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Graph of carbon pollution ending post-Ice Age climate stability
As a quick addendum to the important post by DWG on the new studies of global warming, I thought you all should see this graph put together by Joe Romm. As he explains:
In short, thanks primarily to carbon pollution, the temperature is changing 50 times faster than it did during the time modern civilization and agriculture developed, a time when humans figured out where the climate conditions — and rivers and sea levels — were most suited for living and farming. We are headed for 7 to 11°F warming this century on our current emissions path — increasing the rate of change 5-fold yet again.

By the second half of this century we will have some 9 billion people, a large fraction of whom will be living in places that simply can’t sustain them —  either because it is too hot and/or dry, the land is no longer arable, their glacially fed rivers have dried up, or the seas have risen too much.

We could keep that warming close to 4°F — and avoid the worst consequences — but only with immediate action.

This research vindicates the work of Michael Mann and others showing that recent warming is unprecedented in magnitude, speed, and cause during the past 2000 years — the so-called Hockey Stick — and in fact extends that back to at least 4000 years ago. I should say “vindicates for the umpteenth time” (see “Yet More Studies Back Hockey Stick“).

Immediate action. No compromises or half-measures, and certainly no new expanded uses of dangerous fossil fuels.

Originally posted to Laurence Lewis on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 01:06 PM PST.

Also republished by Climate Change SOS and DK GreenRoots.

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Comment Preferences

  •  RW deniers: fiddling while hockey sticks burn (14+ / 0-)
    This research vindicates the work of Michael Mann and others showing that recent warming is unprecedented in magnitude, speed, and cause during the past 2000 years — the so-called Hockey Stick — and in fact extends that back to at least 4000 years ago. I should say “vindicates for the umpteenth time” (see “Yet More Studies Back Hockey Stick“).

    Warning - some snark above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013

    by annieli on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 01:09:46 PM PST

  •  Doomer (5+ / 0-)

    /snark

    p.s., Climate Reality. What a concept.

    One of the major differences between Democrats and Republicans is that the former have the moral imagination to see the moral dimension of financial affairs, while the latter do not. Pragmatists are the exception.

    by Words In Action on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 01:21:26 PM PST

  •  Meteor Blades and 'Green Diary Rescue' (12+ / 0-)

    Meteor Blades is bringing back his 'Green Diary Rescue' beginning this Saturday, March 9th at 1:00 pm PST.  So, write lots of diaries about the environment in coming days and use the below template to promote them.  I put it (and three more templates) in the Climate Chage SOS Group Queue for you to copy, paste, preview, and post.

    Thanks.

    Help Us Spread the Word About Climate Change



    For those of you on Facebook and Twitter: Please help to spread the word by hitting the FB and Tweet links at the top of this diary and if you have time, join the discussion with comments.  Share such postings with friends, family, co-workers, and acquaintances.

    Thanks, as all of this helps build the Climate Change movement as well as introducing critically important ideas about renewable sources of energy.

  •  I'm not a scientist (7+ / 0-)

    (although I did teach 9th grade science for a few years) but my reading indicates that, no, we can't hold the temp to a 4C increase - once we're passed 2C the positive feedback loop kicks in and it's a done deal.

    •  We are past the "tipping point" and (9+ / 0-)

      at (or perhaps already past) the "runaway point".  Our "social inertia" all but guarantees that the massive changes necessary now to stop the runaway will happen, if even slightly more than at a "token level", too little and too late.

      The bad news is that it's a cataclysmic catastrophy, the proverbial "slow motion train wreck", and nothing other than a counterbalancing catastrophy can stop it.

      The good news is that we get to observe an event almost unique in the history of the planet in real time . . . knowing what caused it, and having a reasonably good idea where it's going.

      Generations to come have the challenge of figuring out how to live with it . . . I wish them all the luck in the world doing so.
       

      Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

      by Deward Hastings on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 02:14:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Pretty much what I thought (0+ / 0-)

        (and yes I know it "ain't pretty") but I have grandsons so I keep hoping we can come up with something.  Well, something less drastic than nuclear holocaust which would probably do the trick but...

