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Earth Science

UN Report: Climate Changes Overwhelming 987

Posted by samzenpus
from the it's-getting-hot-in-here dept.
iONiUM (530420) writes "'The impacts of global warming are likely to be "severe, pervasive and irreversible", a major report by the UN has warned.' A document was released by the IPCC outlining the current affects on climate change, and they are not good. For specific effects on humans: 'Food security is highlighted as an area of significant concern. Crop yields for maize, rice and wheat are all hit in the period up to 2050, with around a tenth of projections showing losses over 25%.'"
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UN Report: Climate Changes Overwhelming

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  • Projections (Score:2, Insightful)

    by symbolset (646467) * on Monday March 31, 2014 @03:23PM (#46624165) Journal
    The observed temperatures are currently below the error bars of the most optimistic projection. What does this mean?
  • Re:Projections (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Joce640k (829181) on Monday March 31, 2014 @03:26PM (#46624217) Homepage

    How often do they put out a "We're all going do die" report like this?

    As often as it takes until people like you listen?

  • Re:Projections (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Monday March 31, 2014 @03:28PM (#46624241) Journal

    Because scary reports must logically be false.

    This is the basic position a pseudo-skeptic like yourself takes, right? That if a large group of scientists say "X is harmful, potentially very harmful", you're response is that they're just trying to scare you, and you can safely ignore what they have to say and keep on doing X.

  • Re:Projections (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 31, 2014 @03:28PM (#46624243)

    It means that you understand statistics and the UN is run by corrupt politicians who care more about personal agendas than truth.

  • by MightyMartian (840721) on Monday March 31, 2014 @03:29PM (#46624263) Journal

    Because the first thought when confronted with a troubling scientific report is to consult an economist...

  • by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Monday March 31, 2014 @03:32PM (#46624311) Homepage Journal

    agricultural lobbies

    Higher temperatures in the historical record have been associated with a higher total biomass on the planet. Melt some of the Antarctic, get some more clouds in the atmosphere, grow wheat in the Sahara and grapes in Greenland - I'm guessing the Ag lobbies aren't too worried (though they should be angling for some subsidies to "help them survive" by now).

  • by gurps_npc (621217) on Monday March 31, 2014 @03:35PM (#46624347) Homepage
    Who exactly do you think gets 'expenses'?

    I will give you a hint, pro-climate change scientists tend to be funded by universities and in some cases governments.

    Deniers tend to be funded by Exxon, and their like.

    So tell, me who gets tot see the world on expenses - the deniers or the scientists?

    If you can't see the answer than that tells me who is funding your internet connection. After all the deniers have expressly admitted paying people to spread lies.

  • by Bartles (1198017) on Monday March 31, 2014 @03:37PM (#46624381)
    No, it's a political report that presents a scientific viewpoint. At least call it what it is.
  • Re:Projections (Score:3, Insightful)

    by L. J. Beauregard (111334) on Monday March 31, 2014 @03:39PM (#46624393)

    And whats-his-name Watts, Steven Milloy and Fox "News" are in it for their own health.

  • by MightyMartian (840721) on Monday March 31, 2014 @03:42PM (#46624429) Journal

    I call it a report written by climatologists. You know, SCIENTISTS...

    I get it. It tells you things you don't want to hear, so you have this need to cast aspersions on it.

  • Re:Projections (Score:2, Insightful)

    by JeffAtl (1737988) on Monday March 31, 2014 @03:49PM (#46624481)

    When they say "we're all going to die and it's already too late to do anything about it" it sort of lessens the impact.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 31, 2014 @03:51PM (#46624511)

    I call it a report written by climatologists. You know, SCIENTISTS...

    I get it. It tells you things you don't want to hear, so you have this need to cast aspersions on it.

    I hate those scientists, they have an agenda. They even question God's intelligent design.

  • Re:Projections (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Redmancometh (2676319) on Monday March 31, 2014 @03:55PM (#46624561)

    "As often as it takes until people like you listen?"

    And yet here you sit using the same electricity that is supposed to be killing the planet to whine about it. Get rid of your car, get rid of your computer.

    Nothing significant can happen unless everyone does. And here's the thing - most countries (especially poorer countries) don't give the tiniest bit of a fuck.

    If everyone in America did what I'm saying it would make an impact, but A) That will never happen and B) It would just delay the inevitable, because of china etc.

