71
   

Global Warming...New Report...and it ain't happy news

 
 
georgeob1
 
  -2  
Reply Sat 26 Feb, 2022 09:07 pm
@hightor,
Not sure what you really mean here. It's not very clear just what are the actual consequences of global warming so far, except for a slight sea level rise (less than 2 inches ) and a slight warming. Nearly every slightly unusual weather event is automatically attributed to climate change, even in the face of statistical evidence to the contrary, and many good reasons to doubt the reasoning of the protagonists. Despite the frequent claims, hurricanes and violent storms are not significantly increasing in number or strength. (There is ample data on that issue).The increased property damage on coastlines due to storms is demonstrably a result of vast property development on shorelines that were previously undeveloped precisely because of the attendant risk. One however wouldn't get any of that in the breathless claims that are so frequently made.

The economic and human costs of many of the remedies that are being demanded by AGW zealots are a good deal more certain than are the supposed potential calamities used to justify them - a far too often forgotten element in all of this.

I also object to the government created "solutions" that are being imposed with so little consideration of the very real human costs involved in them. Our government's track record with bureaucratically managed programs for the domestic production of solar panels, added taxes on fuels & subsidies on less efficient solar & wind driven alternatives, that have progressed very little in either efficiency or total actual output, and which cannot ever alone support a 24/7 power grid, is hardly impressive or confidence-inspiring..

Far more important and significant is the idiotic insistence that current nuclear power technology cannot be considered as a "green" replacement for fossil fuels, even as loonie zealots, concerned about cow farts, demand the cessation of both meat production and the production of the fertilizers needed to grow plant-based substitutes. Nuclear PWR technology has proven itself over many decades as the safest, most flexible and reliable power generating technology available. Despite this we have created a regulatory structure for successive licensing events that is perfectly designed to make the allocation of the capital for their construction, an economic impossibility. Indeed we have now accumulated at least eight multi billion dollar plants that were constructed, tested, fueled and ready to operate, and then denied approval at the hands of an "intervener" who brought suit in accordance with a regulatory process, designed to prevent final licensing.

It takes ~ 1,200 contemporary, 300ft tower, 3MW wind turbines, distributed over many thousands of acres of land, to match the sustained output of a single standard PWR nuclear plant, (and the typical generating facility has two or three of these plants). Moreover the output of the nuclear plant is cheaper, more reliable and more easily controlled.

AGW zealots are very focused on forbidding or taxing the use of technologies they don't like, but take no detectable responsibility for the creation and operation of alternative reliable, affordable and effective alternatives. They simply leave the execution of their favorite fantasies by someone else, subject to government direction and targeted subsidies.. They rely on government regulation and enforcement to impose favored new solutions in situations that make no economic sense, and do so with little apparent concern for the added cost inflicted on the people so affected . A far more sensible policy is to first create (or better allow the creation of) efficient, reliable alternatives and then allow natural economic forces to drive the efficient implementation of the best of them (as chosen by market forces). Huge GHG emissions reductions recently achieved through the replacement of coal-fired power plants with cheaper, more efficient, and less costly gas turbine plants yielding 1/3rd the GHG emissions per unit of electrical energy produced. This was driven by the new availability of natural gas made available by the simple act of leasing Federal and other lands for fracking & gas exploration & extraction by independent entrepreneurs by our government. Normal market forces did all the rest in a very quickly and efficiently.
In stark contrast government controlled automobile design produced the Lada ( an ugly 2 cycle inefficient and uncomfortable plastic-bodied vehicle in Germany (of all places). We certainly don't need more of that.

Free economic initiatives, market competition and profit incentives promote far better, more creative and efficient solutions. Government control yields only the loss of freedom; ineffective & inefficient outcomes and eventual revolution.
glitterbag
 
  3  
Reply Sat 26 Feb, 2022 09:29 pm
@georgeob1,
Well, who wouldn't be persuaded after reading: My statement about managing the consequences while avoiding exaggerating the phenomenon and inflicting worse outcomes on humanity in ill-conceived preventive measures was simply a far more rational approach......Most of us would ignore the withering arrogance you generously spread over all of your inflated pronouncements. We sit at your feet and just glow in the embers of your intellect. Thank you George, for your overly burnished self-satisfied sense of self you share with the lessers on this forum. We are so gratified.

0 Replies
 
hightor
 
  3  
Reply Sun 27 Feb, 2022 06:32 am
@georgeob1,
Quote:
Not sure what you really mean here.

Here, I'll put it simply; none of the "remedies" you attribute to "AGW zealots" are being promoted by actual policy makers.
Quote:
It appears you badly misunderstand what I wrote. I made it very clear they were polar opposites.

It appears you badly misunderstood what I wrote. Your use of terms like "WOKE thought police and Inquisitors" is juvenile name-calling, the opposite of "dispassionate scientific inquiry & study".
Quote:
Moreover the output of the nuclear plant is cheaper, more reliable and more easily controlled.

I've never said that nuclear power shouldn't be considered as an energy source, especially new nuclear technology. But there is a question as to how soon these new plants can be put online and whether any government wants to spend the money or the political capital.
Quote:
Free economic initiatives, market competition and profit incentives promote far better, more creative and efficient solutions.

You mean, "We'll stop polluting once we recover our investment in tar sands oil production." Thank you, georgeob1.

georgeob1
 
  -2  
Reply Sun 27 Feb, 2022 08:58 pm
@hightor,
hightor wrote:
AGW is well-established – there's a big difference between predictions based on scientific observation and making armchair guesses about what our society will look like in the future. Making economic predictions ten years in advance is a hardly the same as tracking rising temperatures around the globe. That's because of political volatility, cultural changes, and, most importantly, things which appear out of nowhere and upset the expected trajectory of events. Such as a global pandemic, a political upheaval, or a severe natural disaster.


An earth centered universe was also "well established" when Copernicus published his work on the "Revolutions of Celestial Spheres", conveniently just before he died in the mid 16th Century, and even when Galileo was later convicted by the Inquisition for a similar work.

