Climate Change

AMOS

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The population reached 8 Billion yesterday, they say the growth through 2050 will be slower than it was during the last decade. We've gained 1 Billion since 2010. I'm giving mankind 300 years tops, and we're all done. The climate in southern India is becoming too hot to live, this will force migrations north which will further congest large cities. And their population will surpass China shortly. Africa will die out first, followed by India, southern China, South America. Where will all those people go? By 2050 we're supposed to have 9.7 Billion.
 

vilk

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Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov. The global population (which is actually 8 billion in the book) will all live in like 6 or 7 super cities that are covered by giant steel domes.
 

Glades

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The population reached 8 Billion yesterday, they say the growth through 2050 will be slower than it was during the last decade. We've gained 1 Billion since 2010. I'm giving mankind 300 years tops, and we're all done. The climate in southern India is becoming too hot to live, this will force migrations north which will further congest large cities. And their population will surpass China shortly. Africa will die out first, followed by India, southern China, South America. Where will all those people go? By 2050 we're supposed to have 9.7 Billion.
Stop. Projections have population curves hitting a plateau. Many first world countries already have declining populations.
As 3rd world countries develop, the same will happen and population growth will stop.
If there is any issue with earth, is there will not be enough people.
 

Grindspine

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Has anyone else had strange weather patterns for the last few years? I live in S.E. New England and we've had more brutal wind storms than I can remember at any other point in my life (I'm 59) The occasional Hurricane we get are dismal compared to our Nor'Easters and other bad wind storms that seem to come out of nowhere. several people I know are convinced there's something funny going on, if these are natural cycles, then they are some pretty brutal cycles. I'm a Conservative that believes man is creating some of this mess, but it's not limited to that. I feel it's coinciding with other natural cycles. Sun, Planet etc.. but surely record high CO2 levels in the atmosphere for the last half decade or so must be doing something.

I'm looking for any input from your part of the country/world, and if things have been getting extreme, or even if things haven't changed at all.
Winters when I was younger had wayyy more snow than they do now.

There is a model called the "daisyworld" model. A world covered with white daisies reflects more light, so does not get as hot over time. A world covered with dark daisies converts more infrared radiation to heat, so gets warmer over time. When applied to real world snow patterns, white snow reflects more light and resists heating as quickly as compared to cold areas without snow cover due to this different in reflected rather than absorbed radiation. Lack of snow eventually causes more heat in the atmosphere, which powers more extreme air movement, thus stronger storm activity.
 

Grindspine

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The population reached 8 Billion yesterday, they say the growth through 2050 will be slower than it was during the last decade. We've gained 1 Billion since 2010. I'm giving mankind 300 years tops, and we're all done. The climate in southern India is becoming too hot to live, this will force migrations north which will further congest large cities. And their population will surpass China shortly. Africa will die out first, followed by India, southern China, South America. Where will all those people go? By 2050 we're supposed to have 9.7 Billion.
Yeah, people need to quit breeding so damn much.
 

Drew

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Winters when I was younger had wayyy more snow than they do now.

There is a model called the "daisyworld" model. A world covered with white daisies reflects more light, so does not get as hot over time. A world covered with dark daisies converts more infrared radiation to heat, so gets warmer over time. When applied to real world snow patterns, white snow reflects more light and resists heating as quickly as compared to cold areas without snow cover due to this different in reflected rather than absorbed radiation. Lack of snow eventually causes more heat in the atmosphere, which powers more extreme air movement, thus stronger storm activity.
There's another wrinkle to this, too - as climate change has led to more frequent, more severe droughts in parts of the world, wildfires have become larger. Wildfires in California and Colorado have been so bad in recent years that they've sent ash plumes into the atmosphere creating visble haze across the entire country, extending as far as here in Boston. In doing so, they've left soot accumulation on snowfields in the mountains of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. Soot is black and absorbs solar radiation, which not only does this increase the amount of retained radiation, but it causes snow to melt faster, running off for a shorter period of time, and leading to even greater drought conditions, and in turn more fires.

For anyone bitching about "climate change isn't real because the models haven't gotten the changes exactly right," one of the big problems is the sheer number of little feedback loops like this that are so easy to overlook. Twenty years ago, were we thinking about the impact of accumulated soot on snowfields when modeling global temperatures? Probably not.
 

bostjan

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There's another wrinkle to this, too - as climate change has led to more frequent, more severe droughts in parts of the world, wildfires have become larger. Wildfires in California and Colorado have been so bad in recent years that they've sent ash plumes into the atmosphere creating visble haze across the entire country, extending as far as here in Boston. In doing so, they've left soot accumulation on snowfields in the mountains of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. Soot is black and absorbs solar radiation, which not only does this increase the amount of retained radiation, but it causes snow to melt faster, running off for a shorter period of time, and leading to even greater drought conditions, and in turn more fires.

For anyone bitching about "climate change isn't real because the models haven't gotten the changes exactly right," one of the big problems is the sheer number of little feedback loops like this that are so easy to overlook. Twenty years ago, were we thinking about the impact of accumulated soot on snowfields when modeling global temperatures? Probably not.
Yes.

I have always been perplexed when deniers say that climate change is bunk, and then go on to point out how many variables there are. In what other field would you have a best guess that 90%+ of experts agree is the best guess, which includes an action plan to stop things from getting so bad, and it'd be fair to dismiss the action plan because "well, we don't really know for certain if it'll get that bad?"

