Saturday, October 12, 2013
Transition to "Hell World" - By 2047
A family huddles under a bridge in Tasmania to escape a firestorm in 2012. By 2047 a new report discloses such scenes may be commonplace.
Now we know what the world of 2047 will likely look like: A planetary hell. According to a new study published in Nature, climate-change will “lock” into place by the year 2047 (plus or minus 14 years, when the uncertainty is factored in). Once that happens, every year after 2047 will be hotter than even the current hottest year on record. Go back to 2003, when 70,000 died across Europe from a heat wave - then expand the numbers by a factor of ten, as you expand the duration of the heat waves to months as opposed to weeks, and you have an idea what those alive in 34 years will be facing. Who will they be? Your kids? Your grandkids? Let them take a look at the photo shown to give them a heads up of what awaits.
This is no jive, by 2047, the study concludes, our current record temperatures will become the new normal temperatures. Of course, since the planet has differing temperature regions, latitudes etc. the emergence of the new heat world will not be uniform. That means the arrival of "Hell year" will differ depending on location. The Nature study estimates that Singapore, for example, will reach its temperature point-of-no-return as soon as 2028. Cairo, they say, could start to see a “lock-in” of global warming in 2036, 11 years before the global “H-hour” of 2047.
According to Chris Field, one of the scientists who worked on the project, "One can think of this year  as a kind of threshold into a hot new world from which one never goes back.”
The reason Field and his co-workers were able to make these specific calculations is quite simple: and scary: humans are expected to keep burning fossil fuels and pumping C02 into the atmosphere at a rapid rate well into the coming decades.
We are basically too damned lazy, unimaginative and cheap to invest in alternative energy or cut back our addiction to fossil fuels, so we will pay the price.
Living in Fairbanks, AK or Helsinki, Finland? Don't feel smug! Even you will be boiling by then, as temperatures regularize globally and the first 'year of no seasons" will have arrived - likely 8- 15 years earlier. Recall in previous blog posts, I referenced David Suzuki's forecast in his book, 'It's A Matter of Survival', (Harvard Univ. Press, 1991) co-authored with Anita Gordon, that 2040 is the first year of no seasons. However, if global warming is accelerating with much higher CO2 concentrations added each year, (translating to higher solar insolation by about 2 W/m^2 per year) then that date can arrive as early as 2025, if not sooner.
What it will mean is that an essential thermal equilibrium will be reached in our planetary atmosphere. So effectively, no more winters, summers or even intermediate (spring, fall) seasons anywhere. That will also mark the emergence of much higher mean global temperatures, probably as high as 60-65F. Locally, we can expect to see highs of 115F- 120F and covering much larger areas for much longer (heat 'waves' will be more like heat seasons, lasting months.) Relatively cooler breaks, say with highs of 85-90, and lows of 80-85, will likely appear in what used to be northern winters.
With the much more consistent high temperatures, pests of all types will proliferate, so we can expect to see more worm -parasite infestations for example, as well as increased spread of the mountain pine beetle in the West, and dengue fever throughout the nation- rivaling what we have now with West Nile Fever. Cholera, c. diff. and amoebic dysentery will also not be unheard of as our water resources continue to be used up and polluted, i.e. by fracking. Even salt water pools in marshlands will be infested, likely by brain-eating amoebas. All in all, it will be a world that few will enjoy living in, other than the very rich - who, unlike the rest of us- will be able to afford their own off the grid power stations, so won't be rendered too uncomfortable when the main grids crash from over use.
If anyone thinks the planet is screwed up now, wait until you see the “new normal” arrive in 2047. Savage storms, deadly droughts, cholera and dengue fever epidemics in the American South, torrential flooding – all of these disasters will both be more common and more powerful than they are right now. Millions of refugees will also have to flee from rising sea levels and governments around the world will have to find a way to both pay for their own displaced populations as well as the damage caused by an increasingly violent climate.
Meanwhile, the perpetually undisturbed zombies in our midst - many ensconced in the corporate media - continue to release the meme that humans are "adaptable" and they can adjust to the new normal. I don't know what brand of weed or new forms of 'E' these nincompoops are ingesting, but their brains have definitely jumped the tracks. There is no way any human, unless he's mostly cyborg with synthetic organs, will survive very long in the new normal hot world. The runaway greenhouse which 2047 marks the onset of, defines the limits of human (or any organism's) adaptation. Think of trying to live on a planet - which merely 100 years later- will likely have ambient air temperatures of 170- 200F and bear in mind 212F is the boiling point of water.
Live until 100 or 120 like the pie-eyed longevity morons have postulated? You have got to be kidding! Fortunately, I won't be around to see 'hell world'.