Does the IPCC say we have until 2030 to avoid catastrophic global warming?

From Patrick T. Brown, PhD’s blog

Posted on January 4, 2019 by ptbrown31

In late 2018 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report on the impacts associated with global warming of 1.5°C (2.7°F) above preindustrial levels (as of 2019 we are at about 1.0°C above pre-industrial levels) as well as the technical feasibility of limiting global warming to such a level. The media coverage of the report immediately produced a meme that continues to persist. The meme is some kind of variation of the following:

The IPCC concluded that we have until 2030 (or 12 years) to avoid catastrophic global warming

Below is a sampling of headlines from coverage that propagated this meme.

However, these headlines are essentially purveying a myth. I think it is necessary to push back against this meme for two main reasons:

1) It is false.

2) I believe that spreading this messaging will ultimately undermine the credibility of the IPCC and climate science more generally.

Taking these two points in turn:

1) The IPCC did not conclude that society has until 2030 to avoid catastrophic global warming.

First of all, the word “catastrophic” does not appear in the IPCC report. This is because the report was not tasked with defining a level of global warming which might be considered to be catastrophic (or any other alarming adjective). Rather, the report was tasked with evaluating the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C (2.7°F) above preindustrial levels, and comparing these to the impacts associated with 2.0°C (3.6°F) above preindustrial levels as well as evaluating the changes to global energy systems that would be necessary in order to limit global warming to 1.5°C.

In the report, the UN has taken the strategy of defining temperature targets and then evaluating the impacts at these targets rather than asking what temperature level might be considered to be catastrophic. This is presumably because the definition of a catastrophe will inevitably vary from country to country and person to person, and there is not robust evidence that there is some kind of universal temperature threshold where a wide range of impacts suddenly become greatly magnified. Instead, impacts seem to be on a continuum where they simply get worse with more warming.

So what did the IPCC conclude regarding the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C? The full IPCC report constituted an exhaustive literature review but the main conclusions were boiled down in the relatively concise summary for policymakers. There were six high-level impact-related conclusions:

So to summarize the summary, the IPCC’s literature review found that impacts of global warming at 2.0°C are worse than at 1.5°C.

The differences in tone between the conclusions of the actual report and the media headlines highlighted above are rather remarkable. But can some of these impacts be considered to be catastrophic even if the IPCC doesn’t use alarming language? Again, this would depend entirely on the definition of the word catastrophic.

If one defines catastrophic as a substantial decline in the extent of artic sea ice, then global warming was already catastrophic a couple decades ago. If global warming intensified a wild fire to the extent that it engulfed your home (whereas it would not have without global warming) then global warming has already been catastrophic for you.

However, I do not believe that changes in arctic sea ice extent and marginal changes in damages from forest fires (or droughts, floods etc.) are what most people envision when they think of the word catastrophic in this context. I believe that the imagery evoked in most peoples’ minds is much more at the scale of a global apocalyptic event. This idea is exemplified in Michael Barbaro’s question about the IPCC report that he asked on The New York Times’ The Daily:

“If we overshoot, if we blow past 1.5°C and 2°C degree warming, is it possible at that point that we’ve lost so much infrastructure, so much of the personnel and the resources required to fix this that it can’t be done anymore? Will there be enough of the world left to implement this in a way that could be effective?”

-Michael Barbaro, New York Times, The Daily, 10/19/2018

It is also articulated in a tweet from prominent climate science communicator Eric Holthaus:

If catastrophe is defined as global-scale devastation to human society then I do not see how it could be possible to read the IPCC report and interpret it as predicting catastrophe at 1.5°C or 2°C of warming. It simply makes no projections approaching such a level of alarm.

Read the full post here.

HT/Steven Mosher

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Ron Long
January 12, 2019 6:31 am

Noting that the IPCC left out the word “catastrophic” from their projections is really begging the issue, because when you read their descriptions and the adjectives they use it is saying that. This report is like saying “take the prisoner out and shoot him many times in the general area of his heart” instead of saying “take the prisoner out and execute him”.

Reply to  Ron Long
January 12, 2019 8:12 am

Actually, I think Patrick makes the point that, when you read the report closely, it doesn’t predict catastrophe.

If catastrophe is defined as global-scale devastation to human society then I do not see how it could be possible to read the IPCC report and interpret it as predicting catastrophe at 1.5°C or 2°C of warming. It simply makes no projections approaching such a level of alarm.

Bryan A
Reply to  commieBob
January 12, 2019 8:12 pm

CAGW and Fusion Power seem to have a lot in common…
Both are perpetually only 10 years away

January 12, 2019 6:33 am

The risk analysis is useless no matter what temperature triggers the so-called “risks”, because the “analysis” only projects negative impacts, not positive impacts. Which falsifies the entire analysis.

For example, economic growth is obviously triggered by availability of cheap energy. Continuing to produce cheap energy from a variety of sources, such as fracked hydrocarbons as well as reductions in costs from renewables, promotes much faster economic and social growth which is not accounted for in their “analysis”. Yet the climate alarmists would do the opposite, heavily tax the cheaper fuels and thus raise the cost of energy which is a principal underpinning of any growing economy (like China’s).

On so-called “species loss”, the alarmists only consider the warming climate losers, and totally ignore the warming climate winners, so the net species loss or gain cannot be calculated. For every species that doesn’t like warmer weather, there is another that prefers warmer weather. Other species, like corals, simply move around in the water column vertically and spatially in order to adapt to the most efficacious climate condition for their species. That’s how corals survived and thrived throughout millions of years of alternating cooling and warming cycles, and glaciations and inter-glacials. Ditto with polar bears, etc. etc.

