t is a very personal thing to be caught short without a solution because the problem was not recognized early on. Like needing more rent after quitting a job, or wishing a better retirement long after it is a lost opportunity, some solutions can not be achieved without a serious plan.
If Manhattan is destined to be 10 feet deep in seawater, it would have taken decades of prior problem solving on a global scale to preserve the Antarctic ice sheets in a manner that would help keep Broadway dry. By comparison, building a globalized economy is simple.
Polar ice is not the only concern. As CO2 is absorbed by the oceans that make up 2/3 of Earth’s surface, measured pH becomes more acidic. With less known about ocean chemistry and its linkage to the sea life food chain than about atmospheric climate effects, we are left with studying an underwater ecology while it is changing. Lower pH Erodes Carbonates.
Will melting polar ice dilute or eliminate ocean acidification due to fossil CO2 absorption?
Its worse than that. Increasing ocean temperatures seem to impede chemical cycles in plankton. Chemical Cycles
Climate problems are consequential, but more importantly, tractable solutions are astoundingly lacking. It is a serious problem in itself to not have ready solutions for climate problems, whether they actually occur sooner or later. There are no known climate solutions, and when attained, it can be certain they will involve energy components since energy drives climate.
What criteria, if satisfied, would constitute a climate solution? This question is not widely engaged and/or discussed. Several criteria can be offered. For example any acceptable solution must:
- Not pose greater risk to populations or environments than the unsolved problems
- Not be irreversible
- Allow incremental verification of desired outcomes while being employed
Solutions that impose financial (i.e. tax) penalties seem less desirable than those enabled by strategic incentives from Government or Corporate policy.
Relative progress toward achievable criteria as well as actual solution stories can be accessed at: Climate Solutions