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studiot

Is global warming the most urgent environmental crisis ?

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1 hour ago, studiot said:

Many think that there are multiple environmental crises assailing the planet.

Because there are.

Just because one has a broken leg doesn't mean they should ignore their obesity. Just because one has cancer doesn't mean they should ignore their diabetes. Sometimes multiple challenges exist and must be addressed in parallel.

I'm not a mod, but what did you wish to discuss?

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4 minutes ago, iNow said:

I'm not a mod, but what did you wish to discuss? 

Thank you for the reply

Wasn't there a question in the title?

Edited by studiot

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2 minutes ago, iNow said:

Because there are.

Just because one has a broken leg doesn't mean they should ignore their obesity. Just because one has cancer doesn't mean they should ignore their diabetes. Sometimes multiple challenges exist and must be addressed in parallel.

I'm not a mod, but what did you wish to discuss?

 

how many ways are we fucked?

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2 hours ago, studiot said:

Many think that there are multiple environmental crises assailing the planet.

But aren't those crises  strongly related to global warming?

Edited by Itoero

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5 minutes ago, Itoero said:

But aren't those crises  strongly related to global warming?

no, us...

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3 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

no, us...

Due to global warming there will be  less water in many rivers because the melting of glaciers which will cause water crises.

Global warming speeds up insect decline….

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3 minutes ago, Itoero said:

 

Due to global warming there will be  less water in many rivers because the melting of glaciers which will cause water crises.

Global warming speeds up insect decline….

3

who us???

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51 minutes ago, Itoero said:

 

Due to global warming there will be  less water in many rivers because the melting of glaciers which will cause water crises.

 

How does melting ice result in less water in rivers?

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18 minutes ago, zapatos said:
1 hour ago, Itoero said:

 

Due to global warming there will be  less water in many rivers because the melting of glaciers which will cause water crises.

How does melting ice result in less water in rivers?

It doesn't, if averaged over a year or more.

If a glacier eventually thaws completely, then the following year, after snow melts in spring, there will be no meltwater during summer, at the time it is most needed.

i.e. the water in rivers will mostly flow during winter/spring.

I presume itero did not feel it necessary to go into this much detail.

 

Edited by Carrock

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21 minutes ago, zapatos said:

How does melting ice result in less water in rivers?

If the glaciers (like in the Karakoram and Himalayan ranges) aren't replenished, a lot of rivers will run dry.  Those mountain ranges are big condensers, if they are cold enough.

Edited by StringJunky

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1 minute ago, zapatos said:

Thank you both for the replies.

To add: The glaciers accumulate mass at the highest level and basically slide down under their own weight to the warmer lower level and melt, supplying the rivers.

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4 hours ago, zapatos said:

How does melting ice result in less water in rivers?

The ‘third pole’ is the planet’s largest reservoir of ice and snow after the Arctic and Antarctic. It encompasses the Himalaya–Hindu Kush mountain ranges and the Tibetan Plateau. Meltwater feeds ten great rivers, including the Indus, Brahmaputra, Ganges, Yellow and Yangtze, on which almost one-fifth of the world’s population depends.

Climate change threatens this vast frozen reservoir  For the past 50 years, glaciers in the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau have been shrinking.https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-07838-4 The meltwater of the third pole feeds a lot of rivers if the third pole is nearly gone, then it can't feed rivers sufficiently. Basically, due to the warming, glaciers melt more in the summer then they grow in the winter. The third pole: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_Pole

Edited by Itoero

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We make more waste CO2 than all other waste combined - really staggering amounts of it. As far as big things we are not doing well at go, I think global warming is the biggest of the lot. We are profoundly changing the climate of the whole planet in ways that are cumulative and very long lasting. And not readily reversible without enough abundant clean energy to do that, as well as take over all the energy services we've been getting burning fossil fuels. 

It isn't the only problem we have that is extremely serious - but many have a lot more immediacy. Which induces complacency on climate - which presents a test for humanity in how good we are at foreseeing consequences and responding to them pre-emptively - bearing in mind inaction means the problem gets worse the longer it is allowed to continue unchecked. Action versus inaction is inverted in this, so that failure to take action is actually the allowing of the continuation of serious, planet altering actions, of a scale that is truly unprecedented.

  It requires levels of competency and good management that test our institutions even more than individuals - our institutions of science, of government, of law, of business. Not just competency but ethics - because if we choose to perpetuate ongoing avoidance of responsibility through self-interested rejection of expert advice, ie cheating/corruption, we allow the problem to grow and the burden of consequences to pass to those who did not make the problem or directly benefit. Of course the same ethical and competency issues impact how we manage all our serious environmental and social issues.

I don't see climate change as being about socialism or capitalism - much as many wish to make it about those - but about responsibility and accountability. Cheating by decree in authoritarian regimes or cheating by fixing the rules of the game, by capture of regulators by powerful interests in democratic ones - either way avoids that responsibility. It is a profound test of our ability to sustain civilised behaviour in the face of selfishness and short-sightedness.

Edited by Ken Fabian

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9 minutes ago, Ken Fabian said:

I don't see climate change as being about socialism or capitalism - much as many wish to make it about those - 

I couldn't agree more! Whether left, right, or centre of the political spectrum, this matter is too important to indulge purely on a political basis, but so many do apply that standard. 

