Earth At Tipping Point Of Planet-Wide Destruction Say Scientists
June 9, 2012 8:12
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A prestigious group of scientists from around the world is warning that population growth, widespread destruction of natural ecosystems, and climate change may be driving Earth toward an irreversible change in the biosphere, a planet-wide tipping point that would have destructive consequences absent adequate preparation and mitigation.

UC Berkeley professor Tony Barnosky explains how an increasing human population, coupled with climate change, could irreversibly alter Earth’s ecosystem.
Video produced by Roxanne Makasdjian

“It really will be a new world, biologically, at that point,” warns Anthony Barnosky, professor of integrative biology at the University of California, Berkeley, and lead author of a review paper appearing in the June 7 issue of the journalNature. “The data suggests that there will be a reduction in biodiversity and severe impacts on much of what we depend on to sustain our quality of life, including, for example, fisheries, agriculture, forest products and clean water. This could happen within just a few generations.”

The Nature paper, in which the scientists compare the biological impact of past incidences of global change with processes under way today and assess evidence for what the future holds, appears in an issue devoted to the environment in advance of the June 20-22 United Nations Rio+20 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The result of such a major shift in the biosphere would be mixed, Barnosky noted, with some plant and animal species disappearing, new mixes of remaining species, and major disruptions in terms of which agricultural crops can grow where.

The paper by 22 internationally known scientists describes an urgent need for better predictive models that are based on a detailed understanding of how the biosphere reacted in the distant past to rapidly changing conditions, including climate and human population growth. In a related development, groundbreaking research to develop the reliable, detailed biological forecasts the paper is calling for is now underway at UC Berkeley. The endeavor, The Berkeley Initiative in Global Change Biology, or BiGCB, is a massive undertaking involving more than 100 UC Berkeley scientists from an extraordinary range of disciplines that already has received funding: a $2.5 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and a $1.5 million grant from the Keck Foundation. The paper by Barnosky and others emerged from the first conference convened under the BiGCB’s auspices.

“One key goal of the BiGCB is to understand how plants and animals responded to major shifts in the atmosphere, oceans, and climate in the past, so that scientists can improve their forecasts and policy makers can take the steps necessary to either mitigate or adapt to changes that may be inevitable,” Barnosky said. “Better predictive models will lead to better decisions in terms of protecting the natural resources future generations will rely on for quality of life and prosperity.” Climate change could also lead to global political instability, according to a U.S. Department of Defense study referred to in the Nature paper.

Barnosky discusses the Berkeley Initiative in Global Change Biology, an effort to improve our understanding of the past impacts of climate change so as to improve our forecasts for the future.  
Video produced by Roxanne Makasdjian

“UC Berkeley is uniquely positioned to conduct this sort of complex, multi-disciplinary research,” said Graham Fleming, UC Berkeley’s vice chancellor for research. “Our world-class museums hold a treasure trove of biological specimens dating back many millennia that tell the story of how our planet has reacted to climate change in the past. That, combined with new technologies and data mining methods used by our distinguished faculty in a broad array of disciplines, will help us decipher the clues to the puzzle of how the biosphere will change as the result of the continued expansion of human activity on our planet.”

One BiGCB project launched last month, with UC Berkeley scientists drilling into Northern California’s Clear Lake, one of the oldest lakes in the world with sediments dating back more than 120,000 years, to determine how past changes in California’s climate impacted local plant and animal populations.

City of Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates, chair of the Bay Area Joint Policy Committee, said the BiGCB “is providing the type of research that policy makers urgently need as we work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare the Bay region to adapt to the inevitable impacts of climate change. To take meaningful actions to protect our region, we first need to understand the serious global and local changes that threaten our natural resources and biodiversity.”

“The Bay Area’s natural systems, which we often take for granted, are absolutely critical to the health and well-being of our people, our economy and the Bay Area’s quality of life,” added Bates.

How close is a global tipping point?

The authors of the Nature review – biologists, ecologists, complex-systems theoreticians, geologists and paleontologists from the United States, Canada, South America and Europe – argue that, although many warning signs are emerging, no one knows how close Earth is to a global tipping point, or if it is inevitable. The scientists urge focused research to identify early warning signs of a global transition and an acceleration of efforts to address the root causes.

Image courtesy of Cheng (Lily) Li.

“We really do have to be thinking about these global scale tipping points, because even the parts of Earth we are not messing with directly could be prone to some very major changes,” Barnosky said. “And the root cause, ultimately, is human population growth and how many resources each one of us uses.”

