Caring For The Earth And Its People
- 11 -
PRESENT PRACTICES LEAD TO AN UNINHABITABLE PLANET
September 11, 2018
THE RECENT PROGNOSIS of about 5°C temperature rise by the Trump administration is not news. A scanning of the web and of this web site will show many scientists indicating the possibility, probability or certainty of extreme increases in temperature by 2010.
It is both absurd and ironic that this administration should make this prediction since every action taken by the Trump EPA has made the liklihood of such a rise more likely.
My own predictions, prior to most of the Trump actions are shown below. They indicate a temperature of 5.3°C in 2010. This prediction is based strictly on a mathematical extrapolation of historic NASA temperature data.
It is critical, when working to limit the rise to 1.5°C, and that 5°C is an uninhabitable planet.
PREDICTING THE DEGREE OF FUTURE WARMING is a bit like playing dice with a different loaded pair for each throw.
1. The level of CO2 is far too high as it is, about 410 ppm where it should be about 350 ppm so if all emissions were to stop, the panet would continue to warm.
2. However, just the opposite is happening.
The trump EPA has relaxed rules on cars, methane, and coal. However, while all of this is extremely foolish, it is likely not to have large immediate effects.
3. The two most important contributors to carbon dioxide are power generation and transportation. So auto emissions are in the wrong direction as is the building of coal power plants by the Chinese (as confirmed by satellite photos) despite their promises.
4. No one is meeting their promises on the Paris Accords.
5. Many places on this Earth have suffered immensely with just 1°C rise and the prognosis is that we will reach at minimum 3°C and possibly more. My own estimate, as well as that of others is about 5°C by the end of the century. This is a temperature that it will be very difficult or impossible to live with.
6. The warming will release methane from the tundra and from the bottom of the ocean and Arctic lakes and create a positive feedback effect that will accelerate the warming.
7. There is no organization such as a world climate authority that would compile information and enforce compliance with agreements.
8. The earth has now warmed one degree and is virtually certain to warm one degree more, and quite possibly to warm several degrees more. A stunning amount of damage has been done by one degree, and since we are increasing emissions rather than decreasing them, we will surely exceed 2°C and up at least with three. 5°C or more is possible. How could this happen?
The two major contributors to emissions are increasuing or going to increase emissisions. We all know the United States is out of control and satellite pictures show that the coal power plants China said would not be built are in fact being built. Additionally something very dangerous has begun. Methane, a greenhouse gas about 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide is being released more rapidly than expected from the tundra into which it had been frozen in the Artic. You can light a fire on the ground just by striking a match.
With the realease of the methane even if we find a way to reduce our emissions to zero, warming will be self-reinforcing and likely be out of control for some period of time. Then the question is once all the methane is released, is there another equilibrium temperature we can live with. From my perpective, if we have suffered so much damage from 1°C, what can we expect from 2°C and possibly considerably more. We will have starvation, migrations, deadly heat, disease, horrendous storms, etc. Since we are doing, for the most part the worst job possible, it is likely the temperature in 2010 will likely exceed 5°C and possibly 10°C or even higher.
The answer to this is on the home page of this web site as well as in other sections throughout the site. We need an almost instantaneous turnaround of attitudes and action. The person who should be leading this turnaround needs at least as great a turnaround himself.
As I commented 12 years ago "we are screwed" unless some miracle happens. As silly as it may appear, that is the purpose of this website. Otherwise the Earth will turn into a reasonable facisimile of Hell.