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29 September 2009 @ 10:54 pm
And in other matters ...  
Just caught up with the week's news (this has been the week of no time) -- are you Filipinos out there all all right? The flooding sounds horrible! Though I am glad to see that the rescue efforts seem to have pulled off some dramatic successes! Stay safe!

On a happier note, HAPPY BIRTHDAY ciel_vert ! May Flights of Franks sing you through the day!

And does anyone know if/where I can find a paper/book/website that posits a well-constructed model for worst-case scenario climate change from several centuries to 1000 years in the future? I know that the sort of thing I am looking for will come with a very long list of caveats, and that's fine, it's research for fiction! But I am looking for something that would be able to tell me what could happen if, say, the sea rose by 100m. Would the Gulf Stream definitely be stuffed? Would that level of water coverage keep the landmasses warm? Would England be balmy or bitter? What would grow where?

Alas! Why is the Star Trek future of my childhood not here yet? I'd be able to run models on the holodeck! (And I know that I am about to have more people comment on my poor grasp of Federation history than sneer at the concept of anthropogenic climate change, which cheers me immensely!)

Glitter Me Timbers: mcr - frank adorablefaceciel_vert on September 29th, 2009 01:13 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much Brammers! :DDDDDDD
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 29th, 2009 01:14 pm (UTC)
You are more than welcome! Have a spectacular one!
supergreaksupergreak on September 29th, 2009 05:14 pm (UTC)
No idea for the science. It sounds like lots of fun to research, though. But my personal favorites in fiction are Blind Waves by Stephen Gould and the movie Waterworld. Just because they both have insane flooding and people living in floating cities and awesome things like that.

Star Trek is not the only disappointing future. According to SciFi of the 1920s, we're supposed to have colonies not only on the moon and Mars, but in other solar systems, as well. I'm sorely disappointed.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 30th, 2009 12:42 pm (UTC)
Hee! There will be a bit of a boat culture, but no Keven Costner, I find him a bit scary!

Yes, I was watching some of the early Wells adaptation films recently, and laughing at how little they resembled us now. Then I had a sober attack of relief, because we also avoided the weapons-based holocaust they predicted, even though they were before nuclear bombs.
sirra snowman: pencilssirra_scribbles on September 29th, 2009 08:15 pm (UTC)
Pardon me for my sudden introduction. I saw your post on a friends list, and was intrigued by your questions. I'm not an expert in these fields thus I don't claim to have the definitive answers to your questions, but I do hope my response can point you in an appropriate direction.

For starters, I hear tell that [IPCC] has modelled global climate change in the next century, and [NERC Rapid] is examining thermohaline circulation (THC, i.e. Gulf Stream) and associated topics. They will of course push the modest, reasonable expectations for sea level rise and climate change, so as to not scare away funding. More importantly, I don't know if there's been a definitive model for a 100 m sea level rise, or a climate model for centuries in the future.

There are some models out there that have been used to simulate global climate change in the next century for specific conditions, though. For example, [these folks] modelled a THC shutdown due to abrupt freshwater input. With only a fraction of Earth's frozen water suddenly joining the global ocean, life gets a little colder and drier, but the model takes only a slice of your worst case scenario in that the ocean rises only 1.25 m. And honestly nobody least of all [this fellow] is quite certain what will happen, and in what scale should we consider these changes (e.g. the "natural" time scale or the "social" scale). There's still so many frustrating unknowns in the problem, and there's only so much scientists can guestimate.

So, since I haven't located a model for such drastic sea level rise (and it is drastic--the melting of all of Antarctica, Greenland, mountain ice caps and glaciers, basically anything frozen, would raise the level of the global ocean about [80 m], without accounting for thermal expansion), I looked for something that would model a fairly-bad-case scenario: the past.

[This article] describes simulation of 21000 years of Earth's climate. In brief, several thousand years ago Greenland experienced substantial cooling from THC breakdown, followed by substantial warming only three thousand years later and higher sea levels. This ties in nicely with the above fact, the 80 m of ocean not-so-suddenly at your doorstep.

With that in mind, I searched for past occurences of higher sea levels. Based on past sea level change (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Phanerozoic_Sea_Level.png), about 55 MYA the oceans were 100 m higher than they are today. At that time Earth was overall [warm and forested], and even the oceans were balmier and teeming with life. So, thousands of years after THC breakdown, Earth may be a warmer, wetter place, at least if the [Antarctic stays out of it].

However, 1000 years is a short time, so predicting the ecological/biological response is even trickier. No doubt that microevolution would be at work, and the landscapes of various climes will shift. But tropical rainforests in Western Europe? Not so sure about that but I wouldn't write off the return of giant birds, fish and dinosaurs just yet.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 30th, 2009 12:45 pm (UTC)
You're a genius! I had been thinking of using prehistoric models to guide my flora decisions, but the Phanerozoic and Greenland articles have started lovely new trails of thought!

