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Anthropocene Math in the Age of Trump: Humans Are Running Out of Time to Save the Climate


Anthropocene Math in the Age of Trump: Humans Are Running Out of Time to Save the Climate

Nika Knight, staff writer

As the Trump administration and Republicans in power in Congress set to work destroying environmental regulations, scientists


The human impact to the earth systems is probably not unique in geologic history. There have been a couple natural events in the Phanerozoic (last 550my) about as disruptive - but the results were not pretty...

Then again, the rise of mammals, and hence humans only exist today because of the evolutionary deck-shuffling of those mass-extinction events.

And I applaud Commondreams for putting not only an equation in their article - but a differential equation at that! Even Stephen Hawking, Carl Sagan, and the late Stephen Jay Gould were warned not to do that by their editors...


Unfortunately, the 'leaders' who are pushing us over the cliff, probably don't understand differential equations, and wouldn't pay attention even if they did. All they understand is $$$$.


"Humanity is a prime driver of change of the Earth system."

I would amend that to prime destroyer of the Earth system.


Fighting climate change has felt rather hopeless for quite awhile now. A nonscientific survey of climate scientists almost a decade ago found that the largest number of scientists thought that we would reach 4C. I don't think anything since would change that view and if anything the current view of climate scientists is probably even more pessimistic. What is particularly discouraging is that there is good evidence that government can act if the motivation is there. For example, looking at the goals of New York State and all the programs that have been put in place to reach those goals suggests that it would not seem so hopeless if most of the states were doing the same thing. Maybe New York State will not reach its goals but maybe it will and maybe even strengthen the goals as time goes on. If there is going to be a habitable planet for humans like we are used to over the next several thousand years the many states that are not doing much or doing nothing to fight climate change should follow the lead of New York.


Even if we did have time, we will not use it wisely. Just compare how many Trump related versus global warming and climate damage articles there are in the alternative media space... depressing. But don't worry, everything will be ok until 2100.

We are being distracted by Nero as the world burns.


Nice math. But of course will be ignored as just more of the " Chinese hoax" by Agent Orange!


The only 'Math' these Ethically Challenged Elites understand, is that which affects their pocketbooks. My suggestion is, the Corporations that benefit from these protections being 'rolled back' or 'eliminated', their products and services that they provide must be targeted for 'Boycott'.

Let them eat 'Brioche'.


Earth's atmosphere would be thinner than apple skin if Earth were the size of an apple.

Dirty dark smog drifting around Earth is greedy little doom clouds of pollution posing as profit.

Corporations don't actually make real profit, they save money by dumping their trash in nature rather than cleaning up after themselves. Mere mortal people can't compete with corporations that own the government and are given permission to poison Earth instead of cleaning up like mom says we should.


But CD could have said a little more about H. Here is what the paper says H represents.


where P is population (more specifically the global ‘consumers’: the upper and middle classes as defined by income on a national basis), C is consumption (and by definition production), and T is the Technosphere a concept particularly well-suited to Earth System analysis .

And there is more about T.


where En is the energy system, K is knowledge and Pe is political economy, which relates to economic systems bound by political decisions, now overwhelmingly dominated by globalisation (it is worth noting that not all individuals or groups of people are equally responsible for the impacts of H on dE/dt).


Anthropocene Math in the Age of Trump: Humans Are Running Out of Time to Save the Climate

Time ran out decades ago. Those who have been saying "we still have time" have been just as destructive as the climate deniers in terms of making the adjustments necessary for some humans to survive the next several decades. Yes decades.

What we need now are all-hands-on-deck local initiatives to (1) transition to solar and wind power, (2) transition to local organic food production and (3) reinvent how we transport food and products.

Relying on the federal govt or even state govts to do anything constructive is folly. Demand your local city or county councils get on board. Above all else - do it yourself with other like minded people in your community.

It's time to act like the world is on fire - because it is.


Scientists use mathematics to prove the rapidly increasing dangers of anthropogenic climate disruption while politicians hold up snowballs to deny it. In modern Amerika, the snowball argument wins. We're doomed. Actually, our children and grandchildren are doomed while we elders will go to our graves without having to pay the piper.


I think the 2100 point of no return you speak of has been moved to 2050 by a growing number of climatologists and scientists. When you see a scientist become teary-eyed on camera while discussing the death of the Great Barrier Reef and destruction of 30% of the worlds coral by 2040 due to ocean acidification you know something terrible is hiding under our bed. The Nectarine Nero and his ilk are indeed fiddling while the world burns.


