Human-caused global warming already has doomed a large fraction of Earth’s glaciers

By Tom Yulsman | January 29, 2019 7:02 pm

But thereʼs a silver lining to this dark cloud: You can still make a personal difference in preserving glacial ice.

Glaciers doomed by global warming

A large chunk of ice (known as a ‘bergy bit’) about one-story high floats in the waters of Kongsfjorden in Svalbard on Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. This was two days after what was likely the largest calving event ever monitored from the Kongsbreen glacier front up until that point. (Photo: © Tom Yulsman)

Even if we somehow stopped climate change dead in its tracks right now, recent research shows that more than a third of the world’s 200,000 glaciers would melt anyway.

That’s because glacial ice takes decades to fully respond to the human-caused global warming that has already occurred. And as the inevitable thawing continues, meltwater flowing into the oceans will contribute to sea level rise, posing challenges for low-lying coastal cities already struggling to cope with flooding.

“Whatever we do, we have little wiggle room left because we have already committed to melting a large fraction of the ice,” says University of Bremen climate scientist Ben Marzeion, lead author on the study, which was published in the journal Nature Climate Change. I spoke with him at the Arctic Frontiers conference in Tromsø, Norway last week.

Findings like these can make us feel helpless, because they suggest we have little influence on the course of climate change. But there’s also a flip side to Marzeion’s research, one that offers an antidote to helplessness: In addition to documenting the inevitability of glacier melting, his findings also show just how much of a difference each one of us can make in saving glacial ice. 

For his research, Marzeion used climate models to feed information on temperature and other climatic factors into other models that predict how glaciers will respond. In particular, he and his colleagues focused on the kind of glaciers found in mountainous regions like the Alps, or in Norway’s Svalbard archipelago, leaving Greenland and Antarctica’s giant ice sheets out of the analysis. 

Many of Earth's glaciers are doomed

Hikers descend Longyearbreen, a glacier in Svalbard. The Arctic archipelago’s glaciers, which cover 60 percent of the land surface, have been thinning as the climate has warmed. Research shows that over the past 40 years, Svalbard has lost a volume of glacial ice equal to about 388 cubic kilometers. That works out to a cube nearly 100 miles on a side. [Photo: ©Tom Yulsman. Glacier data: Christopher Nuth et al, Svalbard glacier elevation changes and contribution to sea level rise, Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface, Journal of Geophysical Research , 115 (f1) ]

It’s not that melting of ice in Greenland and Antarctica are unimportant. In fact, research published last week shows that Greenland’s ice is melting faster than previously thought and will likely trigger faster sea level rise in coming decades. 

But big ice sheets and the smaller glaciers of the kind included in Marzeion’s study are different beasts. And better understanding of how the latter are responding to human-caused warming is vital. That’s because their melting is already contributing about half of the 3 millimeters per year of global sea level rise currently being observed. That works out to about 0.05 inches annually. By comparison, Greenland has lately been contributing about 0.03 inches to sea level each year. 

In one of a number of modeling scenarios Marzeion and his colleagues undertook, they examined what would happen if we somehow kept the climate as it is now — a little less than 1 degree C warmer than it was in preindustrial times. 

In this scenario, “you keep exposing the glaciers to our current climate,” Marzeion said. And the question is, “How are they going to respond in the long term?”

In our conversation at the Arctic Frontiers conference, he summarized the results this way: “On a global scale, with the present day climate, roughly one third of the glacier mass will be lost. So there is a disequilibrium between what the glaciers are looking like at the moment, and what the climate is looking like at the moment.”

In other words, the glaciers take time to respond — they haven’t yet caught up to the climate warming we’ve caused so far. 

Turning off climate change overnight is obviously a physical impossibility. But we can work to limit future temperature increases by reducing how much heat-trapping carbon dioxide we’re pouring into the atmosphere.

The Paris Agreement on climate change was intended to do just that. So, how much of a difference could the agreement make for the glaciers? 

Signatory nations committed to restraining global warming to well below 2 degrees C above preindustrial levels — and preferably to no more than 1.5 degrees C. Achieving that goal would reduce risks of a number of other climate change impacts, such as heat waves and droughts. 

“But with 1.5 degrees of warming, or four or five, we see only a little difference in glacier melting,” Marzeion said.

If we kept global warming to just 1.5 degrees C, the modeling shows that about 52 percent of the glaciers would still melt in the long run. If we limited it to 2 degrees C of warming, 62 percent would melt anyway. 

