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Climate Change/Mass Extinction Megathread

Started by Syt, November 17, 2015, 05:50:30 AM

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Tamas


Sheilbh

Quote from: Tamas on December 04, 2023, 08:14:17 PMShockingly unexpected reaction from the oil aristocrat COP president:

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/dec/03/back-into-caves-cop28-president-dismisses-phase-out-of-fossil-fuels
Getting "phase down" of coal for the first time was one of the big achievements in COP26 - and I think the cause of the dramatic final session when China and India objected to "phase out".

I wonder if the same shift will apply here - maybe moving coal to "phase out" and getting fossil fules generally as "phase down". Getting coal to "phase out" would be a big deal.
Let's bomb Russia!

crazy canuck

I'm not so sure that the semantics that are agreed to are all that important.  I'm also not sure what these conferences are all that important.

It seems to me that the shift to green energy is happening, despite what governments do and not because of active policies or politics.  There are some exceptions that prove the rule. I think that the anti-inflation act in the United States has done a lot of good, but I think that's really because most Americans on the right don't understand what the anti-inflation act really did and the GOP wasn't triggered.

Which is another way of saying that anything requires express government action, unlikely to succeed, and especially in the United States, where it really matters.
I want you to panic

https://www.theguardian.com/science/video/2019/jan/25/i-want-you-to-panic-16-year-old-greta-thunberg-issues-climate-warning-at-davos-video

"Woke" is now almost exclusively used by those who seek to deride it, those who chafe at the activism from which it sprang. Opponents to the idea are seeking to render it toxic. They use it to stand in for change itself, for evolution, for an accurate assessment of history and society that makes them uncomfortable and deflates their hagiographic view of American history.

Josquius

A non issue but I found it mildly smile worthy and indicitve of the way things are going - a local double glazing company, not a big name or anything, just a small office near my parents house that has been there for three decades...
Formerly called x windows, is now x windows and flood defence.
Wonder if this is a one off or it's an industry wide trend.
Certainly I'm seeing a lot more talk about flood defence about - that being some rather than none.
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Sheilbh

Quote from: crazy canuck on December 05, 2023, 07:52:09 AMI'm not so sure that the semantics that are agreed to are all that important.  I'm also not sure what these conferences are all that important.
I think they're hugely important in driving change and getting commitments.

Loss and damage would not be on the agenda without the COPs which mean every state has the same voice - so Mauritius and Barbados can push issues that affect them. I think the scientific updates are really important (it's why I quite like the early signs that a similar model is being adopted in relation to AI). And it gets leaders to commit to new targets and pledges - which are broadly being met (and why they argue over wording).

But fundamentally I think they're the only tool we have of avoiding a tragedy of the commons situation because the Chinese, the US, the EU, the Indians are in one room negotiating their commitments and pledges.

QuoteIt seems to me that the shift to green energy is happening, despite what governments do and not because of active policies or politics.  There are some exceptions that prove the rule. I think that the anti-inflation act in the United States has done a lot of good, but I think that's really because most Americans on the right don't understand what the anti-inflation act really did and the GOP wasn't triggered.

Which is another way of saying that anything requires express government action, unlikely to succeed, and especially in the United States, where it really matters.
Yes, but... :lol:

China is responsible for more emissions than the US and Europe combined. In China they are currently doubling renewables capacity each year for the last few years and are building a huge advantage over green energy manufacturig etc. That is because the state and goverment action with concerted policies.

I also think being perceived as part of the competition with China and having an established multi-billion dollar industry capable of lobbying is going to be key to the politics of climate in the US. I think the geopolitics are impossible to disentangle, for the US. Basically this chart (which also acutely shows Europe's challenge):


I think the oil and gas part was a big part of America's power in the 20th century (and Russia's) - and they are aware they need to see a lot more US flags on the clean tech side too.

But also I think even if you just look at the West public policy is also a large part of what's driving private sector shifts. EV adoption is a key private sector shift - but China the EU and US all have policies on fuel economy targets, EV quotas and manufacturig subsidies - plus the US has purchase subsidies and Europe company car subsidies, and both have a policy on ICE phase out. The policy mix varies and there are different emphases. At a very broad level China has policies on most areas but they're less important or regionalised, Europe absolutely loves sticks (fuel economy targets and ICE phase out) while everything else is lower level or regional and America loves carrots (manufacturing and purchasing subsidies) while everything else is weaker or state level.
Let's bomb Russia!

Josquius

Bbc doing another reaosons to be cheerful piece.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-67627242.amp

Number 2 really intrigues me. I know unreliable generation and storage has been the big hurdle of renewables. Using millions of car batteries does sound like a wonderful Ingenius solution for this.
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garbon

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/dec/13/cop28-deal-significant-progress-tackle-climate-crisis

QuoteCop28 deal is significant progress for those who want to tackle the climate crisis

This headline seems odd as what is being reported doesn't sound like significant progress.

