Guest essay by Eric Worrall
A new study claims “the window has closed” for preventing 1.5c of warming, and we’re going to have to work hard to prevent 2c of warming. Naturally in true climate tradition there is no evidence anything bad has or will happen.
Scientists: Window for avoiding 1.5C global warming ‘closed’
World is almost certain to breach danger threshold for millions of vulnerable people, study finds.
Scientists have bad news for people on the front line of climate change impacts.
The 1.5C global warming limit vulnerable countries fought hard to include in the Paris Agreement may already be out of reach.
There is slim chance of stabilising temperature rise at that level without controversial negative emissions technology, according to a study published in Nature.
“The window for limiting warming to below 1.5C with high probability and without temporarily exceeding that level already seems to have closed,” the report found.
It is a blow for those living near the coast of Bangladesh or low-lying islands like Kiribati, which is preparing for an exodus as rising seas swallow homes.
Coral reefs dying and tropical heatwaves are also expected to kick in at moderate levels of global warming, affecting millions of people worldwide.
The abstract of the referenced study;
Paris Agreement climate proposals need a boost to keep warming well below 2 °C
The Paris climate agreement aims at holding global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius and to “pursue efforts” to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius. To accomplish this, countries have submitted Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) outlining their post-2020 climate action. Here we assess the effect of current INDCs on reducing aggregate greenhouse gas emissions, its implications for achieving the temperature objective of the Paris climate agreement, and potential options for overachievement. The INDCs collectively lower greenhouse gas emissions compared to where current policies stand, but still imply a median warming of 2.6–3.1 degrees Celsius by 2100. More can be achieved, because the agreement stipulates that targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions are strengthened over time, both in ambition and scope. Substantial enhancement or over-delivery on current INDCs by additional national, sub-national and non-state actions is required to maintain a reasonable chance of meeting the target of keeping warming well below 2 degrees Celsius.
Read more (paywalled): http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v534/n7609/full/nature18307.html
So how badly is Kiribati suffering the ravages of climate? The answer is not a lot. Prompted by radical green orthodoxy, the New Zealand Government has been offering Kiribati residents a green card style lottery for 75 new residence permits every year, but as of last year New Zealand can’t find enough Kiribati people who want to leave, to fill the lottery.
… there hasn’t been a dramatic exodus just yet. The New Zealand immigration department sets aside 75 places a year in a lottery for migrants from Kiribati, and at the moment it can’t fill them.
President Anote Tong [Kiribati] suggests that is because things aren’t desperate enough yet.
The one degree or so of warming we have experienced has not made a noticeable difference to people’s lives, other than a slightly longer growing season, and less severe winters. Even if another 0.5C – 1C warming occurs, which is far from certain, there is no reason to think that the kind of temperature change you experience moving a few hundred feet up or down a hillside will make a major difference to people’s lives.