Guardian Climate emergency: world ‘may have crossed tipping points’

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

According to The Guardian, tipping points leading to irreversible climate harm and an existential threat to our civilisation may have already been crossed, though there is still time to try to undo some of the damage.

Climate emergency: world ‘may have crossed tipping points’

Warning of ‘existential threat to civilisation’ as impacts lead to cascade of unstoppable events

Damian Carrington Environment editor  @dpcarrington
Thu 28 Nov 2019 05.00 AEDT

The world may already have crossed a series of climate tipping points, according to a stark warning from scientists. This risk is “an existential threat to civilisation”, they say, meaning “we are in a state of planetary emergency”.

The planet has already heated by 1C and the temperature is certain to rise further, due to past emissions and because greenhouse gas levels are still rising. The scientists further warn that one tipping point, such as the release of methane from thawing permafrost, may fuel others, leading to a cascade.

The researchers, writing in a commentary article in the journal Nature, acknowledge that the complex science of tipping points means great uncertainty remains. But they say the potential damage from the tipping points is so big and the time to act so short, that “to err on the side of danger is not a responsible option”. They call for urgent international action.

“A saving grace is that the rate at which damage accumulates from tipping could still be under our control to some extent,” they write. “The stability and resilience of our planet is in peril. International action – not just words – must reflect this.”

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/nov/27/climate-emergency-world-may-have-crossed-tipping-points

The quoted Nature article is like the Guardian article, except not as well written – basically a flat demand we do what we are told.

Climate tipping points — too risky to bet against

The growing threat of abrupt and irreversible climate changes must compel political and economic action on emissions.

Timothy M. LentonJohan Rockström,  Owen Gaffney,  Stefan Rahmstorf,  Katherine Richardson,  Will Steffen &  Hans Joachim Schellnhuber

Here we summarize evidence on the threat of exceeding tipping points, identify knowledge gaps and suggest how these should be plugged. We explore the effects of such large-scale changes, how quickly they might unfold and whether we still have any control over them.

In our view, the consideration of tipping points helps to define that we are in a climate emergency and strengthens this year’s chorus of calls for urgent climate action — from schoolchildren to scientists, cities and countries.

Act now

In our view, the evidence from tipping points alone suggests that we are in a state of planetary emergency: both the risk and urgency of the situation are acute (see ‘Emergency: do the maths’).

EMERGENCY: DO THE MATHS

We define emergency (E) as the product of risk and urgency. Risk (R) is defined by insurers as probability (p) multiplied by damage (D). Urgency (U) is defined in emergency situations as reaction time to an alert (τ) divided by the intervention time left to avoid a bad outcome (T). Thus:

E = R × U = p × D × τ / T 

The situation is an emergency if both risk and urgency are high. If reaction time is longer than the intervention time left (τ / T > 1), we have lost control.

We argue that the intervention time left to prevent tipping could already have shrunk towards zero, whereas the reaction time to achieve net zero emissions is 30 years at best. Hence we might already have lost control of whether tipping happens. A saving grace is that the rate at which damage accumulates from tipping — and hence the risk posed — could still be under our control to some extent.

The stability and resilience of our planet is in peril. International action — not just words — must reflect this.

Read more: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-03595-0

Their unphysical climate models contain hidden errors at least an order of magnitude greater than the alleged CO2 signal, they can’t actually tell you how much influence CO2 has on global temperature, none of the disasters they claim are imminent have actually happened, yet they claim they can put meaningful values into the terms of their insurance risk equation.

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140 thoughts on “Guardian Climate emergency: world ‘may have crossed tipping points’

    • Now, now, now, it’s obvious they Know what they’re proselytizing about. The Earth was much warmer in the early Holocene and had “Tipped” into the inferno state we languish in today. This nasty post tipping point apocalyptic heat has melted the brains of all our scholars turning them into the mush required to make such hare brained proclamations

      • Absolutely. They don’t know anything about the insurance business, either. Risk is based on hard, real-world statistics, not on guesstimates pulled out of a hat.

        • That’s largely correct, although I helped to price the insurance coverage in advance of Y2K, and pretty much by definition we had to do some guesstimates. I’ve also priced nuclear terrorism, which thankfully has no directly relevant hard statistics, so we had to do some estimating. That said, insurance coverage for property reflecting potential losses from tornadoes, floods and hurricanes is very much based on hard real-world statistics.

        • Sara
          The insurance industry sees risks at two levels
          1 – the actual insurance payout risk due to what they are covering for. They have very smart people and systems working on the constantly.
          2 – The sell value (premium) to the sucker misled customer of potential and increasing risk from things such as “Climate Change”. Sea level rise, flood inundation, whatever

          The New Zealand Insurance Council rates risk based on the RCP 8.5. What they are saying that based on forecasts, is that sea level rise will be up to 300mm over the next 15 years. Over 4 times the current rate.

          This allows them to start increasing their premiums to help pay for it when it happens.
          So I asked the CEO at a recent public meeting – where is the water coming from to increase the SLR. The normal warmist reply resulted.

