We're Falling Short: Climate Report Grim

November 29, 2019

Popular Mechanics:

The United Nations released an exceptionally bleak report today, which warns that, at the current pace of greenhouse gas emissions, global temperatures will rise by as much as 3.9 degrees Celsius (almost 7 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2100. 

The report, published by the United Nations’ Environment Programme, aims to compare current rates of greenhouse gas emissions to the chief goals set by the 2015 Paris climate agreement: limiting an increase in global temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit). 

In order to hit our target by 2100, greenhouse gas emissions must fall by 7.6 percent annually starting in 2020, according to the report. “Every year of delay beyond 2020 brings a need for faster cuts, which become increasingly expensive, unlikely and impractical,” the report’s authors state. “Delays will also quickly put the 1.5C goal out of reach.”

Inside Climate News:

To be on track for 2°C of warming, the report said, emissions in 2030 would need to be 25 percent lower than today.

To limit warming to 1.5°C, emissions would need to be slashed by 55 percent. Last year, global carbon dioxide emissions rose 1.7 percent.

“Every year that action is delayed, emissions reductions need to be steeper,” said Joeri Rogelj, climate change lecturer at Imperial College London and an author of the report. This is the 10th year in a row that the UN has released an emissions gap report. “It is really the accumulation of bad news every year.”

Confirmation that rising emissions are putting existing global goals further out of reach came on the eve of the COP 25 climate summit that begins in Madrid on Monday.

The meeting will be the first big climate gathering since President Donald Trump began the process of withdrawing the United States from the Paris Agreement. Brazil’s president has also questioned the deal’s relevance.

New data from the World Meteorological Organization published on Monday showed that global average concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere rose to 407.8 parts per million in 2018, up from 405.5 parts per million in 2017.

The increase is the result of man-made carbon dioxide emissions, primarily from burning fossil fuels. Another UN report last week showed that if the world’s top fossil fuel-producing nations follow through on their current plans, they will produce about 50 percent more oil, gas and coal by 2030 than would be compatible with the international goal of keeping global warming under 2°C, and two times more than would be allowable to stay under 1.5°C.

Greenhouse gas emissions have risen 1.5 percent each year on average over the past decade, despite a slight levelling off during 2014-16.

“There is no sign of a slowdown, let alone a decline, in greenhouse gases concentration in the atmosphere despite all the commitments under the Paris agreement,” said Petteri Taalas, secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organization.

“It is worth recalling that the last time the Earth experienced a comparable concentration of CO2 was 3 to 5 million years ago,” he added. “Back then, the temperature was 2 to 3°C warmer, and sea level was 10 to 20 meters higher than now.”

33 Responses to “We're Falling Short: Climate Report Grim”

  1. redskylite Says:

    Jimbills – I am not in denial, you have said plenty and you have a right. I have worked extensively on scenario predictive projects, (for mainframe replacement with Microsoft Unix servers and have seen automated software produce similar graphs that you are describing as bullshit. of course reality does not mirror predictions exactly, and the graphs could be smoothed by a professional statistics expert, but they give a good indication.

    i firmly believe it is you that is in denial, you deny leaders like Trump have are ruining the last window we have, you cannot accept that, not at all.

    I accept your point about Alley – but he does not show the same disrespect and arrogance as you by stating it is a folly and bullshit, he is a polite man. I like him.

    Now Peter Sinclair does a great job and this is my favourite climate blog – if he posts something on the window of action from his sources I will take it in.

    • redskylite Says:

      oops – should fread Microsoft and Unix

    • redskylite Says:

      John Kerry’s New Bipartisan, Star-Studded ‘War’ on Climate Change

      Kerry says the coalition, “World War Zero” will take a wartime-type mobilization to stop the rise in carbon emissions by 2050. But one of the 60 founding members, former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, says communication is key with many naysayers unconcerned about what happens 30 years from now.

      https://www.nbcboston.com/news/local/John-Kerry-Launches-Bipartisan-Coalition-to-Combat-Climate-Change-565702141.html

      • jimbills Says:

        I was super pissed at Kerry in 2015 and the Paris agreement. He (with the Obama administration) removed mandates in the agreement so that it could bypass Congress. His efforts helped pass the agreement with U.S. involvement, avoiding a Kyoto repeat, but it didn’t nearly have the teeth it should have had as a result, and we’ll spend the next 10 years at least holding onto it as the framework for largely ineffective ‘change’. And meanwhile, the U.S. is so screwed up regarding climate change that we’re trying to withdraw from it.

        I’m of the firm opinion that the rest of the world should tell the U.S. to go eff itself in regards to climate change. Start making agreements on their own that penalize the U.S. for non-compliance.

        I saw the recent moves by Kerry. Look, he gets kudos for talking about it. At least that’s better than we’re used to having.

        But he’s also actively avoiding actual plans on how to mitigate climate change:
        https://www.theverge.com/2019/12/2/20991784/john-kerry-schwarzenegger-climate-change-world-war-zero

        It’s a sort of “let’s get together and talk about how we need to do something about climate change, but let’s not talk about what we should actually do” – and right now, anyway, that’s not an exaggeration.

        Kerry is an appeaser to the core.

        One can have any aspiration they want to have. But until it receives actual policy, it might as well be pissing in the wind (i.e Paris and 1.5).

    • jimbills Says:

      Yes, I’ve said plenty. It clearly didn’t sway you, and I didn’t expect to do so. The funny thing about watching people post here and elsewhere is that people can go years believing the exact same things – nothing ever changes their minds. I’m as human as the rest of you – I’m no different.

      I’m not saying Trump isn’t bad. He’s horrible. But he isn’t THE problem. Our problem regarding climate change and environmental destruction is much, much bigger than just him. Regarding limiting warming to 1.5 degrees C, we weren’t even close to hitting that before Trump, no country outside two in Africa is close to hitting that now (and Trump, the last I checked, was the President of just one nation), and countries like China remain committed to coal into the near future:
      https://www.reuters.com/article/us-climate-change-china-coal/in-china-coal-creeps-back-in-as-slowing-economy-overshadows-climate-change-ambitions-idUSKBN1Y60NU

      Alley says the same thing I do, but he’s nicer about it. Okay.

      The title of this very same blog post from Peter is ‘We’re Falling Short: Climate Report Grim’ and includes the statement:

      ‘In order to hit our target by 2100, greenhouse gas emissions must fall by 7.6 percent annually starting in 2020, according to the report. “Every year of delay beyond 2020 brings a need for faster cuts, which become increasingly expensive, unlikely and impractical,” the report’s authors state. “Delays will also quickly put the 1.5C goal out of reach.”’

      There are absolutely no signs that we are anywhere near those cuts either now or in the next ten years. What else do you want?

      Hope never dies, I know. But there’s such a thing as false hope – and I think false hope is actually counter-productive to the common mission of limiting emissions as much as possible. We won’t limit warming to 1.5 degrees C, and there are going to be a lot of people defeated and discouraged when it becomes all too obvious that we can’t or didn’t.

      But we can limit warming at some point, and we must. That’s a long haul mission for humanity that will last well into future – far beyond the time of Trump and our own contributions.

      The best to you. I’ve tried to be honest, and I have been forceful in doing so. One of my pet peeves here is to get a thumbs down on a comment but rarely ever get an explanation for why I received it. I tried to do that for you here. My apologies for any arrogance in my comments.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: