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Planet 'on the brink', with new heat records likely in 2024: U.N.

41 Comments
By Nina LARSON

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Once again they avoid the really BIG question. 8 billion humans are too many for the planet to support.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

We haven't turned the corner yet. At some point, we need to see a year-to-year decline in green house gas emissions. After that, maybe a century after that, we might see temperatures stop rising. CO2 has a half life in the atmosphere of about a century. At some point, we need to see temperatures decline.

It's funny to think that without human caused global warming we would be headed towards another ice age.

Those whose mantra is "Drill baby, drill!" need to be consigned to the trash heap of history.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

People. Too many people. Economies should adjust to fewer people instead of wanting even more to keep them afloat. The over-population is at the root of all of the major issues we have to deal with.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

1glennToday  10:34 am JST

Those whose mantra is "Drill baby, drill!" need to be consigned to the trash heap of history.

When that dumb excuse of a Gov. of Alaska said that, her followers were thinking on another definition of that. Nonetheless, just like coal mining has been dirty and destructive, so has petroleum and we need cleaner energy now. There's so many armchair generals who 'rah-rah' ed the 1991 Gulf war but when the Iraqi army blew up all those Kuwaiti oil wells, who really won? The planet Earth lost that war, we ALL did.

It's time to stop the pretense.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

We are in the midst of a runaway greenhouse process.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

There is absolutely nothing that can be done to stop climate change. Climate doesn't have a remote control that can be switched on or off. Once we reach the tipping point, it's over. Humans keep reproducing because consumption is what drives G20 countries' economies. Billionaires are building bunkers to stick it out, the rest of us go the way of the dinosaurs. I wonder what an iPhone fossil will look like?

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

There is absolutely nothing that can be done to stop climate change.

There is something that you can do: Throw your petroleum wagon to the garbage, and buy an electric car. Put solar panels on your roof.

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

I don’t let global warming bother me really, what can I do about it? I’m eco friendly anyway, always try to buy local produce, don’t drive etc.

Well, the main issues is the pollution from third world nations with huge population growth.

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

You can literally fit every person on the planet on Manhattan island. No such thing as overpopulation on a global level. Yet we're expected to believe the leftist trolls, most of whom have never done anything to combat the issues at hand, that the world is on the brink?

Lol

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

BelrickToday 05:21 pm JST

You can literally fit every person on the planet on Manhattan island. No such thing as overpopulation on a global level. Yet we're expected to believe the leftist trolls, most of whom have never done anything to combat the issues at hand, that the world is on the brink?

Lol

You going to feed all of those people with just Manhattan, too? And what kind of life is that being stacked up on top of people?

6 ( +9 / -3 )

You going to feed all of those people with just Manhattan, too?

Maybe he thinks everyone can just eat each other?

I don't think he understands that people need sustenance at regular intervals, and that sustenance has to be produced. Bleach and light aren't gonna feed us.

Not the brightest bulb that one.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

On track to turn Earth into Mars 2.0

Desolate dry and with no life. Like a body with a fever, if the world cant find a way to stop the temperature increasing, the world faces the death of the lifeforms inhabiting it.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

You can literally fit every person on the planet on Manhattan island.

You literally can't. You couldn't fit 10% of it on Manhattan. And just imagine the smell.

And even if you literally could, it would still be literally irrelevant.

Yet we're expected to believe the leftist trolls

Are we expected to believe rightist ones like you who believe 8 Billion people could fit on to Manhattan and that it would mean something even if they could?

3 ( +6 / -3 )

We are in the midst of a runaway greenhouse process.

No, we are not.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

The debate about the climate is the most bitter and poignant debate nowadays. Its poignancy far exceeds that of any other political debate. At the one side there is the pro-Earth opinion, which warns against a malignant warming up of the planet, and calls for salvaging our beloved planet. At the opposite side there is the anti-Earth opinion, which denies that there is any warming up process, or opposes to the salvaging of the planet. The anti-Earths speakers are the agents of the petroleum lords. In such a situation it would be fair to let both opinions be heard. Silencing the pro-Earth opinion goes against the principle of freedom of speech.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Silencing the pro-Earth opinion goes against the principle of freedom of speech.

Who is "silencing the pro-Earth opinion", though? Even those who concoct impossible doomsday fantasies of runaway greenhouses, scorched earth and boiling oceans have no problem making their opinion heard. Thoroughly unhelpful as it is, as they are playing straight into the denialists' accusations of fearmongering.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Warning against a real danger that is really bad and malignant is not fearmongering.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Warning against a real danger that is really bad and malignant is not fearmongering.

I agree. Climate change is a real danger and needs to be taken seriously.

However, a "runaway greenhouse", or a thermal runaway in general, is not a real danger on Earth. Warning against it is grist to the mill for climate change denialists who regard all the warnings about climate change as fearmongering.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

There are those who say that they do not deny the danger of the warming of the climate, they just deny the malignancy of the warming process, and claim that the warming process is benign. But this intrinsic contradiction leaves the following wonder: What is supposed to flatten the temperature curve?

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

There are those who say that they do not deny the danger of the warming of the climate, they just deny the malignancy of the warming process, and claim that the warming process is benign.

There are certainly some people who do. But merely, and correctly, stating that there is no thermal runaway process does not mean to deny the negative effect of global warming or calling it benign.

What is supposed to flatten the temperature curve?

Exactly the same mechanisms that have always been flattening it. As long as the conditions for a thermal runaway are not met -- and they can not be met on Earth -- positive and negative feedbacks will reach an equilibrium and temperatures will settle on a higher level. That is not to say that such a higher level is desirable, far from it.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

positive and negative feedbacks will reach an equilibrium and temperatures will settle on a higher level.

What are the stabilizing interactions? How will the equilibrium be reached? What will determine the level of the saturation plateau?

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

What are the stabilizing interactions? How will the equilibrium be reached?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_change_feedbacks is an excellent overview as well as a jumping-off point for further reading into the subject matter. Enjoy.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The Wikipedia article whose title is "Climate change feedbacks" introduces the notion of Earth's Energy Imbalance, and gives some formulae for the EEI. However, the formulae are very general, abstract and lacking of concreteness. No solution or evaluation for the final temperature is provided.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

However, the formulae are very general, abstract and lacking of concreteness. No solution or evaluation for the final temperature is provided.

That is correct. It is a general overview and, as I said, a jumping-off point. Just because you are not being spoon-fed the answers does not mean they do not exist.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Those who deny the global warming, or deny the malignancy of this warming, strongly strive to have the ultimate say. However, the ambition to have the ultimate say, which fixes the conclusion that the warming up of the planet is non-malignant, cannot be successful. That is because, unless we humans curb the burning of petroleum, the warming process is indeed malignant.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Just because you are not being spoon-fed the answers does not mean they do not exist.

If the numerical answer pertaining to the final temperature does exist, I want to know it.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

the warming process is indeed malignant

Yes, it is. Who here claimed otherwise?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

If the numerical answer pertaining to the final temperature does exist, I want to know it.

I would be surprised if anyone would give you a concrete number, as it depends on lots of variables, not the least how much and how long we will continue to pump CO2 into the atmosphere. At some point, though, the temperature will settle, if only because there is noone left alive to burn fossil fuels. (No, that scenario still does not involve boiling oceans.)

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The warming process is triggered by the injection of CO2 into the atmosphere, but then might have a life of its own.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

The warming process is triggered by the injection of CO2 into the atmosphere, but then might have a life of its own.

Correct, at about 30,000 ppm of CO2 in the air. We cannot possibly get to this concentration, or even anywhere close to that, on Earth.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Correct, at about 30,000 ppm of CO2 in the air.

What is the source of this number?

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

What is the source of this number?

Goldblatt, C., Robinson, T., Zahnle, K. et al. Low simulated radiation limit for runaway greenhouse climates. Nature Geosci 6, 661–667 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1038/ngeo1892

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The cited article by Goldblatt, Robinson, Zahnle and Crisp considers and analyzes a situation where the concentration of CO2 is 30,000 ppmv. This situation is considered as a "arbitrarily high greenhouse gas scenario". But where is it written that the warming process cannot be triggered to develop a life of its own by a lower CO2 concentarion?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

The cited article

Not article. Study.

the concentration of CO2 is 30,000 ppmv. This situation is considered as a "arbitrarily high greenhouse gas scenario".

They had to choose an "arbitrarily high" scenario because the other scenarios they examined -- one of them "extreme" and unrealistic 3,000 ppm, only theoretically achievable by burning all fossil fuels on Earth at once -- a runaway greenhouse was not triggered. And neither was it triggered in the Paleozoic when Earth had 4,000 ppm and more. (The paper humorously calls the fact that we survived the Cambrian, "bias".)

But where is it written that the warming process cannot be triggered to develop a life of its own by a lower CO2 concentarion?

Greenblatt himself says so: "We’ve estimated how much carbon dioxide would be required (...) and the answer is about 30,000 ppm"

I also believe you are missing the essential part: To trigger a runaway greenhouse we would need to burn more fossil fuels that we have on Earth. What does it matter if that threshold is at three, five, or ten times as much CO2 as we can possibly produce?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

To trigger a runaway greenhouse we would need to burn more fossil fuels that we have on Earth.

Reaching a temperature of 55 degrees Celsius might be enough to cause the burning down of all living trees and all living vegetation. A huge amount of CO2 will then be released. This is not fossil fuels. The release of this additional carbon will further accelerate the warming up process. The evaporation of the sea water will be accelerated too. This is what I mean when I say that the warming process will get a life of its own. I call it a runaway process.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Greenblatt himself says so: "We’ve estimated how much carbon dioxide would be required (...) and the answer is about 30,000 ppm"

The name of the first author of the research article cited above is Goldblatt. Who is Greenblatt? When speaking of the amount of carbon dioxide which would be required – required for which scenario?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Reaching a temperature of 55 degrees Celsius might be enough to cause the burning down of all living trees and all living vegetation.

Sure. But if you're going with speculative fiction, why stop there? Why not include aliens?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The name of the first author of the research article cited above is Goldblatt. Who is Greenblatt?

Would you believe me if I told you that I mistyped his name? Just making sure, since you outright dismiss everything else I say.

When speaking of the amount of carbon dioxide which would be required – required for which scenario?

Are you kidding?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Reaching a temperature of 55 degrees Celsius is not fiction at all. It need not be the global average – it might occur locally. In any way that you probe the subject matter, the climate system is not something fixed, static an eternal. It is a dynamic system. If humans are smart enough to influence this system then they should be smart enough to manage it and stabilize it.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Reaching a temperature of 55 degrees Celsius is not fiction at all.

Yes it is. If we burnt all fossil fuels at our disposal, we may see the global average rise from the current ~15°C to about 25°C. That 9.5°C increase would be a horrible outlook with massively grave consequences, of course, it would probably do us in proper. But it's nowhere near your fiction of 55°C, a temperature where you seem to believe trees and people to spontaneously combust.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

What matters is the fluctuations, not the average. The fluctuations are worsening, and will continue to worsen with the continued injecting of gigatons of CO2 into the atmosphere. The Wikipedia article whose title is "Highest temperature recorded on Earth" helps to gain some grasp of the temperature fluctuations.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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