Useless propaganda when in only looks for desired results and ignores everything else.

Reply to  Duane
January 12, 2019 8:52 am

… economic growth is obviously triggered by availability of cheap energy.

That’s what they want to stop. The greenies think we need four planet Earths to sustain our lifestyle if everyone could live in the developed world. link They think we have to curtail the development of the third world and massively cut back on our own lifestyles.

It’s not actually a given that growing the economy and providing more goods and services requires more resources.

Between 1977 and 2001, the amount of material required to meet all needs of Americans fell from 1.18 trillion pounds to 1.08 trillion pounds, even though the country’s population increased by 55 million people. Al Gore similarly noted in 1999 that since 1949, while the economy tripled, the weight of goods produced did not change. link

The greenies have trouble with that concept. Technology allows us to do more and more with less and less. Buckminster Fuller

January 12, 2019 6:33 am

One of the two primary topics of discussion reads, “I believe that spreading this messaging will ultimately undermine the credibility of the IPCC and climate science more generally.”

When has the IPCC been credible? Never. It is a political entity, not a scientific one. And once climate “science” in general began to be presented as a consensus, it too lost all credibility.

Regards to all,

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  Bob Tisdale
January 12, 2019 8:04 am

I really don’t care how much the credibility of warmunist propaganda is undermined. I would like to see us reach the point where IPCC reports are punch lines on late night TV comedy monologues., as they should be.

So my response is rave on.

David Wells
Reply to  Bob Tisdale
January 12, 2019 1:32 pm

Sir David said: “Right now, we are facing a man-made disaster of global scale. Our greatest threat in thousands of years. Climate change.
“If we don’t take action, the collapse of our civilisations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon.”
The naturalist is taking up the “People’s Seat” at the conference, called COP24. He is supposed to act as a link between the public and policy-makers at the meeting.
“The world’s people have spoken. Their message is clear. Time is running out. They want you, the decision-makers, to act now,” he said.

Then 15 year old Gretta read a heart rending homily – scripted by her mother a devout Norwegian green.

It is strange though because last year we had 24 hours to save the planet and now we have 12 years.

When Al Gore made Inconvenient Truth think we had five minutes.

Here in the UK Lord Deben is recommending that we destroy our livestock farming because it represents 7% of UK emissions but only 2 millionths of global emission. But what is a few millionths when you are saving the planet. Barking mad.

Reply to  David Wells
January 12, 2019 4:34 pm

Not Norwegian, Swedish.

Sweden is probably more affected by climate hysteria than any other country, mostly due to the state-controlled radio and TV .

Dave Fair
Reply to  Bob Tisdale
January 12, 2019 7:36 pm

Agreed, Bob; the UN IPCC is a political body, not a scientific one. All of its “science” is filtered through social justice, income redistribution, gender equity, kleptocracy, etc. screens. That will not change as long as marginal and mendicant countries such as the Maldives get to vote on the “science” conclusions.

And don’t get me started on those unverified, ridiculous UN IPCC climate models. Pure bunk.

January 12, 2019 6:43 am

The World Bank is involved in efforts to address greenhouse emissions with aim to help build resilience to climate change in vulnerable third world communities.
Now Jim Yong Kim is retiring who is the favourite:
Ivanka T or Nikki Haley ?

Crispin in Waterloo but really in Beijing
Reply to  vukcevic
January 12, 2019 10:03 pm

It is unclear at the moment who the sub will be. Anyone heard anything? Anyone waiting in the wings? Who will the US insist on?

This could be interesting. Having a WB out of touch with the governments, including those who are not buying into the C of the AGW would cost in more ways than one. The WB makes loans to governments. It is not an NGO granting largesse, it is a bank. That’s why it is called the Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Something hanging over the conversation is that there are now competing enterprises with perhaps more sympathy to the borrower’s interests. My advice: never assume anything. Policies are flexible and opportunities, contextual.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo but really in Beijing
January 12, 2019 10:54 pm

Or, more colloquially, Crispin: If there is a buck to be made, someone will jump in. China? Others?

January 12, 2019 6:51 am

Oh boy, another moronic “10-Year Weather Plan” from the idiots at the IPCC!

They make used car salesmen look like saints!

January 12, 2019 6:59 am

The UN, the science, the media many times are wrong because of their ideological constraints, but unfortunately they are right about climate change. The French events unfortunately prove that if we wanted to act, it would not be possible because of the resistance of the broad masses. Do not pretend that the removal of fossil fuels depends on us. That’s why we only have two options to save the Earth, LENR and Geoengineering.

Reply to  malkom700
January 12, 2019 8:28 am

The earth does not need to be saved, it is just fine. The greatest threat to civilization as we know it is the power grab by the self styled “elite”, aka the IPCC.

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  malkom700
January 12, 2019 8:29 am

Spit out the Kool-Aid. The earth is in no danger. The only thing in danger is freedom and prosperity.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  malkom700
January 12, 2019 9:14 am

Engineer here. Unintended consequences anyone?

1) All this ‘could’ happen and it has been coulding happening for over 40yrs with no sign so far that we have moved out of the range of changes encountered during the Holocene.
2) a change of half a degree will not be measurable from the tropics (no change) to the temperate zones (marginally warmer nights) and the 1C change in the polar regions that is usually bandied about will increase 10s of degrees below zero to ‘nines’ of degrees below zero.
3) All the storminess types show a reduction to no-change with warming.
4) The elephant in the room, the only unequivocal climate change that HAS taken place is “The Great Greening Epoch ^тм”, now approaching a remarkable 20% more “leafing” out, and nearly as much expansion of planetary forest cover! Diversity loves this expansion of habitat! And similar magic is occurring in the oceans. And bumper crops for humans.
4) The population is heading for a 9B peak after mid century (85% there) and the abundance of resources of all kinds promises broad prosperity and its product, – peace. “The Garden of Eden Earth^тм” is in the offing.