          The interesting part was the people at the meeting saw me as misinformed, antisocial and jeered, and the guy who was about to blood suck their premiums as the good guy.

          Watch the insurance industry profits soar as the years pass. Have you checked you insurance bill for climate change adjustments ??
          Regards

      • “Zero urgency”? Are you kidding? All true believers should commit hara-kiri now to avoid the cli-pocalypse! It will be so painful to wait until then!

        1) ‘cli-pocalypse’ stolen from another commenter on a different post.
        2) CTM – I’ll understand if you don’t let this post.

    • Yup.

      Risk is not defined like that. Risk is risk. What is the chance of ‘Something’ happening?

      You then have Consequence. Death? Serious injury? Hurt Feelings?

      Both need to be taken in consideration. A low risk of fatal injury is a greater concern than a absolute chance of hurt feelings, which is why in the real world professionals deal with engineering safety and not trigger warnings.

      Dry your eyes, Snowflake and let the adults work out what will happen if protective guards are not designed, installed and maintained correctly.

      John is absolutely right, that equation is bollocks.

      • What if the risk is longer growing seasons, larger areas of crop land, faster plant growth (because of the CO2).

        If the risk is negative, does the science equation still mean something?

        • The fact that the Warmies have NEVER (to my knowledge) even hinted at the possibility that warming could bring benefits – we ONLY hear of coming disasters – shows me that this is fake science.

      • Craig

        I sincerely hope it’s not all bollocks. I hope all their tipping points have been breached, and I hope this is the standard by which all other global warming science is measured against from here on in.

        Because, of course, the climate hasn’t changed, it’s the same as it was thousands of years ago. Event’s like rain, snow, wind etc. might fluctuate, wax and wane etc. but they are still all there.

        The only thing that might have changed, in tiny, inconsequential increments, is the earths average temperature, and even that’s doubtful over the last 20 years or so.

        So when all alarmist science is based on this tipping point ‘revelation’, they are going to end up looking really stupid when, in 10 years time nothing has happened, yet again!

        The more the public are exposed to this nonsense the more fed up they get.

        BBC announcements on various UN and ‘scientific scare stories are virtually every week now, and each more dramatic than the last, but they now seem to tumble down the league table of the BBC website much more quickly these days.

        I guess technology in the form of ‘click counting’ to determine the value of a particular story is serving sceptics purposes very well as people now just don’t bother reading the weekly climate comics.

        And the only recourse the media and alarmist scientist have is to make everything more dramatic each time, which simply compounds the climate fatigue the public is displaying.

        Roll on 2030, I say!

        • I’ve taken to switching the radio off as soon as they say “climate emergency (/crisis)”. Yesterday I switched it on then off again 3 times – total listening time less than 1 minute.

      • Insurance risk of a “Bomb Cyclone” = € 3.7 Trillion

        Insurance risk of a strong rain squall = € 0.00

        Therefore … the language is costly. Very, very, costly

    • So, E (Emergency) is a value somewhere between -Infinity and +Infinity.

      What is this Emergency measured in? If you cancel out the t/T, and p has no units (it’s just a probability), you are left with $.

      If the time where T=0 has already passed, would that make T negative? Suddenly your “Emergency” goes from $+Huge Number to $-Huge Number (problem solved, right?).

      There are some things in this equation that need to be defined a bit:
      – p: Probability of what exactly?
      – t: The reaction time. Speculated as 30 years to achieve net zero CO2 emissions. But that presumes that CO2 emissions are causal, which they aren’t.
      – T: Time to do what? Get earth back to the Little Ice Age, I’ll pass thanks.

      There are NO tipping points, because the global climate is largely self regulating. If temperature increases, evaporation will increase resulting in increased cloud cover, higher albedo and a lowering of the temperature. It is quite an effective thermostat for the planet. If there were tipping points, we would not be experiencing the relatively mild climate we are, we would either be an ice cube or a boiling soup.

      • Mark H – November 27, 2019 at 7:54 pm

        So, E (Emergency) is a value somewhere between -Infinity and +Infinity.

        Actually, …… E (Emergency) is a value that is a little less than …… “the little end of nothing”.

    • They could make it even look more “sciency” by adding exponents to the variables on the right side of the equation, but noting that the exponents might not be much different than 1.0.

      E = R × U = p^e1 × D^e2 × τ^e3 / T^e4

      Where’s my grant?

    • it all hinges on the value of ‘p’, probability and since this is all based on ‘models’ that are actually more like catastrophic automatons performing a semi-pre programmed dance of the sugar plumb fairies, what it really amounts to is WOLF! WOLF! WOLF! WOOF! WOOF! woof, woof, woof…… woof, woof……woof……

      ( can some one check the bank balance and see if the funding has turned up?)

    • Oooh the greek letter tau. Stand back, philistines, this one is for the (fanfare please) scientists. You wouldn’t understand. Heck even if you tried to understand the sheer scienceyness of thus equation, you wouldn’t even be wrong.

