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Yet another climate change thread

post #1 of 145
Thread Starter 
As far as I can tell, a lot of the climate change "end is near" thought is based on Eocene CO2 estimates in the 500 ppm range (which we will reach in a couple decades), but I found this recent article which states that the Eocene levels were more like 1500 ppm (and 2000 ppm around the thermal maximum event).

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releas...-dsa062205.php

Based on that information, and this graph (and assuming that CO2 and temperature go in lock step, which I have seen other graphs showing), I would say that we have little chance at all of recreating the thermal maximum event. We probably will melt the poles in about 30 years with a 5 degree jump in polar temperatures, and re-create Eocene (i.e. garden of eden like - warm oceans, low gradient of temperature between poles and equator, most of the world with tropical rainforrests with temperate rainforrests at the poles) conditions around 2100.

I don't think that we will have any trouble stopping CO2 at 1500 ppm, and even if we go above that level we can burn off the oceanic methane to prevent the catastrophe.



Any comments?
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post #2 of 145
How strange. Because according to this: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/5314592.stm published today, new ice core analysis says that CO2 levels are the highest they've been for 800,000 years and we're FUCKED.
post #3 of 145
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hassan i Sabbah

How strange. Because according to this: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/5314592.stm published today, new ice core analysis says that CO2 levels are the highest they've been for 800,000 years and we're FUCKED.

Look at the time scale on my graph, and re-read my post - we can both be right (except for the FUCKED part). Current CO2 levels are 360 ppm.
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post #4 of 145
I'm not sure I understand your post. Do you really think it will be a good thing for our planet and the people living on it if we re-create the climate of the Eocene?

Look, I'd better say now I genuinely don't have enough time to get into this: good luck with surviving the coming climate cataclysm and all.
post #5 of 145
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hassan i Sabbah

I'm not sure I understand your post. Do you really think it will be a good thing for our planet and the people living on it if we re-create the climate of the Eocene?

Look, I'd better say now I genuinely don't have enough time to get into this: good luck with surviving the coming climate cataclysm and all.

Yes - really nice environment (after we get over the loss of sugar cane and corn crops...), more usable land area even after the oceans grow larger, and lots of rainfall.

And thanks! 8)
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post #6 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hassan i Sabbah

How strange. Because according to this... CO2 levels are the highest they've been for 800,000 years and we're FUCKED.

There's fucked, and there's FUCKED. Perhaps we can think of it as single vs. double penetration.

Methane is another important greenhouse gas, not as plentiful in the atmosphere as CO2, but much more potent in its effect. Some of the worst warming events in Earth's history may have been largely due to high methane concentrations in the atmosphere. One theory for the cause of the massive extinction event which ended the Permian is that the planet had warmed enough from CO2 increases that methane (and even more CO2) trapped in polar ice and permafrost was released as the ice melted, taking a bad situation and making it much, much worse.
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post #7 of 145
Methane. Bad.

enumbers, I can't help thinking that on the way to recreating the weather we had in the Eocene, millions of people will die, that's all.

I'm glad we're only fucked, though.
post #8 of 145
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hassan i Sabbah

Methane. Bad.

enumbers, I can't help thinking that on the way to recreating the weather we had in the Eocene, millions of people will die, that's all.

I'm glad we're only fucked, though.

Methane is only bad for as long as it lasts in the atmosphere - and this time there are intelligent agents (us) which will burn the methane into CO2 before it becomes a problem.

Hundreds of millions, or possibly billions, will die - I'll admit that. But if I am right then global warming is only a 2nd rate disaster (asteroid impact or supervolcano eruption being things that will kill more people). Not only that, but the end result will be a world nicer than this one, and I don't think that the methane will get released until we get to 1500 ppm CO2 - the methane in the permafrost and ice is not the big problem, it is the methane in the oceans (on the edge of the continental shelves, 1km down or so) that would be the big deal.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methane_clathrate
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post #9 of 145
Billions of people will die, but the world will be a nicer place. Almost as good as killing millions of people because they dont believe in that Jesus Cunt, but if the remainder of us believe in that Jesus Cunt, the world will be a better place.
post #10 of 145
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcUK

Billions of people will die, but the world will be a nicer place. Almost as good as killing millions of people because they dont believe in that Jesus Cunt, but if the remainder of us believe in that Jesus Cunt, the world will be a better place.

Do you have anything relevant to say? I never said that I wanted global warming to happen, just that it won't be as bad as some people make out, and it won't be ONLY bad news.

