Understanding the threat of climate tipping points

An international collaboration of a couple of hundred scientists from 26 countries have put together a summary for the general public of the tipping points being approached by climate change and global warming. Five major tipping points are thought to be currently at risk, with a tipping point defined as:

Here we define a tipping point as occurring when change in part of a system becomes self-perpetuating beyond a threshold, leading to substantial, widespread, frequently abrupt and often irreversible impact

The most imminent tipping points are the melting of the Greenland ice sheet, melting of Western Antarctica, melting of permafrost, coral bleaching, and AMOC collapse.

The threat is summarized as:

Harmful tipping points in the natural world pose some of the gravest threats faced by humanity. Their triggering will severely damage our planet’s life-support systems and threaten the stability of our societies.

You can read it all here:

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Follow the money, who paid their grants?

No different from the JCs Steve rails against.

Why 200, 90, and 26? One Einstein was enough. One Tesla was enough.

The Captain

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Who, then, should pay for the grants that would make you believe the studies?

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Well-healed people with beachfront property and oil companies.

Pete

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Actually, they (Big Oil) already did, way back in the 70s and 80s. They came to the conclusion that their industry was indeed harming the climate, with potentially dire consequences. And they squashed their findings. There is a 3-part Frontline series about this that is very good.

Talk about following the money! There is an enormous amount of money interested in making people not believe in climate change.

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I’m guessing you don’t have kids. If true then I understand your position…since the pain is going to be felt by future generations, why should you be bothered.

You are kinda like the bad roommate who messes up the kitchen and won’t clean up after.

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Good question! A broader set of donors instead of central governments. Millionaires like Andrew Carnegie after amassing his fortune. Carnegie Hall, Carnegie-Mellon, public libraries. Much better than leaving the money to heirs. That might be fixed by an appropriate tax scheme.

Not easy, I’m not impressed with the Gates Foundation.

How sweet of you! :clown_face:

The Captain

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We don’t have PARC and Bell Labs any longer. Not many companies doing pure research. It tends to hurt the bottom line and the pockets of the JC’s. We’re kinda left with government funding for the better or worse.

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For worse instead of for worth! The Gov should fund Moon landings and Internets, and highway systems, those were really good. AGW is a political sham.

The Captain

Don’t think that is true. Government R&D funding as a percentage of GDP has declined by almost 70% since the 1960s. Google/Alphabet and Microsoft dwarf Bell Labs and PARC. One can nitpick as to what constitutes “pure research” but what private labs are studying with respect to stuff like genetic modification, nanoparticles, and AI isn’t much different than what is going on in university and government labs. In any case, industry dollars now dominates the US research world making up about 2/3 of R&D funding.

With respect to climate change, a lot of research is being done or funded by insurance companies. They are among the most knowledgeable with respect to understanding the probabilities of different climate outcomes. Probably explains this factoid:

“Insurers are increasingly concerned about the implications of climate risk, with 95% of executives confirming it will have a significant impact on portfolio construction over the next two years” Ninety-Five Percent of Global Insurers Believe Climate Risk is Investment Risk

That seems like an insurance consensus joining the scientific one. There is also:

“Accelerating risks and damage from climate change are spurring private insurers in the United States to limit coverage in a growing number of areas, thus imposing mounting stress on local communities and straining the country’s overall economic health.” Climate Change and U.S. Property Insurance: A Stormy Mix | Council on Foreign Relations

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Hey, if you are going to question the integrity of scientists without proof I think I can question your competence on the subject matter.

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On the Internet you can do any damn thing you want. :joy:

For me a personal attack is proof of lack of substance.

The Captain

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The NSF indicates it is even more. For 2021:

Total US   $792 billion (2012 dollars)
Business   $612

612/792 ==> 77%

DB2

As for me, as a scientist I find the urge to defend my colleagues from the slings and arrows of those who have an obvious ideological axe to grind.

Broad insinuations that smear a group could be seen as justifying a personal attack on the one doing the smearing.

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Your privilege but that does not make the science right.

Even murder! Why stop at posting?

The Captain

What proof do you have the science isn’t right? All I’ve ever heard from you is the Church lied to me, and now I think the government is lying to me, and that means the science must also be lying to me.

Big Oil knew this was a problem in the 80s and hid the findings. Over the last 20 years I’ve seen nothing but further and further evidence that global warming is real and we are causing it. The case keeps getting stronger, not weaker. So when do we act?

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So when do we act?

When people that have the same beliefs have the vote?

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Isn’t it largely a generational issue now?

More folks under 40 take climate change as a given based on science whereas more of us older folks do not since it threatens our politics, our secular religious views, and quite possibly income. “Science can’t be right about it - it’s got to be biased and/or on the take.” Besides, any real climate change will take effect after I’m gone so “what do I care” is the subtext in some cases.

Pete

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What proof do you have the science is right?

The Captain

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So the under-40s decide when you die? Sooner is better–for THEM? Hmmm… Want to rethink your logic?