too late

It is Too Late to Prevent Climate Change

(Photo by Wil Stewart on Unsplash.com)

Sorry, Greta Thunberg.

I have children of the same age. I accompanied them on a Friday for Future demonstration here in Münster, Germany. 6000 demonstrators! Great! Congrats!

To see this colorful, loud crowd makes me really happy. And it breaks my heart at the same time. That may be the reason why I find it really hard to write this article. It took me weeks.

It fills me with grief to say we are too late.

In my 56 years of life I have not being able to leave another world for you. I apologize for that.

I don’t want to betray you and tell the whole story.

Be welcome to read it.

Or leave, if you don’t want to – for any reason.

Evidence, Interpretation, Opinion, Belief

Know yourself. Don’t accept your dog’s admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.

Ann Landers

In this way the idea of a scientific method is turned upside down. But I’m afraid that’s how it’s often done. Then what you want to hear is true.

I want to understand evidence as a result of a clean scientific methodology. The highest level of evidence are secondary, peer-reviewed studies published in high-impact journals or meta-reviews.

Sometimes I will consider observations that do not meet these criteria to be evident. For example, if a curve of the development of the Arctic ice volume increasingly points downwards, there is no need for a big theory to see where it will land in a few years.

Interpretation or connecting the dots is the second step without which there can be no further knowledge.

Evidence and interpretation are clearly to distinguish from opinions (“We’ll solve the problem technically.”) or beliefs (“I don’t belief in anthropogenic climate change.”). Opinions or beliefs are no adequate answers to evidence. It just happens on a different level.

CO2 and Global Temperature

By burning fossil fuels, intensified since the industrial revolution, which began around 1750, we have increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

The following graph shows, that the CO2 data recorded by scripps.ucsd.edu at Mauna Loa, Hawaii has hit the 415 ppm (parts per million) mark in May 2019. If I could only have one graphic in this article, I would take it.

CO2 800,000 years
Source: Sam Carana at Arctic News

Since 800,000 years the CO2 concentration of the atmosphere had not passed 300 ppm.

So far, it’s just bare data. The next graph suggests a strong correlation between CO2 and the global average temperature.

CO2 Methan and Global Temperature
Source: Sam Carana at https://arctic-news.blogspot.com

Since 420,000 years the red temperature curve and the blue CO2 curve run surprisingly parallel.

Adolf Stips et al. confirm this correlation in “On the causal structure between CO2 and global temperature” in Feb. 2016:

Our study unambiguously shows one-way causality between the total Greenhouse Gases and GMTA (global mean surface temperature anomalies). Specifically, it is confirmed that the former, especially CO2, are the main causal drivers of the recent warming.

Stips et al, 2016

Despite global efforts like the Paris agreement in 2015 the CO2 level still increases. The temperature will follow.

Climate Sensitivity

David Wasdell of the Apollo Gaia Project criticises this 1.5 target in his report Climate Dynamics: Facing the Harsh Realities of Now, 2015.

In this one hour long presentation by Professor David Wasdell of the Apollo Gaia Project he explains that we have no available carbon budget and that we are on a trajectory of well over 10 degrees C. This sort of global temperature rise guarantees the total collapse of the biosphere as we know it.

Kevin Hester

David Wasdell calls the future consequences of CO2 emissions “implicit temperature increase”.

And now today, at 400 ppm, we have an implicit increase of about 4°C as a result of current concentrations of CO2. But we have also emitted nitrous oxide, ozone, methane and CFCs. … There are about 487ppm carbon dioxide equivalent already in the atmosphere. The implicit temperature increase from that is now about 6.2°C … (Contrast that with the increase of 1.5°C which is what the computer models are predicting.)

Wasdell’s harsh reality presentation as pdf

Guy McPherson sees no way for humans to survive such a rise in global-average temperature.

David Wasdell clearly contradicts the IPCC’s advice to politicians that we can still emit a budget of 200-250 gigatons of carbon.

We have already overshot the 2 degree boundary by some 323 thousand million tonnes of emitted carbon.

David Wasdell

Tipping Points

Despite the diversity of complex systems, from markets to ecosystems to crowd behavior, there are remarkable similarities. For most of the time such systems are stable. However, many complex systems have critical thresholds, called tipping points, when the system shifts abruptly from one state to another. This has been studied in many systems including market crashes, abrupt climate change, fisheries collapse, and asthma attacks. Despite the complexity and number of parameters within such systems, the meta-state of the system may often be dependent on just one or two key state variables.

David Korowicz: Tipping Point, March 2010

Tipping Point
Photo: (c) Wolfgang Werminghausen

The egg on the edge of the table is quite a good metaphor for how systems react to exceeding a tipping point. The egg is in equilibrium and only a small impulse brings the center of gravity over the edge of the table. Especially a raw egg will change its structure very fast in a chaotic way. In this case, however, I would not say that it returns to a state of equilibrium. It is simply broken.

In case of climate change a tipping point has been exceeded if we could speak of abrupt climate change.

David Korowicz about the role of positive feedbacks:

For example, as the climate warms it drives up emissions of methane from the artic tundra, which drives further climate change, which leads to further exponential growth in emissions. This could trigger other tipping points such as a die-off in the amazon, itself driving further emissions. Such positive feedbacks could mean that whatever humanity does would no longer matter as its impact would be swamped by the acceleration of much larger scale processes.