Co-author Elizabeth Hadly from Stanford University said “we may already be past these tipping points in particular regions of the world. I just returned from a trip to the high Himalayas in Nepal, where I witnessed families fighting each other with machetes for wood – wood that they would burn to cook their food in one evening. In places where governments are lacking basic infrastructure, people fend for themselves, and biodiversity suffers. We desperately need global leadership for planet Earth.”

The authors note that studies of small-scale ecosystems show that once 50-90 percent of an area has been altered, the entire ecosystem tips irreversibly into a state far different from the original, in terms of the mix of plant and animal species and their interactions. This situation typically is accompanied by species extinctions and a loss of biodiversity.

Currently, to support a population of 7 billion people, about 43 percent of Earth’s land surface has been converted to agricultural or urban use, with roads cutting through much of the remainder. The population is expected to rise to 9 billion by 2045; at that rate, current trends suggest that half Earth’s land surface will be disturbed by 2025. To Barnosky, this is disturbingly close to a global tipping point.

“Can it really happen? Looking into the past tells us unequivocally that, yes, it can really happen. It has happened. The last glacial/interglacial transition 11,700 years ago was an example of that,” he said, noting that animal diversity still has not recovered from extinctions during that time. “I think that if we want to avoid the most unpleasant surprises, we want to stay away from that 50 percent mark.”

Global change biology

The paper emerged from a conference held at UC Berkeley in 2010 to discuss the idea of a global tipping point, and how to recognize and avoid it.

Following that meeting, 22 of the attendees summarized available evidence of past global state-shifts, the current state of threats to the global environment, and what happened after past tipping points.

They concluded that there is an urgent need for global cooperation to reduce world population growth and per-capita resource use, replace fossil fuels with sustainable sources, develop more efficient food production and distribution without taking over more land, and better manage the land and ocean areas not already dominated by humans as reservoirs of biodiversity and ecosystem services.

“Ideally, we want to be able to predict what could be detrimental biological change in time to steer the boat to where we don’t get to those points,” Barnosky said. “My underlying philosophy is that we want to keep Earth, our life support system, at least as healthy as it is today, in terms of supporting humanity, and forecast when we are going in directions that would reduce our quality of life so that we can avoid that.”

“My view is that humanity is at a crossroads now, where we have to make an active choice,” Barnosky said. “One choice is to acknowledge these issues and potential consequences and try to guide the future (in a way we want to). The other choice is just to throw up our hands and say, ‘Let’s just go on as usual and see what happens.’ My guess is, if we take that latter choice, yes, humanity is going to survive, but we are going to see some effects that will seriously degrade the quality of life for our children and grandchildren.”

The work was supported by UC Berkeley’s Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research.
 
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Story by Robert Sanders

Comments

Posted by Anonymous on June 10, 2012 4:17LikeDislikeReport SPAM
its called the fn Illuminati Destruction bp spill japan scam wars Libya Iran scams 9/11 ..and useless scam Governments put in by the Illuminati!
Posted by building 5 on June 10, 2012 5:54LikeDislikeReport SPAM
they're LYING.
Posted by Anonymous on June 10, 2012 7:48
Science is a lie. Read your bible. Praise Jesus. Encourage our leaders to start wars and drop 10,000 lb. bombs on residential neighborhoods in the middle east. Hallelujah!
Posted by mythoughtsalone on June 10, 2012 10:38
Science is a lie, but in my view it has been corrupted, and used as a form of new religion that we must all believe as a mantra.
Our Planet may be at a cross roads, it is being trashed, but the main people who allow and encourage this are the people running this world.
The Leaders and corporation companies in the name of Profit, everything is about greed, control, power.
How are the Amazon rain forests being destroyed, not by the people, but by the Government who sell of the land to the corporation companies, and taking the land from the people who live there.
Why are the seas allowed to be polluted, nets so vast they take all and everything in their path, Military are allowed to practice war games, killing off the sea life with High power Sonar, All down to Governments, not the people.
Who is constantly spraying our world with toxins and shutting off the sun to our plant in the name of pseudo science of global warming when the evidence is out there, that it is all a scam, to green tax us, and limit everything and add a price tag to everything. These people want to control and put a price on everything, including the air we breathe.
We are being bombarded with lies and false, fake data by a small minority of very wealthy elite people who are running the world and quite prepared tpo trash it if need be to achieve there goals.
Posted by Anonymous on June 10, 2012 11:36
any unrepented sin leads to hell. antichrist rules from jerusalem. euro is his currency. demons fly in ufo ships. no aliens exist. nobody lives on other planets. 666 tattoo by lasers is given when people stretch hands to receive small grey plastic world passport. police will laser people on the highways. food stores will be set up to laser people too. rfid chips and electronic tattoos are used to track people to laser them. unforgivable sins are: suicide, worship of antichrist, and 666 tattoo by lasers. pray to Jesus to save you from hell.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxtONT4mirk&feature=plcp
Posted by Anonymous on June 10, 2012 1:39
Help, the sky is falling. It hit me on the head!
Posted by DaveB on June 10, 2012 3:53
Humans have got to be the stupidest creatures in existence. Seriously, there could not be a dumber animal alive.
Posted by Anonymous on June 10, 2012 5:49
Except for population growth, LOAD OF CRAP.
Posted by basscat348 on June 10, 2012 6:13
Lens flare
Posted by Simply Me on June 10, 2012 9:14
15 spectacularly stupid predictions from the first Earth Day