Real scientific predictions, based on both observation and the known laws of physics (demonstrated by proved consistency with their mathematical expressions & applications) are not really possible in the AGW matter, due to the complexity and intractability of the mathematic equations representing the inertial, viscous and compressibility forces involved, all of which involve sensitive. non-linear dependence on initial conditions, and the strong potential for chaos (both mathematical and physical).
Global numerical weather models based on direct integration of the core governing mathematical equations, starting with specified initial conditions and producing a "reliable forecast future state" first appeared in the early 1970s and launched a new form of weather forecasting based on specified initial conditions and numerical integration of these equations. Reasonably accurate forecasts good for about 2 days into the future were initially achieved. Now almost 50 years (and 25 iterations of Moore's Law for the doubling of computer capability ) later, those forecasts are reliable for only 6 - 8 days (what follows usually looks like weather but has only a random relationship with what actually occurs), precisely due to the sensitive dependence on initial conditions and potential for chaos intrinsic to the phenomena, their mathematical expressions, and the computer codes that model them. That remains the state of direct scientific predictions today.

As a result "climate models" based on various (usually unverifiable) assumptions and much simplified mathematics are used to produce the very long-range forecasts that are at the heart of this issue. These models were developed by climate-change groups in many countries, initially delivering a rather wide range of different outcomes. Gradually a few "consensus models" based on agreed on, but also unverifiable (but often reasonable), assumptions (regarding ocean currents; major wind patterns; the rate at which airborne pollutants are removed , and other major variables) were developed under the guidance of the IPCC, and are the basis for their current forecasts. Changes have been applied over the past two decades to correct for emerging and embarrassing short term errors in forecast outcomes, but the resulting very long-range forecasts they yield remain as the basis for the AGW movement. Unfortunately so called "climate deniers" or merely skeptical scientists were systematically excluded from all of these groups. The results consist on consensus assumptions, agreed on only by scientists who already expected to see a degree of continued warming - something a bit short of real objective scientific approaches, in which questioning and debating accepted views is a continuing thing

Examinations of the 4,5 billion year geological history of the earth reveal repeated cycles of warming and cooling, apparently associated with a host of variables ranging from volcanism to known variations in solar activity, and others. Large, almost cyclic changes in upper atmosphere carbon content, measurable in the geological record with reasonable accuracy, are readily seen to accompany long-term cycles in global temperatures; however inexplicably in a small majority of these cycles the change in atmospheric carbon followed (and did not lead) the change in temperature - the subject of a good deal of scientific dispute today.

That, in much abbreviated form, is the state of climate forecasting today. Valid concerns about global warming, how long it may last; whether change will be continuous and unbounded, or reach a new quasi equilibrium; what to do about either preventing or mitigating its potential effects; are all issues much debated today. None of these questions can yet be finally resolved in scientific terms.

The implications of the climate debate, and how we should approach dealing with it, have profound implications for human society, our living standards, freedoms. Human liberty, and modes of government are all potentially affected by how we approach the issue.

Unfortunately (in my view) the Climate Movement today is quite authoritarian in character, rejecting so-called deniers; favoring government management of private social & economic activity; inclined to poorly informed decisions about the right technologies with which to address it: how best to implement them; and intolerant of any who opposed its chosen remedies & methods (including by people much more capable in the economic political, science, engineering and operational aspects of the remedies than they are themselves. One result is (in California) we've set a 15 year ( deadline for the end of new vehicles powered by internal combustion or hybrid vehicles, and done so without any consideration of, or plan for, the doubling of our electrical power production necessary for it. (California now imports about 35% of its electrical power from other states; hasn't built or licensed a new power plant (or water storage dam) in about 25 years; and is about to prematurely shut down the largest power generating plant (nuclear) remaining in the state Similar situations prevail in other (mostly, but not all, blue) states.

Sadly this is fairly typical of the ongoing debates about implementing GHG remedies across the country. Those who object to the sometimes idiotic (from an engineering or economic perspective) demands of climate zealots in pursuit of ill-conceived but favored remedies, find themselves labelled as "climate deniers" and worse. The essence of zealotry is the putting aside of all other considerations in pursuit of favored goals and remedies, and they are indeed zealots.

There is, in addition, the new element of expanded government regulation and bureaucratic oversight of major elements of our economy, associated with the plans and proposals of these environmental zealots, particularly those having adverse economic and social side effects. These are significant factors affecting the freedom and liberties of American people and the reach of our government. Ideally we would find and use more efficient and economical replacements for fossil fuel derived power , replacements which would then be self propelled in their implementation. Unfortunately the zealots are in a hurry, and deem any preference for delay or efforts to develop and apply better replacements on a more gradual basis as heretical "climate denial".

Finally there is Bjorn Lomborg's argument. Less cost, injury to human welfare, and freedom may well be found in compensating for the effects of global warming than preventing it. No debate on this question is even allowed by AGW zealots, but despite this, the question remains relevant.

The intolerance which punished Galileo lives on.


hightor
 
  4  
Reply Mon 28 Feb, 2022 05:01 am
@georgeob1,
Quote:
An earth centered universe was also "well established" when Copernicus published his work on the "Revolutions of Celestial Spheres"...


I'm pretty sure that science has developed considerably since then. The greenhouse effect was first discovered in the mid 19th century and we collect data from observations made around the world. Yes, measuring these things and determining their effects takes time because there are natural cycles involved which affect the rates of change. It is often these variations which are cherry-picked by climate change skeptics.

Quote:
The implications of the climate debate, and how we should approach dealing with it, have profound implications for human society, our living standards, freedoms. Human liberty, and modes of government are all potentially affected by how we approach the issue.


Isn't this true of every major issue we are confronting? That's what I mean about the "boilerplate arguments" you trot out so predictably.

Quote:
Finally there is Bjorn Lomborg's argument.


