Let Freedom Reign!


 
HomeHome  PublicationsPublications  SearchSearch  RegisterRegister  Log in  

Share | 
 

 This can't be good.

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
AuthorMessage
Heretic

avatar

Posts : 3092

PostSubject: This can't be good.   9/16/2009, 7:46 am

Via Science:

Quote :
Looming Global-Scale Failures and Missing Institutions

Energy, food, and water crises; climate disruption; declining fisheries; increasing ocean acidification; emerging diseases; and increasing antibiotic resistance are examples of serious, intertwined global-scale challenges spawned by the accelerating scale of human activity. They are outpacing the development of institutions to deal with them and their many interactive effects.

:drink:
Back to top Go down
Scorpion

avatar

Posts : 1887

PostSubject: Re: This can't be good.   9/16/2009, 6:20 pm

Heretic wrote:
Via Science:

Quote :
Looming Global-Scale Failures and Missing Institutions

Energy, food, and water crises; climate disruption; declining fisheries; increasing ocean acidification; emerging diseases; and increasing antibiotic resistance are examples of serious, intertwined global-scale challenges spawned by the accelerating scale of human activity. They are outpacing the development of institutions to deal with them and their many interactive effects.

:drink:

No, you're right. This sounds pretty grim. Sure wish that I could get into the site to find out more about the timeline of all of this...
Back to top Go down
Heretic

avatar

Posts : 3092

PostSubject: Re: This can't be good.   6/15/2012, 9:41 am

It's not getting any better...

Is Humanity Pushing Earth Past a Tipping Point?

Quote :
Could human activity push Earth’s biological systems to a planet-wide tipping point, causing changes as radical as the Ice Age’s end — but with less pleasant results, and with billions of people along for a bumpy ride?

. . .

In “Approaching a state shift in Earth’s biosphere,” published June 6 in Nature, Barnosky and 21 co-authors cite 100 papers in summarizing what’s known about environmental tipping points.

While the concept was popularized by Malcolm Gladwell’s accounts of sudden, widespread changes in society, the underlying mathematics — which won physicist Kenneth Wilson a Nobel Prize in 1982 — have far-reaching implications.

In the last few decades, scientists have found tipping behaviors in various natural environments, from locale-scale ponds and coral reefs to regional systems like the Sahara desert, which until 5,500 years ago was a fertile grassland, and perhaps even the Amazon basin.

Common to these examples is a type of transformation not described in traditional ideas of nature as existing in a static balance, with change occurring gradually. Instead, the systems seem to be dynamic, ebbing and flowing within a range of biological parameters.

Stress those parameters — with fast-rising temperatures, say, or a burst of nutrients — and systems are capable of sudden, feedback loop-fueled reconfiguration.

It's a wildly unsustainable model:

Quote :
Human activity now dominates 43 percent of Earth’s land surface and affects twice that area. One-third of all available fresh water is diverted to human use. A full 20 percent of Earth’s net terrestrial primary production, the sheer volume of life produced on land every year, is harvested for human purposes. Extinction rates compare to those recorded during the demise of dinosaurs and average temperatures will likely be higher in 2070 than at any point in human evolution.

Grist has some excerpts from the actual study (it's behind a pay-wall):

Quote :
So, what would such a global state shift entail? There’s no way to know for sure, given the number of systems interacting in unpredictable ways, but we can learn from history:

Quote :
On the timescale most relevant to biological forecasting today, biotic effects observed in the shift from the last glacial to the present interglacial included many extinctions; drastic changes in species distributions, abundances and diversity; and the emergence of novel communities. New patterns of gene flow triggered new evolutionary trajectories, but the time since then has not been long enough for evolution to compensate for extinctions.

At a minimum, these kinds of effects would be expected from a global-scale state shift forced by present drivers, not only in human-dominated regions but also in remote regions not now heavily occupied by humans; indeed, such changes are already under way.