In Australia at this time, we are having devastating bush fires in three states, once in a 500 years flood in Queensland, and record temperatures, approaching and exceeding 40C even on the coast.

Edited by beecee

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6 hours ago, beecee said:

In Australia at this time, we are having devastating bush fires in three states, once in a 500 years flood in Queensland, and record temperatures, approaching and exceeding 40C even on the coast.

 

I'm in a "Watch and Act" fire warning situation as I type - conditions eased a bit today but without substantial rain (we've had less than 10mm since mid-December, with a lot of very high temperatures in that time) any reprieve is going to be temporary. Having blackened leaves falling from the sky - from a fire 20km away - is sobering; ember fires have started many kilometres ahead of large fire fronts.

Another fire is much closer, but that other one is probably the bigger threat, given the inevitable return of hot conditions and being West of us - where the hottest winds come from. Even well prepared homes will be in danger (6 homes confirmed lost around here in the past 2 days) - we know we will have to leave and hope the volunteer firefighters have the resources to defend individual homes; they do try wherever they can. Beyond the call of duty very often.

The thought of these circumstance but with another 3-5 C of warming is genuinely terrifying; those who live in cold climates may imagine that as an improvement but a large portion of the world's population live in places that already get extremely hot in summer.

Edited by Ken Fabian

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All the best Ken. I've been inn raining burning leaves" (about 50k from the fire front) and completely understand the sobering nature. All the best.bloke.

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15 hours ago, Ken Fabian said:

don't see climate change as being about socialism or capitalism - much as many wish to make it about those - but about responsibility and accountability

Climate change is also due to methane release of livestock. I immediately think about the sheep farming in Patagonia.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patagonian_sheep_farming_boom  This has a big economic impact.

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Maybe the question should be how do all these environmental crises interact. As Itoero alluded to there is significant overlap between them (like ocean acidification and CO2 levels). Trying to identify one as the most urgent might lead us to lose focus on the others and neglect the complex interactions between them all. A systems approach rather than a reductionist approach. 

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The decline of nature (cutting of trees, extinction of animals) is related to global warming and I find the most urgent environmental crisis.

According to some estimates, 100 million sharks may be killed annually, mostly to feed China's demand for shark fin soup. Most sharks are predatory fish. Killing so many sharks messes up the ecosystem. Predators have an important role.

The killing of all wolves in greater Yellowstone changed the natural landscape....The absence of wolves enabled ungulates to increase in population and live semi-sedentair which enabled them to eat flora (mostly close to rivers) until it's all eaten. This caused local plants and trees to be extinct or reduce in population which caused for example the beaver to be locally extinct.          

The same happens in oceans due to killing of sharks and in many continental places due the killing of predators.

I hope I made myself clear. 

 

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6 hours ago, Itoero said:

The decline of nature (cutting of trees, extinction of animals) is related to global warming and I find the most urgent environmental crisis.

I think it may have more immediacy but I think not more urgency. Not necessarily less urgency - and these are connected, but whilst better efforts at preserving natural areas won't have a major impact on the climate problem, the climate problem will have a major impact on those efforts at conservation. Reforestation can help with climate but isn't capable of significantly compensating for ongoing, unconstrained emissions - although maybe important carbon draw down after we approach zero emissions.

Global warming will drastically alter the climates for natural ecosystems and be a long running cause of effective habitat loss even in well protected and managed areas, through change in vegetation types, spread of pests and diseases - and vulnerability to fire.

If we haven't fixed the climate problem the fundamental requirements for saving or recovering existing remnant natural ecosystems won't be in place. 

Edited by Ken Fabian

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I don't think climate change and the decline of 'natural' environments can be so easily separated.

With those changes listed in the video Itoero linked would  be increased carbon sequestration.

Reverses in desertification  do the same with better soil health,increased plant growth and more carbon taken up. Less use of fertilizers,  pesticides and heavy machinery needed,  And it seems much of the advise given to combat these problems is often part of the problem.

Progress is being made, less from legislation than from individuals with a more intimate understanding and long term observations testing their ideas and sharing results. Some times risking prosecution and persecution to do it, because their actions may conflict with legislation introduced to appease city based activists with no real understanding of a problems complexities. Its starting to look like livestock can play an important role in preservation and improvement  of grasslands.

We build our cities on the most fertile lands. We consume what remains, and pump our waste into the oceans,  depleting  the soils and allowing them to flow into the oceans along with the artificial fertilisers that are needed to stay productive. We allow agriculture to become an industry operated more and more by huge companies who are about appeasing shareholders and assuring steady profits. Not preserving a future or providing a lasting legacy. More power to the money in how we consume, and what we consume. Mono cultures aren't the answer. It seems diversity is. Not just preserving things as they were/are, but increasing and maximising diversity.

 

Yes the world can support a lot more people. It will cost us dearly tho', in quality and diversity of life,  opportunity and potential and even our human diversity and abilities. 

 

Climate change isn't just about the carbon we release, it just as much about  the earths ability to process it and 'heal' itself. 

Edited by naitche

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