Global Warming

Fossil Fuels Must Be Phased Out by 2100, Says UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Synthesis Report

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Global Warming Melt
Dreamtime

On Sunday, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its Synthesis Report that summarizes the findings of its three earlier reports on the physical science of man-made global warming, and the analyses of how to mitigate and adapt to future climate change.  The report declares:

Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia. The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, and sea level has risen. …

It is extremely likely that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by the anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas concentrations and other anthropogenic forcings together.

Each of the last three decades has been successively warmer at the Earth's surface than any preceding decade since 1850. The period from 1983 to 2012 was likely the warmest 30-year period of the last 1400 years in the Northern Hemisphere, where such assessment is possible (medium confidence). The globally averaged combined land and ocean surface temperature data as calculated by a linear trend, show a warming of 0.85°C [0.65 to 1.06°C] over the period 1880 to 2012, when multiple independently produced datasets exist.

The report blames the ongoing 15-year pause in global warming on "natural variability," noting:

Due to this natural variability, trends based on short records are very sensitive to the beginning and end dates and do not in general reflect long-term climate trends. As one example, the rate of warming over the past 15 years (1998–2012; 0.05 [–0.05 to 0.15] °C per decade), which begins with a strong El Niño, is smaller than the rate calculated since 1951 (1951–2012; 0.12 [0.08 to 0.14] °C per decade).

The authors of the report evidently expect that the pause should soon end. As a consequence the report projects:

The global mean surface temperature change for the period 2016-2035 relative to 1986-2005 is similar for the four RCPs [modeled warming scenarios] and will likely be in the range 0.3°C- 0.7°C (medium confidence).

That implies that warming could increase by as much as 0.35 degrees per decade, which is nearly triple the rate the IPCC reports for period after 1951, and 7-times higher than the rate of increase it reports for the last 15 years.

The report lays out a global carbon budget with the goal of keeping temperatures beneath the 2°C threshold relative to the 1861-1880 baseline set at the UN's Copenhagen climate change conference in 2009. Humanity has already pumped the equivalent of about 1900 gigatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and can only emit 1000 gigatons more if there is to be a 66 percent chance of keeping future temperature increases below 2°C. Humanity is currently emitting about 50 gigatons per year now, which implies that the remaining carbon budget would be used up in about 20 years. The Synthesis Report notes:

 Scenarios that are likely to maintain warming at below 2 C are characterized by a 40% to 70% reduction in GHG emissions by 2050, relative to 2010 levels, and emissions level near zero or below in 2100.

So no fossil fuels by 2100. How much would cutting greenhouse gas emissions cost? The report suggests that it would reduce annual economic growth over the remainder of the century by between 0.04 to 0.14 percent (median 0.06 percent). Interestingly, the Synthesis Report observes that estimates for global annual economic losses for temperature increases of ~2.5 °C above pre-industrial levels are between 0.2 and 2.0% of income. The report adds:

These impact estimates are incomplete and depend on a large number of assumptions, many of which are disputable…. As a result, mitigation cost and climate damage estimates at any given temperature level cannot be compared to evaluate the costs and benefits of mitigation.

Well, let's do a back of the envelope benefit-cost comparison estimate anyway. The current world GDP is around $70 trillion. Assuming a baseline growth rate of 2.5 percent for the next 85 years, world GDP would be $612 trillion in 2100. So cutting greenhouse gas emissions is estimated to reduce GDP between $591 and $545 trillion by 2100. In other words, global GDP will be between 3.5 and 11 percent lower than if there was no need to mitigate future climate change. One way to think of this is that people today making an average global per capita income of just under $10,000 per year are being asked to sacrifice economic growth and development for people whose incomes will likely be over $61,000 per year in 2100.

With due humility the Synthesis Report observes…

…it is outside the scope of science to identify a single best climate change target and climate policy.

Science may not be able to tell us what to do about man-made warming, but diplomats at United Nations climate change conferences this December in Lima, Peru and next December in Paris, France aim to do just that.

