Tags: global warming*

268 bookmark(s) - Sort by: Date ↓ / Title / Voting /

  1. Humanity faces few larger questions than what, exactly, to do about climate change — and, in a sense larger still, what climate change even means. We've all heard a variety of different future scenarios laid out, each of them based on different data. But data can only make so much of an impact unless translated into a form with which the imagination can readily engage: a visual form, for instance, and few visual forms come more tried and true than the map.

    And so "leading global strategist, world traveler, and best-selling author" Parag Khanna has created the map you see above (view in a larger format here), which shows us the state of our world when it gets just four degrees celsius warmer. "Micronesia is gone – sunk beneath the waves," writes Big Think's Frank Jacobs in an examination of Khanna's map. "Pakistan and South India have been abandoned. And Europe is slowly turning into a desert."




    But "there is also good news: Western Antarctica is no longer icy and uninhabitable. Smart cities thrive in newly green and pleasant lands. And Northern Canada, Scandinavia, and Siberia produce bountiful harvests to feed the hundreds of millions of climate refugees who now call those regions home."

    Not quite as apocalyptic a climate-change vision as some, to be sure, but it still offers plenty of considerations to trouble us. Lands in light green, according to the map's color scheme, will remain or turn into "food-growing zones" and "compact high-rise cities." Yellow indicates "uninhabitable desert," brown areas "uninhabitable due to floods, drought, or extreme weather." In dark green appear lands with "potential for reforestation," and in red those places that rising sea levels have rendered utterly lost.

    Those last include the edges of many countries in Asia (and all of Polynesia), as well as the area where the southeast of the United States meets the northeast of Mexico and the north and south coasts of South America. But if you've ever wanted to live in Antarctica, you won't have to move into a research base: within a couple of decades, according to Khanna's data, that most mysterious continent could become unrecognizable and "densely populated with high-rise cities," presumably with their own hipster quarters. But where best to grow the ingredients for its avocado toast?
    http://www.openculture.com/2018/02/a-...r-world-gets-four-degrees-warmer.html
    Voting 0
  2. “As permafrost thaws in the future, some portion of this mercury will get released into the environment, with unknown impact to people and our food supplies,” said Kevin Schaefer, a scientist with the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo., and a co-author of the study. The research was led by Paul Schuster, a scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey, and was co-authored by 16 other federal, university-based and independent researchers.

    The scientists performed the research by taking cores from permafrost across Alaska. They measured mercury levels and then extrapolated to calculate how much mercury there is in permafrost across the globe, where it covers large portions of Canada, Russia and other northern countries.

    “We figure that this represents the buildup of mercury during and since the last Ice Age,” Schaefer said.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/e...to-release-it/?utm_term=.20f0e3c1f4b3
    Voting 0
  3. the UN diplomat who shepherded global climate talks from their post-Copenhagen standstill, remembers “5,000 people jumping out of their seats, crying, clapping, screaming, yelling, torn between euphoria and still disbelief.”

    But that euphoria masked a hard truth. The plausibility of the Paris Climate Agreement’s goals rested on what was lurking in the UN report’s fine print: massive negative emissions achieved primarily through BECCS—an unproven concept to put it mildly. How did BECCS get into the models?

    The story begins with the 2°C goal itself, a formal international climate target since 2010 (and informal since the 1990s). For years before Paris, climate researchers had warned that the 2°C limit was slipping out of reach—or was already unattainable.

    Here’s why: As climate researchers have clearly (and tirelessly) linked temperature rise to increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations, they can calculate back from a temperature target to the maximum amount of CO2 we can emit—our “carbon budget.” For a greater than 66 percent chance of staying below 2°C of warming, our CO2 concentration should remain under 450 parts per million.

    In 2010, when the 2°C goal was adopted at a major conference in Cancun, Mexico, the carbon budget for 450 ppm, or 2°C, was formidably tight: Only a third was left—1,000 gigatons of carbon dioxide. Since humans were emitting 40 gigatons a year, the carbon budget would be easily blown before midcentury. This is the global accounting problem that a handful of specialized modeling groups began confronting in 2004, when the IPCC asked them to map scenarios in line with the 2°C goal. Essentially, how might we cut emissions without grinding the fossil-fuel-driven economy to an immediate standstill?

