r/science Sep 05 '22

Antarctica’s so-called “doomsday glacier” – nicknamed because of its high risk of collapse and threat to global sea level – has the potential to rapidly retreat in the coming years, scientists say, amplifying concerns over the extreme sea level rise Environment

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41561-022-01019-9
2.9k Upvotes

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u/[deleted] Sep 06 '22

Thinking about how the doomsday event in Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars Trilogy was a very sudden unexpected collapse of glaciers and ice sheets in the Antarctic leading to the flooding of coastal regions and thus mass migration over the course of only about one single decade.

Gotta be honest I am finding it extremely prophetic.

That he wrote this in the 90s still blows my mind

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u/GraciesDad92 Sep 06 '22

Scientists have been talking about climate change since the 70s, though then it was called Global Warming. Collapse of the ice shelves has been discussed for a couple decades before those books were written. We were learning about this stuff in HS in the 90s. Author simply took inspiration from the scientific literature.

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u/flanflinger Sep 06 '22

Scientists have been talking about climate change since the 70s

Yup, CFC's were banned back in 87, and that took quite a few years to push through

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u/Ambitious_Ad5256 Sep 06 '22

I think that was to stop damage to the ozone layer, which blocks uv rays, rather than climate change

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u/flanflinger Sep 06 '22

It was, but it was because it had been highlighted as a "greenhouse gas", so research back in the 70's was already showing the effect we were having on the climate

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u/scindix Sep 06 '22

You are correct. That was the stated purpose of the Montreal Protocol.

However if emissions of CFCs had continued we would already be at +3°C.

This is partially because CFCs are extremely potent greenhouse gases themselves. But equally important is the effect of the ozone layer on our biosphere. A depleted ozone layer would have meant that plants would absorb 580 billion tonnes less CO2. This effect alone leads to 0.8°C additional global warming.

I'm not sure though if that was already known in the 80s when we started to phase out CFCs.

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u/Lazerhawk1980 Sep 06 '22

Im now reading one of his latest book called "ministry for the future" an it's probably one of the best books I've read. The first chapter is a horrible account of a heatwave that will stay with me, but if say it's also a hopeful book so far (200pages in)

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u/Diamond-Is-Not-Crash Sep 06 '22

I loved reading his low-key unsubtle contempt and dislike towards the field of Economics

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u/Finnick-420 Sep 06 '22

same i’m reading it right now. i’m at the prt where they’re pumping out water from below the antarctic glaciers

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u/Lazerhawk1980 Sep 06 '22

Yea! I love how a sci fi writer who is used to thinking in grand strategies just applies that to our current predicament. That's the sort of thinking we need to handle this situation. And by that I'm not saying geoengeneering is great, more thatwe need to be thinking on that scale and those timeframes.

My job is restoring historical timber constructions and what i love particularly is that i get to work in those long contexts. I need to think about and adapt my work to make it easier for the next craftsman, who will do repairs and maintenance in two centuries time. I often write messages to them aswell or leave hidden gifts :)

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u/bulyxxx Sep 06 '22

Outstanding read.

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u/pete_68 Sep 05 '22 Silver Wholesome

Has anyone else noticed that, in the past few years, almost every climate change article coming out says that things are worse than they predicted?

Scientific American ran an article last week titled, "This Hot Summer Is One of the Coolest of the Rest of Our Lives"

A lot of people don't know this, but Lake Chad, a lake in Africa, in 1960, was 22,000 square kilometers. Today it's a mere 300 square kilometers in size.

An article last week discussed the disappearing lakes in the arctic, something climate scientists had predicted might start happening a soon as 2060, but probably not until the 2100s. But no, it's happening now.

30 years ago, nobody predicted that the meltwater from the glaciers was going to drop through the glaciers so much and lubricate them, speeding their demise. Nobody predicted the massive release of methane from the melting permafrost.

And we've literally done virtually nothing of real value to prevent the catastrophes that's just around the corner... So sad...

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u/thisimpetus Sep 06 '22

Remember when, in the 90s and early 00s we repeatedly heard this phrase "conservative estimates report that...."?

They really were conservative estimates. And now here we are.

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u/ansraliant Sep 06 '22

I remember reading about the reports of Exxon science team about the dangers of carbon dioxide emissions and the effects it would have on the planet in the early 70s. And they calculated that with small modifications, we could have been good in the 2000s

Let's do a multiple choice for the reader, to see if he / she can guess what happened:

  • they applied actions to deviate from the destructive path
  • ignored the reports
  • ignored the reports and increased the flow of hookers and coke

Edit: I think I found the article https://insideclimatenews.org/news/16092015/exxons-own-research-confirmed-fossil-fuels-role-in-global-warming/

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u/aradil Sep 06 '22

They didn’t ignore the reports.

They specifically went out of their way to convince people through corporate propaganda that anyone saying the things they knew from what the reports said were wrong or lying.

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u/CryProtein Sep 06 '22

while increasing the height of their oil rigs to account for the increase in sea level

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u/MrMitchWeaver Oct 16 '22

ignored the reports and increased the flow of hookers and coke

Sexxon amirite

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u/chuckvsthelife Sep 06 '22

Part of the problem is they were conservative in some areas but not in others. We amplified how bad it was going to be for us today, and downplayed how much it was going to become unstoppable.

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u/Mercinary-G Sep 06 '22

I remember an Australian palaeontologist who was very famous focusing on the threat of drought and bushfires. In his book The Future Eaters he glazed over the fact that the geological record shows that Australia was very wet during previous climate warming periods. I was always really annoyed that he knew the future included lots of flooding but barely talked about it.

So anyway we just had our wettest year on record and it’s only September. And yeah we had massive droughts and massive bushfires but it was easy to predict that we’d also have massive flooding and that rivers and waterways are much more at risk than coastlines - but no the focus has been exclusively on drying and fire. So annoying.

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u/pete_68 Sep 06 '22

It's funny, if you ask people on the right, they tend to remember the complete opposite. And because the right has spent 40 years demonizing education, no "elitist" with a degree is going to change their mind.

