Climate crisis: Scientists spot warning signs of Gulf Stream collapse

Eric

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This is scary and the signs are showing that it's likely already happening.


The complexity of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) system and uncertainty over levels of future global heating make it impossible to forecast the date of any collapse for now. It could be within a decade or two, or several centuries away. But the colossal impact it would have means it must never be allowed to happen, the scientists said.

“The signs of destabilisation being visible already is something that I wouldn’t have expected and that I find scary,” said Niklas Boers, from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany, who did the research. “It’s something you just can’t [allow to] happen.”
 

Pumbaa

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The solutions to this are more guns and billionaires in space. There, I solved it.
I would have suggested sharks with frickin' laser beams attached to their heads to keep the Gulf Stream running, but I guess more guns in space would work equally well.

On a more serious note, I will be extremely pissed if we lose the stream. 😭
 

SuperMatt

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Climate facts of the day:

America will spend $670 million to research nuclear fusion this year.
America will spend $650 billion on fossil fuel subsidies this year.

Imagine if we flipped that.

 

Yoused

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America will spend $650 billion on fossil fuel subsidies this year.
We need to say “we can no longer afford the subsidies and so will be forced to nationalize the energy industry in order to raise funds to expedite the electrification of the country's personal transportation infrastructure.

If the Gulf Stream stalls, though, Europe will freeze solid and that will mitigate global warming. A little, at least.
 

Huntn

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Climate facts of the day:

America will spend $670 million to research nuclear fusion this year.
America will spend $650 billion on fossil fuel subsidies this year.

Imagine if we flipped that.

When will the numbskulls figure out that subsidizing fossil fuels is not helping us? Oh sure they can’t see beyind low cost gas, while we devour the planet. There is something to be said for education and an effective government. But in the big picture, this is the danger of democracy when the majority make bad choices, then we step on rakes, forget to duck, collectively suck. But then the argument is we are not smart enough to duck when planet Earth is on the line, we’re gonna take it in the face, but I got some cheap gas!!! . :unsure:
 

Huntn

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We need to say “we can no longer afford the subsidies and so will be forced to nationalize the energy industry in order to raise funds to expedite the electrification of the country's personal transportation infrastructure.

If the Gulf Stream stalls, though, Europe will freeze solid and that will mitigate global warming. A little, at least.
I‘ll feel bad for the UK, they are at the same latitude as Minneapolis.
 

Yoused

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I‘ll feel bad for the UK, they are at the same latitude as Minneapolis.
Umm, no? Penzance, at the south-western tip of the island of Britain is at about 50°N – the US/Canadian Border, from Warroad Minnesota to Pt Roberts WA is at 49°N. Minneapolis is about 45°N, which is a few miles farther north than Bordeaux in southern France. The only part of the US that is anything like as far north as the UK is Alaska (Juneau, the capital, in the southern panhandle, is slightly farther south than John o' Groats on the northern tip of the Scottish mainland).
 

Huntn

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Umm, no? Penzance, at the south-western tip of the island of Britain is at about 50°N – the US/Canadian Border, from Warroad Minnesota to Pt Roberts WA is at 49°N. Minneapolis is about 45°N, which is a few miles farther north than Bordeaux in southern France. The only part of the US that is anything like as far north as the UK is Alaska (Juneau, the capital, in the southern panhandle, is slightly farther south than John o' Groats on the northern tip of the Scottish mainland).
Ok so it’s worse than I stated, they're farther North, which both supports my argument, and bodes poorly for Europe if the Gulf Stream crashes. :oops:
 

thekev

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Climate facts of the day:

America will spend $670 million to research nuclear fusion this year.
America will spend $650 billion on fossil fuel subsidies this year.

Imagine if we flipped that.


You could pull anything that resembles a fossil fuel subsidy, but I wouldn't expect you to be able to ramp nuclear funding up to that level in a short amount of time. It takes time no matter what. If grant money is available, universities and government funded labs may start hiring more aggressively and recruiting PhD candidates at a higher rate. Some of this stuff takes time no matter what though, since most research is incremental rather than orthogonal.

We need to say “we can no longer afford the subsidies and so will be forced to nationalize the energy industry in order to raise funds to expedite the electrification of the country's personal transportation infrastructure.

If the Gulf Stream stalls, though, Europe will freeze solid and that will mitigate global warming. A little, at least.

I guess the name Iceland will no longer seem ironic.
 

