Should We Just Adapt to Climate Change?

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 3:44 PM GMT on February 17, 2013

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Should We Just Adapt to Climate Change?

I have been invited to contribute a piece to Zocalo Public Square for an event next week in Culver City, California. It is called Should We Just Adapt to Climate Change? If you are local, then it looks like an interesting event to attend with good people. To get more idea of the event from a previous event see Lost in Space. My piece is focused on California, but you will get the picture.

Should We Just Adapt to Climate Change?

The Earth is warming, sea levels are rising, and the weather is changing. We know that the Earth has warmed and will continue to warm due to the carbon dioxide we are releasing into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels—and the warming is and will be disruptive. Five years ago the talk was “if” we limited the increase in the average surface temperature of the Earth to 2 degrees Celsius, then we would avoid “dangerous” climate change. It is now quite obvious that we see large, consequential, and disruptive changes with even less warming—for example in the melting of the Arctic Sea ice. The commitments the world has made have us on a path toward 3.5 degrees of warming or more. If we burn all our fossil fuels, the warming will be much greater.

We have no choice but to adapt to this warming world. We have adapted to changes in the climate for the past 10,000 years—it is something we do. Now, scientific investigation has given us a vision of the future that is credible and actionable. This is unprecedented in history, and it gives us the opportunity to take responsibility and plan to adapt. We know that the Earth will warm; we know it will warm fast. We also know that the weather will change, and when the weather changes the way rain and snow are distributed will be different.

To take advantage of this knowledge, we need to think through scenarios of what will happen to real places. We need to look at the impact of rising sea level on the Sacramento River Delta. We need to focus on how much water is stored in the snowpack of the Sierra Nevada and drought impacts on the forests, grasslands, and rangelands. We must move away from sweeping statements about more droughts and greater floods and instead play out the scenario and the cost of this warmer world to Culver City, California, to the people of California, and to the people of the United States. Then we can decide whether to build sea walls or move inland, rather than patching different strategies together as fragmented responses of emergency management.

Should we just adapt—and not worry about our continued emissions of our energy waste into the atmosphere, ocean, and land? What would be adapt to? We started talking about the “new normal” when we calculated, in 2011, the 30-year average of temperatures from 1981 to 2010, and a new, warmer average “replaced” the 30-year average of some earlier period. In 10 more years we will have the next warmer “climate,” then the next, and the next—the “next normals.” There is no new normal. And the warming will be speeding up. There is no “just adapting” to this; there is no stable climate to adapt to. We must manage and limit our carbon dioxide waste or we will still be chasing the “new normal” in a thousand years.

It won’t just be getting warmer. Ecosystems will have to adapt far faster than they did in the past 10,000 years. The trees of California will die from hot, dry weather. Intrusion of the sea into the Sacramento Delta will make Katrina in New Orleans seem like a quaint artifact of the “old normal.” The accelerated release of methane and carbon dioxide as the Arctic melts will accelerate the warming. The oceans will become acidic, and there will be vast changes to phytoplankton and zooplankton. The oceans will become warm and will release the carbon dioxide we take comfort in their storing. There is no “just adapting.” We will be required to adapt, and the rate of change will make adaptation ever more challenging. We need both aggressive reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate the future changes, and we need aggressive adaptation to cope with the changes already occurring and those that are in store.

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NCDC keeps tampering with the historical temperature record in order to show contemporary warming:

Link
Member Since: December 10, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 303
Further analysis demonstrating that CO2 has little or no effect on climate. I know warmists have their heads in the sand on this one, but explain how global temperature has remained static while atmospheric CO2 has increased approximately 8%:

Link
Member Since: December 10, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 303
Quoting Birthmark:

Neither do I.

However, we might both be surprised. We'll just have to wait and see. :)
Probably not in our lifetime,but that does not mean it is impossible!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting overwash12:
Link I don't see palm trees growing here anytime soon!

Neither do I.

However, we might both be surprised. We'll just have to wait and see. :)
Member Since: October 30, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 5469
Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:


I was surprised to see any trees there at all. :)
Pretty pics though,ain't it! Hard to believe anyone at all would choose to live here.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting overwash12:
Link I don't see palm trees growing here anytime soon!


