Climate change has been depicted as a slow gradual process Using science and history, this book upsets that paradigm by explaining tipping points in climate systems If you re already concerned by climate changeyou don t even know the half of it until you read this book Good science and a good read 6 6 18 the linked article reminded of Pearce s reporting Fly finding at Greenland Ice Sheet.https www.sciencedaily.com releases Very informative In the years since reading it, I have seen an increasing number of scientific articles verifying Pearce s research and predictions. FREE E-PUB ☺ The Last Generation: How Nature Will Take Her Revenge for Climate Change ⚖ Fred Pearce Has Been Writing About Climate Change For Eighteen Years, And The He Learns, The Worse Things Look Where Once Scientists Were Concerned About Gradual Climate Change, Now And Of Them Fear We Will Soon Be Dealing With Abrupt Change Resulting From Triggering Hidden Tipping Points Even President Bush S Top Climate Modeler, Jim Hansen, Warned In That We Are On The Precipice Of Climate System Tipping Points Beyond Which There Is No Redemption As Pearce Began Working On This Book, Normally Cautious Scientists Beat A Path To His Door To Tell Him About Their Fears And Their Latest Findings With Speed And Violence Tells The Stories Of These Scientists And Their Work From The Implications Of Melting Permafrost In Siberia And The Huge River Systems Of Meltwater Beneath The Icecaps Of Greenland And Antarctica To The Effects Of The Ocean Conveyor And A Rare Molecule That Runs Virtually The Entire Cleanup System For The Planet Above All, The Scientists Told Him What They Re Now Learning About The Speed And Violence Of Past Natural Climate Change And What It Portends For Our Future With Speed And Violence Is The Most Up To Date And Readable Book Yet About The Growing Evidence For Global Warming And The Large Climatic Effects It May Unleash The Beleaguered City: The Vicksburg Campaign And The He Learns Agora Fico Bem The Worse Things Look Where Once Scientists Were Concerned About Gradual Climate Change X-Men: Grand Design - Second Genesis Now And Of Them Fear We Will Soon Be Dealing With Abrupt Change Resulting From Triggering Hidden Tipping Points Even President Bush S Top Climate Modeler Ú†Ø±Ù†Ø¯ Ùˆ Ù¾Ø±Ù†Ø¯ Jim Hansen Atomic Dog -- The Testosterone Principles Warned In That We Are On The Precipice Of Climate System Tipping Points Beyond Which There Is No Redemption As Pearce Began Working On This Book A Rock Guitarist's Gateway To Jazz, Play Jazz With Just Six Chords Normally Cautious Scientists Beat A Path To His Door To Tell Him About Their Fears And Their Latest Findings With Speed And Violence Tells The Stories Of These Scientists And Their Work From The Implications Of Melting Permafrost In Siberia And The Huge River Systems Of Meltwater Beneath The Icecaps Of Greenland And Antarctica To The Effects Of The Ocean Conveyor And A Rare Molecule That Runs Virtually The Entire Cleanup System For The Planet Above All Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany The Scientists Told Him What They Re Now Learning About The Speed And Violence Of Past Natural Climate Change And What It Portends For Our Future With Speed And Violence Is The Most Up To Date And Readable Book Yet About The Growing Evidence For Global Warming And The Large Climatic Effects It May Unleash The last generation doesn t mean that ours is the last generation to survive It means ours is the last to see a stable climate.Pearce does a very good job explaining the science six years ago His writing is clear and easy to read.The main point of his book is that there are many unknown feedback effects While the planet as a whole will get warmer from CO2 in the atmosphere, there is no guarantee that will happen in a slow and predictable way There have been rapid changes in the past.I agree with that While some of the skeptics claim that we don t know enough to be sure there is a problem, it is actually the other way round Exactly because we don t know what kind of feedbacks might kick in at exactly what level of CO2 emissions, the situation becomes scary.In my global warming science fiction novel Great News I have one of the main characters who knows much about this stuff say that the first 50 degrees of warming will only take a couple of decades I was assuming that part to be fiction.I am not so sure about that now. This book is over ten years old, so I read it primarily for concepts and not for the obviously out of date figures.I think it s worth pointing out, just as this book does, that as early as 1896, the scientist Svante Arrhenius who later won the Nobel Prize began thinking about and then calculating how much rising carbon dioxide levels would lead to rising global temperatures This is not a new concern and we ve had over a century of warning.Second, this book did an excellent job of explaining why the idea that increased carbon dioxide levels will simply encourage plants to grow quickly, thus soaking up the excess carbon dioxide, is flawed This is actually a common theme here in the U.S., and we are in desperate need of an analysis that can put paid to this idea So here goes first, it s true that extra carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will encourage photosynthesis to speed up, so plants will indeed grow faster and absorb carbon dioxide However, we are also outpacing the plants and also seem to have the inability to cope with the existence of large tracts of forested land The same carbon dioxide and any other carbon dioxide we add to it is simultaneously warming the climate That warming accelerates the processes that break down plant material and release carbon dioxide back into the air In addition, trees themselves like all photosynthesizing organisms still respire and release their own carbon dioxide, at least at night Further, the increased warming can encourage droughts in areas with large amounts of plant life, and the droughts can often lead to dead plants, which can then fuel large wildfires, which release huge quantities of carbon dioxide Moving on, planting trees in the Arctic in an attempt to compensate for some of the forested land that has been destroyed may actually make things worse, despite the fact that the trees absorb carbon dioxide This is because forested areas have a much lower albedo than the retreating ice, and thus absorb energy instead of reflecting it away We need to be strategic about planting trees, and also pay attention to what ecosystems can support them Third, this book establishes that we can put paid to the idea that climate modeling systems are or less guesswork that don t actually reflect reality, and only yield results that scientists who believe in climate change agree with The Atlantic is also generating hurricanes in places where they have never been seen before In March 2004, the first known hurricane in the South Atlantic formed, striking southern Brazil That the hurricane, later named Catarina, even formed was startling enough What caused the greatest shock was that it developed very close to a zone of ocean pinpointed a few years before by Britain s Hadley Centre modelers as a likely new focus for hurricane formation in a warmer greenhouse world But they had predicted that the waters there wouldn t be up to the task until 2070 Page 214.There is also independent evidence based on real life historical records, not just computer based models, to go by The French mathematician Pascal Yiou collected than 600 years worth of parish records showing when the Pinot Noir grape harvest began in the Burgundy vineyards of eastern France There is a clear relationship between summer temperatures and the start of the harvest, so he extrapolated backward to produce a temperature graph from the present to 1370 The results showed that temperatures as high as those typical in the 1990s were unusual, but had happened several times before However, Yiou said, the summer of 2003 appears to have been extraordinary, unique Temperatures in Burgundy that year were almost 11 degrees F above the long term average And if Yiou s formula was accurate, the highest previous temperature had been just 7 degrees above the average That happened in 1525, in a warm interlude during the little ice age Page 202.It is true that factors related to Earth s movement through space influence changes in climate, but they can exacerbate already existing climatic trends and can easily push an already teetering system over the edge very quickly, and things can change with speed and violence It is also true that Earth has a thermostat Basically, carbon dioxide in the air can be removed by being dissolved in rain to form dilute carbonic acid The acid erodes rocks on the ground, which are made primarily of calcium silicate, and thus produces calcium carbonate Calcium carbonate ultimately ends up as sediments on the ocean floor But the amount of rain depends on the temperature of the planet Erosion rates rise with temperature, but faster erosion removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, removes a greenhouse gas, and allows the planet to cool again This amounts to a negative geological feedback system, but because it operates on a geological time scale, it s not going to save us.I was fascinated by the discussion of the chimney, a hydrological phenomenon in the Greenland Sea Only a handful of people have ever seen it It is a giant whirlpool in the ocean, 6 miles in diameter, constantly circling counterclockwise and siphoning water from the surface to the seabed 2 miles below That water will not return to the surface for a thousand years The chimney, once one of a family , pursues its lonely task in the middle of one of the coldest and most remote seas on Earth And its swirling waters may be the switch that can turn the heat engine of the world s climate system on and off The book continues, The existence of a series of these chimneys was discovered by a second British adventurer, Cambridge ocean physicist Peter Wadhams He concluded that they were the final destination for the most northerly flow of the Gulf Stream The waters of this great ocean current, which drives north through the tropical Atlantic bringing warmth to Europe, are chilled by the Arctic winds in the Greenland Sea and start to freeze around the Odden tongue The water that is left becomes ever denser and heavier until it is entrained by the chimneys and plunges to the ocean floor.But they are in danger But even as he gazed on these dynamos of ocean circulation, Wadhams knew they were in trouble In 1997, the last year the Odden ice tongue formed, we found four chimneys in a single season, and calculate there could have been as many as twelve, says Wadhams Since then, they have been disappearing one by one except for one particularly vigorous specimen The great chimney had in May 2003 one dying companion, 40 miles to the northwest But that chimney no longer reached the surface and was, he says, almost certainly in its death throes That left just one remaining chimney in the Greenland Sea I wonder if the location of the chimney s and ocean circulation patterns will simply change along with the climate, or if things will eventually stop altogether, which would cause a stratified ocean Some scientists believe that one of the causes of the Permian mass extinction was a shutdown of oceanic circulation patterns and the shift to a stratified ocean A stratified ocean would not be able to sustain the ecosystems most life depends on, and a massive die off would be a logical consequence If these scientists are correct, and if climate change does cause the ocean to stratify, you can pretty much kiss the world as we know it goodbye, because somewhere between 90 95% of all species on Earth died in the Permian mass extinction.I also found the discussion of the and the weather patterns it spawns to be interesting According to some calculations, its trees collectively release six trillion tons of water a year, and not all of that stays in the basin Some of it goes to the Andes and some of it also waters the Argentine pampas In fact, it s been estimated that half of Argentina s rain comes from evaporation from the forests of the And some of the water travels even further east towards South Africa or north toward the Caribbean All of this water also carries a great deal of energy, because a tremendous amount of solar energy is required to evaporate it from the forest canopy In fact, it takes so much energy that forests often stay cooler than nearby plains, even at the same altitude Not only that, but when the evaporated water condenses to form new clouds, that energy is released into the air This energy then powers weather systems and high level winds far into the Northern Hemisphere Several climatologists have calculated that the whole process provides the energy that drives winter storms across the North Atlantic and into Europe And if the rainforest goes, so will the vast levels of transpiration that fuel this massive hydrological engine.The loss of the rainforest would have even further ripple effects This is because, unbelievable as it might seem, conditions in the Sahara affect the rainforest This is possible because the physical distance isn t as great as it might seem the Atlantic is narrow near the equator, and so the two ecosystems are closer to one another than London and New York Their relationship stems from the fact that the Sahara contains some of the dustiest areas on Earth, with satellite images showing year round dust storms powerful enough to inject large amounts of dust into the atmosphere While some of this dust stays in the area, large quantities of it are carried across the Atlantic by prevailing winds The red dust clouds can reach almost two miles high by the time they approach the Americas, causing Miami s spectacular sunrises before falling to earth in the rain that waters the Caribbean and the The Sahara dust has some surprising effects in the Americas according to hurricane forecasters in Florida, dry, dusty years in the Sahara correspond to milder hurricane seasons on the other side of the Atlantic This is likely because dust in the air can interrupt the uptake of warm, moist air required to fuel hurricanes Not only that, but the Saharan dust storms transfer large amounts of minerals and organic material that help fertilize soil in the Americas, and that includes the soils of the The wetter the Sahara, the fewer the dust storms and the lower the levels of fertilization And the severe the hurricane season.The book also pointed out something I hadn t really thought of before A warming troposphere means a cooling stratosphere, and now I m wondering how that might affect both the stratosphere and the climate.There are two things about books on this topic that I am beginning to find quite annoying The first is the idea that somehow developing countries had nothing to do with creating this mess and shouldn t have to share the burden Except that they did and should Massive deforestation caused by slash and burn agricultural techniques and the production of charcoal, the soot released by millions of cooking stoves, and the pollution over India and China that is visible from space are just a few examples of how the developing world is contributing to the problem That, and the fact that most of the increase in world population is coming from the developing world Second, most of the wedge solutions being proposed to climate change also have severe environmental impacts in their own right, and these are not being addressed For example, the production of photovoltaic cells for the solar panels and one proposal calls for covering an area of land the size of New Jersey with solar panels is very bad for the environment Not to mention the ecosystems that would have to be destroyed to install those panels unless they are placed on previously existing buildings Planting an area the size of India with new forests sounds great, except that some places aren t ecologically equipped to handle trees, and the parts that are especially good at it are also considered desirable for agriculture why do you think they were deforested in the first place Also, what kind of trees, and where Doubling nuclear power plant capacity sure it s emissions free, but where do you put the waste where it won t harm the rest of the environment Climate change isn t the only environmental issue facing us and pretending otherwise is extremely dangerous I think it s about time to recognize this planet actually has a carrying capacity and there is only so much life it can support And that means it s time for a completely new system of accounting What price should be attached to an ecologically healthy planet What value should be attached to the continued existence of thousands of species of wild plants and animals some of which have gone extinct by the time the scientific papers naming and describing them are published What s the cost benefit analysis when it comes to a world solely populated by us and by those few species we find economically useful, as opposed to a world filled with species that may exist simply for their own sake And in this system of accounting, any attempt to cook the books could have catastrophic consequences. If you have anxiety related to climate change, don t read this book I enjoyed this book though The science is fascinating The earth is so complex and interconnected, it was interesting to learn about some of that Some of the unknowns about climate change are insane If everyone read this book we would all be actively doing something about climate change Everyone should do some reading on positive feedback loops related to climate change or just read this book Meer uit geleerd dan een column van het orakel van Middelkerke Fred Pearce explains in a clear and measured way, the risks we run as we continue to ignore the massive buildup of carbon dioxide in Earth s atmosphere We hear from climate scientists studyingdifferent aspects of the environmental changes that are happening now, and we get a goodexplanation of tipping points that might occur which could accelerate the change Easy reading,good explanation of the science and should be read by any lay person unsure about climate change. Alright so I am interested in climate change In part it is because I am a concerned citizen but there is a touch of the apocalypse porn thing going on This book falls very much into the science category The book is written by the eminent science journalist Fred Pierce so it is accessible to the averagely intelligent reader No science degree is needed but there is no talking down either.Pierce is not interested in the bland IPCC Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change consensus That consensus is that climate change will be gradual This is scary enough since the frog is easily boiled slowly His contention is that their findings and official line is consensual and not necessarily true In fact things are probably a lot worse In fact the most likely scenario is a sudden change, not geologically sudden but human lifetime sudden, say ten years sudden.The book explores a number of different theories and research findings about how and why the earth has suddenly switched from warm to cold and back again The one thing that is certain is the sudden turn arounds are in fact the norm rather than the exception There are any number of theories as to what is the driver of these cycles but at this stage it is hard to point to one discreet factor There is probably a subtle interplay of forces until there is a change and when there is that change it is like an avalanche This is the positive feedback we hear about The biggest positive feedback is the methane clathrate fart that is usually stored under the deep sea at high pressure and low temperatures If that goes that s it there is no going back And in case anyone is wondering, Pierce is not quoting cranks, they are all respected scientists, mostly climate scientists but all excellent credentials. I held off reviewing With Speed and Violence until I had finished Six Degrees , I believed that both told different sides of the climate issue, and I was correct Speed and violence discusses tipping points Tipping points are events that once started will cause a cascade of other events that are related Think of a tipping point as a dense fog on a highway Suddenly you are immersed in a pea soup and can t see If you hit your breaks the guy behind you hits your rear so you drive on until you run into some one else rear end Now you also get rear ended and so on Tipping points work like that One climate point starts to cascade or stop and other tipping points kick in leading to an avalanche of climatic change These points are many, methane clathrates, the shutting down of the Atlantic Conveyor, El Nino and La Nina events, drought in the Basin etc Each tipping point is scary enough but it s affect on other tipping points drives the planet into uncontrollable warming At this point Six Degrees takes over Six Degrees talks about what the world looks like at 0ne through six degrees of warming A note here, Six Degrees was written in 2007 In 2016 the planet according to the British Metrological Service and The National Snow And Ice Data Center earth has already warmed 1.6 C since 1990 We only have.4 C before we cross the 2 degrees C threshold that Kyoto and Paris have tried to get us to stop at Two degrees life is hard but mostly around the world quite livable AS we go past two degrees the world becomes and inhospitable Understanding what tipping points we have crossed, bleached coral, stronger El Nino and La Nina, ocean PH dropping by.1 from 8.2 to 8.1 and what tipping points are yet to be crossed is the NUMBER ONE ISSUE WE FACE as Hominids To survive as Hominids we need to cut back on our carbon usage All of us today will most likely see two degrees It will be hit sometime between 2020 and 2025 See Met estimates of warming Will I see three degrees probably as 2030 to 2040 is when we cross that threshold Will some remnant of humanity survive a six degree warmer world Yes Will it be my Avigale I don t know I want to leave her a world that is livable so it s time for every one to wake up The coffee is already burned.
- The Last Generation: How Nature Will Take Her Revenge for Climate Change
- Fred Pearce
- 06 March 2019 Fred Pearce