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Thread: Are we in a runaway greenhouse event? Carbon and methane etc., from man, animals, and natural sources could result in one, or already is!

  1. #1 Are we in a runaway greenhouse event? Carbon and methane etc., from man, animals, and natural sources could result in one, or already is! 
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    Clearly, greenhouse gas emissions are helping to drive all the dramatic climate changes we are seeing these days. Massive storms, wildfires in previously wet, stable forests, rising seas levels with devastating coastal results - surely enhanced by greenhouse emissions. And they will be getting worse, much more than most people think.

    There are massive amounts of carbon locked up is tundra, and peat deposits, etc. There are also enormous amounts of methane-hydrates in the arctic, were they are shallow enough (or warming enough) that water pressure cannot prevent methane out-gassing. All of these sources, which are considerable, are already releasing greenhouse gases, and the rates are increasing. Methane is a very powerful greenhouse gas, and natural sources for it are a major threat for a runaway greenhouse event

    Have read a number of conflicting reports regarding the possibility we may already be in a runaway greenhouse event. All the recent catastrophic weather could have me spooked, but with the polar ice cap melting so much and not returning in the winter as much is cause for concern. Greenland is believed to be in a terminal meltdown condition that is irreversible. There seems a lot of talk about doing something about all the human emissions, but it seems that we may have kick-started natural out-gassing that, combined with human output, could be ruinous for us all in 50 years, or less.

    Indeed, things look pretty nasty right now. In many parts of the world they would say that we do not have to wait 50 years. The impact is upon us right now, and there is no reason to believe things are going stabilize, much less get better. As usual, time will tell. But the odds appear that what time will tell us is things are going to get increasingly gruesome for more and more of the world's people. And it could be too late to stop the carnage.


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  3. #2  
    ox
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    The way things are going it won't be long before I'll have less journey to take a dip in the sea.

    https://earth.org/the-biggest-enviro...-our-lifetime/

    COP26 just a couple of months away.
    Last chance yet again to save the planet.
    Most delegates will be flying in.
    Do as they say, not as they do.


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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    The way things are going it won't be long before I'll have less journey to take a dip in the sea.
    The way things are going, others may have beach-front property in the not too distant future.

    Depending on various factors regarding rates of sea level rise, and elevation aspects, that may or may not be a good thing, as others have found out, or will before long.........
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    Most delegates will be flying in.
    Do as they say, not as they do.
    A petty and pointless complaint imo - if they were living stone age lifestyles would you take them more seriously? No-one should have to stop being a functional member of society to be able to expect their governments and community leaders to take the climate problem - that they already know is serious - seriously. Starting from high economic dependence on fossil fuels whatever we do on emissions comes with a downpayment in emissions - whether it is building nuclear power plants or factories for solar and grid scale batteries that can make solar and grid scale batteries with less and ultimately no fossil fuels. Spending some emissions achieving global agreements on emissions reductions isn't hypocrisy, it is pragmatic.

    Much as many people and orgs want to make it all about personal lifestyle choices I think the problem is economy wide and solutions must come from economy wide change that makes everyone's lifestyle choices low emissions, including the extravagantly wasteful lifestyles of people who don't care.

    If your nation were being invaded you would not require people who call on the government for action to have to be buying their own guns and bullets before their concerns are taken seriously. Nor expect the Intelligence analysts and military commanders who know all about it to do so - or call them hypocrites when they do their jobs, using the tools and capabilities they have.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ken fabos View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    most delegates will be flying in.
    Do as they say, not as they do.
    a petty and pointless complaint imo - if they were living stone age lifestyles would you take them more seriously? No-one should have to stop being a functional member of society to be able to expect their governments and community leaders to take the climate problem - that they already know is serious - seriously. Starting from high economic dependence on fossil fuels whatever we do on emissions comes with a downpayment in emissions - whether it is building nuclear power plants or factories for solar and grid scale batteries that can make solar and grid scale batteries with less and ultimately no fossil fuels. Spending some emissions achieving global agreements on emissions reductions isn't hypocrisy, it is pragmatic.

    Much as many people and orgs want to make it all about personal lifestyle choices i think the problem is economy wide and solutions must come from economy wide change that makes everyone's lifestyle choices low emissions, including the extravagantly wasteful lifestyles of people who don't care.

