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View Diary: The U.S. is ground zero for climate change (172 comments)

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  •  Honestly, I don't know how fast it will get bad (1+ / 0-)
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    I've seen stuff on Arctic CO2 and methane that scares the crap out of me. You might be right that this is too small an effort to make a significant impact, but I know we have to get traction and start somewhere.

    If you surmise that I have been holding back on the really extreme possibilities, well, you're right. It's very hard to figure the odds on them. I read the posts on the Arctic Methane Emergency Group's pages and I just don't know how to get a handle on it.

    look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

    by FishOutofWater on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 08:57:46 PM PST

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    •  AMEG is hard . . . (0+ / 0-)

      Nevin's "Arctic Sea Ice" blog is probably better for fleshing our a (slightly) more "moderate" extremist position.  It's true that we don't have much of a handle on when the clathrate and permafrost methane releases will begin their own spiral, but it's unlikely that it will be more than a decade or two.  It's also true that multi-year sea ice is a "dead man walking" . . . it's not over to the last cube quite yet, but it might as well be.

      I'd say that the "safe" bet is that the first "ice free" week in the Arctic Ocean  is three years out, and the first "ice free" month is five.  After that all the energy that has been going to melting the last of the mult-year ice will turn to warming water (increasing the ice-free time) and melting . . . yep . . . permafrost and clathrates.  It will (probably) take a decade or two for the methane increase to become itself a major contributor to warming (there's still a lot of cold water and cold dirt up there), but 400 ppm CO2 (and rising) is by itself more than enough.  And that means that all the "drought and bad weather" that you talk about is already locked in . . . it's too late to do anything about it.

      So where are all the nuclear plants that could be displacing coal and producing carbon-neutral synfuels and getting us started on the path to sequestration?  Oh, sorry, maintaining the anti-nuclear religion is more important than actually saving "the world as we knew it" . . . we'll just protest a pipeline instead (and get our oil somewhere else).  And build some more windmills (if we can figure out where the wind will be after the Arctic ice is all gone).

      Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

      by Deward Hastings on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 09:29:05 PM PST

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      •  WPPS & financial meltdown at TMI did in U.S. nukes (2+ / 0-)
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        wordwraith, jfromga

        Extreme mismanagement by incompetent utilities did what a modest number of protesters could never do. They made the financial risks of nuclear power unacceptable to investors.

        Russian incompetence at Chernobyl soured European public opinion on nuclear power.

        We're not talking about minor management mistakes.

        We're talking about full bore driving-that-train-high-on-cocaine catastrophic failures.

        NNadir is right about fossil fuel pollution killing millions but nothing says disaster like Chernobyl.

        look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

        by FishOutofWater on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 05:49:32 AM PST

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        •  Nothing says "disaster" (0+ / 0-)

          like an ice free Arctic Ocean.

          And that won't get "fixed" with windmills (or by "stopping Keystone").

          Band Aids and other "feel good" efforts that (perhaps) salve the conscience but won't solve the problem are, from my point of view, just another form of denial and defeatism.

          Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

          by Deward Hastings on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 06:29:54 AM PST

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      •  I don't know (1+ / 0-)
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        I'm paying up front for some nuclear plants backed by the federal government and it is still nothing but delays and bad news for finishing on time and on budget.

        Building these things is a major engineering undertaking, one that I suspect pushes the edge of our ability.  Latest delay, the reactor vessel was delivered, but the rail line has problems getting it out of port because of the size and need to keep alignment of the cars carrying it, and they got stuck and returned to port.

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