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Wherestheice

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Re: Near Term Human Extinction
« Reply #50 on: February 20, 2018, 10:55:34 AM »
Below is Guy McPhersons climate change update essay. If you havent seen it, i suggest checking it out.

https://guymcpherson.com/climate-chaos/climate-change-summary-and-update/

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bbr2314

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Re: Near Term Human Extinction
« Reply #51 on: February 20, 2018, 07:55:25 PM »
As I understand it, geront, the people that are claiming such things  assume that aerosols are blocking much more insolation than most models admit so that removing them suddenly (as may happen at least partially in a major global economic crash) would lead to a pretty immediate jump in global (atmospheric) temps of about 2 C. Another assumption is that such a sudden and drastic jump would rapidly trigger major and rapid carbon feedbacks of various sorts (tundra, other soils, massive wild fires...)

It all seems to me like too many assumptions that everything will always happen at or beyond the high end of the catastrophically bad side of the best current predictions...

but on the other hand that has pretty much been the trend recently  :-\

I think part of the problem in making ^ assumptions is that a very substantial proportion of aerosols are generated from home industry and agriculture in developing countries. It is unlikely that any major global economic crisis is going to effect these staples of human history and while China + The West could see rapid reductions, if you actually check any satellite map of the globe, you can see that the largest producers of dirty aerosols are actually all generally quite close to the Equator (Sub-Saharan Africa and India).

Wherestheice

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Re: Near Term Human Extinction
« Reply #52 on: February 20, 2018, 10:26:24 PM »
As I understand it, geront, the people that are claiming such things  assume that aerosols are blocking much more insolation than most models admit so that removing them suddenly (as may happen at least partially in a major global economic crash) would lead to a pretty immediate jump in global (atmospheric) temps of about 2 C. Another assumption is that such a sudden and drastic jump would rapidly trigger major and rapid carbon feedbacks of various sorts (tundra, other soils, massive wild fires...)

It all seems to me like too many assumptions that everything will always happen at or beyond the high end of the catastrophically bad side of the best current predictions...

but on the other hand that has pretty much been the trend recently  :-\

I think part of the problem in making ^ assumptions is that a very substantial proportion of aerosols are generated from home industry and agriculture in developing countries. It is unlikely that any major global economic crisis is going to effect these staples of human history and while China + The West could see rapid reductions, if you actually check any satellite map of the globe, you can see that the largest producers of dirty aerosols are actually all generally quite close to the Equator (Sub-Saharan Africa and India).

I think really whats more important is the fact that the loss of aerosols will result in more warming, therefor raising the global ave temp.

Also according to https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/cleaning-up-air-pollution-may-strengthen-global-warming/
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wili

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Re: Near Term Human Extinction
« Reply #53 on: February 21, 2018, 06:53:36 AM »
bbr, sorry, I should have been more specific. The relevant aerosols for this discussion (cooling) are primarily the sulfate aerosols, and even more specifically sulfur dioxide, the main anthropogenic source of which is coal combustion, except where scrubbers have been installed.

But certainly in general the whole aerosol issue is much more complex than the proponents of certain imminent human extinction generally seem to want to acknowledge.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2018, 07:06:38 AM by wili »
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Wherestheice

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Re: Near Term Human Extinction
« Reply #54 on: February 21, 2018, 12:28:20 PM »
The conversation about human extinction is the conversation no one wants to have, but i think its one we need to have. We need to live with our mistakes, and act as if death is near. We all have things and people we love.... I'm sure. If we are gonna be extinct in 10 years, then shouldnt we be living life with love, and peace. Even if the whole human extinction thing turns out to be pure rubbish, whats so bad about leaving the world a better place than before.
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oren

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Re: Near Term Human Extinction
« Reply #55 on: February 21, 2018, 03:33:30 PM »
Below is Guy McPhersons climate change update essay. If you havent seen it, i suggest checking it out.

https://guymcpherson.com/climate-chaos/climate-change-summary-and-update/
I have taken a quick look but I wish I hadn't. Scaremongering such as this is in my opinion not better than risk denying. Both are unscientific efforts to mislead.
Should you discuss near-term human extinction in 100-200 years, it could be an interesting conversation. But 10 years for climate-related extinction is nonsense. I suggest to read rigorous scientific sources and avoid the stuff this Guy McPherson is drumming up.

Daniel B.

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Re: Near Term Human Extinction
« Reply #56 on: February 21, 2018, 05:18:45 PM »
Below is Guy McPhersons climate change update essay. If you havent seen it, i suggest checking it out.

https://guymcpherson.com/climate-chaos/climate-change-summary-and-update/
I have taken a quick look but I wish I hadn't. Scaremongering such as this is in my opinion not better than risk denying. Both are unscientific efforts to mislead.
Should you discuss near-term human extinction in 100-200 years, it could be an interesting conversation. But 10 years for climate-related extinction is nonsense. I suggest to read rigorous scientific sources and avoid the stuff this Guy McPherson is drumming up.

Having read his essay, I will agree with you.  However, I will say that his opening line is the most accurate, "There is no precedence in planetary history for events unfolding today. As a result, relying on prior events to predict the near future is unwise."  Based on his premise, I fail to see how he can make the predictions he does in this essay.

