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Climate Swings - The Wordsmith's Forge — LiveJournal
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith
Climate Swings
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From: siliconshaman Date: July 29th, 2016 10:43 am (UTC) (Link)
I think it's because the Clathrate gun has been fired, but we actually don't know how much methane it's releasing and where...although if I had to take a guess it's mostly land-based permafrost melting that's going first [which is more like the primer on the shell], hence the huge sink-holes in Siberia.

Buckle up kids, it's going to be a wild and bumpy ride!
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 29th, 2016 05:41 pm (UTC) (Link)

Yes...

I have noticed that.

And they were right the first time. When an ice age cooks off, it produces dramatic changes visible within a human lifetime, although it is nowhere near complete in that span.

The same is true of global warming. Having more science doesn't actually make it easier to predict the changes. People are still scrabbling for a response and handling it badly, and it still causes massive social upheaval because a lot of previous stuff no longer works.

Humanity survived the end of the Ice Age. It will probably survive climate change. Humans are hard to kill, but civilization is much more fragile, and we now have weapons capable of obliterating most life on Earth.
From: siliconshaman Date: July 29th, 2016 09:51 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yes...

The North American Ice sheet melted in 23 years, the North Sea drowned Dogger Land in just under 50... once you hit a phase change sh*t happens fast.

Most models predict that Greenland will melt in 100 years... with no real science underpinning why it would take so long, other than it's big chunk of ice. Historical models based on similar sized ice sheets predict 10-25 years, but without any understanding as to how.

The West Antarctic ice sheet would take longer, maybe.. but given that a large part of that lies on land that's actually below sea level, so if it melts far enough, it will flood and undermine it..maybe not.

I really do not think our civilisation is going to cope well with a 30-50 metre sea-level rise in under a hundred years, what with 80% of the population living below that elevation and most of the big cities and agricultural land being at risk of inundation at that point.
johnpalmer From: johnpalmer Date: August 2nd, 2016 04:06 pm (UTC) (Link)

That's what really concerns me....

It's so easy to cause so much damage. And the technology to cause more damage is spreading. Flippin' North Korea can explode something that is, at *best*, the dirtiest of dirty bombs, and at worst, Hiroshima/Nagasaki level devastation.

But even without WMDs, just climate change itself can be so devastating. Just "doing nothing" could be a reason we'd become a possible textbook example of the cause of the Fermi paradox.

ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 2nd, 2016 04:49 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: That's what really concerns me....

>>It's so easy to cause so much damage. And the technology to cause more damage is spreading. Flippin' North Korea can explode something that is, at *best*, the dirtiest of dirty bombs, and at worst, Hiroshima/Nagasaki level devastation.<<

Sadly so.

>> But even without WMDs, just climate change itself can be so devastating. Just "doing nothing" could be a reason we'd become a possible textbook example of the cause of the Fermi paradox. <<

It's not the weapons that are doing most of the damage. Agriculture and transportation have done worse -- even if you count the very long-term consequences of depleted uranium weapons, which are hideous and beyond our capacity to clean up. Climate change is longer and nastier.

*sigh* Yes, we're in a bottleneck of the Drake equation (how long does a space-detectable civilization last?) currently. A lot of them die off quickly because they can't handle the level of scientific technology with their cultural technology.
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