane eruption data is so consistent and aerially extensive that when combined with methane gas warming potentials, Permian extinction event temperatures and methane lifetime data it paints a frightening picture of the beginning of the now uncontrollable global warming induced destabilization of the subsea Arctic methane hydrates on the shelf and slope which started in late 2010. This process of methane release will accelerate exponentially, release huge quantities of methane into the atmosphere and lead to the demise of all life on earth before the middle of this century.


Full article here: http://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/global-extinction-within-one-human.html

156 replies, 12200 views

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Reply GLOBAL EXTINCTION WITHIN ONE HUMAN LIFETIME? (Original post)
Th1onein Dec 2012 OP
Warpy Dec 2012 #1
The Doctor. Dec 2012 #10
Warpy Dec 2012 #18
AverageJoe90 Dec 2012 #127
Cary Dec 2012 #102
Warpy Dec 2012 #103
MrYikes Dec 2012 #2
Coyotl Dec 2012 #70
ReRe Dec 2012 #3
dipsydoodle Dec 2012 #4
BelgianMadCow Dec 2012 #5
redqueen Dec 2012 #17
Bernardo de La Paz Dec 2012 #6
triplepoint Dec 2012 #7
freedom fighter jh Dec 2012 #12
AverageJoe90 Dec 2012 #119
dennisbaker Dec 2012 #8
eShirl Dec 2012 #9
MoonRiver Dec 2012 #50
Xipe Totec Dec 2012 #101
hrmjustin Dec 2012 #14
NMDemDist2 Dec 2012 #19
mike_c Dec 2012 #32
NMDemDist2 Dec 2012 #43
patrice Dec 2012 #58
oldbanjo Dec 2012 #11
jeff47 Dec 2012 #13
davekriss Dec 2012 #15
Silent3 Dec 2012 #22
davekriss Dec 2012 #39
Silent3 Dec 2012 #44
NoOneMan Dec 2012 #61
Silent3 Dec 2012 #71
NoOneMan Dec 2012 #79
Silent3 Dec 2012 #83
Eddie Haskell Dec 2012 #63
AverageJoe90 Dec 2012 #126
NoOneMan Dec 2012 #133
AverageJoe90 Dec 2012 #143
davekriss Dec 2012 #40
Uncle Joe Dec 2012 #100
jeff47 Dec 2012 #26
davekriss Dec 2012 #41
jeff47 Dec 2012 #48
FedUpWithIt All Dec 2012 #45
jeff47 Dec 2012 #49
FedUpWithIt All Dec 2012 #88
jeff47 Dec 2012 #97
FedUpWithIt All Dec 2012 #99
jeff47 Dec 2012 #110
AverageJoe90 Dec 2012 #113
NoOneMan Dec 2012 #59
jeff47 Dec 2012 #64
NoOneMan Dec 2012 #67
jeff47 Dec 2012 #75
NoOneMan Dec 2012 #80
davekriss Dec 2012 #16
randome Dec 2012 #31
davekriss Dec 2012 #42
muriel_volestrangler Dec 2012 #46
davekriss Dec 2012 #47
NoOneMan Dec 2012 #51
jeff47 Dec 2012 #57
NoOneMan Dec 2012 #60
jeff47 Dec 2012 #62
NoOneMan Dec 2012 #65
jeff47 Dec 2012 #66
NoOneMan Dec 2012 #68
jeff47 Dec 2012 #76
NoOneMan Dec 2012 #78
jeff47 Dec 2012 #81
NoOneMan Dec 2012 #82
Warren Stupidity Dec 2012 #156
AverageJoe90 Dec 2012 #114
NoOneMan Dec 2012 #118
AverageJoe90 Dec 2012 #129
NoOneMan Dec 2012 #131
AverageJoe90 Dec 2012 #141
NoOneMan Dec 2012 #144
AverageJoe90 Dec 2012 #145
NoOneMan Dec 2012 #146
AverageJoe90 Dec 2012 #147
NoOneMan Dec 2012 #150
AverageJoe90 Dec 2012 #152
NoOneMan Dec 2012 #122
Eddie Haskell Dec 2012 #107
AverageJoe90 Dec 2012 #112
longship Dec 2012 #128
jeff47 Dec 2012 #130
undeterred Dec 2012 #20
zazen Dec 2012 #28
undeterred Dec 2012 #35
northoftheborder Dec 2012 #53
patrice Dec 2012 #52
The Wielding Truth Dec 2012 #73
undeterred Dec 2012 #77
The Wielding Truth Dec 2012 #87
nadinbrzezinski Dec 2012 #21
obliviously Dec 2012 #30
patrice Dec 2012 #56
Danascot Dec 2012 #23
Warren DeMontague Dec 2012 #24
Riftaxe Dec 2012 #69
Warren DeMontague Dec 2012 #72
NoOneMan Dec 2012 #89
Warren DeMontague Dec 2012 #90
NoOneMan Dec 2012 #91
Warren DeMontague Dec 2012 #92
NoOneMan Dec 2012 #93
Warren DeMontague Dec 2012 #95
NoOneMan Dec 2012 #96
Warren DeMontague Dec 2012 #104
NoOneMan Dec 2012 #105
Warren DeMontague Dec 2012 #106
NoOneMan Dec 2012 #108
AverageJoe90 Dec 2012 #148
AverageJoe90 Dec 2012 #149
Riftaxe Dec 2012 #155
Riftaxe Dec 2012 #154
AverageJoe90 Dec 2012 #115
greytdemocrat Dec 2012 #25
Le Taz Hot Dec 2012 #55
AverageJoe90 Dec 2012 #117
Turbineguy Dec 2012 #27
muriel_volestrangler Dec 2012 #29
randome Dec 2012 #37
AverageJoe90 Dec 2012 #137
annabanana Dec 2012 #33
Drew Richards Dec 2012 #34
Viking12 Dec 2012 #36
Eddie Haskell Dec 2012 #38
patrice Dec 2012 #54
raouldukelives Dec 2012 #74
whatchamacallit Dec 2012 #84
NoOneMan Dec 2012 #85
BelgianMadCow Dec 2012 #86
cbdo2007 Dec 2012 #121
AverageJoe90 Dec 2012 #123
cbdo2007 Dec 2012 #132
AverageJoe90 Dec 2012 #125
NeedleCast Dec 2012 #94
NoPasaran Dec 2012 #98
KamaAina Dec 2012 #109
caraher Dec 2012 #111
AverageJoe90 Dec 2012 #116
SidDithers Dec 2012 #120
AverageJoe90 Dec 2012 #124
NoOneMan Dec 2012 #134
SidDithers Dec 2012 #135
NoOneMan Dec 2012 #136
AverageJoe90 Dec 2012 #139
NoOneMan Dec 2012 #140
AverageJoe90 Dec 2012 #142
AverageJoe90 Dec 2012 #138
ErikJ Dec 2012 #151
AverageJoe90 Dec 2012 #153

Response to Th1onein (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 03:42 AM

1. I'm not sure about extinction, but the only humans to live

would have to be clustered near the poles.

Then again, we could get smacked with an asteroid or a bunch of idiots could start lobbing nukes at each other or or Yellowstone could blow up the whole west.

We are basically here at the will of the planet and the universe. We live in a tough neighborhood and tomorrow is never guaranteed.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 06:37 AM

10. So what if we decreased our chances of survival then, right?

 


Seriously, that's like saying, 'since we're gonna die anyway, why not shoot ourselves today?'.

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Response to The Doctor. (Reply #10)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 04:42 PM

18. I came to terms with the fact a long time ago

that humanity is likely the rough draft for intelligent life on Earth.

However, I intend to live until I die, that time looking shorter and shorter as my labs get lousier and lousier.

Is our First World technological society going to go by the wayside? Yeah, probably, it's not sustainable even if it didn't screw up the planet. However, don't forget that our ancestors managed to live their lives with sticks and stones for millions of years before some of us came up with more efficient ways to bang rocks together.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #18)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 09:13 PM

127. Maybe, maybe not.

Realistically, it isn't all that likely, by any stretch, that First World society will totally disappear. AGW, unlike, say, a nuclear war in the 1980s, just wouldn't be able to cause that on its own. Now, granted, there will probably be complicating factors as well, such as societal breakdown(varying by country), terrorism, etc., and even these probably wouldn't accomplish this, or at least not in the short term.

As for us being the first draft of intelligent life? Well, that's really just an opinion, and nothing more at this point. Could there be others after us? Sure! After all, this planet is going to be here for another 4 billion years or so, and that's plenty of time to see the potential for other intelligent life to develop(well, at least for some species. No hope for primates, though, IMO, they're pretty much screwed in that regard, even the higher ones. My bet's on dolphins or birds being the first after us humans. ).

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Response to Warpy (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:01 PM

102. Don't forget my favorite, a gamma ray burst! n/t

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Response to Cary (Reply #102)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 05:25 PM

103. That's my favorite, too

because that's what they're now thinking caused the first Great Dieoff, one that nearly sterilized the planet.

Nothing will ruin a day like a GRB.

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Response to Th1onein (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 04:20 AM

2. This is going on now.

Now think about what our politicians are arguing about.

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Response to MrYikes (Reply #2)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 06:14 PM

70. Blogging or global extinction?

First question, "Is this true?" I rather doubt it.

