Critical Climate Change Update

Postby jonathan on Fri 9/Oct/09 3:47pm

Critical Climate Change update

Throughout this year Victoria University have been holding a series of [url=http://www.victoria.ac.nz/climate-change/events/NZCCRI%20Seminar%20Series.aspx]seminars
on Climate Change[/url]. Last night they presented a homegrown world leader on the subject - Dr David Wratt from NIWA.

Dr Wratt is also a lead scientist for IPCC, so I was particularly interested to hear his presentation, as IPCC have been heavily criticised lately for being too conservative in their 2007 scenarios.

Here is his presentation in a nutshell,

1. Global warming since 1900 is absolutely certain. Sea level is rising and snow and ice cover is decreasing.
2. Greenhouse gases have increased from human activity.
3. In 2007, the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stated that there is a 90% probability that human activity is causing the warming.
4. Since 2007, new science has confirmed that:
· Temperatures have been at the upper end of IPCC projections
· global emissions have been at the upper end of IPCC projections
· Antarctica is also warming
· melting of ice sheets is more likely
· ocean acidification from CO2 is more likely
· the emissionreleased now, will cause changes that are irreversible

So where did IPCC go wrong?

Well, it’s not that they were wrong, but just that they really were too conservative.

Lets take sea level for example. Their 2007 projection was for only 18-59cm of sea level rise, BUT that was excluding any ice sheet melting. Now, only two years later, Dr Wratt says 80-100cm is likely, and that some papers are suggesting up to 2 metres.

Furthermore, he believes we are currently on track to get 2-4 degrees temperature rise this century, which will lead to 7 metres sea level rise.

He went on to list all the other major effects of climate change if emissions are not drastically reduced. It was a looooooonnng list of dangerous climatic changes, which, in a typically unemotive scientific egghead way he summarised by saying:

“These findings strengthen the reasons for concern.”

It was like listening to HAL, the computer in 2001 A Space Odyssey.

Thousands of species will become extinct, and people will die in the millions from starvation, drought, floods, etc….
“These findings strengthen the reasons for concern.”

Then he moved on to the targets that are being currently discussed by politicians, which reminded me of Kashi Leuchs and his 350 campaigning (see www.350.org/riders).

It was Dr Wratt’s view that atmospheric concentrations of 350-400 parts per million (that’s where we are now), will inevitably result in 2.0-2.4 degrees warming, and 0.4-1.4m sea level rise, by the year 2100. That would spell D.I.S.A.S.T.E.R. for mostdeveloping countries – indeed it will wipe some of our pacific neighbours off the map if we let it happen.

Unfortunately, because CO2 has such a long life, to avoid this disastrous scenario there would have to be emissions reductions in the range of 50-85% by 2050, followed by a downward trajectory to zero emissions.

Is this possible, I wondered? The current National Government has an ETS bill before parliament that only aims for 50% reductions by 2050, and does virtually nothing in the next 5 years to actually reach that target. In other words, they’ll do as little as possible, for as long as possible, so as not to harm the economy.

At this point someone from the audience jumped in and stated the obvious: “WE NEED TO START REDUCING NOW OR WE WON’T MEET OUR TARGETS”.

Dr Wratt, calmlyagreed.

Someone else asked “WHAT ABOUT POPULATION?”

Dr Wratt, calmly pointed out that the targets were regardless of population and as the population grows emissions reductions becomes more challenging.

Someone else said “WHAT ABOUT TIPPING POINTS, SUCH AS METHANE FROM MELTING PERMAFROST!”

Dr Wratt calmly replied that such tipping points currently involved too many scientific uncertainties, so IPCC had not factored them into their scenarios.

I left the seminar firmly believing that we are currently committing the biggest humanitarian crime in history. Food, land, life and hope, is being robbed from future generations on a scale that no despot of the past ever achieved.

Action is needed on two levels – political and personal.

Our politicians will not aim for safe reductions in emissions unless we/you ask them to accept the best science available and aim for less than 2 degrees, or as Kashi Leuchs puts it, 350 ppm (check out www.350.org/riders), or as Lucy Lawless puts it 40% by 2020 (check out www.signon.org.nz/).