    To tackle this problem, the groups used a tool called an integrated assessment model—algorithms that draw on climate, economic, political, and technical data to imagine cost-effective policy solutions.

    Around the same time that Karlsson’s life changed via late-night Swedish television, Detlef Van Vuuren, a project leader of the Dutch modeling group IMAGE, came across the idea behind BECCS in the literature, looking at Obersteiner’s 2001 paper and work by Christian Azar and Jose Moreira. He was intrigued. In theory, by both producing energy and sucking CO2 out of the atmosphere BECCS could result in a path to 2°C that the global economy could afford.

    The key was that BECCS resulted in negative emissions, which, in the carbon budget, worked like a negative number. It was like having a climate credit card: Negative emissions allowed modelers to “overshoot” the carbon emissions budget in the short term, permitting greenhouse gases to rise (as they were doing in reality) and then paying back the debt by sucking the CO2 from the atmosphere later.

    “The idea of negative emissions became a deeply logical one,” Van Vuuren says.

    The rationale behind negative emissions relied heavily on the work of physicist Klaus Lackner, who at the turn of the millennia was sketching schemes for CO2 removal on blackboards for his students at Columbia University. Lackner, who was working on carbon capture and storage (then intended for storing emissions from coal-fired power plants), was the first person to suggest the idea of direct air capture—pulling CO2 out of the air. At that time, Lackner’s idea of direct air capture, like BECCS, was just theoretical.

    But Van Vuuren says that for the purposes of the models, BECCS could be said to exist, at least in its component parts. The IPCC had published a report on carbon capture and storage—and bioenergy just meant burning lots of crops. Some models did ultimately include direct air capture and another negative emissions technique, afforestation (planting lots of trees, which naturally absorb and store CO2 in the process of photosynthesis). But BECCS was cheaper because it produced electricity.

    In 2007 IMAGE published an influential paper relying on BECCS in Climatic Change, and garnered much attention at an IPCC expert meeting. Other groups started putting BECCS into their models too, which is how it came to dominate those included in the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report (the one that prompted the BBC to call Karlsson).

    The models assumed BECCS on a vast scale. According to an analysis that British climate researcher Jason Lowe shared with Carbon Brief, at median the models called for BECCS to remove 630 gigatons of CO2, roughly two-thirds of the carbon dioxide humans have emitted between preindustrial times and 2011. Was that reasonable?

    Not for James Hansen, who wrote that reliance on negative emissions had quietly “spread like a cancer” through the scenarios, along with the assumption that young people would somehow figure out how to extract CO2 at a cost he later projected to be $140–570 trillion this century.

    Anderson (of the India calculations) pointed out that the few 2°C scenarios without BECCS required CO2 emissions to peak back in 2010—something, he noted wryly, that “clearly has not occurred.” In a scathing letter in 2015, Anderson accused scientists of using negative emissions to sanitize their research for policymakers, calling them a “deux ex machina.” Fellow critics argued that the integrated assessment models had become a political device to make the 2°C goal seem more plausible than it was.
    https://www.wired.com/story/the-dirty...climate-disaster/?mbid=social_twitter
    Voting 0
  4. 3D printing is a rising threat for world trade. According to a new ING report, world trade will be 23% lower in 2060 if the growth of investments in 3D printers continues at the current pace. If investments accelerate domestically printed goods could already wipe out 40% of world imports in 2040.
    https://www.ingwb.com/insights/resear.../3d-printing-a-threat-to-global-trade
    Voting 0
  5. determining when radical physical changes in the Earth system happened provides a basis for determining which human activities were responsible, and thus what measures humans might take to prevent the change from reaching catastrophic proportions. In this article I offer an overview of the issues and stakes in the “when it happened” debate.

    in fact, a dozen or more proposals for dating the Anthropocene have been made to the AWG. While they differ substantially from each other, the starting dates under serious consideration fall into two broad groups that can be labelled Early and Recent, depending on whether the proposed starting date is in the distant past, or relatively close to the present.
    An Early Anthropocene?

