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Senate Global Climate Change Assessment

Discussion in 'Community' started by Jabbadabbado, May 7, 2014.

  1. mnjedi

    mnjedi Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 4, 2012
    Maybe Jared Leto knows something we don’t. Maybe mailing people used condoms is the secret to stopping climate change and we just can’t see it yet.
     
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  2. blackmyron

    blackmyron Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Like a nuclear war?
     
  3. Darth Guy

    Darth Guy Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Aug 16, 2002
    I thought it was a terrorist attack on Vegas. Mad Max Fury Road had the war. :p
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2020
  4. SW Saga Fan

    SW Saga Fan Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 19, 2015
    That's supposing that it is going to be the elites and the rich people who are going to save humanity, which they won't in reality. They will just find a plan to colonize Mars and live there happily ever after while the rest of humanity is burning on Earth...
     
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  5. bluealien1

    bluealien1 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 14, 2015
    New study show that parts of the amazon may become savanna like.

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/tech...ping-from-forest-to-savanna-study/ar-BB19IPld

    "As much as 40 percent of the Amazon risks crossing a tipping point from rainforest to savanna as greenhouse gas emissions reduce the rainfall needed to sustain its unique ecosystem, scientists said Monday.

    Forests are particularly sensitive to changes that affect rainfall for extended periods, and trees may die off if areas go too long without rain.


    This can have significant knock-on effects on nature -- with the loss of tropical habitats -- as well as the climate as shrinking forests lose their ability to absorb manmade emissions.

    It also increases the risk of fire.

    A team of Europe-based scientists used the latest available atmospheric data to simulate how tropical forests might respond to changing rainfall levels.

    In particular, they simulated the effect of continued emissions from burning fossil fuels between now and the end of the century.

    They found that rainfall in the Amazon is so low already that up to 40 percent of it risks tipping over into a savanna-like environment, with far fewer trees and far less biodiversity.

    Lead author Arie Staal, from the Stockholm Resilience Centre, said that rainforests normally create their own rainfall through water vapour, sustaining tree levels and even extending their reach.

    But the inverse is also true: when precipitation levels fall, the forests begin to disappear.

    "As forests shrink, we get less rainfall downwind and this causes drying, leading to more fire and forest loss: a vicious cycle," Staal said.

    - Species 'forever lost' -

    The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, explored the resilience of tropical rainforests under two additional extreme scenarios.

    In the first, researchers looked at how fast the world's forests would grow back if they suddenly disappeared.

    The second studied what would happen if rainforests covered all tropical regions on Earth.

    They found that many of the world's rainforests would struggle to grow back once lost, leading to a far wider savanna-like mix of woodland and grassland.

    In addition to the Amazon loss, the team found that the forest in the Congo basin was at risk of changing to savanna, and that large swathes would not grow back once gone.

    "We understand now that rainforests on all continents are very sensitive to global change and can rapidly lose their ability to adapt," said Ingo Fetzer, also from the Stockholm Resilience Centre.

    "Once gone, their recovery will take many decades to return to their original state," he said.

    "And given that rainforests host the majority of all global species, all this will be forever lost."
     
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  6. Bacon164

    Bacon164 Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Mar 22, 2005
    everything will burn anyway
     
  7. CairnsTony

    CairnsTony Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    May 7, 2014
    What tends to happen here around Cairns, is that areas that are frequently burned by arsonists revert to savannah woodland. If left long enough, rainforest trees gradually come back in. Between the natural rainforest zone and the tropical savannah zone is a narrow band that is a mixture of both. It isn't gradual, so if you drive from Cairns to, say, Mareeba, you see a change in the vegetation that is so sudden, that it becomes savanna in just a few minutes as you drive along.

    Larger areas that get burned, such as the Goldsborough Valley just south of Cairns, or the Yarrabah area to the south east are now mostly savannah woodland with myriads of cycads- real Gondwanaland relics- which are fire resistant. Older folks around here will tell you that historically those areas were mostly rainforest.

