Greenhouse gasses triggering more changes than we can handle

November 19, 2018, University of Hawaii at Manoa
Map displays the cumulative number of climate hazards by 2100 under business as usual scenario. Interactive data at https://maps.esri.com/MoraLab/CumulativeChange/index.html Credit: Camilo Mora.

A new study published in Nature Climate Change provides one of the most comprehensive assessments yet of how humanity is being impacted by the simultaneous occurrence of multiple climate hazards strengthened by increasing greenhouse gas emissions. This research reveals that society faces a much larger threat from climate change than previous studies have suggested.

An analysis of thousands of peer-reviewed scientific papers reveals 467 ways in which , food, water, economy, infrastructure, and security have been impacted by multiple climatic changes including: warming, drought, heatwaves, wildfires, precipitation, floods, storms, sea level rise and changes in land cover and ocean chemistry.

Until now, with few exceptions, hazards due to have been studied individually. However, focusing on one or few hazards may mask the impacts of other hazards resulting in incomplete assessments of the consequences of on humanity.

Ongoing greenhouse gas emissions are known to increase atmospheric temperature, in turn enhancing soil water evaporation resulting in drought, wildfires and heatwaves in normally dry places, or massive rain and floods in commonly wet areas. In the oceans, warmer waters also evaporate faster, increasing wind speeds and the downpours of hurricanes, whose surges can be aggravated by sea level rise. As a result, greenhouse gas emissions can aggravate simultaneously multiple climate hazards.

In a of thousands of papers, the study details 467 ways of how these hazards have already impacted human health, including death, disease and mental well-being; food supply from animals and plants on land and sea; quantity and quality of freshwater; infrastructure including electricity, transportation and "life line" services such as water and sewage lines, and economic losses including property damage and reduced labor productivity; all while triggering multiple cases of migrations and violence. Over 3,000 documented case examples, with supporting papers, are listed at http://impactsofclimatechange.info/.

"Greenhouse gas emissions pose a broad threat to humanity by simultaneously intensifying many hazards that have proven harmful in the past," said lead author Camilo Mora, associate professor of geography in the College of Social Sciences at the University of Hawaii at Manoa "Further, we predict that by 2100 the number of hazards occurring concurrently will increase, making it even more difficult for people to cope."

The study, co-authored by 23 scientists, combines exhaustive data mining and the technological abilities of Mora's graduate students analyzing vast amounts of big data, with the longtime expertise of veteran climate scientists, including several lead authors on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports.

In the year 2100, for instance, New York is projected to face up to four climate hazards, if greenhouse gas emissions are not mitigated, including sea-level rise and extreme precipitation. That same year, Sydney and Los Angeles will face three concurrent climate hazards, Mexico City will face four, and the Atlantic coast of Brazil will face five. Even under strong mitigation scenarios, increasing cumulative exposure to the multitude of climate hazards will impact rich and poor countries alike and especially in tropical coastal areas.

A web-application that accompanies the paper allows users to see the cumulative number of climate hazards likely to occur anywhere on Earth, under different emissions scenarios through 2100 (see figure).

"The study is a compelling review of how climate change is literally redrawing lines on the map, clearly showing the threats that our world faces at every level. The maps and data hammer home how much danger humanity truly faces, and the need for immediate action," said Dawn Wright, ESRI Chief Scientist

"Our health depends on multiple factors, from clean air and water, to safe food and shelter and more," said co-author Jonathan Patz, professor and director of the University of Wisconsin's Global Health Institute. "So without a real systems approach to climate change impacts, we cannot adequately understand the full risks. If we only consider the most direct threats from climate change, for example heatwaves or severe storms, we inevitably will be blindsided by even larger threats that, in combination, can have even broader societal impacts."

Said Michael Mann, Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science at Penn State University who was not involved in the study, "This new research provides rigorous, quantitative support for a point we have emphasized for some time: the costs of inaction greatly outweigh the costs of taking action on climate change. It also provides robust support for another key point: we can still reduce future damage and suffering if we act quickly and dramatically to reduce carbon emissions."

"The collision of cumulative climate hazards is not something on the horizon, it is already here," said Mora. "Co-occurring and colliding climate hazards are already making headlines worldwide. Last year, for instance, Florida recorded extreme drought, record high temperatures, over 100 wildfires, and the strongest ever recorded hurricane in its Panhandle: the category 4 Hurricane Michael. Likewise, California is currently experiencing ferocious wild fires and one of the longest droughts, plus extreme heatwaves this past summer."

"The evidence of climate change impacting humanity is abundant, loud and clear," said Assistant Professor Daniele Spirandelli at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and co-author of the study. "Clearly, the outstanding question is—how many wake-up calls will it take to wake up?"

The concludes urgently: "Overall, our analysis shows that ongoing climate change will pose a heightened threat to humanity that will be greatly aggravated if substantial and timely reductions of greenhouse gas emissions are not achieved."