I’d like to repeat that: …that whatever humanity does would no longer matter as its impact would be swamped by the acceleration of much larger scale processes.

In advance it is difficult to determine tipping points, but if we observe abrupt reactions and unstable states we can be sure that we have passed one.

Arctic Ice Melt

The situation in the Arctic, our important air conditioning, indicates we have crossed tipping points here. The jet stream is now mostly fractured and chaotic. This leads to unstable and extreme weather situations.

wavy and fractured jet stream
Wavy and split jetstreams on 07 June 2016 while there are thunderstorms and floods in Western Europe. Source: earth.nullschool.net

Albedo is an effect that a decline in ice and snow cover reduces the reflection of the sunlight. In the Arctic Ocean this has a huge impact.

As Professor Peter Wadhams, University of Cambridge, once calculated, a collapse of the sea ice would go hand in hand with dramatic loss of snow and ice cover on land in the Arctic. The albedo change resulting from the snowline retreat on land is similarly large as the retreat of sea ice, so the combined impact could be well over 2 W/sq m. To put this in context, albedo changes in the Arctic alone could more than double the net radiative forcing resulting from the emissions caused by all people of the world.

Sam Carana, arctic-news, Sept. 2016

Well, this is not from a peer-reviewed paper, but it’s Mathematics and Physics. And it’s quoted from one of the most important Arctic experts. His conclusion to double the effect of all emissions is remarkable. I am honored, that Peter Wadhams has answered this article, see comments.

In fact it’s not as bad as that – we have a paper out showing that it is more like 40% – but this is still a big amplification factor, and I have to agree with the figures being put forward on other sources of warming. We are in a bad way, but the remedy is not to despair but to go flat out for a cost-effective direct air capture method, to be applied immediately. Carbon emission reduction alone is hopeless.

Prof. Peter Wadhams in the commentary

The change of albedo is only one feedback mechanisms.

Latent Heat is another feedback.

The latent heat effect: If you melt one kg of ice (near 0° C), the same energy you have used for melting will heat this kg of water (near 0° C) to 80° C. For the Arctic Ocean that means, the more there are areas without ice the energy (from sunlight) that is absorbed by the ocean water will increase rapidly. The latent heat effect will trigger other feedbacks like albedo. It will at least speed heating the Arctic.

Ice Volume

Up to now Guy McPherson has mentioned Wieslaw Maslowski’s prediction, that we’ll have an ice free Arctic in 2016 +- 3 years. In this video he withdraws this assessment. Using linear projections have led to misjudgments. Supercomputers and complex models bring much more reliable results.

According to Maslowski exact predictions can be made about the development of the Arctic Sea-Ice-Volume for 6 months. He is quite sure that we won’t have a blue ocean event (nearly ice-free Arctic ocean) in the summer of 2019. He remains vague when we can expect an ice-free Arctic.

graph sea ice volume

If we look at the curve of Yearly Minimum Arctic Ice Volume it is obvious that the ice volume is decreasing. We may have an ice-free Arctic for a short period in summer in one of the next years. And if we only take albedo and latent heat as two feedback mechanisms it is obvious to predict that the climate patterns at least of the northern hemisphere will change dramatically.

Methane Hydrate

Natalia Shakhova and Igor Semiletov, field researcher, have been warning for years that there are huge amounts of methane hydrates at the sea floor of the East Siberia Arctic Shelf. Because the ocean is quite shallow and the water is heating, there could be a burst of 50 GT methane “highly possible for abrupt release at any time“.

Methane is a very potent greenhouse gas. This 50 GT burst can lead to an increase of the global average temperature significantly. But the results are confusing.

Authors calculated that such a release would cause 1.3°C warming by 2100.

Sam Carana

And in a much shorter periode:

Professor Peter Wadhams co-authored a study that calculated that methane release from the sea floor of the Arctic Ocean could yield 0.6°C warming of the planet in 5 years.

Sam Carana

These two predictions, + 1.3 C by 2100 and + 0.6 C in 5 years are not satisfying.

I have asked Sam Carana (https://www.facebook.com/SamCarana) how he came to his prediction of “1.1°C warming due to methane releases from clathrates at the seafloor” by 2026. His answer:

The 1.1 C rise due to seafloor methane was arrived at after an intense analysis of literature and taking into account a large number of variables.

Natalia Shakhova compares the East Siberian Arctic Shelf to a “bottle of champagne”. Once the bottle is open, there is no way back.

So the gas produces within this bottle and it keeps accumulating as long as the cork serves as an impermeable lid. This lid is subsea permafrost. … While this lid is impermeable, there is nothing to worry about. But when this lid loses its integrity, this is when we start worrying.

Shakhova, Interview with Nick Breeze, June 2017

A methane outbreak alone could catapult the situation in the Arctic beyond tipping points.

She (Shakhova) explained that the transition from the methane being frozen in the permafrost, either on land or in the shallow northern shores of the East Siberian Arctic, “is not gradual. When it comes to phase transition, it appears to be a relatively short, jump-like transformation from one state of the process to another state. The difference between the two states is like the difference between a closed valve and an open valve. This kind of a release is like the unsealing of an over-pressurized pipeline.”

truthout: The Methane Monster Roars, 2015

With the 50 GT methane outburst and an abrupt global temperature rise of 1.1 C, we must therefore calculate from the lowest edge of the expected increases.

