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IPCC Scientist: "We Are All Used To Talking About . . Our Grandchildren. Now We Know That It's Us"

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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-11-07 03:24 PM
Original message
IPCC Scientist: "We Are All Used To Talking About . . Our Grandchildren. Now We Know That It's Us"
EDIT

"Governments don't like numbers, so some numbers were brushed out of it" Professor
Martin Parry on the IPCC's Working Group 2's Summary for Policymakers (Adam, 2007b)

The data discussed above suggests that climate change impacts are happening at lower temperature increases and more quickly and than previously thought. Speaking at the launch of the full 2007 IPCC report on the impacts of global warming, the co-chair of Working Group 2, Professor Martin Parry, told his audience that: "We are all used to talking about these impacts coming in the lifetimes of our children and grandchildren. Now we know that it's us." He said destructive changes in temperature, rainfall and agriculture were now forecast to occur several decades earlier than thought (Adam, 2007b).

The speed of change can in itself worsen impacts. Leemans and Eickhout (2004) found that species' adaptive capacity decreases rapidly with an increasing rate of climate change: five percent of all ecosystems cannot adapt more quickly than 0.1C per decade over time. Forests will be among the ecosystems to experience problems first because their ability to migrate to stay within the climate zone they are adapted to is limited. If the rate is 0.3C per decade, 15 percent of ecosystems will not be able to adapt. If the rate should exceed 0.4C per decade, all ecosystems will be quickly destroyed, opportunistic species will dominate, and the breakdown of biological material will lead to even greater emissions of CO2. This will in turn increase the rate of warming (Kallbekken and Fuglestvedt,2007). Temperatures are now increasing at a rate of more 0.2C per decade with some IPCC scenarios showing the speed rising to 0.4C per decade by mid-century, to which few species will be able to adapt. Another study of the IPPC report's low- and high-emission scenarios found 12-39% and 10-48% of the Earth's terrestrial surface may respectively experience novel and disappearing climates by 2100 AD (Williams, Jackson et al, 2007).

Speed of change and uncertainty impel us to consider the worse-case outcomes, not just the scenarios considered to be the most likely currently. Pittock (2006) argues persuasively that "Uncertainties in climate change science are inevitably large, due both to inadequate scientific understanding and to uncertainties in human agency or behavior. Policies therefore must be based on risk management, that is, on consideration of the probability times the magnitude of any deleterious outcomes for different scenarios of human behavior. A responsible risk management approach demands that scientists describe and warn about seemingly extreme or alarming possibilities, for any given scenario of human behavior (such as greenhouse gas emissions), even if they appear to have a small probability of occurring. This is recognized in military planning and is commonplace in insurance. The object of policy-relevant advice must be to avoid unacceptable outcomes, not to determine (just) the (apparently) most likely outcome."

It is something that has not always been done, leaving the science in crucial areas looking flat-footed and behind-the-times. Hansen sets the stage: "For the last decade or longer, as it appeared that climate change may be underway in the Arctic, the question was repeatedly asked: 'is the change in the Arctic a result of human-made climate forcings?' The scientific response was, if we might paraphrase, 'we are not sure, we are not sure, we are not sureyup, there is climate change due to humans, and it is too late to prevent loss of all sea ice.' If this is the best that we can do as a scientific community, perhaps we should be farming or doing something else" Hansen and Sato, 2007b).

Ed. - emphasis added.

EDIT

http://www.carbonequity.info/docs/arctic.html
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leftchick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-11-07 03:27 PM
Response to Original message
1. Holy Crap That chart is SCARY!
:scared:



wtf do we do??

:cry:
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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-11-07 03:28 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Yes, I'm calling it the Black Diamond Ponytail nt
Edited on Thu Oct-11-07 03:29 PM by hatrack
.
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NMDemDist2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-14-07 01:10 AM
Response to Reply #1
11. good grief, once I got that to the size I could actually read it
it's worse than even I expected

and I read this forum every day.....
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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-11-07 04:19 PM
Response to Original message
3. FWIW, I'm cross-posting this to GD
Edited on Thu Oct-11-07 04:25 PM by hatrack
It's probably the most important post I've had the opportunity of doing here, sadly.
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leftchick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-11-07 05:15 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. could you link it?
Edited on Thu Oct-11-07 05:16 PM by leftchick
I will k&r it for you/us. It is important and oh so scary. This makes me really question having my children at this time. :(
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emmadoggy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-13-07 11:29 AM
Response to Reply #5
10. I know what you mean.
I have 5-year-old twins and I am shaking in my shoes with fear for their future. It makes my heart ache thinking of what they may be faced with.

And yet, most folks seem so completely oblivious to all of this. Oh, they've heard about global warming and whenever the weather seems wierd someone will mention it, but for the most part everyone seems completely ignorant and unaware of all that is going on. Of course, if they aren't hearing about it every day on the national news then it just doesn't blip onto their radar so.......... :( And SOOOOO many people are so uninformed about it they just seem to think it means the weather will just be warmer :eyes: and hey, if it means our cold, brutal winters won't be so bad then what's so bad about that??!! :dunce:

It gives me little hope of there being any sort of success in addressing it and trying to mitigate the effects or cushion the blow in any sort of meaningful way. Nope, I believe the shit is really going to hit the fan.

:cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :scared: :scared: :scared: :scared: :scared: :scared: :scared:
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pscot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-11-07 04:59 PM
Response to Original message
4. Just one more of those things
that no one from the Bush mal-administration could have imagined.
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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-11-07 06:02 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Eight solid years of lies, obfuscation, inaction, whining and bullshit
Eight years of hydrogen cell fuel car photo-ops, "greenhouse gas intensity" and mealy-mouthed meaningless spew from the Simian Dauphin and his enablers and handlers.

Eight years that we'll never get back.
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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-11-07 07:57 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. I wouldn't call it "eight years" exactly.
I would call it 23 billion tons, counting only 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005.

http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/international/iealf/tableh1c...

One place I can find the culprit for some of this stuff is in the mirror.

I should have done more; I could have done more.
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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-11-07 08:44 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. True on all counts
And, of course, you're just counting the CO2 . . .

Well, at least it won't be dull!
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greenman3610 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-11-07 10:50 PM
Response to Original message
9. thanks, that's a great find
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