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What ancient farmers can really teach us about adapting to climate change

16 Comments
By Chelsea Fisher

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In many cases it is possible to re-stabilize a system that starts to escape from the good equilibrium by applying control.

A runaway state can not be restored to a steady state. That is literally what "runaway" means.

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In many cases it is possible to re-stabilize a system that starts to escape from the good equilibrium by applying control.

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When a system starts to lose its stability it might be possible to re-stabilize it.

A runaway state can not be restored to a steady state, that is literally what "runaway effect" means.

The system about which we are talking is very inertic.

That is not even a word.

Again, noone is arguing against you when it comes to reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and rebalance our carbon dioxide output. But we don't need to invoke hysterical doomsday fantasies to rationalize it.

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When a system starts to lose its stability it might be possible to re-stabilize it. The system about which we are talking is very inertic. It seems that it is still possible to stabilize the system, if we stop acting silly and start to take care of our fate decisively and vigorously.

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The water vapour feedback is an important positive feedback for Earth. There also other malignant positive feedback loops: One such loop is associated with the melting of the ice, which decreases the ability of the planet to emit radiation to the outer space. Another loop is associated the burning down down of the vegetation, and in fact of the entire biomass (including animals and humans), which increases the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere dramatically. It seems that the runaway in the strict sense as defined by the researchers will not happen, but the second type of runaway effect is already under way. If we do not stop our silly and redundant addiction to petroleum and the carbon, and if we do not apply geoengineering methods to stabilize our climate system, the ocean will boil and become steam, and this will happen sooner rather than later.

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The article discusses two types of the runaway effect.

Yes, it does. And the fact that it cannot happen until the sun burns out is made clear in the article's abstract's third sentence.

the second type cannot be excluded

They literally exclude "the second type". To quote the article: "while water vapour feedback is an important positive feedback for Earth, it is not a runaway feedback"

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The runaway greenhouse effect is discussed in a research article from 2012 entitled "The runaway greenhouse: implications for future climate change, geoengineering and planetary atmospheres" by Colin Goldblatt and Andrew J. Watson. The article discusses two types of the runaway effect. While the analysis indicates that one of the two types will not happen, the second type cannot be excluded. Since 2012 the warming up process, as expressed in the temperature and in the humidity, is accelerating.

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At that period the sun was cooler, and the planet’s orbital cycles were different.

While true, that's completely irrelevant to the matter at hand. Unless we switched orbits with Venus when noone was looking, of course, and I'm going out on a limb and say that we didn't spontaneously move 50 million kilometers closer to the sun.

I don't know why you insist to undercut your otherwise quite valid points with hysterical doomsday fantasies. A runaway greenhouse simply can not be triggered on Earth, and your "boiling oceans" are science fiction, with emphasis on the "fiction" part.

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Listen we are all going to be recycled into the universe forever and ever.

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If the runaway greenhouse effect were achievable on earth, it would have happened in the Cambrian period some 500 million years ago

At that period the sun was cooler, and the planet’s orbital cycles were different.

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The equations that capture the heat transfer processes tell otherwise.

Earth does not have nearly enough fossile fuels to burn to trigger a runaway greenhouse effect. If the runaway greenhouse effect were achievable on earth, it would have happened in the Cambrian period some 500 million years ago when we had some ten times the carbon dioxide in the air ... and we would not be here now to talk about it.

But sure, by all means, show those "equations" of yours. If nothing else it should be a fun read.

As a sidenote, you're not the only one who completely misunderstands the runaway greenhouse effect. There used to be another fellow here who believed the same "boiling oceans" nonsense and copy&pasted it under every article that only even tangentially touched the subject. You just missed him, he was last seen here the very day before you started commenting. What a coincidence, isn't it?

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"boiling oceans" is nonsense and will not happen

The equations that capture the heat transfer processes tell otherwise.

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It is impossible to adapt to the rapid warming up of our planet.

We will have to, the warming is already happening and it will have consequences.

The only thing to do before the oceans start to boil is to curb the greenhouse process by getting rid of the silly and redundant addiction to petroleum and to carbon.

While it is absolutely necessary to reign in on our production of carbon dioxide, "boiling oceans" is nonsense and will not happen (at least not until the heat death of the solar system in a few billion years).

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Leprosy survivors and leprosy combatants living and serving as agriculturists at their Greenfields at Anandwan and Somnath in the Indian State of Maharashtra have brought with them ancient methods and techniques of sustainable agriculture. Hailing from agricultural backgrounds of Khandesh, Paschim Maharashtra, Marathwada, Konkan, Vidarbha, Telangana, Bidar, Berar, etc. - they put their ancient wisdom to creative and constructive use, lovingly tending to their lush green fields while offering tender care to Matr Bhoomi or Mother Earth.

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It is impossible to adapt to the rapid warming up of our planet. The only thing to do before the oceans start to boil is to curb the greenhouse process by getting rid of the silly and redundant addiction to petroleum and to carbon.

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Certainly small farmers can learn much from studying how ancient farmers survived during difficult times. However, the reality is that giant, large scale corporate farming methods probably won't benefit much from examining how small farmers coped in times past.

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