    The first Early Anthropocene proposal was advanced by U.S. geologist William Ruddiman, who argues that the Anthropocene started when humans began large-scale agriculture in various parts of the world between eight and five thousand years ago. Those activities, he believes, produced carbon dioxide and methane emissions that raised global temperatures just enough to prevent a return to an Ice Age.9

    Other Early Anthropocene arguments suggest dating the Anthropocene from the first large-scale landscape modifications by humans, from the extinction of many large mammals in the late Pleistocene, from the formation of anthropogenic soils in Europe, or from the European invasions of the Americas in the 1500s. Some archeologists propose to extend the beginning of the Anthropocene back to the earliest surviving traces of human activity, which would take in much of the Pleistocene, and others have suggested that the entire Holocene should simply be renamed Anthropocene, since it is the period when settled human civilizations first developed.

    This outpouring of proposals reflects humanity’s long and complex relationships with the earth’s ecosystems—many of the proposed beginnings are significant turning points in those relationships, and deserve careful study. But the current discussion is not just about human impact: “the Anthropocene is not defined by the broadening impact of humans on the environment, but by active human interference in the processes that govern the geological evolution of the planet.”10 None of the Early Anthropocene options meet that standard, and none of them led to a qualitative break with Holocene conditions.

    Even if Ruddiman’s controversial claim that the agriculture revolution caused some global warming is correct, that would only mean that human activity had extended Holocene conditions. The recent shift out of Holocene conditions, to a no-analogue state, would still need to be evaluated and understood. Noted climatologist James Hansen and his colleagues make this argument clearly in a recent paper:

    Even if the Anthropocene began millennia ago, a fundamentally different phase, a Hyper-Anthropocene, was initiated by explosive 20th century growth of fossil fuel use. Human-made climate forcings now overwhelm natural forcings. CO2, at 400 ppm in 2015, is off the scale … Most of the forcing growth occurred in the past several decades, and two-thirds of the 0.9 C global warming (since 1850) has occurred since 1975.”11

    The Early Anthropocene has been promoted by anti-environmental lobbyists associated with the Breakthrough Institute, because it supports their claim that there has been no recent qualitative change and thus there is no need for a radical response. In their view, today’s environmental crises “represent an acceleration of trends going back hundreds and even thousands of years earlier, not the starting point of a new epoch.

    Moving in exactly the opposite direction, the IGBP’s 2004 book Global Change and the Earth System included several pages of graphs showing historical trends in human activity (GDP growth, population, energy consumption, water use, etc.) and physical changes in the Earth system (atmospheric carbon dioxide, ozone depletion, species extinctions, loss of forests, etc.) from 1750 to 2000. Every trend line showed gradual growth from 1750 and a sharp upturn in about 1950. The authors said that “the last 50 years have without doubt seen the most rapid transformation of the human relationship with the natural world in the history of the species,” but did not explicitly connect that to dating the Anthropocene.14

    In 2005, Will Steffen, principal author of that book, together with Crutzen and environmental historian John McNeill and others, coined the term Great Acceleration for the dramatic social-environmental changes after 1950. The name was a deliberate homage to The Great Transformation, Karl Polanyi’s influential book on the social, economic, and political upheavals that accompanied the rise of market society in England.15

    In 2007, in a journal article provocatively titled “The Anthropocene: Are Humans Now Overwhelming the Great Forces of Nature?,” Steffen, Crutzen, and McNeill republished the Great Acceleration graphs, and suggested that the second half of the twentieth century should be viewed as Stage 2 of the Anthropocene. Updated versions of the 2004 Great Acceleration graphs were prepared this year by the IGBP. As in the original graphs all the trend lines show hockey stick-shaped trajectories.
    https://monthlyreview.org/2015/09/01/...hropocene-beginand-why-does-it-matter
    Voting 0
  6. Unlike most environmentalists, Francis locates the heart of climate degradation in the economic and social degradation of human beings. As the inverter of hierarchies, he views every problem through the lens of those on the bottom. It is not enough to save Earth. Francis criticizes “economists, financiers, and experts in technology” who, using “green rhetoric,” promote the eco-capitalism and technoscience that might clean the water and the air, or cope with rising sea levels, but would still preserve the cult of unlimited growth, promote open-ended consumption, reinforce an inequitable distribution of goods, and protect a market economy that continues to ravage the poor—an approach that “leads to the planet being squeezed dry beyond every limit.”