I was surprised to see any trees there at all. :)
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4737
Link I don't see palm trees growing here anytime soon!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
175. etxwx
Quoting JohnLonergan:


I like this:

“You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts.”

― Daniel Patrick Moynihan


Another favorite...and even farther back:

"Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." - John Adams
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting JohnLonergan:


I like this:

“You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts.”

― Daniel Patrick Moynihan


I prefer "The Dude" Link
Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 4 Comments: 3378
Quoting allahgore:
why are some post missing on here? Can you erase a post?


Posts will be removed when they violate community standards.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4737
Quoting greentortuloni:
Also this:

All opinions are not equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated and well supported in logic and argument than others.

-douglass adams


I like this:

“You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts.”

― Daniel Patrick Moynihan
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 3283
Also this:

All opinions are not equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated and well supported in logic and argument than others.

-douglass adams
Member Since: June 5, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1220
Imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, "This is an interesting world I find myself in — an interesting hole I find myself in — fits me rather neatly, doesn't it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!" This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, it's still frantically hanging on to the notion that everything's going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for. We all know that at some point in the future the [bioverse] will come to an end and at some other point, considerably in advance from that but still not immediately pressing, the sun will explode. We feel there's plenty of time to worry about that, but on the other hand that's a very dangerous thing to say.

- douglass adams
Member Since: June 5, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1220
Thanks for addressing those posts. Mods rock.
Member Since: September 23, 2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 2541
Quoting Xulonn:
Your statement indicates that you understand AGW/CC.

Your link shows the opposite. Gosh darn it - I thought there was hope for you, NF.

Not until he learns the difference between winter and climate. Looks like a long haul.
Member Since: October 30, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 5469
Quoting NeapolitanFan:
Global warming is freezing Europe:
Your statement indicates that you understand AGW/CC.

Your link shows the opposite. Gosh darn it - I thought there was hope for you, NF.
Member Since: June 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 1447
see, i always thought the point of life was to be happy and try to leave at least a part of the world a better place than it was when you entered it. i guess i need to reevaluate. dolla dolla bill, y'all.

Quoting nymore:
FWIW there monkey, the point of the game of life is to win, you only lose for sure if you quit trying. I will keep trying very hard to make sure I win.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Global warming is freezing Europe:

Link
Member Since: December 10, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 303
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting nymore:
How many raises have you turned down? How many jobs have you turned down that paid more? How much more have you payed in taxes than were required? Seriously some of the things you say are absolutely laughable.

I've actually turned down more than a few jobs that paid more than the ones I've eventually taken. Salary has generally been third, fourth or lower on my criteria for accepting a job. First would be - am I gonna have fun. Second would be - am I gonna have fun. A close third would be - how much am I going to learn here. Then there's the quality of the work environment and how well I get along with the people for whom I'm going to be working.

Don't get me wrong, I think money is a good thing but it's really, really far from the most important thing in my life. I'd much rather be happy than wealthy. Funny thing is, I've actually ended up financially comfortable and happy.

Go figure.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting NeapolitanFan:
Boulder,CO escapes "global warming"! My guess is that the rest of the planet has escaped it as well if there were any verifiable temperature records

Boulder didn't.

And there are.

You simply don't like what they say.
Member Since: October 30, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 5469
Boulder,CO escapes "global warming"! My guess is that the rest of the planet has escaped it as well if there were any verifiable temperature records:

Link
Member Since: December 10, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 303
Quoting nymore:
they are mad at the world because they have not achieved what they think they should and it has to be somebodies fault but it can not be their own fault. FWIW there monkey, the point of the game of life is to win, you only lose for sure if you quit trying. I will keep trying very hard to make sure I win.



What a selfish, self-centered comment.

I started working at age 16 and retired at age 61. during that time, I spent less that 6-8 weeks without a paycheck (4-weeks during Christmas & New Years between leaving the Marine Corps and beginning work in Thule, Greenland). I've never blamed anyone for the mistakes I've made and there have been more than one. I've also acknowledged those that have helped me achieve the successes along the way.

