biodiversity plummets!

I recently attended the Ecological Society of America’s annual meeting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where the theme was global warming. Eminent ecologists presented models that projected climate change into a bleak future where species that require unique habitat may be unable to persist.

According to conservation biologist Paul Ehrlich, with an extinction rate 200 times normal expected to continue apace, 20 years from now biodiversity will plummet. And 50 years from now—well within our children’s lifespans—life as we know it on our blue-green planet will be immeasurably transformed.

Island Press, 10 Sep 2010

global society collapses!

A scientific model has suggested that society will collapse in less than three decades due to catastrophic food shortages if policies do not change.

The model, developed by a team at Anglia Ruskin University’s Global Sustainability Institute, does not account for society reacting to escalating crises by changing global behaviour and policies.

However the model does show that our current way of life appears to be unsustainable and could have dramatic worldwide consequences.

Dr Aled Jones, the Director of the Global Sustainability Institute, told Insurge Intelligence: “The results show that based on plausible climate trends, and a total failure to change course, the global food supply system would face catastrophic losses, and an unprecedented epidemic of food riots.”

“In this scenario, global society essentially collapses as food production falls permanently short of consumption.”

The Independent, 22 Jun 2015

change you can believe in!

That doesn’t mean climate change won’t affect tropical forests of today. It already is. And it definitely doesn’t mean humans needn’t worry about global warming.

Climate change will be the end of the world as we know it. But it also will be the beginning of another.

Mass extinctions will open ecological niches, and environmental changes will create new ones. New creatures will evolve to fill them, guided by unforeseen selection pressures.

What this new world will look like, exactly, is impossible to predict, and humans aren’t guaranteed to survive in it. (And that’s if civilization somehow manages to survive the climate disasters coming its way in the meantime, from superstorms to sea level rise to agriculture-destroying droughts).

MotherJones, 8 Sep 2015

look out for falling buildings!

Tall buildings are engineered to survive SOME predictable historical weather conditions, (like 150 mph winds), but they can NOT endure the extreme never-before conditions that are becoming increasingly probably as a result of man-made climate change Pendulum-Swing Climate Change Chaos.

There has been a large upswing in the frequency of Atlantic hurricanes, beginning in 1995. This corresponds directly to an increase in tropical North Atlantic Ocean surface water temperature, which is very-likely the Earth’s natural response to increasing man-made (anthropogenic) greenhouse gases, overpopulation, urbanization, deforestation, methane release, and huge megacity urban heat islands.

(Only 11% of all powerful tropical storms occur in the Atlantic, the rest are in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.)  The number of worldwide tropical-storm hurricanes, typhoons, and cyclones has remained about the same over time, (at roughly 90 per year), BUT man-made Global Warming has caused the energy released by the average tropical storm to increase about 70% in the past three decades, corresponding to approximately a 15% increase in the maximum wind speed, and a 60% increase in storm duration – doing far-more damage over much-larger areas than most of the smaller tropical storms of only 30-years ago.

If this increasing storm intensity trend continues to get worse (as NASA scientists predict it will do in the 21ST Century), the worst-case engineering design specifications of almost all tall megacity buildings may be far exceeded. Emerald Eco City, 2010

(c) Can Stock Photo

good weather for ducks?

Wild weather caused by climate change will hit Sydney’s poor, elderly and least-educated hardest, according to a new study mapping the city’s most vulnerable coastal regions.

Dr Benjamin Preston, a scientist with the CSIRO’s Climate Adaptation National Research Flagship, said the study was the first of its kind in Sydney. It would help emphasise the influence socio-economic factors have in determining the severity of climate change impacts.

The consequences of climate change will be influenced just as much by demographic factors, economic factors and future decisions regarding risk management as by changes in the climate system itself, Dr Preston said.

Elderly people, particularly those in units, were at an increased risk of death during heat waves, the study found. About 176 elderly people die from heat-related causes in Sydney each year. A report cited in the study predicted this could grow to more than 1000 deaths by the end of the century.

