Yes, it is a huge dilemma. However, given the laws of nature it will self correct at some point. This won’t be a gradual thing either it tends to be a crash. The question is what will be the best approach for humanity and the rest of life on the planet. Do we rush headlong, and correct by letting the chips fall where they may, or do we try to come to a consensus and attempt to make a controlled correction.
a couple of points to make is the level of CO2 in the atmosphere today will remain there for 300 to 1000 years. Nor have we touched on the carbon cycle in the oceans and ocean acidification.
We certainly don’t fully understand the overall carbon-climate feedbacks that exist. The models are in no way complete. What we are basing the current science on is the data we do have. Perhaps things will be better than we currently can show, or perhaps they will be worse. This uncertainty does not mean we should just wait and see. Do you prepare for hurricane before it happens, or because there is some uncertainty that it will hit, do you wait and hope it misses you. I guess that depends on you. When I paddle I try to be prepared to deal with the unfavorable before it actually happens and have to deal with the potential consequences.
I have worked outside since 1978 or before. Anecdotal info like “I needed a jacket”, is worthless. I can put you where I stood in a flannel with the sleeves rolled up on grass one year and the next the windchill was -50 on Dec 26 each year. 30 years ago it was breaking record heat 3 years before blizzards were hitting. I skied Mt Baker when there was record breaking snow and Mt Bachelor when they barely had cover. El Nino came through and there was a panic that there was no snow pack, a few years later the show was just under the lift chairs, mid tower.
When I started this current job 34 years ago, I wore pac boots in the winter. I still wear pac boots in the winter. It feels colder the older I get and I cant go skiing with leather work gloves and jeans anymore so I guess the ice age is just around the corner or… its weather and I have changed. This year we had an avg winter, dead on avg and it hung on through spring. Its weather.
None of that is worth anything. The time humans have been on earth is barely enough to get a representative sample of the baseline. IAW archeologists, the Med was 2.5 degrees warmer during the Roman empire. Did they have a industrial revolution that was stopped by the Goths? Are the grape arbors on Greenland that were put there by the Vikings done as a joke on later generations? Where you are standing (doesnt matter where) at one time was under ice, under water, or a volcano. California forests natural state is on fire. Explorers from the 1800’s remark that one coulndnt see mountain to mountain because of the smoke. What happened to all of the doom and gloom that there were going to be tremendous hurricanes last year, and there were few. The blame for TX getting cold was hyped all over. Hardly anyone told you that it happened before, in the 80’s which is WHY there were heaters on the gas pipeline. (The bean counters didnt train the new people where the heater ON switch was and parts froze, not a climate problem). Not abnormal, just not a regular occurrence.
Lake Erie is getting shallower. I guess you could say its because of global warming, because as soon as the glaciers melted, it started to get shallower. Took away the weight and it is rebounding. Nothing to do with a cow fart though.
To qajaqman… relying on a college text to predict the future, I have one that states in plain language that no one will EVER need more than 9600 baud at home and telecom is a lot more exact science than meteorology.
Its pretty simple. Dont go out of your way to screw things up. It shows a lot of hubris to state that we are going to destroy the earth in a couple decades when the earth can, will and has put more junk in the atmosphere in a day with a single volcano. If one is that concerned with population control, well, charity begins at home.
Personally, I think there is a lot more to be concerned with about a pole reversal. Heck, that could be the cause of the current weather shifts.
Thanks, good to know another wildlife biologist on here! E.O Wilson wrote some really thought provoking things. My specialties are landscape ecology and shorebird ecology. The last 20 years I have been focused on the Delaware Bay Shorebird Stopover, especially red knots and horseshoe crabs.
Humans seem to have a hard time thinking about themselves as part of nature. We are so good at insulating ourselves from it, or modifying it…
We are not apart from nature. Our behavioral changes are a natural result of our social species make up. What we do directly impacts the natural world as you aptly pointed out. That same natural world directly impacts us. My point is will we alter our behavioral choices to avoid a reckoning or not. I suspect we will when it delivers a punch to the gut, and not before.
The web of life is far more complex that we have yet been able to reveal. Environmental and ecological balance in nature isn’t static as it changes over time. Enough time allows for adaptation to those changes, and generally an increase in the number of species. The more interconnected, and the greater the diversity of species the more stable that balance becomes. The feed back loops of this balance are really only now becoming known, and we don’t know what we don’t know. I see it as human hubris to think because we are different as a species that we are separated from nature.
However, what we do know is what we are doing doesn’t bode well for that balance. Sudden change tends to destroy many of the parts of the natural balance of the web of life. The very web we are irrevocably part of at this point in the web of life on our planet.
I posted some photos on here of Horseshoe crab eggs and shore birds. There were many more Ruddy Turnstones still at Edisto Island than is considered normal for the end of May. At least that was discussed on the inaturalist app my son-in-law posted too. We did see a few Red Knots in the mass of feeding shorebirds and gulls. You will have to wade through this link to find the photos.