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Response to Th1onein (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 04:49 AM

3. Now, that's scary

(Especially that long run-on sentence a little past midway in the paragraph. Whew!)
I will be long gone by that time. But my descendents will experience it.
Have long wondered if something catastrophic might happen soon with the atmosphere that would eclipse what's going on down here on the ground (fires, floods, earthquakes, hurricanes.)

I clicked on the link to see if there was a date on the abstract, but it wasn't at the top. I wonder when this was written. Sometime in 2012, as I read down far enough to see some dates that data was read/taken/recorded. Didn't read the whole thing... info is way above my pay-grade. I do get the gist of it, and it's not a pretty picture. I wonder if this news will make it's way to our ever-informing "Liberal Media"?

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Response to Th1onein (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 05:18 AM

4. Dated February 2012



This is less likely to get lost in either the Environment forum or good reads.

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Response to Th1onein (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 05:50 AM

5. End of 2011, methane gas surfacing caused "holes" in the sea surface kilometers across

reported in the Guardian.

I personally think we have already entered the nonlinear phase of global warming, where this particular positive feedback cycle of subsea methane being released, has started. Whether that leads to mass extinction events, is up to us. I read about a trillion would curb global warming, so how is it we cannot get that done, given that we have handed tens of trillions to the banks? It's a matter of wanting to do it and taking back the power that belongs with the people.

Thanks for the link, am gonna dive into it now.

On edit: from the Independent, december 2011
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/vast-methane-plumes-seen-in-arctic-ocean-as-sea-ice-retreats-6276278.html

""I am concerned about this process, I am really concerned. But no-one can tell the timescale of catastrophic releases. There is a probability of future massive releases might occur within the decadal scale, but to be more accurate about how high that probability is, we just don't know," Dr Shakova said.

"Methane released from the Arctic shelf deposits contributes to global increase and the best evidence for that is the higher concentration of atmospheric methane above the Arctic Ocean," she said.

"The concentration of atmospheric methane increased unto three times in the past two centuries from 0.7 parts per million to 1.7ppm, and in the Arctic to 1.9ppm. That's a huge increase, between two and three times, and this has never happened in the history of the planet," she added."

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Response to BelgianMadCow (Reply #5)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 04:14 PM

17. Yep. Methane release in huge amounts has been noted for a while now.

I'm not sure how we trillions would help. Outside a major negative feedback loop... I don't know what could counter it.

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Response to Th1onein (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 06:14 AM

6. Epistemic Closure coming to an end?


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Response to Th1onein (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 06:18 AM

7. Human Extinction is Just One Generation Away-Around 2030

 

Last edited Sat Dec 1, 2012, 02:03 PM - Edit history (2)


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Are you ready for the country...because its time to die...
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Response to triplepoint (Reply #7)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 07:07 AM

12. Re: the last video

If Dr. Schneider could see what's happened in the past couple of years, I wonder if he'd still be saying "end of the world" is one of the "lowest-probability outcomes."

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Response to freedom fighter jh (Reply #12)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 03:00 PM

119. To be perfectly honest......

I certainly think he'd be pretty concerned over just how things have been going over the past few years, and with good reason, I believe.

I can also say, though, that he probably wouldn't be too happy with all the Guy McPhersons and Malcolm Lights out there; claiming that the world is going to end every other day really isn't going to help people wake up to the realities we do face.

On the other hand, though, I'm sure he'd throw some support behind Skeptical Science, Dave Titley, Katherine Hayhoe, and Peter Sinclair....now those are people we can look up to!

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Response to Th1onein (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 06:24 AM

8. lets prevent this

In my opinion



We need to replace the fossil fuel power plants, the primary source of GHG. Now!

At a scale required to accomplish this task :

Ethanol starves people : not a viable option.

Fracking releases methane : not a viable option.

Cellulose Bio Fuel Uses Food Land : not a viable option

Solar uses food land : Not a viable option

Wind is Intermittent : Not a viable option



All Human and Agricultural Organic Waste can be converted to hydrogen, through exposure intense radiation!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/DennisearlBaker/2012-a-breakthrough-for-r_b_1263543_135881292.html

The Radioactive Materials exist now, and the Organic waste is renewable daily.

Ending the practice of dumping sewage into our water sources.

Air, Water, Food and Energy issues, receive significant positive impacts .

Reducing illness / health care costs as well !



Dennis Baker
* Creston Avenue
Penticton BC V2A1P9
cell phone 250-462-3796
Phone / Fax 778-476-2633

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Response to dennisbaker (Reply #8)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 06:31 AM

9. It's too late.

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Response to eShirl (Reply #9)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 01:36 PM

50. yes

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Response to eShirl (Reply #9)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 03:55 PM

101. It's going to be so satisfying to tell the Repugs "I told you so"

Not.


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Response to dennisbaker (Reply #8)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 03:56 PM

14. Welcome to DU!

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Response to dennisbaker (Reply #8)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 04:45 PM

19. there are huge swatches of land area that putting solar on wouldn't harm food production at all

most of the southwest USA doesn't have enough water to be a viable agricultural area and boasts huge solar availability. much of North Africa is the same.

don't discount solar or wind so quickly, we just need to keep improving storage

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Response to NMDemDist2 (Reply #19)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 06:30 PM

32. they're still viable ecosystems-- converting them to solar farms would destroy them....

There is only one solution with current technology that will not cause more destruction in the long run-- we have to reduce energy demand back to nineteenth century levels. That won't happen, IMO.

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Response to mike_c (Reply #32)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 10:07 PM

43. it'll do a hell of a lot less damage than the fracking and the oil fields

i live in the middle of one, trust me on this

take a look at this, those squares aren't homes, they are oil well pads and that's just a 5 mile square. they are dotted all over southern NM

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=loco+hills+nm&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x86e3116f60af0271:0xacf469c576d5d53a,Loco+Hills,+NM&gl=us&ei=dMW6UKOiIIXSiAK-5oBI&ved=0CHMQtgM

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Response to dennisbaker (Reply #8)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 02:20 PM

58. Welcome to DU, Dennis! My name is Patrice. & I think working the odds makes very rational sense.

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Response to Th1onein (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 06:46 AM

11. With everything that the republicans are

wanting to do with Wars, SS and Medicare, it looks to me like they are trying to reduce the population of this Country. If global warming is not stopped there will be food shortages across the US.

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Response to Th1onein (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 01:59 PM

13. This article is absurd.

The methane they're talking about was once in our atmosphere. The Earth was much warmer in it's past. All life was not wiped out, in fact there were these Dinosaurs walking around.

Life is stunningly resistant to being "wiped out". Specific life forms go extinct, but something remains alive. Intelligent life, aka us, is even more difficult to wipe out. Yes, lots of people may die but the species won't go extinct.

That's not to say human-caused climate change isn't real, but this article is absurd hyperbole.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #13)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 04:08 PM

15. Permian Mass Extinction

One of the suspected multiple causes of the Permian extinction, where 70% of land vertebrates and 96% of sea creatures went extinct, was a sudden release of methane from the sea.

No amount of tax cuts will remedy the risk of extinction to humanity if another sudden methane release occurs. At best, we'll all be eating soylent green. More likely hard bodied cockroaches will be dining on us. Not a risk to easily dismiss, given the potential impact.

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Response to davekriss (Reply #15)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 05:04 PM

22. If 70% of land vertebrates go extinct, humans will almost certainly be in the 30%

Our numbers would be greatly reduced, and there'd likely be horrible wars to add to the misery of our massive die-off, but we humans are too adaptable to easily kill off entirely.

Of course, we should be very worried even about losing "only" 1% of our population due to climate mismanagement. If that wouldn't be enough to motivate change, extinction hyperbole won't help, and may in fact be counterproductive.

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Response to Silent3 (Reply #22)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 08:53 PM

39. Hmmm

I just don't know how you think the possibility of 70% to 96% is "hyperbole". I see it as a frank statement of risk.

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Response to davekriss (Reply #39)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 11:52 PM

44. The only hyperbole I'm talking about is the use of the word "extinction" is regards to humans

Devastating losses are not extinction. Only extinction is extinction. That we could make a big mess of trouble for ourselves, and cause extinction for many other species isn't hyperbole -- I'm not arguing against that. (We've already, of course, caused a good number of extinctions even without major climate change.)

We're omnivores with a very flexible diet that can adapt to a wide range of climates. Technology that helps us survive won't suddenly disappear completely either -- even clothing and making fire and simple tools are huge advantages, and we'd probably retain a good bit more technology than that, even with a great deal of infrastructure gone. While I can hardly guarantee human survival through a Permian-like change in climate, it's hardly a starry-eyed leap of faith to think that humans, with all of our many advantages, would manage to survive by the tens or hundreds of thousands, enough to keep the species going long enough to rebuild another day. (And create a new big mess all over again?)

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Response to Silent3 (Reply #44)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 02:37 PM

61. If everything else dies, what will they eat?

 

Eachother?

Droughts, dead oceans, hospitable land only in shitty ex-tundra soil, etc

With such a limited gene pool, always dwindling as land is turned inhospitable, extinction is just around the corner. Its a roll of the dice. In any case, its not hyperbole.

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #61)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 06:17 PM

71. The 30% of land vertabrates who did survive the Permian extinction...

...faced pretty similar challenges. They must have overcome those challenges, otherwise we wouldn't call what they did "surviving". They must have found enough to eat among the remaining plants and animals, from whatever "shitty ex-tundra soil" could support.