“We have about five more years at the outside to do something.”
• Kenneth Watt, ecologist

“Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.”
• George Wald, Harvard Biologist

“We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation.”
• Barry Commoner, Washington University biologist

“Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction.” • New York Times editorial, the day after the first Earth Day

“Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make. The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.”
• Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist

“By…[1975] some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s.”
• Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist

“It is already too late to avoid mass starvation.”
• Denis Hayes, chief organizer for Earth Day
Posted by Pix on June 11, 2012 7:50
I'd like to see a list of these so claimed "prestigious group of scientists from around the world". Because the IPCC considers unqualified students being led by politically motivated green activists as being leading scientists. 

Climategate 3:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebl-XzEc280&feature=share

Needless to say, you can't believe a single word from the IPCC, the worlds leading peer review body as to what constitutes as a scientist, let alone including people to lead peer reviews that have political agendas. In fact you have more chance of being employed by the IPCC if you are one legged black african lesbian than if you were a top scientist.
Posted by Anonymous on June 11, 2012 8:53
It's quite clear that this is one more focused propaganda initiative from the academic wing of the Powers That (Were) - as driven by the Club of Rome/Club of Budapest/Bilderberger/United Nations global governance nexus. While "they" speak of "an urgent need for better predictive models that are based on a detailed understanding of how the biosphere reacted in the distant past to rapidly changing conditions," there is never a peep about the collaborative work directed by Henrik Svensmark, recently confirmed by a group of scientists at Cern (who were then gagged), which essentially PROVES that the Earth has been cool at times, millions of years past, when there was as much as TEN TIMES the amount of "toxic" CO2 in the atmosphere.

The bottom line for "reports" like this one is the embedded assertion that "We desperately need global leadership for planet Earth.” This will, of course, be the leadership of the true, long existent elite oligarchical consensus, in the service of the attached, aversive, acquisitive personalities of the privileged, who fully intend to remain that way.
Posted by
UC Berkeley knows the "truth" about the hoax of man made global warming. They know global warming was INVENTED as mass pollution to create global fear so the global power broker's (cabal) could control the population and use the invented pollution to replace the war economy. Berkeley knows that Global Warming is a HOAX but does not want to jeopardize their funding from the Global Cabal World Banksters that advances the plot to take down America by eliminating the US Constitution the Bill of Rights and force America into the United Nations aka One World Government. The Iron Mountain Report was hatched in the 1960's and knows no ethics, morality, or concern for life itself. The end goal is absolute total control of the human population, theft of all private property rights, total control of all energy resources and massive reduction of the human population. This is considered Peace Time. . 

Got to hand it to you Berkeley the Sudden Oak Death studies of many California oak trees, your labs are working on, would be solved if you looked up and admitted to the weaponized weather program and all the nasty stuff being dumped on us that is killing many trees. You know all those metals being sprayed by all those jets as solar remediation, to decrease Global Warming? Just think if more people knew about the current ability to reduce the global temperature by the Geoengineering program, currently in full operation, with total ownership of the weather Global Warming and all the economic crippling policies would be over. 

The Smart Grid with the secret frequency war being waged upon the American people through the smart meters, cell towers, cell phones and the Telecom Industry is all part of the destruction of the earth of which you are participating with the global genocide through U.N. Agenda 21 and the NWO Exposed 1969. 

Berkeley are you really worried about a Global Tipping Point? With all the other tipping points you are creating certainly you must be worried about actually being caught in the highjacking of the TRUTH.
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