Unfortunately, the most dangerous facts of global warming are the least understood by most of humanity. And, what we do not understand if left unmanaged will kill almost everything!
Most people do not realize the following about global warming:
Fact 1. Because we have wasted decades in ineffective climate actions, we are now in a state of runaway global warming and, it is now too late to prevent the extinction of half of humanity by 2050. But, we still can prevent our total extinction. Isn't that worth striving for?
To get started, we first need to define runaway global warming. Runaway global warming means that global warming will increase on a runaway course. Imagine a train going down a hill with no functional brakes, and you have a good concept of it! However, the scariest thing about runaway global warming is that it will continue, of, and by and of itself with no few practical ways to slow, stop or control it.
With runaway global warming, the average global temperature will continue to get warmer and warmer. This unstoppable temperature rise will be due to our crossing additional climate tipping points and many other climate factors. Once we increase the average global temperature by four degrees Celcius, adapting to global warming consequences is no longer possible!
Because of climate system momentum factors, human inertia factors, dangerous climate tipping points, and decades of failed global fossil fuel reductions, we have until about 2025 (or staying below the atmospheric carbon level of 425-450 parts per million) to maintain any remaining realistic control of our runaway global warming future.
To help you more easily understand what is meant in the sentence above you will need to understand how we measure global warming, what increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere tells us about future global warming.
Carbon is the main greenhouse gas that we are creating by our fossil fuel use that is causing global warming. Atmospheric carbon from fossil fuel burning is the main human-caused factor in the escalating global warming we are experiencing now. The current level of carbon in our atmosphere is tracked using what is called the Keeling curve.
Each year, many measurements are taken at Mauna Loa, Hawaii to determine the parts per million (ppm) of carbon in the atmosphere at that time. At the beginning of the Industrial Revolution (1) around 1880, before we began fossil fuel burning, our atmospheric carbon ppm level was at about 270. Here is the current Keeling curve graph for where we are as of September 2021.
Keeling Curve Monthly CO2 graph, via Show.earth (2)
As you can see, we are not doing very well. No matter what you hear in the media, if the total carbon ppm level is not going down or carbon’s average ppm level per year is not falling or at least slowing its steep increase, (3) we are not making any significant progress on resolving the escalating global warming emergency. Total atmospheric carbon and carbon’s average ppm level per year are the most dependable measurements of our progress and a predictor of what will be happening with global warming and its many consequences.
How do we know if we're making honest progress in reducing carbon dioxide to reduce escalating global warming?
There are at least two ways we will be able to tell that we are making honest progress in reducing global warming:
1. When we see our average annual increase in carbon ppm levels (currently at about 3 ppm per year) begin dropping, remaining at the current level, or at least rising at a slower rate.
2. When we start seeing the above Keeling graph levels dropping from the current carbon ppm level (approximately 420 ppm) to carbon 350-325 ppm. (How we do this is in the free Job One Plan.)
Unfortunately, in July of 2021, we were already at carbon 420 parts per million. (There is a newer carbon graph (CO2) of this in parts per million at the very bottom of this page.)
Understanding the key factors of climate system momentum factors, human inertia factors, dangerous climate tipping points, and decades of failed global fossil fuel reductions causing runaway global warming
Most people do not understand this life-critical total extinction preventing 2025 deadline simply because they do not understand the physics and mechanics behind the laws of momentum and inertia. The momentum factor means that even if we stopped 100% of all global burning and use of fossil fuels today, global temperatures would continue rising for the next 2-3 (or more) decades. Furthermore, it also means that the radical 2025 global fossil fuel reductions we must make immediately will not deliver significant benefits for about 2-3 decades.
If we ever do make the needed fossil fuel reductions, this climate momentum time lag will challenge the patience and understanding of most everyone. not just our politicians.
The graph above beautifully illustrates an exponential rise in the three critical atmospheric greenhouse gases expressed in parts per billion. Since the mid-1700s start of the Industrial Revolution, these gases have been mostly human-made from burning fossil fuels. Each of these greenhouse gases has built up considerable atmospheric momentum!
The most important reason we have until about 2025 to maintain control of our global warming futures is due to the extremely dangerous climate tipping points. The following information may at times seem a bit complex, but it is worth the time to push through because it is what your very near future will look like!
The climate cliff versus runaway global warming
For years our organization had previously called the carbon 425-450 ppm level the climate cliff. This climate cliff was based upon the United Nations' previous target of keeping the average global temperature from rising no more than 2°C above preindustrial levels.
Now the UN's new climate cliff level is to stay below an average global temperature increase of 1.5C. This target level has changed because global warming consequences above this temperature are now known to be much worse than previously believed. One of the other major reasons now being acknowledged among recognized climate scientists for the new UN 1.5 C climate cliff temperature target level is that there are considerably more atmospheric carbon emissions than was previously predicted.
