Study: We Actually Can Make a Difference

April 4, 2017

According to my friend, pollster Ed Maibach of George Mason University, there are 5 key messages to carry about climate change.

  1. It’s real
  2. It’s Us
  3. Scientists agree
  4. It’s bad
  5. There’s hope

UK Met Office:

In a paper published today [Monday 3 April, 2017] climate scientists at the Met Office Hadley Centre have shown that the early mitigation needed to limit eventual warming below potentially dangerous levels has a climate ‘payback’ much earlier than previously thought.

Lead scientist Andrew Ciavarella explains: “Our study has shown that efforts to reduce global temperature rise in the long term – through aggressive reductions in greenhouse gas emissions – can halve the risk of heat extremes within two decades.”

The study – published in the journal Nature Climate Change – investigates how quickly benefits of mitigation could be realised through any reduction in the occurrence of extreme seasonal temperatures over land. The team focussed on model results from future scenarios of a rapidly-warming world: one without any action to reduce emissions; and one where emissions are reduced enough to keep long-term global warming below 2 °C above pre-industrial times.

Ciavarella and the team discovered that it takes less than 20 years in many regions for the risk of extreme seasonal temperatures (one-in-ten-year extreme heat events) to halve following the start of aggressive emissions reductions.

Andrew Ciavarella added: “We show that the global exposure to climate risk is reduced markedly and rapidly with substantial reductions of greenhouse gas emissions. It had been thought previously that most of the benefits of mitigation would have been hidden by natural climate variability until later in the century.”

Prof Peter Stott – a fellow author on the paper – is the Acting Director of the Met Office Hadley Centre and part of the Mathematics department at the University of Exeter. He said: “It is necessary to reduce greenhouse gas emissions rapidly to help avoid the most dangerous impacts of climate change, but it had been thought that most of the benefits of this early mitigation would be felt only much later in the century. “This new research shows that many people alive today could see substantial benefits of efforts to reduce emissions thanks to a greatly reduced risk of heat waves in as little as two decades.”



18 Responses to “Study: We Actually Can Make a Difference”

  1. Sir Charles Says:

    Well. It WOULD work if countries were more engaged. But I have my doubts. Even Europe doesn’t stick to its promises.

    Also see => Climate Action Tracker

    • webej Says:

      Taking into account what is at stake, and mindful of the possibility of positive feed back loops which would put us our of the driver’s seat altogether, there is every reason to supplant all military spending with energy research and transition. It is completely possible for the EU and the USA to spend 400 to 500 $Billion per year. It will not be lost investment even if we were to discover in the future that the risks were milder than assumed: we still need to sustain our existence on this planet.

  2. Sir Charles Says:

    And Trump supporter Putin Now Denies Humans Cause Climate Change

    “Russia’s economy is a basket case. Apart from oil and gas, it produces little anyone wants to buy … Without restructuring, a global clean energy revolution will likely put the Russian economy in a death spiral.”

    • earl Says:

      The new MAD (mutually assured destruction) between Russia and America

    • webej Says:

      Whether it is a basket case or not, the Russian economy has grown by leaps and bounds since the Harvard boys and their shock therapy have left. They actually do produce a lot of things, some for export (like rocket engines), but they are pretty close to self-sufficent. Although the reliance on fossil fuels is an Achilles heel in Russia (and America), the American economy has also imported several trillion dollars more than they produce the last few decades. Such comment is simple sloganeering.

      • Tom Bates Says:

        The American economy is in a death spiral. We import 500 billion plus more each year than we export. As long as the world is hooked on American dollars for trade that merry go round can continue but I bet it will not continue more than a decade or two and the end when it comes will be as sudden as the collapse in Greece. The USA needs to change, unfortunately a whole lot of people have their heads in the sand and others profit from the problem so a majority seems unwilling to change.

  3. Sir Charles Says:

    As global temperaturs were last year already 1.1°C above pe-industrial levels, here my bet: Global temperatures will crack the 2°C threshold already before the year 2050.

  4. indy222 Says:

    If you put together the recent work by Friedrich et al 2016 showing ECS is 4.9C or higher, not 3C (IPCC), in agreement with Kohler et al 2015, and Shaffer et al 2016 who compared to the PETM, and combine that with MacDougall and others showing that even if we end ALL human GHG’s, that atmospheric CO2 continues to rise due to permafrost melt, and then combine that with the consensus among scientists that 2-3% of the carbon release from the Arctic will be in methane, which DOUBLES the greenhouse warming potential vs pure CO2 (which is what’s in the MacDougall et al models, so that even combining with the reduced depth of the permafrost active zone from Shuur et al, (offsetting effects) still we can expect that even if ALL human GHG emissions cease, atmospheric CO2 levels continue to rise for centuries, up towards 500ppm. Add in human actual GHG’s which of course are not going to end tonight. If indeed ECS is more like 5C, that implies that even the most draconian GHG cutbacks by humans leads to a +5C world at a bare minimum, one which has been called “incompatible with an organized society” as explained by Kevin Anderson.
    Anyone who’s still using obsolete IPCC carbon budgets and assuming, as did the old IPCC models (a) no amplifying cloud feedbacks [false], (b) no permafrost carbon melt [false], (c) ECS about +3C [looking false in a world with much higher CO2 than paleo data], in addition to lesser missing physics like darkening polar ice, slowdown of AMOC, etc… well, what we’re arguing about is the difference between human actions helping us towards a catastrophic future vs an apocalyptic future. Not an uncomfortable future vs a “potentially dangerous” future.
    We are already forced in to dramatic GeoEngineering to halt temperature rise immediately, in addition to ending all GHG emissions ASAP. The world just doesn’t want to face it. Stratospheric aerosols, regardless of ozone destruction? But then, will Russia declare war on the planes and balloons which do it (they benefit from global warming, in a relative way, which is all they care about in their demented leadership).

  5. Tom Bates Says:

    What temperature rise? Per STAR the world is cooling and has for decades, Per UAH and RSS the world has not warmed for almost two decades.

  6. Tom Bates Says:
    is an interesting study, 2/10’s of a watt per square meter which is 4150 times less than average solar gain, and 210 times less than NASA models of warming from changes in earths tilt and orbit. It certainly does not explain the end of the last ice age, the medieval warm period or the little ice age. shows we are still in the tail end of that little ice age unless all those trees grew under ice which is unlikely.

    If one takes the actual measurements on CO2 warming and projects it out to 2100 AD at the same CO2 increase one gets to 0.038F increase over 2000 AD. That would seem to indicate all the studies noted by posters and the blog on additional warming may be nothing more than hot air.

    When it was warmer the world was a better place the Sahara was for sure. . Since it snowed in the Sahara this year, maybe warmer would be better than colder.

    If it is warming , extreme weather is actually down as noted by the insurance industry report last year which had claims down for six years straight. . Since 1880 the most hurricanes to hit the USA was in 1886, none in the last 12 years. In the Indian ocean the most hurricanes was in the 1890 decade.

  7. Torsten Says:


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