Sydney Morning Herald, 29 Apr 2008

danger point passed

Environmentalists say scientific findings that greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have already reached dangerous levels reinforce the urgency of cutting emissions.

Scientist and Australian of the Year Tim Flannery said an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report to be adopted next month shows the world passed a danger point in 2005, a decade earlier than expected.

“The longer we stay above the levels we’re at at the moment, the more likely it is that we would start to see the loss of the Great Barrier Reef, you would actually start to see the collapse of the great ice sheets and places iike the Amazon starting to burn down,” the policy direct of the Independent Climate Institute said.

“It’s going to require countries like Autralia to reverse our emissions within five years and head towards 80 to 90 per cent reductions by 2050,” he said.

Illawarra Mercury (Australia), 10 Oct 2007 – screen copy held by this website

swept along by inertia

We have already entered an era of dangerous climate change. We now know that the dynamics and inertia of our social and economic systems, if left unchecked or inadequately addressed, will sweep us on to ever more dangerous change and then, within a decade, to the start of an era of simply catastrophic climate change where humans wil lose all control over what happens and most of the globe becomes unliveable. (extract from Climate Code Red published by Friends of the Earth)

The Age (Australia), 6 Dec 2007 – screencopy held by this website

London calling

Britain could be one high rise city by the end of the century due to the number of migrants who will move here because their own countries have become too hot, scientists have predicted.

If the world warms by an average of 4 degrees Celsius in the next 100 years, the worse case scenario suggested in certain climate change models, it is expected many areas in the south of the world will become too dry to support human life.

The nation is already a large city and it will become even larger, with that will come the need to support people. We do not want starving refugees – that will be worse – so we have to spend a lot of money on infrastructure, said James Lovelock.

His comments were supported by a number of scientists writing in the New Scientist, some of whom said the human race may not even survive the increase in temperatures.

The Telegraph, 26 Feb 2009

fire and ice

Tropical forests may dry out and become vulnerable to devastating wildfires as global warming accelerates over the coming decades, a senior scientist has warned.

Soaring greenhouse gas emissions, driven by a surge in coal use in countries such as China and India, are threatening temperature rises that will turn damp and humid forests into parched tinderboxes, said Dr Chris Field, co-chair of the UN’s Nobel prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Higher temperatures could see wildfires raging through the tropics and a large scale melting of the Arctic tundra, releasing billions of tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere that will accelerate warming even further, he said.

The Guardian, 16 Feb 2009

more plagues

Climatic changes could lead to more outbreaks of bubonic plague among human populations, a study suggests.

Researchers found that the bacterium that caused the deadly disease became more widespread following warmer springs and wetter summers. The study appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Writing in the paper, co-author Nils Stenseth from the University of Oslo said: “The desert regions of Central Asia are known to contain natural foci of plague where the great gerbil (Rhombomys opimus) is the primary host.”

BBC News, 22 Aug 2006

unprecedented sequence

What is clear, the scientists say, is that the floods in Pakistan – and the fires in Russia, the mudslides in China, the droughts in sub-Saharan Africa – are enunciations of scenarios climate forecasters have long predicted.

The “unprecedented sequence of extreme weather” over the past month matches climate projections, says the WMO. This is what global warming looks like, say climate experts at NASA. For years the warnings have been laid out in the scientific journals and in sober economic analyses. Global warming would super-saturate monsoons, extend droughts, breathe fury into wildfires and frenzy into hurricanes and cyclones.

Climate change raises fundamental questions of human security, survival and the stability of nation states, security expert Professor Alan Dupont argues. It will contribute to destabilising, unregulated population movements through Asia and the Pacific – mostly within borders, but the ripple effects will spill beyond them.

Sydney Morning Herald, 21 Aug 2010

And what do we do now?

Our world is about to change dramatically. We have already “locked in” global average warming of at least 2 degrees, which will have major impacts on food, water and global security.

Catastrophic outcomes – including economic, social, and ecological collapses – are likely even if, as Gilding expects, we manage to engineer a global emergency response. A world where half of all species becomes extinct is likely if an additional 2 billion people try to live like those in the most developed countries.

