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Vice-Regent

Avoiding Hothouse Earth

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42 minutes ago, Save the itchy algae! said:

I find the premise of this thread to be rather alarmist.  That doesn't mean that we should not be more thoughtful stewards of the planet though.  That said, its highly unlikely that the earth will be in a hothouse environment in 300 years; we will either be largely in the same realm of climate we are today (300 years is a blink of the eye as it relates to the earth's climate) or we will be extinct due to much more impactful circumstances than the use of Volvos, coal, and plastic.

It's ironic ...that there are those the feel this way, when ... the world is so issue-saturated and thus 'cry wolf' jaded, such elaboration becomes sort of necessary to cut through the malaise and get people to re-engage and pay attention - not you per se... but just out there in general. 

I don't agree with your reply overall, though - not that you asked or care.

While it is certainly true that a super volcano, a Carrington Event, a comet/asteroid impact... or you name it, a CRB burst ... nuclear war, super pandemics... anyone of these could bring civilization to it's knees... I find the use of that argument less relevant when climate-related catastrophe is air-apparent (excuse the pun) and presently, evidentiary. One aspect of that catastrophe is GW - hence the hyperbole of the title.

Only one of those other background threats is above mere noise, statistically, for occurrence, and that's nuclear war - which ironically...could be part of chaotic, panicked world, should it plunge into macro-scaled civil duress in a scramble for the last remaining seat when the music of resources stops.  Barring that happening for a moment that reliance upon a "what-if" list of other Armageddon bares less representation to reality and said present evidences.  The threat of climate break down, however, DOES. 

 

 

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35 minutes ago, Save the itchy algae! said:

I find the premise of this thread to be rather alarmist.  That doesn't mean that we should not be more thoughtful stewards of the planet though.  That said, its highly unlikely that the earth will be in a hothouse environment in 300 years; we will either be largely in the same realm of climate we are today (300 years is a blink of the eye as it relates to the earth's climate) or we will be extinct due to much more impactful circumstances than the use of Volvos, coal, and plastic.

Well to be fair, the hothouse earth idea is not the scientific consensus on CC. So by that metric, this is on the alarmist side of predictions. Most likely since carbon emissions will not follow an RCP 8.5 scenario (typically the "worst case" scenario usually cited in the headlines), we will have a lower temperature 300 years from now than we do 60 years from now. 

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At the nucleus of this whole row is that Human activity IS causal ... Whether that is in part, or in total, they are very involved in the present day mass extinction - which, much to their dismay ...WILL include them at some point or the other. Simply a matter of to what scale and degree.. Moving along and flouting evidences all but ensures that we maximize that scale and degree.

Yet, we are waiting around to have that be proven by a process of science that is either a, taking too long to do so, or b, being denied by everyone else.

That's the problem.

The tongue-in-cheekism by csnavywx is correctly proportioned:  Physics has nothing to do with the 'reason' the variables exist - the system will react the same way. 

As history has shown ...repeatedly, over and over again, when a disruptive force exceeds compensatory absorption rates, the existing paradigm cedes to the new matrix. Empirically proven mass-extincting taking place... that's white-flag territory. 

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2 minutes ago, ORH_wxman said:

Well to be fair, the hothouse earth idea is not the scientific consensus on CC. So by that metric, this is on the alarmist side of predictions. Most likely since carbon emissions will not follow an RCP 8.5 scenario (typically the "worst case" scenario usually cited in the headlines), we will have a lower temperature 300 years from now than we do 60 years from now.  

Yeah, RCP 8.5 is likely too high in the long run, but we're running ahead and will likely stay ahead of all of the other scenarios through at least 2030 if not 2040. Especially RCP 2.6, which is foisted as the hopeful scenario all the time.

For reference:

2018 CO2 is 408ppm. At constant emissions, it will be ~438 in 2030 (+2.5 ppm/yr). At current rates of CH4 emissions, we'll be at ~1950ppb (interestingly only RCP 8.5 shows any increases in CH4 concentrations, all others show drops).

RCP 2.6 at that time is 431 and flattens sharply right around this time.

RCP 4.5 is 435 and RCP 6.0 is 429.

RCP 8.5 is 449 ppm.

