Weathering Climate Change
Part I Confusing News
Ch 1 Popular Opinion on Climate Change
p18 Gallup poll on climate change: "I personally worry about the problem a great deal."
1989 35% 1998 24% 2017 45%
Comments on Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth"
p 19-20 Summarizes the Gore and IPCC alternatives: accept consequences or reduce human population and fossil fuel use
p20 "How unsurprising that the political divide on global warming and climate change is wide in the United States and barely perceptible in the poorer nations of the world. Americans realize they have the most to lose, from an economic and lifestyle standpoint, and hold valid reasons for concern about the capacity or willingness of other nations to enforce measures designed to limit greenhouse gases."
p20-21 The "climategate" incident - hacker in UK, documents, investigated by 8 panels, affirmed by AAAS, AMS, UCS, but still suspicion.
Ch 2 What Current Data Says about Climate Change
p24 Plot of temperature 1880-2020 based on NOAA data Figure 2.1,
p23 Figure 2.2 11yr average temperature plot relative to 20th century average
p26 Figure 2.3 10 year averages of lower troposphere
p27 Fig 2.4 Global mean temperature for last 2000 years. The current increase is dramatic even compared to the Medieval Warm Period. It is notable that the mean temperature has stayed within +/- 0.5 degrees with respect to the long term mean, but swings to -1°C compared to the 20th century mean. Or, said another way, the 20th century mean is about 0.5°C above the long term average over 2000 years. Then that makes the current rapid increase more alarming since it rises sharply above the 20th century mean.
p27 "Climatologists have found that an increase in volcanic activity coupled with a decrease in solar radiation contributed most significantly to the LIA." (Little Ice Age) "The reverse - a decline in volcanic activity and an increase in solar activity - most likely were the primary stimuli that gave rise to the MWP." (Medieval Warm Period).
p28 "None of these changes have occurred in the past few decades, leaving increased atmospheric greenhouse gases and carbon soot deposition as the predominant contenders for the primary causes for current global warming."
p30 Fig 2.6 CO2 1700-present
p32 CFCs and HFCs
p32 Table 2: Comparison of GWP relative to CO2 for 5 agents.
p33 Fig 2.8 CFC-11
p34 Fig 2.9 HFC
p35 Fig 2.10 Methane
p36 Fig 2.11 N2O
p37 Mineral dust and Black Carbon Soot
Ch 3 Warming Projections
p39 Current rise in global mean 0.8°C. IPCC 2017 "likely to reach 1.5°C between 2030 and 2052", but the 2052 assumes major mitigation efforts.
p40 Global Warming Causes
p40 fossil fuels, rice cultivation, feretilizers, animals, biomass burning, landfills in the list of offenders.
p41 Global Warming Consequences
p42 Mitigation options
p43 Sunshields proposed
p43 Adaptation Options
p44-45 Accept the consequences
Ch 4 A Response to the Current Data
p47 Discusses law of unintended consequences
p48 6 criteria to minimize unwanted consequences
p50 Win-Win Solutions
Part 2 Surprising News
Ch 5 Our Unique Climate Epoch
p58 Fig 5.1 Global Mean Temperature Variations prior to 10,000 years ago. Peak-to-peak variation about 10°C
p59 Fig 5.2 Global Mean Temperature Variations for past 11,300 years. Peak-to-peak variation about 1.2°C
p60 Discussion of temperature proxies used to imply temperatures in distant past. No more than 0.65°C over the past 9500 years.
p61 Evidence of agriculture 23,000 yrs on Sea of Galilee, 32,600 years Italy, 14,400 years Jordan, some even in last ice age extending to 12,000 years. But hostile to agriculture, particularly large scale agriculture which apparently did not begin until about 9100 years ago.
Ch 6 The Importance of Ice
p65 About half of the annual precipitation occurs on the 12 wettest days of the year. Without the steady supply of fresh water tributaries that ultimately come from ice melt, it would be difficult to maintain a fresh water supply.
p66 The high heat of fusion of ice means that it melts slowly and that helps to extend the fresh flowing water supply through the year.
p66 Discussion of expansion of water upon freezing and its contribution to soil formation.
p67 Box on Silicate Weathering, includes chemical formuli by which it removes CO2
p67 Natural recycling - describes maximum density point for water at 3.98 °C which takes the water down before freezing, then back up to surface. Works against stagnation of water bodies.
p68 Glacier Distribution and Delivery System
p68 Rarity of Ice
p69 Table 6: Ice Ages and Slushball Events. A large table of the "Ice Events" over past 2.9 billion years. The Quaternary Ice Age Cycle is the key one for topics of this book.
p70 Figure 6 Epochs of ice coverage.
p70 Distribution of Ice
Reflects on the rarity and fine-tuning and inserts the Freeman Dyson quote.