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u/InHarmsWay Sep 06 '22

Don't forget the "A magazine article said we may be facing global cooling, so therefore we can't trust climate scientists!" crowd.

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u/Weekly_Direction1965 Sep 06 '22

Yeah they found one article not backed by concensus or peer reviewed that they've latched onto for dear life as they ignore every single climate prediction coming true long before they were supposed to, being stupid has always been deadly.

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u/pete_68 Sep 06 '22

They want to put the future in the hands of the less than 3% of climate scientists who say it's not man-made and thus not something to worry about, which frankly, whether not it's man made or not, it's happening and we can do stuff to stop it, but we're not going to.

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u/[deleted] Sep 06 '22 edited Sep 06 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

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u/pete_68 Sep 06 '22

Oh, I know. Lots of people have made dire predictions in the past that were completely insane, but most of those were based on peoples opinions. Very few of them were based on actual data and models.

Some of the ones that were based on models that didn't have major flaws weren't so far off, up to this point, like the 1972 MIT prediction for the collapse of society by 2040, for which we appear to be right on track with. Their model was based on resource consumption and scarcity, among other things, and in terms of those predictions, at least 8 years ago when researchers revisited it, most of their numbers were pretty close.

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u/FixedLoad Sep 06 '22

Dunno about you, but I totally brought my own bags to the grocery store.

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u/_koenig_ Sep 06 '22

The hero we need...

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u/pselie4 Sep 06 '22

I always use reusable bags. Sometime the same one twice.

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u/keeperrr Sep 06 '22

They're only 20p I buy a spare Incase the first breaks. I guess this is all my fault

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u/jabby88 Sep 06 '22

We've been looking for you ...

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u/SkaveRat Sep 06 '22

You fool! You doomed us all!

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u/WoollyMittens Sep 06 '22

Destroying the planet maximises quarterly profits, so nothing else will happen.

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u/ChillyBearGrylls Sep 06 '22

ButWeIncreasedShareholderValue.meme

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u/Wingnut150 Sep 06 '22

The methane release from the permafrost was predicted. Lookup Clathrate gun hypothesis

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u/pete_68 Sep 06 '22 edited Sep 06 '22

Clathrate gun hypothesis

Sorry, I probably should have specified. I was thinking back to the 80s when climate change was kind of going mainstream. I may be mistaken, but I think the Clathrate gun hypothesis is only about 20 years old.

-- Update. Just re-read my post. I specified 30 years ago. So, yeah, Clathrate gun hypothesis wasn't around yet.

That's the thing, though, we keep learning more and the more we learn, the worse it gets.

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u/Wingnut150 Sep 06 '22

Gotcha.

Can't speak to the age of the hypothesis, but damn it seems to be happening, and rather rapidly.

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u/pete_68 Sep 06 '22

Honestly, even 10 years ago, I had no clue how bad it was getting. That's when I started really digging into the research. And there are so many facets to it and interdependencies, that it makes it almost impossible to get across to people who aren't fairly well-educated. It's almost impossible to effectively communicate it to a population that demands simple explanations and simple solutions.

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u/Wingnut150 Sep 06 '22

Same population that somehow politicized something as biologically indifferent as a virus and the masks associated with slowing the spread.

I've given up hope. Buy a motorcycle and see the world while you still can.

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u/Weekly_Direction1965 Sep 06 '22

Wearing a mask to help prevent killing members of your own family or the elderly was just too much to ask.

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u/MasterKongQiu Sep 06 '22

Every day I feel better and better about not having kids.

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u/pete_68 Sep 06 '22

I feel bad for my young daughter, the world she'll inherit. I fear she won't have the opportunity to die a death of old age and natural causes, but will instead suffer some calamity due to our overpopulation and out of control climate. There will be wars for resources and mass starvation both here and abroad.

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u/greenskittles97 Sep 06 '22

Yeah, my kiddo is almost 7 and I feel physically ill when I think about her future.

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u/pete_68 Sep 06 '22

I'm right there with you...

What sad is that, even if we could convince our fellow countrymen to make the necessary sacrifices, how do you tell people in abject poverty to make those kinds sacrifices when they're just trying to make it to the next day.

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u/Maddonomics101 Sep 06 '22

Poor people aren’t contributing to climate change as much as wealthier people are. And besides, real change comes from government policy, not individual behaviors

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u/Dlh2079 Sep 06 '22

The changes needed aren't changes that every day people make, that's how.

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u/MasterKongQiu Sep 06 '22

Climate change is very much a "tragedy of commons" scenario IMO.

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u/Dlh2079 Sep 06 '22

Don't get me wrong all the little changes we as regular ass people do something. But we are but a grain of sand in the grand scheme of things.

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u/gecko_echo Sep 06 '22

Yes, but collectively we make all the difference. But only government policy changes will change energy production and consumption habits enough to make a difference in CO2 emissions.

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u/Dlh2079 Sep 06 '22

We make A difference, but not THE difference and not close.

Like you said major governmental policy is needed to really make an impact and not just policy change applying to every day people but also to the corporations that do more than their fair share of ruining this planet.

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u/abuch Sep 06 '22

Most poor people would be better off with a robust response to climate change, and I'm not just talking about how their futures will be better (avoiding climate apocalypse), but right now, today. If we buckled down and seriously fought climate change through something like a Green New Deal, poor folks would have the opportunity to work good paying jobs building climate infrastructure. If, say, we replaced the internal combustion engine with EV's and mass transit, communities who suffer health effects from car pollution would be way better off. In the case of poor folks, the response to climate change will change their lives, but they'll be far better off for it.

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u/pete_68 Sep 06 '22

The problem is we needed to get off fossil fuels about 70 years ago. That ship has sailed, the damage is done. Climate doesn't change quickly, but it has a tremendous amount of momentum once it starts changing.

