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Thread: Global heating questions

  1. #101  
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    Thanx, reading the links

    at first blush, I see 2 things that i have previously argued in favor of
    1)warmer in eemian, and warmer before this ice age(which will end sooner or later) and 2)non-linearity of ice melt and sea level rise(this last in the noahs ark thread) wherein i stated that the changes most likely happened in rapid pulses.

    Where we differ, is in that i do not see the value of using words or phrases like:
    prescriptions for disaster
    when there is no conclusive proof that we will be living in a world significantly different than the one before this currentinterglacial orbefore this current ice age.
    The planet was warmer then, the northern ice didn't exist, west antarctica was likely mostly under water, sea levels may have been 50 feet higher, which translates to different shorelines, different temperate zones, etc.etc. All of which are there in the paleoclimate record for anyone who cares to look.
    Included within which, he states that we had much higher CO2 levels(1000ppm) in the early cenozoic.
    Ice ages come and ice ages go, within the ice ages, we have periods of glaciation(within which, sometimes we've had an added volcanic winter that leads to extinctions, or near extinctions, which, by reducing the breeding population, likely lead to evolutionary leaps--see tobo) and interglacials. Within this interglacial, we have been blessed with a more stable climate than is currently postulated for the last 4 interglacials, but that ain't the norm.

    In addressing climate sensitivity, Hansen/Sato give brief mention to CO2 opacity as a function of wavelength. I think that we need to look more closely at the same aspects of the other greenhouse gasses if we are to understand the greenhouse effects we should be expecting as the interglacial progresses.
    It seems obvious that as we employ different energy sources, we will be introducing other gasses into the atmosphere that may be important players. Some will combine with the gasses already there, some will destroy the bonds that hold the molecules together, and some will have effects that we have not yet understood(see flat screen tv manufacturing)

    One curiousity is the use of the terms "was less than 1°C warmer than in the Holocene." and "mean holocene value".
    Then later, these destinctions are abandoned for the conclusions. We know that our current global temperatures are below the holocene maximums.
    So which numbers are to be presumed to be exceeded "if we were to burn all fossil fuels" ? Which may take hundreds of years
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  2. #102  
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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor
    Six major pulses of extinction have occurred since the beginning of late Miocene time. The first occurred about nine million years ago, and the most recent occurred only about eleven thousand years ago. This last crisis was restricted exclusively to large mammals, eliminating thirty-nine genera. Among the species eliminated were saber-toothed cats, mastodons, wooly mammoths, huge ground sloths, short-faced bears, and dire wolves. Causes for this extinction are also widely debated. Hypotheses for this extinction include global climatic cooling

    All the above may be old school, but beat the hell out of the new wave science
    I don't know much about the earlier examples of extinction you listed, but this last one I have looked into somewhat - and what you post there is off base enough to cast doubt on the credibility of your source for that entire list.

    The extinction you mention was North American, not global, and included not only large mammals, but also large birds - an important addition. And no one I ever heard of has proposed global climatic cooling as the, or even a, cause. These were cold weather animals that had just survived a glaciation. Local climatic warming or drought, glacial melt mediated landscape alterations, meteor impact, disease, immigrant competition, and human hunting or fire or both, have been proposed - also, combinations of same.

    Meanwhile, some kind of new science is going to be necessary - the old stuff isn't explaining things or making reliable predictions. We are in the process of doubling the CO2 concentration of the atmosphere in a span of about 250 years. That is going to make some dramatic changes in our circumstances around here, and we had best give ourselves some prep time.

    edit in:
    at first blush, I see 2 things that i have previously argued in favor of
    1)warmer in eemian,
    They argue against that - minimizing it - despite the obvious effects of what small difference they assert there was.
    We know that our current global temperatures are below the holocene maximums.
    They argue against that, as well - their reliance on deep ocean temps corrects, in their view, some erroneous extrapolations from local hot spots recorded in ice core data.
    Last edited by iceaura; July 18th, 2012 at 01:17 PM.
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  3. #103  
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    We know that our current global temperatures are below the Holocene maximums.
    So which numbers are to be presumed to be exceeded "if we were to burn all fossil fuels" ? Which may take hundreds of years
    No we don't know that, in fact more of the reconstructions show we are already higher by a fraction of a degree especially once you remove the long year smoothing typically shown against 12,000 year temperature plots. I show a good example that shows a range of reconstructions with the 2004 close up to that makes the point. There's also no dispute that by the end of the century, with a couple more degree we'll be way above any other point for at least the past several million years including at any point during the Holocene.