For example, if you were attacked by a raccoon, and you went to the doctor, and they did some tests, and said they were 90% certain that you had rabies, so you either get a painful shot in the stomach, or else you would likely die a horrible agonizing death, would you say "meh, 90%, that means 10% chance that I'm fine. I'll take my chances."? I just don't get it.

I mean, if anyone wants to get 100% philosophical, it's the nature of information and perception, that we never ever actually know something with 100% certainty. Usually there is a threshold where you pretty much neglect the uncertainty, but even if you have no idea what you are observing, if it's life-versus-death, you have to go with the most probably explanation for something. And if that most probably explanation is as certain as we are about our climate change models, that'd actually be a really good probability to take action.
 

Andromalia

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The trees outside my place are barely beginning to yellow. It's the 18th of November, they should be naked at that point, with a few leftover brown leaves.

We've gained 1 Billion since 2010. I'm giving mankind 300 years tops, and we're all done.
Not all billions are equal. When all is said and done, Africa is emitting 6% of the world CO2. I guess we could add a few more billion people in Africa and not notice. They're way less damaging than the 300 million americans, or the 440ish EU nationals.

As a reminder, 7 countries are responsible for 70ish% of the total emissions, cumulative counted from 1850: The USA, China, Russia, Brazil, Indonesia, Germany and India.
If you want to count per inhabitant, the top offenders are NZ, Canada, Australia, the USA, Argentina and Qatar.

Those are the countries where population changes matter. Zimbabwe ? Not so much.
To note, some "poor" countries are following, most of them being actually rich countries where the oil money gets funneled to the corrupted elites while the rest of the population stays poor, such as Nigeria.

Graphs and sources available there:
(in french, but the graphs can be read by anyone)
 
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profwoot

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Stop. Projections have population curves hitting a plateau. Many first world countries already have declining populations.
As 3rd world countries develop, the same will happen and population growth will stop.
If there is any issue with earth, is there will not be enough people.
I'm inclined to agree, particularly when taking into account plummeting sperm counts worldwide (>50% over the last 40 years). Nobody seems to be talking about this, but conception becomes difficult at ~40M/ml and the average has already reached a bit less than 50M/ml so another generation at this rate and things might get dicey.
 

Grindspine

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I'm inclined to agree, particularly when taking into account plummeting sperm counts worldwide (>50% over the last 40 years). Nobody seems to be talking about this, but conception becomes difficult at ~40M/ml and the average has already reached a bit less than 50M/ml so another generation at this rate and things might get dicey.
Thomas Malthus - Essay on the Principle of Population sounds like a necessary reading assignment for you.
 

Grindspine

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Humans have nearly saturated what the earth can sustain, therefore, biologically, high sperm counts and making many babies per each male is no longer necessary for the species to survive.

Nobody is talking about it because it is a non-issue; it does not threaten the survival of the species nearly as much as climate change, overpopulation, famine, disease, class inequity, random meteor or comets, etc.
 

narad

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The population of my house is 4 and sometimes I think that’s about 2 kids too many.

That would have been an interesting alternate ending to Sophie's Choice.
 

spudmunkey

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I'm inclined to agree, particularly when taking into account plummeting sperm counts worldwide (>50% over the last 40 years). Nobody seems to be talking about this, but conception becomes difficult at ~40M/ml and the average has already reached a bit less than 50M/ml so another generation at this rate and things might get dicey.

It used to be that people with higher sperm counts were more likely to get someone pregnant during sex, having more children, and passing down those traits faster than people with fewer children. Since people are having fewer children overall, there's a bit of balancing going on.

Do I think that forever chemicals, microplastics, hormones in meat, etc aren't having an effect? Of course not...but don't believe it to be the primary driver in the observed drop in sperm count. I think it's a side effect of humanity having fewer children, not the cause.
 

profwoot

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Your testes don't know that there are 8 billion people in the world, and there's certainly no selection pressure in favor of lower sperm counts going on. So while it might currently seem like a natural "balancing" that nobody should worry about, there is simply no biological mechanism by which that could occur. Sperm counts aren't "balancing"; they're dropping precipitously. Whatever is causing it is going to keep causing it until it becomes a big problem, unless we figure out what it is and remedy it.
 

Grindspine

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Your testes don't know that there are 8 billion people in the world, and there's certainly no selection pressure in favor of lower sperm counts going on. So while it might currently seem like a natural "balancing" that nobody should worry about, there is simply no biological mechanism by which that could occur. Sperm counts aren't "balancing"; they're dropping precipitously. Whatever is causing it is going to keep causing it until it becomes a big problem, unless we figure out what it is and remedy it.
You are missing a fundamental point here. It is not selective pressure favoring low sperm counts, there is just a lack of pressure favoring high sperm counts.

Kinda like how something can sound "darker" by boosting the bass OR cutting the treble.
 

profwoot

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You are missing a fundamental point here. It is not selective pressure favoring low sperm counts, there is just a lack of pressure favoring high sperm counts.

Kinda like how something can sound "darker" by boosting the bass OR cutting the treble.
Lack of positive pressure != negative pressure. Also this is happening far too quickly to be the result of any kind of selection.
 

Grindspine

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Lack of positive pressure != negative pressure. Also this is happening far too quickly to be the result of any kind of selection.
I'm inclined to agree, particularly when taking into account plummeting sperm counts worldwide (>50% over the last 40 years). Nobody seems to be talking about this, but conception becomes difficult at ~40M/ml and the average has already reached a bit less than 50M/ml so another generation at this rate and things might get dicey.
40 years times roughly 8 billion people equals a fair amount of room for genetic drift.
 


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