With planetary capacity already starkly breached, what happens then? And what do we do now?

The Age, 28 May 2011

more frequent and severe

This is the world we have changed, and we have to live in it – the world that caused the 2003 heatwave in Europe that killed more than 50,000 people and the 2011 drought in Texas that caused more than $5 billion in damage. Such events, our data shows, will become even more frequent and more severe said James Hansen, director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

The Age, 7 Aug 2012 – screencopy held by this website

the crust beneath our feet

Reports by international groups of researchers – to be presented at a London conference next week – will show that climate change, caused by rising outputs of carbon dioxide from vehicles, factories and power stations, will not only affect the atmosphere and the sea but will alter the geology of the Earth.

Melting glaciers will set off avalanches, floods and mud flows in the Alps and other mountain ranges; torrential rainfall in the UK is likely to cause widespread erosion; while disappearing Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets threaten to let loose underwater landslides, triggering tsunamis that could even strike the seas around Britain.

“Not only are the oceans and atmosphere conspiring against us, bringing baking temperatures, more powerful storms and floods, but the crust beneath our feet seems likely to join in too,” said Professor Bill McGuire, director of the Benfield Hazard Research Centre, at University College London (UCL).

The Guardian, 6 Sep 2009

plagues

Climatic changes could lead to more outbreaks of bubonic plague among human populations, a study suggests.

Researchers found that the bacterium that caused the deadly disease became more widespread following warmer springs and wetter summers. The study appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Writing in the paper, co-author Nils Stenseth from the University of Oslo said: “The desert regions of Central Asia are known to contain natural foci of plague where the great gerbil (Rhombomys opimus) is the primary host.”

BBC News, 22 Aug 2006

disappearing beach

Bondi beach will shrink to a thin ribbon of sand and extreme storm surges would reach the top of its concrete sea wall, research commissioned by the local council shows.

The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, released on Friday, found the sea level would rise and could be expected to be up to 80 centimetres higher by the end of the century.

In the case of an 80-centimetre rise in sea levels, high tides would regularly flood parts of many Sydney suburbs that are close to water, including sections of Annandale, Mosman, Marrickville, Brighton-le-Sands, Sylvania Waters, Five Dock and Narrabeen.

Rob Brander, a senior lecturer at the University of NSW specialising in coastal geomorphology, said Sydney’s coastal regions faced significant impacts from rising sea levels.

“If a beach shifts landward, it hasn’t got many places to go,” Dr Brander said. “Beaches will get narrower and low-lying coastal properties will face damage.”Sydney Morning Herald, 29 Sep 2013

team’s target

A team of scientists from Australia and New Zealand is warning that unless global warming can be capped at a rise of 2 degrees or less, the Antarctic Ice Shelves will collapse. They say that could add another 40cm to sea level rises by the end of the century, instead of the 5cm that has been previously forecast.

If we don’t hit that two degree target, then actually we’ve committed to several metres of sea level rise over the next few centuries, and thousands of years after that said Dr Chris Fogwill from the University of New South Wales’ Climate Change Research Centre.

ABC News (Australia), 15 Oct 2015

grim outlook

Climate change is the latest threat to the world’s growing HIV epidemic, say Australian experts who warn of the “grim” outlook in the fight against the infectious disease.

Prominent HIV scientist Professor David Cooper, director of the National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research, agreed environmental change would have a negative impact on HIV sufferers.

Climate change will lead to food scarcity and poorer nutrition, putting people with perilous immune systems at more risk of dying of HIV, as well as contracting and transmitting new and unusual infections, Prof Cooper said.

The Age (Australia), 29/4/2008

poisoned chalice

“Global energy, food and water security are also poised on a knife edge…Australian leaders glibly talk about adapting to a 4-degree world with little idea of what it means – which is a world of 1 billion people rather than the present 7 billion…The damage caused by this culture threatens the very foundations of democratic society…Adversarial politics and corporate myopia are incapable of addressing life-threatening climate change.”

