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xkcd: 4.5 degrees

Written By: - Date published: 10:45 pm, June 10th, 2014 - 67 comments
Categories: climate change, global warming - Tags:

67 comments on “xkcd: 4.5 degrees ”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    Fortunately we have political parties on the Left happy to raise the retirement age because otherwise we might not be able to afford Super by the time we hit +1 IAU, and that would be a terrible thing.

    • riffer 1.1

      eh? what the hell’s the retirement age got to do with this? I’d say it’s as relevant as the price of fish, but at this rate, there won’t be any.

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        Just pointing out the disconnect in political party policy – what they need to be focussing (long term existential challenges) on vs what they are focussing on (financialism and making book keeping entries balance).

  2. Tom Gould 2

    No one buys this scaremongering, which is why the issue is still and will remain somewhat fringe in the public mind. It’s a bit like the ‘obesity crisis’ and trying to get everyone overweight to diet and exercise and lose 20 kilos. Not going to happen. Just like getting them to take up cycling or riding the bus. Also not going to happen. No wonder the ‘left’ come across like a bunch of well-meaning busy-bodies telling everyone how to live their lives and what’s best for them?

    • Ennui 2.1

      Perhaps Tom you might read Guy McPherson who believes in near term human extinction. http://guymcpherson.com/climate-chaos/ This is a fairly extreme view, but not without its merits.

    • This is literally just giving you the scientifically accepted facts on what will happen if we don’t do anything to reduce CO2 emissions. I’d say that’s exactly the opposite of “nobody buying it”, that is in fact “everyone qualified agreeing.”

      I don’t mind the specifics of how you want to live your life, but society as a whole is going to have to dramatically drop solutions. If you’ve got a right-wing-friendly solution of how to do that instead of sticking your head in the sand, then maybe we’ll have something to talk about. Until then it’s going to be “left wing” policies like actually making polluters pay for pollution.

      • Drop emissions, even.

      • the card 2.2.2

        Eh ? if we don’t drop emissions there’ll be palm trees at the poles…. that’d be a good trick

        • lprent

          I presume you mean tropical palms? Actually I mostly presume that because I suspect you are too ignorant to know about those from colder climes?

          But your dumbarse palm trees at the poles is unlikely to happen until the sun gets quite a lot brighter over the next few billion years as it ages. I suppose that it could also happen if the earth ever gained a much more pronounced axial tilt. However I will leave speculation about how we could lose the moon which limits that to your illiterate self.

          We dropped into the current ice age with its frequent glaciations about 45 million years ago. This was after enough of Antarctica drifted far enough into the polar regions to form permanent and extensive ice sheets. This acts like a fridge for the world. This inevitably happens because the effect of having a landmass in the axial tilt region. From the geological evidence. Even having significantly sized islands in the polar regions appears to have a fridge effect.

          Educating the profoundly ignorant and the simply stupid like “the card”. It is like trying to hammer nails into tungsten.

          • thecard

            Look at the graph before going into abuse mode dickwad.

            • lprent

              What graph? Oh you mean the scale

              What you are describing could happen at something approximating the snowball earth level on the other end of the scale +4iau. As the effect of greenhouse gases is pretty close to logarithmic that would require burning far far more fossilised carbon than all of the known and suspected reserves plus all of the known carbonate deposits.

              Basically I was politely calling you someone whose grasp of science had been lost because you spent too much time pulling blood from your brain. In other words a moronic fuckwit.

              • thecard

                Are you fucked in the head ?

                The chart has the words “+2iau palm trees at the poles”

                I made the throw away comment that palm trees at the poles would be a good trick .. as there is no land at the North Pole to grow palm trees.

                Why you need to follow this up with a whole heap of cock thrusting aggression is beyond me.

                • lprent

                  Good point (I didn’t see that). However they are also wrong (unsurprising in a cartoon).

                  The polar forests only went up to 85 degrees north and south and they were temperate forests rather than tropical (read my first comment).

                  Currently Greenland goes up to ~83 degrees N. I’m painfully aware of that because it was a bastard getting it on mercator projection in my last job. It is possible that it could develop a polar forest at +2aiu. But no known palm could survive there.