    But conversely, there is Kuranda, about a half hour drive up into the mountains from Cairns. If you look at historic photos of Kuranda, you can see the area around the town was almost completely clear-felled in the past and hardly a tree stood. Contrast that with today, and the town is surrounded by dense rainforest. You see clues that it's regrowth, because the tallest trees in the forest up there are black wattles, which are a pioneer tree. You can see their crowns thinning as they come to the end of their relatively short lives, and no doubt they'll be succeeded by mature rainforest.

    What astounds me about tropical rainforest around here, and presumably most other places, is just how fast trees and other plants grow, when given the chance. I owned an apartment in Edge Hill, a suburb of Cairns, for ten years (I live in town now). It was on the third floor and was surrounded by trees that grew astoundingly fast. I mean, we're talking metres in a year. If a banana shoot appeared in the garden, you had a mature banana tree within just a few weeks.

    Rainforest needs that chance to grow however. When I was in Peru last year, I saw a depressing amount of burning going on around Puerto Maldonado. That area is opening up at an alarming rate. Conversely, when I flew from Iquitos, in the heart of the Amazon, to Tarapoto, I had a window seat, and for most of the flight, all I could see out of the window was rainforest. Only as we approached the foothills around Tarapoto itself, was clearing evident on the hillsides. Sadly, most of Peru's localised endemics are found in precisely the areas being cleared. Some of them are now reduced to tiny scraps of forest, such as around Plataforma, where we went on appalling roads to try and see Scarlet-banded Barbet before they all disappear (and they will, barring a miracle). Nowt wrong with the rainfall in that area- it bucketed down whilst we were there, but I think the main area studies refer to is in the East and North in Brazil and Venezuela where there is more of a mosaic between rainforest and savannah already due to the longer dry season.

    I'm glad I got to see, and travel extensively through the Amazon, including several amazing boat trips along the Amazon itself, and many of its tributaries; also in the seasonally flooded Várzea forest near Iquitos were we saw Amazon River Dolphin! I can tell you there are many dedicated locals trying to save what they have, but you know... money talks, so a lot of it won 't be here when I'm in my dotage.
     
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  8. Rylo Ken

    Rylo Ken Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Dec 19, 2015
  9. mnjedi

    mnjedi Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 4, 2012
    More nuclear reactors. Nah, just kidding, probably more carbon.

    In all seriousness though, I know there is major NIMBYism (and environmental concerns about the waste) with nuclear power. But currently I believe any viable plan to slash carbon emissions is going to have to lean on it heavily. I’d like to see reinvestment into it start being talked about more. Particularly now that Biden has admitted we need to transition away from fossil fuels.
     
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  10. Rylo Ken

    Rylo Ken Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Dec 19, 2015
    agreed. Nuclear is terrible, but it's a legitimate potential stopgap solution for power that could bridge to a renewables future. From an emissions standpoint, it would be better if Teslas were nuclear powered cars than the largely coal-fired steam cars they are now. I'd buy a Tesla if the U.S. were largely powered by nuclear reactors.

    But only if we build new reactors. I remember when the Clinton nuclear power plant went online...in the 1980s...the second-to-last plant to open in the state. There were plans to close Clinton in 2017, but its operation was extended a decade. Keeping these things going past their planned lifespans also has risks.
     
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  11. Lordban

    Lordban Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Nov 9, 2000
    The problem being that at this point, nuclear power is also the only reliable energy source that can be used to replace fossil fuel energy in the foreseeable future on the scale required. But it's a long and expensive prospect - it takes half a decade to build a nuclear power plant from scratch when all goes well, not to mention that while once running, the exploitation costs are remarkably low, building the plant is bloody expensive (construction costs are approximately twice as much as the entire cost of running, fueling, treating the waste and dismantling the plant once built across the four decades or so it is exploited).
     
  12. blackmyron

    blackmyron Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Ah, but there are new versions, such as the molten salt reactor - better on a number of levels that the traditional nuclear reactor. The US had the option to institute these, but preferred to concentrate on reactors that could also generate fissile material for nuclear weapons.
    The goal, of course, would be a fusion reactor, but as the joke goes - "Fusion power is only a decade away, just like it was 20 years ago'.
     