Constant emissions and flat CH4 are probably optimistic scenarios at this point with emissions still rising, but that still places us above everything except 8.5. I'd wager the over/under is probably going to be in the 440-445 range in 2030.

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37 minutes ago, Typhoon Tip said:

It's ironic ...that there are those the feel this way, when ... the world is so issue-saturated and thus 'cry wolf' jaded, such elaboration becomes sort of necessary to cut through the malaise and get people to re-engage and pay attention - not you per se... but just out there in general. 

I don't agree with your reply overall, though - not that you asked or care.

While it is certainly true that a super volcano, a Carrington Event, a comet/asteroid impact... or you name it, a CRB burst ... nuclear war, super pandemics... anyone of these could bring civilization to it's knees... I find the use of that argument less relevant when climate-related catastrophe is air-apparent (excuse the pun) and presently, evidentiary. 

Only one of those background threats is above mere noise, statistically, for occurrence, and that's nuclear war - which ironically...could be part of chaotic, panicked world, should it plunge into macro-scaled civil duress in a scramble for the last remaining seat when the music of resources stops.  Barring that happening for a moment that reliance upon a "what-if" list of other Armageddon bears less representation to reality and said presently evidences.  The threat of climate break down, however, DOES

  

  

Geopolitics is definitely a dark horse here, whether for good or ill, I can't tell yet for the long run. Recently, it's been decidedly negative. We've been following Shell's infamous "Scramble" scenario much closer than the "Blueprint" scenario so far. Incidentally, most of the heavier damage and risk curve steepening comes in above +1C, right around when emissions need to be headed sharply downward. I think some folks think that the impacts of moving from +1C to +2C or +2C to +3C will be like moving from 0C to +1C. If anything, the risk and damage potential increases by up to an order of magnitude for each step. It's generally hard for people to envision or deal with non-linear scenarios. Case in point: Ask someone to move two pencils together smoothly and they'll do well. Ask them to do it with some decent handheld magnets and they'll do well up until the magnets get fairly close, then they'll do pretty badly.

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You need to understand how many factors led us to hothouse Earth. Trying to compartmentalize climate change has not worked ever. You moderate this forum but you don't delete the ridiculous denier talking points. So frustrating.

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There's good reason to think RCP2.6 is a pipe dream. But, I agree that RCP8.5 isn't a likely trajectory either. I'll have to look to and see what the temperature dieoff is after the equilibrium climate response has run it's course, but I thought I remember the rate of decline in temperatures being way lower in magnitude than the rate of increase owing to the longevity of CO2 molecules in the atmosphere. So while I concede we might not be warmer 300 years from now vs 60 years from now we might not be that much cooler either. And it seems plausible that the more time we spend above certain temperature milestones the more likely we are to activate certain tipping points. I guess the question is will RCP4.5 or RCP6.0 activate hothouse tipping points?

 

 

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26 minutes ago, csnavywx said:

Geopolitics is definitely a dark horse here, whether for good or ill, I can't tell yet for the long run. Recently, it's been decidedly negative. We've been following Shell's infamous "Scramble" scenario much closer than the "Blueprint" scenario so far. Incidentally, most of the heavier damage and risk curve steepening comes in above +1C, right around when emissions need to be headed sharply downward. I think some folks think that the impacts of moving from +1C to +2C or +2C to +3C will be like moving from 0C to +1C. If anything, the risk and damage potential increases by up to an order of magnitude for each step. It's generally hard for people to envision or deal with non-linear scenarios. Case in point: Ask someone to move two pencils together smoothly and they'll do well. Ask them to do it with some decent handheld magnets and they'll do well up until the magnets get fairly close, then they'll do pretty badly.

This is more than less what I mean by human kind, as a potential species limitation... has trouble when it comes to perceiving threats that are not readily available to "the five senses" - yeah.

I quoted five senses there, because... there is a kind of 'sixth sense' hippy dippy vibe thing, where you can just sorta kinda tell things are amiss?  Perhaps some unconscious perception or the like that transcends the main five...etc..  Whatever that is, it is not in play with the climate stuff - apparently.

The idea that responses in nature, whether land, air, or sea, can be logarithmic ... that's not helping matters to put it nicely.  It only thickens our "incredulity" if we can't get our heads around the notion in the first place.

