Climate Change

Published on February 14th, 2016 | by Guest Contributor


10,000 Years Of Sea Level Rise From Human-Caused Climate Change

February 14th, 2016 by  

Another reminder why we do what we do here on CleanTechnica (originally published on Sustainnovate):
By Henry Lindon

The sea level rise that will accompany unmitigated anthropogenic climate change will last for at least 10,000 years, according to new research published in the journal Nature Climate Change.


What this means, is that many of the most highly populated areas of the globe — many of which are now expected to go under the waves over the next few hundred years — will still be underwater nearly 10 millennia from now.

Even if emissions are rapidly curtailed and warming is kept below 2° Celsius (a very difficult task), roughly 20% of the world’s current population will have to move over the coming decades and centuries as a result of the sea level rise that’s already baked in (at least 25 meters). This includes major metropolitan areas such as New York City, Rio de Janeiro, London, Shanghai, Cairo, Calcutta, and Jakarta. Amongst many others.

Where will all these people go, you ask? Well, that’s the million (actually, nearly 7.5 billion now) question, isn’t it?

With warming above 2° Celsius, the situation becomes even more seemingly untenable — especially when one considers how long it takes (long in human timespans anyways) for atmospheric carbon dioxide levels to be reduced notably.

“Much of the carbon we are putting in the air from burning fossil fuels will stay there for thousands of years,” stated Professor Peter Clark, of Oregon State University. “People need to understand that the effects of climate change won’t go away, at least not for thousands of generations.”

“The long-term view sends the chilling message of what the real risks and consequences are of the fossil fuel era,” echoed Professor Thomas Stocker, of the University of Bern, Switzerland. “It will commit us to massive adaptation efforts so that for many, dislocation and migration becomes the only option.”

The new work is important because most earlier work hasn’t concerned itself with what happens beyond the year 2100 (or some other arbitrary date). Considering that large ice sheets are thought to take a fair amount of time to melt completely, these longer time scales are worth taking a look at.

“We can’t keep building seawalls that are 25 meters high,” said Clark. “Entire populations of cities will eventually have to move.”

Or be abandoned, depopulated, turned into ghost towns, etc. An apparently very common process, when one really takes a look around at the ubiquitous remains of earlier cultures and civilizations.

Those who are now uttering under their breath something along the lines of, “Well, they’ll think of something,” might want to hear what the researchers themselves had to say on that matter:

“If you are very optimistic and think we will be in the position by 2050 or 2070 to have a global scale carbon removal scheme — which sounds very science fiction — you could pump down CO2 levels. But there is no indication that this is technically possible.”

Another issue is that much of the heat generated to date (and carbon dioxide emitted) is already now in the oceans, contributing to increasingly strange weather, warmer temperatures, and melting ice sheets.

Image via World Under Water

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  • Bob_Wallace

    Henry Lindon. At least that’s what it says at the top of the page.

  • Richard Poore

    One of the biggest problems is that we were already in a warming period before the recent human CO2 usage increase. Stopping warming would require not only stopping AGW but also stopping the natural warming trend that was already in place.

    We need to stop accelerating the process, but we also need to realize that we are headed hotter even if all human activity was reduced to zero right now.

    • zloppolz

      Although increasing radiators to space, above the clouds, theoretically Cools. Neither warming or cooling has been experimentally determined.

      “Greenhouse gases cool planets: Volcanos warm them | Tallbloke”

      • Bob_Wallace

        It would be possible to reflect some of the incoming radiation from the Sun back into space and lower the Earth’s temperature. But that won’t fix the other major problem caused by high CO2 emissions, the acidification of the oceans.

        • zloppolz

          “It would be possible to reflect some of the incoming radiation from
          the Sun back into space and lower the Earth’s temperature.”

          Forcings matter, not that much. Atmosphere adjusts, so that
          incoming radiation and surface pressure override.
          (Willis Essenbach did a study of Volcano eruptions)

          “But that won’t fix the other major problem caused by high CO2
          emissions, the acidification of the oceans.”

          Fish live comfortably in areas, where CO2 bubbles from the ocean floor. Reduction of ocean Ph is not an issue.

          • nakedChimp

            For corals it is an issue or any of that microscopic life in the oceans that the ‘fish’ is feeding off on.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Sorry, you’re posting rubbish. Go learn something about climate change. Don’t bother us with your junk.

          • zloppolz

            ” Don’t bother us with your junk.”
            Who is us?

  • windy2

    Silly nonsense to imagine disaster in 10,000 years but mankind incapable of geoengineering the planet long before it happens.

    • Bob_Wallace

      It is not a disaster that will happen 10,000 years from now. It a process which the world is undergoing. Ocean levels are rising. We are already experiencing damage due to those higher oceans.

      Right now the overall cost is relatively low but as the water rises our cities will become more and more inundated and the damage will be more severe. More expensive.

      Droughts will become more severe. Floods will become more severe. Crops will not grow where we had previously grown them. Tropical diseases will spread into areas where they haven’t occurred before. Our habitable land will shrink.

      That’s what we’ve done to our future.

      Now, don’t you think the smart thing would be to do a little work to cut the severity of that pain?

      • zloppolz

        Giving more money to the Rothschild, Gore and Blood carbon taxers, will cool the Earth?

        • vensonata

          You are too vague to understand by this audience I am afraid. You presume we know of some conspiracy which involves the Rothschilds etc. You are perhaps used to a closed circle of simple minded conspiracy theorists. Amongst more mature and knowledgeable people, who, by the way do know there are conspiracies abounding, you need credible evidence and not convenient racist and ideological blurts.

          • zloppolz

            “closed circle of simple minded conspiracy theorists”
            His-story is driven by conspiracy facts and False Flags.

            “convenient racist and ideological blurts”
            Be specific. What do you disagree with?

        • Roger Pham

          No need for any taxation, zloppolz.
          The government of each country will simply need to mandate energy companies to incorporate very gradual yearly-increasing proportion of Renewable Energy into their product portfolio.