Alexander555

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Re: Near Term Human Extinction
« Reply #57 on: February 21, 2018, 05:42:30 PM »
We lost 75 % of all the sea ice in good 35 years. Why should we not lose the other 25 % in the next 10 years ? And that's probably when the big changes start , when that arctic becomes ice free for a while. Now you still have a big chunk of ice in the arctic. It's getting much thinner, but it's still there. So i would think the big changes still have to start, not ? Probably not human extinction in 10 years, but big changes for sure. Our entire  climate will be upside down.

oren

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Re: Near Term Human Extinction
« Reply #58 on: February 21, 2018, 06:29:44 PM »
Big changes will come. Actually big changes are already occurring. I can argue for massive human die-off (not extincion) in 50 years, due to climate change and other carrying capacity issues. But forget those two years or ten that this Guy is scaremongering about. Large system - large lags. When it does go it will be unstoppable for the exact same reason.

ritter

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Re: Near Term Human Extinction
« Reply #59 on: February 21, 2018, 06:45:32 PM »
Big changes will come. Actually big changes are already occurring. I can argue for massive human die-off (not extincion) in 50 years, due to climate change and other carrying capacity issues. But forget those two years or ten that this Guy is scaremongering about. Large system - large lags. When it does go it will be unstoppable for the exact same reason.

What's the difference between 10 years and 50 years aside from which generation gets clobbered? The point is, catastrophic changes are coming and coming soon. No one has a divine certainty as to how bad and when but that is beside the point. Is mass human die off in 50 years really so different than potential extinction in 10? If either happen within 40 years, I'll likely be alive to witness it, so would rather get an all hands on deck approach to mitigating/adapting to it sooner rather than later.

jmshelton

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Re: Near Term Human Extinction
« Reply #60 on: February 21, 2018, 06:51:37 PM »
Not to be too technical, but the idea of "extinction" is pretty strong.  I agree with the worries that a large human population contraction is a likely outcome of our messing with climate, but full extinction is not likely for a long time.  I do not wish the life of the remaining survivors on anyone, except those that didn't make it.  In other words, we shouldn't use extinction in a scientific sense if we want to be accurate, but the future will be very bleak for those humans trying to avoid it.

Bruce Steele

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Re: Near Term Human Extinction
« Reply #61 on: February 21, 2018, 07:44:33 PM »
I have no idea when the general public is going to realize how bad of a situation we have created for ourselves. I sometimes question their cognitive abilities.
 Preparation for massive climatic disruptions is difficult for anyone to prepare for. Do you run for it and try to protect your own ass? Do you try to develop survival techniques that will help some later generations struggle to survive through what will be this species greatest challenge ? Or do you just hope for someone else to come up with a miracle? All of those options will be utilized by various segments of society. I have opted for trying to help someone in the future. Whether anyone cares to walk this thing back with me is questionable but I currently have all the assets nessesary for experimenting. I believe as we get closer those options will be restricted. Time is not on our side and like Ritter says 10 years or 40 years are but a blink of the eye. I have never personally met anyone I could honestly say was trying to prepare. I enjoy human company, I enjoy my animals, I don't understand my fellow human beings...nobody will come through this without some psychological damage. I think Guy's response is flawed , I don't think all the love in the world will help if you can't help future generations and the man has simply given up.
 Mostly we are acting like a deer looking into the headlights.

Alexander555

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Re: Near Term Human Extinction
« Reply #62 on: February 21, 2018, 08:01:48 PM »
Nobody will come up with a miracle. And nothing is going to change. Most politicians are crippled. With all respect for cripple people, in general they are more usefull than the average politician. But as soon as a politicians takes the donations, they just become the puppets of their masters. And that makes them useless for society. And what also worries me, take Puerto Rico for example. That's just a small place, and a half year later they are still not recovered. And that's US soil. And they can expect less help in the future. Let's hope we don't lose the internet to fast. Otherwise we are going to miss a big part of the show.

Wherestheice

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Re: Near Term Human Extinction
« Reply #63 on: February 21, 2018, 08:29:14 PM »
I personally think a collapse is coming. Our population is in overdrive, and you can bet that while our population is growing, nothing will get better. Nature is gonna do us good. I also personally think Guy McPherson is mostly on point with what he says. I think the time scale part of it is a bit extreme but i think it will happen sometime between now and 2050. I think scaremongering is not the right way to put it. more like scareawareness. Our whole way of living is not connected with nature, and that alone has ad consequences. Humans can't live on earth without the right climate, habitat, and air to breath. Considering the highest tempurature humans have ever been thru on earth was 3.3 C above current baseline, once we go beyond that.......Not to mention how the animals, plants, and insects will respond. Human extinction? Idk maybe....but you can count on billions of people to die.
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El Cid

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Re: Near Term Human Extinction
« Reply #64 on: February 21, 2018, 08:38:13 PM »
The projections for temperature change differ based on latitude. Tropical regions will likely see 1-2 degrees higher temps by 2050-70 which is not a problem and won't hamper food production at all. Temperate regions will likely see 2-4 degrees higher temps  and more rain which is also no problem for food production - in fact it will open up new areas for grain production.

Growing enough food will not be a problem in the foreseeable future. And basically the only place where the population will grow is Africa. They WILL have a problem growing enough food as their population will go from 1 billion to 4 billion by 2100! Expect wars and mass migration out of Africa, but other places will have no problems with food.

Bruce Steele

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Re: Near Term Human Extinction
« Reply #65 on: February 21, 2018, 09:23:01 PM »
El Cid, As long as you keep pouring fossil fuels into the tractors, pump out nitrogen with natural gas power, mine what phosphorus is left with current mining technology, strip what carbon still remains in our farm soils while shipping the resulting food stores around the world with planes, ships,trucks and rail.All collectively known as BAU then everything is going to be just fine. Don't worry and please just eat your cake ! I would like you to post on the "walking the walk" thread if you have something else in mind otherwise I consider you a troll and worse.