 

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22 minutes ago, bdgwx said:

There's good reason to think RCP2.6 is a pipe dream. But, I agree that RCP8.5 isn't a likely trajectory either. I'll have to look to and see what the temperature dieoff is after the equilibrium climate response has run it's course, but I thought I remember the rate of decline in temperatures being way lower in magnitude than the rate of increase owing to the longevity of CO2 molecules in the atmosphere. So while I concede we might not be warmer 300 years from now vs 60 years from now we might not be that much cooler either. I guess the question is will RCP4.5 or RCP6.0 activate hothouse tipping points? 

 

 

It's not much of a decrease. There were some recent papers on the issue, where emissions were increased and then suddenly "shut off" to zero. The result was a short dip followed by an extremely long plateau (think centuries) due to stored heat being released from the oceans, though the effect was considerably worse at RCP 4.5+ levels than RCP 2.6. CO2 concentration decreased slowly as well, due to Henry's Law, where the near-surface ocean dissolved CO2 started to come back out of solution and into the atmosphere, slowing the decline.

None of those dealt with permafrost emissions, which have the potential to throw a wrench into any long-run calculations, even at the 2.6 level.

The hidden, implicit conclusion is that NET (negative emissions technologies) and large-scale BECCS are going to be necessary to bring temperatures back down. Once you get above the ~450 level, you're more or less stuck with the temperature max you achieve for a very long time without explicitly drawing down carbon from the atmosphere.

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10 minutes ago, Typhoon Tip said:

well... was mentioning mass extinction evidences earlier - speak of the devil.  wow...

https://www.cnn.com/interactive/2018/08/world/great-barrier-reef/

I'll leave to y'all to accept, deny, ... rationalize, spin, or ascertain the coefficient of "fake-ness" that's endemic to present era ...  

"massive death" sounds like the law of entropy. Take from one system to add to another.

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2 hours ago, Typhoon Tip said:

well... was mentioning mass extinction evidences earlier - speak of the devil.  wow...

https://www.cnn.com/interactive/2018/08/world/great-barrier-reef/

I'll leave to y'all to accept, deny, ... rationalize, spin, or ascertain the coefficient of "fake-ness" that's endemic to present era ...  

Mass extinction has been occurring for at least the last 10,000 years.  It doesn't sting any less to see the byproduct now in examples X or Y, but its something we already knew.  I have never heard a single person inclined to discuss such things ever say they don't believe that we are in a mass extinction event.

 

3 hours ago, Vice-Regent said:

You need to understand how many factors led us to hothouse Earth. Trying to compartmentalize climate change has not worked ever. You moderate this forum but you don't delete the ridiculous denier talking points. So frustrating.

I'm curious what 'denier talking points' frustrate you to the point of seeking censorship.  

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3 minutes ago, Save the itchy algae! said:

Mass extinction has been occurring for at least the last 10,000 years.  It doesn't sting any less to see the byproduct now in examples X or Y, but its something we already knew.  I have never heard a single person inclined to discuss such things ever say they don't believe that we are in a mass extinction event.

 

I'm curious what 'denier talking points' frustrate you to the point of seeking censorship.  

I did enjoy Snowlover91's posts but it was just for entertainment value. At this point it's clear that climate deniers are putting lives at risk.

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16 hours ago, csnavywx said:

It's not much of a decrease. There were some recent papers on the issue, where emissions were increased and then suddenly "shut off" to zero. The result was a short dip followed by an extremely long plateau (think centuries) due to stored heat being released from the oceans, though the effect was considerably worse at RCP 4.5+ levels than RCP 2.6. CO2 concentration decreased slowly as well, due to Henry's Law, where the near-surface ocean dissolved CO2 started to come back out of solution and into the atmosphere, slowing the decline.

None of those dealt with permafrost emissions, which have the potential to throw a wrench into any long-run calculations, even at the 2.6 level.

The hidden, implicit conclusion is that NET (negative emissions technologies) and large-scale BECCS are going to be necessary to bring temperatures back down. Once you get above the ~450 level, you're more or less stuck with the temperature max you achieve for a very long time without explicitly drawing down carbon from the atmosphere.

While the "hothouse" has garnered all the attention, the following is a better learning from this paper:  positive feed-backs that aren't in climate models will lead to additional slow warming over an extended period of time. We aren't going to rapidly transition to a hothouse, but its going to be very expensive to turn back the dial if we continue much more on this trajectory.

