Can we keep our Earth habitable? Abrupt Climate System Change

Given Abrupt Climate System Change, can we keep our Earth habitable? Part 1 of 2 // Nov 26, 2020

We risk an uninhabitable Earth if we allow abrupt climate change to continue unchecked, at its ever accelerating (even exponential) pace.

How do we stabilize our climate? Can we stabilize our planet, or are we too far gone, as more and more people think?

Years ago I brought up the concept of a three-legged barstool approach to stabilize climate. To recap, we need to:

1) Slash fossil-fueled Greenhouse Gas emissions to zero
2) Pull carbon out of the atmosphere/ocean system. This includes CH4 as well as CO2.
3) Deploy Solar Radiation Management methods to reduce surface heating to buy us time to do the first two steps.

There are all kinds of ideas for doing these three steps, and I will discuss them in detail in future videos. They include things like: cloud brightening; Iron Salt Aerosols (ISA) which simultaneously reduces CH4, increases cloud reflectivity, and seeds the ocean with iron stimulating carbon sucking phytoplankton; injecting sulphur dioxide in the stratosphere to block some sunlight; regrowing sea ice in the Arctic (using wind-turbine powered pumps to put sea water on top of the ice to accelerate freezing, distributing glass nano-beads onto the ice surface to reduce surface melt, increasing cloud reflectivity over the Arctic); etc.

I chat about a recent paper claiming that we have already passed the tipping point with thawing Arctic permafrost, and even with zeroed emissions in 2020 (obviously not feasible) we would get additional warming for centuries.
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Given Abrupt Climate System Change, can we keep our Earth habitable? Part 2 of 2 // Nov 26, 2020

Second of two videos.

Ref:  ‘An earth system model shows self-sustained melting of permafrost even if all man-made GHG emissions stop in 2020‘, Published: 12 November 2020.  Jorgen Randers & Ulrich Goluke.  Abstract:


The risk of points-of-no-return, which, once surpassed lock the world into new dynamics, have been discussed for decades. Recently, there have been warnings that some of these tipping points are coming closer and are too dangerous to be disregarded. In this paper we report that in the ESCIMO climate model the world is already past a point-of-no-return for global warming. In ESCIMO we observe self-sustained melting of the permafrost for hundreds of years, even if global society stops all emissions of man-made GHGs immediately. We encourage other model builders to explore our discovery in their (bigger) models, and report on their findings…continues, at link here.
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Paul on Chess:  ‘When I was growing up a few years ago (some would argue that it hasn’t happened yet) board games like chess, checkers, backgammon, Blitzkrieg, etc. were always part of my family life. Chess became my passion, and I attained a ranking of 40th or so in Canada, with a master rating (2321), and at some point or other managed to beat most of the top players in Canada, and I even drew with Zsuza Polgar, who went on to be the Woman’s World Champion.

The Netflix series “Queen’s Gambit” is an extremely accurate portrayal of the chess world at the highest levels. It also captures the sacrifices that top players must make to stay at the top of their game and try to eke out a living. I highly recommend it.

If I had been a chess consultant for the series, the only thing that I would have done differently would be to have had the top players being defeated by Beth Harmon actually be real world class Grandmasters; it would have been fantastic to see Kasparov himself in the series as the defeated Russian!! This would have added an extra twist to the show, that the chess world would have just loved:).
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Please consider donating to support my work. I put a lot of time and effort into researching, studying and producing my videos so that you can learn how quickly our world is changing. Donating does not need a PayPal account, but simply a credit card. Please click here.
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About paulbeckwith

Well known climate science educator; Part-time Geography professor (climatology, oceanography, environmental issues), University of Ottawa. Physicist. Engineer. Master's Degree in Science in Laser Optics, Bachelors of Engineering, in Engineering Physics. Won Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario gold medal. Also interested in investment and start-ups in climate solutions, renewable energy and energy efficiency. Avid chess player, and likes restoring old homes. Married with children.
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