    So scenario A It's true and we're all fucked and can't do anything about it. Thus we're arguing over..nothing.

    Scenario B It's not true and we're arguing over..nothing.

    It doesn't paint the greatest picture of humanity but I'm fairly certain it's an accurate one.

  • by Amigan (25469) on Monday March 31, 2014 @04:04PM (#46624709) Homepage
    Assuming the projections are correct, wouldn't it make sense to eliminate using maize (corn in the US) as an additive to gasoline? When 30%+ of the corn currently being planted in the US is done so to get the Ethanol subsidy, it removes quite a bit from the food supply. I do not claim that all would be planted for food (corn price would plummet), but arable land is being used to for this 'not green' fuel additive. I say 'not green' because even the UN [tinyurl.com] has acknowledged that the use is counterproductive.
  • Re:Climate Denial (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 31, 2014 @04:06PM (#46624725)

    Think of it like the evolution debate; some 'deniers' think there's still a debate, while the rest of us are interested in the details of how it works.

  • Re:Projections (Score:5, Insightful)

    by buchner.johannes (1139593) on Monday March 31, 2014 @04:13PM (#46624815) Homepage Journal

    Nothing significant can happen unless everyone does.

    Not true. If 20% do something, it will be significant.
    Everyone blame everyone else, and don't do anything? No thank you. Try at least.

    And here's the thing - most countries (especially poorer countries) don't give the tiniest bit of a fuck.

    Not true. Countries are affected differently, and some poor countries are highly concerned.

    If everyone in America did what I'm saying it would make an impact, but A) That will never happen and B) It would just delay the inevitable, because of china etc.

    So scenario A It's true and we're all fucked and can't do anything about it. Thus we're arguing over..nothing.

    Scenario B It's not true and we're arguing over..nothing.

    It doesn't paint the greatest picture of humanity but I'm fairly certain it's an accurate one.

    You are falsely blaming others. Even if not everyone contributes, change can be achieved, and it should be tried. Non-contributing countries could even be fined for not contributing to the common rescue attempt.

    China has about the same emissions as the US. And guess why China has so much emissions? Because of the outsourced productions (electronics, clothing, toys). The US could easily implement requirements that their outsourced products have to adhere to emission limits!

  • Re:we're all effed (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HiThere (15173) <charleshixsn&earthlink,net> on Monday March 31, 2014 @04:25PM (#46624971)

    Unfortunately, it's a lot more extreme that you are considering. The heat that has been stored in the oceans will take a long time to be lost.

    OTOH, it's quite plausible that it's only our current civilization that is doomed, and that may well take 50 years or so. This may be long enough for a realtively reasonable transition to whatever will follow. The real problem is that there is as yet not even a acceptance that we're going to need radical change, much less an agreement of "change into what?" So we do lots of play-acting pretense that we say will let us keep things the same, or at least not much different.

    Actions we have already taken have committed us to a drastic change. They haven't determined what form that change will take. Every year that we let pass without acknowledging that some change will be necessary removes some options. Every technological advance offers options, some of which may open new possibilities. I don't know where the best balance is. If we wait too long, the only option will be collapse into a new stone age civilization, with over a 90% die-off of the population in the process...and likely over 99%. We could also get into a war with a mix of advanced technologies and kill off considerably more, perhaps 99.99% or 99.999%. Then the survivors need to stabilize the remaining population, this will probably lead to a further decline over the succeeding 50 years. Then any surviving population may being to grow.

    But this coulld be avoided by proper action, if we only knew what proper action was. We don't. We do know that what we're doing is only satisfying short term goals, and that in the long term it's disasterous. But the short term is where we live, so we tend to overly discount both long term gains and losses.

  • Re:Projections (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Karmashock (2415832) on Monday March 31, 2014 @04:36PM (#46625103)

    It wasn't saying the world is warming up that got you in trouble.

    Rather it was saying that because of that we have to give you trillions of dollars, give total control of our industry to unelected international authorities, and of course... blindly accept everything you tell us here on out or be labeled a "denier"... and if we take issue with any of that... you say the science is settled.

    Which is why we can't have a productive discussion about this issue.

    It is not our side that made this difficult. It is yours. And while you might pretend to not have a side and while I might wish I didn't have one. In all conflicts there are ultimately only two sides... especially as stakes are raised. Factions polarize.

    If you ACTUALLY cared about the environment at all... you'd dispense with the politics and the questing after aid money to line your pockets. Whether you've gotten any power or money out of this, many of the pro global warming people have gotten extremely rich pushing this stuff and most of their future fortunes depend on it going forward. That is an unacceptable conflict of interest.

    If we... by which I mean all of society the world over... is to give over our wealth and power to some select group of people that will save the world... we must trust you. And for that, at the very least, we're going to need you to be non-partisan and non-profit.

    The pro global warming coalition is neither of these at this point. Which means it can't be trusted in this issue.

    Indifferent to the science, these groups are after their own petty ends and it is the responsibility and right of other factions to resist them.

    That is how it is... reform or don't pretend to care.

  • Re:Projections (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Karmashock (2415832) on Monday March 31, 2014 @05:05PM (#46625407)

    Actually no.

    1. You have people like Al Gore that started a carbon trading market which he made a great deal of money on and stood to make a great deal more until it collapsed.

    2. You have a carbon trading scheme in the EU that has enriched various business interests and governments.

    3. You have various scientific foundations that have seen their budgets go up by more then 100 times what they had before and continued funding depends on this current level of hysteria. If the issue appears less credible the funding will dry up. They have a vested interest in specific results.

    And I could go on.

    As to the evil oil companies... I have no affiliation with them. Rather, my affiliation is with the rest of humanity you presume to control.

    You wish to tax me, tell me what I can do, what I can't, and if I ask a question or disagree... you dismiss all of us with a fallacious argument such as "the science is settled"...

    Nonsense.

    I don't think you know what the words you use mean or have any grasp of the effect they have when uttered.

    Saying something like "the science is settled" in that context, means "fuck you, I will do what I want and you can't stop me!"...

    I don't know if that's the message you intend to send but it is how those words are interpreted. It is a challenge to battle.

    Do you want a dialog where we come to common cause and action or do you want to play political games in the dark?

    Because if you want to play games... then games you shall have.

  • Re:Projections (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Gunboat_Diplomat (3390511) on Monday March 31, 2014 @05:06PM (#46625423)

    "Worst thing is that it is a world wide scheme. All scientists and all the world's governments are in collusion on this. It is even worse than how they all try to brainwash our kids into thinking we are related to apes."

    It's not a "worldwide" scheme, it's a UN scheme. Hardly the same things. Rather than implying I am a "creationist", why don't you try refuting what I actually wrote? You know, facts and all that.

    Evolution has about the same level of scientific consensus supporting it as climate change. And very similar arguments against (it is to complex, data keep changing, this doesn't make sense to me, there is a conspiracy by the government).

    And it is a world wide scheme and not a UN scheme, since all scientists across the world are saying the same, independently of UN and US actors in the debate. Close to all of the scientists in this field are repeatedly refuting what you claim. Do you want me to refute intelligent design, homeopathy, vaccine skeptics, fake moon landing? Same answer.

  • Re:Projections (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Monday March 31, 2014 @05:10PM (#46625455)

    Just say it like you mean it. "Let's hope they're wrong, they must be wrong, I don't wanna stop driving my SUV."

  • Re:Projections (Score:2, Insightful)

    by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojo@world3AAA.net minus threevowels> on Monday March 31, 2014 @05:15PM (#46625493) Homepage

    Over the last few years. You neglected to mention that.

    Sceptics like to pick up on a few years near the edges of the prediction limits, but I hope it won't fly on Slashdot. There are enough maths geeks and generally well educated people to know that a few outlier stats don't make a model wrong.

  • Re:Projections (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Tom (822) on Monday March 31, 2014 @05:18PM (#46625527) Homepage Journal

    They seem resistant to finding out if iron fertilization in the oceans could solve it.

    That's because you only get to try this (or anything like it) once. And if it doesn't work, and has side-effects you didn't anticipate, you're seriously fucked. We don't get have the technology to do terraforming, our global effects so far have all been unintentional.

  • Re:Projections (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rgbatduke (1231380) <rgb@NOsPaM.phy.duke.edu> on Monday March 31, 2014 @05:38PM (#46625717) Homepage

    So Box 9.2 of AR5 in which they attempt to explain the 15 year (a year ago) "hiatus" is just describing just weather, not climate, because the general circulation models predicted 0.5 to 0.6 C warming over the same interval and they couldn't possibly be wrong, could they?