El Cid

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Re: Near Term Human Extinction
« Reply #66 on: February 21, 2018, 09:55:39 PM »
Allright, so just because I do not agree with your imminent human extinction view, I am a troll - now that is a very sophisticated answer. By the way, I am working on regenerative agriculture projects (increasing soil OM/C, biodiversity, etc.), so maybe you should not be so harsh on me. Still, i do not see any evidence that with projected temperatures (by 2050) we would not be able to feed mankind. Just one thing: if everyone stopped eating meat, we could immediately feed 10-15 bln people. Just sayin' ...

Daniel B.

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Re: Near Term Human Extinction
« Reply #67 on: February 21, 2018, 11:32:08 PM »
I would not worry to much about it.  I find that those resorting to the troll slurs are usually those that cannot argue their position very effectively, and must resort to ad hominems.  The real irony is that your response is more typical of the scientific community, whereas the troll responses are often from extremists.

Bruce Steele

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Re: Near Term Human Extinction
« Reply #68 on: February 21, 2018, 11:50:27 PM »
I don't have any projections of when our human population starts into decline. I also believe El Cid is correct in that we can keep feeding ourselves. My problem is with the notion that that makes everything peachy. Don't worry about the thirty percent that the food economy and infrastructure contributes to our carbon emissions . Put your foot on the gas pedal , we'll figure it out later... Magical thinking is like I said earlier one of the expected responses of a certain segment of society. I said troll or worse and in my opinion apologists for BAU are worse than trolls.

CDN_dude

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Re: Near Term Human Extinction
« Reply #69 on: February 22, 2018, 12:12:59 AM »
El Cid, what about the prospect of declining crop yields in key agricultural areas of the world, as are projected. What about this graph of projected precipitation in one of the world's breadbaskets, the Western North American region https://www.thegwpf.com/content/uploads/2017/07/WesternUSA-precipitation.png

I personally find it laughable to think that humans can go extinct this century, but at the same time, the possibility up to a billion may die is far from remote, indeed even likely under BAU.

CDN_dude

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Re: Near Term Human Extinction
« Reply #70 on: February 22, 2018, 12:17:33 AM »
As for extinction, the reason that won't happen is because rapid population decreases are a kind of negative feedback. Eventually we would get back to close to the carrying capacity of the Earth, even if at that point there were only say a million people left alive worldwide. The only real threat of total extinction I can think of is abrupt global warming combined with some kind of mega-pandemic for which there is no cure. Climate change alone won't do it.

Human Habitat Index

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Re: Near Term Human Extinction
« Reply #71 on: February 22, 2018, 12:28:21 AM »
Below is Guy McPhersons climate change update essay. If you havent seen it, i suggest checking it out.

https://guymcpherson.com/climate-chaos/climate-change-summary-and-update/
I have taken a quick look but I wish I hadn't. Scaremongering such as this is in my opinion not better than risk denying. Both are unscientific efforts to mislead.
Should you discuss near-term human extinction in 100-200 years, it could be an interesting conversation. But 10 years for climate-related extinction is nonsense. I suggest to read rigorous scientific sources and avoid the stuff this Guy McPherson is drumming up.

Can you be more specific about Guy McPherson's essay, as all you are saying is it's unbelievable.

Below is Guy McPhersons climate change update essay. If you havent seen it, i suggest checking it out.

https://guymcpherson.com/climate-chaos/climate-change-summary-and-update/
I have taken a quick look but I wish I hadn't. Scaremongering such as this is in my opinion not better than risk denying. Both are unscientific efforts to mislead.
Should you discuss near-term human extinction in 100-200 years, it could be an interesting conversation. But 10 years for climate-related extinction is nonsense. I suggest to read rigorous scientific sources and avoid the stuff this Guy McPherson is drumming up.

Having read his essay, I will agree with you.  However, I will say that his opening line is the most accurate, "There is no precedence in planetary history for events unfolding today. As a result, relying on prior events to predict the near future is unwise."  Based on his premise, I fail to see how he can make the predictions he does in this essay.

The paleo record gives us an accurate insight into climate events in the past, which can then be extrapolated to predict the future based on current conditions and trends.
There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance. That principle is contempt prior to investigation. - Herbert Spencer

Human Habitat Index

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Re: Near Term Human Extinction
« Reply #72 on: February 22, 2018, 12:35:42 AM »
As for extinction, the reason that won't happen is because rapid population decreases are a kind of negative feedback. Eventually we would get back to close to the carrying capacity of the Earth, even if at that point there were only say a million people left alive worldwide. The only real threat of total extinction I can think of is abrupt global warming combined with some kind of mega-pandemic for which there is no cure. Climate change alone won't do it.

A lot of temperature rise is baked in.

The negative feedback of rapid polulation decrease will only likely occur with civilisation breakdown which causes massive fast temperature rise due to loss of aerosol masking.
There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance. That principle is contempt prior to investigation. - Herbert Spencer

harpy

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Re: Near Term Human Extinction
« Reply #73 on: February 22, 2018, 01:00:49 AM »
As for extinction, the reason that won't happen is because rapid population decreases are a kind of negative feedback. Eventually we would get back to close to the carrying capacity of the Earth, even if at that point there were only say a million people left alive worldwide. The only real threat of total extinction I can think of is abrupt global warming combined with some kind of mega-pandemic for which there is no cure. Climate change alone won't do it.

Apparently you missed my post (s).  I refer you to those posts above for reference before responding to this comment.