    • Yes. Risk and Urgency are not mutually exclusive events. Neither are reaction time and time remaining to act. The formulas are OBVIOUSLY meaningless.

    • We define emergency (E) as the product of risk and urgency. Risk (R) is defined by insurers as probability (p) multiplied by damage (D). Urgency (U) is defined in emergency situations as reaction time to an alert (τ) divided by the intervention time left to avoid being proven wrong (T). Thus:

      E = R × U = p × D × τ / T

      The situation is an emergency if both risk and urgency are high. If reaction time is longer than the intervention time left (τ / T > 1), we have lost control.

      I define stupid (S) as the product of ignorance and arrogance. Ignorance (I) is defined by zealots as propagandists (p) multiplied by hype (H). Alarmism (A) is defined in NON-emergency situations as OVER-reaction time to a delusion (delta) divided by intervention time left to avoid being proven wrong (T). Thus:

      S = I x A = p x H x delta/T

      The situation is stupid if both ignorance and arrogance are high. If accumulated OVER-reaction time is longer than accumulated intervention time to avoid being proven wrong, then we have lost our minds.

  1. “the complex science of tipping points…”
    They really are making it up as they go. I guess when all you’ve got is garbage science to back up your garbage claims, you’re going throw everything and anything at the wall, and see what sticks.

    • Bruce Cobb
      November 27, 2019 at 6:11 pm

      You don’t really think they’re making “up the complex science of tipping points” do you. I’m sure Saint Greta has a PhD in Tipping Points. Now she can really say the “science is settled” with some authority.

    • So all the environmentalists, UN officials, climate crusading celebrities, and journalists can:

      A) stop flying,
      B) turn down your thermostat to 15C and wear a sweater
      C) turn off your air conditioning
      D) give up all auto transport – buy a bike or walk.
      E) move into a small apartment to lesson your footprint.

      But we all know you hypocrites will instead act like Justin Trudeau and virtue signal your way around the planet.

  2. re. tipping points

    Medieval Warm period (warmer than now)
    Roman Warm period (even warmer)
    Holocene Optimum (warmer yet)

    Been there, done that. There were no tipping points. Things were better. Humanity prospered.

  3. The tipping point is real! Just ask US Congressman Hank Johnson, who single-handedly was able to stop Guam from capsizing – tipping over – by refusing to let the military put too many people on one side of the tiny, vulnerable island. Good job Hank! You have been an inspiration and role model for Greenies and climate scientists alike, with your keen insights and understanding of what’s at stake. They are following in your footsteps.

  4. Whew! At least they admitted that the Earth has only warmed by 1 degree. Had me worried there.

    What’s all the fuss about, again?

  5. Ah, I see a new Climate pAction doll to add to the Climate Patch Kids collection to teach the doctrine of Tipping Point with Real Climate Solutions. Haven’t come up with a name yet, but it would come with a toy couch and a bottle of Klimate KoolAid. Feed it bottle after bottle until it gets tippy, falls on the couch and goes to sleep. Then place its hand in a bowl of warm water on the floor and voila – Real Climate Solutions!

  6. Will someone please tell these morons that I DO NOT want to go back to the cold of the Little Ice Age! I very much appreciate the generally improving climate (with the exception of the 1930’s) we’ve had since 1850. Planetary history demonstrates that warm equals improvement in the human condition.

  7. ” … basically a flat demand we do what we are told.”

    So this is nothing more than an appeal to authority. A classic logical fallacy; why am I not surprised?

  8. Well, we have no evidence for a similar tipping point in all of Earth history, and CO2 accumulations in the atsmosphere have been a lot higher in the past, yet those periods of time do not show any climate catastrophe.

    This is just more scaremongering leading up to the climate conference in Madrid. Alarmists have left all restraints behind. They are making dire claims that can’t possibly be true, yet they are making them. Like this one here about tipping points. Their lies are criminal in the harm they do to the unsuspecting public who don’t realize they are being lied to and are frightened to death by these claims of catastrophe.

    They’ve even upped the anti by claiming it may already be too late but we may be able to mitigate it somewhat but only if we act NOW! This is called “trying to stampede the uninformed into actions they might not otherwise take”.

    And I note we are dealing with the same bunch of alarmists who put this kind of BS (Bad Science) out all the time.

    • Yes, its a re-run of the tired old tipping point argument again, where a system is supposed to move rapidly out of equilibrium to one end state. As far as I can see, there is no geological/proxy evidence for this type of event having occurred anywhere during the last 14,000 years, back to the end of the last ice age. All of the natural climate changes were rather gradual. And there is no evidence now of rapid change beyond historical norms (especially if you remove the manual temperature adjustments). If anything, progressively lower sunspot minima are pointing in a colder direction.

      • But you all miss the point! This is MAN MADE carbon dioxide which will produce worse effects than the Natural product the planet has been used to. /sarc

        • Susan

          Didn’t you know that man made CO2 has an entirely different composition to natural CO2, which has been resident on the planet since time immemorial, often in much greater quantities in the atmosphere?

