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Think about young people

By Keith Antonysen

Yesterday, I made a statement that in my opinion tourism is on the way out and was asked why. My response with additions:

Professor James Anderson, the scientist who warned the world about the depletion of ozone, has projected that in 2022 the Arctic Ocean will be ice-free, and we have a few years to get our act together. When taking a linear projection of how ice volume is being lost, 2022 is not a ridiculous projection. Other scientists are suggesting that 2030 +is when we can expect to see an ice-free Arctic Ocean. Sea ice reflects warmth, ocean water takes it up. Alaska has been having record high temperatures in 2019, with permafrost thawing more rapidly than expected, creating another positive feedback ( a silly term) as it sure isn’t positive.

Tundra areas in Siberia are also not in good shape; google pingo, if you wish to scare yourself. Jason Box, a glaciologist, stated we are “……” on hearing about the first pingo explosion. Lots of methane being voided into the atmosphere through pingo explosion. As indicated above 1.5C temperature rise over pre-industrial times is a trigger for permafrost to thaw rapidly. The current CO2 level of ~410 ppm occurred 3 million years ago, temperatures and sea levels were not conducive to civilisation.

The red flags are up, scientists state very clearly that an ice-free Arctic Ocean provides a feedback that we have no control over. The Arctic has a bearing on climate in the Northern Hemisphere. Antarctica also does not provide much joy. What’s that got to do with tourism? We can hope that we see a record of lower sea ice extent than seen in 2012 in September providing tons of dead canaries. It would mean that the highly polluting aviation industry would slow right down, sensible people would not travel far. And efforts are needed now never before seen apart from in a world war.

Conservative politicians such as Abbott, Andrews, Abetz, Canavan et al, do not believe in anthropogenic climate change, others such as Morrison mutter words that are suggestive of policy. While Shorten has also let us down through planning of fracking in NT. They are representative of politicians around Earth who have ignored scientists. The IPCC suggests we have 12 years to get moving hard. There are numerous references, many about insects and animals being lost eg emperor penguins, insects, and bats etc.

James Hansen the father of modern climate science just prior to the Paris Accord stated we are on the way to 2C. To display that greenhouse gases are warming Earth, data from satellites have displayed how the Troposphere is warming and the Stratosphere is cooling. In other words, greenhouse gases are stopping some warmth from escaping into space. Much warmth is being taken up by Oceans. Young people are well aware of the poor future they are being provided with.

 

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15 comments

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  1. Keith

    A further detail, Professor Richard Alley has worked with ice cores from past epochs, he has found that abrupt climate change can happen in 10 years.

    Comment about abrupt change 5 minutes into film:

  2. wam

    That climate change is a natural occurrence is an absolute and supported by all scientists.
    Global warming could be ‘anthropogenic’??

    They have not the same impact.

  3. ChristopherJ

    Thank you, Keith, still to watch the Attenborough clip….

    Humans are the most adaptable creatures on the planet.

    If it’s too cold, clothes, shelter, heat. Too hot? Clothing, shelter, water, air conditioning. Wet?

    You get my drift. Other creatures cannot move so easily, they don’t have the same toolkits that we have to manage our environment and the weather it gives us.

    So when we get abrupt, abnormal, unexpected weather events, insects, birds and other creatures die – eg FNQ lost approx 50 per cent of the Flying Foxes in the four day heatwave we experienced in 2018 – 4 days over 44c. And, we are on the coast!

    It is the abrupt, unexpected shit that will kill our fellow insects, birds, fish and other animals. And, when we can no longer grow crops at scale and the world wide food production systems grind to a halt, well that’s when things are going to get sporty around your part of the world.

    Ten years? We have less than two, IMO. Been saying same thing for 6 months, so prolly 18 months now.

  4. Keith

    wam

    The greenhouse effect is shown very clearly by what is happening between the Troposphere and Stratosphere,a hyperlink has been provided. Previously there was a greater flow of greenhouse gases into space than is now occurring. The change in the rate of greenhouse gases escaping into space has been picked up by satellites. The isotopes of CO2 identify the source of the CO2.

    For most of man’s existence a benign climate has been experienced, CO2 levels have been around 270-280 ppm (parts per million), now CO2 levels are ~410 ppm and rising. Experimentation displays how CO2 has the properties as expressed by scientists. Global temperature now is 1C above pre-industrial times, it is rising by about 0.20C per decade. Scientists are very surprised about the rate of permafrost thawing currently in Alaska, thawing permafrost provides extra voiding of greenhouse gases.

    I have been interested in climate change since the 1980s when projections were made that we are experiencing now. We are in a climate emergency, it is being recognised by many councils.

    If climate change was not anthropogenic, we still need to adapt to changes.
    Epidemological studies indicate that millions of people die each year from fossil fuel emissions, other people become very sick. The most vulnerable people are the elderly and children.

