Long term climate change

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DougA

Minister of Fire
Dec 13, 2012
1,938
S. ON
Interesting article in the Washington Post today on how no one has been discussing the long term- many hundreds of years - of climate change scenarios. It's scary enough that we will see ocean heights rise by 2100, but the rate is predicted to accelerate for hundreds of years after that unless mankind invents ways of removing greenhouse gases. Pretty scary stuff.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news...years-according-to-scientists/?wpisrc=nl_draw

On a separate note, I was amused that a leading Canadian scientist is wanting former Canadian PM Harper criminally charged for doing NOTHING in his many years as leader of Canada. Won't happen but even the idea of saying this is amazing. To think that elected politicians might be held accountable for their actions!!!

OOPS typo on title can't be edited. Should have been Long Term. Can someone edit for me please?
 

Where2

Feeling the Heat
Feb 3, 2013
364
South Florida
If it is concerning in Ontario, you should try living on a tidal water body roughly 8 feet above mean sea level. I've lived on this same canal my entire life, and I can tell you low tide isn't as low as it used to be.
 

iamlucky13

Minister of Fire
Jan 27, 2015
652
Western Washington
Which Canadian law is he accusing Harper of violating?

As for the Washington Post article, it calls to my mind the computer adage "garbage in - garbage out." In climate forecasting, like any other attempt to analyze a problem by computer, appropriate model design and starting assumptions are absolutely critical to getting a realistic answer.

Given that the scientific consensus has largely coalesced around the IPCC climate forecasts, I have to really wonder what Clark et al, as referenced by the Washington Post, are feeding their computers to get them to produce numbers that conflict so significantly with the consensus.

He claims a worst case scenario of 170 feet of sea level rise or a medium-emissions scenario of 82 feet after 10,000 years.

The IPCC's main long term forecast is for 400 years, but they also have an equilibrium forecast for extremely long time periods, on page 1190 below. The equilibrium plot is on the bottom left. It only goes up to 4.5 degrees C temperature rise because the bulk of their effort focuses on scenarios below 3,000 gigatons of carbon (over 5 times everything we've emitted over the last 250 years, and arguably beyond the range of credible emissions). Those predictions put the most likely warming scenarios between 1.5 and 4.5 degrees C. Higher temperatures (or lower) are considered much less likely, although not completely out of the question.
https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/wg1/WG1AR5_Chapter13_FINAL.pdf

Extrapolating the IPCC's predicted sea level trend to the Washington Post article's 7 deg. C temperature rise puts the ultra long term sea level rise at about 67 feet - falling over 100 feet short of Clark et al's forecast . For 2 deg. C, they predict about 36 feet - a less laughable 46 feet shy, but still less than half what Clark et al predict for the same scenario.
 
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woodgeek

Minister of Fire
Jan 27, 2008
4,454
SE PA
Good luck getting people worked up about things that will happen after 2100.

Or 2050 for that matter.
 
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DougA

Minister of Fire
Dec 13, 2012
1,938
S. ON
Good luck getting people worked up about things that will happen after 2100.

Or 2050 for that matter.
That's exactly the problem. By then it's too late. I won't miss Florida but I will miss most of the Caribbean.
 

woodgeek

Minister of Fire
Jan 27, 2008
4,454
SE PA
You should've seen this planet 100 years ago! A few centuries back would have blown your mind!

When the Europeans arrived in the New England, they found old growth forests, whose wood was so hard it broke their tools, and where the leaf litter was up to 10 ft deep in places, and there was no 'soil' per se. Turns out all the earthworms had been pushed out to sea by the glaciers in the last ice age. Their crops failed because they relied on honeybees for pollination and worms for aeration, and neither existed. They had a tough time of it until they accidentally introduced those invasive species, and they got a toehold. The Native Americans were familiar with the native bees, and (so the story goes) when they saw the european honeybee arrive in a given area, figured the european humans would not be far behind.

I believe if the people in 2100 want a lower ocean level, they will find a way. The bigger issue is if they will know what they are missing. We don't miss the bottom of the Black Sea, or the amazingly fertile lands between the Tigris and Euphrates.

The planet will still be here after the people are done with it. I just hope that a good number of other species make it through too.
 