“The community must go around these barriers and demand leaders take urgent action before the poisoned chalice we pass to our grandchildren becomes even more toxic.” Ian Dunlop chaired the Australian Greenhouse Office Experts Group on Emissions Trading 1998-2000.

Sydney Morning Herald, 22 Sep 2012

water supply

Sydney’s water supply could be at risk from a growing threat of more intense and frequent bushfires brought on by extended drought and climate change, experts say.

Hotter and drier conditions related to a build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere could lead to exceptionally intense bushfires, the head of the Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute, John Merson, said last week.

They might threaten the ability of eucalypt forests in the mountains to recover, he told a climate change conference in Sydney. That could lead to erosion, silting of rivers and dams, and less water trickling through to aquifers in the catchment for Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong.

If we got into another bad bushfire year this year the ability of the forests to recover would be seriously compromised, Dr Merson said.

Sydney Morning Herald, 19 Sep 2005

country vs city

More rural Australians will suffer mosquito-borne diseases and food poisoning as climate change causes temperatures to rise, an academic warns.

Professor Kevin Parton, from Charles Sturt University in Orange, NSW, said rural Australians will be harder hit by climate change than their metropolitan counterparts, as health services are more difficult to access in the country.

As vectors that support and carry diseases, such as air, water and organic movement, shift in response to climate change, so too will health problems, he said.

We could see both a worsening of existing diseases as well as the spread of diseases usually associated with warmer regions, such as Ross River and Barmah Forest viral infections, move to more temperate climates.

The Age (Australia), 15 Jan 2008

coral reefs utterly destroyed

Unless we change the way we live, the Earth’s coral reefs will be utterly destroyed within our children’s lifetimes, says marine scientist JEN Veron.
Ponder these facts: The atmospheric levels of CO2 we are already committed to reach, no matter what mitigation is now implemented, have no equal over the entire longevity of the Great Barrier Reef, perhaps 25 million years. And most significantly, the rate of CO2 increase we are now experiencing has no precedent in all known geological history.

The Guardian, 7 Dec 2010 – screen copy held by this website

thanks to mervyn

rewriting history

The Black Death struck Europe in 1347, killing 30-50% of the European population in six violent years. These outbreaks were traditionally thought to be caused by rodent reservoirs of infected rats lurking in Europe’s cities, or potentially by rodent reservoirs in the wilderness.

But our research, published in the journal PNAS, suggests otherwise. We found that Europe’s plague outbreaks were indeed associated with climate fluctuations – but in Asia.

Using tree-ring based climate records from Europe and Asia, we showed that plague reintroductions into European harbours were associated with periods of wet conditions, followed by a drought, across large parts of Central Asia.

The Conversation, 24 February 2015

heat turned up!

The number of elderly Melburnians dying due to extreme heat is expected to rise dramatically as climate change takes hold this century, research suggests.

Nicole Joffe from consultants Net Balance found the number of days with an average temperature above 30 degrees would double by mid-century – from two to at least four a year – even if governments acted to cut greenhouse emissions. Failure to tackle climate change would trigger a steeper rise.

Sydney Morning Herald, 26 Mar 2007

water shortages

Global warming could bring water shortages to one in six people around the world, scientists have warned. Because higher temperatures would bring less snow and more rain, the ice would soon run out, bringing water shortages. They warn that even developed countries like America could be affected by droughts within 20 years. BBC News, 17 Nov 2005

reserve shed

Scientists are beginning to shed their usual reserve in the face of ever-more alarming evidence.

If either the Greenland or the West Antarctic ice sheet were to melt, hundreds of millions of coastal residents would be displaced—effects a thousand times the scale of the New Orleans evacuations.

In the Shanghai metropolitan area alone, 40 million people could lose their homes. Large sections of Florida’s peninsula would simply disappear.

countercurrents.org, 25 Jul 2007 – screen copy held by this website

scared witless!

The next United Nations climate report will “scare the wits out of everyone” and should provide the impetus needed for the world to finally sign an agreement to tackle global warming, the former head of the UN negotiations said.