    I do agree with you though...the extinction rates alarm is probably overblown--if there's a large extinction is will be mostly warming combined with other larger factors like human development blocking nature's ability to move latitude and altitude which is how life generally adjusted to past events.

    I also agree with Adalady, that ocean acidification, which will probably push the oceans to Ph levels unseen for at least 30 million years, is probably an even larger problem in term of both extinction rates and potential effects on humans.
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  4. #104  
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    iceaura:
    hot spots? like greenland and antarctica?

    as/re extinctions don't forget the younger dryas, and earlier tobo during a period of glaciation, and the radical climate changes associated with these events, not just glacier or no glacier, but wetter or dryer, etc... "hypotheses for these extinctions include global cooling" (the word include was/is important)

    prep time, fersure, plan for the future as it appears to be rather than as we wish it to be.
    One thing, i find likely is pulsed deglaciation, and pulsed sea level rise. Which, may just depend on where the rain belts locate. If they move enough to include greenland, then I'd expect a fast pulse shortly thereafter--= greenland largely deglaciates, sea levels rise finishing off the arctic ice, and undermining the west antarctic ice shelf, and we have a 3+ meter pulse on a slow decade or 2. then greenland and west antarctica experience isostatic rebound and we have an aftershock pulse...

    your: " ... enough to cast doubt... ?
    Doubt can be a good thing if it encourages you to do some more study!

    When the planet is out of this ice age, vacation cottages overlooking beautiful lake vostok. Whose claim to fame will be "long summer days, and long winter nights"

    Never forget that Hansen is a politician as well as being well educated in science. He has always had a gift for obscuring data which did not fit his rhetoric du jour. (remember when he almost denied the mideival warm spell) One good thing about that approach , is that he has encouraged many people to look at our climate in ways that most wouldn't have done without his actions. And as people argued over the implications of his stance(s) they did some homework, and we all gained from the studies no matter whether they supported or opposed the concept of the anthropocine. That being said, if 20 sources say the current* holocene optimum was 5000 years ago, and Hansen says it didn't happen, I'm gonna stick with the majority view untill i see convincing evidence that it was wrong.
    * I say current because i see a possibility that we may have another one(maybe a higher one?) in our future within this interglacial.
    from wiki:
    In the present interglacial, the Holocene, the climatic optimum occurred during the Subboreal (5 to 2.5 ka BP, which corresponds to 3000 BC-500 BC) and Atlanticum (9 to 5 ka, which corresponds to roughly 7000 BC-3000 BC). ...
    The Atlantic in palaeoclimatology was the warmest and moistest Blytt-Sernander period, pollen zone and chronozone of Holocene northern Europe. The climate was generally warmer than today. It was preceded by the Boreal, with a climate similar to today’s, and was followed by the Sub-Boreal, a transition to the modern. Because it was the warmest period of the Holocene, the Atlantic is often referenced more directly as the Holocene climatic optimum, or just climatic optimum...
    Beginning with the temperatures, as derivable from Greenland ice core data, it is possible to define an 'Early' or 'Pre-Atlantic' period at around 8,040 BC, where the 18-isotope line remains above 33 ppm in the combined curve after Rasmussen et al. (2006),[2] which then would end at the well-known 6,2 ka BC (8,2 ka calBP)-cold-event."

    Back to
    What does the ipcc want?
    aside from more funding?
    the consensus is looking for containment of CO2 levels within certain goals which differ from one to another of the people involved, ...
    Last edited by sculptor; July 18th, 2012 at 03:06 PM.
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  5. #105  
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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor
    hot spots? like greenland and antarctica?
    yep. Over the ice domes.

