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CRISIS-FORUM  October 2008

CRISIS-FORUM October 2008

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Subject:

Re: Global Warming: Stronger Than Expected, Sooner Than Forecast

From:

Chris <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Chris <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 29 Oct 2008 13:32:46 -0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

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text/plain (192 lines)

That's part of the point I was trying to make really - it is not possible to 
respond to this issue on the premise of a global 'dangerous limit'. One 
could argue that what we are talking about with unequivocal dangerous change 
is change that negatively affects the life quality of the wealthy North, 
whereas that only affecting the South is equivocal and thus not dangerous. 
It is a complete misconception of the issue and lacks all sense of equity 
and justice. And it ain't science, its values, but who on this board can 
recall being invited to a global debate about what counts as dangerous? (Bar 
those who attended the Exeter conference of 2005, which was hardly a 
democratic debate).

Chris


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "CHRIS KEENE" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, October 28, 2008 6:47 PM
Subject: Re: Global Warming: Stronger Than Expected, Sooner Than Forecast


Agreed that the warming we already have is proving dangerous for some
(eg people who live in flood plains, Scottish seabirds whose food is
disappearing), whereas for others it hasn't made much difference, but
surely the concept of dangerous could apply unequivocally to the point
where climate change becomes irreversible because of positive feedback
effects - where we pass some kind of tipping point?

Trouble is no-one really knows where that may lie and we may already
have passed it, if the melting of Arctic sea ice warms the Arctic to a
point where the methane in the permafrost and the floor of the Arctic
Ocean enters the atmosphere, then the methane from the edge of the
continental shelves around the world, and finally the Amazon burns,
releasing over 120 gigatonnes of CO2. I have heard this will raise world
temperature 10C, and billions of people may die. (Can anyone confirm
this?).

That is dangerous for everyone, and so we must avoid it. My belief is
this means we have to achieve a zero carbon world, as fast as we can.

Chris Keene

Chris wrote:

> I'm in the final year of my PhD, trying to explain how it was everyone 
> agreed two degrees of warming was a dangerous limit. NGO's and journalists 
> are at least as culpable as policymakers. The scientists have always been 
> very clear that there is no scientific basis for deciding a dangerous 
> limit but the literature abounds with NGOs and journalists claiming that 
> it is the scientists who have calculated two degrees as a dangerous limit.
> There is no dangerous temperature limit, there is simply a question about 
> how much climate change is the reproduction of the industrial order worth? 
> That's a democratic value debate that simply hasn't happened, has been 
> usurped by focusing on the myth of a dangerous limit, below which 
> everything is fine, and beyond which lies monsters.
> Our system of politics simply isn't capable of dealing with the 
> complexities of this issue.
> Chris
>
>     ----- Original Message -----
>     *From:* George Marshall <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
>     *To:* [log in to unmask]
>     <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
>     *Sent:* Monday, October 27, 2008 8:39 PM
>     *Subject:* Global Warming: Stronger Than Expected, Sooner Than
>     Forecast
>
>     ho ho ho ho
>
>     not looking good
>
>
>     http://climateandcapitalism.com/?p=569
>     October 23, 2008
>
>     /Global warming is accelerating at a much faster rate than
>     predicted by the IPCC, according to a new compendium of scientific
>     research /
>
>     In 2007, the Nobel Prize winning Intergovernmental Panel on
>     Climate Change (IPCC) released their Fourth Assessment Report – a
>     study of global warming that involved nearly 4,000 scientists from
>     more than 150 countries.
>
>     However, the science of climate change has moved on in the year
>     since this respected report was published./ //Climate change:
>     faster, stronger, sooner/
>     <http://assets.panda.org/downloads/wwf_science_paper_october_2008.pdf>
>     [PDF: 1.65 MB], published this month by WWF <http://www.wwf.org/>,
>     amalgamates this new scientific data and reveals that global
>     warming is accelerating beyond the IPCC’s forecasts.
>
>         “Global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions released as a
>         consequence of human activity have been accelerating, with
>         their growth rate increasing from 1.1% per year between 1990
>         and 1999, to more than 3% per year between 2000 and 2004. The
>         actual emissions growth rate since 2000 was greater than any
>         of the scenarios used by the IPCC in either the Third or
>         Fourth Assessment Reports.”
>
>     The report has received the support of climate change experts
>     including Professor Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, Professor of
>     Climatology and Environmental Sciences at the Université
>     catholique de Louvain, Belgium, and newly elected Vice Chair of
>     the IPCC, who said: “It is clear that climate change is already
>     having a greater impact than most scientists had anticipated, so
>     it’s vital that international mitigation and adaptation responses
>     become swifter and more ambitious. The last IPCC report has shown
>     that the reasons for concern are now stronger, and this should
>     lead the EU to plead for a lower temperature target than the 2°C
>     they adopted in 1996. But even with a 2°C target, the IPCC says
>     that emission reductions between 25 and 40% compared to 1990 are
>     needed by 2020 from developed countries. Reductions by 20% are
>     therefore insufficient.”
>
>     The latest science shows that the Arctic Ocean is losing sea ice
>     up to 30 years ahead of IPCC predictions. It is now predicted that
>     the summer sea ice could completely disappear between 2013 and
>     2040 – something that hasn’t occurred in more than a million
>     years. The report says:
>
>         “There is near consensus in the Arctic scientific community
>         that significant aspects of this hastened loss of sea ice are
>         caused by feedback mechanisms, the effects of which had been
>         severely underestimated in the report. For example, a
>         reduction in sea ice has meant that ocean waters have been
>         warmed more by the sun, making it even more difficult to form
>         and to retain sea ice the next winter. Indeed prominent
>         scientists are now saying that we are at – or have already
>         passed – the tipping point for the Arctic sea ice system.”
>
>     Based on recent scientific studies, the number and intensity of
>     extreme cyclones over the British Isles and the North Sea are
>     projected to increase, leading to increased wind speeds and
>     storm-related losses over Western and Central Europe. The level of
>     ozone, an air pollutant, is projected to be similar to that in the
>     2003 heat-wave, with major increases over England, Belgium,
>     Germany and France. Annual maximum rainfall is also projected to
>     increase in most parts of Europe, with associated flood risks and
>     economic damages.
>
>     Marine ecosystems in the North and Baltic Sea are being exposed to
>     the warmest temperatures measured since records began, while the
>     Mediterranean is expected to experience increases in the frequency
>     of long-term droughts. Glaciers in the Swiss Alps will continue to
>     decrease, with reduction of hydropower production.
>
>     At a global level, sea level rise is expected to reach more than
>     double the IPCC’s maximum estimate of 0.59m by the end of the
>     century, putting vast coastal areas at risk. Rising temperatures
>     have already led to a combined reduction in global yields of
>     wheat, maize and barley of roughly 40 million tonnes or US$5
>     billion (€3.2 billion) per year.
>
>     The report says the emission reductions recommended by the IPCC
>     are insufficient.
>
>         “A re-examination of the climate impacts reported in the
>         Fourth Assessment Report indicates that 80% cuts in global
>         greenhouse gas emissions are needed by 2050 to keep global
>         average temperature rise below 2°C – and to limit climate
>         impacts to ‘acceptable’ levels. Such a cut would stabilise
>         atmospheric greenhouse gas concentration at 400-470 parts per
>         million carbon dioxide equivalents. However, even with an 80%
>         emissions cut, damages will be significant, and much more
>         substantial adaptation efforts than those currently planned
>         will be required to avoid much of the damage.”
>
>
>-- 
>George Marshall,
>Director of Projects,
>Climate Outreach Information Network,
>George Marshall contacts in Wales
>Direct 01686 411 080
>Mobile 0781 724 1889
>E-mail [log in to unmask]
>The Friary
>Pen-Y-Green Rd
>Llanidloes
>SY18 6PG
>
>Main COIN Office Old Music Hall, 106-108 Cowley Road, Oxford OX4 1JE.
>Telephone 01865 403 334
>E-mail [log in to unmask]
>Web: www.COINet.org.uk
>
>COIN is a charitable trust, registration number 1102225. It supports
>initiatives and organisations that increase public
>understanding and awareness of climate change.
>
>

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