Which are neither that rigorous nor persuasive:

0 Replies
 
hightor
 
  3  
Reply Mon 28 Feb, 2022 06:36 am
Climate change causing widespread and irreversible impacts, says IPCC

A new report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says that up to 3.6 billion people are highly vulnerable to climate change, largely from extreme heat, heavy rainfall, drought and fire

Quote:
Climate change is already wreaking widespread, pervasive and sometimes irreversible impacts on people and ecosystems globally, according to a landmark report warning it has become increasingly clear there are limits to how much humanity can adapt to a warming world.

The report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) found that up to 3.6 billion people live in areas highly vulnerable to climate change, largely from extreme heat, heavy rainfall, drought and weather setting the stage for fires.

Since the last assessment by the panel eight years ago, it has increasingly been possible to pin the impacts of extreme weather events on human-made climate change. A clear message from the 35-page report is that holding warming to the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement will limit the impacts and make adaptation more feasible.

“We have an increased understanding that there are limits to adaptation,” says Rachel Warren, a lead author on the report, based at the University of East Anglia, UK. “What has come out is a really, really strong message that at 2°C the risks are several times greater than they are at 1.5°C. Many things become much, much more difficult to manage at 2°C than 1.5°.”

Despite the commitments nearly 200 countries made in the Glasgow Climate Pact at the COP26 summit last November, the world is still on track for more than 2°C of warming.

The report finds that climate change is already affecting people’s physical health and, for the first time explicitly in an IPCC report, their mental health too. Helen Adams at King’s College London, an IPCC lead author, says the main mental toll is from extreme weather impacts, such as dealing with flooded homes, but also through “eco anxiety”.

And climate change’s burdens are falling unequally on the richest and poorest, says the report. The world’s most vulnerable people are found to be in mostly low-income nations in west, east and central Africa, South Asia, South America, island states and the Arctic. Deaths from floods, droughts and storms in those regions were found to be 15 times higher than the least vulnerable areas, mostly high-income nations such as Canada and the UK, between 2010 and 2020.

Overall, the economic impact of a rapidly warming world has been adverse, according to the report. But there have been economic positives regionally, including for farming, tourism and lower energy demand.

The IPCC highlights the impact on cities, now home to more than half the global population. Urban areas are increasingly being hit by heat, floods and storms affecting energy and transport and aggravating air pollution.

The 2030s and 2040s hold an unavoidable increase in hazards for people worldwide because there is already 1.5°C of warming baked-in by our past greenhouse gas emissions. By mid-century, around a billion people will be at risk of coastal impacts such as flooding, including small island states, some of whom face an “existential threat” later this century. If the world warms by 2°C, that will endanger food security, leading to malnutrition in some regions.

It isn’t only humans bearing the brunt, but nature too: climate change is thought to be responsible for at least two species’ extinctions. If global average temperatures rise by 1.5°C, up to 14 per cent of species on land will be likely to face a very high risk of extinction in future. At 3°C, the figure is up to 29 per cent.

However, Adams cautions against being fatalistic in the face of dire projections because they hinge on how much societies cut their emissions and how much they adapt. “Yes, things are bad. But actually, the future depends on us, not the climate,” she says. The report finds that holding warming to 1.5°C “significantly” cuts the losses and damages from climate change, but “cannot eliminate them all”.

Attempts to adapt to a warming world, such as building flood defences and planting different varieties of crops, have made progress since the last assessment in 2014. But they fall far short of what is needed, they are uneven globally and there is growing evidence that adaptation can have negative side effects, such as sea defences causing knock-on erosion along coasts. “Most observed adaptation is fragmented, small in scale, incremental,” says the report.

Published on the fifth day of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, one of the report’s authors says the war risks derailing focus and action on climate change. “If we’re going back into a world of a cold war, thinking about climate change is something which we then don’t do with the urgency with which we need,” says Daniela Schmidt at the University of Bristol, UK.

During Sunday’s final approval of the report, which is signed off line-by-line by governments, the head of the Russian delegation reportedly told colleagues: “this [war] is not the wish of all the Russian people and the Russian people were not asked”. The Ukranian delegation asked colleagues to continue and expressed how upset they were the war “will detract from the importance” of the report, Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability.

The assessment, part of the sixth round of reports by the IPCC since the first in 1990, closes with an urgent message: “Any further delay in concerted anticipatory global action on adaptation and mitigation will miss a brief and rapidly closing window of opportunity to secure a liveable and sustainable future for all.”

newscientist
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Mon 28 Feb, 2022 07:07 am
@hightor,
That report (see hightor's post above) highlights the need for humans to stop climate change in order to protect their own well-being.

What this report can do, is open the world and those in leadership positions to a new line of thinking around the climate crisis — one that is more critical of what has been incorrectly identified as "common-sensical" economic values.
It can further debate on positioning human health and happiness above corporate interests and historic production habits.
hightor
 
  2  
Reply Mon 28 Feb, 2022 10:04 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Quote:
It can further debate on positioning human health and happiness above corporate interests and historic production habits.

I know. There's this whole line of thinking which really seems more invested in maintaining – or even increasing – our current level of consumerism and minimizing concern for anything other than the continued accumulation of wealth in fewer and fewer hands.
Quote:
Thomas Friedman, of the Times, is scolded for a preening column in which he calls himself a “green capitalist” and blames Congress for not cracking down on coal, oil, and gas producers. Berry observes, “The deal we are being offered appears to be that we can change the world without changing ourselves.” This kind of thinking enables us to continue using too much energy “of whatever color,” hoping that “fields of solar panels and ranks of gigantic wind machines” will absolve us of guilt as consumers.

...from Wendell Berry’s Advice for a Cataclysmic Age
0 Replies
 
hightor
 
  3  
Reply Tue 1 Mar, 2022 08:58 am
These Climate Scientists Are Fed Up and Ready to Go on Strike

Evidence on global warming is piling up. Nations aren’t acting. Some researchers are asking what difference more reports will make.

