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View Diary: OECD/IEA: 6 Degrees of Global Warming by 2100, END OF THE WORLD (81 comments)

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  •  Six degrees of warming ... (1+ / 0-)
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    would not be the end of the world. The globe can cope with much more than that, and has in the past. The difference in temperature predicted is around the same as between now and the end of the ice ages, so you can expect there will be significant changes in climate, but the globe won't be uninhabitable, and I expect a lot fewer than 95% of the species will go extinct. I don't know who comes up with this alarmist crap.

    It actually might be the end of civilization, if human beings can't cope with global warming and end up getting into wars about newly formed deserts or newly fertile lands. And certainly food production will go down, and we'll have a lot of poor people starving (although that's already happening for other reasons right now). But I don't see that the end-of-the-world view has any justification.

    •  Not just the temperature, but the timescale (6+ / 0-)

      Even if you're right, and I seriously doubt you are - just Google "Eocene Thermal Maximum" and "Permian Exinction" - what's truly unprecedented is the short timescale of this catastrophe.

      The Eocene Thermal Maximum raised global average temperatures by around 6 degrees C too, but that was over the course of 20,000 years. That's enough for evolution to radically reshape plants and animals without the pressures of severe climate change.

      When change happens quickly, evolution simply can't keep up, and Nature is much harder hit. There's no way life can adapt in 100 years: that's as much a part of the danger as the higher temperatures.

      •  Exactly, we know that most life can adapt at a (4+ / 0-)
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        marina, Bob Guyer, rainmanjr, RenMin

        given rate of temperature change per decade. Studies quantifying this have been around at least since the late 90s. The faster the change, the more catastrophic for life.

        Frankly, there's very little room for misjudgment at this point, maybe none. It is said that it takes 17-20 miles to stop a supertanker, likewise it is taking a very long time to change the world's CO2 emissions behavior, scores of years. And on top of this the half-life of CO2 in the atmosphere is something like 60 years.

        "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy" Hamlet, 1:5

        by synductive99 on Fri Nov 14, 2008 at 08:00:45 PM PST

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        •  Mitigation needs to be a priority too (4+ / 0-)
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          marina, Bob Guyer, RenMin, synductive99

          Reducing emissions isn't enough, not by a long shot. 2 degrees C of global warming is already in the pipeline, and what will be emitted even as we're cutting back will continue to raise temperatures further.

          Carbon neutrality isn't enough; we have to go carbon-negative and actively suck out and sequester carbon dioxide. It's simpler than we think: plant fast-growing plants, then after harvest or whatever sink them in the oxygen-depleted bottoms of meromictic bodies of water, lakes etc. that are divided into layers that don't mix. The Black Sea is suspected to be one such place, and smaller lakes and swamps can be found worldwide.

          We'll need some global means of managing the inevitable population shifts, adapting agriculture to the changing climate, and reforestation like our lives depend on it ... because they will.

      •  Nobody knows what caused the Permian extinction, (0+ / 0-)

        and in the Eocene thermal maximum, the temperature started out warmer than it is now (I find this easily from googling). Nobody really knows what will happen if the temperature warms 6 C, but the website you pointed to basically gives the worst-case scenarios that any scientist has come up with as established consequences. This is really dishonest.

        I agree, if the global warming raises temperatures 6 degrees C, parts of the globe will become very unpleasant places. But I will be very surprised if its the end of the world.

    •  There will be massive population displacements (6+ / 0-)

      A few hundred million Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis looking to move to higher ground is going to make a very tense region of the world.

      Behind every great man, there's a woman saying "Stand up straight"

      by captainlaser on Fri Nov 14, 2008 at 07:50:24 PM PST

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      •  This is already happening in Africa. & the Darfur (5+ / 0-)

        genocide is attributed, by many people, to climate change: severe drought has caused extreme hardship. Under these conditions survival becomes paramount, and people look after people like themselves. Those who are different are less valued. When the lifeboat is overloaded, who are picked to be thrown overboard? Who decides?

        There are a number of possible climate/economic scenarios that bring these conditions within our borders.

        The climate change problem is why I worked to elect Obama. We all need to educate ourselves, and those around us to the problem. And we need to work our asses off toward a solution. Toward minimizing the inevitable consequences: adaptation. And toward minimizing emissions: mitigation.

        Humanity is capable of incredible achievements when we commit ourselves and our resources to an issue. So there is every reason to hope, but there is also every need to work like hell.

        "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy" Hamlet, 1:5

        by synductive99 on Fri Nov 14, 2008 at 08:12:59 PM PST

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      •  Maybe they can go to Tibet. (0+ / 0-)

        That would be a fun switcher-oo.

        "It's time to start all over/make a new beginning." - Tracy Chapman

        by rainmanjr on Fri Nov 14, 2008 at 08:49:10 PM PST

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