Yvo de Boer, the UN climate chief during the 2009 Copenhagen climate change talks, said his conversations with scientists working on the next report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change suggested the findings would be shocking.

“That report is going to scare the wits out of everyone,” Mr de Boer said in the only scheduled interview of his visit to Australia. “I’m confident those scientific findings will create new political momentum.”

Sydney Morning Herald, 7 Nov 2012

life boat Britain

If the world warms by an average of 4 degrees Celsius in the next 100 years, the worse case scenario suggested in certain climate change models, it is expected many areas in the south of the world will become too dry to support human life.

James Lovelock, who developed the “Gaia” theory which sees the Earth as a self-regulating “superorganism”, said people from these countries will come to countries like Britain as “climate change refugees”.

He said infrastructure will have to be built to support the increase in population including more housing, hospitals and schools. Because we will be one of the life boat nations we should be preparing for a flood of people who will be refugees from climate change even from Europe, he said.

The Telegraph (UK), 26 Feb 2009

bankrupt world

The sixth largest insurance company has warned that damage to property due to global warming could bankrupt the world by 2065.

Dr. Andrew Dlugolecki, director of general insurance development at CGNU, a top five European life insurer and the United Kingdom’s largest insurance group, told delegates attending the international climate change summit in The Hague that the rate of damage caused by changing weather will exceed the world’s wealth. Sentienttimes.com dec-jan 2001 – screencopy held by this website

wait…there is good news!

We all know about the threat to the Great Barrier Reef from extreme climate change, but the Australian Conservation Foundation wants to ram home to Victorians that the effects of a hotter world will hit much closer to home, according to executive director Don Henry, and the report, Saving Australia’s Special Places

  • 1. Wine drinkers will see the regions that produce their favourite tipple, such as Victoria’s Yarra Valley, suffering from less water and more bushfire, weeds, pests and plant diseases. Australia’s grape-growing areas will decline by 44% by the middle of the century, and grape quality will nose-dive.
  • 2. Skiers will face the gradual disappearance of snow. By the end of the century, the winter sports industry, which employs 17,000 people and adds $1.3 billion to the economy, will have disappeared as the snow simply fails to fall.
  • 3. Beaches, near which Australians tend to cluster their housing, and on which we rely heavily for recreation, will suffer erosion and flooding.
  • 4. The report predicts that “$50 billion to 150 billion worth of houses, property, businesses, and public infrastructure are under threat from flooding due to sea level rises”.
  • 5. The Kakadu wetlands are in danger of inundation by salt water, with a 59-centimetre sea level rise to hit about 90% of the national park and up to 88% of species in the bush facing extinction.
  • 6. Increasingly fierce and frequent bushfires will sweep areas that were hitherto immune.
  • 7. The Murray Darling Basin, already suffering an extended drought and over-allocation of water licences, will lose 92% of its agricultural production by the end of the century.
  • 8. Under these nightmare scenarios, according to Mr Henry, the hundreds of thousands of tourism-related jobs, and $37 billion in exports from tourism could collapse, not to mention the damage to agriculture.

The good news, he says, is that the situation can be redeemed with strong global action, and Australia can, and should, lead the way.

The Age (Australia), 2 Nov 2008

another secret report!

A secret report, suppressed by US defence chiefs and obtained by The Observer, warns that major European cities will be sunk beneath rising seas as Britain is plunged into a ‘Siberian’ climate by 2020. Nuclear conflict, mega-droughts, famine and widespread rioting will erupt across the world.

The document predicts that abrupt climate change could bring the planet to the edge of anarchy as countries develop a nuclear threat to defend and secure dwindling food, water and energy supplies.

The threat to global stability vastly eclipses that of terrorism, say the few experts privy to its contents.

Climate change ‘should be elevated beyond a scientific debate to a US national security concern’, say the authors, Peter Schwartz, CIA consultant and former head of planning at Royal Dutch/Shell Group, and Doug Randall of the California-based Global Business Network.

The Guardian, 22/2/04

standing room only!

Antarctica is likely to be the world’s only habitable continent by the end of this century if global warming remains unchecked, the Government’s chief scientist, Professor Sir David King, said last week.

