We rarely get this kind of data from developing countries, which means these studies are rarely or not at all performed simply because they don't have resources to focus on these causes. We have no idea how much worse the situation is.
Here we have methane levels increasing fast. There was another news that the third pole of earth i.e. Himalaya is melting rapidly. I am sure there are plenty more that I have missed.
Do we need more evidence to act? What are we waiting for?
We're waiting for a reversal in the apparent worldwide collapse of liberal democracy, I guess.
Probably climate change and said collapse will feed into each other. The way most oligarchs and their toadies are wired, I think they're more likely to look to pull the ripcord for themselves rather than spend big on best-effort change for everyone else. Dismantling democracies like America must be a central pillar of their strategy for consolidating power.
Incidentally, right now the single person most standing in the way of positive change (and he has even been dismantling previous progress) is a comically narcissistic, borderline illiterate fraud artist who'll most likely be dead before the shit hits the fan even according to the most alarming predictions. I don't mean to say he's fully responsible (far from it), but that's a good proxy for where we're at.
Once voters realize that this would take personal cost for benefits they won't see in their lifetime, I can't see them willfully voting for any substantial reversal.
Oh, they are feeling the personal costs of climate change. It's just the political machines are trying their best to hide this fact.
I think a generation of people are so brainwashed that they can never be convinced of the harms that climate change is having directly on them.
We just had a pretty bad recession, our unemployment is still above typical levels, and we just had an unseasonably cold summer after a pretty cold winter.
It's not an issue of being brainwashed, people really do prefer having jobs and homes over climate targets to fix a problem that isn't readily apparent.
I remember an argument I got into a while back, essentially it went
"They've been saying we'll be out of oil in 10 years for 30 years."
"They'll eventually be right, unless you think we have infinite oil."
"We can worry about it when it happens then."
Being proactive is hard, but surely it'd still be less effort than being reactive here?
But even if we printed it, it would by no stretch of the imagination cause hyperinflation, just inflation. The M2 money supply -- still an incomplete measure, as there are lots of kinds of money -- in the US is 14 trillion and change, per Investopedia. 12K per year * 350M people in the US = 4.2 trillion more dollars a year. Hyperinflation happens when a regime does something like double the money supply every week.
If prices stayed as is, it's hard to see why anyone would do a lot of the low paid to medium income jobs many people currently do. But those jobs would still need to be done, which would drive up wages, but where is the money for the increased wages going to come from? Well, businesses would have to charge more. That's inflation again.
These effects would still happen, but might be mitigated by easing in a policy like this over time.
I'm not convinced about taxing it to make it fiscally neutral. A wealth of evidence shows that increasing taxes on the wealthy doesn't significantly increase tax revenue. They just progressively take more and more of their wealth out of the economy off shore, or move off shore themselves, along with their businesses. Many governments across the world have tried this and it just doesn't work.
> inflation will be concentrated in staples and consumer goods
It would indeed raise prices unequally. That it would be in staples is not so clear; the US is not a place where many outside of childhood starve due to poverty. But whatever the next-most-urgent class of goods or services are -- home or car repairs, investments in health or education -- there would certainly be more demand for them. With greater demand comes initially an increase in prices. In the long term, in a competitive industry, an increase in supply that eliminates those excess profits. In oligopolistic sectors like education and healthcare, those rises in prices can somewhat persist.
In the long term, money are neutral while inequality is real. If you doubled the amount of money everyone had, prices would (eventually) double and nobody would be any better off. But if you give a fixed amount to everybody, you're muliplying the wealth of the poor by a much bigger factor than that of the rich. Prices will not adjust by enough to make the benefits to the poor outweigh the costs.
> If prices stayed as is, it's hard to see why anyone
> would do a lot of the low paid to medium income jobs
Median income in the US is just shy of $60K today. US households routinely have both parents working multiple jobs. Almost nobody aspires to live on so little as $12K a year
Labor market outcomes would surely improve. A giant fraction of Americans currently don't have time to search as long as they would like between jobs; they've got to take an offer fast. The freedom to take, say, two months off to find a good match would not only help workers, it would make industry more productive.