Melting Permafrost

A paper in Geosciences dated 23 November 2018 indicates up to 8516 ppm by volume in the Yamal region of Siberia , indicating the great potential for terrestrial permafrost to warm the planet in the near future. In other words, it is not only the 50-Gt burst of methane … that poses an existential threat based on methane alone.

Guy McPherson

And not enough:

The study by Wilkerson et al. shows that nitrous oxide emissions from thawing Alaskan permafrost are about twelve times higher than previously assumed. A 2018 study by Yang et al. points at the danger of large nitrous oxide releases from thawing permafrost in Tibet. Even more nitrous oxide could be released from Antarctica.

Sam Carana

Terrestrial permafrost is already melting all over the world. “Positive” feedback loops are in full swing.

Water Vapor is a Greenhouse Gas

Believe it or not, water vapor doubles the heating effect of other sources.

Measuring the effect of water vapor on climate warming, by American Geophysical Union, 18 March 2014:

Water vapor is a potent greenhouse gas. In the atmosphere, the concentration of water vapor increases with the temperature, setting up a powerful positive feedback loop. This water vapor feedback is the strongest known positive feedback, with the potential to roughly double the effect of warming caused by other sources.

Oceans Heating

More than 90 percent of the warming that has happened on Earth over the past 50 years has occurred in the ocean. Recent studies estimate that warming of the upper oceans accounts for about 63 percent of the total increase in the amount of stored heat in the climate system from 1971 to 2010, and warming from 700 meters down to the ocean floor adds about another 30 percent.

Climate.gov, 01 Aug 2018

How Long Can Oceans Continue To Absorb Earth’s Excess Heat?

More heat stored in the ocean now means more will inevitably return to the atmosphere. “A couple of El Niño events will do the trick,” said England. The warm water and calm winds of this periodic Pacific tropical condition are “a big way to get subsurface heat back to the surface.”

YaleEnvironment360, 30 March 2015

El Niño

El Niños are events where ocean currents bring warm water to the surface of the Pacific Ocean. The resulting air circulations disperse heat and water vapor into the atmosphere.

The relative new Central Pacific El Niño events have a higher frequency in recent decades relative to past centuries according to Mandy B. Freund et al. in Nature Geoscience 2019.

“The Conversation”, 06 May 2019: El Niño has rapidly become stronger and stranger, according to coral records.

A new category of El Niño has become far more prevalent in the last few decades than at any time in the past four centuries. Over the same period, traditional El Niño events have become more intense.

El Nino
Source: NOAA National Centers for Environmental information,
Climate at a Glance: Global Time Series

As we can see in the graphic, strong El Niño events (the red columns) are able to boost the global temperature by 0.2-0.3 °C.

Global Dimming

While the human civilization is increasingly emitting carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, aerosols are simultaneously injected into the atmosphere.

Aerosols are atmospheric particles, which have an overall cooling influence on climate by reflecting sunlight back into space. Sources of human-generated aerosols include the use of fossil fuels and burning of vegetation.

Without this umbrella effect of aerosols the atmosphere would be much hotter. Therefor reducing carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels will provoke a further heating.

According to Levy et al. on 20 May 2013 in the Journal of Geophysical Research would as little as a 35% reduction lead to 1 °C temperature rise. This increase would occur within days or a few weeks.

Rosenfeld et al. in Science from 8 Feb 2019 consider the aerolsol masking effect to be greatly underestimated.

A rapid reduction of industrial activities is therefore not a good idea.

Temperature Baseline

Often the baseline used in publications about the increase of the global temperature is a lie.

The Paris Agreement has called for a limitation of global warming to well below 2 °C above preindustrial levels; and to limit the increase to 1.5 °C.

The baseline is forever shifting. If we consider that Thomas Savery had a coal fired pump working in 1698 surely we should consider at least 1700 as a baseline rather that 1750 or any later date.

Kevin Hester

Searching for current data you’ll find it for example at NASA, a U.S. agency. The last mean temperature anomaly from 2018 is +0.8 °C. These data are often used in publications and suggest that we still have plenty of room for +2°C.

Baseline Global Temperature

The blue curve shows the global annual mean temperature anomalies. For the baseline, the zero mark, an average of temperature anomalies is taken from 1951 to 1980. You can speculate what the reason for choosing the baseline is.

The red line is adjusted to a preinstustrial baseline from 1750, as Sam Carana suggested.

In 2018 we had a global temperature 1.57 °C above preindustrial levels. In the strong El Nino year 2016 we have hit the mark of +1.7 °C. The polinomial trend line is near 1.7 °C.

In April 2019 Sam Carana estimates 2019 could be 1.85°C warmer than preindustrial .

Habitat

Even the European Union Institute for Security Studies anticipates in the report “Global Trends to 2030” the extinction of mankind in the worst case:

An increase of 1.5 degrees is the maximum the planet can tolerate; should temperatures increase further beyond 2030, we will face even more droughts, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people; the likely demise of the most vulnerable populations – and at worst, the extinction of humankind altogether.

Florence Gaub et al., 08 April 2019

Strona and Bradshow use the phrase “annihilate planetary life” in the title of their paper in nature.com from 13 Nov. 2018:
Co-extinctions annihilate planetary life during extreme environmental change

Our paper demonstrates that even the most tolerant species ultimately succumb to extinction when the less-tolerant species on which they depend disappear.