If other animals can get through that, humans are likely among the kinds of animals who can get through that.

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Response to Silent3 (Reply #71)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 09:03 PM

79. They had 100,000 years to reshuffle their genes and adapt via natural selection

 

This time around, we have about 200 years. Quite a difference

The Permian extinction was quick in the context of our cosmic history, but quite gradual compared to climate change. That is a massive difference that is not penetrating people's skulls. Not enough successive generations can come about to select the necessary traits for the altered climate

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #79)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 11:25 PM

83. Humans adapt quite a bit without having to evolve

As for the time period needed to adapt, if the extinction that killed off the dinosaurs was caused by an asteroid, that was a very fast and sudden change in conditions -- not as long lasting as the Permian, but extreme while it lasted -- and that shows that many species can survive just by migration, making due with what food they can find, making their way through being reduced to small populations but then rebounding, but not needing to undergo major evolutionary adaptation to make it through the bad conditions.

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Response to Silent3 (Reply #44)


Response to Silent3 (Reply #44)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 09:07 PM

126. Probably more like a few billion in all likelihood.

Or at least several hundred million in the long run.....and that's being highly pessimistic, btw.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #126)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 10:02 PM

133. Billions could go hungry from global warming by 2100

 

There is a 90% chance that 3 billion people will have to choose between going hungry and moving their families to milder climes because of climate change within 100 years, says new research.

The study forecasts that temperatures at the close of this century are likely to be above those that crippled food supplies on at least three occasions since 1900.

David Battisti, a climatologist at the University of Washington, used 23 models vetted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to calculate how temperatures will vary with climate change.


http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16384-billions-could-go-hungry-from-global-warming-by-2100.html


And yes, I've posted this study for yours truly before, noting that it could be far worse considering the IPCC models are conservative at best (soon to be replaced with worse projections as well)

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #133)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 11:07 PM

143. IPCC models are not conservative anymore, at least not temperature wise.

The possibility of a 6-7*C rise by 2100, under BAU with most, or all feedbacks playing out to their worst extent, has pretty much been validated as the worst possible temperature scenario at this point(the jury may still be out on 12*C by 2300, though).

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Response to Silent3 (Reply #22)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 08:56 PM

40. Moreover

There us little reason to be convinced that the human species would survive a Permian-level extinction, other than a kind of "faith" in our nature-defying resilience.

It was the little, non-consequential creatures that survived the Permian, not the apex species.

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Response to Silent3 (Reply #22)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 03:52 PM

100. The word extinction is not hyperbole when used to describe the state of the natural world.

We use words like "endangered" to describe species on the verge of extinction and that's exactly what would happen to humanity should global warming go unchecked.

I believe it to be a safe bet that if 70% of the land vertebrates were to go extinct, the repercussions across the food chain would be so profound, 1% of human losses would be a ridiculously low estimate.

Our own vaunted technology in times of great stress could magnify our undoing, one thing about the "survivors;" of the Permian Extinction and asteroid which wiped out the dinosaurs, none of them were capable of waging war to the magnitude that humans have accomplished.

They didn't have to worry about nuclear war on top of their natural catastrophes.

MAD is unlikely to happen during "normal" times, as virtually nobody wants to commit mass societal suicide, but global warming climate change at its' worst could be a catalyst dramatically altering that equation, pushing humanity past the sane envelope.

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Response to davekriss (Reply #15)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 06:00 PM

26. Didja notice that your example didn't wipe out all life on Earth?

That's my point.

No amount of tax cuts will remedy the risk of extinction to humanity if another sudden methane release occurs.

Humanity will not become extinct from your scenario.

Lots of people will die, but the benefit of having a big brain and technology is the ability to survive in environments that will kill other species.

We can already grow food in 100% artificial environments - we figured it out as part of figuring out how to do long-distance space travel. We can create those artificial environments pretty easily. We can't feed or house 7 billion people that way. But we can feed and house plenty to keep our species alive. And that's assuming our planet is turned into Venus over a short time. Earth can't become Venus even if you release all of the methane.

Not a risk to easily dismiss, given the potential impact.

If you want people to take the risk seriously, absurd hyperbole does not strengthen your case. It teaches people to ignore your position, even when you back down to predictions based in reality.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #26)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 09:08 PM

41. Your faith in humanity exceeds my own

I'm in the Gregory Bateson camp when, back in the seventies, he wrote that he and other reputable scientists concluded we are a species on it's way out. I've not seen anything in the last 35-40 years to conclude they were wrong.

We will continue to emit greenhouse gases, Fukushima-like radiation, toxins in our soil, gentically modify our food supply, until like the exponential bloom in the Petrie dish we'll see massive die-off. Why? Because like the spider spinning it's web, ant building it's colony, or men organically growing great cities, we can't help ourselves. It's what we do. Genetic.

Giganticism failed the dinosaurs. Perhaps intelligence will fail us. Phanti rei, everything flows, there is no reason to conclude we are the end to biological change on earth. The future may or may not include our progeny. It's not absolute, but if I were a betting man...!

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Response to davekriss (Reply #41)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 01:24 PM

48. It's not faith. It's evidence.

None of your examples will cause the extinction of humanity. Add them all up and lots of humans will die. But plenty will survive to continue the species.

Also, gigantism didn't wipe out the dinosaurs. They were doing just fine being enormous. The massive asteroid or comet impact wiped out their food supply. And as an example of the benefit of intelligence, our species would survive such an impact.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #26)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 12:47 AM

45. Human beings are still arguing over climate change and evolution.

And knowing the danger our planet is in we cannot even come to a consensus about ways to mitigate the danger let alone broadly enact these changes.

I think you are overly optimistic about humanity's adaptability and survivability.

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Response to FedUpWithIt All (Reply #45)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 01:29 PM

49. Consensus has nothing to do with survival

Assume we do nothing and the worst happens with climate change.

What, specifically, will manage to kill all 7 billion of us?

Drought? Nope. That'll kill lots of people, but some people will still be able to eat.

Floods/Sea Level Rise/Extreme weather? Nope. Again, will be very bad for lots of people, but plenty of others will survive.

Ocean Acidification? Nope. Will devastate the ocean food chain, but we don't have to eat seafood to survive.

So what, specifically, will kill all humans if the worst-case scenario on climate change happens?

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #49)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 12:00 PM

88. Heat.

There are feedback loops that are going to add exponentially to the damage we have done and will cause the warming of the planet to reach levels that cannot support life.

As the world warms, trees absorb less carbon. As the world warms more of the carbon sinks of the world die. When these die they no longer function as carbon sinks. In fact they typically then become carbon emitters.

The largest of these has to do with ocean acidification. Ocean acidification has grave consequences and is not limited to your limited food chain point of not eating seafood.

In photosynthesis, plants -- including phytoplankton -- convert CO2 from the atmosphere into their tissues, and produce the oxygen that we breathe. Other animals up the food chain feed off of this carbon that was pulled out of the atmosphere by the miniscule plants. A lack of iron appears to slow this process down, which could affect the food supply for other ocean life, and reduce the amount of heat-trapping carbon dioxide the ocean can soak up.


http://news.discovery.com/earth/phytoplankton-iron-ocean-acidity.html

Did you get that? The oceans and seas are the single biggest carbon sink of the planet and provide the most oxygen. The oceans and seas are dying and losing this ability. And this is just one, only one, part of the big picture.

So at a time when greenhouse gases are being absorbed at a slower rate, the planet is rapidly increasing natural sources of these gases. Methane is pouring into the atmosphere as the world warms.

You listed a few things and mentioned that not a single one of them would be sufficient to extinguish life on this planet. Yet you fail to realize it won't be just one. Every one of those scenarios is guaranteed to occur under the current warming trend. All at the same time. You will have dying oceans, while you have planetary droughts and the resulting famines, while you have sea level rises and floods, while you have countless natural disasters, while you have grid strains, while you have displacement, while you have unprecedented warming....

Big picture thinking is hard for humans. That is why i think you're overly optimistic.

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Response to FedUpWithIt All (Reply #88)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 03:01 PM

97. No. It's not going to get hot enough.

The worst-case scenarios are around a 10-15C increase in temperature. That's not hot enough to kill us all. To kill us all, you'll need >150F at the poles for the vast majority of the day, and no humans bothering to build protective habitats.

Neither of those are going to happen.

The oceans and seas are dying and losing this ability.

No, their ability to do so is being reduced, but is not being eliminated. Phytoplankton don't grow as well in warmer water, but they still grow.

Also, we have the ability to artificially create oxygen. We don't bother because we don't have to. When the alternative is suffocation, we'll bother.

So at a time when greenhouse gases are being absorbed at a slower rate, the planet is rapidly increasing natural sources of these gases. Methane is pouring into the atmosphere as the world warms.

Still not hot enough to wipe out humanity. Remember, you have to kill every last one of us. If there are 100 survivors of your apocalypse, we're still not extinct.

You listed a few things and mentioned that not a single one of them would be sufficient to extinguish life on this planet.

No, I listed a few things, and all of them combined are not sufficient to kill all life on this planet.

How do I know this? Because they happened before and did not wipe out all life on this planet. It's not like the Earth has always been a pleasant, temperate ball for the past 2.6 billion years.

Life is absurdly rugged. Life has managed to survive inside space probes. And that's just talking about bacteria that are completely at the whim of their environment. Humans have the advantage of modifying their environment. For example, we can keep our species alive underground if necessary. Billions will die, but not all humans.