Glaciers

Two peaks loom over the Kronebreen glacier and Kongsfjorden, as seen from Ny-Ålesund in the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard. (Photo: ©Tom Yulsman)

To help me understand why glaciers respond this way, Marzeion asked me to imagine taking a large ice cube out of the freezer and placing it on the kitchen counter. In the much warmer room, the ice would begin to melt. But it would take a little while for the melting to become obvious. 

With global warming, “this is essentially what we’re doing with the glaciers,” Marzeion said. We’ve already taken them out of the freezer. And while we’ve seen melting because of it, they have not yet fully responded to the warmer temperatures.

Now, let’s take the analogy a little farther. If you want to stop the large ice cube from melting any further, you’d have to put it back in the freezer. For the glaciers, that would mean going back to the temperatures of the pre-industrial era. That’s extremely unlikely.

But what if we put the ice cube in the refrigerator next to, say, the milk carton? While temperatures in there are cold, they’re not below freezing. So the ice cube would still experience melting. But it would do so much more slowly than if we left it on the kitchen counter subjected to room temperature. 

Similarly, by limiting future temperature increases through reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, we can slow down glacial melting. That’s important because a slower pace of melting means that it would take longer for sea level to come up, giving societies more time to adapt by, say, building dykes and shifting development to higher ground. 

“One of the important points that society at large needs to understand is that even if we are very good at dealing with emissions, we will still have to adapt,” Marzeion said. “Some things are already inevitable, so we need to be prepared.”

At the individual level, it may seem that having an impact on something as big and complex as climate change is futile. But Marzeion’s study shows otherwise. Each of us actually can make a difference.

He and his colleagues used their modeling results to look at the impact driving a car has on glacial melting. For an average non-electric European automobile, they found that driving 300 meters — about the length of a football field — spews enough CO2 out of the tailpipe to eventually melt one kilogram of glacial ice. 

Especially given the immensity of the world’s glacial ice, at first blush that didn’t sound like very much to me. But then I considered how much I drive: in some years, as many as 15,000 miles. And that adds up to at least 90 tons of melted glacial ice — 50 times the weight of my Subaru Outback. 

All that melted ice contributes to sea level rise, each and every year. And actually, these numbers are conservative because an Outback almost certainly gets worse gas mileage than the kind of car Marzeion and his colleagues used to make their calculations.

“So now, when you are in your car, you can imagine that for every 300 meters that you drive, you are dooming about one kilogram of glacier ice,” Marzeion said. And more if you drive an SUV.

Glaciers

Your’s truly (Tom Yulsman), holding a chunk of ice that had calved from a glacier in Svalbard in 2016. It turns out that switching from a car to a bike over just a short distance — less than the distance to my local grocery store — I can save from melting much more ice than that.

To get a sense of the positive impact I personally can have, I flipped it around: With every length of a football field I cover on my feet or my bicycle as opposed to my car, I can conjure a distinct image of putting a 2.2 pound block of ice in a freezer. Scale that up to driving, say, 5,000 fewer miles annually, multiply that by tens of millions of people taking similar steps — and now we’re talking about saving a whole lot of ice.

True, as Marzeion’s research shows, a large fraction of the world’s glacial ice is already committed to melting no matter what we do, and that will contribute to sea level rise. But we can slow things down, making adaptation easier. And if we really work at it, we can even preserve some ice.

Moreover, Marzeion’s results show that we would get a bigger response by getting started right now. Given today’s climate, for every kilogram of CO2 that you or I can keep out of the atmosphere by, say, driving less, we’d save about 15 kilograms of glacial ice in the long run. But if we wait to start biking more, or maybe replace the gas guzzler with a hybrid car, we’ll experience diminishing returns. 

According to Marzeion, once the world warms in coming decades by 3 degrees C, then every 1 kilogram of CO2 kept out of the atmosphere will save just five kilograms of glacial ice — three times less than if we got started now. That’s because the extra warming between now and then would would commit much more ice to melting.  

Unfortunately, global emissions of CO2 continue to rise, and over the long term, the greenhouse gas continues to accumulate in the atmosphere at ever higher concentrations. As a result, on our current path we’ll have less time to adapt.

How much less time is “very hard to specify,” Marzeion said. In part that’s because the world’s glaciers aren’t the only variable. Greenland and Antarctica’s giant ice sheets have the potential to raise sea level much more. But predictions of their behavior in a warming world come with greater levels of uncertainty, he told me.

