100 years of ‘climate change’

An interesting report from over a hundred years ago:

Now, from Business Insider: Even if every country on the planet cuts emissions, the climate would still be screwed

A planet devastated by climate change may seem like a distant future. But Earth is already experiencing the effects of rising global temperatures today.

Worldwide, the mean rate of sea level rise increased 50% in the last two decades. In 2017, temperatures have already reached their highest levels in history in some areas, from California to Vietnam. The past three years were the hottest on record.

These changes are caused by increasing levels of carbon dioxide and methane in the Earth’s atmosphere, a product of human activity. And as New York Magazine’s David Wallace-Wells recently noted, no single emissions reduction program we have today is enough to prevent climate disaster — not even the Paris agreement.

Possibly. Predictions and projections should be of major concern, but what will actually happen is uncertain.

We could be saved, for a while at least, by another Krakatoa type eruption.

Even if every signatory country in the accord meets its current pledge for reducing emissions — including the US, though Trump has pledged to pull the country out of the agreement — the world is still projected to warm over 2 degrees Celsius by 2050. The Paris agreement points out this reality in a section titled, “Notes with concern.”

Two degrees may not seem like much, but the rise would have substantial impacts. Scientists say that places that supply the world’s food, including Southern Europe and much of the Middle East, Australia, Africa, South America, and China, would be in permanent, extreme drought by 2080. Flooding would become a serious issue near the coasts, where a third of the world’s major cities are located, since sea levels are projected to rise by at least 10 feet by the end of the century.

Experts also warn that if the Arctic ice continues to melt, ancient diseases trapped in glaciers could get released. Plus, the world would face the extinction of many animal species and rising human mortality.

The planet has already warmed nearly 1 degree Celsius, and James Hansen, a renowned climate scientist at Columbia University, suggested in a recent paper that keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees is nearly impossible. Hansen suggested that hitting the goal would require negative emissions levels, which would mean capturing carbon and taking it out of the atmosphere.

To make matters worse, our best protection against the effects of rising carbon dioxide levels comes from so-called “carbon sinks” — patches of land and ocean that absorb large chunks of the carbon dioxide we pump into the atmosphere. But now those sinks may be at capacity, prompting the Earth to continue cooking even as emissions get curbed.

Another ‘may be’. The science is still being worked on. What if the majority of current climate science turns out to be wrong?

What if things turn out to be worse than major predictions, rather than not as bad?

If science is inaccurate it could just as easily be inaccurately under predicting as over predicting. You can’t assume inaccuracies will work in your favour.

11 Comments

  1. David

     /  July 17, 2017

    Given the sciences track record of massive exageration I would put a few bucks on things not being too bad.
    What is happening is a steep decline in sun activity and we could be heading into a minimum period and it could get chilly. This is actually an observable fact rather than a computer model.

      • Brown

         /  July 17, 2017

        So you draw a line through the middle of the temp graph to show average but the average of the sun’s output is the lowest point on the graph. Looks reasonable to a climate trougher I guess.

        • Patzcuaro

           /  July 17, 2017

          The smooth red and blue lines are probably moving averages of the actual data which fluctuates from year to year. The moving average is designed to make out the short term fluctuations to give a picture of the long term trend.

          Looking at the blue area of the graph which plots Global Surface Temperature in degrees Fahrenheit, it shows that the surface temperature is in an upward trend starting at about 0.2 and rising to about 1.0 now.

          In the red area measures the Sun’s Energy Output in Watts per square meter the trend is sideways, basically fluctuating between 1365 and 1368. It looks like the suns energy output is steady over time. This is good as if it was rising we would get fried and if it was falling we would freeze.

          The arrows are pointing to the line, not saying what the average is except at that point in time

        • Joe Bloggs

           /  July 17, 2017

          I’m not sure you’re on the same page there, Brown…but admittedly the charting above leaves a lot to be desired…

          The solid lines are moving averages and the chart suggests that the change in global surface temperature is moving independently of the 11 year solar cycles.

          Pity there are no longer range charts showing the 90 year cycles of the Maunder Minima

          • Brown

             /  July 17, 2017

            Yes, I’m on the same page but with what passes for climate science I’m very skeptical about graphs and stunts. When we talk about climate my understanding was that we were meant to contemplate very long periods of time hence the frothing over graphs showing a 50 year period of time was dubious no matter what it said. Capitalism has made the world cleaner over the last 50 years and that trend will continue – forcing green policies before they are commercially viable is foolishness. Coal powered generation is booming worldwide because its cheap, thermally efficient and clean enough. Solar and wind are hopeless in comparison and Tesla has yet to make a $ without govt subsidies. The alternatives the Greens love have a place but its not yet mainstream.

            Time to light the fire because its unseasonably warm.

            • Joe Bloggs

               /  July 17, 2017

              What a bunch of cobblers…

              World coal mining fell by 221 million tonnes in 2015… check out the International Energy Agency coal reports. Hardly a growth industry.

              Aaaand just this year alone, China has cancelled the construction of over 100 coal-fired power stations as they move more and more energy production to solar and wind power.

  2. John Schmidt

     /  July 17, 2017

    Sea rise of 50%. 50% of what exactly the statement makes no sense other than to suggest that half the land mass is now under water which it is not.
    For this to have credibility it needs credible data not ill defined nonsense that gets thrown around to sensanionalise a very serious subject.

  3. Brown

     /  July 17, 2017

    “What a bunch of cobblers…”

    Maybe, maybe not. The Mineral Council of Australia published a report “New Generation Coal Technology” which notes the following
    – There are 1015 supercritical or ultra-supercritical power units in the world with another 1231 planned or under construction.
    – These plants achieve efficiencies of up to 47.8%
    – Asia is building 88% of the world’s new coal fired power stations within the next 5 years and 69% of these are supercritical or ultra-supercritical.
    – Japan has 95 coal fired power stations and plans to build another 45 over 10 – 15 years.
    – China has 579 HELE units with another 575 planned or being built.

    Coal is not dead but if we think we can rely on renewables for everything we will be. Coal will fade in time but forcing it out prematurely for ideological reasons is just stupid.

    I have solar hot water and like the system but it has back up by way of the grid for the 50% of the time it doesn’t work.

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