Are our families, businesses and nations prepared to adapt to the increasing planetary climate extremes, economic losses and resource shortages?
One can hardly turn on the news and not hear about another catastrophic drought, wildfire, extreme storm or flood breaking all previous records. According to a leading climate scientist on global warming these are NOT just natural weather anomalies! (A link to this research is at the end of this copy.)
This climate destabilization problem is rather simple at its core. Human caused carbon pollution of the atmosphere is causing a greenhouse effect trapping more solar energy in the form of heat inside our atmospheric greenhouse. This additional trapped increase in atmospheric heat energy is then available for use in and by the planet's weather(monsoons, hurricanes, typhoons and their storm surges, heat waves, droughts, foods, dust storms, wildfires, etc.) This continually increasing trapped heat energy from the greenhouse effect is what is and will continue to create increasing climate destabilization and more and greater weather extremes.
These weather extremes means many new and extreme problems for the world. Our current infrastructure (dikes, dams, levies, water and sewage treatment plants and much of our other infrastructure,) has most often been designed to withstand the extreme climate events that occur about once every hundred years (century storms.) The coming even more extreme weather and storms caused by the ever-increasing human caused atmospheric carbon pollution will eventually become known as millennial storms --- climate events of such an extreme and severity that there has been nothing like them on the planet for thousand of years.
Things are Changing Quickly
In the face of more good climate destabilization science even long time leading global warming critics are also changing their positions. Additionally, the terms global warming and climate change have recently evolved into the new terms of climate destabilization or catastrophic climate destabilization (CCD.) These new terms better reflect the accurate reality of the human caused atmospheric pollution problem immediately before us.
Because overall research on CCD is still so poorly funded, the world still does not know the tipping points of critical catastrophic climate destabilization. When it comes to the climate destabilization tipping points we are still flying nearly blind --- even with the future of humanity's evolutionary experiment at stake.
Current research cited in Six Degrees: Our Future On a Hotter Planet by Mark Lynas has projected that CCD related damage and losses will soon cost nations 5% of their total Gross Domestic Product (GDP,) and will likely continue rising far beyond there with each new level of CCD's unfolding. This comes as very bad economic news because this additional 5% GDP drain can hardly be afforded by a planet that is still struggling to get out of the current global recession and near depression.
Many countries are already experiencing spikes in food costs. The US will likely follow soon because of the year-to-year averaging of the resilience-reducing effects of escalating CCD. Not surprisingly, few individuals have worked out even basic preparation and adaptation plans for themselves, their family's and their businesses to cope with the increasing scale, severity and frequency of the effects of catastrophic climate destabilization.
What is the most scary thing about CCD is that research is so sparse right now on the accurate catastrophic climate destabilization tipping points that no one can yet conclusively tell us:
a.) is the global average temperature going to go up an additional maximum of 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or 8 degrees Celsius? And no one can tell us yet, which of those temperatures will we be at in 5, 15, 25, 50 or 100 years?
b.) Is sea level going to go up less than one meter, 1-3 meters, 8 meters (if Greenland melts,) or up to 25 meters (if all the other polar and glacial ice melts too?) Again, no one can tell us yet, which of those sea level ranges will we be at in 5, 15, 25, 50 or 100 years? (At 8 meters of sea level rise an estimated 1/2 of the world's population would have to migrate resulting in thousands of trillions of dollars in real estate and infrastructure losses.)
c.) At what level of carbon pollution in the atmosphere (measured in parts per million [ppm],) will produce which level of temperature increase and sea level rise --- and once again most importantly, when will we reach the various levels of projected atmospheric carbon pollution measured in parts per million; i.e. carbon 450, carbon 500, carbon 700, carbon 850, etc?
(We are currently at about 400 carbon ppm. Some our best scientists warn that anything over carbon 350 is courting climate catastrophe and that carbon 450 is near certain and potentially irreversible CCD. (We are currently adding approximately 2 ppm of carbon to the atmosphere per year, but that current annual 2 ppm amount appears to be rising in an non-linear, exponential curve as well.)
d.) Will the many game-changing or wildcard feedback loop variables effecting the speed of temperature rise and sea level rise occur faster and more unpredictably than anyone could have imagined or, have we already crossed these tipping points? These feedback loops and climate wild cards would be things like massive loss of the atmospheric carbon-eating forests because of heat, drought and wildfires, massive releases of methane from the warming and decaying of the permafrost near the polar areas, massive loss of carbon-eating sea plankton because of the growing carbonization and acidification of the oceans, massive loss of white polar and glacial ice that reflects much earth-heating solar heat back into space and, the greatest threat of all --- at what level of rising ocean temperature will we thaw and release the gigatons of frozen methane hydrate crystals trapped along the continental shelves of our oceans.