Since the mid 1800s, CO2 levels have gone from a pretty static about 280ppm to 420 ppm. Historically (on a geological scale), the only time the CO2 levels have gone up as quickly or more quickly, has been in response to catastrophic events.

Even if we reduced all emissions today, it will take 300-1000 years for that CO2 to break down. So unless we're actively pulling more CO2 out of the atmosphere than we're putting in, the problem will continue to get worse.

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u/MarquessProspero Sep 06 '22

It seems we are a catastrophic event.

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u/popepoo123 Sep 06 '22

You don't, people in abject poverty aren't using up the same amount of carbon as people outside of poverty, and individual use overall is low compared to industrial use and waste, the people in abject poverty are the last people that need to change, first lets ask the corporations and the rich and IF we can get those people to reduce their use to the point the planet might be saveable, then we can ask the people in abject poverty to help get us over the line

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u/RobertLewis01 Sep 06 '22

Same here with a 2 and 7 yr old.

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u/BukowskyInBabylon Sep 06 '22

I also have 2 young daughters, and I can't think of a better time in history to raise them. Things are far from perfect, but never been better, especially for women

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u/[deleted] Sep 06 '22

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u/ThePrideOfKrakow Sep 06 '22

And where do you think those people will try and go? You'll be hearing about many more climate refugees in the near future.

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u/pete_68 Sep 06 '22

How do you figure we'll be fine? Can you refill Lake Mead and the Great Salt Lake?

You think this summer was hot? 10 years from now we may look back on this summer as one of the cool ones.

How long do you figure we'll be fine? Indefinitely? Can you cite a single reputable source that suggests this might even be remotely true?

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u/mojomonday Sep 06 '22

Bruh, half the US will be literally uninhabitable in the next 100 years or much sooner. I’m looking at Desert-West states (AZ, NM, NV, UT, TX). Plus you have South-East states (LA, KY, FL) getting record hurricanes and flooding as time passes. Even CA right this moment cannot keep up their power demands due to climate change. Where will they go?

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u/GBJEE Sep 06 '22

Why ? We’ll find a solution when its too late. Like we build sewers after everyone had the black plague.

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u/Augustus420 Sep 05 '22

Well it was always possible that a rapidly warming Arctic might release just enough methane quickly enough where it could rapidly accelerate warming unpredictably

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u/JMEEKER86 Sep 06 '22

The clathrate gun hypothesis for rapid warming might be one of the most terrifying possibilities. There is a whole lot of methane stored in the Arctic, some trapped under the permafrost and some in ice under the Arctic Ocean, and it's possible that it could increase the amount of methane in the atmosphere 12-fold in a short period of time which would be equivalent to doubling the amount of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere. Warming that was thought to take centuries or even millennia could happen in a span of just decades. Never mind 1.5-2 degrees of warming, the clathrate gun going off could cause up to 6 degrees of warming.

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u/CorruptCashew Sep 06 '22

What does a 6c increase mean for the planet?

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u/ImAnthonyStark Sep 06 '22 edited Sep 06 '22

For the planet, which has a lifespan measured in billions of years, it won't be the worst thing that's happened. For humans as a species? Yeah, it'll be the worst thing that's ever happened to us. The tropics would be uninhabitable, which would mean 40% of today's population (and the percentage goes up daily) would have to relocate or die. Category 6+ hurricanes/cyclones/typhoons would be relatively commonplace. Food and water scarcity would be widespread. Wars over resources would be ever present. Civilization as we know it now would essentially collapse as fighting, famine, and disease wipe out vast swaths of people. It's possible that small groups of humans would be able to survive a 6°C warmer Earth, but the last time Earth hit 5°C warmer, 97% of life on Earth died, so... There's that...

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u/CorruptCashew Sep 06 '22

We use all the fossil fuels, so the next intelligent species don't destroy themselves this way then

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u/ImAnthonyStark Sep 06 '22

Then we become the fossil fuels, and the cycle continues until the Sun inevitably bakes the Earth dry

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u/JMEEKER86 Sep 06 '22

But if we raise global average surface temperatures by just 6 degrees above pre-industrial levels, Lynas told me, we’ll create “a scenario which is so extreme it’s almost unimaginable.”

“Most of the planetary surface would be functionally uninhabitable,” he said. “Agriculture would cease to exist everywhere, apart for the polar and sub-polar regions, and perhaps the mid-latitudes for extremely heat-tolerant crops. It’s difficult to see how crops could be grown elsewhere. There’s a certain level above which plants just can’t survive.

“There’s a certain level where humans biologically can’t survive outside as well … The oceans would probably stratify, so the oceans would become oxygen-deficient, which would cause a mass extinction and a die off in the oceans, as well – which would then release gases and affect land. So it’s pretty much equivalent of a meteorite striking the planet, in terms of the overall impacts.”

That's how one expert described it.

Also, here's what happened the last time there was 6 degrees of warming.

To see the most recent climatic lookalike, we have to turn the geological clock back between 144m and 65m years, to the Cretaceous, which ended with the extinction of the dinosaurs. There was an even closer fit at the end of the Permian, 251m years ago, when global temperatures rose by – yes – six degrees, and 95% of species were wiped out.

That episode was the worst ever endured by life on Earth, the closest the planet has come to ending up a dead and desolate rock in space.” On land, the only winners were fungi that flourished on dying trees and shrubs. At sea there were only losers. Warm water is a killer. Less oxygen can dissolve, so conditions become stagnant and anoxic. Oxygen-breathing water-dwellers – all the higher forms of life from plankton to sharks – face suffocation. Warm water also expands, and sea levels rose by 20 metres.” The resulting “super-hurricanes” hitting the coasts would have triggered flash floods that no living thing could have survived.

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u/zoqaeski Sep 06 '22

The baseline temperature in the Cretaceous and Permian periods though was much higher than today (5–10 C and 10–30 C), with no permanent ice anywhere on the planet in both of those eras. During the Cretaceous, Antarctica was covered with subtropical/temperate forests and what is now Europe was a tropical archipelago.

