Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Reuters: Correction on 11 F by 2050

Reuters tells me they issued a correction this afternoon (after I wrote them, but they didn't say that part) to their article where Fatih Tirol said emissions were on track to cause an 11°F warming by 2050; the story now reads:
"When I look at this data, the trend is perfectly in line with a temperature increase of 6 degrees Celsius (towards the end of this century), which would have devastating consequences for the planet," Fatih Birol, IEA's chief economist told Reuters.
This now make sense. Using the same chart I gave earlier, projecting using the linear trend from 1950-2012 [the slope of the log of emissions, in GtC, is 0.0098] out to 2100, cumulative emissions in 2100 would be 4,000 GtC, for a warming of 6.1°C (11°F).

[Note, though, that the simple carbon-climate response function does not hold above 2000 GtC.]

However, that would mean 2100 emissions are about 90 GtC, or 330 Gt CO2 -- over 10 times today's. Is that conceivable? If world population then is 10 billion people, per-capita emissions would be 33 Gt CO2 per year -- twice what current US per-capita emissions are.

That strikes me as unlikely, though perhaps no inconceivable. But if humans are really so stupid as to not take some drastic action by at least 2050, when total warming would be 3.0°C -- if even after that we continue to burn fossil fuels at an ever-increasing rate, well then we are clearly too stupid to deserve to continue as a species, and the Universe would best be rid of us.

(Unfortunately we would take a lot of other species down with us. (I don't suppose "we're sorry" would help much?) But some species will survive -- extremophiles, if no one else -- and they'd get a chance to start over.)

Eli and others: I still fault Romm for extremism, such as originally passing the 11 F story on without questioning it. [His "Update" came after -- note that he altered the post's title from its original.] But, I was not able to keep up with all the comments as they came in on my post. Sorry for falling behind.


Martin Vermeer said...

David, do you really need to adopt the routine assumption of bad faith of so many denialists? Tiresome and sad. You still don't seem to see how this makes you -- and Von Storck, and Connolley -- look bad, not Romm.

If you must fault Romm for anything, let it be a lack of imagination that anything as obviously silly as this would get feet. He's a trained physicist, and though I find his writing style often grating, I still have to catch him on an error of science.

Magnus said...

I do not really get this... do you not trust IEA? Sure Rom can go over the edge but what is the problem with laying out a scenario like IEA has done? The doubts you rice is not exactly well checked or published after all IEA and others (like MIT) do try to run economic models with certain assumptions to get their results...

Thomas said...

David, you owe Romm an apology for attacking him for something he never said.

Neven said...

So Reuters has corrected, but where is your correction?

Rule #1: You can never ask too many questions.

Rule #2: You must be careful not to answer those questions yourself and jump to conclusions.

dhogaza said...

"Eli and others: I still fault Romm for extremism, such as originally passing the 11 F story on without questioning it."

Passed on what story? He never mentioned 2050.

I blame you for passing on the story that Romm thinks it will warm 11F by 2050 without questioning your assumption that he believes something he never actually posted.

climatehawk1 said...

I agree with what others have said here. It's very disconcerting when I and others correct in comments what you have written, only to see you write another post that doesn't acknowledge the correction. I would suggest that when you're attacking someone, it's a good time to pay extra attention to the comments.

Anonymous said...

Hey David,

I am still waiting for proof that man's CO2 is causing dangerous global warming.

I have been asking you (and others) for years, and you have never been able to show actual proof - you only show discredited IPCC computer models.


David Appell said...

I am still waiting for you to define "dangerous."

Chris B said...

Are you the guy that fell for the Aussie "Death threat" story?

tonylearns said...


I am glad to see you made the correction.

I certainly have no problem with you disagreeing with Romm about he likelihood of 11°.I too am skeptical of this, but it is by no means unrealistic as a possibility, especially if we are talking about 2150 and not 2050. I agree with you that by the time serious consequences do start becoming common place that we will spend a lot of time, energy and resources to limit the problem, which we are hardly doing now. But I think it is not unreasonable to present the scenario where nothing IS done and what the consequences of that would be