Category Archives: Global Warming

What does climate change look like from orbit?

It can sometimes be difficult for an individual person on the ground to personally witness the effects of climate change right now. If you were in California or Australia during the wildfires, you might have been directly affected, but more people still are now seeing direct effects. However, satellite imagery allows a view of the whole planet, and what we can see from satellites paints a terrible picture:

Watching Earth Burn – For 10 days in September, satellites in orbit sent tragic evidence of climate change’s destructive power.

Last winter, for example, Australia experienced one of the worst brushfire seasons in its history. On the first Sunday of 2020 I decided to take a look. Himawari-8 revealed a vista as spectacular as it was unnerving. A giant furnace door had seemingly been pried open. A plume of smoke extended outward from the continent’s southeastern quarter, a region twice the size of Texas where flame vortexes had been spiraling 200 feet into the air. Carrying the color of the land it came from, that noxious exhalation bore the residue of a billion or more incinerated animals and innumerable plants, baked into tinder from decades of ever-hotter summers.

The author points out in the article how you can look through the eyes of these satellites yourself:

My earth-watching, made possible by NOAA and Colorado State University websites, originates in three geostationary weather satellites parked in exceedingly high orbits above the Equator.

The effects of climate change will only become worse and worse unless humanity takes direct and massive steps to correct things.

The Doomsday Book” by Marshall Brain lays out this scenario in amazing detail and offers solutions to prevent this doomsday scenario from unfolding. You can order the book today on Amazon and other retailers.

It cannot get any worse – active destruction of the Amazon rainforest

This article is terrifying:

Amazon fires: Bolsonaro actively trying to devastate rainforest, leaked documents show

The Brazilian government intend to build bridges, motorway and hydroelectric plant in the jungle to “fight off international pressure” to protect the world’s largest rainforest. The plans, leaked to political website openDemocracy, emerged as devastating fires rage through the Amazon.

As described in the Doomsday book, the Amazon rainforest is too important to let a country like Brazil destroy it. The entire forest should be taken over through international stewardship, humans should be removed from the forest, and every effort should be taken to keep it alive. If the rainforest is allowed to die, there will be a huge pulse of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, the loss of the rain cycle, and the destruction of a million or more species. It will be catastrophic. See:

The Doomsday Book” by Marshall Brain lays out this scenario in amazing detail and offers solutions to prevent this doomsday scenario from unfolding. You can order the book today on Amazon and other retailers.

The Dustbowl era in the United States was a doomsday scranario for agriculture and the food supply, and we are about to repeat it

A terrifying article about the next United States dustbowl:

National Soil Erosion Rates on Track to Repeat Dust Bowl-era Losses Eight Times Over – Scientists Say Farmland Degradation to Worsen with Climate Change

From the article:

The UCS study analyzed various scenarios for erosion rates and total soil loss using soil survey data from the National Resources Inventory, a research program conducted by the USDA and Iowa State University. Because of climate change, the possibility for even more accelerated erosion rates exists. The study found if more flooding and droughts lead erosion rates to worsen again, reverting back to the higher rates recorded almost forty years ago, farmers nationally are at risk of losing more than two inches of soil by 2035 and five inches by 2100.

In other words, we depend on the soil to grow the food we eat, but we are not good stewards of the soil. Therefore the topsoil is washing and blowing away, and with it our ability to grow grains like wheat, corn and soybeans. It could lead to a food catastrophe.

Climate Change will force human migration in 3 ways: Flooding, drought and heat

There are three big things that will force human beings out of one area and into another:

  • Flooding – Climate change can cause flooding either by raising sea levels or increasing rains (e.g. hurricanes)
  • Drought – Climate change causes areas that once received rain to dry up. Rainforest collapse is the most dramatic example, but simple rainfall pattern change is another.
  • Heat – As the planet warms, equatorial regions will eventually become so hot that humans can no longer tolerate or work in the heat.

All three of these effects will cause climate migration, by millions and millions of people. The people who are migrating will have no choice, because the alternative is death.

Take a country like Bangladesh. Much of Bangladesh is highly susceptible to sea level rise, and much of Bangladesh is hot and humid, so rising temperatures will eventually make it virtually uninhabitable. 160 million people live in Bangladesh, and most are in poverty already. Given this, the headline is probably understating things:

Climate change could create 63 million migrants in South Asia by 2050

The growing impacts of climate change have already pushed more than 18 million people to migrate within South Asian countries, but that could more than triple in three decades if global warming continues on its current path, researchers warned on Friday. Nearly 63 million people could be forced from their homes by 2050 in the region as rising seas and rivers swallow villages, and drought-hit land no longer supports crops, said ActionAid International and Climate Action Network South Asia in a report. The projection does not include those who will be forced to flee sudden disasters such as floods and cyclones and so is likely an under-estimate, noted Harjeet Singh, global climate lead at ActionAid. He said the situation could become “catastrophic”.