Long story short, In an event of rapid population decrease, it's almost certain (please refer to my post for more detailed information) that more than one, possibly nearly all, (depending of the heroics and ingenuity of the nuclear engineers at the sites and the speed of the population decrease) - of the 450 nuclear reactor spent fuel rod containment facilities around the world, especially in already unstable regions, will melt down catastrophically in a Fukishima style event.  This time, however, it's going to be the version of Fukishima WITHOUT any ability to remedy the situation like Japan and the rest of the world mobilized to do - Multiplied by 450. 


Can you please explain to me how even JUST 1 million humans ( even 20 million or 70 million.  The number doesn't really matter so long as it's an extreme event like you're describing) will be able to survive the spent fuel rods from 450+ nuclear reactors all over the world melting down simultaneously? 


I'm not trying to sound pessimistic, or argumentative.  I'm honestly concerned for life on this planet, especially the life that large apes depend upon for survival.  Dr. McPherson presents evidence that abrupt change in climate or an abrupt event that reduces human population is certainly on the cards.

  Heck, even if we weren't undergoing abrupt climate change, all it would take is an orchestrated 9-11 style attempt by terrorists to release an enormous amount of radiation into the atmosphere (I will not go into details but if you do research on the topics I've discussed you can use your imagination).   That ALONE would reduce human population rapidly enough to cause meltdowns of all the other nuclear spent fuel rod containment facilities on the planet within a relatively short period of time.  To suggest that something far more catastrophic, like a reduction in human population down to 10 or even 100 million from present levels, wouldn't cause unimaginable levels of radiation being released into the atmosphere is, quite frankly, not very open minded.

  I find it difficult to imagine a scenario where large apes somehow survive an extinction event event that is already claiming 75%+ of insect biodensity within a 20 year time frame -  and we're only at 1.5C above baseline.  Add incomprehensibly copious quantities of gamma radiation circulating through the atmosphere, for thousands of years... it's Permian extinction in 250-300 years instead of thousands + gamma radiation.  99+% of all life on the planet will perish in a very short period of time.  Humans, ruminants, birds, and all other forms of life that we recognize as our co-habitants will perish all within the same time period.  Sure, there's going to be some apes in bunkers who survive, for a while.  How long can they stay in those bunkers?  CO2 and radioactive isotopes last thousands and thousands of years.

In Conclusion:

1.  I'm genuinely interested in a direct response (especially from someone with experience in nuclear physics and atmospheric science). 

2.  I'd also like to understand how the atmosphere of earth is going to respond to the radiation emitted from the melt down of spent fuel rods from the 450+ nuclear reactors all over the planet?

3.  I honestly do apologize for the bad news.  I don't want to ruin anyone's day.  I honestly don't think many have considered the spent fuel rod situation.  I encourage everyone here to do some research on the fragility of these facilities.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2018, 03:52:19 AM by harpy »

Archimid

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Re: Near Term Human Extinction
« Reply #74 on: February 22, 2018, 03:48:50 AM »
Near term human extinction? No way. There are places such as Cheyenne Mountain were thousands of humans will survive for decades even centuries.  99.99% reduction in world population, maybe, but not extinction.

99.99% population reduction places human population at pre-historic levels, where it has been for 99 % of the existance of humanity. We live in extraordinary times.

That said I belive 99.99% is only posibble if we go to war. If we try to survive these changes the population reduction will be much less. If we seriously prepare for it might even be good for most.

 Humans are very adaptable and we have lots of resources. Many of those resources will be gone with the ice but we have vast reserves. The number of people that fail to adapt is unthinkable, but many will adapt, specially when all available resources are redirected towards surviving.

« Last Edit: February 22, 2018, 11:28:20 AM by Archimid »
I am an energy reservoir seemingly intent on lowering entropy for self preservation.

harpy

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Re: Near Term Human Extinction
« Reply #75 on: February 22, 2018, 04:00:19 AM »
Near term human extinction? No way. There are places such as Cheyenne Mountain were thousands of humans will survive for decades even centuries.  99.99% reduction in world population, maybe, but not extinction.

99.99% population reduction places human population at pre-historic levels, where it has benn for 99 % of the existance if humanity. We live in extraordinary times.

That said I belive 99.99% is only posibble if we go to war. If we try to survive these changes the population reduction will be much less. If we seriously prepare for it might even be good for most.

 Humans are very adaptable and we have lots of resources. Many of those resources will be gone with the ice but we have vast reserves. The number of people that fail to adapt is unthinkable, but many will adapt, specially when all available resources are redirected towards surviving.

What you're suggesting is that humans will have to live underground in a bunker for, most likely thousands of years before the radioactive isotopes on the surface and in the atmosphere decay into stable elements.   Even if the half life total of the isotopes was only 100 years, and humans had to somehow survive in that mountain for 100 years - that's something like 2 or 3 generations.  It's pretty tough to get the necessary vitamins and nutrients in an underground bunker. Humans need those to survive and reproduce, how are they going to manufacture vitamin D for centuries?  Thats' just one vitamin humans essentially need to be on the surface of the planet to obtain. 

In reality, it will most likely take thousands of years for the consequences of 450 spent fuel rod containment facilities melting down to decay naturally into harmless elements.  The amount of radiation thats going to be released is something on the order of like 1000000 chernobyls (I don't think anyone outside of the UN and the military/intelligence agencies even knows how many thousands upon thousands of tons of spent fuel rods exist in cooling ponds).

Your post certainly demonstrates a commendable level of optimism for your species.

I'd suggest doing some research into spent fuel rods:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spent_nuclear_fuel

https://allthingsnuclear.org/dlochbaum/nuclear-spent-fuel-damage-pool-accident

Here's some of the radiactive isotopes released from a melt down:

https://www.greenfacts.org/en/chernobyl/toolboxes/half-life-radioisotopes.htm

You're looking at hundreds of years, and if there's sufficient plutonium - thousands of years.