> increasing taxes on the wealthy doesn't
> significantly increase tax revenue
If that were true why would they be lobbying so hard against it?
There are, yes, a lot of loopholes in most tax codes. A rise in the tax rate that merely complicates it further will probably disappoint. But there are simple solutions. Equalizing tax rates across different kinds of income, for example, or imposing a wealth tax.
If you have society that attracts the smartest individuals for the most productive professions (which is right now anything involving information technology), your society wins.
Your society will develop new concepts first, will be the first to sell it, and the first to reap revenues from it.
Besides, it is very easy to tax the megacorps.
Tariffs on intellectual property. Or reduce tax deductions on licensing fees. Bermuda is the center of intellectual property ownership.
I live in the UK. We have universal health care, a robust social care model, my kids are getting a decent free education and we have a decent benefits system. I’m proud of all of those and don’t resent a single penny I pay in taxes towards it.
But plonking big wadges of cash on everybody, funded by hammering anybody that looks even moderately successful, is a recipe for economic mayhem.
I'm not saying I, personally, favor those things over what it will cost to limit climate change. But I think society as a whole doesn't have the stomach for it, and it's not just those living on the margins.
That's a false equivalency. Jobs and homes exist in other places than Alberta and in other industries than oil extraction. Sure it will be painful to change for these Albertans but to argue that they have no choice but to vote for increasing oil production is just plain wrong.
That aside, the point I'm making is that it would still be much cheaper to relocate people from those coasts (in the immediate future) and engage in emergency preparedness than it would be to substantially mitigate our emissions output.
In the long term, that fucks us, but most voters aren't long term thinkers.
Luckily renewable energy is getting to the point where it actually saves money over fossil fuel based energy. People might be loathe to move to electric or fuel cell vehicles, but costs are coming down there too, not to mention that many governments are banning ICE vehicles anyway. So the costs of shifting may not be that bad, and people will be able to realize some cost savings.
Right now we're at a point in history where shifting to a carbon neutral economy will be uncomfortable in some ways, but not horribly painful.
But the longer we wait, the more likely it is that we'll experience a lot of pain from climate change consequences. And the climate change will destroy a tremendous amount of wealth, cause massive refugee crises, and cause massive drops in food supplies. When those things happen it's going to much harder to make the shifts to clean energy because many will just be worried about surviving disruption in the short term.
I'm going to hold off on giving these governments credit until one of these bans actually goes into effect. Even the most aggressive of the measures that has passed still has a decade in which to be weakened, delayed, or reversed.
The decline will be rapid. Why maintain a fuel supply chain when there aren't many customers?
Mercedes just announced that they will cease development of combustion engines to focus on EV's. VW Audi Group just said that this is their last generation of combustion engines. I suspect we'll see similar announcements from other manufacturers in not too long.
We may see some countries soften their goals, but I think if some of the big automotive players commit to having products available to meet those goals, there won't be much need to relax the goals. Only things that would cause a rollback is if anti-environmental politicians get into power or governments attempting to protect domestic car companies that are late making the shift.
This is why we need to make sure that voters feel that lost income from climate gas taxes goes directly back to them through other means. It could just be income tax subsidies for low income brackets. Or I mean anything that makes sense.
Taxing climate impacting practices doesn't need to have an overall negative impact on the economy of the average voter! This needs to be made super clear.
Everything I've seen about the magnitude of change needed suggests this isn't true. And if we keep telling this story of "green growth", "only big corporations will have to sacrifice", you're going to get a ton of backlash once it becomes clear that is very much not the case.
Some things (eg flights) would get much more expensive, whereas more efficient modes of transit (trains) would get relatively cheaper, and also be subsidized by the fliers.
And the good news is that you don’t even need to wait for the majority to make the “right” vote. Apparently, it’s enough for the 3.5% of the population to take part in a sustained active resistance to bring about radical change . This is also why I believe Extinction Rebellion is the last hope of humanity.