Quote:
Sometimes, Bruce C. Glavovic feels so proud to be an environmental scientist, studying coastal planning and teaching future researchers, that it moves him to tears.

Other times, he wonders whether any of it has been enough. Scientists have proved beyond doubt that climate change is transforming the planet for the worse. Yet their work has mostly failed to spur governments to address the issue. When all the signs are telling scientists that their research is not being heard, it is tragic, Dr. Glavovic said, that they just keep producing more of it.

“We’ve had 26 Conference of the Parties meetings, for heaven’s sake,” he said, referring to the United Nations global warming summits. More scientific reports, another set of charts. “I mean, seriously, what difference is that going to make?”

(...)

more at nyt
georgeob1
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 4 Mar, 2022 09:22 am
@hightor,
hightor wrote:

These Climate Scientists Are Fed Up and Ready to Go on Strike


Well that's a good start. Let's see if it continues.
0 Replies
 
hightor
 
  2  
Reply Fri 4 Mar, 2022 02:28 pm
The First Step Toward Saving the Planet Is Ignoring the Economists

The U.N.’s latest climate report shows that we don’t know how expensive the climate crisis will be, which means cost-benefit analyses weighing how to combat it are pointless

Quote:
The latest report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is stark. U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres describes it as “an atlas of human suffering and a damning indictment of failed climate leadership.” If the world can’t solve this problem, there will be a lot of blame to go around, but one group in particular shouldn’t be able to skirt it: economists who have relentlessly downplayed the seriousness of climate change and overstated the costs of solving it.

Most mainstream economists believe government action, such as a carbon tax, is a necessary step to taking on the climate crisis. But what if you’re an economist who doesn’t want the government to do anything? Perhaps you work for a libertarian think tank or a fossil fuel producer. Your job is literally to use the tools of economics to conclude that we don’t need any government intervention to address climate change. Luckily for you, economics offers a handy tool to reach the required conclusion: the cost-benefit analysis.

The idea behind a cost-benefit analysis seems simple enough: Evaluate a policy by comparing the costs of enacting the policy to the policy’s benefits. If costs exceed benefits, then the policy is not a good idea; if benefits exceed costs, then it is.

Cost-benefit analyses certainly make sense for some problems, but the climate crisis is not one of them. Climate change is a global, multi-generational threat featuring impacts that lie entirely outside anything that modern humanity has ever experienced. Solving it, to the extent that it can be solved, involves balancing the welfare of the rich world versus the poor, and today’s population versus that of future generations.

Cost-benefit analyses require economists to make judgements about what a “good” outcome looks like. For example, do we want to maximize wealth, or do we care about how the wealth is distributed? By carefully making these judgments, a motivated economist can reach any conclusion they want. During the Obama administration, the social cost of carbon (the damage from emitting a ton of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere) was estimated to be $35. The Trump administration altered some of the assumptions that led to his estimate, particularly how much they valued future generations versus ours, and how much they valued people outside the U.S. versus those who live in America. They estimated the social cost of carbon to be as low as $1.

To be clear: economists have no idea how bad five degrees Fahrenheit of global average warming in 2100 will be (that’s about where we’re headed now) or what that will do to our economy. For context, the global average temperature during the last ice age was about 10 degrees Fahrenheit colder than today, and it was a world that would be literally unrecognizable to people living now. This means that five degrees Fahrenheit of warming by 2100 is about half an ice age — an enormous amount of warming that will likely remake the world.

Any estimate of economic damage due to five degrees Fahrenheit of warming requires drawing from our experience with the present climate into a realm where we have no experience. As a result, impact estimates must be based on a large number of assumptions, many of which are arbitrary. Most economic estimates do not include reliable estimates of the costs of impacts to things for which good markets do not exist, such as ocean acidification or melting permafrost. They also do not account for catastrophic changes, tipping points, or many other factors. Faced with this reality, the new IPCC report concurs that we simply don’t know how expensive climate change will be.

Just as one should be skeptical of estimates of the costs of climate impacts, one should also be skeptical of estimates of the cost of switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy. For these analyses also, economists can get any answer they want by simply changing the assumptions. Want to get a really high cost of reducing emissions? Just assume that future innovation in energy technology is slow. You can get the opposite conclusion by assuming a rapid rate of innovation.

The fossil fuel industry has taken advantage of how easy it is to manipulate these cost estimates. Academic research has documented that economists hired by oil companies “used models that inflated predicted costs while ignoring policy benefits, and their results were often portrayed to the public as independent rather than industry-sponsored. Their work played a key role in undermining numerous major climate policy initiatives in the U.S. over a span of decades.”

We can get some idea of how unreliable these cost estimates are by examining cost estimates of previously implemented environmental regulations, such as the phase out of ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in the 1990s. Prior to the phaseout, many suggested it would be an economic apocalypse. After the phase out, “The ease with which businesses have developed CFC substitutes makes it easy to forget how hard the tasks looked at the outset. Industries predicted doomsday scenarios,” Jessica Mathews wrote in The Washington Post in 1995.

The lesson from the phaseout of CFCs is the power of the market to innovate. Once it became clear that CFCs would be banned, the free market rapidly produced cheap, effective substitutes. This is exactly the beauty of the free market and it’s ironic that economists who tout it are ignoring the power of government regulation to spur innovation.

A more recent example was the debate over Obama’s climate bill, which died in the Senate in 2010. Opposition to the bill was intense, full of hyperbolic claims of an economic apocalypse if the bill was enacted. The conservative Heritage Foundation wrote that Obama’s proposed bill “raises energy prices by 55-90 percent. The higher energy prices push unemployment up by 844,000 jobs on average with peaks over 1,900,000. In aggregate, GDP drops by over $7 trillion. The next generation will inherit a federal debt pumped up by $33,000 per person.”

