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Messages - Lennart van der Linde

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Science / Re: 2019 Mauna Loa CO2 levels
« on: November 30, 2019, 05:18:43 PM »
Excellent reminder Lennart.

It is all too easy to forget that in focusing solely or excessively on CO2 alone that we neglect a couple of fundamental truths, 1) that all global warming gases count, 2) that man is producing a lot of global warming gases that nature either never did produce, or that it did not emit as much as man has.

This then leads to false equivalencies in paleohistorical comparisons. The argument that 3-5 million years ago CO2 levels were as high as now is just one such fallacy, and the implied or sometimes stated argument that things aren’t so bad, that nature has done this before and hence that we shouldn’t worry about it. Just keep on keeping on.

When all warming gases are included we get a much better comparison and a more shocking answer. 

We are already at warming gas levels likely not seen since the Oligocene over 24 million years ago at just about the time the Hominoids branch developed and 7-10 million years before the great apes (including man) developed. That is about 20 million years before the first bipedal upright apes walked the Earth.

In our brief few thousand years of technological evolution, and our flash-in-the-pan brief period of fossil fuel use, we have altered Earth’s climate system in ways not seen since tens of millions of years before the first hominid stood upright.

The climate will need just a moment to respond to this massive and shockingly sudden insult before it stabilizes. Before that can fully happen we must first stop emitting warming gases.

We are at the beginning of a highly unstable ultra-rapid human caused climatic shift.

We will soon be at warming gas levels not seen at any time in all of primate history. Our whole group of species is not guaranteed to be adapted to the climate we are creating. We certainly have had no similar pressures during primate development to push whatever adaptations might be required. Now, it may well be that we don’t need any such adaptations. That would seem to be a rather dicey gamble.

The new or even transient conditions may well involve pH homeostasis conditions that we are not adapted for and not suited to. Or, it may take us to oxygen concentrations (low and/or high) that we are not easily suited for. Or ....  an “interesting” gamble indeed.

Given sufficient time, our and other species would likely easily adapt. However, the rate of change we are triggering may be far faster than most species can adapt to, especially considering the complex web of dependencies between species, and the dependence on fairly uniform seasons from year to year that most rely upon.

Sam

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Thanks a lot ASLR for his tireless contribution.
"Let's take the science seriously and recognize the urgency that Lenton et al, ASLR and others describe and justly emphasize as a planetary emergency and existential threat. Downplaying this inconvenient truth may be a natural impulse, but has been done for too long and is nog helping us. Let's face reality and the risks it entails and do what we have to do to minimize those risks, while we still can."
As usual, very wise comment from Lennart.
And cross posting from Holocene Extinction this 'compelling' article:
Quote from: Aporia_filia on November 25, 2019, 08:01:50 PM
The chill of reality. UBC ecological economist William E. Rees, co-creator of the ecological footprint concept, has some bad news for techno-optimists.
 I find his views very realistic, as he wants to be:

https://stanford.us4.list-manage.com/track/click?u=88e1f9157b8a1070712b4dd12&id=54d87b4ae2&e=abc543e6fa
...
Compelling summary of our behavior and its consequences (thanks to Tor)

3
The Seneca effect
Quote
The Seneca effect, or Seneca cliff or Seneca collapse, is a mathematical model proposed by Ugo Bardi that addresses a class of problems in nature in which decline is faster than growth. This model is closely related to the work The Limits to Growth issued by the Club of Rome in the Seventies[1] and its main application is to describe various kind of economics given the condition of a shortage of fossil fuels, e.g. in relation to the Hubbert curve. However, unlike the Hubbert curve, the Seneca cliff shows asymmetry, which can take into account the delay of effects, such as pollution[2].

The term is named after the Roman philosopher and writer Seneca, who wrote Fortune is of sluggish growth, but ruin is rapid (Lucius Anneus Seneca, Letters to Lucilius, 91–63).

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

Ugo Bardi's blog.
https://cassandralegacy.blogspot.com/

4
Science / Re: Carbon Cycle
« on: July 09, 2019, 06:18:20 AM »
Characteristic disruptions of an excitable carbon cycle, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2019).
https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2019/07/02/1905164116

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Science / Re: 2019 Mauna Loa CO2 levels
« on: February 01, 2019, 06:01:48 PM »
A hopeful, uplifting paragraph should follow the one above. Something to inspire the vegan cyclists  growing kale in their kitchen window that have voted Green since James Hansen addressed Congress in 1988, but nothing hopeful or inspiring comes to mind. :-\
Terry

La lutte elle-même vers les sommets suffit à remplir un coeur d'homme. Il faut imaginer Sisyphe heureux.
Albert Camus, Le Mythe de Sisyphe, 1942

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