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  1. I don’t really understand the science behind this stuff, but in addition to banning fossil fuels, I think they should ban handguns, too, just to be safe.

    1. don’t forget GMO’s and transfats either

    2. The reason you don’t understand the science is because public school funding has been siphoned off by charter schools so ban charter schools first.

    3. Just like Hitler did, nearly a hundred years ago… Wow, THAT idea really worked, didn’t it?

      It’ll be just as good for all of us to ban fossil fuels, too… but I won’t be around to see the results of such stupidity… but your kids might.

  2. I for one welcome our “global warming” overlords, for without them, most of North America would be under a sheet of ice a mile thick.

  3. Finally we have it: the ideal world climate occurred in 1861-1880 and humankind has to keep any temp increase within 2 degrees of that or the earth will be ruined for human habitation. One question:
    how do scientists today know what the world climate was in 1861-1880, given the vast advance in measuring techniques and subsequent exploration of areas such as Africa, the polar regions, the deep ocean, etc. etc.?

    1. You know, I have a sneaking suspicion they have no clue about that. Or anything else, for that matter. Not too mention that predictions 85 years from now are subject to an infinite number of unforeseen variables that makes them…worthless.

    2. Isn’t that time period generally thought to have been unusually cool (if there is any such thing as “usual”)?

      1. See, also, “Little Ice Age.”

    3. Me, I’d vote for the Medieval Climate Optimum from 950-1250 AD. Warmer global temperatures promote agriculture and trade and human flourishing.

  4. So according to the study a period of stopped warming over 15 years in a 59 year period of recording isn’t significant? I guess it’s only 25%. But it begs the question of what significant.

    1. It’s insignificant because the warming is going to start right back up with a vengeance! Can’t you read? The current plateau is like a step on a stair, and tomorrow it’s going to jump to the next step! Catastrophe if we don’t act today! If warming stops after we act, then it is because of our actions! And if we don’t act, then there will be a catastrophe of epic proportions right around the corner! It looms! Looooooooooms! Loooooooooooooooms!

      1. This. That diabolical heat is just hiding out somewhere in the ocean, waiting for just the right time to come back on out and overwhelm all of mankind just when we least expect it!

        1. Global warming warm water sinks to the bottom of the ocean! It’s magic!

    2. Also shouldn’t your model account for natural variation to some degree? In baseball for instance there are endless statistical models that are used to predict player performance from year to year. the difference being when these models are wrong(which there are always variations) the people who created said seek to explain the variation in some way. These Scientists haven’t been able to explain a 15 year deviation from their trend. That at the very least deserves an attempt to figure out what would cause that in my mind, and they would greatly increase tier credibility if they would at least admit they have no idea. The climate is far more complex than what happens in baseball on a year to year basis and they should have the humility to admit that every once in a while.

      1. The model that explains the 15 year deviation is solar output based, which would but a stake in the heart of their bid for control of your life. Thus, they can’t admit that there is a better model out there, as it torpedoes their own goals.

        1. For a long time I asked everyone who claimed we’re headed for thermal runaway to please explain what caused ALL of the major Ice Ages of the past couple hundred thousand years.

          The other day, I found a link that, to my engineering-trained mind, answers some of the questions…

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milankovitch_cycles

          But my conclusion from the Vostok Core graphs remains the same… it won’t be for many years, probably, but the historical data point to another major Ice Age in the future, and an Ice Age will kill lots more humans than global warming… especially if someone tries to pack umpteen billion people into the only arable land… of the Tropic Zones.

          Think about it…

      2. There was a paper explaining the “pause” based on wind patterns in the pacific affecting the atlantic or something. It all looked like really sophisticated hand waving to me.

        1. Where do you think the wind patterns come from? Lots of hot air and hand waving.

  5. ????? This offer only UK , USA, Canada, Australia, New Zeland persons first 50 registeration free can join us ?????

    What Matthew responded I’m shocked that a stay at home mom can earn $8529 in four weeks on the internet . pop over here.

    Registeration free can join us ????? http://www.jobsfish.com

  6. Shorter “UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Synthesis Report”

    DERRRRRRRRRRRRRRP.

    That is all.

  7. No.

  8. So, by 2100 it is back to burning whales?

    1. By then scientists will have worked the kinks out of the electric car and will have perfected fusion power. And solar panels. And wind turbines. Assuming the government spends enough money. If we don’t meet those goals, it will only be because the government didn’t spend enough money.

      1. A world lush in bloom
        With rivers running wild
        They’ll be re-routed South
        With none left for you or for me
        Don’t give in
        Hear the engines roar
        And save our crops from drought
        But when the black gold’s in doubt
        There’s none left for you or for me

        Fuse helium-3
        Our last hope

        Free me
        Free me
        Free me from this world
        We don’t belong here
        It was a mistake imprisoning our souls
        Can you free me
        Free me from this world

        Free me
        I’ll free you
        Free us from this world
        We don’t belong here
        It was a mistake imprisoning our souls
        Can you free me
        Free me from this world

        Running around in circles feeling caged
        By endless rules
        Can you free me, free me from this world

    2. Damnit, I just spit my lunch out laughing.

      I can’t explain why burning whales is funny, it just is.

  9. It is extremely likely that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by the anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas concentrations and other anthropogenic forcings together.

    Or not:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/201…..ections-2/

    And further, so what:

    http://www.thegwpf.com/the-rom…..rm-period/

    1. Forget is Johnny, it’s Baileytown.

    2. I don’t know what “dinoflagellate” is but I plan to incorporate it into a sentence today.

  10. so they want to eliminate steam electric generation?That’s how most,by far ,is generated when you add in nuclear.This is not about energy,but fuel.Wind and solar will not produce enough power for a large area.Oil is used for transportation and can not be replaced by solar or wind and many other products.Theses people are jacking off into brezze

    1. You could have shitloads of nuke plants powering electric vehicles I guess.

  11. It is extremely likely that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by the anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas concentrations and other anthropogenic forcings together.

    Not “very likely”, or “certain”, but “extremely likely”, which puts it right in the middle of “I suppose so” and “I ain’t shitting ya!” Or something.

    The report blames the ongoing 15-year pause in global warming on “natural variability,”

    Not unlike saying “my answers to my math test would have been accurate if it weren’t for the natural variability of these damned pencils you bought me!”

    “Bullshit alert, Will Robinson! Bullshit alert!”

  12. DOUBLE DOWN! Why not? It’s not their money.

    Just how long is a short term trend?

    1951-1998 obviously isn’t a short term trend, as that’s the period with all the warming. 1998-2014 is. So we’ve established that a short term trend is something less than 47 years, but more than 16. Just curious, how many years without any warming must we go before the short term trend becomes an actual trend and you admit that you used the wrong crystal ball?

    1. I WAS TOLD THERE WOULD BE NO MATH, FRANCISCO!

      1. We have altered the agreement.

        Pray that we do not alter it further.

    2. Actually 1940s through 1970s was a cooling period.

  13. “Fossil fuels must be phased out”

    Well, they won’t be. It’s an even more absurd fantasy than Communism to think that that is remotely possible. Whatever the science does or does not say, it’s a completely stupid approach to any problem that may be looming. It’s just a fantasy for control freaks.

    1. Re: Zeb,

      Well, they won’t be. It’s an even more absurd fantasy than Communism to think that that is remotely possible.

      Considering that Communists did not phase out their fossil fuels like ever, the whole thing sounds like a big scam.

      1. I think you misunderstand. I was comparing it to the possibility that Communism would actually work as anything but an authoritarian horror show.

        1. Re: Zeb,

          Oh, I got the gist, trust me. The point is that the Communists running the Global Warming scam as a back-door to Communism are themselves a big bunch of hypocrites.

          1. Oh, for sure. Watermelons.

            It is sad how many people buy the anti-capitalist enviro-crap given the well known and abysmal environmental records of various kinds of socialism.

  14. Fossil Fuels Must Be Phased Out by 2100, Says UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Synthesis Report

    That deadline means we’ll need to generate a new cadre of priests to keep the knowledge of how the world is supposed to look by 2100 so that future generations can evaluate if their ancestors were right about making everybody poorer.

    Kind of like waiting for the answer to the question of life, the universe and everything… Except that Deep Though did not demand a great sacrifice from those who were waiting for his Answer.

    1. Yeah, the long time scale over which the supposed “problems” are to happen makes it all even more ridiculous. Oh, no. In a hundred years people might not be able to live in exactly the same places as people do now.

      1. In exactly the same way, with exactly the same weather.

        1. Who knew the IPCC was staffed by those with such a “conservative” mindset? Everything must remain the same! The planet in stasis – forever!

          “Kids these days, with their backwards hats and their music. Why, I remember in my day..”
          /crotchety old IPCC member

    2. I think it involves dropping the world population to Stone Age levels and living in harmony with nature. As a bonus, it solves the Social Security and Medicare structural deficits as well.

  15. Yeah, okay. That makes total sense.

  16. I look forward to the leadership of the UN-istas (and various celebrities) in giving up their fossil fuel powered flights and cruises to exotic locales – working only by web conference (powered by solar or geothermal, of course).

  17. “Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia. The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, and sea level has risen.”

    Except in the 1970’s when they said we were headed for a new ice age.

    1. The atmosphere and ocean have warmed

      After they cooled. And?

      the amounts of snow and ice have diminished

      In some places but not others. Glaciers have been receding since the late 18th century. When they show you pictures of a glacier from 1904 and then in 2004 and the glacier is gone, they don’t show you the picture from the 1920s with the glacier being gone and the landscape looking almost identical to how it looked in 2004.

      sea level has risen

      It’s been rising steadily for the past 300 years.

  18. But what do the political leaders in India and China say about this neat plan?

    1. It seems some political leaders in China are betting on nuclear reactors fueled by thorium.

  19. Science may not be able to tell us what to do about man-made warming

    Science cannot even tell us if it exists in any meaningful way.

    but diplomats at United Nations climate change conferences this December in Lima, Peru and next December in Paris, France aim to do just that.

    TOP. MEN.

  20. Record Low Temperatures Hit South Florida After Cold Front

    MIAMI (CBSMiami) ? A cold snap set new record low temperature Sunday morning in Miami.
    The thermometer at Miami International Airport tumbled to 52 degrees breaking the date’s previous record of 54 degrees set in 1993.
    What South Florida considers a “normal” or average low for this time of year is 70 degrees, this morning the area woke up to a twenty degree dip from the norm.
    Some communities across interior sections of western Broward and Miami-Dade counties dropped into the 40’s.
    In West Palm Beach, the temperature dipped to 49 degrees, below the previous record of 51 degrees in 1993.
    The low temperature in Key West fell to 61 degrees, breaking the previous record of 62 degrees set in 1957.

  21. After that they’ll ban murder and mean people.

  22. Anyone who believes anything that the politically-driven IPCC says and in human-caused global warming must also believe in the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and Santa Claus, as well as the Obama administration being transparent and Obamacare being the best thing since sliced bread.

    I’ve been researching this for years, reading the articles and studies showing that it’s the Sun that drives climate and that there have been warmer periods with higher CO2 levels within human history, pre-industrialization, without runaway greenhouse effects.

    1. Modern humans evolved around 200,000 years ago. I assume that what you mean by “human history” is these last 200,000 years.

      Ice core data suggests that atmospheric CO2 did not exceed 300 ppm until the industrial revolution. We are not at almost 400 ppm.

      1. obviously, I meant “now at almost 400 ppm”, not “not at almost 400 ppm”

  23. It rained here quite heavily a couple of nights ago, and then there was a light frost on the ground this morning. I’m pretty sure both were caused by climate change. Who should I report this to?

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