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citrine

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What most worries you and why?
« on: September 29, 2015, 08:39:35 PM »
Hello, I'm new here. I'm trying to figure out just how worried I should be, so I thought I would ask the forum -

What consequences of AGW worry you most and why? What sort of time horizon are you expecting for these particular consequences?
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Neven

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Re: What most worries you and why?
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2015, 08:55:04 AM »
Welcome, citrine.

I'm most worried about Arctic sea ice loss, personally, because it helps keeping things stable as they have been since the time human civilisation came into being and flourished. I think the consequences of this loss have already started (Arctic amplification leading to melting permafrost and land ice, and changes in weather patterns because of jet stream disturbances) and will worsen as Arctic sea ice loss continues.

But there's other stuff too.
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crandles

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Re: What most worries you and why?
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2015, 01:00:25 PM »
I would suggest that Arctic sea ice loss can potentially wake a couple of giants - melting of hydrates under water and permafrost on land. Chances of this happening in next two or three decades is hopefully low as there is almost nothing that can be done.

Temperature rises themselves are not much of a problem unless you live somewhere that is already almost unbearably hot.

Sea Level rise is certain and certainly bad. 3mm a year takes a long time to add up to a significant amount. However if the rate of rise doubles every 10 or 20 years, then you start to get very concerning rise by as early as 2050.

Changing weather patterns so we get weather that we are not used to. Certainly there are hints that this is already happening with Jet stream getting stuck more often in unusually wavy pattern. Awkward as you don't know what you are going to get. A rich society can make itself more resilient but it is more problematic for developing countries.

Lots of different problems with lots of different timeframes. In a wealthy country there will be minorities that are vulnerable a hit by particular problems which will be quite random. While unfortunate few are hit these wealthy countries will be quite resilient to such direct problems of global warming. More concerning in these wealthy countries might be warfare and huge numbers of refugees fleeing.

Perhaps a different type of cause for worry is the lag between action and effect on global warming. What happens in next 20 to 30 years or so is almost all committed to from past carbon emissions. Oceans take a long time to warm up so even if we stop emitting more carbon they will continue to warm perhaps taking 1000 years before they are fully up to temperature. So if the problems reveal themselves to be serious enough to do much more about them anything we then do takes two or three decades before it even begins to alter the course we are on.

Sigmetnow

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Re: What most worries you and why?
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2015, 05:20:45 PM »
Temperature rises themselves are not much of a problem unless you live somewhere that is already almost unbearably hot.
I worry that we tend to overlook the consequences of a degree or two of warming because humans aren't that sensitive to temperature, and we have shelter.  But other parts of Nature certainly feel it!   Lessening snowpack, worsening drought due to increased evaporation, worsening wildfires.  Forest pest insects having two breeds per year rather than one, due to the warm season occurring earlier and longer.  Newborn animals starving because their traditional spring prey are no longer present at the usual time.  Food crops not germinating due to heat, let alone dying due to drought or flood.  Plus the entire marine ecosystem in upheaval....
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citrine

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Re: What most worries you and why?
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2015, 05:59:27 PM »
Thanks, Neven, for the welcome and for your blog and this forum. It's an impressive body of work, to say the least.

I've always been worried about AGW, and as time goes on I have seen pretty much nothing done about the problem, and as a result my concern has grown.  As I've gotten older my opinion of people in general has gone downhill. In the past 10 years or so  I've come to the realization that many (most?) people are not good or kind or thoughtful, so my outlook is grim overall.

Generally, I 'm concerned about positive feedbacks and abrupt climate change.

Specifically, I'm concerned about what some are saying about methane releases in the arctic.

People here seem informed and level-headed so I will try to keep reading and learning (is there a list of acronyms and their meanings somewhere?).


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solartim27

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Re: What most worries you and why?
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2015, 06:20:53 PM »
In the past 10 years or so  I've come to the realization that many (most?) people are not good or kind or thoughtful, so my outlook is grim overall.

People here seem informed and level-headed so I will try to keep reading and learning (is there a list of acronyms and their meanings somewhere?).

Ditto, my personal theory is that there is only so much smarts to go around, and it's getting pretty thin.

Glossary thread:  http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,153.0.html
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jai mitchell

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Re: What most worries you and why?
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2015, 06:25:59 PM »
My greatest worry is that the inherent conservatism of the IPCC process has excluded the most insightful analyses that indicate carbon cycle and other earth system responses to warming will produce an ECS of >4.5C for a doubling of CO2.

In addition, the simple fact that these feedbacks are slow to engage indicates that we have a significant amount of locked-in warming under current atmospheric abundance levels.  As aerosol emissions are reduced when we convert to renewable energy technologies, within the course of 10 years that we will jump in globally averaged surface temperatures by +.5C and then the collapse of the boreal forests, the loss of permafrost, the complete loss of arctic sea ice as early as Aug. 15th of that year and the burning of tropical forests/peat will produce a natural carbon loading into the atmosphere each year that is 50% of our current anthropogenic emissions.

This will mean that we will have to remove billions of tons of CO2 from the atmosphere and sequester it under the oceans or the earth's surface just to keep temperatures from rising above 4C.
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Tor Bejnar

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Re: What most worries you and why?
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2015, 06:34:33 PM »
climate change
     (happening: 1ºC  in the bag; ~1.5º locked in; ?4-?10º without global commitment to oppose)

civil distress
     (happening:  some obviously AGW related [record heat in hot places, for example], but widespread [fisheries are distressed, so the fishermen are distressed; more frequent tidal floods in Miami don't 'make your day' if you have to deal with it])

civil unrest
     (probably some AGW-related already happening:  [Syrian drought - migration to cities - un-rest, for example, or Hungry and other places struggling to cope with refugees])

civil chaos
     (coming to a place I know (so I fear) [Syrian drought - migration - un-rest - civil war, for example] - ah ha, this is what I actually fear.  Why? Because it affects those most dear to me.

Arctic ice is healthy for children and other living things because "we cannot negotiate with the melting point of ice"

OrganicSu

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Re: What most worries you and why?
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2015, 07:16:55 PM »
In geological time scales I believe we have already crashed the planet(I'll use the car analogy). I feel like we are about to go out the windscreen (the pain is increasing daily). Only a jetpack will get us back inside the car.  A best chance jetpack IMHO is one where everyone everywhere does everything they can to solve this starting now with the tiniest gesture and then another and then don't stop.  We humans are capable of it. I fear that if we build the jetpack too slowly we will lurch from increasingly severe climate related crisis to crisis and we will focus on alleviating the pain each crisis causes rather than solving the problem and so we hit the tree.

sidd

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Re: What most worries you and why?
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2015, 08:16:53 PM »
WAIS, specifically Thwaites.

AbruptSLR

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Re: What most worries you and why?
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2015, 08:21:01 PM »
citrine,

As the impact of anthropogenic forcing on Earth's systems is complex and interconnected it is difficult to pick one topic that worries me the most, and I certainly am concerned about all of the topics posted earlier in this thread; nevertheless, I am going to cite the increasingly intense ENSO (El Nino Southern Oscillation) cycle as after the influence of the sun and the moon, the ENSO has the third largest impact on climate/weather patterns of all of the Earth's systems.