Giovanni Strona

As the study points out, life on Earth will already have disappeared with a 5°C rise.

Aarhus University: Mammals cannot evolve fast enough to escape current extinction crisis

Humans are exterminating animal and plant species so quickly that nature’s built-in defense mechanism, evolution, cannot keep up. An Aarhus-led research team calculated that if current conservation efforts are not improved, so many mammal species will become extinct during the next five decades that nature will need 3 to 5 million years to recover.

And just to mention it: We are mammals too.

The environmental changes are with a factor of 10,000 faster than evolutionary changes, said Guy McPherson, professor emeritus for evolutionary biology.

Guy McPhersons article summarizes in Weekly Hybris, May 2019: Seven Distinct Paths to Loss of Habitat for Humans

To put it simply, our fate as a species is sealed. We’re headed for extinction in the very near term despite warnings dating more than 150 years.

Guy McPherson, Extinction Foretold, Extinction Ignored, May 2019

To sum up

Only from the mentioned sources we can expect at least a further heating of 4-5°C. The maximum estimates lead to well above +10 °C in a matter of months or a few years.

A reduction of the aerosol masking effect would have the most rapid effect. Here we are talking about days or a few weeks. The previous CO2 in the atmosphere and future emissions will continue to have their effect for many decades to come.

What shall You do during the time left?

After all these facts, interpretations and opinions you may agree that our time left will be shorter than expected.

I know it’s not an easy step to accept that. That’s a challenge.

Kate Manser has condensed the confrontation with death into this formula:

You might die tomorrow – So live today

Kate Manser

What is most important in your life?
What shall You do during the time left?

Please take a few minutes and write in a comment what is on your mind.


During my summer break the comment function is switched off.

Have a nice summer time.

Thanks

Many thanks to Guy McPherson, to whom I owe most of the insights processed here. And just as much thanks to Sam Carana. Although she/he/they only publishes on this subject under a synonym, I think she/he/they is one of the most reliable scientists. And thanks to Kevin Hester, who supported me writing this text. He’s a man with the biggest warrior heart I know.

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36 Comments

  1. Peter Baldwin

    It is definitely possible and actually likely, but unfortunately our emotionally charged thoughts and belief support it happening. I am at a loss to know how to manage my thoughts responsibly without feeling like my head is in the sand.

    • Wolfgang

      Peter, maybe sometimes it is a good strategy to have the head in the sand to deal with those “dark” thoughts.

  2. Nicole from Saxony

    I already confronted myself with all that dire projections of Shakova, Wadhams and Carana. All is frightening logical. Personally I decided to get destracted by studying solutions at university, after implementing all I could in my life. Maybe it is only a weak try to save a hope for the kids I have, but it is my way to geh Alone with having no hole, deep in my mothers heart..

  3. Nicole

    Stupid Autocorrection: my way to get along with having no hope…

  4. Randall Mathews

    I avoid despair for hours at a time by playing beautiful acoustic music.
    The music must be difficult enough to completely occupy my rational mind. I play from memory with improvisation, and change instruments, keys, modes and methods to keep my mind busy enough. It’s a balancing act, but there is much healing in the beauty.

  5. Fred bohm

    Gibt es den Artikel auch auf deutsch für meine nicht englisch sprechenden Freunde? Danke

  6. Juri Hertel

    re. Methane concentration:

    Methane has a relative short live time in atmosphere, reducing the emissions will lead to reduction of atmospheric methane concentrations very fast – compared to CO2

    re. Nitrogen concentration:

    farmers live on the rain washing the nitrogen from the air into their soil. The natural soil input is at around 10 kg N/ha/year.
    An increase in the atmospheric N concentration as seen in heavy polluted areas will also lead to an increase in soil fertility: extra plant growth=extra CO2 storage in the soil.

    I’m afraid as well that these factors will come very slow to make a difference but it still can be done.

  7. A veritable ‘piece de resistance’ from Wolfgang’s “Faster than Expected” blog which includes a link to one of my blog posts that was recently commented on by the worlds leading expert on Arctic Sea Ice Professor Peter Wadhams.
    “The analysis of climate sensitivity by David Wasdell is very important. I have been through it with him several times and am convinced of its validity. I mentioned it in “A Farewell to Ice”. The point is that here is a big difference between the short term sensitivity, which is used to calculate warming over a few years, and the long term sensitivity which represents how much warming the earth is going to be subjected to if you don’t add more CO2 but let the effects of the present levels work their way fully through the climate system. Short term sensitivity is 2-4.5 C, but long term is more like 10C. The crime of IPCC and other modelling outfits is that they are aware of this difference between short and long term, but still use the short term value even when they are doing hand-waving studies of what is going to happen over the next century or two. In fact it;’s not just the case that the magic 1.5C or 2C warming is already “baked in” to the global system – in fact the baked in figure is more like 4-5 C. Hence the vital need for carbon drawdown. Best wishes Peter Wadhams”
    https://kevinhester.live/2017/11/10/full-earth-system-sensitivity-to-co2-has-been-grossly-underestimated/

  8. Philip Rainbird

    Our children are now in their 30’s and 40’s yet I know they are less well prepared for the climate catastrophe than we in our 60’s who were acculturated to the zeitgeist of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. That culture was finally turned over by the Neocon fantasy that ended in the ‘08 crash, and it is no coincidence that the superb protests of today are led by teenagers. For all our alternative culture and knowledge, we Boomers failed the subsequent generations and the forlorn hope of saving the world from the inevitable has passed to the youngest of them. This blog is unflinching in showing the range of choices we once had. We blew it.