Big picture thinking is hard for humans. That is why i think you're overly optimistic.

Actually, the problem is you're not thinking sufficiently big. Heck, we've figured out how to live in space indefinitely. We haven't bothered because it's waaaaaaaaaay too expensive for little reward. If the alternative is extinction, that price barrier will seem quite small.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #97)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 03:28 PM

99. Obviously you do not understand the things you're discussing.

Ocean acidification is killing phytoplankton. I said nothing about warming doing this. And do you even know what causes acidification? Do you know what levels phytoplankton can survive in? Do you know the exponential rate of acidification increase over the past 10 years let along the projections for the next 20?

Create oxygen? ugh...

Not quite getting it. Take care.

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Response to FedUpWithIt All (Reply #99)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 09:40 PM

110. So the fact that you only know one limitation on phytoplankton makes you an expert?

They're harmed both by acidification and temperature. That's why tropical waters are so clear - less plankton.

Acidification is a greater problem for corals than phytoplankton, while temperature is a greater problem for phytoplankton.

Do you know the exponential rate of acidification increase over the past 10 years let along the projections for the next 20?

I'm going to assume you think it's a limitless exponential growth, ignoring that the chemicals involved can't get down to say, pH 2.

Create oxygen? ugh...

Nuclear submarines. You might have heard of them. Turns out, they don't have plants to create oxygen from the CO2 exhaled by the sailors. But it turns out you can use a little chemistry to do the same thing!!!! Shocking!!

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #97)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 01:22 AM

113. Well....

The only thing I've heard in that regard is a possible rise of 12*C by 2300.....which wouldn't be enough to kill all life on Earth.......though it'd make life far harder in the most vulnerable areas of the world.

And even here in North America we wouldn't be safe; How about Death Valleyesque average high temperatures in Dallas? Or Abilene? Lubbock? Or even Roswell and Las Cruces? That wouldn't be too farfetched at all in that scenario.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #26)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 02:24 PM

59. The Permian extinction took place over 100,000 years

 

We would only be so lucky to have that much time to breed and adapt to our impending problem. The best we can do is be born from to a Trump family, build a dome and hope inbreeding doesn't impact viability

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #59)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 02:54 PM

64. You exactly explain why our species won't get wiped out.

be born from to a Trump family, build a dome and hope inbreeding doesn't impact viability

Ta-da! Humanity survives.

We don't know the lower threshold for a viable population. It's probably somewhere between a dozen and 100.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #64)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 02:57 PM

67. "We don't know the lower threshold for a viable population. It's probably somewhere between a dozen"

 

I don't give the 10 Homo Trumpsapians much of a shot out there.

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #67)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 07:09 PM

75. They just have to breed. They can do that. (nt)

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #75)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 09:09 PM

80. The rich I know can't even mow their own lawns

 

And speaking of people mowing their lawns, that is normally where their current sperm comes from. I'd be surprised if the bastards could figure the whole breeding thing out.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #13)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 04:11 PM

16. 10 million years

Postscript: After the Great Extinction (Permian extinction), it took about 10 million years for the earth to recover it's pre-extinction biodiversity.

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Response to davekriss (Reply #16)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 06:20 PM

31. For animals -no intelligent life forms- to recover, it took 10 million years.

jeff47 is right that what is happening right now does not necessarily mean the extinction of humanity. We need to guard against that possibility now but anyone saying the sky is falling does not contribute to the conversation.

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Response to randome (Reply #31)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 09:20 PM

42. Heck, were in the OP did it say extinction is a forgone conclusion

I read it to say it is a serious risk. It could happen, and sooner than many think. So sure, we need to take steps to mitigate that risk. Drastic steps. Reorganize how we live and breath, cease this stupid Lemming-march to catastrophy called "capitalism", find new ways to be and live amongst others.

It will be hard. Extremely difficult and maybe impossible if, as the link in the OP suggests, there is substantial risk of a methane upheaval.

Be here now, as that is all we have. Act Eco-ethically if we care about our children and grandchildren. Even IF we've irreversibly crossed the rubicon. There is no other way to be.

I do not see the OP as unduly alarmist. I see it as a one of several probable futures. But little in the last few decades led me to feeling enthusiastically optimistic.

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Response to davekriss (Reply #42)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 06:07 AM

46. In the last sentence of the excerpt

My bolding, but the original wording:

"the beginning of the now uncontrollable global warming induced destabilization of the subsea Arctic methane hydrates on the shelf and slope which started in late 2010. This process of methane release will accelerate exponentially, release huge quantities of methane into the atmosphere and lead to the demise of all life on earth before the middle of this century. "

Nothing about 'risks'; it's a bald "all life on earth will die within 40 years" statement.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #46)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 12:05 PM

47. I'm glad I had my orange juice, then

That does read like the author believes the risk has already triggered. I stand corrected.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #13)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 02:04 PM

51. Warming is projected to happen at 20X the rate of past warmings

 

Its currently at 10X, along with acidification.

The issue at hand is: can there be enough successive generations in an accelerated warming period to allow organisms to evolve to survive?

It doesn't quite matter what has happened in the past, but rather, the rate of change and if genes can be selected for viable adaptation in very few generations

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #51)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 02:18 PM

57. And intelligence means humans "evolve" much, much faster than natural evolution.

While we don't actually change our species, we can use technology to adapt to change.

Even in the worst case "do nothing" scenario, our species will survive. Billions of individuals won't. But enough will survive to continue the species.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #57)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 02:28 PM

60. It means we do not really evolve at all, as we have removed ourselves from the natural system

 

This puts us at a great disadvantage to other mammals that have shorter generational periods and more of a chance to shuffle their genes to survive in the changing climate (Im not hopeful its possible any can at this accelerated rate of warming though).


Even in the worst case "do nothing" scenario, our species will survive


Not the +10C scenarios I've seen. No. You are sadly mistaken, but sadness is merely a temporary human construct.

Your post is an example of the human exceptional arrogance that created this problem. In time, this will past.

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #60)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 02:51 PM

62. No, it means we have another source of evolutionary pressure

Intelligence means we don't have to evolve to survive change, but we still evolve. Intelligence just changes the evolutionary pressures.

Not the +10C scenarios I've seen.

You vastly underestimate the damage required to actually wipe us out.

List what will kill all humans. Not just billions from drought and starvation - there will still be plenty to carry on the species. You're talking about killing all humans. What, specifically, will do that?

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #62)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 02:55 PM

65. Once famine and disasters take their toll (and they will)

 

You will have a population bottleneck and a severely hampered gene pool. Mind you, what happens to a species when the gene sppol shrinks drastically? We already know this answer

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #65)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 02:57 PM

66. Population bottlenecks are not fatal to a species

For example, humans already went through one a few hundred thousand years ago.

We're still here.

So what's going to wipe out all humans?

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #66)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 02:58 PM

68. As you mentioned earlier, it only takes 12 of us inbreeding in a dome to carry on

 

So yeah, you are right, pure hyperbole (presuming the climate doesn't wipe out the super techno-domes).

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #68)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 07:11 PM

76. And you still fail to provide any specifics

So is the flying spaghetti monster going to destroy it with his noodly appendage? Or will mysterious vapors appear from nowhere that will destroy the domes or other artificial structures that we don't actually need to survive the worst-case scenarios for climate change?

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #76)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 09:01 PM

78. And your biggest refutation is science fiction

 

Last edited Sun Dec 2, 2012, 09:44 PM - Edit history (1)

The original claim is based on scientific observation; when habit rapidly changes and food supply dwindles, we observe species level extinction. Extrapolating on this, the author is assuming that extinction is inevitable for humans as well, who will be subject to a massive rapid disaster (I wouldn't go that far, but I acknowledge its definitely a high possibility).

The point you made was the term "extinction" was hyperbole. But you are optimistically thinking some science fiction scenario may save 1% of the population with technology. So, is it hyperbole to exaggerate the impact of an event by 1%, without figuring in science fiction? Does it make any difference in the magnitude of the event to the other 99% non Homo-Trumpsapiens? Not really.

The statement, while not 100% verifiably projectable, is possible and certainly not hyperbole by any means. For the majority of humans, between fresh water depletion, ocean acidification, climate change, mass species extinction, potash exhaustion, the next 100 years will result in the worst imaginable disaster that wipes out their entire immediate genetic line and the very reason for their existence. Does this tragedy seems any less intense to them if they know a few rich pricks might make it through (maybe, sorta)?

The possibility of extinction should be discussed openly and often if we are to motivate anyone to build resilience in the face of what is to come. Throwing garbage at people who don't use the language you like isn't going to do much to mitigate the disastrous consequences most people (those without vast means) will be subjected to.

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #78)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 09:55 PM

81. Again, you are trying to pretend we're just like any other animal.

We're not. Technology means I can easily survive here, despite the fact that it's currently 23 degrees outside. Without technology, I'd be dead very quickly.

The point you made was the term "extinction" was hyperbole. But you are optimistically thinking some science fiction scenario may save 1% of the population with technology.

I'm saying extinction has a very strict definition.

And personally I think worst-case scenario would be about 4-5 billion dead. If we use your 1% estimate, that's still 70 million people left alive. Or roughly the world population when the Roman Empire fell.

Does it make any difference in the magnitude of the event to the other 99% non Homo-Trumpsapiens?