    Also, if you are going to ignore the cooling/flattening associated with La Nina, perhaps we should ignore the one single solid burst of global warming in the latter 20th century in association with the 1997-1998 super El Nino as well. If you are going to assert that 15 years isn't statistically significant, perhaps we should ignore the single 15 year interval with significant warming in the latter half of the 20th century, especially since this 15 year stretch is surrounded by flat to descending stretches all the way back to 1944 on the left and flat to very weakly ascending stretches from 1998 to the present. All of which can easily be seen with your own eyes here:

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/pl... [woodfortrees.org]

    That's what, 0.5 C of total warming over 75 years, almost all occurring in one single burst? Sort of like the 0.7 C of warming visible here:

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/pl... [woodfortrees.org]

    except that warming occurred without the benefit of significant CO_2 forcing and was much more uniform.

    rgb

  • Re:Projections (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo (965947) on Monday March 31, 2014 @05:48PM (#46625801) Homepage Journal

    There are enough maths geeks and generally well educated people to know that a few outlier stats don't make a model wrong.

    Yes, but the well-educated ones know enough to steer clear of any Slashdot discussion of climate change.

  • Re:Projections (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Atzanteol (99067) on Monday March 31, 2014 @06:31PM (#46626193) Homepage

    In fact climatologists don't consider 1997-1998 to be normal - they treat it as an outlier. It's the deniers who pick up on it and say "we've been getting cooler since 1998!".

    http://www.skepticalscience.co... [skepticalscience.com]

  • Re:Projections (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mr.CRC (2330444) on Monday March 31, 2014 @07:01PM (#46626461)

    No, there is no argument against Creationism, because there doesn't need to be any argument against Creationism. There is simply no evidence, as in none whatsoever, to support it. Therefore it is nothing more than a supposition, not worth anyone's time.

    Which is entirely different from global warming/climate change, whatever the f*ck they are calling it today. The arguments against which are that 1. the evidence in support of it is flawed; 2. the scientists who argue for it may have or likely have been influenced by the incentive inherent in their own need to collect a paycheck; 3. That political persons and entities most definitely have been corrupted by said incentives.

    Two entirely different things. In the case of climate change, the first argument against should, eventually, be resolved by solid facts. The 2nd and 3rd arguments are extremely difficult if not impossible to refute. The implications are that IF you expect people who are at this point skeptical to be convinced by your arguments, you had better be polite and professional when you state your views. Remember, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence!

    I have reached the point where I simply trust no one on this. This is after being strongly in agreement that global warming was occurring, was probably caused by humans, and probably would cause trouble if something wasn't done. That is entirely decoupled from what I think or may have thought *should* be done, and whether or not I believe that humans are capable of doing whatever needs to be done without screwing things up even worse. Back to the point...

    The more the climate change people crystalize into a faction, which assumes things about anyone who is skeptical and starts calling names like "denialist" etc., rather than politely explaining their position no matter how long it takes, the less I trust any of them.

    I work with scientists at a national laboratory. If you think they won't suddenly change their research interests when it is necessary to do so in order to continue to receive a paycheck, then you really don't understand the reality of what we are as human beings. There is nothing wrong with that of course. What would be wrong would be to fudge the science to collect a paycheck. But if you think that people can consistently draw the ethical line there just because they have Ph.D. after their name, then you are a fool.

    Finally I have only ever experienced bona-fide intolerance, to the point of nearly having someone spit in my face simply because I offered a contrary position as a purely intellectual exercise, from some people on one particular side of the political spectrum. I won't say which. But the answer is the ironic one. And the ones currently doing most of the name calling.

    So you are shooting yourselves in the foot folks. As soon as this name calling "denialist" bullshit started, you signed the check for your own demise. If you were really working from objectivity, you would have been smarter than that.

  • Re:Projections (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Karmashock (2415832) on Monday March 31, 2014 @07:26PM (#46626605)

    Don't blindly accept anyone's word for anything. It isn't the easiest thing in the world to understand, but having more people who do understand it will let us make sure we're doing the right thing.

    Are you saying that the conclusion that most people agree upon is correct or that having more people understand an issue is helpful to the overall dialog on the issue?

    If you are saying former then I would say that is a classic logical fallacy.

    If the latter then I would agree with you.

    There will always be shysters. Did bridges become a ridiculous concept when the Brooklyn Bridge was "sold" or do people just need to be a little bit more careful?

    To do that we must have access to the process and a seat at the table.