    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor
    as/re extinctions don't forget the younger dryas, and earlier tobo during a period of glaciation, and the radical climate changes associated with these events, not just glacier or no glacier, but wetter or dryer, etc... "hypotheses for these extinctions include global cooling" (the word include was/is important)
    That hypothesis for the NA extinction event is nowhere found in my experience, which is extensive enough to correct your source on several details.
    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor
    That being said, if 20 sources say the current* holocene optimum was 5000 years ago, and Hansen says it didn't happen, I'm gonna stick with the majority view untill i see convincing evidence that it was wrong.
    Hansen never said it didn't happen. He just made a case - a pretty good one - that we have surpassed it. Meanwhile: Are you going to throw out the source of your misinformation about the extinction being limited to large mammals, from your twenty? How about your source for the notion that global climatic cooling killed the NA glacial era megafauna 11,000 years ago? What are you going to do about the dozen or so sources that back Hansen - take a majority vote, or take a look at the arguments?

    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor
    greenland largely deglaciates, sea levels rise finishing off the arctic ice, and undermining the west antarctic ice shelf, and we have a 3+ meter pulse on a slow decade or 2
    You are way over three meters there. And rain belts are not necessary - some big Antarctic glaciers are speeding up already, as the ice shelves thin and crumble.
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  6. #106  
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    Besides finding a link between change in the shape of the orbit and the onset of glaciation, Lisiecki found a surprising correlation. She discovered that the largest glacial cycles occurred during the weakest changes in the eccentricity of Earth's orbit - and vice versa. She found that the stronger changes in the Earth's orbit correlated to weaker changes in climate. "This may mean that the Earth's climate has internal instability in addition to sensitivity to changes in the orbit," said Lisiecki. She concludes that the pattern of climate change over the past million years likely involves complicated interactions between different parts of the climate system, as well as three different orbital systems. The first two orbital systems are the orbit's eccentricity, and tilt. The third is "precession," or a change in the orientation of the rotation axis."
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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor
    Besides finding a link between change in the shape of the orbit and the onset of glaciation, Lisiecki found a surprising correlation
    Fascinating. But the thread topic was not Milankovitch cycle subtleties. We have the effects of a huge rapid boost of CO2 to deal with, over the next couple of hundred years.
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  8. #108  
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor
    Besides finding a link between change in the shape of the orbit and the onset of glaciation, Lisiecki found a surprising correlation
    Fascinating. But the thread topic was not Milankovitch cycle subtleties. We have the effects of a huge rapid boost of CO2 to deal with, over the next couple of hundred years.
    OK, so what are you, personally doing about it?
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  9. #109  
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    I will answer that one for myself.

    A growing forest absorbs CO2 at the rate, approximately, of one acre required to compensate for the emissions by one adult westerner. This from an article in New Scientist.

    I have four acres, which I am planting in native rain forest trees - and almost all of it is now completely planted, with a lot of the new forest growing at a great rate. I have accordingly compensated for the CO2 emissions of myself, my wife, and two other people.
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  10. #110  
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    Sculptor - regardless of whether or not the world as a consequence of human activities is " a world significantly different than the one before this current interglacial or before this current ice age" it will be a world significantly different to the one we have now, in which humans have thrived. Absolute proof that BAU, unchecked, will be a prescription for disaster will have to wait on the post-mortem. From what I've read from the US National Academy of Sciences and Britain's Royal Institute - as well as leading climate scientists - "prescription for disaster" seems to be an appropriate description but that's a rational expectation, not proof. Currently we have to work with the insights that are a result of science based understanding of how our world's climate works, modeled as best we can, which I think is far preferable to waiting on the unequivocal results of our real world experimentations with planet Earth. Testing to destruction in order to know for sure really isn't appropriate.
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  11. #111  
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    Ken
    Just from information about our past, expect more warming, expect higher sea levels
    and if you think anthropogenic activities will exceed the holsteinian or eemian temperatures and sea levels:
    What are you personally going to do about it?