                  It would be impossible in Antarctica because little of its coastline is less than 85 degrees south. It would be like growing a forest in a freezer even at +2aiu even in summer.

                  I do it because I can (earth sciences major), it sounded like a typical denier comment saying how cool it would be to open up the farmland of Antarctica, and I didn’t see where in the hell you got palm trees from.

                  Making “throw away comment” on a blog is always a fraught business. You often get people pointing out how much of a dick you sounded by making it. Often it will be from people who know what they are talking about and who are willing to educate you. They also aren’t shy about making sure your attention is engaged..

                  • thecard

                    Thanks for that, it all becomes clear to me now that you’re no more than a self important cunt.

  3. Bill 3

    When models are run on really existing world figures pertaining to emission rates (as opposed to 1990 rates), and when realistic global peak emission dates (ie, not 2015, 2017 or even some time in the past, as Stern, Hansen and other leading reports have been apt to do) are factored in, that ‘end of the century’ (not in my lifetime) guff comes forward to about 2050 or earlier. Just saying.

  4. dimebag russell 4

    hopefully its a big enough change to wipe 3,000,000,000 people off the planet and take the pressure of resources.

    • Bill 4.1

      Uh-huh. Except that depending on what 3 000 000 000 people you ‘dispense’ with, it would make no significant difference to emissions.

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        And that is the sad truth

        Its also a warning to those who want to lift up the incomes of the poor to typical western levels. Resource and energy consumption would be through the roof. Look at the tens of million of new cars going on to the road in China and India for starters.

        • Bill

          By the time significant proportions of Indian peasants or Chinese peasants had ready access to cars and what not, based on their country’s current economic growth rates we’d be long since ‘cooked’. They, and any consumerist dreams they might have, are not the problem.

          • Colonial Viper

            Don’t be so sure that China’s economic aspirations aren’t that relevant…world coal consumption has doubled since 1990. Guess where almost all the increase came from (one country): yep, China.

  5. dimebag russell 5

    take your point. make that 5,000,000,000 and the proletariat can clean up the rest.

  6. Lloyd 6

    Burning coal to make electricity is crazy behavior. Not only does it push CO2 into the atmosphere it also puts lots of other pollutants such as SO2 (acid rain), radioactive particles and nuclei for smog. Tom Gould needs to spend a few weeks breathing the air in China to realise that cutting CO2 pollution will happen because the alternative is a crap life-style for most of the world’s population.

    New Zealand is a small player but if we want to keep the 100% pure NZ label for our exports and our tourism we need to have a solid back-up. Showing we have cut out burning ANY fossil fuels to make electricity would be a start.

    If we don’t make any electricity from fossil fuels then electric powered cars are an obvious step. How about electric tractors? It could be a NZ export jump-start on the rest of the world. If you say electric cars are toys then check the Herald car section today on the progress of Tesla cars. All we need is the Tesla charging network across the country.

    Public transport is obviously much less CO2 productive than private cars. Spending money on Public Transport of Significance is so much more twenty-first century than spending money on roads. Electric trains don’t generate CO2. CRL in Auckland NOW!

    Cows and sheep burp methane which is more effective at warming the planet than CO2. Taxing sheep and cows is logical. A farmer should be able to reduce his tax if he can show that his sheep or cows produces less methane because of genetics or feeding programme. Therefore the tax would stimulate research on the genetic and feed programmes to reduce the global warming gases.

    On the other hand we should recognise that sea levels will rise and both infrastructure and property sales should recognise that the coast-line will come inland whatever we do. Beaches will disappear. Jervois and Customhouse Quays and Tamaki Drive will soon be regularly awash. Coastal investment properties will become problem properties like parts of Christchurch because of flooding.

    Sure, if there were only 10 or 20 million of us humans in the whole world we could all burn tons of coal each year without any problems, but we are billions and we have to show a LITTLE constraint. The really important thing is that we can constrain CO2 production whilst probably having a better lifestyle and a healthier economy than we have now. The minuscule number of global warming denying pundits are almost all presently profiting from burning fossil fuels. Humanity must ignore those dinosaurs.