Explore further: Bitcoin can push global warming above 2 C in a couple decades

More information: Camilo Mora et al, Broad threat to humanity from cumulative climate hazards intensified by greenhouse gas emissions, Nature Climate Change (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41558-018-0315-6

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25 comments

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Anonym
3 / 5 (5) Nov 19, 2018
Be afraid. Be very very afraid.

rrwillsj
1 / 5 (3) Nov 19, 2018
I'd guess fear is the unreason for your choice of pseudonym?
Aroryborealis
1.4 / 5 (10) Nov 19, 2018
It took 23 authoring scientists, the involvement of elite IPCC contributors, great expenditures of time from a number of graduate slav*...err..students, the study of ramifications from thousands of Scientific Papers and the analysis of vast databases..... to identify and define 467 critical threats that cumulatively, we're judged incapable of mitigating?
Would not a cursory glance at a single, historical precedent....
-the embrace of any concept entailing a voluntary curtailment of status-evoking resource consumption-
.....arrive at an identical, but perhaps more constructively-executed conclusion?
Opps! 'Forgot. Messin' with cultural homogenization isn't PC.
Nevermind.
So.......yep! Nothing else triggers a creative inspiration to overcome the insurmountable, like an abject surrender to the inevitable!
It's such a brave, new world~
jonesdave
4.5 / 5 (8) Nov 19, 2018
It took 23 authoring scientists, the involvement of elite IPCC contributors, great expenditures of time from a number of graduate slav*...err..students, the study of ramifications from thousands of Scientific Papers and the analysis of vast databases..... to identify and define 467 critical threats that cumulatively, we're judged incapable of mitigating?
Would not a cursory glance at a single, historical precedent....
-the embrace of any concept entailing a voluntary curtailment of status-evoking resource consumption-
.....arrive at an identical, but perhaps more constructively-executed conclusion?
Opps! 'Forgot. Messin' with cultural homogenization isn't PC.
Nevermind.
So.......yep! Nothing else triggers a creative inspiration to overcome the insurmountable, like an abject surrender to the inevitable!
It's such a brave, new world~


Dafuq is that? Translations welcomed.
snoosebaum
1.2 / 5 (6) Nov 19, 2018
i guess like its getting colder

https://realclima...ovoMMsMY

but i get it,, a study of our biased studies says ,,

Aroryborealis
1 / 5 (5) Nov 19, 2018
Is 466....doable?
guptm
1.4 / 5 (9) Nov 19, 2018
If nature decides, no one would be able to stop sixth mass extinction event. We are here after five mass extinction events.

Do we really know how much we can handle? Keep funding them, lest their climate businesses stop.
snoosebaum
2.1 / 5 (7) Nov 19, 2018
Greenhose Gases Are Triggering SJWS
szore88
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 19, 2018
Prove it.
guyjohn123
1.6 / 5 (7) Nov 19, 2018
From NASA : Long cold winter could hit space in months bringing record low temperatures, NASA has warned.

That's the warning from a scientist who fears sunspot activity on the surface of our star has dropped so low that record low temperatures could soon set in.

"We see a cooling trend," says Martin Mlynczak of NASA's Langley Research Center.

"High above Earth's surface, near the edge of space, our atmosphere is losing heat energy.

"If current trends continue, it could soon set a Space Age record for cold."

Solar minimum can enhance the effects of space weather, disrupt communications and navigation, and even cause space junk to "hang around", NASA said.

Mlynczak and his colleagues have recently introduced the "Thermosphere Climate Index" (TCI), which measure how much heat nitric oxide (NO) molecules are dumping into space.
guyjohn123
1.6 / 5 (7) Nov 19, 2018
The results come from the SABER instrument onboard NASA's TIMED satellite, that monitor infrared emissions from carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitric oxide (NO).

By measuring the infrared glow of these molecules, SABER can assess the thermal state of gas at the very top of the atmosphere – a layer researchers call "the thermosphere."

When the thermosphere cools, it shrinks, making the radius of the Earth's atmosphere smaller.

This means it can delay the natural decay of space junk, resulting in a more cluttered environment around Earth.

"Right now, it is very low indeed," Mlynczak.

"SABER is currently measuring 33 billion Watts of infrared power from NO. That's 10 times smaller than we see during more active phases of the solar cycle."

"The thermosphere always cools off during Solar Minimum. It's one of the most important ways the solar cycle affects our planet," explains Mlynczak.

snoosebaum
1 / 5 (3) Nov 19, 2018
howhot3
4.2 / 5 (5) Nov 19, 2018
I knew as soon as I read this article that it would be followed up by several climate denier goon squad types. But what do they know? As I read this article, I was reminded of the movie "Final Destination". It's a teen scare movie where all the teens that survived an airplane crash by being delayed in an airport, eventually figured out that their death was inevitable. That's kind of way out there but with new measuring devices global warming is certainly becoming that Final Destination in that deniers can escape it either, Global warming isn't just coming to a neighborhood near you, it's here and now.