Or as this article relays:
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/dec/13/cop28-landmark-deal-agreed-to-transition-away-from-fossil-fuels
QuoteNearly 200 countries at the Cop28 climate summit have agreed to a deal that, for the first time, calls on all nations to transition away from fossil fuels to avert the worst effects of climate change.

After two weeks of at-times fractious negotiations in the United Arab Emirates, the agreement was quickly gavelled through by the Cop28 president, Sultan Al Jaber, on Wednesday morning. He received an ovation from delegates and a hug from UN climate chief, Simon Stiell.

The agreement did not include an explicit commitment to phase out or phase down fossil fuels, as many countries, civil society groups and scientists had urged.

Instead, it reached a compromise that called on countries to contribute to global efforts to transition away from fossil fuels in energy systems "in a just, orderly and equitable manner, accelerating action in this critical decade, so as to achieve net zero by 2050 in keeping with the science".

Al Jaber said the deal delivered a comprehensive response to a global stocktake of whether countries were living up to the landmark Paris climate agreement reached in 2015.

"We have delivered a robust action plan to keep 1.5C (2.7F) [of global heating above preindustrial levels] in reach," he said. "It is a plan that is led by the science. It is an enhanced, balanced, but make no mistake, a historic package to accelerate climate action. It is the UAE consensus. We have language on fossil fuel in our final agreement for the first time ever."

There was confusion in the plenary hall shortly after the agreement was passed as many parties had assumed there would be a debate over the text, which was released to countries for consideration only four hours before it was passed.

The Alliance of Small Island States, representing 39 countries, said it had not been in the room when the deal was adopted as it was still coordinating its response. Its lead negotiator, Anne Rasmussen from Samoa, did not formally object to that decision and believed the deal had "many good elements", but she said "the process has failed us" and did not go far enough. She said the deal had a "litany of loopholes"

"We have made an incremental advancement over business as usual when what we really needed is an exponential step change in our actions and support," she said.
"I've never been quite sure what the point of a eunuch is, if truth be told. It seems to me they're only men with the useful bits cut off."

I drank because I wanted to drown my sorrows, but now the damned things have learned to swim.

Josquius

In itself its meh. Though things are inching forward Cop by Cop, and unrelated to what the politicians are saying change is happening.
Certainly its an improvement on what was being reported a few days ago, the refusal to reject fossil fuels at all.
But yes, pretty dumb fudged wording that seems very open to interpretation.
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Jacob


crazy canuck

Iirc in around 2020 the IPC said we had until about 2030 to dramatically decrease emissions to avoid going over 1.5C. Roughly 40% of that time interval has expired and the nations of the world have now agreed to a vague commitment to begin thinking about maybe reducing fossil fuel use. 

Not very promising.
I want you to panic

https://www.theguardian.com/science/video/2019/jan/25/i-want-you-to-panic-16-year-old-greta-thunberg-issues-climate-warning-at-davos-video

"Woke" is now almost exclusively used by those who seek to deride it, those who chafe at the activism from which it sprang. Opponents to the idea are seeking to render it toxic. They use it to stand in for change itself, for evolution, for an accurate assessment of history and society that makes them uncomfortable and deflates their hagiographic view of American history.

Sheilbh

Interesting from the always excellent Hannah Ritchie (who has a book out!) - again emphasising the extent to which this is a Chinese story. IEA has revised capacity forecast of renewables in 2023 up by about a third, almost entirely in China:


We're not quite on path to hit the 2030 target of tripling capacity - but we're not far off and so far growth is fairly consistently higher than expected, particularly in China. So I think the current forecast is we won't hit the target but, looking at the trend we will - not sure which will prevail:



Part of the wider story is also that wind is struggling but solar is going great. Relatedly - incredible stat that Chinese rooftop solar is larger than entire countries' renewables secors :blink:


She's from Our World in Data and launched a site with lots of relevant charts, which is very interesting.
Let's bomb Russia!

Josquius

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2024/feb/04/how-do-you-stop-a-glacier-from-melting-simple-put-up-an-underwater-curtain

QuoteHow do you stop a glacier from melting? Simple – put up an underwater curtain
A 100km-long curtain moored to the Amundsen Sea bed in Antarctica could prevent catastrophic flooding elsewhere, say scientists

Scientists are working on an unusual plan to prevent Antarctic glaciers from melting. They want to build a set of giant underwater curtains in front of ice sheets to protect them from being eroded by warm sea water.