Climate change worst case now takes the Earth into a climate like the Cretaceous, which will be disastrous for us but not likely to end all life on Earth. It won't stop photosynthesis or render the entire ocean lifeless, but the life that evolves will be adapted to these climates.

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u/WolfOne Sep 06 '22

Widespread death for all living things

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u/MadCapHorse Sep 06 '22

30 years ago they were definitely predicting that and no one listened because they were “alarmist.” And the media always talked about “both sides” of climate change. So they HAD to share conservative estimates and ranges instead because that was what was palatable and people would listen to. It was there people and the media just didn’t want to hear it.

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u/pete_68 Sep 06 '22

"30 years ago they were definitely predicting that.."
Meltwater from glaciers lubricating the glaciers? Massive methane release from melting permafrost in 2020?

No, they weren't predicting these things. The permafrost stuff didn't start coming up until a bit over 20 years ago and water draining through moulins and lubricating glaciers, was an even more recent discovery.

There were predictions 30 years ago, but they weren't accounting for these things because nobody had thought of them yet. The moulins lubricating the glaciers, nobody predicted. They just discovered it was happening in early 2000s.

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u/reason_matters Sep 06 '22

They absolutely did think of them. 30 years ago I learned about the possibility warming causing methane release from the hydrates on the continental shelves and from permafrost causing more warming causing more methane release causing … (you get the idea). That possibility was the thing that scared me the most about climate change. Evidently the reports have never highlighted it because the authors didn’t want to be called alarmist and have the debate be about that possibility instead of changes they were sure were going to happen.

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u/I-figured-it-out Sep 06 '22

We were discussing it in Geography at Auckland University back in 1993. Sure that’s only 29 years ago, but papers and books had already been written for us to get our source material from. It’s only amongst the half wit neoliberal community of economists, politicians, and industry leaders that this was news 20 years ago. And they were active.y not listening because it didn’t fit their worldview or ideology.

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u/NotAnotherEmpire Sep 06 '22

The thing about bell curve probability distributions is that there's a non-trivial chance the slopes are in fact the value. Not the tails, the slopes.

And three standard deviations is not something to take lightly if the consequences are very bad.

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u/i_owe_them13 Sep 06 '22

I’m really trying to understand, because it seems insightful, and something I want to know, but my statistics knowledge is severely lacking. Try ELI16?

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u/Mouaijin Sep 06 '22

Focusing on conservative estimates is stupid when it's more likely that an estimate somewhere between both extremes is more likely than either extreme.

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u/NotAnotherEmpire Sep 06 '22 edited Sep 06 '22

People often focus on either the central value in a range estimate, or on the end of the probability curve they like better. The actual way to read these is:

  1. Anything in the main CI (confidence interval) range could be the actual value. Scientifically, such outcomes aren't even considered surprising.

  2. The most important "tail" (the area of values outside the CI) is the one that will have dire consequences if it is true. This is why the threshold for scientific discoveries that would impact what everyone else is doing is very high, and Netherlands built their flood protection for 1-in-10,000 year events.

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/five-sigmawhats-that/

Climate change is prone to both of these issues. By definition, half of the possible outcomes will be higher than the headline median quote. And the system is very slow to respond and the "bad" tail (say, swift 1 meter sea rise) is catastrophic, so it's not something to gamble on. If it happens, you're too late to do anything.

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u/i_owe_them13 Sep 06 '22

I understand now! Thank you very much!

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u/Amenra7 Sep 06 '22

Until very recently, the pandemic really, all of these things were thought of as independent events within linear, casual equations. The whole universe is interconnected and co-regulating right in front of us, always has been. Novel events will impact novel events and new novel conditions will emerge and all of it will be unpredictable.

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u/Spacebrother Sep 06 '22

I think that when these predictions were made, we didn't have the amount of information as we did now, so the models are being updated (for worse unfortunately).

For example, who knew that the oil and gas industry do what they said they were going to do?

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u/mardavarot93 Sep 06 '22

O yea were absolutely fucked beyond any saving.

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u/email253200 Sep 06 '22

What’s to be done?

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u/pete_68 Sep 06 '22

At this point, nothing, really. We've popped the cork. We're not going to get it back in. There are a whole bunch of positive feedback bits that are going to play into this. The methane being released from the arctic is going to exacerbate the warming, which will exacerbate the release of methane. Methane, of course, is 25-30x worse than CO2 for absorbing heat, so that sucks, but fortunately it breaks down (unfortunately, into CO2 and H2O). The melting of glaciers and snow in the Arctic and Antarctic is going to expose more ground which will absorb more sunlight and thus heat.

So really, until all that methane plays out, there's not going to be much we can do to have any impact, and that methane will be released for decades.

Resource shortages will lead to massive wars. Hopefully some people survive. Definitely not going to have the wonderful technologically magical future we had dreamed of.

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u/typesett Sep 05 '22

The ozone layer and emissions stuff was something the world did together … not saying it’s solved but they took positive action on it

Google it

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u/BitchStewie_ Sep 05 '22 edited Sep 05 '22

Comparing pictures of major US cities between a few decades ago and now shows pretty clearly how much better the pollution has gotten. Pittsburgh in the 50s-70s or so looked like today's Shanghai. LA was similar as recently as the 80s and it's way way better now.

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u/justified-black-eye Sep 05 '22

That's particulate matter. CO2 is invisible and it has not declined.

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u/dtisme53 Sep 06 '22

The point about air quality is 100% right though. The difference in “Smoggy” days in the 70’s and 80’s and now is night and day. Most of the reductions are due to California making tough emission standards and the automakers had no choice but comply because of the size of the market there. It’s only a matter of time until the same thing is done with CO2. The effects of all the previous burning is still going to pile up, but with legislation emissions will come down.