    There has been a concerted effort lately to shut out "deniers" from all such discussions. They are being blacklisted from media. Blacklisted from science conferences. Blacklisted in science journals.

    We can't possibly tell the difference between a crooked and an honest system if we're shut out. And worse, the very people that are shutting people out won't be able to tell either since their ability to detect problems is largely based upon a healthy internal dialog which they've terminated.

    Science cannot operate without debate. By all means, let the debate be amongst experts. But "expert" can not be defined as "agreeing with everything we say about everything."

    That isn't expertise... it is orthodoxy.

    I'm sure you don't want that anymore then I do... however, it is the current state of affairs. It is a consequence of polluting science with politics.

    Until the political elements are purged the debate is likely to remain a political debate... and not a scientific one.

    The pro global warming people might well have the stronger scientific argument. But in perverting the issue with politics they've made the science irrelevant. And they are losing the political battle.

    The best course is to purge the politics. But so far as I've seen... they're addicted to it already. They can't stop. And that means nothing short of collapse will end the relationship.

    Again... even if they're right... they'll exaggerate their position. Its what politicians do. Think of them like investment bankers suddenly being given access to a no limit credit account. That is what the scientists have... or had. They had a no limit credibility account. Our trust in science is deep. Do we trust our politicians in the same way? Not even close. By by mixing science with politics... suddenly the politicians could BORROW the credibility of the scientists and use it for their own ends.

    This sort of thing eventually trends towards collapse. Eventually the politicians will tell a lie so big that credibility check will bounce.

    That will be a sad day and not one I am looking forward to... but really... its inevitable if the politicians are not cut off. They will suck the scientists dry and leave them with nothing but... piles of money. So there's there. But their integrity and position in society will be merely on paper at that point. The trust will be gone.

    Is it worth it? Anyone that really values science would sever the connection. Its toxic.

  • wrong! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mbkennel (97636) on Monday March 31, 2014 @07:53PM (#46626779)
    "You would think there are enough math geeks who would be able to see the vast amount of BS the GW people are putting out, but since they hide the raw data and have no way of adjusting for varying albedo at ground stations we just have to go by the fudged data."

    This is simply and completely wrong. The data sets are OK and there is numerous adjustments & corrections applied.

    Remember the Berkeley statistician who was a skeptic about the data quality & reduction procedures for various reasons? Well, he did what you said was impossible: he got the not-actually-hidden raw data, and with some colleagues re-did everything. The conclusion? The climatologists were right all along and didn't screw anything up.

    And why would thousands of scientists all over the world suddenly and nearly uniformly "want" a specific outcome?

    And if it's all just a giant magic trick for "moar funding!!!!" somehow maintained across generations and countries why hasn't this happened in any other area of science? And if it's all a scam, why choose one which would be opposed by many of the most powerful forces on the planet?

    The ones who really "want a specific outcome" are actually the other side, for obvious reasons.
  • by mbkennel (97636) on Monday March 31, 2014 @08:14PM (#46626893)

    The US can always pay the interest on its loans denominated in US dollars by making dollars.

    In any case, in 2013, the current interest on the US debt is about 400 billion USD. The US GDP is 16,803 billion USD, so the interest payment is about 2.3% of GDP. The US GDP could go down a bunch further.

    This is a completely different situation from actually changing the global composition of physical molecules in the atmosphere, which cannot be redefined by any human action. The risk of long-term nearly irreversible changes in the physical environment vs human-to-human financial contracts?
  • Re:Projections (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tom (822) on Tuesday April 01, 2014 @04:55AM (#46628711) Homepage Journal

    The arguments against which are that 1. the evidence in support of it is flawed; 2. the scientists who argue for it may have or likely have been influenced by the incentive inherent in their own need to collect a paycheck; 3. That political persons and entities most definitely have been corrupted by said incentives.

    There have been several meta-studies on these questions, and they all say that it's total bullshit, just in nicer words and with graphs and statistics. Google is your friend, I'm not doing the legwork for a denialist.

    As soon as this name calling "denialist" bullshit started, you signed the check for your own demise.

    There's a time for being nice and understanding and there's a time to call the sky blue and the liar a liar.

    Unfortunately, most arguments are lost by the reasonable and rational persons, because they say "probably" and "I think" and "the data indicates, that", while the fanatic says "certainly", "I know" and "(whatever) proves". Thus the fanatic sounds more convincing, irrespective of facts.

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