Moving forward, Marzeion confided that his research findings have provided him with a new and personal way to gauge his own impact on the world. He notes that he and other glacier experts all tend to have their own favorite glaciers. “So now we can imagine how our personal actions are affecting that glacier,” he says. 

“It is an emotional argument, but I guess we need it to understand the impact of our actions.”

With that understanding, perhaps we can step onto a different path — figuratively and literally.

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  • Daniel O’Brien

    Please save the Arctic immediately because the polar bears rely on it to hunt for their prey and we have to shutdown everything that is causing this horrible global warming.

    • Occasional-Cortex

      Like modern civilization?

      • Daniel O’Brien

        Maybe! You could say that. We need to have a better future and keep Arctic ice and the tundra protected no matter what as well as its wildlife, so we must all work together and save the Arctic and its ice as well as the Antarctic ice.

    • Tom Yulsman

      Mr. O’Brien: This is a science magazine. So if you would like to continue posting comments here, please drop the snark and say something intelligent, relevant and based in scientific reality. Otherwise, take it somewhere else.

  • Occasional-Cortex

    Good idea but the United States is already leading the way in reduction of greenhouse gasses. The main producers are China and “Other”, aka 3rd world countries struggling to join the developed nations. How you convince billions of people to give up that ambition I have no idea.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e37365c92be4863a009141210aef6c05bb763edfdfe843ceae54d443d3681246.png

  • https://djdnotice.blogspot.com/2018/09/d-notice-articles-article-55-7418.html Dean Jackson

    Carbon Dioxide, Nitrogen and Oxygen: A Remedial Lesson In Chemistry and Physics…

    CO2 is a denser molecule than either N2 and O2 – one-third denser due to one-third less heat contained in the CO2 molecule – which informs us that CO2 COOLS the atmosphere by displacing greater heat retaining N2 and O2 molecules. CO2 has always been known to be a cooling molecule, as confirmed in 1979 when the BBC weekly science program, Tomorrow’s World, informed us that carbon dioxide is a “coolant gas”. Fast-forward 11:00 minutes into the program for the shocking admission:

    Google (only use the Google search engine): tomorrows world review of the 70’s

    This informs us that man is mediating the atmosphere, not changing it, because the real culprit for the heating of the atmosphere is the massive increase of man made structures on the ground that act as enhanced heat sinks while also decreasing the cooling effect of vegetation at night. If one desires less heat, the mechanism to be used is to INCREASE CO2 levels, not decrease those levels. Increases of CO2 into the atmosphere actually tempers the current warming of the planet. Note: ‘Climate change’ frauds naturally remain silent regarding the heat generated by man made structures on the ground.

    We are additionally informed of (1) the false opposition to ‘climate change’, who self-identify themselves as Marxist operatives by regurgitating Marxist carbon dioxide talking points; or (2) those scientists/teachers who are cowered from speaking the truth regarding carbon dioxide’s cooling nature on Earth.

    Cooling of Atmosphere Due to CO2 Emission, G. V. CHILINGAR, L. F. KHILYUK, and O. G. SOROKHTIN, Energy Sources, Part A, 30:1–9, 2008

    “Introduction

    Traditional anthropogenic theory of currently observed global warming states that release of carbon dioxide into atmosphere (partially as a result of utilization of fossil fuels) leads to an increase in atmospheric temperature because the molecules of CO2 (and other greenhouse gases) absorb the infrared radiation from the Earth’s surface. This statement is based on the Arrhenius hypothesis, which was never verified (Arrhenius, 1896). The proponents of this theory take into consideration only one component of heat transfer in atmosphere, i.e., radiation. Yet, in the dense Earth’s troposphere with the pressure pa > 0:2 atm, the heat from the Earth’s surface is mostly transferred by convection (Sorokhtin, 2001a). According to our estimates, convection accounts for 67%, water vapor condensation in troposphere accounts for 25%, and radiation accounts for about 8% of the total heat transfer from the Earth’s surface to troposphere. Thus, convection is the dominant process of heat transfer in troposphere, and all the theories of Earth’s atmospheric heating (or cooling) first of all must consider this process of heat (energy)– mass redistribution in atmosphere (Sorokhtin, 2001a, 2001b; Khilyuk and Chilingar, 2003, 2004).