3.5/100 is for easy concessions that didn't actually require giving up capital (like race concessions, because racism is actively irrational). A rational actor today who only cares about their own interests (like the super rich) will fight tooth and nail to prevent any actual change to their consumption.
Thus probably the rich enough can protect themselves and their children from climate effects. They can sacrifice the pawns. What's a hundred million refugees if they can prop up their coal investment for another decade.
We've seen from recent economic crises that people are willing to tolerate and even vote for austerity; but since then they've noticed that all the austerity happened to people at the bottom of the economic pyramid and those at the top barely suffered at all. They've also noticed that a considerable portion of their taxes is pent on policing whose purpose is not the prevention of crime but the maintenance of the economic status quo.
Dying on a burning planet is a cost I expect to feel personally.
But you understand that isn't how the science works, right?
Maybe governments and oligarchs in richer more powerful nations have concluded in secret that the situation is hopeless and that it's too late to prevent major climate change, so they are deploying totalitarianism.
When I see Trump's push to build the wall, I think maybe the wall is not for today's migrant workers and trickle of refugees. Maybe it's to wall off America from millions of refugees fleeing climate change related catastrophes and the resulting political instability. Trump's bizarre floating of a Greenland purchase? Maybe Greenland will be more valuable when the ice melts. The push to bring back lower-margin manufacturing even at the cost of an expensive and economically dangerous trade war? Maybe the people behind Trump see a global melt down (pun intended) as leading to a world with less international trade and more animosity and they want to make sure we have our own manufacturing capacity under our control. (I see Trump as a figurehead with a certain faction of the intelligence and American oligarch community behind him. He's an actor playing a part.)
When I see China's social credit system I think extreme system of social control to deal with the unrest that's likely to come. Maybe China is adding another 250GW of coal because the situation is hopeless anyway and they've calculated that it's better to accelerate their economic development so they have more resources going into this period. If the ship is sinking who cares if you put another hole in it, especially if it buys you more lifeboats.
Maybe Russia is building nuclear cruise missiles and other doomsday weapons to defend itself from China. (Others too, but China is the scariest threat in this scenario.) It like Canada has a huge territory with a small population relative to its size, but unlike Canada it does not have a superpower ally neighbor. If climate change warms northern Russia it could become prime farm land. Russia also has massive natural resources including probably a ton of undiscovered rare Earths and lithium for high technology and batteries. I could see China with its 1.3 billion people living in low-lying areas that are likely to be flooded in a worst case scenario deciding that it's going to just seize the sparsely populated half of Russia to its North. Right now China with its tens-of-millions-strong army could walk right up there and take it and there's not much Moscow could do about it.
This scenario is not "the end of the world." The richer nations actually might not fare that bad. Some could even benefit. The poorer nations and their inhabitants could suffer mightily. It could be an unprecedented humanitarian disaster.
I'm not advocating this by any stretch. Don't shoot the messenger. This is the horrible Realpolitik outcome that we'll get if we choose defection over cooperation in a game theoretic sense.
Personally if this scenario unfolded I would advocate unification of the United States and Canada (to whatever extent is politically possible) and opening our borders to anyone without a provable criminal record. Let all those migrants head all the way up to the far North, settle it, and establish farms and industry. Brain drain from places like Nazi Germany, China, the USSR, etc. created the last American century, so maybe it could happen again. In any case the economic growth we would get from this would help us afford to do things like build the great New York and Boston sea walls, the system of locks and pumps to save much of Los Angeles, and New Miami.
We're unlikely to do that though. That's not how most people think in a scarcity or threat scenario.
Global warming is absolutely going to kick off a period of high geopolitical instability. Geopolitical in the classic sense of the geography. The borders of our countries, populations, alliances, and economic base are all tightly coupled to the natural resources of each country. Those natural resources are about to change rapidly. Instability in a single country (Syria) created a European refugee crisis. Every low latitude country is about to experience a simultaneous refugee crisis.
