> We find that, although runoff from Greenland represents only 1.1% of the Earth’s freshwater flux, the Greenland ice sheet produces approximately 8% of the modern fluvial export of suspended sediment to the global ocean.
I am interested to know how this melt’s volume compares to other years/days on record though.
"at this rate of melting, Greenland is losing enough water each year to cover Germany a meter deep"
This is a roaring glacial melt, under the bridge to Kangerlussiauq, Greenland where it's 22C today and Danish officials say 12 billions tons of ice melted in 24 hours, yesterday.
Plus a cool video.
I'm an environmental studies major who pretty often preaches "It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine."
Lots of people hate me for that, but it has the upside that I can state unequivocally that I did not post this to say "The sky is falling!" and then run screaming across the stage flailing my arms like Kermit the frog.
1. It's irreversible.
2. Change is inherently bad.
3. Humans are incapable of adapting.
We don't need all of these assumptions to be wrong. If just one of them is wrong, then we aren't "doomed."
We have a long track record of being terrible at predicting the future. We also routinely predict negative outcomes and then move on to a new reason to hand wring when our prediction turns out to be wrong.
When the Kuwaiti oil wells were lit on fire, it was predicted they would burn for years and be a global environmental catastrophe. When crack teams converged on Kuwait, invented new techniques and put them out in six months, this was not celebrated. It was a minor footnote in more dramatic stories.
Y2K was supposed to cause a global financial meltdown. We look back on that and remember the folks who prepped for the Y2K Apocalypse as loonies. No one (but me)* gets up every day and goes "Thank God! We aren't living in the Y2K Post Apocalypse and my ATM still works!"
We certainly need to work on resolving some things. We also are working on it.
If you're scared, then give up your car, eat less meat, etc. You can be part of the problem or part of the solution. Your choice.
* Technically, not even me. I only do that occasionally, not daily.
Vote. Individual behavioral changes are fine and good, but structural change is the only way to meaningfully address the magnitude of the crisis modern civilization faces.
Or, to put it another way: you think the crisis modern civilization faces is that we don't have enough central coordination to enforce what needs to be done. I think the crisis modern civilization faces is that we have too much central coordination, so people who don't actually have the knowledge and predictive power they claim to have can mess up everyone's life instead of just their own.
And just to give some other examples besides the climate model predictions of warming:
Experts predicted that global cooling would lead to catastrophe in the 1970s.
Experts predicted there would be mass famine and a world population crash by the early 1980s.
Experts predicted that resource prices would skyrocket by the 1990s.
Experts predicted that we would be out of oil (not oil prices rising, but literally out, as in no more, wells all dry) by the turn of the millennium.
Experts predicted in the late 1980s that we had only 10 years to stop emitting CO2 or civilization would be destroyed. (Sound familiar?)
Except in areas where controlled experiments can be done, experts have a terrible track record of prediction. That's because in areas where controlled experiments cannot be done, the process of accumulating reliable knowledge is very, very slow. So it's not that the experts could have done better; they couldn't. Nobody could. But nobody wants to hear that we simply lack good predictive ability on a global scale in areas in which people have strong public policy convictions. People would rather have experts make unrealiable predictions, than have them truthfully say they just don't have the ability to predict.
Even the very first IPCC report from 1990 proved accurate in its predictions decades later because it was a consensus work. Climate predictions from the IPCC reports are accurate. There are decades of evidence.
Not if "consensus" is defined so that the current climate change alarmism counts as "consensus".
If the consensus is based on repeated controlled experiments that verify predictions to high accuracy, then yes, that kind of consensus generally doesn't make wrong predictions. In fact such a consensus almost never makes wrong predictions. But such a consensus is also rare in science, because it's very hard to make enough repeated controlled experiments to high enough accuracy to justify it.
> global cooling was a minority view and the consensus at the time was warming.
In the 1970s? No, it wasn't. The experts I mentioned were scientists.
> Even the very first IPCC report from 1990 proved accurate in its predictions decades later
I have no idea where you're getting that from. Those predictions are among the ones that are now falsified by the data. Even the IPCC itself implicitly admitted that in the AR5, by no longer claiming that its projections of climate change up to 2100 were based on climate models; they now claim those projects are based on "expert opinion", without specifying how that expert opinion was arrived at.
Surely you jest. The actual data on global average temperature has been below the low end of the 95% confidence interval of the model predictions for some time now. The model predictions were always high, but now they're so high that by the usual standards of science, they are falsified.
Sorry, but the fact is, as I said, that the actual temperature has been below the 95% confidence interval of the models for some time now. It is not "pretty much where the models predicted". Whether it's "about 1C above baseline temps" depends on where you pick the baseline, and there are at least as many choices of baseline as there are climate scientists.
> Using model runs based on much higher emissions scenarios than what actually occurred.
Sorry, but there are no model runs based on much higher emissions than what actually occurred. In fact it's the opposite: the actual emissions scenario that has happened is about the same as the worst case (highest) of the three classes of models (the "business as usual" models that assumed that no effort would be made to curb emissions). The only reason the actual emissions are a bit lower than that worst case model class, instead of as high or higher, is that the US shift to natural gas over the past 10 or 15 years cut US emissions almost in half. But actual emissions are significantly higher than the middle of the three model classes (the one that assumed some emissions cuts would be made), and much higher than the lowest of the three model classes (the one that assumed drastic emissions cuts would be made). So two out of the three classes of model runs were based on emissions significantly lower than what actually occurred. And yet temperatures, as I said, are lower than the low end of the 95% confidence interval.
