David Rothscum -Netherlands
CLOUDY FUTURE FOR GEOENGINEERS
By William Thomas
New insights into clouds show that future warming will come much sooner and be far worse than currently projected. Clouds thought to primarily contain ice crystals reflect more sunlight than clouds having much more liquid in them – which we now learn is actually the case.
“Models have been systematically underestimating the amount of liquid in clouds, meaning that we aren’t fully appreciating the feedback,” says Ivy Tan, a graduate student at Yale who worked on cloud studies with Yale and Lawrence Livermore researchers. “This is one of the largest uncertainties left in climate change.”
Dr. Kevin Trenberth, senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research adds that geoengineering remains a crap shoot because of recent research showing “major errors in climate simulations associated with clouds”. [Guardian Apr 7/16]
“Changes In Water Vapor And Clouds Are Amplifying Global Warming” shows how Earth’s energy imbalance between incoming and outgoing solar heating changes drastically when clouds and water vapor flip between heat-reflecting and heat-trapping modes.
Though clouds are thought to have a net cooling effect on the planet, Dr. Andrew Dessler has shown how unexplained changes to clouds are already warming the Earth more than otherwise expected. Clouds have been altered by decades of sunlight-reflecting aerosols laid down behind tanker planes cross-hatching the stratosphere.
Dr. Trenberth points to “a water vapor signal that is clearly a positive [warming feedback]” in the weather-forming Northern troposphere . [Guardian Apr 23/15]
Aerosol geoengineering could backfire warns Lynn Russell of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and a member of the experimental group. “There are many aspects of climate interactions, especially those that affect clouds, that are poorly understood.” [New Scientist Nov 29/14]
Driven by CO2 emissions soaring by more than 40% since the advent of heavy industry, Earth has already warmed by an average 1C (over 2C in the Arctic.) An anticipated doubling of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere from pre-industrial times could result in a global temperature increase of 4.5C to 5.3C shortly after 2050. [NOAA Jan24/14; USA Today Nov 25/11]
The World Bank has warned that 4C (7F) would finish melting the polar ice caps, leading to a runaway thaw of methane-stuffed permafrost and seabeds. At a “hellish” 4C, rainforests revert to desert and human societies collapse as stabilizing global temperatures becomes impossible. Spikes from this average 7F increase could hit a world civilization-cancelling 18F in the Arctic. [Interesting Engineering; PWCCC; Guardian Nov 29/10]
But warning of a doubling in atmospheric CO2 by 2060 are dangerously misleading.
Rapidly increasing methane emissions from thawing permafrost and sea floor clathrates – plus nitrous oxide emitted by chemical-based industrial farming and all stratospheric airplane flights – mean “this doubling milestone will be upon us considerably sooner than the doubling of CO2,” writes Yale Environment 360 senior editor Fen Montaigne.
More than 125,000 airline, military and charter flights every day – involving more than 64 million high-carbon-burning commercial takeoffs in the USA alone every year – are pushing us much faster toward a game-ending 4C rise. [NATCA; FLIXXY]
Less than 360 parts per million “equivalent CO2” in the atmosphere is considered by many scientists to be the absolute red line for humanity’s survival. Total eCO2 is presently over 478 ppm. And climbing like a moon shot.
The last doubling of atmospheric eCO2 from massive volcanic eruptions some 200 million years ago killed off three-quarters of all land and sea species. By 2010, humans were emitting “100-times more CO2 than volcanoes,” warned the UK’s Royal Society. [Think Progress Mar 24/13]
At eCO2 around 500 ppm, coral reefs and shellfish cease calcifying and become extinct. Ocean-wide “dead zones” will be devoid of fish “for thousands of years,” warns the Geological Society. The geologists expect marine biological meltdown “by end of century.” [Think Progress Mar 24/13]
Stepped up geoengineering will speed this up.
Taking extinction for a walk -Earth Justice
DOUBLE YOUR TROUBLE
In 1958, geochemist Charles David Keeling began recording background levels of carbon dioxide at the mountaintop Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii after developing the first accurate method of measuring atmospheric CO2. His son, Ralph directs the Scripps CO2 Program founded by his father. Ralph Keeling’s numbers show a doubling in eCO2 “almost for sure” by mid-century. [Guardian May 15/13]
If allowed to proceed by governments hostage to the Fossil Fool industry, the push for an all-out assault on Earth’s alarmingly oscillating atmosphere by dumping billions of additional pounds of ozone-destroying chemicals into the ozone layer will ensure the death of the world ocean and the end of plant life on Earth.
Good luck with that.