Again, extinction has a very strict definition, and your worst-case scenario does not achieve it. The claim is our entire species will be wiped out by global warming, when that's not remotely true. Making such absurdly false claims does not win people over to your cause.

The statement, while not 100% verifiably projectable, is possible and certainly not hyperbole by any means. For the majority of humans, between fresh water depletion, ocean acidification, climate change, mass species extinction, potash exhaustion, the next 100 years will result in the worst imaginable disaster that wipes out their entire immediate genetic line and the very reason for their existence. Does this tragedy seems any less intense to them if they know a few rich pricks might make it through

Do you regularly contradict yourself in the space of 2 sentences?

The possibility of extinction should be discussed openly and often if we are to motivate anyone to build resilience in the face of what is to come.

Only if you want people to ignore your discussion since you yourself admit the prediction will not come to pass.

We're the reality-based party. We should be based in reality. 4 billion dead is sufficiently bad. We don't need to "sex it up" with lies about extinction.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #81)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 10:00 PM

82. Is there a word for death of everyone but extraordinarily rich elites?

 

Because if we can find one, I would just as well use that to convey the magnitude of this event to everyone who will being dying.

Lets make one up so we don't have this type of a bullshit discussion again. Near-Extinction-except-rich-old-smelly-fucks. Poor-people Extinction. Why-the-fuck-do-I-give-a-shit-its-not-extinction. Any ideas?

And again, I don't rule out the possibility that even the elites can't build a super-duper eco-dome that can feed them for a century or two and keep them safe.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #57)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 06:24 AM

156. I think you meant "adapt" not "evolve".

We might survive, but probably with the complete loss of our technological civilization. By the way, it would be nearly impossible to rebuild our technological civilization.

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #51)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 01:23 AM

114. There is ONE exception to the rule, though.

You may want to read up on the end of the Younger Dryas period. At the end of that era, that is, the most well known of the Ice Ages, temperatures rapidly rose across the globe, as high as 7*C in just half a century, at least according to some research.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Younger_Dryas#End_of_the_climate_period

Correct me if I'm wrong, but as far as I know, no significant extinctions occurred during this time.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #114)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 01:48 AM

118. Various megafauna species

 

There were extinctions during that time and ecosystem changes, but not a massive die-off of everything (and its not even known if the extinction were related to a specific impact event). The equatorial region had temperatures that allowed plants to support photosynthesis during that time, which will be a great contrast to what we will see in a warming period. Im not sure a sudden warm period will have comparable characteristics. Clearly its impact on mankind wasn't necessarily significant considering where we are today. Though the world was full of beasty, cold-hardy hunters who knew their stuff and didn't need barrels of energy burned an hour to support their existence.

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #118)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 09:25 PM

129. Perhaps, but my point still does stand.

The equatorial region had temperatures that allowed plants to support photosynthesis during that time, which will be a great contrast to what we will see in a warming period. Im not sure a sudden warm period will have comparable characteristics. Clearly its impact on mankind wasn't necessarily significant considering where we are today. Though the world was full of beasty, cold-hardy hunters who knew their stuff and didn't need barrels of energy burned an hour to support their existence.


Okay, and? Firstly, most people don't live near the equator(Well, there is Indonesia, Colombia + Venezuela, but that's only 5% of the world's population). And, BTW, maybe I should remind you that the rate of warming that happened during the end of the Younger Dryas was about twice that of even the worst-case projected scenarios out there, and those assume most or all feedbacks at their worst extent AND a BAU scenario, combined.

Now, of course, I can grant you that this scenario is at least somewhat different; we could perhaps see some better growing conditions in Canada and Russia as a tradeoff(although nobody can deny that the risks do outweigh the benefits by quite a large margin), but also less rainforest in the tropics, and that doesn't take deforestation into consideration, either.





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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #129)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 09:47 PM

131. We wont even have temperatures that support photosynthesis in the US breadbasket

 

A projection of die-off/displacement based on IPCC of the hottest regions puts the number at potentially 3 billion by 2100. Now, that could be incredibly optimistic if the IPCC keeps moving back the warming goalposts (as is expected).

I can grant you that this scenario is at least somewhat different; we could perhaps see some better growing conditions in Canada and Russia as a tradeoff

The further north you travel, the worse the soil can get (which isn't good because we are depleting the potash reserves already). I have no doubt the Canadian government would whore out crown land to industrialized farm corporations (we see what they are doing to the oil sands) but the yields may be less than spectacular the further north they grow. Besides, average temperature and regional temperature are two different things. We don't know that a warming world will create optimal growing conditions in Saskatchewan for example, or that Saskatchewan's winters wouldn't still be harsh or even harsher. Remember, winters in California aren't too bad, but they get an hour more of daylight--at least--than many Canadian regions (and vice-versa in the summer). But this could really diminish the ability to produce winter crops if they are all moved up north.

BTW, did you know a lot of good farmland in Sask. is already farmed? Moving our best farmland in the breadbasket to what is left in Canada might not be so pleasant. Just saying. Check out picture below I found on NYT (notice difference in land size):


Ok, so what land will be viable for staple crops in 2100 to feed 8-11 billion people?


And thats another interesting feedback loop....not only would a ton of land lose its ability to sequester carbon from the equatorial regions and out, but any new farmland development would require a major release of carbon and less carbon sequestering potential. Mankind would, in this instance, be creating their own feedback based on the changing climate. The carbon released from developing that amount of land would be insane (decades of fossil fuel burning probably to replace the breadbasket's acres). Some of that land is occupied by massive, ancient forests, like the tar sand land was

I would be interested in seeing this fully modeled with all the other data (the carbon release from moving farmlands and developing new logistical routes for food transport).

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #131)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 10:59 PM

141. That graph seems more than a little too pessimistic to even be partly realistic, TBH.

No wheat in America by 2050? 2150, maybe, in the absolute worst case(give or take 25 years). But not in 2050; average high temperatures in that part of the country are about 90 degrees in July, on average. Photosynthesis doesn't really start to slow down until you hit 104*F or so(although, granted, it doesn't take much more to stop it altogether).

Now, that could be incredibly optimistic if the IPCC keeps moving back the warming goalposts (as is expected).


Not really. And the temperature goalposts are pretty much as far back as they can plausibly get at this point, at least as far to 2100 or so. After that? Well, after 2100, there may still be room, I think; the total absolute worst-case scenario that I've seen, assuming BAU and at least most feedbacks playing to their worst extent suggests about 12*C by 2300; obviously this would be pretty bad, to put it very lightly:

Here in Texas, the hottest temperature ever officially recorded was about 120*F in 1936 in Seymour, about 100 miles west of Wichita Falls. If a 12*C rise occurs, it can be plausibly argued that average July high temperatures might not be that far removed from that old record; around 116*F or so(that's the average high for Death Valley in July, says weather.com), with perhaps something like 111*F in Austin, 107 in Amarillo, and about 108 in Houston(at least the air would probably be a lot drier, though.). But the heat wouldn't be the worst thing: Pretty much the whole state would be desert by then(of course, the rises are just a guess).










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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #141)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 11:26 PM

144. Why is Ortiz, et al lying to us?

 

Climate change: Can wheat beat the heat?

What is your truthy assessment based on? Does it figure in that our crops are already not enjoying the heat?

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #144)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 12:45 AM

145. Did I imply that anyone was lying? Did I? (No.)

Please, dispense with the strawmen.

Anyhow, it does still appear that the NYT photo's caption/interpretation/whatever was a bit misleading: the data does seem to indicate that wheat growth may indeed slow down in places like India and the southern Great Plains but nowhere does the data say that wheat can't be grown at all in these places by 2050.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #145)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 01:06 AM

146. Its already slowing down

 

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #146)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 01:37 AM

147. Not linearly, though. Not yet.

And it still doesn't prove that wheat can't be grown at all by 2050, despite what the NYT claimed based on their intrepretation of the data.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #147)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 01:58 AM

150. Then just keep whistling past the graveyard

 

Basically, to be honest, it really doesn't matter since what we believe (or what our confirmation bias allows us to) or do isn't going to have much of an impact anyway; either we will be a-ok as you repeatedly suggest, or we are fucked beyond the point of mitigation.

Optimistic truthiness vs pessimistic science isn't really irrelevant at this point in the game. This isn't about us. Its not about our mantras or worldview. The ball is in nature's court, and as one of your favourite climatologists says....

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #150)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 03:19 AM

152. Whatever you say.

Basically, to be honest, it really doesn't matter since what we believe (or what our confirmation bias allows us to) or do isn't going to have much of an impact anyway


I was going to say the same thing. But I'd be a lot closer to the truth.

either we will be a-ok as you repeatedly suggest, or we are fucked beyond the point of mitigation.


I never said we were going to be just a-ok. But the fact is(yes, it is a fact) we're certainly not beyond the point of mitigation, either.

Optimistic truthiness vs pessimistic science isn't really irrelevant at this point in the game.


Using that, the truth is actually the other way around: 'optimistic' science vs. pessimistic truthiness("The IPCC is still too conservative!"). And right now, the former is winning.

This isn't about us. Its not about our mantras or worldview. The ball is in nature's court, and as one of your favourite climatologists says....
Who?

