Coming Quickly, Staying Longer

October 20, 2011

Still kicking, one of the most wonderous of public movements has recharged and re-directed even asshole Republicans, but Occupy Wall Street should hopefully turn its intense focus to the dreadnaught of humanity — climate change.
Robert Reich on Wednesday: “I mean the mere fact that we have this occupation of Wall Street movement that is extending around this country is changing the tenor of the conversation in Washington…It is already having a success.”

Now turn this ‘success‘ into a spotlight on the environment — why worry about finances when you are dead/dying.

Climate talks are scheduled for next month in Durban, South Africa, but already there’s talk of another round of nothing — Jos Delbeke, director general for climate action at the European Commission: “I think if people are expecting a big bang, that is not on the cards,” he said.

The climate, however, is getting ready for a ‘big bang‘ of its own, and a long-lasting bang-for-your-buck, too.

(Illustration found here).

Climate change awareness has been around for years, the call for action coming in the mid 1980s.
I only became really aware of our changing climate for the bad more than four years ago, and what’s even worse, I watched ‘The American President‘ the other night, the movie with Michael Douglas, and one of the sub-plots was climate change.
The film came out in 1995 and I’d seen it about then, but the words ‘climate change‘ didn’t matter at all, in fact, hadn’t registered at all, don’t remember it even being part of the movie  — what a dumb ass I am.
Concept of the earth warming and all the horror it means is now fairly known, but still the words ‘climate change‘ is still not getting people aroused.
Despite the terror.

One of the most-interesting aspects of climate-change reports and studies I noticed right off was that information seemed to be followed-up with another blurb explaining all that data was wrong — it was worse.
Now it’s official: Scientists have been underplaying climate impacts.
From Climate Progress this week:

The warnings were dire: 188 predictions showing that climate-induced changes to the environment would put 7 percent of all plant and animal species on the globe — one out of every 14 critters — at risk of extinction.
Predictions like these have earned climate scientists the obloquy from critics for being “alarmist” — dismissed for using inflated descriptions of doom and destruction to push for action, more grant money or a global government.
But as the impacts of climate change become apparent, many predictions are proving to underplay the actual impacts.
Reality, in many instances, is proving to be far worse than most scientists expected.
“We’re seeing mounting evidence now that the scientific community, rather than overstating the claim or being alarmist, is the opposite,” said Naomi Oreskes, a science historian with the University of California, San Diego.
“Scientists have been quite conservative … in a lot of important and different areas.”

In a notable 2010 study, the late William Freudenberg, a University of California, Santa Barbara, researcher who studied science and the media, found that new scientific findings are more than 20 times likely to show that global climate disruption is “worse than previously expected” rather than “not as bad as previously expected.”

So expect bad shit to be worse, and come much-more quickly.

And some aspects to hang for years and years.

One result of a warming earth is the melting of the planet’s poles — as the ice dissolves sea levels rise, a cause and effect kind of horror.
This phenomenon will possibly last half a millennium.
Researchers from the Niels Bohr Institute has calculated the long-term outlook with findings published in the scientific journal Global and Planetary Change.
Via Skeptical Science:

“Based on the current situation we have projected changes in sea level 500 years into the future.
We are not looking at what is happening with the climate, but are focusing exclusively on sea levels”, explains Aslak Grinsted, a researcher at the Centre for Ice and Climate, the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen.

Even in the most optimistic scenario, which requires extremely dramatic climate change goals, major technological advances and strong international cooperation to stop emitting greenhouse gases and polluting the atmosphere, the sea would continue to rise.
By the year 2100 it will have risen by 60 cm and by the year 2500 the rise in sea level will be 1.8 meters.

“In the 20th century sea has risen by an average of 2mm per year, but it is accelerating and over the last decades the rise in sea level has gone approximately 70 percent faster.
Even if we stabilize the concentrations in the atmosphere and stop emitting greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, we can see that the rise in sea level will continue to accelerate for several centuries because of the sea and ice caps long reaction time.
So it would be 2-400 years before we returned to the 20th century level of a 2 mm rise per year,” says Aslak Grinsted.

And that’s way beyond any of my kin making it.

Can any of us survive, even from this…
Animals and plants are getting smaller due to a warming world:

Researchers argue that warmer and drier weather causes plants and animals to reach smaller sizes, while more variable rainfall levels raise the risk of failed crop years.
Over the past century animals including toads, tortoises, blue tits, Soay sheep and red deer have all started to reduce in size, they said.

Reduced food supplies are likely to mean that animals at the top of their food chains — including humans — will grow to smaller sizes, have fewer offspring, and be more vulnerable to disease, they added.
Cold blooded animals, particularly amphibians, are at the highest risk because having a smaller size will put them at greater risk of drying up in warmer temperatures.

Maybe, the incredible shrinking planet?
Time to get them protest signs out!

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