These additional carbon emissions come from other amplifying carbon feedbacks and carbon sink failures. These additional amplifying carbon feedback and carbon sink issues will start to show up just beyond a 1.5C average global temperature increase as soon as 2025. (These amplifying carbon feedbacks and carbon sink failures will be described in detail further below.)
Newer research also shows that staying at or near a 1.5 C average global temperature increase level is the only temperature level that fully excludes a runaway global warming threat or continuing to cross additional critical or extinction-level global warming tipping points. What this now means, is that because of what runaway global warming can do, going above 1.5C would eventually lead to the mass extinction of most of humanity by mid-century.
In our own 2016-17 climate analysis, using the existing fossil fuel infrastructure, we calculated like the UN, the first climate cliff for triggering runaway global warming (the unstoppable crossing of more and more amplifying global warming tipping points) would occur between the carbon 425 to carbon 450 ppm levels. These levels of atmospheric carbon would eventually create at least a 2 degrees Celcius temperature increase over preindustrial levels.
The beginning temperature limits for the former climate cliff now need to be updated from its previous carbon level (425-450 ppm) and previous temperature level of about 2 -2.7° C above preindustrial levels to its new climate cliff starting point.
The new climate cliff shocker
The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has calculated that without crossing any climate tipping points, reaching the carbon 420 ppm level is equivalent to a 1.6 C average global temperature increase from preindustrial levels. (As you will soon discover, we have crossed climate tipping points and will quickly cross many more. Additionally, our calculations show the temperatures will rise much higher than the Un's calculations.)
To stay below a 1.5 C target temperature increase, we would have kept our atmospheric carbon level below 386 ppm. Around 2015, we crossed over 386 carbon ppm level and ensured we would hit the 1.5 C level.
Because we went over the climate cliff in 2015, and an average global temperature increase of 1.5 C also triggers runaway global warming, we now have to face runaway global warming is here now. Unfortunately, runaway global warming also means that we can no longer stop the extinction of much of humanity by mid-century. The good news is we can still slow this extinction process down if we come close to the 2025 targets. (It is perfectly normal to reject the possibility of such large-scale extinction occurring so soon. Therefore, we strongly recommend at some point clicking here to see the detailed sequences of some 80 consequences that will bring about mass extinction.)
All we can do now is slow and delay this extinction consequence. But, it will take a government-driven mass mobilization to do it. This government-driven mass mobilization would have to radically reduce global fossil fuel use and get very close to the 2025 targets as its first action.
If the world governments act immediately and get close to the l2025 global fossil fuel reduction targets, more people will live longer and more comfortably. And, maybe we can still save humanity from the only thing worse than the extinction of much of humanity by mid-century, - - - total extinction!
But unfortunately, there is a bit more bad news. Acting only to minimize the current global warming extinction threat is insane! It is insane because any temperature increase of 1.5 C will also trigger the crossing of three more extinction-accelerating global warming tipping points!
If nothing is done by our governments to radically slow and reverse a temperature increase above 1.5 C, total extinction will be our eventual future. Supporting this 1.5 C danger is also the Siberia permafrost field research (rather than less accurate computer modeling) by Anton Vaks.
This research puts a global permafrost "thaw-down" also beginning at 1.5 C. This Siberian research means that when the world's permafrost crosses this 1.5 C average global temperature increase tipping point, the world's permafrost begins a near-continuous meltdown. This means that after we reach this 1.5 C temperature increase, all permafrost stored carbon and methane will eventually be released from the permafrost. (Atmospheric methane is about 80 times more potent than carbon in raising the average global temperature.)
This 1.5C permafrost release point plus other human-made carbon and methane releases put us squarely on the fast track for the worst global warming prediction scenarios. (Click here for more documentation on the permafrost meltdown.)
Our ticking methane time bomb is further illuminated by the atmospheric methane CH4 graph below. When viewing this methane graph, keep in mind that atmospheric methane is about 80 times more effective than atmospheric carbon in increasing global warming. (The atmospheric methane graph below is in parts per billion [ppb].)
It is also vital to know how having already crossed the climate cliff will further accelerate the crossing of more global warming tipping points
The new carbon 386 ppm tipping point level was our last chance climate cliff because it truly was our last window of opportunity to keep from going over the critical atmospheric carbon level and into the runaway multiple global warming tipping point processes. Once we went over this climate cliff, our average global temperature will inevitably rise to considerably above 1.5C - 2°C (possibly as much as 3.2 C in eventual equilibrium warming.) This is far, far faster than has ever occurred before over geologically scaled time spans. This means that what used to happen over millennia or centuries with our climate systems will now happen over decades with and at numerous tipping points.