There must be some moral equivalency when talking about winninf. Winning as the ultimate goal is fine for Junior High School Football. After all, Hitler really wanted to win WWII and conquer the world. Should he be admired for his desire to win at all cost?? Is your desire as a badge of winning, should it so be, to drive a Hummer with gas prices at $2/gallon be more important than the survival of humanity??
Member Since: May 2, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 180
Quoting nymore:
How many raises have you turned down?

One.

Quoting nymore:
How many jobs have you turned down that paid more?

Two.

Quoting nymore:
How much more have you payed in taxes than were required?

More than you'd believe.

As an aside, anyone really interested in the US Public Debt may make a direct donation to the US Treasury for that cause: https://www.pay.gov/paygov/forms/formInstance.html ?agencyFormId=23779454

The Bush tax-cuts were essentially welfare (a redistribution of wealth from future taxpayers to ourselves), so those not interested in collecting welfare can simply give it back.
Member Since: October 30, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 5469
Quoting nymore:
How many raises have you turned down? How many jobs have you turned down that paid more? How much more have you payed in taxes than were required? Seriously some of the things you say are absolutely laughable.
Probably 7 or 8; a dozen or more; thousands.

Now I suppose your next diversionary tactic will be to ask for proof, but I'm afraid this excursion will have to end; I've no intention of exploring my personal story here. Suffice it to say, while I'm no saint, I do have a conscience, and I believe in some type of karma, whether that's outer-directed or just an expression of inner guilt. There are, quite simply, things I won't do for money--for any amount of money. And that, of course, includes certain things that hurt the world for future generations. I realize political conservatives don't agree with that, or even fully understand it. But you'll have to take my word for it that I'm speaking the truth...
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13531
Quoting 1911maker:
143. nymore 10:37 PM GMT on February 19, 2013

2 questions:

Should the fight be about policy issues, or about the existence of climate change and how much man is the driver of climate change?

Is there a conspiracy driving the "whole climate change" hoax? IF so, please elaborate on it.

If by policy issue you mean and way to get off fossil fuels, than yes. I believe we are part of the problem, so no conspiracy. Now how to fix the problem, Logistically, economically, and technologically.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
**got another who wants to require some companies to be forced to give half their own R and D to help companies which they are not even involved. I have to ask where they think this should end.**

Well, at least it was answer, even if you don't like it. After all, fossil fuels are a finite resource but the sun will last a long time- and after all, when it burns out... we won't need an energy source anymore.

When do you think we should begin to move away from fossil fuels and start to develop renewable options? If we wait until oil is so scarce and demand is so high that no one can afford to heat their home or drive a car?

Not only that, a lot of the reserves some seem to hope will save us are very carbon-intensive to mine and refine, and will only makes our problem worse: Link
Member Since: December 17, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1230
Quoting NeapolitanFan:
What you warmists should be worrying about is the spraying of chemicals into the atmosphere purposely, to "block the sun." Who knows what these chemicals are doing to us and the environment:

Link
Two points:

1) Chemtrails

2) Alex Jones

'Nuff said...
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13531
Quoting nymore:
FWIW there monkey, the point of the game of life is to win, you only lose for sure if you quit trying. I will keep trying very hard to make sure I win.
That may be the point of your game, and more power to you. But many of us here aren't playing that game. In fact, we're not playing a game at all. Profit is neither our sole nor primary motivator; if it were, we probably wouldn't be interested in unbiased scientific fact. No, many of us are because we want the world we leave to our descendants to be at least as nice as the one that our ancestors left for us. That appears increasingly unlikely, but that fact won't cause us to, as you put it, quit trying...
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13531
143. nymore 10:37 PM GMT on February 19, 2013

2 questions:

Should the fight be about policy issues, or about the existence of climate change and how much man is the driver of climate change?

Is there a conspiracy driving the "whole climate change" hoax? IF so, please elaborate on it.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
What you warmists should be worrying about is the spraying of chemicals into the atmosphere purposely, to "block the sun." Who knows what these chemicals are doing to us and the environment:

Link
Member Since: December 10, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 303
This is the best of the lot.

138. pintada 8:48 PM GMT on February 19, 2013
4. Get rid of GDP as a measure of a nations wealth and replace it with GDH.


but this is relevant also

2. Make it mostly revenue neutral - maybe reserve a little money to pay for research - especially for research on storage (batteries, capacitors, molten salt, etc.)