    • jaymam 6.1

      Where does anyone burn coal to make electricity in NZ? Not at Huntly. So where?

      • Te Reo Putake 6.1.1

        Huntly and Glenbrook, Jayman.

        • jaymam

          Huntly has not burned coal for some years and the coal burning equipment is mothballed and would take months to get going again if anyone wanted that.
          Glenbrook uses coal for steelmaking, like every steel plant in the world. Don’t you want steel? It’s needed for rails and buildings.

          • Te Reo Putake

            Hey, all I did was answer your question. My opinions on steel are kinda irrelevant, but Glenbrook uses coal to generate power, as well as in the smelting process. And Huntly’s main unit also still uses coal and the two sidelined units are ready to be turned on anytime they need them. So the answer to your question is two sites. Glad to have been of service, no need to thank me.

  7. Tom Bennion 7

    Here is what 4 degrees means – parts of the planet start to become uninhabitable. The issue is laid out in a 2010 paper by Sherwood and Huber who conclude that “the area of land likely rendered uninhabitable by heat stress would dwarf that affected by rising sea level.”

    The paper is “An adaptability limit to climate change due to heat stress” http://www.pnas.org/content/107/21/9552.long.

    The paper concludes:

    “We conclude that a global-mean warming of roughly 7°C would create small zones where metabolic heat dissipation would for the first time become impossible, calling into question their suitability for human habitation. A warming of 11–12°C would expand these zones to encompass most of today’s human population. This likely overestimates what could practically be tolerated: Our limit applies to a person out of the sun, in gale-force winds, doused with water, wearing no clothing, and not working. A global-mean warming of only 3–4°C would in some locations halve the margin of safety (difference between TW max and 35°C) that now leaves room for additional burdens or limitations to cooling. Considering the impacts of heat stress that occur already, this would certainly be unpleasant and costly if not debilitating. More detailed heat stress studies incorporating physiological response characteristics and adaptations would be necessary to investigate this.

    If warmings of 10°C were really to occur in next three centuries, the area of land likely rendered uninhabitable by heat stress would dwarf that affected by rising sea level. Heat stress thus deserves more attention as a climate-change impact.”

    Less than 2 degrees warming is producing the record heatwaves we are currently seeing in New Delhi and Europe. Think about it this way – your own children, in their middle to old age, dying in heat waves. This is pretty much a scientific certainty without very aggressive efforts now to control emissions.

  8. dimebag russell 8

    this whole thing is going to run till there is nothing left. hang on to your hats because it is going to be a bumpy ride. no party or politician can do anything about it. the earth may not be fried but it is going to cook!

  9. Gareth 9

    While I love xkcd and agree with the intent of this cartoon, I must point out an inaccuracy.

    If all the ice on Earth melts, it still won’t add up to 200 metres of sea level rise as his +2 IAU case states. The East Antarctic Ice Sheet would contribute about 50 metres, Greenland would be responsible for 20 metres and West Antartica another 11. All the glaciers on the rest of the globe would only be about another 2 metres.

    So 80-85 metres, but not 200. Still more than civilisation can cope with.

    Other than that it’s a good strip.

  10. Jenny 10

    Without prompt, aggressive limits on CO2 emissions, the Earth will likely warm by an average of 4-5°c by the century’s end.

    The Standard Notices and Features

    A leaked briefing email to the Prime Minister about Australian PM Tony Abbot’s plans to to form an international coalition of Centre Right governments to oppose action against climate change shows that climate change is a very sensitive issue for the government both nationally and internationally. And that National know they could take some very damaging hits here.

    The briefing email suggested New Zealand had been caught unawares by Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s proposal to form an international coalition of centre-right Governments – including New Zealand – to oppose United States plans for stricter climate change policies.

    Mr Key was advised to say: “I’ve not talked to Tony Abbott about this” and to emphasise New Zealand’s record on climate change policies.

    One of his talking points was: “This Government takes climate change seriously.”

    NZ Herald June 11, 2014

    Will the opposition parties do it?

    Will they challenge the government over their poor record on climate change?

    Will the opposition parties point out the government’s breach of the Majuro Declaration?

