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XKCD on Climate Change

  1. Jan 17, 2017 #1

    jedishrfu

    Staff: Mentor

    XKCD made a really cool Climate Change timeline:

    https://xkcd.com/1732/

    which shows the effect humanity has had on it vs history.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 14, 2017 #2

    jedishrfu

    Staff: Mentor

    No one is interested in climate change since the singularity happened.
     
  4. Feb 14, 2017 #3
    Nice comic. The scale of time is a really difficult thing for humans grasp.
     
  5. Feb 14, 2017 #4

    jedishrfu

    Staff: Mentor

    Especially the new administration but I digress,
     
  6. Feb 14, 2017 #5
    Cool timeline. Scary comic. Lets continue whith netmeeting as a start.
     
  7. Feb 14, 2017 #6
    Interesting chart. The book by Randall Munroe is great also: https://whatif.xkcd.com/book/#thebook

    I have a question about this. It seems odd to me that something like a 3 C shift would be so traumatic. I looked here:

    http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/a0762183.html

    and two adjacent cities in the list have a > 6F delta average in each season:

    City Average monthly temperature (°F)
    Jan. April July Oct.


    Asheville, N.C. 35.8 54.1 73.0 55.2
    Atlanta, Ga. 42.7 61.6 80.0 62.8

    So while Atlanta is certainly hotter ( Hot'Lanta) than Asheville, neither is uninhabitable or traumatically different.I might call Atlanta a relatively hot climate, and Asheville a relatively mild climate. But neither is so extreme.

    Yes, there is sea level rise, and other effects, but is a 3 C rise so awful? I'm not trying to 'argue' climate change, I am just curious about this specifically.
     
  8. Feb 14, 2017 #7

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    If we're going to actually discuss CC, we have to abide by the rules.
     
  9. Feb 14, 2017 #8
    OK, thanks. I'm not sure what rules apply specifically. Were you addressing my post, or the thread itself?
     
  10. Feb 14, 2017 #9

    Evo

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    Staff: Mentor

  11. Feb 15, 2017 #10

    DrClaude

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    From the IPCC:
     
  12. Feb 15, 2017 #11

    russ_watters

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    Staff: Mentor

    "Awful" is a value judgement and a matter of opinion.
     
  13. Feb 15, 2017 #12
    Ok, thanks. Ahhh, that pinned topic wasn't obvious to me, as I came here from the "New Posts" page - that takes me directly to the thread, and and the pinned posts are not visible unless you back up to that sub-forum listing.

    I understand the 'hot button' nature of the topic, and I'm not interested in going there. I will try to word my posts carefully to avoid even the perception of approaching that line. Wish me luck! :)
     
  14. Feb 15, 2017 #13
    OK, you are right. This isn't easy! :)

    So let me try this way - It seems that a temperature shift of ~ 3C would result in Asheville, NC having temperatures similar to what Atlanta, GA has today. Atlanta is a thriving city, and while they use a lot of A/C, life goes on each and every day, and I assume that Asheville would adapt over the time frame that is being estimated.

    I can understand a much higher level of problems for those in/near very hot climates now. Some of those places are barely inhabitable now, so even a seemingly small shift in a fragile eco-system could push things past a breaking point.

    I haven't looked at the IPCC reports in any detail for a few years now. I may try to do some digging again to better understand how they adjust for any positive, offsetting effects (longer growing seasons in cold regions, etc). But I guess that is separate from my earlier post, wondering if these changes are really so extreme for people in fairly moderate climates.
     
  15. Feb 15, 2017 #14

    jedishrfu

    Staff: Mentor

    or "Reap the Whirlwind" from the movie "The Rock" thought it made sense to add a little weather humor.
     
  16. Feb 16, 2017 #15

    mfb

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    2016 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    @NTL2009: The main problem is not the temperature itself (a bit more AC does the job), the problem is the associated change in the weather.
    http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v3/n9/full/nclimate1911.html (in most regions), more droughts, more wildfires, ...
    Most habitats shift a bit north (south in the southern hemisphere), which is not that problematic on its own, but it can make ecosystems less stable if the change happens too rapidly, and some ecosystems will stop existing because they cannot shift (limited to an island/river/...).
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2017
  17. Feb 16, 2017 #16

    mheslep

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    Gold Member

    Yes, that's the theory per the models, but so far, per IPCC AR5:

     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2017
  18. Feb 16, 2017 #17

    BillTre

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    Science Advisor

    There are several things that concern me about climate change:

    1) Species loss: some species will be able to move (or their offspring will) fast enough to keep from going extinct, but some won't; those that are on isolated mountains, for example, will only be able to go up to reach areas matching their temperature range. When they reach the top, they will run out of options. Species in the arctic can't move farther north. Things like polar bears and the nalwhal might well go extinct.

    2) Ocean acidification: as there is more CO2 in the atmosphere, more of it will dissolve in the oceans and make them more acidic. This raises a lot of concern about pteropods in the ocean whose shell can be dissolved by these pH changes. Pteropods are at the base of the food pyramid for a lot of marine fish. Perhaps, if they died out, they might be replaced by some other zooplankton, but that is not now known, and if they were not replaced, ocean fisheries could well be decimated. pH changes such as these could affect other ocean organisms with calcium carbonate shells.

    3) Ecosystem disruption in general due to loss of species. Species are now being lost a high rates (not all directly due to climate change, but to other human interventions like habitat destruction and spreading of diseases), similar to or exceeding rates seem in geology during major species extinctions. As species are lost, ecosystems become less stable and less productive.
     
  19. Feb 16, 2017 #18

    jedishrfu

    Staff: Mentor

  20. Feb 22, 2017 #19
    Thank you XKCD for the fun Climate Change timeline.

    "No one is interested in climate change since the singularity happened."
    This sounds so interesting. What on earth does it mean?


    @NTL2009

    I suggest observing averaged temp anomalies at:

    http://cci-reanalyzer.org/wx/DailySummary/#T2_anom

    and then observing the associated local temps at your weather website

    (+0.5 average over 1979-2000 baseline may correlate with +5.0 local swing)
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2017
  21. Feb 22, 2017 #20
    Interesting chart - but am I reading it correctly? It looks like it is displaying today's temperature versus average? If so, that is interesting, but isn't it more like "weather" than "climate"?
     
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