Words

August 26, 2014

greedA huge, banner head at the top of HuffPost this afternoon quickly snapped at me — ‘Here…Human-caused…Already dangerous…Likely irreversible,’ and with that last word knew it had something to do with climate change.
And sure enough, the latest draft of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as been leaked to the media, and like all the rest of the shit having to do with the environment, it ain’t pretty.

Previous UN reports have also been pretty dismal, but apparently the language this time around is hardcore and stark — like that last word up yonder, this shit can’t be undone.

(Illustration found here).

From HuffPost:

The 127-page draft, obtained by The Associated Press, paints a harsh warning of what’s causing global warming and what it will do to humans and the environment.
It also describes what can be done about it.
“Continued emission of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and long-lasting changes in all components of the climate system, increasing the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems,” the report says.
The final report will be issued after governments and scientists go over the draft line by line in an October conference in Copenhagen.
Depending on circumstances and values, “currently observed impacts might already be considered dangerous,” the report says.
It mentions extreme weather and rising sea levels, such as heat waves, flooding and droughts.
It even raises, as an earlier report did, the idea that climate change will worsen violent conflicts and refugee problems and could hinder efforts to grow more food.
And ocean acidification, which comes from the added carbon absorbed by oceans, will harm marine life, it says.

The report says if the world continues to spew greenhouse gases at its accelerating rate, it’s likely that by mid-century temperatures will increase by about another 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius) compared to temperatures from 1986 to 2005.
And by the end of the century, that scenario will bring temperatures that are about 6.7 degrees warmer (3.7 degrees Celsius).

And the New York Times adds this: The new report found that it was still technically possible to limit global warming to an internationally agreed upper bound of 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, or 2 degrees Celsius, above the preindustrial level. But continued political delays for another decade or two will make that unachievable without severe economic disruption, the report said.

Three words whose sounds resemble a whimper in a thunderstorm — ‘still technically possible.’
And keep in mind that 2-degrees Celsius target is whitewash bullshit — results from a study released last December by a load of international scientists, including former head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, James Hansen, and Jeffrey Sachs, an American economist, and director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University.
Anywhere around that 2-degree mark is really, really bad:

Evidence presented under Climate Impacts above makes clear that 2°C global warming would have consequences that can be described as disastrous.
Multiple studies show that the warming would be very long lasting.
The paleoclimate record and changes underway in the Arctic and on the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets with only today’s warming imply that sea level rise of several meters could be expected.
Increased climate extremes, already apparent at 0.8°C warming [46], would be more severe.
Coral reefs and associated species, already stressed with current conditions [40], would be decimated by increased acidification, temperature and sea level rise.
More generally, humanity and nature, the modern world as we know it, is adapted to the Holocene climate that has existed more than 10,000 years.
Warming of 1°C relative to 1880–1920 keeps global temperature close to the Holocene range, but warming of 2°C, to at least the Eemian level, could cause major dislocations for civilization.

Understatement with words again.

(Illustration out front found here).

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