Half of Antarctic ice shelves could collapse in a flash, thanks to warming

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Jul 27, 2020
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A future unlikely to be that bad if the lessons from the geological past are any indication.

Well over a billion people in East Asia and Pacifica live at or near sea level. They also rely on the seas to provide ca. 60% of their dietary protein. All these changing oceanic conditions are also impacting well water in coastal areas, and will certainly impact fishing and other activities for obtaining food. How do you see these people adapting to the changes?

Some countries are looking at massive desalinization plants, and others RO farms for reverse osmosis of brackish, or even contaminated fresh water, which of course is becoming more polluted in many parts of the world. Some people in India have to spend hours a day just to get water to survive. Potable water as you likely know is becoming critical in a number of areas. Do you suppose the world governments are up to this Adapt requirement?

It certainly is a requirement if so many people wish to survive. Sadly, it seems the vast majority will have problems adapting. Besides dealing with the people's needs, governments will also have to deal with rebuilding port infrastructures, etc.. There must many trillion$ worth of industrial sites alone that will need to be moved, or abandoned to the seas. How will they deal with relocating all these people (likely more by the time the need arrives), and the cost of all that rebuilding, knowing you may need to do it all again in another 30 years or so? On the bright side, it does provide for a lot of job opportunities.

Still, on the whole, it all looks like the Mother of Logistical Nightmares.
 
Feb 19, 2020
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With that quote you have taken my comments out of context. I was referring to atmospheric CO2 and the climate in the past, and not to all of the other world problems. It might be worth adding that those in places like Bangladesh the Earth is subsiding and is not being inundated by a sea level rise that is a model forecast yet to materialize. Yes, it will not be easy to adapt but that is better than hoping we can stop the Earth's climate and reverse it.
 
Jul 27, 2020
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With that quote you have taken my comments out of context.

That was not at all my intention, or my interpretation of your comment.

To be sure, "if the lessons from the geological past are any indication" indicates climate change is a reality that will be dealt with, one way or another. More importantly, on the grand scale of things which provides us with that past geology, it is beyond our abilities to control. It is a force that humans can only adapt to, as you have so clearly pointed out. While the seemingly impending trouble of climate change may be our own doing, the forces of geology always win out over the trivial scale of human activities.

Still, I was rather hoping you might address some of the issues that face aspects of adapting, assuming you have the time.
 
Feb 19, 2020
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I have the time but those things are many. If we are to adapt we should do it locally and regionally, not globally. Those living in the high latitudes and altitudes have very different needs from those living near sea level or closer to the Equator. Infrastructure innovations for adaptation should be tailored for those places. Obviously, many will apply no matter where people reside. Especially land and energy needs. Solar panel and wind farms at the scale needed will require taking over land being used and needed for human agriculture as well as land for an increasing population to live. These are collateral effects that must be taken into account, regardless of what the climate decides to do. Forget total decarbonization or efforts to reach zero and Net-zero emissions. Out of reach by any reasonable time frame, never mind the costs.
 
Aug 31, 2020
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We often forget where we are.
We live in a universe where big changes occur all the time. We look through powerful telescopes to see stars exploding into supernovas engulfing its planets in the process.
Sudden rapid changes can occur.
The Earth is not outside the Laws of Physics.
The Earth has changed before, many times in fact. Often when it does change, species are wiped out.
Take a look at the Permian Mass Extinction Event that wiped out 96 percent of the planet's marine species and 70 percent of its terrestrial life. It was also called the Great Dying.
The whole event is believed to have started when volcanic eruptions burned through underground coal seams in the Siberian Traps and spewed greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Earth's average global temperatures grew by roughly 5°C in the course of 60,000 years. It is believed to be the fastest extinction event to have ever occurred.
It really is all about the catalyst. Whatever gets it started and how big that catalyst is.
The bigger the catalyst, the bigger the extinction event.
Getting hit by an asteroid would also be a big catalyst.
What we have done is not only bring up fossil fuels and burned them from some small region of the Earth like the Siberian Traps but we have drilled almost every available spot on the planet and brought almost all of it up.
The bigger the catalyst, the bigger the extinction event.
We are facing an extinction event that will make the Permian Event a walk in the park by comparison and it will move a lot faster.
It already is moving a lot faster, almost 200 times faster. It can get faster still.

Global Warming is accelerating at an exponential rate.
Change is coming and it is coming soon. We just have to wait for it. I really don't see any other option when we are currently living in a pandemic. In fact I don't see any kind of global movement that would be needed to stop it in the relatively short time we have.
We still are too busy arguing with each other. We are too busy fighting and killing each other.

We have never once achieved World Peace. To expect everyone to agree with each other and act together worldwide to stop Global Warming is sheer fantasy.

It never really had a chance of happening.
 
Feb 19, 2020
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Reality Bites: Without trying to debate the reality of the geological history you try to outline, I would simply point out that the human history of climate change reveals that the current warming has been very slow. Since the start of the industrial age the global mean temperature anomaly is only plus 0.75° C. It took those hundreds of years to rise from 14.0°C to last year's value of 14.75°C (cooler than 2016). CO2 (the catalyst?) has risen 45% over the same period. Given the size and scope of the global warming solution (CO2 mitigation to zero and Net-zero) you are correct...sheer fantasy. The numbers are clear.
 
Apr 7, 2020
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Your persistence has paid off. And it has provided me with information not previously known. Below is a quote from my favorite source of information (that Nature article was found on one of their sites. Wiki is an excellent source for references to original papers.)

The quote is from Wiki on "Retreat of glaciers since 1850*". Just the time period you are asking about, and no doubt for a good reason. You clearly know a lot about this sort of thing.

