Only 50% chance of avoiding more than 2 degree warming

The Copenhagen summit held preliminary meetings today, before the big event kicks off in December when the world will decide what kind of global regulation, if any, it will introduce to curb carbon emissions and prevent further global warming.

Up til now, the hope has been that we could limit global warming to 2 degrees celsius, which would make life uncomfortable, but not impossible, for most of the world’s population.

Now, the Met Office says there is only a 50% chance we could limit global warming to 2 degrees, and only if we cut emissions drastically in the next 10 years.

At the moment, carbon emissions are going up by around 3% a year.

If the world warms up by more than 2 degrees, the New Scientist predicts that most of the world will become uninhabitable.

If we don’t act now, our children will have a severely depleted quality of life.

This is the challenge of our life time, and we have to act, individually and collectively, to meet it.

Comments:

  • This view is not universally held by many scientists. My own research into this debate is that, independent of the merits of the science which my reading of the literature makes it very uncertain indeed, there is definitely no discussion about the economics of global warming. The green solutions are a project like any other with costs and benefits. The green benefits are always phrased in terms of such a disaster that quantification is not necessary. An d the costs, well they are a necessary burden to bear. Yet we don’t make any other decision like that. That type of reasoning stops true debate and leads to marginal and superficial actions because no one is truly willing to pay the true costs of living without the benefits of energy consumption.

    see http://www.cato.org/special/climatechange/cato_climate.pdf
    for an alternative view.

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