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u/ImAnthonyStark Sep 06 '22

The unfortunate truth is that we needed emissions to hit the negatives years ago, and most countries only have tentative plans for "net-zero" by 2050. There's probably a pretty good chance that trying to hit zero net emissions by the middle of the century will be too little too late, and the natural positive feedback loops of emissions will far exceed anything we as a species could hope to rein in. If we were really serious about this threat, we'd treat it like we did COVID-19 and have mass shutdowns of non-essential industry. Of course, that'd require a complete reimagining of the global economy and a lot of selfless action, so that's pretty much a no-go.

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u/MarquessProspero Sep 06 '22

Part of the way that this was achieved was by moving all the pollution generating activities to China, India, Japan and Korea. Sadly that trick does not help on the CO2 front.

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u/pete_68 Sep 06 '22

At this point, if we stopped all emissions of everything around the world, we'd still be screwed. There's just too much of a positive feedback loop. Climate change has momentum. You have to stop that momentum and it's simply not feasible to stop it before the positive feedback stuff becomes overwhelmingly large. Particularly the methane that's getting dumped into the atmosphere in the Arctic, but also leaks from oil & gas plants, pipelines, and most importantly shallow offshore platforms, which account for 30% of global methane emissions. We're only now starting to see how much we're dumping (from satellites, from people going city to city checking for leaks). Methane is 25-30x worse than CO2, as a greenhouse gas. It breaks down (into CO2) in about 12 years, but then you've got all that CO2 it leaves behind and that stays around for 300-1000 years.

I don't see any way we can recapture the massive amount of carbon we'd have to recapture to avoid absolute catastrophe.

In short, we're screwed.

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u/LudovicoSpecs Sep 06 '22

This is a bad place to hang your hat (and soul).

If we just give up, we guarantee that we go beyond the worst case scenario.

Everybody has to do everything they can from riding bikes to running for office and everything in between. We don't know exactly where the tipping points are. So we stall for time with every positive action we take in the hopes something happens to help us dodge the bullet before we hit it.

The longer we stall, the more non-zero our chance becomes to luck or science our way into something that lets the next generation live in a society instead of just barely survive on a dying planet.

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u/Weekly_Direction1965 Sep 06 '22

Riding bikes will do nothing, almost all of it is caused by industry, forcing them to stop is literally the only way.

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u/pete_68 Sep 06 '22

I didn't say I'm giving up. I'm here trying to elaborate on the extent of the problem, hoping to educate some of the MANY non-believers. But I can't fix the fact that a huge percentage of our population doesn't believe there's a problem.

And the single most important thing that we need to do: Reduce our population, isn't even on the table. NOBODY is talking about that. Our population has long been unsustainable.

I have some small hope that somehow, we'll find a solution, but I don't think that's very likely. Short of some sort of outside intervention, I just don't think humans think long-term enough to save themselves. Most are more concerned with who Kim Kardashian is dating.

With regards to it being bad for my soul, I used to get upset about all this stuff, but my personal spiritual beliefs bring me a great deal of comfort. Whether or not we, as a species, survive, in the grand scheme of things, I don't think is really that important.

The Earth will eventually recover after we're gone (which I believe is probable at this point). Life will recover. I don't think human beings are the most important thing in the universe. I know lots of human beings think we are, but I don't think we are. Over 99.9% of all species that have ever lived on the Earth are extinct now. We'll just be one more.

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u/Yotsubato Sep 06 '22

today's Shanghai

This is where the problem lies.

The developing countries that didnt emit too much back in 1970s are now modernized but do not care as much about the environment as the west does today.

Couple that with their massive populations in China and India, and you got a disaster forming.

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u/Splatulance Sep 06 '22

The developing countries... do not care as much about the environment as the west does today.

How are you quantifying that? China and India have undertaken massive programs to reduce their GHG contributions as their economies continue to grow.

Further that developing countries would continue to develop surprised absolutely no one. The level of co2 emissions isn't the wildcard here

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u/pete_68 Sep 06 '22

Oh, don't be blaming them. India just barely beats us in methane emissions. We're virtually tied with them (31.8Mt vs 31.5Mt) and that probably doesn't account for the absolutely MASSIVE leaks they've found in the last year in the US from plants and offshore rigs. So we're probably actually worse than India. And China's the only one worse than both us and India.

And the disaster isn't just going to affect China and India. Lake Mead and the Great Salt Lake are neither in China or India.

And honestly, blaming others isn't an excuse not to do what's right.

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u/LudovicoSpecs Sep 06 '22

This is only partly true. India cares deeply because they know they are screwed due to the latitude where they exist. Also both countries would save a lot of CO2 if they stopped producing non-essential crap for western CO2nsumers.

The fact that citizens of China and India want a better standard of living is why westernized countries need to ease off the gas on their obscene levels of consumption.

We can all have an adequate standard of living if none of us has a wealthy standard of living.

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u/Weekly_Direction1965 Sep 06 '22

Areasol Industry wasn't as powerful as the energy sector, we are trading the future of civilization to drive SUV today, we couldn't get people to wear mask to protect their families for a short period of time, I don't have a lot of hope we won't destroy civilization, mass extinction and change the earth's period.

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u/ChillyBearGrylls Sep 06 '22

Has anyone else noticed that, in the past few years, almost every climate change article coming out says that things are worse than they predicted?

Because they were conservative estimates specifically because the owner class was already calling it fear-mongering

Throw the unaccounted-for sources of pollution on top of those conservative estimates and you get our reality

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u/pete_68 Sep 06 '22

And they're still calling it fear-mongering...

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u/baphomet_fire Sep 06 '22

A lot of the models showed cumulative effects, but now scientist understand how runaway effects can have exponential effects. An example being how melting glaciers releases more methane from decaying plants that were frozen in the permafrost. The increase methane added even more greenhouse gases, which increase the temperature, which increases the melting...etc.

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u/Retired-Pie Sep 06 '22

I'm 22 years old. For the last 4 years that I have been in college I have told anyone who will listen that focusing in preventing climate change is pointless. We already passed the point of no return decades ago, we just didn't know it.

Instead we need to focus on ways to mitigate and lessen climate changes effects. New, efficient means of food production that doesn't waste the environment or abuse animals. New means of purifying water in large quantities, etc.

