Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Graph that Matters II

Last month I wrote a short piece about the graph of global surface temperatures to August 2015 showing just how much warmer this year has been so far than any other year since thermometers were invented (and several thousand years before that too).

I wrote then that "This is the graph that should have every politician going OMG WTF and be front page news everywhere, but outside the world of climate geeks it's been pretty much ignored." 

The bad news is that I was right; the graph was pretty much ignored.  The worse news is that the graph has now been updated to include September and the 2015 line, already way over any previous year, is still rising.

This is the latest data from NOAA and there are commentaries from Eric Holthaus and Andrew Freedman (with more graphs).

This week the climate talkers in Bonn wend their convoluted way on the road towards Paris but still there is an air of unreality.  People are still talking about 2° as if it's a worthwhile target to keep below but ignore the inconvenient truths that 2° will be really bad in all sorts of ways in all sorts of places, that the IPCC calculations only give a two thirds chance of keeping below 2° if the emission targets are met and that the uncertainties in the global climate models are such that reality will probably turn out worse than the scenarios suggest.

Importantly, the INDCs, the key tool for COP21, just don't add up to the 2° they're aiming for.  But what they should be aiming for is a global warming limited to 1.5° (and even then there will be more than enough adaptation to cope with).  So what emissions reductions are needed to achieve this relatively safe scenario?  

Fortunately Aubrey Meyer has been crunching the numbers and come up with the definitive diagrams.


As the second diagram suggests a 15 years Emergency Transition is needed, yet nobody is talking about such a thing.

Let's repeat that in case you missed it.  We need a 15 years Emergency Transition, starting now and getting to as near as dammit zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 if our children and grandchildren are going to inherit a planet worth its name.


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