Consequences of climate change

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Re: Consequences of climate change

Postby p1t1o » Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:36 pm UTC

I think I vaguely recall something about the global temperature increase causing expansion of the atmosphere, which would have a real (but minor) impact on LEO satellites.

And something about when very large masses of ice melt, or shift, the crust underneath can "relax" a bit, changing topography slightly. Theres that dam in china that has changed the rotational period of the Earth (by a few microseconds) by collecting a large mass of water that wasnt there before.

But I dont think anyone sees these as disaster-level effects. Nobody will notice a few cm height change in mountains and what, satellites become very slightly more expensive than they already are?

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Re: Consequences of climate change

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Aug 07, 2018 3:48 pm UTC

Those are all fairly minor, yeah. Interesting within their niche, but not disaster level. The land thing can actually mitigate rising sea levels in an extremely minor way. Slight silver lining, I guess, but not enough to be a big deal. If you're losing land based glaciers, that's way worse than the inch or two you might get from the lost weight.

Ocean acidification and sea level rise are larger concerns. Coral bleaching can impact ecologies, and there are a few other effects from the former. Maybe not disaster level for everyone, but I could see it being fairly described as such for a town that relies on the fishing industry if the local fisheries are impacted.

Sea level rise only really comes into play when ice atop land melts. If it's in the water, it's like an ice cube in a glass. Water level stays roughly the same. Sea ice is more immediately affected by warming and fluctuates more rapidly, but is a great deal less important. Even a fairly modest rise in sea level can make an oceanside community more vulnerable to storm surges. Humankind tends to favor living near water, so a lot of humanity lives close enough to the coast that even if they're not in danger of flooding, a local flood would certainly impact their lives.

You can see a smaller scale example of this in other coastal changes. There's a lot of land added/removed by water at present, and it can leave an area vulnerable to disaster, or requiring significant costly upkeep for dredging, etc. Extrapolating that's significant. If you're considering beachfront property, I'd suggest erring on the side of caution when considering potential flood/storm threats. In MD, they keep putting new developments in by the water with single digit elevations relative to the Chesapeake. It's been okay so far, but...the margin for error there does not seem comforting.

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Re: Consequences of climate change

Postby sardia » Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:31 pm UTC

The increased drought, and arable land changes are going to be the biggest disasters that aren't obvious. Like What happens if all the food production in Africa gets stressed because of climate intensified drought, and the Chinese/corporations bought all the good land/water? You have a recipe for unending refugee crisis, and the beginnings of conflict/terrorism/war. And all this unending conflict gives rise to tribalism, which makes everything worse.
Read any Pentagon climate change report, and it's all about weather induced conflict.

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Re: Consequences of climate change

Postby webgiant » Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:10 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:I'm not a denier in any way (I trust scientists to know what they're talking about) but the consequences that I've read about, including in this thread, still don't seem to warrant the kind of panic that some people seem to be having. If we shift to having a cozy Greenland and arable Canada while New York gets submerged and Kansas becomes a desert, but that takes a century or two to happen, that sounds like something that humans are more than able to adapt to. ... As sea levels and deserts encroach on currently inhabited places, those people on the border of the change will face gradual pressure to move, and places that are unlivable now will be opening up and people will be moving to them. It's not like we have to suddenly relocate everyone in New York to Greenland right now or they'll all die.

Have you met human beings? Currently there's a huge number of people refusing to accept the science so they can Stay Right Where They Are and Do The Same Things They've Always Done. There will be no Orderly Line Formed to allow everyone to leave on a schedule. There will be a massive panicky move when its way too late to do the move in an orderly fashion. In essence, it is like we have to plan to suddenly relocate everyone in New York to Greenland in a few days or they'll all die, because the human beings, like the metaphor** of a frog slowly being boiled, will stubbornly stay put until the new climate has reached near lethal levels.

Before Climate Change there were people who built houses in floodplains, or in forests with lots of bone dry tinder. Humans go where they want to be, and stay there until something lethal shoves them out, but the potential that something will be lethal in the near future is not a hindrance to their choice of accommodations.

There's also the non negligible point that the humans already in a location sometimes resist it when a huge migration happens from somewhere else. Wars and anti-immigration movements sprout from sudden moves of huge numbers of human beings. Moving everyone from New York to Greenland, or even just to Canada, will Cause Comment.

** Thanks to some fortunately ethical research, it was determined quite some time ago that frogs, being dependent on instinct and not governed by silly human foibles, will leap out of a pot of water when the heat is slowly turned up, and well before the water becomes painful to a frog's touch. Humans still wait until its too late to move easily, so the metaphor is good to describe human behavior even though scientifically untrue for frogs. Also frogs have less in the way of personal possessions, and don't have relatives nearby they want to wait for as the wildfire/flood gets closer.

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Re: Consequences of climate change

Postby Eebster the Great » Tue Aug 14, 2018 1:20 am UTC

The question is how they convinced the frogs to stay in the pot even before they started heating it.

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