          For example, 0.2% addition annually in RE forms in energy sales for the first few years, then 0.4% addition annually in RE forms for the next few years…and so on, until we will arrive at 100% Renewable Energy in 50 years.

          Another example, a petroleum company may find it too expensive to make synthetic liquid fuels to substitute for petrol. Instead, that petroleum company can build solar charging car ports at the work places in order to make much cheaper solar electricity for transportation to substitute for much more expensive synfuels. This will benefit EV makers greatly, while encouraging petrol companies to divest from fossil fuel portfolio and moving gradually toward 100% RE transportation.

          Those who don’t believe in man-made global warming still can see the benefit of this in reducing pollution and improving energy security and socio-economic stability, as well as significant economic growth and job creation. Petroleum will run scarce in the next few decades, and will lead to major economic and socio-political disruptions unless we take steps today for a gradual and orderly transition toward replacements for petroleum.

          • zloppolz

            “The government of each country will simply need to mandate
            energy companies to incorporate very gradual yearly-increasing
            proportion of Renewable Energy into their product portfolio.”

            China has not and manufacturing has moved there.
            US is being de-industrialized. For good reason?

            “For example, 0.2% addition annually in RE forms in energy sales
            for the first few years, then 0.4% addition annually in RE forms
            for the next few years…and so on, until we will arrive at 100%
            Renewable Energy in 50 years.”

            By that time, Entropy reduction power generation will dominate?

            “This will benefit EV makers greatly, while encouraging
            petrol companies to divest from fossil fuel portfolio and
            moving gradually toward 100% RE transportation.”

            We already have Musk companies, heavily subsidized.

            “Those who don’t believe in man-made global warming still
            can see the benefit of this in reducing pollution and improving
            energy security and socio-economic stability, as well as
            significant economic growth and job creation.”

            Regulators will be competing to control everything,
            as predicted by Lenin.

            “Petroleum will run scarce in the next few decades, and will
            lead to major economic and socio-political disruptions unless
            we take steps today for a gradual and orderly transition toward
            replacements for petroleum.”?

            “The Myth Of Peak Oil – Prison Planet”
            Not only is oil abiotic, methane hydrides are renewable.
            Use hydrocarbons before Ice Age Doom.

          • Roger Pham

            Thanks for your reply, Zloppolz.
            1) At a 0.5% addition of RE annually, the near-term increase in energy prices will be negligible within a decade, even assuming current higher cost of RE. At the rate of cost decline of RE, in 10 years, the cost of RE will likely become lower than the cost of fossil fuel (FF).
            In fact, the RE-percentage of US grid electricity mix has risen from 13.5% to 16.06% from 2013 to 2015, so we are already achieving that!

            2) >>>>>>”Regulators will be competing to control everything, as predicted by Lenin.”
            Regulators are already doing that! The sky is not falling, though I resent having my health ins premium doubled from last year, no thank to the ACA.

            3) >>>>>>>”Not only is oil abiotic, methane hydrides are renewable.”
            Well, thanks for the comic relief, he he he! The last time I checked, all the depleted oil and gas wells have remained depleted…No new oil nor gas were being produced in those depleted wells.
            But more seriously, you really want us to continue to be vulnerable to oil shocks and economic collapses like in previous oil shocks? Tens of thousands of our soldiers were killed, maimed, badly disfigured, or have taken their own lives from previous “oil wars” and wars to preserve the “Petro-dollar” status. Hundreds of thousands of veterans of Gulf Wars are suffering daily from PTSD and other psychological traumas…No one came back undamaged!
            The collateral damages from “Petro-dollar wars” have killed millions of people, with cities and infrastructures wiped out for tens of millions in the Middle East. War Criminality and Carnage to equal WWII that may spawn the risk of terrorist here at home due to hate and revenge.

            4) The alternative, the use of 100% RE, will lead to the creation of millions of new US jobs, keeping hundreds of Billions of $USD at home to circulate in our robust RE economy. Tax rolls will increase to the point of eliminating the budget deficits, with major decrease in welfare rolls, as well as reduction in gov. health budget from elimination of FF’s pollution. We don’t need Petro-dollar to prop up the value of the $USD. The value of the USD will remain high once we will straighten our acts and become a productive society with elimination of petroleum importation and grow our economy and reduce unemployment when converting to a 100%-RE society!
            Tens of thousands of coal miners and remote oilfield workers will get the relief of much better working conditions in solar farms and wind farms.

            Please let me know what you think of all these.

      • windy2

        “Now, don’t you think the smart thing would be to do a little work to cut the severity of that pain?”

        I’ve had discussions with IPCC authors who are economists and the answer is it depends. It may not be wise to spend money on mitigation and better to spend it on adaptation, there just isn’t enough evidence to determine what the “pain” that you allude to, wil be.

        NASA’a latest finding is that the Antarctic is gaining ice mass balance not losing it and sea level rise is pretty much the same as it’s been for the last 120 years. A study last month reveled that there is much more precipitative water in the atmosphere that is ending up being absorbed by land rather than ending up in the oceans as was modeled. The amount that models are off may be as high as .7mm/yr and is significant.

        The models are not doing a good job of matching reality in several areas. I have climate modelers in the family so my opinions are based on discussions of problems not shared with the general public, and my confidence in climate model’s abilities to accurately determine what will happen 20, 50, 100, 1000 or 10000 years out, is not as great as it used to be 15 years ago before I started researching climate change. A recent exchange with one of the UK’s top climate modelers only reinforces my view. Personally I’m leaning more towards adaptation rather than mitigation.

        • Bob_Wallace

          Windy, I’m sure you have no understanding how rising ocean temperatures have increased winter sea ice extent in Antarctica. If you have any intellectual honesty you should look for some reality based answers from climate science rather than from the crackpot sites you apparently visit.

          As for sea level rise here’s a graph from NASA. You know, the rocket scientist folks.

          My sympathies to the climate modelers in your family. I suppose they’ve found out how to talk around you during family get togethers. Many families have their problem members.

          Now, you’ve worn out your welcome. Adios….

          • Jake Bonn

            Your ignorance is only surpassed by your condescension.

