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Climate Change Risks Extinction of Human Race

2014-08-04

There are now serious, thoughtful experts who are claiming that it is already too late to prevent the extinction of humans:

“Writing for the Arctic News Group, John Davies concludes: “The world is probably at the start of a runaway Greenhouse Event which will end most human life on Earth before 2040.” He considers only atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration, not the many self-reinforcing feedback loops described below. Writing on 28 November 2013 and tacking on only one feedback loop — methane release from the Arctic Ocean —Sam Garana expects global temperature anomalies of up to 20 degrees C by 2050.  Small wonder atmospheric methane can cause such global catastrophe considering its dramatic rise during the last few years, as elucidated by Carana on 5 December 2013…”  (The author includes a graph of rising methane concentrations, and goes on to describe other feedback loops that may accelerate global warming.)

This dire prediction is included in a long article published here: http://guymcpherson.com/2013/01/climate-change-summary-and-update/  and written by Guy McPherson, who has been posting more dire information about climate than you really want to know, on his blog “Nature Bats Last.”

The latest reason for this gloom and doom is the discovery of massive methane releases from melting permafrost in the Siberian and sub-Arctic regions, and high levels of methane in the atmosphere over the Arctic.  Methane is stored as a stable compound, methane clathrate, in solid ice, but it is released from the ice as it warms and begins to melt.  Huge holes in the permafrost have been found.  One such hole, 30 meters in diameter and at least 70 meters deep, was recently discovered in Siberia.  Hundreds or thousands of such holes are likely to form as soon as permafrost approaches the melting point.

Methane is much more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.  Releases of methane from fracking and natural gas production(natural gas is a methane compound) are far greater than was admitted previously, adding to increases in atmospheric methane.

Predictions of average global temperatures 5 degrees C above “normal” (1750 AD) by 2100 are being made by more experts.

The article by McPherson is long and complex, but if you read it you will be very concerned.  It includes vastly more detail and additional aspects to the problem that are the cause of the gloomy prediction that human populations will rapidly dwindle starting in the next twenty years and culminating in extinction by 2100.

The information presented in McPherson’s article is troubling but not necessarily 100% accurate: data collection can be distorted by pessimistic biases as well as optimistic ones.  I am concerned but I suspect that complete collapse of civilization and the extinction of humans is a “worst-case scenario”.  There is certainly trouble to come, based on the facts presented.  Worsening climate change is distinctly possible, but if dramatic changes in resource use are ushered in over the next thirty years, complete disaster can probably be averted.  I said “probably averted”, meaning there are no guarantees.

 

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