October 9, 2012 at 1:24 pm #4962October 9, 2012 at 9:32 pm #4963October 10, 2012 at 8:16 pm #4993October 12, 2012 at 1:25 pm #5050MariParticipant
I suddenly discovered something about the CO2-temperature relationship: don’t know what it actually means…
A doubling of CO2 from 280 ppm to 560 ppm will alone lead to ca 1 degree warming.
To get another degree warming from CO2 alone, the amount of CO2 must double again, to 560 x 2 = 1120 ppm. To get yet a degree warming from CO2 alone, there must be yet a doubling, 1120 x 2 = 2240 ppm.
Assuming that the amount of CO2 increase stays stable around 20 ppm per year, does that mean that the global warming eventually will slow down?
Just wondering…October 12, 2012 at 6:05 pm #5051
The annoying thing about that, Mari, is that you cast me as ‘a zealot’ predicting Apocalypse, that YOU declare will NOT happen, and yet you have not even grasped such simple basics as the above.
How do you explain that ?
It’s called the ‘sensitivity’. As I understand it, the general consensus is that a doubling of CO2 gives a 3 deg. C global temperature increase.
However, to really get your head around this stuff means getting a picture in your mind of the whole planet and the many different systems which are relevant.
For example, as Earth circles the Sun, it tilts slightly over long periods, which effects the amount of heat received, starting and ending Ice Ages, and over the history of Earth, the Sun’s heat has increased. There are many other factors, like the amount of heat absorbed by the oceans, and distributed by their currents. But of all the different factors, CO2, although present in very small amounts, is the crucial one that keeps Earth warm and friendly to life. The incoming Sun’s rays are not effected by the CO2, but when they hit Earth surface and ‘bounce’ back, to radiate out into space, they change wavelength, and then their escape to space is slowed by CO2.
Too much CO2 slows escaping heat too much, hence global temperatures rise.
The problem is, that, having triggered this temperature rise, by burning fossil fuels and increasing atmospheric CO2, now feedback mechanisms kick in, releasing CO2 from other sources. For example, the frozen tundra of Siberia and Canada, where the permafrost melts, and the peat rots and releases methane and CO2, and the warming temperatures mean that coniferous forests, containing huge amounts of CO2, die and burn.
Another major factor is the albedo ( reflectivity ) of the Earth’s surface. White ice bounces heat back out to space. Dark surfaces absorb heat and add the global warming.
So, once CO2 gets above a certain level, all these other mechanisms kick in, causing it to rise even more. Think of it as a broken thermostat on a water heater, that no longer keeps the temperature within safe limits.October 12, 2012 at 6:44 pm #5052
Re the global warming eventually slowing down, no it won’t. As I understand it, CO2 can stay in the atmosphere a 1000 years or so…
But that hardly matters. The reason I have given up trying to persuade people is because we have missed the window of opportunity.
The only part of the system where we had full control, was burning of fossil fuels. We had thirty or so years, when we could have reduced and ended that source of CO2. But greed and lust for power won. Big Oil and Big Coal are amongst the most profitable industries ever, so loved by investors and governments, and they are the heart of industrial economies, with all their bureaucratic and military and trade apparatus.
They refused to change, backed by idiot politicians like Bush and Obama, and idiot voters who believe Fox News and Exxon and Koch Bros etc, propaganda, and the need for the Chinese, Indian and other Gvts to industrialise their economies and raise living standards or else lose elections or have revolutions. Most people want to live the ostentatious unsustainable life style exemplified by the USA, and have no idea what the results are going to be…
That bit, we could, theoretically, have controlled. Once the fossil fuel-derived CO2 sets off the other feedback mechanisms, such as melting glaciers and release of methane from shallow Arctic continental shelves, then nobody can control that, and it takes on a momentum of its own.
Methane is a much more potent greenhouse gas than CO2, although it has a shorter life in the atmosphere. Once that gets out of control, as seems to be happening, then there’s no way back.
Temperatures ( and sea levels ) will keep on rising for centuries, with the whole Earth system becoming chaotic, until it reaches a new stability at some distant future time. But we’ll be long gone by then, as will most of today’s living species.
There are things that can be done to slow, or mitigate, like planting trees to take up CO2, or whatever. But the major requirement – stop using oil, gas, coal and change to benign energy sources – has not happened, and, as far as I can see, cannot, and will not, happen. At least, not quickly enough to have any effective result.October 12, 2012 at 7:20 pm #5053
As I understand it, the best hope we might have had, would have been to try and restore as much of the Earth as possible, to what it was like when we found it, when civilisation began, c. 10,000 years ago.
