Climate change and geopolitics

COP26 is one week away, a climate scientists asks for papers on climate change and geopolitics on twitter

this one explains how some geopolitics risks will evolve with renewables pressure on resources, resource curse, cybersecurity

Climate might well be the greatest challenge in nternationl relations now, but on 0,77% of top 5 articles in journals are about climate change

Chatham’s House catastrophoc report on climate change is a thing, is it within expectations or outlier ?

This is a paper devotred to wet bulb temperatures and the hard phisiologic linit of 35 degees wet bulb to survival. 35 wet bulb could reached in some places in years ahead and make those places too hot and humid for hima tolerance

CO2 in time and space

Half of emissions took place after Kyoto, a quarter in the past 10 years

This chart show emission intensity and szie per country, look how small Africa, and the width of Africa will double during this century

emissions are exponential, CO2 concentration in the atmosphere, exemplified by the famous Keeling curve measured at Mauna Loa, it seems linear, but really a polynomial fit wors better

I am wondering, emissions are exponential, co2 concentration is nearly linear, how does global warming behave ? LEt’s go and look for a radiative forcing curve. Found on wikipedia, seems linear

and so is temperature grwoth vs 19th century baseline, we are at 1,07 degrees now. Which seems linear since we have been measuring co2 concentration in the atmosphere

and then we have climate, which is a complex system which might have feedbacks and tipping points.


things that work in TMFTF:

aerosol in the atmosphere to increase albedo, maybe

ecoterrorism, defintely so

slowing glaciers by pumping out water at the bottom, keeping oil riggers happy

organic agriculture, overcoming modernism in agriculture. It also sequesters carbon in the fertile level of the ground

CQE Climate Quantitative Easing, creating a crypto and allocating it to carbon sequestration

wildlife corridors averywhere

upgraded management of water resources, generally caring for things rather than not

easier said than done, but moving away from capitalism will help

nations states will stay, central banks will take leadership in financing postcapitalismm with cretive money.

China will rush ahead of US

and yeah ! Diirigibles and blimps everywhere, hypertech sailboats with 7 masts, that’s the way to go

ITW with the author

crooked timber run a series of posts on the book, Robinson replied, start from his reply and you will find the 8 articles

Alpine Glaciers

40% loss by 2050 already “committed”. Only 5% of current glaciers would survive in 2100 under RCP8..5

and the Mose in Venice, with 50 cm of sea level rise it will stay close 2 months, with 75 cm 6 months

HVDC lines in China

feature article by IIIE Spectrum on China’s buildup of HVDC lines in the past decade, 18,000 km of lines, the longest over 2,000 km long China’s Ambitious Plan to Build the World’s Biggest Supergrid

Why is it so difficult to build new electric lines in the US? because you must ask permission to all sorts of agencies in every state. And if you want to build an oil pipiline? Just ask the The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC- So during Obama’s presidency only two of the seven lines (no HVDC) were built, meanwhile in 10 years over 100,000 miles of gas pipelines were laid

oh, it shows in the energy mix, renewables are growing but natural gas is the superstar

I am pretty sure we get the same situation in Europe, eruope-wide gas pipes network is probably better developed and more robust than electricity, I have to check, in the meanwhile here’s the gas pipelines. (form reasearchgate somewhere)

one is brought to believe that the oilman is a natural born cosmopolitam while the electricity man is a localist, jealously guarding its home turf. But hopefully this is going to change

China’s HVDC father dreamed of global electric grid, at some point HDVC links were parte of the China Road and Belt initiative ( I always tend to write Bridge and Tunnel, funny)

BTW I think all belongs to a presentation by Albert Pinto

Wet bulb temperature

a human-readable definition that explains why it is important to measure heat waves and their letality “

—the lowest temperature to which something can be cooled through evaporation from its surface

that means, you are in 37c wet bulb temp you do notcooldown and you are in trouble

Net Zero EU

2 reports:

EU Commission

and McKinsey

and Adam Tooze on Social Europe

from Tooze:

between now and 2050, almost half the necessary investment will not meet standard investment criteria

need to mobilise €4.9 trillion in subsidies over 30 years. That is the amount of profit taxpayers would need to offer investors to get them interested in the energy transition—€365 for every man, woman and child in the EU27, every year for 30 years.

Total GDP of the EU27 in 2019 was shy of €14 trillion. Overall investment runs to about 22 per cent of GDP. McKinsey suggests that, to achieve net zero by 2050, the EU needs to invest every year about 5.8 per cent of GDP in the energy transition

a carbon price of €100 per ton 80 per cent of the necessary investment could be justified on commercial grounds.

EU’s regular budget is capped at 1 per cent of GDP

NextGenerationEU programme is a step in the right direction, but the €32 billion per annum it allocates to climate spending over the next seven years is far too small

Both modelling exercises predict that a carbon-neutral economy by 2050 will offer more jobs than the fossil-fuel-addicted status quo

Europe’s neighbours in north Africa are obvious clean-energy partners.

As McKinsey remarks en passant, reaching net-zero may require 18 million workers to be reskilled by 2050 but this is small beer by comparison with the 100 million it expects to need retraining already by 2030, on account of what it euphemistically refers to as ‘automation’.

Global Arctic

wk 1 at some point in the future, given current trends, maybe 50 or 100 years out, seaice mmight disappear from the Arctic while the ice cover would stay in Groenland, it’s up to 2 kms thick. Proportions of ice.

Retreating ice poses a problem to animals like the walrus, it may no longer insist over the continental shelf, 200 mt deep sea rich of marine life. Instead it may insist over the deep ocean where the walrus can’t fish, the walrsu loses the chance to be on ice

Melting permafrost creates holes, sort of craters called thermokarsts. Also methane explosions

melted permafrost might green, but might not green for example becasue warming brings witer rain which creates ice covers

the Arctic continent

there’s actually no physical continent in the arctic but definitely a human one defined by its vast expanse of ice, season the come sand go like day and night, an hunters civilization that has learned to survive making most of it.

I was lucky to stumble upon Barry Lopez “Arctic” the 1986 book which recounts this frozen non-continents with lively description of landscapes, people, animals and clash with the western civilization. I read on the internet that he is a novel Thoureau, can’t say I do not know thoureau, Barry’s approach to the arctic is romatic, lyric, with a pictorial eye that manages to comprehend the vast compleity of the place and all the human landscapes built on it, modern and still actual today. But I love also the chapters on the polar bear and the muskoxen

Also the book brought me to consult maps which are not Marcatore projections, this way I can comprehend the place of the arctic as a a bridge between 3 continents

The geopolitical place is reflected on Coursera, I was looking for a MOOC to see how the arctic has changed from the times of Lopez and I found 3:

This one in Lausanne, Switzerland

This one in Bould, Colorado

This one in the asian Russia Tomsk

The occasion on which I got to know Barry Lopez is his death, last month, I feel the loss