Ch 7 Why an Ice Age Cycle
p73 "The present ice epoch has persisted for only the last 2.58 million years." Enters a discussion of the Milankovitch cycles of the Earth's orbit which contribute to cyclic behavior.
Ch 8 Ice Age Cycle Benefits
p81 The ice age cycle is important to human flourishing. By 2018, cataloged 1.7 million distinct species. Why so many? Plate tectonics and the 100,000 year ice cycle.
p82-85 Beavers as a keystone species. Discusses their benefits to life in North America
p86 Extraordinary water supply
p87 Extraordinary harbors
p87 Extraordinary landscape
p90 Long, stable, cool pause
p90 Nutrient replenishment
p92 Ore concentration and exposure
p92 Global colonization
p93 With exception of a stable era 400,000 years ago, the current interglacial period is the longest in the 2.58 million year era of ice age cycling.
Ch 9 Optimizing Earth's Hydrosphere and Atmosphere
p95 "Neither the icenor the ice age cycle would exist if it were not forEarth's precise fine-tuned hydrosphere (surface liquid water) and atmosphere."
p99 Just right water distribution
p102 Just right salinity. Na 20x galactic average
p104 Just right Atmosphere Reduction
p105 Cloud and haze reduction
Remarkable oxygenation blip at 2.2 Gyr, rise at 4Gy, Figure 9.2
Ch 10 Earth's Exceptional Orbital Properties
p109 Milankovitch cycles as driver of ice cycles. Cites Waltham - anthropic implications are probability 10-5 for Earth's low Milankovitch. Counter to Gaia, serves as precondition for complex biosphere.
p111 4063 exoplanets as of February 1, 2019
Ch 11 Earth's Unique Solar History
p117 Discussion of the search for solar twins 4 stars very similar, but exceed the Sun's lithium content by 3-6x. High Li stars have more frequent and deadly radiation bursts.
p118 Table II 4 near twins and data
p118 HIP 56948, closest twin as of 2019, very similar, 26% older, age leads to more flaring.
p119 Fig 11.1 Sun's flaring history graph
p121 Have found no real solar twins after 60+ years.
p121 Sun's just right age - about half total expectancy
p121 Sun's luminosity very stable 50000 uears, 0.005% of 9 billion age.
p121 Sudbury Neutrino Observatory reports 50000 yr extremely stable, likely continue another 50K
p122 Mentions Carrington event - magnitude of solar flares, discusses flaring
p124 Review of solar flare risk
p125 1989 flare took out power for 6 million people for 9 hours - Canada responded by installing blocking capacitor for some flare protection.
Ch 12 How the Ice Age Cycle Began
p129 The Sun shines more brightly now than at any time in the 3.8 Gy of life on Earth. 18-23% brighter. The Earth was ice-free for 90% of history, but 10-23% of Earth's surface continually covered with ice for past 2.58 My.
p130 Figure 12.1 plot of Sun's luminosity history. Need a plot like this in hyphys
p130-131 First evidence in 1981 of the Eltanin collider.
p132 The Earth's global climate radically changed with the onset of the Quaternary ice age cycle. Reference Table 6 p69. UNSW researchers modeled tsunamis from impact event and found tsunami evidence Antarctica, Chile, Australia, New Zealand. Computer models from this study implied
p133 Basically concludes that the impact initiated the ice-age cycle.
p133 Also contributing to the ice-age cycle were the movements of five tectonic plates.
p138-140 Narrative of the relative movements and how they contributed to cooling and the ice age cycle
p140 Summary - Mystery Unraveled
Ch 13 A Crucial Transition
p143 At 800,000 years, a dramatic shift called the Mid-Pleistocene Transition (MPT)
p144-145 Complex combinations of cycles make it hard to pin down
p145 Consensus was that a global cooling event played the crucial role. List of candidate effectors.