    If people build in a flood plain, and then get flooded out, that ain't a disaster.
    If people build below the high sea levels of the previous interglacials, and then get flooded out, that ain't a disaster.
    If people expect a steady state in our climate, that is just stupid.
    I do not fear the earth nor it's changes, I think we should all be careful in our respect and care for our shared co-evolutionary biom, and behave accordingly.
    I believe the ice to be a greater danger to the survival of the species than heat, but think that it is during times of near extinctions that evolution happens, And without evolution, we would not be who we are doing what we are doing(god bless tobo?). We are part and parcel products of this earth, and related to all living things within our shared co-evolutionary biom. And I do not believe in totally random evolution.

    If you think that you have the ability to change the whole direction that our cultures and economies are headed, I wish you luck(but think it a fools errand)

    Meanwhile, what are you personally doing the change that which you fear?
    How much are you willing to sacrifice to save the planet?
    How much of what you do have you changed to avoid what you consider to be a recipe for disaster.
    Have you any idea about when we will exit this ice age? And what the climate will be like then?
    Do you know what the climate, and the very ground under your feet was like before we entered this ice age?
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    People are here just to defend what they believe in, its not about changing the world IMO. It is not like a case of some lobbyist trying to lobby for something to happen.
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    I do not fear the earth nor it's changes, I think we should all be careful in our respect and care for our shared co-evolutionary biom, and behave accordingly.
    So how are you going to cope when the world's grain crops get prohibitively expensive or totally unavailable for large populations.

    Have you any idea about when we will exit this ice age? And what the climate will be like then?
    I have no idea why you keep on about this. Our CO2 emissions to date have completely knocked off any chance of re-glaciation for the next 10000+ years cycle ..... and probably for the next 100000 years or more.

    "This ice age" has given us fairly predictable rainy and dry seasons for almost 10000 years to grow the grasses that sustain us and the animals we grow for food. Unless you know about a new kind of food growing regime that is better suited to unpredictable seasons in warmer temperatures then you'd be well advised to stick to what we know best.

    Do you know what the climate, and the very ground under your feet was like before we entered this ice age?
    Do you know how irrelevant that question is to how we grow food for 7 billion plus people? Even during the Holocene, the climate that suits us best, we were very nearly wiped out when our population was in the barely a couple of million range. All we need to know about earlier climate regimes is that they were a lot more dicey for sustaining any substantial populations of primates.

    What we do know about climate is that the most recent, unusually stable, climate of the Holocene is the one that has allowed us not just to survive but to thrive. Our knowledge of this and other planets' histories is that we know of no other circumstances, no other climates, no other biological balance which would have allowed us to develop as we have.

    You might think that it would be fun to throw all our best known toys out of this pram. I disagree.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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  14. #114  
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post

    So how are you going to cope when the world's grain crops get prohibitively expensive or totally unavailable for large populations.
    Probably not going to happen, Adelady.

    The history of the past 1000 odd years is a history of foods dropping in price as a percentage of the earnings of the average person. This has been faster over the past 100 years than any time earlier. As technology improves, food production becomes more efficient and food more abundant. Global warming is not going to change that trend.

    Nor are we dependent on cool climate grain crops. There is a wide range of possible foods that grow very well in warm and wet climates. Future crops will be genetically different to those we grow today, partly due to ongoing breeding programs, and partly due to genetic manipulation. We can expect crops to be well suited to prevailing climatic conditions.
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  15. #115  
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    ...
    Have you any idea about when we will exit this ice age? And what the climate will be like then?
    (A)... Our CO2 emissions to date have completely knocked off any chance of re-glaciation for the next 10000+ years cycle ..... and probably for the next 100000 years or more.

    (B) Even during the Holocene, the climate that suits us best, we were very nearly wiped out when our population was in the barely a couple of million range.
    ...
    (C)What we do know about climate is that the most recent, unusually stable, climate of the Holocene is the one that has allowed us not just to survive but to thrive. Our knowledge of this and other planets' histories is that we know of no other circumstances, no other climates, no other biological balance which would have allowed us to develop as we have.

