Welcome to the age of diminishing returns

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Losing the war against the planet



We knew we had picked up a fight we couldn't win when we tackled a whole planet, but perhaps we didn't expect that the planet would fight back so viciously and so effectively. 2011 has been a year of environmental disasters in numbers and intensity never seen before. And we ain't seen nothing yet!

Give a look of the photos of the rout of humankind at thinkprogress and also at Desdemona Despair.



(for the Desdemona link - H.T. Cristiano Bottone)

9 comments:

  1. "And we ain't seen nothing yet!"

    Sadly, this statement seems more and more realistic as days go by, but we are unable to see the eerie future what is coming.

    The only hope for this decaying planet is the extinction of human race, and so we aim to.

    Héctor.

    ReplyDelete
  2. For the planet we are a small nuisance. It standed against much worse events.

    But WE cannot expect to survive (or at leas our complex and interdipendent civization can't) major changes in the environment.

    Environmentalism is not "save the planet". It is "save ourselves".

    ReplyDelete
  3. "Environmentalism is not "save the planet". It is "save ourselves"."

    Too true.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I agree, Gianni.

    With "decaying" I refer to the whole planet involving mankind. Sure the Earth will go on, of course not with us if a change in the right direction does not occur.

    Héctor.

    ReplyDelete
  5. The photograph is indeed stunning, but I think it is a poor choice for what it means. Hurricanes decrease with increasing temperatures.

    Kjai

    ReplyDelete
  6. There is a general agreement that global warming will increase the strength of hurricanes; this is, of course, very uncertain and you may be right that in the long run (centuries) the trend will reverse. But one thing that is certain is that we have increased the negative effects of hurricanes and tropical cyclones by urbanization, deforestation, and other modification.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Ugo, the oddest thing I find is that scientists overlook the opportunity to point out the simple conclusions one can reach by thinking scientifically. It's wrong to accept the layman's questions that are unanswerable then, other than to help them understand the questions science can answer with high confidence.

    For a system driven by a thermal gradient, increasing the gradient generally intensifies the whole system. Here we have convection, driven by the temperature difference between earth and space. Surface temperature has been going up and of the outer atmosphere going down...

    So, unless you can show why some local convection is excluded from interacting with the whole system, you'd assume all atmospheric convection is affected, right? Therefore one's first assumption would be that **every air current on earth** would be relatively more intense than otherwise, given the need for the whole system to carry more energy. Isn't that right?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Well, it is a difficult question. My understanding has always been that as the planet warms up, the temperature gradient between the polar regions and the equatorial ones is reduced. With reduced gradients, strong perturbations, hurricanes and the like, should go down. But, I think, that will be for the future. For now, pumping energy into the system means that the system dissipates it in various ways, including hurricanes.

    There is an interesting post by Stuart Staniford on this point:

    http://earlywarn.blogspot.com/2011/12/pliocene-wetter-than-today.html

    It shows how complex it is to make predictions

    ReplyDelete