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ihookem

Minister of Fire
Jan 25, 2009
675
Allenton, Wisconsin
It was 10 yrs ago yesterday Al Gore claimed in 10 yrs life will end as we know it. New York city would be flooded out , so far , nothing, not even an inch or two . About 12 yrs ago he predicted massive hurricanes and since Katrina, very little. That is the short forecast of climate change. The long range climate change forecast is impossible to forecast. They can't even forecast 10 yrs. Again, the climate is changing since day one as far as we can tell. Scientists tell us we had glaciers covering Wisconsin that were 1 mile thick of ice. I have not seen any in my 53 yrs , so I guess they are gone. There was a time there had to be water covering Wisconsin, I found some seas shells of some sort in the Kettle Moraine State Forest @ about 1,200 ft above sea levee, on the top of a big hill. A flood maybe a long time ago? Book Of Genesis? So, the climate changes every thousand yrs or so. Lets all just all enjoy life and stop worrying about something that very well might never happen. Not so sure I believe much of what a new paper has to say anyway. And doesn't it take the cutting down of trees , big semis , chainsaws, paper mills, and huge amounts of fuel and electricity to make newspapers just for most of it to end on top of some hill just outside of town a few days later? If they want to remove greenhouse gasses to save the planet, let them start with themselves.
 
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Circus

Feeling the Heat
Jan 11, 2013
292
EC Wisconsin
Up to now the earth was to big to screw up. Now it only takes a few, protecting their short term profits, to doom our future. We know how to avoid global warming, improve standard of living and live longer. It's just not profitable for the few with all the power, control and wealth. Easter Island
 
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semipro

Minister of Fire
Jan 12, 2009
4,106
SW Virginia
George Carlin has always been funny and insightful...but funny doesn't make you right.
Anyone that doesn't believe we can have a big impact on the earth only has to look around a bit. Every time I fly I'm amazed by our impact on the land's surface.
Proof of man's global impact and a genuine threat to life on earth -- look no further than the ozone layer. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/05/100505-science-environment-ozone-hole-25-years/
All those that think we are having an adverse impact on the planet -- I guess we could ultimately be wrong.
That said, I'd much rather be in the camp that cares and is selfless enough to try and act to improve things; many times at disadvantage to myself and family; and yes, with the greater good in mind.
For example recycling; I don't see how I possibly benefit directly from the time and effort I spend doing that? Quite the opposite actually. But I see respective benefits to future earth, and yes, humans.
It would be so much easier to sit back, do as I please, and lie to myself saying "it doesn't matter anyway".
 

semipro

Minister of Fire
Jan 12, 2009
4,106
SW Virginia
we are lucky to be in one of the warm one
As snowflakes were swirling around my head this morning I was thinking the same. Imagine that year-round....
 

woodgeek

Minister of Fire
Jan 27, 2008
4,454
SE PA
It was 10 yrs ago yesterday Al Gore claimed in 10 yrs life will end as we know it. New York city would be flooded out , so far , nothing, not even an inch or two . About 12 yrs ago he predicted massive hurricanes and since Katrina, very little. That is the short forecast of climate change. The long range climate change forecast is impossible to forecast. They can't even forecast 10 yrs. Again, the climate is changing since day one as far as we can tell. Scientists tell us we had glaciers covering Wisconsin that were 1 mile thick of ice. I have not seen any in my 53 yrs , so I guess they are gone. There was a time there had to be water covering Wisconsin, I found some seas shells of some sort in the Kettle Moraine State Forest @ about 1,200 ft above sea levee, on the top of a big hill. A flood maybe a long time ago? Book Of Genesis? So, the climate changes every thousand yrs or so. Lets all just all enjoy life and stop worrying about something that very well might never happen. Not so sure I believe much of what a new paper has to say anyway. And doesn't it take the cutting down of trees , big semis , chainsaws, paper mills, and huge amounts of fuel and electricity to make newspapers just for most of it to end on top of some hill just outside of town a few days later? If they want to remove greenhouse gasses to save the planet, let them start with themselves.

Geologists are a lot of fun to hike with....they can read the land like we read a book. It was really the birth of geology that convinced folks that the earth was unimaginably ancient, and all the evidence has been sitting out there for us to see. In the modern age we can directly measure the rate of continental drift and the rate at which the land is rising and falling, and sure enough if the measurements imply that Wisconsin was an inland sea millions of years ago, you go and look and find seashells there.

Climate does naturally change, like the ice ages, etc and over longer periods the output of the sun keeps ramping up. These are actually all very well understood processes....the center of the sun holds no mysteries. The ice cores in Greenland and Antartica tell us the climate record for close to a million years, and the complex cycles follow the well known cycles of the earths orbit and axis. No mysteries there either.

All that said, the CO2 pulse we are putting into the atmosphere over the last century stands out as a genuinely major event in the long history of the earth, changing the chemistry of the ocean and the temperature of the earth at a much faster pace than has happened before. Ecosystems that haven't been leveled for human land use are having a hard time adapting.