    (D)You might think that it would be fun to throw all our best known toys out of this pram. I disagree.
    (A) You do not know this. You can not know this. Even the best climatologists and paleoclimatologists do not know this.
    Personally, I think we would need to sustain well over 600 ppm for tens of thousands of years, and we simply do not have that much fossil fuel.

    (B) When was that? and what is assumed to be the cause? (are you talking about the near extinction associated with the tobo eruption which lowered global temperatures by perhaps 6 degrees for thousands of years?)

    (C)Darned wonderful that we had such a nice warm crib to foster our developement---(should we assume that we can remain as infants forever?)

    (D) OK I ain't got a clue what it is that you meant to say here???

    Really, doom and gloom ain't the best mindset for positive actions. Look to the future with faith and hope(and a darned good plan if you got one).

    Yesterday is but a memory
    Tomorrow but a dream
    Today is a gift, that is why it is called the present.

    happy today
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  16. #116  
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    (A) You do not know this. You can not know this. Even the best climatologists and paleoclimatologists do not know this.
    Personally, I think we would need to sustain well over 600 ppm for tens of thousands of years, and we simply do not have that much fossil fuel.
    Actually we do about as well as we know anything in science; baring some incredible unforeseen event like Yellowstone's erupting. Orbital eccentricity is approaching near circular, and tilt is approaching a minimum...even without our interference the next deep ice age is nearly 50K years off.
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  17. #117  
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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor
    If people build below the high sea levels of the previous interglacials, and then get flooded out, that ain't a disaster.
    Yes it is. Especially if the flooding were avoidable, caused by their own alterable behaviors.
    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor
    If people expect a steady state in our climate, that is just stupid.
    People's behavior is not the climate. It is not stupid to recognize, favor, and try to establish, reasonable and prudent behavior from each other.
    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor
    (C)Darned wonderful that we had such a nice warm crib to foster our developement
    We didn't.

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Future crops will be genetically different to those we grow today, partly due to ongoing breeding programs, and partly due to genetic manipulation. We can expect crops to be well suited to prevailing climatic conditions.
    Not by current trends and patterns - this drought in the middle of North America was one of the more likely possibilities from a greenhouse warmed atmosphere, and the genetic engineered stuff has not been handling it very well: for example, Monsantos "Droughtgard" GM has been underperforming the older stuff.
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  18. #118  
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    Sculptor, I don't think that defining 'normal' climate by comparison to other periods of geological time is valid or helpful; significantly different from that of recent times is what counts for people now living, not how that compares to an Eemian or Holsterian 'normal'. If anything the extremes of the past should be a wake-up call - even what seems like small temperature changes have significant, long enduring consequences.

    As for what I do personally - our household is extremely frugal compared to most Australians in energy usage, we have solar hot water and grid connected PV that produces approximately half of our total electricity use. I am aware of the 'buts' - the limitations and inadequacies that go with these - yet we are not finished and may never be finished doing all we can do on a personal level.

    Ultimately we are constrained by the wider infrastructure of the society we live in and being excessively fanatical at the personal level gains little respect and can even become cause for derision. Effective solutions will include but can't be limited to the personal actions of only those who care - ultimately it requires changes to that infrastructure. I will keep attempting to encourage people to care enough to act on the personal level and add their voices to those urging wider change. I continue to counter ignorance and misinformation by urging people to look to reputable sources - the actual institutions that study climate, the leading science advisory bodies like National Academies of Sciences, Royal Society and the like. These have earned our trust and respect.

    I am not urging others make sacrifices that I'm not prepared to, but I believe the greatest impediment is lack of understanding of what is as stake, including the near certainty (given the information and advice from above sources) that failure to face the climate problem head on is a prescription for disaster.

    Urging a change of direction for our cultures and economies is part of that. That's not foolish. Difficult and thankless maybe, but as long as our economies deliberately use accounting methods that fail to account for the full costs and the real consequences of our choices then the result will be a serious danger our future. That leaves our choices being made on the basis of illusions and I think that is foolish.

    Sustaining illusions that the consequences can't be that bad, that they'll be easily coped with as and when they occur and that it's to our competitive advantage of avoid dealing with them, rather than using science based foresight, advanced planning and forethought to face them pre-emptively, that's foolish.