  9. Allan Barr

    Exceptionally well written and accurate. Thanks so much for the time and effort you put into this. For those who are interested, both Kevin and Guy are members of this group along with other fine members. https://www.facebook.com/groups/Ilovelife2/

  10. Gianni Tiziano

    Io ho 62 anni. Vivo come se potessi morire domani, o fra 50 anni. Cerco in ogni modo di essere cosciente di quel che succede, e di vivere con amore per le persone e per tutta la natura, gli animali, le piante, le rocce, l’acqua e l’aria. Sono primitivista. Desidero che ogni mia cellula sia consapevole dell’errore antropocentrico. Noi esseri umani ci crediamo i padroni del pianeta Terra, ma non lo siamo. Siamo solo una delle trame che compongono il tessuto. Noi siamo una delle parti che compongono la natura, non i padroni. Quando posso, ne parlo con le persone che conosco. Odio la civiltà.

  11. I think that, for sanity’s sake, it is sometimes necessary to disregard the science and to focus instead on personal experience. Especially now as the sudden public climate craze (started exactly August 01, 2018) and the Greta hype seem to indicate that there is something fishy going on in the background.
    https://kenfm.de/standpunkte-%E2%80%A2-nach-dem-suendenfall/

    Doubts and certainties aside, what is most important to me is, what does it mean on an emotional, spiritual, psychological, existential level. The numbers are beginning to lose their meaning when you face a no-future situation. I still stand by essays like, “2°C to midnight, or, in Paris we trust”,
    http://wuestenzeitung.blogspot.com/2017/05/2c-to-midnight-or-in-paris-we-trust.html
    and I think you did a great job here with discouraging false hope. But there got to be more. Just today I stumbled upon an interview from Ecobuddhism, talking to Joanna Macy about her ideas on NTHE. Here is her comment on some similar kind of direct action as your FFF march:

    EB: A few climate scientists consider we may have already entered into runaway climate change.

    JM: I suspect that they are right. Logically they are right: we don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell. At my last workshop, people were saying “It’s too late” in the Truth Mandala that we do. And then they went out and got arrested at the White House, chained to the fence to protest the wars. So our acting with passionate dedication to life doesn’t seem to be affected. I would just as soon live that way. What keeps you going? Are you not fed by your work?
    https://www.filmsforaction.org/articles/joanna-macy-on-how-to-prepare-internally-for-whatever-comes-next/?fbclid=IwAR0VTfVr7LVcupjI1RL0pjUTRKPbBbo_CQpLjMPXdFFzh5TmY-JA99jFTNU

  12. I love this essay from Joanna Macey;
    “The Greatest Danger”.
    “Because of social taboos, despair at the state of our world and fear for our future are rarely acknowledged. The suppression of despair, like that of any deep recurring response, contributes to the numbing of the psyche. Expressions of anguish or outrage are muted, deadened as if a nerve had been cut. This refusal to feel impoverishes our emotional and sensory life. Flowers are dimmer and less fragrant, our loves less ecstatic. We create diversions for ourselves as individuals and as nations, in the fights we pick, the aims we pursue, and the stuff we buy.” The Greatest Danger; Joanna Macy & The Great Turning film

    http://www.dailygood.org/story/1821/the-greatest-danger-joanna-macy/

  13. Peter Wadhams

    Carana quotes me as estimating in 2016 that the albedo feedback from snow and ice retreat effectively doubles the warming effect due to CO2 release from greenhouse gas burning. In fact it’s not as bad as that – we have a paper out showing that it is more like 40% – but this is still a big amplification factor, and I have to agree with the
    figures being put forward on other sources of warming. We are in a bad way, but the remedy is not to despair but to go flat out for a cost-effective direct air capture method, to be applied immediately. Carbon emission reduction alone is hopeless.

  14. PattiMichelle

    Thanks for a good summary of much of the current science. There is one thing which needs to be said and reinforced… Local Resilience and Local Community building. This has been said for some time by the Post Carbon Institute. There’s no guarantee that we won’t sink into Totalitarianism or a neo Dark Ages, but being able to survive the coming shocks should allow for less suffering.

    Of course, if we succeed TOO well in any particular locale, that will make it a target for some less-honorable people and groups… Much is to be done, and much careful deliberation is needed just for this one small part of surviving the end of the Holocene.

  15. PattiMichelle

    Good – you may have left out one very important piece – Chancel/Piketty [2015], OxFam [2015], as explained by Anderson [2015-2019]. There is much that can be done but it is difficult to organize and enact. Basically, the wealthiest 20% or so of humans must *stop* consuming. (these are those with over about $70,000 net assets) They include the super rich. Only this way can we avoid the worst of it.

  16. Daniel Ferra

    For Every 1C. Temp Rise There is 7% More Moisture Added To the Atmosphere Creating Record Rains Each Year

    We Have Increased Temps to 5.4C. Since The 1700s

    Mother Nature (Physics) Expressing Green House Gas Geological Realities Not IPPC Fossil Fuel LIES

    Carbon 415.78 + Methane Natural Gas 2,300ppb + Water Vapour = Global warming Extreme Deadly Weather

    Add 1.8C. Rise For The Feed Back Loops That Kicked In After 2005

    Add 1.8C. Temp Rise For The Water Vapour

    Add 1.8C. Global Temp Rise From Burning Fossil Fuels

    We Are Over 5.4C. Temp Rise Right Now

    So if there is a 1°C change caused by CO2, the water vapor will cause the temperature to go up another 1°C.