Lets add; storage of Hydrogen as a high priority research topic. If there is a cheap, high energy density way to store h2, a lot of the problems will be come significantly easier to "fix".
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting pintada:
For you nuclear power advocates:
Reserves?

200 Years?
Yes, 200 years AT THE CURRENT USAGE RATE. 5067 million kilowatts of electricity is currently produced. Of that, 381 million kilowatts is from nuclear. If we produced all of the electrical power from nuclear, it would last 15 years, unless we convert all generation to fast breeders, or some magic happens (Extract uranium from sea water? Get real.)

I don't want a fast breeder reactor in my back yard, I don't want Iran (Pakistan, Iraq, etc., etc.) to have one at all, and I would imagine that there are not many of you that want those things either.

Last time I checked, it takes 10-15 years to build a nuclear generating station. What would be the point?

(Fusion was 30 years away when i visited Los Alamos in 1972, it is still just 30 years away.)

There is a simple fallacy here. You cannot run an infinitely and exponentially growing economy on limited resources, be they uranium, gas, oil, or coal. Solar power is limited only by the amount of empty desert that we have, and our willingness to do the right things. Which are:

1. Institute a $20 - $50/ton carbon tax

2. Make it mostly revenue neutral - maybe reserve a little money to pay for research - especially for research on storage (batteries, capacitors, molten salt, etc.)

3. Incentivize and get aggressive about the building of high voltage DC transmission lines to carry power from the sunny and windy places to where people live.

4. Get rid of GDP as a measure of a nations wealth and replace it with GDH.



I had recently read that there was about 70 years of known uranium reserves. This study was 5 years old and I had not seen any updated studies to this. 30 years or 50 years, not much difference for the long haul.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4737
Quoting allahgore:


I joined yesterday. I am not anti-science. I work for a fairly large oil company. I am doing some research and I hope to learn certain aspects. I have also joined other websites. I will mostly observe and engage in some topics. thank you for the welcome.


I assumed you were a Denier based on your handle. IF you are out to learn, the following sites are very good starting places:

http://www.skepticalscience.com/
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/200 7/05/start-here/

and the section on this site also
http://www.wunderground.com/climate/
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting allahgore:
I am doing some research, this site is great.
Well, most here will give you the benefit of the doubt, as you just registered today. But you should know that your chosen handle kind of marks you as an anti-science type. That assumption may be wrong, but it'll be up to you to prove it incorrect...
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13531
For you nuclear power advocates:
Reserves?

200 Years?
Yes, 200 years AT THE CURRENT USAGE RATE. 5067 million kilowatts of electricity is currently produced. Of that, 381 million kilowatts is from nuclear. If we produced all of the electrical power from nuclear, it would last 15 years, unless we convert all generation to fast breeders, or some magic happens (Extract uranium from sea water? Get real.)

I don't want a fast breeder reactor in my back yard, I don't want Iran (Pakistan, Iraq, etc., etc.) to have one at all, and I would imagine that there are not many of you that want those things either.

Last time I checked, it takes 10-15 years to build a nuclear generating station. What would be the point?

(Fusion was 30 years away when i visited Los Alamos in 1972, it is still just 30 years away.)

There is a simple fallacy here. You cannot run an infinitely and exponentially growing economy on limited resources, be they uranium, gas, oil, or coal. Solar power is limited only by the amount of empty desert that we have, and our willingness to do the right things. Which are:

1. Institute a $20 - $50/ton carbon tax

2. Make it mostly revenue neutral - maybe reserve a little money to pay for research - especially for research on storage (batteries, capacitors, molten salt, etc.)

3. Incentivize and get aggressive about the building of high voltage DC transmission lines to carry power from the sunny and windy places to where people live.

4. Get rid of GDP as a measure of a nations wealth and replace it with GDH.

Member Since: July 15, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 234
Climate Denial Crock of the Week

with Peter Sinclair

32000 Scientists

32,000 leading scientists signed a petition against global warming?
Is that really true? Well, no...

But to get to the bottom of this crock, we’ll have to go back in history, and meet someone who really was, at one time, a leading scientist.

