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View Diary: Are you ready for this? A multi-dimensional tipping point (59 comments)

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  •  Tipping points can tip in a large variety of wa... (11+ / 0-)

    Tipping points can tip in a large variety of ways, yes? Isn't unpredictability an enormous part of the game? And when we aren't factoring in aspects between interrelationships, doesn't the unpredictability increase (if there can be a little or a lot of unpredictability - maybe it as a variable is the least measurable or quantitative element...) Anyway, what if something tipped all the volcanoes to blow in some odd sequence that actually balanced global warming? Mind you, I'm not presenting this as some feel good thing, I can hardly imagine anything that brings us back from the brink, but isn't that precisely the point? We can't imagine. What sort of models are there for post tipping point? When and why does a system simply, I don't know, scatter? and when does it reorient and reorganize? And in each case, why? All quite curious.

    Thank you for a wonderful read and for a good thought generating diary.

    •  Yes to most of those. (8+ / 0-)

      After the tipping point some of the least likely scenarios pre tipping may now become very strong.   In evolution the species with adaptability find a niche they could not have found before.

      There is always a system reorganization after the jump.  With multidimensional complex systems there is no way to predict.

      An idea is not responsible for who happens to be carrying it at the moment. It stands or falls on its own merits.

      by don mikulecky on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 07:36:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Of course, you can get in trouble in this country (0+ / 0-)

        talkin' about eeee-volution when ever'body knows it's just a thee-ry.

        Frighteningly, that idiocy (usually expressed these days, I grant, in a bit less caricature-hick language) is very widely believed, and goes a long way toward explaining why we've done so poorly dealing with environmental issues.

        For the benefit of anyone reading these words who doesn't get the point, a "theory" isn't just a wild guess: it's a framework of explanation intended to account for observed facts and make verifiable predictions about what new facts will be found if we keep looking. Any theory which can't do both must be either modified or discarded.
        So far, while Darwinian evolutionary theory has been refined over the years, there's no sign that it needs to be tossed out. Unfortunately, too many people, some of them in high political office, don't want to hear that.

    •  Volcanoes may cause some short-term cooling, (0+ / 0-)

      Because they throw a lot of particulates into the air that blocks sunlight. But they also release a lot of CO2 and other greenhouse gases.

      The result of a major series of volcanic eruptions would be short term cooling, followed by increased warming.

      I know that I do not know.

    •  Volcanos are something we can't control. (0+ / 0-)

      Tipping volcanos to explode requires an act of God.   Tipping military-political systems to launch volleys of nuclear missiles, resulting in nuclear winter, is humanly possible.   It's another question as to whether a nuclear winter would counter global warming, or make for some really bad super storms.

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