Ice in polar regions is now disappearing at record rates as global warming intensifies, and urgent action is needed to slow down this loss, the international group of �scientists has warned.

Their proposed solution is the construction of a 100km-long curtain that would be moored to the bed of the Amundsen Sea. It would rise by about 200 metres from the ocean floor and would partially restrict the inflow of relatively warm water that laps at the bases of coastal Antarctic glaciers and undermines them.

The Seabed Curtain project, if implemented, would be one of the biggest geo-engineering programmes ever undertaken. "It would be a giant project – but then we face a gigantic problem," glaciologist John Moore of Lapland University told the Observer last week

"The melting of glaciers in Antarctica would could trigger catastrophic flooding around the planet and result in hundreds of millions of people losing their homes. That will be incredibly bad for civilisation as we know it, so we need to do something."

A melting glacier
View image in fullscreen
Splinters of ice peel off the Perito Moreno glacier near the city of El Calafate in the Patagonian province of Santa Cruz, southern Argentina, in 2008. Photograph: Andres Forza/Reuters
The curtain proposed by Moore – who is working with scientists at the University of Cambridge and other �centres in the US – would stretch along the seabed opposite the Thwaites and Pine Island glaciers. These act as plugs that prevent the giant ice sheets behind them from sliding into the ocean.

Scientists warn that the loss of the Thwaites and Pine Island glaciers could be enough to raise sea levels round the world by three metres if they melted, a prospect now considered to be a real threat as global warming takes a grip of the region and causes sea temperatures to rise.

"Glaciers are affected by warmer air which melts their surfaces but they are also eroded at their bases by warm seawater," said Shaun Fitzgerald, director of the centre for climate repair at the University of Cambridge, one of the partners in the scheme. And as the oceans warm as the planet heats up due to climate change, the more intense is the erosion of ice at the bases of these glaciers."


Building a curtain that restricts the flow of warm water on to the Antarctic coast could slow the undermining of these glaciers and so reduce the risk of their catastrophic disappearance, say the scientists. They envisage building a series of seabed curtains and are set to begin research to pinpoint the best materials for their construction.

"We are not going to do this with a single sheet of fabric, and we are not looking at perfect, sealing membrane," added Fitzgerald.

One idea would be to use air as a barrier for protecting glaciers. A pipe – with holes drilled along it – would be laid down along the seabed and air pumped through it. The curtain of air bubbles that would rise from it might then be able to hold back the ingress of warm seawater.

Satellite image of Antarctica
Scientists discover hidden landscape 'frozen in time' under Antarctic ice
Read more
"We don't know if that will work since we are only at a very early stage in our work," added Fitzgerald.

"We need to study how salinity affects water flow and carry out all sorts of computer simulations and the testing of mathematical models. Then we will be ready for the first physical tests."

These tests are scheduled to be carried out on the River Cam later this year, when various models will be tested underwater.

"After that we will begin to work on a bigger scale," added Moore. "We might go to a fjord in Norway to build a prototype, for example.

"Certainly this is not going to be something that will be completed in a hurry. It will take many years. On the other hand, we do need to start planning now."


Geo engineering has a bad reputation of always creating unintended side effects and making things much worse.
Regardless I am increasingly tempted by this sort of thing. Geo engineering solutions that are relatively easy to remove if they don't work (unlike say the artificial volcanoes).
Wonder if we'll see this come to pass.
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crazy canuck

Very little snow at Whistler, no snow pack on local mountains and fears of the resulting water shortage because there will be no snow melt to keep our water reservoirs full.

I want you to panic

https://www.theguardian.com/science/video/2019/jan/25/i-want-you-to-panic-16-year-old-greta-thunberg-issues-climate-warning-at-davos-video

"Woke" is now almost exclusively used by those who seek to deride it, those who chafe at the activism from which it sprang. Opponents to the idea are seeking to render it toxic. They use it to stand in for change itself, for evolution, for an accurate assessment of history and society that makes them uncomfortable and deflates their hagiographic view of American history.

Jacob

Yeah it's going to be a nasty drought this year, it seems.

Now, if this was a city sim and I was playing Vancouver I'd start looking at the possibility of building more reservoirs to increase capacity - because the droughts are going to get worse and our population is likely to keep growing.

CC - do you have any idea what level(s) of government would have to get their shit together to start looking at upgrading regional water supply over the next decades?

Barrister

Don't you guys live at the mouth of the Fraser River?  Seems extremely unlikely you're run out of water.

Now things might be rough for agriculture - I know they're having to make some hard choices in southern Alberta about whose water rights might get cut - but it's not like the city won't have water.
Posts here are my own private opinions.  I do not speak for my employer.