The UK will be totally shit on, though. Get ready for the -40 winters that other people at your latitude get, once the gulf stream stops flowing (eventually it will be a tropical paradise, but not right away).
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post #11 of 145
Millions of people die every year. It's part of a terminal disease called life. What if the bulk of the climate rise has to do with peak solar spot activity, tectonic anolomies, or other natural processes that we can do nothing to account for? In this case, contemporary humanity should prove to be powerless in preventing loss of life, and moreover, can't really be blamed at all. Most of the reports I've seen indicate that rapid fluctuations in global temperature (such as the one we seem to be witnessing) have been theorized to have occured in the distant past. Anything aside from a fully existentialist viewpoint on such a matter is a waste of braincells.
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post #12 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978

Do you have anything relevant to say? I never said that I wanted global warming to happen, just that it won't be as bad as some people make out, and it won't be ONLY bad news.

The UK will be totally shit on, though. Get ready for the -40 winters that other people at your latitude get, once the gulf stream stops flowing (eventually it will be a tropical paradise, but not right away).

so sorry, i didn't realise that this was a joke thread. Sorry - I get it now, Billions of people are going to die, but its not going to be as bad as some people make out.
post #13 of 145
Human-assisted climate change, what the fuck could go wrong?
post #14 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splinemodel

Millions of people die every year. It's part of a terminal disease called life. What if the bulk of the climate rise has to do with peak solar spot activity, tectonic anolomies, or other natural processes that we can do nothing to account for? In this case, contemporary humanity should prove to be powerless in preventing loss of life, and moreover, can't really be blamed at all. Most of the reports I've seen indicate that rapid fluctuations in global temperature (such as the one we seem to be witnessing) have been theorized to have occured in the distant past. Anything aside from a fully existentialist viewpoint on such a matter is a waste of braincells.

CO2 levels are the highest they've been for 800,000 years, but hey, it's no-one's fault.
post #15 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978

I never said that I wanted global warming to happen, just that it won't be as bad as some people make out, and it won't be ONLY bad news.

this thread seems silly. yes global warming will happen, yes it'll be horrible and kill too many to realistically count, but after they/we all die the planet will be a whole lot nicer to live on?
post #16 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hassan i Sabbah

How strange. Because according to this: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/5314592.stm published today, new ice core analysis says that CO2 levels are the highest they've been for 800,000 years and we're FUCKED.

I love how you ended that with the smiley.

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post #17 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hassan i Sabbah

Methane. Bad.

enumbers, I can't help thinking that on the way to recreating the weather we had in the Eocene, millions of people will die, that's all.

I'm glad we're only fucked, though.

C'mon a little 'Eocene' never hurt anyone.

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post #18 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by thuh Freak

this thread seems silly. yes global warming will happen, yes it'll be horrible and kill too many to realistically count, but after they/we all die the planet will be a whole lot nicer to live on?

Think of the great big... tracts of land.

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post #19 of 145
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by thuh Freak

this thread seems silly. yes global warming will happen, yes it'll be horrible and kill too many to realistically count, but after they/we all die the planet will be a whole lot nicer to live on?

If we had done nothing - burned no fossel fuels for the last 300 years etc, we would probably be too cold - we are in a brief warm period in the middle of an ice age. It is a good thing that we are getting the world out of the cycle of ice ages that it has been in for the last million years or so.

And it is not a given that the billions will die. The only reason that they would be not able to adapt to the changing conditions is poverty, and the 3rd world is getting rich as a very fast clip. By the time things start changing rapidly, we will probably be capable of preventing those billions of deaths.
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post #20 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978

If we had done nothing - burned no fossel fuels for the last 300 years etc, we would probably be too cold - we are in a brief warm period in the middle of an ice age. It is a good thing that we are getting the world out of the cycle of ice ages that it has been in for the last million years or so.

And it is not a given that the billions will die. The only reason that they would be not able to adapt to the changing conditions is poverty, and the 3rd world is getting rich as a very fast clip. By the time things start changing rapidly, we will probably be capable of preventing those billions of deaths.

The reason billions would die would be due to starvation, yes? With a shift in the tropical clime it could eradicate innumerable farmlands. Where will the new farmbelts be?

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post #21 of 145
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich

The reason billions would die would be due to starvation, yes? With a shift in the tropical clime it could eradicate innumerable farmlands. Where will the new farmbelts be?

The land that is suitable for farming will grow - already we are seeing more temperature rise in Alaska than at the equator. The differences in temperature between the pole and the equator will be less - there will be a ton of land that is useful for farming (in Canada, Russia, etc) that was not before, particularly when you combine the warmer climate with higher rainfall.

