(At the end of this article, you will find a link to a comprehensive four-part plan for what you can do to help manage the global warming emergency. To counterbalance the disruptive facts in this article, you also will find links to the many surprising benefits that you will experience as we work toward resolving this great challenge and evolutionary opportunity.)
The not-for-profit Job One for Humanity organization provides a unique "big picture" view of the many interconnected and interdependent climate system factors behind the global warming emergency. Unlike other climate change educational organizations, we do provide critical-path, prioritized solutions based upon the REAL global fossil fuel reduction targets and the global warming tipping point deadlines we currently face.
Our website focuses on educating individuals and businesses about surviving and thriving through the future climate change challenges. We also integrate the complex "big picture" math and physics-driven interactions of the climate's many sub-systems into easy-to-understand illustrations, descriptions, and documentation.
As you will soon discover, you have found a very special climate change educational website.
The not so good news. . .
You are about to read some horrible climate change and global warming news. The good news is that there are still many things we can do to improve our global warming future.
The bad news first...
What has been known as the climate cliff is the tipping point you go over which begins the runaway global warming process.
Before discussing the climate cliff updates, it is essential to understand what runaway global warming means. It means that global warming will continue to increase on a runaway course.
Imagine a train going down a hill with no functional brakes and you have a good concept of runaway global warming! Once we start runaway global warming, it will continue, of and by itself with no practical way to stop or control it.
In our organization's 2016-17 analysis, using the existing fossil fuel infrastructure and research, we calculated that the first climate cliff for triggering the beginning of the runaway crossing of more and more amplifying global warming tipping points would occur between the atmospheric carbon 425 ppm to carbon 450 ppm (parts per million) levels and at a 2 degrees Celcius average global temperature increase over preindustrial levels. Due to new research and a re-analysis of older studies, the updated carbon ppm level and temperature associated with the climate cliff have changed.
The beginning temperature limits for our understanding of the former climate cliff needs to be updated from its previous temperature level of 2 -2.7° C above preindustrial levels to its new climate cliff starting point, which according to the United Nations newest research is staying below an average global temperature increase of just 1.5C.
One of the major reasons for the new 1.5C climate cliff temperature level now also being acknowledged among recognized climate scientists is that there are considerably more carbon emissions in our atmosphere than was previously measured and predicted. These additional carbon emissions come from other amplifying carbon feedbacks and carbon sink failures. (The amplifying carbon feedbacks and carbon sink failures will be described in detail further below.)
This additional carbon feedback and carbon sink issue will start to show up as a 1.5C average global temperature increase as soon as 2025. Newer research also shows that staying at or below a 1.5 C average global temperature increase level (above preindustrial levels) is the only temperature level that excludes the runaway global warming threat or continuing to cross additional survival-critical global warming tipping points.
What this really means is that going above 1.5C would eventually lead to the mass extinction of most of humanity by mid-century.
Staying below the United Nation's older 2C average global temperature increase target only minimizes the possibility, but does not exclude, the mass extinction of most of humanity by mid-century. Please note that this older 2C limit calculations by the United Nations IPCC also did not include adequate tipping point calculations, BUT it did wrongly include magical compensatory carbon capture calculations for technology that might not exist for thirty years, and it did not include the many other critical calculation factors described here.
By mid-century when the suffering and survival of most of humanity is at stake, just minimizing the current global warming extinction threat is insane! Additionally, in its eventual effect, any average global temperature increases above 2C are moot.
It is moot because any temperature increase of 1.5 to 2C also triggers runaway global warming and a mass extinction event fueled by crossing ever more critical global warming tipping points! And, if nothing is done by our governments to radically slow and reverse any temperature increases above 1.5C, total extinction will also be our eventual future.
Supporting this new 1.5C climate cliff is also the Siberia permafrost field research (rather than less accurate computer modeling) by Anton Vaks. This research puts the global permafrost "thaw-down" at 1.5C.
This new Siberian research means that when the world's permafrost crosses this 1.5C 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.
This 1.5C permafrost release tipping 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 this permafrost meltdown.)
The big climate cliff shocker. . .
The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has calculated that reaching carbon CO2 of 420 ppm is a 1.6C average global temperature increase from preindustrial levels. (Ref UN Carbon Brief 5 April 2020.)
Here is the contradiction. To stay below a 1.5C temperature increase, we would have to have kept our atmospheric carbon level below about 386 ppm, but as of July 2020, we are already at carbon 420 ppm. (See the carbon [CO2] parts per million ppm graph below.)
Crossing this 386 carbon ppm level also means that 2014-2015 was around the time that we had already crossed over the 1.5C correct climate cliff. Because we went over the climate cliff in 2015, and because any average global temperature increase of 1.5 to 2C triggers runaway global warming, we now have to face the fact that we are already in a state of runaway global warming and that we can no longer stop a mass human extinction event by mid-century, but at least, we can slow it down if we reach the 2025 global fossil fuel reduction targets.
Yes, you read that correctly! At this time, all we can do now is slow and delay this mass die-off of much of humanity by mid-century consequence and it will take a global government-driven mass mobilization. This government-driven mass mobilization would have to radically reduce global fossil fuel use to get very close to the very difficult to reach 2025 targets.
If the world governments do act and mass mobilize immediately and come very close to the last chance 2025 global fossil fuel reduction targets, more people will live longer and a bit more comfortably. And, maybe we can still save some of humanity from the only thing worse than the die-off of much of humanity by mid-century, - - - our total extinction long before 2100!