As an engineer, do nothing to interrupt this, at least until coulding turns to happening, not when the consensus tells us so but when it is even a fraction as evident as the Great Greening that is so studiously ignored. It completely reverses the “cost” to a huge benefit.

Reply to  Gary Pearse
January 12, 2019 9:46 am

Your reply saved me the trouble. Thanks. Very eloquently and accurately put.
LENR & geoeng? LMAO. How about LFTR instead?


Reply to  Gary Pearse
January 13, 2019 6:14 am

As in all things where the outcome is uncertain, where the risk of not proceeding is certain and the risk of proceeding uncertain, any logical person will proceed while carefully monitoring situational changes and adjusting for reality.
Unfortunately, little of humanity, either individually or as a group is capable of logical action or thought.

Reply to  malkom700
January 12, 2019 9:14 am

No. The IPCC couldn’t be more wrong about CO2 and climate change if they tried, and to be sure, they’re trying very hard to be very wrong. They must in order to follow their charter of identifying science in support of the UNFCCC, simply because there’s no proper science that can serve their needs. Yes, the effect of CO2 on the climate is finite, but to stretch this tiny truth to the point of absurdity in order to justify redistributing trillions in western wealth is about as far from truthful science as you can get.

I find it incredibly disturbing that so many blindly accept that this conflict of interest is somehow for the greater good, when all it does is enable the greater harm.

Rich Davis
Reply to  malkom700
January 12, 2019 12:16 pm

Are you serious? Cold fusion? Well, it’s been 30 years since the brief hype in 1989, so it is now officially a fusion technology. What’s your explanation for why in three decades, the technology is still not demonstrated?

Craig from Oz
Reply to  Rich Davis
January 12, 2019 1:46 pm

“What’s your explanation… ?”

Russian Bots??

/snark 😀

Reply to  Rich Davis
January 13, 2019 4:54 am
D. Anderson
Reply to  malkom700
January 12, 2019 1:54 pm

“We” were acting during the 8 years of Obama. “We” kept economic growth to practically zero.

Joe Crawford
January 12, 2019 7:00 am

They gave themselves away with the simple statement: “…increases in ocean acidity..” in section B.4. That alone says they’re cooking their results to invoke as much fear as possible. There’s no way anyone with an iota of common sense can look at that report and take is as unbiased. It’s just another way for them to try to justify the gravy train.

Henning Nielsen
Reply to  Joe Crawford
January 12, 2019 7:31 am

They also warn about the danger of increased malaria due to higher temperatures, in the1.5 report, a myth long busted. It is simply a catalogue of woes, cooked up for the Katowice COP meeting.

Reply to  Joe Crawford
January 12, 2019 11:43 am

The “acidity” will increase if you consider chemically pure water to be orders of magnitude more “acidic” than sea water.

January 12, 2019 7:03 am

The goalposts have been mounted to a wagon so they can be moved easier.

January 12, 2019 7:07 am

Does what the IPCC think matter anymore?

By action almost every country is going to fail what they promised the IPCC in emission controls and world emissions are going up …. I think countries voted the IPCC just didn’t get the memo.

January 12, 2019 7:21 am

So the story here is – Don’t listen to the news media. I can live with that.

John Boland
Reply to  ScienceABC123
January 12, 2019 2:44 pm

Sounds like we might have the start of a new coalition…I would be willing to go along with “saving” the planet if it didn’t mean millions of people dying for the Marxist utopia… I’ll take my chances with global warming.

January 12, 2019 7:23 am

“First of all, the word “catastrophic” does not appear in the IPCC report.”

2.2.4 Risk of catastrophic or abrupt change – AR4 WGIII … – IPCC

“The possibility of abrupt climate change and/or abrupt changes in the earth system triggered by climate change, with potentially catastrophic consequences, …”

Reply to  Latitude
January 12, 2019 7:38 am


Is that the only time the word “catastrophic” appears in the IPCC report?

Does the IPCC report suggest with any level of confidence that there will be an “abrupt climate change”?

Do they even define what an “abrupt climate change” is?

Reply to  Latitude
January 12, 2019 7:43 am

I believe he is only referring to the 2018 report, not 2007….IIRC

Reply to  Marcus
January 12, 2019 11:49 am

…and the loons have been quoting them since 2007

they didn’t start using that word in 2018 either

Reply to  Marcus
January 12, 2019 1:02 pm

If we restrict ourselves to IPCC SR1.5:

Chapter 2: “There has been a discussion in the literature to what extent CBA-IAMs underestimate the SCC due to, for example, a limited treatment or difficulties in addressing damages to human well-being, labour productivity, value of capital stock, ecosystem services and the risks of catastrophic climate change for future generations.”

Chapter 3: “Starting with an intense El Niño-La Niña phase in the 2030s, several catastrophic years occur while global temperature warming starts to approach 2°C.”

Chapter 3, Supplementary Material: “Substantial decline in the viability of major krill populations in the Southern Ocean may occur within the next 100 years (Kawaguchi et al. 2013), which could have catastrophic consequences for dependent marine mammals and birds.” and “The set of events has increased risk with current conditions being of high risk, and even low levels of future climate change being largely catastrophic for coral reefs.”

There are also referenced reports that have “catastrophic” in their titles.