Our political and business leaders are not idiots, no matter how often we portray them that way. They have the best data. They need to in order to make decisions about how to remain in power or stay profitable. They do know what's coming. For them, this was never about the coral and the birds. Some have clearly concluded that there's nothing to be done but make hay while the sun shines.
Someone else just posted this 10 year old video on the geopolitics of climate change. I wanted to make sure you saw it.
Also, you give those in power far too much credit. If they had actually concluded the situation was hopeless, we would be seeing large geoengineering investments right now
Are there any geoengineering projects that would really work? What if we are on the precipice of a methane-driven feedback loop and military/intelligence secretly knows this?
In any case perhaps that's not how they think. The powerful nations of the world are still largely dominated by their militaries and military-type thinking, which leads people to think in terms of defense and strategic conflict not neutral engineering or cooperative approaches.
I am personally not totally convinced because the quantity of olivine that should be moved is greater that the oil we are currently moving annually, but still it looks slightly better than SO2 because there is no ocean acidification, from my layman perspective.
For cooling earth dispersing sulfate particles in the upper atmosphere is generally believed to be economically and technologically viable . For more predictable and controllable results we can deploy sun shades made of thin foil into orbit.
Alternatively we can develop the tech to be self sufficient in reasonable luxury on Mars or the Moon. Great for anyone with enough money to go there, and for the slightly less wealthy the tech will be applicable to make your mansion on earth more comfortable
I'll just mention how all three of those plans would benefit from cheap access to space. So if I had a few million from selling my start up and I was worrying about climate change I might start a rocket company. Or maybe produce electric cars to help turn this ship around instead. Maybe both.
I think this is the answer. I don't think the situation is as out of control as everyone is led to believe. It's just not being handled as everyone would believe. Imagine if it was possible to geoengineer our way out of climate change? Think about the powerful implications that would create in terms of ability to affect others climate situation around the world and what that means to those currently in power.
Evidence suggests that solar geoengineering with SO2 would work.
Occam's razor I'm more likely to believe in just incompetence than a cabal of elites who know that geoengineering won't work without having conducted any real experiments
>>A side effect of Beijing’s investment – an influx of Chinese migrants – is often perceived by locals as an expression of China’s de facto territorial expansion.
The article goes on to say that the scale of the migration is not actually that large, but it's an interesting tidbit.
I believe WWIII is already happening, it's just not a typical war fought with soldiers. It's a battle of memes (unit of culture, much deeper than reddit memes) proliferated through media to divide, distract, delude the masses. Those in power intend to keep their power and are perfectly aware of the situation unfolding around the globe. They are making moves accordingly, the media doesn't know the long-con so they chalk it all up to mental illness and corruption. If they are all sociopathic, why would they reveal their plans to society? It would go against their deepest instinct for self-preservation.
Yes, the world's poorest regions will be devastated the most and there will be millions of migrants TRYING to move to America more than any other nation. By then, there will be many 'moats' in place to protect the American people. China is already moving people and capital into key regions around the globe (Suriname, next to Brazil) to capitalize on the situation as it unfolds. India will be hit particularly hard because of the amount of people in their country.
The global elite already have 'escape plans' like private islands and top-floor penthouses with guards in the lobby. Some of them care about what happens to the 'commonfolk', some of them don't. That's just the way it is.
The way to stay sane in all this is start with yourself, do what you can to be skillful and of service, build a life connected to nature, live off the land as much as possible, work remotely if possible, know how to live without tech if possible. This is all practical to me, I don't know how else to plan for 'retirement' other than this.
Full scale hot wars between major powers have been too Pyrrhic a scenario even for the winner since the bomb, so now they are a mix of propaganda, espionage, proxies, terrorism, and economic warfare. The meme stuff you mention is just newer propaganda techniques. Terror is really another propaganda technique.
As others have noted in my OP I perhaps made it sound too conspiracy-ish and organized. There is surely a bit of that but it's mostly people behaving in a short sighted, selfish, and reactive way.