Is it too late to avoid the most dire outcomes? Not at all. But we DO need to make a few changes to our energy and transportation systems to keep a world that we would recognize, and have a couple decades to do them. It appears that the changes will make us healthier and save us money, so why not? :cool:
 

ihookem

Minister of Fire
Jan 25, 2009
675
Allenton, Wisconsin
Woodgeek, said " Why not?" Not that I dont recycle, I dont want to dig up land to make steel when we are throwing it out at the same time. Just dont believe we are warming the earth . For thousands of years there were surely prairie fires that sweep huge areas of land , had volcanos ETC. Noone knows how much carbon went in the air. I am more and more pessimist about climate change cause I NEVER see politicians cut back on their carbon footprint, EVER! Look at the carbon footprint ( not that I believe in that neither) was used for the summit in France. They want to scale back??? Why not a big screen conference call? Al Gore predicts oceans rising and he buys ocean front property in California! Surely they dont believe what they preach. When they practice what they preach , I will know they believe what they preach, still, I won't believe in climate change made by man. Politicians blame man so they can .. . . . . . . .. .. wait for it. . . . . . tax man! What will they do with the extra income? Wontbe used for what they say it will be used for , that is a simple fact. They just want to tax us. They even wanted to tax cow farts for a while. Also, the sea level has not been rising. Why, cause it isn't going to , that is why. OH BUT IT IS GOING TO START SO WE NEED TO TAX SOMETHING! Yah right.. I
I Dont buy into it. We burn carbon for electricity and fuel. It is carbon. You can't get rid of it. There is a finite amount on tis earth. It recycles itself and has been since day one. We burn fuel, it comes back to the earth not a pollution but ferterlzer! Imagine that, earth taking care of itself! It goes in the ground, it turns to oil and gas , we burn it again. And, it does not take a million yrs to make crude oil I can make oil in 2 hours. Just imagine our fireboxes in our wood stoves. It is a mini earth. It is heat, moisture and carbon. Take a hot fire , throw some green wood in it and you will have creosote dripping. Everyone here knows that. The earth is no different at all. Burn the wood, smoke comes back as fertilizer right inside the rain. WOW, imagine that. It makes trees grow, grass too. Then it dies to become carbon all over again weather we burn it or let it rot. Makes no difference to mother nature . It is carbon, finite and we can't live without it. Period.
 

woodgeek

Minister of Fire
Jan 27, 2008
4,454
SE PA
People do know how much CO2 was in the air during prehistory because they can measure it in ice cores directly. And you're right...most CO2 in the biosphere does get recycled, but not all of it. We are digging up and burning many millions of years of sequestered carbon, and dumping it into the system faster than it can be recycled. So it is accumulating....the CO2 concentration in the air over the last million years looks like a hockey stick.

As for the rest....you can go read it yourself on the internet. The volcano thing? We put more CO2 into the atmosphere in a week, every week, than Mt St Helens did when it erupted. There is simple math to go with all of this, no guessing required, just math and measurements.

In our democracy you are free to vote as you wish for any policy you like, including more carbon emissions. But the scientific facts are what they are. Sorry.
 
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iamlucky13

Minister of Fire
Jan 27, 2015
652
Western Washington
That is the short forecast of climate change. The long range climate change forecast is impossible to forecast. They can't even forecast 10 yrs.

No, that i not the (singular, as in one-and-only) short forecast. That is Al Gore's forecast. Al Gore is irrelevant. Regardless of whether you think our climate is following entirely natural patterns or that the worst scientific forecasts are true, you can safely ignore everything Al Gore says, and miss nothing.

All the reputable climate scientists have 10 year forecasts that look basically like today, and I've yet to encounter any who actually bother to discuss what their models predict over time frames as short as 10 years. 10 years is only 2-3 cycles of common patterns like El Nino. There's no statistically reliable way to tease a trend out of data as noisy as global average temperatures over such short timelines, which is why the bulk of the discussion focuses on the past 150 years and the next 100 years, or longer, and only occasionally discusses time frames as short as 30 years.

Now it only takes a few, protecting their short term profits, to doom our future.

You can't claim to be on the side of the scientific consensus if you're talking about dooming our future. There is no credible forecast from the IPCC or anybody else that is consistent with human extinction. The actual consensus predictions are increases in global average temperatures (mostly in the range of of 2-5 degrees C or 3.6 to 9 F), decrease in global ice coverage, increase in sea levels of a few feet over the next hundred years (IPCC year 2100 - high emissions scenario, high end estimate: 3.2 feet; moderate emissions scenario, middle estimate: 1.7 feet) and probably more over longer terms, and increased atmospheric circulation resulting in more frequent storms and changes in precipitation patterns with some areas getting more rain and some areas getting less.