When somebody cannot even use the search function in the PDFs of the report, one has to question his competence to analyse the report.

mike macray
January 12, 2019 7:30 am

“….the report was tasked with evaluating the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C (2.7°F) above preindustrial levels,…”

Reverting back to basics as one must when confronted by the incomprehensible, I must ask what exactly is the relevence of 1.5°C in a world where at any given moment the temperature range from the hotest to the coldest is 100°C give or take a Kelvin or two. The average global telephone number comes to mind as another example of statistical irrelevence. How does that change given the Anthropogenic addition of millions of new numbers annually?
Just musing

Reply to  mike macray
January 12, 2019 7:40 am

“what exactly is the relevence of 1.5°C ”

None. But alarmists will tell us it means there is more energy in the system which could possibly lead to runaway global warming.

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  leitmotif
January 12, 2019 8:30 am

Has anybody ever suggested a plausible physical mechanism for a “runaway?

Reply to  Walter Sobchak
January 12, 2019 9:10 am

“Has anybody ever suggested a plausible physical mechanism for a “runaway?”

Not a plausible one but Skeptical Science once printed this load of BS on positive feedbacks.

“…..the “effect” reinforces the “cause”, which will increase the “effect”, which will reinforce the “cause”… So won’t this spin out of control? The answer is, No, it will not, because each subsequent stage of reinforcement & increase will be weaker and weaker. The feedback cycles will go on and on, but there will be a diminishing of returns, so that after just a few cycles, it won’t matter anymore. ”

PHEWWWW! Thank god AGW is sentient and knows when to hold back.

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  leitmotif
January 12, 2019 11:14 am

Not even an idea. Systems have positive feedbacks and negative feedbacks. If the feedbacks are net negative the response of the system to inputs is damped. if it is positive, the response is amplified. A system dominated by positive feedbacks will runaway. A system dominated by negative feedbacks will return to equilibrium.

A core problem with warmist theorizing is that there is no proposed positive feedback mechanism.

The Earth’s climate system has been subject to perturbations in geologic times, e.g. meteor strikes, super volcanoes, changes in the earth orbital parameters. Yet the system has always returned towards an equilibrium. It has never runaway. It gives no sign of being dominated by a positive feedback mechanism.

Reply to  leitmotif
January 12, 2019 11:57 pm

Walter Sobchak
January 12, 2019 at 11:14 am

Systems have positive feedbacks and negative feedbacks.

Actually, it’s only systems that have feedback where the feedback is positive and/or negative.


Reply to  Walter Sobchak
January 12, 2019 12:36 pm

You left out “tipping point”. And when it comes to such, if the Earth’s climate had a “tipping point”, it would have tipped a long time ago, and we wouldn’t even be here to argue about it!

Reply to  Walter Sobchak
January 12, 2019 5:33 pm

Runaway requires the missing, but implicit, power supply. In a feedback amplifier, the input+feedback is measured to determine how much power to deliver to the output from an implicit power supply. When 1 unit of input results in more than 1 unit of positive feedback, the amplifier becomes unstable, since the feedback will generate its own unit of feedback and so on and so forth. For each iteration, more power must be delivered by the implicit power supply, until it runs out of capacity. The existence of an implicit power supply is a simplifying assumption so that COE doesn’t need to be applied between the input and output of the amplifier.

The climate model is based on the amplifier model, but since there’s no implicit power supply, COE must be applied between the input and output where the output of the model can be either actual output power or feedback power, but not both. For unit open loop gain, which is what the climate model assumes, when 1 unit of input results in 1 unit of feedback (100% positive feedback), nothing is left for the output.

The bottom line is that because of this and other reasons, the feedback amplifier model as applied by climate scientists, whether considering feedback positive, negative, runaway or not has no relevance to the climate system. Insisting that it does only perpetuates runaway pseudo science based on an irrelevant model supporting an impossibly high ECS.

Roy Koczela
Reply to  co2isnotevil
January 14, 2019 1:14 pm

In this analogy, the power supply would be the Sun’s light hitting the Earth.

If the Earth absorbed 100% of the Sun’s light without radiating any of it back to space, the Earth’s temperature would rise extremely quickly. Obviously, it doesn’t because most of the heat goes straight back to space.

Feedback here implies that absorbing a slightly larger fraction will cause us to absorb an even larger fraction, etc etc until we’re all doomed.

Reply to  co2isnotevil
January 14, 2019 3:04 pm


“In this analogy, the power supply would be the Sun’s light hitting the Earth.”

No. The solar energy hitting the Earth is the forcing, not the implicit power supply. It can’t be both. Bode’s linear feedback amplifier analysis that the climate model is based on doesn’t support connecting the forcing input and power cord of an amplifier to the signal source and this is exactly what you’re claiming is the case.

The point of Bode’s assumption of an implicit power supply is to avoid any COE constraints between the input and output of an amplifier. The climate system doesn’t correspond to the model they used, as the output power originates from the input forcing power and not an implicit power supply, thus COE must be satisfied between the input and output of the amplifier which the climate model fails to do.

Don’t be confused by the obfuscation of making the output a temperature. Converting temperature into W/m^2 using the SB law equivalently represents degrees K with W/m^2, which unlike degrees K, are linear to the W/m^2 of forcing. Don’t be confused by the misrepresentation of the input and output as incremental, as another of Bode’s ignored simplifying assumptions is that the incremental gain and absolute gains must be the same. Per the climate model, of P is the forcing and T is the temperature, T / P == deltaT / deltaP is a necessary requirement for the model to be relevant.

Regarding your last point, the atmosphere can’t absorb 100% without at least half of this being emitted into space and this is true even in the presence of the highest, coldest clouds. The power at TOA is always >= 1/2 of the power emitted by the surface. Where do think all this power is coming from?

Farmer Ch E retired
January 12, 2019 7:34 am

If it’s about science and not politics, why does the ICPP say that ocean acidification will increase (high confidence)? This statement tells me that their climate scientists either have not taken an introductory class in chemistry, or they are politically aligned. If the ocean were really acidic, the pH would approach dangerous levels such as that of bread, salmon, potatoes, and normal rain (pH ~6).

Farmer Ch E retired
Reply to  Farmer Ch E retired
January 12, 2019 9:08 am

Whoops – make that IPCC – dyslexia must be kicking in.

Reply to  Farmer Ch E retired
January 12, 2019 9:28 am

‘acidification’ does not mean the ocean will become acidic, it means ‘the addition of acid’, which anyone who has taken an introductory class in chemistry should know.

Reply to  Phil.
January 12, 2019 11:45 am

I think he confused that term with the phrase ‘more acidic’. When talking about the ocean, which is not acidic, and saying that it is becoming more acidic is confusing. That’s somewhat like saying that condensing steam is becoming more frozen, or icier.

Farmer Ch E retired
Reply to  KaliforniaKook
January 12, 2019 1:17 pm

Why not just say it is becoming less basic or more neutral? My comment was to highlight the use of the phrase “more acidic” in B-4 of the article which is not true. Most readers will assume that “more acidic” means it was acidic to start with. How can you take a basic solution (sea water) and make it more acidic and still end up with a basic solution? I’ve done many a titrations in 1st-year chemistry so I get the concept. I even did pilot tests with an evaporator crystallizer while at Hanford so have done acid-base reactions on simulated nuclear waste. Even the use of “acidification”, while correct, implies that it is acidic to those less informed.

Farmer Ch E retired
Reply to  Farmer Ch E retired
January 12, 2019 1:59 pm

From Webster’s 1975 edition (pre-AGW science):

Acidification, n. the act or process of changing into an acid.

Neutralization, n. the act of neutralizing or the condition of being neutralized.

Now as a scientist, tell me what is really happening to the oceans. Is the process “acidification” or “neutralization?”

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  Farmer Ch E retired
January 12, 2019 9:31 am

What is the ICPP?

Acidification is a word used to describe a lowering of pH, even in an introductory class in chemistry. Other terms could be used, and I have no doubt that acidification is most commonly selected for effect due to the acidic connotation, but the notion that something has to be acidic in order to have received acidification is silly.

A basic introductory class in chemistry would also tell someone that there is a huge difference between a pH of around 8.1 (current oceans) and pH ~ 6. I noticed that you mention a freshwater fish in salmon…freshwater fish tend to prefer pH ranging from 5.5-7 whereas saltwater fish (like those that live in the ocean, of course) prefer 8 and higher.

You practiced as a chemical engineer like this, or does “Ch E retired” mean something else?

Reply to  Michael Jankowski
January 12, 2019 9:35 am

“What is the ICPP?”

He means ICUP.

Farmer Ch E retired
Reply to  Michael Jankowski
January 13, 2019 6:25 am

Michael Jankowski –

RE ICPP, see my Whoops comment above.

Regarding “lowering of pH” see my 3rd & 4th comments above.

Regarding Salmon being a freshwater fish, please check out the life cycle of salmon. In August 2018 I fished for salmon in a saltwater bay in southeast Alaska. After spending a couple of years or so at sea, the salmon return. At our location, there was a harvest point in a nearby creek where a portion of the salmon run is commercially captured, put on ice, and sent to the lower 48. Once the salmon run starts, the fish aren’t interested in feeding and they spend a very short time in fresh water before the harvest point. I realize that much of the salmon consumed is farmed so maybe you are referring the the farmed salmon as being freshwater. I’m not an expert. My pH comment above came from a web search where salmon was given as one example of pH 6. Seawater was given as one of the examples of pH 8 and blood was one example for pH 7.

The whole point of the comment thread is that by over use of language like acidify, more acidic, acidification, etc. a reasonable person who’s been away from chemistry for a few years is given the impression that the ocean is going acidic. Is there a volume of scientific research or a scientific consensus that the ocean will become acidic (pH <7)? If not, lets not mislead anyone but rather communicate with them.

Ch E means Chem Eng – BS in 74 and MS in 76 – retired means I don't remember as much as I once did.

Henning Nielsen
January 12, 2019 7:36 am

This attempted apologia for the IPPC seems very strange -if the media have wrongly described catastrophic results if the world does not follow the IPCC’s recommandations, then the climate scientists must speak out strongly against this. Have they? Doesn’t look like it. Maybe they think in lines of “all alarmism is good alarmism”, but then they let down their profession -catastrophically.

Nick Schroeder
January 12, 2019 7:48 am

2030 was the EPA’s goal for realizing the Clean Power Plan. The schedule of various milestones for the states was based towards 2030. Paris was the cause.
That schedule covered five presidential administrations.
With Trump that schedule is pretty much toast.

January 12, 2019 8:01 am

“I believe that spreading this messaging will ultimately undermine the credibility of the IPCC and climate science more generally.”

Too late.

January 12, 2019 8:05 am

“I believe that spreading this messaging will ultimately undermine the credibility of the IPCC and climate science more generally.”

Too late; it’s credibility was undermined years ago (Climategate anyone?).

January 12, 2019 8:33 am

“First of all, the word “catastrophic” does not appear in the IPCC report.”

If you’re the IPCC, is there any other kind?

Gerald Machnee
January 12, 2019 8:53 am

The six items stated above all use the fudge word, “projected”.
That is enough for me. It is all based on a bad assumption of CO2.
There are many more serious thing in the world today than “global warming” aka “climate change”.