p147 Marvel of the MPT
Ch 14 The Marvel of Climate Stability
p149 "To grasp and appreciate the wonder of our current 9,500-year era of extreme climate stability, we need perspective. The word extreme seems appropriate since temperature proxies at sites all over the world show twice the unprecedented steadiness scientists had previously noted. Over the last 9,500 year, the global mean temperature has varied by no more than +/-0.65°C."
p149 Review of all the cycles
p150 Fig 14.1 Antarctic for 4 ice age cycles
p151 Fig 14.2 Younger Dryas event
p152 Younger Dryas event caused almost complete shutdown of the Gulf Stream portion of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC).
p153 Evidence of impact event 12,900yrs, maybe explosion in midair. Large rush of cold water fresh water into North Atlantic. Magnetic grains containing iridium, magnetic microspherules, charcoal, soot, glass-like carbon containing nanodiamonds, fullerenes with extraterrestrial helium.
p153 Three lines of evidence
p154 Debate about large impactor
p155 Nov 14, 2018, Science Advances. Found impact crater in NW Greenland
p156-157 Dating the Hiawatha Impact. 8 lines of evidence point to correspondence with the Younger Dryas cooling.
p159 Discussion of how the Younger Dryas event halted the ice age cycle to give a constant period.
p159-160 Reflection on the effect on human and animal life and the development of civilization.
p160-161 Reflection on the growth of human population and technology and its role in keeping temperature stable, i.e., human activities that partially countered what would have been a cooling period.
Ch 15 Gifts for the Human Soul
p163- A soliloquey to the beauty that the last ice age and the 9800 year period have brought us.
Ch 16 Aligned Habitability Windows
p167 "The recognition that this temperature stability window may be narrow creates a sense of urgency. ..the window of extreme climate stability within a livable temperature range must overlap with several other narrow time windows, many of which may seem unrelated. Yet each is critical to our global, culturally and technologically advanced existence."
Part 3: Essential News
Ch 17 Narrow Habitability Windows
p181 "I often meet people who think the climatic and other physical conditions we enjoy today arae roughly the same as they have always been, or at least almost always. This illusion keeps most of us from grasping what a phenomenal gift humanity has received in the host of resources, including climate conditions, that allow not only for our existence but also for the daily maintenance and growth of the societies we have built."
Few have any idea how closely this development links with the unprecedented stability of our climate over the past 9500 years, an era during which the global mean temperature has varied no more than +/- 0.65°C. Nor do we imagine how wondrous the coincidence that this perfect climate era matches up with every other resource our existence and civilization require - including freedom from any of several possible and potentially catastrophic astronomical and terrestrial events."
Hostile conditions are the norm for the cosmos and Earth. The past 9500 years appear to be the one improbable exception. How long can this delicate and complex convergence of just-right conditions possibly endure?"
p181 Random Interruptions --random flares, nearby supernovae, gamma-ray bursts,large asteroid or comet collisions, supervolcanic erruptions.
p183 Non-random Interruptions
p185 More Pressing Concerns
p185 Social Phenomena
Ch 18 The Coming Big Chill
p187 Ice Age Cycle Limits
p188 Global Warming Brings on Global Cooling
p191 A Matter of Time
Ch 19 Facing the Inevitable
Ch 20 Prolonging Climate Stability
p199 Past Warming Influences
Raising cattle, rice farming and transformation of forest land into agriculture kept the temperature from going down.
p200 Proposals for prolonging climate stability and enhancing economic wellbeing. Minimize internal combustion engines, fossil fuel electric generation, factories fueled by fossil fuel, and reduction of consumption of meat.
p201 Geoengineering Ideas
p205 Wise Management of Life Resources
p214 Management of Current Technology
p216 The Point of Prolonging Stability
Part 4: Good News
Ch 21 Significance of Our Time and Place
p221 Consider 9.2 billion years of exquisite fine-tuning, 4.57 years of creating the Earth, providing an exacting preparation leading to the 9500 years which allowed humanity to grow and flourish.
p221 Big Questions
p222 For Such a Time and Place
p223 Spiritual Laws
p223 How Long Will It Take
224 The Ultimate Purpose of Extreme Climate Stability
Ch 22 Our Ultimate Home - and Hope
p225 Discusses briefly the heat death of the universe as one thing that precludes an eternal Earth. Also discusses the "big rip", the presumption that the dark energy acceleration of the universe's expansion will eventually tear everything apart.
225 Two Creations, One Good Reason
226 Final Thoughts
Appendix: Explanations for the Mid-Pleistocene Transition
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