    When other feedback loops are included, the total warming from a potential 1°C change caused by CO2 is, in reality, as much as 3°C.”Skeptical Science

    For Every 1C. Temp Rise There is 7% More Moisture Added To the Atmosphere Creating Record Rains Each Year

    5.4C. Temp Rise x 7% Moisture = 35% More Moisture in The Atmosphere Is Record Rain Year After Nuclear Fossil Fuel Sea Level Rising Year

    So 5.4C. Global Temp Rise Right Now and The Deadly Extreme Weather Is Confirming This Equation

    “Over a one-hour period, rainfall of 109.5 mm (4.31 inches) was reported, the highest ever recorded in the month of May.

    In total 442 mm (17.4 inches) of rain fell during the cloudburst causing significant flooding and elevating the risk for mudslides.

    The Japan Meteorological Agency has declared the event a once in 50-year event.” Eric Leister

    Already at 10% more moisture it has Doubled Record Rain Fall,

    Texas 2019 May 600% Record Rain For The Month

    We are Accelerating to 6C. in Months by 2020 ?

    What will Record 35% More Moisture in the Atmosphere be in Record Rain ?

    In 2020 ? 2–10 feet of Record Rain Locked in to Global Extreme Weather

    Ida, Fina, Florence — Global Warming Abrupt Climate Change Sea Level Rising Over 220 Feet Way Faster Than They Say Way Faster Than You Think

    Ida, Fina, Florence, Sandy, Katrina, Irma, Maria, an Harvey had 19% to 49% more Record Rain, Record Winds, Record Sea Surges,

    Our New Normal Since 2000 Record Rain has been 29 percent — 60 percent Increase in Rain

    Record Rain, Record Snow,

    Record Highs Record Lows

    Record Winds, Record Waves

    Record Fires, Record Floods,

    Record Volcanic Eruptions

    Record Hurricanes, Record Tsunamis,

    Record Typhoons, Record Earthquakes,

    Record Mud-Slides, an Record Sea Surges. Record High Tides, Record 220 Feet of Sea Level Rise When ?

  17. Daniel Ferra

    Mother Nature (Physics) Expressing Green House Gas Geological Realities Not IPPC Fossil Fuel LIES

    Carbon 415.78 + Methane Natural Gas 2,300ppb + Water Vapour = Global warming Extreme Deadly Weather

    Add 1.8C. Rise For The Feed Back Loops That Kicked In After 2005

    Add 1.8C. Temp Rise For The Water Vapour

    Add 1.8C. Global Temp Rise From Burning Fossil Fuels

    We Are Over 5.4C. Temp Rise Right Now

    So if there is a 1°C change caused by CO2, the water vapor will cause the temperature to go up another 1°C.

    When other feedback loops are included, the total warming from a potential 1°C change caused by CO2 is, in reality, as much as 3°C.”Skeptical Science

    For Every 1C. Temp Rise There is 7% More Moisture Added To the Atmosphere Creating Record Rains Each Year

    5.4C. Temp Rise x 7% Moisture = 35% More Moisture in The Atmosphere Is Record Rain Year After Nuclear Fossil Fuel Sea Level Rising Year

    So 5.4C. Global Temp Rise Right Now and The Deadly Extreme Weather Is Confirming This Equation

    In 2020 We Will Surpass The 6C. Temp Rise

    “At least 27 people have been killed in Europe over the past couple of days after a series of intense storms swept over the region dumping extremely heavy rain. 12 people died in Spain’s Mallorca, 1 in Italy, at least 15 in France and 3 in the UK.

    More than 230 mm (9 inches) of rain fell on Mallorca, Spain’s Balearic Islands on October 9, 2018, causing one of the worst flash floods the island has seen in 25 years. The worst affected was the island’s northeastern part. Average rainfall for the entire month of October in Mallorca is just 44.3 mm (1.7 inches).

    The probability of 233 mm (9.17 inches) of rain falling in Colònia de Sant Pere [close to Sant Lorenç] in Mallorca, which was recorded on October 9, is one in a thousand years, Spain’s AEMET national weather service said in a preliminary report.

    According to El Pais, heavy rainfall flooded the Ses Planes brook, which is typically dry, and sent raging floodwaters through the historical center, dragging cars, flooding houses, destroying infrastructure and leaving hundreds stranded.

    At least 12 people have been killed, 6 are missing, 3 were injured and another 200 forced to flee their homes.” Ted Blaskoviv

    “Over a one-hour period, rainfall of 109.5 mm (4.31 inches) was reported, the highest ever recorded in the month of May.

    In total 442 mm (17.4 inches) of rain fell during the cloudburst causing significant flooding and elevating the risk for mudslides.