Unfortunately, the discussion of the impact of the ENSO cycle is scattered around the forum, so I will quickly cite a few reasons why I view the ENSO as a trigger to accelerate numerous other positive feedback systems (including anthropogenic positive feedback):

NASA's model's give the most aggressive El Nino forecast for this year, and they forecast a Godzilla El Nino (which is stronger than the Super El Nino that all other models forecast), with a peak Nino 3.4 of over 3.2C in the December/January timeframe.  If this occurs then many of Earth's positive feedback mechanisms will be accelerated faster than we have ever seen before including:
(1) The stability of the marine glaciers in the Amundsen Sea Embayment, ASE, and the Bellingshausen Sea, will be partially undermined by more than normal warm Circumpolar Deep Water, CDW, being advected to the glaciers' grounding lines, by El Nino induce changing in the local wind patterns.  This could not only increase the rate of sea level rise, SLR, but also ala James Hansen et al (2015) could accelerate a positive feedback associated with Antarctic sea ice extent and also with the slowdown of the great oceanic current conveyor belt, the MOC.
(2) The atmospheric telecommunication of Tropical Pacific energy directly to Alaska and Western Canada, will contribute to continued forest loss and wildfires; and also the advection of water vapor (which is a greenhouse gas, GHG) into the Arctic Atmosphere, which will result in significant sea ice extent loss in late 2016 & 2017.
(3) The increase in Tropical Pacific water evaporation will drive deep atmospheric convection that will increase high altitude clouds while desiccating low altitude clouds, which will result in another acceleration of a positive feedback associated with clouds.
(4) A Godzilla El Nino would promote an increase in our currently positive Pacific Decadal  Oscillation, PDO, which should increase the intensity of future El Nino events.
(5) A strong El Nino is typically followed by a strong La Nina which would accelerate the loss of tropical rainforests, due to an increase in the current drought/flood cycle.

That is enough to worry about for now, and welcome to the forum.

Best,
ASLR
« Last Edit: October 01, 2015, 01:00:50 AM by AbruptSLR »
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TerryM

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Re: What most worries you and why?
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2015, 08:38:30 PM »
Tor
Your concerns seem to parallel mine.
Civil unrest and war is what is going to kill most of us on a short time scale. I had actually pulled back from Arctic sea ice studies to see if I could unravel the mess in Ukraine. Things appear to have calmed down some, but for a while it seemed as insane as the Cuban Missile Crisis was back in the day.
When Nixon bombed Cambodia most of the population escaped the capitol, only to find that the reaction to the bombings was far more deadly than the initial blasts. If a Tunguska event occurs over Moscow, New York, Beijing or Berlin I  fear the hot heads might prevail. If crops fail, or GDP plummets, will most world leaders admit that they erred, or will they attack a less powerful neighbor to hide their own incompetence. Will that neighbor have reached out to assist, or will he have built a taller fence.
I think our reaction to climate change will be as destructive as the change itself.
Terry

Martin Gisser

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Re: What most worries you and why?
« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2015, 10:54:27 PM »
What Tor and Terry said.
There are the multiple biogeophysical apocalypses that every scientifically informed human can imagine. I'm less worried about these, but more am fu*+en outraged at the destruction: I meanwhile have great difficulties keeping patience and politeness when encountering typical exemplars of the Late Homo S Sapiens - Those who still have their heads in the clouds and even think they are "spiritual" or loving, but refuse to make contact with reality.
So, my third biggest worry is, that I turn totally misanthropic.

A greater worry is, that hominids will totally lose it when they really realize the facts of this century. I see a good chance that great madness will arise. Hominids will even care less about the real world, but instead turn inside, masturbating their (collective) ego with violently stupid fundamentalism in a vicious downspiral of reality loss until a few cannibals with prayer rugs remain on Greenland, praying for D'Ollah to return and save their sorry arses.

Hominid non-extinction, then, is the worst case scenario and my greatest worry: The end of evolution, eons of hard work of Life destroyed, never to regain the beauty there once was.

Luckily there are some folks who get it. Heck, even the Pope gets it (except the population thing). So, there: the first Pope I find respectable, not just a crazy monstrosity. That won't turn me catholic, but gives me a glimmer of hope.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2015, 11:06:03 PM by Martin Gisser »

ritter

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Re: What most worries you and why?
« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2015, 11:02:45 PM »
You folk are a cheery lot today!

Honestly, one of the things that worries me most is that the fine minds on this forum, many of who are more intelligent and better educated than myself, echo my fears. I tend to be a generalist dot connector. When you begin to connect the intertwined dots related to the potential dangers of climate change, peak oil and over population, you tend to get anxious. At least I do.

I suspect our "grace period" with all three is coming to a close and soon we will find ourselves firmly planted in the "too little, too late" category. We are one poor crop year away from mass famine and our weather appears to be getting less and less conducive to agriculture every year. More and more people demanding my comfy keyboard lifestyle will suck up an ever shrinking fossil fuel reserve and liberate more carbon, furthering the climate change conundrum. And we will burn every damn bit of it if allowed to.

Exactly when do the wheels fall off? The tea leaves are unclear but I suspect current day doomsayers are more on track than those of yesteryear.

citrine

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Re: What most worries you and why?
« Reply #14 on: October 01, 2015, 04:56:14 AM »
Thanks, solartim27, for the link to the acronym list, and thanks to all who have responded.

Some things I had considered and other things are new to me.

Most things seem to lead to food insecurity and civil unrest/chaos, which gives me the urge to move to a place with a lower population density - though I'm not sure how to do that.

Abrupt SLR - As far as the AMOC goes, I saw a presentation by Jim White in which he states that the AMOC shutdown is not a concern this century. However, it looks like it is already slowing down. Or did I get that wrong?
near Raleigh, North Carolina / USDA Zone 7b

ritter

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Re: What most worries you and why?
« Reply #15 on: October 01, 2015, 05:19:26 AM »

Abrupt SLR - As far as the AMOC goes, I saw a presentation by Jim White in which he states that the AMOC shutdown is not a concern this century. However, it looks like it is already slowing down. Or did I get that wrong?
I won't presume to answer for ASLR but the more you read, the more you'll come across "this is happening much sooner than models predicted" in one study after another.

Tor Bejnar

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Re: What most worries you and why?
« Reply #16 on: October 01, 2015, 02:55:30 PM »
Besides things worrying me, there are thinks that bring me hope!

Discussions on sustainability make me realize there are many smart people out there with lots of skills and knowledge in this area.  Developers of materials and concepts are speeding ahead.  These will provide pieces of the solutions society will embrace.

I "believe" in something similar to the "Hundredth Monkey Effect" (even though the 'original' premise was discredited).  I think war hysteria is an example of this, as was the political cohesion following the September 11, 2001 suicide massacres.  I think this phenomenon will prevent many of the worst case scenarios I fear.
Arctic ice is healthy for children and other living things because "we cannot negotiate with the melting point of ice"

AbruptSLR

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Re: What most worries you and why?
« Reply #17 on: October 01, 2015, 05:32:29 PM »

Abrupt SLR - As far as the AMOC goes, I saw a presentation by Jim White in which he states that the AMOC shutdown is not a concern this century. However, it looks like it is already slowing down. Or did I get that wrong?
I won't presume to answer for ASLR but the more you read, the more you'll come across "this is happening much sooner than models predicted" in one study after another.

The following two references provide solid evidence of the AMOC slowing down (but not stopping) since the 1970's.  The first image is from the Rahmstorf et al (2015) and the second image is from Srokosz et al (2015), that show that the current slowdown is related primarily to Greenland Ice Sheet, GIS, melting, but melting of the Antarctic Ice Sheet, AIS, will become more significant in a few decades time. In the Hansen et al paper: 3+ meters SLR by 2100 thread, there are other references about the influence of both the GIS and the AIS meltwater:

Stefan Rahmstorf, Jason E. Box, Georg Feulner, Michael E. Mann, Alexander Robinson, Scott Rutherford & Erik J. Schaffernicht (2015), "Exceptional twentieth-century slowdown in Atlantic Ocean overturning circulation", Nature Climate Change, Volume: 5, Pages: 475–480, doi:10.1038/nclimate2554


http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v5/n5/full/nclimate2554.html


Abstract: "Possible changes in Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) provide a key source of uncertainty regarding future climate change. Maps of temperature trends over the twentieth century show a conspicuous region of cooling in the northern Atlantic. Here we present multiple lines of evidence suggesting that this cooling may be due to a reduction in the AMOC over the twentieth century and particularly after 1970. Since 1990 the AMOC seems to have partly recovered. This time evolution is consistently suggested by an AMOC index based on sea surface temperatures, by the hemispheric temperature difference, by coral-based proxies and by oceanic measurements. We discuss a possible contribution of the melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet to the slowdown. Using a multi-proxy temperature reconstruction for the AMOC index suggests that the AMOC weakness after 1975 is an unprecedented event in the past millennium (p > 0.99). Further melting of Greenland in the coming decades could contribute to further weakening of the AMOC."