  •  stop raining on Rex Tillerson's parade (10+ / 0-)

    poor Exxon Chief doesn't care about CO2 or temperature rise, because...

    My philosophy is to make money. If I can drill and make money, then that’s what I want to do. For us, it’s about making quality investments for our shareholders.

    Ecology is the new Economy

    by citisven on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 01:36:06 PM PST

  •  Build more nuclear plants pronto (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deward Hastings, alain2112

    . . . as concerned environmentalists like George Monbiot, Mark Lynas, Stewart Brand, and others have been pointing out for some time.

    They have realized that relying on wind and solar just means burning more fossil fuels during the 75% of the time that these renewables can't produce electricity.

    Nuclear is the only large-scale, reliable, 24/7 power source that can replace fossil fuel combustion.

    Anyone seriously concerned about catastrophic global warming and ocean acidification due to the huge carbon output by human activity should be supporting nuclear power.  Its carbon footprint overall is smaller than that of wind or solar power.

    Amory Lovins: "Coal can fill the real gaps in our fuel economy....." IPCC: Anthropogenic greenhouse gases will cause extinction of up to 70% of species by 2050.

    by Plan9 on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 01:36:13 PM PST

    •  Building more nukes requires mining... (10+ / 0-)

      (More fossil fuel), refining, enriching, transporting, and later burying and storing the spent fule (more fossil fuel), as well as constructing plants (more), building more grid infrastructure (more)...and no one can say storing hazardous waste in barrels of water for centuries, until they eventually fail, is anything like environmentalism.

      "We refuse to fight in a war started by men who refused to fight in a war." -freewayblogger

      by Bisbonian on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 01:44:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nuclear still comes out ahead of wind (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        alain2112

        . . . when you look at the carbon emissions per complete life cycle.  Per kiloWatthour generated, wind is responsible for four times as much carbon (concrete for the bases is made by burning coal, as is the steel for the towers, and then there are the asphalt roads, the transport of giant components, etc. burning gasoline, and the mountains of toxic fly ash that result in about 18,000 deaths/year in the US as opposed to zero deaths ever from US commercial nuclear power).  Look up the cubic feet of concrete needed for the huge base for one wind tower.

        And when the wind isn't blowing, backup power is required, and that comes from burning fossil fuels--which is one reason why the smog in Germany is now so bad.  The other reason: the nuclear plants have been shut down and more coal and lignite plants have been built.

        Used nuclear fuel can be repeatedly recycled, as is done successfully in France; it retains 99% of its energy and so should not be discarded.  The ultimate residue after recycling is tiny.  One lb. of uranium fuel= 65 tons of coal.  Even in the US, which is putting used fuel into interim storage at this point, the total amount comes to about 70,000 tons.  Of that, less than 1% is long-lived and  could fit in a 7/11 store. There are successful reactor designs that have already been proven to consume nuclear waste and are being built in Russia.

        Anyone who is sincerely concerned about the relationship between carbon emissions and global warming winds up realizing that the best hope is more nuclear plants.  The new generation of designs is far better than the old ones that have had problems.  

        Desalination using nuclear plants is another important matter, as droughts continue to worsen.

        Amory Lovins: "Coal can fill the real gaps in our fuel economy....." IPCC: Anthropogenic greenhouse gases will cause extinction of up to 70% of species by 2050.

        by Plan9 on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 04:15:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Justifications like this (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          adrianrf

          represent an insistence that we must continue to fund and manage power generation as if we were still living in the 19th century, with mass installations requiring massive investment, run by technical experts and then distributed by an equally massive and expensive transmission infrastructure.  Wind and solar have the advantage of being compatible with a post-modern model of local self-sufficiency, individual and neighborhood generation which cuts out the entire distribution and billing apparatus, as well as requiring much less massive structures and plants.  Such a distributed, user-controlled and resilient system, however, is completely INAPPROPRIATE for nuclear.

          As the shocks of the upcoming climate catastrophe continue to reverberate, large-scale transmission is likely to become a hopelessly inefficient white elephant.  Likewise, the financing necessary to build nuclear power plants -- which are extremely expensive precisely due to an increased awareness and more appropriate assignment of risks -- is unlikely to be available.  We have passed the point where this solution is likely to be implemented simply due to the upward expansion of costs and the downward trajectory of resources.