  • jdub1581

    I think this has to be one of the stupidest articles I’ve read in a long while.

    We assume that ‘everything’ should be to our benefit and liking. Despite the unknown.

    We assume that the ice-sheets that we retrieve our past climate data from have been unchanged for millions of eons, and the information within is accurate to our inferred assumption of the past.

    We assume that emissions are the culprit, and changes in the environment can in no way be natural. (Humans DO create a lot of heat, and have placed solar heating pads across most of the planet in the form of asphalt… however the above remains the same.)

    We assume the Ice Age ended 10k years ago. When we really do not know what it was like before said event. For all we know, the Ice Age could still be defrosting.

    We assume that money has played no role in hindering : Government, Military, Technology, Science, Education, Horticulture, Progress .. Truth…

    Point being:

    To Assume, is to make an ‘Ass (of) U (&)Me’.

    Is the planet warming? Sure..

    Is it our fault? NO ONE knows for Certain..

    Can we do anything about it? Not really, the ball is rolling and it’s inertia is unwavering. All we can do is make better choices when it comes to innovation. Not based on market data, economics and vanity.

    Can we be smarter from here on out? I hope so .. but that’s the 7.5billion people question…

    • Bob_Wallace

      We can only hope that you get smarter. That’s a wheelbarrow of dumbness you’ve dumped on the page.

    • Martin

      Guess you do NOT believe in science.
      All those facts, about us doing what we are doing to the climate, you talk about have been proven over and over again, peer proven by other scientists!

    • vensonata

      Take my advice, keep your thoughts to yourself and you won’t be embarrassed in public. It is time to sit up straight and just listen to people who know about these matters. Empty your glass of uninformed opinions and there will be room for new properly researched science to fill you to the brim. You are delighting in uncertainty where and when it suits you, and dismissing action because it lets you off the hook.

      • Roger Pham

        People who share jdub1581’s belief is far too common in society.
        Yet, it may be possible to find and to share a common goal with those climate-change deniers so that we all can work together, so that humanity will see much brighter days ahead, pollution-wise and economic-wise, and so that the looming Climate Change disaster can be averted. Please kindly read my posting in reply to jdub1581 for further details.

    • Roger Pham

      >>>>>>:Can we do anything about it? Not really, the ball is rolling and it’s inertia is unwavering. “

      Yes, we CAN DO something about it!

      The simplest and most effect course of action is for governments all over the world to start mandating a gradual increase in Renewable -Energy (RE) content of all forms of energy.

      By the same token, all RE (Renewable Energy) subsidies can be removed
      when the gov. would mandate a gradual phasing-in of RE content in ALL
      forms of energy, for example, 0.5% increase in RE content yearly
      initially, going to 1% annual increase in RE content after 5 years,
      then to 1.5% annual increase in RE content after 5 more years…and so

      Why this is better than a carbon tax? Politician lawmakers don’t operate in a vacuum. Tax is a dirty word in politics. The energy industry has massive political power to render any tax increase on their products unrealizable.

      Furthermore, when the price differences between synthetic fuel and fossil fuel are so vast, for example, synthetic gasoline is not cost competitive until
      crude oil are around $90 per barrel, while crude oil are now selling for
      $30 per barrel, obviously costing only a few $dollars per barrel to
      produce in Saudi and Iraq.
      It would not be politically palatable to have a $60-per-barrel tax on $30-per-barrel crude oil to raise the price of crude oil to $90 per barrel in order for RE-synfuel, waste biomass, RE-Battery, and RE-H2 to become cost-competitive.

      However, a RE mandate is a different thing. A gradual RE content-increase mandate is not a tax, and will not have major effect on the consumers’ fuel costs in the near future because it is very gradual, only 0.5% increase annually initially, going to 1% annually after 5 years…and so on.

      However, a gradual RE mandate will set in motion the production of increasing RE synfuel that will cost less and less in the future, due to economy of scale, experience, technological innovations etc.
      The RE mandate will break the chicken and the egg problem of low cost from economy of scale, however, high cost due to initially small production volume cannot result in economy of scale to become cost-competitive…

      The Energy industry will less likely be objecting to the RE mandate, because they realize that fossil fuels will not last forever, but yet, they must be provided with a good incentive NOW to start ramping up production of initially-non-cost-competitive RE forms (Battery, H2, synfuels, waste biomass etc). They cannot economically justify making RE forms right now because they will lose big money on those…However, with a RE mandate, they will gladly be making RE forms and pass down the initially-increase cost of RE forms to the customers.
      Even if you don’t believe in man-made Global Warming, you would still want to see this very gradual Renewable Energy mandate to give us relief from pollution AND to give us Energy Security as a hedge against future economic shocks, due to geopolitical disruption in the supply of fossil-fuel energy.

      • fairfireman21

        Just like a broken record.
        Samething over and over.

        • Roger Pham

          You must have good memory and having been keeping track of what I’ve written, many thanks for that. The above was intended for newcomers and GW deniers like jdub1581.

          However, I’ve just thought of a twist to the above idea to avoid being repetitive: How about instead of requiring gradual increase of RE content of ALL forms of energy, the gov will mandate that each energy company will have to gradually increase the RE proportion of their entire energy product portfolio.

          For example, a petroleum company may find it too expensive to make synthetic liquid fuels to substitute for petrol. Instead, that petroleum company can instead build solar charging car ports at the work places in order to make much cheaper solar electricity for transportation to substitute for much more expensive synfuels. This will benefit EV makers greatly, while encouraging petrol companies to divest from fossil fuel portfolio and moving gradually toward 100% RE transportation.

          Furthermore, companies devoting 100% to RE, like Solar City, can sell RE credits for petroleum companies, if the latter fail to develop sufficient RE percentages in their portfolio.
          Let me know what you think of these ideas.

          • fairfireman21

            That makes a little more sense.
            That is the same thing that the auto industry does with the ZEV credits.
            Tesla sells them when other companies need them.

  • Jay

    “Well that’s the million question, isn’t it?”

