Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Study Predicts Imminent Irreversible Planetary Collapse

 I have a great deal more confidence in the Earth's resilience than demonstrated by this group of alarmists.

First, no one can explain why the Ice Age existed at all unless they come to grips with the reality of the Pleistocene nonconformity as espoused by the work published in this blog in particular. Then once you are past that little detail, what is obvious is that the end result the Holocene is profoundly stable and quite able to handle all comers.

The big fix needed is the reforesting of the Sahara and the middle East. This is completely doable. It would have the benefit of returning the global climate back to superior conditions enjoyed during the first five thousand years the Holocene.

After all that, we are slowly cleaning up our own back yard pretty well and steadily getting smarter about husbandry generally. Bio-char will be the biggest fix of all as it will eliminate artificial fertilizer.

Humanity has caused a lot of local damage in many locales, but all such damage can be reclaimed by nature sooner or later and in most instances it is much sooner than appears likely. And because we have become richer, we are simply helping out a lot more.

by Staff Writers

Burnaby, Canada (SPX) Jun 11, 2012

Using scientific theories, toy ecosystem modeling and paleontological evidence as a crystal ball, 18 scientists, including one from Simon Fraser University, predict we're on a much worse collision course with Mother Nature than currently thought. In Approaching a state-shift in Earth's biosphere, a paper just published in Nature, the authors, whose expertise span a multitude of disciplines, suggest our planet'secosystems are careening towards an imminent, irreversible collapse.

Earth's accelerating loss of biodiversity, its climates' increasingly extreme fluctuations, its ecosystems' growing connectedness and its radically changing total energy budget are precursors to reaching a planetary state threshold or tipping point.

Once that happens, which the authors predict could be reached this century, the planet's ecosystems, as we know them, could irreversibly collapse in the proverbial blink of an eye.

"The last tipping point in Earth's history occurred about 12,000 years ago when the planet went from being in the age of glaciers, which previously lasted 100,000 years, to being in its current interglacial state. Once that tipping point was reached, the most extreme biological changes leading to our current state occurred within only 1,000 years. That's like going from a baby to an adult state in less than a year," explains Arne Mooers. "Importantly, the planet is changing even faster now."

The SFU professor of biodiversity is one of this paper's authors. He stresses, "The odds are very high that the next global state change will be extremely disruptive to our civilizations. Remember, we went from being hunter-gathers to being moon-walkers during one of the most stable and benign periods in all of Earth's history.

"Once a threshold-induced planetary state shift occurs, there's no going back. So, if a system switches to a new state because you've added lots of energy, even if you take out the new energy, it won't revert back to the old system. The planet doesn't have any memory of the old state."

These projections contradict the popularly held belief that the extent to which human-induced pressures, such as climate change, are destroying our planet is still debatable, and any collapse would be both gradual and centuries away.

This study concludes we better not exceed the 50 per cent mark of wholesale transformation of Earth's surface or we won't be able to delay, never mind avert, a planetary collapse.

We've already reached the 43 per cent mark through our conversion of landscapes into agricultural and urban areas, making Earth increasingly susceptible to an environmental epidemic.

"In a nutshell, humans have not done anything really important to stave off the worst because the social structures for doing something just aren't there," says Mooers. "My colleagues who study climate-induced changes through the earth's history are more than pretty worried. In fact, some are terrified."

Study predicts imminent irreversible planetary collapse

Coming from Chile, Canada, Finland, the United Kingdom, Spain and the United States, the authors of this paper initially met at the University of California Berkeley in 2010 to hold a trans-disciplinary brainstorming session.

They reviewed scores of theoretical and conceptual bodies of work in various biological disciplines in search of new ways to cope with the historically unprecedented changes now occurring on Earth.
In the process they discovered that:

Human-generated pressures, known as global-scale forcing mechanisms, are modifying Earth's atmosphere, oceans and climate so rapidly that they are likely forcing ecosystems and biodiversity to reach a critical threshold of existence in our lifetime.

"Global-scale forcing mechanisms today "include unprecedented rates and magnitudes of human population growth with attendant resource consumption, habitat transformation and fragmentation, energy production and consumption, and climate change," says the study.

Human activity drives today's global-scale forcing mechanisms more than ever before. As a result, the rate of climate change we are seeing now exceeds the rate that occurred during the extreme planetary state change that tipped Earth from being in a glacial to an interglacial state 12,000 years ago. You have to go back to the end of the cataclysmic falling star, which ended the age of dinosaurs, to find a previous precedent.

The exponentially increasing extinction of Earth's current species, dominance of previously rare life forms and occurrence of extreme climate fluctuations parallel critical transitions that coincided with the last major planetary transition.

When these sorts of perturbations are mirrored in toy ecosystem models, they tip these systems quickly and irreversibly.

The authors recommend governments undertake five actions immediately if we are to have any hope of delaying or minimizing a planetary-state-shift. Arne Mooers, an SFU biodiversity professor and a co-author of this study, summarizes them as follows.

"Society globally has to collectively decide that we need to drastically lower our population very quickly. More of us need to move to optimal areas at higher density and let parts of the planet recover. Folks like us have to be forced to be materially poorer, at least in the short term. We also need to invest a lot more in creating technologies to produce and distribute food without eating up more land and wild species. It's a very tall order."


Anonymous said...

I maintain The Creator is to restore earths climate to a state before, where things grow bigger and better and live much longer...this is exactely what you have said in your first two sentences...to me at least...cool stuff

Anonymous said...

It appears to me that this 'scientific' POV is consistent with what the world elites want, namely to reduce the human population to about 500 million. To me, this is bull crap, but then again, I'm not one of the gifted elites who claim to be smarter than everyone else.

Supporting the idea of letting people live where they want to, and preventing huge amounts of genocide from happening, how about we just release all of the thousands of 'secret' patents being stockpiled by governments and private entities to the detriment of mankind. Let man grow during the next 100 years.

Don Duncan said...

This finding supports collectivism, e.g., worldwide control of everyone for survival of the species. It denigrates the individual and calls for sacrifice of some for the benefit of the rest.

Fortunately, no such conflict of interest exists. The common good is best served by the protection of the individual because the group does not have collective consciousness. It creates nothing. It is an abstraction. It is just the collection of individuals, therefore, sacrifice of the individual is sacrifice of the group. All rights are individual in nature, and group rights are a fiction invented to rationalize the violation of some for the benefit of an elite. However, the elite's benefits are short lived and in the long run we all lose when power is concentrated in the hands of a few. Our species has existed with this tug-of-war between right and might at the expense of civilization and technology. Technology has been used for destruction (war) more than prosperity thanks to the institutionalization of brute force we call government. When the myth that government is protective or desirable is abolished from the mind of mankind we will have universal freedom for the first time along with peace and prosperity. Until then our existence is doubtful.