Yes my main concern as well. The runaway scenario could totally overwhelm
humanity and trigger global systemic collapse. Within the last five years
methane emission rates in the - now melting -- Arctic permafrost have risen
by a third. The permafrost is a huge methane and CO2 store - all that
decomposing organic matter kept in deep freeze inert and out of circulation,
but when it melts the processes kick back into gear and the trillions upon
trillions of anaerobic microbes begin farting out (essentially) methane.
While humanity could possibly survive that - open to debate - the resulting
thermal blanket over our biosphere would begin to inexorably bring the deep
water column temperatures up. The deep water column is currently quite near
freezing temperatures and at those temperatures and pressure methane
hydrates are stable, as you know, if deep sea temps rise (over time) at some
point the vast stores of methane now locked away will become unstable and
geyser out into the atmosphere. 

If that happens we could be looking at a redo of the great Permian
extinction; and I doubt any humans would make it through the bottleneck
event. nor would almost every other living thing. 

Chris

 

From: everything-list@googlegroups.com
[mailto:everything-list@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of LizR
Sent: Thursday, November 21, 2013 7:09 PM
To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: Here is why nothing will be done about climate change

 

Hmm. Let's hope the methane doesn't come out of suspension in the oceans,
then, because it may go into a runaway feedback loop and lead to a firestorm
- literally like fuel-air explosives being set off, perhaps over major
cities. Methane being such a potent greenhouse gas, the whole thing could
happen in a far shorter time than the human race's sluggish reactions could
cope with.

 

On 22 November 2013 14:46, Chris de Morsella <cdemorse...@yahoo.com> wrote:



-----Original Message-----
From: everything-list@googlegroups.com
[mailto:everything-list@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Russell Standish
Sent: Thursday, November 21, 2013 1:19 PM
To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: Here is why nothing will be done about climate change

On Thu, Nov 21, 2013 at 08:57:59PM +1300, LizR wrote:
> I'm not completely sure why this is "why nothing will be done about
> climate change". For one thing, some things are already being done
> about it - the rise in emissions dropped in 2012 (not wonderful, I
> know, but some improvement). Interesting article, though. An even
> stronger case for thorium reactors, if one is needed.
>
>

Not having RTFA, I may be getting the wrong end of the stick here, but I
would say, of course something will be done about climate change.

The real question is when, and what.

That's what differentiates conservatives from progressives.


Long ago, I thought the when would actually be when the last drop of oil was
squeezed out of the ground, or maybe later when the last seam of coal was
unearthed. Consequently, the what will be whatever changes are required to
survive in the changed world.

More recently, I've become more optimistic that renewable energy technology
will economically displace fossil fuel technologies within a few decades.
This will limit the amount of "what" we have to do to adapt to the new
world.

It despairs me to see politicians deny that there is a problem at all (such
as our new PM, although his rhetoric is now changing :). That is approaching
the problem with the eyes shut.

>>ISTM, we have long since passed the stage when we could have prevented
climate from changing at all...

Unfortunately I think you are correct. It is also highly likely that the
political will to do anything at all will only materialize once the
situation is desperate. There is far too much wealth tied up in the future
evaluations of carbon reserves -- literally trillions of dollars of
evaluations that if they became marked down from the future hypothetical
values they are currently pegged at would have immediate real time effects
on the balance sheets of very powerful fossil carbon interests.
This is more of a political problem than a technical one. Technically we
could do a lot, even right now from our current point of time, but nothing
will get done as long as the vested carbon interests succeed in log jamming
everything.
Chris


--

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Principal, High Performance Coders
Visiting Professor of Mathematics      hpco...@hpcoders.com.au
University of New South Wales          http://www.hpcoders.com.au
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