In all seriousness, some of you "Cassandras" seem to be so eager to talk about how the science is on your side, yet I've heard, and keep hearing, claims that the IPCC temperature models are stiil wrong, or that we can't mitigate global warming(the science says otherwise, btw), etc. And yet, people like me, who don't believe that the worst-case scenarios are inevitable or that total human extinction is imminent or even possible due to AGW alone, are the supposed "denialists".....go figure, huh?

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #114)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 06:41 PM

122. BTW...

 

I was just thinking a bit about this. Since the impact theory is under a lot of criticism (especially in regards to being responsible for extinctions specifically), there are some newer alternative theories that pin the megafauna extinctions to potential human activity. Afterall, this sudden cooling period probably took a massive toll on the growing food supply and probably left huge mammals as the best source of calories for humans. It would then make sense that in the absence of decent growing conditions, humans would systematically hunt down anything they could to feed themselves. So, if this is how it "went down", we can conclude that we are not in quite a good place in comparison. First, most of our large supply of wild animals are already suffering. Secondly, there are a lot more of us (those animals wont last too long with 8 billion humans hunting them all).

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #13)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 06:05 PM

107. Don't like the World Bank?

Read the IEA's report. It ain't good.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #13)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 01:12 AM

112. Very true, Jeff.

An interesting thing I recently found out while casually skimming the web was that, at the end of the Younger Dryas period, a rather sudden warm spell put an end to the Ice Age and the Earth's temperature warmed as much as 7*C in just 40-50 years, and maybe on the order of somewhere around ~10*C in total. As far as it's known, there were no significant numbers of species that went extinct because of that, and that's twice the rate of the absolute worst-case scenario of ACC, so that does give me some valid hope.

It is true that humanity will face a number of great challenges in our future and there may indeed be many who die from direct effects of climate change; maybe not a few billion as some believe, but even half a billion deaths would probably qualify as the world's greatest tragedy by far.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #13)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 09:23 PM

128. ...was once in our atmosphere.

Nope.

It wasn't in the atmosphere since methane, NH4, is very reactive in a oxygen atmosphere like the Earth's. So it doesn't last forever. It is broken down into CO2 and H2O.

The methane bubbling up has to be created by either biological (bacterial) or geological processes.

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Response to longship (Reply #128)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 09:35 PM

130. Your grasp of chemistry is poor.

Methane is stable unless there's an ignition source.

You can tell this because a gas leak is not instantly a fireball, but requires an ignition source. Natural gas is a mixture that is mostly methane and ethane.

Also, if methane was so unstable, we would not be concerned about it as a greenhouse gas. If you were correct, it would not last long and thus not cause a climate change problem.

The methane bubbling up has to be created by either biological (bacterial) or geological processes.

It's from methane clathrates

The ones that are a concern with climate change are the ones formed in the polar regions from atmospheric methane or the reduction of atmospheric CO2.

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Response to Th1onein (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 04:50 PM

20. When the Supreme Court handed the Presidency to Bush in 2000

I think that was the turning point for the human race. If things were really going to start turning in a different direction we would have to have had a world leader who really understood and cared about it by then. There was a choice... and if they finished counting the votes in Florida it would have been President Gore.

I think that was our moment as a species and that decision was for the fate of future of the earth...and the Supreme Court handed the Presidency over to a warmongering infantile clown instead of a wise and ethical leader.

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Response to undeterred (Reply #20)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 06:09 PM

28. +10,000--I couldn't agree more and that's how I felt at the time

I was so enraged and incensed and I couldn't believe that people around me didn't appreciate the import of what was happening.

To me, Al Gore's decision and concession speech present one of the biggest ethical dilemnas--do you go with the rule of law in a flawed constitutional democracy, or do you go with the larger picture (which is ideological, as all science is, while simultaneously being science) and say, screw you, I won.

What I will NEVER understand is why Clinton didn't resign in late November and have Al Gore sworn in. It would have made things a lot thornier for those SCOTUS scum. I felt the Dems just didn't know the level of evil with which they were dealing.

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Response to zazen (Reply #28)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 06:51 PM

35. Yes... we let it happen in 2000

and watched it happen again in 2004 when Ohio was stolen from Kerry in the dark of night.

To tell you the truth I thought that Gore should have been at the top of the ticket in 1992 but since he wasn't I figured he was a sure thing in 2000. Never dreamed anyone could say there was no difference between him and Bush. I always thought by then people would have a real sense of urgency about the environment and Gore would be the one.

When Gore conceded it was almost as bad as 9/11. It was the beginning of things going horribly and irreversibly off track

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Response to zazen (Reply #28)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 02:10 PM

53. Wouldn't Gore's term still be over at the end of the year?

How would that have changed anything?

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Response to undeterred (Reply #20)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 02:09 PM

52. It'd be funny if it weren't so painful that the End-Timers are right, just not in the particular

manner that they assumed in the form of "the Second Coming", and (just like the role of Judas) their religious wars and the monstrously huge carbon-footprint therefrom, actually did end, was THE Tipping-Point for, something fundamental, perhaps even necessary to human survival, about us and the result of that dire necessity is the invention of something that to all practical intents and purposes is, in fact, a new/better/"higher", more highly evolved, human family . . . or not, i.e. "heaven" or hell.

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Response to undeterred (Reply #20)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 06:33 PM

73. Yes. Gore would have made a difference. Enough? Who knows, but it would have been better.

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Response to The Wielding Truth (Reply #73)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 08:38 PM

77. Clinton was taking the threat by Osama bin Laden seriously

and I believe Gore would have done a better job of following up on that than Bush did. As annoying as he is, Lieberman would have been a lot less damaging than Dick Cheney.

If 9/11 had been prevented we would not have rushed into two expensive wars without purpose. The whole domestic economy and the state of foreign affairs would be different today.

2000 was a turning point.

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Response to undeterred (Reply #77)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 11:53 AM

87. Yep. I agree.

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Response to Th1onein (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 04:52 PM

21. This summer will be telling

We are already in the middle of a drought.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #21)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 06:14 PM

30. Drought you say?

Oh crap, that would explain our lack of rain!

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #21)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 02:17 PM

56. Drought: an old movie that left a VERY deep mark on me was The Man Who Fell to Earth. nt

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Response to Th1onein (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 05:08 PM

23. Related article from current Scientific American mag

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=geoengineering-last-chance-save-sea-ice

... though IMO geo-engineering ain't gonna happen because money, political will, technical challenges, etc.

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Response to Th1onein (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 05:18 PM

24. It's already happened.

Didn't you notice? We're all dead.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #24)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 06:02 PM

69. I died when the acid rain

wiped out all animals and vegetation back in the 80's, how about you?

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Response to Riftaxe (Reply #69)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 06:29 PM

72. I did a lot of work for the Rainforest Action Network in the late 80s.

I remember distinctly being told that it was a "PROVEN SCIENTIFIC FACT THAT THE EARTH WILL NOT BE ABLE TO SUPPORT ANY LIFE MORE ADVANCED THAN A COCKROACH BY THE YEAR 2000"

This was repeated to me as gospel truth, several times over.

If I was still alive- clearly, not being a cockroach, I'm not- I might have some point to make about the usefulness of absurd hyperbole in the process of raising awareness around otherwise important issues.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #72)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 12:25 PM

89. Yeah, I guess those claims didn't quite pan out

 

Golly gee, I guess we just don't need to worry too much until we actually see climate change "claims" coming true.

You know, crazy talk like increasingly warm weather, droughts, ocean acidification, massive storms.

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #89)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 12:38 PM

90. Yes- 'cuz if we dont sign on to every piece of absurdist hyperbole, we dont care about the problem.

See, some silly people might argue that when folks make ill informed "scientific" claims- like the one about the Himilayan icepack disappearing in 10 years- that actually provides AMMO to the folks who want to deny the problem entirely, allowing them to point at the outlandish claims and go "see, none of it is true"

But those people are silly! What they dont understand is that everyone else is soooo stooooopid, the only way we can get them to listen is to endlessly repeat ridiculous hair on fire claims, never mind whether they're true or not.

Carry on.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #90)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 01:20 PM

91. Im not sure it is absurdist hyperbole

 

Its presenting a possible consequence of runaway warming as a forgone conclusion. But in any case, its not necessarily gross exaggeration that is commonly associated with hyperbole, but rather a misrepresentation of a single possibility as a determined outcome.

People will in fact die and/or be displaced--likely billions from the intersection of adjacent issues like potash depletion and fresh water shortages--but we have no scientific method to really narrow down the magnitude of these events to a finite sum of deaths. We likely never will. But to a lot of people, it will be the worst imaginable disaster they could ever possibly experience, rendering 'hair on fire' claims not so absurd.

Frankly, as tired as you are of "alarmists", Im that tired of "diminishers" who do little else but jump on language and presentation methods they do not agree with as mankind (and the rest of the word) race to a crisis of unmeasurable proportions.

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #91)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 01:22 PM

92. I agree it is a real, serious problem.

However, I think "global extinction within one human lifetime" (ALL CAPS) is a ridiculous assertion.

And I dont think the ridiculous assertions help the cause.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #92)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 01:41 PM

93. BTW, sadly...

 

If you post something like "Carbon Pollution Up to 2 Million Pounds a Second" people hardly respond. Clearly there is little concern to some scientific measurement (but here, you can see a large response to this extrapolation of a scientific phenomena).

Hell, even if you post Billions could go hungry from global warming by 2100 people generally don't care because 1) thats a long time away (discount factor) and 2) they aren't part of those billions in their minds.

