Scientist: Arctic Melt Indicates Warming is "Not Stoppable"

Thu, 2008-09-04 06:50Ross Gelbspan
Ross Gelbspan's picture

Scientist: Arctic Melt Indicates Warming is "Not Stoppable"

“I think we're at a point where it is not stoppable but it can be slowed down. And if you think about the magnitude of effects on our society, then we really need to buy ourselves more time to get ready for some very substantial changes that are ahead.”  – Warwick Vincent, director of the Centre for Northern Studies at Laval University in Quebec.

Comments

At what point in the last 12000 years as the ice melted and gave rise to our country being liveable able
and our ability to farm did we think the melt could be stopped or even that we would want it to be stopped?

I’m doubtful that we can improve farming by melting the icecaps.
It would be very convenient if we could stop the melting before the permafrost melts and releases enough methane & carbon dioxide to melt our civilisation.

At what point in the last 12000 years did ‘we’ decide:
–that applying principles of evolution to medicine was a good idea?
–that democracy was the best of a bunch of crappy political options?
–that computers were effective tools for complex calculations?
–that smoking is bad for us?
–that trans-fatty foods are bad for us?
–the we shouldn’t drink and drive?
Let’s hear some others….

Medicine: At the point we realized we could save lives.
Democracy: At the point we realized if we work together we get more done than if we do not.
Computers: At the point we created them as tools to enable us to concentrate on the result rather than the calculation
Smoking: At the point we realized it doesn’t help you breath, it causes cancer.
Trans-Fatty Foods: When we looked in a a McDonalds at all the disgustingly fat people and their hospital bills.
Drinking and Driving: When we realized it kills people.

You’re turn. In a 12000 year melting cycle, what point did we decide we caused it, we can stop it, and that it’s beneficial to the earth (not us) if we do. My answer is “When the government and corporations found out it will be profitable”. How about yours?

Funnily enough, you’re not too far off with your answers compared to what I’d come up with. Look at the list you made – nothing was decided until (i) the requisite information was obtained and (ii) the costs vs benefits made sense. We’ve now got the information regarding AGW and the real debate is being played out in costs & benefits. Right now, a subset of society (especially fossil fuel interests) sees the costs of action as too high, so it benefits them to fight with every dirty trick in the book. Just like what happened with cigarettes. In contrast, with trans-fats, those got cut almost very quickly without much fight (like CFC’s) because substitutes were available and the costs were low for companies making the switch compared to the benefits of changing (making sure everyone thinks the company cares about customers’ health).

EUROPE FACES ANNUAL BILL OF €60 BILLION TOFIGHTCLIMATE CHANGE

Financial Times, 4 September 2008
http://blogs.ft.com/brusselsblog/2008/09/paying-the-climate-change-bill/

Tony Barber

How much will it cost the European Union to fight global climate change? Clearly, the answer depends on what your target is, how you propose to get there, and the size of the EU’s contribution compared with those of the US, China and so on. But a new report from the Centre for European Policy Studies thinktank offers some useful estimates.

The report assesses six recent studies, ranging from the Stern Review and a World Bank analysis to research prepared by Vattenfall, the Swedish energy company. In these reports, the average annual global costs for mitigating and adapting to climate change are put at anything from €230bn to €614bn, based on 2006 data.

The EU is not, these days, one of the world’s great polluters. In 2004, the global economy emitted about 49bn tons of greenhouse gases (measured in CO2 equivalent). The share of the 27-nation bloc was only 5.2bn tons, or 10.6 per cent.

However, as western Europe is one of the world’s richest areas, and as Europe has historical responsibility for the CO2 emissions of its industrial heyday, the EU will surely have to pay more than 10.6 per cent of the global costs of fighting climate change.

According to the CEPS study, the smallest bill the EU could expect to pick up is €24.4bn a year, while the biggest is €194.3bn. The thinktank’s own estimate, based on what it calls “the limited likelihood of a global burden-sharing according to current emissions”, is that the EU will face annual costs of at least €60bn.

This figure is close to the forecast provided by the European Commission last January, when it published its all-encompassing proposals on energy and climate change policy. At the time, the Commission said €60bn - or about 0.5 per cent of the EU’s annual GDP - might seem a lot of money, but the cost of doing nothing would be even higher.

Has the message got through, I wonder, to Germany’s car manufacturers and their friends in the European Parliament? This week the legislature’s industry committee tried to weaken a Commission proposal for capping CO2 emissions from new cars.

Rather than imposing a target of 130 grams per kilometre on all new cars by 2012, the committee voted to apply it to only 60 per cent of new cars and to delay full introduction of the target until 2015. The vote was unmistakeably aimed at helping German carmakers, whose models are bigger and less “green” than those of France and Italy.