Yet, even without the bill, the U.S. reached the emissions-reduction and clean-energy goals of the legislation. The economy didn’t burn down, energy prices didn’t soar, the GDP didn’t drop, and unemployment didn’t spike. We can now see that the predictions were not just wrong, but excessively so. The economists making these estimates are the true alarmists in the debate.

In the end, we don’t need economics to answer the big question about climate change: Should we take aggressive action to reduce our emissions of greenhouse gasses? The physics makes clear that the increase of greenhouse gasses in our atmosphere is driving warming temperatures, more extreme heat waves, more extreme precipitation events, rising sea level, and the acidification of the ocean. The geological record tells us that the amount of warming the world is on track to experience is enormous and will transform our planet in unimaginable ways.

As the latest IPCC report says, “The cumulative scientific evidence is unequivocal: Climate change is a threat to human well-being and planetary health. Any further delay in concerted anticipatory global action on adaptation and mitigation will miss a brief and rapidly closing window of opportunity to secure a liveable and sustainable future for all.”

Do we really need a cost-benefit analysis to convince ourselves to address this threat?

dessler
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Mon 7 Mar, 2022 10:26 am
The world's largest rainforest is heading for a critical tipping point - and could further shake the global climate system, warn German and British researchers. Land use is the main culprit.

For the work, the scientists (from the University of Exeter, the Technical University of Munich and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research) examined satellite images since the beginning of the 2000s, checking the change month by month. The images showed that the rainforest in the Amazon region has continuously lost its resilience due to deforestation. In more than three quarters of the area, the forest's ability to recover from disturbances such as droughts or fires has diminished. "That we see such a loss of resilience in the observations is worrying," said Niklas Boers, one of the authors of the study, who works in Potsdam and Munich. He said that declining resilience goes hand in hand with an increased risk that the Amazon rainforest could die.

The resilience of the forest is not the same as its average condition, he said. "The rainforest can look more or less the same, but it can lose resilience so that it recovers more slowly from a major event like a drought," Tim Lenton of the Global Systems Institute in Exeter commented. He described the study's findings as "compelling new evidence that supports efforts to reverse deforestation and degradation of the Amazon to restore some resilience to ongoing climate change".

Pronounced loss of Amazon rainforest resilience since the early 2000s

The results highlighted the need to minimise human land use in the Amazon region and to limit greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. For it is - presumably - not yet too late
0 Replies
 
hightor
 
  2  
Reply Wed 9 Mar, 2022 06:39 am
‘This is a fossil fuel war’: Ukraine’s top climate scientist speaks out

As western governments untangle themselves from Russian oil and gas, Svitlana Krakovska notes that the roots of the climate crisis and invasion are in fossil fuels

Quote:
For Svitlana Krakovska, Ukraine’s leading climate scientist, it was meant to be the week where eight years of work culminated in a landmark UN report exposing the havoc the climate crisis is causing the world.

But then the bombs started to crunch into Kyiv.

Krakovska, the head of a delegation of 11 Ukrainian scientists, struggled to help finalize the vast Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report ahead of its release on 28 February even as Russian forces launched their invasion. “I told colleagues that as long as we have the internet and no bombs over our heads we will continue,” she said.

But her team, scattered across the country, started to peel away – one had to rush to an air raid shelter in Kharkiv, others decided to flee completely, internet connections spluttered, one close friend of a delegate was killed in the fighting. International colleagues had to express their sympathies and press on with the report.

Krakovska’s four children sheltered with her in their Kyiv home as a missile struck a nearby building, emitting an ear-splitting roar. A fire from a separate strike sent up a plume of smoke that blotted the sky. “This blitzkrieg by [Vladimir] Putin is unbelievable, it is terrorism against the Ukrainian people,” she said.

Both the invasion and IPCC report crystallized for Krakovska the human, economic and geopolitical catastrophe of fossil fuels. About half of the world’s population is now acutely vulnerable to disasters stemming from the burning of fossil fuels, the IPCC report found, while Russia’s military might is underpinned by wealth garnered from the country’s vast oil and gas reserves.

“I started to think about the parallels between climate change and this war and it’s clear that the roots of both these threats to humanity are found in fossil fuels,” said Krakovska.

“Burning oil, gas and coal is causing warming and impacts we need to adapt to. And Russia sells these resources and uses the money to buy weapons. Other countries are dependent upon these fossil fuels, they don’t make themselves free of them. This is a fossil fuel war. It’s clear we cannot continue to live this way, it will destroy our civilization.”

The IPCC report, described by António Guterres, the UN secretary general, as an “atlas of human suffering and a damning indictment of failed climate leadership”, is the most comprehensive catalogue yet of the consequences of global heating. Extreme heat and the spread of disease is killing people around the world, about 12 million people are being displaced by floods and droughts each year and the viability of food-producing land is shrinking.

But it is the conflict in Ukraine that has caused western governments to hastily attempt to untangle themselves from a reliance upon Russian oil and gas. The EU, which gets about 40% of its gas supply from Russia, is working on a plan to rapidly upscale renewable energy, bolster energy efficiency measures and build liquified natural gas terminals to receive gas from other countries.

Joe Biden, meanwhile, has relented to pressure from US lawmakers to ban imports of Russian oil. The ban, the US president said on Tuesday, will deliver a “powerful blow to Putin’s war machine. We will not be part of subsidizing Putin’s war.” Biden said the US will work with Europe on a long-term plan to phase out Russian oil and gas.

The halting of imports was urged in an emotional appeal to members of Congress by Volodymyr Zelenskiy, the Ukrainian president, and is backed by a bipartisan majority of lawmakers. “It’s basically foolish for us to keep buying products and giving money to Putin to be able to use against the Ukrainian people,” said Joe Manchin, the centrist Democratic senator.

Others see the ban as a moment to decisively break from fossil fuels altogether. “This moment is a clarion call for the urgent need to transition to domestic clean energy so that we are never again complicit in fossil-fueled conflict,” said Ed Markey, a progressive Democratic senator who was a driving force behind the Green New Deal agenda.