The obvious solution is to try to limit the damage that climate change causes by:

  1. Stopping the combustion of all fossil fuels
  2. Pulling carbon dioxide back out of the atmosphere

Unfortunately, there are many economic forces and powers that want to move in the opposite direction:

‘Grossly Insufficient’: ExxonMobil Lambasted Over Emissions Reduction Plan That Pledges No Reduction in Absolute Emissions

ExxonMobil’s Monday announcement of new targets for addressing greenhouse gas emissions was met with derision by climate advocates who called the plan “too little, too late.”

There is something Exxon could do to help migitgate the problems it has created. Exxon could develop and sell a carbon neutral gasoline substitute. In this way, all of the existing pipelines and gas stations and vehicles could still operate, while not adding any more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Using solar, wind or nuclear power, there is definitely a pathway toward achieving this. For example, the U.S. Navy has demonstrated how to make jet fuel out of seawater.

What If We Powered the Planet With Seawater?
How Big Can Wind Turbines Get?

There are several other approaches that can make synthetic gasoline as well. Exxon (and other oil companies need to scale them up and sell synthetic gasoline instead of fossil fuel gasoline.

Then humanity needs to pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere at a massive scale:

Carbon Engineering | Direct Air Capture Technology

The Doomsday Book” by Marshall Brain lays out this scenario in amazing detail and offers solutions to prevent this doomsday scenario from unfolding. You can order the book today on Amazon and other retailers.

Is the loss of arctic ice the true harbinger of the climate apocolypse?

Is the loss of arctic ice the true harbinger of the climate apocolypse? Probably:

Blue Ocean Event : Game Over?

From the description:

A Blue Ocean Event, or Ice-Free Arctic, is the source of almost fever pitch speculation in the climate science world. The consequences of the disappearance of sea ice from the arctic ocean, however briefly, at the end of a summer melt season some time in the not too distant future, are potentially very ominous for the way we organise our human socio-economic structures today. This week, we consider what those consequences may look like.

It truly is a frightening prospect. Without artic ice to cool things off, temperatures in the northern hemisphere can go haywire and permafrost will melt, releasing gigatons of methane and CO2 into the atmosphere in a positive feedback loop. It is both terrifying and deeply depressing, because it appears that humanity (though politics, lack of leadership, lobbying, inertia, ignorance, indifference, corporate power in the fossil fuel industries, etc.) will be unable to take any coordinated action to turn things around.

See also: Global warming has profoundly transformed Arctic in just 15 years, report warns

The Arctic as we once knew it, an inhospitable, barely accessible and icebound place, is gone. Climate change has transformed it into a region that can heat up to 100 degrees, is beset by ferocious wildfires, and is covered in permafrost that is no longer permanent. The sea ice cover that has long defined the Far North is fast disappearing. This is the picture from a new international scientific assessment released Tuesday. The 2020 Arctic Report Card, a report led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) involving 133 scientists from 15 countries, points to trends that, with each passing year, have grown more extreme and have far-reaching implications for people living far outside the region, including in the Lower 48 states.

The Doomsday Book” by Marshall Brain lays out this scenario in amazing detail and offers solutions to prevent this doomsday scenario from unfolding. You can order the book today on Amazon and other retailers.

Humans continue burning fossil fuels despite the obvious stupidity of doing so

Such a depressing headline:

World is ‘doubling down’ on fossil fuels despite climate crisis – Production must fall by 6% a year to avoid ‘severe climate disruption’ but Covid-19 funding is supporting increases

The world’s governments are “doubling down” on fossil fuels despite the urgent need for cuts in carbon emissions to tackle the climate crisis, a report by the UN and partners has found. The researchers say production of coal, oil and gas must fall by 6% a year until 2030 to keep global heating under the 1.5C target agreed in the Paris accord and avoid “severe climate disruption”. But nations are planning production increases of 2% a year and G20 countries are giving 50% more coronavirus recovery funding to fossil fuels than to clean energy.

The headline, however, is not nearly strong enough. The reality is that fossil fuel burning should be reduced to zero immediately, and humanity must start sucking excess CO2 back out of the atmosphere. Otherwise the planet faces an unstoppable cascade of catastrophic effects including:

As discussed in the book, humanity somehow needs to transform its thinking to a wartime posture against climate in order to prevent all of these cataclysms from occurring. If we do not take immediate action, the prospects are dire.

The Doomsday Book” by Marshall Brain lays out this scenario in amazing detail and offers solutions to prevent this doomsday scenario from unfolding. You can order the book today on Amazon and other retailers.