    Will they condemn the government’s $155 million bail out of Solid Energy?

    Will the opposition parties promise that if elected that they will put an end to Deep Sea Oil drilling?

    According to a TV3 Brunton poll 80% of New Zealanders are opposed to deep sea oil drilling.

    Will the opposition parties promise to restart the stalled Hauauru Ma Raki wind farm by putting in the “policy settings” that Wind Energy NZ CEO Eric Pyle says are necessary?

    Will The Standard continue putting up posts bemoaning the reality of climate change, but also continue to refuse to put demands on our politicians to do something about it?

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      Governments and politicians are not going to deliver any serious answers on stopping major climate change in time, Jenny.

      • Jenny 10.1.1

        Admittedly CV a lot of the coming change is ‘already baked in’, but this is no excuse to continue to make it worse by not demanding that action be taken.

        If We Don’t Fight

        “If we don’t fight when our victory is assured and our losses will be small….

        If we don’t fight when our victory is not guaranteed and our losses will be great…

        There is even a third scenario…

        We will have to fight when our defeat is certain and our losses are overwhelming, because it is better to die fighting than to die surrendering.”

        Winston Churchill

        • Jenny

          Churchill’s third and last option is the one, if we don’t act now, we will be leaving to our children and our grandchildren.

          • Colonial Viper

            I appreciate the sentiment. We are in a war time crisis and the barbarians are almost at the gate. Nevertheless, no government or politician is going to act seriously on this for many years yet.

          • john

            It may be significantly cheaper to adapt to climate change than stopping it.

            And overwhelmingly cheaper to adapt rather than trying to stop it, failing, then having to adapt anyway.

            Rebuilding some coastal infrastructure and buildings over the rest of the century, is only a tiny fraction of what we’ve done over the last century i.e. building nearly ALL the infrastructure and nearly ALL the buildings for ALL the country.

            • Colonial Viper


              are you talking about sparing the electronic tokens we use as money? We can order some more of those up by keyboard entry as they are only electrons you know. It’s hard to fathom how you think its “cheaper” to let the physical ecosystem broil.

              • john

                Environmental issues are a luxury for much of the world.

                They’re something you might worry about if you had enough food and shelter for your family and a reasonable standard of living.

                Of course if the several billion people who live in that situation get to to the point where they have a reasonable standard of living and can worry about environmental issues, by definition, they’ll be emitting many times more carbon because of their conforatble lifestyles.

                Good luck in trying to stop the rest of the world getting the standard of living that you have.

                Hence the massive expense in trying to stop climate change will likely be totally futile, especially when just a part of that money would be enough to adapt.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Environmental issues are a luxury for much of the world.

                  You can’t be so immature as to think that water, crops and livestock will keep turning up once the ecosystem is fucked?

                  Are water, crops and livestock optional luxuries in your world? Whereas electronically created credits made up of 1’s and 0’s on hard disks are somehow more important than food?

                  Good luck in trying to stop the rest of the world getting the standard of living that you have.

                  48M Americans live on food stamps. 50,000 New Yorkers use homeless shelters every night.

                  The future is not turning out how you were promised, you better wake up to that fact.

                  • john

                    300 million Chinese have gone from poverty to middle class in the last decade.

                    If you want to stop Climate change YOU need to be putting out a tiny fraction of your current carbon emissions, and have the rest of the planet do the same.

                    You think that’s a real possibility?

                    Or do you just whinge and complain and blame governments while you continue to emit ten times more than you should.

                    Your end of civilization comment puts you squarely in the doomsday cult I was talking about below.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Your end of civilization comment puts you squarely in the doomsday cult I was talking about below.

                      Don’t you understand that every logistical system in our modern global economy is built on access to cheap fossil fuels?

                      When those cheap fossil fuels go away, globalisation is going to break down in a major way.

                      Exhibit 1 is Japan sliding into terminal population decline and eventual bankruptcy. That’s just a start.

                      And did you know that 48M Americans rely on food stamps just to feed themselves? In what was the richest country in the world.