But in a stark demonstration of how deeply embedded fossil fuels remain in decision making, Biden’s administration has awkwardly attempted to extol its efforts to confront the climate crisis while also boasting that the US is now drilling more oil than even under Donald Trump to show it is cognizant of public anguish over rising gasoline prices, a perennial political headache for presidents.

“We don’t have a strategic interest in reducing the global supply of energy,” Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said last week. “That would raise prices at the gas pump for the American people, around the world, because it would reduce the supply available.”

While the US takes a relatively small amount of oil from Russia – only about 3% of all oil imports – experts say it is telling that an administration vocal about the need to reduce fossil fuels has found it difficult to cut itself from its dependency on oil and gas.

“It’s a crude oversimplification to call this a fossil fuel war, that’s a little too glib,” said Jonathan Elkind, an expert in energy policy at Columbia University and a former energy adviser to Barack Obama’s administration. “But it’s an undeniable reality that Russia gets a significant share of its revenues from oil and gas and that America’s gasoline habitat contributes towards the global demand for 100m barrels of oil each day.

“Do we want to find ourselves 10 years from now where we’ve bent the curve on oil consumption and emissions towards decarbonization, or do we want to sit there and think ‘where did the last 10 years go?’ If the US isn’t a part of the solution we will put in peril our influence on the world stage and the fate of everyone, both here and around the globe.”

While Europe belatedly attempts to wean itself off Russian gas, efforts to phase down fossil fuels in the US have faltered. Biden’s legislative plan to drastically ramp up renewable energy is moribund in Congress, largely thanks to Manchin, while the conservative-leaning supreme court is mulling whether to weaken the administration’s ability to regulate coal-fired power plants.

The invasion of Ukraine has also triggered a push by the US oil and gas industry and its allies in Congress to loosen regulations to allow more domestic drilling. Manchin, chair of the Senate energy committee, has said that delaying new gas pipelines when “Putin is actively and effectively using energy as an economic and political weapon against our allies is just beyond the pale”. Even Elon Musk, founder of the electric vehicle company Telsa, has said that “we need to increase oil and gas output immediately. Extraordinary times demand extraordinary measures.”

The White House has pointed out that the industry is already sitting on a huge number of idle drilling leases – a total of 9,000 unused permits covering 26m acres of American public land – while environmentalists argue the crisis highlights the dangers of being at the mercy of a volatile global oil price, now near an all-time high, rather than shifting towards solar, wind and other sources of clean energy.

“The fossil fuel industry’s so-called solution to this crisis is nothing more than a recipe to enable fossil-fueled fascists like Vladimir Putin for years to come,” said Jamal Raad, executive director of Evergreen Action. “As long as our economy is dependent on fossil fuels, we will be at the mercy of petro-dictators who wield their influence on global energy prices like a weapon.

“American-made clean energy is affordable, reliable and free from the volatility of oil and gas markets. The best way to weaken Putin’s grip on the global energy market is to get America off of fossil fuels.”

In Kyiv, Krakovska has said that she will stay in her home city as the Russian army advances, having declined offers to relocate to foreign research institutions. “I know that’s what Putin wants, for us to flee Ukraine so they can have our beautiful country,” she said.

“I have told scientists in other countries I will collaborate with them, but from an independent and free Ukraine. I couldn’t be in another place knowing that Kyiv was in the hands of those barbarians.”

guardian
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  3  
Reply Thu 10 Mar, 2022 06:25 am
Climate change fundamentally affecting European birds, study shows
Quote:
Global warming is changing European birds as we know them, a study has found, but it’s not just the increase in temperature that’s to blame.

Researchers have found that garden warblers, for example, are having a quarter fewer chicks, which has huge implications for the species. Chiffchaffs are laying their eggs 12 days earlier. Members of the passerine family are getting smaller, while redstarts are getting larger.

Researchers pored over data collected since the mid-90s in Britain and the Netherlands on 60 different species, including the house sparrow, the crested tit, the reed bunting, the bullfinch and the willow warbler. They zero in on how these birds have changed over time with regard to their egg-laying schedules, number of offspring and morphology.

Although research has already linked the way passerines – the swallow family – are getting smaller over time to hotter temperatures, scientists weren’t sure whether this was due to heat stress directly or because rising temperatures make it harder to forage.

The scientists investigated what proportion of changes over time were linked to warming, and whether warming affected some species or traits more than others, as well as whether other factors unrelated to temperature reinforced these effects.

The study, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal last week, found that although more than half of trait changes are linked with rising temperatures – and warming is likely the largest factor driving change over the years – other factors such as urbanisation, pollution, habitat loss and more could also affect shifts in characteristics.

“For example, climate change caused chiffchaffs to lay their eggs six days earlier over the last 50 years, but other unknown environmental factors led to an additional six days, meaning in total they now lay their eggs 12 days earlier than they did half a century ago”, said Martijn van de Pol, lead author of the paper from James Cook University in Australia.

A change in schedule this big can cause a mismatch between when chicks are born and when food is available for them, breaking the ecosystem balance.

On average, up to 57% of overall change over the past decades can be linked to temperature warming, according to the study. Approximately 32% of 60 bird species had changes in body conditions due to temperatures, with an average decrease in size of 0.45% for every celsius increase in heat. About 86% had changes in egg-laying times, and 31% had changes in their number of offspring.

“Garden warblers in the UK have experienced a 26% decrease in their average number of offspring over the past half century, which is really concerning for the long-term fate of this species,” said Nina McLean, the lead researcher on the study, from the ANU Research School of Biology. “But only half of this reduction, 13%, can be attributed to climate change.”

Not all species are being affected the same way. Some, like the redstart, are clearly increasing their body condition and offspring number. The researchers speculate the variation of how much different species’ traits are changing is most probably up to non-temperature factors.