    When the temperature of a given mass of air increases, it expands, becomes lighter, and rises. In turn, the denser cooler air of upper layers of troposphere descends and replaces the warmer air of lower layers. This physical system (multiple cells of air convection) acts in the Earth’s troposphere like a continuous surface cooler. The cooling effect by air convection can surpass considerably the warming effect of radiation. …

    Global Atmospheric Cooling due to Increase in CO2 Content

    Increase in CO2 content leads to global cooling of atmosphere. This paradoxical, at first sight, conclusion can be inferred from the adiabatic theory of heat transfer. To compare the temperature characteristics of a planet at various compositions of its atmosphere, one can use Eq. (11).

    If one assumes that the existing nitrogen–oxygen atmosphere of Earth is replaced entirely by an imaginary carbon dioxide atmosphere with the same pressure of 1 atm and adiabatic exponent ˛ D 0:1428, then the value of b˛ D 1:5970:1428 D 1:069 and the near-surface temperature would decline to 281.6 K. Thus, the atmospheric temperature would decreases by 6.4ıC, instead of increasing according to the traditional theory.

    Similarly, if one assumes that the existing carbon dioxide atmosphere of Venus is entirely replaced by the nitrogen–oxygen atmosphere at the same pressure of 90.9 atm, then its surface temperature would increase from 735 to 796 K. Thus, increasing the saturation of atmosphere with carbon dioxide (despite its radiation absorbing capacity), with all other conditions being equal, results in a decrease and not an increase of the greenhouse effect and a decrease in average temperature of planet’s atmosphere.

    Conclusions

    Accumulation of large amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere leads to the cooling, and not to warming of climate, as the proponents of traditional anthropogenic global warming theory believe (Aeschbach-Hertig, 2006). This conclusion has a simple physical explanation: when the infrared radiation is absorbed by the molecules of greenhouse gases, its energy is transformed into thermal expansion of air, which causes convective fluxes of air masses restoring the adiabatic distribution of temperature in the troposphere. Our estimates show that release of small amounts of carbon dioxide (several hundreds ppm), which are typical for the scope of anthropogenic emission, does not influence the global temperature of Earth’s atmosphere.”

    The greatest point to be made is that the atmosphere is heated by nitrogen and oxygen, a fact that ‘climate change’ frauds refuse to discuss! Imagine that, how did it occur that nitrogen and oxygen are taboo molecules for ‘climate change’ frauds? It occurs because if ‘climate change’ deceivers had to discuss nitrogen and oxygen, they’d have to inform the public that those two molecules hold more heat than does carbon dioxide, and that would (1) implode the ‘War on Carbon Dioxide’; and (2) implode the purpose for the ‘War on Carbon Dioxide’: To weaken the West’s economies. What we have then is a reverse of the ‘Earth’s energy budget, where thermals should be 398.2 Wm2, and ground emitted infrared radiation 86.4 Wm2. Talk about a massive conspiracy of scientific fraud that the Marxist media naturally refuses to report.

    Then to compound this conspiracy, we have NASA, and other ‘educational’ institutions, telling us that nitrogen and oxygen don’t even absorb infrared radiation!:

    “It has been understood since the 19th century that some gases absorb infrared radiation (IR) that is emitted by the planet, slowing the rate at which the planet can cool and warming the surface. These so-called greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide and water vapor, as well as ozone and methane among others. Note, however, that the bulk of the atmosphere is made up of nitrogen and oxygen molecules which don’t absorb IR at all.”

    It’s been known since 1949 that nitrogen and oxygen do absorb infrared radiation:

    “Due to their symmetry, homonuclear diatomic molecules like N2 and O2 do not exhibit a static electric dipole moment, such as H2O, nor is there the possibility to induce vibrationally a dipole moment, as in the case of CO2. Thus, there are no strong infrared absorption bands due to dipole transitions as in the case of the major greenhouse gases. However, as discovered by Crawford et al. [1949], collision-induced absorption leads to weak absorption features of N2 and O2 in the infrared [e.g., Hartmann et al., 2008].”

    The peer reviewed paper affirms the non-negligible roles that Oxygen and Nitrogen play, in the aggregate, in heating the atmosphere. …

    “This work challenges a common perception on the negligible role of O2 and N2 as natural greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere compared to species like CH4 or N2O. It is in fact the large abundance of oxygen and nitrogen which compensates for their only weak interaction with infrared radiation through collision-induced absorption bands.

    Due to the atmospheric concentration of atmospheric N2 (O2) that is about 2000 (550) times higher than that of CO2 and about 4.4 X 105 (1.2 X 105) times more abundant than CH4, even the weak infrared absorption of N2 (O2) can become radiatively important.”