    •  But they tend to build the nuke plants down low (7+ / 0-)

      so they can have easy access to water and then along comes sea level rise and they will resemble the Japanese plant that was struck by the tsunami.  How far from the sea level do they have to build them in order to be safe?

      And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

      by MrJersey on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 01:44:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That, at least, is an easy one. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cliss

        The ice has all melted before, and the relics of the old shorelines are everywhere to see in coastal ledges.  Overall energy balance (ice melt rate) suggests an average sea level rise of somewhere between 1 and 2 centimeters per year for the next several decades . . . that gives another clue.

        It's not that we couldn't have or can't find suitable sites, it's simply that we didn't, and won't.

        Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

        by Deward Hastings on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 02:23:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Mother Jones: pro-nuclear environmental move (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          alain2112

          Why is it that we environmentalists approve of Jim Hansen's tireless crusade to wake people up to the realities of global warming but we ignore his call for increased nuclear power?

          We dislike AGW deniers and yet many of us are guilty of denying a major solution because of preconceptions no less fixed than those of the deniers we put down.

          http://www.motherjones.com/...

          Amory Lovins: "Coal can fill the real gaps in our fuel economy....." IPCC: Anthropogenic greenhouse gases will cause extinction of up to 70% of species by 2050.

          by Plan9 on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 04:56:10 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Like Germany (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Creosote, adrianrf, Eyesbright

            Most of us have considered the risks carefully, looked at a lot of evidence, and made a decision based on the facts at our disposal.  Nuclear is not capable of being made safe over an indefinite future, and when it goes, it GOES, and the damage lingers for centuries.  Each time proponents claim to have solved the safety problems once and for all, we get another demonstration that they haven't.  And even if they do, it is a very capital-intensive proposition that can't be scaled down for neighborhood or individual use.

            Scale-down is  important.  For a residential or small business user, the costs of distribution, transmission, and accounting are generally equal to the actual costs of the power produced.  Reducing the need for that infrastructure could not only eliminate some of those costs (and the associated profits poured into the pockets of social parasites), but by introducing hard limits to maximum use and directly proportional benefits from conservation, it encourages an end to considering power supply as an ever-flowing river that can be tapped at will.  That in itself is behaviorally important in retraining the population to be conscious of the costs involved in what they use.

    •  yeah (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      citisven, Cliss, jayden, RWood, chmood, Eyesbright

      replace one poison with another. brilliant!

      and then there's this:

      Nuclear power would only curb climate change by expanding worldwide at the rate it grew from 1981 to 1990, its busiest decade, and keep up that rate for half a century, a report said on Thursday.

      Specifically, that would require adding on average 14 plants each year for the next 50 years, all the while building an average of 7.4 plants to replace those that will be retired, the report by environmental leaders, industry executives and academics said.

      http://www.reuters.com/...

      1000 new nuke plants- yeah, that'll solve everything!

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 01:48:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Renewables--yeah, they'll solve everything . . . (0+ / 0-)

        . . .  except reducing carbon emissions.

        Amory Lovins: "Coal can fill the real gaps in our fuel economy....." IPCC: Anthropogenic greenhouse gases will cause extinction of up to 70% of species by 2050.

        by Plan9 on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 04:17:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Bill Gates: nuclear power a must (0+ / 0-)

        for reducing carbon emissions:
        "The only way to solve the climate challenge is have some source of energy that's economic," Gates told the gathering on Thursday evening.

        Expanding the nuclear option, he said, outweighed any notion of wind or solar energy as large-scale storage systems for both remained unproven.

        "You can site it where the power is needed," Gates said.

        http://www.reuters.com/...

        Amory Lovins: "Coal can fill the real gaps in our fuel economy....." IPCC: Anthropogenic greenhouse gases will cause extinction of up to 70% of species by 2050.

        by Plan9 on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 04:42:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  well if anyone is an expert on energy... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Eyesbright

          i use macs.