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  13. Lordban

    Lordban Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Nov 9, 2000
    :p

    We're looking at five more years until a first experiment with plasma (before adjusting for construction delays dued to COVID-19...) However, assuming the ITER project ends up being fruitful (it won't actually attempt a full energy production chain experiment until 2035, and then only for 400 seconds at most), and assuming the energy industry plays ball and invests at that point, we might have a demonstration fusion reactor capable of integration into an energy production network by 2055 or so....
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2020
  14. Rylo Ken

    Rylo Ken Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Dec 19, 2015
    Definitely two things I won't see in my lifetime and you probably won't see in yours: a manned mission to Mars and viable commercial fusion power.
     
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  15. Lordban

    Lordban Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Nov 9, 2000
    I'm 40, I certainly don't expect to see either :p
     
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  16. blackmyron

    blackmyron Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Maybe it's time to revisit Pons and Fleischmann's groundbreaking and not-at-all fraudulent bad science and concentrate on room-temperature cold fusion. :p
     
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  17. Alpha-Red

    Alpha-Red Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Apr 25, 2004
    I've been hearing different things about nuclear. Supposedly it's a necessary stopgap, and that it could be fairly cheap if America were to use a standardized power plant design the way France does. On the other hand, I've heard arguments made that renewable energy has made enough progress that maybe we don't need nuclear as a stopgap after all?
     
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  18. Lordban

    Lordban Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Nov 9, 2000
    We do need nuclear energy for some time if we're going to rapidly phase out fossil fuels, because renewables aren't reliable enough, and current storage technology insufficient to compensate. Running an energy grid is about balancing production with consumption at all times, it depends on reliable sources and the capacity for constant, rapid adjustments.

    Hydroelectric power is by far the more reliable in that respect, but we've pushed it quite far already. Tidal plants are predictable, but with high variance (they run, on average, at slightly over a quarter of their max capacity). Geothermal power is rather stable, and an interesting answer in some regions - but not all, as it is context-dependent - and probably the best current avenue of development for renewables for stable production. It's also the one that pollutes the most out of them. Both solar and wind power suffer from being "fatalistic" energy sources - ie. their output is never entirely predictable; this makes them too unreliable to get past a certain threshold in the energy mix (it's not a fixed number). And solar energy, of course, also suffers from its highly seasonal and near-0% night-time capacity usage.

    Of course, taking half a century or so to phase fossil fuels out alleviates the need for further nuclear plant construction, but closing and not replacing nuclear plants on a significant scale, as evidenced by Germany, results in the short term in added reliance on fossil fuel plants, because renewables can't catch up that fast yet.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2020
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  19. Jedi Knight Fett

    Jedi Knight Fett PT Interview Host/All-Around Good Guy star 10 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2014
    At last America will rejoin the climate agreement not that it will do anything
     
  20. Darth Guy

    Darth Guy Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Yes, because it's completely without enforcement mechanisms thanks in large part to the Obama administration's lobbying.
     
  21. Jedi Knight Fett

    Jedi Knight Fett PT Interview Host/All-Around Good Guy star 10 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2014
    How would the UN have originally done it? Also let’s say they added an enforceable clause or what have you. No way they would have gotten the US or China on board
     
  22. Darth Guy

    Darth Guy Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Aug 16, 2002
    The U.S. and the Persian Gulf states were the main hurdles, IIRC.
     
  23. Jedi Knight Fett

    Jedi Knight Fett PT Interview Host/All-Around Good Guy star 10 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2014
    I’ll look into it. Ironically I just wrote a paper that heavily cited the agreement today
     
  24. VadersLaMent

    VadersLaMent Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Apr 3, 2002
    Tasmania

    The Tasmania government has declared that it has become the first Australian state, and one of just a handful of jurisdictions worldwide, to be powered entirely by renewable electricity.

    In a statement released on Friday, Tasmanian energy minister Guy Barnett said that state had effectively become entirely self-sufficient for supplies of renewable electricity, supplied by the state’s wind and hydroelectricity projects.
     
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  25. Ghost

    Ghost Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Oct 13, 2003
    Mixing a type of seaweed into cows' diets reduces their methane "emissions" between 80% and 98%:

    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/climate-change-seaweed-methane-cows_n_5fdbcbe9c5b6094c0ff08393

     
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