Climate Change ‘Tipping Points’ Are Here — Time Is Of The Panicked Essence

July 28, 2021

Despite all the juice from a shitload of news, the climate crisis caught my attention again this afternoon, especially with reports that we’re close to tipping points for the worse aspects of global warming, if not already past those positions, which would be a panic-driven mark on life’s calendar.
Contending with democracy under fire, a never-ending pandemic, and on the short horizon, a world that’s overheating to such an extent people are dying is a twisted system unable to fully handle the situation.

And what’s even weird-worse, the nefarious hands of Republicans are twisted into all of it. Just with COVID alone: ‘In the past two weeks, there have been about 237,000 new coronavirus cases recorded in counties that voted for President Biden last year — and 388,000 in counties that voted for Donald Trump. Adjusted for population, there have been about 126 new cases per 100,000 residents of blue counties and 278 new cases per 100,000 residents of red ones. On average, blue counties are seeing 10.2 new cases for every 100,000 residents, while red counties are seeing 19.5 new cases per 100,000 residents.

Even in the fright of catching COVID, there’s an easy solution — vaccines. (Unless you’re an imbecilic Red-hatter).
However, there’s no easy fix, no vaccine for climate change. And most-likely the climate catastrophe is further along and worse than has been figured:

Hard-fast language on an upcoming UN report — from Science Magazine yesterday:

Next month, after a yearlong delay because of the pandemic, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will begin to release its first major assessment of human-caused global warming since 2013.
The report, the first part of which will appear on 9 August, will drop on a world that has starkly changed in 8 years, warming by more than 0.3°C to nearly 1.3°C above preindustrial levels.
Weather has grown more severe, seas are measurably higher, and mountain glaciers and polar ice have shrunk sharply.
And after years of limited action, many countries, pushed by a concerned public and corporations, seem willing to curb their carbon emissions.

But as climate scientists face this alarming reality, the climate models that help them project the future have grown a little too alarmist.
Many of the world’s leading models are now projecting warming rates that most scientists, including the modelmakers themselves, believe are implausibly fast.
In advance of the U.N. report, scientists have scrambled to understand what went wrong and how to turn the models, which in other respects are more powerful and trustworthy than their predecessors, into useful guidance for policymakers.
“It’s become clear over the last year or so that we can’t avoid this,” says Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

If that seems bad, a more immediate concern is a paper published Wednesday in the journal BioScience, in which a shitload (more than 14,000) of scientists warned of an incoming climate emergency — the shit is about to hit the fan, if it hadn’t already.
Research methods included checking earth’s planetary variables, or ‘indicators,’ like surface temperatures, rainforests, and glacial ice levels — our planet’s multi-part engine.
A nutshell note on the paper per Mic yesterday:

If you think of each of those indicators as a vital organ in the Earth’s body, you won’t be thrilled to hear that a majority of those organs are careening toward failure.
According to the paper, 18 of the 31 indicators have reached record levels — and these are not records that we should be trying to break. The density of glacial ice is at its lowest in more than 70 years, according to the report.
Meanwhile, greenhouse gas emissions have peaked to an all-time high, despite appearing to have leveled off in 2019 and even experiencing a drastic (albeit short-lived) drop off during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
That’s not likely to change, even as increasingly more countries pledge to decrease emissions.
Experts have warned that, even with goals of reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, greenhouse gas emissions will likely continue to rise through at least 2040.

If you want, further details on the paper from Agence France-Presse.
And some additional seasoning via the Guardian, also yesterday:

Overall, the study found some 16 out of 31 tracked planetary vital signs, including greenhouse gas concentrations, ocean heat content and ice mass, set worrying new records.

“There is growing evidence we are getting close to or have already gone beyond tipping points associated with important parts of the Earth system,” said William Ripple, an ecologist at Oregon State University who co-authored the new research, in a statement.

“The updated planetary vital signs we present largely reflect the consequences of unrelenting business as usual,” said Ripple, adding that “a major lesson from Covid-19 is that even colossally decreased transportation and consumption are not nearly enough and that, instead, transformational system changes are required.”

In April 2021, carbon dioxide concentration reached 416 parts per million, the highest monthly global average concentration ever recorded. The five hottest years on record have all occurred since 2015, and 2020 was the second hottest year in history.

The study also found that ruminant livestock, a significant source of planet-warming gases, now number more than 4 billion, and their total mass is more than that of all humans and wild animals combined. The rate of forest loss in the Brazilian Amazon increased in both 2019 and 2020, reaching a 12-year high of 1.11 million hectares deforested in 2020.
Ocean acidification is near an all-time record, and when combined with warmer ocean temperatures, it threatens the coral reefs that more than half a billion people depend on for food, tourism dollars and storm surge protection.

Last graph, should have been the first:

“Policies to alleviate the climate crisis or any of the other threatened planetary boundary transgressions should not be focused on symptom relief but on addressing their root cause: the overexploitation of the Earth,” the report says.
Only by taking on this core issue, the authors write, will people be able to “ensure the long-term sustainability of human civilization and give future generations the opportunity to thrive.”

Depends upon the actual meaning of this word, ‘thrive?’

Or our decrease:

All not fiction…

(Illustration out front: ‘Cherry Tree Blossoms in Washington DC,’ by Donna Tuten, and found here).

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