As I say in my talks, one could argue that the professor of ocean physics at the University of Cambridge, Dr. Peter Wadhams, is the world's leading scientific authority on the Arctic Ocean and its role in "abrupt climate change."
On Feb. 12, 2018, I had the pleasure of meeting and chatting for a bit with Dr. Wadhams. This is the slide I use in my presentations when talking about this great scientist.
|Professor of Ocean Physics, University of Cambridge
So what does Dr. Wadhams think about our future? In a word, he would call it bleak. But, like me, as long as he can see a viable path forward, he still has hope for our future.
From the final chapter of his book,
Dr. Wadhams makes this statement about the only chance we have for surviving the climate change predicament we are facing:
It is not enough to reduce carbon emissions. Twenty or thirty years ago, when global warming was first recognized as a severe threat, a serious, concerted effort by the international community to reduce fossil fuel use, and to switch to renewable energy sources, including nuclear, might have been enough to slow global warming to the point where the Earth could experience a soft landing at a temperature that is not dangerously high.
But governments and peoples alike were too short-sighted, ignorant and greedy to make the necessary changes. Nothing could be hoped for when countries like China and India were accelerating their fossil fuel use, especially coal.
By now it is too late. The CO2 levels in the atmosphere are already so high that when their warming potential is realized in a few decades, the resulting temperature rise will be catastrophic.
To avoid such a fate, we must not only go to zero emissions, we must actually remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Only in this way can we avoid dire consequences.
But as I showed in the last chapter, this is extremely difficult. The techniques that have been proposed and developed so far are expensive, costing about $100 per ton of carbon, and we have to remove every year an amount exceeding our emissions, which are 35 billion tons.
The Bottom Line. Sadly, no world leaders have been heeding the call from this great scientist. No massive CO2 removal plan has begun nor has one been planned. Further, there is hardly any international discussion taking place of such a "geo-engineering" solution for avoiding the worst effects of abrupt climate change.
And even if there is an international discussion, where is the urgency and where are the trillions that it will cost? I doubt that any such project will ever be undertaken without a way of monetizing that carbon that is taken from the atmosphere.
Unless someone or some entity can make a lot a money on such a venture, it is not likely to happen.
I recommend that you read
A Farewell to Ice
and draw your own conclusions.
One more thing. I want to share this one-minute video of Dr. Wadhams and me talking about the temperature in the Arctic rising three times faster than the rest of the world--while the IPCC remains silent.
Dr. Peter Wadhams and J. Morris Hicks, Feb. 12, 2018
Conducted by Stuart Scott, founder of
For more on the topic of sustainability, I recommend these three BSBs that I posted in the past few weeks:
J. Morris (Jim) Hicks
CEO, 4Leaf Global, LLC
PS: I still maintain hope, as I explain in last week's "runaway train" BSB.
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