John F. Hultquist
January 12, 2019 9:11 am

Brown wrote: “… as well as the technical feasibility of limiting global warming to such a level.

In a strict technical sense, this is true.
So is this: We have the technical feasibility to send Christy Brinkley to the Sun.
I say with high confidence that neither is going to happen.

January 12, 2019 9:35 am

I love collecting predictions from people for the next 20 years. 2019 to 2040. What is going to happen? Warmer? Colder? By how much? Or stay where we are? From what I can see this is the acid test for climate theories time. The IPCC “projections” show a 0.25C to 1.25C rise and natural cycles scientists are all saying -0.25C to -1.0C over the same period. Obviously they can’t both be correct.

Came across this one in my reading: 2018 – Barret Bellamy

At current rates, we’ll hit 1.5ºC on a decadal-average basis by ~2040. The first year above 1.5ºC will occur substantially earlier, likely associated with a big El Niño event in the late 2020s/early 2030s.

-> So +0.15C per decade or +0.3C over the next 20 years – TRM

We have 4 decades of the best coverage ever for climate and UAH show 1.3C per century in reality.

I will make only one prediction. CO2 will continue to increase by 1 PPM per year for the next 20 years. China, India and the rest of the developing world will use whatever is cheapest and that is usually coal or gas.

Joel O'Bryan
January 12, 2019 10:23 am

I believe that spreading this messaging will ultimately undermine the credibility of the IPCC and climate science more generally.”

And the problem with that is….????
That’s a serious question. Look at its UN leadership…they are all jokes. The SPM is written by government reps with political agendas, making it nothing but a politcally motivated peice of garbage (the SPM). The science sections of WG1 report have some value, but not much as they exclude too much that doesn’t fit the agenda. And the WG2 and WG3 reports are complete frauds on the public.

Joel O'Bryan
January 12, 2019 10:26 am

prominent climate science communicator Eric Holthaus.”

The guy is a barely functioning human, having to change his man-diaper every morning after a night of his own delusional climate nightmares. The only thing prominent about him is his whining.

January 12, 2019 10:59 am

The IPCC has revised their prediction.

This article is no longer relevant.

The tipping point is now June 6, 2029.

At 3:15 pm eastern Standard Time.

+/- 1.25 minutes.

M Courtney
January 12, 2019 11:06 am

Reaching ‘2.0° warming by 2100’ seems increasingly improbable. That makes the case for AGW being an important issue very weak.
Hence the need to make ‘1.5° warming by 2100’ to be the target.
If current trends continue expect that a mere ‘1.0° by 2100’ will be deemed the nightmare point soon.

spalding craft
Reply to  M Courtney
January 13, 2019 4:19 pm

We’re already at about 1.0 deg above pre-industrial. You don’t think we’ll get another deg of warming by 2100? That’s .125 deg per decade.

M Courtney
Reply to  spalding craft
January 15, 2019 1:02 am

But it’s not from pre-industrial.
It’s from the 1960-1991, the thirty years prior to Rio.

ferd berple
January 12, 2019 11:09 am

If global warming intensified a wild fire to the extent that it engulfed your home (whereas it would not have without global warming) then global warming has already been catastrophic for you.

From personal experience; consider the Fort Mac fire in Alberta in 2016. After 15 months and 2400 homes were destroyed, the fire was officially declared out.

Many people would consider this a catastrophe. And to listen to news, CO2 had all but destroyed Alberta. But in point of fact the fire was a blessing in disguise. Alberta had been dealt a death blow by low oil prices, carbon taxes and lack of export capability for their oil. They have been selling oil for as low as $7.50 a barrel, when the market value is $50+ higher.

However, at the same time, billions of dollars in insurance money has been flooding into Alberta to repair and or replace the homes damaged and destroyed in the fires. This money has been providing jobs for people that would have otherwise gone bankrupt. And in most cases, people that lost old houses have had them replaced with brand new houses.

Yes, for some the fires were catastrophic. Two people were accidentally killed during the evacuation, and likely not everyone would have had adequate insurance.

But it can be said that almost universally, government policies regarding oil, pipelines, and carbon taxes have had a much more devastating effect on Alberta than has global warming.

The Canadian constitution has a “no withstanding” clause that the government could use at any time for the national interest. But since this disaster is out west in Alberta, it gets no notice from the “National” government in Ottawa. Instead, the TrueDope government and Climate Barbie use the “climate change” excuse to avoid taking any action.

January 12, 2019 11:12 am

“hot extremes in most inhabited regions.”

Urban Heat Island Effect? That’s really the only climate change that humans can actually feel.

The difference between (per the EPA) rural areas and urban centers can be as much as 7-8 F in the afternoon, and as much as 22 F can be retained in urban centers during the evening hours. Those are the temperatures that people are talking about when they say they’ve never felt it this hot before.

That is not associated with GW, nor AGW, but it is associated with interjecting a bias in GT’s.

ferd berple
January 12, 2019 11:29 am

global warming of 1.5°C (2.7°F) above preindustrial levels
this is more nonsense.

As Gavin pointed out, it is THE CHANGE that is the problem. Probably 90 % of our current technology was not installed during the preindustrial era. It was installed only very recently, after much of the warming had already taken place.

Our technology and society has already been optimized for 1.0 C warmer temperatures. For example, houses have been insulated, incandescents lights have been replaced, car fuel economy has been increased.

And house thermostats have been turned down. Houses used to be set to 22 C back in the mid 1900’s. Now they are almost universally set to 20 C. This shows that we have already adapted to 2.0 C of climate change since the mid 1950’s!!

Thus, by the very reasoning that Gavin uses, it would be catastrophic for us to return to preindustrial temperatures, because our technology was not designed for those conditions. If our earth was to suddenly cool to return us to the temperatures back in 1870, that would be a huge problem.

