Sometimes when exploring a topic, I am surprised by what I find. Other times, it is a story that already surprises that triggers my exploration. This page lists pages across all topics flagged as a surprise, and almost every topic on this site has at least one surprise.
I read a story on population in China that I found surprising in three ways. Synopsis. Peak China: The Population of China Has Already Peaked.
1.5°C by 2026? Already +1.25°C in 2021: What You Are Not Being Told Other Than By Greta Thunberg et al., And Why Not.
I started out wondering how much temperatures have risen so far, what is the best estimate for when will reach +1.5°C , and how bad is +1.5°C anyway. I expected that finding the first two answers would be easy, but it was not. I found the answers, and why they were not easy to find.
I found that with warming at +1.0 in Paris in 2015, +1.5 logically seemed 50 years away, but in 2021 just 6 years later, we are halfway there at +1.25°C. Much changed during the Covid-19 distraction, and at this rate +1.5°C is set to be here by 2026, not the 2050 predicted at Paris.
Human birth rates are falling at a rate that has some fearing population collapse, but could this be a natural instinctive biological repose to threats of overpopulation, rather than any cause for alarm?
This raises the question as to what controls population in other species and, why is overpopulation rare? Would any species just multiply like bacteria in petri dish whenever possible until resources and the ecosystem collapses? Or do species, and even potentially humans, have instinctive mechanisms to constrain population at a more optimum level for long term survival? In practice, resource constraint and predation alone as population controls would for many species would result in repeated huge population swings, so logically, there must be more.
Analysing population mechanisms in other species may provide some interesting insights and possible answers to at least a large part of what is happing with birth-rates that will determine whether our future is population is one of: continued growth, collapse, or stability, on a planet where population of all life is not growing.
In the 1970s, there were the ‘Oil Crises‘. Then, and at other times it has been suggested that one key reason for moving to renewables, is that as there is only a finite supply of fossil fuels which will come to an end one day. But when?
There is also a mistaken belief that ‘peak oil‘ projections are a result of supplies of fossil fuels becoming exhausted.
Whether you are worried oil supplies will run out, or are hoping oil supplies will run out, although prices may rise, they won’t run out. In fact, we can’t possibly use all fossil fuel.
There is a myth that ‘there is always climate change’, with the implication that humans could live through such changes despite past mass extinctions, and the fact the planet is dying. You would think humans have always existed, and no species had ever become extinct.
Even that Earth supports human life for even a very short window of time is remarkable. While Mars and Venus have changed by hundreds of degrees, as the heat from our Sun risen 45% since the planets were born, temperatures on Earth have changed very little, due to heat regulation by CO2 levels.
Understanding the interaction of plants, the Sun and CO2, is key to understanding both natural and anthropogenic climate change.
There is a lot of focus on climate change caused by humans, as there should be! But this focus can miss just how fragile the environment is even without us humans breaking things. This page looks at some of the surprises are in store when we explore natural climate change.
This exploration of natural changes, and the history and future of changes even without human interference as background relevant when considering the potential impact of man-made climate change. A big surprise is that life on Earth is already naturally on a downward spiral, and Earths ‘carrying capacity‘ for all life is in natural decline already. The natural decline is far more gradual than possible impact of humans but does illustrate the fragility of nature. Fortunately, we have millions of years to develop solutions to avoid the worst natural climate disasters, provided we first find a way to avoid prematurely destroying the already fragile natural environment ourselves.
Globally, the when is now. Although locally, experiences differ by location.
Return to peak child means we could either return to the gradual growth levels of prior to the industrial revolution, or become a mature species, and exist in balance with nature and other living things. Perhaps even stop displacing other species?