    If your nation were being invaded you would not require people who call on the government for action to have to be buying their own guns and bullets before their concerns are taken seriously. Nor expect the intelligence analysts and military commanders who know all about it to do so - or call them hypocrites when they do their jobs, using the tools and capabilities they have.
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    COP26: delegates will arrive for a junket, most will say little or nothing, fly back and nothing will happen until the next summit which will again be the last chance to save the planet.
    Greta, if she attends will not be flying in and won't be gorging herself on Scottish salmon, either.
    We have to point the accusing finger at big business, the car and aircraft industry, party politics.
    Humans are naturally greedy, grabbing what they can get.
    Other animals just take what they need.
    Right down to the likes of David Attenborough who has flown millions of air miles in pursuit of his hobby, Now he's telling the little people not to fly. It suits him not to now because of his age.

    I'd put more trust in James Lovelock. Aged now 102, he got it right decades ago but few listened.
    A rise of just one degree in temperature causes a much bigger problem in climate patterns.
    His analogy with smokers is spot on. Too late they realise there was a price to pay for their indulgence.

    So what's happening in the UK, the first industrial nation which should now be taking a lead?
    Well, not much.
    Attitude seems to be that if the likes of China, India, Brazil, US are not going to play their part then why should we?
    It won't matter one jot if the UK goes all the way and the others don't.
    Sales of petrol and diesel cars are still way outstripping those of electric vehicles.
    What we have is not much more than a bunch of anarchists called Extinction Rebellion.
    Then there are the climate sceptics like Lord Lawson of Blaby who considers climate change is overstated, and most people subscribe to this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    COP26: delegates will arrive for a junket, most will say little or nothing, fly back and nothing will happen until the next summit which will again be the last chance to save the planet.

    Attitude seems to be that if the likes of China, India, Brazil, US are not going to play their part then why should we?

    It is like a repeat of a bad movie. Lots of people go to see it, wring their hands about what to do, propose lofty goals and then go home and hope for the best.

    Hope is not a good strategy for what ails us. Mass action is needed now, but all we get are those feel-good "lofty goals".

    China* clearly isn't concerned about the massive amounts of CO2 they are cranking out - by far more than any other country in the world. They seem to enjoy making more and more of it. And the rest of the world encourages them by buying all their cheap products. The whole disaster of climate change is self-perpetuating. It seems like the "buyers" need to force the issue, but likely never will.

    It appears real solutions will evade us. One can only ask if there is intelligent life anywhere in the universe, since its presence here is more than questionable.


    "Report: China emissions exceed all developed nations combined"

    * https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-57018837
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    Attitude seems to be that if the likes of China, India, Brazil, US are not going to play their part then why should we?
    It won't matter one jot if the UK goes all the way and the others don't.
    Ah, kindergarten logic - "If everyone else doesn't do the right thing first when we don't it will be their fault". But despite being illogical as well as unethical and ultimately harmful to their own nation it strikes a chord with people who don't want to and sets up a feedback loop amongst nations that justifies the inaction of each and reinforces inaction of all. Such "logic" that serves us so badly should be called out rather than repeated.

    Have we really failed already? Having not really tried - with a significant component of trying hard to prevent trying - we get declarations of defeat with urging to stop trying. Mobilising the power of people who don't want to in the cause of inaction isn't such a big ask as mobilising people to support strong action but it requires the use of misleading information and faulty logic. Like that global conferences to make global agreements shouldn't take place - or should be criticised as hypocrisy, by people who take no responsibility for their own emissions - because it involves air travel.

    Ten years ago solar and wind were more expensive than fossil fuel energy almost everywhere. Now they are not - a profound shift, but it still takes more time than a decade to flow through. Yet it is flowing through; the rate of growth of clean energy now exceeds growth of dirty energy. That doesn't immediately make the existing dirty energy go away or even stop it's growth but it is a real milestone marking a real fork in the road. To expect what have largely been empty gesture policies (with some giving of enough rope) to have had a lot of impact on emissions already seems optimistic - yet those empty gestures have led to real and significant technologies that can be and are being built at significant scales.