See also:
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2015/03/whats-going-on-in-the-north-atlantic/




Srokosz, M.A. and Bryden, H.L. (2015) Observing the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation yields a decade of inevitable surprises, Science, doi:10.1126/science.1255575

https://www.sciencemag.org/content/348/6241/1255575.short?related-urls=yes&legid=sci;348/6241/1255575

Structured Abstract: "BACKGROUND
 
A 2002 report, Abrupt Climate Change: Inevitable Surprises, highlighted the North Atlantic circulation as possibly subject to abrupt change in a warming climate. Likewise, the 2001 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report suggested that the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) could weaken over the 21st century. As this circulation carries heat northward, giving the United Kingdom and northwest Europe a temperate climate, this generated renewed efforts to make observations of the AMOC. In particular, it led to the deployment of an observing system across the Atlantic at 26.5°N in spring 2004, which last year achieved a decade of measurements.


ADVANCES
 
In addition to the baseline decade of 26.5°N observations, there have been other ongoing measurements that capture components of the AMOC, some of which are not continuous or of much shorter duration. Together these observations are leading to a more complete picture of the AMOC. The 26.5°N AMOC observations have produced a number of surprises on time scales from subannual to multiannual. First, the range of AMOC variability found in the first year, 4 to 35 Sv (Sverdrup, a million cubic meters per second, the standard unit for ocean circulation), was larger than the 15 to 23 Sv found previously from five ship-based observations over 50 years. A similarly large range to that at 26.5°N has subsequently been observed at 34.5°S. Second, the amplitude of the seasonal cycle, with a minimum in the spring and a maximum in the autumn, was much larger (~6.7 Sv) than anticipated, and the driving mechanism of wind stress in the eastern Atlantic was unexpected as well. Third, the 30% decline in the AMOC during 2009–2010 was totally unexpected and exceeded the range of interannual variability found in climate models used for the IPCC assessments. This event was also captured by Argo and altimetry observations of the upper limb of the AMOC at 41°N. This dip was accompanied by significant changes in the heat content of the ocean, with potential impacts on weather that are the subject of active research. Finally, over the period of the 26.5°N observations, the AMOC has been declining at a rate of about 0.5 Sv per year, 10 times as fast as predicted by climate models. Whether this is a trend that is a decline due to global warming or part of the so-called Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation/Variability, inferred from sea surface temperature measurement, is also a subject of active research. There is no doubt that continuously observing the AMOC over a decade has considerably altered our view of the role of ocean variability in climate.


OUTLOOK
 
The 26.5°N AMOC observations are stimulating the development of further AMOC observing systems both to the north, in the North Atlantic subpolar gyre, and to the south, in the South Atlantic. The aim is to obtain a holistic picture of the AMOC from south to north. Given the surprises and insights into the Atlantic circulation that observations have produced to date, it is not too much to expect that with the new observations there will be future “inevitable surprises."
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

AbruptSLR

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Re: What most worries you and why?
« Reply #18 on: October 01, 2015, 07:29:23 PM »
Besides things worrying me, there are thinks that bring me hope!

Discussions on sustainability make me realize there are many smart people out there with lots of skills and knowledge in this area.  Developers of materials and concepts are speeding ahead.  These will provide pieces of the solutions society will embrace.

I "believe" in something similar to the "Hundredth Monkey Effect" (even though the 'original' premise was discredited).  I think war hysteria is an example of this, as was the political cohesion following the September 11, 2001 suicide massacres.  I think this phenomenon will prevent many of the worst case scenarios I fear.

Without trying to sound harsh, I am concerned that too optimistic of thinking (such as believing in the Hundredth Monkey Effect) is how we got into this situation in the first place.  The Kyoto Protocol ended in disaster as everyone thought they could just continue with Business as Usual, BAU, while someone, or something, else would just make the climate change problem go away.  To this end to determine the IPCC's AR5's remaining Carbon Budget, scientists used linear Transient Climate Response, TCR, values rather than non-linear Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity, ECS, or Earth System Sensitivity, ESS, values; under the optimistic assumption that nations would take action to keep Global Mean Surface Temperatures, GMST, below 2C above pre-industrial values.  Unfortunately, the Congress of the Parties, CoP21 agreement scheduled for completion in Paris in December 2015, cannot limit GMST to below 3.5C, even under optimistic assumptions for ECS & ESS.

I am concerned that excessive optimism without accepting responsibility for consequences (assuming realistic values for ECS & ESS) is a recipe for continuing on the BAU pathway (Recommended Concentration Pathway, RCP, 8.5) that we are currently on, as our optimistic (including scientists erring-on-the-side-of-least-drama, ESLD) assumptions just encourage policy makers to take inadequate action.  This brings to mind the following aphorisms:

1.  The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
2.  A stitch in time saves nine.
3.  The future ain't what it used to be.
4.  Ignorance is suffering.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2015, 07:55:51 PM by AbruptSLR »
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

A-Team

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Re: What most worries you and why?
« Reply #19 on: October 02, 2015, 01:32:04 AM »
Quote
the more you read, the more you see "this is happening much sooner than models predicted" in one study after another.
Interesting idea for a thread!

Most of what I would say is better said above already. People knock pessimism but at some point (Carter administration?), it became realism.

I'm a voluntary climate refugee, moving with the season to be somewhere nicer. Or rather, to somewhere that used to be nicer. It's been very disillusioning -- now it is too hot or smokey everywhere in the summer everywhere west of the Rockies, Barrow to Bisbee. And we're just in the early early stages of climate change

It is 103ºF (39.4 C) here on the 1st of Oct (!?!). Good news, it is not an all-time record. Bad news: that's because it has been so bloody hot the last five years it's gotten really hard to beat the recent numbers.

One time I asked my dad what the Great Depression was like in the 1930's. He said the job situation was 100 people playing Musical Chairs ... but when the music stopped there were only 70 chairs, not 99. At first there was a lot of sympathy for the people selling pencils on the street corner but that soon passed into not noticing. Like a herd of zebras -- the lion gets one, the rest soon put their heads down and continue grazing.

A lot of great people out there maybe even a large majority, but I don't see humanity pulling it together in the slightest on climate change or anything else.

The last 75 years in the US/Canada have been very mellow, leaving us totally unprepared for anything that might diminish our entitlements in the slightest. Loss of Arctic sea ice -- the coming changes will be beyond our comprehension.

Pmt111500

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Re: What most worries you and why?
« Reply #20 on: October 02, 2015, 06:59:14 AM »
Umm, this is a pretty hard question.

1. On going greed of political - military - industrial complex and their profits?
2. On going growth of population on a finite world?
3. On going climate change?

This is a pretty complex trifecta to select the winner of. I can't make a distinction between these. All of these can probably be tracked back to some sort of greed.

But, this is a climate site. Or more exactly an Arctic Sea Ice site. The Arctic is the first large area of the planet to likely completely transform to a state not seen in human history. After the Arctic is ice free, the winds northward will cease somewhat, this shifts most of the expression of the global warming to the more the populous latitudes of the planet. So, I think you're in the correct site to ask about this.

