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Move along,.. Move along now,.. Nothing to see here

11 Jan

Another reminder from Dave Roberts,  —   http://grist.org/author/david-roberts/

If you aren’t alarmed about climate, you aren’t paying attention

We know we’ve raised global average temperatures around 0.8 degrees C so far. We know that 2 degrees C is where most scientists predict catastrophic and irreversible impacts. And we know that we are currently on a trajectory that will push temperatures up 4 degrees or more by the end of the century.

What would 4 degrees look like?  World Bank review of the science reminds us. First, it’ll get hot:

Projections for a 4°C world show a dramatic increase in the intensity and frequency of high-temperature extremes. Recent extreme heat waves such as in Russia in 2010 are likely to become the new normal summer in a 4°C world. Tropical South America, central Africa, and all tropical islands in the Pacific are likely to regularly experience heat waves of unprecedented magnitude and duration. In this new high-temperature climate regime, the coolest months are likely to be substantially warmer than the warmest months at the end of the 20th century. In regions such as the Mediterranean, North Africa, the Middle East, and the Tibetan plateau, almost all summer months are likely to be warmer than the most extreme heat waves presently experienced. For example, the warmest July in the Mediterranean region could be 9°C warmer than today’s warmest July.

Extreme heat waves in recent years have had severe impacts, causing heat-related deaths, forest fires, and harvest losses. The impacts of the extreme heat waves projected for a 4°C world have not been evaluated, but they could be expected to vastly exceed the consequences experienced to date and potentially exceed the adaptive capacities of many societies and natural systems. [my emphasis]

Warming to 4 degrees would also lead to “an increase of about 150 percent in acidity of the ocean,” leading to levels of acidity “unparalleled in Earth’s history.” That’s bad news for, say, coral reefs:

The combination of thermally induced bleaching events, ocean acidification, and sea-level rise threatens large fractions of coral reefs even at 1.5°C global warming. The regional extinction of entire coral reef ecosystems, which could occur well before 4°C is reached, would have profound consequences for their dependent species and for the people who depend on them for food, income, tourism, and shoreline protection.

It will also “likely lead to a sea-level rise of 0.5 to 1 meter, and possibly more, by 2100, with several meters more to be realized in the coming centuries.” That rise won’t be spread evenly, even within regions and countries — regions close to the equator will see even higher seas.

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2 Comments

Posted by on January 11, 2013 in Economy, Environment, Health, Uncategorized

 

2 responses to “Move along,.. Move along now,.. Nothing to see here

  1. drugsandotherthings

    January 11, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    I find it interesting that the two, often coservative groups that are increasingly embracing the evidence of “global warming” are farmers and the insurance industry. Both of whom are looking beyond the yearly balance sheet at what the long term costs are going to be. And both industries that don’t have the luxury of adjusting their business models as much as banking, manufacturing, service industries, etc…

    And sadly, the evidence is that corporations across the spectrum are quietly internally discussing climate change to determine if the costs of inaction outweigh the costs of action…for them and their shareholders. Americans, and indeed the world, be damned.

    We have seen time, and time, and time again corporate interests refusing to act if it even marginally effects their bottom line , even when presented with incontrovertible evidence, until forced to by government regulation.

    And this may well be the big one. The one truly changes the world as we know it for the worse…And of course they know that by the time their failure is undeniable- they will be old and gray if not dead. There will be no one to hold accountable.

     
  2. h2dog

    January 11, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    Yes, …. well put.
    Unfortunately, too well put.
    Why it’s so hard to convince people that there are no take-backs on this, I’ll never……
    And it’s been more alarming lately. Given the fact that bad things seem to be progressing faster than originally predicted.
    Too little, too late……. and you’re all too correct about the greed. No tomorrow as far as they’re concerned. Only what I can have today.

     

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