Unfortunately, rapidly rising average global temperatures are not the worst effect of crossing the carbon 386 ppm level and climate cliff. These fast temperature rises will also create an additional and powerful climate momentum factor in addition to the already existing atmospheric carbon climate momentum. This additional momentum will not only push our average global temperature even higher even faster, but it will also literally force many of the 11 critical global warming tipping points (below) to be crossed much faster within the climate and its subsystems.
(The illustration below lists the 11 major global warming tipping points. The arrows between the shown tipping points indicate that these tipping points also interact with each other and can trigger each other's main system or subsystem tipping points. When this happens global warming temperatures will soar faster and faster triggering even more climate and human system tipping points.)
(At some point, we also strongly recommend that you click here to learn more details about what each tipping point above is and how they will unfold to bring us closer to total extinction. This tipping point meltdown detail page covers what happens when you cross each of the above global warming tipping points, how they accelerate global warming temperature rise, how they accelerate global warming consequences, and how they cause sudden and complete climate, biological and human system collapses. Crossing these climate tipping points will also make any possible recovery from crossing these tipping points impossible or much slower, harder, and more expensive. This expanded tipping point reading will help you "see" the tremendous and dangerous impact that the many additional and soon-arriving crossed global warming tipping points will have on your future.)
What to expect in rising temperatures now that we have already have crossed the new carbon 386 climate cliff into runaway global warming
Since we have already passed carbon 386 ppm level back around 2015, within about 5 years (around 2025 or less,) we can expect to lock in an eventual total minimal increase in average global temperature of about 1.5 C. If we continue to the carbon 425 ppm level, by about 2025 we also can expect to lock in an additional eventual total increase in average global temperature of about 2 -2.7° Celsius (4° - 4.9° Fahrenheit) from preindustrial levels. (In July of 2021, we were at carbon 420 ppm.)
The distinguished Professor of Meteorology Michael Mann from the University of Pennsylvania recently stated that once we reach the carbon 405 ppm level in our atmosphere, a 2 degrees C average global temperature increase is already baked in! And, once that happens there is nothing we can do to stop it!
At just this 1.5 -2.7° Celsius increased average global temperature level, hundreds of millions will starve and hundreds of millions of people from all over the world will eventually be forced to either migrate or die.
Once we went over the new climate cliff of carbon 386 ppm and doomed ourselves to hitting 1.5 Celsius average global temperature increase level, the total heat-producing momentum of all of the previous carbon and other greenhouse gases that we have ever put into the atmosphere (particularly all that additional carbon we have added over the last 50 years,) along with the other factors mentioned further down this page, will inevitably, and rather quickly, continue to push our average global temperature even higher as well as trigger the crossing of even more tipping points at an accelerating rate!
Because we have already gone over the carbon 386 ppm climate cliff and we have triggered this next level of accelerating climate system tipping point crossings (and additional heat-producing momentum,) this now means that we are now locked into continually increasing temperatures for as much as the next 30+ years as well as crossing even more dangerous tipping points!
If we cross the carbon 425-450 carbon ppm tipping point level, we will reach the next key carbon and temperature transitional threshold, where, because of crossing even more future global warming tipping points being crossed at an accelerating rate, we will be unable to stop ourselves from proceeding uncontrollably to average global temperature increases of 3°, 4°, 5°, and 6° Celsius (5.4°, 7.2°, 9°, and 10.8° Fahrenheit respectively.)
Once we cross the 2° Celsius (the carbon 425-450 ppm level,) the higher mass extinction accelerating temperature levels of 3°, 4°, 5°, and possibly even 6° Celsius will be all but locked in as well! According to James Hansen one of the world's most important climate researchers, just a carbon 450 ppm level would eventually correspond and develop into an average global temperature increase of 6° Celsius (10.8° Fahrenheit) in this century and the complete end of human civilization as we’ve come to know it.
This uncontrollable continuous rise in average global temperature which will cause mass starvation, death, and migration will be due primarily to:
1. the major global warming consequences will continuing to intensify and cross-react as heat rises.
The following illustration below will help you to visualize how future global warming consequences will intensify separately and together as we cross more tipping points and global temperatures rise. Imagine all of the global warming consequences whirling around and colliding into each other and amplifying each other because of the agitation and "boiling effect" of ever-increasing heat. This is similar to how the rising heat under a steam cooker churns, whirls, and collides the boiling water inside the steam cooker faster and more violently.
As increasing heat boils our planet, just like with boiling water in a pot, the above global warming consequences will intensify and increase in severity, frequency, and scale! (To learn about exactly how the escalating 20 worst global warming consequences will cause mass starvation, death, and migration as well as social, economic, and political chaos, click here.)
2. more of the global warming consequences (listed above) will go into positive feedback loops as temperatures rise. Think of a positive feedback loop as a small stimulus that then amplifies a specific effect or consequence to be bigger and bigger. For example, if you hold a microphone too close to a music amplifier there will be an irritating scratchy distortion of sound that "feeds back" to the amplifier getting louder and louder the longer the microphone is held closer and closer to the amplifier source.
3. our being unable to stop ourselves from crossing more global warming tipping points. Crossing more tipping points will once again trigger other positive feedback loops and points of no return within the systems and subsystems of the global climate. It will also cause global warming tipping points to cumulatively interact with each other,
4. our continuing to cross "points of no return" within the global warming tipping points processes. Tipping point processes have within them definite points of no return. Once a tipping point's point of no return is crossed, crossing that tipping point is all but inevitable. Once that occurs, things usually collapse quickly and recovery is usually slow, difficult, and costly, or completely impossible.
5. the accelerating heat-producing carbon and other greenhouse gas momentum, (we will continue to add more fossil fuel burning carbon to the atmosphere each and every additional year (currently at about 3 carbon ppm per year,)
Because of the preceding, we have no other rational alternative other than to prevent ever crossing into this next highly dangerous transitional carbon 425-450 ppm threshold range and tipping point. At our current rate of carbon and other greenhouse gas atmospheric pollution, entering this range will begin, unfortunately, sometime around 2025 if we do not get very close to the correct and honest 2025 fossil fuel reduction targets.
There is something we can always be certain of in this horrible emergency. No matter what and in spite of all of the challenges and bad tipping point outcomes that are coming, the single constant truth for the best possible global warming outcome for humanity in this emergency is that the faster and more we reduce global fossil fuel use:
a. the more people we will survive to carry on humanity, life, and our beautiful civilization, and
b. future generations will suffer less from an ever-increasing sequence of escalating global warming consequences.
In the illustration below you will see a red vertical "Must never pass, last chance battle line and range of carbon 425 to 450 ppm." As you can see, going over the carbon 425 ppm leads us to a very steep downward darker red slope toward our own rapid extinction. (The illustration below also shows at what carbon ppm levels the six distinct phases of a Climageddon extinction scenario and countdown will occur (i.e CS Phases 1-6 below.) After you read the rest of this document, we also strongly recommend that you also review the detailed year-by-year global warming consequence timetables found in the Climageddon extinction scenario and countdown. (As a reminder, the Climageddon extinction scenario and countdown will be linked again at the bottom of this page.)
Here is what is most important to remember about any failure to get very close to our 2025 reduction targets and going over the carbon 425-450 ppm extinction accelerating tipping point:
1. After we also go over the carbon 425-450 ppm range. We will cross so many more tipping points so fast, there will be little we can do to prevent total extinction.
The pure mathematics and physics of atmospheric carbon and the other greenhouse gases will begin to go exponential after we go over the carbon 425-450 ppm level. This will drive our temperatures ever higher up to and through at least two more extinction-evoking tipping points and many other global warming consequences described further below.
If we do not make the 2025 targets, our final window opportunity to effectively control our own destiny regarding preventing the last extinction-evoking tipping points from being crossed literally closes. This is why this last chance carbon 425-450 ppm tipping point is truly our most important next tipping point to understand and respect. (More about what causes this near-complete loss of control of our global warming future will be explained in the other tipping point sections below.)
2. After we cross the 425-450 ppm climate cliff, stopping this ever-increasing global warming temperature increasing momentum will be like trying to stop a gigantic boulder from rolling faster and faster down a cliff that keeps getting steeper and steeper.
3. We are in an unacknowledged global warming extinction emergency and so far our governments are not even close to being on pace to hit the critical 2025 targets.
4. If we fail to hit the 2025 targets we lose our last chance to be able to stop ourselves from going over additional far worse global warming tipping points which will cause neat total human extinction and economic, political, and social chaos within our lifetimes!
5. If we fail to hit the 2025 targets, global warming consequences will begin accelerating exponentially in frequency, severity, and scale.
6. In case you're still somehow thinking or believing technology will save us at the last minute, no new carbon removal technologies (what we call magical carbon sucking unicorns,) will be able to save us in time. This is because even those who believe this technology might save us are projecting that they will not even be available at the earliest until sometime after 2050. This will be long after the damage is done and long after anything can be done for the billions of people who will suffer and die! (Please click here if you still have any illusions about new carbon removal technology miraculously saving us at the last minute. The science found there will help you to understand that the only way out of this imminent catastrophe is to radically reduce fossil fuel use globally to meet the 2025 targets.)
Please for effect, once again see the most current blue Atmospheric CO2 carbon graph (near the bottom of this page) to see how dangerously close we are to this critical carbon 425 ppm tipping point already.
Additional thoughts on the critical importance of the carbon 425-450 ppm first major extinction-accelerating tipping point
Because we have ignored decades of warmings, we are already deep into the global warming trajectory toward extinction and the collapse of civilization. This collapse outcome is highly likely because nine of the known global warming and climate change tipping points that regulate the climatic state of the planet have already been activated.
Most of the above-activated tipping points can and will trigger abrupt and significant releases of carbon back into the atmosphere, such as the release of carbon dioxide and methane caused by the irreversible thawing of the Arctic permafrost. After global warming tipping points are crossed, additional warming would become self-sustaining due to both positive feedback loops within the climate system and the mutual interaction of these global warming tipping points.
It is best to think about these nine interacting global warming tipping points within the climate system like a row of dominos. These climate system tipping points are so interconnected that knocking over the first couple of "dominos" will most likely lead to a cascade knocking over many, if not all, of them. Once the above global warming tipping point "dominos" begin their falling cascade, we are already at a point of global and societal no return.
It is not just us saying this:
Because of these global warming tipping points and positive feedback loops, Professor Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director emeritus and founder of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, believes that if we go much above 2° C, we will quickly get to 4° C anyway and, a 4° C increase would spell the end of human civilization.
Johan Rockström, the head of one of Europe's leading research institutes, warned that in a 4°C warmer world, it would be "difficult to see how we could accommodate a billion people or even half of that. Not even a rich minority world survive with modern lifestyles in the post 4°C-warmer turbulent, conflict-ridden world".
Many other climate scientists have warned that once the climate warms 4 degrees C over our preindustrial average global temperature, human adaptation to these temperature levels will be all but impossible!
Leading Stanford University biologists, released new research recently showing species extinctions are accelerating in an unprecedented manner. This rapid loss of biodiversity is another likely tipping point for the collapse of human civilization. (These are the same Stanford biologists who were first to warn us that we are already experiencing the sixth mass extinction on Earth.)
Soon we will lose control of the tipping points for the Amazon rainforest, the West Antarctic ice sheet, and the Greenland ice sheet in much less time than it's going to take us to get to any dubious and unenforceable global national net-zero emissions pledges.
There is an additional and crucial way to think about the race to get close to the 2025 global fossil fuel reduction targets before we cross more extinction-accelerating global warming tipping points. Imagine that the captain on the Titanic suddenly sees the iceberg in front of him. To slow and steer the Titanic, he needs at least 3 miles, but he is only 1 mile away from the iceberg. In this example, the titanic is already doomed the moment the captain notices the iceberg.
This Titanic example is not much different than our current situation. We have already gone over the carbon 386 ppm climate cliff and we are doing very poorly in trying to reach the last chance 2025 global fossil fuel reduction targets. We have wasted so much time over the previous decades ignoring valid scientific warnings; we most likely do not have enough time remaining to "steer" away from extinction.
We already have a baked-in minimal 1.5 - 2 degrees C in average global temperature increase and, we have initiated the global climate tipping point cascade effect, which will quickly get us to 4°C and the collapse of civilization. This alone will likely rapidly take us to a far less habitable planet and climate regardless of any additional global fossil fuel reductions we might now make.
In the image above, the Planetary Threshold dividing line is the climate cliff previously mentioned of carbon 386 ppm. As one can see, once we cross that carbon 386 ppm Planetary Threshold line, the stability of the planetary climate rapidly collapses into an over-heating uninhabitable Earth!
The most probable carbon feedback loops, loss of carbon sinks, points of no return, and tipping points to occur or be crossed after we have crossed the carbon 386 ppm climate cliff in 2015
1. Decreased albedo from reduced snow cover and melting Arctic ice increasing the earth's heat,
2. Increased sea ice and glacier melt resulting in additional sea-level rise,
3. Increased atmospheric water vapor increases resulting in more extreme weather,
4. Increased permafrost and tundra heating releases more carbon and methane and which results in more heat and more disease epidemics and possible pandemics. This once again speeds up the whole process of more positive feedback loops and crossing more points of no return and tipping points.
Please also note that melting permafrost in the tundra is because the northernmost areas are warming twice as fast as the rest of the world. This permafrost melting also has the potential to cause local and global pandemics caused by ancient viruses and bacteria being released from the permafrost. Already in Siberia they have had localized anthrax and smallpox outbreaks because of the decomposition of ancient frozen animals from the melting permafrost and tundra which residents either had no immunity to or who were not prepared to deal with these outbreaks due to lack of available vaccines.
5. Decreased carbon capture from the world's forests as temperatures rise and forests go from removing carbon from the atmosphere to carbon-neutral, no longer removing carbon from the atmosphere. Carbon neutral is the state that occurs before overheated over-stressed forests begin to release carbon back into the atmosphere.
(Click here to learn more about each item listed above.)
Here are the most likely keystone tipping points to be crossed after crossing the carbon 386 climate cliff in 2015
There is an extinction tipping point area that is the most likely first candidate to significantly accelerate the beginning of the end of humanity. It is the increased melting of summer and year-round arctic polar ice due to global warming.
It will truly have profound effects not only on worldwide weather stability but more importantly, on lowering global crop yields and increasing global crop failures. It will cause an accelerating massive global starvation, which will then also destabilize national economics, politics, and society.
In the summer, when Arctic ice melts there is less cooling of all of the growing season areas affected anywhere by arctic weather. The more polar ice melts each year the less cooling and the more heat and drought in and during these critical growing season areas.
To make matters worse, food crops are more sensitive to heat when there are droughts and, they are more sensitive to heat, rain bombs, and cold spells when they are just beginning to grow. Unfortunately, because more ice is melting in the Arctic ocean almost every summer and staying melted longer in the year we are losing more and more critical cooling for our absolutely vital food crops and stable growing seasons.
The five major food grains are the largest source of the world's food supply. They are corn, wheat, rice, soybeans, and sorghum.
All of these grains have upper and lower temperature limits. Most of them cannot survive more than 10 days during their growing season over 100° Fahrenheit particularly, if this heat comes early in their growing season or when their soils are drought dry.
Because of the continually increasing loss of the cooling effect on growing regions below the Arctic because of the continually diminishing Arctic ice, the number of growing season days with temperatures over 100° will continue increasing steadily as more and more Arctic ice melts and remains melted longer throughout the year. (We estimate within a decade or so, we could have as many as 30 days of 100-degree heat during the growing season in many critical crop-growing areas.)
Because melting Arctic ice also affects and disrupts the jet stream and ocean currents like the Gulf Stream, you will also have radical and unseasonable cold spells appearing during the prime crop growing seasons around the world. This will also further reduce food yields and produce more crop failures during the fragile growing season.
This means that the world is going to continue to experience more and larger crop reductions and failures as more polar ice melts and stays melted longer. To make matters even worse, corn is one of the largest food staples for humanity and it is also one of the most sensitive crops to increasing 100 degrees plus temperatures and drought.
The following is from Wikipedia:
“Since 1979, the minimum annual area of sea ice in the Arctic has dropped by about 40%, as measured each September. From sea ice models and recent satellite images, it can be expected that a sea ice-free summer will come before 2020. Models that best match historical trends project a nearly ice-free Arctic in the summer by the 2030s. However, these models do tend to underestimate the rate of sea ice loss since 2007.” (If you would like to see a video of how more polar ice is melting each summer as the years go by click here for this NASA video.)
The increasing melting of arctic polar ice is a clear warning sign of increasing global warming and future serious reductions in major future crop yields as well as serious increases in future crop failures. This means not only higher prices but ever-increasing food scarcity and increasing global starvation.
This is not something far-off in the future. It is already happening in many areas of the world.
It is also already causing major migrations. This expanding and increasing polar ice melting is a major “canary in the coal mine” for increasing future mass starvation not way off in 2100 as we have been told, but now and in years the decade to follow.
Already in the growing belt of the United States, we are seeing increased and record-breaking heat, droughts, rain bombs, and other extreme seasonal weather that is having a direct effect in reducing crop yields and crop failures in the most vulnerable areas. This pattern of greater crop yield reductions and crop failures will continue to increase as long as more polar ice disappears and the Arctic remains relatively ice-free into longer and longer summers. As the process of massive crop reductions and failures expand and continues, mass starvation will begin to destabilize all of our other economic, social, and political systems.
Additionally, reduced polar ice also reduces the albedo effect, which simply is that white snow or ice reflects heat back away from the earth and out into the atmosphere keeping the earth cooler. As more Arctic polar ice is melted the darker polar oceans absorb the heat, and then heat up more, which once again, causes more global warming.
As temperatures continue rising, the time frames in which we will be crossing more of the tipping points listed above will get shorter. But that will not be the only significant effect of the melting Arctic ice due to global warming. Paradoxically, according to new studies, because of melting Arctic ice we will also have more extreme cold and heavier snows during the US winters.
In general, increased crop yield reductions and crop failures will increasingly occur because of arctic ice melt, increased heat, increased droughts, increase cold spells, and increased rain bombs and extreme weather storms that will make it more and more impossible for modern agriculture and the major food crops to survive throughout their current growing seasons. There are estimates that crop yield reductions and crop failures will average 5 to 10% or more for each degree F that the average global temperature rises until the planet becomes so warm that far too many days of the growing season will be at 100° or more. This will make successfully growing the world's major grains all but impossible.
The current climate cliff and the 1.5 C temperature increase threshold was the last threshold for excluding humanity's mass extinction threat by mid-century. Staying below 1.5 C was also the last threshold where we still could have prevented a significant acceleration in crossing other more dangerous global warming tipping points.
One can see that while you do your best to encourage our governments to meet the 2025 targets, it is also now wise to start your personal global warming emergency backup plan and "Plan B!"
Summary of the first most misunderstood climate danger
What not coming close to the critical 2025 global fossil fuel reduction targets means and what is at stake:
1. If we fail, we will not be able to slow down a now unavoidable extinction of much of humanity by mid-century.
2. Only by coming very close to the 2025 global fossil fuel reduction targets do we have any reasonable chance of preventing an even worse, total extinction event from ending all of humanity and civilization beginning as soon as 2070.
3. Because total extinction is associated with crossing the atmospheric carbon threshold of carbon 425 - 450 ppm, we have 3 to about 10 more years at best, to still be able to prevent our total extinction. (Carbon is currently accumulating in the atmosphere at about 3 carbon ppm per year.)
4. We have two more dangerous extinction accelerating tipping points after carbon 425-450 ppm. Click here to learn about those even worse tipping points.
Fact 2: The rate of global warming consequences occurring will soon start rising exponentially.
These consequences will soon stop rising gradually and linearly as they are occurring now! It is essential to know that we will cross many more of the 11 key climate tipping points as global warming continues. As we cross more climate tipping points, global warming consequences will not just increase in frequency, severity, and scale. They also will not grow gradually and linearly. Many of these consequences will soon start growing exponentially, (Within the next 10-30 years.)
In the graph below, the red line is an example of a linear, somewhat steady, and predictable gradual global warming consequence growth trajectory. (Linear progression equals 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, etc.) The green line below is an example of a sudden, exponential, and highly unpredictable global warming consequence growth trajectory. (Exponential progression equals 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 264, etc.)
The sudden exponential growth in the severity, frequency, and scale of global warming-related or triggered consequences will eventually produce a sudden and abrupt massive global collapse that will be all but impossible to recover from for most nations. (When we use the terms sudden and abrupt, we are speaking in geological timeframes where 3-5 decades is barely a blink of the eye.)
This exponential growth of global warming consequences will begin within the next 3-9 years (about 2025-2031 when we cross the carbon 425-450 ppm tipping point threshold). It will continue worsening from there.
This exponential growth in the severity, frequency, and scale of global warming consequences also means that few, if any, NGOs, corporations, or governments will ever be able to either manage or recover from these accelerating consequences for long. Exponential growth also means that unless you have made your emergency preparations long before these consequences begin rising exponentially, you won't have enough time to do so later.
This rising danger of getting caught unprepared exists because our social, economic, and political systems also will become exponentially more unpredictable, unstable, and chaotic. This system instability will happen sometime after global warming consequences enter their exponential curves (the green line above.)
If you have not prepared for exponentially rising global warming consequence growth long before it is needed (2025-2031), you will find yourself in a living hell!
(See our Plan B for Climate Change Resilience for ideas on how to get well-prepared for what is coming and what is now unavoidable because of climate momentum and human inertia. Unfortunately, getting correctly prepared will take most people and organizations several years!)
Fact 3: Now that critical global warming tipping points are already being crossed, many climate-related systems (like the Arctic sea ice, melting glaciers, oxygen-producing plankton, etc.) will also collapse quickly (usually completely or near completely!) (Click here to see all 11 of the major climate tipping points.)
Fact 4: Crossed tipping points can have both linear cause-and-effect relationships as well as dangerous and currently unpredictable nonlinear cause-and-effect relationships.
These nonlinear relationships can occur between global warming tipping points and human and biological system tipping points (economy, politics, mass species die-offs, war, and conflict) as well as within and between any other part of the climate system and its subsystems. The presence of counter-intuitive, nonlinear tipping point and system relationships mean that causes and effects within the climate systems and subsystems are sometimes not logically connected, clear, or predictable.
This means that within a complex adaptive system like the climate, an area that happens to be a part of its system or its subsystems can create an effect in some other completely different climate system or subsystem where there seems to be no apparent cause and effect relationship between the two climate systems or subsystems. The huge danger here is that if a global warming tipping point triggers a nonlinear reaction in another climate or human system or subsystem, we could quickly find ourselves caught in a gigantic and uncontrollable catastrophic situation without ever being able to predict or prepare for it.
Never forget that a complex adaptive system such as the climate reacts with its subsystems in both predictable and unpredictable ways. In the illustration below, an action X in climate system A causes the obvious linear effect Y in climate system B, but it can also cause a seemingly unconnected nonlinear XY reaction in climate system C. It is this nonlinear unpredictability in other interconnected and interdependent climate systems which also should cause us great concern as we add more fossil fuel carbon to the atmosphere.
Fact 5: If we do not make the required 2025 global fossil fuel reductions in time to fix the global warming extinction emergency, without fail, Mother Nature will painfully do it for us!
Right now, no matter what we do, much of humanity (51% or more) will die by mid-century because currently, we are ridiculously far from meeting the critical 2025 global targets. (This has been explained on this page and this page.)
Worse yet, if we do not get close to the 2025 targets, Mother Nature will take over and keep raising the global temperature until most or all of humanity (75% or more) goes extinct and the Earth is back to its optimal human carrying capacity.
Please keep in mind that if we miss the last-chance 2025 fossil fuel reduction opportunity, Mother Nature will execute her immutable physics and mathematics climate laws to take the dominant control of our global warming future. Humanity will then be thrown into the back seat of a planetary "car," rapidly accelerating towards the cliff to Climageddon.
If we fail to get close to the 2025 global reduction targets, and Mother Nature is forced to create a painful global warming solution for our unconscionable failures; hopefully, she will leave a few of us alive so that we can learn the harsh lessons needed to rebuild a new world more in balance with nature.
(Click here to see the four extinction-triggering climate tipping points that will be the main tools used by Mother Nature to solve global warming for us if we do not do it for ourselves.)
Fact 6: We are much like the experimental frogs who boil to death floating in a slowly heating pot that they could easily escape.
Our ape ancestors have left us with mental and emotional hardwiring that does not recognize or respond well to distant, complex, or slow-moving threats. Will enough of us understand the heating pot we have put ourselves into, in time to still do something about it? We will know soon; either by 2025 or soon after we have passed the atmospheric carbon level of 425-450 parts per million.
To help illustrate how dangerous our current climate situation is, please review the atmospheric carbon CO2 graph in parts per million below. We also are currently adding an additional 3 carbon parts per million to our atmosphere each year. So, you do not have to be Albert Einstein to do the simple math to see how bad things are right now for us soon crossing the carbon 425-450 tipping point!
At this point, we strongly recommend that you watch this video by a respected climate researcher on runaway climate change. It will help illustrate how everything above fits together. This video has many clear and helpful slides.
Fact 7: We are long past the point of individual actions alone saving us. Only worldwide governmental action and mass mobilization to enforce immediate, radical, and painful fossil fuel cuts can save us from extinction.
(Click here to see what our governments need to do. What limited actions we can take as individuals or businesses is found at the bottom of this page.)
Fact 8: The global warming emergency and its future is far worse than the government, the media, or the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [IPCC] are telling us. (Click here to see just how much worse things will become and how fast.)
What you can do today about the climate change and global warming emergency because we are running out of time!
1. We do need your help in getting this post to everywhere it needs to go!
a. Would you please help email this post to more politicians worldwide before the COP26 International climate change conference. Particularly these US politicians because it is doubtful they and their climate staff understand these issues as well. Please forward it to US politicians like John Kerry (the Climate Czar,) Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Gavin Newsom, and other members of the US progressive Squad. Please also send it to all other global politicians you think should see it as well.
b. Kindly email this post to the delegates, officials, and sponsors of the United Nations next international climate conference (COP26) November 1-12, 2021. It is time the next climate conference stops watering down the correct global fossil fuel reduction targets needed to prevent our mass extinction.
Furthermore, it is time for COP26 to stop setting any global warming reduction targets based upon carbon removal technology that does not exist. It is time for COP26 to tell the people of the world exactly how unlivable our global warming future will be because if they fail to mobilize government action again, there will be no time left to reach the correct global fossil fuel reductions. (Click here to learn how the IPCC is distorting carbon capture technology calculations to allow fossil fuel producing nations and the fossil fuel industry to maintain production and profits and keep global fossil fuel reductions targets far below where they should be.
c. Please email this post to the ecological and global warming educational groups and their staff mentioned in this post, such as 350.org, Climate Central, Climate Mobilization, Climate Emergency Fund, and the Sunrise Movement, Sierra Club, World Wildlife Fund, etc. Please also send it to ALL other environmental and global warming educational groups you think should see it as well.
2. Sign this global warming emergency petition to our politicians.
3. Get started with your personal and business Plan B for Climate Change Resilience today. It also contains information on how to live within our carrying capacity limits, prepare for what is coming, and how to adapt and simplify both your lifestyle and livelihood so you become part of the energy solution to this emergency.
Please note that at this late stage, individual actions alone will not reverse the global warming extinction emergency. Only government actions will do that.
Please help support the research and candid comprehensive climate change analysis done by the Job One for Humanity organization. Make a tax-deductible donation here.
Please note that this older 2C limit calculation by the United Nations IPCC did not include adequate tipping point calculations, it did wrongly include magical compensatory carbon capture calculations for technology that might not exist for thirty years, and it did not include many other critical calculation factors described here.