Friday, June 03, 2011

Emissions: Tracking the Worst of the IPCC Scenarios

Here's a very interesting graph from Brad Plumer, who got it from John Cook at Skeptical Science. It compares the world's history of carbon dioxide emissions to the scenarios considered by the IPCC in their Third Assessment Report of 2001. We're at the upper end, with (so far, at least) no room for optimism:

Here is roughly what how the scenarios are defined:
  • A1FI assumes high global economic growth and continued heavy reliance on fossil fuels for the remainder of the century.
  • B1 assumes a major move away from fossil fuels toward alternative and renewable energy as the century progresses.
  • A2, is a middling scenario, with less even economic growth and some adoption of alternative and renewable energy sources as the century unfolds.
In short, while the worldwide recession cut into emissions, we're now emitting at an even higher rate than before the recession. It looks like we'll be back on the A1FI line any year now.

1 comment:

Steve Bloom said...

Pick pick pick: It's A1FI (for Fossil Intensive).