Thus, worry about 1.5 C is nonsense, because it ignores that 1.0 C of that warming is already accounted for in our current technology, and that we as humans have already adapted to 2.0 C of climate change.

Thus, at the most, we are only facing a 0.5 C or 1.0 C increases, because our society and technology has already been build and optimized for 1.0 C to 2.0 C of increase since 1870.

Amos D
Reply to  ferd berple
January 12, 2019 7:25 pm

” Probably 90 % of our current technology was not installed during the preindustrial era. ”
So, nobody knows what is the pre-industrial level.
So, what is this nonsense of 1.5 degree above pre-industrial levels????

January 12, 2019 11:43 am

It all depends on what is is I guess

William Astley
January 12, 2019 12:23 pm

There is no end of questions.

Did the IPCC predict there will be or will not be catastrophic anthropogenic climate change by 2030?

Will countries still be spending money on wind and sun gathering in 2030?

Will the IPCC still be around in 2030?

Will the planet be warmer or colder in 2030?

Que será, será

(the future is not ours to see)

It is amazing how long this scam has gone on.

Observational evidence and analysis (dozen independent observations) shows unequivocally that the increase in atmospheric CO2 has not caused by humans and of course that the rise in planetary temperature and pause/hiatus (sic) in the rise in temperature has not caused by rise in atmospheric CO2.

This is a presentation by Salby which was recommended by one of the WATTSUP readers in another thread. It is a slam dunk, slam dunk, slam dunk, and so on.

Coeur de Lion
January 12, 2019 12:28 pm

I have read (much of) the referenced document . There is indeed a long argument explaining that 1.5 is less harmful than 2.0 – thoroughly pointless. It is admitted that we are already over half way to 1.5 with a lot of lies about extreme weather caused thereby. Then there are many mother and apple pie wish lists which will require immediate transnational coercive actions. Even the authors don’t believe this will happen.
Given that the IPCC is demonstrably corrupt and has been for years – many examples- I believe this is its swan song. It’s impenetrable jargon is a disgrace to the English language. Its arguments are laughable. Prof Bates (see GWPF website) destroys it politely. It is not scientific. But the Synod of the Church of England loved it, the poor fools

Rhys Jaggar
January 12, 2019 12:32 pm

The key debate in this whole farrago is this:

‘Will well targeted, appropriate reafforestation programmes across the globe be the most cost-effective means to moderate temperature extremes and rebuild soil formation?’

Africa is building a corridor across the southern Sahara using this approach (mostly acacia trees). Scotland is redeveloping the Caledonian forest, slowly but relentlessly, starting over thirty years ago. To name one major and one minor example.

Of course in other parts of the world, deforestation is still a major issue.

Trees are the easiest, cheapest way to moderate climate known.

Can we not replace IPCC with International Programme for Tree Planting and Husbandry?

January 12, 2019 12:39 pm

Does the IPCC say we have until 2030 to avoid catastrophic global warming?

Reading that precisely, we can wait ’til 2030 before we need to do anything.

Andy Ogilvie
Reply to  Red94ViperRT10
January 12, 2019 2:13 pm

Or to be more precise…..yada yada blah blah
Or as we say in my world “same sh1t different day”
Perhaps the IPCC should STFU 😎

January 12, 2019 12:48 pm

“undermine the credibility of the IPCC and climate science more generally”

Wouldn’t they need to have credibility before it can be undermined?

January 12, 2019 12:50 pm

Wait till the horse has been out of the barn for weeks. Then quietly complain, That’s not what I said.

Greg Cavanagh
January 12, 2019 12:57 pm

This thread is one of the best reads. Thanks guys.

Dave N
January 12, 2019 1:08 pm

Are there *any* references to 2030 (or 12 years) in the report?

January 12, 2019 1:33 pm

Well of course the SYNOD of the Church of England loved it. They are singing from the same faith after all.


Chris Hanley
January 12, 2019 1:43 pm

IPCC Special Report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels:
“… Mitigation options consistent with 1.5°C pathways are associated with multiple synergies and trade-offs across the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). While the total number of possible synergies exceeds the number of trade-offs, their net effect will depend on the pace and magnitude of changes, the composition of the mitigation portfolio and the management of the transition (high confidence) …” .
I don’t know how that translates into English — let alone Mandarin.

D. Anderson
January 12, 2019 1:49 pm

A catastrophe will happen if their political ambitions are realized.

Andy Ogilvie
January 12, 2019 2:14 pm

Or to be more precise…..yada yada blah blah
Or as we say in my world “same sh1t different day”
Perhaps the IPCC should STFU 😎

Smart Rock
January 12, 2019 3:07 pm

IPCC says:

Climate models project robust differences in regional climate characteristics between present-day and global warming of 1.5°C, and between 1.5°C and 2°C. These differences include increases in: mean temperature in most land and ocean regions (high confidence)

Well, they got that right, global warming will increase temperatures. They must have pondered long and hard about that one! Not so sure about the rest of it though.

John in Oz
January 12, 2019 3:10 pm

I am left confused by their ‘confidence’ levels:

B.2 – A slower rate of sea level rise enables greater opportunities for adaptation in the human and ecological systems of small islands, low-lying coastal areas and deltas (medium confidence)

B.6 – Most adaptation needs will be lower for global warming of 1.5C compared to 2.0C(high confidence)

It appears that only islands, deltas, etc will have more trouble adapting, even though they are supposed to be the recipients of much of the ‘penance’ the rest of us are expected to pay.