I don't think tech will collapse. I think as nature collapses we may grow more reliant on it. Space is on the table too. It's another place to go, and very strategically powerful.
This future looks a ton like cyberpunk. The prophecies of William Gibson continue to unfold.
It sucks in that there were and are much better options, but collectively I am not convinced humans are intelligent or conscious enough to override the brain stem yet and choose them.
Oh well time to go fry up some krill wafers and jack back into the matrix.
What WE need to do is VOTE, first off, and second, realize that politicians and corporate entities are those with the power to truly shift our behavior as an economy. Until politicians and corporations make huge moves, we'll be stuck waiting and making minor tweaks to our relatively inconsequential individual carbon footprints.
Voting is nice in theory but in practice is extremely amendable to corruption. 18th century technology isn't cutting it in the 21st century. In a rational world our legal code would be editable like Wikipedia built on top of blockchain. If you look at representative government as an information system it's screamingly obvious that it no longer functions properly and is ripe for abuse.
And that’s a shame because the general consensus is that in terms of effectiveness (i.e. not accounting for economic fallout), simply directly taxing CO2 emissions at “only” $60-100 per metric ton would work instant miracles.
Vote anyways, it's our duty to at least do that.
I'm being pragmatica here. How and to what end is this statement and the aggregation of headlines on hacker news hoping to persuade the hn reader? Donate all money to causes? Starve ourselves to death? Go retreat from our lives to invest in reforestation efforts, managing beehives, and growing pesticide free sustenance farms while microcurating our own little corner of the Earth?
Or is it simply to strike undirected alarmism and fear in hopes it contributes to some vagie movement to improve the earth?
Can you be more constructive in your feedback, please?
https://citizensclimatelobby.org/ is doing really good work. They focus on a very non-adversarial approach, and are changing the minds of a lot of congresspeople about vital climate legislation. It's a very effective approach. Joining up with your local chapter and volunteering is a great way to spend your time and energy, if you have it.
A small thing anyone can do is sign up for https://projectgrandcanyon.com/ and call their congressperson once a month.
If you are willing to make a personal change, learn about veganism. You don't have to go completely vegan. It's great if you can, but if it's too scary, start with Meatless Monday and go from there. Rather than thinking about how to reduce meat, think about how to fill your diet with more meat-free options. Learn to make some tasty, filling vegetarian or vegan pastas, curries, and other recipes. Eat more starchy foods, whole grains, and beans.
If you can, and it suits you, move to a dense, walkable area of the city. This isn't possible or desirable for everyone, obviously.
I'm still trying to be conscious about meat consumption (and will gladly adopt lab-grown meat) but that impact pales in comparison to avoiding plane trips.
1) End fossil fuel subsidies
2) Apply or increase taxes on emissions
3) Invest the money from 1 and 2 heavily in nuclear, renewables and CO2 capture and storage for industries that can't just switch to clean electricity, negative emissions and "mild geoengineering" solutions.
Unfortunately, this is bad news for lots of existing multinational companies, and for lots of rich people, who lobby politicians hard to avoid this.
1) make a decision as a leader of a country / major player in the global economy
2) do small stuff that are very hard to quantify in effectiveness (eg call legislative representative, or go vegan)
3) dramatically change lifestyle
I fail to see how any of those are realistic. Especially 3 has never been shown to be implemented willingly by people, given that if not coordinated, will result in social isolation.
There is no sustainable future where we get to keep our current lifestyles.
* Stop supporting meat -- transfer those subsidies to carbon-friendlier foods and farming
* Make public transit free and much more widespread, fund it with taxes on pollution externalities from private transport
Transfer subsidies on fossil fuel power (and tax them) to wind and solar projects, too.
Doing this at a societal level would create a new set of winners and losers in the profit-making sense, of course; those would-be losers are the ones fighting these sorts of changes.
Most people don't have the skills to be able to listen to science. They don't know how to read and interpret and abstract and then dig in further and read an entire scholarly peer-reviewed paper. That's just part of the problem. The other part is that most people are completely innumerate.
