In case you haven’t noticed yet: according to the scientific consensus, the #climatecrisis is more about the question whether we can “ultimately sustain all life on Earth” than whether “millions of humans will die” (which they will).
- It is not about billions of people dying – Millions are already destined to die, but we could recover from that.
- It is not about a warming by 1.5 or 5 degrees – we already warmed it up by 1.0 and was it only rising temperatures, we could find places on earth to continue.
- It is about a collapse of the biosphere – the end of all life, including all humans.
- The wikipedia article about the mass extinction we are facing is called Anoxic Event.
I am not making this shit up. It is mentioned in the IPCC press release from 25.9.2019, in a diplomatic language:
“We will only be able to keep global warming to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels if we effect unprecedented transitions in all aspects of society, including energy, land and ecosystems, urban and infrastructure as well as industry. The ambitious climate policies and emissions reductions required to deliver the Paris Agreement will also protect the ocean and cryosphere – and ultimately sustain all life on Earth,”Debra Roberts, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group II, IPCC Press Release 25. September 2019
“We need to stop the climate crisis in 2020 or all humans are gonna die sooner or later!”Me, Leo Sauermann, 8.12.2019, in simple Englisch
Within the IPCC report on the cryosphere and oceans it is mentioned as a side note:
Rising bottom temperatures or shifting of warm currents on continental margins could increase dissociation of buried gas hydrates on margins (Phrampus and Hornbach, 2012) (low confidence) potentially intensifying anaerobic methane oxidation (which produces hydrogen sulfide) (Boetius and Wenzhoefer, 2013) and expanding cover of methane seep communities (limited evidence).Section 220.127.116.11 Chemosynthetic Ecosystems
The problem with the oceans dying and producing hydrogen sulfide is that this probably happened about 250 million years ago. Thanks to paleontology / earth science we know about the permian extincion: after greenhouse gases destroyed the biosphere, hydrogen sulfide killed all oxygen-based life forms:
“Hydrogen sulfide is also the thing that finally did us in that time 97 percent of all life on Earth died, once all the feedback loops had been triggered and the circulating jet streams of a warmed ocean ground to a haltSee this summary of findings by Lee Kump. — it’s the planet’s preferred gas for a natural holocaust. Gradually, the ocean’s dead zones spread, killing off marine species that had dominated the oceans for hundreds of millions of years, and the gas the inert waters gave off into the atmosphere poisoned everything on land. Plants, too. It was millions of years before the oceans recovered.”http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2017/07/climate-change-earth-too-hot-for-humans.html
This is all quite nicely written up in the Wikipedia article on anoxic events.
The loss of oxygen is the news:
Sixty years ago, only 45 ocean sites suffered from low oxygen levels. That number skyrocketed to 700 in 2011. According to the study, about 50% of oxygen loss in the upper part of the ocean is a result of temperature increase.https://www.cbsnews.com/news/worlds-oceans-are-losing-oxygen-at-a-dangerous-unprecedented-rate-as-temperatures-rise/
” Den Schätzungen der Forscher zufolge sei der Sauerstoffgehalt in den Ozeanen zwischen 1960 und 2010 im Durchschnitt um zwei Prozent gesunken. In manchen tropischen Regionen sank er gar um 40 Prozent. Es handelt sich um die bisher umfassendste durch Fachleute geprüfte Forschungsarbeit zum Thema Sauerstoffverlust in den Meeren. “
„Das ist möglicherweise das letzte Alarmsignal, das wir von dem unkontrollierten Experiment bekommen, das die Menschheit in den Ozeanen der Welt ausgelöst hat […] Wenn uns der Sauerstoff ausgeht, dann bedeutet das Verlust von Lebensraum und Biodiversität […] Es wird auch die Energie und den biochemischen Kreislauf der Ozeane verändern, und wir wissen nicht, was diese biologischen und chemischen Veränderungen eigentlich bedeuten.”https://orf.at/stories/3146774/ , 7.12.2019
The good news: in parallel to the industrial revolution and burning all this CO2, we had a scientific revolution and a communication revolution and the forming of a global governance – the UNO.
We are tremendously lucky to have the science at hand that explains the actual threat. We are lucky to have nations that communicate about it.
Think if we didn’t have that:
“Oh, it’s a bit warm this summer. Let’s burn some effigy to appease the gods”.
“Oh, this ocean here stinks like rotten eggs. Let’s move inland.”
Sidenote of history: a lot of the Oil we are burning currently came from organisms who died one of the previous “anoxic events” (natural holocaust through CO2/hydrogen sulfide). So if we fuck this up and cannot solve the #climatecrisis, our dead bodies (and all plants and animals) will turn into oil and be the fuel for the next civilisation falling into this trap.
I repeat: You can’t make this shit up. We need to stop the #climatecrisis right here, right now.
The science behind this: “Spreading Dead Zones and Consequences for Marine Ecosystems“, Robert J. Diaz, Rutger Rosenberg, “Science”, 2008-08-15, Vol. 321, Issue 5891, pp. 926-929, DOI: 10.1126/science.1156401: “Under persistent hypoxia, some energy is still processed by tolerant benthos. Microbes process all benthic energy as hydrogen sulphide, and anoxia develops (red).“
Update 2021-04-21: According to the UN, the number of no-oxygen dead-zones on the planet rose from 400 in 2008 to 700 in 2019. The natural holocaust started. https://orf.at/stories/3210101/. https://news.un.org/en/story/2021/04/1090242 .