“The study gives a well-grounded explanation for why different species change at such different rates. And it is not to do with temperature sensitivity, but with those other, non-temperature factors,” said Shahar Dubiner, an ecologist at Tel Aviv University, who was not involved in the study. Dubiner’s research has, similarly, found dramatic changes in shape and body condition for over half of Israeli bird species – including many who migrate from Europe, such as storks.

Overall, this means warming is likely the largest factor driving trait change, but it’s not the only element at play. Other adjacent factors may play a more prominent role than previously thought – the question is what these other non-temperature factors are, and how they are linked to temperature increase.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  3  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2022 12:25 pm
Has the next tipping point for the global climate already been passed? According to a new study, the thawing of the methane-containing permafrost soils in northern Europe can no longer be prevented, even in the best case scenario.


Imminent loss of climate space for permafrost peatlands in Europe and Western Siberia
hightor
 
  2  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2022 12:38 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Methane Acceleration Sets Record

In the year 2021 methane concentration in the atmosphere exceeded 1,900 ppb for the first time in human history recorded by Global Monitoring Laboratory, Earth System Research Laboratories, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

0 Replies
 
hightor
 
  2  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2022 12:44 pm
Grid switchgear uses SF6, the world’s most potent greenhouse gas. How do we regulate it?

Sulphur Hexafluoride (SF6) is described as the world’s worst greenhouse gas. It’s 23,500 times more potent than CO2. Global annual emissions are 8,100 tonnes, equivalent to the CO2 emissions of 100m cars. It has an atmospheric lifetime of over 1,000 years and its installed base is expected to grow by 75% by 2030.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2022 01:02 pm
Spring is coming, but not everyone is looking forward to it. Some pollen allergy sufferers are already struggling with burning eyes, runny nose and a feeling of exhaustion. Climate change is likely to ensure that they suffer from these symptoms for even longer in the future: Due to rising temperatures, among other things, plants are starting to flower and produce pollen earlier and earlier.

In a modelling study, scientists at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor have now calculated how strong the influence of climate change on the pollen season could become. At the end of this century, the pollen season in the USA could start up to 40 days earlier than it does now. In addition, it will probably last 19 days longer.

Projected climate-driven changes in pollen emission season length and magnitude over the continental United States

Frank Apisa
 
  2  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2022 01:29 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Walter Hinteler wrote:


Spring is coming, but not everyone is looking forward to it. Some pollen allergy sufferers are already struggling with burning eyes, runny nose and a feeling of exhaustion. Climate change is likely to ensure that they suffer from these symptoms for even longer in the future: Due to rising temperatures, among other things, plants are starting to flower and produce pollen earlier and earlier.

In a modelling study, scientists at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor have now calculated how strong the influence of climate change on the pollen season could become. At the end of this century, the pollen season in the USA could start up to 40 days earlier than it does now. In addition, it will probably last 19 days longer.

Projected climate-driven changes in pollen emission season length and magnitude over the continental United States




Oh, ****!

I only started suffering from pollen during the last 5 years. Prior to that...not a bit. But these days, I am sneezing the entire spring. Where I live...my car is totally green or light brown each morning. Pollen by the ton.

And now...a longer season.

Like I said...oh, ****!
0 Replies
 
hightor
 
  3  
Reply Sat 19 Mar, 2022 05:44 am
New Climate Change Assessment: “Previous Risk Assessments Were Too Optimistic”

Quote:
Geographer Matthias Garschagen is a lead author of the new assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. In our interview, he discusses the risks of climate change and the possibilities of adapting to its consequences.

Matthias Garschagen has a mammoth task behind him: For the second volume of the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), he and his colleagues around the world evaluated thousands of publications about climate change risk and adaptation, of which 34,000 ultimately went into the report. As one of the lead authors, Garschagen was also among the researchers who – in the final stage – went through the twenty-page Summary for Policymakers line by line with delegations from 195 countries until it was adopted. Ultimately, this resulted in a publication that is globally recognized as representing the current state of scientific knowledge. Published today, the report makes clear that the global community does not have much time left to act.

What is the current report about?

Matthias Garschagen: There are three working groups in the IPCC, each focusing on different areas. The second working group, which has just published the report we’re talking about, assesses the consequences of climate change.

Principally, the report deals with the risks and impacts of climate change and with questions of adaptation. It assesses the current state of the scientific debate, which is voluminous to say the least, and synthesizes this information for political decision-makers. Of the huge number of publications in climate change research, many specifically assess risks and vulnerabilities as well as the possibilities for adapting to climate change. The report helps us understand whether we, as a global community, are on a course that allows us to keep a handle on the risks of climate change as set out in the Paris Agreement. It is very important for informing political decision-making processes in relation to climate change – at the global level first and foremost, but also at national and local levels.

What do you think are the main insights from the report?

Garschagen: The scientific evidence is unequivocal: Climate change is a massive threat to human wellbeing and the health of the planet. Immediate and determined action for climate change mitigation as well as adaptation is more important than ever in order to respond to climate impacts and limit future risks. Global warming of 1.1°C has already caused widespread and often irreversible damage in ecosystems and has affected the lives of billions of people. In addition, we face considerable additional risks in the future, and they will be stronger and come earlier than assumed in the last assessment. Our body of knowledge is now even greater and more robust than seven years ago at the time of the last report. The previous risk estimates were too optimistic. We’re increasingly dealing with feedbacks and complexities in the system, by means of which risks mutually exacerbate each other, such as interdependent water-related and food-related risks. Such compounding risks have received increased scientific attention in recent years.

“The report comes to the conclusion that existing adaptation efforts are insufficient to properly limit current impacts and avert serious risks in the future.”
— Matthias Garschagen

Has there been any progress in climate adaptation?