    In a number of parts of Australia and other parts of the world erosion is taking place, good farm land is being lost by being flooded by salt water. Storm surges causing flooding were a projection when I was much younger, now they are a reality.

    But, there are no credible reasons for climate change other than anthropogenic. Fossil fuels have been sequestered naturally over millions of years providing an energy source used over a couple of hundred years. Even a thought experiment would suggest there is not something right. My first hyperlink has references to how fossil fuel corporations were aware of the damage their products create to the atmosphere going back to 1965 and continue into the 1970s and 1980s. Undermining science began in the 1980s, the science was a threat to profits of large corporations. Nathaniel Rich has written a very long article for the New York Times magazine about how science was overwhelmed by politics and denial in the USA. That’s when crimes against humanity and the biosphere began in relation to climate science.

    Even in 1912, a New Zealand newspaper had a short article about the impact of coal.

    Nathaniel Rich:

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/08/01/magazine/climate-change-losing-earth.html

  5. Keith

    Christopher

    We may, or may not have reached a tipping point in relation to Antarctica, which will cause sea level rise faster than already experienced. It is more the Northern Hemisphere that will be hit hard by an ice free Arctic. But, I think it will not be climate change per se that will cull huge numbers of humans and creatures, but the civil and international stress created by land, water, and food resources dwindling. Super storms such as Adai and Kenneth, not only kill people, lay flat housing; but, ruin crops, kill livestock, create disease and spoil fresh water.

    The three commodities we all need are clean water, good food and quality air. Lack of those resources leads to civil unrest, mass migration, and wars over water rights, a potential Asian issue where water rights are a issue.

    The problem with climate change has been the politics, and the success of pseudo science going back over decades. The film about Richard Alley, begins with how deniers completely misrepresent Dr Alley’s published work, bastardly of the highest order.

    Dr James Hansen, suggests that the Paris Accord was a complete failure, promises were made, but no mechanism was created to ensure the promises would be met.

    Christopher, I do think humans have a little longer on Earth than you believe.

  6. ChristopherJ

    Thank you Keith. Yes, the civil and international stress. Countries that are well resourced, looking on as others falter and millions die. It’s already happening and will only get worse.

    And thank you for the reminder as that’s two things we have little experience of here in Australia, unclean air and unsafe water. And very few of us can remember food rationing or queues.

    I hope you are right about more time, of course I am. I don’t want to be right on this, but we are talking about the commons here, the river that we all drink from, humans have not been kind to the commons, someone always ruins it for the rest

  7. Miriam English

    wam, the proof has been absolutely certain for a long time now that the present climate destabilisation has been brought about by humans. By measuring the isotopes of carbon in the air we can tell where that massive extra amount of carbon dioxide has come from. It has definitely come from burning fossil fuels. There is no doubt about this.

    Keith, thanks for the links.
    Just a small correction: it’s not that greenhouse gasses are flowing out into space. (Only hydrogen, and some helium do that. Carbon dioxide and methane are too heavy to escape to space.) It’s that the greenhouse gasses prevent heat from flowing out into space. They trap the heat, causing it to build up.

  8. Keith

    Miriam

    Thank you for the correction, it is warmth that had been escaping and now is being retained. At least I got it right in the article!

  9. Barry

    My layman’s $0.02 worth..
    Fact.. the earth has been warming since before the industrial era. Fact.. CO2 has been rising before the industrial era. See IPCC charts, NOAA, NASA et al and check out the un-homogenised charts from HadCrut.
    Correlation is not causation.
    Yes humans are pumping CO2 into the atmosphere but the rate of temperature increase has not changed over the period CO2 has risen from 280ppm to 480ppm. Besides the radiant forcing effect of CO2 on atmospheric heating is only an extra 2.5%, if you take CO2 as making up 20% of the atmosphere. Water vapour (clouds) is the main culprit.
    2018 was the best crop yield ever and this is due to the rising CO2 level. Greenhouses use CO2 up to 2000ppm to make plants grow better. CO2 is not the bogey gas people stress about.
    Methane I suggest is way worse a GHG than CO2 being 5x more effective GHG once volume differences (5x) and its GWP of 21 is taken into account. Where do we hear about methane.. almost nowhere. Why?
    Also, we are still allowing Brasil and Indonesia, etc.. to deforest at a stupid rate. Trees are the lungs of the earth, O2 producers and Carbon fixers. Why aren’t we all planting trees? Less trees, more CO2 is allowed to stay in the atmosphere. Simple.
    Increasingly dire predictions regarding loss of water, habitat loss, increasing power & frequency of storms (not true), polar bears dying out due to Arctic ice going (12k to 36k population now) seem to be de rigour to get attention and dare I say funding?
    Oh yes open seas, free of ice in the Artic does not mean higher sea levels.. ‘sea ice’ so floating, so displacing water (Archimedes principle) so as it melts no change in sea levels. Antarctica is the one we should worried if this starts melting, which it is not overall.
    Yes, we should be reducing and stopping pollution, plastics being probably the biggest danger to the aquatic food chain as they break down, if we are to survive as a species.
    Lets stop with ‘nuclear is bad’ and invest in thorium reactors plus solar, wind, wave and geo thermal sustainable energy systems where they are applicable and sensible. We need to look at whole of lifecycle of sustainables.. lithium batteries are very bad for the environment end to end.
    The earth and sun is going through one of its many, complicated natural cycles and as humans (here for a nat’s length of one of the cycles) are arrogant to suggest we are the prime culprits. Humans are certainly not helping that’s for sure. Lets be sensible about the changing world, it will change, always has.
    Humans are v good at adapting and will. If we can stop stuffing up our environment then maybe the other species will also do OK.