Tom Abbott
January 12, 2019 5:13 pm

From the article: “In late 2018 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report on the impacts associated with global warming of 1.5°C (2.7°F) above preindustrial levels (as of 2019 we are at about 1.0°C above pre-industrial levels)”

Well, there were no impacts associated with reaching the 1.5C mark above pre-industrial levels the last time we got to that level a couple of years ago.

We reached that 1.5C level in Feb. 2016 (the Hottest Year Evah!), if the claim is that we are currently, in 2019, at 1C above pre-industrial levels. If that’s the case, then Feb. 2016 was at the 1.6C level so we have already gone over the IPCC’s critical limit, since it is currently about 0.6C cooler than Feb. 2016.

Thank Goodness it cooled off from 2016 or we would really be in trouble.

That’s right, the atmosphere cooled off after 2016 even though CO2 levels keep going higher. The CAGW speculation says if there’s more CO2 in the atmosphere it will get hotter. The CAGW speculation must be wrong since its predictions are wrong.

January 12, 2019 6:37 pm

What strikes me time and again in the whole sordid story is that, add up North America, the EU, Australia and NZ, and you’ve got a small portion – 900 million people and their collective MSM – out of 7 billion worldwide – running around hollering messages of impending catastrophe and doom in an echo chamber, convincing politicians that we need to terminally neuter our western economies to save the planet, and override over democratic systems if need be.

Meanwhile back at the farm, the Paris Accord is a dead man walking – the US is out as are for all practical purposes and some virtue signalling aside, China, India, Brazil, Japan, Australia and several others. A couple of recent surveys show that around the world there are some 1500 new coal fired power plants at various stages of pre-construction planning and actual construction, including in Uber Green Germany that has several on the books and a newly opened one already on-line.

Reality is that other than the official grandstanding and virtue signalling by the governments, CAGW/CACC doesn’t show up on the radar of the other 6 billion – a complete non-issue, as evidenced by several open ended global surveys where asked to rank the issue it consistently came in dead last. Those folks have far more pressing issues to deal with in their lives.

Maybe the observation that the noise is the loudest just before it dies applies in this collective hysteria and that Charles McKay was right in observing that: “ …men think in herds, go mad in herds and regain their sanity slowly, one by one”.


Tom Abbott
Reply to  tetris
January 13, 2019 4:40 am

Good post, tetris!

John Gross
January 12, 2019 7:17 pm

Everybody is talking about 1.5 (or 2.0) degree of warming. But nobody tells you over what? Originally, it was over “pre-industrial” levels. But now, they leave out the crucial “pre-industrial levels”. It’s just 1.5 degree “of warming”! You know why? BECAUSE NO ONE KNOWS WHAT THE PRE-INDUSTRIAL LEVEL OF GLOBAL AVERAGE TEMPERATURE WAS (or is) !!!

Robert Osborn
January 12, 2019 11:38 pm

The IPCC is wholly incapable of estimating impacts. One needs a crystal ball to see human impacts from anything doesn’t unfold in a matter of months much less decades.

What they do though is assume people are like programmed robots and aren’t going to adapt. There is another word more commonly substituted for adapt and thats innovation. The past century and a half has seen innovation on a scale never imagined a century before. Thats a condition not likely to change soon.

Mankind is constantly renewing itself. Everything mankind creates depreciates and depreciates rapidly. But thats not because mankind is a poor builder of things its because innovation is the primary driver of depreciation. Out with the old and in with the new.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Robert Osborn
January 12, 2019 11:46 pm

The creative destruction of Capitalism, Robert. The UN IPCC sustainable development will have none of that; we will limit ourselves to what is currently known. In other words, the inevitable failure of Socialism.

January 13, 2019 12:15 am

Instead, impacts seem to be on a continuum where they simply get worse with more warming.

So ALL warming is bad. This is complete nonsense. Following this logic backwards, you arrive at the height of the last ice age with ice sheets kilometers thick–and that’s supposed to be good? I’m not surprised–this post was recommended by Mr. Mosher.


Rod Evans
January 13, 2019 1:31 am

For the author to have anxieties about the IPCC’s credibility being undermined, suggests he is not thinking straight.
The whole expensive pointless targeting of CO2 by the IPCC and its followers needs to be discredited at every opportunity.
Why anyone imagines the climate condition pre-industrialisation were better than they are today, tells me they do not read history and have never tried surviving in a cold climate.
If the IPCC and the Greens, continue with their climate scaremongering and continue claiming, increasing atmospheric CO2 will be the cause of some future thermageddon, they deserve to be vilified, pilloried and treated with the contempt their nonsense projections deserve.

Chris Wright
January 13, 2019 2:16 am

“2) I believe that spreading this messaging will ultimately undermine the credibility of the IPCC and climate science more generally.”

That ship sailed long ago.

January 13, 2019 5:23 am

Well scr*w the media they are about fake news mostly. The IPCC report is tedious and boring by itself, like watching the proverbial paint dry. Who cares about 0,5 °C.? It will not be noticed anyway.

Kevin kilty
January 13, 2019 9:03 am

Item B.1 — A warming of mean temperature of 1.5 or 2.0C will produce a higher mean temperature in most regions. Epic.

Ed Bo
January 13, 2019 5:33 pm

Eric Holthaus says: “our actions over the next 12 years will determine the fate of civilization.”

Even if you agree that our actions could determine whether there is 0.5C or 1.0C warming coming up, even the establishment science says that most of this warming will be in cold climates, in the winter, and at night.

It looks to me that the main implication on civilization will be that a lot of people will save on their heating bills. The follow-on is that the hoi polloi will not have any clue how to spend the extra money wisely, so there will be more Black Friday shopping stampedes.

Maybe Eric is right…

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