    At my blog, read the articles…

    ‘Throwing Cold Water on Global Warming’

    ‘The Marxist Co-Option Of History And The Use Of The Scissors Strategy To Manipulate History Towards The Goal Of Marxist Liberation’

    ‘House of Cards: The Collapse of the ‘Collapse’ of the USSR’

    ‘Playing Hide And Seek In Yugoslavia’

    My blog…

    Google (only use the Google search engine): djdnotice blogspot

  • Ahahaha Ahahahah

    the “drive less” solution has been debunked a long ago. a cheeseburger has the same emissions as half a gallon of gasoline.
    the consumers’ impact is not as relevant anyway.

  • Rodrigo

    In 1942, MGM released a Traveltalks on Glacier and Waterton National
    Parks. It was stated that the glaciers have been melting since the last
    Ice Age 12,000 years ago, and “..if there is NO CLIMATIC CHANGE, they
    will be gone in a thousand years.”
    So why the worry? This is only the 5th ice age we are still leaving.

    • JWrenn

      By your own accounting something has sped up the loss of glaciers to the point that they will be gone 800 years faster. Just maybe we should look at that as a sign that something odd is going on. To be more clear…the glaciers are a sign of a problem. They have their own issues they will cause as well…namely increase sea levels…but they are primarily used as a measuring stick on the climate.

    • Tom Yulsman

      Rodrigo: I don’t get my science from MGM. I get it from scientists. And through painstaking research, they’ve shown that global temperatures did indeed begin to warm at the end of the last ice age about 11,000 years ago, but after 6,000 years, that trend reversed. Starting in about the year 5,000, cooling ensued — not warming — until the industrial revolution. Temperatures have risen steadily since. Today, global temperature is now higher than during 90% of the entire Holocene period. In case you would like to check out the science for yourself, you can find it here: http://science.sciencemag.org/content/339/6124/1198.abstract. It is much more authoritative than a movie company.

  • LRob

    Of course, glaciers have been a very rare commodity over the last 660 million years. Quite possibly ‘normal’, as defined by an average, is warmer than the current epoch.

  • chuckles

    There was a lot of “scientific tripe” printed here, but glaciers have been melting for 20,000 years. It’s not man made. “Science” can’t have it both ways. CO2 is NOT a pollutant. It’s necessary for plant growth. The more CO2 we have, the more plant life grows to counteract the CO2. Ice core samples do not support CO2= more warming.

    “Global Warming” is a political movement to transfer first world money to 3rd world pockets. Socialism is a bigger problem than my car. Burning cow dung in Africa kills more people than my “gas electricity”. We are producing morons through the educational systems in modern countries. Education should make thinkers instead of propaganda robots.

    We now have a previous bartender as a congressman from NYC that has stated we will all die in 12 years. If we do, it won’t be from global warming. There is NO evidence that warming is any worse today than 50 years ago. in fact, the warmest time in modern history was back in the 1930’s in the “dust bowl”. We aren’t even close to that today.

    • Mike Richardson

      Nothing you have said in your post above in any way remotely resembles accurate science. We literally have temperature readings, both from ground sites and from satellite atmospheric readings proving that global temperatures are rising. As for your political statements, they give plenty of insight into the biases in you bring to any discussion of this topic. It is rather ironic that you bring up propaganda here, after spilling nothing but political rhetoric.

      Glaciers have indeed been melting since the last ice age, but that rate of melt has measurably increased during the past century. That is beyond debate, and has been documented by every scientific agency that’s researched the matter.

      As for the correlation between the rising temperatures and rising CO2, that has also been proven beyond reasonable doubt, as climate models have taken into account variations in solar output and any other factors that would raise average global temperatures.

      Finally, a solution to the problem does not have to be socialist vs. capitalist, but should involve whatever approach most effectively alleviates the worst effects of climate change without imposing undue hardship on those who can least afford it. If you can at least bring yourself to admit there is a problem, we can reasonably debate the solution. Until then, you’re actually part of the problem.

    • Tom Yulsman

      Mr. Chuckles: If you would like to keep commenting here, be serious and refrain from ad hom attacks like accusing me or anyone else of presenting “scientific tripe.” I worked very hard and in good faith to report this story. You are absolutely welcome to disagree with what I wrote, but be a grownup and show some respect and intelligence. If you can’t manage that, please take your nasty bile somewhere else. There are plenty of platforms that will welcome it. Not this one.

      • chuckles

        All I know is I’m 67 yo now and have been told for decades now how we are all gonna die in a few years. Remember the coming Ice Age in the 70’s? How about the population bomb? How about “peak oil”? I have a copy of AlGore’s “Inconvenient Truth” and ALL of his predictions have come and gone. How many times in the last 20 years have we read headlines about the “books” will have to be rewritten?

        “Scientists” seem to carry a lot of credibility until the facts come in. Who asks them to retract their bilge? They keep getting the government contracts so they never really do any real science. The problem today is kids are being taught this propaganda and they lack the ability to think for themselves. The truth is sunspots grow and recede in 11-17 year cycles and eventually it will get warmer, until of course it gets cooler.

        The glaciers have been melting for thousands of years and it seems like they will eventually go away for whatever reason, but it’s arrogance to think man can cause it or cure it. If America taxes it’s people to the poor house, is China and India going to destroy themselves? When we stopped using R12 freon, it was supposed to reverse the Ozone depletion. A quick look at the ozone hole shows it’s still the same or a little larger. I was taught in the 1950’s that the solar wind flows over the earth and the magnetic field caused the Northern Lights and came out of the S pole removing the Ozone. I have encyclopedia’s from the 60’s that have theories that have been long disproved.

        Just because you say something doesn’t make it true. Following the crowd doesn’t mean you are somehow correct. You mentioned my politics. Well, what I see is your politics here. In the 80’s, C Span showed a conference that had the usual suspects meeting to speak about a “carbon tax” and “carbon credits”. They even admitted then that the third world would get the money raised. They were keeping Africa and other developing places in the dark ages by not allowing them to develop their own resources. If the world pays them subsidies, then they will keep cooking on dung fires with no electricity. How can Africa have so many resources with no power? Why not develop your own land and stop selling to outsiders? Because they accept billions from the west! It has NOTHING to do with ecology but money and corruption. Look at Venezuela right NOW! Rich beyond belief yet they are starving. They are socialists and that is the way socialists always end up, yet the smart scientists always lean to socialism. So I’m supposed to be impressed with AOC, a former waitress, telling me we will all be dead in 12 years? She is a moron. So who told her we will be dead in 12 years? Another moron!

  • JWrenn

    Is it bad that I specifically read this article just to come down here and see the crazies? I personally have believed the science of greenhouse gasses and the general idea that if we can ever lower pollution we should…it all seems simple to me. I do always shy away from the prognostication though. We are very bad at being sure about what will happen way down the road….that being said the one thing we have been good at is the overall temperature gain from increases in greenhouse gasses. So, I think temps will keep going up until we get it under control, and that will cause havoc. I don’t think we can accurately predict the havoc though…and that I think should scare us all even more.

    • Occasional-Cortex

      Humans have faced much worse odds over the past 200,000 years. We adapt, it’s what we have always done well.

      • JWrenn

        You do realize that changing our ways is how we adapt….and that is what we are saying we should do…right? I mean, adapting to a world where we survive easier is the whole point. We survive easier if we produce less carbon because our world is balanced better without it. It is adapting. If we don’t we do worse.

        • Occasional-Cortex

          “Producing less carbon” is a lot more complicated than it sounds because the total amount of carbon in the atmosphere is produced by a multitude of countries, each with different economic concerns and priorities vis a vis climate. The view of Westerners in wealthy developed economies is vastly different from that of billions of people in less developed countries trying to climb out of subsistence living.

          Adapting will involve accepting that fact, the strong likelihood that not much will improve in the situtaion with carbon overall worldwide, and coming up with solutions to live with the inevitable.

          • JWrenn

            Still needs doing

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ImaGeo

ImaGeo is a visual blog focusing on the intersection of imagery, imagination and Earth. It focuses on spectacular visuals related to the science of our planet, with an emphasis (although not an exclusive one) on the unfolding Anthropocene Epoch.

About Tom Yulsman

Tom Yulsman is Director of the Center for Environmental Journalism and a Professor of Journalism at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He also continues to work as a science and environmental journalist with more than 30 years of experience producing content for major publications. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Audubon, Climate Central, Columbia Journalism Review, Discover, Nieman Reports, and many other publications. He has held a variety of editorial positions over the years, including a stint as editor-in-chief of Earth magazine. Yulsman has written one book: Origins: the Quest for Our Cosmic Roots, published by the Institute of Physics in 2003.

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