The exclusion zone for chenobyl is thousands of square kilometers.  That was a relatively small amount of radiation compared to the events that are going to unfold if all of the nuclear fuel rod containment facilities melt down. 

So humans need to immediately move all of these spent fuel rods, dump them in the ocean and bury them close to the tectonic plates that are converging to prevent them from ever reaching the surface...or spend 250+ years in bunkers, most likely dying from vitamin deficiencies and malnutrition in a few decades. 
« Last Edit: February 22, 2018, 04:32:42 AM by harpy »

wili

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Re: Near Term Human Extinction
« Reply #76 on: February 22, 2018, 04:03:31 AM »
Well, if there were a 99.99 % reduction in the human population, that would, as you suggest, just leave few smallish enclaves of humans. But then it would only take a major natural or human disaster to wipe any one of those out, and there will be more and more of both of those on hand to do the job.

So what you say may be true (none of us is likely to be around to witness the results either way), but I can't see how one can completely confidently rule out the possibility of total extinction.

Just sayin
« Last Edit: February 22, 2018, 04:17:05 AM by wili »
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

Tony Mcleod

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Re: Near Term Human Extinction
« Reply #77 on: February 22, 2018, 05:09:05 AM »
McPherson is probably right about a lot of things but I think he gets it wrong about the immediate causes. He suggests what will do us in is a collapse of the global grain growing system - in his terms "a loss of habitat". He is a population ecologist, so that is a fair way of putting it I suppose. But don't think that alone will send us extinct, not in a short number of years anyway.

If he talked in terms of that grain collapse being the death-blow for modern civilisation, then I think he'd be more on the money. Three of four billion might perish but there are plenty more where they came from.

Ok, the rest scrambling over each other for the remaining niches doesn't sound that appealing either but humans are pretty adaptable and you'd expect some to find a way.

Hundreds of nuc meltdowns - hmmm, that might be difficult for any species except subterranean bacteria to survive.

wili

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Re: Near Term Human Extinction
« Reply #78 on: February 22, 2018, 05:59:15 AM »
One thing to keep in mind that in the Sixth Great Mass Extinction that we are already deep in the middle of, far before anything like the worst results of GW kick in (not to mention various other calamities mentioned here, and others), tens to hundreds of species are already going extinct every single day.

All of humanity is, in the end, just one other species.

We are not immune.
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Re: Near Term Human Extinction
« Reply #79 on: February 22, 2018, 06:20:09 AM »
Can you be more specific about Guy McPherson's essay, as all you are saying is it's unbelievable.
This essay is more than 32,000 words. I believe he is obfuscating on purpose. From the ~5,000 words I've read until I've given up, I couldn't find a clear explanation for his expected timeline, whether it's 10 years or 50. All he says is "rapid", "accelerated" and so on. Heck, in geologic terms 1000 years is rapid too.
As extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, or just even plain evidence, I suggest to flip this argument on its head. Find me the parts in this essay that discuss an actual timeline (rather than convincing a catastrophe is coming but just creating the sense that it's coming in a couple of years), and then I can relate/refute.

To all those wondering the difference between 10 and 50 years, the shorter one doesn't allow any prevention/mitigation action, thus meeting the deniers full circle, while the latter does allow some action (even though we don't seem to actually take much advantage of that).

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Re: Near Term Human Extinction
« Reply #80 on: February 22, 2018, 07:48:46 AM »
Oren, Thank you for explaining your ten year fifty year critique. I spent the day angry, a ridiculous response to blog comments.
 I have been living without any wheat and I can also demonstrate that pigs and chickens don't need grains. Not that I can demonstrate keeping civilization running should we lose grain harvests for some reason but most definately survival potential for small groups.
 We humans are facing an existential challenge. There will be reasonable responses from some people and unreasonable responses by others. I see no reason to believe extinction is in our immediate future. Humans did get by without grains for most of our history.



   

aperson

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Re: Near Term Human Extinction
« Reply #81 on: February 22, 2018, 09:17:59 AM »
If you want to argue for extinction of a species, you need a clear cascade that results in every single member of the species dying.

If you want to say that mass nuclear reactor meltdowns cause it, provide the mechanism that causes the meltdown, the rate and amount of radioactive material emitted, and the resulting action of that material that leads to the extinction of the species.

Personally, the main extinction threat to us I see is the classic one in the paleontological record: Carbonic acid load and ocean heat content create euxinic oceans that emit fatal amounts of hydrogen sulfide into the atmosphere.

I think we could make it very hard to avoid that by our actions before about 2050 or so, but the full cascade that puts a fatal amount of H2S into the atmosphere will take a few hundred years at least. The underlying chemical reactions only happen so quickly.

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Re: Near Term Human Extinction
« Reply #82 on: February 22, 2018, 06:57:47 PM »
I tend to take all these end-of-the-world claims with a grain of salt.  I Have lived through predictions of annihilation by nuclear war, food shortage due to overpopulation, killing the plant with pollution, acid rain, ozone depletion, Islamic terrorist, and now global warming.  Each time the claim was we were on the eve of destruction (to quote Barry McGuire), only to work together to alleviate the crisis.  Much of the cries were exaggerations in order to stir action.  I see nothing different this time around. 