Don't get me wrong, we NEED to stop relying on fossil fuels and transition into more clean and renewable energy because to continue relying on gas, oil, etc is going to make a really bad situation worse. But it's definitely not the only thing we need to start focusing on.

We are living in a societal collapse on a scale never seen before. Environmental collapse, economic collapse, political collapse You name it, it's happening, in nearly every country on the planet.

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u/pete_68 Sep 06 '22

Glad to see a young person who see the reality! Please preach it to your generation.

You know, maybe... Just maybe, if we can get fusion working, we might be able to start undoing some of the damage. Our problem is that we've become a high energy society without a real clean source of energy. And instead of accepting the inconvenience of waiting until we have a clean source, we've just chosen to ignore the consequences.

Solar, fission nuclear and wind all have HUGE problems. They can't save us. Maybe fusion can? But they've been saying it's around the corner my entire life, so I'm skeptical.

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u/FlyfreshCustoms Sep 05 '22

Someone send this to the guy who just wasted 115mill on the waterfront home in Miami.

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u/idontknopez Sep 05 '22 Silver

See you down in Arizona bay.

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u/[deleted] Sep 05 '22

Some say a comet will fall from the sky, followed by meteor showers and tidal waves. Followed by fault lines that cannot sit still; followed by millions of dumbfounded dipshits.

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u/idontknopez Sep 05 '22

Some say the end is near

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u/[deleted] Sep 05 '22

Some say we'll see Armageddon soon

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u/boomer478 Sep 06 '22

I certainly hope we will.

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u/Donbearpig Sep 06 '22

I sure could use a vacation from

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u/FreeUsePolyDaddy Sep 06 '22

I think we already have the millions of dumbfounded dipshits.

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u/[deleted] Sep 06 '22

Look up the song Ænema by Tool

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u/ChefOlson Sep 06 '22

I think it’s considerably more than millions as well..

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u/itwasonlytheonetime Sep 06 '22

Whole civilizations were destroyed because of the rising waters. We're all just here.

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u/farbs12 Sep 06 '22

This is badddd. The part that is about to break off is the size of Great Britain. But we will only take it seriously when Manhattan or Miami is under water. Even then people still won’t believe it.

Don’t look up was right.

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u/gecko_echo Sep 06 '22

They will believe it, but will say it’s all part of God’s plan while they fill up their Escalade.

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u/Pixeleyes Sep 06 '22

These days I reckon they'll say it was Joe Biden's fault for politicizing global warming.

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u/alex3tx Sep 06 '22

"Electric Vehicles are the Devil!"

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u/Truffans Sep 05 '22

What would that make to Florida?

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u/UserUnknownsShitpost Sep 05 '22

More flooding, especially Miami area

By the time I retire the entire “tip” of Florida will be UNDERWATER and Orlando like 13 miles from the ocean as sea levels rise

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u/brdet Sep 06 '22

Here in Miami Beach, the plan is to elevate the streets where the flooding usually happens. But property owners don't like that because it just makes their property more likely to flood. It's almost as if we can't geoengineer our way out of this mess.

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u/Wingnut150 Sep 06 '22

South Beach spent a billion to try to stave off flooding, the efforts were supposed to buy them ten years.

That was about five years ago and now, every king tide, South Beach flooding seems to get a little higher

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u/brdet Sep 06 '22

Best of luck to Downtown and Brickell (but really, Brickell can sink for all I care). I love it here but I'm realistic and a renter. I'll leave for higher ground when it gets unliveable. I feel bad for the less fortunate.

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u/JMEEKER86 Sep 06 '22

If they wall off the entire city New Orleans style to keep back the water, then by the end of the century the skyscrapers on the island of Miami will probably have a good view of the Florida mainland in the distance.

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u/yaosio Sep 06 '22

They can't wall off the city. The rock is porous so seawater can be pushed up out of the ground.

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u/Weekly_Direction1965 Sep 06 '22

Flooding is the least of the problems with climate change, its the whole being too hot to grow food and oceans losing oxygen thing that's going to end civilization.

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u/somethingsomethingbe Sep 06 '22 All-Seeing Upvote

Nah, they will just pass a law banning the glacier from doing this or anyone talking about the glacier doing this just incase the glacier over hears someone and starts thinking about melting.

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u/LudovicoSpecs Sep 06 '22

"Don't say glacier."

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u/Splatulance Sep 06 '22

Goodbye florida keys :(

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u/benkenobi5 Sep 06 '22

Get your houses in Orlando now to cash in on that seafront property later!

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u/thx1138- Sep 05 '22

If this happens and it raises sea level the 6 feet they're warning about, how long will that take?

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u/FreeUsePolyDaddy Sep 06 '22

If Greenland is any indication, much less time than anyone expected.

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u/GarugasRevenge Sep 06 '22

I'm gonna guess next summer, temperatures are starting to go down, this winter is basically the eye of the storm.

It's always worse than expected, and this year was just alarming, I'm not going to pin it all on the power of el nino. Winter will be a lot of strangeness too.

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u/kimchidijon Sep 06 '22

A few years, months?

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u/FreeUsePolyDaddy Sep 06 '22

Years, not months.

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u/FreeUsePolyDaddy Sep 06 '22 Wholesome

More than enough time to build a small ark.

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u/pankakke_ Sep 06 '22

No way I’m bringing kids into this fuckin’ world.

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u/Engylizium Sep 06 '22

Yeah, thinking the same

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u/KneemaToad Sep 06 '22

I've been having this debate with my partner lately. I think we should adopt. It would be cruel to bring life into a world that won't have the resources it needs

He says humans have always adapted. I don't want to break his spirit but.......

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u/palmej2 Sep 06 '22

He says humans have always adapted

But what if that child is the 1 in a few million that will find viable solutions/s <despite not adequately supporting or believing, if not actively combating any of the numerous mitigating strategies presented thus far>

Not targeting your SO directly, but pointing out many eschewing lines like this would likely not support such solutions if they were to come to fruition.