Larger/warmer oceans means more evaporation, which in turn means more rainfall. It will be a warmer, wetter world.

The loss of life will not happen due to loss of farmland, but due to loss of coastal infrastructure (coastal cities flooded, etc), and due to the cost of the climate change (need to move the people, start up new farms, build new cities, etc). The ocean rise could also be very sudden (if an antarctic or greenland ice sheet slides into the ocean) resulting in mass deaths in low lying areas like the Maldives and Burma.
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post #22 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978

And it is not a given that the billions will die. The only reason that they would be not able to adapt to the changing conditions is poverty, and the 3rd world is getting rich as a very fast clip. By the time things start changing rapidly, we will probably be capable of preventing those billions of deaths.

i dont think poverty is the only reason they wont adapt. ignorance, willful or otherwise, of the coming disaster is one big reason no one'll adapt.

so... you think its possible for the new land to grow at a pace sufficient to replace the current crop producing land? or that we can runoff into our strategically unfarmed-land reserve, and start farming it up while the weather steals all the old crops? will cities and towns start populating in the flyover states (and the flyovers from other continents)? i think its going to be a lot more disasterous than that, e.
post #23 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978

The land that is suitable for farming will grow - already we are seeing more temperature rise in Alaska than at the equator. The differences in temperature between the pole and the equator will be less - there will be a ton of land that is useful for farming (in Canada, Russia, etc) that was not before, particularly when you combine the warmer climate with higher rainfall.

Larger/warmer oceans means more evaporation, which in turn means more rainfall. It will be a warmer, wetter world.

The loss of life will not happen due to loss of farmland, but due to loss of coastal infrastructure (coastal cities flooded, etc), and due to the cost of the climate change (need to move the people, start up new farms, build new cities, etc). The ocean rise could also be very sudden (if an antarctic or greenland ice sheet slides into the ocean) resulting in mass deaths in low lying areas like the Maldives and Burma.

Good grief, time to start investing in land in Canada and Russia! Beat the rush!

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post #24 of 145
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by thuh Freak

i dont think poverty is the only reason they wont adapt. ignorance, willful or otherwise, of the coming disaster is one big reason no one'll adapt.

so... you think its possible for the new land to grow at a pace sufficient to replace the current crop producing land? or that we can runoff into our strategically unfarmed-land reserve, and start farming it up while the weather steals all the old crops? will cities and towns start populating in the flyover states (and the flyovers from other continents)? i think its going to be a lot more disasterous than that, e.

At the equator farming is done year round (at least in places which are not deserts). As you go north you get to places that have two crops and a winter season, and then farms that have only one crop, and then marginal single crop farms, and then nothing. What global warming will do is move these boundaries over time - farms that were marginal will get better, single crop farms will be able to get two crops in, some areas will no longer be suitable for farming.

You don't have to go out and create a bunch of new farms overnight.

Similarly, inland cities will gradually become more important. The federal government is already distributed somewhat - it will become more so as the coast becomes more dangerous - companies will move workers to safer locations over time in the same way (if they can move jobs to India, then they can move them to Denver).
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post #25 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978

The loss of life will not happen due to loss of farmland, but due to loss of coastal infrastructure (coastal cities flooded, etc), and due to the cost of the climate change (need to move the people, start up new farms, build new cities, etc). The ocean rise could also be very sudden (if an antarctic or greenland ice sheet slides into the ocean) resulting in mass deaths in low lying areas like the Maldives and Burma.

Would there even be much of a rise, if any at all? Not only are the oceans extremely vast, but 90% of polar ice is underwater and already displacing ocean. Ice is more volumnous than liquid water, so if it should melt, it's possible that the oceans might even recede slightly.

Even so, I'm still not convinced that man will have had much impact on a temperature shift, should it come to be. There's a lot of informal evidence that during the time of the vikings, Greenland was indeed green, and Iceland was indeed ice. In addition, Roman accounts of the terrain in North Africa seem to indicate that it was much more moist than it is today. Yet there's not much of an indication that any cities were swallowed, or on the ither hand that the oceans receded much over the past 3000 years. The press definitely has an agenda to spread the rumor that global warming is not only a problem but is a man-made armageddon, if only to villify industry and everything that is non-cosmopolitan. I'm inclined to believe that most of it is hype, and like you said, global warming might end up making things better for almost everyone.
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post #26 of 145
Apologizing in advance for this one....


