It’s starting to look like it. CO2 emissions this year (2019) are expected to be the highest yet. Even if we achieve AOC’s 2035 end to fossil fuels, we may not avoid the tipping points..
“A series of recent studies and reports suggest that, without immediate and drastic action, the worst-case climate scenario will become the rule rather than the exception”–Kate Wheeling.
Methane Release (Washington Post photo by Jonathan Newton
Greenhouse Gas, Methane, Release May be Accelerating
Methane (CH4) released from warming permafrost is one of the scariest of the possible climate-change feedbacks. Goes like this: Arctic warms > permafrost melts > methane escapes > this increases solar heat trapping in Earth’s atmosphere > this accelerates Arctic warming > permafrost melting accelerates > methane release accelerates > solar heat trapping accelerates > . . . . As Earth warms, its radiant heat will gradually overcome the barrier imposed by greenhouse gasses. Eventually, the atmosphere will find a new balance between incoming solar energy and outgoing heat. Reaching the new balance will take hundreds, probably thousands, of years. Earth will probably be uninhabitable by large-bodied organisms long before that.
Don’t you wish your politicians and fellow citizens would realize that this issue is way more important than whether or not some college student waved his penis in a girl’s face? Of course, that crap needs to stop, but let’s just stop it and let it assume the minor position among today’s concern that it merits, and turn our attention to scarier events.
News of methane releases is accelerating. If researchers begin finding lots of lakes like this one, we could have passed the point at which we can slow global warming.
Flash Droughts Are Becoming More Common.
I wanted to bookmark two well-written articles on climate change that contain useful information. Nothing better than a blog post for making a record.
Here is a link to download Trajectories of the Earth System in the Anthropocene. The article describes the apocalypse that will probably occur if Earth warms by two degrees Celsius.
“Our study suggests that human-induced global warming of two degrees Celsius may trigger other Earth system processes, often called “feedbacks,” that can drive further warming – even if we stop emitting greenhouse gases,” –Will Steffen, lead author of the study published in the journal PNAS.
The article is catching lots of attention, but not as much as the Sunday NY Times article by Nathaniel Rich. All the major news media are discussing that article: Losing Earth; the Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change.
“Like most human questions, the carbon-dioxide question will come down to fear. At some point, the fears of young people will overwhelm the fears of the old. Some time after that, the young will amass enough power to act. It will be too late to avoid some catastrophes, but perhaps not others” — Nathaniel Rich, NYT.
Reading Losing Earth followed by Trajectories provides excellent context for the need for climate action.