Our World in distress – in photos

Some arresting 2020 images from Associated Press photographers:

In 2020, AP photographers captured a world in distress

From the article:

Behold, a world in distress: A 64-year-old woman weeps, hugging her husband as he lay dying in the COVID-19 unit of a California hospital. A crowded refugee camp in Lesbos, Greece, engulfed in flames, disgorges a string of migrants fleeing this hell on Earth. Rain-swept protesters, enraged by the death of George Floyd in police custody, rail against the system and the heavens. This is the world that Associated Press photographers captured in 2020, a world beset by every sort of catastrophe — natural and unnatural disaster, violent and non-violent conflict.

It is amazing how many things have gone wrong in 2020, some of which are grave harbingers of things that could get much worse in the future. Wildfires are likely to get worse. Refugee situations are likely to get worse as climate refugees become a thing. Pandemics are likely to get worse. Protests may get worse as conditions worsen. And do on. These photographs paint a picture of the distress humanity is witnessing in 2020.

The Doomsday Book” by Marshall Brain lays out this scenario in amazing detail and offers solutions to prevent this doomsday scenario from unfolding. You can order the book today on Amazon and other retailers.

Some people are so negative about the future that they stop having babies

This article contains a shocking statistic:

Climate ‘apocalypse’ fears stopping people having children – Survey of 600 people finds some parents regret having offspring for same reason

The statistic:

The study indicated that climate-related fears for their children’s lives were rooted in a deeply pessimistic view of the future. Of the 400 respondents who offered a vision of the future, 92.3% were negative, 5.6% were mixed or neutral, and just 0.6% were positive.

92% of people surveyed have a negative view of the future. Less than 1% are positive! Unbelievable. But it makes sense when you start adding up the imminent doomsday scenarios that humanity is facing: The many facets of climate change, the economic effects of robots, the destructive power of inequality, terrorism, etc.

Meanwhile, the babies that are born grow up to become terrified young people as described here.

The doomsday book describes all of these problems, and also offers solutions for many of them, if humanity can get organized and unified enough to implement the solutions.

The Doomsday Book” by Marshall Brain lays out this scenario in amazing detail and offers solutions to prevent this doomsday scenario from unfolding. You can order the book today on Amazon and other retailers.

We are past “the Point of No Return” on climate change according to some scientists

If humanity could turn on a dime and completely stop burning fossil fuels tomorrow, we would definitely be better off. But are we past “the point of no return” already?

‘Past a point of no return,’ according to British Journal Scientific Study on climate change; Reducing greenhouse gas emission to zero still will not stop global warming; Scientists see ‘an acceleration of Pandemics’

The findings of the scientific study are alarming. It shows that irrespective of the reduction of greenhouse gasses, emissions are brought down to zero. It is not sufficient to stall the melting of permafrost.

This would be an example of a positive feedback loop, where melting permafrost releases enough methane to raise temperatures, which releases more methane, and so on. This video describes the problem in stark detail:

Arctic Methane. Has 2020 triggered a tipping point?

If this is the case, then the only hope is to combine the halt of fossil fuels with different forms of geoengineering.

Geoengineering: A Horrible Idea We Might Have to Do

The Doomsday Book” by Marshall Brain lays out this scenario in amazing detail and offers solutions to prevent this doomsday scenario from unfolding. You can order the book today on Amazon and other retailers.

‘Republicans Remain Opposed to Any Policies That Would Reduce Fossil-Fuel Use’

‘Republicans Remain Opposed to Any Policies That Would Reduce Fossil-Fuel Use’

Back in the U.S., the relief of Donald Trump’s long good-bye will begin yielding to the stark reality that his party remains fundamentally pathological. No issue highlights this depressing reality more clearly than climate change. For more than a decade, the GOP has stood alone among major right-of-center parties in industrialized democracies worldwide in its refusal to endorse climate science. But during the Trump era, the party’s rhetorical emphasis shifted. The major Republican point of agreement is now to insist on fossil-fuel use as an inherent good.

This is a worst-case-scenario when it comes to Climate Change – an entire political party and tens of millions of voters all opposed to solving the problem at the root of the climate change crisis. The only hope we have is to stop burning fossil fuels immediately, and start pulling carbon back out of the atmosphere, and to probably deploy geoengineering measures as well. To have an entire political party opposing these measures is planetary suicide.

Geoengineering: A Horrible Idea We Might Have to Do
Geoengineering May Be the Answer to Climate Change

The Doomsday Book” by Marshall Brain lays out this scenario in amazing detail and offers solutions to prevent this doomsday scenario from unfolding. You can order the book today on Amazon and other retailers.