Pretty Pictures - Just Pretty Pictures - Paddlers’ Place - Paddling.com
here are a few
You are correct self correction can be a messy thing. I once saw a movie can’t remember the name but an old sailing ship fell to the plague and became a ghost ship floating in the ocean. The few rats on board started breading unfettered and feeding on the ship full of grain. The population expanded until the ship was overflowing with rats and the rats ran out of grain and it was a rat eat rat world until it was done.
No one wants to see that with the human race and I hope we are smarter than that.
On a better note Lake Erie was a mess when I was a kid. The rivers in the big cities feeding it were catching on fire. It wasn’t the end of the world but it was a bad thing and it got fixed and the waterway is clean and clear today. It was a huge problem man made and man and nature cleaned it up.
What I have trouble with as others here do also is the idea that Rahm Emanuel put forth that says “Never let a crises go to waste.” And later has been adopted to be when you don’t have a crises or it’s not as bad of one then spin it into something bigger and then don’t let that go to waste. That is what I believe is going on with many, many issues and climate being one.
The question is not that shellfish died because of high heat and low tides at some location. I gather they did. The question is why did David Williams of CNN chose to write a bombastic accounting of it and clearly state in the piece this is caused by man and is man made climate change. He wasn’t offering a solution to the clam grower like CNN will send you some money to cover the losses or maybe you should seed your beds a little deeper or further out. Based on weather and changing tides. The whole point was to spread hysteria about a crises that will then allow the population to bend in the direction of greater control.
Many of us are getting the feeling we are being lead down the primrose path with stuff like this or bringing some little girl out in tears telling us the planet we know only has 12 years left.
This is a serious topic as are a 100 other things but when you even question any of it you are a climate denier and that puts you into a category that is now somehow also a raciest along with a number of other things. It is an example of not letting a crises go to waist IMO. This stuff has divided our country and caused gridlock in our government to the point we no longer use common sense.
Yes you see that on both sides don’t you.
I find the science behind a human based cause for current climate change to be as accurate as the science we have to date.
I am not surprised there is passionate debate over this. We have to ask ourselves what innate bias do we have that may be behind that passion. Mine is a respect for the scientific method having been trained in that, and a biological one having been educated in that.
I don’t make a judgement on what some reporter happens to write, The fact behind the report is a massive die off of intertidal life along the PNW coast caused by a record breaking heat event. This does happen to jibe with the current scientific thinking on the future before us given the amount CO2 being pumped into the atmosphere. I have tried to keep politics out of it, and stick to the science.
Yes, I saw those photos when you posted them. Nice! Red knots will probably be one of the first birds to be negatively impacted by climate warming. Their biggest threats are from changes occurring due to climate warming. They are currently listed as Threatened, but if climate warming continues at the current pace, they will have trouble getting through their annual cycle in the not too distant future. One of the hazards of migrating from one extreme latitude to the other.
This season has been an odd one for them, turnstones and semipalmated sandpipers at Delaware bay. Significantly fewer birds than typical came through, we are still trying to sort out why, and if that is due to a decline in numbers, or simply a function of shifting patterns of use at the bay. Never a dull moment…
Greg I appreciate the work you do. My daughter was tasked with teaching the folks working on piping plovers how to take blood samples after the BP oil spill. I think she was sent to Wisconsin to do the training.
Again if you look at your NOAA data you linked temp has been crawling up on a worldwide slowly. Being a man of science you have to realize to make averages you have to have ranges of up and down numbers. So a 100 degree day or two is uncommon maybe, but not unheard of. Here where I live a normal summer day is maybe 75 but it is not unheard of over the last 50 years I have been paying attention to get a 100 degree day or two. It is a variance or outlier not the average. When I was 15 we had a 100 degree day and it could have killed some lake life if it was out of the water. I wouldn’t call that man made climate change.
From what I got from the news story it was a combination of high heat and low tide. I have no idea if these beds were natural or farmed but the guys talking were clear it ruined their harvest beds. Low tides kind of go against what you would think, but who knows.
Farmers around here lose crops every year by late freeze or too much rain after planting or lack of water after planting. The last few years it seems like crop loss has been wet springs forcing late planting and then early winter with immature crops. It is all weather related. If you talk to farmers they say “If it aint one thing then it’s another.” This year because of covid19 they paid for their seed and fertilizer a year in advance and locked in a price. Come spring they get told well your seed needs to go out west to these huge farms along with the fertilizer and we know you gave us $50k for your puny 800 acres you want to plant so we will give you this long growing season corn instead of the short season you wanted and we will get you half your fertilizer a month after you need it. No refund, you did buy crop insurance didn’t you?
You guys call a meeting and hash this out. Invite Gretta and AOC for a really good time.
Appreciate the kind words. Likely she was sent to Wisconsin, that is where the FWS Wildlife Health Lab is, logical place to get that training. Interestingly, piping plovers in Delaware seem to be doing quite well. In part thanks to some restoration work that created a giant “overwash” style beach at Prime Hook NWR, and in part to sea level rise due to climate warming which is eroding many beaches, creating a lot of new overwashes. Overwashes habitat is what piping plovers like. I saw a pair, likely nesting, in a new location this season.