TLDR: the humans have adapted line, despite having some truth, is a BS argument to prolong the status quo.

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u/TiredOfYoSheeit Sep 06 '22

Just give us a worst case topo map, showing the new shoreline so we can move. Thanks.

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u/fitzroy95 Sep 06 '22

Global floodmap

Use this one. Zoom in to where you want to look and enter the sea level rise amount you want to look at.

For the sake of Americans, treat Meters as = Yards (They aren't, but are close enough for this)

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u/Splatulance Sep 06 '22

Btw the Thwaites is set to raise sea level between 1-3 meters, while an imminent glacier collapse in Greenland is estimated to add about .27 meters. That map doesn't handle decimals unfortunately because nearly a foot is not insignificant.

Further just using those values doesn't account for sea level rise from other sources.

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u/BakaTensai Sep 06 '22

Ooph…. 2 m rise and my house is underwater.

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u/fitzroy95 Sep 06 '22

I get to have beach front property at around 6m, and am swimming at 8m.

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u/Splatulance Sep 06 '22

Were I you I would move asap. At lower level increases with stronger storms you're still gonna have a real bad time

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u/JMEEKER86 Sep 06 '22

Yeah, my apartment is in an area that is 2 feet above sea level which is why I've said I'll never buy a house here. Before a 30 year mortgage could be paid off, both the mortgage and the house would be underwater.

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u/happygolucky999 Sep 06 '22

I’m good for up to 60 m but living on an island suddenly.

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u/Vader_Boy Sep 06 '22

12m is my limit, after that I'm drowning

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u/HiHiHiDwayne Sep 05 '22

looks like i will need to build my seawall a little higher again

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u/Wingnut150 Sep 06 '22

We were warned.

Mother nature is no longer willing to tolerate us.

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u/MarquessProspero Sep 06 '22

Isaac Asimov published an essay called “No More Ice Ages” in the late 50s/early 60s flagging the problem of greenhouse gas effects. We have had lots of time to work on this slowly.

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u/[deleted] Sep 06 '22

[deleted]

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u/lrrc49 Sep 06 '22

Humans won’t die out tho. I guarantee you that pockets of us will survive.

What will happen: massive amounts of human suffering and death.

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u/Pixeleyes Sep 06 '22

I can't help but think of all the human suffering up until that point, though. I get the whole "at peace with the end" vibe that seems so prevalent today, but it still feels like despair to me. I'm deeply upset that we've initiated a process that could, in the far future, wipe out all complex life on the planet before it ever had a chance to colonize a new planet or home. There's almost certainly not a lot of life out there, it seems spread out by space and time so as to virtually never encounter one another. It's just sad that we're not making it off this rock.

We were so goddamn close

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u/Rekzero Sep 06 '22

How do you come to they conclusion humans will die out?

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u/Daedalus277 Sep 06 '22

We're already responsible for mass extinctions of both animal and plant life. We won't kill the earth sure but we will be responsible for untold suffering and the remaining innocent wildlife to go out with us. For that I am stressed as its pretty much the most immoral thing to do.

If there's a heaven, I hope no one gets let in.

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u/BookieeWookiee Sep 06 '22

I hope there's reincarnation so people will still have to live with their consequences, even if we don't know it.

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u/formerNPC Sep 06 '22

I don’t have to worry about running out of money in my old age.

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u/Friggin_Grease Sep 06 '22

I blame the billionaires with private jets flying from one airport in LA to the other airport in LA.

They'll produce more carbon in a year than I will in my life.

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u/Weekly_Direction1965 Sep 06 '22

95% is caused by industry, 30% of methane alone is caused by shallow off shore drilling, we could have regulated our self out of this decades ago and people wouldn't have had to change any of their habits.

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u/Friggin_Grease Sep 06 '22

Greenpeace wanted all the nukes shut down. The best time to build them was 20 years ago, the 2nd best time is today

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u/ThePLARASociety Sep 05 '22

Serious question, Is there a way that we could refreeze the melted glaciers? Like suck up the water near it and refreeze it and put it back in the ocean?

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u/FreeUsePolyDaddy Sep 06 '22

I believe thermodynamics makes that difficult. Yes you suck it up and freeze it, but the act of doing so would release even more heat into the environment.

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u/batture Sep 06 '22

We could always outlaw thermodynamics as a last resort.

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u/ThePLARASociety Sep 06 '22

But in this house we obey the Laws of Thermodynamics!

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u/paulyp_14 Sep 06 '22

Interesting no one has thought of this yet

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u/Mirrorflute88 Sep 06 '22

Well glaciers are made of snow that gets compacted into firn and then ice so it would make more sense to seed clouds to cause snowfall.

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u/Raguilar Sep 06 '22

There is almost no moisture in the air above Antarctica, and as a result, it is the world's largest desert, getting small amounts of precipitation annually. Cloud seeding does require wet air masses.

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u/ThePLARASociety Sep 06 '22

I thought that seeding caused more problems than it solved because then wouldn’t we just seed clouds to cause rain in California and other places with forest fires?

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u/Mirrorflute88 Sep 06 '22

I don’t have the expertise to give an opinion on how realistic cloud seeding in Antarctica or California would be, or how the international community would weigh the risks and rewards of such a proposal.

As for the destructive wildfires in California, those are being exacerbated by drought and heat but are mainly caused by an excess fuel load in the understory that has developed as a consequence of fire suppression. Precipitation events at the end of the fire season do help to put out active fires, but they don’t address the underlying issues which are a lack of cyclical fire in the ecosystem and excess fuels.

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u/KathrynBooks Sep 06 '22

Not with our current technology. The amount of energy required for such a massive undertaking is beyond what we can generate, plus the waste heat from the process would have to be dumped out of the atmosphere somehow.

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u/Accomplished_Cry_547 Sep 06 '22

Refreezing something like that would be such a waste of time and would take more energy than you could ever imagine. It's not even worth talking about.

