Is it so bad if the World gets a little bit hotter? You bet!

Hot Planet

Many of us share some dim apprehension that the world is flying out of control, that the centre cannot hold. Raging wildfires, once-in-1,000-year storms, and lethal heat waves have become fixtures of the evening news—and all this after the planet has warmed by less than 1 degree Celsius above pre-industrial temperatures. But here’s where it gets really scary. If humanity burns through all its fossil fuel reserves, there is the potential to warm the planet by perhaps more than 10

Continue Reading

The Case for Geoengineering

Doctor Strange

So, you’re Caretaker of the World (that’s the Number One, the Big Boss, Head Honcho, You Know Who) and your advisers are lining up to tell you how things are out there. You listen absently … All goes well abroad, sir. However, we are concerned about the ever-increasing global population. Despite measures to curb growth (e.g. birth control), just the sheer weight of numbers itself acts as an accelerator. The population spike after the Second World War triggered this condition

Continue Reading

Climate Change is already damaging the Global Economy

Geothermal Power Station

Climate change is already contributing to the deaths of nearly 400,000 people a year and costing the world more than $1.2 trillion, wiping 1.6% annually from global GDP, according to a new study. The impacts are being felt most keenly in developing countries, according to the research, where damage to agricultural production from extreme weather linked to climate change is contributing to deaths from malnutrition, poverty and their associated diseases. Air pollution caused by the use of fossil fuels is

Continue Reading

We exceeded sustainable biomass in 1986. Now what?

I have blogged about this in the past with mentions back to a report I read in the mid-80s from the WHO. Despite trying to track this down (for my own sake more than anything), it’s very clear that we are beyond this point. In fact, this year’s Living Planet Report from the WWF states: Our global footprint now exceeds the world’s capacity to regenerate by about 30 per cent. Which means we have categorically passed the tipping point of sustainable

Continue Reading

It’s not about the Polar Bears anymore

Polar Bear

There is an interesting video over at Vimeo by Leo Murray in the UK that talks about environmental tipping points and the fact that we COULD be headed for a much hotter world and widespread civil war as people fight for habitable land, water and other scarce resources. The video is excellent at explaining what is happening in the environment and should be watched to gain an understanding of where we are today and how we got here. It’s one

Continue Reading

The global warming jigsaw: The Sun

Solar Prominence

Sun’s Shifts May Cause Global Warming; from DISCOVER Magazine Most leading climate experts don’t agree with Henrik Svensmark, the 49-year-old director of the Center for Sun-Climate Research at the Danish National Space Center in Copenhagen. In fact, he has taken a lot of blows for proposing that solar activity and cosmic rays are instrumental in determining the warming (and cooling) of Earth. His studies show that cosmic rays trigger cloud formation, suggesting that a high level of solar activity—which suppresses

Continue Reading

Global Warming – Natural or Not?

Sky Blue aka Wonderful Days

The reason why temperatures shot up during the PETM are unclear; but carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere appear to have been extremely high, about a thousand times higher than currently. And then today, we get another news story that US scientists think that a good way to deal with the build up of CO2 is to capture it any bury it at the bottom of the ocean. Surely this is asking for trouble?