At that time, the Earth had reached a relatively stable state, after many millions of years, where all the many systems and sub-systems were more or less in balance. It’s possible for humans to flourish within systems which mimic natural systems, for instance permaculture orchards can be substituted for natural wild woodland, and do not pose the sort of gross perturbation that, say, and airport does. That appears to have been the insights that the Amish and the Kogi had. Respect the world, disrupt it as little as possible.
However, any chance of restoration seems very slim, when we have the equivalent of another two Chinas population increase due over the next two or three decades, and the insane imperialist foreign policies of USA, Israel, Britain, who want to control the whole world, along with an out of control science and technology which throws out new stuff every day, much of which has major potential for even more disaster.
Mainstream dominant capitalist culture has no respect for anything, not the planet, not future generations, not other beliefs and lifestyles and cultures, only the power and control of the bankers matters, and that is to be maintained by violence, genocide, and exploitation of all resources to destruction.
Theoretically, things can be changed, but does anybody seriously think they will be ? In time ?
I don’t, anymore. It seems clear and inevitable to me, we get global ecological melt down, collapse of the biosphere, and a mass-extinction event.October 12, 2012 at 7:56 pm #5054October 12, 2012 at 8:05 pm #5055
All major tropical forests—including those in the Americas, Africa, Southeast Asia, and Indonesia—are disappearing, mostly to make way for human food production, including livestock and crops. Although tropical deforestation meets some human needs, it also has profound, sometimes devastating, consequences, including social conflict and human rights abuses, extinction of plants and animals, and climate change—challenges that affect the whole world.October 13, 2012 at 12:23 am #5057MariParticipant
It was this that was new to me:
The relationship between carbon dioxide and radiative forcing is logarithmic, and thus increased concentrations have a progressively smaller warming effect.
The same logarithmic formula applies for other greenhouse gases such as methane, N2O or CFCs,…
In other words, each additional 1 ppm of CO2 will have a slightly less warming effect than the preceding one.
The problem is that CO2 may be increasing exponentially, not linearly…October 13, 2012 at 1:56 am #5059
And ocean acidification is increasing faster than atmospheric Co2 ppm.October 13, 2012 at 5:56 am #5064
And, if I am understanding correctly, the European Space Agency modelling of Arctic sea ice, has been shown to be substantially accurate and correct… except that, what they expected to occur in 2040 – 2049 has happened this year….October 13, 2012 at 1:12 pm #5069
“Only three years ago, the UK government’s chief scientific adviser, Sir John Beddington, warned that the world faced a “perfect storm” of food, water and energy problems, due to global warming and the rising global population. Elements of that perfect storm are here now. Doubters can read Damian Carrington’s summary of recent scientific findings or read the study released by Munich Re, the world’s largest reinsurance firm, which sees climate change driving increased weather volatility and predicts those influences will continue in years ahead.
It’s clear we need to change the way we do food. We need to make food part of the solution not a growing part of the problem of climate change.
But we’re in for a shock. Cheap food, artificially low cheap food, is going to come under attack. Our manipulated subsidy of sectors of food and farming (beef and dairy) will have to change if we want to retain that particular myth. The new food reality will hit a food economy that’s already dysfunctional in terms of diet-related health, ecology (the food we eat accounts for 30% of the UK’s carbon footprint) and social justice.
We’re not going to like this. There’s been an undercurrent of soft-denialism that goes something like this. The weather may be changing but it will be good for us here in northern Europe. It’s most often heard around soft fruit or vineyards in “unusual places” and almost always has a gallows humour to it. I think we’ll be hearing a lot less of this as the realities of globalised food and a fundamentally altered weather system come to the fore.”October 14, 2012 at 5:30 am #5079
There’s a kind of crazy circularity here… ‘we must mobilise to save civilisation’, but ‘civilisation’ is the cause of the catastrophe in the first place… so the whole thing becomes a horrible self-destructive feedback loop…
“We have ignored the earth’s environmental stop signs. Faced with falling water tables, not a single country has mobilised to reduce water use. Unless we can wake up to the risks we are taking, we will join earlier civilisations that failed to reverse the environmental trends that undermined their food economies.”
