Recent Climate Models predict an equilibrium climate sensitivity as much as 40% higher, which means that we significantly less than a decade to avoid locking in catastrophic climate change.
But who has the emotional resources to discuss our existential climate hazard, as COVID-19 looms faster. There's discussion online about whether it's increasing as a quadratic function or an exponential one. Here's the best explanation I've seen.
... for the early stages of an epidemic, when there aren't effective treatments and it's escaped quarantine, an exponential curve is a good enough model. Like all models, it's imperfect - it's not going to match up exactly with reality. But it captures the main dynamics of how infection occurs, so it'll be closer than say a quadratic model, and then epidemiologists handwave away the differences on the basis of a changing R0.
Consider the abstract of this preprint. Yes, it hasn't been peer reviewed yet, that takes time. But the authors are respected and it's DARPA funded work from the Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) Program at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
... we estimated that the number of infected individuals during early epidemic double every 2.4 days, and the R0 value is likely to be between 4.7 and 6.6. We further show that quarantine and contact tracing of symptomatic individuals alone may not be effective and early, strong control measures are needed to stop transmission of the virus.
It's thought infected passengers from Wuhan were entering the US in early January.
Models suggest that from the time of first introduction of the virus into China — which we now suspect occurred sometime in November — to the time of epidemic spread in China, was about 10 weeks.
Will we have our outbreak by the middle of March?
From where I sit, we only have a few weeks left until the US enters epidemic status. An incompetent, corrupt, anti-science government offers little confidence we'll cope. Our ruling elite doesn't even value reality. As a senior citizen with multiple health challenges, what could I do to survive long enough for a vaccine in 2021?
A month or so on from its discovery, Covid-19 has shaken Chinese society and politics to the core.
When health care is totally overwhelmed, many also die from lack of routine care.
If a severe pandemic, such as occurred in 1918 happened today, it would still likely overwhelm health care infrastructure, both in the United States and across the world.
Businesses and schools would struggle to function, and even basic services like trash pickup and waste removal could be impacted.
I take comfort that most healthy young people will survive.
Most of our politicians are older, more vulnerable. Elections will be impacted during a pandemic.
Too soon, many of us will live one day at a time, staying home, running out of essential medications which used to be manufactured in Wuhan.
Have you tried not touching your face when you're in public? Paying attention to the unconscious touches we do every day? Are you practicing the new skills you'll need for personal protection? We've been practicing for three days, and there's a big learning curve using a public rest room without touching unsanitized surfaces.