F.e. the so called current 'immigration crisis' of Europe likely pales in comparison to what is to come, thus India is building a fence on Bangladesh borders, USA on the Mexican border, Hungary to Serbian border etc. The people in power can't manage this one. Developments in renewable energy are a good thing, but the poor cannot afford these at least yet.

I'm pretty much at loss for encouraging words so I'll stop here with this:
"Be kind to your neighbor, unless he's an asshole and wants to rape you."

 



Clare

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Re: What most worries you and why?
« Reply #21 on: October 02, 2015, 08:46:37 AM »
Just a slight aside, something for Martin G:
Quote
Luckily there are some folks who get it. Heck, even the Pope gets it (except the population thing).
I enjoyed this 'Opinion' Piece in our local paper this week:

Whatever Pope 'Tubby' Francis has, we need to bottle it
..."He's a Pope for the poor dressed in the impenetrable armour of kindness.
You couldn't have picked a better guy.
So well done. And now I want you to go a step further.
It's a drastic step, but before you dismiss the idea out of hand, remember how right I was last time round.
Okay?  Are you ready? Take a deep breath....."

http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/columnists/72498278/whatever-pope-tubby-francis-has-we-need-to-bottle-it


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Re: What most worries you and why?
« Reply #22 on: October 02, 2015, 01:41:04 PM »
Joe Romm had a good piece September on the drought coming to North America and what to expect by way of immigration from the even more devastated Central America. That was a Sept 8 article to which I’ve added quotes from research cited:

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/09/08/3699165/refugees-dust-bowl-mexico/
http://www.earthinstitute.columbia.edu/articles/view/3232
http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/1/1/e1400082

?During the U.S. Dust-Bowl era, some 3.5 million people fled the region. As I noted in “The Next Dust Bowl,” a 2011 Nature article reviewing the literature, “Human adaptation to prolonged, extreme drought is difficult or impossible. Historically, the primary adaptation to dust-bowlification has been abandonment; the very word ‘desert’ comes from the Latin desertum for ‘an abandoned place’.”

But what scientists tell us we are doing to our climate will be much worse than the Dust Bowl of the 1930 — worse even than medieval U.S. droughts. Remember, the Dust Bowl itself was mostly contained to the 1930s, whereas multiple studies project that future Dust Bowls will be so-called “mega-droughts” that last for many decades — “at least 30 to 35 years,” according to NASA. Further, the 1930s Dust Bowl was regionally localized. As the NASA map above makes clear, we are on track to Dust-Bowlify much of the U.S. breadbasket and Southwest, and virtually all of Mexico and Central America.

Other recent research makes clear we would also turn large parts of the Amazon, Europe, and Africa into near-permanent dustbowls. And this would be “irreversible” on a timescale of centuries.

How bad were the medieval droughts? “Highly evolved societies collapsed and descended into warfare.” These are civilization-destroying, monster droughts. As the news release notes, one of those droughts “has been tied by some researchers to the decline of the Anasazi or Ancient Pueblo Peoples in the Colorado Plateau in the late 13th century.”

And the post-2050 droughts we are foisting on future generations will be much worse — considerably drier and hotter. The dark brown area in the top chart corresponds roughly to the normal climate becoming “severe drought,” which of course means a great many years will be much drier. And the normal temperature will be some 9°F warmer.

But what of our poorer neighbors to the south? They will engulfed by near-permanent Dust Bowl or severe drought. And of course their coastal areas (and ours) will be trying to “adapt” to sea level rise of perhaps several feet by 2100. Again for all but the wealthiest coastal areas, the primary adaptation strategy will probably be abandonment.

Much of the population of Mexico and Central America — likely over 100 million people (Mexico alone is projected to have a population of 150 million in 2050!) — will be trying to find a place to live that isn’t anywhere near as hot and dry, that has enough fresh water and food to go around. They aren’t going to be looking south.

Now, from a purely moral perspective, if you burn down your neighbor’s house and farm, most people would say you have some obligation to house and feed them. So what should happen if one exceedingly wealthy country is the primary contributor to destroying the entire climate of another (relatively poor) country, which itself contributed only a tiny bit to that climate change? The answer seems straightforward — we do everything possible to help them.

But what will happen in the real world where this process occurs gradually over the coming decades for Mexico and Central America — at the same time United States is dealing with the self-inflicted destruction of its own livable climate?

The situation will be a humanitarian and security disaster of almost unimaginable dimensions compared to the current refugee crisis. As Femia and colleague Caitlin Werrell told Climate Progress, “If we worry about the security implications of refugee and migration flows in the future, we need to think about the problem in terms of prevention.

Much of our knowledge about past droughts comes from extensive study of tree rings conducted by Lamont-Doherty scientist Edward Cook (Benjamin’s father) and others, who in 2009 created the North American Drought Atlas. The atlas recreates the history of drought over the previous 2,005 years, based on hundreds of tree-ring chronologies, gleaned in turn from tens of thousands of tree samples across the United States, Mexico and parts of Canada.

In the Southwest and Central Plains of Western North America, climate change is expected to increase drought severity in the coming decades. These regions nevertheless experienced extended Medieval-era droughts that were more persistent than any historical event, providing crucial targets in the paleoclimate record for benchmarking the severity of future drought risks. We use an empirical drought reconstruction and three soil moisture metrics from 17 state-of-the-art general circulation models to show that these models project significantly drier conditions in the later half of the 21st century compared to the 20th century and earlier paleoclimatic intervals.

Future drought risk will likely exceed even the driest centuries of the Medieval Climate Anomaly (1100–1300 CE) in both moderate (RCP 4.5) and high (RCP 8.5) future emissions scenarios, leading to drought conditions unprecedented during the last thousand years.”

johnm33

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Re: What most worries you and why?
« Reply #23 on: October 02, 2015, 04:11:31 PM »
I share most of the fears expressed but in the immediate future it's El-Nino. In a simplistic way i've long considered El-Nino years as reset or balancing years which helped to shed excess energy from the system, now i fear it's becoming the new normal, and what the 'reset' years will look like.

AbruptSLR

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Re: What most worries you and why?
« Reply #24 on: October 02, 2015, 05:24:38 PM »
As anthropogenic climate change is human induced, clearly we could stop it if we had enough will power; but I find it difficult to believe that we will follow an anthropogenic radiative forcing pathway more optimistic than RCP 4.5, before 2100.  Which raises the question: "What do the AR5 RCP 4.5 projections omit from consideration that might make the future significantly worse than these published projections?"

In addition to those considerations already listed I add the following:

1) Bi-ITCZ bias could mean that ECS is closer to 4.5 than to 3.
2) The WAIS could reach a tipping point for main phase (cliff failures and hydrofracturing) as early as 2030; which could trigger both: (a) Hansen et al. (2015)'s planetary energy imbalance; and (b) my postulated methane hydrate release from capsized icebergs calved from WAIS marine glaciers.
3) Possible Clathrate Gun response of methane hydrates in the continental slopes of the Arctic Ocean due to an influx of warm water from the Atlantic Ocean after 2030.
4) Methane generated from permafrost degradation by 2050.
5) Possible rapid degradation of both forests and plankton bio-systems, that could reduce both CO2 absorption and aerosol precursor production.
6) Possible reduction of anthropogenic aerosols faster than considered in RCP 4.5.
7) Misapplied geoengineering, and/or positive feedback from wars.

While there numerous other possibly underestimated positive feedback mechanisms, I will stop here by noting that any such underestimated positive feedbacks can interact synergistically and can possibly reach resonance within the Earth's Systems.
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Martin Gisser

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Re: What most worries you and why?
« Reply #25 on: October 03, 2015, 02:58:14 PM »
I'm a voluntary climate refugee, moving with the season to be somewhere nicer. Or rather, to somewhere that used to be nicer. It's been very disillusioning -- now it is too hot or smokey everywhere in the summer everywhere west of the Rockies, Barrow to Bisbee. And we're just in the early early stages of climate change
What about moving to southern Greenland?
Iceland also looks like "promised land" for a terra-forming carbon sequestrating life. But volcanoes scare me.
(I'm thinking of this since many years. All I need is a bit more money, and the right girl (farming experienced). Then I would open the world's first carbon sequestrating subarctic dairy business (5€/l milk plus carbon credits for terra preta soil produced from pyrolised cow dung). But don't tell anybody about this super business plan: There are some technical caveats, and if you aren't careful you could bugger the place like the Vikings did.)

Problem is, I'm not yet sure about the future climate there (AMOC slowdown and ocean cooling from GIS melt). Maybe it won't stay as balmy as now?

That actually is what worries me most, purely personally:
Ending up in a place, after lots of work and effort, and then being old and having to realise it was the wrong place and all work in vain.

AbruptSLR

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Re: What most worries you and why?
« Reply #26 on: October 05, 2015, 11:02:05 AM »
While the following (open access) reference provides few physical details, it does provide historical context to the topic of climate change tipping points; which seems to be the primary concern of most posters in this thread, as most/all current climate change models are relatively weak at projecting tipping points.

Russil, C. (2015), "Climate change tipping points: origins, precursors, and debates",
WIREs Clim Change, doi: 10.1002/wcc.344

http://www.academia.edu/12367978/Climate_Change_Tipping_Points_Origins_Precursors_and_Debates

Abstract: "The article reviews the origins, precursors, and main proponents of climate change tipping points, and the debates that the tipping point concept has occasioned. The importance of dynamical systems theory, GAIA theory, and abrupt climate change to the main proponents of tipping point warning systems is noted and situated in historical context. The ‘semantic confusion’ that animates contemporary debates, it is suggested, results not simply from a narrow conception of tipping points, but from inattention to the way metaphor was used to reshape climate policy.  A deeper understanding of dynamical systems theory and its origins (both mathematical and metaphorical) is recommended for addressing the value of tipping points in policy."

Extract: "Dynamical systems theory and its many variants(chaos theory, complexity theory, catastrophe theory, criticality analysis, etc.) intersect with climate change science in diverse ways."
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AbruptSLR

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Re: What most worries you and why?
« Reply #27 on: October 05, 2015, 11:18:39 AM »
The linked reference uses dynamical systems theory together with paleo-evidence to help explain the causal feedbacks (dominated by positive feedbacks) associated with past climate change events.  Hopefully, advanced programs like ACME can use such research to help calibrate their model:

Egbert H. van Nes, Marten Scheffer, Victor Brovkin, Timothy M. Lenton, Hao Ye, Ethan Deyle and George Sugihara (2015), "Causal feedbacks in climate change", Nature Climate Change, doi:10.1038/nclimate2568

http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v5/n5/full/nclimate2568.html

Abstract: "The statistical association between temperature and greenhouse gases over glacial cycles is well documented, but causality behind this correlation remains difficult to extract directly from the data. A time lag of CO2 behind Antarctic temperature—originally thought to hint at a driving role for temperature—is absent at the last deglaciation, but recently confirmed at the last ice age inception and the end of the earlier termination II . We show that such variable time lags are typical for complex nonlinear systems such as the climate, prohibiting straightforward use of correlation lags to infer causation. However, an insight from dynamical systems theory now allows us to circumvent the classical challenges of unravelling causation from multivariate time series. We build on this insight to demonstrate directly from ice-core data that, over glacial–interglacial timescales, climate dynamics are largely driven by internal Earth system mechanisms, including a marked positive feedback effect from temperature variability on greenhouse-gas concentrations."
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Bruce Steele

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Re: What most worries you and why?
« Reply #28 on: October 05, 2015, 06:36:24 PM »
Maybe a short timeframe and parochial but I worry that a Godzilla El Nino floods my farm. All thirty acres are in a 100 year flood plain . I am building structures to keep the piggies dry but a flood will overwhelm any efforts and keeping the pigs dry will not work if the river swells to anything close to historic levels. I am leasing some higher ground from another farmer an building fences and structures there just in case.
 I am also somewhat worried that the Sierra Nevada Mountains will get a very large snowpack this winter. I remember the first El Nino storm Late December 1982. I remember diving in 20ft. swells with 22 second period duration( hard to forget ). We have a saying, swell before the wind, and after we got in from the crazy dive trip we headed straight to Mammoth Mountain for a ski trip. We beat the storm but after parking the motorhome that night we awoke to an eerie silence. We couldn't open the door so after some heavy shoving we tunneled up and onto the roof. Everything was buried, there weren't any motorhome or trailers, there were just big bumps of snow. It had snowed over five feet overnight. It took two days to dig out the ski lifts. So my concern is there will be heavy rains that result in river flooding that is followed with huge spring melt from the Sierra that results in breeching of the levies that separate the saltwater tides and the freshwater that supplies the State Water Project. If these conditions all line up with King Tides it may take years to restore the damage. Even with the state reservoirs full this is a worst cars scenario for Calif.  Even a huge earthquake wouldn't be so destructive. I heard a State panel "expert" say El Nino's don't always mean rain but IMO super or Godzilla events have always delivered big rains. The State sponsored El Nino panel event was a choir of conservative science bimbos.
 I would add I worry about the long term effects of acidification over the next fifty years but short term trumps long term as far as allocation of immediate efforts.
 Otherwise it's a beautiful day , pastures are starting to turn green and all is well.
 


     

citrine

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Re: What most worries you and why?
« Reply #29 on: October 05, 2015, 07:13:55 PM »
Figure 3: Time displacements maximizing CCM skill corresponding to causal relationships indicated above the bars.

The responses of CO2 and CH4 to temperature have significantly larger lags (the indicated p-values are from a bootstrapped paired-samples test) than the corresponding greenhouse effects of gases on temperature. The error bars show the 5th and 95th percentiles of 500 bootstrapped library sets. The lags together with the convergence of CCM (Fig. 2) imply that a marked positive feedback effect of temperature on GHGs has operated over the glacial cycles.

From Causal feedbacks in climate change
Egbert H. van Nes, Marten Scheffer, Victor Brovkin, Timothy M. Lenton,   Hao Ye,   Ethan Deyle & George Sugihara   
Nature Climate Change 5, 445–448 (2015)

Thanks AbruptSLR for the link to the article. Unfortunately, I don't have access. The abstract and graphs are interesting. The graph above sort of highlights my lack of understanding in that I would have expected  CH4 to have a quicker impact relative to CO2. Does the graph tell us anything about the relative strengths of the feedbacks?

near Raleigh, North Carolina / USDA Zone 7b

sidd

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Re: What most worries you and why?
« Reply #30 on: October 05, 2015, 08:22:47 PM »
The van Nes paper is an application of the technique described in Sugihara (2012, doi:10.1126/science.1227079) based on Taken's theorem, both very nice papers. The supplementary to van Nes is informative, especially the graph showing sea salt and dust. I believe the supplement is open access.