Given that it takes hundreds of thousands to millions of years for evolution to build diversity back up to pre-crash levels after major extinction episodes, increased rates of extinction are of particular concern, especially because global and regional diversity today is generally lower than it was 20,000 years ago as a result of the last planetary state shift. … Possible too are substantial losses of ecosystem services required to sustain the human population. … Although the ultimate effects of changing biodiversity and species compositions are still unknown, if critical thresholds of diminishing returns in ecosystem services were reached over large areas and at the same time global demands increased … widespread social unrest, economic instability and loss of human life could result.

I've said this before. A certain level of biodiversity is necessary to maintain an ecosystem. It cleans the air, recycles water, etc; recycles the waste of its inhabitants to maintain. Lower that diversity too much, hit that threshold, and the system can no longer support itself and collapses. It's an economizing process and essentially reboots the system.

I'll add too that none of this is really new, that these are the dangers that have toppled civilizations before. They scale with civilization, so while earlier ones were regional, we're now seeing it on the global scale since we're the first global civilization.

So... uh... Happy Father's Day! cheers
Back to top Go down
Scorpion

avatar

Posts : 1887

PostSubject: Re: This can't be good.   9/19/2012, 8:49 pm



I keep seeing this picture, so I figured I'd post it, just in case anyone here hasn't seen it...

Quote :
In a critical climate indicator showing an ever warming world, the amount of ice in the Arctic Ocean shrank to an all-time low this year, obliterating old records.

The ice cap at the North Pole measured 1.32 million square miles on Sunday. That's 18 percent smaller than the previous record of 1.61 million square miles set in 2007, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo. Records go back to 1979 based on satellite tracking.

"On top of that, we're smashing a record that smashed a record," said data center scientist Walt Meier. Sea ice shrank in 2007 to levels 22 percent below the previous record of 2005.

I think it's pretty clear that we're beyond the tipping point.
Back to top Go down
Heretic

avatar

Posts : 3092

PostSubject: Re: This can't be good.   9/20/2012, 9:14 am

To put it in context, since March, the Arctic lost enough ice to cover Alaska and Canada.

Via John Quiggin:

Quote :
* First, this is irrefutable evidence that the climate is changing, and that the idea that climate change stopped or slowed down after 1998 or 1995, as delusionists have regularly claimed, is nonsense. On the contrary, the loss of Arctic ice is accelerating, far ahead of model predictions{2] In this context, I have yet to see any “sceptics” actually accept the evidence proving them wrong. But, with a handful of exceptions, we have silence rather than the usual rash of talking points to explain the evidence away. A notable example is Andrew Bolt, who ran lots of posts claiming there was no problem (most recently here), but hasn’t mentioned the topic since the minimum extent record was broken nearly a month ago.

Tamino has an excellent post on the lengths skeptics, particularly Anthony Watts, are going to to blame the melt on anything and everything but global warming...

Quote :
* Second, the “catastrophic” part of the delusionists favorite acronym “Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming” is looking a lot more likely. Not only will an ice-free Arctic produce a bunch of feedbacks that accelerate warming, but it will substantially affect climate conditions in Northern Europe, though exactly how remains to be seen.

If I remember the specifics correctly, the warmer air in the Arctic is messing with the jet streams, which is one of the reasons why we're having such wild and severe weather. And then there's all that trapped methane we'll have to deal with...

Quote :
On the other side of the coin, there’s one predicted catastrophe that didn’t happen. As elsewhere in the world, the introduction of the carbon tax did not “send a wrecking ball through the economy”. In fact, adverse effects are barely detectable. Of course, a lot more action is needed, but the near-universal view of economists that the cost of stabilising the global climate will be of the order of 1 per cent of income is certainly supported by the evidence from the initial steps in this direction.

At least there's that...



Yeah, no good at all.
Back to top Go down
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: This can't be good.   

Back to top Go down
 
This can't be good.
View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 1

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Let Freedom Reign! :: Nation/Other :: The Environment-
Jump to: