Monday, March 20, 2023

La Fin du monde

La Fin du monde ("The end of the world") is a woodcut by the French astronomer and author Camille Flammarion

In the lower left corner is a toppled hourglass of sand.

Perhaps appropriate today (except for the direction of the temperature change) with the release of the IPCC AR6 Synthesis Report, which says (page 25), among many other things:

"...for thousands of years."

The UN secretary general, António Guterres, said: “This report is a clarion call to massively fast-track climate efforts by every country and every sector and on every timeframe. Our world needs climate action on all fronts: everything, everywhere, all at once.”
"Everything, everywhere, all at once" -- I like that phrase. Sadly, there's no chance of it happening, of course. 
Kaisa Kosonen, a climate expert at Greenpeace International, said: “This report is definitely a final warning on 1.5C. If governments just stay on their current policies, the remaining carbon budget will be used up before the next IPCC report [due in 2030].”


Entropic man said...

Regrettably 1.5C is already a lost cause. If you do the maths, the CO2 already released has committed us to 1.5C in the 2030s and 1.7C in the 2040s.

David Appell said...

1.7. Wow I didn't realize that. I think I once worked out that, at the current rate of global emissions (this IPCC report says it's 59 Gt CO2e) the surface temperature will increase by about 0.2 C/decade. Which has been the warming rate for the last few decades. Though maybe accelerating a bit due to feedbacks starting to kick in. We've had three La Ninas in a row and yet monthly temperatures are ranking 4th or so highest. And La Nina is ending.

So that's only a decade-and-a-half to 2.0 C. One-third units in terms of an Ice Age.

Practically speaking, I don't see the world being able to prevent 2 C either. Do you?

Layzej said...

That is strong wording from the IPCC. I agree that 2C is inevitable. My hope is that we are able to stabilize at 2C and impacts are manageable. I'm optimistic.

Incidentally, Fin du Monde is also a damn good Belgian Tripel.

Entropic man said...

Human beings are good at reacting to an immediate crisis. They tend to prevaricate when the problem is the long term consequences of short term pleasures.

Think how many smokers continue, ignoring the 50% probability that they will ultimately be killed by it.

The West, especially is addicted to fossil fuels. Liberal democracies will not take effective action because any politician who tried hard to wean the voters off CO2 emissions would not survive to be re-elected.

Personally I expect the 5-year average to pass 1.5C about 2038, 2C around 2060 and 3C in the early 2100s if our global civilization holds together that long.

We are due to hit a ropadope in about 40 years time as 11 billion people try to maintain their food supply while the resources to keep intensive agriculture going run out and climate change make their land unfarmable.

David Appell said...

Awhile back on Twitter I saw someone write that after 1.5 C the next target shouldn't be 2 C, it should be 1.51 C.

Entropic man said...

Targets are politically convenient. Politicians, media and electorates like targets.

In practice it's a sliding scale. The more warming you produce, the more damage you get. Never mind targets, you want the minimum warming you can persuade people to accept.

Layzej said...

By the end of 2022, global renewable generation capacity amounted to 3,372 gigawatts (GW), growing the stock of renewable power by 295 GW or 9.6%, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

Renewables produced an overwhelming 83% of all power capacity added last year.

It's happening.