AbruptSLR

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Re: What most worries you and why?
« Reply #31 on: October 05, 2015, 10:38:32 PM »
Thanks AbruptSLR for the link to the article. Unfortunately, I don't have access. The abstract and graphs are interesting. The graph above sort of highlights my lack of understanding in that I would have expected  CH4 to have a quicker impact relative to CO2. Does the graph tell us anything about the relative strengths of the feedbacks?

citrine,

The toughest part about talking about climate change (paleo or otherwise) is its complexity, together with the consideration that even the world experts do not adequately understand the past, present or future climate conditions/Earth System states.  Furthermore, I am a civil engineer and I stopped paying for papers a couple of years ago.  That said, the van Nes et al. (2015) paper does not address individual feedback mechanisms, but only whole Earth System responses to various measured (frequently indirectly measured) properties like mean global temperature, CO2 and CH4, including lagged responses.  It is important to remember/understand that different Earth Systems respond at different rates given different forcing levels, initial system states/conditions, and other circumstances.  For example CO2 emissions from the ocean can change due to changes in the MOC triggers by ice sheet melting due to changes in solar radiation.  In this regards the first image shows time correlations between CO2 & CH4 from the Byrd Ice Core in Antarctica vs a temperature related parameter (ie proxy) for Greenland & Antarctic and with the timing of Heinrich Events indicated.  Furthermore, the second image shows the timing correlation between atmospheric CO2 concentration and temperature for the past 22,000 years.  Another example of projected short-term methane emissions is shown in the third image for different scenarios of permafrost degradation including one with rapid thermokarst lake formation.  My last attached image shows the IPCC estimate of different timeframes for the activation of various feedback mechanisms contributing to climate sensitivity (TCR, ECS & ESS); however, as Hansen has pointed out our current rate of anthropogenic radiative forcing is on the order of a hundred times faster than average paleo conditions, so who knows whether the IPCC models should be assuming these response rates, or not.

Hopefully, the state-of-the-art Accelerated Climate Model for Energy, ACME, program being developed by the US DOE will help to clarify some of the confusion on this matter in the next two to ten years.

This topic is so complex it deserves its own thread, so I will just stop here & maybe you can look at some of the following threads:

http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1020.0.html

http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1053.0.html

http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1327.0.html

Best,
ASLR
« Last Edit: October 06, 2015, 12:11:26 AM by AbruptSLR »
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sidd

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Re: What most worries you and why?
« Reply #32 on: October 06, 2015, 07:11:57 AM »
"I would have expected  CH4 to have a quicker impact relative to CO2."

theres less of it than CO2, in terms of radiative forcing ...

AbruptSLR

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Re: What most worries you and why?
« Reply #33 on: October 06, 2015, 06:59:52 PM »
"I would have expected  CH4 to have a quicker impact relative to CO2."

theres less of it than CO2, in terms of radiative forcing ...

I contacted Ed Dlugokencky at NOAA's Lab in Boulder, Colorado & he provided me with a data dump of Mauna Loa Atmospheric Methane Readings up to the early part of September 2015.  From this data I arbitrarily selected readings from the beginning and end of each month for the years 2013, 2014 and 2015, which resulted in the attached table.  The data shows a continuing trend for increasing methane concentration, and possibly an increase in variance (possibly due to such factors as the strong El Nino this year).  While methane still has a relatively small impact on global warming compared to carbon dioxide; if its concentration increases non-linearly (say due to permafrost degradation and/or marine methane hydrate decomposition) then its relative importance could increase before the end of this century.
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
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crandles

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Re: What most worries you and why?
« Reply #34 on: October 07, 2015, 02:17:10 AM »
I contacted Ed Dlugokencky at NOAA's Lab in Boulder, Colorado & he provided me with a data dump of Mauna Loa Atmospheric Methane Readings up to the early part of September 2015.  From this data I arbitrarily selected readings from the beginning and end of each month for the years 2013, 2014 and 2015, which resulted in the attached table.  The data shows a continuing trend for increasing methane concentration, and possibly an increase in variance (possibly due to such factors as the strong El Nino this year).  While methane still has a relatively small impact on global warming compared to carbon dioxide; if its concentration increases non-linearly (say due to permafrost degradation and/or marine methane hydrate decomposition) then its relative importance could increase before the end of this century.

Aren't nice graphs available without bothering people?

eg
from
http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/dv/iadv/graph.php?code=MLO&program=ccgg&type=ts

or


13-15 - perhaps still getting steeper after 2000-2007 flat patch.

Greater variance - perhaps but exclude just a couple of low readings and that might not be the conclusion so this greater variance doesn't look very robust.

You can also get other locations
Tiski: fairly flat
http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/webdata/iadv/ccgg/graphs/ccgg.TIK.ch4.1.none.discrete.all.png
Alert:
http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/webdata/iadv/ccgg/graphs/ccgg.ALT.ch4.1.none.discrete.all.png
Barrow: more of a recent spike here perhaps
http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/webdata/iadv/ccgg/graphs/ccgg.BRW.ch4.1.none.discrete.all.png
« Last Edit: October 07, 2015, 02:28:47 AM by crandles »

Martin Gisser

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Re: What most worries you and why?
« Reply #35 on: October 07, 2015, 04:44:14 AM »
Maybe a short timeframe and parochial but I worry that a Godzilla El Nino floods my farm. All thirty acres are in a 100 year flood plain .

Depends what "100 years" mean: A 20th century measure?

Here in Germany I would say you are in immediate danger:
I don't remember how many "100y floods" of the Danube I've seen, about 2-4 in 20y, not counting the 500y flood of 2013 (surpassing a mark at an old house in Passau from ca. 1500). I wasn't there but instead camping in a forest in the bullseye of the rain event. That was funny. Forest underwater, non-swimmer trees falling...

Worldwide, 500-1000y flood events are happening every year somewhere, meanwhile.  Right last weekend there were such events in France (Cannes) and South Carolina.

But the flood trend could be different in CA. Maybe your "100 year flood plain" will turn into a 500 year thing. Californians seem to desperately await an El Nino flood meanwhile. I won't be surprised none will materialize, sucked away by the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge.

Bruce Steele

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Re: What most worries you and why?
« Reply #36 on: October 07, 2015, 06:28:10 AM »
Dear Martin,We are kinda desperate around here, our reservoir  is currently at 16% and falling fast. The last release from upstream dams to refill our  riparian aquifers are now finished. Most of our stream flows are managed. Without rains this winter Santa Barbara , Carpenteria, Goleta , Montecito, and the Santa Ynez downstream cities of Santa Ynez , Solvang, Buellton and Lompoc will be in serious trouble. The 150 downstream farms dependent upon riparian flows and the vineyards and ranches will see their wells fail. I think we will see rains this year and maybe my flood " worries " are actually wishful thinking but my experience with Super El Ninos past tells me odds support flood not drought at this point. I might add either way I am kinda f..... But you are correct that a continuation of our current drought with a La Nina that follows El Nino likely to throw us quickly back into drought 2016-2017 makes rain this year a make or break event.
 Some farms, vineyards and cities may be able to draw upon deep aquifers even if rains fail but if the current warm water PDO changes back into a cold water regime then you will see a Black Swan event land on our paradise. It is paradise for now .   
« Last Edit: October 07, 2015, 07:01:48 AM by Bruce Steele »

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Re: What most worries you and why?
« Reply #37 on: October 07, 2015, 08:09:44 AM »
Hello, I'm new here. I'm trying to figure out just how worried I should be, so I thought I would ask the forum -

What consequences of AGW worry you most and why? What sort of time horizon are you expecting for these particular consequences?

If I understood them right I'd be with TerryM and others in saying I think the human systems are things to really worry about, that's where the real ugliness in terms of the human experience of all this is going to come from.

But what worries me personally most isn't that - it's the probability that people won't learn and improve their approach moving forwards.

Whether or not you credit those as AGW related concerns, I'm less sure. There's too many AGW related threats to pick a single one as a key worry - and in any event new ones keep popping up (or proving worse and sooner than expected and therefore switching their relative position on the list). I guess a fast methane feedback could be pretty dramatic potentially if it kicked off (even though most of the consequences would be from the consequent rapid warming and therefore you'd see other effects directly driving things in my view following that) - but I personally actually view anything bringing the current deeply flawed approach to things that people take to an early end favourable, less cumulative damage.