The single most important thing to remember from this new research update on the older climate cliff level is that we have already fallen over the 1.5C carbon 386 ppm climate cliff. We already are on the unavoidable pathway to the mass extinction of much of humanity by mid-century.
Unless our global governments mass mobilize and do these things to get us close to the 2025 global fossil fuel reduction targets, runaway global warming will accelerate so fast that we will not be able to stop the total extinction of humanity and the collapse of global civilization.
The carbon feedback loops, carbon sinks, points of no return, and tipping points that are occurring after we have already crossed the carbon 386 ppm climate cliff
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 also warming twice as fast as the rest of the world. This permafrost melting also has the potential to cause new 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 and 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 is the most likely keystone tipping point to be crossed after crossing the carbon 386 climate cliff
There is an extinction-accelerating tipping point area that is the most likely first candidate to significantly worsen 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 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 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 crop growing season.
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. (It is estimated that many areas of the world will soon begin to experience up to 30 plus days of 100-degree temperatures during their growing seasons.
Because melting Arctic ice also affects and disrupts the jet stream and ocean currents like the Gulf Stream, you also will have radical and unseasonable cold spells appearing during the prime crop growing seasons around the world. This also will 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, larger, and widespread crop reductions and crop 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 in the near years and new few decades to follow.
Already in the growing belt of the United States, we are seeing increased and record-breaking heat, droughts, rain bombs, Derechos, 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 melting Arctic ice due to global warming. Paradoxically, according to new studies, because of melting Arctic ice we also will 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 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 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 1.5C temperature increase threshold was the last threshold for excluding humanity's mass extinction threat by mid-century. Staying below 1.5C was also the last threshold where we still could have prevented a significant acceleration in crossing other more dangerous global warming tipping points.
Without even reading the four other extinction-accelerating tipping points in this link, one can see that while you do your best to encourage our governments to come close to the 2025 targets, it is also now wise to start your personal global warming emergency backup plan and "Plan B!"
What is happening now and what will happen soon because we have already gone over the carbon 386 climate cliff
Click here to see the most detailed list of dangerous coming global warming consequences and their timetables!
Click here for what is happening now that we have gone well over the climate cliff. It great detail will explain the four extinction-accelerating global warming tipping points that we are racing towards and what we must do to prevent total extinction!
Climate researchers have been saying for years that "by the time our governments and populations realize the real, soon-arriving extinction threats of accelerating global warming, it will be too late to prevent its worst consequences. Now that we have fallen over the climate cliff and are just a mere 2-4 years away from crossing the next extinction-accelerating global warming tipping points, and it looks like they were right.
How to keep the difficult and disruptive facts found on this page in a balanced and more positive perspective
We will be able to avoid or delay some of the coming global warming consequences. Other consequences are now unavoidable due to our ignorance, incompetence, inaction, or selfishness. Despite the types of consequences we now face, we can learn from their feedback and adapt and evolve. No matter what we face, we can keep working together as one human family toward achieving the best possible remaining outcomes.
The following critical links will also show you how the coming Great Global Collapse and humanity's greatest global crisis can be transformed into humanity's greatest opportunity for a Great Global Rebirth (once the collapse process has run its course and we have adapted to it.)
Here is how to counterbalance the difficult global warming collapse news you have just read:
1. You can still prepare and adapt, and take action to make an important and significant difference to stabilize and save the future by immediately starting the Job One for Humanity Plan.
2. You can maintain the perseverance and positive attitude needed to make it through this challenging collapse process by regularly reviewing the many benefits and the Great Global Rebirth possibilities which we will achieve as we work successfully on this together. (This page has been read about 2 million times.) And,
3. Click here and learn about this normal, natural, and needed Great Evolutionary Retrogression and the Great Global Rebirth from a critical big-picture evolutionary perspective. (This critical page will help you see more of the possibilities of a Great Global Rebirth once the collapse has run its course.)
While we persevere for the sake of humanity, never forget that our greatest challenges are also the seeds of our greatest opportunities.
We must also continually realize that we are engaged in the most critical and meaningful evolutionary adventure in human history! This adventure is nothing less than removing the global warming extinction threat and, in so doing, indirectly improving or resolving most of the world's 11 other major challenges.
And, if you read nothing else from the links above, read this page to help you process all of this bad news!
To get started in a simple way, please also sign this vital:
1. The United Nations report that to avoid 2C global emissions had to be in decline from 2015. It is evident from the carbon graph above we did not do that. If we did not meet the goal of staying of declining atmospheric carbon since 2015, remaining below 1.5C is all but impossible. Click here to see this UN report.
2. Please note that the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change (IPCC) 2014 AR5 2C mitigation scenario (RCP2.6) required the removal of CO2. The 2018 IPCC 1.5C report had CO2 removal and sequestration for all 1.5C scenarios. We currently have no capacity for CO2 removal at any scale and nothing for it in the foreseeable future.
MIT says CO2 removal would take 30 years for carbon capture to happen. Therefore, we have, in essence, gone over the climate cliff from multiple prediction perspectives.
3. Click here to see the latest monthly and yearly graphs for current carbon ppm in the atmosphere.
What has been known as the climate cliff is the climate point you go over which begins the runaway global warming process.