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Re: Near Term Human Extinction
« Reply #83 on: February 22, 2018, 07:19:50 PM »
I tend to agree with Daniel B., having survived myself similar predictions. My oldest recollection of such dates back to the Cuban Missile Crisis, back in '62. I was 9 years old, and I remember very well some playground conversations about the upcoming end of the world.
My take on this is that it's not specific to the human species to expand as wildly as it can until hitting some wall. It's been the logic of life since the very beginning. The so-called balance of nature belongs to mythology, akin to the belief that the creator made a perfect world, and humans led by the devil have introduced disorder. Living things are dissipative systems, no one is really caring about its environment more than we do. 
We are certainly in a crisis, through which life will change a lot. Species will disappear, the total biomass will certainly drop, some opportunists will benefit the disaster of some others. But I really doubt that life can be eradicated. It has survived 3 billion years through many global and local catastrophes.

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Re: Near Term Human Extinction
« Reply #84 on: February 22, 2018, 07:22:38 PM »
I tend to take all these end-of-the-world claims with a grain of salt.  I Have lived through predictions of annihilation by nuclear war, food shortage due to overpopulation, killing the plant with pollution, acid rain, ozone depletion, Islamic terrorist, and now global warming.  Each time the claim was we were on the eve of destruction (to quote Barry McGuire), only to work together to alleviate the crisis.  Much of the cries were exaggerations in order to stir action.  I see nothing different this time around.

This time is different, don't you think ? How many people across the globe are on the run ? Half of Africa and the Middle-East is running into Europe. Wars and conflicts are everywhere in Africa and the Middle-east. Water supplies are gone or polluted. And it's almost everyday 40 degree below the equator in Africa. And the forests dissapear fast, leaving not much more than a desert behind. A desert where it's 40 degree almost every day. Mexico are the new killing fields, and the people from Venezuela are spreading across Latin-America. Where they already have giant favelas everywhere. And in the future the arctic will become ice free at some point. Creating chaos on top of all that chaos. Asia is overpopulated and is having severe troubles with his water supply. That's 4,5 billion people.

Daniel B.

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Re: Near Term Human Extinction
« Reply #85 on: February 22, 2018, 08:50:30 PM »
People have always been on the run, seeking greener pastures.  Wars have occurred since time began.  Some have argued that we are actually in a declining state of war.  Water has always been an issue, especially in areas like the Middle East and American Southwest, which are not capable of sustaining such a population naturally.  Most of the deforestation has already occurred.  This is not leaving deserts behind, unless you call cities deserts (this has some validity).  The destruction of the forest and land degradation in general is the biggest issue, in my opinion.  Ironically, the recent warming has caused an expanse of plant life in recent decades.  If we can increase our efforts at re-forestaton, we may be alright.  We are definitely moving towards an ice-free Arctic in the summer.   Whether this creates chaos or not is open to debate.  The Arctic has been ice-free before.

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Re: Near Term Human Extinction
« Reply #86 on: February 22, 2018, 09:59:46 PM »
This time IS different, and the difference is in the time factor. The problems you describe took years to resolve, while their damage was longer-acting. (Nukes are a different story, but mutual deterrence was an effective solution). Here you have a problem that takes decades to fix, and also takes decades to identify, causing much of its baked-in damage to play out before the fix is applied.

Archimid

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Re: Near Term Human Extinction
« Reply #87 on: February 22, 2018, 10:41:43 PM »
Quote
A shepherd-boy, who watched a flock of sheep near a village, brought out the villagers three or four times by crying out, "Wolf! Wolf!" and when his neighbors came to help him, laughed at them for their pains.

     The Wolf, however, did truly come at last. The Shepherd-boy, now really alarmed, shouted in an agony of terror: "Pray, do come and help me; the Wolf is killing the sheep"; but no one paid any heed to his cries, nor rendered any assistance. The Wolf, having no cause of fear, at his leisure lacerated or destroyed the whole flock.

The moral of the story? The wolves are coming, if you don't take the threat seriously your flock will be destroyed.
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zheega

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Re: Near Term Human Extinction
« Reply #88 on: February 23, 2018, 03:06:46 AM »
I think there is simply no way for even worst-case climate change scenarios to cause the direct extinction of the human race.

The problem is that deteriorating conditions caused by CC will probably start big wars for resources and for survival of entire countries, if not continents. And if we use nuclear weapons in those wars, we could cause the extinction of the human race. So getting rid of nuclear weapons should be a priority. Just India and Pakistan alone probably have enough nukes to end the human race.

Pmt111500

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Re: Near Term Human Extinction
« Reply #89 on: February 23, 2018, 05:05:06 AM »
Ah, finally a thread into which I may post a link to my blog post I haven't particularly advertised. I agree with the most in the thread that a full-scale nuclear war is the fastest way to get humans to go extinct (abt. the same as a supervolcano of VEI9 or a 10K asteroid style dinosaurs) and that environmental factors are (only) contributing factors on many conflicts around the world. I haven't touched the technology at all in the post. Mechanized non-nuclear warfare (as opposed to small arms and land troops) can continue as long as there is fuel to power those killing machines and troop carriers, so converting the energy system completely to dispersed small production could be advantageous to humanity's survival in some world war three situations. A normal passenger car runs way further than a tank with the same amount of fuel. I think I might prefer a solar powered vehicle and a good supply for RK-95 (the modernized AK-47) ammo in an escape situation on a sunny area. No way petrol-heads such as Churchill (mechaniser of British army before and during WWII) would give up their reserves to deserters. As the blogpost spans the years 2015-2020 and it's already 2018, it is clear that the stuff described hasn't happened and in the autumn 2014 when I wrote it, there was no divine inspiration present  :P ::) 8) .