    The Japan Meteorological Agency has declared the event a once in 50-year event.” Eric Leister

    Some of The Feed Back Loops That Kick In 2005, Four Geological Formations Spewing and Venting Methane Now In The Arctic and one Venting Along The Washington Oregon Coast
    Perma Frost Melting

    Methane Hydrates

    Pingoes — Started in 2005 Finger Size Blow Holes, Now 300 Foot Wide Methane Blow Holes Increasing in Number and Size, in Siberia, Canada, an the Euro-Asian Plate Pingoes and Under Water Pingoes

    “Pingos preceded blow-outs
    Researchers have now examined satellite images of northern Siberian from a few years back and looked at the area where the explosions occurred. They found that the year before the huge crater appeared, there were large pingos in the same place.

    Pingos are found in the arctic and are usually raised hills, like a giant pimple, with a core of ice.

    In this case, however, the pingos must have been filled with gas in the form of ice, bound up with water in gas hydrates and permafrost.

    Russian scientists have now mapped 7,000 gas-filled pingos that are poking through the thawing permafrost, visible in satellite images that illustrate how the pingos form and grow, published in The Siberian Times.” Siw Ellen Jakobsen

    Mantle Methane From Isostatic Rebounding
    Isostatic Rebounding of Greenlands Tectonic Plate, affecting (Gakkels Rift), causing Earthquakes in the Arctic, as well as Venting Mantle Methane

    Arctic News Sept. 15 2013
    “ As more ice melts away on Greenland and more water runs off in the Ocean and Sea, There is less weight on Greenlands Crust, the Crust Bouncing back from the lighter weight.

    The Crust bouncing back during Large Melts an effect called Isostatic Rebounding.

    This Rebounding can not Only Trigger Earthquakes and Landslides, it can also Suck Up the Magma from the Mantle.

    It Also Sucks Up Magma From The Mantle.

    It also Sucks Up Mantle Methane !

    Triggering Volcanic Eruptions and Venting Mantle Methane”. Sam Carana

    Methane Burp Or Pingoe Popping Pimple and at some point, like Natalia Shakhov, Guy Mcpherson, and Kevin Hester point out, we are going to experience a Methane blow out in the Arctic, from Mantle Methane, Perma-Frost, Methane Hydrates, Pingoes.

    The Methane has been telling us, it is going to blow since 2005 by Maria Shakhov, what was a finger size blow whole in 2005 is now a 200–300 ft. wide blow hole called Pingoes 2015

    And their increasing in number and size in Siberia, North American Plate, and on the Euro-Asian Plate

  18. Daniel Ferra

    For Over 3 Million Years Waxing an Waning in Glaciation, an Emanating The Jet Stream

    The Arctic Was The Northern Hemisphere Biggest Freezer

    News Flash Arctic No Longer Keeps the Northern Hemisphere Cool Cold or in Freeze

    Greenland Does Now With Its 20 Feet of Sea Level Rise

    Antarcticas 200 Feet of Sea Level Rise

    They Are Both Melting An Calving Getting Ready To Collapse

    Last Time Parts Per Million Of Carbon Was Over 410ppm

    Sea Level Was Over 130 Feet Higher Than Right Now

    Carbon Is At 415.78ppm And Climbing

    Greenland an Antarctica Melting Calving Getting Ready To Collapse When ?

    Today Tonight Tomorrow With In 36 Months ?

    Oceans Floors Sinking Putting Pressure On The Thermal Convection Belt Between the Crust an The Mantle Magma

    This Pressure Creates Stress That Is Relieved by Magma Lava Eruptions an Tectonic Plate Movement

    These Earth Quakes an Volcanic Activity Will Be Increasing

    Bali Sumatra Volcanoes, Perus 8.2 Earth Quake.

    “Every 100-ppm CO2 increase in the atmosphere gives us 100 feet of sea level rise,” he told me. “This happened when we went in and out of the Ice Age.”

    As I knew, since the industrial revolution began, atmospheric CO2 has already increased from 280 to 410 ppm.

    “That’s 130 ppm in just the last 200 years,” I pointed out to him.

    That’s 130 feet of sea level rise that’s already baked into Earth’s climate system.

    He looked at me and nodded grimly. I couldn’t help thinking of that as a nod goodbye to coastal cities from Miami to Shanghai.” Dahr Jamail

    Methane Burp Or Pingoe Popping Pimple and at some point, like Natalia Shakhov, Guy Mcpherson, and Kevin Hester point out, we are going to experience a Methane blow out in the Arctic, from Mantle Methane, Perma-Frost, Methane Hydrates, Pingoes.

    The Methane has been telling us, it is going to blow since 2005 by Maria Shakhov, what was a finger size blow whole in 2005 is now a 200–300 ft. wide blow hole called Pingoes 2015

    And their increasing in number and size in Siberia, North American Plate, and on the Euro-Asian Plate

    We Should Not Throw In The Towel, Now Is The Time To Act Campaign to Allow Californian Residents to Sell Electricity Obtained by Renewable Energy To the Utility aka Feed In Tariff

    We Need a National Feed in Tariff

    Will you read, sign, and share this petition ?

    https://petitions.moveon.org/sign/let-california-home-owners

    Richest in Land an Money Queen of England, Vatican an US Federal Reserve Should Fund Decommissioning an Relocation Of All Nuclear Waste To Above 3,000 Feet

    444 Nuclear Reactors

    450 Nuclear Fuel Rod Facilities an over 1,300 Fuel Rod Pools

    Over 250,000 Toxic Tons Of Radiated Nuclear Waste

    Over 14,000 Nuclear Weapons

    There Is So Much Uranium In The Oceans They Will Be Mining It Soon

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9GRkZMTqCs

  19. PattiMichelle

    Many attributions to McPherson, who is a big mouthpiece, but nowhere near as important as Anderson and Heinberg. But perhaps the goal is to alarm. Of course, Anderson is a world class scientist (unlike McPherson), is outspoken, and extremely alarming.