Rapid loss of sulphate aerosols could be interesting too but that's probably post collapse by definition? (are you still going to worry by then? most people won't be, they'll be dead)

citrine

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Re: What most worries you and why?
« Reply #38 on: October 07, 2015, 03:10:25 PM »
sidd: Thanks so much for the clarification & the reference to Sugihara 2012 ; it is indeed a very nice article

I still don't know what to think about the methane thing; I guess I'll find out eventually.

Most the AGW sequelae can affect agricultural production and I worry about things like a 'stuck' weather pattern over Iowa & Illinois. Then I read about how much waste there is in food production and distribution and I think that there is some elasticity there, but can changes be made fast enough to keep people fed? Will changes be made, or will some people be allowed to starve so that others can keep eating beef burgers?

near Raleigh, North Carolina / USDA Zone 7b

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Re: What most worries you and why?
« Reply #39 on: October 07, 2015, 03:19:04 PM »
Quote
Aren't nice graphs available without bothering people?
Graphs are eye candy, not science per se. In most cases they represent significant degradation of expensive data that someone else might analyze differently and better. I am challenged to think of where else in math, physics, astronomy, chemistry or biology of a situation someone would put up a graph without linking to the simple text file of data that underlies it. It takes thirty seconds or less to archive a csv file and do the link.

Dlugokencky etc etc have spent on a lifetime on the public dole for grants, salary, health and retirement. If they don't want to waste their day answering request after request after request, then they should mouse the file over to their ftp site. No one throws away the data that underlies a graph, the file is already prepared.

Quote
While methane so far has a smaller impact on global warming than carbon dioxide; if its concentration increases non-linearly (say due to permafrost degradation and/or marine methane hydrate decomposition) then its relative importance could increase before the end of this century.
Losses and/or growing ineffectiveness of methane sinks are every bit as worrisome as increases in methane sources. In the Russian shelf methane, the rate of bubbling methane has already escaped/overwhelmed the sulfate methanotrophs in the top layers of sediment (if there ever were any in the ESAS). Since the water is shallow, these bubbles do not have time to dissolve and disperse in the overlying water before venting into the air. For deeper marine methane clathrates, faster rates of release could outpace replenishment of the terminal oxidant sulfate.

In the atmosphere, methane half-life revolves around hydroxyl radical concentration and so its rate of replenishment from singlet oxygen and ozone (via solar UV from O2 and miscellaneous photochemistry). The sink attribution is currently 12:1 between troposphere and stratosphere. Ozone-depleting refrigerants are still being manufactured surreptitiously on a large scale and released over equipment life cycle. Nitrogen oxide destruction in the atmosphere indirectly increases hydroxyl radicals so reducing pollution (VW diesels) would increase methane lifetime.

The key point here is that atmosphere sinks have zero resilience to rapidly rising methane. The rate of hydroxyl radical production is fixed in the sense there is no offsetting kinetic rate increase should there be depletion by methane.

While the overall sink and source story is quite complicated, the risks from methane rise are in my view on a par from carbon dioxide because of the former's prodigious greenhouse effect.

AbruptSLR

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Re: What most worries you and why?
« Reply #40 on: October 07, 2015, 05:25:19 PM »
To reiterate, my purpose of citing "dynamical systems theory" (see Reply #26) was to emphasize that synergy between all of the concerns cited in this thread, makes our climate change (including socio-economic anthropogenic risks) risks significantly higher than when considering each individual risk separately.  Thus, when I single-out a probably Godzilla El Nino this year as a significant risk, my purpose is to point-out that such a strong event can act a trigger to push many different Earth Systems (including anthropogenic socio-economic systems) into more threatening quasi-stable equilibrium states as illustrate by the first image showing two different types of chaotic resonance (with strange attractors as characterized by ENSO and other Earth System oscillations) with and without ratcheting of vary Earth Systems into new quasi-stable equilibrium states.  The second attached image shows the latest NASA Nino 3.4 model forecast for October 2015 showing a high probability of a Godzilla El Nino in the 2015-16 season with timing comparable to the 82-83 Super El Nino.  The third image shows that a few years after the 82-83 Super El Nino and the subsequent La Nina, that the AO became atypically high, which accelerated Arctic Sea Ice export out of the Fram Strait; which help to trigger a subsequent round of Arctic Amplification.  Furthermore, I note that strong El Nino-La Nina events also accelerate methane emissions from tropical rainforests (due to dead vegetation from the drought being submerged in pools of water during the subsequent floods); and that a round of Arctic Amplification would promote ice mass loss from the GIS that would slow the AMOC, which would promote ice mass loss from the WAIS, which increases the risk of the formation of sea passageways between the Weddell, the Bellingshausen, and the Amundsen Seas before 2100 (see the fourth cartoon indicate one possible pattern of such sea passageways circa 2070 assuming both cliff failures and hydrofracturing ala Pollard et al 2015 in the Byrd Subglacial Basin, and rapid grounding line retreat for marine glaciers in the Bellingshausen, Weddell areas together with that for the Pine Island Glacier.

Such synergies (plus many others) could pose a substantial risk from climate change this century, even if humans do manage to reduce our GHG emissions of the next few decades.
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
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Martin Gisser

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Re: What most worries you and why?
« Reply #41 on: October 07, 2015, 10:40:30 PM »
Dear Bruce, thanks for your reporting. You live my dream and my worry...

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The dynamical/complex/Gaia systems perspective is quite important. But methinks there can be also traps and misinterpretations and perhaps an overuse of maths rendering conclusions "not even wrong".

There's not only tipping points. There are also stable points, but when those "break", then booom. -- But then, for an optimistic rub, chaotic transitions also offer opportunity to change/steer the system before it gets stuck in the next equilibrium.

Amazingly the first time I read about the climate problem, it was in a German popular book written 1984 (2nd ed 1989, marketed at eso weirdo audience), and it also offered the system dynamics perspective - better than most popular stuff I've read since.
Used 2nd ed. for 3.00€ http://www.amazon.de/Werkzeuge-Erkenntnis-Henningsen-Peter/dp/B004ABJ9AM/
(Foreword by Paul Feyerabend of "Against Method" fame.)

A-Team

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Re: What most worries you and why?
« Reply #42 on: October 08, 2015, 03:43:48 PM »
Quote
sidd: Thwaites
There's quite a remarkable article by Chris Mooney on that very concern in today's WaPo (which has become the US newspaper-of-record on climate change as the NY Times still flounders along with Rifkin).

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/09/29/scientists-declare-an-urgent-mission-study-west-antarctica-and-fast/

Quote
Scientists who have been raising alarms about the endangered ice sheet of West Antarctica say they’ve identified a key glacier that could pose the single most immediate threat to the world’s coastlines — and are pushing for an urgent new effort to study it.

“In some scenarios, the next 50 years or 100 years could see, you could begin to see very rapid ice loss from central West Antarctica. It’s the wild card,” said Ted Scambos at NSIDC who chaired a meeting earlier this month of West Antarctic scientists outside Loveland, Colorado.  Thwaites, says Scambos, has “much more upward potential than we realized.”
If you follow the first link in that article, it eventually leads to a free pdf of "A Strategic Vision for NSF Investments in Antarctic and Southern Ocean Research (2015).

Quote
A worry for decades, concerns about West Antarctica aren’t new. In a landmark paper published in 1978, the Ohio State University glaciologist John Mercer singled out the region as posing a “threat of disaster” because the majority of the vast ice sheet is rooted far below sea level.
That paper can be read at http://people.ee.ethz.ch/~luethim/pdf/script/pdg/Mercer1978.pdf It focused on warming air temperatures whereas today we know warm circumpolar deep ocean water set in motion by increasing winds is the problem.
Quote
“There has been a pendulum in this community in the last 20 years, from, ‘we’re sure the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is going to collapse,’ to ‘actually we’re not,’ to ‘oh yes we are,’ to ‘oh, it’s happening now,’” says Eric Steig, a University of Washington glaciologist.
Thwaites is inconveniently located midway between Palmer and McMurdo Stations, some 4,000 km air miles apart. Field operations are additionally very difficult due to terrible weather conditions, leaving remote sensing as the main option.