This is, of course, hardly the last word on the subject. The parliamentary committee’s vote isn’t binding. But when it comes to converting the EU’s high-sounding principles on climate change into concrete legislation, the devil is always in the detail.

“At the time, the Commission said €60bn - or about 0.5 per cent of the EU’s annual GDP - might seem a lot of money, but the cost of doing nothing would be even higher.”

“At the time, the Commission said €60bn - or about 0.5 per cent of the EU’s annual GDP - might seem a lot of money, but the cost of doing nothing would be even higher.”

Prove it.

I’m just responding to the article you posted in full. You posted it, why to I have to prove it? Go to the actual sources cited if you like. Or you could be scientific and disprove it.

At what point will you reject AGW as the planet continues to not abide by the dire predictions?

I don’t know where this question comes from in the context of this discussion, but if you’re asking me, why don’t you consider my answer to the last time you asked?

Because you didn’t really answer it.

Search Balogna on the second page of this thread:
http://www.desmogblog.com/arctic-ice-melt-media-misinformation-retracted
I answered just fine. Your criticisms were off the mark and I explained why. Seems to me it’s your turn.

I’m using google Chrome to type text in the input box. It would seem that text does not insert correctly on this site while both wrapping text in the input box, as well as inserting text over previously types text. I have not seen this behaviour on other websites yet.

1) The text that wraps does not draw correctly.
2) Inserted text overwrites previously drawn text
3) Clicking the input box will redraw all text showing the previously written text as it should after the insert.

Could someone else please verify this behaviour so that I could file a bug report with google?

I’ll load up chrome and verify this. Thanks Traciatim.

Hi. I checked out DeSmog on Chrome and it seems to be working okay. Maybe you could give me a call. Its much easier to explain these things over the phone than in writing - 778-240-6343.

All that is required is to sequester (as CO2 or as carbonaceous materials) as much carbon as the excess added by humans each year and then start on removing the approximately 500 GtC of excess already added.

This can be done for about 1–2% of WGP each year for 70–100 years.

How much energy will that take? We are at peak oil now, soon to be in terminal decline. We don’t have the extra energy to sequester CO2 at any level. Besides, it’s not proven technology on such a massive scale.

Up at the NSIDC website:
http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/index.html
Lots of new graphics, etc.
I’d commented previously that I didn’t think the positive feedback was so strong, since most of the melting occurs well after the solstice. But the figure showing the temperature anomalies in Aug 2007 vs Aug 2008 suggests that the 2008 melting is almost catching 2007 despite having colder temperatures and other conditions less conducive of ice loss. I guess that supports the concerns about thin, “baby” ice fairly strongly.

Sure, we can stop it.

1) no more emitting CO2, thus you cannot heat your home, drive your car, get food trucked in (grow all your own), no lights on, no fridge on, no freezer on.

2) no more vacations. No aircraft allowed any more. No more trucks on the road. No goods in stores that have to be trucked in.

3) cull the human population by 90%

That should do it.

Prove it JR.

It was meant as a joke.

Canada contributes a total of 2.3% of the goobal man made CO2.
If we could somehow manage to cut that by 80% by shutting down prety much all industry and transportation and power generation, that would remove 1.8% of the global Man made CO2.
Not only will that not change climate at all, it will be made up by China in the next 6 months.
So there we will be.
Economy devastated.
A poor thire world country freezing in the dark while the climate goes on and does what it was going to do anyway.

But we will feel really good about it.

This is less amusing than JR’s attempt at humour. Economy devastated, poor third world country shivering in the dark. Who’s the Chicken Little?

Please show me how to cut CO2 emmissions by 80% in Canada and not devistate the ecomony.
Then show me how cutting Canada’s CO2 emmissions would have any measurable effect on the Global climate.

I would honestly love to see both of these explaned without using fantasy platitudes and outright lies.

Think it can be done?

The charge ” Prove it ” is simply a nosensicle jab meant to shut an oponent up.
Since there is no way to prove any claims being made about future climate or economies, the comment is meaningless.

You can’t prove AGW (obviously)and I can’t prove economic trends.
All any of us can do is state our opinion and perhaps what made us come to that view.

So what I asked for above is simply your best guesses.

1. How to cut Canada’s CO2 by 80% without economic colapse.
and
2. What do you realistically think the effect on Cliamte will be from that cut.

I’ve been putting quotation marks around that phrase for a reason (JR jabbed at me first). But let’s go to your questions: 1. Baby steps – who has suggested we switch to 20% immediately? You know how the journey of a 1000 miles begins, right? How does Sweden use so much less energy per capita than Canada? We can get part way there, easily, because others are doing it, and we can copy some of their techniques. But to even start the journey we have to tie our shoes. 2. Is anyone suggesting that Canada has to reduce carbon emissions alone? We’re already behind others on this learning curve. We have to catch up to the leaders. But you want to stick to the real and now, so let me turn it around on you: what do you think the chances are that large developing economies will join in the effort while countries like the US and Canada refuse to take strong action?

