[ExI] Diminishing influence of increasing carbon dioxide on temperature

Anders Sandberg anders at aleph.se
Mon Aug 11 21:51:27 UTC 2014

Mirco Romanato <painlord2k at libero.it> , 11/8/2014 11:11 PM:

Now, if the real problem is increasing water vapor, what should we do? 
Reduce Carbon emissions? 
If you have a system with multiple components and multiple phases interacting nonlinearly, if you want to control one variable you might want to change some non-obvious parameters. After all, whitening clouds by spraying seawater might lower temperature (the desired variable) by changed albedo, despite increasing vapour (a potentially bad variable). 
If we think the real problem is runaway greenhouse warming, then we are the doomiest climate doomsters ever. 
I am increasingly worried about ocean acidification rather than temperature increases: cold water invertebrates use aragonite rather than calcite, and are pretty sensitive to pH shifts. Since their reproduction rate is a powerful driver of ecology this might have huge effects (this is after all a nonlinear system with explicit positive feedback loops due to reproduction - think of the azolla event). If we find trouble in the northern waters we are unlikely to be able to slow things south for the calcite shell organisms (and normal albedo-based geoengineering won't help). So watch those Alaska fisheries reports closely (adjusting for iron seeding confounders). 

Anders Sandberg, Future of Humanity Institute Philosophy Faculty of Oxford University
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