  • Dan

    I’m sure this idea isn’t going to be enough on it’s own, but imagin giant snow machines pumping snowpack on land in Greenland and Antarctica. If the surface area of reflective ice increases, that helps reduce the thermal gain. And, by pumping water back on land we are storing it out of the Ocean so it would at least technically reduce it’s volume.

    I realize it would require some massive amounts of energy.

    Bill Nye had a great idea in his book unstoppable could implement very fast…

    Using air pumps behind cargo boats, we could create bubbles trailing the boats. The sudsy bubbles last longer in the salty seawater and are more reflective than the open ocean. With tens of thousands of cargo boats trailing around these “hydrosols” (air bubbles in liquid) the surface of the ocean would reflect thermal radiation and help offset the loss of snow and ice thermal reflection.

  • Saxum

    The number 10,000 used in this article brings to mind another 10,000 reference. That was about the number of years ago when north-eastern North America was covered by a layer of ice about a mile thick.

    And then, the ice melted, the huge amount of water which resulted washed away the soil to produce the Niagara Escarpment. The melt waters flowed over that escarpment to produce Niagara Falls; and the huge reservoirs which are known as the Great Lakes formed. With those waters exiting into the newly formed St. Lawrence River which spilled the waters into the Atlantic Ocean.

    There were no coal-burning plants, no SUVs, and no (adjacent) mankind around to have caused that Climate Change. Because Climate Change has always been with us since the world began. It is part of the natural development and ‘plan’ of ‘Mother Nature’ which has seen Climate Change occur rapidly and slowly for eons.

    • newnodm


    • vensonata

      What are you trying to say? Are you a kindly Sunday School teacher trying to explain something to the panicky science based class of 5 year olds? Once and for all stop telling adults that “the climate is always changing”, or that the “previous ice age ended without cars being present.” Take that tired nonsense and go back to your closed circle of deniers, they will think you highly intelligent.

      • Saxum

        When Climate Realists post known information which has long been accepted, the oft-seen response is a heated, angry retort such as yours which is bent on attacking the messenger, and denying that which has long been held to be factual – such as previous cycles of freezing and warming. And that having occurred without the influence of mankind.

        And in posting such rants, you and your fellow riders only serve to underscore that your ‘message’ of manmade Climate Change is not being accepted by the general public, and so you have to resort to attempting to clumsily hammering your ‘superior knowledge’ into the lesser beings of the world.

        And, yes, I know, a lot of scientists have signed onto your view. But there are also credible scientists who do not agree with that view. And ‘numbers’ of adherents on one side or the other are not necessarily ‘telling. We have been through this in the past. As anyone who knows something about history and the likes of Galileo et al will attest. And in this regard, we await the confrontation of Steyn and Mann in a court of the United States.

    • Bob_Wallace

      The climate has change several times and for various reasons including changes in Earth orbit and emergence of mountain ranges.

      This change is on us. For the first time a species has evolved that learned how to extract and burn fossil fuel for energy. While the species was warned over 100 years in advance. But they were not evolved enough to change their ways before they modified the climate in which they thrived and now they’re starting to feel the pain they have caused themselves.

      Put another way, there is more than one way to skin a cat. And to change a climate.

    • Martin

      To Saxum:
      Well you brought a valid point, yes the climate has changed in the past and id changing, but this time we are accelerating it.
      As for the ice melting and creating the great lakes, with the sea level rising that just may go backwards, the great lakes becoming bigger.
      One other thought:
      did any of these models, for the long term impact of the melting ice, take into account the current weight of the ice on the land and what will happen to the land once that ice is removed (just like pushing a ball under water in the tub, lake)?

    • JamesWimberley

      Nature’s imaginary plan does not guarantee the survival of any particular species like homo sapiens.

      Consider the Biblical story of Noah. One attractive theory is that it reflects the irruption of the Mediterranean into the then much lower and landlocked Black Sea about 8,000 BC: the two layers of water have still not mixed.The cataclysm would probably have been accompanied by extreme weather, which coupled to the 100m rise in the sea level would have been catastrophic to many riparian Neolithic human communities. Noah could be representative of the survivors. But whatever the origin of the myth or legend, in it Noah did something to survive, against the jeers of his neighbours. (Perhaps his prototype built a raft to carry his family, sheep, goats, and dogs, possibly pigs and cats – cows, hens and horses were domesticated later.) The moral is to have the sort of faith that leads to action, not trusting to luck.

      • Doug Cutler

        A very intriguing theory. One can even imagine a neolithic local traveling to and keenly observing the increasing fragile land bridge between the Mediterranean and Black Sea and surmising the inevitable flood to come.

        • JamesWimberley

          Two small data points in favour of the theory. Genesis has the Ark come to land on Mount Ararat, which is well north of the Fertile Crescent and close to the Black Sea. Two, Noah is credited with the domestication of the grape for wine, on which he promptly gets drunk. The source wild plant comes from the Caucasus, in the same region.

          It is hard to see how seasonal floods in the Mesopotamian plain – a few metres deep at worst, you could ride them out on a rooftop – could have generated a story of a catastrophic, world-destroying flood.

          • Doug Cutler

            I think a full archaeological trace of Black Sea flood to Noah’s Arc would have to include the original flood story of Gilgamesh from Mesopotamia upon which the Noah story is clearly based. The Hebrews almost certainly picked up on the pre-existing legend during the Babylonia Exile then adapted the tale to their own uses. I studied Gilgamesh years ago in English Lit but not as literature, not as archaeological evidence. I’m sure the people hypothesizing the original Black Sea as Great Flood notion have looked into this.

            But knowing how humans love to hear tall tails – whether round the campfire in days of old or in movie theaters of today – its not impossible that some proto-survivalist neolithic farmer, aware if the imminent danger of a Black Sea basin flood, might build for his family and domestic animals a very large raft on dry land as a precaution much to the ridicule of his neighbors. They wind up drowning but he survives to tell the tale which then gets embellished layer upon layer over the years.