SuperMatt

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You could pull anything that resembles a fossil fuel subsidy, but I wouldn't expect you to be able to ramp nuclear funding up to that level in a short amount of time. It takes time no matter what. If grant money is available, universities and government funded labs may start hiring more aggressively and recruiting PhD candidates at a higher rate. Some of this stuff takes time no matter what though, since most research is incremental rather than orthogonal.
In reading the article, the researchers have to deal with a lack of funding and projects getting shut down. Yes, there is probably a point at which more spending yields diminishing returns. We are nowhere near that point. I believe no expense was spared for the Manhattan Project. Time to do the same for fusion. Some of the upcoming technologies look very close to reality, not just pie-in-the-sky stuff. Bezos’ vanity “space” flight (in quotes because he didn’t actually leave the upper atmosphere) money could have been used for fusion research instead. He’s clearly got the money to burn. But he doesn’t give a 💩 about anybody but Jeff… same for most people these days.
 

thekev

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In reading the article, the researchers have to deal with a lack of funding and projects getting shut down. Yes, there is probably a point at which more spending yields diminishing returns. We are nowhere near that point. I believe no expense was spared for the Manhattan Project. Time to do the same for fusion. Some of the upcoming technologies look very close to reality, not just pie-in-the-sky stuff. Bezos’ vanity “space” flight (in quotes because he didn’t actually leave the upper atmosphere) money could have been used for fusion research instead. He’s clearly got the money to burn. But he doesn’t give a 💩 about anybody but Jeff… same for most people these days.

I didn't say (or imply) it was a bad idea to ramp funding up in these areas. I'm guessing it would take years of ramping up to really hit those budget numbers though with meaningful research. Also Bezos is silly. He's just more sensible with what he says in public than Musk.
 

JayMysteri0

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Well, ...this is NOT comforting.

(CNN)As the rapidly heating planet alters the landscape of the Arctic region up north, scientists have discovered disturbing and alarming signs at the southern end of the planet, particularly in one of the ice shelves safeguarding the Antarctic's so-called "Doomsday glacier."

Satellite images taken as recently as last month, which researchers presented at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union Monday, suggest the critical ice shelf keeping together the Thwaites glacier in western Antarctica — an important defense against global sea level rise — could shatter within the next three to five years.

Antarctica's Thwaites glacier is known as the "Doomsday glacier," due to the serious risk it poses during its melting process. It has dumped billions of tons of ice into the sea, and its demise could lead to irreversible changes throughout the planet.

The glacier, which equals the size of Florida or Great Britain, already accounts for about 4% of annual global sea level rise, loses roughly 50 billion tons of ice each year, and is becoming highly vulnerable to the climate crisis. The fall of the ice shelf could bring the impending collapse of Antarctica's critical glacier.

If the Thwaites collapsed, the event could raise sea levels by several feet, researchers say, putting coastal communities as well as low-lying island nations further at risk.

But Ted Scambos, a glaciologist at the University of Colorado Boulder, and a leader of the International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration, said it will still be decades before the world will see real acceleration and an additional uptick in sea level rise.
"What is attention-getting about Thwaites is that the change will proceed with fairly dramatic, measurable results within the next few decades," Scambos told CNN.

For now, the glacier is being held back by a critical floating ice shelf.

"What's most concerning about the recent results is that it's pointing to a collapse of this ice shelf, this kind of safety band that holds the ice on the land," Peter Davis, oceanographer with the British Antarctic Survey, told CNN. "If we lose this ice shelf, then the glacier will flow into the ocean more quickly, contributing towards sea level rise."

Warming ocean waters play a key role in driving the rapid deterioration. A 2020 study by the International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration, which is currently leading ongoing research in the Antarctic, found the ocean floor is deeper than scientists previously thought, with deep passages allowing warm ocean water to melt the underside of the ice.

The observations show the critical ice shelf keeping the Thwaites together is loosening its grip on the underwater mountain, or the seamount, which acts as a reinforcement against the ice river from flowing into the warm ocean. Researchers also found the so-called "ice tongue" of the Thwaites Glacier is simply now a "loose cluster of icebergs," which no longer influences the stable part of the eastern ice shelf.
 

Chew Toy McCoy

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Sell you beach home while you can…

As a silver lining, I know a financially successful, poor people hating Trumper who just moved from the coastal hills of NorCal to beach front FL. I can’t think of a more karmic justice location for a likely climate change denier to move to. I think I’ll start sending him a mop for all future gift-giving occasions.
 
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