  10. Miriam English

    Wow. Barry. Where do I start? You have dredged up almost every climate change denier’s myth. I’m sorry, but virtually every sentence in your comment is wrong.

    Rather than address each one, I’ll point you to a site that can answer almost every one of your objections:
    https://skepticalscience.com/argument.php

    One myth that site won’t answer is the one about crop yields in 2018. If you check the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources you’ll find a long list of reductions in yields, with this summation:

    “Production of all the major crops is estimated to have fallen, wheat by 19% to 17.3 million tonnes, barley by 7% to 8.3 million tonnes and canola by 41% to 2.2 million tonnes. Amongst other crops, chickpea production is estimated to have fallen by 76% to 281,000 tonnes and oats production by 21% to 888,000 tonnes.”

    So I don’t know where you’re getting this stuff from, Barry, but they are lying to you… and not just little fibs, but deceiving you with great big whoppers. Please be careful. Judge information by checking it against what the most knowledgeable people in their fields have come to understand.

    Virtually all relevant scientists agree that humans are causing climate change. Here is a little story I wrote recently to put that in perspective.

    You’re on your way to a business meeting that could make you a lot of money. Ahead is a bus and a small car parked on the side of the road before a bridge and a lot of men milling around. Several of the men frantically wave you down as you approach the bridge. Reluctantly, because you don’t want to be late, you stop and ask the men what’s up. They tell you the bridge ahead is dangerous and you shouldn’t cross it.

    You peer at the bridge and say it looks alright to you.

    Another man saunters over and says to ignore them; the bridge is fine.

    One of the men who warned you growls that the bridge is definitely unsafe and anyone driving across will cause its collapse and they’ll fall to their death. He says you should believe them because they are bridge engineers on the way to an engineering convention. There are 97 of them in the bus, and they unanimously agree that the bridge is unsafe. He points to the guy who said it’s okay and says that fellow and two others came in the small car parked behind the bus. Those three say it’s safe, but they’re not even engineers. One is an economist, one is a geologist, and the third doesn’t seem to have any qualifications at all.

    Do you risk the bridge anyway, or do you thank the engineers, and take a less direct, but safe route to your destination?

    97% of scientists warn us we’re causing catastrophic climate change. 3% deny this. The deniers are mostly economists, geologists, and others who are not climate scientists.

    Do you choose a safe path, or risk collapse and death?

  11. Miriam English

    I should also mention that nuclear power is far too dangerous for our greedy, short-term-oriented, lazy species to safely use. Far from being any solution, thorium reactors are actually considerably more expensive, and worse in almost every respect than standard reactors (except they are less likely to melt down and explode). Sure, thorium is less dangerous, but that fact means the thorium has to be processed into “hotter” more dangerous materials. This also requires each reactor to have a reprocessing plant attached, making security an impossible goal. Proponents usually say the extreme danger of these materials is actually a safety factor because they are so dangerous nobody would dare touch them, but they ignore the fact that terrorists often don’t mind dying for their cause.

    And why would we use the most expensive form of power (nuclear) when wind and solar are the cheapest forms of power? Coal used to be the cheapest, but both wind and solar have beat it. It takes an afternoon to install solar power. It takes just months to install wind power. It takes several years to install a coal power station. It takes a decade to install a nuclear power station. The cost benefits and lead-time to get a return on investment just don’t stack up for nuclear.

    If your solar panels stuff up, no big problem. They can be fixed. Nobody is hurt. But if your nuclear power plant stuffs up, you’re screwed — holy Fukishima, Batman.

    I should point out that I understand the attraction of nuclear power, and I hope one day (when we are more mature) we solve sustained fusion power. But while we are this insanely warlike, short-sighted, short-cutting species, we should not dabble with nuclear power.

  12. Keith

    Barry

    Water vapour is a strong greenhouse gas, there is the natural water cycle, and over the top of that, warm marine waters provide extra evaporation. Extra water vapour is virtually a secondary creation from a warm marine environment and helped by a warm atmosphere.More greenhouse gases equals more water vapour.