Frankly, its only by saying "YOU will die" (implied in 'extinction') does anyone really, really get riled up, if even to deny it based on their own misconception of their immortality--they will live on as a consciousness in a smart phone after all. I mean, we are supposed to have Star-Trek biodomes in 30 years that will forever save us; technology will always provide (technology and development that depends on the release of more atmospheric carbon, mind you).

So really, I am starting to see somewhat of a dichotomy forming here between "alarmists" (those who see the data and entertain all possibilities including the worse case scenarios) and people who simply shut it out, except when their ego's demand that they shout down alarmists. Maybe at those times a crack will show in their techno-ego.

Or maybe it just doesn't fucking matter anyway. In that case, I can say all the absurd shit I want and build a cool cult while billions of people die with their fingers in their ears singing "neeener neeener, I can't hear you doomer".

The bottom line fact is the worse possible crisis that people will experience is underway, and whatever language that is useful for waking them up and having them entertain the most extreme response to it is fair game.

Right now, both our acknowledgement/awareness of the magnitude of this event is lackluster and our response is essentially non-existent.

Off topic, regarding awareness, someone at DU recently told me that not even our children's children's children would see a world with atmospheric CO2 at 400 ppm.

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #93)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 01:53 PM

95. This is where we part ways. I think lying to people makes them tune it out.

Sort of how telling kids that pot smoking will kill them makes them disregard the very real dangers you tell them about, regarding something like meth.

But here's the bottom line: I think, given the fact that internal combustion is so deeply woven into the fabric of our world, even "awareness" is only going to go so far.

We need real solutions, like broad technological investment into clean ways to power our civilization. Anything less isn't going to cut it. JMO

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #95)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 01:58 PM

96. I don't think presenting a possibility as a predetermined outcome is an equivilent to a "lie"

 

It could very well happen, but it is not guaranteed. There is in fact no guarantee that can currently be found in science. Hell, the title of this OP even does have a question mark.

We need real solutions, like broad technological investment into clean ways to power our civilization. Anything less isn't going to cut it. JMO


Broad technological investment implies broad resource/energy consumption to accomplish "ways to power our civilization". Again, I disagree that right now burning even more oil/coal is in our best interests.

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #96)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 05:30 PM

104. Not trying to be snarky, but you're using the internet right now, right?

What's powering your computer?

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #104)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 05:51 PM

105. Hydro

 

And no, thats not emissions free, as building those damns took carbon. I get that. I also get that "I" can't change the system by changing my personal behavior. My own changes are based on building resilience rather than my green ego at this point.

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #105)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 05:53 PM

106. Nice. I'm on an 100% renewable plan here in Oregon, too.

costs a bit more, but worth it to my mind.

Most people in this country don't have that option, not yet at least.

And realistically, most people drive. Most people aren't going to stop driving, any time soon. I'm talking realism. So, what are the real-world steps we can take to mitigate these problems? I think technologically, long-ball, the answer is to solve our power problems in newer and better ways.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #106)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 06:14 PM

108. There probably aren't real world steps

 

We are feeling the consequences now of the aggregate sum of emissions released during the last 50+ years. What was kicked up yesterday is still going to be in the atmosphere for the next 50 to 100 years. IOW, we aren't even yet seeing what happens when you kick up 30+ gigatons of carbon a year over and over and over, but since we already kicked it up, we will inevitably see the consequences at some time in the future. Burning more carbon to fix these issues (making shiny techno saviors) is really a non-solution, as its benefit will not be felt for at least a century, but its impact ("carbon debt") will be felt now and until that time.

The steps we should now be taking is 1) figuring out how to survive in at least a +4C and beyond world, and 2) how to transition our civilization (or post-civilization) to near carbon independence almost immediately, such they we can be sustainable once "the smoke clears".

Both approaches are being avoided like the plague by people in charge, because in some way, they both admit the "failure" of civilization. So likely, not only aren't there real world steps toward "safe" mitigation, whatever steps that are real are not politically viable.

This is why climate talks really aren't producing anything of value. There is nothing of value that can be considered a workable plan, insofar as that plan operates within the confines of an infinite growth civilization. So the only action in the meantime will be mostly symbolic, until the magnitude of the situation really become apparent. At which point, the last remaining "solution" that will be attempted, from what I can tell, will be polluting the atmosphere with sulphates and hoping beyond hope we don't screw it up worse.

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #91)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 01:43 AM

148. It IS indeed, very much absurdist hyperbole, and that's being a tad polite, IMHO.

Its presenting a possible consequence of runaway warming as a forgone conclusion. But in any case, its not necessarily gross exaggeration that is commonly associated with hyperbole, but rather a misrepresentation of a single possibility as a determined outcome.


It is indeed gross. Warren, once again, happens to be very correct on this.

Runaway warming? As in, Venusian style? If that in particular, was even remotely possible on this planet, it would have happened during the PETM or, even better, at the end of the ice age when temperatures went as high as 10*C in about a century, century and a half or so. And in fact, today's global warming isn't quite catching up to the latter, and couldn't quite, even if the worst-case scenarios(6-7*C by 2100, BAU, most or all feedbacks at their worst) do pan out. (Though I guess we should be thankful, under the circumstances.)

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #90)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 01:45 AM

149. Once again, Thank You.

See, some silly people might argue that when folks make ill informed "scientific" claims- like the one about the Himilayan icepack disappearing in 10 years- that actually provides AMMO to the folks who want to deny the problem entirely, allowing them to point at the outlandish claims and go "see, none of it is true"

But those people are silly! What they dont understand is that everyone else is soooo stooooopid, the only way we can get them to listen is to endlessly repeat ridiculous hair on fire claims, never mind whether they're true or not.

Carry on.


Darn tootin, Warren, this is the same general point I've been making for a while myself. Unfortunately, there are some people who just don't want to listen to the truth, for whatever reason......and some of these, well, wannabe "Cassandras", if you will, claim to be on the up-and-up, when they can't get half their stuff right.....

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #149)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 01:57 AM

155. I would settle if the current money train

got around 5% of it right.

There are damn good reasons for reducing pollution, changing the name of the de' jour cause is not one of them. (ooh data does not support global warming, let's go rename it climate change).


soon to be man made global warming, earth has never been hotter (grade school dropouts who never picked up a geological text)...

The real trick is to get people past all this obvious bullshit, and make them understand that we need a clean environment, we need energy efficiency.

In the end, the earth is going to be a hell of a lot hotter, and it has nothing to do with man (geologically speaking).

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #90)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 01:47 AM

154. Well said, probably either of us could list 100 reasons

to decrease pollution, or increase energy efficiency.

To a large part it's the crowd that paints a duck blue and wants us to call it orange that deters from environmentalism.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #72)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 01:26 AM

115. Warren, I have to agree with that 100%.

I might have some point to make about the usefulness of absurd hyperbole in the process of raising awareness around otherwise important issues.


Yep, I agree with that 100%! Too bad some can't acknowledge that, though.

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Response to Th1onein (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 05:59 PM

25. Cool.

Another "We're Doooooooooooooooomed" thread!!!

I thought it was all over Dec. 21st????

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Response to greytdemocrat (Reply #25)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 02:15 PM

55. I'm with you.

If WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE! WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE! I really don't need to know about it every 3 days (average of how often these WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE! threads come up). I recycle. I grow my own veggies. I practice green gardening and I capture water when it rains. I'm not sure what the hell else I'm supposed to do. This is a GLOBAL problem. Being reminded WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE! every other day accomplishes nothing.

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Response to Le Taz Hot (Reply #55)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 01:29 AM

117. Re: "Being reminded WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE! every other day accomplishes nothing."

Thank you! I'm glad to see I'm not virtually alone after all.....

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Response to Th1onein (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 06:01 PM

27. The GOP Dream

Except they think that God will make sure they survive.

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Response to Th1onein (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 06:13 PM

29. Yes; we went through this a few months ago

except no-one claimed it was a 'scientific article' then. But calling it that now doesn't make it any more convincing.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/112721718#post85

I'll repeat what I said then: "I am amazed at the number of DUers who suddenly think that one blogger can overturn the entire science of climate change a few months ago, but no-one noticed. When a single climate change denier claims they've come up with a theory about how there's no such thing as global warming, we rightfully point and laugh; when this guy claims all life on Earth will die within 40 years, it gets 46 recs. WTF, people?"

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #29)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 07:17 PM

37. Very astute of you.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #29)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 10:27 PM

137. Exactly so, Muriel........n/t

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Response to Th1onein (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 06:35 PM

33. "We Will All Go Together When We Go"

I know.. that's about "The Bomb", but the sentiment is the same.

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Response to Th1onein (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 06:40 PM

34. You know...I was going to argue and bitch about some people posting here

That they have an innate or intentional response to spew without doing any linear thinking on subjects like this...

but, I wont.

I will just posit this for you to think about...

paraphrasing: so what, the human race will survive from global climatic changes...

Ummm DUH you really think so?

The last major climatic change took 10 million years to settle back to planitary equalibrium, and gave rise to us as the dominate species.

Well MAYBE...just MAYBE if we were exclusively an agrarian society or PRE Industrial society that had not invented our own dooms day fucking timebomb known as NUCLEAR POWER...

Or do you think all the "Humans" that survive will be the nuclear power engineers and disposal experts? Sadly some might actually believe this...