A few glances at the graphics at the top of this article should remind all the climate deniers exactly what they don't believe it. For the rest of mankind excluding the 2% deniers, if there's that many, it's a horror show! It's a meter stick of every possible way mankind can drive this planet to Extinction! And it's not looking good friends.
Pooua
1.8 / 5 (5) Nov 19, 2018
It would have been nice if this article had offered quantitative measures, instead of general qualitative hazards. The reality is, none of these changes are insurmountable, regardless of what the click-bait headline on this article says. Instead, this article left the actual level of threat posed by these hazards open to the imagination, and some people have exceedingly active imaginations.
antigoracle
2 / 5 (4) Nov 20, 2018
100s of MILLIONS of dollars, squandered on the AGW Cult's PATHOLOGICAL "science", all to sustain the PATHOLOGICAL LIES they feed to their ignorant, hungry Chicken Littles. Yet, they cannot produce a single PAL REVIEWED "study" that conclusively show anthropogenic CO2 is responsible for even one of their doom and gloom bullshit.

Eat up Chicken Littles and keep braying like jackasses for more of the Cult's LIES.
zz5555
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 20, 2018
"The thermosphere always cools off during Solar Minimum. It's one of the most important ways the solar cycle affects our planet," explains Mlynczak.

The misinformation about this story from the anti-science movement is amazing. Mlynczak only talked about the thermosphere cooling. That the thermosphere cools does not mean that the troposphere (where we live) will cool. A fundamental fact of increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere is that the thermosphere (and stratosphere) will cool. If these parts of the atmosphere cool while the troposphere warms, why do you believe the troposphere must cool as the upper atmosphere cools?
Old_C_Code
1 / 5 (3) Nov 20, 2018
The greenhouse gas precipitation, snow, is all over my yard for days in November. Water is 90% of the total greenhouse gas effect. These alarmists and their articles are foolish.
snoosebaum
1 / 5 (2) Nov 20, 2018
rrwillsj
5 / 5 (2) Nov 20, 2018
And for all the shrill denials from the denier-shills? The arctic and antarctic continue warming. The equatorial zone continues to get hotter. The temperate bands between continue ti shrink as those are whipsawed between freezing cold and broiling hot.

A few rain showers does not signal the end of a drought.
"Mild" winter does not mean next year we will not have to endure wild swings in climate.

And for all you Carbon Lobby toadies and ICE lickspittles?
"Mild" winters are a disaster for the winter wheat farmers. Without snow cover? The plantings freeze.

And, what do you mean you are not getting paid for your agitprop? Let me guess. All the other shills are laughing at you behind your back for you being such a gullible twit?
snoosebaum
1 / 5 (2) Nov 20, 2018
jaimesald
5 / 5 (1) Nov 21, 2018
Yes, Action is Necessary to the extent that Benefits>Cost.
rrwillsj
1 / 5 (1) Nov 21, 2018
well jaime, if you were being swept away by fast waters? The rope I would need to toss, for you to catch and be pulled to safety?

Should I hesitate to decide whether or not I should make a "conservative" purchase of the cheap rope, too short to reach you? As a cost>benefits decision?

Or would you prefer I was "liberally" extravagant and splurge on purchasing a quality rope long enough to lasso you and pull you to safety?

Clocks ticking, Jaime. It's your precious ass on the line. Saving money can be very expensive. Unless you would prefer to be a wealthy corpse with the scavengers picking at your bones?

While speaking of scavengers... I'm sure your heirs will be appreciative if you made that decision.

Come to think of it? Do you even like your heirs enough, to see them enjoy spending your money? With those crocodile tears running down their cheeks. As they express fake sorrow and false gratitude for your selfless sacrifice.
snoosebaum
1 / 5 (1) Nov 23, 2018
torbjorn_b_g_larsson
3 / 5 (2) Nov 23, 2018
Nice to see the integration of risks.

And of course the science denialists are more stressed than ever, to the point that many comments are unreadable or fragmentary; they make no sense as always. The article OTOH describes facts, estimated risks and estimate costs,

We all know, or should know, that it is both riskier and costlier to do nothing; yet we see unsupported claims to the contrary.

We all know, or should know, that parts of Earth will become colder while global warming occurs, either momentarily, locally or in the upper atmosphere as the surface warms.

We all know, or should know, that this research is the totality of climate research, and therefore as science cautious and not alarmist.

Comments to the contrary are not supported and can therefore be rejected without support. Those comments are verbal garbage, damaging at best. The subject is a serious and factual matter, and you should be ashamed of yourself and your insensate opinions.
snoosebaum
1 / 5 (1) Nov 23, 2018
'': the costs of inaction greatly outweigh the costs of taking action on climate change.''

and will not be measurable

''threat to humanity that will be greatly aggravated if substantial and timely reductions of greenhouse gas emissions are not achieved."

if timely reductions are achieved , the economic system will collapse leading to the deaths of millions

''increasing wind speeds and the downpours of hurricanes, whose surges can be aggravated by sea level rise''

there is no evidence of this , except the NY times screeching

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