That said, non-fossil alternatives are getting more and more attractive and there is plenty of natural gas to aid in transition so there is no need for a compromised future; but, we have to be willing to face our problems more honestly.

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8 minutes ago, chubbs said:

While the "hothouse" has garnered all the attention, the following is a better learning from this paper:  positive feed-backs that aren't in climate models will lead to additional slow warming over an extended period of time. We aren't going to rapidly transition to a hothouse, but its going to be very expensive to turn back the dial if we continue much more on this trajectory.

That said, non-fossil alternatives are getting more and more attractive and there is plenty of natural gas to aid in transition so there is no need for a compromised future; but, we have to be willing to face our problems more honestly. 

That's true, although storage remains a huge issue and will for some time. Hence my personal support for nuclear baseload to avoid the issue.

I do think there may be some potential for transitional and/or transient effects on the way to a greenhouse/hothouse state that may not take that long to take effect. There's some evidence that Northern Hemispheric and Southern Hemispheric base climate states were at least partially asymmetric during the Pliocene. Some of this may have had to do with different ocean currents (isthmus of Panama, etc), but I also think there's a part to play in the lack of widespread ice sheets in the NH. Because of this much smaller amount of persistent land ice, an equable climate state is probably easier to reach in the NH and Pliocene/Miocene high latitude temperatures seem to support that. Whereas with the SH, glaciation occurred much earlier, ice is much more extensive and will probably require CO2 north of 550-600ppm to deglaciate the EAIS, which will take centuries.

We'll have significant problems well before that though. Aragonite undersaturation in surface waters will begin in the Southern Ocean under RCP 4.5+ starting in the 2030s and become widespread quickly. Coral reefs are already suffering significant mortality from bleaching events. Permafrost limits are reached en masse starting around +1.5C.

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14 hours ago, Save the itchy algae! said:

Mass extinction has been occurring for at least the last 10,000 years.  It doesn't sting any less to see the byproduct now in examples X or Y, but its something we already knew.  I have never heard a single person inclined to discuss such things ever say they don't believe that we are in a mass extinction event.

 

I'm curious what 'denier talking points' frustrate you to the point of seeking censorship.  

No talking points, to answer your 'curiosity'...  It seems you've misread, or "read in" incorrectly?

I merely presented information.  There was zippo, zero, provocation or process of refutation that led me into doing so.   I just thought it interesting/coincidental that part of this Hothouse Earth discussion contains extinction stuff, and therein, an example that fits that narrative right there.  

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, chubbs said:

While the "hothouse" has garnered all the attention, the following is a better learning from this paper:  positive feed-backs that aren't in climate models will lead to additional slow warming over an extended period of time. We aren't going to rapidly transition to a hothouse, but its going to be very expensive to turn back the dial if we continue much more on this trajectory.

That said, non-fossil alternatives are getting more and more attractive and there is plenty of natural gas to aid in transition so there is no need for a compromised future; but, we have to be willing to face our problems more honestly.

Exactly. One thing people forget is that being wrong is a double edge sword. It's just as likely that the scientific consensus is underestimating the climate sensitivity as it is that they are overestimating it. Actually, based on the box-and-whisker plots of the climate sensitivity I've seen you can make an argument that our uncertainty on the low side is already constrained, but our uncertainty on the high side is still very large. And for this reason there is concern among scientists that the mean sensitivity is is more likely to underestimating the amount of warming that it is to overestimate it.

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2 hours ago, Typhoon Tip said:

No talking points, to answer your 'curiosity'...  It seems you've misread, or "read in" incorrectly?

I merely presented information.  There was zippo, zero, provocation or process of refutation that led me into doing so.   I just thought it interesting/coincidental that part of this Hothouse Earth discussion contains extinction stuff, and therein, an example that fits that narrative right there.  

 

 

 

 

I don't believe so, the question wasn't directed at you or anything you said. It was in response to Vice-Regent, whom was quoted and already responded.  

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1 hour ago, Save the itchy algae! said:

I don't believe so, the question wasn't directed at you or anything you said. It was in response to Vice-Regent, whom was quoted and already responded.  

OH, ha ... didn't see that.  word!

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