          See, easy when you know how!

          • Man made CO2 is carbon, not to be mistaken for actual carbon, however, that would be carbon, which we know as man made CO2.

      • “All of the natural climate changes were rather gradual.”
        Not quite. The Younger Dryas period went suddenly cold, then a thousand years later, went suddenly warm again, and we don’t know why.
        With that exeption, you’re generally right.

  9. From time to time here at WUWT I have quoted from NASA’s article on its Earth Observatory website “Climate and Earth’s Energy Budget.” It is dated January 14, 2009. These quotes have supported the heat-engine nature of the atmosphere’s operation, and the concept that the greenhouse effect diminishes with altitude.

    In this case, as an institution, NASA knew that the concept of a tipping point initiating a runaway condition is not supported by the fundamentals of emitted radiation. This is from that article:
    “Temperature doesn’t infinitely rise, however, because atoms and molecules on Earth are not just absorbing sunlight, they are also radiating thermal infrared energy (heat). The amount of heat a surface radiates is proportional to the fourth power of its temperature. If temperature doubles, radiated energy increases by a factor of 16 (2 to the 4th power). If the temperature of the Earth rises, the planet rapidly emits an increasing amount of heat to space. This large increase in heat loss in response to a relatively smaller increase in temperature—referred to as radiative cooling—is the primary mechanism that prevents runaway heating on Earth.”
    The article is still found by searching on the title. Maybe we need a new hashtag #NASAKnew to counter the tipping point narrative.

    • There’s a very good article in this week’s Spectator magazine by David Gunnlaugsson, a former PM of Iceland, called ‘Cold Hard Truth’- basically saying they have seen it all before and it’s nothing to panic about. What say we listen to people who know what they’re talking about because they live and work there for a change, instead of hysterical snowflakes from London or California, etc.?

        • They are on day 9 and most still going, it just isn’t getting any coverage except by the guardian. We haven’t heard from Loydo and Griff for a while so I am hopeful they ahve joined. We can but hope they aren’t quiters but being so slow it isn’t going to get MSM attention so perhaps they need to find a faster way.

    • “Climate Change has reached “Too Big To Fail” status.”

      It seems that way. The only problem for the alarmists is the temperatures are not cooperating with their theory. I guess that’s why they are moving up the timetable hoping they can get political action going before it becomes obvious that the Earth is not getting “hotter and hotter”, even while CO2 in the atmosphere is increasing.

  10. Past the tipping point? Party hardy. It’s all over. Cancel the research and the worldwide meetings. It’s over, at long last.

  11. Soooooo many tipping points , most of them unprecedented and catastrophic as well. We go round this loop every generation or two and learn nothing from history, but carry on, its a living for some.

    Meanwhile I am enjoying a very mild spring and entry to Summer. The sky is a bit blue, the grass a bit green , the temp a bit mild, all the hallmarks of an imminent emergency.

  12. At least the picture shows someone with sandwich boards. Thank goodness laptops haven’t completely take over yet. Repent, The End is Nigh. /sarc

  13. It is so saddening to see how our news agencies have strayed from the path they so proudly commenced on along with the European enlightenment, that amazing wave of rational, intellectual and humanistic understanding of our human condition which swept over Europe and America (e.g. founding the US constitution) from the mid 18th century. They promised to uphold a self-imposed code of ethics – including always writing the truth as close as they could honestly get to it, with fairness and balance.
    Look at the riff-raff now, brazenly just out to make headlines to whip up hysteria and alarm among gullible people. It’s disgusting.

  14. I guess that’s it then, the alarmists have used up their last scare tactic. If we are past the tipping point there is nothing we can do, CO2 will keep rising even if we shut down everything and every human leaves the planet. It’s like waiting for the asteroid to hit, can’t stop it can’t get out of its way so why bother doing anything.

  15. The Guardian is similarly concerned about “too many white girls next door” in the Olympics. Another color judgment forced by what is ostensibly bad judgment.

  16. As soon as I read the words ‘existential threat’ I know the person who wrote it has no idea what they are talking about! The newspeak* ridiculousness of this meaningless cliche goes straight over the heads of the stupid. I want to ask them, why not simply say what you mean? “The very existence of civilisation itself, is threatened…” is that what you mean?

    I’ve said it many times before, existential literally means ‘real’ or ‘exists but more importantly, historically and denotatively,** it has always referred to the technical philosophical term meaning; ‘immanent’ i.e The entire threat exists only in your own mind!

    *noun [mass noun] ambiguous euphemistic language used chiefly in political propaganda.
    **Not to be confused with imminent (“about to occur”) or immanant (“a certain type of scalar property of a matrix”).

    • Scott W Bennett

      Ah! But to the great ill educated unwashed (and I include myself in that category) it sounds sciency (except, like you, I have, and use a dictionary).

      (Seriously, friends of my wife and I laugh at us because one of the most prominent books in our collection is a large Collins English Dictionary. We even got excited at an exhibition when we could actually handle the complete, printed OED, which is just enormous!).