    • jfreed27

      That is a simplistic view, but perhaps you know that. The factors, such as orbital changes, that caused the melting of ice age ice do not now exist. But 600 billions tons of extra CO2 does exist and we have known for 200 years it would warm the planet.

  • newnodm

    I think the Dutch had better start finding their distant relatives in the U.S. and Canada.

    • nakedChimp

      And who do the Bangladeshis turn too?

  • wattleberry

    Does the prediction allow for natural cycles? For all we know a resumption of the ice age may be imminent which can only be countered by ‘artificial’ means.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Natural cycles are quite predictable far in advance with the exception of a super volcanic eruption which might only be predictable in terms of years. It’s possible that a larger meteor might hit us without a lot of prediction but that’s fairly unlikely, we’ve got a fair amount of tracking in place.

      We were heading toward a large cooling event when we took the coal/oil sidetrack but I don’t remember the time frame.

      You can read up on it here –

      • Doug Cutler

        To be precise, large comets lurking in the far reaches of the Oort cloud pose the main threat as these might careen into the inner solar system at any time giving very short notice of a major strike. Also, they are very difficult to detect with present tech but thankfully extremely rare in earth crossing behaviour. Otherwise, large earth crossing asteroids from the asteroid belt are being systematically cataloged so less chance of surprise there.

        • Bob_Wallace

          I lack the knowledge base to be that precise…. ;o)

          I’m pretty much at the level of “something big could smack into us and toss a bunch of stuff into the air, blocking sunlight”.

          • Doug Cutler

            Nothing fancy here. Just like to watch science shows on TV.

          • Jake Bonn

            You lack more than knowledge.

      • wattleberry

        Thanks for link, Bob, which I had a look at and gained the impression that this article would be very unlikely to have been able to use it except as a qualifier on the reliability of any of these predictions, generally understood anyway.
        What it did indicate strongly was that the trigger for another ice age was much more easily disrupted than warming factors.

        • zloppolz

          There are hysteresis effects. Weather could instantly turn into climate.
          People could be frozen, as was Willie the Woolly Mammoth.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Climate is weather averaged.

          • zloppolz

            You can newer know the present climate
            because low pass filters have a time lag.

    • Doug Cutler

      You said: “For all we know a resumption of the ice age may be imminent“.

      Actually, the science is far more precise than that. According to the very well understood Milankovitch cycles – small, cyclic variations in the earth`s orbit and tilt – the next full on ice age is due in about 50,000 years.

      As you suggest, if we are still around by then perhaps we could ward off the ice with a carefully calibrated blanket of atmospheric C02. No doubt there will still be conservative elements around ranting against the related fossil fuel burn as a waste of money based on crackpot science.

      • nakedChimp


  • If the goal is to remove CO2 from the atmosphere, plant more trees!! Nature has provided us with the necessary ‘technology’

    • Philip W

      Yeah I can’t wait for those tree planting drones that plant trees by the billions.

      • newnodm

        Consider chronic unemployment in many places, no robots are needed.

        • Philip W

          You better be starting to plant trees ASAP then.

          • Indeed. Given that 2070 is the time the article thinks that some automated method might just be possible, but no promises, I’d say planting trees is the way to go. CO2 has plenty of time to increase between now and 2070!!

            Do we really want to wait until 2070 to see if we can solve the problem technologically with no promise that it can be done?

            Read towards to bottom of the article
            “But there is no indication that this is technically possible.”

      • Frank

        What are you going to do with the trees after they die? Make coal out of it, and bury it, or let the termites recycle it?

        • Ronald Brakels

          Depending on the location, ocean dumping of biomass might be the most cost effective method. Either in an area of sufficient sedimentation, or simply ocean depths that don’t have upwelling currents. Anoxic muds and cold water lakes also work. Humans have been accidently sequestering small amounts of carbon in shipwrecks and so on for a long time, so we know it works.

          In other locations, coverting biomass to char (or biochar as the cool kids call it nowadays) is an option. As an admendment it can improve poor soil, and the world has more poor soil than you can poke a stick at, so we’re not about to run out of that any time soon. Or it could just be buried to get rid of it, so yes, that would basically make coal out of it.

          • Karl the brewer

            There is money in biochar. Between £3 and £4 per kilo –
            Tempted to try some on my allotment this year.

          • Ronald Brakels

            That is pretty pricey. Biochar is not free to make and transport, but it doesn’t cost 3,000+ pounds a tonne, not even when sold in one kilo bags. Would you like me to tell you how to make your own? If you follow my directions to the letter I guarrantee you won’t burn my house down.

          • Karl the brewer

            Yes please but if I make a mess of our oven I will be shot. £3000 per tonne would be great start point for a carbon price 😉

          • Ronald Brakels

            Get two metal drums, one larger than the other. Knock a few small holes near the base of the larger drum to let the air in. Fill the smaller drum with material to be converted to biochar. Plant material is what’s usually used, but since this is for the garden feel free to throw bones in there if you have them for their mineral content. Put the larger drum over the smaller one and turn them upside down. Stuff the space between the two drums with fuel and set it on fire. Let it burn. The contents of the smaller drum will be converted to biochar.

            That’s just one way. There are plenty of others and you can find examples on the intertubes.

          • jfreed27

            but the burning produces co2. Better if it could be done using thermal solar.

          • Ronald Brakels

            Yes, I should have pointed out that the fuel should be wood or other biomass and not coal so the process of producing it will remain carbon neutral. If solar heat is used, gases will be produced that either can be burned for energy or should be burned, such as methane, because they’re greenhouse gases. So it would be technically possible to make a system that produces biochar using solar thermal and stores flammable gases and uses them to generate power when the electricity price is high.

          • jfreed27

            Good points. On the negative side would be the cost of transporting goods to to the solar thermal plant. But, electric trucks are on the road even now and could be developed further.