                      But please don’t mistake me for a “doomsday cultist.” Some people will continue to maintain a reasonable existence. But it won’t be within the high consumption framework of the global civilisation we have today, because we won’t have the concentrated dense energy of fossil fuels that we rely on today.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Rebuilding some coastal infrastructure and buildings over the rest of the century, is only a tiny fraction of what we’ve done over the last century i.e. building nearly ALL the infrastructure and nearly ALL the buildings for ALL the country.

              We’re going to have to be building more than just some of the coastal infrastructure. Christchurch, Westport, large chunks of Auckland and other coastal cities are going to have to be moved completely. In other words, we’re going to have to redo most of the countries infrastructure which most definitely won’t be cheaper than leaving it all in place.

              And, here’s the thing, we probably can’t adapt to 4.5 degrees of warming. That’s the type of temperature difference that comes close to wiping out life on Earth.

              • Colonial Viper

                THis guy is really funny eh

                The entire civilisation is at risk and he wants to save on electronic book keeping entries. It’s insanity, but that’s what happens when civilisations reach their end.

              • john

                All that new infrastructure over the next hundred years, is still much LESS than what we’ve done in the last hundred years.

                4.5 degrees will give Dunedin an Auckland climate during the day, but still not enough to be as warm at night. Auckland will get a Sydney climate and London will get a Dunedin climate.

                Massive areas of Canada, Siberia and Asia will become far more inhabitable and productive. Some places will get more rain, others less.

                Doomsdayers claim it’s 100% bad, but it’s not.

                It’s quite possible that population growth will be far more damaging to the earth than climate change.

                • Colonial Viper

                  What kind of delusional world do you live in? Let’s take this for example:

                  All that new infrastructure over the next hundred years, is still much LESS than what we’ve done in the last hundred years.

                  We built most of that when oil was at $10/barrel and plentiful. Now it’s $110/barrel and economies are going under unable to afford that. American can’t even afford to repair its roads, replace its airports or keep its street lights on.

                  How will it be able to build all new infrastructure from scratch?

                  In 30 years we will be out of oil for everything except emergency use.

                  So what are you going to build your pretty replacement infrastructure with? Slaves dragging stone blocks?

                  Like I said, you’re exhibiting a kind of insanity which prizes electronic score keeping numbers more than the real world.

                  • john

                    If were going to run out of oil, then that solves a big part of the carbon emissions problem.

                    Oooooh!! The worlds going to end! Doomsday doomsday!!!!

                    When you think everything is so overwhelmingly negative, I’m surprised you bother to get up in the morning.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Are you taking these issues seriously, or are you just a propagandist?

                      If were going to run out of oil, then that solves a big part of the carbon emissions problem.

                      Yes, but not in time to prevent disastrous levels of climate change.

                      When you think everything is so overwhelmingly negative, I’m surprised you bother to get up in the morning.


                      It’s just being realistic. The world is in a permanent economic decline due to depletion of affordable resources and energy. It has been in this decline probably for over 10 years now (albeit slightly hidden by the expansion of temporary financial and debt bubbles). And it will continue.

                    • john

                      More doomsday – now the world economy is in “permanent” decline – everything’s wrong.

                      You must live for the sole purpose of being miserable.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Hi john,

                      I’m quite happy because it is a realistic picture of the global economic stagnation that we are undergoing.

                      Also because I realise that infinite economic growth on a very finite and very limited planet is not possible. Don’t you understand that yet John? You should think deeply about it and try and realise the implications of that simple truth.

                      You should feel free to think all the happy thoughts you want, it won’t change the reality that hundreds of US retail stores are shuttering, that Greek and Spanish youth unemployment is around the 50% level, nor that 48M Americans have to live on government handouts to survive.

                      Why are you so afraid of the truth, john?

                    • john

                      Your level of moaning and whinging is astonishing for someone who claims to be happy.

                      Maybe you know that you’re always exaggerating the negative.

                      Here’s the chart for the steady continuing uptrend of US retain sales that you obviously (and wrongly) think are in decline


                    • Colonial Viper

                      I’m sorry john, it might be useful for your education to start reading Zero Hedge. Here’s what it recently said about retail collapse in the USA due to the totally tapped out debt laden consumer. The chart that you linked to I’m afraid has nothing to do with the reality of Main St store sales over the longer term.

                      The secret to retail success before 2007 was: create or copy a successful concept; get Wall Street financing and go public ASAP; source all your inventory from Far East slave labor factories; hire thousands of minimum wage level workers to process transactions; build hundreds of new stores every year to cover up the fact the existing stores had deteriorating performance; convince millions of gullible dupes to buy cheap Chinese shit they didn’t need with money they didn’t have; and pretend this didn’t solely rely upon cheap easy debt pumped into the veins of American consumers by the Federal Reserve and their Wall Street bank owners.

                      But that’s all past, this is the future:

                      The pundits, politicians and delusional retail CEOs continue to await the revival of retail sales as if reality doesn’t exist. The 1 million retail stores, 109,000 shopping centers, and nearly 15 billion square feet of retail space for an aging, increasingly impoverished, and savings poor populace might be a tad too much and will require a slight downsizing – say 3 or 4 billion square feet. Considering the debt fueled frenzy from 2000 through 2008 added 2.7 billion square feet to our suburban sprawl concrete landscape, a divestiture of that foolish investment will be the floor. If you think there are a lot of SPACE AVAILABLE signs dotting the countryside, you ain’t seen nothing yet. The mega-chains have already halted all expansion. That was the first step. The weaker players like Radio Shack, Sears, Family Dollar, Coldwater Creek, Staples, Barnes & Noble, Blockbuster and dozens of others are already closing stores by the hundreds. Thousands more will follow.

                      This isn’t some doom and gloom prediction based on nothing but my opinion. This is the inevitable result of demographic certainties, unequivocal data, and the consequences of a retailer herd mentality and lemming like behavior of consumers.


                    • john

                      Then how do you explain that in what you call a “retail collapse”, latest retail sales in USA are 4% higher than they were a year ago?

                      It’s doomsday thinking – cherry pick the most negative (and wrong) predictions you can find.

                      And ignore the real world facts.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The explanation is easy – those numbers are false or exaggerated in order to look good – like the US unemployment statistics.

                      While you point at these graphs of suspect numbers, I point out thousands of actual indisputable physical store closures.

                      The real numbers are these:

                      Retail store closures soar in 2014

                      What a better way to celebrate the rigged markets that are telegraphing a “durable” recovery, than with a Credit Suisse report showing, beyond a reasonable doubt, that when it comes to traditional bricks and mortar retailers, who have now closed more stores, or over 2,400 units, so far in 2014 and well double the total amount of storefront closures in 2013, this year has been the worst year for conventional discretionary spending since the start of the great financial crisis!<./blockquote>


                    • Colonial Viper

                      Hey John, CNBC reports that Sears, JC Penny, Maceys and Target are all downsizing. Sometimes by closing hundreds of stores.

                      Sears is even closing it’s venerable ‘flagship store’ in Chicago, once the heart of its retail chain.


                      Bottom line: even if you believe that retail sales are up 4% in the USA as per the propaganda, it seems that none of the big retailers do – and they are the ones who count the people walking in the door.

                • McFlock

                  yes, because increasing yesterday’s local weather by 4.5 degrees is exactly the same as the global average increasing by 4.5 degrees. /sarc

                  Are you that stupid naturally, or did you work at it?

                  • john

                    I’ve halved my electricity use, and more than halved my fuel use. I’ve planted hundreds of trees on a block of land as well.

                    That’s probably not nearly enough to stop climate change, even it most of the world did it. But the majority of greenies and climate change worriers haven’t even come close to that much of a reduction.

                    But they still lecture EVERYONE ELSE and BLAME EVERYONE ELSE on what EVERYONE ELSE should be doing.

                    • Colonial Viper


                      Climate change is a societal problem. It is also a structural problem caused by the entirely fossil fuel driven global economy we have created.

                      To effectively counter climate change, we have to look for solutions at a societal level, and at a global economic level.*

                      Plant all the trees you like, but you’re going to have to do a bit more to make up for the ten million hectares of rainforest lost every year due to property development, industry and mining.

                      *I personally don’t think this will happen, and the forces of ignorance and business as usual which you represent are quite likely to win in the race to sink our global civilisation.