Quote
“The number of people who have stood on Thwaites Glacier, you can count on the fingers of a couple of hands,” says Sridhar Anandakrishnan, a glaciologist at Penn State University who has actually been to Thwaites.
There's quite a bit more by way of explanation of retrograde bed effects as well as ice cliff failure when 100 m height is exceeded (both discussed in detail by AbruptSLR on other forums).

The top research priorities for Thwaites are seismic (till vs bedrock friction), high resolution subglacial radar topography (pinning points), and ice core drilling (to constrain last-interglacial paleo). This will probably come at the expense of Greenland (where these topics are much farther along according to AGU2015).

While I would not agree that Twaites is a tipping point closer in time than 69ºN Jakobshavn + Arctic sea ice, the volume of ice potentially calved from Thwaites is prodigious and consequently so are the consequences to sea level rise.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2015, 04:32:35 PM by A-Team »

AbruptSLR

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Re: What most worries you and why?
« Reply #43 on: October 08, 2015, 06:03:57 PM »
Just to reinforce some of A-Team's points in his last post, for those who do not like to click around this forum, I provide:

The first gif animation (please click on the first image to animate it) by solartim27 shows the Thwaites area by Sentinel 1a images for August 24 and Oct 3, 2015; indicating that the residual Thwaites Ice Tongue has recently "surged" seaward.  While such "surges" have occurred regularly in the past, this current surge is different in that the residual Thwaites Ice Tongue is now fractured into a series of icebergs that have recently been trapped by a relatively large grounded iceberg at the outer end of the residual Thwaites Ice Tongue.  As it is possible that the recent surge has shifter the grounded iceberg off of the submerged pinnacle that has been pinning it, it is possible/probable that a large number of icebergs will be liberated from the mélange in front of the western side of Thwaites this coming austral summer; which could serve to accelerate the de-stabilization of the grounded portions of Thwaites.

The second image shows the Ferrigno Ice Tongue (in the Bellingshausen Sea area) in March 2014, and a continuous cycle of surge and calving events, since the 1990's has contributed to the significant ice surface elevation drop indicated on the figure included in A-Team's post.  This is significant because in a few decades time the retreat of the Ferrigno grounding line could intersect the retreating grounding lines for both the PIG and retreating grounding lines for both the Evans and Rudford Ice Streams (which would create sea passageways between the Bellingshausen, the Weddell and the Amundsen Seas).

Edit: I also note that A-Team's image shows an ice surface elevation drop for Totten Glacier in the EAIS; which indicates that after the WAIS has entered its main collapse phase (from 2035 to 2100) the collapse of key EAIS marine glaciers (like Totten) could keep sea level rising up to 5m circa 2100.
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
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KeithAnt

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Re: What most worries you and why?
« Reply #44 on: October 08, 2015, 10:20:15 PM »
With the breakdown of glaciers in Antarctica, a concern that I have is whether a cold spot might develop off Antarctica as has occurred South of Greenland. The question is will Ocean currents begin to further slow down as has been suggested in relation to the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation?
Such a change would have a major impact on Ocean biodiversity; already fish stocks are virtually being mined out of existence..


AbruptSLR

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Re: What most worries you and why?
« Reply #45 on: October 09, 2015, 12:20:46 AM »
With the breakdown of glaciers in Antarctica, a concern that I have is whether a cold spot might develop off Antarctica as has occurred South of Greenland. The question is will Ocean currents begin to further slow down as has been suggested in relation to the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation?
Such a change would have a major impact on Ocean biodiversity; already fish stocks are virtually being mined out of existence..

KeithAnt,

The answers to your questions can be follow at the following linked forum thread that discusses the draft Hansen et al. (2015) paper from which the attached image is taken (showing a cooling of the Southern Ocean with abrupt ice sheet melting):

http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1327.0.html

Best,
ASLR
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

KeithAnt

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Re: What most worries you and why?
« Reply #46 on: October 09, 2015, 04:50:26 AM »
Thanks, ASLR

Bruce Steele

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Re: What most worries you and why?
« Reply #47 on: October 09, 2015, 04:07:26 PM »
KeithAnt, You are a newby here but we like to have references with claims like" already fish stocks are being mined out of existence". If you might review my comments on the Carbon Cycle page,in the Science section, Sept.16-18 # 239-244 I would appreciate it. Your claim is totally unsubstantiated here in North America so if you are an American you are talking about somewhere else in the world. I am sure there are large problems but they aren't as universal as your opinion seems to imply.

KeithAnt

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Re: What most worries you and why?
« Reply #48 on: October 09, 2015, 11:52:43 PM »
Bruce, here in Australia we have been having a debate about super trawlers fishing Australian waters. It is a matter that caused interested people to do much research and the debate has been progressing for the last few years. An attempt had been made to introduce super trawlers to the US but it was stopped at the eleventh hour.
A couple of references:

https://theconversation.com/one-fish-two-fish-red-fish-blue-fish-science-doesnt-support-the-super-trawler-9143

https://theconversation.com/australian-endangered-species-southern-bluefin-tuna-11636

https://www.facebook.com/StopTheSuperTrawlers?fref=ts

My comment about mining fish was only in relation to super trawlers, not in relation to the much smaller commercial trawlers that can only fish for limited periods.

Thanks for pulling me up Bruce, I constantly ask climate change deniers to provide reliable references elsewhere which they are not able to do.

I put in a submission about the issue:

http://www.daff.gov.au/SiteCollectionDocuments/fisheries/fisheries-review/submissions-received/Antonysen,_Keith.pdf

Supertrawlers have ravaged fish stocks off the African Coast.

Bruce Steele

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Re: What most worries you and why?
« Reply #49 on: October 10, 2015, 02:14:54 AM »
KeithAnt, Thank you for your well thought out response. I read the articles and your comment letter in full. Although I am a commercial fisherman I think we would find much to agree upon. We have nothing here on the West Coast that remotely resembles the Super Trawler you are concerned about. You have good reason to be worried . I saw a similar Russian fleet fishing Pollock just outside an area off the coast of Northern California ~ 1989.   I am sure they were catching and discarding more salmon than the small boat fleet of salmon trollers that I was working with was catching. They no longer are permitted within our 200 mile management zone. Good riddance .
 We have about 20% of all fishing grounds closed to all fishing here in California. Much of the federal shelf waters are also closed. I have been and active negotiator for the Marine Protected Area movement representing commercial fisheries but in large part we have simply shut down our fleet while simply outsourcing the U.S. demand for fish to supply our markets. This has been going on for the entire 40 years I have been a fisherman. We now import more than 90% of seafood in the U.S.
and more than that in California. I am not arguing against protecting fish stocks with science based management but I am totally opposed to simply abrogating the responsibility to third world nations who neither have the money, science expertise , nor political willpower to resist exploitive corporate
 "fish mining". The environmental firepower that has been placed into closing down our fleets seems totally ineffective at anything close to a fair bargain that would place foreign supplied fish producers under the same restrictions we face. Therefore we have to compete at a market price we simply can't compete with. Similar issues could be made for our outsourcing of our manufacturing industries. It is immoral and if  "corporations were people too" we'd be sinking boats like we are willing to do to local poachers, I have seen it do many times in my harbor. That is we have also exported local control of the commons that operates quite well in most harbors. There is nothing local outside 200 miles.