He said the Earth was entering the “first hot period” for 60 million years, when there was no ice on the planet and “the rest of the globe could not sustain human life”.

The warning – one of the starkest delivered by a top scientist – comes as ministers decide next week whether to weaken measures to cut the pollution that causes climate change, even though Tony Blair last week described the situation as “very, very critical indeed.”

The Independent, 2 May 2004

not bad, but worse!

There is a lot wrong with our world. But it is not as bad as many people think. It is worse.

Global warming is slowly but relentlessly changing the face of the planet. We are only in the early stages of this process, but already carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has reached 375 parts per million, the highest level for at least half a million years.

Temperatures are projected to rise by up to 5.8 C this century, 10 times the increase of 0.6 C in the last century, and by 40% more than this in some northern land surface areas.

This means temperatures could rise by up to 8.1 C in some parts of the world.

The Guardian, 14 Feb 2003

moonscape coral reefs!

Food supplies will run short, tourism will be hit and coastal communities affected as the world’s coral reefs gradually decline under climate change, scientists say.

The reefs already were dying at an increasing rate because of global warming and acidification of the oceans, said researchers meeting this week at the International Coral Research Symposium (ICRS) in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Chair of the climate change session, Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg (Ove Hoegh-Guldberg) of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies in Townsville, said there was evidence that all coral reefs were in trouble.

“This means we are likely to see more moonscape-like areas where reefs once used to be. This will be accompanied by a switch from the spectacularly colourful fish that people normally associate with reefs to much fewer and plainer ones. This will be accompanied by murkier, less productive waters as water quality suffers. Urgent action was needed to cap the use of oil, gas and coal contributing to global warming,” he said. “With no other solutions in front of us, then it would be foolhardy and unethical for us not to consider these urgent actions.”

The Age, 10 Jul 2008

“we’ll all be rooned!”

The sixth largest insurance company has warned that damage to property due to global warming could bankrupt the world by 2065.

Dr. Andrew Dlugolecki, director of general insurance development at CGNU, a top five European life insurer and the United Kingdom’s largest insurance group, told delegates attending the international climate change summit in The Hague that the rate of damage caused by changing weather will exceed the world’s wealth.

Dlugolecki said that the current rate of growth of damage of 10 percent a year will exceed Gross Domestic Product by 2065. He added that the insurance industry was in danger of “running out of money,” to deal with the disasters. Some scientists believe extreme weather events will become more frequent as the world warms.

Dlugolecki proposes a more radical approach to climate change than is being discussed at COP 6. The concept, known as contraction and convergence, has long been promoted by the London based group the Global Commons Institute (GCI) which describes itself as an independent group of people whose aim is the protection of the “Global Commons.”

It fears the world may be driven beyond the threshold of psychic ecological stability by the relentless pursuit of economic growth.

Psychic Sentient Times, 26 Sep 2013

epidemic!

Climate change is the latest threat to the world’s growing HIV epidemic, say Australian experts who warn of the “grim” outlook in the fight against the infectious disease.

A leading professor of health and human rights, Daniel Tarantola, has cautioned that global warming will indirectly make citizens of developing countries even more vulnerable to death and severe ill health from HIV/AIDS.

The Age (Australia), 29/4/08

not with a whimper but a ….

earth_explode
Consequences of global warming are far more serious than previously imagined. The REAL danger for our entire civilization comes not from slow climate changes, but from overheating of the planetary interior.

This article examines the possibility of overheating and the ”meltdown” of the solid planetary core due to the atmospheric pollution trapping progressively more solar heat (the so-called greenhouse effect) and reducing the cooling rate of the planetary interior.

The most serious consequence of such a ”meltdown” could be centrifugal segregation of unstable isotopes in the molten part of the spinning planetary core.

Such segregation can ”enrich” the nuclear fuel in the core to the point of creating conditions for a chain reaction and a gigantic atomic explosion. Will Earth become another ”asteroid belt” in the Solar system?

