Tasmanian Times


Major Trump administration climate report says damage is ‘intensifying across the country’

Scientists are more certain than ever that climate change is already affecting the United States — and that it is going to be very expensive …

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  1. Russell

    November 27, 2018 at 7:16 am

    Put your money where your mouth is Kim, and put some solar panels on your roof. Every little bit helps. Words do nothing.

  2. Kim Peart

    November 25, 2018 at 11:25 am

    I hit a paywall with this article, but found a similar story in The Guardian ~

    This story lists a 3C temperature rise above the pre-industrial era. How soon? James Hansen found that atmospheric CO2 needed to be under 350 parts per million (ppm), to keep temperature rise below 1.5C, which is the level at which we trigger an unstoppable runaway greenhouse effect. Our strife is, 350 ppm CO2 was sailed past in the 1980s, and is now going beyond 400 ppm at 2 ppm per annum. Is this a problem?

    When working on the Mars Viking mission at NASA in the 1970s, Carl Sagan pointed out that there is a conundrum with the Sun getting hotter, but the Earth system maintaining a relatively even temperature for the evolution of life. The Sun is now 35% hotter than at its birth 4.5 billion years ago, and has so much fuel in reserve, it will burn fiercely over the next 5 billion years until expanding to the orbit of the Earth as a red giant star. This is basic astronomy for a star like our Sun. Sagan’s comments to Lovelock led to the Gaia theory, to help explain how the Earth system is able to compensate for a warming Sun. Our strife now is that CO2 is rising so fast, and it’s increasing heat in the Earth system too fast. Lovelock attempted warn in two books, the last in 2009, that the Earth at some point will make a sudden shift to a permanently hotter climate, one that is hostile to us, and with a shrunken ecology. Humans drop dead when heat and humidity rise too much. Is this a problem?

    One environmental scientist, Guy McPherson, has concluded that this heat jump will happen within around a decade. Is this a problem?

    I wondered about that, and checked the CO2 maths. The CO2 rise from the last Ice Age to 8,000 years ago, was 90 ppm CO2, along with a few degrees of warming, and a 120 metre rise in the sea level. Would another 90 ppm CO2 in the air be enough to raise the heat on Earth to melt the rest of the polar ice? That level, 360 ppm CO2, was sailed past in the 1990s. Is this a problem?

    When David Wallace-Wells researched is article ~ An Uninhabitable Earth ~ he found climate scientists considering the Great Filter theory as a sobering warning for us. Cosmologists are puzzled why there is no sight or sound of ET among the stars, or in the Solar System, suggesting that as many as 30,000 alien explorers could have reached Earth by now, even at the speed of a solar sail, powered by a laser beam, powered by a star. If planet civilisations are being filtered out at the point where they could go stellar, what event could do this at the same stage. Looking at what we are up to on Earth, could the Great Filter be brought on by burning too much fossil fuel for too long, instead of making an industrial level transition to the power of our star, harvested in space? The physical prospect of doing this arrived in the 1970s, but we went along with burning fossil fuel. If we are going to be hit by a Great Filter event it will need to be in our very near future as humans are now on the cusp of going stellar. Is this a problem?

    Considering that CO2 rise in the air above 350 ppm is forcing the future temperature up above 1.5C, by who knows how much, we are now in an undeclared state of emergency on this planet.

    There are two key Earth questions that must now be answered. Where will the energy come from to extract excess CO2 from the air, ASAP? The volume needing to be extracted is higher, because the oceans have absorbed much of the additional CO2 in the air, and it will come back out of the sea, as CO2 is removed from the air. All in all, this is a huge tonnage of CO2 that we must deal with, to put the brakes on a planet going heat crazy, and the CO2 volume is increasing daily.

    Then there is methane, a more potent greenhouse gas, now being released from melting Arctic permafrost. There are humongous deposits of frozen methane hydrates on the ocean floor, and as warm water gets to them they can melt, even explosively. Warmer ocean water is melting Antarctic ice from beneath. It is feared an ocean heat wave will bleach the Great Barrier Reef in coming months. There is a canary in our planet coal mine.

    A recent report found that there is 25% more heat in the oceans than previously realised.

    The other planet question is how to safely cool the Earth, as excess CO2 is being extracted from the air. The talk is now to pump sulphates into the upper atmosphere. Will this be a permanent solution, or open the way to other strife?

    We can then wonder, what does the plan of action need to be to save the Earth, and assure our own survival?

    All other environmental challenges that we face are only relevant if we are extracting CO2 from the air, and cooling the Earth.

    What is the plan of action to win back a safe Earth?

    What is the plan for a sustainable human presence on Earth?

    What is our plan for survival?

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