He says we know the answers. They include saving water, eating less meat, stopping soil erosion, controlling populations and changing the energy economy.
“But they must be addressed together We have to mobilise quickly. Time is the scarcest resource. Success depends on moving at wartime speed. It means transforming the world industrial economy, stabilising populations and rebuilding grain stocks.
“We must redefine security. We have inherited a definition from the last century that is almost exclusively military in focus. Armed aggression is no longer the principal threat to our future. The overriding threats are now climate change, population growth, water shortages and rising food prices. The challenge is to save civilisation itself.”October 14, 2012 at 5:55 am #508015th of July this year a mob of neo-Pentecostals invaded a terreiro of Candomblé in Olinda, Pernambuco, Brazil screaming for casting out Satan and threatening to kill the people in the terreiro if their evil ways where continued. This is not a unique incident – but one of the more grave ones so far as the aftermath revealed, torture, persecution and violence. These Pentecostal formations seem to be the more fresh branch on the tree of Inquisition and intolerance, continuing a putrid legacy of self righteous wardens of ‘divine law’.October 14, 2012 at 6:19 am #5082
The Death of the OceansOctober 14, 2012 at 6:33 am #5083
The Politics of Stupidity and the stupidity of politicians and the people they pander to…
Britain’s top animal disease scientists have launched a devastating attack on the government’s “mindless” badger cull, accusing ministers of failing to tell the truth and demanding the immediate abandonment of the killings.
The intervention by dozens of the nation’s most senior experts, in a letter in the Observer, comes as farmers prepare to begin the cull in Gloucestershire and Somerset, possibly as early as tomorrow. The government’s own chief scientist has refused to back the killings.
More than 30 eminent animal disease experts describe the cull as a “costly distraction” that risks making the problem of tuberculosis in cattle worse and that will cost far more than it saves.October 14, 2012 at 7:54 am #5084
So, the nails in the coffin for the human species… the oceans become acidic toxic dead zones.. we’re getting there, quickly… 1 kilogram of solid permafrosted peat, warms up and melts, and releases enough methane and C02 to create enough atmospheric warming to melt more than 1 kilogram of permafrost peat… the permafrost goes deep, but it’ll keep melting all the way down… and we have runaway feedback that nothing can prevent, and the global temperature keeps rising for many centuries… meaning we get a classic global mass-extinction event…. it’s begun…
As the north warms, new vegetation spreads northward, darkening the land surface, changing the albedo, absorbing more heat from the sun, hastening the warming… another feedback we can do nothing to prevent…
The great conifer forests which have been carbon sinks, die and burn, releasing soot and CO2 to add to the warming, and are no longer there to soak up CO2…
There are more, the Fukes, the methane, etc, but that’s enough already to send us all into eternal oblivion…
All you idiots out there… who think I’m a doomer and a zealot…. a pessimist… an Apocalyptic ranter, well, welcome to your ‘sub-optimal’ future…. based on science and established factual data and well-understood processes…
Sure I’m angry about this, it’s MY world too, and YOUR ignorance and stupidity are destroying it for everyone and most of life on Earth, which, for all we know, may be the only life in the entire effing Universe… and some vain stupid fucked up conceited monkeys with no self-control or wisdom trash the whole thing… for what ?
Lust for power and domination, for pleasure, for entertainment, satisfying their momentary urges… fascination with toys, lack of education regarding stuff that was well understood long ago… a culture that despises the world and treats it all with contempt, as ‘stuff’ to be exploited in any way we choose, belief systems that advocate entitlement to do anything we want to do, because <em>we</em> are the pinnacle of evolution, the ones who brought ‘progress’ to the world, and discovered how to change things ‘for the better’, especially if it makes a profit… forcing ever more of the destitute and desperate into ever more destructive activity as they struggle to live a little longer… blowing up coral reefs with dynamite to catch a few fish, or using mercury to extract a little gold, or selling their children into slavery or prostitution, or joining the rebels who provide a daily meal, or kidnapping a fat tourist for ransome… or, whatever…
And so we will vanish, and this wondrous sublime planet where we found ourselves will be a toxic junk yard for millennia, and leave a layer of synthetic chemicals, plastic particles and metallic fragments in the geological record…
And the response today of the UK Gvt politicians ? Kill badgers, against all the scientific advice, because that’ll please the industrial farming lobby from the dairy industry, and build more roads, so their friends in construction can get richer….October 14, 2012 at 8:51 am #5086
“To the millions of people who have suffered because of someone else’s beliefs”October 14, 2012 at 3:11 pm #5087
And to the billions who have suffered and still suffer because of capitalism… but I suppose they deserve it because they’re all just idiots!October 14, 2012 at 3:13 pm #5088
most are happy to collaborate with the enemy in return for crumbs from the table…October 14, 2012 at 3:27 pm #5089
During the last few years of his life, Joseph Campbell spoke frequently of Marija Gimbutas, profoundly regretting that her research on the Neolithic cultures of Europe was not available during the 1960’s when he was writing The Masks of God. Otherwise, he would have “revised everything.” Campbell compared the importance of Marija’s work to Champollion’s decipherment of Egyptian hieroglyphics. He was not alone in this appreciation. According to anthropologist Ashley Montagu, “Marija Gimbutas has given us a veritable Rosetta Stone of the greatest heuristic value for future work in the hermeneutics of archaeology and anthropology.”October 14, 2012 at 3:34 pm #5090October 14, 2012 at 3:35 pm #5091
Yeah, aint that the truth! ‘Specially dodgy conservative environmentalists… you can take the boy out of his environment but you just can’t take his environment out of the boy 🙂October 14, 2012 at 3:53 pm #5092
Oh, yeah… it always starts with, it always comes with expressions of deep respect for Dr. Gimbutas’. They did pretty much the same with Margaret Mead… ah well, got to keep the status quo or christ only knows where it might have led us!!!!October 14, 2012 at 3:54 pm #5093
Almost everybody is catching crumbs, because they want to live, not die, and the system is designed to keep them entrapped in the net, and they all hope that if they play the game, they’ll get a little further upward and catch bigger crumbs… and as they get nearer the top, the game gets fiercer, the big snouts in the trough don’t like competition that threatens their appetite and obesity, and right up at the top are the guys who own the game, the ones who have already got more crumbs than all the rest put together, and if ever they were to run short, which is almost impossible, they can always magically create as many crumbs as they wish for, out of thin air…
So, how to change this situation ? The game is enforced by violence and coercion. Opting out doesn’t threaten its structure in the least.
People have to invent or construct an alternative source of crumbs, that is owned and distributed by themselves, in a neutral and equitable fashion… that would be one way. But the present owners would declare it illegal, if it became a threat, or subvert it and bring it under their own control again.
But the crumb scheme is a ponzi, like pyramid selling, it has to keep growing, or it implodes when there are no new suckers to join up and be ripped off… so, eventually, it will collapse… the trouble is, that when that happens, there’ll be very little left of the Earth’s vital systems, so we end up with a wasteland…October 14, 2012 at 4:06 pm #5094
Okay, but anthropology and archaeology are supposed to be scientific disciplines. That means basing conclusions upon evidence. It’s always bound to be somewhat speculative and an interpretation. But if it’s a quest for ‘truth’, there have to be limits on how far speculative ‘guesses’ can be acceptable… I don’t take either side in that debate. I think both have string points and I love Gimbutas’s book, which I have on my shelves. But it is is very airy-fairy, she is close to Campbell and his Jungian approach, which is also very airy-fairy…
To a degree, it’s an matter of academic style. Do you look at the data and run with your best guess, or do you wait until every last piece of evidence is in… which may be a very long time, if ever… before you decide what it all means.
It’s a bit like a court case. The jury have to decide, the judge has to decide. Often, the evidence is ambiguous and unclear….October 14, 2012 at 4:08 pm #5095
Yeah, keep peddling it… its hopeless, it’s useless, nothing can be done, it’s common sense, the lefties are totalitarian wankers… it doesn’t really matter NOW. You all internalized the lies spewed out by the ‘system’… the liberal/conservative environmentalists screwed up! Get over it!October 14, 2012 at 4:09 pm #5096
I know your position already, because we discussed this before. You are prejudiced. You want Gimbutas’ theory to be right, for reasons which have nothing to do with the actual evidence.
That’s not science. That’s ideology and political preconceptions using science to forward an agenda.October 14, 2012 at 4:27 pm #5097
Airy Fairy? Well it depends on which side of the brain you are viewing the research on… maybe a’balanced’ approach might have led to further funding to enable new discoveries, and not side lining it from the mainstream. As someone recently told you, ‘science’ is a process… not ‘truth’.
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