    Knowledge is power but cultivating ignorance and misinformation weakens us. Time to base our choices on knowledge because humanity is indeed capable of squandering the stable climate and abundant planetary resources that have been it's inheritance.

    I'm going to continue to trust our institutions and practitioners of science and think it's unwise to dismiss and ignore what they are telling us.
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  19. #119  
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    Ken:
    Sculptor, I don't think that defining 'normal' climate by comparison to other periods of geological time is valid
    Was that intended as humor?

    You choose to ignore the natural historical processes of nature on this planet?

    seriously?

    Is this a science forum?
    Last edited by sculptor; July 24th, 2012 at 06:00 PM.
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  20. #120  
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    Sculptor, to understand how climate works looking at past climate is invaluable. It's helped in coming to the conclusion that, apart from human influences, climate is in a period of relative stability and that the current, emerging changes are dominated by human rather than natural processes. Far from ignoring past climates, they are lessons to learn from.

    In practical terms we need to use the foresight that climate science gives us in order to avoid and or cope with dangerous (to human security and prosperity as well as to natural ecosystems) climate change in the near (next few decades to centuries) future. It's not that the choices we make are irrelevant to naturally changing climate of thousands and tens of thousands of years into the future, but that the recent climate that human agriculture and remnant natural ecosystems are adapted to is being destabilised; that is what we need to be most concerned about right now.

    It's not an Eemian interglacial climate of the distant past that people like me are urging action to avoid, it's an AGW altered Anthropocene climate of the near future. It looks very likely that within the lifetimes of people now living the agricultural capacity of the planet will be greatly and irreversibly diminished. Large regions will becoming effectively uninhabitable through shifts in rainfall patterns, extreme temperatures and through rising sea levels- the worst of which is both foreseeable and potentially avoidable.
    Last edited by Ken Fabos; July 25th, 2012 at 03:45 AM.
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  21. #121  
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    Thanks for that Ken.
    I would say, partially and potentially dominated by human activity within the framework of the natural processes. ( the nature versus nurture arguement comes to mind and it's resolution was ---"well, both", one within the other) And, therefore, understanding the framework is a necessary prerequisite to understanding the scope of our impact and potential ameliorations, and the potential danger points.
    I have encountered many people who mouth the words and fears of AGW without having a clue about the thing they fear we would change, nor the desire to learn about that thing, climate. And I shudder as though I had awaken in the middle of a thorn patch when I realize (or even suspect) that I have met yet another.
    One of my current concerns is the midwest drought, and irrigation. The drawdown of the great ogallala aquifer during times of exceptional heat proceeds at a much faster pace, and, by and large, it is wasted effort, wasted energy, and wasted water, as in this heat, the bush beans(as an example) ain't even flowering, or budding up, and still, the pumps are running day and night pumping mineral laden water up onto the soil where it evaporates, leaving crystals from the disolved salts behind.
    My congressman held a town hall meeting last night, and one of the participants wanted government subsidies to help buy the corn to make ethanol, completely oblivious to the fact that with diminished harvests, the price of the raw material for ethanol would also be reflected in the rising cost of food for much of the world during a time of world wide recession. China feeds illinois soy beans to it's hogs, and the harvest is well under 80% of normal. And, yet, as the farm machinery has been modified to run on bio fuels, we need the fuel to grow the crops to make the fuel to grow the crops to feed the world.
    Ripples wander into evolutionary patterns which seem to tend toward more, not less, complexity.
    I also worry that people operating from their individual best interest would do something really dangerous to maintain what they perceive to be their optimum climate at their personal locations. Lessons from the past coupled with agw indicate that we cannot save the land that lies below the higher sea levels of the above mentioned interglacials, so our efforts would best be spent where we can do the most good and have a reasonable chance of success. We are becoming the masters of our world(but we ain't there yet) and any good manager, boss, master knows to work within the limitations of the tools and talents at hand, and to optomize those resources for the current project and the long run.

