28 June 2023

What scientists say...

Scientists in their own words provide a compelling way to communicate often-complex ideas. So we have put together a small collection of useful quotes, with more to come.

You can find them at the Links & Info tab on the navigation bar. Here is a selection.

Societal collapse

Prof. HANS JOACHIM SCHELLNHUBER, August 2018
"Climate change is now reaching the end-game, where very soon humanity must choose between taking unprecedented action, or accepting that it has been left too late and bear the consequences.”
      Foreword to What Lies Beneath
      breakthroughonline.org.au/whatliesbeneath

Dr JOELLE GERGIS
"It’s extraordinary to realise that we are witnessing the great unravelling; the beginning of the end of things. I honestly never thought I’d live to see the start of what sometimes feels like the apocalypse. The Earth is really struggling to maintain its equilibrium. It’s possible that we are now seeing a cascade of tipping points lurching into action as the momentum of instability takes hold and things start to come apart.”
      Living with extremity as the new normal     
      griffithreview.com/articles/elemental-summer-a-season-of-chang

Future warming and what is safe 

Prof. WILL STEFFEN
“It is clear from observations of climate change-related impacts in Australia alone—the massive bushfires of the 2019-2020 Black Summer, the third mass bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef in only five years, and long-term cool-season drying of the country’s southeast agricultural zone—that even a 1.1°C temperature rise has put us into a dangerous level of climate change.”
      The Earth System, the Great Acceleration and the Anthropocene
      link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-78795-0_2

Prof. NERILIE ABRAM
"People and ecosystems are already suffering from the impacts of climate change across the world, and these impacts will worsen unless we move quickly to radically reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. But we've also let this problem get to the point where rapid emission reductions alone won't be enough—we also need to develop ways to remove large amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and to preserve critical parts of the Earth system while we still can."
      Reducing carbon emissions not enough, expert warns
      phys.org/news/2021-06-carbon-emissions-expert.html
 

Tipping points and cascades 

Prof. TIMOTHY LENTON and colleagues
“The evidence from tipping points alone suggests that we are in a state of planetary emergency: both the risk and urgency of the situation are acute […] If damaging tipping cascades can occur and a global tipping point cannot be ruled out, then this is an existential threat to civilisation.”
      Climate tipping points — too risky to bet against

Prof. JOHAN ROCKSTRÖM
“If we go beyond 2°C it’s very likely that we have caused so many tipping points that you have probably added another degree just through self-reinforcing changes… The moment that the Earth system flips over from being self-cooling — which it still is — to self-warming, that is the moment that we lose control.”
      COP26: Why The UN Climate Conference Matters Like Never Before
      forbes.com/sites/davidrvetter/2021/10/22/with-one-week-till-cop26-climate-talks-experts-set-out-whats-at-stake/
 

Existential risk management

LUKE KEMP and colleagues

“Prudent risk management requires consideration of the bad-to-worst-case scenarios… We know that temperature rise has “fat tails”: low-probability, high-impact extreme outcomes. Climate damages are likely to be nonlinear and result in an even larger tail. Too much is at stake to refrain from examining high-impact low-likelihood scenarios.”
      Climate Endgame: Exploring catastrophic climate change scenarios
      pnas.org/doi/10.1073/pnas.2108146119

Prof. HANS JOACHIM SCHELLNHUBER,
“When the issue is the survival of civilization is at stake, conventional means of analysis may become useless.”
      'It’s nonlinearity - stupid!'
      theecologist.org/2019/jan/03/its-nonlinearity-stupid