NUJournalofDiscovery,Vol3,May2001,NUjournal.net(c)NaturalUni,Chalko:’CanEarthexplode..?’-page1of9

last chance!

James Hansen told Congress on Monday that the world has long passed the “dangerous level” for greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and needs to get back to 1988 levels.

He said Earth’s atmosphere can only stay this loaded with man-made carbon dioxide for a couple more decades without changes such as mass extinction, ecosystem collapse and dramatic sea level rises.

We’re toast if we don’t get on a very different path, Hansen, director of the Goddard Institute of Space Sciences who is sometimes called the godfather of global warming science, told The Associated Press. “This is the last chance.”

USA Today, 23 Jun 2008

the end is nearly nigh!

sandwich_board_2Engineer and science writer David Auerbach is warning that several scientists have predicted the world as we know it will cease to be soon after the turn of the next century.

Mr Auerbach claims our civilisation could face the same fate of the inhabitants of Easter Island, who became extinct after ploughing through all the resources of their small natural habitat.

He says one of the biggest threats facing mankind is the growing problem of global warming and there is no way emission reductions will be enough to save us from our trend towards doom. At this point, lowering emissions is just half the story – the easy half.

The harder half will be an aggressive effort to find the technologies needed to reverse the climate apocalypse that has already begun.

Even if temperatures rise by less then 2C over the next 95 years, sea levels would rise by more than 1m, potentially displacing millions of people, Mr Auerbach added, but he believes the agreed targets cannot active that anyway.

If they do not come down at all an expected 5C rise would lead to famine, drought and extinction, he fears.

Express (UK), 24 Jun 2015

A dim theory

In the early 21st century, it’s become clear that air pollution can significantly reduce the amount of sunlight reaching Earth. Evidence of the previously unknown phenomenon of Global Dimming, one that scientists believe could dramatically alter global temperatures.

Climate scientists have discovered a phenomenon that threatens to disrupt our world. It may already have contributed to the deaths of hundreds of thousands through drought and famine. Unchecked, it will strike again.

The good news is that there is a cure. The bad news is that the cure may be worse than the disease.

If scientists are right, then we may be about to unleash a climate catastrophe on our planet the like of which it hasn’t experienced in its 4 billion years. These stark choices and about the dawning realization that all our predictions about the world’s climate may be wrong.

GeoEngineering Watch, 10 Jun 2013

truly catastrophic!

UN predictions of a rise in global temperatures would be a disaster for all life on earth, resulting in widespread extinction of many species, Australian of the Year Tim Flannery says.

The respected scientist said the UN’s prediction of a three degree Celsius temperature rise was conservative and in fact could be double that figure resulting in “truly catastrophic” conditions for all life on earth.

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) releases its report in Paris tonight, with its strongest warning yet that human activities are causing global warming that may bring more drought, heatwaves and rising seas.

Professor Flannery said the UN climate report’s predictions on the consequences of global warming are “middle of the road” but will still provide a useful benchmark for the world to tackle climate change.

Sydney Morning Herald, 2 Feb 2007

see also – just plain scary

Going, going ….

The entire ice mass of Greenland will disappear from the world map if temperatures rise by as little as 2C, with severe consequences for the rest of the world, a panel of scientists told Congress Tuesday.

Sometime in the next decade we may pass that tipping point which would put us warmer than temperatures that Greenland can survive, Richard Alley, a geosciences professor at Pennsylvania State University, told a briefing in Congress, adding that a rise in the range of 2C to 7C would mean the obliteration of Greenland’s ice sheet.

The fall-out would be felt thousands of miles away from the Arctic, unleashing a global sea level rise of 23ft (7 metres), Alley warned. Low-lying cities such as New Orleans would vanish.

“What is going on in the Arctic now is the biggest and fastest thing that nature has ever done,” he said.

CounterCurrents.org, 11 Aug 2010

see also – just plain scary

Urgent warning!

As the heat increases,our lakes and rivers will dry up to a great extent, and will contain hardly any water except during the rainy season, when they will be temporarily swelled to enormous proportions.