Garschagen: Climate change adaptation has been making decent progress. We found a whole lot of adaptation activities in all regions of the world and in all sectors. That being said, the report comes to the conclusion that existing adaptation efforts are insufficient to properly limit current impacts and avert serious risks in the future. To date, adaptation has been rather fragmented, small in scale, concerned with the short-term and nested within sectoral siloes. Efforts are frequently directed toward optimizing the status quo, as opposed to reimagining adaptation more fundamentally. Coastal zones and large cities are good examples: How can land-use planning be adapted to accommodate for long-term fundamental changes in climate hazard exposure? Where should retreat be considered in coastal areas, because protection will become too expensive? In cities, where do we have to radically reconsider how we deal with heat when it comes to things like urban design and landscaping? How do social security systems need to be changed fundamentally? Up to now, we see relatively little adaptation along these lines.

Are we mainly talking about technological solutions for adaptation?

Garschagen: That’s what people often think, and technical solutions tend to dominate the debate, but the report shows very clearly that the majority of adaptation activities currently taking place are squarely focused on behavioral change. They’re about things like whether farmers – and specifically small farmers in arid regions – change their cropping patterns or irrigation mechanisms. So it’s not always about grand technical initiatives, but smaller behavioral solutions, often at the level of individual households, farmers, or small businesses.

In fact, when it comes to technical adaptation we’re even seeing cases of maladaptation – that is, misguided or counterproductive technical solutions – which can end up making risks worse. Many coastal cities, for example, are primarily working towards hard coastal protection aimed at sealing themselves off against sea level rise or stronger storm tides. While such measures might be considered adequate and necessary in the short- and mid-term, they can have the potential to merely delay risks or make them even worse. This is the case if in 80 or 100 years these flood prevention barriers turn out to be too expensive or ineffective, whilst exposed assets have been accumulated in the meantime in what had been considered to be safe areas behind sea walls.

“We see impacts in all areas.”
— Matthias Garschagen

Which areas will be most affected by climate change risks?

Garschagen: We see – and this, too, is a core finding of the report – impacts in all areas. We are witnessing strong impacts in all regions of the world and in all sectors, such as infrastructure, settlements, food security, agriculture, or fishing.

An example of a hotspot for climate change risks, with very problematic interactions between them, is the Arctic. In this region, we’re seeing above-average changes in the climate as well as above-average impacts. This includes thawing of the permafrost, with the huge risks this entails for infrastructure such as roads and housing developments. It also includes particular risks for indigenous groups, for whom the thawing of changes in sea ice jeopardizes a whole way of life that includes for example hunting on the ice.

We’re also seeing strong effects in many developing countries and emerging economies, where a high level of socio-economic vulnerability is combined with low adaptive capacity. Many areas of Sub-Saharan Africa are affected by several climate impacts at once – aridity, drought, temperature changes – and have comparatively little in the way of resources for dealing with them.

What leeway do we have left in terms of adaptation?

Garschagen: The report shows that adaptation can be effective, but that it cannot eliminate all risks. Particularly in the case of warming pathways that lead us to a temperature increase of 3°C or even more by the end of the century, we see clear signs that our current adaptation efforts – at least in its current guise – will be nowhere near enough to offset the increase in risks.

Even if we manage to keep warming below an increase of 2°C, the report shows that the limits of adaptation will be reached in many regions of the world, especially those with low adaptation capacities. Incidentally, it’s a similar story in ecosystems such as in many warm-water corals. In some cases, we’re already reaching the limits and we can see that adaptation will no longer be capable of fully offsetting the risks.

And when the limits of adaptation are reached?

Garschagen: Risk assessments indicate that over the course of the century there will be major species extinction, with species no longer able to adapt to the changes in things like precipitation, temperature, and shifts in vegetation. The report shows that we can remain within these limits of adaptability if we manage to keep temperature increase to 1.5°C or 2°C. In a world that is 3°C or 4°C hotter at the end of the century, however, we will shoot past these limits.

“We must press ahead with climate change mitigation in a swift and effective manner.”
— Matthias Garschagen

What conclusions should be drawn from the report?

Garschagen: There are two main conclusions, as far as I can see. Firstly, we must press ahead with climate change mitigation in a swift and effective manner. Ideally, the goal should be 1.5°C, but we must make sure that we limit temperature increase to 2°C at the very most. And we should avoid so-called overshoot pathways, as the report demonstrates. The idea behind overshoots is that we can allow ourselves a higher level of warming for some time before bringing it back down again, as we currently do not yet have sufficient mitigation solutions for instance around carbon sinks, but hope to have these in place in the latter half of the century. But: This is a very big gamble on the future – who knows whether we can mobilize sufficient political will and technological solutions in the future. In addition, the report clearly shows that even with limited overshoot there will be massive and in many cases irreversible impacts. The melting of glaciers or sea ice is a point in case and such effects need to be avoided, also because they will trigger feedbacks in the climate system and make a return to lower warming levels more difficult.

Secondly, climate change mitigation is only part of the answer. We need to also increase our investments in climate change adaptation, as some risks are already unavoidable and irreversible. A certain sea level rise is already baked into the system. We need to adapt to this change in advance, while thinking about the problem in a much more systematic and integrated manner than we have done so far. Our climate adaptation efforts to date have been too superficial and reactive. This will lead us into trouble, because adaptation has long lead times, as the report makes abundantly clear. The creation of a new, more effective land use plan for a coastal city and the construction of large regional irrigation infrastructure have lead times of 10 to 20 years in some cases – these are projects we need to tackle early.

Is politics on the right path here?

Garschagen: We’re seeing a lot of plans for adaptation and many countries have drawn up national adaptation strategies. However, the literature shows that implementation often lags far behind the political announcements. We’re therefore seeing adaptation gaps across sectors and regions. Existing plans and strategies need to be implemented more emphatically. In addition, we need to get more explicit about long-term goals for adaptation. Difficult choices have to be made, for instance regarding the cost-sharing within societies. Such issues need to be addressed and should not be delayed further. One finding of the report is that this is not working well enough at the moment.

scitech
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

 
Copyright © 2022 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.09 seconds on 08/13/2022 at 03:40:30