  17. Rahmstorf and Schellnhuber are only publishing this garbage tipping-point alarmism in order to get it into IPCC AR6, and then ultimately in the SPM.

    Expect to see this doomster cargo-cult equation re-produced and appear somewhere in AR6, my guess is likely in the WG3 report.

    • Joel O’Bryan
      November 27, 2019 at 8:21 pm

      Yes, I think you’re right…this will give the allure of mathematical legitimacy to their rubbish…they’ve been waiting for decades for this. The press will love it too…you can’t argue with maths can you….look how superior we all are compared to the illiterate redneck oil funded deniers!

  18. “If their brains were dynamite there wouldn’t be enough to blow their hats off”. Roughly paraphrasing Kilgore Trout, aka Kurt Vonnegut

  19. Overreach, overreach, overreach! Soon Pres Trump will have all the evidence he needs to walk away from the IPCC and its hysterical claims, the Greens and all their camp-followers. He remembers Napoleon’s famous quip: ‘Never interrupt your enemy when they are making a mistake’!

  20. I find it weird that these geniuses never “to hell with it we’re done”, there’s always time for the government to “do something”, but just barely- well if the hopes of the world rest on governments, elected or not to save us, screw it we’re done for sure!!

  21. If we’ve already crossed it, but it can be even partly un-crossed, is it really a tipping point?
    If one is to be a nihilist hysteric, at least be committed to the role.

  22. Look on the bright side.
    The alarmists are forced to focus on human influence on climate, because that is where the IPCC is tasked to look. Consequently, the state grants that are required to study human influence on climate, prevent them looking at other causes. We should be thankful for that. Humans can argue and fight back against the nonsense, presented as research by the so called climate scientists. This forces them to become ever more irrational and ever more excited, about ever less evidence of human induced climate change.
    Had the IPCC been tasked with proving trees cause climate change, the Hansons, Gores and Mann types in the world, would have felled the whole lot by now, just in case because trees can’t fight back against such lunatics.

    • “Clearly, a lunacy tipping point has been crossed”

      Yes, it has.

      Alarmists are living in an alternate, delusional reality. And they want the rest of us to live in it, too. No, thanks..

  23. A tipping point in climate science is a moment in time when some of their tribe are soliciting for a big tip – again – from government or rich NGOs: minimum 5 zeros at the end. A trip to a far off tropical or fancy COPxx might also do. Beggars belief but they are the biggest beggars on this planet.

  24. The appears to be a summary giving us expert “opinion.”

    Lenton, et al., 2019 cites two papers, one Lenton, et al, 2008, still seven authors, changed some, but good old Joachim still brought up the end. Other is IPCC.
    https://www.pnas.org/content/105/6/1786

    First line of abstract of 2008 paper–
    “The term “tipping point” commonly refers to a critical threshold at which a tiny perturbation can qualitatively alter the state or development of a system. Here we introduce the term “tipping element” to describe large-scale components of the Earth system that may pass a tipping point.”

    Appeal to authority in the paper–retract it, you don’t have to know the subject.
    “Results from the expert elicitation…”
    Tipping points and cascades are also big fad in some areas of ecology. Also should refer to paper sequences, walked too close to the edge of the cliff.

  25. ‘The complex science of tipping points’.

    Now there’s something new! I used to apply the complex science of tipping in restaurants, but clearly have always done it wrong; I should have added the points.

  26. Surely if we’ve already reached the tipping point, there’s no sense in wasting more money and effort trying to combat Armageddon? We might just as well carry on as normal, and enjoy the ride…

  27. We define climate emergency (E) as the product of risk and urgency. Risk (R) is defined by climate troughers as probability (p) multiplied by damage to government funding (D). Urgency (U) is defined in emergency situations as reaction time to a Climategate type alert (τ) divided by the intervention time left to arrange for a favourable judicial enquiry by green blobbers (T). Thus:

    E = R × U = p × D × τ / T

  28. 400,000+/- years ago in Germany, Hoomans were hunting horses, red deer and bison for food. When a coal mine was proposed for the area, archaeologists went in first to see if there was anything – any antiquity of value – that could be found.

    What they found was the remains of a camp site, with an ancient fire circle, double-pointed spears (javelins) for adults and smaller versions for children, stone axes and the remains of horses, red deer and bison that had been successfully brought down and turned into food. This took place during a warming period. Then the ice sheets returned. OOOOppppssss!

    Sooooo — just what was going on in Germany at that time????? “….sandwiched between deposits of the Elsterian and Saalian glaciations, and situated within a well-studied sedimentary sequence.”[5] More recently, thermoluminescence dating of heated flints in a deposit beneath that which contained the spears suggested that the spears were between 337,000 and 300,000 years old.[6] – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schoningen_spears **

    So Heidelbergensis, who predated Neanderthalis, was in that area during a warm interval, hunting for food. Nothing unusual going on there.