    But I think the most significant short term impact of the successes of wind and solar is political; whether it will be wind and solar that ultimately do the job or not, their near term successes are undercutting the alarmist economic fear that has prevented significant commitments to zero emissions - and world leaders even saying they commit their nations to far off targets they can pass to others is a profound change. Less than 1 year ago the USA had a President and Congress fiercely opposed to strong climate action.

    A lot more is going on now than protest movements - the politics of obstruction rely heavily on encouraging the view that people who care about the issue must be extremists like that (we are not); real action through significant policy now has real mainstream support. The result of that will still take time to flow through.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Fabos View Post
    The result of that will still take time to flow through.
    This is certain, indeed perhaps the biggest problem of all - time. And it is true that more than protest is going on to try and change things.

    Still, it does seem that the movement to alter the equation in favor of reduced emissions is way too slow, and that the time required for "flow through" may take too long. Clearly we have no other option.

    As always, time will tell. One can hope that all you have posted works out. Doubtless that "the most significant short term impact of the successes of wind and solar is political". And it is also true that the political impact is driving a strong mindset in many who want these changes to be successful. We certainly need a mass acceptance for it to stand a chance.

    It does seem that time is not on our side. Global population continues to rise, along with emissions and climate change. Most people, for good reason, fear more about the "here and now" than the future.

    How we get on a working, viable path that leads to sufficient moderation of the problem is rather murky, at best.
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    I get the impression that many people think that God or aliens will come down to rescue us if things get hopelessly out of hand.
    The first appeals to evangelists in particular. It was God who gave us the world's resources to exploit and God will fix it.
    The second appeals to the New Age culture.
    There is also a third type who act like irresponsible gamblers.

    By our greed and miscalculation we have violated Mother Earth and now she responds.
    According to Lovelock our planet behaves like a living organism.

    Another theory is that any habitable planets with resources and intelligent life will die in this way.
    A very big price has to be paid.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    I get the impression that many people think that God or aliens will come down to rescue us if things get hopelessly out of hand.
    The first appeals to evangelists in particular. It was God who gave us the world's resources to exploit and God will fix it.
    The second appeals to the New Age culture.
    There is also a third type who act like irresponsible gamblers.

    By our greed and miscalculation we have violated Mother Earth and now she responds.
    According to Lovelock our planet behaves like a living organism.

    Another theory is that any habitable planets with resources and intelligent life will die in this way.
    A very big price has to be paid.
    There are also many people who want to face up to it - and most of them are not activists or extremists. That includes scientists and engineers and entrepreneurs who can and are making low emissions technologies - potentially zero emissions technologies - work at costs that don't require loss of prosperity to reduce emissions.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Fabos View Post
    There are also many people who want to face up to it - and most of them are not activists or extremists. That includes scientists and engineers and entrepreneurs who can and are making low emissions technologies - potentially zero emissions technologies - work at costs that don't require loss of prosperity to reduce emissions.
    The problem is not the lack of interest in doing something about it. The issue is the scale of the emissions, and the number of people who are not sufficiently concerned, or capable of doing anything. They are largely the ignorant masses who vastly out number those "who want to face up to it". With about 7.7 billion people on the planet, it is pretty easy to estimate why this is such a difficult proposal.

    And the time for corrective action is rapidly vanishing, all while the solutions are still being debated. The final analysis is that time is not on our side. It is decidedly running against us.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    COP26: delegates will arrive for a junket, most will say little or nothing, fly back and nothing will happen until the next summit which will again be the last chance to save the planet.
    A report today from the UN indicates the world is failing badly at controlling emissions, and we are not getting where we need to be (1,2). This report demonstrates the real problems we are facing, and the lack of sufficient effort to combat climate change. As noted in the quote above, it appears the "powers that be" are not doing much of anything to solve the issue. There is no denying this reality as we watch the global impact of climate change, and review the newest UN report on it.

    It is difficult to perceive anything being done to effectively mitigate the situation. Green technologies developed and deployed are not likely to solve the problem by themselves. So the issue still remains unsolved, and is just getting worse. Without a firm, binding commitment from the major players, the situation is certain to continuously deteriorate.

    It would be nice to think we can do something about all this. Perhaps the next COP26 meeting will make us all feel better.


    "Climate change: UN warning over nations' climate plans"

    1. https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-58600723


    "UN: Climate pledges put world on ‘catastrophic pathway’"

    2. https://apnews.com/article/europe-bu...14c0070142ff59
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