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View Diary: Atomic scientists keep 'Doomsday Clock' at 5 minutes to midnight because of global warming (61 comments)

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  •  on the whole I find that unlikely (1+ / 0-)
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    as this isn't the day after tomorrow (or what ever that gods aweful movie was called)

    odds are the worst case for climate change is dramatic, rapid climate change that fundamentally changes the earth. Much like how for example the Sahara desert was once a fertile green land and then dried out.

    Don't get me wrong, this would be horrible but it wouldn't be the end of humanity

    •  speed is going to be the real killer (4+ / 0-)

      The Sahara turning from green to brown took thousands of years.  We're looking at the same degree of change or worse over the course of a century or less.

      I'm fairly optimistic about the long-term survival of humanity; after all, we existed for thousands of years of prehistory.  What I'm not optimistic about is the survival of civilization: the survival of the Future with a capital 'F', of expanding horizons, of every generation having, doing, and being more than the one before.  A second Stone Age lasting until the Sun kills the Earth doesn't count as a good ending.

      Something's wrong when the bad guys are the utopian ones.

      by Visceral on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 06:48:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  well no one has ever really been able (1+ / 0-)
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        to study climate change because most of it predates written history. The little ice age does point to some rather disturbing possiblities but even then civilization survived and even thrived

        even with rapid increase in average temperatures the results are going to be unpredictable but that doesn't mean we can't adapt at need

        •  Of course we've been able to study climate change (0+ / 0-)

          There are a lot of different ways to study past climate change.  Ice cores, permafrost stuff.  Even looking at various mineral deposits, tree rings, etc.

          even with rapid increase in average temperatures the results are going to be unpredictable but that doesn't mean we can't adapt at need
          The problem we're facing is really one of numbers.  We have so many people and so much "efficiency" built into the system that there isn't a whole ton of room for error.  A major drought could kill off a huge chunk of the worlds population.  Or we could see malaria further north and south because of warming.  The acidification of the oceans is one I'm really worried about.
          •  I mean in an in depth, labotory style way (0+ / 0-)

            where in variables can be isolated and examined etc etc

            As I said the evidence we have from the little ice age along with looking at the sources you've named is useful but we still end up with multiple models saying many different things (though sometimes the differences are tiny).

            I do agree that out of the most immediate and known effects the changing acidication of the oceans presents in the short term the most danger both directly and indirectly imo. I'm less concerned about food though we may see some dramatic change in what foods grow where

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