Damn those blue green algae that poisoned the atmosphere with oxygen!


That simplistic equation is about as useful as nothing and just states an assumption.

Couple of issues with this paper. First, palaeoclimatic data are considerably less certain than the instrumental data of the last 130-200 years, which itself is uncertain due to numerous adjustments and manipulations and up until recently the lack of global coverage prior to 1970's

Second, historical data has been heavily smoothed – so that any short term warming trends in the past, which were similar to late 20th century warming, would have been eliminated from the climate record by his methodology.

From the author who is the source of the tempersture data when asked If the rate of global temperature rise over the last 100 years have been faster than at any century during the past 11,300 years?

"Our study did not directly address this question because the paleotemperature records used in our study have a temporal resolution of ~120 years on average, which precludes us from examining variations in rates of change occurring within a century. Other factors also contribute to smoothing the proxy temperature signals contained in many of the records we used, such as organisms burrowing through deep-sea mud, and chronological uncertainties in the proxy records that tend to smooth the signals when compositing them into a globally averaged reconstruction. We showed that no temperature variability is preserved in our reconstruction at cycles shorter than 300 years, 50% is preserved at 1000-year time scales, and nearly all is preserved at 2000-year periods and longer. Our Monte-Carlo analysis accounts for these sources of uncertainty to yield a robust (albeit smoothed) global record. Any small “upticks” or “downticks” in temperature that last less than several hundred years in our compilation of paleoclimate data are probably not robust, as stated in the paper."

This paper main purpose seems to roll out a new term "anthropocene" since besides his useless equation "this is a function of that -pick them", there is nothing new here


I believe the term anthropocene is a bit misleading. A book I recently read, I believe. rightly uses the term capitalocene. This puts to onus squarely on capitalism as a major driver of resource depletion and driver of global warming which, of course leads to climate change. The deniers are better called the climate resistance paid for by the energy corps. They can't look further ahead than the next quarterly profit report. The growing crisis of global warming will perhaps be solved by moving to a socialized resource based existence. Dismantle the military, they are only needed to protect the capitalists and also are the elephant nobody mentions as one of the biggest contributors of greenhouse gasses. Stop the consumer based quest for more unneeded gadgets, put in mass transit systems as in the EU and Britain, restrict air traffic. These will mitigate the disaster unfolding in slow motion that some fear is already too late. Until these are brought to be nothing will change and humans indeed will be doomed. Sorry.


You run for office!


I think you are incorrect. The rate of change is what is unique in all of Geologic History. We have never seen temps soar so fast ever. The closest was 250 million years ago when the temp soared 10 degrees in thirteen years time. In just February 2016 alone, the temp soared 1.9C degrees above 1750 pre-industrial baseline of 13.5C. 2016 added almost one full degree to global average, now that the feedback loops are kicking in.

And you insufferable "engineers" always leave something critical out of your equations! In this case James Hansen, in his 1990's climate prediction of One Degree C rise by 2100, sorta forgot to include Methane and increasing Water Vapor in his "mathematical formula" (the greatest greenhouse gas.) The result is that the govenment's prediction was only off by about 84 years! But James Hansen is an expert in Venusian Atmosphere, and knows nothing about extinction since he didn't study it.

Scientists (Conservation Biologists) who do include these feedback-loop numbers and have studied extinction conclude that conservatively speaking, we may soar SIX degrees C in just EIGHTEEN months from now, and go extinct by 2026.

You government turds fire those scientists who speak out, and put them on the NSA watch list. That's what you do.

and part 2:

Conspiracy Theory?
You bet your sweet azz it is, Yunzer.
And this man, Dr. Guy McPherson says that scientists who tell the truth about the climate are ruined by the US government.


The problem is that the climatologists have been conservative in their predictions and the change has been happening faster than they are willing to predict. At the current rate of increase we will hit 450PPM by 2036 and 500 by 2050. And that doesn't take into account the methane factor of the arctic circle being released. Methane doesn't stay in the atmosphere like CO2, but it holds heat better. And warmer oceans means more water vapor in the atmosphere which also holds heat.
At 500PPM, a temp of 4 C will happen. We have a rise of 0.8 C right now and we are seeing what just that little rise in temp has on our weather. I use weather purposely here. We have droughts and severe rain occurring.
Forget 2100, by 2050, we will be be having severe problems.


The proper term nowadays is "cyanobacteria". But yup - it was was an utter catastrophe...