The sum of these would potentially be expensive to deal with (relocating low-lying coastal communities, mitigating storm damage, reduced crop yields in areas that might see reduced rainfall) and could have some human health effects (storm-related deaths and injuries, increased heat-related health conditions), but none of these threaten the human race as a whole. The predictions are only for worsening of problems we already deal with on a regular basis. Some plant and wildlife does not have the technological ability to cope with these sorts of changes the way we can and so a higher rate of extinctions in the plant and animal kingdom is also expected.
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
6,814
Northern NH
There is politically inconvenient theory that interglacial warm periods typically last a certain period of time over a fairly long geological period. The current interglacial period is already well over the average. It doesn't line up with global warming theory so its conveniently ignored. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quaternary_glaciation
 
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Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,730
Philadelphia
People do know how much CO2 was in the air during prehistory because they can measure it in ice cores directly...
Yes, you can directly measure potential contributors to an assumed problem, it's their net long-term effect that's debatable. Similarly, I can measure exactly how much radiation to which you're exposed, but good luck in ever getting the doctors to agree on the effects of this radiation.
 

woodgeek

Minister of Fire
Jan 27, 2008
4,454
SE PA
Not equivalent.
The correlation between CO2 and climate is well understood and not statistical by nature. The correlation between radiation and outcomes like cancer is not well understood (in its details) and is statistical by nature.
 
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Circus

Feeling the Heat
Jan 11, 2013
292
EC Wisconsin
There is no credible forecast from the IPCC or anybody else that is consistent with human extinction. ),
Extinction no, just most. There are tipping points where global warming becomes irreversible and unpredictable. When the oceans warm enough to lose methane hydrate and the methane from rotting melted permafrost. Meanwhile the oceans become acidic from absorbing all that CO2.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
91,384
South Puget Sound, WA
Anything that survives will be on the lean and hungry side unless eating cockroaches is appealing.
 

woodgeek

Minister of Fire
Jan 27, 2008
4,454
SE PA
The interesting thing re extinction is that some species will be winners and others will be losers.

The locations that currently have forests might in 100 years only support grasslands. Locations in the future that might support traditional forests might be tundra or bog now. Trees that can rapidly colonize tundra areas with marginal or little topsoil will boom, and the small subset of animal species that are highly adaptable will fill niches in those new forests. Highly mobile animals like birds and sea mammals (if at least somewhat adaptable) might change their migratory routes and summer/winter habitats and continue to thrive.

Conversely:
The rich ecosystems with many species linked together with many local subspecies variety packed into a small area: that diversity will get wiped out. New terrestrial habitats will get rapidly colonized by a small number of pioneer species, resulting in a working ecosystems with an order of magnitude less species diversity. This is what mass extinction looks like: not a rain forest being replaced with a desert with all the animals gone, but a diverse (amazonian) rainforest replaced by a second or third growth New England forest with only 10-20% of the number of species of animals and plants compared to the original rainforest.

In the seas, coral reefs will either get wiped out completely (by acidification or local pollution from nearby cities) or need to move to new areas. Many of those diverse species will be lost, even if new reefs develop elsewhere, not unlike the forest examples. Disruption equals loss of diversity.

Current arctic locations are are bog/muskeg are particularly problematic. The 'natural' solution (that the earth prob used during past climate cycles) was to dry the bog out and then burn it off completely, as a non-trivial positive climate feedback. Will these habitats (that cover millions of undeveloped square miles in Canada) be able to turn into temperate forest or grasslands without burning off the peat?

Will humans endeavor to bury the peat to avoid a future burnoff scenario? I dunno.
Will humans help rebuild reefs and move species to them...they already are.
Will humans help build more diverse forest ecosystems by selecting and moving pioneer species? Probably.
Will the effect be to save 20% of species in the Anthropocene, versus 10% if no action was taken...sure. And certainly worthwhile. But we need to know where it ends...as in the final climate state, as opposed to the moving target we have now with sky-high emissions with no end in sight.
 

Jags

Moderate Moderator
Staff member
Aug 2, 2006
18,310
Northern IL
I want to know who gets to decide what the "Proper" temp is supposed to be. I need to talk to that person cuz I am kinda liking the mild winter. Can you imagine a Jack Russell the size of a horse? That would be AWESOME.
 
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