          The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

          by Laurence Lewis on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 06:56:12 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You should not use any electronics (0+ / 0-)

            . . .  at all if you believe that fossil fuel emissions are accelerating global warming.  One smart phone uses as much electricity in its operation as a refrigerator--if you include the servers and other infrastructure.

            I believe that fossil fuels are accelerating global warming and that the industry is thrilled about the myths that wind and solar will supply all the power we need--because every wind farm guarantees a massive expenditure on backup and that comes from natural gas and coal for the most part.

            Wind farms are heavy-industry sites with gigantic footprints that have a huge environmental impact and that are increasing carbon emissions due to the concrete and steel and the need for fossil fuel backup while making only a small percentage of the grid's electricity and doing so erratically--thus causing problems.

            The fossil fuel industry's only rival:  clean nuclear power.  Which is why the Sierra Club and certain other environmental groups funded by big oil and gas and coal oppose nuclear power and accept $millions from the natural gas industry.

            Storage batteries are far from being adequate to power cities when the wind and sun are not working.

            You are denying the one obvious solution to drastic carbon reduction championed by climatologists like Hansen and Barry Brook and environmental thinkers like Jeff Sachs, Michael Shellenberger, Ted Nordhaus, and Stewart Brand.  Your anti-nuclear position is comparable to that of  climate-change deniers who refuse to accept the facts.  

            So when you want to know who is boosting carbon emissions, just look in the mirror.

            Amory Lovins: "Coal can fill the real gaps in our fuel economy....." IPCC: Anthropogenic greenhouse gases will cause extinction of up to 70% of species by 2050.

            by Plan9 on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 09:21:11 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Nothing (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Creosote

          will solve everything, except a quantum-change in the relationship between humans and the Earth.  And the reduction of the human population by 50%, which is an inevitable result of declining resources.

  •  glad to see you blogging on the greatest (9+ / 0-)

    challenge facing the next few generations of humanity again, Turkana. Keep on.

    Do the math. #unfrackCal. @RL_Miller

    by RLMiller on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 02:11:21 PM PST

  •  but climate changes all the time! (7+ / 0-)

    I keep hearing deniers claiming that the climate is always changing, so we just have to live with this.

    The problem is speed of change. Imagine walking into a wall at 1mph. You might get bruised. Now run into that same wall at 100mph. You go splat and are most certainly dead.

    We're doing the exact same thing with our climate: increasing the temp in 100 years by the same amount it changed naturally in 10,000. And at the end (or more likely the middle), a great big splat is waiting for our entire agricultural system, and thus our ability to maintain a civilization of billions.

  •  More proof (7+ / 0-)

    "Senators are a never-ending source of amusement, amazement, and discouragement" ~ Will Rogers

    by Lefty Coaster on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 03:30:19 PM PST

  •  By looking at the figures (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WarrenS, Laurence Lewis, Eyesbright

    anticipating how this is going to turn out, maybe people can increasing the odds of surviving this.

    I have no illusions about slowing down the rate of increase or stopping it.  I don't see how we can change quickly enough, even if we do (which I doubt) the changes have already been set in motion.

    Probably the best thing to do is to pull out a map.  Look at the areas of the US which are going to fry.  There are several maps here which show the most affected places in a dark red (appropriate color), the central states, further south towards Mexico.  Look at Las Vegas.  The sands of the hourglass are running low.  If I were living in that town, I'd put my house up for sale, this week, start packing my bags.  Start looking further north, to states like Oregon, Washington, BC, areas where there is more abundant water supplies.  

    Think: survival.  
    Cause it's only going to get worse.  The numbers show it.

  •  These statistics... (7+ / 0-)

    ...are looking grimmer and grimmer.  Intelligence seems to have remarkably little survival value.

    Freedom isn't "on the march." Freedom dances.

    by WarrenS on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 04:14:04 PM PST

  •  as noted elsewhere, this study huge finding (5+ / 0-)

    which did not go unrecognized by the eco community yesterday in social media networks and reputable science pubs.

    Great to see it getting such prominent play here at Kos.

    This is THE GAME CHANGER!

    (IMHO)

  •  That is one powerful graphic (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eyesbright

    Thanks for putting this up.

    Be radical in your compassion.

    by DWG on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 09:16:49 AM PST

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