I worked on the BP Oil Spill, interesting job, in a place I had not been before, Pensacola. Never saw such white sand! Sort of surreal, walking along an oiled beach doing a survey, going right next to people lying in the sun outside their hotels…
This thread has me wondering what is happening close to home in Lake Erie. I found data from 1927-2019 recording record high, low & average temps for the lake for every day of the year. It was interesting on any given summer day the low and the high are about 10 degrees F apart and the average for all years is quite close to the half way point.
I then found some NOAA data climate change effects on the great lakes over the last 20 years and their words are that there is “significant increases” in temp over that period of time. So I looked at the data for Lake Erie and they show an increase of (no trend in half the lake to .01-.18 degree F in the other half.
So over 20 years there is reported a significant increase in lake temp of roughly 1/10 of a degree F where highs and lows on any given day over 92 years period fluctuates about 10 degrees F with a 92 year average falling close to the middle.
I wish I had all the data it would be interesting to plug it into mini-tab and see if there is really a statistical case to be made for significant increase.
I don’t think if I had made a point over 20 years to swim in Lake Erie every year on the 4th of July right at high noon that I would be able to say I have noticed a significant warming of 1/10 of a degree F over those 20 years.
I really wonder what the margin of error is in measuring such a thing as I know when I dive off a boat into the lake as I go down say 8’ I can feel a significant change in temp. with different wave action minute to minute how can such a degree of certainty be achieved.
They spell it out as climate change and they added the word significant to the text knowing 99.99% of the people look at the graph and read the text but wont home into the numbers. I’m not saying this is bias but it could be.
If you have not seen this, you might find it interesting:
Thanks I have seen it and have been reading it the last couple hours.
Lots of big headline stories from the publications i would expect. Real data is more like sorting fly poop out of pepper.
Are you familiar with lake stratification. It is a complex subject. Here is a study on Lake Erie done in 1987 to give you an idea.
Seasonal thermal cycle of Lake Erie (noaa.gov)
It takes .833 BTU to raise the temperature of 1 gallon of water .1 degree F. There are 127,729,589,400,000 gallons of water in Lake Erie.
That comes to 106,398,747,970,200 BTU to raise the water in lake Erie .1F. That seems to me a significant number. What do you think? Water is a great heat sink… Sometimes it helps to understand the science.
That was an easy calculation to make.
That is a lot of water not much compared to an ocean though and they are warming and in trouble. I wonder if the entire surface of Lake Erie was a giant solar panel how many KW we could produce on a sunny day. I know my nephew gets his pool pretty hot with about 500’ of black PVC pipe on the roof of his garage.
Thanks for the link I will study it tonight.
I have found the NOAA great lakes information extracted and use in all kinds of profound ways in the last few hours. It is kind of amazing how the same information means different things to different folks depending on your viewpoint going in.
As an interesting side note, a guy I went to high school with was the first person to walk across Lake Erie. He and his friend wondered if they could do it one morning and decided to try. They packed 2 PB&Js each and a thermos of coffee and headed out. They told his young wife and she said have a good day call me when you get there. He said we should be across in about 10 hours. Well they misjudged the time and she got worried around midnight and started calling around. Late in the night they made it and saw a light on and knocked on the door and some guy said you must be the two they are looking for.
After that it seemed like it was a stunt to do and the coast guard got tired of flying out looking for people and put a stop to it. We still have someone swim it every few years. They mostly go the other direction.
Then where did the 'global cooling and the new ice age" come from? If you have college/university education in this during the 60s-70s, then you should have been told about global cooling and the new ice age. Noaa even stated it.
And if global warming and ice cap melts are the new version, why not continue using that phrase? Why did it have to change to the ‘climate change’ doublspeak? We all can agree that climates change just as erosion happens and wind blows.
since the turn of the last century, there have been hot years/decades and cold years/decades. Measured temperature says so. And no trend was shown in the data.
Well, until noaa “adjusted” the data to show the pre 2000 temps cooler and the post 2000 temps warmer.
in 2018, ny’s temp was 2.7* colder than in 1943. But if you look at noaa’s “adjusted” data, it was only 0.9* cooler than it was in 1943.
ALL OF THE ADJUSTMENTS by noaa has one thing in common–they ALL support the global warming desires. Weird that none of the adjustments that for some reason ‘needed to be done’, all of them only were adjusted in one direction, to all lead to only one conclusion.
Weird isn’t it?
Dr. Singer has done some good work in his field. When it comes to his climate analysis it doesn’t hold up against the data from many diverse fields of science that all point to a warming trend, and finger the increase in green house gasses. .
Government conspiracies’ are popular these days. So NASA, NOAA, Woods Hole, universities in this country and others are plotting and publishing misinformation. Satellite photos of the ice caps are being doctored I suppose. That assumes and awful wide conspiracy.
It’s good to be skeptical, and it’s good to be skeptical of the skeptics too.