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Have we reached the Climate Change Tipping Point?

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by rocketsjudoka, May 1, 2021.

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Have we passed the Climate Change Tipping Point

  1. Yes, Climate Change is already happening to the point it will be difficult to reverse

    14 vote(s)
    70.0%
  2. No, we still have time to make changes to avert a Climate Change disaster

    4 vote(s)
    20.0%
  3. I don't believe Climate Change is happening.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. I believe Climate Change is happening but it's not a big deal and humans have nothing to do with it.

    2 vote(s)
    10.0%
  1. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

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    Was reading this article this morning and I've been convinced for the last couple of years that we've already passed the Climate Change tipping point. I think from here on out it's not just a matter of trying to slow down climate change but dealing with the effects of it. Those effects are now very visible from the increasing amount of flooding in the Houston area to the shorter winters here in MN and a much much longer fire season out West.

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/climat...MOdgUjzMRJ0KOviADWaTH08e6Pti5xq2KdRNxnHiVtXoA

    Climate tipping points may have been reached already, experts say

    Through decades of research, and now lived experience, it has become clear that the impacts of climate change will have drastic and far-reaching consequences on our planet. And while some of those consequences are predictable — like more extreme weather, sea-level rise and loss of biodiversity — the pace at which these unfold and their eventual severity hinge on what happens with key linchpins in the climate system, called tipping points.

    A tipping point is a threshold or point of no return in the climate system that once passed can no longer be reversed. Passing a tipping point does not necessarily mean immediate, drastic consequences, but it does mean those consequences become unavoidable, and over time the impacts may be dramatic.

    In a 2019 paper, Professor Timothy Lenton, a global leader on the subject, identified nine climate tipping points, from melting permafrost in the Arctic to the loss of tropical coral reefs. Here we will focus on what he deems the three most critical tipping points: the Amazon rainforest, the West Antarctic ice sheet and the Gulf Stream system.

    Lenton highlights these three because the West Antarctic ice sheet may have already passed a tipping point; the Amazon because it is a crucial crucible of biodiversity and for its warehouse of carbon; and the Gulf Stream system because of its potential for profound changes with connected ramifications all around the planet.

    Much more at link.
     
  2. Os Trigonum

    Os Trigonum Houston Knicks fan
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  3. Air Langhi

    Air Langhi Contributing Member

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    I think we are doomed. It's too late to fix it, and do you think China and India are going to cut back. They are more concerned about getting their citizens into the first world.
     
  4. malakas

    malakas Member

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    I need another option:
    I believe Climate Change is happening it's a big deal and humans have little to do with it

    Whether humans existed or not climate change would have happened. We just made it worse and faster.
    So in essence there was no tipping point in the first place since it was inevitable.
    Unless we had the science technology and knowledge to intervene which we don't.
     
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  5. Sweet Lou 4 2

    Sweet Lou 4 2 Contributing Member
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    There's flaws in that as to what constitutes "proof". The evidence that climate change is happening and will have dramatic negative consequences has passed the burden of proof for me for instance, but not for you. We live in a world where people still think the world is flat and men didn't land on the moon. no amount of proof will change those people minds.

    In terms of cost it is also flawed as the decision makers do not bear the cost, rather it is the children of people still in school that will bear the cost of all this. What you are really saying is that since there is a cost, no one will pay it, because doing nothing is free right now even if it will damn your children and grandchildren to misery. Of course, many people don't agree that misery is coming as they don't "believe" in climate science and in fact thing some bloggers with degrees in unrelated fields know better.

    If I had the power to impose solutions, I'd start by building enough new technology nuclear reactors to make sure no power comes from fossil fuels. Had we done that 20 years ago, we might be in much better shape.
     
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  6. CCorn

    CCorn Member

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    Obligatory

     
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  7. Os Trigonum

    Os Trigonum Houston Knicks fan
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    agree on the nuclear power answer.

    Briggs by the way is an actual climate scientist with an actual degree in climate science.There actually aren't that many of those out there in the wild.

    "will have dramatic negative consequences has passed the burden of proof for me" . . . how about the burden of proof regarding the dramatic positive consequences? the same? or different?
     
  8. glynch

    glynch Contributing Member

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  9. glynch

    glynch Contributing Member

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    Os, am I right to assume that your man is being handsomely paid much like some of the tobacco scientists who I got paid for years to testify that tobacco smoke was harmless.
     
  10. txtony

    txtony Member

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    Doesn't seem so bad ;). I guess slow boil the frog applies?

    Anyhow, tipping points mean different things for different people. Until you define it, you are going to get weird answers.
     
