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Old 11-20-2012, 05:19 PM   Topic Starter
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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We're on pace to warm the planet by 4 degrees by 2100.

Brutal.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...-is-terrified/

We’re on pace for 4C of global warming. Here’s why that terrifies the World Bank.
Posted by Brad Plumer
on November 19, 2012 at 11:28 am

Over the years at the U.N. climate talks, the goal has been to keep future global warming below 2C. But as those talks have faltered, emissions have kept rising, and that 2C goal is now looking increasingly out of reach. Lately, the conversation has shifted toward how to deal with 3C of warming. Or 4C. Or potentially more.

And that topic has made a lot of people awfully nervous. Case in point: The World Bank just commissioned an analysis (pdf) by scientists at the Potsdam Institute looking at the consequences of a 4C rise in global temperatures above pre-industrial levels by 2100. And the report appears to have unnerved many bank officials. “The latest predictions on climate change should shock us into action,” wrote World Bank President Jim Yong Kim in an op-ed after the report was released Monday.

So what exactly has got the World Bank so worried? Partly it’s the prospect that a 4C world could prove difficult—perhaps impossible—for many poorer countries to adapt to. Let’s take a closer look at the report:

1) The world is currently on pace for around 3C to 4C of global warming by the end of the century. In recent years, a number of nations have promised to cut their carbon emissions. The United States and Europe are even on pace to meet their goals. But those modest efforts can only do so much, especially as emissions in China and India keep rising. Even if all current pledges get carried out, the report notes, ”the world [is] on a trajectory for a global mean warming of well over 3C.” And current climate models still suggest a 20 percent chance of 4C warming in this emissions scenario.

2) The direct consequences of a 4C rise in global temperatures could be stark. Four degrees may not sound like much. But, the report points out, the world was only about 4C to 7C cooler, on average, during the last ice age, when large parts of Europe and the United States was covered by glaciers. Warming the planet up in the opposite direction could bring similarly drastic changes, such as three feet or more of sea-level rise by 2100, more severe heat waves, and regional extinction of coral reef ecosystems.

3) Climate change would likely hit poorer countries hardest. The World Bank focuses on poverty reduction, so its climate report spends most of its time looking at how developing countries could struggle in a warmer world. For instance, a growing number of studies suggest that agricultural production could take a big hit under 3C or 4C of warming. Countries like Bangladesh, Egypt, Vietnam, and parts of Africa would also see large tracts of farmland made unusable by rising seas. “It seems clear,” the report concludes, “that climate change in a 4C world could seriously undermine poverty alleviation in many regions.”

4) Yet the effects of 4C warming haven’t been fully assessed — they could, potentially, be more drastic than expected. Perhaps the most notable bit of the World Bank report is its discussion of the limits of current climate forecasts. Many models, it notes, make predictions in a fairly linear fashion, expecting the impacts of 4C of warming to be roughly twice as severe as those from 2C of warming. But this could prove to be wrong. Different effects could combine together in unexpected ways:

Quote:
For example, nonlinear temperature effects on crops are likely to be extremely relevant as the world warms to 2C and above. However, most of our current crop models do not yet fully account for this effect, or for the potential increased ranges of variability (for example, extreme temperatures, new invading pests and diseases, abrupt shifts in critical climate factors that have large impacts on yields and/or quality of grains).
What’s more, the report points out that there are large gaps in our understanding of what 4C of warming might bring: “For instance,” it notes, “there has not been a study published in the scientific literature on the full ecological, human, and economic consequences of a collapse of coral reef ecosystems.”

5) Some countries might not be able to adapt to a 4C world. At the moment, the World Bank helps many poorer countries build the necessary infrastructure to adapt to a warmer world. That includes dams and seawalls, crop research, freshwater management, and so forth. But, as a recent internal review found, most of these World Bank efforts are focused on relatively small increases in temperature.

This new World Bank report is less sure how to prepare for a 4C world. “[G]iven that uncertainty remains about the full nature and scale of impacts, there is also no certainty that adaptation to a 4C world is possible.” That’s why, the report concludes, “The projected 4C warming simply must not be allowed to occur — the heat must be turned down. Only early, cooperative, international actions can make that happen.”