As to the tropical rainforests, in the short time I have lived in Sydney, ginger has become vastly easier to grow here, so I'll not rule out the option yet ;-) Is it wrong to hope for giant birds?

Thank you very very much for your well considered and beautifully linked comment!
sirra snowman: pencilssirra_scribbles on September 30th, 2009 03:28 pm (UTC)
You're very welcome. :)

It is never inappropriate to wish for giant birds, and in fact not only can ginger and [mustard] adapt in years, but indeed changes in our [feathered fellow homeotherms] may be realised. (Sorry I can't provide a link to the article itself, but I do have access to that volume should you need or want to read it.)

In addition, since we're talking about historical precedents, Jared Diamond's Collapse may be relevant to your research. Diamond discusses how past and current societies have fared/may fare when faced with economic, societal and natural disasters. Though anthropogenic climate change isn't his focus, the consequences of it are part of the take-home message. (It's also a good read, though a wee bit dated regarding modern societies and how we're doing it wrong.)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 30th, 2009 03:48 pm (UTC)
I've been meaning to read that, I liked his Guns, Germs and Steel very much. I'll try the local uni library for the article, too. Thank you!

I hate to confess, but I have been reading Mommsen on Rome as a guide to how we're doing modern society wrong. Damaging, outdated technology, a surfeit of religion with a lack of ethics, ill considered wars and leaders who are either poor, or surrounded with those more concerned with protecting their own interests than leading. If only our architecture was as pleasant to live in ...
Bryoneybryoneybrynn on September 30th, 2009 02:44 am (UTC)
Jet packs. ROBOT MAIDS! Instant food-erators. Flying cars. Voice activated home avatars.

Seriously, all we have are little robot vacuum cleaners and the Clapper.

My thing with the holodeck was that it was EVER empty. People would be fucking ADDICTED to that thing. There were a couple of episodes where they addressed it but COME ON! People would be fighting to get in there as much as possible.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 30th, 2009 12:40 pm (UTC)

I always thought there must actually be a whole lot of holodeck suites, so that you had a chance of finding one, while the other dozen or so were being used. Usually by Janeway ;-)
Welcome to Ant Countryant_queen on September 30th, 2009 03:28 am (UTC)
A good plain english one for people who are just generally not up to speed is CSIRO's "Climate Change: What You Can Do About It" By Paul Holper & Simon Torok. Published in 2008 so reasonably current. I felt it was a fairly sane and balanced publication.

There is also Tim Flannery's books. I just finished "Now or Never". It is a good follow on from his earlier works, but does go into some odd tangents. Personally, I'm not a fan of the whole "Gaia" personification thing, but I understand that for some people who aren't good with the science, they need a strong analogy to get their heads around it.

The hardest part of the whole thing is that their isn't a single cause, or a single projection, or a single solution. This is what really hampers the politics as anything that can't be expressed in a nice simple media sound bite is ignored, and any attempts to simplfy it down get hammered for not covering the whole picture.

I think I've got my head around most of the science and technology options for mitigation/adaption, but I'm still struggling with how the hell you globally smack everyone upside the head and get them to change the habits of the last 50 years.

Paperback - ISBN: 9781405038782 - AU $29.95
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 30th, 2009 03:49 am (UTC)
Alas, they're both good books on the actual mechanics of anthropogenic climate change and likely near-future effects. What I actually need is a little set of maps and figures that say 'Well, if we keep going hell for leather with coal and beef eating, this is what the United Island Kingdoms will look like in 2500 AD.'

And as a side note, the Gulf Stream, after slowing precipitously for years, sped up in April due to a mechanism that was unexpected but very welcome. As you say, we're still learning about the interconnectivity (and why some people see this as a reason to say 'In that case we can fuck with it at will!' is beyond me!.)
Welcome to Ant Countryant_queen on September 30th, 2009 10:18 am (UTC)
Ah, so you want the "OMG WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE" worst case scenario. Don't think I've got much then, though I thought the IPCC 4th assessment was scary enough.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 30th, 2009 12:38 pm (UTC)
It's for a science-fiction-type story, so I am looking for something that would give a nicely huge reason for the breakdown of the global village, but also want it to be a realistic system shift rather than just discrete elements changed.

I'd like to think that we'll all have our head around reduced power use and solar before we get to this, though ...
Kilian Ruadhms_kilian on September 30th, 2009 10:05 am (UTC)
SammyHubby will be going to Armageddon dressed as a Vulcan Ambassador, circa Enterprise. So will I if I can get 2 outfits made by then.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 30th, 2009 12:39 pm (UTC)
You two are my heroes.

Also, you around weekend of the 17th?
shadowclubshadowclub on October 1st, 2009 03:52 am (UTC)
I always wonder WHY we don't have 3D TV yet:)

♥ your posts always make me smile!