    Dr Burger, has had a study published in a Journal, prior to his study he published his study with some extra details putting it into context. There have been changes in climate before; though prior epochs do display an analog for what is happening now.
    In his preliminary comments he writes: This study is a cautionary tell of what can happen if we do not heed the warnings of the geological past.” He also states, and provides the reference: “In Payne and Clapham’s 2012 review of the Permian-Triassic boundary they suggested “the end-Permian extinction may serve as an important ancient analog for the twenty-first century….”

    Dr Burger used very sophisticated equipment to analyse minute samples from the Permian-Triassic boundary, his study displays what happened in an extreme greenhouse environment.

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/323402270_What_caused_Earth%27s_largest_mass_extinction_event_New_evidence_from_the_Permian-Triassic_boundary_in_northeastern_Utah

    Any critics of climate scientists and the myriad of other scientists from other disciplines, need proper evidence. There is a lot of difference between offering an opinion and providing data from highly sophisticated equipment.

    The change between the Troposphere and Stratosphere is a foot print of climate change.
    The film featuring Professor Alley, displays how, provides an example at the beginning of how none scientists such as Anthony Watts completely misrepresent his study, in the film Professor Alley discusses how billions of dollars have been used to discount the arguments that contrarians use … the sun, volcanic action, and cosmic rays being examples, which. Ice cores, soil cores, pollen, coral, and tree rings provide a lot of information about past epochs.

    I would suggest that people critical of climate science provide evidence, rather than sophistry.

  13. Kaye Lee

    It’s not just the toxic waste and weapons and high cost and danger side of nuclear Miriam. We are such a big country that distribution is always an issue. Investing a large amount into one centralised power source brings many problems – like when the wind blows over the towers that distribute the power or safety measures trip anti-surge protection on interconnectors.

    I have more interest in investigating small scale pumped hydro as a battery for local wind and solar farms supplying regional areas and specific energy intensive industries.

  14. Miriam English

    Another aspect of nuclear power that’s usually overlooked is that it is designed to work with human overseers. Read this scary post to a forum that I copied some time back:

    I work in the nuclear industry. If people only knew the truth they would be terrified. If any global catastrophic event occurred, such as say a pandemic occurred, we would all be dead within a few weeks and I don’t mean from the virus. Nuclear reactors are not designed to be unmanned. There is no emergency automated plan for an unmanned reactor. In any emergency scenario they scram. However the core still requires cooling for months or it goes into meltdown followed by containment breach. Reactors on average have a few days of diesel to run the backup generators. After that the cooling systems fail followed by meltdown. There are 451 reactors around the world! It gets worse. HLW (high level waste) cooling pools have no containment facilities and also require cooling or the HLW will meltdown owing to decay heat. As opposed to one reactor containing a few tons of nuclear fuel a HLW facility could have a few hundred tons of fuel. As I write this there are 225,000 tons of HLW in cooling ponds globally. So what we have done is build the doomsday machine on the assumption that no catastrophic event will ever occur. There is no hope of survival should it occur. Keep in mind it doesn’t even have to be global. If an event struck say the US (99 reactors) or France (58) it’s still the end. It is sheer lunacy and no one is doing anything about it.

    — Richard Duncan
    http://churchandstate.org.uk/2015/06/humans-will-be-extinct-in-100-years-says-eminent-scientist/#IDComment1020284667

    I have to say, I don’t entirely agree with him (and I certainly don’t agree with the article he was commenting to). Sure, USA, Russia, Japan, India, China, and Europe (especially France) would have very dangerously high levels of radioactivity, but the southern hemisphere would be mostly safe.

    Australia has only one small experimental nuclear reactor at Lucas Heights in Sydney. New Zealand doesn’t have any. I think Indonesia was insanely going to build some on earthquake fault lines, but I don’t think they went ahead. I don’t think there are any nuclear reactors in any African countries south of the Sahara other than one in South Africa. Argentina and Brazil have only a few.

    The wind patterns on Earth are such that there is almost no mixing at the equator. Eventually the air would cross the equator, but it would be so slow that most of the heavy radioactive isotopes would have fallen to the ground by then.

    I should point out, by the way, that the explosions he’s talking about are not nuclear explosions. They would be “normal” explosions, most likely caused by the high temperature meltdown breaking apart the hydrogen and oxygen in water, then their explosive recombination, which would scatter stuff into the air (I think this is what happened at both Fukishima and Chernobyl).

    Another danger is the melted nuclear fuel melting its way down towards the Earth’s molten magma, which, being under high pressure, would be suddenly released as a volcanic eruption, causing all kinds of fun with not only fireballs and ash raining down on the countryside, but also the radioactive materials that caused it.

    Yeah, nuclear power is such a great idea.

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