                    • McFlock

                      All very interesting, but ignored the question: when you confused local weather and the global climate, was it your natural aptitude for idiocy shining through, or merely the product of decades of dedicated un-learning?

                  • john

                    No one (except your comment) has said that local weather is exactly the same as global climate.

                    NIWA is predicting a 0.9 degree increase in NZ temperatures by mid century and 2 degree by century end.

                    Personally I’ve been finding it bloody cold lately. We’d need at least a 10 degree increase to bring it up to a pleasant climate.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Hi john, when will you realise this is not about you and your fantasies of turning NZ into the French Riviera?

                      Sadly, it seems like you are deliberately obscuring the severe level of crises that our modern global civilisation faces. NIWA does good work but as McFlock suggested, please try and understand what the concept of a global average temperature rise means.

                      Enjoy business as usual john, but I hope you are well over 50 years of age because otherwise, chances are that you will live to see how misguided you have been. Good luck.

                    • john

                      I’ve done more than almost anyone I know to reduce my emissions.

                      And I figure that’s a much better thing to do than do very little, except blame everyone else.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      I’ve done more than almost anyone I know to reduce my emissions.

                      You know what would happen if everybody did what you’ve done? We’d run out of food. Not, of course, that everyone has that amount of land available to them.

                      That’s what makes it a societal problem that needs to be addressed by society as a whole rather than as individuals. As individuals we don’t have enough resources to change anything.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      john’s the guy with the bucket bailing water out of the side of the Titanic, claiming “look at how good I’m being while all you lot just run around screaming!”

                      Good on ya John, it’s appreciated. Hey John another 2000 hectares of rainforest went over night, how many hectares of trees are you planting today in order to compensate and “adapt”?

                    • McFlock

                      But John, you quite obviously are confusing weather and climate.

                      Warmer temperatures doesn’t just mean milder winters, it means more activity in the air – extreme weather events, in both directions. Droughts then hailstorms then floods then typhoons, sort of thing, in the worst cast.

                      It doesn’t mean the same weather but warmer, any more than putting a pot of water on a stove means that the water doesn’t circulate more quickly it just gets warmer. Even before boilng, tuff starts to move around in new currents.

    • aerobubble 10.2

      Australia gets wetter under climate change surely.

      Currently the N.hemisphere radiates heat out of the North polar sea. But some think as the seas warm that the interia of northern continents (aka ice age).

      Given that a hot bucket of water cools faster than a warm bucket, due to convection processes.
      Wouldnt it be the case that we would find increased snow cover, lasting longer, on the northern hemisphere continents once the forced heating from burning off the one-off nonrenewable slows?

      Change, its coming.

  11. aerobubble 11

    Can warm rocks hold more or less water? I ask this because recent news says there’s a vast amount of water locked up in rock beneath our feet. A warm ocean would mean a slight warm crust…

  12. Jenny 12

    What John doesn’t get, is that a lot of extra energy is being added to the earth climate system. Climate scientists estimate an equivalent to 400,000 Hiroshima size nuclear bombs worth every day..


    Now that sounds like a vast amount of extra energy, but over the size of the globe, and in the short term not really. (incrementally building up over millenial timescales of course it will be). The danger in timescales that are meaningful to human beings is that is that all this extra energy is not spread evenly or equally, around the globe. Due to factors like geography, topography, weather and latitude, ocean currents convection and subduction, all this extra energy can be concentrated in some areas and quite diffuse in others. For instance ice loss in the Arctic is dramatic and highly visible while in the Antarctic it is barely perceptible, (though it is happening).

    Another example is hurricanes

    As we know, simple mechanical action like coriolis, the turn action imparted to our atmosphere from the rotation of the Earth can concentrate surface sea temperature over vast areas of ocean into ever tightening point sources we call hurricanes, or typhoons or cyclones (depending on which part of the world you live in.)


    Typhoon Haian for instance was the most powerful storm ever recorded to have struck land, devastating the city of Tacloban with high winds and a storm surge of 4 metres wiping away everything in its path making 4 million homeless and (the figures are disputed) killing up to an estimated 10,000. people.

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