    In fact: Wooden artifacts from the Palaeolithic age are very rarely delivered to posterity. Beside Schöningen, finds are the Clacton Spear from Clacton-on-Sea (England),[17] Torralba (Spain),[18] Ambrona (Spain)[19] and Bad Cannstatt (Germany/Baden-Wuerttemberg),[20] of which only the Clacton Spear has been preserved. The artificial character of calcified lumbers from the discovery site Bilzingsleben is debatable.[21][22] A wooden stabbing lance from Lehringen, also from Lower Saxony, was found underneath the skeleton of a straight-tusked elephant and is aged approximately 125,000 years, so it is much younger. The elephant was possibly killed by it.[23]**

    **I don’t normally quote Wikipedia, but that article does have citations to research. My first view of this discovery came in the early 2000s in a magazine article. I still have that some place.

    Tipping points? I’d like to give those clown some tipping points, but they won’t listen, so they can just suffer through this cold, wet winter and holler “globulll warmunism” all they like. With a dormant sun and an eroding magnetic field, we are not heading into a warmer climate. Tempestuous? Probably a big “YES” on that, and no real preparedness for it.

  29. The Boy Who Cried Wolf comes to mind. It is a very old tale, and everyone intuitively knows the moral of the story. But focus for a moment on the motivations of the boy in the story. What does he get out of crying “Wolf!” Why does he do it?

    Well, he gets attention. People who otherwise wouldn’t notice the boy if he were on fire suddenly pay attention. Initially, the boy is praised for sounding the alarm. Why? Because a wolf running loose in the local environs would decimate their sheep herds, which local townspeople depend upon for the livelihoods. A wolf hits them in the pocketbook.

    At first, crying “Wolf!” was all reward and no risk. The boy got noticed and praised for sounding the alarm, not just once, but several times. It only became a problem for the boy when the locals finally caught on to what the boy was doing. A “tipping point” was reached, and the townspeople no longer paid any attention to his cries, no matter how loudly he yelled or how long he kept it up. And when an actual wolf appeared . . . Well, you know the story.

    We find ourselves in a similar situation with regard to climate apocalypsism. Fonzi’s motorcycle is airborne. The end is nigh, but not in the way the warm-mongers want us to believe. It was one thing to predict dire consequences 50 or 100 years into the future, when most people who have heard or read the warnings will have been dead and thus unable to refute the predictions. Now it’s different. Now the dire consequences are within the lifetime of the audience. Twelve years, 10, 8 years 7 months, etc. The boy has yelled “Wolf!” several times already, and the townspeople are beginning to wise up. In response, the boy has to crank it to 11. “WOLF! WOLF! WOOOOOOOLFFFFFFF!”

    The Soviet Union lasted about 70 years. An average lifetime. The current iteration of climate alarmism started in the 1980s. There’s still a ways to go to reach an average lifetime. We’re about halfway there. You might say this is climate alarmism’s midlife crisis.

  30. Enough already. If it is that bad, then the Grauniad needs to take on China and India and stop them emitting CO2 immediately. Good luck with that. If it is not such an emergency that the develooping nations get free passes, then it isnt an emergency other than as a wealth transfer from Western democracies to crazy UN fanatics that think they can continue to live the good life while the peasants starve. They are too stupid to realise/remember that it is only the Western democracies that pay for the UN. The rest largely free load off the USA in particular. And they are definitely too stupid at the Grauniad to realise that if we stupid western democracies destroy our economies, then there wont be any money to pay for their lifestyle. Time to move the UN from New York to Antarctica.

  31. “we might already have lost control of whether tipping happens. A saving grace is that the rate at which damage accumulates from tipping — and hence the risk posed — could still be under our control to some extent.”

    Don’t give up hope completely just yet people as we sciencey folks on top of all this with equations and compootery stuff may still be able to save you from the fires of Mt Doom if you listen up carefully and do exactly as we say.

    In the immortal words of Stan Cross-
    http://www3.slv.vic.gov.au/latrobejournal/issue/latrobe-65/fig-latrobe-65-053a.html

  32. What the Hell is a tipping point, or tipping points?

    The only definition I saw was methane was a tipping point, and maybe 1 degree of warming, but they don’t say over what period of time that they are talking about. And what quantity of methane…

    No real definitions of tipping points as far as I could see

    JPP

  33. Proper scientists would not be talking about tipping points, they would be asking themselves serious questions about their flawed assumptions. Most of the alleged AGW is based on warming in the seventies and eighties. But why did we have very similar warming in the thirties before emissions rose sharply?

    Why do they slavishly believe in models that fail to be validated (predict observation)? Why do the consequences of GHG theory never materialise, e.g. the hot spot, increasing tropospheric RH? Apart from natural oscillations why have we had a temperature pause since 1998?

    Why don’t they point out that the the official records show no evidence of all the extreme weather we hear about? What are they doing about quantifying cloud coverage which seems to be variable enough to swamp any changes in carbon dioxide?

    It seems that scientists have their eyes shut and their fingers in their ears while they shout tipping point over and over again.

    • “What are they doing about quantifying cloud coverage which seems to be variable enough to swamp any changes in carbon dioxide?”

      Yes, I think a fellow named Moler did a study about that and his conclusion was that a two percent increase in clouds would reflect enough incoming radiation to compensate for a doubling of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere.

  34. Same people, same hymn sheet. In 2009, “3 tipping points” had been reached, https://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol14/iss2/art32/

    Lenton, Rockstrom, Richardson, Schellnhuber, Steffen, were all authors for the original, with additional help then from James Hansen and other familiar names.

    “Anthropogenic pressures on the Earth System have reached a scale where abrupt global environmental change can no longer be excluded. We propose a new approach to global sustainability in which we define planetary boundaries within which we expect that humanity can operate safely.

    Transgressing one or more planetary boundaries may be deleterious or even catastrophic due to the risk of crossing thresholds that will trigger non-linear, abrupt environmental change within continental- to planetary-scale systems.

    We have identified nine planetary boundaries and, drawing upon current scientific understanding, we propose quantifications for seven of them.

    These seven are:
    climate change (CO2 concentration in the atmosphere <350 ppm and/or a maximum change of +1 W m-2 in radiative forcing);
    ocean acidification (mean surface seawater saturation state with respect to aragonite ≥ 80% of pre-industrial levels);
    stratospheric ozone (<5% reduction in O3 concentration from pre-industrial level of 290 Dobson Units); biogeochemical nitrogen (N) cycle (limit industrial and agricultural fixation of N2 to 35 Tg N yr-1) and phosphorus (P) cycle (annual P inflow to oceans not to exceed 10 times the natural background weathering of P);
    global freshwater use (<4000 km3 yr-1 of consumptive use of runoff resources);
    land system change (<15% of the ice-free land surface under cropland);
    the rate at which biological diversity is lost (annual rate of <10 extinctions per million species).

    The two additional planetary boundaries for which we have not yet been able to determine a boundary level are chemical pollution and atmospheric aerosol loading. "

    The new tipping points are totally different from a decade ago: "More than half of the climate tipping points identified a decade ago are now "active," a group of leading scientists have warned. The only trouble is, they did not identify these a decade ago. They should have re-read their 2009 paper.

    Nine [NEW] active tipping points:
    Arctic sea ice
    Greenland ice sheet
    Boreal forests
    Permafrost
    Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation
    Amazon rainforest
    Warm-water corals
    West Antarctic Ice Sheet
    Parts of East Antarctica

    Strangely enough, these same authors, Lenton, Rockstrom, Richardson, Schellnhuber, Steffen and several others, were all authors for the "Hothouse Earth" PNAS paper in 2018, which preceded IPCC's SR15, but they didn't claim last year that any tipping points, (thresholds) had been reached, regardless of the claim that 9 years before they claimed three. Now they claim nine.

    https://www.pnas.org/content/115/33/8252
    "We explore the risk that self-reinforcing feedbacks could push the Earth System toward a planetary threshold that, if crossed, could prevent stabilization of the climate at intermediate temperature rises and cause continued warming on a “Hothouse Earth” pathway even as human emissions are reduced.

    Crossing the threshold would lead to a much higher global average temperature than any interglacial in the past 1.2 million years and to sea levels significantly higher than at any time in the Holocene. We examine the evidence that such a threshold might exist and where it might be. If the threshold is crossed, the resulting trajectory would likely cause serious disruptions to ecosystems, society, and economies.

    Collective human action is required to steer the Earth System away from a potential threshold and stabilize it in a habitable interglacial-like state. Such action entails stewardship of the entire Earth System—biosphere, climate, and societies—and could include decarbonization of the global economy, enhancement of biosphere carbon sinks, behavioral changes, technological innovations, new governance arrangements, and transformed social values."

    Same people, same pretend science, same social transformation agenda.

  35. It may be worth re-watching this event:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FO9DKk07SCY&feature=youtu.be

    Heads up — it’s five hours.

    However, it explains how the Guardian and others are planning their propaganda efforts regarding climate change. They’ve all but conceded they are abandoning journalistic integrity on the weak argument that saving the world is more important. I have no doubt they would disagree with my conclusion but watch the conference and see if you agree.

    I don’t think it’s worth taking anything seriously from the Guardian on climate change.

  36. Either they don’t know what a “tipping point” is or I don’t.

    “It’s a gradual tipping point. More of a gradient, really.”

  37. I heard Lenton on the Bolshevik Broadcasting Corporation this lunchtime. The Greenland Ice Sheet is unstable, its melting will affect the Gulf Stream, the West Antarctic Ice Shelf will go, 10 metre sea level rise in 2070, etc., etc. All uncritically received by the interviewer, of course, while we were shouting at the radio: The vikings farmed Greenland, that’s why it was called Greenland, and there was no tipping point then……

  38. That Schellnhuber and Ramstorf can publish an equation with so many undefined variables simply confirms my belief that they are totally insane. An error analysis might be helpful.