We shall have earthquakes of great size and strength, and hitherto peaceful mountains, finding that they re in tropical regions, will break out as volcanoes….

The heat will be so great that, except in the extreme northern and southern parts of the continent, the people of the United States will lose their energy and become as lazy and listless as are now the people of Panama.

They will spend their time lying in hammocks and will take little interest in politics, although from time to time they may arouse theselves sufficiently to indulge in a brief revolution after the present South American pattern.

New York Times, 19 Nov 1881 (warming caused by tilting of the Earth’s axis)

thanks to Mervyn

biggest challenge ever faced!

Britain’s chief scientist, Sir David King, said the report indicated “that if we don’t take global action … we will be faced with the kind of downturn that has not been seen since the Great Depression and the two world wars”.

“If you look at sea level rises alone, and the impact that will have on global economies where cities are becoming inundated by flooding … this will cause the displacement of hundreds of millions of people,” he said.

“In my view, this is the biggest challenge our global political system has ever been faced with. We’ve never been faced with a decision where collective decision-making is required by all major countries … around risks to their populations that are well outside the time period of any electoral process.”

The International Energy Agency predicts that $US15 trillion ($20 trillion) of investment in new energy sources will be required during the next 15 years. The massive investment program that’s ahead of us is an opportunity for us to move towards a zero carbon energy system.

“The investment process is going to act quite possibly in the opposite direction to an economic downturn,” Sir David said.

Sydney Morning Herald, 27 Oct 2006

extinction ahead!

The Earth is warming so rapidly that unless humans can arrest the trend, we risk becoming “extinct” as a species, a leading Australian health academic has warned.

Helen Berry, associate dean in the faculty of health at the University of Canberra, said while the Earth has been warmer and colder at different points in the planet’s history, the rate of change has never been as fast as it is today.

“What is remarkable, and alarming, is the speed of the change since the 1970s, when we started burning a lot of fossil fuels in a massive way,” she said. “We can’t possibly evolve to match this rate [of warming] and, unless we get control of it, it will mean our extinction eventually.”

Sydney Morning Herald, 31 Mar 2014

human civilisation threatened!

Zoe Rogers warns that, at this very moment, the fate of life on Earth hangs in the balance.

A member of Climate Action Newcastle, Ms Rogers said carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere was already too high at 387 parts per million and levels were increasing at an alarmong rate.

“According to eminent climate scientists such as NASA’s James Hansen, current business as usual greenhouse gas emissions would result in an increase of more than six degrees by 2100. Under this scenario, the damage to the planet would be irreversible, with the majority of species wiped out and human civilisation threatened.”

Newcastle Herald (Australia), 22 Nov2008 – screen copy held by this website

hot enough to fry an egg!

In 50 years, summers across most of the globe could regularly be hotter than any summer experienced so far by people alive today, according to a study by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).

If climate change continues on its current trajectory, the probability that any summer between 2061 and 2080 will be warmer than the hottest on record is 80 percent across the world’s land areas, excluding Antarctica, which was not studied.

If greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, however, that probability drops to 41 percent, according to the study.

“Extremely hot summers always pose a challenge to society,” said NCAR scientist Flavio Lehner, lead author of the study. “They can increase the risk for health issues, but can also damage crops and deepen droughts. Such summers are a true test of our adaptability to rising temperatures.”

National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). “Future summers could regularly be hotter than the hottest on record.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 June 2016

thanks to David Mulberry

a green politician thinks the unthinkable!

The Greens leader, Bob Brown, says he fears a “tentative and ineffective” emissions trading scheme will be developed by the Federal Government and it could be worse than no trading scheme at all.

Senator Brown outlined the essentials any trading system must have to win the support of his party, which holds five of the critical seven balance of power votes in the Senate.

“The penalty clause for us not acting is almost unthinkable,” he said. “This planet, this country, is on the verge of cataclysmic times, such as the human collective experience has never known. I’m not talking as a green politician. I am talking on the basis of the experience, the study, and the dire warnings from the world’s best thinkers.”

Sydney Morning Herald, 10 Jul 2008 – screen copy held by this website