Member Since: November 22, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1281
Quoting FLwolverine:

Interesting. A google search led me to Snopes -- Link -- who said this:

Origins: John Coleman is a meteorologist who currently works as a weathercaster at station KUSI-TV in San Diego, California, and was the founder of the Weather Channel (with which he is no longer affiliated). Coleman has been an outspoken critic on the subject of global warming, labeling it "the greatest scam in history" and "a fictional, manufactured crisis." The text reproduced above is a transcript of speech he gave in that vein before the San Diego Chamber of Commerce in 2008.
Although the words are Coleman's, the statement that they "refute" global warming (i.e., prove it to be false) is an exaggeration. Critics of Coleman have produced detailed rebuttals of his arguments against global warming.

Here's the link to the one of the detailed rebuttals: Link

I'm reasonably certain you won't followup on any of this, but there may be some readers who will learn something. Cheers.



LOL all he has to do is watch what the Arctic Ice is doing that is our best indicator for cause and effect... Tunnels yet anyone?
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20401
Quoting FLwolverine:
After reading Dr Rood's blogs for awhile, and then after watching the video posted on Dr. Master's blog (by Keeperofthegate, I think) about the melting Greenland ice sheet, I thought: Jeez, I wonder where I should buy land for my grandkids to go to in 20 years. Now, that may have been sort of facetious (and maybe a trifle shallow?), but I did start to wonder what kinds of projections have been made about the effect of climate change on various parts of the earth. Is there any place humanity could start to migrate to as weather patterns and growing seasons change and sea levels rise? It's apparently not a simple matter of moving north (as people moved south in "Day After Tomorrow"). What about moving up - as into the Rocky Mountains or the Himalayas or the Andes?

And I do realize there will be a problem - a very big problem - of competition for any such space that might be available.

I am really very pessimistic about the future of this planet. Maybe I'm just looking for a sliver of hope for the short term.


Tunnels yet?
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20401
Quoting jgehb:


Ah yes, one of the many scared to have that debate out in the open where they will be exposed for pushing a fraudulent agenda! If you are so convinced you are right, then answer the call by having that debate Mr. Coleman and the 30,000 plus scientists, 9,000 with PHDs, want to have! lol


Are we back to "no consensus among scientist" again? There IS a very strong consensus among climatologist concerning AGW. ... If you are looking for a comparable consensus to those 30,000 plus scientist, 9,000 with PHds, then see what kind of consensus you get among Baptists, Mormons and Pentecostals concerning how Catholics practice religion.

Am I convinced that I am right? This is not about me or you. This is about the science and what the science tells us.

Scared? Me? LOL!...Start the debate. I enjoy a good laugh.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4737
Quoting jgehb:
Regarding "climate change", "global warming", etc - go to youtube and search on "Weather Channel founder discusses global warming and Al Gore". You should get a "hit" on youtube for that very thing. Click on that link and you will watch John Coleman, the founder of the Weather Channel, do an excellent job exposing "global warming" and "climate change" for the FRAUD it is. Mr Coleman points out that he and the 30,000 plus scientists (9,000 with PHDs) who signed up to debunk "global warming" and "climate change" cannot get Al and the scientists who are pushing "global warming" and "climate change" to have a debate. Mr. Gore and the scientists backing him over at the UNIPCC are scared to death to have that debate, claiming the debate has been settled when the debate never took place.

Interesting. A google search led me to Snopes -- Link -- who said this:

Origins: John Coleman is a meteorologist who currently works as a weathercaster at station KUSI-TV in San Diego, California, and was the founder of the Weather Channel (with which he is no longer affiliated). Coleman has been an outspoken critic on the subject of global warming, labeling it "the greatest scam in history" and "a fictional, manufactured crisis." The text reproduced above is a transcript of speech he gave in that vein before the San Diego Chamber of Commerce in 2008.
Although the words are Coleman's, the statement that they "refute" global warming (i.e., prove it to be false) is an exaggeration. Critics of Coleman have produced detailed rebuttals of his arguments against global warming.

Here's the link to the one of the detailed rebuttals: Link

I'm reasonably certain you won't followup on any of this, but there may be some readers who will learn something. Cheers.
Member Since: January 6, 2013 Posts: 3 Comments: 2369

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About RickyRood

I'm a professor at U Michigan and lead a course on climate change problem solving. These articles often come from and contribute to the course.