        • rockyredneck

          Harvest the wood and replant. It could replace much of the concrete used in the world and reduce a large source of CO2

    • newnodm

      Trees only remove significant carbon until the forest matures. After that the wood needs to be removed and used (not burned or left to rot). But even large scale planting of trees is probably only offsets decaying plant material in what was permafrost.
      In the U.S., forest has been increasing for many decades. The the NE, vast areas are now newer forest which were farms a hundred years ago. The hardwood industry claims that valuable trees have had a net increase each year for decades. Not what most people assume is true.
      We should leave the remaining virgin forest alone. But using tree to make stuff is environmentally sound, which is not the assumption of most people who consider themselves “green”.

      • Bob_Wallace

        We have very limited means of pulling CO2 out of the carbon cycle and re-sequestering it. Let’s play with the ‘plant trees’ idea.

        Suppose we created a system powered entirely by renewable energy. That system used drones/robots to plant, tend and harvest trees and fast growing plants. We harvest the plant matter, convert it to biochar (charcoal) as a way to reduce the volume, and bury it in ‘landfills’.

        Make all the inputs renewable and sustainable. Put the carbon in holes. Could we do it on a large enough scale to get CO2 levels back to where they need to be? Would we be willing to tolerate a colder climate in order to rebuild polar ice?

        • newnodm

          I prefer the flying robots build new free wood decks on everyones house with the harvest.

          • Bob_Wallace

            I imagine you know why that isn’t a solution. But for those who don’t, the carbon is only temporarily sequestered.

            Gotta get that black stuff back underground.

          • newnodm

            It just needs to be used and not allowed to rot. Building houses, or wind turbine towers, is just fine.

          • Bob_Wallace


          • newnodm

            I own a farm, and I have owned a small tree farm. The land needed for massive scale tree growing, with mechanical planting and harvesting, does not exist. What is needed is reasonably flat land with reliable and adequate rainfall. Guess what that land is used for today.
            Furthermore, until carbon capture is addressed fully in the waste stream and recycling, planning for massive tree growing is silly. The best use of resources will always be to prevent the release of CO2 and methane first.

          • Bob_Wallace

            And you missed the point

            No one is talking about continuing to burn fossil fuel and releasing methane.

            The discussion is whether there might be a way to recover some of the carbon that we’ve already pumped in. And some of the carbon we will pump in while we transition off fossil fuels.

            If you’ve read what we need to do then you’ll know that we need to stop emitting GHGs by 2050 but that isn’t sufficient. We have to go carbon negative. The discussion is how we might go carbon negative.

          • newnodm

            There is not the slightest chance that the world will have stopped emitting GHG by 2050.

          • Bob_Wallace

            That is true. What I should have written is that humans will need to stop emitting more GHG than the Earth’s natural processes can absorb by 2050. And then we have to go CO2 negative.

          • Fine. You go ahead and do nothing then.

            I’m planting trees. I can’t keep up with the pace that my neighbors are cutting down trees, but I am planting Cedars from seed. Keeping the invasion of deer away is the challenge.

          • rockyredneck

            There is much each individual can do.
            The problem is to convince most people to do it

      • Martin

        No only trees sequester carbon, all plants do.
        as for planting trees by the billions, if each person plants say 10 trees in their life time or one tree per year, hoe many trees?
        Or we can pick a plant/plants that grow fast. like hemp, and than use those for products, hemp ropes are much better that nylon ones.
        It just has ti be political will.
        And yes mature trees sequester carbon at a much higher rate than young ones, that why selective logging adds volume (carbon) to forests.

        • Bob_Wallace

          It would have to be done on a much more massive scale.

      • JamesWimberley
        • Bob_Wallace

          Interesting. But consider the number of railroad cars of coal and oil we burn every day. And have been burning for decades.

          To make a dent in atmospheric carbon we’d have to go big scale.

          • JamesWimberley

            Sure. It would only be a dent in the problem. But we need every dent we can think of.

          • Bob_Wallace

            I agree. But we don’t have a lot of dents to string together. And we’ve been burning a lot of coal.

            “The average coal plant burns approximately 200 coal cars a day, with 100 tons per car. This makes 73,000 cars per year, or 7,300,000 tons per year.”


          • zloppolz

            “we’d have to go big scale”
            If we released CO2 from about 100 km cube of carbonate rock,
            we could raise the temperature by 8C and prevent the Ice Age.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Preventing the next ice age is not exactly something we need to worry about right now.

          • zloppolz

            Seeing that Central Park, New York, set a new cold record,
            better be prepared for a Willie the Woolly Mammoth event?

          • nakedChimp

            You do know the difference between weather and climate, rite?
            And also that climate change does have different effects (*) to different parts of the globe?

            *) options, not exhaustive:
            – dryer/wetter
            – stormier/calmer
            – colder/hotter
            – shorter/longer season(s)
            – earlier/later onset of season(s)

          • zloppolz

            The Bible people used harvest abundance to determine climate.
            7 year low pass cutoff filter. A few years they could weather out.
            Longer times, hunger motivated exodus to better crop growing climates.

          • Bob_Wallace

            OK, you’ve demonstrated that you are either mega-misinformed and unwilling to learn or simply a troll.

            Either way – time to break a champagne bottle across your bow and let you float down the river of nothingness.

          • Jake Bonn

            You are a Hypocrite.

          • Jake Bonn


    • GCO

      Yes, but only if those don’t interfere with other CO2 mitigation measures.

      Plants are far less efficient at pulling CO2 from the air then e.g. photovoltaics are at displacing CO2-emitting electricity sources.

      If we didn’t have deserts and rooftops to cover first, and as long as we still burn fossil fuels for energy, we’d actually be better off cutting down trees to make room for solar power plants.

      • “we’d actually be better off cutting down trees to make room for solar power plants.”

        If only life were that simple. Mankind gets itself into trouble in all walks of life making decisions based on very simplistic ideas and models.

        If *all* we are concerned with is a single action, reducing CO2 currently in the atmosphere; you make a good point. But have you considered the unintended consequences of cutting down a forest here and there and replacing with solar panels? Habitat is lost for many animals and insects. Soil may be carried off by water or wind without the protection afforded by the trees and undergrowth to name a few that come to mind

        Replacing greenery with man made structures isn’t very green if you don’t mind me saying so. It’s not like we have actually run out of land.