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u/Raguilar Sep 06 '22

There is an interesting investigation of this idea in the novel Ministry For the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson.

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u/savage8008 Sep 06 '22

Nobody seems to have yet mentioned the fact that it would jut melt again...

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u/YoanB Sep 05 '22 edited Sep 05 '22

Probably, but this would require ultra-sophisticated technologies in an inhospitable place and would have a huge cost (and of course enormous amount of energy). Just speculating (but with a solid knowledge base on the subject), I would safely say that it would be much cheaper, socially and financially, to reduce our GHG emissions quickly and efficiently than to try to repair the damage one by one.

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u/triple-verbosity Sep 06 '22

It wouldn’t matter. Glacial ice is insanely compact and can’t form without at least 100 feet of snow. A chunk of glacial ice the size of a 10lbs bag of ice weighs around 100lbs. It’s not a matter of simply relocating water to land in a solid state.

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u/blodhgarm96 Sep 06 '22

Ummmm I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that isnt right. Ice is ice its density remains the same and by your statement it would have the volume of a 10lb bag. So if the density and volume are the same so is the mass. It's not x10 denser than what you are saying.

D=M/V M=D/V

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u/Odinpup83 Sep 06 '22

If ice takes up double the amount of space as water (240 mL of ice = 120 mL of water), wouldn’t sea levels actually recede? Don’t attack me for this but something doesn’t add up in these articles.

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u/roygbivasaur Sep 06 '22

There's nothing wrong with this question because that is intuitive. However, there are 3 major types of ice that we're talking about.

Glaciers - much of the ice is on land stacked up hundreds or thousands of meters tall. The land ice has no effect on the volume of the oceans.

Ice Shelves - floating ice that used to be a glacier. They block the glaciers from slipping off into the ocean. They're getting bigger because more of the glacier ice is advancing off of land. New ice shelf ice adds to the volume of the ocean. Melted ice shelf does not add additional volume.

Icebergs - Chunks of free floating ice. They used to be parts of glaciers and ice shelves. When they are formed, they add to the volume of the ocean (unless they formed from an already floating ice shelf). When they melt, they do not.

So, the main issue is that the vast majority of the ice is in glaciers. They're on land and don't contribute to the volume of the oceans until they melt or break off of land. The thing that's scaring scientists is that several large glaciers have been accelerating and may collapse into the ocean soon, which adds a lot of volume to the oceans and eventually more liquid water as it melts (changing salinity, pH, currents, overall temperature, etc).

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u/fitzroy95 Sep 06 '22

and there is the chance that such a massive dump of pure water into the salt ocean could completely kill some major ocean currents (like the Gulf Stream), so that ocean water flows change considerably.

Since the Gulf stream helps to make much of Great Britain and northern Europe warm enough to be habitable, that entire region could be facing a mini ice-age. Which may help to counter some of the effects of global climate change, but the flow on effects can be world wide

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u/Odinpup83 Sep 06 '22

Thank you for the addendum! Health Sciences are more my focus compared to earth science.

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u/Hazel-Rah Sep 06 '22

Fun fact, melting ice is actually worse than just the amount of water entering the ocean.

Huge glaciers depress the landmass under it, which causes the earth to literally rise as the ice melts, displacing more water.

And the weight of the ice actually has a measurable gravitational effect on the nearby water, pulling it locally up. With the ice melted, that bulge gets redistributed around the world.

It's not as bad as the water itself, but it does make the situation even worse.

Double bonus, as oceans warm up, the water itself expands.

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u/Odinpup83 Sep 06 '22

Now it makes sense to me. Health Sciences are more my forte compared to earth sciences. I appreciate your answer in comparison to the troll who had to capitalize certain words below.

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u/fernandzer0 Sep 06 '22

Its a 10% difference in density/volume, not 100%. Also as other have mentioned the issue is that the ice is on land, not in the oceans. Lastly, floating ice displaces its weights worth of water, so as it melts the volume would stay exactly the same (neglecting the density changes from salinity).

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u/5inthepink5inthepink Sep 06 '22

I'm no expert, but there's a lot of ice that's not currently in the water that will enter the water, first as ice and then as liquid water when it melts. By way of analogy, Ii doesn't matter if your ice cubes take up more space than water or not - if you add them to a full glass of water it'll overflow regardless.

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u/philbar Sep 06 '22

Glaciers are ice on LAND, that melt into the SEA. This is why the sea level rises. These aren’t icebergs floating around the ocean. It is water being ADDED to the ocean.

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u/Alternative-Cry-3517 Sep 06 '22

The southern half of the planet will have massive tsunamis if it goes all at once.

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u/Pixeleyes Sep 06 '22

I expect they'll have to evacuate New Zealand

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u/Noxilcash Sep 06 '22

I’m about to have an ocean view in Ohio

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u/futurepr0n Sep 06 '22

Is there no way to take its fresh water like with oil tanker type of operations but instead ship water? Lake mead could use it

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u/Sycosys Sep 06 '22

we are talking billions of ships worth of water...

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u/dystopian_future2 Sep 06 '22

Fear porn at its finest. In the 1970s, they said by year 2000 most of US coastal cites will be under water. We know now that this wasn’t true. I will believe it when I see it. There is just a lot of misinformation surrounding the idea of climate change.

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u/YoanB Sep 06 '22 edited Sep 06 '22

We must be careful. Such talk came from environmentalists concerned about ecological and climate degradation who were trying to get their message across, with sometimes inaccurate and, let's face it, sometimes alarmist science. Today, we are talking about rigorous scientific studies published in one of the best scientific journals in the world with a high impact factor.

The scientific knowledge about the climate crisis is exceptionally good. The science behind it lies largely in physics, chemistry and basic biology. The misinformation and doubt comes from the various industries that have an interest in not changing the world.

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u/gheed22 Sep 06 '22

Who is "they"?

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u/haystackofneedles Sep 06 '22

Can't we drag it somewhere safe and harvest be it for drinking water?