"The Little Ice Age was a period from about 1550 to 1850 when the world experienced relatively cooler temperatures compared to the time before and after. Subsequently, until about 1940, glaciers around the world retreated as the climate warmed substantially. Glacial retreat slowed and even reversed temporarily, in many cases, between 1950 and 1980 as global temperatures cooled slightly.[3] Since 1980, a significant global warming has led to glacier retreat becoming increasingly rapid and ubiquitous, so much so that some glaciers have disappeared altogether, and the existence of many of the remaining glaciers is threatened. In locations such as the Andes of South America and Himalayas in Asia, the demise of glaciers in these regions has the potential to affect water supplies in those areas."

end quote

Clearly the growth and melting of glaciers has been significant in the last few centuries or so. No doubt you were aware of this. But the trend now appears to be melting beyond the cooling period accumulations, and now we are going into a new phase of melting. Or so the data seem to indicate.

If you can tolerate all the data, this is very revealing :

* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retreat_of_glaciers_since_1850

It will not be the first time there are no glaciers in the Antarctica! There are fossilized growth records of beach trees on the continent stemming from a time in which it's location is where it is in the present day. Remember, there are also records of glaciers at Death Valley (one of the hottest places on the planet today), and those glaciers covered what is now known at Death Valley at a time when Death Valley was much closer to the equator than it is now. There is also plenty of scientific evidence that the levels of greenhouse gases (predominantly C02) was many times as high as it is currently (roughly 20 times higher in parts per million than currently). The analysis of Ginko leaves as a means to track and trace historical C02 levels is well established now, and this can be performed as well with the fossilized record of Ginko leaves.

Of course, none of this is to suggest that Global temperatures are not or will not continue to increase. Nor does it dispute that levels of greenhouse gases (related to human life) are not contributing to this in a small way (as a percentage of the total change). There is a plethora of scientific data that clearly demonstrates the earths temperatures have been much higher than they are presently, that greenhouse gases were in the past much higher than they are today, and that earth has experienced many instances of what we can deem extreme ranges in both higher and lower temperature levels. None of this scientific evidence is in dispute by legitimate scientists.

The obvious flaw with much of the "encouraged" data on this topic is that so many want to excuse the historical evidence when it does not support a current theory. The idea that there is several million years worth of data, but some choose to only consider or are willing to consider data from the past 150 years or so is simply the most alarming part of the debate, discussion or theories. There is little dispute that the LIA existed as a cold or cooling period that spanned several hundred years. What is ironic is that there are seemingly many who have CHOSEN to take the temperatures from a known and identified cold or cool period as the baseline temperatures from which we want to measure current temperatures against.

It is like Bernie Sanders idea to tax people on investment gains and use the "cost basis" as March 23, 2020 - the day that the stock market bottomed! Doing so produces an exceptionally flawed result. A person could have purchased the S&P 500 Index on January 1, 2020 and sold it in August 2020 at the exact same price that he/she paid per share for the index. But using Sander's made up "cost basis" as March 23, 2020 - the break-even sale of the shares would be taxed as though a 38% gain was "theoretically" made - even though no such gain actually existed.

To some degree, this is the same type of flawed basis and calculation that so many are choosing to pursue with the topic and cause of global warming - ignoring the millions of years of evidence to formulate both a reasonable "average global temperature RANGE" and to what extremes the temperature must change to for the temperature to become outside of normal and historical variances.

Thankfully, such a chart or graph covering millions of years (limited to a period of duration that addresses the existence of complex land based life and a developed atmosphere) and overlaid with the historical record of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere to measure and calculate the relationship between the two. I have seen such charts, so I know they exist.

Should we be concerned global temperatures are increasing? Yes, we should be concerned as we would need to develop a plan as to how best to adapt to these changes. Whether it will be gradual adjustments to agricultural needs, suitable living locations, etc. . . But this idea that we as a human species are going to be able to control global temperatures and keep them in a tiny little range of +/- 3 degree Celsius is nothing more than a fools errand - magnified even more if we choose the baseline temperatures from a period of time known or believed to be during a global cool/cold period.

All that said, it does not suggest or infer that I do not believe that we, as a people/population, should not make efforts to protect our environment and devise ways and methods to counter the negative impacts that are inevitable. And as with nearly everything in life and the world, a degree of balance is necessary in doing so.

The problems that we encounter in today's world is that of extremism and extremist's practices. Which of course leads to often times outlandish claims, willful ignorance of the full data set, cherry picking only data that supports a theory and claiming all data that does not is "unfounded" or "dubious". And this is the issue with the current discussion and/or debate on this topic. We have two subsets of people or groups (scientists included) - on "both sides" - that have chosen emotion over full scientific evidence and review. Of course, smart people, rationale people, logical people recognize that the truth in all likelihood resides somewhere between the two extremes of emotions and opinions. There are simply too many variable outside and beyond the single-item issue of human emissions of greenhouse gases that impact global temperatures.
 
Feb 19, 2020
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Chrisko was replying to Chem721 who was quoting me. It is hard to argue with most of what he has just written. I would point out that those charts that seem to have the biggest impact on most people are those with an obvious strong upward warming trend. What is seldom noted is the vertical scale...the temperature anomaly with respect to some 30 year base period. The total increase in global mean temperature is a small plus 0.75°C (as of 2019). That increase took all the time from whatever the pre-industrial base year happens to be. 14.0°C up to 14.75°C. That is the climate emergency for which we are urgently supposed to retreat from? Lower it to some intermediate value like that of 1987 when CO2 was 350 ppm? Smart rational people are being misled by any such charts, never mind the solutions being offered to prevent it.