The rest of the blog might also contain some readable and climate related stuff, in the beginning there are some historical vignettes and I think this is the first directly climate related chapter
from 2008 (2007 convinced me I need to write some thoughts on environment on paper and the blog was a good place to get them out.) : http://erimaassa.blogspot.fi/2008/11/jonkun-verran-pelkotilaa.html). The chapters written after Sept-18th, 2014 (http://erimaassa.blogspot.fi/2014/09/delays-and-daleks-short-note-9.html) concern mainly Middle Earth, this is the time I pretty much gave up on parts of humanity. Life has been better since deciding not trying to convince those deniers of the error of their ways. But the administrative changes around globe that favor nuclear warfare, environmental destruction and other terror have produced some funny pieces (well, to me at least) some of you may have enjoyed here in ASI Forum.

Of course it's still entirely possible that we only have to relocate all infrastructure at under 9 meters ASL and change the species or at least variants of species in agriculture and find a way to accommodate only the 2 billion people directly affected in 300 years. Hmm.

long post (for me) so ending with the link here. environmental destabilization as seen by yours truly in late 2014
http://erimaassa.blogspot.fi/p/blog-page.html , there's of course the caveat that 'this is probably not the speed of CC'. Radiative equilibrium to space is of fourth power and it takes plenty of positive feedbacks to surpass this.

« Last Edit: February 23, 2018, 06:05:23 AM by Pmt111500 »
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Martin Gisser

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Re: Near Term Human Extinction
« Reply #90 on: February 23, 2018, 05:18:45 AM »
My worst case scenario is not Near Term Human Extinction but long term human nonextinction without cultural evolution. Then the planet is fucked forever.
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Avalonian

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Re: Near Term Human Extinction
« Reply #91 on: February 23, 2018, 10:01:20 AM »
I think there is simply no way for even worst-case climate change scenarios to cause the direct extinction of the human race.

Then you really need to have a close look at the Permo-Triassic, because that's the scenario we seem to be approaching, based on warming rates. Mass methane realease, sudden warming by 5-10C, oceanic anoxia and mass hydrogen sulphide release to lethal levels appear to have done the job for over 90% of species then. It's entirely possible that the same can happen again, especially since clathrate levels are likely much greater in an ice house world. (And that's not even the very worst-case; it's difficult to prove that a runaway warming is categorically impossible...)

The question is whether that really is the path we're heading down, and if so, how quickly. We're all interpreting the evidence in slightly different ways, but ruling out any scenarios that cannot, logically, be ruled out is just not helpful.

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Re: Near Term Human Extinction
« Reply #92 on: February 23, 2018, 01:36:38 PM »
There was a post , upthread, telling us not to worry as higher Lat's were only progged to see a 3 to 4c raise in temps? I think the person needs to revisit how 'averages' work?
As I witness it we are seeing 'extreme' lurches in temps from the lows of polar plunges to the highs of summer heat domes? Over the year the extremes might average out as zero but will have had a major impact across the area suffering those extremes?

Not that far north of the UK is Svalbard and they have seen another winter of extreme temp excursions and I have to ask myself what the UK would think if they were happening here on a regular basis? To see a february day in the 70f's might wake folk up to how altered the planet is becoming? Sadly the recent SSW is set to plunge temps below freezing for a week so we will be fighting the 'where's the global warming eh?' tirade.....
Last low solar saw Russia bake in a summer long heatwave ( and wildfires ) , here we are again approaching solar min. Will we see a repeat? Will russia run low on grain again?
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Pmt111500

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Re: Near Term Human Extinction
« Reply #93 on: February 23, 2018, 02:05:06 PM »
Permian extinction stuff is scary, I admit. By burning all the coal easily harvested we might get there but it isn't yet an issue, I guess. Unless of course it happened for external reasons. Note on the Methanosarcina-hypothesis, the postulated acidic substrate isn't there anymore, so Permian-style horrors cannot happen this route anymore.

(some note found elsewhere stated some Th/U-enrichments are found on a layer near end-Permian. Has Earth been hit by a radioactive asteroid or were the Siberian traps a natural nuclear reactor? )
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gerontocrat

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Re: Near Term Human Extinction
« Reply #94 on: February 23, 2018, 02:23:56 PM »
Human Extinction ?- Huh, get real and look at what's really really important in the world

Front Page of the SUN, UK's biggest selling Newspaper (Murdoch, of course)
Quote
SNAPCRASH Kylie Jenner wipes £1BILLION off value of Snapchat just by saying she doesn’t use the app any more
The reality star wiped more than $1.5billion off the tech firm's market value after asking her Twitter followers 'does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore?'

If the SUN doesn't think climate change et al important - then it can't be !!
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Pmt111500

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Re: Near Term Human Extinction
« Reply #95 on: February 23, 2018, 04:21:33 PM »
Human Extinction ?- Huh, get real and look at what's really really important in the world

Front Page of the SUN, UK's biggest selling Newspaper (Murdoch, of course)
Quote
SNAPCRASH Kylie Jenner wipes £1BILLION off value of Snapchat just by saying she doesn’t use the app any more
The reality star wiped more than $1.5billion off the tech firm's market value after asking her Twitter followers 'does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore?'

If the SUN doesn't think climate change et al important - then it can't be !!


Ok. Thanks and a thumb-up. Glad there's no 'like'-button here.
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Daniel B.

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Re: Near Term Human Extinction
« Reply #96 on: February 23, 2018, 06:56:40 PM »
There was a post , upthread, telling us not to worry as higher Lat's were only progged to see a 3 to 4c raise in temps? I think the person needs to revisit how 'averages' work?
As I witness it we are seeing 'extreme' lurches in temps from the lows of polar plunges to the highs of summer heat domes? Over the year the extremes might average out as zero but will have had a major impact across the area suffering those extremes?

