What If Global Warming is Non-Linear
The interesting and potentially life-defining question of “what if global warming is non-linear” [ark] is worthy of consideration. That is, if we continue to increase carbon emissions, global warming may increase exponentially — ever resulting in more change per unit of pollution — and causing crises much more rapidly. Such abrupt climate change is a rapid change in climate — perhaps in a decade or less — over a widespread area to which human and natural systems have difficulty adapting. In other words, death and destruction result.
The question of how quickly climate will change is of great interest to the Climate Change Blog as we are committed to emphasizing the potential for worst case climate change and other ecosystem collapse scenarios. There are many ways that this can happen, which we feel are as or more likely than other scenarios. Abrupt climate change can result from numerous positive feedbacks such as permafrost melt, Arctic albedo change and rainforest dieback; and/or in conjunction with land degradation, water scarcity, ocean decline and persistent toxics. These positive feedbacks and synergies with other elements of global change continue to be given short thrift, and this is worrying.
It matters greatly whether ocean sea levels rise [search] a foot or a few feet and how soon, whether some forest burns [search] or entire bioregion's terrestrial ecosystems collapse [search], whether a trickle of humans from Pacific islands must resettle or entire regions or even continent's such as Australia become uninhabitable. What we do or do not do now and in the coming few years is going to have profound impacts in determining the extent of climate change impacts. How can we properly appraise risk versus costs if we do not know the full range of possible change? We can't.
We need to carefully be watching for non-linearities in climate response and dangerous tipping point thresholds beyond which this occurs, even as we commit to dramatic personal and social transformation in light of what we know already about the possibilities. We believe strongly critical thresholds in cutting of natural vegetation and burning have already been crossed and must be ended and reversed.
This Climate Climate Blog is not interested in doomsday scenarios because it is fun, draws a lot of positive reviews, or leads to massive funding (none of which are true); we do this because we think it is possible, indeed likely, that global ecological processes required for life, including an operable ecosystem, are being destroyed and will end. Stop. And there will be no future for humanity, the Earth and all her life. Join us in fully identifying and stopping these global ecological risks.