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An "Oh Shit!" moment...  
12:48am 06/01/2017
Syona aka the Silicon Shaman
So, A new study in Science Advances by Wei Liu and colleagues at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego and the University of Wisconsin-Madison has important implication... link to article about study in layman's terms.

To break it down. A minor correction of the climate change prediction models had unexpected results, showing that the real world Gulf Stream was actually significantly less stable than previously thought and that at point where atmospheric CO2 was double the pre-1990 levels then the Gulf Stream collapsed over a time span of 100 to 300 years [with an error bar of +/- ~50 years]...

Which, since we are already almost at that tipping point, means that the Gulf Stream will start decreasing in strength soon. [if it isn't already]

In every scenario I've seen, this leads to bad things for Britain. Like, a climate more like Norway. I.e Wetter summers and much colder winters for a start. Depending on the decay rate, we can expect to feel the climatic shift within <25 years, losing half of the contribution of the gulf stream by then, at worst...

Europe would also be pretty hard hit, France would see it's growing season cut by a half to to two thirds within 30 years, Spain, Portugal and Southern France would be locked in an unprecedented drought. Large parts of the Middle East and northern Africa would see daytime temperatures peak above 50oC for weeks on end throughout summer., and drop to freezing or below during winter.

The thing is, although the corrected model makes some simplifications, for example abruptly doubling the atms CO2 at the half-way mark rather than modelling a ramping up, the corrected model is more likely to be accurate for predicting the behaviour of the Gulf Stream than prior models. Although, the timing is likely to be off due to it.. ie, more optimistic. Hence the large error bars.

Either way... Britain can NOT take the Gulf Stream and its moderating effects for granted any more.

Crossposted from: http://siliconshaman.dreamwidth.org/1232555.html comment count unavailablecomments so far over there.
mood: awakeawake
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(no subject)
06:36am 06/01/2017 (UTC)
I find that there is a number of "oh shit!" articles being published about new and/or overlooked data and factors driving climate change. I had not known about the gulf stream. The latest I read was about an underestimation of the effect of fermenting peat moss etc in releasing yet more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

Here is the editorial I read with its screaming headline title http://www.dailykos.com/story/2016/12/7/1608385/-The-Earth-Itself-Is-Now-Accelerating-The-Demise-Of-The-Human-Species which in turn contains links to a (more) reputable U.S. newspaper and a science article.

Edited at 2017-01-06 06:38 am (UTC)
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(no subject)
11:11am 06/01/2017 (UTC)
Syona aka the Silicon Shaman
There was a fuss made about the Gulf Stream early on, 80's & 90's but computer modelling seemed to show that it would remain stable no matter what, so it was largely forgotten about and ignored.

Turns out, the climate models didn't accurately factor in salinity effects and those play an unexpectedly important role in it's function.

That said.. although global climate change is a pretty dire subject, the newspapers do tend to over-hype the "OMG panic now!" quite a bit... I mean, even by my most pessimistic models we have between 15-20 years before SHTF, and the most probable case scenarios put it nearer 30-50.

However... we are kinda screwed even in the best case scenarios, with it being rather too late to do more than mitigate the effects a bit at best. At worst, the impact is so massive and rapidly degenerative that it over-whelms even the best prepared areas of society. [not individuals, but looking at towns etc.]

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