First, show us specifically how Sweden uses less energy per capita. Specific examples.

Steve:
“what do you think the chances are that large developing economies will join”

The mantra is 80% by 2050 BTW:

Actually I don’t think many care what Canada does about anything to be honest.
But more than that, I don’t think the big emmitters will do much in the short term anyway.
The ones that matter, India and China don’t believe the AGW hypothysis anyway and The US is on the fence.
Meanwhile, other “Leaders” are beginning to see the folly of their actions and are backing away from their plans.

So If Canada was to jump on the band wagon now, we would be just in time to watch others jumping off and taking copetitive advantage of our stupidity.

And after all is said and done, it will still have had no measurable effect on the climate.

Green stuff will happen.
It will come when the time is right and it can justify itself. There is no valid reason to force it on anyone now.

I’m just a lay person, who,for instance, when a medical situation arises,goes by the majority of medical professional opinion I have access to.
So can someone show me a single position statement from a major scientific organization/ association that disagrees with what is now referred to as the “consensus”?, much less show that half of them do?

Geologists……

YOu know„, the ones that actually studied the history of climate and not just the virtual cliamte inside coputer games.

For the actual objective science, se citation from the Daily Oil Bulletin, below.

(Note: No armchairs were actually harmed during the production of this science.)

….can you show me what the trend is over, say, the last 20 years on those positions?

Most of the last 20 years had no trend.
Very few people knew about the AGW movement and fewer cared.
Now that it has become a politically correct cause, few large groups are willing to stray from the safe position of being “on board”.
Withing those groups, more and more members are finally standing up and stating their disagreeent.
We see the posts regularily naming them. I have posted many.
Each time, the AGW faithful simpley call them names and then ignore them for being traitors to the cause.

Actually the trend on position statements is that more and more have come over to the “consensus” side until there aren’t any major scientific organizations who disagree.
As I understand it, The Association of Petroleum Geologists,oil men in a sense(or whatever the name of the group is ) issued a position statement that the science was still unclear about it some years ago and received so much negative feed back from their MEMBERS that they revised it to be in line with , to borrow a phrase, that neo-liberal covenant known as the “scientific community.”

Good news for deniers: The opinions are in, and the argument is over. As objectively reported in the Daily Oil Bulletin, and the Frontier Centre (isn’t that a contradiction?), one T. Ball has proven that the ice is actually increasing.

Google arctic ice ball

or see

http://www.dobmagazine.nickles.com/columns/column.asp?article=magazine%2Fcolumns%2F080908%2FMAG_COL2008_S80006.html

You have to begin with the end in mind. The problems are too vast and interconnected. Ulimately the hydrogen-electric economy is the answer:

Any means to produce energy: wind, solar, geothermal, etc. with hydrogen as a storage and transportation medium, can either be burned (zero emissions, except water)or converted to electricity in fuel-cells.

There is water everywhere people live that can be converted to hydrogen and oxygen (also an economically viable byproduct) and sunlight, wind, or geothermal is available in virtually unlimited supply around the world. Clean energy is available everywhere.

Look for Japan, China and India to make the first move because they have a lot of cash, no oil resources, and a lot of very smart, motivated people. US is owned by oil and must do whatever they say. (who killed the electric car)

Like Brazil with their ethanol from sugar, the Asians will rid themselves of oil control soon, because they must. We will just do as we are told.

Before anything else happen, we should make an action now on how to combat the problem in global warming, though we cannot stop it, atleast we can lessen the possible effects of this. This is not just the burdens that we are afraid of; another issue is the effects of the recession for many people most especially to those who live in extreme poverty; they are the most affected by this. Most of the people already loss their only source of income, making it hard for them to make ends meet. Many companies are still cutting an enormous number of their employees to cope up with the situation. The Lexington Herald Leader is a newspaper with the largest circulation in the state of Kentucky.  However, as the fate of so many newspapers in America, payday loans couldn’t save it from some trouble during the economic downturn.  The paper, which is part of the McClatchy newspaper empire, had to resort to layoffs and other measures to avoid closing.  The paper will shed about 15% of its workforce, and those on $25,000 or more in yearly salary will have to take a pay cut, including executives who will also not be getting bonuses this year.  McClatchy newspapers, the second largest news conglomerate, has been losing ad revenue and facing higher printing costs, and many of its newspapers just like the Lexington Herald Leader face similar circumstances. Read more at http://personalmoneystore.com/moneyblog/2009/03/27/lexington-herald-leader-caught-mcclatchys-wave-layoffs/

 

The Arctic’s geological record indicates warming is human-caused. Close study of the sediment time line shows that increased ice melt coincides with the birth of the Industrial Age. It’s strong evidence that global warming is man’s work, researchers say.