  11. txtony

    txtony Member

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    Oh we do, we just can't agree. It's not so much a technological problem, it's a human problem. Funny how it's not human, but it's human.
     
  12. Invisible Fan

    Invisible Fan Insider Newsletter™ 2X Diamond Member

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    These debates are tiring and pointless.

    We can't even protect our oceans from slowly turning into a toxic stew. The forests we have left are being burned down for beef and cattlestock.

    Can't prove we're shitting the air we breathe, so do nothing for everything else!
     
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  13. desi tmac91

    desi tmac91 Member

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    We're gonna die.
     
  14. HTM

    HTM Member

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    I agree. The earth is 4.5 billions years old or so and humans have been burning fossil fuels for energy at a truly significant rate for how long? 60 years?

    It's only gonna get worse too. So much of the world doesn't have regular/reliable access to energy and they want it and they are going to get it via fossil fuel burning sources.
     
  15. deb4rockets

    deb4rockets Hope is on the horizon in the NBA draft.
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    I highly recommend this documentary!
    David Attenborough A Life on Our Planet

    David Attenborough has explored the world for 60 years, and at the age of 93, I would call him the world's most experienced expert on nature and the living world. He's seen it all, and this film is what he calls his witness statement.

    The documentary offers a bleak, but hopeful look at climate change, and how we can shape a better future living with nature.

     
    #15 deb4rockets, May 1, 2021
    Last edited: May 1, 2021
  16. lpbman

    lpbman Member

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    Imo we haven't yet crossed the climate tipping points yet, but we will. I think it is important to bring climate discussions among reasonable people back around to life and human habitability. We've already pushed the natural world to redline. One thing I've picked up from disasters of the past is that it's rarely one thing... usually there is quite a chain of events that leads to catastrophic failure.

    96% of the mammals left on the planet are humans or livestock*. 4% of the mammals on left on Earth are wild*. I always chuckle when I hear the ol redneck "well if things get bad I'll just go huntin'..." sure you will buddy. Monoculture crops, depleted fish stock, extreme biodiversity collapse.... Now lets add climate change putting serious pressure on top and we're heading for the darkest times in recorded history with the cupboard already bare.


    *by weight
     
  17. Space Ghost

    Space Ghost Contributing Member

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    Too many people sitting around bitching over perceived problems, thinking they did their part because they recycled their 2 liter bottle of diet coke.

    Less intelligent people should spend their time working on known problems with practical solutions instead of following mindless political dribble found on Twitter or youtube.
     
  18. Os Trigonum

    Os Trigonum Houston Knicks fan
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    Steven Koonin's new book is out Tuesday. Why don't we all buy it and discuss it together?



    review:

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/unsettled-review-theconsensus-on-climate-11619383653

    ‘Unsettled’ Review: The ‘Consensus’ On Climate
    A top Obama scientist looks at the evidence on warming and CO2 emissions and rebuts much of the dominant political narrative.
    By Mark P. Mills
    April 25, 2021 4:47 pm ET

    Physicist Steven Koonin kicks the hornet’s nest right out of the gate in “Unsettled.” In the book’s first sentences he asserts that “the Science” about our planet’s climate is anything but “settled.” Mr. Koonin knows well that it is nonetheless a settled subject in the minds of most pundits and politicians and most of the population.

    Further proof of the public’s sentiment: Earlier this year the United Nations Development Programme published the mother of all climate surveys, titled “The Peoples’ Climate Vote.” With more than a million respondents from 50 countries, the survey, unsurprisingly, found “64% of people said that climate change was an emergency.”

    But science itself is not conducted by polls, regardless of how often we are urged to heed a “scientific consensus” on climate. As the science-trained novelist Michael Crichton summarized in a famous 2003 lecture at Caltech: “If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period.” Mr. Koonin says much the same in “Unsettled.”

    The book is no polemic. It’s a plea for understanding how scientists extract clarity from complexity. And, as Mr. Koonin makes clear, few areas of science are as complex and multidisciplinary as the planet’s climate.

    He begins with a kind of trigger warning for readers who may be shocked by the book’s contradiction of four points of climate orthodoxy: “Heat waves in the US are now no more common than they were in 1900” and “the warmest temperatures in the US have not risen in the past fifty years. . . . Humans have had no detectable impact on hurricanes over the past century. . . . Greenland’s ice sheet isn’t shrinking any more rapidly today than it was eighty years ago. . . . The net economic impact of human-induced climate change will be minimal through at least the end of this century.”

    But Mr. Koonin is no “climate denier,” to use the concocted phrase used to shut down debate. The word “denier” is of course meant to associate skeptics of climate alarmism with Holocaust deniers. Mr. Koonin finds this label particularly abhorrent, since “the Nazis killed more than two hundred of my relatives in Eastern Europe.” As for “denying,” Mr. Koonin makes it clear, on the book’s first page, that “it’s true that the globe is warming, and that humans are exerting a warming influence upon it.”

    The heart of the science debate, however, isn’t about whether the globe is warmer or whether humanity contributed. The important questions are about the magnitude of civilization’s contribution and the speed of changes; and, derivatively, about the urgency and scale of governmental response. Mr. Koonin thinks most readers will be surprised at what the data show. I dare say they will.

    As Mr Koonin illustrates, tornado frequency and severity are also not trending up; nor are the number and severity of droughts. The extent of global fires has been trending significantly downward. The rate of sea-level rise has not accelerated. Global crop yields are rising, not falling. And while global atmospheric CO2 levels are obviously higher now than two centuries ago, they’re not at any record planetary high—they’re at a low that has only been seen once before in the past 500 million years.

    Mr. Koonin laments the sloppiness of those using local weather “events” to make claims about long-cycle planetary phenomena. He chastises not so much local news media as journalists with prestigious national media who should know better. This attribution error evokes one of Mr. Koonin’s rare rebukes: “Pointing to hurricanes as an example of the ravages of human-caused climate change is at best unconvincing, and at worst plainly dishonest.”

    When it comes to the vaunted computer models, Mr. Koonin is persuasively skeptical. It’s a big problem, he says, when models can’t retroactively “predict” events that have already happened. And he notes that some of the “tuning” done to models so that they work better amounts to “cooking the books.” He should know, having written one of the first textbooks on using computers to model physics phenomena.

    Mr. Koonin’s science credentials are impeccable—unlike, say, those of one well-known Swedish teenager to whom the media affords great attention on climate matters. He has been a professor of physics at Caltech and served as the top scientist in Barack Obama’s Energy Department. The book is copiously referenced and relies on widely accepted government documents.

    Since all the data that Mr. Koonin uses are available to others, he poses the obvious question: “Why haven’t you heard these facts before?” He is cautious, perhaps overly so, in proposing the causes for so much misinformation. He points to such things as incentives to invoke alarm for fundraising purposes and official reports that “mislead by omission.” Many of the primary scientific reports, he observes repeatedly, are factual. Still, “the public gets their climate information almost exclusively from the media; very few people actually read the assessment summaries.”

    Mr. Koonin says that he knows he’ll be criticized, even “attacked.” You can’t blame him for taking a few pages to shadow box with his critics. But even if one remains unconvinced by his arguments, the right response is to debate the science. We’ll see if that happens in a world in which politicians assert the science is settled and plan astronomical levels of spending to replace the nation’s massive infrastructures with “green” alternatives. Never have so many spent so much public money on the basis of claims that are so unsettled. The prospects for a reasoned debate are not good. Good luck, Mr. Koonin.

    Mr. Mills, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, is the author of “Digital Cathedrals” and a forthcoming book on how the cloud and new technologies will create an economic boom.

    Appeared in the April 26, 2021, print edition as 'The ‘Consensus’ On Climate.'
     
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  19. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

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    In the original article I posted they address the situation with the Amazon and how Amazon turning into savannah is one of the climate tipping points. We're already seeing massive methane releases as arctic permafrost is melting. In Siberia in recent years there have craters formed by pockets of frozen methane melting.
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidb...linked-to-melting-permafrost/?sh=7e91a5397b52
     
  20. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

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    The problem with both Briggs and Koonin is that yes the science isn't certain and science is never about absolute certainty but about probabilities. The challenge with things like Climate Change are how probabilities inform policies.

    Current climate science consensus is that there is a high probability that the global average temperature is rising. We know already from actual experimental data that gases like CO2 and methane act as greenhouse gases and we know that atmospheric levels of those gases have risen much faster in the last 150 years than they have in thousands of years. Given that human civilization developed in a very narrow climate range and since most of our settlement patterns are in areas that are very sensitive to climate (coastal regions and river valleys) that any shift in climate could have profound effects on our civilization. That is where policy decisions have to be made.

    Now it's possible that nothing could actually happen just like it's possible for the Texans to win the Super Bowl in 2022. That said it would be foolish for me to bet my life savings on the Texans winning the Super Bowl next year given what we know now about the Texans. That is policy.

    Yes policy has a cost but consider that if the science of global warming is bunk the efforts taken to combat it will create renewable energy sources that aren't geographically tied to specific regions, energy sources that generate far less pollution besides greenhouse gases, and much more efficient technology. Those things are valuable and likely worth the costs even without Climate Change.
     
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