    Imagine Donald Trump using the phrase “civic and political love.” Yet that defines the prescription Pope Francis offers after his stark and unyielding diagnosis. “We must regain the conviction that we need one another, that we have a shared responsibility for others and the world, that being good and decent are worth it,” he writes. “We have had enough of immorality and the mockery of ethics, goodness, faith, and honesty. It is time to acknowledge that light-hearted superficiality has done us no good.”

    For Francis, as a religious man, the love of one’s neighbor is the surest sign of God’s presence. But his invitation is profoundly secular, for his critique of the shrunken circles of love that reduce family, tribe, and nation to shelters from the larger human commonwealth has everything to do with this world, not the next. This world’s value is absolute. If the rescue of our one and only heaven requires economic, psychological, political, and spiritual revolutions—or, rather, one revolution combining all of those—then let’s be about it. That is the message of this encyclical, the gift.
    http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-de...franciss-encyclical-on-climate-change
    Voting 0
  7. Today in the Rose Garden, Mr. Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord, which virtually the entire world had joined in order to mitigate the effects of climate change. The United States joins Syria and Nicaragua as the only nations not committed to the voluntary restrictions outlined in the agreement.

    Around the United States and the world, Catholic leaders quickly voiced their concerns.
    http://www.americamagazine.org/politi...is-agreement-catholic-leaders-respond
    Voting 0
  8. Sanchez Sorondo said he believed the U.S. oil lobby was behind the decision and that the industry had "maneuvered" Trump.

    A withdrawal "would not only be a disaster but completely unscientific," he said. "Saying that we need to rely on coal and oil is like saying that the earth is not round. It is an absurdity dictated by the need to make money."

    Trump has called the idea of global warming a hoax.
    Also In Environment

    Trump abandons global climate pact; allies voice dismay
    Exclusive: California to discuss linking carbon market with China

    In March, Cardinal Peter Turkson, the pope's point man for the environment, immigration and development, urged Trump to listen to "dissenting voices" and reconsider his position on climate change.

    Former U.S. President Barack Obama helped broker the Paris accord and praised it during a trip to Europe this month.

    Canada, the European Union and China have said they will honor their commitments to the pact if the United States withdraws.
    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa..._medium=trueAnthem&utm_source=twitter
    Voting 0
  9. This past September, Pope Francis held a World Day of Prayer that was almost entirely dedicated to the global problem of climate change. On Thursday, surrounded by plants that will surely die in the White House’s Rose Garden, unpopular President Trump announced that the United States would be pulling out of the Paris Climate agreement. A short while before Trump’s official statement, Reuters reported on Vatican Bishop Marcelo Sanchez’s feelings about the reports that the United States was going to do just this.

    "If he really does (pull out), it would be a huge slap in the face for us," said Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, head of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, which has hosted numerous international conferences on climate change.

    "It will be a disaster for everyone," he told the Rome newspaper La Repubblica. In a telephone call with Reuters, Sanchez Sorondo confirmed the comments in the newspaper.

    Well, he has pulled out and it is a slap in the face.

    Sanchez Sorondo said he believed the U.S. oil lobby was behind the decision and that the industry had "maneuvered" Trump.

    A withdrawal "would not only be a disaster but completely unscientific," he said. "Saying that we need to rely on coal and oil is like saying that the earth is not round. It is an absurdity dictated by the need to make money."
    https://www.dailykos.com/story/2017/6...e-like-believing-in-flat-earth-theory
    Voting 0
  10. The decomposing bodies of long-dead animals once preserved in the ice could add huge amounts of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere
    https://www.independent.co.uk/environ...-for-every-extra-degree-a7676811.html
    Voting 0

Top of the page

First / Previous / Next / Last / Page 1 of 27 Online Bookmarks of M. Fioretti: tagged with "global warming"

About - Propulsed by SemanticScuttle