Twice as Bad, Twice as Fast
At the March 2009, ‘Emergency’ Scientific Congress on Climate Change, more than 2,500 top scientists and delegates from nearly 80 countries warned that:
Several key statistics are at least DOUBLE / TWICE AS BAD / happening TWICE AS FAST as previous estimates and conditions are at or beyond the worst-case scenario trajectories predicted by the dangerously outdated, 2007 IPPC report, upon which ALL current international climate negotiations are based and LIMITED TO.
And even these revised conclusions underestimate the latest science that shows many aspects of climate decline to be 2, 3, 5, 10, 20 x worse, depending.
+2 ºC = Global Disaster, Not Salvation (Dr. James Hansen)
The acceleration of climate breakdown toward climate tipping points — a threshold wrongly promoted by governments and even many environmental organizations as a global average temp increase of +2 ºC or more, when it has in fact been shown to be +1.5 ºC OR LESS — is now RAPID. At a mere +0.8 ºC, we have already suffered profound impacts. If surpassed, a phenomenon called positive feedback loops – like when less arctic ice to reflect sun leaves more ocean surface to absorb more heat faster and faster — would become EXPONENTIAL AND IRREVERSIBLE.
More Than +2 ºC Already Assured
The +2 ºC target is no longer achievable, nor was it ever ‘safe’. If a global carbon emission switch could be flicked off tomorrow, the atmosphere would continue to heat beyond +2 ºC based of the inertia of the system. We are already committed to AT LEAST a +2.0 ºC to +2.4 ºC rise, no matter what (Scientific Congress on Climate Change Synthesis Report, Page 18, June 18, 2009).
Once released, carbon persists in the atmosphere for a thousand, if not thousands, of years, yet we continue to increase AND accelerate our annual release of carbon emissions — in the wrong direction!
Even the 2007 IPCC impacts report (chapter 5) said that +2.5 ºC would not only be disastrous for agriculture in the most climate breakdown vulnerable regions, it would make ALL agriculture vulnerable in ALL regions.
Late 2008, Hadley Centre (UK) researchers announced new calculations that suggest a rise of up to +7 ºC by 2100. And in early in 2009, so did MIT.
If these projected potential increases were to occur, climate extremes would render the planet UNLIVABLE for most life by around +6 ºC (or less) which, incredibly, could become a reality BEFORE THE END OF THIS CENTURY.
But worse still, extreme fresh water/food scarcity and global agricultural collapse would transpire MANY DECADES SOONER.
That is why, what we do NOW is the ONLY CHANCE to have the biggest impact to slow the process. What we do later and incrementally once climate tipping points are passed and exponential, irreversible positive feedback loops are triggered, will be far ‘2’ little, far ‘2’ late.
This makes it especially inconvenient that the 2007 IPPC report, upon which all current international climate negotiations are are based and LIMITED TO, did not incorporate the impacts of positive feedback loops — the key drivers of potential runaway climate collapse — into its assessments. As a result, even if fully embraced and implemented, its outdated recommendations are, by far, DANGEROUSLY INADEQUATE to the actual size and urgency of the threat.
The Most Ambitious Int’l Emissions Reduction Targets Must be at Least Doubled
Our children do not have 40 years for us to get global emissions down to near-ZERO. If we are to RACE BACK TO a ‘safe’ climate balance of not more than +1 ºC — FAST (Bill Hare, Worldwatch Institute, State of World 2009, Chapter 2), the world community must peak emissions as soon as possible, rapidly reduce to virtual ZERO emissions, AND REMOVE much of the carbon from the atmosphere that has already been released.
Humanity must launch a multi-pronged ‘Marshall Plan / Manhattan Project / Apollo Program‘-equivalent venture on the greatest scale ever to confront the climate crisis — research and rapid development/ transference/ implementation of clean, renewable technologies, emergency assistance for/ cooperation with fast-developing countries and those on the front lines of devastating impacts, and much, much more — and we must initiate it NOW in order to survive.
- ecoSanity – Race 2 Survival (R2S) Campaign
- BlogSanity – IPCC
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