So what sorts of actions might that entail? The International Energy Agency recently offered its own set of ideas for curbing greenhouse-gas emissions and keeping future warming below 2C. That included everything from boosting renewable energy to redesigning the world’s transportation system. But so far, nations have only made small progress on most of these steps.
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Old 11-20-2012, 05:19 PM   #2
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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The World Bank's report.

http://climatechange.worldbank.org/s...be_avoided.pdf
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Old 11-20-2012, 05:45 PM   #3
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I'll be dead by then.

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Old 11-20-2012, 05:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave View Post
I'll be dead by then.

No ****s given.
no children who might produce grandchildren?

it's a caring about future generations kinda thing...
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:14 PM   #5
BigMeatballDave BigMeatballDave is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by go bowe View Post
no children who might produce grandchildren?

it's a caring about future generations kinda thing...
My son will be 100 by then.

It's incredibly arrogant to believe humans can stop the Earth from evolving.

It was here billions of yrs before humans and will be here long after humans are gone.

Deal with it.
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave View Post
My son will be 100 by then.

It's incredibly arrogant to believe humans can stop the Earth from evolving.

It was here billions of yrs before humans and will be here long after humans are gone.

Deal with it.
That's entirely irrelevent to the issue of climate change.
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Old 11-20-2012, 07:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
That's entirely irrelevent to the issue of climate change.
Wait, we're on course, right? So, what else would you have us do? Force China and the other folks to do what we've done?
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Old 11-21-2012, 11:24 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
That's entirely irrelevent to the issue of climate change.

A few points to make:

1. climate change is occurring. That is absolutely indisputable. What I understand to be somewhat in dispute, however, is the degree to which human activity is causing or contributing to the climate change.

2. The US, through a variety of factors (very few of which are attributable to governmental action, actually) is seeing its contribution to the climate change situation shrink year after year. We are, in short, becoming much, MUCH better at not contributing to this problem.

3. The developing world, however, is increasingly contributing to it. The problem is that it's hard for them to keep developing without increasing, rather dramatically, their carbon footprint. As I understand it, OUR carbon footprint is still massive -- probably the largest on earth for any country, but we're getting better. Many countries with very low/non-existent carbon footprints wish (not unreasonably) to have the same wealth etc. that we have, and therefore are dramatically growing their carbon footprint. Dealing with that issue is massively difficult, and not solely within our control.

4. As I said before, climate change IS happening. We are therefore far better off if we take steps NOW to deal with what is inevitable, rather than letting another Sandy wipe out major metropolitan areas. A huge percentage of the wealth, resources, and population of this country are along the two coasts, and we need to devote major attention to getting them ready, to the extent necessary, for a dramaticaly different climate. (I profess ignorance as to whether those along rivers would also need to adjust, but if so, let's do it).
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Old 11-21-2012, 11:25 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave View Post
My son will be 100 by then.

It's incredibly arrogant to believe humans can stop the Earth from evolving.

It was here billions of yrs before humans and will be here long after humans are gone.

Deal with it.


The relevant points are (1) to the extent humans are contributing ot the problem, what can we do to reduce/minimize that, and (2) what should we do as a result of this changing world climate to better prepare ourselves to deal with it.
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Old 11-21-2012, 11:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by go bowe View Post
no children who might produce grandchildren?

it's a caring about future generations kinda thing...
A 4 degree change, I think over the course of the next 80 years they'll acclimate.
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Old 11-20-2012, 05:46 PM   #11
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Take a Xanax, D.
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:05 PM   #12
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In recent years, a number of nations have promised to cut their carbon emissions. The United States and Europe are even on pace to meet their goals.

Okay. Next?
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:12 PM   #13
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In recent years, a number of nations have promised to cut their carbon emissions. The United States and Europe are even on pace to meet their goals.

Okay. Next?
He's going to stop driving his car.
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:33 PM   #14
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And in other news the CIA closed its climate change office while President Obama was getting a Jade Idol in Burma.
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Old 11-20-2012, 07:59 PM   #15
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It certainly doesn't help that a huge percentage of rain forests have been cut down because those countries are ****ed up shitholes that force their citizens to cut down trees so they can farm.

Nobody seems to talk about that as a reason why there's an inordinate amount of CO2 in the atmosphere causing the warming. That shit was soooo 1980s. Now it's all the Western nations' faults.
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