And in fact, the disparity between the models and the data is even worse than what I just said, because the 95% confidence interval that always gets quoted is based on all three of the model sets. Which makes no sense at all, because two of those model sets were based on emissions scenarios different from what actually occurred, so they're irrelevant when comparing model predictions to actual data. In fact, the only one of the three model sets that should be used to compute the 95% confidence interval is the worst case one (the highest of the three), and when you use that confidence interval the gap between the low end of the interval and the actual data is even wider (and the actual data went outside the low end of the interval even earlier).
I won't argue that the people in power are doing great, but I can guarantee you that throwing our hands in the air and giving up on centralisation entirely is not the answer. For the above reason. It's throwing out the baby with the bathwater.
"Centralizing governance" can mean one of two things: political control by a government, or private ownership.
The latter does indeed work as a solution.
The former always ends up making things worse instead of better, because special interests can capture the government's regulatory power.
Then there's the issue of above-background extinction rates -- not entirely a CO2 / climate change issue, but arguably already irreversible unless we're about to go all Jurassic-Park-style Pleistocene rewilding over here.
Lions have adapted to hunt seals and seabirds in Namibia, study finds
India’s wild tiger population rises 33% in four years
Science has identified some 2 million species of plants, animals and microbes on Earth, but scientists estimated there are millions more left to discover, and new species are constantly discovered and described.
First wild polar-grizzly bear hybrid offspring discovered
New wolf coyote hybrid
I posit that some of our hysteria is rooted in our egomaniacal fantasy that we already know everything. We don't.
That's very far from the truth. Out of hundreds of known natural corn varieties, we're using less than 10 natural and some genetically-engineered in industrial farming. We are so flexible in growing crops, that we can select the most efficient variants for every climate and situation.
We don't need to. There is no looming climate apocalypse coming that will require large-scale measures in a few years.
FWIW, a single farmer figured out here in Austria, where it's too cold and dry for rice normally, how to grow organic rice in basically 2 years of cheap experiments. He's selling it for a living now. Don't underestimate our ability to adapt.
I have a serious medical condition. Due to physiological processes related to my health issues, I sometimes have big spikes in anxiety. I typically project that anxiety onto other things and then catastrophize about social stuff or financial stuff in my life.
I believe that dynamic is actually much more common than is generally recognized. For many people, fear of climate change may well be an unrecognized metaphor that fits with the idea that "I have a very big and threatening (personal) problem that I don't know how to solve, one so bad it is threatening to destroy my whole world."
I'm fortunate that I am aware of the somatopsychic side effects of my health issues, plus I live with my two adult sons who can tell me "Mom, we're fine. You are just having an anxiety attack because of (health thing)."
It appears that most people don't even recognize that somatopsychic effects exist at all, much less have some means to do a reality check and say "This is probably not really a reaction to The News. It's probably really a reaction to (health thing)."
It's called "climate anxiety".
ETA since we seem to have reached maximum comment depth: To clarify, the context suggests you mean to disagree with me, but I don't see any incompatibility between your comment and mine. These examples are not bringing back species that are currently extinct. That is not to say that life is not adaptable or that vacated ecological niches will not eventually be re-filled. Judging from the paleontological record, they definitely will -- sometimes rapidly and sometimes not for many Myr. Sometimes, due to convergent evolution, the replacements for a given niche are shockingly close in appearance to the extinct originals, but it's never quite the same as before.
I think the only thing I actually disagree with here is the apparent (implied?) suggestion that folks concerned about climate change are in a state of "hysteria." The climate scientists I know would be among the first to agree that we don't know everything!
Global problems can’t be solved by the virtuous behavior of individuals. This is a policy problem on a scale three or four orders of magnitude larger than the success stories you have pointed out.
I've heard this idea from more than one libertarian friend that "change is not bad" in relation to climate change in the last month, so it makes me wonder whether a think tank is spreading this talking point virally.
To counter with another analogy - this attitude is like living in a crackhouse steadily filling with trash and roaches and termites and not addressing the problem because "change is good" and "we can adapt".
But if you are an important celebrity, you should by all means (i.e. typically a private jet) fly to Google Camp in Sicily to talk about global warming.
If I weren't 10-15 yr short of dead, with no descendants, I'd be scared. But even then, why should I give up my modest comforts? Let all the 1% jerks who consume 10x what I do live considerably leaner.
Okay, but what percentage are you in?
Judging by your comment history, I'm going to assume you're in the US. That already puts you pretty close to the top 1% on a global scale.
Should everyone in the world look at Americans living a standard American lifestyle and think, "let all the 5% jerks who consume 5x what I do live considerably leaner"?
While that may actually be a fairly reasonable response, the problem is that the same excuse can be used basically wherever you are on the ladder.
Then there's those of us who do live without cars, with little or no meat, with small houses that use little cooling/heating. What does that make us? Fools for even trying?
It's true that having little money drives much of that. I've never liked working, unless it was something that interested me. And I've rarely (maybe 3-5 years, out of 50 adult years) had a 9-5 job. But conversely, being OK with a fairly simple life gave me freedom to not care much about money.
Anyway, I'd say that I'm pretty close to the global middle class. Close enough, at least.