  20. Jane lee

    Quoting Rupert Read…This is not a time for hope. It’s a time for courage

  21. Isak

    Thank you so much for writing this article. I already knew most of what’s in there, and I came to the same conclusion as you a long time ago, but it’s always refreshing when an adult tells the truth. Most people are completely unaware of how dire the situation is. The ones who aren’t are usually afraid of how we, the fragile teenagers , would react to this information, so they shut up about it instead. I am only 19 years old, so learning about this has taken a toll on my mental health. I was always relatively pessimistic about life, but I still had plans, hopes and dreams… both for myself and for other living beings. I have known for quite some time – many years, in fact – that it’s too late for any of that now. I remember when it hit me. I was just a guy in his early teens who, despite having more than enough problems already, was relatively at peace with the world and my place in it. As I began to realize how bad everything was going to get, and how my own government and others were making sure the catastrophe would arrive even sooner by refusing to do anything (and even increasing the damage done), everything changed. When I tried to tell the people around me about this, no one would listen. They would write me off as a depressed teenager who was just going through a rebellious phase and scoff at any mention of the climate crisis. Now, most of them are forced to admit that we have a problem. Still, a majority of people – adults especially – continue living their lives as if nothing is happening. They share the occasional article on Facebook or write “oh my God, this is terrifying” in some comment section somewhere, but only a few of them actually feel the pain and desperation that comes from taking an honest look at the facts. Thank you for not being one of those cold hearted adults who dismiss concerned young people. Thank you for listening, and for doing the work you’re doing. It’s nice to know that I’m not alone.

    Isak.

    • Wolfgang

      Isak, thank you so much for your open comment. It is really encouraging for me that a young man like you is resonating with what I am writing here.

  22. Jeremy Roberts

    I suspect our governments have known how dire this situation really is going to become. I believe we crossed the line of no return decades ago. Civilization is a heat engine (as Guy says). Maybe that’s why our governments have failed to act. Maybe the already know all hope is lost.

    Thinking it out logically….if the masses knew there was no hope our world would disintegrate into anarchy and violence. Similar to the mouse utopia experiments. I’ve seen humans at their worst and it far exceeds humans at their best. We have an incredible knack for violence. It’s why a naked ape without any natural defenses clawed its way to the top of the food chain. We killed anything in our way.

    If you understand science the writing is on the wall. I’ve attempted to discuss the matter with multiple individuals but have never succeeded. People either react incredulous or crawl into a protective delusional shell. I’ve since quit attempting to impart my depressing knowledge onto my cohorts.

    Besides…..maybe they’re right. Why give up your finite happiness now…..when its going to happen later anyways. When all hope is lost…..you live in a daily existence of endless and meaningless grind of daily bullshit. Everything begins to lose meaning. I know I’ve been there/here!

    But I’ve realized my life was never guaranteed and tomorrow was never promised. It’s very difficult to claw yourself out of the darkness and back into the light. I suspect there will soon be a rash of scientists committing suicide! Same with the masses if they knew the panoramic view of our collective futures.

    Live each day with enthusiasm my friends! But please do not underestimate how bad things will get. The climate will be the least of your worries…..your neighbors will be terrifying. Plan accordingly!

  23. Rich

    Politicians lie so why wouldn’t humanity try to solve the climate crisis? Solutions have been inadequate and will continue to be inadequate. At some point humanity will finally realize that sacrifices would have to be far greater than people realize. If efforts are not made then finally people will think they didn’t try.

    So trying to prove its completely hopeless is sociopathic and stupid.

  24. Lena B

    Much of the panic on this issue is connected to death anxiety… Thanatophobia. This was my field of research and teaching until retirement. Its okay to die as billions have done before you and it wont inconvenience you (or me) one iota. ( credit to Mark Twain)

  25. https://climateengineers.earth/ejpcc/

    Please contact if interested.

    Thanks

    Steve.

  26. Sorry, but I can’t find the page to contact the author of this website, hence posting this comment. Could you please point to it (if there is one) or email me directly? Thanks.

  27. Cynthia Chan

    Thank you Wolfgang, I appreciate your website and podcasts. I live in California and every year there are many more signs of global warming, we have had so many devastating fires, droughts, rising sea levels on the coasts, earthquakes, poor mono crop outcomes and more chemicals & diversion of water systems to feed unsustainable agribusiness. Not much has changed in the way most people live. I work in medicine in the middle of ag fields, serving migrants, and I see every year more people getting sick w/diabetes, obesity, cancer and lots of intestinal problems from bad food and their gut having imbalances and antibiotic resistance. We don’t have the cure. My friends and family don’t want to hear this from me. They want to con’t living as though climate change won’t affect them drastically in their lifetime.
    Thus I am reaching out to the greater international community of like-minded people like yourself and others on your website. I would like to spend my remaining years honoring Mother Earth, hiking, creating art from chaos and being supportive of friends, family and connecting with others like yourself who are courageous enough to speak the truth. It’s much easier to turn the other way.

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