    • jfreed27

      That has been looked at. Some trees make it worse by absorbing heat. And there may not be enough land (or political will) for that to make a dent.


        So absorbing both heat and CO2 is bad for global warming. Must admit I’ve not heard that one before.

        • jfreed27

          Absorbing heat warms; reflecting heat does not. Albedo of ice, good. absorbing heat in oceans, bad.

          Taking in co2 is good.

  • The scariest part of this prediction judging by the graphic, McDonalds will still be around in 10,000 years.


    • JP_Pensee

      And their happy meals will still look the same.

    • b l

      Oh, it’s not so bad. What you are seeing is a museum reconstruction, depicting how people used to get nourishment, back before the 40th century, when we still relied on organic bodies. Of course we don’t actually eat anymore, but since all the flavor-sim modules from that era are public domain now, you can experience the sensation of consuming.. I believe they called it, a “Mac of Large Size”, whenever you wish, on the trans-web.
      Except for “fries”, obviously, that secret has been lost to time. Today, we have some theories on exactly what it was that was “fried”, and why, and what this had to do with “France”, but nobody knows for certain.

  • mememine69

    OMG this garbage is criminal level exaggeration and abuse of science! Shame!


    As much as you eager “believers” wanted them to, your climate gods just couldn’t say; “as real as smoking causing cancer” for a CO2 Armageddon. Even after 35 years of climate action delay and debate.

    Were they also only 99% sure the planet wasn’t flat?

    • Ross

      What are you trying to say? That’s like random nonsense.

      • Bob_Wallace

        Comment and commentor to which Ross was responding has melted.

  • JamesWimberley

    IMHO – and we really don’t know nearly enough about the subject – the obstacles to teratonne carbon sequestration are political rather than technical. (The olivine route looks doable if slow.) The only reason we are having an energy transition at all is that the price of renewables has fallen enough, thanks to early-stage deployment subsidies in a handful of countries, that market forces plus visible health impacts will now propel the world economy the rest of the way. But sequestration – going carbon-negative – will never happen like that. It absolutely requires government action, such as a carbon tax coupled to a sequestration payment. Perhaps in 20 years people will be scared enough to accept this.

    • mememine69

      We can only hope. We all love misery!!! 🙂

    • Karl the brewer

      It’s just so ridiculous that it is fear and not knowledge that is required to motivate people.

    • Jake Bonn

      In 20 years time the worldwide food and freshwater shortages will have everyone scrambling just to feed themselves. I doubt highly that any plan for taxation will ever be adequate. Monetizing pollution will only lead to more pollution being created within the capitalist systems created to support the newly created markets and their respective high yield wholly leveraged fantastical derivatives….

      • jokkey

        Science has been advancing in such great strides and we no longer suffer water or food shortages. The only things that cause these are wars and greed by state leaders especially in 3rd world countries. Every desert country can extract huge amounts of water from few hundred feet below the surface from aquifers and underground rivers. BUT if you are really open minded you will see that most Muslim countries are corrupt and keep their populations in servitude and ignorance and then export the excess population to the developed world to bring them down to their level of inhuman state. Islamic countries do not practice scientific advancements but practice human sacrifice and mutilations. Islam is anti science and anti advancement of humanity. Annihilate Islam and the world will not have global changes in weather.

        • Bob_Wallace

          That sort of comment does not belong on this site. Take it to HatersRus.idiots.

          • jokkey

            A pity you protested to have my comment deleted. It is true what I say. Only fools and horses cannot apprehend what the truth is and I even wonder if you can pass the horse sense test. You can only overcome a problem when you are willing and able to face that problem. The problem at hand that is condemning humanity to disaster is ISLAM. If you cannot see it then you are a fool.

          • Jake Bonn

            You get the right to pass judgement, and you are still a troll.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Jake – no more warnings.

      • Bob_Wallace

        The US and Africa waste 40% to 50% of the food they produce. We’re already able to produce enough food. Spoilage, waste and distribution are our problems.

        The last part of your comment is gobbly goop.

        • Jake Bonn

          Hey Bob , if you have a problem with my ” gobbly goop ” it is straight from the mouth of the UN . Maybe you should try sourcing your info outside the limited scope of CNN level fact checking before posting any further follow ups.

          • Bob_Wallace

            How about giving us the link to where the UN stated that putting a price on pollution would only result in more pollution being created?

          • Jake Bonn

            Don’t give the UN credit for the OBVIOUS. Geez Bob I gave you more credit than that. I fail to grasp the reasons behind your lack of understanding regarding the machinations of true capitalism. I’ll sum it up for you with 3 words. Predatory, Cannibalistic and Capitalism. By putting a “price” on pollution, it’s now been reclassified from POISON to a COMMODITY to be traded and taxed the same as every other ” commodity” . If you cannot realize this. I definitely gave you way too much credit.

          • Bob_Wallace

            So you made up your “straight from the mouth of the UN” claim?

            Do you not understand how a cap and trade system works?

          • Jake Bonn

            “Cap and Trade”?
            Yes, it’s a construct, and NO, it doesn’t work.
            What came straight from the mouth of the UN was the fact that the shortages in food and water are very real.
            I still maintain that I gave you way too much credit in the reality department.
            If you want a real tune up on how “cap and trade works”
            Pay the fee and I’ll enlighten you. Otherwise get back in line and wait for the pending unannounced bank holiday chump.
            I personally hope your entire nest-egg was in Ethers you pompous ignorant twit..

          • Bob_Wallace

            No name-calling Jake.

            A cap and trade system worked for the acid rain problem in the US.

          • Jake Bonn

            The UN doesn’t get credit for that Bob. That scenario is guaranteed by the corporate interventionist predatory lobbyists and the natural propensity to place profit above common sense when suffering from acute affluenza.

        • Jake Bonn

          What planet do you reside on Bob? You obviously can’t be talking about Earth.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Jake, you’re just posting low value comments. Please don’t waste people’s time.