Not that far north of the UK is Svalbard and they have seen another winter of extreme temp excursions and I have to ask myself what the UK would think if they were happening here on a regular basis? To see a february day in the 70f's might wake folk up to how altered the planet is becoming? Sadly the recent SSW is set to plunge temps below freezing for a week so we will be fighting the 'where's the global warming eh?' tirade.....
Last low solar saw Russia bake in a summer long heatwave ( and wildfires ) , here we are again approaching solar min. Will we see a repeat? Will russia run low on grain again?

You are correct that an average may not correct reflect what is occurring around the globe.  However, your extremes are a little off.  Current temperature anomalies are resulting from warming winter temperatures, but little change in summer temperatures.  We are not  experiences more extremes.  Rather, we are seeing milder temperatures overall, which are resulting in an average increase.

Gray-Wolf

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Re: Near Term Human Extinction
« Reply #97 on: February 23, 2018, 07:27:35 PM »
There was a post , upthread, telling us not to worry as higher Lat's were only progged to see a 3 to 4c raise in temps? I think the person needs to revisit how 'averages' work?
As I witness it we are seeing 'extreme' lurches in temps from the lows of polar plunges to the highs of summer heat domes? Over the year the extremes might average out as zero but will have had a major impact across the area suffering those extremes?

Not that far north of the UK is Svalbard and they have seen another winter of extreme temp excursions and I have to ask myself what the UK would think if they were happening here on a regular basis? To see a february day in the 70f's might wake folk up to how altered the planet is becoming? Sadly the recent SSW is set to plunge temps below freezing for a week so we will be fighting the 'where's the global warming eh?' tirade.....
Last low solar saw Russia bake in a summer long heatwave ( and wildfires ) , here we are again approaching solar min. Will we see a repeat? Will russia run low on grain again?

You are correct that an average may not correct reflect what is occurring around the globe.  However, your extremes are a little off.  Current temperature anomalies are resulting from warming winter temperatures, but little change in summer temperatures.  We are not  experiences more extremes.  Rather, we are seeing milder temperatures overall, which are resulting in an average increase.
I understand where our 'gains' are being experienced ( winter and nightimes) but we are also seeing extremes in local climate ( like Capetown and its water issues?) where 'unusually persistent' patterns bring extremes be it drought /rainfall or hot/cold.
It does not take long to see a crop in the fields ruined if conditions become overly hostile?
If we continue to intensification in extremes then we will run into major issues over the coming decades.
 
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Alexander555

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Re: Near Term Human Extinction
« Reply #98 on: February 23, 2018, 07:44:18 PM »
There was a post , upthread, telling us not to worry as higher Lat's were only progged to see a 3 to 4c raise in temps? I think the person needs to revisit how 'averages' work?
As I witness it we are seeing 'extreme' lurches in temps from the lows of polar plunges to the highs of summer heat domes? Over the year the extremes might average out as zero but will have had a major impact across the area suffering those extremes?

Not that far north of the UK is Svalbard and they have seen another winter of extreme temp excursions and I have to ask myself what the UK would think if they were happening here on a regular basis? To see a february day in the 70f's might wake folk up to how altered the planet is becoming? Sadly the recent SSW is set to plunge temps below freezing for a week so we will be fighting the 'where's the global warming eh?' tirade.....
Last low solar saw Russia bake in a summer long heatwave ( and wildfires ) , here we are again approaching solar min. Will we see a repeat? Will russia run low on grain again?

You are correct that an average may not correct reflect what is occurring around the globe.  However, your extremes are a little off.  Current temperature anomalies are resulting from warming winter temperatures, but little change in summer temperatures.  We are not  experiences more extremes.  Rather, we are seeing milder temperatures overall, which are resulting in an average increase.
I understand where our 'gains' are being experienced ( winter and nightimes) but we are also seeing extremes in local climate ( like Capetown and its water issues?) where 'unusually persistent' patterns bring extremes be it drought /rainfall or hot/cold.
It does not take long to see a crop in the fields ruined if conditions become overly hostile?
If we continue to intensification in extremes then we will run into major issues over the coming decades.

And on top of these extremes you have the extreme population growth in the last 40 years. So the same drought will have a much bigger impact. A flood 40 years ago had a much bigger chance not to have a big impact because there was nobody living. Today they are building everywhere, they cut the vegetation or forests that keeps the soil together, so in many places it's just waiting for a disaster. And if you look at the number of big hurricanes in the Atlantic. The number went up by 200 % in a little more than 100 years. And the cradle of these atlantic hurricanes is in posittion for big changes. Because the atlantic will have to face the consequences in the first place from the arctic sea ice that is melting. Maybe a good time to evacuate the people living in the caribean.

Archimid

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Re: Near Term Human Extinction
« Reply #99 on: February 23, 2018, 09:23:48 PM »
Quote
We are not  experiences more extremes.  Rather, we are seeing milder temperatures overall, which are resulting in an average increase.

So I gather you define extreme and mild according to how it feels to humans?  I would think that mild and extreme should be defined by the local climate effect of the increase, not how it feels to humans. In some places half a degree is enough to change precipitation patterns. In some places 2 degrees wouldnt even make a difference.

A good example is the regional changes in the Arctic. It is now close to 0 degrees in some places when it should be -30. According to your definition thats just a mild temperature and nothing to be concerned about. Yet, those "mild" temperatures are causing havoc in weather patterns all over the world.

I guess your big mistake is assuming that as temperatures rise, weather patterns will remain the same. It is not like  that at all.
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