I doubt it is intentional, the journalists now aren’t capable of understanding, but they know how to write things in a way to get as many clicks.
I'm sure some do, but considering the huge number of deniers and their effect on government policy humanity's biggest issue is not understanding the facts (established by science) of climate change.
Almost all developed nations already have birth rates below the replacement level. The only way our populations are not falling is through migration from less developed countries.
The correct answer was a carbon tax.
Thus could it be that dissolved methane is being released from ocean and lakes as earth is heating? The gas law would imply that. As the liquid that contains methane heats the dissolved methane will be released to the atmosphere.
Same gas law Henry’s law is also active during scuba diving nitrogen absorption.
Henrys gas law.
Methane example of Henry’s law for dissolved methane in a well
Reducing human greenhouse gas output won’t happen fast enough to fix things, and I’m not sure that it’s possible to capture and trap existing green house gases, but it’s the only chance we have, because it’s the only way to stop the positive feedback loops that are currently running, warming oceans, melting glaciers, and thawing permafrost. We need to reverse warming, not slow it down.
The current approach of “adding less” is absurd. If you need 2,500 calories to maintain your weight, and you are eating 25,000 calories you will get fat fast. Reducing calorie intake to 15,000 won’t let you lose weight, you’ll just get fatter slower.
Our current approach to climate change is to get fatter slower, we need to lose weight.
We need the capacity to capture and sequester per year, 10% more green house gases than we produce per year. Because we need to reduce the total amount of green house gases in the upper atmosphere.
Any capture/sequestration tech that produces marketable byproducts may have a big leg up on any tech that has to depend on large purely-altruistic investments.
Technology tends to get more efficient with time/investment/scale.
If any capture/sequestration processes achieve profitability (maybe even just marginal profitability after an initial capital investment), it may not be straightforward to turn them back off .
1. Stop doing it
2. Reverse it.
We can't reverse the amount of carbon without stopping our emissions. And it is important that we don't _allow_ people to hand wave one away for the other. We need at least both, we also need to track mitigations in helping the environment (trees, animals, rivers) to operate in these new regimes.
 - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21026975
I'm sure tree-farmers would sale their trees to governments interested in sequestering carbon. Probably could just dump them in the oceanic trenches...
Also, I believe we were talking about methane - and while these nifty "tree" things appear to sequester CO2, I believe these produce some amount of methane. Again, perhaps pair Trees(tm) with something to address the methane? For example, I've heard about "fire" but unsure if it can be deployed in the upper atmosphere, requires unrealistic concentrations of methane, or whether its outputs and side effects are acceptable.
It's very likely best to focus in CO2 and let CH4 follow its short lived natural course.
Better than nothing yes, but not enough.
Long, good, hard to summarize but I'll try: Things are worse than publicly talked about; there are a few options (geo-engineering). "People always raid before they starve."
- - - -
We have the solutions already.
Cut-n-paste from a comment yesterday, apologies if you've seen it already, I think it's worth it:
For practical advice on what to do I recommend Toby Hemenway's videos in re: Permaculture
Especially "How Permaculture Can Save Humanity and the Planet – But Not Civilization" and the sequel "Redesigning Civilization with Permaculture".
Permaculture is a school of applied ecology (the word itself is a portmanteau of PERMAnent agriCULTURE) that has adherents and practitioners world-wide. It's not the only form of regenerative agriculture either.
See also https://www.greenwave.org/our-work Oceanic 3D farms! And now they are building reefs?
All I can tell them is "Yes, we got our cyberpunk - unfortunately, we didn't get the Diamond Age, or even Neuromancer - we instead got David Brin's Earth..."
As far as why methane levels are rising so fast - I suspect it has to do with the thawing of arctic permafrost (ever seen videos of "bogs" in Russia and Siberia that move like a waterbed?), and possibly also methane hydrates at shallower depths releasing their gases because of ocean warming (and maybe other factors).
Of course - this is all speculation and I am far from being the person to answer this in any true manner. But if I had to make my guess - that's the most likely reason.
