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I look at the current trends and fear that we need to do much more to save anything like the current ecosphere. We need to be at net zero carbon globally by 2050 and continue the trend that will have developed if we seriously try to do this. That trend will then be the rate of net carbon sequestration, because we need as quickly as possible to get back to levels of atmospheric carbon equivalent that were present in 1900. It may be that that is the scale of effort required to prevent ongoing damage that could take millennia to repair.

If we lose even half of the continental ice in Greenland and West Antarctica it will likely take several thousand years to return the earth to a 1900 level of atmospheric carbon. And it might be that we will be unable to stop the ongoing melting in Greenland and West Antarctica short of total collapse. That would mean the loss of all coastal cities in the world. In the latest papers I have seen in Science News and elsewhere many of the leading climate scientists acknowledge that there are uncertainties in the validity of existing worst case estimates. Some have expressed concerns that the ongoing melting in West Antarctica may be impossible to stop. I expect similar conclusions about much of the Greenland ice sheet soon.  

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere." (But it helps!)

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat May 14th, 2016 at 09:23:03 PM EST

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