If we have castastrophic climate change I don't care what percent survive...there will NOT be enough people with the expertise to keep these plants safe no matter whether they naturally scram and shutdown to low power mode or are manually shutdown.

WITHOUT CONSTANT MAINTAINENCE These plants will eventually leak dispersing unknown amounts of radioactivity depending on how severe and how MANY leaks or god forbid explosions occur...

Add to that there is NOONE to continue to encase the OLD radioactive waste and bury it...well

You are looking at WORLD WIDE radioactivity so severe that NOTHING not even cockroaches will survive...for an estimated decay rate if it ALL (and it wont) were decaying at the same rate of 300 million years before it decays from Uranium through the decay chart to LEAD...

Get that? 300 MILLION YEAR of Super Radioactivity encompassing the planet...

Oh and just we alone in the US have 106 of these timebombs, in 31 US states, in various states of repair today with an average age of 22 years old already...and they are NOT in the greatist of shape or quality of design...yes they are the best of 1970's technology but things have changed, and new designs should have been implemented 15 years ago instead of re-upping contracts on these old brittle systems...

Now go suck on that Methane while you can because when the radioactivity hits you, YOURE TOAST.

WE ALL ARE.

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Response to Th1onein (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 07:06 PM

36. It's not a scientific article. It's a blog post.

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Response to Th1onein (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 07:21 PM

38. Both the IEA and the World Bank have the same forecast ...

Apocalypse.

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Response to Eddie Haskell (Reply #38)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 02:14 PM

54. Which to me possibly explains maybe a little something about Citizens United. nt

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Response to Th1onein (Original post)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 06:41 PM

74. It's probably too late.

But it is still possible to fight for the wildlife and nature that will suffer. It is possible to count yourself as someone who wants to combat climate change. Detaching ourselves from Wall St, from the rape of our natural world to supplement a retirement of airplane trips and meals at strip malls. All at the expense of future generations and of course, the animals who have no voice.
If you don't give two shits about them then go ahead and invest. If you want to count yourself as someone who really wants to create a better world for tomorrow. A little soul searching can be rewarding and refusing to partake in profits from climate change is a great first step.

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Response to Th1onein (Original post)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 11:36 PM

84. Apparently practically nobody at DU believes this is a possibility

If they did every other conversation would instantly become irrelevant and stop dead in it's tracks. Weird.

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Response to whatchamacallit (Reply #84)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 12:17 AM

85. Few do but they are here

 

Modeling a plethora of unpredictable feedback loops are somewhat beyond our current understanding, so its difficult to rule out anything as beyond a possibility. To me, the magnitude of climate change according to even somewhat conservative, dated models makes 99% of the topics on these forums moot.

Even if some people do get it, the human discount factor puts it on the back burner. ITs more important to bitch about Walmart now than care about lack of food in 30 years

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #85)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:04 AM

86. and then we have reports from DOHA about the US refusing to decarbonise further

than the meager 3% reduction by 2020.

It's almost like declaring war. Oh wait, there's a currency war going on.

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Response to whatchamacallit (Reply #84)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 03:52 PM

121. People have been predicting "GLOBAL EXTINCTION" within their lifetime for thousands of years...

and so far they have been wrong 100% of the time. It is mind numbingly irrational and narcissistic to believe any of us will be here to witness the end of times.

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Response to cbdo2007 (Reply #121)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 08:57 PM

123. Not necessarily narcissistic, IMO.....

I definitely do agree with you on the irrational part, though. Because that's exactly what it is.

Of course, there's always the possibility of another K/T event or a Gamma Ray Burst, or something else on a cosmic scale, catastrophe wise, that really could wipe us out if we haven't colonized other planets by then. But those probabilities are miniscule at best, really.

Even a full-scale nuclear war probably wouldn't have been enough to wipe us out completely, and if we could survive that, then it's perfectly reasonable to assume that the same will go for AGW as well even if 6*C is attained by 2100(not all that likely but it's not something that can be discounted, either).

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #123)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 09:59 PM

132. It's irrational that it will happen at all....but narcissistic that we will witness it.

Just like the people who think Jesus will come back.....they never say it like it will happen *at some time in the future* they always think it will specifically happen in their lifetime and they will witness it.

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Response to whatchamacallit (Reply #84)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 09:06 PM

125. Because it practically isn't, all things considered.

I've pointed out that there's been several events worse than AGW that humanity survived, even the eruption of Toba(although, miraculously, it didn't seem to have caused any major extinctions, from what we know now.).....hell, even a full blown nuclear war couldn't accomplish that.

Truth is, we humans are a hardier bunch than we give ourselves credit for sometimes.

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Response to Th1onein (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 01:43 PM

94. Subject is in All Caps so I just assume it's true...

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Response to NeedleCast (Reply #94)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 03:17 PM

98. Can't argue with that!

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Response to Th1onein (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 06:17 PM

109. Is there any way to capture the methane?

Less global warming. No more need for fracking. It's a win-win!

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Response to Th1onein (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 09:48 PM

111. It's an extreme view of a serious problem

Note that while it has the structure of a scientific paper and is attributed to a retired climate scientist, there's no evidence of peer review, so calling it a "scientific paper" is at best generous.

A British chemistry student followed up on this:

With no evidence of peer-review for Light’s report, I decided to ask members of the University of East Anglia’s School of Environmental Sciences (where I am currently studying) to comment.

Professor Corinne Le Quéré, Director of the Tyndall Centre, disagrees with Light’s report stating that it uses a “very narrow perspective” of the overall methane picture, adding further that the recent unusual methane activity in the Arctic ice and oceans has “never been measured before.”

“We don’t know whether these spikes are natural or not. In the Arctic there are storms, changes in ice coverage and fluctuations in weather systems so before you can make this kind of extrapolation you have to look in terms of time and space, and consider other sources of methane production also.”

<snip>

Dr Andrew Manning is lead researcher of the Carbon Related Atmospheric Measurement (CRAM) laboratory at UEA. He had this to say: “Some of AMEG’s claims, and certainly their more extreme claims regarding such things as an ice-free Arctic in a few years, are in strong disagreement with current understanding of ice dynamics experts. Much of the science they give is valid, it is the timescales that they have wrong.”

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Response to caraher (Reply #111)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 01:28 AM

116. Yeah, my point exactly. n/t

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Response to Th1onein (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 03:02 PM

120. How is this not Creative Speculation?...

Way too often, woo gets a pass around here.

Sid

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Response to SidDithers (Reply #120)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 09:03 PM

124. Tell me about it.

This kind of thing seems to be a regular occurrence over at the E & E subforum, and just about when I pointed that out, I was often called some rather unnecessary names....."denialist" being one of the most frequent words used.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #124)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 10:05 PM

134. The word is "diminisher"

 

Your view on the impact of famine:

Or at least several hundred million in the long run.....and that's being highly pessimistic, btw.

Science's view:

There is a 90% chance that 3 billion people will have to choose between going hungry and moving their families to milder climes because of climate change within 100 years, says new research. More...

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #134)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 10:08 PM

135. But even that scientific view is a huge leap from...

'We're all going to be wiped out in one generation!!!111!1!!1'

Sid

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Response to SidDithers (Reply #135)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 10:15 PM

136. Of course, its based on IPCC models

 

They tend to err on the side of not freaking all humans the fuck out.

Check out some of Kevin Anderson (Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research) lectures on the current projections

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #136)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 10:35 PM

139. I've seen at least one of his presentations.

The one I caught was interesting but his statements weren't always real factual at times. (It came with both an audio file and a PDF. The audio was better..)

Also, re: the IPCC-It may be true that they did indeed err on the side of optimism some 20 years ago, temperature wise, but these days, their models are up to date in that regard.

What were the Tyndall Centre worst case temperature rise predictions for 2100, then?

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #139)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 10:51 PM

140. Oh, what specifically was he not factual about?

 

http://transitionculture.org/2012/11/27/kevin-anderson-real-clothes-for-the-emperor-facing-the-challenges-of-climate-change/

Please watch that. Its not about his projections, but the basis of the IPCC models, which go beyond erring on the side of optimism

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #140)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 11:02 PM

142. I'll have to dig the PDF up at some point, when I have the time.

BTW, as I pointed out earlier, the IPCC temperature models do not err on the side of optimism anymore.


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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #134)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 10:30 PM

138. Just being realistic, that's all.

And in fact, the New Scientist article turns out to be less pessimistic than I was with my scenario:

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16384-billions-could-go-hungry-from-global-warming-by-2100.html

I posited that at least several hundred million would still be here even under a truly, truly, extremely pessimistic scenario.....The New Scientist doesn't even go that far!

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Response to Th1onein (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 02:24 AM

151. Geo-engineering only hope

The arctic lakes are also beginning to release large methane pockets and there are millions of arctic lakes with potential thousands of methane pockets each. I am starting to think geo-engineering solutions are the only hope. Releasing sulphur crystals in the upper atmosphere or millions of mirrors to reflect the sun. Or perhaps even push the earth's orbit further out a few million more miles from the sun.

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #151)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 03:22 AM

153. Have you seen this paper, btw?

Skeptical Science had a really good piece back in 2010 on that issue. Here, take a look. It's the Pacala & Sokolow paper from 2004, on climate "wedges"(yeah, a tad old, but not that badly out of date, either.)

http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-too-hard-advanced.htm

Yeah, I know, things aren't looking as good as most of us would like. But there is some hope.

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