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post #27 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splinemodel

The press definitely has an agenda to spread the rumor that global warming is not only a problem but is a man-made armageddon, if only to villify industry and everything that is non-cosmopolitan. I'm inclined to believe that most of it is hype, and like you said, global warming might end up making things better for almost everyone.

And the scientists! They have an agenda too! They're only coming up with all these mountains of cross-corroborative data to... er... sell PhD theses.

Yes, that's it.

Before 'things get better' and the global climate returns to that of the Eocene, billions of people will die in catastrophic hurricanes and inundations. The Americas and Europe and Asia will first freeze while everyone in sub-Saharan Africa will have nothing to drink and we'll be fighting wars over water.

Apparently while this happens you're expecting people to be thinking 'well, take the long view: everything's going to be great in a hundred generations.'
post #28 of 145
Thread Starter 
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post #29 of 145
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splinemodel

Would there even be much of a rise, if any at all? Not only are the oceans extremely vast, but 90% of polar ice is underwater and already displacing ocean. Ice is more volumnous than liquid water, so if it should melt, it's possible that the oceans might even recede slightly.

Even so, I'm still not convinced that man will have had much impact on a temperature shift, should it come to be. There's a lot of informal evidence that during the time of the vikings, Greenland was indeed green, and Iceland was indeed ice. In addition, Roman accounts of the terrain in North Africa seem to indicate that it was much more moist than it is today. Yet there's not much of an indication that any cities were swallowed, or on the ither hand that the oceans receded much over the past 3000 years. The press definitely has an agenda to spread the rumor that global warming is not only a problem but is a man-made armageddon, if only to villify industry and everything that is non-cosmopolitan. I'm inclined to believe that most of it is hype, and like you said, global warming might end up making things better for almost everyone.

The oceans will rise somewhere between 63 and 75 meters if all the ice melts, because a lot of the ice is suspended over land (Antarctic and Greenland ice caps, for example). This is a pretty simple mathematical calculation based on geological surveys of ice thickness, etc, and not really controversial.
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post #30 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978

The oceans will rise somewhere between 63 and 75 meters if all the ice melts, because a lot of the ice is suspended over land (Antarctic and Greenland ice caps, for example). This is a pretty simple mathematical calculation based on geological surveys of ice thickness, etc, and not really controversial.

Don't also forget that rising sea levels are not just about the added volume of water from melting ice. (The maximum density of water occurs at a temperature of approximately 39ºF... any average increase in ocean temperatures will result in a lower water density.. meaning that the same amount of water will take up a larger relative volume).
"A rise in global sea level due to the warming caused by the greenhouse effect could probably be caused by only two effects: (1) thermal expansion of the water column (due to a decrease in water density caused by its warming); and (2) the addition of water volume due to the melting of glaciers and ice sheets (assuming the warming did not also increase snow precipitation over the ice sheets)."

http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/slt...mtsparker.html

Re. Methane: CH4 is a more effective "greenhouse" gas than CO2, and the effects of releasing the huge global deposits of 'frozen' methane as a result of the warming oceans will (probably) enhance/exaggerate the feedback loop that is already taking hold.
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post #31 of 145
And don't forget all that extra fresh water disrupting all the under water currents, namely the great corridor that keeps the weather pretty stable. i guess the couple thousand humans that survive in the hundred years after that will have it nice sunning in their tropical paradise. in a couple centuries that is.
post #32 of 145
Any atmospheric sciences majors here? How much extra CO2 and methane have to be released before either (a) the process is irreversible and accelerates at an exponential rate, or (b) a "bifurcation point" is reached, and hell breaks loose at a an unprecedented and unpredictable rate? As with "fucked" and "FUCKED", there's "exponential" and "EXPONENTIAL", as regards rate of acceleration of the process. A 'worse case' being that the oceans heat up to the extent of boiling off. causing the atmosphere (still absorbing the Sun's energy at a greater rate than gets radiated back into space) to become a scalding soup of superheated watervapor and steam (to add to the existing mix of N2 and O2. The Earth-Sun-oceans-atmosphere thermal system is far too complex to predict via models, and the data required to even make an attempt is lacking... but we do have an indication was to what could happen to this planet given the initial conditions required to spark a runaway process: the planet Venus.
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post #33 of 145
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sammi jo

Any atmospheric sciences majors here? How much extra CO2 and methane have to be released before either (a) the process is irreversible and accelerates at an exponential rate, or (b) a "bifurcation point" is reached, and hell breaks loose at a an unprecedented and unpredictable rate? As with "fucked" and "FUCKED", there's "exponential" and "EXPONENTIAL", as regards rate of acceleration of the process. A 'worse case' being that the oceans heat up to the extent of boiling off. causing the atmosphere (still absorbing the Sun's energy at a greater rate than gets radiated back into space) to become a scalding soup of superheated watervapor and steam (to add to the existing mix of N2 and O2. The Earth-Sun-oceans-atmosphere thermal system is far too complex to predict via models, and the data required to even make an attempt is lacking... but we do have an indication was to what could happen to this planet given the initial conditions required to spark a runaway process: the planet Venus.

We won't ever get to the same level as the planet Venus - it has no moon, our moon strips off most of our atmosphere. Venus has 90 times the air pressure at ground level that we do - do you think that global warming will magically increase our atmospheric pressure or something?

Re-read the first post in this thread - I answered your questions, Thermal maximum (including under-sea methane) is about 12 degrees warmer than now, and I don't think that we will ever get there, because it would occur at about 1500-2000 ppm CO2 (5x to 7x the current levels). I think that we will get to Eocene optimum and stay there, and it will be great. There are quite a few people in this thread that are jumping in without reading very much of the thread, but what else is new.
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post #34 of 145
Wow, in the past year it went from THERE IS NO GLOBAL WARMING to GLOBAL WARMING IS L33T!!@#

I suspect e#s is being satirical because he is ignoring the inbetween stages of human suffering, centuries of disastrous weather, and possible human extinction.
post #35 of 145
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Outsider

Wow, in the past year it went from THERE IS NO GLOBAL WARMING to GLOBAL WARMING IS L33T!!@#

I suspect e#s is being satirical because he is ignoring the inbetween stages of human suffering, centuries of disastrous weather, and possible human extinction.

I'm not being satirical - I don't think that this will cause human extinction. Even if we continue to get exponential CO2 level rise, I think that sudden sea level rise is unlikely, and the chance of the thermal maximum event is near zero. And human suffering is universal, even without global warming - the poverty that grips most of the globe causes more suffering than global warming will, and getting those people out of poverty will massively contribute to global warming (so you have a kind of zero sum suffering total).

The changes will be gradual, humanity will adapt - and global warming out of the ice age cycle is a necessary transition if we want to live on the planet long term anyway. We are spending too much time thinking about global warming, and not enough time trying to prevent an asteroid impact (which would be much worse for humanity than global warming will ever be).
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post #36 of 145
What bothers me about this Y2K approach to 'climate change' is that we are only allowed to look at some of the factors, apparently for political purposes. Glaciers in the American Northwest, and Alaska, if you take a look at what people like John Muir and Vancouver reported, have been steadily retreating -- and not just a little, for a couple hundred years -- at least. Things like hundreds (probably thousands) of years of glacial retreat, and sunspot activity somehow get relegated to the irrelevance department -- they don't even enter the popular lexicon.

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post #37 of 145
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmz

What bothers me about this Y2K approach to 'climate change' is that we are only allowed to look at some of the factors, apparently for political purposes. Glaciers in the American Northwest, and Alaska, if you take a look at what people like John Muir and Vancouver reported, have been steadily retreating -- and not just a little, for a couple hundred years -- at least. Things like hundreds (probably thousands) of years of glacial retreat, and sunspot activity somehow get relegated to the irrelevance department -- they don't even enter the popular lexicon.

The reason that I discount those things is that (1) CO2 levels have skyrocketed, and (2) I have seen graphs that detail the absolute lock-step between CO2 levels and temperature (at least before the 20th century).

There are other factors that control the climate, and when the average temperature of the planet rises that does not mean that all areas get warmer, but man made CO2/methane is absolutely dominant in my understanding.
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post #38 of 145
Without the need for difference or a need to always follow the herd breeds complacency, mediocrity, and a lack of imagination
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post #39 of 145
Oops, our bad: cut carbon emissions by 90% by 2050 or we're fucked / FUCKED.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/climatecha...873070,00.html
post #40 of 145
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hassan i Sabbah

Oops, our bad: cut carbon emissions by 90% by 2050 or we're fucked / FUCKED.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/climatecha...873070,00.html

2 degrees warmer is not FUCKED, it is good (it puts us back to a climate that we had 4000 years ago, during the fantastically sweet "climate optimum" period when civilization came into being). 14 degrees warmer is FUCKED, and I don't think that we are going to get there, because I think that it would require 1500 ppm CO2 and the subsequent release of methane from the deep oceans.

I am thinking that we will be fine (most of us, anyway) if we max out at 8 degrees warmer than now, as long as the shift is gradual enough.
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