          • Jake Bonn

            Bob, your nose is so high in the air you are breathing Ozone. It’s obviously had a negative effect on your already limited logic application capabilities. Your opinion of my posting ,causes no changes or concerns. You have not provided reasoning or evidence that changes my stance or opinion. I’ll choose science over speculation any day of the week. The science has already proven that your analogy is incorrect.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Analogy – noun – a comparison between two things, typically on the basis of their structure and for the purpose of explanation or clarification.

            What analogy did I make, Jake?

          • Jake Bonn

            Sorry troll, you are getting nothing further from me until you pay the fee. I don’t work for free.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Jake, we don’t allow name calling on this site.

            If you’d like to respond to my requests for more information feel free to post in a respectful manner.

    • Damon Wright

      Yes, when people become scared enough (meaning things become sufficiently economically & financially painful), we’ll come up with a feasible mass carbon-sequestration method. Even if it’s “expensive” it will still be orders of magnitude “less expensive” than the 10,000 year alternative.

      It’s a bit like paying for expensive surgery to correct a faulty heart valve … because the ‘do nothing’ alternative is dying prematurely (and rather soon too). You might try to put off the operation for awhile because saying ‘yes’ to the surgery means you’re looking your own mortality in the face (and paying a huge surgical/hospital bill to boot). But unless you’re terminally stupid, you’re going to buck up and pay for the surgery sooner rather than later.

      If nothing else, a concerned spouse/kids/relatives will put sufficient pressure on you to do it, even if you’re personally still reluctant.

      We’re still at the point where we don’t want to even look at the huge cost of sequestration (many won’t even admit the ‘human civilization mortality’ aspect of the fossil fuel age as seen by several comments here), but that bill will surely come due soon. Most likely when the droughts, crop failures and mass refugee crises start to bite in earnest.

      At least we are working hard on Stage 1 of fixing the problem (carbon mitigation) by researching and deploying renewables as fast as we can despite hostility from the fossil fuel industry and their bought politicians.

      Stage 2 (carbon reduction) will surely follow the same glide path in another decade, perhaps two. Unless we have a death wish as a civilization and ultimately as a species, of course. Which is always possible. But I much prefer to be an optimist.

      • Bob_Wallace

        You are assuming there is a mass carbon-sequestration method.

        At this point we don’t have any candidates.

        What we’ve got to do right now is slow our GHG emissions. And while doing so search for a way to re-sequester carbon. But we need to admit to ourselves that there may be no ‘big fix’.

        • rockyredneck

          No, we may have to implement many little fixes.

          • Bob_Wallace

            That’s fine. However at this time we have only a couple of little fixes.

            We need to admit to ourselves that there may not be enough little fixes to add up to a big fix.

          • rockyredneck

            But in the absence of practical big fixes we need to apply all the little fixes we have.

          • Damon Wright

            If that’s the case (no big fix) then we’re in for a world of pain before the end of this century. I’d prefer to be optimistic and assume we’ll figure out something. We’ve done some amazing things when we put our minds to it.

            By the way, this looks like a promising toe in the carbon capture ocean:


            Any R&D we can do on this idea now is better than nothing, otherwise we’ll be ruing the wasted time much like we’re shaking our collective fists at the oft-delayed (but now rapidly accelerating) deployment of renewables.

          • Bob_Wallace

            I fully support research into finding ways to capture and re-sequester carbon. But I’m a realist. Wanting and delivering are two different things.

            Your link – it appears to be about capturing carbon from coal plant smokestacks, not from the atmosphere.

            “Alberta-based Carbon Engineering is inaugurating a pilot project today in Squamish, British Columbia, that will capture carbon dioxide (CO2) directly from the atmosphere. ”

            From your link.

            “The 2015 POWER Plant of the Year award goes to a single, relatively small coal-fired unit: Boundary Dam Power Station Unit 3 (BD3) and its integrated carbon capture (CC) plant. But the award really goes to SaskPower, the Saskatchewan provincial utility that owns the unit, for developing an entire carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) infrastructure and larger ecosystem to support that unit.”


          • Damon Wright

            The British Columbia plant (the topic of my link) seems to be oriented toward atmospheric CO2, which is what interested me. They mention it several times in the short article.

            You took that link to jump to another story which refers to the Saskatchewan plant. That plant is in fact associated with a coal smokestack. Same company, different project, and (from my reading) an entirely different approach to CO2 re-sequestration.

            From my article (the ** are mine to highlight the references to atmospheric air/CO2):

            “CE’s air contactor absorbs **atmospheric CO2** into our capture
            solution to produce a liquid solution that is rich in CO2. The
            regeneration process, involving several processing steps, produces a
            purified stream of CO2 and re-makes the original capture chemical. These two processes work together to enable continuous capture of CO2 from **atmospheric air**, with energy (and small amounts of make-up chemicals) as an input, and pure CO2 as an output.”

            So I don’t understand why you linked to a second article referring to coal smokestack re-sequestration instead.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Because I found the first article confusing. At least it confused me.

            Let’s see how this pans out. The first step will be to see if they can capture atmospheric CO2 (as opposed to smokestack CO2). The next step will be to see how that CO2 can be taken out of circulation. Their idea of using the captured CO2 to manufacture fuel does not remove the carbon, just reuses it. The carbon will go from atmospheric back into atmospheric in a matter of days.

          • Damon Wright

            At the moment it seems they want to manufacture fuel, but one of the intermediate steps in the process is putting the CO2 into calcium carbonate which (I believe) could be buried for the long term.

            In the article itself, they said:

            “One of the processing steps traps the captured CO2 into
            pellets of calcium carbonate. Some other researchers have considered stopping at that point and selling and/or burying that mineral.”

            That’s why I made a point of highlighting this particular article. It’s doing very important R&D into the very topic I was banging the drum about earlier (large-scale, long-term CO2 sequestration) One that’s commercially viable at a carbon price of $100/metric ton according to Professor Keith.

            Anyway, now we have to just sit back and see what kind of result(s) they actually get.

            But it’s projects like this that have me excited that we’ll find some kind of viable giga-scale sequestration process at some point in the near future.

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