This last and sudden mega release of carbon into the atmosphere from methane hydrate crystals is predicted to be to what could become the last great planetary extinction event that will leave either no one left or as few as 200 million of us left living close to the poles. (Scientists have theorized this massive methane release occurred once before millions of years ago and was the most probable cause of one of the 5 previous great mass extinction events of our planetary history. It was called the PETM extinction event. Also see Six Degrees: Our Future On a Hotter Planet by Mark Lynas for more information on this. The 200 million survivor scenario is from The Vanishing Face of Gaia by James Lovelock.)
Some researchers have implied that the human-caused pollution of increasing carbon in the atmosphere (that is the controllable and main cause for increasing catastrophic climate destabilization,) has the potential to cause more human suffering and death as well as political, social and economic destabilization than the total sum of all wars in all of human history. In spite of this shocking and real climate caused possibility, as of yet, no national intelligence agency in any country (even with all their super computers and unlimited budgets,) has either discovered or published the accurate tipping point answers to any of the tipping point questions and wildcard issues mentioned above. This in and of itself should by viewed by every citizen as the greatest single national security failure by the world's intelligence agencies to protect their own populations and respective national security interests from a real, growing and potentially game-ending threat to civilization and human life as we know it.
Some experts fear that when more science is in on these tipping points we may discover ourselves to be either already beyond or soon beyond the critical tipping points. If we have passed any major climate tipping point unknowingly, we may be experiencing significantly worst climate extremes in as little as 5-15 years. Others suggest we have 20-30 years until it gets really bad while others say it will take 50-100 years.
Good CCD tipping point research is just not there yet, which would allow us to rule any of these experts with differing time estimates for when the worse effects will hit us right or wrong. Without this critical climate tipping point research being completed, it is simply impossible to propose and implement an optimally effective and rational plan and know it will work in time to resolve the human-caused carbon pollution of the atmosphere and the worst of the consequences of catastrophic climate destabilization.
Catastrophic climate destabilization is complex. It takes real effort and dialectical systems thinking skill sets to understand the current science and uncover the lack of reliable information concerning the correct time frames and evolving locations and conditions of the climate destabilization tipping points.
Once I personally really understood what is coming with increasing CCD due to atmospheric carbon pollution and our current state of collective lack of understanding about it, I realized how unlikely it is that our governments will address CCD in time to avoid real globsl catastrophe. Because of this realization I became deeply saddened for months.
There are still many CCD deniers, ignorers and uninformed. Either individually or collectively there are still far to many of us who have no real preparation and adaption strategy for this emerging ecological, economic and societal nightmare --- if we do not immediately and massively change our increasing carbon polluting ways.
To help inform about these problems our organization UniverseSpirit.org has created a special web page and a few short blog posts that help you understand the scale of the CCD problem in more detail, particularly the tipping points as well as strategies to resolve, prepare for or adapt to CCD. Knowing when, where and to what level the key climate destabilization tipping points and wild cards will occur as well as more about their most probable chain of consequences is currently the world's most valuable information! Those nations, corporations, markets and individuals who possess it first not only have a vast survival edge they can also prepare for or capitalize on that information to potentially become the most powerful and wealthy entities that have ever existed.
The web links below contain short videos to make the how's and why's of catastrophic climate destabilization more simple as well as some of the most current research found in books like, Six Degrees: Our Future On a Hotter Planet by Mark Lynas or, Our Last Chance to Save Humanity, by James Hansen. (Please help spread this information by forwarding this CCD blog post to other individuals and organizations.)
To get the basic overview of the CCD challenge, click here.
Click here to see the article on the direct connection of our current extreme weather to global warming.
To go to the Universe Blog and have much more information about CCD tipping points and strategies for preparing for catastrophic climate destabilization, click here.
Sincerely, Lawrence Wollersheim