Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet

Category: Engineering
Author: Mark Lynas
This Month Reddit 5


by MuddyBorcus   2018-11-10

Without CO2 in the atmosphere the earth would be an uninhabitable ice planet. As in many substances in many systems, small concentrations can make a big difference. A few berries of nightshade can kill you, as can nearly trace amounts of fentanyl. If you’ve ever kept a fish tank you’ll know that a tiny imbalance in ph or other factors can kill all the fish. So it goes.

The point is: this is not guesswork. It is trivial, in the laboratory, to create atmospheres with varying concentrations of CO2, expose them to infrared radiation, and map the response with great precision. The results never vary. If they did vary, the basics of physics would be wrong. Thus when scientists say “this much CO2 is likely to get us this result,” it carries more weight than what feels right to some guy on the internet.

I would suggest starting with Six Degrees by Mark Lynas for a summary, then proceed to the more fundamental science if you still don

by k955301   2018-11-10



by k955301   2018-11-10

The book /r/tinylittlesocks quoted:

by gowld   2018-10-05
How is that possible? From the Amazon blurb, it seems that the book talks about what would be destroyed by weather change, but nothing about what would be created. If temperature increases, some current cold areas would be more habitable. If sea levels rise, some inland area would become coastal. These changes would happen over generations, so populations would move. There would be tumult in human and animal life, which is bad but not a novel part of human experience (we've always had hurricanes, tsumanis, earthquakes, and plenty of manmade disasters), but a new equilibrium would be reached. There was once an Ice Age that supported human life! I don't think the overall human environment 6 degrees in the future would be worse than say 200 years ago.

Also, it's been 16 years since the book was published. Have temperatures risen? Have the predictions come to pass?