As far as if we can stop it? Well - I think we're far too late to do anything. We probably should've started back in the 1970s or earlier (that would be my best guess) - and people back then were talking about this kind of thing.
But nobody ever listens to the geeks and eggheads; I mean, what the hell do those dorks know? They only dedicate their lives and brains to such things, and we all know they can't party, right?
So - enjoy what we have left, because we're only seeing the start of massive die-offs that will eventually get to us. Don't worry about the Earth though - it will be fine.
Look at this plot:
You can see where we are and what else is possible if we keep going. (Let's hope we don't trigger feedback effects which are not included in the plot though.)
Here are possible paths forward to stay below 1.5°C:
And yes, they are hella optimistic, but they are (physically) possible. Let's at least give our best and fight!
(Details and plot captions in the full IPCC report: https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/)
If methane levels are higher than we thought wouldn’t that make our climate models wrong? Ie less of a heating effect from co2?
What's happening is that the methane level is increasing faster than people expected. It could be from permafrost melting, or leaks from natural gas infrastructure, or various other things.
But also climate modeling is very hard. Nate Silver had a whole chapter on what climate scientists are up against in his book, The Signal and the Noise. They have to make due with very long feedback cycles and noisy data. We've known since Svante Arrhenius's work in 1895 that more carbon in the atmosphere will tend to lead to warmer temperatures. Since then we've developed complicated models trying to relate air temperature to sea temperature to water vapor in the atmosphere to plant growth and so on. But this is a very hard task. We know that complicated interactions are going on beyond the simple CO2->temperature model because of things like the weird warming pause in the 2000s before temperature roared back up to trend-lines. But so far we haven't been particularly successful at predicting deviations from the simple model.
This is scary because while we lucked into some climate buffering in the 2000s there's also the possibility of positive feedback loops that might get set off. Scientists have several in mind that might exist, they're trying to predict how much warming might set them off, but they really can't be sure when and/or if they might trigger.
One known possible positive feedback loop is methane release from the arctic. This is something of a known unknown, in that we know its possible but know that we don't have very good estimates of when it'll release and how much. Hence the people in the arctic. Hence people like the scientists in the article going up there trying to lessen the scope of the unknown. Given that methane levels are increasing we know something bad is happening. It might just be a burp before things settle again with most arctic methane staying locked away until global temperatures hit 4C over baseline or something. Or it might be about to get Very Bad right now. More research is required.
Thankfully methane only has a half life in the atmosphere before turning into CO2 and water of something like a dozen years so there might be hope of riding out a methane release, and slow releases can be managed. It's not CO2 which also has an a half-life in the air and oceans dues to rock weathering, but that half life is so long it's beyond any planning horizon we might have unless we start geoengineering to speed it up.
Ridiculous that the subject has become so dogmatic that one must prostrate oneself before stating anything even potentially critical
(As opposed to research into reductions which is also An extremely worthy cause (better to prevent 1 ton of methane than to sequester anywhere from 20 to 80 tons of CO2), although it seems no one is interested in any follow through. We’ve pretty much definitively identified a fairly low cost path forward to significantly reduce worldwide methane outputs related to food production by simply tweaking bovine diets, but it seems no one cares to actually implement it.)
Arctic sea floor
The Arctic sea floor is releasing Methane Clathrates, i.e. the so-called Methane Clathrates Gun is firing.
As for the two instances of "permafrost", both are melting en mass and that is leading to organic matter that has been frozen and accumulating for millenia to now be decomposed by bacteria, leading to massive methane releases.
Methane is 30-times for damaging than CO2.
Last week, there were reports on water shortage in India because too much ground water is used. At the same time, Himalayan glaciers are melting, so all in all, at some point less water flowing. Global warming will increase droughts and torrential rains (that could further damage crops).
Do you think that 1 billion people will sit tight until they die from thirst or starvation ?
If there is no mass migration, there is also a real danger of war. And India is a nuclear power, as are Pakistan and China. So it could get ugly very fast with repercussions on the whole world, even if your part of the world still feels safe.