    Does Australia subsidize photovoltaic solar? Then, on a national or local level?
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    Last edited by sculptor; July 25th, 2012 at 09:51 AM.
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  22. #122  
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    Does Australia subsidize photovoltaic solar? Then, on a national or local level?
    There are subsidy schemes at both state and national level. Feed-in tariffs are all being substantially reduced, and some schemes had to be seriously redesigned to prevent people from profiteering on the high feed-in tariffs. The only problem I see is that they had to do a trade-off between the maximum number of people being able to get some benefit and getting the maximum power generation for the outlay.

    So they set a maximum size on the systems that would attract the best feed-in tariffs. Only people with lots of money were willing to instal bigger systems where they didn't get any subsidy for the extra capacity, which increased the total personal cost by 300-400%. But most people did spend a bit extra on inverters larger than they needed for the current installation - so adding in a few extra panels when the price comes down even further is possible for the great majority of rooftop installations. Of course, the panels are now so cheap that several home renovation companies are offering free installations as incentives to get your roof/ security system/ whatever done with them - a couple have even organised massive feed-in tariffs with the power supply companies.

    From now on, the revenue from the carbon price will pay for some R&D and some demonstration plants on the industrial scale. What I'd really like to see is something more along the systems in Germany and some parts of the USA and Europe. Local communities own their local power generation and the whole community benefits from the jobs created and the revenue stream into the district. Getting such organisations to go for larger installations on roofs of schools and warehouses and sports stadiums would do everyone a great deal of good.

    Renewable Energy in Germany 2012 « Climate Denial Crock of the Week And this item shows that the same or greater benefits can arise from very small, very local power generation in areas where there is no infrastructure of any kind.

    Getting everyone to get communal level benefits from such arrangements is a much better arrangement than individual benefits dependent on people's access to capital and spending priorities. Far too many people will still prefer to spend a minor prince's ransom on granite benchtops and slate floors for the kitchen rather than spend half as much on a solar power system and additional insulation which makes individual preferences a not so marvelous basis for implementing public policy. (I know. I normally argue the other way but I'm truly, deeply grumpy tonight. )
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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  23. #123  
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    Sculptor, I'm less concerned with people pushing for actions that might optimise local climate - not sure that's even a feasible goal, although some people in cold regions may perceive expected warming as something to welcome. (I think any such expectation of local "gain" will tend to rely on the perception that negative changes to climate elsewhere will be confined to those other places and won't have significant impacts that flow across geographic and political boundaries; I think that will be a false perception and that economic and other human impacts will not be geographically constrained). A far more real problem IMO is with people perceiving their personal best interest is served by opposing actions aimed at avoiding extreme climate change because they are misinformed.

    Much of commerce and industry sees the impacts of climate policies in terms of short term costs, competitiveness and profitability and as harmful to their interests - these are people and organisations with enormous political clout. The truth and accuracy of climate science and the longer term impacts are not a direct consideration in that, with public perceptions of how valid or trustworthy that science is, treated as something organised efforts (lobbying, PR, advertising, tankthink) are able to change.

    Organised climate science denial is more real and current problem IMO than any self-interested efforts by people urging action on climate towards shaping future regional climate for themselves. For example a conference of the recently elected Liberal-National Party (Conservative) Gov't of Queensland in Australia (It's leader has stated that he can't accept the evidence of human induced climate change and that "Queensland is in the Coal business") voted unanimously to remove the teaching of climate science in schools. It may not actually happen but the political tolerance of climate science denial through to openly partisan efforts to keep people misinformed, confused, ignorant and hostile to actions to address the climate problem, by people in positions of influence and trust, is a more real and present problem. Far more of a problem than proponents of action on climate promoting misinformation for their own self advantage.
    Last edited by Ken Fabos; July 25th, 2012 at 07:51 PM. Reason: Did a bit of a rewrite.
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  24. #124  
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    ... which is why i always wish any who would fight those interests good luck
    For myself, aside from personal local leadership and speaking with my elected representatives, I just try to use less of the products of those monied interests. And treat our shared co-evolutionary biom as though it were fragile and in need of my tender loving care.

    And, as/re paleo climates, I am just a very curious fellow.
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