Friday 30 June 2017

3 years to fix climate change - 30 years ago we had 10.

Nothing quite like optimsm and hopium even if there is no evidence to support it!

In 1989 the UN warned that 1C could not be exceeded and we had 10 years to fix things.

Now, 30 years later we are quite possibly at 1.8C higher than pre-industrial average termperatures (less than that if you believe the false figures) and we still have three years to get cliamte change under control.

I wonder how they prepose to do that with a melting Arctic and dozens  of self-reinforcing feedbacks.

These experts say we have three years to get climate change under control. And they’re the optimists.
Chris Mooney

26 November, 2014

A group of prominent scientists, policymakers, and corporate leaders released a statement Wednesday warning that if the world doesn’t set greenhouse gas emissions on a downward path by 2020, it could become impossible to contain climate change within safe limits.

The group, led by Christiana Figueres, who oversaw the United Nations negotiations that produced the Paris climate agreement, base their case on simple math. The world, they calculate, probably has a maximum of 600 billion remaining tons of carbon dioxide that can be emitted if we want a good chance of holding the rise in planetary temperatures within the Paris limit of 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius (2.7 to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit).

With 41 billion tons emitted every year from energy consumption and other sources, such as deforestation, there are only about 15 years before that budget is exhausted.

Emissions can’t suddenly go to zero after 15 years — the world economy would grind to a halt if they did. Therefore, they must be put on a downward path almost immediately.

When it comes to climate, timing is everything,” write Figueres and her co-authors, including scientists Hans Joachim Schellnhuber and Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, in a commentary in the journal Nature. The commentary has six authors and was endorsed by dozens of co-signers from the climate science and policy world as well as from industry.

The paper by Figueres, who now leads an initiative called Mission 2020, was directly aimed at influencing the upcoming G-20 meetings in Germany. It also notes President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris accord.

The whole purpose of this comment … is to wake up the intentionality and the ingenuity that we must bring to this effort, because of the urgency,” Figueres said during a call with reporters.

Fortunately, global emissions have been flattening lately. Not going down — but not rising, either. The past three years have instead shown a leveling-off thanks to a decline of coal burning by the United States and China.

Yet to achieve their objectives, extremely rapid carbon cuts would be required on a tremendous scale.

By 2020, among other objectives, all of the world’s coal plants would have to be on the path to retirement (and no new ones can be built), and electric vehicles would have to explode in popularity, moving from 1 percent of global sales to 15 percent in just three years, an extraordinarily rapid rate of growth.

Deforestation would have to decline sharply and then end entirely. By 2030, global forests would actually have to start pulling carbon dioxide out of the air. That is an enormous lift, given the entrenched nature of deforestation and the economic pressures in the developing world to convert forested land to agriculture and ranching.

But if emissions are not on a significant downward path by 2020, the logic is inevitable — it gets increasingly difficult to control global warming. The reason is simple. The later emissions reach their peak, the more rapidly they would have to decline following that peak. At some point it becomes impossible to cut emissions as fast as would be necessary to avoid busting the limited carbon “budget.”

These kinds of considerations are why a number of researchers have expressed skepticism about global temperatures increasing less than two degrees Celsius. Keeping the temperature change below 1.5 Celsius is even harder and, increasingly, being considered unachievable by scientists. (It has already increased about one degree Celsius.)

I have said for quite a while now that I don’t think 2C is possible,” said Glen Peters, an expert on carbon budgets and climate change at the Center for International Climate Research in Oslo, in response to the new missive by Figueres and her colleagues. “I would like to be wrong, and I am happy to aim for 2C or lower. But, I can’t look people in the eye and give them false hope.”

Peters did acknowledge that there was a purpose to maintaining optimism, though he said that “personally, I don’t see that as my role.”

Such is where we are. There’s a narrowing window of time to fix the climate problem before crossing new thresholds — but since we’re still not actually at them yet, there’s still room for both optimists and pessimists.