Climates changing means ecosystems are going to change. Food stuffs will disappear, lowering food diversity. Natural ecosystems will disappear lowering natural beauty. Rising sea levels and failing water cycles will cause cities to migrate. You aren't wrong that your children will probably not be very affected in a life and death sort of way, but they will lack the quality of life you do and many other people's children will die.
Or what if you start experiencing massive wildfires because the seasons get dryer and dryer?
How about if you care about eating Salmon or any number of seafood dying off as a result of a warming ocean and massive overfishing?
and sure salmon thing is bad but doesn’t mean the world is ending in 12 years. which is what the activists pretend. i just want a real conversation about solutions but neither side is reasonable
So, you might want to consider what kind of discussion you really want?
If you live in the US, you are suffering the political side effects of climate change indirectly as thousands of central American coffee farmers leave their lands and look to the north for opportunity. If you live in Europe, you are suffering the political side effects of increasing instability and resource scarcity in north and east africa, the levant and other locales.
Picture that but with millions more people; your rich country will have to divert more and more resources to either building walls or integrating the poor, all while food prices increase, natural resources are depleted, etc.
If you think living in the Bay Area, London, NY, or anywhere like that is going to insulate you from the consequences, you are really sadly mistaken.
I live in a wealthy city in Australia; we face flooding which is driving up property and insurance costs, fire which is wiping out farming land and causing air quality issues, while depleting fish stocks increase the cost of other food sources. Storm intensity is also on the rise which is causing more flooding and damaging arable land.
We can handle it, but it's more and more a cost and deadweight effect on our lives.
I urge you to isolate "what you want to happen" from "what will actually happen given the science being presented".
Billions of dollars in tax payer relief efforts need to be deployed to clean up the devastation caused by an increasing number of extreme weather events due to climate change.
Crop yields in the US have been on the decline since 2012. Numerous crop failures across the world have accelerated the pace of civil strife all over the world as famines become more severe and common. The result of this strife has led to mass migrations from affected areas and this has directly influenced US policies.
You are not immune, regardless of whether you continue pretending these events are not the result of climate change. You may have the luxury of insulating yourself from the near-term implications, but the world cares nothing of your ignorance and will eventually punish you all the same.
It will be a death of a thousand cuts. Food gets more expensive, perhaps items disappear from grocery shelves more often. Gas and electricity shortages happen occasionally. Migration happens as people can't rebuild because insurance won't cover the repeated damage to their housing. Year by year life will get a little more miserable for most people.
This is not correct; the number of extreme weather events is not increasing. The damage they do is increasing, but that's because the human population in areas exposed to such events, and the value of the property build in such areas, is increasing.
Also, Fig. 1 in the PDF shows "geophysical events"--earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions--rising in frequency as well. By the argument given, that means we humans are causing more earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions by putting more CO2 into the air. Which immediately makes me read this PDF as spin, not substance.
It s a bit myopic no?
2. once again it seems like they’ll just adapt as humans always have.
my point is this apocalyptic behavior by activists is counter productive and offputting. it means we can’t have a reasonable discussion about solutions and trade offs because “the world is ending in 12 years”. this led to me just giving up because we can’t have conversation
What is known is that our entire eco-system is failing to adapt fast enough to keep up with the rate of change - what makes you think we can beat it?
Its disappointingly reductive to throw the towel in and, really, that point of view is no better than 'the world is ending in 12 years'
To deal with a problem you must first acknowledge that it exists - any action is clearly going to beat sticking ones head in the sand.
Not if the action makes things worse than they would have been if you'd done nothing. And given our very poor understanding of how the climate and ecosystems work, any action we take that is not an obvious benefit (like "bring more people out of poverty" or "make our infrastructure more robust", both of which are things we certainly should be doing) is much more likely to make things worse than to make things better.
Tell me which of those is going to make the situation worse?
Recycle costs energy.
Reuse should be ok, as long as whatever it is is in fact reusable.
But these three hardly cover all possible actions.