On a personal level, how can we become informed and have enough vision to see and feel the impacts that will affect those people and places we love? And, more critically (because the environment doesn't respond to what we feel, or think), how can we take action to reduce our personal emissions, starting now?

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Link to original article: http://www.kennett.co.nz/rameka/2009/10 ... pdate.html
Sourced from RSS Feed: http://www.kennett.co.nz/rameka/rss.xml
Original Published: 3:37pm Friday, 9th October 2009 - NZST
jonathan
Member for: 18 years 9 months

Re: Critical Climate Change Update

Postby phunk on Fri 9/Oct/09 4:03pm

:lol:
phunk
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Member for: 16 years 9 months

Re: Critical Climate Change Update

Postby chrism on Fri 9/Oct/09 5:46pm

FFS LOL
chrism
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Re: Critical Climate Change Update

Postby Purple_Helmet on Fri 9/Oct/09 6:26pm

Vorb is not a place for discussion of contentious issues jonathon. Shame on you.

phunk wrote::lol:


chrism wrote:FFS LOL
Purple_Helmet
Member for: 14 years 4 months

Re: Critical Climate Change Update

Postby Fraser on Fri 9/Oct/09 6:31pm

I'm sure all of you in Wellington agree with this, many of you would have noticed that last winter was warm and mild. Many of you sweating like a porn stars in the recent spell of warmer weather. I for one will be wearing my budgie smuglers nect time I am in town.
Last night was indictitive of the warm change.

REPENT!!!! Sorry I mean RECYCLE sinners judgement day cometh!!!!!
Fraser
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Re: Critical Climate Change Update

Postby j2hyde on Fri 9/Oct/09 6:42pm

Purple_Helmet wrote:Vorb is not a place for discussion of contentious issues jonathon. Shame on you.


It was discussed to death a few years ago when climate change hysteria was fashionable. Do a search on it :)
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"I'm not for that. I'm for the ladies."
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Re: Critical Climate Change Update

Postby phunk on Fri 9/Oct/09 6:43pm

Purple_Helmet wrote:Vorb is not a place for discussion of contentious issues jonathon. Shame on you.

Not so much a discussion but rather a Blog post, pretty funny though..
phunk
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Member for: 16 years 9 months

Re: Critical Climate Change Update

Postby E Dogg Capizzle on Fri 9/Oct/09 6:45pm

What is the panic de jour at the moment anyway? I'm not up to date with fashionable pessimism.
E Dogg Capizzle
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Re: Critical Climate Change Update

Postby happybaboon on Fri 9/Oct/09 6:50pm

E Dogg Capizzle wrote:What is the panic de jour at the moment anyway? I'm not up to date with fashionable pessimism.

Tsunamis.

And also tsunamis of immigrants.
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Re: Critical Climate Change Update

Postby Purple_Helmet on Fri 9/Oct/09 6:52pm

phunk wrote:
Purple_Helmet wrote:Vorb is not a place for discussion of contentious issues jonathon. Shame on you.

Not so much a discussion but rather a Blog post, pretty funny though..


Ah. I see. Back to the fashionable optimism then.
Purple_Helmet
Member for: 14 years 4 months

Re: Critical Climate Change Update

Postby j2hyde on Fri 9/Oct/09 7:00pm

happybaboon wrote:
E Dogg Capizzle wrote:What is the panic de jour at the moment anyway? I'm not up to date with fashionable pessimism.

Tsunamis.

And also tsunamis of immigrants.


I don't think Tsunamis are really as faux scary or insubstantial as terrorists or climate change. We don't even have a recession to be scared of anymore.

EDC has a good point. I demand somebody raise a mindless panic about nothing, life just wouldn't be the same without it.
j2hyde
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Re: Critical Climate Change Update

Postby Purple_Helmet on Fri 9/Oct/09 7:21pm

j2hyde wrote:EDC has a good point. I demand somebody raise a mindless panic about nothing, life just wouldn't be the same without it.


The Johnkey is going to scrap ACC! No more cheap physio! Private accident insurance calamity! Hit by a car while riding your bike? Didn't read the fine print? No hospital for you, pauper! There'll be literal blood in the streets! A new underclass of broken cyclists with no one to massage their silky bloody calves! Aarrrrrrrggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!
Purple_Helmet
Member for: 14 years 4 months

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