Jun. 29, 1989

UNITED NATIONS (AP) _ A senior U.N. environmental official says entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels if the global warming trend is not reversed by the year 2000.

Coastal flooding and crop failures would create an exodus of ''eco- refugees,' ' threatening political chaos, said Noel Brown, director of the New York office of the U.N. Environment Program, or UNEP.

He said governments have a 10-year window of opportunity to solve the greenhouse effect before it goes beyond human control.

As the warming melts polar icecaps, ocean levels will rise by up to three feet, enough to cover the Maldives and other flat island nations, Brown told The Associated Press in an interview on Wednesday.

Coastal regions will be inundated; one-sixth of Bangladesh could be flooded, displacing a fourth of its 90 million people. A fifth of Egypt's arable land in the Nile Delta would be flooded, cutting off its food supply, according to a joint UNEP and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency study.

''Ecological refugees will become a major concern, and what's worse is you may find that people can move to drier ground, but the soils and the natural resources may not support life. Africa doesn't have to worry about land, but would you want to live in the Sahara?'' he said.

UNEP estimates it would cost the United States at least $100 billion to protect its east coast alone.

Shifting climate patterns would bring back 1930s Dust Bowl conditions to Canadian and U.S. wheatlands, while the Soviet Union could reap bumper crops if it adapts its agriculture in time, according to a study by UNEP and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.

Excess carbon dioxide is pouring into the atmosphere because of humanity's use of fossil fuels and burning of rain forests, the study says. The atmosphere is retaining more heat than it radiates, much like a greenhouse.

The most conservative scientific estimate that the Earth's temperature will rise 1 to 7 degrees in the next 30 years, said Brown.

The difference may seem slight, he said, but the planet is only 9 degrees warmer now than during the 8,000-year Ice Age that ended 10,000 years ago.

Brown said if the warming trend continues, ''the question is will we be able to reverse the process in time? We say that within the next 10 years, given the present loads that the atmosphere has to bear, we have an opportunity to start the stabilizing process.''

He said even the most conservative scientists ''already tell us there's nothing we can do now to stop a ... change'' of about 3 degrees.

''Anything beyond that, and we have to start thinking about the significant rise of the sea levels ... we can expect more ferocious storms, hurricanes, wind shear, dust erosion.''

He said there is time to act, but there is no time to waste.

UNEP is working toward forming a scientific plan of action by the end of 1990, and the adoption of a global climate treaty by 1992. In May, delegates from 103 nations met in Nairobi, Kenya - where UNEP is based - and decided to open negotiations on the treaty next year.

Nations will be asked to reduce the use of fossil fuels, cut the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases such as methane and fluorocarbons, and preserve the rain forests.

''We have no clear idea about the ecological minimum of green space that the planet needs to function effectively. What we do know is that we are destroying the tropical rain forest at the rate of 50 acres a minute, about one football field per second,'' said Brown.

Each acre of rain forest can store 100 tons of carbon dioxide and reprocess it into oxygen.

Brown suggested that compensating Brazil, Indonesia and Kenya for preserving rain forests may be necessary.

The European Community istalking about a half-cent levy on each kilowatt- hour of fossil fuels to raise $55 million a year to protect the rain forests, and other direct subsidies may be possible, he said.

The treaty could also call for improved energy efficiency, increasing conservation, and for developed nations to transfer technology to Third World nations to help them save energy and cut greenhouse gas emissions, said Brown.

Some very well-known people can get very angry if you try to burst their hopium bubble, especially if you back it up with evidence.

Just yesterday Mr. Hockey Stick, Michael Mann, posted an attack on Guy McPherson with this article from our very own James Renwick.  

Guy McPherson and the end of humanity (not)

Hot Topic
Is climate change going to wipe out humanity over the next 10 years? Prof Jim Renwick doesn’t think so…

I addressed this at the time

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