  39. The planet has already heated by 1°C and the temperature is certain to rise further, due to past emissions and because greenhouse gas levels are still rising. The scientists further warn that one tipping point, such as the release of methane from thawing permafrost, may fuel others, leading to a cascade.

    This seems to be a direct copy/paste from what we were told back in the 1990s. Didn’t work then, but maybe this time people will fall for it.

  40. Well I am repeating myself here but makes me feel better-

    Some tipping point-

    Agriculture yields are up- https://ourworldindata.org/yields-and-land-use-in-agriculture#yields-since-1960.
    Poverty has decreased- https://ourworldindata.org/a-history-of-global-living-conditions-in-5-charts.
    Life expectancy has increased- https://ourworldindata.org/life-expectancy.
    Deaths from weather related disasters have declined- https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/natural-disaster-death-rates?time=1900..2018.
    oh and the planet and deserts are greening from the increase in CO2- https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2016/carbon-dioxide-fertilization-greening-earth/

  41. From the article: “The planet has already heated by 1C and the temperature is certain to rise further, due to past emissions and because greenhouse gas levels are still rising. The scientists further warn that one tipping point, such as the release of methane from thawing permafrost, may fuel others, leading to a cascade.”

    The year 2016, according to NASA Climate, was the “hottest year evah!”. It was one-tenth of a degree warmer than 1998, the second warmest year in the satellite record The warmest part of the year 2016 (Feb.) is said to have been 1.1C above the global average temperature for the period from 1850 to the present.

    The claim by alarmists is that a temperature of 1.5C above the global average will be catastrophic and they make claims like they do above that this increased temperature will cause methane gas to be released which will exacerbate the warming.

    Well, we have a good example to look at: According to former NASA Climate Tsar, James Hansen, 1934 was 0.5C warmer than 1998, in the US, which would make 1934, 0.4C warmer than 2016, and 1934 would be 1.5C warmer than the global average.

    So we reached the alarmist’s tipping point of 1.5C above the average way back in 1934, and no excess methane was produced and no tipping point was found and the Earth’s weather moderated from that time to now. No runaway catastrophe.

    Of course, Hansen’s 1934 temperature mark applied only to the U.S., but all other unmodified charts from around the world show the same temperature profile as the US chart, so the US chart actually represents the global temperature profile. The benign global temperature profile.

    We’ve already hit the 1.5C tipping point and nothing tipped over. Current temperatures are about 0.8C cooler than 1934, and 0.4C cooler than 2016.

    The UAH satellite chart:

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/UAH_LT_1979_thru_October_2019_v6.jpg

    The US surface temperature chart (Hansen 1999):

    https://climateaudit.files.wordpress.com/2007/02/uhcnh2.gif

    • 2015 through 2018 were the hottest years on record for the last 145 years. Four in a row. The probability of that happening without some external influence (CO2) is (n * (n-1) * (n-2) * (n-3)). 424 million to one. Worse than any single ticket lottery odds you will ever face.

  42. In the STEM fields thermodynamics is a simple subject. If you do not understand thermodynamics you should not be posting on this subject. 15 years ago my uncle, a nuclear engineer who designed reactors, and I were were discussing the “black swan events” that could occur as the world warmed. On top of both our lists were melting permafrost and the warming of methane hydrate bubbles in extremely cold waters. Either of those two would be, over three decades, disastrous. One is currently happening. So we have reached one tipping point.

    [??? .mod]

  43. 15 years ago my uncle, a nuclear engineer who designed reactors, and I were were discussing the “black swan events” that could occur as the world warmed. On top of both our lists were melting permafrost and the warming of methane hydrate bubbles in extremely cold waters. Either of those two would be, over three decades, disastrous. One is currently happening. So we have reached one tipping point.

  44. The last time that Earth had a 408 ppm CO2 concentration in the atmosphere was 3.2 million years ago when the temperature was 9 degrees F warmer and the oceans were 20 – 30 meters higher than they are today. Identical physical inputs into the np-hard world climate analysis yields identical results.

  45. john or NorEstern, or whatever, says:

    “Identical physical inputs into the np-hard world climate analysis yields identical results.”

    Perhaps English is not your first language, but this sentence makes no sense without further clarification. What exactly is “the np-hard world climate analysis”?
    And can you defend your claim of 9 degrees F warmer and sea levels 20-30 meters higher? For how long?
    And how, pray tell, can you know that the “inputs” are” identical”? Were you there 3.2 Mya? The proxies we have just aren’t that precise.

  46. All these points… and we haven’t found the point were the world is doomed for good and we can as well enjoy the end of the world?

  47. Here is a more scientific formula: BS= Hy x Lc x E(-) / 1
    BS is self explanatory
    Hy= the level of hysteria
    Lc =the lack of candor
    E = the lack of real evidence

    The formula states that the probability of a theory being true decreases when the level of hysteria is very high, the ones proposing it lack the ability to tell the truth and there is no evidence to support it.

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